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Redmi 9 series could bring major upgrades to low-end phones - Android Authority
A new leak points to a variety of upgrades for Xiaomi's cheapest Redmi phones.
Xiaomis low-end Redmi phones are usually among the best devices in the sub-$150 tier, with recent Redmi phones offering big batteries and several other neat features. Now, frequent leaker Sudhanshu has revealed apparent Redmi 9 series details on Twitter, and they say well see four phones in the family. These four phones are said to be the Redmi 9A, Redmi 9C, Redmi 9C with NFC, and the Redmi 9. Updated specs with pricing https://t.co/CF5YZOCYGrpic.twitter.com/gMEG4vrlWp Sudhanshu (@Sudhanshu1414) May 31, 2020 Starting with the Redmi 9A, Sudhanshu reports that the phone will be equipped with an unannounced MediaTek Helio G25 processor and Mali-G31 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, and a single 13MP rear camera. Other purported details include a 6.53-inch 720p screen, and a 100 to 120 (~$111 to ~$134) price tag. Moving to the Redmi 9C duo, its believed that these phones will offer an unannounced Helio G35 chipset with Mali-G31 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and a 5,000mAh battery. However, the leakers spec table points to the standard model offering a triple rear camera setup (13MP+5MP+2MP) while the model with NFC purportedly offers a dual camera setup (13MP+2MP). This could be a mistake, but in any event, the Redmi 9C phones are tipped to offer a 130 to 150 (~$145 to ~$167) price. The Redmi 9 is looking like the most capable device in the family, and its said to be equipped with a Helio G70 processor (seen in the Realme C3), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, and quad rear cameras (13MP+8MP+5MP+2MP). Youre also said to be getting a 5,000mAh battery and 6.53-inch FHD+ screen, while pricing is tipped at 160 to 180 (~$178 to ~$200). All the Redmi 9 series phones are apparently coming with a 5MP selfie camera, IR blaster, USB-C connectivity, 3.5mm port, and fingerprint scanner. The latter would be a pretty big deal for the Redmi 9A, as its predecessor (the Redmi 8A) doesnt have this feature. Its also worth noting that we havent heard about the Helio G25 or G35 processors before. MediaTeks Helio G series is marketed as a gaming-focused range, and its Helio G70, G80, and G90T SoCs all seem to punch above their weight on paper. Were expecting the unannounced processors to be a significant step below other Helio G chips though, but hopefully they still bring good performance to the sub-$150 tier.
iPhone SE in India: Why it's Apple's time to shine - Android Authority
The iPhone SE's attack on affordable flagships is not just great for prospective buyers, but the industry as a whole.
The launch of the all-new iPhone SE might not have come as a surprise to most, but the spec sheet sure did. Performance that comes close to that of the top-of-the-line iPhone 11, wireless charging, water-resistance, and access to the incredible iOS app ecosystem for the same $399 price point as the Pixel 3a? Whats not to like. In fact, when my colleague, David, reviewed the iPhone SE, he called it an impressive phone with a surprisingly capable camera and top-notch performance. In India though, the iPhone SE is an altogether different beast. The phone costs Rs. 42,500 (~$560) in the country which puts it squarely in the affordable-flagship price band. Apples entry-level phone is all about distilling the essentials of an iPhone experience and upselling the value of its ecosystem and brand cachet. And if Apples sales figures hold true, for a lot of buyers those hold a lot of value over the number of cameras or processor gigahertz. Our verdict:Apple iPhone SE (2020) review: Old is new, again! Now, India has been a key focus area for growth for Apple. The second-largest smartphone market in the world with over 158 million shipments in 2019, India also one of the few regions where Apple hasnt really had a break-out success story. Sure, it might sell the overwhelming majority of ultra-premium smartphones (Rs. 45,000 and above) in the country, but that is still a minuscule number of total shipments the real numbers are in the sub-flagship segment where OnePlus and, in more recent times, Xiaomi come out to play. As Apple makes strides towards becoming a larger platform and ecosystem player with the Apple Watch, Apple TV, and the accompanying streaming service, as well as cloud services, it needs a hit that moves numbers, and the iPhone SE is positioned to be just that device. Lets talk about Apple and India. How is this any different from Apples previous attempts in India? The 2020 iPhone SE is obviously not the first attempt by Cupertino to make a dent in Indias smartphone market. However, context and market maturity is key to understanding why the new iPhone SE has the potential to be Apples first mass-market success in the country. When the first-generation iPhone SE launched in India back in 2016, the premium smartphone market contributed just 3% to Indias smartphone sales. The iPhone SE cost Rs. 39,000 (~$520) in a market where competitors like the OnePlus 3 were trying to gradually shift up the price ladder and cost about Rs. 27,999 (~$370). Meanwhile, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S7 cost a princely Rs. 48,900 (~$650) in the country. The iPhone SE didnt quite have the prestige of a full-blown flagship to go against a top-tier Android phone, and just didnt offer enough incentive for buyers to splurge over the new-fangled crop of affordable flagships. India's premium-segment market has been propelled forward by the likes of OnePlus and is growing dramatically year-on-year. Since then Indias premium smartphone market has expanded at a remarkable pace, but this growth has been driven mostly on the back of affordable flagships like those by OnePlus. In fact, OnePlus was the number one premium brand in the country for all of 2019 and captured one-third of the entire premium smartphone category (Rs. 30,000/~$400 and above) with just over two million shipments for 2019. As market acceptance for higher-end phones has increased, Apple has also ridden the wave. The iPhone XR has helped Apple grow its market share in India by 41% year-on-year. The phone enjoyed multiple discounts throughout the year bringing it to as low as Rs. 49,000 (~$650) in the country and festive schemes drove down the price even further. The numbers were enough to make the iPhone XR the best selling device in the Rs. 45,000 and above category in India. With the iPhone SE pitched just below that category and more in-line with a sub-flagship segment, Apple could see a significant boost to those numbers. India is notoriously brand-conscious and Apple is the de-facto aspirational choice One key advantage Apple has is that India is a notoriously brand-conscious market and the Cupertino company is the de-facto aspirational choice. The iPhone 7, a phone from 2016, is still readily available in the country and enjoys a reasonable amount of sales. Apple isnt unaware of this fact either as it partnered up with contract manufacturer Wistron to manufacture the phone in the country to off-set the 20% import duty on smartphones in India. In fact, both the iPhone XR and iPhone 7 are manufactured in the country. The iPhone SE is a phone thats perfectly positioned to bring users on to the Apple platform. Providing cutting edge internals that will endure and stay competitive against future rivals also means that Apple is ensuring that users can buy into the larger ecosystem piecemeal over the coming years an advantage that is unique to Apple. Related:We asked, you told us: An iPhone SE-style Android phone deeply divides AA readers But wait premium Android phones have never been better Lets address the elephant in the room. The iPhone SE might not be Apples premium phone, but priced at Rs. 42,500 (~$560) it certainly is a premium phone in India. Unlike in some of Apples other core markets like the US and UK, the iPhone SE isnt a steal that destroys the competition. In India, there are more than a few Android phones around the Rs. 40,000 price point, and theyre all, for the most part, very good. The beauty of Android is the options it affords, and there are several depending on your preference. Xiaomi recently launched the Mi 10 in the country to bolster its space in the premium segment. Meanwhile, the vanilla OnePlus 8 and Realme X50 are stand-out recommendations that go up against the iPhone SE, and trounce it if you start comparing specs, or indeed the aesthetics. Some might call the iPhone 6-style throwback design a modern classic, but lets be honest, it doesnt really hold up against the edge-to-edge, high refresh rate panels that the competition brings to the table. Ironically though, the ubiquity and familiarity of the iPhone SEs design ID might just play to its strengths. After years of affordable Android phones trying to look like iPhones, heres an almost retro-esque iPhone that doesnt look anything like the competition. As for the spec sheets, these rarely tell the entire picture and thats true here. When you spend Rs. 40,000 (~$520+) for a phone, a spec sheet isnt all you are looking for. You are paying for quality and for a premium user experience without paying top-dollar. At the risk of being called an Apple shill, the iPhone leads the pack here. For once, Apple seems to have a clear understanding of what the affordable flagship segment truly wants and the iPhone SE is a testament to the strengths of the category. It delivers the same A13 Bionic chipset as the full-blown iPhone 11. Combined with Apples general focus on optimization, you are getting a phone that is hands-down one of the fastest on the market, all without having to break the bank. The Apple App Store is a much better curated space with a higher threshold of quality for apps. Despite the overwhelming popularity of Android, the Apple App Store is also a much better curated space with a higher threshold of quality apps across the board. Not only is the quality of games, apps often better, but so is the variety. From content creation to games, there are some categories that simply better addressed by the App Store than Androids de facto app store. Using the same chipset as the iPhone 11 also means that users will get years of updates. The latest version of iOS includes support for phones going back as far as 2015, including the original iPhone SE and iPhone 6S. Thats unheard of in the Android world with even the much-loved OnePlus promising two years of updates at best. The high resale value of iPhones is a good incentive for users looking to upgrade. Then there are the smaller, but equally important features like security and resale value. Touch ID and Secure Enclave on the iPhone are proven features that are tough if not impossible to crack. This means that everything from your online transactions to personal data on the phone is a lot harder, if not impossible, to get access to. Meanwhile, iPhones simply hold value a lot better. Given the long term stability of the platform, support for updates, Apples hardware can command well over 50% of the initial cost even after a few years of use. The same just isnt true for Android hardware. The iPhone SE is a well thought out long-term play over the short-term volume-driven products often seen in the segment. The phone holds back just enough to not dilute the proposition of models priced higher-up in the chain in the ultra-premium segment (the iPhone 11 starts at Rs. 64,900, ~$850), yet manages to deliver the essence of what makes an iPhone, an iPhone. Why should you care Look, Im not going to say that you should ditch your Android phone for an iPhone when looking to buy your next smartphone. There are ample reasons to like or dislike either platform and what you chose to buy is a much more subjective decision that paper specs. The iPhone SE is, simply put, a great alternative to look at while picking your next phone. Related:Imagine, for a second, if Android OEMs released an iPhone SE-style phone However, it cant be denied that pricing the iPhone SE the same as popular flagship killers puts them on notice. As Apple continues to increase its market share in India, the iPhone SE is sure to move numbers on the back of aspirational branding and the quality of services and this puts pressure on Android OEMs to up their game with better services and an improved support ecosystem. The iPhone SE has Apple getting down and dirty with affordable flagships and attacking them right where it hurts. Specs and flashy features are great, but if a back-to-basics iPhone can spur Android brands to develop a better user experience, improve long term software support, and the quality of after-sales support, thats a win for customers. The iPhone SE has Apple getting down and dirty with affordable flagships and attacking them right where it hurts, and thats great not just for prospective buyers, but the Indian smartphone industry as a whole.
Google Search app dark mode support finally starts rolling out today - Android Authority
The update should complete its roll out to devices by the end of this week, enabling the new Google Search app dark mode.
Redmi K30 Racing Edition goes official as first phone with Snapdragon 768G - Android Authority
The new Redmi K30 series phone promises a performance boost over its predecessor, but everything else remains unchanged.
Xiaomi's Mi 10 and Mi Box 4K target the premium segment in India - Android Authority
Xiaomi's Mi 10, Mi Box 4K and True Wireless earphones represent a shift in strategy.
Apple iPhone 12: All the rumors and leaks so far - Android Authority
For the first time since the launch of the iPhone X, we expect Apple to give a big revamp to the design of the line.
Xiaomi could be working on a Galaxy Z Flip-style foldable of its own - Android Authority
It looks like we could see a Galaxy Z Flip-inspired Xiaomi foldable later in 2020 or in 2021.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is arguably the most polished foldable phone we’ve seen yet, offering a familiar clamshell form factor and the Galaxy S10e‘s internals. It looks like Xiaomi could be taking this route with an upcoming foldable phone as well. ZDNet Korea reports (h/t: XDA-Developers) that Xiaomi has asked Samsung Display to supply it with clamshell-style foldable screens. It’s believed that Xiaomi asked for the same or similar screens as the ones used in the Galaxy Z Flip, pointing to the type of device the firm has in mind. The outlet also claims that Xiaomi might acquire similar screens from LG Display instead. It adds that display makers BOE and CSOT offer similar panels as well, but that there’s a big quality gap between them and Samsung’s clamshell screens. A machine-translated version of the ZDNet report points to the Chinese brand adopting a Galaxy Z Flip-style hinge. The Samsung foldable’s hinge allows the device to be opened at a variety of angles, so you can set it down on a surface for hands-free video chats and selfies. So we’re guessing Xiaomi wants similar functionality in its clamshell foldable. The website says mass production of the Xiaomi device and/or screens is expected in the second half of the year. Which means we could potentially see a Xiaomi-style Galaxy Z Flip device before the end of the year or in early 2021. Xiaomi also has a reputation for offering products at competitive prices, so we might see this device undercut the Galaxy Z Flip. However, recent devices like the Mi 10 series show that the company is heading into premium territory, so a cheaper foldable isn’t guaranteed just yet.
WhatsApp launches stickers to express yourself during COVID-19 - Android Authority
That's not a question, as WhatsApp has teamed up with the World Health Organization for new stickers.
Supplied by WhatsApp WhatsApp introduced stickers back in 2018, giving users another way to express themselves. The messaging app isn’t stopping here though, as it’s just announced a partnership with the World Health Organization to launch a new sticker pack. The Together At Home sticker pack contains a number of suitable stickers to reflect the current coronavirus-induced working and living situation. The sticker pack covers everything from video chat and working from home to yoga and washing your hands. The Together At Home sticker pack should be available to download right now on Android and iOS, and is available in 10 languages. These languages are: Arabic, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish. This isn’t the only coronavirus-related measure WhatsApp has taken in recent weeks, as it’s also rolling out a COVID-19 info bot after a successful trial in South Africa. The company has also raised the limit of group audio and video calls to eight participants this week, with the change being pushed out now. WhatsApp says it’s also launching stickers based on the Japanese character Rilakkuma. This will be available starting from today as well.