Thursday 30 April 2015

Unannounced Zenfone 2 variant with 128GB storage appears at Flipkart, priced at INR 29,999

If 32GB or 64GB of internal storage wasn’t enough for you in the Zenfone 2, looks like Asus is planning to bring a 128GB variant as well. E-retailer Flipkart has quietly listed an unannounced variant of the Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML smartphone on its website, which packs 128GB of internal storage.

In addition to the added storage, the new variant also includes the microSD card slot like other Zenfone 2 versions. Rest of the key specifications of the phone include 2.3GHz Intel Atom Z3580 quad-core processor, Android 5.0, 4GB of RAM and 5.5-inch full HD display.

The availability details of the new variant are unclear at this point, but as per the Flipkart listing, the phone will retail at INR 29,999 in the country.

Microsoft to make it easier for devs to port Android apps to Windows 10

There were quite a few rumours that Microsoft was working on some kind of mechanism to allow Android apps to work on Windows. Turns out, the rumours were partially true. Microsoft isn’t really allowing Android apps to work on Windows, but it is making it easier for the developers to port their apps to Windows.

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled a set of software development kits (SDKs) to help developers bring their Android (and iOS) apps to Windows 10. They won’t need to completely retool their apps to work on Windows, but with some modifications like switching GMS (Google Mobile Services) APIs wih Microsoft’s APIs, the apps will be good to go.

According to Microsoft, the new SDKs will allow the developers to start with their existing Java or C++ code base and integrate with the Universal Windows Platform capabilities.

Not many details are available at this point, but we will let you folks know as soon as the aforementioned SDKs are available. 

Asus Zenfone 4, 5 & 6 to get Android 5.0 update in May

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has announced that it will begin the roll-out of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for its first-gen Zenfone smartphones in May.

“Asus was scheduled to provide ZenFone 4, ZenFone 5, ZenFone 6, ZenFone 5 LTE and PadFone S with Android L upgrade in the end of April. We’ve sent the new version for final verification and we expect to release the upgrade soon,” wrote the company in a forum post.

According to the company, the Asus Zenfone 5 LTE A500KL will be the first phone to receive the update in early-May, followed Zenfone 4 A400CG, Zenfone 4 A450CG, Zenfone 5 A500CG and Zenfone 6 A600CG in mid-May.

The company has not shared a change-log at this point, but we hope to see it along with the roll-out.

Among other first-gen Asus Zenfone smartphones, Asus had stated earlier this month that Zenfone C will get the Android L update in June 2015.

There is no word on the Lollipop update release of Zenfone 5 A501CG, Zenfone 5 A502CG, and Zenfone 4 A400CXG smartphones, but we expect Android 5.0 to arrive for these variants too in late-May or June. We will update this report once we have a confirmation about the same.

Android 5.0 is the second major Android update for the Zenfone smartphones, as they were released with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and have already been updated with Android 4.4 KitKat.

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Take Macro Images Without a Macro Lens.

Macro photography is one of the most fascinating methods of photography, as it lets you see everyday objects in a totally new way. Getting a close look at plants, materials,can be a fun experience, but spending hundreds of rupees on a macro lens isn’t realistic for many people.

Reversal Ring is solution for that.

Reversal rings allow you to mount your lens on your camera backwards. Instead of the lens being close to the camera body, it’s now further away, which allows you to focus on objects that are much closer to your camera. The inability to focus on a subject that is very close to the camera is what makes macro photography almost impossible with a regular lens.

There are two types of reversal rings. The first type has threads on one side and lens-mounting projections on the other. The threads screw into the end of your lens, and the other side mounts to your camera like a regular lens.

The second type of ring is threaded on both sides, and lets you mount a lens backward on another lens. This greatly increases the focal length of your setup, and moves the lens even further away from the camera body.

How to Use Reversal Rings for Macro Photography.

1. Remove the lens cap from your lens and screw the reversal ring into the filter threads. Switch the lens to manual focus.

2. Remove the lens from the body of the camera, turn it around, and lock the reversal ring into place on the camera body like you would a normal lens.

3. Adjust the aperture on your lens. As you may notice in the image above, the electronic contacts that usually allow your camera body to control the aperture of the lens are no longer facing the camera body. You’ll have to adjust the aperture manually. If you have a manual aperture ring, just turn the ring until you get to the aperture you want (starting with something in the middle, like f/11, would be good).

If you don’t have an aperture ring, you’ll need to use a bit of a workaround. Many kit lenses have small levers on the back that control the aperture. By sliding this and blocking it with a piece of cardboard or poster tack, you can get some very rough control over aperture. (If you’re not sure how aperture works, use an online camera simulator to play with it and see what happens.)

If you can adjust the aperture on your lens, going with a smaller aperture (bigger f/stop number) is going to advantageous, as the depth of field in macro photography can be very small. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go!

Monday 27 April 2015

Spice Mobiles unveils Stellar 519 4G LTE smartphone at INR 8,499

Spice Mobiles on Monday announced the launch of its first 4G LTE smartphone for the Indian market. The new Spice Stellar 519 smartphone has been priced at INR 8,499 and is now available at all major retail stores in the country.

“We are thrilled to introduce our first 4G LTE smartphone – Stellar 519, which promises to deliver an outstanding and seamless internet browsing experience. The new Stellar 519 offers a scintillating combination of an amazing user experience with excellent speed and multi-tasking options. This is a great device for customers looking for a smartphone that has it all,” said Prashant Bindal, CEO, Spice Mobility Ltd.

The smartphone features a 5-inch IPS FWVGA display and is powered by 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor. The Stellar 519 also comes with 2500 mAh battery, Android 4.4.4, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and microSD card slot. Among other specifications, the smartphone packs 8MP rear camera, 3.2MP front shooter, dual-SIM support, 4G LTE and the usual set of connectivity options.

According to Spice, the Stellar 519 also includes support for multiple Indian languages.

Android 5.0-powered Intex Aqua Power+ reaches India, priced at INR 8,999

Indian smartphone vendor Intex has launched a new smartphone as a part of its Aqua-series in the country. The new Intex Aqua Power+ smartphone runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and has been priced at INR 8,999.

“The Aqua Power + is another addition to the Aqua series. The Aqua Power+ is a great smartphone boasting vivid display, excellent battery backup, vibrant picture excellence at an incredible price point. At Intex, it is our determination to persistently understand and deliver to our customer expectations,” said Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Mobile Business Head, Intex Technologies.

According to Intex, it has partnered with Reliance Retail for the release of the Aqua Power+ and the phone will be initially available only from Reliance Retail stores. The phone will later reach all major retailers, but the length of Reliance Retail exclusivity is unclear at this point.

Coming to the specifications, the Aqua Power+ sports a 5-inch HD display and is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582M processor. The phone also packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, dual-SIM support, 4000 mAh battery and the usual connectivity options.

On the imaging front, Intex has added a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary shooter in the smartphone.

Intex Aqua Power+ will be released four colours – Black/Champagne, White/Champagne, Champagne, and Black/Silver.

Friday 24 April 2015

Motorola launches Moto 360 with metal band in India, priced at INR 19,999

Motorola has launched the metal band variant of the Moto 360 smartwatch in the Indian market. It has been priced at INR 19,999 and is now available at e-retailer

The Moto 360 with metal band is currently being offered in Black and Silver colour options and there is no word on the launch of Gold colour version.

“The wristwatch has been through several evolutions since it first became a popular fashion accessory more than a 100 years ago. From mechanical to electronic movements, analog to digital faces, the wristwatch has been reinvented several times over, but the basic design has endured for a century because of its elegance and usefulness ‘at a glance.’ Our vision for Moto 360 was to celebrate that history as we reimagined the wristwatch for the future,” the company noted in a press release.

The new launch comes just days after Google unveiled a new version of Android Wear platform. The new version is now rolling out to Moto 360 smartwatch and brings Wi-Fi support, UI improvements and more. You can read about the Android Wear update at this link.

At INR 20K, the Moto 360 with metal band is certainly not for everyone and continues to be one of the most expensive Android Wear smartwatches in the country. Motorola recently pushed a price-cut for the smartwatch in the US, but there has been no correction in the Moto 360 price-tag in India since the launch. The leather band version of the device is still being offered at INR 17,999.

To remind you, Moto 360 sports 1.56-inch round display with Gorilla Glass in steel chassis. It is powered by TI OMAP 3 processor and includes 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

Lenovo K80 smartphone packs 4GB of RAM & 4000 mAh battery; priced at $290

In an attempt to take on Asus Zenfone 2 smartphone with 4GB of RAM, Lenovo has introduced the new K80 Android phone in China. The smartphone will go on sale in the country starting April 30 with a price-tag of 1799 yuan ($290).

The Lenovo K80 sports a 5.5-inch full HD display and includes 4GB of RAM, 4000 mAh battery and Android 5.0. It is powered by 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor and packs 4G LTE support, 13MP rear camera with OIS and 64GB of storage. All this in a just 8.5mm thick chassis.

According to the Lenovo, the phone will be released in Black, Silver, and Red colours.

The company will also be offering a 2GB RAM and 32GB storage version of the K80 at 1499 yuan. There is no word on the international availability of the phone at this point.

Lenovo’s new A5000 smartphone reaches Indian market

Continuing the expansion of its A-series, Lenovo has introduced the new A5000 smartphone. The phone was first unveiled in Russia on Wednesday and has now reached the Indian shores.

According to Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom, the smartphone is available in physical stores at INR 10,250. We are, however, still waiting for an official announcement.

According to Lenovo’s UAE website, the phone comes with a 5-inch HD display and is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor. Other specifications of the phone include 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot and dual-SIM support. On the imaging front, Lenovo has packed 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front shooter in the A5000.

While all of the specs that we have mentioned until now are pretty average, the phone shines on the battery front. It features a 4000 mAh battery, which the company claims can offer upto 17 hours of talktime of 3G.

In terms of the software, the A5000 runs on Android 4.4 and is pre-loaded with the usual Lenovo DOit applications. It can be grabbed in Black and White colour options.

Xiaomi launches Mi Band fitness tracker in India at INR 999

In addition to the new Mi 4i smartphone, Xiaomi on Thursday announced the launch of its Mi Band fitness tracker in the Indian market. The device will be available exclusively via the company’s own webstore at It has been priced at INR 999 and will be available in six colour options.

Originally unveiled in China last year, Mi Band is a no frills fitness monitor and sleep tracker, which seamlessly sync data with Mi Fit companion app.

According to Xiaomi, the Mi Band sports a laser-cut aluminum alloy core and a user-replaceable hypoallergenic silicone band. It is water-resistant and includes 30-days battery life.

Here is quick look at Mi Band features

  • Monitor your activity levels, track walking distance and calculate calories burned
  • Sleep monitoring
  • Smart vibration alarm
  • Real-time fitness data sync with Mi Fit using Bluetooth low-energy
  • Automatically unlock your Android smartphone using Android 5.0 or MIUI’s Smart Unlock
  • Incoming call alerts

Thursday 23 April 2015

Xiaomi Mi 4i is official, will reach India first

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Thursday unveiled the new Mi 4i smartphone at a press event in New Delhi. According to the company, the new phone has been built keeping the Indian consumers in mind.

It sports a 5-inch full HD IPS display with a polycarbonate unibody design and will be released in five colour options. The phone is powered by 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core 64-bit processor and packs 3120 mAh battery.

On the imaging front, Xiaomi has included a 13MP f2.0 rear camera on the phone with dual-tone LED flash and a 5MP f1.8 front shooter. In addition, the Mi 4i packs 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, dual-SIM support and 4G LTE connectivity.

According to Xiaomi, It is the first smartphone from the company to run Android 5.0 with MIUI 6 and comes with India-specific features like Visual IVR. Visual IVR allows the users to select the IVR options from an on-screen menu for quickly and effectively getting the desired information. V-IVR will be initially available in the beta ROM of the phone and later reach the stable version.

The company also added that the MIUI 6 is now available in six Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

Pricing and availability:

Xiaomi has noted that India will act as the launchpad for Mi 4i. The smartphone will go on sale beginning April 30 in the country via flash sales and the registrations for the first sale open later today at Flipkart.

Although Flipkart will be the only retailer carrying the phone in the country initially, the phone will reach all other Mi partners like Snapdeal, Amazon, The Mobile Store and Airtel in the coming months. Xiaomi Mi 4i will also be the first smartphone to be available via in India and the Mi store availability will coincide with Amazon and Snapdeal release of the phone.

Coming to the price, the Mi 4i will retail at INR 12,999 in the country.

Global availability: Xiaomi has revealed that Mi 4i will reach Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in May.

Asus Zenfone 2 debuts in India, starts INR 12,999

Taiwanese manufacturer Asus on Thursday launched its flagship Zenfone 2 smartphone in the Indian market. The smartphone will be succeeding the company’s successful first-generation Asus Zenfone in the country.

Asus Zenfone 2 was originally introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. The phone has generated quite a buzz among the consumers as the top variants of the phone pack as much as 4GB of RAM.

According to Asus, it will initially be offering four variants of the phone in India, which will come with different RAM, storage, processor and display resolution.

The Indian versions of Asus Zenfone 2 sport a 5.5-inch display and are powered by 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor. They also come with 3000 mAh battery, 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, 5MP front shooter, dual-SIM support, 4G LTE and microSD card slot. All Zenfone 2 variants run Android 5.0 and include Zen UI.

Pricing and Availability

Like all Zenfone devices until now, Asus has partnered with e-retailer Flipkart to exclusively handle the online sales of the Zenfone 2, while the company will take care of the offline sales. In addition to Flipkart, the Zenfone 2 models will be available in Asus Experience stores across the country.

The phones are now available for pre-order and here is a look at the pricing of various models.

  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML – HD display, 1.8GHz Z3560 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage – INR 12,999
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE550ML – FHD display, 1.8GHz Z3560 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage – INR 14,999
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML – FHD display, 2.3GHz Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage – INR 19,999
  • Asus Zenfone 2 ZE551ML – FHD display, 2.3GHz Z3580 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage – INR 22,999

Google’s Project Fi is a cellular service for US Nexus 6 users

After multiple rumours, Google on Wednesday announced that it is finally becoming a cellular service provider, but since the company doesn’t posses any spectrum of its own, it will be hosting its services on T-Mobile and Sprint networks. The Google service is known as Project Fi and will be initially available only via invites.

According to Google, the service will automatically switch between T-Mobile and Sprint’s 4G LTE networks and free Wi-Fi hotspots to offer constant high-speed connectivity to the consumers.

“Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it’s Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable. Once you’re connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places,” explained Google in a blog post.

Google notes that Fi network will work seamlessly across 4G LTE and Wi-Fi hotspots. “Wherever you’re connected to Wi-Fi—whether that’s at home, your favorite coffee shop or your Batcave—you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat,” added Google.

Also, with Google Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can use any connected device to call or send texts.

It will cost for $20 a month for unlimited basics and flat $10 per GB for cellular data. If you don’t use all the subscribed data, you get a refund.

Despite all these positives, there is a big downside to the Google Fi – it only works with Nexus 6 right now and we don’t expect the supported devices to significantly increase in the near future. So, if you own a Nexus 6 in US and looking for non-contract cellular service provider, head over to for more details or to request an invite for the service.

Although Google’s wireless service model is not new and is already offered by the likes Republic Wireless, which is a small MVNO in the US, but given the brand name and resources, the search giant could have a bigger impact on the wireless industry in the country, something which Republic Wireless hasn’t been able to do.

Facebook’s new Hello dialer is Truecaller mated with Google Dialer

A month after getting accidentally leaked in the company’s Android app, Facebook’s dialer and caller ID app “Hello” has become official. The company released the application in Google Play earlier today for free, but it seems to be US-only right now and Facebook has not revealed any plans for expanded availability.

“Billions of calls are made everyday on mobile phones and people often have very little information about who’s calling them. Today we are starting to test Hello, a new app built by the Messenger team. Hello connects with Facebook so you can see who’s calling, block unwanted calls and search for people and places,” wrote Andrea Vaccari, Product Manager at Facebook, in a blog post.

Developed by the Facebook Messenger team, Hello offers four basic functions apart from what any normal dialer app comes with – automatic look-up for unknown callers, search for people and businesses on Facebook, block unwanted calls, make VOIP calls using Messenger.

According to the company, the app uses Facebook database to identify unknown callers or to offer details of local businesses and people. The call block feature in the app allows the users block specific numbers and adjust whether they want to automatically blocks calls from commonly blocked numbers in settings. All the blocked calls go to voice-calls, so that they can be reviewed later.

Introducing Hello from Facebook on Vimeo.

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Micromax Canvas Spark becomes official, priced at INR 4,999

After many teasers, Indian smartphone vendor Micromax on Tuesday unveiled the new Canvas Spark smartphone. Set to go on sale beginning April 29 in India, the phone has got a price-tag of INR 4,999. The phone will be exclusively available via e-retailer in the country.

Canvas Spark is Micromax’s answer to smartphones like Xiaomi Redmi 2, Lenovo A6000, Lenovo A6000 Plus, and Moto E (2nd Gen). It features a 4.7-inch qHD IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor.

The smartphone also comes with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, dual-SIM support, microSD card slot and 2000 mAh battery.

On the software front, Micromax has packed Android 5.0 in the Canvas Spark, which makes it the third smartphone from the company to come pre-installed with Lollipop.

Other specifications of the phone include 8MP rear camera with LED flash, 2MP front shooter, 3G support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

According to Micromax, it is employing the flash sale method for the phone and the first flash sale will take place of April 29. The registrations for the same open April 22 at The phone will be offered in White-Gold and Grey-Silver colour options.

Moto E (2nd Gen) 4G is now available at Flipkart

A week after going on pre-order in the country, Motorola’s new Moto E (2nd Gen) 4G smartphone is now available at e-retailer Flipkart. The phone carries a price-tag of INR 7,999 and is being offered in Black and White colour options.

The 4G Moto E is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 processor and comes with 4.5-inch qHD display, 1GB of RAM, Android 5.0 and 2390 mAh battery. In addition, Motorola has included 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 5MP rear camera and VGA front shooter in the phone.

It joins the already available 3G version of the phone in the country, which is sold at INR 6,999 and packs almost the same specifications apart from an inferior processor.

Moto E (2nd Gen) 4G will be competing with its parent firm Lenovo’s A6000 Plus smartphone in the country. A6000 Plus is set to go on sale later this month and packs better specifications than the Moto E at a lower price-tag. The only problem with A6000 Plus is the older and bloated version of Android present in the phone.

Monday 20 April 2015

Oppo India launches Joy Plus budget smartphone at INR 6,990

Oppo on Monday announced the launch of its new Joy Plus smartphone in the Indian market. The smartphone comes almost a year after the company had released its predecessor ‘Oppo Joy’ in the country.

Oppo Joy Plus has been priced at INR 6,990 and will go on sale soon via all major retail stores.

“Our aim at OPPO India is to provide our customers with ground-breaking technology at affordable prices. The Smartphone market in India is constantly evolving and we intend to reach across sections through our budget Smartphone, Joy Plus. We are looking at aggressive market penetration this year and we are confident that Joy Plus, packed with latest features will provide our customers more personal and reliable mobile experience,” said Tom Lu, CEO, OPPO Mobile India.

The new smartphone features a 4-inch WVGA display, 1.3GHz dual-core MT6572 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.4-based Color OS 2.0. The phone also packs 4GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 3MP rear camera and 0.3MP front shooter. In addition, Oppo has included dual-SIM support, 1700 mAh battery, 3G and the usual set of connectivity options.

Given these specifications, the Joy Plus has clearly been over-priced and any consumer will be better off going with Moto E (2nd Gen), Xiaomi Redmi 2, Lenovo A6000 or even Asus Zenfone C smartphones.

Sony unveils new 5.2-inch Xperia Z4 smartphone

Sony on Monday announced its new smartphone flagship in the form of Xperia Z4. The phone sports an aluminum frame and is thinner than its predecessor at 6.9mm. According to Sony, it will go on sale later this summer, beginning with Japan.

There isn’t much change in the Z4 from the company’s last flagship Xperia Z3. Sony Xperia Z4 sports a 5.2-inch full HD display and is powered by 2.0GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor. It runs on Android 5.0 and packs 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and microSD card slot.

The phone is also water and dust proof like its predecessor and comes with NFC support, 4G LTE, and 2930 mAh battery. On the imaging front, the company has included a 20.7MP rear camera and 5.1MP front shooter with a wide-angle lens in the Z4. In addition, the handset supports Sony’s LDAC audio technology, which allows high quality wireless audio streaming via Bluetooth. LDAC was not available in any smartphone until now.

There is no word on the pricing or exact availability details, but Sony has revealed that the new Xperia Z4 will be offered in four colour options – White, Black, Copper, and Aqua Green.

Micromax to launch the new Canvas Spark smartphone on April 21

As we had anticipated, Micromax will be launching the new Canvas Spark smartphone next week. The company has sent out invites for a press event on April 21, where it will be showcasing the smartphone.

Micromax Canvas Spark is set to be the new key budget smartphone from the company. It will compete with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 2, Moto E(2nd Gen) and Lenovo A6000 smartphones.

Like we had earlier reported, the Canvas Spark is expected to feature a 4.7-inch display, quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor, Android 5.0, dual-SIM support and microSD card slot.

Other specifications of the phone are still a mystery, but we won’t have to wait for long for get the official details.

According to a recent TOI Tech report, the phone get a price-tag below INR 6,000 and go on sale in end of April.

Micromax is already revealed that the Canvas Spark will be offered exclusively via

Thursday 16 April 2015

Cyanogen to bundle Microsoft apps with its OS

Cyanogen has announced that it has partnered with Microsoft and will be bundling popular services from the company in its operating system. The first version of the Cyanogen OS with pre-loaded Microsoft apps will appear later this year.

Well, this tie-up hardly comes as a surprise and was just waiting to happen. Ever since Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster started making the statements like “taking Android away from Google,” it was clear that the Cyanogen was subtly inviting Google competitors like Microsoft to be a part of its operating system.

As a part of the Microsoft tie-up, Cyanogen OS will include Bing services, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Microsoft Office.

“People around the world use Cyanogen’s operating system and popular Microsoft services to engage with what matters most to them on their mobile devices. This exciting partnership with Microsoft will enable us to bring new kinds of integrated services to mobile users in markets around the world,” said Kirt McMaster in a statement.

No other details about the tie-up are available at this point, but we expect to hear more from both Cyanogen Inc and Microsoft in coming months.

Xiaomi Mi 4 gets a price-cut in India, now starts INR 17,999

Xiaomi has announced that it is reducing the price of Mi 4 smartphone in the Indian market. The price-cut comes just a fortnight after the company had done the same in China, however at that time that company had stated that it has no plans to correct the Mi 4 price in the country.

According to the Chinese smartphone maker, Mi 4 16GB version will now retail at INR 17,999 (down from INR 19,999) and the 64GB version will be available at INR 21,999 (down from INR 23,999).

Both versions of the Mi 4 can now be grabbed online from Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon in the country, however the phone is currently out of stock at Snapdeal and Amazon e-retailers. You can also purchase the smartphone from select The Mobile Store outlets in the country.

In related news, Xiaomi has released the MIUI 6 global beta ROM for Redmi 1S smartphone. The ROM build can be found on the company forum. As the ROM is still in beta stage, it is likely to include bug and other issues, so it is not meant for everyone.

Lenovo introduces A6000 Plus smartphone in India

Within three months of launching the A6000 smartphone in the Indian market, Lenovo has unveiled an upgraded version of the smartphone.

Dubbed as Lenovo A6000 Plus, the new smartphone is targeted to the consumers, who want more internal storage and RAM in their phones and are willing to pay for it. The A6000 Plus includes 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage, instead of the 1GB RAM and 8GB storage present in A6000.

Other specifications of the Lenovo A6000 Plus remain same as A6000, which sports a 5-inch 720p HD display and is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor. The phone also packs 8MP rear camera, 2MP front shooter, 2300 mAh battery, microSD card slot, and Android 4.4 with Vibe UI. According to Lenovo, the Android 5.0 update for A6000 will be released sometime in the current quarter, however the company is yet to say anything about Lollipop for A6000 Plus.

Lenovo has also not shared any details about the pricing or availability of the new smartphone, but we expect it to be exclusive to like A6000 and A7000 and retail for a price around INR 7,999.

In related news, the A7000 went on sale for the first time today at Flipkart and was sold out in just four seconds. There were a total of 30,000 units on sale. The e-retailer will begin the registrations of the next sale at 6PM today.

Monday 13 April 2015

Moto E (2nd Gen) 4G goes on pre-order in India, priced at NR 7,999

A month after releasing the 3G version of Moto E (2nd Gen) smartphone in the Indian market, Motorola has launched the 4G version as well in the country. The 4G Moto E (2nd Gen) has been priced at INR 7,999 and is now on pre-order via e-retailer in White and Black colour options. The shipping will begin on April 23, 2015.

Although most of the specifications of the 3G and 4G models of the new Moto E are same, the 4G version is powered by 64-bit 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor, instead of the Snapdragon 200 in the 3G version.

To remind you, Moto E (2nd Gen) also packs 4.5-inch qHD (960x540p) IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot and 2390 mAh battery. In addition, the phone comes with 5MP f2.2 rear camera, VGA front shooter, water-resistant nano-coating, and 3G support.

The Moto E (2nd Gen) runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and comes with the company’s software enhancements like Moto Assist, Quick Capture, and more.

It will compete with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Lenovo A6000 in the country.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Jio Chat’ app goes live in Android play store and iOS App store

Reliance Jio will finally be releasing its own home-grown communication app ‘Jio chat‘ to the masses at the first IPL match in Kolkata today. The app is now available to download and install on the android play store and iOS app store. The app functions over the top (OTT) and is usable with any Indian number, irrespective of the operator you are using. The app follows an SMS based activation and uses your current cell number as your ID. The app just needs a working data connection to function and works smoothly on 3G or on WiFi.

Jio chat app is the one stop solution for all communication needs, everything bundled under one roof.It offers free texting, free voice and video calling to other Jio chat users. The dialer part of the app allows dialling of non Jio chat numbers and displays  a message informing that the call is being placed on the operators cellular network. The contacts section shows which of your contacts are on Jio chat and allows inviting the others through SMS. Apart from free IM texting to Jio chat users, the app also provides 100 free SMS per month for non Jio chat numbers.

Chats can be made more interactive by sharing of pre saved Photos or instantly clicking them, sharing of pre saved Videos or instantly recording them, sharing contacts, sharing locations, sharing doodles and sharing any type of file. Chats become more expressive with Emoji icons and stickers with more sticker packs available for download in sticker store.

Jio chat offers audio and video group call conferencing. Other features include dedicated channels where celebrities and brands can interact with their followers. Jio chat offers privacy features whereby the user gets to decide whether or not he wants to share his last seen time stamp or geo-location, this setting can only be changed once every 24 hours.

Download from Google play store

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Spice launches Stellar 526n Octa smartphone, priced at INR 7,999

Spice has introduced a new budget Android smartphone in the Indian market. Part of the company’s Stellar line-up, the new 526n Octa smartphone has been priced at INR 7,999 and will go on sale via all major retailers. The smartphone is the successor to the company’s 2014 model – Stellar 526.

“Our customers are at the core of our company’s strategy and we always strive to introduce products that delight our customers. Following up on the excellent response to our Stellar 526 smartphone, we decided to introduce a faster Octa-Core version of the phone with excellent specifications for technology enthusiasts seeking a combination of cutting edge technology and style,” said Prashant Bindal, CEO, Spice Mobility.

Coming to the specifications, the Spice Stellar 526n Octa features 5-inch HD IPS display, 1.4GHz octa-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and microSD card slot. The phone also packs 2500 mAh battery, Android 4.4, 8MP rear camera and 3.2MP front snapper.

According to Spice, The 526n Octa will be released with a metallic finish in White and Pebble Blue colour option.

Spice Stellar 526n Octa specifications

  • Display: 5-inch IPS HD, 1280x720p

  • Processor: 1.4GHz, octa-core

  • Memory: 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot

  • Cameras: 8MP rear camera, 3.2MP front shooter

  • Battery: 2500 mAh battery

  • Connectivity: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS,

  • OS: Android 4.4

Lenovo A7000 debuts in India, priced at INR 8,999

Chinese smartphone maker Lenovo on Tuesday unveiled the new A7000 smartphone in the Indian market. The smartphone, which joins the company’s A6000 in the sub-INR 10K segment, will retail at INR 8,999 in the country.

“At Lenovo we are committed to providing cutting edge technology to our consumers. The A7000 brings in flagship worthy features and performance at an incredible price making it a perfect choice for consumers looking for a trendy and powerful phone loaded with future-proof features,” said Sudhin Mathur, Director – Smartphones, Lenovo India.

Originally showcased at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in March, the Lenovo A7000 is the first smartphone to feature Dolby Atmos sound enhancements, but these enhancements can only be experienced with headsets, not with the on-board single-speaker.

Coming to the specifications, the smartphone sports a 5.5-inch HD display and is powered by 64-bit 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752m processor. It also comes with Android 5.0, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot. On the imaging front, Lenovo has included an 8MP rear snapper with LED flash and a 5MP front shooter in the A7000.

All the usual connectivity options including 4G LTE and dual-SIM support are present as well in the A7000. You can check out the detailed specifications later in the report.


According to Lenovo, the A7000 will be available exclusively via e-retailer in Black colour option and the company will retain the flash sale model that it adopted with the A6000. It will be hosting the first weekly flash sale on April 15 and the registrations for the same begin later today at 2PM.

MiFanFest India brings discounted Mi 4 & free accessories with Redmi Note 4G

As Xiaomi celebrates its fifth birthday, the company is offering various promotions to consumers in China, Malaysia and other markets. If you were thinking that it might leave the Indian consumers high and dry during these celebrations, you were wrong. The company on Tuesday revealed that it will be running two promotions for the consumers in the country tomorrow.

According to Xiaomi, between 12 noon and 12 midnight on April 8, the consumers will be able to able to buy both Mi 4 16GB and 64GB models with an INR 2K discount. The 16GB version will be available at INR 17,999 and the 64GB version will retail at INR 21,999. The discount will be valid at all sales channels including The Mobile Store and Flipkart.

In addition, the company will also offer 5200 mAh Mi Power Bank or Mi in-ear headphones with every purchase of Redmi Note 4G smartphone. It is unclear whether you will have a choice in the gift or it will be given at random.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

XOLO, TRUE, and Nexian to launch Chrome OS devices

In addition to the new Chrome OS devices, Google on Tuesday also revealed that XOLO, TRUE, and Nexian are joining as the new Chrome OS partners. All three companies will be releasing new Chrome OS products in the coming months.

There is no details available at this point, but a video shared by Google showcases Chromebooks from XOLO and Nexian in action. So, I guess, we can expect at least these two to arrive soon. We hope to learn more in the coming weeks.

For those of you, who don’t know about XOLO, TRUE and Nexian; XOLO is an Indian smartphone and tablet vendor, TRUE is a Thai communications giant and Nexian is an Indonesia smartphone vendor.

Google has also stated that we can expect to see around ten new Chrome OS devices over the next few months, including models from Dell, HP, Lenovo and LG.

Google and Asus unveil Chromebit HDMI dongle & Chromebook Flip

Taking the form factor of the Chrome OS devices to a new level, Google and Asus on Tuesday unveiled the new Chromebit dongle, which plugs in any display with HDMI input and turns it into a full-fledged Chrome OS computer.

“Smaller than a candy bar, the Chromebit is a full computer that will be available for less than $100. By simply plugging this device into any display, you can turn it into a computer. It’s the perfect upgrade for an existing desktop and will be really useful for schools and businesses,” Google wrote in a blog post.

According to the company, it will go on sale this summer. The final pricing is a mystery at this point, but as Google noted in the above statement, it will retail under $100.

Asus Chromebit will be available in three colours and features Rockchip RK3288 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of SSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a USB 2.0 port on one end.

In addition to this interesting device, Asus has also taken the wraps off Chromebook Flip. Sporting an all-metal build, this premium convertible Chromebook will be available later this spring for $249.

It is just 15mm thin and weighs less than two pounds. The device features a 10-inch full HD touchscreen, and rest of the specifications are similar to the Chromebit apart from the extra ports.

Google announces $149 Chromebooks from Haier and HiSense

If you thought Chromebooks couldn’t get any cheaper from $199, you were wrong. Google on Tuesday announced the arrival of two $149 Chromebooks from its new Chrome OS partners – Haier and HiSense.

Haier is introducing the new Haier Chromebook 11, and HiSense is releasing the HiSense Chromebook.

As you can expect given the low price-tag, Haier Chromebook 11 and HiSense Chromebook aren’t exactly filled with raw horsepower, instead they feature Rockchip RK3288 Cortex-A17 quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, and 11.6-inch HD display. Other specifications of these Chromebooks include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB ports, one HDMI port, stereo speakers and microSD card slot.

“To be able to showcase our hardware through Google’s well-known and respected brand is a key building block in our growth within the US. We are also excited that the Hisense Chromebook is affordable for the everyday family and easy to use,” commented Erin Magee, Director of Marketing, Hisense.

In addition to the Chromebook 11, Haier will also be offering a Chromebook 11e, which will feature a ruggedized casing and integrated carry handle. It will also come with a spill-proof keyboard and a removable battery; rest of the specifications will be same as Chromebook 11.

Haier and HiSense Chromebooks are now on pre-order in the United States via Amazon and WalMart respectively and will soon be available via Google Store and other major retailers. There is no word on their launch in other markets right now.

Google+ Photos now also available in Google Drive

Google has announced that the consumers, who upload photos in Google+ Photos, will now also be able to access them in Google Drive. This change is going in effect immediately and your new photos will be visible right now, but older ones might take sometime to appear.

The availability of Google+ Photos in Drive doesn’t mean the demise of the former and the consumers will still be able to store photos in Google+ Photos, edit them or share them.

“To get started, just look for the new Photos menu in Drive for Android, iOS and the web. From there you’ll be able to manage your photos and videos alongside other types of files. For example, you can now add pictures of wedding venues and cakes to the same Drive folder as your guest list and budget,” Google explained in a blog post. You can also find the help docs regarding how to manage and store photos and videos in Google Drive here.

Although Google’s latest move seems insignificant, it might have something to do with Google+’s future, which doesn’t look all that bright after its recent split into Stream and Photos.