India

MediaTek and Jio are working on an Android Go smartphone

A more powerful JioPhone!

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Semiconductor company MediaTek has announced that it is working with Reliance Jio on an entry-level Android Oreo Go Edition 4G smartphone.

The new smartphone is expected to sit alongside the JioPhone, which was launched in India last July with an effective price of INR 1,500 (US$ 24). MediaTek General Manager (Wireless Communications BU) TL Lee said the devices are expected to be rolled out in the first quarter of the year.


Unfortunately, details about the soon-to-come device are still relatively few since no design features or specifications were provided for the handset. On MediaTek’s side, the MT6739 and MT6580 chipsets are the latest ones to support the Android Go platform. The chipmaker had announced its collaboration with Google for supporting Android Oreo (Go Edition) last month and stated that the first Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones powered by MediaTek processors will be launched in global markets by the first quarter of this year.

Jio isn’t the only company to have set its eyes on Android Go in India. In the beginning of January, domestic player Micromax too had announced plans of launching Bharat Go, an entry-level device running on the Android Go platform. Even Nokia is reportedly working on an Android Go device; the Nokia 1 is expected to be launched at MWC 2018.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Android Go is a stripped-down version of Android One with a re-packaged set of apps and features with Android at its core — but for entry level devices. It was first announced at Google I/O 2017, as a special configuration of Android Oreo (Android 8.1 onward) for devices with less than 1GB of RAM. It was formally given a go-ahead by the company in December 2017 during its Google for India event.

Google has re-worked on almost its entire suite of apps, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, Play, and more for Android Go even as more and more developers are lending their support for the platform.

Jio’s efforts to target some 500 million of the feature phone users that are to yet migrate to smartphones due to reasons of cost and use cases have started paying off slowly. According to a recent Counterpoint study, Jio led the feature phone market in Indian in the fourth quarter of the 2017. The JioPhone captured a 27 percent market share in terms of shipment.

The JioPhone has been in very high demand because of the combined offers on data and voice that come along with it. The company has been known to subsidize the hardware costs to boost sales, which in turn are paid off via telecom services.

India

OPPO Reno 2 with improved camera will launch soon

Here’s everything you need to know

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OPPO has confirmed it’ll be launching the Reno 2 on August 28 in India. For now, the brand has revealed it’ll have a quad-camera setup on the rear and one of the lenses will be able to deliver 20x optical zoom.

The teaser also confirmed the phone will sport a Sharkfin pop-up camera, just like the first generation Reno. It swings up from one side and looks a lot more attractive than a small square pop-up module.


Although the launch is scheduled for India, we’re confident the phone will be available in other international markets soon.

The OPPO Reno 10x Zoom Edition, on the other hand, has a triple rear camera setup at the back, while the base variant only houses a dual rear camera setup. Hence, the Reno 2 will be quite an upgrade if the camera is your priority.

It’s unclear whether the Reno 2’s 20x zoom will be hybrid, digital, or periscope, functionality-wise. The previous offering came with a 6x periscope camera, 10x hybrid zoom, and 60x digital zoom.

A similar setup is also available on Huawei’s P30 Pro, but optical zoom is limited to 5x. With the new Reno-series, OPPO intends to grab the premium market. We expect the brand to release multiple variants of the phone to improve reach across every price bracket.

For the affordable price bracket, OPPO’s sister company Realme has been doing exceptionally well in developing markets. The Chinese-brand has been launching upper mid-range phones in India for quite some time but hasn’t been able to make a significant mark yet.

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Entertainment

Netflix’s Sacred Games 2 is now live

The only show you should be watching right now!

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Netflix entered the streaming market with a range of shows and movies. Back then, its collection was best-in-class. But other distribution companies soon joined in and Netflix started losing its edge. To keep up with the trend, Netflix Originals were created and the rest is history.

Shows like Narcos, Stranger Things, Black Mirror, The Crown, and many more have been instant hits. Their production quality and the cast is a cut above, and even though the company has poured billions, returns over a long-term outlook have been positive.


But, these shows hugely cater to English-speaking markets. For diverse regions like India, the brand is on a spree to create regional originals and a breakthrough came in 2018 with Sacred Games.

The show takes you through the streets of Mumbai and perfectly portrays the local police, culture, and even history. While there are tonnes of shows and movies about the mafia, none have been able to perfectly depict it due to broadcast censoring.

Netflix has an edge here because language or sexual censorship doesn’t apply to internet streaming. And, streaming services have decided to leverage this. India’s youth have been fond of American shows due to the same reason, and now, they have more relatable content to cherish.

Sacred Games 2 is now live in India and you can head over to Netflix for a binge-watching experience like no other. August 15 also happens to be a national holiday as the country celebrates its Independence Day.

According to reports, Netflix has invested nearly INR 100 crore (US$ 14 million) on Sacred Games 2, which is said to be the highest any streaming service has put in any original content in India.

Netflix also has the cheapest available plan in India that starts at just INR 199 (US$ 2.8) per month. With increasing competition from Prime Video and Hotstar, a lot of hopes bank on the premiere of Sacred Games 2.

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India

HTC launches Wildfire X, an affordable offering

Does it stand a chance against Xiaomi and Realme?

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There was a time when HTC would be head-on challenging Samsung in the flagship segment. Alas, those days are long gone and the company has sold off a huge chunk of its hardware business to Google. But, the brand is still alive and kicking.

They’ve launched the Wildfire X, an affordable phone in India. This price bracket is extremely crowded and there’s an intense battle raging between Xiaomi and Realme. How will HTC’s offering stand out?


The brand is focusing on its Mybuddy feature that intends to offer more security and privacy to the user. It lets the users pull out the phone from a shell to trigger a loud alarm, send live location information, and record as well as transmit audio or video of the surroundings in real-time.

It sports a 6.2-inch HD+ LCD display with a high screen-to-body ratio of 88 percent. Powering the phone is an unnamed chipset that’s clocked at 2.0Ghz and comes with eight cores. The base option has 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage that is expandable via a microSD card.

On the rear is a triple camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel primary camera, 8-megapixel hybrid zoom lens, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The front gets an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens for selfies.

It ships with Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box and powering these internals is a 3300mAh battery that fast charges at 10W. For quick authentication, a fingerprint scanner has been added on the back.

It’s available in two variants, the 3GB+32GB option costs INR 9,999 and the 4GB+128GB configuration costs INR 12,999. Only a Sapphire Blue color option is available and sale starts from August 22 via Flipkart.

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