Weekly Roundup: Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Meizu 16 and 16 Plus, Honor Play, LG Q8 (2018) and more


This week Samsung finally introduced its flagship Galaxy Note9 smartphone, Meizu introduced the 16 and 16 Plus flagship smartphones, Honor launched its Honor Play smartphone in India, LG introduced its new Q8 smartphone, Microsoft launched its Surface Laptop and Surface Book 2 in India, and lots more in our weekly roundup.

Samsung announced Galaxy Note9 smartphone at its New York event this week. It comes with a 6.4-inch Quad HD+  Super AMOLED Display – an end-to-end, bezel-less screen, has 12-megapixel rear camera with variable aperture tech that uses f/1.5 aperture for night shots for a brighter picture and f/2.4 aperture for normal shots in daytime as well as a secondary 12MP Telephoto lens for live focus for bokeh effect with background blur, similar to the S9+. It has Iris scanner, IP68 rating, improved S Pen stylus with Bluetooth support that lets you take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play video, and more.

It has stereo speakers tuned by AKG and support Dolby Atmos and a 4000mAh battery with both wired Adaptive fast charging as well as wireless charging.

It comes in Midnight Black, Ocean Blue and Metallic Copper (128GB only) colors and is priced at Rs. 67,900 for the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage version and the 8GB RAM with 512GB storage version costs Rs. 84,900. It is available for pre-order through offline stores and Samsung online Shop,  Flipkart and Amazon.in in India.

Samsung also announced Galaxy Watch in 46mm version and 42mm options with 1.3-inch and 1.2-inch (360×360 pixels) Circular Super AMOLED Always On Display with the latest Corning Gorilla Glass DX+ protection and has rotating bezel. These run Tizen- Based Wearable Platform 4.0. It has 5ATM + IP68 ratings for water resistance, certified for military-level durability, comes with NFC and Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) support for mobile payments using Samsung Pay.

It has new stress management tracker, which automatically detects high levels of stress and offers breathing exercises to help keep users centered and focused.  The 46mm model has 472mAh battery with battery life of 80+ hours with typical usage; up to 168 hours with low usage and Galaxy Watch 42mm with a 270mAh battery promises 45+ hours with typical usage; up to 120 hours with low usage.

The  Samsung Galaxy Watch 46mm version comes in Silver and costs $349.99 (Rs. 24,070 approx.) and the 42mm in Midnight Black and  Rose Gold options cost $329.99 (Rs. 22,695 approx.). The Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE version will be available later in 2018.

Samsung also introduced the Wireless Charger Duo. It comes with two charging docks; a flat area meant for the Galaxy smartwatch and a propped up charging spot for your smartphone.  Each charging pad comes with 12W of charging power, meaning that both of them support fast charging. It is priced at $119.99 (Rs. 8,275 approx.) and will ship starting from August 24th, along with the Galaxy Note9.

Huawei’s Honor brand launched the Honor Play, the company’s latest gaming-centric smartphone in India, as it had promised. It was introduced in China last month, packs a 6.3-inch Full HD+ 19:5:9 display with a notch and a 89% screen-to-body ratio, is powered by Kirin 970 10nm processor with 6GB of RAM, NPU as well as GPU Turbo graphics processing acceleration technology that increases graphics processing efficiency of mobile phones for smoother and faster mobile experience, especially for mobile games.

The gaming experience is AI-enabled for total immersion. The 4D gaming experience includes not only graphics and 3D audio effects, but AI vibration customized games and matched to in-game objects and scenarios.  AI real-time image and audio recognition is enabled for 30 different scenario 10 different vibrations, according to the direction of approaching enemies or gunfire, and users will even feel the kickback as you pull the trigger.

It Midnight Black and Navy Blue colors, is priced at Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version and the 6GB RAM with 64GB storage version costs Rs. 23,999. It is available from Amazon.in and Honor official store. Check out the hands-on impressions here.

Xiaomi launched Mi A2  Android One smartphone in India priced at Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM with 64GB RAM version, and the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage version will be available soon. It is available for pre-order on mi.com and Amazon.in with orders shipping next week.

First sale will begin August 16th on these platforms as well as Mi Home stores. It comes with Rs. 2200 instant cashback (in the form of vouchers) and 4.5TB additional data for Jio users. Check out the unboxing and first impressions here.

HMD Global launched Nokia 3.1, successor of last year’s Nokia 3 in India last month in 3GB RAM with 16GB storage version, now it has launched the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage version in the country and also launched the Nokia 5.1, successor of last year’s Nokia 5 and the Nokia 2.1, successor of last year’s Nokia 2.

  • Nokia 2.1 in Blue/Copper, Blue/Silver and Gray/Silver colors – Rs. 6,999
  • Nokia 3.1 (3GB RAM + 32GB storage) in  Blue/Copper, Black/Chrome and White/Iron colors – Rs. 11,999
  • Nokia 5.1 in Copper, Tempered Blue and Black colors – Rs. 14,499

All these smartphones will be available from August 12th via retail stores and online through Paytm Mall and the Nokia online store.

LG launched the company’s flagship G7+ ThinQ smartphone in India. It has a 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision LCD Super Bright display that can be viewed easily even under direct sunlight with brightness up to  1,000 nit, displaying 100 percent DCI-P3 color gamut. It is powered by Snapdragon 845 with 6GB of RAM.

It has a glass back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, has a polished metal rim and it is IP68 rated for dust and water resistance and also meets MIL-STD 810G requirements. It also has a dedicated Google Assistant button and the Super Far Field Voice Recognition lets you hear your voice anywhere in the room.

Boombox Speaker utilizes the internal space of the LG G7 ThinQ as a resonance chamber to deliver double the bass of other phones. It also has DTS:X to deliver virtual 3D sound for all content, up to 7.1 channel audio with earphones and it has Hi-Fi Quad DAC for incredibly rich sound. It is  priced at Rs. 39,990 and is available exclusively from Flipkart.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft launched the Surface Book 2 and Surface Laptop in India  The Surface Book 2 was announced back in October last year and the  urface Laptop was introduced back in May last year.

Microsoft Surface Laptop_fonearena-10

The Surface Book 2 starts at Rs. 1,37,999 (MRP) and goes up to  Rs. 2,95,999 (MRP).  The Surface Laptop starts at Rs. 86,999 (MRP) and goes up to Rs. 2,23,999 (MRP).

Both these are available from Amazon.in, Flipkart and Paytm online and Croma, Reliance Digital, Vijay Sales, and other authorized retailers in India offline.

Meizu introduced the Meizu 16 and 16 Plus in China. The Meizu 16 and 16 Plus pack a 6-inch and 6.5-inch Full HD+ 18:9 aspect ratio displays from Samsung with 91.18% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to 1.43mm side bezels and 5.74mm chin, are powered by Snapdragon 845 with up to 8GB of RAM, custom copper cooling tube and feature an in-display fingerprint sensor that has 99.12% high recognition rate.

Both the phones have retained the cameras from the predecessor. These have a 12-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX380 sensor, 1.55μm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture along with a 20-megapixel secondary telephoto lens with Sony IMX350 sensor for portrait shots and 3x loss-less zoom and a 20-megapixel front facing camera with AI beauty recognition and Face unlock.  Both these have a 3D glass back with ceramic texture, and pack a 3010mAh and 3500mAh battery, respectively with 24W mCharge flash charge.

Meizu 16 starts at 2698 yuan (US$ 395 / ₹ 27,140 approx.) and it goes up to 3998 yuan (US$ 585 / ₹ 40,210 approx.) for Meizu 16 Plus.

Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab A (2018) with a 10.5-inch WUXGA display in India, after it was introduced last week. It is powered by Snapdragon 450 with 3GB of RAM, runs Android 8.1 (Oreo) and comes with quad-speakers built into each corner of the tablet with support from Dolby Atmos. It has support for 4G LTE and packs a huge 7,300mAh battery.

It comes in Ebony Black and Urban Blue colors, is priced at Rs. 29,990 and is available on Samsung Online Shop  and Flipkart online, as well as offline retail stores.

LG announced new Q8, the company’s latest smartphone in the ‘Q series’ soon after the introduction of Q7. It has the same 6.2-inch FHD+ FullVision Display, is powered by an Octa-core Snapdragon 450 SoC with 4GB of RAM, runs Android 8.1 (Oreo), has a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. It also comes with built-in stylus with pop-memo, GIF editing and more.

It has military grade durability with MIL-STD 810G and is also IP68-certified for water and dust resistance. It also has Portrait mode, QLens, Hi-Fi quality audio, DTS:X 3D Surround Sound, and comes with Hi-Fi Quad DAC. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back, and a 3300mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. It comes in Aurora Black and Moroccan Blue colors, is priced at 539,000 won (US$ 470 / ₹ 32,869 approx.) and will go on sale soon starting from Korea.

Leica launched the C-LUX camera in India. It is the company’s newest addition to its compact camera segment. It features Leica DC Vario-Elmar 8.8–132 mm f/3.3–6.4 ASPH and a high-performance 20-megapixel sensor that is capable of shooting 10 frames per second. It will be available in Light Gold and Midnight Black colors, is priced at Rs. 85,000 and will go on sale at the end of August in India.

Fossil Q Venture HR and Q Explorist HR

Fossil announced the fourth-generation of Q lineup smartwatches. Two new watches in the lineup include Q Venture HR with 40mm stainless steel casing and Q Explorist HR with the large 45mm case.  The Fossil Q Venture HR and Q Explorist HR will be available in India by the end of October 2018 and will retail starting at Rs. 19,995 and goes up to Rs. 21,995.

SYSKA Smart Table Lamp

SYSKA LED launched a WiFi-enabled Smart Table Lamp which is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Users will have to sync the smart table lamp with Alexa and once it is enabled, it can be controlled using voice command given by the user. It is priced at Rs. 3699 (MRP), but it is available on Amazon for as low as Rs. 2,999.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM

Ultimate Ears, a brand of Logitech has launched the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Freestyle Bluetooth Waterproof speaker in India. It has a completely waterproof design with IPX7 ratings, promises 10-hours of battery life and 100-foot wireless Bluetooth range. It will be available at Croma and is priced at Rs.6,995. The device comes with a two-year limited hardware warranty and will be available later this month.

Boult Audio Q-1

Boult Audio introduced their latest offering ‘Q’ in the wireless category. The headband and ear cups are covered with sweat-proof protein leather, and the ear cups fold on 2 different axes. It comes with in-line controls that let you control the music, adjust volumes, and take calls.

It packs detailed High definition Audio and a 3D acoustic drivers. Thanks to in-line controls and a built-in microphone, you can control the music, take calls as well. It features a tangle-free thin flat cable. The Boult Q is priced at Rs. 1,710 but is available from Myntra for as low as Rs. 1,449.


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G4 Plus. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+