Month: March 2021

Phone review: Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

tl;dr: RECOMMENDED. 5/5 star.

It’s a really solid phone. If you like MIUI, it’s a superb choice.
Can be picked up used for SUPER, insanely cheap. And you get so much value…

XDA scene: Meh.
There are a few attempts here and there but I would not call it an overly healthy development scene. Which is weird to be honest because there are so many phones being sold, yet barely any development happening.

Pros:

  • IPS screen. Will never burn in for long-term use. From hardcore gaming. It will stay the same.
    144hz fast refresh rate; super-bright screen.
  • Big battery with great battery life and excellent super charging. Never had a battery problem.
  • Good speaker quality, good call quality.
  • Great signal, GPS, 5G speeds. I’ve hit almost 1000mbps internet speeds on 5G. Insane. (with dual sim installed!)
  • Excellent performance. It always felt fast. No complaints.
  • Good camera. The pictures I took came out great. The 108mpx mode also looks stellar. But you really need a tripod or steady hands to pull of a sharp shot with that. It’s not impossible though.
  • MIUI. If you love it, it’s great. You can easily flash Global, EEA (EU) or Xiaomi.EU roms on the device. They all work fine. I run Android 11 EEA at the moment. EEA has Google Dialer/Messages.
    The LineageOS that exists for the phone is almost bug-free, but development has not been too active lately. Check around XDA if you wish to pick up the device only for this.
  • You can root, unlock, and keep the warranty. Typical Xiaomi fashion, you need to wait a week or something like that to be able to unlock the phone (for root, roms, etc.)

Cons:

  • It’s “heavy”. Just like the Zenfone 7 Pro, this is above 210g in weight. But it’s typical in the category.
  • The screen, due to being IPS can feel like it’s “ghosting” a tiny bit. Under fast movement that is. Imagine like super fast scrolling in Reddit or whatever. Honestly, it never bothered me a single bit, but people brought it up. Like, compared to a 144hz AMOLED panel, this feels “worse”. Then again, a 144hz AMOLED costs about 3-5 times as much. And it will burn in, while this won’t ever.
  • The proximity sensor honestly sucked on the Android 10 EEA rom that came with the phone. Global, Xiaomi.EU and Android 11 EEA works great though. So I just recommend you to update it when you get it.

Hope that helped. If you have any questions, doubts, feel free to write a comment.
From me, for such a cheap price (used), it’s a major recommend. It ticks every box.

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Phone review: ASUS Zenfone 7 Pro

tl;dr: RECOMMENDED. 5/5 star.

Pros:
– You can pick it up super cheap used.
– Excellent camera quality. The pictures on it are SO GOOD. GCam works. It takes better pictures than my Note 10+ used to. Very surprised and absolutely loving it.
– 90hz (which you can enable everywhere!!!) display. Bright. Very nice quality.
– Excellent battery life. It easily lasts me a very heavy day and more.
– Superb software. No themes, but it’s lean and clean. Fast. I love it. Many little handy features here and there.
– Excellent call quality, signal and reception.
– Excellent GPS signal, lock-on time.
– Excellent OS and speed.
– Excellent performance. Never a hiccup, no lag ever. I am no mobile Fortnite pro, but I haven’t had any issues in emulators, in the OS, during work or anything.
– Excellent proximity sensor. It works so good. Always on point.
– MicroSD slot AND dual-sim. Super-rare. (Only some Samsung A series have this feature.) You can pop in a 512GB microSD easily, and still have dual SIM. It’s a media machine.
– Superb speakers. Loud, clear.
– LED indicator on the bottom. Bright, visible, nice.
– Fullscreen viewing experience. No notch, no hole.
– Fast, great working side fingerprint reader.
It has stock call recording enabled. I can’t confirm if Android 11 will still have it, but Android 10 has it.
– The special camera works in any other custom app (like SNOW, Gcam, etc.). You can set a manual angle on the camera in apps. Very helpful for work.

Cons:
– It’s heavy. Well, phones in 2021 finally received what I was asking for years. Bigger batteries. But with the flip camera and the 5000 mAh battery pack, it’s a chonky boi. 220g. Without case.
– There is no separate front camera. To me, this is awesome, a godsend. I have a full screen, no annoying stuff. But if you are a vlogger who wishes to record himself/herself while making a video – you can’t do that. The camera can only stay in one direction. That said, this phone can take SUPERB quality vlogs if you use a selfie stick or a tripod or something. So there is that.
– The camera system is hard to protect. Thus cases can get heavy.
What I recommend is… Get a simple TPU case, you know one of those “floppy plastic transparent cases”, and also buy a “camera protector glass” off eBay. This way you have a phone you can just hold easily and the cameras are also protected. This works best for me. I’ve bought that RhinoShield case, but it is too chonky, too heavy for me.
– Rooting the phone, just like Samsung for example, will void your warranty. I have not found a single reason to root it yet though.

Hope that helped. If you have any questions, doubts, feel free to write a comment.
From me, for such a cheap price (used), it’s a major recommend. It ticks every box.

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Review: Xiaomi Smart Home Security Camera PTZ 2K Pro Bluetooth IP AI

The Camera itself is 5 star. IT’S GREAT.
Setup is easy, picture quality is excellent. But oh God, the software. It is bad.
I’ve had a 1080p 360 degree camera from Xiaomi before I decided to upgrade to this model.

1) In the app, you can’t just scroll the picture. Like you can’t just tap and move the screen to check the entire camera footage. Because the phone, depending on the ratio, you can only see a cut-off portion. Even in Landscape, I can’t see everything.

So when you try to pan around with your finger, it will move the camera’s picture. It is SO annoying.

2) There is NO way to set motion detection partitions up. Which is super weird. I’ve seen old Xiaomi screenshots where they’ve had this feature. But now, you can only set a basic sensitivity and if you want to see ALL movement or just people’s movement alarms.

This can be super annoying too, because let’s say your camera faces the outside door, but there is car traffic outside the windows. You can’t use motion detection because you will always have false alarms.

3) There is a semi-official Windows program for the Xiaomi smart cameras. But it does not work with THIS one. It ignores the camera by defaul. There is a way to force it into the program, but it won’t work, it throws an error called “-20009”. Guides say it’s a region lock (meaning the cam is China only in apps) – but I’ve put my European country in the app and the camera paired instantly so I think the app is just throwing a random error at this point.

It’s still annoying.

4) Even if you share the camera with another user (your SO, kids, business partner), if you enable push notifications, they will get the notifications. Disable them? They are disabled for both of you. So silly.

Ps.: There is a MicroSD slot. You have to move the camera UP and you can see the tiny slot below the camera lens. This can record all the time, or it can record only motion. BE CAREFUL. If you record ALWAYS, you need an “industrial SD card”. Look it up. Basically, you can buy special SD cards for dashcams, cameras, and for security cameras like this one. They were designed to withstand a lot of writes (because you keep saving the new footage over and over again). If you put in a normal cheap SD card, it will be dead soon. Not the camera’s fault, those cards were not designed for heavy use.

I’d say the camera is for guarding a simple home, or maybe your pets, baby probably. But due to how limited the app is, the camera also gets very limited. I don’t know why Xiaomi did this, this could be the best thing ever if they only invested a bit in the apps.
Also imagine a PC app where you’d get the push notifications and you could open the cams fast? It’d be heaven.

Hope my review helps someone.

Honestly this camera (and all other Xiaomi cameras) would benefit from alternative clients. But I suppose Xiaomi is not to keen on sharing a way for us to develop custom apps. There are a few custom firmwares online for various smart cameras, but they are mostly obsolete/abandoned at this point. If you are still deciding, just get a HIKVision. It works.

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