Reliance Jio and its new All-in-One plans for Jio Phone users as well as other subscribers dominated the conversation in a week that was relatively quiet on the technology news front. Xiaomi's Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro phones also went on sale for the first time this week and the company started rolling out the MIUI 10 update for its Redmi K20. Additionally, WhatsApp released updated group privacy settings globally with a new change in tow. Read on to find out more about these and more top tech news stories of the week.
Following its decision to start charging for the non-Jio mobile calls over the Interconnect Usage Charge, Reliance Jio announced the launch of four new All-in-One packs that include free minutes for calls to non-Jio mobile numbers as well as other benefits for regular Jio subscribers. These All-in-One packs are priced at Rs. 222, Rs. 333, Rs. 444, and Rs. 555. The Jio subscribers will be able to opt for these packs after the expiry of their current plan that in most cases isn't charging for calls to non-Jio numbers right now, unless you have recharged after October 10.
Apart from the Rs. 555 Jio All-in-One plan, all other All-in-One plans have same benefits with a different validity period. These plans come with 2GB of high-speed data per day, unlimited Jio to Jio calls, unlimited Jio to landline calls, 100 SMS messages per day, and 1,000 Jio to non-Jio mobile calls. The Rs. 222 Jio plan is valid for 28 days, the Rs. 333 Jio plan is valid for 56 days, and the Rs. 444 Jio plan will last 84 days.
Jio's Rs. 555 All-in-One plan, on the other hand, offers 2GB of high-speed data per day, unlimited Jio to Jio calls, unlimited Jio to landline calls, 100 SMS messages per day, and 3,000 Jio to non-Jio mobile calls. All these benefits are valid for 84 days. In case you are curious how these plans compare to older Jio plans that don't include free minutes for calls to non-Jio number, you can check out our detailed comparison on the same.
In addition to Rs. 222, Rs. 333, Rs. 444, and Rs. 555 plans for regular subscribers, Jio also introduced new All-in-One plans for Jio Phone users this week. The plan that are exclusive to Jio Phone users hope to make thing easier as Jio is now charging for non-Jio mobile calls. The new plans are priced at Rs. 75, Rs. 125, Rs. 155, and Rs. 185. All the new Jio Phone All-in-One plans have 28 days validity.
In terms of the benefits, Rs. 75 Jio Phone All-in-One plan offers 0.1GB of high-speed data per day, unlimited Jio to Jio calls, unlimited Jio to landline calls, 50 SMS messages, and 500 Jio to non-Jio mobile calls. The Rs. 125 Jio plan has all the same benefits as the Rs. 75 plan, but with 0.5GB of high-speed data per day and 300 SMS messages. The Rs. 155 Jio plan offers 1GB of high-speed data per day, unlimited Jio to Jio calls, unlimited Jio to landline calls, 100 SMS daily SMS messages, and 500 Jio to non-Jio mobile calls. Lastly, the Rs. 185 Jio plan has all the same benefits as the Rs. 155 plan, but with 2GB of high-speed data per day.
Xiaomi organised the first few sales for the Redmi Note 8 (Review) and Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) smartphones in India this week, days after launching the two phones in the country. The new Xiaomi phones were first put on sale on Monday via Amazon, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores, and the company claimed that they were quickly sold out. Xiaomi hosted flash sales for the phones on Tuesday and Friday as well. It has now said that Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro will now be available on November 5 and November 6, respectively, in the country via flash sales.
Redmi Note 8 Pro has been priced starting at Rs. 14,999, whereas the Redmi Note 8 retails starting at Rs. 9,999. In our review, we have found the Redmi Note 8 Pro to be a great performer with good cameras, premium build quality, and a nice display. The poor low-light video recording experience was a let-down. Redmi Note 8, on the other hand, provides good battery life and decent performance, however the phone's camera performance and gaming experience could have been better.
Redmi Note 8 Pro features Android Pie with MIUI 10 on top, a 6.53-inch full-HD+ screen, and an octa-core MediaTek Helio G90T SoC. There is also up to 8GB of RAM, up to 128GB of onboard storage, and a quad rear camera setup that includes the 64-megapixel primary shooter. For selfies, the phone houses a 20-megapixel camera shooter at the front. Other specifications of the phone include 4,500mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging and a fingerprint sensor on the back.
Redmi Note 8, on the other hand, features a 6.39-inch full-HD+, display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, and up to 6GB of RAM. Additionally, there is a quad rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel primary shooter and a 13-megapixel selfie camera. You also get up to 128GB of onboard storage, a 4,000mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Months after releasing the Group Privacy settings for Indian users, Facebook-owned WhatsApp started rolling out the same features for rest of the world as well. The Group Privacy settings are mostly the same as the ones that were released in India, but there is one major change. Instead of the earlier available Nobody option in the Who Can Add Me to Groups settings, WhatsApp had introduced a new My contact except option.
The new My contact except option will select exactly which contacts you want to stop from inviting you to a group. If you want nobody, you can just select all contacts. Since it is a new option, it will also reach Indian users and replace the Nobody option from their WhatsApp. Indian users already have rest of the Group Privacy settings.
The new Group Privacy settings are available as a part of WhatsApp beta version 126.96.36.199 for iPhone and WhatsApp beta version 2.19.298 for Android. It is possible that not everyone will get the feature immediately, and it will take some time to reach the stable version users. To find these settings, head over to WhatsApp Settings > Account > Privacy > Groups.
Motorola unveiled three new smartphones this week – Moto G8 Plus, Moto G8 Play, and Moto E6 Play. While the company has shared the India launch details of the Moto G8 Plus, there is no word on when Moto E6 Play and Moto G8 Play will make their India debut. Moto G8 Play features a 6.2-inch Max Vision HD+ display, octa-core MediaTek Helio P70M SoC, and 2GB of RAM. It also packs a triple rear camera setup, an 8-megapixel selfie camera, 4,000mAh battery, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Moto E6 Play, on the other hand, comes with a 5.5-inch HD+ Max Vision display, quad-core MediaTek MT6739 SoC, and 2GB of RAM. It also includes a 13-megapixel single rear camera, a 5-megapixel selfie camera and a 3,000mAh battery. Moto G8 Play and Moto E6 Play are initially going on sale in Brazil.
Moto G8 Plus will go on sale in India starting October 29 via Flipkart. It will carry a price tag of Rs. 13,999 for the sole 4GB + 64GB variant. The phone packs a 6.3-inch full-HD+ IPS display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, a 4,000mAh battery, and a rear fingerprint sensor. Additionally, you will get a triple rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel main camera and a 25-megapixel selfie snapper.
Xiaomi started rolling out the MIUI 11 update for Redmi K20 smartphone in the Indian market this week. Based on Android 9 Pie, the update brings a new user interface with minimalistic design, system-wide dark mode, and more. The MIUI 11 update also optimises the user experience specifically for full-screen devices such as the Redmi K20. The update size is 766MB and it carries software version MIUI v188.8.131.52.PFJINXM.
Xiaomi has already promised to roll out the MIUI 11 update a number of its smartphones this month. Some of these phones are the Poco F1, Redmi K20, Redmi Y3, Redmi 7, Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 7S, and Redmi Note 7 Pro. Other Xiaomi phones will get the same update over the next two months. You can check the arrival of the MIUI 11 update on your Xiaomi phone by going to Settings \> About phone \> System update.
Vivo U3, iQoo Neo 855 launch
Vivo introduced two new smartphones in its home market of China this week. These phones are Vivo U3 and Vivo iQoo Neo 855. While the Vivo U3 is a new phone in the company's U-series, the iQoo Neo 855 is an enhanced version of the company's previous launched iQoo Neo phone. According to the company, Vivo U3 packs a 6.53-inch full-HD+ display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor, up to 6GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. The phone also comes with a triple rear camera setup, a 16-megapixel selfie camera and a 5,000mAh battery.
Vivo iQoo Neo 855, on the other hand, comes with a 6.38-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and 4,500mAh battery. Also, there is a triple rear camera setup, a 12-megapixel selfie camera, up to 128GB of onboard storage, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. There is no word on the international availability of either of the phones.
After months of delay, Huawei revealed this week that it will start selling the Mate X in China starting November 15. The phone will carry a price tag of CNY 16,999 (roughly Rs. 1,70,000). The company is yet to decide on the international availability. Mate X was first showcased during the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 and it was originally scheduled to go on sale in June this year. The smartphone packs a single 8-inch OLED FullView Display panel that folds in 6.6-inch and 6.38-inch sizes.
Lava introduced its first Android Go (Pie Edition) smartphone this week in the form of Z41. The new phone has been priced at Rs. 3,899 and will be available via all major sales channels. The Lava Z41 features a 5-inch FWVGA display, 1.4GHz Spreadtrum SC9832E quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage. It also comes with support for expandable storage (up to 128GB) using a microSD car, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 2-megapixel front camera for selfies and video calling. There is a 2,500mAh battery on board as well.
BSNL had a pretty big week with the government approving the merger of the telecom operator with MTNL that functions in Delhi and Mumbai. MTNL will be delisted from the stock market and will start functioning as a subsidiary of BSNL. Cabinet also approved a plan to raise Rs. 15,000 crores for BSNL through sovereign bonds. The government will also be providing 4G spectrum to BSNL so that it can finally roll out 4G properly.
The telecom operator also extended the availability of Rs. 1,188 and Rs. 108 prepaid plans. Both plans were earlier supposed to stop being available this month but now they will continue to remain accessible for another couple of months. The Rs. 1,188 prepaid plan is available in the Chennai and Tamil Nadu circles. It offers 345 days of plan validity and includes benefits like 250 minutes of voice calling per day to any network in the home circle and national roaming, 5GB data, and 1,200 SMS. The Rs. 108 plan, on the other hand, is available pan-India. It had 28 days validity with benefits like unlimited voice calls on home network as well as roaming calls (except Mumbai and Delhi circles), 500 SMS messages, and 1GB daily data.
The state-owned telecom operator also revised the Rs. 429, Rs. 485, and Rs. 666 prepaid plans to offer better voice calling benefits. All three plans now offer unlimited voice calling. The Rs. 429 prepaid plan also offers 2.5GB data per day and 100 SMS messages per day for a validity of 81 days. The Rs. 485 prepaid plan comes with similar benefits but offers 90 day validity and 3GB data per day. Similarly, the Rs. 666 plan offers all that the Rs. 485 pack offers, but it comes with 134 days validity.
ACT Fibernet upgraded its broadband plans in Chennai this week to offer faster Internet speeds. ACT has upgraded the ACT Basic plan in the city with 50 Mbps speed. The plan previously had 30Mbps speed. Similarly, the company has upgraded the ACT Lightning plan with 250Mbps speed, up from 200Mbps, and Thunder plan has been revised from the existing 250Mbps to 300Mbps. Additionally, the ACT Incredible plan has received the updated speed of 350Mbps from 300Mbps.
Vodafone reportedly introduced a new Rs. 30 prepaid plan this week and it comes with benefits like full talktime and a service validity of 28 days. There are no data benefits though. It is currently available in Karnataka, Kerala, and Mumbai circles, but is yet to be listed on the telecom operator's website. It is said to be available via third-party recharge websites.
Motorola expanded its smart TV lineup in India this week by launching a new 75-inch 4K UHD Smart TV. The new smart TV is now available via Flipkart, like the company's other smart TV models. It carries a price tag of Rs. 1,19,999. Some of the key features of the TV include Dolby Vision and HDR 10 support, Chromecast integration, and Android TV platform with Google Play Store. The new Motorola TV also packs 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, a quad-core processor, and 16GB of onboard storage.
Tencent released a new version of PUBG Mobile Lite on Thursday. The new 0.14.6 version brings Survive Till Dawn Halloween mode to the game, open character system, new weapons, and a lot more. In the new Survive Till Dawn Halloween mode, the players will have to survive for two days and three nights while facing an onslaught from pumpkin-headed zombies till they are evacuated.The main menu of PUBG Mobile Lite has also received a Halloween makeover.
Lastly, PUBG team revealed what is coming in the new console version 5.1 update for the game. In the patch notes shared on the game's website, PUBG for PS4 and Xbox One will get tweaked Miramar map, vending machines with support items, and loot improvements. The update also kicks off season 5, and includes scoped Win95 rifle and ability to throw support items at teammates as well as melee weapons at enemies. PUBG 5.1 update is now available at test server, whereas the public servers will be taken down for maintenance on October 29 for a broader rollout.