Weekly Roundup: Xiaomi Redmi 5, Honor 7C, Alcatel 1x Android Oreo (Go Edition), Fitbit Versa and more


This week Xiaomi launched its budget Redmi 5 smartphone in India. Huawei’s Honor brand introduced the Honor 7C in China, Huawei introduced the P20 Lite and Nova 2 lite, Micromax launched the Bharat 5 Pro, and lots more that happened this week in our weekly roundup.

Xiaomi launched the Redmi 5 smartphone in India. It packs  a 5.7-inch HD+ 18:9 full-screen display and is powered by Snapdragon 450 with up to 3GB RAM. It runs Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) with MIUI 9, has a 12-megapixel rear camera with 1.25μm pixel size sensor and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with selfie flash, similar to the Redmi Note 5.

It has a metal finish, similar to the Redmi Note 5, is just 7.7mm thick, making it 11% slimmer than the Redmi 4. It has a fingerprint sensor on the back and packs a 3300mAh battery. It comes in Black, Gold, Rose Gold and Lake Blue colors, is starts at Rs. 7999 for the 2GB RAM with 16GB storage version and the top-end 4GB RAM with 64GB storage version costs Rs. 10,999. It will be available exclusively from Amazon.in, Mi.com and Mi Home Stores starting March 20th.

Huawei’s Honor brand announced  Honor 7C with a 5.99-inch HD+ 2.5D curved glass display with 18:9 aspect ratio, Snapdragon 450 with up to 4GB RAM, Android 8.0 (Oreo) with EMUI 8.0 on top, 13-megapixel rear camera along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera to capture the depth information for portrait shots,  8-megapixel front-facing camera with support for beauty mode, soft LED flash, face unlock, dedicated dual SIM as well as micro SD slots, fingerprint sensor on the back and a 3000mAh battery.

It comes in Black, Red, Gold and Blue colors, is priced at 899 yuan (US$ 142 / Rs. 9,235 approx.) for the 3GB RAM with 32GB storage version and the 4GB RAM with 64GB version costs 1299 yuan (US$ 205 / Rs. 13,345 approx.). It is available only in China.

It also introduced  Nova 2 lite with similar specifications of the Honor 7C, but with a different design and Snapdragon 430 instead of 450. It comes in Black and Blue colors, is priced at 9,990 Philippine Peso (US$ 191 / Rs. 12,445 approx.) or SG$ 298 (US$ 227 / Rs. 14,750 approx.)  and will be available in Philippines and Singapore later this month.

Alcatel announced Alcatel 1X for the Indian market. The phone has a 5.34-inch 18:9 screen, is powered by a quad-core MediaTek SoC and the Android Oreo (Go edition) comes pre-installed with new Google’s Go apps offering better performance, less demand on storage, and efficient data use. It will go on sale soon and the company will reveal the price of the phone closer to the launch.

After launching Bharat 5 and 5 Plus, Micromax this week launched the Bharat 5 Pro that comes with Face Unlock and a similar 5000mAh battery. The latest budget segment device from Micromax in the Bharat series, sports a 5.2-inches HD display and has 3GB of RAM.  It is priced at Rs. 7,999 and will come in Black color.

Fitbit introduced Versa, its latest Fitness smartwatch with a  modern, intuitive design. It is one of the lightest metal smartwatches and comes with a new dashboard with easy access to health and fitness data with Fitbit OS 2.0. It has 24/7 heart rate tracking, onscreen workouts, and automatic sleep stages tracking and also offers wallet-free payments on Fitbit Versa Special Edition. It promises 4+ days battery life.

It will be available in black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. It will go on sale in India in Q2, 2018 across Reliance Digital, Croma, Helios and other major retailers including e-commerce partners like Amazon India and Flipkart for Rs. 19,999. Fitbit Versa Special Edition will also retail for Rs. 21,999 and accessories range from Rs. 2,499 to Rs. 8,999.

Acer Swift 5

Acer India this week launched the Acer Swift 5 laptop which weighs just 970gms. It is powered by the 8th Generation Intel Core with support for Windows Hello. The laptop sports a 14-inch full HD display with narrow bezels on all corners with an overall footprint of the notebook similar to that of a 13” notebook. It starts at Rs. 79,999 and will be available from Acer Exclusive stores and other leading retailers.

Samsung-owned HARMAN International launched the JBL Soundgear in India which is an around the neck wearable device for a hands-free and ear-free intimate sound experience. It connects to smartphones via Bluetooth for immersive mobile virtual reality headset experience.

Users can connect it to their Samsung Gear VR for virtual sound experience and use the wearable sound device to create a powerful audio experience with JBL Signature Sound. The company is promising a 6-hours of playtime before having to recharge. It comes with a dual-microphone conferencing system with support for echo and noise canceling technology for crystal clear conversations. It is priced at Rs. 14,999 and is available at HARMAN’s e-commerce platform and across 350 Samsung brand stores in India.

Ambeo Smart headset

Sennheiser launched the AMBEO Smart Headset aiming to take the Virtual Reality (SMART) audio to the next level. It is a smart compact and mobile 3D sound recording headset that is aimed at offering Virtual Reality audio space for vlogging and other content creation. It costs Rs. 19,990 and is available from Sennheiser store online as well as offline stores in India. The company said that it is working Android version which will be available at a later date.

Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) launched Liva Q, which it says is the world’s smallest Windows-based Mini-PC at 70 x 70 x 31.4mm and just 260 grams in weight. It is powered by Intel’s Apollo Lake processors, have 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, expandable with microSD (up to 128GB). It  is priced at Rs. 13,500 without OS and the Windows 10 version is priced at Rs. 15,500 (without taxes) and will be available through offline stores.

TP-Link’s Neffos brand introduced Neffos N1 , the company’s latest mid-range smartphone in the ‘N series’. It has a 5.5-inch 1080p 2.5D curved glass display, is powered by MediaTek Helio P25 SoC with 4GB of RAM, runs Android  7.1 (Nougat), has 12-megapixel (monochrome + RGB) dual rear cameras, PDAF for portrait shots a and an 8-megapixel front camera. It comes in Space Black color, is priced at RM 1,099 (US$ 280 / Rs. 18,250) and is available in Malaysia.

Audeze introduced the first cinematic 3D audio headphones; Mobius which are specially designed for gaming. The headphones combine the planar magnetic technology, and other technologies like Head-Tracking, Room Emulation, and Sound localization to unlock the full potential of Gaming Audio.

It is available to pre-order now on Indiegogo at an introductory price of $199 (Rs.12,925 approx.) while the original retail price is $399 (Rs. 25,913 approx.).

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Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G4 Plus. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+