Category Archives: mobile reviews

Celkon RahmanIshq AR45 Android smartphone launched

Celkon has launched its first AR Rahman-themed smartphone named the AR45 under its newly introduced RahmanIshq series, which is dedicated to the Indian music maestro AR Rehman. As the name suggests the Read the rest of this entry
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Micromax teases Canvas Doodle 2

Last week we reported about Micromax’s plans to launch a new flagship device that would compete Samsung’s Mega series of phablets. Now, the Canvas Doodle 2 as the phablet is known could be close to a launch. Micromax has posted a photo on Facebook that depicts a hand-drawn doodle followed by the tagline “Can your imagination get bigger?” and the name Canvas Doodle 2 at the top. In the comments section, the company has written that they will be launching the device in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry

HTC One Max to come with Sense 5.5 and Android 4.3

New rumor regarding the HTC One Max phablet has arrived hailing from China. HTC’s first ever phablet is expected to be unveiled in the coming months, there have been conflicting reports about its launch.
According to the new leak, the Taiwanese manufacturer’s phablet will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with its custom Sense 5.5 UI on top. The changes that Sense 5.5 UI is expected to bring have not been revealed as yet.
 On the hardware side, HTC One Max is now rumored to have a 2.1 megapixel front cameraand a rear UltraPixel camera. According to previous rumors, the One Max is expected to have a 5.9 inch 1080p Super LCD3 display, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB RAM and a 3,000 mAh battery. The device is also said to come with support for TD-LTE, which is China’s homegrown version of the high-speed standard, but there’s little doubt that the international version of the device will also sport 4G LTE support. A dual-SIM, dual-standby version of the HTC One Max will be also made available to target Asian customers.
Pricing of the phablet remains unknown, but the official launch of the device could arrive in the next few weeks.

via Blogger http://wetechgeeks.blogspot.com/2013/08/htc-one-max-to-come-with-sense-55-and.html

Moto X unveiled,Takes customization to a new level : Hands on review

 

 It’s been a long time coming, but today, we finally got our hands on the Moto X, the first phone Motorola co-designed with Google. With the fresh announcement of the $199.99 Moto X, Motorola, plans to rewrite history and put its rivals on the defensive. it’s a nimble, compact handset that targets ordinary phone users with advanced abilities. Backed by its corporate parent Google, the Moto X boasts many of the skills its new Verizon Droids flaunt, plus a few slick extras. Better yet they’re all crammed into a highly customizable design built for maximum comfort. The phone itself is great, but the real selling point is how customizable it is.

Pros

  • Comfortable to hold
  • Available in more colors than any other phone
  • Powerful specs

Cons

  • Standout features also present in Verizon Droids
  • No MicroSD slot

Moto X Design and Feel

 Motorola has taken a lot of time to choose the right size, shape, and button layout for its phone. With a 4.7-inch screen, it pushes no screen size boundaries, but it’s one of the most comfortable phones we’ve ever held. A Googorola executive told us that the phone has been designed to fit the shape of your palm perfectly. The body is made of polycarbonate plastic that bleeds right into the Gorilla Glass on the front, and the back of the phone has an arc to it.

The Power and Volume buttons are placed on the right side so that they can be easily pressed right alongside the Home, Back, and Recent Apps navigation buttons on the bottom of the X. It’s this attention to detail that makes it a thrill to hold the X. The phone is fantastic to hold and use, but Motorola’s custom manufacturing process is what sets it apart from anything else on the market. Instead of just buying a black or white phone, you can order it on Motorola’s new “Moto Maker” website.
It allows you to completely customize your phone in 2,000 different combinations.
There are 18 different backplate colors, seven accent colors (the color of your power, volume, and camera ring), two front plate colors (white or black), two different types of cases, two storage size options, 16 wallpapers, and many other options. You can even put a written message on the back and buy Sol headphones that match your device.
Wood backplates will also be available soon, and Motorola plans to continue rolling out new designs after launch.

Moto X Screen

By contrast the Moto X’s 4.7-inch 720p (1,280 by 720 pixels) OLED screen is quite large. The Moto X’s OLED screen technology produces vivid colors, deep blacks, and wide viewing angles.
Of course a display’s impact isn’t based on just resolution, brightness, and color quality. Case in point: the Moto X’s screen has an extremely thin bezel that lovingly hugs the front edges of the handset. This helps the X’s display appear larger than life and command your attention.

Moto X Hardware

Since Google owns Motorola now, the Moto X’s interface mostly sticks with the standard design and feel of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. On the inside, the specs are pretty good. It has a 1280 x 720 pixel AMOLED screen (and we swear, it pretty much looks as good as 1080p), 2GB of RAM, a 10-megapixel camera, 16GB of internal storage (32GB for extra $50), and Motorola’s fancy new X8 chipset, which includes a Snapdragon S4 Pro dual-core processor, a quad-core GPU, a language processor, and a “contextual computing” processor. Those last two chips are specifically designed to help it hear your voice and understand what’s going on around it via an array of sensors.

Moto X Software and Interface


The phone runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean rather than latest flavor of Android Jelly Bean (version 4.3). .Motorola has teamed up with Google to add plenty of neat tricks, the most notable of which is contextual computing, which company refers as the Touchless Controls, which utilize Google Now to answer questions for you. What’s different here is that you don’t even have to wake the Moto X from sleep mode to use Google Now. You can yell at it from across the room. It’s now possible to wake your phone up using voice commands. And it recognizes your voice thanks to three microphones, active noise canceling, and a voice profile that you help it create by saying some words for it a few times in a row.

Active Display mode also caught our eye. It shows you the time and some recent notifications every time you move your phone. Execs told that the average smartphone owner presses the Power button and looks at their screen 60 times a day. With this feature, the information you need may pop up faster. Aside from these slick voice capabilities, the Moto X’s interface essentially remains the same as stock Jelly Bean. The five home screens, application tray, and widgets are pretty much identical to what you’d see on Google-approved machines.
The Moto X will softly pulse important notifications and alerts on the screen, even when asleep, as they occur. Motorola says this will help users conserve battery life since they won’t have to power up the display each time the notification light flashes. Holding your finger on the center of the screen (and notification) causes the X to display additional details for the alert. Dragging your finger upward takes you directly to the corresponding message if you decide more action is required.

Camera

Equipped with a 10-megapixel “Clear Pixel” RGBC sensor and LED flash, Motorola says its new device can snap pictures with speed. It goes on to tout the Moto X’s ability to grab 75 percent more light than competing smartphone cameras. That should result in lower shutter times and clearer images under dark conditions.
The camera app, called Quick Capture, has also been revamped to be cleaner and more efficient. With it, the Moto X will go from pocket to image capture in under 3 seconds. Just grab the phone, turn it twice in your hand horizontally, and the camera launches without pressing a button.

Moto X Round Up

The handset certainly packs in plenty of interesting abilities and functionality. When you add up the specs, though, this really is a midrange phone. Hard-core Android enthusiasts likely won’t find the Moto X awe-inspiring. Expect the device to hit stores in late August/early September for a suggested price of $199.99.
More impressive is that your custom phone will arrive on your doorstep within four days and is assembled in Ft. Worth, Texas. Yes, this is the first smartphone to be made in the U.S.
We need to spend a few more days with the Moto X before we know how we feel about it, and we wish we could actually try out Moto Maker for ourselves, but one thing is for certain: Motorola is finally making some moves with its unique blend of capabilities and design will prove valuable to ordinary consumers.

via Blogger http://wetechgeeks.blogspot.com/2013/08/moto-x-unveiledtakes-customization-to.html

Nokia Asha 501 :Review

New Asha series phones are the ones making cash registers ring for the company across India. The latest to join the bandwagon of Nokia’s feature phones is the Asha 501, which was unveiled a few months back by Nokia chief Stephen Elop at an event in India.
Nokia has been known to come out with solid, sturdy devices rather than flashy, glitzy ones when it comes to its budget phones. This time Nokia Asha 501 is here to  reveal the brand’s playful side in the feature phone segment. Here is review of Asha 501 below.
Price: Rs. 5,199
Pros
  • Easy to use UI
  • Smart and compact design
  • Value for Money
Cons
  • Battery back-up with data and Wi-Fi usage not satisfactory
  • Lacks 3G functionality

Design

At a time when phones seem to be getting bigger, the Nokia Asha 501 goes the opposite direction, opting for a compact build with dimensions of 99.2x58x12.1mm. It is pretty light in weight at just 91 grams. The Asha 501 easily reminded us of the Lumia smartphones and though it is a bit chunky, thanks to its design, it fits in one hand easily.
The front panel is dominated by a 3-inch display that is surrounded by a black bezel with a physical ‘Back’ key placed at the bottom of the panel and the Nokia logo on top of the screen just below the earpiece. The top panel houses a 2.5mm charging port, a Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm audio port. Nokia has followed the same Lumia design language, placing the physical keys for volume controls and power buttons on the right.
On the back device includes a 3.2-megapixel camera placed at the centre towards the top, with a vertical Nokia branding just below the camera. At the bottom of the rear panel, there’s a button that can be pressed to remove the back panel. The battery is removable and a Micro-SIM card slot hides behind it in the same compartment. The second Micro-SIM can be changed without switching off the device and same is the case with the memory card.
The back panel is an exchangeable shell which can be replaced with other bright colored panels that include Red, Cyan Yellow, Green, White and Black colors. Overall, the Nokia Asha 501 is impressive in design which generally exudes quality and matches international design standards. The handset, despite its relatively low price, feels solid and is comfortable to use.

Display

The Nokia Asha 501 includes a 3-inch capacitive display. The 3-inch TFT capacitive display comes with a resolution of 240×320 pixels and boasts a pixel density of 133PPI. The display has good viewing angles and is readable under the sun. It includes options like brightness control, RGB Stripe, and support for the double tap to wake up gesture. The display is responsive to touch, though at times it has a bit of a lag. It supports two-point touch and includes a proximity sensor.

Hardware

The Nokia Asha 501 comes with 128MB of internal storage and 64MB of RAM. It also supports expandable memory cards up to 32GB through microSD card slot. Connectivity features include like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Micro-USB. However, there’s no 3G on the device. The device packs a 1200mAh battery that claims to deliver 624 hours of standby time and a talk time of 17 hours.

Software and Interface

With the Asha 501, Nokia has introduced a new platform, the Nokia Asha software platform 1.0. However, the user-interface is similar to that of the S40 operating system found in previous versions of the Asha series of touch phones.

There is a notification bar at the top, similar to what we have already seen in previous Asha phones. You can pull it down to see SIM information and adjust Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile data and sound profile settings. Nokia Asha 501 comes with a UI that is easy to use and largely dominated by gesture controls like swiping.
Nokia unveiled the Fastlane feature for the Asha 501. It collectively shows all the recent apps in a list form according to dates. The feature gives a quick overview your activity. For instance, if you played a game or used an app on the device it will automatically be featured on the Fastlane as a log. It is also the default homescreen when one unlocks the phone, and doubles up as a task-switcher of sorts. Swiping the screen from either side, from any app or game takes you directly to the Fastlane. While using an app, you can access options by swiping up from the bottom and these appear.
The Nokia Asha 501 comes with the company’s proprietary Xpress Browser, which was introduced for the Asha range of phones. The browser compresses the data, much like the Opera Mini. One can open up to 6 web pages on the device at once and can switch between them.
There are not many personalisation options on the Asha 501, which is a bit of a let down and one can only change the wallpaper and sound profiles. The phone comes with the default standby screen with a digital clock, and you can change it in the Settings through the ‘Glance screen’ option.
The phone comes with some preloaded apps and games. The games are Java-based but the experience was great for a phone at this price point. The Asha 501 comes with 40 free EA games that can be downloaded using Wi-Fi. Some popular apps that come pre-installed include Facebook, Twitter, Nokia Chat, twist Music and NewsHunt. WhatsApp is said to be available on the platform shortly. Users can browse and download apps through the Store.

Camera

The Nokia Asha 501 comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera without flash and auto-focus options. The camera comes with some basic features and offers toggles for timer settings, white balance, effects and photo resolution adjustment. The camera comes with digital zoom up to 3X.
The camera can take decent shots in daylight with good colors but lacks details, and we found that night shots were not that great and indoor photos were also grainy. The Nokia Asha 501 is not a device to click close-up shots because of the camera’s fixed-focus nature. The pictures miss out on detail but considering the price and the audience device doesn’t disappoint completely.

Performance

The phone offered good call clarity with both the SIM slots. The Nokia Asha 501 handled swiping well and was smooth and responsive for most part. Some apps did freeze at times, but we were able to exit to the home screen through the back key. The phone can be unlocked either by using the power key or by double-tapping the screen, which is a cool feature.
Sadly the music player of the Asha 501 misses out on basic options like adjustable equalizers and pre-set music profiles. The music player interface does show the artwork related to the song and the album. The FM radio reception was decent. The speaker was good and loud.
We had no complaints watching some of our favourite videos on the device through YouTube, though the video playing experience was limited with no support for MP4, MOV, MKV or AVI file formats. It was unable to play 720p video either.
The Gallery app supports pinch to zoom which works well and gives options to share images through Bluetooth and email.
When we used the device (with Wi-Fi) for Web browsing, chatting, playing games, we found that the battery just about lasted a day. However, when not using Wi-Fi or data on the phone and using it for just normal calling, messaging, occasionally clicking photos and playing some games, the device lasted a couple of days with just one full charge.

Conclusion

The Nokia Asha 501 is definitely good but disappoints in some areas. If we consider the price of the device and the features that it brings, it is overall a very good deal.
For those looking to buy a feature phone that delivers a smartphone-like experience, the Nokia Asha 501 is a decent package. Overall, the Asha 501 scores stands out well in terms of design, user-interface and build quality.