The big item this week has been the start of online sales season. Amazon's Great Indian Festival Sale and going head to head with Flipkart's Big Billion Days sale and the Snapdeal Unbox Diwali Sale. What's the big deal, you ask? Well, how about a chance to get a new phone, a new laptop, and a new video game console, all without breaking your bank account? Sure, that might be a little optimistic, but we've seen some big deals already.
Some of the offers during the Big Billion Day Sale include deals on the Moto X Play, the LeEco Le 2, the Asus Zenfone 2 and more. The Series 1 Apple Watch is available at just Rs. 12,999 during the sale, along with plenty of other electronics as well.
Amazon's Great Indian Festival Sale brings deals on the Moto G4 Plus, the Redmi Note 3, and the Le Max 2, along with a great deal on the Xbox One, and the Sennheiser HD 598 SE. The best deals are on the Amazon app so even if you add a product to the cart from your computer, go to your phone to complete the payment.
Snapdeal's offerings include the iPhone 6s, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and more. Other sales include Tata Cliq's month-long "Festober" sale, ShopClues' 10 days sale from October 1 to October 10. Paytm is likely to have its sale later this month, as usual.
Apart from the sales, there was a lot that happened during the week, including a phone that many people want to get their hands on - the Coolpad Note 5. The brand has been slowly building up a following in India, with very budget-friendly devices, and the new Coolpad Note 5 looks very promising.
(Also see: Coolpad Note 5 full specifications)
The phone has a huge 4010mAh battery, and an octa-core Snapdragon 617 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB of storage, and has a fingerprint scanner that will also be used for gesture shortcuts. Also, the phone features a system called Dual Space, which allows two versions of apps to be installed at the same time. This means you can make two accounts with WhatsApp, or Messenger, and use them separately yet simultaneously.
The phone, which was launched at an event in Delhi with WWE wrestler The Great Khali is priced at Rs. 10,999, and you can buy it from Amazon India.
Google also had a big Google for India event where it announced a number of India specific features. For one thing, Google Play gets a wait for Wi-Fi option, and is better optimised for 2G connections. It also announced YouTube Go, an offline-first YouTube app for India. Google also announced high-speed Wi-Fi for public spaces in India.
There were a few other launches of note during the week as well. The iBall Andi Wink 4G with VoLTE support was launched at Rs. 5,999. Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy A8 (2016) in South Korea. In India, it launched the Samsung Galaxy On8 with a metal body and VoLTE support.
The Gionee S6 Pro was launched in India for Rs. 23,999, with a VR headset for Rs. 2,499. The HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle, which was unveiled last week, has now been launched in India, and is available on Amazon for Rs. 15,990.
The week's other big launch was that of the Xiaomi Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus in China. Both smartphones support PDAF autofocus, and both bear a 4-megapixel front-facing camera with 2-micron pixels and an f/2.0 aperture. Other differences between the smartphones include the clock speed of the processor. While the Mi 5s bears a 2.15GHz Snapdragon 821 SoC, the Mi 5s Plus bears a 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821 SoC.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen said that the turnaround is two-thirds complete, but the next day, the one-time giant which ushered in smartphones for many, announced that it will stop making devices and focus on software.
Also, some worrying news - after the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, now an iPhone 7 Plus has allegedly exploded. A series of incidents related to the Note 7 led to fears about the phone's safety. If more iPhones share a similar fate - whch is a big if at this point - it's going to be a big blow to Apple and it will also raise questions about the batteries that both companies are using - and whether other devices are at risk. Samsung might be relieved that Apple's now in the same boat, but the company was in for more bad news this week as a report spread that Samsung washing machines are exploding.
We also saw the launch of the Sony Xperia XZ, which will be available from October 10. The variant launching in India is hybrid dual-SIM with 64GB of storage, and Sony is focusing on the camera capabilities of the Xperia XZ. Lava also launched a budget-friendly VoLTE compatible phone, the Lava A97. The Alcatel Pixi Plus Power was also launched - the price hasn't been announced but the phone packs a 5,000mAh battery.
We also got a peek at some renders of what the Google Pixel phones - which are launching next week - will look like. There have been a lot of leaks about these phones over the last several months and next week we'll be present at the launch to bring you the final details live as they happen.
Twitter opened up its Moments feature to all users. You can now use it to create "stories" around tweets and share them easily. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and Amazon also announced a program to collaborate on AI. The companies will discuss advancements and conduct research in AI.
Meanwhile, Google is setting up a new cloud region in India next year, and Apple is setting up a research and development centre in China. There are also reports that WalMart might invest up to $1 billion (approximately Rs. 6,600 crore) in Flipkart to slow Amazon's growth in India.