Smartron Said to Launch Sachin Tendulkar-Branded Smartphone Soon

Homegrown technology and IoT company Smartron is rumoured to launch an exclusive Sachin Tendulkar-branded mobile phone in April which will be the first-ever signature series of the master blaster for a mobile phone brand.

Smartron Said to Launch Sachin Tendulkar-Branded Smartphone Soon

Industry sources told IANS that Tendulkar was recently spotted shooting at a studio in Mumbai for Smartron that is working on their next device under the project name “Rimo SRT”.

This will be their third device in less than a year, earlier ones being the t.phone and t.book.

The device, that was seen being used during the shoot, appeared to have back fingerprint sensor and cricketing legend’s signature, the sources told IANS.

The company, however, declined to comment on it stating that “we will in due course of time announce a range of devices in mobile, laptop, wearable segment”.

Priced at Rs. 24,999, the company last year launched t.phone which sports a dual-tone colour scheme and comes in classic grey, metallic pink, steel blue and sunrise orange.

The 64GB device has a 5.5-inch, full-HD Super AMOLED display with 401ppi and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.

The company has not customised the user interface and, running on Marshmallow, the t.phone delivers stock Android experience.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge: what we want to see

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is for our money the best phone you can buy right now, coupling the sheer power of the Samsung Galaxy S7 with a bigger battery, a more eye-catching design and genuinely useful edge screen features.

But there’s no such thing as a perfect phone, so there are still improvements which we’d like to see and will hopefully get with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge, or, as it might be called, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus.

With that in mind we’ve created a wish list for Samsung’s next curvy flagship, along with rumors and predictions of what it might include and when we might see it.

  • What we want to see from the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 6

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Samsung’s next curvy flagship
  • When is it out? Early 2017
  • What will it cost? More than almost any other phone

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge release date

Hottest leaks:

  • A late March or April launch
  • A video tease at the end of February

Early rumors suggested we’d see the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus at MWC 2017 (Mobile World Congress) at the the end of February, which would have made sense, as the S7 Edge was unveiled at MWC 2016 .

But this year it’s not to be, as Samsung itself has confirmed that the phone won’t be revealed at this year’s show – though we may get a brief teaser video.

For the full announcement, current rumors suggest we’ll be waiting until a March 29 launch event in New York, with the phone apparently set to hit shelves on April 21, though we’ve also heard talk of an April announcement .

Prior to that there had also been talk on more than one occasion that the phone had been delayed until April, and we’ve also heard rumors of an April 18 release date – following an announcement in late March or early April.

We’ll at least know when the launch date will be soon though, as Samsung has promised to reveal that much at MWC.

TechRadar’s take: A March or April launch date is looking all but guaranteed, but the exact date is still up in the air.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge news and rumors

You can look to the Samsung Galaxy S8 for an idea of what we’re likely to see with the S8 Edge, since other than the obligatory curves and possibly some differences in screen and battery sizes the two phones are likely to be more or less identical.

A number of rumors are emerging for both phones though, all of which you’ll find below, split into sections.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge screen

Hottest leaks:

  • A 6.1 or 6.2-inch curved screen
  • A QHD or 4K resolution
  • A built-in fingerprint scanner

The latest leaks suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus will have a big 6.1 or 6.2-inch screen, which is a  rumor we’ve heard more than once, and that the aspect ratio could be 18.5:9, rather than the more standard 16:9.

Of those two screen sizes 6.2 inches is looking the most likely, as an unnamed Samsung official has apparently said that’s what size it will be.

We’ve also heard leaked dimensions of 159 x 74 x 8mm, which would make the S8 Edge larger than the 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm S7 Edge, but not by as much as you might expect with a screen of that size.

You can see a similar design in the leaked screen protector shot below, but this provides a clearer look at the whole front of the phone, including what’s likely to be an iris scanner above the screen.

Even if the home button is removed there are still likely to be buttons on the front, just they’ll probably be on-screen ones, like you can see in the image below, which supposedly shows either the S8 or S8 Plus and was found in a system dump for theSamsung Galaxy Tab S3 .

Removing the home button and placing the fingerprint scanner on the back would allow Samsung to keep the dimensions relatively manageable despite the larger screen, but growing the display does still seem an odd choice since it could impinge on the Note range.

So it’s always possible that the screen will stay at 5.5 inches, just like the S7 Edge. Samsung has shown off a 5.5-inch 4K display and if it wasn’t for the lack of curves this would seem an obvious fit for the Galaxy S8 Edge. 5.5 inches is how big the S7 Edge is and a 4K resolution is the next logical step after the QHD screens we’re seeing now.

S7 Edge

The display has a pixel density of 806 pixels per inch, so it’s incredibly sharp and while it hasn’t specifically been linked to either the S8 or the S8 Edge, Chinese sources speaking to WCCF Tech reckon a 4K display of some kind will hit Samsung’s next flagship.

That might sound like overkill, but it could be just what the next generation of smartphones need to really make the most of VR.

More recently we’ve heard rumors of a 5.5-inch curved panel, possibly with a 4K display , so that jump in resolution could well be happening, though a lot of rumors still point to a QHD panel.

Another possible change is having the fingerprint scanner built into the screen, as has been rumored on Weibo .

Similarly, we’ve now heard that Samsung is planning a 5.5-inch curved display with a virtual home button built in.

This rumor has gained ground, with a Samsung employee claiming that the company will launch a phone with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in 2017 – a feat which would basically require the removal of the home button, but it’s more likely Samsung will position the fingerprint scanner on the back than placing it under the screen.

Other rumors suggest that all the buttons will be going soft touch, and that they’ll have customizable functions, with the same source adding that the S8 could have a feature similar to the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch tech used by Apple.

TechRadar’s take: We’re sure to get a curved screen of at least 5.5 inches, and a jump to 4K resolution, while far from guaranteed, would help with VR. Don’t count on seeing the fingerprint scanner built in, but a move to the back is likely, as is a larger, possibly 6.2-inch screen.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge design

Hottest leaks:

  • A similar but further improved look
  • A “slick” design

So far, other than a claim from Samsung’s vice chairman that the standard S8 will have a “slick” design, the main S8 Edge design rumors stem from some leaked renders , based on factory CADs and showing the phone from all angles.

You can see that the design is similar to what’s come before, with a metal frame and a glass back. There are volume and power buttons on the left edge and another button – likely for launching the Bixby AI assistant – on the right edge.

The bottom meanwhile has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a speaker and a USB Type-C port.

You can also see a similar design in this leaked case image above. This is likely for the standard S8, but we’re not expecting any major differences in the appearance.

We’re also starting to get an idea of what colors to expect the Galaxy S8 Plus in. Leaks so far suggest we could get jet black, purple, blue coral, pink gold, gold, white, black and silver shades.

TechRadar’s take: While these renders could be wrong, there aren’t any obvious red flags and the design is believable.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge camera and battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A dual-lens camera
  • Could be up to 30MP
  • A 3,500mAh battery

Several different camera rumors are doing the rounds at the moment. According to Chinese sources speaking to WCCF Tech the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge might have a dual-lens camera, though they don’t specify whether that second lens will be for wide-angle shots like on the LG G5 , monochrome like on the Huawei P9 or something else entirely.

S7 Edge

This rumor has popped up several times since, though more recent rumors suggest just a 12MP single lens camera, with optical image stabilization and an 8MP snapper around the front.

Another currently rumored possibility is that the S8 Plus will have a camera of between 18 and 24MP, with a wide f/1.4 aperture to let more light in. Samsung issupposedly building this sensor already .

While another source claims the rear camera will be 30MP, and the front one will be 9MP, so there are lots of possibilities.

Whatever the case, Samsung is likely to improve the camera over the already impressive snapper on the S7 Edge, and in fact the company’s vice chairman hasspecifically said to expect improvements.

We’ve also heard that the front-facing camera might get an autofocus, which seems a bit unnecessary, but could help it stand out.

The latest battery rumor , which supposedly comes from a Samsung official, states that the S8 Edge/S8 Plus will have a 3,500mAh juice pack.

That would be smaller than the 3,600mAh one in the S7 Edge, despite this probably being a bigger phone, but after the Note 7’s battery problems it’s believable that Samsung would opt for a smaller size.

It’s not confirmed though, and an earlier battery rumor points to a 3,750mAh juice pack.

TechRadar’s take: A dual-lens camera and a 3,500mAh battery are both likely, and we doubt Samsung will change the megapixel count too drastically, so expect a snapper in the region of 12MP.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • A top-end Snapdragon or Exynos processor
  • 6GB of RAM

Samsung could go one of two ways with the Galaxy S8 Plus. It might use one of its own Eynos chips ( rumored to be the 3GHz Exynos 8895), or it might use whatever the latest Snapdragon processor is (probably the 835), or, more likely, it might use both, depending on which region you’re in.

Whatever the case it’s sure to have a top tier processor, likely coupled with 6GB of RAM , especially now the OnePlus 3 has packed that much in. But Samsung might go even further, as the company has created an 8GB mobile RAM chip , though with 6GB still a rarity we doubt it would jump that high. In fact, it’s possible that we’ll get just 4GB.

The S8 Edge could also offer a high-performance “beast mode”, as Samsung hasapplied to trademark something with exactly that name. Such a mode could be a boon to VR – but probably at the expense of battery life.

TechRadar’s take: Expect to get the Snapdragon 835 in the US and the Exynos 8895 elsewhere, coupled with probably 6GB of RAM.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge other features

Hottest leaks:

  • An AI assistant
  • Stereo speakers
  • An iris scanner
  • A desktop mode

A recent rumor suggests the Galaxy S8 Edge won’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack . Instead you’ll have to use Bluetooth headsets or a USB-C adapter for wired headsets, though leaked renders (above) show the headphone port intact, so don’t count on losing it.

But Samsung could also be adding some things, like the ability to plug the phone into a screen and use it with a mouse and keyboard, or optionally buy an S Pen stylus for it – both of which could boost productivity.

That desktop mode rumor is gaining ground, with another leak pointing to a DeX dock, which you would apparently be able to plug the Galaxy S8 Plus into and then from there plug it into a monitor using an HDMI cable.

An iris scanner is also looking like a likely inclusion at this point. Samsung has built one into the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 , and the feature has specifically beenrumored for the Galaxy S8 too.

There’s also talk of a mini projector and an AI assistant known as Viv . This is made by some of the people behind Siri, and Samsung has already purchased the company . Plus, Samsung’s vice chairman has claimed the S8 will feature enhanced AI, so Viv’s inclusion is all but guaranteed.

More recently, Samsung has applied to trademark the names Bixby and Kestra, leading to speculation that these will be the final names for Viv and that it will have both male and female voices.

We could also see the Galaxy S8 Plus get a ‘Smart Glow’ feature, which Samsung introduced with the Samsung Galaxy J2. This is a ring of LEDs that circles the rear camera, lighting up to alert you of notifications when the phone is face down.

But it goes further, with customizable colors for different notifications and even the ability to have it light up when it detects your face – so you can take selfies with the rear snapper.

We may also see – or hear – dual stereo speakers, according to one rumor , which adds that they’ll probably use Harman technology. That’s a company that Samsungrecently bought , so it’s very possible.

The S8 Edge is also likely to include features from previous Samsung phones, like a USB-C port, a waterproof body and a fingerprint scanner. Plus, it could have up to 256GB of built-in storage, which would be a huge jump on the S7 Edge’s 64GB max capacity.

TechRadar’s take: We wouldn’t count on seeing Smart Glow, as it hasn’t been attached to the S8 Edge, while the talk of a mini projector seems a bit unlikely, but the AI assistant has been confirmed, while stereo speakers, a desktop mode and an iris scanner are all likely.

So far we don’t know a whole lot about the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge, but we know what we want to see. From a competitive price tag to powerful speakers and more, here’s our wishlist for Samsung’s upcoming curvy flagship.

1. A lower price

As amazing as the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is it’s also amazingly expensive, retailing for around £640 (US$750, AU$1,249). That makes it one of the most expensive phones on the planet, outside the extravagance of the Vertu range.

It’s understandable that it costs so much. After all it’s big, powerful, feature packed and has a premium design. But given that you could get a reasonably powerful PC or a high-end TV for the same money it can seem a bit much. It’s always going to be a premium range, but hopefully for the Galaxy S8 Edge Samsung can rein in the price just a little.

2. A better fingerprint scanner

S7 Edge

Samsung has vastly improved its fingerprint scanners since the Galaxy S5 , but they’re still not perfect. With the Galaxy S7 Edge it’s not uncommon for the scanner to fail on your first attempt and it’s also limited in what it can do.

Yes, you can use it to secure your phone, but it would be nice if the Samsung Galaxy S8 let you lock individual apps too.

3. Game Launcher improvements

Samsung introduced its Game Launcher with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s a handy tool which groups all your games together in a special folder and gives you extra options like allowing you to mute notifications while playing, lock the recent and back buttons and record footage.

But it needs a bit of polishing. For one thing the Game Tools icon which gives you access to these options is permanently displayed on the screen. So while you can use it to prevent accidental presses of the back button, you could end up accidentally pressing the Game Tools button just as often.

It’s also missing some features. For example, while you can record footage you can’t live stream it, which is a big thing in the world of eSports. So it’s good, but it could be better.

4. More storage space

S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has a respectable 32GB of built in storage. But while that’s a reasonable amount it can easily be filled up if you stick your music collection or a handful of big games on the phone.

There’s always a microSD card slot for more breathing room, but that requires both buying a card and relying on the typically slower speeds offered by them. So hopefully the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge will have beefier built in storage, at least for those who want it.

5. Better battery life

The Galaxy S7 Edge actually has pretty good battery life and it’s a definite upgrade on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge , but it’s still far from the best around. If you’re buying a phone like this you’re likely to use it heavily, so the longer it can last the better.

With that in mind we hope the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge will offer a true two days of life at an absolute minimum. If it can stretch even further than that then all the better.

6. An improved always-on display

S7 Edge

Speaking of battery life, one of the big features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is its always-on display. Yet while it can potentially save battery by not firing up the CPU every time you want to check the time, it uses around 0.8% of the phone’s juice per hour in itself.

So we’d like to see it get more efficient for the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge. While we’re on we’d also like it to be a bit more useful, as currently it doesn’t support notifications for all apps.

7. Powerful speakers

Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge has hi-res audio support, along with the ability to upscale lower res tracks and even tune the sounds based on your own hearing. But the one piece of the audio puzzle its missing are great built-in speakers.

Which isn’t to say they’re bad, as it can pump out a reasonable amount of sound. But the single speaker grille on the bottom of the phone can’t match the likes of theHTC One M9 for quality and the positioning means it’s also too easily obscured when holding the phone.

So hopefully the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge will have more speakers with more power and a better, ideally front-firing position.

8. A refined design

Galaxy S7 Edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is one of the best looking phones we’ve ever had the pleasure of using, but it’s not perfect.

For one thing the glass on the back is a fingerprint magnet, which can quickly make your shiny phone look dirty. We’d also like it if the glass felt more premium and less like plastic and if the camera didn’t protrude, though only if it can still be protected.

Samsung is sure to further refine the design for the Galaxy S8 Edge, so hopefully we’ll see some of these changes.

9. Full waterproofing

Galaxy S7 Edge

One of the best features of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is its water resistance. It gives you peace of mind that you can use it in the rain or the bath and that if a drink gets spilled on it the phone will still work afterwards.

That’s all great, but with the Samsung Galaxy S8 Edge we’d like it to go a step further and offer true waterproofing. The S7 Edge already has a brilliant camera and being able to take it scuba diving to snap photos under the sea would be great. It’s a feature that might not get used much, but one which would further set it apart from the crowd.

10. A better front-facing camera

Speaking of the camera, while the rear snapper on the Galaxy S7 Edge is enormously impressive, the front-facing one is rather more average. It’s just 5MP and doesn’t have an LED flash (though the screen can be lit up as one).

Samsung definitely chose the right camera to focus on, but it would be nice to see the front-facing one catch up, especially as even mid-rangers offer similar specs.

OnePlus 3T 128GB Variant to Be Available to Amazon India Prime Members Tomorrow

OnePlus’ latest offering OnePlus 3T is available exclusively on Amazon India, and while the smartphone originally launched in two storage variants – 64GB and 128GB – only the 64GB variant has been available via the e-commerce site for a while now. In what will be good news for prospective buyers, OnePlus has finally decided to replenish the stock of the 128GB variant and make it available to Indian users. The company has announced a one-day sale of the OnePlus 3T Gunmetal (128GB variant) on February 17 exclusively for Amazon Prime members, followed by an open sale from February 25 onwards

OnePlus 3T 128GB Variant to Be Available to Amazon India Prime Members Tomorrow

The OnePlus 3T 128GB Gunmetal variant can be picked up for Rs. 34,999 from Amazon India exclusively. OnePlus is hosting a one-day Amazon Prime-only member sale starting at 10.00am IST on Friday. The event will end at 10.00pm IST tomorrow, after which the device will be available in open sale next week. From February 25 onwards, the OnePlus 3T Gunmetal 128GB variant will be sold to all Amazon India customers.

The OnePlus 3T is also available in Soft Gold colour variant, but unfortunately the 128GB variant will only be available in Gunmental colour option. The 64GB OnePlus 3T retails at Rs. 29,999. As for the specifications, the OnePlus 3T sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Optic AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. The device sports Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC (two cores clocked at 1.6GHz and two cores clocked at 2.35GHz) coupled with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM.

On the camera front, OnePlus 3T has 16-megapixel front and rear cameras. The handset is fitted with a 3400mAh battery that supports Dash Charge (5V 4A) fast charging technology. Connectivity options on the OnePlus 3T include 4G LTE (with support for India’s LTE bands), Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and GPS/ A-GPS. The OnePlus 3T measures at 152.7×74.7×7.35mm, and weighs 158 grams.

Swipe Konnect Star With 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 3,799

After launching the Swipe Konnect Grand and Swipe Elite Power last month, Swipe Telecom on Thursday launched a new dual-SIM smartphone – Swipe Konnect Star – in India at Rs. 3,799. The 4G VoLTE-enabled budget phone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is available exclusively via ShopClues in silver, gold, and grey colour options.

Swipe Konnect Star With 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 3,799

The Swipe Konnect Star features a 4-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display. The smartphone is powered by a 1.0GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The devices packs 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 32GB via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the device comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera with flash and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Connectivity options on the Swipe Konnect Star include 3G, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, Micro-USB, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The Konnect Star also features accelerometer and proximity sensors. A 1800mAh battery is fitted in the device that’s rated to deliver up to 10 hours of talk time, and up to 180 hours of standby time. The Swipe Konnect Grand is said to weigh 130 grams.

At the launch, Nitin Sharma, Sr. Director – Categories, said, “After the huge success of the Swipe Konnect Neo 4G smartphone and the Swipe Konnect Grand, and the traction that the brand has been generating on ShopClues for their extensive range of product offerings, we are sure that Swipe Konnect Star will be a massive hit on the platform. The ultra-modern Swipe smartphone with dual-sim 4G VoLTE captures all fascinations of the customer with its unbeatable specifications and highly affordable price point, thereby meeting ShopClues’ overarching goals of offering enhanced products alongside seamless services to its discerning customers.

ZTE Blade A2 Plus With 4GB RAM, 5000mAh Battery Goes on Sale in India

Following its launch on Friday, the ZTE Blade A2 Plus has gone on sale in India on Monday. The smartphone is exclusively available via Flipkart, priced at Rs. 11,999. The smartphone is only available in its 4GB RAM variant in the country. The highlight of the smartphone is its 5000mAh battery, and it will be available in Gold and Grey colour variants.

ZTE Blade A2 Plus With 4GB RAM, 5000mAh Battery Goes on Sale in India

The ZTE Blade A2 Plus sports a metal unibody, with a square shaped camera, flash and fingerprint scanner, sitting one below the other vertically at the back. The volume and navigation buttons are housed on the right edge, while the capacitive navigation buttons are situated at the bottom chin in the front. The big highlight of the ZTE device is its massive 5000mAh battery that supports fast charging. ZTE claims that the smartphone can last up to 22 hours of talk time.

As for specifications, the ZTE Blade A2 Plus features a 5.5-inch (1080×1920) pixels full-HD display. It is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6750T octa-core SoC (four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.5GHz and four at 1GHz) paired with 4GB of RAM and Mali T860 GPU. The inbuilt storage is at 32GB with the option to expand further via the microSD card (up to 128GB).

The hybrid dual-SIM ZTE smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Mifavor 3.5 OS. As for optics, the ZTE Blade A2 Plus sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with PDAF, dual-LED flash and 1080p video support. At the front, there is an 8-megapixel sensor with screenflash. Connectivity options include Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. Lastly, the ZTE Blade A2 Plus measures at 155×76.2×9.8mm, and weighs 189 grams.

Sachin Batra, CMO, ZTE India Terminal commented on the launch to say, “With a young, tech-savvy audience, about 69 million consumers purchased their products online and it is expected to cross 100 million by 2017. Our Blade-series smartphone, ZTE Blade A2 Plus comes with 4G LTE, VoLTE support and host of other features at an effective price. Through this phone, we take the first step to reach millions of Indians who are going digital. By eliminating multiple external factors, we want to bring the best phones that industry has to offer and at an effective price.”

Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace With 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 8,490

Samsung on Friday officially launched two new entry-level smartphones in India. The Galaxy J2 Ace and Galaxy J1 4G were announced by the company priced at Rs. 8,490 and Rs. 6,890, respectively. While the Galaxy J1 4G was already listed on the company’s website last week, the Galaxy J2 Ace is the newest entry-level in the company’s J series lineup. The handset will be offered in Black, Gold, and Silver colour options and will be available via online and offline retailers from January 16.

Samsung Galaxy J2 Ace With 4G VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 8,490The Galaxy J2 Ace is a more stripped down version of the Galaxy J2 (2016) that was launched in July 2016 at Rs. 9,750. The Galaxy J2 Ace is part of the company’s ‘Make for India’ project and includes the Ultra Data Saving (UDS) Mode which provides up to 50 percent mobile data savings with data compression. The S bike mode with rider optimisations is also present.

The Galaxy J2 Ace runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and features a 5-inch qHD display with Samsung’s proprietary Turbo Speed Technology (TST) that optimises the device’s RAM to open apps faster. The smartphone is powered by a a 1.4GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM.
The Galaxy J2 Ace sports an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front. Both the back and front cameras feature f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. The handset comes with 8GB of inbuilt storage which is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).

Connectivity options on the Galaxy J2 Ace include 4G LTE with VoLTE support, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, and USB 2.0. The handset is fitted with a 2600mAh battery pack.

Samsung Galaxy S8 to Sport AMOLED Display, Bezel-Less Design, Promo Videos Suggest

The Internet is indeed full of spoilers. Weeks ahead of the official unveiling of Samsung’s next flagship, likely named Galaxy S8, almost everything from the design right down to the hardware have been speculated online. On Friday, two separate reports emerged – one regarding the size variants and the other regarding 3D renders. Now, Samsung may have just revealed all with two promo videos of brand new displays – likely to be used in the upcoming flagship – posted by the company’s subsidiary Samsung Display.

Samsung Galaxy S8 to Sport AMOLED Display, Bezel-Less Design, Promo Videos SuggestOne of the videos spotted by Slashleaks shows a large AMOLED display being placed on what could be the Galaxy S8. The video has since been taken down. However, the video, if true, confirms two widely speculated details about the upcoming flagship – that the device will sport an AMOLED display and will likely come with very thin top and bottom bezels and no Home Button.

The second video, however, is yet to be taken down and further confirms some of the details that we have come to gather so far. The video and Friday’s renders seem to point strongly towards a near bezel-less design. With a big screen-to-body ratio and lack of any capactitive buttons, we could be looking at a Galaxy S8 with an optical fingerprint sensor that was earlier rumoured.

Furthermore, the video also hints at a flat Galaxy 8 design, which could mean that apart from an Edge design, Samsung may continue to offer a flat design as well. The Korean promo mostly shows off the AMOLED display with sharper colours and lower battery consumption, according to the YouTube description.

Some of the most recent rumours suggest that the Galaxy S8 will in fact feature the 3.5mm headphone jack along with two top and bottom speakers. The flagship will reportedly come in two display sizes – 5.7-inch and 6.2-inch – with the larger being called the Galaxy S8 Plus. Separately, 5-inch and 6-inch models were also tipped.

With no official word from Samsung yet, all rumours and videos must be taken with a pinch of salt. With one of the videos already taken down, the second one may soon disappear as well.

OnePlus Experience Store Opens This Saturday in Bengaluru

Chinese mobile startup OnePlus has announced the opening of its first offline ‘Experience Store’ in Bengaluru, India. Taking a cue from other Chinese mobile manufacturers like Xiaomi, OnePlus is entering the Indian offline market space, sort of. The new OnePlus store will allow buyers to touch and experience the OnePlus handsets before making a purchase there. OnePlus India is also offering some surprises at the site for buyers, including a chance to meet Pete and Carl in person.

OnePlus Experience Store Opens This Saturday in BengaluruOn Friday, OnePlus India announced in a post on its forum that the company is going offline with its first ‘Experience Store’ on Saturday, January 7 at 2pm. The OnePlus Experience Store is located at Hira Property at No.5, New No. 213, Brigade Road, Bengaluru. It’s worth noting that OnePlus smartphones have been exclusively available on Amazon India since the sale of OnePlus One commenced in the country – however, the company recently started selling accessories via its own online store in the country. With the new offline store, OnePlus will start selling its products offline in the Indian market, while still selling them online via Amazon India.

OnePlus also said that there are many surprises to be won on the opening day along with a chance to meet Carl and Pete bodily present. “Three lucky fans will receive OnePlus All Access Passes, which guarantee them an opportunity to spend time with Pete & Carl and win some fabulous merchandise.”, says OnePlus in its post. To enter the contest, you can register on OnePlus All Access website.

On the opening day, OnePlus India is also giving some exclusive launch-day offers on the purchase of OnePlus 3T 64GB and 128GB in Gunmetal & OnePlus 3T 64GB in Soft Gold, among other OnePlus devices on offer that day. It’s worth mentioning that these smartphones can also be availed online via OnePlus’ exclusive partner Amazon India. To recall, Flipkart recently became embroiled in controversy after listing the OnePlus 3 at a discount on its site, leading OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Pei to remind Flipkart Co-Founder Sachin Bansal the smartphone was exclusive to Amazon.

Majority Bought Smartphones Online in 2016 as 4G Adoption Rises: Deloitte

Amid the steady 4G adoption growth, 53 percent of Indians bought their smartphones online while 39 per cent of smartphone owners still preferred retail stores to buy a new device in 2016, a Deloitte survey revealed on Wednesday.

Majority Bought Smartphones Online in 2016 as 4G Adoption Rises: DeloitteAccording to the ‘Mobile Consumer Survey 2016’, 4G adoption is expected to grow strongly over the next year to become the predominant data network and about 45 percent of the respondents said that they would subscribe to 4G or LTE in the next 12 months.

“With Internet becoming cheaper and higher mobile data penetration, consumers are becoming extremely data hungry. Thus, usage of smartphone is only expected to grow from here onwards,” said Neeraj Jain, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, in a statement.

Communication services namely social networks and instant messaging are the two things consumers check on their smartphones first thing in the morning, the findings showed.
The findings showed that smartphone users wield their devices to check bank balances (54 percent), pay utility bills (54 percent) and services bill (53 percent) the most.
This is followed by transferring money within the country (38 percent) and abroad (31 percent).

“The most common reason given for not using phone to make a payment was fear about security, cited by 29 percent of respondents,” the survey noted.

The survey analysed the mobile usage habits of over 2,000 Indian consumers as part of a global survey of 53,000 respondents across five continents and 31 countries.

The India data comprised of representatives from eight urban cities with internet access and adults aged between 18 and 54.

LeEco Confirms Layoffs in India and Other Regions; Talks About Revamped Strategy

LeEco on Wednesday said it has revised its business strategy for the coming year, based on the “overall volatility and uncertainty that is forecast for the global economy.” Recently, the company admitted expanding too fast too soon, and has since been scrutinising plans. This overhaul will imply several changes across the markets in which it operates, including India, where the company has confirmed layoffs are planned.

LeEco Confirms Layoffs in India and Other Regions; Talks About Revamped StrategyTo recall, LeEco entered the Indian market in January this year, and the company has enjoyed some time in the limelight since. The company entered the offline market in the country in June by bringing the Le 1s to brick-and-mortar stores, and then expanded its retail partnerships the next month.

Now, LeEco in a statement to Gadgets 360 reacting to recent reports about its planned slowdown in the country, said that it was downsizing its operations in India. This “right sizing exercise” applies to “all its offices in various geographies” the company specified, with India just one of these markets. It added that India is one of the top three markets for the company globally, but mentioned that it is also a “fledgling operation”.

The company said that the decision to downsize operations in India was not “led by performance or competence parameters but entirely guided by business imperatives.” The statement further explained the reasons behind the move, “As we transit to a more strategic phase of our operations in India, it is the appropriate time to assess and take steps to ensure the sustainability and profitability of our business.”

Speaking about the layoffs in India, LeEco said it is doing what it can to alleviate struggles of “affected employees.” It said it is “open to offering outplacement services to affected employees who specifically seek assistance”
Referring to reports that it was exiting the offline sales market it had entered under six months ago, LeEco didn’t confirm its actual exit – however, it did say it was now focused on its online channels. LeEco said that it was at its core an Internet company, and that it “intends to concentrate on and bolster its online business.” The company said its “proven O2O model” will be vital to its business in India, but how this applies to actual offline sales isn’t clear yet.

The statement also shed some light on the company’s roadmap for India, pointing specifically to improving online channels with a “more consumer-centric” LeMall marketplace. LeEco also said it has a “robust product pipeline in the offing.”

In August, LeEco set up a manufacturing unit in Greater Noida, with an initial production capacity of 60,000 smartphones a month anticipated to ramp up to 200,000 units a month by the end of the year. At the same time, it announced it had managed to sell 1 million smartphones in the country since launch.

While LeEco is silent on if there’s a rethink on its Make in India plans, the company says it “will adopt a laser-sharp focus on overall organisational efficiency, capacity-building and talent nurturing while remaining unwaveringly committed to maintaining a sustainable and profitable business model.”