Samsung Galaxy M30s was launched in India on Wednesday, arguably the most notable smartphone launch on the week. The successor to the Samsung M30 was launched alongside the Galaxy M10s in India. Another big piece of news was the iPhone 11 series going up for pre-orders in the country, and various discounts being offered with them. Meanwhile, there were three other smartphone launches in India this week, namely the Vivo V17 Pro, the Nokia 7.2, and the Moto E6s, each of which targets a different price segment in the market. Search giant Google also made a bunch of announcements at its Google for India event. Read on for more details about these and other top news stories of the week.
As we mentioned, Samsung India this week launched the successors to the Galaxy M30 and Galaxy M10 – called the Galaxy M30s and Galaxy M10s respectively. To recall, the Galaxy M-series was described as an India-first series when it was launched in the beginning of this year, so it comes as no surprise that these models were first unveiled in India. Highlights of the two new smartphones include multi rear camera setups, large batteries, and Super AMOLED displays.
The Samsung Galaxy M30s price in India starts at Rs. 13,999 – which gets you the base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. At Rs. 16,999, you get the 6GB RAM model with 128GB of inbuilt storage. The smartphone will go on sale from September 29 via Amazon India and the Samsung e-shop. The date coincides with the start of Amazon's Great Indian Festival Sale.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy M10s is priced at Rs. 8,999 for its lone variant with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. It too goes on sale in the country on September 29, once again via Amazon India and the Samsung e-shop. Samsung elaborated that the prices announced by it for both phones are in fact introductory prices for the festive season, and we can expect to see a revision once the period ends.
The Samsung Galaxy M30s runs Android 9.0 Pie with the company's One UI skin atop. Other specifications include a 6.4-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display, an octa-core Exynos 9611 SoC, up to 6GB of RAM, a triple rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 5-megapixel), a 16-megapixel front camera, up to 128GB of storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), and a massive 6,000mAh battery that's supported by 15W fast charging.
As for the Samsung Galaxy M10s specifications, it too runs Android 9.0 Pie-based One UI, and features a 6.4-inch HD+ Super AMOLED display, an octa-core Exynos 7884B SoC, 3GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup (13-megapixel + 5-megapixel), an 8-megapixel front camera, 32GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), and a 4,000mAh battery that is also supported by 15W fast charging.
The iPhone 11 series was unveiled by Apple at its Cupertino headquarters earlier this month, with the company then announcing the iPhone 11 (Review), iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max (Review) would go on sale in India on September 27. The Apple Watch Series 5, which was launched alongside, will also go on sale in the country on the same day. This week, pre-orders for all three iPhone models and the new Apple smartwatch began in India on September 20 – which also happens to be the date the devices went on sale in the first wave of launch countries.
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max are now up for pre-orders via Airtel, Amazon India, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall, apart from via offline retailers in the country. The iPhone 11 64GB price in India is Rs. 64,900, the 128GB model is priced at Rs. 69,900, while the 256GB model is priced at Rs. 79,900. The iPhone 11 Pro price in India starts from Rs. 99,900 for the 64GB model, going up to Rs. 1,13,900 for the 256GB model, and Rs. 1,31,900 for the 512GB model .The iPhone 11 Pro Max price starts at Rs. 1,09,900 for the 64GB model, going up to Rs. 1,23,900 for the 256GB model, and Rs. 1,41,900 for the 512GB model.
In terms of pre-order offers, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models get a Rs. 6,000 instant discount when purchased using HDFC Bank credit and debit cards, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max get Rs. 7,000 discount on the same cards. The Apple Watch Series 5 gets a Rs. 4,000 instant discount on the same cards. At offline stores, the same offers apply – except instead of instant discount pre-order customers will get cashbacks of the same amounts. Notably, HDFC is running an additional offer for select credit cards where those who pre-order also get 10x reward points, which results in the iPhone 11 64GB model being available at an effective price of just Rs. 39,300.
As for the Apple Watch Series 5 pricing, the 40mm GPS variant is priced starting at Rs. 40,900, while the 44mm GPS model is priced at starting Rs. 43,900. As for the GPS+Cellular models, the 40mm variant is priced starting at Rs. 49,900 while the 44mm variant is priced starting at Rs. 52,900. This week also saw the release of watchOS 6, and it has been released for the Apple Watch Series 3 and Series 4 models, while the older Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 models will only get their updates this fall.
Alongside watchOS 6, Apple also released the iOS 13 operating system for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and the seventh-generation iPod touch. There are plenty of new features that iOS 13 brings, such as system-wide dark mode, a performance boost, new editing tools in the Photos app, new privacy features, a new app to find missing devices and track loved ones, as well as a new voice for Siri, to name a few.
However, all was not well on the iOS 13 front – at least for gamers. PUBG Mobile and Fortnite players are complaining of the operating system bringing up its new enhanced text editing toolbar in-game. The toolbar is meant to be triggered by a three-finger tap-and-hold gesture – but not while playing a game. iOS 13.1, which will release nearly a week earlier than previously announced on September 24, should bring a fix for the issue, those on the public beta reveal.
This week saw the launch of a new Vivo smartphone in India, in the company's V-series. The Vivo V17 Pro is the Chinese smartphone manufacturer's new quad camera offering in the country, though its biggest highlights are in fact its dual pop-up selfie cameras. Just like other recent V-series offerings, the Vivo V17 Pro is priced in the mid-range segment, and also offers a large battery with fast charging tech as one of its selling points.
The Vivo V17 Pro price in India is set at Rs. 29,990. It is available in a single 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage variant in India, and will go on sale in the country from September 27 via online stores – namely, Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Tata CliQ, and the Vivo e-shop. Vivo has also detailed launch offers, including bundled data and assured buy back plans from Vodafone Idea. Pre-orders for the Vivo V17 Pro are now live.
Specifications of the Vivo V17 Pro include Android 9 Pie-based Funtouch OS 9.1, a 6.44-inch full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) Ultra FullView Super AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM, a quad rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 13-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a dual pop-up selfie camera setup (32-megapixel + 8-megapixel), 128GB of inbuilt storage, the regular connectivity options including USB Type-C, as well as a 4,100mAh battery 18W Dual-Engine fast charging.
HMD Global this week began teasing the India launch of the Nokia 7.2, and soon after, launched the smartphone in the country. To recall, the Nokia 7.2 was first unveiled at HMD Global's first IFA appearance ever, which was at IFA 2019 earlier this month.
The Nokia 7.2 has been launched in India in two variants - 4GB + 64GB at Rs. 18,599, 6GB + 64GB at Rs. 19,599. It will go on sale in the country via Flipkart, the Nokia online store, as well as offline stores, from Monday, September 23. Launch offers of the smartphone include 10 percent cashback for HDFC Bank cards at offline stores. There is a Jio bundled data offer as well, apart from Jio cashback and other benefits.
Nokia 7.2 specifications include Android 9.0 Pie, a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, up to 6GB of RAM, a triple rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 5-megapixel), a 20-megapixel front camera, 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), the standard bunch of connectivity options, and a 3,500mAh battery.
Moto E6s launched in India
The Moto E6s was launched in India this week, which is essentially a rebranded version of the Moto E6 Plus that was launched earlier this this month. Only a single variant of the Moto E6s has been launched in India – 4GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage – priced at Rs. 7,999. Like the Nokia 7.2, the smartphone will also go on sale on Monday via Flipkart. Launch offers include Rs. 2,200 Jio cashback and Cleartrip vouchers worth Rs. 3,000.
Moto E6s specifications include Android Pie, a 6.1-inch HD+ (720x1560 pixels) display, an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, 4GB of RAM, a dual rear camera setup (13-megapixel + 2-megapixel), an 8-megapixel selfie camera, 64GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), the standard bunch of connectivity options, and a 3,000mAh battery with 10W fast charging tech.
A new, higher-specced version of the Redmi K20 Pro was launched in China this week, featuring up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The new variant is called the Redmi K20 Pro Premium Edition or Exclusive Edition. For now, Xiaomi is staying mum on availability in other countries, and there is no indication of whether the smartphone version will ever be launched in India.
Another Xiaomi smartphone was launched this week – the Mi 9 Lite – which in fact happens to be rebranded version of the Mi CC9 model that had been launched in China earlier this year. It is identical in terms of specifications to that model.
Fellow Chinese smartphone brand Honor this week unveiled a new budget smartphone, the Honor Play 3e. The smartphone has been launched in China, and is an entry-level device with basic specifications such as a single rear camera setup and a MediaTek Helio P22 SoC.
Pixel 4 launch date teased
Google this week finally gave an indication of when it will be launching its much-leaked Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones. The search giant began sending invites for a launch event in New York on October 15. Apart from the two smartphones, which have seen numerous leaks in the past few months, a Pixelbook 2 and new Nest Hub are also anticipated to be launched at the event.
Redmi 8A, Asus ROG Phone 2 India launch teased for next week
The upcoming week has two significant launches in India – Xiaomi's latest, yet-to-unveiled budget smartphone, and the latest gaming smartphone from Asus. The first Xiaomi Redmi 8A teasers began circulating this week, with the company first revealing the launch date of September 25 and teasing a 5,000mAh battery as well as a waterdrop-shaped display notch, before sharing it would be available in India via Flipkart and giving us an idea of its design. We can expect the new budget series to be priced similarly to previous Redmi A-series models, such as the Redmi 7A and Redmi 6A, in the sub-Rs. 10,000 price bracket.
The Asus ROG Phone 2 was originally unveiled in July, and was launched in China shortly after. The gaming smartphone's biggest highlight is the presence of the Snapdragon 855+ SoC apart from up to 12GB of RAM and a 120Hz display. We can expect the smartphone's price in India to be similar to its China price, which starts from CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 35,000).
The Realme X2, which is pretty much confirmed to be the China variant of the Realme XT 730G that was recently previewed in India, will be launching on September 24, the company revealed this week. It has been teasing specifications of the smartphone since first revealing its launch date. Officially unveiled specifications include the Snapdragon 730G SoC, a 64-megapixel sensor in its quad rear camera setup, and a 30W VOOC 4.0 Flash Charge technology. It later revealed the presence of a 4,000mAh battery.
Based on specifications revealed of the Realme XT 730G at the Realme XT (Review) launch, the Realme X2 can be expected to also feature a Super AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 32-megapixel selfie camera. Meanwhile, a TENAA listing of a Realme smartphone that is thought to be of the Realme XT 730G (and the Realme X2), tips specifications such as a 32-megapixel selfie camera, a 6.4-inch full-HD+ display, ColorOS 6.0 based on Android 6.0, and up to 8GB of RAM.
This week gone by saw Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus reveal more details about the upcoming OnePlus 7T smartphone, while also teasing more details about the OnePlus TV – technically the first foray by the company outside the mobile space.
Let's start with the OnePlus 7T – this week, OnePlus finally officially confirmed the launch date to be September 26, and teased that the OnePlus TV would be launched alongside. The smartphone's renders were also shown off by the company, revealing its back and side panels. The renders reveal a matte-finish gradient blue design, as well as triple camera setup in a novel circular camera module.
Moving onto the OnePlus TV, the company unveiled numerous details about the Android TV-based television. Thanks to an Alexa Skills page listing, we know that the OnePlus TV will support Amazon Alexa voice commands, presumably via the voice-enabled remote as well as Alexa-enabled devices. Next, it detailed some smartphone integration features, such as text input, automatic volume adjustment for incoming calls, and the ability to quickly multitask between apps. Finally, the company also showed off the bottom stand design.
Mi Smart Living 2020 launches
Xiaomi India this week held its Smarter Living 2020 event in Bengaluru, where it launched new televisions, a water purifier, a motion-activated light, as well as the much awaited Mi Band 4 – rebranded as the Mi Smart Band 4 for India.
Let's start with the televisions – Xiaomi launched the Mi TV 4X 65-inch comes at Rs. 54,999 (special introductory price), the Mi TV 4X 43-inch at Rs. 24,999, the Mi TV 4A 40-inch at Rs. 17,999, and the Mi TV 4X 50-inch at Rs. 29,999. Next up, the Mi Smart Water Purifier was launched at Rs. 11,999, and the Mi Motion Activated Night Light 2 has gone up for crowdfunding at Rs. 500. The Mi Band 4 was launched as the Mi Smart Band 4 at Rs. 2,299.
BSNL mobile and broadband plans, TRAI subscription report, and other telecom stories
In the world of telecom, state-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) this week offered a limited time period discount for its Rs. 899 prepaid recharge – which will be available at Rs. 799 in select circles until September 23. BSNL also reintroduced its Rs. 777 Bharat Fiber broadband plan, that offers speeds up to 50Mbps with 500GB of data, a move that appears to be a response to the Jio Fiber commercial rollout earlier this month.
ACT Fibernet this week introduced new gaming based broadband plans, starting from Rs. 500 + taxes and going up to Rs. 2,000 + taxes. Features like Data Boost, In-Game Rewards, Partner Benefits, and Speed on Demand are bundled with the plans, to make them even more attractive to gamers. In the world of DTH, Tata Sky this week was reported to be providing a second HD set-top box at a discounted price of Rs. 1,199 for multi-TV users.
The government this week announced a new Web portal and helpline through which mobile phone users in India will be able to report and tracking missing or stolen devices.
Speaking of the government, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also published its telecom subscription report for the month ending July 31. The regulator found that only Jio and BSNL added subscribers this month, while all other operators lost money. This has pretty much been the trend for the past few months in the country, and doesn't come as a surprise.
At its Google for India event held in New Delhi this week, Google announced several new features for the country. This included Google Lens and the Google Bolo app getting support for additional Indic languages; numerous Google Assistant-related announcements including a new phone line that doesn't require the Internet to access the voice assistant; Google Pay changes and the launch of the Spot and Spot-based Jobs platform; the opening of a new AI research lab in India called Google Research India, and finally, new Indic language support for Google Search and an expansion of its Google Station public Wi-Fi access initiative into more villages in the country.