Last week Indian e-commerce major Flipkart signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an exclusive partnership with Taiwanese smartphone maker ASUS. Today, ASUS has announced its first smartphone under the agreement, the ZenFone Max Pro M1.
It will be exclusively available in three variants from Flipkart: INR 10,999 (US$ 166) for 32GB storage + 3GB RAM, INR 12,999 (US$ 196) for 64GB + 4GB, and INR 14,999 (US$ 225) for 128GB + 6GB. It’ll be available in Deepsea Black and Meteor Silver color options beginning May 3 on Flipkart in India and April 25 on Lazada in Indonesia.
Unlike its previous range of smartphones, ASUS says the ZenFone Max Pro M1 runs on pure Android, meaning there’s no bloatware and it runs stock Android Oreo out of the box.
The Max Pro M1 has a smooth metallic finish and the dual cameras are arranged in the same iPhone X style, while there’s a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The display is a 6-inch FHD+ Full View panel with 18:9 aspect ratio and curved corners. The bezels are moderately sized and ASUS could have put the fingerprint scanner in front if it wanted. The top bezel is home to the camera, sensor, earpiece, and a soft LED flash.
The Max Pro M1 is powered by a Snapdragon 636 SoC along with 3GB or 4GB of RAM. The processor is a high-end, power-efficient chip, so we expect a decent amount of battery life from the this handset.
Not to forget, the device packs a massive 5000mAh battery that’s more than sufficient to give you at least two days of use on a single charge. ASUS says the device offers 35 days of 4G standby and 20 hours of video playback.
In the camera department, it has a dual-camera setup on the rear; the primary lens is a 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture while the secondary camera is used for bokeh effects. ASUS has conveniently decided to skip over the secondary lens details. For selfies it has a 8-megapixel lens with f/2.2 aperture.
It also features a five-magnet speaker driven by an NXP smart amplifier that delivers higher volume with lower distortion.
ASUS made this device with the Indian market in mind, hence it obviously is dual-SIM compatible and has a separate microSD card slot for storage expansion.
It’s clear ASUS aims to take on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro which has been the most sought-after device in the segment since launch. Sadly, Xiaomi hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand, and even after two months after the launch, the brand follows the same flash sale format. This is where ASUS and Flipkart plan to grab the vacuumed market.
POCO X2 now official with 120Hz display, Snapdragon 730G
It has finally arrived!
After a long wait, POCO has officially unveiled the POCO X2 in India today. The brand used to be a sub-brand of Xiaomi but recently turned completely independent. The brand has also emphasized that the phone is not a successor of the POCO F1, but a completely new series.
On the front, it has a 6.67-inch screen with a ratio of 20:9 and a 120Hz refresh rate. The brand is calling the higher refresh rate “Reality Flow” and it has been incorporated via an LCD panel. Keep in mind, apps and games need to support a higher refresh rate to fully deliver a smooth experience.
It’s powered by a Snapdragon 730G processor along with an Adreno 618 GPU. Just like the POCO F1, it also gets liquid cooling for enhanced longer periods of gaming. The brand repeatedly compared its offering aginst the Realme X2, the opponent it intends to take on. For power backup, you get a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging. And, the fast charging brick is included with the phone by default.
It houses up to 8GB LPDDR4 RAM and 256GB internal storage. The phone is being targeted as a fast device that can handle any task you throw at it. The fingerprint scanner is now mounted on the side and the back is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
On the rear is a Sony IMX686 64-megapixel primary camera paired with a 2-megapixel portrait sensor, 2-megapixel macro lens, and an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor. This is the first phone to sport the Sony IMX686 sensor in India. On the front is a 20-megapixel primary camera along with a 2-megapixel portrait sensor.
POCO continues to retain the headphone jack. Additionally, it’s splash-proof and also houses an IR blaster on the top.
Pricing and availability
It’ll be available in three colors — Atlantis Blue, Matrix Purple, and Phoenix Red. In India, the 6GB+64GB variant is priced at INR 15,999, the 6GB+128GB is priced at INR 16,999 while the 8GB+256GB option costs INR 19,999.
Vivo now second-most shipped smartphone brand in India
Their aggressive expansion strategies have paid off
Vivo continues to ride high from its expansion efforts in India. Just last quarter of 2019, it overtook Samsung to become the second most shipped smartphone brand in India.
In the latest findings from Counterpoint Research, Vivo composed 21% of the total smartphone shipped to Indian users. This figure is a sharp contrast to Q4 2018, wherein the company composed of just 10% for all smartphone shipments. As such, the year-on-year (YoY) growth of Vivo from Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 is an astounding 132%.
The growth of Vivo helped it overtake Samsung to become the second most shipped smartphone brand in India. Samsung’s position dropped from 20% in Q4 2018 to 19% in Q4 2019 – which is not that bad for the Korean company.
While Vivo’s expansion efforts in both online and offline realm propelled the company, it still can’t compete with Xiaomi’s growth for both quarters. Xiaomi posted a 7% YoY growth, composing 27% of all smartphone shipped in India.
The latest findings came from Counterpoint’s research regarding India’s smartphone market. The latest research showed the growing market for smartphones in the country. As a matter of fact, it finally surpassed the US to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
Poco X2 is coming in February
The wait is almost over
The long wait is now almost over. POCO India just revealed that the next Pocophone will launch on February 4, 2020.
Announced in a tweet, the next phone will be called POCO X2 and, according to the company, will make you go “Bruh, it’s Smooth AF.”
— POCO India (@IndiaPOCO) January 27, 2020
Why smooth? It’s likely referring to a high screen refresh rate — a feature that was introduced in 2019 by the likes of OnePlus and ASUS and will likely come to several phones in 2020. It’s possible the POCO X2 will have up to a 120hz screen refresh rate.
The phone’s dedicated website also highlighted the cameras, a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, liquid cooling, and fast charging. If the POCO X2 will carry on the “flagship killer” tag that the Pocophone F1 carried, then it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that it will carry the latest Qualcomm SoC.
There’s still a lot that we don’t know, but we don’t have to wait too long to find out!
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