How Chinese vendors have taken over the Indian market

Market share has been grabbed but can they sustain it?



A few years back, the most prominent smartphone companies in India included Micromax, Karbonn, Sony, HTC, and obviously, Samsung. It was a healthy mix of a few homegrown companies along with a blend of various manufacturers from diverse backgrounds. Each had its unique selling point and the market was at a nascent stage.

Fast forward to 2018, the dynamics have completely changed. Except for Samsung, all other companies listed above are almost non-existent and the complete business has been taken over by Chinese makers. According to Counterpoint Research’s Q2 2018 report, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, and Honor (Huawei’s sub-brand) have a combined market share of 53 percent.

Domestic companies like Micromax have a very unstable presence in the region now, and all other vendors like Karbonn, Intex, and Spice have packed up. The only brand that has been able to survive this long is Samsung. But, considering the recent two quarters, even Samsung has lost a substantial share to the Chinese.

How did the newcomers manage to take over the market so rapidly, and successfully?

The base strategy is pretty similar to that of Samsung. Back in 2010, when Nokia and BlackBerry had their superiority, Samsung Mobile was a fledgling in the country. Samsung came in and filled the market with next-generation trendy products at a nominal rate. When Nokia and BlackBerry were busy competing with their QWERTY phones, Samsung was selling touchscreen phones like the Corby and Champ.

These phones appealed to the younger audience, and while Apple was busy knocking down everyone in design, Samsung was busy scaling their production. Soon, we saw their brief stint with Windows OS via the Omnia series, followed by entry into the Android ecosystem. Even with Android, Samsung continued releasing phones in every price segment: The Galaxy Star was a top-selling budget phone, the S-series had just taken off, and new devices were being launched almost every month.

In short, they filled the market with options and every type of user was targeted. The gamble paid off massively. Within a few years, the old behemoths were gone and Samsung had established a brand with trust among users. The company focused on grabbing market share via the budget and midrange segment and simultaneously managing the top-tier S and Note series for higher margins.

This is the same strategy that the new Chinese vendors are applying. First, fill the market with trendy phones that are reasonably priced, and then expand their portfolio. A notch and glass backing are the current trends, and everyone quickly jumped on the bandwagon.

From gradients to patterns, there are multiple options available. Want a performance-centric phone? Huawei and Xiaomi brought in high-end processors for just INR 20,000 (US$ 276). Like iPhone’s Face ID? Almost every phone comes with face unlock.

Vivo brought in the in-display fingerprint scanner before everyone else and it’s exactly the kind of innovation the end user wants. While these companies are busy expanding their portfolio, they are also careful to consider long-term goals. Huawei’s Mate and P series have been mind-boggling, and with the P20 Pro, it has managed to establish itself as a premium player.

OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus belong to the same holding company — BBK Mobile. OnePlus leads the premium segment while OPPO and Vivo act as test beds for new concepts, like the sliding camera. Ultimately, anything earned by either of them goes to the same pocket. Xiaomi has avoided the top-tier segment until now, but with the POCO F1, it still remains unclear how they intend to establish a premium brand.

Apples and oranges

I haven’t considered Apple in this equation because the company has completely different expectations from the market. It doesn’t care about market share as long as it grabs the top one percent audience. Every week we see new launches happening in the country with each new product trying to take on the competitors offerings.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that the Chinese domination in the country will be short-lived but the statistics suggest a different story. Each of them has also confidently invested in growing their presence; this includes the operation of service centers and exclusive stores. In fact, all of them have joined the Make in India initiative to avoid import duty.

We haven’t seen Samsung get aggressive to the competition yet; they are still trying to make it through at their own pace. It will also be interesting to see how HMD Global is able to make a mark with their Nokia branded offerings in the country.


Huawei P40 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

We answer really vague questions



In the mainstream consciousness, Huawei and Samsung are easily two of the top Android smartphone makers today. Both came out with their first half of 2020 flagships so naturally we’re pitting them against each other. This is the Huawei P40 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Both series actually came out with three phones each. However, the P40 Pro+ isn’t coming until June 2020. Since there’s no time like the present, we’ll be comparing two phones that are available right now.

It’s easy for these comparisons to get out of hand. So for this one, we’re just going to answer four really vague or simple questions about the two phones. Let’s get started.

Which one looks better?

As the old adage goes, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” The same is true here and any other circumstance for that matter. However, we do feel like this is a two-part answer. After all, beauty should be inside and out.

In this case that’s the hardware and design on the outside and the UI on the inside. Let’s take a look at the hardware first.

A clear size difference 

On paper, it doesn’t look like the two are far apart. The Huawei P40 Pro has a 6.58-inch display while the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra comes in 6.9 inches. However, they feel monumentally different once you hold them.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra feels humongous. With or without a case, it just simply feels like one of the biggest phones today. Meanwhile, the P40 Pro feels like it hits the sweet spot in terms of size. It feels comfortable for one-hand use but not too small that you feel like you’re losing some screen real estate.

That feeling is most probably largely due to the unibody and curved overflow display found on the P40 Pro. It allows for the most display without extending the overall footprint of the device.

You can also get the P40 Pro in a variety of colors like the Deep Sea Blue that we have or the Blush Gold that’s also available. It’s a stark contrast to the too play-it-safe colors of the Galaxy S20 Ultra which are what some friends in the industry like to call “boring” black and just grey.

The camera modules at the back also look slightly different. The P40 Pro actually has more in common with the other phones in the S20 series. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a module that feels as huge as the phone itself. We’ll go into more detail about the cameras later.

Deer Mountain Theme on EMUI

No notable difference in the UI

This one comes down entirely to preference. Both devices run on Android 10. The P40 Pro has the EMUI 10.1 on top while the Galaxy S20 Ultra has One UI 2.

Everything you expect to find on Android 10 is present here. They also behave pretty similarly in terms of the notification shade, settings, and whatnot. Just minor, negligible differences here or there. If you’re not a fan of the default themes, it can easily be changed. Each phone has a themes store with a variety of wallpaper options and icon packs.

Which phone is faster?

There are plenty of things to consider when we’re talking about speed. But we’re just going to go right ahead and assume you mean overall performance.

The P40 Pro is powered by Huawei’s latest and greatest chip to date — the Kirin 990 5G. Meanwhile, in the Philippines at least, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 990.

Samsung’s gotten plenty of flak over the performance of the Exynos 990. Some websites have pointed out how it trails in benchmarking tests. In terms of speed, this isn’t readily noticeable. However, when it comes to overheating, the Galaxy S20 Ultra tends to heat up faster when screen recording or watching a livestream.

There’s also a little wrinkle about the S20 Ultra that’s unique to the Philippines. While both the Galaxy S20 Ultra and the P40 Pro are 5G-capable, Samsung opted to “disable the feature for the time being” owing to the lack of infrastructure to truly experience it.

Huawei put no such limiter on their device. When you get a 5G SIM and happen to find yourself in an area with 5G, you will get to enjoy the feature.

Which one takes better photos?

This is always one of the primary questions when it comes to comparing phones. Before we dive in, here are the specs for both flagships.

Huawei P40 Pro Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • 50M f/1.9 RYYB OIS (Main)
  • 12M f/3.4 RYYB OIS (50x tele)
  • 40M f/1.8 (Ultra-wide)
  • TOF 3D


  • 12MP, F2.2 Ultra Wide
  • 108MP, F1.8 Wide-Angle
  • 48MP, F3.5 Telephoto
  • Depth Vision
Video up to 4K 60fps Video up to 8K 30fps, 4K 60fps
32MP f/2.0 AF + IR selfie cam 40MP, F2.2 selfie cam

We’ll drop some samples here with a few comments but watch out for a more comprehensive look at photo samples coming shortly. As with our usual smartphone camera comparisons, these were shot in auto mode and the only edits applied were resizing, combining into a collage, and adding text so you can load the images faster and compare them better.

Rear Cameras

The Huawei P40 Pro noticeably lets in more light. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra looks sharper here but it’s heavily processed. The P40 Pro’s photo is also a more faithful color reproduction of this scene.

One look and you would think the Galaxy S20 Ultra nailed this shot. After all, it captured the blue sky and the colors are deeper. However, it isn’t color accurate. The sky wasn’t blue at all when we took this shot. In this particular set, the P40 Pro captured the more color accurate scene.

For anyone who likes to post-process their photos, that’s a fine quality for a smartphone camera to have.


Our managing editor isn’t much to look out so kindly focus on the other details. Clearly, the two phones’ selfie cameras have vastly different focal lengths. In this case, the P40 Pro’s ability to capture more of the scene is quite a boon compare to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. That’s especially true for the person above whose face tends to occupy a lot of the shot.

The S20 Ultra also tends to apply more “beautification” even if that feature is turned off. For people who like to go all natural, that’s another win for the P40 Pro. However, if that’s not your cup of tea, the P40 Pro’s beautification is one of the best in any smartphone today.

One huge edge that the P40 Pro has are the AI features. The ones were very fond off are the AI Remove Reflection and AI Passersby. What this essentially does is take multiple frames before, during, and after you press the shutter button. It then analyzes the scene to give you the option to take out any traces of reflection if you shot through a glass window or take out people or objects that may affect the composition of your shot.


Which phone lasts longer? 

Given our current self-isolation situation, battery life can be hard to gauge since we’re not out and about to truly put it through the paces. Before we jump straight to our actual experience, here are some battery-related numbers.

Huawei P40 Pro Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
4200mAh 5000mAh
40W Fast charging 45W Fast charging
27W Fast wireless charging USB Power Delivery 3.0
Fast reverse wireless charging 27W Fast Qi/PMA wireless charging 15W
Power bank/Reverse wireless charging 9W

There seems to be a fair bit of a difference here but so many other factors come into play here. The Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 5000mAh is a necessity because of the sheer size of the display. That display also has a 120Hz screen refresh rate which consumes a bit more battery.

On the Huawei P40 Pro, the 4200mAh supports similar features. However, it has a smaller display that supports a 90Hz refresh rate which mildly consumes less power.

In the weeks we’ve spent with each phone so far, battery performance has been beastly for both. Even wired fast charging shows no considerable difference. However, the P40 Pro truly edges out the S20 Ultra in wireless charging. It just fills up faster.

Other things of note

Google Play on the Galaxy S20 Ultra will give you access to your usual social media apps, those that help you manage your finances (BDO, PayMaya, GCash), your favorite games (Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG, Asphalt 9), and many more. Guess what? Those are also available on the Huawei P40 Pro either via the AppGallery or a third party app.

P40 series users will also enjoy the new video calling app/feature called MeeTime. It promises 1080p video calls between P40 users along with a clear and uninterrupted experience.

That’s not all. MEEtime also lets you share your screen. It’s perfect if you have to show someone how to do something on the P40 Pro. No more scratching your head trying find the best words to describe each instruction. Show, don’t tell! It’s the best.

Which one should you get?

Head-to-head, the Huawei P40 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are pretty evenly matched. Perhaps the primary factors for consideration will be the phone size, camera performance, and pricing.

Phone size, design, as well as camera performance really come down to your preference. Pricing differs considerably. Both phones are now available in the Philippines but the base variants offered vary.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra with 128GB storage and 12GB RAM retails for PhP 69,990. Meanwhile, for a comparable performance and a 256GB storage with 8GB of RAM, the Huawei P40 Pro retails for only PhP 50,990.

That’s a huge price difference. Additionally, buying the P40 Pro now until May 31, 2020 will also net you the Huawei Band 4, Free 50GB of Huawei Cloud storage for 12 months, along with Huawei’s VIP service.

This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines

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What can you do on the Huawei P40 Pro?

Pretty much everything



Still on the fence about the Huawei P40 Pro? Let us tell you that it’s as sleek and sexy as you see in the photos. It’s probably one of the best phones to hold today. But of course, there’s more to it than what meets the eye.

Is it just a glorified smartphone camera or is it actually a smartphone? The short answer is yes, it most definitely is a smartphone. Huawei has done a good job at beefing up the AppGallery and providing other means to get apps on their new flagships.

So here’s some of the things you can do on your Huawei P40 Pro.

Play your favorite mobile games

The Huawei P40 Pro is stacked on the specs department. It’s running the company’s latest — the Kirin 990 5G SoC along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

That’s more than enough power and memory to run your favorite games. A lot of which you won’t have trouble accessing. Hard core racing game Asphalt 9 is available via the AppGallery. If you want something more casual, there’s also the classic Candy Crush.

What about other games? Popular titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, PUBG Mobile, and many others are accessible through the web or through third party apps.

Watch your beloved shows 

Maintaining some semblance of work-life-balance at a time when most of us are asked to work from home can be challenging. Winding down after a long day to watch your favorite show is one way to do it.

Get your K-Drama those via Viu or choose from a wide selection of local and foreign shows and movies on iFlix. Both apps are available on the AppGallery.

Not enough for you? You can get Netflix on the Huawei P40 Pro also through a third party app. If you want to just get lost in a YouTube rabbit hole, you can get to it through the Huawei browser.

For quicker access, you can add YouTube to your home screen. On the Huawei browser, simply tap on the three dots right next to address bar. It’ll show the menu. Just tap “Add to home screen” from there.

The 6.58-inch AMOLED display along with its relatively small footprint and good grip makes the P40 Pro great for this activity. The screen is fantastic and you won’t wear your arm out holding it up for an extended period.

Be a responsible social media user 

The being responsible part is entirely up to you, but we highly encourage it. On the AppGallery or through third party apps, you can get access to the top social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Kumu.

Browsing on social media and using your phone in general is easier on the eyes thanks to the 90Hz screen refresh rate. It’s a smoother experience that you will definitely notice.

But don’t just share anything. Make sure the stuff you’re posting, especially when it’s news, is from a reputable source. On the AppGallery you can get the CNN Breaking US & World News app. If you need something that’s local to the Philippines, there’s the GMA News app.

While you’re at it, make sure you brush up on your vocabulary. The Merriam-webster dictionary is available for download on the AppGallery. So when you encounter a word you’re not familiar with, you can simply look it up.

Discover your inner photographer

You might also be inclined to share your quarantine food of the day. You’ve been adding skill points to your culinary abilities and what better way to show them off than through photos.

The camera set on the P40 Pro will make sure your FOTD is high quality. After all, you get a 50MP main shooter. If you want to get closer, there’s the 12MP telephoto lens. To get a wider perspective, you have the 40MP wide angle camera. There’s also a TOF 3D lens for good measure.

The P40 Pro is also home to new features that we’re sure you’ll find useful. For instance there’s AI Remove Reflection. Say you wanted to get a shot of the sky through your window. Inevitably, you’ll capture part of your window glass. The new feature will magically take that away for you. That same magic works on the AI Passersby feature. The phone will let you crop out unwanted object from your shot. Neat!

Speaking of magic, you don’t have to worry about missing magical moments with the AI Best Moment feature. It’s almost self-explanatory. Not all of us are skilled with capturing the right moment at the right time. What the P40 Pro does is it analyzes the frames taken before, during, and after a photo is taken to give you the best possible shot. It’s also perfect for when you’re taking a shot of moving objects or movement in general.

Spice things up using various photo editing tools on the AppGallery like PicsArt or Photogrid. Alternatively, you can also download our personal favorite — Snapseed through third-party means.

Be a TikTok star

Or not. It’s really up to you. Just putting the possibility out there. That said, on top of the rear camera set already mentioned above, you also have a 32MP front-facing camera.

So whether you’re dancing in front of your phone or you’re shooting a set of clips for a nice little skit, you have quality cameras that can help elevate the quality of your videos.

TikTok, of course, is readily downloadable on AppGallery.

If you want to be extra and buy props and what not for your journey to becoming a TikTok star, Lazada and Shopee are also on AppGallery making sure you have quick access to online shopping.

Manage your finances 

But how do you pay? Funny you should ask. E-wallets like GCash and PayMaya are downloadable on the AppGallery. You simply need to set up either one (or both. Pro tip: You should have both), to help handle online payments. In this age of social distancing, the less we contact we have with other people, the better.

Banking apps like BDO, Citibank, and Landback are also available on the AppGallery. For everything else, you can access through third party apps or through their web version on the Huawei browser.

Develop a quaranfling 😉

We get it. You’re stuck at home. It can get lonely. But it doesn’t have to be. If your crush isn’t responding to your multiple attempts to slide in his/her DMs, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere.

Bumble is available on the AppGallery so you can swipe away to try to find a connection online with someone who you know would already be interested in you in some shape or form.

Other dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid aren’t there yet, but they are in the pipeline so you’re not totally missing out.

Stay connected with family, friends, and loved ones

If a fleeting romantic connection isn’t your thing, then just make sure you reach out to the one’s closest to you. Human beings are social butterflies, and this self-isolation is putting that quality to the test.

Keep your connections strong through various messaging apps like Messenger, Viber, and WeChat. All of which are available via the AppGallery or through third party apps.


Additionally, you and your friends can all get a P40 series phone and hop on a MeeTime call. Sometimes chatting just isn’t gonna cut it. Seeing and talking to each other in real time through video calls can help bridge that communication gap.

If you happen to have a 5G SIM with 5G coverage in your area then you’re in luck! The Huawei P40 Pro is 5G-capable. That tech is still developing but when it’s ready, you know for sure you’ll be ready.

It can help fill that gaping hole brought about by the gloom and doom of this pandemic. Dark. But it doesn’t have to be. MeeTime can help.

Certainly a capable smartphone

The Huawei P40 Pro gives you access to pretty much everything you’ll need and expect to get access to on a smartphone. The apps you use on the daily, and other new ones that you might find helpful are available on Huawei’s on AppGallery or through other means.

It’s not just a camera with smartphone features. It’s a smartphone full stop. And quite a really good one at that.

The Huawei P40 Pro retails for PhP 50,990. You can buy it now on the Lazada Huawei Store and MemoXpress.

This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines

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3 comedies you need to watch for good laughs

Keeping it inclusive and culturally diverse!



We can all use a good laugh every now and then. But now that our society and culture has become more progressive, popular comedies that people used to love — mostly from the 90s — aren’t really that funny anymore.

As the world gets more connected, our awareness of  global, socio-political issues increases. Nowadays, the comedies worth watching are the shows with subtle messages that raise issues reflecting our reality.

Here, we listed down three comedies that are worth checking out, especially if you want a good laugh while staying woke.


I was late to Community party but was very glad I made it. When Netflix dropped its six seasons last April 2020, I found myself sneaking in an episode or two in my daily quarantine life. Having spent three months on lockdown, we can all use a comedy to lift our spirits (other than a psychological evaluation right after the crisis).

Community is a popular sitcom that’s (forgive me for saying this) streets ahead. First aired in 2009, it had a pretty diverse cast. There’s a classic white alpha guy and two white women; one atheist who’s also an activist and a Jewish obsessed with competing.

There are African-Americans, too! One of them is a highly-religious Christian mom, the other is played by Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. There’s also a half-Arab, half-Polish Muslim, a senior citizen who practices a Buddhist-like cult, and a Chinese-American teacher turned student.

Together, they formed a storyline of misfits turned friends, turned families.

Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs) performing her awkward song on a Christmas episode

Watching Community heightened my awareness of issues regarding race, gender, nationalities, ages, and cultures. While most of these issues are brought out for comic relief, the characters worked together to find a solution and come into realizations.

Personally, I found it interesting how I can learn life lessons after watching a show that’s supposed to just make me laugh. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone: getting entertained and educated!

The Good Place

I first heard about The Good Place through my best friend who loved watching tellies and was instantly hooked. I honestly believe when pilot episodes make you laugh so hard, the series is going to be extremely good. And that’s what happened when I watched The Good Place.

It’s a story about four deceased individuals who end up in a heavenly utopia called The Good Place. The cast comprise of a white, selfish saleswoman from Arizona, an indecisive black Ethics professor, a hot rich fraud British philanthropist with legs for days, and a Filipino DJ and drug dealer from Florida.

Jason Mendoza (Manny Jacinto) acting as the Taiwanese monk Jianyu to prevent his cover from being blown

What I love about The Good Place is how it tackled ethics and philosophy creatively, bringing up morals through the concept of heaven and hell. Moreover, diversity and representation are on point in this show, with ethnically appropriate actors and actresses. (And they don’t even make a big deal out of it!)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Last but not the least, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a must-watch comedy for everyone. As usual, I was late to the party but I’ve fallen in love with it.

The show didn’t tackle pressing topics such as racism, sexism, and homophobia through specific episodes. Rather, it’s intertwined in the storyline along with a racially mixed group of cops.

The precinct’s captain is a happily married, openly gay cop. Being in the police force since the 80s, he shared his many disadvantages and struggles due to his sexuality.

Gina Linetti (Chelsea Peretti) being sarcastically frustrated during her mother’s wedding

There are topics mirroring our reality in each and every episode: a bisexual cop’s coming out and her parent’s refusal to accept it, the horrors and fear that black people endure in their daily lives (even if they’re in a position of power), struggles of motherhood, pursuing your passion, and a lot more.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the most inclusive, diverse, and progressive comedy we all need to watch. It’s open-minded, lighthearted, and ridiculously funny. I still re-watch it to this day when I need a good laugh. It’s guaranteed to have me in tears while laughing out loud.

March on, progressive and inclusive comedies!

I still find myself at odds with my friends, especially with the types of comedies they enjoy. However, I believe that we just need to help our friends explore comedies that don’t use transphobia, homophobia, sexism, fat-shaming, white supremacy, and plain racism as a way to deliver ‘funny’ lines.

How about you? Do you have a go-to comedy you enjoy? Share it with us!

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