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PUBG New State Review: Worth Switching From Battlegrounds Mobile India?

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PUBG is a name that is quite familiar with almost everyone now, not just India’s youngsters. The mobile version of the game has grown to massive popularity since it came out in 2018, a year after the official release of the PUBG PC version. But after PUBG was banned in India players had to look for different games — though the craze for one of the most popular battle royale games on mobile never died. Earlier this year, Krafton curated a special edition for Indian mobile gamers, Battlegrounds Mobile India, also known as BGMI.

With BGMI, nothing major was changed compared to PUBG except for some elements here and there. It was essentially PUBG with a new coat of paint. But that’s not the case with PUBG: New State. With it, Krafton gets to re-introduce the PUBG moniker in India, and in a new avatar that is going to catch the eye. But can PUBG: New State rope in the gamers that belong to the BGMI camp? What new things does it have to offer? I played the game for around a week, read on to find out about our take on the new entrant in mobile gaming — PUBG: New State.

PUBG New State: visual appeal

On the graphics front, there have been some changes that Krafton has incorporated into PUBG: New State. Visually, the game looks much better than its counterparts. The graphics, details in the grass, walls and their texture along with the player mechanism provide a realistic look and feel to the game.

PUBG: New State currently offers a bunch of graphics settings starting with Lite, Medium, High, Ultra and Extreme. The lite option is the new introduction. As for framerate settings, you now get Low, Medium, High, Very High, Ultra, Max and Extreme — which is not accessible at launch. In my experience, loading time on the first boot has increased. I tested this on the iPhone 12 and the Realme 6 Pro. The iPhone 12 was able to extract Ultra + Max, whereas, the Realme 6 Pro maxed out at Ultra + Very High. In our testing, the back of the phone (on both devices) was a bit warm to the touch after playing the game for around 15 minutes or so.

In the early days with PUBG: New State, I stumbled upon some server issues as well, though these were later fixed after the game was taken down for maintenance a couple of times. Besides that, I also came across a bunch of bugs such as the “open door” button on vehicles not appearing, drones getting stuck in trees, cars getting stuck right in the middle of the map, and in some cases, I also found the waiting time in the lobby to be interminable.

pubgnewstate graphicsettings gadgets360 Graphics Settings PUBG New State

A couple of new graphic options were added into PUBG: New State
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

PUBG New State: new battlefields, new beginnings

With PUBG: New State, everything has a new look. Starting with the UI, the way they have polished the lobby, the character models, et cetera. Unfortunately, you cannot port your old account from the previous versions of the battle royale game into PUBG: New State. You’ll have to start from scratch. Talking about starting from scratch, you can now log in using your Facebook account, as well as your Google account. However, you can no longer use your Twitter credentials to log in.

PUBG: New State brings two new maps, namely Troi and Erangel 2051. As for Team Deathmatch (TDM), you get to see just one map as of now: Station. Erangel is by far the most popular map among PUBG players— it’s a classic after all. Erangel 2051, as the name suggests, is based in the year 2051 with all the cities similar to the earlier versions. But, this time around, parts of the buildings and walls are broken. It’s meant to be the aftermath of the multiple battles that have taken place in Erangel.

The entirely new map Troi is also very well designed and welcomes chaos just like any other map in the PUBG franchise. Troi brings in a bunch of new cities for the battleground gamers to hop into, namely City Hall, Graveyard, Factory, and Garrison. This is also an 8×8 km map similar to Erangel. During my time of play, I saw a bunch of players dropping down into “The Mall”. It’s likely that this place is the equivalent of “Pochinki” from Erangel. You also get some fun locations such as ‘Trailer Park’ which has ramps over the place so if you are ever under unwelcomed enemy attacks, you can use these to run them off in style. Although I always managed to fall face-first from my bike, but that’s a story for another day.

The Exhibit Hall sits right in the heart of Troi and provides you with an ample amount of loot in order to take down the enemy teams. It has an open roof and you can just envision the number of battles that can take place. Interestingly, though not surprisingly, Troi has bulletproof glasses which you can use to take cover under enemy attacks. You can differentiate them from normal glasses by looking out for blue tints on the bulletproof ones. A bunch of them have been laid down in the Exhibit Hall and Laboratory in PUBG: New State.

One thing I loved seeing in PUBG: New State is the name of all the cities floating across the map during the start of a game. So, you could see Pochinki, Rozhok, School, and every other city’s name from a bird’s eye view while seated in the plane. Thanks to this, it’s now impossible to confuse two cities that look somewhat similar.

pubgnewstate plane gadgets360 PUBG New State

The bird’s eye view from the plane now shows you the name of cities
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

With Troi, you also get to experience a bunch of new vehicles— and not just any vehicle, these cars and bikes are futuristic. Don’t follow? Well, to start with, they run on batteries instead of fuel — as you would expect cars and bikes to be running on in the year 2051. Not just that, cars also have auto-pilot. The driver gets the option to toggle between manual and auto-pilot mode in PUBG: New State.

However, it is not fully controlled by AI, the driver will still have to steer around the map — the PUBG: New State AI just accelerates on its own. Battery-operated cars are naturally less noisy when compared to their gassy counterparts but it’s still audible at close range. Also, if you are outside the zone and driving an EV, the amount of battery consumption increases.

In case you get bored of driving around the map in your new auto-pilot car, you can always choose the trams. These trams run around the battlefield in PUBG: New State and are very helpful if you are stuck in a dire situation. I have found these to be useful for taking cover as well. Although the trams are really slow, then again, that’s how they are supposed to be.

PUBG New State gameplay

Moving on to PUBG: New State gameplay. The player movement and gun mechanics all seem to be quite similar to the previous iterations of the battle royale game, PUBG Mobile and BGMI. That being said, they have definitely made some changes that cannot be overlooked.

For starters, the gameplay now looks and feels a lot like the PC version of PUBG. This is something I previously mentioned in our PUBG: New State first impressions. If you are ever stuck in a battle and need to run away from your enemies, you can roll to take quick cover. Double tapping the crouch button initiates this—you can also add a separate button for the same. This can be enabled in the settings.

With BGMI, every gun you picked needed a sight of some sort, be it Red Dot, Holographic, or any of the major scopes. But with PUBG: New State, they have changed things around a bit. You get the red dot sight pre-equipped with all the guns. For me, that was good, since I always preferred the red dot over the Holographic sight thanks to the minimalistic reticle. They have also introduced a new sight which goes by the name of ‘Viper’. It’s somewhat similar to the red dot and looks quite innovative. Pretty much following the theme of PUBG: New State.

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The new shoulder-fire technique in action
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

PUBG: New State also brings along with itself a new technique for quickfire. You can now use the shoulder-fire option if you do not wish to scope during combat. This gives a more realistic feel to close combat. This helped me control the recoil and my spray patterns a bit better than before. However, it does take you some time to get accustomed to this new feature. You can of course switch between hip-fire and shoulder-fire in the settings if you prefer to go the old route.

PUBG New State: guns galore

If you get stuck in a situation wherein you are out in the open without any cover? In PUBG: New State, you can take the help of a deployable shield that will provide you with cover. This has proven to be a lifesaver when running out wild in the open and an enemy team is trying to gun you down. You get two variants of shields: one with a single shield and another with a three-door shield. Both are quite effective.

PUBG: New State also brings a bunch of new melee weapons such as a hatchet, wrench and shovel. You can also throw these at enemies to keep them at bay— if thrown properly, it can cause some serious damage.

As for weapons, you can find all the same guns and weapons with just minor additions to the inventory in PUBG: New State. The DSR-I is a bolt-action rifle that uses the same ammo as the M24, the 7.62mm. The firearm does look a bit taller when compared to Kar98k or M24. The sound it makes after a bullet is shot is also quite immaculate. Of course, it’s not as satisfactory as the AWM. DSR-I can be found on the ground and not in specific loot boxes, so you’ll have plenty of time to choose between the 7.62mm trio.

Dyneema Vest makes its way into PUBG: New State with some minor tweaks from the developers. The Dyneema Vest provides you with more protection against short and mid-range weapons that use the 9mm, 5.56mm, and .45ACP. However, everything has its pros and cons. With Dyneema Vest, you are more vulnerable when under fire from a gun that packs in the 7.62mm, 12 Gauge and of course, the .300 Magnum. Along with this, they have also added gun customization kits. With these kits, you can change the way a gun operates.

For example, the double-barrel S685-6 can be customised in a way that it fires both the bullets in a single shot. Whereas, you can also decrease the horizontal recoil of the Mini 14. The best part about this is that you can change the fire mechanics of a gun in PUBG: New State. I picked up an MK47 Mutant and applied the customisation kit to it, and it went from burst mode to auto, which I prefer in most circumstances. There are a tonne of other customisations you can do with the horde of guns the game provides.

PUBG New State: up for some shopping?

By now it’s pretty clear that PUBG: New State is set in the future. Nothing at this point can shock you, right? Well, that’s what I thought. We now have drones. To be precise, you now have a ‘Drone Shop’ wherein you can buy ammo, medical kits, EV batteries, and essentially everything required in an emergency. But along with that, you also get to buy flare guns, both red and green (more on that later).

You can buy items from the shop using drone credits which you can find laid down across the map. After adding the necessary items to your cart, the player can then go ahead and place the order. A drone, emitting blue smoke, hovers above you and drops a case with your items in PUBG: New State.

pubgnewstate droneshop gadgets360 PUBG New State

You can buy necessary items from the Drone Shop
Photo Credit: Robin John/Gadgets360

If you were wondering if this transaction can attract enemies, then the answer to that is a solid, yes! The drone does make some noise and the blue smoke can lure nearby enemies. On the other hand, you can also use this in PUBG: New State to lay down traps for enemies that you think might be camping nearby.

The shop also lets you get hands-on a ‘Scout Drone’ that can help you fish out enemies that might be hiding inside a building. If you are well-versed with the idea of Crypto — a legend in Apex Legends, for those who know what I mean — you know how this goes. However, unlike Crypto’s drone, this one does not cause any damage and is purely for scouting purposes. It’s perfect to plan out an ambush on anyone in hiding.

PUBG New State: back, back from the dead

PUBG: New State brings with itself a new recruit system. A normal squad of players consists of four people. If you wipe out an enemy squad, all the players will be knocked down instead of finished, unless you willingly do that. You can then go ahead and pick a player and revive them. Once the revival process is done, the player now belongs to your team. The player not only joins your team but can also join the voice chat. However, keep in mind, you cannot at any time in the game have more than 4 players in your squad. You can only recruit an opponent if a player from your team has either died or disconnected.

As for the respawn system, remember the green flare gun we discussed a couple of paragraphs ago? Yes, those are used to revive your teammates. The green flare gun costs around 1,200 drone credits in PUBG: New State. You can only use this to revive a single teammate at a time. This was earlier introduced in the Payload Mode wherein you needed the teammate’s ID to resurrect them — that is not the case here. The revived comrade lands empty-handed from the sky with the will to start from scratch. Make sure you do not revive your teammate in the middle of chaos, or it will not be a pretty sight.

PUBG New State review verdict

I believe PUBG: New State is a very good game with a new map, new weapons, new features and a whole lot of things to offer. Barring some initial bugs and glitches, I had an amazing experience playing the game. The gameplay was refreshing and it lured me in with all the fancy gear. However, with PUBG: New State you will have to start your battle royale career in the franchise from scratch.

As I mentioned before, you can’t port your old account with all the achievements, ranks, and accolades into the new PUBG game. This is something that makes me not want to switch to PUBG: New State. Besides that, the game asks a lot from your smartphone. So, if you are someone on a budget device, it’s possible that you will not have a seamless experience, similar to mine.

Nevertheless, the game provides you with a new experience and a quick trip to the future. It’ll take some time to adapt to the refined gameplay but I suggest you give it a try before completely axing it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy the future.

Pros:

  • PC-like gameplay
  • New weapons, cars, and maps
  • Drones, revival and recruit system keeps the game engaging
  • Much better graphics and lighting
  • Futuristic elements

Cons:

  • Cannot port old account into PUBG: New State
  • A couple of bugs and glitches that can be irritating
  • Demands a lot from your smartphone in terms of graphical prowess

Rating (out of 10): 8

PUBG: New State is available for download on Android and iOS. It’s free-to-play and features microtransactions. In-app purchases include skins for guns and cosmetics for the player model. There is no pay-to-win behaviour here.


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NFT Collection to Become a TV Show for Kids

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Times Studio, the visual content producing arm of the Times magazine, is creating a new television show for kids featuring “Robotos,” a popular NFT collection. Created by artist Pablo Stanley, Robotos is a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) consisting of 10,000 droids with over 170 characters. NFTs are digital collectibles that can be bought using fiat and cryptocurrencies. Stanley said he has always dreamt of bringing characters to life and creating a universe around them. This is one of the first projects where the native IP of NFTs is being used to create a TV show.

“Robotos is a collection of droid characters designed by Pablo Stanley and minted as NFTs. They are constructed from various metal outfits, tin faces, digital accessories, top pieces, faces, backpacks, arms, and colours,” says the official website of Robotos, describing the project.

The TV content creators of the Times Studio believe that the opportunity to work alongside NFT creators is untapped, The Hollywood Reporter said. They hence, decided to explore the possibility of transforming NFTs into television characters and chose Stanley’s droid creations.

“There is so much incredible IP being developed within the NFT space. As the ecosystem continues to develop and achieve mainstream adoption, we are proud of the role Time can play by providing these creators with our platform and access to alternative mediums, including film and broadcast,” Time president Keith Grossman was quoted as saying.

Animated GIFs, PNG, and resolution free SVG files will be given as NFTs to buyers. As per the information listed on Robotos’ official page the price of each NFT is around 0.7 Ether or $ 3,054 (roughly Rs. 2.2 lakh).

Keeping the buzz alive on social media, the NFT artist has been posting pictures of what these look like on Twitter.

Up until now, elements inspired by films, TV and music content were reworked into NFTs, and with this project, the tables are set to turn.

On behalf of a broader artist community, Stanley said that the NFT space has changed the lives of artists.

“I’m grateful to the NFT space, which has supported artists like me and has had such a positive impact on creators’ lives. NFTs are bringing art, community, and technology together to create something unique and innovative—the future of storytelling and world-building. I can’t wait to narrate the tales of our new characters and bring the Robotos and NFT community along for the ride,” the NFT artist said in a statement.

In the third quarter of 2021, NFT sales volume surged to $10.7 billion (roughly Rs. 79,820 crore), up by over eightfold from the previous quarter, according to data from market tracker DappRadar.

On the biggest NFT marketplace, OpenSea, sales volumes hit $3.4 billion (roughly Rs. 25,320 crore) in August and remained strong even in September when the global stock markets faltered.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Amid Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin Hype, Not All Salvadorans ‘Feel the Bit’

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El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele took the stage last weekend at the end of “Bitcoin Week” to the cheers of fans delighted his Central American country has become the first to adopt crypto currency as legal tender, alongside the US dollar.

Bukele, 40, wearing his signature backwards baseball cap, referred to himself as a “saviour” as he unveiled plans to build “Bitcoin City” at the base of the Conchagua volcano overlooking the Pacific. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 45.11 lakh as of 5pm IST on November 25.

Funded by Bitcoin-backed bonds and powered by geothermal energy, the city would offer a tax-free haven. “Invest here and earn all the money you want,” he told the euphoric crowd.

Supporters have hailed Bukele’s plans – including making Bitcoin legal tender in September – saying they would bring jobs, financial inclusion and foreign investment to one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest countries.

“Feel the Bit” read the giant screen before Bukele – who brands himself “CEO of El Salvador” on Twitter – came on stage.

But some in El Salvador and beyond expressed outrage at the glitzy event in a nation beleaguered by inequality, violence and poor public services.

“This video makes me sick, angry, and sad at the same time,” said Marce, Twitter user @_lamismadeayer.

The government says the issuance of $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,450 crore) in “Volcano bonds” in partnership with Blockstream – a digital assets infrastructure company – would provide development funds. El Salvador currently faces a $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,725 crore) budget gap for next year according to credit rating agency Fitch.

But the Bitcoin bond is not designed to cover that gap.

Half of the bond money would go to infrastructure, including for building Bitcoin City, with the remainder used to purchase Bitcoin and locked up for five years. After the lock up, the Bitcoin can be sold, generating a capital return that will be split 50-50 between the government and investors, only after the initial $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,725 crore) are recouped, according to the plan.

The 10-year Bitcoin bond offers a 6.5 percent coupon, payable yearly, but another Salvadoran bond that matures in 2032 is currently yielding close to 13.9 percent.

Financial markets have reacted warily. The spread of Salvadoran yields to safe-haven US Treasuries has widened sharply since late April. This week it added an extra 79 basis points and sits above 1,200 bps, its widest ever.

Investors sold off El Salvador’s bonds in May after the Bukele-controlled Congress fired the attorney general and five Supreme Court judges, who were replaced with loyalists, critics say.

The 2025 bond yields more than 18 percent, according to Refinitiv data. With such a high cost, the country is effectively excluded from borrowing on the market.

Graham Stock, senior sovereign analyst at Blue Bat Asset Management, said government funding through Bitcoin could discourage El Salvador from adopting sustainable spending policies, adding the country would likely continue to need International Monetary Fund support.

“Building the economy around cryptocurrency mining and attracting crypto businesses is an untested strategy to put it mildly,” he said, adding Bukele did not appear to have plans to increase growth and tax revenues.

Talks with the IMF for a $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,450 crore) loan have stalled amid concerns over a lack of transparency and the price volatility of cryptocurrency, as well as fears of democratic backsliding as Bukele consolidates power. But many in the cryptocurrency community are upbeat, saying the bond will harness strong retail demand.

“Bitcoin bonds are a game-changer in fixed income markets,” said Moritz Wietersheim, founder of Specter Solutions, a Bitcoin security and product company.

Although Bitcoin has fallen about 16 percent from its record high of $68,990.90 (roughly Rs. 51 lakh) this month, it remains up over 90 percent this year.

“Bitcoin Week” marked the first time the digital currency experiment was stress-tested by international crypto evangelists.

As vendors hawked “Jesus Loves Bitcoin” shirts, panel discussions grouped crypto currency leaders and Salvadoran ministers. Excitement was widespread at having a ‘petri dish’, as many attendees called El Salvador’s experiment.

Several attendees aired worries about the government’s Chivo wallet, where Salvadorans can send and receive Bitcoin – highlighting tensions over a state tool for a currency created as an alternative to government financial systems.

Pre-loaded with $30 (roughly Rs. 2,230) for users and backed by a $150 million (roughly Rs. 1,120 crore) fund, Chivo allows users to make transactions to other Chivo users fee-free, but registration requires Salvadorans to enter their ID numbers and other personal information while transactions are kept on a ledger.

Some attendees described Chivo as a gateway to independent Bitcoin wallets, such as Muun or BlueWallet, that offer privacy.

“When I make a payment, in the notes section, I write ‘use Muun, don’t use Chivo,'” said Wietersheim, using the hashtag #FixChivo on Twitter.

Since its rollout, Chivo has been criticised for thousands of cases of fraud and money disappearing from wallets.

Several programmers said that for the speed of implementation – less than four months after Bukele announced it at a June conference – these technical problems were normal.

Bukele has blamed high demand for the issues. A spokesperson for the president’s office and Chivo could not be reached for comment.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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Oppo Find X4 Pro Specifications Tipped; May Include Snapdragon 845

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Oppo Find X4 Pro smartphone is reportedly inching towards its launch in China as the key specifications of the handset have surfaced online ahead of official confirmation from the company. The upcoming smartphone is said to carry a 120Hz refresh rate display. Oppo Find X4 Pro is likely to be powered by the Snapdragon 845 processor. The purported Oppo phone is expected to come with 80W fast charging support as well. Oppo Find X4 Pro will succeed Oppo Find X3 Pro which was globally unveiled in March this year.

Tipster Digital Chat Station posted key specifications of Oppo Find X4 Pro on Weibo. According to the tipster, the upcoming Oppo phone will feature a 6.7-inch display with 1440p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. As mentioned, under the hood, the Oppo Find X4 Pro is likely to pack Snapdragon 845. The predecessor, Oppo Find X3 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 888 SoC.

For optics, Oppo Find X4 Pro is said to feature a triple rear camera unit which includes two 50-megapixel sensors and a 13-megapixel or 12-megapixel shooter. For selfies, the phone is tipped to have a 32-megapixel sensor.

According to the tipster, Oppo Find X4 Pro will have a 12GB RAM variant and will support 80W fast charging. Battery and storage details of the upcoming handset were not suggested by the tipster.

Oppo Find X4 Pro will likely be a successor to the Oppo Find X3 Pro which was launched in March.

Oppo Find X3 Pro runs on ColorOS 11.2, based on Android 11 OS. It features a 6.7-inch QHD+ (1,440×3,216 pixels) 10-bit curved edged display with 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 500 nits. As mentioned, it has Snapdragon 888 SoC under the hood, paired with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage.

Oppo Find X3 Pro sports a quad rear camera unit which includes two 50-megapixel sensors, a 13-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 3-megapixel microlens sensor. Oppo Find X3 Pro has a 32-megapixel selfie camera as well. The flagship phone packs a 4,500mAh battery which supports 65W flash charging.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Nithya P Nair is a journalist with more than five years of experience in digital journalism. She specialises in business and technology beats. A foodie at heart, Nithya loves exploring new places (read cuisines) and sneaking in Malayalam movie dialogues to spice up conversations.
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Micromax Tipped to Launch New Smartphones in Mid-December

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Micromax is said to be working on new smartphones. The Indian smartphone brand is yet to announce details about the new handsets, but a fresh leak suggests that Micromax could launch new smartphones in the country in mid-December. The company has not unveiled any devices for quite some time now. In June this year, Micromax In 2b was launched with features such as Unisoc T610 SoC, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, and a 5,000mAh battery. It came as a successor to Micromax In 1b.

Tipster Hridesh Mishra (@HkMicromax) tweeted about the arrival of new Micromax handsets. According to the tipster, the Indian smartphone brand is planning to unveil the latest Micromax smartphones on December 15. Details about the names and specifications of the phones are unknown at this moment.

Micromax was earlier tipped to introduce a handset dubbed as Micromax In Note 1 Pro in the ‘In’ series. The purported handset was spotted on Geekbench then with the model number E7748, giving a glimpse at some of the key specifications of the phone. The handset was tipped to be powered by the MediaTek MT6785 SoC, which could be the MediaTek Helio G90 chipset. In addition, Micromax In Note 1 Pro is listed to pack 4GB RAM and run on the dated Android 10 operating system.

Micromax In Note 1 Pro achieved a single-core score of 519 and a multi-core score of 1,673 points on Geekbench. The handset is said to work on Android 11 as well. It is not clear yet if the company is planning to launch Micromax In Note 1 Pro in December.

As mentioned, Micromax’s latest offering is Micromax In 2b. The budget handset was launched in June with a price tag of Rs. 7,999 for the 4GB + 64GB storage option and Rs. 8,999 for the 6GB + 64GB storage model. It has been launched in Black, Blue, and Green colour options.




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Xiaomi MIUI 13 Launch Date, Eligible Devices Tipped

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MIUI 13 is currently under development and many newly launched high-end smartphones from Xiaomi have received the beta test builds via the stable beta channels. A fresh report suggests a list of smartphones from Xiaomi, Redmi, and Poco that are eligible to receive the Android 12-based UI. As per the report, the Chinese tech giant will directly release the stable version to users. There are 118 smartphones and devices that match the criteria for receiving the MIUI 13 update in the future.

Xiaomiui reports that Xiaomi may release the beta version of MIUI 13 on November 27, while the stable version of MIUI 13 is expected to release through a special event on December 16. The latest MIUI skin, based on Android 12, has been touted as a major upgrade over MIUI 12.5 and is expected to get major improvements and UI changes. Many devices are also said to be getting Android 11-based MIUI 13.

Not much has been revealed by the company around the features list of MIUI 13 as of now. Xiaomi hasn’t revealed much about it and not many tipsters have hinted at the possible features of the new Android-based skin. MIUI 13 is speculated to get a host of of new wallpapers and icons for eligible smartphones.

Some MIUI 13 eligible devices include:

Here are some of the devices with MIUI 13 internal stable beta builds:


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Micromax to Launch New Smartphones in India in Mid-December, Tipster Says

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JRR Tolkien to JRR Token: You Shall not Pass

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A cryptocurrency named after Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien has been blocked by the family and estate of the famed series’ author who died in 1973. A panel from the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) ruled that the domain name JRRToken [dot] com, set up earlier this August by Matthew Jensen, a developer from Florida, was “confusingly similar” to the trademark owned by the Tolkien estate. The WIPO has since stopped the developer operating under that name, and obtained its undertaking to delete any infringing online content.

As per Law360, the US-based developer paid the estate’s legal costs for an undisclosed sum. The Tolkien estate has recovered the JRRToken [dot] com domain name, as well as social media accounts associated with the coin.

As mentioned, the JRR Token was launched back in August with the ominous tagline: “The One Token That Rules Them All.” The coin’s creator, a Florida man named Matthew Jensen, even splurged on an ad of sorts featuring actor Billy Boyd, who played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and stated in the eventually deleted clip, “Do I think they’re going to the moon? There and back again.”

Once the Tolkien estate became aware of this token the response was swift. The estate took action by turning to the WIPO’s arbitration procedure, arguing that the token infringed on trademark rights to Tolkien’s name. The filing goes on to claim that the token’s domain name was “specifically designed to mislead internet users into believing that it and the website to which it resolves have some legitimate commercial connection” with Tolkien and his work.

Ultimately, the administrative panel concluded that the choice of name was intentional as there was no way that the creators were not “aware of Tolkien’s works” and that they had “created a website to trade off the fame of these works.”

Steven Maier, the solicitor for the Tolkien estate, said, “The Tolkien estate is vigilant in preventing unauthorised parties from taking advantage of the JRR Tolkien name and the content of JRR Tolkien’s literary works. This was a particularly flagrant case of infringement and the estate is pleased that it has been concluded on satisfactory terms.”

JRR Tolkien’s internationally-recognised literary works, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, have been translated into 36 languages and have sold an estimated 100 million copies worldwide.


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Shomik is a senior sub-editor at Gadgets 360. As someone who’s screened the consumer tech space for the past four years, he’s now shifted focus to the crypto-verse. When not converting currency values in his head, you may find him in an intense five-a-side football match or grinding out the newest Destiny 2 weekly challenge on his Xbox. You can reach him for tips or queries at ShomikB@ndtv.com.
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Oppo Reno 7 Series With Triple Rear Cameras, 90Hz Display Goes Official

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Oppo Reno 7 series was launched on Thursday. The new series comprises the Oppo Reno 7 5G as well as the Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G and Reno 7 SE 5G. All three new Oppo Reno phones come with an AMOLED display with a hole-punch design and feature a gradient back finish. In the series, the Oppo Reno 7 5G and Reno 7 Pro 5G both also feature a flat-edge frame — similar to the latest iPhone models. Alongside the Reno 7-series phones, Oppo unveiled the Enco Free 2i as its new truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds.

Oppo Reno 7 5G, Reno 7 Pro 5G, Reno 7 SE 5G price

Oppo Reno 7 5G price has been set at CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 31,500) for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. The phone also comes in 8GB + 256GB configuration that is priced at CNY 2,999 (roughly Rs. 35,000) and the top-of-the-line 12GB + 256GB option at CNY 3,299 (roughly Rs. 38,500). In contrast, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G price starts at CNY 3,699 (roughly Rs. 43,200) for the base 8GB + 256GB model. The phone also has a 12GB + 256GB option that carries a price tag of CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 46,700). The Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G, on the other hand, is priced at CNY 2,199 (roughly Rs. 25,700) for the 8GB + 128GB and CNY 2,399 (roughly Rs. 28,000) for the 8GB + 256GB model.

In terms of availability, the Oppo Reno 7 5G and Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G both will be available for purchase in China from December 3, while the Reno 7 SE 5G will go on sale starting December 17. All the three Oppo Reno 7 models will come in Morning Gold, Star Rain Wish, and Starry Night Black colours.

Details about the global launch of the Oppo Reno 7 series are yet to be revealed.

Oppo Reno 7 5G specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Oppo Reno 7 5G runs on Android 11 with ColorOS 12 on top and features a 6.43-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate. Under the hood, the Reno 7 5G has an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC, along with up to 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM. The phone comes with a triple rear camera setup that houses a 64-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.7 lens, along with an 8-megapixel wide-angle shooter and a 2-megapixel macro shooter.

For selfies and video chats, the Oppo Reno 7 5G has a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 selfie camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.4 lens.

The Oppo Reno 7 5G has up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.2, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Oppo has packed the Reno 7 5G with a 4,500mAh battery that supports 60W Flash Charge fast charging. Besides, the phone measures 156.8×72.1×7.59mm and weighs 185 grams.

Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G runs on Android 11-based ColorOS 12 and features a 6.55-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 1200-Max SoC, coupled with up to 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM. It houses a triple rear camera setup that has a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens, along with a wide-angle shooter and a 2-megapixel macro shooter.

oppo reno 7 pro 5g image Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G

Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G comes with the biggest display in the series
Photo Credit: Oppo

 

Oppo has provided a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 selfie camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.4 lens.

The Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G comes with up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.2, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. The phone comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor.

On the part of the battery, the Oppo Reno 7 Pro 5G has a 4,500mAh dual-cell battery that supports 65W fast charging. The phone measures 158.2×73.2×7.45mm and weighs 180 grams.

Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G runs on Android 11 with ColorOS 12 on top and features a 6.43-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 90Hz refresh rate. The phone has an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC, paired with 8GB LPDDR4x RAM. In terms of optics, the Reno 7 SE 5G carries a triple rear camera setup that has a 48-megapixel Sony IMX581 primary sensor with an f/1.7 lens, along with a 2-megapixel macro shooter and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.

oppo reno 7 se 5g image Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G

Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC
Photo Credit: Oppo

 

For selfies and video chats, the Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G has a 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 selfie camera sensor at the front, with an f/2.4 lens.

The Oppo Reno 7 SE 5G houses up to 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. Connectivity options 5G, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.2, GPS/ A-GPS, and a USB Type-C port. Onboard sensors include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Oppo has packed a 4,500mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging. Lastly, the phone measures 160.2×73.2×7.45mm and weighs 171 grams.

Oppo Enco Free 2i price, specifications

The Oppo Enco Free 2i come with a price tag of CNY 499 (roughly Rs. 5,800). The earbuds will go on sale in China starting December 3.

oppo enco free 2i image Oppo Enco Free 2i

Oppo Enco Free 2i will go on sale in China starting December 3
Photo Credit: Oppo

 

In terms of specifications, the Oppo Enco Free 2i is a slightly tweaked version of the Enco Free 2 that was launched in May. The earbuds come with an active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and are claimed to deliver up to 30 hours of playback on a single charge. Oppo has also provided a fast connectivity experience with its smartphone and wearable devices.


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‘Not Implausible’: Stripe Keeps Door for Crypto Payment Options Open

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San Francisco, US-based online payments firm Stripe says it is not “implausible” to begin accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method in the future. Previously, the company had begun accepting Bitcoin payments but discontinued the practice in 2018. Presently, when the overall crypto market cap is around a whopping $3 trillion (roughly Rs. 2,22,79,296 crore), it does not come as a surprise that Stripe is open to entering the space again. For now, Stripe co-founder John Collison has kept the doors to crypto open.

“There have been a lot of developments of late with an eye to making cryptocurrencies better and, in particular, scalable, and acceptable cost as a payment method,” CNBC quoted Collison as saying.

The company recently established a team dedicated to research on the crypto space as well as to explore the “web3” concept – which refers to the decentralised future of Internet as we know it.

Earlier in November, the company roped in Matt Huang, co-founder of crypto-focussed venture capital firm Paradigm, to join its board of directors.

Collision however, did express his reservations around the crypto space. The use of cryptocurrencies as a “speculative investment” is something that is “not that relevant to” the working of Stripe.

Stripe, founded in 2009, has emerged to be the largest privately-held fintech company in the US with a market valuation of $95 billion (roughly Rs. 7,07,598 crore).

Meanwhile, the crypto market has significantly grown on a global level.

While El Salvador legalised Bitcoin as a legal tender in September, places like the New York City and Miami town have adopted their own native city-coins based on the crypto technology.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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TRAI Wants to Make USSD Messages Free for All Users

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a proposal to make Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) messages free for all mobile customers in the country. USSD messages are used by many operators and banking services, often on feature phones that do not have access to the internet. The proposal seeks to bring the cost of USSD messages from a maximum of 50 paise down to zero. The regulator cited low call and SMS prices as a reason for proposing the removal of charges for mobile customers.

In a statement on November 24, spotted by TelecomTalk, TRAI said that the proposal to make USSD messages free for all users is based on recommendations of a high-level Committee on Deepening of Digital Payments (CDDP) constituted by the Reserve Bank of India to encourage digital payments in the country.

USSD messages are also used by telecom operators to enable feature phone users to check their balance and enable services without access to the Internet.

TRAI said it analysed the issue on request from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and the regulatory body believes that rationalisation of USSD charges is necessary to protect the interests of USSD users and to promote digital financial inclusion. The Telecommunication Tariff (61st Amendment) Order, 2016 had previously reduced the USSD-based tariff ceiling from Rs. 1.50 to the existing 50 paise per session.

“The Authority proposes to revise the framework for USSD based mobile banking and payment services by prescribing a ‘Nil’ charge per USSD session for mobile banking and payment service, while keeping the remaining items of USSD unchanged,” TRAI said. The draft Amendment Order has been published on TRAI’s website, and the regulatory authority has invited stakeholders to send in written comments before December 8, according to TRAI.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.


As a writer on technology with Gadgets 360, David Delima is interested in open-source technology, cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and loves to read and write about how the Internet works. David can be contacted via email at DavidD@ndtv.com, as well as on Twitter at @DxDavey. 
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