Samsung Galaxy S20 price announcement, Mi 10 launch, and MWC Barcelona 2020 cancellation were some of the biggest tech news stories that dominated this week. Additionally, Xiaomi introduced its Redmi 8A Dual smartphone and increased the Redmi Note 8 price in India. Further, iQoo, which is a Vivo sub-brand in China, and Oppo revealed the launch dates for their new phones in the country. Read on for more on these and other major tech happenings of this week.
Days after Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy S20 series at an event in San Francisco, the South Korean tech giant has announced the India pricing and sale date for the new phones. According to a press note shared by the company on Saturday, Samsung Galaxy S20 series pre-bookings are now open in the country and the interested consumers can order the phones right now. The company is only taking orders for 128GB models of the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra. So, it is unclear if or when it plans to release other storage variants in the country.
Coming to the pricing, Samsung Galaxy S20 price in India is set at Rs. 66,999, while the Galaxy S20+ will cost Rs. 73,999, and the Galaxy S20 Ultra is priced at Rs. 92,999. As mentioned earlier, these are the prices for the 128GB models of the Samsung Galaxy S20-series phones. Samsung says, the pre-booking consumers will be able to receive their orders starting March 6.
In terms of the specifications, Samsung Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20+, and Galaxy S20 Ultra, all three phones run Android 10 with One UI on top and feature Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Display with 120Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy S20 has a 6.2-inch QHD+ (1440x3200 pixels) screen, whereas the Galaxy S20+ comes with 6.7-inch QHD+ screen and the Galaxy S20 Ultra packs a 6.9-inch QHD+ screen. The Indian variants of the Samsung phones are likely powered by Exynos 990 SoC and support just 4G LTE connectivity.
For the imaging needs, the Samsung Galaxy S20 has a triple rear camera setup that houses a 12-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera. The Galaxy S20+, on the other hand, packs an additional DepthVision sensor -- apart from the three cameras identical to what are available on the Galaxy S20. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra houses a quad rear camera setup with a 108-megapixel wide-angle shooter, 48-megapixel telephoto shooter, 12-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and a DepthVision camera. For selfies, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ include a 10-megapixel selfie camera, whereas Galaxy S20 Ultra comes with a 40-megapixel selfie camera.
There is no word on when Galaxy Z Flip foldable phone, which was unveiled alongside the Galaxy S20 series this week, will be released in India or what will its price tag. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is second foldable phone of the company and it sports a clamshell design similar to the Motorola Razr (2019). Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has been priced at $1,380 (roughly Rs. 98,400) in the US and it is already on sale in limited quantities in select markets.
After weeks of teasers and leaks, Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 10 smartphone pair was unveiled during an online presentation this week. Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro share a number of specifications but there are a lot of differences as well. The Mi 10 series price starts at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,300) in China. There is no word on India launch right now but Xiaomi India chief Manu Kumar Jain did tease Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro India release, however warned the consumers that the India prices won't be in line with the Chinese pricing.
In terms of the specifications, both Xiaomi Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro run on MIUI 11, based on Android 10, and are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC. The phones feature a hole-punch design with a 6.67-inch AMOLED Curved full-HD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate. Additionally, you will get in-screen fingerprint sensor, IR blaster, 5G support, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC on both phones.
Other specifications of the Mi 10 include 108-megapixel main camera with 8K video recording support, 13-megapixel wide-angle shooter, and a pair of 2-megapixel cameras. The Mi 10 comes equipped with a 4,780mAh battery that supports 30W wired charging and 30W wireless charging. The phone also supports 10W reverse wireless charging. Mi 10 Pro, on the other hand, features 108-megapixel main camera, 20-megapixel wide-angle camera, 12-megapixel camera, and 8-megapixel telephoto shooter. The Mi 10 Pro packs 4,500mAh battery that supports 50W wired fast charging, 30W wireless fast charging, and 10W reverse wireless charging.
Following the decision of a number of major mobile phone companies and telecom giants to pull out of this month's MWC Barcelona trade fair over coronavirus fears, the GSM Association (GSMA) decided to cancel the whole event. Because of the cancellation, some smartphone makers have postponed their launch events that were supposed to take place one or two days ahead of the MWC 2020's official public opening, while others are hosting online-launches directly from Barcelona.
MWC 2020 cancellation will have not only impact Barcelona's economy but will also lead to monetary losses for companies that were ready to showcase their wares at the event and were planning for weeks. Smaller companies will be impacted the most as such trade fairs give them an opportunity to highlight their products in front of global media and other attendees. GSMA's decision to cancel hasn't gone well with everyone as many are calling it unnecessary. Barcelona mayor and Spanish health authorities also said there was no reason to call off MWC. Additionally, World Health Organisation (WHO) noted that there is no reason to cancel large gatherings right now.
The panic wasn't limited to just MWC 2020, Facebook also cancelled a global marketing event that was supposed to take place in San Francisco. The conference was scheduled to take place next month. Unlike MWC that was expected to host around 100,000 people, Facebook's event would have only seen around 5,000 attendees.
iQoo, which is Vivo's sub-brand in China, officially made its India debut earlier this month. The brand insists that it is a separate legal entity in India and is not a Vivo sub-brand. Whatever the case, iQoo is getting ready to unveil its first phone in the country. Set to be called iQoo 3, the phone will be launched on February 25. From what we know so far, it is going to be a flagship phone. Alongside India, iQoo 3 is also being launched in China on February 25.
Recent teasers indicated that the iQoo 3 will come with a quad rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary camera sensor. The phone is also teased to pack UFS 3.1 storage. Additionally, it is expected that the phone will support 55W fast charging and sports a hole-punch design. The brand has also teased the phone's long lasting battery and enhanced cameras.
Chinese smartphone maker Oppo is all set to launch its Reno 3 Pro smartphone in India on March 2. The Reno 3 Pro model being released in India is going to be different from the Reno 3 Pro 5G released in China. One of the key differences that we already know is the presence of a dual selfie shooter on the front in dual hole-punch design. One of the front shooter is going to house a 44-megapixel image sensor, Oppo has teased. Additionally, the Reno 3 Pro will only support 4G LTE connectivity in India, unlike the China model.
Thanks to teaser images, we already know that there are going to be four rear cameras, however the details of the cameras are unclear. Other specifications of the phone are also a mystery right now but we can expect Snapdragon 700 or 800-series SoC, and around 6 to 8GB of RAM, and over 4,000mAh battery. We will know more when Oppo officially unveil the phone next month.
Xiaomi was quite busy this week and the company not only launched the Mi 10 series in China. It also introduced the budget Redmi 8A Dual phone in India and increased the price of Redmi Note 8. Talking about the Redmi 8A Dual first, the budget phone has been priced at Rs. 6,499 for the 2GB RAM + 32GB storage variant, while its 3GB RAM + 32GB storage option is priced at Rs. 6,999. The first sale for the phone has been scheduled for February 18.
The dual-SIM (Nano) Redmi 8A Dual runs MIUI 11, based on Android 9 Pie, and features a 6.22-inch HD+ (720x1520 pixels) display. Under the hood, the smartphone has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC, paired with up to 3GB of RAM. The Redmi 8A Dual has the dual rear camera setup as the USP. The camera setup includes a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Additionally, there is 8-megapixel selfie shooter on the phone and a 5,000mAh battery.
Coming to Redmi Note 8 whose 4GB RAM model got a price hike this week. Xiaomi blamed the supply issues because of coronavirus outbreak in China as the reason for the price increase. Earlier, the phone's 4GB + 64GB model used to sell at Rs. 9,999, now it is available at Rs. 10,499. The 6GB RAM version continues to retail at Rs. 12,999.
In telecom news this week, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) expanded the availability of its Bharat AirFibre service to Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Haryana, and Telangana. The state-owned telco is in plans to bring Bharat AirFibre service across all of its telecom circles in the near future. It was initially rolled out in Veenavanka of Telangana's Karimnagar district in January.
Additionally, BSNL extended the validity of its Rs. 999 prepaid recharge plan. With the latest development, the Rs. 999 BSNL prepaid plan is valid for 270 days. This shows an increase over the existing 240 days validity. The update is applicable in the Chennai and Tamil Nadu circles for a limited period. The Rs. 999 BSNL prepaid recharge plan offers 250 minutes of voice calls throughout the validity -- alongside access to personalised ringback tones (PRBT) for 60 days. It, however, doesn't include any high-speed data benefits.
Vodafone launched a new Rs. 499 prepaid recharge this week that comes with a validity of 70 days. With the launch of the new Rs. 499 prepaid plan, the telco has also increased the validity of its existing Rs. 555 prepaid plan to as many as 77 days. The Rs. 555 Vodafone prepaid plan previously offered 70 days validity and same benefits as the Rs. 499 plan. The new prepaid plan is available for both Vodafone and Idea Cellular subscribers, though it is initially limited to select circles. The Rs. 499 prepaid recharge plan brings unlimited local, STD, and roaming calls, along with 1.5GB high-speed data per day for 70 days. The plan also offers 100 local and national SMS messages on a daily basis.
In other news, Honor finally started selling the 42mm model of its Magic Watch 2 smartwatch. It was originally supposed to go on sale last month, however, was delayed for unknown reasons. The Honor Magic Watch 2 42mm model carries a price tag of Rs. 11,999 and it can be ordered via Amazon. The Honor Magic Watch 2 sports a stainless steel build and features a 1.2-inch 390x390 pixels AMOLED display on the 42mm variant.
Lastly, Flipkart has announced a new Mobiles Bonanza Sale for next week that will includes discounts on popular smartphones such as iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3a, Asus 6Z, and more. The sale will kicks tomorrow and will continue through February 21. Apart from price discounts on various mobile phones, the e-commerce portal will also offer a 10 percent instant discount for customers using Axis Bank credit and debit cards during the sale period.
Is Realme C3 price likely to usher in a budget smartphone revolution? 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.