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Sunday, 28 September 2014

Unboxing : iPhone 6

iPhone 6 13

Unboxing : iPhone 6

aakash chandra 
The iPhone 6 is finally in our studio and we get our dirty hands with the next generation of Apple phone. The iPhone 6 is going on sale in India on the 17th of October for an expected price of Rs. 48,500 for the 16GB variant, whereas the big brother, the 6 Plus, will be available for Rs. 54,500 for the 16 GB as per information available to us.
The box of the iPhone is no different than the previous generations, and you can expect to find the same things in the box, including a cable, a wall charger, Apple EarPods, along with some basic paperwork.
The phone is light out of the box, which may be the biggest reason behind #bendgate. It feels light and nimble although the front display is big and beautiful which immediately captures your eye.
The rounded edges sit very comfortably in your hands, many times better than the previous gen, which without a case was slightly sharp in the hand.
You see a boost in the performance out of the box. The iPhone is much smoother and the rounded display gives it a natural feel when sliding between pages. Websites look much better on the large display, which is bright and super crisp.
Apple has put in a lot of new hardware into the new iPhone since it was a number change edition Apple A8 chipset with 64 bit Architecture along with a hexa core GPU. Ram wise you still get 1 GB but that seems more than sufficient for the phone. Storage is dependent on what model you buy and cameras have not been bumped up in specs but in tech, adding phase detection, autofocus along with improved pixel capture. Slow motion video at 240 fps on a 720p resolution is really impressive.
This time around the iPhone 6 has a 1810 mAh bumping up from the 1560 of the iPhone 5s. Stay tuned for our Full Review out shortly.
Watch the Unboxing video below:

Sunday, 14 September 2014

OnePlus One : Review


OnePlus One
Review : OnePlus One – Just Call It Two

The Market has been recently flooded by Chinese smartphones, and everyone is confused. The question, however, has always been : are these phones really worth of all the hype they create?. The Xiaomi Mi3 showed us that a great phone package can come for a decent price, and the Redmi 1s is taking it hard to the competition.

One phone is still missing from the equation and with its arrival in India soon, does the OnePlus One threaten the existence of many brands here in the country? Lets find out.

Overview

The OnePlus One is a complete device when it comes to hardware and build quality. Thanks to the inclusion of CyanogenMod the software is mostly community dependent and is expected to get great support for a long period of time.

Hardware

The OnePlus One comes with top notch hardware for its time, apart from the 5.5 inch LTPS display with a 1920 x 1080p resolution, Gorilla Glass 3 :

Operating System CyanogenMod 11S based on Android 4.4
CPU Qualcomm© Snapdragon™ 801 processor with 2.5GHz Quad-core CPUs
GPU Adreno 330, 578MHz
RAM 3 GB LP-DDR3, 1866MHz
Storage 16/64 GB eMMC 5.0, available capacity varies
Cameras 13 Megapixel – Sony Exmor IMX 214 / 5 MP Front
Battery Embedded rechargeable 3100 mAh LiPo battery
Build and Design

The OnePlus One is superb, the fact is that anyone who has seen the phone in my hand, especially the sandstone variant, has been amazed with the way this phone looks and feels. The brilliance is in fact in the overall look of the phone, it’s just the right size, has just the right amount of chrome and metallic accents, subtle logos, simple buttons and the nicely printed Cyanogen at the back helps too.

The built of the phone is also pretty superior, although we wouldn’t say the phone can be dropped several times (especially because if you break it, you will go through hell to get another one). The display is protected with Gorilla Glass 3, but it’s not the ultimate form of protection, and thanks to the large damageable screen real estate, one should be extra careful. The back is a solid plastic, coated with the sandstone finish in the 64 GB variant and a polycarbonate white on the 16 GB variant, both of which feel great and look great too.

Display and Camera

The LCD is impressive, it’s quick and bright, has great viewing angles and the touch is very sensitive. We also found colours to be very accurate. You do have several display modes that will help you adjust between temperatures and also customise the display of the phone as per your colour tone preference. Video playback is great, and deep blacks and greys are separately identifiable resulting in a viewing experience that will leave you satisfied.

The camera on the OnePlus One is equipped with a 13 MP Sony BSI sensor, which by far is the best implementation of the equipment. Shutter Lag is close to none, the response times are amazing, shot composition accurate, focus fast and colours are deep and rightly defined. The camera is equipped with a dual led flash with one amber and one white light, giving the device the ability to correctly compose the shots, especially so, in low light conditions.

The Camera also does 4K video, which in this day of flagships is only restricted to a few. You also get time-lapse and slow motion video at 120 fps on 720p which works really well. Video is really smooth and jitter free, and the end resultant is rather satisfying, included preview filters and pre shooting tweaks make it easy to compose and deliver the right kind of footage.

The sensor is bright with a f/2.0 aperture , giving it a great deal of low light visibility, although noise is still prevalent on low light images.


Multimedia and Performance

Thanks to the mix of the high end specs as well an a fantastic display, Multimedia capabilities are right up there with all other flagship devices. In certain cases even better so than the other. The low end on the spectrum for OS functions in the background, less busy Cyanogen OS and 3 GB of onboard RAM really improve things on the Oneplus One.

Performance wise, the Oneplus One aced all benchmarks and kicked it in gaming, with little of no lag on high end graphics and all games running on full juice. Impressive day to day usage and the fluidity of the performing tasks is really appreciable.

Considering the kind of awesome experience you get with the Oneplus One, we feel that the company should’ve just called it “Two”. because it offers double the experience of any regular manufacturer smartphone, with performance, gaming and built.

Benchmarks and Gaming Video

Cyanogen and Android

Today Android is really in a good place, and with Android L on the verge of launch, a lot is expected from the OS. Generally one should choose hardware that not only supports the update, but a manufacturer that is willing to do so. In most case scenarios you would have to wait months before the next big Android OS would be pushed out by manufacturers. The last version of Android aka Kitkat is now available throughout the segment, however it was announced a year back, and yet today some phones ship with Jelly Bean.

With the Oneplus One and Cyanogen Mod OS, you will never have to worry about that, this group of developers managed to run Android on the HP Touchpad, and now it is updated to Android 4.4.4. So with the Oneplus One you can not only expect quick updates, you can also expect some nifty features and usage improvements.

The UI is very customizable and theme-able using their theme changer and by downloading themes from Play Store, and other resources. Cyanogen allows you to mix and match different elements of different themes to make the one perfect theme for you.

Conclusion

The OnePlus One is not here yet, the company is busy working out a strategy and will have the phone in India, as early as Sept-Oct 2014. However, for a price sensitive market like India, the cost of the phone will be a major factor. Another big deal is the fact that the company is doing away with its invite system, and hopefully by the time they arrive in India, they can ensure supplies to the huge and impatient market.

Where companies like Xiaomi have really gained respect and market share simply by cutting down admin, distribution and marketing costs, OnePlus may bring the One at a premium in India.

The Oneplus One is expected to be priced around Rs. 21500 for the 16GB variant and Rs,. 25000 for the 64 GB variant. Although the prices are more than the $ price, they are much less than the Indian price of major flagships. So for the price of one LG G3, HTC One M8 etc you could typically get , “One Plus One” = 2 phones.

If you can get your hands on an invite today, do not think twice and get the phone, in fact you should have owned it yesterday. As far as warranty issues are concerned, the company has great service support, but you will have to deal with shipping to their support centers overseas, or wait for the Indian one/s.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Top 5 Smartphones You Could Buy Instead of the iPhone 6

Apple Event 8

Top 5 Smartphones You Could Buy Instead of the iPhone 6

AAKASH CHANDRA 
Apple’s latest flagship is finally out and the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will be available in India from the 17th of October. Many of you are probably waiting to get your hands on one. Though it shows marked improvements from its previous iteration, the new iPhone faces stiff competition from its Android rivals. Furthermore, Apple has been criticized to adopt the new technologies and design in a very slow pace. With handful of smartphones already offering the same technology and productivity, Apple’s new iPhone flagship has already been mocked.
We are listing top 5 smartphones which you can buy instead of iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus.

5. HTC ONE M8/E8

HTC’s flagship is regarded as one of the best Android flagships right now. Sure, it has its flaws, but there’s still a lot to love about it. The HTC One (M8) measures 5-inch, with a chassis of 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4mm. When compared to the smaller model, it’s clear that the HTC One (M8) is a lot bigger. The HTC One (M8)’s 5in Super LCD3 screen is one of the many reason tech critics love this smartphone.. Throw on top a pixels per inch count of 441 ppi, and the HTC One (M8) boasts a crisp, clear and sharp display protected by super-strong Gorilla Glass 3. The HTC One (M8) is one of the most modern, accomplished smartphones we’ve seen in terms of design. With a fill metal body and elegantly curved edges, it more than matches the iPhone 6.

4. GOOGLE NEXUS 5

The Nexus 5 has a very competitive display with LG’s “True HD” IPS+ LCD technology which provides some pretty sharp visual quality. It has a 1920 x 1080 pixel full HD resolution on a 4.95-inch panel at 445ppi. Apple’s iPhone 6 launch revealed the company’s new mobile payment system, Apple Pay, which combines Touch ID with NFC to allow you to pay for items at point of sale counters equipped with contactless card readers. However, Nexus 5  gives you great alternative to this with Google Wallet and the built-in NFC and that too at a cheaper price tag.

3. XIAOMI MI4

Xiaomi Mi4 provides you with better screen resolution density of 441ppi when compared to the iPhone 6/6+ which are at 336ppi and 401ppi respectively. Xiaomi uses Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 compared to iPhone 6’s Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone. Also you get 1GB of RAM extra in Mi4 and a better cameras too (Mi4 – Rear: 13 MP + Front Facing: 8 MP vs iPhone 6 -Rear: 8 MP + Front Facing: 1.2 MP). And yes, don’t forget with the pricing, you can buy three Mi4 together in the price of one iPhone 6, once they are launched here that is.

2. ONEPLUS ONE

The OnePlus One shares the same display size as the iPhone 6 Plus at 5.5-inches. It has powerful video recording and imaging capabilities, strong performance components and much more, all at an extremely low price point. The phone also uses CyangogenMod 11S, which allows for an amazing amount of flexibility and freedom, unlike Apple’s iOS, which has several restrictions. Also, the OnePlus One costs a third of the iPhone 6 Plus and offers most of the same features.

1. GALAXY NOTE 4

Samsung’s newly launched Note series flagship has been appreciated by reviewers even before it has started shipping. The phone includes all software features of Galaxy S5, in addition to features optimised for the S Pen stylus that Apple can’t even think of touching. Samsung Note 4 has a QHD resolution (2560x1440p) while Apple’s new iPhone 6 has a full-HD display (1920x1080p). The Note 4 also packs in more pixels per inch at 515ppi compared to iPhone 6 Plus (401ppi). This means text and images would look sharper on the Note 4. Also, the Galaxy Note 4 is considered as one of the most powerful Android devices around.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Does the Apple Watch Make Sense For the Indian Market?

Apple watch Features Design 2

Does the Apple Watch Make Sense For the Indian Market?

AAKASH CHANDRA 
Yesterday at the massive event held at Cupertino California, Apple announced its long-awaited smartwatch, the Apple Watch. And we have to admit, this revolutionary device looked stunning. Square face with detachable straps, Apple Watch has an easy to understand interface for working with standard applications. It’s user-friendly, equipped with the new ‘Apple Pay’ remote payment system, and, obviously, comes with amazing watchfaces. With three choices to choose from, Apple Watch, Sport, and Edition, there ought to be something for everybody.
Well, everybody here might refer to be restricted to people from developed country. How much is Apple’s newest technology feasible for a country like ours, where tech such as NFC and Apple Pay wouldn’t be of much use?
Clearly, Apple has put lot of brains and research in the Watch. However, the starting range US$349 (INR 22,000 approx), Apple’s Watch seem quite expensive in Indian market which is ruled by value for money budget devices. The Indian handset market is ruled by Android-powered smartphones. It seems to be a major setback that the Apple Watch requires an iPhone to operate. Which makes its real price much, much higher.
Second major setback, India doesn’t have kind of technology to fully experience the power of Apple Pay, which will be one of the selling points of this device other countries. In India, over the past year, there have been several NFC trials for ticketing in Delhi Metro, in Delhi buses and a movie halls in Mumbai, which failed.
Apple has also tied up with several app developers to create useful apps for their watch. One of the important features which was welcomed yesterday, with a round of applause from the audience, was the ability to open hotel room doors by simply tapping the Apple Watch to the door. This feature was brought out with collaboration with Starwood Hotels, a popular chain in the US. They’ve even teamed up with American Airlines, to automatically show you your flight information and a copy of your boarding pass on your watch. With such apps, Apple Watch eliminated the need to carry around magnetic plastic cards provided by hotels and the need to safe-keep your boarding pass. However, it will take a long time before Indigo Airlines or Taj Hotels invest to work on such technology.
We wouldn’t say that this wearable would fail in our country. It still has several interesting features which would make life simpler, no matter where you’re located on the globe. Apple’s ecosystem is undeniably very strong. The way it lures consumers into the endless arena of iPods, iPhones, Macs, App Store, iTunes Store, and Apple TV is enviable.

The Smartwatch Battle Begins! Apple Watch vs Moto 360

Apple watch Features Design 15

The Smartwatch Battle Begins! Apple Watch vs Moto 360

aAKASH CHANDRA 
Apple’s first attempt on the still nascent wearable market was huge, with people eyeing Tim Cook’s wrist the moment he entered the stage. Apple Watch (not iWatch) will be priced at $349 and will be available by early 2015. It will come in three variations – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and the Apple Watch Edition. The wearable will be compatible with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus.
There are already quite a few competitors trying to define what should a smartwatch look like on your wrist. However, Google beat Apple in that race by just a few months by releasing Android Wear. One of the crowd’s favourite is Moto 360 which was launched last week, priced a hundred dollars less at 250$.
The smartwatch technology is still in its infant stage. Apple is known for its innovations and setting trends like it did with iPods and iPads; the Apple Watch is anticipated to have the same impact. However, both Moto 360 and Apple Watch both have their strengths and weaknesses. A quick rundown to help you decide which one to buy, once the devices are available.

INTERFACE

Both companies have provided several interestingly themed watch faces which can be changed easily to suit your mood. Agreed that our watches are getting smarter, but the basic function of the watch is to tell time every time we look at the device. Apple Watch display turns off when you aren’t looking at it. When you turn your wrist, it’ll light up again only showing information when you want it.
In Moto 360, colors pop on the display, and everything is easily viewable, even in direct sunlight. However, when the display is dimmed it darkens after a few seconds of inactivity, but the time is still visible. Though, it  is very hard to see outdoors. Waking up the watch is as simple as lifting your wrist; same as on the Apple Watch.

ON-THE-GO INFORMATION AND NOTIFICATIONS

Main aim of smartwatches since their earlier days has been to minimize handset use by integrating phone notification with the smartwatch on your wrist for a easy and more convenient experience. In Apple Watch all notifications coming through your phone will pop up on your watch. If the app developer chooses to, they can enrich that notification to let you do a lot more with it — replying to messages or even taking actions, like accepting a Facebook friend request. All together, it sounds fairly decent.
Google’s smartwatch platform is all about notifications, which uses most of its interface. In Moto 360, all of your notifications are routed to it, and you can swipe through the phone to view them all, dismiss them, and even act on some of them. That said, you can’t use them as easily as Apple hopes to allow.

A good smartwatch, in my opinion, is the one gives you what you want, when you want it, without having to do to much. To some extend both Apple and Motorola have achieved that. Apple promises that the person sitting next to you would not be able to tell that you’ve received a notification. The notification buzz will simply give the effect as if someone is tapping you lightly on your wrist. You can customise the apps which you’d like notifications from. It will use the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi from the iPhone for all communication purposes. The built-in speaker phone and microphone can be used to receive calls and use the built-in Siri. With a simple tap on the digital crown, Siri can be activated.
The Moto 360 can do a number of things, such as display incoming calls and texts, measure your heart rate, pull up directions from Google Maps, count your steps, and tell you the weather. The idea behind Android Wear is that the watch should display contextual information before you even need to ask for it. Google Now has always been really capable, and its ability to predict and surface information that you’re interested in is built right into Android Wear. So, for example, if  your favorite IPL team has a match at 7 p.m. tonight, Android Wear would display that information on your wrist automatically.

HEALTH AND FITNESS

The Moto 360 has a heart rate monitor on the underside, that’s good for getting a causal fix on your overall health, but it will not be much of use for vigorous workouts sessions. On the Moto 360 are three pre-installed apps for measuring your overall health. Fit shows how many steps you’ve taken during the day, can measure your heart rate, and lets you set a goal for the number of steps you take each day. In a similar vein, Heart Activity displays how many minutes you need to be active during each day (it’s set at 30 minutes), and how close you are to completing that goal.
Apple Watch promises to take over and take it to a whole new level. Instead of simply tracking daily activities, the watch will actually encourage you to be more active. It has two key apps for this; the first will map your fitness activity through the day, while the second and the more important one, will help you set goals and then help you achieve them.

THIRTY-PARTY APPS

For wearables to entice prospective buyers, third party apps were needed and both Motorola and Apple understood that. Apple has already experimented with certain third-party apps. Developers will be able to create custom notifications for the home screen. For example, the City Mapper will remind you to get off at the right station, the BMW app will direct you to where you would’ve parked your car and the Nike app will allow you to challenge your friends to go for a run.
It’s been a few months, and Google says there are already thousands of apps that support Android Wear. Facebook Messenger, for instance, will now send messages to Wear and can accept responses dictated over voice. Though, we’ve seen a handful of good apps that run specifically on Wear, but no one has actually gave us any breakthrough app yet.

STYLE

Since watches are worn all the time, it’s important that they look good. The design and style should suit you well. The Apple Watch will be available in six designs. The watch comes with a mechanism which would make it super easy to switch between the straps. The straps include a sport band, soft quilted leather and stainless steel options. And since one size does not fit all, Apple has also developed smaller sizes.
 The Moto 360’s 1.56-inch-diameter round display is big, bold, and feels a lot larger than a square display. It has a 320×290 resolution, effectively, at 205ppi. Actually, it’s not fully round there’s a bit of a black bar on the bottom. Apple has done great job by giving us variety, but Moto 360’s round dial and sleek look has already garnered many fans.
A biggest setback is that the Apple Watch will be compatible with only with iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 6 and 6 Plus, on the other hand the Moto 360 isn’t as exclusive or biased to its own brand. Apple definitely stands out with its sophisticated and extensive sensors. Unlike Moto 360, Apple Watch seems to do much more than just showing you notifications. It seems both the devices have the right components, they just need to get some developers to come up with more compelling apps.

WHICH ONE WOULD YOU INVEST IN, MOTO 360 OR THE APPLE WATCH?

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Moto G (2nd Gen) Unboxed : The Trendsetter Returns

Moto G Gen 2 0

Moto G (2nd Gen) Unboxed : The Trendsetter Returns



The second generation of the blockbuster Moto G is out now. The device was much awaited and comes with considerable improvement over its trendsetting predecessor. We finally got our Moto G (2nd Gen) box and here’s what we found on the inside.
On the looks front, the box is small and minimalistic just like its predecessor. The box features a side view of the phone, and that’s about the only graphics there. The price mentioned on the box is Rs.13,099; the device is available on Flipkart for 12,999.
Inside the box, on the top is the new generation Moto G with a 5-inch display. 
Dig deeper, and you’ll find a non-detachable charging adapter with a micro-USB charging pin, which will disappoint folks who don’t already possess a USB to micro-USB data cable. Apart from the adapter you get Motorola’s handsfree and the documentation. Motorola has provided a copy of the guides in Hindi, which is appreciable and shows its seriousness of competing in the Indian market.

Coming back to the device, we already introduced the device earlier. We now got to spend some more time with it. The device is a looker with slimmer bezels. The dual speakers attract your attention immediately as you glance at it.
The stock Android interface is also impressive, and the absence of any bloatware makes the device fast and smooth to use. The only app addition to the device is Moto Migrate, which helps you get contacts from your old phone to the new Moto G, this even works with feature phones. The second add-on is Moto Assist that helps you lets you use the device hands-free while driving, and it lets only important calls through when you don’t want to be disturbed. The last app is Moto Alert that alerts your close ones of your location when you want it to.
Overall it’s an impressive device, but it was about time Motorola added 1080p recording capabilities. We love the dual speaker and increased screen size. The phone comes with Android KitKat 4.4.4 out of the box and will get updated to Android L when it comes out.
Keep checking iGyaan, the full review will be coming out soon.
Quick Specs:
Operating SystemAndroid KitKat 4.4.4
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with 1.2 GHz quad-core CPU
RAM1 GB
Display5 inch, 720p screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 294 ppi
Storage16 GB
External StorageUpto 32 GB
Battery2070 mAh
Main Camera8 MP
Front Camera2 MP
MiscellaneousDual Speakers in the Front, Upgradeable to Android L