ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of TikTok, is planning to venture into the hardware world with its own smartphone.
Rumour mills began speculating after Financial Times reported ByteDance’s smartphoneplans citing two undisclosed sources who are familiar with the matter.
Even though a company spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, the development is hardly a surprise as smartphone pre-installs have long been a popular way for Chinese Internet companies to ramp up user sizes, TechCrunch reported on Monday.
ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming has “long dreamt” of building a smartphone full of pre-loaded special apps.
The company also confirmed a deal with phone-maker Smartisan early in 2019, saying it had acquired a patent portfolio and hired some Smartisan employees.
However, the Financial Times report does not offer details about the phone’s design or intended market.
Although it suggests that ByteDance could be hampered by the US government’s hostility towards Chinese telecommunication companies, The Verge reported.
The company has also faced problems in India where its short video maker TikTok app has exploded in popularity but the government briefly banned it for promoting “cultural degradation”.
After launching a highly successful Reno 2 series, Chinese handset maker OPPO has brought A9 2020 to bring some competition in the mid-segment market in India.
The Oppo A9 2020 comes with quad-camera setup with 5,000mAh battery as its USP. The device is available in two variants — 4GB RAM+128GB ROM priced at Rs 16,990 and 8GB RAM+128GB ROM at Rs 19,990 in two colours, Marine Green and Space Purple.
An upgrade of Oppo A9, the A9 2020 also features a 3D gradient design.
We tested 8GB RAM+128GB device (Rs 19,990) in Space Purple. Let’s see how it fares.
In terms of design, the device scores decent marks. The back looks attractive with glass-like finish which gives it an aesthetic feel.
The quad rear camera is placed vertically alongside the LED flash, which adds extra charm.
The fingerprint sensor, placed at the back, was quick. The OPPO logo is placed vertically in centre.
The left edge of the phone hosts the dual-SIM card tray and the volume buttons and the SIM tray hosts a dedicated space for Micro-SD card which helps users expand in-built 8GB memory up to 256GB.
The volume rockers are at the left and power button at right, quite easy to operate. The lower edge of the phone houses speakers, Type C charging slot with fast-charging support and an audio jack input.
The smartphone features 6.53-inch Full HD+ display with a resolution of 1,600×720. The device’s screen is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The front of the device has dew-drop notch design that looks good.
The automatic brightness feature on-screen worked fine both indoors and outdoors.
The quad rear camera (48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP) is placed at the upper centre vertically alongside the LED flash.
The rear camera has basic panorama, HDR and video modes, along with some interesting image-enhancing features like AI-filters, ultra-wide mode, slow motion and time-lapse photography.
The camera produced some good snaps in daylight. However, it didn’t work good in low-light conditions.
The 16MP front camera features AI beautification and portrait mode, that gave sharp and good selfies.
The device has fingerprint unlock sensor as well as face unlock feature and both functioned smoothly.
The Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers worked well.
Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, the device runs Android 9 Pie-based ColorOS 6.0.1.
Snapdragon 665 provides faster performance while simultaneously lowering power consumption by 20 per cent.
The 5,000mAh battery kept the juice for almost a day.
However, despite having the “gaming boost 2.0” software, the device experienced lags while playing.
The phone competes well against Realme 5 Pro and Vivo Z1X at this price point.