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

Mi Watch Revolve launches with ultra long battery life, premium design

Huawei should be worried

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Today, Xiaomi unveiled a host of new products via its Smarter Living 2020 event in India. Last year, the brand announced a new air purifier, water purifier, smart lights, and more. Following the same trend, Xiaomi has expanded its Mi product lineup with a new wearable — the Mi Watch Revolve.

The Mi Watch Revolve is an affordable fitness tracker that looks extremely premium and measures 46mm. Available in two color options, the Mi Watch Revolve will go up against Huawei’s Watch GT 2e. Both the watches are quite similar on paper, and we’ll try our best to do a comparison article soon.

On the front, the watch has a 1.4-inch always-on AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. In terms of technology, the watch connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and can be used on Android as well as iOS. Onboard sensors include a heart rate sensor, a three-axis acceleration sensor, a gyroscope, a geomagnetic sensor, a baroreceptor, and an ambient light sensor.

To withstand regular usage, the watch gets 5ATM water resistance and a battery life of 1-2 weeks. The battery consumption vastly depends on your usage and Xiaomi is sure the watch will get you through a week with heavy usage.

Making the deal even sweeter, the watch can also measure your psychological data based on physical activity and heart rate monitoring. Thanks to Firstbeat Motion Algorithm, it can measure stress, heart rate variability monitoring, and VO2 Max (blood oxygen level).

It also gets the standard workout modes like running, cycling, trekking, treadmill, and more. Lastly, the user has an option to choose from 100+ watch faces and can receive notifications from a plethora of apps.

The Mi Watch Revolve is available in one size and costs INR 10,999 (US$ 150). It’ll be available in Chrome Silver and Midnight Black color options. It’s up for purchase via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home, and retail stores.

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India

realme launches narzo 20 Pro with Helio G95, 65W fast charging

Xiaomi should be worried

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realme started the narzo series earlier this year and it’s all set to launch a successor. The narzo 20 series consists of the narzo 20A, narzo 20, and narzo 20 Pro. These phones are made for the affordable segment and will be directly competing against the Redmi Note 9 series and POCO X2.

The phone features a reflective design that creates a multi-layer downward arrow pattern. Continuing realme’s design language, it features a vertical quad-camera setup with the narzo branding in focus. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass protection, and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera.

Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. Storage is expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. It has a new carbon fiber cooling system that ensures consistent performance during extended usage.

The rear features a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera for selfies. The software supports night filters, AI enhancement, and improved low-light performance.

Backing these internal is a 4500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the battery in 38 minutes. Lastly, the phone ships with realme IU out-of-the-box.

The narzo 20 Pro costs INR 14,999 for 6GB+64GB and INR 16,999 for 8GB+128GB. It’ll be available in Black Ninja and White Knight color options and shall go on sale from September 25 via Flipkart, realme.com, and offline stores.

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Apps

Google removes one of India’s top payments app for violating policy

But there’s nothing to worry about

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Google removed one of India’s top payments app Paytm from the Play Store for allegedly violating guidelines. To be more precise, the app violated the app store’s policy by promoting gambling. The app is still available on Apple’s App Store though.

In response, Google said, “The app was blocked for violation of play policies – a clarification of our policy was released earlier today ahead of the IPL tournament.” It further clarified that users aren’t affected and only the app’s availability from the Play Store has changed.

Google strictly prohibits digital casinos or ungoverned gambling apps on its Play Store in India and Paytm’s app was found in violation of this policy. Recently, it launched a fantasy sports service called Paytm First Games and embedded links to this service within the Paytm app.

The standalone Paytm First Games app has also been removed. However, other apps like Paytm Mall, Paytm Money, and Paytm Business are still available and remain untouched. Google said the developer is always notified and the app shall remain unavailable till it complies with the norms.

Paytm has also assured all users that their accounts, wallets, and bank accounts are safe and there’s nothing to worry about. When the news broke, there was some initial panic because the memories of India’s app ban are still fresh and people are worried about their favorite apps going off the shelf instantaneously.

Fantasy sports games and other gambling apps have radically risen in India. The country loves cricket and the Indian Premier League is scheduled to start from tomorrow. Making the coming weeks a very lucrative period for these apps.

All these apps do not depend on Google’s Play Store for distribution and have to be downloaded externally via the developer’s website.

Paytm is hugely credited for encouraging India’s digital economy and has transformed itself into a super app. Besides bill payments and peer-to-peer fund transfer, the app can also be used for tickets, shopping, and entertainment.

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