India

Pocophone F1 offers flagship specs at incredibly affordable price

Taking on the big boys of tech

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If there’s one thing we learned from all the great smartphones that have launched this year, it’s that you don’t have to pay a premium for a flagship experience. Multiple phones have proven this, but the latest entry into the affordable flagship segment may be the most groundbreaking.

Produced by none other than Xiaomi, the Pocophone F1 takes some of the best specs you can find in any smartphone today, and crams it into a handset that costs only US$ 300.

For starters, it has a top-tier Snapdragon 845 processor with up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of expandable storage. These are numbers that rival the best we’ve reviewed, including the OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi’s own Mi Mix 2S.

Adding to the beastly specs is a 4000mAh battery that should last a whole day’s worth of usage. The phone comes with a 18W fast charger that works through its USB-C port. Speaking of connectivity, there’s a 3.5mm audio port, as well.

Since this is made by Xiaomi, MIUI 9.6 based on Android Oreo is in place. This isn’t their usual interface, however; this version has an app drawer like on stock Android so it’s easier to sort apps and widgets on the home screen.

The fingerprint sensor is found on the rear, but you have the option of using face unlock through the infrared camera and illuminator found on top of the 6.18-inch 1080p display, which has an unusual 18.7:9 aspect ratio and notch.

What’s the catch? The build quality isn’t premium; the F1 settles for an all-plastic build and feels really light in one’s hand. And although the cameras seem impressive on paper — an AI-powered 12- and 5-megapixel combo on the rear and 20-megapixel selfie shooter — the image quality is more on the midrange level.

In a way, you can think of the Pocophone F1 as a mix of Xiaomi’s Mi and Redmi series. You get the high-end hardware of the former with the build and camera quality of the latter. It’s an optimized mix that should appeal to both power users and gamers.

India will be the first market to receive this phone, which is locally named Poco F1 in the country. It’ll retail starting at INR 20,999 (US$ 300) for the variant with 6GB of memory and 64GB of storage. The available colors are Graphite Black, Steel Blue, Rosso Red, and a special Armored Edition (using Kevlar aramid fiber).

You can find the rest of the pricing here:

Accessories

realme narzo 30A now official alongside Buds Air 2 TWS with ANC

The price of Buds Air 2 is unbelievable

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realme held a massive launch today in India and has announced a host of new products. While the narzo 30 Pro 5G is designed to be a premium offering, the brand has also launched an affordable phone called the narzo 30A. realme is also serious about accessories and has unveiled the Buds Air 2.

Starting with the narzo 30A, it has a diagonal stripe pattern design that’s rather unconventional. The phone will be available in Lazer Black and Lazer Blue color options and a physical fingerprint scanner is located on the rear for authentication.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD with HD+ support and a waterdrop-style notch. Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 processor with up to 4GB RAM. You can add a microSD card for storage expansion.

The rear gets a dual-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel monochrome portrait sensor. The front has an 8-megapixel camera for selfies. Backing these internals is a massive 6000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.

The realme narzo is priced at INR 8,999 (US$ 125) for the 3GB RAM + 32GB while the 4GB RAM + 64GB option costs INR 9,999 (US$ 140).

realme Buds Air 2

Realme Buds Air 2 features active noise cancellation (ANC), similar to Realme Buds Air Pro. This is a feature that’s missing from the first generation Buds Air. It also comes with an in-canal fit that enables passive noise isolation that is critical for the proper functioning of active noise cancellation.

In addition to ANC support, the Realme Buds Air 2 even has a transparency mode, which allows you to hear background sound while listening to music. On the audio side, it has a 10mm driver, 88ms super-low latency support, and smart touch controls.

The Buds Air 2 is priced at INR 3,299 (US$ 45) and shall be available from March 2 via Flipkart and realme.com.

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India

realme launches narzo 30 Pro 5G with Dimensity 800U, 48MP camera

Comes with a premium design

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narzo 30 pro

The launch season has arrived, and realme has fired the shots first. While we’ve seen a few flagship and midrange phones, the affordable segment is yet to come into the spotlight. realme has finally launched the narzo 30 Pro 5G in India today, alongside the narzo 30A.

The narzo 30 Pro 5G is an affordable phone that comes with a premium touch. Instead of the usual flashy design that realme’s known for, the phone has a sleek premium look and will be available in Sword Black and Blade Silver options.

It sports a 6.5-inch LCD with Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and a punch-hole cut-out. It has a peak brightness of 600 nits. Powering the phone is a MediaTek Dimensity 800U processor with up to 8GB RAM. It also has a dedicated microSD card slot for memory expansion.

On the rear is a triple camera module consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. On the front is a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Since the phone runs on realme UI,  we can expect a host of software modes that’ll help you perfect your pictures.

Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery that supports 30W Dart Charging. For authentication, the narzo 30 Pro 5G has a fingerprint sensor on the side. As the name suggests, it has support for 5G, but India is yet to start 5G operations at a commercial scale.

The phone is priced at INR 16,999 (US$ 235) for the 6GB RAM+64GB variant, while the 8GB RAM+128GB option shall cost INR 19,999 (US$ 275). It’ll go on sale from March 4 via Flipkart, Realme.com, and offline stores.

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India

Lenovo launches Smart Clock Essential with Google Assistant

Supports Hindi language as well

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Lenovo Smart Clock

Lenovo has announced Smart Clock Essential in India to extend its smart home solutions. The new bedside gadget is a connected digital smart clock which the company claims can work across rooms at home.

The Smart Clock Essential builds on the Lenovo Smart Clock for the bedroom and is the first one to support one of India’s official languages — Hindi. The company intends to double-down on the regional market and leverage Google Assistant’s ability to communicate in more languages.

It extends a hands-free, time-saving convenience to the rest of the home, and you can seamlessly connect your Google Home devices like a speaker, bulbs, and more. Moreover, you get a 1.5watt speaker that delivers a peak power of 3W.

Also, two microphones come alongside an inbuilt nightlight so that you can walk around at night without switching on the main lights. The nightlight has a maximum brightness of 31 lumens.

The clock features a 4-inch LED display and is powered by an Amlogic A113X SoC. There’s also 4GB RAM and 512GB internal storage. The display can show your real-time information like your upcoming meetings from Google Calendar, the weather, news, and even to-do things.

Google has also rolled out a new update that lets the Assistant show user’s health and fitness data on smart displays. The feature is limited to Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, and Lenovo Smart Clock for now.

With Google Assistant’s full voice support, users can control their smart home devices. Additionally, it supports more than 40,000 compatible smart home devices from over 5,000 brands.

The Smart Clock Essential is priced at INR 4,499 (US$ 62) and shall be available via Flipkart and Lenovo’s website in India.

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