Another week gone by, and if you missed some of the big tech news stories, we’re here too recap the highlights of the week. These include some enormous launches, more televisions than you’ll likely see in a whole year, and some very exciting scientific developments. Let’s dive right in.
The most anticipated launch of the week was the television event by Ringing Bells where the much delayed Freedom 251 phone finally – supposedly – started deliveries. Apparently, only 5,000 units are going to be delivered, with a total of 200,000 supposed to follow. No firm dates on when the latter will happen.
(Also see: Freedom 251 First Impressions)
At the time the phone first launched, Ringing Bells had circulated an Adcom phone instead, as a “prototype” of its upcoming phone. At the event, Gadgets 360 finally tried out the real Freedom 251, and you can check out our first impressions.
Pokemon Go is predictably a big success to the point where it hugely boosted Nintendo’s shares. The game is not officially out in India yet though it is pretty easy to download, install, and play Pokemon Go if you have an Android phone. The game works just fine – here’s a guide if you want to know more about playing Pokemon Go in India. That guide will surely come in India now that the game’s international release has been delayed.
The other piece of gaming news that has a lot of people excited is that No Man’s Sky is finally ready for release. The game promises to be the ultimate science fiction fantasy of just getting into your space ship and exploring the galaxy, and there is no way that it’s going to please everyone, but we are having a hard time waiting right now.
Samsung launched two new mobile devices this week – the Samsung Galaxy J Max is a VoLTE-enabled 7-inch tablet, while the Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016) is a sub-Rs. 10,000 4G phone with new Smart Glow LED notification system. Also this week, Intex launched the Aqua Power 4G with VoLTE support. There was also the launch of the Blu Energy XL with a 6-inch display. Globally, the Sharp Aquos 507SH launched this week as Japan’s first Android One Phone.
The biggest launch in India this week was probably at Samsung’s televisions related event. Samsung launched a whopping 44 different models in a single day, with prices ranging from Rs. 27,990 to Rs. 23,99,900. The company is trying to offer something for everyone across three different product lines, and says that along with Ultra HD, curved panels are going to be the next big sellers.
Some interesting developments in the telecom space include Reliance now offering a 4G phone with unlimited data for three months, at just Rs. 2,999. For now, people are reporting fast and reliable connections too. Of course, as more users get on to the network, that will most likely change. And BSNL’s operating profit for this year is going to be over Rs. 2,000 crores – hopefully some of the money can be used to actually improve services.
For Samsung though, the week had some bad news too – a new report claims the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is not actually waterproof. The problem is apparently limited to the US variant Galaxy S7 Active, according to well known non-profit organisation Consumer Reports. Samsung has acknowledged the problem, and said that it is investigating.
Meanwhile, if you’re one of the dozen people who owns a smartwatch – don’t go to the ATM. Your smartwatch could reveal your ATM pin warn researchers who were able to track PINs with over 80 percent accuracy. And over 13 lakh Android smartphones in India are impacted by a new kind of malware, which is an astounding figure. There are a lot of things you need to stay aware of, and one of those is the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Follow our guide to stay safe, and also listen to our discussion on the subject in our weekly podcast.
Twitter meanwhile joins the video streaming wars – while the company owns Periscope, it also hosted a live feed of Wimbledon – the content streaming on Twitter will be a mix of video from Wimbledon, and from ESPN, which holds the rights to the content. Facebook on the other hand was the subject of a study that states it is a haven for narcissists. It might be a good time to switch to Snapchat, which just launched Memories, to save photos and videos, although it is being sued over ‘sexy Discover stories’.
Speaking of things you might want to forget, do you know how much Google knows about you? It’s probably a lot more than you think, and thanks to the My Activity tool, you can check. Google knows everything about you, but you can make it forget the worst parts, for now. Do also check out our guides on pausing location history, and getting Google to stop tracking you on the Web.
The biggest bit of science news this week was from Nasa – the Juno spacecraft entered Jupiter’s atmosphere in an event planned down almost to the second decades in advance. It’s a stunning scientific feat that could teach us much more about the history of the solar system.
We could also be moving towards swarms of autonomous drones – researchers say we’re close to drones that visually coordinate on their own. This could mean fast and efficient aerial e-commerce deliveries, or it could be an essential part of Skynet’s arsenal. Hopefully the former.
Oh, and in case you were wondering – selfie elbow is real, say doctors. Turns out that holding your hand like that time and again to take selfies can cause injuries. As if we needed more proof that selfies are bad for you.