Technology

Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Plans, CES 2018, Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)+ India Launch, and More News This Week

Reliance Jio continues to roll out new offers, with price cuts for its 1GB per day data plans. The 28 day plan has been cut from Rs. 199 to Rs. 149, while the 70 day plan has gone from Rs. 399 to Rs. 349. The Jio 459 and Jio 499 plans with validity of 84 and 91 days respectively, have dropped to Rs. 399 and Rs. 449. Jio also unveiled a bunch of data plans with 1.5GB data per day.

The new 1.5GB data per day plans are priced at Rs. 198, Rs. 398, Rs. 448, and Rs. 498. These are old the price points of the 1GB data per day plans, meaning consumers are essentially getting 50 percent more data at roughly the same price.

Price Validity Total data (1.5GB/day)
Rs. 198 28 days 42GB
Rs. 398 70 days 105GB
Rs. 448 84 days 126GB
Rs. 498 91 days 136GB

 

Airtel has a new Rs. 399 pack, competing with Jio’s Rs. 398 plan. Under this, users get 1GB data per day, with a 70 day validity, along with unlimited calls, and 100 SMSes per day. Earlier, Airtel’s Rs. 399 plan had a 28 day validity. Aside from this, Airtel also updated its Rs. 448 and Rs. 509 plans, raising the validity from 70 days to 82 days, and from 84 days to 91 days, respectively.

Aside from this, Airtel is also offering free Amazon Prime to select customers. This is only for customers on postpaid plans of Rs. 499 or above – customers can get a free 1 year subscription of Amazon Prime, on downloading the Airtel TV app. The offer is available only to Airtel postpaid customers on myInfinity plans priced Rs. 499 and above, and to V-Fiber broadband users on plans priced above Rs. 1,000. If you are already an Amazon Prime member, you can’t avail this benefit to extend your membership.

With Jio and Airtel cutting prices, Vodafone responded by increasing the data and validity for its Rs. 458 and Rs. 509 plans. The Rs. 458 plan earlier offered 1GB a day for 70 days, and this has now been raised to 84 days. Meanwhile, the Rs. 509 Vodafone plan has been bumped from 84 days to 91 days. Both plans include unlimited (up to 250 minutes a day, 1,000 minutes a week) calls and free roaming, and 100 SMSes per day, along with access to the Vodafone Play app.

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BSNL has also increased the validity of its unlimited calling and data packs for prepaid customers, which range from Rs. 186 to Rs. 666. The largest of these gives validity for 129 days, while the Rs. 186 plan offers 28 days validity. The Rs. 349 and Rs. 429 packs are valid for 54 days and 81 days respectively. The Rs. 485 (90 days) and Rs. 666 packs come with 1.5GB data per day, while the smaller packs are good for 1GB per day.

Internationally, the big news of course was CES 2018, the annual tech event that’s held in Las Vegas. If you like smartphones, CES is not the event for you though we did get the launch of two new smartphones from Sony, the Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra. Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 630 processor – the key difference is that the Ultra is larger, with a dual-selfie camera setup. The Ultra also has more RAM, 4GB compared to 3GB on the XA2. Check out our first impression of the duo from the CES show floor.

Sony Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra First Impressions

 

Vivo showcased the world’s first in-display fingerprint scanning technology at CES 2018. This means that the fingerprint scanner that’s become a bit of a standard to unlock smartphones in recent years can be embedded under the display, instead of on a physical button on the front as has been the norm.

In turn, this will enable manufacturers to make smartphones with truly bezel-less displays without needing to relegate the fingerprint scanner to the back or the side of the smartphone. Vivo hasn’t officially launched a smartphone with this technology yet – the unit on display at CES was a modified version of an existing phone, the Vivo X20 Plus – but we can expect that to happen soon.

 

There were also a number of interesting laptop launches. Dell refreshed its Latitude 5000 and 7000 series, and launched a new portable SSD at CES 2018. All the new notebooks come with up to the eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor option. Aside from this, it launched the new Dell XPS 15 2-in-1, which has an Intel chip, and integrated AMD graphics. It runs on the newly-announced 8th generation Intel Core CPUs with integrated Radeon RX Vega M graphics from AMD.

Intel announced the new line of Core CPUs with Radeon Vega graphics processors just ahead of this at CES 2018. Aside from Dell, HP is also launching 2-in-1 laptops with these processors, and Intel has also launched a new line of its own compact NUC PCs featuring the new processors and aimed at gamers.

We Tried Nvidia’s Game Streaming Service on a Cheap Laptop and Here’s What We Think

 

Apart from these, the Asus ROG Strik SKT T1 Hero Edition gaming laptop was also launched at CES 2018, along with other products from the company. The company unveiled various laptops and other gaming gear, and also showed the NovaGo – one of the world’s first Windows on Snapdragon laptops – announced by Microsoft late last year – that is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Lenovo meanwhile launched the ARM powered Miix 630 2-in-1, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.

The WPA 3 Wi-Fi security protocol was also announced at CES, and promises encryption for public hotspots. It will improve upon WPA2, and addresses the KRACK vulnerability, and should begin rolling out in 2018. More specific timeframes will only be known once hardware and software vendors release their own plans.

TVs are always a big theme at CES, and the ones that got the most attention this year included a modular TV from Samsung that can become as large as 146-inches. No surprise then Samsung is calling it The Wall. The other interesting TV – still a prototype, mind you – was a 65-inch OLED from LG that can be rolled up and tucked away when not in use.

 

There were also two important announcements from the world of VR – for one, HTC unveiled the…

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