The latest PhoneRadar weekly wrap-up is here with all the latest happenings around the smartphones and mobile technology. We have seen flagship launches all over the globe in the last seven days. While we have already seen the all-new iPhones, Google’s new Pixel devices are now unveiled with some exciting features. Huawei is the only major smartphone brand still waiting for soon bring their latest flagship devices. 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 October 2017.
- Honor has launched its first smartphone with 18:9 display called as Honor 9i in India. This is the same device which was earlier launched as Huawei Mate 2i and Maimang 6. The Honor 9i is priced at Rs. 17,999 and will be exclusively sold through Flipkart starting October 14. It comes in Platinum Gold, Navy Blue, and Midnight Black color options. The smartphone comes with a unibody metal design and sports a 5.9-inch FullView Full HD (2160 x 1080 pixels) display on the front with an 18:9 aspect ratio. It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with EMUI 5.1 laid on top. It is also equipped with a total of four camera sensors. There is a 16MP + 2MP dual camera setup on the rear and a 13MP + 2MP setup on the front. The secondary sensors on front and rear of the device help in calculating the depth in the image for offering DSLR-like bokeh effect. Under the hood is the 16nm Kirin 659 octa-core processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
- The state-owned telecom operator, BSNL has partnered with the local mobile phone manufacturers to offer low-cost mobile handsets. As of now Micromax and Lava are on-board to launch low-cost devices that come with BSNL SIM. These new devices are expected to be priced around Rs. 2,500 and come bundled with special voice and data plans from BSNL. The BSNL has already started deploying Wi-Fi in six rural exchanges in Hyderabad Telecom District and will soon expand to another 112 rural exchanges by the end of this year. Reliance Jio is first to bring its own feature phone with a special Rs 149 plan for just Rs. 1,500. In the next few weeks, Airtel will also bring its own feature phone running on Android OS.
- Google has officially launched the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones with the latest Android 8.0 Oreo OS. While the Pixel 2 costs Rs. 61,000 and Rs 70,000 for the 64GB and 128GB variants, the Pixel 2 XL is priced at Rs. 73,000 and Rs. 82,000 respectively. Both the devices are online exclusive to Flipkart and are also sold via offline retail stores across the country. The smartphones will be available to pre-order starting October 26th in India, and the sales begin in early November. Both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL comes with the new Active Edge sensor and misses the 3.5mm audio port. The Pixel 2 sports a 5-inch Full HD display, while the Pixel 2 XL comes with a 6-inch Quad HD+ P-OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The two devices are powered by Snapdragon 835 processor and include Adreno 540 GPU and 4GB of RAM. Unlike the iPhones, both the Pixel devices share the same camera sensors. There is a 12.2MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, and EIS. On the front is an 8MP front-facing camera with f/2.4 aperture.
- Blackberry will soon launch a new smartphone called Blackberry Motion with all-touchscreen. This is the same device which was earlier leaked as Blackberry Krypton. While there is no information about the exact launch date, the leaks confirmed the device to go official in the month of October. Beneath the display is the physical home button that might also come with an integrated fingerprint sensor. The upcoming Blackberry Motion might offer the regular 16:9 aspect ratio while the other manufacturers are launching smartphones with 18:9 aspect ratio. On the right edge of the device, we can spot the volume rocker and power button. Unlike on the Blackberry KeyOne, the customisable BlackBerry Convenience Key with textured finish is also placed on the right edge of the device. The display is rumored to sport Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display and Snapdragon 625/626 octa-core processor. It might also pack 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
- Just after Mi MIX 2 launch in China, Xiaomi India has confirmed it to soon launch in India. Last week, the company announced the India launch date for the Mi MIX 2. It will be launched at an event scheduled in New Delhi on October 10th. The Mi MIX 2 is the successor to the last year’s Mi MIX concept device. The new bezel-less device from Xiaomi offers 18:9 aspect ratio and still misses the Gorilla Glass protection on the top. It sports a glossy finish ceramic body with metal frame. On the front is a 5.99-inch Full HD (2160 x 1080 pixels) display with the standard earpiece. It is powered by 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage. Talking about cameras, there is a 12MP Sony IMX386 sensor on the rear with f/2.0 aperture, 4-axis OIS, 5P lens, LED flash. For selfies, there is a 5MP front camera which now supports facial recognition technology. It also comes with the latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology and supports fast charging via a USB Type-C port.
- The Government of India (GoI) has finally given a green signal to a smartphone manufacturer to open its own-branded retail stores. The Chinese smartphone maker OPPO’s has earlier applied to open single-brand retail stores in the country. Last week, the company finally got the NOD from the GoI. Both OPPO and Vivo have been betting big in India with their huge sponsorship deals and marketing campaigns. Now, OPPO has got a nice chance to up the game by selling directly to the consumers. These single-brand retail stores will be smaller numbers compared to the thousands of OPPO-branded stores across the country. While the Chinese smartphone market has reached the saturation point, India is next big market for many Chinese players. To open the single-brand retail stores, the company have to meet 30% local sourcing norms. However, the Government has partially relaxed the 30% local sourcing norm for the first three years to attract more investment.
- In the next couple of weeks, Huawei will unveil the Mate 10 series smartphones. If the rumors are to be believed, the company will bring four new devices – Mate 10, Mate 10 Lite, Mate 10 Pro, and Mate 10 Porsche Design. The Huawei Mate 10 Lite will be the same Honor 9i or Huawei Nova 2i which was already launched in few Asian markets. Evan Blass has posted the press render of the Mate 10 Pro revealing the 18:9 Full View display on the front. Unlike the Mate 10 Lite, we expect the Mate 10 Pro to come with Quad HD+ resolution. Under the hood, the device will be powered by the new Kirin 970 octa-core processor built on the 10nm FinFET process. Alongside the GPU, this processor also comes with a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit). On the rear, the Mate 10 Pro sports dual camera sensors with Leica lens. Just like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X, the Mate 10 Pro might also offer dual OIS. Both the rear cameras will offer f/1.6 aperture and includes LED flash and laser autofocus.
- The HMD Global has released the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6, and Nokia 8 smartphones running on Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Unlike other smartphones from major manufacturers, the Nokia’s Android smartphones offer Pure Android UI with almost zero bloatware apps. The company has already confirmed to release the Android 8.0 Oreo update for all the four smartphones by the end of this year. Out of the four devices, the Nokia 8 will be the first device to get the latest Android update. Interestingly, the devices are also said to receive the next major Android update in 2018, i.e., Android P. Looking at the other major brands, the software updates are only limited to high-end smartphones. Here, the Nokia 3 with MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM will also get the promised two major OS updates.
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