India

OPPO RealMe 1 Moonlight Silver Limited Edition to go on sale from June 18

This one features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage

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Last month, OPPO launched a new sub-brand in India called RealMe. It aims to target the lower-midrange segment and has been in high demand since launch thanks to competitive pricing. A new variant has now been announced with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a new color option of Moonlight Silver. The device will be available for purchase starting June 18, exclusively via Amazon.in.

The company originally launched the Diamond Black and Solar Red color options. Moonlight Silver will be the third option to be available in limited quantities.

“This limited edition range offers shiny designs that cater to customers’ needs. We hope that this new variant will be equally well received by the audience,” said Madhav Sheth, Chief Executive Officer, RealMe India.

As far as other specifications are concerned, the device sports a 6-inch FHD+ LCD display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. Powering this device is the Helio P60 SoC which has two dedicated cores for AI processing. The two variants of the phone have 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 6GB + 128GB storage.

On the rear, it sports a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and an 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. The device runs on ColorOS 5.0 that is built on Android Oreo 8.1. For authentication, this device lacks a fingerprint scanner but covers that up using Face Unlock. Backing all these internals is a 3410mAh battery which does not support any kind of fast charging.

It’s clear that OPPO intends to take on Xiaomi’s wide portfolio of products in India. The Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the recently announced Redmi Y2 have been huge successes in the country. RealMe is trying to grab this share of the market by releasing products that fit everyone’s price bracket.

India

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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India

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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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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