- Reliance Jio 4G feature phone said to cost Rs. 500
- It is expected to be unveiled at RIL AGM on July 21
- The feature phone may hit the market on August 15
The long-rumoured Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone may be unveiled at a price of Rs. 500 on July 21, the day Reliance Industries Limited is holding its 2017 Annual General Meeting. A research note by HSBC analyst Rajiv Sharma reportedly says the Jio 4G feature phone will be priced as low as Rs. 500 (less than $8) in order to get 2G feature phone users to move to the operator’s 4G network. Reliance Jiois also said to be planning to launch a new aggressively priced tariff plan to lure customers to its network.
Reliance Jio’s Rs. 500 4G feature phone
According to an Economic Times report, the HSBC research note says the Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone will be subsidised by as much as $10-15 (roughly Rs. 650-970) in order to achieve the price point of Rs. 500. The company is said to have placed an order of 18-20 million units for the handsets with Chinese vendors such as Zhejiang Techain Electronics Technology Co., Shenzhen CHINO-E Communication Co, Crave and Megaphone. Shipments will start in late July or early August.
While the Reliance Jio 4G feature phone is expected to be announced at the July 21 AGM, it will reportedly hit the market on August 15. The feature phone is expected to be launched under the Lyf brand, which is a part of the Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance Digital.
New Reliance Jio plan
Along with the 4G feature phone, Reliance Jio is said to be launching a more aggressively priced tariff plan to reach more users. This new Jio plan is said to be priced at Rs. 80-90, but it is not yet known whether the tariff will be limited only to buyers of the 4G feature phone or for customers using the network on smartphones as well. Just this week, the company launched a new offer that provides customers with 224GB of 4G data, but this is limited only to those buying a new JioFi device, and not for existing users.
In its April regulatory filing, the operator said it has 112.55 million users on its mobile network. A low-priced, 4G-enabled feature phone with a complimentary tariff plan will give Reliance Jio access to millions of consumers who still use 2G handsets due to the prohibitory costs of smartphones. Of course, this move is expected to further increase the competition in the telecom industry, which has been bleeding since Jio started operations in September last year.
According to previous leaks, the Reliance Jio 4G VoLTE feature phone will come in two variants: one featuring a Qualcomm processor, and the other with a Spreadtrum chip. In terms of specifications, Jio 4G feature phone is said to have a 2.4-inch display, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, microSD card support, 2-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. With 4G VoLTE support, buyers will be able to access digital content on the feature phone courtesy the free subscription to Jio apps. In fact, leaked photos of the device show dedicated hardware buttons in the front for MyJio, JioTV, JioCinema, and JioMusic apps. Voice calls and SMSs are also expected to be free with the device
Reliance Jio broadband service
Reliance Jio is also expected to launch a broadband service – named JioFiber – soon, which might just be announced at the AGM as well. The service is already under testing right now in six cities, though the company said it has plans to expand the trial to more cities. A flyer for the Jio broadband service says users will get 100GB data and 100Mbps speed with connection, and the service will be free for the first three months. However, they will have to pay a refundable security deposit of Rs. 4,500.
2019 Google Play Award winners highlight top Android apps and games
Google on the eve of I/O 2019 announced the Play Award winners to celebrate the top Android apps and games. The nominees in nine categories were unveiled late last month, with the ceremony this evening in Mountain View, California.
There are nine categories with criteria factoring overall quality, strong design, technical performance, and innovation. The nominees were first selected by various teams across Google. Winners during the May 6th event also received a silver Play trophy, and are featured on the Play Store.
We’re sharing the winners that rose to the top for providing the best experiences for fans, making an impact on their communities and raising the bar for quality content on Google Play.
Standout Well-Being App
Apps empowering people to live the best version of their lives, while demonstrating responsible design and engagement strategies.
- Woebot by Woebot Labs
Best Accessibility Experience
Apps and games enabling device interaction in an innovative way that serve people with disabilities or special needs.
- Envision AI by Envision Technologies BV
Best Social Impact
Apps and games that create a positive impact in communities around the world (focusing on health, education, crisis response, refugees, and literacy).
- Wisdo by Wisdo LTD.
Most Beautiful Game
Games that exemplify artistry or unique visual effects either through creative imagery, and/or utilizing advanced graphics API features.
- Shadowgun Legends by MADFINGER Games
Best Living Room Experience
Apps that create, enhance, or enable a great living room experience that brings people together.
- Neverthink by Neverthink
Apps and games that display a groundbreaking new use case, like utilize new technologies, cater to a unique audience, or demonstrate an innovative application of mobile technology for users.
- Tick Tock by Other Tales Interactive
Standout Build for Billions Experience
Apps and games with optimized performance, localization and culturalization for emerging markets.
- Canva by Canva
Best Breakthrough App
New apps with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.
- Slowly by Slowly Communications Ltd.
Best Breakthrough Game
New games with excellent overall design, user experience, engagement and retention, and strong growth.
- MARVEL Strike Force by FoxNext Games
My Samsung Galaxy Fold screen broke after just a day
Look closely at the picture above, and you can see a small bulge right on the crease of my Galaxy Fold review unit. It’s just enough to slightly distort the screen, and I can feel it under my finger. There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.
It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.
Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly. I’ve done normal phone stuff, like opening and closing the hinge and putting it in my pocket. We did stick a tiny piece of molding clay on the back of the phone yesterday to prop it up for a video shoot, which is something we do in every phone video shoot. So perhaps a tiny piece of that snuck into a gap on the back of the hinge and then around or through its cogs until it lodged in between the screen and the hinge. It’d be sort of like Charlie Chaplin getting caught in the gears in Modern Times.
Or maybe something got in another one of the little gaps somewhere else. Or maybe it was pieces from the hinge itself breaking loose and working their way up into the screen. I don’t know. I just know that the screen is broken, and there was no obvious proximate cause for the bulge that broke it. I certainly haven’t used it on a beach or shook it in a bag of chips or anything wild. Just normal use.I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED; I JUST KNOW THE SCREEN IS BROKEN
We’ve seen worries about scratches on expensive phones and debris breaking the keyboard on expensive MacBooks, but a piece of debris distorting the screen on a $1,980 phone after one day of use feels like it’s on an entirely different level.
I reached out to Samsung right away to get a statement, but it took about 24 hours for the company to put one together. Here it is, and the gist is that Samsung is looking into our unit and also warning users not to try to peel off the protective layer on the top of the screen.
Also, I have, however, received a replacement review unit from Samsung. I think the first one is on a jet to South Korea for Samsung’s engineers to take apart and diagnose.
By the way, it appears I’m not the only reviewing the phone who has had a problem with the screen. Here’s Steve Kovach:
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg also broke his, but that’s perhaps because he removed a protective layer that looks like a screen protector, but definitely isn’t meant to be removed.
And here’s Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee confirming he, too, had to get a replacement unit after peeling off the outer layer (which, again, wasn’t our issue):
It looks like retail units of the Galaxy Fold will include a warning about not removing the protective layer, but review units don’t seem to have included this one:
Like everybody else, I said in my original hands-on with the Galaxy Fold that I absolutely am able to see the crease between the two sides of the screen. But when I’m using the phone, I don’t actually notice it much. It’s easy to talk about it as a small first-generation compromise you have to make for what is otherwise a wonder of engineering: a tablet that folds in half.
I took a photo in my hotel room when the bulge first appeared. The next morning, that same bulge finally broke the screen.
Another thing people are worried about is the plastic screen scratching or picking up nicks easily. There are already a couple of minor dings on my unit, but they’re minor enough that I didn’t see them until our photographer zoomed way in to show them to me. If you look closely at the edges of the screen, there’s a sort of built-in screen protector on the front of the device. Samsung calls it a “polymer layer.” It is not designed to be removed. (Please don’t try it if you get your hands on a Fold.)
But while the crease and the nicks feel like compromises you could live with, a mysterious bulge that breaks the screen is something else entirely — especially one that appears just a day after pretty normal use. It’s a problem that is unacceptable on a phone that costs this much.
Every phone with movable parts is going to have more points of failure than a fully sealed, static phone. So it’s natural to say that you need to treat it with more care than usual. Before I saw this bulge, my impression was that this phone was much more durable than I expected. The hinge always felt solid and well-built. That impression of (relative) durability is obviously as broken as the flexing screen now.
If I’m right and it’s debris, it means that not only do you need to treat your phone with care, but you also have to worry about stuff getting in underneath the screen. If I’m wrong and it’s some kind of defect in the hardware, well… then we’re in entirely different territory. Either way: yikes.
Hopefully Samsung lets us know the results after it takes my original review unit apart to see what happened.
This is the best time to purchase an iPhone XR in India
Apple is discounting the iPhone XR by a massive 22% from Friday.
Apple is kicking off a massive discount on the iPhone XR in India that will bring the device down to just ₹59,900 ($870). That’s a staggering ₹17,000 ($250) discount from the phone’s retail price of ₹76,900 ($1,120). What makes this particular deal even better is that HDFC is getting in on the action, offering an additional 10% cashback on top of the discounted price.
That effectively brings the price of the 64GB iPhone XR down to just ₹53,900 ($780), which is a fabulous deal. The promotional price extends to all three variants of the iPhone XR, and you’ll similarly be able to avail the HDFC cashback on all three models. The deal will go live from Friday, April 5, and will be valid until stocks last.
Here’s the breakdown of the new pricing:
|Category||MRP||New price||For HDFC customers|
|iPhone XR (64GB)||₹76,900||₹59,900||₹53,900|
|iPhone XR (128GB)||₹81,900||₹64,900||₹58,400|
|iPhone XR (256GB)||₹91,900||₹74,900||₹67,400|
The HDFC cashback is valid for both debit and credit card holders, and if you don’t have an eligible card yet, you can pick one up to avail the discount on the iPhone XR. I’m partial to the Regalia for the airline benefits and low markup on international spends.
This is Apple’s most aggressive move yet in the Indian market, and it’s clear that the company is positioning the iPhone XR against Samsung’s Galaxy S10e, which retails for ₹55,900 ($810). The discount will be a huge driver for iPhone XR sales in the country, and should give Apple some much-needed momentum in the premium segment.
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