India

realme X3, X3 SuperZoom now official in India

Near-flagship phones that don’t cost a bomb

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realme is all set to take on the midrange segment with today’s launch of the realme X3 series. This includes the realme X3 and the realme X3 SuperZoom. The brand has been teasing the launch for a very long time and with Coronavirus lockdown easing, now’s the best time to amp up the game.

The two phones have similar specs except for the cameras. On the design front, it has a 3D quad-curved glass on the rear with a matte-like finish that aims to reduce fingerprint smudges and improve egonomics. The display also has a pill-shaped cut-out that houses dual front cameras.

The front sports a 6.6-inch LCD display with Full HD+ resolution and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. In line with the current trend, the screen has a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth transitions and improvised gaming experience.

Powering the phones is a Snapdragon 855+ chipset but there’s no microSD card slot for storage expansion. The Realme X3 gets up to 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage while the SuperZoom option goes up till 12GB+256GB.

Coming to the cameras, the Realme X3 SuperZoom gets a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel periscope lens with 5x optical zoom, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. For selfies, a 32-megapixel shooter is coupled with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens.

Going by its name, the periscope lens will let you take detailed zoomed-in pictures. Realme has included a Starry Mode that leverages AI-based processing to enhance the sharpness and brightness of stars. This mode can be used along with the primary as well as the periscope lens.

On the other hand, the Realme X3 gets a 64-megapixel primary camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. For selfies, a 16-megapixel sensor tags along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens.

Backing these internals is a 4200mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging. realme claims it can charge fully within 55 minutes. For authentication, a physical fingerprint scanner is located on the side.

Pricing and availability

The realme X3 SuperZoom with 8GB+128GB starts at INR 27,999 (US$ 370) while the 12GB+256GB option is marked at INR 32,999 (US$ 436).

On the other hand, the realme X3 starts INR 24,999 (US$ 330) for 6GB+128GB while the 8GB+128GB goes for INR 25,999 (US$ 343). They’ll be available in Arctic White and Glacier Blue color options and sales start from June 30 via Flipkart and Realme.com.

India

India launches app innovation challenge after Chinese apps ban

Encouraging local developers and building an ecosystem

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India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has announced a new program to encourage local developers and bridge the gap left behind by banned services like TikTok. It’s officially called “Aatma Nirbhar App Innovation Challenge” and was unveiled by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

Atma Nitrbhar means “to be independent” or “self-sufficient” in one of India’s widely used languages, Hindi. A few days ago, the Indian government announced a blanket ban on a few listed Chinese apps. Within no time, they were off the Play Store and many services like TikTok and Mobile Legends voluntarily stopped service after the ban was announced.

The App Innovation Challenge includes the promotion of existing apps as well as the development of new apps. The program is split into two tracks. The first one includes already released apps that have the potential to scale and become world-class in their segment. The second track aims to identify companies as well as individuals who can build next-generation apps for the country.

Tthe government is looking for alternative apps of the ones that remain banned. Companies will have to submit their entries by July 18 and a jury for each of the tracks shall evaluate the entries.

The challenge is available in eight categories, ranging from office productivity or work from home solutions to news and games.

The government has allocated INR 20,00,000 (US$ 26,780), INR 15,00,000 (US$ 20,085), and INR 10,00,000 (US$ 13,390) for the first three winners, respectively. Adding to this, Each sub-category winner will also be rewarded.

India has suffered high casualties amid an ongoing border dispute with China. The Coronavirus pandemic has further fueled the anti-China sentiment and the Indian government is exploring options to reduce its trade deficit with the neighboring country.

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Apps

Indian telco launches a Zoom rip-off and it’s free

Definitely worth giving it a shot!

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Jio, India’s leading telecom operator has recently been in the news for a lot of reasons. The company has more than 30 percent of the telecom market in India and it intends to pivot, unlike any other telco we’ve ever seen.

The company has launched a Zoom alternative called JioMeet. The video conferencing app is expected to get a lot of traction amid calls to increase self-dependence and reduce the consumption of foreign products. However, it seems like the Jio team took too much inspiration from Zoom and thought of just directly mimicking it.

The app looks almost identical to Zoom’s offering, except for the minor color change here and there. The app is one of many in Jio’s portfolio.

However, the app offers a lot of high-end features like unlimited free calls in HD and supports for 100 participants in one go. Additionally, JioMeet does not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration.

On Zoom, you’d require a premium account to disable the 40-minute restriction on calls. Thankfully, the app is available on the Play Store and App Store for download directly, and no coupons or invite links are needed.

For security and privacy reasons, all its meetings are password protected. The host has the control to send the uninvited guests to the “Waiting Room” to ensure no gatecrashing. Obviously, standard features like screen sharing have also been included.

For desktop usage, the service can also be accessed through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers. On its official website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted”.

In the last two months, the telecom operator has raised billion in funding from global investors like Facebook. The company also owns JioSaavn music streaming service and has its own entertainment unit that offers movies, shows, as well as live TV.

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India

POCO M2 Pro launching soon, specs listed on Geekbench

Launching on July 7

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File photo: POCO X2

POCO India has started teasing the launch of its next phone and it’s scheduled for July 7. However, even this phone — the POCO M2 Pro — couldn’t hide through the internet and its specs have popped up on the benchmarking tool, Geekbench.

Company teasers have already shown-off a quad-camera setup but we’re yet to know the nitty-gritty. The model listed on Geekbench is powered by a Snapdragon 720 SoC alongside 6GB of RAM. The phone shall ship with Android 10 out-of-the-box. The company has already confirmed it’ll support 33W fast charging.

According to the rumor mill, the POCO M2 Pro shall have a quad-camera setup on the rear. It’ll consist of a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 5-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

This will be the first phone in the M-series and will play an essential role in framing the brand’s presence in the Indian market. So far, POCO has launched only two phones in India since its debut. However, at the beginning of this year, POCO parted ways from Xiaomi to operate as an independent brand.

Xiaomi already leads the market while OPPO and vivo have an extremely strong on0-ground presence. Samsung too has a considerable chunk due to its revered brand perception. Realme has consistently shown radical growth and it’s going after Xiaomi with all its might.

With an increasingly competitive market like this, POCO has a lot to accomplish. Currently, the brand only has the POCO X2 on sale.

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