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Xiaomi launches Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro in India

1:14 PM Add Comment
Xiaomi has launched the successors to their highly successful Redmi Note lineup, the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Chinese manufacturer, which recently caught up with Samsung in terms of quarterly sales in the country, is leaving no stones unturned to woo the budget oriented market. Though the Redmi Note 5 turned out to be as expected, the Note 5 Pro brings in many more features.



Specifications and Features

Both the phones have many similar specifications, except for the processor, cameras and memory options. The Note 5 and Note 5 Pro will sport 5.99 inches 18:9 displays with a resolution of 2160x1080 pixels (403 ppi). The screens will have, Gorilla Glass protection, 2.5D curvature as well as rounded corners. The design language is similar to previous Redmi Note smartphones, with a rear mounted fingerprint sensor.


Redmi Note 5 comes in two variants, 3GB+32GB and 4GB+64GB, while the Pro version comes in 4GB+64GB and 6GB+64GB. Xiaomi's love story with Snapdragon 625 enters a new episode with the Note 5, and the Note 5 Pro sports a Snapdragon 636 processor. Although the 625 is a good performer, but it's still an almost 2 year old chipset, so that's a bit disappointing. Talking about disappointments, both the smartphones will run on MIUI 9 based on Android Nougat.



Redmi Note 5 has a single camera at the back with a 12 MP f/2.2 sensor equipped with PDAF. The front camera is a 5 MP sensor with LED flash to assist in low light conditions. The Pro version has an upgraded set of optics, with dual lens at the rear. A similar 12 MP sensor is coupled with a 5 MP f/2.0 sensor. The placement of the dual lens is a rip-off of iPhone X, and Xiaomi isn't even going subtle about it. The dual camera will give you "focused foreground and creamy blurred backgrounds" according to Xiaomi. The Mi A1 which was launched last year had a very good camera with one of the best bokeh effects in the price segment, so we can expect very good images from Note 5 Pro. The front camera is a 20 MP one with LED flash as well. At least on paper, Xiaomi seems to be trying to give a great set of cameras, which were probably the only downside of previous generation Redmi Notes.

A 4000 mAh battery will be powering the smartphones, and here comes the last bit of disappointment. Both the smartphones have hardware which supports fast charging, and given the size of the batteries, it would have been a great feature. But there's no fast charging and no USB Type-C as well.

Colors and Pricing

Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro will be available in 4 colors - Blue, Rose Gold, Gold and Black colors. The pricing for all the variants are -
Redmi Note 5:
3/32 - Rs. 9,999 [Flipkart]
4/64 - Rs. 11,999 [Flipkart]
Redmi Note 5 Pro 
4/64 - Rs. 13,999 [Flipkart]
6/64 - Rs. 16,999 [Flipkart]

Image Source : GSMARENA

5 Things To Consider Before Buying A New Smartphone in 2018

10:29 AM Add Comment

5 Things To Consider Before Buying A New Smartphone in 2018

             So, you have recently lost your old phone, or the one that you have right now has long gone obsolete. Well, it's certainly time for a new phone now. In this post, we have tried listing out the five major things to consider before buying yourself a new smartphone in 2018:

Image Credit: Royalty free. 


1. Android, iOS or Windows phone:
         The fact is that there is more than one mobile phone operating system available in the market today. Windows phone is not in that much prominence and takes up a small share of the market while the hot stuff is centered around Android and iOS operating systems. If you are looking to go for a latest iOS phone, then be prepared to shell out some money as Apple is the only carrier selling these phones and have a monopoly on the prices here. Android phones, however, are in wide prominence with budget options.


2. Display:
         Smartphone competitors in the market today are vying with each other to get a share of the smartphone market by coming up by improving their phone’s aesthetic appeal. This means outdoing each other in terms of phone size, resolution, display and phone bulk. If you are someone who likes their smartphones in a bigger size and higher resolution display, then you can opt for flagship devices like Apple, Samsung, Google Pixel and One Plus phones. If the resolution and phone display doesn’t matter much when there are brands like Asus, Honor, and LG that are great options available for smartphone buyers.


3. Battery life:
          Well, smartphones tend to suck a lot of battery and while there are portable chargers in the market for that but getting a phone with a bigger battery life is more feasible. Look out for the battery life on phones before opting for one. Flagship models of some phones like Motorola and Samsung come with an impressive battery life of up to 20-40 hours on a single charge. If you are looking for the best android phone and more such smartphone recommendations, then be sure to visit technophilesblog.


4. Camera:
           If you are a social media buff, then the quality of phone needs to be on par for taking selfies and pictures. Not just social media buffs, but corporate people also have an excellent use for quality cameras on their phones to make video calls, doing documentation and payments. There are also many durable and cheap phones in the market for people not so crazy about camera quality.


5. Storage:
           If you are someone who keeps a plethora of apps and games on their phones, even a phone with a 32 GB capacity won't cut it out for you. If you are someone who needs more storage space on their phones then opt for brands which provide additional storage capacity. You can easily store more than 100 GB of data on Android phones as compared to Apple’s iOS phones.

         
           One ought to be smart with their smartphone buying decision. Hope these pointers help you in your endeavor to get a new phone for yourself.


Note: This is a sponsored post.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro Review!

11:10 PM Add Comment
Asus had launched half a dozen variants of Zenfone 4 series, and the Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro landed in India a few weeks later. Selfie-camera centric phones have been a rage in the country for quite some time now, and Asus was probably trying to exploit such a market. The fact that they didn't launch higher end smartphones gives a pretty strong indication of how the company is looking at Indian market. We used the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro for quite some time and here's what we felt about it.



Build and Design

This was actually launched before the 18:9 craze kicked in, so in terms of design it looks a bit dated, though it's harsh to compare. The design is pretty standard and build is premium. The polish is similar to that of HTC smartphones of early days and buttons are clicky as well. All in all, though the design is old-fashioned, there's nothing much to complain about.



Performance

The Snapdragon 625 which powers this smartphone is a proven chipset. Though it can't really match flagship processors, it is sufficiently powerful for regular day-to-day usage and power efficient at the same time. It runs on Android Nougat and the UI has been toned down a bit as well, which helps the Selfie Pro to hold its own in majority of the tasks. RAM management is above average, and it managed to keep quite a few apps in memory. The performance was at par with what you can expect from a mid-ranger device.


Display

The display is very good with quality colors and viewing angles, though it is not as good under direct sunlight. The 5.5 inch AMOLED display produces nice vibrant tones and the 2.5D curve adds to the overall experience.



Cameras

This is the USP of the device, at least that's what the company want us to believe. The rear camera sports a 16 MP 26 mm sensor, which performs well under good conditions. To be fair, that's not even a point to discuss about since almost every smartphone is capable of this. Turn the lights down a bit, and the weakness becomes apparent. Noise becomes noticeable and the overall quality dips quite sharply.

The front cameras, yes there is a dual lens setup, gives similar results. Bokeh effect looks cool, but that's it. It performs adequately well in good light but suffers a lot in low light. The LED flash helps in such scenarios and 4K recording is a nice addition. It didn't take us much time to realize that the marketing hype is a huge bubble. They marketed it saying it's a 24 MP selfie camera, which itself is a gimmick. There are two sensors, each 12 MP ones, and images are processed in a manner that the final image is 24 MP. We didn't notice any difference between the 12 MP and 24 MP pictures, so the entire 24 MP hype is, as we mentioned, a huge bubble.

Battery

The battery life was not bad at all. It managed to last an average working day with screen on time of around 5 hours. When it was put through heavy tasks and games, it still managed to last till late in the evening. There's no fast charging, so you have to keep an eye on your battery levels.


Final Verdict

The Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro is an average smartphone for the price and in fact fails to live up to the hype. When the company released it in the country instead of the higher-end variants, the only possible way to succeed was to deliver a good set of optics with otherwise average performance. And it has pretty clearly failed to do so. There are better options in the price segment, and some have better cameras as well. If you hate all the other smartphones or if you're accustomed to the UI, then this is a decent buy. If not, have a look at other devices.

Editing MP4 Videos with Movavi Video Editor

1:08 AM Add Comment

              Many of the videos that you record will undoubtedly be saved as MP4 files. It is essentially the most popular format nowadays, due to the fact that it is widely compatible with many devices as well as platforms. More importantly it is a good format for various types of compressions, including the exceedingly popular H.264 codec.

             That being said despite the quality of MP4 videos in general, they still do need to be edited in order to create impressive content. While most video editors are capable of editing MP4 videos, it can be complicated to do so – especially if you don’t have much experience using them. Because of that you should consider using Movavi Video Editor instead.

Editing MP4 Videos with Movavi Video Editor

Editing MP4 Videos with Movavi Video Editor

              As an MP4 video editor, Movavi Video Editor has pretty much everything you’d need to improve, tweak and alter your videos. To get started you just need to load the MP4 video that you want to edit, or you could even import it directly from your AVCHD camera by plugging it into your computer. It is possible to capture additional footage as well, via your webcam or by digitizing analog video sources such as TV tuners, VHS tapes, and so on.

             Once the MP4 video has been added, you can set loose the entire array of Movavi Video Editor’s features to edit it as and how you please. Typically a good place to start is to merge and compile video clips, arrange them in the order that you want, and perhaps even split them into smaller segments and trim out any bits that you don’t need. If you want you could insert stylish animated transitions between any of the segments by dragging and dropping them into place.

              In many cases the quality of your MP4 may be lacking in some way or other, and Movavi Video Editor has features you can use to improve it. It is up to you to choose whether to manually adjust the color settings, or use the automated features to calculate and apply the optimal color levels. If you’d like your video to have a specific style or visual appearance, you could make use of the filters that are available as well.

Editing MP4 Videos with Movavi Video Editor

              Another important area you may want to edit is the audio. With Movavi Video Editor you can add additional audio tracks containing anything you want, whether it is background music or a voiceover. It is possible to record a voiceover on the spot, or edit the sound levels as well.

              Make no mistake there are lots of other features in Movavi Video Editor that you could use to add captions, apply special effects, transform the frame, and much more. Quite simply the sky is the limit when you choose to edit MP4 videos with its help, and you can let your creativity run wild. More importantly, because it is intuitive and user-friendly, you won’t need long to figure out how all of its features work and apply them to your videos.

This is a sponsored post written by a guest.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Beneficial In Boosting Your Digital Marketing

12:32 AM Add Comment

Artificial Intelligence In Online Marketing

Image Credits: Honor

          Artificial intelligence is an important technology which plays a key role in the field of online marketing. This technology is capable of answering the queries of the users. Artificial intelligence system can understand and analyze the question put up by the users and reciprocate to them accordingly. For example, when we enter a search query over the internet, Google not only returns an answer which is direct but also presents a series of questions which are similar and are frequently asked on Google by users all around the globe. This feature of providing accurate answers, and presenting a set of questions that are similar is powered and facilitated by the artificial intelligence.




Basic Idea About Artificial Intelligence

            It is that branch of the computer science which is designed to deal with the building of machines which are intelligent as to think, perform and respond in the same manner as human beings. Some tests have been conducted to assess the efficiency of computers as well as to examine if they can achieve the human level efficiency and intelligence. It has been found out that computers are smart enough to make a fool of the interrogators. In this age of technological advancement, artificial intelligence in devices is making a notable contribution to the improved digitization.

            Now that several search engines have introduced the concept of voice search, making life easier for the users, the digital marketers of email marketing should also consider this point along with a conventional form of search options text-based.


How Is Artificial Intelligence Beneficial In Boosting Your Digital Marketing

             There are some ways in which artificial intelligence can prove to be very beneficial for the email marketing programs.
  • By Propensity Modelling and also by Predictive Analysis you can predict your customers behavior: Propensity models can be explained to be scorecards which can statistically assess and identify the prospects who will more likely be responding to a particular offer. It establishes a correlation between the customer characteristics and anticipated behaviors.
  • There are different tools which help you to achieve your goal by recommending several strategies after detailed scrutiny of the audience that you are targeting and also the campaign objectives.
  • With the help of predictive analysis, the marketers can predict the trends in the purchase and also patterns of user behavior. In this way, you can uncover insights that are most impactful. With the help of predictive analysis marketers can extract the information and with the help of the data, predict the trends in purchase and the patterns of behaviour of the user.
  • Reduce the loading time using AMP: It was announced by Google in the year 2015 that AMP webpages are lighter than the conventional webpages and hence they improve mobile web performance as the page takes a lesser time to load. This serves a better user experience.
  • Improving user experience by using the Chatbots AI-Powered: The live Chatbots have already been issued in most of the businesses. These Chatbots or the systems of artificial intelligence help you to chat using a messaging format that is instant. Presently Chatbots powered by AI are replacing the conventional live Chatbots largely. These bots can answer as many as 200 questions that are related to a certain topic. Chatbots are the huge advantage to your website. They are always ready to help the customers. They can also retain the data of the customer so that the customers don't have to put up the same queries over and over again. The messenger bots are very patient and answer all the questions very calmly, even if you are asking it for the hundredth time.
  • Target your ads based on the interests of the prospective audience: If you have a dealership in cars, then you can make your as available to all those who have previously asked questions related to SUVs and their space, capacity, gas mileage and so on.
  • You can also scale your content marketing up with the help of contents that are AI-Generated, and once you have produced some content, the next step should be reaching your target audience. You can also deliver highly personalized website experience for your audience. Mastering this tool using AI can greatly enhance your CTC and give you a high percentage of profit. 


Guest Post: Nisha Pandey

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.

2:47 AM Add Comment
Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

              This week, Huawei Honor announced their latest smartphone in the mid-range smartphone segment, the Honor 9 Lite. This device marks their 3rd following announcement in the past couple of weeks, devouring and hitting the right spot in the mobile industry. The launch of the honor 9 lite confirmed us that the users are about to get astonished, & no that's not intended due to the likes of Xiaomi who has been ruling the mid-range space quite consistently. The fact that Honor thought of releasing a new device after the recent launch of their new Honor 7X, Users, might have a tough time choosing between the honor 9 lite and the honor 7X. Whereas many would even think to why the Honor 9 Lite was priced so competitively and that too less than the honor 7X? Well, that contradiction is quite hard to answer as of now since I've spent limited time with the device. However, i'll try my best to provide a quantitative judgement on that topic. As usual, let's get down to the specifications of the device first,


Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

Honor 9 Lite Specifications: 

  • It has a Kirin 659 Octacore Kirin 659 chipset, which gets backed by the 3GB RAM/4GB RAM depending upon your variant. The Kirin 659 processor is a 16NM chipset which is clocked up to 2.93 GHz, while has a dedicated i3 co-processor unit which helps out the main chipset in low power consumption and performing complex tasks. Lastly, it has the T830 MP2 GPU for handling the graphics. 
  • It has a 5.65-inch FHD+(1080 x 2160) panel which instantly translates it to be a device with 18:9 aspect ratio making it familiar to its siblings. It also has a 75.5% screen to body ratio which gives it a pixel density of 428 PPI. 
  • It comes with 32GB/64GB of onboard storage while expansion is available up to 256GB, although the MicroSD card slot fits in the Hybrid SIM Slot. It translates that for more storage, you might have to sacrifice your secondary SIM card.  
  • The primary camera setup consists of a dual lens; it has been made with the combination of 13MP + 2MP camera sensors. It has support for PDAF, while has a decent aperture mode. Unlike the Monochrome lens built on it's superior siblings, here the 2MP sensor is used for sensing the depth information. You have the controls to adjust the bokeh both before and after the shot has been taken. Videos can be shot at 1080p HD @30fps at maximum. The photos were not as good as the ones shot by the Honor 7x. 
  • The secondary camera setup also consists of dual lens just like the Honor 9i and unlike the Honor 7x. It has a combination of 13MP + 2MP camera sensors, while it supports almost the same features present on the back. However compared to Honor 7X, the front camera on the Honor 9 Lite had a more accurate color reproduction. Just like the rear, it can shoot at 1080p HD @30fps at maximum. 
  • Powering it up is a non-removable 3000mAh battery, besides as it has a Micro-USB 2.0 port it's charging speeds won't be at your sweet spot.
  • On connectivity forefront, you get WiFi 802.11 b/g/n support, Bluetooth 4.2, Gyroscope sensor, VoLTE, 3.5mm audio jack & A-GPS support. The fingerprint scanner is located on the rear side. 
  • It runs on EMUI 8.0 which is built on top of Android 8.0 Oreo, which is the first for the company. While using the device at the event gave me reliable feedback about it's UI.
  • Lastly, just like the fancy color naming skills of any company, Honor has made the Honor 9 Lite available in 3 color variants, the Sapphire Blue, Glacier Grey and the Midnight Black. 


Design & Aesthetics: 
Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7


             I'll start off with this: "My first interaction with the Honor 9 Lite and I'm instantly a fan". Never has a mid-range device felt this good, when it comes to reliable aesthetics & regarding providing flashy retributes for the dime you've spent. The Honor 9 Lite features a Glass Sandwich design meaning there's Glass both on the back and as usual on the front, while to be precise it's 2.5D curved on both sides engraved with thin aluminum shampers on edge. You will also find the Honor Logo residing on the chin area after you've done with the 18:9 aspect ratio. In numbers, it's about 7.6 mm thick in size. Whereas unlike it's elder siblings the Honor 7X and Honor V10, the Honor 9 Lite feels quite compact & stunningly lightweight, I entirely couldn't digest that fact.

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

              Switching sides on to the rear, the first thing you would notice would be that glossy back. The second thing you would say, "Man, this is going to be a fingerprint magnet." Now quite frankly most of us would be annoyed by this fact, but me unlikely has a different take on it. Looking at the pricing that it's offered, I wouldn't be annoyed by the smudges and would be willing to sacrifice this over that gorgeous design. Here the camera bump is noticeably quite less than that of the Honor 7X and Honor V10.  Also, I might be nitpicking but I like the fact that the Honor 9 Lite has a uniform camera module protruding outside the body, inside of two different lens which looks quite ugly on the Honor 7X. Another thing about the rear is that Fingerprint sensor which would be the last thing which hasn't been wrapped in that glass shell. The glass shell is so reflective that it can be used as a mirror. Well, fashion bloggers, that's your cue, destroy the tech community. Nonetheless, I was instantly a fan of the Sapphire Blue color; however, I took my judgement down after I noticed smudges within mere 10-15mins of usage. Next thing I knew, I was a fan of Glacier Grey variant, as it was something new and it didn't take that much of fingerprints than the rest. Speaking of the prints, you might see me boiling up in my upcoming Honor 7X longterm review.

              Lastly not incorporating the USB Type-C standard in 2018 is utterly weird. Why are we heading back Honor? Similarly, there is thin black border which separates the side bezels and display; this is quite noticeable in the Sapphire Blue variant. But that trade-off can be considered looking at the pricing of this device.

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

               Rest about the UI, Performance; Cameras is quite hard to determine without using the Honor 9 Lite for an extensive period. However, there's one exciting contradiction about the cameras found on the Honor 7X and the Honor 9 Lite. The rear camera is better on the 7X, whereas the front camera produces better images on the Honor 9 Lite which is possibly due to that extra lens. Then again, why is it priced less than that of the Honor 7X? I'm pretty sure this would be the first thing that might've arisen in your mind after listening to the price of Honor 9 Lite. Compared to Honor 9 Lite, the Honor 7X has a better rear camera, the 18:9 display is also more immersive since it's more substantial than the Honor 9 Lite(even though it has less Pixel Density, but that's due to the large screen). The battery also is slightly big & still it manages to be slimmer. But if I were you I would prefer the Honor 9 Lite; it's just that design which has appealed me to my core. However, if specifications matter to your taste, Honor 7X is the right choice for you. But even if I'm nitpicky, I don't think also I would go for the Honor 7x looking at the solid aesthetics of the 9 Lite. However, since Honor 7x is Honor's legacy mid-range device, it'll also be among the first ones to receive software updates as compared to the Honor 9 Lite.

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

              Although while closing the event, Honor did mention that the 9 Lite will be among their first devices to get the Ride Mode feature and PayTM integration, while both of these new features would be getting separate OTA updates on a priority basis. They also mentioned that the front camera on the 9 Lite could enhance the beauty mode and make subtle adjustments depending upon the subject, ie. Male/Female.


Pricing & Availability: 

Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

  • The device will be exclusively available on Flipkart and Honor's exclusive online store. 
  • The flash sales will start at 12 AM and 12 PM from 21st January 2018. It'll be followed by 12 PM sales on 22nd and 23rd Jan.
  • The 3GB RAM/32GB ROM variant would be available for Rs. 11,999, while the 4GB RAM/64 ROM variant would cost Rs. 14,999. 
  • The company is currently offering a Rs.1000 off discount on the base variant of the device. Meaning, it'll be available for Rs. 10,999 as an introductory launch offer. Although it is not clear, until when this offer would be live.
Links to purchase:Honor 9 Lite [3GB RAM]
Honor 9 Lite [4GB RAM]


Honor 9 Lite Launch, ft. Honor 7X:
Event Verdict. 


Honor 9 Lite Launched: Yes, it has a Gyroscope sensor and gets priced less than the Honor 7X.
Image source: @patilpratik7

   Even though the company is on the horse race announcing a spree of smartphones, there isn't a shadow of a doubt that the company hasn't failed to bring out a fierce competitor in the mid-range market. A compelling design, a large build, good enough specifications, quad cameras, the sweet release of Android 8.0 Oreo and the fact that it's so affordable has me drooling all over it. So nonetheless it's a great buy, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. However just like I've said earlier, giving a final verdict is impossible based upon a mere 1 hour of usage. The Honor 9 Lite is a fabulous potential contender for affordable price segment. We would be shortly coming up with a detailed, dedicated review on both our blog and youtube channel, so make sure you follow us and subscribe to us. Lastly, if you've any queries, punch them in the comments box below.

Image source: @patilpratik7

Amazon Brings Web Browsing to Fire TV

6:32 PM Add Comment
With TV makers charging huge sums for a Smart TV with non-upgradable feature set, media players such as Amazon Fire TV managed to create a market of its own. Fire TV, which has support for bucket load of apps, is actually a cheap alternative to change a non-Smart TV to a Smart TV. Google was about to take YouTube off from the list of supported apps, so this new announcement comes as a big relief for Fire TV users.


Amazon Brings Web Browsing to Fire TV

Amazon has finally brought web browsing support to all Fire TV customers. Fire TV already provided access to tons of applications, movies, TV shows, etc. but web browsers were not supported. With Firefox and Silk browsers, Fire TV users can access World Wide Web including sites such as Facebook, Twitter and other streaming services. This effectively nullifies Google's move to take down YouTube app from Fire TV.

With full web browsers on Fire TV, our customers’ entertainment and information options are greatly expanded. We want to make it easy for customers to access the Web from the comfort of their couch,” said Marc Whitten, vice president, Amazon Fire TV and Appstore. “We’re excited to bring web browsing to customers on every Fire TV device in every country where they’re sold.” 



Bringing Firefox to Fire TV is an exciting new way to reach our users and serve up more of the full web to everyone,” said Mark Mayo, Sr. Vice President of Firefox. “Firefox has always been about bringing the web directly to people no matter what device they’re using. Starting today, we will be able to expand the already great Fire TV experience by enabling viewers to surface a multitude of web content -- including videos -- through Firefox.

Though accessing websites through browsers may not be as smooth as an app experience, a dedicated browser has its own convenience such as bookmarks and dedicated homepage. Firefox and Silk browsers are available in more than 100 countries and customers can easily download the browser to their Fire TV immediately.

Samsung announces Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) | Dual Front Cameras | Infinity Display

11:48 PM Add Comment
Samsung Mobile had a great year in 2017, with the flagship S and Note line-ups doing well commercially. There was a change in the company's approach towards mid-range and budget-oriented devices, with the OEM providing regular updates for almost all the smartphones. It was required to win back the trust of Samsung fans, especially after the Note7 fiasco. While the flagships for 2018 will be revealed later in the year, Samsung has went ahead with announcements regarding the A series.

  Samsung announces Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) | Dual Front Cameras | Infinity Display



Samsung revealed their latest smartphones, the A8(2018) and A8+(2018) earlier today. These are essentially the successors of the 2017 variants of A5 and A7 respectively. These are also the first non-flagship Samsung smartphones to feature Infinity display.

“With the release of the Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018), we’re bringing our customers’ favorite features from our flagship smartphones, such as the Infinity Display and our first Dual Front Camera with Live Focus, to our Galaxy A series, which is already known for its premium design,” said Junho Park, Vice President of Global Product Planning, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung Electronics. “The Galaxy A8(2018) and A8+(2018) exemplify our continued dedication to meeting the needs of our consumers by providing them with greater choice and convenience.”



Specifications and Features

Both the smartphones have exact same hardware except the battery capacity, RAM and display size. Th smaller A8 sports a 5.6 inch display while A8+ has a 6 inch one. The Super AMOLED displays have a resolution of 2220 x 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. These are the first A series smartphones which will be compatible with Samsung Gear VR. The build quality is similar to the Samsung flagships with glass to the front and back, and it also has IP68 rating, which means it is as water and dust resistant as the current flagships.

A8 will have 4 GB RAM while the A8+ will have an optional 6 GB RAM variant. Internal storage options are 32 and 64 GB which can be expanded by up to 256 GB via external microSD card. The octa core Exynos 7885 chipset has a combination of 2.2 GHz dual core and 1.6 GHz hexa core. One disappointing factor is that despite being a 2018 smartphone, it will be coming out with Android Nougat 7.1.1.

The rear camera has a 16 MP sensor with an aperture of f/1.7 and PDAF. Video capabilities are enhanced with support for VDIS and hyper-lapse feature. Secondary camera is a dual lens setup with a 16 MP FF sensor residing with an 8 MP sensor, both having slightly narrower aperture of f/1.9. The additional lens helps in depth sensing and the Live Focus feature is present.



In terms of looks, these new smartphones are very similar to this year's S and Note series, barring two minor changes. The speaker grill which was usually found at the bottom besides the USB port has been moved to the right side above the power button. The next difference is one of the most awaited one - the placement of fingerprint scanner. The sensor was next to the rear camera lens, but with the A series phones, it has been moved to below the lens, making it a lot more convenient to reach out for.

Other included sensors are Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor and RGB Light Sensor. Connectivity features include dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, GPS, GLONASS, NFC and MST. The inclusion of MST means that the full version of Samsung Pay will be available and it will work with older swipe machines as well.



All these are powered by a 3000 mAh battery and 3500 mAh battery in A8 and A8+ respectively, with support for fast charging. The smartphones will be available in four colors - Black, Orchid Grey, Gold and Blue. The pricing and availability details were not revealed, but we will most certainly be seeing these at the CES 2018.

OnePlus 3 and 3T get Android 8.0 Oreo update

4:28 PM Add Comment
Android 8.0 Oreo has been out for a couple of months now and it's time for major OEMs to release the first batch of upgrades. OnePlus is doing exactly the same, but it's not for their latest flagship, the 5 or 5T! Well, if you're a OnePlus 5 user, the company is giving you the second reason in a week to be annoyed with them.

OnePlus 3 and 3T get Android 8.0 Oreo update


The company's last generation smartphones, 3 and 3T, have started receiving OxygenOS 5.0 updates which brings Android 8.0 Oreo. Since both the phones had Marshmallow out of the box, this is the second major upgrade and OnePlus had already confirmed that it will be the last Android version update.

OnePlus announced the update through its forums and mentioned that only a certain percentage of users will receive it immediately, and a broader roll-out will be carried out in a few days. Eager users can check for the update manually, but there's no reason to panic if you don't get the update for the next few days. 


The 1490 MB (size may change depending on region) update brings in quite a few changes and obvious Oreo goodies with it. The security patch will be upgraded to 1 September 2017. The changes mentioned by the company are -

System

  • Update to Android O (8.0)
  • Added Parallel Apps
  • Added Picture in Picture
  • Added Auto-fill
  • Added Smart text selection
  • New Quick Settings design
  • Updated security patch to September

Launcher

  • Added notification dots
  • New app folder design
  • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus






The sketchy record of OnePlus with regards to Android version upgrades gets a boost with this. In our recent article about this topic, we had pointed out that OnePlus One remains the only device from the company to receive two upgrades. This makes the OnePlus 3 and 3T the first OxygenOS running devices for which OnePlus has provided two major upgrades, since the OnePlus One had Cyanogenmod OS.

The fact that no other major flagships, even from Samsung and LG, have received Oreo yet gives an advantage to OnePlus users. Although technically, OnePlus 5 and 5T should have been the first in line to receive updates, users can rest assured that the roll-out will begin soon. OnePlus had confirmed that all the eligible devices will get the update by the year-end.

Are you a OnePlus 3/3T user? Please let us know in the comments if you have received the updates.

OnePlus 5T launched | 18:9 display | Specs, Price and Availability

4:47 PM Add Comment
OnePlus followed a great strategy of launching one flagship a year and providing good software support. When Snapdragon 821 was launched immediately after the launch of OnePlus 3, the third generation flagship from OnePlus looked like it was missing out on something while competing with other high-end smartphones. This prompted OnePlus to launch the OnePlus 3T, thus making up for the lack in power. This year, with OnePlus 5 having a Snapdragon 835 under the hood, it was safe to assume that there won't be a 5T. But the company has proven us wrong!



OnePlus 5T launched | 18:9 display | Specs, Price and Availability

Last year, it was the lack of internals which made OnePlus release the 3T. This time around, it is due to the externals - an 18:9 display - which is the trend of the year. There are no other noticeable changes, except an obvious change in the position of fingerprint sensor.

"The feedback on the OnePlus 5 has been very positive, but there were some areas where we saw room for improvement to create an even better user experience," said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau. "We love nothing more than offering our community the latest and greatest technology and a user experience to beat expectations. Once again, we’ve worked hard to refine every last detail.

Commenting on the launch, Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Category Management, Amazon India, said “Amazon.in has successfully brought the flagship OnePlus smartphone devices to Indian customers, reiterating our long-term exclusive partnership with the brand since 2014, we are thrilled to offer our customers exclusive access to yet another impressive smartphone, the OnePlus 5T. This smartphone comes with Full Optic AMOLED display & an enhance camera performance in low-light. Smartphones are one of the fastest growing product lines and have repeatedly been a top selling category on Amazon.in.



Build and Design


The build and design remains untouched compared to OnePlus 5. The use of metal all around with curved corners all remain same. The one major change in the design is the position of fingerprint scanner, which gets relocated to the rear. It's almost a replica of the Oppo R11s, which was what the tech community had already predicted. OnePlus 5 looked like a twin of Oppo R11, and the 5T looks like a twin of R11s.

The anodized aluminium exterior measures 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm, and there's a Dash Charge capable USB Type-C at the bottom and fortunately, a 3.5mm jack!



Display


The 5.5 inch display, which has remained the same size since the OnePlus One, finally makes way for a 6.01 inch one. The Full Optic AMOLED panel has a 2160x1080p resolution (18:9 ratio) resulting in a pixel density of 402 ppi. It comes with a feature called Sunlight display which adapts to harsh lighting and makes everything on the screen viewable by tweaking its contrast and color temperature. The adjustments happen in 4 different scenarios, when you access the gallery, take a picture, record a video or start a game.


Camera


A 16 MP + 20 MP dual camera setup resides at the back of the 5T. Though the megapixel count remains same, there's a slight change in the secondary camera. The 20 MP lens now has an aperture of f/1.7, which ensures that under low light the images from the secondary camera can be used. OnePlus 5 switched to the primary lens in low light since the aperture of its secondary camera was narrower and hence couldn't gather enough light. But here's the catch - it no longer supports 2x optical zoom. The focal length is the same as the primary camera, meaning the second lens will come in handy only for depth sensing and the zoom obtained is digital, not optical. There's support for 4K at 30 fps and slow motion 720p videos at 120 fps.

The front shooter remains the same at 16 MP with an aperture of f/2.0. Assisting this camera under low light will be an on screen flash and Intelligent Pixel technology - which debuted with OnePlus 3T's front camera - by which the secondary camera merges four pixels into one, reducing noise under low-light.



Processor, Software and Memory

The OnePlus 5T comes with 2.45 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540 GPU. There are two variants with 6 GB or 8 GB LPDDR4X RAM. Storage options are 64 GB and 128 GB, which are non-expandable. The 5T will be running on OxygenOS which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which will be upgraded to Android Oreo soon.




Others

OnePlus 5T has a 3300 mAh battery with support for Dash Charge. Wireless charging is not supported. Type-C USB (audio supported), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual band), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo are the other connectivity features present. The sensors included are - fingerprint, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, proximity, ambient light, RGB sensor.



Pricing and Availability

The 64/6 GB variant will be priced at Rs. 32,999 and 128/8 GB will be available for Rs. 37,999. OnePlus 5T will be available via early access sale on November 21, 2017 at 4.30 PM on Amazon.in, oneplusstore.in and OnePls experience store in Bengaluru. The open sale will begin from November 28, 2017. 

Additional offers include - 12 month accidental damage insurance by Servify, 1008 GB data from Idea, Rs.1500 off on HDFC debit and credit cards on amazon.in till December 2, 2017 and free Zomato-Gold membership. To avail the insurance from Servify, users will have to download Kotak 811 Savings account and activate it by depositing Rs. 1000.

Tecno i7 Review

4:45 PM Add Comment
India is one of the fastest growing market for smartphones, and companies all over the world are trying to cash in on the upward surge in sales in the country. Transsion Holdings with its mobile subsidiary brand Tecno launched two budget oriented smartphones - i3 and i7. Let's have a closer look at the elder sibling, the i7, and find out whether it has enough firepower to bite into the share of established brands like Xiaomi and Lenovo.

Tecno i7 Review 



Full Specifications

Display - 5.5 inch LTPS LCD
Dimensions - 151.5x75.2x7.75 mm
Processor - 1.5 GHz Mediatek 6750T
Memory -  4 GB RAM; 32 GB internal storage, expandable by up to 128 GB (hybrid slot)
OS - Android Nougat with HiOS UI
Cameras - 13 MP rear with quad LED flash; 16 MP front with LED flash
Battery - 4000 mAh with Rocket Charging
Price - Rs 14,999



Design and Build

The Tecno i7 has a metallic finish and the design is pretty good. The smartphone is sleek at just 7.75 mm thickness and it gives a premium feel the first time you hold it. The home button below the screen is flanked by capacitive back and recent apps key. One minor feedback about build quality is the mushy nature of the home button which houses a fingerprint reader in it. The scanner is a passive one as well, which means you have to press it to wake the phone.



Display

The i7 comes with a 5.5 inch LTPS LCD display with a 1920x1080p resolution. The quality of the display is very good, with good sharpness and wide viewing angles.



Camera

The rear camera sports a 13 MP sensor with a quad LED flash to enahnce low light performance. It produces good images in natural light, but the quality falls in low lighting. Overall the camera is pretty decent for a mid range device. Selfies produced by the front facing 16 MP cameras are quite good as well. The front camera features screen flash as well as LED flash.


Performance

The phone sports a Mediatek 6750T processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. It had no noticeable issues with regular tasks or while gaming. The performance is pretty smooth overall, but sometimes feels a bit on the slower side thanks to the extra bloat it carries. Tecno i7 has its own HiOS, based on Android Nougat. The similarity with iOS doesn't end with the rhyming name. Much like iOS, this phone also has a search page when you swipe right, and even supports a 3D touch like feature. There's a gimmicky WhatsApp only mode, which restricts data usage by all the apps except WhatsApp.


Battery

The battery capacity is pretty high at 4000 mAh. The high capacity may give an illusion of awesome battery life, but that's not the case here. It's not bad by any means, but with 4000 mAh, other smartphones usually last a lot longer than Tecno i7. Battery life is pretty decent with the smartphone lasting a typical working day without running out of charge. And if you manage to drain it out, there's Rocket charging, which is the company's version of fast charging. It fully charges the smartphone in less than 100 minutes, and half an hour of charge gives approximately 50 percent battery.

Final Verdict

With a price tag of Rs. 14,999, the Tecno i7 faces a tough competition against the likes of Moto G5 series and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4. Both these smartphones are currently ruling this price segment, but the Tecno i7 manages to hold its own while it can possibly be a upcoming contender.

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