Monthly Archives: May 2018

Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury With Wireless Charging, Face Unlock Launched: Price, Specifications

Samsung has been expected to launch a lite variant of the Galaxy S8 for quite some time. A new smartphone by the South Korean giant has been officially unveiled in China and instead of Galaxy S8 Mini or Galaxy S8 Lite – as were the rumours previously – the company is calling it Galaxy S Light Luxury model. According to the specifications, the Galaxy S Light Luxury appears to be a trimmed down variant of the popular Galaxy S8 smartphone. However, it still maintains the same design, including a Bixby button and a fingerprint scanner.

The Galaxy S Light Luxury has been listed on the company’s China site, spotted by SamMobile. The key feature of the Samsung called Galaxy S Light Luxury version is that it comes with a display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio. While it does not have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, it comes with the Snapdragon 660. The smartphone also had water resistance Samsung Pay, wireless charging, Face Unlock, and an iris scanner. Also, the Galaxy S Light Luxury runs Android Oreo.

Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury price, specifications
The Galaxy S Light smartphone is available from Chinese online shopping site, priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 42,700) and comes in both Black and Burgundy Red options. If you are early, you can pre-order it until June 1st for CNY 3699 (roughly Rs. 39,500).

The dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury comes with Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box. The smartphones sports a 5.8-inch full-HD+ (1080×2220 pixels) Infinity Display. It is powered by a quad-core processor clocked up to 2.2GHz, possibly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. It is paired with 4GB of RAM. In terms of optics, the Samsung Galaxy S Light Luxury comes with a rear camera with a 16-megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture and autofocus. Also, the smartphone features an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. The rear camera is able to capture videos at (UHD 4K).

Coming to storage, the Galaxy S Light Luxury is equipped with 64GB inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 400GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration. The connectivity options in the smartphone include 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth v5.0, and USB Type-C, 3.5mm jack. Sensors onboard include Accelerometer, Barometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyroscope, Geomagnetic Sensor, Iris Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, Barometer, Proximity sensor, and more. The Samsung Galaxy S is fuelled by a 3000mAh battery. Also, the smartphone measures 148.9×68.1x8mm and weighs 150 grams.

The lucky 56: Xiaomi IPO to make dozens of workers millionaires

[BEIJING] Eight years ago, before China’s Xiaomi Corp had sold a single smartphone, 56 of the earliest employees pulled together $11 million to invest in the startup. Rank-and-file workers dipped into savings and borrowed from parents. One receptionist tapped her dowry.

Today, they’re the Lucky 56. Xiaomi is one of the most successful smartphone makers in the world and it’s prepping a blockbuster initial public offering. Their stake in the company may soon be worth US$1 billion to US$3 billion, depending on the stock sale. That works out to US$36 million each at the midpoint.

The fortuitous decision began with workers like Li Weixing, an ex-Microsoft Corp. engineer who was employee No. 12. Back in 2010, staffers were working seven days a week out of a bare-bones Beijing office park to get the unknown mobile phone maker up and running. When word spread that Lei Jun and his co-founders were chipping in their own money for a venture financing round, Li and others wanted to join them.

Li, who helped create Xiaomi’s mobile operating system, had around 500,000 yuan (S$105,800) saved up. “It wasn’t enough to buy a house, so he asked if he could invest in Xiaomi instead,” CEO Lei said in a March interview at Beijing headquarters. “We said, we can’t let only Weixing invest, so we let everyone in.”Some early Xiaomi employees were already wealthy, including Lei who made his first fortune leading software developer Kingsoft Corp. and investing in Chinese startups. But many staffers in those days had to scrape together cash to participate. Li and others preferred investing in an effort they knew rather than the uncertain stock market. Now Li stands to make US$10 million to US$20 million, depending on Xiaomi’s IPO value.It was employee No. 14, a receptionist now working in Xiaomi’s human resources office, who contributed her dowry of around 100,000 to 200,000 yuan (S$21,000 to $41,000). That stake could be worth between US$1 million and US$8 million. Xiaomi declined to make her or other early employees available for interviews. Li declined to comment.

After a first surge of interest, Lei decided to cap rank-and-file investments at about 300,000 yuan each to limit risk and stop employees from taking out loans to invest. “The interest was overwhelming, but we put a cap on it because we worried, if everyone put in too much money, it would be very bad if the company failed,” said co-founder Li Wanqiang in a March interview.

The group collectively stands to gain as much as US$3 billion if Xiaomi floats 15 per cent of the company at a US$100 billion valuation when it goes public in Hong Kong later this year, according to calculations based on Xiaomi’s prospectus. A more conservative estimate would yield a US$1.4 billion payout for the 56 employees if Xiaomi floats 25 per cent of the company at a US$50 billion valuation. (Calculations assume existing shareholders haven’t sold their stakes and the US$11 million from employees was invested during what Xiaomi’s prospectus refers to as Series B-2.) Employees stand to make roughly 200 times their original investment. A greater number of Xiaomi’s workers should be enriched through stock options, which don’t require capital upfront.

Lei and his co-founders put in the heftiest amounts in that round and stand to make far more than the average. Five are poised to become newly-minted billionaires, according to Bloomberg calculations, and Lei’s stake, accumulated over several investment rounds, could be worth US$27 billion. Investment powerhouses from Qiming Venture Partners to Morningside Group are also expected to reap mega-returns when Xiaomi goes public this year in what may be the biggest IPO since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s 2014 debut.

None of this was obvious in 2010. Back then, Xiaomi was really just an idea in Lei Jun’s head, said Hans Tung, one of his earliest backers. Lei was a local tech celebrity with 1 million follows on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, but it was far from clear he could compete with Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. He would host smoke-and-booze-filled meetings at Beijing hotels, showing up with bags of cell phones and gadgets for his friends to try.

But after Lei lured seven co-founders away from cushy jobs at Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in a matter of months, Qiming, where Tung worked at the time, and Morningside decided to bet on him. They led fundraising rounds in late 2010 and early 2011 that valued the company at about US$250 million. That’s when employees put in their US$11 million too. Now Xiaomi is the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world and likely will be valued at more than 200 times that amount.

“Lei Jun is the founder. He could afford all the capital. But why did he share with everyone?” said Morningside co-founder Richard Liu. “He has a vision and he can build up that strong belief and people are willing to take the huge risks.”

Silicon Valley is known for its secret millionaires who were early joiners at companies like Facebook Inc. Among the more famous examples is Bonnie Brown, the massage therapist who bargained for stock options to accompany the $450 a week she was making at her part-time job at Google. She retired a millionaire after five years at the company.

In China, such riches are virtually unknown. “These employees already had enough risk working for a small, untested startup and it showed this great enthusiasm,” said Tung. “They turned out to be right.”

Is the OnePlus 6 an iPhone X Killer at Half the Price? Pranay Parab, 21 May 2018

OnePlus 6 markets itself as a phone that’s better than the iPhone X, Google Pixel 2, and Samsung Galaxy S9. Reviews editor Jamshed Avari and games editor Rishi Alwani join host Pranay Parab to discuss whether OnePlus’ claims are true. We begin the episode by talking about OnePlus 6’s marketing and the value proposition offered by the company. We talk about whether it makes sense to go and buy a flagship device from the world’s biggest Samsung brand or should you rather save the cash and get OnePlus 6. We discuss what you get when you buy the OnePlus 6, relative to its price in India and its specifications. We then compare this against what you get when you get a flagship phone such as iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9.

Then we talk about the performance of the OnePlus 6. We ran extensive benchmark tests and real-world tests on the OnePlus 6, so that gives us a fair idea about its performance and how the smartphone compares against the best of the best. Then we talk about OnePlus 6 gaming performance and whether the smartphone can run some of the heaviest games available on the Android ecosystem. In both cases we give you an in-depth look at our testing process and whether the OnePlus 6 was able to handle these tests.

Next up, the camera. This is the segment where we tell you how we tested the OnePlus 6 camera, whether it takes good photos, what its video performance is like, and whether the OnePlus 6 camera beats the Pixel 2 or the iPhone X. We also talk about battery life and whether the OnePlus 6 heats up during day to day usage. Finally, to make the buying decision simple for you, we answer a simple question – does the OnePlus 6 offer flagship performance at half the price of most flagship

OnePlus 6 launched in India starting at Rs 34,999, Marvel Avengers limited edition launched at Rs 44,999

OnePlus has launched its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 6 in India today for a starting price of Rs 34,999. The OnePlus 6 will be available in two variants in India — the base model with 6GB RAM/64GB of storage, and the second one with 8GB RAM/128GB storage. In India, the OnePlus 6 will be available in three colours — Mirror Black, which has a glassy back, Midnight Black, which comes with a matte finish and lastly, the Silk White. Alongside the OnePlus 6, the company also launched its new Bullets Wireless earphones and a limited OnePlus 6 Avengers Infinity Wars edition with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.

The OnePlus 6 Mirror Black and Midnight Black will be available for buying in India starting May 22, exclusively on Amazon India store. However, the Amazon Prime users can get hold of the phone a day earlier, which is on May 21. The third colour variant of the phone, Silk White will be available for buying in the country starting June 5. The OnePlus 6 will also be available on OnePlus India website as well as on OnePlus offline stores in select cities.

As for the pricing, the OnePlus 6 base model with 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage will retail for a price tag of Rs 34,999. While the OnePlus 6 8GB RAM with 128GB storage will be available for Rs 39,999. Coming to the new Bullets Wireless earphones, which will be available for a price tag of Rs 3,999 exclusively on Amazon India website, OnePlus website and OnePlus offline stores. The Bullets Wireless earphones come integrated with Google Assistant support and a unique feature called Dash Charging. The company claims that the earphones come with the capability to deliver up to 5 hours of audio playback time with just 10 minutes of charging.

Alongside the OnePlus 6 and Bullets Wireless earbuds, OnePlus has also launched the long-time rumoured OnePlus 6 Avengers Infinity Wars limited Edition. Apart from some design changes and more storage, this limited Edition OnePlus 6 Avengers Infinity Wars Edition boasts of the same specs sheet as the base model. The OnePlus 6 Infinity Wars Edition will be available in India starting May 29 exclusively on Amazon India for a price tag of Rs 44,999.

Quick look at OnePlus 6 specs

The OnePlus 6 sports a metal and glass design. Going in line with the current market trend, the OnePlus 6 comes with an iPhone X-like notch on the front panel. However, unlike the iPhone X, OnePlus 6 will let users hide the notch if they don’t like it. The company says that they have implemented a software feature that will allow users to hide the notch. The OnePlus 6 comes with a 6.28-inch screen and FullHD+ display with a resolution of 2280×1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9. The screen is topped with Gorilla Glass 5, which will protect the phone from scratches and other external damages.

As for the camera department, the OnePlus 6 sports a dual-camera set up, just as the OnePlus 5T. The OnePlus 6 comes with a primary camera of 16-megapixel Sony IMX519 sensor paired with f/1.7 aperture, OIS, and EIS. The secondary rear camera includes a 20-megapixel Sony IM376K sensor with f/1.7 aperture. The dual rear cameras on the OnePlus 6 come paired with a dual-LED flash module. On the front, the OnePlus 6 includes a 16-megapixel selfie shooter, which comes with a Sony IMX371 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, and EIS. The OnePlus 6 comes with 3.5mm headphone jack support.OnePlus is touting a Slow Motion video recording feature for the OnePlus 6, which the company says is capable of capturing 480 frames per second. Users will be able to shoot up to 60 seconds of Slow-mo video. The smartphone comes along a new in-device video editor, which will let users crop, add effects to their videos, without having to download an external app. The phone also comes with 4K video recording support. On the other hand, the OnePlus 6 front camera comes with a Portrait Mode and also uses a new AI algorithm to offer a depth-of-field effect. Just as the OnePlus 5T, the company has also included the Face Unlock feature on the OnePlus 6 as well and claims that it is capable of unlocking the smartphone is just 0.4 seconds. Below the rear camera setup, the OnePlus 6 includes a fingerprint sensor.

OnePlus 6 is a powerful phone and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor clocked up to 2.8GHz, coupled with an Adreno 630 GPU. The smartphone comes with a dual SIM support and runs OxygenOS 5.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box. The company claims that OnePlus 6 will be among the first smartphones to get Android P update when it releases in stable built later this year. Ahead of the launch, OnePlus announced the Android P Developers Preview availability for the OnePlus 6. The latest flagship by OnePlus is backed by a 3300 mAh battery and comes with Dash charging support.

Moto G6 Play India launch set for May 21, will be Flipkart exclusive

Motorola is set to launch its Moto G6 series in India this month. The company officially confirmed the upcoming launch via Twitter early this week. The Lenovo-owned company is planning to launch the entry-level Moto G6 Play alongside the Moto G6 in India first.

Now, BGR India has learnt that the Moto G6 Play will be officially launched in India on May 21. According to people familiar with Motorola India’s plans, the smartphone will be available exclusively on Flipkart. This is in stark contrast to last year when Motorola launched its predecessor Moto G5S and G5S Plus on both Flipkart and Amazon India. It is also a win for the Indian e-commerce giant which now has the widest offering of smartphones in the budget and mid-range price segment. There is no clarity on whether Moto G6 will also be exclusive to the platform.

Motorola had launched the Moto G6 series, which includes the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play and Moto G6 Plus in Brazil last month. The smartphones were launched nearly eight months after the launch of Moto G5S series in August last year. The smartphones not only bring modern design to Moto’s G series, but they also put an end to questions around the stability of the company after it decided to cut jobs at its Chicago office in March.Moto G6 Play Specifications and Price
Moto G6 Play, as the name implies, is the entry-level smartphone in the Moto G6 series. The smartphone also looks radically different from the Moto G5 series thanks to the 3D design borrowed from Moto X4. The G6 Play features a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels. Motorola calls the display as Max Vision since it now supports the taller aspect ratio of 18:9.

Under the hood, there is octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset coupled with 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB storage. It also features a 13-megapixel main camera with f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus and LED flash. There is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter at the front that supports 1080p video recording along with dedicated LED flash.One of the delightful additions this year to the Moto G6 series is the rear mounted fingerprint sensor, which is embedded within Moto dimple. If you have used any Moto G series smartphone in the past then you would have guessed that it is the ideal location where your finger rests when you hold the phone. The Moto G6 Play supports WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS but it is not clear whether NFC supported will be included in India.

The Moto G6 Play runs Android 8.0 Oreo with Moto Experiences where you can view notifications without unlocking the smartphone and turn on features with simple gestures. It also gets a larger 4,000mAh battery which should translate to longer standby time and at least two day long use. It is expected to be available in Indigo and Gold color.

Why AI defines this Android phone

Not long ago, specifications defined whether a phone would succeed or not. Then the focus shifted to software. Now, it is all about Artificial Intelligence (AI) features. The Honor 10 from Huawei, a more affordable reinterpretation of the flagship Huawei P20 Pro, uses AI extensively to ensure the camera is more effective. In other words, all the photographs are processed by AI-based algorithms.

The gorgeous Aurora Glass finish on the Phantom Blue colour variant reflects different shades when light falls on it at various angles. At the front is the fingerprint sensor, which sits below the display glass—something we haven’t seen in many phones. It works well.

The dual-camera set-up has a 16-megapixel main sensor and a 24-megapixel monochrome sensor working together (both lenses have an f/1.8 aperture). Every time you use the camera, AI works in real-time for object and scene detection. This worked well in the P20 Pro, and it is as effective in the Honor 10. The algorithms work well to identify the scene being framed to apply automatic image processing for better colours and richness. Portrait photographs are processed well. But in some low-light photographs, we did notice that the edges tend to be a bit softer than ideal.

As it turns out, the Honor 10 ticks most of the boxes on the specifications sheet too. Performance is fantastic, with the Kirin 970 processor paired with 6 GB RAM. There is 128 GB storage. The 3,400 mAh battery lasts a day and a half on a single charge. The 5.84-inch display (2,280×1,080 resolution) is bright and rich, though it does miss out on HDR capabilities.

The Honor 10 is by far the best Android phone at this price point. The fact that it is trying to replicate the performance and user experience of its more expensive siblings, holds it in good stead. The timing of launch is ideal with the OnePlus 6 arriving soon.