Redmi Note 5 Pro gets a Rs. 2,000 discount, as do the Redmi Y2 and Mi A2.
Xiaomi India has announced limited period discounts and offers on the purchase of several of its smartphones in the offline market. The Redmi Y2, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Mi A2, and Mi Mix 2 will be sold for a discount of up to Rs. 3,000. Additionally, users can avail cashback on Paytm Mall as well as when paying with SBI cards. Gadgets 360 has learnt that the Poco F1 and several other Xiaomi phones can also be bought offline with no cost EMI plans. Additionally, information shared with us reveals that the offer period is between October 18, 2018 and November 7, 2018.
To start off, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro’s base 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant and 6GB RAM, 64GB storage variant will get a discount of Rs. 2,000. The selfie-focused Redmi Y2 also gets a discount of Rs. 2,000 as well, as does the Mi A2. Lastly, the premium Mi Mix 2 gets a Rs. 3,000 price cut.
Apart from these instant discounts, buyers can avail a Paytm Mall cashback of up to Rs. 500 on purchase of up to Rs. 10,000 and a cashback of Rs. 1,000 when buying Xiaomi smartphones priced above Rs. 10,000. Users with SBI cards can avail a flat Rs. 500 cashback on a minimum purchase of Rs. 8,000, valid only when buying Xiaomi’s smartphones.
Xiaomi has made its Mi Band 3 (Review) fitness tracker available to buy via partner offline retail stores in India. To recall, the Mi Band 3 was launched in India late last month, and went on sale via Amazon India and Mi.com the very next day. At the launch event, Xiaomi said the Mi Band 3 will be made available via Mi Home and offline stores soon. Gadgets 360 has learnt that the fitness tracker is now available to buy via offline stores. The development comes on the heels on new festive season discounts for offline stores from the Chinese company.
Launched at Rs. 1,999, the Xiaomi Mi Band 3 sports an 0.78-inch OLED display that comes with 128×80-pixel resolution, and the touch button on the display allows users to navigate by swiping up, down, left, and right, and the new Caller ID feature also allows users to see who is calling, and silence (tap) or decline calls (long press). It sports a 110mAh Li-ion polymer battery that is 60 percent larger than the predecessor, and is touted to give up to 20 days of battery life. It supports Bluetooth 4.2 BLE connectivity, and is certified for water resistance up to 50 metres.
The interchangeable straps are made of Thermoplastic Elastomer with an adjustable length of 15.5 to 21.6cm, and are available in Orange, Black, and Blue colour options. The dimensions of the tracker are 1.79×4.69×1.2cm, and the fitness band weighs only 20 grams. The Mi Band 3 can count steps, measure heart rate, count calories, count distance, and display date and time as well. It provides real-time notifications from app messages, texts, and calls, and the Mi Fit apps takes care of sleep analysis and full historical data of all measurements. It also lets you set a periodic heart rate tracking process for regular updates.
Additional features include stopwatch, alarm, and find your phone. Xiaomi also claims the pedometer has been improved, as well the reminder that tells users to stop sitting for too long has been retained. The Mi Band 3 is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 and above or iOS 9.0 and above.
Poco F1, launched as an online-exclusive smartphone, is all set to go on sale in India via offline stores. The Xiaomi sub-brand has announced that the Poco F1 will go on sale via Xiaomi’s Mi Home stores across India starting from Saturday (October 13). Following this, the smartphone will also be available via Xiaomi’s offline partner stores from next Wednesday (October 17). Previously, the handset was only available via Flipkart and Mi.com. Ahead of the Diwali festive season, Poco said that it wants to tap into the brand Poco’s popularity among the Indians. Canalys in its report Smartphone Analysis, October 2018 report on the Indian market said that in Q2 2018, 36 percent of Xiaomi’s shipments in India were via offline channels.
Announced back in August, the Poco F1 comes in three configurations – 6GB RAM/ 64GB storage, 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage, and 8GB RAM/ 256GB storage. It is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC, which powers flagships like OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among others. Notably, the company said that the Poco F1 will be available at an “aggressive pricing” offline, close to the smartphone’s online prices with “slight variations” keeping in mind the retail operational costs.
Manmohan Chandolu, General Manager, Poco India said in a statement, “This is a truly defining moment for us as we witness the growth of our brand, and seek to explore newer horizons in the vast offline segment of our market. Following the launch of Poco F1, we received commendable response from our customers towards the Master of Speed. We look forward to reaching out to the wider section of the Indian consumers who are majorly offline based, and can now easily access our devices while enjoying the power of incredible speed matched with the ultimate performance at an irresistible price.”
In terms of online prices, the Xiaomi Poco F1 costs Rs. 20,999 for the 6GB RAM/ 64GB inbuilt storage variant, while the 6GB RAM/ 128GB inbuilt storage model is priced at Rs. 23,999, and the 8GB RAM/ 256GB inbuilt storage model is available at Rs. 28,999. The Armoured Edition of the Poco F1 with ‘real Kevlar’ comes with a price tag of Rs. 29,999. Colour options include Graphite Black, Rosso Red, and Steel Blue.
To recall some of the specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Poco F1 runs MIUI 9 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, and sports a 6.18-inch full-HD+ display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. It comes with 6GB/ 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM options and 64GB/ 128GB/ 256GB of inbuilt storage options. The inbuilt storage is expandable via microSD card (up to another 256GB).
In terms of optics, Xiaomi’s Poco F1 bears a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor, with f/1.9 aperture, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor, with f/2.0 aperture. The phone also sports a single 20-megapixel front camera with AI-based face recognition and portrait mode. There is a 4,000mAh battery under the hood, with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0.
Xiaomi has made a name for itself in the fitness wearables space with its affordable Mi Band series. One of the things we really like about these devices is that they have so far been accurate and have offered really good value for money. The very first Mi Band made such products available to the masses at low prices. The next iteration introduced a display and added a few more useful features. Now, Xiaomi’s latest fitness wearable, the Mi Band 3, takes things even further by introducing a touchscreen. People have high expectations for this product, but can it deliver at its Rs. 1,999 price point? We put it to the test to find out.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 design
Xiaomi’s design for its Mi Bands has roughly been the same all along. You have a capsule that has all the guts of the Mi Band 3 and a strap made out of thermoplastic elastomer which latches securely onto your hand. The capsule has grown in size and the Mi Band 3 has the biggest one yet in the series. It is curved at the sides and is slightly extruded from the strap when snapped in place. The OLED display is also bigger than the one on the Mi Band 2, and it is also brighter making it more legible outdoors.
There are grooves on the side of the capsule which allow the strap to hold it in place. This also helps prevent the capsule from popping out when you are running, something the original Mi Band was notorious for. Xiaomi ships a USB charging cable in the box which can be plugged into any adapter or a laptop to charge the capsule. The Mi Band 3 has a tiny dimple below its touchscreen which is a capacitive button. This button has two functions — a single tap to go back, and a long-tap to accept. Turn the capsule around and you can see the slightly raised heart rate sensor.
The quality of the strap is quite good. The clasp latches firmly and never came undone during the duration of this review. We did notice that the strap has more adjustment holes compared to the Mi Band 2, which should help users find a comfortable fit, even those with thinner hands.
The Mi Band 3 has a capacitive touchscreen
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 performance and battery life
The Mi Band 3 pairs with a smartphone using the Mi Fit app and Bluetooth 4.2 LE, which keeps the power consumption down. The app is available on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, and it is very easy to pair the band with a phone. When using the Mi Band 3, one can swipe upwards to go through various bits of information. When there is more than one readout available, you will see a scroll indicator hinting that you can swipe right to left to see more.
The Mi Band 3 displays a lot more information than the model it replaces. Apart from the time and date, you can check the number of steps taken, distance covered, calories burned, battery level, a three-day weather forecast, heart-rate, and a stopwatch. You can also switch the ringer profile of the phone (Android only), use the band to find your phone, and start recording exercise sessions directly from the band.
The Mi Fit app remains unchanged, but the Mi Band 3 does get a few new settings under the Device tab. One of them is a night mode that dims the display automatically at sunset or a scheduled time. Select Heart-rate Detection lets you turn automatic detection off, pair it with sleep tracking for better accuracy, or just keep it on. When switched on it gives you the option to track your heart rate at set intervals, with the lowest being one minute.
Xiaomi Mi Fit app on Android
The Mi Band 3 can also handle notifications and phone calls. We had paired it with a Samsung Galaxy S9 (Review) and found that it displayed the telephone number for an incoming call instead of the caller’s name, even when the contact was in our address book. It gives you the option to mute incoming calls or reject them entirely, using the capacitive button. The band manages notifications quite well and also saves these notifications until you clear them.
Activity tracking with the Mi Band 3 is very accurate. To check the accuracy of the step counter we went for a walk and counted 1,000 steps manually. The band reported 1,004 steps, which is very good, and the minor deviation can be accepted. We went for a walk for a distance we knew was exactly 1km, and the Mi Band 3 recorded the distance to be 1.12km. This is because non-GPS trackers like the Mi Band 3 can only estimate the distance you cover, so if accurate distance tracking — and not just steps — is important, you should look at more expensive alternatives.
The deviation was even larger when we used the Mi Band 3 on a treadmill with the exercise mode enabled. After we finished 2km on the treadmill, the band displayed 1.68km. This is primarily because the band cannot gauge stride length when on a treadmill, but we did have the option to calibrate distance after finishing a run.
While in exercise mode, the band displays the time and constantly tracks your heart rate. You can also use it for outdoor runs, where it uses GPS data from your paired phone for better distance tracking.
Exercise mode on the Xiaomi Mi Band 3
Sleep tracking is also supported on the Mi Band 3, and we found it to be accurate compared to the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. It also has a vibrating alarm, which we liked. It’s powerful enough to wake you up without disturbing anyone else in the room.
Xiaomi’s smart bands are known for their battery life but the Mi Band 3 has lower battery life than its two predecessors. With notifications switched off and the band only tracking steps and sleep, the battery reported 50 percent remaining after 8 days of use. With more features enabled, including heart-rate monitoring while sleeping, notifications, and the exercise mode while working out, we saw a faster dip in the battery level. To charge the Mi Band 3 you will need to remove the capsule from the band and use its proprietary charging cable with any computer or USB adapter.
Verdict The Xiaomi Mi Band 3 is the latest in a series that has already made a name for itself in the fitness tracker space in India. It is accurate for step tracking, and the touchscreen helps in navigating through the options that this device has to offer. The battery life is lower than that of the Mi Band 2, but is still better than what most other fitness bands in the market deliver. Xiaomi’s aggressive pricing of Rs. 1,999 makes it a good value-for-money offering as well.
Mi TV 4 Pro 55-inch price in India, specifications
The Mi TV 4 Pro 55-inch price in India has been set at Rs. 49,999. Xiaomi notes that the price is introductory in nature, and valid only for a month. While the smart TV will initially be available via Flipkart and Mi.com, it will be made available to buy via Mi Home stores and offline channel partners soon after.
As for the Mi TV 4 Pro 55-inch model’s specifications, it features a 55-inch 4K HDR frameless display, a thickness of just 4.9mm, 20W stereo speakers with DTS-HD, an AmLogic 64-bit quad-core processor with 7th-gen imaging technology, Mali-450 graphics, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of inbuilt storage, three HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, an S/PDIF port, Bluetooth v4.2 support, as well as a new 11-button remote with a dedicated voice search button. It also has access to the Google Play Store, and features Chromecast support built-in. To recall, at its launch event last month, Xiaomi had also announced new content partners in India – including Eros Now, Jio Cinema, Hooq, and Epic – adding that support for Amazon Prime Video on PatchWall UI will come soon as an OTA update.
Mi Home Security Camera 360 price in India
The Xiaomi Mi Home Security Camera 360 price in India has been set at Rs. 2,699. Apart from Amazon India, Flipkart, and Mi.com, it will become available to buy via Mi Home stores and offline retailers soon.
The Mi Home Security Camera 360 features 360-degree viewing angles and uses AI to detect motion in the room. It allows users to record video in full-HD resolution, supports 2x zoom, and features infrared night vision to capture the feed in the pitch darkness. The Mi Home Security Camera 360 has a microSD card slot for up to 64GB and has two-way radio talkback function to let users communicate with each other. Users can control the camera using the Mi Home app.
Mi Luggage price in India The Xiaomi Mi Luggage price in India starts at Rs. 2,999 for the 20-inch variant, and goes up to Rs. 4,299 for the 24-inch variant – they are both available via Amazon India, Flipkart, and Mi.com, apart from Mi Home stores and offline retail partners. The trolley travel bags feature a honeycomb design, and are built out of Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate that’s said to make them scratch-resistant.
They also feature a TSA approved lock, while the wheels at the bottom of the bags support 360-degree rotation, have dual-spinning capability, and are shock absorbent and wear-resistant. Xiaomi also says the handle to drag the Mi luggage is adjustable at four stops as well. While the 20-inch Mi Luggage comes in Blue, Grey and Red colour options, the 24-inch Mi Luggage comes in Blue and Grey colour options.
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Xiaomi has marked the fingerprint sensor bug with a “need more information” tag on its MIUI forums
Xiaomi Mi A1, the company’s first Android One smartphone, is now in reports for having allegedly exploded while it was being charged. The owner of the affected handset was reportedly jolted out of his sleep when the Mi A1 exploded. In addition to the Mi A1, Xiaomi is facing outrage for a reported fingerprint sensor bug within the Mi A2, the successor to the Mi A1, that brings a sudden battery death issue. Both Android One models by the Beijing-based company are currently anticipated to receive an update to Android 9.0 Pie. Unlike other Xiaomi smartphones that have MIUI on top of Android, the Mi A-Series models run stock Android out-of-the-box.
As posted in an MIUI forum post, a Xiaomi Mi A1 exploded while it was being charged overnight. The owner of the affected phone often put it on charging overnight. But one day, it is said that he was jolted out of his sleep after hearing an explosion from his phone. He ignored the blow and went back to sleep, but in the morning, he found the Mi A1 in an “extremely [damaged] condition.”
It is unclear whether the user was charging the affected Mi A1 using a genuine charger. Also, the MIUI forum post says that the user reached the customer care. The damaged Mi A1 unit is claimed to be eight months old and used with a protective case. Importantly, this was the first such case reported for the Mi A1.
Alongside the alleged explosion of the Mi A1, Xiaomi has come in the headlines for a Mi A2 bug that is impacting its battery life. Several users on the Linus Tech Tips forums have reported that the fingerprint sensor of the Mi A2 is using all the eight cores of the Snapdragon 660 SoC at maximum speed. This results in the sudden death of the battery and reduces the screen-on time to three or four hours.
Xiaomi hasn’t revealed any details around the bug, but on its MIUI forums, it has marked the bug as “need more information”, as spotted by Android Authority. The user reports suggest that the problem exists on a large number of Mi A2 units for over last one month. However, the company has neither pushed any bug fix nor acknowledged any issue.
We’ve reached out to Xiaomi for clarity on the alleged Mi A1 explosion as well as the reported Mi A2 battery issue and will update this space accordingly.
The last week saw a number of launches in India, from smartphones to TVs and fitness bands, but it was the Redmi Note 6 Pro global unveiling that generated the most buzz. Of course, telecom carriers continue to battle it out with new recharges to lure subscribers. WhatsApp was in the news too for a variety of reasons and, separately, its parent company Facebook suffered a massive data breach. Flipkart and Amazon sale dates were also announced this week, and Amazon also unveiled a new service for Prime customers in India with no extra cost. So let’s dive straight into the biggest tech news of the week, starting with the Redmi Note 6 Pro launch.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro went official with an announcement in Thailand, though a hands-on video earlier this week claims it was already available for purchase in Dubai without any official announcement. The Xiaomi Thailand Facebook page and official Mi forum announced the arrival of Redmi Note 6 Pro, which features a dual camera setup in the front and a bigger display as the major upgrades. Going deeper into the specifications, the MIUI 10 smartphone has a 6.26-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio and full-HD+ (1080×2280-pixel) resolution. It packs the same Snapdragon 636 processor that powers the predecessor, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. This is the only configuration announced so far, but we can expect more variants in the future.
As for optics, the smartphone has a 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual camera setup on the back and a 20-megapixel + 2-megapixel setup in the front. Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro comes with AI Face Unlock as well as a rear fingerprint sensor for security. Lastly, for the battery, the smartphone has the same 4,000mAh battery as the last model, with a 2-day battery life. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro price has been set as THB 6,990 (about Rs. 15,700); there is no word on the smartphone’s India launch or price so far.
Xiaomi held an event in India this week, with the company announcing as many as seven new products in the country. First up is the Mi Band 3, a fitness tracker with a 0.78-inch OLED screen with 128×80-pixel resolution with tactile feedback, and a 110mAh battery that is touted to offer a 20-day battery life. The new Xiaomi fitness band has Bluetooth 4.2 LE for connectivity, is water-resistant up to 50 metres, and is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 KitKat or above as well as iOS 9.0 or higher. It can count steps, calories, and distance, measure heart rate, and display date and time. The Mi Band 3 provides real-time notifications from app messages, texts, and calls, and the Mi Fit apps takes care of sleep analysis. The Mi Band 3 price in India has been set as Rs. 1,999, and is available for purchase right now.
Next up are the three new smart TVs, the first Xiaomi has launched with Pro moniker. All three run Android TV platform based on Oreo, with promise of Android Pie build; users will be able to switch between Android TV as well as Xiaomi’s Patchwall UI. The Mi TV 4C Pro with 32-inch display, priced at Rs. 14,999, and has HD resolution (1366×768-pixels), 64-bit 1.5GHz quad-core Amlogic processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, two 10W speakers, two USB 2.0 ports, and 3 HDMI ports. Then there’s the Mi TV 4A Pro model with 49-inch screen, full-HD (1920×1080-pixel) resolution, and 2GB of RAM; the remaining features are the same as that of the smaller model. Last is the Mi TV 4 Pro with 55-inch display with 4K resolution (3840×2160-pixel), two 20W speakers, Bluetooth 4.2, and 2GB of RAM, with the remaining feature identical to the other new models.
Xiaomi also announced the three TVs support voice commands thanks to the Google Voice Search integration. It is bringing the Amazon Prime Video app to its Patchwall UI platform soon, though there is no official word on the Netflix app. New content will also be available via Eros Now, Jio Cinema, Hooq, and Epic. There’s also support for Google Play Store, Chromecast support built-in, and other Google apps like YouTube, Play Music, etc owing to the Android TV platform. The 32-inch and 49-inch models go on sale on October 9, while the bigger 55-inch variant will become available to purchase a day later.
Rounding up the list are a new air purifier, a home security camera, and a smart luggage. The new Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S has an OLED panel with automatic brightness control and brings in features such as real-time air quality, surrounding temperature, humidity levels, and mode toggle. There’s a new high-precision laser sensor that can detect particulate matter as small as 0.3-micron in size, and its 360-degree triple layer filter can eliminate PM2.5 matters, allergens, and bacteria. Users can control it using not only the Mi Home app but also Google Assistant and Alexa digital assistant. The Mi Air Purifier 2S price in India is Rs. 8,999 and it is now available to buy in India.
The Mi Home Security Camera 360, as the name suggests, offers 360-degree viewing angles and can detect motion in the area being monitored thanks to AI integration. It can record full-HD videos and record videos in pitch darkness too. There’s support for the microSD cards up to 64GB, 2x zoom, and two-way communication. It is priced at Rs. 2,699 and goes on sale on October 10. The last new Xiaomi product in India, the Mi Luggage trolley travel bag and comes in 20-inch and 24-inch sizes, priced at Rs. 2,999 and Rs. 4,299, respectively. It is made of scratch-resistant Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate, has a TSA-approved lock, and 360-degree castor wheels. It will go on sale on October 10, with the smaller model in Blue, Grey, and Red colours and the bigger option in Blue and Grey hues.
The first Samsung smartphone with three rear cameras, the Galaxy A7 (2018) was launched in India this week and is already on sale. The Galaxy A7 (2018) has a 24-megapixel autofocus sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and 5-megapixel fixed-focus depth sensor; there’s also a 24-megapixel selfie camera with features such as Selfie Focus and Pro Lighting Mode. Other features of the Android 8.0 Oreo smartphone include 6-inch full-HD+ Infinity Display with 18.5:9 aspect ratio, octa-core 2GHz Samsung Exynos 7885 processor, and 3,300mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) price in India is Rs. 23,990 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage and Rs. 28,990 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, both with up to 256GB microSD card support.
Another major smartphone launched in India this week was the Motorola One Power, which will compete with the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Part of the Android One programme, it has the Snapdragon 636 processor, 5,000mAh battery, and 6.2-inch full-HD+ display as its key highlights. The smartphone runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo software, with Android Pie beta build coming next month and final version by year-end. Key specifications include 4GB of RAM, 64GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card up to 256GB, 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual rear camera setup with 4K recording support, 12-megapixel selfie camera, and Turbo Charge support for fast-charging. The Motorola One Power price in India is Rs. 15,999.
Realme 2 Pro went official in India this week, with features such as Snapdragon 660 SoC, 6.3-inch display, up to 6GB RAM, and up to 128GB storage. The smartphone runs the Android 8.1 Oreo-based Color OS 5.2 custom UI, has the 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear camera setup, 16-megapixel selfie camera, and 3,500mAh battery. The Realme 2 Pro price in India has bee set as Rs. 13,990, Rs. 15,990, and Rs. 17,990 for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage options, with storage support up to 256GB.
Vivo launched two smartphones in the Indian market this week, the Vivo V9 Pro and the Vivo V11. The Vivo V9 Pro is priced in India at Rs. 19,990 and going on sale as part of the Amazon Great India Festival sale at Rs. 17,990. It has a 6.3-inch full-HD+ screen with iPhone X-like display notch, Android 8.1 Oreo-based Funtouch OS 4.0, Snapdragon 660 AIE processor, 6GB RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and up to 256GB microSD card support. The Vivo V9 Pro smartphone, powered by a 3,260mAh battery, has a 13-megapixel + 2-megapixel camera setup on the back, and a 16-megapixel selfie camera.
The Vivo V11 price in India is Rs. 22,990, and it has a 6.3-inch full-HD+ AMOLED panel, Funtouch OS 4.5 custom UI based on Android 8.1 Oreo, MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, 6GB RAM, 64GB storage and up to 256GB microSD storage. The smartphone has a dual camera setup on the back with 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors, while the front camera has 16-megapixel sensor. The Vivo V11 has a 3,315mAh battery, with support for 18W fast-chargers.
The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max were released in India this week via online and offline channels. To recall, the iPhone XS price in India is Rs. 99,900 for the 64GB variant, while its 256GB option comes at Rs. 1,14,900 and the 512GB model is available at Rs. 1,34,900. The iPhone XS Max costs Rs. 1,09,900, Rs. 1,24,900 and Rs. 1,44,900 for the 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB variants, respectively. The two smartphones are available via Flipkart, Amazon India, Paytm Mall, Airtel Online Store, Jio.com, and IndiaiStore.com, as well as offline stores. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch (1125×2234-pixel) display, while the iPhone XS Max sports a 6.5-inch (1242×2688-pixel) screen, both with OLED panels. Key features of the smartphones include the new 7nm A12 Bionic chipset, 12-megapixel + 12-megapixel dual rear cameras, 7-megapixel selfie camera, and IP68 certification for dust- and water-resistance.
The Nokia 5.1 Plus price in India was announced by Nokia brand licensee HMD Global this week. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 10,999 and will go on sale in the country on October 1 via Flipkart and Nokia Online Store. Its key features include a 5.86-inch HD+ (720×1520) display, stock Android 8.1 Oreo software, MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, 32GB internal storage, 3GB of RAM, and up to 400GB microSD card support. The Nokia 5.1 Plus also has 13-megapixel + 5-megapixel dual rear cameras, 8-megapixel selfie camera, and 3,060mAh battery.
Google Pixel 2 XL received a price cut in India this week, but only for the base 64GB storage variant. The Pixel 2 XL base variant now costs Rs. 45,499, down from its launch price of Rs. 73,000. However, the 128GB option is still officially priced at Rs. 82,000. However, we can expect it to become cheaper in the coming days as Google gears up to unveil the next-generation Pixel 3 series.
Xiaomi Mi 8 Youth Edition and Mi 8 Screen Fingerprint Edition smartphones are set to go global as the Mi 8 Lite and Mi 8 Pro, respectively. While the former’s global release was teased by the official Xiaomi Twitter handle, the latter’s global launch was confirmed by the company’s spokesperson Donovan Sung via a tweet. The Mi 8 Youth Edition has a 6.26-inch display, Snapdragon 660 AIE processor, up to 6GB RAM and up to 128GB storage, dual rear cameras, 3,350mAh battery, Face Unlock, and rear fingerprint sensor. On the other hand, the Mi 8 Screen Fingerprint Edition has an in-display fingerprint sensor, 6.21-inch display, Snapdragon 845 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 128GB storage, and a 3,000mAh battery.
Oppo seems to be working a new variant of the Find X smartphone, this one featuring 10GB of RAM. Leaked thanks to a TENAA listing, the new variant has 10GB of RAM, 256GB of inbuilt storage, and a 3,645mAh battery. The remaining specifications seem identical to the standard Find X model, which was launched in India at Rs. 59,990. In other news from China, Lenovo has announced it will launch the Z5 Pro smartphone on October 1 in the country. The smartphone has a slider mechanism for the camera, similar to the one we have previously seen on the Oppo Find X, but works without a motor. There are no other details about the Lenovo Z5 Pro at the moment.
The Nokia 7 Plus Android 9.0 Pie update is rolling out now, but all eyes are on its successor, the Nokia 7.1 Plus. The upcoming HMD Global event being held on October 4 is expected to mark the unveiling of the next-generation smartphone. To nobody’s surprise, all the key Nokia 7.1 Plus specifications have leaked online already owing to a TENAA listing. It shows the smartphone will have 6.18-inch full-HD+ display, 2.2GHz octa-core processor (possibly Snapdragon 710), two variants (4GB RAM + 64GB storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage), microSD card support up to 400GB, 20-megapixel selfie camera, 13-megapixel + 12-megapixel rear cameras, and 3,400mAh battery. A tweet by noted tipster Roland Quandt claims the smartphone will be called Nokia 7.1 instead, and will cost EUR 399 (about Rs. 33,700) for the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage variant. Leaked renders and alleged live images showing its design have also cropped up on the internet the past week.
Flipkart and Amazon have announced the dates of the respective festive season sales they will be hosting this month. The Flipkart Big Billion Days sale will be held from October 10 to October 14, with Flipkart Plus members getting access 3 hours ahead of the other customers. Unlike previous sales, the e-commerce brand has not previewed major deals from the upcoming sale and has only announced that buyers will get up to 80 percent discount on electronics and up to 90 percent off on home decor, fashion, and personal care products. HDFC Bank debit and credit card users will get 10 percent instant discount, though minimum cart value and maximum discount are not yet known. Similarly, the Amazon Great Indian Festival sale will commence on October 10 and continue till October 15, a day extra. Prime members will get early access to deals, and SBI credit and debit card users will receive 10 percent instant discount, and Amazon Pay users will get cashback of up to Rs. 300. No deals have been previewed by Amazon either.
Separately, Amazon India has announced the launch of Prime Reading, a service that provides users access to a bunch of free books. It will coexist with the subscription-based Kindle Unlimited service. However, while Kindle Unlimited lets users read thousands of books with a fixed fee, the Prime Reading catalogue only consists of a few hundred books. The titles will be available in English, Hindi, Marathi, and Tamil. To access the service, users only need to login to the Kindle app on the their phone, tablet of Kindle e-book reader, and look for titles marked ‘Prime Reading’.
Facebook, which is already struggling in maintaining its users’ trust due to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, has announced that it suffered a massive breach that affects as many as 50 million of its users. The breach occurred as hackers exploited three security flaws to steal access tokens that allow users to login to the service automatically. Mark Zuckerberg said the company is not aware if any accounts were “actually misused.” However, no passwords were leaked as part of this hack, only access tokens. As a security measure, Facebook has logged out the 50 million affected users from their accounts on various devices.
WhatsApp too was in the news this week as its co-founder Brian Acton spoke about why he left Facebook — and about $850 million (about Rs. 6,160 crores) on the table. In an interview with Forbes, Acton revealed how he clashed with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as well as COO Sheryl Sandberg over monetising WhatsApp and how the app’s encrypted messages stood in the way of the social media company harvesting user data. Of course, ads are coming to the app, with a new report claiming ads for WhatsApp for iPhone being under development. In other news, WhatsApp has partnered with Reliance Jio to tackle the fake news menace, with all new Jio Phone users receiving educational material to tell them about spotting a forwarded message and encourages them to share messages thoughtfully.
Moving on to the telecom sector, Jio’s rivals are hard at work in their attempts to take back market share from the operator with the help of low-cost recharges. Vodafone Idea Limited announced as many as six recharges priced between Rs. 24 and Rs. 245, and reportedly applicable in UP West, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, and Punjab circles. The Rs. 25 recharge offers offers talk-time of Rs. 18 and 10MB of data for 28 days, the Rs. 35 pack gives talk-time worth Rs. 26 and 100MB of data for 28 days. The Rs. 65 recharge comes with talk-time of Rs. 65 and 200MB data for a validity period of 28 days. Then there’s the Rs. 95 Vodafone recharge with Rs. 95 talk-time and 500MB mobile data for 28-day validity. The local, STD, and landline call rates for Tamil Nadu and Punjab is 30 paise per minute and for UP (West) region, it costs 1 paisa per 2 seconds. The local, STD and landline call rates for UP (West) and Punjab is 1 paisa per second and for Tamil Nadu, it is 60 paise per minute.
The Rs. 145 Vodafone recharge provides users with talk-time of Rs. 145 and 1GB data for 42 days. Lastly, the Rs. 245 plan provides Rs. 245 worth of talk-time and 2GB data for a validity period of 84 days. Local, STD and landline call rate for Tamil Nadu and Punjab is 30 paise per minute, while for UP (West) it is 1 paisa per 2 seconds.
Not to be outdone, Airtel launched six recharges for its prepaid users priced at Rs. 25, Rs. 35, Rs. 65, Rs. 95, Rs. 145, and Rs. 245 in the same circles. The Rs. 25 Airtel recharge offers Rs. 18.69 talk time and 10MB data, and 28-day validity, while the Rs. 35 pack gives Rs. 26.6 talk time and 100MB data, both with validity of 28 days; the latter also discount calls to 60 paise per minute. The Rs. 65 recharge gives talk time of Rs. 65, 200MB data, and calls at tariff of 60 paise per minute for 28 days. The Rs. 95 Airtel recharge provides Rs. 95 talk time, 500MB data, and voice calls at 30 paise per minute for 28 days. Similar to its corresponding Vodafone recharge, the Airtel Rs. 145 recharge gives full talk time, 1GB data, and calling at 30 paise per minute for 28 days. Finally there’s the Rs. 245 pack that offers full talk time, 2GB of data, and calls at discounted rate of 30 paise per minute for 84-day validity.
BSNL marked 18 years of its founding this week with a new Rs. 18 recharge that provides users with unlimited data and calls for two days. This promotional offer also provides 18 percent additional data on select high-value recharges. With this, the 601 BSNL recharge will now have talk-time of Rs. 709 and bundled data will be 5GB. Similarly, the Rs. 1,801 recharge will give subscribers talk-time of Rs. 2,125 and 15GB of data, and the Rs. 1,201 recharge will provide Rs. 1,417 as the talk-time and data capped at 10GB. These additional talk-time and data benefits will be available only on recharges purchased between October 1 and October 18 on pan-India basis.
Can Motorola One Power dethrone the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Redmi 6 Pro? 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.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 and Mi Air Purifier 2S will go on sale for the first time at 12pm on today, September 28 on Amazon.in and Mi.com; the air purifier will also be available on Flipkart at the same time today. Both of these smart home gadgets will be available across Mi Home and other offline partner stores soon. To recall, Xiaomi Mi Band 3 and Mi Air Purifier 2S were launched at the company’s Smarter Living event held in Bengaluru on Thursday. Apart from these two products, Mi TV variants, Mi Luggage, and Mi Home Camera 360 were also announced at the event but will go on sale in the coming weeks.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3, Mi Air Purifier 2S price in India
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 price in India has been set at Rs. 1,999 for the lone variant. The NFC-enabled model has not been launched in the Indian market, and has a price tag of CNY 199 (roughly Rs. 2,100) in China. The new Mi Air Purifier 2S is priced in India at Rs 8,999, lower than the Rs. 9,999 price tag of the first air purifier Xiaomi released in India.
Xiaomi Mi Band 3 specifications
The Mi Band 3 sports a 0.78-inch capacitive display panel with a 128×80 pixel resolution, much larger than the 0.43-inch panel on the Mi Band 2. Other specifications of the Mi Band 3 include a 110mAh Li-ion polymer battery with a claimed battery life of 20 days, Bluetooth v4.2 LE support, and water resistance up to 50 metres.
Dimensions of the budget fitness tracker are 179x469x12mm and it weighs about 20 grams. In terms of functionality, the Mi Band 3 offers step tracking, heart rate sensing, calorie counter, distance counter, and date and time information. Users can also check real-time notifications and perform sleep analysis. Mi Band 3 is compatible with devices running Android 4.4 or above and iOS 9.0 and above.
Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S specifications
The new Mi Air Purifier 2S sports a OLED digital display that shows information like real-time air quality, temperature, humidity, and offers access for mode toggles. It features a high precision laser filter sensor to filter out particles as small as 0.3-micron pixels, and a 360-degree triple layer filter to effectively keep out PM2.5 matters, allergens, and bacteria. The air purifier now also comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration. In Night Mode, the Mi Air Purifier 2S consumers 4.8W power and has a volume level of 30Db.
Xiaomi has kicked off its much-awaited Smarter Living event in Bengaluru, with Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories at Xiaomi India, started with the Mi Band 3 announcement. The new Mi Band 3 comes with a 110mAh battery with up to 20-day battery life (60 percent bigger than the on its predecessor), 0.78-inch OLED screen (85 percent larger than Mi Band 2), and delivers WhatsApp messages as well as 3-day weather forecast. It has a touch button on the screen that offers different functions, such as returning to main menu, declining calls, etc. Like the previous Mi Band, this new model sports a hypoallergenic silicone strap (in Orange, Blue, Black colours) and is certified for water-resistance up to 50-metres. Of course, the new Mi Band 3 allows users to track their heart rate, steps taken, sleep, and activity level — all accessible from the Mi Fit app. The Mi Band 3 price in India has been set as Rs. 1,999, and goes on sale starting tomorrow at 12pm via Amazon.in and Mi.com.
Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S is the next product to be unveiled at the event, and features an OLED display, smarter home integration, and ‘precise’ air purification. Featuring auto brightness adjustment, the OLED display provides information such as PM2.5 levels in the house, temperature and humidity levels. The higher-precision laser sensor can detect particulate matter 0.3-micron in size, which is filtered with the 360-degree triple layer filter. It has an effective cleaning range of 226-398 sq ft, and works with Alexa and Google Assistant as well as the Mi Home app. It is priced at Rs. 8,999. The company also launched smart luggage and internet-connected CCTV at the event.
Mi TV was the biggest product unveiled at the event, with 32-inch, 49-inch, and 55-inch displays. The three TVs are built on Android TV platform and have the Patchwall UI to learn user behaviour. Amazon Prime Video will be coming to the platform soon – first heading to the new Mi TV models, and later to the first three models. Jio Cinema, Hooq, and Eros Now are also coming to Patchwall.
Xiaomisent out media invites for this ecosystem-focused event earlier this month and has since been teasing the launch of numerous products at this event. As per the teasers, we can expect the Chinese technology giant to unveil the Mi Band 3, a new Mi TV model, a smart camera, and perhaps an air purifier at the Smarter Living event. The Xiaomi event was scheduled to start at 12pm today, but the live stream has not yet started. No smartphone is expected at the Xiaomi event today. The company has confirmed in a tweet that it will be launching as many as seven products.
How to watch Xiaomi Smarter Living event online
The Xiaomi Smarter Living event will be streamed online via the official company site. You can head to this page at 12pm to watch Xiaomi Smarter Living event online. Alternatively, you can stick around and watch Xiaomi event live in the embedded YouTube video below by simply hitting the play button. We will be at the event too and will bring to you all the live updates from Xiaomi so you don’t miss out on anything.
The Mi Band 3 is confirmed to launch in India at the event today exclusively on Amazon India, as per a teaser on the e-tailer’s website. The landing page shows a Coming Soon banner and provides a Notify Me button for interested users. To recall, the Mi Band 3 sports a 0.78-inch capacitive OLED display panel, which is substantially larger than the Mi Band 2’s 0.42-inch OLED panel. The Mi Band 3 features a heart-rate sensor as well as a triaxial acceleration sensor.
While the regular variant of the Mi Band 3 is priced at CNY 169 (roughly Rs. 1,800) in China, the NFC-enabled model comes in at CNY 199 (about Rs. 2,100). The Mi Band 2 was launched in India last year at a price of Rs. 1,999, although Mi Band 3 price in India is not known yet.
Apart from the Mi Band 3, some other smart home products were also teased by Xiaomi. An eye icon was teased suggesting something around a 360-degree smart home camera, possibly for surveillance. A popcorn icon was also shown that points towards the launch of yet another Mi TV variant, and an “air” icon could represent the launch of another product in the company’s home or car air purification segment. Lastly, a location icon was also teased however the product associated with it remains ambiguous. We speculate that this could be some sort of location-tracking GPS device.
Xiaomi has expanded its range of notebooks by launching the Mi Notebook Youth Edition. The new model comes as a toned-down version of the new Mi Notebook that was launched last month with up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processors and 8GB of RAM. Being a part of the existing Mi Notebook family, the Mi Notebook Youth Edition features a 15.6-inch full-HD display and is powered by an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor. The notebook also has 128GB of SSD alongside 1TB of a mechanical hard drive. Aside from the Mi Notebook Youth Edition, the Chinese company has launched the Mi Smart Alarm Clock that is backed by Xiao AI voice assistant. The Mi Smart Alarm Clock supports voice controls to let users snooze the annoying alarm using their voice. It is also capable of setting up to 30 different alarms using voice commands. Xiaomi has additionally offered the ability to add up to 80 reminders and deliver stock updates, news headlines, or listen to the preset radio stations.
The Xiaomi Mi Notebook Youth Edition features a 15.6-inch full-HD display and is powered by an eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, coupled with Nvidia GeForce MX110 graphics along with 2GB discrete memory and 8GB of RAM. There is 128GB of SSD that is accompanied by 1TB of hard drive.
Aside from the basics, the Mi Notebook Youth Edition has a dual-fan cooling system that uses a dual-fan technology along with a twin air outlet with 2+2 heat pipe layout. The notebook has a USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI interface, 3.5mm headphone jack, and two USB 3.0 ports. There is also a three-in-one card reader.
Xiaomi has offered dual 3W speakers as well as a chiclet-style keyboard along with an independent keypad. Furthermore, the Mi Notebook Youth Edition comes with 19.9mm of thickness.
As reported by GizChina, the Mi Notebook Youth Edition will go on sale in China with a price tag of CNY 4,599 (roughly Rs. 48,500). Details about its availability are yet to be announced.
Coming to the Mi Smart Alarm Clock, it has a digital display that adjusts the brightness automatically. There is an option to use your voice to set up to 30 alarms or as many as 80 reminders. Xiaomi has provided its in-house Xiao AI voice assistant that also enables the Mi Smart Alarm Clock to push latest stock updates, weather alerts, and news headlines. Similarly, the clock has the option to control more than 100 connected devices using your voice commands. It can also stream over 2,000 Internet radio stations. Moreover, you can ask the clock your general questions.
Xiaomi Mi Smart Alarm Clock
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Alarm Clock is powered by an SoC that has a 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU. In terms of connectivity, there are Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) connectivity options. The clock also works with devices running at least Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or iOS 9.0. There is a dedicated button to mute the microphone in case if you don’t want to use the Xiao AI integration. Besides, it measures 126.2x27x60.8mm and weighs 170 grams.
The new Mi Smart Alarm Clock is currently available for pre-orders in China through Xiaomi’s YouPin with a price tag of CNY 149 (roughly Rs. 1,600). Details about its availability and price in other markets including India are yet to be revealed.