India

OPPO launches the first device under its new sub-brand, the Realme 1

The company intends to take on the Redmi Note 5 Pro

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After teasing the device for a few weeks, OPPO has finally launched the Realme 1 in India. Realme is a new sub-brand of OPPO that aims to capture the midrange smartphone market in the country.

OPPO says the Diamond Black finish on the back is one of the many things that helps the device stand out from the crowd. OPPO introduced this design aspect with the recently launched F7, and it sure is refreshing and unique to see when a majority of the phones out there have now become slabs of metal and glass.


The device sports a 6-inch FHD+ LCD with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by a MediaTek Helio P60 processor coupled with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which is expandable using a microSD card via the hybrid SIM setup, meaning you can either use two SIMs on this phone or one SIM and one microSD card.

In the camera department, there’s a 13-megapixel rear camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and a 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. Just like all other OPPO offerings, the Realme 1 comes with the Android 8.1-based ColorOS 5.0 user interface.

OPPO has also stressed that the device comes with face unlock as its only means of quick authentication. Backing all these internals is a 3410mAh battery that should be more than sufficient to get you through one full day of heavy usage.

It’s clear OPPO intends to take on Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro which has been ruling the segment since launch. But Xiaomi hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand and still relies on flash sales to sell the device. ASUS too saw the same opportunity and launched the ZenFone Max Pro M1 especially for India to fill the vacuum.

The 3GB + 32GB and 6GB + 128GB variants will be exclusively available on Amazon.in starting May 25 and will cost INR 8,990 (US$ 130) and INR 13,990 (US$ 205), respectively. There’ll be another 4GB + 64GB version for INR 10,990 (US$ 160), but it’ll only be available some time in June.

India

Samsung Galaxy M40 is a budget phone with triple rear cameras

Takes on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 3 Pro

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Samsung has been on a launching spree this year due to increasing competition from Xiaomi, Realme and Nokia. The brand has announced multiple phones within a short span of time covering every possible price segment. After the successful launch of the Galaxy M10, M20, and M30, the brand is back with another offer; this time bringing flagship features at an affordable price.

The Galaxy M40 has been announced today in India and it directly takes on the Redmi Note 7 Pro and Realme 3 Pro. With a triple rear camera setup and punch-hole front camera, the brand has aggressively marketed the phone.


On the front is a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display that Samsung prefers to call Infinity-O. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and features a punch-hole camera on the top-left corner. It also includes Screen Sound technology that enables the display panel to generate audio vibrations natively without using a conventional earpiece.

The design is similar to other M-series phones and features a physical fingerprint scanner on the rear. Other authentication options include face unlock.

The rear features a triple camera setup consisting of a 32-megapixel primary lens, 5-megapixel secondary sensor, and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. The camera UI offers smart HDR, auto color saturation, stickers, and beauty enhancements. The front houses a 16-megapixel selfie shooter.

The phone is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 675 processor, coupled with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal memory. Lastly, these internals are backed by a 3500mAh battery with support for fast charging. It runs on One UI based on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.

The Galaxy M40 is priced at INR 19,990 (US$ 288) and will go on sale from June 18 via Amazon and Samsung Online Shop in Midnight Blue and Seawater Blue gradient color options.

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India

Nokia 2.2 is the most affordable Android One phone you can grab

Power of stock Android, without the price of a Pixel

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HMD Global has been actively launching and selling new phones in developing markets and it has decided to go down a slow and steady path. While brands like Xiaomi, Realme, and Samsung are aggressive in terms of marketing, Nokia has found an unmatched sweet spot for itself.

Continuing the legacy of launching Android One phones, today they’ve announced the launch of the Nokia 2.2. It’s a budget contender that comes with a special introductory price of INR 6,999 for the 2GB+16GB option. The second variant with a 3GB+32GB configuration is available for INR 7,999. The special prices are applicable until June 30 when a purchase is made via Flipkart or Nokia’s online store.


The Nokia 2.2 has a compact design that incorporates a 5.71-inch LCD display with an HD+ resolution. A small notch houses the front camera and the back is made of plastic, designed to imitate glass.

Powering the phone is a quad-core MediaTek A22 processor and storage is expandable thanks to a microSD card slot. Backing these internals is a 3000mAh battery that supports 5W charging. Obviously, its also equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

On the rear is a 13-megapixel single lens camera while the front has a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. A new low-light image fusion mode captures multiple pictures in dark surroundings to generate a better picture with less noise and improved sharpness. Other standard features include HDR, Colourise, and Beautify.

Like all other Nokia-branded phones, it’s a part of Android One and ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box. Additionally, two years of Android updates and three years of security updates are promised.

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Enterprise

ASUS is banned from using ‘ZenFone’ branding in India

As ruled by a court

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Much like most companies, ASUS identifies itself with one brand — the Zen lineup. Throughout the years, the Taiwanese company has released dozens of ZenFones and ZenBooks. With all the experience, ASUS has made Zen its own identity.

Naturally, if you take Zen away, ASUS is in for a marketing nightmare. Unfortunately, an obscure Indian smartphone maker is doing just that. Recently, the India-based Telecare Network has sued ASUS for using Zen as part of the latter’s branding.


According to the court case, Telecare Network has owned “Zen” and “Zen Mobile” since 2008. On their official website, Zen Mobile sells a good number of smartphones and feature phones. The site even advertises their aftermarket service as “Zen Care,” similar to ASUS’ own service. Regardless, ASUS’ usage came second. In comparison, ASUS started using “Zen” in 2014.

Of course, ASUS grew so much bigger than the Indian smartphone brand. Despite the presence of more competitive brands, ASUS is still a global player. Telecare Network’s move is a strategic one. The Indian company accuses ASUS of malicious intent in adopting the “Zen” branding.

In its defense, ASUS claims the universality of the Zen philosophy. Asustek chairman Jonney Shih drew a lot of inspiration from the Buddhist concept. ASUS’ defense hinges on “Zen” as a usable name in the public domain. The company defends that no one can claim exclusivity on the concept.

To ASUS’ chagrin, Indian courts did not see it that way. According to the courts, while the concept is universal as a Buddhist teaching, “Zen” is still an ownable property in the tech industry. Hence, the brand’s defense holds no ground. Moreover, the court can prove that Zen Mobile used the “Zen” branding way before ASUS.

As such, the court has banned ASUS from “selling, offering, and advertising” any devices carrying the “Zen” branding. The ban will take effect after eight weeks (or around the end of July). Further, both parties will have a second hearing on July 10.

Of course, the ban comes from India. However, India remains one of the world’s richest smartphone markets. This decision will likely have wide-reaching repercussions in the future. At the very least, ASUS needs a name change in India. If ASUS fails to defend itself, expect a whole new branding scheme.

SEE ALSO: ZenFone 6 is the best-rated phone for selfies on DxOMark

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