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Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016) is a cheap Android phone with LTE

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Samsung is currently enjoying a renaissance in the premium smartphone segment, but that doesn’t mean it has forgotten about the bargain basement from where most manufacturers get their volume orders and market share. Enter the Samsung Galaxy J1 refresh for 2016.

It’s a slightly bigger and more powerful than last year’s model (4.5 inches and quad-core internals compared to 4.3 inches and dual-core on the 2015 edition), as you would expect, but the big idea behind this small-ish handset remains the same: disrupt the market with a cheap Samsung smartphone that covers the basics and then some.

Having said that, don’t expect to find an octa-core processor, a fingerprint sensor, or a metal chassis anywhere on the J1’s feature set.

galaxy-j1

This Samsung sticks to the formula set by its predecessor closely, with its 4.5-inch AMOLED display, 5- and 2-megapixel main and secondary cameras, and quad-core chip with 1GB of RAM and LTE integration — a first for the product line — for faster mobile Internet speeds.

Granted, LTE connectivity isn’t widely available on budget models to this day, making the J1 more appealing to first-time smartphone buyers who are looking to subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify.

Samsung’s Galaxy J1 is now available in select markets like Singapore and the Philippines, retailing for 208 Singapore dollars (roughly $150) and P5,449 ($120), respectively.

Samsung, as you probably know, is the poster child for much-desired Android gear, what with its sustained focus on product innovation, especially in the high end. The J1 doesn’t fit that vision — but perhaps it doesn’t need to. Maybe the Korean OEM is hoping that if it builds something cheap enough, customers will come.

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Huawei officially announces the Nova 3 and Nova 3i

New flagship and midrange phones from Huawei

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Huawei has announced their latest phones: the Nova 3 and Nova 3i. In a grand launch in China, the company made the two phones official after the long wait. The looks of the Nova 3 phones are based on the P20 series, but they offer a lot more value for the money.

Nova 3

The Nova 3 is Huawei’s newest flagship-level offering which sits below the P20 series. Despite having a different name, the Nova 3 borrows a number of design cues and specs from the P20. The Nova 3 is also powered by the Kirin 970 processor along with a built-in NPU chip for AI capabilities. The GPU Turbo feature, which will soon arrive on existing Huawei phones, comes out of the box and promises better gaming performance.

The phone sports a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display encased in a full-glass body. Just like with the P20, Huawei will offer the Nova 3 in exciting colors: Primrose Gold, Light Blue, Blue Purple, and Bright Black.

Huawei Nova 3 in Primrose Gold, Blue Purple, and Light Blue

Huawei phones have been known to have great cameras, and the Nova 3 will be no different because there are four cameras on board the device. At the back, there’s a 16-megapixel color sensor and a 24-megapixel monochrome sensor. In front, there’s another 24-megapixel shooter accompanied by a 2-megapixel depth sensor for sharper portrait shots.

All of these features are run by Android 8.1 Oreo skinned with EMUI 8.2. A large 3750mAh battery keeps the phone on and charges quickly with Huawei SuperCharge through USB-C.

The Nova 3 is priced at CNY 2,999 (US$ 445) in China for the variant with 6GB of memory and 128GB of storage.

Nova 3i

Then there’s the Nova 3i which is basically a more affordable, toned-down version of the Nova 3. It still has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display and runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2.

To make the Nova 3i cheaper, the specs have to be adjusted. Instead of the Kirin 970, it’s got a midrange-class Kirin 710 processor but still with up to 6GB of memory and 128GB of expandable storage.

Four cameras are still on board the Nova 3i, but the rear shooters have a different combo. Gone is the rear monochrome sensor which has been replaced by a 2-megapixel depth sensor to help the main 16-megapixel shooter. Don’t worry, the selfie cameras of the Nova 3i are kept similar to the Nova 3’s.

Huawei Nova 3i in Blue Purple

Battery capacity is also different on the Nova 3i. A slightly smaller 3340mAh gives juice to the phone and it charges through a micro-USB port.

The Nova 3i has a launch price of CNY 1,999 (US$ 300) for the 4GB/128GB variant while the 6GB/64GB variant is priced at CNY 2,199 (US$ 330).

We already have a hands-on of the Nova 3i which you can read here.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i is a beautiful phone with quad-camera goodness

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Nokia X5 (Nokia 5.1 Plus) is a more affordable X6, retains notch

This would do well in more markets

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The Nokia X6 came out two months ago, and even though it was pegged as a budget phone with a notch, it wasn’t that affordable. That’s why we have the Nokia X5 launched earlier today.

Possibly named the Nokia 5.1 Plus when it hits other countries, the Nokia X5 is more affordable than the X6 while retaining a lot of key traits.

The first is the 5.86-inch 720p display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 because of the notch. On top, you can find the 8-megapixel selfie camera with the usual AI and portrait mode tricks.

Fortunately, the rear retains the dual-camera setup: a main 13-megapixel shooter with a secondary 5-megapixel sensor for measuring depth.

Since this is a cheaper model, there are some changes in hardware. The X5 settles for a Helio P60 processor (compared to the Snapdragon 636 of the X6), although the memory and storage configuration can go up to 4GB and 64GB, respectively.

And because this is the rejuvenated Nokia we’re talking about, it comes with an updated version of Android Oreo, which is kept alive by a 3060mAh battery.

As an X-series phone, it’s currently exclusive to China, just like the Nokia X6. Everyone can agree, however, that this could be a potential hit in other countries like India.

The lowest configuration with 3GB of memory and 32GB of storage retails for CNY 999 (US$ 150), and the one with 4GB memory and 64GB storage costs CNY 1,399 (US$ 210). Those prices are well below Nokia X6 pricing, making this a more attractive option for budget-conscious markets.

For colors, you have blue, black, or white to choose from.

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Samsung Galaxy J8 price and availability in the Philippines

A new dual camera phone from Samsung

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Samsung launched their new midrange phone for the Philippine market. After bringing the Galaxy J6 last month, here comes the better offer with dual rear cameras and an updated processor: the Galaxy J8.

The Samsung Galaxy J8 features a 6-inch Super AMOLED display with an HD+ resolution and 18.5:9 aspect ratio, or Infinity Display as Samsung calls it. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 450 processor with 3GB of memory and 32GB of expandable storage. A pretty big 3500mAh battery fuels the phone, so this one will be able to last you more than a day moderate use.

Apart from the updated Snapdragon processor, another main selling point of the Galaxy J8 is the dual-camera setup on the rear consisting of 16- and 5-megapixel sensors. It’s got the Live Focus feature which was once exclusive to the premium Galaxy S and Note series. Of course, they didn’t forget about selfies: a 16-megapixel front camera is more than able for vanity.

In the Philippines, the Galaxy J8 will retail for PhP 15,990. It’ll come in purple, black, and gold.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy J8 hands-on: Not your usual J

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