Xiaomi launched the Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite smartphones in India in an effort to continue its dominant streak in the budget segment of the Indian market. The two Xiaomi smartphones feature 5.5-inch HD (720x1280px) display, MIUI 9, 3080mAh battery, 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF and LED flash, 4G VoLTE support, and microSD card support up to 128GB with dedicated memory card slot. The Redmi Y1 Lite, priced at Rs. 6,999, is powered by the quad-core Snapdragon 425 chipset and comes with 16GB inbuilt storage and 2GB RAM. Redmi Y1 price in India is Rs. 8,999 for the variant with 32GB internal storage and 3GB RAM, and Rs. 10,999 for the model with 64GB built-in storage and 4GB RAM. Both handsets will go on sale at 12pm IST on November 8 on Amazon India and Mi.com, and will become available at offline retailers thereafter.
MIUI 9 Global ROM rollout announced for India
While launching the two phones, Xiaomi announced the rollout of the MIUI 9 Global ROM. The Redmi Y1 and Y1 Lite will come with the build baked in, while the popular Redmi Note 4, Mi MIX 2, and Mi Max 2 will get early November. MIUI 9 will also be released for other popular phones, such as Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, Mi 6, all the way back to 2012’s Mi 2. Key features include faster app load times, new design elements, lock screen shortcuts, split screen feature, and more.
Oppo F5 launched in India at starting price of Rs. 19,990
Oppo also launched the F5 selfie smartphone in India, featuring a 20-megapixel front camera with AI beautification and 6-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160px) full-screen display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The handset comes in two variants – one with 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage at Rs. 19,900, and another with 6GB RAM and 64GB built-in storage at Rs. 24,990. The Oppo F5 goes on sale on November 9 via Flipkart, and will hit offline retail outlets shortly after that. As for the other key features, Oppo F5 comes with Android 7.1 Nougat software, octa-core MediaTek MT6737T SoC, 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and 3200mAh battery.
Along with the F5, Oppo unveiled the F5 Youth smartphone, which sports a 6-inch screen and AI beautification features. The company did not reveal other information about the handset though, expect saying that it will be released in December.
WhatsApp Status, Instagram Stories now have over 300 million daily active users
WhatsApp Status and Instagram Stories – both clones of Snapchat Stories – have amassed 300 million daily active users each, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The combined daily active users for the two stood at 250 million for Instagram Stories in June and WhatsApp in July. This figure leaves Snapchat in the dust, which has 173 million daily active users. While users cannot cross-post Facebook Stories to Instagram Stories yet, the company says it might add the functionality in the near future. Facebook also has 2.07 billion monthly active users, the company announced.
OnePlus CEO confirms existence of OnePlus 5T, with 3.5mm jack
OnePlus 5T is officially in the works, as the brand’s CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the upcoming handset will include the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company says it mulled over the decision to forego the 3.5mm jack or use the Type-C port for both charging and audio, but eventually stuck with the jack because 80 percent of its customers use headphones with the 3.5mm connector. The OnePlus 5T is expected to launch mid-November as a follow-up to June’s OnePlus 5, and is said to feature a bezel-less design to remain competitive compared to the rest of the industry.
HTC U11+, U11 Life smartphones with Edge Sense launched
HTC unveiled the U11+ and U11 Life smartphones with edge-to-edge displays and the ‘squeezable’ Edge Sense. The former is an Android Oreo phone that will be sold in select markets and costs EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 60,000), while the latter also runs Android Nougat and will be available at $349 (approximately Rs. 23,000) with T-Mobile in the US; there is no word on its global release plans but this variant will be part of the Android One project. HTC U11+ has a 6-inch Quad-HD+ screen, Snapdragon 835 processor, 12-megapixel UltraPixel camera with dual-LED flash and 3930mAh battery; it will come in 6GB + 128GB configuration in Europe, and 4GB + 64GB setup in other markets.
The U11 Life sports a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, Snapdragon 630 chipset, 16-megapixel cameras on the front and back, and 2600mAh battery. It will come in two variants – 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, both with microSD card support.
Razer Phone with UltraMotion display, 8GB RAM unveiled
Another major smartphone launched today is the Razer Phone, targeted at gamers. The handset’s 5.72-inch IGZO display supports refresh rates of up to 120Hz that should ensure no lag or stuttering while gaming; the company is calling this the ‘UltraMotion’ display. The $699 (roughly Rs. 45,000) smartphone will go on sale in the US on November 17 and come with Android 7.1.1 Nougat smartphone out of the box; it will reportedly be upgraded to Android Oreo in the first quarter of 2018. The key specifications of the Razer Phone include Snapdragon 835 chipset, 8GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with dual-tone LED flash, 8-megapixel camera in front, and 4000mAh battery.
Flipkart, Amazon may be able to use drones for deliveries
Flipkart, Amazon and other e-commerce players may soon be able to use drones to deliver packages, the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said at Aero Expo 2017. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also invited public comments for a draft on using drones, including for commercial purposes, which is estimated to be finalised by the end of the year. The drones will be classified on the basis of weight.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo beta update released, Galaxy Note 8 sales hit 1 million in South Korea
Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are now getting the Android 8.0 Oreo beta update in the US, the UK, and South Korea. Owners of the two phones can sign for the beta update via the Samsung Members or the Samsung+ app. A Reddit user who has accessed the beta build said it includes launcher shortcuts, coloured media notifications, and an overall smoother experience. Also, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 sales in the company’s home market have crossed 1 million units in little over a month of its release in the market.
Oppo R11s, R11s Plus launched with dual rear cameras
In its home country, China, Oppo made the R11s and R11s Plus official, featuring 18:9 displays and dual rear cameras. While the former costs CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,000) and will go on sale on November 10, the latter is priced at CNY 3,699 (about Rs. 36,000) and will become available on November 24. Oppo R11s has a 6.01-inch full-HD+ AMOLED screen, 4GB RAM, and 3205mAh battery, while the R11s Plus has a 6.43-inch full-HD+ AMOLED panel, 6GB RAM, and 4000mAh battery. Both phones have Android 7.1.1 Nougat software, hybrid dual SIM slots, 16-megapixel + 20-megapixel cameras with dual-tone LED flash on the back, and 20-megapixel camera in front.