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New Xiaomi brand on cards: Third brand to focus on offline sales, model’s render leaked

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Known for making smartphones packed with desirable features on a shoestring budget, the Chinese handset maker Xiaomi might launch its new brand in near future.

The company already has two brands – Mi for flagship devices, and Redmi for mid-range to low-range phones – to its name. The third brand in the portfolio will focus mostly on offline sales, as opposed to its predecessors which have a significant online presence.

According Chinese tech website My Drivers, the phone will have young population as its target consumer group. The report on the site also stated that the brand will be meant to counter the presence of other Chinese handset manufacturer Oppo and Vivo, which have a substantial offline footprint, even in India.

The new brand will have a new face to represent too. Recent leaks showed a new smartphone which could be the first model to be launched under the third Xiaomi brand. With the render leaks showing only the back of the smartphone, not much could be made out of this new device. However, this phone will have a dual-camera setup with dual-tone LED flash.

Recently, OnePlus 5 also came with a dual camera setup after Apple iPhone 7 line up. The model’s render shows some likeness to the newest flagship killer in the way that it has the same antenna bands seen on the former smartphone.

The matter black back of a supposedly new Xiaomi samrt phone is distinguished from the OnePlus 5 in the placement of the LED flash – while it is placed on the right at the OnePlus 5, it is placed on the left in the new Xiaomi renders.

On the other hand, Xiaomi is going to introduce Mi Max 2 in the Indian market on July 18, said a report by India Today Tech. The smartphone will be the successor of last year’s Mi Max and comes packed with 6.44-inch display. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM.

Xiaomi launched the Mi Max 2 in China in two variants. The 64GB memory variant costs 1699 RMB (roughly Rs 15,953), whereas the top-end 128GB memory variant is available at 1999 RMB (roughly Rs 18,765).

In the camera department, the handset comes with a 12-megapixel primary camera, while the front snapper is a 5-megapixel unit on the front. The Mi Max 2 has a massive 5,300Mah battery.

Although it is not confirmed which model will be introduced in India but the smartphone is expected to be priced below Rs 20,000, the report said.

source: http://www.businesstoday.in/technology/news/new-xiaomi-brand-on-cards-third-brand-to-focus-on-offline-sales-models-render-leaked/story/256277.html

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Tech Stories

2019 Google Play Award winners highlight top Android apps and games

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Google on the eve of I/O 2019 announced the Play Award winners to celebrate the top Android apps and games. The nominees in nine categories were unveiled late last month, with the ceremony this evening in Mountain View, California.

There are nine categories with criteria factoring overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation. The nominees were first selected by various teams across Google. Winners during the May 6th event also received a silver Play trophy, and are featured on the Play Store.

We’re sharing the winners that rose to the top for providing the best experiences for fans, making an impact on their communities and raising the bar for quality content on Google Play.

Standout Well-Being App

Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.

Best Accessibility Experience

Apps and games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serve people with disabilities or special needs.

Best Social Impact

Apps and games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focusing on health, education, crisis response, refugees, and literacy).

2019 Google Play Award winners

Most Beautiful Game

Games that exemplify artistry or unique visual effects either through creative imagery, and/or utilizing advanced graphics API features.

Best Living Room Experience

Apps that create, enhance, or enable a great living room experience that brings people together.

Most Inventive

Apps and games that display a groundbreaking new use case, like utilize new technologies, cater to a unique audience, or demonstrate an innovative application of mobile technology for users.

Standout Build for Billions Experience

Apps and games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.

Best Breakthrough App

New apps with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.

  • Slowly by Slowly Communications Ltd.

Best Breakthrough Game

New games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.

Source: https://9to5google.com/2019/05/06/2019-google-play-award-winners/

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My Samsung Galaxy Fold screen broke after just a day

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Look closely at the picture above, and you can see a small bulge right on the crease of my Galaxy Fold review unit. It’s just enough to slightly distort the screen, and I can feel it under my finger. There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.

It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.

Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly. I’ve done normal phone stuff, like opening and closing the hinge and putting it in my pocket. We did stick a tiny piece of molding clay on the back of the phone yesterday to prop it up for a video shoot, which is something we do in every phone video shoot. So perhaps a tiny piece of that snuck into a gap on the back of the hinge and then around or through its cogs until it lodged in between the screen and the hinge. It’d be sort of like Charlie Chaplin getting caught in the gears in Modern Times.

Or maybe something got in another one of the little gaps somewhere else. Or maybe it was pieces from the hinge itself breaking loose and working their way up into the screen. I don’t know. I just know that the screen is broken, and there was no obvious proximate cause for the bulge that broke it. I certainly haven’t used it on a beach or shook it in a bag of chips or anything wild. Just normal use.I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED; I JUST KNOW THE SCREEN IS BROKEN

We’ve seen worries about scratches on expensive phones and debris breaking the keyboard on expensive MacBooks, but a piece of debris distorting the screen on a $1,980 phone after one day of use feels like it’s on an entirely different level.

I reached out to Samsung right away to get a statement, but it took about 24 hours for the company to put one together. Here it is, and the gist is that Samsung is looking into our unit and also warning users not to try to peel off the protective layer on the top of the screen.

Also, I have, however, received a replacement review unit from Samsung. I think the first one is on a jet to South Korea for Samsung’s engineers to take apart and diagnose.

By the way, it appears I’m not the only reviewing the phone who has had a problem with the screen. Here’s Steve Kovach:

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg also broke his, but that’s perhaps because he removed a protective layer that looks like a screen protector, but definitely isn’t meant to be removed.

And here’s Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee confirming he, too, had to get a replacement unit after peeling off the outer layer (which, again, wasn’t our issue):

It looks like retail units of the Galaxy Fold will include a warning about not removing the protective layer, but review units don’t seem to have included this one:

Like everybody else, I said in my original hands-on with the Galaxy Fold that I absolutely am able to see the crease between the two sides of the screen. But when I’m using the phone, I don’t actually notice it much. It’s easy to talk about it as a small first-generation compromise you have to make for what is otherwise a wonder of engineering: a tablet that folds in half.

I took a photo in my hotel room when the bulge first appeared. The next morning, that same bulge finally broke the screen.

Another thing people are worried about is the plastic screen scratching or picking up nicks easily. There are already a couple of minor dings on my unit, but they’re minor enough that I didn’t see them until our photographer zoomed way in to show them to me. If you look closely at the edges of the screen, there’s a sort of built-in screen protector on the front of the device. Samsung calls it a “polymer layer.” It is not designed to be removed. (Please don’t try it if you get your hands on a Fold.)

But while the crease and the nicks feel like compromises you could live with, a mysterious bulge that breaks the screen is something else entirely — especially one that appears just a day after pretty normal use. It’s a problem that is unacceptable on a phone that costs this much.

Every phone with movable parts is going to have more points of failure than a fully sealed, static phone. So it’s natural to say that you need to treat it with more care than usual. Before I saw this bulge, my impression was that this phone was much more durable than I expected. The hinge always felt solid and well-built. That impression of (relative) durability is obviously as broken as the flexing screen now.

If I’m right and it’s debris, it means that not only do you need to treat your phone with care, but you also have to worry about stuff getting in underneath the screen. If I’m wrong and it’s some kind of defect in the hardware, well… then we’re in entirely different territory. Either way: yikes.

Hopefully Samsung lets us know the results after it takes my original review unit apart to see what happened.

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Tech Stories

This is the best time to purchase an iPhone XR in India

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Apple is discounting the iPhone XR by a massive 22% from Friday.

Apple is kicking off a massive discount on the iPhone XR in India that will bring the device down to just ₹59,900 ($870). That’s a staggering ₹17,000 ($250) discount from the phone’s retail price of ₹76,900 ($1,120). What makes this particular deal even better is that HDFC is getting in on the action, offering an additional 10% cashback on top of the discounted price.

That effectively brings the price of the 64GB iPhone XR down to just ₹53,900 ($780), which is a fabulous deal. The promotional price extends to all three variants of the iPhone XR, and you’ll similarly be able to avail the HDFC cashback on all three models. The deal will go live from Friday, April 5, and will be valid until stocks last.

Here’s the breakdown of the new pricing:

CategoryMRPNew priceFor HDFC customers
iPhone XR (64GB)₹76,900₹59,900₹53,900
iPhone XR (128GB)₹81,900₹64,900₹58,400
iPhone XR (256GB)₹91,900₹74,900₹67,400

The HDFC cashback is valid for both debit and credit card holders, and if you don’t have an eligible card yet, you can pick one up to avail the discount on the iPhone XR. I’m partial to the Regalia for the airline benefits and low markup on international spends.

This is Apple’s most aggressive move yet in the Indian market, and it’s clear that the company is positioning the iPhone XR against Samsung’s Galaxy S10e, which retails for ₹55,900 ($810). The discount will be a huge driver for iPhone XR sales in the country, and should give Apple some much-needed momentum in the premium segment.

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