Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Pro, Mi Pad 2 Teased Ahead of Tuesday’s Launch

Xiaomi has already confirmed a launch event on Tuesday where the company is expected to reveal the new Redmi Note 2 Pro. The company has been teasing the handset in continuous teasers. Now, Xiaomi has shared a new teaser possibly showing the next-generation Mi Pad 2, as well as a fresh teaser for the Redmi Note 2 Pro.

Bin Lin, Co-Founder and President, Xiaomi, has shared an image on Weibo showing the sides of the Mi Pad 2 tablet that is now expected to be showcased at the company’s Tuesday event alongside the Redmi Note 2. The teaser image appears to confirm that the Mi Pad 2 tablet will feature metal body. Considering that the first generation MiPad (First Impressions) tablet did sport a plastic build, we will have to wait for the company’s Tuesday launch event to see if Xiaomi has in fact chosen to use a metal body.

The company also shared a new teaser image for its Redmi Note 2 Pro tipping the thin profile of the handset.

xiaomi_redmi_note_2_pro_teaser_weibo.jpgXiaomi so far has already confirmed that the Redmi Note 2 Pro will feature a metal body and fingerprint scanner. The company in its teaser images has corroborated previous leaks of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Pro, showing a circular camera lens at the back followed by a dual-tone flash below and a circular fingerprint sensor placed below it. It also showed the metal-clad smartphone in Gold colour version.

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Pro was recently spotted in a Tenaa listing. As per the listing, the smartphone may feature MediaTek’s MT6795 Helio X10 processor; a 5.5-inch full-HD display; 2GB of RAM; 16GB of inbuilt storage; a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, Android 5.0 Lollipop, and pack a 3060mAh battery. It also adds that the Redmi Note 2 Pro will measure 149.9×75.9×8.7mm and weigh 165 grams. The Redmi Note 2 Pro is tipped to share the same specifications as the Redmi Note 2. The only difference would be an inclusion of a fingerprint sensor and a metal build.

Encryption Firm Silent Circle Tightens Access Following Paris Attacks

The encrypted communications firm Silent Circle said Thursday it was tightening access to its mobile apps and secure smartphone to make them harder for terrorists and criminals to use.

The company which makes the encrypted Blackphone handset and Silent Phone applications for private messaging said it took the steps after learning that it had been recommended by the Islamic State group which has claimed credit for the deadly attacks in the French capital.

“We are enacting more aggressive back-end payment technology to reduce the likelihood of evildoers like (the Islamic State group) Isis,” said Mike Janke, co-founder and chief executive of the company which is headquartered in Switzerland with offices in Washington.

Janke told AFP that he expects this move to curb use of his company’s products because criminals and terrorists often use stolen credit cards or fake addresses.

“Since Isis labeled us as the strongest product, we are going to implement what we feel is responsible and morally acceptable procedures to make it harder for the bad element to get our technology,” he said.

Janke said Silent Circle’s outside payment processor would implement steps “that can detect stolen credit cards, fake address and other black market means of acquiring our Blackphone or software.”

At the same time, Janke said the company would resist efforts and laws that would weaken encryption or allow law enforcement access to private data.

“Nobody wants to see their name at the top of an Isis list,” he said.

At the same time, he noted that these encryption and private messaging services are vital for government officials, corporations and democracy activists.

“In some parts of the world secure communications literally means the difference between life and death,” he said, adding that intelligence agencies, heads of state and major corporations use the company’s products.

Janke said Silent Circle stores no customer data and thus cannot be compelled by subpoena to identify its users.

He added that any type of technology may be used for good or evil purposes.

“Whether it’s a cricket bat or a car, one percent of the human population will use it for evil,” he said.

“You can’t penalize the other 99 percent of the world.”

Microsoft Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL India Launch Tipped for November 30

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If you’re looking forward to purchasing the new Microsoft Lumia 950 or Microsoft Lumia 950 XL in India, you might not have to wait till next month. The company has an event scheduled for November 30, in which it is expected to launch the flagship handsets.

At its Future Unveiled conference in Mumbai earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellaannounced that the company plans to launch both its newly launched Windows 10 Mobile-powered handsets in India by December. It appears we might not have to wait till the end of the year. Windows Central reports that the company is planning to launch the Lumia 950 as well as the Lumia 950 XL in all likelihood in India on November 30. Microsoft India confirmed an event on November 30 with Gadgets 360, however, it didn’t reveal what it plans to launch on the day.

Windows Central further notes that the company is also likely to launch the Display Dock, the device that allows a Windows 10 Mobile handset to connect to a large monitor and switch to Windows 10-like desktop mode. At this point, we don’t know how much Microsoft will ask for these handsets or the Display Dock.

For a refresh, the Lumia 950, which starts at $549 (roughly Rs. 35,800) in the US, comes with a 5.2-inch QHD display of pixel density 564ppi. It is powered by a 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).

The Lumia 950 XL, which starts at $649 (roughly Rs. 42,300), sports a 5.7-inch QHD display with a pixel density of 518ppi. It is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 200GB).

Both handsets are liquid cooled, and come with an adaptive antenna technology. In addition, both feature USB Type-C port (USB 3.1), with support for faster charging. The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL handsets come equipped with a 20-megapixel rear camera with 4K video recording capability, OIS, and an f/1.9 aperture. There’s also a 5-megapixel sensor placed upfront with an f/2.4 aperture, which can shoot full-HD videos. Both the Lumia handsets run Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, Windows 10 Mobile.

Obi Worldphone SF1 Confirmed to Launch in India This Month

Obi Worldphone, backed by ex-Apple CEO John Sculley, is set to launch its introduce the newly-unveiled smartphone lineup in India this month. The company in a press statement confirmed the plans to launch the Obi Worldphone SF1 in November.

Obi Worldphone also announced that it launched the Obi Worldphone SF1 and Worldphone SJ1.5 recently in Vietnam and Dubai markets.

The Obi Worldphone SF1 smartphone went on sale last month in two variants – a 2GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage variant at a suggested retail price of $199 (approximately Rs. 13,000), and a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variant available at $249 (approximately Rs. 16,500). The Obi Worldphone SJ1.5, on the other hand, was unveiled at a suggested retail price of $129 (approximately Rs. 8,500).

Announcing the company’s plans, Neeraj Chauhan, Co-Founder and CEO of Obi Worldphone, said, “We plan to launch Obi Worldphone in India within this month and are committed to work relentlessly to enthral consumers with our innovations in design, state-of-the-art technology and high standards for manufacturing to deliver inspiring products that overturn the general assumption that great design has to come at a high price.”

To recall, both the new Obi smartphones have been designed by San Francisco-based product studio Ammunition, which also developed Obi Lifespeed, a custom user interface based on Android. Obi at the global launch had stressed that the Worldphone-series would be addressing the “market need between high-design smartphones at high prices and generic smartphones at low prices”.

For specifications, Obi Worldphone SF1 comes with 4G LTE and supports FDD B3 1800MHz and TDD B40 2300MHz bands. It features a unibody with metallic accents and floating glass display. The smartphone comes with a 5-inch JDI In-Cell IPS full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display offering a pixel density of 443ppi. It also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 for screen protection. It runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with the Obi Lifespeed UI, and is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) SoC clocked at 1.5GHz coupled with Adreno 405 GPU. The Obi Worldphone SF1 supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 64GB).

The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel autofocus camera with LED Flash, Sony Exmor IMX214 sensor, and f/2.0 aperture. There is a 5-megapixel secondary front camera with LED flash also on board. The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano SIMs) based SF1 smartphone comes with dual mic for noise cancellation, Dolby Audio, and Quick Charge 1.0, for fast charging. It is backed by a 3000mAh battery and features an accelerometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope, and ambient light sensor. It measures 146x74x8mm and weighs 147 grams.

Intex Aqua Air With 5-Inch Display Launched

Intex has launched a new smartphone, the Aqua Air, in the sub-Rs. 5,000 category. The handset is nowlisted on the company site at Rs. 4,690. Though no availability information has been provided, the company can be expected to start sales of the Intex Aqua Air in the Indian market soon.

The Aqua Air supports dual-SIM and features a 5-inch IPS display with (480×854 pixels) resolution. The handset is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core MediaTek MTK6572W processor clubbed with 512MB of RAM and Mali 400 MP GPU.

The smartphone includes 8GB of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). The handset sports a 2-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and 0.3-megapixel (VGA) front-facing camera. The handset is backed by a 2300mAh battery, rated to deliver up to 8.5 hours of talk time, and up to 300 hours of standby time.

Connectivity options include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with hotspot functionality, Bluetooth v4.0, Micro-USB 2.0, and GPS/ A-GPS. The Aqua Air features an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor. It bears dimensions of 145.5×72.8x10mm and weighs 151 grams. It is listed in Black, Champagne, Grey, and White colours.

Earlier this month, two new Intex smartphones, the Aqua 3G NS and Aqua Wave, were unveiled. Priced at Rs. 3,190 and Rs. 2,949 respectively, both the smartphones were listed on the company site. Both the Intex smartphones run Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box and come with dual-SIM support. The Intex Aqua 3G NS and Aqua Wave come with a lot of identical innards.

Gionee Marathon M5 With 6020mAh Battery India Launch Set for Tuesday

Gionee has announced it will be launching the Marathon M5 smartphone in India on Tuesday. The handset debuted in China earlier this year priced at CNY 2,299 (roughly Rs. 23,000).

The Gionee Marathon M5’s claim to fame is its long battery life. It comes with two 3010mAh batteries, taking the total to 6020mAh. The company says the batteries should last up to 4 days. It also features an extreme mode that can boost standby time at 5 percent battery life to 62 hours. As expected, the smartphone supports reverse charging, which allows users to utilise the Marathon M5 as a power bank to charge other devices. It also features a fast charging system, but no details have yet been provided about how long it will take to completely charge the dual battery setup.

The Marathon M5 also runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is a dual-SIM dual standby smartphone with 4G LTE functionality on both SIM card slots. It features a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) Amoled display, and is powered by a 64-bit 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM. It sports 16GB of built-in storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). It features a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front camera. It measures 152x76x8.55mm and weighs 214 grams.

The Gionee Marathon M5 was launched alongside the Elife E8 back in June. The Elife E8 was launched in India last month at Rs. 34,999.

Samsung Galaxy J3 With 5-Inch Super Amoled Display Goes Official

Samsung has expanded its Galaxy J-series of smartphones with the introduction of the Galaxy J3 in China. Notably, the smartphone has been listed as the Samsung Galaxy J3(6) on the company website. Unfortunately, there is no word when the handset will go on sale in China as well as in other markets.

The highlight of the smartphone is it supports 4G LTE connectivity. The China listing of the Samsung Galaxy J3 doesn’t list dual-SIM support; though we can expect the handset to support the feature when it launches in India.

Samsung in India has been lately marketing its Galaxy J-series as entry-level 4G smartphones. The company so far has launched the Galaxy J1 in India at Rs. 7,190; the Galaxy J1 Ace was priced at Rs. 6,300, and lastly, the Galaxy J2 smartphone, which was launched in September, went on sale at Rs. 8,490. The Samsung Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 were separately launched in India back in July.

For specifications, the Galaxy J3 features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) Super Amoled display. The handset is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. It packs 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). The Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Galaxy J3 features the TouchWiz UI on top.

It sports an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with LED flash. There is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera also on board. The smartphone measures 142.3x71x7.9mm and weighs 138 grams.

The company listing doesn’t confirm whether the new Galaxy J3 supports 4G LTE bands in India. We can expect Samsung to confirm that same at India launch. Apart from 4G, other connectivity options include 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Micro-USB. The handset is backed by a 2600mAh battery.

Lenovo Vibe S1 With Dual-Front Cameras Set to Launch in India on Monday

Lenovo has sent invites for the launch of its Vibe S1 smartphone in India on Monday. The company is holding an event in New Delhi to launch the smartphone.

The Lenovo Vibe S1 smartphone was unveiled in September during the IFA 2015 trade show in Berlin alongside Lenovo P1 and Lenovo P1m. The Android 5.0 Lollipop-based Lenovo Vibe S1 features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920) display. The highlight of the smartphone are its dual front cameras. It sports 8-megapixel and 2-megapixel front-facing cameras. The company at the time of the launch said “The 8-megapixel primary front camera takes the sharpest photos and a 2-megapixel secondary front camera analyses depth of field information.”

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The handset also sports several built-in photo editing tools such as Blur, which allows refocusing anywhere on the selfie (up to 3 focal plains), and Cut Out, allows users to cut out people from a selfie and then superimpose them on another image. There Lenovo Vibe S1 also sports a 13-megapixel rear camera. It sports a 7.8mm thin profile and weighs 132 grams. Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 32GB of built-in storage and supports expandable storage via microSD (up to 128GB). Running Android 5.0 Lollipop, the smartphone supports 4G LTE connectivity, features a 2500mAh battery, and will be available in Pearl White and Midnight Blue colours.