Mi Note 10, Mi Note 10 Pro, Mi CC9 Pro, and Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition debuted with much fanfare in a week that was rather quiet on the product launch front. Additionally, WhatsApp began rolling out the revamped group privacy settings globally to help users combat group invite spam. Further, Vodafone introduced an interesting new postpaid plan for its subscribers in India to take on Reliance Jio. Read on to find out more about these and other major tech stories of the week.
After weeks of teasers, Xiaomi unveiled the new Mi Note 10 and Mi Note 10 Pro smartphones at an event in Madrid, Spain. The two phones are the rebranded versions of the company's Mi CC9 Pro and Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition that made their debut in China this week as well. Essentially, the smartphones will be known as Mi CC9 Pro and Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition in the company's home market, and Mi Note 10 and Mi Note 10 Pro outside China.
Talking about the Mi Note 10 first, it is the company's first smartphone with a penta rear camera setup that is headlined by a 108-megapixel main shooter. The main shooter comes with f/1.69 aperture and optical image stabilisation. In addition to the 108-megapixel camera, there is 20-megapixel sensor accompanied by an f/2.2 wide-angle-lens, a 12-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 telephoto lens, a 5-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 telephoto lens, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The 5-megapixel rear shooter also supports optical image stabilisation.
Other key specifications of the Mi Note 10 include a 32-megapixel selfie camera, Snapdragon 730G SoC, and a 6.47-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display. Additionally, the phone packs a 5,260mAh battery with 30W fast charging support and MIUI 11. The Mi Note 10 will be offered in Aurora Green, Glacier White, and Midnight Black colour.
Mi Note 10 Pro is pretty much the same smartphone as the regular Mi Note 10 apart from a total of three differences. The Mi Note 10 Pro comes with an 8-piece lens with the main 108-megapixel shooter, instead of the 7-piece lens present with main shooter in the non-Pro Mi Note 10. Additionally, the Mi Note 10 Pro will be offered in a single storage variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage.
Coming to the Mi CC9 Pro and Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition, as mentioned earlier, these are the same phones as the Mi Note 10 and Mi Note 10 Pro in terms of the specifications. Some software are likely to be different though. Mi CC9 Pro will carry a starting price of CNY 2,799 (roughly Rs. 28,600), whereas the Premium Edition will retail at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 35,700). As and when Xiaomi introduces the Mi Note 10 and Mi Note 10 Pro in India, their prices are likely to be close to the Chinese pricing of the Mi CC9 Pro and Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition.
WhatsApp officially announced this week that it has started rolling out updated group privacy settings globally. The settings are now available for every iPhone and Android user who is on the latest version of WhatsApp. To recall, WhatsApp had originally introduced a version of the new group privacy settings in India to tackle group invite spam. A slightly tweaked version of those settings is now rolling out internationally, including in India. While Indian users already have the group privacy settings, the " Nobody" option in those settings will be replaced with My contacts except… option.
While Nobody allowed WhatsApp users to block everyone from adding to a group automatically. The newer My contacts except.. option makes it slightly tricky to block everyone. Whenever a WhatsApp user adds a new contact and they are using the My contacts except… option in group privacy settings, they will have to go and select the new contact to avoid automatically getting into groups.
To find the updated privacy settings for groups, you need to go to the Settings menu of your WhatsApp and then tap Account \> Privacy \> Groups. Here, you'll find Everyone, My contacts and the My contacts except... options. These option will allow you to select whom you allow to add you in WhatsApp Groups.
The same update that brought updated group privacy settings to WhatsApp users on iPhone also started hampering the battery life on their phone. According to several WhatsApp for iPhone users, the version 2.19.112 of WhatsApp is drastically impacting the battery life of their iPhone. WhatsApp is yet to acknowledge the issue or release a new update to fix the problem.
As the telecom sector becomes even more competitive in India, Vodafone unveiled a new postpaid plan this week, with which the telecom operator hopes to entice consumers by offering bundled access to OTT apps, fast data speeds, and other benefits. Dubbed as Vodafone RedX, the new plan carries a monthly rental of Rs. 999 without taxes and it is promised to offer 50 percent better data speeds than regular Vodafone users.
In addition to the fast data speeds, the plan also includes yearly subscriptions of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Vodafone Play. Further, the Vodafone RedX subscribers will also get bundled international roaming services, premium customer service, access to airport lounges, and exclusive deals on smartphones. There are discounts on hotel bookings, travel bookings, and more as well.
As can be expected, there is a big catch. The consumers will have to subscribe to a minimum of six months of the Vodafone RedX plan. If they want to change their plan before the six-month period, they will be charged a minimum to Rs. 3,000 to cover the cost of all the benefits that they received. Additionally, Vodafone is initially offering the plan to a limited number of consumers and not everyone will be lucky enough to get it.
In addition to introducing the new Mi Note 10 and Mi Note 10 Pro smartphones at its Madrid event this week, Xiaomi also launched the new Redmi Note 8T smartphone. Part of the company's Redmi Note-series, the new phone isn't very different from the regular Redmi Note 8. In fact, there is only one major change – NFC support – between the Redmi Note 8T and Redmi Note 8. The Redmi Note 8T will first be making its way to Europe, and there is no word right now on whether it will be released outside Europe.
Redmi Note 8T, like Redmi Note 8, features a 6.3-inch full-HD+ screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of onboard storage. Other specifications of the phone include quad rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel main shooter, a 13-megapixel selfie camera, and 4,000mAh battery. Additionally, Xiaomi has included USB Type-C port, MIUI 10, and the usual set of connectivity options in the phone.
Xiaomi also released a new colour variant of the Redmi Note 8 Pro phone this week in Taiwan. The new Deep Blue Sea colour joins the already available Gamma Green, Halo White, and Shadow Black colour options. There is no word on when it will be released outside Taiwan. Apart from the new colour, the new variant is exactly the same phone as regular Redmi Note 8 Pro.
Xiaomi also started the open sales for the Redmi 8A phone in India this week. The phone can now be purchased via Flipkart.com, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores without any flash sale madness. To remind you, Redmi 8A carries a price tag of Rs. 6,499 for the 2GB + 32GB variant, whereas the phone's 3GB + 32GB model retails at Rs. 6,999. There are three colour options on sale - Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Sunset Red.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo revealed at an event in its home market this week that the company will be launching the new Vivo X30 smartphone next month. The phone will be using Samsung's Exynos 980 SoC with integrated 5G support. Vivo traditionally uses Qualcomm or MediaTek chipsets for its smartphones, so this is going to be a major change for the company. Not much is confirmed about the Vivo X30 right now, however leaks indicate the presence of quad rear camera setup, 4,500mAh battery, and up to 12GB of RAM in the phone.
After a couple of limited period sales, OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition smartphone can now be purchased by anyone normally via Amazon, OnePlus website, and OnePlus stores in the country. The open sales for the phone started earlier this week. The OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition carries a price tag of Rs. 58,999 for the sole 12GB+256GB variant. Apart from more RAM than the regular OnePlus 7T Pro, the McLaren Edition also comes with a different finish on the back panel and has accents in McLaren's signature colour 'Papaya Orange'.
In telecom news this week, Reliance Jio revised its Rs. 149 plan to turn it into an All-in-One plan. The company had earlier introduced All-in-One plan to make it simple for its subscribers to get a plan that includes free minutes for making calls to non-Jio mobile numbers. The revised Rs. 149 Jio plan includes 300 minutes for calls to non-Jio numbers, free Jio to Jio calls, 1.5GB of high-speed data per day, 100 SMS per day, and access to Jio apps. The validity of the plan, however, has been reduced from 28 days to 24 days. Also, this is now the cheapest All-in-One plan in the company's recharge portfolio.
BSNL launched a new long-term prepaid plan this week that will cost Rs. 997. The plan carries a validity of 180 days and includes a number of benefits. It offers 3GB daily high speed data, unlimited voice calling, 100 SMS per day, and personalised ring back feature for two months. The plan is now available to all BSNL prepaid subscribers and can be availed via BSNL portal, My BSNL app, and retailers.
In addition to introducing the Rs. 997 plan, BSNL also extended an add-on validity offer for the Rs. 1,699 plan. The offer had expired on October 31, but now it has been extended until the end of this year. The offer, however, has seen one change. Instead of extended three-month validity, the offer now includes extended two-month validity. The Rs. 1,699 plan normally includes 365 days validity but with the offer, the subscribers will get a total of 425 days validity.
Alongside the new Mi CC9 Pro smartphone, Xiaomi took the wraps off its first smartwatch in the form of Mi Watch. The new smartwatch is all set to go on sale in China tomorrow alongside the new phones and other products. The design of the watch takes inspiration from Apple Watch. Mi Watch has been made using an aluminium alloy frame. The smartwatch also features a ceramic back cover, curved Gorilla Glass 3 protection on the front, and rubber strap. There is no word on when the Mi Watch will be released outside China.
Xiaomi also unveiled two new smart TV models this week in the form of Mi TV 5, and Mi TV 5 Pro. Both models will be offered in 55-inch, 65-inch, and 75-inch sizes. Both Mi TV 5 and Mi TV 5 Pro models share a number of features and specifications, however the major differences between the two models is the lack of Quantum Dot screen, MEMC motion smoothening technology, and HDR 10+ on the non-Pro variant. The new smart TVs are China-only for now.
In other Xiaomi news, the company introduced the successor to Mi Air Purifier 2S in India this week. Dubbed as Mi Air Purifier 3, the new air purifier has been priced at Rs. 9,999 and is now on sale via Mi.com, Amazon, and Flipkart in the country. According to Xiaomi, the Air Purifier 3 brings a number of improvements over the Mi Air Purifier 2S, including a touchscreen OLED display, HEPA Class 13 filter, and a new fan.
PUBG Mobile has received a new update that brings Season 10 as well as a number of new features and improvements. The PUBG Mobile 0.15.5 went live earlier this week and includes a new sub-machine gun called MP5K, an all-new map called Ruins, a Vikendi-exclusive vehicle, and a new character called Sara. The update is 0.21GB in size for PUBG Mobile Android version and 0.24GB for the game's iOS version. PUBG Mobile is also offering 20 silver coins, 2,000 BP, and a blue glider trail as a reward to everyone who updates the game before November 14.
Lastly, LG has brought a new tablet. Part of the company's G Pad range, the new G Pad 10.1 was introduced this week in South Korea, the company's home market. LG G Pad 10.1 comes with a full-HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC, USB Type-C, and 8,200mAh battery. The tablet carries a price tag of KRW 440,000 (roughly Rs. 26,800). There is no word on when it will be released internationally.