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Analysis

Analysis of top news stories, shows, launch events and more.

Micromax Canvas Doodle 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8

August 24, 2013 |

Micromax released its Canvas Doodle 2 and it is by far the most expensive handset from the company surpassing the price of its flagship phone – the Canvas 4.

The smartphone does pack some interesting specifications like a 5.7-inch screen, … Read More

BlackBerry A10 Release Date, Price and Rumored Specs

August 7, 2013 |

BlackBerry A10 is expected to be one of the high end smartphone offerings for the year 2013 from the Canada based smartphone manufacturer. Rumours about the phone are circulating the web for quite a long time now in the form … Read More

Google Nexus 7 (2013) vs. Apple iPad Mini

August 3, 2013 |

We compared the recently released Nexus 7 with the Apple iPad Mini and it seems that Google has done its homework on this one.

Google released the successor to its original Nexus 7 and from the looks of it the tablet may very well be the best you can get for that price in the 7-inch segment. We compare the Nexus 7 with Apple’s iPad Mini to see how they stack up against each other.

Design

Google has done away with the leathery-feel back and instead opted for a plastic finish. The tablet weighs 290 grams – making it lighter than the iPad Mini which weighs 308 grams. The Nexus 7 is thinner, has a thin bazel, full HD 7-inch 1080p display (the highest you can get in a tablet in this segment). If we take iPad Mini the first thing you would notice right of the bat is Apple’s superiority in design. The all-metal body of the tablet gives it a distinctive look. However, it seems that the design of the iPad Mini doesn’t reflect Apple’s actual capability in making stuff that stands out. The 7.9-inch display of the iPad Mini is bigger than that of the new Nexus 7 but, the screen resolution of 1,024×768 takes the game away from it. We will be going with Nexus 7 on this one.

Nexus 7 (1) – iPad Mini (0)

User Interface

Google has loaded the latest Nexus 7 with its pure Jelly Bean Android 4.3, which comes with multiple user support and ability to configure restrictive profiles for family members is something that makes it stand out. You do get the other Android standard features such as widget customizations, creation of folders on the home screen as well as the dock, notifications, etc. Apple’s iPad Mini on the other hand is loaded with iOS 6, which according to many analysts and users is the easiest mobile operating system till date. You have the notifications, which are not that extensive as compared to Android, different home button functions, among other standard iOS features. Home screen customization apart from folder creation and grouping of icons makes this operating system a lot less appealing as compared to the Android 4.3. We will be going with Nexus 7 on this one again.

Nexus 7 (2) – iPad Mini (0)

Features

Both Google and Apple have fit their respective tablets with Wi-fi, Bluetooth and 4G LTE connectivity options but storage spec is where they differ. While Apple released the iPad Mini with 16, 32 and 64GB storage options, Google decided to go for just two versions – 16 and 32GB. None of the companies have put in any expandable storage option – understandable from Apple’s past tablets but, an Android tablet without a microSD card slot is a bit surprising.

Google Now is great in terms of functionality and the accuracy with which it recognizes voice commands is commendable. Google is the king of the maps world and Apple maps still suck. The new Nexus 7 packs a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. Gesture typing, Android beam, wireless video streaming using Chromecast, surround sound equipped speakers and wireless charging gives the Nexus 7 a lot of edge over the iPad Mini.

Apple’s dual-core A5 processor powers the iPad Mini which isn’t the best processor in the market today. Siri is definitely a big positive for Apple but, that alone wouldn’t take Cupertino to the finish line. You can stream contents from your iPad Mini to your television set but, only if you are having a TV connected to Apple TV. Despite the fact the Apple has the most number of tablet-dedicated apps, there is much more to features than just apps and a pretty voice assistant.

And yet again we vote for Google’s tablet.

Nexus 7 (3) – iPad Mini (0)

Multimedia experience

The new Nexus 7 has a big advantage here thanks to its full HD 1080p resolution screen whereas the iPad Mini lags a bit when it to video quality. Both companies have a lot of stuff in their respective multimedia offering but, Apple has the edge when it comes to exclusive content.

Nexus 7 browsing experience is great even without flash and Chrome comes in with lot many features that support a refreshing browsing experience. iPad Mini comes with Safari but, you can install the Chrome browser on the iPad Mini as well to have the same experience as in Nexus 7.

In terms of camera, both the tablets have the same configuration – a rear 5-megapixel camera and a front facing camera. The rear cameras in both the tablets are capable of capturing 1080p videos.
Considering that multimedia is all about screen, we would go with Google on this one and give the Nexus 7 another point here.

Nexus 7 (4) – iPad Mini (0)

Battery

The original nexus 7 had a battery life of 10 hours – one of the longest in the Android tablet segment – on a video stress test but, iPad Mini has an edge here with 11.9 hours of battery life in the same video stress test. We would definitely have to give this one to Apple.

Nexus 7 (4) – iPad Mini (1)

Pricing

Pricing of the tablets vary depend on the region you are in but, if you consider the overall pricing structure, the new Nexus 7 is cheaper by $100 to $210 depending upon the model you go for based on storage and connectivity options.

Nexus 7 (5) – iPad Mini (1)

Verdict

With great many features such as 1080p display, gesture typing, NFC support, surround sound speakers, wireless charging and above all pricing, the new Nexus 7 has definitely a great edge over the iPad Mini.

Micromax Canvas 4, Spice Pinnacle FHD compared

July 13, 2013 |

Spice launched its Pinnacle FHD to rival Micromax’s Canvas 4 just a couple of days back and has priced it at ₹16,990 as compared to Canvas 4’s ₹17,999. Beyond the price difference there are quite a few other differences we would like to highlight and bring out. All in all, we believe, Pinnacle FHD is a better buy than the Micromax Canvas 4. Read on to find out why…

Display

The first thing when you would notice when you pick any of the handsets is the display. Right of the bat Pinnacle FHD (also known as Mi-525) beats the sh*t of out (pardon my French) the Canvas 4 (also known as A210). Will a full HD display of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels Spice has definitely beat Micromax by over a mile. Canvas 4 is only having a 720 x 1,280 pixel resolution with 294 pixels per inch as compared to 441 ppi of Pinnacle FHD. Both have got a 5-inch screen but, here we have full votes going for Mi-525.

Performance

While both the handsets boats of a quad-core processor, Micromax has gone for a MediaTek processor clocked at 1.2GHz whereas Spice has gone for a 1.5GHz processor (type unknown). Both the handsets have 1GB of RAM but, considering the speed of the processor Pinnacle FHD is once again ahead of the Canvas 4.

Storage

Micromax has an edge over Spice in this segment as it has put in 16GB of internal storage in the Canvas 4 as compared to just 8GB in Pinnacle FHD. Both have microSD card slot for expandability where one can add a card of up to 32GB.

Camera

Canvas 4 has a 13-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel front one as compared to just an 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front one in the Pinnacle HD. Micromax again bests Spice in this area. However, it all depends on how clear the photos are with the 13-megapixel Canvas 4 because chances are that even 8-megapixel camera may be able to take better photos than a stronger camera if the camera app that governs the controls is powerful enough.

Rest of the specifications can be seen in the table below:

Specification Micromax Canvas 4 Spice Pinnacle FHD
CPU 1.2GHz 1.5GHz
RAM 1GB 1GB
Display (size) 5-inch 5-inch
Display (resolution) 720 x 1,280 pixels 1080 x 1,920 pixels
Display (ppi) 294ppi 441ppi
Storage (internal) 16GB 8GB
Storage (expandability) 32GB 32GB
Thickness 8.9mm 9.3mm
Weight 158g 175g
OS Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Camera (front) 5-megapixel 2-megapixel
Camera (rear) 13-megapixel 8-megapixel
Battery 2000mAh 2100mAh
Cost ₹17,999 ₹16,990

Micromax Canvas 4 specification: How close were we?

July 8, 2013 |

Micromax’s live event for Canvas 4 launch has gone bust for some reason but we have managed to get the specifications of the phone. We went onto to write previously on what specifications can be expected. Here we are comparing on how close were we at the target specifications. Read on…

Component Our Assumption Actual
CPU (Processor) MediaTek quad-core 1.4 GHz processor Quad-core 1.2GHz processor
RAM 1GB 1GB
Internal Storage 8GB (expandable to up to 64GB) 16GB (expandable to 32GB)
Camera (Rear) 13-megapixel 13-megapixel
Camera (Front) 2-megapixel 2-megapixel
Display 5-inch Full HD IPS Panel 5-inch HD IPS 720p display
Connectivity 3G, Wi-Fi, microUSB 3G, Wi-Fi, microUSB
OS Android 4.2.2 Android 4.1.2
Price ₹16,000 ₹18,000

Aakash IV proposed specifications: Issues pinpointed!

July 2, 2013 |

Government of India announced the proposed set of features for the next version of low-cost tablet Aakash IV and has made it available for comments from stakeholders. Some of the proposed features of the tablet are a 7-inch screen with atleast 800×480 resolution, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage expandable to 32GB and a battery that should provide atleast 5 hours of battery backup (on an average). If we dig deeper into the specifications, there is a lot of ambiguity in terms of the specification. Read on to find out.

According to the proposed specifications Aakash IV has to have a CPU that has an Antutu overall score of 3537. ALU-integer score has to be 689 and floating point score of 163. If we look at these numbers and compare those with tablets from big brands, the Aakash IV is likely to rank in between HTC Flyer and Samsung Galaxy Tab P1000 (which were released over a year ago). This is surprising as there are quite a few sites which claim that the specifications are close to what Nexus 7 provides and that is just utter bollocks. Why would anyone want a tablet which is over a year old in terms of CPU. From our analysis a vendor could easily supply a Cortex-A8 CPU and still manage descent scores on Antutu but, that wouldn’t make Aakash IV a great tablet.

Display is another area which has ambiguity. On one hand the GoI specifications require a vendor to supply a tablet with at least 800×480 pixel resolution but on the other hand requires the tablet to play a 720p video. Seriously? I am not able to get my head around this.

“SD Card interface should be compatible with NFC based SD card”, reads one of the lines in the specifications. This technology is very new and considering that Aakash IV is not going to sell above the ₹5,000 mark, is this feature really required?

Micromax Canvas 4 rumours, leaks and official information so far

June 24, 2013 |

[Update: 28/06/2012 09:00 GMT] Canvas 4 pre-booking start at ₹5,000.

Micromax is all set to unveil its Canvas 4 smartphone preorders for which are starting from June 28 and is a handset dubbed to be a likely contender of the Samsung Galaxy S4. There have been official announcements, rumours and leaks all around the place and here are a few thing that we know about the Canvas 4.

Official

According to Micromax the Canvas 4 is going to be powered by a quad-code processor, will have a 5-inch display and will boast of a 13-megapixel camera. Now that’s about it when it comes to official information. There has also been a word that the smartphone will be carrying a price tag below the ₹20,000 mark.

Rumours

When we go into rumours, there are all kinds of things floating around. A full HD screen with IPS panel, android 4.2.2 Jelly bean which will be upgradable to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandable to 32GB through the microSD card, two handset variants based on colour (white and black), Mediatek quad-core processor among others.

Pricing has been a great speculation and word is that the handset may be priced anywhere between ₹16,000 and ₹18,000. We believe that if Micromax wants to not only contend with Samsung but other local vendors as well, it would need to keep the pricing of the Canvas 4 well below even the ₹16k mark.

Leaks

A couple of days back a screenshot of a website listing the Canvas 4 was captured which had information about the specification of the smartphone. According to the leak the Canvas 4 will be featuring a quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, FM radio among quite a few other features.

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Micromax Canvas 4 vs. Spice Coolpad Mi-515

June 24, 2013 |

[Update: 28/06/2012 09:00 GMT] Canvas 4 pre-booking start at ₹5,000.

Vendors – both international and local – are gearing up for the 5-inch smartphone wars in India with Samsung releasing its 4.99-inch Galaxy S4, Spice releasing its Coolpad Mi-515 and Micromax about to release its Canvas 4.

With prices of descent smartphones leveling that of high-end feature phones, consumers in India are in for a treat as they can easily get their hands onto a budget smartphone without having to spend a lot. We have laid out the specifications of Galaxy S4, Canvas 4 and Coolpad Mi-515 below to help you ease out the confusion on what smartphone to go for out of the three.


  • Specs Samsung Galaxy S4
    Screen Size 4.99 inches
    Display type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
    Resolution 1080 x 1920
    OS Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean [upgradable to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie]
    Processor Exynos 5 Octa 5410 Cortex A15
    Number of cores Eight Cores
    Processor speed 1.6 GHz
    Graphics processor PowerVR SGX 544MP3
    RAM 2GB
    Internal Storage 16, 32, 64 GB
    Expandable Storage 64 GB
    Primary Camera 13-megapixel autofocus with LED flash
    Secondary Camera 2 megapixel
    Camera features Face and Smile Detection, Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call and Beauty Face, Best Photo, Best Face, Drama, Rich Tone (High Dynamic Range), Sound & Shot, Sports, Continuous shot
    Colours White Frost, Black Mist
    Price Available at ₹37,900

  • Specs Micromax Canvas 4
    Screen Size 5 inches
    Display type Expected IPS
    Resolution Expected 1080 x 1920
    OS Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean [upgradable to Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie]
    Processor Mediatek quad-core
    Number of cores Four Cores
    Processor speed Expected to be either 1.2 GHz or 1.4 GHz
    Graphics processor Not known
    RAM At least 1 GB RAM
    Internal Storage 8 GB
    Expandable Storage 32 GB
    Primary Camera 13-megapixel autofocus with LED flash
    Secondary Camera 2 megapixel
    Camera features All Android camera features
    Colours White and Black
    Price Expected to be priced at ₹16,000 or less
  • Specs Spice Coolpad Mi-515
    Screen Size 5-inch
    Display type IPS LCD with qHD display
    Resolution 960 x 540 px
    OS Android 4.1
    Processor Unknown
    Number of cores Four cores
    Processor speed 1.2 GHz
    Graphics processor Not known
    RAM 1GB
    Internal Storage 4GB
    Expandable Storage 32GB
    Primary Camera 5-megapixel with LED flash
    Secondary Camera VGA
    Camera features Autofocus, Color effects, Self timer, White balance modes, Continuous shot, HD video recording Scene modes, Exposure adjustment, ISO Auto 100-1600, Anti-flicker, Zoom, Night vision
    Colours Blue
    Price ₹9,990


Why is Microsoft Office Mobile iOS app ‘Optimized for iPhone’ and for Office 365 Subscribers only?

June 15, 2013 |

Microsoft released a mobile Office app for iOS devices ‘optimized for iPhone’ yesterday and it works only when you have an Office 365 subscription. The app is currently on top of the free iPhone app list according to iOSappStats.com.

The app is definitely useful for those who have an Office 365 subscription and want to edit their documents while on the move. The interface is quite intuitive and with features such as Recent Documents panel, accessibility through SkyDrive, SkyDrive Pro and SharePoint the app does come in handy if there are some urgent changes needed while on the go. Read Microsoft Mobile Office for iOS: First impressions.

One may wonder as to why would Microsoft limit the app just to Office 365 subscribers and on top of that why would it be optimized for iPhone only and why not iPad? Another thing is that why is the feature set limited? Read on to find out…

Optimized for iPhone

Microsoft released the Office Mobile app such that it works on all iOS devices but, it has only been optimized for mobile devices – meaning just the iPhone. It didn’t contain a tablet version of the app and I believe it is because Microsoft wants to maintain an upper hand when it comes to Office for tablet with its Windows RT.

Even though the app works find on tablet devices, Microsoft is not recommending tablet users to use the app. Microsoft’s stand on this is, “We built Office Mobile for iPhone to ensure a great Office experience when using a small screen device, similar to Office Mobile for Windows Phone.”

“Like all iPhone apps, Office Mobile can work on iPad, either small or “2X” scaled up, but you’ll have a more satisfying experience using Office Web Apps,” Microsoft notes further. See where this is going?

If you want a complete Office experience on a tablet, your best option is to go for a Windows RT tablet – either the Surface RT or some tablet from other vendor that comes loaded with Windows RT or a Surface Pro (if you don’t mind spending too much). Microsoft hasn’t been able to make an impression with its tablet offering and taking Apple head-on in this arena may be an option but, attacking through ancillary means such as this may probably yield results.

Considering that Microsoft is looking to expand its Office productivity offering for iOS as well, it has all the best of interests for Windows RT and with the launch of this particular app, Microsoft has not only managed to enter the iPhone app regime it has also managed to retain Windows RT’s edge when it comes for Office for tablets.

Not for all

Another thing that many are asking is that why has Microsoft not released the app for all users? If you think it through, you will have the answer – to retain the edge of its Windows Phone smartphones.

If you buy a Windows Phone – be it Lumia range of phones from Nokia or from Samsung or from HTC, you will have access to Office app without actually paying anything extra. You can pretty much carry out all the functions that the iOS app has to offer and that too without requiring a subscription to Office 365. Just upload a document to your SkyDrive and you are ready to roll.

This strategy from Microsoft is two-fold again – protect the interest of Office 365 users who own an iPhone but, still retain Windows Phone’s edge compared to its iOS counterpart.

Microsoft Xbox One: Things we know so far!

June 10, 2013 |

Microsoft detailed (to some extent) its Xbox One for the first time three weeks back wherein it went on about the media capabilities of the console – a home entertainment system, if we may, rather than talking about the gaming capabilities of the console and since then there have been news and speculations surrounding the console.

So what do we have on the table till now?

Always Online

Microsoft doesn’t require you to keep your Xbox One connected at all times but, with a tricky rule of limiting offline play to a maximum of 24 hours would limit the playing capabilities of users to some extent. This particular clarification came from Microsoft a couple of days back and as per this rule, users would need to connect their consoles once every 24 hours to regain the 24 hour offline play option.
xbox one header 2

Used games

There were rumours up until the event of Xbox One launch that Microsoft is going to limit the capabilities of the console when it comes to used games. These have turned out to be partially true as the Windows 8 maker has clarified the rules for sharing used games. You can share the game to one of your friends – just once, and that friend has to be on your buddy list for more than 30 days.

Games so far

15 exclusive titles claimed for the first year – only a few we know about so far. Quantum Break and Forza Motorsport 5 – that’s about it out of the 15 titles that have been claimed. Ofcourse there is the Call of Duty: Ghosts over which most of the introduction happened initially. We also presume Crytek may reveal its Xbox One-exclusive Ryse or Respawn may bring up its Titanfall today. Lionheard and Rare, Microsoft’s home production, may also show up.
xbox one header 1

Backwards Compatibility

Well, well, well this is going to be a tough one. Microsoft Xbox One is not going to be backwards compatible. Full stop! According to Microsoft, the console is “based on a different core architecture, so back-compat doesn’t really work from that perspective”.
xbox one header 3

Finally, the Console itself

Microsoft wasn’t too secretive unlike its competitor when it comes to revealing the looks of the Xbox One. With an angular design, the sleek black console isn’t too bad for its looks. It packs 500 GB HDD and comes with 8GB of RAM. Beyond this the controller has evolved to a great extent and comes with rumble motors in both triggers and the battery bump has also vanished.