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Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
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The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is an improvement over its predecessor, but it’s not enough of an improvement to seek an upgrade from last year’s Note 3. It is also behind competitors.

The metal back also feels sturdier this time. It feels like a thick slab of metal unlike last time, while you get the same glossy plastic on the front as before. The phone is also reasonably compact for a 5.5 inch device. To be clear, it’s not perfectly suited to single-handed usage, but close enough that you won’t complain when you really need it.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is fast, lasts long, has a functional display and an improved camera. That makes it a decent smartphone to buy. However it is neither the best value at this price, nor a true upgrade to the Redmi Note 3. What you actually may want to buy this phone for is storage. The 4GB/64GB variant costs Rs. 12,999 and that makes it a very good deal. The 2/32GB and 3/32GB should also turn some heads.

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Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra ZU680KL

Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra ZU680KL
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The Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra is a decent smartphone, but it doesn’t make sense at Rs. 49,999. The Xiaomi Mi Max is pretty much as fast and a more colourful screen. The Zenfone 3 Ultra does have a better camera, but it still doesn’t belong in the premium range.

For one, the volume rocker on the back sits flush with the body. The material feels pretty much the same as the metallic back panel, making it hard to identify by touch.

Next, the capacitive buttons on the front and fingerprint sensor cum home button are too small. While that’s fine for the fingerprint sensor, the surface area available for using the back and recents button is too little for a phone this size. As a result, there are often a few too many missed touches here.

Lastly, and most importantly, the build itself is questionable. While the metal build feels premium, our particular unit came with a minute chip on the bottom, out-of-the-box. Further, the paint seems to be wearing off on the back and recents buttons.

When using a premium device, one wants no compromise. Unfortunately, the Zenfone 3 Ultra isn’t without compromises. While it is indeed a decent smartphone, the price is simply outrageous.

You can get the same performance and a better looking display from the Xiaomi Mi Max, which costs less than half of this. The Zenfone 3 Ultra does offer a better camera, but whether that’s enough for you to spend 50k on this is a decision we leave up to you.

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Sony’s new Bravia XBR-A1E OLED TV is a big step for the TV market

Sony’s new Bravia XBR-A1E OLED TV is a big step for the TV market
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It seems rumours about Sony making an OLED TV were true. The Japanese company just announced the XBR-A1E Bravia 4K OLED TV at CES 2017. Sony’s TVs have so far been using its Triluminous Display technology, which is similar to Samsung’s Quantum Dots. However, theoretically, OLED panels should provide much better colours. OLED panels on paper allow nearly true blacks on a television, and infinite contrast ratio.

From what we’ve seen on LG’s OLED TVs so far, the use of this technology should give Sony’s new Bravia a considerable boost in terms of picture quality. In fact, reports say that Sony isn’t actually producing the OLED panels itself, and they’re most likely being sourced from LG Display.

Further, Sony’s television has built in support for Dolby Vision HDR through the 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme chip, which is Sony’s in-house processor for 4K HDR picture. This is the same chip that powers Sony’s Z9D HDR television, and we’ve seen the admirable job it does on that TV. However, it is unclear whether Sony’s new OLED TVs will support both Dolby Vision and HDR10 content. It should, theoretically, be possible. We’ve put the question across to Sony and will update this story whenever we hear from them.

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