12:44 24th Jul, 2014
BlackBerry Passport Now Confirmed To Come In White
Apparently its designers have worked hard to ensure that it stands out in the smartphone world.
While BlackBerry is readying its upcoming Passport smartphone for launch, the BlackBerry Insider blog is busy revealing both the software and hardware features of the soon to be announced smartphone. This time around we get a confirmation, that Passport will come in white along with the black version that CEO, John Chen proudly displayed at recent Annual General Meeting.
The designers of the Passport have indeed been working hard to ensure that the end-product will deliver the BlackBerry experience that the BlackBerry faithful have been used to. While Android apps seem to be running well on the Passport’s odd-sized display, the designers have ensured that old customers get the same BlackBerry feel when they hold the product.
This is all thanks to use of a variety of materials that have been used in different places for the construction of the handset. The white model delivers a ‘porcelain feel’ that is smooth to touch while delivering the right amount of grip which is indeed important considering the size of the handset (HTC we are looking at you). Indeed this is possible because of the fact that the designers do have a lot of external bits and pieces to play around with, compared to the flat Android smartphones which look similar from a distance.
Apparently the designers also reveal that they were indeed inspired by an actual passport, which stands as a universal symbol of mobility.
Well, whatever may be the reasoning behind the BlackBerry Passport’s design, we hope that the company decides to launch the product soon as BlackBerry fans are drifting towards iOS and Android devices lately.
Metal-Clad GALAXY Alpha May Be A Limited Edition Handset
The handset will be placed between flagship Galaxy S5 and its slowed down mini version
11:59 24th Jul, 2014
A few days ago, we had looked at the first leaks of the Galaxy Alpha and there were thoughts that this would be a high-end device. The latest images give a clear image and conclusive evidence that the device will be placed between flagship Galaxy S5 and its mini version.
It was the metal-clad body that made everyone think that it was going to be a premium product and a shift from the plastic feel that we associate with Samsung. For all those who are awaiting its release of this device, the bad news is that it might be a limited edition Samsung device.
The Galaxy Alpha reportedly has just a 4.7-inch display, and one that's similar to what shipped on the Galaxy S3 — though the details of resolution and technology aren't known at this point. That's going to be paired up with 32GB of storage but no SDcard slot, according to the leak, and the Alpha will retain the fingerprint scanner found on the S5.
The body is made out of metal — reportedly aluminum — but the back is the same textured plastic as we've seen on the Galaxy S5 already.
So the biggest take of the leak is that the Alpha is not going to be a replacement for Galaxy S5.
Xiaomi Outs A Chunky Update For Its Just Released Mi 3 Smartphone
The update brings the usual bug fixes but also adds a number of features that users have requested for.
11:45 24th Jul, 2014
Xiaomi has been having a great week so far with a successful launch in India. The company is now pushing out updates to its Mi 3 smartphone which seems to do a lot more than just crush a few bugs. The update replaces the current firmware with the newer MIUI KDDMIBE 18.0 version and is about 592 MB in size.
As for what the update brings, it is indeed a lot (click here for the change log), but mostly stuff that should have been in there in the first place. Apart from going down the legal way via the System Updates app on your Mi 3, you could also head here and download and flash the update manually.
There are new additions in the form of ‘Resend All’ button in the email app, an optimised online music page, a newer version of ‘blocklist’ and the handy status bar only incoming calls indicator when you happen to be busy in another app.
There are also a few other minor additions to the beautiful built-in weather app, the Calendar and the System Cleaner.
The Indian version of the handset runs the MIUI V5 skin on top of Android KitKat. The software will soon see a big update with V6 that will be announced on the 16th of August. Indeed the company will not rest on its laurels and is working hard to ensure that customers who have made the switch to a shiny new Mi 3 will not face any problems.
Leaked: Sony Xperia Z3 To Sport Faster Snapdragon 801 Processor
Hopefully this should solve Sony’s 4K video recording woes.
11:04 24th Jul, 2014
The Sony Xperia Z3 has been showing up in a number of leaks lately, but no one had a clear idea about what hardware this smartphone would bring to the Android smartphone space. Finally its famed leaker @EvLeaks who comes to the rescue and we finally have a clue about what the handset may bring to the table.
@EvLeaks is a well-known leaker and seems like a credible source since he has indeed helped leak out a number of flagship smartphones, beginning with the Nokia Lumia 1020. Strangely though in the case of the Xperia Z3, Sony’s upcoming smartphone offering, we are indeed a bit sceptical.
The leaker states that the Sony Xperia Z3 handset would sport a Snapdragon 801, again this is not the same chipset that was present in the earlier Xperia Z2, but the one with bumped up specs found in the Samsung GALAXY S5 (Snapdragon variant). The 8974AC version of the chipset has been clocked at 2.45 GHz which is coupled with the same 3 GB of RAM found on the Xperia Z2. Also included in the mix will be a slightly larger 5.15 inch 1080p display and 16 GB of internal memory which in all probability will be expandable. The camera remains the same at 20.1 MP along with 2.1 MP front facing sensor.
Let’s hope that the upgraded hardware solves the Sony Xperia Z2’s 4K video recording problem which is still limited to 5 minutes before the phone heats up and shuts the app. The Sony Xperia Z3 had recently reached the FCC’s table and seems like we should be hearing from Sony about an announcement pretty soon.
[Also See: Sony Xperia Z3 Poses Alongside Z3 Compact]
Xiaomi May Have Moved Just 10,000 Units At Flash Sale
We still got to hand it to them for delivering good value for money for the hardware that the Mi 3 packs in.
10:14 24th Jul, 2014
We expected some record breaking figures at the Xiaomi flash sale that took place a day ago, and Xiaomi did not fail us. It’s Mi 3 handset sold out in less than 40 minutes and that for a manufacturer who has never stepped on to Indian soil, it is quite an achievement. Apparently the figures behind that jaw-dropping time frame were never revealed but insiders say that the Chinese electronics maker moved just 10,000 units.
10,000 may not seem like a large number internationally. But considering that about 1,00,000 buyers lined-up for the sale, we expected Xiaomi to at least reach out to a half of them. Still then it is indeed a big number for an new comer to the Indian market that is literally filled to the brim with local and foreign brands and make such a dent.
The handset’s secret to success was indeed the presence of the Snapdragon 800 processor along with a solid metal construction that cut it for many Indian buyers. None of the local brands deliver anything close to the Mi 3 in the same price bracket. Gionee would be the only other smartphone maker (again from China) to compete with its Elife E7 which still retails for about 27,000 INR. Well, next sale is coming soon and hopefully Xiaomi can cater to a wider audience this time around. Local brands and foreign smartphone makers like Samsung should indeed be worried.
Five Ways To Boost Your Mac's Performance
A few tweaks and component upgrade should get your old Mac back on Track.
23rd Jul 2014
Like a tradition, Apple launches a new line of Macs almost every year. Although, we get tempted to buy a new one, most of them cost an arm and a leg. Having said that, one can easily use a Mac for around 5-6 years. Like any PC, it may slow down gradually. However, there are ways to boost your Mac's performance you should try out before giving up on it. Without further ado, here's what you can do. And hey, don't worry, we will not just recommend Mackeeper.
Manage Storage Space
For this, you must go to disk utility and it will show you how much space is occupied. The Operating System uses the hard drive as a scratch disk to dump temporary data. If you have only a few hundred megabytes of space left on your hard drive, your Mac in all probability is crawling right now. For smooth functioning of a Mac, at least 10-15 GB free space is ideal. The solution is to transfer most of your data to a external hard drive to clear up the system storage.
Avoid Using Google Chrome
It’s not just us, but many other Mac users have resonated this feeling that Google Chrome can drastically affect your Mac's performance. Plus, it also has a negative impact on the battery life in case of a Macbook. The solution is simple — stick to Safari. Apple's browser packs in battery optimisation goodies. You will notice this difference the moment you switch from Chrome to Safari. If Safari doesn't serve the purpose, give Firefox a shot.
Check Activity Monitor
Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks’ Activity Monitor shows what apps are consuming PC resources such as CPU, Memory, and Energy. Mostly shady 3rd party apps slow-down your Mac without you even realising it. Using Activity monitor track and identify such software, and get rid of them as soon as possible.
Maybe It’s RAM
Go to Activity Monitor, which is in the Apps -> Utilities folder and check how much RAM is free. It is our observation that even 4 GB of RAM can be insufficient these days. It could be due to the memory hogging websites open in your browser or the new Mac OS X simply isn't that optimised any more. Whatever may be the case, bumping RAM to 8 GB will have a significant impact on the speed of your Mac.
Slow Hard Disks
If you think your standard Macbook Pro is running slow, upgrading to an SSD can work wonders for you. Solid State Drives have relatively faster read/write speeds compared to the conventional hard disks. This helps remove the sluggishness, especially in machines that are a few years old. A good 120 GB SSD should cost you around Rs 5000. Since nobody uses disks anymore, you can also consider replacing your optical drive with an SSD on a Macbook Pro using the OWC Data Doubler Kit.
Criselle Lobo is an Associate Editor at PriceBaba.com. She should have been writing code after her graduation, but destiny had other plans. She has an opinion on almost everything, but is open to other POVs too. You can connect with her on Twitter @criselle4. Be warned though, she's perpetually sulking.
Xiaomi Announces Its Next Flagship Smartphone, The Mi 4
Also announces that its MIUI V6 User Interface will be out this August.
14:33 22nd Jul, 2014
Xiaomi has finally taken the wraps off its next flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi Mi 4. The handset as opposed to rumours does not appear to use metal for its panels but for the sandwiched frame and comes with the usual flagship Android smartphone specifications.
The handset when launched will come with a (now standard) 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor coupled with 3 GB of LP-DDR3 RAM and in 16/64 GB memory options. The handset supports the new eMMC 5.0 standards and sports a large 5.0 inch full HD (1920 X 1080 pixel) OGS (One Glass Solution) display built by JDI. On the back is 13 MP primary snapper, while the front unit is a massive 8 MP one. Powering all of the above is large 3080 mAh battery unit.
Along with the announcement of the new Mi 4 handset, Xiaomi also detailed a few features about the upcoming MIUI user interface that Xiaomi uses in all its devices. The custom layer runs on top of Android but is a lot more polished compared to what you would find on HTC and Samsung handsets. MIUI V6 should be rolled out by the 16th of August.
In appearance, the handset does look like a bigger version of the iPhone 5 (especially in black) with a frame that is made from stainless steel. The Xiaomi Mi 4 will be available in black and white as of now, with the 16 GB version priced at 320 USD (19,270 INR) model and the 64 GB model priced fat 400 USD (24,088 INR). There are no details about the availability just yet.
Rumour: iPhone 6’s Logo To Act As A Notifications Light
Leaked images of the back panel show a thin slot for accommodating the same.
13:03 22nd Jul, 2014
We were indeed the first ones to point this bit out, back in May and it seems that the iPhone 6 notification light might indeed become a reality. A fresh leaked image of the upcoming iPhone 6’s back panel clearly shows a cut out along with a surrounding depression in the area on the inside, suggesting that there may indeed be a notification light housed in the same space.
The image shows a plastic covering in the depression which may actually produce that soft light that we see on the backs of today’s Macbook displays. If this indeed turns out to be true, it would be a rather strange area to place a notification light since most smartphone owners don't keep their phones face-down.
We have no clue about how Apple plans to make this notification system work, since other smartphones usually have them on the front top end of the device or on the bottom like in the case of the Oppo Find 7.
Unlike Android though, in the case of most iPhone owners, you would have to keep your phone face down in the presence of others since lockscreen notifications, directly show up on the device when they pop up. So in short, this may indeed turn out to be a strange, workable, solution for iPhone users after all.
Samsung GALAXY S5 Duos LTE Now Rolling Out Internationally
The handset was only available in China until now.
11:36 22nd Jul, 2014
The Samsung GALAXY S5 Duos LTE is now going on sale globally. The dual SIM sporting flagship sibling of the GALAXY S5 will indeed see a lot of buyers especially in India due to it being one of the few dual-SIM flagship devices available. The handset as of now is currently available only in the Middle East and should reach other potential markets shortly.
With a selling price as high as 748 USD (approx. 47,000 INR) the company is indeed asking a lot for a dual SIM handset, but this one unlike most others comes with flagship internals. The dual SIM functionality aside, the handset comes with nothing new compared to the Snapdragon sporting LTE variant that recently went on sale in India.
The GALAXY S5 Duos LTE comes with a Snapdragon 801 chipset and a 5.1 inch Full HD display along with a 16 MP camera and the usual IP 67 certification that came with the GALAXY S5. Since Samsung recently launched its LTE S5 model in India, it may be some time till this version of the handset is made available for sale.
Xiaomi Gets 1 lakh Registrations For Mi 3 Launch Day Sale
We doubt the handset maker will even have half of the units in stock.
15:29 22nd Jul, 2014
The king of flash sales is here in India and Xiaomi is going to release some record breaking sales numbers pretty soon, when the Mi 3 smartphone goes on sale today. Obviously, you just cannot point your browser to Flipkart, search for a Xiaomi Mi 3 and click buy, because things are a bit different here. In the case of Xiaomi’s smartphones, you have to register for the sale first and only then you qualify to click on the ‘buy’ button. While the sale has not started yet, Xiaomi reports that they have already received more than 1 lac registrations for their much-awaited handset.
What is odd is that those 100000+ people who have registered for the sale, will now have to fight it out online to buy their handsets from online retailer Flipkart. Looking at past flash sales figures, expect the handset to go out of stock in minutes. So even for those who have registered for the handset, the fight isn’t over yet. Xiaomi is known for bringing in limited stocks for their device sales which is why we do not expect this one to be any different.
As for the registrations for the sale; they are still open and will remain open till the 28 th of July. Mi 3 aside, Xiaomi is all geared up for an announcement of its next flagship device, the Mi 4. The founder and vice president Lin Bin, had let out some details of the launch via his Weibo account and it seems the stage is set for the announcement of the metal-clad smartphone today.
- Top Smartphones Under Rs 10,000 (July, 2014)
- Top Smartphones Under Rs 20,000 (June, 2014)
- Top Smartphones Under Rs 30,000 (June, 2014)
- Top Smartphones For Business Users
- Best Gaming Smartphones Available In India
- Five Affordable Portable Media Players For Music Lovers
- Top Quad-Core Phones Under Rs 10,000
- Top Five Tablets Under Rs 10,000