Jan 272011
 

This is more of a comparison with the original Samsung Wave, of which I am proud owner, than a review. I managed to get my hands on Wave II, at a local electronics outlet and had some time at hand, so spent checking out the features. Here’s the comparison laid out for you.

 

The Box :

If you compare the packaging of the original wave(S8500) and Wave II(S8530), it looks almost the same, except for the big letters proclaiming WAVE II instead of WAVE and the addition of the feature Quick Type on the back of the box. Missing from the back of the box, is the big circle with Super AMOLED written within it, since the Wave II features Super Clear LCD. The production of Wave was said to be stopped due to shortage of Super AMOLED screens. Other than that, the entire specifications, as declared on the box are exactly the same. On opening up the box, we can find the handset, placed perfectly fitting in its casing. Once the phone is taken out from its place, the inner portion can be opened up to reveal the accessories boxed with it, which include the 1500 mAh battery, USB cable, a stereo hands free kit which is quite ordinary, the microUSB charger and the user manual. Depending on the country, we may find a memory card bundled along with it(But seriously, mine is lying around somewhere in the house unused, right from day one. I invested in a 16GB card which seems fit for a smartphone). Sadly, no TV out cable in the box, which was the case with Samsung Wave too. Also, I would have been glad, had Samsung provided a good quality hand strap. I am currently using my camera strap, for the fear of the phone dropping out of my hands.

 

Physical Differences :

      S8530     S8500                

The Wave II looks almost exact copy of the Wave. Except for the Menu button, which is flush with the surface as compared to the protruding diamond shaped button on the Wave. Actually I was quite impressed by the original Wave’s button design. But may be, this one is for good. We’ll find out when we use.

The screen of Wave II is 3.7” as compared to 3.3” of Wave. This gives the designers a nightmare, when they are called upon to fit a larger screen without changing the size of the phone much, but keeping the functionality levels very high. The Samsung Wave II team has done a good job in fitting the 3.7” screen in to the phone of it’s size. The screen now becomes broader then Wave and a bit longer. The Wave II handset if bit thicker than Wave. But the difference is just visible.

Looking all around, we find no other differences. The battery cover is not of a different shade any more. You may remember that the battery cover on the Wave had a slightly different shade, which made it feel out of place. The front panel houses the screen, call speaker and the three keys(Menu, Call and End key). On the left side is the volume key and on the right is the phone lock and camera key. The top houses the phone speaker, 3.5 mm output for headphones and TV out, and the microUSB port for charging and PC connectivity. The sliding cover for the microUSB port has been retained, though I feel it has issues of getting jammed if lots of dust gets settled on it. The bottom portion has a visible hole for the microphone.

The back has the very easy to remove battery cover, camera and the LED flash. Upon opening up the battery cover, we find that the micro SD card will be hidden below the battery, and the SIM has to be inserted in the slot near the battery terminals. So no hot-swapping of memory card. Just like Wave. I do not understand the design in which, to remove the memory card, the battery has to be taken out.

 

Boot up :

It’s time to pop in the 1500 mAh power house, and the SIM and memory card. The battery cover fits very nicely and there is no feeling of a loose panel or battery in the phone.

The End key below the screen doubles up as the power(on/off) key. Once you power up, the entire boot procedure, similar to Wave is carried out, with the same splash screen. The major software difference between Wave and Wave II is that Bada 1.2 comes preinstalled in Wave II, while it is just being released for Wave in various countries at this moment. The home screen is preconfigured with a very nice and fresh wallpaper.

 

Comparison :

On comparison, the screen of the Wave II looks definitely bigger than that of the Wave. On operating the menu key, I found that the feel was definitely better than Wave, soft and flat. This is the case even with the Call and the End key. Time will tell which one is better. Operating the phone one handed is bit difficult due to its size. But with a right kind of securing measures, like a good hand strap, we would be more confident to operate it one handed.

On opening up the menu, we find the same applications pre-installed. The screen on the Super Clear LCD version is very close to the glass, just like the Super AMOLED version. This makes us feel that the images are displayed right on the glass itself. The glass is anti scratch type. And true to its words, I have not used any scratch guard till now and don’t have even a single scratch after 4 months of use. The display quality is almost the same on both the mobiles. I had a chance to compare it with a Motorola mobile(I forgot to check the model), and upon increasing the viewing angle, the Motorola screen tries to washout, while the Wave II screen has the same viewing ability as if it is viewed-at directly, and not from the sides. Upon comparing both Wave and the Wave II, I found that the viewing angle for both the phones is almost the same. The white on the Super Clear LCD is whiter than that on Super AMOLED, while the black on Super AMOLED is blacker than that on Super Clear LCD. How’s that for a comparison? It all depends on what you want.

The lock screen on Wave incorporated the current wallpaper. Not so in Wave II. It uses another wallpaper for the lock screen. The memory issues with the original Wave are carried on to the Wave II. I had hoped that Samsung would pack in that remaining bit of RAM, which they forgot in their first BADA powered smartphone. But it seems that the Wave II too packs in 256 mb ram, which is quite insufficient to run the factory supplied widgets. Even a simple task of changing wallpaper through widget, becomes a source of the insufficient memory popup. Yes, BADA is a new OS, and has a lot of teething issues. But I am impressed by its functionality.

The speed of the phone is said to improve on BADA 1.2. I decided to test it by performing a simple task on both the phones simultaneously. By experience on my wave, I know that changing a theme takes lot of time. So I tried that on both phones simultaneously. I selected the default theme while changing. I was amazed to find that BADA 1.2 does the task in 1/3rd of the time as compared to Bada 1.0.2. Yes, BADA seems to be improving.

The battery life of both the phones is claimed to be similar by Samsung. I do not hope to find otherwise.

The keyboard is quite big, and easy to use. The only flaw is the send button which can be accidently pressed. The best way to avoid this is to add the contact details after creating the message.

The black background calendar is now replace by white background, with black characters. It looks much better than that on Wave.

The Facebook and the twitter client bundled with the phone are the same ones as those on Wave. So if you are a heavy facebook and twitter user, they are insufficient for your needs. The instant messenger bundled along is Palringo, which I personally hate.

The browser has changed quite a bit. Actually it has gone worse now. The bottom toolbar cannot be hidden. I tried accessing a website via the wifi network at the outlet on both the phones, and the Wave II takes some time loading he page. Was it a network problem? Can’t say. The zooming is quite smooth, but when you scroll a large page, you get lots of checkerboard. The scroll speed is not so fast. Whenever you touch the screen, the address bar pops up, which is quite irritating, and inconvenient to use. As in Wave, no Flash 10 in Wave II, which is bit disappointing as I was expecting it in 1.2.

I couldn’t get a lock on the GPS, but I expect that it to take about 5 minutes, same as I get on my Wave, since the hardware is the same. It requires you to be out in the open, for GPS to lock to it.

The call quality was very good, just like Wave. Sound is quite clear. The Music player and the video player are the same as Wave, quite easy to use and good in performance. I would have loved a graphic equalizer in BADA 1.2. The camera is the same as Wave. Video recording can be done at 720p which is very good.

 

Conclusion :

As a a whole, the phone is quiet good. Absence of Super AMOLED is not felt on it. For anyone who is looking for a quality smartphone, will do a good job, other than impressing onlookers. The only drawback as compared to any Android phone is, lack of quality applications. Yes, the application store is building up quite steadily, but it will take some time for it to get there. So if you are on a lookout for a good quality smartphone, Samsung Wave II can be taken in to consideration.

Jan 202011
 

So after a long wait, and a few posts on this blog, Mobile Number Portability(MNP) is finally a reality in India. If you remember, it was somewhere in 2009 that the government had considered this option. Why it took so long, is anyone’s guess. With the consortium of the biggies against it, the government had to think twice. But at last, the wishes of the consumer prevailed.

But now that it is here, should we jump the wagon and changeover? There are few points to ponder upon. First of all, why did you ever think about this option anyway? Is it just because it is the "happening” thing at this time? You might be in for a surprise after you switch over. Just before switching over, consider the following points.mobile-number-charges-telecomtalk

Is your current provider’s network good enough, and gives you a good coverage throughout the day and where-ever you go?

As the saying goes, the grass is always green on the other side. Consider the facts. When was the last time that you cried and cursed the operator due to poor network? How often do you experience call drop? How is the quality of the voice communication? Do you get any echo during conversation, and is it a frequent occurrence? Finally, have you checked with your friend, who has the connection of the operator where you want to port, about the quality of the service. If you are satisfied with your operator, disqualify this reason for porting.

Are you changing over due to the high charges by the current operator?

Check out the current operator’s website for the different plans available and compare them with the plan you have active on your number. Have you activated some value added service which you really don’t use. Deactivating it can reduce your bills by huge amount. Also changing your current plan may help a lot. If you search patiently, you will find some grass green enough on your side. Also let me inform that on an average basis, most of the operators have almost similar tariff plans available. So if you getting a really good deal after porting, go for MNP. Else strike off this reason.

What about the customer support?

Well my dear friend, I can claim that all the providers have the same customer support. And it’s pathetic. The customer care executives are not the employees of the particular provider. The support process is outsourced to various BPO centers, and the companies selected for Indian support are below world standards. Indians are always taken for granted, and this field is no exception. The trick in getting support, is knowing how to talk to them. Make them feel that you know how the entire process works, and are aware of the system, since you yourself worked in a BPO(they are not going to verify it. And a little lie which does no harm to them, but does you some good, is always acceptable.) If your work is not being done, put a demand to be attended to by a senior in charge. Most of the times, a bit  bold talk can help you.(P.S. : If you are a boy and it’s a girl on the other end at a call center, or vice versa, be bold. Don’t be to much courteous, timid or terrified. They are doing their job, and you are trying to get what’s rightfully yours).

That was bit too long. But if you ask me, I will give some detailed lessons on handling the customer care “executives”.

So, if customer care is the reason for porting, no need. The grass is all dried up on the other side as well.

Are you doing it because of some value added service provided by the other operator?

Do you use internet on the mobile and is the speed good enough? Do you use caller tunes? Would you like to get astrology updates, cricket updates etc.? I am sure that your current operator provides those services too. But if you ask me, except for GPRS, everything else is a waste of money. Activate GPRS and you will get everything online. Why waste extra money on it.

What about you current balance?

Mind you. If you have a huge balance in your prepaid account, it will be wiped clean. Your balance is not ported to new provider. So if you have finally decided to port, do so after bringing down you balance to minimum, or even better, zero.

How many jumps can you make?

Once you have jumped over to the other operator, you will have to be loyal to them for at least 50 days. Consider that too.

 

The telecom operators are not at all bothered about MNP now, since a trial launch at Haryana has revealed that almost equal number of customers leave and join a provider, so the change is negligible. Hence it is not a brainwork to deduce that the overall equation for the operators doesn’t change and they won’t be “motivated” to provide better service.

So after considering all the points, you decide that you still need to port to some other provider. Then the process is quite simple. It is universal process, and can be used while porting from any network to any network.

  • From your mobile send an SMS with the following text : PORT<space><your 10 digit mobile number which you want to port> to 1900.
  • Within few seconds you will receive an SMS from 1901, which will have a Unique Porting ID, and the expiry date for that ID.
  • Now go to the outlet of the operator of your choice and get a new SIM. While filling the form, mention the unique ID  on the form as directed by the personnel at the center and also provide your identity documents which are mandatory.
  • Pay the necessary charge for porting, which is a maximum of 19 rupees and even no charge for MTNL.
  • Your mobile number will be ported to new SIM within seven working days. Use the new SIM from then on.

I personally am switching over because, I am unhappy about the quality of the network during the past 4 years that I have used it. Also my entire family is on other network and I checked their quality, which is quite good. I will even get better plans to call within my family. But I have to wait for some time to exhaust my current balance.

Jan 182011
 

You start….

Hi Dear,

It’s been long time that we have spoken to each other. But I feel its for better. Better for me that I stay away from you. I am happier as compared to when I was with you. You made me feel sick all throughout the time. So lets stay like that.

Yours No Longer

XYZ

And then you……..

send

Oops!! On second thought you shouldn’t have sent it. What were you thinking writing such a letter to your girlfriend? You shouldn’t have done that. Oh! But it’s too late now. As it is said in India, an arrow shot from it’s bow and a word out of ones mouth, cannot be taken back. So can’t you take back the email sent on the internet(Except if you are using exchange services for the mail).

Well, you have not come across such a situation, but you well might come across in future. There may be cases when you have already entered the email address and while composing the mail you accidently send it in a half attentive state of mind without finalizing. During such times you might want to have some help at hand to stop the mail. And if you are using Gmail, it has one feature which can help you with this. Check out Undo Send, a Gmail feature developed by Google labs. You can send a time period up to which the mail can be held back in your account, which gives you time to stop the mail from being sent to its intended recipient.

 

To use this feature :

  • Logon to your Gmail account.
  • On the top right hand near settings, click the small green test jar shaped icon for Google labs. If the labs icon is not available, it means you have not enabled any feature from Gmail labs. In that case, on the top left hand side, click on “more” and select “even more”. You will get Google labs option on the page that opens up.

                       labs

Even More

Even More Page

  • Once inside Google labs, select Gmail labs on right hand sidebar and scroll down to the “Undo Sent” feature in the page that open up.

undo send

  • Enable the Undo Send feature and save the page. You will come back to Gmail page.
  • Click on the “Settings” option on the right hand top corner.

    Settings

  • In the settings page that opens up, find the undo send settings and enable  it. Also select the time period for which you want to delay the email being sent. Maximum available is 30 seconds.

     

    undo send settings

  • Click on “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page and you are done.

  • Once you send a mail you will get an option to undo the sending, i.e.. stop it from being sent to the recipient. Click on that option if you want to stop the mail.

  • undo option after sending mail

  • Tryout the new feature by sending a test mail to yourself and your friends.

    Impress your friends with your newly acquired knowledge!!

  • Jan 182011
     

    I have never been the promoter of these so called, community sites. Nevertheless, I had to join a few, since I felt that I would be left behind in this fast age of the internet. I have always felt that the community sites are not designed to protect the privacy of a person. For example, on orkut, just about anyone can check out your profile and the messages, or “scraps”(I don’t understand how that word came about), that are exchanged between you and your friends. It depersonalizes your communication. Similar case with facebook. The thing about this community sites is that before you get hang of it, you have already revealed a lot about yourselves to the world. Since they are in their nascent stage, this seem to pose no harm, but things could turn otherwise in not so distant future.

    Just today I read somewhere that Facebook founders and administrators have decided to make the user information available to their partners. So analyze this. You have selected the option that your profile will be public only to your friends, or to friends of friends. But now after this decision from Facebook, your friends and their friends may not be able to access the personal information like phone number and address, but a third party company will have the full access to your details, which me end up spamming your life!!

    Facebook

    Would you want to test whether things go bad? I personally will not want to have a first hand experience. So I went to my profile page and deleted as much personal information, which I didn’t want a telemarketing guy to get hold of, as possible. Now I leave it to the mercy of the Facebook. I hope you do the same.

    If these move by Facebook is really beneficial to it’s users, I can surely include my details later……

    Nov 252010
     

    Relentless pleas from various forums and one of my previous post seem to have had the effect on samsung. They have made paid apps available for India for the BADA OS on Samsung Wave!!

    Three cheers to the crackers who cracked the games, thus forcing samsung to listen to its users demands, and makethis facility available in India. I just wait for good games now.

    Nov 242010
     

    How fast does the technology change? Well, super fast I would say!! From the plain old big "compass Box" phone with a small screen, enabling calling and text messaging, to today’s large screen, full touch, smart phones which give the power to carry out multiple tasks on you phone, it took what, about 15 years? Roughly. But now that it has picked up pace, the development doesn’t look back. Nor is it constrained to big names. We had a huge market captured by Chinese companies offering dual and even triple sim phones, which developed in to an industry segment with many underdogs rising to fame. Companies like intex, micromax, fly, Videocon, maxx are not frown at, when their mobiles are talked about.

    But a projector in a phone? and that to at the price at which it is announced!! Many of the enthusiasts and tech freaks may be rubbing their palms together by now to get their hands at this innovation.

    Samsung had come out with a projector phone some time back, but the price was too steep to even thing about. But now intex, a little known company in the mobile arena, has come out with a dual sim next generation phone, V-Show IN8810 in India(you see Samsung and Nokia? there are companies which care for India, and then you all are forced to follow suite) with a built in LED projector. Though its not clear whether it’s an android based or java based phone, the website seems to indicate that it is a java based phone, which might be bit of a negative factor. The company advertises a 36" projection area for the projector, which is quite good(I don’t expect the quality to be as good as a standalone projector, but you never know). You can run videos on the phone and then view them on the screen or project them on to a wall. Also the phone features a front and back  camera with video recording, 3.2" touchscreen(not clear whether resistive or capacitive, but I guess the former), 2 GSM sim slots, 64 MB internal memory and a memory slot for up to 16 GB external memory. Emails can be configured on this phone.

    With the LED lamp life of 20,000 hours, we can expect this phone to keep on projecting continuously for more than 2 years(but you need to have something to project for that long). Anyway, the lamp life is impressive. And best of all is the price, which is 12,000 rs. or about 265$.

    Negatives : I would have expected intex to charge a little more and give me android and a capacitive touch screen. They have not announced what formats of video will it play. Unless they have the most widely used formats like mp4 and avi, they cannot expect their sales to be up. A radio and bluetooth(not announced) will be missed a lot if not included(I am considering that the audio player is available, else V-Show, bye bye from India). It is not specified whether the phone has a standard 3.5 mm audio output, so as to be able to connect it to large speakers. It is not clear whether there is any provision to give video input to the phone, but I wouldn’t expect it for the price. And most important of all is the battery life. The battery has to run for the 3 hours that they have boasted as the projection time on battery. Else it’s useless in the Indian markets where the films running up to 3 hours.

    So gear up for the December launch of this phone, the V-Show IN8810. It might be useful during the well known Indian power cuts, when you get the sudden urge to watch a Hindi flick!!

    Nov 222010
     

    This was something Samsung had hardly expected. But they got what was coming. You see, they had launched this awesome phone, the samsung wave with amazing specifications and lost of good applications. And to support it was a very good operating system, BADA. But they neglected lots of countries. Many of the countries couldn’t buy the terrific paid applications and games from their online store. Including India. People were complaining a lot, but weren’t getting any response about the introduction of paid apps for rest of the world.
    So the crackers had enough of it. They went ahead and found out a go around to make these applications work for free. Thus the entire world can now use these games and application.
    And entire directory of BADA applications and games is available through torrent search in the name of Bada app. And as per the procedure, the person doesn’t require to have any huge knowledge for spoofing the applications. The torrent contains the wave spoofer application. They just need to have some useless applications installed on their phone(which by the way are free). Then run the spoofer application and select the required paths as per the procedure mentioned in the text file in the torrent. People claim that this works perfectly fine.
    Wake up samsung!! There’s still enough time to make things right. People on various forums are still ready to pay for these apps, provided the service is available soon. Else this piracy bug will enter the BADA world to pollute it.
    And People! These applications don’t cost a million. You have spent a huge amount for this phone. Why settle for pirated apps. If samsung gives paid apps, buy them. Don’t strangle BADA!! Samsung will dump it if they don’t find it profitable.

    Oct 312010
     

    So you have a website or a blog, live at this moment. Many people visit it daily, and you know it because you get lots of comments on your posts. But is your website really visible to the entire world? Is your website’s demand increasing? Are you improving in your contents? To know this, there are lots of tools available on the internet, some giving direct figures while other giving an indirect idea of your overall performance on the web. Tools like google analytics, give you direct figures of number of hits on your site, on daily-weekly-monthly basis, statistics on the basis of region-age-gender, and even the popularity of particular contents on your website.

    Tools like google page rank and alexa rank give you an overall picture of your performance on the web. The better the ranking, the better is your website hit rate. Many know this, and employ various techniques of search engine optimization to better their website. But keeping a track of ranking is bit tedious, since we have to go on individual website of alexa, or pagerank and type in your web address to get the statistics. Would you even think of checking out the rankings of your rival websites now and again? How good it would be to have a tool, rounding all the rankings at a single place?

    Well, there are such tools. One such program that I use is an add-on to the firefox browser. You don’t even need to start it separately. It gives the rankings in the top toolbar itself, when a website is loaded. Along with that, it give a lot more statistics, useful to gauge the search engine optimization and site popularity.

    First you need the firefox browser. Get it here. Once downloaded and installed, start firefox.

    • Go to Tools —–> Add-ons. In the add-ons window, click on the “Get Add-ons” button on the top left.
    • In the search field, type webrank and click search.
    • In the results that appear, the top one will be Webrank Toolbar. Select that add-on and click on “Add to Firefox” button.
    • Completing the installation is a child’s play. Click on the “Restart Firefox” button when asked.
    • Once fire fox restarts, you will have the webrank toolbar below the address bar.

    webrank toolbar

    • Now type in any web address in the address bar. When the page loads you will get various rankings and statistics.

    webrank toolbar with stats

    • The first four statistics are :
      • Google Pagerank(On the scale of 1 to 10, higher is better)
      • Alexa Rank(Lower is better)
      • Compete Rank(you have to subscribe for their service)
      • Quantcast Rank(you have to subscribe for their service)
    • The next section informs about the number of pages indexed in google, bing and yahoo search engines.
    • The next section informs about the number of backlinks according to these search engines.
    • Then comes the sociometer which informs about the number of tweets about this website on twitter, and no of bookmarks on delicious.
    • An interesting tool is included next which informs about any site similar to the particular website opened up at that instance.
    • Then there is a button to bookmark you site on pickme.
    • The reload button follows which will reload the statistics if they are not loaded properly.
    • Last three buttons are the information about the webrank toolbar, settings and follow on twitter button for webrank toolbar.

    This toolbar should suffice your information needs about how your site fares. Go ahead, try it out.

    Oct 262010
     

    There’s a good news and a bad news. Then there is a clarification which will turn the previous statement upside down.

    For those of you who don’t know, BADA is an open operating system being developed by Samsung for its future smart phones. The Wave series of phones uses this OS, rather than using Android or Symbian.

    The good news is, Samsung is offering free games for new users of BADA OS. The games are FIFA 10, Assassin’s Creed II, Spore Creatures and Tetris Refresh along with few others. They are available for only few downloads, i.e. for first 2,50,000 downloads for FIFA 10, Spore Creatures and Tetris Refresh and for the first 3,00,000 downloads for Assassin’s Creed II. Cheer up users of new Wave series!! And be quick. You might miss this like I missed NFS Shift for my wave!! Get them through Samsung Kies.

    Now for the bad news. Samsung Wave GT S8500 users won’t get this offer, since they already got NFS Shift. But it’s not that worse. Read ahead.

    The clarification here is, all these games are java based, running through java console. Not native games like asphalt or NFS. So it’s not so bad. In fact it’s a good news for original wavers and a bad news for latest wave series users!!(Or is it a case of sour grapes?)

    Oct 062010
     

    Many a times, we need to save lots of data from the webpage to our local drive. A person, well versed with computers, will find it easier to save the entire webpage as a .HTM file or in .html format. A novice would use the copy-paste method, to word document or text document. The disadvantage in such a method is that, the original formatting and layout cannot be saved. Copying and pasting a picture is quite tedious job. Those are the moments, when we miss the favorite PDF, or Portable Document Format.

    Sometimes it may so happen that, we have a document in a format which we really are not comfortable using, and we would have loved it in the much cleaner PDF. At such times, a process called as PDF printing comes handy if a PDF converter is not available. PDF printing is basically a process in which the document is stored as a PDF file on local drive, instead of printing it as a hard copy.

    My favorite PDF printer is bullzip free PDF printer. It can be downloaded here for free. After installation, you will be able to see an extra printer icon in the printers list, named as Bullzip PDF Printer.

    To save any webpage, or a document/spreadsheet file, or even a picture to PDF:

    • Go to “File” menu of the application in which it is open(any web browser for the webpage), and click on print.
    • A Print window will open where you have a choice of printers, and the settings.
    • Select “Bullzip PDF Printer” and click “Print”.
    • Another window will ask for the location where we want to save the file and the name for it.
    • Specify a path and a name and click ”Save”.
    • A red icon in the system tray will indicate that the print is being processed, and when done, a notification will will popup about the same.
    • If you select “Open the document after creation” before clicking Save, the saved file will open up.
    • If you select “Open the destination folder after creation” before clicking Save, the folder where the file is saved, will open up.
    • And your PDF is ready with all the basic formatting intact!!

    Check out the video to learn easily.

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