Lava to Sell Only 6 Smartphone Models at a Time, Focus on Retail Stores

Home grown smartphone maker Lava will sell only six smartphone models at any given point of time, and work to strengthen its connect with offline retail stores.

“Instead of launching multiple handsets, we will focus on selling only six smartphones during any given point. Lava will focus on connect and visibility at retail stores,” Lava International Product Head Gaurav Nigam said on sidelines of launching two new dual-SIM 4G smartphones Lava Z25 and Z10. He said that the company’s new strategy is to remain neck-to-neck in competition with Chinese players who have deep pockets.

Lava to Sell Only 6 Smartphone Models at a Time, Focus on Retail Stores

“In terms of branding, we will focus on visibility at retail stores. We are currently selling through 1.2 lakh retail stores, and by end of this year we plan to have our products at 1.6 lakh retail counters, covering almost entire retailer base for mobile phones,” Nigam said.

He said that Lava is now selling all phones that are made in India at its Noida plants and expect to come out with first smartphone of Lava that will be designed in India.

“We have 750 engineers employed by Lava in China for designing phones. We recently hired 50 engineers in India, who are working on to design first Lava phone in the country,” Nigam said.

He added that the company has enhanced test criteria to increase robustness in the phones.

“We are promising our customers that the screen of Lava smartphones will not break due to fall. If it breaks within a year of purchase, we will give one replacement for free. We have also enhanced test criteria for moistures,” Nigam said.

He said that the same robustness is present in Z25 and Z10 models that it will start selling for Rs. 18,000 and Rs. 11,500 a unit in select stores in Delhi from Thursday.

Alcatel A5 LED, A3, U5 Smartphones and PLUS 12 Tablet Launched at MWC 2017

Alcatel has launched three budget-end smartphones, namely – Alcatel U5, Alcatel A3, the Alcatel A5 LED, and Windows 10 running Alcatel Plus 12 tablet at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. While the pricing of the smartphones or their availability has not been announced as of now, their specifications indicate that they will be priced competitively in the budget price segment.

Alcatel A5 LED, A3, U5 Smartphones and PLUS 12 Tablet Launched at MWC 2017

Coming first to the most exciting product out of the mix, the Alcatel A5 LED features the most powerful specifications among the three newly-launched smartphones but the highlight feature on the smartphone is its LED panel back that lights up with colours in different patterns. The LED back cover is removable and the company is also offering other cover options including a battery pack and a speaker back. The swappable covers are similar to the Moto Mods as can be seen in Moto Z smartphones – such as the new Edge Moto Mod with a wraparound LED light for notifications. Interestingly, the LED back cover can also provide users notifications and its functionality can be controlled by a dedicated app.

The Alcatel A5 LED smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, sports a 5.2-inch HD touchscreen display, and is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. The phone comes with 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the Alcatel A5 LED packs an 8-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 5-megapixel camera at front for clicking selfies. The smartphone features a 2800mAh battery. In terms of connectivity options, the A5 LED offers Cat.4 LTE, Micro-USB, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS, and Bluetooth 4.2.

“With the A5 LED, Alcatel is delivering new fun features, like light-up notifications and unique LED cover patterns and themes you create yourself, as well as an enhanced multimedia experience and more ways to take and share selfies, ideal for people who value having fun and letting their personality shine,” William Dowie, portfolio management director at Alcatel, was quoted as saying in company’s release.

Moving on to the Alcatel A3 smartphone, termed by the company as the “Most Affordable 5-inch HD Smartphone”, the device runs Android Marshmallow. The smartphone sports a 5-inch 720p display and is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. The A3 comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card.

In terms of optics, the smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel camera at front. The Alcatel A3 houses a 2460mAh battery. Interestingly, the smartphone comes with front-facing speakers and a fingerprint sensor, which is notably missing from A5 LED.

Coming finally to the Alcatel U5 smartphone, the device runs Android Marshmallow. The smartphone sports a 5-inch 480p display and is powered by a quad-core 1.1 GHz processor coupled with just 1GB of RAM. The Alcatel U5 comes with 8GB of built-in storage. The device sports a 5-megapixel rear camera.

Alcatel has also announced its Windows 10 2-in-1 PLUS 12 tablet. The device packs an 11.6-inch full-HD IPS display and measures 284x175x7.9mm. The tablet is powered by an Intel Celeron N3350 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. It comes with in an unusual 32GB eMMC + 32GB embedded microSD storage configuration. The storage is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card.

The Alcatel PLUS 12 houses a 26.8WHr battery and offers connectivity options including USB Type-C, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro-HDMI port. Interestingly, the company has also introduced a keyboard accessory for the tablet that connect via pogo pins.

The keyboard is powered by a separate Qualcomm MDM9207 SoC coupled with plus 128MB of RAM. The accessory also houses a 2580mAh battery and features a full-size USB-A port for connectivity. PLUS 12’s innovative detachable 4G LTE keyboard serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 15 devices.

“With the A5 LED, Alcatel is delivering new fun features, like light-up notifications and unique LED cover patterns and themes you create yourself, as well as an enhanced multimedia experience and more ways to take and share selfies, ideal for people who value having fun and letting their personality shine,” William Dowie, portfolio management director at Alcatel, was quoted as saying in company’s release.

As mentioned before, the pricing and the availability of the devices has not been shared by the company as of now.

The iPhone 7 deal that took Black Friday by storm is back (and this time it’s cheaper)

If you’re looking to pick up a new iPhone 7 handset this month, Mobiles.co.uk has prepared a little present for you. The UK’s biggest online phone retailer has resurrected the iPhone 7 deal that took Black Friday by storm back in November and not only that, it has also slashed an extra £25 off the upfront cost.

  • The best iPhone 7 deals in February 2017

We’ve had a look around and this is without doubt the best iPhone 7 deal out there at the moment. In fact, no other deal appears to come close.

The next best deal out there appears to be this one , also at Mobiles.co.uk and on the EE network, which costs £10 more and gets you just 1GB data instead of 5GB. So yeah, don’t go for that deal.

If you need absolutely loads of data, you could also look at this 24GB deal on Vodafone but that’ll cost an additional £74 over the two years – only really worth it if you’re going to be streaming a lot of media.

iPhone 7 mega deal in full:

iPhone 7 32GB | EE 4G | Unlimited calls and texts | 5GB  data |   £75 £50 upfront | £30.99 per month with free next day delivery
Use the voucher code SAVE25 to save an extra £25 on what was already the UK’s best iPhone 7 deal. That reduces the upfront cost to £50 and leaves you paying £30.99 per month for 5GB data and unlimited calls and texts. That amount of data is more than enough for 99% of people – you’d only need more if you’re planning to stream lots of music and video when not connected to wifi. Total cost over 24 months is £793.76

See the below table for a quick look at the next-best iPhone 7 deals currently available across all UK networks and resellers. Click the View all deals button to use our full price comparison tools!

iPhone 7 Plus Leaked Images Tip Dual Cameras Addition, Mute Switch Removal

iPhone 7 Plus Leaked Images Tip Dual Cameras Addition, Mute Switch Removal
  • The images reveal a new Apple logo design
  • The leak also reveals the dual camera setup at the back
  • The mute switch seems to be absent

After a clear look at an iPhone 7 earlier this week, we now get to see how the larger variant is designed. The latest leaked images give us a glimpse of the iPhone 7 Plus from all angles, confirming some key rumours about the smartphone.

The image first appeared on Weibo (via GSMArena), and shows the iPhone 7 Plus from the side, front, and back. The back of the smartphone confirms the much rumoured dual camera setup. It even reveals the Smart Connector at the back (a feature that many think may not be introduced this year), and the logo also seems to be a bit different. Instead of a black Apple logo, a new carved logo sits at the back. The front looks the same, with no evident design changes.

The antenna bands have been shifted to the edges, and interestingly the mute switch seems to be absent from the sides. Traditionally, Apple includes the mute switch above the volume buttons, but that seems to be missing in these images. Of course, there is no authenticity of these images so we recommend you take the news with a pinch of salt.

If Apple is to follow tradition, then the new iPhone 7 will be released in September. The smartphone will be released in three variants – iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro. The iPhone 7 will sport new A10 processors, and the large variant will see a 3GB RAM bump to accommodate new camera hardware. If Apple decides to skip the 3.5mm audio jack, then the smartphone is expected to sport waterproof capabilities.

Google Given Extra Time to Answer EU Antitrust Charges on Android

Google Given Extra Time to Answer EU Antitrust Charges on Android

Alphabet Inc’s Google has been given an extra 6 weeks to early September to respond to EU charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, EU antitrust regulators said on Tuesday.

The US technology giant found itself under fire in April as the European Commission said its requirement that mobile phone manufacturers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser in order to get access to other Google apps may harm consumers and competition.

The EU watchdog had originally given Google until July 27 to reply to the charges.

“The Commission has agreed to extend Google’s deadline to respond to its Statement of Objections concerning Android and its applications until 7 September. Google asked for additional time to review the documents in the case file,” Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said in an email.

Google, which can face fines up to $7.4 billion (roughly Rs. 49,684 crores) or 10 percent of its global turnover for each antitrust case, did not immediately respond to a request for comments.

Google is also fighting an EU accusation that it favours its shopping service in Internet search results over rivals.

Xiaomi Mi Max Phablet Now Available via Open Sale in India

Xiaomi Mi Max Phablet Now Available via Open Sale in India

  • The Mi Max was launched last month at Rs. 14,999
  • A higher-spec variant will launch soon at Rs. 19,999
  • The phablet is now available across Xiaomi’s retail partners

Following its first flash sale on Mi.com last week, the Xiaomi Mi Max is now available in open sale via the Chinese conglomerate’s online retail partners in the country – Amazon India, Flipkart (currently out of stock), Paytm, Snapdeal (not yet listed), and Tata Cliq.

To recall, at the Xiaomi Mi Max launch event in the last week of June, the firm had announced that July 13 will see the smartphone available in open sale via its retail partners. Interested buyers will now be able to buy the smartphone without registering themselves in advance, or rushing to purchase the smartphone during a flash sale.

(Also see: Xiaomi Mi Max Review)

The all-metal body Mi Max is available to buy in Dark Grey, Gold, and Silver colour variants. So far, the company has launched just one variant of the smartphone in India – 3GB of RAM/ 32GB of inbuilt storage/ Snapdragon 650 SoC – at Rs. 14,999.

Another variant with 4GB of RAM/ 128GB of inbuilt storage/ Snapdragon 652 SoC will be made available soon in India, priced at Rs. 19,999, Xiaomi announced last month. Both variants support expandable storage via a hybrid dual SIM configuration.

The first 1 million Mi Max, Mi 5, and Redmi Note 3 users in India will also get 3 months of free movies on Hungama Play and 1 year of unlimited music on Hungama Music.

The Xiaomi Mi Max sports a 6.44-inch full-HD (1080×1920) 342ppi display. It bears a  16-megapixel rear camera that offers phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and LED flash. The phablet also bears a 5-megapixel front camera also on board with 85-degree wide-angle view. Both cameras have an f/2.0 aperture.

The dual-SIM handset supports 4G LTE with VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS/ A-GPS with Glonass, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac with Mimo. There’s no NFC on board. It is backed by a massive 4850mAh battery, measures 173.1×88.3×7.5mm, and weighs in at 203 grams.

The Mi Max sports a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, an infrared emitter that acts as a universal remote control, apart from an ambient light sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer, and proximity sensor.

LG Stylus 2 Plus Reportedly Available in India

LG Stylus 2 Plus Reportedly Available in India at Rs. 25,990

  • LG Stylus 2 Plus reportedly available via offline channels
  • It comes with a pen with a nano-coated tip
  • Stylus 2 Plus looks same as the original LG Stylus 2

LG’s recently unveiled Stylus 2 Plus smartphone has reportedly gone on sale in India. According to an established Mumbai-based offline retailer, the LG Stylus 2 Plus is now available at Rs. 25,990. It’s worth noting that the smartphone is yet to be officially announced for the Indian market. At the time of writing, the Stylus 2 Plus was not listed on the company’s India site as well.

LG Stylus 2 Plus was first announced in April however the company confirmed the pricing only in June. It was priced at $340 (roughly Rs. 23,000) in Taiwan.

In terms of design, the Stylus 2 Plus retains the same form factor as the original LG Stylus 2. It however has received significant enhancements compared to its original sibling. Similar to the LG Stylus 2, it retains the pen with a nano-coated tip which will offer more accuracy compared to the previous rubber-tipped pen seen on the LG G4 Stylus. Some of the other features that the LG Stylus 2 Plus comes include Pen Pop, which shows a popup menu when the stylus is removed and further offers shortcuts such as Quick Memo, Off Memo, and Pop Scanner. Another notable feature of the Stylus 2 is the Pen Keeper, which notifies users when the stylus bay is empty.

For specifications, the LG Stylus 2 Plus features a 5.7-inch In-Cell display with a screen resolution of 1080×1920 pixels. It is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core processor.

The LG Stylus 2 Plus came in two variants featuring different RAM, storage, and camera configuration. At global launch, LG said that it would vary as per region. It comes in 2GB of RAM with 16GB storage model as well as 3GB of RAM with 32GB of storage model. There will be also a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front camera model as well as a 16-megapixel and an 8-megapixel front camera model. It is unclear which model has been launched in India.

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based LG Stylus 2 Plus is backed by a 3000mAh removable battery and supports LTE, 3G, and 2G connectivity options. Some of the other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, and Micro-USB. It measures 155×79.6×7.4mm and weighs 145 grams. The Stylus 2 Plus will be available in Brown, Titan, and Gold colours.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Image Leak Confirms Iris Scanner, Dual-Edge Display

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Image Leak Confirms Iris Scanner, Dual-Edge Display
  • Leaked images show the extra sensors on top of the display panel
  • They also confirms the dual-edge screen
  • The Galaxy Note 7 to sport a 6-inch display

Samsung’s latest flagship Note phablet is nearing its launch date, and the leaks have started to pick up pace as well. The most recent one includes live images of the Galaxy Note 7 from all angles, giving us a full blown look at the phablet.

The images have been leaked by tipster extraordinaire Steve Hemmerstoffer, who claims it is a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 prototype caught on camera. An iris scanner above the display panel is visible. The Home Button looks a bit different (tactile instead of physical?), but let’s remember that this is just a prototype. The dual-edge display also gets pretty much confirmed with this leak. Samsung is expected to ditch the regular displaybvariant, and launch only the dual-edge display variant with the Galaxy Note 7 this year. The volume button is on the top left of the smartphone, and the power button sits on the right.

galaxy_note7_steve1.jpgSamsung has reportedly skipped a numeral in its Note series this year, to fall in line with the Galaxy ‘S’ series. The company is said to have done this to avoid confusion among buyers who may feel that the ‘Galaxy Note 6’ is a last year’s model. The company has released the Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S7 Edge in its flagship ‘S’ series this year.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is expected to be unveiled at an Unpacked event on August 2. Rumours indicate a 6-inch display QHD Super Amoled display, an Exynos 8893 SoC with 6GB RAM, and 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB (with the choice to expand as well) storage options. Additionally, there is expected to be a 12-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, and a 3600mAh battery on the phablet.

Honor 8 With Dual 12-Megapixel Cameras Launched

Honor 8 With Dual 12-Megapixel Cameras Launched
  • Honor 8 has been priced at roughly Rs. 20,000 for 3GB/ 32GB model
  • The 4GB/ 32GB model is priced roughly at Rs. 23,000
  • It will go on sale in China from July 19

Huawei Terminal’s Honor brand, as promised, on Monday unveiled its new Honor 8 smartphone at an event in China. The new smartphone will be available in China starting July 19 and will come in three versions – CNY 1,999 (approximately Rs. 20,000) for the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage model, CNY 2,299 (approximately Rs. 23,000) for the 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage model, and CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,000) for the 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage model. The Honor 8 is currently up for pre-orders in China. The Chinese company has so far not revealed availability plans for the Honor 8 outside China.

As rumoured for weeks, the biggest highlight of the Honor 8 is its dual-rear camera setup. It sports 12-megapixel dual-rear cameras with dual-tone LED flash and also features laser autofocus. There is an 8-megapixel front-facing camera on board as well. The smartphone sports a USB Type-C port and also supports fast charging. There is fingerprint scanner at the back of the handset. Another notable feature of the Honor 8 is its 7.45mm slim build and that it comes with a metal frame and a glass back.

The Honor 8 features a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS LCD display and comes with a pixel density of 423ppi. It is powered by an octa-core Kirin 950 processor clocked at 1.8GHz. The smartphone supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Honor 8 runs EMUI 4.1 on top. The smartphone features hybrid dual-SIM slot which means users can either use two SIM carss or one SIM card and a microSD card for storage expansion. It measures 145.5x71x7.4mm and weighs 153 grams.

The Vmall listing confirms that the Honor 8 is compatible with 4G LTE bands in India. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, 3G, GPRS/ EDGE, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, NFC, and Infrared sensor. The handset packs a 3000mAh non-removable battery.

LG Display Sees Signs of Display Market Improvement

LG Display Sees Signs of Display Market Improvement

South Korea’s LG Display Co Ltd is seeing signs of improvement in the display panel industry and expects its business performance to pick up in the second half of the year, the firm’s chief executive said.

“There is a sign of things changing a bit starting in late second quarter,” LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom told reporters at an embargoed media event, without providing specific details.

“We are making various cost-related efforts and I think we’ll look a bit better in the second half.”

Panel makers have suffered from price declines in recent quarters due to weak sales of consumer electronics such as smartphones and televisions. But there are signs that the bottom is near, with panel prices for some televisions, tablets and monitors picking up in June, according to research house IHS.

The bottom could not come soon enough for LG, the world’s top liquid crystal display (LCD) maker, which is expected to post a 96 percent fall in April-June operating profit to KRW 18 billion ($15.72 million), according to the average forecast of analysts in a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S/ survey.

Lacklustre sales for key client Apple Inc’s iPhones have also hurt LG Display’s bottom line. The company will report its second-quarter earnings on July 27.

Han said flexible organic light-emitting diode screens were proving popular and LG Display was preparing to supply them to “major” Chinese clients for mobile products. He did not elaborate.

The company currently supplies such screens, mainly for smartwatches, to LG Electronics Inc and Apple.

“It’s clear that plastic Oled is a major trend. While the smartphone market has stagnated it is still a growth market, so we will focus on preparing capacity and developing products accordingly,” Han said.