Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 were launched in India this week, the latest models in the Xiaomi's extremely popular Redmi Note series of smartphones. Apart from this, Xiaomi also revealed the schedule for the rollout of MIUI 11 Global Stable ROM updates for eligible handsets, and launched a new air purifier for the country. Of course, any roundup of this week would be incomplete if we didn't mention the launch of the Google Pixel 4 smartphones, despite the fact they won't be making their way to India. Amazon and Flipkart are also holding the next rounds of their festive Diwali sales, and other top news of the week includes a Samsung fingerprint scanner security flaw, a brand new version of Fortnite, and Reliance Jio's announcement of its Q3 2019 subscriber figures.
Redmi Note 8 Pro, Redmi Note 8 India launch
The Redmi Note 8 Pro and Redmi Note 8 were launched in India together this week. The smartphones' predecessors – Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7 – were launched earlier this year itself, with Xiaomi evidently switching to a faster refresh cycle.
First launched in China in August, the two Redmi Note 8 smartphones bear a similar design, with quad rear camera setups. Another major highlight was the presence of a 64-megapixel camera sensor on the Redmi Note 8 Pro, one that was developed in collaboration with Samsung and representing the first such smartphone from Xiaomi. In India, the both smartphones have one major difference over their China counterparts – they feature dedicated microSD card slots.
In India, the Redmi Note 8 Pro price starts at Rs. 14,999 for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant. Two other models have been launched in the country – 6GB RAM + 128GB storage at Rs. 15,999 and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage at Rs. 17,999. On the other hand, the Redmi Note 8 price in India starts at Rs. 9,999 for 4GB RAM + 64GB storage model, going up to Rs. 12,999 for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage model. Both smartphones will go on sale for the first time via Amazon India, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores at 12pm (noon) IST on Monday, October 21.
In terms of specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Redmi Note 8 Pro runs MIUI 10, and features a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) display; a MediaTek Helio G90T SoC; up to 8GB of RAM; a quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel); a 20-megapixel front camera; up to 128GB of onboard expandable via a dedicated microSD card slot; the standard set of connectivity options including USB Type-C; a rear-facing fingerprint sensor; a 4,500mAh battery with 18W fast charging support; dimensions of 161.7x76.4x8.81mm, and finally, a weight of 200 grams.
Also a dual-SIM (Nano) smartphone, the Redmi Note 8 sports a 6.39-inch full-HD+ (1080x2280 pixels) display; octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC with up to 6GB of RAM; a quad rear camera setup (48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel); a 13-megapixel front camera; up to 128GB onboard storage expandable via a dedicated microSD card (up to 512GB); the standard bunch of connectivity options and sensors; a 4,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support; dimensions of 158.3x75.3x8.35mm, and a weight of 188 grams.
As we mentioned, Xiaomi at the Redmi Note 8 series India launch event also revealed the rollout schedule for the latest version of its custom Android-based operating system – MIUI 11. First announced last month in China, the newest iteration of MIUI 11 brings numerous new features including a new minimalistic design, a system-wide dark mode, and more. The first batch of smartphones will receive their updates starting October 22, while the last batch – consisting only of the Redmi Note 8 Pro – will receive it starting December 18.
Amazon India, Flipkart's latest Diwali sales
E-commerce giants Amazon India and Flipkart are holding their second round of Diwali sales in India, from October 21 to October 25. The new festive season sales bring back discounts on smartphones and electronics amongst other categories, with each also featuring their own exclusive sale-wide instant discounts. Amazon India is offering 10 percent instant discount on credit and debit cards from Axis Bank and Citi Bank, as well as on all RuPay cards.
On the other hand, Flipkart is offering a 10 percent instant discount on SBI credit and debit card transactions during the sale. As we mentioned, both e-commerce sites have revealed their top mobile phone and electronics deals, and we will list some of the former set of offers here. In case you held off on purchasing a smartphone in the recent batch of sales, the latest round of Amazon and Flipkart sales represent a good opportunity to pick up a new mobile before Diwali.
In this round of the Amazon Great Indian Festival Sale Diwali Special, the e-commerce site is offering discounts on the Samsung Galaxy M10s, Samsung Galaxy A10s, Vivo U10, Nokia 6.2, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, Redmi 7A, iPhone XR, and Poco F1. Amazon also says that it is offering discounts on accessories, which start from as low as Rs. 49. As we mentioned, there are also discounts on other electronics, including on Amazon's own Echo, Fire TV, and Kindle range, apart from laptops, TVs, as well as home appliances.
Getting to the Flipkart sale, top smartphone offers include discounts on the Redmi Note 7 Pro, Redmi Note 7S, Realme 5, and Vivo Z1 Pro. The e-commerce site is also touting the availability of no-cost EMI options and exchange offers on a range of smartphones, as well as discounted rates for its Complete Mobile Protection service. As we mentioned, the Flipkart Big Diwali Sale is also offering deals on a range of electronics, from smart TVs, smartwatches, laptops, and DSLRs to mirrorless cameras, apart from home appliances.
Realme X2 Pro unveiled, India launch date announced
Realme has finally launched a flagship smartphone in the form of the Realme X2 Pro, featuring top-end specifications. Till date, the Oppo spin-off brand had been concentrating on the budget segment, with the still-affordable Realme XT (launched as Realme X2) unveiled this year being its most expensive smartphone before the Realme X2 Pro arrived. Highlights of the Realme X2 Pro include the presence of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC, up to 12GB of RAM, 50W fast charging, quad rear cameras, and an HDR10+ supporting display with a 90Hz refresh rate.
The Realme X2 Pro was launched in China this week, and if you thought the flagship would be limited to company's home country, Realme was quick to address the point and announced the flagship's India date soon after. Read on for more details about the Realme X2 Pro, including its price, specifications, and features.
Specifications of the Realme X2 Pro include dual-SIM (Nano); ColorOS 6.1 based on Android 9 Pie; a 6.5-inch full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) Super AMOLED 90Hz display; an in-display fingerprint sensor; octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC; up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM; quad rear camera setup (64-megapixel + 13-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel); a 16-megapixel front camera; up to 256GB UFS 3.0 inbuilt storage; the regular bunch of connectivity options and sensors; a 4,000mAh battery with 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge support; dimensions of 161x75.7x8.7mm, and finally, a weight of 199 grams.
As for pricing, the Realme X2 Pro price starts at at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 27,200) for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant, going up to CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs. 33,200) for the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant. We can expect the Realme X2 Pro India price to be similar to the China pricing. As we mentioned, the Realme X2 Pro India launch date has been announced, and it's November 20. The Realme X2 can also be expected to launch at the same event, as the Realme XT 730G.
Google Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL launch
Google this week at its Made by Google event in New York unveiled its latest lineup of Pixel smartphones – Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. There are several highlights of the smartphones, as well as some firsts for the Pixel series. The Pixel 4 duo both feature 90Hz refresh displays, and also come with the first dual rear camera setups in the lineup.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL also feature the new Motion Sense gesture support, powered the Soli radar-based sensor. Apart from gesture support, the radar sensor alongside other components powers the new Face Unlock feature that Google introduced with the Pixel 4 duo. As you'd expect, the flagships run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, and come with 6GB of RAM. The dual rear camera features a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 12.2-megapixel secondary sensor. On the front, both smartphones have 8-megapixel selfie cameras.
As with the previous generation of Pixel smartphones, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL both feature dual-SIM functionality thanks to the eSIM onboard. The Pixel 4 has a 2,800mAh battery while the Pixel 4 XL has a 3,700mAh battery. Both smartphones also come bundled with an 18W fast charging adapter, but notably, Google has decided not to include wired headphones or a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box.
Though Google has for the first time included its own face recognition technology for the Face Unlock feature on the Pixel 4 duo, the company has brought along a security flaw as well. The Pixel 4 duo's Face Unlock feature works even if the user's eyes are closed. This, as you can imagine, is a rather significant flaw, as it implies the Pixel 4 smartphones will unlock if they held up to a sleeping, unconscious, or even dead person's face. At this point, it appears Google has no intention to fix the flaw, as the smartphone's documentation clearly mentions it – and it is not an oversight on the company's part.
Samsung Galaxy S10 fingerprint scanner flaw
Talking about security flaws, Samsung was in the news for the wrong reasons this week. A British user noted that after installing a third-party screen protector on her Samsung Galaxy S10, her husband was able to unlock the smartphone using his unregistered fingerprint on the in-display fingerprint sensor. The company at the time of the first report said it was investigating the issue, and would probably release a software fix for it.
Later in the week, the company acknowledged that the issue indeed exists, and its affects not just the Samsung Galaxy S10 series of smartphones, but also the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series. The South Korean electronics giant revealed that it would be releasing a software update to fix the fingerprint scanner's security flaw as early as next week. In the meanwhile, users are urged to turn off fingerprint scanning if using a third-party fingerprint sensor.
Nubia Red Magic 3S, Infinix S5, Tecno Camon 12 Air India launch, and other news this week
The Nubia Red Magic 3S was launched in India this week, a gaming smartphone with the Snapdragon 855+ SoC and up to 12GB of RAM. It has been priced at Rs. 35,999 for its 8GB + 128GB variant, while the 12GB + 256GB variant will be available at Rs. 47,999 when it goes on sale from Monday via Flipkart. Another smartphone launched in India this week was the Infinix S5, which features a quad rear camera setup and a 4,000mAh battery at just Rs. 8,999.
Also launched in India this week was the Tecno Camon 12 Air, which comes with a triple rear camera setup and a 4,000mAh battery at Rs. 9,999. Vivo India this week brought the 8GB RAM version its recently launched Vivo Z1x smartphone. It has been priced at Rs. 21,990, and the variant also features 128GB of inbuilt storage.
Vivo in Vietnam launched another budget smartphone this week, the Vivo Y11 (2019). It has been priced at VND 2,990,000 (roughly Rs. 9,200). Fellow Chinese manufacturer Oppo this week unveiled a new budget smartphone, the Oppo A11. Launched in China, the smartphone features a price tag of CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,100).
Back in India, Xiaomi alongside the Redmi Note 8 series and MIUI 11 also launched a new smart home product – the Mi Air Purifier 2C. Said to be designed in India for India, the air purifier has been priced at Rs. 6,499.
Fortnite, the popular battle royale game by Epic Games, had a significant week. Late last week, the game disappeared into a ‘black hole', and fans held their breath wondering what was coming up next. The company did not make them wait for long, and early this week, unveiled the next chapter of Fortnite, appropriately called Fortnite Chapter 2. It brings along new mechanics, character progression, as well as a brand new map.
Reliance Jio alongside the earnings report of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced its latest operational performance figures. The telco said as of September 30, it had 355.2 million subscribers, and that it had added 24 million since the last quarter. Also this week, Jio lambasted its rivals in the sphere, saying that they were making wirelines as mobile numbers in order to evade interconnect usage charges.
Separately, Tata Sky cut prices of its set-top boxes in the country. The Tata Sky HD set-top box is now priced at Rs. 1,299, while the SD set-top box is now priced at Rs. 1,099. Vodafone this week revised its Rs. 199 and Rs. 399 prepaid plans to offer its subscribers double data benefits. Finally, Airtel Digital TV this week announced a price cut for its set-top boxes in India. The Airtel HD set-top box can now be purchased at Rs. 1,300, while the SD set-top box is available for Rs. 1,100.
For details of the latest launches and news from Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo and other companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, visit our MWC 2024 hub.