India

Moto G5S gets a permanent price cut in India

Moto is preparing the stage for its newer G6 lineup

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In the wake of the company’s upcoming Moto G6 series launch, Lenovo-owned Motorola on Monday announced a permanent price cut on the Moto G5S. The midrange smartphone has received a discount of INR 5,000 (US$ 76) and is now available for its new official price of INR 9,999 (US$ 152). The smartphone can be purchased across Moto Hubs, Amazon.in, and offline retail partners in Fine Gold, Lunar Grey, and Oxford Blue color variants.

The updated lineup will likely include the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play, and Moto G6 Plus, and these phones can be expected to make their way to India soon enough. Going back to the Moto G5S, the phone was launched as a special version of the Moto G5 and sports a metal body design with a chunky build that makes it quite solid and firm.

The Moto G5S currently runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat and is expected to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update soon. It features a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection.

In terms of performance, the Moto G5S is powered by a Snapdragon 430 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded via a microSD card. For photography, there is a 16-megapixel rear camera with PDAF along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and LED flash.

However, the phone may look a little outdated now compared to its competition as it doesn’t sport an 18:9 display and is yet to receive Android Oreo.

Even though the price drop is only now official, the phone was available at the lower price for quite some time now. Flipkart, which is not one of the authorized sellers for this phone, sells it for an even lower price.

India

OPPO RealMe 1 Moonlight Silver Limited Edition to go on sale from June 18

This one features 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage

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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.

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Apps

Uber Lite app unveiled for entry-level phones with slow internet speeds

Launching first in India

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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.

SEE ALSO: Uber sells their Southeast Asia business to Grab

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Apps

Government of India is considering a ban on WhatsApp Calls

Will this actually prevent militants from communicating?

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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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