Realme 5i launch in India was certainly the biggest piece of news this week, with the Oppo spin-off brand bringing a new budget smartphone featuring a quad rear camera setup to the country. The company also launched the Realme X50 5G in China this week, while unveiling the Realme C2s in Thailand. Other major news this week included a confirmation of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite launch date in India, and its pricing was also tipped. Its sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite was also teased to launch soon in the country. In the meanwhile, Jio began rolling out its Wi-Fi calling service, taking on Airtel. Of course, one can't forget CES 2020 – the world's largest consumer technology trade show – where brands from across the globe unveiled their latest innovations, including OnePlus with its first concept phone. Read on for all the top tech news stories of the week past.
Realme launched the Realme 5i in India this week, three days after unveiling it in Vietnam. A more affordable variant of the Realme 5, the Realme 5i brings along the same processor, quad rear camera setup and large battery of the original, but bears a lower resolution front camera. Only a single variant, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage, was launched in India, priced at Rs. 8,999.
At that price, the Realme 5i competes against smartphones like the Redmi Note 8 and Samsung Galaxy M20s. It has been launched in Aqua Blue and Forest Green colour variants, and will go on sale for the first time on January 15, at 12pm IST, via both Flipkart and the Realme.com website. The company has detailed Realme 5i launch offers as well, including Reliance Jio benefits up to Rs. 7,550.
Specifications of the Realme 5i include a dual-SIM (Nano) card slot, ColorOS 6.0.1 based on Android 9 Pie, a 6.52-inch HD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a quad rear camera setup (12-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel), an 8-megapixel front camera, 64GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB), the regular set of connectivity options and sensors (including a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel), a 5,000mAh battery with 10W charging, dimensions of 164.4x75x9.3mm, and a weight of 195 grams.
The first 5G smartphone from Realme, called the Realme X50 5G. Powered by the recently launched mid-range Qualcomm 5G mobile platform – the Snapdragon 765G – the Realme X50 5G has other highlights such as a 64-megapixel helmed quad rear camera setup, a dual selfie camera setup, and a large 4,200mAh battery. The Realme X50 5G Master Edition was also unveiled, featuring the top model's specifications and a design by Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa.
The Realme X50 5G's 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is priced at CNY 2,499 (roughly Rs. 25,800), while the top-end 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant is priced at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,900). As for the Realme X50 5G Master Edition, it is available in only a 12GB + 256GB variant, priced at CNY 3,099 (roughly Rs. 32,000). The Realme X50 5G is already on sale in China, and there is no word on when it will make its way to other regions.
Realme X50 5G specifications include Realme UI, which is based on Android 10. It is a dual-SIM (Nano) smartphone with a 6.57-inch full-HD+ 120Hz display, a Snapdragon 765G SoC, up to 12GB of RAM, a quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 12-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a dual front camera setup (16-megapixel + 8-megapixel) in a pill-shaped hole-punch display notch, up to 256GB of inbuilt storage (without a microSD card slot), a 4,200mAh battery with 30W VOOC 4.0 Flash Charge support, connectivity options that include dual-mode 5G, the standard set of sensors including a side-mounted fingerprint reader, dimensions of 163.8x75.8x8.9mm, and a weight of 202 grams.
As we mentioned, Realme this week also unveiled the Realme C2s in Thailand, and the smartphone is essentially just a rebranded variant of the Realme C2 for the country. It has been priced at THB 1,290 (roughly Rs. 3,000) for the lone 3GB + 32GB variant. Specifications include a 6.1-inch HD+ display, a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, a dual rear camera setup (13-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 5-megapixel front camera, and a 4,000mAh battery.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite was unveiled globally earlier this month as a more affordable variant of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, and now, we know its launch date in India – January 23. The smartphone was teased for launch by Flipkart, while a recent report by IANS citing industry sources also tipped its price in the country – between Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 45,000.
Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite include a 6.7-inch full-HD+ Infinity-O Display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM options, a triple rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front camera, up to 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 1TB), a 4,500mAh battery with fast charging, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Next up, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite was launched was unveiled alongside the Galaxy S10 Lite earlier this month, and now, Vijay Sales has confirmed it is indeed launching soon in India. A report this week also tipped its price in the country to start at Rs. 35,990 for the 6GB RAM variant and go up to Rs. 39,990 for the 8GB RAM variant.
Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite include a 6.7-inch full-HD+ Infinity-O Display, an S Pen stylus, a Samsung Exynos 9810 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, a triple rear camera setup (12-megapixel + 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel), a 32-megapixel selfie camera, 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 1TB), a 4,500mAh battery, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Following Airtel's launch of its Wi-Fi calling service last month, Jio launched its own this month. The telecom operator says that the service is compatible with 150 mobile devices at the moment, and supports both voice and video calls over a Wi-Fi network. The nationwide launch will happen in a phased manner, with the rollout scheduled to complete on January 16. Jio also claims that voice and video calls will seamlessly switch between VoLTE and Wi-Fi networks.
Also this week, Airtel expanded its Wi-Fi calling service to a pan-India basis, after initially launching in Delhi NCR last month. The service now also works on the Wi-FI networks of any broadband service provider, though it was initially limited to Airtel Xstream Fiber. The company also announced that Wi-Fi calling has now been used by 1 million users, and now supports over 100 smartphones across 16 brands.
Amongst the major CES 2020 news this week, one made bigger headlines than others – the unveiling of the OnePlus Concept One. As the name suggests, it is a concept smartphone, and as such will not be launched commercially. The company may however bring technology from the concept smartphone to future models in its lineup. Designed in collaboration with supercar manufacturer McLaren, the OnePlus Concept One is claimed to be the first smartphone to sport an electrochromic glass panel.
The new type of glass can turn transparent or opaque, and takes just 0.7 seconds to go from black to clear. It has been used on the covering panel for the OnePlus Concept One's rear camera setup, and thus hides or exposes the rear camera when required. Other highlights of the concept smartphone include a stitched leather back panel in the iconic McLaren Papaya Orange colour. The frame of the OnePlus Concept One is built with an aluminium alloy.
At CES 2020, Flipkart also made a splash – with the launch of the first laptop under its own MarQ private label. Called the Falkon Aerbook, the laptop's USPs are its lightweight design and thin build. It weighs in at 1.26kg and measures 16.5mm at its thickest. Priced starting at Rs. 39,990, the Falkon Aerbook will go on sale in India from January 17. Other highlights include an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB of SSD storage.
Other specifications of Falkon Aerbook by Flipkart include its 13.3-inch full-HD IPS display, 8GB of RAM, a dedicated SSD expansion slot, and a 37Whr battery said to deliver up to 5 hours of battery life. The company is also touting door-step warranty, adding that the laptop was developed after analysing millions of customer reviews – apart from market research.
While our weekly roundups hardly ever include leaks, this one was rather popular with our readers. This week, CAD renders and a 360-degree video of the iPhone SE 2 were shared, featuring a design that's based on credible leaks. The iPhone SE 2 in the leak-based renders and video is seen to offer an iPhone 8-like design, sporting a single rear camera, and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Said to sport a 4.7-inch IPS LCD Retina display, the iPhone SE 2 was also tipped to run on the Apple A13 Bionic SoC seen in the iPhone 11 models. The leaks also tip that the iPhone SE 2 will have dimensions of 138.5 x 67.4 x 7.8mm. It is also uncertain what name the smartphone will have at launch, with the iPhone 9 also a strong contender.
The PUBG Mobile v0.16.5 update was released this week, and brough such new features as Domination Mode and a Town map, apart from also heralding the launch of the Season 11 Royale Pass called 'Operation Tomorrow'. The update also adds a new vehicle, while bringing balancing changes. As one would expect, the battle pass also brings new skins for weapons and items, while there are also new items and rewards in tow.
The Domination mode in PUBG Mobile is similar to that seen in Call of Duty: Mobile, and the objective is that players mus capture and hold bases. The new vehicle is a Light Snowmobile, meant to be faster than the regular snowmobile but also weaker. Another change with the v0.16.5 update is the re-addition of the Warehouse map for Arena Training, while the damage output of the Groza assault rifle's has been reduced in Team Arena.
It was reported this week that Facebook may soon launch its recently introduced TikTok alternative app in India, called Lasso. To recall, Lasso was launched in the US last year, and is a short-form video app similar to TikTok. The app will reportedly make its way to India as early as May 2020, in a bid to take on the ByteDance-owned TikTok. The report claims that Lasso will be brought to other emerging markets this year as well.
Separately, popular reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong spotted Lasso integration within Facebook-owned instant messaging app – WhatsApp. Lasso was seen working in picture in picture mode in WhatsApp, but for now, there's no word on when such an integration will go live for the masses.
Can Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite dethrone OnePlus 7T? 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.