This week had quite a lot of announcements particularly in terms of accessories. The most important of which is probably the Tag Heuer Connected which is the luxury watch maker’s first smartwatch priced at US$ 1500.
The Tag Heuer Connected has a 46mm titanium casing with design inspired from their famous Carrera lineup of watches. The casing is made of grade 2 titanium which is very light and scratch resistant. It will run on Android Wear and has a round dial with 1.5″ display that can show custom watch faces. It is powered by 1.6GHz a dual core processor and has 4GB of on board storage as well as 1GB of RAM. There is a 410mAH battery on board and the watch has an IP67 rating for water resistance. It also has Bluetooth and WiFi. It will cost you US$ 1500 and will come with a 2 year warranty. There is also an option for owners of the Connected smartwatch to transform it into a regular mechanical watch for an additional fee. Users can also buy separate bands for the watch that comes in 6 different colours. The smartwatch is already available for purchase in the USA through their online portal.
Xiaomi also brought two new accessories to the party. The first of which is the Xiaomi Mi Band Pulse, the successor to the original Mi Band which is quite popular. The Mi Band Pulse gets its name from the added heart rate sensor that is built into the bottom of the Mi Band. The device has the same tracking and notification features as the original as well as a 45mAH battery that is rated upto 20 days of standby. This is a bit lower than the original Mi Band due to the heart rate sensor. Just like the original, it is also lightweight and has a IP67 rating for water resistance. It is priced at 99 Yuan (US$ 15.59 / Rs. 1030 approx.) and went on sale in China starting from November 11th. The introduction of the Mi Band Pulse also means that Xiaomi has reduced the price of the original Mi Band to 79 Yuan to 69 Yuan (US$ 11 / Rs. 720 approx.).
Xiaomi also launched a new powerbank which has the largest capacity in its lineup at 20,000mAH. The powerbank is designed by Texas Instruments and meets the safety standards just like their other powerbanks. However, the body is made of plastic rather than the metal used on their other powerbanks. Xiaomi cite better grip and scratch resistance as the reason for the change in material. The new powerbank is lighter than their 16,000 mAH one primarily due to the change in material. It has 2 full-sized USB ports that allow you to charge two devices at once and a microUSB port to charge it. There are LED indicators to show the battery level and a power button on the side. It too went on sale in China alongside the Mi Band Pulse on November 11th at a price of 149 Chinese Yuan (Rs. 1554 / US$ 23.5 approx).
LG launched a White Gold edition of their LG G4 in South Korea. The specifications and features remain the same but it gets a makeover in terms of colours. The body is primarily White but has Gold sides. It is exclusive to South Korea and no plans regarding an international launch has been revealed yet. The White Gold LG G4 will set you back costs KRW 699,600 (US$ 605/Rs 40,000 approx.).
Qualcomm announced their next-gen flagship SoC – the Snapdragon 820 14nm SoC with 64bit Krypto CPU and Adreno 530 CPU. The SoC is expected to be one of the most powerful SoCs when it comes out and should fix many of the issues faced by the Snapdragon 810 SoC. We can expected smartphones with the Snapdragon 820 SoC to start appearing sometime in the 1st half of 2016.
Samsung too unveiled their next-gen processor which is the Exynos 8 Octa 8890. It too is based on a 14nm process but for the first time uses custom cores created by the company itself based on 64bit ARMv8 architecture. It has a Mali T880 GPU as well. The Exynos 7 Octa used in current gen Samsung flagships uses four ARM Cortex A57 and four ARM Cortex A53 cores. The new chipset will give 30% better performance while being 10% more efficient as well. We could expect the Samsung Galaxy S7 to be the first smartphone to come equipped with the Exynos 8890 SoC.
Samsung’s Gear VR headset which is powered by Oculus is now available for pre-order. The Gear VR is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy Note5, S6 edge+, S6 edge and S6. It is priced at $99.99 (Rs. 6600 approx.) and is available in a Frost White colour which will start shipping from November 20th. Users can pre-order the VR headset from Amazon.com, Samsung.com or Bestbuy.com in the USA.
Acer’s gaming tablet, the Predator 8 is also up for pre-order in the USA at a price of US$299.99. The tablet features an 8″ display with 1920×1200 pixels resolution. It is powered by an Intel Atom X7 processor, 2GB of RAM and comes with 32/64GB of on board storage that can further be expanded using microSD cards upto 128GB in capacity. There’s a 5 Megapixel camera at the back and a 2 Megapixel camera at the front as well as a 4500 mAH battery powering the device. It also has 4 speakers at the corners as well as TacSense vibration technology for an immersive gaming experience.
We have a new smartphone with Cyanogen OS 12.1 now. The BQ Aquarius X5 comes running Cyanogen OS 12.1 and is powered by a Snapdragon 412 processor. It has a 5″ 720p display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and a dual nanoSIM slot. The internal memory can be expanded using microSD cards upto 32GB in capacity. The handset is already available for purchase in Spain through Telefonica and Movistar and will release subsequently in UK and Germany soon as well. Telefonica also stated that it will launch gradually in other countries as well where it has operations. It is priced at 209 Euros (US$ 225 / Rs. 14870 approx.) without contract or with 24 months contract at 8.7 Euros per month.
HP announced three new laptops in the ZBook series. The new addition to the lineup is the ZBook Studio and the redesigned ZBook 15 and ZBook 17 laptops. The ZBook Studio is a 15.6″ Ultrabook that can be customized in full HD or 4K resolution. It will be powered by an Intel i7 or Xeon processor and will have upto 32GB of RAM and Nvidia Quadro M1000M with 2GB GDDR5 VRAM. It measures just 18mm in thickness and weighs 4.6 pounds (2.08 Kg). The ultrabook will start at a price of US$ 1699 (Around Rs 1.12 Lac) when it goes on sale in December.
Coming to the launches, HTC launched the Desire 728G smartphone in India at a price of Rs 17,990. The device has a large 5.5″ 720p display and is powered by an octa-core Mediatek MT6753 processor. It also has 1.5GB RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It accepts microSD cards upto 2TB in capacity. There’s a 13 Megapixel BSI sensor camera at the back with f2.2 aperture and a 5 Megapixel front facing camera with f2.8 aperture. It has dual front facing BoomSound speakers as well as Dolby Audio. It has dualSIM support (Dual GSM or GSM+CDMA) and will come in Purple and White Colour variants. It will run Android Lollipop 5.0 with HTC’s SenseUI on top.
Micromax Canvas Blaze 4G+ Q414 went on sale in India at a price of Rs 6199. The device features a 4.5″ IPS display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels. It is powered by a quad-core 1GHz Mediatek MT6735M processor and has 1GB of RAM as well of 8GB of internal memory which can be expanded upto 32GB with microSD cards. There’s an 8 Megapixel camera with LED flash at the back and a 2 Megapixel front facing camera. The device supports both the LTE bands for India and has a 1750mAH battery.
Intex launched the Aqua Super which is a 4G LTE handset with 3GB of RAM for Rs 10,390. It has a 5″ 720p display, octa-core 1GHz Mediatek MT6735P processor and 16GB of internal memory (expandable upto 128GB using microSD cards). There is an 8 Megapixel camera at the back with LED flash and a front facing 2 Megapixel camera. The device is powered by a 2150mAH battery and comes in Grey, Black, White and Champagne colors. Intex is also offering a 1-year screen breakage warranty and a complementary backpack with the phone.
Genius launched the SP 906BT and SP 925BT bluetooth speakers that are priced at Rs 1500 and Rs 3600 respectively. The 906BT has a round design and is the same size as a hockey puck. There is a 500mAH battery on board that provides upto 5 hours of music playback. It has a microphone for calls and is available in Black , Blue, Green , Orange and Red colours. The 925BT is a cube shaped speaker that combines 2 speakers on each side that deliver a powerful 360 degree acoustic experience. It too has a microphone for calling but also comes with an AUX input.It has a battery life that is rated at 8 hours and comes in Black, White, Brown, Purple, and Blue colours.
Zebronics has launched a new pair of over the ear headphones priced at Rs 699. The headphones are called Storm and come with rubber finished construction as well as soft touch ear pads. They have a foldable design that makes them ideal for traveling due to the portability. The cable comes with a microphone that will let you make or receive calls. It has a 40mm driver with a semi-open back design for its cans that are aimed at providing a good acoustic experience. They weigh 150 grams and come in both Blue and Black variants.