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  1. AMD has been on the rise for quite some time now with some of its components offering similar or even better performance in some cases over Intel parts. But not all AMD-powered machines, especially laptops are worth checking out, thanks to AMD's "not-so-good" track record when it comes to mobile devices. The new MSI Alpha 15 laptop, however, is something that'll catch your attention. The Alpha 15 A3DDK is a part of MSI's Alpha series that includes all AMD components. On paper, it seems like it packs a powerful punch for a very lucrative price. But is it really worth it? Well, I've been using the MSI Alpha 15 laptop as my primary machine for a few weeks now and I think it's a really good machine for the price. Here's what I make of it: 1. Design & Build Quality MSI's Alpha series notebooks look a little different from their usual gaming notebooks. Instead of flaunting a gaudy red or blue colour, which most gaming laptops tend to do these days, the Alpha 15 has a simple matte black chassis. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP I like how the front of the laptop looks like a race car hood with two curves and a thunderbird logo in the middle. The hinge of the laptop also feels solid and it's complemented with a few red accents at the back along with the heat vents. The laptop is not overly heavy, nor is it gigantic in size. It's the kind of compact notebook that I'd happily recommend. On the inside, you'll see a gorgeous keyboard courtesy of the folks over at Steelseries. The display also has minimal bezels on three sides, so there's not much to complain about. The keyboard layout is made out of plastic, but I'd like to point out that it feels just as premium as a high-end notebook with a chassis made out of a different material. The really like the finish, especially where my palm rests on the laptop as I write this review. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP Overall, I'd say the MSI Alpha 15 is a solid gaming notebook. The overall design and the build quality of the notebook kind of reminds of the ASUS TUF gaming notebook series. Solid build quality with impressive looks. 2. Display The Alpha 15 sports a 15.6-inch FHD display inside. It supports 144Hz refresh rate as well as AMD's FreeSync, which is a fancy tech that's made to eliminate screen tearing in-game by syncing the refresh rate between the display and the GPU. Technical details aside, this is a beautiful looking panel. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP The viewing angles are really nice and the brightness is on-point. I also like how the display shows a natural color palette. This is now one of my favorite display to consume content on. Be it gaming, or simply watching a movie, you'll instantly notice a difference, especially if you're like me who's coming from a two-year-old laptop. 3. Keyboard and Trackpad The Steelseries keyboard on the A3DDK features per-key RGB lighting and it looks great. You can play around the Steelseries software to change the lighting patterns and there's a ton of them to choose from. There's also a dedicated button to change between the different patterns and brightness. As for the keys themselves, this has been one of my favorites keyboards to use for typing. Steelseries makes really good keyboards and this is no different. The keys have decent travel and are perfect to churn out long-form stories. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP As for the trackpad, it uses Windows precision drivers and it's quite responsive. Instead of a clickable trackpad, you get two buttons. They're nice and sturdy, so no complaints there either. Since this is a gaming laptop, you'll anyway be investing in a good gaming mouse, so there's hardly anything to worry about. 4. Ports Despite having somewhat of a compact form factor, the Alpha 15 has pretty much all the ports that you'd need. On the right, you a two USB 3.2 Type-A ports along with an SD card slot. On the left-hand side, you get an ethernet port along with an HDMI port, a mini display port, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 3.2 Type-C ports along with 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks. © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP If there's one thing that I don't like the placement of the USB Type-A ports on the right side. The wires connecting to the peripheral will often come in the way of your game by restricting the mouse movement. Not a deal-breaker, but it might take you some time to get used to this. 5. Performance The Alpha 15 A3DDK is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7-3750H processor with 16GB of RAM. My review unit comes with 512GB NVMe SSD which is pretty fast. I remember being able to transfer a 5Gb file in around 11 seconds which is not bad at all. Since this a gaming laptop, let's talk about the GPU. This machine is equipped with AMD Radeon RX5500M GPU with 4GB VRAM. This GPU is comparable to the GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660 Ti. In many cases, the RX5500M manages to beat the GTX 1650 with better frame rates at 1080p. I wanted to push the GPU to its limits, so I ran all the games that I tested in 1080p with the highest graphics settings. This is not what I ideally do to test the performance, but I figured why not put the AMD GPU through its paces. You can see the results below in the benchmark chat. It's' worth pointing out that the frame rates are much better when you tweak the graphics settings a bit. Games like Apex Legends and Fortnite will easily hit 144Hz when you play around the settings a bit or turn them all the way down. But if you want nothing but absolute best when it comes to graphics, then you have the numbers in front of you. As for the thermals, I'd say the Alpha 15 has some powerful fans. They don't hold back while gaming. I set them to max performance while gaming, so they instantly kick in as soon as I launch a game. The laptop sounds like it's about to take off any moment from a runway, so you definitely need a good pair of headphones to play games. That being said, the fans keep the laptop from overheating. I am yet to have faced thermal throttling even while playing games for long hours. I've been playing a lot of Apex Legends lately to get better at the game, so I usually end up playing for more than 6 to 7 hours in one sitting. If the laptop can handle that, then I think it's sorted. 6. Battery Life © Karthik Iyer/ MensXP The Alpha 15 A3DDK packs a 51 Wh battery. Simply put, the battery life of the Alpha 15 is not impressive at all. I think it's the only thing which I don't like about this laptop. With moderate "work" usage, I was only getting 3 to 4 hours of battery life, which is not good. Yes, gaming laptops all have average battery life, but I expected better from the Alpha 15. 7. The Final Say Overall, I'd say the MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK is a decent mid-range gaming notebook. The Ryzen 7 3750H paired with the RX 5500M will allow you to play all the current-gen AAA titles at 1080p resolution with decent graphics smoothly. As I mentioned, the RX5500M sits right smack in the middle of the GTX 1650 and the GTX 1660 Ti. I also like the display and the build quality of the laptop, so it definitely gets brownie points for that. The only issue I have with this laptop is the battery life, but I think that's been the case with a lot of gaming laptop these days, so it's not exclusive to the Alpha 15. For Rs. 81,000 (best price online), the MSI Alpha 15 is a very good laptop in my opinion. If you're on the lookout for a decent gaming laptop and don't want to spend a ton of cash, then this is worth considering as an option. View the full article
  2. Ever since OnePlus came to existence, the whole ethos of the company was to offer flagship-level smartphones at an attractive price. However, with the recent OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro, we've seen the company divulge into making more premium smartphones that also come with an increased price tag. However, the Chinese company may change that with a mid-range smartphone next year. A mid-range smartphone will not only let OnePlus keep the prices down, but it will also expand its portfolio and bring the company back to its roots. © 91Mobiles and OnLeaks OnePlus smartphones are highly successful in India and western markets; however, with rising prices, OnePlus has not been able to offer a smartphone in the mid-range segment. A new leak via 91mobiles and @OnLeaks suggests that the OnePlus 8 Lite will be the answer to all of the company's problems. The rumoured smartphone is said to come with a flat punch-hole display similar to the Galaxy S10 and without a notch. The display size is rumoured to be 6.4-inches or 6.5-inches and the fingerprint sensor will be under the display like the OnePlus 7 and 7T series. The camera sensors are also going to get a slight update as it will come with a dual primary camera setup and an additional Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors for better 3D photography and AR features. © 91Mobiles and OnLeaks The most interesting part of the smartphone will be its specifications. Normally, every OnePlus smartphone is powered by Qualcomm's latest flagship chipset. However, the recently announced Snapdragon 865 chipset comes with a 5G X55 modem which will eventually drive up the cost. The Snapdragon 865 chipset does not come with a 4G modem which means OEMs like OnePlus will have no choice but to use the X55 modem or use an alternative chipset. It could be possible we might see the OnePlus 8 Lite using a different chipset to control the price of the smartphone. We can expect it to be powered by Snapdragon 765 SoC or some other chipset. We should know more about the mid-range smartphone closer to its launch. However, if rumours turn out to be true, OnePlus will return to its roots of offering the smartphone at an even more affordable price. For now, we would advise you to take the above information with a pinch of salt as it is based on leaks and rumour. Source: 91Mobiles View the full article
  3. Samsung has flooded the market with some great mid-range and budget smartphones that give everything you could ask for in each segment. The Galaxy A70 is one of those smartphones that does everything you want from a smartphone. It has a bright screen, good cameras, respectable performance and a massive battery. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We've been using the smartphone for a while to test out all the bells and whistles and it's got some unique features. It's got a beautiful tall screen for people who love to watch videos, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a good camera system for Rs 28,990. Sure, the competition is hard in this price segment but the Galaxy A70 stands out for some reasons. Here are our findings of Samsung's new smartphone: Design & Display © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The first obvious thing you notice about the Galaxy A70 is its tall 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display. It's got Samsung's Infinity-U display i.e. it has a tiny water-drop notch design. The aspect ratio of the smartphone is also unique i.e. 21:9 and almost bezel-less. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels with 331ppi density and is one of the most beautiful displays we've seen on a smartphone that costs less than Rs 30,000. You can tweak the contrast levels and the colour accuracy according to your own liking. We switched the settings especially when we were watching something on Netflix or when gaming. The sheer size of the display is the real winner here. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The larger screen also means that the smartphone is considerably larger and even though it took us a while to get used to the phone, we never found it to be overwhelming. If you have small hands, you may face a slight issue but overall the ergonomics are on point. The design of the phone ensures that it fits perfectly in your palm. The back of the smartphone also has a prism-like effect when it catches light from different angles. It adds that unique bit to the design but still isn't as eye-catching as some Honor phones in the same price range. Cameras © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy A70 is outfitted with a triple camera setup where the primary setup is a 32-mp sensor and has an aperture of f/1.7. The secondary camera is a wide-angle 8MP sensor whereas the third sensor is the 5MP depth sensor. At the front, it comes with a 32-MP selfie shooter which would appeal to people who love to take selfies on a daily basis. The camera UI is quite similar to what we've seen on other One UI Samsung smartphones. You can switch between the wide-angle and the normal sensor with a single tap. It also comes with a portrait mode where you can adjust the level of blur before and after taking a picture. We found the portrait mode to be a bit of hit and miss feature as the blur effect was not quite accurate to other smartphones. The wide-angle lens works as advertised and takes in more information thanks to a field of view of 123-degree. Macro shots are also good in good light conditions but don't manage to do a good job in low-lit environments. In terms of videos, the unique feature here is the phone's capability of taking super slow motion video at 1080p@30/240fps. It can also take 4K videos at 30 frames per second but it does not have support for OIS. This could be disadvantageous for people who like to capture videos on the move as your hands need to be very stable. Here are our camera samples for your reference: Performance In order to be one of the top mid-range smartphones, it needs to perform like one as well. It comes with Qualcomm's 675 octa-core chipset running at 2GHz (two Kyro 460 cores) whereas the other cores are clocked at 1.7 GHz. It comes with an Adreno 612 GPU which is perfect for smartphone gamers. In fact, during our testing, we did not notice any frame drops while playing PUBG and could even run it smoothly on high settings. The smartphone also didn't overheat as much we expected to keep it nice and cool for extended gaming sessions. The chipset has been coupled with 6GB of RAM and which is more than enough for daily tasks and usage. Having said that, the smartphone would glitch out on us each time we would reboot the smartphone. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of benchmark scores, the Galaxy A70 scored a respectable 2374 in the single-core test and a 6573 in the multi-core test. The smartphone in general performed as expected apart from a few hangups here and there. Overall, the performance was up to the mark and didn't cause major app crashes. Battery Life The 4,500 mAh battery is another marquee feature on the Galaxy A70 that makes it one the longest last smartphones of 2019. We used the device for watching shows on our private Plex server and even on Netflix. We gamed and used it for daily navigation on Google Maps. We got an average of 6 hours screen on time and overall the smartphone lasted 13.5 hours on a single charge. When you do drain your battery, the A70 comes with a 25W fast charger which can charge the smartphone from 7 to 100 per cent in a little over 2 hours. The Final Say The Galaxy A70 is an all-rounder smartphone that delivers almost everything you expect from a mid-range smartphone. It performs well and takes good pictures which are the primary reason for buying a smartphone. Having said that, the known issues can be ironed out with a future update such as better portrait mode and the unexpected lagging. The battery life and display quality is a perfect combination for people who love to watch videos on their smartphones. If you are looking to spend less than Rs 30,000; the Galaxy A70 is a strong contender.
  4. Realme is continuing its efforts to establish a name for itself in the budget smartphone segment in India with the launch of the new Realme 3 Pro. It comes hot on the heels of the launch of Realme 3, which is also a great budget offering from the brand. The phone has been priced at Rs. 13,999 for the base variant, going head-to-head with the Redmi Note 7 Pro. The Realme 3 Pro distinguishes itself from the other phones in this segment with the Snapdragon 710 chipset, which is known to have a few advantages of its own over chips like Snapdragon 675. Specifications As for the specs, the Realme 3 Pro sports a 6.3-inch FHD+ display on the front that's protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The display, as you can see, has a dewdrop design, giving it a screen-to-body ratio of 90.8%. Also, as mentioned earlier, the Realme 3 Pro is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 710 chip, and it comes in a few variants. © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The Realme 3 Pro comes in two variants, 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. You can also expand the storage up to 256GB. As for the optics, the Realme 3 Pro sports a dual-camera setup at the back which houses a 16MP and a 5MP sensor. On the front, you get a 25MP selfie shooter. Realme is offering a bunch of shooting modes with the camera. You get modes like Nightscape, Portrait, Expert, Super slow-mo, and more. There's also a fingerprint scanner at the back, but you'll have to make do with a micro USB port. The innards of the phone will be kept powered by a 4,050 mAh battery, and you also get ColorOS 6.0 that's based on Android 9 Pie out of the box. Pricing & Availability © MensXP/ Karthik Iyer The base variant of the Realme 3 Pro starts at Rs. 13,999. You can also pick up the variant with 6GB + 128GB storage for Rs. 16,999. The phone will go on sale starting on 29th April Flipkart. Realme C2 In addition to the Realme 3 Pro, the company also debuted the new Realme C2. It's powered by an Octa-core Helio P22 chip and comes in 2GB RAM + 16GB storage and 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variants. The device sports a 6.1-inch HD+ display with a 'dewdrop' notch. © MensXP Other noteworthy specs of the phone include a 4,000 mAh battery, 13MP + 2MP Dual Rear Camera, AI Facial Unlock and more. The phone also looks beautiful with its Diamond-Cut Design, which is similar to what we've seen in the past. As for the pricing, the Realme C2 starts at Rs. 5,999 for the base variant. The variant with 3GB RAM + 32GB storage is priced at Rs. 7,999. You'll be able to pick one up starting May 15.
  5. Nothing like the festive season to buy a smartphone! The market is buzzing with multiple offers on the best smartphones and new models are being launched in the market- the one in question being the Honor 8X. Recently launched in the Indian market to make the most of the festive season, the Honor 8X promises to be everything Indian users want- a high-performance smartphone that is easy on the pocket! So, let's get you up-to-date with the new all-rounder in the market, the Honor 8X and its features: Android Central Sophisticated Design Minimalist and millennial – keywords that define the Honor 8X design. The display is made of an aurora glass body and thin bottom border using an innovative chip-on-film technology. Adding to its elegant and smooth look and feel is a metal middle frame that adopts a 2.5D double texture aurora glass body with a grating effect. Focus On Performance First Being the first in the Honor series, Honor 8X offers a powerful Octa-core Kirin 710 chipsets. The chipsets are manufactured by advanced 12nm process technology with 4 x 2.2 GHz Cortex-A73 and 4 x 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The CPU's single-core performance represents an increase of 75% compared to the previous generation. Focusing on performance, the chipsets are enhanced by the revolutionary GPU turbo to optimize the mobile gaming experience. Powered by the 2.2GHz octa-core processor, the phone comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The storage can be expanded up to 256 GB with a microSD card. Screen & Display Offering a 91% screen-to-body ratio, the Honor 8X features a 6.5-inch full-view notch display. Appealing to the 'Netflix & Chill' generation, the display is improved using advanced chip-on-film technology and a full view display 2.0. The phone boasts of a touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080x2340 pixels at a PPI of 396 pixels per inch. Android Headlines AI Camera For Your Clicks Making the most of Artificial Intelligence, the Honor 8X comes with a high definition dual 20 MP + 2MP rear camera and a 16 MP front-facing camera. The AI camera can recognize over 500 scenarios in 22 categories, and optimize settings and enhance photo quality based on what users are shooting, producing breathtaking photos. The smartphone uses AI to produce beautiful night shots by using multi-frame stabilization technology based on machine learning. Now, the user can be a professional photographer by using enhanced portrait mode, which provides a natural bokeh effect and true skin tone. It takes the perfect selfie as the new 4 Cell fusion is incorporated in the 16MP front camera, which is 4 times bigger than before and the aggregated pixel allows 2 times more light to go through. Honor 8X's super slow-motion feature can record videos at 16x slow motion (480fps) and with augmented reality (AR) effect, the camera can produce interesting group photos, creating an AR mask and background changes. Mid-Range Price Point For those of us, who like to enjoy the best at a rational price point, the Honor 8X makes quite a case. Available for purchase in the market at Rs 16,999 for its 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, the phone also comes in a storage variant of 6GB RAM and 128GB storage for Rs 18,999.
  6. There's a high chance that Google may launch a cheaper Pixel smartphone in India as it was earlier speculated by 9to5Mac last year. The report said that Google was working on a budget-friendly device. However, a new report by our sister website ET has further corroborated the story. © YouTube The Economic Times goes further to add that the mid-range Pixel phone may launch as early as July or August and is tailor-made for “price-sensitive” markets. Google's top executives recently shared its consumer products expansion plans with retailers at a trade met held in Malaysia, the UK and the US last month. “Google is excited about the expansion of the consumer products business in India with the advent of the cheap 4G internet led by Reliance Jio and other operators which it says will help to realise the maximum potential of these products,” said a leading retailer who had participated in the meet. © Youtube Google may also be planning to launch the Pixelbook in India which has been one of the most anticipated devices in India. Google is also exploring the possibility of launching other products such as home automation products from Next. These may include doorbell, camera, alarm system, and smoke detectors. Google may also launch its mesh Wi-Fi router in the Indian market. The company is also gearing up to launch Google Home and Google Home mini later this month that may be aggressively priced to compete with Amazon's Echo smart assistant speakers. Google Home and Mini are expected to be priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499. If Google does expand their portfolio with a budget-friendly Pixel phone in India, it could be beneficial for the company as India is now the second largest smartphone market in the world. Apple has also increased its focus in India as the Cupertino giant has also started assembling iPhones in India. Only time will tell whether the search engine giant may release a smartphone that suits a “price-sensitive” market. Source: Economic Times
  7. Xiaomi has launched the Redmi 5 as its much-teased 'Compact Powerhouse' smartphone. The company says that the device is 11 percent slimmer than its predecessor, the Redmi 4. Redmi 5 looks familiar to the company's recently launched the Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro. However, the phone is designed to target the entry-level segment. As for the specification, the Redmi 5 sports a 5.7-inch HD+ display with a resolution of 720x1440 pixels, with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset based on the 14nm FinFet manufacturing process. Furthermore, the company claims that the Redmi 5 scored 69,628 on the AnTuTu benchmark, surpassing Samsung J7 Nxt and Moto G5s. © Xiaomi It features a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera with an individual pixel size of 1.2µm, phase detection autofocus, ƒ/2.2 aperture, LED flash, HDR, and Full HD 1080p video recording. On the front, we get a 5-megapixel shooter with a fixed-focus lens that supports 1080p video recording. It even has an LED light at the front for brighter selfies. There are two storage variants, one has 16GB of internal storage with 2GB of RAM while the other offers 32GB of memory with 3GB of RAM. As far as the software is concerned, the Redmi 5 is launching with Android 7.1 Nougat underneath Xiaomi's custom MIUI 9.1 UI. Xiaomi is also releasing this device with India exclusive software updates which include a dual-app feature that will allow using two version of the same app such as WhatsApp. © Xiaomi Furthermore, Xiaomi has done some enhancements to the earpiece, including an additional waterproof layer, helping protect the device from sweat and dust. The Redmi 5 has been priced at Rs 7,999 for the 2GB/16GB variant, Rs 8,999 for the 3GB/32GB variant and the Rs 10,999 for the 4GB/64GB variant. The smartphone will be seen competing with Honor's recently released 9 Lite, Moto G5s and Samsung Galaxy J7 Nxt. It will be available for purchase from March 20 on Amazon, Mi home, and Mi.com. As part of the launch offers, the company is giving out a case free with the smartphone and Jio subscribers will receive Rs 2200 instant cashback along with 100GB of additional data. Further, buyers will also receive a five percent cash back when purchasing the device using an SBI credit card on Amazon and Mi.com.
  8. Building a gaming PC can be a confusing and tedious task that can deter people from PC gaming. We published our guide to building the ultimate gaming PC earlier and today we decided to build a PC for gamers who are willing to spend some money but not a lot to have a good gaming rig. (c) Youtube We did the research for you so that you don’t have to and we’ve managed to build a PC that is tailored to deliver a high-end experience that won't burn a hole in your character. This rig will run most games at 1440p and that’s all you need to run the current generation of games. CPU: Intel Core i5-7500 (INR 15,000) (c) Intel This CPU is great when it comes to reliability and performance and is currently available for INR 15,000. The 14nm Kaby Lake has 4 cores and has 6MB cache. It also carries a 3.4GHz base frequency and a 3.8GHz Turbo frequency--plenty fast for games Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (INR 40,800) (c) Nvidia The graphics card is an essential component of a gaming PC and we recommend Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1070. It has 1920 CUDA cores and 8GB of GDDR5 video memory that clocks at 8Ghz. The GTX 1070 may not be cheap if you simply look at the price tag, but for what it can do it is actually a beast when it comes to delivering high-fidelity graphics. This is a steal. Motherboard: Asus Prime H270-Pro (INR 11,250) (c) Asus The CPU requires a good motherboard that compliments it effectively and we feel that the Asus Prime H270-Pro fits the bill. It supports USB Type-C, USB 3.1 and has two PCle slots. It also has Intel’s new H270 chipset on board. Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo (INR 3,335) (c) Youtube You can get a CPU that comes with a mediocre air cooler for free but if you are serious about having your PC last for a longer time, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo is essential for your rig. It keeps your components cool and does not make much noise. SSD: WD Blue 250GB Internal Solid State Drive (WDS250G1B0A) [INR 6,700] (c) WD Digital In order to have a fast PC, you will require an SSD that will keep the OS going and not interrupt your favourite games/applications. We chose the WD Blue 250GB Internal Solid State Drive that can read speeds up to 545MB/s and write speeds up to 525MB/s for blazing fast performance. With a 1.75M hour mean time to failure (MTTF) and an endurance rating of up to 400 terabytes. The WD Blue SSD will last you for years to come. Memory: Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 8GB X 2 clocked at 2133MHz (INR 11,000) (c) Kingston Make sure you never overlook one of the most essential parts of any gaming system. The RAM is the bread and butter of any gaming PC and bears the brunt of the processing when it comes to any component. The faster your memory, the better performance you will get from your system. We recommend the Kingston Technology HyperX Impact 8GB X 2 clocked at 2133MHz which is stable and reliable enough for your gaming experience. HDD: Seagate Desktop HDD ST2000DM001 2TB (INR 6,400) (c) Youtube For storing all your other files such as documents, images and music we recommend the 2TB Seagate Desktop HDD. It does not break the bank and has enough space to store your games and movies. It is also faster than its counterparts which is essential for having a fast performing and long lasting computer. EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 (INR 14,000) (c) EVGA The SuperNOVA 550 G2 is a 550-watt power supply unit that will power this beast of a rig. This will keep your PC safe and if you live in India, it will protect you from electricity cuts. The entire unit is modular and does not require many cables to power it. Peripherals (c) MensXP (c) MensXP Choosing the peripherals for your PC all depends on your personal preference and what kind of games you like. We included some options in our previous article which you can use for your rig. However, if you need to buy a good mechanical keyboard that does not cost a lot, we recommend the Logitech G310 Atlas Dawn. You can also use the G90 mouse, if you prefer playing RPG games.
  9. When Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 3 last year, it broke all sorts of records and it became one of the top-selling phones in 2016. The phone has been celebrated as a budget phone that packs a lot of punch. Xiaomi always tries to over deliver for a value that cannot be matched by any other smartphone company. However, it was obvious that Xiaomi would update their highest selling phone and this is how it performed for us. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The latest iteration of the Redmi Note series is one of the most revered mid-range smartphones and Xiaomi hit the spot when it released a phone for the Rs 15,000 bracket. Redmi Note 4’s price starts at Rs 9,999 (2GB RAM/32GB Storage) going up to Rs 12,999 (4G RAM/64 GB Storage). The phone is also using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 625 SoC which came as surprise to a lot of people simply because it was assumed that the processor would not perform well. Design The design has been updated and for the right reasons from the Redmi Note 3, as it was not really groundbreaking from a design aspect. It was plain and simple which didn’t really make it stand out of the crowd. Having said that, the Redmi Note 4 did add some subtle changes in the design but sometimes I get confused between the Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 4 as they look very similar. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma Subtle changes like the speaker grille have been removed from the back of the phone and have been incorporated on the bottom of the phone. There is a slight curve near the edges to make it ergonomically easier to hold as well. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The smart keys are also now backlit making it easier for people to operate the phone in night and dark spaces. It has a 5.5-inch screen, which makes it comfortable to hold, and the only disappointing thing we could find was that it did not utilise a USB Type-C Port. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma What’s Under the Hood? The Redmi Note 4 might not have been updated much when it comes to design, but the most significant changes were made under the hood. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 SoC powers the Note 4, which is a little different from the Chinese variant since it utilises the MediaTek Helio X20 SoC. For many users, the decision to use the 625 SoC is considered a downgrade from the Note 3. However, when playing around with the phone, everything ran smoothly thanks to the 4GB RAM on board. There were no glitches or lag noticed even when we were playing some games with high fidelity graphics. However, it is worth noting that if you prefer to pick up this phone, we recommend getting the 4GB variant. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The Remi Note 4 also has a 5.5-inch full HD LCD screen and performs well for a mid-range phone. The display reflects bright and true colours and can be used in under direct sunlight. The screen can be viewed from almost every angle and it seems like Xiaomi has got the formula right for this one. Camera Budget phones are not really known for their cameras and rightfully so. The Redmi Note 4 has a 13-MP primary camera on board and a 5-MP front facing camera. It even has phase auto-detection capabilities. The camera app uses the same familiar design from the MIUI 8 however it did not perform too well for me. I used a third party camera app in order to click stable pictures as it was more reliable and did not crash on me repeatedly. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma The camera itself is capable of taking some amazing pictures as it is using a different sensor from the Redmi Note 3. Sometimes, even I couldn’t believe that this camera could deliver pictures as good as the One Plus 3. Considering the fact that the phone is priced at INR 12,999, we found the performance of the camera very impressive. The camera does tend to underperform if you zoom into pictures and sometimes it fails to balance the contrast. Low-light pictures aren’t that bad and if you utilise the HDR mode, you can get some really amazing pics. © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP Battery Life The Redmi Note 4 has a massive 4100-mAH battery and can last for days thanks to the processor on board. I’ve managed to draw out hours of battery life with heavy usage. I’ve spent many hours navigating, watching YouTube videos and have played many sessions of ‘Dan The Man’ on the smartphone. Even after using the phone for various purposes, I could draw out at least two full days of usage, which was shockingly impressive. © MensXP/Samiksha Sharma However, there is one constructive criticism when it comes to the battery. When a battery of this size is on board on any smartphone, it is imperative that these phones have a USB Type-C port for faster charging. Micro-USB is a substandard aging concept, which only increases the charging time and negates the purpose of having a phone with such awesome battery life. Had the Redmi Note 4 sported a USB Type-C port, Xiaomi would have hit the ball out of the park. The Final Say The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 might have minor upgrades from its previous iterations however it is enough for the 2017 version to perform extremely well. The Snapdragon 625 SoC is excellent and the specifications on board solidifies its position as one the most reliable mid-range phones in the market. Minor improvements to the camera have made the phone stand out from the crowd and justify its perception of ‘value for money’. Keeping these criticism in mind, we do feel that this phone has a promising future and is a must buy if you are looking to buy a new mid-range phone.
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