India

realme C12 and C15 with Helio G35 now official

Can it challenge Xiaomi’s dominance?

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realme C15 | Photo by GadgetMatch

realme has launched two new phones today in India — the realme C12 and C15. The two phones have a lot in common and are priced aggressively. They’ll be going up against Xiaomi’s recently announced Redmi Note 9 Prime.

The phones have a simple back along with a square bump and a physical fingerprint scanner. On the front is a 6.5-inch LCD display with HD resolution, a water-drop notch, and Gorilla Glass protection.

Powering the phones is a MediaTek Helio G35 processor with 3GB RAM in the base option. The storage is expandable via a microSD card. They run on realme UI 1.0 out-of-the-box.

The realme C12 has a triple-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary camera, a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. For selfies, a 5-megapixel camera is located on the front.

On the other hand, the realme C15 gets a quad-camera setup consisting of a 13-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel monochrome lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, an 8-megapixel camera is located on the front.

Backing these internals is a 6000mAh battery. However, the C12 supports 10W fast charging while the C15 gets 18W fast charging.

The realme C12 is available in only one configuration and costs INR 8,999 (US$ 120) for 3GB+32GB. It’ll be available for sale on August 24.

The realme C15 starts at INR 9,999 (US$ 133) for 3GB+32GB option and costs INR 10,999 (US$ 147) for 4GB+64GB variant. It’ll be available for purchase from August 27. Both the phones will be available in Power Blue and Power Silver color options.

realme C15 in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the realme C15 will launch on August 20 but there will be a live stream that will start an entire day ahead to showcase its long-lasting battery life.

India

India finally approves 5G trials, sidelines Chinese vendors

Jio will also test its indigenous technology

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The Indian government has allowed India’s top three telecom operators Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea to carry out 5G trials in India for six months. The telcos are barred from utilizing equipment from Chinese vendors.

The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) said that the telcos can rely on technology providers like South Korea’s Samsung, Swedish Ericsson, and Finnish Nokia. It also said that Jio was allowed to use its indigenous technology to carry out the trials. Huawei and ZTE are the two major Chinese companies that are affected by the clause.

For now, the mid-band (3.2Ghz to 3.67Ghz) and millimeter-wave band (24.25Ghz to 28.50Ghz) are available. Additionally, telcos are allowed to use their existing spectrum. The companies have been warned that commercial utilization is prohibited. The tests are divided between urban and rural India, and the security of the network is of utmost importance.

“The objectives of conducting 5G trials include testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context; model tuning and evaluation of chosen equipment and vendors; testing of indigenous technology; testing of applications (such as tele-medicine, tele-education, augmented/ virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc.); and to test 5G phones and devices,” the ministry said.

No to China

The exclusion of Chinese vendors isn’t surprising as the government has maintained an anti-China stance since the mid of 2020. Due to escalating border crisis, more than a hundred Chinese apps including TikTok and PUBG: Mobile were banned. Since then, state-owned telecom operator BSNL is barred from sourcing Chinese equipment in its network. Private operators have followed a similar strategy to avoid heat from the government.

5G roll-out has been delayed in the country due to the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic and lack of demand for a premium market. The average revenue per user in India lowest in the world, making it difficult for companies to sustain amid decade-long tax disputes, discount wars, and expensive spectrum. However, the industry has picked up pace in the last year as the demand for wireless connectivity boomed, providing a much-needed buffer to beleaguered telcos like Vodafone-Idea.

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Health

Google will fund 250,000 vaccine doses via an international alliance

Recipients include the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and more

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Internet giant Google has announced it’ll be funding 250,000 doses of the COVAX vaccine via GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. The funding shall come through Google.org, the company’s humanitarian foundation.

GAVI is a public-private partnership that aims to improve immunization drives in developing countries. It currently consists of developing economies, donor governments, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, and World Bank. Furthermore, private foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are also a part of the alliance.

Google will also be leading an employee-giving campaign to secure more vaccine vials with the GAVI Matching Fund and Google.org matching the donation to triple the impact. The Philippines will be a prime beneficiary of the proposal, along with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India, and Laos.

The Mountain View-based company will also offer its technology solution to the alliance to accelerate global distribution. The announcement comes at a crucial time because India is experiencing a miserable second wave of Coronavirus. Being a top vaccine maker, the surge in local cases has prompted India to intensify inoculation of its own citizens. Many experts are worried that this could disrupt vaccine supply to other countries, in turn, extending the pandemic and its associated risks.

“Since February, we’ve been providing vaccine-related insights to help GAVI better educate communities about the COVID-19 vaccine. They’ve used that information to create educational content that reaches more than half a million people each day. We’re now committing US$ 15 million in Ad Grants to help Gavi build on these efforts and amplify their fundraising campaign,” Karen DeSalvo, chief health officer at Google Health, in a blog post.

So far, the Philippines has provided more than 1.7 million doses, and 214,000 people are now vaccinated. While masks and social distancing are temporary measures, a vaccine is touted as the safest way to ensure a normal future devoid of lockdowns and stringent border controls.

Read Also: Google will spend $150 million to promote coronavirus vaccine education

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India

realme postpones May 4 launch in India amid COVID-19 crisis

300,000 new cases are being detected every day

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realme has announced it’ll be postponing its May 4 launch event due to the ongoing Coronavius-induced crisis in India. The Chinese brand was going to launch a host of new products, including a smart TV.

The launch is now postponed indefinitely, and realme will reveal a new date once the on-ground situation stabilizes. India has consistently added close to 300,000 new cases in the last week, and its healthcare infrastructure is struggling to keep up.

In a fresh tweet, realme India CEO, Madhav Sheth, has confirmed that the company is postponing upcoming launches and anniversary celebrations as India battles unprecedented challenges. He also urged everyone to follow Coronavirus safety measures like masking up, avoiding crowds, and maintaining social distance.

realme was expected to launch the Realme X7 Max and a 43-inch 4K smart TV. The former is said to be a rebranded realme GT Neo, which was unveiled in China recently.

 

Lockdown

Delhi and Mumbai, India’s primary hubs, are now under a severe lockdown aiming to curb the spread. realme hasn’t offered a new date since it’s impossible to gauge when the second wave ends. realme’s anniversary celebrations are held in May every year, which also stand canceled for now.

For now, industrial movement in the country has largely remained untouched. But sales have taken a massive hit as offline stores are entirely closed in many states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. Adding to this, many state governments have barred e-commerce delivery of non-essential goods, making it harder for people to buy new phones amid the restrictions.

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become critical tools for help in the absence of government authorities. Users are helping each other get hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and medicines like Remedesivir. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that these platforms have turned into an unofficial Coronavirus helpline.

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