- The Samsung Galaxy S8 is up for pre-orders in India
- The Xiaomi Mi 6 launched in China this week
- BSNL has announced a Rs. 333 plan with a 270GB data limit
BSNL is taking the fight to Reliance Jio with a new plan that offers 270GB data at just Rs. 333. Entitled the Triple Ace plan, BSNL is giving 3G data, up to 3GB per day, for 90 days at Rs. 333. After crossing 3GB, the speed gets throttled to 2G for that day.
You can also choose BSNL’s Rs. 349 plan, which gives unlimited local and STD calls, along with 2GB of data per day on 3G, if you use less data and make more calls. Finally, there’s a Rs. 395 plan, which offers 3,000 minutes of BSNL to BSNL calls, and 1,800 minutes of calling other networks, with 2GB data daily at 3G speeds, for 71 days. BSNL has also increased daily data usage limit in its Rs. 339 plan to 3GB from 2GB offered earlier.
Reliance Jio meanwhile has started disconnecting numbers that have not signed up for any recharge plans. The network has been fully free since its launch in September, and now Jio has started to disconnect people who aren’t paying, in a phased manner. New TRAI data was released this week that showed Jio has managed to stay ahead of the likes of Idea, Airtel, Vodafone, and others in terms of 4G download speeds. Opensignal’s report meanwhile said otherwise, rating Airtel’s 4G speeds higher than Jio.
One of the biggest items this week was definitely the India launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+. The launch event in New Delhi took place less than a month after the smartphones were unveiled globally in March, and the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ go on sale in India in line with the global rollout. Samsung Galaxy S8 comes to India a price of Rs. 57,900 (MOP) and will be available in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colour options, while the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is priced at Rs. 64,900 (MOP) and will be available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold colour variants. Pre-bookings are now open and the phones will be available from May 5.
While in the US Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (2.35GHz quad-core + 1.7GHz quad-core), the smartphones launch in India are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 SoC with an octa-core processor (2.35GHz quad-core + 1.9GHz quad-core). Samsung says the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ feature the “industry’s first 10nm processor, enabling heightened speed and efficiency”, and the highlight of the smartphones has to be their edge-to-edge “infinity display”.
Meanwhile, in China, the Xiaomi Mi 6 – which is Xiaomi’s new flagship device for 2017 – has been officially launched. The phone, which packs eye-catching specifications such as 6GB RAM and 12-megapixel dual-rear cameras, starts at CNY 2,499, or roughly Rs. 25,000.
The phone comes with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, with 6GB RAM, a 5.15-inch display, and a fingerprint scanner under the glass in front. Xiaomi has also decided to forego the 3.5mm audio jack. The Xiaomi Mi 6 has a 3350mAh battery, and as mentioned, a dual rear camera setup with 12-megapixel cameras, to delivery 2x optical lossless zoom. There is no word on the India launch yet.
Incidentally – if you’re running a WhatsApp group, keep an eye on what your members are saying, or you might end up in real trouble. WhatsApp group admins could face an FIR for offensive posts, as per an order by Varanasi DM. WhatsApp group admins must deny offensive posts and remove the member, and inaction can result in legal action.
Speaking of WhatsApp, Siri can now read out your latest messages, with the newest update to the iPhone application. With the new update, WhatsApp messages can now be read by Siri, apart from allowing it to compose and send messages, which was already possible. This will only work for unread messages.
Launches this week included the Zopo Color M4, with 4G VoLTE support, launched at Rs. 4,999. The budget phone has 16GB of storage, a 1450mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel camera. We also got the Honor Bee 2, also with 4G VoLTE support launched at Rs. 7,499. The all-new Honor Bee 2 features a ‘Rainbow’ light which is a circular ring around the rear camera, and which glows when there’s a call, message, or any other notifications on the device.
Also launched this week was the Swipe Elite Star 16GB variant, priced at Rs. 3,999. It had originally launched at an 8GB variant. The Videocon Elite 11+ with 4G VoLTE support also launched this week, at Rs. 5,800. The phone, which has a 5-inch display and a 2-megapixel front camera, includes a front flash, 3000mAh battery, and 8GB inbuilt storage.
The Sharp Aquos R with Emop AI assistant, running the Snapdragon 835 SoC was also launched this week. The device has currently only been launched in Japan, and pricing and availability in other international markets is unknown at the moment. The Sharp Aquos R joins the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi MI 6 to offer the Snapdragon 835.
There were also a lot of non-phone launches. We got the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 with 30x optical zoom and a tiltable display for selfies, and also the Sony A9 full frame mirrorless camera with 20fps burst and 4K video recording. There was also the GoPro Fusion 360-degree camera, expected to release at the end of the year, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick is finally in India. In case you had imported one of these earlier, then check for the latest update, and if necessary, make sure that your region is set to India.
The Moto C and Moto C Plus were spotted on a certification site, which usually points to an imminent launch. The phones are being touted as entry-level smartphones that are said to be even cheaper than the Moto E series. These smartphones are also expected to support 4G with VoLTE and may sport polycarbonate bodies with removable back panels, based on recent renders. The Moto E4 was also spotted on benchmark sites, packing 2GB of RAM.
We also picked up some rumours about the price of the LG G6 in India – Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom has leaked that the LG G6 will be launched starting at Rs. 51,990 (MOP) and it will go on sale from April 29. Pre-bookings for the smartphone have already begun and this week we detailed some pre-booking offers as well. It will officially launch in India on Monday.
HTC’s upcoming ‘squeezable’ smartphone – which is set to launch on May 16 – meanwhile might have a name – the HTC U 11. The naming scheme works in two ways – the first being that the flagship comes under the U series which includes the U Ultra and U Play, and second the number 11 makes it a straight up successor to the HTC 10.
VR fans – we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The HTC Vive is officially confirmed to launch in India, as Gadgets 360 had exclusively reported. The bad news is that – as we had said – it’s priced at Rs. 92,990. In the US the Vive sells for $799.99, or around Rs. 52,000.
And finally, although there are still a few months to go, if you’re jonesing for a Game of Thrones, then you should check out the first pictures of season 7.
Those are all the biggest news highlights of this week. What really caught your eye? Sound off about it via the comments below.