Honor 9X and Oppo F15 India launches as well as the Republic Day sales from Amazon and Flipkart dominated the news this week. Both Amazon sale and Flipkart sale will continue next week to offer discounts and offers to the consumers. Additionally, Realme started rolling out Android 10 with Realme UI update for Realme 3 Pro and Samsung announced a price cut for Galaxy A20s. Read on for more on these and other major technology news updates from this week.
Honor, the sub-brand of Huawei, finally brought its Honor 9X smartphone to the Indian market. Although there was a significant gap between the phone's original China launch and India release, the differences between Chinese and Indian models make the wait slightly worthwhile. Honor 9X is already on sale in the country via Flipkart and it has been priced at Rs. 13,999 for the base 4GB + 128GB variant. The higher-end 6GB + 128GB model will set buyers back by Rs. 16,999. It can be purchased in Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue colour options. Just for one day, Honor is offering Rs. 1,000 discount on the Honor 9X price.
Honor 9X is a dual-SIM smartphone and runs Android 9 Pie with the custom EMUI 9.1 skin on top. It packs a 6.59-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2340 pixels) display, HiSilicon Kirin 710F SoC, up to 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage that can further be expanded via a microSD card (up to 512GB). Additionally, there is 4,000mAh battery with 10W charging support, USB Type-C port, fingerprint sensor, and the usual connectivity options.
You will also get a triple rear camera setup that is highlighted by a 48-megapixel main shooter with an f/1.8 aperture and AIS Super Night mode support. It is assisted by an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Selfies and video calls are handled by a 16-megapixel snapper with an f/2.2 lens, housed in a pop-up camera module.
In addition to the Honor 9X, Honor has also launched its Magic Watch 2 and Band 5i smartband in the country. The Honor Band 5i is priced at Rs. 1,999 and is also already on sale via Amazon. On the other hand, Honor Magic Watch 2's 46mm model starts at Rs. 12,999 for the Charcoal Black variant, while the Flax Brown colour option will up for grabs at Rs. 14,999. The larger 42mm model of the Honor Magic Watch 2 is priced at Rs. 11,999 for the Agate Black variant, while buyers will have to shell out Rs. 14,999 for the Sakura Gold version. Same as Band 5i, the smartwatch can also be grabbed via Amazon.
Oppo F15 became the latest smartphone to join the Chinese smartphone maker's India portfolio this week. Targeted at young consumers, the Oppo F15 is being released in just one storage variant that carries a price tag of Rs. 19,990. According to the company, the consumers will be able to buy the phone beginning January 24 via all major smartphone retailers in the country, including e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart. Oppo F15 will be offered in Lightning Black and Unicorn White colour options.
Oppo F15 is a dual-SIM smartphone and runs Android 9 Pie with ColorOS 6.1.2 on top. It features a 6.4-inch full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) AMOLED display with 20:9 aspect ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It is powered by octa-core MediaTek Helio P70 (MT6771V) SoC, paired with Mali G72 MP3 GPU and 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM. There is an in-display fingerprint sensor onboard as well. Additionally, you will get 4000mAh battery with fast charging support, 128GB of UFS 2.1 onboard storage, microSD card slot, USB Type-C, and other usual connectivity options.
On the imaging front, Oppo has included a quad rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel primary shooter with an f/1.79 lens, an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle lens, and two 2-megapixel sensors for capturing portrait and monochrome shots, with f/2.4 lenses. For selfies, the Oppo F15 packs a 16-megapixel selfie camera at the front.
Amazon and Flipkart, two of India's biggest e-retailers, are running their pre-Republic Day sales. The Amazon Great Indian Sale 2020 and Flipkart Republic Day Sale kicked off slightly earlier for Prime and Plus members, respectively, on Saturday and then expanded to everyone today. Both Flipkart and Amazon sales will continue through January 22. These Republic Day sales include offers on mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, wearables, and other consumers electronics, alongside the non-tech stuff. You can check out the best deals in the related articles at the end of this wrap.
In terms of the offers, Amazon Great Indian Sale includes 10 percent instant discount on all eligible products for payments made using SBI credit cards, no-cost EMI options, and a lot more. Some of the great deals that we have spotted include discounted phones like Redmi Note 8 Pro, OnePlus 7 Pro, Honor 20, Samsung Galaxy M30, iPhone XR, and more.
Flipkart Republic Day Sale is offering 10 percent instant discount on ICICI credit card and Kotak debit and credit cards. Additionally, the e-retailer is running offers like buy 3 get extra 10 percent discount or buy 4 and get 15 percent extra discount on select products. Among some popular phone deals, Flipkart sale has listed iPhone XS, Redmi K20, Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 3a, Asus 6Z, and more.
Realme started rolling out the Android 10 with Realme UI update for its Realme 3 Pro smartphone this week. The Realme 3 Pro is among the first Realme phones to get the Android 10 update. As for the changelog, the update brings a design overhaul, optimised Game Space, new wallpapers, improved Smart Sidebar, and camera optimisations among other tweaks. Additionally, the update now allows Realme 3 Pro users to share files with Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi phones via the Realme Share feature. This cross-brand file sharing feature is now live on certain Xiaomi phones and Oppo phones running Android 10-based ColorOS 7, and will soon go live on Vivo phones as well.
Realme 3 Pro Android 10 update carries the build number RMX1851EX_11_C.01 and is now being rolled out in a staged manner. You will automatically receive a notification on your phone when the update is ready for you, however you can also check for the update manually by going to the software update section in the Settings app.
In other news, Realme 5i is no longer being sold via flash sales and can be purchased anytime via Flipkart or Realme's own online store. The Realme 5i is only offered in a single variant that comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It carries a price tag of Rs. 8,999. You can purchase it in Forest Green or Aqua Blue colour options. Realme 5i features 6.52-inch HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, quad rear cameras, and 5,000mAh battery.
In other smartphone news, three phone received a price cut this week – Samsung Galaxy A20s, Vivo Z1 Pro and Vivo Z1X. Talking about Galaxy A20s first, Samsung Galaxy A20s 3GB RAM + 323GB storage option is now down to Rs. 10,999 in India. The original price of the model was Rs. 11,999. Samsung has not revised the price of 4GB RAM+ 64GB storage variant. Samsung Galaxy A20s runs on Android 9 Pie and features a 6.5-inch HD+ Infinity-V display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC, and 4,000mAh battery.
In terms of Vivo phones, Vivo Z1 Pro price in India has been slashed to Rs. 12,990 for the base 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant. Vivo Z1 Pro 6GB RAM + 64GB storage model has also received a price cut of Rs. 1,000 and is available at Rs. 13,990, down from Rs. 14,990. On the other hand, Vivo Z1x price in India has been dropped to as low as Rs. 14,990 for the 4GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. It was previously available at Rs. 15,990. The Vivo Z1x 6GB RAM + 128GB storage option has also got a price cut and is available at 16,990, down from Rs. 17,990.
As per a part of its quarterly results, Reliance revealed this week that Jio now has 370 million subscribers. The company has also revealed that it added 37.1 million subscribers in the quarter ending December 31. Jio also notes that it added 135.7 million subscribers in the entire previous year. Overall, year-over-year (YoY), Reliance Jio saw a 32.1 percent growth in subscribers in the quarter. In other titbits, the company noted that Jio's total wireless data traffic in the period was 12.08 billion gigabytes (GB), up from 12.02 billion GB in the previous quarter, and a 39.9 percent growth YoY, based on an average data consumption per user per month of 11.1GB, down from 11.7GB in the previous quarter.
Vodafone has introduced two new prepaid plans at Rs. 99 and Rs. 555. Both new prepaid plans are currently limited to select circles and come bundled with benefits such as unlimited voice calls and high-speed data allocation along with free subscription to services such as Zee5. While the Rs. 99 Vodafone prepaid plan is believed to be a tweaked version of its earlier Rs. 149 plan, the Rs. 555 prepaid plan appears to be an update to the previously offered Rs. 598 option.
State-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) revised three of its prepaid recharge plans this week. The Rs. 74, Rs. 75, and Rs. 153 BSNL prepaid plans now come with reduced validity. The plans earlier used to have a tariff validity of 180 days. All three prepaid recharge plans will now last just 90 days. Although BSNL has reduced the validity, the benefits of each plan remain unchanged.
In other news, WhatsApp released a couple of beta version updates on Android this week – version 2.20.8 and 2.20.10. These updates include only one user-facing change – sticker pack updates, however they also indicate the Facebook-owned chat service has made improvements in the dark theme. Additionally, WhatsApp seems to be working on include support for animated stickers, something that is missing right now.
OnePlus officially announced its 120Hz Fluid Display technology this week that will include a dedicated MEMC motion compensation chip and come with a touch sampling rate. The new OnePlus Fluid Display technology will also bring 10-bit HDR support and has 4096-level of automatic brightness control through an all-new ambient sensor. The 120Hz Fluid Display technology is backed by an RGB colour temperature sensor that has 0.8 Just Noticeable Colour Difference (JNCD) rating. This is touted to be lesser than the JNCD rating available for the display of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Apart from Honor 9X, Magic Watch 2, and Band 5i, Honor also launched its Honor Sport and Honor Sport Pro Bluetooth headphones in India this week. Honor Sport Bluetooth headphones have been priced at Rs. 1,999, and will be offered in Aurora Blue, Flame Red, and Midnight Black colour options. On the other hand, Honor Sport Pro Bluetooth headphones carry a price tag of Rs. 3,999 and will be up for grabs in Phantom Red, Phantom Grey, and Phantom Purple colour options. There is no word on a sale date right now.
Additionally, in an conversation with Gadgets 360, Honor India President Charles Peng revealed that the company will bring its MagicBook family of Windows 10 laptops as well as Honor Vision smart TV to India. The laptops as well as the smart TV are expected to arrive in Q1 or Q2 this year. There is no word on the India pricing of any of the devices right now.