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The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a better buy than the Samsung Galaxy S21 – XDA Developers

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Xiaomi has just launched its Mi 11 flagship in Europe, and I’ve been testing the European/International unit for the past four days. Prior to putting my SIM into Xiaomi’s latest, I had been testing the Samsung Galaxy S21 series extensively. So the question I set out to answer when I received Xiaomi’s new phone is: How does the base Xiaomi Mi 11 compare to Samsung’s flagship, particularly the base Galaxy S21 (and also the S21 Plus for good measure)?

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the Xiaomi Mi 11 against the Galaxy S21 Ultra, because the latter is Samsung’s absolute top premium offering, and its pricing reflects that. As of the time of this writing, I don’t know the exact price of each Mi 11 variant in all markets, but we were told that it starts at €749 for the 8GB + 128GB variant. This means for consumers in Europe, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is priced right below the base Samsung Galaxy S21.

Xiaomi Mi 11 versus Samsung Galaxy S21: Specifications

Specification Xiaomi Mi 11 Samsung Galaxy S21
Build
  • Metallic mid-frame
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on front
  • Glass back
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Plastic back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
Dimensions & Weight
  • Frosted Glass:
    • 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06 mm
    • 196g
  • Vegan Leather:
    • 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.56mm
    • 194g
  • 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
  • 171 grams
Display
  • 6.81″ QHD+ AMOLED display
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 480Hz touch response rate
  • 515 ppi pixel density
  • 1500 nits peak brightness
  • 10-bit color
  • HDR10+
  • Hole punch display
  • Quad-curved
  • 6.2″ FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X flat display
  • 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • 421 PPI
  • 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10+
  • 1300nits peak brightness
  • Always-On display
  • Infinity-O display
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:

  • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
  • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
  • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz

Adreno 660

  • International: Exynos 2100:
    • 1x ARM Cortex X1 @ 2.9GHz +
    • 3x ARM Cortex A78 Cores @ 2.8GHz +
    • 4x ARM Cortex A55 Cores @ 2.2GHz
  • USA/Hong Kong: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
RAM & Storage
  • 8GB LPDDR5 + 128GB UFS 3.1
  • 8GB LPDDR5 + 256GB UFS 3.1
  • 12GB LPDDR5 + 256GB UFS 3.1
  • 8GB LPDDR5 + 128GB UFS 3.1
  • 8GB LPDDR5 + 256GB UFS 3.1
Battery & Charging
  • 4,600mAh
  • 55W wired fast charging
  • 50W wireless fast charging
  • 10W reverse wireless charging
  • 55W GaN charger included
  • 4,000mAh
  • 25W USB Power Delivery 3.0 fast charging
  • 15W wireless charging
  • 4.5 reverse wireless charging
  • No charger in the box in most regions
Security In-Display Optical Fingerprint Sensor Ultrasonic In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 108MP, 1/1.33″ sensor, f/1.85, 1.6µm, OIS
  • Secondary: 13MP, f/2.4, 123° FoV, wide-angle sensor
  • Tertiary: 5MP, f/2.4, AF, macro

Video:

  • Primary: 12MP, wide-angle lens, f/1.8, 1/1.76″, 1.8µm, OIS, Dual Pixel AF
  • Secondary: 12MP, ultra-wide-angle lens, f/2.2, 120° FoV, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, Fixed Focus
  • Tertiary: 64MP, telephoto lens, f/2.0, 1/1.76″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS
Front Camera(s) 20MP, f/2.4 10MP, f/2.2, 1.22µm, 80° FoV, Dual Pixel AF
Port(s) USB 3.2 Type C USB 3.2 Type-C
Audio Stereo Speakers tuned by Harman Kardon
  • Stereo speakers tuned by AKG
  • Dolby Atmos
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 5G sub-6GHz
  • IR Blaster
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 5G sub-6GHz and mmWave
Software MIUI 12.0 based on Android 11 Samsung One UI 3.1 based on Android 11
Other Features Simultaneous audio sharing with two Bluetooth devices
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Samsung DeX
  • Samsung Knox

Design and hardware: Xiaomi feels more premium

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is a typical sleek glass-and-aluminum sandwich with a 6.8-inch, 120Hz AMOLED screen. While Xiaomi’s display panel doesn’t have the intelligent variable refresh rate of the Galaxy S21 series, its 3,200 x 1,440 resolution (WQHD+) panel is superior to the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus’ 2,400 x 1,080 panels. Honestly, I believe that 1080p is more than enough for human eyes on a small-ish phone screen, so if I must pick a winner, I’d say the Galaxy S21’s variable refresh rate is a more important feature than the Mi 11’s “more pixels.”

Xiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Mi 11 and S21 Plus

Nonetheless, the Xiaomi Mi 11’s screen is awesome. It curves on all four sides (like the Huawei P40 Pro), has a 480Hz touch sampling rate and a 5,000,000:1 color contrast ratio, and supports HDR 10+. I’ve held the Xiaomi Mi 11 side by side with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (the big dog phone) and both screens look equally gorgeous to my eyes.

Xiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21 UltraXiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Mi 11 and S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus are identical in look but differ in size and back material. The standard Galaxy S21 uses a plastic back (the S21 Plus keeps the glass back). It doesn’t matter that Samsung did a good job to make the plastic not feel plasticky, the reality is the decision to use plastic is a cost-cutting measure by Samsung, so if we’re comparing the Xiaomi Mi 11 to just the standard Galaxy S21, one phone is clearly more premium. The Galaxy S21 Plus fares much better against the Xiaomi Mi 11 in terms of in-hand feel and construction.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and the Xiaomi Mi 11The Samsung Galaxy S21 and the Xiaomi Mi 11

The Galaxy S21 and the Mi 11

Inside, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, while the Galaxy S21 series uses either Qualcomm’s SoC or Samsung’s own Exynos 2100. All the Galaxy S21 phones I’ve tested were Snapdragon versions, so I have no idea how Exynos 2100 fares against the Snapdragon 888. But the general consensus seems to favor Qualcomm’s SoC. If that’s the case, then the Xiaomi Mi 11 has an SoC advantage in Europe and Southeast Asia, where Samsung ships Exynos-powered devices.

The Galaxy S21 Plus fares much better against the Xiaomi Mi 11 in terms of in-hand feel than the S21

The Galaxy S21 phones are all rated IP68 for water and dust resistance, while Xiaomi’s Mi 11 has no official rating. However, Xiaomi wins the speaker battle: Its stereo speakers, fine-tuned by Harman/Kardon (coincidentally a Samsung subsidiary), pump out noticeably fuller, louder, more vibrant audio than any of the S21 phones.

Moving over to the battery, the Galaxy S21 Plus and S21 pack a 4,800 mAh and 4,000 mAh cell respectively compared to the Xiaomi Mi 11’s 4,600 mAh, but Xiaomi’s battery can be topped up at 55W wired or 50W wireless speeds, while Samsung’s charging speeds feel pedestrian at 25W wired and 15W wireless. Also, contrary to its decision in China, Xiaomi decided to include a 55W charging brick with the Mi 11 in its international packaging; Samsung does not.

Cameras: trading blows

The Xiaomi Mi 11’s camera system consists of a 108MP sensor with a large 1/1.33″ sensor size, along with a 13MP ultra wide-angle camera and a 5MP macro sensor. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus have identical camera systems: a 12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, and a 64MP telephoto.

For still photos, if I’m viewing images on the phone screen or on social media, the Xiaomi Mi 11’s photos look very similar to the Galaxy S21’s photos.

However, if I blow images up to full size and pixel peep on a computer monitor, Xiaomi’s photos are sharper thanks to the Mi 11’s 108MP camera pixel-bins for 27MP shots, while the Galaxy S21 phones just use a rather average 12MP sensor that’s more than a year old.

100% crop samples of S21 and Mi 11 cameras100% crop samples of S21 and Mi 11 cameras

100% cropped shots, Mi 11 (left), S21 (right).

The script flips for photos after the sun sets: If I’m viewing just on a phone screen, the Xiaomi Mi 11’s shots keep up very well against the Galaxy S21’s, but once I pixel peep, the S21’s night shots tend to be sharper with slightly better dynamic range, because the more pixels you have in a shot, the more light you need.

The ultra wide-angle cameras for the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Galaxy S21/S21 Plus are solid, but not at the level of the best ultra-wide shooters such as the Huawei Mate 40 Pro or even the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 48MP lens. Details are a bit soft if you zoom in, and dynamic range isn’t anywhere as good as their main cameras.

Zooming is where Xiaomi and Samsung decided to compromise in order to both meet a sub-$1,000 price point. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus’s so-called telephoto lens is a far cry from the periscopic system seen in the Galaxy S21 Ultra; and Xiaomi’s Mi 11 skips the zoom lens entirely, instead relying on digital crop via the 108MP sensor.

Zoom shot results for both phones are respectable — certainly better than most iPhone zooms — but no match for what the Galaxy S21 Ultra or top Huawei phones can produce. Below are a series of 10x samples. The Xiaomi Mi 11’s shots have slightly better details, but the Galaxy S21’s has better colors.

Video performance is very good for both the Xiaomi Mi 11 and the Galaxy S21 or S21 Plus. All three phones can shoot at up to 8K resolution and produce really stable footage up to 4K/30fps. New this year to the Xiaomi Mi 11 is a series of “Movie Effects” shooting modes, which are basically preset video effects that users can enable within the camera app. Some of these are very fun, including an Inception-like “Parallel World” mode. I am also a huge fan of Xiaomi’s “clone” mode, which can superimpose the same person multiple times into a photo or video, and the results are quite convincing (and fun).

[embedded content]

Personally, I find the Xiaomi Mi 11 more fun to play around with for videos.

Software: clean, zippy, full of shortcut gestures

Both Xiaomi’s and Samsung’s phones run a skinned version of Android 11, respectively MIUI 12.0.1 Global (for the Mi 11) and One UI 3.1 (for the Galaxy S21 series). MIUI has a more playful touch, including little software flourishes such as apps “exploding” when being uninstalled, and the phone’s storage capacity being represented by a glass of water that flows along with the orientation. One UI is a bit more business-like and to the point, but does offer tons of customization options if you’re willing to dive deep.

Aesthetics aside, however, they behave very similarly. Since this is the international version of MIUI meant for audiences outside China, it’s got Google support built-in, including Google Assistant as the default voice assistant. There’s even an app tray, which had been missing from Xiaomi phones in years past.

Both MIUI 12 and One UI 3.1 are filled with gesture shortcuts that add to the Android experience, such as the ability to open most apps in a floating window, or double-tapping on the screen to turn the display on or off.

Xiaomi’s Mi 11, in fact, crams more shortcut gestures than most phones I’ve tested, including the ability to launch apps or shortcuts (like turning on the flashlight or opening the QR code scanner) by double-tapping the back of the device or knocking on the screen with a knuckle.

There is one annoying bug in MIUI 12 that’s been around for a couple of years, however: Its one-hand mode can only be activated if the user is using on-screen software buttons and not swipe gesture navigation.

Lastly, in terms of software support, this is one area where Samsung has Xiaomi beat. Samsung has committed to delivering three generations of Android OS updates, while Xiaomi still offers the standard two years of support for its flagship phones.

Performance and battery life: neither lacking in power

Since the Xiaomi Mi 11 and the Galaxy S21 I tested ran on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, I saw no difference in performance. However, the Mi 11 feels “faster” to my eyes, although it’s just an illusion — Xiaomi’s MIUI’s animations simply zip around faster. In my opinion, 120Hz on the Mi 11 feels slightly zippier/snappier than 120Hz on the Galaxy S21 phones, including the Ultra.

That’s just my opinion, however. In a more objective comparison, I find the Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus have far better battery life than the Xiaomi Mi 11 thanks to the former having less pixel-dense screens that can adjust their refresh rates depending on the content, whereas for the Mi 11, my phone ran at 120Hz and WQHD+ resolution most of the time.

In fact, battery life may be an issue for the Mi 11, as the phone hasn’t been able to last more than 11 hours away from a charger in any of the days I’ve had the phone. The Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus can last the entirety of a 14-hour day for me easily.

Conclusion: none of these phones are true premium flagships, but one comes closer

A recent trend that’s been established in the mobile scene is that there are flagship phones, and then there are premium flagship phones. The former usually already have the latest SoC, beautiful screen, and capable cameras, but the latter just has those extra bells and whistles and all the bleeding-edge components.

No one is going to confuse a plastic back, 1080p flat panel phone as a premium flagship

Xiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21Xiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21

The Xiaomi Mi 11 is in an interesting place because most of its components, from the 120Hz WQHD+ screen to the 108MP camera to the curvy-aluminum body put it in the premium flagship tier, but its lack of zoom lens keeps it from being one. It’s a phone that flirts with premium flagship status but ultimately ends up being slightly below that.

Samsung’s non-Ultra S21 phones, particularly the standard Galaxy S21, are more firmly entrenched in where they stand: No one is going to confuse a plastic back, 1080p flat panel phone as a premium flagship. In other words, the Xiaomi Mi 11 is slightly more premium than the Galaxy S21 or S21 Plus while undercutting both in price.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Forums ||| Samsung Galaxy S21+ Forums ||| Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Forums

Xiaomi Mi 11 Forums

If you live in a region where Xiaomi’s phones are sold officially (that would be most of the world outside of North America), then the Xiaomi Mi 11 is likely a better value than the standard Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus. If you have a bit more money to spend and want something a bit more premium, then your best option is the Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, rumors suggest Xiaomi will launch a Mi 11 Pro and possibly a Mi 11 Pro+ (or Mi 11 Ultra?) in the near future, so it might be worth waiting a bit to see what’s in store.

    Xiaomi Mi 11Xiaomi Mi 11
    With the Mi 11, Xiaomi has once again delivered a stellar combination of flagship hardware at a competitive price.
    Samsung Galaxy S21Samsung Galaxy S21
    While the Galaxy S21 doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the S21 Ultra offers, it’s still a compelling smartphone with flagship-tier hardware.

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Quebec reports 749 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths as province expands vaccine access – The Daily Courier

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Quebec continued to escalate its vaccination drive over the weekend, reporting Saturday that the past 24 hours had seen it deliver a single-day high of nearly 20,000 shots to its growing list of eligible residents.

The 19,865 jabs administered on Friday mark the most the province has reported in a single day and come as vaccine shipments ramp up across Canada following numerous international shipment delays.

To date, provincial figures show 532,012 doses of vaccine have been administered out of a total of 638,445 received from the federal government.

Provincial health minister Christian Dube highlighted the upward trend in a tweet on Saturday.

“Vaccinations have [increased] over the last few days and will continue to [increase], with other regions in addition to Montreal beginning mass vaccination next week,” Dube wrote.

Until recently, Quebec has concentrated its vaccination effort on particular groups such as health-care workers, people living in remote regions and seniors in long-term care facilities.

The government began allowing members of the general public to schedule appointments to receive their vaccines recently, with eligibility varying by region. In Montreal and Laval, for example, people over the age of 70 can book appointments, while slots are restricted to people over 80 in other regions.

More regions are scheduled to expand vaccine access to those in different age groups starting next week.

In addition to the vaccine numbers, Quebec reported 749 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus.

Hospitalizations across the province declined by 16 to 601 over the past 24 hours, while the number of patients in intensive care declined by two to 109.

Quebec’s case numbers have stabilized in recent weeks, prompting officials to relax restrictions in some regions.

Starting on March 8, areas such as Estrie and Capitale-Nationale will be designated as “orange zones,” meaning the provincewide curfew will be extended until 9:30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m. More businesses, including restaurants, will also be allowed to open at limited capacity.

Quebec premier Francois Legault has said that Montreal and the surrounding areas will not see any imminent changes in public health restrictions, warning that more contagious variants of the virus could prompt a sharp uptick in the number of cases in the region.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021.

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Functioning cellphone returned to owner after nearly 6 months at bottom of Harrison Lake – CBC.ca

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Fatemeh Ghodsi was skeptical at first when she got a text from someone saying they found her phone nearly six months after she lost it in Harrison Lake.

Ghodsi, who lives in Vancouver, was confused and thought one of her friends might be playing a prank on her. But she was soon convinced and made the trip to Chilliwack to collect the phone, which amazingly still works.

Clayton Helkenberg and his wife Heather found the lost iPhone 11 during a sweep of the lake bottom under the water park at Harrison Lake — part of a hobby that includes the odd treasure find, but mostly just lots of garbage clean up.

Ghodsi dropped the phone in the water in early September, during a ride on the bumper boats — photos recovered from the phone show her still smiling moments before the mishap.

Fatemeh Ghodsi gives the peace sign as she and her friend are seen riding bumper boats at Harrison Lake in early September. Moments later, Ghodsi’s phone was lost at the bottom of the lake. (Fatemeh Ghodsi)

“I was in a situation where I kind of lost balance and dropped it in the water,” she said, adding that the water park staff convinced her it would be impossible to find the phone in the deep water.

“Distressed and in tears, we went back to Vancouver just kind of hopeless,” said Ghodsi.

She soon bought a new phone, and came to terms with the lost photos, contacts, and other personal information that hadn’t been backed up.

YouTubing diver

Helkenberg has been snorkeling, swimming and diving for years, but at the start of 2020 — with extra time on his hands after being laid off — he started putting more effort into searching for lost items in the water, as well as doing trash cleanup missions.

Sometime he goes on his diving missions with friends and his wife. He even started a YouTube channel to document his finds.

[embedded content]

Last year, he found more than a hundred pairs of sunglasses, 26 cellphones and two GoPro cameras. This year, he’s already counted 35 pairs of sunglasses, five phones and one GoPro.

His underwater work has even attracted some media attention, including a report of 359 kilograms of trash he and friends pulled from Cultus Lake earlier this year.

This week, he was at Harrison Lake — the water is much shallower now than it was in the summer, and according to Helkenberg, it’s quite clear. He found a severely damaged flip phone, but Heather Helkenberg noticed Ghodsi’s iPhone.

Heather Helkenberg finds an iPhone 11 in the sediment at the bottom of Harrison Lake. She said it was the first cellphone she has found. (Clayton Helkenberg)

‘It just turned right on’

Clayton Helkenberg said he usually puts phones in a container of silica to dry them out, but he’s had good luck with iPhone 11s.

“I took it home, cleaned the dirt off of it and it just turned right on, so it was pretty amazing,” he said.

He pulled out the SIM card, put it in another phone to figure out the phone number and got in touch with Ghodsi.

“I was in complete shock, initially to start with. It was kind of like a zombie phone coming back to me, because I’d totally made peace with it being gone,” she said.

Ghodsi said the microphone is broken and the speaker sounds weird, but everything else is in perfect shape; the battery health is still at 96 per cent.

She’s thankful for the phone’s recovery and inspired that Helkenberg makes the effort to reunite people with lost valuables, asking nothing in return. But the experience has left Ghodsi even more impressed by his trash cleanup work, saying it’s a reminder to keep our water clean.

“It gives me so much hope for the good that’s out there,” she said.

As for the next time she takes a ride on the bumper boats? Ghodsi said she’ll either leave her phone and valuables on the shore or keep them securely stowed in a pocket.


Do you have more to add to this story? Email rafferty.baker@cbc.ca

Follow Rafferty Baker on Twitter: @raffertybaker

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Watch: Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship Lands, Then Explodes – NDTV

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Watch: Elon Musk's SpaceX Starship Lands, Then Explodes

Despite the mishap, the test is likely to signal progress for the massive vehicle.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s newest and biggest rocket pulled off its first successful landing, then exploded a brief time later and was engulfed by fire.

The Starship SN-10 prototype lifted off from SpaceX’s seaside launch pad at about 5:15 p.m. in Boca Chica, Texas, on Wednesday, based on a live video stream on SpaceX’s website. The rocket then flew to an altitude of about 10 kilometers (around 6 miles) before turning its engines back on and settling on the landing pad with a slight lean.

Shortly after that, the rocket was lifted into the air by an explosion and consumed by flames, possibly after a fire ignited fuel. Until that point, the rocket appeared to achieve a key milestone with its first stable landing in three attempts. After its ascent, Starship shut off its three Raptor engines and performed a controlled “belly flop” descent, then reignited its engines to make a vertical landing.

Despite the mishap, the test is likely to signal progress for the massive vehicle. An earlier Starship rocket slammed to the ground on the program’s first high-altitude flight Dec. 9, igniting a fireball, followed by a similar outcome with a second prototype last month. No one was hurt in the mishaps, and there were no reports of injuries from the fire after the latest flight, which was the third high-altitude test.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk plans to use the Starship to shuttle as many as 12 people around the moon in 2023, land NASA astronauts on the lunar surface and eventually settle explorers on Mars. The company still has work to prepare the Starship for its first orbital flight, which could occur later this year.

“I’m highly confident that we will have reached orbit many times with Starship before 2023, and that it will be safe enough for human transport by 2023,” Musk said Tuesday in a video released by Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, who has invited eight people to apply to join his “fun trip” around the moon. “It’s looking very, very promising.”

SpaceX conceived the stainless steel Starship as a versatile, fully reusable craft that can carry 100 metric tons for deep-space missions to the moon and Mars. It’s also designed to serve as a hypersonic, point-to-point vehicle to reduce travel times across Earth.

Excluding a heavy booster that creates a two-stage system, Starship is 160 feet (49 meters) high with a 30-foot diameter, and able to carry as many as 100 passengers.

Musk said in October that he’s 80% to 90% confident that Starship will be ready for an orbital flight this year. SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, plans to fly multiple Starship prototypes from its Texas launch site near the U.S.-Mexico border.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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