Nokia 3 demand in India exceeds expectations, Nokia 5 and 6 to be out in mid-August

 

HMD Global, the company that’s now making Nokia handsets, has been “humbled” by the success it’s had so far in India. The Nokia 3 is the only smartphone from the new Nokia roster that’s available in the subcontinent, yet the company now has to increase production levels in order to be able to meet the huge demand.

Here’s the full statement that HMD Global sent NokiaPowerUser:

We are humbled by the response to Nokia 3. Currently, we are ramping up our production for Nokia 3 on priority to meet the existing consumer demand. In the coming week, we will start production of Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 to get them ready for sales start by mid-August.Nokia 3 demand in India exceeds expectations, Nokia 5 and 6 to be out in mid-August

Aside from how popular the Nokia 3 is, this also tells us a few things about the other two devices in HMD’s debut trio. Both the Nokia 5 and 6 are going to be out in India starting in mid-August, and the company will start production by the end of this week. If you’re wondering why the month-long delay, we assume it has to do with HMD wanting to be sure that it has enough stock when those two additional models actually do launch.

The Nokia 5 is already up for pre-booking, while the Nokia 6 will be exclusively sold by Amazon. The mega-retailer has promised to reveal more details about its launch on July 14. Rumor has it the 6 will see its first flash sale on August 15, but that hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 sales slowing down, analyst claims

According to a security researcher from Korea the Galaxy S8 and S8+ sales are starting to slow down. The duo has reportedly sold close to 10 million units in the first two months while the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge saw 12 million units sold in their first two months.

This report has a huge question mark attached to it as Samsung has boasted of overachieving sales of the Galaxy S8 series.

The slowing sales reportedly made Samsung ramp up Galaxy Note 8 production so that it can launch the anticipated phablet earlier, namely on September 10, after announcing it in August.

Yet, that’s hardly any evidence to back up the claims – the Galaxy Note5 and Galaxy Note7 were both announced in August and hit the shelves shortly after, so it’s more the norm than an exception for Samsung.

 

Honor 9 Midnight Black variant launching next week

Huawei has confirmed that the black color variant of its Honor 9 smartphone will be launched next week. Specifically, the Midnight Black model will go on sale starting July 18.

Officially, the phone comes in a total of 4 color options: Glacier Grey, Sapphire Blue, Gold, and Midnight Black. While the first three have been available, the fourth, black model wasn’t launched. But that’ll change next week.

Pricing should be similar to other color variants. Recently, Huawei CEO revealed that they’ve managed to sell over 1 million Honor 9 units in less than a month.

 

Nokia 9, Nokia 8, Nokia 7 and Nokia 2 processors revealed by new leak

 

As we are in mid-July, we can expect the second batch of Nokia smartphones to be unveiled in the coming months so that they are released this year. Already, we have come across rumors that they are prepping a slew of smartphones including Nokia 2, Nokia 7, Nokia 8 and Nokia 9 with the last one tipped to be the flagship model. In the last week, a report stated that HMD will not launch the Nokia 4 smartphone as the number four is considered unlucky in many Asian markets. Now, a Chinese tipster with a consistent track record about the Nokia leaks in the past has posted the names of the seven Nokia smartphones slated for 2017 release along with the processor that will power each of these phones.Nokia 9, Nokia 8, Nokia 7 and Nokia 2 processors revealed by new leak This information has come via NokiaPowerUser. In a nutshell, below is the list of Nokia Android smartphones and their processors. Notably, the list includes the names of the already launched and the upcoming smartphones. Nokia 2 – Snapdragon 212/Mediatek processor Nokia 3 – Mediatek MT6737  Nokia 5 – Snapdragon 430  Nokia 6 – Snapdragon 430 Nokia 7 – Snapdragon 630  Nokia 8 – Snapdragon 660 Nokia 9 – Snapdragon 835 From the order of devices and the already official Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, it is clear that the Nokia 2 will be the entry-level smartphone of all. Being the flagship smartphone, the Nokia 9 will be the high-end device of all and is expected to carry a premium pricing.

 

LG Q6 brings edge-to-edge screen, facial recognition to the masses

 

LG’s new Q-family of phones — that includes the Q6 Alpha, the Q6 and the Q6 Plus — brings the G6’s marquee feature to the masses. If you’ve liked — I know I did — the G6 and its big screen that fits, chances are, you’ll be right at home with LG’s new Q-series phones. Even more so, if you’re someone on a tight budget. Although the company is yet to make the Q6 Alpha, the Q6 and the Q6 Plus officially official in terms of pricing and availability, it has gone on record to say that all these phones will be competitively priced. That besides the fact that the G6 is now selling in India for as low as Rs 40,000. It was initially launched at Rs 51,990.

LG had been silently working on an affordable G6 — previously tipped to be called as the G6 Mini — for quite sometime now. India Today Tech had previously reported that the G6 Mini was in fact in the works and that it would launch in India sometime in August-September. “Very soon India will see a variant of the G6 at a much more affordable price,” Amit Gujral who is head corporate marketing, LG Electronics India had said while speaking exclusively with India Today Tech in May. “We have always brought marquee features in our flagships and we have gone ahead, made much more efforts by our R&D to bring those features into slightly lower mid-end segment,” he had further said.

 LG’s Full Vision display when combined with the company’s Android Nougat-based UX 6.0 software allows users to run apps in two perfectly square windows side by sideLG Q6 brings edge-to-edge screen, facial recognition to the masses

In line with our report, LG has now announced that it will launch its Q-family of phones in Asian markets — that includes India — in August. And, much in line with our report, the Q-family of phones indeed ships with the G6’s USP feature. All the three phones come with an unusual 18:9 Full Vision display — instead of a regular 16:9 — much like the G6. All the three phones come with ridiculously slim bezels allowing the display to take up over 80 per cent of their front side: a concept also seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are however a lot more curvier in comparison, and also they offer more screen-to-body ratio — an 83 per cent — than LG’s phones.

LG’s Full Vision display when combined with the company’s Android Nougat-based UX 6.0 software allows users to run apps in two perfectly square windows side by side. The feature, which seems to be a gradual progression of Android Nougat’s split-screen multitasking capabilities, has been extended to the camera software as well.

The camera app in the case of the Q-Family comes with a specialised Square mode that has been designed to make best use of the phones’ one-of-a-kind aspect ratio. It will allow users to take a picture and then simultaneously review the same in a square — 1:1 — identical to the one offered by the view-finder. All in one go: which means, what you (will) see is what you (will) get. The feature will particularly be useful for uploading snaps to social media channels like Instagram.

But because the Q-Family of phones has been designed for the mid-level segment, there is obviously some cost cutting. Unlike the G6, the Q6 Alpha, the Q6 and the Q6 Plus come with a 5.5-inch screen with a 2160×1080 pixel resolution. Although all the three phones boast of 7000 series aluminum and a shock-dispersing design there are missing out on the G6’s signature built like a tank quality. They haven’t gone through Military-grade MIL-STD 810G tests, neither are they IP68 certified for dust and water resistance. They don’t even have a fingerprint scanner, for crying out loud, although you do get facial recognition tech for cheap.

All the three phones skip the G6’s dual-camera gimmickry and instead ship with a single 13-megapixel camera on the rear alongside a 5-megapixel camera with a ‘wide’ field of view on the front.

All the three phones are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor and are backed by a 3,000mAh battery. While the Q6 Alpha ships with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, the Q6 and the Q6 Plus come with 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage.

 

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) First Impressions

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Galaxy A5 (2017) has been priced at Rs. 28,990
  • The Galaxy A7 (2017) has been priced at Rs. 33,490
  • Both smartphones will go on sale starting March 15

Samsung India on Monday announced the launch of its new Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) smartphones. The new mid-range Galaxy A-series models will be replacing the 2016 editions of the Galaxy A-series. The South Korean company is once again trying to promote the metal-and-glass design which made last year’s models popular.

With the 2017 editions of the Samsung Galaxy A5 and Samsung Galaxy A7, the company brings a lot of features from the flagship Galaxy S7 to the mid-range segment. Samsung claims that the new phones’ water- and dust-resistant bodies, as well as their always-on displays are firsts for this price band. Both, the Galaxy A5 and Samsung Galaxy A7, also improve upon their predecessors by supporting microSD cards of up to 256GB for storage expansion and fast charging. Both also have improved battery capacities.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0V-NzRmRLg?enablejsapi=1]

Gadgets 360 spent some time with the new Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) at the launch event, and below are our first impressions.

At first glance, the new Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) look very similar to the flagship Galaxy S7 (Review), especially because of their rounded corners. Only the screen sizes are noticeably different. Of the two new models, the Galaxy A5 with its smaller 5.2-inch screen is easier to hold, and will be preferred for those who are more comfortable using their phone with one hand. The Galaxy A7, on the other hand, has a 5.7-inch screen. As expected, the Galaxy A5 is lighter at 159 grams while Galaxy A7 definitely feels heavy for its size at 186 grams.

samsung galaxy a5 a7 2017 sides gadgets360 samsung

The front faces of both handsets maintain the signature Galaxy look with a physical home button sitting just below the screen. The capacitive navigation buttons sit on either side. During our limited time with both phones, we noticed that the capacitive navigation buttons are backlit but only light up for very short times, something we had pointed out about the 2016 edition of the Galaxy A series as well. Overall, the metal frames and glass rear panels are the highlights of these handsets. Manu Sharma, VP, Samsung Mobiles, stressed that the glass back panels draw on Samsung’s “premium design heritage”. However, these phones are both fingerprint magnets, and we would recommend using both the Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) with cases.

Sharma also confirmed to Gadgets 360 that the new Galaxy A-series smartphones will support Samsung Pay (with both NFC and MST compatibility). The company’s mobile payments solution is now live in India.

At the back, the primary cameras are flush to the bodies; a welcome change from the protruding cameras seen at the back of many other phones in this segment including the OnePlus 3T, Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL), and Moto Z. We also liked the placement of the speaker grilles on the right of both phones, though they were not very loud in our brief hands-on experience. On the bottoms of both phones, there are 3.5mm audio jacks and USB Type-C ports. The power buttons are placed on the right panels, while the volume rockers are on the left. We liked the tactile feel of the physical buttons on the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7.

samsung galaxy a5 a7 screen gadgets360 samsung

Samsung is also heavily promoting the fact that the new Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 smartphones have dedicated slots for two SIM cards and a microSD card. The Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) support 4G with VoLTE which means they are compatible with Reliance Jio’s mobile network.

In terms of specifications, the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) features a 5.2-inch display, while the Galaxy A7 (2017) features a 5.7-inch display. Both are full-HD and both use Super Amoled panels. The new Galaxy A-series models are both powered by the company’s in-house octa-core Exynos 7870 SoC clocked at 1.9GHz, coupled with 3GB of RAM. Both also have with 32GB of storage. Samsung will be offering 15GB of cloud storage through its own Samsung Cloud app. The two new phones have a set of preset camera filters including a Food mode which adds warm colours to images to make food look more appetising. Samsung provides nine effects which can be accessed by swiping the main camera interface. Overall, the camera app looks less cluttered than before, and is easy to use.

The Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 both sport a 16-megapixel rear cameras with LED flashes and f/1.9 apertures, plus 16-megapixel front cameras also with f/1.9 apertures. The new Galaxy A5 measures 146.1×71.4×7.9mm and packs a 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy A7 (2017) measures 156.8×77.6×7.9mm and has enough room for a 3600mAh battery.

samsung galaxy a5 gadgets360 samsung

In terms of software, we didn’t notice any major new tweaks on the new Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7. The company’s UI feels light, and doesn’t have much bloatware. As with other Samsung Galaxy phones, Google and Microsoft’s suites of apps can be found in separate folders. In the limited time we were able to spend with the new Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7, we found that they handled multitasking and Internet browsing pretty easily without any lags. We will however reserve our verdict on Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) performance and camera until we get a chance to put them through paces for a detailed review.

Final thoughts
The new Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) and Galaxy A7 (2017) have been priced at Rs. 28,990 and Rs. 33,490 respectively. Both phones will be available in India from March 15, via offline and online retail channels.

At these prices, the new Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 will be going head-to-head with the popular Honor 8, Asus ZenFone 3 (ZE552KL), and OnePlus 3T among others.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.20-inch

Processor

1.9GHz octa-core

Front Camera

16-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

Also See
  • Amazon
    Samsung Galaxy A5 (Champagne Gold, 16GB)
    Rs. 16,249
  • Flipkart
    Samsung Galaxy A5 (Black)
    Rs. 16,490
  • Amazon
    Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016) (White, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 19,500
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.9GHz octa-core

Front Camera

16-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3600mAh

Also See
  • Amazon
    Samsung Galaxy A7 (Champagne Gold, 16GB) – 
    Rs. 19,880
  • Amazon
    Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) (Black, 128GB)
    Rs. 25,300
  • Flipkart
    Samsung Galaxy A7 (Midnight Black, 16GB)
    Rs. 21,690

Nokia has an Android flagship in the works to challenge the Galaxy S8

 

HMD, the Chinese firm that paid big bucks to slap the Nokia brand onto Android phones, has big plans. It unveiled a new Nokia 3310 to rapturous applause at MWC, as well as a line of mid-level Android devices.

According to a new report out of China, that’s not all. HMD is said to be working on two flagship phones that will pack Qualcomm’s cutting-edge Snapdragon 835, the same chip that (probably) powers the upcoming Galaxy S8.Nokia phones 2017

The report, from Chinese site MyDrivers, says that Nokia will be unveiling an all-metal flagship phone with dual cameras, a big screen, and a Snapdragon 835 under the hood. Those are eerily similar specs to what the Galaxy S8 is set to launch with, and close to basically every other Android flagship that launches this year.

Differentiation is going to be particularly hard because HMD can’t use the Nokia PureView camera tech that the company used to be famous for. One of the only reasons for buying one of Nokia’s Lumia Android phones was the camera, but that brand and expertise were bought up by Microsoft. It’s unclear who is going to be making the lenses and sensors for Nokia’s new phones, but it’s unlikely to be anyone you’ve heard of.

That’s not all, as Nokia is rumored to also be working on a second “flagship” device with a smaller screen but more or less the same specs. It’s set to get the same Snapdragon processor, up to 6GB of RAM (!!!!) and a good camera setup. If that comes to fruition, it could be a good option, since one trend the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 8 are likely to follow is increased screen size.

 

HTC: Oculus Exclusives Are ‘Hampering Developers’

 

Vive-maker HTC has been adamant that it’s against exclusive content in the VR ecosystem thus far. In fact, it would go as far as to say rival Oculus’ exclusive games are “problematic” for the industry.

Speaking to Gamespot, Vice President of Global VR Content Joel Breton said that Oculus’ own approach to exclusivity with its Oculus Studios games was “hampering developers’ ability to create large communities by blocking them out from other platforms.”

Continuing on, he explained that even though these games might not exist without Oculus’ funding, making them exclusive was “problematic” for developers in the long-term as they can’t develop “relative to the market size” and that Oculus was “putting more cash in than the market can ever recoup, or the developer can ever recoup” thus studios might struggle to adapt with future titles. He said studios were “going to struggle because they’re not able to develop at the size and scope that the market is at.”

robo

The just-released Oculus exclusive Robo Recall was developed with a budget close to the original Gears of War and given away for free.

He pointed to Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator [Review: 8/10] as a case for bringing titles to all available platforms. “They are certainly a success story in early VR of finding a good concept that they can develop within the scope and budgets that make sense for today’s market,” Breton said.

Now that it’s funding and developing games with its Vive Studios banner, though, it’s time to put its money where its mouth is, and the company certainly looks to be doing so. Breton said that HTC is looking to bring its first Studios title, Arcade Saga, to Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR). He said that Sony “expressed a willingness to let us do that.”

The game, which was revealed alongside the announcement of Vive Studios itself late last year, already launched on the HTC Vive and came to the Oculus Rift a few days later, but bringing it to Sony’s headset means porting it to another platform entirely, rather than just translating it from one PC-based VR headset to the other. Arcade Saga is a fairly simple compilation of three arcade classics refitted for VR including brick breaking and futuristic bow and arrow shooting.

HTC considers Arcade Saga as a first-party developed game, meaning made internally. As for second-party content, which is made by partners and funded and published by the company, Breton said that developers are free to do what they like. He pointed to Grab Games’ Knockout League, which HTC co-published on Vive, but is also available on Rift. It’s up to the studio itself as to if it comes to PSVR.

Breton disagreed that not creating exclusive content could hurt HTC’s headset in the long run. “Here’s the bottom line,” he said. “We’re not using content as a weapon. We’re using content to help create and sustain the VR ecosystem.”

Tagged with: htc, htc vive, Joel Breton, oculus rift, Oculus Studios, vive studios

 

The Galaxy S8 won’t be Samsung’s only phone this year

 

Samsung appears to have another smartphone on the way after its next Tizen OS based offering was spotted in the wild.

A device sporting the model number SM-Z400F turned up in the FCC online database (source), and rumour has it that it is the Samsung Z4. This is entirely separate from the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S8 we’re expecting to see announced later this month.

Unfortunately, there’s not much else we know about the Samsung Z4, other than the fact that it will be the successor to the Samsung Z3 – and one of the first devices to run on Samsung’s custom-built Tizen version 3.0 OS.Galaxy S7

The Samsung Z3 was very much aimed at the budget end of the smartphone market, and hit the shops in 2015. It packed a 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a quad-core Spreadtrum chip, 1GB of RAM, and a reasonable 8-megapixel snapper on the back.

India’s growing smartphone market was the primary target for the Z3, and it would be surprising to see anything change with the Z4.

Tizen, the OS behind the smartphone, is better known on these shores for powering Samsung’s smartwatch range headed by the Gear S3. Where smartphones are concerned, the open source OS basically looks like a slightly different version of Android skinned with TouchWiz. The OS is here to stay on its smartwatches and smart TVs, however, so don’t completely rule out its arrival on its flagship smartphones in the very distant future.

However, considering that the Galaxy S8 will run on Android 7.0 Nougat, it’s unlikely that Samsung will decide to scrap Google’s OS on its flagships anytime soon.

 

7 tips and tricks for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNETSamsung’s latest Android tablet is a direct competitor to Apple’s iPad Pro line that holds its own. As you begin to set up and use your new tablet, keep some of these tips and tricks in mind. Oh, and don’t forget to adjust these five settings.

You don’t have to unlock the Tab S3 to jot down a note with the S Pen. Instead, scribble a note or sketch when the screen is turned off, and the tablet is locked using its screen-off memo feature.

Enable the feature in Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Screen off memo. Slide the switch to the On position.

The next time your tablet is locked, and you need to write something down, hold the button on the S Pen in and touch it to the Tab S3’s screen.

View keyboard shortcuts

For those who opted to purchase the Samsung keyboard, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a hidden keyboard shortcut key in the settings app.

Open Settings > General Management > Language and input > Physical keyboard > Keyboard shortcuts. (I told you it is hidden.)

The “Super” key referred to in the list is the search button, located to the right of the Ctrl key.

To view shortcuts unique to an app, open the app and press the Super button along with “/”.

Quickly switch between apps

Since the Tab S3 is running Android 7.0 Nougat, you can quickly and easily switch between two apps by double tapping the recent apps button.

Or use two apps at oncesamsung-galaxy-tab-s3-keyboard-shortcuts.jpg

A long-press on the recent apps button triggers split screen mode on the Tab S3. Resize each app by dragging the blue bar in either direction.

Use Samsung Cloud

Samsung’s backup and sync service, Samsung Cloud, keeps your data backed up and synced between Galaxy devices. After setting up your tablet, open Settings > Cloud and accounts > Samsung Cloud and double-check it’s enabled, as well as you have your preferred settings of items to backup and sync.

Make a GIF

Screenshot Jason Cipriani/CNET

One of the unexpected highlight features of Samsung’s Note 7 (RIP) was the ability to use the S Pen to create an animated GIF with a few taps.

That feature made its way to the Tab S3, and it’s still just as easy. Open the Air Command menu by hovering the S Pen over the Tab S3’s display and choose Smart Select > GIF Animation.

Resize the window, set a quality setting and press record. Fifteen seconds later (or less), you have a fancy GIF.

Customize Air Command settings

samsung-galaxy-tab-s3-air-command-shortcuts.jpg
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Speaking of Air Command, it’s possible to remove apps, add apps or reorganize icons in settings,

The easiest way to get there is to open Air Command using the S Pen (hover above the screen and press the button on the S Pen), then tap on the Settings icon in the bottom left corner.