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”]

Screaming Deals: Gear Savings Of The Week

Our weekly column finds the best deals from across the web to save you money on outdoors gear. Many of these closeouts won’t be around for long, so get them now!

REI Co-op Half Dome 2 Tent: $149 (25% Off)

The REI Half Dome 2 Tent is perfect for jaunts in the woods. One of our editors lived in this tent for 6 months while traveling and can attest it’s easy to set up and durable. It packs down to 4 lbs. 3 oz., sleeps two, and has two doors with vestibules for gear. On sale until July 4th on REI.com.

Kammok Firebelly Trail Quilt: $224 (25% Off)

Up your hammock game and leave the sleeping bag behind with the Kammok Firebelly Trail Quilt. Rated for 30 degrees F, this quilt can cinch together to create a warm foot box. Uncinched, this quilt provides warmth when you need it. Grab yours on REI.com.

Osprey Porter 30: $82 (25% Off)

The Osprey Porter 30 works as a carry-on size backpack or duffle. Front compression straps allow you to flex when you need to and reduce size to fit in any space. The shoulder and hip straps tuck away, transforming the bag into a duffle. Gear up for your next trip on CampSaver.com.

MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit: $75 (25% Off)

Tried and tested, the MSR PocketRocket is made for the minimalist. It boils water fast, one liter in 3.5 minutes, and the kit is made for two hikers headed into the backcountry. Everything fits inside the included 2L aluminum pot for easy packing. Minimize your stove system on Moosejaw.com.

REI Co-op Flexlite Macro Chair: $74 (25% Off)

The big brother of the original Flexlite, the Macro is 20% larger in all dimensions, with an increased weight limit of 200 lbs. REI claims this model offers a deep, comfortable seat with generous support and lightweight construction that’s a good option for a camping or paddling trip. Get yours for 25% off until July 4th on REI.com.

Garmin Oregon 650T: $300 (46% Off)

Navigate better with the Garmin Oregon 650T. Rugged and waterproof, the dual-band GPS and GLONASS satellites provide excellent location accuracy. Plus, this GPS has a full-color, 3″ touch-screen display for easy navigation. Available on Cabelas.com.

Metolius Contact Hang Board: $71 (25% Off)

Take your indoor climbing regime to the next level and try hang boarding with the Metolius Contact. Build up finger strength with over 20 different holds and jugs. The top has mounted pull-up jugs, and rounded and flat slopers for a whole new training movement. Go get yours on CampSaver.com.

Counter Assault Bear Deterrent: $33 (25% Off)

Headed into bear country? Don’t let the fear of a bear encounter stop you from enjoying your trip. Read up on bear etiquette and carry bear spray with you for an extra piece of mind. Prepare for your next adventure on REI.com.

SealLine Boundary Portage Pack: $75 (27% Off)

The SealLine Boundary Portage Pack is a waterproof pack for lugging your gear near and into water. Whether you’re headed on a big canoe trip or canyoneering, this’ll help keep your stuff dry. Available now on Moosejaw.com.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter: $18 (27% Off)

Weighing only 2 oz. and sized to fit in the palm of your hand, the Sawyer Mini water filter is one of the lightest, most compact filters available, and you can use it to drink straight from a stream. The filter also threads on the included Sawyer 16 oz. reusable pouch you can fill in a lake or stream. Available for 25% until July 4th on REI.com.

[“Source-gearjunkie”]

Annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit gets underway this week

Members of Bravo!, Vail’s Art in Public Places, the Vail Valley Art Guild and the town of Avon will head up to Breckenridge Thursday for the sixth annual Colorado Creative Industries Summit. Organizers are expecting more than 350 artists, creative businesspeople, nonprofit officials and city leaders for a gathering of individuals looking to better capitalize on their local arts and culture scenes.

The two-day summit will feature a variety of workshops, exhibits, performances, networking opportunities and keynote speakers, including Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Joining Chu on the lineup are Daniel Windham, director of arts at Wallace, and market research expert Bob Harlow, who will present information from various studies he’s undertaken and draw from his book, “The Road to Results: Effective Practices for Building Arts Audiences.”

Additionally, another presentation will feature Vince Kadlubek, co-founder and CEO of Meow Wolf, an arts collective behind the award-winning art experience “House of Eternal Return” in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which has generated a remarkable economic impact while supporting local growth and emerging talent.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet.”Christy CostelloProgram manager, Colorado Creative Industries

Also at the summit, there will be the 2017 Governor’s Creative Leadership Awards luncheon honoring community leaders who use art to impact social and civic change, with the awards crafted by local artist Martin Deegan.

The summit is all part of an effort to help creative entrepreneurs, communities and arts organizations expand their knowledge and reach, said Christy Costello, program manager at Colorado Creative Industries, who added that the summit always draws a wide audience, including some eccentrics.

For example, art cars — or fully functioning, elaborately decorated automobiles — seem to make it every year, Costello said, adding that one year at the Colorado arts summit she even saw a mini temple set ablaze — somewhat like the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

“This will be the largest event that we’ve had yet,” she said, explaining that generally the summit draws three main audiences — artists and creative business people, individuals representing arts organizations, and civic leaders who want to use the arts to better develop their communities.

Last year, the summit was in Carbondale, another Colorado mountain town about 20 miles south of Glenwood Springs, and Costello said they are especially eager to be heading to Breckenridge this year.

“Yeah, we’re really excited for everyone to see what they’ve done there,” she said of the town that recently earned a top national ranking in the annual Arts Vibrancy Index for small communities under 100,000 in population.

According to Colorado Creative Industries, the state also ranks in the top five states nationally for its high concentration of artists.

Colorado Creative Industries operates under the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Registration for the summit is $165. For more information, go to ColoradoCreativeIndustries.org/summit.

[“Source-vaildaily”]

Vivo V5 Plus, Lenovo K6 Power, Nokia 6, WhatsApp for iPhone, and More News This Week

Vivo V5 Plus, Lenovo K6 Power, Nokia 6, WhatsApp for iPhone, and More News This Week
HIGHLIGHTS
The Vivo V5 Plus has two front cameras for better selfies
The new Lenovo K6 Power has 4GB RAM for just Rs. 1,000 extra
WhatsApp for iOS can finally queue messages offline
With Republic Day in the middle of the week, many people ended up taking things a little easy. Not so in the world of tech though, as we saw a number of launches, and major updates. Here’s a look at all the news you can use from the week.

The selfie-focused Vivo V5 Plus was launched in India this week, priced at Rs. 27,980. The Vivo V5 Plus has a 16-megapixel rear camera, and a dual camera setup for the front, with a 20-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel sensor, which captures depth information to help create the digital ‘bokeh’.

Other Vivo V5 Plus key specifications include a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, a 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and a 3055mAh battery, as well as 64GB of internal storage. The Vivo V5 Plus also comes preloaded with the Face Beauty 6.0 app. It sports a metal unibody design, supports dual-SIM cards, and runs on Funtouch 2.6 OS that’s based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
There was another launch this week, also of a beefed up variant of a phone that’s already in the market. We’re talking about the Lenovo K6 Power 4GB variant. While the Lenovo K6 Power is priced at Rs. 9,999 for the 3GB variant (Review), the 4GB RAM version that launched this week is priced at Rs. 10,999.

The Lenovo K6 Power sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display and is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC and Adreno 505 GPU. The K6 Power bears a 13-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX258 sensor, PDAF and LED flash, apart from an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX219 sensor and a wide-angle lens.

Meanwhile, demand for the new Nokia continues unabated. Just last week, the available Nokia 6 units were sold out and the smartphone went out of stock within a minute in its first flash sale. Two days ahead of that Nokia 6 flash sale, registrations crossed the mark of 1 million. Registrations for the second flash sale for the Nokia 6 have already crossed 1.4 million.

If you’ve been looking to buy a Nokia 6 in China, HMD Global has said that the smartphone will not be available in white. Recently, several media publications claimed that the Nokia 6 smartphone was available to buy via a third-party online retailer in Philippines and come in a brand new White version. It turns out that the Nokia 6 smartphone being sold via Lazada platform is not from an authorised seller.
Speaking of Nokia 6, a Nokia-branded Android phone running on a Snapdragon 835 SoC appears to be in the works, though the company has hinted that this phone will not come out soon. A Snapdragon 835-powered Nokia P1 smartphone was leaked recently and is expected to be the premium offering from Nokia. There’s also something called a Nokia Heart Android phone, which is rumoured to be priced lower than the Nokia 6. The Nokia Heart smartphone has been tipped in GFXBench benchmark listing and is believed to be a toned down version of the Nokia 6 smartphone that was launched earlier this month.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp for iPhone finally gets a feature that’s been on Android for a really long time – you now have the ability to queue messages on WhatsApp. This means that you can respond to people when you’re offline (say on a flight) and the WhatsApp messages will automatically be sent when you connect to the Internet.

In other phones-related news, we had the launch of the Honor 6X (Review) this week. The phone, priced at Rs. 12,999, packs in two rear cameras – one with a 12-megapixel sensor, and the other with a 2-megapixel sensor for depth detection to provide the ‘bokeh’ effect.

ALSO SEEHuawei Honor 6X vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 4

Going back to rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S8 specifications and release date have been leaked – once again. The new leak shows the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone in all its metallic glory. According to the leak, the Samsung Galaxy S8 variants will sport 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch displays.

They will supposedly run on the latest Snapdragon 835 SoC (or a 10nm in-house SoC, depending on regions) paired with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB inbuilt storage that could be expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). The phone is likely to be unveiled on March 29 and to go on sale on April 21, according to the leak.

At the start of the week, Samsung also confirmed that the battery was to blame for Note 7 fires, but it also acknowledged that it provided the specifications, and dismissed the possibility of suing the manufacturers.
Also at the start of the week, Hugo Barra, the Global VP for Xiaomi, announced that he is leaving the Chinese smartphone company and moving back to Silicon Valley, citing health reasons and a desire to be closer to his family. A couple of days later, it was revealed that Barra was joining Facebook, to lead all VR efforts within the company.

These were the biggest highlights of the week, but there were also a number of interesting launches. We saw two new tablets launched this week, the Asus ZenPad 3S 10 LTE, which is the LTE version of the ZenPad 3S 10 (Z500M) tablet, and the iBall Slide Nimble 4GF, which is a voice-calling tablet with 4G VoLTE support. We also had the launch of the Intex Cloud Q11 4G, with selfie flash, and VoLTE.

A new report shows that Reliance Jio is now the primary data connection in India, and is leading in consumption as well. This is of course due to “welcome offer” of Jio that offered unlimited data to its subscribers till March 31 this year – it’s only after people have to start paying to use Jio that we’re going to see this change. Meanwhile, we’re seeing more of the “Reliance Jio effect”, as BSNL announced a new Rs. 149 plan for customers, offering 30 minutes of free calls to any network per day, and 300MB of data usage.
Two other interesting pieces of news related to apps – FreeCharge now lets you buy Google Play recharge codes. These codes can then be used to buy apps, books, movies and so on through Google’s digital storefront. Last week, Paytm also unveiled this option on its app. And Netflix added a handy new feature to its Android app – SD card support. Earlier, when your Netflix downloads would be stored on the phone’s internal storage, which could be a bit of a problem, and Android users now have the option to keep the files on their SD cards. However, you can’t move files that have already been downloaded.

These were the highlights of the week for us, and if there’s some other news that you think we missed here, let us and the other readers know via the comments.
Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Tags: Vivo, Huawei, Lenovo, Virtual Reality, Facebook, Hugo Barra, WhatsApp

[“Source-Gadgets”]