Feb 272017
 

Picking it up from Moto G4 line of smartphones, Lenovo has expanded its portfolio of the moto lineup with the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. (Do not mistake moto with Motorola. Motorola no longer manufactures smartphones.) In my previous post, it was highlighted how Lenovo had departed from the Moto design tradition while creating the G series. Let’s see how they fare this time around.

                                          motorola-moto-g5-r1                                  motorola-moto-g5-plus-1

                                                                Moto G5                                                                            Moto G5 Plus

(Image source gsmarena.com)

The Moto G5 comes in two variants. The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. Here are the specifications:

Model

Moto G5

Moto G5 Plus

Screen Size

5”

5.2”

Screen Resolution

1080X1920 (~65.4% screen-to-body ratio)

1080X1920 (~67.1% screen-to-body ratio)

Screen Protection

Corning Gorilla Glass 3

Corning Gorilla Glass 3

OS

Android OS, v7.0 (Nougat)

Android OS, v7.0 (Nougat)

Chipset

Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430

Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625

Processor

Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53

Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53

GPU

Adreno 505

Adreno 506

RAM

2/3 GB RAM

2/4 GB RAM; 3 GB RAM

Internal Storage

16/32 GB

32/64 GB; 32 GB

External Storage

microSD, up to 256 GB

microSD, up to 256 GB

Connectivity

Dual SIM/Single SIM  2G, 3G, 4G LTE

Dual SIM 2G, 3G, 4G LTE

Camera Primary

13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash

12 MP, f/1.7, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash

Camera Secondary

5 MP, f/2.2

5 MP, f/2.2

Video

1080p@30fps

2160p@30fps (USA)/ 1080p@30fps (EMEA)

Additional Connectivity

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR
GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFC not mentioned
FM Radio
microUSB v2.0, USB Host

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR
GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
NFC Yes (market dependent)
FM Radio
microUSB v2.0, USB Host

Sensors

Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

Battery Backup

Non-removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery

Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery

Weight

145 g

155 g

(Data Source : gsmarena.com)

Lets check out what’s expected out of the phone.

Screen Size : The G5 seems to have brought back some sanity in at least one department, the screen size. They have brought it down from the monstrous 5.5” in Moto G4 Plus(uncomfortable to handle) to 5.2” in Moto G5 Plus, which is very sweet of them. The G5 meanwhile shares the same size (5”) as it predecessor.

Resolution : Keeping the resolution at 1080 X 1920 ensures that the user gets best of both worlds, i,e. the battery as well as the viewing pleasure. The screen shall not be as demanding on the processing unit as the bumped up resolutions tend to be. The body to screen ratio is just above 65 and 67 for G5 and G5 Plus respectively, which hints at some wasted real estate. The fingerprint sensor on the front panel is the culprit.

Processing Power : The 600 series of snapdragon processors from Qualcomm are known to be the midrange processor which have the right balance of efficiency and power, required by a mid range user.The 625 processor used in G5 Plus is known to be a efficient upgrade over 617 in Moto G4 Plus. But the more efficient 650 would have been better choice, given that it was launched about a year back and should have been the natural choice based on it s efficiency results. The G5 plus meanwhile downgrade from its predecessor in terms of processor. The G4 had the snapdragon 617 at its heart while the G5 has been relegated snapdragon 430. Though a disappointment for users, it must surely be a business decision. The pricing of G5 may naturally be in a more budget friendly range. The graphics are handled by Adreno 506 and 505 for G5 Plus and G5 respectively.

OS : Both the phones are scheduled to come out with Nougat 7.0. That’s not as great as it would have been because 7.1.1 is already running on many devices across manufacturers and custom ROMS. It’s a shame that Lenovo has moved away from Motorola tradition of plain vanilla android experience and baking lots of proprietary apps in tp the ROM due to which future updates are either delayed or done away with altogether.

RAM & Storage : The phones come with the usual suspects of internal storage and RAM configurations. 2GB/4GB RAM with 32GB/64GB internal for Moto G5 Plus. It also has a 3GB RAM/32 GB internal variant which must be targeted for specific market.The G5 meanwhile comes in 2GB/3GB RAM with 16GB32GB internal configuration. Pick your choice. Its always better to pick up the highest internal memory configuration. 3 RAM meanwhile is quite sufficient for midrange phone. Go for the highest configuration in case the price difference is negligible.

Both cards support external storage up to 256 GB without a hint of the card slot being shared by second SIM card.

Camera : The Moto G5 Plus receives an upgrade in terms of f-number in that  it has a 12 MP camera sensor with f/1.7, an improvement over f/2.0 in Moto G4 Plus. Though the sensor is a downgrade from 16 MP, the bigger aperture should help in better photographs, especially in low light condition. The Moto G5 meanwhile stays at 13 MP, same as Moto G4. Both phones support 1080p video recording at 30fps.

The Secondary camera in both the phones is 5MP f/2.2, which should impress the selfie-holics. A selfie camera flash in G5 Plus would have been a item of awe, but I assume they have incorporated the selfie flash in the camera software which used the screen brightness as a makeshift flash(which is quite effective)

Connectivity : The usual connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2 with LE, GPS and GLONASS, NFC in some markets on G5 Plus and FM radio on both phones. The phones also have a micro USB port with USB host interface capability.

Sensors : Fingerprint sensor with support for fingerprint gestures are placed below the screen on front panel. The phone also have gyro sensors, accelerometer and  magnetic compass.

Battery : The 3000 mAh battery on G5 Plus should be able to see you through the day. The G5 meanwhile sports a 2800 mAh battery, which reduces its footprint but can easily take you through the day due to the low powered processor under the hood.

Pricing : Motorola has traditionally maintained the G series within a tight budget consumer group and the G5s shouldn’t be any exceptions. We can expect the G5 Plus to sell somewhere around $225(INR 15000) where as the G5 could retail at $180(INR 12000). The G4s will surely be dropped down in the price bracket and this could be a good time for those who were holding their savings for the “right opportunity”.

Going by history, you can expect Lenovo to tie up with Amazon in India for launching this phones. Watch out this space for more news availability and price.

May 172016
 

The launch of Moto G4 has been adequately covered on various forums including those which predicted its configurations, design language, pricing etc. The phone, rather phones, were launched today by the new owners of the Moto brand, Lenovo. Some predictions came true, but it seems, Moto G, the budget phone which ruled the android market for three generations, is about to be lost in the crowd. What will remain shall be the name.

For a change, the phone had a huge bump in its specifications, right from the processors, RAM, camera, screen resolution etc. But there were few shockers too. For a start, the home button, which never was a part of Moto lineage, has arrived. I had shifted from Samsung (Galaxy SII) to Motorola (Moto X Play) and the transition couldn’t have been smoother. The home button was not missed on Moto X Play since android LP and MM were ready for button-less interface. So why the button now? All it might do is increase the non-screen real estate. Having a button in upgraded phone seems like moving back to prehistoric times of kitkat. Anyway that’s not all.

The screen has gone up to 5.5”. Moto G4 used to be the phone for people who wanted handy phone which was useable enough without being crammed for room. A 5.5” Moto G4 leaves a huge gap between the low budget  Moto E lineage and the more premium Moto X. It just doesn’t make any business sense. First of all you create a gap and secondly you pitch your product to compete against another product by you(Moto X Play. Moto X Play may now be forgotten for good since you get better configuration for less). A more sensible strategy would have been launching the second phone with 5.5” and keeping Moto G at 5” – 5-2”(5.2” being the sweetest of them all)

Moto G4 at Amazon

That brings us to a third shocker. They launched two Moto G4s. A Moto G4 and a Moto G4 Plus. Both have similar configuration, save for the RAM/Storage combinations. The plus version has the option of 16/32 GB ROM and 3/4 GB RAM, while the version without the plus moniker has 2GB/16 GB capacity. The plus version has an addition of finger print reader, integrated in the home button. What could/should have been done is to create 2 configurations in 5” model without the home button(so have a good screen to body ratio) and 2 configurations in 5.5” model ( which would have justified the “plus” moniker)  and each configuration would in turn deal with the memory capacities for each size. but that didn’t happen. So we have a Moto G which is not 5” anymore and effectively competing with Moto X Play( midrange) and lots of other 5.5” smart phones in the marker, including those by Lenovo. Is Lenovo out to kill its own lineage(K series) or the Moto lineage?

Speaking in terms of camera, the G4 Plus has a bumped up 16 MP camera. But those are just numbers. I personally like the 8 MP camera on Galaxy SII against my Moto X Play. So wouldn’t claim that the 16 MP upgrade would do much difference.

If you remember, there was another iteration of Moto G3, the Moto G3 Turbo, which was the first to introduce the Snapdragon 615 processor as against SD 410 in Moto G3 and 2 GB RAM as against 1 GB in G3. Other than that, there was nothing much to speak about.

And I personally dislike the addendums in name like plus, pro, Turbo etc. They seem to hint a lack of creativity.
Moto G4 at Amazon

Brief comparison between the three phones(Moto G3, G4 and G4 Plus):

Specifications Moto G3 Moto G4 Moto G4 Plus
Processor SD 410 SD 617 SD 617
RAM 1/2 GB 2 GB 2/3/4 GB
Storage 8/16 GB 16/32 GB 16/32/64 GB
Screen 5” 5.5” 5.5”
Resolution 72p 1080p 1080p
Battery 2470 mAH 3000mAH 3000mAH
Fast Charge No Yes Yes
Camera 13 MP 13 MP 16 MP
Android Ver. 5.1.1 6.0.1 6.0.1

Moto G4 at Amazon

Mar 092015
 

An extended warranty on any products, is one of the most desired add on while buying a product. But many a times, poor marketing keeps us all in dark regarding any such offers running off season. Most of us tend to defer our purchases for special occasions like dussera, diwali, christmas and such other festivals considered to be auspicious time for purchase and gifts. So we don’t even bother to check out for such offers during other times.

We are actually displeasing goddess Lakshmi which is giving us an opportunity to save dhan. 

Anyway, to inform you, if you are planning to buy laptops this season, Lenovo is running an extended warranty program which they call as peace of mind program, which gives you two years additional warranty extension for either free on some models or for heavy discounts on other models. The offer if open for laptops bought till 31st march 2015 and registered before 15th April 2015. Following are the details

Lenovo Peace of Mind offer for B series Laptops

This offer gives you the peace of mind for a total of 3 years from the date of purchase by extending your warranty by additional 2 years for FREE.

The offer is valid on following laptops:

  • B4030
  • B4070
  • B5070
  • B490
  • B590

Note that the purchase has to be made from selected retailers listed below:

Offer valid for Laptops listed above purchased from 27th December 2014 to 31st March 2015.

All you need to do is that once you purchase the laptop, go on to lenovowarranty.in, fill up the form, upload *.jpg, *.jpeg or *,gif format scanned copy of the invoice and the serial number label on the outside of the box and wait for their confirmation email. This process will usually take 21 days.

Lenovo Peace of Mind offer for Other Laptops

Surprisingly listed on other webpages, this was communicated to me by Lenovo staff by mistake. The offer stands such:

2 (1)

As indicated, The offers are classified in Premium Range(which gets free additional warranty), Mainstream Range(Which gets heavily discounted additional warranty) and Budget Range(With lesser discount on additional, albeit significant).

Following products are eligible for the above offers:

  • Y Series

a. Y5070

b. Y510 P

  • G series

a. G5070

b. G400 S Touch

c. G4030

d. G405

e. G500 / G500 S

f. G5030

g. G5045

h. G505 / G505 S

  • Yoga series

a. Yoga 2 13

  • Flex series

a. Flex 14

b. Flex 2 14

c. Flex 2 14D

d. Flex 10

  • S series

a. S 510 P

b. S 210 Touch

c. S20

Laptops purchased from following sources are eligible for the offer:

  • Purchases made from online website www.thedostore.com are eligible to avail the Lenovo Peace of Mind offer.
  • Purchase from E-Bay (Only for NDSL)
  • Amazon Purchase – If a customer purchases a machine from Rocky Marketing, DBM Marketing (Deal Kya Hai), Cloud Tail and Staples – Office Shop “only” then he will be eligible for Lenovo Peace of Mind Offer.
  • Purchases made from the Online Retail Website “Croma” are eligible to avail the Peace of Mind offer.
  • This purchases from websites Snapdeal as eligible – DBM Marketing – Deal Kya Hai & Staples – Office Shop will be eligible Lenovo Peace of Mind offer.

All you need to do is that once you purchase the laptop, go on to lenovopromo.net, fill up the form, upload *.jpg, *.jpeg or *,gif format scanned copy of the invoice and the serial number label on the outside of the box and wait for their confirmation email. To avail the offer the customer with valid registrations will have to make a payment of INR 1999/- OR INR 1499/-. Payment should make through a DD draw in favor of “Kestone Integrated Marketing Services Pvt Ltd”.

This offer is valid for laptops purchased from 1st Jan 2015 to 31st March 2015 with registration done before 15th April 2015.

So if you have planned to purchase a laptop, no time is as auspicious as now. Go ahead, buy it from Flipkart or Amazon. Prices at Amazon and flipkart tend to be the lowest.

Lenovo Laptops on Amazon 

Search for Lenovo Laptops on Flipkart

(Disclaimer : The author does not guarantee the availability of offer for all customer. The information above is merely fetched from the above mentioned websites and should act as guide. Buyers ere advised to read the terms and conditions carefully before making final purchase.

The author does not guarantee that the prices are lowest at Flipkart or Amazon but highlights the general trend. Buyers are advised to compare prices at other places before purchase.

Read offer terms and conditions for clarity)

Nov 132014
 

Floods of phones released every month, with India being attacked from all sides in this regards, it sometimes get difficult for Indians who are by now, spoilt for choice. Hundreds of screen sizes and as many hardware configurations has driven the online retail competition in recent times and more is set to come. Though Samsung, Nokia(now Windows), HTC and Sony were the safest bets in past, bravery is being demonstrated by Indians in accepting local brands like Micromax, XOLO, Spice etc.(most of them selling rebranded Chinese Phones) or even accepting chinese entrants like OPPO, Huawei, Xiaomi etc(very Popular in China). The smartphone killer, Oneplus One, is said to have generated so much interest in India that Oneplus has planned a full scale Indian base and the necessary staff for this is being manned. One important aspect which may be lagging is the after sales service in India.

Another company which is quietly making inroads into Indian market is Lenovo which has acquired Motorola just recently. It had launched quite a few impressively configured models in past but it has started gaining traction only in recent times. One such model very recently launched is the Lenovo Vibe X2 with the “Multilayered design for Multilayered life” as proclaimed by its punchline.

lenovo-smartphone-ideaphone-vibe-x2-main

The design and color combinations shout different layers without the need of handling the phone. The layers are actually fancy strips on the edge, but Lenovo also has some thing call Xtensions to transform the mobile boombox or a power reservoir. These Xtensions clip on the back plate of the phone, and though they increase the thickness by as much as 5.1mm, they are designed to serve their purpose. AS of now, the two extension layers announced are the Vibe X2 Speaker(JBL powered) which doubles up as a stand and Vibe X2 Battery which gives your phone the much need refueling stop on the go. A first of its kind by any manufacturer since all previous such addons were aftermarket 3rd party manufactured. Its not yet clear whether both the Xtensions can be attached together, which would make more sense since speakers will consume more power. Also no news on any other Xtensions under developement. Is this due to lack of ideas? Here are a few:

  • Electronic ink Screen Xtension( similar to one on Yota Phone)
  • 3D camera module Xtension
  • NFC Xtension
  • QWERTY Keyboard Module with Single line screen Xtension
  • Simple phone keypad Xtension if you need to call more often and don’t want to wakeup the screen
  • External Memory Card Xtension
  • Various Combinations of above Xtensions to reduce thickness

What the heck. Am being creative.

Anyway, the phone packs some punch, albeit via MediaTek Chipset. Here are a few important hardware aspects.

Configuration:

Screen : 5″ IPS LCD, 1920×1080 full HD 5 point touch. No mention of a gorilla glass so be ready with a quality screen guard

SIM: Dual SIM(Micro/Nano)

Memory: 2 GB RAM, 32 GB ROM, No external memory card adapter.

Chipset: MediatTek MT6595m True8Core

CPU: Octa-core 2.0 GHz

GPU: PowerVR G600

Camera: Primary 13 MP, Secondary 5 MP(Are they significant or just numbers? real world tests will tell)

Connectivity: The usual Bluetooth, Wifi, GPS, USB along with 2G, 3G and 4G

Pros:

Price: Rs. 19,999 in India which makes it quite competitive

Size: Just the right size that sells in India at this moment

Display: Full HD display

Connectivity: 4G connectivity will enable people to access 4G network which is to be launched soon

Horsepower: Latest MediaTek chipset which boasts of battery saving features.

Cons:

Display: No Gorilla Glass

Memory: No provision for external SD

Xtension: Only two Xtensions without any information when they will be out for sale

Layer: The screen layer is bit smaller then the border and person using the phone one handed will feel it on his thumb base.

Battery: Built in

OS: Android Kitkat 4.4

All in all the phone seems to be good for the price point. That’s being demonstrated by the high demand on flipkart. But then flipkart seem to have struck the sweet spot in advertising and creating a hype, so much so that Xiaomi, which was not well known before flipkart flash sell, is now a wishlist for many who are unable to lay their hands on it, sale after sale. A lot needs to be seen about its performance and of course the timely upgrades.

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