Tips on how to better Prepare for Xiaomi Online Purchases

Tips you need to know to even the odds for you to get the phone you want at that limited online purchase rush.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Redmi & Nexus 5 Camera face off

Since I have Xiaomi Redmi phone and a Nexus 5. I decided to have a face off of the photo quality.

Let's look at both of the specs first.

Redmi having 8MP camera, f/2.2 aperture, 28mm wide angle lens, and 1080p video recording

Nexus 5 has an 8MP main camera with a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor and an F2.4 30mm equivalent lens.

Let's shoot it in the day light and these shots are not digitally enhance. The color tone is just as it is.

Let's bring in to a low light shooting.

This is in a room white light environment. Redmi seems to be sharper.

You can see more noise on the Nexus 5. Note that these shots are not digital sharpen. Just some chopping done to get them into size.

So which back camera is better?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Xiaomi Redmi Basic Camera function

As a Redmi user, I want to do a review on the camera function on this wonderful budget phone. I think I want to set a correct expectation regarding the camera function. Knowing this is one of the budget but packed with goodies function, the camera has nothing much to shout about. However it do give you some decent results and functions.

Here are 5 basic option menu found on the menu of the camera app that comes with Xiaomi. There are the Panorama, HDR, Audio activation, Filters and Setting option.

I will not go into Panorama as this for familar mobile phone would know the function append various shot to create a smooth transition to one Panorama photo.

I will go thru the HDR which is a digital built function that most mobile phone also have. Here are 2 photo taken by HDR ON and the other HDR off.

You should see more details in clarity on the HDR mode such as the glossiness of the color label.

One challenge of photography is taking selfie where you have to use the front camera which is lower in pixel quality. There's where the Audio activation comes in. Once you set to that option, you can shout to the camera at a distance and it will count down to 3 seconds to take the photo giving you enough time to do some decent pose.

There are 6 additional LIVE filter that you can choose to do some special effect for creative reasons. I cannot say it is not helpful for you never know who and what people want to take. Here are the 6 different filters applying LIVE on the phone screen. 

In Setting mode, you have various option to select from ranging from Focus mode, Anti Banding, Saturation of the photos, Sharpness, Contrast, Burst mode and the face detection. 

End of the day, Redmi camera and the basic camera app that comes with it is decent. If you do not like the camera app, there are other Android apps you can get in Google Play.

Personally I find it is alright in term of responsive and start of loading. Here is one general shot taken by Redmi. You can see the colors and details.  

I will do a review of Redmi with Nexus 5 in my next post for you to see the difference and up to your eyes to be the judges.

If you like this review and want to comment, please do so. I want to hear from you too.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

How to Prepare for Xiaomi Purchases Online

I admit shopping is emotional especially for Xiaomi phone as they only sell direct on their site open at certain timing. They have a reputation to sold out the stock within minutes. However getting one for yourself is not impossible. What you need is to be prepare.

Connection Matters 
During that short time gap, the web traffic on that xiaomi webserver will be very jam. You cannot do much on that but you can ensure you are using a fast and reliable internet connection on your end. I do not recommend you using mobile web access as that very much at the mercy of the base station. If you can get a home Lan line that would be better. In offices Lan line the traffic will very much control by your office network.

Be at the Right Place at the Right time
First get the right timing of the actual sales time. Even thought we are talking about Singapore timing, we need to know is your watch or system clock or server clock on your device is the correct timing. So if you can, always camp early.

You need to go to the correct page too. Do not linger at the front page of Xiaomi and wait for it to refresh as it will not. The correct page is the actual product page you want to buy. Try to be that page 10 minutes before hand to do some administration matters.

Login in Early
What login in am I talking about? I am talking about Xiaomi account and Paypal account (if you using it). You need Xiaomi account created so you can complete your purchase. So do so early before the sales timing and login in to get ready.

Adding into your Shopping Cart is not equal you already secure your purchases
So the sales has started and you are adding your phone and accessories into your shopping cart. Don't be surprise if you take too much time, at the end of your checking out it show out of stock. Yes that could happen and it happened to me before.

The amount of phone and accessories are sold every time someone check out their shopping cart. You utmost  objective is to get to check out as early as possible.

Know what you want
You should know what you really want before the sales begin. Do not take too much time to browse and decide while you are deciding, someone would have got the phone and accessories needed. I do recommend go straight to bundle offers if you are into accessories and you should decide you want what type of screen protector by then.

Remember the objective is to check out the cart ASAP!

It is normal to face a few unsuccessful checkout
Do not panic. Hardly anyone check out successfully the first time. All you need to do is to stay calm and try again. The traffic will be jamming but you can get thru if you persist.

You have to be sure in the first place you have added your purchase into your cart and it is still there. You may refresh the page to see the cart items again. Do not make the mistake thinking your items was wipe off and add again as you check out you have duplicated items.

If you have paypal account already login before you go into Xiaomi sales, you will have a smoother experience. Once your transaction done, you just need to wait for your email and wait for your delivery within Singapore for the next few days.

A friendly advice is to buy what you need and try to be considerate as if you want to buy for to reseller later, chances are you will burn yourself. That few dollar earning is not worth it and you have rob of some end user who want to get the phone for someone special...maybe someone who do not own even a smart phone.

I hope by sharing my experience and tips, you are more prepared and in turn hope you can share this pointers to others to come as you just need to be successful for one time to get the phone.

Comment, Share or Like it if you like this sharing.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

My Xiaomi Redmi

There is a wind of change coming to the mobile world and it is a delight to all consumer. It is Xiaomi Redmi. A budget smart phone but pack with decent technology and user friendliness.

Due to the low price, I decided to get it just to use it and maybe pass it to my kid as spare.

Getting this Xiaomi Redmi is not easy. It is sold online and only open for order at certain period although there are other sources selling but getting direct is the cheapest and it is a good experience due to the hype.

The package as deliver direct to me via UPS and the box is very environment friendly and simple. Using just plain card board, the package don't look cheap to me. In fact I like such simple design.

Open the top cover and the Redmi is visible in neat presentation. At this point, I think it is proper to credit Apple for their iPhone way of packaging which set a standard in Mobile packaging presentation. Xiaomi did use such presentation and packaging standard on this phone.

Every items are neatly packed even the instruction sheets. But the difference is that every paper packaging including the instruction sheets are recycle paper. No fancy stuff but environment friendly. I like!

The uniqueness of Xiaomi was they are generous in putting more. One of which is double sim card. One may argue how many are using that? is there such a demand? The answer is yes. This could be used for Business phone and personal phone. Such configuration are popular in China. Like it or not, giving such option allow more value. Telco should be happy as you will get more customers by more line subscribers. I mean who would mind to have such feature with the same price even you do not use it?

Thoughtfulness is what  count. In cases you maybe having a Micro Sim, Xiaomi threw in 2 Sim card convertors so to enable micro sim users to switch over easily.

Although the price was at SGD$169.00, the phone do not look cheap. It has fast response time and smooth transition from apps to apps. Now there are some iPhone users looking at Xiaomi interface and spotted the similarity. 

Personally I believe  technology is to be shared and if some take reference and make it better, it is better for consumers. Remember technology is to service and improve mankind. Don't be jealous if others took part of your idea and make it better. You can make it better too.

Xiaomi has it's own customize theme of desktop and apps and they provide cloud backup for free for now. I truly see a potential of growth in this community. This fella will bring about a game changer in mobile world as this is what mass market want in a phone.

Meanwhile I will explore and share more on Xiaomi Redmi. I will certainly share more of my finding in time to come.

That being said, I am still using my Nexus 5. Maybe I will do some comparsion between Nexus 5 and Redmi. Follow me and we will find out more!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dyson Air Multiplier or Blade-less Fan

I have seen this Blade-less fan for some time but only recently my family got one.

I searched the internet to find out how does this fan work and found the following video (without audio)

One of the main feature was the easy of cleaning. That mean no more unhook the fan meshes and clean the blade on the traditional fan. But does that mean it is Zero cleaning?

Actually in the manual it stated the part that do need cleaning of the top and the also the bottom.

You can see the need of cleaning the air outlet.

Basically the fan start out with sucking the air below to push the air up to the circular part of the fan.

Which mean you have to clean this part really carefully as this is the part the air will be suck in while the top circular part does not need so much attention.

What about the power consumption? There wasn't any official specs found in the manual and either was there written in the official website. I found the following at another site who did measure it using 120.5V. The power consumption between 2 to 31Watts and if you need it to Oscillation another 2Watts more. A normal fan is around 30 watts so it is around there and cannot conclude it is more Green in energy.

This fan currently cost 4 to 5 times or more than the traditional fan. What matter now is to see how long the fan can still preform. My household fan is ON every night and a traditional fan normally last me for 3 to 4 years or sometime more.

Dyson fan provide a 2 year warranty in Singapore. As this fan is new to technology to me, I have to keep a close eye on this fan preformance in days to come.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Troubleshooting Fluorescent Light

Recently my room fluorescent lighting have kinda go strange on me. I took some time to trouble shoot and decided to share this with all of you.

Disclaimer: This is done with safety by switching the main power source OFF, do not attempt any of the troubleshooting unless you know what you are doing. If you can always have some one of age by your side to assist you in case any accident happen. If you are a child or elderly, do not do this by yourself. 

Here is my Fluorescent light bulb or ring in 32" and the issue was it can light up initally but it just will not stay light up after keeping on for some time.

Here are the parts of a standard Fluorescent Light which consist of the Fluorescent Light bulb, Starter, Starter connector and the Ballast.

Usually the Starter is use to trigger the fluorescent light to ON. If the starter is not working, the Fluorescent light will not light up. Some time the Starter connector play a part too since it is a separate part from the starters. So if you trigger your switch and the light up do not light up, then it could be the fault of Starters, Light bulb or the starter connector.

This is the Starter attached to the starter connector.

For my case, I have switch with a working Light blub and starter from another room and it can be on but after sometime it will off by itself. So I decided to switch to Ballast.

The purpose of the ballast is to convert the AC power to supply the right power to the fluorescent light. Since in my case it does ON but it cannot stay ON for long.

When changing the Ballast, please ensure your power is off the position of the wiring.

When all the wiring is done, you may ON the switch to see if it work. For me it did work!

Troubleshooting is easy if you have the necessary spare part and ensure the power is OFF when you are changing parts.

Normally there should not be fault of the wire connection or the switch unless they are more than a few years old. Sometime that may happen but it is really rare.

So here is my sharing. I hope in time to come I will share more D.I.Y stuff with you so you can save some money and have a better understanding how things in our home works.

Remember, safety first. OFF power when changing parts.

If you find this useful, comment and let me know.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Cheap Phone, Good Phone

This week was a interesting week in the world of Mobile or Smart phone. There seems to be a limited in technology for the screen size to be bigger, camera to better and respond to be smarter. Most of the buzz goes to expecting excitedly for Samsung Galaxy S5 and SONY Xperia Z2 in the world of Android. Even Nokia finally bend for a Android phone. But in truth, what do general consumer want?

What do you want?

I cannot say for many but with the response on the recent Nexus 5 and Xiaomi phone, I can say the mass market want the following

Bigger Screen
Smart phone no longer are for just communication, much of it propose now was for entertainment not so much into Music but streaming video. So the size of the screen really matter.

Smooth response
Much of the high end phone usually come with their own application which over time take up your phone resources which you hardly use. Worst they do not allow you to close or uninstall the app. That was one reason I went for the stock Vanilla Android on my Nexus 5 phone. It was always responsive and the interface is smooth.

Decent Camera
You do not really need a high end mobile phone with lot of Mega pixel unless the camera comes with good lens. Most phone can take decent phone with good lightning. If there isn't enough lightning, even a DSLR will have issue to see noises in the photo.

Technology has come to a mature state in smart phone world where with a certain pricing you will get a decent processor phone. So if you can get the above criteria and the smart phone only need to be with you for the next 2 years (Since many changes phone about those period), why would anyone want to pay more?

I am glad there are phone like Nexus and Xiaomi that did some compromise to offer lower pricing but good feature phone. I am pretty sure these are the phone that will penetrate the mass market and moving the mass to get a more economic phone.

Maybe it just me but if there isn't much innovation that changes lifestyle, I am sure we will be able to see more economical phone in the days to come.

Do you agree?