Redmi Note 7 Pro new variant, Redmi K20 series India launch date, and Vivo Z1 Pro price in India reveal were some of the biggest stories in the world of technology this week. Additionally, Redmi 7A debuted in India, PUBG Lite beta became available to Indian users, and LG W10 as well as LG W30 went on sale for the first time. Telecom operators also announced or upgraded a number of prepaid recharge plans and Dish TV reintroduced lock-in periods. Read on to find out everything that made news in the world of tech this week.
Xiaomi India launched a new storage variant of its popular Redmi Note 7 Pro smartphone in the country this week. The new 6GB + 64GB Redmi Note 7 Pro variant carries a price tag of Rs. 15,999 and joins the already available 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB variants, which are being sold at Rs. 13,999 and Rs. 16,999, respectively. The new storage variant is currently available on open sale as a part of the company's ongoing Mi Days sale and Mi Super Sale, alongside the 6GB + 128GB model. Following the latest round of Mi Days and Mi Super Sale, the new Redmi Note 7 Pro variant is likely to go back to the flash sale model.
Apart from the storage and RAM differences, the new Redmi Note 7 Pro variant is exactly the same as existing versions. You will get a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) display with a waterdrop-style notch, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, and a 4,000mAh battery. The Redmi Note 7 Pro also packs a dual rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary shooter with an f/1.79 lens and a 5-megapixel secondary image sensor. There is also a 13-megapixel shooter at the front. Other specifications of the Redmi Note 7 Pro include 4G VoLTE support, USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rear fingerprint sensor, and MIUI 10 with Android 9 Pie.
Like the other variants, Xiaomi is selling the new Redmi Note 7 Pro 6GB + 64GB model via Flipkart and Mi.com. There is no word on the availability via Mi Home stores and Xiaomi partners retailers at this point, but it is very likely that the new variant will get expanded availability in the coming weeks. In our review, Redmi Note 7 Pro impressed us a lot with its premium design, good cameras, long battery life and great performance. The MIUI bloat and ads remain its biggest issues.
After weeks of anticipation, Xiaomi India has finally announced the India launch date for Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro smartphones. The two phones will be unveiled in India on July 17, just two days after Xiaomi India's fifth anniversary. The company is hosting a press event in New Delhi on the day, where it will be showcasing the two phones. Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro price in India remains a mystery for now, however it is unlikely to be very different from China, unless there are any differences between India and China variants of the phones.
While Redmi K20 Pro will headline the Redmi lineup in India, the Redmi K20 will join the likes of Redmi Note 7 Pro in the mid-range. To recall, while Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro share a number of specifications, there are some key differences between the two models, like the presence of Snapdragon 855 SoC, DC Dimming support, and Sony IMX586 sensor in the Pro model. The Redmi K20, on the other hand, houses Snapdragon 730 and Sony IMX582 sensor.
The key common specifications between the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro are MIUI 10, 6.39-inch AMOLED full-HD+ screen, 4,000mAh battery, 20-megapixel pop-up selfie camera, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of onboard storage. Apart from the 48-megapixel Sony sensors, the Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro also include a 13-megapixel secondary shooter with a wide-angle lens and a third 8-megapixel shooter with an f/2.4 lens.
Meanwhile in China, Xiaomi has introduced a new Marvel Hero Limited Edition of the Redmi K20 Pro smartphone. The special edition comes with a customised Iron Man finish and a Marvel-based theme, Avengers-themed back cover, and it will be sold in a specialised gift box that has the Avengers logo. There is no word on the pricing or the availability right now. The company has also not said anything to suggest whether this limited edition Redmi K20 Pro will make its way to India.
Earlier this week, Xiaomi India started yet another round of the Mi Days and Mi Super Sale in India. The sales opened July 5 and will continue through July 9. Like sales' previous iterations, the Mi Days sale is live at Amazon and Flipkart, whereas Mi Super Sale can be found at Mi.com. As a part of the ongoing sales, the consumers can buy the Redmi 6A (2GB + 32GB) version at just Rs. 6,199, whereas the Redmi Note 5 Pro (6GB + 64GB) version is available at a discounted price of Rs. 11,999. There are offers on Poco F1, Redmi Note 7S, Mi A2, Redmi 6, Redmi Y2, and other Xiaomi phones as well.
The Chinese smartphone maker's new CC-series of youth-centric smartphone also made its debut this week. The lineup currently includes three smartphones – Mi CC9, Mi CC9e, and Mi CC9 Meitu Custom Edition. While the Mi CC9 and Mi CC9 have some hardware level differences, Mi CC9 and Mi CC9 Meitu Custom Edition are identical in terms of the hardware, except for the amount of RAM and onboard storage. It is the software tweaks that truly differentiate the Mi CC9 Meitu Custom Edition from Mi CC9. The Meitu Custom Edition packs Meitu camera optimisations, which use all Meitu camera features and video editing capabilities. The Mi CC9 Meitu Edition also comes with Meitu's unique AI low-light portrait feature.
In terms of the specifications, you will find a 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) AMOLED display, octa-core Snapdragon 710 processor on the Mi CC9. The Mi CC9e, on the other hand, packs a 6.088-inch HD+ (720x1560 pixels) AMOLED display and Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor. Both phones also feature a triple rear camera setup, 4030mAh battery, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Redmi 7A also reached the Indian shores this week. Xiaomi India has priced this budget phone starting at Rs. 5,999 in the country, however in the month of July, the consumers will be able to buy the phone with a discount of Rs. 200. So, the Redmi 7A 2GB +16GB will retail at Rs. 5,799, whereas the 2GB + 32GB version of the phone will be offered at Rs. 5,999 (regular price: Rs. 6,199). Key highlights of the Redmi 7A include an HD+ display, octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC, and up to 32GB of onboard storage. The handset was originally unveiled in China back in May. One major difference between India and China variant of the phone is the rear camera. Redmi 7A flaunts the 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 shooter in India, whereas in China the phone has a 13-megapixel unknown sensor.
Vivo has launched its much anticipated Z1 Pro smartphone in India. Set to go on sale next week, the new Vivo Z1 Pro is India's first smartphone to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 712 SoC. The new Snapdragon 712 is a beefed-up version of Snapdragon 710 and packs eight Kryo 360 CPU cores. Vivo Z1 Pro price in India starts at Rs. 14,990 for the base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The 6GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB variants of the smartphone will retail at Rs. 16,990 and Rs. 17,990, respectively.
As the Vivo Z1 Pro is targeted at the younger generation, it comes with a host of gaming-centric features like Game Mode 5.0 with 4D vibrations and 3D surround sound, Voice Changer, and more. The phone sports hole-punch design and will be offered in three colours options – Sonic Blue, Sonic Black, and Mirror Black. The Chinese smartphone maker has tied up with Flipkart to sell the Vivo Z1 Pro in the country. It will also be retailing the phone via its own e-store.
Vivo Z1 Pro runs on Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS 9 on top and features a 6.53-ich full-HD+ screen. The phone packs a triple rear camera setup with 16-megapixel, 8-megapixel, and 2-megapixel sensors. There is also a 32-megapixel selfie shooter onboard. Additionally, you will get a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging, 4G VoLTE support, and the usual set of connectivity options. The Vivo Z1 Pro will be competing with the likes of Realme 3 Pro, Redmi Note 7 Pro, the upcoming Realme X, Samsung Galaxy M40 in the country.
In our review, we found the Vivo Z1 Pro to be a good performer with great battery life and decent cameras. We also appreciated the company's aggressive pricing, which makes it a good value-for-money purchase, especially in a segment that is dominated by popular phones like Redmi Note 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M40, and Realme 3 Pro. Among the downsides, Vivo Z1 Pro is a tad heavier for our liking and it was disappointing to see the company sticking with Micro-USB port when others are have migrated to USB Type-C in this segment.
Vivo India also added a new RAM variant of the Y12 smartphone in its portfolio. The new 3GB RAM variant carries a price tag of Rs. 11,990 and is now on sale via major physical retailers in the country. The company already sells the 4GB + 32GB variant of the Y12 with a price tag of Rs. 12,490 in the market. To recall, Vivo Y12 comes with specifications like a 6.35-inch HD+ screen, Helio P22 SoC, a 5,000mAh battery, and triple rear cameras.
In China this week, Vivo introduced its new iQoo Neo mid-range phone, which will join the existing iQoo and iQoo 5G in the gaming-focussed series. Vivo iQoo lineup is still China-exclusive and there is no word on when Vivo plans to bring to other markets, including India. The Vivo iQoo Neo sports a waterdrop-style notch and comes with features like 6.38-inch full-HD+ screen, Snapdragon 845 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 4,500mAh battery.
Folks eagerly awaiting the launch of PUBG Lite in India finally had something to cheer for as PUBG Corporation made the India servers live for the game's beta version. PUBG Lite beta for Windows can now be downloaded from the official PUBG Lite website. You will have to initially download a 64.1MB game launcher, which will download additional game files. Depending on what is already installed on your computer, you might or might have to download Microsoft Visual C++, updated .NET Framework, and DirectX 11 as well.
PUBG Lite beta comes with Hindi support, so Indian players, who want to enjoy the game in their mother tongue, can change the language to see majority of the game's UI elements in Hindi. The latest PUBG Lite update also brings a new vehicle called Tukshai, which is very similar to auto rickshaws found in India or Tuk Tuks in other countries.
As the name suggests, the PUBG Lite is a toned-down version of the PUBG for PC version, so it can easily work even on slightly dated computers. As per the company, the minimum system requirements of PUBG Lite are Windows 7 or newer version, Intel Core i3 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and 4GB of disk space, however, to get desired experience, you will at least need Windows 7 or newer, Intel Core i5 2.8GHz, 8GB of RAM, AMD Radeon HD7870 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 660, and 4GB of disk space.
Meanwhile, Samsung has sent out invites for a press event on August 7 in New York, where it will be unveiling the new Galaxy Note 10 smartphone. The invite doesn't reveal any concrete details and merely shows a stylus with a single camera module forming an exclamation sign. If rumours are to be believed Samsung may bring as many as three new Note smartphones, including a 5G model. While the smaller Galaxy Note 10 is rumoured to be pack a 6.28-inch, the large Note 10+ is said to be coming with a 6.75-inch display.
Samsung also announced this week that it has finally started the global rollout of the Galaxy A80 smartphone, which was introduced with much fanfare in April this year at a glitzy Thailand event. The phone was originally scheduled to arrive in late-May, but it seems to have been delayed for unknown reasons. Samsung Galaxy A80 sports a very interesting design featuring a rising and rotating camera module that is used for both front and rear camera needs of the phone.
Samsung Galaxy A80 is currently on sale in select European markets, including the likes of Spain and Switzerland. The phone is reportedly coming to India as well this month, but Samsung is yet to officially reveal a release date. Samsung Galaxy A80 features a 6.7-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen with Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G SoC, and 8GB of RAM. The phone also packs 3,700mAh battery and 128GB of onboard storage.
In Samsung's India-specific developments, Samsung revised the price of its Galaxy M10 smartphone in the country this week. The phone, which was originally unveiled back in late-January with a starting price of Rs. 7,990, is now available at Rs. 6,990 for the base variant with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage, whereas the 3GB + 32GB model of the smartphone is now retailing for Rs. 7,990. The 32GB model earlier had a price tag of Rs. 8,990. The new pricing for both storage variants is now available via Amazon and Samsung Online Store, the two e-retailers that carry the phone.
To recall, Samsung Galaxy M10 comes with features like 6.2-inch HD+ Infinity-V Display panel along with a 19:9 aspect ratio, Exynos 7870 SoC, dual rear camera setup, and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. The phone also packs a 3,400mAh battery and a Micro-USB port. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, but the company has already released the Android 9 Pie update for the smartphone.
Weeks after Realme X debuted in China, the company has revealed that it is finally ready to bring the phone to the Indian market. Realme India announced this week that Realme X will be launched on July 15 in the country. The company also revealed that Realme X Spider-Man edition, which was recently introduced in China, will be joining the regular Realme X as well. There is no word on the pricing of Realme X in India right now, but Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth had earlier hinted that the phone would be released under Rs. 18,000.
Sheth had also indicated that the India variant of the Realme X will be slightly different from the Chinese model, however he did not share any details. To recall, Realme X China variant features a big 6.53-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner. It also has a dual camera setup at the back, which houses a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.7 lens and a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens. A 16-megapixel pop-up selfie camera is also present on the smartphone. Additionally, the phone includes a 3,765mAh battery with support for VOOC 3.0 fast charging.
Realme has also stated that that the company will be bringing the special Naoto Fukasawa collection of the phone with finishes similar to onion and garlic peels to India. These onion and garlic editions of the phone will be priced slightly higher than the regular Realme X.
In other Realme news, the company has released the ColorOS 6 update, based on Android 9 Pie, for its Realme 2 smartphone. The update is now live over-the-air and will reach all Realme 2 users over the next few days. In an official post, the company stated that the update also brings June Android Security patch as well as a host of other features to the phone. Some of the highlights of the updates are Realme Theme store, riding mode, new navigation gesture, and app drawer in Realme launcher.
Asus began the sales of 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB variants for Asus 6Z in the country this week. The Taiwanese tech giant has been selling the 4GB + 64GB variant of the phone since last week. The Asus 6Z 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB variants are priced in India at Rs. 34,999 and Rs. 39,999, respectively, and can be purchased via Flipkart. Asus 6Z is the India variant of the Asus ZenFone 6, which is the current flagship smartphone of the Taiwanese computing giant. Asus 6Z comes with features like a 6.4-inch full-HD+ screen, 5,000mAh battery and a rotating dual camera module, and octa-core Snapdragon 855 SoC.
In other smartphone news, LG conducted the first sale of its W10 and W30 smartphones in India. The company claims the sale lasted for just 12 minutes and entire first batch of the two phones was sold out. The South Korea company has now scheduled the next sale for July 10. The LG W10 and W30 are a part of the company's new W series, which includes features like stock Android, 4,000mAh battery, AI-powered cameras, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of onboard storage. The third smartphone in the lineup – LG W30 Pro – is yet to go on sale. The LG W10 has been priced at Rs. 8,999, whereas the LG W30 retails at Rs. 9,999.
Nokia 9 PureView was originally unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February this year but it is yet to make its way to India. It seems that is finally going to change. HMD Global, the Nokia brand licensee has started teasing the India release of the smartphone. The company has still not shared any concrete details about when we can expect to see the phone or how much it will cost. To recall, Nokia 9 PureView's main highlight is its five-camera setup. The phone also packs a 5.99-inch Quad-HD+ screen, Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of inbuilt storage, and 3,320mAh battery with wireless charging support.
The Finnish company has also quietly revised the price of its Nokia 6.1 smartphone in India this week. The phone, which was launched back in April last year, is now available starting at Rs. 6,999, down from the initial starting price of Rs. 16,999. The Nokia 6.1 runs Android Pie and comes with features like 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) IPS display, Snapdragon 630 SoC, up to 4GB RAM, and 3,000mAh battery. The phone also includes a 16-megapixel shooter on the back and an 8-megapixel shooter on the front.
Lenovo added yet another Z-series phone to its portfolio in China. The new Lenovo Z6 features a 6.39-inch OLED display, Snapdragon 730 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, and 4,000mAh battery. It also packs a triple rear camera setup and a 16-megapixel selfie shooter on the front. The phone will go on sale in China next with a starting price of CNY 1,899 (roughly Rs. 19,000). There is no word on its international release right now.
In telecom news, Reliance Jio and BSNL launched prepaid plans for Amarnath Yatra pilgrims this week. While Reliance Jio's Rs. 102 prepaid plan includes unlimited voice calling benefits alongside 100 SMS messages per day for seven days, BSNL's Rs. 230 plan offers 20,000 seconds of talk time and 1.5GB data for 10 days. Reliance Jio is offering the Rs. 102 prepaid plan through its various retailers in Jammu and Kashmir, whereas the BSNL plan will be offered via designated spots.
BSNL has also revised a number of its broadband plans, including select Bharat Fiber FTTH plans. The change impacts eight ADSL broadband plans, including the Rs. 299, Rs. 549, and Rs. 675 plans, and two Bharat Fiber FTTH plans, namely the 600 GB CUL at Rs. 849 and 55 GB CUL at Rs. 4,449. As per BSNL Chennai website, the revision is applicable on a pan-India basis. The updated plans are costlier, but they do include better benefits.
Apart from its Amarnath Yatra special plan, Jio announced a digital literacy initiative for the first-time Internet users in the country. Dubbed as Digital Udaan, the telecom operator has partnered with Facebook to help consumers learn about Jio Phone features, use of various apps and Internet safety, including use of Facebook. The initiative is being launched in around 200 locations in 13 states and will be expanded to over 7,000 locations. The "Digital Udaan" initiative will have audio-visual training in 10 regional languages.
In more telecom news, Airtel upgraded its Rs. 1,699 prepaid recharge plan to offer 1.4GB daily data benefits. The plan earlier provided 1GB of daily data. Other benefits of the plan include unlimited voice calls and 100 SMS messages per day. Additionally, Airtel also unveiled a new Rs. 148 prepaid recharge in select telecom circles. It brings 3GB of data alongside unlimited voice calling benefits for 28 days. The recharge plan also provides 100 SMS per day throughout the validity of 28 days. Additionally, the plan offers access to the Airtel TV app as well as Wynk Music.
Vodafone has revised its Rs. 129 prepaid plan to offer 2GB of data for a validity of 28 days. The plan previously provided just 1.5GB of data. Other plan benefits include unlimited voice calls and 100 SMS messages per day. The operator has also bundled access to the Vodafone Play app to offer live TV, movies, and shows.
Dish TV quietly reintroduced the lock-in periods for a-la-carte channels as well as add-on packs for its subscribers. The lock-in period is set at 30 days for a-la-carte channels, whereas it depends on the add-on pack duration, starting from 30 days and going up to 360 days. The modify pack section on the Dish TV website and self-care app now clearly shows lock-in period below every channel and pack name. Apart from South BST Promo pack, every add-on pack has a lock-in period. Every paid channel has also got a lock-in period.
Lastly, WhatsApp for Android was this week found testing a dedicated "QR Code shortcut" in the app's beta version 2.19.189, indicating an impending release of a QR code-based contact sharing feature. The feature is still not available for anyone, but it is expected to be coming in the future beta releases, followed by its stable version debut. It will allow the users to scan and share QR codes by tapping the dedicated shortcut for easier contact sharing.
Vivo Z1 Pro, Redmi Note 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy M40, or Realme 3 Pro: Which is the best phone under Rs. 20,000? 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.