As usual, here is the 6th weekly wrap-up covering all the happenings around the mobile industry for the past seven days. This will be our last wrap-up article before to the Mobile World Congress 2016 that will begin from next week. As the event is about to begin, we haven’t seen any global launches, but there are few smartphones that are launched in the Indian market.
- The Android 6.0 Marshmallow OTA update for the Sony Xperia Z5 has started to roll out. The Xperia Z5 users in Turkey are said to be the first to receive the update while the Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium will be updated in the next few weeks. All these three devices came with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Apart from the Z5 series device, the Marshmallow Update for the Xperia Z3+ (a.k.a Xperia Z4) is in the final stage. Last week, the Xperia M5 and M5 Dual SIM received the Android 5.1 Lollipop update.
- The first ever Tizen smartphone, Samsung Z1 that was launched in India a year ago has received an update. While the device came with Tizen 2.3 OS out-of-the-box, the 262MB of update brings the latest Tizen 2.4 OS. It will be available later for the users in Nepal, Srilanka, and Bangladesh. This new update brings the Ultra Data Saving Mode that came integrated with its successor Samsung Z3. It also brings Whatsapp calling, improved lock screen, and few improvements in camera, contacts, messages, music and few others.
(Check OTA update on your device: Open Settings> About Device> Software Updates> Check for Updates)
- The Indian users of 2nd gen Motorola Moto G are started receiving the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update. It came with Android 4.4 Kitkat and received the Android 5.0 Lollipop update in January 2015 and now it directly updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow update by skipping the Android 5.1 Lollipop update. The OTA update with the version 24.41.34 also includes the Android security update for the month of January. The 3rd Gen Moto G along with Moto G Turbo Edition and Moto X Play received the Marshmallow update last month.
- After launching the upgraded Galaxy A3 (2016), Galaxy A5 (2016) and Galaxy A7 (2016); the company has launched Galaxy A9 (2016) as the successor for Galaxy A8 in China. Now the company is rumored to launch another device under the Galaxy A series called as Galaxy A9 Pro (SM-A9100). The listing of the same is found on GFXbench revealing the important specifications. It is said to come with 4GB of RAM compared to the 3GB on Galaxy A9 (2016). It runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. There will be a 16MP rear camera and the same 8MP selfie camera as on its predecessor.
The company on its blog post has confirmed the launch of Gionee Elife S8 at the MWC 2016. It will be the successor for the Elife S7 that was launched in April 2015. According to the company, the device will bring a new ear of mobile photography and is also said to sport a pressure sensitive display that works almost same as 3D Touch on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. While the specifications of the device aren’t officially revealed, few leaks are suggesting the device to come with powerful hardware. It will be powered by Helio P10 octa-core processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
This will be first Gionee device to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow along with highly customized Amigo UI. It sports a Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution. In the camera department, it has a 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. While the S series from Gionee are known to be very slim, the Gionee S8 can also be around 6mm thickness. After the launch of Elife S8, we can expect the few other manufacturers to come up with pressure sensitive display, and there will also be growth in apps supporting this new technology.
Energy 653 from Phicomm is one of the best affordable smartphones to come with 4G LTE in 2015. The device is priced under Rs. 5,000 and came with an HD display, Snapdragon 210 SoC, and a battery of 2,300mAh capacity. Now the company has launched the successor to it called as Energy 670. The device is priced at Rs. 5,499 and is exclusively sold online via Snapdeal. It comes with the same 5inch HD IPS display as Energy 653 and is powered by a Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor clocked at 1.1GHz.
The RAM and internal storage are doubled up from 1GB and 8GB to 2GB and 16GB on Energy 670. It comes with an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 2MP front camera. It is backed by a 2,300mAh battery that can give decent battery life considering the less powerful specifications. There is dual SIM options and supports connectivity features like 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port. The design of the device also looks similar to the Energy 653 with a polycarbonate body. It comes in both White and Black color options.
LYF branded 4G LTE smartphones from Reliance are already available in the market. This week we have seen two more new devices namely LYF Flame 1 & LYF Wind 6. Both the devices come with same design and sports almost same internals. The Flame 1 and Wind 6 are priced at Rs. 6,490 & Rs. 6,999 respectively are one of the few devices to support VoLTE at this price range. The Flame 1 comes with a 4.5-inch FWVGA display while the Wind 6 sports slightly larger 5-inch display. They run on Android 5.1 Lollipop and supports voice calls through VoLTE and VoWiFi.
Another change can be found in the battery, where the Flame comes with a 2,000mAh battery and the Wind 6 is backed by a battery of 2,250mAh capacity. The rest of the specifications remains same on both the devices. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor along with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard storage. Talking about the camera, it has 5MP cameras on both front and back of the device. There is dual SIM dual standby options and supports 4G LTE along with other basic connectivity options.
Soon after launching the Torino S and Porto S smartphones in Europe, now the company is set to launch a new Coolpad Fancy in southeast Asian countries including Vietnam and Indonesia. This is the same device that was launched as Tornio S in Europe but without the fingerprint sensor. The Coolpad Fancy comes with a physical key called as Cool Key that can be used to capture photos and also to quickly access the selected apps. The device supports dual SIM dual standby and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with CoolUI 8.0 overlaid. It sports a 4.7-inch HD (1280 x 720) display with a 2.5D glass.
Under the hood is the Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHzand coupled with Adreno 306 GPU and 2GB of RAM. There is 16GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via a MicroSD card slot. It has an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP front camera for selfies and video calls. The device is kept powered on by a 1,800mAh battery that might not last more than a day. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, IR Sensor, Bluetooth, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port. It measures 139 x 67.8 x 7.9 mm and weighs about 120 grams.
Panasonic has launched an entry-level smartphone called P6 Mega in India this week. The device comes build into a polycarbonate body with rounded curves on all the four sides. It comes with some competitive specs but lacks the 4G LTE connectivity that was present on most of the recently launched devices. The device features a 5-inch HD display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. It runs on Icon UI based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via MicroSD card slot.
As said earlier, this dual SIM device is limited only to 3G HSPA networks. On the camera part, it has an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. It is backed by a fairly large 3,200mAh battery that can last long with these entry-level specs. The P66 Mega also supports 21 Indian regional languages and offers basic connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is priced at Rs. 7,990 and comes in Electric Blue, Rose Gold, and Russet Brown color options.
This week, we have seen three new smartphones Lava A88, A71, and X11 launched by the company. All these devices come with affordable pricing and supports 4G LTE network. For all the selfie lover out there, these devices come with a front-facing LED flash for capturing even in the dark light. The Lava A71 comes with a 5-inch HD IPS display with Gorilla Glass protection. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box and is said to receive the Marshmallow update. It has 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 2,500mAh battery. Talking about the camera, it has a 5MP shooter on the rear and a 2MP front shooter.
The Lava X11 also comes with 5-inch HD display and is powered by a quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. It has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage along with a MicroSD card slot. It sports improved cameras than the A71 with its 8MP and 5MP sensor on rear and front. Out of the lot, the Lava A8 is most affordable device and also sport less impressive specs. The 5-inch display comes with FWVGA (854 x 480) resolution. It has just 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. The A88 comes with the same set of cameras as on A71 but sports smaller 2,000mAh battery. Coming to the pricing, the Lava X1 is priced at Rs. 7,999 while the Lava A71 and A88 are priced at Rs. 6,499 and 5,499 respectively.
Earlier Micromax has launched few power packed devices under the Canvas Juice series. A new smartphone Canvas Juice 4G is listed on the company’s website with a massive 4,000mAh battery. The recently launched Canvas Juice 4 came with a smaller 3,000mAh battery and also lacks the 4G LTE connectivity. As the name suggests, the Canvas Juice 4G comes with dual SIM dual standby and offers 4G LTE connectivity. It sports a 5-inch HD display and includes Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It has 2GB of RAM and an 8GB of expandable storage.
Talking about the battery, it is rated to deliver 14 hours of talk time and lasts upto 450 hours on standby. It has an 8MP rear camera with autofocus and dual LED flash; on the front is a 5MP fixed focus camera. It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and includes several bloatware apps that reduce the internal storage. Apart from the listing on the official website, there is no other information considering the pricing and availability of the device.