Samsung might have just launched the pricey Galaxy Note 8, but it hasn’t forgotten its ‘J’ series of affordable smartphones either. The company has listed the Galaxy J7+ on its Thailand website, which will become available on September 15 at THB 12,900 (Rs. 24,800 approximately). Key features of Samsung Galaxy J7+ include a dual camera setup at the back, and the option to run two WhatsApp accounts at once with its dual app feature. Other specifications include a full-HD 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, a 2.4GHz Helio P20 oct-core processor, 4GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage with the option to expand to 256GB via microSD slot.
Airtel takes on Jio with new Rs. 349 pack with 28GB bundled data; revises Rs. 399 plan
Airtel has launched new data-heavy prepaid packs priced at Rs. 349 and Rs. 5 to take on Jio and its ultra-low cost plans. The Rs. 349 prepaid pack offers 1GB data per day, along with 1,000 minutes of bundled local and STD calls per week. The validity of this pack is 28 days. Airtel is also providing a Rs. 5 recharge pack with 4GB of bundled data for consumers who upgrade to the company’s 4G SIM. It is a one-time pack, meaning you will not get this offer again after the first recharge. The validity of this pack is 7 days, and there are no bundled calls. Along with this, the company has revised the Rs. 399 pack to offer free outgoing roaming calls, but has reduced its validity from 84 days to 28 days.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Lake Blue variant launched in India at Rs. 12,999
Xiaomi has now launched its Redmi Note 4 smartphone’s Lake Blue variant in India, but in just one configuration – 4GB RAM and 64GB built-in storage priced at Rs. 12,999. Xiaomi says it has been launched as a part of its ‘Wake the Lake’ project in India, and part of the proceeds from the sale of each device will go towards supporting initiatives under the government’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
The company is also set to announce a new handset tomorrow and it seems it will be part of an entirely new series. Now, Flipkart has announced that the upcoming Xiaomi smartphone will be sold in India exclusively via its e-commerce platform. As reported earlier, Google has been rumoured to be developing an Android One smartphone with Xiaomi rumoured to be called the Xiaomi Mi A1. Could this be it?
Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 tipped to feature Snapdragon 836 SoC; retail box, promo images revealed
In other Xiaomi news, the Mi MIX 2 smartphone is set to launch on September 11 and while we are still awaiting official details, a new leak suggests that the device will pack a yet-to-be-announced Snapdragon 836 SoC and run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the box. Separately, a purported panel of the Mi MIX successor has also been leaked in live images.
Furthermore, the Mi MIX 2’s retail box has been revealed. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun shared images of the retail box of the Mi MIX 2 on social networking site Weibo. It’s a flat square-shaped black coloured box that has a lid with a message. The lid hides the Mi MIX 2 and its packaged internals from being revealed. Various promo campaign images have also been revealed showing a man holding no phone while taking a picture. This hints at the bezel-less nature of the smartphone, merging the outside imagery with what is shown on the display of the smartphone.
Hotstar launches its premium service in US and Canada
Indian streaming service Hotstar is now available in the US and Canada. The Star India-owned streaming service is extending its Premium subscription to countries outside India – $9.99 (roughly Rs. 640) per month in the US, and CAD 12.99 (roughly Rs. 670) in Canada with a one-month free trial – via apps on the country’s respective iOS App Stores and Google Play stores. Apps for Android TV and Roku are “coming soon”, according to the Hotstar website.
Earlier, it was available officially in India alone although it could be accessed from other regions, this is not the case anymore. Right now its only available in India, Canada, and the US. Interestingly, although Hotstar India only allows one stream at a time, international subscribers will be able to play two videos simultaneously. Also, it’s worth pointing out that the Hotstar FAQ mentions that the membership is not transferrable between the countries in which Hotstar is available, so US Hotstar users are entitled to watch videos in the US only. Similarly, an Indian user in the US will not be able access any content either. This is not the case with either Netflix, or Amazon Prime Video.
LG V30 price revealed; Nokia 8 pre-orders go live in the UK
The LG V30 recently launched at IFA 2017, and in the run up to hitting the shelves, the LG V30 price has been revealed prior to an official announcement. In the US, buried in the terms and conditions of a V30 contest run by LG lists $749.99 (around Rs. 48,100) as the approximate price for the phone. If true, it makes it cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 that’s priced at $930 (around Rs. 59,600).
Meanwhile in Europe, a Romanian retailer is already taking pre-orders of the LG V30, and has priced it at RON 3,990.90 (roughly Rs. 66,200). The listing doesn’t mention the exact shipping date, but does confirm that it will happen sometime this month only. This price is much higher than what it has been listed in the US contest and we’d hope the former is the true price of the LG V30. Also, it’s important to consider that the price will vary depending upon the region. Also, the pre-order price doesn’t really reflect official prices, and LG is yet to make that official announcement.
Another high-end smartphone hitting the market soon is Nokia 8, which has finally gone up for pre-order in the UK. Priced at GBP 500 (around Rs. 41,400), it is available in Blue and Silver options only. Customer pre-ordering the Nokia 8 get a Steel smartwatch worth GBP 120 (around Rs. 9,900). It will be available at retail in the UK from September 13.
Call drop rate has come down 8 percent in last year, says government
Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said in New Delhi on Friday that the call drop rate has reduced by 8 percent in the last one year. This was during a review meeting with telecom operators. He also added that the government aimed to bring it down further before the year is up. Sinha also said there’s been a “substantial improvement” in customer satisfaction too. Furthermore, telecom companies met the target of setting up 60,000 cellular sites or BTS with an investment of Rs. 12,000 crores in 100 days. In the same meeting, TRAI said telcos may be fined up to Rs. 5 lakhs if rules regarding call drops were not met.
Less than half phone makers responded to government’s data protection directive
About 15 to 20 mobile phone makers have responded to the government’s directive to share information about security measures they have taken to ensure that user data is not compromised, a top official said on Friday.
“We have so far asked 36 companies. Till about 15 to 20 companies have responded. Some companies asked for more time which we have given,” Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, said.
The government would like to understand what security measures the companies are taking to make sure that user data is not leaked, he said. “Based on what information they give, we will examine it and inform them if there are any concerns,” the senior bureaucrat said. Replying to a query, Kumar said there are reports that data was getting leaked from certain phones. The Centre had sent notices to mobile phone makers of China and other countries to provide information about the procedures followed by them for data security.
As many as 21 phone makers, including leading Chinese brands Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi and Gionee, were asked to give a “detailed, structured written response” on how they secure data and ensure its safety and security, as per a government order issued last month.
ACT Fibernet now offers up to 150Mbps broadband in Bengaluru
Internet service provider ACT Fibernet has upgraded broadband connections in Bengaluru, following a similar move in Delhi recently. From September 1 the ACT Progress plan will offer 150Mbps speed with an FUP set at 1,000GB. Post-FUP, speeds will decrease to 2Mbps. Before this change, this plan used to offer 125Mbps at a lower 750GB FUP. The Act Progress plan is being offered for Rs. 3,999. Interestingly, the company has also upgraded ACT Essential and ACT Incredible plans to offer speeds up to 150Mbps as well but with lower FUP Limit of 55GB and 350GB respectively. Post the FUP limit the aforementioned plans, available at Rs. 2,999 and Rs. 1,999, will offer speeds up to 2Mbps and 1Mbps respectively.
Elon Musk sides with Putin, says AI will likely be the ’cause of World War III’
Tesla, Solar City, and Space X CEO Elo Musk supported Russia President Vladimir Putin’s prediction that the country which makes major investments in AI research will dominate global affairs. He also added that competition for superiority in AI would “most likely be the cause of World War III.” Previously, Musk had expressed concerns of AI becoming a threat to humanity.
“China, Russia, [and] soon all countries will soon have strong grip over computer science,” Musk posted on Twitter. He added that perhaps the war won’t be initiated by country leaders, but the AI system would itself set wheels in motion “if it decides that a preemptive strike is most probable path to victory,” Musk tweeted.