Weekly News Roundup #3 – India

May 5, 2013
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wnri feature

In  a new weekly segment, I’ll be doing a roundup of the mobile technology news in India, including new device announcements and releases from Indian manufacturers, network carrier news, and anything else that captures the pulse of the Android scene in India.

This week on the Weekly News Roundup – India, we have just one smartphone announcement, but that’s more than enough when the one is a budget-friendly glasses-free 3D smartphone priced at less than Rs 10,000. While the smartphone sector has been relatively quiet, the tablet market has been witness to four new low-cost tablets from Intex, new market entrants Fly, WickedLeak, and Zync, and Vodafone has some great deals and offers available for you. Let’s get started!

Android Smartphones

Micromax A115 Canvas 3D

wnri - micromax a115 canvas 3d

Both international and local manufacturers have been taking a shot at capturing consumer attention with glasses-free 3D smartphones. We’ve seen the highly-priced LG Optimus 3D and the HTC Evo 3D, and quite a few 3D smartphones from local manufacturers, that have tried and failed to generate an interest in this segment. Riding high on the success of the Canvas A116 HD, Micromax must be feeling bold , because the company is now launching a 3D smartphone of its own, the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D.

Joining the very popular Canvas lineup of devices, the specifications of the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D include –

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  • 5-inch display with 800×480 resolution
  • 1Ghz dual-core processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera and 0.3MP front camera
  • 2,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-SIM support

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Compared to rest of the Canvas series, the specifications of the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D, such as the low resolution for such a large display and just 512MB of RAM, are somewhat disappointing. Of course, the selling point of this device is its stereoscopic 3D which means that you won’t need those annoying 3D glasses to enjoy 3D content. Granted, it’s not easy to get your hands on 3D content either, but Micromax helps out there as well. The Micromax A115 Canvas 3D will come pre-loaded with 3D games, along with “Micromax 3D Space” giving you access to 3D videos. Check out the introduction video of the device below –

Rest assured the video is exaggerated, but the 3D feature may be appealing to a lot of consumers. The smartphone is available for Rs 9,999 (~$192) from all leading online and physical retail stores. You can find out more about the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D here.

Source – Tech2

Android Tablets

Intex i-Buddy Connect 3G

wnri - intex ibuddy connect 3g

Intex is following up the i-Buddy Connect released last year with a 3G version of the tablet, which also features some updated specifications. The specifications of the Intex i-Buddy Connect 3G include –

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  • 7-inch capacitive touch screen display
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 3MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera
  • In-built Dual-SIM 2G Voice calling and 3G data support
  • 3500 mAh battery
  • Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

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While the specifications are quite good, the disappointing part is the fact that even though most manufacturers have been moving towards Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Intex i-Buddy Connect 3G comes with Android 4.0 on-board. Targeting the youth and student markets, the i-Buddy Connect 3G also comes pre-loaded with a host of apps like Nimbuzz, Skype, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, and Google Talk. For students, the tablet also features an Educlass app that contains NCERT text books from grades 1 to 12, numerous question banks and sample papers, along with other interactive educational content.

The Intex i-Buddy Connect 3G will be available, in black and brown color options, for Rs 9,990 (~$191).

Source – The Mobile Indian

Fly F8s

wnri - fly f8s

Fly is a new entrant to the already over-crowded local Android device manufacturer arena. It won’t be easy for a new company to establish itself against such stiff competition, but the first step is to always release a great product. Fly, with their Fly F8s tablet, has attempted to do so. The specifications of the Fly F8s include –

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  • 8-inch IPS display with 1024×768 resolution
  • 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 2.5GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 3.2MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 4,000 mAh
  • Single-SIM support for 3G connectivity

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If you’re surprised at the 2.5GB of internal storage, Fly is one of the first company’s to advertise just the usable internal storage. That is, while the internal storage capacity of the tablet is actually 4GB, only 2.5GB is free and available to the user. The Fly F8s boasts some good specifications, but unfortunately is priced accordingly as well. At Rs 13,499 (~$260), the cost of the tablet is somewhat steep.

Source – NDTV Gadgets

WickedLeak Wammy Desire Tab 2

wnri - wickedleak wammy desire tab 2

WickedLeak is known for releasing some great devices at very reasonable price points, and more importantly, with the latest Android OS iteration. So imagine my surprise when I see the first tablet launched with the company to come with Android 4.0 ICS out of the box. Of course, there’s a catch! But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the specifications of the WickedLeak Wammy Desire Tab 2 –

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  • 7-inch IPS display with 1280×800 resolution
  • 1.4Ghz quad-core Samsung Exynos 4412 processor
  • Mali-400 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
  • 3,300 mAh battery
  • Android 4.0 ICS or Android 4.2.1 (beta) out of the box

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Aside from marveling at the great specifications, the final one on the list might have confused you. Let me explain. When buying the WickedLeak Wammy Desire Tab 2, you can choose whether to go with Android 4.0, or if you want to try your luck with a beta Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean version. Even though everything works, the beta version may have a few bugs, and if you don’t want to risk it, ICS is the choice for you. Whichever option you choose now, the company promises an update to a stable Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean by June.

A good display, a quad-core Samsung processor, 8GB of internal storage, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean (either now or eventually). Looking at these specifications, I’m sure you’re wondering how expensive this tablet is going to be. And this is one area where WickedLeak has managed to surprise us again! Starting next week, the WickedLeak Wammy Desire Tab 2 will be available for just Rs 9,999 (~192).

If you’re interested, you can pre-book the device here, with delivery starting from May 15.

Source – NDTV Gadgets

Zync Quad 10.1

wnri - zync quad 10.1

While the selling point of most other tablets from local manufacturers is the low price point, Zync is one company that manufactures tablets with specifications that are similar, or sometimes even better, than those that are available from internationally-renowned OEMs, while being budget-friendly as well. Following the release of the Quad 8.0 and Quad 9.7 (which featured a retina display), Zync has launched another amazing tablet with the Quad 10.1. Here’s a quick look at the specifications –

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  • 10.1-inch IPS display with 1920×1200 resolution
  • 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor
  • Mali-400 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 8,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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The specifications are very similar to any high-end tablet currently available in the market, but still manages to remain reasonably priced. At just Rs 14,990 (~$288), the Zync Quad 10.1 is a steal. You can find out more about the Quad 10.1, and also order it, here.

Source – Tech Tree

Network Carrier news

Vodafone partners with Samsung to launch “All in One” plans for the Galaxy S4

Vodafone Logo

When the Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially launched in India, we knew that Vodafone would be announcing special offers and plans for owners of the flagship device. If you’ve been waiting to find out, here are the details –

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  • A Rs 1,199(~$23) per month plan for postpaid users will include 3000 local and STD minutes, 750 local and STD messages, missed call information for 12 months, and high-speed data availability up to 3GB, after which the speed drops to just 64kbps.
  • Prepaid users have the option to choose from two plans. The first plan, priced at Rs 678 (~$13), will get you 1000 local and STD minutes, 500 local and STD SMS, and 1GB of high-speed data. This plan is valid is for 30 days.
  • The second plan offers exactly half of what is available with the first plan. 500 miutes, 250 messages, 512MB high-speed data, and a 15 day validity. The price on the other hand, is a little more than half, at Rs 345 (~$7), so unless you’re very strapped for cash, the first prepaid plan is definitely the better choice.

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It’s really easy to subscribe to these plans. All you need to do is insert your Vodafone SIM card into the Samsung Galaxy S4. You will then get an SMS within 24 hours with instructions on how to activate the plans you are eligible for. You can find out more about the special Vodafone plans for the Samsung Galaxy S4 here.

Source – Think Digit

Vodafone launches RedBox initiative to help make switching smartphones easy

Vodafone Logo

It’s feels great when you pick up a new smartphone, but then you realize that you now have to suffer through the somewhat tedious process of transferring all your important data from your old phone to the new. Vodafone to the rescue! The network provider has launched an amazing program, called RedBox, to help their customers easily make the switch between devices.

Launched at various “Retail of Tomorrow” Vodafone stores around the country, trained customer service reps will help you transfer all your data including contracts, images, videos, apps, and documents from one device to another. This will be really helpful for those not as technologically-inclined, making this inevitable step a lot easier to handle. The best part is that you’ll be able to use their services regardless of what device you’re using, and of course, it’s completely free.

Source – BGR India

As with every week, we’ve seen some great devices on offer from various manufacturers, but I must say that the Zync Quad 10.1 and the WickedLeak Wammy Desire Tab 2 sound absolutely amazing.

See you next week!

What are your thoughts? What do you think of the Micromax A115 Canvas 3D? Will you be picking up any of the tablets that were released this week? If you’re planning to pick up a Samsung Galaxy S4, will you be subscribing to any of the special plans from Vodafone? How useful do you think the Vodafone RedBox initiative is going to be? Let us know in the comments section below.

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