Samsung has unveiled two new smartphones – Galaxy A9 Star and Galaxy A9 Star Lite – in China. Previously, there have been several rumours regarding the arrival of the handsets, along with their price and specifications. The company has started pre-bookings for both the smartphones, ahead of the launch on June 7, which was tipped previously. The key highlights of the Galaxy A9 Star and Galaxy A9 Star Lite include full-HD+ Super AMOLED displays. Both the handsets come with the Bixby Assistant.
Samsung Galaxy A9 Star, Galaxy A9 Star Lite price
In terms of pricing, the Samsung Galaxy A9 Star has been listed at CNY 3,699 (roughly Rs. 38,600). It comes in Black and White colour variants. The Galaxy A9 Star Lite, on the other hand, has been priced at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 28,200). The smartphone will arrive in Black and Blue colour models. Both the handsets are available for pre-order through Samsung online store in China from today (June 2) and will be available till June 14. The smartphones will go on sale starting June 15. There is no clarity on whether Samsung will launch the smartphones in India.
Samsung Galaxy A9 Star, Galaxy A9 Star Lite specifications
The Samsung Galaxy A9 Star sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2220 pixels) display with a 18.5:9. It comes with 4GB of RAM. In terms of optics, the smartphone has a dual camera setup with a 24-megapixel primary sensor and a 16-megapixel secondary sensor. It has a 24-megapixel camera at the front. The Galaxy A9 Star is equipped with 64GB of inbuilt storage. It is fuelled by a 3700mAh battery.
Coming to the Samsung Galaxy A9 Star Lite, the smartphone variant appears to differ from the other only in terms of display size, camera and battery. The handset has a smaller 6.2-inch full-HD+ display with the same resolution, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of inbuilt storage. However, the Galaxy A9 Star Lite comes with a single 24-megapixel camera at the back as well as the front. This smartphone is powered by a smaller 3500mAh battery. More detailed specifications can be expected at launch on June 7.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro price has reportedly been cut again in India. As per an established Mumbai based mobile retailer, the Galaxy J7 Pro is now available in the country at Rs. 16,900. The Galaxy J7 Pro was launched in June last year alongside the Galaxy J7 Max. Both the smartphones had already received a Rs. 2,000 price cut in March, earlier this year. Notably, the price had gone down from Rs. 20,900 to Rs. 18,900. The newly revised prices are apparently effective through offline channels.
A Mumbai-based mobile retailer, Mahesh Telecom, in a tweet revealed that the price cut is applicable in India. However, the new Galaxy J7 Pro price is not yet listed on Samsung’s online store nor on the e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Flipkart. We’ve reached out to Samsung India to get formal confirmation on the price drop.
The Galaxy J7 Pro is one of Samsung’s popular mid-range smartphones. It features a slim metal unibody design and comes with a fingerprint scanner-embedded Home button. It comes in Gold and Black colour variants. The Galaxy J7 Pro also has Samsung Pay integration to offer a proprietary mobile payments standard by utilising the built-in NFC support.
In terms of specifications, the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro is a dual-SIM smartphone that runs Android Nougat. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super AMOLED display and is powered by an octa-core Exynos 7870 SoC, coupled with 3GB of RAM. In terms of optics, the handset has 13-megapixel camera sensors on the front and back. Further, it comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Notably, the handset is fuelled by a 3600mAh battery and includes connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB port, and 4G LTE.
Going in to play the closed beta of The Crew 2 – the sequel to Ubisoft’s over-the-top 2014 racing game The Crew – we were a bit apprehensive. The Crew was mediocre at launch with a terrible driving experience, rubber-banding AI, and cookie cutter missions. Though Ubisoft worked on the game for around a year and fixed most of the issues that bothered us, The Crew should’ve obviously been much better at launch. With that history, we didn’t have high expectations from the Crew 2 closed beta. But if the early signs are any indication, things are completely different this time round.
The closed beta allowed us a chance to play through some of the single-player experience in The Crew 2. The core of the single-player mode is a bit like what we saw with Forza Horizon 3, where you get to select a character and then raise your reputation in the racing scene by winning races and performing stunts. In The Crew 2, progress is linked to your followers in the game. Every time you win a race, perform some dangerous moves such as dodging oncoming traffic, or land moves such as a knife roll while flying, you gain followers.
Everything you do in The Crew 2 has an immediate impact on your follower count and you can see a bar on screen indicating that you gained a certain amount of followers. This is a different approach from Forza Horizon 3’s slightly more passive way of gaining fans. The Crew 2 rewards you instantly for performing crazy drifts or other stunts whereas Forza Horizon 3 rewards you with more fans for hitting speed traps, winning races, and going to other designated areas. Over time, this translates into your reputation rising and that guarantees access to high-level racing events.
The Crew 2 encourages you to do everything for the camera. Following traffic rules in the game won’t get you anywhere, so you’ve got to try your best to break the rules to gain followers. This is easy as you’ve got some really fast vehicles to drive around. The game allows you to quickly switch between vehicles so you can easily go from a car to a plane and just fly over to the neighbouring town. This doesn’t work during races obviously, but it’s fun in the free drive mode.
This is something that allows you a glimpse into the visuals of The Crew 2. We noticed that all vehicles look gorgeous in this game even on the standard PS4, but some of the buildings in the background, the scenery, and even animals in the game don’t look anywhere near as good. At one point we noticed a fox running around in the countryside and it looked like an animal made of plastic. The trees and foliage also don’t look very realistic up close.
The game allows you to zoom out from a close-up of the vehicle to the map view and here again you can easily see that the cars look extremely realistic and so does the landscape when you are flying over it, but every zoom level in between looks quite mediocre. The water effects particularly when you are driving through shallow streams look very unrealistic, which is disappointing.
The controls in The Crew 2 are pretty much the same as its predecessor and there’s nothing major to note in terms of changes. Controls still feel a bit floaty and that’s just something you’ll have to live with if you are playing arcade racing games. In its recent history, Ubisoft’s been known to change a lot of things in its games even after their release so this is an element that could change by the time the final version rolls out.
The game offers quite a lot of racing modes and challenges for you to spend a lot of time in-game. This includes photo ops, hunting hidden billboards, speed traps, and the like. In the time we played these in The Crew 2’s closed beta, we didn’t find much that was amiss and that’s a remarkable level of stability overall. You can access all of these via the menu as the game allows you to fast travel between any two points of the map, which is a big time saver as the in-game world is huge.
There was one issue that did annoy us a lot when we played The Crew 2 closed beta. You can ram into certain objects such as fences and lampposts and break them, but there are others that are immovable such as concrete pillars and some park benches. The latter is a particularly puzzling inclusion because if your vehicle can smash a lamppost, then surely it can smash a bench, but the game doesn’t appear to think so.
Whatever we’ve seen in the closed beta so far highlights a relatively stable game with surprisingly few performance issues a month ahead of launch. In many other games, the beta version is quite threadbare and needs a lot of fixing ahead of the launch. The Crew 2 is not like those games. What we’ve got feels like a game that’s almost ready for release and there’s so much to do even in the closed beta. However, the visuals (aside from vehicles) leave a lot to be desired.
Keep in mind that the game is still a month away from launch, some of this could change. However, with such little time to go before The Crew 2’s release on June 29, we aren’t expecting visuals to improve drastically, though it will be interesting to see how it looks on iterative consoles like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X or a powerful enough PC.
Gadgets 360 played The Crew 2 closed beta on the standard PS4. The game is scheduled to release on June 29 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One priced at Rs. 3,999 ($60 in the US).
Microsoft has reportedly held talks to buy software developer platform GitHub. The San Francisco, California-headquartered GitHub has more than 23 million individual users in more than 1.5 million organisations. Software developers use the tools of the privately-held company to store code, keep track of updates and discuss issues.
The Business Insider reports that the acquisition talks turning serious mark a change of strategy as just six months ago GitHub appeared committed to staying independent, the report said on Friday citing people close to the companies.
According to a CNBC report, the talks of acquisition progressed from a planned joint marketing partnership valued around $35 million.
GitHub was last valued at $2 billion in its last funding round in 2015. Based on a price that was floated last year, the report said that acquiring GitHub could cost Microsoft $5 billion or more.
The talks come at a time when GitHub is reportedly struggling to replace CEO and founder Chris Wanstrath, who announced his resignation about 10 months ago. Microsoft reportedly toyed with the idea of acquiring GitHub in the past too, including in 2016, although GitHub did not confirm those reports. The Business Insider report added that Microsoft executive Nat Friedman may take the CEO role – he previously headed the developer tools startup Xamarin. Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy had also been in talks for the top role, the report claimed
Apple is expected to preview new capabilities for its Siri digital assistant and showcase other upcoming software features to help build anticipation for the next iPhones. The peek at the new software will come Monday at a gathering in San Jose, California, for thousands of app developers and other computer programmers looking to create their own features for making iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple products more useful.
Analysts believe Apple will try to inject more artificial intelligence and other new powers into Siri to make it more competitive with Google’s digital assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. Apple just gave its HomePod smart speaker new features, including calendar reminders – something Google and Amazon devices have long offered. Apple has been emphasizing the HomePod’s high-fidelity acoustics, including the ability to pair two devices in stereo mode, in an effort to distinguish its product from Google’s and Amazon’s speakers, which primarily serve as hubs for those companies’ voice-activated assistants. Monday’s preview could include more on that front.
Apple also may introduce new ways to help people manage their health and assist apps in the use of augmented reality – the blending of digital images and information with a physical setting through the camera.
Investors will be looking for more opportunities for the Cupertino, California, company to make money from the apps and other services baked into its devices. Apple’s services division, which generates revenue from subscriptions, commissions and maintenance plans tied to Apple devices, already has become the fastest growing piece of the massive company. The division’s revenue surged by 31 percent from the previous year in Apple’s most recent quarter. The growth comes as Apple’s top-selling product, the iPhone, hasn’t been selling as briskly as investors had hoped after last fall’s much-anticipated release of the super-premium iPhone X.
Whatever Apple does, the software updates likely won’t be available for a few months. The iPhone software update usually comes for free in September, shortly after the company unveils its latest iPhones.
Apple occasionally uses its annual software preview to release a new gadget or the latest version of an existing product line. The company may launch a wireless charging pad called the AirPower that it announced last year. A new Mac is also a possibility, though not considered likely.
The event comes a month after Google showed off its latest software, including upgrades to the Android operating system that powers roughly four out of five smartphones in the world. Google also upped the ante on artificial intelligence with a new twist on an assistant that can sound more like a human than robot when making phone calls to schedule appointments and make reservations.
Just a few days following the release of iOS 11.4, Apple has released a macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update. The latest version of macOS High Sierra brings Messages in iCloud to the Mac alongside some enterprise and security updates. Apple had introduced the new Messages in iCloud feature with iOS 11.4. While the feature was announced back at WWDC 2017, the company has finally started to ship it. Notably, the macOS update is now available for all compatible Mac models via the Mac App Store. The latest update follows macOS 10.13.4 that was released in March. Among other things, the last update had added enhanced support for external GPUs, Business Chat, and new detailed privacy information that comes with a new privacy icon.
The Messages in iCloud feature takes your messages (iMessages as well as text messages aka SMS messages from your phone) to iCloud to enable better syncing across the user’s Mac, iPhone, and iPad models. Earlier, users were required to restore it from a Mac backup. The new feature can be turned on from the preferences section of the Messages app by going to Preferences > Accounts > Enable Messages in iCloud. You can check out everything you need to know about Messages in iCloud in our guide. As mentioned, along with the Messages in iCloud feature, the latest macOS update also brings stability and performance improvements and security updates.
In the release notes, Apple says, “The macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update improves the stability, performance, and security of your Mac and is recommended for all users.”
In the macOS 10.13.5, Apple has introduced a few security updates that have been detailed on the company’s support site. The latest update fixes vulnerabilities in graphics drivers for Intel and AMD chips that allowed applications to read restricted memory. Apple has also addressed a vulnerability in the Mail app that allowed attackers to access the contents of encrypted email messages. It has also fixed vulnerabilities in the Accessibility Framework, ATS, Bluetooth, and other areas.
Apple also touched upon some enterprise updates. It says, “Variables used in SCEP payloads now expand properly.” It added, “Configuration profiles containing a Wi-Fi payload and SCEP payload install as expected when the KeyIsExtractable key of the SCEP payload is set to false.”
In order to download the macOS 10.13.5 update, you will have to launch the App Store on your Mac device. Here, look for the latest macOS update from the Updates section (or directly visit this link on your macOS machine). Click on the Download button on the App Store listing and then enter your Apple ID details. Once you have downloaded it, an information window will pop up on the screen. Click on Continue and wait until the update automatically installs.
Vivo has been at the forefront when it comes to offering technologies that have come to define – and redefine – modern-day smartphones. In 2014, the company launched the slimmest smartphone, which was just 4.85mm thick. Apart from that, the company has a series of industry firsts, including the 24-megapixel selfie camera and bringing the iPhone X-like notch to the budget segment. Now, the company has done it again by offering an in-display fingering scanner, something more famous names like Apple and Samsung haven’t been able to offer till date.
The Vivo X21 stands out from all the smartphones in 2018 thanks to the company’s laser focus on innovations that matter. Many have been said that the future of the smartphone is one without bezels, a completely border-free display. And the Vivo X21 is the closest to that future with its cutting-edge design that’s a near perfect FullView. This is thanks to Vivo’s pioneering work with its in-display fingerprint scanner.
Unlike other manufacturers that have to give up valuable screen space for a fingerprint scanner, the Vivo X21 smartly places it under the screen. It’s just as reliable as conventional solutions and it’s a feat of engineering that’s yet to be matched by any other smartphone. Now while most would simply be content to have the in-display fingerprint scanner and leave it that, this is just the tip of the iceberg for the Vivo X21. The in-display fingerprint scanner is the first of many innovations in Vivo’s new smartphone. Here are the rest.
Face Access for anytime, anywhere use Don’t you wish you could unlock your phone by just looking at it? With the Vivo X21 Face Access feature you can. It uses an intelligent algorithm to scan your face in 3D in just under 0.1 seconds and has an infrared light so you can unlock your Vivo X21 in low light, night-time situations as well, anytime, anywhere.
Dual Pixel Sensors for photos as vivid as your life The Vivo X21 cameras have Dual Pixel Sensors that allow for vibrant photos even in low-light scenarios to ensure you have the perfect picture every time. Combined with AI Face Beauty that has custom enhancements for each face ensure your selfies enhance your unique features bringing out the real you.
AI Game Mode to make every match count The Vivo X21’s judicious use of AI isn’t limited to its camera or Face Access alone. With AI Game Mode the Vivo X21 knows when you’re in a game and will ensure your intense multiplayer encounters aren’t distracted by accidental touch operations, allowing you to make precise moves that matter. Thanks to the handy Background Calls feature, you can attend to those urgent calls without a pause from your games as well.
Hi-Fi audio for a hi-fi life Vivo hasn’t forgotten audiophiles and uses sound as an equally powerful differentiator. The Vivo X21’s AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip brings clear sound quality that’s true to life, ensuring your calls, music, videos, and games sound as just as they were intended to be.
Built for the future Finally, all of this is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 6GB of RAM and a generous 3200mAh battery. Coupled with Dual-Charging Engine tech, you’re never short of the power you need for the tasks of today and tomorrow.
Applenext week will debut tools to let two iPhone users share augmented reality while limiting the personal data sent to its servers, two people familiar with the matter said this week.
Augmented reality (AR) allows viewers to see virtual structures superimposed on their surroundings via their smartphones or other devices. It is the technology used in mobile game Pokemon Go, and by industry, such as factories seeking to map new assembly lines. Apple and rival Google are racing to release AR tools to attract software developers to their platforms.
Both are seeking to allow two people to share data so they can see the same virtual object in the same space via their individual devices. But that has sparked privacy concerns – if AR apps become commonplace, people will be scanning their homes and other personal spaces routinely, developers say.
Apple designed its two-player system to work phone-to-phone in part because of those privacy concerns, one of the people familiar with the matter said. The approach, which has not been previously reported, differs from Google’s, which requires scans of a player’s environment to be sent to, and stored in, the cloud.
Apple declined to comment. Bloomberg previously reported that Apple would announce multiplayer AR at its developer conference, which begins on Monday.
AR has become a major focus at both companies. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called it “big and profound,” and the company released its first tools to let software developers make AR apps last year.
With that release, Apple made AR possible on many phones without any modifications. The move spurred Google to abandon an AR effort that required phones to have special sensors and instead build tools for AR on conventional phones.
The race between the two has heated up since then. At its own developer conference in May, Google rolled out tools for making multiplayer AR games. The system, called Cloud Anchors, requires the first player to scan his or her environment and then upload the raw mapping data to Google’s servers, where it is translated into a rough representation of the area.
The subsequent players perform a scan that sends more limited information to the same server, which matches the phones up and lets them each see the same virtual object on the same physical space.
However, Apple’s system avoids storing any raw mapping scans of a user’s surroundings in the cloud, said the two sources. Google says it will discard raw mapping data after seven days.
The precise details of how Apple’s new system will work, or if it would support three or more players, were not available. But a phone-to-phone approach could eventually run into technical limitations. It could end up being harder to handle three or more players at a time if a player who started the game drops out, a person involved in Google’s AR efforts said.
“For artistic purposes, it’s phenomenal” to be able to precisely map out a user’s surroundings and overlay digital objects, said Joel Ogden, chief executive of Construct Studio, which makes augmented and virtual reality games.
“But we’re definitely going into some uncharted territory. There are a lot of really severe privacy implications we haven’t really explored yet,” he added.
Honor has been on a roll of late. After launching the AI-enhanced Honor 10 (Review) in India, Huawei’s sub-brand has now released two budget smartphones in the form of the Honor 7A and Honor 7C. Both models are equipped with features such as face recognition, 18:9 displays, and dual rear cameras.
We have the Honor 7C in for review, which is priced starting at Rs. 9,999 and competes head-on with the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review), Xiaomi Redmi 5 (Review), and the recently launched Oppo Realme 1 (Review). Does Honor’s new smartphone have what it takes to stand out in the hyper-competitive budget smartphone market? Let’s find out in our full review.
Honor 7C design
With a flat metal backplate, 2.5D curved glass on the front, and a display that dominates the front fascia, the Honor 7C feels reasonably sleek and premium. The lack of antenna lines, subtle Honor branding, minimal regulatory information lend a very clean and minimal look to the back panel. The horizontal dual camera setup is integrated smartly and barely protrudes at all. While the rear panel is mostly made of metal, there are plastic inserts on the top and bottom.
The Honor 7C is available in Black, Blue, and Gold colour options. We reviewed the Blue variant, the shade of which is unique and distinctive. While the phone is not too heavy (164g), it is very wide which hinders one-handed use considerably. Build quality though is top-notch. The phone feels solid in the hand and it survived multiple drops during our review period. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate, and is ergonomically placed. It can be used for a variety of shortcuts such as taking a picture, answering calls, and sliding down the notification panel.
The left of the Honor 7C is blank save for the SIM tray which has separate slots for Nano-SIM 1, Nano-SIM 2, and a microSD card. The right side has the volume rocker and power button which are tactile and well within reach. On the bottom of the phone is a Micro-USB port, flanked by a 3.5mm headphone socket and a speaker that is very shrill and tinny. The lack of a USB-Type C port for charging and data transfers is quite disappointing.
Honor 7C specifications and display
The Honor 7C is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, which is also found in the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 and Oppo A71 (2018). The Honor 7C and Honor 7A are the first Honor smartphones in a while to ditch the company’s own Kirin processors in favour of Qualcomm chips. This smartphone is available in two variants: one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage priced at Rs. 9,999, and one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 11,999. You can expand the storage using a microSD card of up to 256GB.
The Honor 7C has a non-removable 3,000mAh battery and runs EMUI 8.0 on top of Android 8.0 Oreo. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, 4G VoLTE, a Micro-USB port (USB 2.0 speed), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It supports dual SIMs but only one can run at 4G speed at a time, with the other limited to 3G.
The Honor 7C features a 5.99-inch HD+ IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. Honor smartphones as of late have had stellar displays but the one on the Honor 7C is a bit of a mixed bag. While the colours are vibrant and viewing angles are spot on, outdoor visibility is average, and the display is very reflective. With most of its competitors offering full-HD panels, the resolution of 720×1440 comes across as slightly disappointing.
First-party applications ran fine on the 18:9 display and EMUI 8.0 allows you to stretch third-party applications that do not support the aspect ratio natively.
Honor 7C performance, software, and battery life
While the Honor 7C tackled basic day-to-day tasks reasonably well, it struggled with intensive workloads. With multiple apps open in the background, we experienced occasional lags. We also dealt with keyboard lags and choppy UI animations on several occasions during our review period.
We were slightly surprised by these performance issues as the Snapdragon 450 processor has made a better case for itself in the past with the Xiaomi Redmi 5. On a positive note, the Honor 7C did not get warm when pushed, and handled heavy games fairly well. Asphalt 8 did stutter a bit while loading, but gameplay was smooth.
Benchmark scores were very similar to those of the Xiaomi Redmi 5. We got 72,990 in AnTuTu, 20fps in GFXbench T-Rex, 13fps in GFX Bench Manhattan 3.1, and 780 and 3992 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests respectively.
The Honor 7C also supports face recognition, using the 8-megapixel front camera. It works quite well for the most part and is near instantaneous in good light, but struggles in direct sunlight and when lighting is not favourable.
The Honor 7C runs Huawei’s EMUI 8.0 custom skin atop Android 8.0 Oreo. EMUI has matured over the years and is now one of the most versatile and feature-loaded skins out there. Notable features include a one-handed mode, knuckle gestures, an intelligent messages app that filters out spam, and the ability to automatically switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data depending on which connection is stronger. This time around, Honor has also added a Ride Mode for bikers and single-touch fingerprint access to Paytm.
EMUI 8.0 is still cluttered in some places and laden with bloat. A multitude of Honor’s applications compete with Google’s own, and the phone comes with five Gameloft games and a host of third-party apps such as TrueCaller, Netflix, Messenger, and UC Browser pre-installed. Honor has not announced an update roadmap for its recent devices and there is no information regarding any potential Android P update for this phone.
Battery life is decent but not overly impressive. The Honor 7C managed to last 10 hours and 40 minutes in our HD video battery loop test. In our experience, the smartphone just about managed to power through a day of moderate use, with a charge needed by around 10pm. EMUI 8.0 has a host of battery saving features, one of which reduces the screen resolution when you’re running low on power. The smartphone does not support quick charging, and takes more than two and a half hours to charge fully using the included charger.
Honor 7C cameras
The Honor 7C features a dual-camera setup at the back comprised of a 13-megapixel primary sensor, alongside a 2-megapixel secondary sensor for capturing depth data. At the front, the Honor 7C has an 8-megapixel foxed focus snapper. The camera app is fairly easy to use but lacks a fully featured Pro mode.
The cameras on the Honor 7C are average at best. While the cameras on the Redmi Note 5 and Realme 1 are also not particularly impressive, the image quality that they deliver is a step above that of the Honor 7C. Shots taken during the day look good on the phone’s display, but closer examination reveals a lack of detail.
Tap to see full-sized Honor 7C camera samples
In our experience, shots taken at night came out blurry and grainy, and had a considerable amount of noise. Videos were distinctly average and suffered from a lack of detail and constant focus-shifting. There is a wide aperture mode on offer with seven levels of blur to choose from. The blur effect is not the most accurate, and edge detection around the subject was poor.
The 8-megapixel front shooter takes decent photos in good light but struggles in low light, producing noisy and murky shots. Beauty mode is on by default when you take selfies, and makes images look over-processed and artificial.
Verdict The Honor 7C looks sleek, is built well, and is loaded with features. Battery life is decent and so is the display. That said, EUMI is laggy and laden with third-party bloat, and both the front and rear cameras are average at best. Potential buyers should take a look at the Oppo Realme 1 (Review), which lacks a fingerprint sensor but offers a better-rounded package, or the Redmi Note 5 (Review) which offers far more value for money. The Honor 7C is also priced dangerously close to Honor’s own 9 Lite (Review), which has a higher-resolution display, a better set of cameras, and a sleek glass body.
Xiaomi is expected to launch the Redmi Y2 as the India variant of the Redmi S2 selfie-focused smartphone at an event in New Delhi on June 7. Just a week ahead of the Redmi S2 India variant’s launch, Amazon has listed a new smartphone launch from Xiaomi on the same day on its website. The page does not reveal which Xiaomi smartphone is going to launch, but the teasers published alongside match the launch invite and once again emphasise the ‘Y’ – pointing to the India variant of the Redmi S2. Amazon has started taking ‘Notify Me’ registrations and you can head here to register.
The Amazon listing also confirms that the Xiaomi Redmi Y2 will be exclusive to the online website. It also teases that the smartphone will come with a Snapdragon processor, selfie LED light, dual rear camera, and fingerprint sensor. All this points to the launch of the Redmi S2 India variant, set to be the successor to the Redmi Y1, which was launched in November with selfie-centric features, including an LED selfie-light.
The Xiaomi Redmi S2 with 3GB RAM and 32GB onboard storage is priced in China at CNY 999 (approximately Rs. 10,600), while its 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant is priced at CNY 1,299 (around Rs. 13,700). The price tag for the Redmi Y2 in India is not yet official.
Redmi S2/Redmi Y2 specifications We expect the Redmi Y2 to sport the same specifications as the Redmi S2. The dual-SIM (Nano) Redmi S2 runs Android-based MIUI 9 and features a 5.99-inch HD+ (720×1440 pixels) display with a 70.8 percent NTSC colour gamut. The handset is powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC, coupled with up to 4GB of RAM, and has a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. Further, it has a 16-megapixel sensor on the front with supports features such as AI Portrait Mode, AI Smart Beauty, Front HDR, and Face Unlock. It also features a soft light flash module. There are two storage options – 32GB and 64GB – that both are expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) via a dedicated slot. The Redmi S2 also has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB port and packs a 3080mAh battery.
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