India

Galaxy J7 Duo brings dual cameras to Samsung’s budget lineup

Initially available in India

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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.

India

Redmi K20 is the next affordable flagship killer

Possible successor to the Pocophone F1

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Without a doubt, the OnePlus 7 Pro is an impressive piece of hardware. From the smooth display to the flagship-level specs, you can’t deny that it’s a seriously good deal for its price.

One person, however, had different take right after OnePlus’ launch. Xiaomi’s Global VP Manu Kumar Jain congratulated OnePlus for the launch on Twitter, but followed it up by mentioning his company’s own flagship killer:


It’s rumored that Xiaomi’s supposed “Flagship Killer 2.0” is the Redmi K20, which was already confirmed by executives to come soon. It has also been speculated that the Redmi K20 is the successor to the widely popular Pocophone F1, and may be named the Pocophone F2 in some regions.

Besides the model name and the possibility of a K20 Pro variant, not much has been revealed about the Redmi flagship. Until now, that is. Newly leaked specs provide more hype for the upcoming Redmi powerhouse.

It all starts with the Snapdragon 855 chipset, which follows up on the Snapdragon 845 of the Pocophone F1. That’s complemented by a 6.39-inch 1080p OLED display and 4000mAh battery with 27W fast charging.

While those are expected of a flagship killer, what may be more interesting is the camera setup. Not only will the K20 pair have a triple-camera setup on the rear — consisting of regular, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses — but it’ll come with a pop-up selfie camera, as well. By extension, that would provide an all-screen front, free of notches or punch-holes.

India appears to be the initial market for the Redmi K20, similar to the Pocophone’s marketing approach. There has been no hinted pricing yet, but based on Xiaomi’s usual strategy, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a starting price hovering around US$ 400.

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OnePlus 7 series hits India with attractive prices

Taking the best from other flagships

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OnePlus is often mocked for consistently increasing the prices of its offerings. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The company has followed a standard cycle of launching one flagship phone in May, followed by a slightly incremented T-branded phone at year end.

This year, OnePlus has launched two phones, the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 ensures the price doesn’t get any higher. It is on par with the previously launched OnePlus 6T. For those who are looking for more, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a top-tier flagship with new design and beefier internals.


Both are powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and house 6GB RAM as the starting option. They also ship with OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie. This is where the similarities end, however.

The OnePlus 7 Pro gets a curved 6.7-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. According to OnePlus, the higher refresh rate offers a 50 percent smoother experience you’ll fall in love with. Even the design has been revamped and the back feels premium with a gradual gradient.

The rear gets a combination of 48-megapixel primary sensor, 16-megapixel wide-angle camera, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The 16-megapixel front camera is housed in a motorized pop-up casing. OnePlus is confident about its robust quality. The company also touted an industry-high rear camera DxOMark score of 111.

Lastly, these internals are backed by a mighty 4000mAh battery coupled with 30W Warp Charging technology.

It starts from INR 48,999 (US$ 700) for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The 8GB+256GB option costs INR 52,999 (US$ 750). Meanwhile, the 12GB+256GB comes at INR 57,999 (US$ 825).

The OnePlus 7, on the other hand, gets a conventional 60Hz Full HD+ display with a water drop notch. The back has a 48-megapixel camera along with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Powering it is a slightly smaller 3700mAh battery with 20W Warp Charging.

The base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage starts from INR 32,999 (US$ 470). The other option with an 8GB+256GB configuration costs INR 37,999 (US$ 540).

Both will be available for purchase starting tomorrow via pop-up sales and later via Amazon.in, OnePlus’ website, offline Croma stores, and Reliance Digital.

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Lenovo announces an affordable smartwatch for fitness enthusiasts

It has 20 days of battery life!

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Xiaomi is known for making class-leading budget phones. However, the brand has also captured a massive wearable market in developing markets with the Mi Band. While Fitbit caters to the premium segment, there’s a huge demand for affordable fitness bands or watches.

Lenovo launched the Spectra and Cardio smart bands last year. Now, the brand is back with a new smartwatch. Dubbed EGO, it’s a digital wearable that brings fitness tracking at a budget price. The core features include a claimed 20-day battery life, heart-rate tracking, sleep monitoring, and handy notifications.


When compared to other bands, the EGO looks more rugged. It comes equipped with a classic sports watch casing. Additionally, it’s water resistant up to 50 meters. It can also be used as a swim tracker.

On the notifications side, it can display alerts about phone calls, text messages, and social networking apps. Unlike other offerings in this segment, the EGO comes with a unique remote camera operation. You can click a picture on your phone by tapping your watch.

According to Lenovo, it can detect activities like cycling and running to deliver accurate heart-rate readings. Lastly, an in-built alarm system can trigger vibrations.

The EGO pairs well with iOS and Android phones. It connects via the Lenovo Life app. It weighs just 45 grams and consists of a 42mm anti-shine band that can be easily swapped with other third-party bands.

The smartwatch costs just INR 1,999 (US$ 29) in India and will be available from May 10. For now, it’ll be selling via Flipkart and Croma retail stores.

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