India

Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 7 Pro with new design and 48MP camera

Raising the benchmarks of a budget phone

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Going by Xiaomi’s launch cycle, we expected the brand to launch the Redmi Note 7 today, but surprisingly it has also announced the global debut of Redmi Note 7 Pro in India. Xiaomi is getting even more aggressive due to rising competition from Samsung and Realme.

The Redmi Note 7 Pro brings in a much-needed design change and sports a reflective glass backing called “Aura Design.” It also brings enhanced splash protection thanks to water-resistant coating around the ports and buttons. The front comes with a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with significantly smaller bezels, a smaller water-drop notch, and 2.5D curved glass.


Under the hood is a Snapdragon 675 chipset with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The new chipset comes with improved graphics and AI capabilities.

The unique selling point of the phone is its 48-megapixel primary rear camera, assisted by a 5-megapixel depth sensor. The camera can combine four pixels into one larger pixel to produce better low-light pictures. This helps in preserving detail and avoiding grainy photos. The front has a 13-megapixel camera for selfies. The software has AI-powered portraits, scene detection, and beautification.

Backing these internals is a 4000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge technology and charges via USB-C. Lastly, it comes equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Obviously, the phone ships with MIUI 10 out of the box.

The 64GB option comes with 4GB RAM and is priced at INR 13,999 (US$ 195), while the 6GB RAM variant comes with 128GB storage and costs INR 16,999 (US$ 240). The phone will start shipping from March 13 in Neptune Blue, Nebula Red, and Space Black via Mi.com and Flipkart.

The Indian version of the Redmi Note 7, on other hand, sports an identical display. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 660 processor along with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage in the top variant. Xiaomi says it isn’t underclocking the processor and the user can experience significantly better performance than competing phones.

It gets a 12- and 2-megapixel setup on the rear and the front has a 13-megapixel sensor. The camera app supports similar AI-backed features and both phones support face unlock authentication. It shares the same battery and USB-C port as the Note 7 Pro’s.

The base variant comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, costing INR 9,999 (US$ 190). The second option comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and costs INR 11,999 (US$ 170). It’ll start shipping from March 6 in Onyx Black, Ruby Red, and Sapphire Blue via Mi.com and Flipkart.

Apps

Netflix is testing a new mobile-only subscription in Asia

Might cost less than PhP 200

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By now, subscription services have slowly taken over our monthly budgets. Cable hookups, premium Spotify accounts, Netflix subscriptions, gym memberships — it never stops. Unfortunately, the world is moving from single-purchase models into monthly renewals. Don’t you just wish for a better bang for your buck?

Netflix is currently testing a more flexible pricing scheme in select territories. In India, the streaming company has introduced a mobile-only subscription plan worth half the price of the basic plan. India’s basic plan — one screen, standard definition — costs INR 500 (around US$ 7.23). Meanwhile, the mobile-only plan costs only INR 250 (around US$ 3.61).


In an interview with Variety, a Netflix spokesperson confirmed the possible options “where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.”

Currently, all of Netflix plans are measured in months. Based on the statement, Netflix is potentially exploring weekly plans, besides a medium-oriented plan.

In terms of location, Netflix has trialed this new pricing scheme in Malaysia and India. Unfortunately, the company has not confirmed other territories for the future. However, given the location of the first two tests, the company will likely implement the scheme in mobile-centric countries in the Asian region. Currently, India is one of Asia’s hotspots for smartphone technology.

Given the trend, the Philippines will likely join India and Malaysia in the future. The country is also a developing hotspot for smartphones. As such, a Netflix mobile-only plan will likely find a lot of supporters in the country. For reference, the mobile-only plan will probably cost PhP 185 (half of the basic PhP 370 plan).

Of course, the only remaining problem will be the country’s abysmal data coverage.

SEE ALSO: Netflix knows what you want and lets you watch without buffering

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Gaming

You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day

Still better than banning the game completely

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Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.

Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.


To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.

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The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.

This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.

There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.

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India

Play on the go with these new Alienware gaming laptops

PC-like gaming on a laptop

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Alienware Area-51m | GadgetMatch

Updating its gaming portfolio in India, Dell and its sub-brand Alienware launched three new laptops aimed at three distinct categories of gamers in the country. The market is witnessing rapid growth and brands are increasing their focus exponentially. The three laptops intend to bring a PC-like gaming experience to laptops and the brand is confident about its new design language.

The Alienware Area-51m comes with a 17-inch narrow display with a 144Hz refresh rate. The brand is calling its design “Legend” and the laptop features a fully upgradable desktop-class processor and GPU. It is the only laptop to house an octa-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor along with support for up to 64GB RAM.


Other options include an Intel i7 processor, but all of them feature NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 20 series GPU that enables support for native in-game ray tracing.

For the best experience, it has a TactX keyboard featuring 2.2mm of travel and customizable lighting that extends to the power button, display cover, and vents. Alienware has also included Cryo-Tech 2.0 cooling technology for the mighty processor. It is available in Lunar Light and Dark Side of the Moon color options and starts at INR 2,99,590 (US$ 4,340)

The Alienware m15, on the other hand, features an 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor coupled with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or 2070 graphics card. It also incorporates customizable lighting ranging from the keyboard to exterior elements like the thermal vents. It even shares the cooling technology from its elder sibling.

It’s available in Epic Silver and Nebula Red color options with a starting price of INR 1,78,399 (US$ 2,585).

Dell G7 15

Lastly, the Dell G7 15 gets a 15-inch display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The laptop is powered by Intel’s 8th-generation processors and NVIDIA’s RTX 20 series.

It is equipped with a Killer Gigabit Ethernet Controller that is designed to offer superior output and lower latency gameplay, reducing lagging and jitters while playing. It is just 19.9mm thin and built keeping portability in mind.

The Dell G7 15 is available in Abyss Grey and starts at INR 1,57,399 (US$ 2,280).

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