Weekly News Roundup #5 – India

May 19, 2013
0 18 59 5

    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. 

    In today’s “Weekly News Roundup – India,” Micromax launches a new stylus-toting smartphone, as well as one for music enthusiasts, Panasonic enters the Indian smartphone market with a not so budget-friendly quad-core offering, the Nexus 4 is finally officially available in India, the Vertu Ti is released at the price point of a compact car, Notion Ink teases the Adam II tablet, and Vodafone launches new International Roaming plans.

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

    Android Smartphones

    Micromax Canvas Doodle A111

    wnri - micromax canvas doodle a111

    Micromax continues to add to its Canvas smartphones portfolio, with two new additions this week. The first, called the Canvas Doodle A111, joins the exponentially increasing budget-friendly quad-core smartphones in the country, but will be offering something different from the rest, with the Canvas Doodle A111 featuring a stylus. Specifications of the latest Canvas smartphone from Micromax include -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 5.3-inch display with 854×480 resolution
    • 1.2Ghz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8225Q processor
    • 512MB RAM
    • 1.22GB available internal storage (4GB total), expandable via microSD up to 32GB
    • 8MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
    • 2,100 mAh battery
    • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
    • Dual-SIM support

    [/list_color]

    Unfortunately, the specifications of the Micromax Canvas Doodle A111 aren’t up to the mark compared to the rest of the quad-core smartphones available in the country. Priced at Rs 12,999 (~$245), the availability of a stylus isn’t enough to recommend the Canvas Doodle over other similarly-priced smartphones. There’s no information yet on whether Micromax will be launching stylus-specific apps for the Canvas Doodle A11.

    If you’re interested in picking up the Micromax Canvas Doodle A111, you can do so from online retailers SnapDeal here.

    Source – Tech Tree

    Micromax Canvas Music A88

    wnri - micromax canvas music A88

    Micromax released a second smartphone this week, this time in association with JBL, a company well known for its audio products, called the Canvas Music A88. The specifications of the latest offering from Micromax includes -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 4.5-inch display with 854×480 resolution
    • 1Ghz dual-core MediaTek processor
    • 512MB RAM
    • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
    • 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
    • Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
    • 1,800 mAh battery
    • Dual-SIM support

    [/list_color]

    Priced at Rs 8,499(~$160), the specifications of the Micromax Canvas Music A88 aren’t the best in its price range, but in this case, has a very specific music-oriented target audience in mind. The JBL association means inclusion of a free JBL Tempo headset, with Micromax also offering free unlimited music download from a database that includes over 3 lakh songs via the “MLive!” application.

    You can find out more about the Micromax Canvas Music A88, and even buy it online, from the Micromax website here, as  well as from online retailers Saholic here.

    Source – Times of India

    Panasonic P51

    wnri - panasonic p51

    Panasonic is a well-known electronics brand in India, and the company has now decided to take a chance in the already overcrowded Indian smartphone market, with the Panasonic P51, announced at a launch event in Delhi this week. The specifications of the Panasonic P51 include -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 5-inch IPS display with 1280×720 resolution
    • 1.2Ghz quad-core MediaTek processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 4GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
    • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
    • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
    • 2.500 mAh battery
    • Dual-SIM support

    [/list_color]

    The Panasonic P51 comes with a free magnetic flip cover and a stylus, along with handwriting recognition support, and boasts more than decent specifications, along the lines of quad-core offerings from local manufacturers that fall in the Rs 15,000 price point. So, it’s somewhat unfortunate that the Panasonic P51 is priced at a whopping Rs 26,900 (~$507), and the inclusion of a stylus and the latest Android OS isn’t enough to justify a difference of close to Rs 10,000.

    The Panasonic P51 is available from various retail stores around the country. You can find the complete list here.

    Source – NDTV Gadgets

    Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro

    wnri - samsung galaxy grand quattro

    Samsung launched the Galaxy Grand last year hoping to capture a piece of the mid-range market in India, but with local manufacturers beginning to release quad-core devices at less than Rs 15,000, Samsung had a difficult go at things. Now, Samsung has launched a revamped version called the Galaxy Grand Quattro, which, as the name suggests, boasts a quad-core processor. Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro include -

    [list_color style="star_black"]

    • 4.7-inch display with 800×480 resolution
    • 1.2Ghz quad-core processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 32GB
    • 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front camera
    • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
    • 2,000 mAh battery
    • Dual-SIM support

    [/list_color]

    Like every new Samsung device, the Galaxy Grand Quattro looks a lot like the Galaxy S4, with the major difference being the smaller display size of the Galaxy Grand Quattro. While Samsung India had priced the first Galaxy Grand wrong at close to Rs 20,000, the company has a much better contender to take on similar quad-core offerings from local manufacturers with a Rs 16,900 (~$318) price point. Granted, the price is slightly higher, but the brand recognition of Samsung is enough for consumers to ignore that difference.

    The Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro comes in the Black Mist and Frosty White (just like the Galaxy S4) color options, and is available from the Samsung India e-Store here.

    Source – Fone Arena

    Google Nexus 4

    LG-Nexus-4

    The long wait is finally over! The Google Nexus 4, which has been one of the most highly-anticipated smartphones in the country, is now officially available. Unlike with the Nexus 7, the Nexus 4 will not be available via the Google Play Store but directly from retailers including LG exclusive stores, multi-brand stores, and various online retailers.

    As a reminder, the specifications of the Google Nexus 4 include -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 4.7-inch IPS display with 1280×768 resolution
    • 1.5Ghz quad-core Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 Pro processor
    • 2GB RAM
    • 16GB internal storage
    • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
    • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
    • 2,100 mAh battery

    [/list_color]

    The Nexus 4 is still one of the best Android smartphones around, and is comparatively far cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One, priced at Rs 25,990 (~$490). Granted, this is far higher than the $300 price point in the US, but the marked up price has always been an issue in India, and the Nexus 4 is no different. The Nexus 4 is currently up for pre-order from online retailers Flipkart, with an expected delivery date in the last week of May.

    Source – GSM  Arena

    Vertu Ti

    wnri - vertu ti

    If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to make a decision between buying a car or picking up a smartphone, you can now do so, with the official arrival of the Vertu Ti “luxury Android smartphone” in India. Before we get into how much this device costs, let’s take a look at the specifications -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 3.7-inch sapphire crystal display
    • 1.7Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
    • Android 4.0 ICS on-board

    [/list_color]

    Of course, it’s not the (decidedly mid-range) specifications that makes the Vertu Ti the most expensive Android smartphone in the world, but the fact that it features a Grade 5 Titanium body, scratch-free sapphire crystal display, and premium Bang a& Olufsen speakers. The smartphone also comes with a feature called Vertu Key, which provides instant access to various services, such as country specific security alerts, articles, city briefs, and Vertu Customer Service. You’ll also get exclusive event invites, club memberships and more.

    Wondering how much getting your hands on the Vertu Ti is going to set you back? Rs 6,49,900 (~$12,262).

    If you have that kind of money lying around, you can find the full list of retail stores around India here.

    Source – Zee News

    Android Tablets

    Notion Ink Adam II

    wnri - notion ink adam 2

    When Bangalore-based Notion Ink announced the first Adam tablet, the company promised to deliver a product that would offer a viable alternative to every high-end tablet, but couldn’t deliver on its promise. The Adam tablet was plagued with software issues, shipping delays, and poor build quality. A couple of years later, and the company is attempting to make in impact in the Android tablet market once again, with the Notion Ink Adam II, which was teased at the National Technology Awards this week.

    Here’s a quick look a the specifications of the Notion Ink Adam II -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • 10.1-inch IPS display with 1280×800 resolution, secondary STN display on the spine
    • 1.5Ghz dual-core processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • internal storage unknown, microSD expansion up to 32GB available
    • 2MP rear camera, 2MP front camera
    • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
    • 6,000 mAh battery
    • in-built SIM support for 3G

    [/list_color]

    One of the interesting features of the Adam II is the secondary display located on the spine of the tablet, which is a Super-twisted Nematic display (STN), that shows notifications as well as contextual data related to what showing on the main display.

    The Notion Ink Adam II is expected to be released in June. The second attempt by Notion Ink is impressive, but may fall short in the highly-competitive Indian tablet market. Unlike two years back, local manufacturers have embraced the Android tablet, and have begun to consistently release budget-friendly tablets with great specifications.  If the company can deliver on what it hoped to accomplish the first time around, it’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to the arrival of the Adam II.

    Source – BGR India

    Network Carrier News

    Vodafone launches new international roaming plan, with discounts up to 90%

    Vodafone Logo

    This week, Vodafone announced a new international roaming plan for Indian subscribers, which features a discount of around 90% on data, and close to 64% on voice calls. The plan, priced at Rs 2,499 (~$47) and valid for 30 days, features the following changes in rates -

    [list_color style="star_green"]

    • Local outgoing call rate has fallen from Rs 70 to Rs 25/minute
    • International outgoing call rate has fallen from Rs 140 to Rs 50/minute
    • Incoming call rates have fallen from Rs 70 to Rs 50/minute
    • SMS (incoming and outgoing) rates have fallen from Rs 15 to Rs 10 per message
    • Data charges feature the biggest discount, falling from a whopping Rs 563 per MB to Rs 50 per MB

    [/list_color]

    It’s difficult to believe that regular international roaming data charges are Rs 563 per MB! The new roaming plan is available with select network providers in 45 countries, including the US, UK, Singapore, and UAE. Of course, while the rates may have fallen, regularly using the phone could still prove to be very expensive, so depending on the duration of your stay, it is always recommended to pick up a local SIM whenever possible.

    Source – Think Digit

    What are your thoughts? Will you consider picking up either of the two new Micromax smartphones announced this week? How well do you think the Panasonic P51 is going to do ? What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro? Can you imagine spending that much money to buy the Vertu Ti? Are you excited that the Google Nexus 4 is finally officially available in the country? What do you think of Notion Ink’s second attempt at an Android tablet? Do you think the new discounted international roaming plans are going to make a difference, or is it still to expensive? Let us know in the comments section below.

    See you next week! 

    0 18 59

    Comments

    • Ruzveh

      More interested in high end phones of Micromax, these phones doesnt add any value.
      Panasonic new entrant cannot charge such heavy price. Not worth at all.
      Samsung G Quattro is good but would be great to buy within 15k budget as those who can afford 20k can easily spend 25k phones and buy Nexus 4.
      Vertu Ti is a joke and not worth even for the HNI category of people as it is not coming from the brand like Porche, BMW or other bigger names which can add brand name to the mobile.
      Notion tablet is very attractive to buy.. but whats the price? No mention there..

      Roaming charges very high and never prefered

    • Anonymousfella

      Seeing the nexus4 avilable for preorder made by day

    • John

      someone please stop this guy posting this kind of articles :/

      • swannanoa72

        John, I am sure that the articles posted on this site are not for you alone. What may not interest you, may be of interest to the others. I don’t know if you are aware – but this article is country specific. If you find this article to be of no use to you, I suggest that you skip reading this article henceforth. Simple! Thank you.

    • nishantsirohi123

      nexus4 is still priced well off as compared to other devices
      it is cheaper than the s3 and note2

    Popular

    Latest