If you're looking to get a phone with Qualcomm's current flagship processor, there aren't many scenarios where you won't have to spend a small fortune. However, if you're in India, you'll be happy to know that Vivo's sub-brand iQOO is soon going to unveil one of the cheapest Snapdragon 888 phones in the world yet.
Smartphones make for an excellent distribution channel for services — another source of monetization for companies. Hence, it wasn't surprising when OnePlus announced its own mobile payment system in China last year. It seems like the company is now ready to expand its offering and introduce it to other markets, including India.
The border skirmishes between India and China last year set many things in motion — they led to the ban of several Chinese apps in the country, caused the revival of a homegrown smartphone company, and augmented the Make in India initiative (and aatmanirbharta) that encourages companies to do their manufacturing in the nation. Following the integral role the initiative has already played in making the country the second-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, the government now intends to draw in chipmakers with a lucrative offer.
Like most markets outside North America, India got the Exynos variant of Samsung’s fantastic upper-mid-range Galaxy S20 FE. This model simply isn’t on par with its Snapdragon-powered sibling on several fronts, including 5G connectivity. Now, Samsung is bringing the S20 FE 5G to the Indian market right around the time OnePlus is set to drop its 9-series flagships in a similar price bracket.
After months of rumors, the CEO of OnePlus officially confirmed the existence of the more budget-priced OnePlus 9R to the Indian press last week. Announced alongside the 9 and 9 Pro, the 9R is launching exclusively in India, starting at ₹39,999. That's equivalent to about $550 USD, and 20% less expensive than the base model of the OnePlus 9.
OnePlus has already confirmed that the 9 and 9 Pro are coming on March 23rd, as well as the company's first wearable, the OnePlus Watch. But today CEO Pete Lau spoke directly to an Indian news network about a hitherto unknown variant: the OnePlus 9R. This less expensive option is so far confirmed only for the Indian market, with a focus on a lower price and gaming performance.
If you're a fan of Xiaomi's flagship sensibilities, but not the high prices that come along with them, you might be in luck. A new alleged leak shows a Lite variant of the Mi 11, which caused a stir when it launched internationally last month. It appears to be a midrange alternative to the high-end original, but with rumored specs including a Snapdragon 765G processor, it might just hit the spot.
The Google Pay app has seen a major overhaul recently, being a more wholistic approach to shopping and money transfers in addition to a basic payment tool. This change hasn't been universally appreciated, but it's there nonetheless. Starting next week, Google Pay users in India will see a new option: targeted advertising based on traffic and spending habits. Google calls it "personalization."