India

OPPO has brought its most innovative smartphone to India

OPPO now wants a part of the premium market

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Just last month OPPO unveiled the Find X at a grand launch event in Paris, France. OPPO hasn’t launched its innovative top-tier smartphones in India up till now and always targeted the budget and midrange markets. With the Find X, things are slowly changing.

The phone comes with a premium price tag of INR 59,990 (US$ 875) and will be available for purchase starting August 3 through Flipkart and offline retailers.

The highlight of this phone is a motorized camera slider that houses both the front and rear cameras. By shifting the cameras and sensors, OPPO has been able to increase the screen-to-body ratio and managed to remove the controversial notch. In fact, OPPO has also added an infrared scanner on the front that helps unlock the phone via 3D facial recognition.

The slider takes just 0.5 seconds to pop up and it automatically slides up and down whenever the camera app is opened or the phone needs to be unlocked. Being a premium handset, it sports an all-glass design with the back offered in stunning Glacier Blue and Bordeaux Red colors.

It has a 6.42-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a high 93.8 percent screen-to-body ratio and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. A Snapdragon 845 SoC powers the phone along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of non-expandable internal storage.

On the rear, it has a combo of 16- and 20-megapixel sensors while the front has a single 25-megapixel shooter. The cameras are integrated with AI detection that can optimize pictures for 21 different scenes. The AI also helps in beautification and portrait captures. Just like Apple’s Animoji, OPPO too has Omoji support in the front camera and many more animated caricatures are expected to roll out soon.

The phone packs a 3730mAh battery with OPPO’s proprietary VOOC fast charging. Yes, the phone is also dual-SIM and runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.1. Keep in mind, this phone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner and instead relies on 3D facial recognition.

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Vivo NEX S with a motorized camera launches in India

One of the most unique phones of 2018

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Vivo unveiled the NEX last month globally and has been pushing the device to every possible market. The company has held a considerable amount of market share in India, but that has been limited to the budget and midrange segments. Last month, the company brought the X21 to India which was priced slightly higher than the company’s usual comfort zone.

With the NEX, Vivo plans to take on the high-end segment of the market. While smartphone makers have been quick to adopt the notch, none have been able to truly give an all-display experience.

The NEX has massively increased the benchmarks of an innovative phone. Not only does it house the front camera on a motorized tray that slides up whenever the camera is opened, it also features an industry-leading in-display fingerprint scanner.

The motorized front camera has an 8-megapixel shooter while the rear has a 12- and 5-megapixel dual-camera setup with 4-axis optical image stabilization. Obviously, the phone also has AI enhancements like Scene Recognition, HDR, and Portrait Mode.

It doesn’t feature a notch, hence all the usual sensors and instruments like the proximity sensor and earpiece have been integrated into the display itself. Vivo calls it Screen SoundCasting Technology, which uses vibrations to produce sound.

The device is powered by a Snapdragon 845 chipset and boasts a 4000mAh battery that supports fast charging via USB-C. Like all other phones of Vivo, this one too runs on Android 8.1 Oreo-based FunTouch OS.

Globally, the NEX S is available in two variants: 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB + 256GB. In India, the company is launching only the first variant and has priced it at INR 44,990 (US$ 650). The phone will be available for purchase starting July 21 via online as well as offline channels.

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Apple iPhone sales have dropped considerably in India

And yet, don’t expect any more discounts

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India is the world’s second-largest mobile phone market and every company is looking forward to expanding its operations in the country. But things haven’t been going well for Apple. India is a developing market, and a majority of smartphone sales belong to the budget and midrange segment; the premium segment has also lowered in price considerably thanks to OnePlus and Huawei.

While Samsung has managed to price its flagships at around INR 60,000 (US$ 435), Apple’s iPhone X starts at a whopping INR 90,000 (US$ 1,300). According to a report from Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped 3.2 million iPhones in 2017. Coming to 2018, the company has managed to ship “fewer than a million devices,” giving it a market share of just two percent.

Apple is struggling because it has no new or attractive devices in the INR 30,000 to 60,000 (US$ 435 to 875) range. Why would a consumer shell out such a huge amount for a two-year-old iPhone 6s when there’s a brand-new OnePlus 6, ZenFone 5Z, or Honor 10 available?

Apple is having a hard time keeping the prices in check because of a 20 percent import duty being levied by the government. All other companies have already started assembling a major chunk of their portfolio in India, while Apple is stuck to a couple of devices. In fact, Samsung just inaugurated the world’s largest manufacturing facility last week in Noida, India.

Apple’s trouble doesn’t end at bad sales, though. Three high-level executives have left the company due to restructuring of operations. Apple has also established a new sales audit team that is working on reducing the number of discounts being offered by retailers. The new strategy has already seen the company move away from five national distributors to two to tighten distribution.

Apple wants to offer a full-fledged premium experience to its users, and hence, wants sales to happen through authorized channels only. The giant has started clamping down on smaller physical stores and unauthorized sellers who hoarded products at wholesale value and then offered deeper discounts.

While discounts mean higher sales, Apple wants to gain market share without affecting its brand value in the country. The company’s products are known to have a high long-term shelf value and price cuts are rare.

Source: Bloomberg

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Motorola launches battery-centric E5 and E5 Plus

Big on battery, not your pocket

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The Moto E5 and E5 Plus have finally made their way to India months after the global unveiling. The Moto E5 Plus is an Amazon-exclusive and is already available for purchase while the E5 is exclusively available via Moto Hubs around the country.

The Moto E5 costs INR 9,999 (US$ 145) while the bigger sibling costs INR 11,999 (US$ 175). Those who buy the device from a Moto Hub outlet will get a INR 1,200 voucher on purchases made using Paytm Mall.

With this duo, Motorola is concentrating all its marketing efforts on the battery. The Moto E5 has a 4000mAh battery while the Moto E5 Plus has a capacity of 5000mAh. The two also support the company’s TurboPower charging technology via a 10W adapter. Moto says the E5 Plus can give 200 hours of non-stop music playback or at least 20 hours of web browsing on a single charge.

Moto E5 and E5 Plus

Coming to the specs, the E5 has a 5.7-inch HD+ LCD while the E5 Plus has a 6-inch HD+ LCD. Both share the same aspect ratio of 18:9. As far as similarities are concerned, both ship with Android 8.0 Oreo along with a few Moto-exclusive tweaks in the UI.

The Moto E5 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC bundled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. On the back, it sports a 13-megapixel camera while the front has a 5-megapixel sensor along with an LED flash.

On the other hand, the Moto E5 Plus is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 435 SoC along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The back has a 12-megapixel camera and the front has an 8-megapixel camera together with an LED flash.

They both have a fingerprint scanner on the back embeded in the Motorola logo and dual-SIM support. Four color options are available — Black, Mineral Blue, Flash Gray, and Fine Gold.

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