OnlyGizmos

LG unveils G3 and G watch

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LG launched their new flagship phone – G3 with much fanfare at Mehboob studio, Mumbai. The biggest standout of the event was none other than bollywood legend, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. After all, not everyday do you get to see him Mr. Amitabh Bachchan launch a phone and talk about pixel density. Going back to the “supposed” star of the event, the G3is a upgrade to the LG G2. LG claims that 3 biggest changes in the phone are – Display, Camera and Design.

 

LG has always been a pioneer when it comes to display and is the world’s largest LCD panel maker. The G3 has a 5.5 inch Quad HD (2560×1440) display with 538ppi which is almost two times higher resolution than a Full HD display. The phone comes with a 13MP OIS+ camera with Laser Auto Focus that can shoot images in a fraction of the time required by most phones. With regards to design, the phone is anchored with Rear Key which includes newly designed power and volume buttons with premium quality materials and finish. It is available in three colours – metallic black, silk white and shine gold.

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The G3 is complemented by three Core UX Features, the Smart Keyboard, Smart Notice and Smart Security. The Smart Keyboard functions on adaptive technology that learns as you type for faster input and reduced errors. Smart notice is a personal assistant that offers suggestions and recommendations based on user behaviour, phone usage patterns and location based information. To secure confidential data, the G3 presents Smart Security like the Knock Code, LG’s patent feature. LG also unveiled the G Watch running Android Wear at this gala launch. The G3 is priced at Rs. 47,990 and Rs. 50,990 for the 16GB and 32GB, respectively.

 

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Android, Price Wars And The Race To The Bottom

Apple sketched the future of smartphones in 2007 with the iPhone. But they did best for the US market. As device & services converge, Android has stolen the canvas and taken it global. Today, it makes far more sense to hold an Android in India than iPhone. You get a working maps with traffic details, apps that you want, mostly free apps (so what if they are ad supported), customizations and overall a variety in terms of hardware and price that Apple would never offer.

Moto E

Tim Cook may call a Motorola E a non smartphone, but fact remains that for my mom a smartphone is something that does WhatsApp for her. For my operations executives at PriceBaba, it is something that can do basic maps, camera, browser and of course Facebook + Whatsapp. Moto E works well for these, and it costs Rs 7000 vs Rs 28500 a 8GB iPhone 5c would cost. If you want a little more power than that, the Moto G comes into play. No wonder Flipkart has sold a million Motorola phones in India, that too by only selling them online.  (more…)

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How I Landed With The Nexus 5: A Quest For The Latest Android OS

 

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“When is my phone getting an Android update” is the most frequently asked questions by most Android users I know. My journey with Android started back in 2010 with a Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 which was bought after a lot of research. The device ran Android 1.6 (Donut) and Sony had pushed an Android 2.1 (Eclair) update right before I bought it. The new features that the update introduced were amazing, I was happy with my purchase. After a couple of months, Google had announced Android Froyo 2.2. I impatiently waited for Sony to push an update. Time passed and Android 2.3 was launched and still no there was no word from Sony about my Xperia X8. After a while Sony announced that they have stopped support for the Xperia X8 and the phone will be stuck on Android 2.1 Eclair. I was heartbroken, my first Android phone was now stuck with an outdated OS.  (more…)

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Lenovo Launches a Slew of Computers at Various Price Points

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Lenovo held an event in Mumbai for the launch of new sleek laptops under  their Thin and Light campaign. The Yoga and the Flex series now have a new additions in the form of the Yoga 2 and the Flex 2 while the All In One (AIO) segment got an entry level entrant, the C260. Everyday and the mainstream laptops saw the introduction of the G40/50 and the Z50 with the Y 50 in the gaming series. The new mantra for Lenovo is “ Slim, Light and  Affordable” and all these devices reflect their philosophy. These are the following products that were showcased: (more…)

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‘Heard That?’ — Judging Five Earphones People Are Talking About

Typically, we tend to use the earphones that comes along the purchase of a new phone. But, more often than not – they are of mediocre quality. Most recent example being the Sony Xperia Z2 (in India). Below are short reviews of a few popular earphones -

Apple EarPods - Apple gave their earbuds an all new design and launched it alongside the iPhone 5. These earphones claim to be designed such a way that its fits more securely into your ear. The design is good, fits in quite comfortably and sound is pretty decent — Apple hasn’t really been associated with exceptional sound. But noise isolation is really bad for the price.

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Can The Google I/O This Year Top Apple’s Satisfying WWDC 2014?

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June has started and so has the countdown for the upcoming Google I/O; after a highly satisfying Apple WWDC where they opened iOS 8 to do things that were previously only limited to Android, the spotlight is now on Google to match or exceed the expectations of its users. The event is scheduled for 25 June 2014 and will be held at Moscone Center in San Francisco, and for those who can’t attend Google will livestream on YouTube. The I/O is something to look forward to and we list the top 5 things we feel should take center-stage at the conference.

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Five Things The Internet Has Ruined for Telecom Operators

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Back in 2008, when I joined college after completing my Std X, SMS packs were very common. In fact, everyone boasted to have a larger pack (they ended up spamming actually). As far as I can recollect, Vodafone used to have plans like Rs. 20 for 100 SMSs to Rs. 50 for 2000 of them. Today, 6 years later, the only texts I receive are from brands to inform me about the upcoming sale or from builders offering “affordable” flats in Mumbai. And I don’t even remember when was the last time I sent a text to someone. So what has changed so drastically? Below are some product offerings of telecom operators that have been ruined by this one now ubiquitous thing called the Internet.  (more…)

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WWDC 2014 Roundup

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So its that time of the year again where everyone from hardcore bloggers to opinion-passing tweeters get Apple-ified (if I may say so). The WWDC held on 2nd June was live streamed across the world on all Apple devices. Apple has been criticised for being a laggard by not making their software as extensible as Android. So, did they deliver ? Lets find out.

At the event, the main topics of discussion were Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS8.

Yosemite (the final choice after dismissing many options including ‘Weed’) is the all new OS 10.10. One look at it and all you can think of is iOS 7. Yes, all the icons have been modified, translucency has been added and the whole look is flat. Notification center gets neater and more interactive thanks to the ability to add widgets. Spotlight has got smarter and has the ability to search for people, mail, events, etc. Apple has also introduced a Dark Mode for those who detest the default bright appearance. AirDrop works between the iPhone and Mac now, finally. The other feature is the new cloud storage service from Apple for iOS, OS X, Windows and web which is called — iCloud Drive (competition to Dropbox, Google Drive, etc). Many of the built-in apps are getting a couple of feature updates. For example, Mail has got a new inline image editing feature. Besides that, most of the basics remain unchanged. But all-in-all, this is the biggest visual refresh after probably OS X Leopard. (more…)

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The Nokia Lumia 630: One Step Forward, One Step Backward

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The Lumia 630 is being marketed by Microsoft as an “Affordable” smartphone. The company formerly known as Nokia is expecting that this device will get them the momentum which is much needed at the moment, especially after the huge success of inexpensive, feature-packed handsets like the Moto G. Nokia has tried its level best to live up to the expectations of the people. It has included Dual-SIM support and a Quad-core processor in this budget smartphone.

Going by the specs, it has a 4.5 inch FWVGA (854x480p) screen with a low pixel density of 218PPI. The display sharpness is just bearable and doesn’t seem bad since the flat-design live tiles interface and big fonts don’t seem that bad even with low pixel density. Under the hood, there is a 1.2GHz Quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, coupled with 512MB RAM. The RAM may be insufficient to run high-end games and apps smoothly, but is sufficient for typical usage. There is an internal storage of 8GB which can be expanded upto 128GB by using a microSD card. This is highest expandable storage offered by smartphones so far. The smartphone runs on Windows Phone 8.1, which has added many new features to the operating system, now making it truly competitive to Android and iOS. Although some Google services are not available in its full form (Maps, YouTube, Hangouts etc) on the this device, alternative services are provided by Microsoft/Nokia.

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Review: The Nomad ChargeKey for iPhone

Thanks to the standardisation of the microUSB port among almost all the mobile phone manufacturers, many of us can be care-free when we don’t have our phone charger handy, as we can borrow any other microUSB charger to get the job done. But the same can’t be said about us iPhone users — because of Apple’s proprietary Lightning port, we have to be extra careful and always remember to carry our charger/cables in case our iOS devices’ juice is running out. And I don’t need to tell you how often a smartphone keeps running out of battery now, do I?

The Nomad ChargeKey is a safety net to this ubiquitous problem. Carrying a long cable on you at all times might not be feasible, so the ChargeKey is a tiny object the size of a typical house key. There’s a Apple Lightning port on one side, and a full-size USB port on the other. So, the next time when you’re wanting to charge or sync your iOS device and you don’t have the cable handy, just connect the source and the device on either ends of the ChargeKey and you’re good to go!

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The ChargeKey is made out of rubber and is flexible at the centre. Their website suggests that the product is tough enough to bear the brunt of every day wear and tear, as it’s going to be attached to your keychain. They also say its designed to be flexible and it can even bear the iPhone’s weight if you keep it hanging.

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That’s about it. The ChargeKey isn’t a revolutionary product — it’s a teeny-tiny data/charging cable. But having it as part of your keychain can come in really handy. Nomad also makes the ChargeCard, which is a credit-card shaped device that serves the same purpose, but one that you can keep in your wallet. Finally, Chargekey also comes in microUSB flavours for other devices. For $25, it’s not too far from the $19 official Lightning Cable that Apple sells.

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German Blog Leaks Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Pricing Details

Samsung’s large screened phablet, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo was announced a few days ago. What was not known then was its expected price tag – which Samsung decided against revealing. That was then. The latest news is that a German Online retailer “Notebooksbilliger” (don’t ask us to pronounce that) has inadvertently released the official price of the device just before it is scheduled to go on sale this month.

In its listing, Notebooksbilliger, has pegged the price of LTE+ model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo at at 529 Euros (Rs. 44,600). The 3G version on the other hand can be had for 499 Euros (Rs. 42,000). As of now, there is no detail of the availability of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo from Samsung. The listing was first spotted by GSMArena.

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The Galaxy Note 3 Neo like mentioned earlier comes in two variants with the 3G model getting a 1.6GHz quad-core processor. The LTE version on the other hand gets a Hexa Core chipset. There is 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory which can of course be expanded further using Micro SD cards. The phone runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box.

The display on the the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo measures 5.5-inches across and has a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. The camera is an 8-megapixel unit with LED flash and a BSI sensor. For selfie freaks, the 2 megapixel front camera should be enough. There is a 3100 Mah battery under the hood to power the device. Expect tho see this one to be officially released soon.

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Oppo N1 Officially Comes to India; Hrithik Roshan, Sonam Kapoor to Be Brand Ambassadors

Chinese handset maker Oppo has made its grand entry into the India market earlier today with the launch of its flagship handset, the Oppo N1. The entry of Oppo marks the arrival of yet another big Chinese brand in India after Gionee made a huge splash in the market with its recent launches – the Elife E6 and the Elife E7.

The Oppo N1 gets a 5.9 inch full HD 1920×1080 IPS LCD display and weighs in at a buxom 213 grams. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC, the phone gets a 1.7 GHz processor doing the number crunching. The phone comes in 16 and 32 GB versions with no memory expansion slot support. The 2GB of RAM seems fine for most applications as of now – albeit 3 B would have been welcome.

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The most unique feature of the phone is its camera module at the top which can be rotated up to 260 degrees – making it useful for selfies and landscape photography – both. The 13 megapixel unit is Sony made CMOS sensor with f2.0 aperture. The phone gets dual LED flash for low light imaging as well. Videos can be recorded in full HD. The camera also supports long exposure photography as seen on higher end Lumia handsets from Nokia.

On the software front, the N1 officially comes with an unlocked Bootloader and runs a customized version of Android 4.2 known as the Color ROM. There is a 3610 Mah battery powering the handset that sounds good enough – but then unless we get a review unit we would not be commenting on how god/bad the battery life is.The Oppo N1 has been priced at Rs.39,999 in India – which if I may add is a tad expensive. Why? Because the likes of the LG G2 and the Nexus 5 with better, faster chips are already available for much cheaper. Oppo however hopes to make inroads into India with the help of its celebrity brand ambassadors – Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor. How successful it would be in doing that is something that is yet to be seen.

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Karbonn A91, Android 4.4 Handset Arrives for Rs.4,490

Desi handset maker Karbonn has a brand new low end Android handset on sale now. Called the A91, the device runs Android 4.2.2 out of the box and has a sub Rs.4500 price tag. The handset boasts of a 3.9-inch, 480*800 pixel display as well as a 1.3 Ghz dual core processor. As expected on a sub 5k handset, the device only gets 256 MB of RAM which will ensure that you would have a harrowing time multitasking on this phone. We would however reserve a final judgement after we get a review device.

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While the low RAM is definitely a shortcoming, the device provides decent value for money because of its rather high resolution display and because of the fact that it runs Android 4.4 JellyBean. Most sub 4.5k Android handsets are known to run Android Gingerbread.

The Karbonn A91 also gets a 3.2 megapixel rear camera and a VGA front camera. This is a GSM+GSM dual SIM handset with just 512 MB of onboard storage. There is an SD card slot as well – but 512 MB is simply not enough for most apps, these days. There is a 1500 Mah battery packed in that sounds decent for its proce tag. Connectivity options are abundant as well, with support for Wi-Fi, USB and Bluetooth. The phone is currently priced at Rs.4.490.

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Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini A200 Arrives for Rs. 14,490

Micromax Mobiles is continuing its expansion spree by launching one Android power smartphone after the other. The latest one to be launched is the Canvas Turbo Mini or the A200 – which is basically a shrunken version of its flagship – the Canvas Turbo. The A200 is listed on Micromax’s website and is now also available for purchase on e-commerce websites for a price of Rs. 14,490.

Features wise, the Canvas Turbo Mini boasts of a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display. For those of you interested in the chipset, the handset sports a MediaTek MT6582 chipset that houses a quad core processor running at 1.3GHz. There is 1 GB of RAM as well. The handset gets 4 GB of internal memory of which a partition is reserved for apps. As you might have already guessed, the phone gets a micro SD slot for memory expansion.

The imaging bit is taken care of by an 8 megapixel camera. Video recording can be done at 720p. The MT 6582 chip however is capable of handling full HD recording – so don’t be surprised if the handset can actually capture 1080p videos.  For selfie freaks, there is a 5 megapixel front camera that should let you take decent self-shots apart from helping you with video and Skype calls.

At this moment, the Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini seems a tad overpriced for a handset with a 720p display. A few months down the line though, it might prove to be a better deeal.

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Maxx Mobiles Launches 26 New Low Cost Handsets!

Next time you go out for your walk, do not be surprised if a falling Maxx Mobile handset lands on your head. Why? Because the company seems to have gone berserk and launched as many as 26 new low cost handsets in India in one go! The launch of these 26 new phones also coincided with India’s Republic Day, which falls on January 26. I am not sure about this – but this might just be the world record for most products launched by one company on a single day.

The prices of the newly handsets launched range from Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000 and includes nineteen feature phones and seven Android powered smartphones. The seven Android handsets bear the model numbers AX44, AX45, AX5i, MSD7 Smarty II, AX06, AX409 and the AX04. As you might have already guessed, these handsets are priced under the Rs.5000 mark and for the same reason only the higher priced ones run Android 4.4 JellyBean. The rest run Android Gingerbread. The low end handsets get 256 MB of RAM while the more expensive ones get 512 MB.

The model numbers of the feature phones are the MX180, MX422, MX187, MX12, MX444, MX105, MX125, MX553, MX472, MX168, MX467, MX445, MX11, MX103, MX254, MX255, MX433, MX442 and MT352. These phones have display sizes that range from 1.8-inch to 2.8-inches and boast of dual SIM capability, support for GPRS and batteries of up to 1500 mAH capacity. Select models also feature expandable memory and anti theft protection as additional bonuses.

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Are You an AAPtard? Do You Like Feku or Pappu? New Words Added to English in 2013!

2013 was an explosive year when it comes to politics in India. Just a few months shy of the General elections, the barely year old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed the scene by perhaps exceeding their own expectations and winning an unprecedented 28 seats in the Delhi State Assembly Elections. In the course of the build up to these elections, the online world was replete with comments, war of words and slugfests between the supporters of the AAP, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress. In the midst of all these, people involved in these virtual brawls have managed to coin ingenious terms that you cannot afford to ignore. Some of these are outright hilarious.

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Image copyright: AFP

Let’s take a look at some of these words that did not exist in the English lexicon before 2013. Note that these words are not yet officially a part of English.

1. AAPtard
An AAPtard is a term used by BJP supporters and anyone opposed to the AAP to refer to a blind AAP supporter – usually on Twitter and on the comments section of popular news websites. In fact, the term is so popular, there are multiple Twitter accounts dedicated to it.

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2. Feku
Coined initially by Congress supporters, Feku is the term used to address BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, the current CM of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. While BJP loyalists hail him as the man who singlehandedly developed Gujarat economically, his detractors use the term “Feku” to describe him. Feku in crude Hindi translates to someone who is a liar. While the term Feku existed in Hindi since quite some time, there is no doubt that it has gained popularity in 2013.

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3. Pappu
Like Feku, the word “Pappu” too has been a part of Hindi since time immemorial. While it is quite common as a pet name, it is thought to have a negative connotation as it is also used to call out to someone of low intellect. Pappu is the name given to Rahul Gandhi, the son of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian born leader of the Indian National Congress.

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4. Khujli/Khujliwal
Khujli is the Hindi term for an itch. Khujli is used by people opposed to Arvind Kejriwal to call out to him in a slightly derogatory manner.

5. NaMo
NaMo is the shortened version of Narendra Modi. It is extensively used by BJP supporters in various meme’s and online campaigns highlighting Narendra Modi’s achievements. Congress and AAP supporters use the term in posters that criticize Modi.

6. JokePal
Jokepal is the term used to criticize versions of the much sought after Anti-Corruption legislation called the LokPal Bill that was recently passed by the Indian parliament. Most recently, some members of the AAP had termed the bill a JokePal, criticizing it for being too weak.

These were some of the funny terms that I came across on social media and all over the web pertaining to the current political situation in India. Do you guys have any others that I should add here?

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Nokia Lumia 1320 and Lumia 525 Launched in India

So, Nokia has went ahead and launched its Aam admi Windows Phone powered phablet – the Lumia 1320 in India earlier today. The large, 6 inch screen toting phablet features a 720p Clear Black display and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC which houses a Dual Core processor chugging at 1.7 Ghz. Now, this may not be quite cutting edge – but should do the job on the not too resource hungry Windows Phone platform.

The launch of the Lumia 1320 comes just a month or so after its higher spec’d sibling, the Lumia 1520 made its official debut in the country. With both 6 inch phablets now in the market, Nokia has a comprehensive range of Windows Phone powered devices in the market ranging from the ultra mid-range Lumia 520 and the high end Lumia 1020/1520 combo.

Nokia Lumia 1320

Now that I have talked about the Lumia 520, let me also add that this highly successful, affordable Windows Phone handset now has a successor. Say hello to the Lumia 525 which has also been officially launched in India starting today. Visually identical to the Lumia 520, this successor adds a slightly better screen and an upgraded RAM.

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The Lumia 1320 has been priced at Rs.23,999 while the Lumia 525 will set you back by Rs. 10,399.

Offers: In India, Nokia has come up with a few exclusive offers for customers who wish to buy these new devices. The Lumia 525 for example will come with a special package of premium games worth INR 2025 from Gameloft for free Xbox gaming too would be accessible for free from this phone.

All new Lumia users for devices purchased between January 7 and January 31, 2014 would also get free 20GB Skydrive storage for a year according to the official press release. If you are one such customer, you need to register your device before February 15 on a web address that Nokia would provide you. The site however does not work as of now.

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Make Some Noise for the Desi Boys! — It’s Micromax vs. Samsung!

Samsung is a well recognized South Korean brand which is currently one of the world’s largest manufacturers of mobile phones and smartphones. The company is also a major vendor of its Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab collection, and is generally regarded to have popularised the ‘phablet’ market through its Samsung Galaxy Note family of devices. Samsung became the world’s largest cellphone maker in 2012, with the sales of 95 million smartphones in the first quarter. Whereas on the other hand, Micromax is an Indian consumer electronics company which entered mobile handset business recently (2008) and by 2010 it became one of the largest Indian domestic mobile handsets company operating in low cost feature phone segments. In 2011, Micromax entered the phablet market with the Canvas series. Now the company has entered the smartphone market and tries to change the status quo that innovation and technology comes at a price.

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Currently we can see an evolution taking place in the Indian mobile segment market. The following statistics gives us a clear picture of the market scenario: reports say that Samsung currently has a market share of 26 percent whereas Micromax has a 22% market share in the smartphone segment in India. Lets look at what made Micromax ace up and give Samsung a run for its money. The speciality of Indian manufacturers is that they offer smartphones with decent specs at lower price points. This is where Micromax comes into picture. It offers affordable phones with specifications and capabilities that mimic high end phones. Of late, they have also added software enhancements, which are comparable to high-end phones.

Micromax became one of the first brands to offer a 5-inch 720p HD screen phone with a quad-core processor for under Rs 14,000 when it launched the Canvas HD in February. It then quickly launched another flagship phone, the Canvas 4 priced at Rs 17,999 with software features such as ‘Blow to Unlock’, ‘Smart Pause while watching video’, etc; some of which are offered by the Galaxy S4. The S4 also has a 5-inch screen, quad-core processor and a 13 megapixel camera. Micromax has shipped 2 million devices this quarter and its Canvas range has done well to boost the company’s volume share. What Micromax has done is that it has managed to make a Rs 20k product look similar to a Rs 40k one. Samsung surely provides better build quality, superior hardware and has a wider customer service network for their phones but for a user who wants to shift from a Rs.4/5k mobile phone to a smartphone, under Rs. 20k seems to be an attainable phone budget for such buyers.

Samsung’s smartphones market share in India which was 32.7% in the Q1 of 2013 fell to 26% in the Q2 session. Micromax remains steady at No. 2 spot and has crossed the 2 million unit mark in shipments. The Canvas Series have helped boost Micromax’s numbers. But at the same time reports also shows that Samsung’s cash-back and zero percent EMI worked in its favour, specifically for the Galaxy Note II. Recently Micromax signed up Hollywood star Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador. This was a shocking step which left a lot of us baffled. Shubhodip Pal, Chief Marketing Officer, Micromax said in a press release announcing the association, “ As we look to expand our footprint across the globe in various international markets, the association with the Hugh Jackman is an ideal partnership for us to connect with audiences as he is the leading name in the entertainment industry in the world.” It is most likely that Micromax wants the world to know that it used to be a brand known for inexpensive phones. Signing up with Jackman will help Micromax move their brand closer to the American, European and Korean competition.

Overall all we can do is sit, enjoy and take benefit of the cat and mouse chase as Micromax is sure giving a tough time to Samsung — the world’s leading cellphone maker at least in India, for now.

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Launched: Gionee ELife E7

In what has to be arguably the most extravagant phone launch that India has ever seen, Chinese smartphone maker Gionee launched two handsets in India. The highlight of the launch was the company’s new flagship handset – the ELife E7. On the sidelines was its smaller screened counterpart – the E7 Mini. I will talk about both the handsets but this piece is dedicated to the ELife E7.

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Specs and hardware
The ELife E7 boasts of some serious power under its hood – thanks to the presence of the all-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC inside. This is probably the first “Chinese” handset to land in India to be powered by this flagship SoC – until now only seen on handsets like the Google Nexus 5, the LG G2, and the Galaxy Note 3 and so on. On the ELife E7, the quad core processors have been clocked at 2.5 GHz each. The ELife E7 also gets 2 GB of 3GB of RAM depending on what version of the handset you decide to buy. The 5.5 inch display of the E7 crams in 1920*1080 pixels giving it a PPI density of 400. The display assembly is claimed to be 20% thinner than competing products. There is however no mention of a Gorilla Glass coating on this one for scratch resistance.

Looks
The ELife E7 is a fairly large handset. The 5.5 inch FHD display dominates the front while the rear is mostly clad in glossy plastic. This one is a sure shot fingerprint magnet. Also at the rear is the 16 megapixel camera lens which protrudes slightly. This might not be to the liking of some people. At the top there is the power and sleep/wake-up button as well as the 3.5 mm audio jack. On the right side are the volume rocker keys. The SIM slot is on the other side. At the bottom there is a lone micro USB port. Overall, the handset is quite premium in look and feel.

Camera
Gionee – on the eve of the launch of the ELife E7 – did make some pretty outrageous sounding claims. One of them was pertaining to the camera when they claimed that the ELife E7 has the best camera amongst all Android handsets currently on sale! Yes, this came from a company which has only been around since 2002. During the actual launch, they had a professional photographer on stage to talk about the phones camera prowess and to be honest, the camera does look good – at least on paper. This by the way is a 16 megapixel sensor. The claim to the E7’s camera prowess is the fact that it has managed to better the resolution and the pixel size combination seen on existing flagship handsets (except for the all-powerful Nokia Lumias). The device also boasts of a professional looking camera application for serious photographers – akin to the Pro Camera app for Nokia Pureview phones. Video recording is limited to full HD at 30 fps.

Pricing and Variants
The ELife E7 is powered by a 2500Mah battery and comes in two variants. The cheaper of the lot comes with 16GB of internal memory ad packs in 2 Gb of RAM and has been priced at Rs.26,990 – making it the cheapest Snapdragon 800 powered device. The more expensive 32 GB version gets 3 GB of RAM and has been priced at Rs.29,999.

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The Battle Of The Mobile Messengers: WhatsApp Crosses 400 Million Active Users

So, a few hours ago, WhatsApp put up a blog post announcing that the service now has crossed 400 million active users. That is quite a number for a company that only has 50 employees. To put things into perspective, Twitter boasts of an active userbase of 200 million and they already had an IPO. This also means that there are twice as many people active on WhatsApp than there are on Twitter – at any given point of time. And WhatsApp seems to be in no mood to slow down. The App is already seen as a threat to Facebook with recent reports about people actually spending more time on WhatsApp than on Facebook.

Over the past year or so however, we have seen the emergence of new players in to the mobile messaging arena. These include the likes of Line, WeChat and the Desi version of WhatsApp called Hike. If that was not all, BlackBerry’s formidable BBM made it’s not so impressive debut on the Android platform. However, in spite of all these new products. WhatsApp seems to be doing great. In India, companies like WeChat and Hike are involved in heavy promotions across the board in order to gain a foothold in the market. WeChat for example has roped in a few popular Bollywood actors to enhance its image.

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However, in spite of all this, there is little doubt that WhatsApp by far, leads the space by a huge margin. LINE had recently issued a press release announcing that they have crossed 300 Million users a few days ago. They have however not confirmed if this number is just the number of registered users. WhatsApp here clearly says that their 400 million figure is the number of their ACTIVE users. There could be more prople who have installed
The growth of WhatsApp is surprising considering the fact that it actually has the fewest features compared to almost all of its competition. Even the UI has remained more or less the same over the years. If all this wasn’t enough, it is free only for the first year (except on iOS where it is a completely free application,)

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