Ankur

Last week I switched from iPhone to Android and this isn’t one of those attempts when I would carry both devices around. I have actually SOLD my iPhone. That’s a first. I have always lost my iPhones thus being forced to try an alternate (read cheaper) phone until I can afford the i again. This time around, I have made up my mind to try Android seriously and find out what is so lovely about this OS. I selected the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, for it offers stock and the latest version of Android on the market.

While I have been told that there is plenty to like in Android, and there sure is, here are the three things that I am missing the most on the Galaxy Nexus.

iOS versus Android

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If you love the iPhone and like to stay in the iOS universe, you would know one thing by now, it is an expensive proposition. Any latest iPhone In India costs over Rs 40,000 and that’s enough to get you as many as 8 low-cost Android phones. iPhone is expensive and that’s a fact we cannot dodge.

The iPhone 4S is a year old In India and yet it sells for Rs 38,000. For the record, top Android devices from Samsung and HTC retail for less than Rs 38,000. Even the HTC Windows Phone 8x is selling for Rs 34,000. So if you want to stick to the iPhone, what are your options to make the process least expensive?

Apple iPhone 3GS Apple iPhone 5 Design

There is something that has worked well for me since a few years now. I prefer buying used iPhone models and stay a generation or two behind the latest on the market. For example over a year back, I purchased an iPhone 4 16GB for Rs 23,000. The same had I purchased a new one would have costed me Rs 37,000+. Today irrespective of what iPhone I have (a new iPhone 4 purchased in 2011 or a used one), it would fetch a resell price of Rs 16,000 to 18,000. However, at Rs 26,000 I can fetch myself a used iPhone 4S. I am upgrading to the iPhone 4S by spending an additional Rs 8,000 today. [click to continue…]

We are already plenty jealous of Engadget editor Myriam Joire given her exclusive hands-on with some Nokia classics in Finland and she has also managed to put the iPhone 5 & Nokia Lumia 920 against each other for a video test. Nokia announced the Lumia 920 with PureView technology, thus bringing a superior image stabilization technology to mobile. OIS (optical image stabilization) as it is called, promises stability even when one has shaky hands while shooting a video.

Apple didn’t upgrade the iPhone 5 camera significantly over the one seen in the 4S. For the Lumia 920, one of the USPs is the camera performance and thankfully for Nokia it shines during this test by Engadget. It is hard to make the difference in the video uploaded on Engadget, but it does seem that the 920 manages to reduce the camera shake. Engadget comments that the 920 did better though!

Would however wait for a non-prototype 920 to showup and a hands-on before we really know how much better the Lumia 920 is!

It is pleasant to receive a major software update on a two year old smartphone. Keeping my iPhone usage / affordability philosophy, I am happily using a good old 2010 iPhone 4 model for a year now. I picked it up from a friend for a good discount and thus got the magnificent glass built iPhone 4 in my budget. Having used a LG made Windows Phone device before this, I feel much comfortable with the design and media skills of my current iPhone.

Coming back to the software update, after thinking of skipping the update or perhaps wait for reviews to pour in, I got tempted to hit the upgrade button and 30 mins later, I have iOS 6. Nothing has changed with the iOS 6 when you look from a distance, but as I spent a few minutes this morning with the OS, I realise that there is plenty to explore. So here I begin the exploration called iOS 6.

Note: I may not have all the features that iOS 6 offers, since I have a phone that is 2 generations behind the current iPhone 5, also I am in India.  [click to continue…]

Apple is finally out with the 2012 iPhone mode, called ‘5’. After months of speculation and wait, the next-gen God phone is real. Almost all of the iPhone 5 was leaked or known to all and the only surprise was leaks it self. Apple calls the new device ‘the biggest thing to happen to the iPhone, since iPhone’. And I think that is accurate. Very accurate. Let’s first take a look at the iPhone 5.

 Apple iPhone 5

Gone is the Glass back and in comes Aluminium. Apple has put out a new design, but the overall structure of the device remains constant. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that Apple iPhones are now akin to MacBook Pro in terms of design, at maturity point, with minimal changes. The ones who feel that the design hasn’t changed since the iPhone 4 are perhaps too used to seeing new designs in the mobile market, the same probably isn’t true for notebooks and this perception might be a bit of a problem for Apple. The newness that the iPod line-up usually manages is missing. Yet, the iPhone 5 to me is a new design, looks as good as ever and ships with a larger screen.

The camera remains constant at 8MP with a new panorama mode, volume keys, home button and power button stay. The only other structural change is the 3.5mm audio jack moving to the bottom of the device alongside a new ‘Lightening’ port.  [click to continue…]

Nokia has thrown its punches at the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 at the recently concluded Nokia World. Ever since Nokia announced its partnership with Microsoft to adopt Windows Phone as their sole platform for making smartphones, expectations of a third front compared to Android and iOS came up. Nokia delivered its first set of Lumia phones last year, the 800 and 710 created enough buzz for the re-branding of Nokia smartphone line-up.

As they phase out Symbian OS, Windows Phone is maturing. Microsoft is about to integrate its desktop and mobile platforms with Windows 8 and Nokia is betting big with the 2nd gen Lumia products. Nokia announced the Lumia 920 and 820 this week and Espoo would hope to compete with the movers and shakers of smartphone industry, be it the Android powered HTC One X & Samsung Galaxy S3 or the Apple iPhone series.

Nokia Lumia 920

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Google finally unveiled its low-cost Android tablet at IO and ever since we are reading wonderful reviews for Google’s first Nexus tablet. At 7″ screen size and a price point that competes with the Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7 has a potentially large market at hand. Until now the tablet market is dominated by two players, the Apple iPad and the whole lot of low cost 7″ tablets from China. With the Nexus 7, the game might well change, specially in India.

Priced at $199, the 8GB Nexus 7 could cost anywhere from Rs 11,500 to Rs 14,000 in India and I am about to argue that it is a very good price. First, it competes with the wide range of tablets which costs +/- INR 2,000 and secondly, it is a MUCH superior product. An iPad isn’t affordable by most people and other 10″ Android offerings are crushed by iPad 2’s reduced pricing already. The market which is left wide open is the 7″ tablet space. Google is rightly targeting it.

Google Nexus 7

The Kindle Fire isn’t in India and given Kindle’s situation in India, that isn’t going to change very soon. A Nexus tablet backed by Google brings the latest Android release along with a hardware made by none other than Asus. As we go into the specifications, things get even more exciting. [click to continue…]

Apple just announced their Q3 results and the numbers has failed to please the Wall Street. While Apple managed to keep the revenues / profits over its own guidance, they aren’t as cool as the expectations built by the analysts community. Apple is the most valued company in the world, so to say that the net worth of their stocks is higher than any other company. More than half of Apple’s revenues / profits are from the iPhone alone.

Apple sold 26 million iPhones in the last quarter contributing 46% of its revenues. However the expectations were 29 million iPhones. That’s 3 million more than the actual numbers. Apple suggested that the relatively low sales of the iPhone was a result of speculations and rumors about the upcoming iPhone 5 (or lets call it the iPhone 6th gen?). Given the fact that next iPhone would be a redesign (going by the trend) and possibly sport a larger screen, I do believe that many would be holding off their iPhone purchase at the moment (including me).

Apple Stocks

Apple stocks took a bit of a beating following the Q3 results and rumors are now suggesting that Apple might release the new iPhone a bit early to make up for the poor numbers. Is that likely?  [click to continue…]

So far the definitions of a FaceBook phone was a blue coloured F button pasted on a HTC Android phone. After a series of FaceBook phone rumors, all we saw were mediocre launched by HTC, the ChaCha and the Salsa. As predicted, they failed to generate any great traction in the market. However, fact remains, Facebook is one of the most used mobile apps (across platforms) and they have been working hard to stay relevant in the mobile age.

We are now hearing new rumors of a FaceBook phone to be made by HTC. Bloomberg is reporting (without naming Android) that the phone would run a modified OS, thus suggesting that Facebook would want to have the entire phone to its name instead of just a quick share FB button in there.  Google’s Android is open source thus allowing 3rd parties to work on the code, design and customize it for their needs. Amazon did that pretty neatly with the Kindle Fire and they backed up their efforts with an App Store that they built.  [click to continue…]

Android is buzzing and it is the largest smartphone platform out there with 400 million+ devices out there. When the iPhone reinvented the smartphone market in 2007, Android wasn’t a household name. However given the open source nature of Android and Google’s partnership with multiple hardware makers, the breadth that Android has managed is a humongous. Large component players like Samsung & LG are devoted to Android and legacy names like Sony are betting on the same.  [click to continue…]

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