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Moto G5 Plus review

Moto G5 Plus review:

A worthy successor to the Moto G4 Plus

Image result for moto g5 plus review

Every time a new phone is launched, user’s hopes are pinned on the new features that it comes bundled with. That said, a successor or an upgrade is worthy of being called so, only if it fixes all that was wrong with its predecessor. We’re talking about the newly-launchedMoto G5 Plus.

From design to hardware, there’s a lot that Lenovo-owned Motorola has brought to the table with the G5 Plus. And all these improvements add up to make the Moto G5 Plus a much better device than its predecessor – Moto G4 Plus. But, since budget smartphones are on the rise in the Indian market, is the G5 Plus a good upgrade? Is it any better than competitors like Xiaomi, Honor etc? We got to spend some time with the device and this is what we think.

Design

Moto G5 Plus follows the footsteps of the company’s premium devices – Moto Z Play and Moto Z, in terms of design and ditching the plastic body for an aluminium finish. It is safe to say that the company has crafted a good-looking device in the budget segment.

The G5 Plus has a non-removable back panel with a round protruding hump for the primary camera module, along with an engraved Motorola logo below it.

Having a 5.2-inch display, the G5 Plus feels both thinner and smaller than the G4 Plus. The aluminium body has a matte finish with the borders sporting a glossy lining. The volume and power keys are placed on the right edge, while the SIM tray is located on the top. The bottom edge houses a microUSB charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack.

There’s a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the display, while the front camera, earpiece (which also doubles up as a mono speaker) and sensors are up top. It all looks fine, however we would’ve appreciated capacitive buttons instead of on-screen ones, as they would’ve helped in saving some screen space.

Since the phone comes with a 5.2-inch display, it feels way thinner and smaller in hand. One handed usage is easier as well. The device has a good amount of weight to it and the matte finish gives it a better grip, in addition to enhancing the premium appearance.
Skipping to the display the Moto G5 Plus+ sports a 5.2 inch IPS LCD Full HD screen with 1,080×1,920 pixel resolution. While the display is crisp and has accurate colour reproduction, we found the sunlight legibility to be a little less, even with the brightness level set to maximum. That said, the display is great to work with indoors and in well-lit conditions. Viewing angles are nice too.

Over that, the display is protected with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display comes with water-repellent nano coating. All in all, we found the Moto G5 Plus to be a good-looking device, which comes in two colour options – Lunar Grey and Fine Gold.

Performance

Moto G5 Plus is the first smartphone in its price segment to come with Google’s latest Android operating system Nougat out-of-the-box and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset with an Adreno 506 GPU. There are two configurations based on RAM and internal storage – 3GB RAM/16GB storage and 4GB RAM/32GB storage, and both support microSD cards of up to 128GB in size. We used the latter.

The fingerprint sensor worked fast during our testing and it unlocks the phone almost instantly. We ran the GeekBench test and the Moto G5 Plus scored 784 in single-core performance. It got a multi-core score of 3,741 in the same test. While in the AnTuTu Benchmark it scored a total of 63,349. These are decent scores for a budget smartphone. Overall performance during our time with the device was up to the mark, and everything from multitasking to random app switching worked seamlessly.

We even tried heavy games like WWE Immortals and Justice League and the smartphone handled them without breaking a sweat. The Full HD display makes content consumption a great experience on this smartphone.
Moto G5 Plus is 4G VoLTE enabled. During our usage, we found the call quality to be good. The phone easily latches on to the networks and we did not face any call drops (partly because we were in good network zone).

Having dual nano-SIM support, the G5 Plus’s additional SIM slot can also be used to hold a microSD card. The mono loudspeaker is good, however a louder one would have been so much better if you wanted to share the screen with friends.

Since it comes with the latest version of Android, the Moto G5 Plus has all the standard Nougat features like split-view multitasking and quick replies from notifications. We found all these to be quite helpful for a satisfying user experience.

Moto G5 Plus was touted as the first non-Pixel smartphone to come with Google Assistant. However, the smartphone does not come with Google Assistant out of the box. Reports suggest that the company will be rolling out a software update for the same.

What’s notable about the Moto G5 Plus is that it comes with near-stock Android. There are almost zero bloat ware apps, and the convenient Motorola additions such as gestures make everything even better.

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus packs a 3,000mAh battery. During our usage, it lasted for almost an entire day with moderate to heavy use. Thanks to turbo charging functionality, you can charge the battery to around 55-60% in just 15 minutes. However, overall standby time will obviously depend upon individual usage.

The Moto G5 Plus has 12MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, colour-balancing dual-LED flash and 8X digital zoom. It can also recognize barcodes and QR codes. During our tests, we found the photos taken from the G5 Plus’s rear camera to be impressive. The images have bright colours and are quite sharp. What’s best about the camera is that it can record 4K video at 30fps, in addition to shooting Full HD video at 60/30fps and HD quality at 30 fps.

However, since the device only supports Full HD screen resolution, 4K videos shot on the device can only be viewed on any other 4k device.

The front shooter has a 5MP module with wide-angle lens, f/2.2 aperture. On the test bench, we found the selfie camera to be just average. It gets the job done, but we won’t call it anything extraordinary.

Ditching the plastic body is a correct move by Motorola, it is high time budget devices got the premium quality appearance as midrange and flagship devices. In the G5 Plus, Motorola has a phone that can be even more successful than its predecessor. It has everything that we liked from the G4 Plus and comes with a few extras. At the global launch event of the smartphone, Moto G5 Plus was touted as the first non-Pixel smartphone to come with Google Assistant.

If you’re looking for alternatives in the similar price bracket, you can look at the Huawei Honor 6X.

MOTOROLA MOTO G5 PLUS

SCORE:- 8.0 

GOOD STUFF:

  • A mostly-premium design despite low price
  • Runs like a flagship phone most of the time
  • Long battery life
  • Works on any carrier
  • 4K Video recording

BAD STUFF:

  • Large bezels cancel out compact screen
  • Camera doesn’t live up to expectations
  • Software updates aren’t guaranteed
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HANDS ON: ASUS ZENBOOK 3

Asus gave its Zenbook a Mac makeover, and the result is beautiful!!!!

asus zenbook  hands onasus zenbook  hands on

asus zenbook  hands on

 

 

Apple’s MacBook is a decent notebook, but it has problems, particularly in performance. Its Core M processor just isn’t as quick as some users desire.
Enter Asus, and the Zenbook 3, which asks a simple question. Why compromise? Core M is efficient, but is it really necessary to create a super-slim, portable system? Asus doesn’t think so. And hopes its latest notebook — which can be purchased with up to a Core i7 dual-core — will be the proof.

A form of flattery
The new Zenbook 3 looks very similar to Apple’s MacBook at first glance. And second. And third. The shared use of all metal-design with a broad, single display hinge and speakers above the keyboard makes the resemblance uncanny.

 

Asus Zenbook 3
Yet there are major differences. The Zenbook 3 has a smaller touchpad, and matches the color of the keys to the body, decisions that create some distance between the Apple and the Asus. More importantly, the Zenbook 3 boasts the shiniest version of the brand’s distinctive, circular pattern that we’ve seen in years. Fingerprint magnet? You bet. But it does look wonderful when clean.
Computex 2016: Gigabyte’s new Aero 14 will give you 10 hours of GTX 970M-powered usage

The specifications peg the Zenbook 3 at no thicker than .46 inches, and it weighs in at just a sliver above two pounds. These numbers feel appropriate when the system is handled. It’s hard to believe it’s an actual, working notebook – but then you open it, and the thin-bezel display turns on.
Yes, the new Zenbook 3 has bezels that rival the Dell XPS 13. And they’re needed. While the system is similar in size and weigh to a MacBook, it actually has a slightly bigger 12.5-inch display. That may not seem like a big deal, but the extra screen real estate is noticeable. The MacBook’s screen comes across as a serious downgrade, in terms of usable real-estate, if you’re used to a 13-inch ultrabook. The Zenbook 3 is still small, but more tolerable in day-to-day use.
The key to the plan
We weren’t surprised to hear Asus talk up the keyboard. That’s one of the MacBook’s biggest flaws, and any competitor needs to address how it’ll fix it. The Zenbook 3 claims to do so the old-fashioned way – double the physical key travel.
It was clear the Zenbook 3’s keyboard has the MacBook beat.
The few minutes we spent with the new Zenbook made it clear Asus has beat Apple in this area. We immediately noticed the extra key travel, and it helped us more readily tell when a key was activated. Asus has made the keyboard edge-to-edge, so the layout didn’t feel in the least bit cramped.
But that’s not to say the keyboard is perfect. The key travel is alright, but it’s still a step behind the best ultrabooks. That’s notable because Asus itself makes some of the best ultrabook keyboards around – the Asus Zenbook UX305CA’s keys are superb. Compared to that standard, the Zenbook 3 feels vague and imprecise.
The touchpad is a similar situation. It seems fine. But only that – fine. If the MacBook is the benchmark the Zenbook 3 is to be judged against, then this is one area it doesn’t match up. The surface appears a bit smaller (we’d have to measure to be sure) and lacks the wonderfully smooth feel of the MacBook.
Powering up
The processor inside the Zenbook 3 is a standard Core mobile chip, rather than the less powerful Core M. That is a key selling point. Our reviews have consistently found that Core M is about 30 percent (or more) behind “standard” Core.

Asus Zenbook 3

We can’t judge the performance of the Zenbook 3 on the show floor. But performance doesn’t deviate much, so we expect the entry-level model will be competitive with the MacBook Air and mid-tier Dell XPS 13, while the high-end model will run with the quickest laptops around.
The big question is not if the processor will perform, but instead if the Zenbook 3 will keep its cool.
The big question is not if the processor will perform, but instead if the Zenbook 3 will keep its cool. A fan that’s just 3 millimeters thick is required to keep the laptop’s thin profile, and it probably doesn’t push a lot of air. For what it’s worth, the floor models didn’t feel overly warm.
Battery life is another concern. Asus quotes nine hours — an optimistic figure. The battery is rated at 40 watt hours, which is not tiny, but also not large. For reference, the Asus Zenbook UX305UA, with a 45 watt-hour battery, hit almost nine hours in the iMacro web browsing test. We expect the Zenbook 3 will achieve seven to eight hours in the same test.

Conclusion
There’s a lot to like about the Zenbook 3, at least when compared to its target, the MacBook. Asus’ ultrabook is faster. It has a better keyboard. It’s less expensive.

We’re not blown over by this Zenbook just yet, however. Asus’ other models, while not always the most attractive, are an incredible value. The Zenbook UX305CA is super-light, but only $700 (and it’s actually $600 at many retailers). The UX305UA offers competitive performance and strong battery life for $750.

The Zenbook 3, at $1,000, is comparatively expensive. And we’re not sure it has much to offer except a smaller footprint. Asus’ problem is that it’s already raised the bar so high, that hurdling it will be a herculean task. But that, as problems go, isn’t a bad one to have.

Highs
Extremely thin and light
Uses “standard” Core i5 and i7 processors
More affordable than competitors

Lows
Keyboard travel is still shallow
Might run hot, due to thin profile

 

 

 

BlackBerry Z3 launched in India; available on pre-order now for Rs 14,990

BlackBerry Z3 launched in India; available on pre-order now for Rs 14,990

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BlackBerry just launched the Z3 at an ongoing press conference in New Delhi today. The new budget smartphone is priced at Rs 15,990 but will be available for a special pre-order price of Rs 14,990.

 

Customers will be able to make the bookings from The Mobile Store, Flipkart and all BlackBerry Exclusive stores from June 25 to July 2.

 

The addition of the Z3 also marks the entry of BlackBerry Maps in India, a feature that’s long been missing from the BB10 platform here. Maps features 3D, voice guided, Turn-by-turn navigation as well.

 

The Z3, which is designed for Indonesia, is the first new BlackBerry phone since chief executive John Chen took the helm of the crisis-hit company in November.

 

The handset is also the first to be produced from the Canadian firm’s partnership with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, which makes gadgets for Apple, and is a key test of whether the new strategy will work.

 

BlackBerry India MD Sunil Lalvani started by talking about the recent financial results which saw BlackBerry turning in a surprising profit. Clearly money in the bank gives you the greatest adrenalin rush. Lalwani also highlighted recent gains, including 33K BES 10 servers within a year of launch, cash up to $3.1 billion, 16 out if 20 G20 governments use BlackBerry and 7 out of 8 G8 governments.

 

Lalvani even showed off global media quotes after the results which have been markedly different from the negativity some time ago. Underlined that BlackBerry is not exiting handsets — said there was no reason to do a 5 year deal with Foxconn otherwise.
‎Battery was the first thing highlighted and rightly so as our review attests — one of the highlights of the Z3, followed by the build quality.
Android ‎apps compatibility that BlackBerry executives never spoke about publicly earlier is also being openly touted. So is the recent Amazon App Store announcement though details are not available on the specifics — if the BlackBerry store will have curated content and apps, etc, or just the same Amazon app store that can also be side loaded today.

 

The phone has a 5-inch touchscreen, like most of BlackBerry’s newest handsets which do not have the physical keyboards of the older devices. While the resolution is lower than the Z10, the panel still manages good colour reproduction. Other features include a dual-core, 1.2GHz CPU from Qualcomm, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB onboard storage, expandable memory up to 32GB as well as connectivity options like NFC, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB 2.0.

 

The Z3 also manages to pack in a relatively large battery of 2500mAh capacity, which gives it really good battery life.

 

However, though the BlackBerry Z3 retails for the equivalent of Rs 12000 in Indonesia, there is a subsidy element there by local telcos. In India, telcos don’t subsidise smartphones and BlackBerry also faces duties, taxes and forex uncertainty. For instance, in the past couple of days the Indian rupee has seen its biggest fall in nearly four-and-a-half months thanks to the ongoing Iraq crisis and worries on oil imports. While BlackBerry executives were tight-lipped, retail sources said that they were receiving indicators of the Z3 being priced around Rs 14,000 or slightly higher depending on these issues.

India is among the seven countries where the Z3 will be alunched, BlackBerry had told Tech2 at the official launch in Jakarta. But the exact launch dates were not disclosed as the company wanted to see the response in Indonesia, before formulating marketing strategies for other regions.

 

The BlackBerry Z3 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 SoC which has a dual-core processor along with 1.5GB of RAM. It is a mid-range handset, featuring a 5-inch full touch display with a 540×960 resolution and running the latest version of BlackBerry 10 OS. Apart from that you have a 5MP rear camera and a 1.1MP front-facing camera.

 

The BlackBerry Z3 is expected to compete with the likes of the Moto G and Lumia 630, and also against the newest range of Windows Phone handsets by Micromax

 

Review:

A durable, full-featured device built for BlackBerry’s biggest fans.

The BlackBerry Z3 is the latest BlackBerry 10 device and was built exclusively for Indonesia. This is the first product of the Foxconn / BlackBerry partnership worked up by John Chen. The time from inception to production on this device was just a matter of months, so it already looks like the deal is paying off.

BlackBerry Z3

At launch, the BlackBerry Z3 smartphone will be available in a limited edition model — the BlackBerry Z3 Jakarta Edition — featuring the inscription “Jakarta” on the back of the phone to commemorate the launch of the first BlackBerry smartphone built specifically for the Indonesian market. BlackBerry is all about the people, so the Z3 invites these users to “Be part of We.”

Indonesians are “ultra” BlackBerry users, and as such, BlackBerry is giving a bit back in the form of an exclusive device, just for them. The Z3 Jakarta Edition doesn’t have the latest or greatest specs, but it holds down what BlackBerry users do most — communicate. The Z3 makes the latest hardware accessible to the masses of people that just want to stay connected. It won’t turn out to be a mainstream device by any means, but it will provide those in Indonesia and similar regions the ability to have an awesome BlackBerry 10 phone at a great price with no big compromises.

Z3 Video Walk through:

 

 

BlackBerry Z3 Specs and features

Low end, but not low performance

The BlackBerry Z3 doesn’t have the newest hardware inside, but it has what it needs to keep the BlackBerry 10 OS running smoothly. Behind the 5” glass LCD screen lies a 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor, 8GB of flash memory and 1.5GB of RAM. A big 2500mAh battery powers it all — and it does so in grand fashion. I was able to stretch over a full day on the Z3, though I wish I had more time to test it out for the long haul. Also good to note is that there is no LTE in this model. The Z3 is being targeted toward Indonesia and other parts of Asia (hence the Jakarta name) and LTE isn’t available in most areas where this particular variation of the device is to be sold.

BlackBerry Z3 camera

All the standard fare is here — Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and even Miracast support. The back camera is a mediocre 5MP, while the front-facing lens is just 1.1MP. It’s not the worst camera we’ve seen in a BlackBerry (yes, Bold 9900, that’s you) but it still not great. It did however take some decent shots providing the lighting was good.

It’s not the worst camera we’ve seen in a BlackBerry (yes, Bold 9900, that’s you) but it’s still not great.

To me it feels like the Z3 is a good amount lighter than the BlackBerry Z30 (to which we’ll be making plenty of comparisons), though that’s not the case. At 164g, the Z3 comes in at just a touch lighter than the Z30’s 170g. It’s smooth all around and actually feels really good in the hand. It’s not slippery at all thanks to the textured back, and it’s not too slim to lose hold of. In fact, it may even prove a bit too wide for those with smaller hands. The Z3 slides right in and out of my pockets, but it does have a bad habit of showing off screen smudges in all their glory.

BlackBerry Z3 buttonsBlackBerry Z3 bottomBlackBerry Z3 card slotBlackBerry Z3 bottom bezel

The Z3 also has BlackBerry Natural Sound, just like we saw (or heard) on the Z30 to give a much more realistic listening experience in things like BBM Voice. A built-in FM radio tuner also allows for radio without having to use a network connection.

I also had a bit of trouble at times using the swipe gestures from the top and bottom bezels. It wasn’t often, but when it happened it was certainly frustrating. Lots of swiping with no reaction. I assume it’s just due to the way the display is designed and all flow together, but I’ll see how much it happens and/or annoys me going forward.

Overall the Z3 feels extremely solid. It’s essentially one big piece from head to toe, and it doesn’t feel at all “cheap” or that it won’t last. It’s made with durable materials and it in for the long-haul.

BlackBerry Z3

2.87 in

72.8 mm

0.36 in9.26 mm

5.51 in

140.0 mm

5.78 oz (164 g)
5.0″ qHD540x960220ppi24-bit color
2500 mAhTalk: 15.5 hrs 

Standby: 388 hrs

 

  • Rear: 5MP, auto focus, 5x digital zoom, 1080p HD videoFront: 1.1MP, 720p HD video
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8230Dual-core processor1.2Ghz
  • 1.5GB RAM8GB internal storagemicro SD
  • Tri-band UMTS/HSPA+Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGEWi-Fi 802.11b/g/nBluetooth 4.0 LE + EDR
  • BlackBerry OS 10.2.1BlackBerry Natural Sound

 

BlackBerry Z3 hardware

Sleek, durable and definitely BlackBerry

The Z3 fits right in line with other BlackBerry 10 devices. The big 5” glass screen looks great on the front, and the flying B logo sits in the middle of the textured back. There’s no removable battery door on the Z3, so that gives it smoother lines and just feels like it flows better all around. The hardware looks basic (which it is) but it still looks good. It’s not too flashy, but it’s got a great look to it at the same time — though it’s not meant to be a high-end device with a high-end look.

Without a removable back, that leaves the SIM and SD card slots on the right side of the device, under a flimsy little door. I’m not a fan of these type of flaps, but there isn’t really much choice on this one. On the left are the power and volume buttons. I’m not a big fan of the power button placement and would have rather it been on the right side or top of the device, but it’s just something to get used to.

BlackBerry Z3 buttons

On the top is the lone 3.5mm headphone jack, on the bottom the microUSB port. I like this placement because it means that we could see a dock of some sort for the Z3, though it’s unlikely and we’ll probably just be stuck with standard chargers for a while. Also note that there’s not microHDMI port as on some other BB10 devices — but again, not a deal breaker.

The BlackBerry Z3 is of a “what you see is what you get” design.

The Z3 really does feature a plain and simple design. The Z30, Z10 and Q10 all have various design elements to make them more appealing, but much like the Q5, the Z3 is more of a “what you see is what you get” design — but one that I happen to like. It’s also very durable and will stand up to constant use. It’s not “plastic” or cheaply made — it’s a solid device that will last for years to come.

Display

BlackBerry Z3

Overall the Z3 has a nice display. the LCD screen lights up bright on all 5” and I don’t really have any complaints. The only issue I ran into was using the device in direct sunlight, but that’s something you’ll run into on a lot of devices. Colors are sharp, whites are bright and everything looks good. The pixel based resolution of the Z3 is 540×960 but through the magic of upscaling, the scaled resolution is the exact same of that of the BlackBerry Z30 which is 720×1280. The glass also stretches from edge to edge thanks to the design of the Z3, giving you more screen and less bezel.

Battery Life

BlackBerry Z3 battery

I wish I would have had more time to run the Z3 through a good battery test (I only had about 4 days) but overall the 2500mAh battery did a great job. I was able to get through a day with no hiccups, and I’m sure I could stretch to near two should the need arise. The battery is more than enough to keep things going on the Z3, so I don’t foresee any issues on that front. Of course, part of that comes from the fact there’s no LTE on this model, though a version with LTE is planned for future release.

Camera

BlackBerry Z3 taking a photo

One place where the Z3 falls short is the camera. It’s obviously not built as a photo-taking machine, but it still could stand to be a bit better. The 5MP rear camera does an okay job of getting decent images providing the settings are right, but the 1.1MP front camera really isn’t good for too much — especially taking good photos. Both will serve their purpose of snapping quick images or using video chat however, but sadly you won’t be getting any masterpieces from the Z3 camera. The camera does have Time Shift mode and some great filters though, so that definitely adds some points — and hey, at least it’s got auto-focus.

A quick shot from the Z3 and Z30 for comparison (Z3 of the left, Z30 on the right):

BlackBerry Z3 sample photoBlackBerry Z30 sample photo

BlackBerry Z3 software

The same BlackBerry 10 you know and love

The Z3 is running OS 10.2.1 out of the box, so that means it’s on par with the current BB10 devices. All the latest updates are there — BBM stickers, quick settings, Priority Hub and the ability to install Android apps OTA (over the air). The BlackBerry OS 10.3 update will be along soon, which will also bring even more new features to the Z3 as well as other BlackBerry 10 devices.

We won’t dive too much into the OS itself, but you can check out every bit and piece of OS 10.2.1 in our recent BlackBerry 10 review – 2014 edition..

BlackBerry Hub & Sharing

BlackBerry 10 Hub on the BlackBerry Z3

The BlackBerry Hub is the centralized location for all of your notifications on the Z3, and it’s accessible anywhere, anytime. A simple swipe to the right from the homescreen and you’ll see the Hub where you can view your email, text messages, phone calls, social notifications, BBM chats and more. New features like BlackBerry Priority Hub and pinch gestures allow for even deeper use of the Hub as well. The Hub is really one of the big selling points of BlackBerry 10 and proves to be extremely useful and powerful for multitasking.

Sharp Sharing makes it faster and easier for you to share nearly anything on your device. When choosing to share an item, BB10 will offer suggestions on who and how to share pictures, files, links, and documents based on your past activity. It adapts automatically to learn where and what you share most, so as you share more and more, the options you want are right there when you open the share menu.

Typing

Being a device for Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia is ready to roll on the Z3 keyboard. Thankfully the BB10 keyboard is awesome so you can easily add in English (or any other language) and seamlessly switch between them while typing. The Z3 is also equipped with local dialects as part of the language, i.e. Basa Jawa and Basa Sunda, which enable the keyboard to understand the words in those two local dialects. As a result, you will be able to type in multiple languages such as English, Bahasa Indonesia and Basa Jawa or Basa Sunda simultaneously.

The BlackBerry 10 virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry Z3

The virtual keyboard on BlackBerry 10 is still one of the best on mobile. Here you’ll find plenty of options for auto-correct and word prediction, and you can take full advantage of the swipe features that we’ve loved since we first saw them.

Apps

The good thing about the Z3 is that there are already loads of apps available. Any app with a Z30 variant will be fitted to the Z3 and ready to roll. So that means thousands of apps can be used right off the bat. BlackBerry World has all of the latest apps that Z3 users will be looking for. Apps for travel, lifestyle, music, video, games and news are all there.

Thanks to BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 there is now an even greater set of apps available for the Z3. Android apps can be installed OTA (over the air) directly to the device, eliminating the need to hook up to a PC to sideload. That means popular apps like Instagram, Path or other that aren’t available in BlackBerry World can be used on the BlackBerry Z3 with no noticeable differences. You’ll still have to seek out the APK files for these apps, but there are some great resourcesavailable as well as third-party apps stores like Snap that help out in that area.

BBM

The Z3 is rocking the latest version of BBM, so that means BBM Channels & stickers are ready to go. Indonesian users love stickers, so having them ready to roll out of the box will be a huge benefit. The users that will be buying the Z3 are doing so for the communication factor (more so than gaming, apps, photos etc) and having so many communication features within BBM will be a huge bonus. Out of the box the Z3 has BBM chat, voice, video with screen sharing, groups, BBM Channels and stickers. An exclusive Indonesia sticker pack will also be available at launch for a limited time from local artist Susiyo Saptoadi representing Punakawan Characters.

BBM on the BlackBerry Z3BB10 browser on the BlackBerry Z3

Browser

The BlackBerry 10 browser is still one of the best there is, and browsing on the Z3 is awesome. The big 5” screen leaves plenty of room to check out your favorite pages. Browsing is fast and smooth and extremely intuitive. Share features are always just a few taps away, and of course you can access the Hub from within the browser for quick reference. The BB10 browser still features Adobe Flash as well.

Instant Previews

Instant Previews are new to OS 10.2 and really add a lot to the notification experience. Rather than just having an audible alert and LED, Instant Previews allow for some notifications to show a short dropdown banner across the OS, letting you know just what message has come in. These previews work for email, Twitter, SMS, Facebook and BBM. Messages like even allow for quick replies right from the notification, without having to leave whatever app you’re currently using.

 

BlackBerry Z3: The Bottom Line

Capture

A low-end device that wins high praises

  • The BlackBerry Z3 has a solid and durable design, great battery life, and a simply great price point.
  • Low hardware specs, a crappy camera, and that it’s only available in certain regions will hold the BlackBerry Z3 back.
  • When it comes down to it, the BlackBerry Z3 is a good — not great — device. The specs are on the lower end, but it still performs extremely well. It’s not a powerhouse like the BlackBerry Z30, but it’s geared toward those that are looking for pure communication, which is what BlackBerry is all about. It’s durable, has amazing battery life, and will certainly find a place amongst BlackBerry fans.

Overall I really do like the BlackBerry Z3. It’s not sporting the highest specs, but it doesn’t have to be. For the markets in which it will be available, the Z3 will be a great upgrade for many users. OS 10.2.1 runs great with no slowness or lag, and the battery life is more than enough to stay powered through even the longest of days. The biggest drawbacks I found are the low-resolution cameras (both front and back). Some may not like the plain design of the Z3, but the fact that it’s so durable and not “cheap” (which could be said about the Q5) should outweigh the design choices.

The target customers are communicators and pride themselves on having the latest tech, and the Z3 covers those bases quite well.

Z10 users should welcome the upgrade, but I can’t say that those using a Z30 will want to change things up to a Z3. The Z3 doesn’t have the internal specs of the Z30, but it’s still got a great look and feel. You’d be trading off a bit of speed (though not really noticeable) and camera quality. Long story short, it’s a great upgrade from BBOS andmaybe the Z10, but if you’re already using a Z30, the Z3 probably won’t phase you at all.

I think the Z3 will be a big seller in Indonesia. Those users are big communicators and pride themselves on having the latest tech, and the Z3 will cover those bases well. We’re still not sure if we’ll see an LTE version land in North America or other areas, but for now I don’t think it matters much with other devices already on the roadmap. Many people won’t see the Z3 as a good upgrade or even a good move for BlackBerry having those lower specs, but considering the market and the quickness from inception to finished product, the Z3 is a very well-rounded device overall. The Z3 is available starting this week in Indonesia, and should be arriving in other regions of Asia soon as well.

 

 

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2014, February
Status Available. Released 2014, May
BODY Dimensions 140 x 72.8 x 9.3 mm (5.51 x 2.87 x 0.37 in)
Weight 164 g (5.78 oz)
DISPLAY Type Capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 5.0 inches (~220 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 8 GB, 1.5 GB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSPA+
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 1080p
Secondary Yes, 1.1 MP, 720p
FEATURES OS BlackBerry 10.2.1 OS
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8230 Snapdragon 400
CPU Dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait 200
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, BBM 6
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, MIDP 2.1
Colors Black
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– SNS integration
– BlackBerry maps
– Organizer
– Document viewer
– Photo viewer/editor
– Video editor
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC/WMA player
– MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 2500 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 384 h
Talk time Up to 15 h 30 min
Music play Up to 84 h
MISC Price group Rs. 15990/-

Motorola Moto G

Motorola Moto G

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The Moto G promises to deliver a premium smartphone experience for a third of the price of current high-end phones. In India, it’s currently selling like hot cakes. Considering the hype surrounding this handset, the Moto G deserves a special review treatment. Unlike others, we don’t just run benchmarks on a phone and then write an article around it. In smartphones, performance and app count only tell you the ‘smart’ part. In this review, we will also tell you how well does the Moto G perform as a ‘phone’.

 

 

Moto G revie

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Budget smartphones might not attract as much attention as their high-end counterparts, but there is no denying that these devices are in massive demand, especially in markets like India. Motorola’s Moto G is an attempt to grab buyers’ attention by offering a number of features at an extremely reasonable price.

After a brief sabbatical, Motorola has returned to the Indian market with its Moto G smartphone, which is an affordable device for cost-conscious consumers worldwide. This phone was designed as part of Google’s plan to focus on creating a distinctive lineup of devices for different markets. Now, with Lenovo recently acquiring Google’s stake in Motorola Mobility, we don’t know whether or not the company will stick with the same strategy.

Motorola underscored its plan to focus on emerging markets by unveiling the Moto G at a huge event in Sao Paulo, Brazil in November last year. The budget-friendly smartphone was supposed to have reached Indian shores by January 2014, and it’s here after only a short delay. As promised, it comes at a decent price.

We got our hands on the black version of the Moto G (single-SIM). Does this low price come at the cost of performance?

Look and feel
The first thing that struck us about the Motorola Moto G was its novel packaging. When it came to our doorstep, we didn’t realise that the sleek box hid a mobile phone inside. Amazingly everything from the device to the charger fits within this slim box.

The Moto G is a candybar phone. It doesn’t have any contours – the design is very basic yet modern. When we first looked at the Moto G, we mistook it for the company’s flagship Moto X.

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The G looks like a replica of the Moto X (except for its size), which is not really a bad thing considering the premium look of its elder sibling. However, the Moto G is different in a few ways. It’s definitely thicker, measuring 129.9×65.9×11.6mm compared to 129.3×65.3×10.4mm for the X. At 143 grams, the Moto G is also heavier than the Moto X (130 grams). However, we assume that for an average buyer in this price segment, thickness and weight of a smartphone are not the biggest concerns. The Moto G features curved edges that offer a good grip.

The Moto G’s front panel is dominated by a 4.5-inch screen, which is only marginally smaller than 4.7-inch display found on the Moto X. The front panel features a black strip of glass around the screen that visually differentiates the plastic front and rear panels. Notably, the Moto G does not have any logo or branding on the front.

There’s a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera which to the left of the chrome earpiece. There are no soft-touch capacitive buttons on the front panel, a design touch that is commonly seen on the Nexus range of devices. It’s worth pointing out that Google’s Nexus 7 (2013) tablet’s front panel also bears a lot of similarities to the Moto G. The new Nexus 7 features a glass strip around the screen, identical to the Moto G.

moto_g_earpiece_ndtv.jpg

It seems Google wanted to align the industrial design of its hardware products. The Nexus line and Motorola’s two recent phones do have a family resemblance that sets them apart from Samsung’s and HTC’s phones.

Motorola has also used a nano-coating on the Moto G that acts as light water repellent. This does not make the Moto water resistant, but it can protect the smartphone from light splashes of water, which is still an interesting touch for a smartphone at this price point.

moto_g_back_ndtv.jpg

The curved rear panel is made of a soft-touch polycarbonate, and is comfortable to hold. Yes, it sometimes gets badly smudged by fingerprints, but this is nothing that cannot be cleaned. The panel is removable even though the battery isn’t. Motorola has announced that there will be accessories including rear shells and flip covers (both in seven colour options) and Grip Shells (in five colour options). This means that customers will have a choice of colours, something we generally see on Nokia’s Lumia range.

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The power and volume rocker buttons are placed on the right side of the Moto G, while the 3.5mm audio jack is on the top and the Micro-USB port is on the bottom panel. The placement of the physical buttons is fine and we had no problem reaching them even when we were not looking at the device. The Moto G’s back houses a 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash with a speaker grille to its left. The Motorola logo is embossed just below the LED flash and is identical to the one found on the Moto X. Peel off the back panel and you can get to the SIM slot, which accepts a Micro-SIM. The unit we received was a single-SIM device, though Motorola has introduced a dual-SIM Moto G variant in India.

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The Motorola Moto G has an overall solid build, though it does feel bit plasticky. Yes, it follows a tried and tested design rather than a radically new one, but it certainly has its own identity and there’s no mistaking it for any other phone from any other company.

Screen
One of the biggest highlights of the Moto G is its 4.5-inch 720×1280-pixel IPS LCD, which works out to a density of 329 pixels per inch. Notably, the Moto G’s screen is a bit sharper than Apple’s iPhone 5s, which offers 326ppi.

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Motorola has also used Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the Moto G to protect it from scratches. It’s worth pointing out that Gorilla Glass is usually found on premium devices priced at Rs. 30,000 and above.

The IPS LCD screen doesn’t have the fullest colour reproduction like the HTC One and LG G2 or the deepest blacks like Samsung’s high-end Galaxy smartphones (Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3) with AMOLED screens do, but it is bright and colours are consistently vibrant. Thankfully the viewing angles are never a problem. The screen is not very reflective and visibility in bright sunlight was also acceptable. Further, the Moto G’s 4.5-inch screen is fine for video playback and gaming.

moto_g_video_playback_ndtv.jpg

Text on the Moto G is always crisp and clear.

There is no denying that many brands have launched smartphones with full-HD screens of late, but after using the Moto G for some time we felt that 329ppi is more than enough for a screen of this size. Motorola has definitely upped the ante for phones in this price bracket.

Camera
The Moto G sports a 5-megapixel rear camera accompanied by an LED flash, and also has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. At this price point, we didn’t expect a higher megapixel count. The camera delivers decent but uninspiring shots in good lighting conditions.

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We tested the Moto G’s rear camera both outdoors and indoors in a variety of lighting conditions and found that images taken outdoors during daylight came out well, though they were a little over-saturated and we could detect a little bit of noise at the edges. You can notice that detail is lacking if you zoom in to a photo taken with a Moto G. Other than that, we found the quality of images taken in sufficient light to be satisfactory. However, the same could not be said for indoor and low-light shots. Photos taken in artificial light (without using the LED flash) are not very impressive, as background noise does tend to creep in.

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The Moto G’s rear camera can be set to take 5-megapixel shots in the 4:3 aspect ratio, while 16:9 shots will come out at 3.8 megapixels.

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The Moto G’s camera app is not stock and adds a bit of flavour the otherwise vanilla OS. Motorola’s camera app has a circular control bar that pops out from the left of the screen when tapped. Additional features include 4X digital zoom, slow motion video, burst mode, auto HDR mode, Panorama and tap to focus. The Moto G’s burst mode allows users to take up to 99 shots at once; users just need to long-press the camera soft key on the screen to start shooting. Notably, there are no ISO and exposure control settings on the Moto G.

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The 1.3-megapixel front facing camera can be used for selfies and video chats. We found that videos and images captured indoors or even outdoors with this camera were a bit grainy.

We would have liked a physical button for the camera as one has to rely on the soft key on the screen to click images.

Software/ Interface
When the Moto G reached our office, the device was running Android 4.3 out of the box. However, we soon encountered an alert that said “Please update your Moto G to Android’s latest version (4.4.2).” Motorola had rolled out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the Moto G ahead of schedule in December last year.

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The Moto G with Android 4.4.2 KitKat is most updated smartphone in its price segment and offers a stock Android experience.

The Nexus 5 was the platform lead for Android 4.4 (KitKat) and the Moto G bears a lot of similarities to it in terms of software. Android 4.4 has a number of visual changes compared to Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), including a new launcher that makes the interface even more minimalistic. The Moto G also has flatter design elements, more muted colours in the status icons, more transparency, and smoother transition animations.

moto_g_screenshot2_ndtv.jpg

We noticed a smooth flyaway animation on the Moto G, similar to the one seen on the Nexus 5, while moving between the app launcher and homescreen. The Moto G’s app launcher features app icons and widgets; now due to the icons being larger, you’ll see a grid of 4×5 instead of a 5×5.

The Moto G offers five customizable homescreens, and lots of widgets and apps classified into preloaded and downloadable categories. Notably, you cannot go beyond five homescreens, unlike with the Nexus 5.

Shortcuts for the dialler, Chrome browser, main menu, Messages and camera app remain visible when you swipe between homescreens. Notifications in the tray can be expanded with a two-finger pull gesture, and there are buttons for clearing all notifications and showing the quick settings shortcuts. These include toggles for Brightness, Settings, Wi-Fi, Network, Battery, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, and Location settings. Unlike the Nexus 5, the Moto G does not have a quick Alarm clock shortcut.

Long-pressing on the Moto G’s homescreen brings up options to change the wallpaper. A choice of still, live and custom wallpapers are now available under a single menu.

Another feature that gives the Moto G a clear advantage in the affordable smartphone segment is the voice guided search feature. This was also first seen on the Nexus 5. A user can initiate a voice search on the Moto G when it’s unlocked by simply saying, ‘OK Google.’ However, it is only available when the language is set to US English.

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The Moto G also includes a revamped Phone app that now automatically prioritises contacts based on who you talk to most often. The app includes a search bar, space for the most frequently called contacts and favourites, and shortcuts to the contact list, dialling pad, call history and settings.

The Moto G also features a new Photos app that allows viewing and editing of locally stored and Google+ images. The new Photos app features deeper integration with Google+ and can be used to tag photos.

The Email app on the Moto G has also been revamped, and it now displays pictures of contacts for emails. Navigation has been made identical to the Gmail app and you can swipe messages to delete them.

The Moto G also includes Google Drive, Keep, Play Games, Play Movies, Play Movies, Play Books, Play Newsstand and Quickoffice for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You can print documents through the Google Cloud Print plugin, or apps made by printer manufacturers.

Motorola preloads two other major apps on the Moto G. Motorola Migrate can help move the contents of an old Android phone to your new Moto G. Motorola Assist allows users to silence the device while you’re sleeping or driving. We tried it out, and noted that the app automatically sent a text message to callers in the time we told it we were busy.

Performance/ Battery Life
The Moto G is powered by 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 graphics and 1GB of RAM onboard. The Moto G comes in two storage capacities: 8GB and 16GB, and does not support expandable storage. We received an 8GB unit, of which only 5.5GB was user-accessible.

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Even though the Moto G falls in the budget smartphone segment, the limited storage on the device is definitely a limiting factor. Google is offering 50GB of free Google Drive storage for two years for every Moto G buyer, which is additional to the standard 15GB available to every Google account user. However, cloud storage is no substitute for physical storage, especially since budget users won’t have very expensive data plans.

The Moto G definitely ups the ante in terms of innards. Brands such as Micromax and Xolo, which have come to dominate the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment, usually use MediaTek chipsets.

The overall experience of navigating through the Moto G’s interface was extremely impressive, thanks to all the power under its hood, and the fact that the UI is devoid of unnecessary bells and whistles such as transition effects. We did not experience any lag at all while launching apps, playing light games, scrolling through web pages and switching between apps on the Moto G.

With its quad-core processor running under the hood, the Moto G manages to chug along just fine. We multi-tasked all day, which included chatting via WhatsApp and Hangouts, browsing the Web and playing games like Temple Run 2 and Plants vs. Zombies 2 without any trouble. In day to day activities the Moto G worked smoothly and we were never left wanting for more power – that is until we tried a few heavy games like Shadow Gun and Dead Trigger.

The clarity of the Moto G’s loudspeaker is good, but isn’t too loud and breaks at its highest volume. Motorola does not supply any headphones in the Moto G box, which is a surprising omission.

The Moto G’s 4.5-inch IPS LCD HD screen is good for movies and videos. We were impressed with the colour reproduction and viewing angles on the Moto G.

Call quality on the Moto G was impressive and the device was able to latch on to cellular networks even in weak signal areas, which came in handy at times. Our tests were performed on a single-SIM model, although Motorola will be selling the dual-SIM version here.

The Moto G scored well in our benchmark tests. We recorded a score of 11,874 in AnTuTu, which was right behind the Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy S III. Quadrant gave us a score of 8,569 which is ahead of HTC’s flagship smartphone from two years ago, the One X. On the graphics front, the Moto G remarkably reached 11 frames per second in the GFXbench test, and 5629 in the 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme run-through.

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The Moto G packs a 2070mAh battery which is non-removable and can deliver a mixed usage time of up to 24 hours, according to Motorola. We were able to get about a day (22 hours) of normal usage on the Moto G, which consisted of Web browsing and watching videos on YouTube, a few calls lasting for about an hour, with Wi-Fi switched on, the display set to auto brightness, and the usual notifications for the messages, emails, Facebook, Hike and WhatsApp enabled.

With heavy usage, which included calls lasting for about two hours, 3G turned on all the time, casual photography and watching a movie for around two hours, an hour of casual gaming (Temple Run 2 and Dead Trigger), and notifications enabled, the device lasted for about 12-13 hours, which was not bad.

In our video loop rundown test, the Moto G was able to able to deliver 8 hours and 30 minutes of battery life.

Verdict
What makes the Moto G special is the fact that it is one of a very small number of devices running the latest version of Android, and one of the only ones priced this low to be doing so.

The Moto G scores heavily in terms of style and substance, and our only major quibbles are the non-expandable storage and below-par camera performance. The 4.5-inch HD screen is wide, and yet the phone is small enough to hold in one hand and type easily with a thumb. Most of all, praise be, the Moto G is also extremely affordable.

This phone is definitely aimed at price-conscious Indian smartphone buyers, and its array of colourful back shells will attract the style-conscious as well. Yes, it isn’t perfect, but it isn’t meant to compete against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or LG G2. At its price, we’re willing to overlook its faults.

The Moto G is available in two variants: 8GB for Rs. 12,499 and 16GB for Rs. 13,999. At this price point, no other phones offer an experience that is as good, so in that sense the Moto G is a game changer. If you have your eyes set on the Moto G, we recommend you spend the extra bucks and get the 16GB version, given the limited user accessible storage available in the 8GB version. Our only other complaint with the Moto G is the average camera, but the only phone that offers a better camera in the same price bracket is the Nokia Lumia 720, so the newest Motorola smartphone is a winner overall.

Pros: 
Crisp IPS screen; Excellent gaming performance; Latest Android Kitkat; Great music output; Good battery life.
Cons: 
Questionable call quality; Disappointing camera; Shoddy bundled accessories.

Moto G
Street Price: Rs 12,500 (8 GB), Rs 14,000 (16 GB version)

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Full Specifications:

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
CDMA 800 / 1900 – CDMA version
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – for T-Mobile, AT&T
CDMA2000 1xEV-DO – CDMA version
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, November
Status Available. Released 2013, November
BODY Dimensions 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm (5.11 x 2.59 x 0.46 in)
Weight 143 g (5.04 oz)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 720 x 1280 pixels, 4.5 inches (~326 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 8/16 GB, 1 GB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0, USB Host
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, stereo sound rec., HDR, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP
FEATURES OS Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8226 Snapdragon 400
CPU Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors Black (front panel), 7 color options (back panel)
– SNS integration
– Google Drive (50 GB storage)
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/AAC+/WAV/Flac player
– MP4/H.263/H.264 player
– Organizer
– Photo viewer/editor
– Document viewer
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail
– YouTube, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Ion 2070 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time Up to 24 h
MISC SAR US 1.17 W/kg (head)     1.06 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.79 W/kg (head)
Price group Rs 12,500 (8 GB), Rs 14,000 (16 GB version)
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: 967:1 (nominal), 2.477 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 81dB / Noise 75dB / Ring 82dB
Audio quality Noise -92.1dB / Crosstalk -91.4dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 54h

Nokia 108: ultra-affordable camera phone

Nokia 108: ultra-affordable camera phone

 

 

Those on a tight budget, but yearn for a camera phone from a global brand, Nokia will soon come to your rescue. Before you jump the gun, no it’s not an ultra-cheap Lumia, but a feature phone instead. The ultra-affordable camera phone is the Nokia 108, which will also come in a dual SIM variant. The 2G-compliant phone does not come with 3G, EDGE, or Wi-Fi support, so the only way you can share images is via Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM, or a microSD card reader. Although India doesn’t feature in the local product listing pages, but rest assured, like all Nokia handsets, this $29 (Rs 1820) one will land in the local markets as well, by the end of the year.

The phone packs in a VGA snapper, and is being marketed as a secondary handset for people, thanks to its long battery life – 13.8 hours of claimed talk time, up to 45 hours music playback time, and 31 days standby. The handset will be available in red, black, and white, and the yellow and cyan variants will join the family later. For its price, it seems quite a decent deal.

  • 2G (GSM 900/1800); dual-SIM variant.
  • No EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi support.
  • Dimensions: 110.4 (l) x 47 (w) x 13.5 (d) mm; 70.2 grams.
  • 1.8″ TFT display with 65k colours.
  • 32GB microSD card support.
  • 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio.
  • VGA Camera.
  • 900 mAh battery with 13.8 hours of claimed talk time; up to 45 hours music playback time; 31 days standby.

Specifications

 

Also available as Nokia 108 with single SIM card support.
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
SIM Dual SIM (Mini-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 2013, September
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2013, Q4
BODY Dimensions 110.4 x 47 x 13.5 mm, 70.1 cc (4.35 x 1.85 x 0.53 in)
Weight 70.2 g (2.47 oz)
– Flashlight
DISPLAY Type TFT, 65K colors
Size 128 x 160 pixels, 1.8 inches (~114 ppi pixel density)
SOUND Alert types Vibration, Polyphonic(32), MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Phonebook 500 contacts
Call records Yes
Internal 4 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE No
WLAN No
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0
USB Yes (charging only)
CAMERA Primary VGA, 640×480 pixels
Video Yes, QVGA@15fps
Secondary No
FEATURES Messaging SMS(threaded view), Email
Browser No
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes
GPS No
Java Yes
Colors Black, White, Red, Blue, Yellow
– WAV/MP3/AAC player
– MP4/H.263 player
– Digital clock
– Calculator
– Calendar
– Converter
BATTERY Li-Ion 950 mAh battery (BL-4C)
Stand-by Up to 600 h
Talk time Up to 13 h 40 min
Music play Up to 41 h
MISC Price group Rs. 2000/- ($29)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nokia Lumia 720: Review & Details

 

 

Ever since the Finnish company decided to join forces with Microsoft, Nokia has been steadily releasing a slew of Windows Phones into the market covering various price points. We have seen devices like the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 in the past, which took care of the high-end of the market and phones such as the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 620, which are covering the low-end. 

Today we have the Lumia 720 with us, which sits bang in the middle of Nokia’s Lumia range and is a mid-range device with enough features to attract those who don’t want to spend too much but want something more than a budget device. Let’s see how well it performs.

Design

Nokia has history of making great looking and the Lumia 720 is no different. The phone takes on the appearance of the more expensive Lumia 920 and looks really good, particularly the red version pictured here. Unlike some of the other Lumia models, the 720 has a unibody construction and the polycarbonate on the back fuses effortlessly with the glass on the front.

 

image1
 
 

The front has the Gorilla Glass 2 stretching from top to bottom and housing the display roughly in the middle. As with the previous Lumia phones, there is a sizable bezel around the screen, particularly below with the three keys, and it does tend to make the display look smaller than it is. Above the display are the earpiece and the front facing camera.

 

image2

 

On the right, the phone has the volume control keys, power keys and two-step camera shutter key. Having the power key on the side instead of the top is convenient but having it on same side as the volume keys means you often end up pressing one when you want the other. Having it on the other side would have reduced the confusion.

On top is the 3.5mm headphone jack. Since the phone has a unibody design, the card slots are on the outside, with the micro SIM slot on top and microSD slot on the left, both operated using the provided tool. On the bottom is the micro USB port.

 

image3

 

On the back is the 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash. A secondary microphone can be seen just above the flash. Near the bottom are the connectors for the snap-on wireless charging cover and loudspeaker. The snap-on cover is a separately sold accessory and not part of the standard equipment. It adds extra size and bulk to the phone, not to mention makes it look worse, for the convenience of wireless charging.

The hardware has a nice feel and fits well in your hand. The matte red unit we received looked nice but was a tad slippery, which was exacerbated by the curvy body. The phone, however, feels rock solid despite the plastic construction and should be able to take a few drops without any issues.

Overall the design and build of the Lumia 720 are very impressive and although it is only a mid-range device it has a premium feel to it that surpasses that of many expensive phones.

Display

The Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 resolution ClearBlack LCD. The ClearBlack technology improves outdoor visibility by employing a polarizing filter that makes the display easier to see even under direct sunlight.

The 720 also uses a couple of software tweaks to improve the visibility under bright light by changing the color and brightness of the panel. The image no longer looks natural but if you’re just trying to look at text or a map under sunlight then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Lastly, the Lumia 720 also employs the super-sensitive touch that we first saw on the Lumia 920. Once enabled, this lets you use the touchscreen even through gloves or pretty much anything, for that matter.

Speaking of image quality, the display on the Lumia 720 is actually quite good. The colors, brightness, contrast, viewing angles and sunlight legibility are all impressive. Only issue is the WVGA resolution, which makes some of the fonts look rough, especially while scrolling. Still, for most parts the display on the Lumia 720 is quite satisfactory.

Hardware, Software and Performance

The Lumia 720 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8227 SoC with a 1GHz dual-core Krait CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. In terms if memory, it has 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage space, out of which only about 3GB is available to the user. You’ll be glad to know then that the phone also has a microSD card slot. In terms of connectivity, the phone has 3G/HSPA, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ab/g/n, NFC, A-GPS and GLONASS.

The software is the same old Windows Phone 8. Released over a year ago now, the OS is already starting to feel long in the tooth and Microsoft’s glacial pace at updating it isn’t helping matters. In its current version, Windows Phone would have been great four years ago but feels severely out of touch with what’s going on in the rest of the smartphone world. Whatever is the next version it couldn’t come soon enough.

Beyond the core operating system, Nokia has usual has installed its own range of apps and service. There is the excellent Nokia Here maps application, along with turn-by-turn voice navigation with Nokia Drive. Then there is the Nokia Music service for free streaming of Indian and international music, Cinemagraph for taking pictures with moving elements, Panorama for, well, panorama shots, Smart Shoot that takes multiple shots and lets you choose the best one, and a couple of others. Nokia has also installed a few third party apps, such as BIGFLIX, BookMyShow, Cosmopolitan, Hike, TripAdvisor and Zomato. As usual, you can choose to uninstall all of these, if you wish.

Nokia’s applications are what set their Windows Phone devices apart from everyone else’s (that and the fact that every else seems to have pretty much given up at this point). Nokia does a good job of making up for Microsoft’s inadequacies to quite an extent.

Unfortunately, Nokia can’t make up for everything and as before, Windows Phone still lags behind when it comes to third party apps. It’s disappointing that even after three years this is still an issue but that’s just how it is. If you’re not a big app or games person and only need the basic apps to get through your day, you should be fine. More demanding users would still be advised to look at iOS or Android.

In terms of performance, the Lumia 720 is in line with other Windows Phone devices. The UI is as smooth as ever, although occasionally it would hiccup in odd places. The menu in the camera app, for example, always lagged every time it was brought up.

As with other Lumia phones, the 720 comes with additional options in the Settings menu, such as for the display and network settings. These are not part of the core OS and added separately by Nokia through. Due to this, there is a distinct lag when you open them, complete with a loading screen. On surface, they look like any other settings item so the lag is likely to confuse an average user who doesn’t know what Nokia has been up to. It would be better if Nokia works on making the integration more seamless by getting rid of the loading screens.

The Lumia 720 comes with 512MB of RAM, which other than making a handful of apps incompatible with the device also makes it easy to run out of memory during multitasking. It’s not difficult to choke the phone by running a few apps in the background while web browsing. This usually results in the phone either closing the apps or closing browser tabs.

Performance in gaming is a mixed bag. In certain games such as Temple Run there was noticeable lag whereas Asphalt 7: Heat worked fine. It really depends upon the developers and how they optimize their apps. Unfortunately, most of them don’t really bother, which negatively affects the overall gaming performance.

Multimedia

The Lumia 720 has a 6.7 megapixel camera, which is a rather odd resolution to have. The main attraction is the camera aperture, which at f/1.9 is the widest on a mobile phone camera till date. What this should result in is some good low-light photography and shallow depth of field.

 

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In terms of image quality, the Lumia 720 acquits itself quite well. Nokia is one of the best around when it comes to camera quality but it’s good to see the expertise trickle down to mid-range offerings as well. The images from the 720 are fairly detailed and noise-free with natural colors and sharpness. The large aperture doesn’t really result in a particularly shallow depth of field compared to phones with smaller apertures but then that is expected from such a small lens.

In lowlight, the camera once again delivers impressive results, with genuinely usable images, helped no doubt by the wide aperture allowing more light in than on most camera phones. Of course, the aperture alone can’t do much, so it’s good that Nokia has paired the optics with a good sensor as well. Low light images look pretty decent and have a surprisingly low-amount of noise.

Videos were once again quite good. The phone records 720p videos, which, other than the usual wobble associated with a lack of stabilization of any kind, were sharp and smooth.

The audio video performance is on par with other Windows Phone devices. The music player still won’t let you play FLAC files and the video player cannot play anything other than MP3, that too without subtitle support. This barebones experience may have made sense back in 2007 when the iPhone was announced but not anymore. The fact that you don’t even have decent apps to make up for this functionality makes things worse.

The audio quality of the 720 is pretty good, both through the headphones as well as the loudspeaker. The single loudspeaker, despite its position is pretty loud even if you keep it on a surface. The headphone output can be altered as Nokia bundles an equalizer app within the main settings although it’s best to leave them disabled. Nokia also bundles a pair of earphones with the phone but they have to be perhaps the worse I’ve ever heard and don’t ever deserve to be taken out of the box.

Battery Life

The Lumia 720 has a non-removable 2,000mAh battery. The battery size is the same as the one in the Lumia 920 and even bigger than what HTC provides with the 8X. Considering the slower processor, this has a profound effect on battery life. With regular usage, the Lumia 720 could get about two days of battery life, which has become incredibly rare these days. Even with heavy usage you’d still get over a day of usage, which is still pretty awesome.

Verdict

There is a lot to like in the Lumia 720. The design is absolutely gorgeous and good enough to make you want to buy the phone on that merit alone. The display is also pretty good, despite the lower resolution. The camera is impressive, both indoors and outdoors and the battery life is outstanding.

It’s not without its flaws, however. The first is Windows Phone 8, which is no longer a competitive operating system. It lags behind iOS and Android in both features as well as third party applications. Unless Microsoft gets its game together and releases some significant updates it is bound to fade into obscurity.

Secondly, at Rs. 17,999, the Lumia 720 is quite expensive. You are paying nearly twice over the Lumia 520 and not getting a lot in return. Priced below Rs. 15,000, the Lumia 720 would have been easier to recommend but not so much at the current price.

All things considered, if you’re someone who doesn’t use a lot of apps and manage to find a good deal, the Lumia 720 is a fine device and one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market today. Others are advised to look elsewhere. 

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4.3″ 16M-color ClearBlack IPS LCD display of WVGA resolution
  • 6.1 megapixel autofocus camera with super-fast F/1.9 lens and LED flash, 720p@30fps video recording
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Windows Phone 8 OS
  • 1 GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8227 chipset, 512MB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
  • Free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via the microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, file transfers
  • SNS integration
  • Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
  • NFC support
  • Digital compass
  • Nokia Music

Main disadvantages

  • A few prominent apps still missing, some apps incompatible due to 512MB RAM
  • No FM radio
  • No system-wide file manager
  • No lockscreen shortcuts
  • Voice navigation is limited to only a single country

 

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Also known as Nokia 720 RM-885.
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, February
Status Available. Released 2013, April
BODY Dimensions 127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm, 78 cc (5.04 x 2.66 x 0.35 in)
Weight 128 g (4.52 oz)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  – ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
  – Dolby headphone sound enhancement
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8 GB, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class B
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 21.1 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
NFC Yes
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
   
   
CAMERA Primary 6.1 MP, 2848 x 2144 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features 1/3.6” sensor size, geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 8, upgradeable to WP8 Amber
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8227
CPU Dual-core 1 GHz
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colors White, Red, Yellow, Cyan/Black
  – SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– 7GB free SkyDrive storage
– Document viewer
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input
   
   
BATTERY   Non-removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BP-4GW)
Stand-by (2G) / Up to 520 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 23 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 13 h 20 min (3G)
Music play Up to 79 h
MISC SAR US 1.24 W/kg (head)    
SAR EU 0.76 W/kg (head)    
Price group Rs./- 16,000 to 18,000
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: 1172:1 (nominal) / 2.512:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 72dB / Noise 66dB / Ring 75dB
Audio quality Noise -83.1dB / Crosstalk -80.9dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 60h

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 launched in India

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 launched in India

 

Samsung-Galaxy-Mega

Samsung has launched its Galaxy Mega large screen smartphones in the Indian market. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 will be available across the country within a week from today for a price of Rs. 25,100 while the Galaxy Mega 6.3 will be available in mid-June for a MRP of Rs. 31,490.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a dual-SIM device that has a 5.8-inch screen with qHD(540×960 pixels) resolution. It is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor alongside 1.5GB RAM and features an 8-megapixel rear camera, as well as a 2-megapixel front facing camera. The phone comes with 8GB expandable storage and has a 2,600mAh battery. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 sports a 6.3-inch 720×1280 display and features the same camera as that of Galaxy Mega 5.8. It is powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz. The Galaxy Mega has 1.5GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and A-GPS. The phone comes with a 3,200 mAh battery and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The phone comes with 16GB internal storage capacity and has a microSD card for expanding the storage up to 64GB.

The GALAXY Mega smartphones will offer split screen capability for a variety of applications including email, messages, ‘MyFiles,’ ‘S Memo,’ ‘S Planner’, amongst others. The devices will also feature the much touted ‘Air View’ feature, that lets users preview information in emails, photos in Gallery, and speed dial contacts without opening them.

The phones are being launched with special offers from RCOM and Vodafone. RCOM customers buying the phone will get 2GB data per month free for 3 months and unlimited access to Big Movies library, WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter. Vodafone customers will get 2GB data download(2G+3G) per month for two months.

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 key specifications

  • 6.3-inch HD display of 720×1280 resolution
  • 1.7GHz dual-core processor
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage, can be expanded by up to 64B
  • 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 4.0, GPS
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 3200 mAh battery

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 key specifications

  • 5.8-inch display with resolution of 540×960 pixels
  • 1.4GHz dual-core processor
  • 1.5GB RAM 8GB internal storage, can be expanded by up to 64B
  • 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash
  • 2-megapixel front camera 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v 4.0, GPS
  • Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 2600 mAh battery

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 I9150

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GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – GT-I9150
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – GT-I9152 (SIM 1 & SIM 2)
3G Network HSDPA
SIM Optional Dual SIM (Micro-SIM)
Announced 2013, April
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2013, May
BODY Dimensions 162.6 x 82.4 x 9 mm (6.40 x 3.24 x 0.35 in)
Weight 182 g (6.42 oz)
DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen
Size 540 x 960 pixels, 5.8 inches (~190 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
– TouchWiz UI
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8 GB storage, 1.5 GB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
NFC No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps
Secondary Yes, 1.9 MP
FEATURES OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
CPU Dual-core 1.4 GHz
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
Browser HTML5
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors White, Black
– SNS integration
– MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
– Organizer
– Image/video editor
– Document viewer
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time
MISC Price group Rs. 25100/-

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200

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GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA
4G Network LTE – GT-I9205
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, April
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2013, May
BODY Dimensions 167.6 x 88 x 8 mm (6.60 x 3.46 x 0.31 in)
Weight 199g (7.02 oz)
DISPLAY Type TFT capacitive touchscreen
Size 720 x 1280 pixels, 6.3 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
– TouchWiz UI
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8/16 GB storage, 1.5 GB RAM
DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
NFC Yes
Infrared port Yes
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go, USB Host
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, HDR
Video Yes
Secondary Yes, 1.9 MP
FEATURES OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
CPU Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
Browser HTML5
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors White, Black
– SNS integration
– MP4/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
– Organizer
– Image/video editor
– Document viewer
– Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery
Stand-by
Talk time
MISC Price group Rs. 31,490/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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