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Xiaomi Mi 8-Xiaomi announce a brand new smartphone called the Mi 8.

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At its 8th anniversary celebrations Xiaomi announced a brand new smartphone called the Mi 8 – Xiaomi Mi 8.

The latest flagship was unveiled a Press Conference in Beijing on Thursday and again it shares very familiar characteristics with Apple’s premium model, the iPhone X.

The Chinese brand claims that the handset – Xiaomi Mi 8 blows competitors out of the water in the famous AnTutu performance index, jumping into the lead with a score surpassing 300,000.

Xiaomi Mi 8

Chinese phone maker took years to shed its iPhone copycat label, yet it will be back with a vengeance now. If ripping off Apple doesn’t faze you, this handset has a lot going for it, such as an AI beautifying mode for selfies and improved navigation.

Old habits die hard, however. On Thursday Xiaomi announced its newest flagship smartphone – Xiaomi Mi 8– in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, and it is the most blatant rip-off yet of the iPhone X. That’s saying a lot, considering that in 2018 every Android phone maker bar Samsung has copied the front-display notch the iPhoneX pioneered to house its front-facing camera. Even though they have the same screen cut-out, recent phones from Huawei and LG retained some of their identity and unique design traits. Xiaomi hasn’t even bothered to do that with the Mi 8.

Xiaomi Mi 8 front camera details

Xiaomi Mi 8 front camera details

Whether it’s the camera placement, the size of the notch, or the way the phones are positioned in promotional images, everyone will be doing a double take to make sure they’re not looking at an iPhone X. The top variant of the Mi 8, dubbed the “Explorer Edition”, presumably due to its transparent glass back, even lifted wholesale Apple’s animated emojis (animojis).

Having said all that, if you look past the brazen plagiarism, the Mi 8 is, as usual with Xiaomi devices, a really good deal.

The handset comes with the best Android chip set available, Snapdragon 845; it has 6GB of RAM; it has the same excellent camera hardware as the just two-months-old Mi Mix 2S; and it has a proven design – albeit proven by another company – with a brilliant 6.2-inch AMOLED display from Samsung. And all that for a starting price of 2,699 yuan (US$421). The top-end Explorer Edition costs 3,299 yuan.

Xiaomi-Mi-8

Of the new models, the Explorer Edition probably represents the best value despite not offering much of an upgrade in raw power over the standard version. That’s because the handset has a series of sensors within its notch that’s very similar to those of the iPhone X, making it the first Android phone to offer real 3D facial recognition as biometric security, as opposed to the simpler, less secure “2D” version of face unlock offered by the likes of the OnePlus 6 or Huawei P20 Pro.

Read Also: Best Top 10 Innovations That Changed Africa Over The Years

The Explorer Edition also has a fingerprint reader embedded underneath the screen as a secondary unlock method. On the standard Mi 8, it’s the old-fashioned rear fingerprint reader.

I only had very brief time testing the Mi 8 so I didn’t get to try the facial scanning system, but if Xiaomi is promising to use it as a form of biometric security (which includes verification for online banking), it had better build it as well as Apple’s.

The rest of the hardware leaves me confident, though, because the Mi 8, despite costing less than half the price of the iPhoneX, feels every bit as premium as the Apple handset in terms of build quality.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Vs Iphone X

Xiaomi Mi 8 Vs Iphone X

Hardware was only half the story at this week’s launch event. Xiaomi also introduced MIUI 10, the latest version of its Android skin, and it has an improved swiping navigation interface that eliminates the need for Android’s traditional three-button set-up (it’ll be interesting to see if Xiaomi keeps this implementation, which it designed, or go with Android P’s native swiping navigation that is set to be released this autumn).

One final software trick that could be useful, or creepy, depending on who you are: the Mi 8’s camera system has a new beautifying mode that Xiaomi chairman Lei Jun says is like getting “digital cosmetic surgery”. The mode uses AI to analyse a user’s face and then slims the subject’s nose bridge, reduce chin sag and generally give Asian face types more of a profile.

Chinese phones’ beautifying modes tend to go overboard – they turn subjects into plastic Barbies, in my opinion – but the samples shown during the presentation and at a demo booth seemed natural enough – says the South China morning Post

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Afro Success Stories

African Entrepreneurs creating Jobs and Employment in Their Communities – Olasupo Abideen

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Olasupo Abideen ” My greatest achievement is being a 25yr old employer who employs 35 people and has trained 475 Others” as one of african entrepreneurs.

Meet Olasupo

I am a 25year old one of Nigerian african entrepreneurs, founder/CEO of OPAB Gas with over 6 years of transnational experience leading and working with diverse teams to facilitate youth empowerment, development projects and youth involvement in policy. I am a UNESCO ESD Young Leader, a WEF Global Shaper and a Fellow, Young Africa Leadership Initiative.

Since receiving the $5000 Seed Capital in December 2018, my Company has created employment for thirty-five (35) University undergraduates (through our Work Student and Student Ambassadorship Program), opened ‘four (4) new Gas stores’, and trained ‘four hundred and seventy-five (475) unemployed youth and corps members‘ (through our #Gasprenuer Initiative). As a means of giving back to the community, we have also helped ‘five (5) kids’ return to school through our #StreetToSchool programme for our Community.

My Humble Beginnings

I watched my mother walk long distances to gather firewood and buy coal to cook for my family in my growing up years in my village in south-west Nigeria, where I was raised. It wasn’t peculiar to my mother; this was commonplace for all families. We all knew it wasn’t safe. We knew that if it made them this uncomfortable, there was no way it was safe, but we didn’t know there were alternatives. After all, this is how our grandparents and their parents before them lived.

It bothered me to see my mother’s red eyes, and the wet eyes of other women in our rural community bothered me a lot. Even though I did not know until recently that cooking with firewood is equivalent to smoking 400 cigarettes per hour, and is one of the three causes of mortality among women and children, I knew there had to be something I could do, but I couldn’t figure it out; or better put, I did not have enough education nor access to information to figure it out.

 

My Business Idea

The Idea to start my business came from a need that I identified and solving that problem meant a business opportunity. As a student of chemistry at the University of Ilorin, I was exposed – through volunteering – to MDGs (and subsequently SDGs), and I took a keen interest in clean, renewable energy, that could be used instead of orthodox fuelling options, and one of them was Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

After a long time of advocacy for SDGs, as an undergraduate, my SDGs advocacy and youth development organization, Brain Builders International, signed an agreement with the Kwara State University’s Community Development and Entrepreneurship Centre to train young Nigerians african entrepreneurs on the Sustainable Development Goals, their benefits, and ways toward actualisation.

I noticed that every time I took the 55min trip to Kwara State University to facilitate these training sessions, I would encounter students carrying gas cylinders: either going to fill Gas in Ilorin or coming back from Ilorin after filling Gas. I later learnt that the only cooking gas supplier in the community at that time was exploiting the students by using a manual scale that could be manipulated and also selling at a rip-off price.

 

Solving the Problem

In 2017, I took a soft loan from a friend, added some of my own moneyand after conducting intense market research, filing necessary papers, and satisfying ethical and professional standards, we opened our first OPAB Gas station. The services we offered hinged on three things; convenience, safety, and trust. Students could now focus on academics, as we did not only sell gas at the standard rate, but we also offered pick-up and delivery services. We used safe measures alongside a digital scale to address the issue of trust. Within three months we had broken even.

The TEF Intervention

In 2018, I applied for the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme but was only selected for the GIZ list to be one of the 210 beneficiaries of the training and $5000 funding. The training provided by the foundation on business planning, financial intelligence, scalability, among others could only be likened to a mini MBA.

Immediately after the training myself and my team we started discussing how to dominate the market in which we operate and capture new markets.

With the seed capital, we were able to expand our business.

 

Our Growth and Milestones as one of african entrepreneurs

  • Expansion: We have expanded the business to 6 stations in two townships to target the student populations and made over $25,000 since receiving the seed capital from the foundation.
  • Employment: Staff strength – 2 (in 2017), 35 people (2019).
  • Gas on Wheels: We now own delivery vans and offers delivery services
  • Digitization: We now take orders on the business’ website in both cities where we operate.
  • Introduced Customer Loyalty service
    • Health safety card – to educate users about safety measures.
    • Customer reward: Points reward system.
    • Holiday Promos
  • we also have a few impact initiatives that we run.
  • OPAB Gas has trained 450 Youth Corps members, unemployed youth in Kwara State on the economic merits of the Gas economy and the many opportunities that abound in the sector.
  • In line with the UN SDGs, OPAB student work experience – an internship programme where we train students. During this internship, they work on Sundays for a stipend. They then receive N10,000 for every 1000kg of gas sold.
  • OPAB gas student ambassador scheme – delivery service.

 

The Future

The vision for OPAB Gas has always been to solve energy availability and ease of use for everyone across Nigeria so we are constantly working on ways to reach out to more Nigerians.

Our OPAB telemetry solution will allow people to monitor and manage their gas usage, notify them when it is almost finished, connect them to the nearest gas stations and pay for gas with existing mobile money applications.

 

 

Contact Details

Website: https://opabgas.com

Instagram: @opabgas_

Phone call/WhatsApp: 07068775529.

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