Will the Tiktok phone meet the fate of Amazon and Facebook phones?

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on November 05, 2019

File photo   -  Bloomberg

Tiktok's parent Bytedance launches its first smartphone in China

About six years ago, there were over a 100 smartphone brands in India. Most of them were small Indian businesses who wanted to latch on to the smartphone craze in the country. All they had to do was go to China, select the device they liked and then re-brand it with their logo, and launch it in India.

Most of these brands are dead, even the HTC-built Facebook phone. This was launched in 2013. The reasons behind the demise of the Facebook phone, however, was completely different. The Amazon Fire phone met with a similar fate a year later.

Both gadgets were Android-based devices, but were betting on creating new ways to engage users with Android skins that no one was interested in.

Moreover, the people were also concerned about the real motive behind launching these smartphones. Are these internet giants really interested in selling hardware or collecting user data as well convincing you to buy more things?

Fast forward to 2019, and we have social network Tiktok's parent Bytedance launch its first smartphone in China. Similar concerns over privacy have already started to spruce up.

The Smartisan Nut Pro 3

The new Smartisan Nut Pro 3 as Bytedance likes to call the new smartphone, has four rear cameras--48MP main camera, a 13MP ultra-wide snapper, an 8MP telephoto for zoomed-in shots, and a 5MP macro camera for super-close-up pictures. On the front there's a 20MP selfie camera, which is pretty high quality too.

At 2,899 CNH (roughly $410) for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and 3,199 CNH (around $460) for 256GB of storage, the package looks compelling.

It comes with 6.39-inch FHD+ AMOLED displa, an in-screen fingerprint scanner and top of the line Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.

Bytedance hasn't provided many details about the software yet but that's the key thing to look out for.

So far, the company has no plans to launch the phone in the US market, which may not mean much but could also be seen as a sign that it is not ready yet for scrutiny in the US market over possible spyware.

US Senators have already called in for a probe into TikTok citing national security concerns. 

Lawmakers are urging investigators to look into how TikTok collects users' location data and other sensitive personal information.

That isn't too surprising, given how all social networks want to track everything about the users and use the information to make them engage more on the platform, click on more ads or in some cases try and change their political views.

So, before you jump the gun and ask your globe trotting friends to get you the new Smartisan Nut Pro 3, make sure to wait for some reports on how the software is tracking your data.

Published on November 05, 2019

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