With CES 2018 done, it is now time to switch gears into Mobile World Congress mode. Samsung is now said to launch its flagship Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones on February 26 at MWC in Barcelona. The smartphone will be one of the major product launches, with LG likely to skip MWC for the G7 this year.
The Galaxy S9 launch is confirmed but the device won’t be available for at least the next two months and in case you are planning to buy a new smartphone, Flipkart and Amazon India have you covered with their online sale. Flipkart announced ‘The Republic Day Sale’ to rival Amazon’s Great Indian Sale and top attractions will be discounts on electronic devices including smartphones, laptops and tablets. Apart from sale and flagship smartphone launches, the day also saw release of new Android Oreo upate for Xiaomi Mi A1 and leaked picture of upcoming Moto E5. Here are the top tech stories that you need to know.
Samsung Galaxy S9 launch set for Feb 26
Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the iterative updates to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ respectively, will be launched on February 26. Evan Blass has revealed the Galaxy S9 duo will arrive on February 26 and pre-orders for the flagship smartphone will begin on March 1. Blass cites a C-level executive at a major casemaker claiming the device will start shipping on March 16. If Samsung sticks to that timeline then Galaxy S9 will arrive a month ahead of its predecessor.
If rumors are anything to go by, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ won’t bring major difference in terms of design and will offer thinner bottom bezel compared to its predecessor. The smartphones will be powered by Snapdragon 845 mobile platform in the US while all other markets will get models powered by the Exynos 9810 chipset. The smartphones are expected to bring a new camera system with variable aperture allowing users to adjust it from f/1.5 to f/2.4. Other rumors suggest improved iris recognition system and support for 3.5mm headphone jack.
Flipkart Republic Day Sale to rival Amazon Great Indian Sale
Amazon announced its Great Indian Sale yesterday and Flipkart has answered with its own sale called ‘The Republic Day Sale’. Flipkart’s The Republic Day Sale will be held from January 21 to January 23 and customers will get 10 percent cashbank on purchase through Citibank Credit and Debit cards. The Indian e-commerce startup will also host a “Bid & Win” game for its customers to win products at the lowest unique bid.
The top attraction is expected to be discounts on electronic devices including smartphones, laptops and tablets. Flipkart has already revealed some deals including Smartron t.phone P at Rs 7,999, Google Pixel 2 XL at Rs 48,999, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at Rs 35,900, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 at Rs 10,999 and Mi Mix 2 at Rs 29,999. The quad-camera Honor 9 Lite will also be available during the sale exclusively from Flipkart.
Moto E5 appears in leaked image ahead of launch
Motorola has not spoken much about its plans for 2018 but its budget Moto E5 has leaked early. The upcoming smartphone has leaked in the form of render, revealing that the design will be similar to the existing model and will feature metal unibody design with Gold color trim.
While there is no word on retail specifications just yet, it is safe to assume the smartphone will not adopt an 18:9 display. It is expected to feature a 5-inch display and use a MediaTek chipset. But there is a possibility that Lenovo might switch to a Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm to stay competitive against competing devices. The smartphone will likely launch sometime in April and will be priced under Rs 10,000.
Reliance Jio Offering More Than 100% Cashback
Reliance Jio recently revised its tariff plan to offer 1GB data per day even with recharge of Rs 149. Now the company has announced a new cashback offer that will further compel its users to recharge their Jio numbers.
Jio is offering 100 percent cashback with recharge of Rs 398 or above. The telecom player will offer Rs 400 cashback in the form of Rs 50 voucher over a period of 8 months. In addition, it has also partnered with leading mobile wallet players to offer cashback up to Rs 300. The offer is available now and will be valid until January 31.
New Oreo update for Xiaomi Mi A1 released
Xiaomi Mi A1 users rejoice. The Chinese smartphone maker is finally rolling out the stable build of Android 8.0 Oreo for the Mi A1. After pulling down the existing software update due to performance issues, Xiaomi says the new update brings software improvements and fixes previously known bugs.
The update resolves the Bluetooth battery drain, random reboot and restores fingerprint sensor functionality. The update also brings security patch for the month of January. The Mi A1 is the first Android One smartphone from Xiaomi and its biggest promise is timely software updates. After running into problems last month, Xiaomi is sticking with its word to release software updates on time.
UIDAI to discuss Aadhaar deadline issue with RBI, Trai
Another day and another news pertaining to Aadhaar. UIDAI, the authority that can issue the 12-digit Aadhaar number to Indian citizens, will meet bank and telecom regulators to decide on the fate of mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers. The Supreme Court had recently extended the deadline to link Aadhaar with essential services such as mobile numbers, bank accounts to March 31.
UIDAI officials will meet officials from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to decide whether to extend the deadline of mandatory linking to retain services. Aadhaar is expected to remain mandatory for claiming critical services but it is being questioned whether it should be mandated to be linked with mobile number and bank accounts.
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