Sharp Aquos Zero uses an in-house developed curved OLED with a huge notch

Sharp’s latest smartphone was unveiled in Japan today. It’s the Aquos Zero, which features the company’s first OLED panel designed and manufactured in-house.

It’s a curved 6.2-inch 1440×2992 screen with support for the DCI-P3 color space and Dolby Vision, and as you can see it comes with a huge notch. Not just that, but the parts of the top bezel that are to the left and right of it are pretty substantial too, at least by the usual notched smartphone standards.

Oh, and there’s also a chin. Anyway, enough about that. Thanks to its magnesium frame and aramid fiber back it weighs just 146g, and Sharp is clearly proud of this achievement, boasting about how this is one of the lightest flagships around. By the way, for reference, note that Kevlar is a type of aramid fiber although Sharp doesn’t mention that brand anywhere in its marketing materials so we’re assuming it didn’t pay DuPont the associated licensing fees.

The Aquos Zero is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset (what else?), paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS storage. Its battery has 3,130 mAh capacity and the phone runs Android 9 Pie. Its dimensions are 154 x 73 x 8.8 mm.

The single rear camera has 22.6 MP resolution and f/1.9 aperture, while the selfie cam is an 8 MP unit. The Aquos Zero is IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. A fingerprint scanner is on the back of the handset, and it also has a face unlock system. Stereo speakers are in too, with Dolby Atmos technology.

The Sharp Aquos Zero will be available in Japan by the end of the year. There’s no telling if it will be offered elsewhere at any point – but since the company now has a presence in Europe, maybe we’ll see it there in the future.

[“source”=gsmarena]

Mint Money tells you when it makes sense to take an education loan, how it can benefit you and how much it can cost

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead can benefit you. Photo: Alamy

Any big-ticket spending requires you to either have the required funds in place or a financing option. When dealing with long-term financial goals, such as higher education of children, you have the advantage of planning much in advance. Here’s how you can go about the planning.

Start early

A lot of parents have an inclination to send their children abroad for higher education, at least at the post-graduate level, said Suresh Sadagopan, a certified financial planner and founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisories. “In that case, the planning needs to start really early. They would need a horizon of at least 10-15 years. When we talk of international education at post-graduate level today, most likely it is not going to happen below ₹40 lakh,” he said.

Click here for enlarge

How do you work towards saving that amount? Prakash Praharaj, founder, Max Secure Financial Planners, said that the future cost of a particular course needs to be calculated taking into account at least 10% annual inflation. “Then calculate the current assets and investments accumulated for these goals. Then the remaining gap for the aimed amount is to be filled through monthly SIPs over the years,” he said.

Starting an SIP of ₹5,000-7,000 in an equity fund for 15 years and increasing it by 10-20% each year could help. However, Sadagopan said, given the fact that there are so many ongoing expenses these days, including other loans, it becomes difficult for parents to put aside a huge amount for the child’s post-graduation alone.

Consider taking loan

Even if you have been working on creating a higher education corpus, you need to consider taking an education loan. At present, the total expenses for higher education abroad could be in the range of ₹1 crore per child, Sadagopan said.

“A realistic thing that parents need to realise is that the child’s higher education is not their only goal. Retirement is also an important goal and they need to be aware of the fact that you can get a loan for all other requirements but not for retirement,” he said.

Own funds versus loan

But if someone has already accumulated the required amount, why should another repayment burden be taken on? The answer lies in two things, Praharaj said. “A cost benefit analysis suggests that taking an education loan and keeping the accumulated amount invested works in your favour. Moreover, it also helps in developing a sense of responsibility in the student. The realisation that a repayment has to be done by them keeps them focussed,” he said.

The math of keeping your accumulated savings invested and taking an education loan instead suggests that taking a loan results in significant benefits. For instance, if ₹1 crore is kept invested and an education loan for the same amount is taken, at the end of nine years, including the repayment holiday on the education loan, the net benefit could be around ₹87 lakh (see graph).

This includes the tax saved on repayment of loan. Borrowers of education loans can claim deduction on the interest paid, though not on the principal amount. Also, unlike in home loans, there is no limit to the amount that can be claimed as deduction.

Sadagopan said it is better that the parents keep the money with themselves and let the child take the loan. “In future if the child is struggling to find a job and pay back, you can step in to help at that point,” he said.

[“Source-livemint”]

Airtel Partners Intex, Offers Aqua Lions N1 at an Effective Price of Rs. 1,649

Airtel Partners Intex, Offers Aqua Lions N1 at an Effective Price of Rs. 1,649

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Intex Aqua Lions N1 was unveiled on Wednesday alongside the offer
  • Two older Intex smartphones were also brought under Airtel’s offer
  • Airtel previously partnered with Karbonn and Celkon

Airtel has partnered Intex to bring three of the domestic brand’s smartphones under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative, which offers cashback to sweeten the purchase and lock customers onto the operator’s network. Thus far, Airtel has partnered with Karbonn and Celkon, with Intex becoming the third manufacturer to join the telco’s initiative. With the announcement on Wednesday, Intex has also launched a new smartphone – Intex Aqua Lions N1- while bringing its previously launched Intex Aqua S3 and Intex Aqua A4 under the offer’s umbrella.

Let’s start with the offer, before coming to the specifications of the newly launched Intex Aqua Lions N1. As before, Airtel subscribers with an eligible Mera Pehla Smartphone will need to make recharges of any denominations but worth Rs. 3,000 in the first 18 months to receive a cashback of Rs. 500, and recharges worth another Rs. 3,000 in the second 18 month period to claim a cashback of Rs. 1,000 – bringing the total cashback to Rs. 1,500. Users can choose to avail the bundled Rs. 169 pack, which for eligible handsets has a 28-day validity, and offers unlimited calling (subject to fair usage policy) apart from 0.5GB high-speed data a day. The refunds will be credited to the user’s Airtel Payments Bank account.

Getting to the ‘effective prices’ of the Intex handsets under the Airtel Mera Pehla Smartphone offer, the telco says the Intex Aqua Lions N1 has an MRP of Rs. 3,799 but will be available at an MOP (something that Airtel is calling a down payment) of Rs. 3,149. When the Rs. 1,500 cashback is subtracted, the Aqua Lions N1’s effective price is said to be Rs. 1,649. In a similar fashion, the Intex Aqua A4 has an MRP of Rs. 4,999, but will be available at an MOP of Rs. 3,499, bring its effective price after cashback to Rs. 1,999. Finally, the Intex Aqua S3 is said to have an MRP of Rs. 6,649, an MOP of Rs. 5,879, and an effective price of Rs. 4,379 after cashbacks.

Getting to the specifications, the Intex A qua A4 was launched back in May, and you can check out its details in our previous coverage. Likewise, the Aqua S3 was launched in June.

As we mentioned, the Intex Aqua Lions N1 is a brand new smartphone running Android 7.0 Nougat, and it supports dual-SIM cards. It sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display, and is powered by a 1.1GHz MediaTek processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone bears a 2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front facing camera. It offers 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB) with its own dedicated slot. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB.

A little background on the Airtel Mera Pehla smartphone initiative – the telecom operator launched the programme back in October in response to the Jio Phone that was marketed with a similar ‘effective price’ strategy. The launch was with the Karbonn A40 Indian, and the telco partnered the domestic brand again in November with the Karbonn A1 Indian and Karbonn A41 Power. In between, it also partnered Celkon for its Smart 4G smartphone.

Other telcos to follow the Jio Phone’s effective price model include Vodafone India with the Micromax Bharat-2 Ultra, and BSNL with the Micromax Bharat 1 feature phone. Vodafone late last month unveiled similar offers for the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1.

Speaking on the launch, Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, “We are really pleased to see the continued positive response to our ‘Mera Pehla Smartphone’ initiative from customers as well as smartphone manufacturers. We are delighted to have Intex on board as a partner and their brand familiarity plus distribution reach will add to our affordable smartphone proposition and offer more choice to our customers. We look forward to working with them towards empowering every Indian with a 4G smartphone.”

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Intex Aqua Lions N1

Intex Aqua Lions N1

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.1GHz

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

480×800 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery Capacity

1400mAh

Also See
  • Intex Aqua Lions 3G (Grey, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.4,210
  • Intex Aqua Lions 3G (Grey, 8GB)
    Rs.4,220
  • Intex Aqua Lions 4G (Black Grey, 8GB) – OFFER
    Rs.4,295

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an ‘Effective Price’ of Rs. 1,590

Vodafone Launches Itel A20 Smartphone at an 'Effective Price' of Rs. 1,590

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Itel A20 will come with a cashback offer worth Rs. 2,100
  • Customers need to stick to the handset for 36 months
  • The cashback will be available through M-Pesa

Vodafone India on Tuesday announced its partnership with China’s Transsion Group-owned Itel Mobile to launch the Itel A20 in the country with an effective price of as low as Rs. 1,590 – actually priced at Rs. 3,690. The subscriber opting the new launch will need to adhere to Vodafone network and the same handset for a period of three years. Previously, Vodafone India tied up with Micromax to offer a cashback worth Rs. 2,200 on its select Bharat and Canvas series 4G smartphones.

Similar to the terms for a customer opting for a 4G Micromax smartphone under the previous cashback offer, buyers picking up the Itel A20 will need to recharge their Vodafone accounts with at least Rs. 150 per month for 36 months. The recharge can be done either cumulatively or as a one-time recharge. At the end of the 18-month span, the customers will receive a cashback of Rs. 900. After another 18 months, Vodafone will offer the rest Rs. 1,200 in the form of a cashback. The cashbacks will be generated through the M-Pesa wallet and can be used to recharge, pay bills, transfer money, or withdraw cash. Eventually, Vodafone will get a chance to retain its subscriber base as well as push its subscribers to continue to use M-Pesa wallet for the next 36 months after purchasing the Itel A20.

The bundled offer for the Itel A20 will be available for Vodafone India subscribers until March 31, 2018.

The Android 7.0 Nougat-based Itel A20 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 1GB RAM. It sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display. The 4G VoLTE-enabled smartphone supports dual-SIM cards (Normal+Micro), packs a 1700mAh battery, and has 8GB of onboard storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It bears a 2-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front camera. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. It will be available in Champagne Gold, Dark Blue, and Silver colour variants.

“We are delighted to partner with Itel to hand hold customers as they transition from feature phone to smartphone and provide a rich experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G. We firmly believe, that affordable handsets along with pocket-friendly data prices will accelerate data adoption. The exciting cashback offers will make this digital journey a more affordable and enriching one for our customers,” said Avneesh Khosla, Associate Director – Consumer Business, Vodafone India, in a press statement.

Vodafone isn’t alone in the race of bringing smartphone bundling offers in India. Earlier this month, Bharti Airtel partnered with Intex to launch the Intex Aqua Lions N1 for an effective price of Rs. 1,649 under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative. BSNL also brought the Micromax Bharat 1 as a rival against Rs. 999 Jio Phone back in October. Further, Vodafone even partnered with Micromax last month to offer Rs. 2,200 cashback on the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Itel A20

Itel A20

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

4.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz quad-core

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

480×800 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery Capacity

1700mAh

Also See
  • Itel it5231(Blue) – OFFER
    Rs.1,420
  • Itel IT5231 (Champagne Gold) – OFFER
    Rs.1,490
  • Itel iT5233 (Grey) – OFFER
    Rs.1,785

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]