October 23, 2012

Nokia Asha 308 launched in India at Rs 5,865

Nokia has launched one of its latest phones from the Asha line in India. The Nokia Asha 308 is now available on Nokia India’s online store for a price of Rs 5,865. The phone runs on Nokia’s S40 full-touch interface.

The new device offers a fluid 'swipe' user interface and an open environment for third-party application development, characteristics that have earned the complete Asha Touch range full smartphone classification from global market research companies and analysts such as GfK and IDC.

Nokia Asha 308 has been launched in India

Here are some of the highlights of the Nokia Asha 308:

  • 3-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 400 x 240 pixels
  • Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
  • 2 megapixel camera, VGA frontfacing camera

In its official statement, Nokia previously shared that it has released a new version of Nokia Xpress Browser, which it claims enables up to 90 percent more efficient mobile browsing and faster access to rich web applications compared to conventional browsers.

"Our innovative Asha Touch family of devices is designed for people who want a great smartphone experience with lower running costs," said Timo Toikkanen, executive vice president, Mobile Phones, Nokia during the announcement of the phone. "By introducing the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309, we're expanding our affordable smartphone lineup and bringing new mobile experiences to more people.”

According to Nokia, the Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 phones are its most affordable capacitive touchscreen devices to date. A view shared by independent analysts is that the Asha line represents great smartphones available for less than USD 99. "Nokia's Asha Touch family delivers all the core smartphone experiences, and with the new software developer kit, provides ever-increasing flexibility for developers to build compelling new experiences for consumers," said Will Stofega, Mobile Phone Program Director, IDC.

Nokia also introduced two extensions to its Xpress Browser Internet platform, which the company calls the only cloud-based web browser to support web apps.

The Nokia Nearby web app helps people discover new places by searching nearby locations and presenting the options on a map. The service is available via Nokia Xpress Browser or as a feature within Nokia Maps.

The Nokia Life+ web app will give millions of people access to content that spans education, health and infotainment to enhance their daily lives. Nokia Life+ is available in English across 18 countries, with local versions coming to India, China and Indonesia in the fourth quarter of this year. Nokia Life+ can be accessed through Nokia Xpress Browser or the Nokia Store.

Both the services work with Asha Touch smartphones. In addition to these services, Nokia also introduced a new web-based tool that makes it even easier to build new applications. With Nokia Xpress Web App Builder, publishers can create appealing web apps for Asha Touch devices, and even novices can turn their web content into a fun and sophisticated web app for Nokia consumers.

October 22, 2012

LG Optimus Vu With Android 4.0 And 5" Screen Lands In India

Announced at MWC 2012 in February, LG's first phablet, the Optimus Vu, has finally hit the Indian market. The handset has a 5" screen, and will compete with the Samsung GALAXY Note II. On the software front, the Optimus Vu runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and comes preloaded with a plethora of apps specifically created for the stylus. It is powered by a 1.5 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset and has an 8 mp camera.

Here's the list of detailed specs:

  • 1.5 GHz Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset, 1 GB of RAM.
  • 5" IPS screen with 1024x768 pixels, 4:3 aspect ratio, 16 million colours.
  • 8 mp auto-focus rear camera, 1.3 mp front camera.
  • Camera features: 8x zoom, Time machine shot, HDR, Panorama, Continuous shot, Beauty Shot, 1080p video recording at 30 fps.
  • Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm Jack, Bluetooth, A-GPS, NFC.
  • 32 GB internal storage, Micro-USB port with support for MHL.
  • Quad-band GSM (850, 900, 1800, 1900 GHz), Tri-band 3G (W900, W1900, W2100 MHz), Micro-SIM slot.
  • Android 4.0 (ICS), Preloaded with special apps for stylus.
  • 5.5" (l) x 3.6" (w) x (0.3 mm)(d), 168 grams.
  • 2080 mAh battery.
The original Optimus Vu (launched in Korea earlier this year) had a dual-core CPU, but for other markets, LG has decided to go with the quad-core chipset. So at least on paper, the Vu looks as powerful as the GALAXY Note II. That said, I wonder how many users will find a 4:3 form factor comfortable. The Note II has the upper hand also because of its 3100 mAh battery, Jelly Bean OS, and the microSD card slot.

The Optimus Vu is listed on LG's India website with an MRP of Rs 34,500.

Sony lists Xperia phones due for Jelly Bean update

Sony has released a list of phones due to get the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in a statement. The announcement clarifies the doubts on which Xperia smartphones will get the next Android version, after the recent upgrades across the 2011 and the 2012 ranges of Xperia phones from Android Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4 version).

According to the update statement, the latest Xperia phones - the Xperia T, TX and V will get Jelly Bean from the middle of Q1 2013, around February.
The slightly older phones, the Xperia Ion, Xperia S, Xperia arco S, Xperia P and Xperia Go will also receive the Jelly Bean upgrade. However, Sony says that the rollout schedule for these phones will be announced “in due course”. This is notable, as the Ice Cream Sandwich rollout earlier this year first covered the 2011 Xperia phones and then covered the newer Xperia S and Xperia U phones. If Sony carries on with the same tradition, then the early-2012 range of Xperia phones should expect the goodness earlier than the very recent launches.
Unfortunately, for those of you using a 2011 range Xperia smartphone, the upgrades will stop with the recently rolled out Ice Cream Sandwich update. Sony says, “We were glad to provide the Android 4.0.4 upgrade for our 2011 Xperia portfolio across most markets and the majority of models but, after thorough evaluation, we have concluded they will not be upgraded beyond Ice Cream Sandwich.”

Source : Sony lists Xperia phones due for Jelly Bean update

January 6, 2012

Facebook second most accessed site, behind Google in the US

In a study carried out by Nielsen Media Research, it has been concluded that Google is the number one website in the U.S. The number two spot is taken by Facebook, followed by others, such as Yahoo!, MSN, YouTube and Microsoft in that order. There are some interesting facts to consider. The study was completed between January and October, this year. The ranking displayed based on the number of average unique visitors that accessed each site. Google took a lead of roughly 11 percent in terms of these numbers, over Facebook. The data was collected based on computers used in offices and homes. Some 153.4 million visitors from the U.S accessed Google. on an average per month.

Although this was a study done by Nielsen in the U.S, similar patterns are expected for other countries around the world, including India. The use of Google is obvious, whereas Facebook is a major phenomenon these days. Microblogging services like, Twitter didn’t not figure in that list - sites like Wikipedia, Apple and Ask.com did. The study shows without a doubt, the dominance of Google on the web and these numbers reported don’t even include international traffic.

January 5, 2012

Apple to receive $10 for every Android phone sold?

We all know that Apple is going all guns blazing in the war against patent infringement (read: Android). Now, as reported by Phone Arena, Kevin Rivette, managing partner at an intellectual property firm called 3LP Advisors LLC has mentioned in a conversation with Bloomberg that if things do go Apple’s way in this patent war, there’s a good chance that they might get $10 for every Android device that has been sold. This figure is close to twice of what Microsoft receives from its licensing deal with Android manufacturers. It seems like Apple is gearing to become foes with a lot of companies in the tech world.

So, what do we think about this? For the love of technology, definitely not good, because these two are fighting like Optimus Prime vs Megatron! We, on the other hand, are peace lovers and have happily installed the MIUI iOS themed ROM on our Android phones.

January 4, 2012

Samsung Smartphones leading in India

Though the popularity of Nokia is declining, it has played a key role in introducing the Indian terrain to mobile phones. The Finnish player has now been taken over by Samsung in India. According to TOI, in November the volume market share and value share were 38 percent and 35.2 percent for Samsung as per GfK research firm. It is for the first time that it has exceeded these figures to overtake Nokia.

Samsung Mobile and IT country head, Ranjit Yadav said, "At Samsung, we believe in offering our consumers innovative smart mobile devices across different operating systems and different price points, and giving them more choice. This has helped Samsung emerge as the preferred brand in the smartphone market in India."

Samsung witnessed the highest share in October in value, while Nokia was leading in terms of volume. In India, we saw a surge in the market as the month of November contributed 6 percent of the overall phones of the year. Reportedly, CyberMedia Research claims that smartphone shipments reached 7.9 million units from January to September in 2011. It also says that Samsung appears as the market leader with larger value share in September. Nokia has been striving to bounce back and this year we saw it put forth the Lumia range.

India seeks Taiwan help to boost Aakash production

The Indian government is planning to partner with Taiwan-based PC makers to obtain components for the world's cheapest tablet PC, Aakash. According to Sandeep Yadav, who is a convenor of the project, India is seeking participation of the Taiwan-based PC makers in the bidding for the second generation of the Aakash tablet, UbiSlate 7. Yadav says that the Taiwanese manufacturers can help India keep price of the new tablet less than $35. He also pointed out that 10-20 per cent of the Aakash tablet components were provided by the Taiwanese companies. He further disclosed that the Indian government plans to roll out 200 million Aakash tablets (upgraded version) in the next three years. Yadav also acknowledges that the Aakash 2 a.k.a UbiSlate 7 is a better choice than the original Aakash.

The Aakash tablet was released online by the UK-based developer DataWind. The Aakash received a massive response from the customers, as the device was sold out in less than a week after its launch. Unfortunately, DataWind has not yet started distribution of the Aakash tablet.

The 7-inch Aakash tablet runs on Android 2.2 Froyo operating system and features Arm11-366MHz processor. The Aakash tablet is priced at Rs. 2,500. The Indian government is providing the Aakash tablet to students at a subsidised price of Rs. 1,700.  For more details read Your guide to the new $35 Aakash Tablet.

The UbiSlate 7 has better specs than the original Aakash and costs just Rs. 500 more. The device is expected to be launched early next year.

January 3, 2012

YouTube Slam launched by Google destination for cute, crazy, funny videos

Retiring at the end of a long, tiring day, watching crazy, cute videos, or getting blown away by videos of amateur, but talented singers trying their hand at singing; on YouTube is something we've all indulged in. Needless to add, searching for these videos on the site is tedious, to say the least. Now, Google has introduced a latest addition to YouTube, which brings all these 'slam-y' videos under one roof.

Called YouTube Slam, this section of Google's popular video viewing website aims to be the one-stop destination for the most quirky, but interesting videos housed on YouTube. YouTube Slam, according to its description on the site is "This is the place for discovering talented amateur singers, the most adorable clips and the craziest videos on YouTube. Watch pairs of videos and vote for your favorite. Videos are scored based on your votes, and the best videos are featured on the slam leaderboard. Start voting today and be the first to discover the best videos on YouTube!"

YouTube Slam now has a collection of videos categorized under headers like - Cute Slam, Bizarre Slam, Comedy Slam, and Music Slam. There's also a section on YouTube Slam (placed on bottom right) called Slam Leaderboards, wherein essentially users can vote for their favorite videos and also view the ranking to Top 10 videos, within each category. Users can gauge the changes in these lists, either over a week or go straightaway to viewing the 'all time' best videos. With the platform expanding, and content of varying levels making an entry; YouTube Slam will surely be one interesting place.

Samsung Wave M available in India, at Rs. 12,500

The Samsung Wave M S7250 was recently officially launched in India, priced at roughly Rs. 12,500. The Bada 2.0-based Wave M is also retailing for Rs. 11,900 for now, at Letsbuy.com.

The Wave M S7250 has a 3.65-inch HVGA (320x480) display, 832MHz processor, 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, front-facing VGA camera, 150MB built in storage, expandable via microSD (2GB card bundled), and a 1,500 mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 6 hour 30 minutes of talktime, and 480 hours of standby time.

The Samsung Wave M also has such connectivity options as HSDPA 7.2Mbps, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS support, stereo FM with RDS, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, and microUSB 2.0.

Bundled onboard, is the TouchWiz UI, Samsung ChatON instant messaging platform, push email, and an image editor. The Wave M weighs in at 121 grams, and has a 12.2mm thickness. Notably, the Wave M S7250 also features DNSe (Digital Natural Sound Engine) audio.

January 2, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III expected in February 2012

As the year comes to an end, it’s time to look forward to 2012 and mobile fanatics will be excited to hear about Samsung’s plans for early next year. Unwiredview is carrying a news that claims Samsung will most likely be launching their next big handset - Galaxy S III in February, this coming year. The hardware likely to power the S III will be a quad-core processor. The last round of rumours claimed that Samsung would use a dual-core processor, like the S II, but one that operates at 1.8 GHz. It’s known that Samsung is already working on a quad-core processor, which will be part of the Exynos series of SoCs. There are other improvements expected as well - a 1280x720 Super AMOLED display and LTE support. It will ship with the latest Android - Ice Cream Sandwich.

There’s more from Samsung. A 3D version of the Galaxy is expected and it’s likely to be called the Galaxy S 3D. A 3D display is likely along with support for 3D video and photo shooting. The 3D fever seems to be hitting mobile phones and Samsung hadn’t jumped onboard the bandwagon. LG was one of the few companies to make the move to 3D phones earlier with their Optimus 3D. A whole bunch of phones will be shown off at MWC 2012 (Mobile World Congress 2012) in early February and Samsung will most definitely show off their new hardware then.

Experimental CyanogenMOD 9 port brings ICS update for Motorola Defy

Motorola Defy users can now upgrade to the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform via an experimental build available at the XDA developers' forum. The experimental CyanogenMOD 9 port comes with various unfixed bugs, therefore users may have to wait to get a fully functional platform. Majority of important functions such as touchscreen, USB, Wi-Fi and hardware components are reported to be working fine excluding the camera and other some minor snags.

The build is recommended for only advanced users. To install the port, one needs CM7.1 stable ROM or nightly and then boot in recovery to flash the ICS build.

Users looking to update their Motorola DEFY devices should visit this forum at the XDA Developer’s site.

January 1, 2012

Reports - Nokia prepping a new flagship smartphone, Lumia 900

If reports are to believed, Nokia is prepping a new Windows Phone operating system based device. The rumoured device, dubbed as the Nokia Lumia 900, does not have physical buttons on the front panel. A leaked image posted by My Nokia Blog suggests that Nokia is likely to launch its next flagship smartphone at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held in Las Vegas in January second week. The Nokia Lumia 900 will be accompanied by other new Nokia smartphones as well.

According to reports, the Nokia Lumia 900 will feature a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and will come with the latest Windows Phone Tango update. The Lumia 900 is reportedly powered by a 1.4GHz processor and features an 8 megapixel rear camera with single LED flash. The upcoming Nokia smartphone is likely to sport a front-facing camera and is expected to come in a variety of colour options.

The rumours of new Nokia flagship device come in the backdrop of reported battery issues in the newly launched Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone. However, Nokia has clarified that the battery glitch is likely to have minimal India impact.

Google India launches new format for media ads

Google India has introduced a new format for its media advertisements, called Media Ads. Google's new ad format brings new ways of posting video ads on the Google search page. Unlike the conventional video ads, the Media Ads will feature an exclusive format that will showcase ads on front and centre. The Media Ads is the latest of a series of new ad formats launched by Google India. The Media Ads will be automated and will not depend on keyword based search on Google.com or Google.co.in

Google believes the new format will allow media firms to gain more web traffic and further, help create familiarity of the content. "Our research has shown that a substantial number of users are looking to watch the movie trailer or TV show clips on the search results page, which translates into a high response rate for this ad format," says Google India sales head, Praveen Sharma.

The new Media Ad format also aims to change the way users watch video on Google. The search engine has launched a new Lightbox media player. Users can play a video by clicking the thumbnail or 'watch' link. Once clicked, the Lighbox player expands to the centre of the screen, while rest of the page is dimmed. The Media Ads charges will be based on clicks. Google hopes the pricing model of the Media Ads will be easier to budget for media advertisement campaigns.