Welcome back to our weekly news recap. One of the highlights this week was the launch of the Redmi 5 in India. Xiaomi has launched three variants of its latest smartphone, starting at Rs. 7,999 for the 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage variant. The 3GB/ 32GB variant of the Redmi 5 is priced in India at Rs. 8,999, and the 4GB/ 64GB variant will be available at Rs. 10,999. Launch offers include a Rs. 2,200 cashback for Reliance Jio, as well as a 5 percent discount on Amazon India and Mi.com for SBI credit cards holders.
The Redmi 5 has an 18:9 aspect ratio 5.7-inch HD+ display, is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 450 SoC, and it has a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and a 3300mAh battery. It measures up well to other mid-range phones from the company on paper, although our detailed review of the Redmi 5 will be coming soon, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for that.
With the launch of the Redmi 5, the company also announced a price cut for the Xiaomi Redmi 4. It’s not much though – the price has only gone down by Rs. 500, and the cheapest 2GB RAM variant isn’t available as of now. This means the Redmi 4 starts with the 3GB RAM variant at Rs. 8,499. That’s almost the same price as the Redmi 5 3GB variant, which as mentioned above, will sell for Rs. 8,999. The Redmi 4 has a bigger (4100mAh) battery, but a smaller 5-inch display, and it runs on an older Snapdragon 435 chip.
Xiaomi also released a new colour option for the Redmi 5A, it’s entry level phone, which will now also be available in “Lake Blue”. However, the inaugural discount of Rs. 1,000 is now over, and the phone’s price has gone up to Rs. 5,999. The dual-SIM Redmi 5A is still a good value buy, with its 5-inch HD display, Snapdragon 450 SoC, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and 3000mAh battery, with 2GB/ 16GB and 3GB/ 32GB RAM and storage variants.
Redmi 5 v Redmi Note 5 v Redmi Note 5 Pro v Redmi 5A
Xiaomi also announced the Xiaomi Smartphone Exchange Offer will now also be applicable on phones bought via Mi.com. Here’s how it works. On the Mi.com website, you can visit the exchange page to get a valuation for your handset, based on the IMEI number, and if you accept the valuation, then this amount is presented to you as a coupon. When you are buying a smartphone on Mi.com, entering this coupon will reduce the price by the exchange amount. When your new Xiaomi smartphone is delivered, you only need to hand over your old phone.
Xiaomi says that as long as the old phone is working, and has no physical damage, it will be accepted for the exchange. At the time of handover, the delivery executive will check the phone to make sure there’s no damage, and that you’ve disabled all screen locks and other passwords. Obviously, you should fully reset the phone before handing it over.
There has been a flurry of leaks on the upcoming Vivo V9, which is going to launch in India on March 23. Early this week, live images of the phone were leaked, revealing its design which has thin bezels on the sides, dual rear cameras in a vertical alignment along with the fingerprint sensor on the back, and a notch design like the iPhone X. A retail box leak from Indonesia gave some more details away, including the price in that market – IDR 4,999,000 (roughly Rs. 23,700).
Specifications listed in the Vivo V9 leak mention a 6.0-inch full-HD+ display, Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB storage, and a 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel combo on the rear camera. It is also said to have a 24-megapixel wide angle selfie camera, a 3250mAh battery and a face unlock feature. However, another leak from Vivo’s Indian e-commerce portal contradicts this, just a little. There, the Vivo V9 is listed as having a 6.3-inch full-HD+ display, and a Snapdragon 626 SoC. It also mentions a 16-megapixel and 5-megapixel rear combo, although the rest appears to be the same.
There were also teasers about the upcoming Oppo F7, which will launch on March 26, and then the details were also officially confirmed. At the start of the week, we knew that the phone would bear an iPhone X-like notch design, and would have a 6.28-inch display with a “full-screen” design. The official confirmation however reveals that it’s actually a 6.2-inch display, although the notch is present as expected, with the narrow 19:9 aspect ratio.
Oppo has specified that it will use a number of AI powered features to make the Oppo F7 stand out, and also, will support gesture controls for navigation between apps. Oppo also said it will have an app-in-app view, and will allow you to record and share videos of games running on the phone.
Other hardware specifications have not been confirmed yet, but we know that the Oppo F7 will come with a 25-megapixel selfie camera, and it will support features like beautification and real-time HDR, as well as AR stickers. Pricing and availability will also only be announced at the launch that’s scheduled for Monday, March 26.
Meanwhile, Samsung’s latest flagship phones, the Galaxy S9…