Realme X2 and Realme Buds Air launches were undoubtedly the biggest headlines of the week past, but that doesn't mean there weren't numerous other major pieces of news. LG brought its dual-screen LG G8X ThinQ smartphone in India, while the Nokia 2.3 was also launched in the country. while Vivo launched two 5G smartphones - the Vivo X30 and Vivo X30 Pro - while Delhi Police ordered an Internet shutdown in parts of Delhi thanks to CAA protests. Read on for all the top news stories in the space of personal technology this week.
Realme X2 was launched in India on Tuesday. To recall, the smartphone was first announced for the Indian market alongside the Realme XT, and at that time, the upcoming phone was named the Realme XT 730G (thanks to it bearing the then recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC). In the meanwhile, Realme launched the Realme XT 730G in China as the Realme X2 – now, it has arrived in India in the same avatar. Its flagship grade sibling, the Realme X2 Pro was launched in India earlier this month, but that features the Snapdragon 855+ SoC.
The Realme X2 starts from Rs. 16,999 (4GB+64GB) in India, with the 6GB+128GB variant priced at Rs. 18,999, and the 8GB+128GB variant priced at Rs. 19,999. The smartphone went on sale in India for the first time earlier this week, and the company has also detailed launch offers for the Realme X2.
Specifications of the Realme X2 include a 6.4-inch full-HD+ display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, the Snapdragon 730 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, a quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front camera, up to 128GB of UFS2.1 storage that's expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB), the standard bunch of connectivity options, a 4,000mAh battery with support for 30W VOOC 4.0 Flash Charge tech, dimensions of 158.7x75.2x8.6mm, and a weight of 182 grams.
A launch that eclipsed the Realme X2 in terms of interest was a new product in the company's own lineup – the Realme Buds Air. The Apple AirPods-inspired truly wireless earphones feature a design very similar to the Cupertino giant's counterparts, and even come with a nearly identical looking charging case. One of the highlights of the wireless earphones are a claimed battery life of 17 hours on a single charge – including the extra charge provided by the charging case. Realme Buds Air wireless earphones are priced at Rs. 3,999, and are available in Black, White, and Yellow colour variant.
They went on sale for the first time on the day of their launch itself, and will next be made available tomorrow. Features include a 12mm bass boost driver, multi-layer composite diaphragm, noise cancellation support for calling, a dedicated gaming mode with low-latency, USB Type-C port, 3 hours of music playback with the charging case, support for the Qi wireless charging on the charging case, Google Assistant integration, touch controls, and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.
The Vivo X30 and X30 Pro were launched in China this week, and both are 5G smartphones, running on Samsung's Exynos 980 SoC. The company is also touting a ‘Multi-Turbo 2.5' feature, which selects 4G or 5G depending on its speed. Both smartphones come will go on sale from December 28 and December 24 respectively, with the Vivo X30 priced starting CNY 3,298 (roughly Rs. 33,400) for its 8GB + 128GB variant, while Vivo X30 Pro is priced starting CNY 3,998 (roughly Rs. 40,500) for its 8GB + 128GB variant.
Common specifications of the Vivo X30 and Vivo X30 Pro include a 6.44-inch full-HD+ display with an in-display fingerprint sensor, a Samsung Exynos 980 octa-core SoC, up to 8GB RAM, up to 256GB of inbuilt storage, options, a 32-megapixel front camera, a 4,350mAh battery with support for 33W Flash Charge tech, the standard set of connectivity options, dimensions of 158.45x74.10x8.80mm, and a weight of 196.5 grams.
The only real difference between the Vivo X30 and Vivo X30 5G feature different rear camera setups, with the former sporting a triple rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 32-megapixel), while the latter bears a quad rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel periscope camera in addition providing 5x optical zoom.
LG India reared its head in the country this week, launching its LG G8X ThinQ dual-screen smartphone. First unveiled at IFA 2019, the LG G8X ThinkQ comes with a 6.4-inch detachable secondary display attached via the USB Type-C port and with a 360-degree hinge, as well as another 2.1-inch cover display to check notifications, etc. It has been priced at Rs. 49,999, and is already on sale in the country.
Specifications of the LG G8X ThinQ include a 6.4-inch full-HD+ display with an in-display fingerprint sensor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB), a dual rear camera setup (12-megapixel + 13-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front-facing camera, a 4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support, a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC, IP68 water and dust resistance, MIL-STD 810G compliant.
The Nokia 2.3 was launched in Cairo earlier this month, and made its way to India earlier this week. A budget smartphone from Nokia mobile brand licensee HMD Global, the Nokia 2.3 is priced at Rs. 8,199 for the lone 2GB + 32GB variant launched in the country. It goes on sale from December 27, and the company has detailed launch offers.
Specifications include a 6.2-inch HD+ (720x1520 pixels) in-cell display, a MediaTek Helio A22 SoC, 2GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup (13-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 5-megapixel front camera, 32GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 400GB), the regular bunch of connectivity options, and a 4,000mAh battery.
The Vivo V17 was launched in India last week, and went on sale in the country this week. The new mid-range smartphone from Vivo is available via both online (Amazon, Flipkart, and Vivo India e-store online) and offline retailers in India, and as you'd probably recall, the India variant's specifications are significantly different from the Russian variant with the same name. It is priced at Rs. 22,990 for the lone 8GB + 128GB variant.
Specifications of the Vivo V17 include a 6.44-inch full-HD+ display with an in-display fingerprint sensor, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage, a quad rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front camera, and a 4,500mAh battery.
The Huawei P Smart Pro was launched this week, making its debut in Poland and other European regions. The smartphone is rebranded variant of the Huawei Y9s, and its biggest highlight is its pop-up selfie camera module. Priced at PLN 1,399 (roughly Rs. 25,900) for its lone 6GB + 128GB variant, its availability in other regions remains unknown.
Specifications of the Huawei P Smart Pro a 6.59-inch full-HD+ display, a HiSilicon Kirin 710F SoC, 6GB of RAM, a triple rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 16-megapixel pop-up selfie camera, 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), the standard bunch of connectivity options, a 4,000mAh battery, dimensions of 163.1x77.2x8.8mm, and a weight of 206 grams.
Amid Citizen (Amendment) Act or CAA protests this week, Delhi Police ordered telecom operators to shut down voice, mobile data, and SMS services in certain parts of the city – making headlines across the globe for such a move in the capital city of the country.
This was hardly the first Internet shutdown in the country in recent months, and a recent report pegs that India accounted for 67 percent of the world's Internet shutdowns in 2018.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) this week implemented its revised mobile number portability (MNP) rules. Within the new framework, subscribers can port to a new telecom operator in just two days, with the new process designed to be twice as fast. Also this week, TRAI postponed the abolition of telecom interconnection fees by a year.
Next, this week it was also discovered that if Reliance Jio subscribers do not have an active plan, they can still avail of older Jio plans from before the recent price hike. This can be done through the tariff protection option, from the Jio.com website. Jio this week also introduced data vouchers for Jio Fiber customers, giving them increased data allocation. Priced at starting at Rs. 101, they provide up to 2TB of additional data.
Airtel this week extended Wi-Fi Calling support to six more smartphones - Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10e, Galaxy M20, OnePlus 6, and OnePlus 6T. This week, the telco also announced a partnership with entertainment firm Lionsgate to offer Lionsgate Play content to its customers in India via the Airtel Xstream app and Web platforms.
BSNL had a couple of headlines this week, first introducing the Rs. 109 ‘Mithram Plus' prepaid plan with 5GB of data and 250 minutes of voice calling, for a validity of 90 days. The state-owned telecom operator also announced revised the validity of its Rs. 118, Rs. 187, Rs. 399 prepaid plans, reducing them.
Vodafone also had its share of headlines this week, with four new prepaid recharge plans starting at Rs. 24. The Rs. 24 recharge offers 100 minutes of on-net calls from 11pm to 6am. Separately, it introduced three unlimited calling and data plans, priced at Rs. 129, Rs. 199, and Rs. 269.
WhatsApp was in the news this week when a security research firm revealed it had discovered a bug that could have allowed hackers to crash a victim's app, and delete their messages. The attack vector would be a malicious group message sent after gaining access to a group, causing crashes of the app for all group members. This would force them to reinstall the app, but then, access to the group and all associated messages would be lost. Users on updated versions of the Android app will not be affected, as WhatsApp fixed the bug before the vulnerability's announcement.
This week, a report by analytic firm App Annie claimed that Facebook owns top four of the most downloaded apps of the decade - Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Other apps were Snapchat (fifth), Skype (sixth), TikTok (seventh), UC Browser (eighth), YouTube (ninth), and Twitter (10th) on the list.
Is Realme X2 better than Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi K20? 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.