Google Low-cost smartphones for India launched : Android One

Google collaborates with three Indian Mobile makers — Karbonn, Micromax and Spice to launch low-cost smartphones under its Android One Concept.

low-cost smartphonesIndian smartphone makers Micromax, karbonn , Spice have made a name for themselves in the low-cost smartphones market in India. That’s why it’s not surprising that when Google decides to unveil low-cost smartphones with its own logo, then it looks at these makers. Yesterday, Google has unveiled its first set of Android One low-cost smartphones in the Indian market, partnering with Indian mobile makers Spice, Micromax and Karbonn.

The three Android One smartphones launched yesterday are:

Spice Dream UNO Mi-498
Micromax Canvas A1
Karbonn Sparkle V

Android One smartphones

low-cost smartphonesAndroid One is an interesting concept of Google. Under the Android One programme Google partners with local phone makers or indigenous phone makers, whatever you want to call them, to create and sell affordable yet feature-packed Android phones. Google essentially provides hardware reference boards and software support to partner vendors under the programme.

Micromax, Karbonn , Spice have particularly perfected the art of Low-cost smartphone making. Their phones may not be perfect, but they are surely popular among Indians. Unfortunately Nokia took long time, not only to chalk out a coherent strategy with respect to smartphones, it also failed to retain , what it specialised in — making robust low cost mobile phones. Nokia kept assuming that Indians want low cost feature phones, when the aspirations of increasingly young India transitioned to smartphones. Local makers Karbonn, ,Micromax filled this supply gap. Low-cost smartphones in India, which are without exception, dual SIM have nearly all the market commanded by Indigenous phone makers, who particularly excel in low-cost smartphones .

low-cost smartphonesTaking cue from online smartphone retailer Xiaomi, Google for the time being, has decided to sell the Android One smartphones online only. In order to make up for the real hands on experience, which many Indians will want before actually buying the smartphone, Google will also have Wi-Fi-equipped mobile demo trucks called ‘Showroom on Wheels’ in 600 locations across 20 cities. A move which has real potential to make the Android One popular among Young. Google has also appointed 30,000 Android One ambassadors who will spread the word about the phones. Although, the Android One makers in India will not be assisted monetarily to market the smartphones in India.

Adhering to its multiple OEM (Original Equipment manufacturer) devices strategy, Google said that Acer, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Panasonic, Lenovo, Xolo and Qualcomm are also joining the Android One programme.

Airtel Data coupled with Android One

low-cost smartphonesAirtel will offer 200MB free data per month for app downloads and updates via Play Store. Google aims to bring other telecom operators in the programme in the near future.

Google Play News Stand gets 0n Indian publications on board

Google is also launching support for Google Play News Stand in India with 30 Indian publications on board.

Direct Updates from Google

The Android One devices will get direct software updates from Google, with early access to Android updates just like Nexus devices.

The phones will be available for purchase online starting September 15, 3:30pm IST.

The three phones will be available online on Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal and via Reliance Digital, Croma and The Mobile Store, offline.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S smartphone at Rs 6000 … launching September 02

Xiaomi has unnerved many Tech enthusiasts in India, with its solid smartphones at surprisingly low prices. the Company which is known for selling its products, up till only smartphones, launched online its Xiaomi Mi 3 smartphone In July and saw the Xiaomi Mi 3 Stock, gone in 5 seconds! . Buoyed by the response, the Chinese maker, who in the past has amazed even US Tech journalists with their quality at that price point, is going to launch its entry-level smartphone, Xiaomi Redmi 1S , on September 02 . Courtesy its previous announcements, India is also awaiting the start of registration of Redmi Note, but we’re still not hearing word on that.

Since Xiaomi doesn’t sell its products through real world Brick n mortar stores, then the usual procedure to get your hands on a Xiaomi smartphone is to register for the Xiaomi product at least a week ahead of the commencement of the sales at the online Window. Since, the stock is always limited, all those who register don’t get the smartphone. The moment the stock is over, the online window is quietly curtained down.

The Redmi 1S, will be on sale from 2pm on September 2nd at Rs 5,999/- and pre-registrations for device will begin on August 26th at 6pm exclusively through its e-commerce partner, Flipkart. The Redmi 1S will be available only to those who have registered by midnight on September 1st at www.flipkart.com/Mi and they will be eligible to purchase the phone from September 2nd onwards. The buyer usually gets the smartphone within one week of unveiling, that’s September 09.

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S has a sweet price tag of Rs 6999.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S

 

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Specs

– 4.7-inch 720 x 1280p IPS touchscreen

– Android Jelly Bean 4.3 with MIUI
– Quad core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 chip
– 8MP main camera w/ flash, 1.3MP webcam
– 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, 32GB microSD card support
– Dual SIM slots
– 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/AGPS
– 2400mAh battery
– 137mm x 69mm x 9.9mm dimensions
– 158gm weight

Initial Response to Xiaomi Redmi 1S, going by the Specs to Price comparison

The Xiaomi Redmi 1S is a pretty decent phone with impressive features at that price point. The skeptics often wonder, how can such smartphone is possible at that price.

Sleek 3G SIM Calling Tablet launched :  mTab Star – M830G

Mercury mTab Star – M830G : Ultra Sleek Tablet.  Allows 3G SIM Calling. 

Kobian has just launched Mercury M830G tablet. The ultra sleek tablet is an addition to the mTAB Star line-up.

The mTAB Star M830G tablet sports a 7-inch High definition display panel with resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels for rich multimedia experience. The tablet runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (soon upgradable to KitKat 4.4) .

3G SIM Calling TabletConnectivity Options

The tablet features dual SIM, voice calling functionality and users can access internet through 3G and Wi-Fi. Other Connectivity options include Bluetooth and micro USB.  

mTab Star – M830G Processor

The 3G SIM calling tablet for rich multimedia experience is powered with the high-end MTK Chipset and Dual Core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.

Built in memory and storage

The  tablet has inbuilt 1GB RAM and 8GB internal storage which is expandable up to 32GB through micro SD card.

Cameras 

Dual cameras for quick selfies, video chat and for capturing moments and video.

Colour Availability

The 3G sleek tablet weighs only 320gm and elegantly designed with black body.

 

On the launch, Ms Sushmita DasVice President – Business, India at Kobian Pte Ltd said,

mTab Star M830G is a pack of richness in terms of design, look, built and features. It is compact, elegant and moreover a perfect blend of performance along with value for money.

 

Mercury mTAB Star M830G Price, Availability and  Warranty

Mercury mTAB Star M830G is priced at Rs 6999 and comes with 1 year repair / replacement warranty.The 3G tablet will be available in India from August, 2014. 

Amitabh Bachchan endorsed LG G3 smartphone launched in India

Korean electronics makers LG has as small market share wrt number of smartphones sold , in the Indian smartphone market. But the company has seen an increase in smartphone sales across price categories. Upbeat by the sese numbers, LG today, on the launch event of G3 smartphone and G watch, said that it expects revenues from the segment in India to jump almost three-fold this year. Further adding that, it is on path to achieve 10 percent market share in India.

LG Electronics India Managing Director Soon Kwon told PTI,

“We are seeing very good traction and will exceed our target of Rs 2,000 crore in revenues from smartphones in India this year from Rs 800 crore in 2013. In the first half of the year, the business from the category has almost trebled. Ten percent market share is achievable, as it is very much on track and looking at the sales we are having, we are on track to achieve it in 2014.”

LG today launched in India its flagship smartphone ‘LG G3’. LG has roped in Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to promote ‘LG G3’ smartphone in the country.  About 15,000 limited edition G3 smartphones with Bachchan’s signature will be released in the Indian market and few lucky buyers will get the opportunity to meet him.

LG G3 smartphone Specs :

The LG G3 smartphone will come in two variants : 16GB version will be priced at Rs 47,990, while the 32 GB version will be available for Rs 50,990.

The LG G3 has a laser auto focus camera, smart keyboard, smart notice and a slim metallic design.

  • 5.5-inch quad HD display
  • 13 megapixel OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) rear camera
  • 2.1 MP front camera
  • Runs on Android KitKat operating system
  • Removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • 2/3 GB RAM
  • internal memory of 16 GB and 32 GB (two options), extendable further 128 GB via micro SD card slot.
  • Connectivity Options include 4G

The company also unveiled at the event its G watch, priced at Rs 15,000.

Free Stuff: The offer also includes Rs 3,500 worth Quick Circle Case free and an one time screen replacement worth Rs 6,500.

The Kill Switch !

LG G3 comes with a ‘Kill Switch’ that can disable the handset in the event of a theft. This reminds me of a computer login application shown in Star World’s Criminal Minds. Every time the investigators type in a wrong password on the absconder’s PC, a certain percentage of hard disk is erased permanently.

The LG G3 has seen great response outside India. The Korean electronics maker hopes to sell half a million or 5 Lakh G3 devices by year-end.

LG G3 Review (as already launched outside India):

Online Banking Customers Targeted by New Malware

New Malware Targeting Online Banking Customers. Named HijackRAT, the malware uses a malicious App to infect.

Banking portals are hundred percent secure. Any moment they suspect some weird activity, they instantly block any attempts to login or do any transaction. Such blocking , many a times is a big hassle for the customer, but it’s Bank’s way of securing its customers and their money. But still it’s the responsibility of the banking customer to adopt various security precautions on his end (Mobile, Tablet, PC) before using the device for any online banking transactions. A user’s device without any genuine anti-virus and internet security , and laden with malwares always increases the risk to any user information and online bank account.

 

Android Malware HijackRAT

Recently, researchers have discovered a new Android malware named HijackRAT, which is capable of stealing personal information such as banking credentials and login details of the infected users. It also allows hackers to easily get the remote access of the infected device. HijackRAT gets onto user’s device through a malicious app called Google Service Framework, which is said to be the most advanced malware application ever discovered.

The Google Service Framework application apparently steals data, sends SMS messages to user’s contact list, and initiates malicious app updates. This application searches genuine banking apps installed on the device of the victim and replaces them with malicious ones. According to the researchers, cyber-criminals have designed a framework to conduct bank hijacking through this application. Currently, this app is being used to target customers of Korean banks but cyber-criminals could quickly and conveniently use it to target other financial institutions too.

As per researchers, the package name of this new RAT malware is ‘com.ll’ and it appears as Google Service Framework with the default Android icon. Researchers say that this is a work in progress app and they are unaware of what the replaced fake banking apps will do.

Apart from Android banking malware, there is a new banking malware named Emotet, which is being floated through spam emails. The hackers try to trick the customers by letting believe that it is a legitimate shipping invoice sent by the bank. These spam emails are basically related to money transfers or shipping invoices. It contains an embedded link, which when clicked installs the Emotet malware onto the user’s computer. The Emotet malware also downloads a .DLL file that is responsible for network sniffing activities.

Emotet comes with a list of various banking URLs, mostly found to be owned by German banks. If a user infected with Emotet visits any of the listed URLs, Emotet immediately records all the information that is transferred between the user and that website. Research indicates that Emotet can also steal personal data of the user from HTTPS banking websites protected by TLS encryption. It also states that this malware has been specifically designed to target customers of various German banks, but hackers will also come up with variants that will target North American and Asian banks as well.

Tips for online banking customers on how not to get infected with such banking malware

  1. Use reliable Anti-Virus Software and keep the security settings of your computer to a higher level.
  2. Never click on any link mentioned within unsolicited emails.
  3. Be cautious and avoid providing personal data related to credit card, bank account numbers or passwords to any unknown site or a fake site.
  4. Pay close attention to the URL (Internet address) mentioned in the link. This means you must not only look for secure (lock) symbol, but also the spellings used in the link. Once a malicious spam on Twitter was using the URL for an authorization page, which was the exact copy of Twitter’s authorisation page, as ‘Twietter’.
  5. Never disclose your login credentials to other people or companies.
  6. Don’t use the same ID and PIN/Password for every online account you have.
  7. Avoid clicking on any pop-up that appears, especially pop-ups which are displayed on an unknown website.
  8. Certain websites automatically download malware onto your system, beware of such websites. Hence, to mitigate such attacks, presence of an Antivirus is a must.
  9. If Your bank blocks your login attempt , see it as a necessary precautionary step taken by your bank. You may have some hassle of visiting your bank branch to unblock your account , but see it as a necessary intervention by your bank. When at bank, ask them what exactly caused the blocking. This will help you to avoid e-commerce sites with suspicious working.
  10. If everything is taken care of, then use your online banking account confidently. This means, do not fiddle. Online banking is a great convenience , which you must not suspect on what your ignorant friend tell you.

In order to safeguard your Android based Smartphone,the eScan provides a range of security solutions for Android :

Download link for eScan Mobile Security for Android: http://www.microworldsystems.com/download/escan/android/escantmo.apk   

Download link for eScan Tablet Security for Android: http://www.microworldsystems.com/download/escan/android/escantab.apk  

Make Any TV into Smart TV with Astrum Magic Stick

Astrum Magic Stick : Android 4.2 Jelly Bean HDMI stick, dual-core with Bluetooth, download, enjoy apps & games on the TV from play store. Plays real HD videos direct from USB drive or NAS device.

Magic sticks are becoming a common utility now. You can download games, movies etc. on the Magic Stick and play the same on a big screen TV.  Astrum Holdings has recently announced the launch of Android Magic Stick to  allow you to convert any TV into smart TV instantly.

Astrum Magic Stick

                                                           

  • The Magic Stick operates on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and user can download thousands of apps on their TV from Google play store.
  • The magic stick allows super-fast uploads and downloads through Wi-Fi and faster transfer of files through Bluetooth. 
  • The Magic Stick is powered with 1.6GHz Cortex A9 CPU, Quad Core GPU and 1GB DDR3 RAM which helps the user to play games and run applications faster.
  • It supports Micro SD card to store favorite songs, videos and photographs, as well.

 

On the launch, Puneet DhandhariaCountry Manager for Astrum‘s operation in India said, 

We take great pride in announcing the availability of Astrum Magic Stick. Now customer need not spend on buying a smart TV, a finger -sized, cost effective portable android stick can provide the experience of smarter way of TV watching to its user. It’s DDR3 1GB RAM and Quad core processor helps to work, play games and run applications faster on the big screen.”  

 

Price, Warranty and Availability:

Astrum Magic Stick is priced at MRP of Rs 3,999 and comes with a 1 year warranty.

Huawei Honor 3C launched in India at Rs. 14999

 Huawei Honor 3C : With 8 MP rear camera with LED flash. 5 MP Front Camera. Runs on Android 4.2 . 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 2 GB RAM.

Huawei has launched the Huawei Honor 3C. The Android based smartphone is Huawei’s latest smartphone in its Honor series, unveiled in December 2013. That’s a couple of months back.

Huawei Honor 3C has a 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixels LTPS screen (Low Temperature PolySilicon LCD). The Honor 3C is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor , 2GB RAM and runs on Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) with Huawei’s own Emotion UI 2.0 on top.

One of the most striking things about Honor 3C is its 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Another thing which will delight Indian buyers is : Huawei Honor 3C comes with dual SIM support with dual standby.

Huawei-Honor-3C

Those used to a thin bezel may not be very happy with the Honor 3C. But may be it’s to make the smartphone compact.

Huawei Honor 3C Specifications

  • 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD LTPS display
  • 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 processor with Mali 400 GPU
  • Dual SIM with dual standby
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) with Emotion UI 2.0
  • 8MP rear camera with LED Flash, Sony BSI sensor, f/2.0 aperture
  • 5MP front-facing camera, 22mm wide angle lens, 1.4um large pixel sensor, F2.4 aperture
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 9.2mm thick and weighs 140 grams
  • 2GB RAM, 8GB internal memory, expandable memory with MicroSD
  • 3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 2300 mAh battery With power saving technology that extends battery life by 30%.

Huawei Honor 3C Price and Availability :

The Huawei Honor 3C is priced at Rs. 14,999 .

Huawei-Honor-3C (1)

Micromax Canvas Duet 2 with GSM+CDMA networks Support?

Rumors are rife that Micromax is soon launching a new smartphone, dubbed as Canvas Duet 2. The new smartphone comes with GSM+CDMA network support. Really?

The rumors got fueled by a leaked image of the retail box alleged to be that of Canvas Duet 2.

If the rumors are true then the Canvas Duet 2 will be the second offering from Micromax to come with the CDMA network support. The earlier one being the Micromax Canvas Blaze that supports GSM+CDMA (MTS) networks.

Micromax Canvas Duet 2 Specs

Based on the rumors, the Canvas Duet 2 will have

  • Runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • a 5.27-inch HD IPS display
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor (Chipset unknown)
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of inbuilt storage
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera for video calling or video chat
  • a 2300mAh battery

Price of Micromax Canvas Duet 2

Based on rumors, the Canvas Duet 2 will have a retail tag of around Rs. 17,000.

Mercury mTAB Air: Dual Camera, dual sim 3G, dual Core Processor

Mercury mTAB Air: 7.85 inch IPS Panel. Ideal viewing angle. Feather light dual core processor,dual camera and dual sim 3G calling Tablet.

Mercury mTAB Air, Dual Camera, dual sim 3G, dual Core Processor

Kobian, a leading player in computer peripherals and tablets, announced recently the launch of mTAB Air – 3G calling IPS Tablet. Loaded with features, mTAB Air comes with all-new giant capacitive 7.85″ IPS panel display, dual camera for vibrant and colorful pictures and powered by dual core processor which promises better user experience and better graphics.

Mercury mTAB Air operates on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean platform to provide faster working experience and allows one to enjoy all the latest games from the play store. Mercury mTAB Air is powered with 1Ghz Dual Core MTK8312 speed processor to browse faster and multi-task with ease while allowing blazing fast performance. mTAB Air is fueled by 3800mAh battery for uninterrupted work on the go.1024 x 768 pixel resolution screen and 7.85 inch wide IPS panel helps in providing users with vivid & clear picture experience watch favorite videos and capture the moments. mTAB Air comes with 1GB DDR3, 8GB storage and supports 32GB extendable memory.

mTAB Air is enabled with 3G voice calling through dual sim by supporting WCDMA,GSM & EVDO. This 3G enabled phablet comes with 0.3 megapixel front and 2 megapixel rear camera. To allow faster transfer, mTABAir is equipped with v4.0 Bluetooth and has built-in GPS for easy navigation.

 

Features

  • 7.85 inch IPS Panel display
  • 1024 x 768 screens
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual Core processor MTK8312 , 1Ghz
  • 1GB Inbuilt RAM + 8GB Storage and  supports 32GB extendable memory
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Supports 3G SIM: WCDMA, GSM & EVDO
  • Supports DUAL SIM: 0.3 megapixel front and 2 megapixel rear camera
  • Dual Camera
  • Built in GPS , FM
  • A Good 3800mAh battery

 

Sushmita Das, Vice President – Business, India at Kobian Pvt Ltd said “mTAB Air is designed to perform faster, multi-functional, 3G voice calling, sleek and light on pocket. We enter 2014, with the launch of mTAB Air which also adds a feather to our very own dual sim phablet category. 7.85″ display of mTAB Air makes it an apt choice for movie fans. mTAB Air suits everyone and with all the great features, it takes the pride to be a strong contender in this price range.”

 

Mercury mTAB Air Price, Warranty and Availability

mTAB Air phablet comes with the MRP of Rs. 10,999 and expected to be available by end of February, 2014 with 1 year repair/replacement warranty.

4G Smartphone at Rs 17000: Xolo LT900 Launched

XOLO has launched in India its first 4G Smartphone, at Rs 17000: Xolo LT900.

Indian smartphone maker Xolo today launched its first 4G LTE smartphone, named Xolo LT900. The 4G LTE is sweetly priced at Rs 16800 (MRP Rs.17999). The Xolo LT900 is first low-cost smart-phone available in Indian market.

4G Smartphone at Rs 17000, Xolo LT900

Xolo LT900 Key Specs :

  • Sports a 4.3-inch IPS (1280×720 pixels) display based on One Glass Solution (OGS) along with Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • Powered by Processor and Chipset- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz and topped with 384 MHz Adreno 225 GPU
  • Operating System- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera- 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash and BSI sensor, 1-megapixel front camera
  • Memory- 8GB of internal storage which can be scaled up to 32GB with microSD card slot, 1 GB RAM
  • Connectivity- TDD-LTE support , Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, 3G, 4G LTE ( (Band 40 / 2300Mhz)

Xolo LT900 4G Smartphone Price in India : Rs 16800