Project Fi Introduces Group Plans to Allow Six Members on a Single Plan

Project Fi Introduces Group Plans to Allow Six Members on a Single PlanYou can now add your friends from college or your family members to your Project Fi plan, as Google has finally introduced plans for groups. With Project Fi’s group plan, users can now have up to six people on one plan. Users can add new members to the group for $15/month (roughly Rs. 1,000) per line to get Fi Basics, which includes unlimited calls and texts.

Just like the company’s individual plans, users will have to only pay for the data that they use at a price of $10/GB (roughly Rs. 670). The amount of data left unused will be credited back to the users in dollars and cents, the company said in its blog.

The company clarifies that “Members can easily join and leave a plan as they please without having to worry about fees.” The plan owners and users will both be able to keep a track of their data usage from the Project Fi app by Google and managers will also be allowed to see the usage per member. Further, both group members and managers can set notifications from the app to keep a check on the data that is being used.
To get users started with Project Fi’s group plans, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones are being offered with discounts of $150 (roughly Rs. 10,000) and $100 (roughly Rs. 6,700) respectively, when they buy and activate through Project Fi. Users can create the groups from their Fi account page.

Watch an Angry Customer Smash iPhones and MacBook at an Apple Store

Watch an Angry Customer Smash iPhones and MacBook at an Apple StoreThe local media in France has reported a bizarre incident of a young man destroying Apple products inside an Apple Store in Dijon, France. The YouTube video uploaded by a patron present inside the store at the time, starts with the man calmly putting the iPhones on display flat on the table, before hitting them hard with what appears to be a metal ball, potentially shattering their screens and damaging their components.

9to5Mac suggests that the steel ball is used for the French game of Boules. The video continues for a little over a minute as the disgruntled person smashes tens of iPhones, before finally destroying a MacBook Air. In between this, he speaks in French to onlookers and the person recording the video. As per the news outlet, the reasoning behind the man’s impropriety is because “he claims Apple refused to honour the EU requirement to provide warranty cover for two years after purchase”.

The video ends with the man escorted by the mall’s security personnel outside the store. There are more follow-up videos that show him arguing with them, him trying to re-enter the store, and him trying to run away before being restrained by security.
An law applicable to countries of the European Union (EU) requires all goods to carry a two year warranty. Electronics products like phones, laptops etc typically come with a one year warranty, and Apple also offers a one year warranty on all its products outside of the EU. The company is known to have gotten into trouble about these warranty policies before, with Italy slapping a $1.2 million fine in 2011. Ever since then, Apple had agreed to comply with the EU laws and started offering a 2 year warranty coverage by default, only in the regions applicable.

There have been instances of Apple products being damaged in Apple Stores before. During the famous Bendgate controversy of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, two 15-year old kids were seen bending an iPhone inside an Apple Store in England. Although both these incidents involve damage to Apple property, the video above is more sinister in nature.

Samsung Apologises for Sowing Confusion About Galaxy Note 7 in China

Samsung Apologises for Sowing Confusion About Galaxy Note 7 in ChinaSamsung Electronics Co. apologized to Chinese customers after new complaints about combusting Galaxy Note 7 smartphones spurred doubts about their safety, as outrage grows over its decision to exclude the country from a global recall.

The world’s largest smartphone maker on September 2 recalled 2.5 million units of the premium phone after scores of reports surfaced about batteries bursting into flame. But it’s said repeatedly that Chinese models were safe because their power sources came from a different supplier – a stance it reiterated Thursday.

 

Samsung came under fire from state press and on social media as reports surfaced over the past two weeks about locally bought models igniting, some of which it blamed on external heat sources. The online backlash quickened after a recent incident in which Hui Renjie described how a Galaxy Note 7 bought this week on e-commerce site JD.com ignited, singing his fingers and a nearby MacBook. The company has said it hasn’t had a chance to inspect his device.

“We sincerely apologize for the confusion and unease caused to our customers in China,” the company said in a Chinese statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News. It added that it regretted not having fully addressed any misunderstanding about the safety of its products. “We guarantee the safety and reliability of our devices.”

Samsung has been engulfed in perhaps the worst crisis in its corporate history after Galaxy Note 7 smartphones began to burst into flames just days after hitting the market in August. It later said it had uncovered the cause of the battery fires, and that it was certain new smartphones wouldn’t have the same flaws.

 
The latest China incidents however raised the prospect that Samsung has battery problems with Galaxy Note 7 phones now hitting the market, adding the risk of further recalls and potential damage to its brand. Analysts have estimated that the original recall would cost the company $1 billion to $2 billion (roughly Rs. 6,669 crores to Rs. 13,377 crores).

Samsung is asking users like Hui to return phones for inspection. It plans to bring in independent outfits to inspect any devices brought to its attention in China. CTTL, a telecommunications research and testing agency under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and consultancy Exponent Inc. will perform the examinations on Samsung’s behalf going forward.

 

The sporadic reports of exploding phones and subsequent public backlash are unlikely to do Samsung’s business any favors in China, where it’s already slipped out of the top five and lost market share to Huawei, Xiaomi and other local manufacturers.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note7 Samsung Galaxy Note7
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
5.70-inch
Processor
1.6GHz
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1440×2560 pixels
RAM
4GB
OS
Android 6.0.1
Storage
64GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity
3500mAh

Alcatel Launches Pixi 4 Plus Power With a Massive 5000mAh Battery

Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power With 13-Megapixel Camera, 5000mAh Battery Goes Official
Pixi 4 Plus Power houses a 13-megapixel rear camera with flash
It has a massive 5000mAh battery with a support to charge other phones
There are no details on the price yet
In order to strengthen its Pixi range of smartphones, Alcatel has unveiled a new smartphone to the series. Called the Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power, the biggest highlight of the smartphone is its 5000mAh battery and the ability to double as a power bank for other smartphones. The Pixi 4 Plus Power is available in Black and White colours with interchangeable back panels of the following colours – Blue, Green, Orange, White, and Black. The price and availability details are not known yet.

The dual-SIM (Micro+Micro) card supporting Pixi 4 Plus Power runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280) IPS display. The company has not specified the processor on the smartphone, or even the number of cores. It bears 1GB of RAM.

The Pixi 4 Plus Power has two snappers – at the back is a 13-megapixel shooter with a flash, while at the front is a 5-megapixel camera also with a flash module. The camera app comes with 16 preloaded filters and 13 colourful borders. The smartphone bears 8GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).
As we mentioned, the Pixi 4 Power Plus bears a massive 5000mAh battery that is rated to last up to 2.7 days without a charge, as claimed by Alcatel. That said, the smartphone can deliver 22 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, 14 hours of video streaming, and 5 days of continuous music playback. Adding to its amazing battery, the Pixi 4 Power Plus can double as a power bank to another phone with a Micro-USB cable. The company also claims that the full-charge battery of the smartphone can charge a tablet with nearly 2850mAh battery capacity and a smartphone 1.3 times with a battery capacity of 2000mAh.

The connectivity options in the smartphone include 3G, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, and Micro-USB 2.0. The Pixi 4 Power Plus also houses Arkamys optimised speakers for a better audio experience. It measures 152×78.3×9.9mm and weighs in 202 grams.

Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power

Micromax Canvas 5 Lite With 5-Inch Display, 4G LTE Support Launched

Micromax Canvas 5 Lite With 5-Inch Display, 4G LTE Support Launched at Rs. 6,499

  • The Canvas 5 Lite sports a leather finish rear panel
  • The new Micromax smartphone bears a 2000mAh battery
  • It is exclusively available via Snapdeal from Friday

Micromax has launched yet another smartphone in its Canvas 5 series. The Canvas 5 Lite has been priced at Rs. 6,499 and is available exclusively via Snapdeal from Friday. The highlight of the smartphone is its brown leather finish, seen on the back panel.

The Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Micromax Canvas 5 Lite is a dual-SIM smartphone with 4G LTE connectivity. The smartphone bears a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P SoC that’s coupled with 2GB of RAM.

The Micromax Canvas 5 Lite packs an 8-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The smartphone bears 16GB of inbuilt storage that cannot be expanded.

Connectivity options on board include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, FM radio, 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India), and Micro-USB. Sensors on the phone include proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and accelerometer. The Micromax Canvas 5 Lite is powered by a 2000mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 150 hours of standby time, and 4.5 hours of talk time.

Commenting on the launch, Shubhajit Sen, Chief Marketing Officer, Micromax Informatics said, “Micromax has been relentless in its pursuit of launching Smartphones that combine superior performance with contemporary styling at accessible prices. The launch of the Canvas 5 Lite is the latest milestone in our resolve to offer the best products at competitive price points. The rapid Smartphone category evolution is constantly reshaping the preference of young urban consumers. They now expect top-of-line performance, 4G connectivity along with premium, modern styling in the budget Smartphone segment. We developed Canvas 5 Lite as a no compromise, all-in-one phone – for the festive season.”

Micromax Canvas 5 Lite

Micromax Canvas 5 Lite

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 5.1

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

8-megapixel

Battery capacity

2000mAh

 

Lenovo India Says Will Open 150 Exclusive Service Centres by March

Lenovo India Says Will Open 150 Exclusive Service Centres by March

Mobile device maker Lenovo plans to open 150 exclusive service centres by March in over 60 towns, a top company official said Thursday.

“We are planning to open 150 exclusive service centres by March for our products in over 60 towns that jointly account for 80 percent of our customer base,” Sudhin Mathur, Executive Director Lenovo MobileBusiness Group said.

The company will open 100 exclusive service centres by October, he said. He was speaking on thesidelines of launch of 4G smartphone models of Lenovo Z2 Plus. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 17,999 for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant, and Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant. The smartphone will be exclusively available via Amazon India from Sunday midnight, in Black and White colour variants.

The Lenovo Z2 Plus will not run Cyanogen OS like its predecessor, the Lenovo Zuk Z1. Running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the company’s own skin atop, the Z2 Plus comes with the Google Now Launcher preloaded. The company is also touting gesture shortcuts on the Z2 Plus via the fingerprint scanner. It also sports a dedicated pedometer and industry-grade accelerometer.

The Lenovo smartphone also comes preloaded with the company’s new U-Health app, and the hardware and software together make the smartphone a great activity tracker, Lenovo says. The U-Health app has been developed by the Zuk team. It can track data for steps, distance, running, and other physical activities. The Lenovo Z2 Plus sports a rollcage design, and a fibre glass frame.

Written with inputs from PTI

Lenovo Z2 Plus

Lenovo Z2 Plus

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

2.15GHz

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery capacity

3500mAh

 

iPhone 7 Has the Best Mobile LCD Display Ever Tested, Says DisplayMate

iPhone 7 Has the Best Mobile LCD Display Ever Tested, Says DisplayMate

  • Unlike most smartphones, iPhone 7 packs two colour gamuts
  • iPhone 7’s display has record low screen reflectance
  • It also has record high contrast ratio for IPS LCD displays

Screen-testing firm DisplayMate termed the display on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the “Best Performing Smartphone Display” that the company has ever tested. Now, the company has tested the display on iPhone 7 and claims that it is the “best performing mobile LCD display” that it has ever come across, while it also sets some overall records.

DisplayMate’s President Dr. Raymond M. Soneira said that even though in size and resolution the iPhone 7’s display is indistinguishable from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the smartphone packs a display that is ‘truly impressive’ and ‘major enhancement’ on the display from iPhone 6.

One of the main reasons for the improvement, as pointed out by DisplayMate, is the presence of two standard colour gamuts. The iPhone 7 carries a “DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut that is generally used in 4K UHD TVs and Digital Cinema” and a “traditional smaller sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut,” the company said.

DisplayMate says that both colour gamuts have been implemented with absolute colour accuracy that is “Visually Indistinguishable from Perfect.” According to the company, iPhone 7’s display is rated to deliver 625 nits of brightness, but in fact only delivers 602 nits – which is still the “Highest Peak Brightness” DisplayMate has measured on any smartphone. However, the actual peak brightness is even higher, at 705 nits, when Automatic Brightness is turned on in high ambient light conditions.

As per DisplayMate, the displays on Apple’s smartphones have a record high contrast ratio for IPS LCD displays and a record low screen reflectance for smartphones.

Regarding the power efficiency of the display, Soneira said that wide colour gamut LCDs like the iPhone 7 use “specially tuned Red and Green phosphors to optimally transform the light for the chosen saturated Red and Green primaries, which improves their light and power efficiency.”

It has been rumoured that Apple’s iPhone for 2017 might be shipping with an Oled display. If this turns out to be true, iPhone 7’s display might be the last huge leap that Apple takes with LCD displays.

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Display

4.70-inch

Processor

quad-core

Front Camera

7-megapixel

Resolution

750×1334 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

iOS 10

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

1960mAh

 

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Price in India and Launch Date Revealed

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Price in India and Launch Date RevealedIn what was perhaps the worst-kept secret of recent times, Apple lifted the wraps off the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in San Francisco on Wednesday. While India is not in the first batch of countries that will get the new iPhone models next week, the iPhone and iPhone 7 Plus will launch in India on October 7. Price in India starts at Rs. 60,000 for the iPhone 7, with no word yet on India price of other models.

In the US, the iPhone 7 starts at $649 (approximately Rs. 43,000) for the new 32GB entry-level variant, doing away with the 16GB model, while the iPhone 7 Plus start at $769 (approximately Rs. 51,000) for same 32GB storage. Apple has also doubled the storage variant on other models, with 128GB and 256GB models now rounding up the lineup. Pre-orders open this Friday in select countries shown in the image below and the new iPhone models will ship in these regions on September 13.

The latest iPhone models comes with a new design, doing away with the antenna lines at the back, and they will be available in two new colours: (matte) black, jet (glossy) black, in addition to gold, silver, and rose gold, seen earlier. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also feature a redesigned home button which is now solid-state and force-sensitive. It uses Taptic vibrations instead of a physical click, just like the trackpad on the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models. Apple has also added IP67 water and dust resistance, a first for the iPhone series.

 

There are camera improvements, with the iPhone 7 also getting optical image stabilisation (OIS). There’s a new 6-element f/1.8 aperture lens with 12-megapixel sensor and quad-LED with True Tone Flash. A new 7-megapixel front camera is included as well. The newest iPhone models come with a new image processing engine, which, Apple claims, delivers better, faster pictures.

The iPhone 7 Plus packs in the widely rumoured dual rear camera setup – one 56mm telephoto lens and the other wide-angle lens. The bigger iPhone is also capable of 2x optical zoom, with total zoom up to 10x.

 

The new iPhone models comes with a 25 percent brighter display with a wider colour gamut and improved colour management. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are powered by a new A10 Fusion 64-bit quad core chip, which is 40 percent faster than the A9, and more power efficient, which means the new models have the “best battery life ever” on an iPhone.

The speakers in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are stereo – one at the bottom, and one at the top, and twice as loud as their predecessors.

As expected, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also ditch the headphone jack. Apple will use the Lightning port for audio. Each new iPhone model will come with bundled Lightning EarPods, and a Lightning-to-3.5mm audio adapter, so you can use your old headphones.

Apple also introduced new AirPods for wireless audio experience, which will not be bundled with the iPhone models. They pair easily with your Apple devices, thanks to the W1 chip inside new Apple devices that’s used for wireless communication. They are rated to delivery 5 hours of battery life, up to 24 hours with the included charging case that is also used for carrying them around.

Apple iPhone 7 Apple iPhone 7
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
4.70-inch
Processor
quad-core
Front Camera
7-megapixel
Resolution
750×1334 pixels
RAM

OS
iOS 10
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity

Xiaomi Mi Pay NFC-Based Mobile Payment Service Launched

Xiaomi Mi Pay NFC-Based Mobile Payment Service LaunchedAfter unveiling the service last month, Xiaomi on Thursday announced the launch of its Mi Pay service in China. Launched in collaboration with China UnionPay, Xiaomi’s new Mi Pay is currently only China-bound service.

The Chinese brand touts that it’s the first “smartphone company in the world” to support contactless payments through both bank cards as well as public transportation cards. The service will currently support public transportation cards from six cities across China. At launch, the Mi Pay service will support debit as well as credit cards from 20 banks including those from Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank among others.

For paying through the Mi Pay service, Xiaomi users will have to add their China UnionPay or public transportation cards to the Mi Wallet app. China UnionPay is a payment network system that works same as the Visa and Mastercard. The new Mi Pay service will currently work only on the Xiaomi Mi 5 flagship smartphone.

Much like other mobile payment solutions, the Mi Pay will use the NFC technology. Xiaomi claims that it has incorporated multiple authentication mechanisms on the Mi Pay. For now, only the Xiaomi Mi 5 supports NFC in the company’s lineup.
Announcing the new service, Xiaomi Founder and CEO Lei Jun said, “We believe that Mi Pay will be a key driving force in promoting the development of China’s mobile payments industry, and deliver much more convenience to our users. In the field of mobile payments, China UnionPay has been committed to collaborating with various stakeholders to build a structured and sustainable ecosystem. After cooperating with China UnionPay over the past three years, Xiaomi is now truly excited about our joint partnership to launch Mi Pay.”

Lava Partners Easy Group for Egypt Launch

Lava Partners Easy Group for Egypt Launch
In an emerging smartphone market like India, you can’t control the competition be it from China or elsewhere, but you can build devices that are affordable and par excellence which will speak for themselves, a top executive from domestic smartphone maker Lava has said.

Announcing its entry into Egypt where it will offer reliable and innovative products through a joint venture with Egypt-based Easy Group, Hari Om Rai, Chairman and Managing Director of Lava, told IANS that the firm is ready to give its rivals a fair yet tough competition in months to come.

According to an MoU signed between Rai and Asser Salama, Chairman, Easy Group, in the capital, the two companies will set up a complete end-to-end business operations headquartered in Cairo.

“The MoU is aimed at enhancing productivity, reducing costs and accelerating mobile phone adoption in the market by delivering new and better products to Egyptian citizens,” Salama told reporters in New Delhi.

The tie-up will enable Lava to export its products from India to Egypt while Easy Group will provide necessary support to promote and distribute products in that Middle East country.
Lava will also explore opportunities to set up manufacturing facilities and assembly units in Egypt which will also help the company export products to the North African region.

The partnership will create 2,000 direct and 5,000 indirect employment opportunities in the next six months and over 10,000 employment opportunities in the next five years.

Lava is also strengthening manufacturing in India to cater to both domestic and international markets.

The company has earmarked an overall investment of Rs. 2,615 crores for ramping up the existing manufacturing units along with setting up more manufacturing facilities to increase the overall production capacity to 216 million units per annum in the next five to eight years.