Welcome back to our regular recap of the top tech stories from the week that was. It's been a particularly big week for Reliance Jio, with some news about its upcoming feature phone and also a refresh for its postpaid and prepaid plans. Some details about the Jio 4G feature phone were tipped earlier, what with the first pictures of the phone having leaked in January, but now, we also have a glimpse of the mobile in a leaked video. As you may know, the phone is expected to be announced formally at Reliance Industries' AGM which will take place next week.
The leaked video shows the Lyf-branded phone, which many believe will be the long-rumoured Jio 4G feature phone. Specifications leaked alongside the video tip the Lyf/ Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone to come with a 2.4-inch display, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage, and smartphone-like features such as its own app store, Wi-Fi hotspot functionality, and Jio apps such as JioCinema, JioMusic, and JioTV.
Earlier leaks have said that the Jio 4G feature phone will cost Rs. 500 and come with special Jio plans to make the service even more appealing for first time users, but whether the mobile leaked in the video is the same device remains to be seen.
Speaking of plans, Reliance Jio also announced a number of new data plans, that come in as its Summer Surprise Offer and Dhan Dhanadan Offer plans are expiring. Jio is now offering 84GB at Rs. 399, which is capped at 1GB per day. The Rs. 309 and Rs. 509 Jio plans, which offer 1GB and 2GB of data per day respectively, have also seen their validity extended from 28 days to 56 days. If you don't like daily data caps, there's now also a Rs. 349 Jio plan which gives you 20GB of data for 56 days, with no usage cap.
The launch of the Moto E4 Plus - which is being sold exclusively on Flipkart - also took place this week. The phone, which is priced at Rs. 9,999, set a record on the e-commerce site, selling over 100,000 units within 24 hours, the company said. The standout feature of the Moto E4 Plus is certainly its huge 5000mAh battery. The phone runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has a 5.5-inch HD display. It's powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 3GB RAM, and comes with 32GB of internal storage. The Moto E4 Plus also has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel selfie-camera.
The Moto E4 Plus launch comes a few days after the Moto E4 was launched in India. There are a few differences between the two models. The Moto E4 Plus has a 5.5-inch HD (720x1280 pixels) screen while the Moto E4 features a 5-inch HD screen. Due to the difference in size but not resolution, the Moto E4's display appears crisper than that of its larger sibling. Like we mentioned earlier, the biggest highlight of the Moto E4 Plus is its massive 5000mAh battery, while its smaller sibling has a 2800mAh unit.
Moving on to other specifications, the Moto E4 Plus has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage while the Moto E4 packs 2GB and 16GB respectively. Storage is expandable using a microSD card on both models. Both smartphones run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box.
The release date for the Nokia 6 smartphone has now been confirmed - it will be available from August 23, according to HMD Global. Which owns the Nokia brand. The smartphone, which was unveiled in the country in mid-June, will be available exclusively via Amazon India. To buy the Nokia 6, you'll have to first register your interest on the website. Aside from the Nokia 6, the Nokia 5 will also release in August, HMD Global confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Nokia 3, an offline-exclusive Nokia Android phone, went on sale in India a few weeks back. Although it's the cheapest of the three new Nokia Android phones, it will now be available in India with interest-free financial schemes. There was also a fresh Nokia leak - according to leaked case designs, the upcoming Nokia 9 will have a curved design, and a vertical dual-camera setup on the rear.
Xiaomi was also in the news this week - for one, it launched a new variant of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2, which had originally launched in October last year. The new Xiaomi Mi Note 2 variant with 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage has been priced at CNY 2,899 (roughly Rs. 27,500). The company is also expected to launch a third smartphone brand this month - it also has the Mi and Redmi lines, and the upcoming sub-brand will reportedly focus on the offline market.
Meanwhile, there was also a leak about the Xiaomi Redmi 5 - if the reports are correct, the new phone is going to be slightly more expensive than the Xiaomi Redmi 4, and according to the tipster, the entry-level model will have 3GB RAM, and 16GB storage. The top-end variant of the Xiaomi Redmi 5 is expected to have 4GB RAM, and 32GB storage. Other than that, the leak talks about a 5-inch full-HD display, a 16-megapixel rear-camera, and a 3680mAh battery. The Xiaomi Redmi 5 is tipped to start as low as CNY 859 (roughly Rs. 8,000) for the 3GB RAM and 16GB storage variant.
WhatsApp saw a big update this week - the messaging app now has support for shared media bundling, and sharing all file types. However, users still continue to wait for the final release of the message recall feature, which has been leaked several times already. Apart from support for all file types and media bundling, the latest WhatsApp update also enables text formatting in the chat. When typing text in a chat window, users can now tap and hold to select the text to easily bold, strikethrough, or italics.
Airtel also made an announcement this week that has gotten a lot of people excited. The company says users will be able to carry forward unused data into the next billing cycle from August onwards. Postpaid Airtel mobile users who don't consume the data provided by their plans during the month will be able to use it in the next month, up to a limit of 200GB, Airtel said. The company is also allowing Airtel users in the same family to share data benefits with each other and is also aggressively promoting its smartphone insurance plan.
Idea also announced a new data plan, offering 1GB per day with a new Rs. 453 pack. Like Jio's new Rs. 399 plan, Idea's plan also offers 1GB daily for 84 days, and users will also get 300 minutes of bundled calls per day, up to 1200 minutes per week. This plan is for 3G data, however, not 4G.
Another important launch from this week was the Asus ZenFone AR, the first smartphone in the world that supports both Google Daydream and Tango. It is priced in India at Rs. 49,999, and will be available exclusively via Flipkart. The Asus ZenFone AR has 8GB RAM, a 23-megapixel rear-camera, 128GB storage, a 5.7-inch QHD display, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC with a quad-core processor.
The phone is a powerhouse, but more importantly, one of the first devices to bring Google's vision for augmented reality into the hands of the consumers. Along with the Asus ZenFone AR, Flipkart is also offering a discount on Google's Daydream View VR headset.
Other launches include the LG Q6, LG Q6+, and LG Q6a. The three phones all pack a 5.5-inch display, at an 18:9 aspect ratio. Although the phones were launched this week, the pricing has not been disclosed, though LG did stress that it was very competitive.
We also got the Lava A93, with a 3000mAh battery, launched at a price of Rs. 7,999. Priced against the Redmi 4, Moto C Plus, and the recently launched InFocus Turbo 5, it has one major missing feature: 4G VoLTE support, which means it will be useless for potential Reliance Jio users.
Samsung possibly teased the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8 on Twitter, in a post about the Exynos 8895 SoC. The smartphone pictured in the tweet doesn't look like the Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, which are the only two phones using the processor, leading people to think that this is a first look at the Note 8.
There was also a render leak of the LG V30, which is expected to launch ahead of IFA 2017, which will kick off in Berlin on September 1. Going by the leak, the smartphone will have a glass back, and it will come with a 3.5mm audio jack. It could also support wireless charging.
The specifications of the Moto X4 were also leaked this week via a benchmark site. As per the leak, the smartphone will come with 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB, as believed earlier. The previous leak tipped the smartphone to feature a 5.2-inch full-HD display. This listing suggests that Moto X4 will be powered by a Snapdragon 630 SoC.
Finally, some news for the Game of Thrones fans reading this. As you no doubt know, the seventh (and penultimate) season of the show starts Sunday, and will only have seven episodes. If you're wondering when and how to watch, we've got all the details on Game of Thrones show timings and platforms. If you're feeling a little lost after the extra long season break this year, then you can also check out our six seasons' recap. We've also made a few guesses about what to expect from Season 7 of Game of Thrones, and if you're a fan, you should weigh in via the comments.