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The Gadgets Blog for Cool Gadgets

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In most parts of India, power cuts are a common occurrence. As technology has spread, the demand for power at all hours has grown. Keeping that in mind, Kunhar Peripherals has designed a UPS that can be charged by the sun. With abundant sunlight but not enough electricity in India, a solar-powered portable UPS seems like a product that many would want. But does the Porta-Solar provide enough power to justify an investment of Rs. 5,000? We used it for a couple of weeks to find out.
At first glance, the Powersafe Porta-Solar might appear a little intimidating. It looks like it belongs in an engineer’s workshop rather than a home. It’s not the kind of product you should start using without reading the manual. For example, we couldn’t figure out at first what the three LEDs on the front of the UPS were supposed to indicate as their icons are not self-explanatory.
The Porta-Solar has a solar charging port on the front along with three USB ports, a button to turn on the UPS, and another which controls the three two-pin plug points on its back. There’s also three-pin inlet on the back which lets you charge the UPS via domestic AC power.
The Porta-Solar is quite compact for a UPS, but looks can be deceptive and it weighs a surprising 3kg. Its portability is further diminished by the solar panel, which takes up quite a bit of space. The solar panel isn’t included in the package, so you will have to buy it separately.
Powersafe says the UPS is rated at 70W and recommends that you buy a solar panel of at least 24W to charge it with. We tested it with a 36W solar panel. This product is clearly meant to be used as a secondary power backup solution. You can’t expect it to replace an inverter or a generator.
The UPS takes a long time to charge using solar power. Powersafe recommends that you let it charge for at least 8 hours. During our tests, we found that it took more than that to go from zero to full charge on AC power. Charging time increased even further when we tried using the solar panel.
That wouldn’t have been much of an issue if the UPS had been able to provide sufficient power backup. We found that it ran out of power after we charged three smartphones (an iPhone 5s, a Nexus 5 and an HTC 8S). If you use a basic feature phone, then you might have enough power to charge it four or five times. The company says that you will get around 6-7 hours of power, but that might only be the case if you use a low-power CFL.
We tested it with a 15W bulb and found that the UPS could power it for 5 hours 40 minutes on a full charge. While this could be very useful in rural areas where load shedding is frequent, we felt that the battery backup time isn’t sufficient. If you want to power a bulb and charge a phone at the same time, the backup isn’t going to last too long. Note that this UPS wasn’t able to power a 60W bulb. It’s meant to be used with CFLs, but these cost Rs. 200-300 each, which will add to the up-front cost.
All this doesn’t mean the product isn’t useful. We found that its backup time was sufficient for short power cuts. During one of our tests, we had an hour-long outage at night. We managed to keep a Wi-Fi router running during this time and also charged a phone. Similarly, this UPS might be useful to take along with you if you are visiting a place with erratic electricity supply.
The Powersafe Porta-Solar is targeted at rural consumers, and its ability to be charged using solar power will be useful in those parts. Its main appeal lies in the fact that it can be used at near-zero operating cost. Thanks to solar power, once you buy the UPS and a solar panel, there are no additional running expenses. At Rs. 5,000 though, we expected better performance. The solar panel costs around Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 more, further driving the price up. The long charging time and relatively low power capacity restrict its appeal. However, if you are looking for a backup power source that runs at near-zero cost, the Porta-Solar is a decent product.

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After a period of relative quiet, Jolla has once again confirmed the upcoming launch of its smartphone in India. The company has started sending official invites for a September 23 event with a tagline that says, “Join the unlikely on September 23, 2014.” The invite clearly confirms that the Jolla smartphones will be exclusively sold via Snapdeal. Jolla, the company formed by a group of former Nokia employees, first made headlines back in July when the company teased the smartphone’s exclusive India launch on Snapdeal. Back in July, the company offered interested consumers a sign-up option to be notified when the Jolla smartphone becomes available in India.

The official Jolla site, however, still notes, “Jolla is coming very soon to India.” As of now, Jolla Smartphone is available in the home country Finland, alongside EU, Norway and Switzerland. The smartphone is available to European users via the firm’s official stores for EUR 399 (approximately Rs. 34,000). For those unaware, the highlight of the Jolla Smartphone is that it runs the Sailfish OS mobile operating system, which has been developed by a few former employees of Nokia, who had worked on the MeeGo operating system that was being developed in partnership with computer chip giant Intel.

In February, Jolla had announced that it would be expanding the availability of its smartphone to Hong Kong, India, and Russia this year. Considering that the Jolla Smartphone comes with specifications best suited for budget to mid-range segment, we can expect the handset to be up against some of the popular smartphones such as Xiaomi’s recently unveiled Redmi 1S and even the Mi 3, second-generation Moto G, and Asus ZenFone 5.

Jolla Launchd its Sailfish OS-powered smartphone in November last year, and it features a 4.5-inch Estrade (540×960 pixels) display, and a 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. It also has an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera alongside an LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera as well. Other specifications of the Jolla smartphone include 16GB of inbuilt storage (expandable via microSD card), and a 2100mAh battery. It is compatible with roughly 85,000 Android apps, and supports fast 4G Internet connections.

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Virtual Reality is getting closer and closer to becoming an actual reality thanks to the development of the Oculus Rift?VR headset. The Rift was launched via Kickstarter in 2012 and the first developer prototypes were shipped in 2013. The Rift Development Kit 2 followed this year and using the device was a largely impressive experience. VR keeps getting closer to becoming available in a consumer product and at the start of September, Samsung, along with Oculus VR, launched the Gear VR headset that allows you to experience VR with the Samsung Galaxy Note4. The Gear VR has gone up for pre-order?with a third part- retailer at GBP150, or approximately Rs. 14,750, but no availability has been defined yet.

On the Oculus, some of our favourite experiences of course involved videogames?- the Rift really makes you feel like you’re living inside those worlds, and it’s amazing for first-person gaming. There’s more to it than just gaming though and many developers have been coming up with experiences that use the Rift to improve education and tourism, among other things.

For many of us though, the most common experience on our computers is simply browsing the Internet. A regular Web page looks weird on the Rift and you’ll find yourself alternating between the headset and your regular monitor when you need to look things up online. This is a problem but there are some very interesting solutions being developed.

One solution is to use Steam to browse the Web. You need to use Steam VR for this - in Steam, go to Tools and install it if you haven’t already. Once that is done, opt in to the Beta, and restart Steam with -vr added to the launch prompt. SteamVR is basically a client to let you use Big Picture Mode while wearing the Oculus Rift, and it’s an easy way to get your Oculus compatible games running. And if you want to browse the Internet, just press Shift+Tab after loading a game to launch the browser.

Xiaomi ‘Mi In-the-Ear Headset’

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Xiaomi might be making headlines in India for its smartphones, the Mi 3 abd Rednu 1S, but the Chinese manufacturer products are not just limited to handsets.

After introducing the Mi Flip Cover and Mi Screen Protector Guard for the Mi 3 smartphone, as well as two new power banks, the company has now launched the new Mi In-the-ear Headset (Piston Design) on Flipkart, priced at Rs. 999.

The Mi In-the-ear Headset (Piston Design) reportedly went on sale earlier this week; though the device went ‘out of stock’ within few hours according to FoneArena.

The Mi In-the-ear Headset (Piston Design) (ZBW4122IN) is a wired device and comes with a built-in microphone. The company claims that cable is made of braided Kevlar cord and also comes with a beryllium alloy diaphragm. The headset supports double damping system and the listing claims that it can even filter unwanted sounds.

Last month, Xiamo released the Mi Flip Cover and Mi Screen Protector Guard assessories for the Mi 3 smartphone priced at Rs. 559 and Rs. 179 respectively.

The company had also released new Mi 5200mAh Power Bank, priced at Rs. 799 and Mi 10400mAh Power Bank, priced at Rs. 999. Both the power banks feature textured anodised aluminium casings that are water and corrosion resistant, and can sustain a weight pressure of up to 50kgs. The two power banks also feature indicator lights, and both a Micro-USB and USB port.

Xiaomi’s new Redmi 1S went on sale earlier on Tuesday and it shared several characteristics from Mi 3 sales. The first Xiaomi Redmi flash sale on saw 40,000 units of the budget smartphone going out of stock on Flipkart in 4.2 seconds.

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Sony has launched its latest flagship smartphone in the company’s Xperia Z series, called the Xperia Z3, at the sidelines of IFA 2014 in Berlin. The Sony Xperia Z3 comes six months after the launch of Xperia Z2 following the company’s mantra to keep its smartphone up-to-date in terms of innards and software. The company has not revealed the pricing and availability details of the smartphone. In addition to the Xperia Z3, Sony also launched the Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, and Xperia E3.

The Sony Xperia Z3, much like the Xperia Z2, comes with 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) TRILUMINOS display and is backed by X-Reality for mobile picture engine. The new flagship also retains the 20.7-megapixel autofocus rear camera of its predecessor. The rear camera is again capable of 4K (Ultra-HD) video recording, and features an Exmor RS apart from pulsed LED flash. Also onboard is a 2.2-megapixel front camera. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box and is powered by a 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor alongside 3GB of RAM. It includes 16GB of built-in storage, which is further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB).

Other features on the Xperia Z3 include an IP65/68 certification, which makes the phone dust-proof and waterproof. The smartphone will be available in Black, Copper, Silver Green, and White. It measures 146.5×72x7.3mm and weighs 152 grams. Connectivity features on the Xperia Z3 include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi with hotspot, 3G, 4G LTE (in select markets), GPS/ A-GPS, Glonass, Micro-USB, DLNA, and NFC. It features a 3100mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 19 hours of talk time, and 740 hours of standby time.  The smartphone also features PS4 Remote Play, which allows users to stream their PS4 games onto the smartphone over the home Wi-Fi network - this functionality will only be rolled out in November. A Dual Shock 4 Wireless Controller and GCM10 Game Control Mount will be required to play games.

Commenting on the launch, Kunimasa Suzuki, President and CEO, Sony Mobile Communications said, “Sony is relentless in its pursuit of innovation and we believe that consumers shouldn’t settle for good experiences, but demand great ones. It’s this spirit of customer focused innovation that drives us to deliver great products and experiences, with the widest ever choice and flexibility, without compromise.”

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Goes on Sale

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The Xiaomi Redmi 1S priced?at Rs. 5,999, is all set to go on sale in India starting Monday at 2pm IST exclusively for the first 2,000 Flipkart First subscribers who registered to buy the handset - ahead of the first flash sale for registered users on Tuesday.?The Redmi 1S will be available 1 day prior to its India availability only for select Flipkart First subscribers. However, the handset for general public will go on sale only on September 2 [Tuesday] at 2pm IST. The smartphone will be automatically added to the cart of the first two thousand Flipkart first customers who registered for the handset’s flash sale on Tuesday.?Flipkart, the exclusive online retailer of Xiaomi handsets in India, sent an email titled ‘Early Access to Redmi 1S’ to its Flipkart First subscribers, saying, “The first two thousand Flipkart First subscribers who register to buy, will get the Redmi 1S added to their cart automatically and they can purchase the Redmi 1S on Sep 1 2pm IST, one day prior to its India launch.”?Considering the limited stocks of the Redmi 1S will be available in India, the popular e-commerce giant has also announced that it will limit orders to one phone per registered email id. The email said, “Since stocks would be limited, we recommend you to login & buy immediately 2pm onwards. To ensure that all our customers can get their hands on Redmi 1S, we are limiting orders to one phone per registered email id.”

Xiaomi Redmi 1S Launched

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Xiaomi Redmi 1S smartphone has been launched in India priced at Rs. 5,999. Notably, the smartphone was first announced?for India at Rs. 6,999, but the company seems to have had a change in mind at the last minute as far as pricing is concerned. The smartphone will be available via its first flash sale on September 2, and customers can register for it on Flipkart after 6pm IST on Tuesday.

The dual-SIM (Regular-SIM) Xiaomi Redmi 1S?with dual standby was first announced for China in May, and features a 4.7-inch 720×1280 pixel IPS-LCD display with AGC Dragontrail glass protection and a pixel density of roughly 312ppi. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with MIUI v5 skinned on top. The company has promised an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat with MIUI v6?towards the end of the year.?Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 SoC (MSM8228), coupled with Adreno 305 GPU and 1GB of RAM. It has 8GB of built-in storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). The Redmi 1S also features an 8-megapixel rear autofocus camera with flash, alongside a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera.

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Apple Inc suppliers are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said.

It’s unclear whether the hiccup could delay the launch?or limit the number of phones initially available to consumers, the sources said, as Apple readies larger-screen iPhones for the year-end shopping season amid market share loss to cheaper rivals.

But the issue highlights the risks and challenges that suppliers face to meet Apple’s tough specifications, and comes on the heels of a separate screen technology problem, since resolved, in making thinner screens for the larger iPhone 6 model.

California-based Apple has scheduled a media event for September 9, and many expect it to unveil the new iPhone 6 with both 4.7-inch (11.94 cm) and 5.5-inch (13.97 cm) screens - bigger than the 4-inch screen on the iPhone 5S and 5C.

Two supply chain sources said display panel production suffered a setback after the backlight that helps illuminate the screen had to be revised, putting screen assembly on hold for part of June and July.

One said Apple, aiming for the thinnest phone possible, initially wanted to cut back to a single layer of backlight film, instead of the standard two layers, for the 4.7-inch screen, which went into mass production ahead of the 5.5-inch version.

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A lot can change in just a month, especially in the hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market. Thanks to bold new launches and aggressive price cuts, not a single model on our list of recommended phones from Last month  has made it to this month’s edition. This is fantastic news for buyers, since you can now get a whole lot more for your money.

Best overall: Xiaomi Mi 3 - Rs. 13,999
There’s no doubt about it, a Chinese invasion is on in full swing and Xiaomi has a weapon that can bring us all to our knees - killer pricing. The Xiami Mi  brings the features and performance of a Rs. 30,000 device to the sub-Rs. 15,000 price bracket. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it has no deal-breaking faults.

Best value: Asus ZenFone 5 (8GB) - Rs. 9,999
The Moto G  was our long-running favourite in this price bracket, but in the last one month, aside from Xiaomi, Asus has also launched some great, and reasonably priced phones. Asus’s ZenFone 5 has taken the best value slot thanks to its lower price tag, better hardware and superior performance all around.

Best camera: Asus ZenFone 5 (16GB) - Rs. 12,999
The ZenFone 5 has a really good camera - and not just for the price bracket. We were very happy with the quality of images taken with this smartphone’s camera, which managed to beat some pretty stiff competition. Since we aren’t pushing for value here.

Best battery life - Nokia Lumia 630 Dual SIM - Rs. 9,490 (MOP)
Nokia’s Lumia 630 might not be the newest kid on the block but it still has one killer advantage that none of our upstarts can match - its excellent battery life. This phone lasted for just over 11 hours in our battery loop test and nothing else has even come close.

Best QWERTY - BlackBerry Q5 - Rs. 13,990
Last month, you would have had to make do with the BlackBerry 9720, which runs the old “classic” BlackBerry 7.1 OS. This month, you can step up to the BlackBerry Q5, a more modern device running on the new all-touch BlackBerry 10 platform with all its swipe-enabled features and the handy BlackBerry Hub. Titanium S9 - 14,990
If you’re looking for something a little bigger than the norm, Karbonn’s recently launched Karbonn Titanium S9 will fit the bill. It has a 5.5-inch screen with a respectable resolution of 720×1280. The rest of the specifications are pretty good too - you get a quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel primary camera, giving it an advantage over its numerous competitors.

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Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has launched the anticipated N1 Mini in India, priced at Rs. 26,990. The smartphone, most famous for its 13-megapixel rotating camera, will be available on store shelves from Monday in its Light Blue and White colour variants, while the Yellow variant will be made available in September.

The N1 Mini is a single-SIM smartphone that runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with the company’s custom skin, ColorOS 1.4, on top of it. It features a 5-inch (720×1280 pixels) display made by JDI and is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor alongside Adreno 305 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

The smartphone sports a rotating 13-megapixel Sony IMX214 sensor camera with LED flash. While the Oppo N1 Mini features a 13-megapixel swivel camera, the company has noted that the smartphone is able to shoot photos up to 24-megapixel in size when shooting in Ultra-HD mode.

The Oppo N1 Mini comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, while there is no expandable storage support. It comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, GPRS/ EDGE, GPS/ A-GPS, 4G LTE and 3G connectivity options.

The smartphone is backed by a 2140mAh battery, and is 9.2mm thick with a weight of 150 grams. It comes in White, Blue and Yellow colour options. The Oppo N1 Mini measures 148.4×72.2×9.2mm and weighs 150 grams. It comes in White, Blue and Yellow colour options.\

In June, Oppo launched the Find 7 (Review I Pictures) in India, calling it the country’s first smartphone to boast of a Quad-HD (QHD) display. The company also unvieiled the Oppo Find 7a. Notably, the Oppo N1 was launched in India in January at Rs. 39,999, and received a price cut in June taking the price down to Rs. 32,990.

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Philips, the Sang Fei-owned smartphone brand, has launched two new handsets in the Indian market - the Philips S388 and Philips I928. The smartphones have been priced at Rs. 38,538 and Rs. 13,694 respectively.

Both the Phillips I928 and S388 smartphones feature support dual-SIM and 3G connectivity, and are listed with ‘Where to buy’ buttons on the company site that direct users to physical retailers.

The Philips I928 (Seen Above) was announced with a tentative June availability alongside three new smartphones in May, the Philips S308, W3500, and Xenium W6610.

The I928 runs the now-dated Andriod 4.2 Jelly Bean out-of-the-box with dual-SIM functionality. It sports a 1.7GHz octa-core processor, clubbed with 2GB of RAM. The handset packs a 13-megapixel rear camera that can record full-HD videos and features a 5-megapixel front camera. The I928’s rear camera also comes with autofocus functionality, f/2.0 lens and dual-LED flash.

There is 16GB of inbuilt storage on the Philips I928, which can be further expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). The smartphone comes with a 3300mAh Li-ion battery that is rated of deliver up to 600 hours of standby time and 19 hours of talk time. The wireless connectivity options of the I928 include Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G. The handset measures 160.1×81.8×8.2mm, weighs 168g and is available in Black colour variant.

The Philips S388 (Seen Above), on the other hand, features a 4.5-inch qHD (540×960 pixel) IPS display. Also running on the now-dated Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, it sports a 1.3GHz quad-core processor. While system memory is not specified on the official site, the phone is reported to feature 1GB of RAM. The Philips S388 comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera alongside a built-in flash. The firm however has not detailed the presence of a front-facing camera.

While the inbuilt storage capacity is unknown, Philips has mentioned that the S388 can support up to 32GB of storage via a microSD card. The wireless connectivity options of the S388 include Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi, GPRS and 3G. The Philips S388 measures 131×67.1×9.1mm, weighs 136.5 grams and comes with only Black colour variant. A 1700mAh Li-ion battery backs the smartphone.

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3D printing is all the rage. You can hit a button on your computer, which sends a file to a printer, which produces a small 3D object out of plastic. It’s a cool technology, but it’s not exactly a hands-on way to make things.

Enter the 3Doodler, the pen that turns you into the 3D printer. The $99 3Doodler, made by Boston-based startup Wobbleworks, is a fat pen not unlike a hot glue gun. It needs to be plugged into a wall outlet. A stick of plastic goes in on the blunt end and comes out, melted, at the tip. As you move your hand, it leaves a thin trail of cooling, solidifying plastic. Move it around with a plan, laying down string upon string, and an object starts taking shape.

It’s easy to get started. Within a few hours, I made a few rings, an unusable but cute eggcup, and a three-inch sculpture of a walking man. I made shoes for my daughter’s Barbie by coating the doll’s feet in plastic. They were popular until they broke a few minutes later. The finished objects have a unique and intriguing look to them - they’re all reminiscent of a jumble of fused plastic wire. But it’s very hard to make anything durable or useful this way. The company behind the 3Doodle recommends making paper clips as one of the first exercises, and sure, you’ll have paper clips, but they’ll be the most fragile paper clips you’ve ever seen. Bending clips from steel wire would be a much better way to go, if you really need paper clips.

It’s fun to work with plastic, though. Plastic has, so far, not been a do-it-yourselfer’s material. You can whittle wood, machine metal, and mold clay. But plastic, that near ubiquitous material, has been out of reach. That’s a pity, because it’s pretty cute. It’s light, colorful and easy to shape. It’s too bad it’s so fragile. There are two types of plastic available. Polylactide or PLA is made from corn and is biodegradable. It comes in several colors, including attractive translucent ones. I found it the easiest material to work with. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, or ABS, is opaque and more flexible. It’s more easily recycled than PLA. It’s hard to work with, in part because the strands don’t stick that well to one another.

The plastic costs $10 for packs of 25 sticks. Each pack weighs about 1.5 ounces or 40 grams. When bought in big rolls for 3D printers, the same amount of plastic costs about $1, so 3Doodler’s markup is pretty hefty.

Nikon Coolpix L830

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Nikon recently updated its Coolpix range of cameras including the Life (L) series. At the high end of the L series is the Nikon Coolpix L830 which is an update to the Coolpix L820. This is a bridge camera with a 34x optical zoom lens, which is slightly lower than Sony DSC-H300’s 35x optical zoom. While the Coolpix L830 seems to have a lot going for it, we find out if this camera has the actual chops to capture great images.

Truly bridging the gap between DSLRs and compact digital cameras, the Coolpix L830 is a super-zoom digital camera trapped in a DSLR frame, only much smaller. While it is available in plain black as well as red, the plum colour variant which we got for review is very striking. The body is made entirely of plastic with a glossy coat of paint on top, but it does feel sturdy. On the whole, for the amount it costs, the camera looks premium.

The most striking feature of the camera is the variangle LCD monitor which can be tilted and lowered to an angle of approximately 85 degrees. This makes it easy to capture dramatic shots and we found it useful in awkward situations.

The grip features a rubber padding that makes holding the camera easier. On the flip side, we couldn’t hold the camera properly with both hands, like one would a DSLR, since it has a really small frame. Holding the lens with the other hand was slightly disorienting as either the thumb came in the way of the flash or it got captured by the lens. 

You can use the Coolpix L830 easily with a single hand, but its 508g weight (including batteries) makes it slightly unwieldy and this adds to image stabilization issues that are inherent to super-zoom cameras. We feel that the ergonomics are slightly off, though there isn’t much Nikon could have done in this case.

On the top edge is the power button, with the shutter release and zoom ring further forward on the grip. There is also an ugly-looking perforated speaker on the top which detracts from the otherwise decent design of the camera. There is another zoom control on the side of the lens barrel. Right above this is a small button to pop the flash open. On the left edge are the micro-HDMI and proprietary PC connection ports. On the right edge is the DC input connector. The bottom has the tripod socket and the compartment for four AA batteries and a memory card.

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Samsung has unveiled yet another variant of its Galaxy Core smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Core Mini 4G G3568V, in China. The smartphone is listed on Samsung’s China website without price. As of now, Samsung hasn’t revealed its plans to launch the Galaxy Core Mini in more markets. The single-SIM Samsung Galaxy Core Mini 4G according to the listing runs Andriod 4.4 Kitkat out-of-the-box. It features a 4.3-inch TFT display with a WVGA (480×800 pixels) resolution.

The smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core (unknown chipset) processor coupled with 1.5GB of RAM. The Samsung Galaxy Core Mini 4G sports a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera with a LED flash, but there is no secondary front-facing camera onboard. The Samsung Galaxy Core Mini 4G offers 8GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded with a microSD card (up to 64GB). Apart from 4G connectivity, it also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G and GPS connectivity options. The handset measures 127.8×66.2×10.6 mm and weighs 136grams.

Previously, Samsung had unvelied the fourth iteration of its Galaxy Core smartphone, dubbed. Samsung Galaxy Core 4G. Featuring the model number SM-G386F, the Galaxy Core 4G runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS out-of-the-box with no word on whether it would receive an Android 4.4 KitKat update. February’s Galaxy Core 4G saw an upgrade in screen size and quality as compared to the first-gen Galaxy Core handset, bumped up from a 4.3-inch display with a WVGA resolution to a 4.5-inch PLS display with a qHD resolution. The Galaxy Core 4G is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The camera connectivity options include a 5-meapixel rear and a VGA front-facing camera. With a built-in 8GB storage, users can expand it up to 64GB via microSD card.

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This might not be very good news for the owners of the first generation Nokia X handsets (the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL), as Microsoft has revealed that the latest Nokia X software platform 2.0 OS, released with the Nokia X2 Dual SIM on Wednesday, will not be rolled-out to them. Microsoft confirmed the news on its Conversions blog, and  said, “Because of the necessary hardware upgrades, the Nokia X software platform 2.0 won’t be available on Nokia X, Nokia X+ or Nokia XL.”

As for what hardware upgrades these are, apart from the presence of 1GB of RAM and a new home button (probably the reason the new interface is not supported), Microsoft has made no mention. The company, however, confirmed that the Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL will be getting minor updates. The blog post said, “However, more updates will be coming to further improve the experience of those devices in the coming months.”

In addition, for the Nokia X2 Dual SIM launched on Tuesday, Microsoft has used AOSP (Android Open Source Project) corresponding to Andriod 4.3 Jelly Bean as the baseline for its operating system. Notably, for the Nokia X software platform 1.0, the Company used AOSP corresponding to Andriod 4.1 Jelly Bean. The new code base has now been listed by Microsoft’s Nokia Developer site, which clearly lists the development frameworks as AOSP API level 18 - Android 4.3, as seen on Android’s source code listing. The Nokia X2 Dual SIM, the successor to the popular Nokia X, has been launched at EUR 99 (roughly Rs. 8,100) without taxes and subsidies. The company had on Tuesday revealed that the Nokia X2 would be available immediately in select countries globally; however it has not listed the markets.

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