Last Week’s Top Tech News: MIUI 15, ROG Ally Sale, Nokia UPI Phone, Nothing, Nord CE 3 and more – Gizmochina

The first week of July 2023 was quite interesting with new product releases for key legislative decisions, the period was a whirlwind of activity that shaped the trajectory of various technology sectors. Twitter has also seen a new rival in the form of Threads from Meta.

Nokia

In the realm of consumer electronics, big brands like Asus, OnePlus, Fairphone and Samsung have marked their presence by unveiling innovative devices. Asus’ ROG Ally handheld game console has made its way into the Indian market, offering game enthusiasts a blend of performance and convenience. OnePlus has added to its Nord range, with the Nord 3 and Nord CE 3 grabbing attention thanks to their impressive specs. Fairphone, known for its sustainable and ethical approach, has made its long-awaited Fairphone 4 5G available in the United States. Samsung has quietly launched the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy S21 FE in India, while Apple has revealed more details about its 15-inch MacBook Air, illustrating how the move to Apple Silicon has made its larger format possible.

ASUS

In the midst of these product announcements, a significant legal development has occurred in France, as lawmakers passed a bill that allows police to remotely access and activate suspects’ digital devices. This move has sparked intense debates about privacy rights and the potential for state surveillance.

In essence, last week exemplified the ongoing interplay between rapid technological advances, changing market dynamics, and evolving social norms.

Here are the top tech news from the past week.

Reliance Jio and HMD Global Release have phones with UPI support

Reliance Jio and HMD Global unveiled new affordable feature phones, including the Nokia 110 4G and Nokia 110 2G, which all support UPI payments. The 4G model, which offers Bluetooth 5.0 and Micro USB 2.0, is priced at Rs. 2,499, while the 2G model, with 2G network support, is pegged at Rs. 1,699. Both models feature wireless FM radio capability and long-lasting batteries.

Nokia and Apple sign a new long-term patent agreement

Nokia and Apple have entered into a new long-term patent cross-licensing agreement, focusing on Nokia’s 5G technology and other critical patents. With the previous deal expiring later this year, the new deal will secure Apple’s payment to Nokia for multiple years starting in 2024. The partnership highlights Nokia’s contributions to cellular standards and confirms Apple’s plan to incorporate the Nokia’s technology in its future 5G-enabled devices.

Xiaomi prepares for the new flagship version with advanced manufacturing system

Xiaomi has launched its new production line, Xiaomi Smart Manufacturing Digital Intelligence System 2.0, at its Yizhuang Smart Factory in Beijing. The new system promises greater precision and intelligence, leading to stronger and thinner products. Xiaomi’s upcoming MIX Fold 3, scheduled for release in August, will be the first product made with this new system. Featuring a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and a quad-camera setup with a 5X periscope telephoto lens, the new foldable phone will also support 67W wired and 50W wireless fast charging. The phone’s international availability remains uncertain.

Xiaomi Strengthens Customer Service with 3-Tier Escalation Matrix in India

To celebrate its 9th anniversary in India, Xiaomi has launched a new customer service initiative, the 3-layer escalation matrix. Intended to streamline the customer complaint resolution process, the system promises quick and efficient responses to problems within a specified time frame. Customers can make complaints via multiple platforms, including the Mi Store app, Xiaomi Service+ app or Xiaomi’s official website. Complaints that go unresolved within 48 hours automatically escalate, eventually reaching the company President’s office if needed, promising a response within 12 hours. Customer complaint statuses can be tracked via the Xiaomi Service+ app.

Xiaomi prepares MIUI 15 update, improved animations and more expected

Prior to the release of Android 14, Xiaomi was found testing alpha builds of its latest MIUI 15 software, suggesting that development began several months ago. The new update, potentially based on Android 13 and 14, should offer improved animations and several other updates. Specific features remain under wraps, but the release timeline is expected to mirror MIUI 14, suggesting a rollout on compatible Xiaomi phones by Q1 2024. Initial testing appears to take place on a device codenamed Garnet, which is said to face part of the upcoming Redmi Note 13 range.

Xiaomi Pad 6 arriving in Europe: improved display and audio functionality

Set to hit European shelves on July 10, the Xiaomi Pad 6 offers an enhanced tablet experience with enhanced display and audio capabilities. The device boasts an 11-inch 2.8K LCD display with a refresh rate of 144Hz and HDR10/Dolby Vision support. The Pad 6 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, along with WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 for reliable connectivity. The tablet targets multimedia use with a 13MP rear camera, an 8MP front camera, and quad speakers supported by Dolby Atmos. It is also compatible with Xiaomi Smart Pen 2nd Gen and comes with battery life boosted by 8,840mAh battery and 33W fast charging.

Asus ROG Ally Z1 Extreme Console now available on Flipkart in India

Asus’ new ROG Ally Z1 Extreme handheld game console is now on sale in India via Flipkart. The device, featuring a 7-inch IPS display, AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB storage, offers an immersive gaming experience on Windows 11. The console is priced at Rs 69,990, with various bank offers and EMI options available.

OnePlus expands the Nord range with the new Nord 3 and Nord CE 3 models

OnePlus has unveiled two additions to its Nord range, the feature-packed mid-ranger Nord 3 and the more affordable Nord CE 3. The latter sports a 6.7-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon 782G chipset, up to 12GB of RAM and a 5000mAh battery with 80W fast charging. Available in two variants, 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB, Nord CE 3 will be released in August, with prices starting at Rs 26,999.

Green Fairphone 4 5G debuts in US with emphasis on repairability and privacy

The environmentally conscious and repairable Fairphone 4 5G has been launched in the United States, underlining the brand’s commitment to sustainability and privacy. The device, which uses 100% recycled plastic and offers easily replaceable parts, runs Murena’s privacy-focused /e/OS, devoid of Google services. The phone is available in two variants, starting at $599, and features a 6.3-inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor, up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Samsung quietly launches the Snapdragon 888 variant of the Galaxy S21 FE in India

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, has quietly gone on sale in India for INR 49,999, with an introductory price tag of INR 44,999. Replacing the Exynos processor, this model retains the same features, including a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 4,500mAh battery, and a camera setup with a 12MP primary sensor, ultra 12 MP wide angle and 8 MP sensor. telephoto. The device also offers water and dust resistance with an IP68 rating.

Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Air: A triumph of Apple Silicon over the constraints of Intel

Apple’s marketing executives revealed that they had wanted to make a 15-inch MacBook Air for years, but were limited by the high power consumption of Intel chips. The move to Apple Silicon has allowed the company to maintain a thin and light design without compromising battery life or performance. This new and larger MacBook Air is not only beneficial to consumers but also serves business customers who have been requesting such a device for a long time. This demonstrates Apple’s commitment to the transition to Apple Silicon and its responsiveness to customer requests.

Instagram Threads Gaining Ground Despite Missing Features

Despite lacking key features like search, hashtags, and a follow-up feed, Threads by Instagram, Meta’s bid to challenge Twitter’s dominance, is gaining momentum from users. Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has assured that these features are ongoing, although no timeline has been provided. Threads’ successful integration with Instagram was instrumental in its early success, having already attracted over 30 million subscriptions and being the top free app in the Apple App Store.

France gives police remote access to suspects’ devices, prompting privacy concerns

French lawmakers have passed a justice reform bill that gives police the power to remotely access and activate the cameras, microphones and GPS systems of suspects’ devices, sparking controversy. Critics argue that the measure violates fundamental freedoms and tends towards authoritarian surveillance. While the law limits its use to serious crimes and requires judicial approval, privacy advocates are concerned about the potential for abuse. Justice Minister Ric Dupond-Moretti argues that the law is a necessary tool to save lives.

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