While all eyes are on Samsung’s recently unveiled Galaxy S9 pair, the electronics manufacturer has been quietly building its Galaxy J7 series. The latest entry is the Galaxy J7 Duo, and it adds more sophisticated dual rear cameras to the Galaxy J lineup of smartphones.
Initially available in India, it’ll retail for INR 16,990 (US$ 260) and will be rolling out beginning April 12. Color options are simple: It’s either black or gold.
Although it fits in the lower-midrange market segment, its launch is a bigger deal than one would expect. Samsung claims that one out of every three smartphones sold in India comes out of the Galaxy J series.
Samsung is hoping to raise that stat even higher, and believes it can be done with a much-needed upgrade to the traditional dual-camera setup.
One rear camera has a 13-megapixel image sensor, while the other is 5 megapixels. Both have a wide aperture of f/1.9, making them ideal for low-light photography when put together.
Possibly even more impressive is the 8-megapixel front-facing camera. It comes with an LED flash for better illumination, as well as facial recognition even though there’s already a fingerprint sensor in front.
In addition, Samsung added useful software tricks such as Live Focus and Background Blur Shape for the main cameras, plus Selfie Focus and Beauty Mode for the selfie shooter. Live Focus and Background Blur Shape are the same features found on the Galaxy S9 series, wherein you can adjust background blur and add light effects even after taking a photo; Selfie Focus and Beauty Mode, on the other hand, help make self portraits stand out more and provide you with smoother skin, respectively.
The rest of the specs are run-of-the-mill: You get a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, an Exynos 7 series octa-core processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of expandable storage, and 3000mAh battery. More importantly, it’ll ship with Android Oreo out of the box.
There’s no word yet on when other countries are getting the Galaxy J7 Duo, but hopefully it’ll go international soon.
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Redmi K20 series arrives in India
Is this the true flagship killer?
It’s clear by now Xiaomi will always be on a launch spree, whether it’s a smartphone or an eco-system product, nothing can stop the young juggernaut. The brand has been teasing the launch of the Redmi K20 series in India for months now and it’s finally here.
The K20 Pro and K20 have been launched in the country at a very competitive price and demand for it is already very high. Initially, Xiaomi will be shipping the device via its Alpha Sale for which registration had started a week back and more than 70,000 buyers have already registered. The Redmi K20 Pro will go on limited sale starting July 22 via Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Home stores.
Both phones sport a 6.4-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of almost 92 percent. On the front is a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera while the rear has a triple camera setup. It consists of a 48-megapixel lens (IMX586 on the K20 Pro and IMX 582 on K20), 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.
The camera app comes with AI-backed portrait mode, beauty enhancements, and automatic scene recognition. To protect the pop-up module from damage, the phone’s gyroscope detects falls and automatically retracts.
Powering the K20 Pro is the latest Snapdragon 855 processor and the K20 is backed by a Snapdragon 730 chip. A 4000mAh battery provides all the juice and charges via 27W SonicCharge technology. The display also houses a fingerprint scanner and there’s also support for face unlock. Lastly, the design is P2i splash proof thanks to a resistant nano-coating.
The Redmi K20 Pro is priced at INR 27,999 (US$ 406) for the 6GB+128GB variant and INR 30,999 (US$ 450) for the 8GB+256GB option.
On the other hand, the K20 is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 320) for the 6GB+64GB option and INR 23,999 (US$ 350) for 6GB+128GB configuration. Both the phones are available in Fire and Ice colors.
Xiaomi also announced the launch of Mi Neckband Bluetooth Earphones for INR 1,599 (US$ 23) and Mi Rechargeable LED Lamp for INR 1,499 (US$ 21).
Netflix set to release five new originals from India
One of them is backed by Shahrukh Khan!
Content is the next big thing in India, with a population of 1.3 billion people and dirt cheap internet, there are unlimited possibilities. Companies have been flooding the internet with original content and this includes multi-national streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video, as well as YouTube.
Netflix has been active in the country for a couple of years now and the streaming market has been extremely competitive. Thanks to homegrown players like Hotstar, Sony LIV, and more, the audience has a huge appetite for local as well as international content. We already know Netflix’s international game is on point, but how does it plan to lure the average Indian user?
Originals are the answer, and the service has tied up with local studios to bring onboard A-list stars for new shows and movies. It has already released a host of new series and intends to take a step further with five more.
The five series will be developed in collaboration with companies such as Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films. The shows will cover genres such as young adult, drama, thriller, horror, and comedy.
Bombay Begums will follow the varied journeys of five women who bond in contemporary urban India. Mai will see a 40-plus docile wife and mother who finds herself sucked into a vortex of violence and politics following a personal tragedy.
One of the most popular actors in the country, Shahrukh Khan is backing Betaal, a horror series based in a remote village that serves as the battleground between British Indian Army officer Betaal, his battalion of zombie redcoats, and the Indian police.
Messy follows an emerging standup comic who struggles to balance a career in comedy with a day job and a demanding family. Masaba Masaba is a scripted series based on the real lives of fashion designer Masaba Gupta and her actress mother Neena Gupta (“Badhaai Ho”), will feature the duo playing themselves.
Netflix’s previous stint with the Sacred Games has been an instant hit in the country and the second season of the show is slated for release on August 15, celebrating India’s Independence Day.
Globalization by localization
Other streaming sites are stepping up their game but the one in particular that Netflix is preparing for is by media giant Disney. The company is set to launch their own streaming service called Disney Plus on November 2019. They’re a real threat considering the content catalogue at their disposal which include Marvel, Star Wars, and many others.
Netflix’s answer is a host of original content. The company already started this year with titles like Kingdom gaining notoriety from audiences worldwide despite it being a mostly South Korean production. Netflix got the idea from the popularity of another series ported from Japan — Terrace House.
Another strategy users of the service noticed is the influx of animé on Netflix. They recently added the classic Neon Genesis Evangelion to their catalogue and it was also announced that a Philippine-made comic book called Trese will be adapted into animé by the company.
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