Micromax launches first Cyanogen OS 11 featuring smartphone — Yureka

Micromax, yesterday, launched the Yureka smartphone under the new YU Televentures brand. This smartphone comes after Micromax announced a deal with Cyanogen, giving it the exclusive rights to sell smartphones with the Cyanogen OS 11. The phone is the first under the new Yu series of smartphones which are covered under the above collaboration.

The phone will be sold exclusively on Amazon India for ₹8,999 (US$143) in flash sales. Seems like Micromax is looking to building hype about its new smartphone just like Xiaomi.

The Yureka sports a 5.5-inch, 1280×720 resolution IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3 and is powered by 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC with 1.5GHz octa-core CPU and Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB RAM. It has a 32GB internal memory with microSD card slot. The phone features a 13 megapixel Sony IMX135 rear camera with 24fps burst mode and f2.2 aperture and 5 megapixel front camera, 4G LTE connectivity, dual SIM support, 2,500mAh battery and runs on Cyanogen OS 11.

The main reason for the controversy involving OnePlus One and the Delhi High Court order preventing OnePlus from selling phones in India with Cyanogen OS.

As can be seen above, the features and specifications of the Yureka seem quite impressive for the price. We will have to wait and see how the phone performs in real life.

Registrations for the first flash sale, which will happen in the second week of January, begin at 2PM today, only at Amazon.in.


Meet the first Android One smartphones from Spice, Micromax and Karbonn

Fulfilling its I/O 2014 promise, Google, yesterday, unveiled the first three Android One handsets – the Karbonn Sparkle V, Micromax Canvas A1, and Spice Dream Uno – all priced sub-₹7,000.

All the three manufactures have adhered to the minimum specification requirements set by Google. The phones have a 4.5-inch display (845 x 480 pixels), dual SIM support and run a stock version of Android 4.4. Hardware specifications include a quad-core Mediatek processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB storage, microSD card for expansion (up to 32GB supported) and dual cameras. This specification set ensures a fluid experience for the user, as opposed to many cheaper Android phones that are already.

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The Karbonn Sparkle V will be available in Magnum Blue, Mild Grey, Wild Red and Pearl White colour variants exclusively via Snapdeal at ₹ 6,399.

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The Spice Dream Uno will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via at Flipkart at Rs. 6,299.

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The Micromax Canvas A1 will be available in Black and White colour variants exclusively via Amazon, priced at Rs. 6,499.

All these devices also “features particularly important to Indians” – dual SIM card slots, a FM radio tuner, and a microSD card slot for additional storage. Google apps such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Translate will come pre-loaded on the phones.

Google has also partnered with Airtel users will get free OTA Android software updates over 3G as well as 200MB worth of apps per month for six months at no cost.

The search giant also announced that in the coming weeks the YouTube app will get offline video playback in India, allowing users to store videos via Wi-Fi on their Android device, and watch them later without data connectivity.

Sundar Pichai, Google Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome & Apps, announced at the event an expanded set of hardware partners for the Android One initiative, including Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, and Xolo, as well as chipmaker Qualcomm.

The company also announced that Android One program will be expanded to Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and additional countries in South Asia by the end of the year.

Google’s cheap Android One smartphones go on sale today

At Google I/O, this June, the Android maker announced that it will partner with smartphone manufacturers around the world to create smartphones which will give existing and first time smartphone buyers, and, new and existing mobile internet users, a high-end internet experience on smartphones, without burning a hole through their pockets.

Android One is a program announced by Google’s head of Android, Chrome web browser and apps Sundar Pichai back in June which promised rich smartphone experience on low-cost devices as Google will set minimum standards on hardware and software to be used by handset makers.


In a few hours from now, Google will launch in India the first set of these Android One smartphones.

Google aims to bring user experience found on high-end smartphones to the affordable end of the device spectrum by controlling the hardware and the software, kind of like what Apple does.

Micromax, Karbonn and Spice will be the first three handset makers to sell these devices to customers, as Google aims to extend the reach of Android into emerging markets, especially India where only 29% of about 920 million mobile phone users own smartphones, offering a far higher potential than markets like China or the US where smartphone penetration is nearing its peak.

With Android One’s adoption in India, where smartphone market doubled to 44 million last year and has touched 36 million devices in the first half of 2014, Google will be able to deliver latest OS updates faster, reduce variations of the OS, which in turn will help them to update apps.

The smartphones are expected to be be priced under $100 or roughly ₹6100.

“It will be interesting to watch if they are able to maintain that Rs 6,000 price band or whether it will go to Rs 7,000 – Rs 7,500 since Google is also specifying the hardware,” said Karan Thakkar, senior market analyst- mobile phones and tablets at research firm IDC.

Online retailer Flipkart had briefly put a listing of one such Android One phone by Spice – Spice Android One Dream UNO Mi-498.

Along with the obvious latest version of Android, 4.4.4, the smartphone sports a 5MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2MP front camera,is powered by MediaTek SoC with 1.3GHz quad-core CPU and Mali 400 GPU, a gig of RAM, and 4GB of built-in memory with microSD card slot. It features a 4.5” FWGA IPS display, 1700 mAh battery and dual-SIM support.

The offerings by Karbonn and Micromax are supposed to carry the same feature set as the Spice smartphones.

With high stakes riding on the launch, Google is said to have set aside more than ₹100 crore with its partners on advertising and marketing.

“What they (Google) need to look at is having a tie-up with the telco providers, so that internet also comes to them,” said Vishal Tripathi, principal analyst at Gartner.

Reports suggest that Google has tied up with India’s leading carrier Airtel to offer bundled internet usage.

Mozilla to launch sub-₹2000 smartphones in India

Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox web browser, has tied up with handset makers Intex and Spice to bring smartphones priced under Rs 2,000 to India within a few months, a move that may redefine the “ultra-affordable” mobile phone market in the country.


Mozilla showcased a smartphone prototype costing as little as $25 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, this February, targeting developing countries including India and China. The Firefox operating system smartphones will compete with phones using Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows platforms.


“Mozilla is dedicated to putting the power of the web in people’s hands, and Firefox OS frees consumers, developers, mobile providers and manufacturers from the limitations and restrictions of proprietary platforms,” Mozilla chief operating officer Li Gong said in a statement. “With more accessible Firefox OS phones coming to India soon and the addition of Intex and Spice to the team of global partners, it is clear that momentum for Firefox OS is continuing to accelerate,” he added. 

Dilip Modi, co-founder and CEO of Spice, said the firm has high expectations from this partnership. “These phones will be affordably priced to ensure everyone can enjoy and experience the power of the Firefox OS phone,” Modi added.

Smartphone sales in the country grew almost threefold to over 44 million in 2013, buoyed by affordable devices made by local firms such as Micromax and Karbonn, according to research firm IDC.

“The platform will give us an edge in upgrading buyers from feature phones to smartphones while making it affordable for the mass market. This will propel our devices to be much more than a way to use the web, but take the engagement further and develop the web as a mobile platform,” Intex Technologies business head (mobile), Sanjay Kumar Kalirona said. “The association will enable it to develop ‘unparallelled smart devices’ on the latest Firefox OS platform,” he added.


In the first quarter of 2014, 17.59 million smartphones were shipped in India compared with 6.14 million in the same period of 2013. While Samsung is the category leader with a 35% market share, Micromax had 15%, Karbonn 10%, Lava 6% and Nokia 4% in Q1, IDC said.

Low-cost handsets prices less than Rs 5,000 and smartphones not costing more than Rs 7,000 from Asian handset makers including Huawei, ZTE, Micromax and Karbonn have been driving growth in the emerging markets of Asia and Africa.

The 5 Best Ultra-Budget Smartphones for Under ₹ 10,000

On the basis of Operating System (OS), smartphones these days are divided into three types.

iOS is developed by Apple Inc. only for Apple’s devices like the iPhone and the iPad.The iPhone typically starts at ₹37,500 for an 8GB iPhone 5c which does not fit into this budget of ours so don’t expect to see an iPhone in the list below.

Next is the ubiquitous Android which can be seen in pretty much every smartphone in the world. It’s latest version 4.4 is made to run on low-specced phones with just 512MB RAM and a 1 GHz Processor. And since Android is free, there are many budget phones which can be seen running on the Android OS. Android as you may know is developed by Google Inc..

Third, is Windows Phone which is , of course, developed by Microsoft. The latest version in the market is Windows Phone 8.1. Nokia is the only smartphone company in the world who is currently primarily focussed on the WP platform and expect more to come from their stable as Microsoft just bought it out. Currently, there aren’t a lot of Windows Phones out there due to Microsoft’s high OEM charge, as a result of which most of the smartphone companies have shifted base to Google’s free Android.Now, all of this might change in a few months as Microsoft just bought Nokia’s Devices Division but that’s in the future and you need a good smartphone like, NOW!

So, here goes… Continue reading The 5 Best Ultra-Budget Smartphones for Under ₹ 10,000