The Asus ZenFone AR isn’t just one of the first phones with 8GB RAM, it comes with Google Tango and Google Daydream support as well. This makes it the first phone to support Mountain View’s VR and AR platforms. Running a Snapdragon 821 processor, the aforementioned 8GB memory, and 128GB storage, it is available exclusively on Flipkart right now for Rs. 49,999. Could this be the Android army’s opening salvo to iOS 11’s ARKit that should launch with the iPhone 8 or just a gimmick? We can’t wait to find out.
Moto E4 Plus goes on sale in India
And if you aren’t looking for a high-end Android phone, there’s the Moto E4 Plus. The hotly anticipated budget Android has been launched in India in a single configuration: 3GB RAM and 32GB built-in storage. With a competitive price of Rs. 9,999 it should compete with the Xiaomi Redmi 4, Nokia 3, and Lenovo K6 Power. It’s now available on Flipkart and features a 5000mAh battery, selfie flash, fingerprint sensor and Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Check out our detailed Moto E4 Plus impressions where we compare it to the new Moto E4 as well.
Reliance Jio Effect: Idea, Aircel launch new plans to compete with Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer
The price and data war of Indian telcos rages on. After Reliance Jio extended its Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan Offer, Idea Cellular has responded with a new prepaid pack with 84GB data doling out 1GB daily. Priced at Rs. 453, it competes with the new Jio Rs. 399 pack that provides 1GB a day for 84 days. The Rs. 453 Idea pack provides 3G Internet speed, while the Jio network is 4G-only. The bundled ‘unlimited’ calls are limited to 300 minutes per day, and 1,200 minutes per week. If the user exhausts the complimentary minutes, calls will be charged at 30p per minute. Similarly, if the data cap is exhausted, users will be charged at tariff of 4p per 10kb.
Not to be outdone is Aircel. The company launched a similar plan with 1GB daily data and unlimited calls for 84 days. The new Aircel recharge pack, named FRC 348, is available only in UP East at present. The user will be able to make unlimited calls (both local and STD) to any network for the 84-day validity period with this pack, with no daily or weekly limit to the number of bundled minutes. The Internet speeds, however, are capped to 3G only; on the other hand, the Reliance Jio network is claimed to deliver only 4G speeds.
NanoPhone ‘smallest phone in the world’ launched in India
Aside from additions to Android, feature phones got a shot in the arm too. E-commerce site Yerha.com announced the Elari NanoPhone C. It’s said to be the world’s smallest GSM phone, no bigger than a credit card. Priced at Rs. 3,940 in India and available in Black, Rose Gold, and Silver colour options, it appears to be one to look out for if you find the current crop of mobiles too distracting with streaming video, social media, and the like.
Nokia 8, Nokia 9’s processors leaked
Nokia’s resurgence won’t be limited to mid-range Android phones. Though HMD Global, the company behind the return of the classic brand has yet to confirm the Nokia 9 and Nokia 8, new leaks suggest that these long-rumoured entries would be using Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 835 SoCs. According to a tipster on Chinese website Baidu, the Nokia 7, Nokia 8, and Nokia 9 will come with Snapdragon 630, Snapdragon 660, and Snapdragon 835 SoCs. The leaks also hint at a new budget smartphone called the Nokia 2, which will use either a Snapdragon 202 SoC or a MediaTek processor.
iPhone 8 May Sport ‘Rear-Facing 3D Laser’ for Augmented Reality Features: Report
If ARKit wasn’t a large enough hint of Apple’s augmented reality ambitions, it appears that the iPhone 8 will be sporting some new tech to support this in the form of a rear-facing 3D laser. A new report claims that Apple is working on a sensor system for its upcoming smartphones that will enable better detection of depth for the augmented reality apps with the help of laser and provide better autofocus in terms of photography.
As per the source, the inclusion of this sensor system (VSCEL laser system) on iPhone 8 will depend on progress that the engineers at the company are able to make in terms of technology integration on the smartphone. “VCSEL laser systems calculate the distance the light travels from the laser to the target and back to the sensor, and generate a Time of Flight (TOF) measurement. The system consists of a source (the VCSEL laser), a lens, detector (sensor), and a processor. The whole thing costs about $2 per phone,” the report says. Furthermore, expect the iPhone 8 to have a three to four week delay in shipping.
Google Backup and Sync Tool now available to download for Windows, Mac
Slated to release last month, Google’s Backup and Sync tool for Google Drive is finally available for Mac and Windows users. It replaces the existing Google Photos desktop uploader and Drive apps for Mac and Windows. Talking up the ease of use, the company claims that all you have to do is “choose the folders you want to back up, and we’ll take care of the rest.”
For those who are unaware, the new backup tool is different from the standard Google Drive desktop app as with Backup and Sync, users will be able to choose folders that they want to backup instead of having to place them inside the Drive folder.
Indian smartphone users receive highest number of spam calls, says Truecaller
According to a report from Truecaller, Indian smartphone users get 22 spam calls per month. Comparatively, Brazil and the US get around 20.7 calls per month. For India, a majority of spam calls are with regards to selling data plans and promotions followed by others such as debt collection, bank, political, financial, scam, and insurance to name a few. “India’s spam call issue lies with operators and financial services. Many of these operators are seeking to provide special offers for free data, or unlimited calls. Which doesn’t sound so bad – until you get bombarded by them,” the report revealed.
Microsoft Outlook for Android, iOS gets redesigned navigation and conversations
Microsoft Outlook’s latest update for Android and iOS brings redesigned conversations and the ability to browse folders with ease and switch between accounts. Also, it will get intelligent search, powered by the Microsoft Graph. The app will make it easier to reply to emails showing more of each message and providing clearer separation between them.
“When you tap on a conversation to read it, Outlook automatically opens to show the first unread message. You can pick up right where you left off without scrolling,” the company said. With the new update, users can reply to everyone who is part of the conversation by simply writing their message in the quick reply box and sending.
PC market continues slump on high component prices, say Gartner, IDC
The ongoing slump of PC shipments continued through the recently ended quarter, though it has shown signs of stabilising. According to Gartner, 61.1 million PCs were shipped – a 4.3 percent decline from the same period a year ago. The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computer Device Tracker puts the figure at 60.5 million, a year-over-year decline of 3.3 percent. Higher prices due to tight supplies of some components, particularly solid state drives, were felt to be among factors that hampered sales. No surprise considering most of the innovation in CPU technology happens to be in the mobile space.
Gartner maintained that the PC industry is in the midst of a 5 year slump, and said the latest figures represented an 11th straight quarter of declining shipments.
”Amid some unevenness in market trends across the regions, the global PC market has continued to trend toward stabilization,” IDC research manager Jay Chou said in a release. “Despite recent issues wrought by component shortages and its effect on system prices, we expect the momentum of commercial market replacements will contribute to eventual market growth.”