The weekly wrap for the first week of March 2016 is here; this came right after the MWC that ended in the last week where we have seen most of the flagship been launched. There are few announcements from the Chinese brands, and we have also seen the launch of first ever smartphone packed with 6GB of RAM. The listings on Chinese certification agency TENAA revealed first look and specifications of some of the upcoming devices.
- Ringing Bells, the maker of Freedom 251 and Smart 101 smartphones has been in trouble after a certain backlash from the media and government. The company has accepted 30,000 pre-orders along with the payment of Rs. 251 for smartphone and Rs. 40 as shipping charges. As many of those who have pre-ordered the device has feared of a possible scam in this deal of offering a smartphone for Rs. 251 now the company’s officials has confirmed that the money has been refunded for those who pre-ordered, and the orders will be processed as ‘Cash on Delivery.’ According to the company, around 2.5 million handsets will be shipped before June 30.
- Android N is expected to get a name (maybe Android 7.0 Nutella) at the upcoming I/O 2016 that will be held from 18th-20th May. We will also see new features in the next-gen version of Android that will first hit Nexus devices. While there is no official confirmation, the recent leaks suggest Google to ditch the App Drawer. Few more screenshots of the settings menu confirm a redesigned UI. On the top, we can find the Do not disturb tab placed and the lines after every individual settings are now removed but are placed between different sections like Wireless & Networks, Devices, & Personal.
- Whatsapp has announced to end support for the least popular OS like Blackberry 10, Nokia S40, Android 2.2 & lower, and Symbian by the end of 2016. In the official blog, the company has mentioned these operating systems don’t offer the kind of capabilities that they need to expand the Whatsapp’s features in the future. Apart from this, the recent Android update to the version 2.12.493 brought the document (only PDF) sharing features replacing the video option.
- Samsung has recently rolled out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the Galaxy Note 5 in selected markets. While the other high-end devices will be updated to the latest in the coming days, this week the company has started rolling out the February security update for the Galaxy S5, S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 4, and Note 5. The Nexus devices along with the Blackberry Priv has received the security updates in the first week of February and somehow Samsung still not catching up the competition concerning the OS updates.
- Sony Xperia Z3+, which was launched as Xperia Z4 in Japan, is the successor for Xperia Z3. It was the company’s flagship device until the launch of Xperia Z5 series of devices. The device was made available in India in June last year for a price of Rs. 55,990. Now the company has announced a price of little over 50% which makes it cost only Rs. 25,999. At this price, it is one of the most affordable Snapdragon 810 powered smartphones along with OnePlus 2 and YU Yutopia. (In case if you are interested, here is the Buy Now link).
- Samsung has officially unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge at the Galaxy Unpacked event held in Barcelona. Both the devices are available to pre-order in the U.S and some of the European markets from the next day of the announcement. But there are no details mentioned about the Indian launch at that time, now the company has sent out the press invites confirming the launch event of Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge to happen on March 8th in New Delhi. This week we also came to know that both the latest Galaxy devices come with moisture sensor in the USB port that disables the charging when the USB port is wet. FYI, the devices sport IP68 certification making them water and dust resistant.
Lava has launched a new affordable 3G smartphone Lava Iris Fuel F2 in India at a price of Rs. 4,444. The device will be exclusively sold through eBay India and comes in the colors – Black and White. At this price, the Iris Fuel F2 comes with basic specifications and simple bars shaped design. It features a 5-inch display with FVGA (854 x 480 pixels) resolution. It is powered by an unknown quad-core processor clocked at 1.3Ghz.
There is 512MB of RAM which is the least amount of RAM to run Android OS without any lags. It has 8GB of internal storage along with a MicroSD card slot for storage expansion upto 32GB. On the camera front, it has a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and a VGA camera on the front for selfies. The device includes dual SIM card slots and offers basic connectivity features. It is backed by a 3,000mAh battery and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop.
The Micromax Canvas Tab P702 is the latest tablet launched by Micromax in India. It is one of the most affordable 4G LTE tablets priced at just Rs. 7,999. It comes with DTS surround system that improves the sound quality. The tablet will be available in the colors Black and White, and can be exclusively purchased through Snapdeal. It features a 7-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS display and is powered by a MediaTek MT8735 quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz.
It has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of onboard storage, and a MicroSD card slot for expanding upto 32GB. The P702 runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and comes with voice calling with the dual SIM card slots supporting 4G LTE. It has a 5MP rear camera with LED flash and autofocus and a 2MP selfie camera on the front. The tablet is kept powered on by a 3,000mAh battery. Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port.
Lenovo has unveiled the all new Vibe K5 & Vibe K5 Plus smartphones at the Mobile World Congress. This week Lenovo India has confirmed the launch of Vibe K5 Plus in India on March 15th. The device comes with a 5-inch display with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. Under the hood is the Snapdragon 616 quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz along with 2GB of RAM. It is also equipped with 16GB of built-in storage that can be expandable upto additional 32GB via MicroSD card slot.
It has a 13MP rear camera with LED flash and a 5MP camera on the front for selfies and video calls. 2,750mah battery is what keeps the device powered on. The device runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with Vibe UI overlaid. It comes with dual SIM dual standby and offers 4G LTE along with other basic connectivity options. Comparing with the Vibe K5, the differences is the display resolution and processor.
Just after announcing the launch of camera-centric OPPO R9 on March 17 in China, the R9 along with R9 Plus are certified by TENAA where most of the details revealed. The OPPO R9 and R9 Plus come with the same metallic unibody design. The OPPO R9 sports a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display while the R9 Plus features a 6-inch AMOLED display with the same Full HD resolution. While we expect the device to be powered by the latest Snapdragon 820 SoC, the R9 is powered by a 1.95GHz octa-core processor and the R9 Plus comes with a 1.8GHz octa-core processor.
Both the devices have 4GB of RAM, but the R9 comes with 32GB of storage while the R9 Plus has 64GB of internal storage. There is an expandable storage option upto 128GB via provided MicroSD card slot. There is a 16MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. The R9 is backed by a 2,850mAh battery and on the other hand, the R9 Plus includes a 4,120mAh battery. The devices support dual SIM dual standby and offer 4G LTE connectivity. There will be VOOC flash charging support for faster charging of the battery.
Xiaomi has unveiled the Snapdragon 650 powered Redmi Note 3 in India this week. It is priced at Rs. 9,999 for 2GB variant and Rs. 11,999 for 3GB variant can give good competition for the popular LeEco Le 1S and Honor 5X. This is also the first smartphone to be powered by the Snapdragon 650 hexa-core processor which was first announced as Snapdragon 618 SoC. The device sports a 5.5-inch Full HD resolution and runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with latest MIUI 7 laid on top.
It features a 16MP rear camera with PDAF and dual tone LED flash and a 5MP selfie camera on the front. This is also the first ever smartphone in the Redmi series to come with a fingerprint sensor. It is backed by a 4,000mAh battery that can easily last for more than a day of usage. The Quick Charge 2.0 charges the battery to 50% in just one hour. There is also an IR Blaster for using the device as a remote controller for using the home appliances like TV or AC. FYI, there is also another variant of Redmi Note 3 that launched in November last year and is powered by Helio X10 SoC.
The LYF Flame 1 & Wind 6 are latest from VoLTE enabled smartphones from the Reliance-owned LYF brand. The LYF Flame is priced at Rs. 6,490 and the Wind 6 comes with a price tag of Rs. 7,090. Both the smartphones support dual SIM dual standby and offers 4G LTE along with VoLTE and VoWiFi services. The LYF Flame 1 comes with a 4.5-inch FWVGA display and the Wind 6 sports a slightly larger 5-inch display with the same FWVGA display. Both the devices run on Android 5.1 Lollipop with almost stock Android like UI.
Rest of the specifications remain same on both the devices like the Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage. Talking about the camera, there is a 5MP camera on front and back of the device where the rear camera is assisted by an LED flash. The Flame 1 is backed by a 2,000mAh battery while the Wind 6 comes with a 2,250mAh battery. The device can be purchased from the Reliance Digital online stores or the offline stores across the country.
Samsung has already launched the Galaxy A5 (2016) & Galaxy A7 (2016) as the successors for 2015 launched Galaxy A5 & A7. Now the Galaxy J5 (2016) & galaxy J7 (2016), the successors for Galaxy J5 & J7 are certified by the TENAA. The device comes with a metallic frame around the device with a plastic back cover. Both these devices seem to be more focused on offering better smartphone photography, there is a laser focus rear camera and a selfie camera on the front with an LED flash.
The 2016 J5 comes with a 5.2-inch HD display where as the 2016 J7 comes with bigger and better 5.5-inch Full HD display. On the camera front, there is a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera. The new J7 comes with 3GB of RAM while the J5 is limited to 2GB of RAM, the internal storage of 16GB is same on both the smartphones. Last year, Samsung had the launched the Galaxy J5 & Galaxy J7 as gaming devices in India while in China, they are promoted as camera-centric devices.