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Zen Mobile on Tuesday launched the Cinemax Click in India, a 4G VoLTE-capable smartphone priced at Rs. 6,190. The company says the smartphone will be available with online and offline retailers, and comes bundled with a Reliance Jio SIM with access to the Jio Happy New Year Offer. Zen Mobile is also bundling a protection kit and one-time screen replacement within the first six months.

The dual-SIM Zen Cinemax Click runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) OnCell display. The smartphone is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core processor (unspecified) coupled with 1GB of RAM. As for optics, the smartphone bears an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with flash, apart from a 5-megapixel front-camera.

The Cinemax Click comes with 8GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB) and features regular connectivity options like Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth, apart from 4G VoLTE support. The smartphone is powered by a 2700mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 30 hours of standby time. Other features of the Zen Cinemax Click include the Swalekh multi-lingual keyboard with support for for 20 regional languages, including Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. The smartphone comes preloaded with Saavn, Zen AppCloud, and Zen Game Store apps, and the company is also touting a mobile tracking and special screenshot features for users.

Announcing the launch, Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobile, said, “The launch of Cinemax Click further strengthens our 4G VoLTE portfolio in India. At Zen Mobile, we are constantly working towards offering consumers with feature rich, value for money smartphones, while at the same time helping them live a seamless digital life. Cinemax Click will be available to customers with Jio 4G Happy New Year offer and esp. launch benefits of free protection gear and one time screen replacement in case of any breakage during first 6 months. We will continue to focus on our presence in Tier II and Tier III cities in India to help every Indian embrace the Digital movement.”

After launching the Ultra50 in October, Videocon expanded its 4G lineup on Friday after announcing the launch of the Ultra30 smartphone in India. Much like the Ultra50, the Ultra30’s VoLTE support and a large battery pack are its key highlights. The Videocon Ultra30 smartphone has been given a ‘special introductory price’ of Rs. 8,590, and is available exclusively on Snapdeal in a Blue Gold colour variant.

The 4G-enabled Ultra30 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is similar to the Ultra50 in terms of specifications. The smartphone features a 5-inch (720×1280) HD IPS display with MiraVision and DragontrailX 2.5D curved glass. The device is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor coupled with 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB).

The dual-SIM Videocon Ultra30 smartphone packs a fairly large 4000mAh battery with fast charging. On the camera front, the smartphone features a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, PDAF, and Gorilla Glass lens, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with LED flash for low-light selfies. Videocon says the rear camera comes with a Smart Wide Dynamic View (SWDR) and ISOCELL technology “to enable wide angled panoramic shots” and sharp images in low light conditions.The Videocon Ultra30 comes with the usual connectivity features which include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and FM radio. Some added features include dual WhatsApp, SOS-be-safe and gesture controls, among others. It measures 144×73.8×9.8mm, and weighs 166.5 grams.

Speaking on the launch, Akshay Dhoot, Head of Technology & Innovation, Videocon, said, “With the launch Ultra30 today, Videocon Smartphone continues to be a brand that constantly innovates in order to offer best in line smartphones. It has been our endeavour to stay ahead and lead the constantly changing.”

 
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Swipe Technologies, soon after launching the entry-level Elite Star, has now unveiled the Elite Max in India. Priced at Rs. 10,999, the all-new Swipe Elite Max is now available to buy exclusively via online retailer Flipkart. The company with its latest offering is targeting “youth, fashion-savvy women, and professionals.” The online retailer claims that the Elite Max is eligible for Jio Happy New Year offer which means it also supports VoLTE (voice-over LTE).

At this price point, the new Swipe Elite Max will be competing against the popular Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Moto G4.

For specifications, the Elite Max features a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It supports a hybrid dual-SIM (Micro-SIM + Nano-SIM) configuration. It is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The handset packs 32GB inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage up to 64GB via microSD card.It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and PDAF (phase detection autofocus). It also sports an 8-megapixel front camera. The handset comes with a glass back panel and also features a fingerprint sensor at the back. It measures 155×76.6×7.7mm and packs a 3000mAh battery.

Connectivity options apart from 4G LTE include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, USB OTG, and Micro-USB.

Swipe earlier this week launched the 4G-enabled Elite Star in India. The handset ran on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Indus OS and was priced at just Rs. 3,333.

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Panasonic on Wednesday launched the P88 smartphone in India, with a best buy price of Rs. 9,290. The company says the smartphone is available across retail outlets in the country.

The highlight of the Panasonic P88 smartphone is the presence of a triple-LED flash module alongside the 13-megapixel rear camera, and an LED flash module accompanying the 5-megapixel front camera. The dual-SIM Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based smartphone comes with Android For Work security, and sports a 5.3-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with a 2.5D curved glass.

The Panasonic P88 is powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, FM radio, 3G and 4G. The smartphone is powered by a 2600mAh battery.

Sensors on the phone include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and a proximity sensor. It is 8.35mm thick, and weighs in at 156 grams. Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Rana, Business Head – Mobility Division, Panasonic India, said, “With the year drawing to a close, the P88 is an affordable 4G smartphone offering for the Indian market. In a first for Panasonic smartphones, the phone comes with a front LED flash for the selfie lovers The phone also comes with an anti-dust receiver to help maintain the phone for longer periods of time. We continue our endeavour to offer differentiated product offerings to our customers.”

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Swipe Technologies has launched a new 4G VoLTE smartphone Swipe Elite Star, which runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Indus OS. The dual-SIM smartphone has been priced at Rs. 3,333 and is already available for purchase exclusively from Flipkart.

The Swipe Elite Star sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display. The smartphone is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with 8GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

In terms of optics, the Swipe Elite Star comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera, tagged with LED flash, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for taking selfies. The smartphone houses a 2000mAh battery that comes with rapid-charge functionality.

The connectivity options for the Swipe Elite Star smartphone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Bluetooth. The smartphone measures 125.5×64.6×10.6mm and is available in Black and White colour options. The Swipe Elite Star comes with features such as Indus Swipe, Word and Matra prediction, Indus Reader, Indus Messaging, and a Hybrid Keyboard.

Earlier this year, Swipe announced a partnership with Indus OS alongside Celkon to bring the domestically-made operating system to more devices in the country. The tie-up is in addition to the one Indus OS already enjoys with Micromax.

 
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Google on Monday released the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for Nexus and Pixel devices, and the update has begun rolling out across the world. A Gadgets 360 staff member received the update on his Pixel XL smartphone, and learnt that the smartphone now supports 4G VoLTE, compatible with Reliance Jio in India.

To use 4G VoLTE, Google Pixel and Pixel XL users will need to enable Enhanced 4G LTE Mode in Settings > Mobile network settings. This will let you “use LTE services to improve voice and other communications (recommended)”. Once activated, users will see a HD symbol in their status bar, with the explanation “Device is HD capable”.

The Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for Google Pixel XL is 263.6MB in size, and also brings the December Android Security Patch. If you haven’t yet received the update, and can’t wait to try out the VoLTE feature, you can upgrade to the latest version via the OTA files on Google’s site.

The update for Pixel smartphones fixes critical bugs, and also improves the stability and performance of the devices. The Android 7.1.1 Nougat update also adds gender counterparts for emoji characters that previously only had male or female representation. Google has also added support for GIF images directly from keyboard on supported apps. Some of the apps that support GIF images include Google Allo, Google Messenger, and Hangouts.


Worldwide 4G smartphones are expected to show double-digit uptake at 21.3 percent year-over-year growth for 2016, to reach 1.17 billion units, up from 967 million in 2015, a new report by market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said.

Much of this growth is being driven by emerging markets like Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa, where only 61 percent of 2015 smartphone shipments were 4G-enabled compared to IDC’s 2016 projection of 77 percent, the report entitled “Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker” said.

“We are quickly seeing this change in key growth markets like India where new operator Reliance Jio is aggressively trying to shake up the market by handing out free 4G SIM cards and launching own-branded low-cost 4G-enabled smartphones,” said Melissa Chau, Associate Research Director, IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement.

Global smartphone shipments are expected to reach 1.45 billion units with a year-over-year growth rate of 0.6 percent in 2016, which is down significantly from the 10.4 percent growth in 2015, the findings showed.
Mature markets (US, Canada, Japan, and Western Europe) are further along the 4G adoption curve with 85 percent in 2015 and a projected 94 percent in 2016, respectively.

Google’s Android operating system has been and will remain the majority share platform in smartphones for the foreseeable future. It will also be at the core of the aforementioned 4G growth expected in emerging markets, the report noted.

Windows Phone shipments are expected to decline 79.1 percent in 2016 as the number of OEMs supporting the platform continue to diminish.

Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have done well, but three quarters of year-over-year declines, as well as a projected fourth quarter decline by IDC, will account for negative growth, the report added.

 
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Micromax has quietly listed the new Canvas Spark 4G on its website. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 4,999, and will be sold exclusively on Snapdeal. The e-commerce site has already started taking registrations, however the Micromax Canvas Spark 4G is set go on sale from November 10 at 12pm IST.

It’s worth noting that the smartphone has not been officially announced by Micromax. The Canvas Spark 4G is a new addition to Micromax’s Canvas Spark family, and the big highlight (obviously) is connectivity. The smartphone supports 4G VoLTE and comes bundled with the Reliance Jio Welcome offer. It sports a new metal back cover and runs on a more recent Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. The Canvas Spark 4G is a more refined version of the Canvas Spark launched in April last year. Notably, the Canvas Spark was also priced at Rs. 4,999 at launch.
As for the specifications, the Snapdeal site reveals that the Canvas Spark 4G features a 5-inch IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It will be powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and be paired with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 8GB of internal storage, and, as mentioned, runs on Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

Coming to photography, the Canvas Spark 4G sports a 5-megapixel rear camera, and an additional 2-megapixel front camera for video calling and taking selfies. There is one Gold and White colour combination smartphone that is already listed, but Micromax could unveil more colour options on launch day. To register for the Micromax Canvas Spark 4G, head here.

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After the ZTE Nubia Z11 mini S, the Chinese company has now launched an Android flip phone in the US market. The ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone is priced at $99.95 (roughly Rs. 6,700), and you can purchase it from the Home Shopping Network. Alternatively, it is also sold at Wal-Mart stores with no contract and unlimited data.

The big highlights of the smartphone (apart from being a flip phone), is that it supports full touch functionalities on the small display and comes with 4G LTE connectivity as well. As for all the other specifications, the ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone features a 3.5-inch multi-touch display. It is powered by the 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) quad-core chipset paired with Adreno 304 GPU and 1GB of RAM. It offers 8GB of inbuilt storage with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot (up to 32GB).
The ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. It sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with auto flash, auto focus, zoom, and MMS support. At the front, there is an additional 2-megapixel sensor to take selfies with the flip phone. The ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone packs a 1800mAh Lithium-Ion battery that claims to offers up to 10 hours of talk time and 6 days of standby on a single charge.

Apart from 4G LTE, connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, MicroUSB 2.0, GPS, and 3.5mm audio jack support. The ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone measures at 111.8×60.96×18.288m and weighs 164.9 grams. If you buy the smartphone from HSN, then the seller bundles a car charger, case, app pack and 1,200 minutes of data and texts free along with the purchase.

The smartphone sports a Black textured casing with metal edges. There is no word on when the ZTE CYMBAL-T flip phone will arrive in other international markets.

 
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LG on Thursday launched its 4G VoLTE-enabled X Power smartphone in India, priced at Rs. 15,990. It will be available for sale “pan India in a day or two”, the company said, in Black and Gold colour variants.

The LG X Power, which runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, is a dual-SIM smartphone. It sports a 5.3-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) In-Cell Touch display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735M processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the LG X Power comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera, tagged with LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for taking selfies. The smartphone houses a large 4100mAh battery. The connectivity options for the smartphone include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.1. The smartphone measures 148.9×74.9×7.9mm and weighs 139 grams.

The smartphone comes with PE+technology, which helps the smartphone to charge at a faster rate, the company claims. “Its Fast Charging technology PE+ makes it almost [twice as fast to charge compared to] other batteries,” the company said in its release. Other features of the phone auto shot, the film effect, the gesture selfie, the quick share, the company said.

“We are relentless in our pursuit to ensure that all our products enable peoples’ life to become easier, efficient and help them work smarter. Today in India, we all are witnessing the 4G LTE evolution at a very fast pace and this technology brings excessive use of videos, music, streaming etc., which are battery consumption intensive features. Keeping in view of consumer’s needs, LG XPower brings huge 4100mAh battery that runs longer under heavy multimedia use,” Marketing Head – LG Mobiles, Amit Gujral, was quoted as saying in the release.