Intex Aqua Ace Mini With 2GB of RAM, 4G Support Launched

Intex Aqua Ace Mini With 2GB of RAM, 4G Support Launched at Rs. 7,799

Intex has launched a new smartphone on Friday – the Aqua Ace Mini – priced at Rs. 7,799. The smartphone is now listed on the company website with no details about the availability. We can expect the smartphone to be available in the market soon.

The dual-SIM Intex Aqua Ace Mini runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display with a pixel density of 294ppi. The new Intex smartphone is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM. Sporting an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera, the Aqua Ace Mini also sports a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

It bears 16GB of built-in storage that is expandable via microSD card (32GB). Connectivity options include 3G (HSPA+), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB 2.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The smartphone also supports 4G connectivity and is compatible with Indian LTE bands. The company however notes that the smartphone will support 4G on one SIM at a time.

Measuring 145.3x72x8.65mm, the Intex Aqua Ace Mini is backed by a 3000mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 300 hours of standby time, and up to 12 hours of talk-time. It weighs 150 grams and bears an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. The official listing confirms that the Intex Aqua Ace Mini features USB OTG cable support.

Notably, the Aqua Ace Mini is a ‘lite’ variant of the Intex Aqua Ace, which was launched in September last year. For the Aqua Ace (Review), the company also bundled a 1-year screen breakage warranty alongside a complementary bag pack and a sensor-based flip cover free with the smartphone. Unfortunately, the official listing doesn’t confirm any of the above offers for the Aqua Ace Mini.

Moto Voice Update Brings Multiple Bug Fixes, Improvements

Moto Voice Update Brings Multiple Bug Fixes, Improvements

Motorola on Friday started rolling out an update for its voice command app, dubbed Moto Voice, on handsets. Motorola in the recent past decoupled most of its native apps from the firmware it loads on its phones, in the attempt to be able to provide iterative updates to the apps without requiring to rollout entire firmware updates.

The updated Moto Voice app is available via Google Play, and users of the app will also receive an update notification.

The Moto Voice update brings several bug fixes and improvements. It is worth mentioning that the app is only for Moto X smartphones and Verizon-based Droid models. The update brings fixes to Facebook and WhatsApp recognition and improves recognition for Motorola commands in Portuguese, dual-SIM interaction in Talk to Me, Call command for German, and Moto Voice interaction when a Bluetooth trusted device is connected. In addition, the update fixes “call looping” when Talkback is on and command “Call” is used and force close function.

Motorola earlier this week reportedly started receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to Moto G (Gen 2). Android 6.0 Marshmallow (previously just Android M) brings features such as revamped app permissions; Google Now on Tap feature; Android Pay mobile payment system, and new fingerprint APIs for developers among others. It also features some Google’s security patches as well.

While announcing the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update plans, Motorola listed Moto-specific changes that users will see after updating to the new Android OS version. Some changes to Moto enhancements include removal of Moto Assist feature as part of upgrade to Android M. The company explains that the latest OS includes an option for ‘Do Not Disturb’ under the ‘Sound and Notification’ settings that performs similar function what Moto Assist does.

New App Helps Young Iranians Avoid ‘Morality Police’

New App Helps Young Iranians Avoid 'Morality Police'

A new smartphone application that helps Iranians dodge the Islamic Republic’s “morality police” is proving popular with the young, tech-savvy population but has quickly fallen foul of the authorities.

The Gershad app allows users who spot checkpoints set up by the morality police, who enforce Islamic dress and behaviour codes, to tag their location on a Google map with an icon of a bearded man, enabling others to steer clear of them.

The app was blocked by the authorities soon after it was released for Android devices on Monday but many Iranians bypass Internet restrictions by using a Virtual Private Network.

It is already trending on social media and has received almost 800 reviews on the Google Play app store, nearly all of them positive, although Google Play does not show how many times Gershad had been downloaded.

Gershad is seen by some as setting a precedent for “digital protest” in Iran as elections loom and the country emerges from years if isolation following the lifting of international sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.

“Technology has created an amazing opportunity to forge a cooperative solution to common social problems,” Gershad’s secretive creators said in an email exchange with Reuters.

Gershad is a contraction of the full title of the Gashte Ershad (guidance patrol), which is part of efforts to purge Western culture from the country following the Islamic revolution which overthrew a Western-backed king in 1979.

“For years the morality police have been causing disturbances for Iranian women,” the Gershad team said. “Avoiding them in the streets, metro stations and in shopping malls is challenging and tiresome.”

Iranian officials have not commented on Gershad but state broadcaster IRIB said the app had been written about on social media and “networks opposed to the (Islamic) revolution”.

“This is an innovative idea and I believe it will lead to many other creative apps which will address the gap between society and government in Iran,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

Ghaemi said the app’s developers were based outside Iran but had grown up in the country and experienced the problem first hand.

“It’s really an indigenous product… these are the kind of people who have been stopped at checkpoints,” he said.

Digital protest
Gershad is an example of how young Iranians are turning to technology to circumvent checks on their everyday lives.

“It’s showing a trend in digital protest… I see it as a precedent for future apps of its kind,” said Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, a Dubai-based consultant for app makers in the Iranian market.

Gershad does not describe itself as a form of protest, but its website describes it as a “social movement” and asks: “Why should we give up the most basic right of choosing what clothes to wear?”

An online video advert shows patrol members, rendered as dopey-looking cartoon figures, fidgeting impatiently at a checkpoint as the app diverts the flow of pedestrians away from them.

“Wander freely!” says the tagline.

Smartphone messaging applications are popular in Iran, where half of the population is aged under 25. Young Iranians use apps to share news and jokes that would not be allowed in the tightly controlled traditional media.

A recent poll suggested that about 20 million Iranians, around a quarter of Iran’s population, use Telegram, a messaging app with a focus on privacy and security.

Many young Iranians hope the lifting of the nuclear-related sanctions last month will be accompanied by an easing of cultural restrictions, particularly if an election on Feb. 26 ushers in a more moderate legislature.

But hardliners in the establishment have moved to block any relaxation of the Islamic Republic’s social rules, warning of the “infiltration” of Western culture. Thousands of moderate and reformist candidates have been barred from standing in the elections.

Security
Gershad’s interactive map at times shows dozens of checkpoints in Tehran and other Iranian cities but also flags checkpoints in London and Los Angeles, showing the potential unreliability of data provided by an online community.

Some Iranians have expressed concern on social media about Gershad’s digital security in a country where the authorities frequently arrest social media users for sharing what they regard as “immoral” or “subversive” content.

The developers said they were working to better detect false reports. They said their servers were based outside Iran and that they do not collect user information when users report checkpoint locations.

Gershad’s website says it uses Psiphon, a Canadian-made app designed to circumvent censorship. Psiphon co-founder Michael Hull said his company’s technology allows users in Iran to open an encrypted connection to Gershad’s servers outside the country, making their activity harder to block or detect.

“Once they have that tunnel, the traffic that’s going back and forth is just mixed in with the rest of the Psiphon network,” Hull said.

Xolo Era 4K With 4G Support, 4000mAh Battery Launched

Xolo Era 4K With 4G Support, 4000mAh Battery Launched at Rs. 6,499

Xolo has launched the Era 4K smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 6,499, the smartphone will be available exclusively .Interested users can register themselves to buy the smartphone. The registration window is open until 9:59am IST on next Monday, with sales opening at 10:00am on the same day (February 22).

The Xolo Era 4K smartphone features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with full lamination, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection with Native Damage Resistance (NDR), and pixel density of 294ppi. It runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM + Micro-SIM) handset is powered by a 64-bit 1GHz quad-core processor clubbed with 2GB of DDR3 RAM. It packs 8GB of inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).

It sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with 5P Largan Lens and dual LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with f/2.2 aperture. Some of the camera features of the Xolo Era 4K include Face Beautify, Smile Detection, Proximity Capture, Gesture Capture, Face Detection, and Multi Angle View Mode. Connectivity options include GPRS/ EDGE, 4G LTE, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, FM radio, and Micro-USB.

Measuring 143×71.8×9.2mm, the Xolo Era 4K weighs 157 grams and will be available in a White and Dark Blue colour variants. It is backed by a 4000mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 17 hours of talk time and 528 hours of standby time on 3G connectivity.

The specifications of the Xolo Era 4K smartphone match with that of Micromax Canvas Juice 4G smartphone. The dual-SIM 4G-enabled handset, which was introduced earlier this month features the same display, RAM, camera, and battery. However, the smartphone includes 4GB inbuilt storage. Although the company is yet to launch the handset officially, it is listed on the company website and is available to buy from e-commerce websites.

Lenovo Announces Launch of ‘Gorgeous’ New Smartphone at MWC 2016

Lenovo Announces Launch of 'Gorgeous' New Smartphone at MWC 2016

Lenovo will be launching a new smartphone at the upcoming MWC 2016 trade show, according to a recently posted teaser by the company. The Chinese giant teased the handset in an image via its Twitter account last week.

“A gorgeous new device has been engineered from scratch to deliver the #Knockout punch. Brace yourselves,” tweeted Lenovo India along with an image captioned “Coming Soon. MWC’2016”. The teaser image shows the upper half of the handset’s back panel, appearing similar to the Lenovo Lemon 3 smartphone – tipping the global launch of the China-only phone at the trade show. Although nothing has been confirmed just yet, it is likely that the handset may launch with a different moniker in other regions including India, as it has with older variants.

It is worth mentioning that the company last month launched its Lemon 3 handset in China. The handset is listed on the company’s shopping website priced at RMB 699 (approximately Rs. 7,000), the same as that of Xiaomi Redmi 3.

The Lenovo Lemon 3 as per the listing is a dual-SIM dual-standby dual-4G supporting smartphone running on Android 5.1 Lollipop. It sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution IPS display with pixel density of 441ppi. Packing an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, the smartphone bears 2GB of RAM and Adreno 405 GPU.

As for connectivity, the Lemon 3 features support for 4G LTE (supports India bands) networks, along with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, and GPS options.

The smartphone houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card (unspecified limit). Also featured is a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Measuring 142x71x7.99 mm, the Lenovo Lemon 3 weighs 142 grams. It is backed by a 2750mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 15 days of standby time on 4G, 32 hours of talk time on 2G, 12 hours of audio playback and 6.2 hours of video playback. The audio output of the handset is powered by Maxx Audio.

Xiaomi Sends Invites for Mi 5 Launch Event on February 24

Xiaomi Sends Invites for Mi 5 Launch Event on February 24

Xiaomi had earlier confirmed that the Mi 5 smartphone will be launched at an event in China on February 24. The Chinese company also announced a limited media preview at MWC 2016 in Barcelona on the same day to showcase the new Xiaomi Mi 5 flagship smartphone.

Now, Xiaomi has started sending invitation letters for the Mi 5 launch event in China National Convention Center on February 24. The company confirmed that the event will start at 11:30am IST. The Chinese invitation letter has the number 5 written in big fonts which is mainly for the Mi 5 smartphone.

The company’s Global VP, Hugo Barra, had last month announced that the Chinese company would showcase its Mi 5 on February 24 at the MWC 2016 event in Barcelona. Considering that Xiaomi has so far launched its new devices only in homeland China or India (the Mi 4i), which is the biggest overseas market for the company, we can expect this to be an indication that Xiaomi may consider releasing the new flagships in Western markets as well. Last year, Xiaomi launched an online accessory store in the United States and major European countries in an attempt to expand to Western markets.

Xiaomi’s Mi 5 is now one of the most anticipated flagship smartphone for the company as a lot rides on the success of the device. The Chinese company shipped over 70 million phones last year, which was below its expectations. The Chinese company has been lately teasing the smartphone features including the camera samples.

Some of the features that have been confirmed by Xiaomi include dual-SIM functionality; NFC connectivity, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC under the hood.

Based on preliminary leaks, the Xiaomi Mi 5 specifications include a 5.2-inch display with either full-HD or QHD resolution. The handset is said to come in two memory and storage versions – 3GB of RAM with 32GB inbuilt storage, and 4GB of RAM with 64GB storage. On the camera front, the Mi 5 is rumoured to pack a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. It is also supposed to be backed by a 3600mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 tech. The Chinese company is also said to use a pressure-sensitive touchscreen, which will be a technology similar to Apple’s 3D Touch-like pressure sensitive technology.

Rs. 251 Smartphone Bookings Stopped as Company Servers are ‘Overloaded’

Rs. 251 Smartphone Bookings Stopped as Company Servers are 'Overloaded'

Planning to buy the Rs. 251 smartphone? You might have missed your chance. The world’s cheapest smartphone went on sale this morning via freedom251.com but people were already having problems booking the phone. Now however, the option to buy the phone seems to have disappeared completely, as the company claims that its servers have been overloaded. When you visit the Freedom 251 website you will see the site, but clicking on the buy now button takes you to an error page now.

On the website, the Ringing Bells team claims that it was seeing six lakh hits per second on the webpage, which overloaded its servers. For this reason, the company has decided to take a pause and upgrade the service, which will return within 24 hours. You can see the full text in the screenshot below.

freedom_website_down.jpg

However, at the time of the launch of the Freedom 251 on Wednesday, the company President Ashok Chadha had stated that after 2.5 lakh units are sold on the website, it will stop accepting further orders. It’s not clear if this is still the case or not, or how many orders Ringing Bells has recieved yet for what is probably the world’s cheapest smartphone.

On paper, the Freedom 251 is a Rs. 251 smartphone that comes with a 4-inch display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage (expandable by up to 32GB), and runs Android 5.1. However, the review units which were shared might not have been made by Ringing Bells at all so as of now, we can’t really tell you whether this phone is too good to be true or not.

For now however, the Freedom 251 is simply not available, and if you believe that it is the real deal and wanted to buy it, you might have missed your shot.

Intex Cloud Crystal 2.5D With 3GB of RAM Launched

Intex Cloud Crystal 2.5D With 3GB of RAM Launched at Rs. 6,899

Intex on Thursday announced the launch of the Cloud Crystal 2.5D in India at a price of Rs. 6,899. To recall, the smartphone was listed for purchase last week on Amazon India, and now the domestic mobile manufacturer has confirmed the e-commerce site will exclusively retail the Cloud Crytal 2.5D.

The Intex Cloud Crystal 2.5D is a dual-SIM (4G + 4G) smartphone running dated Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display along with a 2.5D curved glass design. Powered by a quad-core processor (unspecified) clocked at 1GHz, the Cloud Crystal 2.5D comes with 3GB of RAM.

The latest Intex smartphone sports an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It bears 16GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded up to 32GB (via microSD card).

Measuring 143.3x71x9.3mm and weighing 148 grams, the Intex Cloud Crystal 2.5D’s connectivity features include 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-USB, and GPS. A 2200mAh battery backs the handset, rated to deliver up to 6-8 hours of talk time on 3G network, and up to 120 hours of standby time.

The handset specifications match the ones we have seen with the recently launched Intex Aqua Craze. The smartphone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, features the same display, processor, rear camera, and front-facing camera, and supports 4G. The smartphone however, includes a low 1GB RAM, 8GB of inbuilt storage, and a slightly powerful 2500mAh battery. The handset costs Rs. 6,190. The company also launched its Aqua Lite smartphone, which is a less powerful handset as compared to the Cloud Crystal 2.5D and the Aqua Craze.

“Intex always brings innovative products to the table. Keeping the consumers in mind, Cloud Crystal 2.5D is a power-packed performer at a very aggressive price in the market. We are sure that the tech savvy consumers will be delighted. Happy to partner with Amazon for bringing this device exclusively to consumers and are sure of expanding our online reach,” stated Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Mobile Business Head, Intex Technologies.

Freedom 251 Mobile Day One Online Bookings at Just 30,000 Units

Freedom 251 Mobile Day One Online Bookings at Just 30,000 Units

For all the hype that has surrounded the launch of the “Rs. 251 smartphone,” as most people are calling the Freedom 251, the number of handsets that have actually been sold to customers from the freedom251.com website is a rather modest “30,000 plus,” Ringing Bell Director Mohit Goel told NDTV in an interview.

The Ringing Bell Freedom 251 smartphone, officially launched on Wednesday night to great fanfare, released to a storm of controversy with doubts about the phone’s price and viability.

Nonetheless, the phone generated enough interest that the company servers could not handle the load. On the website, the company states that it was getting six lakh hits per second, which caused it to shut down bookings for 24 hours, due to overloaded servers.

Talking to NDTV’s Rajiv Makhni, Ringing Bells President Ashok Chadha stated that the number of hits was as much as 63 lakh per second, which was more than the payment processor or server could handle. Despite this incredible number of visitors, Goel said only that over 30,000 units have been sold, less than what many other brands have been claiming to sell ‘within seconds’ despite much higher price tags.

The two Ringing Bells executives also confirmed that the company is selling the Freedom 251 at a loss to reach the Rs. 251 price point, but they hope to change that in the future. Chadha says that by not importing the phone, Ringing Bells is saving 13.5 percent per handset, and economies of scale will also reduce the per-unit cost of making the handsets. “We also have some innovative marketing concepts in place, because once we accomplish the scale we are looking at we become a route to market for people,” Chadha said, “and we already have NDAs with a lot of people for this. So all this will enable the phone’s price of Rs. 251.”

Chadha did not however mention what scale would be required to make this possible, just confirming that the government is not subsidising the Freedom 251, and that it will bear the losses of selling the phones until such a point. He did not clarify the per unit loss that Ringing Bells will have to bear for now. Chadha did however say that anyone who has ordered a phone and wants a refund before receiving the handset is shipped can get their money back.

You can see the full interview Chadha and Goel gave to NDTV below to learn more about the company’s plans to deliver 50 lakh Freedom 251 units over the next three months.

Intex Aqua Freedom With 5-Inch Display Launched

Intex Aqua Freedom With 5-Inch Display Launched at Rs. 5,790

Intex has introduced a new smartphone – the Aqua Freedom – priced at Rs. 5,790. The smartphone has been listed on the company’s India site with pricing, and will be available in Black and White colour variants. While the company hasn’t officially announced the launch of the Intex Aqua Freedomsmartphone, we can expect to go on sale in India soon.

The dual-SIM Aqua Freedom runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and features a 5-inch (720×1280 pixel) IPS display with a pixel density of 198ppi. The new Intex smartphone is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6580 SoC, coupled with 1GB of RAM.

Sporting a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera, the Aqua Freedom also sports a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It bears 8GB of built-in storage that is expandable via microSD card (32GB). Connectivity options include 3G (HSPA+), Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro-USB 2.0, GPS/ A-GPS, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Measuring 144.4×72.5×8.65mm, the Aqua Freedom is backed by a 3000mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 300 hours of standby time, and 12 hours of talk-time. It bears an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor.

Last week, Intex unveiled its new Aqua Craze smartphone in India at Rs. 6,190. Additionally, the Aqua Lite was launched by the company with a listing on its site at a price of Rs. 3,199. No availability details of the latter were mentioned however.

Intex last week also unveiled its new FitRist fitness band priced at Rs. 999. The FitRist fitness tracker band was the second wearable from Intex while the first was the iRist smartwatch. At this price point, the Intex FitRist would compete against the popular Xiaomi Mi Band and Micromax’s Yu YuFit – both of which – are priced at Rs. 999.