the hightech hippie


Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20 India launch details, Samsung Galaxy M40 sale, and Asus 6Z launch were some of the tech news developments that rules the headlines in a week that was relatively quiet. Additionally, Motorola One Vision debuted in India, Poco F1 got a price cut, and Huawei unveiled its new Nova 5 series smartphones as well as MediaPad M6 tablets. Read on to find out about everything that generated some buzz in the world of tech this week.

Redmi K20 Pro India launch date and Poco F1 price cut

Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20 are less than a month away from their India debut, Xiaomi India chief Manu Kumar Jain reiterated this week. Jain’s latest teaser is in line with his previous comments, in which he had suggested a mid-July launch of the new Redmi K20-series phones. Unlike some European and Asian markets, which are getting the Redmi K20 as Mi 9T, Xiaomi India seems to be sticking to original China branding of the Redmi K20 smartphones.

Apart from the expected mid-July debut of the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro, not much is known about the India release of the two smartphones. We can expect to see a pricing similar to China, where the Redmi K20 starts at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,100) and the Redmi K20 Pro starts at CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,200). We hope to get a clear idea about the actual launch date for the Redmi K20 series in India next week.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi India opened the Mi Explorer programme for the Redmi K20 Pro smartphone. The registrations for the same closed last night and the company will be notifying the qualified applicants by June 25. The Mi Explorer programme will allow select company fans to “get exclusive insight” into Redmi K20 Pro, among other things. In the past, Xiaomi India had run similar Mi Explorer programmes for phones like Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 4. The Explorer programmes are not just limited to India, Xiaomi Spain had run one for Mi A2.

In other Xiaomi news, the company’s CEO Lei Jun has revealed that the company will not be releasing any new Mi Max or Mi Note smartphones this year. He said the company will be focusing the Mi 9 series, Mi Mix series, and the upcoming CC-series of the smartphone in the Mi lineup, and on Redmi 7 series, Redmi Note 7 series, and Redmi K20 series in Redmi lineup. Mi Max and Mi Note smartphones were quite popular among consumers wanting large screen smartphones with big batteries.

Redmi Note 7S review

 

Poco F1 has received another price cut in India. The phone’s 6GB + 64GB variant, which was offered at Rs. 17,999 during the last couple of sales, is now available at the same price for indefinite amount of time. Although Xiaomi doesn’t call it a permanent price cut, the new Poco F1 is available at the new price via both Flipkart and Mi.com. The same pricing has also been listed on the Poco F1’s official page. Poco F1 6GB + 64GB model was earlier retailing at Rs. 19,999.

Samsung M40 goes on sale in India

Samsung Galaxy M40 went on sale for the first time this week. The South Korean tech giant had put the smartphone up for sale two times – first on June 18 and June 20 – however, the second sale didn’t get over in minutes or hours and the phone is still available to buy on both Amazon and Samsung Online Store. Samsung Galaxy M40 is a mid-range Android smartphone and it carries a price tag of Rs. 19,990.

Samsung Galaxy M40 is the fourth smartphone from the company to be released as a part of the India-first Galaxy M series, with the other three being – Samsung Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20, and Galaxy M30. Samsung launched the Galaxy M-series with Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20 in January this year, and Galaxy M30 followed in February.

Samsung Galaxy M40 price in India has been set at Rs. 19,990 and the phone will be competing with the likes of Poco F1, Redmi Note 7 Pro, and Nokia 7.1. In our review, we found the smartphone to be featuring a bright and vivid display in a modern design. The phone also offers great battery life and great performance, but it does become hot while playing games. Additionally, the camera quality is average, and some consumers might miss the headphone jack.

To recall, Samsung Galaxy M40 comes with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ with a hole-punch selfie camera. It is powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, paired with 6GB of RAM, and a 3,500mAh battery. Samsung has also packed 128GB of onboard storage, a rear fingerprint sensor, and USB Type-C port in the Galaxy M40. For the imaging needs, the phone houses a triple rear camera with a 32-megapixel primary sensor, which is joined by an f/1.7 lens.

Samsung Galaxy M40 review

 

In other Samsung news, the company has released the gold colour variants of its Galaxy A10 and Galaxy A20 smartphones in India. The gold versions are exactly the same as other colour options of the two smartphones. Earlier, Samsung has also started selling a new White colour option for Galaxy A30.

Asus 6Z India launch

Asus ZenFone 6 made its way to India this week, however with a different moniker. The Taiwanese computing giant is calling it Asus 6Z, as it was barred by the Delhi High Court from using the Zen brand in the country. Apart from the name change, the Asus 6Z is exactly the same smartphone as the Asus ZenFone 6. According to the company, the Asus 6Z will be available in the Indian market starting next week via Flipkart, which is the exclusive retailer for the smartphone.

Asus 6Z price in India starts at Rs. 31,999 for the base variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. The smartphone’s 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB variant will retail at Rs. 34,999 and Rs. 39,999, respectively. Although Asus has quite aggressively priced the 6Z in India, considering the phone’s European pricing starts EUR 499 (roughly Rs. 39,000), it will get tough competition from OnePlus 7, which retails starting at Rs. 32,999.

In our review of the smartphone, which you should check out before buying the phone, we found the Asus 6Z packs a great quality display and offers amazing performance. Thanks to the onboard flip camera, the phone is also capable of taking good quality selfies, however the camera’s low light performance disappointed us. Asus has also added a number of good software features.

Talking about the key specifications of the Asus 6Z, the smartphone runs on Android 9 Pie and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. It features a 6.4-inch full-HD+ screen and comes with a 5,000mAh battery and stereo speakers. For imaging, as we mentioned earlier, the phone houses a flip camera module, which packs two image sensors – 48-megapixel primary and 13-megapixel secondary. Among other key specifications, you will get USB Type-C port, a microSD card slot, NFC, and the usual set of connectivity options.

Asus 6Z review

 

Huawei Nova 5, Nova 5 Pro, Nova 5i announcement; Honor 20i goes on sale in India

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei introduced three new smartphones as a part of the Nova 5 lineup in its home market this week. Dubbed as Huawei Nova 5, Nova 5 Pro, and Nova 5i, the new phones will succeed the company’s Nova 4 lineup. While the Nova 5 and Nova 5 Pro are a lot similar, apart from a difference in the SoC and the presence of NFC, the Nova 5i is a budget smartphone. There is no word on the international release of the three phones right now.

All three new Nova 5-series phones sport quad rear camera setups with two cameras focusing on macro photography and depth-sensing. The phones run on Android 9 Pie with the company’s EMUI on top. Among other specifications, there are full-HD+ screens, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of onboard storage. Additionally, the company has added up 3,500mAh battery in the Nova 5 and Nova 5 Pro, and 4,000mAh in Nova 5i.

Meanwhile, Huawei sub-brand Honor has begun selling its Honor 20i smartphone in India. The smartphone, which is a part of the Honor 20 series, carries a price tag of 14,999 in the country for the sole variant with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. The phone is being offered via e-retailer Flipkart in Phantom Blue and Midnight Black colours. Honor 20i comes with features like 6.21-inch full-HD+ screen, octa-core Kirin 710F SoC, triple rear cameras, and a 3,400mAh battery.

Motorola One Vision debuts in India

Motorola launched its new One Vision smartphone in India this week. The phone was originally introduced in Brazil last month. Motorola One Vision sports a glass sandwich design with a hole-punch selfie camera and rounded edges. It has been priced at Rs. 19,999 for the lone 4GB + 128GB variant and will go on sale starting June 27. The smartphone will be sold via Flipkart in Bronze Gradient and Sapphire Gradient colours.

Part of Motorola’s One series, the Motorola One Vision is based on Android One platform. Its key highlights include Android 9 Pie, a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2520 pixels) display, Samsung Exynos 9609 SoC, dual rear camera setup, 3,500mAh battery, and 25-megapixel selfie camera. It also packs face unlock support, rear fingerprint sensor, and the usual set of connectivity options.

Nubia Red Magic 3 India launch, other news

Another smartphone that made its debut in India this week was Nubia Red Magic 3. This gaming smartphone has been priced starting Rs. 35,999 and will go on sale beginning June 27. The Red Magic 3 brings some useful gaming-centric features to the table such as liquid cooling with an internal turbo fan, a 90Hz HDR compatible display, capacitive shoulder triggers, and stereo speakers to name a few. The smartphone also supports 8K video recording.

Nubia Red Magic 3 review

 

Oppo finally started the sales of the 4GB RAM variant of its A5s smartphone in the country. This variant was announced back in April; however, it didn’t become available until now. The Oppo A5s 4GB RAM variant has been priced at Rs. 12,990 and is now available via e-retailers as well as brick-and-mortar retailers in the country. The phone can be purchased in Green and Gold colours. To recall, other specifications of the A5s includes 6.2-inch HD+ display, MediaTek Helio P35 SoC, and a dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary sensor.

Vivo revealed this week that it will launch its second Z-series smartphone in India on July 3. The company has been teasing the arrival of the smartphone for days now, and it has already noted that the phone will house a triple rear camera setup, a massive 5,000mAh battery, and a 32-megapixel hole-punch selfie camera. According to Vivo, the Z1 Pro will be the first smartphone with octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC in India.

In telecom news, BSNL introduced a new recharge plan for consumers to activate or extend international roaming. Priced at Rs. 168, the new plan is so far only available to subscribers in the Kerala telecom circle. However, there is no word if, or when, its availability will be expanded to other circles in the country. It offers international roaming for 90 days and doesn’t include voice or data benefits.

Additionally, BSNL launched a new broadband plan in the form of Superstar 300, which bring free access to Hotstar Premium for one year. Superstar 300 broadband plan is priced at Rs. 749 and offers 300GB of high-speed data at 50Mbps per month. The biggest highlight of BSNL’s new fibre to home plan is obviously the Hotstar Premium subscription and it will be available in all telecom circles across the country.

Saregama has brought a new Carvaan music player. Dubbed as Carvaan 2.0, the new version is priced at Rs. 7,990, and can be purchased in two colours – Classic Black and Emerald Green. The company is also bringing a Gold variant of the Carvaan 2.0, which comes with Harman Kardon-certified speakers, and Wi-Fi connectivity for access to online content. It has been priced at 15,990 and will be offered in two colours – Champagne Gold and Rose Gold.

This UK Startup Wants to Make Internet Access in India More Affordable Than Jio

Revolt Intellicorp, the company established by Micromax’s co-founder and former CEO Rahul Sharma, unveiled its first electric bike in the country this week. The new Revolt RV 400 bike is claimed to be India’s first AI-enabled motorcycle and comes with a number of smart features like remote start support, real-time information and diagnostics, geo-fencing, OTA update support, bike locator, and more. Revolt RV 400 has received an ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) certified range of 156km per charge and it can be charged using a normal 15A socket in four hours. There is no word on the price right now.

Amazon’s Kindle Oasis e-reader has received an upgrade. The all-new Kindle Oasis flaunts a 7-inch display with a pixel density of 300ppi. It also brings a new colour adjustable front light. The built-in light, which is powered by 25 LEDs at the front, lets you customise the colour tone to easily shift from daytime to night-time reading experience. The new Kindle Oasis is currently available for pre-orders via Amazon.in at Rs. 21,999 for the 8GB variant and at Rs. 24,999 for the 32GB variant. It comes in Graphite and Champagne Gold colour options. Moreover, Amazon will start shipping the new e-reader beginning August 19.

In gaming news, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite augmented reality game from Pokemon Go developer Niantic has finally been released. It is now available in select markets, including US and UK, however it is yet to be released in India. As per game description, the game’s premise is pretty simple, like people were searching for Pokemons in Pokemon Go, the players will be looking for magical artefacts, creatures, people, and even memories around them to solve the mystery of why they have ended up in Muggle world.

Epic Games rolled out a new update for Fortnite this week. The new Fortnite v9.30 update brings a tonne of new elements to the Battle Royale mode. The most notable addition is Chug Splash, a new item that will help players heal their teammates by throwing the health potion containers at them. Sniper shootout duos and three-person squad battles called Trios have made their way via the LTM (Limited Time Mode) route.

Apart from the new Nova 5-series phones, Huawei also introduced the new MediaPad M6 tablets in China. Set to be offered in two display sizes – 10.8-inch and 8.4-inch, the MediaPad M6 will be released in both Wi-Fi only and LTE variants. All tablet models are powered by HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC and pack 2K screens. The tablets run on Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.1 and house 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front shooter. The 8.4-inch models pack two speakers, whereas the 10.8-inch models have four. Huawei MediaPad M6 will go on sale next month in China.

The Best TV Series on Netflix in India

 

In other news, Netflix has shared the final trailer for the season 3 of its hit series Stranger Things. The new and final trailer shows what the Hawkins teenagers are up against and gives a voice to the monster. Stranger Things season 3 is out Thursday, July 4 on Netflix in India and elsewhere.

Lastly, Truecaller has launched its VoIP calling feature for Android users. Thanks to a new Truecaller Voice button in the app, the users can now make voice calls over mobile data or Wi-Fi network to their contacts on the same platform. Truecaller’s VoIP calling feature is now being rolled out in a staged manner and will soon be made available to all Truecaller app users on the Android platform. The company says it will add support for iOS “in a few weeks”.



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