India

Vivo V5 with 20MP front camera launched in India

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Throughout the year, we’ve seen some extravagant attempts at smartphones that pushed selfies to the front of the conversation, ahead of everything else they have going on.

We only have to look at the Sony Xperia XA Ultra and the OPPO F1s as prime examples of how far up the ladder some manufacturers could go. 16 megapixels — that’s how far, in case you were wondering. Which is pretty damn impressive considering most phones don’t go that far with their main camera. Except they’re no longer the barometer of cool as of today.


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The Vivo V5 is, and it has 20 reasons to feel confident in its role as self-appointed selfie expert. 20 megapixels is the big talking point, and it’s the highest megapixel count ever for a selfie camera. Apart from a record-smashing Sony sensor, Vivo has thrown in an f/2.0 aperture lens and a front-facing flash for taking cleaner snaps in low light, plus a few shooting options for vanity purposes. The back features a ho-hum 13-megapixel camera, but who cares about that, really?

vivo-v5-20-megapixel

Looks familiar, don’t you think?

As for the hardware itself, the V5 is curiously identical to the metal OPPO F1s and F1 Plus. It even sports a home button that resembles that of the OPPO handsets to the last detail; it likewise hides a fingerprint sensor underneath the button. (You can take a guess as to why that is, and knowing Vivo and OPPO belong to the same parent company should help.)

The V5 runs a heavily customized version of Android Marshmallow. It totes 720p LCD display measuring 5.5 inches and an octa-core processor (likely from MediaTek) with a meaty 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Battery capacity maxes out at 3,000mAh. A special audio chip is also built into the assembly for getting the most out of high-end audio files.

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The Vivo V5 will go on sale on November 26 in India for 17,980 rupees. It comes in either gold or gray. Wider availability is expected very soon, with the V5 slated to debut in the Philippines on November 23rd.

India

Samsung Galaxy M40 is a budget phone with triple rear cameras

Takes on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 3 Pro

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Samsung has been on a launching spree this year due to increasing competition from Xiaomi, Realme and Nokia. The brand has announced multiple phones within a short span of time covering every possible price segment. After the successful launch of the Galaxy M10, M20, and M30, the brand is back with another offer; this time bringing flagship features at an affordable price.

The Galaxy M40 has been announced today in India and it directly takes on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 3 Pro. With a triple rear camera setup and punch-hole front camera, the brand has aggressively marketed the phone.


On the front is a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display that Samsung prefers to call Infinity-O. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and features a punch-hole camera on the top-left corner. It also includes Screen Sound technology that enables the display panel to generate audio vibrations natively without using a conventional earpiece.

The design is similar to other M-series phones and features a physical fingerprint scanner on the rear. Other authentication options include face unlock.

The rear features a triple camera setup consisting of a 32-megapixel primary lens, 5-megapixel secondary sensor, and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. The camera UI offers smart HDR, auto color saturation, stickers, and beauty enhancements. The front houses a 16-megapixel selfie shooter.

The phone is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 675 processor, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal memory. Lastly, these internals are backed by a 3500mAh battery with support for fast charging. It runs on One UI based on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.

The Galaxy M40 is priced at INR 19,990 (US$ 288) and will go on sale from June 18 via Amazon and Samsung Online Shop in Midnight Blue and Seawater Blue gradient color options.

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India

Nokia 2.2 is the most affordable Android One phone you can grab

Power of stock Android, without the price of a Pixel

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HMD Global has been actively launching and selling new phones in developing markets and it has decided to go down a slow and steady path. While brands like Xiaomi, Realme, and Samsung are aggressive in terms of marketing, Nokia has found an unmatched sweet spot for itself.

Continuing the legacy of launching Android One phones, today they’ve announced the launch of the Nokia 2.2. It’s a budget contender that comes with a special introductory price of INR 6,999 for the 2GB+16GB option. The second variant with a 3GB+32GB configuration is available for INR 7,999. The special prices are applicable until June 30 when a purchase is made via Flipkart or Nokia’s online store.


The Nokia 2.2 has a compact design that incorporates a 5.71-inch LCD display with an HD+ resolution. A small notch houses the front camera and the back is made of plastic, designed to imitate glass.

Powering the phone is a quad-core MediaTek A22 processor and storage is expandable thanks to a microSD card slot. Backing these internals is a 3000mAh battery that supports 5W charging. Obviously, its also equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

On the rear is a 13-megapixel single lens camera while the front has a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. A new low-light image fusion mode captures multiple pictures in dark surroundings to generate a better picture with less noise and improved sharpness. Other standard features include HDR, Colourise, and Beautify.

Like all other Nokia-branded phones, it’s a part of Android One and ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box. Additionally, two years of Android updates and three years of security updates are promised.

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Enterprise

ASUS is banned from using ‘ZenFone’ branding in India

As ruled by a court

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Much like most companies, ASUS identifies itself with one brand — the Zen lineup. Throughout the years, the Taiwanese company has released dozens of ZenFones and ZenBooks. With all the experience, ASUS has made Zen its own identity.

Naturally, if you take Zen away, ASUS is in for a marketing nightmare. Unfortunately, an obscure Indian smartphone maker is doing just that. Recently, the India-based Telecare Network has sued ASUS for using Zen as part of the latter’s branding.


According to the court case, Telecare Network has owned “Zen” and “Zen Mobile” since 2008. On their official website, Zen Mobile sells a good number of smartphones and feature phones. The site even advertises their aftermarket service as “Zen Care,” similar to ASUS’ own service. Regardless, ASUS’ usage came second. In comparison, ASUS started using “Zen” in 2014.

Of course, ASUS grew so much bigger than the Indian smartphone brand. Despite the presence of more competitive brands, ASUS is still a global player. Telecare Network’s move is a strategic one. The Indian company accuses ASUS of malicious intent in adopting the “Zen” branding.

In its defense, ASUS claims the universality of the Zen philosophy. Asustek chairman Jonney Shih drew a lot of inspiration from the Buddhist concept. ASUS’ defense hinges on “Zen” as a usable name in the public domain. The company defends that no one can claim exclusivity on the concept.

To ASUS’ chagrin, Indian courts did not see it that way. According to the courts, while the concept is universal as a Buddhist teaching, “Zen” is still an ownable property in the tech industry. Hence, the brand’s defense holds no ground. Moreover, the court can prove that Zen Mobile used the “Zen” branding way before ASUS.

As such, the court has banned ASUS from “selling, offering, and advertising” any devices carrying the “Zen” branding. The ban will take effect after eight weeks (or around the end of July). Further, both parties will have a second hearing on July 10.

Of course, the ban comes from India. However, India remains one of the world’s richest smartphone markets. This decision will likely have wide-reaching repercussions in the future. At the very least, ASUS needs a name change in India. If ASUS fails to defend itself, expect a whole new branding scheme.

SEE ALSO: ZenFone 6 is the best-rated phone for selfies on DxOMark

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