India

India’s $4 smartphone is shipping on June 30

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The continued advances in technology have transformed smartphones into commodities, and as companies continue to wage the price war, the market is coming dangerously close to a point where a company might do the unthinkable to stand out: sell products at lower than cost price and pray the gamble pays off with astronomical sales figures.

That is the situation a startup from India will find itself in when it begins shipping the world’s cheapest smartphone for $4 (251 rupees) this week. At that price, you’re basically just paying for the cardboard box that will presumably house the device.

Unveiled in February as a preorder without a definite ship date, the aptly named Ringing Bells Freedom 251 will be sent out to customers starting June 30, the Indian Express reports. Ringing Bells founder and chief executive Mohit Goel described it as a “true testimony of success” for the government’s Make in India campaign, which aims to transform one of the world’s biggest economies into a global manufacturing hub. Certainly, a lot has been said about the smartphone, and some of them have been deeply critical of its unprecedented pricing.

Freedom-251-actual

Ringing Bells Freedom 251

How can any company compete with a $4 smartphone? And why would anyone consider selling anything way lower than the market’s expectation? There has to be a catch, right?

Sure, there might be a thing or two that will stick out like a sore thumb, but given the cost, we’d be more worried about the phone’s availability than anything else at this point.

Ringing Bell’s preorder site has attracted over¬†70 million buyers, causing the website to crash. The company promises to ship 200,000 units each month from here on out, so we probably don’t need to say how long customers will have to wait to receive their deliveries. Let’s just say the math is overwhelmingly against Goel and his people.

Specs-wise, you’re staring at a 4-inch, 960 x 540 screen, a quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, 3- and 8-megapixel front and rear cameras, a 1,800mAh battery, and Android 5.1 Lollipop — all of which are impressive for a phone that’s cheaper than the average movie ticket.

[irp posts=”10125″ name=”Confirmed: Apple will start making iPhones in India”]

Source: The Indian Express

Image credit: The Next Web, The Economic Times

Apps

‘Remove China Apps’ removed from Google Play [Update]

TikTok could be the most affected

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An Android app going by the name “Remove China Apps” trended on the Google Play Store in India. The app says it can identify apps that are made in China and help you uninstall them. It has already crossed five million downloads but has since been removed after gaining some media traction.

Not just India, but other countries like Australia were also actively downloading the app according to App Annie. The app is fairly easy to use. You just need to install it and it’ll show you all the China-made apps installed on your phone, for example, TikTok.

The app was launched on May 17 by an Indian developer going by the name OneTouch AppLabs. It had crossed one million downloads within 10 days of launch. It held a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Obviously, much of this has to do with the nationalistic notion attached to it.

India went into a complete lockdown when Coronavirus threatened to ravage the country. While the country prioritized life over the economy, a two-month lockdown has drastically hit the economy and experts suggest it could dip into a recession soon. To revive the economy, the Indian Prime Minister urged everyone to support locally sourced products and reduce dependence on imports.

While India is actively fighting the virus, China has escalated border skirmishes in the north. It’s no wonder that the many have developed anti-China sentiments radically and a few developers are taking advantage of the situation. Furthermore, TikTok clones like “Mitron TV” have popped-up as local alternatives of the Bytedance controlled social platform.

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Accessories

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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India

Realme Watch launches with a touchscreen display and HR tracker

High on features, light on the pocket

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This is the first watch from Realme and we’ve been waiting for it for a long time. The company teased its existence multiple times and considering the brand’s reputation, we knew it’ll have a very competitive price. Thankfully, the watch is now official, and here’s everything you need to know.

It comes with a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, a maximum brightness of 380 nits, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Currently, it comes pre-loaded with 12 watch faces and the company has confirmed more than a hundred will be available via an OTA update soon.

The smartwatch offers real-time heart rate monitoring using the built-in PPG sensor and records results every five minutes. Furthermore, it also has a SpO2 monitoring system to track the blood oxygen level.

On the fitness front, it has 14 different sports modes such as Badminton, Cricket, Indoor Run, Outdoor Run, Walk, and Yoga, among others. Health-based features also include sleep monitoring, sedentary reminders, hydration reminder, and meditation relaxing.

Just like all other smartwatches or bands, it can receive notifications from your phone via Bluetooth, control music playback, and unlock the phone via Android’s smart unlock system. Unlike the Apple Watch, you can’t pick-up voice calls but it’ll let you reject the call or mute the notification.

Realme Watch runs on a proprietary OS and can be linked to your phone via the Realme Link app. It supports 20mm removable wrist straps and has an IP68-certified body that can resist dust and water.

The Realme Watch is priced at INR 3,999 (US$ 53) and will be available via Flipkart and Realme.com from June 5. The additional color straps will cost INR 499 (US$ 7) later.

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