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Stealth, lightweight Android breaks cover

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Cheap doesn't always mean landfill

I can't speak for the A1, but I'm very chuffed with my Xaomi Note X4. It's a grey import in the UK for £150 from a UK reseller. A very nice piece of kit, excellent battery life, decent screen, runs fast enough for all my needs, takes two sims (or in my case one sim and an SD card). Works a treat day to day, camera is decent without being great - that's clearly more of a low-mid range item. Out the box the stock theme looks a bit Apple-esque, but Nova Launcher soon fixed that.

Will it be landfill after two years? Maybe, at £150. But in the first week the battery has lasted five days and 14 hours, so it isn't going to be recharged that often, and internet teardown analysis suggests that it is probably far easier to replace the battery than on any mainstream UK product from Samsung or Apple.

I really can't recommend it highly enough for the price. Well done Xiaomi.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cheap doesn't always mean landfill

I got the kids a couple of Chinese sources smart-phones for €55 each. They run full fat Android and seem to run very well. I can't remember the specs but they play the games the kids like, you can browse and watch YouTube etc. without feeling that the phone runs slower than a much higher priced model.

The down sides are that there are not patches (not official anyway) the screen is 720p but not 1080 and the phone isn't as sturdy as more expensive ones.

My main point is that with phones in this price range it's hard to see where Android One fits in.

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Apps are more of a problem

Lazy rich app developers who test on the latest 2.5GHz octocore flagships with 8GB of RAM cause devices to become "old" much quicker than they actually are. My current phone is not shit, 4 1.5GHz cores and 3GB of RAM, but if I load and leave the facebook app active/backgrounded, the phone is ridiculously sluggish, because the phone is out of RAM and is swapping.

There is no reason for the facebook app to use that much RAM, its laziness, lack of botheredness, and in some cases, deliberately doing things a slow way in order to spy as much as possible on your behaviour*. They could write the UI in an efficient manner, but they'd prefer to write it using React and javascript and HTML.

* Click a "link", it won't open in your browser, but instead in a less efficinet chrome view window that allows them to track what you do...

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Anonymous Coward

Faecebook

You use that? And you can work a phone?

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Re: Apps are more of a problem

'developers who test on the latest [...] cause devices to become "old" much quicker than they actually are'

That's pretty much the last five decades' of computing summed up right there. Probably even longer, but I don't remember before that.

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Re: Apps are more of a problem

Windows developers can't assume big jumps in computing power anymore, as Intel gives you maybe 3-5% a year if you're lucky, unless it is something that can be helped by SIMD instructions.

We're quickly reaching the same point with phones, Apple has already reached Core i5 performance levels with the A10X so they're soon going to hit the same wall of diminishing returns and the Android SoCs will as well. Check back in five years, and I'm sure you'll find app makers will have figured out they can't keep depending on big performance increases to bail out shitty programming techniques.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Apps are more of a problem

>There is no reason for the facebook app to use that much RAM...in order to spy as much as possible on your behaviour

Well that's (cough)Zuckerberg for you, just don't use Facebook, it's a disease and abstinence is the cure.

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Re: Apps are more of a problem

If you *need* to message people through Facebook but refuse to install the official messenger app, you can install an app called Disa.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Faecebook

Indeed, this is more a complaint about Facebook app background activities than anything else.

I'm more interested in Android Oreo 7.0, and why I should trust the opinion of someone so clearly bout of the loop.

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Re: Faecebook

Think you mean 8.0.

And as far as I can see Google are clamping down on bad code behavior from app developers, which is a win in my book.

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Re: Apps are more of a problem

There's an official "Facebook Lite" app that uses a hell of a lot less resources and doesn't hog your battery and data or auto-play videos by default or any of that nonsense. It's only available in the Play store if you're from somewhere like India or anywhere cheaper low-powered smartphones are the norm, but you can side-load the apk no problem. I keep it onboard for the rare occasion I might need to use Facebook - and the integrated Messenger function still works, no seperate app needed.

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Anonymous Coward

Got myself a MI Max...

With 6,4" screen, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, 6 Cores and a whooping 4500Mah battery which lasts at least 2 days (With me constantly using games, GPS, video, browsing etc).. It runs everything, never sluggish and I got all this for £220, bargain.

If this is the quality of their "Cheaper" phones, I'm really looking forward to the release of the Mi Mix in a couple of weeks.. Will cost more, but its on my xmas list!

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Re: Got myself a MI Max...

Unless you can remove the battery and install an SD card, it's a non-starter. Battery is a fire risk unless you can remove it, and the SD card is necessary for low-priority media stuff I don't want to encrypt.

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Am also a Xiaomi convert. Recently got a Redmi 4A and it is miles ahead of my Sagsmug S3 mini.

Camera is way better, the phone has 2Gb RAM and a whopping 32Gb storage, but I dropped an SD card in for photo storage just in case.

Quite impressed with its battery life, I can get a day's use out of it with normal use (sagsmug was dead at the end of the day, even so by not using it at all) and if I use whatsapp/telegram web interface on my PC, battery life is extended an extra day.

A faceboob app was preinstalled, but to my delight I was able to uninstall that piece of malware without rooting. There is so little bloatware that it is a joy to use. (My other two Huawei devices also is a joy to use, very little bloatware). Compare that to Sagsmug who forces bloatware which you don't want, don't need and cannot uninstall without rooting.

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"Android Oreo 7.0 "

7.x is Nougat

Oreo is v8.0

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Android Oreo 7.0 "

You'd think the author would have paid more attention to that given it's his initials.

Android Oreolowski

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Android Oreo 7.0 "

You'd think the author would have paid more attention to that given it's his initials.

Give him a break - his heart isn't really in it for any article that he can't turn into a rant about "freetards".

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Re: "Android Oreo 7.0 "

And only gets excited for Android when it's a Huawei..

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I bought my Samsung S5 for £280 nearly 3 years ago. Its now getting slower and slower with every app update. There's lots of junk I don't want like "Peel smart remote" and all the Samsung health stuff. Updates don't come often enough for me.

Perhaps this or the OnePlus T3? I wish it was as simply as Apple!

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