BSNL Plans Take on Jio, Samsung Galaxy S8 India Launch, Xiaomi Mi 6 Unveiled, and More News This Week

BSNL Plans Take on Jio, Samsung Galaxy S8 India Launch, Xiaomi Mi 6 Unveiled, and More News This Week

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Samsung Galaxy S8 is up for pre-orders in India
  • The Xiaomi Mi 6 launched in China this week
  • BSNL has announced a Rs. 333 plan with a 270GB data limit

BSNL is taking the fight to Reliance Jio with a new plan that offers 270GB data at just Rs. 333. Entitled the Triple Ace plan, BSNL is giving 3G data, up to 3GB per day, for 90 days at Rs. 333. After crossing 3GB, the speed gets throttled to 2G for that day.

You can also choose BSNL’s Rs. 349 plan, which gives unlimited local and STD calls and 2GB of data per day on 3G for 28 days, if you use less data and make more calls. Finally, there’s a Rs. 395 plan, which offers 3,000 minutes of BSNL to BSNL calls, and 1,800 minutes of calling other networks, with 2GB data daily at 3G speeds, for 71 days. BSNL has also increased daily data usage limit in its Rs. 339 plan to 3GB from 2GB offered earlier.

Reliance Jio meanwhile has started disconnecting numbers that have not signed up for any recharge plans. The network has been fully free since its launch in September, and now Jio has started to disconnect people who aren’t paying, in a phased manner. New TRAI data was released this week that showed Jio has managed to stay ahead of the likes of Idea, Airtel, Vodafone, and others in terms of 4G download speeds. Opensignal’s report meanwhile said otherwise, rating Airtel’s 4G speeds higher than Jio.

ALSO SEEAirtel 4G Is Fastest in India, Jio the Most Widespread, Says OpenSignal

One of the biggest items this week was definitely the India launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+. The launch event in New Delhi took place less than a month after the smartphones were unveiled globally in March, and the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ go on sale in India in line with the global rollout. Samsung Galaxy S8 comes to India a price of Rs. 57,900 (MOP) and will be available in Midnight Black and Maple Gold colour options, while the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is priced at Rs. 64,900 (MOP) and will be available in Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold colour variants. Pre-bookings are now open and the phones will be available from May 5.

While in the US Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor (2.35GHz quad-core + 1.7GHz quad-core), the smartphones launch in India are powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 SoC with an octa-core processor (2.35GHz quad-core + 1.9GHz quad-core). Samsung says the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ feature the “industry’s first 10nm processor, enabling heightened speed and efficiency”, and the highlight of the smartphones has to be their edge-to-edge “infinity display”.

Meanwhile, in China, the Xiaomi Mi 6 – which is Xiaomi’s new flagship device for 2017 – has been officially launched. The phone, which packs eye-catching specifications such as 6GB RAM and 12-megapixel dual-rear cameras, starts at CNY 2,499, or roughly Rs. 25,000.

ALSO SEEXiaomi Mi 6 Launched: A Look at How Xiaomi Flagships Have Evolved Over the Years

The phone comes with the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, with 6GB RAM, a 5.15-inch display, and a fingerprint scanner under the glass in front. Xiaomi has also decided to forego the 3.5mm audio jack. The Xiaomi Mi 6 has a 3350mAh battery, and as mentioned, a dual rear camera setup with 12-megapixel cameras, to delivery 2x optical lossless zoom. There is no word on the India launch yet.

Incidentally – if you’re running a WhatsApp group, keep an eye on what your members are saying, or you might end up in real trouble. WhatsApp group admins could face an FIR for offensive posts, as per an order by Varanasi DM. WhatsApp group admins must deny offensive posts and remove the member, and inaction can result in legal action.

Speaking of WhatsApp, Siri can now read out your latest messages, with the newest update to the iPhone application. With the new update, WhatsApp messages can now be read by Siri, apart from allowing it to compose and send messages, which was already possible. This will only work for unread messages.

ALSO SEEWhatsApp Looks Set to Get New ‘Change Number’ Feature

Launches this week included the Zopo Color M4, with 4G VoLTE support, launched at Rs. 4,999. The budget phone has 16GB of storage, a 1450mAh battery, and a 5-megapixel camera. We also got the Honor Bee 2, also with 4G VoLTE support launched at Rs. 7,499. The all-new Honor Bee 2 features a ‘Rainbow’ light which is a circular ring around the rear camera, and which glows when there’s a call, message, or any other notifications on the device.

Also launched this week was the Swipe Elite Star 16GB variant, priced at Rs. 3,999. It had originally launched at an 8GB variant. The Videocon Elite 11+ with 4G VoLTE support also launched this week, at Rs. 5,800. The phone, which has a 5-inch display and a 2-megapixel front camera, includes a front flash, 3000mAh battery, and 8GB inbuilt storage.

The Sharp Aquos R with Emop AI assistant, running the Snapdragon 835 SoC was also launched this week. The device has currently only been launched in Japan, and pricing and availability in other international markets is unknown at the moment. The Sharp Aquos R joins the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi MI 6 to offer the Snapdragon 835.

There were also a lot of non-phone launches. We got the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 with 30x optical zoom and a tiltable display for selfies, and also the Sony A9 full frame mirrorless camera with 20fps burst and 4K video recording. There was also the GoPro Fusion 360-degree camera, expected to release at the end of the year, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick is finally in India. In case you had imported one of these earlier, then check for the latest update, and if necessary, make sure that your region is set to India.

ALSO SEEAmazon’s Fire TV Stick is Here, but the Indian Apps Just Don’t Seem Ready

The Moto C and Moto C Plus were spotted on a certification site, which usually points to an imminent launch. The phones are being touted as entry-level smartphones that are said to be even cheaper than the Moto E series. These smartphones are also expected to support 4G with VoLTE and may sport polycarbonate bodies with removable back panels, based on recent renders. The Moto E4 was also spotted on benchmark sites, packing 2GB of RAM.

We also picked up some rumours about the price of the LG G6 in India – Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom has leaked that the LG G6 will be launched starting at Rs. 51,990 (MOP) and it will go on sale from April 29. Pre-bookings for the smartphone have already begun and this week we detailed some pre-booking offers as well. It will officially launch in India on Monday.

HTC’s upcoming ‘squeezable’ smartphone – which is set to launch on May 16 – meanwhile might have a name – the HTC U 11. The naming scheme works in two ways – the first being that the flagship comes under the U series which includes the U Ultra and U Play, and second the number 11 makes it a straight up successor to the HTC 10.

VR fans – we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The HTC Vive is officially confirmed to launch in India, as Gadgets 360 had exclusively reported. The bad news is that – as we had said – it’s priced at Rs. 92,990. In the US the Vive sells for $799.99, or around Rs. 52,000.

And finally, although there are still a few months to go, if you’re jonesing for a Game of Thrones, then you should check out the first pictures of season 7.

Those are all the biggest news highlights of this week. What really caught your eye? Sound off about it via the comments below.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Spider-Man Is the Best Character to Replace Iron Man at the Centre of the MCU

Spider-Man Is the Best Character to Replace Iron Man at the Centre of the MCU

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige says Avengers 4 the end of a 22-movie arc
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel will be a fresh start for the franchise
  • The contracts of most of the existing stars would have expired by then

Spider-Man: Homecoming is out in the cinemas now, and as we noted in our review, it’s an exuberant film that brings a fresh flavour to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland played a brief but memorable part in Captain America: Civil War, and with Spider-Man: Homecoming, you’ll be happy to know that he’s able to sustain the viewers’ interest over the course of an entire film as well.

But as it turns out, Spider-Man has a much bigger part to play in the canon that Marvel has been building ever since it first came out with Iron Man in 2008. Talking to the Toronto Sun, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, the architect of the MCU, said that Avengers 4 (which will release in 2019, and doesn’t have a title as yet) will be the last of the current MCU films. And after that, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming will come out, starting off a new era for the MCU. To appropriate Star Wars a little – he’s not the last of the old Avengers, he’s the first of the new.

When you consider the ownership of the Spider-Man franchise – created by Marvel Comics, owned by Sony Pictures, with merchandising rights in Disney’s hands – that’s a weird place to rest the future of your cinematic universe, particularly as it will come at the end of an arc that Feige said spans 22 movies.

But it makes sense too – after all, Spider-Man was always one of Marvel’s top-tier characters, which is why he was much more saleable back when Marvel was bankrupt, before it was acquired by Disney.

homecoming cages spider man

By the time this new “arc” beings for the MCU, many of the actors’ contracts would have expired. Almost all the Avengers, from Iron Man to Captain America to Black Widow to Thor would either have to be recast, or the character retired in some manner. Perhaps we’ll finally see some stakes emerge in the Avengers movies, as so far, the films have actively shied away from killing off characters.

That’s because, thanks to the “shared Universe” concept, writers had some limits on their freedom. It might have been narratively sound to have the Vision accidentally kill War Machine in Civil War, but if he has a part to play in one of the upcoming movies, then you can’t really take that plot line forward.

There’s a lot of new characters in the mix now, such as Ant-Man and Doctor Strange, which will allow Marvel to ease off the earlier characters without thinning the ranks too much, and over the course of the next two years as we move towards the new MCU, perhaps the company can start looking at new characters to spotlight.

For one, the company has two new movies lined up that a lot of people are excited about, with Black Panther and Captain Marvel planned for February 2018 and March 2019 respectively. Beyond that, perhaps the MCU will also take a page from the comics again, and start finding new characters to take up old mantles.

homecoming climb spider man

Some of the most interesting characters that Marvel has right now are young enough that they can look up to Holland’s Spider-Man as a mentor figure of sorts, such as Moon Girl, or Ms Marvel, or even Amadeus Cho’s Totally Awesome Hulk.

In the new phase of the MCU that Feige talks about, Spider-Man could well occupy a role similar to that of Tony Stark today, as a leader who brings the whole team together.

Whether this will be possible with the deal that Marvel has in place with Sony is of course a different matter, but with the lineup that’s on hand, there’s a real risk that the MCU could lose the vibrancy that made it so successful to begin with, and that’s why Feige’s comments about basing the future of the MCU on Spider-Man makes us hopeful.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Best Phones Under Rs. 10,000: Which is the Best Mobile in Under-10000 Segment?

Best Phones Under Rs. 10,000: Which is the Best Mobile in Under-10000 Segment?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is a worthy successor to the Redmi 3S Prime
  • The Yu Yureka Black is another good mobile under Rs. 10,000
  • The Lenovo K6 Power remains a solid choice as well

Although the news is often dominated by the latest flagship phones because that’s where the most innovation is happening, when it’s time to actually buy a phone, most of us are still looking in the under Rs. 10,000 category. It’s also one of the categories that sees relatively fast turnover in picks, as a lot of mobiles are released in this price range. In the under Rs. 10,000 category, we’ve added a few phones that weren’t there in our last roundup, and there’s a notable exit as well. If you’re looking to buy a mobile under Rs. 10,000, then these are the absolute best options you have right now.

As always, we’ve stuck to phones that we’ve put through our detailed review process, since we can’t vouch for quality of phones based on just their specifications. We’ve also avoided mobiles that are over a year old, as, especially in the sub-Rs. 10,000 price bracket, things tend to change for the better pretty quickly.

Here are our top picks (in no particular order) that all fight it out to be the best phone under Rs. 10,000, along with a few other phones worth checking out.

Best phones under Rs. 10,000

Mobile under Rs. 10,000 Gadgets 360 rating
Xiaomi Redmi 4 8/10
Yu Yureka Black 8/10
Lenovo K6 Power 8/10
Moto G4 7/10
Coolpad Note 3S 7/10

 

1. Xiaomi Redmi 4
Replacing the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime, which was one of the strongest picks through much of last year, we now have the Xiaomi Redmi 4, which is also a good pick if your budget is under Rs. 10,000.

Our review rated the 3GB/ 32GB variant of the phone 8 on 10 which is really good for a phone at this price point, and the new phone has really good battery life and a sleek and compact design. The camera is disappointing, but it’s a problem that even the best phones under the Rs. 10,000 price must live with. If you’re looking for a value for money phone, then the Xiaomi Redmi 4 is a solid pick.

Xiaomi Redmi 4

Xiaomi Redmi 4

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good build quality
  • Compact body
  • Solid battery performance
  • Excellent value for money
  • Bad
  • Average camera performance
  • Hybrid dual-SIM
  • Limited availability
Also See
  • Motorola Moto C Plus (Starry Black, 16GB, 2GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs. 6,999
  • Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro (Gold, 16GB) –
    Rs. 7,490
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S (Gold, 16GB)
    Rs. 6,999

2. Yu Yureka Black
Yu had a bit of a slow year last year as it wasn’t prepared for the fast adoption of 4G, but it’s back now and the Yu Yureka Black is a pretty good choice for a good phone under Rs. 10,000. Its display is a little disappointing, but it does well on other fronts, and is a good value for money phone.

The Yu Yureka Black looks good, and has solid battery life and good overall performance, so if you’re looking for a good all-rounder, this phone is a pretty good option in the sub-Rs. 10,000 price bracket.

Yu Yureka Black

Yu Yureka Black

Rs. 8,999
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Looks good
  • Solid battery life
  • Decent overall performance
  • Bad
  • Low-light camera performance could be better
  • Screen quality isn’t quite up to the mark
  • Hybrid dual-SIM slot
BUY AT
  • Yu Yureka Black (Matte Black, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 8,999
  • Yu Yureka Black (Chrome Black, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 8,999

3. Lenovo K6 Power
One of the best phones from the last year at this price point, the Lenovo K6 Power is still a good choice if you’re looking for a phone for less than Rs. 10,000, with performance that’s still good enough, and excellent battery life.

The display and camera are also rated very well, but the baseline has shifted up a little since it launched so although it’s still a good phone, it’s not head and shoulders above the others mentioned here, despite what the numbers might suggest. That being said, it’s still a pretty good pick, and it also recently received an update to Android Nougat, making it more value for money than others which are still using Marshmallow. Plus, it’s a lot easier to get your hands on than some of the others on the list.

Lenovo K6 Power

Lenovo K6 Power

Rs. 9,949
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good looks and build quality
  • Decent display
  • Excellent battery life
  • Bad
  • No fast charging support
  • Cameras could have been better
  • No dedicated microSD card slot
BUY AT
  • Lenovo K6 Power (Gold, 32GB)
    Rs. 9,949
  • Lenovo K6 Power (Silver, 32GB, 3GB RAM) – 
    Rs. 9,999

4. Moto G4
Available at just under Rs. 10,000, the Moto G4 is another good mobile with a disappointing camera, which is a common complaint at this price. However, it has a good display and decent performance, and it’s also a good looking device.

Battery life and Motorola’s UI are additional selling points, but the lack of a fingerprint sensor has moved from a minor inconvenience to a telling fault over the months since its launch, as most phones under Rs. 10,000 have started to add this feature.

Motorola Moto G4

Motorola Moto G4

Rs. 9,999
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Good screen
  • Decent performance
  • Near-stock Android
  • Good battery life
  • Bad
  • Average camera performance
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Not worth the price
BUY AT
  • Motorola Moto G4 (White, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 9,999

5. Coolpad Note 3S
The Coolpad Note 3S also released near the end of 2016, and it remains a good all-round pick, thanks to its unique looks and good camera (in daylight conditions).

Relatively weak battery life and middling performance keep it from the top of the list, but there’s not so much of a difference either, so if you like the design and the UI, then this phone might also be a good phone for less than Rs. 10,000.

Coolpad Note 3S

Coolpad Note 3S

Rs. 8,990
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Unique looks
  • Good photo quality in daylight
  • 3GB of RAM
  • Bad
  • Weak battery life
  • Relatively unwieldy
  • Non-competitive specs
BUY AT
  • Coolpad Note 3S (Gold, 32GB)
    Rs. 8,990
  • Coolpad Note 3S (White, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 9,799

Other picks
These five phones are our top picks fighting it out to be the best phone under Rs. 10,000, but apart from these, there are a few other phones that you can consider. Looking at older phones, the Micromax Canvas 6 Pro is not a bad choice – it comes with a good amount of RAM, but the battery life and camera are a letdown, and the phone also heats up, so it didn’t make the main list.

Two sub-Rs. 10,000 phones we haven’t reviewed yet, but liked during quick impressions are the Lyf F1s, the Moto C Plus, which launched in December, and May respectively. Both phones have good overall specifications, and the Moto C Plus in particular has really great pricing. The Nokia 3 is another decent addition that looks good on paper, but we can’t recommend it because we haven’t reviewed it, yet.

These are our latest picks for phones under Rs. 10,000 – if you think we’ve missed a good pick that others should know about, let us know via the comments.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv.”]

Walmart Holds Open Call 2017, 500 Made in USA Companies Compete for Store Shelf Space

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

Recently, 500 companies — mostly small businesses and startups — went to Walmart (NYSE:WMT) company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to pitch their products to company buyers.

If they’re selected, they’ll get to sell their products at Walmart stores and on the retailers website. It could mean huge growth for those small companies. But there are challenges involved as well.

This is the fourth Open Call event Walmart has held.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

This year, Walmart is specifically looking for American companies and is promoting American manufacturing. So companies that sell products that are made in America could have a good chance of getting their products placed in Walmart stores or even getting the opportunity to manufacture some of Walmart’s private label products.

Walmart Open Call 2017

Cindi Marsiglio, Walmart vice president for U.S. Sourcing and Manufacturing said in a statement, “While finding products our customers want is a year-round focus for our buying teams, Walmart’s annual Open Call is a special opportunity to connect our buyers with companies that are manufacturing products in the U.S. and to identify new and unique product solutions.”

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

American manufacturing has been experiencing a resurgence in some sectors. So this type of open call allows Walmart to potentially tap into some interesting new markets while also taking advantage of some of the positive public perception that often comes with supplying American-made products and supporting job growth and the U.S. economy.

But for the businesses in attendance, the opportunity could be even more significant.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer. So getting products featured on store shelves or on Walmart.com could provide a huge sales boost.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

And the significance of that opportunity was not lost on the small businesses in attendance, some of which went to extra lengths to put on a great presentation for their products.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

In fact, nearly 100 companies received deals on the spot. And dozens more will continue to have conversations with Walmart about future opportunities.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

The companies that receive deals from Walmart could also gain some local notoriety and extra coverage for their participation.

Walmart Open Call 2017 -- 500 Made in USA Companies Competing for Store Shelf Space

Overall, this type of event provides a unique opportunity for small businesses, many of which face major roadblocks in getting their products in front of large retailers or corporations.

Of course, this also means that those small businesses that receive deals will need to step up production in order to meet that increased demand. But for the businesses that can take on the extra work, it’s a potentially huge opportunity.

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]