Posted by Gadgets as Gadgets News
Have you ever been in a situation where you have no W-Fi router, just one network cable and five people who need to use the Internet? Or maybe you have a 3G dongle that works with your laptop, but leaves your Wi-Fi-only tablet offline. Sounds familiar? It would certainly be handy to share the Internet connection amongst all users and devices without a router, right?
Or maybe this scenario will ring a bell. Many hotels offer wired Internet access for free, but charge you for Wi-Fi and/ or for using the Internet on more than one device. So should you just pay the crazy amount they ask for? Not necessarily.
You can share your laptop or desktop Internet connection via Wi-Fi to other devices, and for the most part, it’s quite simple. Mac users face no trouble at all, as setting up Internet sharing in OS X is just a couple of click away, but for Windows users the process can be a little bit more laboured. The built-in options don’t always cut it due to the complicated setup and reliability problems.
Internet sharing on Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1
Thankfully, there are quite a few apps that let you use your machine as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Before you use any of these apps, you may want to check the steps on Microsoft’s site?to see Windows’ built-in Internet sharing and see if you have better luck than we did. We do recommend that you skip that and use a third-party app instead, since the experience is usually much better.
We tested some popular apps that let you do this - Connectify and Virtual Router Plus. The latter didn’t work very well for us. Our anti-virus flagged it as a threat and during installation it tried to make us install unwanted software.
We didn’t have the same issues with Connectify. It is a reliable app for turning your computer into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Before you proceed, know that you will need a Windows PC with a Wi-Fi adapter (or built-in Wi-Fi) to make this work. If your computer does not have Wi-Fi, then you can buy one that connects via USB, such as?this one.
Here are the steps to setup your Windows machine as a Wi-Fi hotspot:
1. Download?Connectify?and install it. The installation is pretty straightforward and when installation is complete, restart your computer.
2. After restarting the computer, check whether it is connected to the Internet. If it is, run the?Connectify Hotspot?app.
3. You’ll see two tabs in the app -?Settings?and?Clients. In the?Settings?tab, under “Create a…” click Wi-Fi Hotspot.
4. Under?Internet to Share, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Expand it and select the connection you want to share. We tested this app with a wired and a wireless connection and found that it worked perfectly with both.
5. Under that, you’ll see some more options. Add a Wi-Fi password. Click?Start Hotspot.
That’s all you need to do. Now other devices will detect a Wi-Fi network labelled Connectify-me. Key in the password and you’re good to go.
If I’ve seen you taking photos with a tablet computer, I’ve probably made fun of you (though maybe not to your face, depending on how big you are). I’m old school: I much prefer looking through the viewfinder of my full-bodied, single-lens reflex camera, even though it has a large LCD screen.?But as I tested out Apple’s new iPad Air2,, I see why people like to shoot pictures with a tablet. Images look great on the large screen, and there’s less guesswork about whether or not small details, such as lettering on a sign, will be in focus.
And what you see - and get - with the iPad Air 2 is a better camera. The rear one now matches the iPhone’s 8 megapixels, up from 5 megapixels, and incorporates features such as slow-motion video. Packed with a faster processor, the 9.7-inch tablet is also 18 percent thinner and 7 percent lighter than the previous model, at about a quarter of an inch and just under a pound.?Apple is also updating its 7.9-inch iPad mini,, though the cameras, processor and dimensions haven’t changed.
The tablets go on sale this week, starting at $499 for the iPad Air 2 and $399 for the iPad mini 3. Both now have fingerprint ID technology to expedite online purchases through Apple Pay. Gold joins silver and grey as color choices, and pricier models have twice as much storage as before.
The iPad Air 2 takes sharper images. I can tell even before snapping the shot because I see all that detail on the screen. I’m able to read the small name tag on a baby bottle. Lettering on a van across the street looks clearer.?Last month’s iOS8?software update brought panorama and time-lapse features to the iPad. With the iPad Air 2, you can snap 10 shots per second in a burst mode - great for restless kids, as you can choose the best shots later. You also get slow-motion video, though only at 120 frames per second. The new iPone6 and iPhone 6 Plus?and iPhone 6 Plus?offer 240 frames per second as well, so motion looks even slower.
The new Air’s front camera gets a burst mode, too, and the front sensor is better than before at capturing light for indoor and night selfies.?Unfortunately, the iPad?still doesn’t have a flash. Although I prefer taking shots with natural light anyway, a lot of people like the flash. My advice is to light subjects with the iPhone’s flashlight.
Posted by Gadgets as Cell Phones
OnePlus, the company known for its ‘flagship killer’ smartphone the One, will launch its new pre-order system on October 27.
The pre-order window, which will be live for just an hour, will commence exactly at 3pm GMT (8am PST or 11am EST or 8.30pm IST) on Monday. To order the handset, users can visit the dedicated pre-order website. Notably, users would need to create a OnePlus account before pre-ordering the One smartphone.
As per Monday’s blog post announcing the pre-order system, users would have a limited window to order the OnePlus One smartphone from the website. However, the firm would not limit the number of units ordered. While the already made units will ship out to customers, the rest will be taken as pre-orders and will ship later, unlike the system used in flash sales. Also, if a customer pre-orders the handset and then gets a special invite, the user’s handset will then be shipped immediately.
The OnePlus One is priced at $299 (unlocked and without contract) for the 16GB model (roughly Rs. 18,300), and $349 (roughly Rs. 21,350) for the 64GB variant. The firm will also be offering the new JBL E1+ Earphones along with the OnePlus One at a discounted price of $24.99 (roughly Rs. 1,530) (original being $39.99).
OnePlus last week announced its collaboration with JBL, the popular audio company, to introduce JBL E1+ Earphones that have been made exclusively for the OnePlus One smartphone.
The JBL E1+ Earphones feature PureBass technology and high frequency response. The red-coloured earphones with a flat wire design includes a frequency range from 10Hz-22000Hz. It also features an in-line three-button remote with microphone, which lets users answer calls, skip audio tracks and also take images. The JBL E1+ Earphones come with three additional pairs of rubber earplugs of different sizes.
Many, many articles have been written about BlackBerry’s fall from grace; about how it completely failed to read and respond to a changing market, and the sequence of poor judgment calls that transformed its product line from a dominant cultural force into a vaguely unpleasant memory. This is a company that managed to alienate its core user base, eliminate the feature they loved most, and not understand for years what it had been doing wrong. The post-decline BlackBerry product line has had more misses than hits and the appeal of the platform has all but evaporated. And still, the company isn’t dead. Still, there are people who cling to their old phones or cry that the ones they’ve had to move to just don’t feel right. Still, there are people who desperately want the company to release a phone that feels and functions just like a classic QWERTY BlackBerry and will race to buy it as soon as that happens. The Passport is not that phone. It’s something entirely new; it might make some of those loyal customers very happy while disappointing others, but it also might appeal to those who never thought they’d consider a BlackBerry again. It’s a brave, imaginative device that rethinks what a smartphone should be and how it should work. Coming from a company that has spent many years in a mad blind dash to keep up with its competition, this product represents a massive change of direction. This is BlackBerry in attack mode; finding things that its competitors cannot or will not do, leveraging its strengths in hardware and software, and exploiting the shortcomings of the homogenous rectangles that all smartphones have come to be. This is the company deliberately upsetting the status quo and giving buyers something different and potentially better to consider. There’s a lot that the Passport needs to do in order to break through, and we’re going to give it a fair chance to do so.
n the past two years, Asus has released at least four different versions of the Fonepad 7. We saw a Fonepad 7 (3G) release last year, followed by the Fonepad 7 Dual SIM and the Fonepad 7 (FE375CG) in the first quarter of this year. On top of that, the Fonepad 7 (FE170CG) launched just recently, and we have it with us for review. This Fonepad 7 is Asus’s attempt at creating a low-cost tablet for the masses. While the spec sheet may not be impressive, Asus’s intended target audience might approve of the Dual-SIM functionality and voice calling features. The refreshed Fonepad 7 doesn’t look too different from the Fonepad 7 we reviewed last year but it looks like Asus has tweaked the design slightly to make it better. Gone is the plain slippery back, which is now replaced by a nice textured finish. This aids in gripping the device. The entire body is made of good quality plastic and feels sturdy in everyday use. Moreover, Asus has shaved 28g from the previous iteration and the weight of the new Fonepad 7 is 290g. This reduction is immediately noticeable since the device is easier to use with one hand. We received the black version for review but the tablet is also available in red, blue and white. The Asus Fonepad 7 SoC is an Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz with an integrated PowerVR SGX 544MP GPU. The device also has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage space, which can be further expanded by 64GB using a microSD card. Asus also bundles 5GB of space on Web Storage, its very own cloud platform, which is valid for life. You also get an additional 11GB of space for the first year. There is a 2-megapixel primary camera and a 0.3-megapixel front camera.
With respect to cellular connectivity, this voice-calling tablet can connect to the 850/900/1800/1900/2100MHz frequency bands. There is Bluetooth v4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity as well. The battery specification is not mentioned anywhere but Asus claims that it can play videos for 10hrs. We shall test this claim in our performance section. The Asus Fonepad 7 is available for as little as Rs. 7,299 on e-commerce platforms, which is a really good price for a tablet that performs so well. Yes, the software was slightly iffy in the beginning, but that could have been a problem with our review unit. The screen is not too great and the camera is a joke, but the cost had to be managed somehow.
A recent report claims that the anticipated Samsung Galaxy A5, part of the rumoured upcoming Galaxy A series of smartphones, is expected to release ‘as soon as November’ with a rumoured price tag of around $400-$450 (approximately Rs. 24,000-27,000). The same report also claims that the anticipated Galaxy A7 will feature a full-HD display instead of the HD display reported earlier.
According to Sammobile, which has been actively reporting about the rumoured A series, on Tuesday reported that the Galaxy A5 will release in November.
The smartphone’s design has already been tipped in multiple leaks. Earlier this week, the yet-to-be-announced Galaxy A5 was showcased in purported render images. The images once again showcased the device sporting metal chamfered edges (and not full metal bezels and side panels like the Galaxy Alpha), and were in-line with previous leaks and rumours.
Previously, the alleged Galaxy A5 was seen in two purported images - one had the Galaxy A5 seen in a side by side comparison with Galaxy A3 and Galaxy Alpha. The second showcased the right panel of the Galaxy A5, with the power button and SIM card slot visible.
An alleged Galaxy A5 handset was additionally seen benchmarked on GFX Bench, which listed a 4.8-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display; Android 4.4.4 KitKat; quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 410 processor (64-Bit); 2GB of RAM; Adreno 306 GPU; 13-megaixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera; up to 16GB internal storage, and a 2300mAh battery.
The Galaxy A7 on the other hand was previously rumoured to feature a 5.5-inch HD display and dual-SIM support.
Posted by Gadgets as Solar UPS Inverter
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.
Posted by Gadgets as Cell Phones
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.
Posted by Gadgets as Bluetooth
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 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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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.