Samsung Galaxy A80 and Galaxy A70's global launch, Redmi Note 7 Pro 6GB variant first sale, and Huawei P30 Pro and P30 Lite India release were some of the tech news items that dominated this week. Additionally, Xiaomi's Redmi Go open sale, Realme 3 Pro launch date reveal as well as leaked specifications, and Android Pie update rollout for several Asus phones were also part of the conversation. Read on to get all the details about the biggest happenings in the world of tech this week.
Samsung Galaxy A80, Galaxy A70 global launch
Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy A80 smartphone with sliding and rotating camera setup earlier this week. The phone is currently the hero model of the company's 2019 Galaxy A lineup, which has already seen the introduction of several phones, including Galaxy A10, Galaxy A20, Galaxy A30, and Galaxy A50. Introduced at simultaneous events in Bangkok, Milan, and Sao Paulo, the Galaxy A80 is said to carry a price tag of EUR 649 and will be available starting May 29 in various markets around the world. Samsung is yet to officially say anything about the India launch of the smartphone.
Samsung Galaxy A80's biggest highlight is its triple camera setup, which can pop up and rotate to shoot subjects both in front and the back. It houses a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/2.0 lens, a secondary 8-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 lens, and a 3D depth camera. Samsung Galaxy A80 software includes Super Steady video mode, Scene Optimizer with detection for 30 scenes, and Flaw Detection.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 sports glass on both front and back with a metal frame. It features a 6.7-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED screen and is powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 730G SoC. Additionally, the phone comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. There is no microSD card slot or 3.5mm audio jack in the smartphone. Other key features of the Samsung Galaxy A80 include a 3,700mAh battery, in-display fingerprint sensor, and Android 9 Pie with One UI. Samsung says the phone's battery supports 25W Super-Fast charging.
At the sidelines of the Galaxy A80 launch, Samsung also revealed the availability information for the Galaxy A70 smartphone. It was originally introduced last month but the company hadn't shared any pricing or availability information at that time. According to the South Korean consumer electronics giant, the Galaxy A70 will be available beginning April 26 and India is believed to be among the first markets to get the phone. It has already been listed on the company's India website.
A pre-order listing on Samsung's official China e-store also revealed the pricing of Galaxy A70. The 6GB RAM variant of the Samsung Galaxy A70 is listed with a price tag of CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,700), the phone's 8GB RAM model will carry a price tag of CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs. 34,000). There is no word on the Samsung Galaxy A70 price in India right now, but it is likely to start around Rs. 31,000 considering the China pricing.
In other Galaxy A-series smartphones, Samsung's Poland arm also launched the new Galaxy A20e smartphone. It is a variant of the already available Galaxy A20. The Galaxy A20e packs a smaller display and smaller battery than the Galaxy A20. Other specifications of the phone are similar to the Galaxy A20. The pricing and availability details remain a mystery for now.
Additionally, at this week's Galaxy A-series launch event, Samsung also confirmed that it is replacing its existing Galaxy J-series with Galaxy A-series. The development was first outed by Samsung Malaysia in a video a day before the event. With Galaxy A-series price starting as low as Rs. 8,490 and Galaxy M-series price beginning at Rs. 7,990, it makes sense for the company to avoid unnecessarily crowding its budget smartphone portfolio. The company is continuing to sell the existing Galaxy J-series models for now.
Samsung also reportedly started rolling out the Android 9 Pie update for its Galaxy J8 and Galaxy J6 smartphones this week. While the Galaxy J8 update is currently said to be live in Russia, the Galaxy J6 update is available in Italy. The firmware version for the Samsung Galaxy J8 Android Pie update is J810FPUU3BSD1, whereas the Galaxy J6 Android Pie update carries firmware version J600FNXXU3BSD1.
Redmi Note 7 Pro 6GB Variant First Sale in India
Almost a month after the Redmi Note 7 Pro first went on sale in India, Xiaomi started selling the 6GB + 128GB variant of the phone in the country. The first sale for the 6GB RAM variant of Redmi Note 7 Pro was held earlier this week at Mi.com, Flipkart, and Mi Home stores in the country. Apart from the increased amount of RAM and onboard storage, the 6GB RAM variant is exactly the same as 4GB RAM variant. It is unclear why it look so long for the Chinese smartphone maker to start selling the 6GB RAM variant in the country despite announcing it alongside the 4GB version in late-February.
To recall, Redmi Note 7 Pro sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ screen and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC. The phone runs on Android 9 Pie-based MIUI 10 operating system and packs a 4,000mAh battery. The Redmi Note 7 Pro also comes with a dual camera setup, which houses a 48-megapixel primary shooter with an f/1.79 lens and a 5-megapixel secondary depth camera. There is a 13-megapixel selfie shooter onboard as well.
After several rounds of flash sales, Xiaomi began selling its Redmi Go smartphone under open sale this week. Redmi Go is the company's first Android Go edition smartphone and comes with features like a 5-inch HD screen, 3,000mAh battery, and 4G LTE support. The phone also packs an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front shooter. The Redmi Go runs on Android Oreo (Go edition), however there is no word on the release of Android Pie (Go edition) update for the phone.
Xiaomi is preparing to launch a new budget smartphone in the country soon and the company recently started teasing the same on social media. The Redmi India team took to Twitter on April 10 to tease the upcoming launch of the Redmi Y3. Although Redmi India didn't explicitly mention the Y3, there were plenty of clues and hints in tweet to indicate the same. Redmi Y3 will succeed the company's Redmi Y2, which is currently sold starting at Rs. 7,999. The Redmi Y3 specifications are a mystery at this point, however it is believed that the phone could feature a 32-megapixel selfie shooter.
In more Xiaomi news, the company's much anticipated Redmi-series flagship model was allegedly leaked in a video that surfaced on Weibo. The phone is rumoured to be called Redmi Pro 2 and will reportedly feature a screen of over 6-inches. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has already hinted at the presence of Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC in the upcoming Redmi flagship. The leaked video also seemingly revealed the presence of a hole-punch selfie camera in the phone.
Huawei P30 Pro, Huawei P30 Lite India launch
Huawei launched its P30 Pro and P30 Lite smartphones in the country this week. Originally unveiled in Paris late last month, the P30 Pro is the company's current flagship smartphone, which is touted to include amazing camera capabilities. Huawei has packed a quad-camera setup in the phone, which includes a lens in periscope style setup to provide up to 10x hybrid optical zoom support. The camera setup houses a 40-megapixel primary shooter with an f/1.6 (27mm) lens, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle secondary shooter with an f/2.2 (16mm) lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with an f/3.4 (125mm) lens, and a Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera. There is a 32-megapixel front shooter as well.
Huawei P30 Pro is all set to go on sale midnight tonight via Amazon in the country at Rs. 71,990. Croma stores will also start selling the phone later this week. The company is only offering the 8GB + 256GB variant of the phone in India.
Although it was not showcased at the company's Paris event, Huawei P30 Lite is a part of the company new P-series. The phone was first put up for pre-orders in Canada and has now been officially launched in the country. It carries a price tag of Rs. 19,990 for the 4GB + 128GB version and Rs. 22,990 for the 6GB + 128GB version. The sales will open at 12am on April 25 via Amazon India, whereas Croma will start selling it next month.
The key specifications of the Huawei P30 Lite include a 6.15-inch full-HD+ screen, octa-core HiSlicon Kirin 710 SoC, 3,340mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.0.1. The phone also packs a triple rear camera setup that houses a 24-megapixel primary sensor with a wide-angle lens f/1.8 lens, an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
Realme 3 Pro India launch date
Realme has finally revealed that it plans to launch the new Realme 3 Pro smartphone on April 22 in the country. The phone was first teased at the launch of the Realme 3 last month. As per the leaked specifications that appeared on Geekbench and Bluetooth SIG websites, the Realme 3 Pro is expected to be powered by Snapdragon 710 SoC and will feature a 6.3-inch full HD screen. Additionally, the phone will come with 6GB of RAM, 3,960mAh battery, and Android 9 Pie with Color OS 6.0.
Earlier this week, Realme started selling the 3GB + 64GB version of its Realme U1 smartphone in India. The first sale of the smartphone was held via Amazon.in and Realme website. The new variant carries a price tag of Rs. 10,999, whereas the existing 3GB + 32GB and 4GB + 64GB variants of the phone retail at Rs. 9,999 and Rs. 11,999 respectively. Additionally, Realme also announced a permanent price cut for its Realme 2 Pro smartphone in the country. The phone will now start at Rs. 11,990, down from Rs. 12,990 earlier.
In other smartphones news, Asus finally started rolling out the Android 9 Pie update for its ZenFone Max Pro M2, ZenFone Max Pro M1, and ZenFone Max M2 smartphones in the country. All three software updates are now available over-the-air (OTA) in the country and should reach gradually to all owners of the listed smartphones over the next few days.
Moving on to Oppo, the Chinese smartphone maker unveiled its new Reno, Reno 10x Zoom Edition smartphones in China. The phones are all set to be launched for the international consumers on April 24 an event in Zurich. While the Oppo Reno will go on sale next week in China, the Reno 10x Zoom Edition availability is set for next month. The Oppo Reno price in China will start at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 30,900), whereas the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition will retail beginning CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,200). Mutiple storage variants of both phones will be available for purchase.
Oppo Reno features a 6.4-inch full-HD+ panoramic AMOLED display and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC, paired with 6GB/ 8GB RAM. The phone also comes with a dual rear camera setup with a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. There is also the side-swing selfie camera module that holds a 16-megapixel sensor along with an f/2.0 lens.
On the other hand, Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition comes with a 6.6-inch panoramic AMOLED display. It is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 855 SoC, paired with 6GB/ 8GB RAM. In terms of optics, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom Edition has a triple rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor along with an f/1.7 lens. The camera setup also comprises a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a periscope telephoto lens on top and an 8-megapixel tertiary sensor with a super wide-angle lens. The camera setup supports up to 10x lossless optical zoom. Like Reno, the Zoom edition also packs the side-swing selfie camera module.
The Chinese smartphone also revealed that it will not be launching any new smartphones in its R-series, instead the company will focus on Reno and Find smartphones.
Lastly, Qualcomm took the wraps off three mobiles chipsets this week in the form of Snapdragon 665, Snapdragon 730, and Snapdragon 730G. We have already seen at least one phone – Samsung Galaxy A10 - with Snapdragon 730G SoC, and more are expected over the coming months. According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon chipsets are essentially addressing three key areas, artificial intelligence (AI), camera, and gaming. While the Snapdragon 665 and Snapdragon 730 SoCs are designed for mass market mobile devices, the Snapdragon 730G SoC is built for mobile gamers.
Coming to news about applications, WhatsApp has been found testing two features that are expected to make their way to the chat app in the coming weeks. First, the messaging app's v2.19.89 beta for Android brought the audio picker feature, which was last spotted in development earlier this year. The feature brings a new user interface for selecting audio files, allows users to preview (both audio and album art) an audio file before sending, and lets users send up to 30 audio files at a time.
Secondary, WhatsApp version 2.19.101 beta for Android was found to have references to a new “ignore archives chat” feature. This feature will prevent archived chats from getting automatically unarchived when a new message arrives. The feature is still not available for use for the beta version testers.
Reliance Jio introduced its new Jio News app this week, which is a consolidated version of the telecom operator's Jio XpressNews, Jio Mags, and Jio NewsPaper apps. The app is now available for download in both App Store and Google Play Store. The Jio News app offers access to live TV news, news videos, magazines, and daily newspapers. Additionally, it includes content from over 12 languages.
In more app news, Opera released its new Reborn 3 Web browser, which carries the version number Opera 60. According the company, Reborn 3 has been designed to give people more control over their privacy and security. It includes a built-in cryptocurrency wallet, new user interface, and an improved VPN. The Reborn 3 browser is now available for Windows, Mac and Linux users.
In PC/ Laptop news, Acer announced a number of new devices, including new laptops and desktops at its next@acer event in New York this week. The company showcased its updated Aspire 7, Aspire 5, and Aspire 3 laptops, which now include up to eight-generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and more. The updated Aspire 7, Aspire 3, and Aspire 5 will be available starting June in countries around the world.
Acer also introduced Predator Helios 700, Nitro 7 Slim, and Nitro 5 gaming laptops as well as Chromebook 715 and Chromebook 714. Additionally, the Taiwanese company announced its new line of ConceptD laptops, which are designed for creators.
In gaming news, the release date and features for PUBG Mobile's next version was revealed this week. The PUBG Mobile 0.12 update is expected on April 16 with downtime a day prior. The update will bring Survive Till Dawn 2.0 game mode, Darkest Night mode, Spectator Mode, and Crosshair Modifications.
Epic Games released the Fortnite Update 8.30 on Wednesday. The update includes a number of fixes as well as a new Limited Time Mode (LTM) called Fly Explosives and Buccaneer's Bounty, which is a new in-game event. In addition to these is the Reboot Van. This works much like Apex Legends' respawn beacons, allowing players to revive downed squamates.
At Star Wars Celebration 2019, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order was revealed with a trailer showing off its story and bits of combat. The game developer Respawn described the gameplay as 'thoughtful combat' which focusses on exploiting the weaknesses of enemies. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order release date is November 15 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
In other news, Disney announced the release date and pricing for its upcoming video streaming service. Set to take on Netflix, the Disney+ will go live on November 12 in the United States. The service will cost $7 (roughly Rs. 480) monthly or $70 (roughly Rs. 4,800) annually. The company also stated that Disney+ will be rolled out to the international markets gradually starting with Europe.
Jabra launched the updated version of its very popular Jabra Move wireless headphones in the country this week. Called Jabra Move Style Edition, the new pair of headphones have been priced at Rs. 7,299 and will go on sale beginning April 20.
Lastly, Anker Soundcore released its MotionQ wireless speaker in the country. It carries a price tag of Rs. 5,499 and is available now through major online and offline stores. The speaker comes with dual 8W drivers positioned for 360-degree sound output. Additionally, it is rated IPX7 for water resistance.