Huawei Honor 5X Images, Specs Spotted on Benchmark and Certification Sites

It seems Huawei has plans to launch many high-end smartphones this year. The Chinese technology conglomerate, which is expected to launch a Nexus smartphone called the Nexus 6P on Tuesday, is seemingly also ready to launch the Huawei Honor 5X.

The successor to last year’s Honor 4X, the Honor 5X, recently stopped by the benchmarking website AnTuTu and Chinese certification website Tenaa, suggesting that its launch is not too far away.

As per the listing for the KIW-AL10 handset on Tenaa, purported to be the Honor 5X, the smartphone has a metal unibody design (compared with the polycarbonate body as seen in the Honor 4X). The listing also reveals that it will come with a fingerprint sensor.

As for the specifications, the Android 5.1.1-based handset is said to come with a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. It is said to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 quad-core SoC paired with Adreno 405 GPU, 3GB of RAM. As for the storage, the Honor 5X as per the listing has 32GB of internal storage which can be expanded using a microSD card should you need more storage.

Other features of the handset include a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. It will support 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi and other standard connectivity options, as per the listing. On the software front, it is expected to run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop presumably with Emotion UI on top of it.

The AnTuTu post for the KIW-AL10 handset reveals that the handset will have 20916 score, which if accurate, is rather unimpressive. Other specs listed on the benchmark include Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC, 5.5-inch full-HD display, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, all of which corroborate the Tenaa listing.

If the hardware specifications of the Honor 5X are accurate, the handset will be mostly competing (whenever it launches in India) against Xiaomi’s Mi 4i, and Lenovo K3 Note – both of which have much higher AnTuTu score.

We will know how accurate these details are as the handset is said to launch in October.

Sony Xperia M2, Xperia M2 Aqua Now Receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop Update

Sony on Tuesday started rolling out Android 5.1 Lollipop update for its two smartphones – the Xperia M2 and Xperia M2 Aqua. Since it is a gradual rollout process, not all the users would be getting the update at once. It is worth noting that the Xperia M2, which was launched with Android 4.3 KitKat out-of-the-box, would be skipping the Android 4.4 KitKat and Android 5.0 Lollipop OS versions. The Xperia M2 Aqua would also be bypassing the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS version as it was launched with Android 4.4 KitKat.

With the Android 5.1 Lollipop update, the Sony Xperia M2 and Sony Xperia M2 Aqua would be sporting the Google’s Material Design theme with new UI animations, notification alerts, more customisation options under quick settings, and multiple profile modes among others. Other customisation options for controlling the volume settings, silent mode, alert function and more are also included.

The Xperia M2 and Xperia M2 Aqua running Android 5.1 Lollipop would also be getting new LinkedIn integration. This will give users extra information about other meeting participants in the Calendar. After the update, the Sony Smartwatch 3 users can also make the wearable act as a shutter button for tacking selfie images from the handset. The update would bring the two smartphones to firmware version 18.6.A.0.175.

Sony earlier this month pushed out the Android 5.1.1 update steadily to three of its Xperia devices including the Sony Xperia Z1, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, and Sony Xperia Z Ultra.

The update primarily brings fixed for Stagefright vulnerability among other improvements in volume and silent mode control; integration of LinkedIn with Calendar and Contacts app; camera focus, speed and accuracy, and more. It is worth noting that Google would start rolling out its latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Nexus devices next week.

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Sony Xperia M2 Aqua

Sony Xperia M2 Aqua

Display

4.80-inch

Processor

1.2GHz

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

540×960 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 4.4

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2300mAh

Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P

A Google Nexus team on Wednesday held a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session following the launch of the new Nexus smartphones. The group consisting of Hiroshi Lockheimer, David Burke, Krishna Kumar, and Sandeep Waraich answered questions related to the new Nexus handsets, including queries about the the new fingerprint security, the missing wireless charging feature, and the Nexus 6Pcamera bump. They also talked about how the team worked on the design of the handsets and how they felt when they came across numerous leaks and rumours.

Starting with the handset names, the team said that the ‘X’ in the Nexus 5X represents the core of the NeXus brand, and the ‘P’ in Nexus 6P means ‘Premium’.

The Nexus team said it had decided to ditch Qi Wireless charging support in the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P because the handsets now support USB Type-C, which is more convenient due to being reversible. Both phones feature fast charging technology in any case, the team added. Furthermore, implementation of wireless charging also added to the thickness of the smartphones. “So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless.”

The team also revealed that the USB Type-C port implemented on the two Nexus smartphones only supports the USB 2.0 specification.

Responding to a question on how has implemented security and encryption for fingerprints read by Nexus Imprint, the team said, “fingerprint features are securely encrypted on the device, and processed in the secure Trustzone protected area of memory.” The team also said that Android 6.0 Marshmallow fingerprint APIs deny apps access to the fingerprint material. Since the fingerprint features do not leave the handsets and are not shared with anyone else, users would have to re-enrol their fingerprints while setting up a new phone. The team however, did not answer when asked if the fingerprint features would work with an unlocked bootloader and/or root.

The team, talking about the Nexus 6P camera bump, said that “The design was driven by major engineering challenges” as it had to pack loads of features including a big 1.55um pixel sensor, LDAF, LED-flash, antennas, NFC coils, Wi-Fi 2×2 MiMo antennas, while keeping a slim and attractive form factor. As per the session replies by the Google team, the Nexus 6P is using the latest Samsung WQHD AMOLED display panel as well. The firm is also working with T-Mobile, US-based telecom carrier, to bring VoLTE and Band 12 support to the smarpthones. The team also confirmed that the rear cameras on the two smartphones were identical, but added that the Nexus 6P has electronic image stabilisation (EIS).

Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL Briefly Listed on Microsoft Store

Ahead of Microsoft’s October 6 event, where the company is expected to finally reveal the new Cityman (Lumia 950) and Talkman (Lumia 950 XL) Windows 10 Mobile-powered devices, the Microsoft Store listed the two smartphones briefly.

Spotted first by a Twitter user, the Microsoft Store (now pulled down) showed the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL unlocked versions listed in “Windows 10 Ready Phones” page. According to the listing, the Lumia 950 will feature a 5.2-inch QHD display while the Lumia 950 XL features 5.7-inch QHD display. Both the smartphones can be seen packing a 20-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Other features listed for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL smartphone include 32GB inbuilt storage with external microSD card support up to 2TB. Notably, the Microsoft Store claimed that both the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL will run Windows 10 instead of the Windows 10 Mobile. The listing was spotted on the UK-specific Microsoft Store (via WinBeta), and the phones were listed with GBP currency; though no price was listed. We can expect that the Store showed the place-holders for both the new Lumia smartphones.

As for the leaked specifications, which have been reiterated by multiple sources over the past few months, the Lumia 950 sports a 5.2-inch QHD display and is powered by Snapdragon 808 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and a 3000mAh battery. The Lumia 950 XL, on the other hand, is said to equip a 5.7-inch QHD display, and is powered by a Snapdragon 810 chipset coupled with 3GB of RAM. Both the handsets are reportedly going to have a 21-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel selfie sensor.

Apart from the long-rumoured Cityman (Lumia 950) and Talkman (Lumia 950 XL) Windows 10 Mobile devices, the company is also likely to launch the Surface Pro 4 tablet, the successor to the Surface Pro 3.

Asus Partners Foxconn to Make Smartphones in India

Asus Thursday said it has partnered with Foxconn to begin local manufacturing of smartphones in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh, a move that will help the Taiwanese tech major bolster its presence in the burgeoning Indian handset market.

The company, which will kickstart manufacturing operations with Zenfone 2 Laser followed by ZenFone Go, aims to manufacture 1.5 lakh smartphones a month by the end of the current financial year.

This will account for almost 80 percent of sales in India.

No financial details were, however, disclosed.

“India offers us a huge opportunity as smartphone penetration is just 10 per cent. We are excited to announce our local manufacturing facility that will cater to the growing demands of the market,” AsusIndia Country Manager (System Business Group) Peter Chang told PTI.

India, one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, is poised to overtake the US as the second-largest market in next few years. Shipments in India grew 44 percent to 26.5 million units in April-June, says the data by research firm IDC.

Also, over the past few months, global smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Motorola and Gionee have commenced assembling their handsets in India, where the government is pushing local manufacturing through its ‘Make in India’ initiative.

“It is an opportune time to make the announcement as it will enable us to bring our cutting edge products to consumers who are looking for features and design sensibilities of a high-end smartphone at an economic price,” he said.

Chang added: “We are aggressively targeting the Indian market. We aim to achieve five per cent market share in the country by next year.”

Micromax Bolt Q339 With 4.5-Inch Display Launched

Micromax has launched its new Bolt-series smartphone, the Bolt Q339. Priced at Rs. 3,499, theMicromax Bolt Q339 is a Flipkart exclusive smartphone and can now be purchased via the e-commercewebsite.

Apart from the Flipkart partnership, the domestic handset maker has also tied up with Vodafone to offer Bolt Q339 users up to 500 MB of 3G data free for 2 months. The company with its latest Bolt-series smartphone is targeting 3G phone users in India.

The Bolt Q339 is a dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) smartphone which runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box. It comes with a 4.5-inch (480×854 pixels) FWVGA IPS display. The smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Spreadtrum (SC7731) processor coupled with 512MB of RAM. It bears 4GB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

It sports a 5-megapixel rear fixed-focus camera with LED flash, while there is a secondary 2-megapixel front-facing fixed-focus camera also on board.

On the connectivity front, the Bolt Q339 offers 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB, and Bluetooth options. The smartphone packs a 1650mAh battery, which according to the official listing is rated to deliver up to 5.5 hours of talk time, and up to 280 hours of standby time. The Bolt Q339 measures 123×63.8×9.7mm and is listed in Black colour.

Commenting on the launch, Vineet Taneja, CEO, Micromax said, “Created for the discerning Indian consumer, the Bolt Q339 has been launched, this festive season, to empower a wider consumer base with the experience of best-in-class mobile technologies and richer on-the-go internet experience at an affordable price. Bolt Q339 is one of the most affordable 4.5-inch, 3G quad-core devices in the Indian market. We believe that the new offering being available through Flipkart that has a reach across the length and breadth of the country, coupled with Micromax’s trusted product quality and after-sales service track record, creates a compelling proposition to delight the Indian consumer.”

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Micromax Bolt Q339

Micromax Bolt Q339

Display

4.50-inch

Processor

1.2GHz

Front Camera

2-megapixel

Resolution

480×854 pixels

RAM

512MB

OS

Android 4.4.2

Storage

4GB

Rear Camera

5-megapixel

Battery capacity

1650mAh

Lava Flair E2 With 3G Support, 3.5-Inch Display Launched

Lava has introduced its new Flair E2 smartphone, which is now listed on the company’s site. Priced at Rs. 2,999, the smartphone can be expected to be soon available via Lava’s retail channels.

The Lava Flair E2 features 3G support, which is a highlight of the device at this price point. It is a dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) smartphone that runs Android 4.4 KitKat and features a 3.5-inch (320×480 pixels) HVGA display. The smartphone is powered by a 1GHz single-core processor coupled with 256MB of RAM. It comes with 512MB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 16GB).

The smartphone sports a 2-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, while there is a secondary 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera also on board. The Lava Flair E2 bears sensors such as accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor.

On the connectivity front, the Lava Flair E2 offers GPRS/ EDGE, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro-USB, and Bluetooth options.

lava_flair_e2_screen.jpgThe smartphone packs a 1400mAh battery, which according to the official listing is rated to deliver up to 14 hours of talk time, and up to 128 hours of standby time. It measures 113x61x12mm and weighs 256 grams. The new Lava smartphone has been listed in Black and White colour variants.

Last week, Lava launched the Iris Fuel F1 Mini priced at Rs. 4,399. The dual-SIM based handset runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat and features a 4-inch (480×800 pixels) WVGA display. The smartphone is powered by a 1GHz single-core processor coupled with 512MB of RAM.

It comes with 8GB of inbuilt storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, while there is a secondary 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera also on board. The Lava Flair E2’s rear camera features face recognition, Panorama, geo tagging, and HDR options. The smartphone packs a 2000mAh battery.

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Lava Flair E2

Lava Flair E2

Display

3.50-inch

Processor

1GHz

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

320×480 pixels

RAM

256MB

OS

Android 4.4

Storage

512MB

Rear Camera

2-megapixel

Battery capacity

1400mAh

OnePlus Mini Tipped to Sport 5-Inch Display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC

oneplus_one_rear_logo_press_image.jpg

The rumoured OnePlus Mini, also being tipped to launch as the OnePlus X, has once again made it to the news as more details about the rumoured handset have emerged.

The smartphone is now said to pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor instead of a MediaTek MT6795T processor, which was seen in leaked benchmark results last week. The smartphone would also be featuring a 5-inch display, said sources close to the matter to GizmoChina. The display resolution however was not mentioned. The smartphone is also said to arrive within this month itself.

Previous rumours and leaks indicated the OnePlus X will feature a full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution display, 32GB of inbuilt storage, and 2GB of RAM. The alleged AnTuTu benchmark results of the smartphone show a score of 54,311, which is higher than what the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 scored, giving us some idea about its relative performance.

Recently the first leaked images of the alleged OnePlus Mini popped up on the Internet. The handset was seen featuring a different design than what’s seen on the OnePlus One or the recently unveiledOnePlus 2. In the leaked images, the front panel of the smartphone was seen alongside another image showing a fingerprint scanner and a dual-camera setup at the back. The cameras were accompanied by a dual-LED flash module. The bottom panel is seen featuring a speaker grille alongside the charging slot. To recall, the OnePlus 2 houses the fingerprint scanner on the home button.

OnePlus has in the past confirmed plans to launch more than one handset this year. OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Pei, back in August had suggested that a new OnePlus smartphone would be revealed before the end of the year – in time for Christmas.

Yu Yureka Plus With Android – Not Cyanogen OS – Available via Amazon

There have been a few murmurs that the partnership between Micromax and Cyanogen is near end-of-life, and here’s a clear sign that Micromax’s Yu might be looking at life beyond its software partner. Yu’s popular Yureka Plus smartphone – that originally launched with Cyanogen OS 12 – has been listed on Amazon India with Android v4.4.4 and is available via an open sale at Rs. 8,999. The listing says the Yureka Plus is upgradable to Androi v5.0.2.

Rest of the specifications seem identical to the Yu Yureka Plus (Review) that launched with Cyanogen OS in July, with the smartphone featuring a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display and a 64-bit oct-core Snapdragon 615 SoC (MSM8939) clocked at 1.5GHz, coupled with Adreno 405 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The Yu Yureka Plus sports a 13-megapixel autofocus camera with an LED flash, and a front-facing 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera is also on board. The Yureka Plus comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage with microSD card support (up to 32GB), and packs a 2500mAh battery.

The Yu Yureka Plus is a dual SIM (GSM+GSM) smartphone that comes with connectivity options like Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Yu Yureka Plus include sensors such as accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and gyroscope.

To recall, the Yu Yureka Plus was launched carrying a price tag of Rs. 9,999 but the price was slashed to Rs. 8,999 within a couple of weeks of launch. The Yureka Plus with Android is available at the new price of Rs. 8,999, albeit in only the Mooniest Grey colour. The Yu Yureka Plus is limited to one unit per customer, Amazon India notes.

Spies to Smartphones Britain’s Aga Set for Another New Chapter

The sale of oven maker Aga Rangemaster to a US owner with global ambitions caps the transformation of a quintessential English country brand created by some of the biggest names in global design, advertising – and espionage.

The acquisition of Aga for $202 million (roughly Rs. 1,331 crores) by Middleby Corporation follows a brief bidding war with US rival Whirlpool for the maker of the colourful cast-iron stoves that can weigh as much as a male polar bear, cost $18,000 (roughly Rs. 11,86,725) and, in older versions, take two days to heat.

The deal, set to be completed this week, marks the latest in a list of premium British brands to fall under foreign ownership in recent years, to the dismay of some business commentators who want to see it kept in British hands.

But the sale to a US company is also testament to the enduring appeal of a product invented in 1922, the year James Joyce’s “Ulysses” was published and radio took off.

In Britain, it has become synonymous with aspirational middle-class country living and inspires huge loyalty in owners, including members of the royal family and Prime Minister David Cameron.

It struggled as demand was hit during the global financial crisis, but has recently returned to form with modern, more efficient versions of the cooker, and hopes to build on its heritage by exploiting Middleby’s global network.

“The fundamental design of the Aga has always been its virtue but behind the front and the look is now a completely different product,” Aga Rangemaster CEO William McGrath told Reuters, before he steps down as part of the sale.

“The design makes it iconic, the radiant heat makes it iconic but how it is delivered is something that has changed from generation to generation, from solid fuel, through oil and gas to electric and now programmable electric.”

The heat, created by the continuously burning stove, made the old Aga distinctive, but it also drew its critics.

Great in winter when it could heat half the house, one owner complained that you “sweat buckets while boiling an egg” in summer. For many the cost of fuel can also prove prohibitive while environmental groups criticised the impact of the traditional stoves.

Modern versions can be easily switched on and off, including with a smartphone, while smaller models have been created to appeal to city dwellers.

Around 80 percent of those sold today are the newer, more efficient designs that have been launched since 2011, and are offered in a variety of colours from rose, pewter and lemon to pistachio and aubergine.

“You can get all the virtues of an Aga in a 60 centimetre package, which is something we’d expect over the next five to 10 years to become a more and more appreciable part of the business,” said McGrath. The largest version of the stove can be 2.5 times that size.

Aspirational living
McGrath said the new owner was also drawn to its heritage – a company with a history that reads like a spy novel.

Created in 1922, the first Aga was invented by Swedish Nobel Prize winning physicist Gustaf Dalen who, confined to his home after being blinded in an accident, witnessed his wife struggling to cook on their old range.

By 1929 manufacturing had begun in central England, with early sales driven by David Ogilvy, a salesman who went on to become one of the most famous advertising men in the world, the original ‘Mad Men’ and founder of the Ogilvy & Mather ad agency.

Newer versions were designed by Raymond Loewy – who produced some of the most famous product designs in history, includingGreyhound Scenicruiser buses, Coca-cola vending machines, Lucky Strike boxes and the livery of Air Force One. He worked with Douglas Scott, who later designed London’s famous red buses.

A written history of the company notes however that several of the leading protagonists including Ogilvy, his brother Francis and W.T. Wren, an early Aga boss, also played important roles for Britain in World War Two, either as spies, writing for Winston Churchill or in aircraft manufacturing.

Britain is still Aga’s biggest market but they can now be found in the United States, Europe and China, and Middleby aims to take the brand further afield.

The sale adds to concern among some Britons about the number of prominent companies that have been bought by foreign owners, including department store Harrods, toy brand Hamleys and chocolate maker Cadbury. They fear that such sales could ultimately put UK jobs at risk and dilute much of the brand’s appeal – its intrinsic Britishness.

McGrath is more positive, saying his firm hopes to mirror the success of another luxury British brand, Jaguar Land Rover, which has flourished under the ownership of India’s Tata Group.

“We’d love to get in the wheel tracks of Jaguar Land Rover,” said McGrath. “Now the product has evolved, the potential can be immense because the brand is much loved.”