India

Samsung launches Galaxy M20 and M10 budget phones to take on Xiaomi

It’s time to hit back!

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Samsung has been atop the smartphone scene for half a decade now. But lately, the giant has been struggling to control its market share in developing regions due to tough competition from Xiaomi, Honor, and Vivo.

Last year, Xiaomi took over the title of being the number one smartphone maker from a sales point of view. The aggressive competition in the budget and midrange segments led to a price war and companies flooded the markets with new phones every other month.

Now, Samsung wants to regain its lost share. And to do so, it has launched a new lineup of smartphones called the Galaxy M series.

The Galaxy M10 and M20 are the first phones in the new series, and both feature a wide-angle lens on the rear. Both also feature a “Infinity-V” notch, something we’re seeing for the first time on a Samsung phone.

The M10 has a 6.2-inch display and is powered by an octa-core Exynos processor. The base variant gets 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. On the rear is a 13-megapixel primary sensor, followed by a 5-megapixel wide-angle camera. For selfies, it sports a 5-megapixel sensor. Lastly, it has a 3400mAh battery.

The M20, on the other hand, has a 6.3-inch display and is powered by a faster Exynos chipset. The starting option gets 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It has the same 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel wide-angle shooter on the rear. The front gets an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. Samsung has bumped the battery to 5000mAh and it also supports fast charging.

Both phones house a microSD card slot for storage expansion. Pricing is as follows:

Galaxy M10: 2GB+16GB for INR 7,990 and 3GB+32GB at INR 8,990

Galaxy M20: 3GB+32GB for INR 10,990 and 4GB+64GB at INR 12,990

India

Forget iPhone 11, Apple’s secret weapon is the iPhone XR

OnePlus and Samsung should be worried

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Continuing the legacy, Apple announced the iPhone 11 series in September and response has been widely positive. The phones pack the latest A13 Bionic chipset, exponentially improved cameras, and best-in-class display.

However, Apple’s secret weapon is a generation old iPhone that is often perceived to be low-cost. In developing regions like India, the latest offerings are extremely expensive and amid a global slowdown, demand has remained unchanged.

Apple’s secret weapon is the iPhone XR and its recently announced price-cut. The phone is now available for INR 44,990 (US$ 635), down from its launch price of INR 76,900 (US$ 1,100). And, even though it’s one-year-old, the specifications are still class-leading with an A12 processor, kick-ass single-lens camera, and smooth iOS experience.

Apple’s market share has taken a massive beating in the country due to increasing competition from OnePlus and Samsung. Being a very price-sensitive market, the iPhone XR has been selling like hotcakes since the official drop. In fact, further discounts were also available during festive sales and the device was out-of-stock in no time.

Apple is doubling down on India and has been slowly ramping up local production to avoid import duty as high as 20 percent. Older models like the iPhone 7 and iPhone X are already being sourced locally and the brand has now started with the iPhone XR.

Multiple sources confirmed to IANS that production of the iPhone XR is up and running at Apple supplier Foxconn’s facility in Sriperumbudur, Chennai.

For years, Apple has been accused of ignoring the Indian market, but multiple developments this year have confirmed that the brand is indeed serious about establishing itself. After almost a decade of trying, the brand finally got approval to directly sell products in India and not rely on third-party vendors that are termed “Authorised Resellers”.

There have also been reports about an iPhone SE 2 launching in the first quarter of 2020 and if this materializes, India will be a primary market for the low-cost iPhone.

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Gaming

PUBG Mobile has a host of surprise gifts this Diwali

Burst in-game crackers!

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Diwali is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar and is comparable to Christmas in India. With the onset of the festive season, everyone is on a shopping spree. Companies are gearing up to send out gifts and streets will be lit up with diyas and lanterns.

The country is also one of the largest markets for PUBG Mobile, and the brand intends to leverage the festive season this year. The game has announced a plethora of in-game offerings as well as physical gifts.

Starting October 19, ‘Diwali Dhamaka Event’ will go live in the game and players need to complete daily missions to collect ‘Diwali Sparklers,’ which can be used to ‘Burst Crackers.’ Bursting these crackers will get you ‘Gift Tokens’ that can be redeemed for exclusive in-game items.

For reference, bursting crackers has been a tradition during Diwali. However, everyone is urged to refrain from bursting actual crackers because it leads to massive air pollution. A virtual celebration is best for everyone.

Progressing up the ladder, there will be three levels and each will offer you up to 25 tokens. Once all the Gift Tokens are collected, players will get a Diwali special in-game item for free. Additionally, few lucky winners will also stand a chance to win physical rewards like TVS Apache Bike, OPPO Phones, gold coins, and more.

In-game offering currently includes a Kurta Pajama Set (traditional clothes worn during Diwali), Cricket Costume, Future Policewoman set, Lobster Set, AWM/M416 gun skins, Crate Coupons, and more. The festivities will be available in-game till November 4.

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India

Redmi Note 8 Pro intends to be the best at gaming and photography

It’s powered by an Helio G90T processor

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It has pretty much become a routine now. Xiaomi is known for its aggressive push in the developing markets of India and the brand has been on a spree launching new products every month. Today, it launched the Redmi Note 8 and Note 8 Pro in India, alongside an affordable air purifier.

The Redmi Note series has received a phenomenal response and the brand wants to continue this legacy. Taking quite a few stabs at Realme, the brand is confident its products can outperform the competition and continue leading the smartphone segment.

To start with, the Note 8 Pro gets an improvised design that Xiaomi is calling Aura Design and feature Gamma Green, Halo White, and Shadow Black color options. The rear gets a 3D curved glass and IP52 rating for water and dust resistance.

On the front is a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display with a dot-notch that provides a better screen-to-body ratio. Protecting the screen is a Gorilla Glass 5 panel and chin has been further reduced.

This is the first phone to be powered by a gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G90T processor along with 6GB RAM in the base variant. Xiaomi has also incorporated LiquidCool technology to enhance the processor’s performance over extended durations. The phone also gets dual SIM support along with a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion.

The rear gets a quad-camera setup that consists of a 64-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel portrait camera. On the front is a 20-megapixel selfie camera. Xiaomi is confident this phone can fulfill the requirements of every type of user.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. This time, the brand is also bundling along a fast-charge adapter with the phone. Xiaomi claimed it can last up to two days on a single charge, though we’ll be able to confirm this only after an extended review.

Lastly, the phone is available in three configurations. The starting option comes with 6GB+64GB configuration and costs INR 14,999 (US$ 210), followed by 6GB+128GB for INR 15,999 (US$ 223), and 8GB+128GB at INR 17,999 (US$ 250). It’ll be up for sale from October 21 via Mi.com, Amazon, and Mi Home stores.

Xiaomi also announced the release of MIUI 11 and it’ll be available to previous devices in a phased manner.

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