India

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ launch in India

Starts shipping from 16th of March

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Unlike most major smartphone launches, Samsung released its flagships for the year, the Galaxy S9 and S9+, in India just a week after the global launch. The phones will start at a price of INR 57,900 (US$ 890).

To recap, both devices are powered by Samsung’s in-house chipset, the Exynos 9810, along with 4GB of memory for the Galaxy S9 and 6GB of memory for the S9+. The S9 has a 5.8-inch AMOLED screen while the S9+ sports a 6.2-inch display. In terms of looks, both the S9 and S8 series are very similar, except the fingerprint sensor has been moved underneath the camera module as many struggled with the one found on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.


The highlight of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ is the dual aperture setup on the primary rear camera, which is capable of shooting at f/2.4 when there’s ample light but can switch to f/1.5 when the phone detects low-light conditions. The other headline feature of the main camera is the super slow-mo mode that’s capable of recording 960 frames per second. Samsung is also introducing AR Emoji, its answer to Apple’s Animoji with a few key changes.

The duo also come with dual stereo speakers tuned by AKG. The phones even support Dolby Atmos, which offers 360-degree sound effects. Like last year’s models, the phones have an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

This year, Samsung has placed the devices at a higher price. The Galaxy S9 comes with a starting price of INR 57,900 (US$ 890) for 64GB of storage, whereas the 256GB variant costs INR 65,900 (US$ 1,010)

The 64GB storage version of the bigger Galaxy S9+ sports a price tag of INR 64,900 (US$ 995) and the high-end 256GB variant is priced at INR 72,900 (US$ 1,120). Samsung will not be selling the 128GB models in India.

For network carriers, Samsung partnered with Indian telecom operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Users can get up to 250Mbps of speed on 4G connections — 2.5 times more than any other device in India.

India

Xiaomi forays into personal grooming with a water resistant trimmer

A basic product that doesn’t disappoint

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Xiaomi is known for its value-packed phones and accessories, but it is slowly making its mark in the lifestyle space as well. The brand sells almost any device imaginable, from umbrellas to toothbrushes, but they’ve been restricted to China so far.

But that’s slowly changing, and one of the first countries outside of China to benefit is India.


Today Xiaomi launched the Mi Beard Trimmer, marking its foray into the personal grooming space.

The Mi Beard Trimmer comes with two combs and a total of 40 length settings. This makes it suitable for every kind of beard style and gives the user more options to choose from. Xiaomi claims the blades are made of heavy-duty stainless steel and are self-sharpening in nature, meaning they remain sharp for an extended period of usage.

It can be used sans any wires thanks to a built-in battery but can work plugged in as well. Xiaomi says you get 10 minutes of use with just a five-minute charge. A full charge will deliver up to 90 minutes of usage on the go.

It’s also safe for shower use, with an IPX7 water resistance rating, it is designed to withstand submersion of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

The Mi Beard Trimmer is now available for pre-order and will start shipping from June 27 via Mi.com, Amazon, and Mi Homes. With a price tag of INR 1,199, it might just give Philips a run for its money.

A few weeks back, Xiaomi announced the availability of Mi LED Smart Bulb in India. The smartest thing about the bulb is that it comes with both, Amazon Alexa as well as Google Assistant support. It pairs with the Mi Home app that can also be used to control other Mi Home products.

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Motorola launches One Vision with a punch-hole camera

Haven’t heard from them for a while

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Adding another model to its fairly new ‘One’ series, Motorola launched the Moto One Vision today in India. It’s the first phone from the company to feature a punch-hole selfie camera in a rather tall display.

In terms of design, the One Vision sports an all-glass body with a gradient finish on the back. The front has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD with a punch-hole cutout to avoid a display notch.


Motorola is using Samsung’s Exynos 9609 chipset paired with a single configuration of 4GB of memory and 128GB of internal storage. As the name suggests, the smartphone is part of the Android One program that guarantees timely software and security updates.

In terms of optics, the phone employs a 48-megapixel Samsung G1 sensor with f/1.7 lens and a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor. At the front, the punch-hole cutout houses a 25-megapixel selfie camera. It’s backed by a 3500mAh battery and ships with a 15W TurboPower charger.

It’s priced at INR 19,999 and shall be available on Flipkart starting June 27. Vodafone-Idea subscribers can get a cashback of up to INR 3,750 and additional data for up to 250GB.

The new Motorola phone will rival the Note 7 Pro from Redmi, and Samsung’s Galaxy M40 and Galaxy A50. The company says it has been among the fastest growing smartphone brands in India and is already sourcing the phone locally.

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ASUS 6z with a Flip Camera and Snapdragon 855 launches in India

OnePlus 7 has some serious competition

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After a considerably long sabbatical, ASUS is back in India with a new phone. The company unveiled the ZenFone 6 globally last month, but the “ZenFone” brand can no longer be used in the country due to a trademark conflict. Hence, the phone is called ASUS 6z locally and shall go on sale from June 26.

Phone makers have been trying their best to increase the screen-to-body ratio and we’ve already seen the inclusion of a notch, punch-hole camera, and sliding module. ASUS is taking a step forward and introducing a Flip Camera setup that can switch 180-degrees and a single setup can be used as the front and rear cameras. With this, the design remains unique and users have access to better cameras on both sides.


On the front is a 6.4-inch Full HD+ LCD display with a screen-to-body ratio of 92 percent. At the heart of the phone is a Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage in the base variant. The phone can be unlocked via a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner or face unlock.

The camera module consists of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor along with a 13-megapixel wide angle lens. The Camera app incorporates Smart HDR and 16-scene AI detection for improved output. Lastly, these internals are backed by a 5000mAh battery that supports fast charging via USB-C.

ASUS has shipped a slightly customized version of stock Android and it brings in a system-wide dark mode, smoother animations, and OptiFlex technology to accelerate app launches and reloads.

The ASUS 6z starts at INR 31,999 (US$ 459 )for 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. The 6GB+128GB option costs INR 34,999 (US$ 502). Meanwhile, the 8GB+256GB comes at INR 39,999 (US$ 574). It’ll be available in Midnight Black and Twilight Silver color options from Flipkart. As a launch offer, Flipkart’s Complete Mobile Protection plan costing INR 3,999 will be available at INR 99. 

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