When Google decided to roll out the Android 7.0 Nougat update in August, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE were left out of the mix. A month later, Google apologised for the delay in rolling out the update for the two Nexus devices. Earlier this week, Nexus 6 users started receiving the update along with the October Android security patch. Now, Nexus 9 LTE users have also started to receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update, however this time, only the September Android security patch is bundled with it.
Once the rollout process is complete, it would mean all eligible Nexus devices have now officially received the Android 7.0 Nougat update. Notably, at the Made by Google event earlier this week, Android 7.1 Nougat was unveiled alongside the two Pixel smartphones, and Google claims that Nexus and Pixel C tablet will receive the developer preview before the end of the year. Just which Nexus devices will receive the update however has not been clarified. Google confirmed that even though the Nexus series is dead with the launch of Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL smartphones, it will continue to support Nexus devices.
The update is rolling out over-the-air, but if you can’t wait Google has also uploaded factory and OTA images. As mentioned, the Nexus 6 update earlier came with the October Android security patch, but the Nexus 9 LTE update bundles the old September patch.
Google, at its Made By Google event, killed old practices of launching Nexus devices by partnering with OEMs. Instead, Google now has a new hardware team lead by Rick Osterloh, which will now take care of Google-branded products – though HTC is responsible for “assembling” the current crop of Pixel phones. At the event, Google also launched the new Chromecast Ultra, Google Home speaker, Google Wi-Fi router, and the new Daydream View.
The Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are coming to India this month, and the pre-sale will start on October 13. The smartphones will be made available in 32GB and 128GB variants, and are priced at starting Rs. 57,000.
After launching the Aqua Raze II and the Aqua Pro 4G just a few days ago, Intex has again expanded its Aqua series by launching the Aqua Strong 5.2. The successor of the Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 comes with VoLTE support, 2GB RAM, and amped up internal storage. Listed on the company website, the Intex Aqua Strong 5.2 is priced at Rs. 6,390, however availability details remain unknown.
The Intex Aqua Strong 5.1 was launched in August with 8GB internal storage for Rs. 4,999. Two months later, the Indian smartphone company has listed the Aqua Strong 5.2 with 16GB of inbuilt storage. We expect the company to announce availability details soon. As for the specifications, they largely remain the same as the Aqua Strong 5.1, apart from a few tweaks.
The Intex Aqua Strong 5.2 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and supports dual-SIM slots (Micro+Micro). It sports a 5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection and a pixel density of 196ppi. It is powered by a 1GHz MediaTek MT6735 quad-core processor with ARM Mali-T720 MP1 GPU and 2GB of RAM (up from 1GB on the Aqua Strong 5.1). It offers 16GB of inbuilt storage with the option to expand further via microSD card (up to 32GB). The user available storage is at 10.8GB.
The smartphone has a 5-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and a 2-megapixel selfie camera at the front. Extra camera features include smile detection, face beauty, panorama mode, and voice capture. It measures 141.2×72.3×9.47mm and weighs 150 grams. The Intex Aqua Strong 5.2 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 VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB port, FM radio, and GPS/ A-GPS. It will be made available in White, Blue, and Champagne colour variants.
Vivo has launched the 4G VoLTE-enabled Vivo Y55L smartphone in India at Rs. 11, 980. The Y55L is an upgraded version of the Y51L that was launched in January. The Y55L’s main highlights include a split-screen feature for multitasking and an eye protection mode that reduces blue light for a comfortable screen brightness. The Y55L will be available across India and will be offered in Gold and Space Grey colour options.
The Vivo Y55L runs Funtouch OS 2.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It sports a 5.2-inch HD display (720×1280 pixels) with a metal unibody and a 2.5D curved-edge screen. The handset is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with 2GB of RAM.
On the camera front, the Vivo Y55L features an 8-megapixel rear sensor and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The device offers 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G and VoLTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB with USB OTG.
The Vivo Y55L is fitted with a 2650mAh battery pack. The device measures 147.9×72.9×7.5mm and weighs 142 grams. Sensors include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and virtual gyroscope.
Commenting on the launch, newly appointed CEO of Vivo India, Kent Cheng, said, “India is a very important market for us because of the maximum smartphone penetration. We want to cater to every price point with our innovative products. And, through Y55L we want to tap the users that are looking for a smartphone that not just looks great but also delivers the desired results with its overall package.”
At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Google unveiled the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, first Google-branded smartphones. As we’d reported in August, India is one of the launch markets for the phone, with Google Pixel price in India to start at Rs. 57,000, with pre-orders set to begin October 13. The phone will be available from Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Croma, as well as smaller retailers, with a retail availability at the “end of October” according to Google.
The Google Pixel costs $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for 32GB variant in the US, $749 (approximately Rs. 50,000) for 128GB; Pixel XL costs $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for 32GB, $869 (approximately Rs. 58,000) for 128GB. Pre-orders in the US are already underway.
The launch event was however one of the worst kept secrets from Google, and almost everything was leaked in advance of the event. As widely expected, Pixel and Pixel XL are the first phones with Google Assistant built-in. The Google Pixel sports a 5-inch full-HD Amoled display and the Google Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD Amoled display – both with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Both the models will be available with almost identical innards except the screen size and battery size.
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL will be available exclusively via Verizon and unlocked version from Google store. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders starting Tuesday in Australia, Canada, Germany, UK, and the US. It will be available in Quite Black, Really Blue (limited edition), and Very Silver colour variants, though it seems the blue colour will not launch in India just yet.
The Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones sport an aluminium unibody and also feature polished glass combination at the back. Both phones are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz. The Pixel and Pixel XL will pack 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and sport Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor. The smartphones sport 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. Both sport an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.
As rumoured ahead of the launch, Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones will only come in 32GB and 128GB storage models. Google has specified however that both smartphones have access to unlimited storage for full-resolution photos and videos via Google Photos. The Android 7.1 Nougat-based Pixel smartphones will come with a USB Type-C port and will include the 3.5mm audio jack. The smartphones are also IP53 rated for dust and water resistance. The Google Pixel smartphone will come with 24×7 customer care feature which can help resolve issues on the device real-time. Pixel users will have access to a toll free phone support number along with 54 walk in service centres across over 30 cities in India.
At the event, Google also unveiled the Daydream VR headset, Chromecast Ultra with 4K HDR, Google Wifi, and a price tag for Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the launch discussed the company’s efforts with artificial intelligence and machine learning to build tools like the Google Assistant. To recall, the Google Assistant was first unveiled at Google I/O, and has already reached the general public with the Google Allo instant messaging app. Rick Osterloh, the new head of Google’s newly formed hardware division, introduced the presence of Assistant in two new surfaces – in the context of the Pixel phone, and the Google Home speaker.
After launching the Aqua S7, Aqua HD, and Cloud Q11 in September, Intex is opening October with the launch of the Aqua Raze II and Aqua Pro 4G smartphones in the country. The Aqua Raze II and Aqua Pro 4G are priced at Rs. 4,990 and Rs. 5,690, respectively, and are listed on the company website. The Aqua Raze II comes in White, Champagne and Dark Blue while the Aqua Pro 4G is being offered in Champagne and Dark Blue colour option. Availability details of the 4G VoLTE-enabled smartphones have not been mentioned yet.
The dual-SIM Intex Aqua Raze II is powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display and is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor clubbed with 1GB of RAM. The Aqua Raze II sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash and a 2-megapixel front with flash. The company touts a 70 percent screen-to-body ratio for the device.
Meanwhile, the Intex Aqua Pro 4G features a similar 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. A 1.3GHz quad-core processor is found under the hood with 1GB of RAM. Optics include a 5-megapixel camera for the rear with dual-LED flash apart from a 2-megapixel front-facing camera with flash.
Both the devices feature 8GB inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. Connectivity options for both devices include Bluetooth v4.0, 802.11 b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro-USB.
The Aqua Raze II measures at 137x68x9.5mm and weighs 128.4 grams, while the Aqua Pro 4G measures 135×66.9×9.5mm and weighs 140 grams. The former features a 1750mAh battery pack, while the latter features a bigger 2000mAh battery.
With the latest devices on offer, Intex now offers a number of 4G-enabled budget handsets for the Indian market. The devices will compete with devices like the recently launched Alcatel Pixi 4 (5) and theiBall Andi Wink 4G.
After the M6 and M6 Plus, Gionee has now unveiled the P7 Max. The smartphone sports a full metal unibody, a 3GB RAM, and offers dual-SIM support as well. The Gionee P7 Max is out only in Nepal for now, and is priced at NPR 21,999 (roughly Rs. 13,800).
This mid-range device offers decent specifications at its price point. It features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) IPS display, and runs on Android Marshmallow-based Amigo UI 3.2. The Gionee P7 Max is powered by a 64-bit 2.2GHz MediaTek MT6595 octa-core processor paired with 3GB RAM. There’s 32GB of inbuilt storage as well, however, there’s no word on storage expansion.
Optics include a 13-megapixel camera at the rear, and a 5-megapixel seflie camera at the front. The Gionee P7 Max packs a 3100mAh battery inside a unibody frame. The Nepal launch was first reported by Gadgets in Nepal.
There is no word on when Gionee plans to launch the P7 Max in other international markets. Meanwhile in India, Gionee launched the S6 Pro smartphone, and priced it at Rs. 23,999 (MOP). The smartphone was unveiled first in June, will be available in Indian retail stores from October 1 in Gold and Rose Gold colours. On the purchase of the S6 Pro smartphone, the Chinese company is bundling three months free subscription to Saavn Pro music streaming service.
For specifications, the Gionee S6 Pro features a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display with 2.5D curved edge display, an octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of on-board storage which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). It sports metallic unibody, has a USB Type-C charging port, and packs a fingerprint scanner embedded on the home button. The Gionee S6 Pro sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also sports an 8-megapixel front camera with front flash. The smartphone supports 4G and LTE, and packs a 3130mAh battery.
The Samsung Galaxy On8 is now available to buy in India, exclusively via Flipkart. To recall, the smartphone was launched last week at Rs. 15,900, and was due to go on sale from Sunday midnight via the online retailer during its Big Billion Day 2016 sale – it is now available at a discounted price of Rs. 14,900. The smartphone is available in three colour variants in the country – Black, Gold, and White.
The biggest highlight of the Samsung Galaxy On8 is its 5.5-inch full-HD Super Amoled display that was being teased ahead of its launch. The smartphone packs metal body and Samsung claims it features diamond cut metal frames. Much like recently unveiled Samsung mid-range smartphones, the Galaxy On8 will also come with features like UDS (Ultra Data Saving) mode and S bike mode as part of the company’s “Make for India” initiatives.
Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Galaxy On8 is powered by an octa-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz coupled with 3GB of RAM. The handset packs 16GB inbuilt storage and comes with expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD card. The 4G-enabled Galaxy On8 smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash and f/1.9 aperture. There is a 5-megapixel front camera with LED flash on board as well. Backed by a 3300mAh battery, the smartphone supports dual Micro-SIMs. It measures 151.7x76x7.8mm and weighs 169 grams. Samsung says that the Galaxy On8 also supports VoLTE.
Commenting on the launch, Manu Sharma, Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India said, “The Galaxy On8 is the perfect smartphone for consumers seeking an optimal mix of style, portability and powerful performance. The device not only looks stylish but also packs a punch with a superior consumer experience with powerful processor and vivid display. We are extremely pleased to announce the new Galaxy On8 exclusively on Flipart’s Big Billion Day Sale.”
iBall on Friday launched its budget-friendly 4G smartphone – iBall Andi Wink 4G – to its Andi smartphones portfolio. The major highlight of the iBall smartphone is the VoLTE feature at a budgeted price of just Rs. 5,999. The smartphone comes in a Grey colour and is available in India starting Friday.
The dual-SIM supporting iBall Andi Wink 4G runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and is powered by a quad-core processor (chipmaker unspecified) coupled with 2GB of RAM. It packs a 5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixel) display that the company claims to give ‘soothing graphics and tender transitions effortlessly’.
The iBall Andi Wink 4G bears a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. Both the cameras have flash modules for low-light photography and video capturing. The company claims that the front camera along with the flash module is especially designed for ‘video chatting’.
The Andi Wink 4G sports a 2300mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to a day of battery life, claimed the company. The smartphone is VoLTE-enabled, allowing users to make voice calls over a 4G network – especially relevant in the wake of the recent launch of Reliance Jio 4G services.
The smartphone has 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). Other connectivity options in the iBall Andi Wink 4G include GPRS/EDGE, GPS, A-GPS, FM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB On-The-Go. The smartphone also comes with call-recording feature. Bundled with a free protective cover, the iBall Andi Wink 4G will enter the market to compete with smartphones like Intex Cloud 4G Smart in the budget segment.
Apple is in negotiations with Sharp to secure organic LED displays for the iPhone maker’s next-generation of devices, a person familiar with the matter said.
Any Oled supply agreement would depend on the Osaka-based company’s output capacity, said the person, who asked not to be identified because talks aren’t public. The discussions stem from Apple’s desire to increase the number of suppliers for Oled screens, according to the person.
Earlier Friday, Sharp announced it will invest JPY 57.4 billion ($566 million or roughly Rs. 3,780 crores) for the development of Oled production facilities, with the goal of starting output by June 2018. The funds will be used for equipment in Sharp’s factories in Mie and Osaka, and to deliver sample products to customers, the company said in a statement.
“Apple has unofficially or as a nod encouraged Sharp to go into it,” said Amir Anvarzadeh, Singapore-based head of Japanese equity sales at BGC Partners Inc., in a phone interview. “Apple’s general strategy is to increase the competition on the supply side, and dilute the risk exposure to one company.”
Sharp spokesman Toyodo Uemura declined to comment on specific customers. An Apple spokesperson in Japan didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sharp’s capital investment in Oled is part of JPY 200 billion (roughly Rs. 13,175 crores) that the manufacturer had already committed to Oled technology, part of a strategic plan it adopted with new owner Foxconn Technology Group. Next-generation screens based on Oled, or organic light-emitting diode, technology promise more vivid images and less battery drain. Friday’s announced investment will be for smartphone displays, a representative of Sharp said without identifying specific customers.
“This investment is in response to what Apple is doing,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Production isn’t likely to begin until the second half of 2018, so the impact to profit won’t be until after that.”
Sharp shares rose as much as 2.2 percent after the announcement, but closed unchanged Friday in Tokyo. The stock has climbed 8 percent this year, compared with the broader market’s 15 percent decline. Apple accounts for about 27 percent of Sharp’s revenue, according to Bloomberg’s supply chain analysis.
Earlier this year, the Japanese company agreed to accept a rescue package from Foxconn Technology Group, ending a takeover battle that spanned four years. Last month, the company said its liabilities no longer exceed assets after receiving a JPY 289 billion infusion.
Samsung has finally unveiled the long-rumoured Galaxy A8 (2016) in its home market, South Korea. The metal unibody Galaxy A8 (2016) is priced at KRW 649,000 (roughly Rs. 39,000). The smartphone in Blue colour will be available via SK Telecom, with pre-orders going live starting October 1. There is no information when Samsung is going to launch it in other markets.
The dual SIM (Nano+Nano) supporting Galaxy A8 (2016) runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box, and features the new Grace UX. It is powered by Samsung’s own octa-core Exynos 7420, with four Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2.1GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The smartphone bears 3GB of RAM. It packs a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920) Amoled display.
The Galaxy A8 (2016) is a successor to Galaxy A8 that was launched in 2015. The camera setup in the smartphone comprises a flash module accompanying 16-megapixel rear and an 8-megapixel front camera. Both the cameras can record high definition (1080p) videos.
For the inbuilt storage, Samsung offers 32GB and 64GB variant, both expandable via microSD card support (up to 256GB). The Galaxy A8 (2016) supports 4G LTE, with other connectivity options including Bluetooth v4.2, Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac), WiFi Direct, Hotspot, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, Glonass (or BDS according to different markets) FM radio and Micro-USB 2.0. It packs a 3300mAh battery, which is better than the 3050mAh seen on its predecessor, the Galaxy A8.
Other remarkable features of Galaxy A8 (2016) are an Always-On Display and a fingerprint sensor mounted on the home button, which comes with Samsung Pay compatibility.