Category Archives: Mobile News

All the latest Mobile News and updates. Mobile Buzz is the Mobile blog where we post news about the latest cellphone, firmware updates, mobile news, leaked mobile screenshots and more.

Sony launches Xperia C3 in India, claims to be the World’s Best Selfie Smartphone

Sony India today launched Xperia C3 in India, their latest smartphone with a focus on digital imaging technology and interactive camera apps. The mid-range smartphone is geared to offer enhanced social sharing experience with a new powerful ‘PROselfie cam’. Continue reading Sony launches Xperia C3 in India, claims to be the World’s Best Selfie Smartphone

Intex Cloud FX, the first Firefox OS phone in India, is India’s lowest priced Smartphone at ₹1,999

In a press conference in New Delhi today, Intex Technologies announced the launch of India’s lowest priced smartphone, the Intex Cloud FX. The smartphone runs on Firefox OS, and is the first Firefox OS device available in India and Asia, beating the upcoming Spice Fire One launch. Continue reading Intex Cloud FX, the first Firefox OS phone in India, is India’s lowest priced Smartphone at ₹1,999

Three Android Apps That Will Help You Snap the Perfect Selfie

Selfies have already taken over the world, and this pop culture phenomenon is showing no signs of slowing down. Now, mobile manufacturers are also jumping on the selfie bandwagon with special selfie oriented devices like odd looking Xperia C3. However, you don’t need a brand new device to snap some kickass selfies. Here are three apps that’ll help you take the perfect selfie from your Android.

Best Selfie Camera Apps for Android
Best Selfie Camera Apps for Android

Bright Camera

Bright Camera - Selfie Cam
Bright Camera – Selfie Cam

This camera app comes with tons of filters, effects, frames, and test effects. However, what sets it apart from many other similar apps is that everything was created with selfies in mind. Several of the effects and frames are paid; however, there are plenty of free ones to keep you happy. It also features tight Facebook and Instagram integration including a photo stream.

Bright Camera - Selfie Editor
Bright Camera – Selfie Editor

[ Download Bright Camera ]

Selfie Studio

Selfie Studio - Overview
Selfie Studio – Overview

Selfie Studio lives up to its name and offers a wide range of features to appeal to the selfie addicts. Since almost all phones don’t have a flash for the front camera, Selfie Studio allows you to use the display as a secondary light source. You can easily tweak the color of the display to get the look you want. You can snap pics in either Instagram like square (1:1) or usual rectangular (3:4) aspect ratios. Other features include auto-reverse and countdown timer.

Selfie Studio - Selfie Cam
Selfie Studio – Selfie Cam

The bundled editor is powered by Aviary and offers gazillions of options. You can enhance and adjust the pic as well as apply effects, frames, and stickers.

Selfie Studio - Selfie Editor
Selfie Studio – Selfie Editor

[ Download Selfie Studio ]

Frontback

Front Back - Image Stream
Front Back – Image Stream

Frontback is not your typical selfie app. This app takes two shots – one with the rear cam and one with the front cam, and merges them. However, unlike other similar apps, it doesn’t tuck away the selfie in a tiny rectangle at the side of the screen. Instead, it gives both the pics equal amount of space. This simple change can allow for some truly mesmerizing photos. You can view some of the best creations over here. The app is simple, and has very few options to tinker with. However, it works well. My only gripe with Frontback is that the app can’t be used until you signup for a free Frontback account.

Front Back - Selfie Cam
Front Back – Selfie Cam

[ Download Frontback ]

Image Credits: Freepik

HTC Butterfly 2 Announced; Coming To Asia Next Month

Today, HTC announced the successor of its Butterfly smartphone. The Butterfly 2 will be first launched in the Japanese market exclusively for the KDDI subscribers, followed by Taiwanese and Chinese market for Chunghwa Telecom and CSL subscribers respectively. It comes with the HTC Sense 6 UI and a 13 megapixel HTC Duo Camera for advanced imaging. HTC Butterfly 2 supports WiMAX2+ and offers high speed communication up to 150 Mbps.

“HTC is dedicated to combining innovative technologies and premium techniques to create the best smartphone which meets our consumers’ expectation. HTC Butterfly 2 follows HTC’s iconic design and globally acclaimed user experience. Its elegant appearance and fantastic performance will certainly provide consumers with the best experience ever.”

– Peter Chou, CEO, HTC

htc_butterfly_2

The Motion Launch feature on this device is immediately able to detect its position and movement, thanks to the built-in motion sensors which allow you to interact with the phone without turning on the screen. HTC Butterfly 2 will go on sale in Taiwan on September 2nd, followed by Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in the next few weeks. The price of this device is still a mystery. Check out the complete specs after the break.

HTC Butterfly 2 Specifications:

  • 5 inch Full HD display
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating System
  • HTC Sense
  • 13 megapixel dual camera
  • Full HD (1080p) video recording
  • 5 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 2 GB RAM, 16/32 GB internal memory
  • 128 GB expandable memory
  • 4G LTE Connectivity
  • A-GPS + GLONASS
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX enabled
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • DLNA, HTC Connect
  • Micro-USB 2.0, HDMI connection
  • Up to 23.9 hours talk-time
  • Up to 643 hours stand-by time
  • 2700 mAh battery

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Alpha Smartphone With Metal Frame And Octa Core Processor

Samsung has always been criticized for its plastic design. Today, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Alpha smartphone with iPhone-like design and a metal frame. This handset comes with a Finger Print Scanner and Ultra-Power Saving Mode, which was previously seen in the company’s flagship smartphone. Samsung Galaxy Alpha is touted to be one of the slimmest Galaxy devices. It is also compatible with Samsung Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear 2 wearables.

samsung_galaxy_alpha

“The Galaxy Alpha was built and designed based on the specific desires of the consumer market. With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features users expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device.”

– JK Shin, CEO of IT & Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics

Samsung Galaxy Alpha will go on sale at the beginning of September. This handset will be available in Charcoal Black, Dazzling White, Frosted Gold, Sleek Silver and Scuba Blue colors. The price of the device will be announced soon. Until then, check out the complete specs below.

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Specifications:

  • 4.7 inch HD Super AMOLED display
  • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
  • Octa Core (Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz) processor
  • Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) Operating System
  • 12 megapixel rear camera with selective focus
  • 2.1 megapixel front-facing camera
  • UHD 4K video recording @30fps
  • 2 GB RAM, 32 GB expandable memory
  • No MicroSD card slot
  • Ultra Power Saving Mode
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • 1860 mAh battery

Oppo Launches N1 Mini In India For INR 26,990

As expected, Oppo finally launched the mini version of its flagship smartphone. The Oppo N1 Mini comes with a rotating 13 megapixel camera similar to its bigger brother, which acts as a rear as well as a front-facing camera. It runs on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean based Color OS.

oppo_n1_mini

“Customer orientation is deeply rooted in the culture at OPPO. We strive to give users what they really look for. OPPO N1 Mini stems from this philosophy of ours. It brings to users the unique design and technology for which the OPPO N1 won a lot of accolades, but in a sleeker and more compact body. For OPPO, a fusion of technology and affection has always been the essence of our product design and development. We believe that today’s youth will find OPPO N1 Mini as a device that is mini in size and max in fun.”

– Tom Lu, CEO, OPPO India

Oppo N1 Mini comes with a price-tag of INR 26,990, which is almost double than the market price of Xiaomi Mi3 which comes with much better specifications. This handset measures 148.4 x 72.2 x 9.2 mm and weighs 150 grams. Oppo N1 Mini will be available in Light Blue, White and Lemon Yellow colors.

Oppo N1 Mini Specifications:

  • 5 inch IPS display
  • 720 x 1280 pixels resolutio
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor
  • Color OS 1.4
  • 13 megapixel camera with auto-focus and LED flash
  • full HD video recording
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • microUSB 2.0
  • A-GPS
  • 2140 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Star 2, Star Advance And Ace NXT Launched In India

Samsung recently launched three new entry-level smartphones in India. The Galaxy Star 2, Galaxy Star Advance and Galaxy Ace NXT runs on the latest Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating System with TouchWiz Essence UI on top of it. These handsets support 12 Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya and Assamese.

“Samsung is committed to offer the best in technology and innovative products at an affordable price to the consumers. We believe in cutting across language and data cost barriers to ensure every consumer has access to the world of smartphones. Especially created for the Indian market Galaxy Star 2, Galaxy Star Advance and Galaxy Ace NXT have been launched to provide a larger set of consumers with the experience of superior mobile technologies and richer internet experience at an affordable price.”

– Asim Warsi, Vice President, Marketing, Mobile & IT, Samsung India

Samsung Galaxy Star 2:

samsung_galaxy_star_2

  • 3.5 inch touchscreen display
  • 320 × 480 pixels resolution
  • 1 GHz processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 2 megapixel rear camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM Radio
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1300 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Star Advance:

samsung_galaxy_star_advance

  • 4.3 inch touch screen display
  • 800 x 480 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM Radio
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1800 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Ace NXT:

samsung_galaxy_ace_nxt

  • 4 inch touch screen display
  • 800 x 480 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.4 (KitKat) OS
  • 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM Radio
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 1500 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Star Advance and Ace NXT will be available in black and white colors for INR 7,400, while the Galaxy Star 2 will be available in white and gray color along with premium Gameloft games for INR 5,100. Samsung has also partnered with Vodafone to offer 200 MB of 3G data for 6 months to the owners of these smartphones.

Three New Free Android Apps to Boost Your Productivity

As per AppBrain, there are over 1.3 million apps in the Android market with about a thousand new ones being added every day. Among the scores of wallpaper, ringtone, and other low quality apps, it’s not easy to find out the ones that are truly useful. I’m always on the lookout for apps that’ll make my phone easier and faster to use. Here are three of my favourite free productivity apps that were released in the last couple of months.

Android Productivity Apps

Better Open With

Better Open With - File Types
Better Open With – File Types

Unlike many other platforms, Android allows you to install third party apps to replace several key stock apps and functionalities. However, the process for managing the default app for every aspect of the operating system isn’t exactly very intuitive. There is no single utility or settings page to handle all of your app defaults. Instead, you need to navigate to the Apps page within Settings, select the App that’s currently set as default, and then ‘Clear Defaults’ every time you want to change the app associations. Better Open With is a brand new app that offers a bit more flexibility. The app currently handles default file associations for seven types of content including audio, video, and the web. These cover most of the most common file types; however, I am hoping to see support for more in the future.

Better Open With - Select App
Better Open With – App Selection

Setting up Better Open With (BOW) involves two steps. First you need to open the app and select the default app for each category. After this, you need to set BOW as the default app for each of these categories. BOW gives you the option of either opening the default app straight away, or presenting you with a list of options similar to the one you get by default in Android. The big advantage with BWO, however, is that you can set the app selection screen to be dismissed and the default option to be automatically selected after a predefined amount of time. I absolutely love this option as it provides the flexibility of changing the app on the fly, but still doesn’t force you to tap and select an app every time.

Better Open With - App List
Better Open With – App List

[ Download Better Open With ]

Copy Bubble

Copy Bubble
Copy Bubble

One of the many neat features of Microsoft Office is the Clipboard, which allows you to not just paste the most recently copied content, but from as any as twenty four items that you’ve copied recently. Copy Bubble provides the same functionality on Android. As a name suggests it’s a tiny bubble that floats on your screen. Every time you copy something, Copy Bubbles stores a copy of it. If you want to access anything that you had previously copied, all you need to do is tap on the bubble and select from the list of saved clipboard items. These items are available to be directly shared or copied to the Android clipboard. The bubble size can be configured and it is by default small enough to e not too obtrusive. It’s also easy to dismiss the bubble when you don’t want it, but the only way to bring it back is to launch the app again.

Copy Bubble - Floating Bubble
Copy Bubble – Floating Bubble
Copy Bubble - Clipboard
Copy Bubble – Clipboard

[ Download Copy Bubble ]

Heads Up!

Heads Up notifications is among the many new features of Android L. When a new notification arrives, the notification is displayed in a floating window on top of the active app. This allows you to quickly get a glimpse of messages and other important stuff even when you are watching a movie or playing a game. The code for this was already present in KitKat, but this feature wasn’t enabled by Google. There’s an Xposed Module to enable this on KitKat systems; however, there’s an easier way that also works on devices without root.

Heads Up!
Heads Up!

The ‘Heads Up!’ app ports the heads up notification feature from Android L, and makes it available to devices running on Android 4.3 and above. Heads Up! allows very granular control over which apps should trigger a heads up notification. It also allows you to control the position and transparency of the floating notification toast as well as the automatic dismiss time.

Heads Up! - Notification
Heads Up! – Notification

Heads Up! is a paid app in the Play Store, but you can download a free copy from the XDA forums.

[ Download Heads Up! ]

Instagram Launches Bolt, Its One Tap Messaging App

Facebook owned Instagram recently launched its newest messaging app named Bolt. It is a one tap messaging app for Android and iOS smartphones which directly compete with the extremely popular Snapchat app. Bolt is currently available only for users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, while the app will roll out globally in the coming weeks.

bolt_1

Similar to Snapchat, this app allows you to send images and videos to your friends, which is automatically deleted after it has been viewed by the recipient. It also lets you annotate messages with text captions. You don’t need a Facebook or Instagram account to sign-up. Bolt allows you to sign up using your phone number and add up to 20 friends in your favorite list.

You can easily send images by tapping on your friend’s face or you can even long-press to send a video. After the message has been received, your friends can directly reply by sending text or images. The best part is the shake-to-undo feature, which retracts your message by shaking your phone within the first few seconds. Currently, you cannot send messages to more than one person at a time and you cannot add more than 20 friends from your contacts to the favorite list.

bolt_2

Apart from taking photos from the rear camera, Bolt also allows you to take selfies. You can also turn on the flast from the on-screen button. To delete a message, just swipe it to the right and it is gone forever. We’ll review the Bolt app in the coming days. Stay tuned! If you live in New Zealand, Singapore or South Africa, you can download the Bolt app right now from the download links given below.

[ Bolt for Android ] | [ Bolt for iOS ]

Ladoo Offers Free Mobile Recharges for Engaging with Advertisers

Platforms like Tapjoy, which incentivize app downloads, have earned Apple’s wrath in the past for messing up App Store rankings. Critics say that these apps inflate download counts and manipulate app store rankings. However, there’s no denying that a lot of users and advertisers love incentivized download platforms. Hence, it’s not surprising that Airloyal is attempting to bring the same concept to India.

Ladoo - Earn Free Mobile Recharges

Airloyal’s Ladoo app for Android offers free mobile recharges to users for completing simple tasks. Almost all of the tasks that I saw on Ladoo’s offer wall involved downloading and installing free apps from Google Play. The reward amount depends on the advertiser, all of them ranged between ₹2 and ₹8.

Ladoo - Get Free Mobile Recharges

The name Ladoo is meant to symbolize the spirit of gifting and celebration. “If you think about it, you would have never really paid for the Ladooos you have eaten”, remarked Raja Hussain, Founder and CEO of Airloyal.

Ladoo Team
Ladoo Team

Airloyal’s company structure is based out of Singapore, but currently all the team members are in Chennai and Bangalore offices. Having raised funding from Australia’s tech millionaire Zhenya Tsvetnenko, Airloyal is looking to expand quickly and launch in a couple of South East Asian countries before the end of the current quarter. Ladoo claims itself to be profitable and is in the process of raising its Series A round. “When there is an ‘apple’ from the US that the world loves, why can’t there be a Ladooo from India that the world can enjoy?” quipped Raja Hussain.

Ladoo - Offers Wall

Mr. Hussain informed me that a dedicated user can earn over ₹ 500 in rewards every month. My own estimate based on what I’ve seen over the past week is a lot less. However, Ladoo features geo-targeting, which means means that everyone wont see every offer. Although, Mr. Hussain declined to give concrete user figures, he did reveal that within the first ninety days of its launch, Ladoo managed to register several thousand new users every day, with more than 40% daily retention, and generated almost 1 million instances of guaranteed engagement for brands. More than 40,000 offers are being completed every day.

Ladoo - Typical App Offer

The usage figures are quite good for a new app with minimal marketing capabilities. Ladoo is quite obviously offering something that a lot of users want – free talktime. However, the bigger question is how valuable are they to the brands? Currently, most of the apps advertised through Ladoo are good apps from big brands that I don’t mind having on my phone. Brands like Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Quickr, Tata, BookmyShow, and Airtel are driving downloads to their app through Ladoo. The quality of advertisers is a lot higher than that in other similar apps. Ladoo claims that early clients like TicketGoose are happy with the results and have continued to work with them. Ladoo’s biggest challenge will be continuing to deliver high quality leads even as the number of users increase. Quick downloads are a great way to climb through Play Store rankings and get your apps discovered. However, an engaged user base will enable Ladoo to retain the bigger players who often have higher rewards and offer better experiences.

Thomas Was Alone Comes to iOS and Android

The BAFTA award winning indie platformer Thomas Was Alone is now available on Android and iOS. The game garnered critical acclaim for its PC, Mac, and PS3 editions, and is now promising the same emotional journey to mobile gamers.

Thomas Was Alone - Title Card

Unlike many recent indie platformers that focus on bringing back the 80s style challenging gameplay, Thomas Was Alone focuses on keeping things simple. A majority of the fifty levels in the game are simple enough for even the most casual gamers to enjoy. The protagonist of this game is Thomas – a self-aware AI created accidentally. Thomas is represented as a simple red rectangle, and all he can do is move and jump. Over the course of his journey he meets up with other AIs, who are also represented as quadrilaterals. By combining each character’s unique ability you need to traverse each level and reach the portal that’ll take you to the next one.

Thomas Was Alone - Game Commentary

Mike Bithell – the creator of the game, introduces enough variations and novelties to keep you engaged till the end, but the gameplay is still fairly basic. What elevates this game to greatness is the atmosphere. Thomas’ journey is expertly narrated by Danny Wallace, whose humorous and quirky comments establish an emotional connect that’ll leave you thinking about the game long after you have finished it. David Housden’s minimalistic background composition suitable complements the level design and the narration.

Thomas Was Alone - Platforming

I played the Android version of the game and did notice one annoying issue with the port. The option for switching between the characters is on the left and right edges of the screen, which makes it very easy to accidentally hit the Home button. Switching between characters requires too much attention and precision and often distracts you from the game. Hopefully, the developers will tweak the control scheme to address this issue. Other than this the game worked flawlessly, without any performance issues.

The game is available during this weekend at a 33% discounted price of $3.99, which is a steal for a game of this calibre. To make the deal even sweeter, the Bossa Studios has included the Benjamin’s Flight DLC pack with twenty additional levels in the mobile version of the game. Thomas Was Alone is a mesmerizing experience that I can’t recommend enough.

[ Download Thomas Was Alone from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store ]

Panasonic Launches T41, P41 And P61 Android Smartphones In India

Panasonic recently launched three new Android smartphones in the Indian market. Panasonic T41, P41 and P61 runs on the latest Android 4.4 (KitKat) Operating System. These devices are priced between INR 7990 to INR 14,990. The low-end T41 will compete with the Moto E and Micromax Canvas Fire A104, while the high-end P61 will compete with the Moto G and Xiaomi Mi 3 in India.

“The mobility landscape in India is rapidly evolving driven by factors such as improving mobility infrastructure and lowering prices of technology. In line with this, the company offers a range of mobility solutions catering to the entire spectrum of its consumers. One of the key focus areas for Panasonic India is to build a strong connect with the consumers by bringing alive brand experiences through our innovative product line up.”

– Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic India

Panasonic P61:

panasonic_p61

  • 6 inch capacitive touchscreen IPS display
  • 1280 x 720 pixels resolution
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) OS
  • 8 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • 2800 mAh battery

Panasonic P41:

panasonic_p41

  • 5 inch IPS qHD display
  • 540 x 960 pixels resolution
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) OS
  • 8 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal storage
  • 32 GB expandable storage
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2000 mAh battery

Panasonic T41:

panasonic_t41

  • 4.5 inch IPS display
  • 480 x 854 pixels resolution
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat) OS
  • 5 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • VgA front facing camera
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 4 GB internal storage
  • 32 GB expandable storage
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1650 mAh battery

Panasonic P61 and P41 will be available in Black and Pearl White colors for INR 14,990 and INR 11,990 respectively. On the other hand, Panasonic T41 will be available in Black, Red and Pearl White for INR 7,990.