What a week it’s been! And no, I’m not talking about the Premier League Football. This week saw the official announcement of Xiaomi’s highly awaited Mi Watch Revolve, Pixel 5 from Google and (finally) an affordable Surface from Microsoft. Google continued to take a jab at tech giants in India as it sent an official warning to Swiggy and Zomato over their promotions. The week before, it took Paytm’s app off the Google Play Store. Missed something? Don’t worry, here’s everything that happened this week.
Mi Smarter Living 2021: Xiaomi Launches Mi Watch, Sneakers, Soap Dispenser and More!
Starting with Mi launches, Xiaomi introduced their Mi Watch Revolve in India. Mi Watch Revolve has got a 1.39-inch circular OLED display up top. It boasts an Always-On Display, with 112 watch faces. On the fitness front, it can track sleep, heartbeat, energy levels and even stress. It has got an inbuilt GPS tracker, and Xiaomi claims a battery life of two weeks. We’ll cover this device in detail once we get our hands-on it.
Other than the Mi Watch, Xiaomi introduced a bunch of products at it’s annual Mi Smarter Living 2021 event. Xiaomi launched the 5th version of it’s highly popular Mi Band in India. It boasts a bigger display, improved health tracking and new watch faces. Along with the Mi Band 5 and Mi Watch, Xiaomi launched their new Mi Smart Speaker in India. It has Google Assistant built right into it and goes head-to-head against Apple’s HomePod and Amazon’s Echo devices. Xiaomi even introduced their new Mi Athleisure Shoes and Soap Dispenser.
Google Uplifts Meet Time Limit, Introduces 2 New Features
Sadly, video calls are still a way we connect, learn and work. Initially, when Google opened Meet to every Gmail user (it was limited to GSuite users earlier), it did not set any limits to video call hour and thought COVID will be long gone before the end of September. But, alas, COVID’s still here, and so are tiring video calls. So in a move to retain its customer set, they announced on their blog post that the 1-hour time limit is not going to be implemented up until March of 2021. Google also introduced two new features on Google Meet: Q&A and polls.
Google Introduced Pixel 5 and 4a, Starts $499
Google held it’s annual hardware event on 30th September where it announced its new Pixel lineup and a few Nest devices. Pixel 5 boasts a large 6-inch 90Hz OLED display, a metal body design (with wireless charging!) and, surprisingly, $699 price-tag. Our writer Sayak wrote an excellent article covering each and every detail of the new devices.
Google Threatens Swiggy and Zomato After Banning Paytm
Google ran into another riff with tech giants in India as it sent an official warning to Swiggy and Zomato citing illegal practices. Google took Paytm’s app off the Play Store for violation of policies last week. Google sent these warnings to Zomato and Swiggy cause of their IPL promotions.
Several people from top tech companies in India even held a Zoom call last week, discussing the possibility of an Indian version of App Store. Check out our coverage on this topic here.
Microsoft Introduces Affordable Surface
As Google was busy launching their Pixel lineup, and Xiaomi with their Mi Watch Revolve, Microsoft is dedicating all of its ‘launch-force’ to the month of November as it will introduce next-gen gaming consoles. Instead of a proper hardware event, Microsoft released new Surface Laptop Go and Surface Pro X via their press releases.
Surface Laptop Go features solid metal body design, and Intel’s 10th generation i5 chipset, but loses out on its 64GB eMMC storage. It offers great value for an entry level Surface, though. The Pro X has also been refreshed by Microsoft with the new chip —SQ2. Checkout our coverage here.
HP Introduces New Spectre x360
HP’s Spectre lineup has its own charm. The new Spectre x360 has smallest bezels in Spectre lineup, enabling it to brag a 13-inch form factor with a 15-inch display. It’s got an Intel’s 11th generation core processor inside it, coupled with improved Iris Xe graphics. It checks all the boxes of modern-day laptop — fast charging, 1 sec wake up time, WiFi 6, Thunderbolt 4, 10 hours battery life — it’s got all. It will be available in the United States for now, but is expected to make it’s way to India pretty soon.
Facebook Merges Instagram DM and Messenger
Facebook is finally updating Instagram DM — by integrating it with Messenger. This new opt-in experience will bring a lot of Facebook Messenger features to Instagram DM. Users will be able to chat and send messages (and memes) across both the platforms (even if other doesn’t have the app). Check out our coverage on the same here.
What’s Happening Next Week?
Well, we’re in another packed week of Tech-tober with POCO launching new devices in India. After Xiaomi’s Mi Watch event, Realme is expected to introduce a lot of devices on their 7th October event. And we might finally get to know the launch date of Apple’s highly awaited iPhone 12.