Here is the latest PhoneRadar weekly wrap-up with all the latest happenings around the smartphones and mobile technology. While one big launch has happened in the last week, more launches can be expected at the upcoming IFA 2017 that will be held in Berlin, Germany from 1st to 6th of September. Next week, there also a couple of India-specific launches. In case if you are interested to know more about the upcoming launches, check out our list of upcoming smartphones expected to launch in the month of August 2017.
Let’s take a look at the news from the last week:
- Vivo has sent out the press invite for the launch of Vivo V7+ smartphone on September 7th in Mumbai. As we covered last week, the Vivo V7+ along with Vivo V7 will come with 24MP selfie cameras. As seen with their predecessors, only the Vivo V7+ is expected to sport 24MP Dual front cameras. On the rear, we will be looking at the same 16MP camera as seen on the V5 Plus. The device will be coming with an unibody metal design and might sport slimmer bezels than the predecessors. We also expect to see the under-display fingerprint sensor introduced by Vivo at the MWC Shanghai held in June 2017. It works based on the Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint technology and was demoed with the current flagship smartphone, Vivo XPlay 6. A few leaks also revealed the device to sport 5.5-inch AMOLED display with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution. Under the hood, we might see the newly announced Snapdragon 660 octa-core processor coupled with Adreno 512 GPU. The Vivo V7+ might also run on Android 7.0 Nougat based FunTouch OS out of the box.
- Jio Phone from Reliance Jio was made available to pre-book through online and offline stores from August 24th. The JioPhone can be pre-booked for Rs. 500 and the remaining Rs. 1,000 should be paid while getting the device. The whole Rs. 1,500 is totally refundable after using the JioPhone for three years. The delivery for the JioPhone begins from early September through first come first serve basis. After a few million pre-orders for the JioPhone, the company has currently paused the pre-booking process. While the company aims to sell the JioPhone for senior citizens and the feature phone users, we don’t think the current feature phone users can shop online or stand in queues to collect the new device. The JioPhone also brings in tons of new feature which should be confusing for many users. Even the company has announced the specifications of the device only on the pre-booking day. The beta-testing of the JioPhone hasn’t taken off since August 15th and Reliance Jio hasn’t revealed the reason for the delay.
- After unveiling the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus in the Europe, Motorola is now getting ready to unveil both these devices in India on August 29th. Both these two new devices are the successors to the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus launched in the first half of 2017. The Moto G5S Plus with dual camera setup is already confirmed to be sold exclusively via Amazon India. It sports dual 13MP sensors with dual tone LED flash on the rear and an 8MP camera with wide-angle lens on the front. The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is powered by 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz. It runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box without any major customizations to the stock UI. The Moto G5S Plus is backed by a 3,000mAh battery with Turbo Charge support. The One Button Nav also comes with an integrated fingerprint sensor and supports gestures for different tasks.
- Last week, Philippe Starck, the designer of the Mi MIX has posted a concept video of the Mi MIX 2 showing the full-screen display on the front with curved edges and rounded corners. Compared to the first-gen Mi MIX, the Mi MIX 2 comes with an even thinner lower bezel. The front facing camera sits on the right side of the bottom bezel. Just like Mi MIX, the Mi MIX 2 might also come with the ceramic body with a glossy finish. While the fingerprint sensor will be placed on the rear, the leaked screenshot hinted the device to come with 3D facial recognition feature. The Mi MIX 2 will be running on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat based MIUI 9 out of the box. Based on the rumors, the smartphone might come with a 6.4-inch Quad HD+ bezel-less display. It will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor coupled with 6GB/8GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB of internal storage.
- After the several leaks and rumors, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is officially unveiled by Samsung at the Unpacked event held in New York. The Galaxy Note 8 is the successor to Galaxy Note 7 which was recalled due to the installation of unsafe batteries. It comes in Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, and Deep Sea Blue color options. Those who pre-order can get the Gear 360 camera or a Wireless fast charger for free. Samsung is also offering $425 discount for the Galaxy Note 7 users, but they need to trade-in their existing device. The 6.3-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display with Quad HD+ resolution is also the biggest display ever seen on a Galaxy Note series. The Galaxy Note 8 sports the dual camera setup on the 12MP wide-angle lens and 12MP telephoto lens with Dual OIS and 2x optical zoom. For selfies, it comes with the same 8MP front cameras as seen on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. It is also IP68 certified, which means the device is water and dust resistant. The company also launched several accessories like cases, covers, and battery packs for the Galaxy Note 8.
- On the solar eclipse day, Google announced the name and the version number for the Android O. As leaks suggested, the Android O is the Android 8.0 Oreo. While the Oreo update is available for the Pixel and selected Nexus devices, the third-party manufacturers will be updating their devices in the coming months. Already major manufacturers have announced the timeline for the Android 8.0 Oreo update for their latest flagship devices. Google has introduced many new features like Android instant apps, auto-fill, PIP mode, smart text select, and more with the Android 8.0 Oreo update. Like the iOS updates, we never faster adoption with the latest Android OS updates. Almost one year after the release of Android Nougat, it is running only on 13.5% of the Android devices. At least with the Android 8.0 Oreo, we expect to see faster adoption and it all depends on the manufacturers and carriers.
- After launching the popular Redmi Note 4 smartphone in the first half of 2017, Xiaomi came up with the Redmi Note 5A for the second of this year. It is now exclusively available in China in three different variants. All the three variants come with metal finish body with 5.5-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels) display and Gorilla Glass protection. The base variant comes with Snapdragon 425 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. In the camera department, it sports a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. Coming to the high-end variant, selfie camera is upgraded to a whopping 16MP sensor. The high-end variant packs Snapdragon 435 SoC, 3GB/4GB RAM, and 32GB/64GB of internal storage. All the three variants come with a smaller 3,000mAh battery compared to the 4,000mAh battery on the Redmi Note 4. The smartphone runs on the latest MIUI 9 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Next month, the company is expected to launch the Mi Note 3 and Mi MIX 2 as the successor to last year’s Mi Note 2 and Mi MIX.
- After launching the OnePlus 5 in Fine Gold color, OnePlus brought the OnePlus 5 8GB RAM variant in Slate Gray color. Earlier to this, the Slate Gray used to come with 6GB RAM and the 8GB RAM variant is exclusive to the Midnight Black color. Even the newly launched Fine Gold color will be available only with the 6GB RAM variant. The 6GB RAM variant is currently retailing for Rs. 32,999, while the 8GB RAM variant comes with a price tag of Rs. 37,999. Apart from differences in RAM and internal storage, rest of the specifications remain same on both the variants. The smartphone comes with a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution and is powered by Snapdragon 835 SoC. There is a 20MP + 16MP dual camera setup on the rear with 2X lossless zoom and EIS. For selfies, there is another 16MP sensor on the front with autofocus and EIS. It is backed by a 3,300mAh non-removable battery that also supports Dash Charge technology with the 5V/4A power adapter.
- After teasing from the last few weeks, Micromax unveiled the Canvas Infinity with 18:9 display. It is priced at just Rs. 9,999 competes with the LG Q6 launched at Rs. 14,999. However, the Canvas Infinity doesn’t look that good in the real world and the bezels are bigger than they appear on the website listings and product package. The Canvas Infinity sports a 5.7-inch display with HD+ (1440 x 720 pixels) resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The smartphone also supports dual SIM dual standby and includes dedicated MicroSD card slot. The Micromax Canvas Infinity runs on Android 7.0 Nougat and the company also confirmed to release the Android 8.0 Oreo update. In the camera department, there is a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and a 16MP selfie camera with the same f/2.0 aperture. Both the cameras on the Canvas Infinity come accompanied with LED flash. It is backed by a 2,900mAh battery that is rated to give 20 hours of talk time and lasts up to 420 hours on standby.
- Coolpad Cool Play 6 is the latest high-end smartphone from the LeEco backed company. The device was first launched in China in May this year. It is priced at Rs. 14,999 and is exclusively sold through Amazon India. It sports a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display and is powered by 64-bit Snapdragon 653 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz. At this price, the device packs 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. With the hybrid SIM slot, the user can choose between the secondary SIM card and MicroSD card. It runs on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box with the all-new Journey UI laid on top. Coolpad also promised to release the Android 8.0 Oreo by the end of this year. On the rear is a 13MP dual camera setup with f/2.0 aperture and dual-tone LED flash. For selfies, there is an 8MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture. It is backed by a 4,000mAh non-removable battery that can easily give a day long battery life.
- Google will soon launch the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 smartphones with the all-new Android 8.0.1 Oreo out of the box. Last week, Evan Blass has tweeted the second-gen Pixel device to launch on October 5th. He also hinted the devices will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 octa-core processor. We expect the Snapdragon 836 processor to be an upgraded variant (overclocked?) of the Snapdragon 835 processor. Last year’s Pixel and Pixel XL came with Snapdragon 821 SoC, the upgraded variant of the Snapdragon 820 SoC. This year, only the Pixel 2 will be manufactured by HTC and offers the Edge screen like feature called as Active Edge. On the other hand, the LG-made Pixel XL 2 will be sporting the almost bezel-less display inspired by LG’s FullVision display. We expect to see Quad HD+ POLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. While the Pixel 2 is confirmed to miss the 3.5mm audio port, there is no information about its presence on the Pixel XL 2.
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