You must’ve seen the picture of “Sneha” (a Tamil actress) holding an iPhone while promoting a mobile brand named “Vobizen” mobiles. The picture has gone viral now, even MKBHD & SuperSaf have tweeted about it!
“Brand Ambassadors of Huawei and Google found posting sponsored tweets using an iPhone…”
Vobizen Mobiles, “Hold my beer…” https://t.co/wF8zSSWRKH
— Safwan Ahmedmia (@SuperSaf) September 15, 2018
But wait, this is the first time you’re hearing about Vobizen mobiles. Right?
Well, they’ve managed to go under radar for far too long.
First, let’s take a look at their website, and their product lineup.
Yes, you read that right.
Their phone just costs INR 499 ($7)!
Also there is no next day delivery available for the phone. It will be delivered in 55-85 days!
Does that seem all too familiar to you? Does that ring a bell?
All of these three models are the different colour variants of the same phone, named Vobizen Wise 5.
Watch the phone’s official video:
Yes, the phone features 5MB rear camera & 2MB front camera! (Thank you Ershad for finding the video!)
No, you won’t find any unboxing or reviews of this phone in YouTube or blogs, you can guess the reason.
Now, let me share some screenshots of real people who’ve commented on the Vobizen Facebook page. (They don’t have Twitter or Instagram by the way).
Now, some more screenshots from various website who’ve posted about this “awesome deal” when it was launched.
And now, the Google reviews for them:
You can see this clearly that they’ve been cheating people for well over an year and no one really got the phones they ordered from Vobizen.
But, they’ve posted some posts about dispatching phones and even posted a screenshot of a customer receiving an order. Take a look:
Look at it one more time, this isn’t their promised Vobizen Wise 5, instead it’s a Lava phone.
I assume that they delivered some of the orders, but instead of the phones they promised they must’ve delivered some of the orders, just to show social proof!
Why they got viral in the first place?
My best guess would be that they’re trying to get back in to the market after being silent for sometime.
And they updated their Facebook profile picture using an year old launch event pic. Quoting Sneha as their brand ambassador.
Now, she holding the iPhone in her hand could very well be intentional and they must know that this type of guerrilla marketing must go viral.
What should you do?
Nothing much, just don’t give these guys any more attention. As this would only lead to them cheating more people and ofcourse, don’t buy into s#it like these.
These kind of scams just happens far more often in India. Just don’t be dumb and remember:
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
Is Realme 2 just a Re-Branded Oppo A5/AX5? Is Realme Really an Independent Brand?
It has been quite a while since Oppo came with Realme 1 to disrupt the budget segment. Now, being an independent brand after the recent shift, Realme is planning to bring the new Realme 2 to the Indian market.
The fresh teasers posted by Realme on its official twitter handle showcases the Realme 2 along with a smartphone from competitor which clearly seems to be the Redmi 5. This indicates that this time the brand is focusing to pit their upcoming phone against Xiaomi’s Redmi 5, which further draws another conclusion that the Realme 2 is going to be in a similar price territory (maybe even cheaper).
Taking the same into consideration, it is evident that the hardware on Realme 2 might not be powerful as its predecessor. Furthermore, the posters reveal the device to sport a notched display, a large 4320mAh battery and the horizontally stacked dual cameras placed along with an LED flash at the back.
On a serious note, the partially disclosed design outline and the battery capacity exactly matches with the Oppo A5 that was launched in China, back in July. This gives rise to our speculation of the upcoming Realme 2 being just a re-brand of the already launched Oppo A5.
Take a look:
Also, a different phone, which looks like Oppo A5 has been spotted in NCC recently and also has managed to get leaked recently by Slashleaks, take a look at this:
That phone’s specs was also leaked earlier.
This just means that the Oppo AX5 is just an Oppo A5 with a fingerprint reader! Which also could mean that Realme 2 is just a rebranded Oppo AX5.
If the above speculation is true, the Realme 2 will have exactly same specifications as the Oppo AX5. Talking about the same, the Oppo A5 comes with a 6.2-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of HD+ (1520 x 720 pixels) and an aspect ratio 19:9, thanks to the notch. Moreover, the display is protected by a layer of 2.5D glass.
Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC coupled with Adreno 506 GPU and 4GB of RAM, along with 64GB of onboard storage which is further expandable up to 256GB via MicroSD card.
In the optics department, the Oppo A5 features a 13-megapixel primary sensor with an aperture of f/2.2, paired with a secondary 2-megapixel sensor with an f/2.4 aperture alongside an LED flash at the back. For selfies, the phone gets an 8-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture at the front aided by nifty AI features.
The phone draws its juice from a large 4320mAh battery and lacks a fingerprint scanner like the Realme 1, using the face unlock as primary method to unlock the phone.
The Oppo A5 has been priced at CNY 1,500 (roughly Rs. 15,500) in China, however, we expect the Realme 2 to start at Rs 8000- 9000 in India. All the hints above clearly stipulate that the Oppo A5 will turn out to be the new Realme 2 with a lower price tag. This won’t be launched as an upgrade over the existing Realme 1, instead this will be just the next smartphone in their budget lineup. It has also been reported that the Realme 3, 4 and 5 are already in works.
Is Realme really an Independent brand?
Now, a question that really comes after seeing this is that whether the brand is that all independent or if it’s all just a publicity stunt, much like what Oppo did with OnePlus back in the days.
If this phone indeed is Realme 2, then we can be 100% sure that they’re using the independent brand thing a publicity stunt. And more over, from the leaked images, we can clearly see that the phone comes with ColorOS itself. There has been rumours that the brand will go with a custom OS (much like OxygenOS) soon though.
Anyways, let’s just wait for the official launch of the Realme 2 to confirm all this!
Honor India is Running Negative Twitter Campaign Against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Launch! [Investigation with Proofs Attached]
Okay, lemme get this straight, this ain’t another news report, this is something I wanted to write after I stumbled upon a tweet from Dhananjay Bhosale (you must’ve seen his videos on Youtube, he’s awesome!). Take a look:
Suddenly so many profiles commented Negative things about the Redmi Note 5. None of them follow me & almost all have an interesting timeline!
Who do you think paid them to do this? pic.twitter.com/ov9eLPmhKk
— Dhananjay Bhosale (@Dhananjay_Tech) February 13, 2018
Now, take a look at the next tweet:
— Dhananjay Bhosale (@Dhananjay_Tech) February 13, 2018
This got me to check some of the tweets from his profile and stumbled upon these tweets:
This one is from the #DontBuyXiaomi hashtag:
I’m not going to embed the tweet because they might get deleted soon enough.
All the tweets have the same hashtag and most of them are regarding Flipkart’s tweet about Redmi Note 5. Also, all the tweets are posted around the same time too!
Hmm, might just be another trend you guess? Read on.
Now, take a look at the tweets from these profiles:
That too isn’t enough? Look at the below given tweets (copy paste tweets):
Not enough? Check below for more:
All of the above tweets are copy pasted tweets, and posted at almost same time. Also look at the last pic from the above one, it’s from Honor India twitter handle. Yes, these tweets are the copy paste of the official tweet with an added line “This is another reason to buy this and not Xiaomi“.
Now the next one:
This one is similar to the earlier one, copy paste of the same message :#Honor9Lite goes for its biggest flash sale and sold out in 6mins! #Add4Get9 @Flipkart”, followed by a message bashing Xiaomi.
Same story, different words, this time targeting that tweet from Flipkart Twitter handle.
Now, this one is different, targeting a tweet from Tech2 twitter handle regarding Redmi Note 5, random stuff against Mi in Hindi.
Now, finally, there’s video that all the twitter handles are retweeting, I’m embedding that video:
— Reena Soni (@trulycrazy15) February 11, 2018
Can you guess which all accounts retweeted the video? Take a look yourself! (Look at these accounts too, if you wish to see what is going on!). This video has been retweeted with the hashtag #MiSucks, by the twitter handles we saw in the screenshots.
Also the video is said to be an old one, way before Mi A1 release. Check the replies from others:
I tried searching Youtube for the same video, and guess what, I found it:
The video was published in May 18, 2017, guess what? Mi A1 was launched in September 2017!
I guess that proves the fake claim here.
It’s clear as sky that this is a targeted negative campaign against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro & Redmi Note 5 release today.
And this isn’t the first time Honor has tried this. They were caught previously at the time of Honor 7x, when they tried to make 7x trending and made Redmi Note 5 trending instead. I remember that, I don’t have any proof for that at this moment. As we discussed that in Twitter and some Facebook groups regarding that. That was an incentivised campaign, with payout per tweet.
UPDATE: Found the mail, here you go:
UPDATE 2: Got hold of a different screenshot for the same, take a look:
It is from BuzzOne influencer platform. Take a look at their home page, Huawei sits prominently in their Clients section. No one can say the campaign is done without the knowledge of Huawei/Honor.
UPDATE 3: BuzzOne has now removed Huawei from their clients list, and have now replaced Huawei logo with MAHOU INDIA. You can guess the reason for that!
Here’s the screenshot I took last day, I didn’t think they’d remove Huawei logo, else I would’ve added the screenshot from PC, this one is from mobile:
Now, this campaign is also looking to be something similar, all these accounts are not bots (I guess). They’re accounts made to publish paid tweets. You can check any of the profiles.
Also, the hashtag by Honor India, #Add4Get9 is directly targeted at Redmi Note 5.
Also, add in the recent news about Honor’s mother company Huawei pushing in fake reviews into Best Buy. All of these marketing tactics doesn’t add up very well. And this will hurt the company in long term in my opinion.
Dear Honor India!
This is an open letter to Honor India.
Why do you have to engage these kinds of cheap marketing tricks to get traction.
Why do you have to try to sabotage another company’s hype on Twitter?
Why do you have to make up fake news and make people retweet it?
Why do all this when you’re having amazing products such as Honor 9 Lite, Honor 7x & Honor 9i in the budget segment now?
You must have the confidence about your own products, and keeping on bugging others doesn’t speak confidence.
Don’t fear competition, embrace it!
I wrote this because I feel this has to be said. Most people won’t say anything regarding this or publish this story, I guess. This has to be said and people has to know about this. And Honor should stop these cheap marketing tactics and focus on adding value and continue on making great products to the Indian market.
Editor in Chief, OnPhones
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