MediaTek is bringing facial recognition technology and other top-end features to entry-level smartphones in India.

The chipset company on Tuesday unveiled a new processor MT6739 that comes with a Face++ facial recognition technology and is compatible with Google’s lightweight Android GO operating system.

MediaTek, which competes with the mobile chipset firms like Qualcomm, is quite popular in the Indian budget smartphone market for its low-cost mobile processors. The company has also been aggressively targeting the smart feature phone segment where it competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 mobile platform.

MediaTek’s Face Unlock

Face Unlock has become a hot new trend after Apple introduced the technology on its iPhone X. Since then, a number of Android players have introduced the feature on their phones. InFocus last month launched a Vision 3 smartphone with Face ID for Rs 6,999. OnePlus is already rolling out the feature to older OnePlus phones through the software update.

However, the facial recognition offered by most of the Android players doesn’t score high on security parameters.

 MediaTek MT6739 specification

  • Dual 4G VoLTE support
  • HD+ 18:9 display
  • Dual-camera setup up to 13-megapixel and 2-megapixel
  • Face Unlock

Dual 4G VoLTE support, edge-to-edge display

MT6739 also comes with such as Dual 4G VoLTE support, 18:9 HD+ display, and 13-megapixel plus 2-megapixel dual cameras with bokeh effect.

MT6739 will enable Dual 4G VoLTE support on entry-level smartphones giving users the advantage of using the feature on both the SIM slots. This includes both aspects of LTE that is VoLTE (Voice Over LTE) and ViLTE (Video Over LTE).

At present, Reliance Jio is the top operator to offer 4G VoLTE support while other carriers like Idea Cellular and Airtel are also joining the bandwagon.

Android Go and Entry-level smartphones

MediaTek is already working with Reliance Jio for an Android Go smartphone. The chipmaker will be working with more telcos to introduce this feature on entry-level smartphones. These features do sound promising however it also depends on the smartphone maker for using it on their devices. MediaTek provides these possibilities but only if the hardware also complies with it.

Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research said, “Entry level smartphone (<US$75) market share shrunk from 17% in Q4 2016 to 11% in Q4 2017. The lack of quality hardware in the entry level smartphone segment deterred some of the feature phone users from making the switch to a smartphone.”

“MediaTek’s new MT6739 SoC chipset paired with the customized Android OS will help brands make feature rich and high performance smartphones at low cost, therefore first time smartphone adopters will have an experience that is much better than the experience offered by the current crop of entry level smartphones,” he added.

MediaTek is currently working with smartphone makers including Micromax, Lava, and Karbonn to make powerful entry-level smartphones. MediaTek’s MT6739 will power these entry-level smartphones which are expected to be priced below Rs 5,000. The first Android Go smartphones with MT6739 chipsets will be commercially available starting March this year.

Srivastava further adds, “The low cost 4G chipset will help reduce the BoM (Bill of Material) cost of entry level smartphones and thereby enable operators to subsidise the phone and offer it at a price point comparable to Reliance’s 4G featurephone.”

MediaTek also said that future developments will be announced at MWC 2018, and some products will be demonstrated as well.

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