In my editorial last year, I wrote about how Xiaomi is a huge hit in India, but not everyone was happy. The major customer grievance revolved around after-sales support. Xiaomi had launched several bestselling devices, yet poor after-sales support experience, non-availability of spare parts, and long wait times for getting devices serviced was hurting customer experience and brand reputation. A Xiaomi spokesperson told me at that time that the company was transitioning the most critical parts of its after-sales operations in-house, aiming for a significant improvement in the service, and had initiated a dedicated spare parts warehouse in Bangalore. Six months later, things already look better. For Xiaomi, it’s imperative that they do. India is an extremely important market in Xiaomi’s globalization strategy and their largest market outside of mainland China. In October last year, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun shared that the company aims to capture the largest market share in the country within 3-5 years. Last month, Xiaomi opened their first offline retail store – Mi Home – in India and starting with Bengaluru, the company is now looking at opening Mi Homes in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai, and plans to open 100 Mi Homes in next two years. Today, Xiaomi opened its 500th service center in India on Friday. Spread across 350 cities, including Tier 3 and 4 towns, these service centers validate the company’s efforts towards better after-sales experience as it grows in brand equity as well as market-share in the country. According to a recent report from IMRB (Indian Market Research Bureau), Xiaomi India offers ‘best in class’ service delivery and is currently rated amongst the top five smartphones in India in terms of service delivery. 500 is another milestone for us in our India journey which is a proof point of our dedication towards […]

While the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive haven’t quite been flying off the shelves yet, virtual reality is still big news and most analysts think that it is about to take off in a big way. And even if it remains solely the pastime of enthusiasts, it’s still undeniably the case that VR is officially here – and that is incredibly exciting. But it’s not only VR that has arrived. Equally exciting, and perhaps even more so, is the arrival of comparable technologies such as AR and MR. AR is ‘augmented reality’, while MR is ‘mixed reality’. Both these options bring something similar, though slightly different, to the table and are equally significant in their own ways. Juggling all these concepts can get a little confusing for the uninitiated though, so let’s take a look at precisely how each of these technologies works and how they are different. It’s AR vs VR, a showdown that will define our future! See also: The challenges facing mobile VR May 16, 2017 AR vs VR: Augmented or Virtual? Augmented and virtual reality are the two technologies that are most widely used right now, so let’s start with those. The easiest distinction to make between augmented reality and virtual reality is that virtual reality immerses you entirely into a virtual world, whereas augmented reality simply overlays virtual elements onto the real world. You know, real reality. A virtual reality headset will typically use one or two screens that are held close to your face and viewed through lenses. It then uses various sensors in order to track the user’s head and potentially their body as they move through space. Using this information, it renders the appropriate images to create the illusion that the user is navigating a completely foreign environment. In the case of a […]

Google is now rolling out an update for Bluetooth streaming support on the Google Home. This means you’ll be able to use your Google Home more like a typical Bluetooth speaker to stream audio from your Android or iOS smartphone. The functionality is rolling out with firmware version 90387 (judging by screenshots from Android Police), and means you no longer need to have a Google Cast-enabled device to stream your favorite tunes. This will come as welcome to news to Google Home owners as the device had been limited in this regard since its release last November, despite that it always housed the hardware to make it a perfectly serviceable Bluetooth speaker (and it’s audio quality is rather impressive). In our original Google Home review, we noted that these limitations were one of the main downsides of the product, so we’re pleased to see this get addressed. See also: Google Home gets multi-user support in the UK 1 day ago In other recent news, research suggests that the Google Home is six times more likely to answer a question than its competitor the Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo has had Bluetooth audio streaming features for much longer, though. As Amazon, Google and others battle to take control of your household with their proprietary connected speakers, you can expect these devices to improve pretty quickly. Amazon has just recently a model that includes a built-in display — the Amazon Echo Show. Perhaps Google will soon follow suit. The Bluetooth streaming update will be rolling out to Google Home devices over the next few days; give your Home a restart if you want to try and scan for it now. Read more: Google Home vs Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod: features comparison

Solid-state batteries are expected to replace lithium-ion batteries that are currently found in smartphones and a bunch of other products in the near future. According to a report out of Korea, this is expected to happen over the next few years. An anonymous executive with Samsung SDI (the battery manufacturing arm of the Samsung conglomerate) told The Korea Herald that the company will start manufacturing solid-state batteries in one to two years. The first application for these batteries will be in smartphones. Meanwhile, solid-state batteries for electric cars would take till 2025 to hit the market, due to the more stringent safety constraints. “Our technological level to produce a solid-state battery for smartphones will be mature enough in one to two years. However, it depends on Samsung Electronics whether it will be used for phones,” warned the executive. Samsung SDI obviously isn’t the only company working on the new battery technology. There are quite a few others as well including LG Chem, which will reportedly start producing them around the same time. See also: What’s the difference between a Li-ion and solid-state battery? November 8, 2016 The biggest advantage of the upcoming batteries is that they are made from solid instead of liquid electrolytes and, therefore, have a much lower risk of catching fire and exploding. Battery safety has become a major concern in the last year or so, after Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 was recalled due to battery safety issues. Will we see solid-state batteries on flagship phones from 2019? It depends on how mature the technology is at launch. If it’s good enough to compete with conventional batteries in term of capacity, lifespan and charging speed, a release on a flagship phone is possible. If not, Samsung and its rivals may choose to introduce it on a lower-end or niche […]

If you want to start your summer off with a bang, head to the Google Play Store for a variety of different discounts that have been applied to games, TV shows, books, and movie rentals. Read more…

Google, whose majority of revenue comes from advertisements, has reportedly started experimenting how ads will look like in virtual reality. The experiments are currently going on at Area 120. Read more…

A few years ago, much before the onslaught of the Chinese players as well as the ‘bloodbath’ amongst domestic players, Spice was one of the fastest growing mobile devices brand in India after being one of the first mobile operators in India in 1998. A unit of Spice Mobility, an Indian business across mobility space, Spice Mobiles launched in 2004 and had launched several firsts including the Dual SIM phones, and had business operations spanning across India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka. However, the company went in a limbo and devices disappeared from the shelves as several handset makers from China came to the biggest smartphone market globally and offered innovative, yet value-for-money devices. Now, Transsion Holdings, a global conglomerate that operates itel and TECNO brands, has announced a joint venture agreement with Spice Mobility to re-launch the Spice brand in India. Transsion Holdings is a diversified group specializing in mobility solutions and present in 58 countries globally. Transsion officially entered India in 2016 with its brand itel. We are absolutely delighted to partner with Transsion Holdings. As a strategic partner, we believe this combines Spice’s legacy strength and Transsion’s global leadership to bring a whole new mobility experience to our consumers. This JV is a commitment towards furthering digital inclusion in India, assuring high quality products and services to one and all, thus democratizing innovation and technology. We are sure that by leveraging each other’s strengths, we will make a significant contribution to the emerging Indian technology market. – Dilip Modi, Executive Chairman, Spice Mobility The JV was inked today in a press event in New Delhi in the presence of Lin Qin, Vice-President, Transsion Holdings and Dilip Modi, Executive Chairman, Spice Mobility. At the event, the fresh brand identity and philosophy – “Make Sharing Better” […]

The OnePlus 5 was launched in India exactly one week ago and was available on Amazon right away as part of an exclusive early access sale. It looks like it has been extremely popular among consumers so far, as it was the highest grossing smartphone on Amazon during the launch week. OnePlus did not specify how many units exactly were sold. The #OnePlus5 is now the highest grossing phone in the launch week on @amazonIN! A huge thanks to our community who made this feat possible — OnePlus India (@OnePlus_IN) June 29, 2017 OnePlus says the OnePlus 5 sold three times as many units as the OnePlus 3T over the same period. The caveat is the OnePlus 3T was a refreshed model, and not a completely new phone like the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5. “Our mission is to make the best smartphone and the OnePlus 5 is yet another step in this direction. We are truly humbled by the unprecedented response to our latest flagship,” said Vikas Agarwal, General Manager of OnePlus India. So it appears that the OnePlus 5 is in high demand, despite being more expensive than its predecessor. The version with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage retails for ₹32,999, while the variant with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space will set you back ₹37,999. Its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T, was launched at ₹29,999 (64 GB) and ₹34,999 (128 GB) in the country back in December. See also: OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T – how good is the new camera? 3 days ago India obviously isn’t the only country where the OnePlus 5 has been well received by consumers. Carl Pei, one of the co-founders of OnePlus, said that the OnePlus 5 is the company’s fastest-selling smartphone ever. Although it’s […]

Update, June 29: After a brief teasing, Samsung officially announced the release of the sixth Galaxy S8 Plus color version, Rose Pink. The new version will be sold in “select markets,” but only two regions have been confirmed to get it so far: Taiwan and South Korea. Pink smartphones tend to be popular, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the new Rose Pink Galaxy S8 Plus in other countries. Regional offices will reveal further availability details. Samsung says, “the new hue envelops the device, creating a sense of unity and fluidity between the glass and metal of the phone’s body.” We think it looks pretty enough, how about you? Original post, June 26: The new ever-elusive Rose Pink variant of the Galaxy S8 Plus is only available in Taiwan for now, and it’ll be sold only for a limited period of time. See also: Samsung Galaxy S8 color comparison March 29, 2017 We saw alleged renders of a pink version of the Galaxy S8 Plus a while ago, and the South Korean electronics company has finally made it official: Rose Pink is the latest color option for Samsung’s bigger flagship. However, the chances are, you probably won’t be able to get your hands on one just yet. That’s because the Rose Pink version will be available exclusive in Taiwan (for now at least), and it’ll only be sold by Samsung for a limited period of time. So if you’re in Taiwan and have been waiting for a pink variant of the Galaxy S8 Plus, now is your chance. Apart from the new paint job, everything else remains the same: it features the same 6.2-inch Infinity Display, blazing-fast Exynos 8895 processor, 12-megapixel camera on the back and 8-megapixel camera on the front, and 3,500 mAh battery. Rose Pink is likely to […]

OnePlus has responded to the discussions around the “jelly scrolling” issue currently found on some OnePlus 5 handsets. OnePlus 5 owners have been taking to the OnePlus forums and Reddit to discuss the problem, and OnePlus has now told XDA Developers that it’s aware of the issue and is currently looking into it. Jelly scrolling is the name that users have given to the undesired OnePlus 5 effect that appears when moving up or down a page. When scrolling on afflicted devices, the screen will appear to stretch and squash portions of the content as it moves, which makes it look as if it’s wobbling, like jelly. You can see this in action here. Several theories about why this is occurring have appeared online and after the first OnePlus 5 update rolled out earlier this week, the problem is still occurring. See also: OnePlus CEO Pete Lau addresses recent OnePlus 5 criticism 3 days ago OnePlus has been at the center of a fair amount of controversy recently, but in this instance, I don’t think the problem is a huge concern (yet). It might look ugly, but the issue isn’t harming critical functionality and bugs always make their way into software. Even a huge company like Samsung — the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world — has to deal with this. As long as OnePlus fixes it quickly, it’s no big deal. I do understand the frustrations, though, especially when people have paid hundreds of dollars for the phone. And I know some will argue that products shouldn’t be released in an “unfinished state,” but it can be difficult to identify such issues until they’re in the hands of thousands of people. Further, it isn’t easy to just “delay” a product launch, and there are so many factors involved in releasing a smartphone that […]

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