India

Xiaomi launches Android One powered Mi A3

A clutter-free user experience

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Xiaomi has launched a wide-range of phones this year in an attempt to cover every price bracket. While it has indisputable supremacy in the entry-level bracket, the brand is also slowly catching up on the premium side.

So far, all phones launched by Xiaomi are backed by MIUI. The A-series however, aims to offer a stock Android experience. Partnering with Google for Android One, the device is guaranteed to receive timely security and feature updates.


First announced in Spain, Xiaomi has now unveiled the Mi A3 in India and is available in White, Blue, and Grey. It’ll take on the Realme 5 series, Vivo Z1 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy M40. With this new phone, Xiaomi will improve upon the shortcomings of the Mi A2.

The headphone jack is making a comeback and the design has been drastically improved. The front has a 6-inch HD+ AMOLED display and it also houses the fingerprint sensor. The front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass 5 and splash resistant coating.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and expandable storage. The rear has a triple camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While the front gets a 32-megapixel selfie shooter with support for face unlock.

Backing these internals is a 4,000mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. Software enhancements in the UI are non-existent because the phone ships with pure Android out-of-the-box.

It’ll be available in two configurations — 4GB+64GB costing INR 12,999 and 6GB+128GB costing INR 15,999. Sale starts from xx September via Mi.com and other offline channel partners. There’s a INR 1,000 if users purchase using an HDFC Bank credit or debit card.

India

Moto E6s launches with interchangeable back covers

It was first announced at IFA 2019

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Moto E6 Plus was announced at IFA 2019 and the company has rebranded it as Moto E6s for the Indian market. Launched today in the country, it’s meant to be an entry-level offering.

This segment is already pretty crowded with tonnes of options from local as well as global brands. The brand also announced the phone will be made completely in India at the company’s Chennai factory.


It has a 6.1-inch HD+ display with a waterdrop notch and 80 percent screen-to-body ratio. Powering the phone is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 processor clocked at 2.0GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage.

The rear has a 13-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and is assisted by a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. The phone has a selective bokeh photo mode that lets you adjust the background blur. The company stressed it has tuned its algorithms to click better HDR as well as low-light shots.

A fingerprint scanner is embedded on the back and also houses the Moto branding. Backing these internals is a 3000mAh battery that supports 10W fast charging. It runs on pure Android out of the box, so we expect updates to trickle down faster.

Unlike other brands that have multiple memory configurations to choose from, Moto E6s is available in only one grouping. Priced at INR 7,999, color options include Rich Cranberry and Polished Graphite. Sales start from September 23 via Flipkart.

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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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