Aug 132014
 

We got our first Television in the 80s and were instantly hooked to it. Soaps, epics, news, films, sports and such proved to be thrilling and entertaining. But of all these, advertisements captured our imagination the most. 20 seconds of quick burst of the most vividly colorful, imaginative and sometimes, unknown to us, fake entertainment. At times, a film would be so boring that we would be waiting for the Ads to be played for some relief. All said, after many improvements in their bathing products and teeth cleaning pastes, my body still stays brown, my teeth are going bit yellowish. Yet each year, they come up with more improved products with additional “salts”, “Lemon” etc. All that remains to be added is some Tequila and we are all set. They are moving towards that direction by coming up with a “beer” shampoo.

Anyway…..

As technology changed so did change the methods of advertisement. They have upgraded from television to the web space (it’s the space on the webpage, intentionally kept empty for filling in the Ads) and even downgraded to illegal handbills posted on the insides of the railway cars, buses,……., ……, Public Toilets,…….. etc. All said, they have yet to upgrade their rationality, thoughtfulness, inter divisional coordination for the same company. Knowingly or unknowingly to them, or for some reasons unknown to me, they have come up with a competition of its kind, between two products from their own stables. And now are are going through the period of exclusive launches(launch of a product through one single distributor seller as against launch through multiple distributors, so as to create a hype, control the supply and show a pseudo-shortage due to exhausted stock)

I frequently scan the internet for good deals on various products and I happened to chance upon two “Exclusive” launches, one on Flipkart and another on Amazon India. Both the tablets are form Acer. Branded Iconia. One model A1 and another B1. Both exclusive launches but on different websites. And the advertisement for A1 says “why settle for B1 when you can go for A1”. Funny!!

A1

B1

Whether this campaign is created by Acer or by the individual online stores(in which case such an aggressive advertisement is justified) is unknown. The price difference is just Rs. 500 so I do not understand pitching both the Tablets at the same time.

Check the specifications comparison here.

This reminds me of formula one races where two drivers from the same team are allowed to compete against each other and ultimately it leads to a collision course.

BTW if you are interested to buy any of these two icons, they are available on Flipkart and on Amazon India

Jul 012014
 

If you reside in Mumbai and frequently travel on the newly launched Mumbai Metro, here’s your chance to taste the promotional free wifi service provided by You Broadband at few stations. All you have to do is switch on your device wifi and connect to the open WIFI @MUM METRO network.

Once connected it will follow the usual procedure of registration. Try to access a website through browser and you will land on their signup page wherein you give your phone number. Once the registration SMS is sent, you can start using the Broadband without waiting for any confirmation SMS(you will get none).

This facility is available only at Metro Stations(currently checked at Ghatkopar and Andheri Station and expanding further). It’s a promotional service and you may have to pay up in future to access it.

Jul 012014
 

Samsung is currently in the thick of things in Mobile world with 4 launches in June 2014, all in quick succession. May be the balance sheets are prompting such hasty maneuvers, but Samsung has this habit since long time. Anyway, all the more better for consumers.

The recent launches/announcements are Galaxy Ace 4, Galaxy Core II, Galaxy Young 2 and Galaxy Star 2. As the case was previously, all this phones replace their predecessors at the lower end of price bracket, assuming Galaxy Core II tops them all.

All the phones are expected to be available in couple of months and as such, prices are not yet available. But knowing Samsung, we can make a fair guess. Below if the spec sheets for all four with expected price.

Models

Galaxy Core II

Galaxy Ace 4 (Announced)

Galaxy Young 2

Galaxy Star 2

  samsung-galaxy-core-2 samsung-galaxy-ace-4 samsung-galaxy-young-2-sm-g130 samsung-galaxy-star-2
Processor Quad-core 1.2 GHz Dual-core 1.0 GHz Single Core 1 GHz Single Core 1 GHz
RAM 768 MB 512 MB 512 MB 512 MB
Internal Memory 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Expendable Memory Micro SD upto 64 GB Micro SD upto 64 GB microSD, up to 32 GB microSD, up to 32 GB
Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat 4.4.2 KitKat 4.4.2 KitKat 4.4.2 KitKat
Single/Dual SIM Dual SIM Single SIM Dual SIM Dual SIM
Network Mode GSM/GSM GSM GSM/GSM GSM/GSM
Screen Size 4.5”, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors 4”, TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors 3.5”, TFT capacitive touchscreen 3.5”, TFT capacitive touchscreen
Screen Resolution 480 X 800 480 X 800 320 x 480 320 x 480
Connectivity HSDPA 21 MBPS, Wifi, Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro USB 2.0 HSDPA 21 MBPS, Wifi, Wifi Direct, Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro USB 2.0 HSDPA 21 MBPS, Wifi, Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro USB 2.0 EDGE, Wifi, Wifi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro USB 2.0 (No 3G)
Primary Camera 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 480p video 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 720 pixel video 3.15 MP, 2048 x 1536 pixels, VGA Video 2 MP, 1600 x 1200 pixels, VGA Video
Secondary Camera VGA VGA No No
Battery 2000 mAh 1500 mAh 1300 mAh 1300 mAh
Expected Price Rs. 16000 Rs. 14000 Rs. 9000 Rs. 5000

With 1 GHz processors, the Young 2 and Star 2 may just about satisfy the needs. It’s a shame that Core II doesn’t get 1 GB RAM. Similary and upgrade to 768 MB for Ace 4 would have done wonders. But samsung does have other phones in that bracket and this is more of a marketing strategy. Ace 4 has just been announced and could still undergo minor changes. The noticable change in Ace 4 will be the TouchWiz Essence interface which is said to be simplified.

It remains to be seen what pricing samsung decides for these devices in India.

Specifications and news source GSMARENA

Jun 302014
 

Amazon’s got their Kindle. Barns and nobles’ got nook. Lots of other ecommerce websites have their own brand products. Indians won’t stay behind. The young entrepreneur startup, Flipkart, has jumped the bandwagon to launch its brand of tablet under the name Digiflip.

Introducing Digiflip Pro XT 712, the 7” tablet recently launched by Flipkart. It has been launched with a big bang, the way many other top end products are launched. Loaded with offers. A quick look at the comparison sheet impresses us. Its obvious that flipkart has handpicked other models for comparison but the selected tablets are in no way below par. Even then, Digiflip Pro shines on both fronts, punch and price.

A brief on the packed hardware is above standards and listed below

  • 1.3 Ghz Cortex-A7 Quad Core processor
  • Mali-400 MP2@500MHz graphics processing unit
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • 7” IPS screen with 1280 X 800 screen resolution(216ppi)
  • DUAL SIM(that’s what Indians tend to look out for)
  • 3G support on both SIMS
  • Huge battery 3000mAH
  • Dual camera(5 MP + 2 MP)
  • Android 4.2.2
  • Storage expandable to 32 GB

What more could one ask for in 9,999 rs. You read me right. Its for that much.

But wait. It doesn’t end here. As an introductory offer, buyers are also gifted the following:

  • Free shopping worth Rs 5300 through mobile app
  • Free one month subscription to Flipkart First(Customer service program related to aftersales)
  • Flat 50% off on bookcase for Digiflip tablet
  • Free Plantronics ML2 Bluetooth Headset worth Rs. 1199
  • Free eBooks worth Rs.2300

You just feel like requesting them to stop the joke. But its for real.

Also if you spread the Love on social network, you stand to chance to win a JBL J03 Tempo Headphone worth 2490/-

The tablet comes with 30 days relacement guarantee and standard 1 year warranty for Tablet and 6 months warranty for accessories

Flipkart really knows how to please its customers. This tablet is sure to be seen in lots of hands in coming days.

Click banner below to know more or buy before they go off stock.

May 292014
 

That’s my new possession. A brand new Canon EOS 1200D DSLR camera with 18-55 mm and 55-250 mm combo lens kit. After years of aspiring to buy one, I finally bought it right on time for my family trip last week. Am not much of a pro in camera technical so I wouldn’t attempt to call this post as a review. This one is kind of an informative post.

IMG_0047

That was my brothers reaction upon seeing the camera, captured as the first photograph of my camera.

Arnala27052014002

And this is me trying to do what an Amateur photographer with new camera does; click himself clicking himself through a mirror.

The Canon EOS 1200D is an entry level DSLR which was recently launched. An upgrade to their 1100D, the 1200 packs the punch which was lacking in the 1100D. Lets see what…

First of all the inclusions. I bought the model under offer which bundled an extra lens, a 55-250 mm, IS II lens along with the 18-55 mm IS II lens. The combined lens kit with the body cost me a little over 30,000 rs. which was the best deal available on Amazon India. The box contained the Camera Body, combo lens kit, a battery pack with charger, data connection cable, a neck strap, a camera bag and a 8 GB memory card, along with a quick guide, a flash photography guide, a macro photography guide and a software cd Rom. The guides were good enough to assemble the camera in no time and I was ready to shoot.

The camera is easy to handle for a person upgrading from point and shoot since all the controls are on the right hand and the LCD screen is on the left hand, much like any point and shoot available in the market. It doesn’t feel heavy in hands with any of the lens attached.

The camera controls include a jog dial for various modes(Manual, Shutter priority Tv, Aperture Priority Av, Program, Scene Intelligent Auto ie. auto mode, macro, video etc….). The manual mode gives total control over the photo taken and it is good for learning the tricks of setting up the photo for an amateur.

The battery pack lasted me for an entire day without any signs of reduction in battery storage. That might be because of the relatively less number of photos I clicked. But the camera is said to click more than 500 shots before requiring recharge which is good enough for me as of now.

What I like about the camera:

  • The dual lens kit
  • Ease of handling and manageable light weight
  • Lots of different modes from auto mode for quick photography to total manual control
  • Ability to store raw images
  • Good ergonomics in placement of controls
  • The professional feel

Dislike(Far outweighed by the pros):

  • Fixed lcd screen
  • No facility to connect external mic
  • No HDMI cable bundled

The camera has by now been used on three separate important occassions, two picnics and a family functions. Though I wouldn’t rate the photography at high level, I protect myself by revealing that I am a learner. Any advice from professionals (or otherwise) out there is welcome.

Hoping to improve photography and keep on posing what I learn.

Sample photos clicked by me

IMG_0071

My kid Ivy in one of her rare moods allows me a click.

IMG_0188

My niece on the merry go round. Photo clicked with the focus on moving subject.

IMG_0278

Narrow Mahabaleshwar Road at the height of tourist season

IMG_0280

A settlement viewed from height along the road to Koyna river

IMG_0318

Abandoned……

IMG_0319

Nature being partial……

IMG_0389

My kids Ian and Ivy having fun at the hotel.

IMG_0260

Ian and Lynelle riding a pony…also called as “orshe” by Ian…

IMG_0778

A potrait of Ian…… Moments before his failed attack on the camera lens

Full Specifications at Canon Website

Buy this camera at Amazon India|Amazon.com|Flipkart

Apr 252014
 

There is no end to craziness in this world. But this one goes very near to the top… Smash your phone if you want to get another.
Yes; that’s what oneplus will ask of hundreds people if they want their new top end phone, a “One”. The specifications are out of the world and so is the design. But this truly crazy.
Don’t go smashing before you read more here.

Mar 282014
 

Rejoice Android and iOS users. Microsoft had reduced the price of their Office Mobile package to “zero”.  Yes, you read it right. Its for free. The package contains MS Word and MS Excel, working within their limitations  when on tablet/mobile.

The package is free for home use whereas business users are expected to pay. I hardly see that happening but it seems lost fortunes have forces the great MS towards such steps. Whatever the case be, the fortunes of common man using Android or iOS have shone.

The app supports cloud integration along with host of other features listed on the respective store page

Download the app at Microsoft Office Mobile or via your google playstore/apple app store

Jul 082013
 

It has its own microsite, I think a first for and Indian brand phone. Enough hype was created for everyone, including me, to talk about it. The publicity got it close to the likes of Xperia and Galaxy series. More than 10,000 people prebooked it. Is it really worth at all? At last, the day dawned when we could find out. Micromax finally launched the much awaited Canvas-4. “CAN” life really begin now? Lets find out.

The Canvas-4 Microsite itself is no less a crowd puller. One look and you know they really mean business this time around.

(Picture courtsey GSMARENA.COM)

gsmarena_002

Metal Rules

And that seems to be the USP they are banking on. The super slim anodized steel body which also “doubles up as an antenna” might keep the iPhone death grip issue at bay. While Samsung still relies on plastic for its flagships to reduce the weight, the likes of iPhone and HTC have adopted metal with impressive results. The canvas-4 isn’t far behind with barely 8.99 mm thickness.

Ready to Blow your Mind

Something neither Samsung nor any other manufacturer concentrating on feature rich phones must of thought about. Blow(a kiss) to unlock!! Bit weird considering one will need to unlock the phone time and again in public. Feels like a feature you would find in a cheap Chinese phone and when I say Chinese phone, I mean what the term meant about 4 years back. A big no no.

Shoot to Thrills

A 13 MP rear camera and 5 MP front camera!! Now that’s something to brag about. And above that a Sony sensor for the rear. But it might be a case of once bitten twice shy in terms of camera for people who currently are using Micromax phones. Proceed with caution. Plain figures can be deceptive.

Going Up

Panaroma from bottom to top is another new. Or may be I don’t know if it already exists.

For your Roving Eyes

Samsung might take a closer look at this one. Is this the SMART Stay?

Peek a Boo!

Wanna preview a video while another is already playing. Canvas-4 is here for you.

Half in Half

Multiple applications running on one screen. Work while you play.

Smile from Ear to Ear

Seems like another Samsung rip off, Direct Dial.

Play Safe

Security for your phone including ability to wipe data remotely. Free for 1 year.

Beauty Lies in the Screen of the Beholder

5” IPS LCD HD display(1280 X 720) with Corning gorilla glass. Also a first for Micromax. But the world is on Corning Gorilla glass 2. The screen resolution is good though.

Deliciously Fast

Android 4.2.1 out of the box with a assurance of updates via firmware over the air(FOTA). Again a first for Micromax.

Live the ‘Endless’ Life

Available in Pristine White and Smokey Gray with free aluminum flip cover with surface touch technology. Whatever it is, needs to be found out.

Other Imp Specs:

Processor                        : 1.2 GHz Quad Core A7 Cortex

RAM                                : 1 GB

Battery                            : 2000mAH

Connector                        : USB 3.0

Memory                            : 16 GB internal (10 GB user available) + 32 GB Expandable

Weight                              : 158 gms

Impressive!!

What doesn’t impress me :

MT658 Chipset while the world is moving on to Exynos and likes

2000 mAH battery which I guess will be lacking the juice

Screen resolution is only 1280 X 720 while others are at full HD

Final Say:

Comparing Canvas HD which goes for around 12000 rs now, they give you a metal body, few gimmicks which people rarely use and a 13 MP camera which could be a game changer or a mere number. So are you ready to shell out those 6000 bucks for Canvas-4? Or will you wait for its price to come down(surely). One things for sure, this device is not the one which tech freaks will look out for but it will create a segment of tech freaks for this price range.

They have got us listening. But will this be a single short story in the boring sunday sermons thus people going back to snoring again? Or is Micromax ready to flood us with quality handsets at affordable prices? Is Micromax coming up with a 4G device as reports suggest? Its in their court now and for them to play.

(P.S. all the paragraph titles are straight out from micromax microsite and are fully owned by Micromax.)

Jun 282013
 

LIFE CAN BEGIN NOW. The punchline for Micromax Canvas 4. No specs revealed yet. And yet, or hence, it has managed to create the much needed hype prior to a product launch. The advertising style matches that of Samsung, that’s inarguable. And quite interesting too. The advertisements running on media creates an aura of king for an yet to delivered child.

And then there is this scheme of pre-order which they have adopted. Pay 5000 rs. now, wait for the price and the specs to be revealed within couple of days. Pay remaining within a predetermined period or they will pay you back your 5000 rs without any interest. Interesting. No one looses here. Quick maths. In a population of more than a billion people with a good percentage of them hungry for smart technology at affordable prices, its very easy to get atleast 10,000 pre orders. Multiply by 5000 rs. and you arrive at a figure of 50,000,000 rs. Enough to get the logistics rolling for the first lot. And they seem to be very confident about this device, so consider atleast 50% orders are through.There you go. 5000 phones sold at launch.

Now time to run some calculations considering 1,00,000 pre orders!!

This will also help them gauge the demand. The demand exceeded supply in case of Canvas HD previously, which resulted in them increasing the price by about 1000 rs. This time, they will have a pre-warning of the tsunami of orders, if ever there is, thus pricing this phone competitively.

If it is priced at around 16000-17000, as is widely being guessed, I hope Micromax is ready to handle the logistics for an avalanche of orders.

Samsung killed Nokia and Sony Ericsson in India as explained in my previous post. I also said that Micromax is up for big things. This company seem to be smart with enough understanding of Indian needs, along with the required acumen to satisfy those needs. I won’t say time will tell about Micromax. I will rather say, time is already speaking.

Though not really buying this phone, am eagerly waiting to see the big bang, hoping its not an anti-climex, on the launch date.

Jun 262013
 

Well you all might have knowledge of that bit of information. Seriously, I was not “really” excited when I read that Amazon had started selling ebooks in India on Amazon.in. But Couple of days back my hopes went up when I read that they have started selling Kindle devices too.

But today I received a jolt of excitement when while casually accessing Amazon.in I found that they have started selling mobiles/cameras and few other electronics on their website. The catalogue is not as exhaustive as on the U.S. version, but this could be the beginning of things. More amazing was the fact that they have introductory discounts of 10% on selected mobiles and 15% on selected cameras. I made a dry run shopping on their site and was excited that, though the prices are not as drastically low as the U.S. website, they were still far lower than any other ecommerce website after discounts.

Capture

Case to the point; Micromax Canvas HD sells for around 13500rs. on other websites where as after applying discount on Amazon, you can buy it for less than 12000 rs. Similarly Canon EOS 600D with standard lens kit sells for about 31000 rs. on most websites where as after discount Amazon sells it for less than 29000 rs.

Grab the opportunity while this launch offers last.

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