OnePlus 5 India Launch: Pop-Up Events to Be Held in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai

 

HIGHLIGHTS
OnePlus 5 pop-up events will be held on June 23 and June 24
Limited number of OnePlus 5 units will be up for purchase at the events
Anyone can attend the pop-up events
The OnePlus 5 India launch event is less than 10 days away, and the company has now announced it will hold pop-up events in four cities in the country right after launch to showcase its newest flagship to the general public. The India launch of the upcoming OnePlus flagship is scheduled for June 22, and the first pop-up event will be held in New Delhi the next day. On June 24, OnePlus will host pop-up events to bring the OnePlus 5 to the public in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai that will allow users to experience the handset and buy it.

OnePlus 5 pop-up events will also be held in New York, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and London after the launch on June 20, when the phone is unveiled globally. The company held similar events last year for the launch of OnePlus 3 as well.OnePlus 5 India Launch: Pop-Up Events to Be Held in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai

Coming back to the OnePlus 5 pop-up event, the company’s official website says, “Everyone is invited. But, to be among the first ones to take home the OnePlus 5, you’ll have to be fast (limited stocks).” The Delhi event will start at 1pm IST and end at 9pm, the one in Bengaluru is scheduled for 12:30pm-10pm, and Chennai and Hyderabad for 3pm-9pm. Details of the venue are available on the OnePlus website.
The OnePlus 5 India launch event will start at 2pm IST on June 22. According to a recent report, the OnePlus 5 variant with 64GB storage and 6GB RAM will cost Rs. 32,999, while the model with 128GB storage and 8GB RAM will be priced at Rs. 37,999. The smartphone has been confirmed to feature the top-end Snapdragon 835 processor, iPhone 7 Plus-like design, and dual-camera setup on the back, based on various teasers the company has shared till now.

OnePlus 5 Price in India, Specifications, Release Date, and More: What the Rumour Mill Says

Rumours suggest the OnePlus 5 will run Android 7.1 Nougat software at launch, and sport a 5.5-inch full-HD display, with a fingerprint sensor below. It is said to run on Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. The smartphone is said to sport a 23-megapixel rear camera and a 16-megapixel camera at the front for selfies. As the device sports a dual camera setup at the back, how does 23-megapixel sensor fits in the scheme of things is currently unclear.

 

HTC releases U11’s kernel source code

Today, ROM developers can head to HTC’s dev site and download the source code for the HTC U11. While this may not mean much for the average smartphone user, this is exciting for hard-core enthusiasts who still like to tinker and flash different ROMs on their handset.

The kernel source code is released as per the GPL (General Public License), which guarantees the end user the “freedom to run, study, share, and modify the software”.

Some of us at the office used to flash all kinds of different ROMs on certain smartphones, but with smartphones and their UIs much more polished these days, there’s not as big of a need to do so anymore. Also, flashing ROMs requires unlocking the bootloader, which may void some manufacturer warranties.

With security becoming more important these days as mobile payments and encrypted communication becomes more prevalent, a smartphone with an unlocked bootloader is risky, which is why you can’t run certain games or use any mobile payment services with modified software.

 

Google Pixel XL Successor ‘Muskie’ Reportedly Shelved for ‘Taimen’ With Larger Display

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google was earlier tipped to launch three phones this year
  • Taimen has been rumoured to feature 4GB of RAM
  • Google Walleye is expected to succeed the regular-sized Pixel smartphone

If you have been following leaks around the second-generation Google Pixel smartphones, you would know that the search giant has been tipped to launch three new devices with codename ‘Walleye’, ‘Muskie’, and ‘Taimen’. Now, the company has reportedly shelved the rumoured successor to Google Pixel XL, i.e Muskie, and will instead go with Taimen, which reportedly features a larger display.

An Android Police report citing sources close to the matter, Google has shelved the device codenamed Muskie and now plans to launch two smartphones, codenamed Walleye and Taimen. While the reason for ditching Muskie has not been revealed, AP says that it has confirmed with multiple independent sources that the information is correct. This means that Muskie has been shelved permanently, Taimen will be the successor to Google Pixel XL, and Walleye will succeed the standard Google Pixel, as had been rumoured earlier.

As per the previously leaked information, Taimen is expected to be powered by an octa-core Qualcomm processor clocked at 1.90GHz. The smartphone, which was previously tipped to be a possible tablet as well, is expected to feature 4GB of RAM and run Android O. Rumours had previously indicated the Pixel successor will feature an improved camera and better processor as well.Google Pixel XL Successor 'Muskie' Reportedly Shelved for 'Taimen' With Larger Display

Considering information available regarding the upcoming Pixel smartphones is sparse, we will have to wait for more leaks to flow in till we can give you some idea of what to expect from the second-generation of Pixel smartphones. As Google Pixel and Pixel XL were launched in October last year, we can expect the next-generation models to arrive around the same time this year.

Google Pixel

Google Pixel

Rs. 43,500
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.00-inch

Processor

1.6GHz quad-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

12.3-megapixel

Battery Capacity

2770mAh

BUY AT
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 43,500
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 44,000
  • Google Pixel (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 44,000
Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL

Rs. 52,999
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Brilliant low-light photography
  • Fast modern processor
  • Great battery life
  • Google Assistant with localisations for India
  • Bad
  • Not very stylish or eye-catching
  • Expensive
  • No storage expansion
BUY AT
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) –
    Rs. 52,999
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB) – OFFER
    Rs. 54,000
  • Google Pixel XL (Very Silver, 32GB)
    Rs. 57,000

 

BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

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On Monday, BlackBerry moved its BBM Enterprise SDK out of beta and is now offering the service to Android and iOS apps, according to VentureBeat.

Developers can use the SDK as a messaging infrastructure, allowing them to focus on building additional parts into their apps. The announcement is in line with BlackBerry’s recent services focus. The company’s turbulent relationship with hardware has forced it to shift focus to software and services over the past 18 months.

BlackBerry is leveraging its messaging app experience, from BBM, to give it an edge over rival enterprise communications companies, such as Twilio. BBM was once the crown jewel of the BlackBerry ecosystem, supporting a wide range of features including read receipts, file sharing, and message editing, as well as voice and video chat. The chat app has been touted as one of BlackBerry’s stickiest offerings.

Moreover, BBM’s strong ties to security could make it an appealing option for businesses. Encryption and cybersecurity continue to be hot topics in the enterprise, particularly as messaging becomes an increasingly important mode of communication, both between businesses and businesses, and businesses and customers. For example, Tundra Core Studios used the BBM SDK to build a messaging function into its app, something possible only due to BlackBerry’s stringent security features, VentureBeat notes.

Cloud computing — on-demand, internet-based computing services — has been successfully applied to many computing functions in recent years. From consumer-facing, web-based productivity apps like Google Docs to enterprise database management suites, the tools businesses rely on are increasingly moving to the cloud.Image result for BlackBerry is leveraging its most popular assets to tackle enterprise communications

But developing a cloud strategy is no easy task. Public cloud solutions will likely come to dominate the market over the next decade, but business constraints, such as security concerns and the limitations of existing infrastructure, make it difficult for companies to fully adopt the public cloud right now.

That means that hybrid clouds, in which multiple cloud implementations (including public and private) are connected, will remain popular for the time being, at least until these constraints are addressed. The tech giants that dominate the IaaS market — Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, and Google — are constantly expanding their offerings to address current business constraints as they compete for market share.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on cloud computing that:

  • Explains the different cloud computing strategies and benefits of cloud computing.
  • Evaluates key business considerations – security needs, demand predictability, existing infrastructure, and maintenance capabilities – for enterprises choosing between cloud implementations..

 

Video: HTC U11 doesn’t hold up well in bend test

.

Whenever a new smartphone is launched, the world waits for a durability test from popular YouTube channel, JerryRigEverything. Until now, Zach from JerryRigEverything has taken certain flagships through his rigorous durability tests, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xiaomi Mi 6. Now, HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The HTC U11’s body is made of a glass-metal combo and that does not sound very assuring on paper. However, HTC has perfected the art of making phones with glass panels that can undergo drops and bends impressively, like Samsung. That explains the reason why the HTC U11 was able to keep its rear glass intact in the bend test, even though the front glass panel shattered. It seems that the functional surfaces of HTC U11 are prone to scratches and shatters whereas decorative surfaces like the rear panel hold up quite well. HTC’s latest flagship is the latest smartphone to go through his tests and it comes out with unexpected results.

The reason we say that because, like the front panel that shattered, the ‘Edge Sense’ side frame was also prone to extreme bending. The metal frame provides a limited structural support to the handset, thus deforming the U11 under some stress. The front display panel is also subject to scratches from sand particles while being unaffected from coins and other stuff that stay in pockets.

While the U11 doesn’t hold up as well as the Galaxy S8, considering the Samsung flagship has more delicate glass surfaces than the U11, the U11’s Edge Sense frame needs some kind of structural strengthening, which we hope that HTC could come up with during the life cycle of the U11.

 

Nokia 6, Asus ZenFone AR and Other CES 2017 Launches, Vodafone’s Rs. 499 Plan, More News This Week

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New products at CES 2017 dominated the news this week
  • Nokia 6 launch on Sunday stole CES’ thunder a little bit
  • Vodafone now has a Rs. 499 unlimited calling postpaid plan

Predictably, CES 2017 dominated tech news this week with a range of exciting launches and demos, but just as we were putting the finishing touches to this piece, another launch grabbed the headlines. HMD Global, the new custodians of the Nokia brand, announced the launch of Nokia 6, a phone that runs Android 7.0 out of the box.

The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch full-HD display wrapped in 2.5D Gorilla Glass. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The Nokia 6 is a dual SIM smartphone that is backed by a 3000mAh non-removable battery. See full specifications of the Nokia 6, which will unfortunately be a China-exclusive smartphone. HMD Global confirmed more Nokia Android phones are coming soon.

Before we get to all the CES launches from this week, let’s take a look at some important stories from closer home. Vodafone is taking the battle to Reliance Jio and Airtel with the launch of a new postpaid plan that offers unlimited calling, and 3GB of 4G data each month. The revamped Vodafone Red postpaid plans come soon after Airtel started offering 3GB of free mobile data per month to prepaid and postpaid customers switching to its 4G network.

Friday saw the launch of the Samsung Galaxy J1 (4G) in India – the same phone was launched in Russia in March last year, after quietly making its way to Dubai in January. In both those markets, it was sold as the Samsung Galaxy J1 (2016). This is an entry level phone from Samsung, priced at Rs. 6,890.

From CES, one of the highlights was the launch of the Asus ZenFone AR, the first smartphone with 8GB of RAM. It also come with support for Google’s Tango augmented reality programme and DayDream virtual reality software. Asus ZenFone AR, like the other Tango device – the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro – is designed around machine vision with a camera and sensor setup that provides motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning.

In addition to the ZenFone AR, Also also unveiled the Asus ZenFone 3 Zoom camera smartphone with 5000mAh battery at the event. The phone has dual rear cameras and offers 2.3x optical zoom.

Samsung used CES to showcase the new A (2017) smartphones launched earlier this week. The Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy A5 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2017) sport “enhanced” cameras compared to their predecessors, optimised for low-light conditions.

Later, pricing of the two of the new Samsung phones came to light as well.Nokia 6, Asus ZenFone AR and Other CES 2017 Launches, Vodafone's Rs. 499 Plan, More News This Week

LG also unveiled its K-series phones on the CES floor – the range covers the LG K3 (2017), LG K4 (2017), LG K8 (2017), and the LG K10 (2017).

LG also showed the LG Stylus 3. The South Korean company says that the new 2017 variants of the LG K3, K4, K8, K10 smartphones, and the Stylus 3 will strengthen its portfolio in the mid-range segment.

At its CES 2017 event, Xiaomi unveiled the latest Mi TV 4 and Mi Router HD, apart from announcing a brand new White colour variant of the Mi MIX smartphone. All the Xiaomi CES 2017 devices will be available later this year in China. Slimmer than an iPhone 7, the Mi TV 4 is the company’s thinnest TV to date.

The Xiaomi Mi MIX was unveiled as a limited edition concept smartphone, made in collaboration with French designer Philippe Stark, in October last year, and it will go on sale later this year.

Chipmaker Qualcomm finally took the wraps off its Snapdragon 835 SoC. Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 packs an Adreno 540 GPU, and is 30 percent smaller than the Snapdragon 820. The first 10nm chip by Qualcomm comes with longer battery life and will enable thinner designs.

Nvidia launched a new version of its Shield Android TV, called just Shield, at CES 2017. It comes with Google Assistant integration and supports 4K HDR. The new Nvidia Shield will cost $199 (roughly Rs. 13,200) but the company has not announced the availability of the device yet. It will be the first Android TV with Google’s Assistant, but others will follow, and it will come to other platforms over time.

There were also a lot of laptop launches at CES – Dell launched a range of products including a Latitude 2-in-1 business laptop, XPS 13 2-in-1, as well as new Alienware and Inspiron 7000 Gaming laptops. It also launched the new XPS 15 laptop, a Rose Gold variant of the XPS 13, and the XPS 27 AIO.

Asus launched the ZenBook 3 Deluxe UX490UA, and unveiled a new, slimmed-down business laptop, along with a VR-ready compact PC.

LG launched its new Gram 14 laptop, which it claims offers a battery life of around 24 hours. However, the benchmark test used by the company for this claim has turned out to be a 10-year old measurement tool. LG’s new Gram 14 laptop weighs around 980 grams, and is powered by Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors. It comes with up to 16GB of RAM and houses up to 512GB of SSD storage.

Toshiba expanded its Portege laptop portfolio to launch a 2-in-1 offering – Portege X20W – pricing details of the 2-in-1 have not been announced yet. The Portege X20W convertible’s main highlight is touted to be its 16-hour battery life. Meanwhile, HP unveiled the refreshed EliteBook x360, a 15.6-inch Spectre x360, alongside the new Envy Curved AIO 34, the new Sprout Pro by HP, and Omen X 35 Curved Display.

Lenovo refreshed the ThinkPad X1 line, launching a host of products under its portfolio including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, ThinkPad X1 Yoga, ThinkPad X1 Tablet, Miix 720, Lenovo Active Pen 2, Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, Lenovo Legion Y520 Laptop, Lenovo Smart Assistant, Lenovo Smart Assistant Harman Kardon Edition, Lenovo Smart Storage, Lenovo 500 Multimedia Controller, and Lenovo New Glass C200.

Asus also showed the Chromebook Flip C302 2-in-1 convertible, a high-end Chromebook. Samsung unveiled a Chromebook with stylus support, while Acer showed off a rugged Chromebook, targeted at classrooms.

Dell also launched a range of new gaming laptops in its Alienware and Inspiron lines, and Lenovo showed its range of Legion gaming laptops, and also a new VR headset, which will work with Microsoft’s Windows Holographic Program. Samsung also showcased a new gaming laptop, the Notebook Odyssey. The most jaw-dropping of the lot though was probably Razer’s Project Valerie concept laptop, which comes with three 4K displays, for “total immersion gaming”.

On the audio front, JBL launched the Pulse 3, Flip 4, Playlist, and BassPro Go speakers; Sennheiser unveiled wireless headphones and recording earbuds; Sony showed Google-Home friendly soundboards, along with new headphones and speakers; and LG announced a Dolby Atmos capable soundbar.

As usual, CES also saw a number of wearables being launched – some of the highlights were the Misfit Vapor, the Casio WSD-F20 rugged Android Wear watch, and the Motiv fitness ring, which comes with a heart rate sensor. There were a few VR related announcements for new accessories from HTC Vive, while the other products are still works in progress.

Outside of CES, we had two more launches in India this week. We saw the launch of the Xolo Era 2X – the 2GB RAM variant has been priced at Rs. 6,666 while the 3GB RAM variant has been priced at Rs. 7,499. It replaces the Xolo Era 1X, which launched with a price tag of Rs. 4,999 last year. Other than this, we had the launch of the Sennheiser HD 200 PRO closed-backover-ear headphones in India, priced at Rs. 6,490.

Besides this, TRAI released a consultation paper on net neutrality – you have till February 15 to send in your responses to the regulator on this important issue.

Paytm also announced an interesting development this week – it’s finally received approval to launch its payments bank – the actual rollout will still take a little time, but it’s expected in the coming months. Paytm had earlier announced that it’s going to merge its Wallet and Payments Bank, so your wallet balance will automatically become your bank balance.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai visited India this week, and launched new programs to help SMBs go digital. He visited his alma mater IIT-Kharagpur, where he talked to students, and told NDTV’s Vikram Chandra in an interview Google is keen to work on UPI. He also met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad who says Google should tailor its services to local needs.

These were the highlights of the week for us, let us know via the comments what caught your eye this week.

 

Google Pushes Virtual Reality Harder With New Phones From Partners

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Huawei announced two phones that will work with Daydream View
  • Asus ZenFone AR will support both Daydream and Google’s Tango
  • Google has stressed that the programs do not overlap for now

Alphabet Inc’s Google quickened the pace of its push into virtual and augmented reality this week as its hardware partners announced new devices featuring the company’s technology at the CES electronics show in Las Vegas.

Google has been trying to position the vast network of smartphones running its Android operating system for virtual and augmented reality, known as VR and AR, fields that many in the technology industry say are poised to go mainstream after years of niche appeal.

Chinese manufacturer Huawei   announced on Thursday that two of its phones will soon work with Daydream View, a VR headset released last year by Google. Meanwhile, Taiwanese manufacturer AsusTek Computer Inc announced that its ZenFone AR will support both Daydream and Google’s Tango software for AR, in which computer-generated content is overlaid on the real world.

While the announcements expand the line-up of participating phones, Google still has much to do to take its technology to the masses, said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research, noting that Samsung Electronics Co, the largest Android manufacturer, has yet to sign on.

“Google’s ecosystem for both AR and VR is in the very early days,” he said.Google Pushes Virtual Reality Harder With New Phones From Partners

As growth in the global smartphone market shows signs of slowing, some manufacturers are voicing optimism that AR and VR will revive consumer enthusiasm.

“This is the next wave of technology that is really going to get consumers excited about smartphones,” Erik Hermanson, Asus’s head of marketing for mobile products, said at the show.
But mainstream consumer interest in the technology remains largely unproven. Apps might be expected to stimulate demand, but until Google’s technology is available on a wider range of phones, it will be tough to persuade developers to build for the platform, analysts said.

“We are waiting for app developers to really use the platform for what it’s for,” Amit Singh, a vice president for VR at Google, told reporters.

In addition to supporting Daydream, Huawei said that it is exploring opportunities for Tango with Google. The Asus phone became the first to support both technologies.

Google has stressed that the programs do not overlap for now, but by pursuing both, the company can position itself for success regardless of whether AR or VR becomes a mainstream hit.

“By having options for both, they can cover the full potential market,” said analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research.

 

HTC U11 Squeezable phone launched in India: Key specs, price, and more

 

HTC U11 smartphone with the new ‘Edge sense’ feature has been launched in India. HTC’s new U11 is also called the ‘Squeezable phone’ thanks to its Edge sense feature, and the upcoming phone is priced at Rs 51,990 for 6GB RAM+128GB storage variant. HTC U11 will be available starting June end.

HTC U11 Squeezable feature aka Edge Sense

HTC U11 comes with something called Edge Sense, where a user can squeeze the smartphone to set certain commands and functions. For instance, the squeeze can be customised to open an email app, or a game, open the camera app, take a picture, activate any of the voice assistants. Essentially the ‘squeeze’ gesture can be customized by the user for whatever action they prefer. HTC’s Edge Sense can be used even with gloves on, and the phone will work fine.

HTC U11 Design and Specifications

In terms of design, HTC U11 continues with the 3D Liquid Surface design we saw on the HTC U Ultra Play. This phone will come in blue, black, red and silver colour options, and the overall finish is glossy, which did make the earlier HTC U Ultra a little slippery. Dimensions of the HTC U11 are 153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9mm, and it sports a 5.5 inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution display. HTC is using the Super LCD 5 display with 3D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top.HTC U11, HTC U11 price in India, HTC U11 Squeezable phone, HTC Squeezable phone, HTC Edge Sense

HTC U11 also runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which is a 64 bit octa-core one with up to 2.45 Ghz clock speed. The RAM and storage variant mentioned is 4GB + 64GB and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. This one has a dual-SIM hybrid slot with microSD support, and the storage is expandable up to 2TB.

On the camera front, HTC U11 comes with 12MP rear camera with the company’s UltraPixel 3 one. It has 1.4μm pixel size, UltraSpeed Autofocus, BSI sensor and OIS. The aperture is ƒ/1.7 and there’s Dual LED flash on board. HTC has added a Pro mode with manual control as well as RAW format support on this phone. The camera is capable of 4K recording with 3D Audio, Hi-Res audio, Acoustic Focus as well. The front camera is 16MP with BSI sensor, live make-up, auto Selfie, Voice Selfie and HDR boost, along with support for 1080p video recording.

HTC U11 is a 4G-VoLTE enabled smartphone with support for most the major bands for India, including Band 5, Band 40, Band 41, etc. HTC says the U11 is capable of support Cat 15 LTE with download speeds up to 800Mbps. On the sound, audio quality HTC U11 has the company’s HTC USonic with Active Noise Cancellation as well as HTC BoomSound Hi-Fi edition. Sensors on the HTC U11 are Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor Motion G-sensor, Compass sensor, Gyro sensor, Magnetic sensor, Fingerprint sensor, Sensor Hub, Edge Sensor.

For connectivity, HTC U11 also supports NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz). It has a 3000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 and Type-C charging port. HTC is promising 24.5 Hours talk time with 3G/4G on this phone

 

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) Review

 

Fiio, best known for its high-resolution media players and portable headphone amplifiers, recently launched the second generation of its premium EX1 earphones. The successor to the EX1 promises improved audio quality and better craftsmanship.

At Rs. 4,299, this pair is a bit on the expensive side for earphones with dynamic drivers. However, let’s see if the new EX1 manages to win us over.

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) design and features
The EX1 (2nd Gen) ships with fairly good packaging. You get six pairs of silicone ear tips (we only had one pair with our review unit), a clip, a carry case, a quick start guide, and a warranty card. The carry case is a bit too shallow, which means you need to take extra care when putting the headphones in and taking them out.

The enclosures are made from both stainless steel and aluminium alloy which makes them light, but they should still be able to withstand the wear and tear of daily use better than most plastic enclosures. The glossy finish makes the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) look really good and there are blue and pink rings around the left and right earbuds respectively, which makes it easy to identify which is which. There are also clear markers for the left and right earbuds printed on the inside.

4M9A6526 094117 194110 5135 fiio

The Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) features a tilted in-ear design, which makes it a lot easier to wear these earphones. You get a 1.2m polyurethane cable, which is durable and doesn’t tangle too easily. However, it’s sometimes tough to get it to uncurl after being rolled up for a long time. The cable terminates into a gold-plated L-type 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a cable tie attached to the bottom of the cable, which is handy for wrapping it up when you don’t have the case with you.

The cable has an in-line control pod with the microphone and media controls. The pod itself is built well but the buttons are fiddly and feel cheap. There aren’t any proper markings on the buttons to help you identify them.

One of the reasons for the high price of the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen), we think, is the material used for the driver’s diaphragm, which is titanium. This material is light and can vibrate efficiently, which should result in overall better audio performance.

In terms of specifications, the Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) has a frequency range of 20Hz – 40kHz, and impedance of 13Ohms. The drivers are 13mm each, and the whole unit weighs 18 grams.Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) Review

4M9A6541 094117 194110 6383 fiio

Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) performance
The tilted design of the earphones makes them incredibly comfortable to wear with nearly no fatigue after an hour of continuous listening. They’re also incredibly light so you’ll barely feel them in your ears. The cable is long enough for most use cases and we didn’t face any issues with durability during our two weeks of testing. We also found the microphone to be very good for phone calls.

The media buttons don’t have a very reassuring feel to them and volume control isn’t supported for iOS devices. Other than that, they functioned well across Android devices.

Straight out of the box, the earphones sound great with a nice wide soundstage and balanced tone. Our unit wasn’t sealed and may have passed through other hands, so your out-of-the-box experience might vary. The EX1 (2nd Gen) is also ‘Hi-Res Audio’ certified and it shows, as it reproduces FLAC files very well. We tested it on an HTC 10, a OnePlus 3T, and an iPad and it performed equally well in all the devices. The earphones do leak sound a bit but not too much.

4M9A6539 094117 194110 6695 fiio

The EX1 (2nd Gen) excels with upper- and mid-range frequencies. Vocals sound detailed and crisp which is evident in tracks like Anywhere by Passenger. The high notes can sound a bit shrill at times but we didn’t find this to be the case across all tracks. The low impedance also allowed us to easily drive these earphones with our test smartphones without having to raise the volume very high. These earphones do well with bass-heavy songs too, without getting boomy. In tracks like Believer by Imagine Dragons, the tight bass is handled surprisingly well without any distortion even at high volumes. Acoustic separation is also very good.

Verdict
The Fiio EX1 (2nd Gen) is a very good pair of earphones, and even though it costs a slight premium at Rs. 4,299, you won’t be disappointed. A similar amount could also fetch you a pair of balanced armature earphones like the Brainwavz B100, which sound a bit cleaner due to the low emphasis on bass response. If you want that extra oomph in the low end, the EX1 (2nd Gen) fills that role nicely. These earphones have excellent build quality (barring the buttons on the remote), look great, and have a nice balanced sonic signature.

 

BlackBerry KEYone goes on sale in Netherlands

BlackBerry’s latest Android offering – the KEYone – is now available to purchase in the Netherlands. Multiple third-party retailers like belsimpel and mobiel.nl have the phone listed on their website for around €600.

Of course, the handset is also available on contract, with pricing starting as low as €0.

The KEYone is already available in a handful of key markets, including the US, UK, and Canada. Recently, Canadian carrier Telus starting selling the phone to its consumer customers as well. Over in the UK, Carphone Warehouse has also started offering the handset.