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Vivo V11 Pro launched in India with Impressive design and Capable performance

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The notch trend shot to fame after Apple debuted iPhone X last year and soon, it was adopted by Android smartphone makers across price segments.

Now, the waterdrop notch trend is catching up and handset makers are going almost bezel-less without compromising on the status bar space.

However, it is still debated whether the water-droplet style notch is aesthetically better than the traditional notch design.

This design essentially houses the selfie shooter only while other components such as the earpiece and sensors are usually placed on a slim cut-out at the top of the screen.

Chinese smartphone player Vivo is the latest to introduce this design in its V11 Pro.

The device has been launched in India for Rs 25,990 and comes with a fingerprint sensor that is integrated into the display, like the premium Vivo NEX and Vivo X21.

Here’s our review of the V11 Pro.

Vivo has built a reputation of successfully bringing the under display fingerprint scanning technology to the masses with “X21” and “NEX” smartphones.

Vivo V11 Pro is no different and it is the cheapest handset in the market to offer an in-display fingerprint sensor at this price point.

In fact, the curved rear with the polycarbonate (glass-finish design) ensured that the phone was comfortable for single-handed use. Not using metal and glass makes the device incredibly light and durable as well.

The right side houses the power button and volume rockers which are made of metal.

The 6.41-inch “Halo FullView” screen takes up most of the front and the bottom bezels are even slimmer now, while the water droplet style notch at the top leaves almost all of the status bar for users.

In terms of design language, the V11 Pro definitely scores over Xiaomi’s Poco F1.

The AMOLED screen made sure the display was bright and vivid with a good saturation and contrast ratio.

The images and text looked sharp on the AMOLED display panel, which is essential for having an under display fingerprint scanner.

According to Vivo, the smartphone comes with the fourth generation in-display fingerprint scanner, which is faster.

We, however, did not see a noticeable difference between the fingerprint sensor in Vivo NEX and this device.

The 12MP+5MP primary camera comes with dual pixel autofocus but lacks optical image stabilisation (OIS).

We especially liked the auto HDR mode which resulted in crisp and well-balanced pictures with the right amount of exposure of dark and bright areas.

Just like the Vivo X21, the V11 Pro was quick to fix focus on the subject. The primary snapper also handled low-light photography quite well.

The 25MP front snapper took some great portrait shots. It can, thus, be safe to say this is the best selfie camera in this price segment.

Another high point of the smartphone is its 3400mAh battery which lasted a day and a half on a single charge.

The company’s own FunTouch OS 4.5 based on Android 8.1 Oreo is customised but, thankfully, that doesn’t result in performance lags. Day-to-day activities and multi-tasking was smooth on the device.

What does not work?

It was disappointing to see a Micro-USB port instead of a future-proof USB-type C port on the smartphone.

While Vivo may have mastered the in-display fingerprint sensor, it is still a little sluggish when compared to rear-mounted fingerprint scanners.

Conclusion: Vivo V11 Pro is a good recipe for an all-rounder smartphone. To sum up, it is a good mix of  performance and value.

Business

India’s forex reserves rise by over $3 bn

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Reserve-Bank-of-India

India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $3.074 billion during the week ended June 11.

According to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) weekly statistical supplement, the reserves increased to $608.081 billion from $605.008 billion reported for the week ended June 4.

India’s forex reserves comprise foreign currency assets (FCAs), gold reserves, special drawing rights (SDRs), and the country’s reserve position with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

On a weekly basis, FCAs, the largest component of the forex reserves, edged higher by $2.567 billion to $563.457 billion.

Similarly, the value of the country’s gold reserves rose by $496 million to $38.101 billion.

However, the SDR value slipped by $1 million at $1.512 billion.

But, the country’s reserve position with the IMF inched higher by $11 million to $5.011 billion.

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BharatPe in talks to raise $250M led by Tiger Capital: Report

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BharatPe

Fintech major BharatPe, that hit a new high with 106 million monthly transactions in UPI in March this year, is reportedly raising nearly $250 million in its next funding round led by Tiger Global.

TechCrunch on Friday reported, citing sources, that the fresh funding will take the company’s valuation to about $2.5 billion.

When reached, the company declined to comment at the moment.

The financial services company last month raised Rs 50 crore in debt from Northern Arc Capital, one of the leading digital debt finance platforms. This was the sixth round of debt financing in 2021.

In January, the company had raised Rs 200 crore from three top debt companies in the country — Alteria Capital, InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital, having later raised additional capital from ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.

“We have considerably ramped up our lending business in the last year and have set an ambitious target of facilitating disbursals to the tune of $1 billion to more than 10 lakh merchants by the end of current fiscal (FY22),” Suhail Sameer, Group President, BharatPe, had said.

The fintech company has already facilitated disbursals of over Rs 1,600 crore to more than 2 lakh merchants since the launch of the lending vertical.

As per a recent report by ACI Worldwide and Global Data, India has outpaced the US and China to become the world’s biggest real-time digital payments market, driven by P2P as well as merchant payments.

BharatPe said it is committed to help small merchants and kirana store owners grow their business with a range of fintech products for them.

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Finance Ministry refutes reports of alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland

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Finance-Ministry

The Union Finance Ministry on Saturday said that increase in deposits of Indians in Swiss Banks could be on account of increase in business of Swiss bank branches located in India and raised Inter-bank transactions, rather than due to an increase in alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland.

It, however said that Swiss Authorities have been requested to provide the relevant facts along with their view on possible reasons for increase or decrease in deposits so that facts could be presented in correct perspective.

Certain reports suggested that that funds of Indians in Swiss Banks have risen to over Rs 20,700 crore (CHF 2.55 billion) at the end of 2020 from Rs 6,625 crore (CHF 899 million) at the end of 2019, reversing a 2 year declining trend. It has also been stated that this is also the highest figure of deposits in the last 13 years.

“Reports allude to the fact that the figures reported are official figures reported by banks to Swiss National Bank (SNB) and do not indicate the quantum of much debated alleged black money held by Indians in Switzerland. Further, these statistics do not include the money that Indians, NRIs or others might have in Swiss banks in the names of third-country entities,” the Ministry statement said.

The statement added that the customer deposits have actually fallen from the end of 2019 in a Swiss Banks. The funds held through fiduciaries has also more than halved from end of 2019. The biggest increase is in “Other amounts due from customers”. These are in form of bonds, securities and various other financial instruments, the finance min statement said.

The ministry also ascribed various other reasons for increase in deposits and not possibly on account of the increase of deposits in the Swiss banks out of undeclared incomes of Indian residents. It said that that increase in deposits may be on account if increase in deposits owing to the business of Swiss Bank branches located in India or Increase in Inter- bank transactions between Swiss and Indian Banks. Also, it could be due to capital increase for a subsidiary of a Swiss Company in India or increase in the liabilities connected with the outstanding derivative financial instruments.

The government has issued clarifications in wake of widely held position that it has curbed generation of black money in the economy or unaccounted funds of Indians stashed abroad. The fresh tax agreements reached between India and certain perceived tax havens has introduced certain instruments to prevent round tripping of funds and generation of black money.

It is pertinent to point out that India and Switzerland are signatories to the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAAC) and both countries have also signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) pursuant to which, the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) is activated between the two countries for sharing of financial account information annually for calendar year 2018 onwards.

Exchanges of Financial Account information in respect of residents of each country have taken place between both countries in 2019 as well as 2020. In view of the existing legal arrangement for exchange of information of financial accounts (which has a significant deterrent effect on tax evasion through undisclosed assets abroad), there does not appear to be any significant possibility of the increase of deposits in the Swiss banks which is out of undeclared incomes of Indian residents, the finance ministry said.

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