It’s been a rambunctious week as far as the tech space in India is concerned as we saw loads of big launches, some interesting new devices and of course, got word about what’s coming in 2014. As we head into the last weeks of the year, here’s a round-up of the top news stories from this past week.
Google Play Edition of Sony Xperia Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3 announced
Google has announced two more Google Play Edition devices to go along with the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. This time it is LG and Sony getting some stock Android love, with Google picking LG’s G Pad 8.3 and Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra. Both will run the latest build of Android 4.4 KitKat.
Samsung merges smartphone and camera divisions
Samsung has merged its Digital Imaging Business Division with the Wireless Business Division. The merger between what is essentially the smartphone and camera business is said to be in order to re-energise both divisions and an attempt to bring another differentiation factor to Samsung's smartphone and tablet products.
Notion Ink’s Adam II tablet with dual displays now available for Rs 16,499 onwards
Bangalore-based Notion Ink has put the second-generation Adam on sale. The Wi-Fi-only Adam II is priced at Rs 16,499, while the cellular version with 3G support has been priced at Rs 18,999. Notion Ink is also giving discounts as part of the launch phase.
Notion Ink's Adam II with the 'spine display'
iPad Air vs the competition: Is Apple's tablet really the best of the lot?
We pit it against some of the competition to find out whether the iPad Air is indeed the ‘thinnest, lightest, most powerful’ tablet ever and also compared the Air’s Retina display against its rivals.
Xolo Play Tegra Note officially launched for Rs 17,999, claims to be world's fastest tablet
Xolo has officially launched the Play Tegra Note in India for a MRP of Rs 17,999. The tablet will be immediately available on online stores as well as in retail channels starting today. This is India’s first tablet that’s based on Nvidia’s latest Tegra 4 chipset and also marks the lunch of Nvidia’s Tegra Note platform.
Nokia's 6-inch Lumia 1520 with 20MP camera, Snapdragon 800 launched for Rs 46,999
Nokia has finally taken the wraps off the off its first Windows Phone phablet for the Indian market, the Lumia 1520, at an event held in Delhi. The 6-inch device has a full 1080p full HD display, 20-megapixel PureView camera and a new Nokia Camera app. The Lumia 1520 is priced at 46,999 and is available in stores now.
Lumia 1520 launched in India
Windows Phone 8.1 to feature notification centre and Siri-like personal assistant
The latest Microsoft update for mobile devices, Windows Phone 8.1, will come with two key changes–a notification centre and Siri-like personal assistant. The software giant is currently beta testing Windows 8.1 internally and plans to reveal the complete details at Build Developer Conference in April, 2014.
Twitter will soon let users edit their tweets
Looks like, soon you will be able to edit tweets that draw the #GrammarNazi's ire. Just a couple of months after Facebook added the ability to edit posts; Twitter plans to bring an editing feature to its users too. Twitter is currently testing the feature that could allow you to edit tweets after they are published.
Nokia Asha 502 with 5MP camera now available for Rs 5,739
Nokia has launched the Asha 502 in India. Unlike the Lumia 1520, which got a big launch event yesterday, this one slipped under the radar and was spotted on Nokia’s e-store. The Asha 502 has a price tag of Rs 5,739, after a 17 percent discount over the original price of Rs 6,889.
India's 'eye in the sky' Netra to fly soon; will detect Internet keywords to prevent attacks
The Indian government will soon launch ‘Netra’, the defence ministry’s internet spying drone. The UAV is reportedly capable of detecting words such as “attack”, “bomb”, “blast” or “kill” within seconds of it being deployed.
Netra, a spying drone developed by India's DRDO (Image courtesy: DRDO)
5-inch Lenovo Vibe X with full-HD display, quad-core CPU launched for Rs 25,999
Lenovo has launched its new flagship, the Vibe X smartphone in India for Rs. 25,999. Slated to hit stores later this week, the Vibe X will take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG G2 but at a much lower price point than those. It will also be competing against the Micromax Canvas Turbo and the Gionee Elife E6.
PlayStation 4 launched in India for Rs 39,990; Will lack of games hurt Sony?
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 console in India for Rs 39,990. The Xbox One competitor will be available in stores from January 6, 2014, making it a very happy new year for gamers in the country. The price is for the console and one controller, while additional DualShock 4 controllers will cost you Rs 4,990. The PlayStation Eye motion controller will also have to be bought separately at Rs 4,990.
Will you be buying?
LG's Chromebase all-in-one Chrome OS PC coming to CES 2014
LG is preparing to bring a new category of PCs running Chrome OS. At CES 2014, LG will be showcasing the Chromebase (Model 22CV241), a 21.5-inch all-in-one computer that runs on the minimal OS.
Tendulkar, Bollywood and Uttarakhand: The top Twitter trends for India in 2013
After announcing its year end list for global audiences, Twitter has released a more in-depth look at India trends. Just as we saw with the top topics on Facebook this year, Twitter too follows the pattern of 'Bollywood, Cricket and Disaster' in the top trending topics for India.
Samsung Galaxy S4, Nokia Lumia 520 top 2013 smartphone search trends in India
Micromax and Samsung take three spots in the top ten each, while there’s no love for any Apple smartphone. Lumia 520 was the second most searched smartphone this year.
The most popular smartphone this year…on search
Subway Surfers slides on to Windows Phone 8
Yet another cool app from iOS and Android app stores has made its way to Windows Phone. Subway Surfers, the hit game has come to Windows Phone 8 devices and is available for free already.
The best Playstation 4 games to wait for
In the Playstation 4’s case, it would be best to wait for the console’s price to go down in the middle of 2014. The deal is sweetened by the launch of some of the hottest games meant specifically for the console. We picked six PS4 titles that make the waiting worth it.
BBM will now come pre-installed on LG smartphones
The Canadian company has struck a deal with LG Electronics to make sure BBM comes pre-installed on LG phones. The LG Pro Lite is all set to be the first phone to come with BBM out of the box.
Nick Bilton's bestseller 'Hatching Twitter' to be turned into a TV show
The series will be developed by Lionsgate, of Mad Men and Anger Management, and more recently, Orange is the New Black fame.
Apple's 'Made in America' Mac Pro goes on sale; starts at $2,999
Apple's new cylindrical Mac Pro has been put up for sale in the US. The ultra-powerful machine is priced starting at $2,999 and is assembled in Austin, Texas.
Micromax, MTS launch Canvas Blaze smartphone with free data for 6 months
Micromax has joined hands with MTS to launch the Canvas Blaze smartphone. The Canvas Blaze is an EVDO+GSM dual SIM smartphone powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Priced at Rs 10,999, the smartphone bundles free MTS data and minutes for six months from the date of purchase.
Lenovo Vibe X: Hands-on and first impressions
We spent quite a bit of time with the Lenovo Vibe X, the company’s latest flagship to launch in India. Will the super-slim phone have a successful run in the market? Read our first impressions to find out.
The display is bright and renders crisp test
BBM Voice, Channels and more coming to Android and iOS app
BlackBerry is planning to bring BBM Voice to iPhone and Android. You will essentially be able to use BBM like Viber, Line, Skype or Hangouts to make free BBM to BBM calls from anywhere to anywhere. BBM Channels is also coming up for the app on both platforms.
If Sony is right, Microsoft Xbox One will be more expensive than PS4 in India
Sony says Indian tax structure didn't allow them to price the PS4 more aggressively in India. So the Microsoft Xbox One, which already is $100 more expensive than the PS4, might turn out to be even more expensive when it comes to the country next year.
Nokia Lumia 1320, Lumia 525 coming to India next month
Nokia India has announced that its Lumia 1320 and the Nokia Lumia 525 will start selling in the country early next year. The Nokia Lumia 525 is expected to be available in the first week of January 2014. The Nokia Lumia 1320 will be available from mid-January.
Nokia Asha 500 available in India now; Asha 503 to start selling in January
After the Asha 502, the Nokia Asha phones lineup in India adds two more device – Asha 500 and Asha 503. The Asha 500 is the cheapest among the three and carries a price tag of Rs 4,499. On the other hand, Nokia will start selling the Asha 503 from the first week of January 2014, with a price tag of Rs 6,799.
The new Asha 503
How romantic: Bride's father wants groom to get a million Facebook likes as dowry
A man in Yemen has been asked to garner a million Facebook likes as dowry to stand a chance to marry his prospective bride. Now, while we’re used to seeing dowries being demanded by the groom’s family, this here is a different case and certainly crazier than anything we expected.
Happy Auto app lets you rate rickshaw rides in Bangalore
A new campaign dubbed Sugama Savari, aimed at creating safe commuting awareness has been launched by the traffic police in Bangalore. A new free Android app called Happy Auto has also been launched as a part of the campaign. The app allows commuters to lodge complaints about improper behaviour by auto drivers.
Xolo's 5.7-inch Q3000 phablet with massive 4000mAh battery spotted online
The online store lists it as a dual-SIM (GSM+GSM) smartphone sporting a massive 5.7-inch full HD 1080p IPS display. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6589T processor coupled with a healthy 2GB of RAM.
Samsung's quad-core Galaxy Grand 2 to be launched in India on December 23
Samsung has started sending press invites for a Galaxy phone launch on Monday, December 23. Now we can confirm that the phone launch will be the successor to the ultra-successful Galaxy Grand. A source told us that Samsung will be launching the Galaxy Grand 2. There is no word on the pricing, but we expect it to be priced around the Rs 22,000 mark with an MOP of around Rs 20,000.
Successor to the Galaxy Grand, the Grand 2 is now official
Samsung, LG to showcase 105-inch curved TVs at CES 2014
Looks like, CES 2014 will witness a battle of the big screens. Both Samsung and LG are all set to showcase their ultra-HD TVs with curved screens that measure 105-inch diagonally. The TV sets to be announced next month will be built of LCD panels packing more than 11 million pixels, the highest ever for any production television so far.
App updates you should know about: Google Search, Snapchat, Cut the Rope 2 and more!
If you are a app-happy person who hasn’t been able to catch up with the latest app updates amidst the holiday season, then fret not. Here’s a quick recap of the app updates of this week that you should know.
Google Search trends in 2013 dominated by celebrity deaths
Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker and Cory Monteith were among the top searches this year on Google.
Mandela passed away at the age of 95
BlackBerry teams up with Foxconn for budget BB10 phones by April 2014
BlackBerry CEO John Chen reveals that the company has teamed up with Foxconn to build budget phones. The first smartphone from Foxconn with BlackBerry branding should arrive some time in March or April 2014 and is expected to be a 3G phone based on BlackBerry 10.
Xolo LT900 smartphone with 4G support spotted online
The LT900 has been listed on Flipkart with a “Coming soon” tag and there's no mention of the pricing. It is a single SIM smartphone and supports TDD-LTE bands, which only a handful of phones launched in India are compatible with.