Redmi Note 7 Pro price leak, Samsung Galaxy M-series India launch date, and the WhatsApp for Android update were easily the biggest tech news items of the week just past. Starting with Xiaomi and its sub-brand Redmi, the Chinese manufacturer is getting ready to introduce the international variant of its Redmi Note 7 smartphone in the form of the Redmi Note 7 Pro. Although the company is yet to officially announce the new model, the company’s Redmi Note 5 Pro and Redmi Note 6 Pro are pretty good indicators of the fact that Redmi Note 7 Pro is coming to India and several other global markets where Xiaomi currently operates.
Redmi Note 7 Pro price
The Redmi Note 7 Pro was briefly mentioned at the Redmi Note 7 launch event last week, but the company failed to share many details apart from revealing that phone will come with Sony IMX586 primary sensor instead of Samsung ISOCELL GM1 sensor present in the Redmi Note 7.
Earlier this week, the alleged pricing of the Redmi Note 7 Pro phone made its way to Chinese social network Weibo. A Weibo tipster suggested that the smartphone will retail at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,800). It is unclear whether it is the starting price of the phone or of a specific storage variant. The tipster also noted that the Redmi Note 7 Pro will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC.
Despite the slowing down smartphone market, Redmi by Xiaomi is quite bullish about the Redmi Note 7. A company executive on Tuesday stated that Redmi is hopeful of selling one million units of the Redmi Note 7 in January alone. Since the company’s first Redmi Note 7 flash sale lasted just over eight minutes, it looks very likely that the company will achieve the milestone.
In more Xiaomi/ Redmi news, the MIUI team recently shared that Android 9 Pie update for Redmi Note 5, Redmi 6 Pro ₹ 9,999, Redmi S2 will go into internal testing in the first quarter of this year. The Mi 6X Android Pie update will also enter testing during the same time. However, it is unclear whether the team was just talking about the Chinese phones or their global variants as well.
On the India front, Xiaomi’s new Mi TV models – Mi TV 4X Pro 55 and Mi TV 4A Pro 43 – went on sale for the first time this week. These smart TVs are being offered via Flipkart, Mi.com, and Mi Home stores in the country. While the Mi TV 4X Pro 55-inch model price in India is Rs. 39,999, the Mi TV 4A Pro 43-inch is retailing at Rs. 22,999. Additionally, the company also held the first sale for Mi Soundbar, the company’s first home audio product in the country. The Mi Soundbar carries a price-tag of Rs. 4,999.
Talking about sales, both Amazon and Flipkart have kicked off their first big sales of the year — check out the top deals on offer right now during the Amazon Great Indian sale and Flipkart Republic Day sale.
Samsung Galaxy M-series India launch
As we mentioned earlier, Samsung finally announced this week that it plans to unveil the new Galaxy M-series of phones on January 28 in the country. The phones will go on sale beginning February 5 via Samsung’s own online store and Amazon India. The South Korean company and its retail partner Amazon have been very aggressive with the marketing of these upcoming phones. The companies have been actively teasing the Galaxy M-series phones on Twitter and other social media platforms.
As per online reports, Samsung is planning to introduce three phones in the Galaxy M-series – Samsung Galaxy M10, Galaxy M20, and Galaxy M30 – however, only the first two are likely to be released initially, with the Galaxy M30 following later. A recent report from IANS also claimed to divulge the prices of Galaxy M10 and Galaxy M20. According to the news agency, Samsung will sell the Galaxy M10 starting Rs. 7,990, whereas the Galaxy M20 will be offered beginning Rs. 10,990. The company is yet to officially confirm these prices.
WhatsApp adds new features
The massively popular messaging app WhatsApp earlier this week released an update for its Android version in the Google Play store. The update adds a group call shortcut to make it easier for the consumers to place a group video or voice call. The same shortcut is already available in the iPhone version of the app. Additionally, the company included a fix for GIF bug in the latest update for the Android app. The update carries the version number 2.19.2.
WhatsApp is also said to be working on integrating support for stickers offered by the keyboard apps like GBoard. The Google-owned keyboard is reportedly first in line to support direct sharing of stickers in WhatsApp, with other keyboard apps following later. At this point, it is believed that Google is testing the integration on its end, whereas WhatsApp has already included the integration. As soon a Google is done testing, the feature will be rolled out to the Android users. There is no word if the same will be released for the iPhone users.
A report from App Annie revealed this week that WhatsApp crossed Facebook to become most popular Facebook-owned application. The WhatsApp Messenger surpassed Facebook in September and has maintained the lead since. App Annie’s The State of Mobile 2019 report also notes that WhatsApp was the most used social app in 2018 by average monthly sessions per user. The app claimed the top spot in markets like India, Canada, Germany, Brazil, and UK, whereas Snapchat dominated the US and France markets.
With the Mobile World Congress quickly approaching, the smartphone makers were largely silent this week. Although there were a few India-specific launches, Vivo was the only company to introduce a brand-new device – Vivo Z3i Standard Edition. It is a variant of the company’s previously launched Vivo Z3i. The phone is currently only available in China and carries a price-tag of CNY 1,998 (roughly Rs. 20,900).
The dual-SIM Vivo Z3i Standard Edition features a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280 pixels) IPS screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). Among other specifications, Vivo has included a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel secondary sens