Real Estate Investment: Is this a good time to buy your dream home? Find out

Real Estate Investment, real estate, dream home, good time, RERA, GST,  PMAY, buy

As RERA promises on timely delivery, transparency of the project and accountability, the sector is already witnessing a lot of positivity.

Barring a few unfortunate incidents of some housing projects getting delayed or some builders going bust, the dice seems to be loaded in favour of homebuyers currently. For instance, over the past one year, significant rationalization of property prices has been seen in many parts of the country, and property has now become affordable for a larger section of aspiring buyers. Home loans are also available at a ten-year low, while the implementation of RERA and GST has given consumers a sense of security. In view of all this, is it the right time to invest in real estate?

Industry experts say that with demonetization, RERA and GST, it is definitely the right time to invest in real estate as the sector is organized like never before. The post demonetization halt was a temporary phase in the real estate sector and in a dynamic market like India, where innovations overtake challenges, the after-effects are bound to witness newer horizons. In the sector where a majority of the transactions were cashless now have a positive takeaway, there is confidence in substantial properties and buyers are witnessing a realistic pricing across property segments.

“As RERA promises on timely delivery, transparency of the project and accountability, the sector is already witnessing a lot of positivity. All the project-related information will now be available for public knowledge, right from the current phase of the project, to the permissions acquired or pending by the developer etc. With RERA the sector is all set for a 360-degree change, as it gives consumers a sense of security who invest their hard-earned money into real estate,” says Manju Yagnik, vice-chairperson of the Nahar Group.

GST is also likely to make the sector more transparent. Earlier the real estate sector was heavily taxed. Therefore, according to experts, a single tax structure on under-construction properties is definitely a welcome move. The reform is expected to infuse accountability and confidence among the buyers, which will make the sector healthier for domestic as well as foreign investors.

Should you buy?

It is true that the recent approval of RERA norms in many states is leading to a wait-and-see sentiment among developers as well as buyers. Experts also expect RERA and GST-compliance to remain a challenge for several developers for at least the next six months. However, if someone wants to buy a home for personal use, then it definitely seems to be the right time to buy one’s home.

“After the recent bank rate cut by the RBI, we do not expect any further rate cut in H2 2017. Also, the prices have been stabilised in most markets, and any further reduction is unlikely. Thus, we advise buyers to expedite their buying decisions and take advantage of lower interest rate regime. The first-time homebuyers can also get benefit from the incentives under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY),” says Surabhi Arora, senior associate director-research, Colliers International India.

However, in view of the current scenario, one should try to buy a ready-to-move-in flat rather than an under-construction apartment. “With a dip in property prices in the last couple of years and a high unsold inventory, it is a good option for buyers to invest in a ready-to-move flat, rather than wait for a new project to come up over a period of time. GST will free homebuyers and investors from the hassle of paying several state taxes at different levels, therefore removing the double taxation impact,” says Yagnik.

It is also in your own interest to buy property only in RERA-compliant projects and carry out all of your transactions only through registered real estate agents.

Property consultants say that as the economy gathers further impetus and the real estate market recovers faster, bringing with it inevitable price escalations, locking into the currently prevailing low rates is the best possible investment choice. “Even extended suburbs will densify over the coming years, adding both better social infrastructure while simultaneously bringing forth a dearth of supply due to depleting land. As our cities widen, today’s extended suburbs will become more central locations. Buying a property in such locations now will lock in their future potential,” informs Anuj Puri, chairman, ANAROCK Property Consultants.

However, if you want to buy a piece of property for investment purposes and quick return, then you should wait for some time to see where the market is headed.

[“Source-financialexpress.”]

Govt approves new metro policy, push for private investment

Govt approves new metro policy, push for private investment

The government approved a new metro rail policy which opens a big window for private investments across a range of operations, making PPP component mandatory for availing central assistance.

The policy, approved by the Union Cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also empowers states to make rules and set up a permanent Fare Fixation Authority for timely revision of fares.

The policy also provides for a rigorous assessment of new proposals by independent third-party to be identified by the government, said Housing & Urban Affairs Secretary D S Mishra.

It outlines three models of metro projects for central assistance. In one of them, the Centre will provide a lump sum grant of 10 per cent of the cost, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said briefing reporters on Cabinet decisions.

The second one envisages 50:50 equity sharing model between central and state governments. The third is PPP model with central assistance under the Viability Gap Funding scheme of the Finance Ministry.

Under all these options private participation is mandatory, said Mishra, who was also present during the briefing.

Private participation could be either for complete provision of metro rail or for some unbundled components like automatic fare collection, operation or maintenance.

Such a provision is made compulsory to meet huge resource demand for capital-intensive and high capacity metro projects, Mishra added.

Under the policy, Mishra said, states need to adopt innovative financing mechanisms like Value Capture Financing (VCF) and issue of bonds.

VCF seeks imposition of new taxes or ‘Betterment Levy’ to capture a share of increase in the assets value in the vicinity of state-sponsored infrastructure projects like metro rail project.

Besides Delhi, metro services with a total length of 370 kms are currently operational in seven cities — Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Gurugram.

Metro projects of 537 kms are under construction.

Projects about 600 kms in length are under the consideration of the government and will require to follow the the new policy, an official said.

Meanwhile, Mishra said the policy also seeks to ensure last mile-connectivity, requiring state to give commitment regarding feeder bus services and ensuring infrastructure like walking and cycling pathways.

To ensure that least-cost mode of public transport is selected, the new policy also mandates that alternate analysis is carried out before proposing the metro rail projects.

The policy requires state to compulsorily set up Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) which will prepare comprehensive mobility plans for cities to ensure complete multi-modal integration.

It also stipulates shift from the present ‘Financial Internal Rate of Return’ of 8 per cent to ‘Economic Internal Rate of Return’ of 14 per cent for approving metro projects.

Economic rate takes into consideration, apart from financial aspect, other benefits of the projects like employment generation and reduction in pollution.

The new policy also mandates Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which envisages setting up projects like housing and offices within walkable distance from the metro corridor.

[“Source-moneycontrol”]

The Lombardy

The Lombardy, New York

 

This Preferred Hotels & Resorts property is tucked between Lexington and Park Avenues and is a suitable base for exploring Midtown and beyond. This renowned co-op building is ideal for travellers on the hunt for a more local experience rather than the typical hotel.

 

Midtown East is energetic and rowdy by day, but calms down in the evenings. The location is close enough to all of Midtown’s attractions but removed just enough from the most touristy areas. Walk to Central Park in less than 10 minutes, and Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Grand Central Station in about 15 minutes. Find Fifth Avenue and Madison shopping five minutes away, and eight subway lines within four blocks.

Style & character

7 / 10

Built in 1926 by William Randolph Hearst for his then mistress, the Lombardy is an elegant pre-war high-rise of 22 floors. The structure boasts a classic sunken lobby that resembles an old Park Avenue apartment building and lacks the hubbub at check-in and check-out that’s often found in Manhattan hotels.

Polished stone floors, mirrors, two small seating groups and contemporary art decorate the space, which, though clean and comfortable, could stand an update. Hallways are quiet, traditional, and well lit.

1 of 67

See more images at Booking.com

Service & facilities

7 / 10

Several courteous but lukewarm staffers man the lobby and reception desk. Luxuries such as a small fitness centre, a salon that provides haircuts, colour and some spa services, a coffee bar, restaurant, and nearby public parking at just $38 (£29) per day (a steal in Midtown), as well as a business centre are attractive and convenient, especially for longer bookings.

  • Bar
  • Fitness centre
  • Laundry
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Wi-Fi

Rooms

7 / 10

All 154 guest rooms feel more like private flats than hotel rooms because that’s exactly what they are. This storied apartment-building-slash-hotel has been a residential cooperative since the 1950s. In fact, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once lived here. The co-op allows owners to add their apartments to a rental pool; thus, travellers can book rooms for one night or extended stays.

Rooms range from about 300 square feet to three-bedroom suites that average 1500 square feet – considerably larger than the average Manhattan hotel room. For a splurge, there’s a two-storey penthouse on the 21st floor. Rooms include Wi-Fi, safes, irons and ironing boards, coffee-makers, microwaves, and bath products. Larger rooms offer kitchens and dining areas. Since each unit is individually owned, décor styles run the gamut.

Over 7,500 tried, tested and recommended hotels

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Food & drink

7 / 10

Marc Forgione’s American Cut is rooted in a dark and masculine Art-Deco-inspired space that overflows with atmosphere. Dishes are unique and well-prepared; portions are generous and some plates shareable. Signature starters such as the Chili Lobster and “OG 1924 Hotel Caesar are beautifully presented and worth trying. My NY strip steak was not as juicy as I would’ve liked and leaned toward medium instead of a preferred medium-rare, so perhaps the rib-eye would’ve been a better choice.

The stars of the evening were the everything biscuits with cream cheese and dessert: the cake of the day. The eight-layer chocolate creation with fresh strawberries and a chocolate buttercream icing was worth every calorie. The wine list here is impressive but pricey, however all pairings were spot-on. From a Chablis to a California Cabernet and a Nebbiolo, every wine was outstanding thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable team behind the bar.

A basic hotel breakfast buffet consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and toast is included in the nightly rate and served in the American Cut dining room.

Ninth Street Espresso, next door, is an excellent spot for a dose of caffeine.

[“Source-telegraph”]

Tamil Nadu real estate series Part 4: Rampant construction make realtors richer as water table goes poorer

Representational image. Reuters

In Pulicat, 56 km away from Chennai, an astounding transformation is taking place — a resort with grand individual villas and at least two residential townships are to be constructed soon. The catch? It is at the lakefront of the Pulicat Lake and is dangerously close to the lagoon in the ecologically sensitive area. Another catch – government departments and agencies are aware of this development, which private builders are more than happy to market and cash on.

This is not new. In 2002, when Pallikaranai marsh was finally declared a conservation site, realtors were happy to flock to the area. How did they manage to build atop the marsh? The conservation site status was withdrawn at an unknown point and there began the market for green homes. An activist who refused to be named said, “The moment the government decides to take action on a lake or an area with rich vegetation, real estate agencies rejoice because the demand and prices increase for townships and residential plots near these areas. Lake views are the real estate dream.”

Here’s where real estate affects the waterbody from the process of construction to occupation by residents by converting it into a residential area.

Speculative buying

When a piece of land is up for sale, usually agricultural, the news goes out to a cartel of buyers. The coveted piece of land is the one with plenty of water availability. The buyers in the cartel independently negotiate areas adjacent to the piece of land. In the event of procuring a 100-acre piece of agricultural land, the land is left fallow for three-four months. Once the land is drained of all water, the agricultural land is naturally converted into non-agricultural land. And that paves the way for the real estate agents to build on farm lands and eventually decimate the water content of areas rich in the resource.

No Objection Certificates

“It’s extremely easy,” says John K, a developer based in Chennai, “to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Tahsildar.” An NOC is required to clear the land of any issues such as blockage of waterways, irrigation channels or inundation. A sum of Rs 5,000 must be furnished as a bribe to the tahsildar, according to the developer. The new regularisation rules as discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of the series detail the illegal requirements to regularise unapproved layouts which had not followed the regulations by the government.

“But what is the point of regularising buildings from 2010 or even later which have already violated these rules and obstructed waterways?” asks VBR Menon, the advocate who filed the PIL which brought back the blanket ban on unapproved plots and layouts. “These are 90 percent of the constructions today. A mere 10 percent may have followed the rules but we don’t even know that for sure,” he says.

The slow decline of rainwater harvesting systems

“The state government was the first in the country to pass the Chennai Groundwater Regulation Act in 1987, which sought mainly to curb the commercial groundwater exploitation within the city limits. In 1998, borewell digging from Adyar to Mahabalipuram was banned. In 2001, rainwater harvesting became mandatory in multi-storeyed buildings. But due to irregular monsoons, very little can be used,” says Joseph Thomas, a researcher at the IIT Madras Research Park.

After regular droughts, in August 2003, the government passed an ordinance making RWH mandatory for all buildings (existing and new) in the city and throughout the state. It further set a deadline of 31 October, 2003 for this process to be completed. But RWH is long forgotten due to the effects of drought, irregular monsoons brought on by climate change. “Very few homes have systems currently because of heavy reliance on borewells. It’s an easier quick fix,” says Thomas.

A dangerous substitute for rainwater harvesting

Many know little about the extremely worrying consequences of borewells on water recharge areas and buffers which have already been encroached on. Apartment residents have resorted to indiscriminate use of borewells to meet their water needs. Real estate developers, while having to follow compulsory rainwater harvesting regulations, are also resorting to borewells to extract water.

According to a 2006 publication, Vaidyanathan and J Saravanan summarised the action of the government in this regard. “Since the 1970s it is evident in the sinking of increasing numbers of open wells and deep bore wells. This trend, a symptom of the increasing water scarcity in the city, led to a progressive decline in groundwater levels as well as seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers,” it says.

The government, therefore, had no other choice but to allow the use of borewells provided the ground water was used only for purposes other than drinking and cooking. But with the advent of RO filters, residents in prime aquifer recharge areas used the filtered groundwater as drinking water. This, as a result, has led to a lower water table over the years.

The consequences of over-extraction

The total dissolved solids level, which determines the drinking water standards of groundwater, has deteriorated over the past five years, rendering water in various areas unusable. TDS levels are high when dissolved ​solids come ​from organic ​sources such as ​industrial ​waste, sewage and rocks and ​air that may ​contain calcium ​bicarbonate, ​nitrogen, iron ​phosphorous, ​sulphur, and ​other minerals. ​Many of these ​materials form ​salts, ​which are ​compounds that ​contain both a ​metal and a ​non-metal. These salts turn the water saline. The most important factor that determines whether water can be used for drinking is its saline concentration.

According to the Board of Indian Standards, the acceptable TDS level is between 500-600. But most places in Chennai have exceeded this number, and stand at a whopping 1,000-1,200. None of this water can be used for drinking. “There are two reasons. The aquifer quality may naturally be at that TDS level,” says Packialakshmi, an assistant professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Sathyabhama University.

“But the major reason we should all be worried about is over-extraction. In Tambaram and Perumbakkam water tankers extract the most amount of ground water. Fifteen years ago, the water quality was good in both areas, and water could be extracted barely 25-50 ft from the ground,” she says.

Due to the indiscriminate use of tanker lorry water by industries and high rises, many from the lower economic backgrounds have had to suffer. Slums and housing board areas which depend on sumps can no longer do so because the groundwater has drastically dropped. Borewells in middle and upper-class residential colonies have extracted most of the water. “All that’s left is fossil water – water collected during ancient periods that should not be touched at all. Like crude oil,” says Thomas.

“Water is common property and we must use it accordingly. We all forget that. And equity is just as important as regular water supply,” Packialakshmi says.

Source:-firstpost.

Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss ‘Bothie’ Camera Launched: Price, Specifications, India Release Plans, and More

Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss 'Bothie' Camera Launched: Price, Specifications, India Release Plans, and More

Nokia 8 has finally been launched, marking an end to the countless leaks and giving us the first true flagship Nokia Android phone to take on the likes of iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8 (and the upcoming iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8). The Nokia 8 camera was at the front and centre of the London launch event; in fact, this is the first device developed by HMD Global after signing a partnership with Carl Zeiss last month. The 13-megapixel dual rear sensors as well as the 13-megapixel front camera of the Nokia phone both support the (unfortunately named) “bothie” functionality. Other Nokia 8 specifications to look forward to include the Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB internal storage, and support for Android O.

Nokia 8 price in India, launch date, and design

The Nokia 8 will be available “globally” in early September, priced at equivalent of EUR 599 (approximately Rs. 45,000). An HMD Global representative told Gadgets 360 the Nokia 8 India launch will be in early October, and the Nokia 8 price in India will be known closer to launch.

The unibody Nokia 8 is built out of 6000-series aluminium and it will be available in glossy Polished Copper and Polished Blue colours, as well as matte Tempered Blue and Steel finishes. The Nokia 8 is IP54 rated, which means it is splash-proof.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global explained that the Nokia 8 is fitted with an elaborate heat management solution: a copper pipe that runs from the upper right corner of the device to the lower left has liquid evaporating in the middle, and condensing on the edges. A graphite shield enables heat transfer to the aluminium unibody and its eventual dissipation to the air.

Nokia 8 Nokia 8 design

Nokia 8 has a splash-proof body made using 6000-series aluminium

Nokia 8 cameras

The Nokia 8 comes with dual 13-megapixel f/2.0 RGB and monochrome sensors at the back, and while that setup has been seen on several other phones, HMD is betting big on “bothies” – the ability to capture images and videos from front and rear cameras at the same time.

Apart from capturing still images from both sensors at the same time and fusing them into a single picture, the Camera app on the Nokia 8 will let you stream these ‘bothies’ as full-HD live videos to Facebook and YouTube. HMD says it worked closely with Qualcomm to enable Dual-Sight video streaming on the Nokia 8, while minimising the thermal impact of the processing required.

Nokia 8 2 Nokia 8 camera

Nokia 8 cameras’ “bothie” feature allows them to capture photos and videos simultaneously

HMD is also leveraging its relationship with Nokia to bring some technology from the latter’s 360 VR camera to the Nokia 8. The smartphone comes with high dynamic range microphones, which enables it to record surround sound using Nokia Ozo Audio algorithms. HMD says its software encoding will preserve the virtual surround sound even when users share these videos on social media.

At this stage, Nokia 8’s Dual-Sight streaming and Ozo Audio recording features will be available only via the stock Camera app on the phone and won’t be opened up to third-party apps.

Nokia 8 3 Nokia 8 variants colour

Nokia 8 comes in glossy Polished Copper & Polished Blue colours, and matte Tempered Blue & Steel finishes

The front camera is the same 13-megapixel RGB shooter seen on the rear, and both front and rear cameras are capable of recording 4K video on their own. The Nokia 8 rear camera comes with laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash.

Nokia 8 specifications and Android O promise

As for other key Nokia 8 specifications, there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (four 2.45GHz Kyro cores and four 1.8GHz Kyro cores), which powers nearly all other Android flagships of this generation. There is just one variant – with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, though the phone will release in single SIM and hybrid dual SIM options, depending upon the markets. It comes with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity and a 3090mAh battery.

Nokia 8 4 Nokia 8 specifications

Key Nokia 8 specifications include 5.3-inch screen, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and 3090mAh battery

The Nokia 8 has a 5.3-inch 2K LCD display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It features USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone is just 4.6mm thick at the edges, and 7.9mm thick at the height of its camera module. It was rumoured that the Nokia 8 might ship with Android O out of the box, and while an HMD Global representative confirmed that the company is in advanced stages of testing Android O build for the Nokia 8, the smartphone will ship with Android 7.1.1 out of the box.

“One of the fastest ways of getting [Android] O will be to get our new flagship,” HMD Global’s Sarvikas added.

Source:-.ndtv

Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss ‘Bothie’ Camera Launched: Price, Specifications, India Release Plans, and More

Nokia 8 With Dual Zeiss 'Bothie' Camera Launched: Price, Specifications, India Release Plans, and More

Nokia 8 has finally been launched, marking an end to the countless leaks and giving us the first true flagship Nokia Android phone to take on the likes of iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S8 (and the upcoming iPhone 8 and Galaxy Note 8). The Nokia 8 camera was at the front and centre of the London launch event; in fact, this is the first device developed by HMD Global after signing a partnership with Carl Zeiss last month. The 13-megapixel dual rear sensors as well as the 13-megapixel front camera of the Nokia phone both support the (unfortunately named) “bothie” functionality. Other Nokia 8 specifications to look forward to include the Snapdragon 835 processor, 64GB internal storage, and support for Android O.

Nokia 8 price in India, launch date, and design

The Nokia 8 will be available “globally” in early September, priced at equivalent of EUR 599 (approximately Rs. 45,000). An HMD Global representative told Gadgets 360 the Nokia 8 India launch will be in early October, and the Nokia 8 price in India will be known closer to launch.

The unibody Nokia 8 is built out of 6000-series aluminium and it will be available in glossy Polished Copper and Polished Blue colours, as well as matte Tempered Blue and Steel finishes. The Nokia 8 is IP54 rated, which means it is splash-proof.

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer, HMD Global explained that the Nokia 8 is fitted with an elaborate heat management solution: a copper pipe that runs from the upper right corner of the device to the lower left has liquid evaporating in the middle, and condensing on the edges. A graphite shield enables heat transfer to the aluminium unibody and its eventual dissipation to the air.

Nokia 8 Nokia 8 design

Nokia 8 has a splash-proof body made using 6000-series aluminium

Nokia 8 cameras

The Nokia 8 comes with dual 13-megapixel f/2.0 RGB and monochrome sensors at the back, and while that setup has been seen on several other phones, HMD is betting big on “bothies” – the ability to capture images and videos from front and rear cameras at the same time.

Apart from capturing still images from both sensors at the same time and fusing them into a single picture, the Camera app on the Nokia 8 will let you stream these ‘bothies’ as full-HD live videos to Facebook and YouTube. HMD says it worked closely with Qualcomm to enable Dual-Sight video streaming on the Nokia 8, while minimising the thermal impact of the processing required.

Nokia 8 2 Nokia 8 camera

Nokia 8 cameras’ “bothie” feature allows them to capture photos and videos simultaneously

HMD is also leveraging its relationship with Nokia to bring some technology from the latter’s 360 VR camera to the Nokia 8. The smartphone comes with high dynamic range microphones, which enables it to record surround sound using Nokia Ozo Audio algorithms. HMD says its software encoding will preserve the virtual surround sound even when users share these videos on social media.

At this stage, Nokia 8’s Dual-Sight streaming and Ozo Audio recording features will be available only via the stock Camera app on the phone and won’t be opened up to third-party apps.

Nokia 8 3 Nokia 8 variants colour

Nokia 8 comes in glossy Polished Copper & Polished Blue colours, and matte Tempered Blue & Steel finishes

The front camera is the same 13-megapixel RGB shooter seen on the rear, and both front and rear cameras are capable of recording 4K video on their own. The Nokia 8 rear camera comes with laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash.

Nokia 8 specifications and Android O promise

As for other key Nokia 8 specifications, there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (four 2.45GHz Kyro cores and four 1.8GHz Kyro cores), which powers nearly all other Android flagships of this generation. There is just one variant – with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, though the phone will release in single SIM and hybrid dual SIM options, depending upon the markets. It comes with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity and a 3090mAh battery.

Nokia 8 4 Nokia 8 specifications

Key Nokia 8 specifications include 5.3-inch screen, Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, and 3090mAh battery

The Nokia 8 has a 5.3-inch 2K LCD display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. It features USB 3.1 Type-C connectivity as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack. The phone is just 4.6mm thick at the edges, and 7.9mm thick at the height of its camera module. It was rumoured that the Nokia 8 might ship with Android O out of the box, and while an HMD Global representative confirmed that the company is in advanced stages of testing Android O build for the Nokia 8, the smartphone will ship with Android 7.1.1 out of the box.

“One of the fastest ways of getting [Android] O will be to get our new flagship,” HMD Global’s Sarvikas added.

Source:-gadget360

Xiaomi Mi 5X India Launch Expected in September

Xiaomi Mi 5X India Launch Expected in September

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Mi 5X was launched in July
  • The smartphone comes with a dual camera setup
  • Other handsets with dual cameras include Mi 6 and Redmi Pro

Xiaomi India’s Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain on Monday announced that the company will be launching its first dual-camera phone in India in September. Interestingly, Jain didn’t specifically mention the smartphone model that will be launched in India next month. Among other options, Xiaomi Mi 5X currently looks to be the frontrunner for India launch in the company’s product portfolio with dual camera setup.

In his tweet on Monday, Manu Kumar Jain said, “Can’t wait for you guys to check out Xiaomi’s first dual-camera phone in India! Coming next month! Can you guess which one?” While there are other Xiaomi smartphones with dual cameras such as Redmi Pro and Mi 6, as these phones were launched long time back, Mi 5X seems to be primary contender for the launch.

To recall, the dual-SIM (Nano) Xiaomi Mi 5X was launched in July and features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS display. It runs MIUI 9 based on Android 7.0 Nougat and is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at up to 2GHz coupled with 4GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Xiaomi Mi 5X comes with a dual rear camera setup with one 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with 1.25-micron pixel sensor and f/2.2 aperture, and another 12-megapixel telephoto with 1-micron pixel sensor and f/2.6 aperture. At front, the smartphone features a 5-megapixel camera with real-time beautification.

The Xiaomi Mi 5X comes with 64GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). The connectivity options offered by the handset include 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C port, and 3.5mm headphone jack. It houses a 3080mAh battery, measures 155.4×75.8×7.3mm, and weighs 165grams.

Xiaomi Mi 5X was priced by the company at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 14,200) and introduced in Black, Gold and Pink colour options. It is likely that the company might offer the smartphone in India around the same price point, if previous releases are any indication.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Xiaomi Mi 5X

Xiaomi Mi 5X

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

octa-core

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3080mAh

Also See
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) –
    Rs.16,999
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.16,999
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Black, 64GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.16,999

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia 5, Nokia 6 Receiving August Android Security Update Alongside Google Pixel Devices

Nokia 5, Nokia 6 Receiving August Android Security Update Alongside Google Pixel Devices

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The August security patch on Nokia smartphones is at 102.2MB
  • The security patch is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat only
  • HMD Global executive reiterates that Nokia 3 will get Android O

HMD Global has time and again stressed how it has prioritised software support, and has even made headlines on the steps it is taking to keep its promise. Now, the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are receiving the August security patch on the same day as the Google Pixel and compatible Nexus devices. Furthermore, Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, Juho Sarvikas reiterates on social media that the budget Nokia 3 will also get Android O update.

Suomimobiili.fi reports that the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 are now receiving the August Android 2017 security patch. It started rolling out on the same day as Google Pixel and Nexus devices started getting it, reiterating that HMD Global is taking software very seriously. The update is of 120.2MB, according to screenshots shared by the publication, and if you haven’t received a push notification, then head to Settings -> About Phone -> System Update. The security patch is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat only.

Even last month, the Nokia 6 was the first to get the July Android security patch, ahead of the Pixel and Nexus devices. In a statement to Gadgets 360, HMD Global had promised timely updates and software support for up to two years for its Android phones.

The company had also earlier confirmed that Android O will arrive on Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 smartphones, and now Sarvikas has again reiterated the claim. The executive replied to a tweet confirming that the Nokia 3 will receive the Android O update. The company isn’t expected to release the final build of Android O to OEMs before another few months, but looking at HMD Global’s track record, it wouldn’t be surprising to see if the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 users get final Android O alongside Google phones as well.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Nokia 3

Nokia 3

Rs.10,299
Buy
  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Feels solid
  • Stock Android experience
  • Dedicated slots for SIMs and microSD card
  • Bad
  • Average overall performance
  • Camera quality is below par
  • No fingerprint scanner
BUY AT
  • Nokia 3 (Matte Black, 16GB)
    Rs.10,299
Nokia 5

Nokia 5

Rs.12,499
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.20-inch

Processor

octa-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

720×1280 pixels

RAM

2GB

OS

Android 7.1.1

Storage

16GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

BUY AT
  • Nokia 5 (Matte Black, 16GB)
    Rs.12,499
Nokia 6

Nokia 6

Rs.14,999
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

1.4GHz octa-core

Front Camera

8-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

3GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

BUY AT
  • Nokia 6 (Matte Black, 32GB)
    Rs.14,999

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 With 2K OLED Display Rumoured to Launch This Month

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 With 2K OLED Display Rumoured to Launch This Month

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mi Note 3 will reportedly launch before Q3 ends
  • Predecessor Mi Note 2 was launched in October last year
  • Mi Note 3 is tipped to run on a Snapdragon 835 SoC

The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 has been leaked on several occasions in the past, and now a fresh leak suggests that the smartphone may launch as early as this month. The leak also reveals that the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 may sport a 2K OLED screen made by Samsung, a big upgrade from its predecessor, if true. The Mi Note 3 is the follow up to the Mi Note 2 that was launched in October, and was made available in November. If the launch timeline is accurate, the Mi Note 2 would get a successor within a year of being announced

Xiaomi Mi Note 3 specifications, features

Furthermore, the report claims that the biggest change on the Mi Note 3 will be the 2K (1440×2560 pixels) OLED screen made by Samsung. The report also states that the smartphone will be powered by the top-end Snapdragon 835 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM as well.

Some of the other rumoured specifications of the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 include 5.7-inch AMOLED display, 128GB storage, and 4000mAh battery. Furthermore, the Mi Note 3 is said to include 12-megapixel dual-rear cameras alongside an 8-megapixel front camera.

With respect to design, the Mi Note 3 is rumoured to have a front panel with near bezel-less display. There’s expected to be a home button located right below the screen which is likely to integrate the fingerprint scanner as well. One of the biggest highlights of the alleged Mi Note 3, as mentioned, is said to be the dual-rear camera setup which looks similar to what we already saw on the Xiaomi Mi 6.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Indian Hotels Being Targeted by Russian Hacking Group for User Data: FireEye

Indian Hotels Being Targeted by Russian Hacking Group for User Data: FireEye

HIGHLIGHTS

  • APT28 is targeting the hospitality sector globally
  • APT28 uses various hacking techniques such as “EternalBlue”
  • “Indian organisations should have strong security controls in place”

A Russian hacking group “APT28” is targeting the hospitality sector globally and the Indian hotels and resorts must have strong Wi-Fi security in place to safeguard travellers’ data from being stolen, a cyber-security company said on Friday.

APT28 has already attacked travellers in hotels throughout Europe and the Middle East in a campaign that dates back to July this year, according to the US-based company FireEye.

APT28 uses various hacking techniques, such as “EternalBlue” and “Responder” sniffing passwords from Wi-Fi traffic.

“One of the most concerning aspects of this operation is the victims included hotel guests who didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t click a malicious link or open an attachment they shouldn’t have. They simply used the Internet over Wi-Fi in their hotels,” Subhendu Sahu, Acting Country Manager for India, FireEye, told IANS.

“Indian organisations should have strong security controls in place to detect attackers who compromise travelling employees’ systems and then follow them home like an unwanted souvenir,” Sahu added.

FireEye has claimed to have found a malicious document named “Hotel_Reservation_Form.doc”, sent in spear phishing emails to multiple companies in the hospitality industry, including hotels in at least seven European countries and one Middle Eastern country.

APT28 used EternalBlue and Responder to spread laterally through networks and target travellers to steal usernames and hashed passwords.

According to FireEye, APT28, in an incident in 2016, gained initial access to a victim’s network via credentials likely stolen from the hotel Wi-Fi network and hacked the victim’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) account.

Once inside the network of a hospitality company, APT28 seeks machines that control both guest and internal Wi-Fi networks.

“Cyber espionage activity against the hospitality industry is typically focused on collecting information on or from hotel guests of interest rather than on the hotel industry itself, though actors may also collect information on the hotel as a means of facilitating operations,” FireEye said.

“Business and government personnel who are travelling often rely on systems to conduct business other than those at their home office, and may be unfamiliar with threats posed while abroad,” it added.

Travellers must be aware of the threats especially when in foreign countries and take extra precautions to secure their systems and data.

“Publicly accessible Wi-Fi networks present a significant threat and should be avoided whenever possible,” FireEye warned.

There are also other hacking groups targeting travellers apart from APT28, including “South Korea-nexus Fallout Team” (also known as “Darkhotel”) and “Duqu 2.0”.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]