India

Samsung beats out OnePlus, Apple in India’s premium smartphone market share

In terms of flagship sales

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Despite launching a relatively underwhelming flagship this year, Samsung is back on top of sales charts. In India, the smartphone brand has edged out OnePlus and Apple for the country’s top spot after crunching last year’s numbers.

According to Counterpoint Research, Samsung, Apple, and OnePlus contributed to 95 percent of premium smartphone sales last year.

Source: Counterpoint Research

At the start of 2018, however, Samsung thoroughly beat out the other two brands because of the strong demand for their latest flagships. These include the Galaxy S9, S9+, and A8+.

Much of their success also drew from a wide range of discounts, bundles, and cashbacks. Notoriously, the brand always launches promos around Christmas time. True enough, Samsung’s sales skyrocketed in the fourth quarter. Prior, they were sitting well below OnePlus and Apple.

On the other hand, OnePlus enjoyed the most growth after last year. The brand grew a whopping 192 percent, capturing 25 percent of sales. Their growth exploded in the third quarter, in line with the OnePlus 5T’s launch. Speaking of, their new flagship was the best-selling phone of 2017. With the OnePlus 6 on the horizon, OnePlus looks poised to maintain its standing in second place.

Finally, Apple suffered the biggest downfall. After last year, their sales dipped by a staggering 55 percent. Whereas Samsung and OnePlus ended in better spots, Apple got the short end of the stick, ending in third place with only slightly more than 15 percent of sales.

Given the iPhone X’s failure to meet Apple’s expectations, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Additionally, India also suffers from a high import tax, which adds insult to Apple’s injurious prices.

With 2018 fully underway, we can expect other flagships (like the Huawei P20 series) to make an appearance this year.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi rises to the top and continues to battle Samsung in India

India

OnePlus Band is now official with AMOLED display, 14 day battery life

Challenging the Mi Band 5

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OnePlus has finally made a debut in the wearable segment, and while the OnePlus Watch has leaked in the past, the first device is actually the OnePlus Band. Focusing on fitness, the band aims to deliver a feature-packed experience at an affordable price.

The band works with Android out-of-the-box, and iOS support is expected to come soon. On the front is a 1.1-inch AMOLED display that’ll help you navigate the interface. An array of sensors includes a blood oxygen sensor, a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, and an optical heart-rate sensor.

The OnePlus Band gets many watch faces and personalization options through the OnePlus Health app. Coming to fitness, it has 13 pre-installed modes that include outdoor run, indoor run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, cricket, badminton, pool swimming, yoga, and free training.

It’s certified for 5ATM and IP68 water resistance, and it has Bluetooth 5.0 support for seamless connections. Other nifty features include displaying notifications, as well as music playback and camera shutter controls.

The OnePlus Band packs a 100mAh battery that is touted to deliver up to 14 days of usage on a single charge. It’s priced at INR 2,499 (US$ 34), and sales are limited to the Indian market for now. Color options include Black, Navy, and Tangerine Gray.

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Gaming

FAU-G is an Indian alternative to PUBG Mobile, launches on January 26

FAU-G stands for Fearless and United Guard

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PUBG Mobile has been a global sensation, and players love it. But it’s not available in the world’s second-largest smartphone market right now. India banned the game last year, and local developers are rushing to fill the gap. One of them is nCore Games, and it plans to launch an alternative called FAU-G soon.

FAU-G stands for Fearless and United Guard, but the term fauji means soldier in Hindi, one of India’s official languages. Making things more interesting, the game is endorsed by one of India’s most popular actors — Akshay Kumar. There is an immense demand for the game due to the PUBG Mobile vacuum, anti-China sentiments, and increasing nationalist attitude that prefers indigenous products over others.

The game was supposed to launch in October 2019 but was indefinitely delayed. Thankfully, nCore Games has announced it’ll be releasing the game on January 26, the day India celebrates its seventy-fourth Republic Day.

Earlier in December 2020, the registrations for the game went live as well. FAU-G created a record with over one million pre-registrations in just 24 hours. All we know so far is, it’ll be a first-person shooter game, and since it’s supposed to bridge the PUBG Mobile gap, a battle royale mode is quite obvious.

 

So far, the developer has only released a few marketing pictures of the game, followed by a teaser. Intricate details of the game are still unknown, but the game’s description on the Play Store says, “it brings to life the thrill and adrenaline of a life spent guarding India’s borders.”

However, it’s a herculean task to build a massive game like PUBG Mobile within such a short period of time. FAU-G will have a minimal time frame to quash bugs and attain a clean experience because it’ll always be compared to seasoned competitors like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, Fornite, and Mobile Legends.

Adding to this, PUBG Corporation has severed ties with Tencent to dodge anti-China sanctions and plans to launch a modified game similar to PUBG Mobile, specially designed for the Indian market. It’s a race against time right now, and the first one to debut has an edge. But that edge won’t last forever.

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India

Xiaomi launches Mi 10i with 108MP camera, 120Hz display

The price is quite unbelievable

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Kicking off 2021 with its first phone launch, Xiaomi launched the Mi 10i in India today. The brand has extensively expanded the Mi 10 series, and while the Mi 10T Pro looks after the flagship segment, the Mi 10i is designed for the midrange segment.

Unlike the Mi 10T series, the new Mi 10i has a fresh design that consists of a circular rear camera module. The front and the back get Gorilla Glass 5 protection, and it also gets an IP53 rating for water and dust resistance.

On the front is a 6.7-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The user can change the refresh rate, and six preset options are available. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 750 processor with 6GB 0r 8GB RAM. For expandable storage, a microSD card slot is also provided.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup that includes a 108-megapixel primary Samsung HM2 sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, a 16-megapixel front camera is located in a punch-hole cut-out. Software features include Movie frame, Night mode 2.0, panorama mode, pro mode, and raw mode.

Backing these internals is a 4820mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging. Xiaomi has included a 33W rated charger in the box. The phone also features some legacy but very crucial technology like the 3.5mm headphone jack and a physical fingerprint scanner on the side.

The phone is priced at INR 20,099 (US$ 275) for 6GB+64GB option, INR 21,999 (US$ 289) for 6GB+128GB, and INR 23,999 (US$ 315) for 8GB+128GB. The sale starts on January 7 and will be available via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Homes, and other offline partners. Color options include Pacific Sunrise, Midnight Black, and Atlantic Blue.

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