Aiming to offer top-notch devices for the users in the super-crowded mid-premium price segment in India, smartphone brand POCO has unveiled another device -- POCO F3 GT -- that features the latest 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset for top-end performance.
The smartphone comes in three storage variants -- 6GB+128GB, 8GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB -- for Rs 25,999, Rs 27,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively, in Gunmetal Silver and Predator Black colours.
According to Counterpoint Research, POCO helped Xiaomi gain 28 per cent shipment share in the April-June quarter in India.
We used the 8GB+128GB variant in Gunmetal Silver colour for a few days and here's how it performed.
The smartphone comes with a 6.67-inch full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. The display has thin bezels, which makes the device look more beautiful. You will find Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection at the front and back.
The glass back gives it a premium look and feel. There's a hole on the top for the selfie camera on the front.
We found that the frame of the phone is made out of metal and has different design elements. It roughly weighs around 205 grams.
The smartphone has a strong grip and users can hold the perfectly with one hand.
While using the smartphone under direct sunlight, we did not face any issues as it comes with the right level of brightness. Also, we noticed that the colour reproduction remains intact even when you are viewing the screen from different angles.
POCO F3 GT offers a triple-camera setup, consisting of a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2MP macro camera. There's a 16MP selfie camera.
We found that the images clicked from the rear and front camera were nice and clear under direct sunlight or bright light as well as low light conditions.
POCO F3 GT comes integrated with a flagship MediaTek chipset and features a 6nm Dimensity 1200 chipset, thereby delivering a new era of incredible mobile experience on the back of superior performance and effective power consumption.
Featuring one of the fastest CPUs on a smartphone, it runs on one ultra-core with a Cortex-A78 core at 3.0 GHz, three super-cores with Arm Cortex-A78 at 2.6GHz and four efficiency cores with Arm Cortex-A55 at 2GHz.
The 3GHz ultra-core processor promises immediate response and power-efficiency which is 22 per cent and 25 per cent faster, respectively, vis-a-vis the previous generation.
We noticed that the device is ideal for gaming as it could handle most mid-to-heavy games compared to other phones in this segment.
The phone did not lag while multitasking. The face unlocks and the in-display fingerprint sensor worked fine too.
POCO F3 GT features a 5065mAh battery. The 67W fast charger takes the F3 GT from 0 to 50 per cent battery quite quickly. For security, POCO F3 GT has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor.
POCO F3 GT is embedded with Aerospace grade vapour chamber cooling, which has eight-layered graphite sheets for faster heat dissipation to keep the temperature 2 degree Celsius less compared to phones without this system.
Conclusion: Overall, the smartphone looks classy with a beautiful design and tough specifications and is going to impress a lot of Android users in India.
The pricing of the device is increasing each week for the coming two weeks as part of a 'Mad Reverse Pricing' offer that started on July 26. So it would be better to go for it fast if you wish to own and flaunt the device.
San Francisco, July 31 (IANS) Elon Musk has refuted a story based on an upcoming book about Tesla that he tried to replace Tim Cook as Apple CEO.
The book, titled 'Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk, and the Bet of the Century' by The Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Higgins, claims that Musk reportedly wanted to become the Apple CEO in a 2016 phone call with Cook, who suggested to Musk that the iPhone maker acquire the electric car-maker.
Musk reportedly said that he wished to become Apple CEO, reports The Los Angeles Times, quoting from the book.
In a tweet on Friday, Musk denied that any such conversation ever took place.
"Cook & I have never spoken or written to each other ever. There was a point where I requested to meet with Cook to talk about Apple buying Tesla. There were no conditions of acquisition proposed whatsoever," Musk posted.
"He refused to meet. Tesla was worth about 6% of today's value," the Tesla CEO added.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Cook had said: "I've never spoken to Elon, although I have great admiration and respect for the company he's built".
Cook replied after Musk in December last year tweeted that he offered Cook to sell his electric car company at one-tenth of its value during the struggling period in 2017 but the Apple CEO refused to meet him.
Musk had said that during the "darkest days" for Tesla Model 3, he wanted to sell the company off.
"During the darkest days of the Model 3 programme, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the possibility of Apple acquiring Tesla (for 1/10 of our current value). He refused to take the meeting," Musk had said in a tweet.
Satya Nadella-run Microsoft is in advanced talks to invest in Airbnb-backed Indian budget hotel chain OYO at a valuation of $9 billion, the media reported on Friday.
According to a TechCrunch report citing sources, a deal may close soon but the "proposed size of the investment is unclear".
Both Microsoft and OYO declined to comment on the reports.
The Ritesh Agarwal-run hospitality chain has Airbnb, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and ride-hailing firm Grab as strategic investors.
The news comes after OYO announced earlier this month that it has raised $660 million from global institutional investors as TLB (Term Loan B).
A company statement had said that the offer was oversubscribed by 1.7 times and the company received commitments of close to $1 billion from leading institutional investors.
"We are delighted by the response to OYO's maiden TLB capital raise that was oversubscribed by leading global institutional investors. We are thankful for the trust that they have placed in OYO's mission of creating value for owners and operators of hotels and homes across the globe," said Abhishek Gupta, Group Chief Financial Officer, OYO.
The company said it will utilise these funds to retire its past debts, strengthen the balance sheet and other business purposes including investment in product technology, it said.
OYO is the first Indian startup to be publicly rated by Moody's and Fitch, two of the leading international rating agencies.
The Microsoft deal "may also involve OYO shifting to use its cloud services," the report mentioned.
OYO has aggressively been expanding its operations to several markets including Southeast Asia, Europe and the US in recent years.
Technology-enabled real estate development is rewriting the future of the sector which has faced a huge downturn during the pandemic but is gradually showing slow but sure signs of recovery, leading industry experts said on Wednesday.
Technologies like AI are being seen as game-changers in the industry, especially during the pandemic that has led to increased adoption of technologies and the embracing of innovation by the industry.
From Artificial Intelligence recommendations to Virtual Reality tours, home buying and selling has undergone a drastic change with increased efficiency in marketing, due diligence and sales processes.
While investments in Proptech have been on an upswing over the last few years and the industry today has several successful Proptech companies like 99acres, PropTiger and Magicbricks operating in India for some time now, leading global real estate technology companies like Compass, Inc. have also set up their technology hub in India in the last year.
The major focus of Compass India Development Centre has been on expediting software engineering and development across the fields of Mobile Apps, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, RPA and Data analytics.
For instance, the company has recently announced the launch of an AI-powered video studio globally.
"In real estate marketing, images and video are paramount. The most competitive agents must be able to create beautiful, persuasive marketing videos to attract the right buyers, but doing so is time-consuming, difficult and expensive. With Video Studio, Compass agents have the power of a professional graphic designer at their fingertips, allowing them to create compelling marketing content for social media, email or digital ads" said Joseph Sirosh, Chief Technology Officer, Compass, Inc. and a global AI expert.
Another recent technological development in the real estate landscape is virtual tours. Virtual tours and virtual reality allow customers to follow 3D views of properties online, which is beneficial for remote & abroad properties and those still under construction.
Emphasising this, Prashant Solomon, Managing Director, Chintels India and Treasurer, CREDAI NCR said: "Digital technology has left an indelible mark on how the industry functions. Property search and online transactions are simpler, companies are implementing virtual home tours to help people buy or sell homes and finally, e-signing and online property agreements are on the rise."
With all eyes on AI, it's clear that this technology will impact the future of real estate in a big way.
According to the Deloitte real estate prediction report for 2021, it was stated that the year 2021 will initiate an era in which enhanced AI-driven location analytics for real estate will reach maturity and become suitable for the masses.
There will be enough users to create a proper impact on the market for its full potential to be unleashed for the first time.
Unarguably, AI is primed to upend the real estate industry.
With an aim to curb targeted harassment, Facebook-owned Instagram is now testing a new feature called "Limits".
The new feature will allow users to lock their accounts and limit any potential interactions when they feel they're the target of harassment.
"Racism and hate speech has no place on Instagram," Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, was quoted as saying by Engadget on Thursday.
In trying to curb harassment on the platform, Mosseri said Instagram plans to try to reduce hate speech to "as close to zero as we possibly can".
However, knowing that it will likely be impossible to completely eradicate all forms of racism from the app, the company also plans to give people new tools that will allow them "to take some power back".
That's where 'Limits' fits in, the report said.
"We know that people sometimes are in temporary moments of real risk and pain, and we need to give them tools to protect," Mosseri said of the feature.
Ahead of wide rollout, Instagram is currently testing Limits in select countries across the world.
In the meantime, Mosseri promised the company would have more to share on how it plans to tackle racism on Instagram in the coming months.
Bengaluru, July 21 (IANS) Leading online learning platform Byju's on Wednesday said it has acquired Epic, the world's leading digital reading platform for kids 12 and under, for $500 million. The big acquisition comes on the heels of it buying the Aakash Institute for nearly $1 billion earlier this year.
The Epic deal was backed by General Atlantic, Sequoia Capital, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Naspers, Silver Lake, Tiger Global and other investors.
Byju's said that the acquisition will help expand its US footprint by providing access to the more than two million teachers and 50 million kids in Epic's existing global user-base, which more than doubled over the last year.
The company said it will invest $1 billion in North America to accelerate its vision of helping students fall in love with learning.
"Our mission is to fuel curiosity and make students fall in love with learning. Knowing that Epic and its products are rooted in the same mission, it was a natural fit. Together we have the opportunity to create impactful experiences for children to become life-long learners," Byju's founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said.
The edtech company is among India's most valuable unicorns with a valuation of $16.5 billion. As per CB Insights data, as of June 2021, Byju's was the 11th most valuable start-up in the world.
Byju's currently has 100 million students on its platform.
Epic CEO Suren Markosian, and co-founder Kevin Donahue, will remain in their roles and continue carrying out Epic's mission to unlock the potential of every child through reading, the company said.
"The alignment of our missions and shared passion makes Byju's the perfect partner, as we're confident this acquisition will ignite excitement for learning around the world," said Markosian.
Launched in 2015, Byju's said it has aggressive plans for international and US market expansion.
Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday announced it is testing the ability for people to collaborate on Feed Posts and Reels called 'Collab' in India.
With 'Collab', you can invite a collaborator to your Feed Post and Reels and so they can share the content with their followers.
If they accept, then they will be shown as an author, the content will be shared to their Profile Grid and to their followers in Feed, and you will both see your shared feedback.
"India is among the two countries where this will first be tested in," the photo-sharing platform said in a blog post.
The company has also explained how does it work.
Upload a Feed post or create a Reel as you normally would. When you get to the end of your share screen, you'll see the option to "Tag People".
Clicking on "Tag People" will allow you to now invite a collaborator by clicking "Invite Collaborator".
You can now search for an account and add them as a collaborator. Note that the account will need to accept your invite.
Only public accounts who are receiving the test experience can be invited to 'Collab '/co-author.
Once the account has accepted the collaboration invite, they will be added to the tag screen and also noted in the header of your post.
After the massive Pegasus spyware controversy, Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is the Cloud arm of Amazon, has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group.
In a statement to Motherboard, an AWS spokesperson said that "When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts".
Reports have surfaced on military-grade Pegasus spyware from Israeli firm NSO Group being used by governments around the world to snoop on more than 50,000 people in 50 countries including in India.
An Amnesty International probe had revealed that Pegasus compromised phones and routed data through commercial services like AWS and Amazon CloudFront.
Human rights activists, journalists, and lawyers across the world have been targeted by authoritarian governments using hacking software sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group, according to an investigation into a massive data leak, the Guardian first reported.
The consortium's analysis of the leaked data identified at least 10 governments believed to be NSO customers who were entering numbers into a system: Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The investigation by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations suggests widespread and continuing abuse of NSO's hacking spyware, Pegasus, which the company insists is only intended for use against criminals and terrorists.
Pegasus is a malware that infects iPhones and Android devices to enable operators of the tool to extract messages, photos and emails, record calls and secretly activate microphones.
The leak contains a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers that, it is believed, have been identified as those of people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016.
In India, reports suggest phone numbers of 40 journalists were targeted.
In a much-competitive premium smartphone market in India, the global smartphone brand OPPO, which is among one of the best-selling smartphone brands, has brought its much-awaited OPPO Reno6 series to the country.
OPPO's Reno series is known for its premium appearance and upgraded features. The company has been adding more value to the series as it expands the series.
Reno 6 5G and Reno 6 Pro 5G are priced at Rs 29,990 and 39,990 and offer two colours options -- aurora and stellar black.
We used the top-end variant for a while that comes with 12GB+256GB and opted for the aurora colour option. Here's how it fared.
As usual, like its predecessors, the new OPPO Reno6 Pro 5G comes with a sleek and slim design with a camera bump on its back. It weighs around 177 grams.
One good thing about the smartphone is that the back does not attract fingerprints but the aurora variant in a light bluish shade makes the device look extra glossy, which you will find similar in most smartphones. Moreover, there is a lot of resemblance between this smartphone and its predecessor.
The smartphone features a 6.5-inch 3D curved display with a 90Hz refresh rate and up to 180Hz touch sampling rate. It is said to be HDR10+ certified for a vivid visual experience.
To a great extent, it is true as it offered a smooth viewing experience. With slim bezels, the display is quite good with proper brightness and decent view angles.
The 90Hz refresh rate ensured a silky-smooth feel whether watching videos, playing top-level games or switching between apps. But, if you are currently using a 120Hz refresh rate, you may surely find the difference between the two.
Also, while using the smartphone under direct sunlight, we did not face any issues and the colour reproduction remains intact even when you are viewing the screen from different angles.
The smartphone is powered by the latest flagship 5G-integrated SoC -- the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 -- that is built on a 6nm processor, which provides stronger performance and lowers power consumption.
The chipset features one of the fastest smartphone octa-core CPUs ever -- with a clock speed of 3GHz with up to 22 per cent faster CPU performance while also being 25 per cent more power-efficient versus the previous generation.
Apart from offering a smooth viewing experience, we noticed that the device is good for gaming as well as it handled most mid-to-heavy games without any difficulty.
The smartphone did not lag at all while multitasking and the face unlock as well as in-display fingerprint sensor worked fine.
The 12GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage were sufficient for our usage. The phone runs the company's latest version of ColorOS 11.3.
The smartphone is backed by a 4,500mAh battery and supports 65W fast charging. On normal usage, the phone lasted around a day. Our usage included clicking pictures, playing online and offline games, emails, listening to music and watching videos.
The good part is that even if you use this phone extensively, the fast charging may come to your rescue and might help in solve your battery issues.
In terms of optics, the smartphone comes with a quad rear camera setup that includes a 64MP primary camera, an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 2MP mono camera. At the front, it carries a 32MP selfie camera housed in a hole-punch cutout at the top left corner of the display.
OPPO Reno Series is known for its camera capabilities.
The phone performed great in the bright-light conditions. However, it failed to capture the same quality pictures in low light places as it produced slightly weaker colours and details in those conditions.
The selfie camera can be said to be decent as we found the pictures clicked from the front camera a little over-sharpened, which makes the picture look edited.
A better camera output could have added another star to this premium smartphone. However, to compensate, you will find camera features like Bokeh Flare Portrait Video, AI Highlight Video, Focus Tracking, Slo-Mo, Time Lapse, etc in the camera app.
The Reno 6 Pro also misses out on the stereo sound. The smartphone resembles a lot like Reno5.
Conclusion: OPPO Reno6 has evolved a lot as compared to its previous generation smartphones and has also maintained the legacy with its premium look and faster performance. If you're looking to buy a smartphone for a sleek feel and top-end performance, this is your go-to device.
At a similar price point, the device is in direct competition with OnePlus 9R and Mi 11X Pro.
New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The past year has witnessed dynamic changes in several aspects and internet and mobile penetration has been a major phenomenon. This growth in the online space has led to major growth of internet-based companies in India, in turn, making them attractive for bigger, deep-pocketed businesses.
Several mega acquisitions have taken place in the past year, the latest being the announcement made by Reliance Retail of acquiring a controlling stake in the home-grown online search engine platform Just Dial for Rs 3,497 crore.
Recently, Tata Sons' subsidiary Tata Digital acquired a majority stake in Supermarket Grocery Supplies Private Ltd, the company which is better known as BigBasket.
Further, Tata Digital and Reliance Retail have acquired majority stakes in digital health companies 1MG Technologies Private Ltd (1MG) and Vitalic Health Pvt Ltd and its subsidiaries, collectively known as Netmeds, respectively.
Both the business houses which are betting big on the e-commerce space are adding these online companies to strengthen their respective online offerings.
Speaking to IANS, Technopark Advisors Arvind Singhal, Chairman of Technopak Advisors noted that it is like "putting together a string of pearls" and completing the products and services you offer.
This larger interest in internet-based companies can be attributed to the business growth these ventures have witnessed amid the pandemic.
India's internet economy is booming aided by a surge in smartphone penetration and declining internet costs. Internet penetration reached 56 percent in January 2021 and the country's internet economy is expected to grow from $250 billion in 2020 to $335 billion in 2025.
While Covid-19 has had a major impact on small-scale businesses, big technology companies have benefited from the ensuing digitisation wave.
"We estimate that the pandemic has hastened the digitisation process by 3-5 years as the use of technology became imperative for clients to survive and to capture future demand. In India, the pandemic has particularly fuelled demand in areas such as online entertainment, edtech, ecommerce, fintech, foodtech, gaming and healthtech," said a report by BOB Capital Markets.
Singhal of Technopak was of the view that going ahead more acquisitions by the industry majors would take place and this competition would be in the best interest of the consumers.
Such acquisitions and investments, he said, have a lot of indirect positive outcomes as they encourage other entrepreneurs with the hope of getting major investments and acquisition offers in the future.
"Has Reliance stopped looking for companies to acquire? Certainly no. Have the Tatas stopped looking for companies to acquire? certainly not. We will see many more such acquisitions."
Further, this growth in the internet-based companies will also spur interest among other major businesses looking to strengthen their online portfolio and several more mergers and acquisitions (M&A) may be in the waiting going ahead.
Ahead of World Emoji Day on July 17, Facebook on Friday announced that it is rolling out emojis with sound on Facebook Messenger that is called "Soundmojis".
According to the company, Soundmojis is a next-level emoji that lets users send short sound clips in a Messenger chat, ranging from clapping, crickets, drumroll and evil laughter, to audio clips.
"Every day, people send more than 2.4 billion messages with emojis on Messenger. Emojis add colour and vibrancy to Messenger chats all over the world and we rely on them to say what words can't," Loredana Crisan, VP of Messaging Products, Messenger, said in a statement.
"Now imagine if your emojis could talk, what sound would they make? Introducing Messenger's latest expression tool -- Soundmojis," Crisan added.
To check out Soundmojis, users can head to the Messenger app, start a chat, tap the smiley face to open the expressions menu and select the loudspeaker icon.
From there, users can preview and send their favourite Soundmojis.
"We're launching an entire Soundmoji library for you to choose from, which we'll update regularly with new sound effects and famous sound bites," the company said.
"Each sound is represented by an emoji, keeping the visual emojis we all love in the play, while bringing sound into the mix," it added.
The company said it loves creating fun and innovative features that keep people connected and give them the freedom to express themselves.