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  1. We've been talking about a foldable smartphone by Samsung for years and it seems like the company will finally reveal the smartphone. We will finally get a glimpse at Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event on February 20 as the company teased the smartphone via a tweet. The South Korean company tweeted with the caption “The future of mobile will unfold,” which basically confirms that it would at least give consumers a glimpse into the foldable smartphone which is said to open and close like a book. The future of mobile will unfold on February 20, 2019. #SamsungEvent pic.twitter.com/MHvwrt7Rf4 — Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) February 11, 2019 We've already seen the prototype of the phone back in November when Samsung showed off the foldable phone encased in a bulky cover. Justin Denison, Samsung Electronics America SVP and GM, indicated that the phone was hidden in the case so that the true design could be revealed at its official launch which looks like it will be happening in eight days. © Twitter Denison also detailed that the smartphone could not only expand to seven inches but also run three apps at the same time. It is said to have a very sleek appearance with a screen that “had to be thinner than any other.” © Twitter/CNet Samsung Vietnam may have actually revealed the design of the phone earlier this month in a teaser video that is now deleted. Samsung is not the only phone maker that has been working on a foldable smartphone as Rouyu and LG both plan to launch their foldable device later this year.
  2. Smartphone companies have been trying to innovate ever since Apple changed the game with the iPhone X and XS notch. Companies have been trying to incorporate the same or a smaller notch into their smartphones to make the experience less intrusive. Some smartphones like the Vivo Nex have a pop-up selfie camera while the OnePlus 6T has a water drop notch. Samsung introduced a punch-hole selfie camera on one of its smartphones and Honor took the next step by placing it on the top-left corner. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla While the punch-hole screen may be the star attraction here, the smartphone also packs a punch when it comes to performance. Considering the price, the Honor View 20 has hit the ball out of the park with what all it can do. It's the first major smartphone launch of 2019 in India and what a start it has been. We've been using the Honor View 20 for almost three weeks as our daily device and here's what we think about the smartphone: Design and Display The Honor View 20 has a 6.4-inch punch-punch-hole Full HD+ LCD display and has a wider aspect ratio than other smartphones of the same size. The display has a resolution of (2,310 x 1,080 pixels) and has an aspect ratio of 19:25.9 © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The LCD screen is quite impressive given that it's the nearest competitor being the OnePlus 6T features an OLED panel. The only time we faced an issue with the display was when we tried to use it directly under the sun. That's an annoying problem with LCDs in general which is why some people prefer an OLED panel. Majority of the time, the display had great colour representation, viewing angels were strong and have a brightness level of 370 nits. The front-facing camera on the Honor View 20 is also not intrusive when it comes to the viewing experience. It took us a day or two to get used to the punch-hole camera as we often thought there was a smudge on the screen. This was simply because it was the first device we used with a camera setup like this. In time, we got used to the punch-hole camera display and made it harder to switch back to a smartphone with a notch. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of design, the Honor View 20 is by far our favourite device by the Chinese company. It has a bright blue glass back phone that also as the letter “V” etched in the design. In fact, the V-Shaped pattern at the rear can catch the light and give a unique look from different angles. We love the bold blue colour as it is eye-catching and looks distinct from other smartphones. Build quality of the smartphone is also quite good as it has an aluminium frame with a premium finish. It has a 3.5mm jack (yay!) And a super fast fingerprint scanner at the back. Performance and Specifications The Honor View 20 is packed with quite a few components that make it Huawei Mate 20 Pro's younger brother. It is powered by the same Kirin 980 chipset (octa-core: 2x 2.6GHz, 2x 1.92GHz, 4x 1.8GHz) and is coupled with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. We got the 6GB/128 GB variant for review and it still managed to perform like a beast. The Kirin 980 chipset has primary and secondary cores that perform different tasks. These cores are complemented by 'mid' cores that help in conserving battery life and balance the workload. During our tests, the Honor View 20 scored 9588 in the multi-core test and 3308 single-core score test, respectively. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla That's even faster than the McLaren edition of the OnePlus 6T that has 10GB of RAM. It proves that RAM is not the only factor that contributes towards the speed of a smartphone —a common misconception in India. In terms of security, the Honor View 20 has a fingerprint scanner at the back that works blazingly fast and also has facial recognition. It works in a very rudimentary manner as it uses a punch-hole camera for scanning. Since it does not use has IR tracing, the Facial recognition feature is not as accurate as the Mate 20 Pro. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We used the Honor View 20 to play games like PUBG, Command & Conquer Rivals and Asphalt and faced no issues in regards to gaming performance. We didn't experience any frame rate drops, connectivity or over-heating issues. In fact, we prefer using the Honor View 20 for our gaming needs over any other smartphone right now. That's simply because the punch-hole display provides more immersive experience. As for battery life, the Honor View 20 has a 4,000 mAh battery that easily manages to last more than a full day on moderate use. While gaming, the battery life would drop down to 16 hours which is quite impressive in our opinion. It is bundled with a 5V fast-charger which is fast enough to phone going in under an hour. It's not as fast as OnePlus' warp charge, but it's still fast enough to get regular top-ups. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Honor View 20 turns it up a notch in the camera department as well since it has a 48-megapixel snapper paired with a large sensor and an extremely quick f/1.8 aperture. It also has a TOF 3D stereo camera. It's the only smartphone in India that has resolution of that scale and the second smartphone in the world to do so. Sony's new IMX586 sensor is truly a beast and it often takes detailed and sharp images. Honor has also included an AI feature called “AI Ultra Clarity” which we are yet to test when Honor releases the update for Indian handsets. If you want a reference point, the View 20 outmatches the OnePlus 6T by a mile. Even the 25-MP selfie camera does a good job; however, we found some images to be a bit over-exposed and inaccurate with the bokeh effect. Here are some camera samples for your reference: View this post on Instagram Images shot using the #HonorView20. #smartphones #technology #technews A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Jan 28, 2019 at 6:00am PST The Final Say The View 20 is by far the most powerful and beautiful smartphones ever made by Honor. It's the jack of all trades that can do everything a midrange flagship is supposed to do. It beats the OnePlus 6T in performance and photography and the punch-hole screen is a dream to use. It includes a headphone jack which is always a plus but lacks any form of water resistance. If you are looking for a smartphone that looks awesome but can also perform like a dream, the Honor View 20 is your purchase of the year.
  3. In the last year, the smartphone industry has drastically changed in India. Xiaomi has been on a blitzkrieg to grab market share and everyone has been trying their best to catch up. In this chaos, we witnessed the launch of a new brand called Realme. At first, the company focused on making budget phones and rapidly changed its focus to the midrange as well. The Redmi series has been ruling the segment, and the Realme U1 was launched specifically to challenge the incumbent. Realme is a very young brand and has always wanted to attract the younger audience. The Realme U1 has a premium-ish design, huge cameras on paper, and a brand new processor. Realme also has OPPO's backing in terms of development experience and readily available technology. While the Redmi Note 6 Pro was massively trolled for using the same processor of the predecessor, Realme grabbed the opportunity. But, specifications mean nothing if they can't deliver an equivalent experience. Let's see whether this phone has what it takes to be a segment leader. Design & Display: © MensXP The phone looks strikingly similar to the Realme 2 Pro, in fact, the two have the exact same design, display, physical dimensions, weight and even the camera and loudspeaker grille placement. The Realme U1 comes in three colour variants—Ambitious Black, Brave Blue and Fiery Gold. The device is extremely light to hold and sports a glass-like back with a reflective surface. The back cover is made out of a transparent acrylic composite and not glass. The Realme U1 has a plastic frame around the display that bulges out on all four sides, giving the rather flat device a rounded appearance around the edges. I prefer the curved edges as it makes the phone ergonomic and more resistant to drops. The backing isn't easily prone to scratches and the camera bump is barely noticeable. © MensXP The left side houses the volume rocker and a SIM tray, while the right side has the power button. A micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack sit at the bottom. For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear which is sufficiently fast and extremely easy to locate. Yes, the reflective backing makes the phone slippery and prone to smudges. When compared to the competition, the phone has a cleaner design and the composite material does an excellent job at imitating itself as glass. © MensXP On the front, it has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2340x1080. Thanks to the waterdrop notch, it has a whopping 90 per cent to body ratio. In terms of looks, yes, the front looks stunning due to the small bezels and chin. For indoor usage, the display is bright enough and has well-saturated colours. But it lacks contrast and visibility under direct sunlight is poor. Camera: © MensXP Realme U1 comes with a 13-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear camera, and a 25-megapixel front camera. The rear camera has the Portrait mode, where you can create a shallow depth of field. The rear camera does deliver well, even if the details might not be as sharp in low-light. It also supports facial identification point via AI for faster authentication. In good lighting conditions, the rear camera has exceedingly sharp pictures with ample detail. In low light, the phone often fails to adjust proper shutter speed or exposure and messes up the image. Same goes for the front camera. Obviously, it comes with an AI Selfie mode to beautify pictures and you can turn it off. © MensXP It supports video recording in 1080p and the quality is as we expected. The auto-focus is quick to respond and the frame rates are solid. While the camera app can work well most of the time, there are times where it lags a bit. © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP Performance & Software: Under the hood, the Realme U1 is very different from the Realme 2 Pro. It features MediaTek's Helio P70 processor clocked at 2.1GHz and paired with ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU clocked at 900MHz for better image processing. In simpler terms, the overall performance and AI tasks are much better than the P60 and it's unarguably one of the best in the price range. The phone's performance did not show any glaring problems. There is no noticeable lag during gaming with titles like PUBG on "medium" graphics, and there's no heating issue or massive frame drops. There's also a DND for Gaming mode making it a delight for intensive gamers. Our unit had 3GB RAM, and it was more than sufficient for light multitasking. © MensXP The phone runs Android Oreo out of the box along with ColorOS 5.2 UI. ColorOS on this phone does have some new tweaks and features making it more stable and optimized for heavy usage. There are a few bloatware apps, but they can be easily removed and additional features include gestures for navigation, taking screenshots, and enabling split-screen mode. The UI still doesn't have an app drawer, and like every other phone, the notch can be disabled. Overall, the UI does tend to stutter sometimes, but they aren't long enough and won't actually affect you for more than a second. It comes with a 3500 mAh battery which lasted me well through the day, and even more on lighter usage. The screen on time is almost 14.5 hours and the phone comes bundled with a 10W charger. The Final Say: © MensXP Starting at Rs 12,999, the Realme U1 is a worthy phone that delivers well on all fronts. In fact, performance-wise it's often better than its much more expensive counterparts like the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The phone is built for users who want performance, good selfies, and a sturdy design. If you're looking for a photography-centric phone, this isn't built for you. The Realme U1 starts at Rs 11,999 for the 3 GB RAM model and the 4 GB RAM variant is priced at Rs 13,999. Considering, that the Realme U1 has a powerful processor and delivers a decent battery life, the 3 GB variant is actually a must grab.
  4. OnePlus have been making spectacular smartphones that deliver one of the best Android experiences. It offers flagship-level performance and design for a fraction of a premiums smartphone's price. It's powered by Qualcomm's latest chipset every year and has one of the most beloved features i.e. Warp Charge. Even though the company opted to remove the headphone jack, the company still got a pass simply because they deliver great hardware — apart from one thing. © OnePlus While OnePlus smartphones perform like a beast, they always seem to underperform in one department — the camera. Don't get me wrong, the camera is not awful but it's also not up to the mark when compared to other smartphones. We test numerous smartphones throughout the year and even some budget smartphones have managed to take better pictures than the OnePlus 6/6T. I've often heard internet trolls comment on every iPhone or Pixel Review “I can buy a OnePlus 6 and a DSLR for the same price as an iPhone.” While that may be true when considering price as a factor, but if you like to take quality pictures, you will end up doing just that. Unless you're a photography enthusiast, you really don't want to lug around a DSLR camera everywhere with you. Ask me! I do it for reviews and it's not always convenient. In an age where social media plays a vital role in our lives, we really need a good camera smartphone that doesn't cost too much and OnePlus needs to be that phone. I'm not saying that future OnePlus smartphones need to have the best smartphone cameras, I'm just saying it needs to be better. © OnePlus Even with the addition of Nightscape mode on the OnePlus 6T, the camera still takes pictures that are often blurry, noisy and also face focusing issues. In fact, it's a recurring problem that you can find on OnePlus' official forums as well. Having said that, the company has improved the OnePlus6/6T's imagine capabilities over time with regular software updates and incremental upgrades in the hardware department each year, we can expect something outstanding with the OnePlus 7. OnePlus and Oppo share the same supply chain as we've seen OnePlus use the tear-drop design it borrowed from R17 Pro. In fact, there's a good chance that OnePlus may use Oppo's upcoming smartphone camera. As of now, the OnePlus 6/6T uses a dual-camera setup however neither of the lenses is a telephoto lens. Hence, the smartphone uses the 1x/2x zoom feature digitally which often leads to an image with distortion. OnePlus could use Oppo's new Telephoto lens that is expected to be announced at MWC next month. The new camera is said to have a 10x optical zoom which means it is possible to see a similar camera on a future OnePlus smartphone. © Twitter_Venya Geskin OnePlus has already confirmed that its future smartphone will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset and is also working on a 5G ready phone. Other rumours suggest that the OnePlus 7 may have a seamless notch-less design and a sliding front-facing camera. In many ways, OnePlus 6T/6 is already the perfect Android smartphone for users. It delivers great performance, charges real quick and has one of the best UIs out of there. It offers a premium design that sometimes outmatches flagship level smartphones. All we need now is a great camera sensor that can make OnePlus 7 the perfect smartphone we've always wanted. It's the only reason preventing me from making it my primary device and if OnePlus manages to deliver a great camera, it will be the ultimate smartphone of 2019.
  5. Smartphones having an in-screen fingerprint scanner or fingerprint-on-display technology (FoD) is not a distant idea anymore. It's already made its way on smartphones like the OnePlus 6T, Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Vivo Nex and a bunch of other smartphones. Rumours suggest that even the next Samsung flagship smartphone the Galaxy S10 is expected to use the same technology. However, the one drawback everyone faces is the accuracy of this technology. Having said that, it's just the beginning of this technology that will get more advancements, or have we already? © Weibo Xiaomi's upcoming smartphone might be equipped with an in-display sensor that is not only accurate but is faster than what we've already seen until now. Current in-display fingerprint sensors are not only less accurate but are also slower. It requires the user to place the finger on a specified location for a few seconds. Even while enrolling a new fingerprint, it requires multiple annoying presses in order for it to work. However, it seems like Xiaomi has a solution to this conundrum as the company's co-founder and president Lin Bin showed off the new FoD technology in a Weibo post. In the video, we can see that enrolling a new fingerprint takes second on a single tap. The other thing we noticed was that the area where you can place your finger to unlock the phone is comparably bigger; in fact, it takes up half the screen. The sensor used in this prototype phone is said to be 50.2 mm x 25mm in size. Not only is this probably the fastest form of FoD technology, but it's also probably the most accurate as well. It seems like this technology is in development and it would be exciting to see a real commercial phone utilising the new FoD sensor by Xiaomi. Nevertheless, we are excited to see if other companies will have a similar solution anytime soon.
  6. Smart shoes are going to be the next big thing in smart wearables and Nike unveiled the Adapt BB, a shoe that can lace itself and can be controlled via an app. It's called the Adapt BB and can be used to track activity and even customisation. It connects with the Nike Adapt app on smartphones which can be used to control the shoe for different types of fitting. © Nike The app enables the wearer to customise the fit of the shoe by tightening and loosening it up giving it a true custom fit for a user. The smart shoe is an extension of Nike's HyperAdapt 1.0 show which was the company's first multipurpose performance shoe. © Nike Nike details in its press note on how the smart features can be used: “We picked basketball as the first sport for Nike Adapt intentionally because of the demands that athletes put on their shoes. During a normal basketball game the athlete's foot changes and the ability to quickly change your fit by loosening your shoe to increase blood flow and then tighten again for performance is a key element that we believe will improve the athlete's experience,” says Eric Avar, Nike VP Creative Director of Innovation. How Does It Work? When one slips in their foot, the Nike Adapt BB's custom motor and great senses the amount of tension that's needed by the foot. It then tightens itself and adjust the fit according to the foot of the user. Even though these kicks don't use traditional laces, it sort of laces itself for the user. Nike says “the tensile strength of the underfoot lacing is able to pull 32 pounds of force (roughly equal to that of a standard parachute cord) to secure the foot throughout a range of movement.” © Nike Users can then adjust the shoe according to their own preference depending on what activity they will be performing. For example, a player can loosen up the show either manually or from the app while relaxing during a break. Before re-entering the court, a user can tighten up the fit according to his/her preference. The technology on the shoe can also be updated via firmware upgrades on the app and in theory upgrade its capabilities. The Nike Adapt BB will cost $350 (Rs 25,000 approx), which is quite reasonable as previous iterations cost upwards of $700. The smart shoe is expected to launch next month and its India pricing and availability details are yet to be announced.
  7. For years we've heard companies brag about their research and development on foldable or bendable displays. Flexing a display isn't new though; both Samsung and LG had their short stints with slightly bendable displays with the Galaxy Round and G Flex. But, the technology remains new and lacks practical applications right now. Samsung got us all excited again in November by finally showing off a concept phone. It did not detail whether the smartphone will go on sale anytime soon or how much it will cost, but it's sure that we can expect a launch soon in the coming quarters. © Samsung Last year, we saw reports stating that even Huawei and LG are working on "foldable" displays. One thing is crystal clear, the future of smartphones is bendable. And, this is the essential reason why every major player wants a piece in the development process. Google is relatively new to the "hardware" part of smartphones with the Pixel series. Even after three generations of launches, the line-up is yet to pick up traction in terms of sales. Now, a fresh rumour is doing the rounds stating Google is also working on foldable phones. © YouTube According to Wccf tech, their source "Murtazin" believes Google has a foldable smartphone under the works. The source has a mixed track record, and we wouldn't jump seeing a single report, but there are multiple official announcements that solidify this claim. In August, Google announced native support for foldable phones in Android. And, Google was also awarded a patent for a hinged folding phone, and it looked like it might be working with Motorola on the development. © USPTO The United States Patent and Trademark Office published the details of the invention on its website, which shows a two-part handset with a hinged area in the middle. The majority of the text covers the method of displaying on or either side of the hinge, plus the software that would control it. Additionally, the document illustrates the different modes the phone could be used in. Keep in mind, it's normal for companies to patent technology as soon as possible. But, this doesn't guarantee fruition of the project. We are confident about one thing though, Google won't be the "first" one to release this technology. Samsung has been aiming for the throne since years and seems almost ready to grab it. Source: Wccf tech
  8. The year is about to come to an end and it's time to look back and cherish the amazing memories we've made. Smartphones have become our de facto companions and are a core part of our everyday life. For the nerds out there, 2018 has been a spectacular year, given the number of new things we've seen. 2016 was all about removing the headphone jack, edge-to-edge display, and faster fingerprint scanners. 2017 was all about dual cameras and AI-based features. But 2018 has brought a number of new aspects, along with a tonne of devices. Every week we saw companies launch new products. Xiaomi itself held launch events every other month, Realme made a surprisingly quick launch (like a rocket), ASUS is back in the game with Stock Android, and OnePlus continues to rule over others. The flagship maker Samsung was seen cruising at a constant speed while Huawei tried to gain as much as possible. OPPO and Vivo were in an alternate universe, trying new things with their offerings like a kid who just can't get enough. Oh, and how can we forget the Pixel leaks! While a lot has happened, these are the primary new trends we saw in 2018 and expect them to slowly become mainstream in the coming year as well. 1. The Notch: © MensXP / Shivam Vahia It all started with the Essential Phone that was launched in 2017, but the iPhone X made it mainstream. And we all know, once Apple does it, everyone follows. Since the beginning of 2018, every brand was busy slapping a notch on as many phones as possible. Thanks to the notch, everyone had a slightly better screen-to-body ratio to boast. The only company to stay away from this trend is Samsung. Well, their flagships displays are already too good, they just don't need any more space. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia By the end of the year, phone makers started working on making the notch smaller (Google rebelled against this, it's still young!). The BBK family that includes OPPO, Vivo, and OnePlus got onboard the water-droplet notch and even included their cousin, Realme. Within a short period, a notch-less phone started giving very ancient vibes, and the notch helped in making 18:9 aspect ratio mainstream. The notch was welcomed by some and hated by the rest, but it just wouldn't go. The demand was so high, Google was quick to include support in Android Pie as well. 2. Sliding / Moving Modules: © MensXP / Akshay Bhalla Apple implemented a notch because there was no space for a 3D infrared array. Other brands followed, irrespective of the fact that they didn't even have these sensors to use. The notch soon housed the front camera, earpiece, ambient light sensor, and just a few selective phones had a small infrared sensor. But we all knew, the notch is a makeshift solution, what are we going to do next? Moving Modules. BlackBerry was a laughing stock when it launched the Priv back in 2015. Who would've thought Android OEMs will be messing around with the age-old concept in 2018? Well, Vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi, and Huawei took this seriously. How do you remove the notch, put in an edge-to-edge display, and place multiple sensors on the front, all in one go? You use a sliding mechanism! The Vivo APEX was a concept phone and it made it to production within a few months. Soon, the Vivo NEX was in the market with a sliding camera module. A small block slides out of the top when you open the camera app and conveniently goes back in when not needed. This was a eureka moment for the Chinese. © BCCL In the next few months, we saw the launch of OPPO Find X and it had a much bigger sliding mechanism. Xiaomi has the Mi MIX 3 and it basically slides the back, similar to the BlackBerry Priv. Even the Honor Magic 2 is suspected to have a similar build. Though, we still don't know how durable or reliable these moving parts are, only time will tell. Also, these companies are still trying to figure out a practical setup for these modules and all the phones launched till now are pretty much crash test dummies. 3. In-Display Fingerprint Scanner: © The Verge By the end of 2017, we were sure these are close by and we expected Samsung to be the first one. Though, Vivo took the first spot by joining Synaptics and launching the Vivo X21. The scanner was soon seen in the Vivo NEX as well as the V11 Pro. The major concern everyone had was speed, how fast and accurate can this technology be? The X21 was fairly slow but accurate. The recognition speed did gradually improve and even OnePlus went on to use it in the OnePlus 6T. For OnePlus, this year was all about speed and using onboard AI, the sensor got faster over usage. © AndroidHeadlines Though, this wasn't as groundbreaking as we expected it to be. Even the end user didn't actually care whether the scanner is located on the back, or inside the display. For phone makers, it's a huge deal because an in-display sensor takes up lesser space. This authentication method was also backed by a much improved facial recognition process called Face Unlock. When the two offerings were combined, the user experience remained unhindered. 4. Multiple Cameras: © Huawei Dual cameras are a thing of the past. We've seen a dual setup on the rear as well as on the front. But this year, Huawei took it to the next level with the P20 Pro. In a normal setup, you have a primary lens along with the option of a telephoto sensor, monochrome sensor, or wide-angle lens. The P20 Pro brought in a primary lens, a telephoto sensor, as well as a monochrome shooter. When the three were combined and used, the output was exceptionally good. No other phone came close. In most cases, you won't be able to distinguish between a picture shot on a DSLR and the phone. Huawei followed the same trend with the Mate 20 Pro as well. © MensXP / Shivam Vahia Out of all the ongoing trends, the multi-camera trend caught Samsung's attention. Not only did it launch the Galaxy A7, a midrange phone that sported a primary lens, a depth sensor, and wide angle lens but also the Galaxy A9 that brought in four cameras on the rear. We expect to see more phones coming up with these setups in the future given the amount of attention they have garnered. Even though the feature is technically a niche, sales have been extremely positive. 5. Gaming Phones: © Variety When we usually hear about gamers, a high-end PC or console usually comes to mind. Now, we're making way for a completely new genre of gaming: Mobile Gamers. While mobile games have been present for decades, the new trend has been kicked-off by huge games like PUBG and Fortnite. Players are addicted to these games and spend hours playing every day. This has suddenly opened up a completely new market segment for smartphones. There is a demand for phones that have the incredible processing power, cooling, and battery. While the Razer Phone was launched last year, the latest demand has opened up doors for Redmagic, Xiaomi, ASUS, as well as Huawei. © YouTube In fact, Honor Play was a beast at a midrange price. Many even consider the POCO F1 to be in a similar category. Liquid cooling has let OEMs slightly overclock the processor and add a better display panel. These phones are built for gaming, and hence portability isn't really a primary point of consideration during the design process. Hence, companies have also managed to add a bigger and heavier battery in them.
  9. Lenovo has been out of the smartphone game for a while, especially since the company's 2018 portfolio looks less than impressive. But that all will seem to change with Lenovo's latest offering that will turn some heads in the coming months. The smartphone in question is the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT that has some stellar specifications and even a greater design. © Lenovo The first thing you will notice is the display with zero bezels. Lenovo has opted to use a similar sliding design as the Honor Magic 2 where the front-facing camera and the earpiece is hidden in the body. The selfie camera and the earpiece will slide up whenever a user requires to use it. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT will also be one of the first few smartphones that will have Qualcomm's 855 processor under the hood. The only other smartphone to feature the new chipset is probably going to be the OnePlus 7. The Z5 Pro GT is taking the game up a notch though as it will have 12 GB of RAM. That's the most amount of RAM we've ever seen on a smartphone yet. © Lenovo At launch, the Z5 Pro GT will come with Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with support for Android 9.0 Pie in the near future. Lenovo's move to launch a smartphone in 2019 with Android Oreo is definitely disappointing however we don't know yet how Android 9.0 Pie performs in tandem with the Qualcomm's new chipset. In terms of display, the Z5 Pro GT has a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 Full HD. The smartphone has a 3,350 mAh battery powering it which is more than enough for full day use. The primary camera at the back has a dual lens setup with a 16-megapixel primary lens and a 24-megapixel secondary lens. There are also two front-facing camera lenses i.e. a 16-megapixel primary lens coupled with an 8-megapixel infrared lens for facial recognition. The Z5 Pro GT also has an in-display fingerprint sensor that can be used as an alternative way to unlock the smartphone. © Lenovo The smartphone will available to purchase in China from January 15th with two variants. The 6GB RAM version with 128GB of internal storage will cost 2,698 yuan (Rs 27,500 Approx). The 12GB RAM variant with 512GB storage will be way costlier as it will retail for 4,398 yuan (Rs 45,000 Approx). As of now, it isn't certain whether the smartphone will see a release in India but keep a lookout for MenXP Tech for more news on the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT.
  10. We're all accustomed to tech companies taking a dig at each other and the most popular of all rivalries is the one between Samsung and Apple. Samsung has constantly mocked the Cupertino Giant ever since Apple decided to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. © Samsung Samsung introduced its latest smartphone i.e. the Galaxy A8s where it has an Infinity-O display, a near edge-to-edge display and a small hole for the front-facing camera. Samsung also quietly removed the headphone jack, directly contradicting the South Korean company's mocking stand over Apple. © Samsung At the Galaxy Note 7 launch, Samsung mocked Apple live at the event as Samsung executive Justin Denison pointed out "Want to know what else it comes with?" he asked. "An audio jack. I'm just saying," he answered, smirking as the audience laughed. Samsung also mocked Apple in its latest advertisements for the Galaxy S9/S9+ which you can see below: It seems like Samsung has gone the Apple way now with the Galaxy A8s, where users have to use a dongle to use their own wired headphones. Users will be forced to use a USB-C to 3.5mm jack adapter just like how one would on an iPhone X/XS/8 and 7. © Twitter Having said that, rumours say that the Galaxy S10 will still continue to sport a headphone jack and will probably be the last device by the company to do so. According to the Korean website ETNews, Samsung is considering removing the headphone jack from the Galaxy Note 10 and all other future phones. Other companies like Google and Huawei who have also poked fun at Apple for the same reasons, have now followed suit with the Pixel 2/2XL and Mate 20 Pro respectively. Oh well, it seems like Apple followed the trend way sooner than any of its competitors and it seems like more companies will be doing the same in the near future. *Main image for representation purposes only. Source: Macrumors
  11. Last week, HMD Global announced the launch of Nokia 8.1 globally and now the company is all set to bring the device to India. The phone belongs to the premium midrange segment and the main highlights of the phone are its premium design, PureDisplay screen, and the new Snapdragon 710 chipset. The Nokia 7 Plus was a stellar phone with an unmatchable design. It was rock solid and had subtle premium queues like a copper line around the phone and very compact metal build. The Nokia 8.1 follows the same design language and brings the addition of an all-glass back. © Sree Hari It features a two-tone design, is built out of 6000-Series aluminium that has diamond cut edges, and has been through two anodising processes. On the front is a 6.18-inch display with Full HD+ (2246x1080) resolution and 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The screen comes with PureDisplay technology that essentially offers higher contrast of 1:1500 and a sharper display along with HDR10 support. The screen also has up to 500 nits of brightness and 96 percent colour gamut. Powering the phone is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 chipset clocked up to 2.2GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The phone has 64GB internal storage along with the option of expansion via a microSD card. © Sree Hari On the back are Zeiss powered 12-megapixel primary sensor along with a 13-megapixel secondary lens. The primary sensor supports optical image stabilization while the secondary offers depth sensing. The front camera is an AI-enabled 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Nokia's camera app has a Pro Camera UI that lets you use several manual camera options to capture the perfect picture. The phone has a 3500mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging via a USB-C port. Nokia says the phone can deliver up to 22 hours of talk-time and 11 hours of video playback on one charge. For authentication, the fingerprint scanner is located on the back. © Sree Hari It ships with Android 9.0 Pie out of the box along with Google ARCore support. Just like other Nokia branded phones, this phone is also a part of the Android One program, meaning software updates are faster to roll-out. In India, the phone will be available from 21st December 2018 in Blue/ Silver, Steel/ Copper, and Iron/ Steel colour option. The 4GB+64GB variant is priced at Rs 26,999.
  12. Apple's new smartphone i.e. the iPhone XR is now the company's best-selling smartphone since it went on sale last month. The news comes from a company executive who told Reuters about the smartphone's success. In fact, it was our favourite smartphone from the lineup and you can read our full review here. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The iPhone XR is Apple's cheaper smartphone from 2018's lineup and costs Rs 52,000. It was launched after Apple released the iPhone XS and XS Max, which start at Rs 70,000. It was a no-brainer that the iPhone XR will be Apple's most successful device this year as it has almost all the key features as its expensive counterparts but costs significantly less. It has Apple's Face unlocking feature i.e. Face ID and even has Apple's A12 Bionic chip under the hood. Apple has not detailed any numbers as to how many iPhones have sold so far which makes it harder to get the whole picture. For now, we can only assume that it is selling better than the iPhone Xs and Xs Max as both smartphones are relatively very expensive. Apple has reportedly cut both iPhone XS and iPhone XR orders following lower-than-expected demand. Apple is said to have slashed iPhone XR production by up to a third. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Apple's stock has taken a 20 percent slump since the company announced its quarterly earnings. The decline resulted in Apple losing its Trillion dollar value which the company had achieved before announcing the new iPhones. Microsoft has now taken over Apple to be the most valued company in the world recently thanks to its booming cloud business. We can only assume that the iPhone XR has been performing well due to the cheaper price tag. It would be interesting to see actual sales figures to get a better idea at Apple's performance, however, we will only know for sure when a third party analyst gives us the full picture. Source: Cnet
  13. Now that smartphones are capable of handling games with high fidelity graphics, smartphone companies are now looking to launch gaming-centric phones. PUBG Mobile has grown exponentially in the Indian subcontinent and the ROG smartphone is banking on its success. The ROG smartphone is India's first gaming smartphone that competes with the Razer Phone, Xiaomi's Black Shark and Nubia Red Magic. ROG © ASUS ROG stands for 'Republic of Gamers', a division in ASUS that makes high-end gaming PC components such as motherboards and cases. The company is now trying to replicate the same ethos on the ROG smartphone that has all the bells and whistles including RGB lighting. It has a very distinct aggressive look that screams 'Gamer smartphone' when you look at it from every angle. It has RBG lighting at the back that can be customised just like you would on a motherboard and has two USB Type-C ports for better functionality when gaming. Specifications The ASUS ROG smartphone has specs under the hood you would expect from a flagship smartphone. It as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor clocked at 2.96 GHz (the fastest speed-binned 845 SoC) and is coupled with 8GB of RAM. In terms of internal storage, the smartphone comes in one configuration for India i.e. 128GB. To back up these components, the ASUS ROG phone has a 4,000 mAh battery which is enough for mobile gaming and daily usage. The coolest feature of this smartphone is its display as it has a 6.0-inch AMOLED screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The cool part is that the screen has a refresh rate of 90Hz which is ideal for gamers who need that advantage while playing online shooters. Gaming Features And Accessories © BCCL To make things for gamers, ASUS ROG phone has air triggers on the body of the smartphone that acts as additional buttons. The ultrasonic touch sensors can be configured to specific keys in a game to perform certain actions. It basically acts as shoulder buttons i.e. L1/R1 you would see on PlayStation controllers. ASUS has also incorporated a GameCool vapour-chamber cooling system, to keep the innards cool when gaming. It comes with a detachable AeroActive Cooler for extra cooling in the ROG Phone. Other accessories include TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld mode (works like Nintendo 3DS), a Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming and a Gamevice controller. © BCCL The ROG Phone also has a specific gaming called the 'X mode'. When turned on, it basically boosts up the performance of the smartphone and hides all notification that may interrupt gameplay. It also pushes the clock speed on the processor for a smoother gaming experience. Pricing And Availability The ASUS ROG phone will retail in India for Rs 69,990 (8GB+128GB) and will be available exclusively via Flipkart. Accessories like the Professional Dock will be available at Rs 5,499, GameVice at Rs 5,999, TwinView Dock at Rs 21,999, Desktop Dock at Rs 12,999, and ROG Phone Case at Rs 2,499.
  14. When it comes to Android smartphones, not many can show off flagship level photography, design and functionality at the same time. We've been using Huawei's Mate 20 Pro and so far the smartphone has been a delight to use apart from a few caveats. The smartphone will retail in India for Rs 69,990 and will be available to buy via Amazon from December 4th. Here are our first impressions of the upcoming smartphone Design © YouTube The Mate 20 Pro has a unique yet exciting design that boasts a premium feel to it. It as a curved display which makes it easier to hold and fits perfectly in the palm of our hands. It has a glass body and comes in two colours i.e. Emerald Green and Twilight Blue. The Twilight Blue variant basically changes colour each time we tilt the phone in front of light from different angles. The top half has a blue tint while the bottom has a black tint. Huawei has now removed the headphone jack and has opted to go the USB Type-C route channelling audio. The port is also used to channel out audio in case you want to make a loudspeaker call. Display, Specifications and Other Features The Mate 20 Pro has a 6.39-inch OLED display that has Quad HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is by far one of the prettiest screens we've seen since the Galaxy Note 9 and we will a detailed opinion in our official review. © YouTube The smartphone has Huawei's proprietary 7nm Kirin 980 SoC and is quite powerful when it comes to performance. In fact, it is probably the fastest chipset we have used on an Android smartphone and a detailed analysis of the smartphone will be given in the official review. Since this is our first impression, we can only say that it performs like a beast. Huawei claims that the Kirin 980 chipset offers 20 percent improves performance and 40 percent improved efficiency over 10nm chipsets. The Mate 20 Pro comes with up to 6GB of RAM which is more than enough for the chipset to use and carry out daily tasks and gaming. © YouTube The Mate 20 Pro is outfitted with a massive 4,200mAh battery that outlasts most Android smartphones out there. It also has 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging which can be used to charge other devices. This is a nifty feature we used to charge our iPhone XS Max and still had enough battery left to use the Mate 20 Pro for the rest of the day. The Mate 20 Pro also has support for 40W SuperCharge technology which means it gets fully charged in a very short period of time. The Mateo 20 Pro also has an in-display fingerprint sensor and works like a charm in the little time we've used the smartphone. It also has 3D facial recognition in the notch that aides in unlocking the smartphone. It works just like the iPhone X/Xs and uses IR dots for unlocking the phone even in dark environments. The Mate 20 Pro also has an IP68 certification which means it is water and dust resistant. Cameras © YouTube The Mate 20 Pro comes with a triple camera setup at the rear and is probably the most exciting specification of the smartphone. The cameras are arranged in a 2X2 grid where one spot is being occupied by the LED flash. The Mate 20 Pro comes with a 40-megapixel f/1.8 standard lens, 20-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS. We've been using the camera exclusively in low-light conditions and some of the pictures look impressive. The Mate 20 Pro has a night mode similar to Google Pixel's Night Sight that tweaks images shot in dark environments with AI. We will give our detailed review of the camera in the official review but for now you can see some samples below: The #HuaweiMate20pro is a beast when it comes to night photography. Shot this at 4 am outside my hotel. pic.twitter.com/2CuxkMwVrU — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) November 28, 2018 Final First Impressions Overall, the smartphone is a beast from what we've used so far. It can take some impressive features in low-low-light and performs faster than any other Android phone we've sued. With nifty features like reverse wireless charging and in-display fingerprint scanner, the Mate 20 Pro looks like the ultimate Android flagship smartphone.
  15. Smartphone companies try to differentiate themselves by incorporating unique and exciting ideas that may not translate well into the real world. Companies like Samsung are already launching devices with four cameras like the Galaxy A9 and now it seems like LG will up the ante. © LetsGODigital LG is reportedly working on a smartphone that will have camera setup with 16 lenses. The new patent was filed by the company and spotted by LetsGoDigital. LG has already incorporated a five-camera setup on the LG V40 ThingQ comprising of three rear cameras and two front cameras. Light has already made a 16-lens camera in 2017 and is now working on a smartphone with up to nine lenses in the rear camera. This step was taken to improve low-light performance and achieve various depth effects. © LetsGODigital LG's plans for a new 16-lens smartphone may just be the concept that would trump every other smartphone mentioned above. Having said that, the information is based on a patent and it's not certain whether we would see a smartphone with 16 lenses by LG soon. According to the patent, the 16 lenses will be arranged in a 4x4 layout at the rear and will be able to take multiple perspectives in a single shot. This feature could change mobile photography altogether as it will also allow it capture of moving 3D pictures. This new setup will also enable the smartphone to replace objects easily due to extra data caught with each shot. © YouTube The patent also details that LG will be placing a mirror at the bottom of the rear cameras which will let users take selfies. This may eradicate the need of selfie camera and will let LG use a true edge-to-edge display without a notch. We aren't sure if this device will ever see the day of light, however, LG is definitely considering building a smartphone with 16 lenses. We just want to now see how LG will be able to translate this concept into reality. Source: LetsGoDigital
  16. Samsung's next flagship smartphone is expected to launch in a few months however that does not keep details from leaking. According to a report from Korea, the Galaxy S10 is expected to have a design that every manufacturer will strive to achieve. © Twitter/VenyaGeskin1 The Galaxy S10 is expected to have one of the most beautiful screens on a smartphone ever as Samsung has already teased the Infinity-O Display. It's basically a screen that will zero bezels and a tiny dot/hole at the top centre that will house the selfie camera. Korean website, TheElec claims that the screen will have a zero-bezel OLED panel and will have two holes that will have the camera and an infrared sensor. Other sensors, that are generally in the notch or top bezels, will be under the screen to give the smartphone a uniform look. The report adds that Samsung is using diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers to drill holes in displays. Samsung is also busy creating a new user interface that would accommodate these holes. UI tweaks will include displaying information on the left and right side of the hole such as single strength, carrier name, battery percentage and more. © Twitter The report also adds that Apple may adopt a similar screen for future iPhones as Samsung manufactures OLED panels for the Cupertino giant. It's not confirmed whether Apple would drop the notch design as the company uses Face ID and 3D facial recognition for unlocking the smartphone and use other features like Animoji. It's unlikely that Apple will opt for a screen design similar to the Galaxy S10 as the notch have an array of components essential for Facial recognition. Source: TheElec
  17. There's no doubt OnePlus makes beautiful smartphones that also happen to cost less than the next flagship smartphone. The OnePlus 6T was able to implement an all-screen design effectively with a very small notch and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Now that the sensor at the back has been removed, the smartphone looks even sexier than ever before. In fact, the Thunder Purple colour has stolen the show for us as it is probably the most beautiful colour we've ever seen on a smartphone. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla This variant of the smartphone is now available to purchase and we got some time to spend with this model. The purple finish is definitely eye-catching and also stands out in the crowd. It changes colour ever so slightly each time light is reflected from a different angle — making it even more interesting than any generic colour. While using the device we often found ourselves staring at the colour in different lighting conditions and not getting bored even for a second. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla When it comes to specifications, it remains the same as other models with a 6.4-inch display (2,340 x 1,080 resolution), teardrop notch, 6MP-and 20MP cameras, Snapdragon 845 processor, Snapdragon 845 processor and an in-screen fingerprint scanner. It has a 3,700 mAh battery and Android 9 Pie out of the box. If you want to read a detailed review of the OP6T, you can read our opinion here. Availability and Price © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Thunder Purple version of the OnePlus 6T is a limited edition smartphone by the Chinese company and is available to purchase from today (November 16th). It only comes in one configuration i.e with 8GB RAM and 128 GB of Internal storage and can be bought for Rs 41,999.
  18. OnePlus has been pushing boundaries every since its inception with competitive pricing and specs that rival flagship devices from every manufacturer. The company has time and time again proved that smartphones don't need to cost a bomb. Even though the price of OnePlus devices has been increasing year on year, it still offers the best experience on an Android smartphone for a budget price. Technologies on the device have been improving and the company is offering new innovations without the high price tag. Design, Display & Features OnePlus 6T follows the same ethos and builds on the already efficient OnePlus 6. It has a gorgeous screen and a smaller chin than its predecessor. The OnePlus 6T also has the reduced teardrop-shaped notch that leaves more real estate on the screen. Even though the 6T looks very similar to the OP6, it still is an impressive design for a smartphone that costs less than half the price of an iPhone. It is made out of exactly the same glass and metal material as its predecessor. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The bottom of the smartphone looks different from its predecessor as the headphone jack has now been removed. Audio is now passed through the USB-C port which is a very big disappointment for audiophiles like me. To be honest, OnePlus 6 and countless other smartphones prove that the removal of the headphone jack is completely unnecessary and we saw no point for the 6T to remove it either. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The water drop notch design is less intrusive when compared to other smartphones that implement a similar design and if you're not a fan of the notch, you can even hide from the settings. The earpiece is embedded in the rim at the top of the phone which can be troublesome to users when making phone calls. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The OnePlus 6t has a 6.41-inch AMOLED panel that has an aspect ratio of 19.6:9. The 85.6% screen to body ratio makes the smartphone fit snug as a bug in the palm and doesn't feel too massive in size. In terms of resolution, it remains the same with a full HD 2340 x 1080p resolution and pixel density of 402ppi. The colours on the screen definitely are immersive, crisp and vivid which makes the display more immersive for consuming video content and gaming. It's the only smartphone out there that offers an AMOLED panel on a budget. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla This time around, OnePlus has removed the rear fingerprint scanner and has now embedded it under the display. The scanner lights up each time you tap on the screen 2cm up from the bottom. It is the fastest in-display fingerprint scanner we've used thus far and worked each time without any misreadings. You will have to press your thumb a little harder in order for the fingerprint sensor to work. It is is not as fast the traditional fingerprint scanner but it does work effectively if you place your thumb at the right spot. Having said that, you will not use this feature as often if you've installed the 'Face Unlock' feature. The 'Face Unlock' feature works faster than anything we've used before, even though it doesn't use IR sensors. We rarely used the in-display fingerprint sensor to unlock our phone. The in-display fingerprint sensor only came handy in the night or when we would be driving. Performance The OP 6T has the same processor as the OP 6 i.e. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 processor. It is coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM and has at least 128 GB of internal storage. In terms of performance, the 6T does a similar job as its predecessor and is one of the fastest Android smartphones you can use today. It's super fast at launching and closing apps and gives high fidelity performance when it comes to gaming. We played PUBG mobile for testing purposes and experience little or no frame rate drops which is quite impressive for a mobile device in 2018. This type of performance can only be compared to the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy Note 9. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Battery life is improved from before but isn't the best when taking smartphones like Poco F1 into consideration. On a single charge, the smartphone can last up to 22 hours with moderate use and around 13 hours with heavy usage. If you like to game on the go, we would recommend you get a power bank for an uninterrupted gaming experience. On the plus side, OnePlus 6T charges extremely quickly thanks to the supplied fast charger. The smartphone can get fully charged in 80 minutes which is on par with the previous OnePlus smartphones. Camera The OnePlus 6T has the same exact setup as the OnePlus 6, which means you can't expect much improvement in the camera, apart from a few nifty software features. It produces similar images as the OnePlus 6 and does not perform that well in low-light environments. OnePlus has introduced the new nightscape low light mode to take better pictures in low-lit environments, however, it still does not beat flagship devices like the iPhone XS, Galaxy Note or even the iPhone XR. It's good but not flagship good. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Portrait mode works exactly as it should, however, we still found a few inaccuracies when it came to detailing. Images appeared to be a little tased out and lacked to capture details if in poor lighting environments. This is where OnePlus makes a compromise and to be honest, if you don't take many pictures from your smartphone, you can overlook this one caveat. Overall, the OnePlus camera can deliver images that are Instagram-worthy, however, it's still not capable of delivering mind-blowing images yet. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The Final Say For a smartphone that starts at Rs 37,999, you cannot get a better Android smartphone with unmatched performance. It works well for gaming purposes and delivers good battery life for daily usage. Having said that, we would have loved to see an improved camera to make it the perfect smartphone. It has a beautiful design and includes the innovative in-screen display sensor. It has a very tiny notch that gives more room for content on the screen and does not even break your bank. If you are looking for a smartphone that delivers flagship-level performance, the OnePlus 6T is simply your only choice right now.
  19. PUBG or 'PlayerUnknown's Battleground' is a widely popular game that has changed the way we play games on our mobile phones. The graphics are top of the line, it has a huge map, excellent physics and it's addictive as hell. The trend has been picking up for months and there is no sign of stopping, in fact, PUBG themed Cafe's have popped up and it is very well a part of the youth culture now. In the Battle Royale format, players fight each other and the last one standing wins. The new genre is known to be extremely addictive and with a team or dual capability, playing and coordinating with friends is even more fun. While we've already made a list of the best phones to run the game, today we've compiled a list of must-have accessories that'll give you a much-needed edge over the others. 1. Amkette Evo Gamepad Pro 3: © Amkette We all remember the days of portable consoles like the PSP or the Nintendo DS. Portable consoles are no more, and mobiles have successfully taken over the reins. But we have to admit, playing a game on a touchscreen phone isn't as fun as having a controller. The precision and control are much better and overall, the gaming experience is a lot more ergonomic. This controller connects to your phone via Bluetooth and can work natively, although a few games may require a companion app for controls. It has an independent battery life of 12 hours along with dual analogue sticks and triggers. The phone can is safely tucked in a clamp that comes with two adjustable angles. Overall, this is the best controller you can get for your Android phone in India today. Buy from Amazon.in 2. KACOOL Button Triggers: © Kacool We all know how difficult it can get to aim and shoot on a touchscreen interface. You may shift the aim while tapping the trigger or the tap doesn't get registered properly. Also, with glass or metal builds along with an edge-to-edge display, quite a lot of phones aren't very comfortable to hold. These button triggers are specially built for games like PUBG where timing is everything. Once installed, you just need to hold em down like a physical trigger and concentrate on improving your aim. These also help in getting a better hold of your phone. Buy from Amazon.in 3. Freesolo Sport Earbuds: © YouTube In-game, it's very important to keep your ears open and keep a track of enemy combatants. Whether in a house or open grounds, footsteps are easily audible. When you're in a team setup, communication matters the most, and you need to have a good mic that excels at reducing background noise. A perfect combination of good sound quality and mic input is provided by these earbuds. They are connected via Bluetooth, so you don't even have to hassle with wires. These have excellent background isolation and the mic is close to your face, concentrating on voice only. Buy from Amazon.in 4. Cosmic Byte C1070T: © Cosmic Byte While the Amkette controller turns your phone into a portable gaming console, this right here is connected to your phone via a wire and does not include a phone stand or mount. But this also means you can use it for a lot more devices like a laptop or gaming console. It has dual vibration motors, twelve numeric buttons, LED indicators, and a 1.8m long connection cable. It supports Android OS, Windows 10, as well as PlayStation 3. Buy from Amazon.in 5. Mi Power Bank: © Xiaomi We all know playing PUBG is battery intensive, and on longer gaming sessions, no matter how big your phone's battery is, a portable charger always comes in handy. I've been using the Xiaomi power bank for a long time now and it is among the most recommended one in the market because of its quality. It is available in 10,000 as well as 20,000mAh capacity, supports two USB output ports, and has a solid metal construction. Buy from Amazon.in
  20. When it comes to smartphones, people tend to look at specifications with more importance than what's actually working behind the scenes —especially in India. Sure, there are smartphones out there with specifications that can rival an entry level laptop, but what if you could do more with less? That's exactly what Google has implemented with the new Pixel 3 and 3 Xl, a strategy similar to Apple. The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL have a new edge-to-edge display and also a new camera system, that utilises artificial intelligence (AI) to improve image quality. It houses the Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood and is coupled with 4GB of RAM. The smartphone does not have 10GB or 8GB of RAM to function because it simply does not require it. Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3 come with Android 9 Pie out of the box and has some nifty features that are exclusive to these handsets. Let's find out how the smartphone performed during our tests and will it be able to compete with other flagship devices in the market: Design & Display © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Both Pixel 3 smartphones look similar to their predecessors apart from a bigger 6.3-inch display with QHD+ resolution. The screen looks more colourful and vivid when compared to the previous generation and has a massive notch on the XL variant. At the back, the smartphone has a glass back with some sort of matte finish that basically helps in holding the smartphone more securely. The matte finish is also a great way to avoid fingerprints at the back which I detest on other smartphones from this year. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla We got the Clearly White variant for review which looks elegant, minimalistic and alluring to the eye. Both smartphones definitely have a distinct look which can be spotted from a kilometre away. At the back, you also have the fingerprint sensor in the middle which can also be used to scroll down notification panel if you like to use the smartphone with one hand. © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla You will be happy to know that this year the Pixel 3 XL has a better and more colourful OLED panel. In fact, a recent teardown of the smartphone revealed it is a Samsung OLED panel which is considered to be the best in the industry. We used it to watch an episode of 'Stranger Things' and all the darker tones were represented accurately on the screen. The colourful 80s vibe in the episodes looked plush and we faced no discolouration issues during the course of our review. The brightness, on the other hand, could have been better as we got a reading of 359 nits which is far less when compared to iPhone XS' 600 figure. The Best Smartphone Camera On The Planet © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla Whether you want to accept it or not, the primary use of a smartphone in 2018 is taking kickass pictures followed by communication. Sure, people use their smartphones to game and listen to music, however, our research shows otherwise. Google also knows this fact and managed to deliver us arguably the best smartphone camera on the planet. Google managed to achieve this with a single 12.2MP f/1.8 aperture lens and some super cool AI computation. A new feature called 'Top Shot' is probably our favourite feature, where the Pixel 3 takes a burst of images and selects the best one for you. You can even adjust the depth of field after taking a picture which has been previously seen in Samsung smartphones. At the front, Google has opted to go with a dual camera setup where one lens is wide angle. The other lens is an 8MP selfie shooter that works like you would expect it to. The wide-angle lens causes more interest here as we can now fit in more people in a selfie picture than ever before. Other features like Super Res Zoom also manages to capture details that we didn't expect from a single rear camera. Here are some sample images for you to drool on: View this post on Instagram #Pixel3 making my wife look prettier than any Bollywood actress. #madebygoogle #teampixel A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Oct 12, 2018 at 5:07am PDT View this post on Instagram Portrait mode on the #Pixel3 works like a charm on puppies too! #puppy #technology #dogsofinstagram A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Oct 12, 2018 at 11:28pm PDT View this post on Instagram I'm not a big fan of selfies but damn the #Pixel3 can take some awesome pictures. A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:51pm PDT That's a low light shot on the #Pixel3. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/3pqPHVL8eF — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) October 13, 2018 Low-light photography on the #Pixel3 #noedit pic.twitter.com/IZ0euJdi0d — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) October 12, 2018 Testing out the Super Res Zoom on the #Pixel3 in New York. pic.twitter.com/eGtEKWhQMh — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) October 12, 2018 Performance © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla As mentioned before, the Pixel 3 XL has a Snapdragon 845 processor and 4GB of RAM which results in a very smooth experience thanks to Google's custom stock Android experience. Having said that, the benchmark scores weren't as impressive, as the phone only managed to score 2382 in single-single-core and 8343 in multi-score Geekbench 4 test. In the 3DMark Slingshot Extreme test the Pixel 3 XL reached 4,342, which is less when compared to the iPhone XS Max (4,370). © MensXP_Akshay Bhalla The biggest disappointment with the Pixel 3 XL will be its battery life. It's enough to get you through the day however if you like to game or are a heavy user, you will end up charging it more than once in a day. We used the smartphone for instant messaging, web browsing, navigation and some gaming and the battery was already at 35% by 4:00 PM. Sure, it comes with a fast charger that will juice up the battery to 60% in 30 minutes, it's still inconvenient to have a smartphone that does not have enough battery life if you're a heavy user. The Final Say The Pixel 3 XL starts at Rs. 83,000 for which you're getting the best smartphone camera on the planet and some awesome Ai features. It may not be the best-looking smartphone camera out there, but look at some of the pictures you can take with this beast and it will definitely drop jaws. Pixel 3 also offers the best software experience you can expect from an Android device. We would have loved to see a larger battery so that it could last longer, however, Google's latest offerings still classify as a flagship for us. If you love to take awesome pictures, this phone is a no-brainer.
  21. Samsung has finally offered new details about its upcoming smartphone, that has been rumoured for a while to launch soon. In an interview with CNET, Samsung's DJ Koh revealed that the foldable smartphone will basically be a tablet that can turn into a pocket-sized smartphone. © Samsung It has been rumoured to be called the 'Galaxy F' and Koh claims, that the device will probably be one of the more practical devices in the market when it launches. Koh did not reveal any details about the foldable smartphone and neither did he mention any launch date. “When we deliver a foldable phone, it has to be really meaningful to our customer,” Koh said in an interview. “If the user experience is not up to my standard, I don't want to deliver those kinds of products.” Koh stressed that the device will not a gimmick and will probably be a nice product when it launches. “It may be a niche market, but definitely, it will expand,” Koh told CNET. “I'm positive that we do need a foldable phone.” © Twitter The South Korean company has been trying to develop a foldable smartphone since 2013, when the company teased a bendable OLED display at CES 2013. Koh, however, did confirm that the smartphone will launch sometime this year and could even make an appearance at Samsung's Developer Conference next month. Huawei is also looking to launch a similar smartphone as early as next month and it seems like the competition in this space is getting heated already. Huawei is currently the world's second largest smartphone maker and is now creeping up Samsung's territory to dethrone the South Korean giant. Source: Cnet
  22. If you've been surveying the market and window-shopping smartphones for the last few months, waiting for the prices to come crashing down, this is your moment! The big e-commerce sales are here and each one is more competitive than the other, which gives us the best chance to make the most of our buck. Scanning through the best of offers online, we found one smartphone company that's going all out to give you more than you can expect. Honor is captivating the market with their gripping deals on the Big Billion Days sale and we have the complete list to help you make the smart decision. 1. Honor 9N Offering a 2K price drop on the Honor 9N variants, the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage that is originally priced at Rs 11,999 is available under the superstar offer at Flipkart for Rs 9,999; while the 4GB RAM with 64 GB storage originally priced Rs 13,999 is now available at Rs 11,999. Your favourite smartphone #Honor9N (3+32GB) will be available at an amazing price of INR 9,999 & INR 11,999 (4+64GB) tomorrow at the #BigBillionDays sale on @Flipkart! Keep your carts ready! https://t.co/JbHrm5Fmbh pic.twitter.com/ltJ5C4bVib — Honor India (@HiHonorIndia) October 10, 2018 2. Honor 7A Available in different colour variants of black, blue and gold, the Honor 7A is popular under the 10K price segment. Further making the smartphone super economical, the price has been dropped to Rs 7,999 from Rs 8,999. If you have a budget constraint, it couldn't get better than this! 3. Honor 10 The biggest price drop of the sale season – a direct 8K drop from their original MRP! Under the mid-price segment, the Honor 10 is originally priced at Rs 32,999 in the market, but the Big Billion Days sale just made that dream a lot more economical by reducing the rate to Rs 24,999. 4. Honor 9i This sleek and stylish smartphone is the perfect choice in the budget segment with its 4GB RAM and 65GB storage. The dual camera and selfies feature make the phone a more desirable buy, especially with a 2K price drop. From Rs 14,999 the phone is now available at Rs 12,999. Stay glued & watch your favourite videos on loop on the FHD+ FullView Display of #Honor9Lite! Buy tomorrow at an amazing price of INR 9,999 & avail exciting offers at the Big Billion Days on @Flipkart! #MaxYourBeauty https://t.co/JbHrm5Fmbh pic.twitter.com/RGDoAnWijV — Honor India (@HiHonorIndia) October 10, 2018 5. Honor 9 Lite Not just price drops, but exchange offers also make this a sweet deal. The 3GB RAM/32GB storage has a 1K price drop making it available at Rs 9,999; while the 4GB RAM/64GB storage is available at the price drop of 3K under their exchange offer. What are you waiting for? Go check these sweet deals and them add to your cart before someone else beats you to it!
  23. Smartphones are not the only segment to have massive discounts in the ongoing e-commerce shopping festival, as even accessories are having very sweet deals. While Amazon and Flipkart fight it out, the consumers can freely enjoy the deep discounts being offered. We've compiled a list of the best smartphone accessory deals available on Amazon's Great Indian Festival sale right now, get em now before they run out of stock! 1. JBL Go Speaker: © JBL Sale Price: Rs 1,399 A portable speaker is a must-have accessory. With a simple Bluetooth connection and a long-lasting battery, this speaker should be your first choice. It's very portable and weighs only 132 grams. It has a single 3W speaker that is sufficiently loud and perfect for on-the-go music. The speaker is available in a plethora of colours and offers up to 5 hours of playtime. Even for your car, this may be a very good option if you don't want to invest in a special dashboard. Buy on Amazon 2. Xiaomi Mi Band 3: © Xiaomi Sale Price: Rs 1,998 The recently launched Mi Band 3 is a steal not just because of its low price, but also the number of features it offers. The smart band has an OLED display that can show on-the-go notifications for calls and text messages. In the background, it will constantly track your steps, sleep patterns, as well as heart rate. The band is water resistant up to 50 meters and offers up to 20 days of battery life on a single charge. You can also set alarms, weather updates, and goal reminders on the band. Buy on Amazon 3. Sennheiser CX 275 S: © Sennheiser Sale Price: Rs 1,299 These are among the best affordable earphones we've ever used, and they successfully carry the Sennheiser legacy of amazing sound quality. Simply plug them into the 3.5mm jack (if you have one) of your phone and you are good to go. These also come with a mic, a rare addition in premium earphones. They have an in-ear canal design and come with a frequency response of 17 to 23,000 Hz. Three different sizes of ear adaptors and a carry pouch are included with them. Buy on Amazon 4. Energy Sistem Sport 1: © Energy Sistem Sale Price: Rs 1,499 If you're looking for wireless earphones that can be used in the gym or outdoors, these are a perfect match for you. A mic comes in-built for easy calling and they connect via Bluetooth up to 10 meters. On a single charge, you get 8 hours of playback and the Secure-Fit system is specially designed to fit your ears perfectly while working out. The pads are interchangeable and come in three different sizes. The sound quality is crisp, the bass is average, but the treble is very clear. Weighing just 18 grams, they are very portable and built for rugged usage. Buy on Amazon 5. Ambrane P-2000: © Ambrane Sale Price: Rs 1,279 We use our mobile phones for hours every day, and it has become very normal to see everyone carrying along a portable charger, just in case they run out of juice. If you are looking for a portable charger that can charge your iPhone 6-7 times, this power bank is for you. With a capacity of 20,800mAh, it's more than sufficient to get you going for days. It has three USB-A connectors, one with a 1A output and the other two with a 2.1A output. The battery charging time is overnight and a battery cycle life of over 500 times. Buy on Amazon 6. Mi Original Bluetooth Headset: © Xiaomi Sale Price: Rs 899 Even though wireless hands-free sounds like a very old concept in 2018, they come in extremely handy when you are driving or just need easy access to calls. Instead of having to wear earphones, these are preferred because of the lightweight and long battery life. The Mi Headset has volume rockers, comes with 3 different sizes of earbuds, and is oil and dust resistant for outdoor usage. The speaker is of superior quality, and the mic ensures that background noise is reduced drastically for a clearer calling experience. Buy on Amazon 7. Fire TV Stick: © Amazone Quickly turn your simple TV into a smart hub with the Amazon Fire TV stick, it plugs into your TV via an HDMI port and seamlessly connects with your phone via WiFi. Instead of buying a new Smart TV, the Fire TV not only saves you a lot of money but also brings in additional features like the Alexa assistant. It has natively supported apps like Prime Video, Netflix, Gaana, and more, bringing the new-generation streaming experience to any TV. The remote also has a mic and can be used to dictate commands to Alexa, no need to even go through the UI. Buy on Amazon
  24. We checked out the Pixel 3 in detail at Google's launch event in New York, and the one thing that Google wants you to know is that it's not all about the hardware. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have probably been the most leaked smartphones in history, however, nobody knew about the features Google talked about today. The real magic happens when Google marries their software prowess with machine learning and hardware to deliver an experience you won't find on any other Android device. These are some of our favourite features on the Pixel 3 that set it apart from the rest of the crop: Top Shot © Google The new feature essentially lets you choose the perfect shot when you take pictures using the Pixel 3. Basically, it uses machine-learning to give you the best picture from multiple HDR+ images. Machine-Learning on the Pixel 3 will let you manually choose the perfect shot from a group of pictures. This will basically eliminate the problem of pictures that would have eyes closed or weird expressions. You can simply scroll through the alternate images to use the perfect moment captured. Night Sight © Google If you love to go out at night like me, this will be the most important feature you want to be looking at. Basically, Google uses “computational photography” to enhance images taken in low-light environments. This will basically eliminate the need to use flash, as Google's algorithms spruce up the brightness, contrast and colour automatically. Super Res Zoom © Google Previously, using software to zoom in on images would often result in awful images. The picture would be grainy and often lose detail, as the software zoom has never been able to be as good as a telephoto lens. However, Google will now use machine learning and deliver a super clean image, without ever using a secondary camera lens. Call Screening © Google Nobody likes telemarketers and sometimes we get duped by them because of the different phone numbers they tend to use. Google's new Call Screen feature will basically now let Google Assistant answer unwanted calls for you. It will ask the caller a few questions on your behalf and you can use one-touch screen prompts to carry on or end the conversation. No More Selfie Sticks © Google © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla If you're a fan of taking group selfies, you will no longer need to carry a selfie stick or have a friend with long arms thanks to the dual-selfie camera. Both cameras have an 8-MP sensor where one of them is a wide-angle lens. This lets the Pixel 3 XL capture 184 per cent more area of your surroundings and essentially makes taking group-selfies easy. Pixel 3 Specs & Pricing Display: Pixel 3: 5.5-inch flexible OLED at 443ppi/2160x1080, 18:9 aspect ratio; Pixel 3 XL: 6.3-inch flexible OLED at 523ppi/2960x1440, 18.5:9 aspect ratio (plus a notch!) Dimensions: Pixel 3: 5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches, 148 grams; Pixel 3 XL: 6.2 x 3.0 x 0.3 inches, 184 grams Rear camera: 12.2MP dual-pixel, f/1.8 aperture Dual front camera: 8MP wide-angle and normal field-of-view cameras. Wide-angle has f/2.2 aperture and 97° field of view. The normal camera has a f/1.8 aperture and 75° field of view Silicon: 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Pixel Visual Core chip, Titan M security module, 4GB RAM, and either 64GB or 128GB storage Battery: 2915mAh (Pixel 3), 3450mAh (Pixel 3 XL), fast charging and wireless charging Audio: Dual front-firing speakers, USB-C earbuds bundled in Colours: Clearly White, Just Black, Not Pink OS: Android 9 Pie Pricing: Rs. 71,000 (64GB), Rs. 80,000 (128GB), Rs. 83,000 (Pixel 3 XL 64GB) variant, and Rs. 92,000 (Pixel 3 XL 128GB)
  25. Being young is all about finding, creating and dreaming. It is the desire to step outside of yourself and observe every little thing about you, and bettering yourself. And it is about having no qualms when it comes to having uninhibited fun! It is about being full of power and passion, ready to explore new territories and overcoming boundaries. And it is about loving things that resonate with the idea of being young! And Realme 2 Pro is just that: a phone for those who are proud to be young! Realme 2 Pro is a massive upgrade in a whole bunch of different ways. It has a Snapdragon 660 AIE SoC, which is a huge step up from the Snapdragon 450. It comes with up to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. It has a 3,500mAh battery, 16MP dual rear camera with a f/1.7 aperture, and 16MP around the front as well (f/2.0). It's running Android 8.1 with ColorOS 5.2 on top. And all these upgrades at the price of just Rs 17,990! Definitely, a first in the mid-segmant price range. 90.8% Screen-To-Body Ratio Brings Excellent Visual Experience If you're someone who loves to catch up on your favourite shows and movies on the go on your phone, you'll love that the phone has a 6.3-inch TFT LCD 1080 x 2340 display. It has a notch, but it's a tiny “dewdrop” notch which is actually pretty nice and gives the phone an outstanding screen-to-body ratio of 90.8 percent. And keeping the looks simple, yet stylish, it comes with a glass back finish with a horizontally stacked dual-camera setup. The edges and corners are rounded with a nice powdered metal finish. It is also worth noting that you get a provision for a dedicated microSD card apart from the dual-SIM cards. Realme 2 Pro Smooth Performance, Thanks To Powerful Hardware Configuration And don't worry about “over-using” your phone! Realme 2 Pro is made for the youth, after all! It carries the magic Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE processor that features high-performance and low power consumption, Adreno 512 GPU, and Qualcomm All-Ways Aware™ sensor hub and HVX, as well as built-in AI engine. Everything combined guarantees an extremely smooth real AI experience at all times. Play games, text continuously; your phone will not disappoint you. Realme 2 Pro is equipped with up to 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, and supports 256GB microSD card extension. It comes with LPDDR4X four-channel memory, that increases the processing frequency, consumes 40% less power, starts apps faster, and runs multiple apps smoothly. With its 128 GB storage, you can save 27000 photos or 200+ movies in this phone. Relaxing with your friends after work will not be a hassle anymore, because your phone will not die on you. The 3500mAh battery, coupled with AI sleep mode that smartly senses in what circumstances you are using the phone, allows you to use the phone for a whole day with ease, by employing different power saving strategies. Realme 2 Pro 16-Megapixel AI Cameras Take Better Photos And of course, the Realme 2 Pro doesn't disappoint when it comes to its camera either. It comes with 16-megapixel rear dual camera, with the primary camera equipped with IMX398 sensor that supports dual-core focusing, F1.7 aperture and 6P lens to capture every wonderful moment. The powerful AI performance builds into Realme 2 Pro such features as multi-frame noise reduction, smart exposure, the "portrait" mode that supports five lighting effects, AI scenario recognition, and AR sticker photographing. These features let you take good and fun photos while allowing you to present your style with ease. And if you're someone who loves to take selfies, the phone will be your perfect partner-in-crime. The phone comes with 16-megapixel front camera, and F2.0 large aperture that brings more light feed, ensuring more distinctive selfie pictures; Realme 2 Pro presents the brand new AI Shot feature that precisely recognize 296 facial identification points and offers 8 million personalized beautification solutions. And guess what! If you're habitual to editing your photos in a certain way, the AI learning will intelligently remember and learn these, and apply them while taking photos itself. Work well done! Realme 2 Pro ColorOS 5.2, The Key To Smart New Life Realme 2 Pro carries Android 8.1-based ColorOS 5.2 AI system that comes with more considerate fundamental features, optimized to facilitate daily use. It is the smoothest system on a phone because of the underlying optimization. ColorOS 5.2 has improved in four main sections: Design, Assistant, Music and Safety. A number of advanced features have been built in on Realme 2 Pro. Features like Game Space that is designed to guarantee excellent gaming experience; All-round safety protection; Smart driving; AI board; Google Assistant; Smart Scan, and more to let you fully experience the real convenience of AI. The Realme 2 Pro will be available of purchase exclusive on Flipkart during their Big Billion Day from 11th October, 00:00 hrs. HDFC card users can available a 10% discount on the same. Along with buyback gaurantee and no-cost EMI options, complete mobile protection at just Rs 99.