Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge Price in India Slashed

Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge Price in India Slashed

Samsung has dropped the prices of its flagship smartphones in India, specifically, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The two smartphones have received price cuts of Rs. 5,000 each from their launch prices in India.

The price drops of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge were first tipped by an established Mumbai-based retailer, but Gadgets 360 has received independent confirmation of the move.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 will now sport a dealer price of Rs. 43,400 in India, while the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will sport a dealer price tag of Rs. 50,900. Both prices are referring to the 32GB variants of the smartphones in the country, which were launched carrying a consumer-facing MRP of Rs. 48,900 and Rs. 56,900 respectively.

To recall, Samsung had launched its two flagship smartphones at MWC 2016, and brought them to India a month later in only their 32GB variants.

We’ve since reviewed the smartphones, and found them to very compelling options if money is no object. Samsung may have dropped the prices of the smartphones to boost their demand ahead of the availability of its flagship phablet in India, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

Launched in India earlier this month, the Galaxy Note 7 will go on sale from September 2. Pre-bookings for the smartphone began on Monday, and thus the timing of the price drop seems to indicate a connection. Pre-bookings will carry on till August 30


Gionee Says Will Set Up Manufacturing Unit in India

Gionee Says Will Set Up Manufacturing Unit in India

Handset maker Gionee will set up a manufacturing unit in northern India, pumping in about Rs. 500 crore, to tap into the demand in India as well as to serve markets like Africa and South East Asia.

The Chinese company, which assembles its smartphones in India through third-party players like Foxconn and Dixon, expects the plant to be operational in about 2 years.

“We are in process of getting land in northern India. The 50-acre unit have an annual capacity of 30 million units. It should be operational in about two years,” Gionee India MD and CEO Arvind Vohra told PTI. He declined however to share details about the location of the plant. “It will be an end-to-end manufacturing unit. It will help us cater to demand in India as well as nearby markets and African region… We will invest about Rs. 500 crore on the plant,” Vohra said.

About 60 percent of Gionee India’s devices sold in the country are manufactured locally at facilities run by Foxconn (Tamil Nadu) and Dixon (Noida).

According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India grew 17.1 percent sequentially to 27.5 million units in April-June quarter, with Chinese vendors like Lenovo, Xioami, Gionee and Vivo driving the growth.

The shipments have revived after two successive quarters of decline. Samsung led with 25.1 percent market share followed by Micromax (12.9 percent), Lenovo (7.7 percent), Intex (7.1 percent) and Reliance Jio (6.8 percent).

Vohra said Gionee India has crossed half million units sales per month and by year-end, he expects the number to go up to one million. Vohra aid the company has witnessed 100 percent growth last year and expects a “robust growth” this year too.

To cash in on the festive season demand, Gionee India will spend around Rs. 400 crore on marketing and branding activities over the next few months. It also plans to launch four new smartphones, priced between Rs. 9,999 and Rs. 24,999, by mid-October as part of its efforts to expand its market share in India to 7-10 percent by next March from the current five percent.

“We had earmarked a budget of Rs. 600 crore this year and we have utilised one-third of it till now. About Rs. 200 crore will be pumped in the festive season and the remaining amount will be used in the latter part of the fiscal towards various marketing and branding efforts,” Vohra said. Gionee India has signed up Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt as its brand ambassador and is in discussions for signing up another celebrity but that is yet to be finalised, he said.

The company today launched its S6s, priced at Rs. 17,999. The 5.5-inch handset features 1.3GHz octacore processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory (expandable up to 128GB), 13-megapixel rear and 8-megapixel front camera and 3,150mAh battery.


Samsung Z2 Images, Specifications Leaked Ahead of Tuesday Launch

Samsung Z2 Images, Specifications Leaked Ahead of Tuesday Launch

Samsung started sending out media invites for a smartphone launch on Tuesday and the South Korean company is widely anticipated to announce its Tizen-powered smartphone Samsung Z2 at the event. As it goes with almost every tech industry event these days, the leaks about the smartphone have emerged ahead of its anticipated launch on Tuesday.

Galaxy Club, a website based in Netherlands, has come up with leaked images of the Tizen-powered smartphone and from the looks of it; the smartphone seems quite similar to company’s smartphone Z3 but has a textured back. Confusingly enough, Samsung Z3 was the second handset to be launched in the company’s Tizen-powered Z series of smartphones.

Samsung Z2 is also suggested to come with My Money Transfer app, which is said to be a new exclusive feature on the smartphone for the Indian market. Apart from this, the phone is rumoured to include WhatsApp and Telegram as pre-installed apps.

An earlier report suggested that the Z2 will be priced at Rs. 4,499 and will come with a 4.5-inch display, 2000mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, dual-SIM support, and 4G with VoLTE support.

However, new leaks suggest that the phone might come with a 4-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) Amoled display, 1500mAh battery, 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual-SIM support, and 4G with VoLTE support.

It will be interesting to see which rumoured specifications are able to match the actual specifications of the smartphone, but for that to happen, we will have to wait for the launch of the smartphone, if that indeed happens on Tuesday.

In a separate leak by Sammobile, the company will reportedly be expanding its C-series of smartphones by introducing a smartphone codenamed “Amy”, and has said that it will be called the Galaxy C9 (SM-C9000).


HTC 10 Gets 2 New Colour Variants and a Limited Period Discount

HTC 10 Gets 2 New Colour Variants and a Limited Period Discount

Four months after launch, HTC has announced two new colour options for the HTC 10, and has also introduced a $100 (roughly Rs. 6,700) temporary discount. The HTC 10 will now be available in Camellia Red and Topaz Gold colour variants in addition to the launch colours in the US. The price of the smartphone has also gone down to $599 (roughly Rs. 40,300), instead of the launch price of $699 (roughly Rs. 47,000).

This discounted price is only available till the end of this month, after which the price will go back to $699 (roughly Rs. 47,000). The HTC 10 is only available at the discounted price only on the company website for now. The Camellia Red and Topaz Gold colour variants are available for pre-order, and HTC notes that they have been manufactured only in limited quantities. The shipping of these new colour variants will begin in early October.

Buyers can even opt to not take the discount, and instead go for the JBL noise cancelling headphones. This isn’t the first time HTC has introduced the $100 (roughly Rs. 6,700) discount on the HTC 10 since its launch, and these price slashes reflect on possible low sales figures of the flagship. The company launched the smartphone in April in Glacier Silver and Carbon Grey colour variants. It arrived in India a month later with a price tag of Rs. 52,990.

As for the specifications, the HTC 10 sports a 5.2-inch Quad HD (1440×2560 pixels) Super LCD 5 display with a pixel density of 564ppi and curved edge Gorilla Glass. It is powered by a Snapdragon 820 SoC paired with 4GB RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage. There is also a 4GB of RAM/ 64GB of storage variant that has not been brought to India. Optics include a 12-UltraPixel laser autofocus camera with an f/1.8 aperture, dual tone LED flash, BSI sensor and optical image stabilisation (OIS); a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with autofocus and optical image stabilisation (OIS). It offers Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, DLNA, GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, and 4G connectivity options, and a 3000mAh battery.


Barbara Streisand Tips iOS 10 Will Be Released on September 30

Barbara Streisand Tips iOS 10 Will Be Released on September 30

American singer Barbara Streisand has let slip some crucial information about Apple’s possible release of its upcoming iPhone 7 smartphone. Streisand was having some trouble with how her name was pronounced by Siri, so, being the star that she is, she directly called Apple CEO Tim Cook with her grievances and asked to get it fixed. Cook obliged and told her that the fix would roll out with the next update on September 30.

Streisand said this in an interview with NPR, “She pronounces my name wrong! [It’s] Streisand with a soft ‘s’ like sand on the beach, I’ve been saying this for my whole career. So what did I do? I called the head of Apple, Tim Cook. And he delightfully agreed to have Siri change the pronunciation of my name finally with the next update on September 30th.”

Now, if Cook is talking about the big iOS 10 update, then the September 30 date is a major delay from Apple’s traditional launch of mid-September – or almost immediately after the launch of the new iPhone. Like previous releases, iOS 10 is expected to be launched alongside the next iPhone, and if what Streisand says is true, then Apple’s earlier deadline of a September 16 market launch appears to be untrue.

Past leaks suggest that Apple is expected to host an event on September 7 for the unveil of the iPhone 7 and also release iOS 10. It is said to make the smartphone available in the market by September 16. Carriers are tipped to make it available by September 23.

Of course, Cook could just be talking about an update to iOS 10 (and Siri) that may be scheduled to roll out soon after its commercial release. There seems to be very little clarity on this September 30 date, but we hope to know more as time progresses.

In any case, iOS 10 is bringing along a host of new features like the iMessage, Apple Music, Maps, and Photos app overhaul; and the third-party Siri integration. It is also introducing as many as 100 new emojis with the software update. These emojis look to represent professional women better and promote LGBT rights.


MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to Start Rolling Out to Eligible Devices From Tuesday

MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to Start Rolling Out to Eligible Devices From Tuesday

Xiaomi has announced that the latest version of its operating system, MIUI 8, will be rolling out as a Global Stable ROM update to eligible devices starting Tuesday.

Making the announcement on the MIUI forum last week, Xiaomi also listed the eligible devices – Redmi 1S, Redmi 2, Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi Note 3 (Qualcomm), Redmi Note 3 (Special Edition), Redmi Note 2, Redmi Note 3G, Redmi Note 4G, Redmi Note Prime, Redmi 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi 3S Prime, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi 4i, Mi 5, Mi Note, and Mi Max (32GB variant).
The company also noted that only a select few devices will get the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM as an OTA update on Tuesday. These are the Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, and Redmi Note 4G. The rest of the eligible devices will get their updates in the “near future”. Xiaomi also announced that MIUI 8 China Stable ROM will start rolling out from Wednesday as well.

Xiaomi had originally scheduled August 16 as the release date for the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM, but evidently the company has faced some delays with the final stable build.

As for how to upgrade, Xiaomi says users of the regular MIUI Global Stable ROM will receive an MIUI 8 update notification on their phone when the OTA update is ready for their device. Users can also refer to the Updater app to check for updates. Xiaomi warns that users should back up their data before making the upgrade. As for users running a different ROM than the MIUI Global Stable ROM, Xiaomi has posted a detailed guide on how to flash the latest stable MIUI 8 ROM.

To recall, MIUI 8 includes new features such as Mi Cloud Photo Sync; new video editing options for trimming, effects; scrolling screenshots; Quick ball button with shortcuts; Dual apps; new templates for Notes; a redesigned Gallery app; a Smart menu for editing text, and the new App lock. Users in India will also get free ringtones from Hungama. Hindi T9 prediction will be available, as well as T9 business search. Smart Caller ID features in both the dialler and messaging app will be available in India.


iPhone 7 Fresh Leaks Tip Dual Camera Setup Again

iPhone 7 Fresh Leaks Tip Dual Camera Setup Again

It’s almost the end of August, and there is no sign of an official invite from Apple yet. This means that the rumour mills still have some job to do, before Apple puts all the curious minds to rest. The latest flurry of leaks however pretty much cements the arrival of the dual camera setup on the large variant of the iPhone 7 – expected to be called the iPhone 7 Plus.

Jimmy Lin from Taiwan is known for posting photos of him using the iPhone before its release. He has been doing so since 2012, and this year is no different. Lin has posted a photo of himself appearing to use the larger iPhone 7 variant, as the dual camera setup is clearly seen at the back. However everything else remains hidden behind his palm, and we aren’t sure if the Smart Connector pins will make their way to the device . As for the variants, there is conflict that Apple may launch a new iPhone 7 Pro that will introduce all the new hardware, while the iPhone 7 Plus variant will just sport a large form factor. However, several other reports refute this claim and stress that Apple will stick to tradition and launch two variants, with the larger one sporting the new hardware including the dual camera and Smart Connector. Another rumour had indicated Apple may call its next iPhone the iPhone 6SE, due to the minimal changes compared to the previous generation. We’ll have to wait and see just what Apple has in store for us.

iphone_7_plus_phonearena.jpgPhoneArena has also leaked cases and bumpers of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus revealing key details. The photos tell the same story that has been told in the past, and shows off the dual camera setup at the back. The cases don’t hold any openings at the back, hinting that the Smart Connector won’t be added this time.

Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 7 on September 7, with minimal design changes and introduction of several new hardware upgrades. The camera will see an upgrade, with the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 getting optical image stabilisation, and the iPhone 7 Plus getting an all-new dual camera setup. 3GB of RAM is expected in the larger variant to accommodate all the new hardware. A new Space Black colour variant is also expected to be introduced, and the iPhone 7 will be void of the 3.5mm audio jack.


Xiaomi Redmi 4 Retail Box Leaks, Tips Specification Details

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Retail Box Leaks, Tips Specification Details

After a tell-all listing on a Chinese Certification site, a new image leak of the Redmi 4 retail box does further damage and reveals more details about the upcoming smartphone. In addition to the retail box, a teaser has also surfaced online reiterating that the Redmi 4 will be unveiled on Thursday, and will sport a full-metal clad body.

The teaser reveals the previously announced August 25 launch date, and also reads ‘National full metal age (translated)’ hinting that the Redmi 4 will be metal clad. In the meanwhile, the leaked retail box image reveals specification details, and hints that the Redmi 4 will feature a 5.5-inch display, a 2GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor, 3GB RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, 64GB of inbuilt storage, and a 4100mAh battery.

xiaomi_redmi_4_times.jpgThe previous Tenaa listing suggested that a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage variant will also be launched alongside. Other specifications from the certification site included Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8. The dimensions of 141.3×69.6×8.9mm, a 160-gram weight, and Gold and Silver colour variants. Connectivity options tipped include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS.

This latest leak also refutes previous rumours of a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, and instead claims that the Redmi 4 will be powered by the 2GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core chipset. It’s possible both variants are launched however. The rumoured price of the Redmi 4 is at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 7,000).

There is also an Mi Note 2 expected to be unveiled on September 2. It is expected to be priced at CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,000) and CNY 2,799 (approximately Rs. 28,000) respectively. The speculated features include a dual camera setup, dual-edge display, and 64GB and 128GB storage offerings.


Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

Gionee on Monday launched its latest selfie-focused smartphone in India, the S6s. Priced at Rs. 17,999, the smartphone comes with selfie features such as a front-facing flash, and will be available online exclusively via Amazon from 2pm IST on Monday itself. The smartphone will in the coming weeks make its way to physical retail stores and other online retail partners.

Besides the higher resolution front-facing camera sensor and front-facing flash, the smartphone appears to be identical to the Gionee S6, which was first launched in November last year before making its way to India in February.

The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) Gionee S6s runs the company’s Amigo 3.2 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D Curved Edge Glass.

The Gionee S6s is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 SoC, coupled with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with Sony IMX258 sensor, an f/2.0 aperture, and an LED flash, apart from an 8-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera with its own flash module, an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5P lens. The front camera also features screen flash support.

The S6s comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage and features a hybrid dual-SIM card slot that supports storage expandability via microSD card (up to 128GB). As for connectivity options, the Gionee S6s offers 4G (with VoLTE), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB.


The new Gionee smartphone is powered by a 3150mAh battery, and features a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. The Gionee S6s comes bundled with a display protector film and a transparent case. To recall, the smartphone’s predecessor – the Gionee S6 – was launched in India at Rs. 19,999, and Gionee seems to have offset the cost of the upgrade in front camera hardware with the reduced costs of ageing components. The original bore a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.


Samsung Said to Be Planning Refurbished Smartphone Programme

Samsung Said to Be Planning Refurbished Smartphone Programme

Samsung Electronics plans to launch a programme to sell refurbished used versions of its premium smartphones as early as next year, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The South Korean technology firm is looking for ways to sustain earnings momentum after reviving its mobile profits by restructuring its product line-up. As growth in the global smartphone market hits a plateau, Samsung wants to maximise its cost efficiency and keep operating margins above 10 percent.

The world’s top smartphone maker will refurbish high-end phones returned to the company by users who signed up for one-year upgrade programmes in markets such as South Korea and the United States.

Samsung would then re-sell these phones at a lower price, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was not yet public.

The person declined to say how big a discount the refurbished phones would be sold at, which markets the phones would be sold in or how many refurbished devices Samsung could sell.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company does not comment on speculation.
It was not clear to what extent the phones would be altered, but refurbished phones typically are fitted with parts such as a new casing or battery.

Rival Apple’s iPhone has a re-sale value of around 69 percent of its original price after about one year from launch, while Samsung’s flagship Galaxy sells for 51 percent of the original price in the U.S. market, according to BNP Paribas.

Refurbished phones could help vendors such as Samsung boost their presence in emerging markets such as India, where high-end devices costing $800 (roughly Rs. 53,000) or so are beyond most buyers.

Apple sells refurbished iPhones in a number of markets including the United States, but does not disclose sales figures. It is trying to sell such iPhones in India, where the average smartphone sells for less than $90.

Selling used phones could help Samsung fend off lower-cost Chinese rivals that have been eating into its market share, and free up some capital to invest elsewhere or boost marketing expenditure.

Deloitte says the used smartphone market will be worth more than $17 billion (roughly Rs. 114,000 crores) this year, with 120 million devices sold or traded in to manufacturers or carriers – around 8 percent of total smartphone sales. Some market experts expect the used market to grow fast as there are fewer technology breakthroughs.

“Some consumers may prefer to buy refurbished, used premium models in lieu of new budget brands, possibly cannibalizing sales of new devices from those budget manufacturers,” Deloitte said in a report.

Cannibalisation risk
Samsung’s refurbishment programme, details of which the person said could be finalised as early as 2017, could help the firm generate revenue from dated high-end smartphones returned by users upgrading to newer versions.

The company’s latest premium phones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7, have received favourable reviews, suggesting cheaper, refurbished versions could be popular. At U.S. carrier Verizon Communications, the Galaxy S7 Edge with 32-gigabyte storage retails for $792 (roughly Rs. 53,000) without subsidies, while the Note 7 costs $864 (roughly Rs 58,000).

The programme could help Samsung defend market share in emerging countries by bolstering mid-tier sales. Refurbished phones could also appeal to enterprise clients who want certain security or software products pre-installed on phones to give to their employees, the source said.

The risk of offering refurbished devices is that they could potentially cannibalise sales of Samsung’s other mid-tier devices.

Expectations for solid smartphone sales helped Samsung shares to a record 1.675 million won (roughly Rs. 1 lakh) each on Friday, taking two-day gains to 7 percent and adding $15 billion in market value. The shares traded down 0.36 percent in Seoul on Monday.