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Xiaomi Mi8 Review! – Best Budget Smartphone I Ever Bought, WOW!

Here’s my full review of the Xiaomi Mi8. In my opinion, this is the best budget smartphone I have ever bought and perhaps the best smartphone under $450. It’s got the latest Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM(or 8GB if you go for the 128GB model), 6.21-inch Super AMOLED screen(that’s bright as any Samsung/LG), fast performance, dual-SIM, and have killer camera(keeps up to Pixel 2 in both daylight/low-light).  If you want to save a few bucks this year on a smartphone that pretty much does everything a flagship does, this is it!  Of course, Pocophone could be even better, I should have full unboxing/review of that also.

Design
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How to Fix Magisk “Response is Invalid” Error & Pass SafetyNet! [Android Root]

If you are not passing SafetyNet recently or getting the error, “The response is invalid”,  there’s a few ways you can fix it and pass SafetyNet check.  Earlier this month, Google has updated their SafetyNet protocol with SafetyNet Attestation API, which means that developer of apps must get a private key and also gets a “limit” on how many times they can use the API.  In layman’s words, this means that after a certain number of API requests(or people checking SafetyNet on Magisk Manager app), it will give the response, “The response is invalid”.  Now, this DOES NOT mean your Android device does not pass SafetyNet.  It simply means SafetyNet must be checked using other methods.

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Android Pie 9.0 for Galaxy S9/S9 Plus! [Pixel Experience GSI ROM]

For those of you who want to try out the latest Android Pie 9.0 for your Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, or any Android device that has unlocked bootloader and Project Treble support, you can grab any of the Android 9.0 GSI(Generic System Image) ROMs and get it now instead of waiting for Samsung to update their TouchWiz, which most likely will take another 3-6 months.  And for those of you in the U.S. with U.S. Snapdragon models, it will be few more months than the international Exynos models as carriers have to re-add their carrier bloatware.  Now, these Android 9.0 GSI ROMs are NOT TouchWiz, they are not Samsung firmware but AOSP ROMs(What is AOSP?).

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How to Install GSI ROM on ANY Android Device w/ Project Treble & Unlocked Bootloader! [TWRP Method]

For those of you who want to install Project Treble GSI(Generic System Image) ROM on your Android device with unlocked bootloader, you can use TWRP recovery to install them.  The process is actually not entirely different from flashing a regular custom ROM in TWRP, the only difference is that you will be using “Install from image” option instead of the default “Install from zip” option.  (If you don’t know what Project Treble is, please see “What is Project Treble for Android”.

What are GSI ROMs?
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What is Project Treble for Android?

Google has launched a new way of updating Android OS(Operating System) starting in 2018 called, “Project Treble”.   Although Google uses pure “100%” Android OS on their Nexus/Pixel devices such as the Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones, many manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, and others have added their own UI/skin on top.  In extreme cases like Samsung, they have added S-Pen features to their Samsung Galaxy Note series and lots of new hardware features not found in the original Android OS.  Due to this reason, whenever Google updates their OS from one iteration to another(such as Android 7.0 Nougat to 8.0 Oreo), manufacturers have to re-build the whole OS from ground up, causing months of delay in updates.  For example, Android Oreo update for Galaxy S7 probably took around 8 months.  This has been a troubling problem as Android OS updates once a year and by the time manufacturers update their software to the latest, they are already at least 6 months behind.

Project Treble mean Faster OTA Updates!
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How to Install Android 9.0 Pie w/ Root on OnePlus 2!

For those of you who want to get the latest Android 9.0 Pie experience with root(or without root) on your OnePlus 2, it is actually easy to do since OnePlus 2 has unlockable bootloader(that does not void warranty) and you can easily install custom ROMs.  Best of all, you can even get pure Pixel-like experience with Pixel launcher, wallpapers, icons, fonts, and even boot animation!  Yes, thanks to XDA user Shreesha.Murthy, now you can install the Pixel Experience ROM to get flawless Android P 9.0 running on your OnePlus 2.  And I have personally went through everything a human being can go through and this ROM is indeed as good as Android 9.0 running on my Pixel and Pixel 2 smartphones.

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How to Install Android 9.0 Pie w/ Root on OnePlus One!

For those of you who have a OnePlus One, Android 9.0 Pie is now available through a custom ROM called PSOP(Potato Open Sauce Project).   Now, this ROM has pretty much everything working out of the box including voice calls, 4G LTE, Bluetooth, NFC, etc…etc… Developer says GPS is a bit wonky but seems to work fine for me after using the GPS Fix app on the Play Store.  Battery life is excellent(as you will also be able to benefit from Android 9.0 30% improved battery) as the new Android P will prioritize apps and save battery by shutting down apps wasting battery life.  Performance is also excellent with Antutu scores of 66,000.  For right now, this seems like the best way to experience Android Pie 9.0 on your OnePlus One.  I’ve also tested calls both on speakers and bluetooth with my car bluetooth and they seemed to work flawless.  While many other Android devices have trouble with bluetooth, OnePlus One does well as it was designed to work well with AOSP(What is AOSP?).

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Galaxy S9 vs. LG G7 vs. Pixel 2 vs. OnePlus 6 vs. Mi 8 [Portrait Selfie Camera Comparison]

In this camera comparison, we compare the portrait mode of the front camera of Samsung Galaxy S9 vs. LG G7 vs. Pixel 2 vs. OnePlus 6 vs. Xiaomi Mi 8.  For this test, we are comparing which phone does the best in terms of mirroring a real DSLR, specifically looking for the camera with better subject separation from the background, background blurring, and also image quality.  Now, this test was done on a pretty bright but cloudy day in good lighting conditions.  In low-light conditions, the results may differ vastly as the more expensive phones have better low-light performance.  We will do another comparison for low-light but this comparison is for those of you who take lots of selfies in good lighting conditions.

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Xiaomi Launches Pocophone F1 $300 Phone w/ Snapdragon 845!

Today, Xiaomi launches Pocophone F1, an Android smartphone with latest Snapdragon 845 processor that starts at just $300 USD.   Expected to release on August 29th next week, the Pocophone F1 gives you performance of a flagship phone at 1/3 the cost!  Pocophone F1 has 2 rear cameras, a 12MP F1.9 and 5MP F2.0 depth sensor along with a 20MB F2.0 front camera.  Interestingly Xiaomi has cut down on the cost of its screen by utilizing the older Gorilla Glass 3, which I think is actually great idea if it can cut down on price.   It does feature an 18.7:9 ratio 1080×2246 pixel IPS LCD screen, which may be the ultimate deciding factor for some of you who want a good screen.  Pocophone F1 also has a whopping 4,000mAh battery along with Quick Charge 3.0, which should prove great for those who need all-day battery life.  The back is covered by cheap, polycarbonate material, cutting down the prices further.