The week draws to a close but all is not over. One of the most happening events of the year, the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2018) kick starts over the weekend and today we came across more details about the devices which are likely to be announced at the annual tech expo. The day brought with it news about Xiaomi’s rollout of the facial recognition feature to its affordable Redmi Note 5, and pretty much ended with Xiaomi making it to the list of top smartphone brands in India.
In other news the price of the Samsung Galaxy S9 was leaked today, leaving us (publishers) with pretty much nothing to look forward to at the actual launch event. No day is complete without Reliance Jio and the operator announced its future plans for the ‘smart feature phone’ JioPhone. Adding to the list of pre-MWC leaks, press images of the Nokia 7+ also surfaced on the web today. Here’s your Friday roundup of all the major tech happenings today.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 update
As promised, Xiaomi rolled out the Face Unlock feature to its newly released Redmi Note 5 through MIUI OTA update. The feature has been designed to work similar to the Face ID on Apple iPhone X. With the use of facial mapping technique, the system essentially makes it convenient for you to unlock the device, by merely looking at it.
Users started receiving the feature as part of the MIUI 188.8.131.52 build. If you still haven’t received, you can manually go to the software settings on your Redmi Note 5 smartphone and check for an update.
Samsung Galaxy S9 to be the most expensive
After today, we know everything about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones. The flagship smartphones are supposed to officially release on February 25. However, there is no stopping the leaksters from killing the buzz. Evan Blass, who has revealed most of the aspects of the upcoming smartphones, today revealed the last bit of information about them.
According to the tipster, the Galaxy S9 will start at 841 euros, which translates to Rs 67,000 approximately, whereas the Galaxy S9+ will be priced starting 997 euros, which translates to Rs 80,000 approximately. With this pricing, the new series will be the most expensive coming from Samsung.
Google to launch first Android Oreo (Go edition) at MWC 2018
The first batch of smartphones running Android Oreo (Go edition) have just been confirmed by Google. The company did not reveal the name of the products, but hinted that the devices will cost less than $50 (approximately Rs 3,500).
The Android Oreo (Go edition) brings tweaked app ecosystem and underlying core of the OS, to make for a smooth user experience in the budget price segment. The operating system will ship with optimized apps like Files Go, YouTube Go, Google Go and apps will be distributed via an optimized variant of the Play Store.
Reliance Jio to sell 2 crore JioPhones
Reliance Jio Chairman, Mukesh Ambani, announced today that the company will sell 2 crore units of the JioPhone in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The feature phone comes with a number of smart features, including the recent addition of an optimized Facebook app. It costs ‘effectively Rs 0’ as customers pay Rs 1,500 for the device which is refundable after three years.
In addition to announcing the sale plan for the state, Ambani also announced that his company will invest Rs 10,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh over the next three years.
Nokia 7+ leaked in press images
Ahead of the official launch, Nokia 7+ reappeared through press images. The smartphone is shown in both black and white color options in the newly leaked images. The smartphone features a dual-camera setup and boasts 18:9 display as one of its highlights.
Based on past reports, the Nokia 7+ is likely to sport a 6-inch full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 18:9, which will make it the first Nokia smartphone to pack edge-to-edge display. Under the hood, Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC is expected to be paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It is likely the phone will run Android Ooreo out-of-the-box.
India sees 23% growth in online smartphone segment
In its latest research, Counterpoint highlights that Indian smartphone market witnessed growth in the online segment with Flipkart leading the charts as the top e-commerce platform. In terms of brands, Xiaomi retained its lead over other brands in terms of market share, followed by Lenovo and Samsung.
The research further estimates that share of online channel will remain flat in 2018 as brands are adopting hybrid channel (Online+Offline) strategy to extend their reach throughout the country. Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Motorola are already expanding their presence with offline stores and this trend is expected to catch up this year.
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