India

The Redmi 7A is feature-packed for a budget price

It comes with two years of warranty

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Xiaomi has been launching a new phone almost every other month in India, each in a different price bracket. This strategy of refreshing products quickly has helped the brand grab the number one spot in terms of market share. Competition from Realme and Samsung has been fierce and now, even Vivo has joined the race.

Taking a step further, Xiaomi released the Redmi 7A today to take on the Galaxy M10, Nokia 2.2, and Realme C2. A major point to consider is how they’ve managed to keep the price untouched and are offering a special discount for the month of July.

It sports a 5.45-inch HD+ display and is powered by a Snapdragon 439 processor along with 2GB RAM. Dual SIM support has been retained and storage can be expanded via a microSD card. Xiaomi claims the design is splash-proof and ensures protection against accidental falls.

The rear has a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 sensor with phase detection autofocus and the front has a 5-megapixel selfie shooter. The camera app supports AI portrait mode and the phone can be unlocked with face unlock.

The Redmi 7A also comes equipped with wireless FM Radio, and even though we consider the technology to be legacy in the age of digital streaming, there are millions of users in the interiors of India who actively use the service. In fact, many users in India’s metro cities still prefer to use it because it’s independent of internet is hassle free.

Lastly, the brand is offering two years of warranty on the phone. All other Redmi branded phones come with one year of standard warranty.

The 2GB+16GB option will be available for an introductory price of INR 5,799 (US$ 85) and the 2GB+32GB variant is priced at INR 5,999 (US$ 88). Sales start from July 11 via Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Home Stores. Color options include Matte Black, Matte Blue, and Matte Gold.

India

Mi Watch Revolve launches with ultra long battery life, premium design

Huawei should be worried

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Today, Xiaomi unveiled a host of new products via its Smarter Living 2020 event in India. Last year, the brand announced a new air purifier, water purifier, smart lights, and more. Following the same trend, Xiaomi has expanded its Mi product lineup with a new wearable — the Mi Watch Revolve.

The Mi Watch Revolve is an affordable fitness tracker that looks extremely premium and measures 46mm. Available in two color options, the Mi Watch Revolve will go up against Huawei’s Watch GT 2e. Both the watches are quite similar on paper, and we’ll try our best to do a comparison article soon.

On the front, the watch has a 1.4-inch always-on AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. In terms of technology, the watch connects via Bluetooth 5.0 and can be used on Android as well as iOS. Onboard sensors include a heart rate sensor, a three-axis acceleration sensor, a gyroscope, a geomagnetic sensor, a baroreceptor, and an ambient light sensor.

To withstand regular usage, the watch gets 5ATM water resistance and a battery life of 1-2 weeks. The battery consumption vastly depends on your usage and Xiaomi is sure the watch will get you through a week with heavy usage.

Making the deal even sweeter, the watch can also measure your psychological data based on physical activity and heart rate monitoring. Thanks to Firstbeat Motion Algorithm, it can measure stress, heart rate variability monitoring, and VO2 Max (blood oxygen level).

It also gets the standard workout modes like running, cycling, trekking, treadmill, and more. Lastly, the user has an option to choose from 100+ watch faces and can receive notifications from a plethora of apps.

The Mi Watch Revolve is available in one size and costs INR 10,999 (US$ 150). It’ll be available in Chrome Silver and Midnight Black color options. It’s up for purchase via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Home, and retail stores.

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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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