14:48 01st Sep, 2014
OnePlus To Stick To Invite-Only System As It Steps Onto Indian Soil
Plans to beat Xiaomi by beating it in its own game.
While OnePlus as a company is not that big out here in India, TOI in an interview with Director Carl Pei revealed a lot of plans that the company has in store. The Chinese company after selling its OnePlus One handsets the world over, is now making plans to finally set the smartphone loose in the Indian market. But if you were wondering if that annoying invite system is going to shut, the answer is a clear ‘no’.
Indeed the OnePlus One is known more for its invite system than the specs it offers. Things did not take off on the right note when buyers ended up with some tiny defects that were immediately reported on the OnePlus forums. Now that the Chinese smartphone maker has straightened things out in its operations, it finally plans to open its door to the Indian smartphone market.
Aggressive pricing will be a strategy and the company has no plans to take down its invite-only purchasing system. The sole reason for that is clearly the lack of stocks, the company is still better of compared to Xiaomi that is ramping up production for the upcoming Redmi 1s and will still fall short thanks to the flash sales method.
With the demand being simply too high out here in India, we think that the invite-only system no matter how annoying will still see happier customers compared to the 2 second sales that Xiaomi shows up with.
OnePlus has even revealed through the interview that it has plans to obliterate Xiaomi by offering the 64 GB version of the One for just Rs 25,000 (compared that to the Mi 4 starting at Rs 22,000). As for the rest of the specs of the OnePlus One, it is on par with the international flagships and as we can see, indeed has a huge fan following.
XOLO Launches Another Play-Branded Smartphone, The 8X-1100
Sitting between the other recently launched Play handsets, the 8X-1100 does offer a lot for less.
13:21 01st Sep, 2014
XOLO had launched the Play 8X-1000 a little less than a month ago with the all-new HIVE UI. Soon after, the manufacturer pushed out another handset tagged as the Play 8X-1200 which offered better specs but for a bigger price jump at Rs 20,000. Clearly there was a segment in between that was left out, hence XOLO has now launched the 8X-1100 to offer gaming for the mid-range buyers.
As far as the specs go, XOLO offers the usual octa-core chipset and this is again the same MediaTek SoC offered on the original 8X-1000. For the rest of the hardware, XOLO has made compromises and shuffled things here and there to keep the pricing right:
- We get a 5 inch 1080p display that comes with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3 protection
- An octa-core 1.7 GHz MediaTek SoC (MT6592) coupled with 2 GB RAM
- 16 GB internal memory along with expansion up to 32 GB via a micro SD card slot
- 13 MP camera on the back with generous 5 MP unit up front
- Dual speakers with DTS surround sound
- Dual SIM functionality along with a 2100 mAh battery to power it all
The smartphone runs Android KitKat version 4.4 will be available for a price tag of Rs 14,999 when it reaches stores shelves.
Lenovo Teases Apple With Its IFA Invite And A Lollipop
So does Android ‘L’ stand for Lollipop?
12:19 01st Sep, 2014
Until a few days ago, Google calling its next version of Android 5.0, Lollipop was only a rumour. But things seem to be getting confirmed thanks to Levono’s IFA teaser that shows... err... a big lollipop. Yes, while everyone considered the L to stand for Lemon Meringue, we think Google may be going for ‘lollipop’ after all to keep things international (how about ladoo?), similar to KitKat. In short, Lenovo's upcoming successor to the Vibe X may come with Android L; but one more look at the invite, and you will notice something else.
Lenovo seems to be challenging Apple here, albeit in a rather smug way with its upcoming Vibe X2. While the invite does look similar to the one that Apple has sent out, its the words written on it that make things pretty clear. Lenovo’s teaser (“We can’t say anything either”) is actually a response to Apple’s invite (“Wish we could say more”).
The Vibe X2 recently showed up in leaked images. The handset (pictured below) looks pretty robust and comes with a sandwiched design that appears to be layers. Seems like Lenovo has engineered something different after all to stand out from the large number of Android handsets that will be launched at the IFA this year.
As for the specs we expect Lenovo’s metal-clad warrior to show up with a 5.5 inch Full HD screen and a 2.2 GHz octa-core SoC coupled with 2 GB of RAM. A 13 MP camera will be available on the back, with a 5 MP front facing one up front. Internal memory would be limited to just 32 GB of storage.
By the look of things, we could expect Samsung to put up its take at Apple's invite soon, if not for Nokia who seems to have lost its “mojo” after Microsoft took over.
Apple Sends Out An Invite; iWatch May Not Hit Shelves Until Next Year
Keeping in mind the number of leaks that the iPhone has seen, it makes sense to believe that the iWatch has yet to hit production.
10:30 01st Sep, 2014
If you were under the impression that you would indeed be the one of the first customers to walk out of an Apple authorised retailer with an iPhone 6 in your hand and an iWatch on your wrist, you are clearly dreaming. While Apple has just sent out its invite as expected and we have a long week of waiting to deal with, reports now confirm that the iWatch will go on sale next year.
Of course the iPhone 6 that is expected to comes in two variants, will be the star of the show. If you consider the number of leaks that the device has seen, there seems to be not much left to reveal as the Cupertino tech giant, made it pretty clear through the invite itself.
The leaks also tell us two other things. One, that it may only be the 4.7 inch version of the iPhone 6 that may make an appearance at this year’s event and not the 5.5 inch one. Two, that the iWatch has clearly not hit the assembly line till now.
While we know a lot about the iPhone thanks to the innumerable leaks and the final reveal by China Telecom, there is indeed not much known about the rumoured smartwatch tagged as the iWatch. While we did get a few titbits about its features, Apple has either managed to keep it a well-guarded secret, or it may still be in the prototype stage.
There seems to be a big structure set up at the institution for now.
Apple is all geared up to unveil the iPhone at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at De Anza College in Cupertino. The company will indeed be revisiting its past as the college is the same location where Steve Jobs introduced the original Mac 30 years ago.
As we said earlier, the iPhone is indeed going to be the star of the show, so we would not be surprised that Tim Cook in the end would suddenly pull out the iWatch just to give us a demo about how things work until the actual device becomes ready for sale in Q1 2015. Whatever it may be, we can expect Apple to put up a show and wow iFans for sure.
Image Credit: MacRumours
Xiaomi Steps Up Its Game; To Bring 40,000 Units To Redmi 1s Sale
Mi 3 production seems to have been throttled down due the upcoming Mi 4.
17:58 28th Aug, 2014
While the Mi 3 seems to have been put to sleep for now with increased efforts by the Xiaomi team to push the Redmi 1s, there is finally some development in terms of Xiaomi’s flash sale stocks. The Chinese smartphone maker has made it official that it will be bringing 40,000 Redmi 1s units to the first Redmi flash sale.
Xiaomi Mi 3 sales saw just 20,000 units up for grabs in the past. The company now seems to have ramped up the Redmi 1s smartphone’s production much in advance to deliver 40,000 units this time around. VP of International Relations, Hugo Barra did comment earlier that the company had underestimated the stockpile of Mi 3 handsets required and that it would be working towards delivering the same goal if not less because the production of the Mi 4 is also at stake.
Indeed the upcoming Redmi 1s flash sale is going to be a big one, with the smartphone sporting budget level features found in the Moto G at an entry level price tag. While Moto has ended production for the Moto G, the Lenovo owned company is now preparing to put up a show at the company’s Moto X, G and 360 announcement scheduled for the 4th of September.
As for the Redmi 1s, registrations for the handset are already open and the first sale is scheduled for 2nd of September.
Notable Smartphone Launches Of August, 2014
A list of promising handsets rolled out in India this month.
Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
28th Aug 2014
September is going to a busy month for techies as Apple, Samsung, Nokia (Microsoft), and Motorola (Lenovo) ready to make big announcements. Now before we get swayed away with the new hardware, let's have a look at the some of the noteworthy handsets that launched and are available in India this month. Considering that Selfie is the trending topic on the interweb, let's start off with a selfie phone from Japan.
Sony Xperia C3
Sony has finally rolled out its Selfie phone in India. The highlight of the phone is its 5 megapixel front-facing camera. The Xperia C3 sports a 5.5-inch HD screen with Sony's Triluminous moniker. At the heart is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz processor with 1 GB RAM. The onboard storage is 8 GB. You can expand it further by 32 GB via the microSD card slot. Moreover, you get an 8 megapixel camera, dual-SIM support, and 2500 mAh battery. The camera-centric phone can be yours for Rs 23,000. While the specs definitely sound promising, we think it's too big to be used as a phone.
This is the official press image.
Xiaomi Redmi 1S
Despite being an entry-level smartphone, the Redmi 1S offers impressive specs. For starters, you get a 4.7-inch IPS screen with pixel dimensions of 720x1280. The handset is powered by a 1.6 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC (System on Chip). It is one of the few handsets that offer 1 GB of RAM in this price range. Xiaomi has generously thrown in an 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash. Thanks to the front-facing snapper, you can also make video calls. Other features include 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, dual SIM functionality, and 2000 mAh battery. This featured packed phone is priced at Rs 6000. Since Xiaomi is going to sell these handsets in a flash sale, you'll probably have a hard time ordering the device.
Oppo Find 7
Announced in March, the Oppo Find 7 has finally reached the Indian market. The phone features a 5.5-inch IPS screen with 1440x2560 pixels. That makes for the pixel density of whopping 530 ppi. The phone has a scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Find 7 is backed by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip clocked 2.5 GHz. For photography, there is a 13 MP Sony IMX214 lens assembly. The snapper is also capable of 4k video recording. The phone comes with a 3000 mAh battery. Undoubtedly, it's yet another powerful handset, but I doubt how many will want to spurge Rs 38,000 on a not so popular Chinese brand.
Intex Cloud FX
Feature phones are soon going to get serious competition as Firefox is agressively targeting the sub-2k segment to position its smarphone OS. In the first wave of devices, we have the Cloud FX from Intex. It is powered by a 1 GHz processor and has 128 MB RAM, which is said to be more than enough to run Firefox OS. The phone has a 3.5-inch screen with pixel dimensions 320x480. There's a 2 megapixel camera too, along with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and dual-SIM support. The specifications are good considering the phone costs only Rs 2000.
Spice Fire One Mi-FX1
Intex is not the only company to jump on the Firefox OS bandwagon. Spice too has unveiled a dirt-cheap smartphone called Fire One Mi – FX 1 (quite a creative name). It comes with a 1 GHz CPU and 128 MB RAM. The phone has a 3.5-inch with pixel dimensions of 480x320. Similar to the Intex Cloud FX, this phone offers a 2 MP fixed-focus primary camera. Other features include a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and dual-SIM support. The Spice phone costs Rs 2300, which is slightly more than what the Intex Cloud FX retails for. These phones are a good option for first time smartphone users.
Nokia Lumia 530
If you though the Lumia 630 offered great value for money, take a look at the 530. This handset from Microsoft runs latest Windows Phone 8.1 OS out-of-the-box. The phone also supports Action Centre and Cortana. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 processor that is coupled with 512 MB of RAM. This should be enough for smooth Windows experience experience. The Lumia 530 will come with a 5 megapixel rear camera. What's missing is an LED flash and a front-facing snapper. Internal storage is 4 GB, but thankfully the phone supports microSD cards up to 128 GB. The phone features a 4-inch FWVGA screen with pixel density of around 245 ppi. For Rs 7100, the Lumia 530 is quite a good deal.
Leaked Images Show Motorola Moto G’s Successor With Dual Speaker Set Up
Seems like there is indeed a lot more to be leaked out until Motorola’s announcement on the 4th of September.
17:07 28th Aug, 2014
While Motorola is all geared up launch the its next flagship successor along with the new Moto G, leakers seems to be giving it all they can to leak out the handset before it gets unveiled in the coming week. This time around it is the successor to the Moto G (G2?) and the leaker reveals some new images of the back and front of the device revealing a couple of new developments.
The images of the front of the device show the Motorola logo sitting proudly on the top left hand corner and a dual speaker set up with shiny accents, above and below the screen. Indeed Motorola will be delivering better sound for the device along with some better hardware as well. One look at the back and you can clearly tell from the neatly packed internals that the G2 will indeed be a dual SIM handset.
Apart from the insides, the packaged back also indicates the presence of changeable covers similar to its predecessor.
As for the rumoured specs, well they still seem to be rumours. We get a 5 inch HD 720p display, Snapdragon 400 chipset with the same quad-core 1.2 Ghz clockspeed coupled with 1 GB of RAM along with 8/16 GB internal memory options and micro SD card support. The camera gets upgraded to an 8MP unit, while the front-facing one gets a smaller bump with a 2 MP sensor.
Indeed with specs like these, the handset's biggest competitor, which comes from the entry level segment is the Xiaomi Redmi 1s. With budget pricing the handset delivers more value for money at what will most probably be half the price of the upcoming Moto G2. Lets hope that Motorola at least adds 1.5 GB of RAM and bumps up the Snapdragon 400 to 1.6 Ghz to keep up with the competition.
ARCHOS Unveils Its New Budget Range Of Smartphones And Tablets
Windows seems to be getting some love from a variety of manufacturers these days.
16:09 28th Aug, 2014
Portable media player pioneer ARCHOS has unveiled three news smartphones and two tablets to add to their colourful range of devices. The company had recently announced a couple of mid-range Android smartphones and now it seems to want to tap into the lower market segments as well, catering to consumers at different price points.
The French company has announced 3 new Android and 2 Windows devices. The two Android smartphones consist of the 50b Platinum and the 45c Platinum.
First up is the ARCHOS 50b Platinum that seems like the cheaper version of the ARCHOS 50b handset launched back in June. The ARCHOS 50b Platinum is a budget device that sports a:
- 5 inch qHD (960 x 540 pixel) display, powered by 1.3 GHz processor
- Runs the latest version of Android KitKat 4.4.2
- An 8 MP camera on the back with an LED flash and 2 MP sensor up front
- Sports 3G connectivity and even includes the dual SIM functionality that is a given for handsets in this segment
- Memory options on 50b Platinum include 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of ROM along with a micro SD card slot for expansion
- The handset is fuelled by a 1900 mAh battery, comes with 3 coloured backs and is priced at 119 GBP (approx. 11,939 INR).
Next up is the ARCHOS 45c Platinum, which is again a cheaper version of the ARCHOS 45 Platinum. This handset also sports some budget specs :
- 4.5 inch FWVGA (854x480 pixel) display
- Is powered by a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor coupled with 512 MB RAM and 4 GB of ROM with expandable storage
- We get a 5 MP camera on the back with a 2 MP camera up front
- Powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, the handset features 3G connectivity and also includes the dual SIM functionality
- The 45c Platinum sports a smaller 1700 mAh battery unit and will cost about 99 GBP which is about 9935 INR
Another interesting addition to ARCHOS’ family of smartphones is the ARCHOS 40 Cesium Windows Phone handset. The handset has been outed as an entry level device and sports specifications similar to offerings from Micromax and Nokia in the same range, with a 4 inch display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor.
Also unveiled were two tablets. The first one, the ARCHOS Oxygen 101 is an Android tablet powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A17 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM. The second one is the ARCHOS 80 Cesium Windows 8.1 tablet. Sporting an 8 inch 1280 x 800 pixel display, it is powered by a quad-core Intel processor and will be priced at just 129 GBP (approx. 13,000 INR).
Confirmed: Apple Will Announce The iWatch At The iPhone 6 Launch
The watch will connect and work in sync with Apple’s health-tracking apps.
12:40 28th Aug, 2014
Re/code has confirmed that Apple will indeed be announcing its hotly anticipated iWatch along with its iPhone 6 models at this year’s launch. While everyone’s attention is indeed on the next version of the iPhone, Apple will be surprising fans during its keynote with its all-new iWatch smartwatch.
Indeed we have not heard anything about Apple’s iWatch so far (at least when compared to the iPhone 6 leaks) other than the fact that it exists and is being manufactured (somewhere). Apple’s health-tracking apps will also be dependent on the iWatch, since as much as they want to, the Cupertino tech giant will not be able to do any tracking with its iPhone alone.
Moreover, news is that Apple will even be integrating some home automation features that it spoke about at the last World Wide Developers Conference via HomeKit.
Some reports did suggest that Apple will be pricing its smartwatch at $ 300. Whatever it is we will know soon as the next announcement is just a few weeks away.
Microsoft Could Offer Incentives To Make Users Upgrade To Windows 9
Other details suggest the enterprise version of Windows 9 will do away with the Metro UI altogether
16:06 27th Aug, 2014
Microsoft is expected to unveil its Windows 9 desktop OS on September 30, and we can gather from previous reports that the new software will bring back focus to non-touch devices. A new leak however suggests what it might cost users to upgrade to Windows 9, with Microsoft planning to offer some neat incentives.
According to Russian leaker WOZR, users of Windows 8.1 will either get a free upgrade to Windows 9, or will be available through a special offer. For users who bought a retail or OEM version of Windows 8, the company will let them upgrade to Windows 9 for as little as $20.
An earlier report by ZDNet's Mary J Foley suggested that Windows 9 could be made a free upgrade for Windows XP, Windows Vista and even Windows 7 users. While the new report doesn't confirm this, it does say that Microsoft is planning to offer an “awesome” incentive to users of XP to get them to upgrade.
[Also read: Cortana To Make The Jump To Desktops With Windows 9]
The other big news that WOZR seems to have is in relation to the enterprise version of Windows 9, which supposedly does away with the Metro UI altogether. Apparently Microsoft will not release a test version of Windows 9 Pro alongside the software for non-professionals, which is expected to be out on September 30.
Also, just when we thought Windows RT was dead, WOZR says the company is working on a Windows 9 RT of which a test build is already ready. If true, the new version of this much hated software will arrive on an unannounced Surface 3 tablet.
The leak contains little in terms of new features that Microsoft will introduce with Windows 9, but does talk about support for 3D mode on UHD screens. The other more substantial feature could be the ability to create system backups on cloud, which has got us a bit excited.
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