August 2016 – Page 3 of 25 – My Blog

After unveiling the Flame 7 and Wind 7, Reliance Retail’s Lyf brand has introduced a new Water-series smartphone, called the Water 10. The Lyf Water 10 smartphone is listed on the company site at Rs. 8,699.

Like other Lyf-branded smartphones, the Water 10 comes with a Reliance Jio SIM, complete with the Jio Preview offer that gives three months of unlimited data, calling, SMS, and access to Reliance Jio services JioOnDemand.

The Lyf Water 10 smartphone supports 4G LTE bands in India – FDD-LTE Band 3 (1800MHz) and TDD-LTE Band 40 (2300MHz). The handset also supports VoLTE (voice over LTE) with HD voice call compatibility.

The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM + Micro-SIM) supporting Lyf Water 10 smartphone features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 294ppi. The handset also sports Dongxu Glass. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. The official company listing notes that both SIM slots are 4G enabled; though, at one time only one SIM can use 4G while the other will work on 2G.

The handset is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6753 SoC clubbed with 3GB of RAM. It packs 16GB of inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 64GB). The Lyf Water 10 sports a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with dual-tone LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Some of the camera features on the Lyf Water 10 include face detection, auto scene detection, face detection, video snapshot, smile shot, and gesture capture. Connectivity options include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB-OTG, and Micro-USB, apart from 4G. The handset support LTE Cat 4.

Measuring 146.5x72x8.5mm, the Lyf Water 5 weighs 142 grams. It packs a 2300mAh battery rated to deliver up to 7 hours of talk time and up to 150 hours of standby time on 4G network.


It only takes one smartphone to turn around the fortunes for any company and it will not be wrong to say the LG is pinning many of its hopes on the LG V20’s successful launch on September 6. Now, several renders of company’s upcoming smartphone have leaked online and give us a closer look of the device.

The South Korean company has been boasting about the audio and video playback capabilities of the smartphone, most recently revealing the audio will be powered by B&O Play, but also doesn’t fail to remind everyone from time to time that it will be the first phone to run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. However, one interesting aspect about the leaked renders is that they show that the company might be sticking with the second screen feature, which was introduced with LG V10 last year.

The presence of the second screen has been depicted in the renders of the phone spotted by Droid Life as well as in the render leaked by famous tipster Evan Blass. Further, in the renders spotted by Droid Life, the phone can be seen sporting a dual-camera setup with dual-LED sitting right beside it.

Although, there were suggestions that the smartphone might be modular, the leaked renders do not give any indication of modularity like on LG’s G5 smartphone. As pointed out by The Next Web, the lower portion of the smartphone does not look big enough to be easily swappable and therefore the company might have changed its mind about the feature.

Even though the timing of the leaks and credibility of Evan Blass do suggest that the final build might be closer to the renders, we will still have to wait till September 6 to confirm whether the smartphone will actually sport the leaked features.

Earlier this week, Google started rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat for its Nexus smartphones and not only did the search giant release it earlier than usual, it also broke its tradition of launching platform lead devices for the new OS. Google also confirmed the LG V20 will be the first new smartphone to run Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box.


A US appeals court on Wednesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit accusing BlackBerry of fraudulently inflating its stock price by painting an upbeat picture of the prospects for its BlackBerry Z10 smartphone line that was misleading.

While the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the lawsuit failed to state a plausible claim, it ordered a lower-court judge to reconsider whether to let the plaintiffs amend their complaint in light of what they said was new evidence.

Neither BlackBerry nor a lawyer for lead plaintiffs Todd Cox and Mary Dinzik responded immediately to requests for comment.

BlackBerry launched its Z10 phone in January 2013 in a bid to recoup market share lost to Apple’s iPhone, and Samsung devices powered by Google’s Android.

The BlackBerry Z10 won positive reviews, but low sales led to a projected $930 million (roughly Rs. 6,240 crores) writedown for unsold inventory on September 20, 2013. BlackBerry shares lost about one-sixth of their value that day.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company ousted its chief executive officer, Thorsten Heins, less than two months later. The lawsuit alleged that BlackBerry attempted to conceal the poor performance of the Z10 in order to artificially inflate its stock price.

In Wednesday’s decision, the 2nd Circuit upheld US District Judge Thomas Griesa’s March 2015 dismissal of the lawsuit for the failure to allege that BlackBerry and its executives knowingly misled investors.

The three-judge appeals panel said the plaintiffs’ claims amounted to “fraud by hindsight” by saying that the defendants must have known the device would be unsuccessful.

The court nonetheless said the plaintiffs could try to persuade Griesa to let them amend their complaint in light of new legal developments and evidence that the plaintiffs said would support their claims.

The appeals court said if Griesa refuses to let the plaintiffs amend their complaint, he should explain his reasons, which he had not done before.

The case is Cox v. BlackBerry Limited, 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 15-3991.


Xiaomi is hosting an event in China tomorrow, and it is widely expected to launch the Redmi 4 smartphone. The company has released teasers where two of its brand ambassadors are holding a smartphone, and has announced that ‘a new Redmi product’ is joining the family. In the meanwhile, a report is resurfacing speculation that the Redmi Note 4 may instead be launched at the event.

The teasers were released on the company’s forum confirming the previously tipped launch date of August 25. The Redmi 4 has been subjected to numerous leaks and it is expected to sport a full metal body. In the teaser, actress Liu Shishi is holding a metal device further attesting to it, while actor Wu Xiubo is seen holding a glowing smartphone.

The rumoured price of the Redmi 4 is at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 7,000). It is pegged to feature a 5-inch display, and be powered by a 2GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor or a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor. It should be available in two memory/ storage variants – 2GB RAM/16GB storage and 3GBRAM/64GB storage.

Optics may include a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera. It is expected to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8 out-of-the-box, and sport a 4100mAh battery. The dimensions of 141.3×69.6×8.9mm, a 160-gram weight, and Gold and Silver colour variants. Connectivity options tipped include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS.
In the meanwhile, GizmoChina speculates the company may launch the Redmi Note 4 instead, a smartphone that was tipped to launch back at the company’s July 27 event, but never materialised. While earlier it was tipped to sport a Snapdragon 652 SoC, the latest rumours point to a MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor. Other rumours specifications include a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) full-HD IPS display; 3GB RAM, 32GB and 64GB inbuilt storage options with the option to expand storage via microSD slot. The camera on the Redmi Note 4 is said to be the same as the Redmi 4, and it is expected to feature a 4000mAh battery.

Xiaomi is also expected to launch the Mi Note 2 on September 2, and is expected to don a dual camera setup, dual-edge display, and 64GB and 128GB storage offerings. It is pegged to be priced at CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,000) and CNY 2,799 (approximately Rs. 28,000) respectively.


Vivo has launched 4G VoLTE-enabled Vivo Y21L smartphone in India, the successor to the Y21, at Rs. 7,490. The smartphone is now available in the country in White and Grey colour variants.

The dual-SIM Vivo Y21L sports a 4.5 inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display and and runs on the company’s Funtouch OS 2.5 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. It is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone has 5-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The latest addition to Vivo’s lineup of affordable smartphones comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options on board the Vivo Y21L apart from 4G and VoLTE support include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB with USB OTG compatibility.

The smartphone bears a 2000mAh battery, weighs in at 145 grams, and measures 130.7×66.4×9.2mm. Sensors on board the Y21L include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and a magnetometer.

Vivo says the Y21L comes with unique features such as Palm Capture and Voice Capture. The company claims that the former feature helps users click more detailed, sharper and vivid photos while the latter one allows users to click the pictures by just saying the word “Cheese”. Other features include Smart Wake and Smart Click. Smart Wake allows gesture shortcuts while the Smart Click feature lets you bring up customised features or apps by holding down the volume key.

“We are pleased to offer the new Y21L packed with 4G VoLTE technology to our Indian customers at an affordable price of Rs. 7490. With this device, we reassure our commitment to offer quality products to our valued customers”, Vivo India’s CMO Vivek Zhang said about the launch in an emailed statement.


Meizu has announced two new smartphones in its U series, the U10 and U20 smartphones. The smartphones will come in Black, White, Champagne Gold, and Rose Gold colour variants, and are priced starting CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10,000).

The smartphones comes in two memory/ storage bundles, and the Meizu U10 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage bundle is priced at CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10,000), while the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage bundle is priced at CNY 1,119 (roughly Rs. 11,300). The Meizu U20 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage bundle is priced at CNY 1,099 (roughly Rs. 11,100), while the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage bundle is priced at CNY 1,299 (roughly Rs. 13,100). The Meizu U10 will be available in China starting September 18, while the Meizu U20 will be released earlier on August 28.

As for specifications, the Meizu U10 runs on an Android-based YunOS with Flyme UI and features a hybrid dual-SIM card slot (Nano + Nano/microSD). It features a 5-inch (unspecified resolution) IPS display with 2.5D curved glass protection. It runs on an octa-core processor, and also offers an option to expand storage via microSD card (up to 128GB).

Optics include a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, and an adjacent 5-megapixel selfie camera as well. The Meizu U10 packs a 2760mAh battery, and connectivity options include 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS.

Apart from a larger display and bigger battery, all the other specifications on the Meizu U20 remain the same. It features a bigger 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and packs a 3260mAh battery. Both the smartphones come with a fingerprint scanner embedded into the mTouch 2.1 home button. There is no word on whether these smartphones will launch in international markets or not.

Google started rolling out the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat on eligible Nexus devices, and alongside it even announced that it is working on the first maintenance release (MR) of the new OS. The tech giant announced that the updates will be released quarterly, and now we some more clarity on what MR1 will be called, and all the new things it will bring.

Google is looking to continue its Android Beta Program and release developer preview of new versions, before releasing a commercial stable update. A Monday post from XDA Developers’ Nate Benis indicates that Nexus Launcher, Google Assistant, and even the redesigned Android buttons will be released in Android Nougat MR1, and not Android 7.0 Nougat. The update will be released alongside Google’s platform lead devices, which till date have featured Nexus branding. However, Gadgets 360 has learnt that this year Google is doing something different, and will use no Nexus branding at all. The next platform lead devices from the company are tipped to be Google-branded premium devices with exclusive features that will position them to take on the iPhone.

Benis says, “With Google’s announcements today of doing quarterly maintenance releases leads me to believe the upcoming Nexus devices are going to be launched alongside MR1. Probably around the same time they were last year. Current version of Android N that is being pushed to Nexus devices is based on developer preview 5 and does not have any of the “proprietary features android police and myself have been leaking” expect a developer preview of MR1 with these changes soon.”

Android Police also reports that Google may be planning to bump the version number up to 7.1 with the first maintenance update. Considering the biggest update that Marshmallow took it to v6.0.1, v7.1 would be a big update with significant changes. In any case, Benis has hinted that Google will stick to tradition and launch its platform lead devices in October, alongside the big Android 7.1 Nougat update. The Google-branded smartphones are expected to run on Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box, and therefore Google has to bring some solid improvements to levitate its device credibility.

For now, only compatible device holders are getting the Android 7.0 Nougat update. If you haven’t received it via OTA yet and want to manually download it, follow these steps.


Google has started rolling out final build of Android 7.0 Nougat for its compatible Nexus devices, and soon after the tech giant also confirmed that the upcoming LG V20 will be the first “new smartphone” running on the new OS out-of-the-box. Without wasting much time, Sony has released the list of all its smartphones that will receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update.

Sony has confirmed that the Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia X, Xperia XA, Xperia XA Ultra and Xperia X Performance will receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update. The tech company refrained from providing a time-frame for when the update will arrive.

This means select smartphones that were launched last year and this year are getting the update, while Sony has stopped its software support for all the smartphones released in 2014 completely. Many smartphones that were released in this two-year time-frame have also been left out. Interestingly, the Sony Xperia E5 that was launched in May this year has also been left out. The Sony Xperia Z4, and Xperia Z4v released in the second quarter of 2015 will also not get the update.This year, Sony launched the Sony Xperia X and Sony Xperia XA, and Xperia XA Ultra in India; and priced them at Rs. 48,990, Rs. 20,990, and Rs. 29,990 respectively. All of these smartphones are receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update.

To recall, Sony is also hosting an event at IFA on September 1, where it is widely expected to unveil the Xperia XR smartphone. Past leaks suggest that the Sony Xperia XR is expected to feature a 5.1-inch display, and be powered by a Snapdragon 820 processor. With this smartphone, Sony is also expected to make the switch to USB Type-C ports. So far, Sony’s entire smartphone portfolio sports a Micro-USB ports. The smartphone is also expected to support 4K recording with the front and back cameras.


As per third-party repair firms and users on Apple’s support forums, several units of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been facing a display issue where a grey flickering band can sporadically be seen on top, accompanied by touch responsiveness issues.

Established DIY repair and teardown website iFixit has published a blog post that recounts experiences of several third-party repair firms. Terming it as a “touch disease”, it points to the “pages and pages” of complaints on Cupertino giant’s support forums. Even after many complaints, Apple refuses to acknowledge or address the issue, leaving many users disgruntled.

The grey flickering bar on top sometimes disappears after you apply pressure or you gently twist the device, however it comes back and continues to get worse till the touch display goes completely kaput. When users head to Apple Store with the complaints, their devices are replaced if in warranty, and all those whose devices are out warranty, are merely told that the tech giant does not recognise the problem, and hence cannot provide a solution.

iFixit cites micro-soldiering expert and iPad Rehab’s Jessa Jones, who in a detailed blog post attributes the “epidemic” to be caused by a flawed touch controller chip design, or rather, with the way it is fused to the logic board of the phone.

In both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the Touch IC chips connect to the logic board via an array of itty-bitty solder balls-“like a plate resting on marbles,” Jessa explains. Over time, as the phone flexes or twists slightly during normal use, those solder balls crack and start to lose contact with the board.

“At first, there may be no defect at all. Later you might notice that the screen is sometimes unresponsive, but it is quick to come back with a hard reset,” Jessa explains. “As the crack deepens into a full separation of the chip-board bond, the periods of no touch function become more frequent.” Any drops or heavy handling keep chipping away at the cracked solder balls. Damage enough of them, and the connections between the chips and the logic board are severed, signals are lost, touch gets glitchier, and then goes away altogether.

As Apple is not ready to take the weight of this problem, iFixit advises affected users to head to a third-party repair shop to get their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices fixed. Replacing the logic board or the Touch ICs on the logic board are the only solution.

The issue is speculated not to affect the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus because Apple fixed the structural issues on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus that were causing the problem – the same issues that caused the Bendgate controversy.

Jones explains, “compared to earlier iPhone models, the iPhone 6/6+ is kind of a ‘bendy’ phone. Its slim form factor and larger surface area subject the logic board within the phone to mechanical flexion pressure that no other iPhone has had to deal with.”


Google is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece in virtual-reality films and programs, part of a plan to line up exclusive content for the debut of its new Daydream service in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the matter.

Google will help promote projects from Hulu and fund the production of 360-degree videos with YouTube stars like the Dolan twins and Justine Ezarik, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deals. The division of Alphabet Inc. has also partnered with video-game producers and sports leagues to boost its biggest virtual-reality initiative.

“It’s apparent they’ve spent a lot of money internally,” said Finn Staber, co-founder of TheWaveVR, a virtual-reality startup developing a music app for Daydream.

The company is relying on apps, shorts and games to promote Daydream, a hybrid store and software service that Google hopes will be the dominant way people engage in virtual reality, much like Android is for smartphones. An update to Android software that will support Daydream began rolling out Monday. The idea is to encourage the growth of the technology and ensure Google maintains a central role in helping people find things to watch.

Google is entering what has quickly become a crowded marketplace, with products from Facebook, Sony, Samsung and HTC. Whereas Sony’s Morpheus headset is tethered to its PlayStation video-game console, Google is focused on mobile-based VR, whereby consumers snap their phones into a visor or headset. With the headset on, Daydream presents users with an array of apps, from YouTube to HBO Now.

“Google’s Daydream will help advance mobile virtual reality,” said Oren Rosenbaum, a digital media agent at United Talent Agency who spearheads its VR effort. “Mobile virtual reality is what’s going to get the most people to strap things on their head.”

While competitors are targeting users willing to spend hundreds of dollars for top-notch VR equipment, mobile will reach mass audiences, Staber said. In June, he watched a live performance at the video-game expo E3 in Los Angeles from the comfort of his Austin home.

“It’s revolutionary,” Staber said, adding he and his partners had been collaborating with Google’s VR team over the past few months.

Google’s growing investment in virtual reality tantalizes filmmakers eager for more resources. While Facebook has spent millions of dollars on individual projects, most large media companies have been circumspect about investing too much money in a new storytelling medium with a small audience.

This being Google’s first major virtual-reality content initiative, the company doesn’t want to spend too much just yet and is spreading money around to see what works, the people familiar with the matter said. Google is spending high six figures on video games, and is offering from low five figures to low six figures for projects with filmmakers and online talent, the people said.

Filmmakers working with Google must use a 16-camera rig optimized for the company’s Jump software platform for virtual-reality content. GoPro is making one, called Odyssey, priced at $15,000 (roughly Rs. 10 lakh). Though a few elite VR filmmakers have either balked at the budgets or the requirement that they use Google’s camera, dozens of filmmakers have signed up to work with YouTube, the people said.

YouTube won’t demand an ownership stake in the projects filmmakers create with its funds, since the Google division is more interested in encouraging creative people to produce content around the debut of Daydream to stoke awareness and excitement.

YouTube will be one of dozens of apps available within Daydream, alongside HBO’s streaming service, Hulu and apps from sports leagues like the NBA and MLB. Google will co-market some of the programming. Though its projects won’t be exclusive to Daydream, Hulu will time the release of several pieces to the debut of Google’s platform.

Daydream will be introduced around the same time as the release of new Android phones, VR headsets and controllers. The latest version of Android has VR-enhancing features including faster graphics processing, quicker head tracking and better use of data from multiple sensors.

Google had been working on its own headset, but the company has mainly focused on reference designs for headsets, and controllers, for other companies to build their own VR devices. It would rather turn Daydream, known to some as Android VR, into the dominant interface for virtual reality.

Google designed a controller to make mobile-based VR more interactive. With a headset on, people can use the remote to navigate and select apps. The company is offering creative and financial support to apps that use its controller, such as Tilt Brush, a painting app it purchased in April 2015, and the Wave, which enables DJs to create and perform music live for people wearing headsets either in the audience or sitting at home.

“They want more content in the store to get people talking,” Rosenbaum said. “Google investing in the space continues the momentum and growth we’re all expecting.”