Asus ZenFone AR With 8GB of RAM, Vodafone Takes on Reliance Jio, CES 2017 Continues, and More: Your 360 Daily

 
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Asus ZenFone AR With 8GB of RAM, Vodafone Takes on Reliance Jio, CES 2017 Continues, and More: Your 360 Daily

Highlights

  • Samsung Chromebooks have similar styluses like the Note series
  • Sundar Pichai wants Android phones to cost as low as Rs. 2,000
  • Xiaomi India revenue topped $1 billion in 2016

Day one of the CES 2017 exhibition is here, and at this point, it is becoming incredibly hard to love all the new launches, simply because there already have been so many in the past few days. Nonetheless, we try and pick out the best of the lot, and other big stories of the day, in today’s edition of 360 Daily.

 

Asus ZenFone AR has 8GB of RAM, ZenFone Zoom has 5000mAh battery
Asus has released two smartphones - one with 8GB of RAM, and another with a 5000mAh battery. Yes, we realise those are not exactly the two smartphones’ selling points, but the ZenFone AR does earn some credit in becoming the first phone to have 8GB RAM. It supports Project Tango, Google’s augmented reality platform, as well as the DayDream VR platform.

 

The ZenFone 3 Zoom is thinner than its predecessor, has two 12 megapixel sensors (similar to the iPhone 7 Plus) with 2.3x optical zoom, and up to 12x of digital zoom. Oh yes, and that huge battery we mentioned earlier can also be used to charge other phones. Read more about their chipsets and other specifications.

 

Vodafone's new plan offers 3GB of 4G data, unlimited calling
Vodafone's new Rs. 499 Red postpaid plan offers unlimited local and STD calls as well as 3GB of 4G data, as well as up to 100 text messages free for a month. Earlier, Vodafone's Rs. 499 Red plan offered 1GB free 3G/ 4G data, up to 700 minutes of free voice (local + STD) calls, and 500 text messages.

Samsung’s Chromebooks have a stylus
Surface Pro admirers, take note (pun intended) - Samsung has finally unveiled the Chromebook Pro and Chromebook Plus, two 12.3-inch convertible laptops running Chrome OS. Although touchscreen Chromebooks have been around, these have a stylus similar to the Galaxy Note series and are optimised for its use. Alongside these, there’s also the Samsung Series 9 premium laptops that weigh under 1 kg and the Notebook Odyssey pro-graming laptop with an NVIDIA GTX 1050.

Sundar Pichai day two in India
On his second day in his country of birth, Google numero uno Sundar Pichai visited his alma mater, IIT-Kharagpur, where he addressed 3500 students and teachers. Be sure to check out the full video or read on to find out that he said the prices of entry-level Android smartphones should come down to Rs. 2,000. He also answered a bunch of questions from students at IIT-K on subjects ranging from his interview at Google to life during his college days.

In an interview with NDTV, Pichai applauded the government’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) initiative and said will explore integrating it in Android.

 

Google Assistant coming to Android TVs, and more
While the Google CEO has been touring India, the company had an interesting announcement to make at CES. Google Assistant, the marquee feature of products like the Pixel, Pixel XL and Google Home, is coming to Android TV. This is a great addition as we’ve already seen how easy using an Apple TV can be with Siri (which unfortunately still isn’t available in India).

Google also says Assistant will come to smartwatches, and even other Android phones with time. In related news, Nvidia launched Shield, a gaming-centric Android TV-based device with support for Google Assistant and 4K HDR.

Apple’s App Store hits record purchases on New Year’s day
Apple says that nearly $240 million (approximately Rs. 1,630 crores) worth of purchases were made on 1st January 2017, its highest ever record for any day. Apple also said developers earned about 40 percent more in 2016 than the year before. In other Apple related news, the company was also apparently asked to pull the New York Times app in China by the local authorities.

Xiaomi India revenue topped $1 billion in 2016
Xiaomi said that after entering the Indian market just two years ago, it’s surpassed $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,800 crores) in revenues in 2016. The Chinese company sells smartphones, tablets, fitness bands as well as smart appliances like air purifiers in India.

Sony’s first OLED TV also does Dolby Vision HDR
After sticking to LCD panels for years, Sony has finally embraced OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display type for its flagship TV at CES this year. It also supports Dolby Vision for HDR and has sound coming through the screen.

ZTE Blade V8 Pro, 'Hawkeye' smartphone unveiled
ZTE has unveiled ZTE Blade V8 Pro, which sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixel) display with 401ppi pixel density. The smartphone is powered by the 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor paired with 3GB RAM and Adreno 506 GPU. It offers 32GB of internal storage that is expandable further via microSD card (up to 128GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration. The company also shared that its crowdsourced smartphone will release under the name 'Hawkeye'.

AMD Vega revealed
AMD has revealed details about its upcoming Vega architecture that will power its next-generation video cards. The price or exact product names are unknown at the moment, though an early release of the Lenovo Y520 spec sheet has alluded Vega could take the form of the Radeon RX 500 series at first.

Intel showcases 5G modem at CES 2017
Intel at CES 2017 in Las Vegas on Wednesday announced its 5G modem for mobiles, automobiles, and drones. The chipmaker claimed that its new 5G modem will be a "milestone for the industry" and added that this will enable businesses across the globe to develop and launch early 5G solutions. Intel's 5G modem announcement come few months after Qualcomm's 5G modem launch in October last year.

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