Despite HMD Global’s claims of the Nokia 3 being an offline exclusive, the hotly anticipated Android smartphone from the company is now available online albeit unofficially. Electronics chain Croma has listed the Nokia 3 for sale on its site. Priced at Rs. 9,499 it is available in Black with other colours sold out. Prior to this, the nostalgia-inducing Nokia 3310 was available via Croma’s website as well even though it was to be an offline exclusive in India. The Nokia 5, which is slated another smartphone to be sold offline-only, is also listed on Croma.
WhatsApp may get media bundling, refreshed call screen
Popular messaging app WhatsApp is slated to receive some new features according to reports from those in its beta. These include media bundling - wherein WhatsApp users can send a bunch of photos and the recipient will get them as a bundle and not one after the other as was the case before, and a minor change to picking up calls. Users now have to swipe up instead of sideways to pick up a call.
Amazon India Pre-GST Sale offers discounts on TVs, home appliances, and other deals
With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rolling out across India soon, Amazon India is offering pre-GST discounts on a slew of electronics. These include the Panasonic TH-40DS500D full-HD LED smart TV that’s at Rs. 31,998 instead of the usual Rs. 46,900. Meanwhile, the Sony DAV-TZ145 Home Theatre System is now Rs. 10,819 instead of Rs. 11,990 and the JBL GO Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is currently available at Rs. 1,999 (against usual price of Rs. 3,490) as part of this sale. Other categories that are a part of the Amazon Pre-GST Sale include large appliances like air conditioners, washing machines, and inverters.
Vodafone and Airtel's new offers to woo and retain users
Over the weekend Vodafone announced that select Vodafone RED postpaid subscribers would get a year’s free subscription to Netflix. Those with the Vodafone Rs. 1,299 plan and above can avail of this. The Vodafone website confirms that eligible RED postpaid customers can avail the free Netflix subscription for up to one year by visiting the official Vodafone India online store or can also do so by texting 'Netflix' to 199 from an eligible RED postpaid number. Depending on the value of the plan, users will get Rs. 500 per month credited to their Netflix account.
Not to be outdone is Airtel. On Sunday the company announced the ‘Monsoon Surprise Offer’ for postpaid users. With this, Airtel is offering up to 30GB of data for three billing cycles. And yes, it’s an extension of the ‘Airtel Surprise Offer’ by another three months. As usual, you can thank Reliance Jio for making the telco space a whole lot more competitive.
UberPASS rollout begins in India
A week after announcing UberPASS , Uber has begun rolling it out as an option to users. What this means is, you can pay a flat fee to ride with no cancellation or subscription. During the current pilot, you will need to have completed a minimum number of rides, in order to keep using UberPASS the week after. At the moment, UberPASS fares are applied to UberGO rides and not shared rides or other categories. It’s being rolled out to users in a phased manner. You can only use it if Uber sends you an email or SMS alert.
Apple plans to move to 100 percent renewable energy in India; PM Modi meets US tech CEOs, invites them to invest in India
Apple’s India business will run on 100 percent renewable energy in the next six months, the company told Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is in currently on a tour of the United States. On Sunday Prime Minister Narendra Modi met CEOs of 20 leading American firms for a roundtable interaction. This included Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sunder Pichai, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon to name a few. Prime Minister Modi said India is now a business-friendly destination, further compounded by the implementation of GST next month. He also said that thanks to NDA government policies, India has attracted the largest amount of foreign direct investment. PM Modi highlighted the reforms taken by his government, over 7,000 of them, that were aimed at “ease of [doing] business and minimum government, maximum governance.”
Moto E4 Plus and Honor 8 Pro India launch soon
The Moto E4 Plus appears to be the next smartphone from Motorola to be launched in India. A teaser poking fun at smartphones that run out of battery has emerged from Moto. It ends with the question ‘What’s coming next?’ Given that the Moto E4 sports a massive 5,000mAh battery, we could see it hitting the country soon.
Also teased, albeit in a more definite manner is the Honor 8 Pro. Amazon India has said it will launch on July 6 and is exclusive to the e-commerce giant. Expect the Honor 8 Pro price in India to be revealed when it launches on July 6 itself. The smartphone cost EUR 549 (around Rs. 39,500) when it landed in Europe and the India price should be around the same.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with 6GB RAM, dual rear cameras said to launch in September
If you were expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 release date to be in August, think again. A report by VentureBeat citing a person familiar with the company’s launch plans has revealed that the flagship will be Samsung’s most expensive phone thus far, retailing at EUR 999 (almost Rs. 72,100) and will be out in the second half of September. There may also be specific souped-up features instead of just a bigger screen compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. These could include 6GB RAM, a 6.3-inch display, and dual cameras. Though the same 18.5:9 aspect ratio present in the S8 and S8+ may remain.
OnePlus 5 goes on open sale in India tonight
While OnePlus may have manipulated synthetic benchmark scores to make the OnePlus 5 appear better, the latest real world speed test comparison has revealed that the company might be able to back up its claims. A comparison test video by Jeremy Ortega shows the OnePlus 5 outperforming the HTC U11 and Samsung Galaxy S8 - two devices running the Snapdragon 835 SoC. This comes just before the OnePlus 5 goes on open sale in India through Amazon India, the OnePlus Store, and the OnePlus Experience store in Bengaluru from 12 am IST on June 27. With the phone being made available in more countries, the company released a 36MB update to fix issues such as an ‘app installation issue’ and ‘system update failure’. And if you’re holding off for another colour, you’re in luck, a Mint Gold variant of the OnePlus 5 has been spotted on Chinese certification site TENAA.
Flipkart unveils Rs. 999 per month laptop offer partnering with HP, Intel, Microsoft
Flipkart announced a collaboration with HP, Intel, and Microsoft to allow consumers to buy a laptop priced at Rs. 35,954 for just Rs. 999 a month. This is possible by availing a 36-month EMI option. This is an attempt to tap college students and first-time PC buyers. ICICI Bank and Citibank have been roped in to provide hassle-free finance options too. As for the laptop in question, it’s an HP Imprint - an Intel Core i3-powered Windows 10 laptop.
A tax expert joined us to talk about the impact of GST on prices of gadgets and IT services in India on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast. You can subscribe to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.