Smartron A fine deal if you are a die-hard Sachin Tendulkar fan

Powerful innards of Smartron’s ‘all-rounder’ smartphone are failed by its many software glitches

Domestic information technology (IT) start-up Smartron, which counts Indian cricket legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar and former Motorola Mobility Chief Executive Sanjay Jha among its investors, recently launched the smartphone, “inspired by the dependable traits of Tendulkar”.

At the launch of, the company claimed that the smartphone used the best antennas and other security features that made it an all-rounder. Indeed, Smartron has pleased investors with its manoeuvres to deliver solutions ranging from internet of things (IoT) to smartphones built specifically for Indian consumers. But how does the fare against the claims of dependability and the inspiration it apparently draws from one of the tallest role models for India in recent times?

To find out, Business Standard took the device for a spin and tested its real-life performance. Here is an in-depth review of the

Watch the hands-on review here

The offers a no-frills design, with rounded edges and curved sides. The smartphone might look appealing, but its polycarbonate built with metallic finish seems to somewhat spoil the experience. The plastic built is not loose or creaky – it fits perfectly on all sides and the matte touch adds to the aesthetics – but the pseudo metallic look was not necessary; it is way too prominent even at the first glance.

The front of the is dominated by a 5.5-inch full-HD display protected with Gorilla Glass 3. There are three capacitive keys below the display, but these are without any sign or icon, just three flat dots. These dots acts are the home button and navigation keys. The earpiece along with sensors are placed neatly on the top, next to the front camera. (more)


Sachin: A Billion Dreams: A glorified account of an over-glorified celeb

Like his book, Tendulkar’s biopic is a nostalgic cruise through his career

As I walked out of the cinema hall after watching Sachin: A Billion Dreams, I wondered: Would I have thought differently of this biopic had I not known anything about the person it is based on? James Erskine’s documentary on one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world – one who has achieved a near-deific status in India – went along expected lines.

But was that because I, like many Indians and cricket followers around the world, already knew so much about Sachin Tendulkar? How would someone living under a rock for the last quarter of a century, and did not know who Tendulkar was, have liked it?

Sachin: A Billion Dreams starts off rather nicely, showing us a naughty curly-haired boy of seven or eight years living in Mumbai’s Bandra suburb, getting up to the usual seven-or-eight-year-old boy things like annoying his neighbours with pranks. The boy then receives a cricket bat as a gift from his elder sister, and this is where the story that most Indians and cricket followers already know begins.

This wasn’t the first time I was watching the celluloid adaptation of a story I already knew. I wasn’t, of course, expecting any suspense or plot twists, but I have been far more entertained by some of those other movies where I already knew what was going to happen, than I was by Sachin: A Billion Dreams. Maybe our man under the rock might think differently, but then a story still needs to be told properly, completely and honestly, and this is where Erskine’s attempt is found lacking. (more)

OnePlus 5 launch imminent; company halts ‘flagship’ OnePlus 3T production

OnePlus 5 is due to be launched soon and it will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor

OnePlus has announced that its latest flagship OnePlus 3T, will soon be discontinued. The production of OnePlus 3T has already reached the end of its production life, and sale of the devices will continue till the stock lasts.

The latest development comes days after the company’s CEO revealed that the next flagship smartphone OnePlus 5 will be launched soon and will feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 835 processor.

Recently, the China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus teamed up with DxO, a software company with expertise in image processing software, to enhance the photography capabilities of the upcoming OnePlus 5 smartphone.

Also Read : Smartphones, TVs with new colour-changing surface offer 3 times resolution

In a blog post on the OnePlus official forum, the company said: “We are happy to announce that we have teamed up with DxO to enhance your photography experience with our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5. DxO is perhaps most well-known for creating the defining photography benchmark, the DxOMark. They’ve got years of imaging experience and expertise, both for professional cameras and for smartphones.”

“But we can only go so far in telling you that we’re excited to be working with DxO. Our friend Etienne Knauer, SVP Sales & Marketing at DxO, had this to say: “OnePlus has always been one of the leading innovators in the smartphone industry, and we are proud to partner with them and support their exciting mobile photography strategy.” (more)

Salman Khan not worried about Baahubali 2 box office record

Baahubali: The Conclusion has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world

SS Rajamouli’s “Baahubali: The Conclusion” may be setting the box office on fire but superstar Salman Khan said he doesn’t get worried about the business of a film as he thinks every movie has its own destiny.

“Baahubali: The Beginning” released on July 10, 2015, a week before Salman’s “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”.

“Baahubali: The Conclusion”, which hit theatres on April 28, has so far collected over Rs 1,500 crore across the world.

“After ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’, we came up with “Bajrangi Bhaijaan”. Now after ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’, we are coming up with ‘Tubelight’. There is a lot of pressure on the CEO of Salman Khan Films. I don’t get worried so much. It is a phenomenal success and it is amazing.

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“I have not seen the film but I will watch it. But it doesn’t matter (box office records) as I think every film has its own destiny. Lets see what the destiny of ‘Tubelight’ is and how much it earns,” Salman told reporters here at the trailer launch of “Tubelight”.

The “Dabangg” star on a lighter note further said, “They (referring to Rajamouli doing one film in four years) do one film in four years, I do two films in a year and the average is that much.”

Salman’s brother, actor Sohail Khan, who also stars in “Tubelight”, said it’s good if a movie sets a record at the box office.

“It’s lovely when a film does well commercially as it sets a yardstick (for other films). It’s nice that ‘Baahubali…’ did well,” Sohail said.

During the launch, Salman seemed emotional while talking about his other co-star, legendary actor Om Puri. (more)

Brad Pitt in Mumbai to attend War Machine screening, meets Shah Rukh Khan

The 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan

Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt is in India to promote his latest film, the Netflix satire “War Machine”.

Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will be moderating a special chat session here with Pitt, in which the two actors will discuss the project.

In the movie, the 53-year-old actor plays a US General posted in Afghanistan.

Directed by David Michod, of “Animal Kingdom” fame, the Netflix Original film is inspired by the book “The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan” by late journalist Michael Hastings.

An investment in the range of $60 million also makes it Netflix’s biggest-budget feature to date.

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There is a big fear of Hollywood taking over Bollywood: SRK

Surprise! Brad Pitt in India to promote ‘War Machine’

Pitt’s character is loosely based on General Stanley A McChrystal, a retired United States Army general best-known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, US Forces Afghanistan.

Hastings’s blistering profile on McChrystal led to his firing by Obama.

Pitt’s company Plan B is also one of the producers of the film.

The first big-budget Hollywood movie on Netflix will be released on May 26.

Veteran Bollywood star Vinod Khanna dies at 70

He worked in more than 100 films

Vinod Khanna , the yesteryears Bollywood superstar, died at the age of 70 on Thursday. He was battling cancer.

He worked in more than 100 films.

He was an active politician, and a sitting Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Punjab. Vinod Khanna was born on 6 October, 1946.

He is survived by his w

ife Kavita Khanna, sons Rahul, Akshaye and Sakshi, and daughter Shraddha Khanna. Before marrying Kavita, Vinod Khanna was married to Getanjali but they later got divorced.

His polupar movies include Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Gaddaar (1973 film), Jail Yatra, Imitihaan, Inkaar, Kuchhe Dhaage, Amar Akbar Anthony, Rajput, Qurbani, Kudrat, Dayavan, Kaarnama,Suryaa: An Awakening and Jurm.

Vinod Khanna received the Filmfare award in the best supporting actor category for Haath Ki Safaai, and in 1999 he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, and again in 2007 he won a lifetime achievement award at the Zee Cine Awards.

In late 2016 and early 2017, news about his detoriating health started coming in, this kept him away from a public eye. In his last days he was surrounded by all his children and wife Kavita.

National Film Awards: अक्षय कुमार को ‘रुस्तम’ के लिए मिला बेस्ट एक्टर अवार्ड, देखें विजेताओं की पूरी लिस्ट

National Film Awards: अक्षय कुमार के अलावा दंगल गर्ल जायरा वसीम को बेस्ट फीमेल सपोर्टिंग का अवार्ड दिया गया है, वहीं एक खिताब ‘पिंक’ के खाते में भी गया है।

Akshay Kumar : नेशनल फिल्म अवॉर्ड की घोषणा शुक्रवार को कर दी गई है। इसमें बेस्ट एक्टर का अवार्ड अक्षय कुमार को गया है। अक्षय कुमार को यह अवार्ड उनकी फिल्म ‘रुस्तम’ के लिए दिया गया है। इसके अलावा साल 2017 में दंगल में नजर आई एक्ट्रेस जायरा वसीम को बेस्ट सपोर्टिंग फीमेल एक्ट्रेस का अवॉर्ड दिया गया है। इसके अलावा उत्तर प्रदेश  राज्य को फिल्म फ्रेंडली स्टेट का अवॉर्ड दिया गया। वहीं झारखंड के नाम भी एक अवार्ड गया है। झारखंड को स्पेशल मेंशन अवार्ड दिया गया है। सोनम कपूर की नीरजा को बेस्ट हिंदी फीचर फिल्म का खिताब गया है।

बता दें, 64वें नेशनल फिल्म अवॉर्ड में ज्यूरी की अध्यक्षता प्रियदर्शन ने की। प्रियदर्शन के लिए यह पहला मौका था जब वह इस इस ज्यूरी में शामिल हुए। विजेताओं को अवार्ड तीन मई 2017 को दिए जाएंगे।

यहां देखें National Film Awards Winners की पूरी लिस्ट-

-बेस्ट फीचर फिल्म ऑन सोशल इश्यू का अवार्ड पिंक को मिला है।

-झारखंड राज्य को स्पेशल मेंशन सर्टिफिकेट

-बेस्ट फिल्म क्रिटिक्स का अवार्ड जी. धनंजयान को गया है।

-बेस्ट किताब का खिताब लता मंगेशकर पर लिखी किताब ‘लता सुर गाथा’ को मिला है।

-बेस्ट फीचर फिल्म: बेस्ट हिंदी फिल्म नीरजा, बेस्ट तमिल फिल्म जोकर, गुजराती फिल्म राजू, मराठी फिल्म दशकरिया, कन्नड़ फिल्म रिजर्वेशन, बंगाली फिल्म बिसर्जन

-कृषि सहित सर्वोत्तम पर्यावरण फिल्म ‘The Tiger who crossed the line’ को मिला है।

-बेस्ट एक्टर का अवार्ड अक्षय कुमार को गया है।

-बेस्ट चिल्ड्रन फिल्म का अवार्ड ‘धनक’ को मिला है।

Pune beats Mumbai by seven wickets; Smith, Rahane seal win

India rise to 101 in FIFA rankings, best ever since 1996

India have jumped 31 places from its last rank of 132nd in the previous month

The Indian football team achieved its best-ever FIFA ranking in over two decades as it jumped to 101 in the latest list released on Thursday.

This is the team’s best-ever ranking since May 1996 – it was ranked 101 then also.

India have jumped 31 places from its last rank of 132nd in the previous month.

Following a couple of wins in recent times, India are now ranked 11th in Asia.

The highest FIFA ranking achieved by India ever is 94, which was attained in February 1996. India were ranked 99 in November 1993 and 100 in October 1993, December 1993 and April 1996.

The last couple of years had been fruitful for India as they won 11 of their 13 matches, including an unofficial game against Bhutan, while scoring a total of 31 goals.

India recently posted a 1-0 victory over Myanmar in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers — their first-ever in Myanmar in over 64 years.

Before that India’s first win in an away encounter in over a decade came when they beat Cambodia 3-2 in an International Friendly.

The 4-1 win at home for India last year against Puerto Rico was also commendable.

“It has been a difficult road. Bringing in new blood and creating competition for places in the team has been a process, and I’m pleased we are moving in the right direction,” India coach Stephen Constantine said. (more)

Jet Airways joins SpiceJet, Vistara, starts variable pay to save wage bill

Plan covers 100 execs; fixed pay at 80-85%, rest based on staff performance, firm’s profitability

Jet Airways is introducing 15-20 per cent variable pay component for its top management as it looks to save on its wage bill.

The Mumbai-headquartered airline has a higher cost structure than other listed domestic airlines and is undertaking cost control exercises to remain nimble. The variable pay scheme will be applicable to around 100 senior executives of Jet Airways and is expected to result in annual savings of Rs 25-30 crore, an airline source.

While the fixed salary component will be 80-85 per cent, the remainder will be linked to employee performance and airline profitability. The senior executives will also not receive salary increment this year.

A Jet Airways spokesperson did not offer immediate comments.

Some of Jet’s peers already have a variable pay scheme in place. Vistara and SpiceJet too have variable pay for its senior management. Air India a productivity linked incentive scheme which was a variable pay out in mid-1990s but the same was discontinued in 2012.

Jet Airways has a staff strength of around 15,000 and had a wage bill of Rs 2,316 crore in the first nine months of FY 17. Employee costs rose 26 per cent on a year on year basis for the period. The airline has around 2000 pilots on its rolls whose salaries account for nearly half of the wage bill. Read more

Virtual boost: Baahubali-2 may change the way sports is watched at homes

Radeon Technologies is now trying to extend VR technology to live-streaming of sports like cricket

Soon, the experience of watching sports sitting in your living room would get a virtual boost.

Radeon Technologies Group, a part of chip maker AMD, is out to change the way people watch sports at home.

Using a virtual reality (VR) headset, the company wants to give a 360-degree view of a sporting arena to a viewer. The living room would suddenly be in the middle of a stadium. A viewer with a VR headset would get a glimpse of every inch of the stadium by moving his head towards the direction he wants to see.

“We are talking to people in the sporting world for live streaming of matches on our VR platform,” Raja Koduri, senior vice-president of Radeon Technologies Group, who heads the graphics processor development initiative of AMD, told Business Standard. “We hope to make some announcements in this regard in the second half of this year.”

Radeon perfected the technology for live streaming during its collaboration in the making of Baahubali 2, said Koduri.

“The tools that were used in the making of Baahubali 2 were 10 times better than what were used to make the first Baahubali. Part 2 contains two trillion pixels of graphics. There was not a single frame without VR content.” Read more