Jio Phone, Free With Rs. 1,500 Deposit, Unlimited 4G Data 2017

JioPhone made a splash at the Reliance AGM on Friday as Mukesh Ambani took the covers off the long-rumoured 4G feature phone. The handset, introduced as “India ka Smartphone” and launched at an “effective price” of Rs. 0 (though buyers will have to shell out a refundable, upfront deposit of Rs. 1,500 for the device). JioPhone will be crucial for the company in tapping the estimated 50 crore feature phone users who have not been able to join the Jio 4G bandwagon because of the high costs associated with smartphones. Although Reliance…

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Apple Centers Health Data Strategy on iPhone 2017

Apple quietly has been strategizing to expand its growing healthcare business to include the management of digital health records, with the iPhone operating as a central data hub, CNBC reported last week. Apple has been in talks with numerous health industry groups that are involved in setting standards for the storage and sharing of electronic medical records, in a way that would help consumers gain more control over their private medical information, according to the network. The plan appears to be a natural extension of Apple’s recent health industry strategy,…

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Nubia M2 Play with Snapdragon

ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia has unveiled another variant of it’s M2 smartphone dubbed the Nubia M2 Play through its website. The same global Nubia M2 Play variant will soon launch in India as well. In terms of specifications, the Nubia M2 Play boasts of a 5.5-inch HD (720 x 1280 pixels) LCD display with 274ppi pixel density. Inside, it packs an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 (MSM8940) SoC coupled with Adreno 505 GPU. It is backed by 3GB of RAM. The internal storage is 32GB and features a microSD card expansion…

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Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) review

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) smartphone was first unveiled in January this year. The smartphone is priced at Rs 28,990 in India. Samsung has been the largest smartphone vendor in India thanks to its strong offline presence and a vast portfolio of devices across various price-raia. Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) was launched along side Galaxy A5 (2017) as well. We used Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017), and here’s what we think of the device in our review. Samsung Galaxy A5 (20017) specifications: 5.2-inch Full HD (1080p) | 1.9GHz octa-core Exynos 7880 processor…

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BlackBerry’s Priv Puzzles the Tech

BlackBerry on Friday released its Priv smartphone, its first Android-based device. The Android 5.1.1 Lollipop slider is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor and an Adreno 418 GPU. It’s stocked with 3 GB of low-power RAM and 32 GB of storage. There’s an 18-MP shooter on its back side and a 2-MP chat cam on its face. BlackBerry wouldn’t release an Android-based device unless it found a way to secure it properly, CEO John Chen said earlier this year. To lock down the Android OS to its liking,…

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Vaio’s Phone Biz to Test Windows 10’s in Asia

Vaio on Wednesday announced Phone Biz, a Windows 10 mobile phone. The device doesn’t have a SIM, leaving users free to select their own carriers. The Phone Biz lets users easily access corporate apps, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Exchange, as well as the Azure cloud, according to Vaio. The OS is synced with the latest version of Windows 10. Users can manage settings from the same Microsoft account as their PCs. The Phone Biz incorporates Microsoft’s Continuum feature, which lets users connect phones to TVs or monitors, if they want…

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Google Fills Nexus Devices With Nougat Features

Google on Monday began rolling out its long-awaited Android 7.0 Nougat release to Nexus smartphones and tablets. The new operating system became available as a beta release, known only as “Android N,” earlier this year. The experiences of developers and other users led to more than 250 new features, including improved multitasking, stronger battery life and tighter security features, noted Sameer Samat, vice president of product development. The new OS provides quick access to settings, so important features like Bluetooth, WiFi and the phone’s flashlight are readily available when needed.…

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Google’s Pixel Phone Wins a Place in the Sun

Google’s Pixel smartphone, which made its debut last month, has gathered some high praise from reviewers. “The Google Pixel is now the best Android smartphone you can buy,” wrote Joanna Stern in The Wall Street Journal. “The other leading contender was disqualified due to spontaneous combustion,” she added, referring to Samsung’s doomed Galaxy Note7, which was recalled for safety reasons. Stern was impressed with Pixel’s display; its high pixel count made the blacks in photos appear deeper, colors more vibrant, and everything sharper. “The AMOLED display makes photos look better…

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Fitbit Pulls Pebble From Rock, Hard Place In 2017

Fitbit on Wednesday announced an acquisition deal with smartwatch maker Pebble. The company clearly has been struggling, having laid off 25 percent of its staff earlier this year, when CEO Eric Migicovsky acknowledged that money was tight. “Fitbit is acquiring certain assets of Pebble, including key personnel and intellectual property specific to software and firmware development,” a Fitbit spokesperson said in a statement provided to TechNewsWorld by company rep Paula Conhain. “The majority of Pebble employees in the software engineering function, as well select employees in other functions, will join…

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Apple Brings Back That 4-Inch Feeling Old Is Gold

Apple on Monday announced a pair of new products in old sizes — the 4-inch iPhone SE and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro — banking on user preferences for the familiar form factors to lessen their hesitancy to upgrade. Although Apple’s hour-long “Loop You In” event was short on surprises, it was slimmer on filler as well. Among the notable extras, Apple announced a price cut bringing the Apple Watch to US$300, along with a selection of new bands. It also announced support for Apple TV folders and the release of…

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Gadget Ogling: Note-Taker Triumphs, Classic Nokia Returns, and Audio Thrills 2017

Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that sometimes takes a break from figuring out why people are investing in an ephemeral content company losing half a billion dollars a year and suffering slowing user growth to pore over the latest gadget announcements. This time around, we take a look at an automated transcription device, the return of a classic cellphone, and Bang and Olufsen’s latest wireless speaker. As ever, these are not reviews — a difficult prospect when I’ve yet to see any of these items in person,…

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Samsung Explains Note7 Failure, Promises to Do Better 2017

Samsung Electronics on Monday announced that it has developed new quality assurance protocols to ensure that it won’t have a repeat of the catastrophic issues that plagued its Galaxy Note7 handsets. The company last fall issued a universal recall after several of the devices caught fire or exploded. In one incident, a Southwest Airlines flight had to be evacuated in Louisville, Kentucky, after a Samsung Galaxy Note7 caught fire and produced thick smoke on an aircraft. Samsung initially blamed the problem on an “isolated” faulty battery cell issue, before opting…

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Nokia 3310 Pushes Nostalgia Buttons 2017

HMD Global, owner of the Nokia phone brand, on Sunday reintroduced the classic 3310 feature phone at the Mobile World Congress, along with a line of brand new Nokia smartphones that run on the Android platform. The relaunch of the 3310 is the reimagination of one of the world’s best-selling feature phones as a sleek, lightweight device that features 22 hours of talk time and an entire month of standby time. Its average retail price will be just 49 euros (about US$52). The phone will come in four colors: warm…

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Apple Unveils Budget-Friendly iPad, Dresses iPhone in Red 2017

Apple on Tuesday announced an iPad update, a red iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and a new video-editing app for iOS. The iPad upgrade has a 9.7-inch, 2048 x 1536-pixel Retina display with 264 pixels per inch, and Apple’s A9 64-bit processor. The unit will come in silver, gold and space gray with a starting price of US$329 for 32 gigabytes of storage and WiFi-only support. It will cost $459 for a 32-GB unit with WiFi and cellular support. As with prior models, the battery life for the new iPad…

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Galaxy S8 vs. iPhone 8: Winning Has Little to Do With Phones 2017

The new Samsung Galaxy S8 has launched, and its target of choice is the as yet unlaunched Apple iPhone 8 Anniversary Edition. These phones are critical for both companies. Apple survives largely off the iPhone today, and Samsung is trying to recover both from its burning phone problem and from its top executive being arrested on bribery charges. Neither firm can afford a big loss to the other, and Samsung just came out of the gate with one hell of an opening salvo. A big difference is that Apple can…

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Bixby Will Be Seen but Not Heard When Galaxy S8 Launches 2017

Samsung on Wednesday said that Bixby Voice will not be operational when its Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones hit the market. Some Bixby features — Vision, Home and Reminder — will be active when the phones become available on April 21, Samsung said, but the Bixby Voice capability won’t show up until later this spring. The delay may be due to a weakness in Bixby’s English language chops, according to some reports. Its voice recognition in English apparently lags its Korean language capabilities substantially. That mismatch might be worrisome to…

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