India

ASUS to launch ZenFone Max Pro on April 23 in India

Another addition to the ZenFone Max family

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Propeling its leadership in the smartphone segment, Indian e-commerce major Flipkart has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an exclusive partnership with Taiwanese smartphone maker ASUS.

Under the partnership, Flipkart will be the primary sales channel for ASUS ZenFones and both companies will collaborate in the co-creation of new products for the Indian market based on consumer insights.


Alongside this, the company has also announced the upcoming launch of its first product under this partnership, the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro, scheduled for April 23, 2018. Flipkart has confirmed that the device will be powered by the Snapdragon 636 SoC. However, all other important specifications like display, camera, and memory haven’t been announced yet.

It is interesting to note that the existing listing by ASUS on its website, the ZenFone 4 Max Pro, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC. This naturally indicates that the upcoming ASUS smartphone will be a different variant or another smartphone altogether.

Flipkart says that it plans to be part of at least 40 percent of the smartphone market, both offline and online, by 2020 and also add 100 million smartphone users to the country. Flipkart said that this new partnership with ASUS will be the stepping stone to achieve this dream.

Moving forward, as an ASUS premier partner and seller for smartphones, Flipkart will be the primary sales channel for ASUS ZenFones in India. While both companies will collaborate in the co-creation of new products for the Indian market based on consumer insights, they will also support each other in marketing activities.

“Flipkart’s unparalleled distribution reach and marketing strengths will help ASUS build strong awareness for our innovative high-value products and reach consumers across India,” said ASUS CEO Jerry Shen.

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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