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In a bid to entice photo enthusiasts, camera company Kodak has launched the photo-focused Ektra smartphone. The smartphone has a unique design with a huge camera lens at the back, and it boasts of DSLR-like modes and features. The smartphone has been launched in Europe at €499 (roughly Rs. 36,800).

The Kodak Ektra smartphone is manufactured by a UK-based company called Bullitt Group. The firm has licensed Kodak’s intellectual property and brand to make this smartphone. It has a huge 21-megapixel fast-focus camera rear sensor with OIS, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, and dual-LED Flash. There’s an additional 13-megapixel front camera with f/2.2 aperture and PDAF for selfies.

Furthermore, the camera app comes with quintessential DSLR modes like Smart Auto, Portrait, Manual, Sports, Bokeh, Night-time, HDR, Panorama, Macro, Landscape, and 4K Video Capture. There’s also an Advanced Manual mode that allows users to adjust exposure, ISO, focal length (Manual/Auto), white balance, shutter speed, and aperture (fixed f2.0 main camera). It comes with a pre-loaded app called Print that lets you order physical copies of the pictures as well. The Kodak Ektra smartphone also has a widget that recommends many photo-editing apps like Prisma and Adobe Lightroom, but the one installed by defauly is Snapseed.

The smartphone’s large rear sensor protrudes out of the smartphone significantly, but a slight curve design at the bottom looks to balance things out at surface level. Furthermore, the lens has a metal ring to protect it from wear and tear.

As for the other specifications, the Kodak Ektra features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display with 441 ppi pixel density. It is powered by a 2.3GHz Helio X20 deca-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot. Furthermore, it packs a 3000mAh battery, supports USB Type-C charging, and measures 147.8mmx73.35mmx9.69mm.

Kodak’s foray into the smartphone market last year with the Kodak IM5 was largely unsuccessful. It remains to be seen whether the Kodak Ektra fares any better.
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After the Xolo Era 1X launch last month, the company has launched yet another smartphone in India. The Xolo Era 2 supports 4G VoLTE, which means it will work on the Reliance Jio network. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 4,499, and Xolo will sell the device exclusively via Snapdeal.

The Xolo Era 2 will be sold via the flash sale model, the registrations for which have begun. The first sale will begin at 10am on October 27 and it will be made available in Black, Nile Blue, and Pyramid Gold colour variants . It is a dual-SIM device (4G + 4G), and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

The Xolo Era 2 features a 5-inch HD display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. The CPU is paired with a 1GBDDR3 RAM. Furthermore, it offers 8GB of internal storage that can be further expanded via a microSD card (up to 32GB).

Optics include a 5-megapixel rear camera with 4P Largan lens, f/2.0 aperture, 1.4 micron pixels, and LED flash support. At the front, there is an additional 5-megapixel selfie camera with LED flash as well. Some of the features included in the camera app are Live Photos, Beauty Mode, Burst Mode, Time-Lapse and Slow-Motion.

The Xolo Era 2 packs a 2350mAh battery, which is removable in nature. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi; and the smartphone comes with the Jio 4G Preview Offer of unlimited 4G data. Additional features on the smartphone include Audio Note, Smart Screenshot, Smart Awake, Assistant Cast screen, LED flash for call, and Flip to mute for alarms and calls. Additionally, the smartphone has a quick action feature called Quick Camera. Essentially, double tapping the Home Button activates the camera instantly.

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LG Innotek, the South Korean giant’s materials and components manufacturer, on Wednesday announced its new 15W (watt) wireless charging pad for smartphones. The new wireless charging pad is claimed to be three times faster than the existing 5W wireless charging module and is said to offer up to 50 percent of charge within 30 minutes of charging. LG also claims that the new 15W wireless charging pad speeds can equal wired quick charging speeds.

The new wireless charging pad from LG will be available in North America, Europe, and Australia from mid-October. The company says that the wireless charging pad incorporates new technology from LG Innotek that prevents the pad from overheating during charging. The wireless charging pad embeds sensors that measure the temperature and allow users to suspend charging when reaches a certain level by just touching the smartphone. LG believes that if the 15W wireless charging pad’s design is optimised for other applications, it can be utilised in automobiles as well as in furniture as an embedded type.

According to LG, the new charging pad can be used with most of the wireless charging smartphones currently available in the market and it meets the standards of Wireless Power Consortium (WPC), which is an international standardisation organisation for wireless charging.

Commenting on the announcement, Sung Huh, Head of Electronic Components Business Division, said, “As a wireless charging module is directly related to the convenience and safety of the users, we will meet the expectations of our customers with advanced performance and perfect product quality.

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At the Honor 8 (Review) launch event, Huawei also launched the budget Honor Holly 3 smartphone in India. The smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel camera for selfies, and sports an octa-core processor as well. The Honor Holly 3 will be available for purchase at Rs. 9,999 in the country.

At the event, the company announced that the Honor Holly 3 is the first ‘Made in India’ smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer. As for specifications, the Honor Holly 3 features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display. It runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company’s EMUI 4.1 on top. The smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz Kirin 620 octa-core CPU paired with 2GB RAM. It offers 16GB of internal storage with the option to further expand via the microSD slot (up to 128GB).

Coming to the camera, the Honor Holly 3 has a 13-megapixel rear BSI CMOS sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Additionally, there is also an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies with f/2.0 aperture. The Honor Holly 3 packs a 3100mAh battery, and has bundled in sensors like accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, compass, and G-sensor.

Connectivity options include 4G support, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Driect, Wi-Fi hotspot, Micro USB, and Bluetooth v4.0. The Honor Holly 3 measures at 154×77.1×8.45mm and weighs 168grams. The smartphone will be made available in Black, White, and Gold colour options.

Apart from the Honor Holly 3, Huawei also launched the Honor 8 and Honor 8 Smart in India for Rs. 29,999 and Rs. 19,999 respectively.

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Just hours after launching the Flame 7S, Reliance Digital’s Lyf has expanded its Wind series portfolio as well in India. The big highlight of the Lyf Wind 4S is the 4000mAh battery, VoLTE support, and a bundled in USB OTG adapter. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 7,699, and will be made available at all Reliance Digital stores.

As far as the specifications go, the Lyf Wind 4S sports a 5-inch HD (720×1820 pixels) IPS display with 5-point multi touch technology. It is powered by a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 quad-core processor paired with Adreno 304 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 16GB of inbuilt storage, with the option to further via a microSD slot (up to 128GB).

Optics on the Lyf Wind 4S include an 8-megapixel rear sensor with autofocus and LED flash. On the front, there is also a 2-megapixel fixed-focus selfie camera on board. The smartphone’s camera features include ISO, exposure, white balance, anti-banding, zero shutter lag, face detection, HDR mode, red-eye reduction, continuous shot, touch up mode, 6x digital zoom, and panorama shooting.

The Lyf Wind 4S packs a nice 4000mAh battery, which the company claims can offer up to 34 hours of talktime on 4G and up to 634 hours standby time. It supports the light sensor, proximity sensor, and e-compass. The device measures 144.7mmx73mmx9mm and weighs 148 grams. Also, it runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and supports dual-SIM dual standby slots (Normal + Micro).

The smartphone will be made available in Black, Blue, and Brown colour variants. It supports various gesture-based functions like double click to wake, slide down to launch camera, and slide up to unlock. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi calling, GPS, Micro-USB 2.0, and Bluetooth 4.1.

As mentioned, Lyf is also bundling an USB OTG adapter for easy connection to pen drives. Reliance is offering a one year manufacturer warranty and one year extended warranty on the handset. The extended warranty, however, has to be manually activated through the MyLyf app.

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After launching the Water 11 last month, Reliance Digital’s Lyf brand has unveiled yet another smartphone in India. The Lyf Flame 7S offers support for 4G VoLTE and 10 regional languages. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 3,499, and will be available at all Reliance Digital Stores.

As for the specifications, the Lyf Flame 7S sports a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display with Asahi Glass protection. The smartphone is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Speadtrum processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone features 8GB of inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Coming to the camera, the Lyf Flame 7S sports a 5-megapixel rear sensor with LED flash, HD video recording at 60fps and fixed focus functionality. In the front, there is a VGA 0.3-megapixel selfie camera as well with 4x digital zoom. Other camera features bundled inside include slow-motion, smile shutter, burst mode, HDR, panorama, face detection, white balance, ISO adjustment, and anti-banding.

The Lyf Flame 7S runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop and supports dual-SIM slots (Normal + Micro). The smartphone packs a 1800mAh battery, and the company claims it offers up to 6 hours of talk time on 4G, and 400 hours of standby time. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, MicroUSB 2.0, and GPS.

The Lyf Flame 7S will be available in Black and Red colour variants, and Reliance is giving a one year manufacturer warranty and one year extended warranty on the handset. The extended warranty has to be manually activated through the MyLyf app.

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Indian mobile manufacturer Zen Mobile on Thursday launched the Cinemax Force. The company says the latest addition to the its lineup boasts of impressive battery life and smooth multitasking capabilities at a price tag of Rs. 4,290.

The Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow-based Zen Cinemax Force is a 3G dual-SIM smartphone. It features a 5.5-inch FWVGA (854×480 pixels) display with Dragontrail Glass, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM.

The Cinemax Force sports an 5-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and a 2-megapixel front camera. It bears 8GB inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). The smartphone packs a 2900mAh battery which the company claims to give up to 30 hours of talk time.

Connectivity options include 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, with headset connectivity. The Cinemax Force comes with Proximity sensor and Gyro sensors. Other features include Smart wake up, flip to mute and auto call record.

Announcing the launch, Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobile, said, “With an aim to cater to a large part of the Indian population, we are extremely excited to introduce Zen Cinemax Force to the Indian consumers. We will continue to focus on strengthening our Cinemax portfolio by offering devices that are loaded with powerful and smart features at a competitive price point.”

Zen Mobile is also offering free screen break replacement on all Zen mobiles.

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Multi-lingual Android-based domestic operating system brand Indus OS on Wednesday announced its partnership with Karbonn Mobiles to provide a better experience for users pan-India.

The partnership will be an add-on to the existing partnership with Micromax and two home-grown brands – Celkon and Swipe.

“Our partnership with Karbonn is a testimony that smartphone brands are recognising the need for a regional language smartphone ecosystem in India. It is a young homegrown brand, differentiated by its efforts to create a simplistic experience for the Indian users, much like us. They are a fast growing company and we are glad to partner up in the next leg of their growth phase,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-Founder and CEO, Indus OS, in a statement.

“As per IAMAI, the regional language user base in India grew 47 percent and touched 127 million in June 2015. The growing consumption of regional language content on mobile phones is a clear indicator of the need for localizing the smartphone ecosystem for bridging the gaping digital divide. Recognizing the explosive growth potential of this segment, Jaina Group has been working towards dissolving language barriers, a major impediment for smartphone adoption, by introducing solutions offering uncomplicated regional language experience to the users. The partnership with Indus OS is an extension of our efforts towards this end and would play a pivotal role in simplifying the web experience for regional language speaking users further driving adoption”,” added Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles and Jaina Group.

The first “made in India” operating system Indus OS aims to be on one in every six smartphone devices in India by 2017.

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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.

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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.

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