Motorola Droid Turbo 2 With ‘Shatterproof’ Display, 21-Megapixel Camera, 3760mAh Battery Launched

At a media event on Tuesday, Motorola officially took the wraps off two new smartphones – theMotorola Droid Turbo 2 and the Motorola Droid Maxx 2.

The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 offers top-of-the-line specifications. The successor to the last year’s Droid Turbo, comes with a 5.4-inch QHD (1440×2560) display. The company claims that the ‘ShatterShield’ display – which is made of an aluminium rigid core, flexible Amoled screen, and dual-layer touchscreen panels (redundancy in case one goes bad) – wouldn’t break into pieces even when dropped on a slab of concrete.The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 oct-core SoC paired with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and comes in 32GB and 64GB storage options, both variants rocking a microSD card slot with up to 2TB capacity cards supports. There’s a 3760mAh battery, which in addition to a claimed battery life of 2-days under “mixed use”, also supports Quick Charging.

On the photography front, the handset comes with a 21-megapixel rear-camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual LED flash and Phase Detect Auto-Focus, and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter with flash. In terms of software, the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 runs Android 5.1.1. The single-SIM capable Turbo 2 supports 4G LTE (Cat 4), 3G, CDMa, Wi-FI and other standard connectivity options.Much like other Droid devices, the Droid Turbo 2 will be exclusively sold on Verizon Wireless network in the States. The carrier will be selling the Motorola Droid Turbo 2 at a price point of $624 (roughly Rs. 40,600) and $720 (roughly Rs. 47,000 retail) off contract for the 32GB and 64GB variants respectively. There’s no word on international availability just yet, though it is likely to launch in other markets as the Turbo 2, similar to what we saw last year with the Moto Turbo.

The Motorola Droid Turbo 2 will be available in the United States from October 29 in a trade-in offer for up to $300 off on the upgrade to the new Droid Turbo 2. The company says that it would also accept smartphones with cracked displays. As previously rumoured, the company is bringing its Moto Makerphone customisation program to the Droid-branded smartphone. Motorola says that it will provide users with more than 1,000 ways to design their phone, also giving them the option to select materials ranging from ballistic nylon to genuine Horween pebbled leather.

InFocus M260 With 4.5-Inch Display, 5-Megapixel Camera Launched

Over the past few months, we’ve seen the launch of a number of affordable handsets. On Tuesday, InFocus added an interesting dirt-cheap smartphone to the mix. Called the InFocus M260, the handset offers an impressive set of specifications and relatively new Android version at a price tag of Rs. 3,999.

The InFocus M260 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with UI Life 2.0 skin on top of it. The smartphone sports a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854) display. It is powered by a MediaTek MT6582M quad-core SoC clocked at 1.3GHz, coupled with 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Other features of the InFocus M260 include a 2000mAh battery, a 5-megapixel rear-camera, and a 2-megapixel front facing shooter. The dual-SIM dual-standby smartphone supports 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and FM radio connectivity options.

The InFocus M260 comes in orange, yellow, and white colour options with black finish on all variants. The company says that it will begin the registration for the sale of the handset in two to three weeks, and the handset will be exclusively available for purchase from e-commerce website Snapdeal.

If you’re looking for the 4G LTE capability in a handset, you would have to shell out some more money and settle for the Lenovo A2010 which is priced at Rs. 4,999. The Yu Yunique, which is also priced at Rs. 4,999, offers 4G LTE connectivity as well, and also offers a better display (720p).

Samsung Galaxy On7 Listed on China Site With Specifications

Following their listing on the India site, Samsung now appears set to launch the Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 in China. The company has listed the smartphones on its Samsung China site, though the Galaxy On5 doesn’t have a complete product page.

To recall, the listing of the Galaxy On smartphones in India had provided little details on the Galaxy On7, and the China listing finally fills out the specifications. Pricing or availability details are still not known.

Both the Samsung Galaxy On5 and Galaxy On7 smartphones come with a lot of similar specifications with the biggest difference being the screen size. While the Galaxy On5 features a 5-inch display; the Galaxy On7 comes with 5.5-inch display. Both the handsets come with TFT touchscreens and sport HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution. They are powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Exynos 3475 processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM.

Both pack 8GB of inbuilt storage and can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). As with the Galaxy On5, the Samsung China listing does not mention the exact Android version of the Galaxy On7.

The Galaxy On7 sports a 13-megapixel rear autofocus camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The rear camera is accompanied by an LED flash and supports full-HD (1080p) video recording.

Connectivity options include Bluetooth, GPS, Glonass, Micro-USB, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. The dual Micro-SIM Galaxy On7 supports 4G LTE; though no word whether it supports Indian LTE bands similar to Galaxy On5. It is listed in White and Gold colours.

The Galaxy On7 packs 3000mAh removable battery, which is larger than the 2600mAh battery seen on the Galaxy On5. It measures 151.8×77.5×8.2mm and weighs 172 grams. The listing shows that the Galaxy On7 also features a metal-styled side frame and sports a leather-feel rear cover.

OnePlus 2 Gets Extended Warranty Plans in India

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Chinese handset-maker One Plus on Saturday said it is rolling out two value-driven smartphone coverage options in the form of B2X Service and B2X Protect for the OnePlus 2.

Explaining the two programmes, the company said the B2X Service initiative provides customers with manufacturer’s warranty for the device for a full after the original warranty ends.

“This plan covers all defects that are covered under manufacturer’s warranty for another more year after the expiry of the original manufacturer’s warranty for the device. The cost of the service is Rs.999,” the company said in a release.

“The B2X Protect service covers accidental, physical and liquid damage to your OnePlus 2 device during the first year of the product purchase. The service is priced at Rs. 1,299,” it added.

“B2X is the authorised service partner for OnePlus products in India and will assist the customer in case of a device related issue which is serviced or repaired by authorised experts only,” OnePlus added.

OnePlus last week announced it will be closing the reservation list from October 22, as the invite waiting list has now crossed the 5 million mark already.

The company in a forum post explained that consumers will no longer be able to sign-up for the invites from October 22. “In one week (October 22), the OnePlus 2 Invite Reservation List will no longer be taking new entries. Those qwho have already signed up will receive theirs based on their place in line as we roll out invites chronologically,” said OnePlus Team in a post on official forum.

BlackBerry Priv Price, Specifications Outed by Retailer; Runs Android 5.1.1

The Android-running BlackBerry Priv finally has a price tag courtesy UK-based retailer Carphone Warehouse. Additionally, BlackBerry has released an official promo video of the smartphone aftersetting up a pre-registration page earlier this week.

The BlackBerry Priv is up for UK pre-orders carrying a price tag of GBP 579.99 (approximately Rs. 58,000). This is the first bit of price information we have for a smartphone that has been the subject ofnumerous leaks. As you would expect, the page also details important specifications of the BlackBerry Priv, which combines a touch screen with a physical keyboard that slides out.

According to the listing, the Android 5.1.1-running BlackBerry Priv comes with a 5.4-inch QHD display and is powered by a hexa-core (1.8GHz dual core + 1.44GHz quad core) Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC alongside 3GB of RAM. The BlackBerry Priv is listed to come with 32GB internal storage – expandable up to 2TB via a microSD card – and is powered by a massive 3410mAh battery. It features an 18-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front shooter.

On Friday, BlackBerry released an official promo video of the privacy-focussed smartphone BlackBerry Priv. The company has also published a blog post detailing some of the customisations it has done to make the Android experience on the BlackBerry Priv more secure and privacy-focussed.

The Priv is a crucial product for BlackBerry, a company that once ruled the enterprise smartphone market with its QWERTY phones, before the rise of Apple’s iPhone and mobiles powered by Google’s Android operating system reduced it to bit-part player. The Android-running Priv is a desperate attempt by the company to stay relevant amidst an admission by the CEO that BlackBerry may exit the handset business unless there’s a quick turnaround in its fortunes.

Micromax Bolt Q331, Bolt S302 Budget Phones Listed on Company Site

Micromax has introduced two new Bolt-series smartphone, the Bolt Q331 and Bolt S302. Both the new Micromax smartphones are now listed on the company site without price and availability details. We can however expect the company to announce these details for the Micromax Bolt Q331 and Micromax Bolt S302 soon.

The company listing for both the handsets confirms that they will come with free data packs for WhatsApp from Airtel. We can expect more details to be announced at the launch.

The Micromax Bolt Q331 comes with dual-SIM support and is powered by a quad-core Spreadtrum (SC7731G) processor clocked at 1.2GHz coupled with 512MB of RAM. The Android 4.4.2 KitKat-based Bolt smartphone features a 5-inch (480×854 pixels) IPS display and sports a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with LED flash alongside a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It includes 4GB of inbuilt storage which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

The Bolt Q331 packs a 2000mAh battery which is rated to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time and up to 200 hours of standby time. The smartphone comes with GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Micro-USB connectivity options.

The Micromax Bolt S302, on the other hand, features a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) TFT display. It is powered by a 1GHz single-core Spreadtrum (SC7715) processor clubbed with 512MB of RAM. It runs Android 4.4.3 KitKat and packs 4GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). It features a 2-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

It includes a 1450mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 4 hours of talk time and up to 200 hours of standby time. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, Micro-USB, GPRS/ EDGE, A-GPS, and 3G.

Micromax had earlier this month launched the Bolt Q339. Priced at Rs. 3,499, the Micromax Bolt Q339was a Flipkart exclusive smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S7 to Sport 3D Touch-Like Pressure Sensitive Display

When Synaptics last week unveiled its ClearForce pressure-sensitive touch solution for smartphones, it was clear that we may soon start seeing Android handset OEMs featuring the technology in upcoming flagships. Now, a new piece of information coming from China (via Weibo) claims that Samsung may use Synaptics’ ClearForce pressure-sensitive touch solution for its next Galaxy smartphones, specifically, the Galaxy S7.

In a Weibo post (first picked up by 9to5mac), the source from China adds that Samsung has partnered with Synaptics for the ClearForce technology and claims that the technology may be used in the Galaxy S7. The post also shares an image which has text in Chinese and is majorly lists some of the hardware details of the pressure-sensitive touch solution which may be used by Samsung.

According to Synaptics, its new ClearForce solution would allow handset manufacturers to offer interfaces which can differentiate between speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, and text or even allow performing certain functions such as photo editing by applying variable force with a finger or stylus. The company had announced that it expects the new touch controller to ship with force-enabled smartphones in early 2016.

The move towards pressure-sensitive displays is arguably a reaction to the integration of 3D Touch technology by Apple on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. 3D Touch allows the iPhones to differentiate between a quick tap and a long press and triggers actions consequently.

Apple may have garnered all the eye-balls for its 3D Touch feature present on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus launched last month. Though, there is no denying that Huawei however was the ‘first’ to debut the Force Touch pressure-sensitive touch technology on smartphones with its Mate Ssmartphone at IFA.

LG Top OEM for Issuing Security Patches to Its Android Devices

In the light of the recent Stagefright vulnerabilities for Android, a report states that out of all the OEMsLG is best at offering security updates for its devices. The University of Cambridge, UK has released a research paper defining FUM (Free Update Mean) scores, based on which different OEMs including LG have been ranked.

As per the researchers, FUM scores include three segments – the proportion of devices free from vulnerabilities over time, the proportion of devices that run the updated version of Android, and the mean number of vulnerabilities the manufacturer has not fixed on the device.

Based on FUM scores published at Android Vulnerabilities website, LG is on top with the score of 4.0, followed by Motorola (3.1), Samsung (2.7), Sony (2.5), HTC (2.5), Asus (2.4), Alps (0.7), and worst being Symphony and Walton at 0.3. While this was for OEMs, Google’s own Nexus devices remain ahead of the game at 5.2 FUM score.

The University of Cambridge research paper however, has added that about 87 percent of all the Android smartphones are exposed to at least one of the known vulnerabilities. The average Android smartphone receives 1.26 security updates each year, something which contradicts the per month update OEMs promised couple of months ago when the Stagefright vulnerability came into spotlight – of course, with the more frequent rollout promised, this may change soon.

The study also puts the recent comment made by the HTC USA President Jason Mackenzie in new light. Mackenzie last week tweeted that pushing out monthly security updates to all the HTC smartphones is ‘unrealistic’.

For those unaware, LG, Google and Samsung in August promised monthly updates to fix the Stagefright vulnerability in all their smartphones. Sony, Motorola, and OnePlus and other companies have also rolled out updates.

While the companies are still rolling out the Stagefright vulnerability fix to devices, security experts earlier this month found a new Stagefright 2.0 vulnerability as well. The newer version of the bug can also affect devices running OS versions below Android 5.1 Lollipop. Unlike the previous Stagefright bug, the Stagefright 2.0 can enter any device in the form of mp3 or mp4 file instead of a MMS text.

Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P Pricing, Pre-Orders, and More Detailed Ahead of Launch

We are just a few hours away from Google’s much-anticipated Tuesday launch event, where the company is set to reveal new Nexus smartphones – believed to be made by Huawei and LG this year – alongside the next-generation Chromecast dongle. Though, there is no shortage of leaks related to the long-rumoured Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.

Ahead of Tuesday’s launch, several reports have emerged on the Internet claiming purported pricing, pre-order dates, availability details, and some missing features on the new Nexus devices. We have tried to compile all the latest details in this post.

To start off, we see new details about the pricing of both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P smartphones. According to a report by Android Police, the LG Nexus 5X will go up for pre-order starting Tuesday only in countries including US, UK, Korea, Japan, and Ireland. At $379.99 (approximately Rs. 25,250) for the 16GB model, the Nexus 5X is likely to be more affordable than the original Nexus 5 launched in 2013. The Nexus 5X is said to arrive in Carbon, Quartz, and Ice Blue colours, in-line with an earlier Amazon India listing. The Huawei Nexus 6P, on the other hand, is set to be the high-end Nexus this year and is said to be priced at $499.99 (approximately Rs. 33,000) for the 32GB model. A recent report had suggested that Google will launch the Nexus 6P in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage options.

For pre-orders, the Nexus 6P is also said to be available starting Tuesday in US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Japan. If the leaked prices are true, then both the Nexus smartphones will be priced lower than their predecessors – Nexus 5 and Nexus 6.

Another report claims that Google this year plans to sell its Nexus devices only via its exclusive Google Store, which may mean that Nexus may not be available from carrier stores in the US. It remains uncertain if it will be offered via other online stores for now – Amazon India for example, had listed the Nexus 5X briefly last week.

huawei_nexus_6p_android_police.jpgAfter a leaked presentation slide spilled all the details about the bigger Nexus 6P, a new leaked document was spotted at Reddit (now pulled down) and first picked up by Android Police once again point to the smartphone’s specifications. According to the leaked Google document, the Nexus 5X is said to feature a 5.2-inch full-HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3; a 64-bit 2GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor; 2GB of RAM; 16GB and 32GB storage variants; a 12.3-megapixel rear camera; a 5-megapixel front camera; Android 6.0 Marshmallow; single Nano-SIM; fingerprint sensor at the back; 147×72.6×7.9mm; 136 grams, and Micro-USB Type-C support. It’s worth noting that most of the innards tipped by leaked Google document corroborate an earlier Amazon India listing.

Before Google unveils its new Nexus devices, several publications are reporting about various missing features in both the devices. In a series of stories, Android Police has claimed that both Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P won’t feature microSD card, which comes as no surprise considering no Nexus device until now featured an external storage option, and the devices will also miss out on OIS (optical image stabilisation), a feature that was present in the original Nexus 5. Lastly, a report suggests that both the new Nexus will also not support wireless charging.

There are a few reports contradicting the claims of missing microSD card on Nexus 6P though. Ausdroid reports that Nexus 6P passed through FCC and it comes with microSD card support. The report adds some of the features spotted in the FCC documents including Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Wi-Fi MIOMO support; Bluetooth 4.0 LE; GSM bands 850/1900; 3G bands; microSD card; GPS with AGPS; NFC, and 3450mAh battery. An XDA Developer forum thread claims that the Nexus 6P will come with OIS feature.

We will have to wait to see what Google has in store for its Tuesday launch event in San Francisco.

Blackphone 2 Privacy-Focused Smartphone Finally Goes on Sale

The security-focused Blackphone 2 smartphone, which was introduced back in March during the MWC 2015 conference, is now available to purchase online. Priced at $799 (roughly Rs. 53,000) unlocked, theAndroid-powered handset by Silent Circle is limited to North America for now, but will be coming to the UK and other regions “soon”. Users also have the option to go for the cheaper first-generation Blackphone, which is available with third-party online retailers.

The privacy-oriented Blackphone 2 comes with an updated version of the firm’s Android-based PrivatOS, now rebranded to Silent OS. It features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by an 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, coupled with 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and Adreno 405.

Silent Circle Blackphone 2 bears a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with BSI sensor and dual LED flash, along with a 5-megapixel fixed focus front-camera. The smartphone’s 32GB eMMC inbuilt storage can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 128GB). It also supports Indian 4G LTE bands and is backed by a non-replaceable 3060mAh Li-po battery supported by Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0.

Measuring 7.9×76.4×152.4mm, the Blackphone 2 weighs 165 grams and is available in Black colour variant only.

Silent OS allows users to make and receive secure calls, send encrypted text messages, store files securely and browse the Web through an anonymous VPN. It also lets them assign different logins for different sections inside the device. Users will be able to assign a login for document apps and set a different login for communication apps. The company also promised it would roll out patches for any kind of vulnerability within 72 hours of its discovery.

Based on the hefty price tag and the mid-range specifications, Silent Circle might not find many takers for the handset. Besides the limited regional availability, the smartphone misses out on wireless charging, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB RAM and more, features that are now a norm with premium Android handsets. However, people highly concerned about privacy might find the smartphone worth the price.

“Never before have private citizens been under barrage from world governments – hacking, vacuuming, and chipping away at our privacy,” said Co-founder and Silent Circle chairman Mike Janke during the launch in March this year. “We’re replacing BlackBerry, we don’t care that BlackBerry’s CEO is throwing nasty things about us onto Twitter. We’re going to dominate them.”

Talking about BlackBerry, Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 might soon find competition in the market -BlackBerry Priv. The smartphone would be arriving later this year according to the company CEO John Chen. “I am confirming our plans to launch Priv, an Android device named after BlackBerry’s heritage and core mission of protecting our customers’ privacy. Priv combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform,”he said in the company’s latest earnings report.

Silent Circle Blackphone 2

Silent Circle Blackphone 2

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.7GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Silent OS 1.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery capacity

3060mAh