Welcome back to another week in review - this week, Reliance Jio took its first steps towards becoming a paid service, as the Jio Prime subscription which was announced last week is now live. The full slate of Jio Prime plans was also revealed, and if you're planning on sticking around with Reliance Jio after it goes paid from April 1, we've got a guide to help you decide whether to subscribe to Jio Prime or not.
You'll want to check, because between Prime Jio, non-Prime postpaid vs. prepaid, Jio's plans are frankly more confusing than they need to be - and they're going on changing things further, with a new "Buy One Get One" Jio Prime recharge offer announced on Friday. So not only are there Jio plans, and Prime plans, but also special offers on some Prime plans, but only if you subscribe before March 31. Confusing as it may be, it's good news for customers, even non-Jio ones, as other telcos try and match Jio Prime plans in an attempt to retain their customers.
Airtel and Idea have also unveiled new plans in response to Reliance Jio Prime, and Vodafone is said to have done so as well. Idea launched a 500MB a day plan offering unlimited calls for 28 days, for Rs. 348. Airtel is giving 1GB a day for Rs. 345, but that's 500MB normal usage, and 500MB from 3AM to 5AM. Vodafone has confirmed a new 28GB plan though more details are awaited. Even if Reliance Jio is not for you, changes are your telco is offering a lot more value now than it was a few months ago, and you can thank Jio for that.
There was a lot more that happened this week though - here's a look at all the highlights, with a lot of stories emerging from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The new Nokia 3310 was unveiled at MWC 2017 in Barcelona last Sunday, alongside three new Android smartphones, the Nokia 6, Nokia 5, and the Nokia 3. Gadgets 360 caught up to the company's India head Ajey Mehta, who told us that the new smartphones will launch by mid-June, and the Nokia 3310 will most likely be coming to India before the Android phones. Interestingly, the new Nokia 3310 won't work in the US, Canada, and many other parts of the world. We spoke about that, the idea of WhatsApp on the new Nokia 3310, and a whole lot more with the CEO of HMD Global, the company that's bringing the Nokia brand back to India and the rest of the world - do check out that conversation in full.
We also saw the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi 4X, with a 4100mAh battery, which is powered by a Snapdragon 435 SoC. The new Redmi 4X sports an all-metal body, and packs a fingerprint scanner. It packs a 4100mAh battery which is a highlight of the handset. Xiaomi Redmi 4X features a 5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels) 2.5D curved glass display. The mobile is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 2GB/ 3GB of RAM. The Xiaomi Redmi 4X price starts at CNY 699 (approximately Rs. 7,000).
This week, Xiaomi also revealed its new in-house processor - the Surge S1 SoC - with the launch of the new Mi 5c smartphone at an event in China. The successor of the Xiaomi Mi 4c, the new Xiaomi Mi 5c will be the first to be powered by the Surge S1 processor, which will be coupled with 3GB of RAM. It features a 5.15-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) curved glass display with a pixel density of 428ppi, 64GB inbuilt storage, and supports dual-SIM (Nano + Nano) cards. The Xiaomi Mi 5c runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8, and packs a 2860mAh battery with fast charging support. It is priced at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 14,600). It will be made available in China on March 3 in Rose Gold, Gold, and Black colour options.
Closer to home, Lenovo has sent out media invites for the Moto G5 Plus India launch, which launched last Sunday at MWC. The Moto G5 will be launched at an event on March 15, but the invite does not mention if the smaller Moto G5 will also be launched in the country at the same time. The Moto G5 Plus, the smartphone features a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display. It is powered by the 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, and offers 2GB, 3GB, and 4GB RAM models depending on the region. The Moto G5 Plus offers either 32GB or 64GB of inbuilt storage, with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot (up to 128GB).
Apart from that, there were also some launches at MWC this week. Alcatel has launched three budget-end smartphones, namely - Alcatel U5, Alcatel A3, the Alcatel A5 LED, and Windows 10 running Alcatel Plus 12 tablet. ZTE's brand Nubia has launched a stripped-down version of its Nubia N1 smartphone - the Nubia N1 lite. And, as expected, Turkish smartphone manufacturer General Mobile launched its latest Android One smartphone - the General Mobile GM 6.
Apart from those, Sony held a event on Monday where it announced four new smartphones: the Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZs, Xperia XA1, and Xperia XA1 Ultra. The Xperia XZ Premium is a high-end variant of the Xperia XZ, while Sony Xperia XZs is essentially a smaller variant. Similarly, the Xperia XA1 and Xperia XA1 Ultra are successors to the Xperia XA and Xperia XA Ultra smartphone launched last year.
Check out our full MWC 2017 coverage for all the announcements from the world's biggest mobile event that you might have missed this week, or from last Sunday, when most of the big launches happened.
The other big story this week was the Nintendo Switch, which had its global launch on Friday. It has seen mixed reviews, with some hardware issues and battery life problems, but it's also garnered a fair amount of praise. If you're thinking about buying the Switch, then you should check out this list of all the upcoming Switch games.
Beyond MWC, there were plenty of other launches this week as well, including two two launches from Panasonic - the Panasonic Eluga Pulse sports a 5-inch HD IPS display, while the Eluga Pulse X packs a larger 5.5-inch HD IPS display. Both the smartphones are powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core processor but Eluga Pulse comes with 2GB of RAM while the Eluga Pulse X features 3GB of RAM.
We also had the launch of the Intex Aqua Strong 5.1+, which is the successor to the Aqua Strong 5.1 that launched in August last year. Intex Aqua Strong 5.1+ is priced at Rs. 5,490, and it supports VoLTE. It also packs a 2000mAh battery.
Meanwhile, an Amazon Web Services outage took out a fair chunk of the Internet with it. Internet users experienced problems getting around the Web on Tuesday, because of the huge number of online services that rely on AWS. Slack, Medium and Quora were among the services affected by Tuesday's outage. Amazingly, it turned out that whole issue - which took a fair chunk of the Web down for several hours - resulted from a typo.
Aside from this, there were a couple of interesting developments from the world of gaming as well. For one, Microsoft announced an unlimited Game Pass, that gives access to 100 games, for just Rs. 699 a month - you could think of it as Netflix for gaming, though it's not a game streaming service, you'll have to download the games to your console to play them.
Aside from that, we also got to know about the second Valve VR headset. HTC Vive got a running start last year, but now we've got a new headset, this time from LG. We don't actually know too much about it yet, except that this headset is also powered by SteamVR, like the Vive.
Those were the highlights of the week for us. Was there something thats stood out for you? Let us know via the comments.