March 27, 2013

Google Nexus 7 tablet to reach India after September

The recently concluded Google I/O 2012 saw the software giant step into the tablet market with the Asus Nexus 7. Priced at $199 for the low-end version, the tablet has been announced for markets across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK, with the delivery scheduled for mid-July. However, according to a report by The Mobile Indian, Indians will be able to lay their hands on the Nexus 7 only after September. Anonymous sources from Asus reveal that Google and Asus don’t have any plans of releasing the Nexus 7 in the country before September. The source revealed, “Google and Asus have no plans in place for India right now. We will be able to announce that only post the third quarter (ending September)." The Nexus 7 is the first device to run the newest iteration of Android – Jelly Bean.

This news could well mean the tablet would be launched in India only by the end of the year. Currently, it is available for the aforementioned markets through Google Play, and it would be interesting to see how the company sells the device in India. The Indian market has a growing number of low to mid-range tablets and the Google Nexus 7 could intensify the competition, especially if it is sold at the same starting price point of around Rs. 11,000. Considering the growing affinity towards tablets, the Nexus 7 has the potential to become the most favoured tablet in India if the price factor is maintained. A recent survey also revealed how more IT and business professionals will be opting for Android tablets in the developing countries.

The Nexus 7 comes equipped with a seven-inch IPS display that boasts a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 chip and 1 GB of RAM. Google is touting the tablet as a serious gaming device, which also features a 12-core Nvidia GeForce GPU. The Google Nexus 7 tablet is available in two storage capacities - 8GB and 16GB - priced approximately around Rs. 11,000 and Rs. 13,000, respectively. When it comes to the size, the Nexus tablet measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.5 mm and weighs 340 gm. These dimensions allow it to go head-to-head with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which seems to be the device that the Nexus 7 is targetting, rather than the iPad as was predicted earlier. The connectivity options found on the Google Nexus 7 tablet include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and NFC capabilities, and the tablet also comes with Google Wallet pre-installed. As for the camera featured here, it comes as no surprise that Google has just added a front facing camera that can be used for video calls. However, what's interesting is that this camera can shoot HD 720p videos.

March 26, 2013

Sony rolls out update for the Xperia Z, fixes sudden death issue

Some users of Sony’s latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z, have complained on Sony forums that their devices have been randomly crashing. Some of these users were able to fix this problem with a hard reset of the device. For those that weren’t able to do so, a fix has been released by Sony to address the issue.

The fix for the Xperia Z is available to users either over the air or via the PC sync software. The update is being rolled out in phases so if you haven’t received the update, you should in the next few days. The update only addresses the issue of the sudden death of the smartphone and doesn’t bring any new functionality or features to the table. If you are one who hasn’t yet received the update and is impatient to update your Xperia Z smartphone, can do so via the XDA developers forum.

The Xperia Z was launched earlier this month and we really liked some of the features of the smartphone. You can check out all the details in our review. The phone is capable of resisting dust and even being immersed in water, apart from sporting an excellent display. We put the durability of the Xperia Z to the test and we have a video to prove its capabilities.

The Xperia Z is Sony’s flagship smartphone boasting of some impressive specifications that includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The device also sports 2GB RAM and houses a 5-inch Reality Display with a 1920x1080 pixels resolution. The Adreno 320 GPU supports its graphical capabilities. The Xperia Z has 16GB built-in storage expandable via a microSD card slot. The rear of the smartphone houses an 8MP shooter and the 2330 mAh battery powers the entire package.

DigiVive's nexGTv to stream Pepsi IPL 2013 on mobile phones

DigiVive’s mobile TV service nexGTv has won the official mobile streaming rights for the Pepsi IPL 2013. The company has also tied up with Times Internet for the broadcast. With a total of 76 matches, the IPL will begin April 03 and go on till May 26.

nexGTv users will be able to catch all the action on the go as well as the match repeats and highlights from video-on-Demand section. Pepsi IPL channel will be clubbed into existing subscription packs of nexGTv, hence users can watch it by subscribing to these packs.

The service can be availed by sending a SMS mytv to 58888, or from any of the app stores and from the nexGTv website

Digivive claims its nexGTv mobile TV service has already been activated by more than 9 million users and on an average there are 25,000 downloads everyday. The company reveals the company registered a massive traffic and traction after bagging rights to stream live T20 World Cup on nexGTv.

“Cricket is not just a sport in India but the real source of entertainment with lot of emotions involved. This is ‘the real content’ desired by users. We have witnessed immense success during last cricketing actions that were streamed live on nexGTv. Streaming all the 76 matches of IPL is yet another step towards our commitment of delivering best possible service and content on our mobile TV platform,” says G.D. Singh, director, DigiVive.

Speaking on the partnership, Satyan Gajwani, CEO, Times Internet, said "Sports, and cricket in particular, is a strong area of focus for us. Partnering with nexGTV is a step forward for us in bringing IPL 2013 to cricket fans across mobile devices, allowing them to catch the IPL action anytime, anywhere. The last few years have been promising and we hope for higher engagement with mobile cricket’s fans this year".

Aakash 3 might arrive in mid-2013 : Datawind

There is barely a week left for Datawind to supply 1 lakh units of the Aakash 2 tablet, but the company has already come out and stated that the next iteration of the Aakash lineup will be launched sometime around mid-2013. Datawind's official website states that the Aakash 3 is expected to be launched in mid-2013. In fact, the Canada-based vendor expects the specifications of the new tablet to be finalised by the end of this month by the National Mission for Education through Information Communication Technology (NMEICT).

Datawind's recommendations for the specifications of the Aakash 3 include an embedded cellular modem that will enable it to accommodate a regular SIM card and offer Internet connectivity. The company went on to reveal that its new tablet, the UbiSlate 7C+, was based on the recommended specifications for the Aakash 3.

As per Datawind, the recommended specifications include a Cortex A8 CPU clocked at 1GHz, 512MB of RAM, 4GB storage, a multi-touch capacitive screen, a front-facing VGA camera, Wi-Fi and GPRS.

Deepak B Phatak, committee member and a professor in IIT Bombay's Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was quoted in the media as saying the Aakash 3 would come with "a faster processor, support both Linux and Android operating systems and have advanced memory." He also said the global tender for the tablet would be floated in February, and as many as 50 lakh units would be rolled out in the next phase.

He was quoted as saying, "Our aim is to imbibe the usage of tablets in the education system and create an ecosystem for this. We have distributed Aakash tablets to 250 colleges across the country and asked them to come up with newer ways to use the device."

Phatak, together with Prof Ashok Jhunjhunwala of IIT Madras, will be leading the design of the new tablet, accompanied by hundreds of students and partners. The third iteration of the "poor man's tablet" is expected to have a larger distribution and servicing system to enable users to get their tablets repaired locally. Phatak suggested two models for the upcoming tablet: one for schools and the one for colleges. He added that the option for school students could be made available for Rs 2,236, while the one for college students would be priced a little higher.

However, it looks like Datawind will miss its supply deadline for the second time in a row. The company is expected to supply 1 lakh units of the Aakash 2 by March 31, 2013, but it recently updated the tablet's delivery status to IIT Bombay, following reports hinting at a delay in supplies.

According to the company, as of last week 17,100 devices have been delivered to IIT Bombay and paid for, and as many as 29,400 units of the Aakash 2 are in transit to IIT Bombay through their logistics company and should be delivered in the next few days. Another 23,500 devices have been manufactured and are with sub-contract manufacturers, pending shipment once the company clears the payment for the 29,400 units.

Datawind claims the delay was caused by the verification process the Customs had to conduct on the Exemption Certificates for certain components issued by IIT Bombay.

As for the remaining 30,000 units, Datawind has confirmed that the motherboards, touchscreens and all other components have been manufactured and the final assembly is being completed. It expects to meet the 1-lakh-unit target within the next couple of weeks, and says efforts are being made to deliver as many as possible by March 31, 2013.

March 25, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 is available at Rs 59,990

It has been less than a week since the Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially unveiled to the world and the phone is only set to hit stores at the end of April. However, those itching to get their hands on one as soon as it’s released will be happy to know that the Samsung flagship is now up for pre-order at an online retailer.

The website lists the phone on sale for a discounted Rs 59,990, which is a good Rs 5,000 less than what is supposedly the official price of the Galaxy S4. Now, that’s putting it in iPhone territory! The listing says that the phone will start shipping in 45 days, which lines up with the end of April target that Samsung has set for the launch.

At such an early stage, it is hard to know what the actual price of the phone is, but we think that the phone will definitely launch for less than that touted price, especially considering the leaked pricing in Europe. has the Galaxy S4 on pre-order for €649 (approximately Rs 45,000), with a 50 euro discount. Even taking into account the usual levies and excise duties that will be attached to the price on the India-bound handset, the price of Rs 59,990 seems stratospheric. We expect the phone to be priced under Rs 50,000 to better compete with the likes of the Sony Xperia Z and the soon-to-be-launched HTC One.

The listing shows that Galaxy S4 is powered by the new Exynos 5 Octa processor, which uses two quad-core CPUs in conjunction to maintain the balance of high performance and power-efficiency. The listing also says that the internal storage of the device is 16GB. There are two other models of the S4 with 32 and 64GB of storage, but neither is put up for sale on the website.

Here’s a look at the key specifications of the Galaxy S4:

  • 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR and A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • NFC
  • MicroUSB 2.0  with MHL, USB On-the-go, USB Host
  • 13 megapixel primary camera with LED flash, Simultaneous HD video and still image stabilisation, 1080p video recording.
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p video recording @ 30fps
  • 16/32/64GB internal storage with microSD card for further expansion up to 64 GB

There is no doubt that the Galaxy S4 is a top-of-the-line handset, but even with the above specifications, the new Exynos CPU and a slew of software features, a price of Rs 59,990 is not justified. However, Samsung has a steady fan following, not unlike the fanbase Apple enjoys. So there could be a case made for such a high price. Take a look at our poll and let us know whether you think the high price for Samsung’s latest and greatest is worth it.

Motorola's X Phone may launch in November

A lot of people are waiting for Google and Motorola’s first collaborative outing—the X Phone. According to PhoneArena, the Motorola X Phone is set to come out in November, as opposed to earlier rumours about a launch date in July. The phone will reportedly sport a 4.8-inch display made of sapphire glass, which is said to be three times harder to crack than Gorilla Glass.

The corners of the smartphone will supposedly be made with rubber bumpers to make the phone sturdier, and the back will be carbon fibre. It is said to be powered by a quad-core 2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, and will have a 4,000 mAh battery, staying in line with Motorola’s affinity for high-capacity batteries. As an added bonus, the device will also supposedly be water-resistant. To be fair, these rumours sound too good to be true.

We've had rumours suggesting the phone will have an edge-to-edge Full HD display, a rugged or unbreakable casing and a long-lasting battery, something that Google feels has often been ignored by other manufacturers. It is also said to feature the Sony Exmor RS sensor, which is used in the Sony Xperia Z.

It's rumoured the X Phone will also give you the liberty to pick the device and then choose which carrier you want to go with. Similar to how Dell changed the PC game in the 1990s, Google wants to build phones to order and then sell them at a very affordable price tag, which won’t be bound to a contract.

Reportedly, the back of the X Phone is no ordinary panel—Google is said to have implemented a touch-sensitive button in the Motorola logo back there. Motorola had included a similar feature in its Backflip phone. This rumour is in line with a patent application from Google covering backside device touch controls. There’s no word on what exactly the rear touch panel's functions are, but it's rumoured it could be used to scroll through webpages and for launching voice commands.

Source : Motorola's X Phone may launch in November

March 24, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Grand launched in India for Rs 21,500

Samsung Electronics has launched the latest phone in its Galaxy line-up – the Samsung Galaxy Grand. The device runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual core processor. The phone is priced at Rs 21,500 and comes with a flip cover along with Rs 8,000 worth of free movies and music plus 50GB of space on popular cloud-storage service Dropbox as part of the introductory offer.

Samsung claims that the Galaxy Grand is one of the world’s top performing dual SIM smartphones. Smart Dual SIM also offers the flexibility of selecting different mobile billing plans for either SIM, which allows switching between them to make the most of competitive call and data plans.

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Grand in India

Here's a quick look at the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Grand smartphone:
  • 5-inch WVGA TFT LCD display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels
  • 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi capabilities
  • A-GPS Glonass
  • Bluetooth
  • 8MP camera
  • 8GB + microSD expandable up to 64GB
As per the press release, the display renders messaging, multimedia and web content in good colour and clarity. The device also sports the Multi-Window feature that is present in the popular Galaxy Note series. It allows multitasking and running of multiple applications simultaneously without having to switch screens.

Speaking at the launch, Asim Warsi, Vice President, Samsung Mobile, stated, “Continuing with our legacy of launching innovative devices that redefine consumer experiences, I take great pride in announcing the launch of the Galaxy Grand in the Indian market .The Galaxy Grand is revolutionary not only in terms of the great Smartphone experience that it provides but also in terms of its value proposition. I feel the Galaxy Grand will further fuel the growth of the Smartphone market in India and will especially delight consumers looking for a great Smart Dual SIM phone. The Galaxy Grand best meets the growing consumer preference for a large screen device that gives them a great multimedia experience and superior performance.”

The Galaxy Grand comes with various features that enable the consumers to use the device. The Smart Stay uses the front camera to prevent the device from going into standby mode while it detects a user in front of the device. Direct Call feature enables users to automatically dial a call by raising the device up to the ear. Smart Alert shows missed events such as missed calls and new messages just by picking up the phone. Popup Play enables the users to watch video in a pop-up window anywhere on the screen while running other tasks. The S Voice feature allows the user to control the phone using their voice. The device also features a unique Face & Voice Unlock that enables the users to lock and unlock their device with face or voice recognition.

The phone comes pre-loaded with ChatOn, Samsung’s cross-platform communication service that lets users socialise with friends and to do more than just instant messaging. ChatOn allows users to freely share multimedia content, do group chatting with friends and create personalised animated messages. The device also comes pre-loaded with a host of other applications. This includes ‘Games Hub’ and ‘My Services’ that includes services like myMovies, myMusic , myMobileTV , myStation ,myReader and myEducation, which allows them to enjoy and personalise their device.

While myMovies gives users access to thousands of Indian movies, trailers and film songs, myMusic allows them to download and listen to English and Bollywood numbers from a song collection that totals more than 250,000. myReader allows Galaxy Grand users to access Indian newspapers, magazines, over 30,000 books and for the first time, even audio books. MyMobileTV allows consumers to watch 100+ Live TV channels on the device while myStation gives them an opportunity to watch live concerts and performances on their device. The All Share Play enables easy sharing and playing of contents across Samsung digital devices, anywhere anytime.

The device comes with a powerful 2,100mAh battery and is available in ‘Elegant White’ and ‘Metallic Blue’ colour options.

XOLO B700 budget Android phone now available online for Rs. 8,999

Just days after revealing the X1000 Android smartphone, XOLO has made the B700 budget Android phone available for purchase online for Rs. 8,999. THe XOLO B700 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and comes with a PowerVR SGX531 GPU, the same GPU that also powers the XOLO X1000 and the Micromax A110 Canvas 2. The B700 also has 512MB of RAM and an impressive 3450 mAh battery.

The phone is claimed to provide 20 hours of continuous talktime on 3G and 86 hours of continuous music playback thanks to higher than normal battery rating. The phone has a 4.3-inch IPS display with a resolution of 960x540 pixels and 256 ppi (pixels per inch).
The B700 runs on Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and offers 4GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards up to 32GB. The XOLO phone also provides most modern connectivity features such as Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. The B700 is the first phone launched by XOLO from its B series (the B stands for Big Battery) and will join phones already being sold from the X, A and Q series.

The XOLO B700 is available to purchase online from sites like Flipkart and eBay.

March 23, 2013

Micromax launches A116 Canvas HD with 5-inch IPS HD display at Rs 14,999

Micromax has launched its new A116 Canvas HD smartphone at a press event held in Delhi. The device is priced at Rs. 14,999. The Indian phone maker is known for its budget-friendly handsets and this mid-level device also comes with an attractive set of features. Its flagship model, the A110 Canvas 2, was quite popular and this one takes the performance a notch higher. This affordable smartphone goes by the latest trend and packs in a 5-inch IPS display just like the previous Canvas A110, but with higher 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. It is also Micromax’s first smartphone to feature a quad core processor.

The smartphone is powered by a powerful MediaTek MT6589 1.2 GHz quad core processor, with 1GB RAM. It runs on the Android Jelly Bean 4.1 and comes equipped with a 2100mAh battery. The smartphone comes with an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and multiple camera settings such as night mode and 4X zoom. This 3G enabled phone supports microSD card up to 32GB. Promising superb graphics and HD viewing experience, Micromax targets youth who are always on the lookout for better, faster and savvier smartphones on the move.  

Commenting on the launch and association with MediaTek, Deepak Mehrotra, Chief Executive Officer, Micromax, said, “At Micromax, we constantly strive to innovate and develop great technological experiences for our consumers. Today’s launch marks our association with MediaTek to bring forth our first quad core phone in this segment, offering consumers a great user experience with latest features and added functionality. We are excited with the success of Canvas 2, which has clearly established Micromax as number one player in the new 5” phablet category in India. We are looking forward to similar success with the new phone being unveiled today.”

Micromax’s previous popular flagship model, the A110 Canvas 2, came with a 5-inch FWVGA capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. Equipped with a 2,000mAh Li-ion battery, it offered up to five hours of talk time and up to 180 hours of standby time. The device ran on Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The A116 Canvas HD is expected to be available for purchase starting the first week of February via all major retailers across the nation and all major online stores.