The wrap-up of the last week for the month of January is here, in case if you have missed out any new and launches of smartphone and smartphone related gadgets, you can go through this article to get the glimpse of each and every news from the past seven days. With the recently finished CES 2016 and the upcoming MWC 2016, there aren’t many major announcements this week.
With the HTC One A9, the first ever no-Nexus device to launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, HTC has been aggressive in pushing out the updates and this week the ‘Android Security Updates’ for the month of January has rolled out. As of now it is limited to the U.S users, and the global roll-out can be expected in the next few days. According to the Mo Versi, VP of Product Management at HTC; the January roll-out fixes a total of 12 security flaws. The Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow for the HCT One A9 is bundled along the December security updates.
While the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge users in South Korea have received the Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo has received the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop in India. The update with the size of 895MB will decrease the internal storage by 950MB and require 3GB of free storage to complete the update. When the device was launched in January 2014, it came with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box.
(You can check the OTA update for your Note 3 Neo by opening Settings> About Phone> System Update)
This week, OPPO has announced their ‘Make in India’ plans by investing Rs. 100 crores in setting up its own manufacturing plant. It will be operational by August, and the company is looking to produce 10 million handsets per month. OPPO is also focusing on expanding its offline presence and is likely to meet the target of 35,000 stores in 2016.
Xiaomi has confirmed to launch its upcoming smartphone Xiaomi Mi 5 on February 24th in China and will be showcased at the MWC 2016 on the same date. On the other hand, Gionee has announced their plans to launch the Elife S8 at the MWC 2016. The device is said to offer a new level of smartphone photography and also comes with pressure sensitive display that works same as 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Coming to the smartphone launches, below are the few devices that are launched this week.
OPPO has announced the launch of the new F-series that will be announced in India on February 28th. As teased earlier, the first device under this new series called as OPPO F1 has been launched along with the high-end OPPO F1 Plus that will be launched in April. The device is said to offer perfect selfie experience with its 8MP selfie camera along with software features like ScreenFlash that capture selfies even in the dark light conditions. The Aluminum build looks premium in hand and also measures just 7.25mm thickness.
The F1 comes with a 5-inch HD display and has a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and LED flash. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor along with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It is backed by a 2,500mAh battery that supports OPPO’s VOOC fast charging. On the other hand, the F1 Plus will sport a 5.5-inch 1080p display and comes with 4GB of RAM. The devices support dual SIM and offers connectivity options like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port.
The F1 is priced at Rs. 15,990 and will be available starting from February 4th while F1 Plus s priced at Rs. 26,990 and will be available starting from April.
Honor has launched the Honor 5X and Holly 2 Plus smartphones priced at Rs. 12,999 & Rs. 8,499 respectively. Both the devices will be available online and exclusively sold through Flipkart and Amazon. The Honor 5X is the mid-range device with an all-metal body, and the Honor Holly 2 comes with a plastic body. Honor Holly is the same device that was launched in China as Huawei Enjoy 5. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the back of Honor 5X.
The Honor 5X sports a 5.5-inch 1080p display and is powered by the Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor while the Holly 2 comes with a 5-inch 720p display and includes a MediaTek MT6735P quad-core processor. Both the smartphones come with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. The 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera also remains same on both the devices. The CDMA support on the Holly 2 makes it a recommended choice for CDMA network users.
While all the devices launched this week came with some aggressive pricing make them the alternative to the other device at their respective price ranges, Vivo Y51L is the one device that offers almost entry-level specs at a price of Rs. 11,980. At this price range, the build quality and design of the device are the only justification. The 5-inch device comes with a qHD (960 x 540) resolution display and is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor.
It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage along with a MicroSD card slot. It has an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. The dual SIM device supports 4G LTE and offers other basic connectivity options. It is backed by a 2,350mAh battery and measures just 7.52mm thickness. The Vivo Y51 that was launched in China in early December last year also sports similar specifications.
After several rumors, now we have complete specifications and pricing of the three smartphones from LYF, the subsidiary brand of Reliance Retail. LYF Earth 1, Water 1, & Water 2 are now listed on the company’s website, but there is no word on the availability. Among the three, the LYF Earth 1 is the high-end device priced at Rs. 23,990 and offers dual rear cameras. It features a 5.5-inch Full HD display and is powered by a Snapdragon 615 SoC. It has a 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.
On the camera Earth 1 has a 13MP+2MP setup on the rear for DSLR-like photography experience, on the front is the 5MP selfie shooter. The other two devices LYF Water 1 and Water 2 comes almost similar specifications except the display resolution. The Water 1 priced at Rs. 14,999 comes with a FullHD display, and the Water 2 is limited to an HD resolution and comes with price tag of Rs. 14,690. Both these devices are also powered by the Snapdragon 615 processor.
The devices have a 13MP rear camera and a5MP front camera. All these devices run on Android Lollipop out of the box. As the Reliance Jio is said to offer calls via VoLTE, all the LYF smartphones come with 4G LTE connectivity and supports VoLTE. These devices will be made available through all the Reliance retail stores across the country.
Lava is the one Indian manufacturer that has launched a decent smartphone this week. The Lava V5 is the mid-range smartphone priced at Rs. 11,499 and will be available across India through retail stores. The USP of the device lies in its camera, where it has a 13MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, and PDAF. It also attracts many selfie lovers with its 8MP front camera ith 84-degree wide anagle lens and f/2.2 aperture. The front-facing LED flash doesn’t make you miss the selfies even in the dark.
Coming to the other specifications, it sports a 5.5 inch HD display along with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Under the hood is the 1.3GHz MediaTek quad-core processor along with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The device runs onAndroid 5.1 Lollipop is announced to receive the Marshmallow update. A 3,000mAh battery backs the dual-SIM Lava V5 smartphone. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, OTG, GPS, and MicroUSB.
The last one in the list is the recently launched Vibe X3 from Lenovo, which was priced very aggressively at a price of Rs. 19,999. The device sports an all metal body and includes dual front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos support. The design looks almost similar to the recently launched Lenovo Vibe K4 Note and in China, the company has launched the Vibe X3 Lite. It features a 5.5-inch 1080p display and is protected with a Gorilla Glass 3 on top. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor coupled with Adreno 418 GPU and 3GB of RAM.
The Vibe X3 offers one of the best smartphone photography experience at this price range. It has a 21MP rear camera with PDAF and F/2.0 aperture that can record the videos in 4K resolution. On the front is an 8MP sensor that comes with several software features for capturing better selfies. It is backed by a 3,500mAh battery which can give decent battery life. According to the company, it also offers Hi-Fi sound experience with dedicated audio chip and includes three microphones that offer high-quality audio.