ASUS unveiled the new ZenFone 5 line-up at MWC 2018 in Barcelona, and now the top-tier ZenFone 5Z is finally coming to India. ASUS has been teasing the device on Flipkart for the last few days and has finally made the announcement official.
The 64GB storage variant costs INR 29,999 (US$ 437), the 128GB version costs INR 32,999 (US$ 481), while the 256GB one costs INR 36,999 (US$ 540). Two color options are available for all three configurations — Midnight Blue and Meteor Silver. The device will be exclusively available from Flipkart starting July 9.
The device sports a large, 6.2-inch LCD Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and a notch on top. The device is available in three variants which are, 4GB RAM with 64GB internal storage, 6GB RAM with 128GB storage, and a top-of-the-line variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 845 processor with AI Boost and an Adreno 630 GPU.
For the cameras, it has a dual rear setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel secondary sensor. The primary sensor comes with 4-axis optical image stabilization for better low-light performance and steadier videos. For selfies, the front houses an 8-megapixel camera that supports Face Unlock.
The camera comes with a host of AI features like Scene Detection, AI Photo Learning, Real-time Portraits, and Real-time Beautification.
Backing these internals is a 3300mAh battery, and ASUS is also shipping along an 18W charger for fast charging through its USB-C port. ASUS claims the AI-powered intelligent charging provides total protection and also helps enhance the battery’s lifespan.
In India, the phone is directly competing against the near-perfect OnePlus 6 and AI-focused Honor 10. What needs to be seen is how the ZenFone 5Z continues ASUS’ upward streak in India just like the ZenFone Max Pro.
Xiaomi needs the POCO brand now more than ever
Trying to meet everyone’s expectations
Xiaomi is celebrating five years in India and they’ve announced a special sale across a huge selection of products. In the last five years, the brand has grabbed the number one spot in terms of market share, dethroning legacy giants like Samsung. How did a young brand like Xiaomi start from nothing and go on to lead the market?
The Chinese-brand entered India in 2014 and has always maintained a consistent track record of launching near-perfect phones that don’t cost a bomb. The Redmi brand in India slowly developed on the back of successful series like the Note. This one series helped the brand in establishing market supremacy in the budget midrange collection.
Then the brand cautiously went into the entry-level smartphone segment and started dominating that as well. Not only did the brand offer exceedingly competitive prices, but also flooded the market with options that covered every possible price point. We can safely call this a blitzkrieg-style strategy that overwhelmed the competitors as well as the users with products.
Xiaomi did try to launch a few flagship phones like the Mi 5, but they received a lukewarm response. The Redmi brand is synonymous with affordable phones in India, how do you break the threshold limit of INR 20,000 (US$ 290) and launch a flagship?
The importance of POCO
POCO (Pocophone in international markets) was the answer. A new sub-brand let them create a new ideology around the products and consumer expectations could be gauged. The POCO F1 started at just INR 19,999 (US$ 290) and boasted a flagship-grade Snapdragon 845 processor. This was a deal-breaker for everyone.
A new report by the Economic Times says Xiaomi could soon kill the POCO brand. It cites a few top-level exits as contributing factors, along with the recent Redmi K20 launch. It emphasizes how Redmi and Mi are now a definite position from Xiaomi and POCO was overlapping.
This is where I tend to disagree. The Redmi K20 and K20 Pro have received a lot of backlash from consumers because they feel the phones are overpriced. A constant comparison is drawn between the K20 and Realme X. The K20 starts at INR 21,999 (US$ 319) and the K20 Pro starts at INR 27,999 (US$ 406).
Let’s get one thing straight, the phones aren’t overpriced. In fact, considering what they offer, the price is on point and continues Xiaomi’s legacy of offering competitive rates. Things went wrong on the marketing front.
Users have been expecting a POCO F1 successor soon, and Xiaomi has been teasing the K20 Pro for months. The company intended the K20 Pro to be a OnePlus 7 killer, but the buyers expected a POCO-like offering.
Considering the amount of bad press Xiaomi has received, killing off the POCO brand will only add fuel to the fire. And on the flip side, a POCO F2 launch will actually douse the fire and help Xiaomi in maintaining control over all price points. The company has raised everyone’s expectations so high, it’s finding it hard to keep up with them.
OPPO K3 is a fancier looking Realme X at the same price
The design is also inspired by OPPO Reno
Realme operates as an independent brand now, but when it first started last year, it was technically a sub-brand of OPPO. Since then, the Indian smartphone market has changed quite a lot. Realme has been successful in taking up a huge chunk of the market, Xiaomi is slowly inching forward, and Samsung is no longer sleeping.
In the midst of all the noise, OPPO and Vivo are treading cautiously. They’re focused on grabbing the offline market that relies on brick and mortar stores. Taking a step forward, OPPO has launched a new phone called the K3 in India, and it looks eerily similar to the Realme X. In fact, even the specs sheet is pretty much the same.
What sets it apart is that it shares the new design language OPPO’s Reno line first introduced, which OPPO said will serve as the catalyst for the company’s smartphone development for the next 10 years.
While OPPO and Realme are busy sharing resources, it’s the best time for a consumer to buy a new phone. There are simply too many options to choose from and pricing has never been this competitive.
To start with, the OPPO K3 sports a 6.5-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display that also integrates a fingerprint scanner. The phone ships with ColorOS out of the box and relies on a Snapdragon 710 chipset to chug along.
The rear has a 16-megapixel primary camera coupled with a 2-megapixel secondary lens. The front camera is housed in a pop-up sliding module and consists of a 16-megapixel lens. The software incorporates standard AI-backed scene recognition and Ultra Clear Night View 2.0 feature. Lastly, backing these internals is a 3765mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging technology.
The 6GB+128GB option is priced at INR 16,990 (US$ 245) and the 8GB+128GB variant costs 19,990 (US$ 290). It’ll be available in Aurora Blue and Jade Black from July 23 via Amazon.in and offline retail stores.
ASUS 6z Review: The camera flips, but is that enough?
ASUS is all set to take on OnePlus
A non-Potterhead’s verdict on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Use your phone, Harry!
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE Review: For those who like it small
A pocketable flagship-like phone
Apple is buying Intel’s 5G modem business
Select ASUSPRO computers come with Intel’s Ultimate Creativity Pack
ASUS ROG Phone in China comes in many variants
Samsung’s next-generation RAM is super fast
Xiaomi needs the POCO brand now more than ever
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Accessories1 week ago
Xiaomi launches affordable Mi Super Bass Wireless headphones
News2 weeks ago
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ‘official’ photos leak
Cameras1 week ago
Fujifilm debuts flagship GFX100 in the Philippines
News6 days ago
A Galaxy S8 saved tourists from drowning in Cebu
India2 weeks ago
Apple may soon start selling top-end iPhones made in India
Enterprise1 week ago
Huawei is firing hundreds of workers
Deals1 week ago
Buy the Samsung Galaxy A80 BLACKPINK edition now
Gaming2 weeks ago
The Nintendo Switch Lite is coming