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Samsung, as most of us guessed already, introduced its new J Series in India with the launch of Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 on 16th July. The smartphones, which have been available in China since last month, fit into the mid-range segment based on their low prices, but offer impressive specifications and features. While the smaller Samsung Galaxy J5 is priced at Rs. 11,999, its larger sibling, the Galaxy J7, will set you back by Rs. 14,999.

Both are Flipkart exclusives for now and are available to pre-order. The two new phones are also positioned by Samsung as affordable devices for gamers as they can potentially deliver smooth online gaming experiences using 4G LTE connectivity. Notably however, the models launched do not support TDD-LTE Band 40 (2300MHz) for 4G LTE in India, and only the FDD-LTE Band 3 (1800MHz) that has yet to see a rollout in the country.

Talking about 4G LTE, which is still being tested in some places and is yet to reach many others, Samsung has not only partnered with Flipkart for as an exclusive retailer, but has also teamed-up with Airtel. As a part of the collaboration, Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 users would receive double Airtel 4G LTE data along with unlimited music downloads worth Rs. 549 for six months using the Wynk Music app. Early buyers can also grab the flip wallet cover worth Rs. 999 for Rs. 199. The company has also collaborated with the popular video game company Gameloft to offer Rs. 3,200 worth of in-game credits for Galaxy J users.

With the introduction of its Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7, Samsung has in a way replied to some of the heavy hitters in the market which are dominating the mid-range today. The two phones go up against the Xiaomi Mi 4i, Motorola Moto G (Gen 2), Sony Xperia E 4G and many others.

After launching its new ‘Axon’ smartphone series with the introduction of its ZTE Axon handset in the market, ZTE on Tuesday launched two new devices under its ‘Axon’ brand, of which one is the Axon Lux smartphone and the other is the Axon Watch smartwatch. The smartphone is priced at CNY 3,888 (roughly Rs. 40,000), while the regular ZTE Axon the 32GB costs CNY 2,699 (roughly Rs. 27,700). The company however did not reveal the pricing or the availability of the smartwatch.

The Chinese company also launched a Spro 2 Smart Projector, which is priced at CNY 3,699 (roughly Rs. 38,000). The projector and the smartphone are available for pre-orders from company’s own online store. Users can additionally pre-order the handset from JD.com. ZTE said it would also launch its Axon Mini smartphone in the “near future”, revealing not much more than its 5.2-inch Amoled display.

The ZTE Axon Lux runs MiFavour 3.2 UI based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. The handset sports a 5.5-inch CGS (Continuous Grain Silicon) TFT LCD screen with 2.5D curved display technology, a QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution, and a pixel density of 534ppi. The display comes protected with Corning’s new Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass. The Axon Lux is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and the Adreno 430 GPU.

The smartphone, like the previously announced ZTE Axon version, also houses a dual-lens (13-megapixel + 2-megapixel) rear camera with dual-LED flash, besides an 8-megapixel front-facing camera with an 88-degree wide-angle lens. The ZTE Axon Lux also comes with 128GB inbuilt storage, which can be further expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). The connectivity options include GPS/ Beidou/ Glonass, Micro-USB, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, and 4G LTE (including TDD-LTE Band 40 for India). Some of the sensors on board include an accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, and hall sensors.

Measuring 154×75x9.3mm, the ZTE Axon Lux is backed by a 3000mAh battery. A fingerprint scanner is also included in the handset that can record up to five fingerprints at a time, alongside an eye-scanner. This makes the Axon Lux ZTE’s second smartphone after ZTE Grand S3 to feature an eye-scanner.

Coming to the ZTE Axon Watch, we see it features a circular 1.4-inch (400×400 pixels) display with Gorilla Glass and sapphire coating. It runs Tencent OS instead of widely used Android Wear. The watch, which features IP67 certification for dust and water resistance, runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (APQ8026) processor, clubbed with 512MB of DDR2 RAM. The wearable includes 4GB of inbuilt storage, Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, and a 300mAh battery. It comes with support for gesture controls, phone calls, and messaging. Other features included are a heart rate sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, geomagnetic, and barometer. The firm is being said to keep the Tencent OS-version of the watch as China-specific only and might introduce its international version running Android Wear in future. The smartwatch weighs 49 grams.

The company also unveiled its ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector, which is available in the US via AT&T and Verizon. The device includes “mobile hotspot features” along with an inbuilt 5-inch touchscreen. The firm has added voice control solution (Mandarin) to its smart projector for customers in China.

source: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/

Xiaomi India has launched the 32GB model of the Mi 4i smartphone in India. Priced at Rs. 14,999, the smartphone will go on sale July 28 at 2pm IST. The Xiaomi Mi 4i 32GB model will be available in Dark Grey colour only.

Announcing the news, Xiaomi India said via its social channels, “To kickstart our birthday celebrations, we’re introducing our Mi 4i 32GB, now with double the storage capacity and still our most compact innovation ever!” Xiaomi India is celebrating its first anniversary in the country and has announced that will reveal daily surprises for consumers from July 22-28.

The company, as of now, has not revealed whether the Mi 4i 32GB model will be available only via Mi.com or will also be up for grabs via other online and offline retail partners. Currently, only Xiaomi’s official site lists the 32GB model of the Mi 4i.

The Xiaomi Mi 4i was launched in India at Rs. 12,999 for the variant with 16GB internal storage (non expandable). It features a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) OGS Corning Concore IPS display; 441ppi; MIUI 6 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop; a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor; Adreno 405 GPU; 2GB of RAM; 13-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual-tone flash; 5-megapixel front-facing camera; and a 3120mAh battery.

Last month, Xiaomi India revealed a new Dark Grey variant of the Mi 4i smartphone for the Indian market. The smartphone was made available initially via the company’s own website, Mi.com/in.

It’s worth noting that this was the first instance when Xiaomi India kicked off sales of a new phone via its own website.

Nokia, according to a recent report, is expected to announce its first virtual reality product at an event in Los Angeles this week. The Finnish firm has reportedly also sent invites for the same.

It has been reported that the rumoured virtual reality product by Nokia will come from the same division of the firm that is responsible for the company’s N1 tablet - Nokia Technologies - according a person close to the plans to Re/code. It is yet to be seen if the new virtual reality product would bring any ground-breaking innovation or not.

Notably, companies like Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, HTC, and even Facebook have already entered the virtual reality market by introducing their VR headsets like Samsung Gear VR, Sony Project Morpheus, Microsoft Hololens, HTC Re Vive, and Oculus Rift. For now, there are no details on the product.

If the rumours prove to be true, it might be Nokia’s first significant product launch after the sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft. Company CEO Rajeev Suri also hinted at the company’s foray into a new segment during a shareholder meeting, pointing to “immersive imaging” as one of the key focus points of the company.

Nokia is currently seeking a partner that could take responsibility for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing, and customer support for the mobile business. The company clarified that the partner they are looking for should able to do all “heavy lifting” and should be able to work closely with Nokia to deliver a product. Nokia as a company currently exists in mobile network infrastructure, mapping services, and technology development and licensing segments.

source: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/

Let’s scooter the Japanese automobile giant has forayed into the highly competitive 110 cc automatic scooter segment. Suzuki already offers the Swish and the Access automatic scooters which belong to the 125 cc scooter segment.

Suzuki Let’s is powered by a 112.8 cc, four-stroke, air-cooled, 2-valve engine which churns out a peak power of 8.7 BHP at 7500 RPM and peak torque of 9 NM at 6500 RPM. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission. Suzuki has equipped the Let’s scooter with telescopic forks at the front and swing-arm type coil spring suspension setup at the rear. To stop the scooter, 120 mm drum brakes at both the front and the rear do the duty. The scooter runs on 90/100/10 tubeless tyres at both the front and the rear. According to Suzuki, the Let’s scooter will provide fuel efficiency of 63 km/l as it features SEP(Suzuki Eco Performance) technology which leads to the less consumption of fuel.

In terms of design, the Let’s scooter has a pleasing stance. The weight of the scooter is 98 Kgs, which makes it the lightest scooter in the 110 cc segment. Regarding features Suzuki Let’s boasts mobile charger and maintenance free battery. The fuel tank capacity of the new scooter is 5.2 litres.

HTC launched a quartet of affordable Desire smartphones in the United States. HTC Desire 626, Desire 626s, Desire 526, and Desire 520 will hit a number of wireless carriers in prepaid and postpaid guise.

All four smartphones feature an entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 chipset with 1.1GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE connectivity. Each device boots Android 5.1 Lollipop with HTC Sense 7 UI on top.

HTC Desire 626 is the most capable device from the bunch and will be available for AT&T and Verizon. It features 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable memory, 5” 720p display, 8MP main camera, 5MP front-facing unit, and 2,000mAh battery. Both cameras can record 720p video.

The Desire 626s is a slightly less capable version of the Desire 626 with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable memory, 5” 720p display, 8MP main camera, 2MP front-facing unit, and 2,000mAh battery.

Both HTC Desire 626 variants offer full connectivity suite. The latter includes Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and microUSB 2.0 port. The Desire 626 packs NFC, while the 626s doesn’t.

HTC Desire 526 has 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable memory, 4.7” qHD display, 8MP main camera, 2MP front-facing unit, and 2,000mAh battery. Connectivity options of the handset include Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and microUSB 2.0.

HTC Desire 520 is the most affordable device in the group. Its specs include 4.5” FWVGA display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable memory, 8MP main camera, 2MP front-facing unit, and 2,000mAh battery. Like the rest of its siblings, the 520 has Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and microUSB 2.0

HTC and its wireless carrier partners will announce pricing and availability of each smartphone in the weeks ahead.

Asus is expected to ship around 6-7 million tablets this year, according to a new report out of China which cites analysts. That’s down a worrying 30% from the 9.4 million units the company shipped in 2014.

The report also says that the Taiwan-based company managed to ship around 2.5 million tablets in the first half of the ongoing year, which is down 39% year-on-year.

Quarter-wise, Asus shipped 1.5 million units in the first quarter and 1 million units in Q2 2015, although its goal was to ship 1.8 and 1.2 million units in the first two quarters, respectively. The report comes just days after the company’s ZenPad S 8.0 tablet went on sale in the US.

Previously christened as the Pulsar SS400, the RS400 will be the second addition in the fully-faired Pulsar family, after the Pulsar RS200, which has received very good response from the market. Cosmetically, the RS400 looks very identical to its younger sibling. In terms of colour differentiation, we think the RS400 will get just one new colour scheme to keep some excitement in the market.

The Pulsar RS400 will get its power plant from its Austrian sibling, the KTM RC390. This engine develops 43bhp at 9,000rpm and maximum torque of 35Nm at 7,000rpm and is mated to a six-speed gearbox. Just like the RS200, we are expecting the RS400 to come with an ABS option as well, however, it will be priced comparatively higher than the non-ABS variant.

While the Pune-based manufacturer will launch another sports bike by the end of this financial year which could be the Pulsar RS400, we are more excited to see the production version of the Pulsar CS400.

In a bid to promote greener alternate fuels in vehicles, the Government of India has notified rules for the use of bio-CNG. Automobile manufacturers can now produce cars fueled by bio-CNG and can sell them.

The norms for the use of bio-CNG were notified by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry. Under these norms, automakers can test their vehicles running on bio-CNG for exhaust emissions and other tests officially. They can then manufacture, sell and get the vehicles fuelled by bio-CNG in India. The ministry had earlier notified these specifications on test reference fuel for bio-ethanol vehicles. Scania manufactured an ethanol-powered bus recently, which is running in Nagpur as part of the broader initiative.

Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, said, “Waste can be converted into wealth. Use of clean fuel like ethanol and bio-diesel can reduce carbon-dioxide emission by 95 per cent. We have taken a decision to encourage bio-fuel and alternative fuel. Clean fuel like ethanol and bio-diesel has been high on the Ministry’s agenda, given the government’s efforts to cut down India’s huge annual import bill on petrol, gas and crude.”

It is good to see that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has begun promoting vehicles which are powered by clean fuels like bio-ethanol, bio-CNG, bio-Diesel, electric batteries etc. The new notification from the government, specifying the test requirements for type approval of vehicles, will help manufacturers bring in such bio-fuel powered two, three and four-wheeled vehicles. This will not only help in a cleaner and greener environment, but the government also believes that promoting clean fuel will have also a positive impact on GDP growth as well.

After launching refreshed Activa and the Aviator scooters few weeks ago, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has launched the Livo motorcycle at Rs 52,989 (ex-showroom Delhi)

While the company claims that the Livo has the longest wheelbase and the highest ground clearance in the segment, the overall design language is quite similar to the CB Unicorn 160. The Livo is powered by an 110cc single-cylinder engine that churns out 8.27bhp and a maximum torque of 8.63Nm. The bike is equipped with HET technology that has helped Honda to tune the bike to deliver an ARAI fuel efficiency of 74kmpl.

The Honda Livo will serve the growing mass-market 110cc segment, where there are more than enough products to share the ranks with. It will be available in two variants and four colour options. The bookings for the Honda Livo have begun at all dealerships.

Honda Livo drum brake: Rs 52,989

Honda Livo disc brake: Rs 55,489

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India has finally revealed the launch date for the much awaited CBR650F. During the launch of the Livo today, the Japanese manufacturer said that it will finally get the CBR650F to the Indian market on August 4th.

The company first unveiled the CBR650F at the 2014 Auto Expo and that created lot of excitement among the Indian consumers. While the Japanese manufacturer was focusing more on the mass market two-wheeler segment, it didn’t want to ignore the fast growing premium motorcycle segment.

The CBR650F is powered by a 650cc inline-four mill, which supports low and medium engine speeds offering everyday usability and brilliant efficiency (21kmpl). This mill produces 87bhp at 11,000rpm and a maximum torque of 63Nm at 8,000rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox. The bike gets a new aluminium swing arm, preload adjustable rear shock and owing to European regulations, ABS as a standard fitment and clip on handlebars.

The Honda CBR650F will be sold in India as a completely-knocked-down (CKD) unit and will be sold at all the Honda showrooms. We are expecting the price of the CBR650F to be on the higher side and that may make consumers look at alternatives.

It has been a while since TVS first revealed its plans of resurrecting the Victor commuter motorcycle. The motorcycle’s prototypes have also been spotted testing in South India before, sporting a temporary TN registration plate. Now, reports suggest that TVS is planning to launch the motorcycle in India by September.

Previous spy shots have shown that the Victor will come with a single piece seat, clear lens indicators and a blacked-out theme for the engine, silencer, suspension and the five-spoke alloy wheels. While the front wheel of the test mule sported a drum brake, we can expect TVS to offer a disc setup in top-end variants.

The report further suggests that the new Victor will not carry any influences from the older bike, except for the moniker. Production at the company’s plant in Hosur is expected to start in August, while dealer deliveries will commence by September. The new Victor will be positioned in the lucrative 125cc commuter segment, against the likes of Honda Shine, Yamaha Saluto, Suzuki SlingShot and the Bajaj Discover 125.

It’s been 25 years since we first heard the famous dialogue ‘I will be back’ from the first edition of the Terminator series. Interestingly, the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is 25 years old too.

After winning the hearts of millions in the 1991 movie, Terminator – Judgment Day, it is back as the ultimate machine of choice for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the latest instalment of the franchise: Terminator – Genisys. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this iconic machine.

While the Fat Boy is one of the hottest selling bikes in India, Harley-Davidson reduced the price of the bike when it started assembling the bike in India, along with the Fat Boy special and the Heritage Classic. Priced at Rs 15.08 lakh, the Fat Boy is easily one of the best cruisers sold in the Indian market today.

Suzuki recently pulled the wraps off the 30th anniversary edition of the legendary GSX-R1000 motorcycle. This bike will be available in the UK for now as a full production model and is being offered in a special paint scheme resembling the 1985 GSX-R750.

While the company hasn’t revealed the price of the bike, it is expected to cost the same or marginally more than the price of the standard model at £10,999 (Rs 10.82 lakh). Mechanically, there are no changes and it continues to deliver the same output. The whole intention of launching this bike is to commemorate the 750cc superbike and its famous GSX badging.

“Suzuki Motor Corporation has unveiled a 30th Anniversary production GSX-R1000 at Sachsenring in Germany that will be available soon from Suzuki dealerships globally. It is finished in the same striking limited-edition paint scheme that will be debuted on-track by Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales at this weekend’s MotoGP World Championship race. Sporting the legendary blue and white livery pioneered by Kevin Schwantz in the 1980s, both Spaniards have matching leathers in celebration of the GSX-R range and its racing heritage,” said Suzuki in a statement.

Swedish motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna has announced its intentions of making a comeback at the Dakar Rally with a new factory team. They will compete on Husqvarna FR 450 Rally bikes and will be ridden by Ruben Faria of Portugal and Frenchmen Pierre-Alexandre Renet.

As KTM now owns Husqvarna, it will not be a big surprise to see more than a passing resemblance between the KTM 450 Rally Replica and the Husqvarna FR 450 Rally. Also considering that KTM has dominated the notoriously difficult endurance rally since 2001, we can be sure that the Husqvarna rally bike will be equally competitive. Besides the official factory team, an official satellite team called HT Husqvarna Rally Team will also compete in the 2016 Dakar Rally.

Speaking about their return, Robert Jonas, VP of motorsports, Husqvarna Motorcycles said, “We are pleased and proud to be taking the Husqvarna brand another step forward into rally sport. Husqvarna has a rich tradition of racing and this represents an opportunity for us to honor and extend this tradition. The Dakar is the most prestigious rally on the calendar. We’re determined to compete on equal terms with the world’s best teams and we are ready to accept the challenge of rally sport at its finest. We are also very confident that it will be rewarding for our brand and our factory team.”

Rumour has it that HRC is seriously shaking up things in its team to improve its chances at ending KTM’s winning streak, while Yamaha is said to be bringing in a completely new bike for this year’s rally. With Laia Sanz switching from Honda to KTM and five-time Dakar champion Marc Coma announcing his retirement from racing and appointment as the new sporting director of the rally, the 2016 Dakar Rally has already seen some major changes.

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