Realme 3 Pro price announcement, OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro launch event date reveal, as well as Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3 India launch were some of the tech news stories that dominated the headlines this week. Additionally, new smartphones from Lenovo, Vivo, and Oppo as well as new prepaid plans from Airtel and Vodafone also made the news. Further, Jio GigaFiber re-entered the news cycle with reports of landline services rollout and affordable combo plans. Read on to get all the details about the biggest tech happenings of the week.
Let's start with Realme, who had a rather busy week. The company unveiled two new smartphones – Realme C2 and Realme 3 Pro – it had teased the latter at the unveiling the Realme 3 last month. While the Realme C2 will compete in the sub-Rs 10,000 smartphone segment, the Realme 3 Pro is targeted at the consumers looking to buy a phone priced between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000, more specifically at who might be planning to buy Xiaomi's Redmi Note 7 Pro. Realme 3 Pro has been priced starting Rs. 13,999 and will be offered in three storage variants, including the 6GB + 64GB version which wasn't announced at the original launch event and popped up later in the week.
Realme 3 Pro features a 6.3-inch full-HD+ screen with a waterdrop-style notch. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, coupled with 4GB/ 6GB of RAM and 64GB/ 128GB of onboard storage. There are two cameras on the back and one in the front. The front snapper includes a 25-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 lens, whereas the rear setups includes 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors.
Among other specifications, the Realme 3 Pro packs a 4,045mAh battery, a rear fingerprint sensor, and the usual set of connectivity options. The phone runs on Android Pie with ColorOS 6.0.
The other smartphone to debut with the Realme 3 Pro was Realme C2. It carries a price tag of Rs. 5,999 for the 2GB + 16GB version and Rs. 7,999 for 3GB + 32GB version. The phone will be available beginning May 15 in the country.
The Realme C2 runs Android 9.0 Pie with ColorOS 6.0 on top and features a 6.1-inch HD+ (720x1560 pixels) display. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 SoC. In terms of optics, the Realme C2 packs a dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a a 2-megapixel sensor. The phone also features a 5-megapixel sensor at the front. You will get also a 4,000mAh battery.
This week was also pretty big for Xiaomi. The Chinese company not only introduced the new Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3 smartphones in India, it also unveiled the Mi LED Smart Bulb with support for both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The company also revealed that it is now operating 1000 Mi Stores across 19 states and it is hoping to establish as many as 10,000 Mi retail stores.
Starting with the Redmi 7, which was first launched in China last month, the smartphone will be going on sale in the Indian market beginning April 29. As always, Xiaomi will be following the flash sale method, for at least the first few weeks, before moving to the open sale. The Redmi 7 price in India has been set at Rs. 7,999 for the 2GB + 32GB variant and Rs. 8,999 for 3GB + 32GB variant. The company doesn't plan to bring the 2GB + 16GB version to the country. The Redmi 7 will be available via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home stores, Mi Studio, and various offline retailers.
The Redmi 7 succeeds the Redmi 6 phone and sports the company's Aura Smoke Design with a Dot Notch display. The phone features a 6.26-inch HD+ screen, octa-core Snapdragon 632 SoC, and up to 3GB of RAM. The new Xiaomi phone also comes with 32GB of onboard storage, a microSD card slot, and 4,000mAh battery. On the software front, Xiaomi has included MIUI 10, based on Android 9 Pie.
In terms of the camera capabilities, the Redmi 7 packs a dual camera setup on the back with a 12-megapixel primary sensor (f/2.2 lens) and a 2-megapixel secondary depth sensor. For selfies, there is an 8-megapixel front shooter onboard as well. Additionally, the new phone is splash resistant. In our first impressions, we found the phone to be sporting an attractive design with capable hardware. We will soon be publishing our full review of the phone, so do keep an eye out for that.
The Redmi Y3, which is coming to India before any other market, will be available starting April 30. Like the Redmi 7, the phone will be offered via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home stores, Mi Studios, and various other offline retailers. The Redmi Y3 has been priced at Rs. 9,999 for the the 3GB + 32GB variant and Rs. 11,999 for 4GB + 64GB variant. It will be released in Bold Red, Elegant Blue, and Prime Black colours.
The Redmi Y3 is targeted to the selfie-enthusiasts and comes with a 32-megapixel front shooter with EIS, Auto HDR, and an AI Portrait mode. On the back, Xiaomi has included a dual rear camera setup featuring a 12-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture and 1.25-micron pixel size, while the secondary camera on the Redmi Y3 has a 2-megapixel depth-sensing sensor.
Among other specifications, there is a 6.26-inch HD+ (720x1520 pixels) display with a 19:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D glass, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The phone is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 632 SoC coupled with 3GB/ 4GB of RAM. Redmi Y3 also includes 4,000mAh battery, the usual set of connectivity options, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
In addition to these two phones, Xiaomi also released its Mi LED Smart Bulb on its crowdfunding platform in India. Priced at Rs. 999, the smart bulb almost quadrupled its funding target. The 10w smart bulb supports 16 millions colours and 800 lumens brightness. It doesn't need to smart home bridge to operate and can work with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Not satisfied with just brand new products, Xiaomi also began teasing the launch of an upcoming smartphone in the country this week. The company's India managing director Manu Kumar Jain tweeted earlier this week that Xiaomi is bringing a phone powered by Qualcomm's recently launched Snapdragon 700-series SoC. He did not share any other details about the phone. In other news, the company's China unit is continuing to hype the upcoming Redmi smartphone with Snapdragon 855 SoC. An alleged set of the phone's specifications also surfaced online.
Oppo also grabbed a lot of headlines this week with three new phones. The company unveiled the new Oppo A5s, A9, and A1k smartphones. While the Oppo A5S is all set to go on sale in the country, there is no word on the India launch of the Oppo A1k or Oppo A9 smartphones. In addition to these three phones, Oppo also launched the Avengers Limited Edition variant of the F11 Pro in the country. It has been priced at Rs. 27,990 and is now available for pre-orders. It is exactly the same as vanilla Oppo F11 Pro except the design tweaks, a bundled case, and other Avengers-related goodies.
Oppo also revealed this week that it will start rolling out the Reno 10x Zoom Edition phone beginning next month. The first will go on sale in China, followed by European countries. The Oppo Reno 5G, on the other hand, will be available in Europe first, followed by other markets including China and UAE. There is still no word on the India release of any of the Reno branded phones.
OnePlus finally announced earlier this week that it will be unveiling the new OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 smartphone on May 14. The company is hosting simultaneous events in Bengaluru, New York City, and London to announce the phones. As per rumours, the OnePlus 7 will have a design similar to OnePlus 6T, whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro will sport a fresh design with a pop-up selfie camera module. In a teaser, the company also confirmed that OnePlus 7 Pro will house three cameras on the back.
In other India smartphone news, Vivo launched its mid-range Y17 smartphone on Saturday. The phone has been priced at Rs. 17,990 and will be available via all major online and offline stores. Vivo Y17 packs three cameras on the back with 13-megapixel, 2-megapixel, and 8-megapixels sensors. The 5,000mAh battery is another highlight of the phone. According to the company, Y17 will be released in two colours.
Xolo and Infinix also released one smartphone each this week in the form of Infinix Smart 3 Plus and Xolo ZX. While Infinix Smart 3 Plus is a budget phone with its Rs. 6,999 pricing, Xolo ZX will cater to mid-range consumers and starts at Rs. 11,499. The new Xolo phone is now on sale in the country, whereas the Infinix phone will start retailing next week.
Lenovo too joined the smartphone action with the unveiling of its much-awaited Z6 Pro smartphone. The phone succeeds the company's Z5 Pro which was launched in November last year with a slider design. In the Z6 Pro, Lenovo has decided to go for a waterdrop-style notch instead of a slider. Lenovo Z6 Pro include an AI-powered quad-camera setup, next-generation in-display fingerprint sensor, a liquid-cooling system, and Snapdragon 855 SoC. The phone will go on sale in China beginning April 29 starting at CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 30,000).
Moving to the telecom news, Reliance Jio has said to started rolling out its landline services for GigaFiber consumers. According to Twitter user, the company is using GigaHub Home Gateaway to offer the service, but the consumers will have to buy their own telephone instrument. Separately, a report claimed that Jio may offer combo plans for as low as Rs. 600, which will include access to voice calling, broadband, and TV service. There is still no word on when Jio GigaFiber expansion will officially begin.
Airtel quietly introduced two new prepaid data plans of Rs. 48 and Rs. 98. Both prepaid plans come with 28-days validity. Now available in all telecom circles, the Rs. 48 and Rs. 98 Airtel plans comes with 3GB and 6GB of 3G/ 4G data respectively. The Rs. 98 plan users will also get 10 free national SMS.
Vodafone also brought a new prepaid plan this week for Rs. 139. The new plan includes 2GB of free 3G/ 4G data, unlimited local/ STD/ roaming voice calls, 100 SMS per day, and access to Vodafone Play app for 28 days. This Vodafone plan is only available in select telecom circles, including Delhi NCR, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
Among other telecom operators, BSNL revised three of its prepaid plans – Rs. 35, Rs. 53, and Rs. 395. The BSNL Rs. 35 revised prepaid pack now offers 5GB of data to its subscribers for a validity of 5 days. Earlier, the pack used to offer only 200MB data for five days. Similarly, the BSNL Rs. 53 revised prepaid recharge now offers 8GB of data for a validity of 14 days. Earlier, this pack used to offer only 250MB of data for a validity of 21 days. Lastly, the Rs. 395 revised prepaid recharge offers unlimited calls even on roaming (except Mumbai and Delhi circles), and 2GB data benefit per day for a validity of 71 days.
In DTH news, Tata Sky reportedly removed the lock-in period for all channels and channel packs. The DTH service has removed lock-in periods for everything from A-la-carte to curated packs to broadcaster packs, except exclusive Tata Sky services. All Tata Sky services except Tata Sky Bollywood will have a lock-in period of one-day, whereas Tata Sky Bollywood will have a lock-in period of 30-days.
In entertainment news, the week was dominated by Avengers: Endgame and the film is well on pace to break a number of box office records in India, North America, and other parts of the world, despite the leak of the entire movie on torrents. Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of Marvel's ‘Infinity Saga', which includes the first 22 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Iron Man to Captain Marvel.
The Bond 25 cast was also confirmed earlier this week and the still untitled film will feature Rami Malek as the villain and Daniel Craig, in his last outing, as James Bond. Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), Billy Magnussen (Game Night), Dali Benssalah (Flash), and David Dencik (Quicksand) are also set to star. Bond 25 will kick off with 007 on holiday in Jamaica, where the film has begun production, with the CIA dropping in to ask for help with tracking someone down.
In other news, Intel announced several news CPUs for the gaming laptops. The company has updated its H-series Core processor line with brand new 9th Gen Core i9, Core i7 and Core i5 models based on the ‘Coffee Lake' architecture. The six new CPUs - Core i9-9980HK, Core i9-9980H, Core i7-9850H, Core i7-9750H, Core i5-9400H, and Core i5-9300H, will be showing up in laptops immediately. The company claims up to 56 percent better average game framerates and up to 38 percent faster processing for turn-based strategy games compared to a three-year-old enthusiast laptop.
TCL introduced a number of home entertainment devices in the country, including new Android TV models. Called the TCL C6 and TCL P8, the new smart TV models support 4K content along with 30W audio. Alongside the TCL C6 and P8 smart TVs, TCL has brought its tower and sound bar and Bluetooth wireless headphones. The new Smart TV will start at Rs. 59,999, and go up to Rs. 1,99,990.
Finally, Microsoft started reminding the Windows 7 users this week that it is finally time to upgrade to Windows 10, along with probably a new PC. Windows 7 users are being asked to upgrade as Microsoft is set to end support for the operating system by January 2020, following which there will be no more security updates, leaving the PCs vulnerable to viruses and malware.
Do Redmi 7 and Redmi Y3 prices in India show that Xiaomi's missed a trick? We discussed this 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.