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Redmi K30 Ultra makes its way to TENAA, could launch soon

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Xiaomi is likely to add another device to its Redmi K30 series in the coming weeks. New TENAA listing suggests it will be called the Redmi K30 Ultra, supporting 5G networks. The model number of the new phone is M2006J10C as spotted in the Chinese Regulatory TENAA database. According to reports, the name of this smartphone could be Redmi K30 Ultra 5G.

The vast majority of 5G phones released by Xiaomi and Redmi so far run on Qualcomm chipsets. But now the company could launch its first Mediatek hardware-powered flagship phone.

Watch: OnePlus Nord Review

Redmi K30 Ultra expected specifications

Redmi K30 Ultra is expected to feature a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a punch hole cut out for the front camera. The display will offer full HD+ resolution at 1080 x 2400 pixels. It will also pack an in-display fingerprint sensor. And According to the XDA report, the display of Redmi K30 Ultra 5G will support the 120Hz refresh rate.

The phone will run on MIUI 12 version which is built over Android 10. It will come powered by a 2.6GHz octa-core processor, expected to be the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+.  It will get RAM options ranging from 6GB to 12GB. Talking about storage, the smartphone could come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options. However, the phone is unlikely to come with a MicroSD slot for storage expansion. According to the reports, the phone will get a 20-megapixel selfie camera built into a pop-up module. There will be a quad-camera setup, placed inside a circular module at the back of the phone. The primary camera will pack a lens will be 64 megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor.

Xiaomi is working on its own Redmi Smartwatch, could launch soon

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Xiaomi is working on its own Redmi Smartwatch, could launch soon

And finally, this smartphone is likely to pack a 4500mAh battery (rated 4400 mAh on the Chinese website). This unit will support 33W fast charging via USB Type C port on the smartphone.

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Realme C11 update rolling out with August 2020 security patch

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Realme is rolling out a new software update for its newly-launched Realme C11 smartphone. The latest software update for the device brings the August 2020 Android security patch along with some bug fixes and overall system stability to the phone. The update is reportedly rolling out for the users based in India, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

The latest update carries the software build version RMX2185_11_A.67 and is about 3.0 GB in firmware size, RealmeUpdate reports. The software runs on the latest Android 10 OS, with realme UI 1.0 custom skin on top. It brings the usual bug fixes and security enhancements with the August 2020 security patch.

Watch: Realme 6i Camera Review

The company is rolling out the new update via OTA (Over The Air) in a staged manner. Thus, it may take a while to reach all Realme C11 units gradually. Users will receive a push notification for installing the firmware. Alternatively, the update can also be checked by going to Settings > About Phone > System update.

As per the Android bulletin changelog, the August 2020 security patch fixes a host of security bugs. It mentions fixes for 10 high vulnerabilities in the framework build and 4 high issues in the system component. One of these flaws could have exploited the smartphone’s data file security. The update also addresses the security issues in the Kernel components.

Realme C11 features, specifications

The Realme C11 flaunts a 6.5-inch IPS LCD screen with HD+ (720×1560 pixels) resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. The device also features a dual-camera setup at the back that includes a 13-megapixel primary sensor with f/2.2 aperture. At the front, it has a 5-megapixel selfie camera.

The Realme C11 has a Mediatek Helio G35 SoC and PowerVR GE8320 GPU. It packs a 5,000-mAh battery with dual-sim support. In connectivity, the smartphone supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, 4G LTE, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port for charging.

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Infinix Hot 10 with MediaTek Helio G70, Android 10 spotted online: Check details

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It seems that Infinix will soon add a new phone to its Infinix Hot series. In May this year, the brand launched the Infinix Hot 9 series and now, it is expected to launch its successor soon. The upcoming Infinix Hot 10 has reportedly made an appearance on a Google Play Console listing as well as on TUV Rheinland. Read on to know more about the new budget phone.

The alleged Infinix Hot 10 device has two model numbers, X682C and X682B, as per the TUV Rheinland listing. It suggests that the handset will arrive with a 4GB RAM option and an octa-core MediaTek processor. It could feature a 5,100mAh battery. As per the Google Play Console listing, the device will ship with Android out of the box and sport a 720×1,640 pixels display with 320ppi pixel density.

Watch: Realme 6i Camera Review

The Infinix Hot 10 is listed with model number ‘Infinix-X682C.’ It will pack a MediaTek MT6769 SoC under the hood, which is basically the MediaTek Helio G70 SoC. The same chip is also powering the Realme Narzo 10A smartphone. It seems that the brand will finally be offering a better processor, which will be good news for many users. However, it remains to be seen what comprises Infinix plans to make in order to pack a better chip inside the handset. It is expected to come with a punch-hole display design.

The device could have Mali G52 GPU clocked at 820MHz. The company is likely to offer the Infinix Hot 10 in other variants, apart from just 4GB RAM. It is said to feature a 5,100mAh battery as well. The Google Play Console listing and TUV Rheinland listing were first spotted by 91Mobiles. To recall, the Infinix Hot 9 was launched with a starting price of Rs 9,499, and its sequel is expected to cost a little more. The Infinix Hot 10 series price in India could be under Rs 15,000 segment. It is worth mentioning that the company is yet to officially confirm the existence of the handset.

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The best free apps for video calling

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to limit face-to-face association, most of us are relying on video calls to keep in touch with work colleagues, family, and friends — and if you’re also facing financial difficulties, free is best. Zoom continues to top the list of videoconferencing apps, but there are a bunch of applications out there that will allow you to meet others online for free.

We’ve listed a few of the best known videoconferencing apps, along with a couple of popular text chat apps that include video calling features. While most of these already have free versions, some are offering access to additional features for those who are currently working from home or who want to check up on friends and relatives online.

There are a number of apps we have not included, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and FaceTime, that allow you to do video chats. We’ve left them out because they require that all participants be members of a specific social network (Facebook, WhatsApp) or that you use a specific type of device (FaceTime, which is Apple-only). We’ve also tried to concentrate on applications that allow you to participate without having to download the app (unless you’re the host).

A good idea is to try one or two out for yourself to see how well they fit in with your style and those of your friends. This list, however, is a good place to start.

The most popular video meeting app

Zoom
Zoom’s ease of use and multiple features has made it very popular.

Zoom has become one of the most well-known videoconferencing apps, largely because of its easy-to-use interface. Originally, the company pushed Zoom mostly for corporate use, but it has also provided a free basic version for individuals. At first, because Zoom didn’t expect its sudden popularity among non-business users, there were several missteps involving privacy and security. However, the company quickly instituted a number of changes and updates to address these issues (including, most recently, end-to-end encryption for its free users). And its popularity doesn’t appear to have suffered.

The free version of Zoom allows up to 100 users to meet, but there is a 40-minute limit on meetings of more than two people, which is, for many of us, pretty limiting. As of this writing, Zoom was not offering any special deals for those now working at home, but it does have a page offering help and advice to new users.

Noteworthy features

  • Host up to 100 participants
  • Unlimited one-on-one meetings
  • Forty-minute limit on group meetings

A longtime go-to for online calls

Skype
Skype, now part of Microsoft, has added videoconferencing to its VoIP features.

Skype has been the go-to platform for one-on-one conversations since the beta was released in 2003. Its Meet Now feature (which is accessed by choosing the “Meet Now” button on the left side of the app) allows videoconferencing; up to 50 people can meet with no time limits on meetings.

There is also a separate page that lets you create a free video meeting without having to actually sign up for the service. However, you get more features using the app, so if you’re okay with registering for a free account, you’re better off doing that.

Noteworthy features

  • Record the call for up to 30 days
  • Can blur the background (if you have the app)
  • Share presentations
  • Up to 50 participants, no time limit

A corporate app with a solid freemium version

Cisco Webex
Cisco Webex is a well-known business conferencing app.

Webex is a videoconferencing app that has been around since the ‘90s; it was acquired by Cisco in 2007. While it’s been mainly known as a business application and continues to focus on serving companies, it does have a fairly generous free version that’s worth checking out. For the current emergency, it has widened the features of the freemium version from 50 to 100 participants, and you can meet for up to 50 minutes.

Noteworthy features

  • Up to 100 participants
  • Up to 50 minutes for each meeting
  • Can record meetings and save locally

Now being featured on your Gmail page

Google Meet
Google Meet recently became available to Gmail users.

Until recently, Google Meet (formerly Hangouts Meet) was only available to educators and those subscribing to Google’s paid service, G Suite. Since then, Google has made Meet available to all users of its free Gmail service — in fact, it has added a link to Meet on the left side of its Gmail online app (and is rolling it out to its mobile apps as well).

Meet offers a very simple way to video chat with colleagues, friends, and family — assuming they all have Google accounts, which is a requirement for both hosts and participants. To start, simply go to Meet, click on “Join or start a meeting,” give the meeting a name (if you want), and send out your invites. You can also schedule a meeting using Google Calendar, and Google includes a number of security features such as the ability to admit or deny entry.

Noteworthy Features

  • Unlimited meeting time until September 30th; afterward, 60-minute limit
  • Up to 100 participants
  • Offers noise cancellation feature

A new mobile version not just for business

Chats can include text, photos and audio.
Chats can include text, photos, and audio.

Teams’ video meeting features are basic, but effective.
Teams’ video meeting features are basic but effective.

Microsoft Teams was built as a competitor to Slack and is an especially good idea if you’re part of the Office ecosystem. Until recently, it was mainly focused on business use. However, Microsoft has now stepped out of its three-piece suit and unveiled a free personal version of Teams that works on iPhones and Android devices (no desktop yet), and lets anyone chat, talk, or have video meetings with up to 20 people. You just have to create an account with Microsoft in order to use it.

Noteworthy Features

  • Create groups of up to 20 people
  • Can share your screen
  • Text chats can include photos and audio files

A mobile app best suited to one-to-ones

Google Duo
Google Duo has a very simplistic web interface.

You don’t really expect Google to only offer one simple videoconferencing app, do you? Besides Google Meet (which is slowly replacing Hangouts, and which was originally meant to be mainly for business users), Google also has its mobile app Duo, which was built as a consumer app. The company recently added invite links to Duo, along with a very basic web interface. In addition, the app now allows you to create groups of up to 12 participants (but only on its mobile versions). All participants must be Duo users, which can be an issue for wider use.

Noteworthy Features

  • Can record a message
  • Create groups of up to 12 people
  • Uses end-to-end encryption

Slowly being sunset, but still useful

Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is slowly being sunset, but it’s still available if you want to use it.

And finally, there’s Google Hangouts the “classic” version, which is still available, although the company is not promoting it, especially to G Suite users and corporate customers who are being encouraged to use Meet.

All that being said, if you’re feeling old-fashioned, you can use Hangouts to video chat with up to 10 people if you’re using Gmail or G Suite Basic (up to 25 if you’re using the business or educational G Suite versions). There aren’t a lot of additional features. You can add text messages and share screens, but that’s about it. Still, if you want quick and easy, this is worth checking out.

Noteworthy features

  • Up to 10 participants for Gmail users
  • Voice conversations can have up to 150 participants

A corporate meeting app with a free basic version

Starleaf
Starleaf is an enterprise application that has a free version available.

If you’re not a company, you may not have heard of StarLeaf. It’s a platform for large companies — the kind that doesn’t quote a price on its website; you have to call a salesperson. But it is now offering its basic video and messaging product free of charge for those trying to keep in touch during the pandemic.

Noteworthy features

  • Up to 20 participants
  • Forty-six minutes for each meeting

Open source with plenty of features

Jitsi Meet
Jitsi Meet is an easy-to-use open-source video platform.

Another “you probably haven’t heard of it” videoconference app, Jitsi Meet is an open-source platform that lets you easily meet online by simply navigating to the site and clicking on “Go.” If you’re more technically inclined, you can build your own via Jitsu Videobridge, but most people will be happy with the quick web version, which offers many features found in more well-known apps, such as chat, session recording (to Dropbox), and the ability to “kick out” unruly participants.

Noteworthy features

  • Up to 75 participants (up to 35 for the best experience)
  • Public or private chat
  • Can blur the background (currently in beta)
  • Integrates with Slack, Google Calendar, and Office 365

Single meeting rooms with up to four participants

Whereby
Whereby’s free version is rather limited, but it has some fun features.

Whereby’s free version is rather limited compared to some others mentioned here. It gives you the use of a single meeting room with up to four participants, along with the ability to lock rooms (participants have to “knock” to gain entrance). Each room has its own URL that you get to choose, which is great — assuming that nobody else has already taken that name. (For example, I tried whereby.com/testroom and found it was already taken.) But it also has a chat function, lets you share a screen, mute or eject users, and has some fun emoji. If you have more people in mind, the Pro version ($9.99 per month) offers up to 12 participants per room in up to three meeting rooms.

Noteworthy features

  • Up to four participants in free version
  • Screen-sharing
  • YouTube integration
  • Ability to “lock” rooms

An email app with a simple videoconferencing feature

The Spike vide app has a very simple interface.
The Spike vide app has a very simple interface.

Spike is an email app that has been adding collaborative features since I reviewed it last year. With the current demand for online meetings, the company has recently added videoconferencing to its repertoire. The feature is very easy to use, especially since you don’t need to register or install anything to use it. Just go to the videoconferencing link, type in your name, and, optionally, a meeting topic. The meeting URL is then copied to your clipboard, or you can send an invite via email. There are few extras in this app: you can share your screen or stick up an emoji, but that’s about it, and the host has no control over the meeting. There are no limits on the number of participants or meeting time.

Noteworthy features

  • Simple interface
  • No limits on participants or meeting times

More alternatives

There is a wide range of other Zoom alternatives out there, as listed in this Twitter thread, including RemoteHQ, Talky, Highfive, and 8×8 (which acquired Jitsi in 2018). Some of these don’t have a free version; for example, BlueJeans, a more well-known option, starts at $9.99 per month for unlimited-time meetings with up to 50 participants.

Slack is mainly set up for text chat, but it does give you the ability to make voice and video calls as well. If you’re on the free version of Slack, you can make a video call to an individual. But if you want to host a meeting between several people, as opposed to a one-on-one conversation, and want to do it for free, you’ll need to look for an alternative.

Special mention should be made of Houseparty, a popular consumer app that lets up to eight people use a virtual room to chat. In fact, anybody can drop into a friend’s online session without an invitation (although you can “lock” your room to prevent intruders). However, it does demand that all participants register in order to use it — and registration includes your name, email address, birthdate, and phone number. So we didn’t include it among our recommendations.

Update June 12th, 9:27AM ET: This article has been updated to include 8×8’s acquisition of Jitsi in 2018.

Update August 7th, 11AM ET: This article was originally published on June 11th, and it has been updated to include the “personal” version of Microsoft Teams.

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