In 2016, Jio revolutionized wireless data in India after it rolled out 4G services for free in India. The initial six months saw the company offering unlimited data, voice, and text messaging services to all new users. Even after the free period ended, the pricing was and still is dirt cheap.
Before the rollout, 1GB of 4G data cost at least INR 250 (US$ 3.6) and maximum bandwidth offered by any operator was capped at 10GB per month. Jio brought down the cost to nearly INR 2 to 5 (US$ 0.03 to 0.08) per GB and offered as much as 5GB data per day. Such an offering was unheard of not just in India, but everywhere around the world. It’s no surprise Jio managed to bring in more than 100 million users within just 170 days of public launch.
Now, the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom giant aims to bring a similar revolution to India’s broadband market with the launch of GigaFiber. It is a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband service offered to users via fixed lines that are capable of speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second.
The company is working on rolling out services from “early November” with “disruptive price plans in the INR 500 to 700 (US$ 7.3 to 10.2) per month bracket” while offering speeds of 100Mbps up to 100GB. The company isn’t charging any installation fees, but will be taking INR 4,500 (US$ 66) as a refundable deposit.
Using the new GigaFiber services, users will be able to connect surveillance cameras, smart speakers, Wi-Fi extenders, GigaTV, and many more utilitarian devices. The company has confidently announced it can set up the devices at any domestic or commercial place within an hour and is already in talks with builders to establish infrastructure beforehand.
Starting August 15 (India’s Independence Day), interested users can start registering for GigaFiber through the MyJio app as well as Jio.com.
“Jio GigaFiber will be the largest greenfield fixed-line broadband rollout anywhere in the world, with rollout happening in 1,100 cities of India simultaneously,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, said at the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting.
ASUS outs cheaper ZenFone Max M2 with pure Android software
A great contender in the budget segment
Alongside the launch of the ZenFone Max Pro M2, ASUS also introduced a budget-oriented device: the ZenFone Max M2. The non-Pro version of ASUS’ newest line of phones with big batteries cuts down its specs to meet the affordable price point.
Understandably, the ZenFone Max M2 is rocking a slightly less powerful chipset than what the Pro variant has. It’s using the new Snapdragon 632 processor with either 3GB or 4GB of memory and up to 64GB of storage.
Its 6.26-inch display is less sharp because of its HD+ resolution, but it still has a full-screen design and, of course, a notch. ASUS has to cut corners in battery capacity as well by putting a humbler 4000mAh cell. It’s still bigger than most, though.
It also has a rear-mounted fingerprint reader that works hand-in-hand with face unlock using the front camera.
Speaking of camera, the ZenFone Max M2 is equipped with an AI-enabled 13-megapixel main shooter paired with a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, there’s an 8-megapixel front snapper with its own LED flash.
The phone runs a stock version of Android, which is something that fans asked for according to ASUS. It’s still on Oreo with no timeline for when Pie is coming. Just to be clear, this is not an Android One phone, so don’t expect timely software updates for it.
Pricing starts at INR 9,999 in India for the 3GB+32GB variant and INR 11,999 for the 4GB+64GB model. In Indonesia, Lazada will exclusively offer the ZenFone Max M2 starting at IDR 2,300,000.
Nokia 8.1 is here to reclaim the midrange segment
Nokia and Android One are a killer combination
The Nokia 7 Plus was launched earlier this year and has been among the most acclaimed midrange phones. While other companies have been trying their luck with trendy short-lived features like the notch, increasing megapixels, and AI-backed smart additions, HMD Global focused on making just a perfect smartphone.
Carrying the same legacy forward, the Nokia 8.1 has been announced globally and quickly made its way to India. The Finnish licensee has been making a mark in developing markets steadily and intends to let its products speak for themselves instead of spending millions on marketing.
The Nokia 8.1 has been priced at INR 26,999 and is available in Blue/Silver and Iron/Steel color options. It will go on sale starting December 25 via Amazon, Nokia.com, and offline partner retailers. Pre-booking the phone will entitle you to six-month screen replacement warranty from Servify and 10 percent cash back on HDFC Bank credit and debit card.
The phone has a very premium design and unlike its predecessor, the Nokia 8.1 has an all-glass back. The body is built with 6000-series aluminum that has dual tone color coating.
On the front is a 6.18-inch Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The brand has emphasized its PureDisplay screen technology that offers a higher contrast ratio and sharper output along with HDR10 support.
Powering this device is the recently launched Snapdragon 710 SoC along with 4GB of RAM. The internal storage continues to be 64GB, though it’s expandable via a microSD card.
The back has ZEISS-powered 12- and 13-megapixel dual-cameras while the front has a single 20-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3500mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. In line with all Nokia-branded phones, the Nokia 8.1 is a part of the Android One program and ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box.
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 is bigger, faster, and still runs pure Android
ZenFone without the ZenUI
Just before the year ends, ASUS introduced an update to its ZenFone Max Pro lineup. Dubbed the M2, the newest ZenFone inherited the same pure Android software of its predecessor while the rest of the phone has been upgraded.
ASUS’ new ZenFone Max Pro M2 is slightly bigger than the M1 with its 6.3-inch display and it has Gorilla Glass 6 protection. It also has a slightly taller aspect ratio at 19:9 and a higher screen-to-body ratio. Although, it now has a notch like its more premium ZenFone cousins.
Surprisingly, the new ZenFone is equipped with a tried and tested Snapdragon 660 processor which puts it in the league of the Nokia 7 Plus and Vivo V11. It even has up to 6GB of memory and 64GB of expandable storage. On paper, the ZenFone Max Pro M2 is more powerful than the ZenFone 5.
Camera-wise, it’s got a main 12-megapixel f/1.8 shooter coupled with a 5-megapixel depth sensor. An upgraded 13-megapixel sensor takes care of the selfies along. The phone features all the beautification effects and AI enhancements.
The huge 5000mAh battery found in its predecessor is present as well. The phone still charges via micro-USB and has no support for fast charging.
Even though this is an ASUS phone, it doesn’t have ZenUI because it runs an unskinned version of Android. It’s bare with no bloatware, but it’s not part of the Android One program. Software updates will come from ASUS, so it may take some time to have the latest version available. It has only Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.
ASUS launched the ZenFone Max Pro M2 simultaneously in three key Asian markets.
In the Philippines, the 6GB+64GB variant is priced at PhP 14,995, while the 4GB+64GB variant which is exclusively available on Shopee and Lazada goes for PhP 12,995.
India will have the 4GB and 6GB variants for INR 14,999 and INR 16,999, respectively. There’s an even more affordable 3GB+32GB combo for just INR 12,999.
Indonesia also gets all three variants starting at IDR 2,800,000 for the 3GB model, the 4GB model is at IDR 3,200,000, and IDR 3,700,000 for the highest-end variant with 6GB memory.
Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! review: Catching ’em all once again
Isn't Eevee absolutely adorable?
ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M2 review
Part two of the Max experiment
Lenovo Yoga C930 Review: It could have been the best
It's just missing one thing...
Apple is getting sued for false advertising
Honor smartwatch with MediaTek chip may be coming
These aren’t your typical Christmas decorations
Here’s why the Samsung Galaxy Flex will cost so much
Cooking on High, Islands: Now Playing
Best Budget Smartphones in the Philippines below P10,000
Best Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P10,000 to P20,000
Best Midrange Smartphones from $200 to $400
Best Upper-Midrange Smartphones in the Philippines from P20,000 to P30,000
Best Premium Smartphones in the Philippines above P30,000
Enterprise2 weeks ago
Converge introduces faster fiber plans starting at 35Mbps
Reviews2 weeks ago
Apple iPhone XR review: By Android users
Features1 week ago
Here’s why OPPO created a new brand called Realme
News2 weeks ago
Samsung caught tweeting with an iPhone
Features6 days ago
Honor 8X vs Xiaomi Mi A2: Head-to-head comparison
Features2 days ago
9 Best Gaming Smartphones (Q4 2018)
News2 weeks ago
Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 855, promises 5G phones in 2019
Features1 week ago
6 white smartphones you won’t regret buying