Xiaomi Piston 3 Pro In-Ear Headphones Launched: Price, Release Date, Specifications

Xiaomi Piston 3 Pro In-Ear Headphones Launched: Price, Release Date, Specifications and MoreXiaomi announces new products every now and then but there are some products that are not kept exclusive to its home country. One of these products is earphones and the company has now launched new in-ear headphones in its Piston series named ‘Piston 3 Pro’. The company has not announced the availability of the earphones for other countries but it will go on sale in China from Friday.

The Xiaomi Piston 3 Pro earphones have been priced at CNY 149 (roughly Rs. 1,500) and will be shipping with four different sizes of ear plugs. The earphones have a CNC diamond-cut aluminium sound chamber with an anodised surface and a CD pattern engraved design, as pointed out by Gizmo China. Xiaomi Piston 3 Pro earphones make use of a “Graphene diaphragm,” which allows for more powerful double coils along with the moving piston to produce more natural sounds, the company says on its official product page.

The earphones come with three in-line control buttons to play, pause, and change tracks. The 1.25-metre wire on the Xiaomi Piston 3 Pro earphones has a matte finish but the company has not made it flat to give a tangle-free experience. The earphones can be expected to be durable as the company claims that the earphones have gone through 700 quality tests that were harsher than the industry standard. The earphones weigh in at 17 grams, have an impedance of 32 Ohms, a frequency range of 20-40KHz and sport a 3.5mm jack. They come with 3 silicone ear buds and a travel bag.

The company launched its Piston in-ear headphones in India in 2014 and the new entrant in the series might as well make its way to India eventually but there is no word on Indian release of the earphones just as yet.

ZTE to Make ‘Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone’ in 2017

ZTE Announces Project CSX Winner Is a Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone That's Due in 2017

  • The device will have eye-tracking technology
  • The winning entry suggests split-screen technology
  • Entry suggests device will have self-adhesive properties

Back in August, ZTE launched Project CSX – its attempt to crowdsource ideas for successful products. The company had asked users to submit their entries and tell the company what devices they want it to build in 2017. In September, it announced shortlisted, final ideas – including an eye-tracking smartphone, a smart glove, and an AR diving mask. Now, the company has announced the winning entry from the contribution – the Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone.

The winning entry suggests a 5.5-inch smartphone that has eye-tracking technology, which allows users to give commands to the device by merely staring at a particular part of the screen. The users can find this technology helpful as while reading a text file, they can magnify, highlight, or scroll text hands-free. They can also choose to rewind a video or forward it by focusing on a specific on-screen button as well.

“The eye tracking system in this phone consists of two laser-focusing cameras, one on the top and one on the bottom. These two cameras can simply interact with the user by capturing the user’s pupils’ movement in a vertical dimension,” the entry on ZTE website said.

The phone will further feature self-adhesive capabilities that will allow the smartphone to be in a stable position for better utilisation of the eye-tracking system. The entry suggests that medical grade silicone (Polydimethylsiloxane) is a suitable choice to provide the adhesive back cover for the phone. The smartphone is further expected to feature a split-screen technology that allows different content on same screen.

It hardly seems likely for ZTE to come out with a device that has such futuristic features in the next year itself but it will be interesting to see how the company approaches this project.

In a press statement announcing the final winner of the Project CSX competition, Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA, said, “We are overwhelmed with the amount of consumer participation and positive reception to Project CSX,” said . “As the first smartphone manufacturer to take on crowdsourcing its next mobile device from start to finish, we are proud of how this project pushed the envelope, and that consumers from around the world have chosen to be part of this industry-disrupting process.”

While the Eye Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone garnered 36 percent of the votes, the company also detailed the way the public voted for the other device ideas in the top five – Intelligent Smartphone Covers garnered 21 percent, a Stock Android Flagship Phone garnered 19 percent, the VR-Interactive Diving Mask garnered 16 percent, while the Powerglove garnered 8 percent.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Usage Reportedly Rises 10 Percent Despite Second Recall

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Usage Reportedly Rises 10 Percent Despite Second Recall
A 10 percent rise since replaced units started catching fire
The highest Galaxy Note 7 usage was reported this week
Samsung has asked all customers to stop using the device
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 controversy and its eventual death will go down in the history books for sure. The company has now halted production and sale, and has asked customers to stop using the device altogether. However, even after more than 90 cases of explosions and catching fire have been reported, many customers still pay no heed to the danger that Galaxy Note 7 poses. According to the latest data, there has been a constant rise in the usage of the Galaxy Note 7, and the highest was reported this week itself.

Furthermore, Apteligent reports that a 10 percent rise has happened after the announcement that replaced units are catching fire as well. This rise is worrying, especially because of the threat these units pose, and that Samsung itself has advised customers to stop using the phone.

Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7 a little early this year, to fend off Apple competition. However, the strategy backfired badly after reports of several Galaxy Note 7 units exploding started coming in. Samsung SDI batteries were reportedly blamed for the explosions, and started replacing old units with new batteries taken from China’s Amperex Technologies. However, as mentioned, even the replacement units started catching fire.

One such incident even happened on a US plane, after which the entire plane had to be evacuated (no one was harmed, and the plane had not taken off). Videos of the phone catching fire, and photos of damaged units ruining hotel property started surfacing, and Samsung had to take the tough decision of killing off the Galaxy Note 7 altogether. This will cost the company billions of dolllars and, not to mention, the goodwill of its customers.

 

Adding salt to the injury, Samsung’s engineers are still unable to detect the flaw that is causing these explosions. One theory claims that the battery seems to be at fault, while another blames some SoC tweaks to enable fast charging. In any case, we urge all Galaxy Note 7 users to exchange their smartphone immediately for cash or another Samsung smartphone. If not for your own safety, do it for the safety of the people around you.

Intex Aqua 5.5 VR, Aqua Craze II 4G VoLTE-Enabled Android 6.0 Marshmallow Smartphones Launched in India

Intex Aqua 5.5 VR, Aqua Craze II 4G VoLTE-Enabled Android 6.0 Marshmallow Smartphones Launched in India

Intex launched its budget-end 4G VoLTE smartphones Aqua 5.5 VR and Aqua Craze II at India Gadgetz Expo 2016 in Bengaluru. The Aqua 5.5 VR has been priced at Rs. 5,099 while the Aqua Craze II has been priced at Rs. 5,990. The Intex Aqua 5.5 VR will be available exclusively from Flipkart from October 19, while the Intex Aqua Craze II will be available for purchase through other retail platforms. The dual-SIM smartphones both run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

The Intex Aqua 5.5 VR sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display and packs a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737V/W processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The smartphones have inbuilt storage of 8GB, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

In terms of optics, Aqua 5.5 VR packs a 5-megapixel rear camera tagged with a dual-LED flash and a 5-megapixel front camera. The smartphone houses a 2800mAh battery. In terms of connectivity, the options for the smartphones include 4G VoLTE, GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

The company says the Aqua 5.5 VR comes with VR capabilities and is preloaded 3D content. The smartphone will be available in Champagne and Blue colours.

The Intex Aqua Craze II comes with a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display and is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum SC9832A SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM. Similar to the Aqua 5.5 VR, the Intex Aqua Craze II comes with inbuilt storage of 8GB, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB).

In terms of optics, the Aqua Craze II packs a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera with flash, and a 5-megapixel fixed-focus camera at the front. Aqua Craze II packs a 2500mAh battery and connectivity options for the smartphone includes 4G VoLTE, GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n.

The Aqua Craze II will be available in Dark Blue, Grey and Champagne colours. The smartphone also comes with Intex services LFTY and Matrabhasha.

Intex Aqua Craze II

Intex Aqua Craze II

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.3GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

1GB

OS

Android 6.0

Storage

8GB

Rear Camera

5-megapixel

Battery capacity

2500mAh

 

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Now Available SIM-Free and Unlocked in the US

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Now Available SIM-Free and Unlocked in the US

  • iPhone 7 SIM-free unlocked version starts at $649 for 32GB model
  • iPhone 7 Plus SIM-free unlocked version starts at $769 for 32GB model
  • The SIM-free and unlocked versions are now available in the US

Apple has kicked-off selling the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus as SIM-free (also known as contract-free) and unlocked options in the US. Interested consumers in the US can now buy the SIM-free iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus from physical stores as well as online stores including Apple Store.

(Also see: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Launch: Top 10 Features of Apple’s New Smartphones)

For those unaware, Apple usually launches the SIM-free model of a new iPhone by the end of the year; though the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have gone on sale way before the regular availability. The iPhone 7 32GB model is now available at $649 (Rs. 43,400 approximately), while the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB has been priced at $769 (Rs. 51,500 approximately).

 

The iPhone 7 128GB and 256GB have been priced at $749 and $849 (Rs. 57,000 approximately) respectively. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 Plus will come at $869 (Rs. 58,000 approximately) for the 128GB variant, and $969 (Rs. 65,000 approximately) for the 256GB variant.

 

According to the official Apple online store, the iPhone 7 will ship faster than the iPhone 7 Plus though the Jet Black models of both have higher expected shipping time. The iPhone 7 SIM-free Jet Black version is listed with an estimated shipping period of up to 3 to 5 weeks while the iPhone 7 Plus SIM-free Jet Black model has an estimated shipping period of up to 6 to 8 weeks. Other iPhone 7 Sim-free versions are listed with an estimated shipping period of up to 3 days. Other variants of the iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, come with an estimated shipping period of up to 4 weeks.

In India, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus went on sale last week. The 32GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 60,000, while the 128GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 70,000, and the 256GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 80,000. The 32GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 72,000, the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 82,000, while the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 92,000.

Apple iPhone 7

Apple iPhone 7

Rs. 59,985

Display

4.70-inch

Processor

quad-core

Front Camera

7-megapixel

Resolution

750×1334 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

iOS 10

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

1960mAh

 

Lenovo Z2 Plus Starts Receiving Its First Update; Brings Camera Improvements and Bug Fixes

Lenovo Z2 Plus Starts Receiving Its First Update; Brings Camera Improvements and Bug FixesThe Lenovo Z2 Plus was launched in India just a week ago, and now a new software update has already started rolling out to its early adopters. This update brings camera app improvements and bug fixes. The latest update brings the ZUI to version 2.0.111 and is of 272MB in size.

As mentioned, the update introduces enhancements to the camera app on the Lenovo Z2 Plus. The update claims to improve low light photography and increase autofocus stability as well. It also comes with enhanced multi-language support, and improvements in the device’s display and overall system stability. The update also fixes issues related to notification and phone call of Chrono case.

 
Interestingly, even after the update, the security patch is still dated back to August 1, which means that the September security update will be rolled out separately. The Lenovo Z2 Plus smartphone is exclusively available via Amazon India and is priced at Rs. 17,999 for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant and Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant.

Just to recap, the smartphone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the company’s own skin atop. It is a dual-SIM (4G+3G) smartphone that supports Nano-SIM cards. The Lenovo Z2 Plus sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The Lenovo Z2 Plus is powered by a 3500mAh battery, and supports 4G connectivity. There is also a U Touch 2.0 fingerprint sensor on the home button, which is claimed to deliver 99.7 percent accuracy.

LeEco Le Max 2 Gets a Temporary Price Cut to Rs. 17,999; Will Become Available on Amazon and Snapdeal

LeEco Le Max 2 Gets a Temporary Price Cut to Rs. 17,999; Will Become Available on Amazon and SnapdealLeEco on Thursday announced that the Le Max 2 will be available at a discounted price of Rs. 17,999 from October 1 to October 6 on LeMall.com. The company also announced that the Le Max 2 will no longer be exclusive to LeMall.com and Flipkart, but will from next week also become available on Amazon India and Snapdeal. The smartphone will be available at its discounted price across Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal as well, but on different days.

Note that the temporary price cut is on the 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant of the Le Max 2, which was launched at Rs. 22,999 in June this year – translating to a discount of Rs. 5,000. As we mentioned, the Le Max 2 will also be available with its discounted price on Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal, during their respective sales.

LeEco will sell Le Max 2 at the same discounted price of Rs. 17,999 during Flipkart’s Big Billion Day, from October 2 to October 6. It will be available at the same price during Amazon’s Great Indian Festival sale from October 1 to October 5, and, on Snapdeal’s Unbox Diwali Sale from October 2 to October 6. Notably, LeEco is holding a flash sale on LeMall.com on Friday, and 2,000 participants of the sale will receive a voucher for and additional Rs. 1,000 discount on LeMall.com purchases from October 1 to October 6.

To recall, the Le Max 2 was launched in two variants – 4GB/ 32GB & 6GB/ 64GB – by the Chinese conglomerate at its Future2 event held in June. The 6GB RAM variant was priced at Rs. 29,999, and no discount has been announced for it. The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and packs a 5.7-inch QHD bezel-less ‘Super Retina’ display, 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, a 21-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, a 3100mAh battery, and supports 4G LTE in India, apart from VoLTE support.

LeEco iterates that the Le Max 2 has a unique dual fast charging system, combining company’s technology with the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 tech, to provide 3.5 hours of battery life with a mere 5 minute charge, along with a Sense ID 3D fingerprint technology.
Commenting on the new e-commerce partnerships, Atul Jain, COO, Smart Electronics Business, LeEco India said, “We have had a great relationship with Flipkart and we are confident that it will only strengthen as we go forward. To ensure that more users have access to our Le Max2, we are delighted to announce our partnership with Amazon India and Snapdeal. We are confident that our users will enjoy the new Le Max2 experience, which is now available at a special price of Rs. 17,999 for the festive sales. Through this move, we now have presence on all major ecommerce platforms in India along with our very own LeMall.com.”

Commenting on the partnership, Arun Srinivasan, Category Leader-Consumer Electronics, Amazon India, said “We are happy to partner with LeEco India ahead of the festive season and offer our customers an easy and convenient access to the Le Max2. We are confident that this device will become a popular choice for customers during the festive season.”

Commenting on the partnership, Tony Navin, Senior Vice President – Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, Snapdeal said, “We are very glad to partner with LeEco and provide them a platform through which they can reach to a new set of customers for their exciting product range. This coming festive season, we aim to offer our customer with an enhanced shopping experience with a wide variety of products.”

Google Allo Will Store Chat History After All, to Improve Assistant and Smart Replies

Google Allo Will Store Chat History After All, to Improve Assistant and Smart Replies

  • Google requires chats to be logged to improve Assistant and Smart reply
  • Chat records will be stored until the user deletes them
  • Allo’s Incognito Mode option is still end-to-end encrypted

Google announced the Allo instant messaging app, at this year’s Google I/O conference alongside the Duo video chat app. Duo calls are fully encrypted, and Allo also features encryption, however, the company has now confirmed changes to how it stores non-incognito messages.

With the launch of the Allo on Wednesday, Google says it will be permanently storing all non-incognito messages. Earlier in May, Google had stated that Allo will keep only temporary message logs. But it turns out that the company requires chats to be logged to provide more data to its machine learning algorithms, with the aim to improve the functionality of its Assistant and Smart reply features.

 

This essentially means that chat records will be stored until the user deletes them, giving Google full access to chat histories. Non-incognito messages still feature encryption when being transmitted between the device and Google’s servers, however, Google will be able to decrypt the messages on its servers for the aforementioned reasons. On the other hand, Allo’s Incognito Mode option is still end-to-end encrypted for users who would rather keep their private chats, private. Google will not be able to access these messages in any form. “When you chat in Incognito mode, messages have end-to-end encryption and additional privacy features like discreet notifications and message expiration,” Google mentions in a blog post.

The chats in Incognito Mode are encrypted and there is an expiry timer to chats so they disappear after a set time limit. The duration of time can be set by the user. However, using the Incognito Mode means users won’t get to make use of Allo’s Smart reply and Assistant. All of this of course means that those users truly worried about privacy would have no reason to use Allo, as its smart features are its biggest USPs.

 

Speaking to Gadgets 360, Amit Fulay, Project Manager for Real Time Communications at Google,explained,”Obviously we use TLS even in non-incognito chats. It’s a value trade off, and Smart reply and Assistant bring a lot of value to the users. And it’s still easy to go incognito whenever you want to.”

While the move for a less private messaging app is a win for Google’s machine learning, Allo’s privacy is being put into question and users may not take to it given as how other popular messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are slowly moving towards end-to-end encryption.

 

LeEco Epic 919 Superfans Festival: Le 2, Le Max 2, Le 1s Eco, Smart LED TVs on Offer

LeEco Epic 919 Superfans Festival: Le 2, Le Max 2, Le 1s Eco, Smart LED TVs on Offer

  • The Le Max 2 is available at a 13 percent discount
  • There an exchange discount of Rs. 10,000 on the Le 2 smartphone
  • The Le 1s Eco ia available at a 10 percent discount

LeEco’s big one-day sale is on, and smartphones, television, and accessories are up for grabs on Flipkart and LeMall.com with major offers. The sale is active only for 24 hours, and this Epic 919 SuperFans festival has been introduced for the first time in India. This one-day festival was a huge hit in China, and the company is expecting it to be received in the same manner in India. It is expecting as much as Rs. 100 crore sales during this 24-hours festival in India. The sale ends at midnight, and smartphones available with offers are the LeEco Le 2, Le 1s Eco, and Le Max 2.

1) Smartphones: 
The LeEco Le 2 is available in Rose Gold and Grey colour variants at the same launch price of Rs. 11,999. However, there is an upto Rs. 10,000 exchange offer discount, and a free gift card worth Rs.2,000 from MakeMyTrip. There’s an extra 10 percent off to credit/debit card holders of major banks (up to Rs. 2,000) as well.

The LeEco Le 1s Eco is being sold at a 10 percent discount, and is priced at Rs. 8,998. Users can further get u pto Rs. 8,000 discount on the exchange offer, and LeEco will bundle free earphones worth Rs. 1,300 with the device. The MakeMyTrip and bank cashback offers are applicable with this smartphone purchase as well.

Lastly, the LeEco Le Max 2 Rose Gold 32GB variant is being sold at Rs. 19,998. Apart from the 13 percent discount, you can further get upto Rs. 15,000 off on exchange of old smartphone. LeEco is giving the MakeMyTrip gift card and the bank cashback here as well, and additionally is also bundling CDLA earphones worth Rs.1,990 for free.

2) Televisions:
Televisions on offer include the 65-inch Ultra HD Smart LED TV for Rs. 99,790. Users can avail up to Rs. 25,000 off on exchange offer. The Smart TV is powered by a Cortex A17 quad-core processor paired with 3GB RAM. It offers 16GB of internal storage and runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop. LeEco offers 2 years of comprehensive warranty and 2years of panel warranty on the TV set. There’s also a 3D variant for Rs. 1,49,790 with the same listed offers.

The 55-inch variant is up for grabs for Rs. 59,790, and an exchange discount up to Rs. 25,000 can be availed on the product as well. All the products are a part of the F Assured scheme, which means that they will be delivered in 2 to 4 days without any delivery charges.

On the LeMall.com website, the company is selling earphones, headphones, smartphone cases and covers, Bluetooth speakers and ring bracelets at a discount. Notably, the Leme Bluetooth Headphones are available at a Rs. 500 discount, and are temporarily priced at Rs. 1,999.

 

Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Tablet and ZenScreen Portable Monitor Launched at IFA 2016

Asus ZenPad 3S 10 Tablet and ZenScreen Portable Monitor Launched at IFA 2016Asus at its pre-IFA 2016 Zenvolution event in Berlin on Wednesday launched a new tablet – the ZenPad 3S 10 – as well as a new portable monitor – the ZenScreen. The company had earlier unveiled the ZenWatch 3.

The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 sports a 9.7-inch tablet QXGA (2048×1536 pixels) resolution display with Tru2Life technology. Even though the information about availability of the device has not been provided by the company, the tablet has been priced at EUR 379 (roughly Rs. 28,300). The tablet is powered by a hexa-core MediaTek MT8176 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The device comes with a choice of 32GB or 64GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

One of the highlights of the ZenPad 3S 10 (Z500M) is its thickness – it’s just 5.8mm thick at its thinnest point, and 7.15mm at its thickest. The tablet comes with a fingerprint scanner on the home button. The tablet sports a 10Whr battery which is rated to deliver up to 10 hours of battery life, and support Quick Charge 3.0. The tablet comes with five-magnet stereo speakers that are capable of handling 7.1 surround sound, the company claims.

Alongside its tablet, the company also launched its portable 15.6-inch monitor ZenScreen (MB16AC). The monitor is just 8mm thick and weighs less than a kilogram. ZenScreen packs a display with a full-HD screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The portable monitor sports a USB Type-C port for both power and video transmission.
ZenScreen has been designed for business professionals to complete their tasks while on-the-go. The monitor comes with a smart case that also works like a stand for the screen. ZenScreen has been priced at EUR 269 (roughly Rs. 20,100).