Amazon and Flipkart returned with fresh sales this week as the festive season gets underway. While Flipkart Big Diwali Sale kicked off Saturday, Amazon Big Billion Days: Celebration Special started earlier today. In other news, OnePlus 7T Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition made their debut at an event in London. Also, Xiaomi launched the Redmi 8 in India and began teasing the launch of its much anticipated Redmi Note 8 Pro smartphone that will be unveiled next week in the country. Read on to know more about these and other major happenings from the world of technology this week.
Flipkart Big Diwali Sale now live
Flipkart Big Diwali Sale officially kicked off Saturday after a four-hour head start for the Flipkart Plus members. This is the second major sale from the e-retailer after it recently organised the Big Billion Days sale for its users. The sale will continue through October 16. Like the Flipkart Big Billion Days sale, the e-retailer has listed a number of offers for smartphones, televisions, and other consumer electronics items.
Some of the biggest offers available as a part of the Flipkart Big Diwali Sale include discounts on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and audio products. Flipkart is offering the iPhone 7 32GB version for as low as Rs. 26,999, down from its regular price of Rs. 29,900. Similarly, Redmi Note 7S is down to Rs. 9,999 for the 4GB + 64GB variant, Vivo Z1 Pro 4GB + 64GB model is discounted to Rs. 12,990, and Google Pixel 3a can be grabbed for as low as Rs. 29,999.
Other offers on Flipkart include discount on Apple AirPods, MSI GF Core 15.6-inch gaming laptop, and sixth-generation Apple iPad. Game consoles like Xbox One S have also received limited period price cuts and you will also be able to find deals on various mobile accessories. Flipkart has also partnered with State Bank of India to offer 10 percent instant discount on purchases made using the bank's credit cards.
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Amazon Great Indian Festival: Celebration Special sale opens
Amazon is also running a new version of its Great Indian Festival sale in the form of Celebration Special. The sale opened for Prime members at noon on Saturday and for everyone else earlier today. Similar to the Flipkart sale, Amazon Great Indian Festival: Celebration Special also includes deals on mobile phones, headphones, laptops, tablets, and other consumer electronics. Amazon has also tied up with ICICI Bank to offer 10 percent instant discount on purchases made using the bank's credit or debit cards.
Some of the major details available as a part of the Amazon sale include discounted iPhone XR 64GB version at Rs. 42,999, OnePlus 7 for as low as Rs. 34,999, and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 at Rs. 42,999. Additionally, Amazon sale is also offering discounts on Bose Quiet Comfort 35 II, Sony WH-1000XM3, and Sennheiser HD 4.50 SE. Further, the Smart TVs like TCL 50-inch 4K smart Android TV, VU 49-inch full-HD smart LED TV, and Samsung 50-inch Super 6 series 4K smart TV have been discounted. Amazon sale will continue through October 17.
OnePlus 7T Pro, McLaren Edition launched
After introducing the OnePlus 7T last month, OnePlus unveiled the successor to its OnePlus 7 Pro at a glitzy event in London this week. Dubbed as OnePlus 7T Pro, the new smartphone is a minor upgrade over its predecessor with the biggest change being the inclusion of Snapdragon 855+ SoC. The new SoC in itself isn't a big enough upgrade over the Snapdragon 855 that is present in the OnePlus 7 Pro. OnePlus 7T Pro also packs 4,085mAh battery that is 85mAh more than the one in OnePlus 7 Pro.
Among other changes between the OnePlus 7T Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro, the former supports Warp Charge 30T that debuted with OnePlus 7T. There is only RAM + storage variant – 8GB + 256GB – and only one colour option – Haze Blue – for the OnePlus 7T Pro. Also, the new phone repositions the laser auto-focus sensor on the back of the smartphone. Everything else between the two phones is exactly the same, including the dimensions and their weight.
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OnePlus 7T Pro is already on sale in India via Amazon, OnePlus.in, and OnePlus offline stores. It is being offered at Rs. 53,999 that is Rs. 1,000 more than the price of OnePlus 7 Pro 8GB + 256GB variant. The fate of the OnePlus 7 Pro is unclear right now but OnePlus seems to be continuing its sales. So, OnePlus' India portfolio currently includes OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, and OnePlus 7T Pro.
At the OnePlus 7T Pro launch event, OnePlus also unveiled the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition. The new McLaren Edition phone includes the same specifications as the OnePlus 7T Pro, but with 12GB of RAM. It features a design that has the British racing brand's iconic 'papaya' orange accents and charger set, a different rear panel design, and a case designed with composite fabric material Alcantara. It will retail at Rs. 58,999 in India when it goes on sale starting November 5. OnePlus did give a chance to select people to pre-book it with a promised delivery of October 18 during its special early access events on October 11.
OnePlus has revealed that OxygenOS 10 that debuted with OnePlus 7T and is a part of the OnePlus 7T Pro, will be reaching OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T phones this month. It has already rolled out to OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro phones. Based on Android 10, OxygenOS 10 brings several new features and improvements, including updated gallery app, enhanced Zen Mode, landscape app switching, and more customisation options.
Redmi 8 price in India revealed
Just a day after introducing the Redmi 8 in Ukraine, Xiaomi launched the smartphone in India. A successor to Redmi 7, the Redmi 8 has already gone on sale one time via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores in the country. It carries a price tag of Rs. 7,999 for the 3GB + 32GB version and Rs. 8,999 for the 4GB + 64GB version. As a part of a promotion, Xiaomi will be selling the 4GB RAM version at just Rs. 7,999 for the first 5 million Redmi 8 orders. Everyone buying the phone will get the 4GB + 64GB version. Following the first 5 million unit sales, the prices will go back to normal.
Redmi 8 comes with features like a 6.22-inch HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC, and a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support. The phone also includes a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary shooter and a 2-megapixel secondary depth sensor as well as an 8-megapixel front shooter for selfies. Other specifications are up to 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of onboard storage, microSD card slot, a rear fingerprint sensor, and a USB Type-C.
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Redmi Note 8 Pro India launch date
At the launch event for Redmi 8, Xiaomi's Manu Kumar Jain revealed that the company will be launching the much anticipated Redmi Note 8 Pro smartphone in India next week. The phone will be introduced on October 16 at a press event in New Delhi. Redmi Note 8 Pro has already been unveiled in the company's home market and its big highlight is the quad rear camera setup that is headlined by a 64-megapixel primary shooter.
Xiaomi is using Samsung's ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor for the 64-megapixel shooter that is joined by an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter, and two 2-megapixel cameras. Other key specifications of the phone include a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) screen with 19.5:9 aspect ratio, waterdrop-style notch, and MediaTek Helio G90T SoC. You will also get up to 8GB of RAM, liquid cooling support, a 4,500mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging, NFC, and USB Type-C port. The Xiaomi smartphone is also IP52 certified.
The company is yet to share any hints about the Redmi Note 8 Pro price in India. However, thanks to the Chinese pricing of the phone, we can make fair assumptions. The phone retails starting at CNY 1,399 (roughly Rs. 14,000) in China for its base variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. The 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 128GB models carry a price tag of CNY 1,599 (roughly Rs. 16,000) and CNY 1,799 (roughly Rs. 18,000), respectively. All these prices suggest that we could see the launch of Redmi Note 8 Pro starting around Rs. 14,000- 15,000 in the country, going all the way up to Rs. 18,000-Rs. 19,000.
Amazon is already teasing the release of the Redmi Note 8 Pro, suggesting that the e-retailer will be carrying the phone in the country. In addition to Amazon, the phone will also be offered via Mi.com, Mi Home stores, and Xiaomi partner offline retailers. Considering the previous launches, offline availability, barring sales at Mi Home stores, could take some time.
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Motorola One Macro launched in India
Lenovo-owned Motorola launched its new One Macro smartphone in India this week, making the country the first market to receive the phone. As the name suggests the main highlight of the phone is its Macro camera that is present as a part of a triple rear camera setup. The two other cameras on the back include a 13-megapixel primary camera with f/2.0 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.2 aperture.
Motorola One Macro also packs a 6.2-inch HD+ screen, MediaTek Helio P70 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and a 4,000mAh battery. Additionally, you will get 64GB of onboard storage that is expandable using a microSD card slot (up to 512GB), USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, and a rear fingerprint sensor.
Motorola One Macro carries a price tag of Rs. 9,999 for the lone 4GB + 64GB variant. It is now on sale in the country via Flipkart in Space Blue colour. Motorola One Macro launch offers include Rs. 2,200 Jio Cashback, as well as 125GB of additional data. It joins the company's growing One-series in the country that already includes phones like Motorola One Action and Motorola One Vision.
Nokia 6.2 debuts in India
HMD Global also brought its Nokia 6.2 smartphone to the country this week. The Nokia 6.2 was originally unveiled at IFA 2019 tech fair in September alongside the Nokia 7.2 that is already on sale in India. Nokia 6.2 price is set at Rs. 15,999 for the lone 4GB + 64GB model. It is currently sold via Amazon and major offline retailers. You can grab the phone in either Ceramic Black colour or Ice colour.
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Nokia 6.2 features a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display with HDR10 support, Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 SoC, and 3,500mAh battery. The phone also packs a dedicated microSD card slot (up to 512GB) and a triple rear camera setup that houses a 16-megapixel primary shooter with f/1.8 aperture, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter with f/2.2 aperture. HMD Global has also included an 8-megapixel f/2.0 selfie camera in the Nokia 6.2.
HMD Global also revised the prices of Nokia 2.2 and Nokia 3.2 in India this week. Nokia 2.2 now starts at Rs. 6,599 in the country for the 2GB RAM variant, down from its previous price tag of Rs. 7,699. Similarly, the Nokia 2.2 3GB RAM variant has been a price cut to Rs. 7,599 from Rs. 8,699. Nokia 3.2's new pricing starts at Rs. 7,499 for the 2GB + 16GB model and goes up to Rs. 8,499 for the 3GB + 32GB version. The phone earlier used to retail starting at Rs. 7,999.
Realme X2 Pro India launch timeline
In other news, Realme revealed that its upcoming flagship Realme X2 Pro will be making its India debut in December. The phone is set to be launched in Europe and China next week. There is still no specific India launch date but the company will likely announce that after the phone's official introduction on October 15. Realme has been actively teasing the phone on Weibo and it is confirmed to pack Snapdragon 855+ SoC, 4,000mAh battery, 50W fast charge support, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 256GB of onboard storage, and vapour chamber liquid cooling.
Oppo Reno Ace, Oppo K5 launch
Lastly in smartphone news, Oppo announced two new phones in China. The new Oppo K5 and Oppo Reno Ace will go on sale in the company's home market next week. While the Oppo Reno Ace is the company's new flagship, the Oppo K5 is a mid-range smartphone. According to the company, Oppo Reno Ace comes with specifications like Snapdragon 855+ SoC, a 4,000mAh battery with 65W Super VOOC fast charging technology, and a quad-rear camera setup that is headlined by a 48-megapixel primary camera.
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Oppo K5, on the other hand, packs Snapdragon 730G SoC, 3,920mAh battery with 30W Super VOOC fast charging support, and a quad-rear camera setup that is headlined by a 64-megapixel primary camera. Other specifications of the phone include 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of onboard storage, a 32-megapixel selfie camera, and USB Type-C.
Jio IUC charges, and other news
In telecom news, Reliance Jio surprised everyone by announcing 6 paise per minute charge for off-network calls to cellular connections. The change went into effect October 10, however the Jio subscribers won't be charged for non-Jio mobile voice calls until their current plan validity expires. When you will next perform a prepaid recharge or your next postpaid billing cycle starts, the new voice calls charges will start being levied.
Reliance Jio says that new voice charge would be same as the prevailing Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC) for telcos to enable inter-networking outgoing calls that are also known as off-net voice calls. The new change is specifically designed for voice calls being made to other operators while all Jio-to-Jio calls, incoming calls, and Jio-to-landline calls will remain free. The operator has also unveiled four new IUC top-up vouchers starting Rs. 10 and going up to Rs. 100.
Vodafone launched a new prepaid recharge at Rs. 69 this week. The plan comes with a validity of 28 days and it packs 150 minutes of local, STD, and roaming voice calls in addition to 250MB of data. In some telecom circles, the plan also includes 100 SMS messages. Vodafone Idea has also introduced the same plan for its subscribers that is available a limited number of telecom circles.
BSNL revised its Rs. 429 prepaid recharge and re-launched the Rs. 96 prepaid recharge this week. As a part of a Bonus Data offer, Rs. 429 prepaid plan will now offer 1.5GB additional data over the existing 1GB data per day. The plan has a validity of 81 days. This means that subscribers will get 2.5GB daily data. This offer is valid only this month.
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The re-introduced BSNL Rs. 96 prepaid recharge plan is being offered on a promotion basis. It became available on October 5 and will last three months. The plan includes 250 voice call minutes and 100 SMS messages per day, both valid for 21 days. The plan validity is 180 days. After the benefit validity of 21 days, the consumers will be charged the base tariff.
Dish TV has launched a new Android-powered set-top box called Dish SMRT Hub and an Alexa-enabled smart dongle called Dish SMRT Kit as a part of its SMRT connected devices lineup this week. The exact availability details of the new devices aren't clear, but the company has already listed the devices on its website and is asking users to share their details if they are interested in either of the devices. Dish TV SMRT Hub carries a price tag of Rs. 3,999 for the new subscribers and Rs. 2,499 for the existing Dish TV subscribers. The Dish SMRT Kit, on the other hand, will retail at Rs. 1,199 and it will only be sold to the existing subscribers.
Call of Duty: Mobile that was launched at the start of this month managed to rack up 100 million downloads in just one week, according to Sensor Tower. This milestone dwarfs the previous big launches of Fortnite, PUBG Mobile, and Apex Legends. PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, and Apex Legends had scored 26.3 million, 22.5 million and 25 million downloads, respectively, in their first week of release.
PUBG Lite received a massive new update this week, and it introduces the Lite Pass Season 2, two additional in-game currencies, and a new 4v4 game mode, among other changes. The PUBG Lite update also brings two new missions, a new item store, a TDM career record with a comprehensive gameplay achievements database, and more. Aside from new Season 2 challenges and rewards, there are a lot of bug fixes as well, and a host of new mission categories have also been added with the update.
Lastly, Sony announced that PlayStation 5 will be launched in late-2020. The console will arrive before the holiday shopping season and support ray-tracing technology. The PlayStation 5 will also pack a SSD and a new CPU. Sony also detailed the upcoming PS5 controller that will include "adaptive triggers" and offer haptic feedback. Sony PlayStation 5 will be competing with Microsoft's still unnamed "Project Scarlett" console.