Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reviewing the Microsoft-Nokia flagship product: Lumia 630

Nokia Lumia 630

Post the acquisition of Nokia, Microsoft has launched its first device, the Lumia 630, noticeably without the Nokia name. The phone is the first of its generation and requires several modifications. However, it is the start of something new which is appreciable.
The Lumia 630’s Dual SIM version has been released in India with the Windows Phone 8.1. Although it is cheaper than the Lumia 620, it is actually in a lower segment and not a patch on the phone. With new software and hardware to boast of, the Lumia 630 could become the next big thing.

Feel and Look
The shape of the phone is more block and flat than usual. The phone has sides along the rectangular body that taper back which makes it easy to grip the phone. The back part of the phone does not bulge too much.

This mobile phone has a matte textured colourful casing. It is nothing similar to the highly glossy finishes that were seen on the other Lumia models and this sort of a finishing picks up dirt and specks as soon as you expose the phone.
The front part of the phone does not have anything except Nokia’s logo on top as navigation is taken care of by soft keys. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge although there is no shortcut key for the camera. The left side is left completely blank while the bottom and top have the microUSB port and headset jack each. The rear has been left fully blank too with the rounded speaker hole and camera lens poking out apart from the hardly visible Nokia logo right centre.

The phone does not come with a USB cable or headphone. The charger is connected to a microUSB plug with a fixed wire.
Specifications and Features
A steady Qualcomm 400 Snapdragon powerful has been used in the Lumia. The processor clocks 1.2GHx on a quad core SOC with Adreno integrated 305 graphics. Only 512MB of RAM has been provided which is quite a downscaling from the 1GB placed in the Lumia 525.

The built in storage space given is 8GB which offsets the requirement to include external storage cards. Earlier models of Nokia could support up to 128GB external memory cards. The screen measures 4.5 inches diagonally although it has an abysmal resolution of 480X854 pixels. The pixel density on the devise is very low and it does not appear premium quality at all. It does not live up to the already low standard of Nokia’s device which offers bad viewing angles and limited colour accuracy. Even though the interface is not very grainy, the textual matter on websites and applications might remind you of high quality 10 years ago.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity of the device is up to date along with GPS. Only an accelerometer has been included among the sensors. Screen brightness needs to be adjusted manually for the lack of an ambient sensor. The list of amenities offered by the Lumia 630 is lopsided and other phones in this price range out do it.
The biggest attraction of the Lumia 630 is its Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. The update is much significant and there have been minor and major improvements. Outside India, Microsoft may boast of the Cortana, which is a voice based intelligence assistant. However, the feature does not exist for the Indian version of the phone. There are roundabouts which will get the feature working on the phone, although it is not much needed.
A notification shade has been added which users were waiting for very long. Microsoft has called it the Action Centre. Like in iOS and Android, swiping down from the top of the display unit will reveal an overlay that shows notifications that have not been taken care of yet. When the Action Centre is pulled down, expanded information about the icons on the notification bar like battery percentage are revealed. There are also some useful shortcuts like brightness, camera, Bluetooth and these are customizable, although not more than 4 can be added at one go.

Nokia Lumia 630
New Nokia Lumia 630
The device is the first Windows Phone that supports 2 SIMs and there are some new touches for it. For example, there are 2 distinct messaging and phone apps which is a little odd and confusing. The icons for the 2 SIMs are quite similar in colour while the first set becomes transparent in case the new option of background photo is selected. Fragmented inbox and call history lists need to be dealt with. However, contact lists are shared and making calls and sending texts from the other SIM’s app is allowed. It is quite useful for keeping personal and work communications separate. However, not everyone would appreciate this technique.

Nokia has always included numerous camera apps and this time it is no different. The Lumia 630 has Creative Studio, Cinemagraph and Glam Me for numerous effects that range from face enhancement to animation. The camera app by Nokia includes options such as manual focus, shutter speed, quick access to white balance settings and ISO.

The photographs clicked in daylight are quite impressive. Clarity and details are comparable to that of a camera on a phone which is twice as expensive as the Lumia 630. However, photographs clicked indoors are not that good and photographs become noisy very sharply even when they are clicked in office floors that are well lit. Photographs clicked at night did not have too many details and had too much of noise. The video appeared compressed and blocky and had an artificial feel to it.

The Lumia 630’s interface is quite smooth although browsing the internet is quite a task and playback of non HD video clips produced glitches too. The Lumia 630 will probably not last you more than one year or two, particularly if you include a lot of apps and the future operating system updates need heavier specifications.
The battery life is quite impressive as it lasted more than 11 hours in a continuous video loop test. The phone can be confidently used intensively through the day and you would not need to grope for a power outlet for charging your phone.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top 10 Tablets to Choose From

Even though the Samsung Galaxy phones and iPhones have web browsing and user application capabilities, tablets have managed to become household items because of their processing power and large screen size. Along with smartphones, newer tablets are launched every other month as technology is changing rapidly. As the tablet market inflates, the big conglomerates are becoming more solidified in this business which should make shopping for a tablet more straightforward. Buyers can be confident of the fact that the gadget they buy now will supply them better functionality even before the subsequent generation of tablets are launched.

What to consider when looking for tablets?

Even though tablets have been made to do related things, there is a bit of variance in the bazaar, from operating systems to the price and screen size. Tablets from various makers shall be synced to other application markets and e-book stores and formats of files for e-books differ from other models. Few tablets have been designed keeping in mind larger media libraries, from film to music while other tablets are meant for magazine and reading subscriptions. Understanding what your requirements are from a tablet shall help you seek the perfect tablet. If you need a device for browsing the internet, check email and maintain a regular schedule, you will probably set your budget at the most modest end. However if you also want to play games for hours on your tablet along with listen to music, then you would have to spend some more money.

The top 10 tablets making the round of the market have been discussed here.

Hisense Sero 7 Pro

Hisense Sero 7 Pro
Hisense Sero 7 Pro

For those who have a tight budget for buying a tablet but would want one that performs well, then HisenseSero 7 Pro would be the best buy for you. You can enjoy a number of Android applications and a chunky part of the battery reserved for high end Android tablets without enduring a high prices.

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2
Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2

Believed to be an amazing business tablet, the tablet has a slim and attractive black design with a screen which gives tough competition to more popular models in terms of beauty and size. It works on the Windows 8 and the Thinkpad allows on-the-go usage of Microsoft Office Suite with PowerPoint and Word. The handwriting recognition feature makes it fun to take notes and the optional keyboard makes it easy to type quick emails and notes. The battery life is quite impressive at 10 hours hence the tablet can easily get you through your commute to and from work and workday.

Barnes and Noble Nook HD

Barnes and Noble Nook HD
Barnes and Noble Nook HD

The company has had to struggle in recent times as bookstores are now surrendering to the movement of e-books. However, their tablet, the Nook HD is a viable preference available in the market. Available at an affordable price and with a massive collection of magazines, books and kid’s titles, it is great for reading books.

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface
Microsoft Surface
As part of the more expensive and bigger tablets available in the market, Microsoft Surface almost crosses over into the category of laptops as long as its design is the focal point. The battery life is not good because of the impressive display and large screen but for users who do not enjoy typing on touchscreens, this is a tablet for them. It comes with a fully removable keyboard cover that can be used as both a physical surfaces for typing and tablet case.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Even though in the world of tablets, Sony is not as popular as Samsung or Apple, their latest offering the Xperia Tablet Z has a slim and sleek design which is unique among tablets running on Android. Along with a fabulous display unit that gives tough competition to the iPad’s retina, strong processor, high quality battery and waterproofing, the Sony Xperia will be very impressive given the money you spend.

Google Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10
Google Nexus 10

If Sony Xperia Z has the screen to challenge the iPad then the Google Nexus 10 has a display for beating it. Strong performance and unbeatable resolution because of the Jelly Bean Android OS are the strong points of the tablet. However, you should note the high quality front faced speaker and multiple user functionality that makes it more family friendly and communal that a regular tablet.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Easy usability and compact, the Galaxy Note 8 shortens the space between a smartphone and a tablet. Galaxy S4 smartphone users might also be comfortable with its interface. The S Pen provided is technologically advanced and makes the tablet a part of the best for creative types and note takers. The universal remote controlling function could prove to be an enjoyable accessory for TV users.

Google Nexus 7

Google Nexus 7
Google Nexus 7

Much like the older sibling Nexus 10 but lesser in size, the Nexus 7 has a good screen display and friendly UI, a fast and powerful processor & a portable design, available at a lower price.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Amazon Kindle Fire HD

The biggest attraction for the Kindle is Amazon. Those users who are already synced up to the Amazon Prime can buy no better tablet than this one to fulfil their needs. The service offers store discounts and free delivery and also provides numerous TV programs and movies free to be streamed and they can be watched easily on a Kindle Fire. Moreover, the bookstore is unparalleled. Amazon started the e-book madness with the Kindle products and none can beat them there.

Apple iPad 4

Apple iPad 4
Apple iPad 4

Top of currently available tablets by all standards almost, the Apple iPad is a benchmark for tablet quality. The tablet offers storage of 16GB, 32 GB, 65GB and 128GB. The iPhone app store has almost 3 lakh apps to boast about. The retina display ensures that the images are high definition and stunning to say the least. An e-book store as fine as Amazon and a number of accessories make the iPad the tablet to defeated. A smaller version of the tablet is also available, the iPad Mini.

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Choose the Right Cell Phone Accessories for Yourself

It is not enough to purchase just a cell phone. You should also have an idea of the proper accessories involved. Buying a cell phone without its necessary and imperative accessories will do you no good indeed. You have to make sure that you purchase the right accessories. The biggest problem that people face in this regard is the determination of the right accessories provided and on offer while purchasing the cell phone.

Here are the top accessories that you need for your cell phone. These accessories will help you go in for better customization along with contributing to easier and more seamless usage which is a big plus point. You can start using your cell phone just out of its box but these accessories add loads of functionality and pleasure. Take a look at the best accessories for your cell phone and buy these without fail!

  • Charger: Most cell phones usually come with a charger provided by the manufacturers. This type of charger is usually labeled a wall charger and is one of the most common types used by people these days. However, do you know that you can actually purchase more unique chargers with greater advantages in the market? These include the following:
  • Car chargers: These allow you to charge your cell phone seamlessly even while on the move. This has to be plugged right into a special outlet for accessories or the cigarette lighter plugin point provided in the car. This kind of charger is very convenient for people who travel a lot in their cars. There are rapid, trickle and fast chargers available for cars and you can use the cell phone even while charging the battery in this case
  • USB charger: This is one of the most popular types available in today’s times. All you need to do is hook up your cell phone to the charger through a cable. You should connect one end of the USB charger to the laptop or computer. This is a fabulous source of power and should definitely be tapped for better results and advantages
  • Desktop chargers: These are docking stations with base units for keeping the cell phone in its place. There is a USB cable that is used for seamlessly connecting to any laptop or computer for cell phone charging. These can also be used for digital music players and other similar devices too. However, while the phone is being charged, you cannot use the same with this type
  • Green chargers: These are chargers that make use of renewable energy sources and this is ideal for people who love the idea of having a low carbon footprint
You can also go for universal chargers among other things as these handy devices can charge any mobile device in a jiffy.

You should also choose the right cell phone cover or case for yourself. This is a much neglected accessory and should be a must-buy on your list. This accessory will help you keep your phone safe from bumps, spills, scratches and dust and grime. Alongside, you can impart a more fashionable look to your phone with this accessory. You can opt for pouch, body glove and faceplate covers among other types. The latter is usually a case made of plastic and this is put right over the mobile phone casing. This offers scratch and bump protection. You can use various designs and colors to customize your overall phone appearance. The original phone casing might need to be removed in some cases. The pouch type of cover totally enfolds the phone and this is the best method of protection. Pouches do not cost much and come in multiple designs and colors too.

The body glove option provides greater durability as well. This prevents scratches and minimizes the impact of shocks if you end up dropping the cell phone in question. Neoprene is used to create the body glove case type and this ensures a tighter fit around the cell phone casing. The skins are usually manufactured from durable plastic. These can be attached to the casing of any phone for greater protection and durability along with a much needed dose of style for your cell phone!

You should also make use of a memory card to heighten your overall cell phone usage experience. Memory card compatibility is a standard feature of most feature and smartphones these days. Internal memory will never suffice for all your games, songs, contacts, images and other data. Always store everything in your memory card and you can opt for microSD cars in this regard. You can choose from 4 GB to 32 GB and even 64 GB depending upon the phone in question. You can also use these cards in other digital devices including gaming consoles and music players. Always make sure that you purchase a compatible memory card along with your cell phone.

You should also purchase a headset and this is mostly included as part of the standard manufacturer’s package in most cases. This accessory is handy as it will allow you to talk hands free and also listen to music. Headsets are either wired or wireless and you should take your pick carefully depending upon your preferences. Wired headsets are cheaper and more durable as compared to wireless headsets though. You can choose between boom and ear bud headsets depending upon the type of experience you prefer. You might also think of snapping up an additional battery for your cell phone. Batteries usually provide restricted power output and this can be a severe problem in many cases.

Charging your cell phone may not always be possible for people who are constantly on the move and this can lead to severe problems if you phone dies due to insufficient battery power at a crucial moment. An additional battery will keep you insulated from these problems with elan. You can buy additional batteries without paying a hefty sum from your own pocket.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lenovo Flex 10 - An Insightful Review

Lenovo is attempting to model its Windows 8 touch enabled notebook in yet another design. The screen is not detachable and cannot be twisted 360 degrees for an experience like that of using a tablet. The Lenovo flex 10 attempts to get over the problem of going across the trackpad and keyboard for interacting using the touchscreen.

The lid of the Flex 10 can be folded flat on its back and then rotated up to 300degrees almost. It can be kept with its upside down keyboard deck which can double up as a support. In this manner, the screen goes down to a suitable angle which is also close to you.

Lenovo Flex 10
Lenovo Flex 10

Feel and Look

At first, you would think that the Flex 10 is a premium gadget. It appears solid and sturdy with very good quality finishing. The lid is neutral brown and deep with the texture of a cloth. Even though the device is made of plastic, it does not look cheap. The bottom too looks pretty good.

The Flex 10 is not the lightest or thinnest device around. The ports, even though not many, are placed on the right and left edges. The volume and power button have been placed on the edges so that they can be accessed no matter how the device has been placed. When the hinge is opened, you would be surprised to note that the screen is much smaller than its lid and its side bezels are thick by almost an inch. A bright and large Lenovo logo has been placed above its screen which can act as a distraction.

By contrast, the keyboard fills up the width of the gadget. Although most of the keys are there and not in a crammed fashion the keyboard is quite shallow itself. Your style of typing needs to be adjusted in order to get a satisfactory performance out of the keyboard.

The touchpad is quite crammed and can get quite annoying. It is much small for common usage. There is very little space for resting your wrists on the side which can affect your overall comfort level. The main attraction of the Flex 10 is that the screen can be tilted backwards enough to prop the full unit on the keyboard deck to form a base. It would make a stand for the screen so that you do not have to lay your hands out for using it. The screen cannot fold flat on the rear of its lower deck unlike the Yoga hybrids hence the screen cannot be used as a tablet.


The laptop works in a meagre Intel Celeron CPU, N2805 dual core which works at 1.46 GHz. It is founded on the bay Trail which is why it works on little power. The graphics processor used is also not of a very high quality.

The processor can take care of instructions in 64 bit although the Flex 10 is sold with the 32 bit Windows version. Even if you do not execute heavy software, you might face a few restrictions which could be evaded altogether.

The laptop has 2GB RAM and 500 GB hard drive which runs at 5,400rpm. There are probably no vents in the machine and the only cut outs are for the stereo twin speakers placed on lower part of the front edge. Only 2 USB ports have been included in the machine, of which one supports USB 3.0.

These are the sole physical ports along with the headset jack and HDMI video output. A couple of USB ports more and a SD card slot would be much appreciated by users. Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n are the two options for wireless connectivity.

The LCD panel screen has a resolution of 1366X768 which is quite low. However, given the size, it works quite well as objects are displayed clearly and crisp. However, the surface does not offer good viewing angles and is very reflective. The volume rockers have been placed in a way to make them feel natural when the keyboard is folded that means they are placed in the incorrect way when the Flex 10 is used like a normal laptop.


Even though the laptop has good construction and an intriguing design, the components are moderately weak because Lenovo hastaken the decision to introduce the product for the lower end market. The performance is comparable to the latest Windows 8 tablets and low budget CPUs. However, the tasks that involved graphics performed very badly.

It is evident that Lenovo utilized its resources to make the device look visually appealing. The functionality can be at best described as that of a new netbook- sufficient for creating documents and surfing the internet and watching an occasional movie. However, it is unsuited for serious tasks

Because of the touchscreen, several apps from the Windows store can be used on it, but nothing very heavy. What you should bear in mind is that most of the keyboard is blocked when you require the keyboard on screen. Kids might like playing with the musical or drawing applications.

The battery of the Flex 10 lasts roughly 2 hours and 42 minutes. Video and audio performance in general was quite average. Videos which were played at 1080p were quite lagged but the maximum level of volume is quite impressive.

To Conclude

The Lenovo Flex 10 does not come cheap despite being a device at the entry level. A more powerful notebook can be bought for the identical amount, even though you have to sacrifice the swivel and touchscreen features. Between performance & appearance, it would always be wiser to opt for the former.

The lithe design cannot be counted as a merit on this device. The screen is not big enough for enjoying movies and there are not too many tasks that you can perform in the propped up position that you cannot on a regular laptop. If its keyboard was slightly more user friendly and switching between the two modes was easier, then the laptop would find a larger buyer base.

The Lenovo Flex 10 although fascinating, will probably not become a sought-after product. It appears to be like another factor form experiment of Lenovo.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

HTC launches its First Budget Android Device: The Dual SIM Desire 310

HTC's Desire 310 is the first budget Android phone coming from these makers and it looks like the HTC has finally decided to cater to the low end segment of consumers as well with a few more devices of budget friendly prices to be coming out soon. In fact the HTC Desire 210 is expected to be priced even lower when it shall hit the markets. For now we have to see if the 310 makes a good entry level phone or for some it may be belong to the mid-range tier.

HTC Desire 310
HTC Desire 310

HTC lovers will get the opportunity to own an HTC phone at a pocket-friendly price but a detailed review makes it clear that the Desire 310 may not exactly be the best choice even for the price at which it is available.


The designing of the Desire 310 is much like what its costs: cheap and low cost. There is nothing much to note about and it weighs around 140g which is pretty overweight with a cookie-cutter rounded slab appearance. It measures about 0.44" in width which makes it quite chubby for its size. The polycarbonated matte finish back is a plus point as it prevents fingerprints to quite an extent.

The volume and power button are placed at the right side which is more or less ergonomical but tactile feedback is quite poor in performance. The volume button is too soft and must be handled with care because it looks prone to damage very easily.

The overall size makes it easy for single handed use. It is available in hues of white and dark blue. The removable rear cover reveals a 2000mAh battery with slots for two SIM cards and a regular slot for the microSD card. The micro-USB port and the 3.5mm headset jack are located at the top edge of the phone.

It has a front facing VGA camera and front-firing speaker, plus points for the phone. There are no physical buttons and one has to use the onscreen buttons for navigation which poses to be a bit of hindrance when using the onscreen keyboard considering the small display size.


The HTC Desire 310 has a display glass size of 4.5 inches with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels which is not much and you can't expect any higher. The IPS panel offers a pixel density of 218 ppiwhich is very average and not that impressive at all but considering its class, one can't complain much.

Colour temperature of the screen is very cold resulting in images of bluish white and greyish colours and the colour reproduction is completely off. Even the primary and secondary colours show major discrepancies which can be particularly distinguished in colours of green, magenta and cyan.

Display is absolutely poor for outdoor use even in overcast weathers. Its brightness peaks at 288 nits and even though we understand it’s a budget friendly phone, one expects certain minimal standards.

Tech Specs

The HTC Desire 310 features a Mediatekquad-core processor MT6582 that clocked at 1.3GHz and a very meagre RAM of 512MB. It also features Mali graphics of 200MP2. The European edition of the Desire 310 features a 1GB worth of RAM. Internal storage provided is of 4GB but users have access to only 1GB which is pretty useless. One is compelled for storage expansion via microSD which is limited to 32GB. The micro SIM cards work in active stand-by mode. The battery is of 2000mAh that claims to offer up to 852 hours of standby time and 11 hours of talk time.

Use of the older Android version for the Desire 310 takes up further screen space apart from the navigation buttons occupying sufficient space as already mentioned earlier. Similar to its other version phones, the app launcher has app icons arranged vertically and offers Sense integration. There is no customisation feature available for users.


The front facing camera of the HTC Desire shoots on VGA mode while the 5MP rear camera performs below standards with no flash or autofocus feature. The rear camera however is capable of capturing 1080p videos.

Overall camera performance is very bad, producing a lot of noise even in photos captured in daylight. Since the camera is of such poor quality, even footage captured in videos turn out to be very bad and pointless. The front camera is also a let-down with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480.

The camera app offers panorama and HD modes but one can't really expect much out of them either considering the poor camera performance.

Overall performance

With Google's launch of Android's Ice Cream Sandwich version 4.0, gadgets could be optimised to its full potential. However, this also depends to some extent on the capabilities of the phone and how it is able to perform in use. The 512 RAM which is obviously insufficient for the phone causes the phone to stutter and lag even in the smallest of daily application use. Casual gaming will perform just about average on the HTC Desire 310.

The battery lasts for an average of 6hours 23 minutes when used for continuous video loop; moreover the 720p video quality is average while the 1080p video has a problem thereby skipping frames while recording and playing.

The only good and standard feature that one can find in the HTC Desire 310 is the clarity of sound and its speakers and how well it performs even in areas of low signal.


Priced at Rs. 11,358, it is not really advisable to go for such an averagely performing phone because considering the market availability of Android phones these days, there is no dearth of better quality phones assuring quality performance and features even at slightly lower or similar prices.

The HTC Desire 310 is pretty much comparable to the Moto G but considering the mid-budget market, HTC has to offer better features if it has to survive the tough market competition. Pricing is not that friendly either if one tallies it with what he gets in return.