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Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro camera ties with Mate 30 Pro

DxOMark has released a photo score for the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition, which ties with Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro.

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The Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition is Xiaomi’s newest high-end smartphone, featuring a 6.47-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, and a penta-camera setup that should cover a very wide range of photographic applications. The primary wide-angle camera uses a 108MP Quad-Bayer sensor that produces 27MP image output. It is accompanied by a 20MP ultra-wide camera, and not one but two tele-lenses for optimized performance. The short telephoto provides a 2x zoom factor (50mm equivalent), and the long telephoto multiplies the primary camera’s equivalent focal length by approximately 3.5 (94mm-equivalent). There’s also a dedicated macro camera that DxOMark’s Camera test protocol does not cover.

Key camera specifications:

  • Penta-camera setup
  • Primary: 108MP sensor 1/1.33-inch sensor with 25mm-equivalent, f/1.69-aperture lens, OIS (27MP output resolution)
  • Short telephoto: 12.19MP 1/2.6-inch sensor with 50mm-equivalent, f/2-aperture lens
  • Long telephoto: 7.99M 1/3.6-inch sensor with 94mm-equivalent, f/2-aperture lens, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 20.11MP 1/2.8-inch sensor with 16mm-equivalent, f/2.2-aperture lens
  • Macro: f/2.4 lens designed for close focus from 2 to 10cm (not tested)
  • Dual flashes, one with hard light and one with soft light

DxOMark provided the following:

With an overall score of 121, the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition has tied with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro for the highest overall Camera score of any phone DxOMark tested so far. Its Photo score is two points lower than the Mate 30 Pro’s (130 versus 132), although it is still one of the highest Photo scores to date. Its Video score of 102 is the highest yet — edging out both the Google Pixel 4 and the Samsung Note 10+ 5G by a point.

The Xiaomi device delivers excellent results in just about every type of photographic situation. Outdoors, it has accurate exposures along with excellent detail preservation, and it manages noise well; however, there can be a pinkish color cast, and highlights are sometimes clipped. Other than that, white balance is generally accurate across the board, and the smartphone camera renders bokeh in a pleasing way. Indoor shots display a little more noise, but are still high quality.

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Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition, showing good exposure, white balance, and color rendering

Wide-angle shots taken with the ultra-wide-lens camera have low distortion and good detail preservation compared to similar phones, and night shots feature very natural skin tones, thanks in part to its second, softer, flash. While the phone’s multiple cameras help make it a top performer, it does have a few weaknesses—for example, highlight clipping occurs in very high-dynamic-range scenes, and images lose sharpness towards their edges.

Thanks to its dual telephoto lens-equipped cameras, the Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition does exceptionally well in our zoom tests: having native 2x and ~4x optical zooms power it to a record Zoom sub-score of 109. The multi-camera setup also helps the Xiaomi phone do a good job with depth estimation, which results in a very good bokeh effect, with particularly pleasing blur gradients and well-rendered spotlights.

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While the Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition still performs very well in low-light conditions, with excellent detail, noise is somewhat more visible than when shooting outdoors. Overall flash performance is solid, with accurate exposures and a good tradeoff between detail preservation and noise reduction. Some color casts are visible in cityscape scenes, and there is also some slight ghosting when using Night mode to shoot moving subjects.

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Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition, cityscape at night showing good target exposure

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Acer launches two new 4K monitors

Acer has launched two monitors for higher-end consumers who use their home computers for gaming and graphically-intensive work.

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Acer has unveiled two new monitors, CB342CKC and CB282K, which form part of its high specification range of 4K monitors.

The monitors feature In-Plane Switching ZeroFrame technology, which removes the bezel to give seamless visuals. The sharp 4K UHD display is 16:9 up to 3840X2160 high resolution.

Vesa DisplayHDR creates deeper levels of black and white contrast, giving a greater immersion through realistic image recreation. Brighter scenes glimmer with detail, while in darker scenes, details typically hidden in the shadows are enhanced for greater overall luminance.

With Radeon FreeSync, a game’s frame rate is determined by the graphics card, not the fixed refresh rate of the monitor, which eliminates screen tearing and delivers very smooth gaming experiences. The Acer CB342CKC monitor also features 1ms Visual Response Boost (VRB), which results in a much clearer and less noticeable blur in fast-moving images.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor features a USB 3.1 Type-C port that can plug into smartphones, tablets or laptops. This provides the device that’s plugged in with data transfer and device charging capabilities, while it mirrors the display, with a single cable.

With a firm, stainless steel base, monitors can easily tilt, pivot and swivel to make height adjustments without a hassle. A quick-release design means the monitor can be separated from its stand so it can be VESA wall-mounted. Both Acer CB2 monitors also feature Acer Display Widget utility software. The split-screen feature is able to divide the screen into several regions. Users can quickly split the window with a hotkey or via the split-screen setting menu, making the workspace as clean as possible.

The Acer CB342CKC monitor will be available in EMEA in May starting at €549, while the CB282K monitor will be available in April starting at €399.

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Sophos launches AI-enhanced firewall

Cybersecurity provider Sophos has launched a firewall product that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and reduce security risks associated with encrypted traffic.

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Sophos has introduced a new architecture for the Sophos XG Firewall called “Xstream”, which traffic decryption capabilities for encrypted malware connections. XG Firewall now also features AI-enhanced threat analysis from SophosLabs and accelerated application performance.

Sophos says 23% of malware families uses encrypted communication for Command and Control (C2) or for installation of the malware. Three common present Trojans – Trickbot, IcedID, and Dridex – leverage TLS during the course of their attacks. Cybercriminals also use TLS to hide their exploits, payloads and stolen content and to avoid detection. In fact, 44% of prevalent information stealers use encryption to sneak hijacked data, including bank and financial account passwords and other sensitive credentials, out from under organisations’ noses.

“As SophosLabs’ research demonstrates, cybercriminals are boldly embracing encryption in an attempt to bypass security products,” says Dan Schiappa, chief product officer at Sophos. 

“Unfortunately, most firewalls lack scalable TLS crypto capabilities and are unable to inspect encrypted traffic without causing applications to break or degrade network performance. With the new Xstream architecture in XG Firewall, Sophos is providing critical visibility into an enormous blind spot while eliminating frustrating latency and compatibility issues with full support for the latest TLS 1.3 standard. Sophos’ internal benchmark tests have clocked a two-fold performance boost in the new XG TLS inspection engine as compared to previous XG versions. This is a game-changer.”

Latency too often deters IT admins from using decryption, as seen in an independent Sophos survey of 3,100 IT managers in 12 countries. The survey white paper, The Achilles Heel of Next-Gen Firewalls, reports that while 82% of respondents agreed TLS inspection is necessary, only 3.5% of organisations are decrypting their traffic to properly inspect it.
Key new features of XG Firewall include:

  • Inspection of TLS 1.3 to detect cloaked malware: New port-agnostic TLS engine doubles crypto operation performance over previous XG versions
  • Optimised critical application performance: New FastPath policy controls accelerate performance of SD-WAN applications and traffic, including Voice over IP, SaaS, and others, to up to wire speed
  • Adaptive traffic scanning: The newly enhanced Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine dynamically risk-assesses traffic streams and matches them to the appropriate threat scanning level, enhancing throughput by up to 33% across most network environments
  • Threat analysis with SophosLabs intelligence: Provides network administrators with the SophosLabs AI-enhanced threat analysis needed to understand and adjust defences to protect against a constantly changing threat landscape
  • Comprehensive cloud management and reporting in Sophos Central: Centralised management and reporting capabilities in Sophos Central provide customers with group firewall management and flexible cloud reporting across an entire estate without additional charge
  • Integration with Sophos Managed Threat Response (MTR) service: Customers of XG Firewall who also subscribe to the Sophos MTR Advanced service will have deeper actionable intelligence to prevent, detect and respond to threats, as a result of the integration

Sophos XG Firewall is available in the cloud-based Sophos Central platform alongside Sophos’ portfolio of cybersecurity solutions. Sophos’ Synchronized Security approach empowers these solutions to work together for real-time information sharing and threat response.

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