Xiaomi has finally taken its first steps into India’s smart television space with the launch of the Mi LED Smart TV 4. India is the first country to get this device outside its home country, China. The company is touting this to be the world’s thinnest LED TV and that it has been customized for Indian users.
The television set is just 4.9mm thick and features a frame-less design which you might be familiar with if you’ve seen the Mi Mix 2. The design is reminiscent of the smartphone and looks sleek and elegant. Xiaomi claims it’s 38 percent slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The display itself is 55 inches in size and supports 4K and HDR content, a rarity for televisions in this price range. It has Dolby+ DTS Cinema Sound and has Wi-Fi connectivity for streaming TV shows and movies. The TV has a remote which is very much similar to the Amazon Fire Stick remote and can control the television and any Indian DTH set-top box.
Xiaomi’s new Mi LED Smart TV runs the Android-based PatchWall UI that learns with usage over time and offers personalized recommendations based on the user’s viewing patterns. Xiaomi has over 10 content partners that will provide both local and international content in over 15 regional languages. The list includes the likes of Alt Balaji, Voot, SunNxt, Hungama Play, and Hotstar, among others. The bigger focus has been on personalization and curation.
The TV is powered by a quad-core 64-bit TV processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 8GB memory. As for connectivity, you get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, three HDMI ports, two USB ports, AV-in, Ethernet, and S/PDIF audio output. The company is also touting the presence of Dolby+ DTS Cinema Audio Quality on the Mi TV 4, with two 8W duct inverted speakers.
There are some limited period offers with the Xiaomi Mi TV, like three months of free subscription to both Sony Liv and Hungama Play. The Mi IR cable, which makes it possible for the TV to integrate the set-top content into the PatchWall, costing INR 299 is also free. And finally, Xiaomi is offering free on-site installation with the Mi LED Smart TV 4.
The Mi LED Smart TV 4 (55-inch) will be available on February 22 at Mi.com and Flipkart for a price of INR 39,999 (US$ 625).
Apple iPhone sales have dropped considerably in India
And yet, don’t expect any more discounts
India is the world’s second-largest mobile phone market and every company is looking forward to expanding its operations in the country. But things haven’t been going well for Apple. India is a developing market, and a majority of smartphone sales belong to the budget and midrange segment; the premium segment has also lowered in price considerably thanks to OnePlus and Huawei.
While Samsung has managed to price its flagships at around INR 60,000 (US$ 435), Apple’s iPhone X starts at a whopping INR 90,000 (US$ 1,300). According to a report from Counterpoint Research, Apple shipped 3.2 million iPhones in 2017. Coming to 2018, the company has managed to ship “fewer than a million devices,” giving it a market share of just two percent.
Apple is struggling because it has no new or attractive devices in the INR 30,000 to 60,000 (US$ 435 to 875) range. Why would a consumer shell out such a huge amount for a two-year-old iPhone 6s when there’s a brand-new OnePlus 6, ZenFone 5Z, or Honor 10 available?
Apple is having a hard time keeping the prices in check because of a 20 percent import duty being levied by the government. All other companies have already started assembling a major chunk of their portfolio in India, while Apple is stuck to a couple of devices. In fact, Samsung just inaugurated the world’s largest manufacturing facility last week in Noida, India.
Apple’s trouble doesn’t end at bad sales, though. Three high-level executives have left the company due to restructuring of operations. Apple has also established a new sales audit team that is working on reducing the number of discounts being offered by retailers. The new strategy has already seen the company move away from five national distributors to two to tighten distribution.
Apple wants to offer a full-fledged premium experience to its users, and hence, wants sales to happen through authorized channels only. The giant has started clamping down on smaller physical stores and unauthorized sellers who hoarded products at wholesale value and then offered deeper discounts.
While discounts mean higher sales, Apple wants to gain market share without affecting its brand value in the country. The company’s products are known to have a high long-term shelf value and price cuts are rare.
OPPO has brought its most innovative smartphone to India
OPPO now wants a part of the premium market
Just last month OPPO unveiled the Find X at a grand launch event in Paris, France. OPPO hasn’t launched its innovative top-tier smartphones in India up till now and always targeted the budget and midrange markets. With the Find X, things are slowly changing.
The phone comes with a premium price tag of INR 59,990 (US$ 875) and will be available for purchase starting August 3 through Flipkart and offline retailers.
The highlight of this phone is a motorized camera slider that houses both the front and rear cameras. By shifting the cameras and sensors, OPPO has been able to increase the screen-to-body ratio and managed to remove the controversial notch. In fact, OPPO has also added an infrared scanner on the front that helps unlock the phone via 3D facial recognition.
The slider takes just 0.5 seconds to pop up and it automatically slides up and down whenever the camera app is opened or the phone needs to be unlocked. Being a premium handset, it sports an all-glass design with the back offered in stunning Glacier Blue and Bordeaux Red colors.
It has a 6.42-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a high 93.8 percent screen-to-body ratio and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. A Snapdragon 845 SoC powers the phone along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of non-expandable internal storage.
On the rear, it has a combo of 16- and 20-megapixel sensors while the front has a single 25-megapixel shooter. The cameras are integrated with AI detection that can optimize pictures for 21 different scenes. The AI also helps in beautification and portrait captures. Just like Apple’s Animoji, OPPO too has Omoji support in the front camera and many more animated caricatures are expected to roll out soon.
The phone packs a 3730mAh battery with OPPO’s proprietary VOOC fast charging. Yes, the phone is also dual-SIM and runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.1. Keep in mind, this phone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner and instead relies on 3D facial recognition.
Motorola launches battery-centric E5 and E5 Plus
Big on battery, not your pocket
The Moto E5 and E5 Plus have finally made their way to India months after the global unveiling. The Moto E5 Plus is an Amazon-exclusive and is already available for purchase while the E5 is exclusively available via Moto Hubs around the country.
The Moto E5 costs INR 9,999 (US$ 145) while the bigger sibling costs INR 11,999 (US$ 175). Those who buy the device from a Moto Hub outlet will get a INR 1,200 voucher on purchases made using Paytm Mall.
With this duo, Motorola is concentrating all its marketing efforts on the battery. The Moto E5 has a 4000mAh battery while the Moto E5 Plus has a capacity of 5000mAh. The two also support the company’s TurboPower charging technology via a 10W adapter. Moto says the E5 Plus can give 200 hours of non-stop music playback or at least 20 hours of web browsing on a single charge.
Coming to the specs, the E5 has a 5.7-inch HD+ LCD while the E5 Plus has a 6-inch HD+ LCD. Both share the same aspect ratio of 18:9. As far as similarities are concerned, both ship with Android 8.0 Oreo along with a few Moto-exclusive tweaks in the UI.
The Moto E5 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 425 SoC bundled with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. On the back, it sports a 13-megapixel camera while the front has a 5-megapixel sensor along with an LED flash.
On the other hand, the Moto E5 Plus is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 435 SoC along with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The back has a 12-megapixel camera and the front has an 8-megapixel camera together with an LED flash.
They both have a fingerprint scanner on the back embeded in the Motorola logo and dual-SIM support. Four color options are available — Black, Mineral Blue, Flash Gray, and Fine Gold.
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