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DevicesNew Launches

Micromax Expands Vdeo Range Of Smartphones

micromax vdeo

Micromax on Wednesday expanded its Vdeo range of smartphones- a new category created by the homegrown firm focusing on video calling feature, in the Indian market.

The smartphone models are named Vdeo 3 and Vdeo 4 and are priced at Rs 5749 and Rs 6249 respectively. The Micromax Vdeo range offers 4G VoLTE and comes pre-loaded with Google Duo app. The smartphones also come with a pre bundled Reliance Jio SIM, which offers three months of unlimited free data and voice calling option to all the Vdeo users.

The Vdeo 3 and Vdeo 4 come with almost similar specs. The smartphone comes in 5 inch screen size and run on Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. They have 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal storage capacity. While the Vdeo 3 sports a 5 megapixel rear camera, the Vdeo 4 offers an 8 megapixel camera at the back. However, both the cameras sport 2 megapixel front camera. The other difference is the Vdeo 3 carries a 2000 mAh battery whereas the other phone comes with 3000 mah battery.

“Last month post the launch of Vdeo 1 and Vdeo 2 smartphones, we received a phenomenal response from our consumers. The Vdeo range of smartphones are designed keeping in mind the basic needs that Indian consumers demand from their smartphones. They are fully loaded with best-in-class features for an entry level Smartphone – including 4G VoLTE, Android Marshmallow, great battery performance, HD Display and housed in a premium and stylish metal body. We truly believe that these feature, coupled with free internet connectivity with the pre-bundled Reliance Jio SIM is a compelling proposition that will accelerate the switch from feature phones to Smartphones,” said Micromax CMO Shubhajit Sen.

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Devices

Doel Launches Credit Card Size Card Feature Phone For Rs 1,999

doel-card-feature-phone-et-106

Did You Hear About This Card Feature Phone? An Indian company called Doel International along with its Chinese technology partner today launched a phone what they call as a card feature phone. This is called as a card feature phone because its shape and size resembles a credit card and the phone weighs just 50 gram.

What you can do with this phone? Well, you can do what a phone is supposed to do – to make and receive calls. That’s it. Though that is available with many other feature phones, where this phone scores over others is the ability to sync with your primary smartphone.

Means, if you sync this card feature phone with your primary smartphone, you can get access to all your contacts in the smartphone, can take and receive calls from your primary phone and also can stream music from it.

So, one can consider having a Doel phone as a standby device or an emergency phone, in case the primary phone goes dead for any reason. And t would not be cumbersome to carry a 50-gram feature phone that you can tuck in literally anywhere.

The Doel ET 106 is a credit card sized feature phone with 1.8 inch screen with TFT-LED display. The phone is 4G-SIM compatible, means the 4G SIM will work on this card feature phone but one can not use any of the data services like Facebook, emai or WhatsApp.

The Doel ET 106 carries a 500 mAh battery and the company claims of 4 hours of talktime and 4 days of standby time with this. It has a touch keypad, earphone jack and Bluetooth. For music one can use inbuilt FM radio or sync with any other smartphone.

The card feature phone is available on Amazon.in and is priced at Rs 1,999 though it says a MRP of Rs 2,999.

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DevicesNew Launches

Buy Lenovo Z2 Plus Rs 3000 Cheaper At Flipkart, Amazon

Lenovo-Z2-Plus

The Lenovo Z2 Plus that was originally priced Rs 17,999 when it was launched is cheaper by Rs 3000 now and you can grab one for yourself at either Flipkart or Amazon.in starting today for Rs 14,999. This is for the 3 GB ROM, 32 GB storage version.

The 4GB RAM, 64 GB storage version, however, becomes cheaper by 2500 and is available at Rs 17,499 compared to Rs 19,999 when it was launched in last September. The 4GB ROM, 64 GB storage is available at offline retail outlets across the country, Lenovo said in a statement.

The Lenovo Z2 Plus comes in 5 inch screen size with FHD display with a 2.5D curved glass on top and runs on Android Marshmallow. The storage capacity of both the variants can be upped to 128 GB using microSD cards. The devcie is powered by quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. On the camera front, the Lenovo Z2 Plus is equipped with 13  megapixel rear camera with flash and autofocus features and the front camera is of 8 megapixel. The phone comes with 3500 mAh battery. The Z2  Plus also supports quick charge.

The Lenovo Z2 Plus has a dedicated application to track all your fitness needs. U health app keeps track of your step, distance and calories with the help of dedicated Pedometer, Gyroscope, Accelerometer and sensor processing unit of Snapdragon 820. For smart quick actions, the Lenovo Z2 Plus features a supercharged Home button, U Touch. Apart from hosting an accurate Fingerprint sensor, it’s an advanced capacitive sensor and a physical button and enables users to program 7 different gestures and shortcuts into the Fingerprint sensor.

The company said starting today 16th January 12 noon, the Lenovo Z2 Plus (3GB + 32GB) variant will be available on Flipkart and Amazon.in in black and white color variants at INR 14,999. Additionally, 4GB & 64 GB variant will also be available for purchase across leading retail stores.

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DevicesWearables

Samsung Gear S3 Launched For Rs 28,500

samsung-gear-s3

Samsung on Tuesday launched its latest smartwatch in the Indian market. Named Samsung Gear S3, the smartwatch is priced at Rs 28,500 and will be available on all forms of retail outlets from 18 January.

This is the third version of Samsung smart watch – the earlier versions being the Gear S1 and Gear S2.

The Samsung Gear S3 comes in two variants – Classic and Frontier. While feature wise there are not much difference in the two models, the Frontier is more rugged-looking and best fit for outdoor activities while the Classic aims at people with a style quotient.

The smart watches come in 1.3 inch circular super AMOLED display and is protected by Gorilla Glass SR+ which is meant for wearables and gives the devices military grade strength. The Gear S3 comes with dual core 1 GHz processor with 768 RAM and 4 GB of internal storage capacity. The Samsung Gear S3 Frontier weighs just 62 gram while the other one is lighter at 57 grams.

“With the Gear S3, we continue to build on our wearables heritage of offering diverse choices to enhance consumers’ unique lifestyles,” said Manu Sharma, Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India. “Gear S2 achieved meaningful progress in the smartwatch category with a personalized watch face and a versatile rotating bezel that provided an intuitive smartwatch experience. Now with the new Gear S3, we expand our Gear collection and introduce not only a great smartwatch, but a great watch. With smart capabilities and sophisticated, elegant design, the Gear S3 marks a significant addition to our smartwatch portfolio.”

With the Gear S3 the company brought some newness to their wearable segment. This new device can take or reject calls and it can be done by rotating the bezel. One can send voice messages as well using the S3 as the device offers connectivity options including WiFi and Bluetooth. The Samsung Gear S3 that was showcased in IFA Berlin last year was 4G enabled, however the company have chosen not bring the LTE version to India ass of now.

The Samsung Gear S3 is IP68 compliant, means it is water and dust proof and carries a 380 mAh battery that the company claims, would offer, 4 days of back up.

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DevicesNew Launches

Ziox Mobiles’ New 4G Smartphone Is Priced At Rs 5553

ziox-mobiles-astra-metal-4g

Sun Airvoice owned mobile phone brand Ziox Mobiles has launched a new smartphone in the Indian market. Named Astra Metal 4G, the smartphone is priced at Rs 5553 and targets the entry level smartphone users.

The new smartphone from Ziox Mobiles is a 5 inch device and is powered by 1.3 GHz quad core processor.  The Astra Metal 4G comes with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage capacity. The company says the storage space can be expanded up to 32 GB by using micro SD cards.

On camera front, the Ziox Mobiles smartphone sports a 5 megapixel rear camera with flash and a 2 megapixel front camera. The back camera has Auto Focus and Flash support to help you take sharp & vivid images even in low lighting conditions while the 2MP front camera captures stunning selfies in a jiffy and facilitates video calling. The phone is run on Android Marshmallow OS.

“After establishing its mark in the feature phone segment, Ziox is proud to introduce its first 4G entrant, that not only elevates performance& customer experience to the next level, but endeavors to empower consumers with affordable technology, keeping the users ahead of the Tech curve,” says Deepak Kabu, CEO, Ziox Mobiles.

The dual SIM 4G phone carries a 3000 mAh battery and is available in shades of Rose Gold, Silver & Champagne Gold, Astra Metal 4G is already available in leading retail stores across India.

This phone from Ziox Mobiles supports 21 Indian languages, which the company believes, will be a big draw among its Indian consumers. The Astra Metal 4G smartphone also offers connectivity options like WIFI, Bluetooth, FM Radio & more to offer an all-inclusive smartphone using experience.

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DevicesNew Launches

Samsung Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5, Galaxy A3 Launched

samsung-galaxy-a7-a5-a3-launch

In a surprising move, Samsung today launched three new smartphones – Galxy A7, Galxy A5 and Samsung Galaxy A3 – under its A series smartphones, days before CES 2017. These phones were expected to be launched during the trade show that starts from 8 January but today’s launch indicates there is more in the store.

Though the price of the smartphones are not known but the company said the phones will be made available in Russia first sometime in January.

Tech Specs : Galaxy A7
The Samsung Galaxy A7 is a 5.7 inch smartphone with super AMOLED display and is powered by 1.9 GHz octa core processor. The phone comes with 3GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage capacity. The storage space can further be expanded upto 256 GB using microSD cards.

The Samsung Galaxy A7 sports 16 megapixel cameras at front as well as at rear. Both the camera come with autofocus and flash. Both the cameras support HD video recording.

The Galaxy A7 sports 3600 mAh battery and supports features like finger print sensor and Samsung Pay. However, Samsung Pay will be available in selected markets.

Galaxy A5
The Samsung Galaxy A5 comes with almost same technical specifications as Galaxy A7 with few differences. The A5 is a 5.2 inch smartphone with 3000 mAh battery. Besides specs and features are same with A7. This device also comes with Samsung Pay, NFC and LTE enabled.

Galaxy A3
The Samsung Galaxy A3 is a 4.7 inch smartphone and is powered by 1.6 GHz octa core processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage space. In terms of camera, the A3 comes with 13 megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel front camera. The Galaxy A3 comes with 2350 mAh battery.
All three variants of the Galxy A series come with metal frame and the display is covered with 3D curved glass that gives more strength to the display glass compared to 2.5D glass.

All the Galaxy A series smartphones offer IP68 water and dust resistance.

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DevicesReviews

Asus ZenFone 3 Max Review : The First Max Was Better

asus-zenfone-3-max

In August 2016 Asus had launched the ZenFone 3 series smartphones and the ZenFone 3 Max was a part of that. ZenFone is the brand name for all the smartphones from the Asus’ stable and the word ‘Max’ denotes the huge or ‘MAXimum’ battery capacity of the Max series phones.

The ZenFone Max 3 comes in two variants – a 5.2 inch device with MediaTek processor and a 5.5 inch device with Qualcomm processor. We reviewed the latter one.

The first ZenFone Max phone was launched in May 2016 and the phone was priced at Rs 9,999. The Max 3 is priced at Rs 17,999 for the 5.5 inch variant.

So, let’s see what are the differences between these two devices, if any, and try to justify the price difference. And then you can take a call if the new phone does add any value to that price difference.

First and foremost, do keep in mind that the price difference is almost the double for the ZenFone 3 Max.

Let’s Explore

Look & Feel
Both the ZenFone Max devices were of 5.5 inch in size. But the ZenFone 3 Max comes with a metallic body compared to the plastic body of its earlier version. The ZenFone 3 Max looks way better with its sleek built and well crafted design. You can put the design among the premium smartphones, though the finishing could have been much better. The plastic and metal part of the outer body, it seems, are not in conversation with each other though they are not fighting either. The ZonFone 3 Max comes with IPS display which covered with a 2.5D curved glass as compared to Gorilla glass 4 in the ZenFone Max.

The buttons are well placed and well built which give you proper feedback. In the original Max there were times when pressing the physical buttons like power or volume do not give right feedback that keep you guessing if you have really clicked it or not. The buttons on the front of the phone could have been back-lit to help users use in darkness. This is one feature Asus has been consistently avoiding for reasons unknown. I’m sure it can not be because of cost.

The ZenFone 3 Max adds a finger print sensor at the back, just below the camera. Overall, from a design point of view, the ZenFone 3 Max looks and feels much better than the ZenFone Max.

What’s Inside
The ZenFone 3 Max comes with Qualcomm octa core 1.4 GHz processor with Snapdragon 430 chipset. Yes, you read it right. Compare this with 1.2 GHz processor with Snapdragon 615 chipset in the ZenFone Max, the older phone. I could not figure out why the Taiwanese firm did this. The Max 3 comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage space compared to 2 GB RAM and 32 GB ROM in the Max. Both the devices can be expanded upto 128 GB using microSD cards. So, in terms of processing power I put the ZenFone 3 Max at a lower pedestral than its earlier version. And, its not just basis the face value of the specifications, the phone behaved exactly the same as per its brain when we tested it. Poor.

Camera

One of the biggest selling points in todays’ smartphones is the camera. The ZenFone 3 Max comes with 16 MP rear camera and 8 MP front camera, with features like PDAF, low-light, HDR, laser assisted autofcus etc. These features are becoming standard day by day with all the smartphones incorporating them. However the camera of the ZenFone 3 Max did not impress as per its specs. To start with, the autofocus does not behave the way the company portrays it to be – in 0.03 second. The previous model – ZenFone Max – performed comparatively better with its 13 MP camera. When zoomed, the photographs taken with the older phone looked better than the new one!

The Best Part
The best part of the ZenFone 3 Max is its battery power. At 4100 mAh, the phone lasted more than 32 hours with regular use that includes hundreds of calls, browsing for hours and multimedia play out. Besides, the battery of this phone can be used to charge other smartphones as well, just like a power bank. Mind it, the first Max contained a 5000 mAh battery.

Now Tell Me
Why would I spend double the money for a new smartphone that performs almost the same, at times less, than an older model? What is common between the phones? Both are 5.5 inch devices, have same storage space, run on same OS version of the Android. While the ZenFone 3 Max has a bigger camera, in megapixel terms, it has low capacity battery. While the former has 3 GB RAM, the ZenFone Max has a better processor. Asus, this time, certainly made the user confused. And as the rule goes, when in doubt, consult your wallet.

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DevicesSmartphones

Asus ZenFone Go LTE With 8 MP Camera Launched For Rs 6,999

asus-zenfone-go

Asus has launched its most affordable 4G smartphone – the ZenFone Go 4.5 LTE – priced at just Rs 6,999, in the Indian market. However, the phone has neither compromised on the technical specifications nor on features for this low price.

The Asus ZenFone Go 4.5 LTE is a 4.5 inch smartphone and comes with all the required features of a 4G smartphone. The phone offers FWVGA display with 854×480 pixel resolution. The ZenFone Go is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and comes with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage space. There is also a provision of expanding this capacity to 128 GB by using micro SD cards. Besides this Asus also offers 100 GB of cloud storage for 2 years in Google Drive.

The Asus ZenFone Go sports a 2 megapixel camera at the front and an 8 megapixel camera at the back. The rear camera is supported by flash. The camera also comes with features like low-light mode, HDR and beautification.

The smartphone also has regular smartphone features like WiFi, Bluetooth, audio jack, micro USB, and sensors like accelerometer, e-compass, proximity and ambient light.

The dual SIM Asus ZenFone Go 4.5 LTE comes with a 2070 mAh removable battery and shipped in various colors like red, silver, gold and blue.

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Wearables

Asus Launches Smart Watch ZenWatch 3 For Rs 17,599

asus-zenwatch-3

Asus today launched its first smart watch ZenWatch 3. Comes in two variants, one in leather strap and the other in rubber, the smart watch is priced at Rs 17,599 for the base model. The leather band variant is priced at Rs 18,999.

The pre-booking of the ZenWatch 3 will start from 23 December on Flipkart and there is an offer on Zero Cost EMI as well. The watch comes with 1 year warranty.

ZenWatch 3 has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display with 400 by 400 resolution and 287ppi pixel density for deep blacks and pin-sharp details that make each watch face look its best. The display is covered with gently curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass that facilitates smooth swiping gestures and provides tough protection against scratches and damage.

ASUS ZenWatch 3 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 (APQ 8009w) processor that is specially designed for wearable devices. This chipset consumes 25 percent less energy than the Snapdragon 400 processor. The Taiwanese firm claims the ZenWatch 3 offers battery life of up to two days. ZenWatch 3 also features exclusive HyperCharge technology that takes just 15 minutes to reach a 60 percent charge. The smart watch comes with a magnetic charging connector that snaps into the charger automatically. An optional battery pack is also available, providing 40 percent more battery life.

The smart watch comes with 512 MB RAM and 4GB internal storage space. Other features include Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi. The smart watch supports calling and text messaging as well.

The ZenWatch 3 comes with more than 50 software watch faces that can be changed using the ZenWatch Manager smartphone app, letting wearers easily customize their watch to fit any style, mood, or occasion. Many of these watch faces support customizable widgets that display useful information, such as current weather, daily step counts, and missed call notifications. For an even more personal ZenWatch 3 experience, wearers can create their own unique watch faces with the FaceDesigner smartphone app.

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Devices

Samsung To Cut Employee Bonus For Galaxy Note 7 Debacle

samsung-employee-bonus-cut

Samsung Galaxy Note 7, after bleeding the company to almost dead, is now after the employees. The company that has been handing out almost half of the employees’ salary as performance bonus every year is believed to have reduced it substantially because of the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

The company’s operating profit incentive program offers up to 50% of employees’ annual salary as bonuses but this year, it is reported that Samsung has reduced it to just 17%. The bonuses will be handed out to the employees on January 26, 2017.

For the last few years the employees of Samsung have been enjoying 50% bonuses because of the company’s solid business in its smartphone division across its markets. But this year, due to the recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7, the company has lost billions of dollars in revenue.

The brunt is not to be taken by the employees, though no heads were rolled yet for the fiasco.

However, this bonus cut is limited to the company’s mobile business unit only. Workers at the company’s memory business unit, however, are expected to receive the full amount – 50%- as bonus, and the same for the consumer unit and display business unit are fixed at 7% and 48% respectively.

Samsung has also cut the target achievement incentive (TAI) for its employees. The TAI program offers employees up to 100% of their monthly salaries as incentives, but this year it has been reduced to 12.5% for mobile business unit and 50% for the electronics and chip business unit. The TAI bonus will be handed out on 23 December.

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