India

Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 6 (2018) launch in India

Pricing and availability here

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HMD Global, which now owns the rights to manufacture and distribute Nokia-branded smartphones, is pushing to make the legendary phone brand relevant again.

Its device lineup in India has just been updated with the launch of Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco. All three smartphones were first announced at MWC 2018 in Barcelona last February, along with the 8110 4G and Nokia 1. The Nokia 1 was launched in India just last week and now, we can also finally get our hands on Nokia’s flagships.

Out of the three, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is the flagship device — it’s been pitched as a rival to Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9. The phone features a dual-glass design that’s protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and it comes with a stainless steel frame. It’s certified IP67 for water and dust resistance and features a 5.5-inch QHD P-OLED display. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It comes with 12- and 13-megapixel dual-rear cameras that have wide-angle and telephoto lenses, respectively. The device is backed by a 3260mAh battery and runs on Android One. It will retail for INR 49,999 (US$ 770) from Flipkart.com and the Nokia Online Store. Pre-bookings start from the 20th of April and the device starts shipping on the 30th of April.

The new Nokia 7 Plus features a 6-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 18:9, and comes in an aluminum unibody. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, paired with 4GB of RAM. It includes an internal storage capacity of 64GB which can be further expanded up to 256GB via microSD card. The handset comes equipped with a dual-camera setup: A 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.75 aperture along with a 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.6 aperture. It also includes a 16-megapixel front-facing camera along with an f/2.0 aperture. The Nokia 7 Plus will be available on Amazon.in and the Nokia Online Store for INR 25,999 (US$ 400). Pre-bookings start on the April 20 and the device will start shipping on the April 30.

The company also announced the global variant of the Nokia 6 (2018), which until now, has been exclusive to China. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC with 3GB RAM and sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display. It sports a 16-megapixel rear camera and comes with an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. It is powered by a 3000mAh battery and supports wireless charging. The device will be available on sale from offline channels as well as the Nokia Online Store for INR 16,999 (US$ 261).

SEE ALSO: Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco Hands-On

Apps

App that removes ‘China apps’ now trending

TikTok could be the most affected

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An Android app going by the name “Remove China Apps” is trending on the Google Play Store in India. The app says it can identify apps that are made in China and help you uninstall them. It has already crossed five million downloads and is currently at the top spot of Google Play’s top free apps list.

Not just India, but other countries like Australia are also actively downloading the app according to App Annie. The app is fairly easy to use. You just need to install it and it’ll show you all the China-made apps installed on your phone, for example, TikTok.

The app was launched on May 17 by an Indian developer going by the name OneTouch AppLabs. It had crossed one million downloads within 10 days of launch. It holds a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Obviously, much of this has to do with the nationalistic notion attached to it.

India went into a complete lockdown when Coronavirus threatened to ravage the country. While the country prioritized life over the economy, a two-month lockdown has drastically hit the economy and experts suggest it could dip into a recession soon. To revive the economy, the Indian Prime Minister urged everyone to support locally sourced products and reduce dependence on imports.

While India is actively fighting the virus, China has escalated border skirmishes in the north. It’s no wonder that the many have developed anti-China sentiments radically and a few developers are taking advantage of the situation. Furthermore, TikTok clones like “Mitron TV” have popped-up as local alternatives of the Bytedance controlled social platform.

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Accessories

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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India

Realme Watch launches with a touchscreen display and HR tracker

High on features, light on the pocket

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This is the first watch from Realme and we’ve been waiting for it for a long time. The company teased its existence multiple times and considering the brand’s reputation, we knew it’ll have a very competitive price. Thankfully, the watch is now official, and here’s everything you need to know.

It comes with a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, a maximum brightness of 380 nits, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Currently, it comes pre-loaded with 12 watch faces and the company has confirmed more than a hundred will be available via an OTA update soon.

The smartwatch offers real-time heart rate monitoring using the built-in PPG sensor and records results every five minutes. Furthermore, it also has a SpO2 monitoring system to track the blood oxygen level.

On the fitness front, it has 14 different sports modes such as Badminton, Cricket, Indoor Run, Outdoor Run, Walk, and Yoga, among others. Health-based features also include sleep monitoring, sedentary reminders, hydration reminder, and meditation relaxing.

Just like all other smartwatches or bands, it can receive notifications from your phone via Bluetooth, control music playback, and unlock the phone via Android’s smart unlock system. Unlike the Apple Watch, you can’t pick-up voice calls but it’ll let you reject the call or mute the notification.

Realme Watch runs on a proprietary OS and can be linked to your phone via the Realme Link app. It supports 20mm removable wrist straps and has an IP68-certified body that can resist dust and water.

The Realme Watch is priced at INR 3,999 (US$ 53) and will be available via Flipkart and Realme.com from June 5. The additional color straps will cost INR 499 (US$ 7) later.

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