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:

India

Redmi K20 may become the next affordable flagship killer

Possible successor to the Pocophone F1

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Without a doubt, the OnePlus 7 Pro is an impressive piece of hardware. From the smooth display to the flagship-level specs, you can’t deny that it’s a seriously good deal for its price.

One person, however, had different take right after OnePlus’ launch. Xiaomi’s Global VP Manu Kumar Jain congratulated OnePlus for the launch on Twitter, but followed it up by mentioning his company’s own flagship killer:


It’s rumored that Xiaomi’s supposed “Flagship Killer 2.0” is the Redmi K20, which was already confirmed by executives to come soon. It has also been speculated that the Redmi K20 is the successor to the widely popular Pocophone F1, and may be named the Pocophone F2 in some regions.

Besides the model name and the possibility of a K20 Pro variant, not much has been revealed about the Redmi flagship. Until now, that is. Newly leaked specs provide more hype for the upcoming Redmi powerhouse.

It all starts with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, which follows up on the Snapdragon 845 of the Pocophone F1. That’s complemented by a 6.39-inch 1080p OLED display and 4000mAh battery with 27W fast charging.

While those are expected of a flagship killer, what may be more interesting is the camera setup. Not only will the K20 pair have a triple-camera setup on the rear — consisting of regular, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses — but it’ll come with a pop-up selfie camera, as well. By extension, that would provide an all-screen front, free of notches or punch-holes.

India appears to be the initial market for the Redmi K20, similar to the Pocophone’s marketing approach. There has been no hinted pricing yet, but based on Xiaomi’s usual strategy, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a starting price hovering around US$ 400.

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India

OnePlus 7 series hits India with attractive prices

Taking the best from other flagships

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OnePlus is often mocked for consistently increasing the prices of its offerings. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The company has followed a standard cycle of launching one flagship phone in May, followed by a slightly incremented T-branded phone at year end.

This year, OnePlus has launched two phones, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 ensures the price doesn’t get any higher. It is on par with the previously launched OnePlus 6T. For those who are looking for more, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a top-tier flagship with new design and beefier internals.


Both are powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and house 6GB RAM as the starting option. They also ship with OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie. This is where the similarities end, however.

The OnePlus 7 Pro gets a curved 6.7-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. According to OnePlus, the higher refresh rate offers a 50 percent smoother experience you’ll fall in love with. Even the design has been revamped and the back feels premium with a gradual gradient.

The rear gets a combination of 48-megapixel primary sensor, 16-megapixel wide-angle camera, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The 16-megapixel front camera is housed in a motorized pop-up casing. OnePlus is confident about its robust quality. The company also touted an industry-high rear camera DxOMark score of 111.

Lastly, these internals are backed by a mighty 4000mAh battery coupled with 30W Warp Charging technology.

It starts from INR 48,999 (US$ 700) for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The 8GB+256GB option costs INR 52,999 (US$ 750). Meanwhile, the 12GB+256GB comes at INR 57,999 (US$ 825).

The OnePlus 7, on the other hand, gets a conventional 60Hz Full HD+ display with a water drop notch. The back has a 48-megapixel camera along with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Powering it is a slightly smaller 3700mAh battery with 20W Warp Charging.

The base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage starts from INR 32,999 (US$ 470). The other option with an 8GB+256GB configuration costs INR 37,999 (US$ 540).

Both will be available for purchase starting tomorrow via pop-up sales and later via Amazon.in, OnePlus’ website, offline Croma stores, and Reliance Digital.

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India

Lenovo announces an affordable smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts

It has 20 days of battery life!

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Xiaomi is known for making class-leading budget phones. However, the brand has also captured a massive wearable market in developing markets with the Mi Band. While Fitbit caters to the premium segment, there’s a huge demand for affordable fitness bands or watches.

Lenovo launched the Spectra and Cardio smart bands last year. Now, the brand is back with a new smartwatch. Dubbed EGO, it’s a digital wearable that brings fitness tracking at a budget price. The core features include a claimed 20-day battery life, heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and handy notifications.


When compared to other bands, the EGO looks more rugged. It comes equipped with a classic sports watch casing. Additionally, it’s water resistant up to 50 meters. It can also be used as a swim tracker.

On the notifications side, it can display alerts about phone calls, text messages, and social networking apps. Unlike other offerings in this segment, the EGO comes with a unique remote camera operation. You can click a picture on your phone by tapping your watch.

According to Lenovo, it can detect activities like cycling and running to deliver accurate heart-rate readings. Lastly, an in-built alarm system can trigger vibrations.

The EGO pairs well with iOS and Android phones. It connects via the Lenovo Life app. It weighs just 45 grams and consists of a 42mm anti-shine band that can be easily swapped with other third-party bands.

The smartwatch costs just INR 1,999 (US$ 29) in India and will be available from May 10. For now, it’ll be selling via Flipkart and Croma retail stores.

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