Weekly News Roundup #4 – India

May 12, 2013
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wnri feature

In a 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 continue to see an increase in the number of budget-friendly quad-core smartphones available in the country, with new device announcements from Karbonn, Celkon, Xolo, and Chinese manufacturer Gionee. Surprisingly, there are no new Android tablets from local manufacturers launched this week. There’s great news for music lovers with Tata Docomo detailing a new tie up with popular music streaming app, Saavn. Unfortunately, there’s also some bad news, for RCom subscribers, with the company increasing its tariffs by up to 30%.

As you can see, there’s a lot to talk about. Let’s get started!

Android Smartphones

Karbonn Titanium S2

wnri - karbonn titanium s2

Micromax started the trend of budget-friendly 5-inch quad-core smartphones, and almost every other Indian manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon. Karbonn earlier released the Titanium S1 and S5, and have now followed that up with the Titanium S2, which joins the ever-increasing list of low-cost quad-core smartphones in country. The specifications of the Karbonn Titanium S2 include –

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  • 5-inch display with 854×480 resolution
  • 1.2 Ghz quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Specifications-wise, the Karbonn Titanium S2 falls right in between the S1 and S5, and is priced similarly as well. Priced at Rs 10,790 (~$203) by online retailers Infibeam, the latest 5-inch quad-core smartphone from Karbonn will be available from May 14, with an estimated delivery of 2-3 days. Ordering the device now will also get you a flap cover for free.

Source – NDTV Gadgets

Celkon A119Q Signature HD

wnri - celkon a119q signature hd

Celkon, which launched the A119 Signature HD back in March, has now released the A119Q Signature HD. As you can see from the name, the difference between the two devices is the Q, which in this case, stands for quad-core. The specifications of the Celkon A119Q Signature HD include –

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  • 5-inch display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 1.2Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 12MP rear camera, 3MP front camera
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

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The Celkon A119Q Signature HD joins the small list of smartphones available in India that run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box. The specifications are similar to the Micromax A116 Canvas HD and the Karbonn Titanium S5, and is priced around the same as well. Available for Rs 12,499 (~$235), you also get a flip cover worth Rs 1,500 for free. You can pre-book the device from SnapDeal here, and will be on sale from May 15. You can find out more about the Celkon A119Q Signature HD from the company website here.

Source – Fone Arena

Xolo Q700

wnri - xolo q700

Xolo, a sub-brand of Lava International, has slowly become a major player in the Indian smartphone market, with the company being the first to release some great Android devices powered by Intel processors, along with a slew of budget-friendly non-Intel smartphones. Joining that second list is the Xolo Q700, which is yet another low-cost smartphone powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor. The specifications of the Xolo Q700 include –

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  • 4.5-inch IPS display with 960×540 resolution
  • 1.2Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 5MP rear camera, VGA front camera
  • 2,400 mAh battery
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

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The specifications of the Xolo Q700 are similar to most other quad-core smartphones from local manufacturers, but what makes this device stand is the fact that it is one of the cheapest smartphones available in its specs category. Priced at just Rs 9,999 (~$188), the Xolo Q700 has been listed as “Coming Soon” by online retailers Flipkart.

Source – IBN Live

Gionee GPad-G2

wnri - gionee gpad-g2

Gionee announced the GPad-G2 earlier last month, and officially launched the 5.3-inch smartphone in India this week. The smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer boasts decent specifications which include –

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  • 5.3-inch display with 960×540 resolution
  • 1.2Ghz quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
  • 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Apart from featuring one of the larger batteries in its segment, the Gionee GPad-G2 also boasts an in-built DTS audio system for great sound quality. Apart from the much larger 5.3-inch display (compared to 4.65-inch), the specifications of the GPad-G2 is very similar to the Gionee Dream D1. The smartphone is priced at Rs 13,999 from online store Tradus, and also from retail stores around the country.

Source – The Mobile Indian

Network Carrier News

RCom increases tariffs of discounted voice and data plans by up to 65%

wnri - reliance communication tariff

Reliance Communications has decided to increase the tariffs of its discounted voice and data plans, some by up to 65%, with “the aim to increase profitability.” Most other operators, including Vodafone, Idea, and Airtel have made similar moves recently, and while RCom resisted the change initially, it makes sense for the company to do so now.

All the popular discounted plans, known as “commitment plans,” have now been changed to reflect the new policy. The smallest change have been for the STV 21 and STV 45 plans, which have seen a hike of it’s local call rate by 20%, from 1p/sec to 1.2p/sec. The 2p/sec rate for STD calling remains the same.

The biggest changes have been to the STV 48 and STV 46 plans. The “by-the-minute” plans have seen a huge slash in the minutes that are available, with the STV 48 dropping from 500 minutes to just 160 minutes, while the STV 46 plan sees a drop from 200 minutes to 140 minutes.

The changes are applicable immediately for all new and existing Reliance Communication subscribers.

Source – Think Digit

Tata Docomo partners with Saavn to launch special data plans for music streaming

wnri - tata docomo saavn

Tata Docomo has announced a partnership with popular music-streaming service Saavn to launch a number of special data plans that will allow users to stream music, as well as access exclusive international music content.

The announced plans include –

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  • Saavn Music 3G plan gets you 300MB of 3G data and 500 minutes of music streaming for just Rs 93.
  • Saavn Music 2G SLP gets you 1GB of data and 2000 minutes of music streaming for Rs 155.
  • Both the above plans are currently available only in Karnataka.
  • Available in the rest of the country is the Saavn Music 2G Plan priced at Rs 104, which includes 1GB of data and 1000 minutes of music streaming.

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The plans are available for prepaid Tata Docomo subscribers who have Android or iOS devices. Music streaming can require a lot of data depending on how much you use it, and these plans certainly make things a lot easier.

Source – BGR India

Indian manufacturers have all been releasing budget-friendly quad-core smartphones, with only minor differences in specifications and price between them. The good thing is that such devices are now beginning to feature Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on-board, something that even some internationally-renowned manufacturers are lacking.

What are your thoughts? Will you be buying any of the quad-core smartphones announced this week? What do you think of the new music streaming data plans from Tata Docomo and Saavn? As an RCom subscriber, are you disappointed at the tariff hike? Let us know in the comments section below.

See you next week!

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