India

Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 with ‘ENC’ now available

That stands for ‘Environment Noise Cancellation’

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Apple made popular the truly wireless earphones race that essentially killed the 3.5mm headphone jack. While other brands haven’t been as aggressive, they’ve indeed jumped onto the affordable segment. Same can be said for Xiaomi with the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2.

Xiaomi’s tight competitor Realme launched the Buds Air and have been around for quite some time now and leading the space. Now, it’s Xiaomi’s turn and it’s trying to be different.

Unlike Realme’s offering, it doesn’t blatantly mimic Apple’s design and opts for a more feature-based approach. The Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 looks thicker and boasts of superior output.

They have been available in China for a long time and have finally landed in India now. The earbuds house a 14.2mm dynamic driver and offer support for LHDC (Low Latency High Definition) audio codec. This should provide an overall better sound output when connected via Bluetooth.

Each earbud also gets dual microphones to detect and offer noise cancellation. However, it isn’t Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) that we’ve seen on high-end accessories. Xiaomi is calling its implementation Environment Noise Cancellation (ENC) and claims to suppress noise by up to 90 percent. We’ll have to test one of these to actually see how much substance do these claims actually have.

Infrared detection will automatically pause or resume music when the earbuds are taken off or worn again. Touch controls will quickly let you change volume, shift to next track, pick up calls, or summon Google Assistant.

The brand says the earbuds can deliver up to four hours of usage on a single charge while the case can extend life up to 14 days. Trying to take a queue from the Apple user experience, the True Wireless Earphones 2 will seamlessly connect via MIUI. Although, any other Android or iOS device is supported.

They come in a standard white color option and will cost INR 4,499 (US$ 60). A discounted price of INR 3,999 will be offered from May 12 to 17 and they’ll be available via Mi.com, Mi Home, and Amazon India.

India

Samsung starts making smartwatches in India

Includes an entire range of 18 smartwatches

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G Aluminium edition in India. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been available in the country for quite some time, but there’s something special about the Aluminium edition.

It’s the first Samsung smartwatch to be built in India. The brand said it has started manufacturing its entire range of 18 smartwatches in India as part of the Make for India program. The company has been making phones in India for years, but wearables were usually imported.

Samsung has a huge production facility in Noida, India. Smartphones are also built for export and the plant can be expanded further depending on demand. Amid the call to avoid foreign goods, Indians are actively looking for options that are made or designed in India.

Coming to the watch, it’s priced at INR 28,490 (US$ 378) and shall be available in Cloud Silver, Aqua Black, and Pink Gold color options.

It sports a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass DX+ for protection. The smartwatch is IP68 certified and rated to work at a maximum pressure of up to 5ATM. It runs on Tizen OS with 1.5GB RAM and 4GB internal storage.

Once connected to a phone, it can also access the smartphone camera, videos, and use Wireless PowerShare to transfer data quickly.

It has e-SIM connectivity that enables calls, messages, and notifications on-the-go. Lastly, it’s equipped with a heart-rate sensor, ECG sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and ambient light sensor.

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India

POCO M2 Pro launches with Snapdragon 720G, quad cameras

A Redmi Note 9 Pro look-alike?

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After becoming an independent brand, POCO has focused on the affordable segment and is gradually expanding. Today, the brand launched the POCO M2 Pro in India and it’s the most affordable phone to sport a Snapdragon 720G chipset.

The phone looks eerily similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro. In fact, the new phone directly undermines Redmi’s offering. It’s no surprise the two brands are leveraging Xiaomi’s supply chain perfectly.

Coming back to the phone, it has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display with a punch-hole cut-out and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 720G processor with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The phone has a P2i coating that enables dust and water resistance.

On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, a 16-megapixel selfie shooter is located on the front.

It ships with POCO Launcher 2.0 out-of-the-box. Powering the phone is a 5020mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging.

The phone is available in three configurations. The first one with 4GB+64GB costs INR 13,999 (US$ 186), followed by 6GB+64GB at INR 14,999 (US$ 200), and lastly, the 6GB+128GB options goes for INR 16,999 (US$ 226). Color options are called Out of the Blue, Green and Greener, and Two Shades of Black. The phone will be up for purchase via Flipkart from July 14.

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India

India launches app innovation challenge after Chinese apps ban

Encouraging local developers and building an ecosystem

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India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced a new program to encourage local developers and bridge the gap left behind by banned services like TikTok. It’s officially called “Aatma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge” and was unveiled by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Atma Nitrbhar means “to be independent” or “self-sufficient” in one of India’s widely used languages, Hindi. A few days ago, the Indian government announced a blanket ban on a few listed Chinese apps. Within no time, they were off the Play Store and many services like TikTok and Mobile Legends voluntarily stopped service after the ban was announced.

The App Innovation Challenge includes the promotion of existing apps as well as the development of new apps. The program is split into two tracks. The first one includes already released apps that have the potential to scale and become world-class in their segment. The second track aims to identify companies as well as individuals who can build next-generation apps for the country.

Tthe government is looking for alternative apps of the ones that remain banned. Companies will have to submit their entries by July 18 and a jury for each of the tracks shall evaluate the entries.

The challenge is available in eight categories, ranging from office productivity or work from home solutions to news and games.

The government has allocated INR 20,00,000 (US$ 26,780), INR 15,00,000 (US$ 20,085), and INR 10,00,000 (US$ 13,390) for the first three winners, respectively. Adding to this, Each sub-category winner will also be rewarded.

India has suffered high casualties amid an ongoing border dispute with China. The Coronavirus pandemic has further fueled the anti-China sentiment and the Indian government is exploring options to reduce its trade deficit with the neighboring country.

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