India

Xiaomi launches selfie-focused Redmi Y2 in India

Xiaomi is back with another stellar phone that isn’t heavy on the pocket

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Xiaomi has been aggressively launching new products in India thanks to the never-ending demand. The Redmi 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro have been massive successes in the country. In fact, they’ve been so popular that competing companies have launched products to tackle this specific duo. Even though it has been more than three months since launch, the Note 5 Pro is still being sold via flash sales due to excessively high demand.

Today, Xiaomi announced the launch of the Redmi Y2 in India, the succeeding device of the Redmi Y1.  Xiaomi says the “Y” stands for youth, and the phone has been made keeping their requirements in mind. On a side note, Xiaomi announced the Redmi S2 last month in China and in the Philippines; the Y2 is basically the same device but with a different branding.

The front camera is the main highlight of the phone. It has a 16-megapixel sensor that supports AI-based Smart Beauty and has a soft LED flash for low-light pictures. The rear has a dual camera setup consisting of a 12-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. The phone supports AI-based improvements in HDR and Portrait mode. The sensor also features large 1.25µm pixels that, according to Xiaomi, capture more light and produce better-quality pictures.

Coming to specifications, the device sports a 6-inch HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 625 SoC along with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, or 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Currently, the phone runs on MIUI 9 that’s based on Android 8.0 Oreo. The battery is rated at 3000mAh and supports fast charging via a micro USB port.

The rear houses the fingerprint sensor and the device also supports authentication via Face Unlock. The storage is expandable via a microSD card through its hybrid dual-SIM slot.

The 32GB variant is priced at INR 9,999 (US$ 150) while the 64GB variant is priced at INR 12,999 (US$ 192) and will be exclusively available from Amazon.in and Mi Stores across the country starting June 12.

Apps

‘Remove China Apps’ removed from Google Play [Update]

TikTok could be the most affected

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An Android app going by the name “Remove China Apps” trended on the Google Play Store in India. The app says it can identify apps that are made in China and help you uninstall them. It has already crossed five million downloads but has since been removed after gaining some media traction.

Not just India, but other countries like Australia were also actively downloading the app according to App Annie. The app is fairly easy to use. You just need to install it and it’ll show you all the China-made apps installed on your phone, for example, TikTok.

The app was launched on May 17 by an Indian developer going by the name OneTouch AppLabs. It had crossed one million downloads within 10 days of launch. It held a rating of 4.9 out of 5. Obviously, much of this has to do with the nationalistic notion attached to it.

India went into a complete lockdown when Coronavirus threatened to ravage the country. While the country prioritized life over the economy, a two-month lockdown has drastically hit the economy and experts suggest it could dip into a recession soon. To revive the economy, the Indian Prime Minister urged everyone to support locally sourced products and reduce dependence on imports.

While India is actively fighting the virus, China has escalated border skirmishes in the north. It’s no wonder that the many have developed anti-China sentiments radically and a few developers are taking advantage of the situation. Furthermore, TikTok clones like “Mitron TV” have popped-up as local alternatives of the Bytedance controlled social platform.

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Accessories

Redmi Earbuds S are the most affordable TWS offering

The price is unbelievable

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In India, Xiaomi’s Redmi division looks after the affordable segment while Mi-branded products are for the premium segment. On the side, POCO is now an independent brand. Continuing with the new strategy, Redmi today announced the launch of their new TWS earbuds, the Redmi Earbuds S.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mi True Wireless Earphones 2 were announced in the country but they are far from affordable. To bridge this gap, the Redmi Earbuds S has been unveiled. It’s worth noting that they are the same as the Redmi AirDots S, which were launched in China earlier.

The Earbuds have 7.2mm drivers and are IPX4-rated for water resistance. The individual buds weigh only about 4.5g each. The company’s marketing has focused on how good their bass is, but we’ll be able to confirm that in our review later.

For connectivity, it leverages SBC codec, a commonly used protocol via Bluetooth. However, a low-latency mode has also been added to aide gaming. The earbuds are said to deliver four hours of playback on a single charge and the case can extend this to 12 hours.

The Earbuds S also has a physical button on either side to control media playback or skip tracks. The gaming mode can be triggered by pressing the function key thrice.

The Redmi Earbuds S will cost INR 1,799 (US$ 23) and will go on sale starting May 27 via Mi.com and Amazon.

These earbuds are an entry-level option for someone who’s looking for a pair of TWS earbuds. Instead of rich features, the point of this product is to offer an affordable option to the end-user.

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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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