Apple might start manufacturing products in India soon



Apple products may be a global force, but penetration hasn’t been too good in India. That’s because Apple is required to have at least 30 percent of its units manufactured in India for the company to be allowed to sell in physical stores. The Cupertino group hasn’t been able to set up an Indian factory to bypass this obstacle yet, but this could soon change.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is close to signing a deal with Indian government officials allowing the brand to produce its wares in the country; this includes the iPhone and the rest of the product lines.

This is potentially big news for Apple, whose presence in India has been minuscule, to say the least. With less than five percent of the local handset market belonging to the American company, creating an official channel for easier shopping could instantly spike up sales and help it overtake the population’s most popular smartphone brands, namely Samsung, Xiaomi, OPPO, Lenovo, and Vivo.

But that would just be the beginning. As you well know, iPhones are generally more expensive than the competition, and there are no budget to midrange options. Apple would need a convincing marketing campaign in order to appeal to the mostly price-conscious Indian consumers.

If this manages to push through, both sides will reportedly benefit from the deal; Apple will have access to the wallets of 1.2 billion potential customers, while the Indian government would be able to lower the unemployment rate even further. This is also a better deal than what we reported on last May, wherein the tech giant would have settled for selling refurbished iPhones, but got rejected by the Indian government anyway.

SEE ALSO: Apple may be able to set up shop in India after all

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Source: Wall Street Journal, via Phone Arena

Image credit: iPhone Digital


Lenovo is taking on the budget segment by launching the K9

Comes with USB-C!



Lenovo has been making smartphones for years now, and had captured a considerable market in India. Unfortunately, it couldn’t hold on to its share for a long time and slowly faded away. Even though the company launched a few best-selling devices in the K8 series, it took a step back in terms of marketing and portfolio availability.

The company also owns the Moto brand and has been indirectly launching new devices there. Now, Lenovo is back and has decided to launch the K9 series in India. While the previous K8 phones were under the midrange segment, the new lineup is significantly cheaper and placed in the budget segment.

The K9 is priced at INR 8,999 (US$ 122) and will be available exclusively via Flipkart in black and blue colors. The company also launched an even cheaper A5 that starts at INR 5,999 (US$ 82).

Coming to the specifications, the K9 sports a 5.7-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The phone is powered by an octa-core processor along with 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It also has a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

On the rear, it has a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor that can capture pictures with a bokeh effect. The front also offers the same 13- and 5-megapixel dual-camera setup. A small LED flash is located on the front, as well as on the back.

Powering the K9 is a 3000mAh battery that supports 10W charging via a USB-C port. Lenovo would be among the first to incorporate a USB-C port at this price range. The phone is being marketed as a perfect all-rounder that gets everything right.

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Nokia 3.1 Plus is a budget friendly phone with dual cameras

An Android One offering for every price segment



This year, every major smartphone maker has been in a race to launch as many phones as possible within a short time frame. In developing regions like India, the budget and midrange segments of the market account for the highest volume of sales, and in such a situation, the price becomes a core factor for differentiation.

In the last month, HMD Global has already launched the Nokia 5.1 Plus and 6.1 Plus in the country; now comes the Nokia 3.1 Plus. It is priced at INR 11,499 (US$ 155) for the 3GB memory variant, while the price of the 2GB version hasn’t been announced yet. It will be up for sale starting October 19 via the Nokia online store and offline partners.

The Nokia 3.1 Plus boasts a 6-inch HD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The front has a 2.5D curved glass while the body is made of polycarbonate. A fingerprint scanner lies on the back of the phone for quick authentication.

Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC along with 16GB of internal storage in the base variant. The storage is expandable via a microSD card and supports a hybrid SIM setup. On the rear, it has a 13- and 5-megapixel dual-camera combo while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter.

Even though this is a lower-midrange phone, HMD Global has managed to squeeze in a huge 3500mAh battery that charges via micro-USB and supports fast charging out of the box. Just like every other Nokia-branded phone, it’s part of Google’s Android One initiative, ensuring faster software updates and a pure Android experience.

The phone will be going up against Xiaomi’s Redmi 6 Pro and the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro in the country.

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Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on: What can its three rear cameras do?

Among the best midrange camera phones out there



Last month, Samsung launched the Galaxy A7 in India, and the phone will soon be coming to more Asian markets. While the company is known to have a wide product portfolio, the A7 has managed to stand apart and create ample hype, something we usually see happening only with the S and Note series.

This year, Huawei’s P20 Pro has been a raging hit thanks to its triple rear camera setup. Not only are sales booming, but it has managed to set a new benchmark for mobile photography. Samsung joined the trend and introduced a triple rear camera setup on the Galaxy A7, but at a significantly lower price.

At first, we’d all assume it to be a gimmick. It isn’t new to see companies take a dig at each other, but this where we’d be wrong. I’ve been using the phone for a week now and the A7 has managed to surprise me. Let’s have a closer look at how the camera works and whether this one forte of the phone is sufficient to sell it.

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To start off, the three lenses on the rear are located vertically and are very well integrated with the frame. They do protrude slightly, but not enough to actually wobble the phone on a flat surface. The primary camera is a 24-megapixel sensor that does all the heavy lifting, the second lens has an 8-megapixel wide-angle unit, and the third is a 5-megapixel depth sensor.

The depth sensor along with the primary lens create the bokeh effect that Samsung calls Live Focus. Samsung’s camera software lets you manually adjust the amount of blur you want in the picture, even after you’ve clicked the picture. The bokeh effect is above average, but not the best. In good lighting conditions when the subject is clearly visible, it does an excellent job in distinguishing the borders. But often gets confused when any headgear like a cap is worn.

But, Samsung has hardly marketed the bokeh effect as far as the A7 is concerned, and that’s because the wide-angle lens is the real deal here. In the given price range, there are no phones that offer this feature. And, Samsung calls this lens “ultra wide,” coming in at 120 degrees field of view.

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With just one toggle, you can shift to the wide-angle lens from the default camera app. Keep in mind you can only use this mode via the Samsung Camera app and third-party apps like Instagram and Snapchat are not supported. The first time you toggle and see the wider frame, you’ll fall in love with it. Compared to conventional setups, wide-angle pictures are able to capture a larger scene, and the fisheye effect has its own sporty feel.

The wide-angle lens is built for scenic landscapes and large group pictures, it can also capture clear and crisp images of objects that are just a few feet away. Though it has to be noted that this camera is not built for macro shots and lacks selective focus. It’s very similar to using a GoPro — just point the camera and hit the shutter.

Samsung has optimized the software very well and hence the output is well saturated and dynamic range is balanced. In low-light, the pictures are low on noise and manage to capture an overall good picture, though it heavily compromises on detail. Even in slightly dim areas, details are lost very quickly.

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While most people may use the wide-angle lens most of the time, this isn’t recommended, as the primary sensor is able to capture highly detailed pictures, something the wide-angle camera isn’t built to do.

In a nutshell, yes, the trio does an amazing job in taking beautiful pictures. I’ve shot all of them on auto mode, and completely let the phone decide what’s best for me.

I’m glad to see Samsung trying to bring high-end innovation to the midrange segment. The company’s non-premium offerings have been somewhat underwhelming this year, and with increasing competition from players like Xiaomi and OnePlus, they definitely need to up their game.

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