In a week that was mostly dominated by Apple announcements at WWDC 2019, OnePlus 7 finally went on sale in India, alongside a number of other phones including Oppo Reno series and Black Shark 2. Additionally, HMD Global unveiled its most affordable Android One smartphone in the form of Nokia 2.2 and Amazon revealed that it will host its Fab Phones Fest in the country next week. The 6GB RAM variant of Redmi Note 6 Pro received a permanent price cut, whereas Poco F1 saw a temporary price drop that will end today. There was a bunch of Jio and other telco news as well. Let’s dive in to the top tech stories of the week.
OnePlus 7 goes on sale in India
Weeks after the OnePlus 7 was originally introduced by the Chinese smartphone maker alongside the OnePlus 7 Pro, the phone finally went on sale in India as well as a number of other markets. OnePlus 7 is the cheaper variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro. The phone is now on sale via Amazon India, OnePlus online store, and OnePlus exclusive offline retailers. The OnePlus 7 carries a price tag of Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB + 128GB model and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB + 256GB model. OnePlus will be expanding the availability of the OnePlus 7 to its partner brick-and-mortar stores next week.
While the OnePlus 7 impressed us with its excellent performance, all-day battery life, and loud stereo speakers in our review, the camera performance was a tad disappointing with below average low-light images and inconsistent focus in portraits and macro shots. The video stabilisation in low lighting situations is also poor. The company has packed a dual camera setup on the back of the OnePlus 7 with 48-megapixel and 5-megapixel image sensors.
Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, which houses a pop-up selfie camera, the OnePlus 7 comes with a waterdrop-style notch to pack the 16-megapixel front shooter. The phone also includes a 6.41-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC. Among other specifications, the OnePlus 7 comes with a 3,700mAh battery with 20W fast charging support and in-display fingerprint sensor.
In other OnePlus news, the Chinese phone maker announced this week that the Almond Colour variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro will be available in the country starting next week. The phone will go on sale beginning June 14 and it will carry a price tag of Rs. 52,999. The Almond variant packs 8GB RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. Other specifications of the phone are same as the other colour variants of the smartphone.
Poco F1 discount, Redmi Note 6 Pro price cut
As a part of its ongoing Poco Days sale, Xiaomi is selling the Poco F1 at a discount in the country. The 6GB + 64GB variant of the smartphone can be grabbed for as low as Rs. 17,999 via Flipkart and Mi.com, down from its existing price of Rs. 19,999. The sale began on June 5 and will continue through June 9, i.e. today. The other storage variants of the phone have not seen a discount and can be purchased at Rs. 20,999 (6GB + 128GB) and at Rs. 27,999 (8GB + 256GB).
To recall, Poco F1 was introduced in the country last year with much fanfare. The smartphone comes with a 6.18-inch full-HD+ screen with Gorilla Glass 3. The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery. The phone also packs up to 256GB onboard storage as well as a microSD card slot (up to 256GB).
Additionally, the smartphone features a dual rear camera setup with 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors. There is a 20-megapixel selfie shooter onboard as well.
While the Poco F1 price cut may be for a limited duration, Redmi Note 6 Pro’s 6GB variant has received a permanent reduction in price. The Redmi Note 6 Pro 6GB RAM variant can now be purchased at Rs. 13,999, down from its original price of Rs. 15,999. The phone is up for sale with the revised price on Flipkart, Mi.com, and at Mi Home stores. The 4GB RAM variant of the phone had already received a price cut of Rs. 2,000, and is currently sold at Rs. 11,999.
In other Xiaomi news, the Chinese smart devices maker started offering the Redmi Y3 without flash sales this week. The Redmi Y3, which is targeted at consumers looking to buy a selfie-focussed smartphone, can now be purchased 24×7 via Amazon.in, Mi.com, Mi Home Stores, and Xiaomi partner retailers. The phone’s price starts at Rs. 9,999 for the base variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage. Redmi Y3’s 4GB + 64GB variant can be purchased at Rs. 11,999.
Jio GigaFiber, Jio World Cup recharge, and more telecom news
In telecom news, Jio is said to have started offering a new optical network device (ONT) for its GigaFiber broadband service with just Rs. 2,500 security deposit. Although the new device is inferior to the original ONT, it is substantially cheaper, allowing users with limited funds to opt for the service. Jio GigaFiber has still not rolling out publicly, and the company is slowly expanding the coverage area under the preview offer.
Reliance Jio also unveiled a special data pack for Rs. 251, which is targeted at cricket fans who want just enough data to watch ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on their mobile devices. The new Jio recharge is designed to provide as much as 102GB data for 51 days, which is believed to be adequate for watching all the world cup matches. This, combined with the free access to the cricket matches on Hotstar for Jio subscribers, is great data pack for any cricket fan, who spends considerable time on the road.
Vodafone launched two new prepaid plans and the four new postpaid plans this week. The new Rs. 299 and Rs. 599 prepaid plans come with a validity of 70 days and 180 days, respectively. While Vodafone’s Rs. 299 plan offers unlimited voice calling, 3GB of 4G/ 3G data, and 1,000 SMS messages, the Rs. 599 plan comes with unlimited voice calls, 6GB of 4G/ 3G data, and 1,800 SMS messages.
Coming to the new Vodafone Red Together family postpaid plans, Vodafone has introduced new plans with monthly rentals starting from Rs. 598 to Rs. 999. While the Rs. 598 rental plan allows 2 connections, the subscribers of Rs. 749, Rs. 899 and Rs. 999 rental plans can get 3, 4, and 5 connections, respectively. Each of the plans include unlimited voice calling, 30GB of data per connection, and special data quota for the primary user.
In other telecom news, Airtel has added Rs. 349 and Rs. 399 circle-specific postpaid plans. While the Rs. 349 postpaid plan is exclusive to Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Delhi/ NCR, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, the Rs. 399 plan is available in the remaining telecom circles in the country. The new postpaid plans come with benefits such as unlimited voice calls, 100 SMS messages per day, and free access to Zee5 and Airtel TV premium. Additionally, the plan subscribers will get 5GB of data with Rs. 349 plan and 40GB of data with Rs. 399 plan.
In a development that is likely to impact a significant number of Tata Sky subscribers, the DTH operator will stop offering multi-TV plans and will bill each connection separately. The change will go into effect on June 15. If you’re already using Tata Sky’s multi-TV offering, it is better to pick a relevant channel pack for your secondary connections to avoid paying unnecessary charges.
Nokia 2.2 India launch and other smartphone stories
HMD Global took the wraps off its new budget smartphone Nokia 2.2 this week. The phone, which succeeds the company’s Nokia 2.1, is based on the Android One platform, instead of the Android Go, which its predecessor is based on. Nokia 2.2 will go on sale in the country next week with a promotional price tag of Rs. 6,999 for the 2GB + 16GB model and Rs. 7,999 for the 3GB + 32GB model. The actual pricing of the phone – Rs. 7,699 and Rs. 8,699 – will go into effect on July 1.
Nokia 2.2 is made out of polycarbonate with a glossy nano-coating and features a waterdrop-style notch. It sports a 5.71-inch HD+ screen and is powered by quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 SoC. There is a single 13-megapixel camera on the back of the phone and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter on the front. Among other specifications, you will get a 3,000mAh battery, the usual set of connectivity options, and a microSD card slot.
After Asus was barred by the Delhi High Court from using Zen or ZenFone branding in India, the Taiwanese company on Saturday revealed that it will launching the ZenFone 6 as Asus 6z in the country. The phone will be launched on June 19. There is no word on the pricing at this point. Apart from the branding, the ZenFone 6 and ZenFone 6z are identical. Flipkart has already revealed that it will be carrying the Asus 6z in the country.
Asus 6z will feature a 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) display, Snapdragon 855 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB of internal storage. The new Asus phone will also come with a motorised rotating camera module, which houses a 48-megapixel primary shooter with f/1.79 aperture accompanied by a 13-megapixel secondary ultra-wide-angle camera. The phone will also include a large 5,000mAh battery with support for Quick Charge 4.0 fast charging technology.
Xiaomi Redmi Y3 wasn’t the only smartphone to loose flash sales this week, Realme 3 Pro also started selling without the flash sale model. This Realme phone was launched in the country back in April this year and has since been offered in weekly flash sales. It carries a price tag of Rs. 13,999 for the base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The phone’s 6GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB retail at Rs. 15,999 and Rs. 16,999, respectively. Realme 3 Pro can be purchased via Flipkart and Realme online store.
In other smartphone news, Oppo’s Reno and Reno 10x Zoom phones went on sale in the country for the first time this week. The two phones originally debuted in China in April this year and are primary known for their side-swing “Shark Fin” selfie camera. The 10x hybrid zoom support present in Oppo Reno 10x Zoom model is another highlight. While the Reno 10x Zoom is the high-end phone with beefier specifications, the Oppo Reno is a mid-range smartphone. Oppo Reno price in India has been set at Rs. 32,990 for the sole 8GB + 128GB variant, whereas Oppo Reno 10x Zoom starts at Rs. 39,990.
Black Shark 2 was another smartphone that made it to stores this week, although virtual in this case. The phone began selling via Flipkart in the country. This gaming smartphone comes with a host of gaming-centric features such as Liquid Cool 3.0 technology for better heat management, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature for a more fluid gaming experience, and the pressure-sensing Magic Press technology to name a few. The phone also features dual RGB strips that can be configured to sync with in-game effects. It carries a price-tag of Rs. 39,999 for the 6GB + 64GB model, whereas the 12GB + 256GB model can be grabbed at Rs. 49,999.
Lastly in smartphone news, Amazon India revealed that it is bringing its Fab Phone Fest sale next week. The sale goes live on June 10 and will continue through June 13. It will include discounts and offers on OnePlus 6T, Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy M30, and more phones. There’s going to be a price drop on a slew of budget smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy M20, Honor 9N, Redmi 7, and more, as well.
WWDC 2019: iOS 13, macOS Catalina, watchOS 6, tvOS 13, iPadOS, new Mac Pro
Apple’s annual developer conference took place this week and it gave the company’s users and developers a look at what they can expect to see from the company on the software front over the coming months. The company previewed the iOS 13, macOS Catalina, watchOS 6, tvOS 13, and new iPadOS. The Cupertino, California-based company also unveiled a new Mac Pro with beefed up specifications and a brand-new 6K HDR monitor called the Pro Display XDR.
iOS 13 will bring a number of new features and improvements to the mobile operating system, including the much-anticipated dark mode, an all-new Apple Maps experience, enhancements to the Photos app, and more. iOS 13 will also add ability to silence unknown callers, revamped volume indicator, and battery tweaks. It is now available as a preview to the developers and will reach the public this Fall, same as every other new platform version from Apple.
watchOS 6 isn’t a massive revamp and instead focusses on iterative improvements as the company attempts to make Apple Watch more of a standalone device, rather than a companion to iPhone. The watchOS 6 brings new watch faces, a host of enhancements in health-related features, an on-devices App Store, and more.
Apple’s macOS Catalina also packs a host of changes and several enhancements to the Mac operating system. Among the highlights, Apple is splitting iTunes into three apps, making it easier to port iPad apps to macOS, adding support for iPad as a secondary display, and including voice control support.
iPadOS, which is a spin-off of iOS 13, has been tailor-made for the iPad and brings a new home screen, more multitasking gestures, an improved Files app, and better text editing experience. It also brings desktop-class browsing with Safari, dark mode, custom fonts, a floating keyboard with support for swipe-based typing, and a lot more.
The tvOS 13 adds multi-user support with personalised content recommendations, support for Xbox One and PlayStation DualShock 4 controllers, and new underwater screensavers. The latest version of tvOS is being pegged as a more inclusive TV platform that will make the content consumption via Apple’s platform a more family-oriented experience.
The upgraded Mac Pro comes with an all-new design that promises to be flexible and upgradeable while delivering unprecedented performance. It is joined by a 6K HDR monitor called the Pro Display XDR. The new Mac Pro features a design that echoes the original Mac Pro, with a steel body, a mesh front panel, and handles at the top. Both new Mac Pro and HDR monitor will be available in the Fall this year.
Other tech news this week
In gaming news, PUBG team has revealed that PUBG Lite will soon be making its way to India. The company has not shared an exact release date at this point, but you can keep an eye out on Gadgets 360 or the official Facebook page for the game to get more information on when it can be expected. Unlike the core PUBG game for PC, PUBG Lite will be free to play, but the players will first be required to get the official launcher that will later help them download and install the game files.
Epic Games released a new update for Fortnite this week, which brings an all-new weapon called Storm Flip to the game. Carrying the version number 9.20, the new update also removes hunting rifles. Sniper package availability in supply drones has been reduced from the previous 12.5 percent to 8.45 percent. Similarly, explosive package availability has been reduced from 12.5 percent to 7.04 percent. Fortnite v9.20 also adds Transmitters and Receivers, allowing players to link devices to each other using Channels.
Ahead of next week’s E3 gaming expo, Google shared more details about its cloud gaming service Stadia. It will go live in November with Founder’s Edition bundle at $129.99. Stadia will launch with about 30 games to buy, including “Doom Eternal,” ”Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” and “Wolfenstein: Youngblood.” It will be initially limited to just 14 countries, including US, Canada, UK, France, and Germany. In 2020, Google will offer Stadia Pro for $10 a month and a free version, Stadia Base.
In other news, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins shared the first official poster of the film. The poster also gives us a peek at Wonder Woman’s shiny, new gold costume armour, which has additional superpowers in the comics. Wonder Woman 1984 will release June 5, 2020 in India and across the world. It finds Diana (Gal Gadot) going up against a British archaeologist-turned-supervillain called Cheetah (Kristen Wiig), amidst the Cold War-era tensions with the Soviet Union.
Lastly, Netflix released the first trailer for the third and final season of Jessica Jones, which releases next week on the streaming service. In the final season, the titular superpowered alcoholic private investigator (Krysten Ritter) will face a new highly-intelligent psychopath (Jeremy Bobb), and will be forced to team up with her former best friend, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor).
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