India

Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 6 (2018) launch in India

Pricing and availability here

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HMD Global, which now owns the rights to manufacture and distribute Nokia-branded smartphones, is pushing to make the legendary phone brand relevant again.

Its device lineup in India has just been updated with the launch of Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco. All three smartphones were first announced at MWC 2018 in Barcelona last February, along with the 8110 4G and Nokia 1. The Nokia 1 was launched in India just last week and now, we can also finally get our hands on Nokia’s flagships.

Out of the three, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is the flagship device — it’s been pitched as a rival to Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The phone features a dual-glass design that’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and it comes with a stainless steel frame. It’s certified IP67 for water and dust resistance and features a 5.5-inch QHD P-OLED display. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It comes with 12- and 13-megapixel dual-rear cameras that have wide-angle and telephoto lenses, respectively. The device is backed by a 3260mAh battery and runs on Android One. It will retail for INR 49,999 (US$ 770) from Flipkart.com and the Nokia Online Store. Pre-bookings start from the 20th of April and the device starts shipping on the 30th of April.

The new Nokia 7 Plus features a 6-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9, and comes in an aluminum unibody. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM. It includes an internal storage capacity of 64GB which can be further expanded up to 256GB via microSD card. The handset comes equipped with a dual-camera setup: A 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.75 aperture along with a 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.6 aperture. It also includes a 16-megapixel front-facing camera along with an f/2.0 aperture. The Nokia 7 Plus will be available on Amazon.in and the Nokia Online Store for INR 25,999 (US$ 400). Pre-bookings start on the April 20 and the device will start shipping on the April 30.

The company also announced the global variant of the Nokia 6 (2018), which until now, has been exclusive to China. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC with 3GB RAM and sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display. It sports a 16-megapixel rear camera and comes with an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. It is powered by a 3000mAh battery and supports wireless charging. The device will be available on sale from offline channels as well as the Nokia Online Store for INR 16,999 (US$ 261).

SEE ALSO: Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco Hands-On

India

Xiaomi has managed to widen its lead over Samsung in India

44 million total smartphones were sold in a quarter

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Xiaomi is a fairly new brand in India but has managed to create unprecedented hype in the market. While Samsung has been around for more than a decade, the newcomer has created an unchallenged segment for itself. This year we witnessed Xiaomi taking the lead in terms of market share, and according to the most recent research report, the gap between the two has increased.

Going by Counterpoint Research’s Q3 2018 report, Xiaomi now has a 27 percent market share in India, a rise of five percent year over year. Samsung remains unmoved at 23 percent, followed by Vivo. Although, this quarter, the most interesting point to note is Micromax’s comeback in the top five club.

The Indian brand now has nine percent market share, three percent up from last year. The report emphasizes a recent contract the company won from the Chattisgarh state government. In partnership with telecom operator Jio, Micromax has supplied five million smartphones to the women and students in the state.

Another interesting takeaway is that buyers are now purchasing more expensive phones on an average with the US$ 150 to 250 (INR 11,000 to 18,000) segment accounting for a third of the volumes in the quarter. At the same time, the premium segment (US$ 400+) continues to be minuscule with just a three percent contribution in terms of volume.

In the premium segment, OnePlus has a foothold of 30 percent, followed by Samsung at 28 percent and Apple at 25 percent. Unfortunately, Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo are yet to make a dent in this division.

For Xiaomi, the recently announced Redmi 6 series and the POCO F1 have been successful in driving sales in both online as well as offline channels. Samsung continues to rely on its evergreen J-series smartphones along with the Android Go-powered J2 Core. Vivo’s V-series has been a hit as well and OPPO has been piggybacking on Realme sales.

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India

Apple iPhone XR available for pre-order on October 19

Get ready!

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We’re finally on the cusp of getting a more affordable iPhone. All six colors of the iPhone XR will be available for pre-order starting October 19, 12:01 am (GMT+8) on apple.com/sg and the Apple Store app.

The iPhone XR was launched alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max last month, offering the same flagship features as its high-end brothers have but with a few differences here and there.

The same A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine — one of the most powerful chipsets found in a smartphone today — powers the iPhone XR. It allows for better gaming and camera performance, a more immersive AR experience, and more efficient processing resulting in longer battery life compared to previous generations.

Instead of OLED, the iPhone XR’s display will be LCD — a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display — the most advanced of its kind according to Apple. It’s also an all-glass phone that supports wireless charging, and is wrapped with aluminum around the edges instead of stainless steel. The body is water-resistant with a rating of IP67, and is safe from everyday spills including coffee, tea, and beer. Liquid damage is not covered under Apple’s warranty, however.

In the camera department, the iPhone XR sports the same wide-angle lens found on the iPhone XS and XS Max, but doesn’t come with the 2x telephoto zoom lens. You can still achieve that bokeh effect through Portrait Mode, thanks to internal improvements to the ISP, Neural Engine, and software algorithms. In front, the notch that houses the latest TrueDepth camera system also enables Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting, plus Face ID for security and authentication.

In Singapore, the iPhone XR will be available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage models in black, white, blue, yellow, coral, and (PRODUCT)RED starting at SG$ 1,229 (US$ 892) beginning Friday, October 26 at 8:00 am.

It will also be available in more than 50 countries and territories on the same date, including Malaysia, India, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Other countries in Southeast Asia like Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam will get the iPhone XR starting November 2.

Through Apple GiveBack, customers can trade in their eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card or a refund of up to SG$ 850 on their purchase. Trade-in values will vary based on the condition and model of your smartphone.

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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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