Lego The Incredibles Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com

After Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe got the Lego treatment, developer Traveller’s Tales turns its attention to The Incredibles with Lego The Incredibles for PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. If you’ve played any of the past games that adapted movies to its brick-fuelled aesthetic, you’ll know exactly what to expect. And if you haven’t well, Lego The Incredibles lets you wreak havoc through 12 levels spanning the original movie and The Incredibles 2 that’s in theatres this week. You’ll solve puzzles, partake in thrilling sequences, and beat down evil henchmen aplenty all while swapping between multiple characters from the franchise.

The familiarity is tempered with the decision to have the game begin with the events of The Incredibles 2 rather than the first movie, letting you access the latter later on. It’s a perplexing choice as it ends up making significant reveals feel hollow; for example, you learn about the origins of Jack-Jack’s superpowers after you’ve spent the entire game using them.

While it may have been a bold, subversive idea on paper, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps it was an attempt on banking on what’s fresh for audiences now given that the second movie is out at the moment, but it falls flat as it impacts gameplay as well. Your heroes are more powerful early on than they are towards the end making the experience not as enjoyable as it could be.

 

Where Lego The Incredibles could have been better served with ingenuity is in its gameplay. There are great set-pieces that have you in a motorcycle chase and levels that have you stalling a giant drill before it tears the city apart. Although they’re entertaining segments, the moment to moment gameplay feels rote.

Each hero has its own abilities. Mr. Incredible can smash through walls, Elastigirl can contort her body into shapes, Dash is the fastest in terms of movement, and Violet has invisibility and shields. Through the main story you’ll swap between them and other heroes such as Frozone, Jack-Jack, and Reflux as you match a hero’s ability with the obstacle in your way such as swapping to Elastigirl to make a bridge allowing others to pass or using Violet’s shields to cross through toxic waste. It’s par for the course and despite the apparent variety on display, there’s nothing really new here.

This extends to the unlockable characters as well. Sure, they tally over a hundred – including from other Pixar movies like Woody from Toy Story – but some of them seem to exist to just make up the numbers. You can play as the old woman whose cat Mr. Incredible rescues, which is a bit of a stretch, as is the character count considering a lot of powers remain the same. What’s cool though is the ability to kit out your own superhero from the Lego you’ve collected, though you can’t use it until you’ve completed a mission at least once.

lego incredibles  lego_incredibles

All of this compounded by a camera that loses focus ever so often and button prompts that don’t work as they should, putting a damper on what should be a straightforward experience. These issues result in your character being killed more often than it really should. At times it feels that Lego The Incredibles’ biggest villain is the lack of polish and attention to these elements, further hamstrung by an erratic frame rate and texture pop-in on the Xbox One X that doesn’t make it look as good as it could be.

Clocking in at around 12 hours, Lego The Incredibles’ questionable narrative choices and bland gameplay make it one to avoid. If you’re looking for your Incredibles fix, check out movies instead because the game is far from incredible.

Pros:

  • Great set-pieces
  • Make your own superhero

Cons:

  • Bland gameplay
  • Odd narrative choices
  • Technical issues

Rating (out of 10): 5

Gadgets 360 played a review copy of Lego The Incredibles on Xbox One X. The game is available on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch priced at Rs. 2,999 ($60 in the US). The PC version costs Rs. 1,299 ($40 in the US).


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Cynthia Nixon calls ICE ‘terrorist organization,’ says it should be abolished

New York gubernatorial candidate and former “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon on Thursday called U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “a terrorist organization” and called for its abolition, pitting progressive New Yorkers against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Nixon made her remarks at a church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where an illegal immigrant is taking sanctuary after being threatened with deportation after she failed to show a driver’s license during a traffic stop by ICE agents.

“ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into, frankly, is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country,” she said, according to NY1 News.

“ICE has strayed so far away from its mission. It is supposed to be here to keep Americans safe but what it has turned into frankly is a terrorist organization of its own that is terrorizing people who are coming to this country.”

– Cynthia Nixon

The candidate’s campaign against ICE follows an earlier appearance the same day on ABC’s “The View,” where she called for the abolition of the immigration agency.

“I think we need to abolish ICE. That seems really clear. They have strayed so far from the interests of the American people and the interests of humanity,” she said as the audience cheered, claiming ICE is separating parents and children not only at the U.S.-Mexico border but “throughout this country” as well.

Since launching her campaign, the 52-year-old actress-turned-politician has successfully pulled Cuomo to the left on many issues, including granting paroled felons the right to vote in the state, after criticizing him for not being progressive enough. But it appears that the current governor, 60, hasn’t yet evolved on the issue of ICE.

Earlier this week, Cuomo reiterated his support for ICE, saying he doesn’t favor abolishing the agency.

“No, I think ICE should be a bonafide law enforcement organization that prudently and diligently enforces the law,” Cuomo said.

He also announced Tuesday the intention to sue the Trump administration for “violating the constitutional rights of immigrant children and their families who have been separated at the border.”

The goal of abolishing ICE has recently become a hot topic among progressives, who now see it as a litmus test for any potential Democratic candidates — especially in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

The suggestion isn’t found just among the fringes of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the idea of abolishing ICE was endorsed by Brian Fallon, a former top aide to 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Eric Holder, President Barack Obama’s attorney general.

“ICE operates as an unaccountable deportation force,” Fallon tweeted. “Dems running in 2020 should campaign on ending the agency in its current form.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a potential 2020 candidate, faced a backlash in March after saying “ICE has a purpose, ICE has a role, ICE should exist” during an interview. She was lambasted by liberal publications for not openly calling for the agency’s abolition.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report.

 

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.

Google Engineers Said to Refuse to Build Security Tool to Win Military Contracts

Earlier this year, a group of influential software engineers in Google’s cloud division surprised their superiors by refusing to work on a cutting-edge security feature. Known as “air gap,” the technology would have helped Google win sensitive military contracts. The coders weren’t persuaded their employer should be using its technological might to help the government wage war, according to four current and former employees. After hearing the engineers’ objections, Urs Holzle, Google’s top technical executive, said the air gap feature would be postponed, one of the people said. Another person familiar with the situation said the group was able to reduce the scope of the feature.

The act of rebellion ricocheted around the company, fueling a growing resistance among employees with a dim view of Google’s yen for multi-million-dollar government contracts. The engineers became known as the “Group of Nine” and were lionised by like-minded staff. The current and former employees say the engineers’ work boycott was a catalyst for larger protests that convulsed the company’s Mountain View, California, campus and ultimately forced executives to let a lucrative Pentagon contract called Project Maven expire without renewal. They declined to name the engineers and requested anonymity to discuss a private matter.

Internal disputes are common at Alphabet’s Google, which gives employees ample space to air grievances. But dissent is on the rise (as it is at other tech companies). Last month, in a highly unusual move, a Google employee proposed that executive compensation be tied to efforts to make the company more diverse and inclusive. That proposal was easily voted down by shareholders, but the engineers’ boycott could actually hamper Google’s ability to compete. Big federal contracts often require certification to handle sensitive data-authorisations that rivals Amazon.com and Microsoft Corp. have, but Google doesn’t. Without certain measures including air gap technology, Google may struggle to win portions of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, a Pentagon deal worth upwards of $10 billion (roughly Rs. 68,000 crores).

It’s unclear if Google has abandoned air gap technology or is still planning to build it over employees’ objections. The feature is not technically very difficult, so Google could easily find other engineers to do the work. While over 4,000 people at the company signed a petition against Project Maven, that’s roughly 5 percent of total full-time staff. A company spokesperson declined to comment.

Google cloud chief Diane Greene has expressed continued interest in working with government. Federal agencies are among the largest spenders on corporate computing and starting to gravitate toward cloud services. In March, Greene and her deputies proudly touted Google’s new approvals under FedRAMP, federal compliance standards for information technology. Google was approved FedRAMP “Moderate,” a designation required for almost 80 percent of government cloud contracts. Google cloud staff said internally that the Project Maven deal was “fast-tracking” higher FedRAMP authorisation, according to a Gizmodo report.

For now, Google falls short of rivals. Both Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have “High” certificates that authorise them to hold sensitive or classified data and sell to bodies like the Central Intelligence Agency. To do so, both companies had to set up a separate service called a government cloud.

A critical component of that service is the air gap. Put simply, it physically separates computers from others on a network. So rather than store data from multiple companies on a single server or system, as the commercial cloud providers typically do, a company or agency can place its data and computing processes in isolation on a single piece of hardware. That separation is particularly desirable for agencies in national security, says Michael Carter, vice president of Coalfire, a cybersecurity firm. “Amazon and Azure can literally say, ‘This is your rack,'” he says. “In the government, they want to know where their data is. So if you want to wipe it, go wipe it.”

In sales pitches, Google touts the security features of its cloud service. In a March press briefing, company executives noted how their artificial intelligence software could spot cybersecurity attacks early. “We think that Google cloud is today the most secure cloud out there,” Holzle said during the briefing.

The entities most likely to require air-gap security systems are government agencies or financial firms. While experts debate the technology’s merits, it does give customers “psychological” comfort, according to Jim Reavis, who runs Cloud Security Alliance, an industry group. “They’re used to having their own computer that they look at, their own blinking light,” he says. “I do question whether or not that’s useful security.”

Greene and other Google executives will have to persuade employees it’s possible to bid for government contracts without violating Google’s new ethical standards. After pledging not to renew the Project Maven contract, which involves using artificial intelligence to analyse drone footage, the company issued a set of AI principles this month that prohibit weapons work. But they don’t rule out selling to the military, and Google continues to pursue other Defense Department cloud contracts.

“We are still doing everything we can within these guidelines to support our government, the military and our veterans,” Greene wrote in a blog on June 7. “For example, we will continue to work with government organisations on cybersecurity, productivity tools, healthcare, and other forms of cloud initiatives.”

Several Googlers protesting Project Maven have complained about poor communication from senior leaders. Most staff outside the cloud unit were unaware of the contract until February-five months after it was signed-when questions about the deal began circulating more widely on internal message boards. At one point, Greene told staff the deal was worth a meagre $9 million. Subsequent reports revealed Google expected the contract to rake in $15 million and grow to as much as $250 million.

Google has yet to address these reports publicly. But on June 8, a day after the company issued its ethical charter, Greene addressed the discrepancy in an internal note. “In speaking about Maven, I did not always have accurate information,” she wrote in an email viewed by Bloomberg News. “For example, I said the contract was $9 [million] when it actually was a different number.”

Google employees have a history of objecting on ethical grounds. After the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, several engineers confronted Holzle about allegations the company had assisted the government in its surveillance program. They threatened to resign, telling Holzle, “this isn’t why we signed up for the company,” according to a former senior executive who attended the meeting. Holzle voiced his support for the engineers, this person says.

The latest confrontation at Google coincides with growing concern about the entire industry’s relationship with the US government. Civil rights groups have targeted Amazon for selling facial recognition tech to police departments. Microsoft faced similar heat for its work with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Some Google employees resigned over the Project Maven deal. Tyler Breisacher, a software developer on Google infrastructure who left in April, cited the lack of clear communications about the contract and how Google’s software was being used. Management, he says, appeared surprised at the response from employees once they shared more about the program. “It seems like they weren’t expecting it to be as controversial as it was,” he says.

Breisacher, who joined Google in 2011, says the company has changed. Earlier, if employees felt a decision was bad for Google, its users or the broader world, they had their leaders’ ears. “It felt like you were really listened to,” he says.

Greene wrote in the internal email that she wanted to address the “trust issue that has developed” in the past five months. She said she regretted not emailing earlier to correct her misstatement about the size of the Project Maven deal. “In the past, I would have,” Greene wrote, “but in the current climate of leaks, the sense was that it would be a mistake to do because the correction would leak and start another ‘press cycle’ that would not be good for any of us.”

© 2018 Bloomberg LP

Mi Pad 4 Price, Variants, Colour Options Leaked; Xiaomi Confirms AI Face Unlock Feature

Xiaomi Mi Pad 4, the company’s latest tablet, is all set to launch on Monday, June 25. The Chinese manufacturer has already revealed several details about the upcoming tablet, alongside the Redmi 6 Pro that will also get unveiled on the same day. Now, Xiaomi has rolled out a poster confirming a key feature of the Mi Pad 4. Xiaomi has revealed that the tablet features AI face unlock technology, making it the first device of its kind in the Mi Pad series. This means Mi Pad 4 buyers will be able to unlock their devices by looking at the screen. Also, while Xiaomi has not revealed details regarding the price of the Mi Pad 4, a new report has emerged online that claims to have the leaked prices of the upcoming tablet. Separately, a tipster has also leaked the RAM and storage variants of the Xiaomi tablet.

The latest poster has been published on Xiaomi’s official Weibo account, and mentions that the Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 will be equipped with facial recognition technology. The teaser also suggests that the device will not have a fingerprint scanner onboard. According to the teaser, the Mi Pad 4 tablet will leverage AI to scan, recognise, and unlock the Mi Pad 4. Smartphones like iPhone X, recently launched Oppo Find X, and Xiaomi’s own Mi 8 Explorer Edition come with 3D face recognition technology, but the Mi Pad is unlikely to introduce such an advanced functionality. There is no clarity on whether will be an infrared camera in the tablet, that helps in carrying out face unlock in low light.

mi pad 4 xiaomi weibo Xiaomi  Mi Pad 4

Photo Credit: Weibo/ Xiaomi

Coming to the pricing, as per Slashleaks, the base model of Mi Pad 4 with 4GB RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage and will support only Wi-Fi connectivity and it will be priced at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,600). Meanwhile, an LTE model with 6GB RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage which will be available at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,800). To recall, the last version of the tablet – Mi Pad 3 – was launched in April last year with a price tag at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 14,100). Since aesthetically, it didn’t have many changes from the Mi Pad 2, we expect it to change this time around with the Mi Pad 4. The report also affirms previous reports that the Mi Pad 4 will sport an 8-inch full-HD display and have a Snapdragon 660 SoC.

As per tipster Ishan Agarwal, the Mi Pad 4 will arrive in not one, but two Wi-Fi only models – 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage and 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage. He also claims that Xiaomi will unveil one LTE model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. Lastly, he claims that the colour variants of the MI Pad 4 are Black and Gold.

To recall, Xiaomi had recently rolled out a poster confirming more specification details of the Mi Pad 4. Confirming previous reports, the Mi Pad 4 will come with Snapdragon 660 SoC. The poster had also mentioned smart game acceleration will arrive on the Mi Pad 4. Xiaomi has already confirmed that the Mi Pad 4 will have a single rear camera setup at the back.

According to a previous report that had leaked some of the specifications of the Mi Pad 4, the upcoming Mi Pad 4 is claimed to sport a 6000mAh battery. According to the camera configuration files, the Mi Pad 4 might sport a 13-megapixel OmniVision OV13855 sensor with f/2.0 aperture. On the front, there is expected to be a 5-megapixel Samsung S5K5E8 sensor with f/2.0 aperture. It is also expected to be one of the first devices to get the MIUI 10 update.

PayPal to Acquire Fraud Prevention Company Simility for $120 Million

PayPal Holdings has agreed to acquire fraud prevention technology company Simility for $120 million (roughly Rs. 812 crores) in cash, it said on Thursday.

Palo Alto, California-based Simility sells machine-learning-based technology to help online merchants spot fraudsters and improve risk management.

PayPal plans to make Simility’s services available to its merchants following the close of the transaction, which is expected by the end of the third quarter, it said.

The acquisition underscores PayPal’s broader ambition to offer small online merchants the same capabilities of bigger e-commerce providers, Bill Ready, the company’s chief operating officer said in an interview.

“We are buying a company that provides great tools that merchants can use on their own,” Ready said.

For example, merchants will be able to use Simility’s technology to adjust their fraud controls based on what kind of products they sell.

The acquisition is the fourth deal announced by PayPal in little over a month, as it continues to aggressively expand its business beyond just online payment processing.

Since separating from online marketplace eBay in 2015, PayPal in San Jose, California, has sought to transform itself via partnerships and acquisitions from mostly processing online transactions for its parent company to offering a suite of digital financial services.

These range from lending to small businesses to facilitating money transfers between merchants and customers.

In May it said it had agreed to acquire Swedish payments company iZettle for $2.2 billion (roughly Rs. 14,900 crores), in its largest-ever acquisition.

This week it announced an agreement to acquire Hyperwallet Systems, a company that helps online individual and small business sellers accept payments, while earlier this month it revealed plans to buy prediction platform Jetlore.

The Simility deal comes as the threat of fraud for e-commerce companies continues to grow, as more business moves online and fraudsters refine their techniques.

The rate of e-commerce fraud in the United States grew more than 30 percent in 2017 from a year earlier, according to a study by credit bureau Experian.

Simility’s services will benefit from the ability to draw upon PayPal’s extensive data set on fraud, he added.

“We have one of the largest data sets about how online fraud happens,” Ready said.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

WhatsApp for Android Spotted With Sticker Reactions for Happy, Sad, Love, and Wow

Facebook announced at F8 that WhatsApp is getting group calling and stickers as well. Now, WhatsApp beta version 2.18.189 for Android shows a new Sticker Reactions feature is being tested, but as with other sticker-related features, is still disabled by default.

WABetaInfo reports that WhatsApp begun testing the stickers feature on the Android app with version 2.18.120 only. The feature is disabled by default for development reasons and it will be enabled in next releases, the report notes. Whenever it arrives, the sticker button will be enabled next to the GIF button, giving users the option to send stickers as well in the future. These stickers will arrive in packs, just like how we see on Messenger, and will require data for download. These sticker packs need to be downloaded only once, claims the report, and they will be segregated into four reaction categories: LOL (it seems more like Happy to us), Love, Sad, and Wow. The beta watcher notes that these reactions have been added with the v2.18.189.

Again, the stickers button can’t be seen as of now, even in the beta app as its disabled by default, but this feature should arrive soon. As mentioned, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also announced at the F8 that WhatsApp is getting support for group video calling as well. The feature is accessible in the latest Android beta updates – namely, v2.18.189, v2.18.192, and v2.18.193. Select Android beta and iOS users reportedly received the group calling functionality back in May in version 2.18.52 for iOS and version 2.18.145 for Android beta. Additionally, it is being reported that even Windows Phone has received group voice and video calling features.

Microsoft Store for Windows 10 Updated With Hidden Search Bar, New Back Button, and More

Microsoft Store has received an update on both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The changelog of the update includes new features such as a new drop-down menu that will consolidate all items depending on Window Size, replacing the default back arrow for native Windows 10 apps with an icon next to Home, and the search bar will no longer be shown by default. All these features are available in the update with version 11805.1001.42.0 and its file size is about 54MB.

The Microsoft Store update is now available, as first reported by Windows Blog Italia. It includes all the features that were previously being tested by participants in the Windows Insider programme. Apart from the above-mentioned features, the update brings several bug fixes and improvements to the Microsoft Store app. The updates were available to Windows Insiders in version 11805.1001.3.0.

As we mentioned, this update brings minor additions to Microsoft’s app store. The back button has now shifted to an arrow icon to the right of the Home tab. The search bar will not be shown default, and will instead be accessible by clicking on the magnifying glass placed on the top right. Lastly, a new drop-down menu will fit in all the tabs that are not visible otherwise.

Separately, in May this year, Microsoft at its annual Build conference had announced that Microsoft Store will give non-gaming app developers up to 95 percent in revenue from the total earnings. Previous to the announcement, Microsoft used to collect up to 30 percent revenue share from premium apps and in-app purchases.

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How to Change Language in Google Chrome

Google Chrome is probably the world’s most popular browser in terms of market share. That means different people, who speak various languages, use the browser. If you aren’t happy with the default language on Google Chrome (English) and you want to change it, you can change it on all platforms fairly easily. These steps will tell you how to change the language on Google Chrome for Android, Windows, iOS, and Mac. In some cases you can change the language within the browser itself whereas in others you need to change the default language of the OS to get the job done.

How to change language in Google Chrome for Android

The best way to change language in Google Chrome for Android is via Android’s system settings. If you change the language of the smartphone, Chrome will display all UI elements in that language.

  1. Go to Settings on your Android phone.
  2. Click the magnifying glass icon at the top to search. Type Language.
  3. Select Languages from the list of results.
  4. Tap Languages.
  5. Now tap Add a language and then select your preferred language. Steps 3 to 5 may differ slightly depending on which version or skin of Android your smartphone is running.
  6. Use the three horizontal bars icon on the right to drag your preferred language to the top. This will change the smartphone’s default language.
  7. Now open Google Chrome and the language will be the one you just selected.

How to change language in Google Chrome for Windows

Here’s how to quickly change language in Google Chrome for Windows.

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Paste this in the address bar chrome://settings/?search=language and hit Enter. You can also reach this page by clicking three vertical dots icon in Google Chrome (on the top-right) > Settings. In the search bar at the top of this page, type Language to find this option.
  3. Now click Add language.
  4. Select the language you want by ticking the check box next to it. Then click Add.
  5. To set this as the default language, click the three vertical dots icon next to the language and click Display Google Chrome in this language.
  6. Now click Relaunch that appears next to the language you’ve selected. This will restart Chrome and change it to your preferred language.

chrome change language web Google Chrome

How to change language in Google Chrome for Mac

Google Chrome for Mac doesn’t allow you to change language. You’ll have to change the system default language on the Mac to change language in Google Chrome. Follow these steps.

  1. Open System preferences and go to Language and Region.
  2. Click the + button under the left pane and add the language of your choice. You’ll see a prompt asking if you want to use this as your default language — accept that.
  3. Now open Google Chrome and you’ll see that the UI has changed to the language of your choice.
  4. On Google Chrome for Mac, you can also quickly translate all websites to this language. Paste this in the address bar chrome://settings/?search=language and hit Enter.
  5. Add your favourite language, click the three vertical dots icon next to the language and tick the check box next to Offer to translate webpages to this language. This will allow you to quickly use Google Translate to change the language of any webpage to your choice.

chrome change language mac Google Chrome

How to change language in Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad

You cannot change the language of Google Chrome on iOS without changing the system default language. Follow these steps to do that.

  1. On your iOS device, go to Settings > General > Language & Region.
  2. Click Add language and select your language.
  3. Then click Edit on the top-right.
  4. Now move your preferred language to the top by dragging it up.
  5. This will change the default language on your iPhone or iPad. Just fire up Google Chrome and you’ll see that the language has changed.

For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

Nokia Seller HMD Looks to Smart and Feature Phones to Grow Its African Business

HMD Global, the Finnish company that owns the rights to sell Nokia-branded phones, is targeting growth in both its smartphones and more basic models as it bids to become Africa’s number-one phone brand, its vice president for sub-Saharan Africa said on Thursday.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the company’s eight global regions with South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya representing its biggest markets, Justin Maier said in an interview. India is the phone’s biggest market globally.

“Africa is still a growing market, moving consumers from the feature phone to a smartphone experience, so there are opportunities for us there as a brand,” he said.

Feature phones – devices that lie between basic phones and smartphones – remain an important part of the company’s strategy, Maier said.

Market share of feature phones in Africa increased from 55 percent in 2016 to 61 percent last year, while that of smartphones fell from 45 percent to 39 percent in the same period, according to the International Data Corporation.

HMD Global offers feature phones ranging in price from $18 for the entry-level Nokia 105 to $50 (roughly Rs. 3,400 crores) for the premium Nokia 3310 that was relaunched last year, Maier said.

He said the need for more price-sensitive and entry-level phones in Africa is important. In sub-Saharan Africa, HMD sells smartphones including the entry-level Nokia 1 that costs $80 (roughly Rs. 5,400) and the premium Nokia 7 Plus that costs $470 (roughly Rs. 31,900).

HMD Global has a distribution partnership model that uses distributors and mobile network operators such as Safaricom for Kenya and MTN for South Africa to sell its phones

The company hopes its use of devices that run on “pure” Android, a version of the Google-developed operating system that does not have add-ons and modifications created by phone makers for their specific gadgets, will prove popular with consumers.

HMD Global wants to be the number-one phone brand in Africa in five years, Maier said. “We see that opportunity,” he said.

The company’s challenge, Maier said, is ensuring that consumers know Nokia phones now run the Android operating system rather than the previous Symbian system.

According to Counterpoint Research, Nokia was the best-selling brand in low-cost feature phones globally last year and ranked 11th in smartphone sales.

In February, HMD Global reported it had sold 70 million handsets globally in 2017, its first full year of business, generating sales of $2.1 billion (roughly Rs. 14,200 crores). Maier did not disclose how many phones they sold in Africa.

HMD, set up by former Nokia executives, took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia Oyj to use the brand on smartphones.

It pays Nokia Corp royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD.

© Thomson Reuters 2018