Xiaomi Redmi 4A India Launch, Vodafone-Idea Merger, WhatsApp Text Status Returns, and More: Your 360 Daily

Xiaomi Redmi 4A India Launch, Vodafone-Idea Merger, WhatsApp Text Status Returns, and More: Your 360 Daily
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4A with 4G VoLTE support launched at Rs. 5,999
  • Vodafone-Idea merged entity will be India's biggest telecom operator
  • WhatsApp text status feature is back for Android users

Xiaomi took the spotlight today with the launch of Redmi 4A entry-level smartphone, priced at Rs. 5,999. Available only via Amazon and Mi.com, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Xiaomi smartphone will go on sale at 12pm, Thursday. Key Xiaomi Redmi 4A specifications include 5-inch HD screen, 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor, 16GB internal storage, up to 128GB storage expansion, 2GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, 3120mAh battery, and 4G VoLTE support.

Here’s a look at what else made news today in the world of technology:


Xiaomi Redmi 4, Redmi 4 Prime to be launched in India soon
Soon after launching the Redmi 4A, Xiaomi India  teased the launch of the Redmi 4 and Redmi Prime smartphones in the country. Xiaomi Vice President Manu Kumar Jain and Redmi India tweeted a teaser saying that the successor of Redmi 3S is coming soon. In China, the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is priced at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 6,900), while the Redmi 4 Prime was launched at CNY 899 (roughly Rs. 8,900). There is no word yet on the official launch dates yet from Xiaomi, which also announced its second manufacturing unit in India.

Vodafone-Idea announce merger, joint entity to be India’s biggest telco
Vodafone India and Idea Cellular are merging, creating an entity that will be the biggest telecom operator in the country both in terms of user base and revenue. Britain’s Vodafone Group will own 45.1 percent of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9 percent to promoters of Idea and/ or its affiliates for Rs. 3,874 crores ($592.15 million) in cash. The Vodafone-Idea merged entity will have close to 400 million users, 35 percent user market share and 41 percent revenue market share. Their merger has been brought about by the aggressive stance of telecom upstart Reliance Jio, which is providing calls, data, and other services for free.

WhatsApp text status is officially back
After being phased out in favour of photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, WhatsApp text status is back – at least for Android users; the new videos- and photos-based Status will remain in a separate tab as well. The old text status, on the other hand, will be part of the About section, and – as before – does not disappear after 24 hours. The text status will return for iPhone users soon, WhatsApp has said.

iPhone 6 32GB now available offline in India
iPhone 6 32GB, which popped up on Amazon India earlier this month, is now available via Apple-authorised offline retailers in India. Retailers in Bengaluru have been selling the smartphone since Friday, and others across the country have started receiving their units as well. The iPhone 6 32GB carries an MRP of Rs. Rs. 30,700 but was available via Amazon India at Rs. 28,999 at launch. This comes around the same time that the price of iPhone SE dropped to Rs. 19,999 for the 16GB model and Rs. 25,999 for the 64GB variant.

Android O features leaked ahead of Google I/O unveiling
Upcoming features of Android O have been leaked, including revamped notifications, adaptive icons, picture-on-picture feature, automatic text copying, and more. Google is expected to officially unveil Android O at its I/O developer conference, with the final version likely to be released with the new Pixel devices later in the year. Previously leaked Android O features include ‘Copy Less’ and gesture triggers.

Qualcomm’s new chip can bring 4G VoLTE to feature phones
Qualcomm has unveiled its new 205 Mobile Platform, aimed at emerging markets, which will provide 4G VoLTE support on feature phones. The main aim for Qualcomm here is to aim for 4G-capable sub-$50 (roughly Rs. 3,500) feature phones that are popular in emerging markets such as India, Latin America, and South East Asia. The new Qualcomm 205 chipset supports Cat. 4 modem, with download speeds of up to 150Mbps and 50Mbps upload speeds. This chip will allow feature phones to access high-speed Internet on the go, something features phones at present cannot offer.

Paytm hopes to launch payments bank by March-end
Paytm Payments Bank, which got the final approval from the Reserve Bank in January, hopes to start operations by the month-end, founder and chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma says. “If the RBI blesses us, we will be able to have our bank by this month-end,” he said. Sharma also expressed belief that with greater penetration of mobile Internet connectivity, his business will grow further. In other Paytm news, Reliance Jio customers can now buy Jio Prime membership from the digital payments platform.

Vivo Y66, Nubia Z11 mini S smartphones launched in India
Vivo and ZTE-owned brand Nubia have launched camera-centric smartphones in the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 14,990, the new Vivo Y66 is a selfie smartphone with a 16-megapixel camera with Moonlight Glow feature in front. It has a 5.5-inch HD screen, metallic body, Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system, 64-bit octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, storage expansion up to 256GB, 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and 3000mAh battery.

Nubia Z11 mini S, launched at Rs. 16,999, has a 23-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX318 Exmos RS sensor and phase-detection autofocus, f/1.0 aperture, and sapphire protection glass. The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based smartphone features 5.2-inch full-HD screen, 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 64GB built-in storage, microSD expansion up to 200GB, 4GB of RAM, 13-megapixel front camera, 3000mAh battery, and USB Type-C port.

Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360


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