Mukesh Ambani introduced his much-touted 4G telecom services on Sunday evening, restricting it only for Reliance employees for now, as the petroleum-to-retail corporate giant prepares to shake the telecom industry with a full-bloodied launch around March next year.
For Ambani, this is the second calling in the telecom business after his first venture, Reliance Communications, went into the kitty of younger brother Anil as part of a family settlement between the siblings.
On offer from Reliance Jio Infocomm will be low-cost 4G devices (under ‘Lyf’ brand) costing as low as Rs 4,000 and a host of services along with the regular voice and data. These will include a big collection of music (Jio Beats); around 200 television channels with back-up (Jio Play) and movies (Jio on-demand).
At the commercial launch, Ambani is expected to go in for an aggressive pricing for his offerings which are expected to come bundled with a host of SIM cards (to make it a family offering) and large data-pack plans.
The telecom entry is one of the group’s most ambitious project to date (after retail) and it has pumped in nearly Rs 1 lakh crore into the business which aims to take on the established telecom behemoths such as homegrown Bharti Airtel, Britain’s Vodafone and Aditya Birla group’s Idea Cellular head-on.
The battle for customers in the fiercely-competitive telecom business is expected to get intense and market analysts feel that Reliance’s entry will bring down mobile and data prices further in India which already boasts of giving the world’s cheapest tariffs.
The 90,000-odd employees of the group go live on the voice-over-LTE (4G) network from Monday, the 83rd birthday of Reliance group founder Dhirubhai Ambani.
“India and Indians cannot afford to be left behind in this new world. However, India is ranked around 150 in the internet and mobile broadband penetration out of 230 countries. Jio is conceived to change this,” Ambani said as he unveiled the services for the employees at a glittering ceremony at Reliance Corporate Park in Navi Mumbai in the presence of mother Kokilaben, wife Nita Ambani and children Isha, Akash and Anant.
Anil Ambani made it to the event with wife Tina while corporate chieftains at the event included ICICI CEO Chanda Kochhar and HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh.
Asus Zenfone Max Pro Review: An Attempt to Stand Out In The Budget Segment
The budget segment of electronics devices is where the money is. That is why the most successful electronics company are the ones that make great budget devices. Flagships make a statement about what the company is capable of, but those are not the devices that sell. This was the strategy of Xiaomi and even Motorola in India. However, Asus seems to pick up the same strategy – manufacturing the low-cost devices with all the premium features. The features that are baked into the ZenFone Max Pro comes from customer request from Asus’s own forum making it one of the best budget phones of the year.
A Pure Android Experience
Asus is offering a clean version of Android – much like most of Motorola or HMD’s Nokia phones. However, it does not come with Android Go. The ZenFone Max Pro comes with Android 8.1 Oreo and the company promises to keep the software updated through the standard support period. Even after the launch, the company released a bunch of updates to fix certain camera issues and to patch the OS. Unlike previous versions of Android that came with ZenUI on Asus’s phones, this time, Asus went for a clean stock version of Android. There are a few apps that are pre-installed and all of them can be uninstalled quite easily.
A Familiar Design
Like most manufacturers, Asus also took their design cues from the newer iPhones. The ZenFone Max Pro does not come with the annoying notch, but you get the soft rounded edges and corners on the aluminium chassis phone. The screen also has rounded corners. The rear camera design also looks quite like that of the Apple devices. On the front, you have a 5.99-inch 2180×1080 18:9 screen, the power and volume buttons are on the right side and the fingerprint scanner is in the rear. The bottom edge has the micro-SUB slot, a single speaker grille and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The ZenFone Max Pro has the provision of two SIM cards as well as a microSD card. A single tray houses both the SIM cars as well as the microSD card. The ZenFone Max Pro supports up to 2TB cards – something you probably would never need.
A Huge Battery
While most budget devices come with a 3000 to 4000 mAh battery, Asus took it further by adding a 5000mAh battery to the ZenFone Max Pro. This enables the phone to go on for over two days to moderate usage. This does make the phone a little heavy. The biggest drawback of such a large battery is the charging time and Asus did not incorporate fast charging. So, you will have to spend more than two hours to charge your phone with the given charger. One of the reasons why Asus did not incorporate fast charging could be because of safety issues. Batteries to tend to heat up a lot when being fast charged.
Decent Performance and Battery Life
Asus has three variants of these phone with 3GB, 4GB and 6GB LPDDR4X memory. The 3GB variant comes with 32GB of onboard storage and the latter two comes with 64GB. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC comes with 64-bit Kryo Octa-core Processor and Adreno 509 GPU. Both have a very decent price to performance ratio. You can play most games on this phone – even the graphics intensive ones. The SoC is powerful enough for day to day use and even heavy web browsing. However, the phone does have a tendency to run warmer than the competition.
Asus rated the battery life of the phone to be that of 2 hours. However, with heavy tasking, the battery drains out in less than 14 hours. This is something that is not expected from a 5000mAh battery.
The speaker is quite loud, but the audio can be distorted at higher volumes. The fingerprint reader on the back can be a little finicky and does not always work. The phone also comes with a face unlock feature that uses the front camera. However, it’s just a hit or miss thing.
Acceptable Camera Performance
Asus has a dual camera setup on the rear. There is a 13MP sensor for the images and a 5MP sensor for the depth. On the front, it comes with a 16MP camera with a soft LED flash. The camera app was a little complicated and was not very neatly laid out. The camera does not have any manual mode – which is quite disappointing. Daylight photos are quite good, but low light photos are noisy with washed out colours. However, they are still usable. 4K video recording is also quite average when you are looking at the video quality. However, the quality drops drastically when you are shooting in low light conditions.
Given the price, Asus checks all the right boxes with the ZenFone Max Pro. You get a large, high-resolution screen, the 18:9 screen ration, a dual camera setup, along with a high-resolution front camera with flash. You also get a huge battery and the option to use two SIM cards and a microSD card together. Some drawbacks of the phone that are not visible on the spec sheet includes slow Wi-Fi speeds when you are connected to the 5GHz channel. Plus, the fingerprint sensor can be a little annoying. It is slower than most of the devices on the market, and sometimes, it just doesn’t work. Battery charging takes a whole lot of time via the given 10-watt charger.
Other than the Redmi Note 5 and the Moto G6 line-up, Asus does not really have much competition in the market, given the price point. However what may set back Asus is the choice of retail partner. In India, Asus is selling the phone only via Flipkart and not via any other online retailers or brick and mortar stores. Purchasing via the flash sales is also quite difficult. However, Asus has made it clean with the ZenFone Max Pro that it will do whatever it takes to win back buyers.
Samsung Galaxy S7: New Smartphone to Be Released in 2 Different Screen Sizes, Report Says
If you just got the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge for the holidays, you might want to think about getting an exchange.
The world’s largest mobile company, China Mobile, which boasts over 800 million subscribers, leaked images of the new Galaxy S7 Edge and the larger Galaxy S7 Plus, which was scheduled to go on sale in February of 2016.
If you want to protect your S7 Galaxy phone, use S7 mobile back cover. This will help to protect your mobile from Dust and breakage.
Last year, Galaxy announced the release the S6 in March and put the phone out to retailers in April, which means that the S6 and S6 Edge had less than a year lifecycle on the shelves.
Samsung has already been successful in this approach with the Galaxy Note 5 which launched in August 2015; just 10 months after the Galaxy Note 4. This gave the phone/tablet a month head start on the iPhone 6S Plus, whereas the Galaxy Note 4 launched a month after the iPhone 6 Plus. Similarly, a February release of the Galaxy S7 would give it a seven month head start over the projected September release of the highly anticipated iPhone 7.
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