Nokia Teases a new Launch Today on Twitter

We may never see another smartphone with the Nokia moniker, but that doesn’t mean we will not see another Nokia product. Post the sale of the handset division to Microsoft, Nokia has remained pretty active in other fields such as mapping solutions, enterprise and others while also clearly working on the hardware side of things. The first taste of things to come could be unveiled as early as today, as Nokia teased us with a tweet saying that they have indeed been up to some really cool stuff.

The tweet from the official twitter account shows some sort of a box, which could well be a DV Box or a set-top box, or some sort of a box for streaming media content. It is not clear whether there is some sort of content partnership with some of the big players or will it be a totally independent Nokia initiative. The product lineup, which will be the first post the sale of mobile handset, will clearly state the direction in which the company is planning its next move.

Nokia CEO, Rajeev Suri had confirmed in the past that Nokia would not be returning to any handset business, at least in the short term, and as a result you can be rest assured that the unveiling today would not feature a smartphone at least.

Can you guess what it is? Let us know in the section below.

The Head of Google+ Vic Gundotra leaves Google with immediate effect

Vic Gundotra alongside Hugo Barra, has been one of the most recognized faces in Google’s arsenal. The two of them have spent about 70% of the time at any major Google event on stage talking to the developers and the tech community. However, after Hugo, Vic Gundotra too has decided to call it quits on his time at Google. Vic had been heading the Google+ programme at Google and has been one of the most vocal evangelist of the Social Network that has always been behind the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Reddit in terms of popularity.

Vic Gundotra

Vic had earlier headed the developer and mobile relationship programme for Google in a tenure that has lasted for eight years since his move from Microsoft where he dedicated 15 years of his life. Vic Gundotra will vacate his post from immediate effect and took to his personal G+ page to break the news. He is obviously psyched about taking up the next challenge, details of which he did not really reveal.

This is exactly what Vic wrote, it is indeed a wonderful farewell message:

And Then

Last month, my wife’s uncle died in a tragic accident in LA when the bicycle he was using to get lunch was hit by a truck. At the memorial service his daughter relayed a very touching story.

She said her dad (who was her best friend) called every day to talk. But instead of opening the call with the customary “How are you” or “What’s going on”, her dad always opened the conversation with “And then?” Her father viewed each conversation as a continuation of the last, and what pained her the most was that there were to be no more “and thens”. I cried.

Since then I’ve thought a lot about how similar this is to our life’s endeavors. We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish. But even the challenges we work on today will one day become “and thens” as we move on to the next.

Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years.

I have been incredibly fortunate to work with the amazing people of Google. I don’t believe there is a more talented and passionate collection of people anywhere else. And I’m overwhelmed when I think about the leadership of +Larry Page and what he empowered me to do while at Google. From starting Google I/O, to being responsible for all mobile applications, to creating Google+, none of this would have happened without Larry’s encouragement and support.

I’m also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team. But it doesn’t tell you what kind of people they are. They are invincible dreamers. I love them. And I will miss them dearly.

Finally, thank you to all those who I’ve met on Google+. The community here has been so supportive that I don’t even know how to say thank you. You all make Google+. Without you, this social network wouldn’t exist. Your support for Google+, and for me personally is something I will never forget.

But, now is the time for a new journey. A continuation. An “and then”. I am excited about what’s next. But this isn’t the day to talk about that. This is a day to celebrate the past 8 years. To cry. And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come.

And then….
+Vic Gundotra

Vic will be succeeded by the VP of Engineering, Dave Besbris, who will be the new head of Google+.

 

Samsung Unveils the Next Gen ChatON 3.5 in India

New Delhi: In an event held in the Capital city of India, Samsung announced ChatON version 3.5 in India. The update to ChatON had been announced a while ago and the update had rolled out too. But Samsung definitely had some very interesting bits of news to share as it took to stage to formally introduce the update to the shores of India. Samsung announced the new features of ChatON 3.5 which includes things like ability to recall a message, add 1001 people to a group chat, message translation from Hindi to English and Vice Versa as well as the ability to send files of about 1 GB five times a day.

Samsung ChatOn-1

While all these are interesting add ons to ChatON, the best bit is that ChatON is partnering with several big players like Ebay India for exclusive content including exclusive discounts for those who are using the application. Samsung also announced that there are over 200 Million subscribers, so obviously collaborations such as these will only help the audience get attracted to ChatON especially if there are good substantial discounts.

Mr. Tarun Malik, Director of Media Solutions Center-South West Asia, Samsung Electronics said about the new version of ChatON, “With ChatON Version 3.5, we have simplified mobile instant messaging while adding innovative features. The app has been updated keeping in mind the needs of the young and socially connected users. One of the most exciting new features is message translation, which makes it possible for people speaking different languages to chat with ease. Also the ability to use this platform to consume content from various genres like news, entertainment, games, health and others through multiple devices and platforms allows greater flexibility to users.”

Samsung Galaxy S5 Announced in India: To Cost Between Rs 51,000 and Rs 53,000

Samsung has announced the eagerly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S5 and its range of wearable devices including the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. The event took place in New Delhi and involved plenty of razzmatazz and radio play, a bit like the Galaxy S4 International launch last year. While Samsung did retain most of the specs of the device from the International launch there would be three main differences in the Indian variants:

1) Only 16 GB version of the Galaxy S5 would be sold in India and not the 32 GB one.

2) The SGS5 in India would be 3G compatible only and not LTE.

3) The device in India will run the Exynos 5422 processor which is an Octa Core processor with quad core A15  chip combined with A7 chip.

Galaxy S5 launch India

Rest of the good stuff such as the heart rate sensor, fingerprint sensor as well as the 16 MP rear camera would all be present. There is Micro SD expansion allowing you to expand the storage to about 128 GB. The device has a 2 GB RAM and a 5.1 inch FHD display. The Galaxy S5 is an IP67 certified device meaning you do not have to worry about stepping out in rain or dust storm.

Vineet Taneja, Country Head, IT & Mobile Division at Samsung India said at the launch, “The Galaxy S5 is yet another great proof point of people-inspired innovation. Designed to be both effortlessly smart and intuitively simple, the Galaxy S5 has been created to maximize consumer benefits by integrating superior hardware with enhanced smartphone usability and an iconic design. This sleek and innovative smartphone believes in the importance of an effortless user experience, making your life easy and hassle-free; and, it empowers your life, helping take care of your well-being. At Samsung, we’ll never stop pursuing innovation conceived by people, so we can inspire them in return.”

Not just the Galaxy S5, Samsung also announced the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit in India. All three wearables alongside the Galaxy S5 will go on sale starting April 11th. The Gear 2 is the successor to Gear 1 and runs on Tizen. They also have interchangeable straps. The only difference between the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo is that there is no Camera module on the Gear 2 Neo. The Gear Fit is a fitness band with a heart rate monitor built in and perhaps one of the coolest wearables out there.

Speaking about their wearable range, Mr Taneja said, “Samsung next generation of wearable devices were developed to redefine the way we live and to maximize our fulfilment of life. Our Gear portfolio continues to expand with unique devices designed for extended connectivity features, stylish customization options and a robust application ecosystem. These devices, especially the new Gear Fit, help consumers striving to live fit and active lives, without sacrificing their own personal style or their ability, to stay connected on the go. These devices enable one of the most seamless, natural and human-centric mobile experiences; opening up new horizons that allows you to live a life extraordinary.”

The Samsung Galaxy S5 would retail anywhere between Rs. 51,000 and Rs 53,000 while the Gear 2 will cost you Rs 21,900. The Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit will both cost Rs 15,900.

Nokia X Set to be unveiled in India on March 10th for about Rs. 8,500

Nokia has started sending out invites to the media circle today for an event that is to take place on March 10, 2013. The invitation clearly states, “‘Nokia India cordially invites you to Xperience a new beginning'” and the large prominence of X does not take a genius to figure out that it is for indeed the much awaited Nokia Android device that Nokia X is. It would be interesting to see if Nokia will release the other two devices, i.e. Nokia X+ and Nokia XL alongside the Nokia X.

nokia-x-dual-sim

The pricing of the device is up for debate too, with the European version costing 79 Euros. A simple conversion would mean the device should cost somewhere in the region of Rs. 7000 to 8000 but we all know, this is not how these things work. With taxes and other charges levied, it is an educated guess that the device will cost somewhere in the region of 8K and 8.5K. Anything below that, would be really tasty.

One of the premier sellers of international devices, Saholic has listed the phone for Rs. 8,499 with promised delivery by March 25th. The Nokia X is the first Nokia device to run Android. Although, the Android version is forked, you can now run the Android Play Store and Google services on it, thanks to the Android dev community.

Is Samsung Planning to Release the Galaxy S5 later this month?

Samsung events are always worthy of a news covergae. This is for two reasons, not only are the products on display usually the benchmark of comparisons for the rest of the year in the world of Android, but there is a massive value of entertainment that comes with these events. Take the unpacked event in New York as an example last year. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S IV was more in the news for the acts and the performances than the device on show. And looks like, the party could begin later this month for an year that may prove to be very crucial for Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Invite

According to the leading tech site, The Verge an invitation has arrived for the first part of the Samsung Unpacked at MWC in Barcelona for 24th of February. The invite has a big reference to the number 5 which definitely is no coincidence. When asked from the reps of Samsung by the Verge team they refused to give out further details about the significance of the number which makes sense.

Samsung last year held a full exclusive launch in New York, but looks like there may have been a change of strategy this year. Last month the mobile executive VP Lee Young-hee of Samsung told Bloomberg in an interview that:

When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big, for the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.

It is pretty clear from the statement that there would be more aesthetic changes in the Samsung Galaxy S5 that we saw in the S4 as compared to it’s predecessors. The device is expected to come with KitKat 4.4.2, the latest and greatest from the world of Android. Also, it has been speculated that the device may come with a 2K res display and accompanying the device could be an all new Galaxy Gear.

Via: The Verge

Gionee Announces the Elife E7 and Elife E7 Mini in India

At a racing track, in an event attended by more than 700 journalists, a smartphone was launched. Yes, it takes a split second to register that cause those things don’t really fit in well. A smartphone launch on a racing track. But, that is exactly what Gionee Mobile, a Chinese OEM has done in India, as they announced their latest flagship device, the Gionee Elife E7 and the Elife E7 Mini at the Buddh International Circuit, the F1 track in Greater Noida, India.

Gionee Elife E7-938

The event was one of it’s kind and Gionee actually left a lot of attendees gasping for thin air with their arrangements. However, at the end of the day, beyond all this was a phone to be announced, and as good as the event was, and a chance to catch up with loads of friends in the Media world, we must focus on the devices itself.

Gionee ELife E7803

The Gionee Elife E7 was announced globally in China, about four weeks ago. The phone features a 5.5 inch True HD 1080 P display. From our very brief time with the device, the viewing angles of the phone looked fine and the colors popped well. The phone is ginormous in size and definitely made for two handed operation. Powering the device, is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with Quad Core Krait CPU, each clocked at about 2.2 GHz. There are two different variants of the device, the first one comes with 32 GB of Internal memory and 3 GB of RAM, while the second version boasts a space of 16 GB Internal Memory and 2 GB of RAM.

Gionee ELife E7927

While there is no external storage space using a MicroSD card, the device does support OTG. However, the focus of the device is mainly on it’s Camera, as Gionee is claiming it to be the ‘Best Android camera Smartphone’. The E7 comes with 16 MP rear camera with the pixel size of about 1.34 Microns. There is plenty of nitty gritty features built in there like the Auto Beauty Mode, Sports Mode, Presentation Mode etc which makes the camera app intuitive. The phone comes with two Camera interfaces, one being for the professional shooters while the other for the ones who simply like to take a pic on the move. The front facing Camera of the device is a cool 5 MP AF shooter.

Arvind Vohra, the Country lead of Gionee said:

Since its launch in India, Gionee’s ELIFE series has been extremely well received by consumers. ELIFE E7 is sure to create buzz and recreate benchmarks in the industry. Gionee has crafted its unique space in the Indian market in a very short time supported with unmatched quality, distribution and service. ELIFE E7 is sure to set the Indian smartphone market ablaze with its never seen before features and great hardware

The Elife E7 32 GB model will be priced competitively at Rs. 29,999 while the 16 GB model will set you back by Rs. 26,999.

The Elife E7 Mini, on the other hand, is the miniature version of the device. The 13 MP Camera of the device is a swiveling Unit, very similar to the Oppo N1. The phone has a 720 P display and features the Octa Core MediaTek MT6592 chipset with 1 GB of RAM. The device has a dual SIM capability and just like the Elife E7 comes with Android 4.2. The finish of the device is a little better than the E7 and is less glossy. The Elife E7 Mini comes at the price of Rs. 18,999.

We will be reviewing the two smartphones, and only then will be able to comment on how good or bad the performance of the phone is. Till then, though, there is more choice for the consumers and that’s about that.

Croma Announces Croma Blogger’s Club in India

In an event held at a cafe in New Delhi, Croma, one of the largest retail chains of Consumer Electronics products pan India announced a unique Blogger’s Club. Bloggers have complained in the past of not getting the review devices in time or not having enough time with review units to form an opinion. Another point that has been raised often in the blogging circle is that certain few blogs are given preference over some of the smaller or independent blogs.

blog

 

Croma has come up with a unique solution for the problem. They have decided to announce a Blogger Club where you can request some time at a convenient Croma outlet. The bloggers have to simply drop a mail and the store manager would get in touch with them and assign a time where they can come in. How well this works in practical life is open to debate, but at least in theory it sounds pretty good. At least there would be no more excuse for copying images or even content because someone wanted to push content out and did not have the device.

The meet also saw Kobo announce a couple of tabs in India where one was an E-Reader and their tablet Kobo Aura. Kobo is relatively new to Indian market but did promise some more devices and plenty of E-Books in the market to take on the likes of Kindle who have had a lion’s share of market possesion.

Canon India brings Ultra Portable Snanner and a Mobile app for Easy Scanning

When you think of Canon the first that may strike you is a top photographer with his sophisticated DSLR, yes that is the sort of image cannon has had as they have been one of the biggest players in the market when it comes to photography. However, looks like Canon is set to expand it’s wings and is staking big claims on Digital Homes.

imageFORUMLA P-201

On October 16th, Canon announced the launch of it’s first and ultra portable scanner, coded, imageFORUMLA P-201 and a mobile app named CaptureOnTouch which helps with Scanning on the go. The application’s main purpose is to work in sync with the scanner to help people quickly and easily scan the docs on go and save them in formats such as JPEG, PDF etc.

Globally, Canon holds a 25.1% market share with respect to unit shipment in High-Speed Document Imaging Scanner during the period H1 2013 (Jan-Jun 2013).  The Target here are the households who boast plenty of hard copy documents such as papers, marksheets etc or Insurance Companies which need lot of scanning to be done on the site.

Canon- Launch

Mr. Kazutada Kobayashi, President & CEO, Canon India Pvt Ltd,  during the launch said:

“Canon has always been at the forefront of bringing innovative products to customers. The new portable scanner with mobile application by Canon is going to change the way an individual manages documents. Canon has been successfully addressing the digitization requirements for governments and corporate for many years now. With CaptureOnTouch and P-201 scanner we are hoping to strengthen our ability to meet individuals’ digitization needs. This is a path breaking offering to today’s consumer who wants everything a touch away. With the new scanner, we clearly want to establish innovation leadership in India.”

The scanner in itself is a very capable device and scans at about 7.5 seconds per page with a 200 x 200 dpi. The Canon ultra portable scanner features a contact image sensor and supports simplex scanning side. Being an ultra portable scanner, no wonder the device weighs a meager 550 grams. The scanner also has automatic paper size and color detection which detects if the paper is colored or black and white thus saving time and energy from manually selecting things.

The App, called CaptureOnTouch is for iOS only right now and connects to the scanner via Wi-Fi so you can get a digital output of the scanned copy on your iPhone or iPad and can immediately mail it away for convenience.

Gionee Elife E6 launched in India for Rs 22,999

In a rather unique event at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, the Chinese OEM, Gionee took the curtains off their new flagship device in India, the Gionee Elife E6. Yes, we know the term Chinese OEM would bring some rather unpleasant taste in your mouth and we had our reservations too before we had seen the device.

Gionee E62

No, we would not say the device will bowl you over or beat the iPhone 5s or the very top end of Android phones, but for what it’s worth at the price bracket, the device is a very competitive and actually a very good deal. Packed with some solid specs such as a full HD display measuring 5 inches diagonally and a 1.5 GHz Quad Core  Mediatek SoC, the Gionee E6 certainly is one of the best looking Android phones out there. The device runs a custom Android skin called Amigo, though can add your own launchers too. There is 32 GB internal memory with 1 GB of RAM and 13 MP camera to take good pictures. The body is a unibody construction with OGS and of course a non removable back panel.

Gionee E6

Blogtechnika was one of the first blogs to receive a prototype of the E6 about a month or so ago and we were really impressed with the phone. You can check out our impressions of the device here.

Gionee E61

The event involved plenty of well known faces in the Tech world gathering up and engaging in a panel discussion regarding the whole Chinese branding issue. The event was conducted really well and eventually the phone was announced by the Bollywood actress Huma Qureshi. We will be writing a full and final review of the device once we have spent enough time with it, so do stay tuned for that.