Weekly Roundup: Xiaomi Mi 5S and Mi 5S Plus, Coolpad Note 5, Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016) and more


Xiaomi took the spotlight this week by announcing two new flagship smartphones as well as a new Smart TV lineup. We also had interesting announcements from Samsung, Coolpad and many more companies.

Xiaomi announced two smartphones during the week – the Mi 5S and the Mi 5S Plus. The Mi 5S is the lower end variant of the two that essentially builds on the platform of the Mi 5. You still get a similar 5.15 inch 1080p display and a nearly identical front fascia. However, the back is now made of brushed metal instead of the glass or ceramic variants of the Mi 5. This makes it more robust and less prone to wear and tear as well. The screen is also now pressure sensitive and there is a new Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensor from Qualcomm that is housed beneath the display.


Additionally, the processor has been upgraded from the Snapdragon 820 on the Mi 5 to a Snapdragon 821 on the Mi 5S. There will be two variants – 3GB RAM/64GB UFS 2.0 storage and a 4GB RAM/128GB UFS 2.0 storage. It has a smaller resolution 12 Megapixel Sony IMX 378 f2.0 camera but with a much larger 1/2.3″ sensor size and larger 1.55 micro pixel size which should drastically improve the lowlight capability over the Mi 5. Up front, the camera is still an Ultrapixel (4 MP Resolution) camera with f2.0 aperture and 1/3″ sensor size.

It comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with MIUI 8 as well as 4G LTE support on its DualSIM card slots. The weight and thickness have been increased to 145 grams and 8.3mm respectively owing to all the new tech added, the metal body as well as the beefier 3200 mAh battery inside it.


The Mi 5S Plus sits right at the top of Xiaomi’s lineup and comes with a larger 5.7″ display (still 1080p). It too is powered by a Snapdragon 821 processor and will come with a 4GB/64GB UFS 2.0 variant. However the top end variant will have 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Mi 5S Plus has the same connectivity options and front camera. However, the rear camera unit now houses 2 13 Megapixel Sony IMX 258 sensors which brings Xiaomi upto speed on the dual-camera game. As expected, there is a larger 3800 mAh battery but it makes do with a regular fingerprint scanner at the back instead of an ultrasonic one like the Mi 5S.

Xiaomi also announced the Mi TV 3s Smart TV lineup. The TVs will be available in 55 inch and 65 inch sizes with 4K resolution and a slim 9.9mm frame. Both offer a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees, an 8 ms response time and 85% colour gamut. The 55 inch offers a 1200:1 contrast ratio while the 65 inch has a superior 5000:1 contrast ratio.

There’s 8GB of eMMC 5.0 storage, 2GB RAM and quad-core processors on both along with dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and a wide range of connectivity options.They both run on MIUI TV based on Android.


Samsung unveiled the 2016 version of the Galaxy A8 that has a unibody metal design and a slim 7.2mm frame. This time around, Samsung has ditched the Qualcomm SoC for their own 14nm octa-core Exynos 7420 processor. You also get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage (Expandable by 256GB using microSD cards).

There is a 16 Megapixel camera at the rear and 8 Megapixel camera in front, both with f1.9 aperture. It supports 4G LTE, VoLTE and comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. You get a fingerprint sensor at the front in the home button and a 3300 mAh battery under the hood. It comes in Blue, Grey and Pink colours and omits the usual Gold, Black, Silver and White variants.


Qualcomm took the wraps off of two new processors for IoT (Internet of Things) – the Snapdragon 600E and Snapdragon 410E. They are built on the foundation of the Snapdragon 600 and 410 respectively and cater to the needs of a wide range of IoT cases. They are being made available globally already through 3rd party distributors such as Arrow Electronics.


TCL joined in on the Snapdragon 820 bandwagon with their 950 smartphone that also comes witha  5.5″ 1080p display and 4GB of RAM. A rear facing 21 Megapixel camera with Sony IMX 230 sensor, 8 Megapixel front facing camera, dual speakers, fingerprint sensor, 300 mAh battery and 4G VoLTE support are its highlights. They also announced another mid-ranger smartphone called the TCL 580. Details about the pricing and further specifications can be found here.

OnePlus Soft Gold -3

OnePlus launched the Gold variant of their OnePlus 3 smartphone at the same retail price of Rs 27,999. Apart from the metal back which is in Gold colour, the front fascia too has a white colour instead of the black found on the graphite model.


Coolpad launched the Note 5 which comes with a 5.5″ 1080p display with 78% screen to body ratio that is quite impressive. There’s a Snapdragon 617 chipset powering it along with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory that is expandable upto 64GB using the Hybrid DualSIM card slot.

The 13 Megapixel camera at the back is complimented by an 8 Megapixel camera up front, both of which have f2.2 apertures. You also get a fingerprint sensor at the back along with a 4010 mAh battery under the hood as well as 4G VoLTE support. It will be available from 18th October onward at a price of Rs 10,999 as an Amazon India exclusive.


The Sony Xperia XZ that was announced during IFA 2016 earlier in September has now been launched in India at a price of Rs 51,990. It comes with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 5.2″ 1080p display. There is a Hybrid DualSIM card slot on board and a fingerprint sensor on the power button at the side.

The 23 Megapixel camera at the back comes with an f2.0 lens, 1/2.3″ sensor size, Laser AF and Predictive Hybrid AF as well as 5 axis stabilization. There is also a high resolution 13 Megapixel camera up front with 1/3″ sensor size, f2.0 lens and a 22mm wide angle lens. It also has a 2900 mAh battery and 4G VoLTE support.


HTC launched the Desire 10 Lifestyle in India at a price of Rs 15,990. There a 5.5″ 720p SLCD display with a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage. It comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and can take 2 nanoSIMs. It has HTC’s signature BoomSound speakers as well as 24 bit HiREs audio certification with Dolby Audio.

There is a 13 Megapixel camera at the back with f2.2 aperture and a 5 Megapixel camera at the front with f2.8 aperture. It supports 4G VoLTE and has a 2700 mAh battery.


Samsung launched the Galaxy On8 smartphone as a Flipkart exclusive that will be available during the Big Billion Days sale from October 2nd onwards at a price of Rs 15,900. It has a 5.5″ 1080p Super AMOLED display, octa-core Exynos 7580 processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. There’s a 13 Megapixel camera at the back and a 5 Megapixel camera up front. It has a 3300 mAh battery under the hood along with a microSD card slot that supports 128GB.

LeEco Le Max 2_fonearena-02

LeEco Le Max 2 gets a temporary price cut and is now available at a discounted price of Rs 17,999 from October 1st to 6th compared to the original retail price of Rs 22,999.


4K TVs seem to be the next big thing in India and Mitashi want in on the trend too. They announced 4K UHD Smart LED TVs in both 55 inch and 65 inch sizes. The run on Android 4.4 KitKat and allow you to download from the Google Play Store. They have 1GB of RAM, dual core processor and 8GB of expandable memory. They are priced at Rs 67,990 and Rs 1,29,990 respectively for the 55 inch and 65 inch models.

Gionee S6 Pro

Gionee announced a smartphone with a 5.5″ 1080p display called the S6 Pro. It features a Mediatek Helio P10 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB memory, microSD card slot, 13 MP main camera, 8 MP front camera, fingerprint sensor, 4G VoLTE and a 3130 mAh battery at a price of Rs 23,999.


HP announced a really innovative product in the form of the DeskJet 3700 which claims to be the world’s smallest All-in-One inkjet printer. It prints in colour and comes with print, scan and copy functions that are bundled into a compact form factor costing your Rs  7176.


We had three new phone announcements as well – the 5 inch iBall Andi Wink 4G at Rs 5,999, the 5 inch Lava A97 at Rs 5949 and 5.5″ Intex Cloud Q11 at Rs 4,699.


Logitech also launched a backlit keyboard case for the iPad Pro 9.7 called CREATE for Rs 9,995 and Ambrane launched a Bluetooth speaker with LED lamp called the BT-6000 at Rs 1,999.


Author: Sandeep Sarma

Sandeep Sarma is a blogger and a freelance photographer. Apart from gadgets and phones, he also has a passion for movies and cars. He currently uses the S7 Edge as his main phone. Catch him on twitter at @sandeep9sarma