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Home News The Galaxy A50 is Samsung's answer to Xiaomi in India

The Galaxy A50 is Samsung’s answer to Xiaomi in India

Samsung finally gets serious about the budget segment, and that should worry Xiaomi.


For the last five years, Samsung had a very simple strategy for the budget segment — roll out iterative updates in the Galaxy J series, and rely on its vast distribution network to rack in sales. So even though its devices were underwhelming, it managed to sell millions of units. But with the entry of Xiaomi and other Chinese players, the situation changed and Samsung suddenly was faced with losing market share in one of its key regions.

Xiaomi has been India’s leading handset maker for six straight quarters, and it achieved that growth by solely focusing on the budget category. The Chinese brand sold over 41 million devices in India in 2018, allowing it to cement its position at the top of the leaderboard. Of those, 12 million were Redmi Note phones, and Xiaomi also saw a 58.6% year-on-year growth.

Samsung is overhauling its budget strategy with the 2019 Galaxy A series — a move that was long overdue.

In stark contrast, Samsung just managed a 4% YoY growth, with overall sales at 31.9 million. That could possibly change in 2019 if recent launches are any indication. Samsung started off the year on a high with the introduction of the Galaxy M20, the first in a new series aimed at millennials.

The Galaxy M20 introduced a fresh design aesthetic and robust specs — including an all-new Exynos 7904 chipset — but what made the phone stand out was the aggressive price. Samsung isn’t necessarily known as a value player, but the M20 changed that.

And now, with the Galaxy A50 and A30, Samsung is going on the offensive as it tries to regain its position in the country. There are three models in the 2019 Galaxy A series — the Galaxy A10, A30, and the A50. The A10 targets the entry-level segment and the A30 offers similar hardware to the M20. But the A50 is the most interesting of the lot.

The 4GB/64GB version of the Galaxy A50 retails for just ₹19,999 ($285), which is staggering when you look at the specs on offer. Samsung phones in this segment were woefully underpowered, so it’s refreshing to see the manufacturer finally offer robust hardware in the A50. The phone is powered by an all-new Exynos 9610 chipset, with four Cortex A73 cores at 2.3GHz joined by four Cortex A53 cores.

The Galaxy A50 also has an in-screen fingerprint sensor, making it one of very few sub-$300 devices that offer the feature. The sensor itself is optical and not ultrasonic like the Galaxy S10 series, but it still worked well enough that I didn’t run into any issues in the week I’ve used the phone.

The Galaxy A50 is the most interesting budget phone Samsung has released in a long time.

You also get a modern design language that Samsung calls Prism, with rounded edges, a waterdrop cutout, and a rainbow gradient pattern that looks gorgeous. Samsung is also bundling three cameras at the back, with a 25MP primary lens joined by an 8MP wide-angle shooter and a 5MP depth sensor.

Samsung is also offering a 4000mAh battery, and you get 15W fast charging as well. I’ll have much more to talk about how the Galaxy A50 fares in everyday use in the coming days, but I can confidently say that it is the best Samsung budget phone I’ve used in a long time.

In fact, my only issue with the phone is that it doesn’t run Samsung Pay — Samsung is instead offering a mini version of the service that works with India’s UPI payments infrastructure. You can add your digital wallets, but lose out on the ability to add credit card information to make purchases at retail stores.

With the Galaxy A50, Samsung is offering a device that holds its own with the likes of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. That’s no short praise considering Samsung essentially ignored the budget segment for the longest time. But more importantly, what we’re seeing with the 2019 Galaxy A series is that Samsung is willing to lose out on short-term margins as it tries to claw its way back. And that’s great news for customers.

Xiaomi still offers better value for money — I doubt anyone can come close to the brand in that aspect — but when you look at the overall package, the Galaxy A50 is a stellar device. It is easily Samsung’s most ambitious showing in the budget category in a very long time, and the combination of features on offer and the sheer value for your money make it a direct threat to the Redmi Note 7 Pro.


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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, S7+ 5G now available at T-Mobile

T-Mobile on Thursday confirmed it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G, Galaxy Tab S7 5G, and S7+ 5G starting from September 18.Each of the devices can use T-Mobile’s 600Mhz, 2.5GHz, and mmWave 5G spectrum. In fact, the tablets mark the first to support 5G connectivity.T-Mobile will offer the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G online, over the phone, and in retail stores for $58.34/month for 24 months with a $599.99 down payment. The all-in full retail price of the unique folding smartphone is $1,999.99.As for the new tablets, customers can purchase both the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 5G and Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G for $30.00/month. The difference being that the former requires $129.99 down while the later requires $329.99 down. The full retail prices are $849.99 and $1049.99, respectively.Multiple Ways to SaveT-Mobile is offering a number of promotions around its new devices, giving subscribers ways to save on both the phone and tablets.Pick up one Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G and get a second for half off with 24 monthly bill credits when you activate a new line.Get $500 off the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G with 24 monthly bill credits and eligible device trade in.Learn more about the Galaxy Tab S7 5G and Galaxy Tab S7+ 5G at T-Mobile’s website.

Ampere Cell Wireless Charger and UV Sanitizer review

If you’re like us, you take your phone everywhere. Like, everywhere.We tend to get our handset out while eating, traveling, and even in the bathroom. Indeed, the more you think about it, the more gross it seems. And in a world impacted by a global pandemic, it’s even dangerous.If you are one of those people who takes their phone with them and never bothers to clean it — and let’s face it, that’s you — Ampere has a device that will change your life. While that sounds a tad drastic, it’s not really a reach.The Ampere Cell Phone Sanitizer, available for pre-order at just $79.95, is actually two devices in one. Part wireless charger, part phone sanitizer, it’s 100% vital in today’s world.What is the Ampere Cell?An expandable UV santizer and wireless charger hybrid device, it has four UVC LEDs inside and two 15W Qi charging coils on the outside.Open it up and place your phone inside and the Cell uses UV rays to kill bacteria off the surface of your phone. It kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in only one minute. Or, place your phone on top of it and it will wireless charge any modern handset.UsageThere’s practically zero setup to consider with the Ampere Cell. All you have to do to get started is separate the base from the cover, place your item on the base, and press the red circle.When it turns green, it’s sanitizing, and after a minute when it turns red again, it’s done. It’s extremely quick and easy.We appreciate that the cover itself can be expanded and shaped to provide an angle. Whether portrait or landscape, it can be used as a prop to watch streaming video or keep an eye on notifications.Our only complaint is a minor one and that it does not actually come with the USB Type-C cable needed to power it. Understanding it was likely going to replace the charger we had on the desk, we were fine using our existing one. Ampere Cell 1 of 8 The Cell is slick, thin and small, so it is easy to carry around in a purse or bag. If you’re feeling stylish it comes in different colors, too. Because of its size and expandability we’ve used the Cell to sanitize jewelry, wearables, and other small items.The Ampere Cell is available to pre-order from Ampere’s website and is expected to ship in late October/November. Choose from red, black, and glow-in-the-dark.

LG Wing hands-on: A new kind of dual-screen (Video!)

The LG Wing is a new dual-screen device from LG. Can this take on dual-screen devices make it to the