In a week filled with smartphone launches, Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro's debut in China and Samsung Galaxy M40 dominated the conversation. The India launches of Oppo Reno series, BlackShark 2, Vivo Y15 (2019) also made some noise. Additionally, we saw teasers for the upcoming Mi 9T smartphone, announcement of the India release date for OnePlus 7, and some updates on the availability of Realme X in the country. This is not all, Moto Z4 finally became official and HMD Global sent out invites for two events on June 6.
Starting with the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro first, the two phones made their debut in Beijing this week after month of anticipation, rumours, leaks, and teasers. While the Redmi K20 Pro will be first flagship for the Xiaomi's Redmi sub-brand, the Redmi K20 will fill the space between Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi K20 Pro in the company's portfolio. While the Chinese smartphone has said that the two phones will be released in markets outside China, the specifics are a mystery at this point.
As more and more leaks and rumours pop up, it seems more likely than ever that Redmi K20 Pro and Redmi K20 will be rebranded for the international markets. The Redmi K20 is reportedly going to be called Mi 9T, whereas the international branding for Redmi K20 Pro is unclear right now, however the phone might end-up being Poco F2 for some markets and something else for the others.
Talking about the two phones, the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro feature a 6.39-inch full-HD+ AMOLED screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor, 4,000mAh battery, Android 9 Pie-based MIUI 10 operating system. The phones also come with a triple rear camera setup, which houses 48-megapixel primary shooter, 13-megapixel secondary wide-angle shooter, and a third 8-megapixel shooter. There is a 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera onboard as well.
While the Redmi K20 is powered by octa-core Snapdragon 730 SoC, the Redmi K20 Pro will pack the octa-core Snapdragon 855 SoC. Both phones also get up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of onboard storage. In terms of differences apart from the processor, the Redmi K20 doesn't get the hardware DC dimming support and 27W fast charging support, instead there is just 18W fast charging.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi India has started teasing the impending launch of Mi 9T in the country. If it indeed turns out to be a rebranded version of the Redmi K20, it will be a fairly mid-range smartphone. There is no word on the pricing at the moment, however the Redmi K20 starts at CNY 1,999 (Rs. 20,200) in China, which is a good indicator of the India price of the phone.
In other Xiaomi news, RedmiBook 14 debuted as the first laptop under the Redmi brand. It packs a 14-inch display and is powered by up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. Other highlights of the laptop include DTS audio support, a new cooling system, and Intelligent Unlock 2.0 feature.
The RedmiBook 14 has been priced starts at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,300) for the base variant with Intel Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD storage, while its 512GB SSD model comes at CNY 4,299 (roughly Rs. 43,300). There is also the top-end model with eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor and 512GB SSD at CNY 4,999 (roughly Rs. 50,400). It goes on sale in China on June 11, however there is no word on the global availability.
The company also launched the 16GB variant of its Redmi Go smartphone in India earlier this week. It joins the already available 1GB + 8GB variant. The new variant also houses just 1GB of RAM, which is not surprising considering that Redmi Go is an Android Go smartphone. The 16GB variant of the Redmi Go will retail at Rs. 4,799.
The Chinese smartphone has also started the open sales for the Redmi Note 7S smartphone. The smartphone was only sold via a flash sale two times before getting the expanded availability. The phone carries a price tag of Rs. 10,999 for the 3GB + 32GB variant and Rs. 12,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant. It can be purchased via Flipkart.com, Mi.com, Mi Home Stores, Mi Studio outlets, and Mi partner brick-and-mortar stores.
Moving on the Samsung Galaxy M40 news, Samsung announced this week that it will be introducing the fourth smartphone in its India-first Galaxy M-series this month. Dubbed as Samsung Galaxy M40, the smartphone will be launched on June 11. It will be joining the Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20, and Galaxy M30 smartphones in the company's portfolio. Samsung Galaxy M-series has gotten decent amount of traction and the company revealed that it has managed to sell 2 million units of the Galaxy M-series phones since launch.
Samsung M40 will be the most expensive smartphone in the Galaxy M-series until now and it will carry a price tag around Rs. 20,000, Samsung India's Asim Warsi told Gadgets 360. He also revealed that the Galaxy M40 will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, run on Android 9 Pie, and will pack a triple camera setup with a 32-megapixel primary shooter. Additionally, Warsi noted that the Samsung M40 will pack the company's Screen Sound technology, which enables the AMOLED screen to act as a speaker.
In the run up to the June 11 launch, Samsung has published various teaser websites for the Galaxy M40 and in one such website, the company published a full render of the phone, giving us a look at what we can expect later this month. The teaser revealed that the Samsung M40 will spot a hole-punch (or Infinity-O camera). In other specifications, the phone is said to be coming with a 3,500mAh battery and a 16-megapixel selfie camera.
As it prepares to unveil the Galaxy M40 with Android Pie, the Seoul-based company started rolling out the Android 9 Pie update for all of its existing Galaxy M-series – Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20, and Galaxy M30 - smartphones. The update for each phone is now live over-the-air and will gradually reach all units. The Android Pie update brings the company's One UI, among other changes.
OnePlus revealed this week that OnePlus 7 will be available in the Indian market beginning June 4. The phone was announced alongside the OnePlus 7 Pro but has not gone on sale until now. OnePlus 7 will be sold via Amazon.in, OnePlus.in, and OnePlus offline retail stores from next week, however the OnePlus partner physical retailers like MyJio outlets, Croma, and Reliance Digital will get it on June 14.
OnePlus 7 has been priced at Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB + 128GB variant, going up to Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB + 256GB variant. The 6GB RAM variant will only be available in a Mirror Grey colour variant, while the 8GB RAM variant will be available in both Mirror Grey and Red colour variants.
Meanwhile, OnePlus has opened the sales of the Nebula Blue variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro in the country. The Nebula Blue colour variant, which is being offered in two storage configurations – 8GB + 256GB and 12GB + 256GB – is now available for purchase from Amazon India, OnePlus.in as well as a variety of brick-and-mortar retailers. OnePlus 7 Pro price in India starts at Rs. 48,999 for the 6GB + 128GB model, however the Nebula Blue variants with 8GB + 256GB storage and 12GB + 256GB storage are retailing at Rs. 52,999 and Rs. 57,999 respectively.
Over six weeks after their debut in China, Oppo's Reno and Reno 10x Zoom smartphones with Shark Fin side-swing selfie camera made their way to India. The two phones will be available in the country starting June 7. The Oppo Reno has been priced at Rs. 32,990 for the 8GB + 128GB variant, whereas the Reno 10x Zoom edition will retail at Rs. 39,990 and Rs. 49,990 for the 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB variants, respectively.
Oppo Reno features a 6.4-inch full-HD+ panoramic AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC a dual rear camera setup, and a 16-megapixel selfie camera. Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition, on the other hand, packs a 6.6-inch panoramic AMOLED display, an octa-core Snapdragon 855 SoC, a triple rear camera setup, and a 16-megapixel selfie camera. As the name suggests, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom edition's one camera offers 16-160mm full focal length coverage to enable 10x lossless optical zoom.
Oppo also expanded its Reno lineup in China earlier this week with the launch of Reno Z. The new smartphone ditches the Shark Fin side-swing selfie camera for a shooter housed in a waterdrop-style notch. Other specifications of the phone include The dual-SIM (Nano) Oppo Reno Z runs on Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.0. The phone also packs a 6.4-inch full-HD+ AMOLED screen, octa-core MediaTek Helio P90 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and a dual rear camera setup. There is no word on the phone's launch outside China right now.
Turns out Realme X is unlikely to launch in India in the first half of this year. Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth stated on Twitter this week that the phone is expected to be launched in the second half of 2019. The Indian variant of the Realme X is said to be different from the China variant. The company is also bringing the Naoto Fukasawa collection of the Realme X with Onion and Garlic finish to the Indian market.
Realme X China variant features Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.0, a 6.53-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display, octa-core Snapdragon 710 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup, a 16-megapixel selfie camera, and 3,765mAh battery that supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging technology.
In other Realme news, the company has started rolling out the Android 9 Pie update for its Realme 2 Pro smartphone. The update started popping out on select Realme 2 Pro users' phones earlier this week and will gradually reach everyone. The build number for this update is RMX1801EX_11.A.20, it brings the May 2019 Android Security patch, and ColorOS 6 to the phone.
Black Shark 2 gaming phone also debuted in India this week. The phone was originally unveiled in China in March this year. Black Shark, which counts Xiaomi among its investors, will be selling the Black Shark 2 via Flipkart in the country. The sales open June 4. Black Shark 2 price has been set at Rs. 39,999 for the 6GB + 128GB model, whereas its top-of-the-line variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB onboard storage will retail at Rs. 49,999.
Black Shark 2 sports a proprietary Liquid Cool 3.0 technology that is designed to increase heat dissipation by 20 times. There is also Qualcomm's Snapdragon Elite Gaming to deliver an upgraded gaming experience while on-the-go. Further, the phone has a pressure-sensing Magic Press technology.
This week also saw the introduction of Moto Z4 smartphone. The smartphone has only been launched in US right now and will be gradually making its way to other markets over the coming months. Like previous Moto Z-series phones, the Moto Z4 also comes with Moto Mods support. It runs Android 9 Pie and packs a 6.40-inch full-HD+ OLED display. Among other specifications, there is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, coupled with 4GB of RAM, a 48-megapixel rear camera, and a 25-megapixel selfie camera onboard.
Moto Z4 will retail at $499 (roughly Rs. 34,900) for its lone 4GB + 128GB variant. It goes on sale next week and will be offered in Flash Grey and Frost White colour variants.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has also launched its Y15 smartphone in India. The phone has been priced at Rs. 13,990 and is now available to purchase via all major online and physical retailers. The company is offering only one variant of the phone with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. Vivo Y15 comes with Funtouch OS 9, a 6.35-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop notch at the top and a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC.
Among other specifications, you will get a triple rear camera setup, a 16-megapixel selfie shooter, and a 5,000mAh battery. The smartphone also has a fingerprint scanner at the back.
HMD Global announced this week that it will launching something new on June 6. There is a lot of mystery surrounding the event. We do know that the company will organise an event in India on the day and there have some reports about an event in Italy as well. Nokia 9 PureView seems like a good candidate for the India launch, but we are yet to get a confirmation. Rumours also indicate that we might see the global debut of Nokia 6.2 and a new feature from the company that will improve low-light photography on Nokia phones. Thankfully, we won't have to wait for long to get all the official information.
Asus unveiled a special edition of its ZenFone 6 smartphone to mark its 30th anniversary. Dubbed as Asus ZenFone 6 Edition 30, the phone packs a new design and beefed up specifications. According to Asus, it will be producing just 3,000 units of the ZenFone 6 Edition 30 smartphone for sale globally. This special edition phone will be come with 30 months warranty. The pricing and exact availability details are a mystery at this point.
In telecom news, Reliance Jio GigaFiber topped the Netflix ISP leaderboard for India again. It is the eighth consecutive time for the broadband provider. As per the latest Netflix ISP Index data, Reliance Jio GigaFiber provided 3.49Mbps of data speed during prime time on Netflix in April 2019, compared to 3.57Mbps last month. Spectra occupied the second position with average speed of 3.43Mbpsm, whereas 7 Star Digital took the third spot with 3.41Mbps speed. Airtel landed on the fourth spot with 3.29Mbps average speed last month.
BSNL introduced a new recharge plan this week, which targeted at foreigners looking to purchase a short-term mobile connection. Priced at Rs. 389, the new prepaid plan from BSNL offers bundled voice, data, and SMS benefits, and it comes with a validity of 30 days. It is only available in the Chennai and Tamil Nadu telecom circles right now. There is no word on when it will be expanded to other circles.
ACT Fibernet is now offering up to 500GB of additional data per month to subscribers opting for the special ACT Entertainment plans that are now available in select Indian cities. However, the extra data can be availed only on long-term plans with 6 or 12 months of subscription tenure. The ACT Entertainment plans allow the company's subscribers to bundle their Netflix bill with their ACT bill.
Airtel has listed new prepaid and postpaid plans for Airtel 4G Hotspot customers on its website. The two new plans can be availed through the website or the My Airtel app. The Airtel 4G prepaid plan listed on the website suggests that users will be able to enjoy 1.5GB of daily data for a validity of 84 days, whereas with the new postpaid plan, Airtel is offering 75GB of total data for one month of validity. The prices are of the new plans are not available on the website.
Tata Sky has revised 25 of its popular regional language channel packs. The revisions are now live on the company website. Some of the packs to get revised are Hindi Starter, Hindi Starter HD, Kannada Family Sports, Kannada Family Sports HD, Kannada Smart, Malayalam Basic, Malayalam Family Sports HD, Tamil Family Kids Sports, Tamil Premium Sports and English, Tamil Regional HD, Tamil Telugu Basic, Telugu Family Sports HD, and Telugu Kannada Basic. Tata Sky has either tweaked channel count or the price of the pack or both.
WhatsApp has finally released its consecutive audio message playback feature on the stable version of its Android app. Same feature has been available to the iOS users for some time. The continuous voice message playback feature removes the hassle of manually tapping the play button on the next voice message once the previous one has ended. An update to the Android version of WhatsApp that was pushed earlier this week also included a fix for a security vulnerability.
Fortnite is now available for download in India for Xbox One. The game is over 15GB in size and is available for a free download, however it requires Xbox Live Gold subscription. The new development comes several months after Epic Games formally confirmed the delay in bringing the Xbox One version of Fortnite to the Indian market.
Microsoft is bringing the Xbox Game Pass subscription service to PC. The subscription service for PC will simply be called Xbox Game Pass, and will give consumers access to over 100 PC games from developers like Bethesda, SEGA, and Paradox Interactive. Microsoft has roped in 75 developers and publishers to bring their games to Xbox Game Pass for PC.
Microsoft is also throwing in some benefits for Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers. PC gamers will receive a discount of up to 20 percent on games and up to 10 percent on DLCs and add-ons. As of now, it is not clear when Xbox Game Pass for PC will arrive and how much it will cost.
In other news, Apple refreshed iPod touch for the first time in four years this week. The new iPad touch packs Apple's A10 Fusion chip, which is also found in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and a 4-inch screen. It will support Group FaceTime calls and ARkit. The new iPod touch will reach India this month in six finishes. It will be priced at Rs. 18,900 for the 32GB variant and at Rs. 28,900 for the 128GB variant. The new 256GB iPod touch will retail at Rs. 38,900.
T-Series became the first YouTube channel to cross 100 million subscribers mark this week. With this milestone, the channel has also entered the Guinness World Records. PewDiePie was the first YouTube channel to reach the 50 million subscriber mark globally, but the it has left behind in the battle with T-Series and is yet to 100 million milestone. At the time of writing, PewDiePie had 96,316,134 subscribers.
Amazon unveiled its smaller Echo Show 5 smart display, which includes a 960x480-pixels screen, 1-megapixel camera, and a single full-range 1.65-inch speaker. It comes with pretty much the same features that you can expect a regular Echo Show. Amazon Echo Show 5 has been priced at 8,999 and will be available in two colour options - white and black. It is now listed for pre-orders and the shipping will begin on July 18.
Lastly, YouTube brought its student plans for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium to India this week. The standard YouTube Music subscription in India costs Rs. 99 per month, but the Student Plan for YouTube Music will be available at just Rs. 59. Similarly, the YouTube Premium Student Plan will be available at a monthly fee of Rs. 79, down from the standard subscription fee Rs. 129 per month fee.