Xiaomi has tied up with Cashify to launch a new smartphone exchange programme in India. With this programme, Cashify will determine the value of users’ handsets based on its condition and market value, which will be adjusted against the price of the Xiaomi phone. The exchange value of the handset can be checked on the Cashify app or website; they can then get the device picked up by the startup and get the ascertained value credited into their account. Customers exchanging their old phones will then need to head to a Xiaomi Mi Home store to buy their smartphone.
Vodafone launches Rs. 199 plan with ‘unlimited’ calls
Vodafone has launched a new prepaid plan for Delhi-NCR customers, offering bundled calls and data for Rs. 199. The new pack claims to offer unlimited local and STD calls, but these are actually capped to free calls of 250 minutes per day and 1,000 minutes per week. Moreover, users cannot make calls to more than 300 unique numbers in a 7-day period, otherwise they will be charged a tariff of 30 paisa per minute for the remaining validity. Apart from the bundled calls, Vodafone is giving users 1GB of data for the 28-day validity period.
Honor 8 Lite price cut in India
Huawei-owned Honor has given a price cut to the Honor 8 Lite smartphone in India. The smartphone was launched in May at Rs. 17,999, and will now be available at Rs. 15,999 via retail outlets. Honor 8 Lite (Review) is an Android Nougat-based smartphone with a 5.2-inch full-HD display, octa-core Kirin 655 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, microSD support up to 128GB, 12-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, and 3000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S9 image, features leaked
Samsung Galaxy S9, the next flagship smartphone that the South Korean company will launch, will reportedly sport a refreshed design, and facial recognition. Apart from this, the upcoming handset is said to feature vertically-aligned dual rear cameras, and the fingerprint sensor will be on the back. As for the hardware inside, it is expected to be powered by the new Exynos 9 Series 9810 SoC or the yet-to-be-unveiled Snapdragon 845 chip, and 4GB or 6GB of RAM.
Net neutrality gets a huge setback in the US
US Federal Communications Commission head Ajit Pai has announced the regulatory body will take a vote on December 14 to roll back the net neutrality-protecting measures put in place by former US president Barack Obama. If the protections are repealed, Internet service providers in the country will be able to give preferential treatment to apps and services of their choice, as well as their own content. While Internet giants such as Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix were against this rollback, ISPs such as Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon favoured it. With three Republicans on the 5-member voting panel, it is pretty much clear that the net neutrality protections will be repealed.
UC Browser back on Google Play Store
UC Browser, the popular mobile browser that was removed from Play Store last week, has made a comeback to the Google app marketplace. It was removed as one of its settings violated Google’s policy, something the company has fixed with the new build. UCWeb says it is the most popular mobile browser in India with 45 percent market share, and has over 500 million downloads worldwide. The new version of UC Browser is available for users with updated technical settings that are “strictly in line with Google Play’s policy,” the company says.
Coolpad Note 5 Lite 32GB storage variant launched in India
Chinese brand Coolpad has launched a new variant of its Note 5 Lite smartphone in India, featuring 32GB internal storage. This is twice the storage the original model offers. As for the price, the new Coolpad Note 5 Lite 32GB variant costs Rs. 8,199 (MRP Rs. 9,999), Rs. 700 more than the 16GB model. Key specifications of the smartphone include a 5-inch HD screen, 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC, 3GB RAM, 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, 8-megapixel front camera with LED flash, fingerprint sensor, and 2500mAh battery.
OnePlus opts out of Google’s Project Treble
The current crop of OnePlus smartphones is not part of the Google’s Project Treble, an initiative to help device makers push faster Android updates. This includes new flagship OnePlus 5T, as well as older models OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3T, and OnePlus 3. Project Treble is Google’s effort to provide a modular base for Android to deliver software updates quicker by giving a vendor interface that separates the vendor implementation, including the device-specific, lower-level software written largely by silicon manufacturers, along with some certain carrier tweaks, from the core Android OS framework.
Google Pixel 2 bootloader issue resolved
While one of the highlights Pixel and Nexus devices is the unlocked bootloader (which allows users to flash custom software without voiding the warranty), there were some Pixel 2 units with bootloader that could not be unlocked. Google has finally resolved the issue, advising users to reset their handset to unlock the bootloader. The official issue tracker marks the problem as resolved, so if you had one of the affected units, you just need to go to Settings and factory reset the phone once. Just make sure the handset is connected to the Internet during the initial setup stage.
HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman to step down
Meg Whitman has announced she will step down as HP Enterprise (HPE) chief executive, six years after she took up the position. Her resignation will come into effect on February 1, 2018, and she will remain on the board of HPE. Current HPE President Antonio Neri will take over as the company’s CEO, and will also join the company’s board. Whitman was previously the CEO of eBay and was among the people considered to take over as Uber CEO after Travis Kalanick’s ouster. She also oversaw the breakup of HP into two divisions, HP Enterprise and HP Inc.