Category Archives: Latest Trends

Apple’s 2018 iPhones may finally support dual SIM cards: Report

GI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has been providing a lot of information lately on Apple’s plans for the iPhone in 2018. Earlier this month, Kuo reported that the Cupertino giant could launch three iPhones next year, all of which are expected to sport an iPhone X-like design language. Now, Kuo has added that at least one of the phones will sport modems from Qualcomm and that all of them will come with support for dual-SIM.

Kuo’s report comes following an earlier rumour that Apple is looking to Intel for a majority of the modems. One of the reasons behind this could be due to Apple’s ongoing legal disputes with Qualcomm. However, Kuo now reports that Qualcomm will still supply modems, but in limited numbers. Intel will provide 70 to 80 per cent of the modems, while the rest will be provided by Qualcomm.

The iPhone models in 2018 will feature Intel’s XMM 7560 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X20 modems with both supporting 4×4 MIMO technology that would enable faster LTE transmission speeds, Kuo said.

Next year’s iPhones are also expected to have DSDS (dual-SIM dual standby) and dual LTE. If this is true, it will be the first time Apple has added dual-SIM support for an iPhone. Furthermore, instead of the existing DSDS phones which commonly support LTE + 3G connections, next-gen iPhones will support LTE + LTE which will enable both the SIMs to be active simultaneously.

It is also possible that the iPhone next year will support one SIM slot and one eSIM. The Apple Watch Series 3, which was launched earlier this year, was the first smartwatch from Apple to feature eSIM support. While eSIM is currently being adopted in markets like the US, it is still not a thing in India, which is why the Series 3 with LTE connectivity never made it to the country.


iPhone X may go off shelves soon as Apple cuts down on retailer margins

Apple’s iPhone X has seen a huge demand from all corners of the world while the company has been grappling to supply the numbers. Fans of the iPhone X are finding it difficult to get their hands on the new bezel-less flagship, but things look worse for the Indian market. According to a new report, Apple has reduced retail margins on the iPhone X by almost 30 percent, causing many retailers to stop taking orders for the phone as they cry foul.

Both chain owners and small-scale retailers are furious over Apple’s decision to cut margins as it means lower profits for them while the Cupertino giant makes the most out of higher margins, according to a report by The Economic Times. The report adds that Apple’s move in India has caused some retailers like Sangeetha Mobiles, for example, to stop taking orders of the iPhone X. This will further reduce the supply of the flagship in the country which is already seeing a pretty huge demand.

“Apple has cut margins on the iPhone X from 6.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent for large retailers like us, and if a customer pays by card, which is usually the case, the margin reduces to almost 1.5-2 per cent,” said Subhash Chandra, managing director at Sangeetha Mobile to ET. “Apple gives the least margins… How on earth do they expect the retailer to work for them for free – our overheads are anywhere around 10 per cent,” Chandra added.


OnePlus 5T India Launch, Aircel Offers to Beat Jio, and More: Your 360 Daily

OnePlus 5T has been released in India, going on sale today via Amazon India for Prime members, and will become available for the general public on November 28. The handset is available for Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB + 128GB model, and comes only in Midnight Black colour. The new features of OnePlus 5T (Review) include the 6-inch bezel-less display with 18:9 aspect ratio, improved cameras, and facial recognition. It comes with a bunch of launch offers, such as complimentary 1,000GB data from Idea, 1-year membership of Zomato Gold, 12-month accidental damage insurance plan, Rs. 500 Kindle ebook credit, and Rs. 300 in Amazon Pay balance on using the Prime Video app, along with Rs. 1,500 cashback on HDFC Bank credit and debit cards.

Aircel launches new plans to take on Jio
Aircel has announced new tariffs for Kolkata circle to take on Jio, providing new and existing subscribers with offers on local and STD voice calls, 3G data and local as well as national SMSes. At Rs. 93, new Aircel users will get local and STD voice calls at 20 paisa per minute, talk time worth Rs. 70, monthly 250MB data, and 50 local and national SMS for 365 days. The Rs. 175 plan offers unlimited local and STD calls, 1GB of 3G/ 2G data, and 100 SMSes for 30 days and 84 days at Rs. 175 and Rs. 349, respectively.

For existing users, Aircel has the Rs. 94 pack that brings down the tariff of all local and STD calls to 20 paisa per minute for 365 days, and provides 1,400 local and national SMSes. Then there’s the Rs. 148 plan for existing users that provides bundled local and STD calls (maximum 250 minutes per day, 1,000 minutes per week), 2GB of data, and 100 SMSes, and validity of 28 days. Subscribers can also choose the Rs. 348 pack with bundled local and STD calls (maximum 300 minutes per day, 1,200 minutes per week), and 1GB data per day, and 84-day validity.

Xiaomi establishes another plant in India, launches Mi Power Bank 2i range
Xiaomi has opened a new manufacturing plant in Noida, its third in India, where it will manufacture its new Mi Power Bank 2i range. Covering an area of 2.3 lakh square feet, the facility can apparently produce seven power banks per minute. 500 people are employed at the factory, and Xiaomi plans to hire more in the near future. Locally produced packaging material is used at the plant, and there are plans for local procurement of SMT (surface-mount technology) next year. As for the new Mi Power Bank 2i range, it will come in 10000mAh and 20000mAh capacities at Rs. 799 and Rs. 1,499, respectively. It will hit and Mi Home stores on November 23 and large-format retailers and Mi Preferred Partners in December.

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 gets a cheaper 4GB RAM variant
Xiaomi has launched a new Mi Note 3 variant with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage in its home market. Priced at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 19,500), this model will be positioned below the two original variants of the handset, which came with 6GB RAM and 64GB and 128GB storage options. Not yet launched in India, the Mi Note 3 was unveiled in China in September this year, and comes with a 16-megapixel front camera, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, and 3500mAh battery. Other key features include 5.5-inch full-HD screen, Snapdragon 660 chipset, AI beautification, and facial unlocking.


Vivo V7 vs Oppo F5 vs Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro: Price, Specifications Compared

Vivo V7 has become the latest entrant in the crowded market for selfie phones, bringing with it a 24-megapixel front camera. Of course, that’s not all Vivo V7 brings to the table as the handset also has a bezel-less design and 18:9 aspect ratio, along with a capacious battery and a price tag under Rs. 20,000. While it may offer many competitive features, the smartphone faces stiff competition from the recently-launched Oppo F5, another selfie phone with a similar design and features. Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro that is quite popular in the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment as well.

If you are confused with these choices, we compare the Vivo V7 price in India, specifications and feature with those of the Oppo F5 and Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro to make your buying decision easier.

Vivo V7 vs Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro vs Oppo F5 price in India
Vivo V7 price in India is Rs. 18,990, and it will go on sale on November 24; pre-bookings for the handset have already started on Flipkart. It will come pre-booking offers such as no-cost EMIs, one-time free screen replacement, exchange discount of up to Rs. 18,000, BookMyShow couple movie vouchers worth Rs. 500, and 5 percent discount on Axis Bank Buzz credit card.

Oppo F5 price in India is Rs. 19,990 for the variant with 32GB storage and 4GB RAM. Buyers get exchange discount of up to Rs. 18,500, 5 percent discount on Axis Bank Buzz credit cards, and buyback guarantee of up to Rs. 10,000 at Rs. 149. The variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, priced at Rs. 24,990, will not be available in India till December. The Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro is available at Rs. 19,900, and is available with exchange discount of up to Rs. 19,900 and no-cost EMI via Amazon.

Vivo V7 vs Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro vs Oppo F5 specifications and features
Vivo V7 has a 5.7-inch HD+ (720x1440px) display with bezel-less design and 18:9 aspect ratio. The handset runs Funtouch OS 3.2 based on Android 7.1 Nougat operating system, and is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 450 SoC with 4GB of RAM. Internal storage capacity of the handset is 32GB, with provision to use microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity.

The highlight of Vivo V7, of course, is the 24-megapixel front camera with soft ‘Moonlight Glow’ flash and f/2.0 aperture, while the rear camera has 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Other key features of the selfie phone include 4G VoLTE, fingerprint sensor, and 3000mAh battery.


Samsung Galaxy S9 to Take on iPhone X’s Face ID with Enhanced Iris Scanner: Report

While hackers are exploring ways to fool the technology behind Apple’s Face ID, Samsung is now rumoured to be working on an enhanced iris scanner to take on the iPhone X’s killer feature. The new development is reportedly in works for the Galaxy S9 that would supersede the existing Galaxy S8.

ET News reports that Samsung is developing new software to make face recognition on the Galaxy S9 speedier than its predecessor. The South Korean company is reportedly not favouring any hardware upgrade, and the basic specifications as well as the structure of the Galaxy S8 will be followed on the next Galaxy flagship. However, software tweaks are said to be in the pipeline to reduce the delay in recognising the face and scanning the iris of users.

Just like the Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S9 is rumoured to have an 8-megapixel front camera sensor with an autofocus lens. This suggests that the new Samsung handset would have something similar to the TrueDepth system that exists on the iPhone X to enable the next level of facial recognition. Apple’s technology projects more than 30,000 infrared dots onto user’s face to produce a 3D facial map and ultimately unlock the device upon authenticating access.

Google had brought its native software-based facial recognition to Android back in 2011 that enabled Face Unlock across various Ice Cream Sandwich-based handsets. However, Samsung lately developed its proprietary experience and added face unlocking support to the Galaxy Note 7 back in August last year.

Some previous rumours claimed that the Galaxy S9 with a substrate-like PCB (SLP) motherboard that will give space to a more significant battery pack. The SLP will be connected with major components such as DRAM, application processor, and NAND flash memory.

A recent note by KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo tipped the presence of a rear-facing dual camera setup on the Galaxy S9. Samsung entered the race of dual-camera smartphones with the Galaxy Note 8 earlier this year. But the presence of two camera sensors on the next Galaxy smartphone would make a close competitor against the iPhone X that debuted in September with a vertically-aligned twin camera setup. The latest iPhone enables augmented reality (AR) features and an enhanced bokeh effect-included portrait mode. It’s also being speculated that Apple will bring Face ID to all iPhone models next year. Samsung would provide similar features on its Android offering.


Xiaomi Mi Note 3 new variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage launched

Xioami launched Mi Note 3 in China in September this year in two variants – 6GB RAM with 64GB internal storage and 6GB with 128GB internal storage. Now the company has launched a cheaper variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage priced at 1,999 Yuan which is approximately Rs 19,595, as per PlayfulDroid. The new variant comes in blue colour and will be available for sale starting November 23.
The existing Mi Note 3 comes in two colour variants – Black and Blue. The 64GB variant is priced at 2499 Yuan which is approximately Rs 24,498 while the 128GB Black variant is priced at 2899 Yuan which is approximately Rs 28,420 and the Blue variant is priced at priced at 2999 Yuan which is approximately Rs 29,400.

Apart from the change in memory configuration, all the specs remain same as of the previous variants. The Mi Note 3 features a four side curved glass body and comes with a 5.5 inch full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. On the inside, it is powered by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor and Adreno 540 GPU. The Mi Note 3 comes with a curved back and an under-glass front-facing fingerprint scanner.
The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 boasts a dual rear camera setup comprising of a 12-megapixel primary wide-angle lens with 1.25μm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, dual-tone LED flash, 4-axis OIS, 4K video recording and a 12-megapixel secondary camera with telephone lens, with 1.0 μm pixel size, 52mm portrait lens, f/2.6 aperture. For selfies, it comes with a 16-megapixel shooter of 2um pixel size and features adaptable AI Beautify options. The device comes with AI-based facial recognition. It also features an IR blaster.

The smartphone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat with MIUI 9 over the top. To power up the device, there is 3050 mAh non-removable battery which supports Quick Charge 3.0. For connectivity, Xiaomi is offering dual sim, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C and NFC. The device measures 152.6×73.95×7.6 mm and weighs 163 grams.