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GIONEE LAUNCHES BUDGET SMARTPHONE FOR RS 5,499

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Smartphone maker Gionee on Tuesday launched a budget device Gionee F8 Neo for Rs 5,499 in the ongoing festive season. The device is available in three colours—blue, black and red. “Gionee products are going to be developed by the team based in India. The company is also committed to locally manufacture all its products in the country. In the smartphone category, Gionee intends to provide an unadulterated UI and UX to the consumers,” the company said in a statement. The smartphone comes with a 5.45-inch LCD display and a 3000mAh battery. The device is powered by an Octa-core processor with 2GB RAM+32 GB ROM feature (expandable up to 256 GB via microSD card). The device is equipped with a single rear camera of 8MP and a 5MP front selfie shooter. The handset is also loaded with features such as face unlock, slow motion, panorama, night mode, time-lapse, burst mode, QR code, face beauty and more.

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Google Pixel 4A launched in ‘barely blue’ colour

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San Francisco: Google has finally launched a new ‘barely blue’ colour option for the Pixel 4a. Initially sold only in black, the blue variant will be available in the US for the same $349 price. Once it sells out, it will not be restocked. Apart from the US, the colour will be available in Japan later this year. Google Pixel 4a in Barely Blue features a light baby blue colour with an orange power button. The new colour option was actually rumoured for the Pixel 4a but it was later reported that Google has scrapped plans for it. While the Pixel 4a launched only in black, the Pixel 3a was available in white, black, and light purple. The original Google Pixel and Pixel XL released in really blue in 2017 and in the following year, the Pixel 2 featured a kinda blue colour. The Pixel 4a features a 5.8-inch OLED display. The phone has a matte finish and includes Pixel’s signature colour pop power button in mint. For selfies, the phone has an 8MP camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.0 lens. The smartphone houses a 3140mAh battery that supports a 18W fast charging.

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Miko 2 AI robot for kids now offers Hindi mode

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NEW DELHI: India robotics leader Miko, founded by three ex-IITians, on Tuesday introduced India’s first Hindi speaking child companion robot Miko 2. In addition to Hindi and English, Miko 2 will also speak in Spanish and Arabic. This Hindi version of the artificial intelligence-based robot aims to offer an unmatched experience to a whole new set of users, which helps children and parents with effective learning and development. ‘Ab Hindi Ho Jaye’ is the access to Hindi mode on Miko 2. To make the child companion more relevant for Indians, especially those who can only speak and comprehend Hindi, Miko 2’s new update has been specially created to address this necessity. Miko 2 is the latest version of the earlier introduced version of Miko which is a robot that can see, hear, sense, express, talk, recognise faces, remember names, identify moods, initiate a conversation, and learn from its own environment to intuitively develop a bond with a child. According to the company, Miko 2 addresses a complex need-gap of education, technology and entertainment.

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Vivo Y12s with MediaTek Helio P35 chipset launched

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BEIJING: Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has launched a new mid-range phone ‘Vivo Y12s’ in Hong Kong as well as in Vietnam. The device is priced at HK$ 1,098 and it comes in two colours such as phantom black and glacier blue, news portal Gizbot reported on Saturday. At the moment, there is no word regarding India’s availability. The smartphone features a big IPS LCD display of 6.51 inches. The waterdrop notch screen delivers an HD+ resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels and a 20:9 aspect ratio. The handset is equipped with a vertical camera module that offers a 13MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP lens with an f/2.4 aperture. For selfies and videos, there is an 8MP shooter at the front. The Vivo Y12s runs the MediaTek Helio P35 SoC. Along with it, we have a set of 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The smartphone also has a microSD card slot for expanding the storage.

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Sony launches ‘Alpha 7C’ full-frame camera in India

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NEW DELHI: Sony on Wednesday launched a new full-frame camera ‘Alpha 7C’ at a starting price of Rs 1,67,990 in the Indian market. According to the company, the ‘Alpha 7C’ is the world’s first smallest and lightest full-frame body with uncompromising performance featuring advanced AF (autofocus), high-resolution 4K video capabilities and much more. “The new ‘Alpha 7C’ camera and FE 28-60mm F4-5.6 zoom lens packs most advanced imaging technologies in a brand new design which is the smallest and lightest full-frame camera and lens system in the world. We are opening up a new world of possibilities for content creators by giving them uncompromised power of a full-frame system in the palm of their hands,” said Mukesh Srivastava, Digital, Imaging Head, Sony India, in a statement. Measuring only 124mm x 71.1mm x 59.7mm and weighing just 509 grams, the ‘Alpha 7C’ has a similar size and weight to an APS-C camera, with only one per cent more weight than the Alpha 6600. The ‘Alpha 7C’ features a five-step seven stabilisation effect that allows shooting snaps without a tripod.

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New i20 arrives with new-age design and features

Hyundai has launched the i20 in a brand new generation which is made on a new platform, gets a completely different look, has many more features and yes is expensive as well.

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The Hyundai i20 has always set the benchmark when it comes to premium hatchbacks in our country. Though the arrival of subcompact sedans and SUVs has diverted the buyer away from the segment considerably in the last few years, cars like the i20, Maruti Baleno and more recently the Tata Altroz have managed to hold fort for the segment. Now Hyundai has launched the i20 in a brand new generation which is made on a new platform, gets a completely different look, has many more features and yes is expensive as well. I recently drove the car in both its petrol and diesel iterations.

LOOKS

The new i20 has definitely become edgier and sharper than before. The parametric jewel pattern grille is finished in black and chrome is missing from here. The car gets LED projector headlamps and LED DRLs, the shape of which could certainly have been more attractive. Projector fog lamps and a raised hood also add to the exterior appeal. On the profile the car gets 16 inch diamond cut alloys and extensive use of chrome on the window line as well as door handles. However like it or not, it is the rear that will attract your attention the most, with Z-Shaped LED tail lamps that are connected with a chrome garnish, being the highlight. The car is now longer and wider than before, though the height is the same.

INTERIORS

First thing you notice inside the cabin is the impressive quality on offer. Along with that the fit and finish is quite nice too. You just cannot miss the 10.25 inch touch screen system that actually feels too big for a cabin of this size. It connects to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and with Hyundai’s blue link tech the i20 is also a connected car now. Amongst other things you can also start/ stop the engine remotely, use climate control, and find the car’s location. There are some premium features on offer here like an electric sunroof, an air purifier with air quality indicator and a wireless charger with cooling pad, the latter 2 being first in segment. What you will also like is that the steering wheel is both tilt & telescopic, there’s a Bose 7 speaker system and the car also gets in built navigation with live traffic and compass.

ENGINE

There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to engine and gearbox options on the new i20. First the 1.5 litre diesel engine that comes with just a 6-speed manual transmission and promises 25.2 kmpl. Then there’s the 1.2 litre petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual transmission and CVT options where the fuel efficiency hovers around 20 kmpl. Finally the 1.0 litre Turbo GDi petrol gets 6-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) & 7-Speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) options. Again both will deliver around 20 kmpl. Of these the most powerful is the Turbo engine that churns out a good 120 PS and here the peak torque kicks in at 1,500 rpm which just means that you will have a lot of fun driving around with this engine. With the DCT it achieves a 0-100 kmph time of just 9.9 seconds.

RIDE & HANDLING

The suspension suits the driving needs for Indian road conditions and the ride doesn’t feel bumpy or stiff. The lowered front hood and air curtain contribute to the car offering better aerodynamics. It also inspires confidence when you’re taking corners at high speeds. Hyundai says the new light weight K platform offers enhanced crash performance. Talking about safety the car gets 6 airbags which is the best-in-segment. Features like tyre pressure monitoring system and emergency stop signal have been seen in the segment for the first time.

PRICES

The new Hyundai i20 does set new benchmarks in the segment. With its looks, features and drivability, it will be difficult to beat the car. But the prices can be termed as anything but aggressive. For the 1.2 litre Petrol, it starts at Rs. 6.79 lakh (ex-showroom) and goes up to Rs 9.69 lakh. For the Diesel prices range between Rs 8.19 lakh and Rs 10.59 lakh. And the Turbo variants are priced between Rs 8.79 lakh to Rs 11.17 lakh which takes the car comfortably in the subcompact SUV territory. You can also choose between 3, 4 and 5 year warranty depending on how much you drive. And yes, customers will also be offered complimentary 3 years’ BlueLink subscription and 3 years’ road side assistance.

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SAMSUNG 20 FE: Device for a true fan

Richa Kapoor

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We all want that flagship smartphone but not everyone is ready to spend their 2 months’ salary on a single smartphone. That’s where this new flagship ‘mini’ segment seems to make sense. Gives you the specs you are looking for. The only thing you might miss out on are a few design elements. Samsung 20 FE is a true contender for this category.

DESIGN

Design is an integral part when you are looking at a mini version of a flagship model. Samsung S20 FE is a lot like its siblings. It gets a shiny metallic frame with a matte polycarbonate back. It actually is larger than the S20 and misses out on the curvy edges which I kind of miss. The 128GB model is available in 5 colours.

The phone is easy to hold and doesn’t slip out of your hand at all. Thanks to the matte finish at the back you don’t get any finger print marks as well. The device feels premium with a nice screen with thin borders.

The power and volume buttons are on the left, and are within easy reach. Samsung has dropped its dedicated Bixby button. There’s a USB Type-C port on the bottom and no 3.5mm audio socket. The tray on the top can accommodate either two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card.

Measuring 8.4mm thick and weighing 190g, the Galaxy S20 FE is fairly easy to handle. It’s rated IP68 for water and dust resistance.

SOFTWARE & PERFORMANCE

The Galaxy S20 FE gets the same Exynos 900 processor as the S20 family. This is an octa-core SoC with two custom Samsung performance cores running at 2.73GHz, two more ARM Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.5GHz, and four more power-efficient 2GHz Cortex-A55 cores.

As expected, there’s no lag whatsoever when swiping through the One UI interface and when multitasking between apps. The Galaxy S20 FE felt snappy, thanks to the high refresh rate panel as well as the capable SoC and large amount of RAM. This is for sure a great device for daily usage. Multitasking was blissful on this device.

The screen is bright and vibrant. A good one to view content and the speakers are decently balanced for you to enjoy the content. 

For gamers this device might not be the best pick as it started to heat up soon when tried playing heavy graphic games.

The battery capacity is 4500mAh and wireless charging is supported in both directions. You only get a 15W adapter in the box, though this phone can take advantage of up to 25W chargers. The battery is very impressive.

CAMERA

Galaxy S20 FE camera set up gets a 12-megapixel f/1.8 primary camera with OIS. There’s also a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 3X optical telephoto camera. For selfies, you get a 32-megapixel f/2.2 camera.

Daylight photography is at power with any good flagship mobile phone. The wide-angle camera photos look good till the time you are checking them on your phone screen. The telephoto lens does the job well. You will enjoy the detailing that you get from the telephoto lens. Low-light photography is what I was disappointed with. The pictures didn’t live up to my expectations. Found the pictures very grainy. For your front camera the pictures are clear and a bit unnatural but I guess we are used to that with most Samsung devices.

As for video, the Galaxy S20 FE was able to capture smooth 1080p footage with all three cameras. At 4K, motion was a little less smooth especially with the telephoto camera. Low-light video shot with the primary camera was good enough, but quality suffered with the telephoto and wide-angle cameras. 

The camera and video section will leave you pleased but you might miss the flagship device in this department.

VERDICT

Galaxy S20 FE in India, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, was announced at priced at Rs 49,999 and a 256GB variant priced at Rs 53,999. Being a younger sibling of a successful series is always hard. Well in that concern I can say the Galaxy Samsung S20 FE has fared well. The only thing that might hold you back from buying it is the heating problem that the device faces and the battery drains out faster than expected. For a true Samsung S series fan, this device would be a delight. Feels premium has a good camera set up and performance wise would feel no lag.

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