India

OPPO to launch Realme 1 on May 15 in India

OPPO wants to dethrone Xiaomi as India’s top smartphone vendor

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The Indian smartphone market is mostly controlled by one major factor: prices. Being a very price-sensitive market, smartphone makers repeatedly try to take each other on by offering something new.

In February, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro in India and their demand has been unbelievable. Xiaomi still hasn’t managed to amp up the supply and hence the device has to be sold via flash sales only.

Due to the flash sale format, there have been numerous consumers who’ve loved the device but have been unable to get their hand on it. Last week ASUS saw this opportunity and announced an even more competitive ZenFone Max Pro. The device is exclusively available from Flipkart in the country and shall start selling from May 3.

Now comes OPPO. They’ve created a new sub-brand called “Realme” which will be announcing its first device on May 15. We already know that it will be an Amazon.in exclusive and intends to take on the INR sub-15K segment.

Going by the teasers, the new phone will be called the Realme 1 and will sport a Black Diamond back with triangular-cut patterns, similar to the rear panel of the OPPO F7. Unfortunately, there has been no word on the phone’s specifications like the display, camera, and processor.

Speaking of the launch of the brand, Madhav Seth, Chief Executive Officer of Realme India, said, “Today, young consumers prefer a better phone design that represents their different but real personalities. They are looking for an affordable price option without compromising on the build quality and the device performance. On the functional side, their ask is a smarter camera and selfie experience. Realme phones will satisfy the needs of the young and online consumers through its exquisite design, leading specs, cutting-edge technology, and industry-leading quality. We believe we will be the real disruptor in online smartphone market!”

India

Microsoft is finally launching the Surface Go in more Asian markets

A tablet that can run like a PC

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The Surface Go is the latest and most affordable Surface product from Microsoft that runs on Windows 10. It is an affordable offering to take on tablets from Apple and Samsung. The 2-in-1 device competes against the likes of the Apple iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy S4 Tab.

The Surface Go starts in India at INR 38,599 (US$ 550) for the base variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. The top-end option with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD storage costs INR 49,999 (US$ 710). The Surface Go Signature Type Cover Black variant will cost INR 8,699 (US$ 125) while the colored variants will cost upwards of INR 11,799 (US$ 165).

Microsoft has partnered with Flipkart for online sales with introductory offers, including INR 4,000 off on Type Cover, free Hungama Play subscription worth INR 799, and discount offers from Thomas Cook and Kaya Clinic.

The 2-in-1 comes with a 10-inch LCD display that has an aspect ratio of 3:2. Like all other Surface products, it supports use of the Surface Pen for creative as well as note-taking purposes. It is 8.3mm thin and weighs just 520 grams.

Powering the Surface Go is a 7th-generation Intel Pentium Gold Processor coupled with Intel HD Graphics 615. The company claims it can offer up to nine hours of battery life with moderate usage and also houses a microSDXC card slot for memory expansion.

On the rear is an 8-megapixel camera while the front has a 5-megapixel sensor for video calls. It also includes Windows Hello for quick authentication. Charging is done via a Surface Connect port along with a USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack.

The portable machine is built to perform every task a normal Windows 10 computer can, offering increased flexibility and reliability when on the go. Though, this laptop-cum-tablet is built for light tasks like mails, browsing, streaming, and writing.

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ASUS outs cheaper ZenFone Max M2 with pure Android software

A great contender in the budget segment

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Alongside the launch of the ZenFone Max Pro M2, ASUS also introduced a budget-oriented device: the ZenFone Max M2. The non-Pro version of ASUS’ newest line of phones with big batteries cuts down its specs to meet the affordable price point.

Understandably, the ZenFone Max M2 is rocking a slightly less powerful chipset than what the Pro variant has. It’s using the new Snapdragon 632 processor with either 3GB or 4GB of memory and up to 64GB of storage.

Its 6.26-inch display is less sharp because of its HD+ resolution, but it still has a full-screen design and, of course, a notch. ASUS has to cut corners in battery capacity as well by putting a humbler 4000mAh cell. It’s still bigger than most, though.

It also has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader that works hand-in-hand with face unlock using the front camera.

Speaking of camera, the ZenFone Max M2 is equipped with an AI-enabled 13-megapixel main shooter paired with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, there’s an 8-megapixel front snapper with its own LED flash.

The phone runs a stock version of Android, which is something that fans asked for according to ASUS. It’s still on Oreo with no timeline for when Pie is coming. Just to be clear, this is not an Android One phone, so don’t expect timely software updates for it.

Pricing starts at INR 9,999 in India for the 3GB+32GB variant and INR 11,999 for the 4GB+64GB model. In Indonesia, Lazada will exclusively offer the ZenFone Max M2 starting at IDR 2,300,000.

SEE ALSO: ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is bigger, faster, and still runs pure Android

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Nokia 8.1 is here to reclaim the midrange segment

Nokia and Android One are a killer combination

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The Nokia 7 Plus was launched earlier this year and has been among the most acclaimed midrange phones. While other companies have been trying their luck with trendy short-lived features like the notch, increasing megapixels, and AI-backed smart additions, HMD Global focused on making just a perfect smartphone.

Carrying the same legacy forward, the Nokia 8.1 has been announced globally and quickly made its way to India. The Finnish licensee has been making a mark in developing markets steadily and intends to let its products speak for themselves instead of spending millions on marketing.

The Nokia 8.1 has been priced at INR 26,999 and is available in Blue/Silver and Iron/Steel color options. It will go on sale starting December 25 via Amazon, Nokia.com, and offline partner retailers. Pre-booking the phone will entitle you to six-month screen replacement warranty from Servify and 10 percent cash back on HDFC Bank credit and debit card.

The phone has a very premium design and unlike its predecessor, the Nokia 8.1 has an all-glass back. The body is built with 6000-series aluminum that has dual tone color coating.

On the front is a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The brand has emphasized its PureDisplay screen technology that offers a higher contrast ratio and sharper output along with HDR10 support.

Powering this device is the recently launched Snapdragon 710 SoC along with 4GB of RAM. The internal storage continues to be 64GB, though it’s expandable via a microSD card.

The back has ZEISS-powered 12- and 13-megapixel dual-cameras while the front has a single 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3500mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. In line with all Nokia-branded phones, the Nokia 8.1 is a part of the Android One program and ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box.

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