India

Realme 2 with Snapdragon 450 isn’t the successor you are hoping for

A more budget-friendly offering

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Realme has been teasing a new phone for quite some time and has repeatedly emphasized on the notch and a dual camera setup. We were expecting the phone to be a successor of the recently launched Realme 1, but that’s not the case.

In fact, the Realme 2 sits in a different price segment and is an even more budget-friendly option than the Realme 1. When the company started in May, it was a sub-brand of OPPO, but Realme eventually separated to form an independent online-only brand. At the launch, the company also said they will be launching the Realme 2 Pro soon in September.

The phone sports a 6.2-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 along with a notch on the top. The phone has a comparatively high screen-to-body ratio and the back is made of fiberglass with a second-generation diamond-cut finish. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 450 SoC and comes in two variants: 3GB RAM and 32GB storage or 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

On the rear, the phone sports a 13- and 2-megapixel dual camera combo while the front has an 8-megapixel shooter. The camera app comes with industry-standard features like portrait mode, beauty mode, and AR stickers. Storage is expandable via a microSD card and supports dual-SIM configuration along with dual VoLTE. The Realme 2 runs on OPPO’s Color OS 5.1 that is based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Powering the device is a 4230mAh battery rated at 5V/2A input. Unlike the Realme 1, the new phone sports a fingerprint scanner on the back for authentication.

The Realme 2 will compete against the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro. The 3GB RAM variant is priced at INR 8,990 (US$ 128) while the 4GB model costs INR 10,990 (US$ 156). The phone will be up for sale starting September 4, exclusively via Flipkart.

India

Apple will open its first store in India next year

Online store to launch this year

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Apple is planning to open its first retail store in India next year, CEO Tim Cook confirmed during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, California. The electronics giant will also open an online store in India this year, he added.

“We needed to get approval from the government to go in there ourselves,” said Cook on Wednesday, answering a question from a shareholder. He added that the company doesn’t want “somebody else to run the brand” for it.

“We wouldn’t be a very good partner in retail,” Cook added. “We like to do things our way.”

India’s laws prohibit Apple from directly selling, hence it has to rely on a range of “resellers”. This means the company isn’t directly selling to the end-user and relying on a third party. Not only does this affect the overall experience but it also makes the product more expensive.

The move comes just over six months after the Indian government relaxed local sourcing norms for single-brand retailers in the country. With demand for Apple products slowing in China — even before the outbreak of Coronavirus — the firm is hoping it can spur growth in other developing markets like India.

Experts have often accused Apple of neglecting India as a serious market. But, the tides are changing. The iPhone SE was a monumental success in developing markets and Apple is expected to launch a successor soon. Even the iPhone XR has received a phenomenal response in the country.

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India

Samsung Galaxy M31 goes official with a 6000mAh battery

And a 64-megapixel camera!

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It seems 2020 has finally arrived in India as companies are now gearing up to launch phones one after the other. Samsung is the latest one to join the bandwagon and has announced the Galaxy M31 today. It’s placed in the affordable segment and shall be going up against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 8 Pro and Realme X2 Pro.

The M-series has massively helped Samsung in India and the brand’s strong presence in the offline market has worked wonders. The Galaxy M31’s main highlight is its 64-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a huge 6000mAh battery.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. The body is made of polycarbonate plastic, in-line with all other M-series phones. Powering the phone is an Exynos 9611 chipset along with 6GB RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage.

The rear features a 64-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 5-megapixel portrait camera. By default, the primary lens captures pictures in 16-megapixels and the user can opt for 64-megapixel output manually. For selfies, a 32-megapixel camera is located on the front in a punch-hole cutout.

Backing these internals is a 6000mAh battery that supports 15W fast charging via USB-C. The phone runs on OneUI 2.0 out of the box.

The 4GB+64GB variant is priced at INR 14,999 (US$ 210) and the 6GB+128GB variant is priced at INR 15,999 (US$ 224). The phone will go on sale starting March 5 via Amazon India’s website.

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India

iQoo 3 is a flagship phone with Snapdragon 865, 55W fast charging

Vivo’s new sub-brand

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Vivo’s sub-brand iQoo announced its first phone today in India — the iQoo 3. It’s pronounced as “aai ku” and the brand has roped in popular cricketer Virat Kohli as its ambassador. Considering the scale at which the company has promoted its first phone, the brand has ambitious goals.

The iQoo 3 is also the first smartphone from the brand which comes with 5G support and the second such phone to enter the country after Realme X50 Pro 5G.

It comes with a Snapdragon 865 chipset, liquid cooling technology, LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, and a lot of software tweaks for gamers. In fact, it has touch-sensitive buttons on the side, automatically covering the need for any external switch or toggle. This will be extremely handy for folks who love PUBG, Fortnite or even Mobile Legends.

The iQOO 3 has a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. An in-display fingerprint scanner has been provided for authentication. The brand calls the screen “Polar View Display” and it supports 60Hz refresh rate along with HDR compatibility.

Coming to the cameras, the device packs a quad rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel sensor as the primary camera. Along with that, it also carries a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, another 13-megapixel wide-angle sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait camera. On the front, it houses a 16-megapixel selfie camera in a punch-hole design.

Backing these internals is a 4400mAh battery with 55W Super FlashCharge technology. The company claims it can charge 50 percent of the battery in just 15 minutes. It ships with iQoo UI and has a few nifty features like Ultra Gaming Mode and Turbo suite of intelligent optimizations.

The iQoo 3 is available in both 4G and 5G variants. The 4G 8GB+128GB option is priced at INR 36,990 (US$ 515) and the 4G 8GB+256 GB carries a price tag of INR 39,990 (US$ 557). Along with these, the top-end model of iQoo 3 comes with 5G support and houses 12GB RAM and 256 internal storage. It’s available for INR 44,990 (US$ 626).

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