India

Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro in India

After the exceptional Redmi Note 4, Xiaomi is all prepped up for 2018!

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Xiaomi has finally launched the much-awaited Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro in India along with its Mi TV range. The Redmi Note 5 is the successor to Xiaomi’s popular Redmi Note 4 smartphone which was launched last year and has propelled Xiaomi to the number one smartphone vendor spot in India ahead of Samsung.

The Redmi Note 5 is just a rebranded Redmi 5 Plus with a 6-inch screen and a Snapdragon 625 chipset. Both the devices sport the same 6-inch panel and incorporate the new industry trending 18:9 resolution display. It has a 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.2 aperture and 5-megapixel front camera with an LED flash. Down from the predecessor’s 4100mAh battery, the Redmi Note 5 packs a 4000mAh capacity charged via micro-USB.

The Redmi Note 5 comes in two memory configurations: 3GB RAM with 32GB storage or 4GB RAM with 64GB storage. Both devices have a fingerprint scanner on the back, while the power button and volume rocker sit on the right side.

Xioami Redmi Note 5

The Redmi Note 5 starts at INR 9,999 (US$ 156) for 3GB RAM with 32GB storage while the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage variant costs INR 11,999 (US$ 187).

The higher-end Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, which makes it the first device sporting the chipset in the country. In fact, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is also the first smartphone globally to debut the Snapdragon 636 SoC.

It sports a 12-megapixel primary sensor at the back accompanied by a 5-megapixel secondary sensor, arranged on the upper-left corner like on the iPhone X. The primary sensor has an f/2.2 aperture while the secondary sensor comes with f/2.0. For selfie lovers, the company has bumped the camera sensor to 20 megapixels and comes with a front-facing flash. The front camera uses the Sony IMX376 sensor and is accompanied with Beautify 4.0.

Xioami Redmi Note 5 Pro

The company is going with two variants for the Redmi Note 5 Pro which include 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, and 6GB RAM with 64GB storage. It runs on MIUI 9 based on Android Nougat. It comes with the older micro-USB port but sadly misses out on support for fast charging for its 4000mAh battery.

The Redmi Note 5 Pro starts at INR 13,999 (US$ 218) for 4GB RAM with 64GB storage while the 6GB RAM with 64GB storage variant costs INR 16,999 (US$ 265). Colors options are black, gold, rose gold, and blue.

Both the devices shall be available from February 22 via Flipkart, Mi Home, and Mi.com. They will go on sale soon via all of Xiaomi’s offline retail partners, though an availability date isn’t announced yet.

In addition, Xiaomi has designed a new power adapter which has power surge protection up to 380V built in. This new adapter will come come out of the box with the newly launched devices.

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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