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.

India

OnePlus Band is now official with AMOLED display, 14 day battery life

Challenging the Mi Band 5

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OnePlus has finally made a debut in the wearable segment, and while the OnePlus Watch has leaked in the past, the first device is actually the OnePlus Band. Focusing on fitness, the band aims to deliver a feature-packed experience at an affordable price.

The band works with Android out-of-the-box, and iOS support is expected to come soon. On the front is a 1.1-inch AMOLED display that’ll help you navigate the interface. An array of sensors includes a blood oxygen sensor, a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, and an optical heart-rate sensor.

The OnePlus Band gets many watch faces and personalization options through the OnePlus Health app. Coming to fitness, it has 13 pre-installed modes that include outdoor run, indoor run, fat burn run, outdoor walk, outdoor cycling, indoor cycling, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, cricket, badminton, pool swimming, yoga, and free training.

It’s certified for 5ATM and IP68 water resistance, and it has Bluetooth 5.0 support for seamless connections. Other nifty features include displaying notifications, as well as music playback and camera shutter controls.

The OnePlus Band packs a 100mAh battery that is touted to deliver up to 14 days of usage on a single charge. It’s priced at INR 2,499 (US$ 34), and sales are limited to the Indian market for now. Color options include Black, Navy, and Tangerine Gray.

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Gaming

FAU-G is an Indian alternative to PUBG Mobile, launches on January 26

FAU-G stands for Fearless and United Guard

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PUBG Mobile has been a global sensation, and players love it. But it’s not available in the world’s second-largest smartphone market right now. India banned the game last year, and local developers are rushing to fill the gap. One of them is nCore Games, and it plans to launch an alternative called FAU-G soon.

FAU-G stands for Fearless and United Guard, but the term fauji means soldier in Hindi, one of India’s official languages. Making things more interesting, the game is endorsed by one of India’s most popular actors — Akshay Kumar. There is an immense demand for the game due to the PUBG Mobile vacuum, anti-China sentiments, and increasing nationalist attitude that prefers indigenous products over others.

The game was supposed to launch in October 2019 but was indefinitely delayed. Thankfully, nCore Games has announced it’ll be releasing the game on January 26, the day India celebrates its seventy-fourth Republic Day.

Earlier in December 2020, the registrations for the game went live as well. FAU-G created a record with over one million pre-registrations in just 24 hours. All we know so far is, it’ll be a first-person shooter game, and since it’s supposed to bridge the PUBG Mobile gap, a battle royale mode is quite obvious.

 

So far, the developer has only released a few marketing pictures of the game, followed by a teaser. Intricate details of the game are still unknown, but the game’s description on the Play Store says, “it brings to life the thrill and adrenaline of a life spent guarding India’s borders.”

However, it’s a herculean task to build a massive game like PUBG Mobile within such a short period of time. FAU-G will have a minimal time frame to quash bugs and attain a clean experience because it’ll always be compared to seasoned competitors like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile, Fornite, and Mobile Legends.

Adding to this, PUBG Corporation has severed ties with Tencent to dodge anti-China sanctions and plans to launch a modified game similar to PUBG Mobile, specially designed for the Indian market. It’s a race against time right now, and the first one to debut has an edge. But that edge won’t last forever.

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India

Xiaomi launches Mi 10i with 108MP camera, 120Hz display

The price is quite unbelievable

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Kicking off 2021 with its first phone launch, Xiaomi launched the Mi 10i in India today. The brand has extensively expanded the Mi 10 series, and while the Mi 10T Pro looks after the flagship segment, the Mi 10i is designed for the midrange segment.

Unlike the Mi 10T series, the new Mi 10i has a fresh design that consists of a circular rear camera module. The front and the back get Gorilla Glass 5 protection, and it also gets an IP53 rating for water and dust resistance.

On the front is a 6.7-inch display with Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The user can change the refresh rate, and six preset options are available. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 750 processor with 6GB 0r 8GB RAM. For expandable storage, a microSD card slot is also provided.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup that includes a 108-megapixel primary Samsung HM2 sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, a 16-megapixel front camera is located in a punch-hole cut-out. Software features include Movie frame, Night mode 2.0, panorama mode, pro mode, and raw mode.

Backing these internals is a 4820mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging. Xiaomi has included a 33W rated charger in the box. The phone also features some legacy but very crucial technology like the 3.5mm headphone jack and a physical fingerprint scanner on the side.

The phone is priced at INR 20,099 (US$ 275) for 6GB+64GB option, INR 21,999 (US$ 289) for 6GB+128GB, and INR 23,999 (US$ 315) for 8GB+128GB. The sale starts on January 7 and will be available via Mi.com, Amazon, Mi Homes, and other offline partners. Color options include Pacific Sunrise, Midnight Black, and Atlantic Blue.

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