Xiaomi October Global Launch – Smartphones, Vacuums, Tablets and Earbuds



Xiaomi Logo - an orange squircle with stylised white MI lettersReturning to an in-person event, Xiaomi‘s global launch took place in Munich, Germany with Abi Go, Head of Product Marketing, kicking off the event. Looking at the company, Xiaomi are now #266 in the Fortune Global 500, primarily through 160% growth in the premium smartphone category. The phones are no longer cheap and cheerful, and the Xiaomi 12 received some good reviews, including from myself. Xiaomi isn’t only about phones too – they’re rapidly growing in autonomous driving and robotics as well – but as you’ll see from the launches, Xiaomi is getting well established in consumer electronics.

First up was the Xiaomi 12T series, with the 12T and the 12T Pro smartphones. Both very similar in design, with a large main lens dominating the camera array on the rear. To reinforce this, the Pro comes with a whopping 200 MP main sensor and the standard 12T is fitted out with a still-fairly-big 108 MP sensor. Every part of the imaging system has been optimised, from the lens (8P) to the sensor (1/1.22″) and the software (advanced imaging processing). The new ProCut software uses AI to crop and frame images to make any scene look its very best, and the In-sensor zoom allows 2x zoom at the sensor level for clear portraiture. Both phones have an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro and 20MP selfie camera on the front.

Inside the 12T Pro is a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Ultra featuring in the 12T itself. Each chipset offers significant improvements in performance and power consumption over the previous generation. Both phones sport a 6.67″ 1220p resolution and 120 Hz CrystalRes AMOLED display covered by Gorilla Glass 5. The AdaptiveSync display will adjust the screen frequency for a fast and smooth refresh when needed and then revert to a lower power saving rate when not. Sound is by Harmon/Kardon and supports Dolby Atmos for a detailed and rich soundscape.

Keeping the power on is a 5,000 mAh battery with 120 W charging which will charge the battery from 0% to 100% in 19 minutes. With all the improvements to the CPU, the display and the battery, users can expect 13.5 hours of normal screen-on time and nearly 8 hours of gaming. That’s impressive.

Coming in three colours: blue, black and silver, the phones look, and I imagine, feel the part. The Xiaomi 12T Series will be available for sale starting on 20th October via Xiaomi official channels. The Xiaomi 12T Pro (8GB+128GB) will have an RRP of GB£699, and the Xiaomi 12T comes in two storage variants, 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB, with an RRP of £499 and £549 respectively.

Next up were vacuum cleaners, starting with the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X10+ which offers great cleaning for carpets with mop pads that lift up out of the way when the robot encounters carpet. S-Cross AI uses a pile of extra sensors to navigate the home and avoid hazards. X10+ comes with an all-in-one docking station that charges the robot, empties the dirt bag, cleans the mop pads and adds water to the X10+’s reservoir. Of course, the X10+ can be controlled by an app too. The vacuum robot is priced at 899€.

The W10 Wet Dry vacuum series are a series of wet and dry battery powered vacuum cleaners with a variety of features from assisted power, heated water rollers and base stations. Prices start from 599€.

The third set was for TVs and Xiaomi’s second generation TV Q2 series with QLED screens will come in 50″, 55″ and 65″ sizes. All the TVs support Dolby Vision IQ and Google TV is built-in. Prices start from 599€

Xiaomi’s been producing smart bands for several years and this time it’s the Xiaomi Smart Band 7 Pro. It’s a bit bigger than the previous bands but it’s much more stylish in a rectangular design that’s in keeping with current trends, i.e. it looks a fair bit like one of the market leading smart watches. The 1.64″ AMOLED screen is 84% bigger than the previous generation and the 7 Pro now has GNSS (GPS) built-in for route tracking so your smartphone doesn’t have to come along for the tracking. As before, the Band 7 Pro comes in a range of colours with two new vegan bands, pine green and moon grey, added to the selection. Battery life is around 12 days. All this doubles the cost and the Band 7 Pro will be priced at GB£84.99 / 99€.

Finally, Xiaomi announced the Redmi Pad, an all-in-one pad for fun. The Redmi Pad comes as a slim and durable medal unibody and is available in mint green, graphite grey and moonlight silver. At 445g it’s roughly twice to three times the weight of a phone but it’s easily portable. The screen is 10.6″ with 2K resolution at 90 Hz and the viewing experience is enhanced by quad speakers supporting Dolby Atmos. Inside is the MediaTek Helio G99 CPU along with an 8000 mAh battery. The camera is sensitively placed along the long edge to make video calls a little bit more natural (cf Samsung Galaxy Tab series) and FocusFrame tracks the users faces to ensure they’re in the picture. MIUI has been enhanced for the Pad and prices start at GB£269 / 279€ for the 3GB+64MB variant. I like this…

Although not covered in the presentation, Xiaomi also announced the Redmi Buds 4 Pro and Redmi Buds 4. Both offer noise cancellation and charging cases. The Redmi Buds 4 Pro offer 9 hours of listening on a single charge with a total of 30 hours when the charging case is used. The Buds 4 will go 6 hours on a single charge but offer 36 hours total when recharged from the case. Redmi Buds 4 and Redmi Buds 4 Pro available from £49.99 and £84.99 respectively via Xiaomi’s official channels. Available in the UK from 4th October.

The livestream is available here.


NASA Aircraft searching for Rare Earth Minerals #1626



For the next five years, NASA will be flying over five states to search for rare earth minerals to support green initiatives and not depend on the Chinese to sustain green energy manufacturing. Last Friday, the Podcast Awards ceremony went off without a hitch, and I announced the 17th annual winners.

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OnePlus Plants Trees for Trade-Ins with Ecologi



OnePlus LogoEcologi Script Logo on Green and Blue SplodgeTo help reduce the impact of its products on the planet, OnePlus has partnered with Ecologi to plant a tree every time a phone is traded in for a new one. Ecologi is a climate action organisation that helps both individuals and businesses offset their activities through the planting of trees.

Based on the current trade-in rate for new phones such as the 10T, Nord 2T and 10 Pro, OnePlus expects several thousand trees to be planted on its behalf. The trees will be planted in dedicated forest areas around the world and so far, Ecologi has planted over 50 million trees on behalf of its supporters and clients. This represents a reduction of 2.2 million tonnes of CO2.

At OnePlus we’re renowned for our community spirit, and looking out for our users. By giving OnePlus fans the chance to help the planet every time they get a new phone, we’re helping them make a positive difference to the planet,” said Tuomas Lampen, OnePlus’s Head of European Strategy. “By partnering with Ecologi as part of our wider environmental work we hope to continue to reduce our impact on the world and become a more sustainable business.”

In addition to planting trees, OnePlus has worked to reduce the amount of plastic in packaging, extend product lifecycles and has established recycling schemes. The customer benefits as well, with a trade in bonus available throughout October. When customers trade in an old phone for new phones they’ll receive an additional GB£200 or 200€ back on top of the trade-in value of their phone.

Linda Adams, Head of Partnerships at Ecologi, added: “While there is still work to do in the consumer electronics industry, it’s great to see OnePlus taking important steps to reduce the environmental impact of its products through its trade-in scheme, alongside supporting reforestation projects. Given its global presence and huge customer base, we hope OnePlus can act as an example to other companies in the sector – inspiring them to join the collective fight against climate change.”

If you are interested in offsetting your own personal carbon footprint, have a look at Ecologi. As a social enterprise (they’re not a charity), they work with tree planting partners to reforest local areas with appropriate trees to encourage wildlife and biodiversity. You can take out a subscription to Ecologi to cover part or all of your carbon footprint and there are family options too that will even cover your pets. 85% of the subscription goes to funding trees and similar projects. There’s a bit about the company over over at TechCrunch.


Amazon Launches 11 New Products #1625



Amazon has launched 11 new products leading up to the holidays and their next big sale. See all the details. I will be hosting the Podcast Awards ceremony at 9 pm Eastern tomorrow, Friday the 20th, on all my normal streaming locations. You can also grab the latest New Media Show to glimpse what is happening in the Podcasting 2.0 space I have been talking about.

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Putin makes Snowden a Russian Citizen #1624



Dictator Putin has made Edward Snowden and Russian citizen. The traitor has lived in Russia for many years under the regime’s protection. I can only hope that they give him a job in the national security sector, and he also leaks Russian secrets. Congrats to NASA and their successful impact on the Asteroid by the Dart probe.

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Artemis 1 ready for next Tuesday #1623



Artemis 1 appears to finally have its leaks fixed and will potentially be able to launch on its third attempt next Tuesday. We will see if our US tax dollars can get this beast off the pad and into space. If so, NASA can redeem itself after being made look like fools the past month or so.

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DHS Provides Grants To Investigate Radicalization



The Department of Homeland Security has awarded a $699,763 grant to terrorism and security researchers to study the cross section of extremism and gaming, Vice reported. That may sound strange, at first, but it is part of a program that The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has started.

The DHS Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP) provides funding for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with funds to establish or enhance capabilities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism. Developing local prevention capabilities is a key element of Goal 3 of the Strategic Framework to Counter Terrorism and Targeted Violence. The TVTP Grant Program provides assistance to implement that goal and develops innovative solutions to prevent terrorism and targeted violence.

You can find a list on the DHS website that shows which groups were given grants to fight extremism and terrorism. One of them is the United States Esports Association.

“The present project is an out-of-school (OST) program for college students that comprises leadership, activism, and development components in relation to competitive video gaming and esports. The leadership component focuses on character-building and development of grit and rigor in students’ academic, personal, and professional lives. The development component focuses on workforce development activities, including skills training and experiential learning with on-the-job and projects-based activities.

The present project achieves resilience to radicalization within local communities and online by leveraging young people’s participation in esports as well as their self-drive and aspirations for success as vehicles for developing, integrating, and delivering a TVTP framework particular to their unique risk profile. As esports grows in cultural impact, comorbid risk factors must be addressed early before bad form sets in. Esports’ immense sociocultural diversity opens the door for malign state and non state actors to radicalize our young people, especially through esports washing by authoritarian regimes. The present project, therefore, is a comprehensive hedge against the emergence of esports-based TVT throughout the United States by matching TVIP efforts to lifespan development and cultural interests”

There is also a grant for The Children’s Hospital Corporation. The goal here is to equip and empower four local school districts to be able to better identify and help youth at risk for radicalization to violence or targeted violence and terrorism. This will be done through the establishment of school-based threat assessment teams (TATs), increasing awareness of signs of violence risk, facilitating referral pathways to the school-based TATs, and supporting robust assessment, management and intervention of referred youth through coordination and connection with Massachusetts Area Prevention (MAP) Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.

A grant was given to onePULSE Foundation, which was created to memorialize the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 to ensure Pulse’s legacy of love, acceptance and hope is never lost. Since this attack, onePULSE has been increasing societal awareness of the shooting, and stretching the boundaries on controversial topics and increasing dialogue around the LGBTQ+ community and resilience. onePULSE Academy is the education arm of onePULSE, whose purpose is to promote acceptance and inclusion through innovation, reflective, experiential learning methods. onePULSE aims to positively impact social change at the individual, group, and community levels.

Those are just a few of the groups who received grants from the DHS. You can read about more of them on the DHS website. Personally, I think that this is a really great way to prevent kids and young adults to become radicalized. Sometimes, all it takes to prevent a young person from going down that road is for good people to give them a more positive, healthy, way to live their lives.