The hotly anticipated OnePlus 5 has finally been launched internationally, just ahead of its scheduled launch in India on Thursday. Multiple leaks and rumours have been confirmed, now that we know exactly what the smartphone and its specifications sheet look like. The OnePlus 5 is powered by the Quacomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, and is available with either 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage at $479 (approximately Rs. 31,000) or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage at $539 (approximately Rs. 35,000). It also has dual rear cameras, a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, UFS 2.1 storage, a 3300mAh battery, and Android 7.1.1. While the exact OnePlus 5 price in India isn’t known, leaks suggest that the two variants will cost Rs. 32,999 and Rs. 37,999 respectively when it goes on sale at 4:30pm via Amazon India.
Given OnePlus’s reputation for offering flagship-class phones at rock-bottom prices compared to most other companies, anticipation for the OnePlus 5 has been running high. It takes on the Samsung Galaxy S8, the iPhone 7 and the upcoming Xiaomi Mi 6. The device looks a lot like the iPhone 7 Plus because of its antenna lines and the placement of the two camera lenses, and is a significant departure from last year’s OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. It’s also one of the first devices to launch with Qualcomm’s 2017 flagship SoC, the Snapdragon 835. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has already termed the OnePlus 5 the “fastest selling” OnePlus model ever, though exact numbers aren’t yet known. So far, while early reactions are generally positive, the launch has been marred by allegations of benchmark manipulation.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns in wake of multiple controversies
Travis Kalanick has stepped down as CEO of Uber, which he co-founded, following weeks of pressure because of controversies related to the handling of a sexual harassment incident and reports of unprofessional and sexist behaviour at the company. Most recently, it came to light that Kalanick and multiple other top executives at Uber improperly obtained copies of the medical records of a New Delhi woman who was raped by an Uber driver, and then accused her of lying about the incident. Twenty employees were dismissed following an investigation by former US Attorney General Eric Holder into the company’s work culture, and several of its investors have been demanding Kalanick’s resignation.
Flipkart sales extravaganza continues
Flipkart is holding a sale on laptops from June 20 to 22, and another on smartphones from June 22 to 24. Buyers can take advantage of discounts and various offers including exchanges, bank tie-ups and no-cost EMI plans. Prices during the Flipkart sale can be as low as Rs. 9,999 for the Acer 10 Atom 2-in-1, with mainstream Intel Core i5-based models starting at Rs. 38,990 and Core i3-based models starting at Rs. 22,990. During the smartphone sale on Flipkart, multiple iPhone models as well as the Moto Z and Google Pixel series will be sold at discounted prices. The site is teasing the iPhone 7 32GB at Rs. 4_,499, while also promising the “lowest ever prices” for 16GB and 32GB variants of the iPhone 6.
WhatsApp to live on till 2020 on older Android phones
After announcing that it would end compatibility with a number of niche and legacy platforms, WhatsApp decided to give users of BlackBerry OS and Nokia S40 short-term reprieves. The Facebook-owned service has now also stated that it will maintain support for versions of Android older than 2.3.7 Gingerbread till at least February 1, 2020. However, WhatsApp says there will be no active development for these platforms and no guarantee that new features will be rolled out or even that existing ones will continue to work for everyone. WhatsApp recommends that users upgrade to a new phone well before the cutoff date.
HP announces new 2-in-1 hybrid laptops in India
HP has launched two new 2-in-1 models in India, both of which feature support for stylus inking. With bundled active styluses, users can draw on screen, highlight text, and convert handwriting to text. The new HP Pavilion x360 and HP Spectre x360 both feature 7th-gen Intel Core processors, full-HD screens, and Bang & Olufsen audio. The Pavilion x360 is available in 11-inch and 14-inch models, priced starting at Rs. 40,290 and 55,290 respectively, while the ultra-slim 13.3-inch Spectre x360 will cost Rs. 1,15,290.
Google to discontinue Android Market for legacy versions of Android
Google has announced that its legacy Android Market app store, which serves users of Android 2.1 and earlier, will shut down on June 30. The company says that it has been seven years since the release of Android 2.1 Eclair, and the user base for devices that old has now shrunk to a negligible amount. Hardly any app makers even support these versions of Android. Due to technical limitations, users cannot be alerted to the impending shutdown via notifications on the devices themselves. Apps can still be sideloaded, but compatibility will be a problem and devices this old are likely to be vulnerable to security problems.
Firefox Focus comes to Android
Mozilla has brought its privacy-minded Firefox Focus app to Android, after launching it on iOS last year. This specially designed alternative to the mainstream Firefox browser promises improved anonymity by impeding tracking mechanisms used by websites, analytics services and ad networks, and also has a built-in ad blocker. You can see the number of ads that have been blocked, and erase your history with a single tap.
Paytm said to be readying a mutual fund offering
Just a month after launching its payments bank operations, Paytm is reportedly in the process of obtaining RBI approval to set up a money market mutual fund. The move would allow the company to raise money through financial services. It is reported that the mutual fund could be launched in a few months’ time. Paytm is backed by Softbank and Alibaba and has been public about aspirations in the wealth management space. Paytm hopes to accumulate 500 million customers by 2020.
Moto C Plus sells out within 7 minutes
According to Flipkart, its entire stock of approximately 42,000 Moto C Plus smartphones was sold out within 7 minutes of the device going on sale, which works out to roughly 100 units per second. The newly launched smartphone costs Rs. 6,999 and offers a 5-inch HD screen, quad-core MediaTek SoC, an 8-megapixel camera, 4000mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The Moto C Plus is a dual-SIM 4G VoLTE device and is available exclusively on Flipkart, where it will go on open sale from Thursday.
Steam’s summer sale to begin on June 22
Steam’s annual summer sale event will kick off on June 22 this year. The news was broken by PayPal in a tweet announcing a special offer for users who buy games using its service. There is no indication yet of which games will go on sale and how deep the discounts will be. The sale event is expected to go on till July 5, but Valve has not made any statements of its own yet. Users in India can check for their favourite titles beginning at 10:30pm IST on June 22.
Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.