Tuesday, 22 August 2017

LG K8 now available in India for Rs. 9,999

After releasing the bezel-less Q6 smartphone, LG has launched yet another budget smartphone in India from its K line called K8. It has been priced at Rs. 9,999 [MRP: Rs. 11,000) and is available for purchase through offline stores in Blue and Gold color.

In terms of specifications, the LG K8 features 5-inch HD IPS display with 2.5D glass, and is powered by 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 425 processor. It comes with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, that's expandable via microSD card. It runs Android Nougat of the box.

For photography, it has 13MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash, and 5MP front facing camera with Auto Shot. Connectivity options include dual-SIM slots, 4G, VoLTE, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth and GPS. It is fueled by 2500mAh battery, and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner rounds off the specs sheet.


Western Digital outs massive 20TB desktop storage system

Western Digital has announced My Book Duo external desktop storage system with 20TB storage, the highest capacity system it has ever made. With such capacity you'll be able to store colossal amounts of contents in one location.

The RAID-optimized storage system delivers speeds of up to 360 MB/s sequential reads. It houses a USB Type-C port (supports USB 3.1 Gen 1/3.0/2.0) and two additional USB 3.0 Type-A hub ports for connecting additional accessories, including drones, action cameras, card readers, keyboards, mice, USB drives or phone syncing and charging. The retail box will include both USB Type-C to Type-C and Type-C to Type-A cables.

It also comes with password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption with WD Security software built in to help keep private content secure.

The 20TB version of My Book Duo storage system is not cheap and will set you back by $849.99. Western Digital is also selling 16TB, 12TB, 8TB, 6TB and 4TB versions as well. 

They are priced at $629.99 (16TB), $439.99 (12TB), $349.99 (8TB), 299.99 (6TB) and 279.99 (4TB). They are backed by three-year limited warranty and available now from wd.com and at select retailers and distributors around the world. 


HP Omen X gaming laptop is designed for overclocking

HP back in 2016, introduced the cube-shaped Omen X Desktop gaming PC with powerful hardware. And now the company at Gamescom 2017 has unveiled a laptop with the same branding, and beastly innards, designed for gaming enthusiasts and esports athletes seeking maximum performance. 

The laptop boasts thermals to support unlocked CPUs to allow for overclocking (via OMEN Command Center software), and factory-overclocked GPUs and memory options for maximum gaming performance. 

To achieve overclocking, HP has fitted two large high-performance fans to increase air flow, and an integrated vapor chamber with four 3.5mm heat pipes to transfer heat from CPU and GPU to the four rear corner-mounted radiators.

The Omen X flaunts 17-inch 4K/Full HD display with NVIDIA G-SYNC technology support and can be configured with up to an Intel Core i7-7820HK processor, up to NVIDIA GeForece 1080 GPU and up to 32GB DDR4 RAM. There are options of PCIe SSD + HDD or standalone 1TB HDD. There's also a panel that lets you access vital components like RAM, hard drive/SSD, and any other components that can be replaced.

It has 3 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 x Thunderbolt 3 port, an HDMI 2.0a port with HDR support, Mini DisplayPort, RJ45 port, Ethernet port, separate mic and headphone jacks and card reader. The keyboard sports RGB LED-per key back-lighting and 2.5mm key travel.

The HP Omen X gaming laptop will hit the shelves later this year in November starting at $1999 (Rs. 1,28,000).


Moto G5S Plus India launch set for August 29, will be Amazon exclusive

For the last few weeks Motorola has been teasing the launch of Moto G5S Plus in India. And today the company has sent out invites for an event in New Delhi to launch the phone locally on August 29. Moreover, it will be exclusive to Amazon India, and a dedicated product page has gone live on the website. The phone is most likely to go on sale on August 29 itself.

The Moto G5S Plus is an upgraded version of Moto G5 Plus, and brings dual-camera system to the Moto G line. Also it gets a new design sporting an a large screen and all-metal unibody design, that's crafted from a single piece of high-grade aluminum instead of Moto G5 Plus' metal & plastic build. Apart from these upgrades, the rest of the specs sheet is same as Moto G5 Plus.

The dual-camera setup on Moto G5S Plus consists of two 13MP units (one color sensor, and the other black-and-white sensor). The dual-cameras offers features like capturing depth information for bokeh effect, background replacement, and make select part of photo black-and-white. 

It comes with a bigger 5.5-inch Full HD display (vs. 5.2-inch Moto G5 Plus), Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform, 8MP wide-angle selfie camera, 3000mAh battery w/ Turbo Charging, fingerprint scanner and NFC. It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and has dedicated slots for dual-SIMs and microSD card slot.

The Moto G5S Plus comes in two variants: 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage (in Lunar Gray and Brushed Gold), and all are most likely to be launched in the country. In Europe, the Moto G5S Plus has been priced at 299 Euros (Rs. 26,000), but the India pricing could be around Rs. 23,000.

OxygenOS 4.1.7 for OnePlus 3 & 3T brings optimizations, bug fixes and August security patch

OnePlus is seeding a new software update on the stable channel in the form of OxygenOS 4.1.7 to last year's flagship OnePlus 3 & 3T.

The new OxygenOS 4.1.7 update package weighs at 413MB and brings optimizations and bug fixes for performance improvements, along with August security patch.

Here's what included in OxygenOS 4.1.7 update
  • Enhanced system fluidity
  • Battery optimizations
  • Android security patch updated to August
Bug fixes:
  • Sound channel error while recording videos
  • Call is routed to speaker accidentally by some 3rd party apps
  • Rendering issue in Indian Kannada language
  • App locker issue caused by some 3rd party apps
  • As requested by Google, Hangouts will be removed if you have never updated it on Play Store. To keep Hangouts, please update it prior to the upgrade
As usual, the update is rolling out over-the-air in stages, so a small percentage of users will get it first, and this will be followed by wider roll-out in the coming days. If you've not been notified about the update yet, check for it manually by going to settings -> System Updates and check for a new software update. 


Facebook-style colored text status now available on WhatsApp

Earlier this week, WhatsApp started testing Facebook-like color text status feature on its beta app, and now it has rolled out the same functionality to the public. Starting today, you can customize text status by choosing a specific font and background color or include links.

You'll  now see a floating "pen" icon in the status tab at the bottom of the screen, right above the camera icon. Clicking on the pen icon, brings up the option to type a status, select font, add emoji and background color. When done, users have to hit the green arrow key to set the status, and your contacts will see the published status.

The new feature will be added through server side change and is available for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

Alcatel U5 HD with 5-inch display, Android Nougat announced

Alcatel announced the U5 back in February at MWC 2017. And now just ahead of IFA 2017, the company has announced an upgraded model called U5 HD, with higher screen resolution, improved camera and bigger battery. It also runs the latest Android Nougat software.

The Alcatel U5 HD features 5-inch display, but comes with HD (1280 x 720 pixels) screen resolution instead of FWVGA. It is equipped with MediaTek MT6737 processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card.

The camera department gets a bump, and on U5 HD includes an 8MP rear camera (vs. 5MP on U5) with an LED flash, and 5MP selfie shooter at front (vs. 2MP on U5). The camera app will offer selfie tools like Face Mask, Face Show, Selfie Album and Instant Collage

The battery gets an upgraded from U5's 2050mAh to 2200mAh. Connectivity options are dual-SIM slots, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

The Alcatel U5 HD will come in Black and White color, however, the availability and pricing details are not known. 


Micromax Canvas Infinity with near bezel-less design launched at Rs. 9,999

As expected Micromax is launching Canvas Infinity flaunting near bezel-less design. The phone sports 5.7-inch HD+ (1440 x 720 pixels) curved glass display with 18:9 aspect ratio. It has screen-to-body ratio of 83 percent, and Micromax's take on bezel-less design is called Full Vision. 

The performance on Canvas Infinity is handled by Snapdragon 425 processor, further aided by Adreno 308 GPU and 3GB RAM. On-board storage is 32GB, which can be expanded via microSD card.

It has 13MP f/2.0 rear camera with an LED flash, and 16MP f/2.0 front facing shooter for selfies. Connectivity options include dual-SIM slots, 4G, VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 and GPS. It is fueled by 2900mAh battery and includes a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It runs Android Nougat, but company has promised upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo.

The Micromax Canvas Infinity is well-priced at Rs. 9,999, making it the most affordable bezel-less smartphone available in the market. It will be exclusively available from Amazon India starting September 1 in Black color.

Samsung Bixby voice assistant now available worldwide

Samsung rolled out Bixby voice assistant in English for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users in the U.S and South Korea last month. Now the South Korean tech giant has announced that Bixby’s voice capabilities have expanded to more than 200 countries and territories across the world including the U.K., Australia, Canada and South Africa.

With the addition, you can now give Bixby voice commands to perform activities like turning on the flashlight, taking a selfie, setting calendar reminders, find photos from your gallery and more. 

For example, you can use the command “good night” as a shortcut for “Turn on Do-not-disturb mode, set an alarm for 6:00 AM and turn on blue light filter.”

Galaxy S8 & S8+ users can access Bixby's voice function by pressing the dedicated Bixby button, or by simply saying "Hi Bixby". 

Samsung said it plans to continue expanding Bixby’s voice capabilities to additional countries, languages, devices, features and third-party applications. 


Android O is now Android Oreo

Google has officially announced that Android O will be called Android Oreo, and going forward will be referred as Android 8.0 Oreo. The search-giant has partnered with snack maker Nabisco for the Oreo branding. This is not the first time Google is entering into Android-related partnership, earlier it partnered with Nestle to bring KitKat for the v4.4 of Android back in 2013.

Google has released final system images for Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel C and Nexus Player, that can be downloaded from Android developer website. For those who signed up for the beta program, the update is rolling out over the air. It is also pushing the Android Oreo source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for everyone to access.

Google also said that OEMs including Essential, General Mobile, HMD Global (Nokia), Huawei, HTC, LG, Kyocera, Sharp, Motorola, Samsung has all committed to update existing smartphones running Nougat to Oreo by the end of the year, in addition to announcing new smartphones running Oreo.

Android 8.0 Oreo will bring news features to the user interface as well as under the hood like picture-in-picture (PIP) mode for multi-tasking, Instant apps, limiting background processes to improve battery life, improved auto-fill, notifications dots, adaptive icons, Google Play Protect, new emoji, downloadable fonts, TextView auto-sizing, sorting notifications through categories, Notification snoozing and more.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Xiaomi is reportedly working with Google on next Android One smartphone

It appears that Google's Android One program is getting a big boost. According to a report Xiaomi is working on an Android One smartphone, in collaboration with Google.

The report says that, the Chinese device maker is developing an affordable model of Mi 5X with Google's Android One platform. Utilizing Android One means Xiaomi will ditch in-house feature-packed MIUI in favor of stock Android UI, and as part of Android One experience comes the benefit of guaranteed timely OS updates, and less bloatwares.

The phone is expected to launch as Xiaomi Mi A1 globally, and given Xiaomi's track-record we can expect top-notch specs at a killer price. 

Initially, Google teamed up with Indian OEMs Karbonn, Spice and Micromax for Android One, but they hardly made any impact. Xiaomi could prove to be right choice for Google's Android One program, given its popularity in Asian market including India.

The company is capable of making good phones at various price points without comprising the hardware and build quality. Moreover it has a stronghold in the budget to mid-range segment. Taking all this into account, Android One program will definitely get a boost.

Unfortunately, it is not known when Xiaomi plans to launch its first Android One smartphone.

Moto X4 hands-on image shows shiny design, dual-camera and more

Hands-on images of Motorola's upcoming Moto X4 have hit the interweb, showing off the the glass back for a shiny and glossy finish, similar to previous leaks

The Moto X4 will belong to the upper mid-range category, and the photos show the dual-camera, rounder corners, thick bezels at top and bottom, and fingerprint scanner/gesture-based home button below the display.

In terms of specifications, the Moto X4 will feature 5.2-inch Full HD LCD display, Snapdragon 630 processor and 3000mAh battery. It will arrive in two RAM/Storage variants: 3GB RAM/32GB storage for the Europe, North America and Latin America region, and 4GB RAM/64GB storage for the Asia-Pacific region including India.

The dual-camera at the back has a 12MP sensor with dual auto-focus, f/2.0 aperture and 1.4µm pixel size plus an 8MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture, 1.12µm pixel size and 120-degree field of view. There will be 16MP camera on the front assisted by a LED flash, for ultra-low light selfie, and support for 4K video recording.

It will run Android Nougat, and the body will boast IP68 water and dust resistance rating. Color options are Super Black and Sterling Blue.

It is still not known, when Motorola plans to unveil the Moto X4.

Acer Nitro 5 Spin convertible with 8th gen Core i7 processor announced

Acer has announced a new convertible notebook designed for casual gamers called Nitro 5 Spin, featuring Intel's new 8th generation Core i7 Kaby Lake-R processor. It flaunts all-aluminum chassis with black brushed hairline finish and red accents.

The Acer Nitro 5 Spin features 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display and a 360-degree hinge, that lets you use the laptop in tablet, stand or tent modes. It packs up to 16GB DDR4 RAM, GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, and up to 512GB PCIe SSD.

It houses stereo front-facing speakers with a subwoofer, HD Webcam, backlit keyboard 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI port, while the wireless connection is handled by WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth. It supports Windows Hello and offers up to 10 hours of battery life.

The Acer Nitro 5 Spin will be available in October in North America starting at $999 (Rs. 64,000), and in EMEA region starting 1199 Euros (Rs. 90,200).