Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was launched at Rs. 67,900 in the country today, making the India debut of the new Samsung flagship. Pre-orders for Galaxy Note 8 have started and deliveries will commence on September 21. We already know everything about the new Samsung phone thanks to the global unveil a few weeks ago: it has a 6.3-inch Infinity Display screen, an in-built stylus that Samsung says continues to attract Note loyalists, and a dual rear camera setup on the back, which is the first for a Samsung phone. At the event in New Delhi, Samsung also announced Bixby voice support for India, which it says can understand regional dialects and accents, and will be available starting September 30 on Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8.
The Note 8 will be available in two colour variants – Maple Gold, and Midnight Black – but just one storage option: 64GB. You can get it from Samsung’s own website or retail stores, as well as Amazon India. All early orders will be guaranteed a free wireless charger, as well as a one-time screen replacement. HDFC credit card users can get Rs. 4,000 cashback, and Reliance Jio has a 448GB data promo too.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh has said that pre-orders for the Note 8 have been the highest ever for the series as a whole, which is surprising given the jump in pricing in international markets and the recall disaster of Note 7 last year. The phone will go on sale September 14 in certain markets.
Here’s what else made news in the world of technology today:
Apple devices leak ahead of launch
Over the weekend, details of Apple’s new devices – to be launched tonight – filtered in after two Apple blogs, 9to5 Mac and MacRumors, got hold of the final version of iOS 11. On Monday, BBC independently confirmed that the links to the build had been intentionally leaked to the press by an Apple employee, rather than found by chance.
Later the same day, credit card firm Discover accidentally listed an updated version of its Apple cashback offer, which included the names for the new iPhone models: iPhone 8, iPhone 8+, and iPhone X Edition. It also confirmed a new Apple Watch Series 3, the 4K-capable Apple TV (2017), and iPod Touch (7th Generation). It’s quite likely that these will be the final names.
A different leak from a developer claims that the new Apple TV will in fact be called “Apple TV 4K”. It’ll come with a three-core A10 Fusion processor, along with 3GB RAM. It’ll also have support for Dolby Vision and HDR10.
Xiaomi Mi A1 went on sale for the first time in India
The Xiaomi Mi A1, the company’s first Android One phone, went on sale for the first time in India on Tuesday at 12pm, via offline and online channels. Priced at Rs. 14,999, it was available via Flipkart, Mi.com, Mi Home stores, Croma, Vijay Sales, E-Zone, Sangeetha, Poorvika, Big C, LOT, UniverCell, as well as Mi Preferred Partner stores. If you missed the sale, you’ll have to wait till next Tuesday, September 19 at 12pm again.
The smartphone has stock Android 7.1.2 Nougat software with pre-installed Xiaomi apps such as Mi Camera, Mi Remote, and Mi Store, as well as the likes of Google Photos and Google Assistant. As for the hardware specifications, Mi A1 comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 12-megapixel dual cameras on the back, 5-megapixel front camera, 64GB storage, and 3080mAh battery.
Qualcomm takes dig at Apple
With Apple and Qualcomm embroiled in a bitter lawsuit, the latter has hit out at the former on the day of its new iPhone launches. In a long and brutal blog post, Qualcomm said that Android makers are always first to bring new cutting-edge features to their devices, and then shared 20 examples of the same. That included the likes of fingerprint under display (Qualcomm Reference Design Handset), bezel-less design (Xiaomi Mi Mix), OLED Display (LG Flex 2) and Facial Recognition (Samsung Galaxy S8).
Earlier this year, Apple sued Qualcomm for around $1 billion claiming it was charging royalties for technologies it had nothing to do with. The chipmaker dismissed Apple’s accusation, and then countersued asking US trade regulators to ban iPhone imports on account of patent infringement.
Samsung Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7 getting Android Nougat
Samsung has begun rolling out Android Nougat for Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) users in India. If you don’t see it just yet, you might need to wait for a few more days. Clocking in at 1.4GB, the update includes multi-windows support and Always-On display alongside other features. Make sure you back up your device and are connected to Wi-Fi before downloading and installing the update. Both Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) received price cuts in India recently, bringing down their respective prices to Rs. 22,900 and Rs. 25,900.
Oreo feature turns into bug for Pixel users
A new feature in Android Oreo, which disables mobile data when the phone is reaching the monthly quota, is turning into a major problem for some Pixel and Nexus users. According to users, this Oreo bug ends up disabling mobile data even for those mobile apps that are offered with zero-rated data by the carriers. It’s a tricky situation, but one that Google seems to be already aware of. A fix will be issued soon, according to a Pixel community manager.
Paytm Payments Bank users get RuPay debit cards
Paytm has partnered with NPCI to launch a RuPay-powered digital debit card, which will allow users of Paytm Payments Bank (PPB) to transact at merchants who accept debit and credit cards. The RuPay card is being issued to all existing PPB users. Those who aren’t yet on Paytm’s new offering can avail it by completing a KYC process.
Jio hits back at Airtel with “misleading” claim too
After Airtel accused Jio of “misleading” TRAI last week in regards to interconnect usage charges (IUC), and claimed it had suffered a loss of Rs. 6,800 crores due to low rates, Jio has hit back with its own “misleading” claim. Jio believes that the loss figure is made up, and it’s a smoke-screen attempt to hide its ill-gotten profits.
Facebook testing Instant Videos, Private Profiles
In its attempt to push more video content, Facebook is testing Instant Videos on its Android app, which works much like Instant Articles. The videos are pre-loaded over Wi-Fi, and you can then watch them later on the go even when you don’t have mobile data. Instant Videos will carry the same lightning icon as Instant Articles.
The social networking giant is also testing Private Profiles on Android, which is meant to help users share things with a smaller circle of friends. It’s not clear how this works since the feature didn’t work for the users it showed up for, and it’s worth noting you can already do this by changing the audience for your Facebook post.
Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.