Weekly News Roundup #7 – India

June 2, 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.

It’s been a relatively slow week as far as device releases from local manufacturers are concerned, with just one new smartphone from WickedLeak being launched. That said, there has still been a lot of activity this past week in India, with Samsung officially announcing its new Mega series of smartphones, the recently-announced white Nexus 4 showing up online, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Grand Quattro receiving price cuts, and a host of network carrier related news.

As always, there’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started!

Android Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 officially launched

Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphone

Samsung continues its efforts to capture every corner of the Android smartphone market by offering numerous devices catering to everyone’s individual needs. Whatever your requirements, there’s probably a Samsung Galaxy smartphone best suited for you. If the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is too expensive, or too small, and you’re looking for a comparatively cheaper device with an ultra-large, almost tablet-like, display, there’s a choice available to you as well.

Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 in India this week. Leaked specifications of both devices were spot on, with the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 featuring a 5.8-inch display with a 960×540 resolution, a 1.4Ghz dual-core Broadcomm processor, 8GB internal storage, and a 2,600 mAh battery. On the other hand, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 boasts a 6.3-inch display with 1280×720 resolution, a 1.7Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 16GB internal storage, and a 3,200 mAh battery. Both smartphones feature expandable memory up to 64GB, 1.5GB RAM, an 8MP rear camera and 1.9MP front camera, and Android 4.2.2 out of the box.

While the specifications are decent, the price point for both smartphones are a little steep, with the Galaxy Mega 5.8 priced at Rs 24,900 (~$461), and the Galaxy Mega 6.3 setting you back Rs 31,490 (~$583). Both smartphones will be available in Samsung Experience stores around the country from June 10, as well as from the official Samsung India eStore. A dual-SIM version of the Galaxy Mega 5.8 will also be available.

Source – The Economic Times

White Google Nexus 4 spotted online

White Nexus 4

A day after the white version of the Google Nexus 4 was officially announced, the device has been listed by online retailers Flipkart and Saholic. Even though the rollout has been planned “over the next few weeks,” Saholic promises a 3 day delivery, which is somewhat surprising.

As we know, the specifications haven’t changed, and while some rumors stated the possibility of the white Nexus 4 releasing with a new version of Android, for now, the device will launch with Android 4.2.2 on-board. As a reminder, the specifications include a 4.7-inch display with 1280×720 resolution, a 1.5 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, an 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera, and a 2,100 mAh battery.

The white Nexus 4 will also be priced the same, at Rs 25,990 (~$481). You can find the listing of the smartphone from Saholic here. There are a host of devices with better specifications currently available, but the Nexus 4 is still a great smartphone, and the price is still unbeatable. Don’t forget to checkout our detailed hands-on review below -

Source – Saholic

WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z ups the ante in the budget-friendly quad-core smartphone arena

wnri - wickedleak wammy passion z

If you’ve been following the Indian Weekly News Roundups, you’d have noticed the numerous budget-friendly quad-core smartphones that have been releasing week after week from various local manufacturers, which on paper, are barely distinguishable from each other. In a few short months, the need for an “upgrade” has already risen, and WickedLeak is the company that has decided to step up to the plate.

To be fair, the specifications are mostly the same across the board, with the standout feature of the WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z being the 5-inch Full HD display, that is, with a resolution of 1920×1080, which is definitely a step up from the qHD or 720p displays we’ve seen so far. Other specifications of the Wammy Passion Z include a 1.2Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage expandable via microSD up to 64GB, 12MP rear camera and 2MP front camera, a 2,500 mAh battery, and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on-board.

The impressive specifications are matched with an equally impressive price point, with the device priced at just Rs 14,990 (~$277). Hopefully this is the beginning of other Indian manufacturers releasing smartphones with 1080p displays as well. The WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z is currently up for pre-order from the company website here, with an estimated delivery date of June 15.

Source – NDTV Gadgets

Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Grand Quattro receives a (small) price cut

samsung galaxy s4 top side aa

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Grand Quattro, which have both proved to be incredibly popular in India following their launch last month, have now received a price cut. The reduction is not surprising, considering the fact that online retailers have already been selling the smartphones at a lower price, and you can now pick up the devices from official Samsung stores or the Samsung India eStore at that price as well.

The price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been reduced by Rs 1,200, and is now available for Rs 40,300 (~$746), while the Galaxy Grand Quattro is now available with a discount of Rs 1,360, priced at Rs 16,990 (~$314).

You can pick up both smartphones from various Samsung Experience stores around the country, or from the Samsung India Store here (Samsung Galaxy S4) and here (Samsung Galaxy Grand Quattro).

Don’t forget to check out our detailed hands-on review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 here -

Source – Telecom Tiger

Network Carrier News

Aircel launches recharge app on Facebook for prepaid subscribers

wnri - aircel facebook recharge app

This week, Aircel launched an unique and first of its kind service, that allows prepaid subscribers to recharge their phones directly on Facebook, by following a few simple steps. This move is, of course, targeted towards the youth, who can now recharge their phones “without having to leave Facebook.”

All you have to do is is open the Aircel recharge app, enter your phone number, choose the voice or data plan you’d like to pay for, proceed to payment (via debit or credit card), and confirm. Aircel ensures that all transactions done via the Facebook recharge app will be safe and secure.

You can check out the new Facebook recharge app by Aircel here.

Source – BGR India

Tata Docomo announces partnership with Opera, launches co-branded Opera Mini browser

wnri - tata docomo opera

Opera and Tata Docomo announced the launch of a co-branded Opera Mini browser available to subscribers which features data compression up to 90%, allowing for not only faster web page loading with 2G speeds, but also reducing data charges.

Apart from that, the customized browser includes quick links to “Dive In,” and other content tailored to Tata Docomo subscribers. Of course, the browser also features Opera browser staples such as Smart Page, Speed Dial, password manager, and download manager.

Commenting on the partnership, Rishi Mohan Malhotra, Head VAS for Tata DOCOMO, said, “Tata DOCOMO has been at the forefront of providing a superior mobile internet experience to our customers. We are sure that, with the experience enhancements like faster browsing and convenient discovery of content that Opera Mini provides, Tata DOCOMO subscribers can truly experience world-class mobile internet browsing like never before.”

Tata Docomo subscribers can download this version of the Opera Mini browser here. The faster load times and other unique features are great not only for smartphone users, but also the large consumer base using feature phones which can only access 2G networks. You can check out the press release here -

Show Press Release

Opera Mini boosts browsing for Tata DOCOMO users

Mumbai, India – May 29, 2013

Opera Software has a special treat in store for all Indian mobile users on the Tata DOCOMO network. These users now have a opportunity to boost their mobile browsing with a custom-made Opera Mini mobile web browser. As part of its partnership with Tata DOCOMO, Opera has customized Opera Mini with quick links to “Dive in” and content sites especially selected for Tata DOCOMO subscribers. Tata DOCOMO customers can download this version of Opera Mini directly m.opera.com.

With Opera Mini, webpages load at speeds comparable to a desktop experience. Opera Mini compresses data to as little as 10% of its original size before sending it to the handset; as a result, content is delivered faster, and users can save data costs. For cost-conscious consumers, this means they can access the web more often, for the same price. Opera Mini’s offers features such as Smart Page, Speed Dial, tabbed browsing, password manager, download manager and Opera Link, creating a smooth and fun browsing experience.

Commenting on the partnership, Rishi Mohan Malhotra, Head VAS for Tata DOCOMO, said, “Tata DOCOMO has been at the forefront of providing a superior mobile internet experience to our customers. We are sure that, with the experience enhancements like faster browsing and convenient discovery of content that Opera Mini provides, Tata DOCOMO subscribers can truly experience world-class mobile internet browsing like never before.”

“According to a recent survey among mobile web users in India, which we conducted along with On Device Research, speed and ease of use were the key drivers for selecting a mobile browser, so it isn’t surprising that Opera Mini’s speed and user-friendly interface have made it the most popular browser in India,” added Sunil Kamath, VP for South Asia, Opera Software. “Partnering with Tata DOCOMO will help us extend Opera Mini’s reach to more users, whether they use basic phones or smartphones.”

Opera Mini is designed to work on all kinds of phones. Tata DOCOMO customers can visit m.opera.com to download the Tata DOCOMO/ Opera co-branded version of Opera Mini. This page automatically detects the mobile operator, operating system and model number of a user’s mobile device; then, it offers the most suitable version of Opera Mini for download.

About Tata Teleservices Limited

Tata Teleservices Limited is one of India’s leading private telecom service providers, having a pan-India presence across all of India’s 19 telecom Circles. The company offers integrated telecom solutions to its customers under the unified brand name Tata DOCOMO and operates its wireless networks on GSM, CDMA and 3G technology platforms. Tata Teleservices Limited, along with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited, operates in more than 450,000 towns and villages across the country. After its collaboration with Japan’s NTT DOCOMO in November 2008, Tata Teleservices launched 2G GSM services under the Tata DOCOMO brand name in all the 18 telecom Circles where it received spectrum from the Government of India, in June 2009. Since then, the Company has established a strong brand connect for Tata DOCOMO in India and has been at the forefront of redefining the telecom experience in India, launching innovative products and services that have impacted Indian consumer lifestyles. TTL is the clear market leader in the enterprise space as well, and has market leadership in many product lines, such as mobile broadband with the Photon family of wireless access devices. TTL’s bouquet of telephony services includes mobile services, wireless desktop phones, public booth telephony and wireline and WiFi services. For details, visit www.tatateleservices.com and www.tatadocomo.com

About Opera Software ASA

The worldwide World Wide Web — any device, any platform, any bandwidth, absolutely anywhere in the world. Opera Software was founded in 1994, based on the idea that access to the web should be a universal right. 300 million people (and counting) use the Opera web browsers for computers, mobile phones, TVs and other connected devices. Opera also delivers tools, distribution, engagement, monetization and market insights to developers, publishers and brands around the world. We are passionate about breaking down barriers, so everyone can share in the power of the internet. Our vision of one web for all remains at the heart of what we do, because we believe that participation changes everything. Opera Software ASA is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol OPERA. ‘Opera’, ‘Opera Software’, ‘Opera Mini’ and the ‘O’ logo are trademarks of Opera Software ASA. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Learn more about Opera atwww.opera.com.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of the WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z? While you be picking up either of the new Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphones? What do you think of the new Facebook recharge app by Aircel? If you’re a Tata Docomo subscriber, have you tried out the customized Opera Mini browser yet? Let us know in the comments section below.

See you next week! 

Comments

  • Ruzveh

    i am still amazed by opera mini support for even older smartphone platforms like mine Nokia 6630

  • http://hemanthsomaraju.blogspot.in/ HemanthSomaraju

    wow, it’s nice….<3