The reimagined version of the classic Nokia 3310 has launched in India at Rs. 3,310, with the phone available for purchase starting Thursday, May 18 via offline stores only. You can get it in four colour options across two finishes: Warm Red and Yellow in glossy, and Dark Blue and Grey in matte.
It’s not a modern phone by any standard, though. The 3310 has a 2.4-inch QVGA (240x320 pixels) TFT display, just 16MB internal storage expandable by microSD card (up to 32GB), and a 2-megapixel shooter on the back. There's no selfie camera, no Wi-Fi, and no GPS.
It does have support for 2G connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, and has a Micro-USB port. What it lacks in mere specifications, it makes up for in month-long battery life, and the return of classic Snake game. HMD Global isn’t selling a budget feature phone, clearly, but a nostalgia pill more like.
Xiaomi Redmi 4 and Mi Router 3C launched in India
Xiaomi launched the dual-SIM Redmi 4 at an event in New Delhi, starting at Rs. 6,999 for the lowest variant, available for sale from 12pm IST, May 23 via Amazon India and Mi.com. A total of three RAM-storage variants were launched – 2GB/16GB at Rs. 6,999, 3GB/32GB at Rs. 8,999, and 4GB/64GB at Rs. 10,999 respectively. All three are expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).
Inside, the Redmi 4 has a 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 435 SoC powering a 5-inch HD 2.5D curved glass display, with a 13-megapixel f/2.0 PDAF camera on the back, and a 5-megapixel f/2.2 on the front. The battery is rated at 4100mAh.
Xiaomi’s new phone will be available in Matte Black and Elegant Gold colour options. You can also get it from the new Mi Home store in Bengaluru starting May 20, by pre-booking on Mi.com for Rs. 1,000.
The Chinese manufacturer also launched its first router in India – the Mi Router 3C – at the event. Priced at Rs. 1,199, Xiaomi says it has four "high-performance" antennae that deliver better performance, offering 300Mbps speeds, and work up to 80m range. You’ll be able to configure and use it via the Mi Wi-Fi app for Android and iOS. It too will be available May 20 in the Mi Home store, via Mi.com on May 23, and on Amazon India and Flipkart from June 8.
WannaCry ransomware: North Korea connection, and impact on India
The WannaCry ransomware has majorly impacted computers around the world, and further details and data on its code and impact were revealed Tuesday. For one, security researchers seemed to have found evidence that some of its code had earlier appeared in programs used by Lazarus Group, which is known to be a North Korea-run hacking operation.
Meanwhile, back in India, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad sought to assuage fears by claiming that WannaCry had had ‘nearly zero’ impact in the country. That goes in the face of data from other sources, such as anti-virus provider Quick Heal, which said it had detected over 48,000 cyber-attack attempts using the “MS-17-010 Shadow Broker” exploit.
The worst of those hit was West Bengal, which concurs with a second report from the state’s power minister Sovandev Chattopadhyay, who told Reuters that the Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL) had been infected.
For what it’s worth, ATMs – most of which still run on unsupported Windows XP licenses – don’t seem to be affected, just yet, per security experts. If you’ve received a WhatsApp forward that says otherwise, it’s bogus, so just ignore it.
WhatsApp offered in new colours is an adware prank
An adware campaign, masking itself behind a Cyrillic-alphabet variant of WhatsApp.com, has been tricking users by offering "different colours" of the app. The misleading domain, seen here, instead redirects to another website, where it makes you share the link with your contacts and WhatsApp groups, in a bid to spread itself further. It also makes unwitting users install adware apps on their phones, and a desktop browser extension.
Moto C, Moto C Plus are finally official
Lenovo has launched its affordable C-Series smartphones – the Moto C, and the Moto C Plus – which are targeted towards emerging markets in Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific. The Moto C starts at EUR 89 (roughly Rs. 6,200), and the Moto C Plus at EUR 119 (roughly Rs. 8,300).
Unlike the naming’s regular connotation, the difference isn't in the size, but in the specifications. It would probably have been better to call it C 'Pro', and not 'Plus'. Although the dimensions aren't very different, the Moto C has a 2350mAh battery, while the Moto C Plus has a 4000mAh battery.
Both have a 5-inch display, FWVGA (480x854 pixels) on the cheaper one, and HD (720x1280 pixels) on the more expensive one. The Moto C has a 1.1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737M SoC, and the Moto C Plus has a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC.
In the camera department, the Moto C carries 5-megapixel on the back, while the Moto C Plus has an 8-megapixel shooter. On the front, both have a 2-megapixel camera. The Moto C starts at EUR 89 (roughly Rs. 6,200) for the 3G version, with the LTE model going up to EUR 99 (roughly Rs. 6,900).
HTC U11, latest ‘squeezable’ flagship, launched with claim of best camera
HTC’s contender to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Sony Xperia XZ Premium has arrived. It’s called the HTC U11, and the Taiwan-based company has been marketing it as the ‘squeezable’ smartphone, since there’s a new way – Edge Sense – to interact with the device. Instead of a traditional button, there’s a pressure-sensitive zone on the U11’s side, which can launch different apps by way of a “short squeeze” or a “squeeze and hold”.
Inside, the HTC U11 has a Snapdragon 835 – hence the Galaxy S8 and XZ Premium comparison – which powers a 5.5-inch quad-HD (1440x2560 pixels) Super LCD display. Like with the HTC 10, the company is once again touting the independent testing of its camera, and has claimed the highest-ever DxOMark score for any mobile, at 90.
In terms of specifications, the U11 boasts of a 12-megapixel f/1.7 camera with 1.4-micron pixel, ultra-spread autofocus, optical image stabilisation (OIS) for 4K video recording, and a back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor that increases low-light performance. On the front, you get a 16-megapixel front camera with BSI sensor, and full-HD video recording.
It’ll run Android 7.1 Nougat, and have support for two digital assistants, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, which is coming natively to a phone for the first time. There’s no headphone jack though, sadly, and no word on an India release yet. It’s up for pre-order in the US at $749 (roughly Rs. 48,000).
Galaxy Note 8 might have dual-camera, OnePlus 5’s dual-camera orientation unknown
Samsung may have skipped the dual-camera train with the Galaxy S8, but a new leak for the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 tips its inclusion. Seen on China’s social network Weibo, it shows the Note 8 with a 6.3-inch display on the front, and the aforementioned camera setup on the back. Alongside, the refurbished version of Note 7 – titled Note 7R – has shown up with a Bluetooth 5.0 certification.
Meanwhile, new renders have popped up for the OnePlus 5, which show its dual-camera setup in both horizontal and vertical orientation, calling into question the veracity of at least one of them. That’s because with the phone expected to launch in the Summer, there’s no way OnePlus is still working on the design. Some reports believe the OnePlus 5 has shown up on AnTuTu’s benchmarking website as ‘A5000’, with a score of 176,000, which would put it in second slot between iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy S8+.
Hackers threaten to release next Pirates film
In a meeting with employees of Disney-owned ABC, CEO Bob Iger said that hackers have gained access to one of the studio’s upcoming films, and are demanding a ransom in bitcoin. Though he wouldn’t share the name of the film, Deadline later reported that the entry in question was the Johnny Depp-starrer and fifth chapter in the Pirates franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Unlike the Netflix ‘Orange’ leak, the hackers are apparently threatening to release five minutes of the movie, followed by 20-minute segments until the ransom is paid. With the film set for release next week, we’ll find out soon enough if they follow through, and how it impacts the film’s revenue.
New iOS, macOS versions rolling out
Apple is rolling out software updates for its range of devices, be it iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. The new versions in question are iOS 10.3.2, macOS 10.2.5, tvOS 10.2.1, and watchOS 3.2.2. For the most part, it’s merely bug fixes and security patches. Meanwhile, macOS 10.2.5 brings support for media-free installation of Windows 10 Creator Update using Boot Camp.
Google Assistant might come to iOS
A new report from Android Police claims that Google will announce Google Assistant for iOS at its Google I/O event later this week, without naming its sources within the company. It’ll only be available in the US at launch. There are no other details on the reveal, though given Apple’s restrictions, you can be sure that it will function in a very limited way as opposed to its Android cousin.