After having taken down the Summer Surprise offer late last week on TRAI’s orders, Reliance Jio has come up with new plans and offers, as promised. The company is calling it Jio 'Dhan Dhana Dhan', which gives unlimited voice and data at Rs. 309 (1GB data per day) or Rs. 509 (2GB data per day) for three months (84 days) to existing Jio Prime members. As with earlier Reliance Jio offerings, the plan also provides unlimited access to all Jio apps.
If you’re not part of Jio Prime, you’ll need to fork out a bit more. The 1GB data plan will cost Rs. 408, while the 2GB one comes in at Rs. 608. The difference between the two is essentially down to the cost of Jio Prime membership, which costs Rs. 99. What’s clear is that Reliance Jio isn’t willing to give up on pushing the existing market players, who have been forced to come up with their own offers.
Let's look at other top stories of the day.
Micromax launches new Evok range, exclusive to Flipkart
Micromax has launched a new range of smartphones called Evok Power and Evok Note, at Rs. 6,999 and Rs. 9,499 respectively. Both phones support 4G VoLTE, which means they’re compatible with Jio. They are exclusive to Flipkart and will go on sale midnight on Tuesday.
The Micromax Evok Power is the smaller of the two, with a 5-inch HD display powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. With the Micromax Evok Note, you’ll get a 5.5-inch full-HD display that’s powered by 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek (MT6753) SoC and 3GB of RAM.
On the camera front, Micromax Evok Power packs an 8-megapixel on the rear, and 5-megapixel on the front. With Evok Note, the rear camera is 13-megapixel with 5P Largan lens, and the front camera stays the same. In terms of storage, Evok Power is available in a 16GB variant, with Micromax Evok Note coming with 32GB. Both phones have 4000mAh battery, and sport a fingerprint scanner.
Demand for Galaxy S8 higher than S7, says Samsung
In an emailed statement to CNBC, Samsung said that the Galaxy S8 is seeing a “double digit growth” in terms of pre-orders in the US, with more people choosing the bigger Galaxy S8+. That would suggest that most people are unperturbed by the exploding-battery scandal surrounding the Note 7, which resulted in a botched global recall. The demand for the 6.2-inch model in Galaxy S8+ is further proof of that.
Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro now available in India
While the Galaxy S8 is yet to get an official launch, Samsung has begun taking orders for the Galaxy C7 Pro, via Amazon India. It costs Rs. 27,990, and is available in two colour options – gold, and navy blue. The phone’s highlight feature is the metal, unibody design, to help it compete with the likes of OnePlus.
The Galaxy C7 Pro sports a 5.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, powered by a 2.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 626 SoC and 4GB of RAM. You get 16-megapixel f/1.9 rear and front cameras, with the former having both PDAF and dual-LED flash. In-built storage comes in at 64GB, and can be expanded up to 256GB with microSD card. If you can do without expanded storage, the Galaxy C7 Pro can carry two SIM cards instead. Sadly, it runs on the 2015 version of Android, 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
Sony Xperia XZs goes on sale, available via Flipkart
With Samsung said to be hoarding production of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, other manufactures have been forced to release stop-gap flagship entries. Sony has the Xperia XZs at Rs. 49,990, which comes with a 19-megapixel rear camera capable of outputting 960fps slow-motion video. It does this with the help of a 1/2.3-inch Exmor RS memory stacked sensor with Mobile BIONZ sensor, and predictive hybrid autofocus.
On the front, the Sony Xperia XZs packs a 13-megapixel shooter, which has a 22mm wide-angle lens, an f/2.0 aperture, and SteadyShot 5-axis stabilisation. The phone carries a 5.2-inch full-HD display on the back of a Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB RAM. It runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and has 64GB in-built storage, which is expandable up to 256GB with microSD card.
The Sony Xperia XZs is now available via Flipkart, and stores across India. Sony did show off its Snapdragon 835-equipped Xperia XZ Premium at MWC 2017, but it won’t be available until later in the year.
Aadhaar is completely safe, Indian IT Minister claims
During a discussion in the upper house of Indian parliament, Rajya Sabha, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claimed that the country’s unique identification programme – Aadhaar – is “robust, safe, secure and totally accountable”. To serve as proof, Prasad added that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) – the established authority for Aadhaar – had blacklisted 32,000 operators in the last six months.
"The policy is 'minimum information, no profiling'. For instance, if a bank asks for the information about a potential customer, it would be provided just the limited information for its consumption," Prasad added.
Flipkart discounts Samsung phones during ‘Mobile Fest’ sale
Flipkart has discounted several Samsung phones in a new sale, including the Galaxy On Nxt, Galaxy J5 (2016), Galaxy On8, Galaxy On7, Galaxy On5, and Galaxy A9 Pro. You can either opt for a straightforward discount, or exchange your old phone for one of these.
The discounts come to Rs. 3,000 with Galaxy On Nxt, Rs. 2,800 for Galaxy J5 (2016), Rs. 2,910 for Galaxy On8, Rs. 700 for Galaxy On7, Rs. 1,500 for Galaxy On5, and Rs. 2,590 for Galaxy A9 Pro. With the exchange offer, you can get up to Rs. 16,000 off on your purchase. But that’s essentially meaningless, considering you’d have to hand in a Google Pixel to get the Galaxy A9 Pro with the maximum exchange discount.
There’s also a TV sale that’s going on parallelly, where all Axis Bank debit and credit card holders can avail an additional 10 percent discount.
iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT) RED now up for pre-orders in India
The new iPhone colours that were announced last month - (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition models of both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - are now up for pre-orders in India. Both phones are available in two storage options: either 128GB, or 256GB.
You can get the red-coloured iPhone 7 at Rs. 70,000 for 128GB, and Rs. 80,000 for 256GB. The iPhone 7 Plus, meanwhile, will cost Rs. 82,000 for 128GB model, and Rs. 92,000 for 256GB variant. Amazon says shipping will start from Friday, while Infibeam says Saturday.
Xiaomi Mi 6, Mi 6 Plus launch date official, price leaked; Mi VR Play 2 launched
Xiaomi will launch the successor to last year’s Mi 5 – the Xiaomi Mi 6 – on April 19 in Beijing, it has been revealed. CEO Lei Jun had confirmed an April launch last week. If the leaks are any indication, we’ll also see a Xiaomi Mi 6 Plus on the same day. The Mi 6 is tipped to cost CNY 2,199 (about Rs. 20,500), with the Mi 6 Plus coming in at CNY 2,699 (about Rs. 25,000).
In terms of specifications, the Mi 6 will have a 5.1-inch full-HD display, with the Mi 6 Plus sporting a 5.7-inch quad-HD display. The latter will also have curved edges, reportedly. Both phones will be powered by the same Snapdragon 835 chip, with Mi 6 carrying 4GB of RAM, and Mi 6 Plus having 6GB of RAM.
Xiaomi also launched a newer version of its smartphone-powered VR headset – the Mi VR Play 2 – in China on Tuesday. It’s lighter, and comes with a softer fabric. Interestingly, the Mi VR Play 2 will be available from April 19, which is only more proof of the impending arrival of the Mi 6.
LeEco Le Pro 3 AI Edition smartphone launched
LeEco has launched its own AI-based virtual assistant, called LeLe. The voice-based assistant will be available on the new LeEco Le Pro 3 AI Edition smartphone, which is also the company's first dual rear camera smartphone. It has two 13-megapixel rear sensors (one monochrome, one colour) coupled with f/2.0 aperture lenses, as well as PFAF autofocus and dual-LED flash.
The LeEco Le Pro 3 AI Edition bears a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display. The Standard variant is powered by a 2.3GHz deca-core MediaTek Helio X23 SoC, while the Eco variant is powered by a 2.6GHz deca-core Helio X27 SoC. Both sport 4GB of RAM.