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Cherry Mobile announces Flare S6 series with Cherry OS

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Cherry Mobile has launched their new Flare S6 series with three new handsets. From a budget-friendly entry phone to a 2017-level device sporting an 18:9 display — just like the latest Android flagships.

We see the Flare series of Cherry Mobile as their core line of handsets with multiple models to choose from. Now on its sixth generation, we have three different options at three distinct price points.

Flare S6 

At the bottom of the chain is the Flare S6, which is also the cheapest of the bunch. It’s a 5.2-inch HD smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat skinned with Cherry OS and has a plastic build. It’s powered by a MediaTek MT6737 processor with 2GB of memory and 16GB of expandable storage.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6

Don’t get fooled by its price thinking that it lacks any modern features, because the Flare S6 sports a fingerprint reader on its back and has a reversible USB-C port. Its cameras are also impressive on paper with 13-megapixel sensors on both the rear and front, although the battery capacity is quite low at just 2600mAh.

The Flare S6 is priced at just PhP 3,999 (US$ 80).

Flare S6 Selfie

Cherry Mobile is also in the selfie game with the Flare S6 Selfie. It has identical 16-megapixel sensors on its rear and front cameras, and both have their own LED flash. It also owns a 5.2-inch display, but with Full HD resolution this time, and a metal back panel.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie

The phone is powered by a MediaTek MT6750T processor with 3GB of memory and 16GB of storage, which is expandable via a microSD card. The physical home button houses a fingerprint reader and the bottom contains a USB-C port. Android 7.0 Nougat runs on the device, again with Cherry OS, and has a 2600mAh battery.

For the Flare S6 Selfie, the price is PhP 7,999 (US$ 155).

Flare S6 Plus

Last but definitely not the least is Cherry Mobile’s top offering, the Flare S6 Plus. The new phone features a 5.7-inch HD+ display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which the company calls TrueView. The specs are similar to the Selfie, but it has its own upgrades. The processor is still a MediaTek 6750T, but the memory is bumped up to 4GB and storage is larger at 64GB.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Plus

Aside from the TrueView display, the Flare S6 Plus is also a quad-camera phone. Both the front and rear have an identical setup of 16-megapixel main and 5-megapixel secondary sensors. The additional lenses allow the phone to shoot stills with artificial bokeh and other effects.

Cherry Mobile Flare S6 Selfie, Flare S6, and Flare S6 Plus

The phone gets a bigger 3000mAh battery which charges through a reversible USB-C port, and has support for Hi-Fi audio through its 3.5mm audio port. The fingerprint reader is located on the back of the phone’s metal body. Android 7.0 Nougat with Cherry OS skin on top runs on the device.

The Flare S6 Plus is priced at PhP 9,999 (US$ 195) with a free VE Monk headset.

SEE ALSO: Cherry Mobile maintains its lead in the Philippines

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India

ASUS launches two new pocket-friendly phones in India

Carving a new legacy for the ZenFone series

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ASUS completely revamped its product offering this year and launched a midrange phone, the ZenFone Max Pro. To cover up the budget flagship segment, it later launched the ZenFone 5Z. The two have been selling like hot cakes in developing markets thanks to hostile pricing and periodic offers.

Now, the company intends to take on the budget segment by launching the ZenFone Max and ZenFone Lite in India. Just yesterday, Lenovo also launched the K9 and Xiaomi has been ruling the segment with its Redmi 5A and Redmi 6.

ASUS ZenFone Max

The ZenFone Max is priced at INR 8,999 (US$ 122) and will be available for just INR 7,499 (US$ 101) during the festive season. The ZenFone Lite is an even cheaper option coming in at INR 6,999 (US$ 95) and will be available for INR 5,999 (US$ 82) under the same festive season discount. Jio users will be eligible for further INR 2,200 (US$ 30) cashback along with 50GB of free data. The two will be exclusively available via Flipkart.

The ZenFone Max has a 5.4-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. It is powered by a Snapdragon 430 SoC along with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. On the back, it has a single 13-megapixel camera while the front sports an 8-megapixel sensor. The cameras support beauty filters, portrait mode, and HDR.

The ZenFone Lite boasts the same display and processor as the Max but has 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. The rear has a 13-megapixel camera while the front has a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. The ZenFone Max owns a 4000mAh battery while the Lite sports a smaller 3000mAh battery.

Both the phones come with expandable storage via a microSD card and support authentication via facial recognition. The ZenFone Max also houses a fingerprint scanner on the back. The duo runs on Android Oreo-based ZenUI 5.0 out of the box.

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Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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Nokia X7 goes official in China with PureDisplay and Zeiss cameras

It could be the Nokia 7.1 Plus for the international market

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Image credit: HMD Global

HMD Global has announced a new smartphone for the Chinese market. It’s called the Nokia X7, which sounds similar to the old Symbian-powered Nokia phone from 2011, and has near-flagship specs with competitive pricing.

The phone has a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with a notch. The face of the phone has a bit of a chin with the Nokia logo, but HMD Global claims the phone has an 85.6 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Image credit: HMD Global

The display is one of the strengths of the Nokia X7. It’s called the PureDisplay, a marketing term of Nokia for their HDR-enabled screens. The panel also has 500 nits of brightness, 1500:1 contrast, 96 percent NTSC coverage, and DCI-P3 support. Basically, it’s a high-end display similar to flagship phones’.

Another main feature of the Nokia X7 is its cameras. It’s got dual rear shooters: a main 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor with f/1.8 aperture plus optical image stabilization and a secondary 13-megapixel sensor for depth sensing. The rear cameras feature AI recognition, Dual Pixel AF, and Zeiss-branded lenses.

For selfies, there’s a 20-megapixel front-facing camera hiding in the notch that can do pixel binning for better low-light selfies.

Image credit: HMD Global

Inside the phone is the new Snapdragon 710 processor that’s paired with up to 6GB of memory and up to 128GB of expandable storage. It runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but the update to Android Pie is coming soon.

Sealed inside the Series 6000 aluminum and glass body of the phone is a respectable 3500mAh battery. The phone even comes with an 18W USB-C fast charger that’s claimed to fill half of the battery in just 30 minutes.

Other specs of the phone include a 3.5mm audio port, dual-SIM capabilities, microSD card support, and VoLTE.

The Nokia X7 is now available for pre-order in China. It comes in blue, red, silver, and black color options. Starting price is at CNY 1,700 (US$ 245) for the 4GB+64GB model, CNY 2,000 (US$ 290) for the mid-tier 6GB+64GB, while the most expensive version with a 6GB+128GB combo is priced at CNY 2,500 (US$ 360).

The phone is expected to be the upcoming Nokia 7.1 Plus for the international market.

SEE ALSO: Nokia touts an ‘asset-light’ approach to smartphone success

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