India

Vivo V5 with 20MP front camera launched in India

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Throughout the year, we’ve seen some extravagant attempts at smartphones that pushed selfies to the front of the conversation, ahead of everything else they have going on.

We only have to look at the Sony Xperia XA Ultra and the OPPO F1s as prime examples of how far up the ladder some manufacturers could go. 16 megapixels — that’s how far, in case you were wondering. Which is pretty damn impressive considering most phones don’t go that far with their main camera. Except they’re no longer the barometer of cool as of today.


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The Vivo V5 is, and it has 20 reasons to feel confident in its role as self-appointed selfie expert. 20 megapixels is the big talking point, and it’s the highest megapixel count ever for a selfie camera. Apart from a record-smashing Sony sensor, Vivo has thrown in an f/2.0 aperture lens and a front-facing flash for taking cleaner snaps in low light, plus a few shooting options for vanity purposes. The back features a ho-hum 13-megapixel camera, but who cares about that, really?

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Looks familiar, don’t you think?

As for the hardware itself, the V5 is curiously identical to the metal OPPO F1s and F1 Plus. It even sports a home button that resembles that of the OPPO handsets to the last detail; it likewise hides a fingerprint sensor underneath the button. (You can take a guess as to why that is, and knowing Vivo and OPPO belong to the same parent company should help.)

The V5 runs a heavily customized version of Android Marshmallow. It totes 720p LCD display measuring 5.5 inches and an octa-core processor (likely from MediaTek) with a meaty 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Battery capacity maxes out at 3,000mAh. A special audio chip is also built into the assembly for getting the most out of high-end audio files.

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The Vivo V5 will go on sale on November 26 in India for 17,980 rupees. It comes in either gold or gray. Wider availability is expected very soon, with the V5 slated to debut in the Philippines on November 23rd.

Enterprise

India’s richest man is giving away free HD TVs

He’s selling something more valuable

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Reliance Jio is India’s largest telecom operator and has managed to get onboard more than 340 million users within a span of three years. Launched in 2016, the company revolutionized 4G connections in the country and offered dirt-cheap plans to attract subscribers.

Now that the company has conquered the wireless market, it aims to establish supremacy in the fixed-line segment. It announced the launch of its fiber-based broadband service offering minimum internet speed of 100 Mbps for INR 699 (US$ 9.75) a month, a rate significantly lower than the rivals.


Dubbed “Jio Fiber”, the service will offer free voice calling anywhere in the country, unlimited data and video conferencing.

In a bid to attract users and make them use bandwidth, they’re handing out TVs to hook users on movies and entertainment shows via internet. Lifetime subscribers get a 4K set top box for streaming TV channels, while a 4K television set would be complimentary with plans with higher payouts such as ‘Gold’ and above.

Jio is offering complementary TVs to annual subscribers of broadband plans in the range of INR 2,499 to INR 8,499 (US$ 35 – 120). The company is also offering television set on two-year subscription of gold plan priced at INR 1,299 (US$ 18) per month.

Jio Fiber Platinum and Titanium plan users will also get access to Jio VR platform, Jio First-Day First-Show movies service, and special sports content.

To get a new connection, a one-time charge for installation will be applicable — INR 2,500 (US$ 35), out of which INR 1,500 will be the refundable security deposit for the Jio router. Rest will be non-refundable.

Instead of relying on hardware sales for revenue, the company is making internet bandwidth its main selling point. Higher data consumption translates into better revenues, indirectly covering up the cost of providing complimentary hardware.

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Apps

Indians can now use UPI to make purchases on Play Store

Because debit cards are too old school

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Google’s Play Store has now added Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a payment option for users in India. The payment method is widely used in the country and is directly linked to a bank account.

Earlier, users had to rely on credit or debit cards. In a side move, Google also started selling cash cards at popular electronic stores. But, cash cards meant users had to buy a fixed amount of credit. With UPI, they now have the liberty of directly paying only what’s required.


XDA Developers were the first one to spot the feature addition and it’s rolling out OTA to everyone. To ensure you get it, just update the Google Play Store to v16.3.37 or more.

For those who aren’t aware, UPI is India’s homegrown protocol for transferring money and making payments. It is directly linked to a bank account and various client apps like BHIM, GPay, PhonePe, PayTM, and more can be used to initiate a transaction. Instead of relying on a physical card, UPI protocol brings authentication of transactions directly to your phone.

The transfer method is widely adopted in the country and thanks to a universal interface, it can be used for pretty much every Indian bank. Every major e-commerce service like Amazon, Flipkart, and Spotify have adopted the payment service to bolster sales.

In fact, UPI has overtaken debit card transactions by volume and value according to The Reserve Bank of India. This minor addition is sure to get a lot of traction, in turn discouraging app piracy.

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India

Samsung Galaxy M30s will launch with a 6000mAh battery

Will launch exclusively on Amazon India

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For all their groundbreaking innovations, smartphones have notoriously failed in one crucial aspect: battery life. The smartphone’s processing power keeps doubling throughout the years. On the other hand, phone batteries have grown at a snail’s pace. Currently, the standard still hovers between 3500mAh and 4000mAh.

Occasionally, a smartphone breaks this barrier. For one, Samsung is launching a smartphone with 6000mAh. Posted on Amazon India, the Samsung Galaxy M30s continues Samsung’s battery-efficient Galaxy M series.


The Galaxy M30s will ship with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen. Inside, the smartphone will run on either the Exynos 9610 or 9611 chipset. Like its littler sibling, the M30, it comes with 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage.

Like the M30, the smartphone shoots with a triple camera setup, highlighted by a main 64-megapixel shooter. Out of the box, it will come with Android Pie overlaid with Samsung’s OneUI.

As mentioned above, the smartphone will have a humongous 6000mAh battery. In comparison, the previous Galaxy M30 only had a 5000mAh battery. The new battery pushes past the current industry standard. Only a few smartphones have reached this point.

Pricewise, the Galaxy M30 will retail between INR 15,000 (approximately US$ 208) and INR 20,000 (approximately US$ 277). It’s a budget phone that fits nicely within Samsung’s expansive family. According to the Amazon India listing, the smartphone will launch on September 18.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy M40 is a budget phone with triple rear cameras

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