India

Xiaomi rises to the top and continues to battle Samsung in India

Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off

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Xiaomi’s efforts to bring their devices to more Indians continue to bear fruit. The Chinese company welcomes the new year with great news from analyst houses about smartphone market shares during the last quarter of 2017.

Both Counterpoint and Canalys pointed out a narrow lead for Xiaomi over Samsung in Q4 2017. According to Counterpoint, Xiaomi has a 25 percent market share compared to Samsung’s 23 percent; based on Canalys’ study, Xiaomi’s advantage over Samsung is 27 percent versus 25 percent.


With their dominance, Samsung and Xiaomi account for over half of all smartphones sales in India beating Lenovo, Vivo, OPPO, and other brands in the region.

On the other hand, year-long figures from Counterpoint showed that Samsung is still ahead of Xiaomi for the whole duration of 2017, but anyone can clearly see how the gap started to shrink over time. In 2016, Samsung and Xiaomi garnered 25 and 6 percent smartphone market shares, respectively. Xiaomi grew significantly in 2017, closing at 19 percent versus Samsung’s 24 percent share.

Even Canalys’ estimates from 2015 showed Xiaomi’s continuous growth in India while Samsung tried to maintain its own share.

Rushabh Doshi of Canalys explained that Xiaomi was able to seize the budget segment with their affordable Redmi series. But, Samsung is still holding on to their superior R&D and supply chain expertise to help them compete.

It was not Samsung who truly lost here, but rather the other smartphone brands who just can’t compete with Xiaomi’s bang-for-buck devices which have a great price-to-specifications ratio.

India

OnePlus is gearing up to launch a 55-inch QLED TV

OnePlus CEO gets candid about the new offering

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The TV market is divided into two segments, the first one is affordable and built while keeping the price in mind. The second type is ultra-premium offerings that incorporate the cutting edge of technology.

Xiaomi has been successful in establishing itself as a leading budget TV maker in India, while Samsung and LG rule the top-tier bracket. Now, OnePlus intends to enter this market with OnePlus TV and has slowly started revealing some features.


OnePlus has confirmed to India Today that it will launch a premium TV with 55-inch 4K QLED screen. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau says it’ll follow their smartphone philosophy with TVs as well. That is to offer solid basics, premium experience at a relatively better price and great attention to detail.

QLED stands for quantum-dot light-emitting diode. Unlike OLED, QLED technology relies on LED backlighting. This is a term Samsung uses for its quantum dot TVs and it is the only brand which has a significant portfolio in this segment.

Throughout the interview, Samsung and Sony were frequent touchpoints for the executive, with Lau noting, “We want to benchmark the image and sound quality against the most premium quality products currently available in the market…”

Lau also said the OnePlus TV features a custom user interface on top of Android TV. He added the company is “optimizing” the OS “very deeply.” Obviously, there are plans of connecting your OnePlus phone seamlessly to the TV and an app that’ll let you enter text data without relying on a remote.

The launch is expected to happen at the end of September. The company has already clarified that the TV will not be cheap and the launch price will be in the premium segment.

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Xiaomi launches Android One powered Mi A3

A clutter-free user experience

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Xiaomi has launched a wide-range of phones this year in an attempt to cover every price bracket. While it has indisputable supremacy in the entry-level bracket, the brand is also slowly catching up on the premium side.

So far, all phones launched by Xiaomi are backed by MIUI. The A-series however, aims to offer a stock Android experience. Partnering with Google for Android One, the device is guaranteed to receive timely security and feature updates.


First announced in Spain, Xiaomi has now unveiled the Mi A3 in India and is available in White, Blue, and Grey. It’ll take on the Realme 5 series, Vivo Z1 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy M40. With this new phone, Xiaomi will improve upon the shortcomings of the Mi A2.

The headphone jack is making a comeback and the design has been drastically improved. The front has a 6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and it also houses the fingerprint sensor. The front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and splash resistant coating.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and expandable storage. The rear has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While the front gets a 32-megapixel selfie shooter with support for face unlock.

Backing these internals is a 4,000mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. Software enhancements in the UI are non-existent because the phone ships with pure Android out-of-the-box.

It’ll be available in two configurations — 4GB+64GB costing INR 12,999 and 6GB+128GB costing INR 15,999. Sale starts from xx September via Mi.com and other offline channel partners. There’s a INR 1,000 if users purchase using an HDFC Bank credit or debit card.

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Realme 5 series launches with quad-camera setup

Affordable, yet powerful

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Realme and Xiaomi have been on a launch spree this year, each trying to undercut the other. The two are focused on grabbing as much market share as possible and have practically taken over the affordable segment. Realme is back with another set of offering, the Realme 5 and 5 Pro.

The Realme 5 series has been launched in India and shall be available in other international markets soon. This comes just a day before Xiaomi is scheduled to launch the Mi A3.


To start with, the phone has a new design that imitates holographic color with texture. The sides are gently curved and two color options are available — Crystal Green and Crystal Blue.

The front has a 6.3-inch Full HD LCD display with a claimed screen-to-body ratio of more almost 91 percent. The notch is smaller and houses the front camera as well as a sensor array. The complete design is splash resistant but lacks an IP rating.

Powering the phone is an octa-core Snapdragon 712 processor with a dedicated AI-engine. It has up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage that’s expandable via a micro SD card. For gaming enhancement, Hyperboost 2.0 is a software feature that improves refreshing and frame drops.

48MP camera on a quad-camera setup

The rear has a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front gets a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. The software comes with various shooting modes like Nightscape, Chromaboost, and auto HDR.

Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery that supports VOOC 3.0 Flash Charge. The phone runs on ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box.

Pricing and availability

It’s available in three memory configurations. The 4GB+64GB option costs INR 13,999 the 6GB+64GB variant costs INR 14,999 and the 8GB+128GB variant costs INR 16,999. They’ll be going on sale from September 4 via Flipkart and other partner channels.

On the other hand, the Realme 5 comes with a similar design language, but sports a 6.5-inch HD+ display. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB RAM in the top offering.

The quad-camera array consists of a 12-megapixel primary sensor, 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, 2-megapixel macro shooter, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The front gets a 13-megapixel selfie clicker and all other software features remain same. Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery.

It’ll also be available in three options. The first one comes with 3GB+32GB configuration and costs INR 9,999 the 4GB+64GB option costs INR 10,999, and the 4GB+128GB unit costs INR 11,999. It’ll be available from August 27 also via Flipkart and other partner channels.

Lastly, Realme has announced it’ll launch a new phone in September that sports a 64-megapixel camera, dubbed the Realme XT.

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