IDC: Samsung tops Indian smartphone market in Q2, Micromax follows


Market research firm IDC has released its latest report for the Indian smartphone market, revealing that Samsung was the top vendor in second quarter of this year. The South Korean company’s share of the market stood at 25.1%.

“With updated versions of J2, J5 and J7 released in Q2 2016, J-series devices continue to drive Samsung’s shipments,” the report said.

Micromax came in second with 12.9% share. “Slew of new launches backed by the new marketing initiatives helped Micromax gain the market share post two consecutive declines in Q2 2016. Vendor has re-gained share in $150-$200 segment with launch of Canvas 6 series and Yu Yunicorn.”

Lenovo, Intex, and Reliance Jio rounded up the top five with 7.7%, 7.1%, and 6.8% share, respectively.

Overall, the Indian smartphone market recovered with 17% growth in the quarter. “China based vendors’ shipments grew 28 percent over previous quarter of which Lenovo group, Vivo, Xiaomi, OPPO and Gionee were key contributors driving the growth,” the report said.

“Until now, Lenovo was the only China based vendor to ship over a million units in a quarter, while this quarter saw additional three vendors joining the million shipments bandwagon. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 was not only the top selling model in online channel but also a star product for the vendor contributing majority of Xiaomi’s total shipments in Q2 2016.”


Samsung sends out invites for August 23 event in India; Tizen-powered Z2 expected


Samsung has started sending out press-invites for a smartphone launch event in India on August 23. While the invite doesn’t reveal the star of the event, it’s being said that the South Korean company will make official the Tizen-powered Z2 on that day.

Specs-wise, an official-looking video recently confirmed that the Z2 is powered by a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU and sports a 5MP rear camera unit. It comes pre-loaded with an app dubbed My Money Transfer, and also features the ability to adjust the flashlight’s brightness.

As for other key specs, rumors say it will sport a 3.97-inch or 4.5-inch display, feature a VGA front camera, and come with 1GB/8GB memory configuration. A 1,500mAh or 2,000mAh battery will be there to keep the lights on.


Deal: Xbox One Spring Bundle with an extra game and controller as well as gift code for just $299


If you’re in the US, and are planning to purchase an Xbox One gaming console, you’ll be glad to know that Microsoft has given the Xbox One Spring Bundle (1TB) a $50 price cut – it’s now available for $299.

Aside from the aforementioned price cut, the bundle also includes some free goodies, including a game, an Xbox One Wireless Controller, as well as a Microsoft Store gift code worth $50. The freebie offers have different expiry dates – head to the Source link below to access the details.

Source | Via

$4 smartphone Freedom 251 is dead, Ringing Bells outs six new phones


It’s not easy keeping track of Ringing Bells and its Freedom 251 fiasco of a smartphone. First it was the changed design, the re-branded units, the false statements, the raided offices, then the promised shipping for June 30 has been pushed back two days at a time.

Recently the company began backtracking on its promised 200,000 units shipment, and the number shrank down to 10,000, then 5,000, and now – 0. How this had happened?

Well, a Ringing Bells rep pretty much said this:

“We may deliver more units if we get help or we may not deliver at all in the upcoming months. We are only focusing on the giving away the devices now.”

And the help Ringing Bells need to make the Freedom 251 happen is $7.4 billion or INR500 billion. Yes, that’s the GDP of a small country. Here is why Ringing Bells needs the money:

“We have brought ‘Freedom 251’ which we offer on ‘Cash on Delivery’ terms but we have a gap between the BOM (Bill of Materials) and the Selling Price. We, therefore, humble request government support to actualise the objective to cascade the availability and usage of smartphones all through the far reaches of our great nation.”

And we are pretty much sure the Indian government won’t just give away $7.4 billion to make the $4 smartphone happen. So we can consider the Freedom 251 smartphone as good as dead.

But if you thought that will discourage the shady company, you were wrong. Ringing Bells announced 4 feature phones, 2 Android smartphones, a few power banks, and a LED TV.

The four featurephones are HIT (INR 699, $10), KING (INR 899, $13), BOSS (INR 999, $15), and RAJA (INR 1,099, $16). You can learn more about those here.

The two smartphones are called Elegant and Elegance and cost INR 3,999 ($60) and INR 4,499 ($66). They look like LG G5 rip-offs and feature 5″ IPS 720p displays and 1.3GHz quad-core processors. RAM is set at 1GB, while the camera pairs have 8MP and 3.2MP resolution. Both offer 8GB of expandable storage and run on Android Marshmallow. The Elegant tops at 3G network connectivity, while the Elegance has a support for 4G VoLTE.

Somehow we suspect history will repeat itself and those LG G5-like designs will change over time. Their prices seem more plausible, but the credibility of Ringing Bells is pretty much non-existent at this point.

And while Ringing Bells is currently everyone’s favorite punching bag, we still wish them the best of luck. At least 30,000 people paid them for the Freedom 251, hopefully they manage to get something in return.


Honor 5X officially getting Marshmallow in the US


Just last month, Honor 5X owners started receiving the EMUI 4.0/Android Marshmallow 6.0 update for the Honor 5X. However, this applied to global devices and the US model (KIW-L24) was left out for the time being. Honor has just posted an official release regarding the US rollout of Marshmallow for the 5X.

The rollout officially started yesterday in the US and will take place slowly over the next week or so.

Honor launched the budget-friendly $200 smartphone in the US back in January at CES 2016. The Honor 5X is aimed at the millennial demographic and offers all the flagship features you could want without having to break the bank.

The Honor 5X has a bright 5.5 inch 1080p LCD screen powered by a Snapdragon 616 octa-core CPU paired with 3GB of RAM. There is also 16GB of onboard storage which is expandable via a microSD card. There is also a 13MP decently performing camera with flash and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner which unlocks the phone rather quickly.

The hardware is what was most impressive since the body was made of metal and the backplate has an elegant brushed finish. A phone with a metal build is unheard of for a phone of this price range. There is also a generous 3,000mAh battery to last you a while. EMUI is quite well optimized to manage apps and hibernate the ones that drain battery quickly.

Check out the press release in the source link. Honor lists all the new features coming with the update. Many of which are core features that come with Marshmallow such as the Doze feature, improved system optimizations, and Huawei’s EMUI 4.0

Check out our review of the Honor 5X and if you’d like to check for the update manually, you can go to the Settings app, and then tap ‘Updater’ toward the bottom of the list and finally, tap ‘Check for updates’.


Lyft introduces ‘Premier’ rides. Roll to your destination in luxury and style


Today, ride-sharing app ‘Lyft’ is offering a new way to ride. To compete with the likes of Uber’s BLACK car service, which picks riders up in cars like a BMW 5-Series, Infiniti Q70, Audi’s A6 through A8, or Hyundai Genesis with other requirements that the car needs to have a black exterior and black interior.

Lyft is going to offer a similar option to its riders starting today and the company doesn’t require eligible cars to be black.

If you’re one of the many Lyft passengers who has told us you want a more stylish arrival for business trips and special nights out, we have a new ride option you’re going to love.

The Premier option is now available to riders in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and New York City. To celebrate the launch of Premier, Lyft is letting riders try the service with promo code: LYFTPREMIER20. This code will give you 20% off of 10 Premier rides. This promotion will discount up to $10 per ride and expires on the last day of July.

Source | Via

Verizon’s pricing for the Moto Z and Z Force Droid Edition will be unveiled on July 14


It’s been a while since Lenovo made the Moto Z and Moto Z Force official, and it’s almost time for Verizon to announce its Droid-branded versions of the handsets too. This will happen at an event on July 14, which is next Thursday.

At that point we are going to find out how much the Moto Z Droid Edition and the Moto Z Force Droid Edition will cost at the carrier nicknamed Big Red. Keep in mind though that the Moto Z Force will be exclusive to Verizon. On the other hand, the Moto Z will be purchasable unlocked in the US, but starting at a later date. Thus Verizon will essentially have a period of exclusivity on this model as well, but a limited one (as opposed to the Force).

We assume Verizon will also sell some MotoMods, the modular accessories that snap onto the Z line’s backs and represent one of its unique selling points. Some MotoMods have already been made official, while others are still reportedly in the pipeline. The Moto Z and Z Force will probably become available this month or in August, since Motorola said they would launch at Verizon “this summer”.