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March 2018 / `50/

Keep Your MoneY Safe

Super LIght Android oreo Go edition is Here

Reviewed: Samsung Galaxy S9+ Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier Toshiba wireless earphones

DCP No. F.2(I/I) Press/2009



Editor-in-Chief: Aroon Purie

Senior Assistant Editor: Nidhi Singal Assistant Editor: Sapna Nair Purohit Associate Art Director: Amit Sharma Chief Designer: Raj Verma Production: Surinder Hastu (Chief of

Production), Harish Aggarwal, Vijay Sharma, Naveen Gupta Chief Executive Officer: Ashish Bagga Group Business Head: Manoj Sharma Associate Publisher(IMPACt): Anil Fernandes

IMPACt tEAM Senior General ManaGerS (iMPaCT):

Kaustav Chatterjee (East), V. Somasundaram (Chennai), Jitendra Lad (West), Head (North) – Dipayan Chowdhary Product Head: Jaykumar Mistry

Cover Story


Super Light Entry-level smartphones get a boost with Android Oreo Go edition

SALES AND OPERAtIONS Chief General ManaGer: D.V.S. Rama Rao Senior General ManaGer (naTional): Vinod Das General ManaGer (SouTh): Deepak Bhatt General ManaGer (WeST): Rajesh Menon reGional ManaGer (eaST): V.a. Chotalia


Keep Your Money Safe

How to be cautious while transacting online

General ManaGer (oPeraTionS): Rakesh Sharma

Volume 10, Number 09; March - April 2018


Review Samsung Galaxy S9+ Copyright Living Media India Ltd. All rights reserved throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited. Printed and published by Ashish Bagga on behalf of Living Media India Ltd. Printed at Thomson Press India Ltd., 18-35 Milestone, Delhi Mathura Road, Faridabad-121007, (Haryana), Published at K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi-110001. India Today does not take responsibility for returning unsolicited publication material.

Cover Design: Amit ShArmA

Asus VivoBook S410 Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Note 5 Pro Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier

Xiaomi mi body composition scale afTer launching smarT TVs in India, Xiaomi has introduced a new ecosystem product called the Mi Body Composition Scale in its smart devices range. Priced at `1,999, this scale has been designed to provide body composition statistics through a series of complex algorithms and advanced Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). It gives the user a picture of their overall health and fitness with access to precise body data including accurate body composition statistics – weight, body mass index (BMI), body fat, muscle mass, water percentage, bone mass, visceral fat, body score basal metabolism and more. Mi Body Composition Scale syncs data with the Mi Fit app, where the data is displayed in an easy-to-read graph, making it easier for users to understand and track progress. Up to 16 user profiles can be created using the Mi Fit app, and unlike many other scales where the profile has to be switched manually, this Mi Scale automatically 2

identifies each family member. The Mi Body Composition Scale has been designed using tempered glass with high light transmittance for the main panel. Xiaomi has also added an anti-slip finish to the scale to prevent accidental fall. Weighing 1.6 kg, the scale can be used to measure weight range between 5 kg to 150 kg and pairs with the app over low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 technology. Available in white colour, the scale can be purchased from Xiaomi India website or from Mi Homes.

Toshiba has forayed inTo the audio segment in the Indian market with the launch of a range of earphones and headphones, Bluetooth soundbars, portable music systems and Bluetooth speakers. The two Bluetooth soundbars – SBX1000 and SBX210 – launched by Toshiba have can be mounted below the TV or on top of the entertainment unit. The SBX1000 is a 2.1 system featuring a built-in subwoofer and claims to offer high-quality sound for wall-to-wall expansive audio, delivering a total RMS power of 60W. The SBX210 comes with two 25W speakers and supports a 3.5-mm aux-in port to connect to mobile devices. Both sound-bars sup-

Toshiba audio d s Products

port Bluetooth connectivity and come with remote control. The SBX1000 and SBX210 are priced at `11,799 and `14,899, respectively. Toshiba has launched two overthe-ear headphones and three in-ear headphones. The wired RZE headsets – D200H and D250H – come with a 40-mm speaker unit and are priced at `1,499 each. These headphones are light-weight and come with cushioned earpads and an adjustable headband. There three RZE in-ear headphones come with a built-in microphone and have ear tips that are designed to fit the shape and contour of the ears snugly. The D100E model is priced at `1,099, whereas the Bluetooth-enabled BT110E and BT300E – these can pair wirelessly with phone or any other device (mp3 player, laptop, etc.) – are priced at `1,999 and `2,989, respectively. The BT110E and BT300E can connect up to two compatible devices and deliver four hours of non-stop play or talk time. Toshiba has also launched two portable sound system models featuring AM/FM stereo radio with CD, USB and AUX inputs. The CWU11, priced at `8,899, supports NFC and Bluetooth connectivity, too. The CWU500 model, priced at `14,699, delivers a more immersive sound.

The soundbars can be mounted below the TV or on top of the entertainment unit


Super Light Cover Story



ne out of three feature phone the same security features as on Android Oreo; the users in India is expected to apps come will come with built-in mobile security upgrade to a data-enabled and the Find My Device feature. Besides, users will phone by the next year, acbe able to download almost any app from the Play cording to a study by Store – the apps designed for the Go edition will be International Data highlighted. Corporation. Sensing a huge “Currently, roughly 55 per cent of smartphone opportunity, phone compasales still come from the sub-$100 category. If nies have been on a lowthis really is an optimised OS, it will help devices budget smartphone manufacturing spree – ones that don’t have the high processing power, high that come with lower specifications but support battery and high memory to process applications mobile Internet. However, bundling a fully-loaded and deliver a great experience,” says Anshul Gupta, Android operating system in these entry-level Research Director, Gartner. smartphones was a futile move. Devices slowing Several handsets powered by the Android Oreo down and the perennial shortage of storage left Go edition will soon hit the market. For instance, consumers discontented. When Google’s Android Lava’s Z50 will have a 4.5-inch, 2.5D Curved Oreo Go edition – a trimmed down/ optimised verCorning Gorilla glass display, powered by 1.1 GHz sion of Android’s latest version – taiQuad-core Mediatek Processor, paired lored for smartphones with 1 GB or with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal less of RAM was launched, entry-level storage and supports 10 Indian lansmartphones found their match. guages including Hindi. There is a 5 MP With app size Explaining what the Go Edition is, rear and front camera, too, with flash. halved and feWer Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product, Although Lava has not yet revealed pre-installed Android says, “Android Oreo Go edition the price of Z50, it will be bundled with apps, the android is specifically optimised to bring the a cashback offer of `2,000 from Airtel. oreo go edition magic of Google and Android to smartWith an eye on first-time smartoffers double the phones with limited memory and prophone users in India, Airtel and Google internal storage cessing power.” It focuses on offering have partnered to bring a range of more storage and better performance Android Go based 4G smartphones to without compromising on security. the Indian market under its ‘Mera Google has designed a set of apps that consumes Pehla Smartphone’ initiative. Micromax’s Bharat less memory and storage space, and offers the Go, expected to be priced around `5,000 with basic same experience as Android Oreo. features such as a 4.5-inch display with a resoluWith the app size halved and fewer pre-intion of 854x480p, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of onstalled apps, the user would get almost double the board storage, is a part of this initiative. internal storage (available for use) as compared to Leading chipset makers Qualcomm and smartphones with the same internal storage runMediatek, too, are supporting this platform. The ning on Android Nougat. latter is working closely with Reliance Jio for an Lava is one of the first few handset manufacAndroid Oreo Go Edition smartphone. Nokia, too, turers to have adopted the Android Oreo Go has announced the launch of Nokia 1 – a compact Edition. And this is what it discovered: in a smartsmartphone with a 4.5-inch display, 1.1 GHz phone running Android OS, of the 8 GB internal Mediatek processor, 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of instorage, only close to 3 GB was user accessible. ternal storage. But with the Android Oreo Go edition, users will get The new platform is expected to breathe close to 5.5 GB (out of the 8 GB internal storage) life into the jaded low-end smartphone category. for downloading apps and storing content. This “People were not moving from feature to smartalso helps in boosting RAM performance by upto phones, opting to buy another feature phone in50 per cent, enabling applications to open quickly. stead. If there is a quality smartphone, not only in The Go edition comes with apps such as Google terms of hardware but also in terms of the experiGo for information, YouTube Go for watching videos ence, feature phone users will feel encouraged to with limited connectivity, the Google Assistant upgrade to smartphones,” adds Gupta of Gartner. (voice assistant) and the Files Go app to get rid of unwanted content. The optimised version will offer @nidhisingal 5

Cover Story

Keep Your MoneY Safe Due e Diligence D g c while transacting c g online is imperative as number o of o malware anD D phishing g attacks c increase. i c

By Nidhi SiNgal SiNg il a illustration by Rajj Verma



onvenience comes at a price. although online banking has made our trips to the bank infrequent, it has put our money and data at a huge risk. more than 25,800 fraud cases related to credit/ debit cards and internet banking were reported in 2017 (up to December 21), according to the reserve bank of india. with the mushrooming of payments apps, users are increasingly becoming vulnerable to phishing and malware attacks. shocking as it is, not even the established banks are insulated. Quick heal security labs detected an android malware that has been targeting over 232 banking apps including those of sbi, hDfc bank and icici bank. “most consumers are confident that they’re safe online, but hackers have proven otherwise,” says ritesh chopra, country manager, consumer business unit, symantec. although not every app or platform is being attacked, being cautious never harmed anyone. here’s what you can do to safeguard against online frauds. to start with, create a barrier by password-protecting all the devices – laptops, tablets, pcs and smartphones – that you may or may not use to access bank websites or payment apps. set a daily transaction limit and turn on the two-factor authentication system. this two-step verification process requires you to enter additional information such as a verification code, a special pin or numbers from the back of your card. sign up for log-in notifications wherever available and always log out of the session after transacting. changing account passwords regularly is a good practice. the number of users opting for online banking is expected to double – to 150 million – by 2020, according to a report by boston consulting group. this is thanks to the rise of smartphones and payments apps promising us better deals and more handy ways to transact. payment-related apps present an amplified risk of frauds and

need to be dealt with more cautiously. incidence of hacking and malware is very high on the android mobile platform; whereas on the ios operating system, it is relatively rare. even though app developers in the payments space are deploying the best security measures available, there are numerous third-party apps that infiltrate your mobile to access critical information. “mobile banking apps do not adequately shield their apps to make them tamper-proof. app shielding includes code obfuscation to prevent reverseengineering, and anti-tampering mechanisms such as certificate pinning and debug detection. currently, apps implement platform-specific best practices, but they are insufficient to protect against attacks across the device, network and app tiers,” explains manjunath bhat, research Director, gartner. in the maze of similar looking apps published on app stores, knowing the authentic ones is critical. steer clear of counterfeit apps by checking the developer/publisher name. be cautious about the permissions an app seeks at the time of installation. “connected devices (smartphones) are at an increased exposure to cyber risks, which gets further accentuated by multiple mobile apps. the risk increases significantly with the apps, since they get access to lot of information from the phone such as access to the phone directory, messages, pictures, etc. some of these apps have the ability to even remotely share this information,” says atul gupta, partner and head - it advisory (risk consulting), kpmg in india. when you log in to a payments app, do not auto-save any information, be it the log-in credentials or the card details. apart from password-protecting these apps, it is advisable to update the apps and the device’s operating system when available as the updates often include security patches against prevailing attacks.

be cautious about the permissions an app seeks at the time of installation



Two Much



iaomi’s Redmi Note phones have been the best-selling smartphones in the sub`15,000 category. This is hardly surprising given their great design, performance, camera, battery and mostly, competitive pricing. The company has launched two successors to the Redmi Note 4 – the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro, of which the latter comes with a better processor and a dual camera. The Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro look similar from the outside but are different inside. The Redmi Note 5 runs on the Snapdragon 625 processor but has an im8

proved single camera and more RAM. The base variant, priced at `9,999, comes with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage, whereas the one priced at `11,999 has 4 GB of RAM with 64 GB internal storage. The Redmi Note 5 Pro features a dual camera at the rear, Qualcomm 636 processor and 64 GB of internal storage. The Redmi Note 5 Pro is also available in two variants – 4 GB and 6 GB of RAM, priced at `13,999 and `16,999, respectively. Design: Both the new phones sport a premium look; the 5.99-inch display on both phones is wrapped in a metal casing. With a resolution of 2,160x1,080 pixels, the

ldisplay looks rich and colv g ourful, has wide viewing ig angles and good sunlight f alegibility. There is a feaautom i ture called automatic contrast which is on by default; one can switch to contra or ‘increased contrast’ contra from ‘standard contrast’ settin The the display setting. ho Redmi Note 5 houses the t p and 3.5-mm port on top speaker grills at the bottom panel. The camera along with flash and fingerprint scanner at the rear are all placed in a line. The vertical camera has been placed towards the left, and the fingerprint scanner towards the centre. Redmi Note 5 Pro also has the Face Unlock feature, which works well but is not as secure as Apple’s FaceID. It can be

unlocked using i g a photoog h as well. graph ll d Performance: e o ce UI and i i the Redmii Note Devices in 9 series run on MIUI 9, which is a customised Android ROM. Unlike stock Android, there is no app tray. All apps are placed on the home screen. Other than the regular Google apps including Play Store, there is also a Mi Apps store to download apps. The Security app helps in optimising the performance and gives access to data usage, block list, dual

apps and more. Amongst all the pre-installed apps, the Mi Remote is our favourite. It turns the phone into a universal remote control that can be used for TV, air-conditioner and other appliances. On the performance front, both the Redmi Note devices managed to impress us. Even though they run on different processors, both

g i are equally good when it i apps, comes to launching i g the web, browsing i videos i streaming and more. However,, the i a bettRedmii Note 5 Pro is f gaming. We ter device for would like to highlight that our Redmi Note 5 review unit had 4 GB RAM with 64 GB onboard storage, of which 51.15 GB was user accessible. Even the Redmi Note 5 Pro unit we received for review had 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB internal storage, and 52.39 GB was accessible. Camera: The 12-MP sensor at the rear of Redmi Note 5 is quick to

ffocus and capture picctures. The images i shot in i well-lit i settings i g are sharp and offer ff a great g amount off details. Low-light phoo tography, g although g much better than Redmii Note 4, could be even better – im-ages g still i have visible i i noise. The camera UI i continues to be the same i manual mode, panop owith rama, scene, beautifyy and other features. However, the dual camera (12 MP and 5 MP) on the Redmi Note 5 Pro is stellar. While capturing images in the portrait mode, the camera software gets a little shaky; but captures great images with depth effect. Using artificial algorithms, the 20-MP front camera also captures selfies with depth effect. The Redmi Note 5 Pro has

one off the best dual cammeras in i its i price i category. B Battery: Both B h the h Redmii Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro come with 4,000 mAh battery, which i can last more than a day, depending i g on ussage. We went crazy clicki k i g pictures ing i with i the Redmi Note 5 Pro and it lasted a day with still 30 per cent charge g left. f Verdict: The Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro are great g f value-for-money devices. Iff your budget is under ` , , the Redmi Note `10,000, y 5 should be your pick. If you can spend more the Redmi Note 5 Pro, even if it is the 4 GB RAM variant for `13,999, is a great buy. Redmi Note 3 or Redmi Note 4 users could consider upgrading to Redmi Note 5 Pro. While the Redmi Note 5 is the new best smartphone under `10,000, the Redmi Note 5 Pro wins handsdown in the sub-`20,000 segment. 9

Photographer’s Delight By Nidhi SiNgal

Don’t judge a book by its cover. This adage holds true when looking at the new Samsung Galaxy S9+ because of how similar it looks to the S8+ launched last year. Switch on the Galaxy S9+ to be greeted by a 6.2-inch super bright infinity display. The fingerprint scanner has been repositioned below the camera module making it intuitive to use. In addition to the face and iris unlocking feature, there is the Intelligent Scan, a combination of the two scanners, that can unlock the phone in low or harsh light. However, it failed to unlock the phone when I was wearing sunglasses. The S9+ is the first S-series smartphone to have a dual camera for capturing DSLR-like depth images. Accessible through the ‘Live Focus’ mode, the depth effect can be adjusted while capturing an image or later by choosing a picture from the gallery. But it is the addition of dual aperture – f/1.5 and f/2.4 – in the rear camera (a first in smartphones) that helps S9+ capture stunning low-light images. It works just like the human iris. 10

In the dark, the lens automatically opens up to the widest aperture available to let in more light. The S9+ can also capture super slow-motion videos at 960 frames per second. Another highlight of the S9+ is Bixby Vision with modes for live translation, image search, AR-based location search, QR Code scanner and more. Using live translation, I could instantly translate Spanish to English; the image search for chapatti using the Bixby food mode threw up suggestions like phulka roti and jolada roti, along with nutritional information, recipes, videos and an option to log the entry in Samsung Health app. But for all this to work, Bixby Vision needs internet connectivity. Samsung has introduced an additional security feature. To access the ‘secure folder’, one can add a dedicated fingerprint scan, different from what is used to unlock the phone. The Galaxy S9+ is a combination of functionality with great performance. And for `64,990, it is the best flagship smartphone in the market.

6.2-inch super amOLeD screen is protected with corning Gorilla Glass 5

rear camera captures good bokeh and low-light images

finGerprint scanner is easy to access and unlocks phone instantly




TesT Bench

Striking Balance


Toshiba's new wireless earphones give music lovers and fitness buffs much to love. Whether it is Bryan Adams’ Summer of ‘69 or Coldplay’s Something Just Like This, the earphones render clear vocals with balanced mids and deep bass across genres. But at high volume, clarity takes a hit. The soft ear tips are comfortable to wear and don’t fall out during brisk walking or running; the snug fit also keeps out noise. The earpieces have built-in magnets that keep them locked together when not in use or when hanging around the neck by a sturdy cable that doesn’t get tangled easily. One can power the earphones on or off by tapping the rear of the earpieces together. The in-line remote placed on the cable connecting the earpieces has volume and call controls (very handy) along with the charging port and microphone. The earphones can be charged fully in less than two hours and offers a battery back-up of almost four hours.

The sofT ear Tips are comforTable To wear and don’T fall ouT during brisk walking or running


tappinG the earpieces together can turn on/off the earphone



Meet the Expert


` 39,990


It looks good; and cleans indoor air with finesse. Dyson’s Pure Cool Link Tower has an unconventional design – an oval bladeless fan at the top with a circular bottom housing the filter. Installation is simple – place the loop on top of the circular base and push it gently. The click sound confirms that the two are locked and the air purifier is ready to use. Use the compact remote to power it on/off, control fan speed, swing, turn on night mode, set timer and more; it can also be controlled using the Dyson app. None of the air purifiers we have tested in the past has managed to bring down the PM 2.5 level down so efficiently. In less than an hour, the level of PM 2.5 in my room was zero. The circular mesh at the bottom sucks in impurities in the air from all directions and purifies the air using the HEPA filter, before circulating it through the loop across the room. Although a silent operator, it gets a little noisy when pushing air at higher levels (7 and above). Priced at `39,990, the Dyson Pure Link Tower is clearly one of the best air purifiers in the market. 13

T TesT Bench

The vivobook S410 is a sleek, premium-looking 18.8-mm thick machine weighing 1.4 kg. Asus has managed to incorporate a bigger non-touch 14inch screen with a 178-degree viewing angle. The screen is complemented with a well spaced, chiclet keyboard (without the number pad), which is comfortable to type on. Using the shortcut on the keyboard, I was able to get the keys back lit which made typing in the dark easier. The big downside was integrating the power button on the extreme right near the delete key. Instead of hitting the delete key – which is the second last key in the row – I ended up pressing the power key, putting the system to sleep every now and then. The downward facing side speakers aren’t impressive. Our review unit was a top-of-the-line variant, with Windows 10 Home, running Intel 8th generation i7 processor with 8 GB RAM and 1 TB of storage. For fast booting, it has a separate 256 GB SSD that stores programme files; it booted in 10 seconds. Along with the regular Windows programme and apps, Asus has added some bloatware, including Asus Battery Health charging and Asus Giftbox, which can be uninstalled. The Asus S410 houses the charging port along with a USB, HDMI, Type-C and audio port on the left, and two USB ports along with a card reader and LED indicator for charging on the right. It has a three-cell battery that lasts close to seven hours on full charge.

finGerprint scanner for biometric authentication


Powerpacked a 14-inch screen in shell of a 13.3inch laptop



backLit keyboard is comfortable to type on



the buttOn powers the watch, loads the menu and activates the voice assistant

Beauty with Brain

T The Sofie smartwatch, from fashion brand Michael Kors stands out with its distinct glamorous look. The elegant looking watch has a 42-mm stainless steel casing, a 1.19-inch bright display, and is water and dust resistant. There is a button on the right, which, other than powering the watch, loads the watch menu on a single press and activates voice assistant on a long press. Sofie is compatible with iPhones and Android smartphones. I had to instal the Android Wear app to set up the watch. There are 30 MK watch faces that can be accessed from the app, and more can be downloaded from the Play Store. Sofie can be used to answer/reject or even dial a call, show feeds, set an alarm, send messages, track fitness routine, use Google translator and more. Apps can be installed on the watch directly using the Google Play Store app. Sofie packs in a 300 mAh battery that lasts close to 22 hours.