After launching its 55-inch, 4K and HDR compatible Mi TV 4 in India in February, Xiaomi this week launched two new televisions, the Mi TV 4A 32-inch and 43-inch models. These are smaller, and also run at lower resolutions - the 43-inch model has a 1080p display, while the 32-inch television only has a 720p display. The new Mi TV 4A models sport the same PatchWall UI as the 55-inch TV, which features integration with content from set top boxes.
The 43-inch Mi TV 4A price in India has been set at Rs. 22,999 at launch, while the 32-inch model is priced at Rs. 13,999. The two will go on sale from March 13, and will be available on Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Home stores. The Mi TV 4A models are powered by an Amlogic quad-core SoC that's coupled with 1GB of RAM. The TVs come with 8GB of internal storage.
Only the top-end Mi TV4 supports HDR, but the smaller Mi TV4a televisions have a better response rate, which will matter to gamers. The 55-inch TV also comes with bundled freebies including free 3-month subscription (worth Rs. 619) for Sony Liv and Hungama Play, the Mi IR cable (worth Rs. 299), and on-site installation worth Rs. 1,099 for free. The Mi IR cable lets you control the set top box using a single remote. Another difference is that the 55-inch Mi TV 4 remote is powered by Bluetooth, while the two smaller Mi TV 4As remotes operate on Infrared.
Meanwhile, OnePlus was also in the news with leaks for the upcoming OnePlus 6. For one thing, a leak of the upcoming Oppo R15 shows an iPhone X like notch, something that was earlier expected about the OnePlus 6 as well. Oppo's phones have served as pointers to OnePlus' launches, and it looks like this will be no exception.
A secondary leak, via an Antutu listing, also gave us a glimpse of the hardware in the OnePlus 6. According to the leak, the OnePlus 6 will have a 19:9 aspect ratio, making it even slimmer than the current crop of 18:9 displays. The notch makes its way here, and the leak also shows that the phone scored the highest Antutu results ever, suggesting a Snapdragon 845 SoC. We should know more soon, as it's likely that the phone will be launched before June end.
Meanwhile, Samsung has brought the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ to India, within just 10 days of the global unveiling that took place ahead of MWC 2018. The smartphones had already gone up for pre-booking, and the final price is what Gadgets 360 reported last week. While the Galaxy S9 starts at Rs. 57,900, the Galax S9+ prices start from Rs. 64,900, for the 64GB variants. The 256GB models on the other hand are priced at Rs. 65,900 and Rs. 72,900 - Samsung hasn't brought the 128GB variants in India.
The phones have a feature called AR Emoji that lets you turn yourself into a customised emoji, and Bixby Vision in the camera app offers live translation, scene and building recognition, and a calorie counter. The phones have dual speakers and Dolby Atmos support as well. The secondary camera on the Galaxy S9+ allows for some additional features but otherwise the two are very similar devices, except for obviously screen size and battery size.
The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch display and 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S9+ has a 6.2-inch display and a 3500mAh battery. The Galaxy S9 comes with 4GB RAM, while the Galaxy S9+ has 6GB, both have the same display resolution. In India, the phones are powered by the Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC - in the US and a few other select markets, the phones are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 instead.
Meanwhile, although Android Oreo is available on just 1 percent of all Android devices today, the next version, Android P is already available for developers. It has dropped support for some of the older Google devices, such as the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, and the Pixel C tablet, which were launched in 2015 with Android Marshmallow. Google will continue to provide security updates until November 2018.
We don't know the name this version of Android will be known by (Pie and Pancake come to mind, and given Google's propensity for co-branding, Pop-Tarts could be a possibility), but the first developer preview is available now, and the final release is expected in Q3 2018. Android P will officially be supported on Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. More details around Android P will be shared at Google's annual I/O conference in May 2018, as will the second Preview. Developer Preview 3 and 4 are expected in June, followed by Developer Preview 5 in July and the final release after that.
Android P appears to have added a lot of new features, including display notch, and multi-camera support. It's expected to speed up apps, and notifications gotten updates as well. There are also a lot of visual changes to the display, which should make it a noticeable change.
If you're a Jio user, you could be due an additional 10GB of 4G data each month - Jio is providing customers additional 10GB data that is earmarked just to stream content on its live TV app Jio TV. Jio users can check whether they have received the free 10GB data on their number in the MyJio app. They simply need to go to the My Plans section in the app, and the add-on data will appear below the plan details, if it has indeed been allocated. The free data is ending by March-end, the same time that the current Jio Prime subscriptions should be expiring.
For now, Prime members have free access to Jio TV, along with other bundled apps. The Jio TV app has 583 channels, including 39 HD channels, in several Indian languages. One of the big competitors of the Jio TV app in the country is Airtel TV, which offers live as well as on-demand content.
Jio TV launched a new feature that should appeal to sports fans - an interactive TV cricket broadcast. Users who are watching the tri-nation T20 competition between India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh on Jio TV will be able to listen to stump mic audio, choose from commentary in five different languages, and switch between five camera angles. Users will also be able to rewind and catch up with parts of the game they missed, so they never have to miss a ball.
There wasn't much news from other telcos, however Vodafone has launched a new Rs. 299 pack, which offers 56GB data and unlimited calls for 56 days. The pack is available in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh but is expected to spread to other circles. As is usual, voice calls have caps of 250 minutes per day and 1,000 minutes per week, and 100 SMSes per day.
Next week, there's also the Xiaomi Redmi 5 India launch to look forward to. It's expected on March 14, after the Redmi 5A and Redmi 5 Plus (rebranded as Redmi Note 5) were launched here. The successor to last year's Redmi 4, the Redmi 5 could be priced starting at Rs. 7,999 considering the higher-specced Redmi Note 5 has arrived in India at a base price of just Rs. 9,999.
The company has already started teasing the phone on social media, as a compact powerhouse. The Redmi 5 sports an 18:9, 5.7-inch HD+ display, and is powered by a Snapdragon 450 SoC, in 2GB, 3GB and 4GB RAM variants, with 16GB/ 32GB of inbuilt storage. There's a 12-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel selfie camera, and a 3300mAh battery.
In China, ZTE launched the Nubia N3 - pricing hasn't been announced but it will be on sale from March 24. The phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC, and will come with a massive 5000mAh battery. It's likely to get an India launch as the company's other phones have made it here.
And in India, the Swipe Elite Dual launched for Rs. 3,999, making it one of the cheapest handsets to have dual rear cameras. The phone has a 5-inch display, with a quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage. Coming to the cameras, there's a 5-megapixel selfie shooter, and an 8-megapixel primary rear camera, coupled with a 2-megapixel image sensor. The phone has a 3000mAh battery.
Is Samsung Galaxy S9 the most value-for-money flagship phone in India? We discussed that on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.