Monthly Archives: March 2018

Nokia 5, Nokia 6 now receiving Android 8.1 Oreo stable update in India: What’s new?

HMD Global is set to launch its new Nokia smartphones next week in India and users in India have begun receiving the Android 8.1 Oreo update for last year’s Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. The Android 8.1 Oreo update has been under testing for both the smartphones for a while, and the company has now announced the stable version. The Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 in January this year received the Android 8.0 Oreo update, and the new Android 8.1 Oreo proves that HMD Global is delivering its promises well.

According to a report by NokiaPowerUser, the Android 8.1 Oreo update is now rolling out on Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 in countries including India, Indonesia, and Tunisia and only India, respectively. The report further says that the Android 8.1 Oreo update for Nokia 5 is 866.7MB in size while the Nokia 6 Android 8.1 Oreo update is 933.8MB in size. The users will be able to download the updates over Wi-Fi connection only.

The new Android 8.1 Oreo update for both the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 brings a bunch of new features along with the Android Security patch update for the month of March. The new features include battery saver buttons, refreshed power management menu, revamped Settings, and Bluetooth device battery. In addition, the update delivers Neural Networks API, Autofill feature, and a SharedMemory API, along with several other bug fixes and improvements.

The company is preparing to launch the new-generation smartphones in India on Wednesday, April 4. The Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 6 (2018) are likely to launch at the event that will be held in New Delhi. The Nokia 1 Android Go smartphone was already launched earlier this week, along with the Jio cashback offer of Rs 2,200 amount and 60GB additional data.

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iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9: The List Of Upcoming Smartphones

With iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9 and other big smartphones to come in 2018, the remainder of the calendar year will undoubtedly be an important one for the mobile niche. While releases from AppleGoogle and Samsung such as iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 will dominate the landscape, there are plenty of other viable contenders on the horizon as well.

Galaxy S9

First of all, it is important to mention the Galaxy S9, which precedes releases such as iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9, and other big players. The Galaxy S9 from Samsung has already been announced and unveiled, with the release schedule of the device now well underway. Early reviews of the device have also been more than decent, meaning that Samsung seemingly has another Galaxy S range success story on its hands.

While the Korean manufacturer has declined to make radical changes from previous releases in the series, the photographic capabilities of the Galaxy S9 are a particular standout. The world-class aperture of the snapper included means that the images produced by the Galaxy S9 are probably the best ever from any smartphone.

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is expected to be released in June 2018, with the manufacturer OnePlus having already confirmed its existence. While iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy S9 may be the highest profile releases in the calendar year, the OnePlus 6 is said to be the most innovative in many ways.

Improvements in design are expected over the excellent OnePlus5T, with the display, biometric sensors and camera performance all upgraded. This device will undoubtedly be an affordable smartphone as well, likely to be priced at around $499, but this doesn’t mean that it fails on the spec front.

Always intriguing, innovative and incendiary, the OnePlus range has become known as probably the best budget smartphone series in the world. Thus, many will be waiting with baited breath for the release of the OnePlus 6, even though it may not be the noisiest smartphone release this year.

Essential Phone 2

The Essential Phone is intended to work seamlessly with Android, designed as it is by Andy Rubin; one of the original creators of the mobile operating system. Of course, it is difficult to muscle in on a smartphone landscape dominated by big hitters, and the original Essential Phone effectively failed to achieve this.

Nonetheless, it will be intriguing to see what Rubin has in mind for the Essential Phone 2, which is also likely to land in June this year. Already some impressive specifications and an improved display had been linked with this Android contender, and this will be one of the more unpredictable smartphone products of 2018.

LG V40

With the LG television division increasingly producing exciting and genre-defining products, the smartphone team will hope to close the gap on the market leaders in 2018. While LG mobiles have generally been fairly well received, they have yet to establish themselves in the same way that LG TVs have become instantly recognizable.

Arriving in August 2018, the LG V40 is likely to be a premium smartphone when released, armed with some of the best specs in the industry. There has even been speculation that LG could consider producing a 4K resolution smartphone over the next six months, but this is likely to be hampered by expense considerations. Nonetheless, this should certainly be one smartphone well worth waiting for.

Galaxy Note 9

The Galaxy Note series has become arguably the most exciting range of products produced by Samsung over the last few years, even if the Galaxy Note 7 was undoubtedly a disaster for the corporation. Samsung tends to reserve its biggest innovations and risks for the Galaxy Note range, and this should be reflected once more when the Galaxy Note 9 debuts in August.

It will be interesting to see what the Korean manufacturer has in mind for the Galaxy Note 9, but a foldable display is one possibility. The Galaxy Note 9 could also be the embryonic 4K resolution mobile from Samsung, while virtual reality and advanced camera features have also been linked with this forthcoming phone.

Arriving just before the iPhone 11, this will undoubtedly be one of the key releases of the smartphone year.

iPhone 11

Coming in September will be the next generation iPhone 11, which has a lots of work to do in order to build on the successes of the iPhone X. Already, though, it is rumored that Apple will completely discontinue the iPhone X in favour of an upgraded model, with a larger Plus variant also offered. With three iPhone 11 devices mooted for 2018, there will be plenty of choice for Apple’s hugely loyal consumer base during the calendar year.

Branding will certainly be interesting as well, with some suggesting that iPhone XI is a possible name for the mobile. Meanwhile, Apple could also choose to embrace 4K resolution, while its Face ID and Siri systems are set for major upgrades, in a mobile range that will benefit from the largest display in the history of Apple smartphones.

Google Pixel 3

When the Pixel 3 arrives, it will pretty much decide whether or not Google has succeeded in its ambitious aim of toppling Apple and Samsung. It is too early for the mega-corporation to catch up with the market leaders, but the Google Pixel 3 could establish Google as a clear player in this profitable niche.

In common with the other major smartphones available, the Google Pixel 3 will probably feature a dual-camera. Meanwhile, early benchmark leaks seem to suggest that there will be three Pixel products produced in 2018, offering those Android consumers opting for the Pixel 3 range additional choice.

Expect the Google Pixel 3 to arrive in October.

While the iPhone 11, Google Pixel 3, Galaxy Note 9 releases may be the most important of the calendar year, there are plenty of other smartphones available this year that could challenge their hegemony. 2018 will be defined by a diversifying product range in the smartphone niche, as Apple and Samsung are increasingly challenged by more affordable alternatives.

Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus and Moto G6 Play price and specifications leaked

Information circulating the internet suggests that the Moto G6 family of phones including the Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus and the Moto G6 Play will launch in April. The specifications of all the three smartphones are making the rounds online. All three are expected to run on Android O out of the box. Kicking things off with the Moto G6, the smartphone is expected to have a 5.7-inch Full HD+ IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, the smartphone will be powered by a 1.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon SoC coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. There will also be a 4GB RAM variant with 64GB internal storage. The storage of the phone will be expandable up to 128GB via a microSD. The rear of the device will have a 12MP+5MP dual camera setup whereas the front will have a 16MP shooter. A 3000mAh battery with Turbo charging will power the entire package.

Moving to the Moto G6 Plus, the smartphone will have a 5.93-inch Full HD+ IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, the phone will have a 2.2 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon processor coupled with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. It is also expected to have a 4GB RAM with 32GB internal storage variant as well. The storage on the phone is expandable via a microSD card up to 256GB. The rear will have a 12MP+5MP dual camera setup and the front will have a 16MP camera. A 3200mAh battery with Turbo charging is expected to power the entire package.

Last but not least, the Moto G6 Play is expected to have a 5.7-inch HD+ IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, the phone will have a 1.4GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon processor coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. It is also expected to have a 3GB RAM with 32GB internal storage variant as well. The storage on the phone is expandable via a microSD card. The rear will have a 12MP camera and the front will have a 5MP camera. A 4000mAh battery with fast charging is expected to power the entire package.

As far as price is concerned, information circulating the internet suggests that the Moto G6 Play is priced at $199 (Rs 13,000 approximately) whereas the Moto G6 is priced at $249 (Rs. 16,200 approximately).


Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with Snapdragon 845, Android 8.1 Oreo spotted on Geekbench

Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which is likely to launch in the second half of 2018, has been spotted on benchmarking website Geekbench. The listing also reveals several specifications of the upcoming smartphone as well its single and multi core performance scores. In the US, the successor to Galaxy Note 8 will be powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 that we saw on Samsung’s Galaxy S8 series. Other markets, including India could get the Exynos 9810 version.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has been listed with model number SM-N960U. Notably, the Galaxy Note 8 had SM-N950U model number in the US. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will run Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box. The smartphone will feature 6GB RAM. The single-core performance score of Galaxy Note 9 is 2190, while its multi-core performance score is 8806.

This is not the first time Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaks have surfaced online. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new Note smartphone will not feature an under-display fingerprint scanner. The analyst, who has been fairly accurate with his predictions, believes Samsung will “likely” drop the feature due to “technological difficulties” from issues with screen protectors to accuracy and speed. If true, then Samsung Galaxy Note 9 could feature the same design language as the Galaxy S8 series.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 may be far from launch, but rumours around Samsung’s next Note device have already started to pur in. According to a report in SamMobile, Samsung started testing Galaxy Note 9 firmware development globally around two weeks prior to when it began the testing for Galaxy Note 8 last year. The report suggests that the Korean smartphone giant could unveil Galaxy Note 9 a little earlier than it launched Galaxy Note 8. To recall, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was announced on August 23 2017.

OnePlus 6, Nokia 7 Plus, Mi Mix 2S: Top phones launching in India soon

Three months into 2018 and we have already seen some interesting smartphone launches in India from the like of Xiaomi and Samsung. The former launched the Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro and Redmi 5, while the latter brought its flagship Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ smartphones to the country. The next three months are expected to get even crazier with companies like HMD Global, OnePlus, Motorola and Apple all expected to launch some of their phones in India.

From now until the end of June, we expect phones like the Nokia 7 Plus, OnePlus 6, iPhone SE 2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and the Moto G6 to be some of the most anticipated launches in India. Some of these phones have already been announced internationally, while some are yet to be unveiled officially, but based on all the rumours we have heard so far, you can expect almost all of them to be available in the country over the next few months. Here’s what you need to know about these phones.

The dual rear camera system will include one 16-megapixel sensor and another 20-megapixel sensor. On the front, we expect a 20-megapixel camera. The company hasn’t revealed an exact date yet, but if it does stick to tradition, the OnePlus 6 will likely be unveiled in May or June. You can expect the phone to reach India soon after its global unveiling and we expect the price to be around Rs 40,000.

Nokia 7 Plus

HMD Global announced a slew of Nokia-branded smartphones at MWC 2018 last month which included the Nokia 1, Nokia 6 (2018), Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco. The Nokia 1 is an Android Go smartphone that was launched in India earlier this week. The company will now hold an event on April 4 in New Delhi where we expect it will announce the Nokia 7 Plus. HMD could announce the Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 8 Sirocco, but the possibility of the Nokia 7 Plus is higher going by what HMD Global Vice President Ajey Mehta said at MWC.

The Nokia 7 Plus is an updated version of the Nokia 7 and also sports an 18:9 display. The 6-inch FHD+ panel is protected by Gorilla Glass and the handset is crafted from a single block of Series 600 aluminium with copper accents around the camera and the frame. The Nokia 7 Plus is powered Snapdragon 660 processor paired with 4GB of RAM. It houses a 3,800mAh battery which Nokia claims is good for 2 days of mixed use.

The Nokia 7 Plus also supports face unlock and AI imaging features like the ability to modify lighting conditions and add masks. The phone comes with ZIESS-branded dual rear cameras with a 12MP primary sensor and a 13MP secondary sensor for 2X optical zoom, similar to the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Both the phones also support OZO Audio which allows for 360 degree audio recording and Bothie.

Mi Mix 2S

Xiaomi has already launched a few budget and mid-range smartphones in the country in the past two months. The company’s first flagship smartphone – the Mi Mix 2S – was launched in China this month, and we expect the phone to arrive in India soon enough. Since the Mi Mix 2 was launched in the country, there is a good chance the Mi Mix 2S will come here as well.

The Mi Mix 2S sports a familiar design language as it looks similar to its predecessors. It’s an incremental update to Mi Mix 2 and packs some updated hardware including an impressive dual rear camera system that is on par with the iPhone X and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as per DxOMark rankings. The cameras are made up of a pair of 12-megapixel sensors with one wide-angle and one telephoto. The offer 2X optical zoom and 10X digital zoom along with a 4-axis OIS. Up front, the Mi Mix 2S sports a 5-megapixel camera.

OnePlus 6

While the name hasn’t been official yet, we know that OnePlus will be launching the successor to the OnePlus 5T soon. Apart from all the rumours and leaked images, the upcoming phone has been teased by OnePlus itself. Just this week, the company confirmed what had long been rumoured and expected going by the industry trend – the OnePlus 6 will have a notch. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei told The Verge in an interview that the notch will be there, it will be smaller than the iPhone X, and it is a necessary feature to maximise screen real estate. The company confirms the phone will have a 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, and really wants you to embrace the notch.

So, the OnePlus 6 is going to have a dramatic new design, which might be a little controversial. What we know is that apart from the notch, the front will also sport a chin, while on the back you’ll see a vertical dual rear camera centrally located above a squarish fingerprint sensor. The phone will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack, if you were worried. The OnePlus 6 is tipped to sport a 6.28-inch AMOLED display and will be powered by a Snapdragon 845 chip coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone is also expected to run Android 8.1 Oreo-based OxygenOS and backed by a 3,450mAh battery with Dash Charge support.

The flagship is powered by a 2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor paired with Adreno 630 GPU. You get an option of 6GB of RAM with either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage and 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. The phone sports a 5.99-inch Full-HD+ 18:9 display with a 2160×1080 pixel resolution and is backed by a 3,400mAah battery.

iPhone SE 2

Apple typically keeps its major iPhone launch for the end of the year, but before that the tech giant could launch one its most affordable iPhones at WWDC 2018. The iPhone SE 2 is rumoured to launch at Apple’s annual developer conference. The phone will succeed the old iPhone SE, which has been of the most affordable and widely popular iPhone in India. Last year, the iPhone SE became the first iPhone to be manufactured in the country and the iPhone SE 2 is expected to follow.

The iPhone SE 2 will follow a design language similar to the iPhone SE and Apple is not likely going to make it look like the iPhone X. The iPhone SE 2 is expected to 4.2-inch display with bezels all around, a compact form factor and boxy chassis. It will also keep a home button on the front which will house the Touch ID. Past rumours suggest the iPhone SE 2 will be powered by Apple’s A10 processor. It is expected to come with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage with an option for 128GB as well.

Moto G6

Motorola is yet to begin its announcements for the year, but we have heard plenty about what its planning ever since early January. The company is expected to announce the new Moto G, Moto E and Moto Z smartphones this year. The company confirmed this week that it will launch its first product of the year next month, which is likely to be the Moto G6 line. This week, the Moto G6 was spotted on Chinese certification site TENAA, which means its launch is imminent.

The Moto G6, much like most Moto phones this year, is expected to sport an 18:9 display with slim bezels all around. The listing notes a 5.6-inch FHD+ (2160×1440) display with enough bezel on the bottom to keep the home button which will likely house a fingerprint sensor as well. As per renders, the G6 will sport a curved back panel and a circular dual camera setup that looks a lot like the Moto X4. This will likely include a 12-megapixel primary lens and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor for depth effects. As per past reports the Moto G6 will come with a 16-megapixel selfie camera.

The listing adds that the phone will house a 3,000mAh battery and will measure 154.5×72.2×8.3mm. Past rumours also tip the Moto G6 will be powered by a Snapdragon 450 chipset coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. The budget smartphone could be priced around Rs 10,000 when it comes to India.

Apple iOS 11.3 is now available for iPhone, iPad: How to download, install, new features

Apple’s iOS 11.3 is now available for download for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (6th gen) users. Apple’s iOS 11.3 is the big spring update with some new features. With iOS 11.3, users will also be able to look into the health of their iPhone’s battery and whether it can impact performance, a feature which Apple had promised in light of the controversy last year in December. Apple’s iOS 11.3 update will be available for download in the ‘Software Update’ section on iOS settings.

How to download, install Apple iOS 11.3 on iPhone, iPad

The Apple iOS 11.3  update is around 781MB in size, though it could be higher depending on whether a user has kept up with all the smaller updates. Apple users can go to Settings, followed by General, followed by Software Update. Tap on Software Update and make sure sure the iPhone or iPad is connected to the internet via WiFi. The device battery will need more than 50 per cent charge for the update to install, or you will have to plug in the iPhone or iPad.

Also read: Apple iOS 11.3 is now ready for download for iPhone, iPad users

Tap on ‘Download and install’ and the new update will automatically be installed on the iPhone, iPad. Users can also download the update via iTunes and then install the same. The iPad or iPhone will have to be plugged in to a Mac or Windows laptop with the latest iTunes app on it.

Apple iOS 11.3: New Animoji feature

This feature of iOS 11.3 can only be enjoyed by those who have an iPhone X. Apple is introducing four new Animoji characters in total. These are lion, bear, dragon or skull. Animoji are created using the TrueDepth camera on the front, which captures a user’s facial muscle movements and these animated characters mimic the expressions. Animoji can be shared with any other user, even if they do not have an iPhone X.

Apple iOS 11.3: New Augmented Reality features

This is more on the developer side with Apple introducing new features for its ARKit (Augmented Reality Kit). Apps can now deliver AR experiences that use vertical surfaces like walls and doors, in addition to horizontal surfaces like tables and chairs, says Apple. The AR experience will now also map irregular surfaces like circular tables, etc more accurately. ARKit will allow the use of computer vision techniques to find and recognise the position of 2D images such as signs, posters and artwork. This can be used to create more interactive experiences by app developers.

Apple iOS 11.3: Battery Health

Apple’s new iOS update will allow iPhone users to see the battery health of their device. It will also alert a user if this needs to be changed. Old, aging or damaged batteries on iPhone can cause unexpected shutdowns. Apple had revealed it had turned on a feature with iOS 10.2.1, which dynamically managed maximum peak performance in order to ensure that shutdowns did not take place on older iPhones with aging batteries.

Read more: Apple iPhone performance issue: iOS 11.3 battery health feature’s details revealed

Apple faced a host of criticism, with users saying that the company should have warned them about the battery change, rather than slowing down iPhone performance. The company is now offering replacement batteries at reduced pricing to customers across the globe. With iOS 11.3, users will be able to see if the iPhone’s battery needs to be serviced. These will be found in Settings -> Battery.  The battery health feature will be available for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple iOS 11.3: Data and Privacy

Apple’s latest iOS 11.3 and macOS 10.13.4 will come with updated data and privacy information. Users will be given more clarity and understanding on how their personal data may be used. Apple says that a new privacy icon and detailed privacy information will appear whenever the company asks for access to personal information in order to enable some new features, Apple services or personalise iOS.

Apple iOS 11.3: Health Records

This feature won’t be relevant for India users and is limited to the US. Apple’s new Health Records feature will allow patients of more than 40 health systems including Duke, NYU Langone, Stanford and Yale, to view their medical records from multiple institutions, all in one place. Apple says the medical data is encrypted and protected with a passcode

Apple iOS 11.3: Business Chat

This feature is launching in beta, but limited to US and Canada markets only. It will allow users to directly talk to a business via the messages app, make a payment via Apple Pay to the business as well. Hotels, banks, other businesses will able to talk to customers directly via this feature. Apple says businesses will not receive any personal data by default.

Apple iOS 11.3: Other features

Apple Music will now stream music videos with no ads.

Apple News will also show the most important videos of the day, and the company has made improvements to the Top Stories feature.

Apple users in Beijing and Shanghai can now use Apple Pay to pay for rides on Metro and bus lines.

Apple iOS 11.3 is also bringing the Apple TV app to the Brazil and Mexico markets. The app is not yet available in India. The app is a one stop solution for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV users to discover content to watch.

iOS 11.3 also includes support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) to automatically send a user’s current location when making a call to emergency services in countries where this is supported.