As if to reflect the market’s sustained interest in big-screen devices, Motorola’s Moto G series of smartphones has grown up. Now, in its 2016 refresh, the Moto G4 and G4 Plus are more capable than ever, and, in the case of the latter, without adding too much to the cost of its predecessor.
Motorola has yet to finalize pricing and release details for the Moto G4 in India, where the Lenovo-owned company unveiled its latest products. The G4 Plus, meanwhile, starts at Rs. 13,499 ($200) for the basic model with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage and goes up to Rs. 14,999 ($225) for the 3GB RAM variant. It will be available from midnight on Amazon’s India website.
The fourth-gen Moto G versions sport identical 5.5-inch, 1080p displays and carry an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 chip powered by a 3,000mAh fast-charging battery.
Motorola said the G4 Plus should give you about 6 hours of usage from a 15-minute charge using the bundled quick charger. Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the Moto Pure software overlay on top is another spec both phones enjoy.
The differences between the Moto G4 and G4 Plus lie in the capabilities of their primary imaging sensors — the former has a 13-megapixel shooter on its back, whereas the Plus model has been bumped up to 16 megapixels — as well as the presence of a square fingerprint reader on the chin of the G4 Plus. That said, the added security of fingerprint verification may be well worth the extra expense.
With the larger and improved Moto G4 and G4 Plus, Motorola seems set to play a bigger role in India’s budget segment. But the road ahead is anything but smooth, especially considering how tough the market is becoming, what with options like the Rs. 9,999 Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Rs. 13,499 ZUK Z1 from Lenovo soon to be available locally.
OPPO RealMe 1 Moonlight Silver Limited Edition to go on sale from June 18
This one features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
Last month, OPPO launched a new sub-brand in India called RealMe. It aims to target the lower-midrange segment and has been in high demand since launch thanks to competitive pricing. A new variant has now been announced with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and a new color option of Moonlight Silver. The device will be available for purchase starting June 18, exclusively via Amazon.in.
The company originally launched the Diamond Black and Solar Red color options. Moonlight Silver will be the third option to be available in limited quantities.
“This limited edition range offers shiny designs that cater to customers’ needs. We hope that this new variant will be equally well received by the audience,” said Madhav Sheth, Chief Executive Officer, RealMe India.
As far as other specifications are concerned, the device sports a 6-inch FHD+ LCD display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. Powering this device is the Helio P60 SoC which has two dedicated cores for AI processing. The two variants of the phone have 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 6GB + 128GB storage.
On the rear, it sports a 13-megapixel camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and an 8-megapixel camera on the front for selfies. The device runs on ColorOS 5.0 that is built on Android Oreo 8.1. For authentication, this device lacks a fingerprint scanner but covers that up using Face Unlock. Backing all these internals is a 3410mAh battery which does not support any kind of fast charging.
It’s clear that OPPO intends to take on Xiaomi’s wide portfolio of products in India. The Redmi 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the recently announced Redmi Y2 have been huge successes in the country. RealMe is trying to grab this share of the market by releasing products that fit everyone’s price bracket.
Uber Lite app unveiled for entry-level phones with slow internet speeds
Launching first in India
The list of Lite apps are slowly growing and the latest to get released is from the popular ride-hailing service Uber. The service serves both developed and developing countries, each with their own hurdles in getting the perfect experience. In the developing world, there are a number of users that still use entry-levels phones with slow internet connections. Uber wishes to address that with Uber Lite.
Uber Lite is the company’s way of reaching more people. It’s a minimal version of the main app that saves space in the phone’s storage, works on any (or most) network speeds, and, of course, runs great even on basic smartphones like Android Go-powered handsets.
The app is less than 5MB to download, which is significantly less than the regular app’s 181MB size. To achieve this, Uber had to cut some of the main features and leave only the necessities. Gone is the map that welcomes riders, but it’s still there as an option. Instead, the app immediately suggests nearby possible pickup locations based on the user’s GPS. There’s minimal searching on Uber Lite since it uses cache information before the phone went offline to know where you want to go.
The app is already available in India, which is one of Uber’s remaining markets in Asia after they sold their Southeast Asia business to Grab.
Government of India is considering a ban on WhatsApp Calls
Will this actually prevent militants from communicating?
WhatsApp and many other Instant Messengers have been in the crosshairs with governments around the world due to the misuse of available onboard encryption. End-to-end encryption protects the user’s messages from snooping eyes, but at the same time, the technology has been abused by terrorists and criminals to protect themselves from law enforcement authorities.
According to NDTV, a meeting was held in New Delhi yesterday where the Home Ministry expressed its concern over anti-national elements in the country using social media apps to carry out their activities. It was highlighted that detained terrorists had revealed to the Jammu and Kashmir police that they were taking directions from across the border via WhatsApp calls during the Nagrota army camp attack in 2016, in which seven army men were killed.
The authorities have now expressed a desire to monitor social media apps including messaging apps like WhatsApp. Top officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), as well as those from security agencies and J&K police, agreed that WhatsApp is “the preferred medium of communication for anti-national forces.”
It is highly unlikely that WhatsApp or any other major player will hand over the encryption keys to the government, hence the authorities are trying to bring these services under Indian jurisdiction by establishing new policies. WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook is already in hot water after data of more than 50 million users was shared with third parties without consent. Telegram stood by its users and declined to share the keys with the Russian Government a few months back and the app has been banned in the country since then.
The authorities are also considering taking inspiration from Gulf countries like the UAE where VoIP calls are strictly banned over major players like WhatsApp. Currently, the officials are meeting with representatives of social media platforms for compliance.
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