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Xiaomi’s Mi 11 announced with Snapdragon 888 and 120Hz OLED display – The Verge

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Xiaomi has announced their new flagship for 2021: the Mi 11. The Chinese variant of the phone sports a modified design and upgraded specs that give a good look at the kind of high-end features top Android phones will ship with in the coming year, according to AnandTech. There’s bound to be some changes to the European and global versions of the Mi 11, but for now this is an early peek into what’s likely to be 2021’s first major Android flagship.

The changes to the design of the Mi 11 in comparison to the Mi 10 appear minor. From the front, the display is slightly larger at 6.81-inches in comparison to the Mi 10’s 6.67-inch screen. That extra space seems to have come from shrinking the bezels of the device (always welcome), while increasing the height and maintaining the curved sides and hole-punch camera on the front.

What’s more exciting is the 3200×1440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate on the new OLED display, two features that have fast become must-haves on modern flagships, though of course they’re sorely missed on the latest iPhones. In another notable difference, the Mi 11 will also feature an under-display fingerprint sensor.

The back of the Mi 11 holds the more visible changes. The iPhone X-esque vertical camera “pill” of the Mi 10 is gone, and in it’s place is a thin glass “layer cake.” The Mi 11 features three rear cameras: a 108 megapixel main sensor, a five megapixel telephoto, and a 13 megapixel ultra-wide. The Mi 11 also has faster 50W wireless charging (previously on the Mi 10 Pro) to pair with its 4600mAh battery.

Moving from the battery to the rest of the internals, the Mi 11 is powered by the Snapdragon 888 and offers either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. Storage starts at 128GB or 256GB, which is unfortunately still generous in the smartphone world. Like most new smartphones, the Mi 11 also has Wi-Fi 6 and support for 5G. Notably missing from the Mi 11 is a charging brick. The CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, confirmed the Mi 11 will follow in Apple and (reportedly) Samsung’s footsteps in removing the charging brick from the box for environmental and cost-saving reasons.

The Chinese version of the Xiaomi Mi 11 is available for pre-order today, and will start shipping January 1st. The price for the entry level 8GB RAM/128GB of storage model is listed at ¥3999.00 (around $611). Details on the pricing and features of the other versions of the Mi 11 will come at a later date.

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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