Saturday, 31 March 2012

Google prepping an online store to launch self-branded tablet

Google prepping an online store to launch self-branded tablet
Rumours of a Google tablet have once again surfaced online. Reports on the Internet claim Google is planning to sell its co-branded tablets via an unidentified online store later this year.

Rumours of a Google tablet have been on the web for a long time now. First it was rumoured that Google will bring an Android tablet to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire. Later, reports suggested the tablet will be a seven-incher and priced around $149-199, taking on the Kindle Fire.
Separately, DigiTimes in its report claims the Internet giant is planning to partner with Asus to launch a low-cost tablet. According to The Wall Street Journal, the tablets may be co-branded with the name “Google” and the company may join hands with Samsung and Asus to make the hardware. Asus is rumored that Google tablet will be launched via online Google store later this year.
The WSJ further reports that the tablet will run the next version of Android operating system, also known as Jelly Bean. It's possible that Google may come up with Android tablets this year via Motorola Mobility, which it acquired for $12.5 billion last year.
Back in 2010, Google had briefly sold an Android smartphone, the Nexus One, via its online store but the company closed the store after four months. Google currently sells its devices, made by a variety of handset makers. through carrier partners and retail stores. Google's Android is world's top smartphone operating system, ahead of Apple's iOS. However, Apple still leads in the tablet market with its iPad-series tablets.

Nokia rolls out update to fix Lumia 800 battery life

If there is one problem that has plagued the smartphone industry, it’s the problem of battery life. Nokia’s Windows Phone 7.5 flagship device, the Lumia 800 is no exception to this problem. The Finnish smartphone manufacturer has started rolling out an update that addresses the rapidly draining battery life of the device. For those of you that are wondering, the Nokia Lumia 800 sports a1,450 mAh battery.

On its official blog, Nokia said, “This software version for the Lumia 800 (1600.2487.8107.12070) brings significant improvements in battery performance and power management. Originally scheduled for 18 April, we’ve now managed to bring the schedule forward. But before you get all excited and reach out for that cable to connect your Lumia 800 to your Mac or PC, there’s just one more thing to know: the update will not span the globe all at once. It will be queued up over 4 weeks, beginning today (28 March) for the first batch. Subsequent phased updates will be on 4, 11 and 18 April.”
Nokia has previously rolled out an update to fix the battery life of Lumia 800. Reports then claimed that the upgrade would triple the battery life of the device.
If you would like to know whether the update is available in your country, Nokia has a ‘software availability’ webpage that informs you is the update is available in your region. Click here to see if the update is available to you.
Apart from improving the battery life, the update to the Lumia 800 adds the following features to the device:
  • Improved bass when playing music
  • Soft keys will be quite visible at all brightness levels
  • Various fixes for reboots, lockups and ending calls
To download the update, users need to connect their Windows Phone to Zune on the PC, or Windows Phone 7 connection on the Mac to download the update to their handset.  
In case this is the first time you are updating your Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone, here’s a quick video by Nokia that shows you how to update the device via your PC.

HTC One X, One V to hit Indian market next week

HTC One X, One V to hit Indian market next week
HTC is going to launch its HTC One-series smartphones, including One X and One V, in India next week. According to reports, HTC One X will be priced at Rs. 35,000, taking on the likes of Samsung Galaxy SII. The HTC One V will come for Rs. 17,000 and is likely to compete with other Android smartphones under Rs. 20,000.

GSM Arena reports HTC's flagship devices HTC One X and One S, and a mid-range HTC One smartphone will be released in Europe and in certain Asian markets on April 2. It's not clear which Asian markets will get the HTC trio, but Singapore and Taiwan have already been confirmed. Reports of the HTC One trio come days after the company posted a teaser video of the One X on their official Facebook page.
Among the three HTC smartphones slated to be launched next week, the HTC One X is the most talked about device. The HTC One X sports 1.5 GHz quad-core processor and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Sense 4.0 UI. The device has a 4.7-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution, 8MP camera. 1.3MP front facing camera, 32GB internal storage and 1GB of RAM. For connectivity, the HTC One X has NFC, Wi-Fi and micro-USB 2.0. The HTC One X comes with a 1,800 mAh battery. Check out the full specifications here.
HTC had announced a new lineup of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones, including One X, One XL, One S and One V, at the recently held MWC event. Earlier this month, reports had claimed that the HTC One X and One S smartphones will be launched in April.
(Left to right) HTC One S, One X, and One V

HCL ME X1 Tablet

The Rs. 10,000 price point has seen the rise of quite a few tablets in the past year from brands such as iBall, Mercury, Beetle, Viewsonic and Reliance to name a few. In trying to break the price barrier, some of these devices compromise on features such as build, battery life, camera and the power under the hood. Their overall performance however gets the job done for basic activities such as web browsing, mail, videos and the occasional game from the Google Play Store.
Today we have amongst us the HCL Me Tablet X1. This is HCL’s second foray into the budget tablet segment. Does the device have what it takes to stand out of the crowd?
Look and Feel
On first impressions, the device is quite well built. It has a grey plastic body where the rear panel isn’t removable giving it the feel of a unibody design (even though the design isn’t unibody).
The front of the device houses the 7-inch display that boasts of a resolution of 480x800. The front also has the 2MP camera and a back button. There is no rear-facing camera. In terms of connectivity, all the ports are at the bottom of the device. The device has a mini USB port, mini HDMI out, a headphones jack, microSD card slot, DC in and the power button. That may seem like a lot of ports but they are neatly laid out.
On the top of the device (when held in landscape mode) is a rocker that works as a menu and home button but also doubles up as a volume rocker.
The Me Tablet X1 isn’t very heavy either weighing in at 391.5gms.
Overall the device fits the run of the mill crowd. Its looks and style isn’t that different from the competition to make it an outstanding product. It does however feel very well built on ones hands. In our hands the device feels similar to the Reliance 3G tab.
Features and PerformanceStraight out of the box, the device runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The down side is that HCL has removed access to the Google Play Store on the device. Instead you have access to the HCL Me app store which housesthe apps.
Sure, most of the popular apps are there but you don’t have access to all the apps. Plus, the interface on the HCL Me app store is boring and dull and it asks you three times before downloading and installing an app. It’s pretty frustrating to use this store and we wish HCL adds the Google Play store in addition to its own store.
With the biggest disappointment out of the way, let us take a look at how the rest of the device performs.
Under the hood, the device is powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU and has 512MB RAM keeping it at par with the competition if not better. The touch screen is capacitive in nature, which means that you don’t need to use a stylus. Hurra!!
The overall response of the touchscreen is a bit sluggish. This performance improved marginally when we installed a task killer but the difference wasn’t a deal breaker. We played a bit of Angry Birds Rio on the device and the games ran pretty smoothly.
Browsing the web on the device was a mixed experience. The change in orientation from portrait to landscape was swift but the pages took a little too long to render. Once loaded it was easy to zoom into the text to read it and the text wrapped quite well. The overall web browsing experience was good.
Another downer to the device is that the YouTube app available on the HCL app store is underwhelming and we had to resort to the mobile version of the video-sharing site to watch the videos. The videos ran pretty smoothly but the audio from the inbuilt speakers is very soft.
The HCL Me Tablet X1 boasts of 1080p video playback support at 30fps. We ran two 1080p trailers in .MP4 format on the device and they ran absolutely smoothly without any hiccups. The display was crisp but was susceptible to a lot of glare. The viewing angles on the device too are underwhelming.
The front of the device has a 2MP camera that takes pictures in a maximum resolution of 1600 × 1200. The images from the camera aren’t exceptional and very average. The front facing camera is also capable of shooting videos in 640 × 480 resolution.
The device also comes with a mini USB to full USB adaptor. This is really handy as the device boast of compatibility to 3G dongles. With average use, the device lasted us under a day, which is expected from a device in this category.
A good feature of the device is that it has a file manager that comes preinstalled. This file manager is really easy to use and you can seamlessly locate files you have transferred from your computer onto the device. The HCL Me Tablet X1 also has an APK Installer that will help users install and uninstall apps with ease.
Overall, the HTC Me Tab X1 is an average performer when compared to the competition in the same price range. The lack of the Google Play store is the biggest downer of this device. The lack of Bluetooth and a SIM card slot too is missed, as these are some of the features offered by the competition such as the Reliance 3G tab and the Beetle Magiq. The 1080p MP4 playback was smooth and games like Angry Birds Rio ran smoothly on the device. If you are in the market to pick up a tablet in the Rs. 10,000 you can consider this device keeping the above points in mind.

Friday, 30 March 2012

LG 42LW6500 Cinema 3D

LG 42LW6500-1-336-4.jpg
The primary reason why 3D didn’t really take off is the not inconsiderable discomfort faced by anyone and everyone experiencing it. The active shutter glasses tend to be heavy, and require the viewer to be placed within a certain arc to experience 3D. And after a while, you will surely reach headache ville or nausea town. LG seems to have sorted some of these issues, with the Cinema 3D television range. But does that mean that 3D is ready to arrive in your living room?
Look & Feel
Pretty much standard fare here - standard looks, black bezel with a glossy finish, and all ports on the side-rear, but at a bit more space premium thanks to the slimness. While we are witnessing the trend of slimmer bezels to enhance the edge-to-edge look, LG hasn’t bothered with that at all. We don’t really mind that, since not having that edge-to-edge design is similar to a faux one that most other TV manufacturers seem to be doing. The tabletop stand is standard fare too. The only niggle we can really point out is that this TV tends to rock around quite a bit more than a TV this size usually does, if touched. The assembly is similar to what the likes of Samsung and Sony allow as well, which makes this a little difficult to understand. You could do with a “Hands-off” sticky note on the TV, just to warn people! Overall, the build quality and finish is perfect. There aren’t any bling elements to it, and the understated classiness should impress in your living room.
Features & Performance
This 42-inch LED television has a Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution. This is essentially the LED-LCD type panel, and not a Full LED one, as the advertising would want you to believe. The edge-LED spec is accompanied with Local Dimming, with the idea being to make black levels deeper.
With the dimming activated, the black levels are definitely deeper and more uniform, as and when whichever one is required. However, the problem of the “Halo effect” does creep in. Simply put, the Halo effect is when you see block of leaking light around a brightly lit object in the midst of black colour.
To make 3D viewing more comfortable, LG is betting heavily on the passive 3D type. In a more technical language - Film Type Patterned Retarder 3D (FPR) - the term LG uses. The glasses for this 3D type are noticeably lighter and ever slimmer than the active shutter 3D type. The left and the right eye images are created simultaneously, and the polarized glasses put them together to give the depth and multi dimensional effect. Active 3D on the other hand combines sequential images with electronic shuttering on the glasses. Hence, they are battery powered and are slightly bulky as well. Incidentally, passive is the 3D type that you encounter in most multiplexes.
LG bundled 4 glasses with the 42LW6500, two in orange, and two in white!
Moving on from all the technicalities, we don’t think passive 3D is a huge leap over active shutter 3D. We got an equally splitting headache after 15 minutes of watching The Dark Knight in 3D. However, where it has the advantage for someone who can walk through this wall of pain is the added freedom of viewing posture and wider-angle capability - something that will work when families get together to watch TV.
We were quite impressed with the sheer brightness of the display. Out of the box, on standard settings, it was brighter than most other LED-LCD panels. With a mix of 2D Standard Definition and 2D High Definition content playback, the sharpness levels and the wide colour range impressed us. However, you need to play the balancing game with the sharpness bit carefully - turning it too high makes displayed content noisy. With SD content, there was significant edge noise, irrespective of whether it was upscaled or not. However, the LG 42LW6500 Cinema 3D really started to show off its colours when the content was more within its range - HD content, Blu-ray and even upscaled 3D.
LG claims that the dynamic contrast ratio on this TV as “ultra”. To put a figure to the feature, we tested with the Spyder 3 Elite benchmark and got an actual figure of 700:1, which is definitely in the mid-high range in the TVs that we have tested.
Price: 104900

Google Maps for Android v6.5 released, with multiple updates

Google Maps for Android v6.5 released, with multiple updates
This week Google updated its Google Maps for Android to version 6.5, adding a redesigned Navigation menu for devices with Android 4.0+ platform. The new version provides estimated travel times within Google Maps in accordance with the traffic conditions. The traffic data is refreshed constantly so that user gets the latest possible information.

Google already offered traffic data but this is first time it has made the data available as part of directions. “The previous traffic feature that was removed from “Google Maps” last summer provided users with the worst-case traffic scenario based on historic traffic data — e.g. ‘up to 50 minutes in traffic," said a Google spokesperson.
The spokesperson further revealed that Google pulled that feature as it wanted to better the freshness of the data. The new feature gives users ability to check current traffic conditions and also provides an estimated length of travel time, which is based on data constantly refreshed. Google says the traffic information will be better and more precise if more people opted in the service.
For devices with high pixel density screen such as Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, Droid Razr and others, Google Maps will provide now higher resolution map, which means you will get less cluttered map while navigating. The new style is also said to help maps react more quickly to panning, zooming, and twisting. Google also added the ability to prioritize a transit mode and route option in Google Maps 6.5 for Android.
Google Maps for Android v6.5 is available at Google Play.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Apple to offer refund to all Australia buyers of new iPad

Apple Inc will email all buyers of its new iPad in Australia to offer them a refund, a lawyer for the company said on Wednesday, after the nation's consumer watchdog accused it ofmisleading advertising over one key aspect of the product. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has taken legal action to ensure Apple makes consumers aware its third-generation iPad cannot connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia due to technical incompatibility.

Apple agreed to post warnings that its new iPad "is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks" over the next week. In documents lodged with the court, the ACCC says Apple advertised that "iPad with WiFi can with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, which it cannot do".
A fefund in the works
A refund in the works

Apple "seems to accept that there's a lack of compatibility," said Colin Golvan, senior counsel for the ACCC said at the Federal Court in Melbourne. "It's been completely indifferent to the Australian market," he said.

A trial has been set for May 2, with a hearing a preceding that on April 16.

Apple promoted its third-generation tablet as the iPad with Wifi+4G, but Australia has only one 4G network, operated by Telstra Corp, which operates on a different frequency to the 4G on Apple's new iPad. Rival Optus, the Australian unit of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, is due to launch a second 4G network in April but that will not be iPad-compatible either. Apple barrister Paul Anastassiou told the Federal Court in Melbourne that the company would send emails to all Australian buyers to date, offering the refund.

Apple rolled out the first wave of new iPad tablets on March 16.

While the iPad is the clear market leader, and the new version with its faster chips, fourth-generation wireless and a sharper display is only expected to cement Apple's lead, the company has hit some bumps in the road. It is waging a battle with a Chinese technology company, Proview, that claims to own the iPad trademark in China, in a long-running dispute that has threatened to disrupt iPad sales in one of its fastest growing markets. In Australia, a small but a key launch market for Apple products, it lost a bid to ban the sales of Samsung Electronics Co Galaxy tablet late last year.

That battle is part of bruising global patent war between the two firms that spans about 30 legal cases in 10 countries.

Reuters to be renovated; April 30 last day for backup

HTC's very own cloud service, is closing down on the 30th of April for renovation. All those who had opted for their cloud storage have started receiving emails by HTC to notify them before HTC shuts down the service for renovation. HTC have urged their customers using the cloud storage to backup all their data before the end of next month as all of the data would be deleted when the site goes in for maintenance.
Announcement on the website
Announcement on the website

To backup your data, all you need to do is go to, login with your HTC Sense username and password, go to 'Account Overview' section and click the 'Download' button and it'll backup all the data to a .zip file for easy viewing. HTC also mentions that if you need other backup services to fit your needs, then you should log onto Google Play and download apps. We recommend you to use apps, such as My Backup Pro or LifeSaver2 as examples.

The company has not mentioned just how long this ‘down time’ will last. We’re assuming that perhaps this 'renovation' entails a slight ramp up to include some of the new services HTC has been talking about lately. Could it also come back with an integration of their new upcoming music streaming service, along with Beats that we mentioned earlier?

Either way, backing up your data is a fail-safe that we recommend all users should comply with.

HTC, in a discussion with over the closure of services for the Indian market, stated that, "In response to customer feedback HTC is improving our services to provide a more enhanced customer experience. As part of that effort, on March 19 2012, HTC will be removing some services including the backup and restore andphone location services. Customer data will continue to be available for download for 30 days to ensure customers do not lose any important information.HTC recommends that customers who want additional security, phone location or backup services should visit the Android marketplace to download the applications that best meet their needs."

Mozilla unveils HTML5 MMO game demo - BrowserQuest

Mozilla unveils HTML5 MMO game demo - BrowserQuest
In an effort to promote the HTML5 platform, Mozilla has launched a retro-style MMO adventure game demo based on the technology, called BrowserQuest. To that end, it has also released source code for developers, showcasing how the technology can be used today to create a real-time multiplayer game in a single webpage.

Releasing a statement about the game, Mozilla said in a blog post: "BrowserQuest is a tribute to classic video-games with a multiplayer twist. You play as a young warrior driven by the thrill of adventure. No princess to save here, just a dangerous world filled with treasures to discover. And it’s all done in glorious HTML5 andJavaScript."
Mozilla’s BrowserQuest game was developed by Little Workshop, and uses a new bi-directional server-browser communication technology called WebSockets. The game can be played in Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and with WebSockets, even with Opera. It will also run on Safari for iOS, and Firefox for Android.
BrowserQuest utilizes HTML5’s built-in tools to easily generate a 2D tile-based world, its audio APIs for sound, and the WebSockets layer to communicate with the backend server. Users will be able to access their game across platforms, with localStorage-based autosave features keeping track of everything. Chat features, and a user dashboard, are also be available.
You can check out the game here, read more about it here, and find the source code here.
Detailing how it all works, the blog post continues: "When you start to play, your browser opens up a WebSocket connection to one of several load-balanced game servers. Each server hosts multiple world instances and handles the player synchronization and game logic within all instances. Because the server code is running on Node.js, both the server and client codebases share a small portion of the same JavaScript source code…The mobile versions are more experimental than the desktop experience, which has richer features and performance, but it’s an early glimpse of what kind of games will be coming to the mobile Web in the future."

Sony unveils PlayMemories Online cloud storage service, PlayMemories Studio

Sony unveils PlayMemories Online cloud storage service, PlayMemories Studio
Sony has launched a new cloud storage service, also accessible via its PS3 console, called PlayMemories Online. It will allow owners of certain Sony products, such as PS3 consoles, to upload up to 5GB of images and videos. Once uploaded, the content will be accessible and editable via the PS3, as well as smartphones, tablets, and the PlayStation Vita.

Apart from uploading to the PlayMemories Onlinecloud storage service via PC and phone, PS3 owners will be able to plug their cameras, camcorders and USB drives directly to the PS3. They can then view HD videos and images, and even do some editing – part of the PlayMemories Studio, which will be available as a 30-day free trial version, or roughly $15 to buy. PlayStation Plus subscribers will get free lifetime access however.
PlayMemories Studio has quick edit features such as picture effect presets, as well as video-editing features, with captions, sound effects, voice manipulation, and tagging. All the data is available to see in an Xperia-like timescape view, with location filters.
PlayMemories Online and PlayMemories Studio are services that will be available across other products of the Sony ecosystem - buyers of latest Sony digital cameras or camcorders for now will also get access to the service for free, via a coupon. Sony television, tablet, and smartphone owners will also be able to enjoy the service in the future.

HTC to shut down its Sense cloud storage service

HTC to shut down its Sense cloud storage service
HTC has said it is shutting down its cloud storage service HTC Sense. The company has given users until April 30 to keep hold of their data as the company has decided to delete them.

Explaining reason behind the move, HTC says the is "undergoing a renovation". "Until the new services are ready, features previously available on will be shutting down," a letter on the site says. However, HTC also promises to keep users updated about the launch of “new and improved” cloud storage services.
Users will need to login at with their username and password to download a zip file having the backup data. HTC has also suggested users, who are seeking services such as phone-locating service or backup service, to visit Google Play, the rebranded version of Android Market, and download a suitable application.
HTC had launched HTCSense in 2010, aiming to compete with the likes of Apple's icloud storage service. However, the HTC cloud storage service did not turn out to be a huge success. The company now seems to have decided to come up with a complete renovation of the service and give it a grander launch in 2012.
HTC on its site announces temporary closure of HTCSense cloud services

Opera Mini 7 launched for Android

Opera Mini 7 launched for Android
Opera Software has launched the final version of Opera Mini 7 for Android today. Opera Mini is reportedly used by 160 million monthly users, and version 7’s new features will better help watching your mobile data diet, apart from improved performance and other changes.

Opera mini 7 for Android features improved OpenGLES hardware acceleration, and better optimization for dual-core and quad-core devices. It also features “as many Speed Dial buttons as you'll ever want” – quite handy on a mobile browser.
Web page compression has also improved with up to 90 percent of the original data cut out, helping use less data, apart from improving page load times. Beam support (or NFC on Android 4.x) has also been added, apart from an exit button. Tab management, and find-in-page UI have also been improved.
Opera Mini 7 is available on the Google Play Store right now, or can be found at

Monday, 26 March 2012

Optus to launch Xperia S in early April

The Sony Xperia S is heading to Optus. The telco is planning an early April launch, and will be $0 upfront for those who sign up to a 24 month contract under its $49 Optus Cap Plan or $49 Business Complete Plan – which also includes 1.5GB of data.
Announced back at CES, The Xperia S features a 4.3-inch display, a 1.5GHz dual core processor and 32GB of storage. It also features two cameras – a 12-megapixel rear camera capable of recording 1080p and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p footage and has NFC support.
It will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and Sony has said that it will be upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich soon.

Top 5 online deals for buying tablets in India

Top 5 online deals for buying tablets in India
Assuming you are in the market for a new tablet, or just scouting around to lay your hands on a neat deal, stop right now. Because we have made that effort for you!

This week, we bring you the top five deals on tablets that you may get for a price that won't really pinch the pocket, yet offer an experience that doesn’t smack of a budget feel.
Apple iPad 2 (16GB- Wi-Fi)
With the launch of the new iPad globally, Apple announced some price changes for the current iPad 2 versions. Officially, the prices start at Rs 24,50, but this deal on eBay shaves another cool Rs 1500 more off. This is the best tablet around, and the lesser the price, the sweeter it is!
Blackberry Playbook (16GB)
With the latest OS update, the Playbook does get the integrated email capabilities, better social networking integration and some Android apps on the device. Much better tablet than what we first saw of it. The PlayBook is available for Rs. 13,750 on eBay right now, becoming quite a catch.
Lenovo Ideapad A1
We love an underdog, and in the midst of the powerful branding of Apple, Samsung and RIM, we have Lenovo’s IdeaPad A1 tablet that brings a complete package to the table. This seller is shipping it from the U.S., but the price that is mentioned on the listings pageincludes shipping and delivery - Rs. 13,790.
Amazon Kindle Fire
The Kindle Fire looks very similar to the Playbook. However, while the customized Android version looks brilliant, certain services are geographically limited. Will work with full capabilities if you happen to have a credit card from one of the financial institutions in the U.S. It's available for Rs.13,790 on eBay right now.
Samsung Galaxy Tab P1010
Okay, we admit that you know that Froyo is old, but for a budget tablet, the Galaxy Tab P1010does have a lot of grunt under the hood. With a compact 7-inch display, it could well be the first tablet for a lot of users - it's retailing for Rs. 15,899 on eBay.
As e-commerce can be slightly tricky, let us guide you about a few things. First, always pay via the website’s secure payment route (for example - Ebay’sPaisaPay) and avoid using methods like demand drafts or direct bank transfer. In case something goes wrong before you get the order delivered, at least the website will be able to track it and help you with a refund or replacement.
Second, if there are multiple sellers on the platform, use the one with the best user feedback ratings. This goes quite a way in ensuring that the product will be delivered to you on time, and in good condition. Third, read the listing of the particular product carefully - essentially scouting for fine print, before ordering.
We are only guiding you about the hot deals available on multiple online stores, and are not a part of the e-commerce process of that particular website.

Samsung Galaxy S III rumoured to launch on March 30

Samsung Galaxy S III rumoured to launch on March 30
Recently a number of reports and rumours regarding Samsung's next flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S III, have hit the Internet. The device was previously rumoured to be launched at the MWC 2012 event in February. However, Samsung came out with another Galaxy device, Galaxy S II plus, at the event. The Galaxy S III has been long rumoured to launch in first half of this year. According to the latest round of rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S III will be launched in London on the 30th of March.

The fresh Samsung Galaxy S III rumours have been triggered by images of a store in London called Phones 4u with a banner with the message ‘Coming 30.3.12’ . Tech site Gizmodo, which published the photos, pointed out that previous rumours had hinted Samsung will announce its new flagship device in April or May but not in March. Also, Phones 4u had the Galaxy Nexus exclusively in the U.K. when it was first released, so “it’s possible Samsung’s done another deal with the high street retailer here too”.
Android Central in its report however says the teaser is of some mid-range of Samsung device not the Galaxy S III. “Let's not forget that this is a phone store in London. Samsung's last major London event was at the slightly more impressive Battersea Power Station, where the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus were both on show. Taking all this into account, we're going to take a punt on this and say that it's likely to be something mid or low range,” the website states.
The Galaxy S III is supposedly going to have 7-mm width and will take on Motorola's RAZR XT910, which is touted as the world's slimmest phone. The device is said to have a 12MP camera with an LED flash. The display of the Galaxy SIII will be e a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED Plus with an HD resolution. It will most likely feature Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos SoC, up to 32GB on onboard storage and whole gig of RAM. You can read our previous coverage on Samsung Galaxy S III here.

Angry Birds Space coming to Windows Phone, confirms Rovio

Angry Birds Space coming to Windows Phone, confirms Rovio
The latest Angry Birds Space game will be available on Windows Phone 7 platform soon. Turning down reports that Rovio is doing away with Windows platform, company chief executive Mikael Hed said that Rovio is working towards getting Angry Birds Space to WP7 soon. However, the official did not give any specific timeframe for the roll-out of the game to the WP7 platform.

Angry Birds Space was launched last week for iOS, Android and for the PCs and Mac. Rovio's games are topping sales charts on all major platforms and move to skip the Windows Phone was dubbed as a major jolt to Nokia's efforts to provide Angry Birds game in all its smartphones.
"We are working closely together with Nokia to bring our games to their platforms," Hed said. "Our mutual goal is to bring the best possible experience to our fans, including all fans using Windows Phone devices."
Angry Birds Space has been released as a free, ad-supported app on Android, and as a paid, 99-cent version. Angry Birds Space for the iPhone costs 99 cents, while the Retina-ready "HD" iPad app costs $2.99. A special Android tablet-optimised version also costs $2.99.

Five dual-core Android smartphones in India benchmarked

Five dual-core Android smartphones in India benchmarked
Who is the most powerful of them all? Who provides the best overall performance? Big question! To simply put it - we have pitted the five top Android smartphones in the Indian market at the moment against each other. To see how they fare, we compared them on the basis of scores derived via certain benchmarks - Quadrant, Antutu, LinPack, GL Benchmark and Peacekeeper.

All five benchmarks together will help us identify the top performer in terms of CPU and GPU performance, as well as web browsing performance. With the results, we will hopefully be able to take any subjectivity or personal bias out of the already complex equation.
The Android phones that we tested were the Samsung Galaxy Note andGalaxy S IIHTC Sensation XELG Optimus 3D and the Motorola Razr XT910, all of which also feature in our Top 10 list of best Android smartphones, and most of which are on the list of Top 10 smartphones.
To make it easier to understand the comparison, we have laid out the benchmark scores on a series of graphs.

WishTel Ira vs. Aakash 2: Budget tablets under 5k compared

WishTel Ira vs. Aakash 2: Budget tablets under 5k compared
The Indian market is already awash with budget tablets, and numerous new manufacturers are joining the race to further heat up the competition.

WishTel, BSNL, Zync and Intex are the latest entrants to the Indian budget tablet market.

BSNL recently forayed into the tablet market with the launch of three tablets including the ultra low-cost Penta T PAD IS 701R (priced at Rs. 3,250). Unfortunately, the availability of the tablets in the retail market has been delayed for a while.
WishTel, however, with its recent launch of two low-cost tablets, will for a while offer the most affordable low-cost tablet from a private manufacturer in India, with its ultra low-cost Ira-series tablets starting at Rs. 4,000.
While we're talking about the ultra low-cost tablets, we cannot fail to mention the Aakash 2 tablet, which is slated to launch in April. The Aakash 2 tablet is an ambitious project of the Indian government and is aimed at 'bridging the digital divide' in the country. The Aakash 2 tablet is going to cost around Rs. 2,276 (Rs. 1,500 approx. subsidised price).
We bring you a quick comparison between the two hottest ultra low-cost tablets – WishTel Ira and Aakash 2.
WishTel Ira
The WishTel Ira sports a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen with 800 x 480 resolution, while the Ira Thing has a resistive touchscreen with the same resolution. The Ira runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and is powered by an 800MHz CPU. It has a 512MB of RAM. The device has a 4GB inbuilt storage expandable up to 32GB via MicroSD card. For connectivity, the device supports Wi-Fi, 3G and USB 2.0. The Ira has a 2,800 mAh battery. The device comes preloaded with a bunch of apps such as a Web Browser, Media Player, Photo viewer, Office, MSN, Skype, Gtalk, Note pad, Clock, Weather and more.
The WishTel Ira is priced at Rs. 5,000, and the Ira Thing is priced at Rs. 4,000. The specifications of both the budget tablets are the same apart from the fact that the Ira Thing has a resistive touchscreen and the Ira has a capacitive touchscreen. Also, the Ira Thing has a 2,200 mAh battery whereas the Ira has a 2,800 mAh battery.
Aakash 2
The Aakash 2 tablet is going to be an improved version of the original Aakash tablet, which was developed by DataWind. The device will have a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen and will be powered by a 700MHz Cortex A8 processor. The Aakash 2 tablet will have an improved 3,200 mAh battery, which is rated to deliver three-hours of back up. The device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and supports the following document (DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP, PDF), image (PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF), audio (MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA) and video (MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV) file formats. For connectivity, the device supports Wi-Fi and GPRS. The Aakash 2 is priced at Rs. 2,276.
As you can also see, the Aakash 2 tablet continues to be the cheapest tablet in the market so far. Even at a price of Rs. 5,000, the WishTel Ira still costs twice as much as the Aakash tablet. But having said that, there's no confirmed information about the availability of the Aakash device. Though Union minister Kapil Sibal has said that the device will be launched next month, we're not sure that'll happen, especially considering the previous failures to meet deadlines.
Would you prefer waiting for another month to lay hands on the Aakash 2 tablet? Or, will you go ahead with WishTel's Ira tablet that costs you twice as much as the Aakash tablet? Let us know in the comments section below:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Tradus starts selling new iPad in India for Rs 36,799

Tradus starts selling new iPad in India for Rs 36,799
Good news for Apple enthusiasts. Apple's new iPad tablet is now available in India via online shopping site Tradus. The online retailer is selling the 16GB Wi-Fi variant of the new iPad for Rs. 36,799 after a discount of Rs. 3,191. The new iPad was launched in the U.S with price starting at $ 499 (approximately Rs. 25,000).

Tradus on its site points out that the shipping of the device will be at least weeks later - “This is an mported Product. It will be shipped in 15 working days from the date of purchase.” Another notable thing is that the online retailer has listed Rs. 39, 990 as the original price of the new iPad, though Apple has not officially announced India pricing of the device yet.
The new iPad features the much talked about Retina Display and improved hardware than its predecessors. Apple has reportedly sold more than three million units of the device across 11 countries within first three days of launch. To refresh your memory, the new iPad sports a 9.7-inch touchscreen Retina Display supporting higher resolution 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution. This tablet houses Apple A5X mobile processor and features a better 5 megapixel camera at the back for recording full HD video.
With Apple's policy of keeping the new iPad prices for Wi-Fi models same as the iPad 2, the new iPad should be available for Rs. 29,999. Apple has already reduced the price of the iPad 2 (16GB Wi-Fi variant) in India from Rs. 29,999 to Rs. 24,500. 
With this, Apple has extended its iPad offering in India to a wider audience, who might see great value in buying the iPad 2 for Rs 24,500. E-bay India is selling the same at a further discounted rate, you can buy the 16GB Wi-Fi version for Rs. 23,000.