Panasonic launched ELUGA Note Earlier this Week

Earlier this week, Panasonic India unveiled its new Phablet – ELUGA NOTE at a price of Rs.13,290. The Eluga Note comes with a 13.97 cm (5.5) Full HD IPS display with bright and low power consuming LTPS (Low Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) display.

ELUGA NOTE sports a 16 MP rear camera featuring F1.9 aperture for better low light photography & 6P Lens for ultra-fast auto focus. The Front 5MP camera features gesture based selfie features like Voice capture, smile shot & gesture based shot.

The ELUGA Note holds a battery capacity of 3000mAh ensuring longer operation for the Octa-Core processing backed by 3GB RAM and 32 GB Internal memory, expandable up to 32 GB.

The ELUGA Note operates on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) with the Panasonic FitHome user interface, which is engineered exclusively by Panasonic providing single thumb-flick access to applications on the home screen, and single hand operations through the bottom half of the large screen.

Panasonic Eluga Note

Available in textured back with champagne gold color, the 8.1mm thin ELUGA Note gives a premium look complementing the lifestyle of the users. Moreover, it supports 4G VoLTE for faster data access and good voice quality. With India entering the era of home automation, the ELUGA Note has an inbuilt IR sensor which allows a user to give commands to IR based smart home appliances such as TVs, DVD players and ACs.

Microsoft showcased its SaaS solutions and Cloud Startups it powers!

Earlier this week, Microsoft India showcased some of its SaaS solutions for enterprises and organizations, developed by born-in-the-cloud startups. The solutions range from technologies for offering better customer experiences, building intelligent infrastructure through cloud, local market on chat and talent management platform.

The company is fostering innovation among start-ups in India by providing resources, technology and mentoring to drive this innovation. Microsoft aims to provide the right tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise that startups need to leverage the full potential of the cloud and create innovative, SaaS solutions built on the cloud.

All these SaaS solutions have been built on the Microsoft Azure public cloud platform that offers reliability and scalability and ensures that the solutions built future-proof them, allowing these startups to keep pace with the rapidly changing customer preferences, hardware evolutions and to manage hyper business growth.

Indian datacenters provide local customers with data residency and replication in multiple regions for backup and recovery, and the option of a private connection to the cloud.

Startups displaying their cloud-based SaaS solutions included

  • Ameyo  an Omni-channel platform to streamline customer interaction across all conduits of communication and has helped businesses increase customer conversion by 6% to 15% while reduced cost of sourcing, lower churn and higher customer retention.
  • Vymo – a personal assistant app for enterprise sales or service teams focusing on schedules, routes, alerts and recommendations that are actionable. Vymo’s solution has helped increase sales productivity by 30% for one of the leading insurance companies in India, and lower TAT by 80% for one of the leading Indian Banks.
  • FlamencoTech – a cloud solution provider that creates its own ‘services layer’ customization on top of various technologies that fulfill varied business needs of each customer
  • QUSTN (Capabiliti) – a mobile-first talent management platform to Recruit, Onboard, Train and Assess frontline employees has helped companies improve employee engagement index by 65%, with new hires becoming productive team members in less than half the usual time.
  • Yellow Messenger – a universal messaging platform to Shop, Book, Order anything on Chat. The solution helps reduce marketing and support costs by 30% and increases customer conversion and retention by 20%.

Lenovo Zuk Z1 announced in India for 13499. Available starting 19th May

Update: The Lenovo Zuk Z1 review is up. Do have a look and let us know what you think/

The Lenovo Zuk Z1 will be available at INR 13499 starting 19th May; the registrations are open on amazon.in. The Lenovo Zuk Z1 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU, with a RAM 3GB and ROM 64GB. It has a Type-C interface which bases on USB 3.0, supports dual SIM dual standby. The Z1 is also powered with a 4100mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery to ensure a long usage between charges.

The Z1 comes with an IPS screen with 1920×1080 resolution, 100% NTSC, 1500:1 contrast, 401 PPI and 450nit bright view that gives you the perfect definition. The camera is powered with a 13MP OIS anti-shake camera with advanced larger 5Plastic lenses that makes pictures really vivid. With a hall sensor and gyroscope in OIS, the phone will be able to self-compesate automatically for beter image quality. With Qualcomm ISP image processing on board, it gets a good 3400w Pixels Image.

Other than the hardware, what really stands out is the software. The Zuk Z1 comes with Cynogen OS 12.1 preloaded. the CM is considered a powerful and a fast Android versions which gives you a number of advanced features that optimizes performance. It also helps with better power consumption, security and privacy. The CM also gives you options for deep customziations and themes.

The ZUK Z1 comes with an inbuilt 360° fingerprint reader button coupled with a 508 DPI high capacitive sensor that not only unlocks your phone but also makes multitasking easy.

Lets look at a detailed review in coming days.

Top 10 Highlights from Microsoft Build 2016 Developer Conference

Build is Microsoft’s premium annual conference targeted at developers where the company brings in new innovations and drives the developers towards technology adoptions and building quality apps for the Windows Ecosystem. This is pretty much similar to what Google does at IO and Apple at WWDC.

This year, the build was not just about unveiling new technologies; but rather, bringing in more open source tools, options for cross platform implementations, Intelligence services and most importantly, technologies that touches lives.

Let’s look at the top 10 highlights from this year’s build.

satya-microsoft

Microsoft announced that Windows 10 will receive a new, free update this summer, called Anniversary Update. This “upgrade” will be rolled out to all the PCs, tablets, smartphones, the Xbox One console, Microsoft HoloLens, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This update is expected this number, while we don’t have an exact date, it should be sometime in July. We will see a lot of new features being added to the Windows 10 as a part of this update.

1. Running Bash on Windows 10

Few years ago, if someone said, you could run linux commands on Windows, it would’ve been a joke and laughed off. Today, it isn’t. We now have a functional bash console built right inside Windows 10. Microsoft has partnered with Canonical to bring in Ubuntu user-space and bash shell, and run it natively in a windows 10 cmd.exe console. Its pretty simple as opening up the cmd window and type bash to start the shell. Once you start, you can run your fav set of commands, be it apt, ssh, grep, awk, sed etc.

bash-on-windows10

If you’re thinking, its just a VM or a container running on Windows 10. Right? You’re wrong. This isn’t a virtual machine at all. There’s no Linux kernel booting in a VM under a hypervisor. It’s just the Ubuntu user space; native Ubuntu binaries running directly in Windows.

compiling-c-program-bash-on-windows10

This is indeed a super cool feature and I can’t wait to try this when it arrives as a part of the anniversary update. I will do a separate post to explain when I get my hands on it.

2. Windows Ink

When Windows 10 was introduced, there were a lot of suggestions given to Microsoft on how the new OS should be more friendly to Touch and Pen inputs. At build, the company introduced Windows Ink, which brings in more features and options for users who love using the pen. Windows Ink offers cool tools like an eraser, various pen tips, and a virtual ruler which can be used to draw straight lines right on the screen. Its not just on OneNote but on variety of other applications like PowerPoint.

windows-ink

In Maps, you can draw a line directly onto the screen and the app will help determine the distance and that’s cool. With Windows Ink, you can even delete words, whole paragraphs of text in Word or even highlight text.

While this feature is already provided in Microsoft apps like Microsoft Edge browser, Office, and Maps, developers will be able to inject this tool within their apps by adding few lines of code. When you do that, end-users will have the ability to jot notes and annotate directly onto the app screen.

3. Cortana

Cortana will receive a big upgrade in terms of Intelligence, the Cortana Intelligence Suite. Cortana will be made available on the lock screen so that users can ask for without unlocking the device.

cortana-home-screen

Cortana will also provide suggestions throughout the day based on your actions and stored information. With support for Windows INK, it can set actions from your hand written notes as well.

handwriting-notes-cortana

Cortana will also have the ability to track where users have been and provide relevant information at any time based on that location or event. Cortana will also be added to Skype, located in the upper-right-hand corner of the app. Later as a part of the upgrade, Cortana will also arrive for XBox One.

4. Conversation as a Platform

Satya unveiled the conversation as a platform strategy that involves in releasing bots that takes a great mile in machine learning and converse between the apps and users. The new framework allows developers to build an independent chatbot. Microsoft is planning to transform Cortana from a helpful personal assistant into a fully fledged chatbot which does more than just assist.

skype-cortana-bots

The Microsoft Bot Framework will help companies build their bots that can be deployed across a wide variety of services. On stage, we saw a simple demonstration of how a simple Domino’s bot can process pizza orders on its own. This is probably the first step and the company confirmed that, these bots wont be just compatible with Skype and Cortana but to all third-party services like Slack, Telegram, and even SMS.

More then platform gets leveraged, we could see some great implementations in the coming year. The framework is already available on Github and has guidelines on how can one start with it. Microsoft also made the Skype BOTs SDK available for developers and Skype would also work with HoloLens.

Around the same lines, Microsoft also introduced the Cognitive Services. These are Intelligence services with around 22 APIs which are available for free to developers. The demo was pretty neat. All you had to do was to click a picture or upload a picture; and the new vision API will be able to recognize the objects in the image. Taking it a step further, it not only just identifies the elements but also figures out the relationship and uses natural language to create a description of what you’re seeing in the image.

At first, the implementations really didn’t strike my mind. But when, I saw this below video of a visually challenged developer, I started connecting the dots.

5. HoloLens

HoloLens was unveiled at Build last year. There has been a lot of press and discussions online about this. This year, Microsoft announced the HoloLens availability to the developers and touched upon the opportunities it can bring in.There was also a fantastic demo on how HoloLens can be used in the field of Medical education. It was fantastic and the opportunities it brings in onto the table is pretty amazing.

hololens-medical-education-demonstation

NASA has also been using HoloLens to build applications to support engineers responsible for the design and assembly of the space craft. Astronauts and scientists are now using the Mars tool onSight in mission operations which helps in exploring mars. They also had an experience zone at Build where the attendees of the build were the first one to experience Mars outside NASA. They call it Destination mars. The Destination Mars exhibit is going to be open for public at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in summer 2016.

6. Xamarin for all

Microsoft acquired Xamarin last month. A tool that over 1 million developers use to write iOS, Android, and Windows apps. The combination of Xamarin, Visual Studio and Azure provides a complete mobile app dev solution that provides everything one needs to develop, test, deliver mobile apps for every device.

At build, Microsoft announced that Xamarin will be free for developers using Visual Studio Enterprise, Professional, as well as Visual Studio Community Edition.

This is huge step towards bringing in better cross platform solutions and Microsoft has delivered with making Xamarin avaiable for all. By making it free with Visual Studio, Microsoft is removing a huge barrier for Visual Studio/C#-using developers interested in making native apps for iOS and Android. Xamarin Studio for OS X is going to be available free as a community edition. Microsoft is also open-sourcing the Xamarin runtime to the .NET Foundation.

As Scott Guthrie’s said, “.NET is now fully open-source.”

7. Action Center on the Cloud

The Action Center will have abilities to control devices and apps over the cloud. For example, a user can dismiss a notification on their phone and it will also be dismissed on the PC as well. Developers will even see new tools for the Windows Store and Dev Center, and new ways to connect devices, and manage communications between them.

8. Updates to the Edge Browser

As a part of the update, Windows Hello platform will be open to the Edge browser, so that the websites can leverage this framework for better security. Today, Windows 10 devices use Windows Hello to log into the computer with Iris or FingerPrint recognition reducing the need of passwords and PINs. The Edge browser extensions is also expected to arrive soon via a new Microsoft Edge Store; very similar to the Google Chrome Web store.

9. Universal Apps

At last year’s event, Microsoft said, with Windows 10, It is converging Windows into one core and one developer platform, which the company calls one Windows core and the universal app platform respectively.

windows-home-developers

This year, there were emphasis on how companies like Facebook, Twitter, Uber and others in the industry are taking efforts in bringing in the UWA. We also saw a Desktop App Converter, which helps you convert your legacy Win32 and. Net apps to modern apps with Tile Support. This works pretty neat. You can also now just double-click to install a universal Windows app.

desktop-app-convertor

10. Real-Time Data for IoT and Mobility Apps

Solving the Cross-platform development is just one part of the next-generation app development puzzle. Microsoft also introduced several other offerings designed to help developers build more intelligent and predictive apps for the growing Internet of Things. The new Azure Functions, for example, unveiled as a preview, will help developers better manage on-demand and event-driven tasks for mobile, big data, Web and IoT applications. The new Azure IoT Starter Kits will enable anyone with Windows or Linux experience, including students and hobbyists, to quickly and inexpensively build prototypes for the Internet of Things.

Let me know what did you like the most at Build this year. Thank you!

The Redmi Note 3 launched in India today; available starting 9th March

Xiaomi India launched the Redmi Note 3 today in the country. This is the company’s first release this year and hopefully the Mi5 (which was unveiled at MWC Barcelona) will follow soon. The Redmi Note 3 is Mi’s first all body metal smartphone with a fingerprint sensor in India. The device is powered by a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, which is the first in any phone, first in world. This processor uses ARM 872 CPU core, which is 20% more power efficient and gives significant performance benefits.

Mi has announced two variants with different storage and RAM – There is a 3GB RAM variant with 32GB internal storage which is priced at 11999 INR and a 2GB one with 16GB onboard storage priced at 9999 INR. The Redmi Note 3 is available starting March 9th on mi.com and Amazon. Pre-registering on the two sites for the first sale starts from 4pm on 3 March.

Redmi Note 3 is a dual SIM phone, features a 5.5-inch full HD display with 1080×1920 pixels resolution. The display offers wide viewing angles and a good colour reproduction; also supports sunlight display for better viewing on a bright day.  The phone also supports reading mode (similar to Flux on Mac and Night Shift on iOS) which reduces the blue color tone on the screen during the night and gives a more warmer tone to the display.

Mi Redmi Note 3 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system topped with the MIUI 7. Redmi Note 3 comes with a 16MP rear camera with dual LED flash and a 5MP front camera for selfies; with a PDAF Autofocus, and a dual ISP (Image Signal Processor). The phone also packs a 4050mAh battery which is pretty good considering the processor, size and the display. The device also supports QuickCharging; you can charge 50% in one hour and 3 hours for full charge. With being a metal body and having a 4050 mAh battery, the phone weighs just 164 grams. The Redmi Note 3 also has the support for VoLTE.

The Redmi Note 3 is the first phone from Mi which has a FingerPrint scanner. You can store upto 5 finger print profiles; and unlocks the phone in 0.3 seconds. With MIUI,  You can also app-lock, View Hidden Files with finger print security. You can also use it to snap a selfie. The fingerprint sensor mounted on the rear is perfectly positioned in terms of how you hold your phone; very similar to the competition, The Honor 5X and the LeEco Le1s.

redmi-note-3

The curved edge design and build quality is impressive and the MIUI 7 blends really well with it. The built-in IR blaster is a good addition. Let’s look at the detailed review in the coming days!

Xiaomi strikes gold with Mi5 at the MWC 2016 Today

Xiaomi today unveiled the Mi5 phone at MWC Today. The Mi5 goes by the mantra it was promoted on being ‘Fast’. It powers on a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB RAM and a 128 GB Flash Drive; which results on a high Antutu score of 142,084.  The snapdragon 820 has a KRYO CPU architecture change that gives the device a 200% performance increase with a 50% less power consumption when compared to the Snapdragon 810. The new LPDDR4 dual channel RAM gives a 100% performance improvement over the older one.

The Mi5 also comes with a UFS 2.0 Flash storage which gives 87% faster read and write speeds than the EMMC flash storage. The Mi5 also comes with a 3000mAh battery;  a USB Type C and supports Fast Charging (Quick Charge 3.0). The Mi5 supports VoLTE and 4G+ (LTE advanced) similar to the Gionee S8 which was announced couple of days back.

For the first time, Mi5 has come up with a hardware home button which also doubles as a finger print scanner. The Mi5 is a 5.15″ inch device and a 3D ceramic back on the top of the line variant, Mi5 Pro. It gives you a texture of a marble, but without the weight of it. The phone weighs about 129 grams.

The Mi5 also comes up with the latest Sony IMX298 16-megapixel camera sensor on the rear which shoots 4K videos; and 4MP 2 micron large pixel shooter on the front. The Mi5 also comes up with first of its kind, 4-axis OIS which would give you a far less shaky images and videos.

4-axis-ois-mi5

Here are some of the top features of the Mi5.

mi-5-features

The phone is going to be available in Gold, White and Black shades starting March 1st in China and will be available in India soon. The top of the line MI5 which is called MI5 Pro is priced at 2699 Yuan (354 USD). The rest of the models are listed below.

  • 1.8GHz SD 820, 3GB + 32GB, 3D Glass back – 1999 Yuan (262 USD)
  • 2.15GHz SD 820, 3GB + 64GB, 3D Glass back  – 2299 Yuan (300 USD)

At the event, Mi also announced that 70 million phones were sold in the year 2015. According to IDC, Xiaomi was the #1 trending smartphone brand in China and is also #5 worldwide. Mi had also filed 3600 patents last year. Further, Like every Mi event, there was a good amount of mention about the software, the MIUI which is one of the top reasons why one buys a Mi phone. MIUI now has about 170 million users worldwide. The Mi5 is going to be available with MIUI v7 which will be Mi’s first device running Android Marshmallow.

 

0 to 100 in 15 mins; OPPO Unveils Super-Fast Flash Charge at MWC 2016

Oppo presented the Super VOOC Flash Charge technology at MWC Today. Super VOOC Flash Charge improves on the original VOOC Flash Charge introduced by OPPO in 2014 and now used by 18 million consumers worldwide. Original VOOC Flash Charge revolutionized charging by giving users 2 hours of talk after just 5 minutes of charging. Super VOOC takes it to the next level, offering a full 10 hours of talk time with only five minutes of charging, and filling a 2500 mAh battery in only 15 minutes, a never-before-seen speed.

Super VOOC Flash Charge uses a 5V low-voltage pulse-charge algorithm, ensuring a low-temperature charge that’s safe for the battery and dynamically regulating the current to charge the phone in the shortest time possible. The all-new algorithm pairs with a customizedsuper battery, as well as a new adapter, cable and connector made using premium, military-grade materials.Super VOOC Flash Charge supports Micro USB or type-C interfaces, in line with the global standard.

Oppo also claims, Super VOOC Flash Charge’s safe, low-temperature charging algorithm makes it perfect for using the phone while it’s charging, such as watching an HD video, or playing a game, a functionality which other quick charge technologies don’t support.

Lenovo announced the VIBE K5 Plus; available at USD 149 starting March

Lenovo announced the Vibe K5 Plus at MWC 2016 today. The Lenovo VIBE K5 Plus flaunts a sleek-finish aluminum look at just 8.2mm thin and weighs about 142g. The K5 Plus brings in a 5” wide-view FHD IPS display powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 616 oct-core processor, 2 GB RAM, a 16GB built-in memory (up to 32GB expandable storage support) and a 2750mAh user replaceable battery.

The Vibe K5 Plus also delivers an immersive multimedia experience with the clarity of Dolby Atmos® and dual rear speakers to deliver remarkable sound quality, allowing users to enjoy movies, games and music with full, crystal-clear stereo sound. The Lenovo K5 Plus also comes with a 13MP autofocus rear camera with LED flash, and a 5MP fixed-focus front camera for picture perfect shots.

Lenovo-vibe-k5-plus

The Vibe K5 Plus will be available in Platinum Silver, Graphite Grey and Champagne Gold shades; in select countries at USD 149 starting March this year.

Gionee introduces S8 at MWC 2016; Brings in 3D Touch, 4G+ and more

Gionee officially launched its new smartphone S8 at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 Today. The S8 also happens to be the first phone from the MWC 2016 that brings in the 3D Touch. With Force Touch, you can select application, preview content and do a variety of things with different pressures being applied. For example, Touch To select an application, Tap to preview the content of an application and Press to run an application.

Under the hood, this phone is powered with a MediaTek Helio P10, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM,16MP/8MP camera, , 3000 Aah battery with fast charging and Android 6.0. The S8’s full metal design features the world’s first invisible loop antenna which strikes a balance between sleek design and excellent signal strength. The phone supports full bands including b17 and b20 for global roaming, and enhances WiFi and GPS signals.

GioneeS8

The S8 is also equipped with an enhanced camera system for brighter and clearer photos and videos. It is the first smartphone to use RWB technology, as well as a F1.8 aperture and 6P lens that enables users to take optimum images in low-light scenarios.

Gionee has also added an innovative side bar to the phone. Users will able to bring out the side barat any time by pressing the sides of the display and selecting the desired application with ease.

This phone is going to be available at 449 EUR starting March 10th.

LG unveils the G5 Today at MWC 2016: Modular Approach to a Flagship

LG today at MWC 2016, unveiled its flagship for the year 2016, the G5 which brings in a brand new design with a metal unibody featuring a slide-out Battery and a modular type design. The G5 is also one of the first modular phones which would be available for consumers to buy. The LG CAM Plus is a versatile camera module that can be attached through the battery slot to deliver a comfortable grip and convenient control of a standalone camera. The LG CAM Plus provides physical buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, LED indicator and comfortable grip. It also offers intuitive auto focus and exposure lock, features usually found on standalone digital cameras. When attached to the LG G5, it provides an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh to allow for longer shooting times for more fun and enjoyment.  The Slide-out Battery helps you easily swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged one in seconds.

The LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY is an innovative portable Hi-Fi DAC audio player developed in collaboration with B&O PLAY to meet the needs of those who seek to enjoy top-notch sounds that have traditionally only been available through high-end audio devices. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY stands out for its simple yet elegant Scandinavian design as well as premium sound technology. In addition to the 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC upsampling technology first introduced on the LG V10, LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY also supports 32-bit 384KHz high-definition audio playback. LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY can be used either as a module with the LG G5 or as a separate Hi-Fi DAC by connecting to any smartphone or PC.

The LG G5 has two cameras on the rear: one with a standard 78-degree lens and another with a 135-degree wide angle lens, the widest available in any smartphone. The 135-degree lens on the LG G5 offers a viewing angle that is approximately 1.7 times wider than those of existing smartphone cameras and 15 degrees wider than the human eye’s field of view. The wide angle lens makes it easier for users to capture more landscape, taller buildings or larger groups without having to position oneself further from the subject.

lg-g5-dual-camera

The 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum display on the LG G5 offers an Always-on feature, the first on a main smartphone display. One can always see the time at a glance, even during important meetings or when your hands are full. To minimise power consumption, LG redesigned the display driver IC memory and power management function so that the display’s backlight only illuminates one small part of the overall display. The Always-on Display requires only 0.8 percent of the battery’s full capacity per hour to operate.

With consumers turning on their smartphones up to 150 times a day mostly to just check the time, the G5’s Always-on Display will make a notable difference in the life of the battery over the course of the day.

Another advanced display feature in the LG G5 is Daylight Mode, which gives the G5 exceptional outdoor visibility beyond that of current auto brightness technology. Daylight Mode detects surrounding light conditions and instantaneously increases or decreses the brightness of the display, up to 850 nits. Even before your eyes have adjusted to the different lighting conditions, the G5 will be ready.

Under the hood, the G5 is powered with a Snapdragon 820 processor, a 4GB RAM, Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and aptX HD, an enhanced codec that supports 24-bit sound over Bluetooth, delivering rich and clear sound over wireless connections without any loss. Here are some key Specs:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820 Processor
  • Display: 5.3-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 554ppi)
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 RAM / 32GB UFS ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera: Rear Standard 16MP, Wide 8MP / Front 8MP
  • Battery: 2,800mAh (removable)
  • OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Size: 149.4 x 73.9 x 7.7mm
  • Weight: 159g
  • Network: LTE / 3G / 2G
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / USB Type-C / NFC / Bluetooth 4.2

This device will be available in Silver, Titan, Gold and Pink colour.