Redmi K30 and its launch in China was certainly the biggest news of the week past, though there were other significant happenings as well. Chinese smartphone brand launched its latest mid-range handset in the India - the Vivo V17 - while Samsung finally unveiled its much-leaked next generation of the Galaxy A-series smartphones in the form of the Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71. Of course, no week in the world of personal technology would pass without a WhatsApp update, and we have another bunch of changes this time around. Realme also revealed the Realme X2 will be coming to India on December 17, and HMD Global launched an entry-level smartphone - the Nokia C1. Read on the biggest headlines of the week.
The Redmi K30 was launched this week, at an event in China. Xiaomi's latest mid-range smartphone, it has been made available in 4G and 5G variants. The Redmi K30 Pro wasn't launched alongside by Xiaomi. The biggest highlight of the Redmi K20's successor is its 64-megapixel primary camera on its quad rear camera setup. Both variants of the smartphone run MIUI 11 based on Android 10, and other common specifications include a 4,500mAh battery and a dual front camera that's housed in a hole-punch display.
The 4G variant of the Redmi K30 starts at CNY 1,599 (roughly Rs. 16,100) and goes up to CNY 2,199 (roughly Rs. 22,100) for the top-end option. On the other hand, the 5G variant starts at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,100) and goes up to CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 29,100) for the top-end model. For now, there's no word on when the Redmi K30 will make its way to India, but we can expect to arrive early next year.
The Redmi K30 5G variant is powered by a Snapdragon 765G SoC, the Qualcomm's latest gaming-focused mobile platform, while the Redmi K30 4G variant runs off a Snapdragon 730G SoC. Other specifications include a 6.67-inch full-HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 5-megapixel/ 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 8-megapixel), a dual selfie camera setup (20-megapixel + 2-megapixel), and a 4,500mAh battery (30W fast charging support on the 5G variant and 27W on the 4G variant).
The Vivo V17 was launched in India this week, and it's quite different from the model with the same name that made it to Russia. There are significant dissimilarities between the two models, with the new India variant getting a hole-punch display instead of a waterdrop-shaped notch, as well as a L-shaped layout for the quad camera setup instead of a diamond-shaped one. The Vivo V17 (First Impressions) will go on sale in the country from December 17, via online and offline retailers in the country, apart from the Vivo e-store.
Pre-bookings of the smartphone are now open. The Vivo V17 price in India is set at Rs. 22,990 for the single variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage. Specifications of the Vivo V17 Funtouch OS 9.2 based on Android 9 Pie, a 6.44-inch full-HD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, a quad rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 4,500mAh battery.
After innumerable rumours, Samsung this week launched the next generation of its Galaxy A-series of handsets. The Samsung Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 have been launched in Vietnam, and both of the smartphones feature hole-punch displays (Samsung calls them Infinity-O Displays), quad rear cameras, Android 10, and fast charging support.
The Samsung Galaxy A51 will go on sale from December 27 in Vietnam, and has been priced at VND 7,990,000 (roughly Rs. 24,500) for its lone 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. For now, it's uncertain when the smartphone will reach other markets, though the company has revealed it will be available in in 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB RAM options apart from 64GB and 128GB storage variants as well. For now, the Samsung Galaxy A7 price and availability details have yet to be revealed.
As for specifications, the Samsung Galaxy A51 features a 6.5-inch full-HD+ display, an unnamed octa-core SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, a quad rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 5-megapixel), a 32-megapixel front camera, up to 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging.
The Samsung Galaxy A71 on the other hand bears a 6.7-inch full-HD+ display, an unnamed octa-core SoC, up to 8GB RAM, a quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel + 5-megapixel), a 32-megapixel selfie camera, up to 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 512GB), and a 4,500mAh battery with 25W fast charging support.
Realme X2 was launched in China back in September, a model that had previously been teased to launch as the Realme XT 730G in India. This week, Realme has confirmed that the Realme XT 730G will be launched as the Realme X2 itself in India, with no rebranding. It will be launched in the country on December 17, something the Oppo spin-off brand had previously revealed.
This week, the company also confirmed that the Realme X2 will be available in a ‘Booster Sale', essentially paid (Rs. 1,000) pre-bookings with benefits such as a Rs. 500 discount. Other revelations made this week by the brand include that its first 5G smartphone, the Realme X50 5G, will be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC, and separately, a Realme executive also announced that it will launched before the Chinese Spring Festival – which is celebrated on January 25.
Realme this week also announced that Realme Buds Air truly wireless earphones will be launched in the country alongside the Realme X2, and also teased several of its features over the course of the past 7 days.
Apart from more RAM, the new variant's specifications are identical to the original Vivo U20. These include a 6.53-inch full-HD+ display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, a triple rear camera setup (16-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel), a 16-megapixel front camera, up to 128GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB), and a 5,000mAh battery.
After launching the Nokia 2.3 (First Impressions) budget smartphone last week in Cairo, HMD Global has launched an entry-level smartphone – the Nokia C1 – which is based on the Android Go edition platform. The Nokia mobile brand licensee has yet to reveal the pricing or the availability of the new smartphone.
The Nokia C1 is powered by an unnamed quad-core SoC, features just 1GB of RAM, and is powered by a 2,500mAh battery. Without an notches or hole punches, the smartphone features a 5.45-inch FWVGA+ display, a single 5-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, and 16GB of inbuilt storage that's expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB). The Nokia C1 isn't a 4G-enabled smartphone, unfortunately, and maxes out at 3G. Separately, HMD Global this week started teasing the India launch of the Nokia 2.3 in India.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ started receiving their stable Android 10 updates. The Samsung duo are receiving their updates in Germany, though the rollout in other regions can soon be expected to follow suit.
The Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, ZenFone Max M2, and Asus ZenFone Max M1 – now known as the Asus Max Pro M1, Max M2, and Max M1 in India thanks to litigation over the Zen branding in the country –received price cuts this week. The Asus Max Pro M1 is now priced starting Rs. 7,499 in India for its 3GB+32GB model, while its 4GB+64GB model is now priced at Rs. 8,499, and its and 6GB + 64GB variant is now available at Rs. 11,499.
The Asus Max M2 is now available starting at Rs. 7,499 for its 3GB+32GB model, while its 4GB + 64GB variant is now priced at Rs. 8,999. The Asus Max M1 has received a price cut of Rs. 1,000, and is now priced at Rs. 5,999.
Airtel this week announced the launch of its Wi-Fi calling service in India. The Airtel Wi-Fi Calling service will give let Airtel customers make calls over a Wi-Fi network, and the company touts that users don't need to install a separate app to make a Wi-Fi call. However, at this point, the Airtel Wi-Fi calling is only available in Delhi NCR for Xstream Fiber home broadband subscribers, and only on a limited number of Apple, OnePlus, Samsung, and Xiaomi smartphones.
In related Airtel news, the Airtel Xstream Fiber broadband service is now available with a Rs. 1,000 discount offer for new customers in Bengaluru and Chennai. Moving on to Reliance Jio, the operator has this week revised its Rs. 98 prepaid plan to offer a higher SMS message quota – 300 messages, up from 100 messages. It still offers 2GB of data for its 28-day validity, and access to Jio apps.
Vodafone Idea this week launched two new prepaid plans with unlimited voice calls, up to 2GB of daily data, and 100 SMS messages a day. The Rs. 219 plan has a validity of 28 days, while the Rs. 449 plan has a validity of 56 days.
WhatsApp this week released a new Android beta version, which brought a few changes, as well as a bug fix. With v2.19.366 beta, WhatsApp has fixed a bug that caused app crashes. The Wallpaper option has been moved from Chat settings to the Display section. There are now new skin tones available for six emojis.
Finally, WhatsApp this week also announced it will take legal action against businesses engaged in or assisting others in abusing automated or bulk messaging on its platform.
Redmi Note 8, Redmi 7, Realme 5s, and More: Which are the best phones under Rs. 10,000 in India right now? 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.