It is no secret that the world is now moving towards USB Type-C connectors. While the Micro-USB port that we have come to love and appreciate on our Android phones is really convenient, it has its issues. It lacks versatility, it is not reversible and the connector is rather slow when it comes to read and write, in an age where we all are hungry for more and more speed. To cater to these requirements, we have moved on from Micro-USB points on phones to USB-Type C ports. These ports are one stop solution for charging your phones, playing music through them or even connecting multiple displays.
Ringing Bells, who shot to fame thanks to their promise of delivering a smartphone for a paltry sum of Rs 251, have shot another bow in the hope of getting the headlines. The smartphone is yet to be delivered to those who paid the money upfront, and you might want to be a little wary before you jump off the chair about the latest set of announcements that have come from the Noida based company.
Ringing Bells has announced plans to bringing an HD LED TV with a 31.5-inch display at a price of Rs 9,990/-. Needless to say, that this would be the most inexpensive 31.5 inch in the market. However, as this list shows, there are several smaller HD TVs that are already available under the price of Rs 10,000, so it may actually not be an all that far fetched idea that this time, Ringing Bells would actually deliver a product. Specifications or information about the TV is not known so far, and we would not be surprised if it is revealed anytime soon.
Ringing Bells has still not shown off what would the final retail unit of the Freedom 251 will look like, though it did announce that the shipments for the first 5,000 units will begin from July 8th, with another 2 lakh units being shipped after the feedback from the first slot is in. They assured that the build quality and product, in general, will be better than the prototype that was shared with the media.
As far as the television goes, you will be able to order the same from the website of Ringing Bells soon on Cash on Delivery. The first batch of LED TVs is expected to be delivered on August 15th. In addition to the update on the Freedom 251 and a new TV, Ringing Bells also announced six new phones, four of which were feature phones and another two were smartphones.
Google and HP have announced a new Chromebook, calling it the HP Chromebook 13. The Chromebook takes some inspiration from the Pixel, the famous Chromebook that Google themselves made but is a lot lighter in the hand and on the pocket. The Chromebook 13 comes with anodized Aluminum chassis and weighs only 1.29 kilos, which is just around the 2.5-pound mark. The machine is incredibly thin too, measuring just 12.9mm on the thickness scale.
Airtel has announced the official launch of 4G LTE network in 296 cities in India. Airtel had been testing waters and looking for the feedback of its users right since 2012 with a gradual roll out. Kolkata was one of the first city to receive the 4G trials back in 2012 and the customer feedback has largely been positive. Post Kolkata, cities like Mumbai, those in NCR, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mysore etc have also seen the test roll out of 4G.
We have used the service ourselves and were pretty chuffed with the speeds which constantly were over 20 Mbps mark both in Mumbai and Delhi. After the successful testing, the network is now live in 296 cities across the country with more expected to be added soon. Airtel has launched 4G on both FDD as well as TDD bands in India and the band you would pick the network off, will depend upon the city you are living in.
Airtel has also announced a revised set of plans for you to make use of 4G LTE under the Infinity scheme. The plan we really like is the Rs 999 plan which gives you unlimited calling and about 3GB of LTE usage. In towns or cities that have not seen the 4G rollout will continue to remain on 3G/ 2G networks until the technology comes on board. You will need to head over to the nearest Airtel Store in case you are looking to pick up the latest Airtel SIM which supports 4G in order to enjoy the 4G madness.
Adidas has acquired Runtastic in a deal that is said to be worth more than 220 Euros. Both Adidas and Runtastic come from similar backgrounds where sports are the bread and butter for them. While Adidas has been actively sponsoring the goods and apparels of sportsmen, Runtastic is a nifty little application that runs on your Android or iOS device and tells you details of your run. It gives you the distance you covered, location mapping as well as your average speed and time you took in order to cover the distance. You can then go on and share the same information with your friends and challenge them to outperform you.
Florian Gschwandtner, Runtastic CEO and Co-Founder was quoted saying:
Adidas is the perfect strategic partner for Runtastic and we are very eager to leverage our business in new and unique ways in the future. By bringing cutting-edge input from our leading position in the digital space to one of the great world leaders in the sports and fitness industry, I am personally looking forward to pleasing and surprising new and loyal users with the best products in the world. Together, we will make exceptional and unexpected things happen.
Given how big the wearable and fitness tracking market is, it makes a lot of sense for Adidas to use Runtastic which also helps you in making 6 pack abs as well as sleep better. Given Adidas’ presence in the sports space it would be a great chance for Runtastic to be able to power some of the fitness trackers that may well be in works. Adidas to their credit have worked with the likes of Sennheiser in the past to come up with an exclusive line of earphones which can be used during a run or gym session, and therefore have a good hang of the space. Joining hands with Runtastic could mean that the two brands come up with their line of wearables and fitness tracking equipments a bit like Fitbit, Mi Band, YuFit, NikeFuelBand and more.
When Microsoft bought out the mobility division of Nokia, the question loomed large over the long term impact the same would have in terms of what would, once the giants of the mobile industry, do in order to run the books. It was widely claimed that Nokia would now focus on the maps, new technologies and the telecom solutions segment rather than the old phone business. Since then, we have seen a Nokia branded tablet, a launcher, few improvements to the Here maps and more. However, in terms of absolute new hardware and vertical, for the first time since the Microsoft takeover happened, Nokia has come up with something really significant.
Nokia has announced Ozo, which is the first Virtual Reality recording device by the Finnish giants. With the likes of Go Pro entering the space of VR recording given the craze for VR, the Ozo makes a lot of sense fitting right into the gamut of new technology devices that are required today. The Ozo has eight image sensors placed at about a distance of one eye between them, all of which are mounted on a sphere. These optical sensors have an assigned microphone to them at the top in order to record and playback audio in 3D space so that you have a proper VR experience. The best part about Ozo is that unlike other VR recorders, it allows you to watch the footage in real time as and when it is recorded without any problem. You can use any VR headset for this.
Not just this, Ozo also allows you to simply playback the entire footage in a low-quality video within minutes of recording unlike other VR recorders which usually take a lot of time and post-processing to show the video file. Ozo can be mounted on any standard tripod and is primarily aimed at the Hollywood for good quality VR shoot.
In the attempt to completely comply by the MNP policies set by TRAI, the telecom operators have begun rolling out an update where the users will be now able to make STD calls from their mobile device without having to include the prefix of +91 or 0. The update has now started rolling out and it has been reported that the users on the network of Airtel from Maharashtra and Delhi are already experiencing this as calls are going through without the need of 0 or +91, which has certainly simplified calling and enhanced the entire experience.
On the contrary, Vodafone users are still struggling and have to continue adding 0 or +91 before they can make STD calls which kind of clarifies that the plans are being rolled out slowly region as well as carrier wise. However, according to the deadline given by TRAI, by July timeframe all the telecom operators would have to comply by the complete MNP policy which basically is adhering to the fact that there should be no differentiation between local and STD calls.
Another major change that we can expect after the rollout is that you would be able to port numbers not just in your local circle, but also inter circle, anywhere across the number.
How excited are you about the implementation of the entire MNP policy? Let us know in the section below.
The last few weeks have been pretty happening at Google. You have had the new Chromebook Pixel launched, a couple of new low end Chromebooks and also the Chromebook Flip, the first tablet, PC hybrid system. It does look like the Chrome OS is finally taking off and people are scarily realising that they are not really using their computers for anything beyond really browsing the internet. Another interesting Chrome OS enabler is a $100 dongle that Google announced which is called the Chromebit.
It is a simple dongle that basically if you attach to a TV with the right peripherals you can convert that into a PC, similarly you can attach it to a monitor and run the basic Chrome version on it along with a few Chrome apps. In term of specifications, you get 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal memory in the Chromebit dongle. The dongle does come in several colors for you to pick up in case you like colors. The dongle is powered by a Rockchip 3288 SoC and connects to the internet via WiFi supporting 802.11 AC bands or using Bluetooth 4.0.
The dongle will go on sale sometime this summer and is expected to cost within the Rs 7,000 mark when it does finally come to India.
OnePlus is on a roll. Widely considered to be one of the best startups in the world today, OnePlus is quickly following up with the success of their smartphone, OnePlus One with several accessory products including headphones, covers and now external battery packs.
OnePlus has announced its own battery pack which brings a couple of USB out ports each rated at 5V-2A with a micro USB port as well to charge the device. The powerbank will sell for just a cent less than $15 in the US which would translate to about Rs 900, very much in the Xiaomi powerbank zone. The powerbank right now, is on sale only in the US on the official OnePlus website, though the plans are to bring it to India very soon once the logistics are sorted. OnePlus said:
Some of you may be aware that shipping “pure batteries” (any battery that is not connected to or inside another product) is extremely complex due to the special shipping requirements. This led to high shipping costs for the batteries, which would’ve resulted in a more expensive product, and a customer experience not on par with OnePlus standards. We wouldn’t ask our fans to settle for anything less. So, we are looking into alternative methods that will bring the Power Banks to European fans without compromising the cost.
You are also probably wondering why there was a delay with the Power Bank release. Processing battery certifications (FCC, CE, and battery compliance) is very time sensitive. Since each country in our global market has different requirements and regulations, all battery certifications used different procedures and were not finalized as quickly as we had hoped. Each one needed to be completed individually before moving forward, and this resulted in the wait.
The powerbank also has the feature where it will show the status of the battery when gently shaken and is expected to land in India by next month.
After rousing success in South Eastern Asia thanks to its high specifications low pricing model, Xiaomi has a new baby to show off. The new device from Xiaomi comes in the RedMi category which so far only showcased the RedMi 1s. The RedMi 1s had recently gone on sale in India and it was only when Xiaomi decided to bring in the RedMi Note that the device was phased out (brought back again after the injunction on RedMi Note) thanks to the strategy which sees only one Mi device going on sale at once in India.
The RedMi 2 is a successor to the RedMi 1s despite bringing in only minor improvements, both in terms of specifications and design alterations. The RedMi 2 brings a Snapdragon 410 SoC which is built on 64 bit architecture with a 720 P display measuring 4.7 inches diagonally.
There is 1 GB RAM and 8 GB of internal storage with an option to expand it with a Micro SD card. The battery here is a 2,200 mAh and the device supports dual active SIM cards and is LTE compatible. The RedMi 2 is expected in China on January 9th and will set you back by about 699 Yuan, which approximately comes to Rs 6,700 which incidentally is really close to what the RedMi 1s was selling for in India. It would be interesting to see when and at what price would the phone reach India.