Reliance Jio is continuing to upend the telecom industry, and this week made an announcement that it's free services will continue till March 2017, instead of stopping on January 1 as it had initially announced. Promotional offers have a three month limit, but Reliance announced a new offer, the Happy New Year Offer, which will be for new subscribers. The company added that all users who are getting free data right now as part of the Welcome Offer will also automatically get the Happy New Year Offer. TRAI has announced that it will be looking into this offer, and give its response at an "appropriate" time.
A lot's been happening this week - demonetisation troubles continue, but also some pretty interesting phone launches, and apart from the Happy New Year Offer, Jio also announced it's intention to take on wallets next, announcing Jio Money and stating that it will bring 10 million offline merchants aboard very shortly - making it real competition to the various wallet brands in India. Here's a look at all the news that you need to catch up with this week.
On Friday, the much anticipated OnePlus 3T (First Impressions) with 6GB RAM and a Snapdragon 821 SoC launched in India, replacing the original OnePlus 3 (Review), which was powered by the Snapdragon 820. The new phone also packs a slightly bigger battery, but with a price difference of just Rs. 2,000, it's a very appealing option if you're in the market for a new phone. The original OnePlus 3 will continue to be available in India for now, and the new phone will be manufactured here from January, the company says.
Netflix announced a new feature this week that should be popular in India - you can now download videos on Netflix, and watch them offline. If you've got a flight to catch, you could save your favourite show to watch on the way, or you could make use of cheaper nighttime data, or even the office Wi-Fi, to download shows to watch later. Not all content can be downloaded, and there are a few other caveats to know, but it sounds like a great idea.
Aside from this, there were plenty of interesting launches during the week, such as the Lenovo K6 Power (First Impressions), priced at Rs. 9,999. The phone's USP is it's large 4000mAh battery, though it also packs in Dolby Atmos audio enhancements for earphones and stereo speakers, and Lenovo's TheaterMax media-consumption feature, which allows you to view your media using a VR headset for a simulated big-screen experience.
Other launches included the Cool Changer 1C - the result of a joint effort by LeEco and Coolpad - which was launched in China at CNY 899 or approximately Rs. 9,000. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, with four cores clocked at 1.2GHz and the other four running at 1.8GHz. It packs 3GB of RAM and comes with 32GB of storage.
Apart from this, Coolpad also launched a triple-SIM Android smartphone in India, the Coolpad Mega 3 alongside another phone, the Coolpad Note 3S. The two phones are priced at Rs. 6,999 and Rs. 9,999 respectively.
Asus launched two new phones in India - the Asus ZenFone 3 Ultra (Review) and the Asus ZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL). The two phones were announced in August, and are now available, with both the smartphones starting from Rs. 49,999.
Other launches this week included the Lava X50+, priced at Rs. 9,199, and the Intex Aqua Classic 2, priced at Rs. 4,600. And apart from phones, we saw the India launch of the Sony NW-A35 Walkman at Rs. 15,990, and the GoPro Hero 5 Session and GoPro Hero 5 Black.
There's a lot of continuing demonetisation news as usual. This week, Ola partnered up with SBI, and PNB, to set up mobile ATMs, while MobiKwik launched a version of it's wallet for 2G connections, called MobiKwik Lite. Also, you can now pay you traffic fines to the Mumbai Police using FreeCharge - close to 500 e-challan devices have been rolled out to various traffic chowkies across the city at present, the Snapdeal-owned company said in a statement.
(Also see: What Does Paytm's App POS Actually Solve?)
And finally, some news that should be of interest to wearables fans - Motorola announced that it's pausing its smartwatch efforts, and won't release a new wearable alongside Android Wear 2.0. At the same time, Fibit might be acquiring Pebble - reportedly for $40 million.