Moto Z2 Force with shatterproof display launching today: Watch it live here

The key feature of the smartphone is its shatterproof display, which, the company claims, has better resistance than conventional glass-based screens

Moto Z2 Force

Lenovo-backed smartphone manufacturer Motorola is set to launch the Z2 Force flagship smartphone with ‘shatterproof’ display at 12 noon on Thursday (February 15). The Motorola Z2 Force was first unveiled in July 2017, along with Moto Mods that the phone supports.

The key feature of the smartphone is its shatterproof display which, the company claims, has better resistance than conventional glass-based screens. The phone sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen of plastic-OLED breed. The screen uses a plastic layer for shatterproof properties.

In terms of specifications, the phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.

As for the RAM and storage, the Z2 Force has 4GB/6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, expandable via microSD card slot. Imaging is handled by a dual-camera system, utilising two 12-megapixel cameras on the back. For selfies, there is a 5MP camera on the front.

The Motorola Z2 Force runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box with support for Android Oreo scheduled some time soon. The phone relies on USB type-C for data transfer, charging and audio output. The phone is powered by a 2,730 mAh battery that can further be expanded using Moto TurboPower Mod, which might come bundled with the smartphone in India.

The launch of the Motorola Z2 Force is scheduled to go live on YouTube. you can watch it here:

Click Here To Read More : Moto Z2 Force

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Xiaomi to launch Flipkart-exclusive Redmi phone on Feb 14; details here

The upcoming smartphones are expected to be either the Redmi 5 or Redmi 5 Plus, or just the Redmi 5 Plus but renamed as the Redmi Note 5 for the Indian smartphone market

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Xiaomi is gearing up to launch the next iteration of Redmi smartphones in India on February 14. The upcoming smartphones are expected to be either the Redmi 5 or Redmi 5 Plus, launched in China last year, or just the Redmi 5 Plus but renamed as the Redmi Note 5 for the Indian smartphone market.

As for the key feature of the smartphones, the Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus sport a futuristic 18:9 ultra-wide screen aspect ratio. The budget smartphones have a metal unibody design and boots Android Nougat-based MIUI 9 operating system out of the box.

In terms of specifications, the Redmi 5 has a 5.7-inch screen of HD+ resolution. The device sports an 18:9 aspect ratio screen, which reduces the bezel size and accommodates larger display in a compact body, with the fingerprint scanner housed at the back. The phone is powered by Snapdragon 450 SoC, an octa-core processor built on the 14nm FinFET technology.

In terms of imaging, the Redmi 5 has a 12-megapixel sensor on the back with a 1.25 micron pixels and a 5MP front-facing camera for selfies.

The phone houses a 3,300mAh battery, which the company claims offers 12 days of standby time.

On the other hand, the Redmi 5 Plus sports a 5.99-inch FullHD+ display in 18:9 aspect ratio. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is coupled with Adreno 506 GPU. The Redmi 5 Plus houses a 5 MP shooter on the front assisted with LED flash and a 12MP sensor with LED flash on the back. The phone houses a 4,000 mAh battery that the company claims to offer up to 17 days of standby time.

In terms of pricing, the Redmi 5 costs CNY 799 in China for the base variant that translates to approximately Rs 7,500 in Indian currency. The Redmi 5 Plus, on the other hand, costs CNY 999 for the base variant that translates to Rs 9,600 in Indian currency.

Click Here To Read : REDMI NOTE 5

Another milestone for Isro with 100th satellite: 10 things you should know

16 nanosatellites made by the US placed into the sun-synchronous orbit of the Earth

ISRO

India on Friday launched a polar rocket with 31 satellites, including three Indian and 28 of six other nations from its spaceport in Sriharikota. The 44.4-metre tall Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40) roared into a clear sky after a perfect lift-off at 9.29 a.m. after a 28-hour countdown. The 320-tonne rocket will eject the satellites one-by-one and deploy them into the earth’s lower orbit about 17 minutes and 18 seconds after the lift-off.

Isro Chairman designate K Sivan says PSLVC40 is special for Isro since it is coming after a failure 4.5 months back.

Also Read : 4 months after failed bid, ISRO launches 100th Satellite Cartosat-2 Series

PSLVC40 Performance was excellent and entire system perfectly. Its a green flag for high profile missions.

S Somanath, Director, LPSC says today’s successful launch is a reassurance to all of us about PSLV. The previous launch failed due to a “very minor” issue.

Here’s all you should know about the launch : ISRO

Xiaomi Redmi Y1: Budget selfie-centric phone with satisfactory performance

The Redmi Y1 is priced at Rs 8,999 for the base model with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM and Rs 10,999 for higher variant with 64GB storage and 4 GB RAM

Redmi Y1

In its first shot at the selfie-centric smartphone segment, Chinese smatphone manufacturer Xiaomi has come up with not one but two budget devices — the Redmi Y1 and Redmi Y1 Lite. While the Lite variant costs Rs 6,999, the Redmi Y1 price at Rs 8,999 for the base model (32GB storage and 3GB RAM) and Rs 10,999 for the premium variant with 64GB storage and 4 GB RAM.

Business Standard reviewed the Redmi Y1 to test its selfie camera capabilities, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations:

Camera

The Redmi Y1 sports a 16-megapixel front camera, coupled with an LED flash. The images captured using the selfie shooter come out clean, but show heavy post-processing. The soft flashlight assists in taking low-light shots but limits the use only to selfies. The overall picture quality is nothing exceptionally good but praiseworthy for its price segment.

The 13MP rear camera takes better photographs than the higher resolution front-facing selfie camera. It performs well in bright lighting but shakes in low-light conditions.

Performance

This selfie-centric smartphone is no powerhouse. Running on Qualcomm’s entry-level Snapdragon 435 SoC, it does well in daily tasks like checking emails, browsing the web, calling and messaging, with no signs of a lag. The performance takes a toll, however, during processor-intensive tasks like broadcasting live video on social media channels for extended hours, or playing games while keeping screen recorder active in the background.

The dual-SIM smartphone offers VoLTE capabilities on both SIMs, with good network reception and a satisfactory call quality. Also, there is a dedicated memory card slot that comes in handy for additional storage.

The smartphone runs Android Nougat 7.1.1 out of the box, covered under MIUI 8.5. The recently announced MIUI 9 Global ROM is scheduled to come sometime this month.

Design

The smartphone wears a metallic finish that looks premium. The front is covered with a 5.5-inch HD screen, which is bright but marred at times by limited pixels per inch. The screen is covered with a 2.5D Gorilla Glass that blends perfectly in the chassis.

The sensor placed on the back recognises fingerprints quickly, even if your fingers are moist. It takes almost no time to unlock the screen, irrespective of how you are holding the phone in your hand.

Battery

The Redmi Y1 Features houses a 3,080 mAh battery that keeps the show running for almost a day. The software-optimised battery assistant helps keep the phone running optimally but requires regular check-ups to clean the processes that drain the battery in the backdground.

Verdict

With a price starting at Rs 8,999 for the base model, the Xiaomi Redmi Y1 meets the need of selfie lovers. Being a budget smartphone, the Redmi Y1 seems like an updated Redmi 4 with a few major changes here and there. In the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment, the smartphone could be a challenger to the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie.

Nokia 5 with 3GB RAM in India for Rs 13,499

HMD Global, which owns Nokia-branded phones, on Monday announced that “Nokia 5” will be available in India in a new configuration with 3GB RAM at Rs 13,499.

Nokia 5 3GB RAM

The device features 5.2-inch IPS HD display with sculpted Corning Gorilla glass and comes with 13MP rear camera with phase detection auto-focus camera (PDAF) and 8MP front camera with auto-focus.

“Nokia 5 has already forged a reputation for being a beautifully-crafted phone which punches well above its weight. Now we have added more memory so fans can get enhanced performance in the same precision-engineered design,” Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global, said in a statement.

The device is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 mobile platform and has internal memory of 16GB that can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card slot. It sports 3000mAh battery.

The 3GB Nokia 5 will be available for a week on Flipkart from November 7. The device will also be available in selected retail outlets from November 14.

Samsung Galaxy J5 gets new security patch: Here’s why it is important

The update addresses Blueborne vulnerability and is currently rolling out to Galaxy J5 users in Europe via over the air (OTA)

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Samsung has released a critical software upgrade for its budget Galaxy J5 smartphone. The update addresses the Blueborne vulnerability, which was recently identified as a serious threat that spreads through Bluetooth and takes control over user devices.

The update with firmware number J530FXXU1AQI3 is currently rolling out to Galaxy J5 Update users in Europe via over the air (OTA). Recently, Samsung had released the security patches to address Blueborne vulnerability for several its flagship series smartphone– Galaxy S, Note and A series.

Other smartphone manufacturers such as Motorola are also pushing out the security patch to address the vulnerability.

Here is what the Blueborne vulnerability is and why the security updates are important

BlueBorne is a malicious code that spreads from one device to another via Bluetooth. It allows hackers to take control of affected devices by running commands in devices that go unnoticed by the users. Unlike other malicious viruses, the BlueBorne does not require the user to click on a link or download something over the internet. It just spreads through Bluethooth, even if the other device is not paired with the affected device. It spreads even when the Bluetooth is set as undiscovered.

How to safeguard your device

The best way to keep your device protected from BlueBorne vector is to update your device with the latest security patches deployed from operating system (OS) developers or original equipment makers (OEMs). Most of the OEMs and OS developers have already started releasing patches to address the vulnerabilities associated with BlueBorne vector.

Another way to protect your device is by switching off your Bluetooth. The device security should be set to allow minimum access to Bluetooth-based services. This is no proper solution but can shield the device till you receive the security patch to address the vulnerabilities.

Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie: A mid-range smartphone with good dual front cameras

Priced at Rs 14,999, the phone is superb for selfie lovers, but its overall performance and battery disappoint

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The concept of front camera in phones dates back to the time when mobile phone makers were toying with the idea of internet-enabled devices with video call features. But the front camera’s journey has come a long way since: What used to be a video camera with pixelated output is now much more advanced and packed with robust features to meet millennials’ growing demand for tools that help them stay updated on social media platforms.

Taiwanese electronics giant Asus is among the smartphone makers that have taken the front camera game very seriously and are innovating to make it even better. With the announcement of the Zenfone 4 Selfie series, the company has brought to the table two smartphones with dual selfie cameras – the Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie Pro and Asus Zenfone 4 Selfie (dual camera). Also announced recently was an entry-level smartphone with software-based enhancements for the front camera.

Business Standard reviewed the dual-front-camera variant of the Zenfone 4 Selfie to test its camera capabilities, besides the overall smartphone performance. Here are our observations: