India

Xiaomi’s Mi TVs are getting price cuts thanks to tax reduction

Starting the year with discounts

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Xiaomi practically disrupted the television market by launching its array of smart products in India last year. In the beginning, getting your hands on one was exceedingly difficult because of limited stocks. The average pricing of various offerings was significantly lower than the competition’s and thanks to unmatched software integration, the company took over the segment.

The Chinese brand has been building massive in-roads to India not only with smartphones but also other Mi Home products. It also believes in crystal clear pricing, and consistently gives out updates about price cuts as well as hikes. The global economy has been in a turmoil for a few quarters because of the on-going trade war and dynamic currency valuation.

Now, the company has welcomed the new year with discounts on multiple Mi TV options. The Mi LED Smart TV 4A 32-inch is now marked at INR 14,499 (US$ 208) instead of INR 15,999 (US$ 230). Purchasing it via Mi.com will give you a further discount of INR 2,000, making the actual sale price INR 12,499 (US$ 180).

Similarly, the Mi LED TV 4C Pro 32-inch has a marked price of INR 14,999 (US$ 215) instead of INR 16,999 (US$ 245) and purchasing via Mi.com will reward you with a discount of INR 1,000, making the sale price INR 13,999 (US$ 200). Lastly, the Mi LED TV 4A Pro 49-inch was previously marked at INR 31,999 (US$ 460) and shall now be available for INR 30,999 (US$ 445).

Xiaomi has been transparent in crediting the Indian Government for these price drops. Due to the GST (Good and Service Tax) slab revision, the duty on televisions under 32 inches has been dropped from 28 percent to 18 percent.

The brand says that they have sold over a million TV sets in the nine months that have passed since they launched these TVs in India.

India

Realme Watch launches with a touchscreen display and HR tracker

High on features, light on the pocket

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This is the first watch from Realme and we’ve been waiting for it for a long time. The company teased its existence multiple times and considering the brand’s reputation, we knew it’ll have a very competitive price. Thankfully, the watch is now official, and here’s everything you need to know.

It comes with a 1.4-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels, a maximum brightness of 380 nits, and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Currently, it comes pre-loaded with 12 watch faces and the company has confirmed more than a hundred will be available via an OTA update soon.

The smartwatch offers real-time heart rate monitoring using the built-in PPG sensor and records results every five minutes. Furthermore, it also has a SpO2 monitoring system to track the blood oxygen level.

On the fitness front, it has 14 different sports modes such as Badminton, Cricket, Indoor Run, Outdoor Run, Walk, and Yoga, among others. Health-based features also include sleep monitoring, sedentary reminders, hydration reminder, and meditation relaxing.

Just like all other smartwatches or bands, it can receive notifications from your phone via Bluetooth, control music playback, and unlock the phone via Android’s smart unlock system. Unlike the Apple Watch, you can’t pick-up voice calls but it’ll let you reject the call or mute the notification.

Realme Watch runs on a proprietary OS and can be linked to your phone via the Realme Link app. It supports 20mm removable wrist straps and has an IP68-certified body that can resist dust and water.

The Realme Watch is priced at INR 3,999 (US$ 53) and will be available via Flipkart and Realme.com from June 5. The additional color straps will cost INR 499 (US$ 7) later.

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India

Realme TV is a very affordable option with Android TV and HDR 10

Realme is going after Xiaomi, again!

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Realme is a fairly young brand when compared to established players like Xiaomi, Samsung, and OnePlus. But that isn’t stopping it from making bold moves like taking digs at Xiaomi and aggressively expanding its product lineup.

Today the brand unveiled the Realme TV in India. In comes in two sizes, 32-inch with 1366 x 768 resolution and 42-inch with 1920 x 1080. The brand says the TV has a premium look with a bezel-less design. The smart TV segment is turning out to be a very lucrative segment in developing markets and Xiaomi’s TV lineup currently dominates it.

Coming back to the Realme TV, it has Chroma Boost Picture Engine that optimizes the brightness, color, contrast, and clarity for top-notch viewing experience. The same technology is used in its smartphones as well and can the panel can deliver up to 400 nits of brightness.

It runs on Android TV out-of-the-box, bringing along support for Google Assistant and other bundled apps. Popular media streaming platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and more are also available. In fact, the remote has a dedicated button for YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video.

Powering it is a MediaTek quad-core processor with in-built support for HDR 10, and 8GB internal storage. For audio, it features four 24W stereo speakers with Dolby audio support. Port options include a couple of USB ports, three HDMI ports, one AV port, and one digital audio port. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi.

The Realme TV 32-inch is priced at INR 12,999 (US$ 170) and the 43-inch model is priced at INR 21,999 (US$ 290). It shall go on sale starting June 2 via Flipkart and Realme.com.

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Apps

Users want TikTok banned over poor content moderation

Play Store rating drops from 4.5 to 1

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Bytedance’s TikTok is viewed as a potential rival of Facebook’s Instagram. However, the app has come under immense criticism over its weak moderation policies. Videos encouraging sexual harassment, assault, and even misinformation have trended on the app. Additionally, content creators have often used this as a tactic to garner more views and engagement.

Indian netizens are furious over the app’s extremely lacking moderation mechanism. Many activists even allege that the app purposely doesn’t take down these videos. In response, people have turned to Google’s Play Store to show their disagreement by downrating the app. A week back, TikTok had a rating of 4.5 out of 5. Today, it has dropped to 1.3 and could further decline.

It all started when CarryMinati, one of India’s most popular YouTubers posted a video roasting TikTok creator Amir Siddiqui. YouTube India soon pulled down the video stating it was in violation of its policies. Since then, the heat against TikTok started rising.

The final nail in the coffin was when creator Faizal Siddiqui posted a video of him throwing water on a girl that transitions to her having makeup similar to assault marks. He had 13 million followers. His account can no longer be accessed on the app.

This isn’t a remote incident. There are numerous videos on the platform that encourages violence against women, patriarchy, and often extremely disrespectful acts. The outrage against the platform reached its peak in recent days and India’s National Commission for Women filed an official complaint against the TikTok creator. #BanTikTok is a frequently trending hashtag in the country.

India is a prime market for the company with 81 million active monthly users, according to 2019 stats. The number has obviously risen since then thanks to the national lockdown due to the Coronavirus. Indians are spending more time than ever online and creators are on overtime trying to bridge the gap.

In response, the company said, “Keeping people on TikTok safe is a top priority and we make it clear in our Term of Service and Community Guidelines that clearly outlines what is not acceptable on our platform. As per the policy, we do not allow content that risks the safety of others, promotes physical harm, or glorifies violence against women. The behavior in question violates our guidelines and we have taken down content, suspended the account, and are working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.”

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