It's just Tuesday but it's already been a busy week in the budget smartphones segment. Our new favourite in the sub-Rs. 15,000 price bracket went on sale on Monday, and a new contender launched today, but is it any good? WhatsApp for iPhone finally caught up with its Android counterpart in one department, while Samsung grabbed the headlines once again. Here's your 360 daily.
Honor 6X with two cameras at the back launched for Rs. 12,999
Competing with the Redmi Note 4 comes the Honor 6X, that launched in India today at Rs. 12,999. A 12-megapixel camera at the back is accompanied by a 2-megapixel depth sensor for creating a bokeh effect around the clicked subject. We’ve been testing the device out for a few weeks now, and have elaborated on our thoughts in our review.
In related news, Huawei - the company behind Honor products - has stated its ambition to become among the top 5 smartphone players in India by the end of this year.
Redmi Note 4 sells 250,000 units, K6 Power now has a 4GB RAM variant
Xiaomi in a press statement said that 250,000 units of their new Redmi Note 4 were sold in under 10 minutes at the first flash sale. The company stated that this figure was 3 to 5 times higher than sales of the Redmi Note 4’s predecessors.
We walked away fairly impressed with the device - check out our review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4.
In other budget smartphone news, Lenovo said that the competing K6 Power will now have a 4GB RAM variant of this phone, which along with the Redmi Note 4, made it into our picks for the best phones under Rs. 15,000. It will be available for Rs. 1,000 more compared to the 3GB RAM version.
iOS and macOS updates bring bug fixes and improvements
Apple has released iOS 10.2.1 for iPhone and iPad owners, focusing on bug fixes and other improvements. The new update is said to improve the security of these devices. Apart from this, there are updates for other devices like the Apple TV, Apple Watch as well as the macOS platform.
WhatsApp for iPhone adds news features
In other good news for iOS users, the updated WhatsApp app for iPhones will now be able to queue typed out messages on a phone with no Internet connection, that will be sent once the connection is restored. This ability has been around on Android for ages, and had been one of our many requests from the popular messaging service.
Google Pixel on sale at a Rs. 10,000 discount
Google Pixel phones, appreciated by critics for being the best Android phones overall, but slammed by users for facing several issues, are now selling at discount. Flipkart is offering a Rs. 10,000 flat discount to buyers of the Google Pixel, which brings the price down to Rs. 47,000 from Rs. 57,000, for a limited period. There are some additional offers if the purchase is made via select credit cards and exchange schemes for older phones as well.
India’s smartphone user base crosses 300 million in 2016
Smartphone shipments in India grew 18 percent in 2016, resulting in the country’s smartphone population to reach 300 million. In the fourth quarter of last year, Chinese brands captured close to 50 percent of the total Indian smartphone market.
In contrasting news, another report suggested that owing to demonetisation, there’s been a 30.5 percent drop in smartphone sales in India in the last quarter.
Samsung shows muscle by hogging all the good Qualcomm chips
Samsung is said to have placed large orders for Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 835 chips to power its upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphone. This is said to be a cause of concern for other manufacturers, who may find it difficult to acquire those chips for their flagship smartphones that launch in the first half of 2017. Considering Qualcomm and Samsung had joined hands earlier in creating the Snapdragon 835, it isn’t hard to imagine the latter getting special benefits.
In other Qualcomm news, despite Apple suing the company for $1 billion over royalty disputes, the company will still reportedly continue doing business with the iPhone maker.