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Tech News March 15: HMD could bring 5G to mid-range Nokia 7.3, Xiaomi could launch wireless powerbank in India, and more

Tech News March 15: Nokia 7.3 could be 5G, Facebook MSQRD selfie app to shutdown, Xiaomi could launch wireless power bank and more.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 15, 2020 8:19:53 pm
Google, Pixel 5, Pixel 5 will be mid-range phone, Samsung offers UV-C sanitizing services, Covid-19, Coronavirus, apple, top tech news of the day Is Google giving up on the flagship smartphone market?

Tech News March 15: As the coronavirus outbreak spreads, Samsung has launched a new initiative through which the company will clean your Galaxy smartphone for free. The program is reportedly called the Galaxy Sanitising Service. It’s unknown when the program launched, but Samsung’s Malaysian support website suggests it may have gone live on March 13.

As per the initiative, Samsung will sanitise your phone with UV-C light to kill harmful germs and bacteria. The special service, according to blog SamMobile, is available in 19 markets including the US, Argentina, Chile, Vietnam, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Ukraine. In the coming days, Samsung is expected to expand the initiative to other countries, including India.

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Google’s Pixel smartphone has always been seen as a competitor to the iPhone, but new rumours suggest that the Pixel 5 might not be a flagship phone at all. A new report from 9to5Google claims that the Pixel 5 will likely be a mid-range smartphone. It will reportedly sport Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor and not the latest Snapdragon 865 processor.

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Tech News March 15 Highlights:

20:13 (IST)15 Mar 2020
HMD Global could bring 5G support to mid-range Nokia 7.3

HMD Global could soon bring 5G support to the lowest price bracket with the launch of the Nokia 7.3-- the successor to the Nokia 7.2. As per a report by the Nokiapoweruser, Nokia 8.3 may be launched on March 19 alongside the Nokia 7.3-- both of which will be 5G-enabled phones. The Nokia 8.3 is expected to feature the Snapdragon 765 processor and the Nokia 7.3 could hit the market in late Q2 2020.

16:20 (IST)15 Mar 2020
Facebook to shut down MSQR AR selfie app

Facebook is shutting down its MSQRD app, which it purchased in 2016. This Snapchat-style selfie app will be permanently closed on April 13, the company said.

"MSQRD was fundamental to building early momentum for AR and providing insights to build the platform Facebook has today," the app wrote in an update on its Facebook page. "Our focus is now on delivering you the best-possible AR experiences through Spark AR, the platform that allows anyone to create their own AR effects and share them across the Facebook family."

When Facebook acquired the MSQRD app, it used its face-swapping tech in Facebook Live. The app has essentially been used to build Facebook's AR platform, Spark AR. 

14:37 (IST)15 Mar 2020
Xiaomi to launch a wireless-charging Power bank in India

Xiaomi recently shared a teaser on its official Twitter handle suggesting the launch of a new wireless-charging Power bank in India. "One less wire to deal with. Mi fans, it's time to #CutTheCord. All the power you need without any hassle," it tweeted.

The company only shared the launch date of the products, which is March 16, 2020. It did not share the name of the product. Instead, it asked the users to guess what it is.

13:21 (IST)15 Mar 2020
WhatsApp's Advanced Search feature is here

WhatsApp has rolled out its Advanced Search feature that lets users search for images, audio, videos, GIFs, documents, and links in addition to the text messages. Here's how it works.

12:27 (IST)15 Mar 2020
TikTok is now most downloaded app in India

As per a report by Sensor Tower, TikTok was the most downloaded app in India last month, with over 46.6 million installs. According to Sensor Tower, this was the app’s best month ever, both in terms of revenue and installs. It states that the app was able to outperform WhatsApp and Facebook. Read more here.

11:52 (IST)15 Mar 2020
Govt hikes GST on mobile phones from April 1

Smartphones are set to get expensive from April 1, as GST Council has raised taxes to 18 per cent. Till now the GST rate on mobile phones was 12 per cent while batteries and other components were taxed at 18 per cent, causing an inverted tax structure. Industry experts warn that this move could prove disastrous for the booming smartphone industry in India, which is seen as the world's second-largest smartphone market. In a tweet, Xiaomi India MD Manu Kumar Jain said the move will “crumble the industry”. All Xiaomi smartphones are being made in India.

10:10 (IST)15 Mar 2020
Google Pixel 5 might not be a flagship smartphone

To increase sales of Pixel smartphones, Google has a new strategy: to exit the premium smartphone market. That's what a new report from 9to5Google seems to be indicating. The report, based on leaked codes, suggests that the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL may feature a Snapdragon 765G processor. Both phones will support 5G, however. 

If this news turns out to be true, it would mark the exit of Google from the top-end smartphone category. This is the same segment where Apple, OnePlus and Samsung currently lead the market. 

Google hasn't had a hit Pixel smartphone. The company's hardware business continues to struggle due to intense competition in the premium segment. 


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