Sunday, 7 September 2014

iBall partners Intel, Microsoft for Rs 16,999 tablet

It features 2GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage (expandable upto 64 GB), 5MP rear and 2MP front camera.

Electronics major iBall today launched an Intel Atom- processor based Windows tablet, priced at Rs 16,999 as it looks to increase the penetration of affordable business devices in India.

With the latest Windows 8.1 operating system, the 8-inch tablet will come packed with free licenses, including Microsoft Office license for one year, 1 TB OneDrive cloud storage and Windows Defender Antivirus and Firewall.

It features 2GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage (expandable upto 64 GB), 5MP rear and 2MP front camera.

Lenovo launches Vibe X2, Vibe Z2 smartphones at IFA 2014

 Adding two new phones to its Vibe line of smartphones, Lenovo launched two new devices - Vibe X2 and Vibe Z2 - at IFA 2014 in Berlin. The Lenovo Vibe X2 comes with a tri-layered design, and is, therefore, claimed to be the world's first layered smartphone. It comes in four colors - white, red, gold, and dark grey.

Lenovo launches Vibe X2, Vibe Z2 smartphones at IFA 2014

The Lenovo Vibe X2 is powered by the new MediaTEK MT6595 4G LTE True8Core processor and has a 5-inch FHD resolution display.

The Vibe X2 smartphone packs two cameras equipped with multiple shooting modes and beautification features. It has a 5 megapixel wide-angle front camera, featuring auto-shutter gesture controls that activate the lens with the blink of an eye or a smile. The 13MP auto-focus, rear-facing camera comes with a back-illuminated sensor and LED flash. The phone has 32GB of internal storage.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2, on the other hand, features a 5.5-inch (1280x720) HD display. It is Lenovo's first 64-bit powered smartphone, which means it will be able to take advantage of Google's future versions of Android that supports high-performance 64-bit computing.

The Vibe Z2 is engineered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 64-bit quad-core 1.2GHz processor and has a 3000mAh battery. The Vibe Z2 also provides dual SIM support. Its 13 megapixel rear camera offers optical image stabilization. Also, it comes with an 8 megapixel front camera designed with an anti-distortion lens.

Lenovo's Vibe X2 and Vibe Z2 smartphones will be available first in China starting in October, and subsequently in Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The Vibe X2 will retail at $399 and the Vibe Z2 will retail at $429.

Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7 dual SIM Android phone unveiled in India for Rs 3890

Will someone please tell Maxx Mobile that Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7 is a name consumers would forget in a blinking even if the phone is priced at just Rs 3890 and they really want to buy it? The company apparently has no one with enough common sense to advise it not to brand handsets with monikers most folks wouldn’t remember if you put a gun to their head.

Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7

Carrying on, the moronically named Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7 has a 4-inch display delivering 800 x 480p resolution visuals. It gets its steam from the outdated Jelly Bean version of Android and merely 512MB of RAM. There’s 4GB of in-built memory space as well as a card slot for pushing the hoarding room up by another 32GB.

For nearly Rs 4000, Maxx Mobile could have put 1GB of RAM inside or at least, Android KitKat. The company’s not big on software updates after all and it’s always good to make potential buyers feel like they’re getting a decent deal for the money they’re paying. We’ve listed down the rest of the main specs granted to the GenxDroid7.

Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7 key specs at a run:

- Works with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS
- Features 4-inch, 480 x 800p touchscreen
- 1GHz dual core processor inside
- 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory
- Storage expandable by 32GB more
- 3.2MP main camera w/ flash, 0.3MP webcam
- Measures 122.3mm x 62.3mm x 10.4mm
- Tips the scales at 71gm
- Powered by 1400mAh battery

Thank goodness this is the last time we have to mention the Maxx AXD11 GenxDroid7 – it’s available on Infibeam right now and is likely to reach other sales channels sooner than later. Arriving with a 16GB microSD card in tow, the handset is out in two standard color options of black and white.

Intex Aqua Style Mini limited edition featuring Mary Kom announced

The Intex Aqua Style Mini smartphone has been officially unveiled in India and it is being touted as a limited edition device created to celebrate the upcoming movie, Mary Kom. Now while the phone is an entry-level one retailing for just Rs 4990, it surprisingly comes with an AMOLED display.

Intex Aqua Style Mini

If you’re not aware, AMOLED panels are normally more expensive to produce and they have advantages over normal LCD screens, like better color reproduction and viewing angles amongst others. The screen used on the Intex Aqua Style Mini is a 4-inch WVGA one which is pretty much outdated these days, and that is probably why the company has managed to offer it at such a low cost.

The Intex Aqua Style Mini handset features a basic design, but there will be a limited edition run of 5000 units which carry Mary Kom’s icon embossed on the rear panel. The exteriors also flaunt a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a VGA front snapper.

Coming to the innards, this mini phone gains steam from a 1GHz dual core processor. The chipset is accompanied by 512MB of RAM, 1.23GB of user-available storage, a microSD card slot and dual SIM slots supporting GSM networks. Lastly, there’s a 1400mAh battery which can deliver up to 5 hours of talk time.

Intex Aqua Style Mini specs at a glance:

- Android 4.4 KitKat
- 1GHz dual core processor
- 512MB RAM, 4GB ROM, 32GB expandable storage
- 4-inch AMOLED WVGA display
- VGA font camera, 5MP rear snapper
- Dual SIM support
- 1400mAh battery

The Intel Aqua Style Mini is already available for purchase through Snapdeal and it comes in options of black and white.

Micromax to launch new Canvas-series flagship on Sept 8

Teaser image of upcoming Micromax Canvas smartphone

Micromax is all set to launch a new flagship Android smartphone on Monday in the Indian market. The company is holding a press event in New Delhi, where it will be unveiling this Canvas-series smartphone.

Not many details are available at this point but thanks to Snapdeal teasers, we do know the phone will be exclusively released on the e-retailer. You can check one such teaser here, which reveals that the smartphone will go on sale immediately after the announcement and sport leather finish on the back.

In contrast to the reports on several media outlets, this will not be an Android One smartphone, which are scheduled to be unveiled on September 15 at a Google India press event.

As per sources familiar with Micromax’s plans, the upcoming smartphone will be priced around INR 13-14,000 in the country and will compete with the likes of Xiaomi Mi 3, new Moto G as well as Asus Zenfone 5.

As always, we will bring you all the details after the announcement on September 8. Till then, stay tuned.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Motorola's new Moto G, Asus ZenWatch the biggest launches this week

It was one of the most exciting weeks in technology this year and here are the key highlights.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Motorola's new Moto G, Asus ZenWatch the biggest launches this week
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Edge, Gear VR, Gear S: Samsung, at the consumer electronics fair IFA 2014 in Berlin, unveiled four new devices - the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Gear VR, and the Gear S smartwatch. The Galaxy Note 4, which has a 5.7-inch screen, is the successor to the company's Note 3 phablet, while the 5.6-inch Galaxy Note Edge comes with a first-of-its-kind display. The Edge's main screen remains flat, while the right edge extends and curves until it reaches the back. The Edge is notable in having a side display for quick access to the flashlight, Twitter, news and frequently used apps.
The Gear VR virtual reality headset was launched as a companion to the Note 4. It won't work with the Edge or other phones. The headset, into which the Note 4 can be docked, has four visual settings that simulate experiences such as sitting in a theater or being on stage. The VR was developed with Oculus, which Facebook bought this year.
Samsung's new Gear S, the company's fourth major smartwatch in a year, comes with 3G cellular connectivity so that it can receive notifications directly from social networks, calendars and other apps. It does not need a companion phone.
2. Motorola Moto G, Moto X, Moto 360: Motorola launched the successors to its successful budget Moto G and mid-range Moto X smartphones. The new Moto G is available (via Flipkart) in India at Rs 12,999, while the new Moto X will go on sale in India in the last week of September. Compared to the old Moto G, the new Moto G comes with a larger display, enhanced cameras, better speakers, microSD card support for additional storage - all at Rs 1000 less than the predecessor.
The company also announced the launch of its Android Wear Moto 360 smartwatch. It will also be available in India later this year.
3. Microsoft's new Nokia Lumia phones: Microsoft unveiled its new range of Lumia smartphones - its new "affordable flagship" Lumia 830 phone, Lumia 730, and the Lumia 735 - at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin. The Lumia 830 is the thinnes, lightest Lumia smartphone yet. The company plans to launch the new Lumia 830 in India by October. It will be priced around Rs 26,000.
The company also introduced a five megapixel, front-facing camera phone called the Lumia 735 which has been dubbed the 'selfie-phone'. The Lumia 730 has same specifications as the Lumia 735 except that the Lumia 735 includes 4G and built-in wireless charging.
4. LG G Watch R: With the aim to take on Motorola's Moto 360 smartwatch, LG introduced its circular smartwatch at the IFA trade show in Berlin. The LG G Watch R is designed to run for up to 30 minutes in one metre of water. It is encased in a durable stainless steel frame and has an interchangeable 22mm leather strap.
5. Asus ZenWatch: Taiwanese manufacturer Asus showcased its ZenWatch wearable device at IFA 2014. The smartwatch can be paired with newer Android phones to display information and monitor the wearer's activity. The watch can be used to find a phone, something Samsung has done with some of its watches - as long as the phone is also from Samsung.
6. Sony's smartphones and wearables: Sony unveiled three devices with its signature waterproof capabilities - the 5.2-inch Xperia Z3 smartphone, the 4.6-inch Xperia Z3 Compact and the 8-inch Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Sony also unveiled a cheaper, 4.5-inch phone, the Xperia E3, without waterproof capabilities. The company also launched new wearables - its new SmartBand fitness device and SmartWatch 3. Unlike its predecessor, the new fitness band has a small display so you can see the status of various activities.
Sony's SmartWatch 3 has GPS capabilities built in, allowing for more accurate tracking of outdoor fitness activities.
7. Celebrities nude photos leak: Nude photos purportedly showing many top stars took the Internet by storm. Word of the images began spreading early this week and multiple reports suggested that the photos had been obtained by hacking into iCloud accounts. Apple later acknowledged the security breakdown and blamed it on intruders who were able to figure out usernames and passwords and bypass other safeguards. The company said it found no evidence of a widespread problem in its iCloud or Find my iPhone services.
8. Twitpic's closure: The photo-sharing service Twitpic announced its closure, saying it faced an ultimatum from Twitter to abandon its trademark or lose access to the messaging service. Twitpic founder Noah Everett said the demand from Twitter came as a surprise, and that he had no option other than to end the service. Launched in 2008, Twitpic allowed users to post photographs on the messaging platform before Twitter adding its own photo-sharing option in 2011.
9. Xiaomi Redmi 1S: After the successful launch of the Xiaomi Mi 3, Xiaomi introduced its second smartphone in India - the Redmi 1S. It is the first phone of Xiaomi's Redmi family that has been made available in India. This dual SIM phone with a 4.7-inch display is the cheapest smartphone from Xiaomi.

Nokia to bring 4G, 3G mobile phones to India at lower prices

Nokia has indicated to lower prices of 4G and 3G mobile phones in India to leverage operators' plans to launch high speed 4G services and boost its market share in the country. "We want to continue to push point lower and lower than anything we have today. That's the statement for both 3G and LTE (4G) because that is the thing which gives us scale of the ecosystem," Microsoft's Mobile Device Sales, Corporate Vice President Chris Weber told PTI.

Microsoft has acquired Nokia's mobile phone business. Nokia, once a global leader in mobile phone market, has been relegated to third position in India due to growing popularity of android based smartphones and increased competition from Korean giant Samsung and domestic mobile vendors. Nokia's cheapest 4G phone Lumia 635 is priced at around Rs 11,300 before taxes but it is not available in India.

"We are also trying to push price point even lower on LTE devices like 635 to take advantage of that (Indian telecom operators plan to launch 4G services) opportunity. The goal is to make sure that we have a full portfolio that plays into that opportunity," Weber said.

The company has plans to launch its latest 4G enabled phone Lumia 830 priced at around Rs 26,000 before taxes by October, as per sources. Microsoft Devices also unveiled another 4G enabled handset Lumia 735 priced at around Rs 17,500 but sources were not sure about company's plan to launch this model in India.

Many telecom operators have not rolled out 4G network in the country due to shortage of affordable 4G devices, among other reasons. Consumers may get about 10-12 times more Internet speed on mobile phones in 4G compared to average speed they get in 3G services.

Reliance Jio Infocomm holds pan India broadband wireless spectrum, which can be used for 4G services. The company has announced its plan to launch the latest telecom service in 2015.

Other holders of this spectrum include Tikona Digital and Augere, who are yet to start their services. Aircel has announced launch of its 4G service in 6 service areas against eight circles where it holds BWA spectrum. Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Idea have plans to provide 4G services in the 1800 Mhz band, which has been used so far for providing 2G services.

Weber said that Microsoft Devices has been discussing with Indian telecom operators for partnership. "We have lot of conversations going on with operators but specifically we are very bullish on LTE opportunity in India. Our conversation had been quite productive," Weber said.

As per market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Nokia was the third largest player second quarter of 2014 in Indian mobile phone market with 10 per cent share. Samsung topped the chart with 17 per cent and closely followed by Indian brand Micromax with 14%.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Seven years later, ASUS attempts to launch a $199 laptop again

Almost seven years ago, ASUS tried to launch the $199 Eee PC Linux laptop that ended up costing above $300, and since then the Eee brand shifted its focus to the more premium market before quietly fading away. That's why we're slightly surprised to see ASUS launching the EeeBook X205 -- not to be confused with ASUS' dual-screen concept device -- at IFA today. It's an 11.6-inch Windows 8.1 laptop that'll cost just $199 (or €199; both including tax). If all goes well, this will be another very affordable option alongside the leaked HP Stream 14 of the same price and operating system, and it'll even be cheaper than ASUS' own Chromebooks.

The X205 weighs only 980 grams and packs a quad-core Intel Atom T3735 Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1,366 x 768 LED backlit screen, a VGA webcam, a microSDXC slot and a micro-HDMI socket. The machine -- available in black, white, gold or red -- boasts a full-size keyboard along with a large trackpad, and its 38Wh battery claims to offer up to 12 hours of web-browsing time. In terms of storage, you can choose either 32GB or 64GB of flash memory, in addition to a generous amount of free cloud storage space: 15GB of Microsoft OneDrive for life, plus 100GB of OneDrive and 500GB of ASUS WebStorage for two years.

There's no word on the exact launch date for the X205, but we've been told that it'll become available some time between late Q3 and early Q4 this year. Let's see if HP can beat that, and more importantly, here's hoping both companies can deliver on their promises.

We've now had a chance to spend a few minutes with the EeeBook X205 and, if we're honest, it's akin to stepping into a parallel world where tablets never went mainstream. Those who remember toiling away with a netbook will be surprised at how thin and light the device is, thanks in part to Intel's power-sipping Bay Trail CPU.

Despite sitting in a similar class to small Windows 8 tablets, there's no touchscreen here, so all of your computing will be done through the keyboard and mouse. As impressive as the size of the EeeBook's keyboard is, the feel is very spongy, despite more travel than on its predecessor. The same problem carries over to the clickpad, which is sufficiently sluggish that you keep pawing at the screen in the hope of it responding to your commands. Given that, from what little we've seen, performance also leaves something to be desired, but I guess there's a reason that you'll be able to pick this up for just $199.

Microsoft Launches The Nokia Lumia 830, Dual-Sim 730 And 4G 735

Microsoft MSFT +0.14% has today launched the Nokia Lumia 830, its new flagship affordable phone to battle with the latest from Samsung and Apple AAPL +0.59%.

Microsoft staked its claim in the flasghsip market with its new Lumia 830, which will retail at 330 euros. In comparison the Samsung Galaxy S5 sells for 440 euros and the iPhone 5S for 515 euros.

It has the latest quad-core Snapdragon processor, weighs in at 150 grams and measures in at 8.5mm thin. Microsoft describes it as its thinnest and lightest Lumia phone yet.

Microsoft is also throwing in a free subscription to music streaming service Mix Radio for all new Lumia devices, which has over 30 million songs on its books.

Lumia 830

Microsoft also announced the dual-sim Lumia 730 and Lumia 735.  The 735, 730 and 830 all have improved front-facing cameras to improve the quality of selfies and the 735 and 730 now will ship with a new ‘selfie app’, which gives you more editing controls for your selfies.

To show off the capabilities of the front facing camera, Microsoft will ship all new Lumia models with a free three month Skype unlimited subscription.

The dual-sim Lumia 730 with retail for 199 euros and the 4G Lumia 735 will sell for 219 euros. Both devices have a 1.2ghz snapdragon processor, 6.7 mega-pixel rear camera and a front-facing wide angle camera. Both devices have the largest aperture in any smartphone yet and both will go on sale in September.

Speaking on the announcement, a carphone wearhouse spokesmen said “Windows Phone is fast becoming a very viable alternative to the other operating systems thanks to the intuitive interface and brilliant integration across other Microsoft products like Outlook, Office and even Xbox, allowing users to seamlessly connect their smartphone to their lives. Microsoft has kept up a commendable launch schedule with a range of devices all with impressive specifications addressing each level of the market.

“The 830, 730 and 735 announced today continue that with features such as a high tech selfie camera on the 730 and 735, wireless charging and the now signature on-trend fashionable colours, all at a reasonable price point look sure to help cement Microsoft smartphones as a trendy lifestyle product as well as a technically dependable one.”

15000 Intex Cloud FX Firefox OS phones get sold in 3 days

The Intex Cloud FX sells at a dirt cheap price of Rs 1999, something which has obviously worked in its favor seeing as 15000 units of the phone were sold by Snapdeal within the first three days of its launch in India. This is undeniably a good thing if you’re Mozilla and want to spread the word about your Firefox OS far and wide.

Intex Firefox OS Handset iPhone

The HTML5-based mobile OS pairs with a Spreadtrum processor and a reference design which lets manufacturers build ultra low-cost devices for the masses. India’s the fastest growing handset market in the world, but many are yet to migrate from basic handsets to smartphones. The Intex Cloud FX comes at the right time, never mind that its components are so 2007.

Mozilla had to partner with Indian brands which have a reputation for offering inexpensive products in order to be a success in the country and hence announced Spice as well as Intex as its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners. The price point and marketing strategy for the Cloud FX clearly worked for it considering that 15000 units flew off shelves.

Most of the buyers were apparently from South India, says The Economic Times who has referred to PTI for this story. Almost 70% of the demand came from tier II and III markets, with the maximum purchases having been made by people in the 18 to 25 years age bracket. Sales of the Firefox phone appears to have buoyed up the mood at Intex.

The company thinks it will be able to sell a total of 1 lakh Cloud FX devices by the end of September and even expects to ship out 5 lakhs of the same before we roll in to 2015. IDC notes that the Indian smartphone segment grew by a massive 84% year-on-year in Q2 2014. Products in this category priced below Rs 12000 claimed 81% of the market share in the said period.

Intex Cloud FX key specs:

- Mozilla Firefox OS platform
- 1GHz Spreadtrum SC6821 processor
- 3.5-inch 320 x 480p touchscreen
- 128MB RAM, 256MB ROM
- 4GB memory expandability
- Dual SIM, 2G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
- 2MP main camera
- 1250mAh battery, 4 hours of talk time
- 115.9 x 62 x 11.8 millimeters
- 104 grams

You can buy the Intex Cloud FX from Snapdeal by hitting this link.