Xiaomi, which started 2017 as an underdog, has ended the year as new smartphone leader and its new mobile devices announced today, will mostly help it retain that position in 2018. While it was Valentine’s Day, most Indians showed their love for Xiaomi brand and the company reciprocated in its own unique way (more on that in a bit). While Xiaomi dominated the day in terms of news, Samsung Galaxy S9 rumors just don’t seen to end with a new rumor detailing its Animoji-like feature. HMD Global continues to surprise the industry with its software rollout with the company becoming second brand after Google to roll out Android 8.1 Oreo update. A lot happened in the world of tech today including the launch of a new LTE modem with crazy speeds. Here is a rundown of all the major tech stories that you need to know:
Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi TV 4 launched
As expected, Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro and Mi TV 4 in India. The new Redmi Note 5 is basically the rebranded version of Redmi 5 Plus and shows how valuable the Redmi Note brand is in the country. But the company did show its love for India by announcing the global debut of Redmi Note 5 Pro.
The Redmi Note 5 Pro is an enhanced version of Redmi Note 5 with key difference in areas like performance and cameras. The Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro feature a 5.99-inch Full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio and thin bezels surrounding the display. The Redmi Note 5 is powered by Snapdragon 625 SoC while Redmi Note 5 Pro gets an improved Snapdragon 636 chipset. The Redmi Note 5 comes in 3GB/4GB RAM and 32GB/64GB storage option while the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with 4GB/6GB RAM and 64GB standard storage.
The Redmi Note 5 features a 12-megapixel rear camera but the Redmi Note 5 Pro gets a dual rear cameras with one 12-megapixel sensor and another 5-megapixel sensor. The Pro model also gets a 20-megapixel selfie camera while regular Note 5 has a 5MP front camera. The silver lining, however, lies in their price. The Redmi Note 5 starts at Rs 9,999 while the Note 5 Pro starts at Rs 13,999 and they will be go on first sale via Flipkart and Mi.com on February 22.
At today’s event, Xiaomi had its one more thing moment in the form of Mi TV 4. Xiaomi claims that its Mi TV 4 is the world’s thinnest 4K TV at 4.9mm and has a 55-inch HDR panel. The TV runs PatchWall UI, a custom interface that shows every element of the TV in a card-style layout. The remote included with the TV can control both the TV as well as set-top box. The Mi TV 4 has the potential to disrupt the LED TV industry like Redmi 4 did in the budget smartphone space. The Mi TV 4 is priced at Rs 39,999 and will be available during first sale on February 22.
HMD Global confirms Android 8.1 Oreo rollout for Nokia 8
HMD Global continues to impress with its track record of software roll out for Nokia-branded smartphones. The Finnish company has started rolling out Android 8.1 Oreo for its flagship Nokia 8 smartphone. The company started testing the version in a limited beta phase last month.
With the release of Android 8.1 Oreo, the Nokia 8 becomes the second device after Google’s Pixel and Nexus devices to get the update. HMD Global has also released Android 8.0 Oreo update for its Nokia 5, Nokia 6, Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 smartphones.
Galaxy S9 rumored to come with dual speakers, Animoji-like feature, Bixby 2.0
Samsung Galaxy S9 is set to outshine every other product launch at MWC 2018 later this month. The smartphone is expected to be an iterative update but the buzz remains high around the device. While the official press renders and specifications of the device have already leaked, we now more details on its software features.
Another rumor claims that Galaxy S9 will feature dual speakers despite thin bezel design. The smartphone is also expected to feature its own version of Animoji seen on iPhone X while Bixby will be introduced in a new avatar altogether. With Bixby 2.0, Samsung is planning to make its assistant more of a digital console for controlling all the connected devices in your home or kitchen. It remains to be seen whether the launch is smooth for the revamped assistant or it faces issues like the original Bixby last year.
Nokia 9 spotted in the wild
One of the major announcements from HMD Global at MWC 2018 is expected to be the Nokia 9. The smartphone’s render has leaked multiple times in the past and is expected to be company’s first product with thin bezels and 18:9 display. Now, the smartphone has been spotted in the wild confirming some of the previously leaked details.
The smartphone was spotted testing in Jakarta where it showed the OLED display and dual rear camera setup. According to Indonesian media, the smartphone’s camera was being tested by someone in the country. It is said to feature a 5.5-inch OLED display and use Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The smartphone could rival OnePlus 5T and debut in India sometime in April.
Motorola Moto G6, G6 Plus, G6 Play leak confirms 18:9 aspect ratio screen
Motorola will launch its Moto G6 family of smartphones at MWC later this month. The features and specifications of Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play leaked last month and now we have more clarity on these devices.
According to HTML5test database, the Moto G6 family will sport a display supporting 2160 x 1080 pixel resolution. The Moto G6 Play is said to use Snapdragon 430 SoC while Moto G6 and Moto G6 Plus are said to be powered by Snapdragon 450 and Snapdragon 630 SoC respectively. The Lenovo-owned Motorola could also debut Moto E5 series at the event.
Millions of Android phones hijacked to mine cryptocurrency
Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a critical zero-day vulnerability in Telegram Messenger that allows remote hackers to mine cryptocurrency on the desktop client. It states that mining operation might have been underway since March 2017.
It says hackers could have used hidden Unicode character in the file name to reverse the order of characters. Hackers potentially mined cryptocurrency like ZCash, Monero and Fantomcoin among others.
Qualcomm announces X24 LTE modem for smartphones
Qualcomm is the leader in mobile LTE chipset and it now has an even powerful LTE modem in its offering. The San Diego-based chipmaker has launched Snapdragon X24 LTE modem capable of achieving 2Gbps throughput speed. The modem chip is expected to be use in next-generation flagship processor from the company.
The Snapdragon X24 LTE modem is based on a 7nm process and supports up to 7x carrier aggregation in the downlink. It is also the first commercial chipset to support Category 20 LTE speeds up to 20Gbps. Qualcomm plans to showcase the X24 LTE modem at MWC 2018 later this month.