Vivo S1 Pro launch date reveal, Oppo Reno 3 series launch, the news of Redmi Note 8 duo going on open sale in India were the biggest tech stories in a week that was pretty light on news. Also, in our last weekend wrap of this year, we talk about Vivo Y11 (2019) launch in India, Realme's 2020 device plans, and Jio 2020 Happy New Year Offer. We have also published over a dozen features this week taking a look at the happening in the world of tech in 2019 and this decade. The year-enders and decade-enders aside, read on for more on what happened this week in tech.
Vivo has revealed that it will launch the Vivo S1 Pro next week in the country. Amazon India also published a teaser page for the smartphone on its platform that offers a few details about the phone, in turn indicating that we are going to see the same Vivo S1 Pro variant that was released in Philippines and not the one that was launched in the company's home market of China. Part of the company's style-focussed S-series, the S1 Pro will be the second phone in the lineup in the country.
If Vivo doesn't change anything from the Vivo S1 Pro model available in Philippines, we can expect to see a design with a waterdrop-style notch on the front and a diamond-shared camera module on the back. There will also be gradient-finish on the back. Vivo has confirmed at least the back design and camera setup in its teasers. On the specifications front, Vivo S1 Pro will include Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS 9.2, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, and 6.38-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED display.
Additionally, the phone features a quad rear camera setup that houses a 48-megapixel primary shooter, an 8-megapixel secondary ultra-wide-angle camera, and two 2-megapixel sensors for depth sensing and macro photography. For selfies, the Vivo S1 Pro comes with a 32-megapixel front shooter. The Vivo S1 Pro India price is a mystery at this point, however, if the Philippines price of the phone - PHP 15,999 (roughly Rs. 22,500) - is any indication, we can expect it to retail around Rs. 22,000 in the country.
Oppo, which shares the same parent company as Vivo, unveiled its new Reno 3 smartphone lineup in China this week. The lineup includes two new phones – Reno 3 and Reno 3 Pro – as well as a special edition of Reno 3 Pro, called Pantone Edition. In addition to the new phones, the company also introduced its Enco Free true wireless earbuds.
Talking about the Oppo Reno 3 Pro first, it has got a starting price of CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,000) for the 8GB + 128GB model, whereas the phone's top-end 12GB + 256GB configuration will cost buyers CNY 4,499 (roughly Rs. 45,000). It runs Android 10, with ColorOS 7 on top, and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC. Additionally, Oppo has included a 6.5-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) curved AMOLED display, quad rear cameras, a 32-megapixel selfie shooter, and 4,025mAh battery with VOOC Flash Charge 4.0 support.
Oppo Reno 3, on the other hand, is priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 40,000) for the 8GB + 128GB model, while the top-end 12GB + 256GB configuration will set buyers back by CNY 4,499 (roughly Rs. 45,000). It also runs on Android 10, with ColorOS 7 on top. Additionally, the company has packed MediaTek Dimensity 1000L 5G SoC, 6.4-inch full-HD+ display, quad rear cameras, 32-megapixel selfie shooter, and 4,025mAh battery with VOOC 4.0 fast charging support.
After weeks of flash sales, Xiaomi has finally started selling the Redmi Note 8, Redmi Note 8 Pro, and Redmi 8 smartphones 24x7 in the country. The Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro can be purchased via Amazon, Mi.com, Mi Home stores, and other Mi partner retail outlets, whereas Redmi 8 is being sold via Flipkart and Xiaomi's other usual selling posts. To recap the pricing, Redmi Note 8 price in India is set at Rs. 9,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant, whereas its 6GB + 128GB option is priced at Rs. 12,999. Redmi Note 8 Pro price in India, on the other hand, starts at Rs. 14,999 for the 6GB + 64GB option. The handset also comes in the 6GB + 128GB variant at Rs. 15,999 and the top-end 8GB + 128GB version at Rs. 17,999.
Lastly, the Redmi 8 is priced at Rs. 7,999 for the base 3GB + 32GB variant, whereas its 4GB + 64GB option carries a price tag of Rs. 8,999. However, Xiaomi is currently only offering the 4GB + 64GB model at an introductory price of Rs. 7,999 for the first five million Redmi 8 unit sales.
Coming to the specifications, all three phones run Android 9 with MIUI 10 on top and have received the MIUI 11 update. Redmi Note 8 has a 6.39-inch full-HD+ display, whereas Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi 8 come with 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2340 pixels) HDR display and 6.22-inch HD+ (720x1520 pixels) display, respectively. Both Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro also packs quad rear cameras, while Redmi 8 has got a dual camera setup.
In other Vivo news, the company launched its Y11 (2019) phone in the country. It is budget Android phone and carries a price tag of Rs. 8,990 for the sole 3GB + 32GB option. It is now on sale via all major online and offline retailers. Vivo Y11 (2019) specifications include Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS 9, 6.35-inch HD+ (720x1544 pixels) LCD screen, and octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC.
Additionally, there is a dual rear camera setup on the Vivo Y11 (2019) and an 8-megapixel selfie camera on the front. The Vivo phone also packs a 5,000mAh battery, rear fingerprint sensor, Micro-USB port, and 3.5mm audio jack. The Vivo Y11 (2019) is being offered in Mineral Blue and Agate Red colour options.
Samsung introduced a new 128GB model of its Galaxy A30s smartphone in India this week. It carries a price tag of Rs. 15,999 and will soon be put on sale. It joins the 64GB storage model of the phone that also saw a price cut. The 64GB models was previously retailing at Rs. 15,999, but is now available at Rs. 14,999, down Rs. 1,000. To recall, Samsung Galaxy A30s specifications include 6.4-inch HD+ (720x1560 pixels) Infinity-V Super AMOLED display, octa-core Exynos 7904 SoC, 4GB of RAM.
The phone also packs three cameras on the back, including a 25-megapixel primary shooter with f/1.7 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. On the front, Samsung Galaxy A30s houses a 16-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera. The Samsung Galaxy A30s also comes with in-display fingerprint sensor, 4,000mAh battery with 15W fast charging support, and NFC.
In various Realme related developments this week, the company's India CEO Madhav Sheth revealed that the company will bring a 6GB + 64GB model of the Realme X2 Pro in the country. There is no launch date right now but we do know that it will carry a price tag of RS. 27,999. Realme already sells Realme X2 Pro in 8GB + 128GB and 12GB + 256GB models. Additionally, Sheth teased an interview that the company is working on a 108-megapixel camera phone as well as a fitness band, both of which are expected to arrive next year.
Separately, Realme is preparing to launch its first 5G phone – Realme X50 5G – in its home market next month. The company revealed that the phone will be launched on January 7. Thanks to various teasers we already know that Realme X50 5G will come with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G SoC and support VOOC 4.0 Flash Charge technology. Additionally, it will feature a side fingerprint sensor, quad rear camera setup, dual hole-punch display, and more.
In telecom news, Jio announced its 2020 Happy New Year offer this week. The offer for Jio prepaid subscribers includes unlimited voice calls, 1.5GB high-speed data per day, 100 SMS messages per day, and access to Jio apps such as JioTV, JioCinema, and JioNews, all with a 365 days validity. This special promotional recharge plan will cost Rs. 2,020. Prospective Jio phone customers are also getting a Jio Phone 2020 Happy New Year offer that includes a Jio Phone worth Rs. 1,500, unlimited voice calling benefits, 0.5GB daily high-speed data, SMS messages, and access to Jio apps.
BSNL unveiled a Christmas and New Year offer of its own for the Rs. 1,999 prepaid plan. During the offer period, the Rs. 1,999 plan will come with 425 days of validity, instead of 365 days, and offer 3GB of high-speed data per day, unlimited voice calls to any network, and 100 SMS messages per day. BSNL is also providing BSNL Tunes and BSNL TV subscription free for 365 days with the pack. The offer will end on January 31 next year.
After introducing its Wi-Fi calling feature in Delhi NCR, Airtel has expanded it to Mumbai, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Additionally, the company started supporting OnePlus 6, OnePlus 6T, Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy M20 smartphones. To remind you, Wi-Fi calling feature allows the Airtel subscribers place calls over Wi-Fi networks in areas with poor connectivity. It is a quite useful feature, however the company is currently only supporting Wi-Fi calling over its own broadband service.
Airtel also revised its Rs. 558 prepaid recharge this week. The plan is now being offered with reduced validity of 56 days, down 82 days earlier. The change has been made a part of Airtel's recent revision of its entire prepaid recharge portfolio. The Rs. 558 prepaid recharge offers truly unlimited voice calls, 3GB high-speed data per day, and 100 SMS per day. Additional benefits of the plan include free four week course at Shaw Academy that allows users to learn anything from photography to music.
Dish TV has introduced three new Bangla packs for its Bengalis subscribers. The new packs include Sampurna Bangla, Swagat Bangla, and Swagat Cricket Bangla. These come in both SD and HD versions and are available starting at Rs. 169. Dish TV offers as many as 234 channels through the new combo packs.
In gaming news, Sony has reportedly reduced the price of its PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console. It can currently be purchased at Rs. 27,990. The price cut on the PS4 Slim 1TB model is part of a limited time offer, which started on December 24 and ends on February 29 next year. You can find it even cheaper on some e-retailers. At this price, you will likely also get some free games as a combo deal.
Lastly, Samsung introduced its Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G smartwatch in India this week. The 4G model comes with eSIM support, allowing consumers place calls or access Internet directly on the smartwatch. It carries a price tag of Rs. 35,990, and is currently on sale via various online and offline stores. The Wi-Fi only variant of the smartwatch was launched in the country in August this year.
Is Realme X2 better than Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi K20? 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.