We've all heard of region-locked DVD players and DVDs, but it turns out Samsung wants to introduce the same restrictions on its smartphones.

It all started with UK-based mobile retailer Clove detailing certain functionality limitations regarding SIM cards on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the newest iteration of Samsung's popular phablet.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 box featured a sticker that said that the phone is only compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within Europe.

Following the disclosure, a number of customers shared images of the American box as well, that had a sticker which mentioned that the phone was compatible with a SIM-card issued from a mobile operator within the Americas, including North, South and Central Americas and the Caribbean.

While phones sold by carriers under contracts are locked to prevent violations, it's hard to understand why carrier-unlocked phones should come with regional restrictions except for preventing grey market imports and exports. But this also implies that customers would not be able to buy phones from other regions.

After widespread outrage, Samsung issued a statement to German website All About Samsung saying that the company is SIM-locking new devices including the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S II, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini, and Galaxy Note 3 devices produced after the end of July 2013. It also clarifies that all these devices will sport a sticker indicating the same and that the region lock can be removed free of charge through a Samsung service partner if the device is used outside the region it's meant for and has not been used with a local SIM of that region.

The statement doesn't clarify if users will be able to use a local SIM-card when travelling outside their region, and it even mentions that international roaming services would work. However, developer Jan Ole Suhr tweeted about Samsung Germany clarifying that the region lock is automatically removed once a user plugs in the local SIM-card.

He also added that Samsung told him the region lock is for preventing cheap imports.

So far, there have been no reports of the Asian version of the Galaxy Note 3 being region locked. 
Lenovo has expanded its smartphone portfolio in India, and launched four new devices under its A-Series, the Lenovo A269i, A369i, A516 and A850.

The Lenovo A850 is the costliest among the four and comes for Rs. 15,999, while the Lenovo A516 has a price tag of Rs. 10,999. Meanwhile, the other two smartphone are budget smartphones and have been price below Rs. 10,000 - the Lenovo A369i comes for Rs. 6,999 and the Lenovo A269i at Rs. 5,499. All the four newly launched A-Series smartphones will be available from October this year, announces the company.

The Lenovo A850 features a 5.5-inch display (unspecified resolution) and comes with 178 degree wide-view IPS technology. The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean based Lenovo A850 phablet is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. It includes 4GB of inbuilt storage which can be further expandable up to 32GB via microSD card. The device sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with no word on flash and front-facing camera. It would be available in two colour variants Black and White.
The Lenovo A516 on the other hand is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It comes with 4.5-inch display with 178 degree wide-view IPS technology. The A516 much like its bigger sibling, A850 sports a 5-megapixel rear camera and has 4GB of inbuilt storage with support for microSD card. The device will be available in Charcoal Grey and White colour variants.

The third device is the Lenovo A369i comes with 4-inch display and will be available in Black colour. It is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor alongside 512MB of RAM. It includes 4GB of inbuilt storage with support for microSD card. However, there is no word on the Android version, presence of expandable storage and type of camera on the device.

Last is the Lenovo A269i is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor and features a 3.5-inch display. The device will be available in Black colour variant. Lenovo has not revealed all the specifications of the four smartphones like the chipset used, type of camera, and display resolution.

Commenting on the launch, Sudhin Mathur, Director, Smartphones, Lenovo India said, "After an encouraging response for our current smartphone range in Indian market, we are strengthening the portfolio with 'value for money' smartphones to reach out to a larger segment of the Indian population that has yet to own a smartphone. This festive season looks very promising for the brand with the launch of A850, A516, A269i and A369i."

Mobiles launched in September 2013

Lenovo A850 key specifications

  • 5.5-inch display (unspecified resolution)
  • 178 degree wide-view IPS technology
  • 1.3GHz quad-core processor
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 4GB internal storage, expandable up to 32GB via microSD card
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)

Lenovo A516 key specifications

  • 4.5-inch display (unspecified resolution)
  • 178 degree wide-view IPS technology
  • 1.3GHz dual-core processor
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 4GB internal storage, supports microSD card
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)

Lenovo A369i key specifications

  • 4-inch display (unspecified resolution)
  • 1.3GHz dual-core processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 4GB internal storage, supports microSD card
  • Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)

Lenovo A269i key specifications

  • 3.5-inch display (unspecified resolution)
  • 1GHz dual-core processor
  • Dual-SIM (GSM+GSM)

While we have not heard any official word from HTC about the Android 4.3 update to the HTC One, it seems the company has started the rollout in its home-turf, according to reports.
@LlabTooFeR, who claims to be a ROM developer, has posted an image of the screenshot of the Android 4.3 update for the HTC One on Twitter. The tweet mentions, "HTC One in Taiwan just started getting Android 4.3."

The latest Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for the HTC's flagship smartphone looks to be available over the air (OTA). The screenshot reveals the software build number to be 3.18.709.2 and is about 512MB. The tweet also mentions that the update brings bug fixes and enhancements for the HTC One which majorly include battery charging animation in power-off state, improvements in gallery and camera department with upgrade to colour contrasts in low-light situations and adding soundtracks to highlights. However, the official change log has not been revealed, yet.

It was also rumoured that with Android 4.3 update, the HTC One would also receive the new Sense 5.5 UI, however there's been no mention of this with the currently reported update.

Last month, a tweet by HTC's president of global sales, Jason Mackenzie confirmed that the Android 4.3 update would be rolled out to the HTC One in US and Canada by the end of September. HTC's 2013 flagship smartphone was released in February and natively ran Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 5 UI out of the box. Despite the company announcing an update for the One to Android 4.2.2 in Asia and European markets, the update has not been rolled out across the globe.

For those unaware, the HTC One comes with a 4.7-inch full-HD display with 468 pixels per inch packed in an aluminium unibody. It is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor alongside 2GB of RAM. HTC One comes with 32GB and 64GB storage options, but without expandable storage. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, Infrared and Micro-USB

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said it will introduce a smartphone with a curved display in October, as the world's top handset maker seeks to set the pace of hardware innovation and maintain its supremacy in a fiercely competitive business.

Curved displays are an early stage in screen evolution which is shifting to bendable or foldable designs, eventually allowing mobile and wearable gadgets to take on new forms that could radically change the high-end smartphone market.

"We plan to introduce a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October," Samsung's mobile business head of strategic marketing D.J. Lee said on Wednesday at an event launching the Galaxy Note 3 (Review I Pictures) smartphone in Seoul.

In January Samsung, which has taken over from Apple as the global smartphone leader, showed off prototype products with a flexible screen and a display that extends from the side of a device.

But technology firms have yet to figure out how to mass produce the parts cheaply and come up with display panels that can be as thin as a sheet and highly heat resistant.

Curved display is already commercially available in large-screen televisions. Samsung and its home rival LG Electronics Inc had started selling curved OLED TV sets this year priced at about $9,000.

© Thomson Reuters 2013

The SmartNaMo Saffron One smartphone and SmartNamo Saffron Two phablet is now available for pre-order through Snapdeal, for a booking amount of Rs. 999. The remaining payment is due after the devices are released. The ecommerce site also notes that the two devices will be released in the second week of October.
The SmartNamo Saffron One comes in two storage variants - 16GB and 32GB. The 16GB inbuilt storage variant of SmartNamo comes at a MRP price of Rs. 18,000 while the 32GB is priced at Rs. 23,000 as listed on the online retailer's listing. The SmartNamo Saffron Two is priced at Rs. 24,000.

The SmartNamo Saffron One features 5-inch full-HD (1080x1920) display with Corning Glass II. It is powered by 1.5GHz quad-core Cortex A7 Mediatek MTK6589 Turbo processor. The 16GB storage variant comes with 1GB of RAM while the 32GB features 2GB of RAM. The smartphone supports expandable storage up to 64GB via microSD card. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. It is a dual-SIM smartphone with support for GSM+GSM. The SmartNamo Saffron One runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is backed by a 3150mAh battery.

The SmartNamo Saffron Two on the other hand is a phablet and comes with 6.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920) display. Much like the Saffron One, it is also powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core MTK6589T processor alongside 2GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB inbuilt storage, with no word on expandable capabilities. Other specifications of the SmartNamo Saffron Two phablet remain similar to the SmartNamo Saffron One smartphone. Interestingly, the online retailer listing reveals that with every SmartNamo Saffron Two order, consumers will get a dual-SIM feature phone free

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 could get a makeover soon with a new flexible display replacing the conventional display, if a rumour is to be believed.
A report in Korean media suggests that the South Korean giant is planning to launch the Galaxy Note 3 in a new avatar that's sporting a flexible OLED (organic light-emitting diode) display. The site also suggests that the alleged Galaxy Note 3 with flexible display will not be produced in huge numbers and will be available as a limited edition device.

The site further notes that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with OLED display might be unveiled ahead of Samsung Electronics Show to be held in Las Vegas at CES 2014.

The news comes amidst LG and Samsung announcing end of dispute over next-generation display technology patents earlier on Tuesday. Both South Korean giants, Samsung and LG, have agreed to end a year-long battle over display technology patents that spawned a series of lawsuits. LG Display and Samsung Display respectively are the world's number one and two display panel manufacturers, and had locked horns over a number of patents for next-generation display technologies for TVs and other devices.

Meanwhile, Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 phablet at the sidelines of IFA 2013 in Berlin. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display, and weighs about 168 grams and at 8.33m wide, is both lighter and slimmer than its predecessor. It is powered by 1.9GHz Octa-core processor and a 3GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear camera alongside 2-megapixel front camera. It is powered by 3,200mAh battery and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The Galaxy Note 3 is available in 32GB and 64GB storage variants, and has been launched in India at Rs. 49,900.

BlackBerry's latest smartphone, the Z30 was recently unveiled, and all set to hit markets globally. However, the Canadian handset maker did not reveal the pricing of the new smartphone at the time of the announcement.
Now we have first bit of indication of pricing of the device, with Axiom Telecom announcing the BlackBerry Z30's price for the UAE market to be 2,499 United Arab Emirates Dirham (Rs. 42,500 approximately).

The BlackBerry Z30 is the biggest smartphone in BlackBerry's portfolio and can be called the first phablet from the Canadian manufacturer. In terms of display it comes with a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with 720x1280 pixels resolution, translating to a pixel density of 294ppi. It is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 320.

It includes 16GB of inbuilt storage which can be further expandable up to 64GB and also comes with 2GB of RAM. The BlackBerry Z30 sports an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.

The new phablet runs BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2, which includes refinements and new features when compared to the BlackBerry Z10 that was launched earlier this year. It includes a 2880mAh battery which the company claims to deliver up to 25 hours of talktime, while there is no word on standby time.

The BlackBerry Z30 features four stereo speakers with BlackBerry Natural Sound and also comes with BlackBerry Paratek Antennae that delivers faster data transfers.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported that BlackBerry agreed to a $4.7 billion buyout by a consortium of investors who planned to take the struggling Canadian smartphone-maker private.

That’s right BBM fans — the iconic mobile social network will begin rolling out for Android & IOS customers around the world from September 21. Soon, you’ll be able to easily connect with friends on different platforms. As you may know BBM was previously exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones, and it will be available as a free download in Google Play and the App Store.
While some of you are no strangers to BBM, many will be new and might be asking: What is BBM? Below, you’ll find all the highlights for BBM For Android & IOS

BBM for Android and iPhone features:

  • BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.
  • More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.
  • Keep your group in the loop – Multi-person chats are a great way to invite contacts to chat together. BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.
  • Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.
BBM gives you a private social network for active, real conversations and it has more than 60 million customers on BlackBerry alone. The overwhelming majority use BBM an average of 90 minutes per day. BBM customers collectively send and receive more than 10 billion messages each day, nearly twice as many messages per user per day as compared to other mobile messaging apps. Messages on BBM are typically read within seconds, reflecting how truly engaged BBM customers are.
  • It’s immediate. BBM is always on so you are always connected. And because messages on BBM are typically delivered and read within seconds, it’s the closest thing to a live conversation.
  • You trust it. BBM always tells you that messages are delivered and read. BBM conversations come alive on a private network you can count on.
  • You control it. BBM allows you to choose your contacts and how you share your information. BBM uses a PIN so you don’t have to give anyone your phone number or email address
    To Download BBM Go to This Link: http://www73.zippyshare.com/v/62632755/file.html

Finland-based mobile startup, Jolla had unveiled its first smartphone based on the Sailfish OS back in May. However, the company did not reveal the specifications of the device at that point, or even its name.
But thanks to a Facebook post by the company, the specifications of the first Jolla smartphone, running the gesture-based Sailfish OS, have been detailed officially. As per the post, the smartphone will boast a 4.5-inch Estrade (540x960 pixel) display and will be backed up by a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It includes 1GB of RAM and has 16GB of inbuilt storage which is expandable via microSD card (no maximum capacity mentioned).

The Jolla smartphone will sport an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera alongside an LED flash, while there is a 2-megapixel front-facing camera as well. It comes with 2100mAh battery and features changeable smart covers. Jolla targets to ship the device by the end of this year. The company did not disclose the number of countries receiving the device at the time of launch but revealed that in Europe the device will ship for 399 Euros (Rs. 33,350 approximately) which only included VAT in Europe, so shipping costs, local taxes and duties would be extra.

Recently, Jolla announced that its first Sailfish smartphone OS will be compatible with Android, in terms of app and hardware compatibility. While the company had previously mentioned that phones running the Sailfish OS would be able to run Android apps, by announcing support for hardware which will be compatible with Android, the company aims to reach a large number of OEMs that produce Android devices.

Prior to this, the company claimed that the first production batch of Jolla smartphones was fully booked. It disclosed that it had received online pre-orders from 136 countries, but did not shed light on the number of units booked.

Jolla Smartphone Key specifications

  • 4.5-inch Estrade (540x960) display
  • 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card
  • 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with an LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 2100mAh battery
  • Gesture based Sailfish OS
  • Compatible with Android apps

Google has made Quickoffice mobile app free for both Android and iOS users, following Apple's announcement to offer its iWork apps, Pages, Numbers and Keynote free to people who buy new iOS devices.

The Quickoffice suite allows viewing, editing and creation of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and allows users to store them on Google Drive, Google's cloud storage solution.

It's interesting to note that after acquiring Quickoffice in June 2012, Google had made the iPad version of the app free for its Google Apps for Business customers in December. Earlier this year, it extended the same perk to Android users and made the iPad app compatible with the iPhone.

However, starting today all iOS and Android users will be able to download and use Quickoffice, free of charge. Google has also announced that if users sign in to their Google Account from the new Quickoffice app for Android or iOS by September 26, 2013, they'll get an extra 10GB of Google Drive storage for two years, which will be added to their account in the next few weeks.

It's interesting to see mobile Office suites taking each other on. With the announcement of the new iPhones, Apple had made its iWork suite which also lets users create, edit and view presentations, documents and spreadsheets, free for new users. The apps are offered when users activate their new iPhones or iPads running iOS 7. The iWork apps are also integrated with iCloud, Apple's own cloud storage and sync solution.

Ironically, Microsoft's Office apps, which were launched for both Android and iPhone are offered as a free download but an Office 365 subscription is required to use them. The apps also offer the ability to sync documents to Microsoft's Skydrive cloud service. It's worth pointing out that the apps don't work on the Apple iPad or Android tablets in the interest of Windows tablets which showcase Office as one of their key USPs

It looks like Android's latest iteration will see the light of day in October, as Nestle has revealed the first news about the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat on Facebook.
While replying to a user who asked "When Android 4.4 KitKat will be available", Nestle's German KitKat Facebook handle replied "Android 4.4 KitKat is available from October" (Google translation).

While this might not be an official confirmation about Android 4.4 KitKat's release, at least the German Nestle Facebook handle was kind enough to confirm that it is coming next month.

Earlier this month, the search engine giant which has been known for nicknaming its Android mobile operating systems for smartphones and tablets after desserts, had for the first time announced a candy brand name for the version 4.4. However, Google made no mention of when the Android 4.4 update would rollout.

The search giant has been in news ever since it announced the next iteration of its mobile operating system, with the Nexus 4 successor, which is expected to be the platform lead device for Android 4.4 jelly, making multiple appearances on the Internet via FCC filing and image leaks.

In the official promotional video of the KitKat announcement released by Google, a person was seen holding up a phone which came with a Nexus logo at the back, very identical to the Nexus 7 (2013). The back of the mysterious phone had a matte finish and included a large camera lens which has not been seen on any Nexus device, yet.

Recently, the alleged Nexus 4 successor was again spotted in new live images and a video. The purported pre-production unit of the next Nexus smartphone revealed the front and rear panels. It is rumoured that the next Nexus smartphone would run Android 4.4 KitKat OS and both are expected to be launched at the same event

The wait is over. The next version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 7, is now available.  In Apple's words this is "the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone." Not only does the next iteration of the OS bring a completely overhauled user interface design, it also adds many missing features that were being offered by rival mobile platforms. 

You'll be able to get it free of charge if your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch supports it and get an almost new device, in terms of software.

So how do you go about updating it? What are the things that you should keep in mind before updating? We try to answer this in our post.

1. Does your device support iOS 7? 
iOS 7 is supported by iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPhone 5; iPad 2, third and fourth-generation iPads, iPad mini; and the fifth-generation iPod touch. Also, certain features of iOS may not be available on all devices. For instance, the iPhone 4S doesn't support features like AirDrop and live filters in the camera app. The iPad 3 also doesn't support AirDrop.

2. Backing up your device
If you don't regularly backup the data on your iPhone or iPad, now is a good time. You'd like your favourite apps and settings to transition to iOS 7 and for that you'll need to take a backup.

You can take a backup your device in two ways, backing up to iCloud (Apple's servers) or by backing up data to your Mac or PC via iTunes. 

If you've enabled the option to backup data to iCloud, your device usually takes a backup automatically when it's charging, locked and connected to a Wi-Fi network. To check when the last backup was performed (if it's been enabled) go to the Settings app and tap on iCloud. You'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the menu where you'll see a Storage & Backup option under which it'll be mentioned whether iCloud Backup is off or on. If it's on, you'll also see the date and time when the Last Backup was done. Note that your device must be connected to Wi-Fi.

If the iCloud Backup option was off then you'll need to turn it on and take a backup. Mind you, iCloud offers only 5GB of free space. If you don't want to shell out extra for cloud storage space and have a lot of data in your phone, then you'd be better off backing up via iTunes.

ios-icloud-backup.jpgTo backup to iCloud, first connect your iOS device to Wi-Fi. Now go to the Settings app and tap oniCloud. You'll need to scroll down to the bottom of the menu where you'll see the Storage & Backupoption under which it'll be mentioned that iCloud Backup is off. Tap on the Storage & Backup, look for the iCloud Backup toggle and turn it on. Now tap on Backup Now. The phone will start taking a backup, but it might take some time so you can leave your device on its own for a bit. We'd recommend deleting apps that you don't use and pictures, and especially videos, that are not needed before backing up.

The second way to backup is by storing all your data on your PC or Mac via iTunes. To take a backup, connect the iOS device to a computer (PC/ Mac) through the USB cable. Make sure you computer is authorised with your iTunes account. If it isn't you can simply do so by clicking on theStore menu and selecting 'Authorize This Computer' and entering your Apple ID. You may need to unlock the device if you've set a passcode before iTunes can sync or take a backup.

The device will show up under Devices in iTunes in the Sidebar on the left if you're using an older version of iTunes. If you're using iTunes 11, the device name would show up in the upper right hand corner. 

iphone-summary-itunes-1.jpgYou can either click on the device name and click on Back Up Now from the device Summary page or simply right click/ control click on the device name and select Back Up.

If you want to ensure that the backup was successful or just want to check when the last backup was performed, you can go to Preferences (through iTunes menu on the Mac or Edit menu on Windows) and click on the Devices tab where your device backups and their time would be listed.

itunes-devices-pref.jpgAfter ensuring that your device has been backed up, you can move on to installing iOS 7.

3. You can either install iOS 7 directly to your iOS device through an over-the-air Software Update via Wi-Fi or connect it to your computer and install the update through iTunes.

To upgrade over the air, go to the Settings app, tap on General and then on Software Update. Wait for the update message to appear and tap on Download and Install.

If you want to install the update through your PC or Mac instead, connect your device to the computer and wait for iTunes to open or fire it up manually. You'd typically get a software update prompt but if you don't just go to the device Summary page by clicking on the name of your iOS device, and click on the 'Check for Update' button, and click on Download and Update.
ios-downloadandupdate.jpgYour iPhone would restart and display an Apple logo with the progress bar while it updates and iTunes will also display the status of the installation.

4. After updating your iPhone to iOS 7, you'll see a welcome screen, post that you'll be prompted to enable Location Services, following which you will get a page where you can select whether you want to set up your iPhone as a new phonerestore from an iCloud Backup or restore from an iTunes Backup. You'll need to enter your iCloud credentials and stay connected to a Wi-Fi network if you select the iCloud backup option or ail need to connect your phone to your computer if you select the iTunes option. After a few more prompts asking for your iCloud and iTunes credentials and pages displaying terms of use, you'll finally see your Home screen with a brand new OS.

It looks like Nokia could launch the much rumoured Lumia 1520 on October 22.

The company has posted a teaser on Twitter with images of two skiers trying their luck skiing on sand dunes. The image features three hash tags, #blazing, #stories and #innovationreinvented and the message 'Save the date: 22 October 2013' along with the Nokia logo. Nokia tweeted the picture with the caption "At Nokia, we never stop innovating. More to share on October 22 #Nokia #innovationreinvented."

The tweet indicates that Nokia is hosting a special event on October 22.

Earlier on Tuesday, rumours emerged pointing to the Finnish handset giant launching the Nokia Lumia 1520, its alleged 6-inch phablet, at the end of October, with the device expected to hit the stores in November. It's also being rumoured that the event would not be hosted in New York, this time.

On Monday, it was reported that Nokia had delayed the launch of its large-screen phablet, originally planned for late September, following the deal to sell its handset business and license patents to Microsoft.

Prior to this, we had been hearing that the alleged Lumia 1520 was slated for release on September 26, but reports emerged indicating that the launch had been postponed due to Nokia's deal with Microsoft.

It's also worth pointing out that there were rumours about Nokia launching its Windows RT tablet codenamed Sirius at an event in September. But these rumours died down, gradually.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has been rumoured to come with a 6-inch full-HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, a nano-SIM and a microSD card slot.

The press renders of the Nokia Lumia 1520 leaked earlier, revealing the home screen featuring Live Tiles and the design largely resembled other phones in the Lumia family.

Previously, the rumoured Nokia Lumia 1520 was leaked in high quality images and was compared with a Sony Xperia smartphone
Sony has launched its latest flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z1, in India. The phone was unveiled at IFA, Berlin earlier this month.

Sony Xperia Z1 comes with 5-inch full-HD display and the power of a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, recently seen inside the blazing fast Sony Xperia Z Ultra (Review), alongside 2GB of RAM. The Xperia Z1 comes with 16GB of internal storage, that can be expanded by up to 64GB via a microSD card. The phone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with a 3,000mAh battery underneath.

One of the highlights of the Sony Xperia Z1 is its camera, with Sony's own G Lens with 27mm wide angle and f/2.0 aperture. The camera comes with a large 1/2.3-type CMOS 20-megapixel image sensor Exmor RS with BIONZ mobile image processing engine.

The camera comes with software enhancements like Social live, which lets you broadcast live to Facebook and get your friends' comments right on your screen. Info-eye is a visual search function that provides related information on landmarks and on items such as books or wine by capturing them with the camera. AR effect overlays a selection of customisable animations to create pictures using Sony's SmartAR augmented reality technology.

The Sony Xperia Z1 also comes with a timeshift burst, that takes 61 images in 2 seconds, a second before and after pressing the shutter, so you can scroll back and forth to find the image you like.

In line with other recent Xperia devices, the Sony Xperia Z1 is dust resistant and waterproof, and comes with pre-loaded apps like Sony Music and Sony LIV, which offer access to Sony's catalog of music and TV programming respectively.

Sony Xperia Z1 is compatible with a host of accessories including the Sony DSC-QX100 and DSC-QX10 lens cameras and Sony SmartWatch 2.

Sony Xperia Z1 is priced at Rs. 44,990 and will be available with retailers across the country starting Wednesday, September 18.

Sony Xperia Z1 key specifications
  • 5-inch full-HD display
  • 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB via microSD card
  • 20.7-megapixel camera
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch are now up for pre-order on the company's official Indian estore.
The company is accepting pre-bookings for the Galaxy Note 3 with a Rs. 2,000 booking amount now, with the rest payable once the device is released in the country. Samsung is also taking pre-orders for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch; however the first wearable tech device from the company is not available independently and comes bundled with the latest Note iteration. The Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear can be pre-booked jointly for Rs. 2,000, with the rest of the amount paid after the both devices are available. The Galaxy Gear smartwatch can presently only work with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, a tablet which was also launched at IFA 2013.

There is no word on the final pricing and availability of both devices yet. However, Samsung has sent invitations for an event on September 17, where the South Korean giant is expected to launch both the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in India.

Not too long ago, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch US and UK prices were revealed.

Samsung's much hyped Galaxy Note 3 was unveiled at the side-lines of IFA 2013 in Berlin. It features a 5.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display and comes in two variants: the LTE-variant powered by 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and the 3G (HSDPA) version powered by a 1.9GHz octa-core Exynos processor. Both models bear 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and sport a 13-megapixel rear camera alongside a 2-megapixel front camera. The Note 3 is powered by 3,200mAh battery and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy Gear smartwatch was also launched at IFA and features a 1.63-inch (4.14 cm) OLED display. It can make calls, display messages, record videos and snap photos with its 1.9-megapixel camera.

Rumours of Nokia's alleged Lumia 1520 have been floating around for weeks now, with the most recent report pegging the device's launch to be pushed back to October. However, it appears that the Finnish handset maker is also working on another Lumia device which will be exclusive to Verizon.
Purported images of a White variant of an unnamed Lumia device have been shared on the Chinese forum, Weibo. Windows Phone Central notes that the images of the unknown Lumia device might be bound to Verizon as the rear panel of the phone comes with logo of the carrier. The site also notes that Nokia had previously launched the flagship Nokia Lumia 920 on AT&T which was later available on Verizon as the Lumia 928.

The leaked image shows the rear panel of the device that houses the camera alongside a dual-LED flash. The rear camera appears to have a 20-megapixel sensor with PureView branding on it along with Carl Zeiss optics. The speaker grill is placed on the lower side of the device. The Nokia branding can be seen in the centre while other brandings include Verizon logo and 4G LTE. The design of the device appears to be identical to that of the unibody design of the Nokia Lumia 720.

The site claims that the tipster on the Chinese forum defines the device as a "big, big" Windows Phone, which indicates the unknown Lumia device spotted might just be the rumoured Lumia 1520's Verizon-bound variant.

Previously, the Lumia 1520 was leaked in high-resolution images that revealed the device in its full glory. The leaked images showed the alleged Lumia 1520 sized up against a Sony Xperia smartphone.

Samsung India is set to launch two sub-Rs. 15,000 smartphones in the country this month, according to a company spokesperson, a move that should intensify the competition in the bustling mid-range segment of the Indian mobile market.
The Korean company, which has a 49 percent share in India's smartphone segment, will offer options in local languages to attract non-English speaking customers.

"We will be launching two new smartphones priced for the mid-segment market. Every phone from Samsung will have nine vernacular language options," Samsung Country Head (Mobile Business) Vineet Taneja told PTI, without mentioning the prices.

However, a company official said the phones may be priced in the Rs. 5,000-15,000 range. Most mobile phones sold in India are within this price range, including the Nokia Lumia 520 and Lumia 620, Blackberry Curve series, and the Micromax Canvas and Xolo smartphone series.

The Samsung phones will offer access to content and applications in Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Gujarati.

"The competition now in the smart phone market is how to make the phone size small without compromising on the screen size," Taneja said.

The company is set to launch its premium high-end smartphone, the Galaxy Note 3, on Tuesday. Samsung currently offers about 17 smartphones priced between Rs. 5,000 (Samsung Star) and Rs. 39,000 (Galaxy S4).

Taneja said the company is focusing on the mid-end to high-end smart phone market and will provide dual-SIM option in all handsets.

"Going forward, you will see more and more dual-SIM phones coming up," he said.

According to telecom magazine Voice&Data, Samsung toppled Nokia from its leadership position in the financial year 2012-13 with revenue of Rs. 11,328 crore and a 31.5 percent market share. Nokia's market share stood at 27.2 percent.

While we still wait for official confirmation of Nokia's rumoured Lumia 1520, which is expected to be launched on September 26, a fresh rumour has claimed that the company might be working on its first dual-SIM Lumia smartphone as well.

Courtesy of the prolific phone tipster, @evleaks comes the latest rumour that the Finnish handset vendor Nokia may be working on a dual-SIM variant of the Nokia Lumia 720. If true, this will be the first Windows Phone-based Lumia smartphone with dual-SIM functionality. The tweet said, "Dual-SIM Lumia 720 may be on the way."

However, the post does not reveal any details related to the device. Considering that this comes from a source that has provided reliable phone leaks in the past, we can assume that Nokia might be working on such a device.

Nokia launched the Lumia 720 in February alongside the Nokia Lumia 520. The Nokia Lumia 720 sports a 4.3-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. It comes with 8GB of in-built storage expandable by up to 64GB via microSD card. It comes with a 6.7-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi and 3G. It comes with a 2000mAh battery and the 128gm weighing device measures 127.9x67.5x9.0mm.

Meanwhile, Nokia's alleged Lumia 1520 with 6-inch full-HD display and quad-core processor has been in the news a lot the past few days and recently the device made an online appearance in purported press render.

Following the appearance of information related to the LG D821, which is rumoured to be Google's next Nexus smartphone, from the FCC, a new filing on the certification agency's website offers a full view of the mysterious Nexus smartphone that was spotted in the Android KitKat statue video released by Google.

Spotted first by Phone Scoop, the FCC listing that was submitted by LG as a "class 2 permissive change" for a variant of LG G2's Verizon version featured photos of a different device. 

The photos offer a full glimpse of the externals and internal components of the same phone that was spotted in the Android KitKat statue unveiling video in the hands of a Google employee. While the phone in the pictures doesn't sport the Nexus branding unlike the previously spotted phone, it has the same large camera lens and LED flash. The back of the phone appears to sport a rubberised matte finish.

The phone looks thin and features an extremely narrow bezel on the front with a big display.
The right hand side of the phone appears to sport a Power key, while the volume rocker sits at the left hand side.

Earlier, an alleged LG branded device with model number D820 popped up at the FCC website and appeared to have the same dimensions as the mysterious Nexus smartphone that was spotted in the Android KitKat video released by Google.

Following that, another LG branded device popped up on a listing on the Bluetooth SIG website. The listing revealed a device with model number LG-D821 and the device was LTE enabled. The SIG listing unfortunately did not offer anything else.

The notorious @evleaks suggested that the rumoured LG D820 was just a CDMA variant of the flagship, but later backtracked saying that he was wrong.

Previously, a Vietnamese site, Tinhte.vn claimed that the next Nexus smartphone - called Nexus 5 - will be based on the LG G2, though it obviously would not be an exact copy.

Rumoured specifications of the next Nexus smartphone include a 5.2-inch full-HD display, Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz and 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM. The alleged Nexus 4 successor is expected to run the latest Android OS, the KitKat (Android 4.4) which could be released along with the device.

While Windows Phone already offers the TellMe voice-based assistant, it's no where as close to Apple's Siri in terms of functionality and accuracy. However, it looks like Microsoft is working on a much advanced voice assistant app codenamed Cortana, after a character in the famous Halo series.
The development was first reported by Windows Phone Central and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley who is known to be closely connected with Microsoft sources confirms that Microsoft is indeed working on Cortana and adds that Cortana will not just be an app that lets users interact with their phones using voice commands, but a 'core to the makeover of the entire "shell" -- the core services and experience -- of the future versions of Windows Phone, Windows and the Xbox One operating systems,' implying that a voice driven user experience would be an integral part of Microsoft's smartphone, desktop and gaming devices in the future.

The app made its first appearance when screen shots of an early Windows Phone build leaked online, listed as 'zCortana'. A new report by The Verge features more screenshots of Cortana which indicate that the service will offer weather information, notifications, and calendar, in addition to alarms and phone calls. The screenshots indicate that the app will be location-aware, as well.

cortana-app-shots.jpgThe ZDNet report also talks about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's memo in which he hinted at Microsoft working on related devices powered by a 'service-enabled shell'. He said that the UI on these devices would be based on "advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our(Microsoft's) cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world," and that the shell would come up with responses judging by the behaviour and usage of people. He also mentioned that the shell would exchange information across Microsoft's different services.

Microsoft's Bing team uses a technology called Satori (which means understanding in Japanese) which collects billions of pieces of information and understands how everything is related, similar to Google's Knowledge Graph. Microsoft is said to be integrating voice and Bing to power the user experience of its next-generation devices.
The Nokia Lumia 1520 has been in the news a lot the past few days, and this time we are getting details about the expected launch of the rumoured phablet from the Finnish mobile manufacturer.

After some press renders shown off earlier, popular phone tipster @evleaks is now claiming the launch date of the Lumia 1520 to be September 26. The tweet said, "Nokia Lumia 1520: launches 9/26".

This may be just a rumour, and nothing official, but it is still worth taking a look at as the Lumia 1520 has been hitting the rumour mills for few weeks now. Earlier this week, the alleged Nokia Lumia 1520 was spotted in fresh high-resolution images that revealed the overall design of the phablet. The leaked images showcased the device in its full glory.

The source also detailed some of the specifications, which included a 6-inch full-HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage, a nano-SIM and a microSD card slot.

Unfortunately, the leaked specifications did not include anything about the camera except PureView printed on the rear panel hinting that the device might boast a PureView technology. The alleged Nokia Lumia 1520 has in the past been rumoured to ship with a 20-megapixel rear camera. The new leaked images also showed device's rear camera lens protruding out at the back, giving the phablet a very similar design language to the Nokia Lumia 925. The @evleaks recently posted a press image of the Nokia Lumia 1520 on Twitter also.

Prior to this, some reports have suggested that Nokia is gearing up to host an event in New York on September 26-27 where it has been rumoured to launch the first alleged Windows RT tablet from the Finnish giant. Reports had suggested that Nokia has been working on launching a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet which would be based on Lumia smartphone design and will be codenamed Sirius. Some prototype images of the device had also surfaced online.
Asus has just sent an invite for a press event to be held on September 17 in Taipei. The company has confirmed that it will be launching the refreshed Padfone Infinity at the event.

The invite sent by the Taiwanese vendor reveals that 'the new Padfone Infinity' will be unveiled and company's CEO Jerry Shen will host the event. The invitation was first reported by Engadget.

The invite provides little in the way of details related to the smartphone-tablet-hybrid which is expected to look quite similar to the current Padfone Infinity. Asus's Padfone Infinity line is a hybrid family that includes an Android-based smartphone which can be docked and turned into a tablet.

The yet to be unveiled Padfone Infinity has already appeared in number of leaks. Earlier reports have claimed that the alleged device is dubbed the PadFone Infinity A86. Recently, purported images of the device surfaced online that revealed the overall design of the hybrid device. The leaked images suggested that the handset's design is identical to the current PadFone Infinity. The leaked image showed an all White Infinity A86 pictured alongside the current Fonepad Infinity.

Previously, Asus's alleged PadFone Infinity A86 smartphone popped up in the GFX Benchmark results that detailed the specifications of the device.

Earlier leaks suggest that the Padfone Infinity is expected to sport a full-HD display with 1080x1920 pixels resolution; however there is no word about the size of the display, yet. The tablet is codenamed PadFone T004 and runs on Android 4.2.2. The device is likely to include expandable storage and a noise-cancelling microphone.
Samsung has announced a new Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) solution for its recently unveiled Exynos 5 Octa chips.
The latest move by the South Korean major is said to be the result of the criticism from competitors that claimed the Exynos 5 SoCs is not true octa-core as it could only use four cores at once. However, the company claims that with addition of the latest HMP solution for the Exynos 5 Octa chips can maximize the benefits of the ARM big.LITTLE technology.

As per Samsung, HMP solution is the powerful use model for ARM big.LITTLE technology, as it can use all physical cores at once. The software threads that come with high priority or high computational intensity can be performed by the Cortex-A15 cores while the threads with less priority can be allocated to the Cortex-A7 cores.

Commenting on the announcement, Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics said, "It's usually assumed that the big CPU will do all the performance-critical work, however, power-efficient little cores can handle many significant workloads all on their own, so the workload is balanced within the system."

Samsung expects the new Exynos 5 Octa chips with HMP solution will be available to users by Q4 2013. There is no word about which upcoming device will feature the new Exynos processor with HMP solution.

Earlier in July, the South Korean launched its new Exynos family, featuring the ARM Mali - T628 MP6 hexa-core GPU, offering 3D graphic processing that is two times more powerful than the previous generation of Exynos 5 Octa processors.

The Exynos 5420 processor is powered by four ARM Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, with four additional Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.3GHz, in a big.LITTLE configuration.