India

OnePlus 6 launches in India along with Avengers Edition

OnePlus is back with another killer flagship

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Yesterday, OnePlus announced the much-awaited OnePlus 6 at an event in London. The company showed off the fact that the OnePlus 5 was the best-selling premium smartphone on Amazon India for months. Even third-party research has shown that OnePlus has an astounding 48 percent market share in India when it comes to the premium segment. Hence, it’s no surprise that OnePlus is taking the Indian marketseriously and has launched the latest flagship within a day of the global launch.

OnePlus has always been on the safe side when it comes to experimenting with new hardware and has repeatedly stressed that they take user feedback seriously. It embraced the tall screen ratio last year and added dual cameras on the back. The company did receive a lot of heat because the OnePlus 5 and 5T closely resembled the iPhone 7 Plus on the back; this time around, the design has been remarkably improved and the device has a charm of its own.

It sports a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a notch. OnePlus confirmed the existence of the notch a long time back and given the current trend, it’s not surprising. While the bezels aren’t that slim, OnePlus has cut down on the chin at the bottom. Powering the phone is the latest Snapdragon 845 SoC along with 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the variant.

On the back is a vertically aligned dual camera setup, with a 20-megapixel primary sensor and a 16-megapixel secondary sensor. On the front, is a 16-megapixel selfie camera. OnePlus has added better low-light photograph rendering, slow-mo videos, and an improved portrait mode.

The device is backed by a 3300mAh battery which obviously supports Dash Charge, along with a fingerprint sensor and face unlock for authentication. OxygenOS lies at the heart of the device which is built on Android 8.1 Oreo but users can also sideload Android P Developer Preview.

Pricing for the OnePlus 6 are as follows:

  • 6GB+64GB   — INR 34,999 / US$ 529
  • 8GB+128GB — INR 39,999 / US$ 579
  • 8GB+256GB (Avengers Edition) — INR 44,999 / US$ 629

Availability begins May 22 for the first two models and May 29 for the special Avengers Edition. OnePlus had already started its Fast AF sale in India wherein a complimentary Amazon Pay cash back of INR 1,000 was being given.

The Avengers Edition with the trademark logo

India

realme launches narzo 20 Pro with Helio G95, 65W fast charging

Xiaomi should be worried

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realme started the narzo series earlier this year and it’s all set to launch a successor. The narzo 20 series consists of the narzo 20A, narzo 20, and narzo 20 Pro. These phones are made for the affordable segment and will be directly competing against the Redmi Note 9 series and POCO X2.

The phone features a reflective design that creates a multi-layer downward arrow pattern. Continuing realme’s design language, it features a vertical quad-camera setup with the narzo branding in focus. The fingerprint scanner is located on the side.

On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass protection, and a punch-hole cut-out for the front camera.

Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 processor with Mali-G76 MC4 GPU. Storage is expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot. It has a new carbon fiber cooling system that ensures consistent performance during extended usage.

The rear features a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera for selfies. The software supports night filters, AI enhancement, and improved low-light performance.

Backing these internal is a 4500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. realme claims it can fully charge the battery in 38 minutes. Lastly, the phone ships with realme IU out-of-the-box.

The narzo 20 Pro costs INR 14,999 for 6GB+64GB and INR 16,999 for 8GB+128GB. It’ll be available in Black Ninja and White Knight color options and shall go on sale from September 25 via Flipkart, realme.com, and offline stores.

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Apps

Google removes one of India’s top payments app for violating policy

But there’s nothing to worry about

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Google removed one of India’s top payments app Paytm from the Play Store for allegedly violating guidelines. To be more precise, the app violated the app store’s policy by promoting gambling. The app is still available on Apple’s App Store though.

In response, Google said, “The app was blocked for violation of play policies – a clarification of our policy was released earlier today ahead of the IPL tournament.” It further clarified that users aren’t affected and only the app’s availability from the Play Store has changed.

Google strictly prohibits digital casinos or ungoverned gambling apps on its Play Store in India and Paytm’s app was found in violation of this policy. Recently, it launched a fantasy sports service called Paytm First Games and embedded links to this service within the Paytm app.

The standalone Paytm First Games app has also been removed. However, other apps like Paytm Mall, Paytm Money, and Paytm Business are still available and remain untouched. Google said the developer is always notified and the app shall remain unavailable till it complies with the norms.

Paytm has also assured all users that their accounts, wallets, and bank accounts are safe and there’s nothing to worry about. When the news broke, there was some initial panic because the memories of India’s app ban are still fresh and people are worried about their favorite apps going off the shelf instantaneously.

Fantasy sports games and other gambling apps have radically risen in India. The country loves cricket and the Indian Premier League is scheduled to start from tomorrow. Making the coming weeks a very lucrative period for these apps.

All these apps do not depend on Google’s Play Store for distribution and have to be downloaded externally via the developer’s website.

Paytm is hugely credited for encouraging India’s digital economy and has transformed itself into a super app. Besides bill payments and peer-to-peer fund transfer, the app can also be used for tickets, shopping, and entertainment.

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India

Redmi 9i launches with Helio G25, 5000mAh battery

Designed for everyday tasks

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Xiaomi has consistently launched a new phone in the last few weeks. After the Redmi 9 Prime and Redmi 9, the brand has launched a slightly more affordable option — the Redmi 9i.

The body of the phone looks similar to the Redmi 9 Prime but doesn’t have a textured back. On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution and TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light certification.

Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio G25 chipset along with MG PowerVR GE8320 GPU. It doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner and solely relies on face unlock for faster authentication.

On the rear is a single 13-megapixel camera with AI-powered portrait mode, in-built document scanner, and beauty mode. For selfies, a 5-megapixel camera is located on the front in a water-drop notch. The storage is expandable via a microSD card.

Backing these internals is a 5000mAh battery with a 10W charger. Although, this one skips the usual USB-C port in favor of microUSB. It ships with MIUI 12 out-of-the-box.

The Redmi 9i comes in two variants. The 4GB+64GB option costs INR 8,299 while the 4GB+128GB variant is priced at INR 9,299. Sale starts from September 18 via mi.com, Flipkart, Mi Homes, and Mi Studios.

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