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.
Google is under investigation for abusing Android
Dominating the market comes with a price
Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.
Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.
India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.
The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.
Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.
Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.
Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.
Xiaomi has become an undisputed leader by market share
Can Samsung turn the tides this year?
For more than a year, Xiaomi has been leading the Indian smartphone market in terms of market share and there’s no stopping them. The brand has single-handedly managed to oust local brands like Micromax, and even experienced players like Samsung have taken a hit.
According to IDC, in Q4 2018, Xiaomi managed to grab an astounding 28.9 percent of the market, followed by Samsung at 18.7 percent. While Vivo and OPPO have managed to grab a decent 9.7 percent and 7.1 percent respectively, their rate of growth has slowed down considerably.
If we consider the complete year of 2018 against 2017, Vivo has managed to grow just 0.6 percent year-over-year and OPPO actually dipped by 0.3 percent. The report also says that online-focused brands drove the online channel share to an all-time high of 38.4 percent. On the other hand, offline sales registered a meager 6.7 percent growth.
During the last quarter of 2018, Realme managed to grab quite a huge chunk of the market with a share of 7.5 percent. The sub-brand of OPPO was launched just half a year back and has already released a wide array of phones.
The average selling price of phones continued to be in the budget segment at roughly US$ 158 (INR 11,000). More than half of the shipments belong in the US$ 100 to US$ 200 segment, and that’s where brands intend to lead.
In the end, Xiaomi shipped more than 40 million units in 2018, followed by Samsung with almost 32 million. Samsung had been relatively silent last year, but has now changed strategy with the M-series launch. The South Korean giant is focused on taking back the budget and midrange segments by reportedly launching a plethora of phones in the coming months.
Xiaomi puts up new sports shoes for crowdfunding in India
It doesn’t have Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
For those who are unfamiliar, Xiaomi is not all about electronics. If you visit their Mi Stores, you’ll see a variety of products from phones and TVs to rice cookers and backpacks. Adding to the plethora of products under the umbrella of Xiaomi is the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2.
Xiaomi’s venture into footwear is not new; they released a few smart shoes already in China and select markets. This newest one is available in India on the company’s crowdfunding platform.
The shoes are currently priced at INR 2,499 or roughly US$ 35 during the funding period. It’ll go up to INR 2,999 or US$ 42 once they go sale, so you might want to pitch in before it starts shipping in March.
You might be thinking what kind of shoes Xiaomi is offering here. As listed on the crowdfunding page, the Mi Men’s Sports Shoes 2 (quite a long name) has a “5-in-1 Uni-Moulding Technology” which combines five different materials to minimize wear damage. It also has a “10-fishbone structure” for improved balance while offering arch support.
It doesn’t have any batteries or Bluetooth like previous Xiaomi smart shoes, so this is one of the Xiaomi products you can throw in the washer for easy cleaning.
Like Xiaomi’s phones, the available colors are limited to blue, black, and dark gray. If you want your own, we highly suggest signing up and ordering immediately here.
Kingdom Hearts III review: More for long-time fans
It didn’t spark joy
ASUS ZenBook 15 review: Everything you need in a laptop?
With great power, comes all the caveats in between
Trying out the Gixo Fitness App: A personal fitness trainer on your smartphone
Get fit on your phone!
TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019
Fujifilm X-T30 is a lightweight 4K mirrorless camera
LG V50 ThinQ will be company’s first 5G smartphone
Twitter is secretly saving your deleted DMs
Samsung outs the Galaxy Tab S5E, their thinnest and lightest tablet
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Fujifilm Instax SQ20 hands-on: How good is it?
How to take IG-worthy selfie portraits
Neutrogena’s Light Treatment stick will target your pimples
How to work your smartwatch: For #OOTDs and everyday productivity
A glimpse at the smart kitchen’s wireless future
Apps1 week ago
Dark mode is in the works for Chrome, coming to Windows 10 and macOS
Apps1 week ago
Instagram hides your story’s viewer list after 24 hours
Apps2 weeks ago
Facebook now lets users unsend messages on Messenger
Giveaways6 days ago
Galentine’s Day giveaway: Win a Huawei MediaPad M5 Lite!
Deals2 weeks ago
Huawei Mate 20 sees biggest price drop to date in the Philippines
Her GadgetMatch2 weeks ago
New 2019 emoji unveiled, hand pinch emoji steals the show
India2 weeks ago
OPPO K1 is a budget phone with an in-display fingerprint scanner
News7 days ago
Huawei Y7 Pro 2019: Price and availability in the Philippines