Flipkart has announced the dates for its next big sale event. The latest edition of the Big Billion Days sale will begin from September 20 and continue till September 24. The e-commerce giant claims that there will be up to 90 percent discounts on some products, and that customers will be able to choose EMI offers on debit cards from multiple different banks. Flipkart has not yet released teasers or promotions about specific products that are to be discounted, but we do know that offers for the fashion, appliances, home and furniture categories will begin on September 20 while mobile phones, electronics and accessories will go on sale starting the next day.
Flipkart’s announcement features its own brands Metronaut, Divastree, Smartbuy and Perfect Homes, quite prominently. The Big Billion Days event has been held a number of times just before major festivals over the past few years.
Samsung Galaxy C8 with facial recognition and dual cameras announced
Samsung launched the Galaxy C8, bringing its dual cameras and its facial recognition security tech to another smartphone. There are two Samsung Galaxy C8 variants, one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and the other with 4GB and 64GB respectively. The Galaxy C8 also has a 5.5-inch full-HD Super Amoled screen, unspecified octa-core SoC, 3000mAh battery, and hybrid dual-SIM slots. At the rear, there’s a 13-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.7 aperture and a second 5-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 aperture. The front camera has a 16-megapixel sensor and f/1.9 aperture. Samsung has not yet announced details of its pricing and availability.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 India launch on September 12
Samsung has also sent out invitations to the launch of the Galaxy Note 8 in India. The event will take place on in New Delhi on September 12, the same day that Apple reveals its next iPhone. The Galaxy Note 8 was unveiled globally only a short while ago, and pre-orders have been open for a while already. The new Galaxy Note 8 is much like the Samsung Galaxy S8+, but has a larger 6.3-inch screen with more pronounced curves on the sides. It also features Samsung’s S-Pen, which has been a staple of the Note series since the beginning. It also has an Exynos 8895 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, dual rear cameras, and hybrid dual-SIM slots. The Indian price is not yet known, but we can expect it to be quite high based on what we know of the international price.
Those who are considering buying this phone will be happy to know that it did very well in a durability test performed by popular YouTube channel JerryRigEverything. The phone was subjected to scratching, bending and even fire, and came out looking quite good. Most of its surfaces survived scratching with extremely sharp objects, and there was no damage from bending at all. It even made it through 10 seconds of fire exposure before the display was damaged.
In related news, Samsung Pay will now work with YES Bank credit cards. Cardholders with compatible Samsung devices will be able to make payments at all Samsung Pay-enabled points of sale without needing to swipe their physical credit cards. YES Bank customers also get Rs. 1,500 in cashback benefits as part of a promotion.
WhatsApp gets picture-in-picture, text status updates
WhatsApp has rolled out a new picture-in-picture mode and text-based status messages across its iOS and Android clients. The PiP mode lets users run video calls in a small window so that they can use the app without interrupting a call. WhatsApp users can message other people or do anything else within the app, while the video call keeps running. The second feature allows users to type text and choose a background colour to display a slide in their update streams, in addition to photos and video clips. The status updates are visible to contacts for 24 hours.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, Mi Note 3 likely to launch next week
Xiaomi has begun releasing teasers for its upcoming borderless Mi Mix 2, which will launch on September 11 in a deliberate attempt to steal attention from Apple’s big iPhone 8 announcement the next day. A video clip shows a model holding what appears to be the Mi Mix 2, but while its front is obscured, the blue back is clearly visible.
Previous rumours have pointed to a large borderless screen like the one on the original Mi Mix, and there is the possibility that it will use an unannounced Snapdragon 836 SoC and run Android 8.0 when it releases. Interestingly, Xiaomi could also use the event to launch another phone, the expected Mi Note 3, according to cryptic social media posts by company president Lin Bin.
Google Feed rolls out in Hindi on Android and iOS
Google Feed is now available in Hindi on Android and iOS in India. Feed is a personalised stream of news and information which is gathered using machine learning, and users can highlight topics they are interested in after every search. It adapts to users’ habits as well as local news, trending topics, and events. Google Feed appears as an extension to Google Now on Android, and as part of the Google search app on iOS. Feed items appear based on relevance to a user, not chronological order as with most social media sites. Google is hoping that users will spend a lot more time on Google rather than using it as a jumping-off point to content on the Web.
iPhone 8 supplies might be limited at launch time
It’s all but confirmed that Apple will launch its massively redesigned new iPhone at an event at the new Apple Park campus in Cupertino on Tuesday. However, what isn’t known is when the device will go on sale, and how long it will take to launch around the world. Buyers who are already determined to grab one could be in for a long wait, as a fresh report backs up rumours from earlier this year that supply will be heavily constrained thanks to manufacturing difficulties and delays. All eyes will be on the launch announcement next week.
Facebook beefs up suicide prevention efforts
Facebook is stepping up its efforts to deal with the Blue Whale Challenge and similar content that promotes self-harm and suicide. The social network announced that it has worked with suicide prevention organisations to better understand and respond to phrases and hashtags that could identify such content. It will also be displaying information about support groups to people who seem to be reading such content. Facebook will be adding tools to its Safety Centre that will help people reach out to friends who seem to be expressing suicidal thoughts, or report them to Facebook so that helpful material can be sent to them.
Android 8.0 Oreo beta released to OnePlus 3 users
OnePlus is gearing up to release Android 8.0 Oreo updates for its recent smartphones, and some OnePlus 3 owners have been able to participate in a closed beta to test the software before its final release. The company is also expected to offer public betas for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 3T users before the end of this month. OnePlus has previously announced that updates for these three phones will roll out in 2017. Beta users are reporting plenty of bugs, so there’s still time to go before a final public release.
Google rumoured to be in talks to acquire HTC
Google’s ownership of Motorola was short-lived, but now it seems that the company wants to get back into the hardware game and is said to be in talks to acquire HTC’s smartphone business. A Chinese publication has reported that Google could either become a strategic partner or buy the company outright, but HTC’s Vive unit would not be part of the deal. HTC’s fortunes have declined over the past few years, as it has found it hard to compete with Samsung and low-cost Chinese companies. HTC manufactures the Pixel and Pixel XL for Google, and it is widely rumoured that the deal will continue for the upcoming Pixel 2 models.