Jio’s Rs. 500 Phone, Nokia 5 India Pre-Bookings, Honor 8 Pro Launch, and More News This Week
- Reliance Jio’s feature phone could be announced on July 21
- The Nokia 5 is now open for pre-bookings ahead of the actual sale
- Honor 8 Pro launched to take on OnePlus 5 and others
If you need a quick recap of the tech news from this week, then you’ve come to the right place. One of the top highlights from this week as the news that Reliance Jio’s long-rumoured feature phone could be unveiled soon, priced at just Rs. 500. The 4G VoLTE capable Jio feature phone might be announced on July 21, but go on sale only on August 15, alongside a special tariff plan. According to reports, the feature phone will still support Jio apps, such as MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, and JioMusic. Reportedly, Jio will also be launching a broadband service at the same time, under the name JioFiber.
While all that is still rumoured, what is official is a new offer for the JioFi Wi-Fi hotspot. Now that the Jio Summer Surprise and Dhan Dhana Dhan offer benefits are coming towards an end, this will be the best way to get the most bang for your buck on Jio. The new offer provides customers with up to 224GB data on purchasing a new JioFi device and a new Jio SIM card. The Rs. 99 cost of Jio Prime membership is included in the cost of the JioFi device, and consumers will only have to buy one of the Jio plans on which the offer is provided. You can get a 2GB Jio plan for Rs. 149, or pay Rs. 309 for 1GB per day Rs. 509 for 2GB per day.
There were a couple of other great offers from Jio rivals as well. Airtel’s Monsoon Surprise Offer for postpaid users went live. It gives Airtel subscribers up to 30GB of 4G data for three billing cycles. To avail the offer, you need the My Airtel app, and you can claim the additional data as a free add-on to your recharges. On the other hand, BSNL is now offering up to 8X data for postpaid users. With refreshed postpaid plans, BSNL now offers 1GB data at Rs. 225, compared to 200MB data earlier. Other BSNL plans have been similarly boosted as well.
The Nokia 3 become available online in India last week, and now the pre-bookings have begun for the Nokia 5. Unfortunately, it’s still unclear when it will actually be available to customers. The Nokia 5 was launched at a price of Rs. 12,899 for the offline market in India. Sporting a 5.2-inch HD display, the phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, and 2GB RAM, along with 16GB in-built storage. Like the Nokia 3, the Nokia 5 is also an offline-exclusive phone.
We also got to learn a bit more about the upcoming Nokia Android lineup. According to a report, the Nokia 8 will be the brand’s 2017 flagship, and not the Nokia 9. The latter phone might instead be launched later instead.
We also saw a number of launches this week. One of the bigger ones was the Samsung Galaxy On Max, with 4GB RAM and a front flash. Priced at Rs. 16,900, the phone will be sold via Flipkart, and aside from the 4GB RAM, it’s got a 5.7-inch full-HD display, with an octa-core processor and 32GB of inbuilt storage. The Samsung Galaxy On Max comes with 13-megapixel sensors for the front and back cameras, with single-click image sharing options.
Another launch was the Nubia M2, with rear dual-cameras. Sold via Amazon India, the phone is priced at Rs. 22,999 and aside from the dual rear camera, packs 4GB RAM and a Snapdragon 625 SoC. Both rear cameras have a 13-megapixel sensor, and there’s a 16-megapixel front camera. The phone comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage.
The Honor 8 Pro was launched in India this week and will be sold exclusively via Amazon India. The phone is priced at Rs. 29,999, and goes on sale next week. It comes with a dual camera setup, a massive 4000mAh battery, and an impressive 6GB of RAM. The Honor 8 Pro comes with 128GB of inbuilt storage, and a 1.8GHz octa-core processor. It will go head to head against the OnePlus 5.
The Asus ZenFone 4 Max was launched in Russia this week, where its price starts at RUB 13,900 (roughly Rs. 15,000) for the Snapdragon 425 variant. There is also a Snapdragon 430 variant, whose price was not revealed. The phone otherwise has a dual-rear camera setup, and a 5000mAh battery that can also be used as a power bank for other phones.
Vivo also launched the Vivo X9s and Vivo X9s Plus, priced at CNY 2,698 (roughly Rs. 25,600) and CNY 2,998 (roughly Rs. 28,500), respectively. The two phones have the same specs, but the Vivo X9s is 5.5-inches, while the Plus is 5.85-inches; as a result, it also has a bigger battery, at 4015mAh as compared to 3320mAh. Both phones have a 1.44GHz octa-core, along with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a dual camera setup on the front.
Another interesting development this week was news that Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing service, is eyeing international expansion. Sources told Gadgets 360 that Ola plans to enter Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh. There’s no fixed timeline for the rollout, but Ola is apparently looking to add support for international locations to its app.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s long-underway White Space project appears to have hit a roadblock. Earlier this year, the company piloted the project in Harisal, a small village in Maharashtra, crippled with several infrastructural issues such as power cuts that stretch over 10 hours a day. Months later, Microsoft quietly stopped the project in Harisal after its temporary license to run pilots expired and the government refused to renew the spectrum band for commercial deployment.
Speaking of Microsoft, the company announced that Skype Lite has now gotten Aadhaar integration, allowing users to verify identity on video calls. The company had launched Skype Lite in February, and on Wednesday added Aadhaar integration to the app with the latest update.
A leak this week also gave us a look at the upcoming Moto X4. While Moto X4 was already expected to feature a dual camera setup, it can also be seen sporting a curved screen in the freshly leaked render.
If you’re looking for a deal, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ 128GB variant just saw a price cut of Rs. 4,000, just a month after the phone launched in India. At Rs. 70,900, it’s still far from a cheap phone though, and it’s not clear if this is a temporary drop or a permanent price cut.
Xiaomi meanwhile announced that its just seen a record quarter with shipments of 23.16 million units. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun confirmed that the company saw a 70 percent increase from the previous quarter. He also noted that the India revenue in the first half of the year is up 328 percent year-on-year.
In the wake of LeEco’s continuing financial troubles the company’s founder has resigned as chairman. He earlier resigned as CEO in May. The announcement came after Jia on social media promised to repay debt and reaffirmed LeEco’s electric car commitment.