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Meizu Pro 6 Plus and M3X take after Samsung’s best

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Meizu Pro 6 Plus

Obviously threatened by the likes of OPPO and Vivo dominating both the Chinese and global markets, fellow rival Meizu felt the need to launch a pair of smartphones that’ll shape its long-term future.

Let’s begin with the 5.7-inch Pro 6 Plus, the company’s newly crowned flagship. It has something in common with Samsung’s own top-shelf smartphone, and this has nothing to do with looks.

Meizu Pro 6 Plus

The metal-clad Pro 6 Plus utilizes an Exynos 8890 processor, which is the same one used in the Samsung Galaxy S7 series. There’s also a Quad HD resolution on top of its Super AMOLED screen and 4GB of memory inside — again, just like Sammy’s current best.

That’s where most of the similarities end, but you’d be surprised at how Meizu surpasses Samsung in some aspects.

For starters, you can find a heart rate sensor baked into the fingerprint scanner, and the display is pressure-sensitive using what Meizu calls 3D Press technology. The 12-megapixel rear camera, which is optically image stabilized and has laser autofocus, makes use of ten tiny LED lights to illuminate subjects.

With a capacity of 3400mAh, the battery isn’t that hefty, but it keeps the profile slim at only 7.3mm. Fast charging is available through its USB Type-C port, so you won’t have to wait that long for a full load.

The real highlight, however, is the price. Retailing for only CNY 3,000 or $435 for the 64GB storage version, the Pro 6 Plus now lives among other bang-for-buck beasts, such as those from OnePlus and Xiaomi. Alternatively, you can fork over an additional CNY 300 ($43) to bump the storage to 128GB.

Meizu M3X

Meizu’s midrange M3X is a lot less interesting, but it favors the more budget-conscious consumers, costing only CNY 1,700 ($246) for the configuration containing 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, or CNY 2,000 ($290) for the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

To keep the costs down, the M3X uses a much weaker MediaTek Helio P20 chipset and just a Full HD resolution on top of its 5.5-inch display. Not bad by any means, actually, if you compare it to the competition.

What’s cool is that the midranger carries over some of the Pro 6 Plus’ best features, including the 12-megapixel rear shooter with 5-megapixel selfie cam, front-mounted fingerprint reader on the home button, and USB Type-C port with fast charging for the 3200mAh battery.

Both handsets apply Meizu’s own Flyme 6.0 operating system, which is based on Android. Shipping will soon begin in the brand’s home market of China, with launches happening in foreign markets in the coming months.

[irp posts=”4365″ name=”Meizu’s new M3 Max has 6-inch screen and huge battery”]

Source: Meizu, (2)

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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