India

This Indian brand has launched a pop-up camera phone and something’s fishy

If everyone’s doing it, why not?

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The pop-up camera design has been trending for quite some time now and so far we’ve seen OPPO, Vivo, and Honor lead the pack. Now, an Indian brand wants to make a mark and has launched a wide array of phones at MWC 2019. And, one of them features a sliding pop-up selfie camera.

Centric is an Indian smartphone maker we haven’t heard much about. But, the company is at MWC 2019 and has launched five new phones in the budget segment. One of them is the Centric S1, and there’s something weird about the phone.

Remember the Vivo NEX? It was the first phone to feature a sliding camera module and was launched in the second half of 2018. The Centric S1 looks eerily similar to the NEX. In fact, except for minor specification modifications, the two look alike from the outside.

It has a 6.39-inch Full HD AMOLED display and the brand claims a screen-to-body ratio of 92 percent. The display houses an in-display fingerprint scanner for authentication and also supports face unlock.

The phone is powered by a MediaTek P70 Helio processor, paired with 4GB or 6GB RAM, depending on the variant. Internal storage is available in 64GB or 128GB, and supports expandable storage via a microSD card.

The pop-up module features an 8-megapixel selfie camera, while the rear houses a 16-megapixel primary sensor and 5-megapixel secondary sensor. Backing these internals is a 3800mAh battery. Thankfully, the phone ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box.

Centric is calling its fast charging solution “Pump Express 3.0” and claims it can charge 50 percent of the battery in just 20 minutes. The phone starts at a price of US$ 310, though availability hasn’t been announced yet.

India

Realme X50 Pro with Snapdragon 865, 5G launches

India’s first 5G phone

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After a long wait, Realme has finally launched the Realme X50 Pro today. It has 5G and comes equipped with the flagship Snapdragon 865 processor.

To start with, it has a glass body construction that gives a matte finish thanks to AG Glass technology and multiple layers of coating. For exterior protection, it consists of Gorilla Glass 5. It’ll be available in Moss Green and Rust Red color options.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and a 20:9 screen ratio. Realme claims it has a wide color gamut for accurate reproduction and refreshes at 90Hz.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 865 processor along with 5G support. It supports all majorly used 5G bands in service around the world and automatically switches between 4G and 5G for maximum efficiency. It gets up to 12GB of RAM along with 256GB internal storage. For extended periods of uninterrupted gaming, liquid cooling has also been included.

On the rear is a 64-megapixel primary camera, something we’ve previously seen on the Realme X2 Pro. Backing the primary camera is an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a portrait lens. For selfies, a 32-megapixel primary camera along with an 8-megapixels wide-angle lens are located on the front.

Backing these internals is a 4200mAh battery that supports 65W SuperDart fast charging. Realme claims it can charge 60 percent in just 20 minutes. It also supports 18W PD charging and 30W VOOC charging. Lastly, it runs on RealmeUI out of the box.

Realme’s first premium phone in India

This is the first time Realme has launched a premium offering in India.

The Realme X50 Pro starts at INR 37,999 (US$ 527) for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. There’s an 8GB RAM variant with 128GB storage priced at INR 39,999 (US$ 555) and the maxed-out model goes up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage and costs INR 44,999 (US$ 625). The phone goes on sale in India from today, February 24, on Flipkart and Realme India store.

It’s worth noting that even though it’s India’s first 5G phone, users will not be able to leverage it completely since 5G hasn’t rolled out in the country yet. In fact, the country is yet to auction spectrum to telecom companies and experts estimate a roll-out in 2022.

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India

POCO X2 now official with 120Hz display, Snapdragon 730G

It has finally arrived!

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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.

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Enterprise

Vivo now second-most shipped smartphone brand in India

Their aggressive expansion strategies have paid off

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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.

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