There are some rumours that are easy to dismiss but then there are others that are backed by some information that provides them some level of authenticity. A new rumour that is doing rounds suggests that the devices with either Snapdragon 800 or 801 CPU will not be eligible to get an official Android 7.0 Nougat update.
According to the HTC-focused mobile developer LlabTooFer, who has provided several HTC-related tips in the past, Android 7.0 Nougat update will not be officially released for the HTC One M8 or other devices running the Snapdragon 800 or Snapdragon 801 CPUs because Qualcomm has not made corresponding graphics drivers for the new Vulkan API is present in the latest version of Android to improve gaming performance.
Due to Vulken API, Qualcomm has decided to not release graphics drivers for the devices with its older CPUs, making it impossible for OEMs (and apparently, even Google, for the LG Nexus 5) to provide official Android 7.0 Nougat updates for them.
When Android 7.0 Nougat update started rolling out earlier this week, it became clear that it won’t be making its way to Nexus 5 as other recent Nexus devices were provided with the latest version of Google’s mobile platform. Considering that Nexus 5 comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, the rumour seems plausibly true as of now.
If this information indeed turns out to be true, there will a host of Android devices that will be left out of the Nougat treatment by the California-based company. Such devices include the likes of Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G2, LG G3, OnePlus X, and HTC One M8.
LG has launched its X cam smartphone in India, featuring a dual rear camera setup with a 120-degree wide-angle lens. The smartphone has been priced at Rs. 19,990 and will be available in its Titan Silver colour variant from Friday across stores in India.
The dual-SIM (Nano-SIM) card supporting LG X cam was first unveiled in February ahead of MWC 2016, but only started rolling out globally in March.
Apart from the dual rear camera setup, the other highlight of the LG X cam is its 3D Arc Glass design. The smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the LG UI 5.0 skin atop. It sports a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) In-cell display, is powered by a 1.14GHz octa-core SoC, coupled with Mali-T720MP3 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
As for optics, the LG X cam bears a 13-megapixel + 5-megapixel rear camera setup, with the second sensor coupled with a wide-angle lens. On the front, the smartphone bears a 5-megapixel camera. LG is also touting a Pop Out Picture feature that combines 6 images into a moving image. The X cam comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB) in the hybrid dual-SIM card slot.
Connectivity options on board the LG X cam include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, 3.5mm audio jack, and FM radio with RDS. Sensors on board include proximity, accelerometer, magnetometer, and ambient light sensor. The smartphone weighs in at 118 grams, and measures 147.7×73.6×6.9mm. It’s powered by a 2520mAh battery.Note: An earlier version of this article quoted a Rs. 21,500 price tag based on the company listing.
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.
Micromax on Friday launched another smartphone in its Canvas Unite series, the Unite 4 Plus, priced at Rs. 7,999. It will be available in Champagne, Grey, and Silver colour variants. The smartphone features system-wide support for 12 Indian regional languages with Indus OS 2.0, and comes with other language and translation based features as Indus Swipe, a hybrid keyboard, a Text-to-Speech, and the App Bazaar’s regional language market place.
Another highlight feature of the new Micromax smartphone is the presence of a fingerprint sensor on the home button. Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the dual-SIM (Micro-SIM) Micromax Unite 4 Plus sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display. It is powered by 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P processor, which is coupled with 2GB of RAM.
The Micromax Unite 4 Plus sports an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing fixed-focus camera. The smartphone bears 16GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB).
Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth v4.0, FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB. Sensors on board the Micromax Unite 4 Plus include a proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer.
Micromax in an emailed statement said the newly revamped Indus OS 2.0 offering now includes support for Urdu and Assamese. Other features include the Indus Keyboard with its hybrid keyboard feature that lets users type in a mix of English and regional languages, apart from offering multi-lingual word predictions. Also on board are Indus Swipe; Indus Reader, and Text-to-Speech.
The company is also touting access to the regional language app marketplace App Bazaar, as well as the Indus Messaging service.
Lava has launched a 4G VoLTE-supporting smartphone, the X38, priced at Rs. 7,399 on the company website. While the company has not officially detailed availability, the dual-SIM smartphone already available for purchase online, and is currently listed for as little as Rs. 6,599 on Flipkart.
The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Lava X38 sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS On-Cell display, and is powered by a 1GHz quad-core (unspecified) processor. The smartphone comes with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and has an inbuilt storage of 8GB, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).
The smartphone has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, both coupled with an LED flash. In terms of connectivity, apart from the support for 4G VoLTE, the Lava X38 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS.
One of the most attractive features about the phone is that it packs a 4000mAh Li-Polymer battery, which company claims, gives you a 36-hour power backup. Lava X38 measures 155×71.8×8.9mm and weighs 162 grams. The smartphone also features a ‘Super Power Saver mode’ that company claims, extends the standby time by up to 546 hours. The phone is available in Blue and Grey colour variants.
Last month, Lava unveiled two Android smartphones, the X17 and X50, in India priced at Rs. 6,899 and Rs. 8,699 respectively. Both the smartphones are 4G compatible but X17 comes running Android 6.0 Marshmallow whereas X50 comes along with Android 5.1 Lollipop.
Reliance Retail has launched a new smartphone in India, a phablet with a 6-inch display – the Lyf Wind 2 – priced at Rs. 8,299. Like other Lyf-branded smartphones from the company, the smartphone offers 4G connectivity alongside VoLTE (voice over LTE) support.
Running Android 5.1 Lollipop, the dual-SIM (Regular + Nano) Lyf Wind 2 comes with a 6-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with a pixel density of 294ppi. The smartphone is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735M SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM.
In terms of optics, the Lyf Wind 2 sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 2-megapixel front camera. The phablet features 16GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB).
Connectivity options on Lyf Wind 2 include 4G (with support for Indian LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, FM radio, GPS, Bluetooth v4.1, Micro-USB with OTG, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Notably, only one SIM card slot can be used for 4G networks at a time.
The Lyf Wind 2 runs on a 2850mAh non-removable battery that rated to deliver up to 9 hours of talk time on 4G networks, a standby time of 190 hours, and continuous HD video playback of up to 6 hours.
The phablet measures 157.5x81x8.5mm, and and weighs 223.00 grams. Sensors on the Lyf Wind 2 include proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer.
After launching the Aqua Power HD 4G last month, Intex has added another smartphone to its Aqua series. The Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 has been listed on the company website with a price of Rs. 5,599, however the company has not yet provided details about availability – we can expect an announcement soon.
As for the specifications, the Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 supports dual-SIM (Micro + Micro) cards and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It features a 5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection and a pixel density of 196ppi. The smartphone is powered by a 1GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor with ARM Mali-T720 MP1 GPU and 1GB of RAM. It offers 8GB of inbuilt storage with the option to expand further via microSD card (up to 32GB).
Optics include a 5-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera also with flash. Other camera features include smile detection, face beauty, panorama mode, and voice capture. The Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 packs a 2800mAh battery, and the company claims it is rated to deliver up to 16 hours of talk time on 3G and 4G, and around 466 hours of standby tune. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB port, and GPS/ A-GPS. The smartphone measures 141.2×72.3×9.47mm and weighs 150 grams. The Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 comes with several pre-loaded apps like Matrabhasha, Online Software Update, Clean Master, Opera Mini, Opera Max, and Saavn. The company is also touting features like Emergency Rescue and Turbo Download. The smartphone is made available in White, Blue, and Champagne colour options.
Just last week, Intex also launched the Cloud String V2.0 in India for Rs. 6,499. The smartphone sports a fingerprint scanner, has an inbuilt SOS feature for emergencies, and was made available exclusively on Flipkart.
Panasonic on Monday launched the Eluga Arc 2 smartphone in India, priced at Rs. 12,290. The smartphone will be available to purchase in Gold and Rose Gold colour variants. The company is also bundling a protective screen guard.
The Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 is the successor to the Eluga Arc (Review) smartphone launched in April this year at Rs. 12,490.
The company is touting a couple of features of the Eluga Arc 2, namely, its Turbo Download feature (which aggregates mobile data and Wi-Fi for faster downloads) and the 2.5D curved glass with Asahi Dragontrail protection it has used for the display – apart from the Outdoor-Pro Display technology for sunlight legibility.
Panasonic says the Eluga Arc 2 sports ‘minimal plastic’ on the metal body made out of CNC aluminium, and the smartphone also supports the USB OTG option.
Coming to the specifications, the dual-SIM (Micro + Nano) Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) On-Cell Touch display.
The smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor that’s coupled with 3GB of RAM. The Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Eluga Arc 2 packs 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G LTE with VoLTE support, Wi-Fi, GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth, and FM radio.
The smartphone is powered powered by a 2450mAh battery, measures 144x72x7.6mm, and weighs 147.00 grams. Sensors on board the Panasonic Eluga Arc 2 include proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer.
Commenting on the launch, Pankaj Rana, Business Head – Mobility Division, Panasonic said, “After receiving a tremendous response for Eluga Arc, we are delighted to present the metallic version – Eluga Arc 2, in gold and rose gold colour. A perfect blend of innovation and style, the new Eluga Arc 2 is made with dual 2.5D curved glass and metal body. The new smartphone has minimal plastic material, providing a seamless convergence of style and performance for consumers. The metallic body also allows the smartphone to withstand the everyday wear and tear. For Panasonic India, it is a step forward to make our consumer’s life smarter, easier and more stylish.”
Facebook has expanded its Instant Articles feature to its Messenger platform. The feature will let users loads Instant Articles in a separate Messenger window, instead of a third-party browser, to save users’ time and data.
For the publishers that don’t support Instant Articles, the articles will open up normally in the smartphone’s default browser. Currently, the feature has only been rolled out for Messenger app users on Android. iOS users will get it sometime in the coming weeks. The feature will be added to the Android app via a gradual OTA update, so be patient if you haven’t received it yet.
The Instant Articles feature was first launched on the Facebook app last year. While iPhone users were the first ones to get it, Android users followed suit soon. It arrived in India in November with five partnered publications.
The social giant first teamed up with a few content houses, and then made it available to all publishers. The feature will work in the same manner, as it did on the Facebook app. Publishers who signed up for Instant Articles, had their stories show up ‘instantly’ in a new app window, instead of a browser. The content which supports Instant Articles comes with a lightning bolt sign on top right.
Instant Articles achieves faster loading speed by pre-loading the articles beforehand. The article therefore has already been loaded in the background, and hence photos pop up instantly when you tap the link, and videos start playing the moment you scroll on it.
Publishers that have partnered with Facebook for Instant Articles were at a count of 350 in December last year.
Facebook Messenger has finally got extended 3D Touch functionality. Till now, you could browse through the main Facebook app efficiently with ease with the help of the pressure-sensitive display, but wide support was lacking in the Messenger app – only its home-screen icon provided ‘Quick Actions’ 3D Touch functionality.
Users can now use 3D Touch within the Facebook Messenger app to Peek and Pop, getting a quick preview or access to information like contacts, conversations, photos, videos, stickers, links, and locations as a result of the latest update by the company.
To recall, Peek feature allows the users to get a small preview of the content with firm press on the screen. The Pop feature opens the entire content onto the screen and is used with the help of a even firmer press on the screen. The updated app is now available via the App Store.
Apple first announced its 3D Touch feature in its smartphones iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus last year in September. The company was optimistic about the implementation of 3D Touch by various app developers; however, there has hardly been any significant progress on that front. Various apps, from time to time, have included more features that can be assessed through 3D Touch but the technology has not seen a considerable adoption rate.
On Friday, Facebook announced in its blog post that it is testing a new feature it calls “secret conversations,” which uses end-to-end encryption.