Lava KKT Ultra+ Union With Support for 22 Indian Languages Launched

Domestic mobile brand Lava at an event in New Delhi on Tuesday launched a feature phone with support for 22 vernacular languages. Called the Lava KKT Ultra+ Union, the feature phone has been priced at Rs. 1,500. The company claims it’s the first feature phone in India with such a wide range of languages supported, and that it has been launched under the Digital India initiative.

Seeking to address the communication gap arising from the multitude of languages in the country, the Lava KKT Ultra+ Union features support for 22 Indian languages, specifically – Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. It also supports English. Users will be able to send and receive SMS messages in all 23 languages.

As for the features of the Lava KKT Ultra+ Union, the feature phone sports a 2.4-inch display, 32MB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB), and a VGA rear camera. It bears a 1750mAh battery that’s rated to deliver up to 18 hours of talk time. The feature phone also supports dual-charging, which Lava said allows it to be charged by both a thin pin charger and a USB charger.

Apart from dual-SIM support, the feature phone also offers Bluetooth, wireless FM radio capabilities, an audio/ video player, and a 3.5mm audio jack. Other Lava KKT+ Ultra Union features touted by the company include a hands-free mode and auto-redial. The feature phone will be available in Black and Grey colour variants.

The Lava KKT+ Ultra Union will be available across retail stores in the country, and comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty, apart from six-month warranty for the bundled battery, headset, and charger.

The company at the event also revealed that its Noida manufacturing plant is currently churning out 1 million phones a month.

Commenting on the launch, Gaurav Nigam, Head Product, Lava International, said, “We at Lava are delighted to introduce KKT Ultra+ Union, a device which is in line with our company’s mission to empower people to do more and be more by making valuable technologies accessible. Through this phone we want to bridge the language barrier and enable people to express themselves in their own language with their near and dear ones across the country. The launch of the KKT Ultra+ Union is another step towards strengthening our support for the government’s Make in India and Digital India initiatives. It is a perfect phone which is Made in India and Made for India and we aim to celebrate this diversity and promote traditional regional languages in the future also.”

Gionee W909 Flip Phone With Dual Touchscreens, Fingerprint Sensor Launched

Gionee W909 Flip Phone With Dual Touchscreens, Fingerprint Sensor Launched

As expected, Gionee on Tuesday launched its W909 clamshell Android smartphone in China. Priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,000), the handset is already up for pre-orders in the country. Its availability details outside China have not yet been mentioned.

It is worth mentioning that the Gionee W909 is also arguably one of the first flip phones in the market to come with a fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C port, and dual touchscreens as well. It sports a metal build and houses some high-end specifications under-the-hood.

The Gionee W909 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and supports dual-SIM functionality. It includes two 4.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution IPS display, with the outer display featuring a 2.5D glass. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6755M processor, clubbed with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

The smartphone bears 64GB of inbuilt storage, of which 52GB is user-accessible. The built-in storage can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). The Gionee W909 bears a 16-megapixel rear camera with phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and LED flash, along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

gionee_w909_front_back_open.jpgOn the connectivity front, the flip phone supports 4G LTE networks, along with Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, Wi-Fi, and USB Type-C connectivity. Backed by a 2530mAh battery, the W909 on paper can deliver up to 29.7 hours of talk time and 408 hours of standby time. It measures 124.1×62.8×16.5mm, weighs 207 grams, and features a fingerprint sensor at the back that can unlock the handset in 0.38 seconds.

Since the Gionee W909 carries a flip phone design, it also has T9 keypad with physical buttons to navigate, launch the camera and more, besides having an on-screen keyboard. It is only available in Rose Gold colour variant.

The last flip phone by a popular tech brand was seen by Samsung in November last year as it launchedthe W2016 smartphone in China. The Android-based dual-SIM smartphone features two 3.9-inch Super Amoled touchscreens, both with WXGA (768×1280 pixels) resolution. Although it sports nearly the same innards as the Gionee W909, it lags behind in terms of battery and RAM. It also misses out on a fingerprint sensor and USB Type-C connectivity.

LG too last year launched its flip phone, the Wine Smart but with less-powerful specifications.

HTC 10's Speedy, Smooth Performance Touted by Company Ahead of Launch

HTC 10's Speedy, Smooth Performance Touted by Company Ahead of Launch

Ahead of the April 12 launch, HTC has once again teased its upcoming flagship – anticipated to be called the HTC 10 – talking about its performance. In the meanwhile, the handset allegedly now passed the GFXBench benchmark, revealing its specifications.

HTC India on Tuesday tweeted a teaser image of the HTC 10 showing the physical home button, and the two capacitive touch buttons at the front below the screen. “Not all phones are created equal. The fastest and smoothest Android. You’ll feel it,” the tweet mentioned.

In the meanwhile, as per the alleged HTC 10 listing on GFXBench, the smartphone will run Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out-of-the-box. It will feature a 5.1-inc QHD (1440 x2560 pixels) resolution display and will be powered by the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, clubbed with 4GB RAM and Adreno 530 GPU.

The listing also suggests the HTC 10 to house 32GB inbuilt storage, along with an 12-megapixel rear autofocus camera with face detection and LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. While the rear camera can record videos in 4K resolution, the front-facing camera can record videos in 2K resolution. Nothing more has been mentioned about the device. The specifications too corroborates with the ones previously rumoured.

HTC will be launching the smartphone on April 12 and is expected to bring the device to markets by April 15. The rumoured release date however, is only for Taiwan.

The handset is also said to arrive in three variants, all of which will be launched at the same event. All three HTC 10 variants will reportedly sport a 5.15-inch QHD (1440×2560 pixels) resolution Super LCD 5 display, 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, OIS, and a laser autofocus mechanism, and a 3000mAh battery. All will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box with the Sense 8.0 skin on top. However, they are said to differ based on the processor, inbuilt storage, and RAM.

Apple Responds to FBI Unlocking of San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

Apple Responds to FBI Unlocking of San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone

The US Justice Department said on Monday it had succeeded in unlocking an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters and dropped its legal case against Apple, ending a high-stakes legal battle but leaving the broader struggle over encryption unresolved.

The abrupt end to a confrontation that had transfixed the tech industry was a victory for Apple, which vehemently opposed a court order obtained by the Justice Department that would have required it to write new software to get into the iPhone.

“From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a back door into the iPhone because we believed it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent,” Apple said in a statement late on Monday. “As a result of the government’s dismissal, neither of these occurred. This case should never have been brought.”

But the larger fight over law enforcement access to encrypted information is by no means over. The technology industry is adamant that anything that helps authorities bypass the security features of tech products will undermine security for everyone.

Government officials are equally insistent that all manner of criminal investigations will be crippled without access to phone data.

At issue in the case was a county-owned iPhone used by Rizwan Farook, one of the husband-and-wife shooters in the December rampage in San Bernardino, California, in which 14 people were killed and 22 wounded. The couple died in a shootout with police after the attack.

After saying for weeks in court filings and congressional testimony that Apple possessed the “exclusive technical means” to unlock Farook’s phone, the Justice Department unexpectedly announced on the eve of a court hearing last week that an unidentified outside party had presented it with a technique that might open the phone without help from Apple.

In a two-page court filing on Monday, the Justice Department said the government had “successfully accessed the data stored on Farook’s iPhone and therefore no longer requires the assistance from Apple.” It asked a federal magistrate in Riverside, California, to withdraw the order compelling Apple to assist.

Apple had argued that the government request and resulting court order were a massive overreach that would give courts unlimited authority to force private companies to work as their agents. It argued that Congress had specifically declined to give the government such powers when it comes to electronic surveillance and data collection.

“We will continue to help law enforcement with their investigations, as we have done all along, and we will continue to increase the security of our products as the threats and attacks on our data become more frequent and more sophisticated,” Apple said in its statement.

“This case raised issues which deserve a national conversation about our civil liberties, and our collective security and privacy.”

Tech industry leaders including Google, Facebook and Microsoft and more than two dozen other companies filed legal briefs supporting Apple. The Justice Department received support from law enforcement groups and six relatives of San Bernardino victims.

Thorny issues
The Justice Department’s apparent discovery of an iPhone hacking technique presents thorny questions about how that knowledge will be shared.

If the government tells Apple about the details, the company would presumably fix whatever vulnerability was used and thus render the method ineffective. If the government withholds the information, Apple could face a public perception problem about the security of its phones.

There are also a number of pending cases across the country where law enforcement officials are asking for access to iPhones. It is not clear if they will have access to the break-in technique.

In one New York case, Justice Department officials have to respond by Tuesday to an Apple request todelay the proceedings. That could provide clues as to how the government intends to deal with other iPhone cases.

On a conference call for reporters on Monday, a senior US law enforcement official said it was too soon to say whether the government’s technique would work on other iPhones, or if it would share information with Apple or other law enforcement agencies.

The official also declined to elaborate on what party provided the solution, except to say it did not come from within the US government. He also declined to comment on what had been found on the San Bernardino phone.

‘All available options’
The Justice Department suggested on Monday it would keep seeking unorthodox means of getting information, including through the courts when needed.

“It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails,” Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman said.

“We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying upon the creativity of both the public and private sectors.”

On Capitol Hill, critics of the Justice Department’s efforts called for further vigilance. “Those worried about our privacy should stay wary – just because the government was able to get into this one phone does not mean that their quest for a secret key into our devices is over,” said Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican who sits on the House Judiciary Committee.

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphones Go Official

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), Galaxy J7 (2016) Smartphones Go Official

Samsung has finally put an end to the innumerable leaks and rumours for its Galaxy J 2016 smartphones by making the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) and the Galaxy J7 (2016) official. The two smartphones are listed on the company’s China website revealing the specifications without any prices. The company has also not mentioned when the duo will arrive in other regions. Both come as a successor to the Samsung Galaxy J5 and the Galaxy J7, which were launched in July last year.

Jumping right into the specifications, the Android-based dual-SIM supporting Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)as per the listing features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolutions Super Amoled display with a pixel density of 402ppi and is powered by an octa-core processor (unspecified) clocked at 1.6GHz, clubbed with 3GB RAM.

It sports a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera along with a front-facing 5-megapixel camera. Both the cameras come with f/1.9 aperture and a dual-tone flash. The Galaxy J7 (2016) houses 16GB of inbuilt storage, out of which users get only 10.4GB for storing their files. However, this should not be an issue as it also supports storage expandability via microSD card (up to 128GB). It is worth mentioning that the handset has three separate slots for the two SIM cards and an external storage card. On the connectivity front, the handset supports 4G LTE (India bands included), NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS, and Micro-USB 2.0.

Measuring 151.7x76x7.8mm, the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) weighs 170 grams and is backed by a 3300mAh battery, which is rated to deliver up to 354 hours of standby time. It will be available in Gold, White, and Pink colour variants.

As for the Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016), the dual-SIM supporting smartphone features a slightly smaller 5.2-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution Super Amoled display and is powered by a quad-core processor (unspecified) clocked at 1.2GHz, clubbed with 2GB of RAM. The device is backed by a 3100mAh battery said to deliver up to 369 hours of standby time.

On the connectivity and camera front, the Galaxy J5 (2016) shares the same innards as the Galaxy J7 (2016). The smartphone measures 145.8×72.3×8.1mm and weighs 159 grams.