Friday, 18 August 2017

Android O officially launching on August 21

The highly anticipated release of Android O will happen on August 21 at an event in New York, the same day as the Solar Eclipse. The event will also be live-streamed at 2:40pm ET (12:10am IST), to coincide with the solar eclipse. At the event we can expect Google to finally reveal what O stands for, and unveil the statue.

There's also a special site live at, that counts down the time left for the event. Google says "Android O is touching down to Earth with the total solar eclipse, bringing some super (sweet) new powers!". The site will feature live video streams from NASA's 2017 Total Eclipse Live Stream as well as Android O reveal by Google in New York.

Google released Android O back in March, but as usual, what O stands for is a mystery, but we do know that it will be named after a snack or sweet. And most of the hints dropped point, out to "Oreo". (filename for video posted on Google+ by Google (GoogleOreo_Teaser_0817_noDroids.mp4)

Android O which is version 8.0 is currently in the fourth developer preview stage. It brings new features like PIP mode (picture-in-picture), revamped notification panel with new layout, color, improved battery life, new settings app, security enhancements, and Google Play Protect, and more.

Once the announcement is made, it is most likely the Google will start pushing OTA  update for the Pixel and Pixel XL phones first. 


Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2017) receives price cut in India

Just in time for festive season, Samsung's upper mid-range smartphones, the Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) has received permanent price cuts of up to Rs. 5,000 in India.

The Galaxy A5 (2017) that was earlier retailing at Rs. 26,900, will now be available for Rs. 22,900. And the Galaxy A7 (2017) will now sell for Rs. 25,900, down from earlier price of Rs. 30,900. As mentioned earlier, the price cut is permanent and both the phones at the revised price tag will be available from both offline and online channels.

The Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) flaunts a metal & glass design similar to that of Galaxy S7, and boasts IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

To recap the specs, the Galaxy A5 (2017) comes with 5.2-inch Full HD AMOLED display, 1.9Ghz octa-core Exynos 7870 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, 16MP f/1.9 front and rear cameras with low-light optimization and 3000mAh battery.

The Galaxy A7 (2017) has the same specs as Galaxy A5 (2017), but gets a bigger 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display and 3600mAh battery.

They share some common features like home button inegrated fingerprint sensor, NFC, Samsung Pay, fast charging, 4G VoLTE, and dual-SIM slots. They runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but an upgrade to Nougat is ready.

Essential Phone will get Android OS updates for two years

Essential Phone, which created lots of buzz for its bezel-less design is finally available for purchase in the U.S from the company's website, Amazon, Best Buy and Sprint. The company backed by Andy Rubin also revealed plans for software support.

To gain confidence of Essential phone buyers, Andy Rubin has announced that the smartphone will receive guaranteed Android OS updates for two years and monthly security updates for at least three years. He also mentioned that the device comes pre-loaded with a limited number of apps, and there is no duplicative services (in simple words, no Bloatware). This brings Essential Phone in par with Google's Pixel phone in terms of software and software support.

For a quick recap, the Essential Phone offers edge-to-edge display, dual-cameras and modular attachments like a 360-degree camera. It features  5.7-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage, 13MP dual cameras, 8MP selfie camera, NFC, USB Type-C port, fingerprint scanner, and 3040mAh battery. It runs Android Nougat.

The Essential Phone has been priced at $699, and for a limited time users will get Essential 360 Camera bundled at $749. Only the black color variant will be available for now.

Andy Rubin also said that the company plans to release more modular attachments (like the 360 camera) every few months, in order to ensure that users will always have "the latest technology will always be in the palm of your hand without having to replace your phone." These accessories will also work with Essential's other products like the Home smart speaker.

Unfortunately, it is still not known when Essential Phone will hit other markets. 


Micromax Evok Dual Note with dual cameras launched starting at Rs. 9,999

Micromax is launching Evok Dual Note, the company's latest budget smartphone flaunting dual-cameras at the back.

The dual-cameras sport a 13MP Sony IMX258 sensor and a secondary 5MP sensor, to let you capture depth information for blur effects in shots. The 5MP camera on the front is accompanied by a soft LED flash.

The metal-clad Micromax Evok Dual Note features 5.5-inch Full HD 2.5D curved glass display and is powered by 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor. It will be offered either with 3GB or 4GB RAM, and house 32GB internal storage, which can be expanded via microSD card.

Running Android Nougat the dual-SIM phone supports 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack and USB Type-C for connectivity. It is fueled by 3000mAh battery, and also has a fingerprint sensor at the front hidden under the home button.

The Evok Dual Note price starts at Rs. 9,999 for the 3GB RAM version, and will go on sale exclusively through Flipkart from August 22 in Gold color. The 4GB RAM version will come in an additional Prussian Blue color. As part of launch offer, Micromax is offering Idea users 84GB of data with no daily limit and unlimited calling at Rs 443 for three months. 

Considering the specs, the Evok Dual Note will compete with Redmi Note 4 and Lenovo's latest K8 Note in the budget segment.

Google is testing a lite search app for slower internet connection

Most of the developing countries face problems with slow or poor internet connection, especially in rural areas. And for this reason many popular apps like Twitter, Facebook, FB Messenger, LinkedIn, YouTube, Skype have a lite version, which has minimal requirements for running.

Now Google is bringing this functionality to its most used service. The company is said to be testing a light-weight data-friendly and faster version of its Search app aimed at users with entry-level smartphone, as well as poor Internet connectivity. The app was spotted in an ad on Facebook in Indonesia, inviting users for testing.

Just like other Lite apps, Google's Search Lite app, will take use less RAM and less storage space in the phone. It will also utilize less data and support offline feature as well. The Lite version of Google Search will function same as the original search app, and work in places with patchy internet connection. 

A screenshot of the app shared by Android Police shows the home screen with search bar and several quick action buttons for translation, weather, news, offline pages, images and more. You can even personalize these button, as per your liking, and set your preferred language as well. It will support both text and voice searches.

The Search Lite app is currently showing up on Indonesia's Play Store, but if you want to try the app, you can download it from APKMirror and side-load it to your device manually. 

Source | Via

Coolpad intros Cool M7 in China

Coolpad is launching a new budget smartphone in home market of China called Cool M7. It runs Android 7.1 based new JourneyUI on top, and has the fingerprint sensor at the front, embedded into the iPhone-like home button.

The Coolpad Cool M7 comes with 5.5-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass on top, and is armed with Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. There is no option for storage expansion.

For photography, it offers 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor at the rear with f/1.8 aperture, PDAF and dual-tone LED, while the front shooter is a 13MP f/2.2 sensor with 79.8-degree field of view. Connectivity options include dual-SIM, 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack and USB Type-C port. It is fueled by a 3200mAh batter. All this is packed into a metal unibody that measures just 6.9mm.

The Coolpad Cool M7 has been priced at CNY 2699 ($404 | Rs. 26,000), and will go on sale in China from August 26 in Matte Black and Blue colors.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Xiaomi's first Mi Home Store in Delhi NCR set to open on August 19

Xiaomi opened it first Mi Home store in India in Bengaluru in May, and launched two more in the same city last month. Now Xiaomi has announced it will open its first Mi Home store in Delhi NCR region on August 19.

The first Mi Store (and fourth overall) in Delhi NCR is located in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, and Xiaomi claims it to be the biggest Home store in the country. The doors will open to the public at 10am.

And if you're interested to purchase any product from Mi Store you can pre-book the product at Rs. 999 from the XIaomi's online store or via Mi app, and get it at the store. Xiaomi is also offering freebie worth Rs. 599 with every pre-booking that can be collected along with the device at Mi Home on August 19.

At Mi Stores, customers can experience as well as buy Xiaomi products including smartphones, power banks, headphones and other ecosystem products that are launched in India. 

The new Mi Store in Delhi NCR is part of Xiaomi's plan to open 100 Mi Home stores across the country in two years, to expand offline presence. The company has already confirmed that it will open similar stores in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Acer Predator Helio 300 gaming laptop launched in India, price starts at Rs. 1,29,999

Last month Acer released Nitro 5 budget gaming notebook in India. But if you're looking for something more premium and powerful, Acer is now launching the Predator Helios 300.

The Predator Helios 300 features 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display and sports a premium matte black chassis with red accents. To keep the operations cool during heavy gaming session, the gaming laptop is fitted with dual-fan system called AeroBlade 3D Fan, with ultra-thin metal blades at only 0.1mm.

Acer will offer the Predator Helios 300 with the option of 7th gen Intel Core i7 (7700HQ) or Core i5 (7300HQ) processors, and overclockable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or 1050Ti graphics processor. It packs up to 16GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable to 32GB) and comes with 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD storage combination.

The ports on-board include a USB 3.1 Type-c port, a USB 3.0 port (with power-off charging), 2 x USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet port for wired connection and WiFi 802.11ac. Other features include Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony for rich audio experience and backlit keyboard.

The Acer Predator Helio 300 will be exclusively available on Flipkart from August 17 starting at Rs. 1,29,999.

M-Tech launches TEZ4G VoLTE smartphone at Rs. 4,999

Domestic smartphone maker M-tech has outed a new budget smartphone dubbed TEZ4G. The dual-SIM phone runs Android Marshmallow and supports 4G and VoLTE.

The TEZ4G features 5-inch FWVGA (854 x 480 pixels) IPS 2.5D curved glass display with Dragontrail glass protection, and is powered by 1.3GHz quad-core processor (unspecified chipset) with 1GB RAM and 8GB of expandable storage. It has 5MP rear camera with an LED flash and 2MP front facing camera. A 2400mAh battery keeps the lights on, that's rated to deliver up to 11 hours of talk time and up to 216 hours of standby time.

The TEZ4G has been priced at Rs. 4,999 and comes in Gold and Black color. It will be available offline stores as well as leading e-commerce stores like Amazon India, Snapdeal, Flipkart, Paytem and more.

Gboard's latest beta adds support for stickers and Bitmoji

Google's popular keyboard app called Gboard will soon get a couple of new features. The Gboard beta version 6.5 is being tested for a new feature that will let you add Bitmoji and stickers. 

The Gboard app now has a new sticker tab, that's accessible from either top button bar or the overflow menu. The stickers can also be accessed by going to emoji, and then switching to the new stickers tab at the bottom. After tapping on the stickers tab you will be prompted to install the sticker packs from Play Store, or download the Bitmoji app

Once installed, the sticker or Bitmoji pack will appear on the bottom of the keyboard as an icon (near emoji & GIF icon), and tapping the icon will show all stickers you can use. The sticker/Bitmoji feature will work with any app that already supports GIFs. Similar to GIFs, you can also search for stickers.

Currently you can choose stickers from a wide-variety of packs including Garfield, Despicable Me 3, Power Rangers, Trolls, Disney, Hello Kitty and more. There's also a couple of paid sticker packs as well. 

Apart from the addition of stickers and Bitmoji, Gboard also gets a few minor tweaks like tweaked shift and backspace keys, and redesigned themes panel.

For testing the new features you have to sign up for the beta testing program, and install the latest update, or you can download it from APKMirror and manually side-load it. 


Asus confirms Android O for ZenFone 3 series

Asus today finally announced the dual-camera toting ZenFone 4 up. The phones ship with Android Nougat based ZenUI 4.0, and to no surprise, the company has confirmed that they will get Anroid O when it is ready.

In addition, the company had good news for ZenFone 3 owners. Asus promised that ZenFone 3 line up will also be upgraded to Android O, which is most likely to be the last major software upgrade for the devices.

Asus says, the ZenFone 4 line up will get Android O update first, and once the roll out phase is complete, the ZenFone 3 line up will start receiving Android O. As usual, an exact time frame was not revealed, but Asus plans to roll out the update gradually by the second half of 2018.

The Android O will also be based on ZenUI 4.0. According to Asus, ZenFone 4.0 UI has the lightest Android UI skin to date and offers increased performance when using popular apps. The company also got rid out bloatwares, trimming down the 35 pre-installed apps on ZenUI 3.5 to just 13 apps. 


Asus ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Selfie, ZenFone 4 Max go official along with their Pro variants

Asus has officially announced the ZenFone 4 line at an event in Taiwan today. The ZenFone 4 family includes six members ZenFone 4, ZenFone 4 Selfie, ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro, ZenFone 4 Max, ZenFone 4 Max Pro, with the ZenFone 4 Pro leading the pack. Out of the six, the ZenFone 4 Max was already unveiled last month.

All six ZenFone 4's run Android Nougat based ZenUI 4.0 on top, and boasts features like metal unibody build, Qualcomm processor, up to 6GB RAM, up to 128GB storage, dual-cameras, big battery, dual speaker, hybrid dual-SIM slots and fingerprint scanner. Out of the lot, the ZenFone 4 Selfie and Selfie Pro have dual-selfie cameras at the front, while the rest have dual-rear cameras. Check out the specifications below: 

Asus ZenFone 4 Pro (ZS551KL)
  • 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass protection
  • Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform with Adreno 540 GPU
  • 6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Dual rear cameras: 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor with dual-tone LED flash, Dual Pixel, f/1.8 aperture, Qualcomm’s Spectra 180 sensor, TriTech+ autofocus technology + 16MP Sony IMX351 sensor with 2x optical zoom
  • 8MP Sony IMX319 sensor with f/1.9 aperture and 87.4 degree field of view
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C
  • 3600mAh battery with fast charging
  • Colors: Pure Black and Moonlight White colors 
Asus ZenFone 4 (ZE554KL)
  • 5.5-inch Full HD Super IPS+ 2.5D curved glass display with Gorilla Glass protection
  • Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform w. Adreno 508 GPU / Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform w. Adreno 512 GPU
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Dual rear cameras: 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor with dual-tone LED flash, Dual Pixel, f/1.8 aperture, 4-axis OIS + 8MP 120-degree wide angle sensor
  • 8MP Sony IMX319 sensor with f/2.0 aperture and 84-degree field of view
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Colors: Midnight Black, Moonlight White and Mint Green 

Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie (ZD553KL)
  • 5.5-inch HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display
  • Snapdragon 430 Mobile Platform with Adreno 505 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, expandable via microSD card
  • 16MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash
  • Dual front cameras: 20MP f/2.0 sensor + 8MP 120-degree wide-angle sensor with LED flash
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Colors: Deepsea Black, Mint Green, Rose Pink, Sunlight Gold 
Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro (ZD552KL)
  • 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display with 2.5D Gorilla Glass protection
  • Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB storage, expandable via microSD card
  • 16MP  Sony IMX35 rear camera with PDAF, dual-tone LED flash
  • Dual front cameras: 12MP Sony IMX362 sensor with f/1.8 aperture, soft LED flash, 4K video recording + 5MP 120-degree wide-angle f/2.2 sensor
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery
  • Colors: Rouge Red, Sunlight Gold and Deepsea Black 

Asus ZenFone 4 Max
  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with 2.5D curved glass
  • Snapdragon 425/Snapdragon 430 Mobile platform
  • 3GB RAM 
  • 32GB storage, expandable via microSD card 
  • Dual rear cameras: 13MP + 13MP 
  • 8MP front camera 
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 5000mAh battery w/ 10W rapid charging 
Asus ZenFone 4 Max Pro
  • 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display with 2.5D curved glass
  • Snapdragon 425/Snapdragon 430 Mobile platform
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB storage, expandable via microSD card
  • Dual rear cameras: 16MP + 16MP
  • 8MP front camera
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 5000mAh battery w/ 10W rapid charging
As for the pricing, the ZenFone 4 Pro price starts at $599 (Rs. 38,500), ZenFone 4 at $399 (Rs. 25,500), ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro at $379 (Rs. 24,300) and the ZenFone 4 Selfie will start at $279 (Rs. 18,000). The company hasn’t announced pricing for the ZenFone 4 Max or ZenFone 4 Max Pro yet. The phones will be launch in Asia first and expand to other markets worldwide. Exact time frame of the roll out is not known.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 poses for camera once again

Samsung is all set to launch the Galaxy Note8 next week, and the leaks have already spoiled the surprise. We have already seen renders and real-life photos of the device. And now more real-life photos of the phone has hit the interweb, and are in line with earlier leaks.

The Galaxy Note8 seen in the photo is in Midnight black, and confirms that it is an enlarged Galaxy S8/S8+, but slightly thicker, with Infinity display and minimal bezels on all the four sides for an all-screen design. The fingerprint scanner position has not changed much from the Galaxy S8/S8+ and sits at the back, next to the camera, which now has dual sensors.

The photos also confirms the button placements. Just like Galaxy S8/S8+, the power button is on the right side, while the volume rocker and dedicated Bixby button sits on the left hand side. The top house the ejectable SIM card slot. Even though the image dosen't show whats in the bottom, other leaks have shown the phone will feature 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C port.

The Galaxy Note8 will also reportedly offer the same specs as Galaxy S8+, but it will have a slightly larger screen and dual-cameras.

Samsung Galaxy Note8 Specifications
6.3/6.4-inches Super AMOLED dual curve Infinity display, 1440 x 2960 pixels, 18.5:9 aspect ratio
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (US model), Samsung Exynos 8895 (international model)
64GB of internal storage,  microSD card support
Dual 12MP rear camera with optical image stabilization and 2x optical zoom
8MP front facing camera
Android Nougat
USB Type-C, 3.5mm audio jack
3300mAh battery with fast charging, wireless charging
IP68-certified for dust and water resistance
Fingerprint scanner
Improved iris scanner
Built-in Bixby AI assistant
Size: 162.5 x 74.6 x 8.5 mm
S-Pen support with improved funtions
Colors: Midnight Black, Maple Gold, Orchid Grey, Deap Sea Blue

The Galaxy Note8 is rumored to carry a priced tag of 1000 Euros ($1000 | Rs. 77,000), and hit the market September 15. 

That's pretty much everything known so far about the Galaxy Note8. The unboxing of the phone is set for August 23.

Source | Via