Lava Iris X10 With 3GB of RAM Listed Online

Lava might soon launch the Iris X10 smartphone in India. While no announcement has been made by the company, the smartphone is listed on an e-commerce site at Rs. 10,990 – but is not yet available to buy.

As per the e-commerce site listing, the dual-SIM (Micro-SIM card) Lava Iris X10 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with a calculated pixel density of 293ppi. The smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor (unspecified) coupled with 3GB of RAM.

Sporting a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, the Lava Iris X10 also features a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. It bears 16GB of built-in storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). Connectivity options include 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

The Iris X10 weighs 105 grams and is backed by a 2900mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 15.3 hours of talk time and up to 849.2 hours of standby time. It is available from Homeshop 18 in White colour variant only. To be noted is that since this is a third-party listing, specifications and other details should be taken with a pinch of salt until confirmed by the manufacturer, or the phone actually goes up for sale.

Lava earlier this month launched the Iris Atom 2X smartphone priced at Rs. 4,499. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) IPS display with 217ppi pixel density. The Lava smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. Sporting an 5-megapixel rear camera, the Lava Iris Atom 2X also features a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. It bears 8GB of built-in storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB) and is backed by a 2000mAh battery.

HTC Preview Program Lets Users Get Early Access to Upcoming Software, Hardware

HTC has announced a new Preview Program where it users can join and give feedback on software and hardware ahead of its official release. Interested users can join via HTC’s dedicated Preview Programpage. HTC Team also held an AMA on Reddit where the company explained the Preview Program in detail.

The company said, “The most dedicated members of the Android community, to raise their hands to help contribute with feedback, and suggestions.” HTC however adds that joining the Preview Program for providing feedback on software and hardware before its release will not guarantee early access to stable software or hardware.

“Please take note that HTC Preview is not a way for users to jump to the front of the line for the latest update. It’s a responsibility – you accept to use what is provided as your daily driver. If you are not ready to do that you may not want to take part,” added the Taiwanese company.

One of the users during the AMA session on Reddit asked what data will be collected by HTC as part of the program from the participating members. The company responded saying, “Logs are running in the background and collect data on network/signal strength, battery information, usage times, apps used. We do not collect personal data (such as passwords, account information, text messages, MMS, emails, call logs unless authorized by you). We cannot at any time see your screen or what you’re doing unless you took a screenshot to share with us.”

A user asked whether the unlocked bootloaders/root access will affect the program eligibility. “Unfortunately unlocked bootloaders/root access devices won’t be able to participate at this time,” replied the company.

Another user showed concerns about whether the company was frustrated with its direction or moves. One of the team members responded saying, “There are frustrations with any company, sure. To impact change, we’re looking more at having outside feedback and suggestions, which is why we’re working to grow and improve the Preview program. This user feedback is important and it’s easier to go to executives with data saying ‘customers want this ___”. Definitely rest assured that your opinions are being heard.”

LG Ray With 5.5-inch Display, Octa-Core SoC Launched

LG on Wednesday launched its Ray smartphone, which will be reaching the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) regions this week followed by Latin America. The availability in other regions would be announced when the handset is launched locally. For now, no pricing details have been provided.

The LG Ray features a metal design includes “best-in-class features”, the company says. It sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution display wit pixel density of 267ppi and packs a 1.4GHz octa-core processor (unspecified) under the hood, clubbed with 1GB RAM. Available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM versions, the smartphone includes a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera as well.

The handset houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded via a microSD card (unspecified limit). The LG Ray measures 152.5×76.4×9.3mm, weighs 158 grams and is backed by a removable 3000mAh battery. The connectivity options of the smartphone include 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB 2.0 connectivity. The device misses out on 4G LTE support.

As for the design, Ray carries the company’s iconic rear control button setup below the rear camera. The speaker grille is situated at the bottom corner of the device’s rear panel.

The LG Ray will be available in Silver, Gold, and Titan Black colour variants. However, the Gold and Titan Black variants will be arriving in January next year. “Customers in 3G markets continue to be a priority for LG so we will continue to develop new products with these consumers in mind,” said Juno Cho, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “No matter the country or the device, every LG customers will receive a unique user experience with a balance of design, performance and value,” he added.

Samsung Galaxy A7 Successor Spotted on Certification Site With Images, Specs

The rumoured successor of the Samsung Galaxy A7, which has been seen in leaks for the past few weeks, has now purportedly passed Tenaa, the Chinese telecommunications certification website. The listing reveals few specifications about the unannounced smartphone.

The unannounced Galaxy A7 smartphone was listed with model name SM-A7100 on the Chinese telecommunications certification website with images. The Tenaa images were first posted by a user on Weibo.

As seen in the images on Tenaa, the Galaxy A7 sports a similar design as Samsung’s flagship, the Galaxy S6. It appears to feature a metal frame. Similar to Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy A7 can be also seen sporting rear camera that protrudes. The back panel image can also be seen holding the camera accompanied by an LED flash. The right panel holds the power button while the left houses the volume rocker buttons.

For specifications, the Galaxy A7 is listed on Tenaa to feature a 5.5-inch (1080×1920 pixels) full-HD display; powered by a 1.7GHz octa-core processor; 3GB of RAM; 16GB inbuilt storage; expandable storage via microSD (up to 128GB); Android 5.1.1 Lollipop; a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash; a 5-megapixel front-facing camera; dimensions of 151.5×73.95×6.9mm; weight of 155 grams, and 4G LTE support.

A recent report claimed that Samsung’s next-generation Galaxy A-series smartphones may pack a fingerprint sensor on their device home buttons like other previously launched Galaxy handsets. Samsung is rumoured to launch its new A-series of handsets as Galaxy A3 (2016), Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy A7 (2016).

Earlier this week, successors of the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 smartphones were spotted in US FCC listings.

Marshmallow Is Like All of Our Features, Says Cyanogen Co-Founder

Cyanogen at Big Android BBQ Europe earlier this month detailed its plans for the next year. The company also revealed that the plans are centred around dirt-cheap phones priced at as low as $75 (approximately Rs. 5,000) and a flagship.

Co-Founder and CTO Steve Kondik at the side-lines of the event also talked about various other things including Marshmallow and upcoming chipsets among others. Speaking to Alex Dobie of Android Central, Kondik started off with early days of Android devices and how he thought that the HTC Dream could be hacked.

“The HTC Dream G1 wasn’t supposed to be hackable […] except they did something pretty stupid and left a root shell running behind the console,” he said. On being asked whether Android has picked up any features from CyanogenOS over the years, Kondik started off saying, “Oh my God, like everything.”

“The cool thing about CyanogenMod is that people would come out of nowhere with crazy features that nobody expected. Like somebody came out of nowhere with swipe-to-dismiss notifications years ago in CM. And now that’s a big UI thing, right? The “quiet hours” do-not-disturb mode. [Marshmallow] is like all of our features,” added Kondik.

Further talking about how Google has been doing lately, he added, “Some of Google’s stuff is really good. Some of it is just Ok. It all works together really nicely. They have good stuff. Is there opportunity for more stuff? Yeah! And it starts to get more interesting when you do have these kinds of extensible apps because even with something like Google Now, you can’t really do anything with Now, you can just give stuff to Now. They’re starting to do a little bit more [in Marshmallow].”

On Cyanogen’s growth over the years, Kondik started off stressing that he never thought it would be a hit in real world. He gave an example of someone telling him about their customised ROM being downloaded by few people at a local coffee shop. “I was in shock and awe right there, because I’m like, this is actually spilling over into the real world. I didn’t think that,” he said.

Speaking about next-generation high-end devices, Kondik gave example of “thin revenue margins” that forces OEM makers to rehash the old chipsets. He gave examples of Zuk Z1 and OnePlus X which still use Snapdragon 801 while Qualcomm has announced Snapdragon 820. “The next generation of chips is going to be where the high end gets really awesome,” said Kondik.

On hardware partners, he declined to comment much but tipped that Cyanogen has been working with wide range of OEM makers manufacturing all types of devices from mid-level to high-end. “Yes. Yes. I can’t say more than that. I can’t say too much about it, but it’s going to be awesome,” he added.

Kondik also talked about how Cyanogen faced issues updating through Lollipop build. He said, “Lollipop was tough for us. Not only was it a hard upgrade because there was so much UI change, we had a lot of stuff we were trying to deal with at our company. It was the first time that we had tried to do multiple devices simultaneously on, like, a production level. And we had a lot to learn about getting our own process right.”

On a question about Cyanogen’s strategy for bundled services, Kondik stressed that they didn’t want to ship smartphones with “a zillion apps on it.”

iPhone 7 to Be Waterproof, Sport 3GB of RAM: TrendForce

The iPhone 7, which Apple is expected to launch next year, could feature a memory boost, according to a research firm. The handset is also said to have waterproof capabilities. The research firm also expectsApple to launch a 4-inch iPhone next year.

TrendForce said that it expects the next iPhone – currently expected to be called the iPhone 7 – to sport 3GB of RAM. Interestingly, TrendForce notes that the ‘5.5-inch’ version of the next iPhone will bear 3GB of RAM, with no word on whether the smaller variant will get the same amount of RAM. If not, this could suggest that Apple may have plans to make the ‘Plus’ model of its iPhone lineup more feature-rich in the coming years.

The firm also noted that it expects the next iPhone to be waterproof. While the latter addition seems plausible, the memory boost might not be on the cards, considering how Apple has introduced hardware features over the past few years.

It was only this year when Apple finally upped the memory module on its iPhone models from 1GB to 2GB in iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. It seems unlikely that Apple will offer such a hardware upgrade in just one year. From iPhone 5, released in 2012, to iPhone 6 Plus, released last year, Apple stuck with 1GB RAM for its smartphones.

As for the other expectation, Apple may consider making its new iPhone model waterproof. Interestingly, the company is already moving forward along these lines, with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus found by reviewers and users to be exceptionally water-resistant, despite no announcement of the feature by Apple. The company may be ready to make the announcement with iPhone 7 however, once it is more sure of its water-resistant technology. Notably, Samsung’s top-end phones are water-resistant, while manufacturers like Motorola included the feature in almost all its recent phones.

TrendForce also noted that it expects to see a new 4-inch iPhone – widely referred to as the iPhone 6c – in the second half of next year. Multiple reports in the past few months have claimed that Apple plans to launch a 4-inch iPhone next year. It is rumoured to have features similar to the iPhone 5s, notably the Touch ID, an improved FaceTime HD camera with f/2.2 aperture, and support for 802.11ac Wi-FI and Bluetooth 4.1 wireless standards. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a reliable track record on upcoming Apple products, recently predicted an iPhone 6c launch set for 2016.

TrendForce estimates that Apple will manage to ship 260 million iPhone units next year with an annual growth of 12.5 percent, and market share of 18.5 percent.

Microsoft Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL India Launch Tipped for November 30

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If you’re looking forward to purchasing the new Microsoft Lumia 950 or Microsoft Lumia 950 XL in India, you might not have to wait till next month. The company has an event scheduled for November 30, in which it is expected to launch the flagship handsets.

At its Future Unveiled conference in Mumbai earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaannounced that the company plans to launch both its newly launched Windows 10 Mobile-powered handsets in India by December. It appears we might not have to wait till the end of the year. Windows Central reports that the company is planning to launch the Lumia 950 as well as the Lumia 950 XL in all likelihood in India on November 30. Microsoft India confirmed an event on November 30 with Gadgets 360, however, it didn’t reveal what it plans to launch on the day.

Windows Central further notes that the company is also likely to launch the Display Dock, the device that allows a Windows 10 Mobile handset to connect to a large monitor and switch to Windows 10-like desktop mode. At this point, we don’t know how much Microsoft will ask for these handsets or the Display Dock.

For a refresh, the Lumia 950, which starts at $549 (roughly Rs. 35,800) in the US, comes with a 5.2-inch QHD display of pixel density 564ppi. It is powered by a 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).

The Lumia 950 XL, which starts at $649 (roughly Rs. 42,300), sports a 5.7-inch QHD display with a pixel density of 518ppi. It is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).

Both handsets are liquid cooled, and come with an adaptive antenna technology. In addition, both feature USB Type-C port (USB 3.1), with support for faster charging. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL handsets come equipped with a 20-megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording capability, OIS, and an f/1.9 aperture. There’s also a 5-megapixel sensor placed upfront with an f/2.4 aperture, which can shoot full-HD videos. Both the Lumia handsets run Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, Windows 10 Mobile.

Micromax Canvas Nitro 3 With 2GB RAM Available Online

Micromax, soon after launching Canvas Xpress 4G, now appears to be gearing up to launch another Canvas-series smartphone, the Canvas Nitro 3. The handset is now available to buy via a third-party online retailer priced at Rs. 8,130. The smartphone at the time of writing was not listed on the company’s site.

Of course, since this is a third-party store listing, one cannot be certain if this will be the official launch price when the smartphone is officially unveiled in India. The Micromax Canvas Nitro 3 (Canvas Nitro 2 image above) listing shows the smartphone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, supports dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) cards, and bears a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek (MT6592M) processor clocked at 1.4GHz, coupled with 2GB of RAM. The smartphone bears 16GB of inbuilt storage, it also supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).

The Micromax Canvas Nitro 3 sports a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera, apart from a 5-megapixel front-facing fixed-focus camera. Notably, both the front and rear cameras come with flash support. Connectivity options include 3G (HSPA+), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB 2.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Unfortunately, there is no word whether the handset supports 4G connectivity.

Measuring 144.3x72x8.7mm, the Canvas Nitro 3 is backed by a 2500mAh battery. It bears an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. The smartphone is currently available eBay India.

Micromax on Wednesday launched its 4G LTE-enabled Canvas Xpress 4G smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 6,599, the smartphone will be Flipkart exclusive. The domestic handset maker also collaborated with Airtel to offer bundled ‘Double Data’ offer to its 3G and 4G consumers.

The highlight of the Micromax Canvas Xpress 4G at the price is 4G LTE support, specifically Cat. 4 LTE with download speeds of up to 150Mbps.

Android, iOS Still Gaining Marketshare at the Cost of Others

Android-powered smartphones extended their lead in the global marketplace in the third quarter, helped by growth in emerging markets, a survey showed Wednesday.

The Google-powered operating system was used in 84.7 percent of smartphones sold worldwide in the quarter, up from 83.3 percent a year earlier, the Gartner survey showed.

Apple and its iOS operating system meanwhile lifted its market share to 13.1 percent from 12.5 percent a year ago.

The two dominant systems left little for Windows Phone, which saw its market share slip to 1.7 percent from three percent, and BlackBerry, down to 0.3 percent from 0.8 percent.

Smartphone sales grew 15.5 percent in the July-September period to 353 million units, with Androidaccounting for more than 298 million and Apple 46 million, Gartner noted.

But most of the growth was in emerging markets, where sales were up 18.4 percent compared with 8.2 percent for “mature markets,” according to the survey.

“The availability of affordable smartphones in emerging markets saw consumers upgrade their ‘feature phones’ to smartphones more quickly because of the small price gap,” said Anshul Gupta, Gartner research director.

Samsung kept its spot as the number one vendor with a 23.7 percent market share to 13.1 percent for number two Apple.

China’s Huawei leapt into third place with a share of 7.7 percent, on the back of a 71 percent year-on-year sales jump, Gartner found.

Rival Chinese handset markets Lenovo and Xiaomi were in a virtual tie for fourth place with a 4.9 percent market share, Gartner said.

Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Idea Offer Free Data, and More

Telecom operators are leaving no stone unturned to woo consumers at Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights in India. Soon after Vodafone announced a special Diwali offer that will offer users 100MB of free data on November 11, Idea and Bharti Airtel have also come with offers for their subscribers.

Idea Cellular has introduced its all-new Idea Freedom Packs with which the company is targeting limited subscribers including students, housewives, and new users. Under the new Idea Freedom Pack (available only for prepaid users), the company is offering up to 300MB 2G data at Rs. 100 and up to 500MB 3G data at Rs. 175. Both the packs come with a validity of 28 days.

Announcing the new packs, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said, “Idea Freedom packs target those consumers who want to stay digitally connected throughout the month, however at 30-40% lower costs. These packs would help us enhance convenience for prepaid customers, who have to otherwise depend on multiple sachet recharges to manage their costs and internet needs throughout the month. These packs could serve as a one stop solution for them.”

Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, has announced multiple offers catering to various subscribers. The latest pack from Airtel offers new smartphone users up to Rs. 750 for signing up for the company’s data packs. The company late last month had introduced 50 percent daily cashback offer for mobile data. Airtel subscribers under the offer received daily morning credit of 50 percent of data, be it 2G ,3G or 4G, that they consumed between 12am to 6am.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced two special recharge vouchers that come with reduced call rates and also offer free talk-time. The new special tariff vouchers include STV35 (Rs. 35) offering local and STD voice calls to any network at Rs. 0.20 per minute, and STV48 (Rs. 48) offering 80 free minutes on local and STD calls on any network on national roaming. The company has confirmed that the special vouchers can be only availed till November 17. Notably, the new special vouchers come with limited validity.

Apart from 100MB free data, Vodafone India for its subscribers in South has also introduced ‘One Rate, One South’ pack in five south states. The Rs. 57 pack will offer outgoing mobile calls (local, STD and while roaming) at Rs. 0.01 per second in South India. The five states which will get the offer include Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.

Vodafone is also offering its subscribers in Mumbai the chance to win an iPhone 6s by sharing their selfies on Facebook with hashtag Vodafone Diwali (#VodafoneDiwali).