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OPPO R17 and R17 Pro: Price and availability in Singapore

It’s lacking one feature, though

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Following its launch in Shanghai two months ago, the OPPO R17 series is now rolling out to more markets outside mainland China. Singapore is the first country to launch OPPO’s latest upper-midrange device.

The R17 Pro boasts a hidden fingerprint scanner underneath its display that sports an impressive 91.5 percent screen-to-body ratio. On the other hand, the R17 model that’s coming to Singapore will not have the in-display fingerprint reader unlike the China model.

Both phones are also rocking the smaller “waterdrop” notch we first saw on the OPPO F9.

The R17 Pro is getting Super VOOC flash charging, a feature that was once exclusive to the higher-end Find X. This charging technology promises to fully charge the phone in just 50 minutes.

In addition, both the R17 and R17 Pro are getting what OPPO calls AI Ultra-clear Engine that help take better low-light images. Ultra-night mode and the TOF 3D camera feature will roll out as software updates mid-November.

The OPPO R17 with the 6GB/128GB configuration is now available in Singapore at SG$ 699 (US$ 505). It comes in Ambient Blue and Neon Purple.

The OPPO R17 Pro will be available at a later date for SG$ 999 (US$ 721). Pre-orders will begin on November 3, and it’ll be available starting November 10.

Apps

Facebook officially launches new and simplified Messenger

There’s still no Dark Mode, yet

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The wait is over! A lot of users have been requesting a simpler Messenger app for Facebook for a long time now, and it’s finally official. The redesigned messaging app, which is officially called Messenger 4, is now being rolled out globally.

First demoed months ago, the new Facebook Messenger is now available to all compatible devices running Android and iOS. The new Messenger promises a more simplified experience that focuses on the most important features that people actually use.

Gone are the multiple tabs that crowd the interface of the old Messenger. Only three of the nine tabs remain in the new version: Chats, People, and Discover. If you love the existing features of Messenger like connecting with businesses, instant games, and the like, they’re still there hiding in the Discover tab.

Aside from the refreshing interface, Messenger 4 also introduces new personalization options. There are now color gradients for your customized chat bubbles. These colors can be changed at any time you wish.

This is how the new Facebook Messenger looks like on iPhones running iOS:

And, this is how it’ll work on Android phones:

The rollout has already started and it’ll be done in phases. The update should be available in the coming weeks. Also, Facebook will soon introduce new features including the much-awaited Dark Mode.

Source: Facebook Messenger

SEE ALSO: Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

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Samsung teases its foldable smartphone’s launch date

It’s coming soon!

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After every smartphone launch this year, 2018 has shaped up as the year of the notch. However, for all the controversies, the notch is only a transitionary period between traditional slab phones and the truly bezel-less phone.

To some, the future consists of pop-up cameras and integrated screens. To Samsung, it’s all about the foldable smartphone. Despite other conflicting rumors, Samsung’s (and hopefully, the world’s first) foldable phone is the brand’s most substantive plan to date.

Rumored for months, the plan ran through the entire gamut of patents, leaks, and speculations. From recent news, the company has confirmed the eventual foldable smartphone. According to reports, the phone will launch sometime next year.

However, a recent tweet narrows this timeframe even further. Straight from the horse’s mouth, Samsung has announced its next event on Twitter.

Subtitled “Where Now Meets Next,” the upcoming Samsung Developer Conference 2018 will open from November 7 to 8 this year. Right now, the event’s website advertises developments in Bixby, gaming, and augmented reality technologies. Additionally, Samsung President and CEO DJ Koh will head the program’s keynote presentation.

However, the teaser video includes a curious icon — a single guillemet unfolding into a straight line. Put more plainly, the symbol resembles the potential unfolding motion of a foldable smartphone.

Across the ages, Samsung has always imbued its symbols with design-centric meaning. The symbol’s inclusion is far from mere coincidence. In fact, the conference is the perfect venue for the technology’s debut. In the past, Samsung has used the event to promote the company’s more technical advancements.

Besides that, an announcement at this event coincides with a probable launch next year. Based on another report, the phone will launch shortly after the Galaxy S10 series. If the technology makes an appearance in November, the actual phone can debut around MWC Barcelona next year.

SEE ALSO: Samsung patents the world’s first all-screen fingerprint sensor

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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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