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

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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