Best budget smartphone – under INR 10k

1. Nokia Lumia 525: Slightly Upgraded version of Nokia’s last year blockbuster Windows smartphone the Lumia 520. Nokia did not change the design or camera but upgraded the RAM to 1GB to support all the games and apps listed in the Windows Phone Store.

Lumia 525
Lumia 525

For:
• Good Build quality
• Fluid performance
• 1GB RAM
• Decent Camera

Against:
• Windows phone app store lacks QUALITY apps
• No flash
• No front facing camera

2. Xolo A500S / A500 IPS / A500 Club: Xolo is known for its premium budget phones and the A500 series is no different. The beautiful and premium looking smartphones have good build quality, a decent screen, and dual core processor and run on Android 4.2. The Xolo A500 series phones come with a 4″ screen, a 5MP camera on the back and a VGA front camera for video calling. The phones are available for less than 7k.

Xolo A500 Club
Xolo A500 Club

For:
• Design, looks and Build quality
• Good performance
• Decent battery life

Against:
• Average Camera
• Call quality
• Service centers

3. Xolo Q700S: Successor to the highly successful Xolo Q700, the Q700S comes with 4.5” FWVGA display, 1.3GHz quad core processor and 1GB RAM. On the back there is an 8MP camera with BSI Sensor and dual LED flash. The back of the device is made up of plastic but comes with Metallic finish which gives it a premium look. The phone is available for approx 10k.

Xolo Q700S
Xolo Q700S

For:
• Premium looks with metallic finish
• Good camera
• Full HD video recording and playback

Against:
• Display could have been better
• No SW update guaranty
• Service centers

4. Karbonn Titanium S5 Plus: The Karbonn Titanium S5 Plus comes with exactly similar specs of Q700s but with a bigger and better 5” qHD display. Inside the phone there is a 1.3GHz quad core processor and 1GB RAM. On the back there is an 8MP camera with BSI Sensor and dual LED flash. The phone is fairly slim at 7.9mm. The phone is available for around 9k.

Karbonn Titanium S5
Karbonn Titanium S5

For:
• Good display
• Good build quality
• Decent camera

Against:
• No SW update guaranty
• Service centres

Online Shopping: Cashkaro adds Amazon India to its list of partners, brings cashback to celebrate

Cashkaro, the famous cashback and coupons website has added Amazon India to its already impressive list of partners. Users will now be able to get additional discounts on the shopping they do on Amazon India site.

Cashkaro has listed some exciting limited period offers on the entire catalogue of products listed on Amazon India. Some of the interesting cashback offers are up to 25% off on selected mobiles, pen drives, hard disks, video games and watches etc….

cashkaro

Apart from these limited time offers, users are eligible for regular cashback offers like additional discount of 4% on Consumer Electronics (including Mobiles and Tablets), 7.5% on Books, Media, Video Games, Amazon Kindle Devices, Home & Kitchen Products, and 25% cashback on baby products when you shop from Amazon India via Cashkaro.

How to avail cashback from Cashkaro?

To avail these cashback offers you will have to first Sign up for a free Cashkaro account. Then login to Cashkaro website and click-out from Cashkaro to your favorite website. Shop as normal and within 48hrs you’ll receive an email from Cashkaro that your Pending Cashback has been added to your Cashkaro account. Once Cashkaro gets its commission from the retailer, your cashback will be added to your account. This could take approx. 8-10 weeks. Once you have Rs.250 or more as confirmed cashback in your Cashkaro account, you can request payment via Bank Transfer (NEFT) or Cheque.

List of few other interesting offers on Cashkaro:

Myntra: Rs.240 cashback and other coupons
Jabong: Up to 10% cashback and 13 coupons
Tradus: Up to 9% cashback and 24 coupons
Firstcry: Up to Rs. 165 cashback (on orders over Rs 500) and 11 coupons
Homeshop18: Up to 6% off and 10 coupons

So, visit Cashkaro and enjoy additional discounts. Thank you for reading and Happy Shopping Savings.

GSMA awards HTC One as the best smartphone, iPad Air bags best tablet award

GSM Association (GSMA) has announced its annual awards at the Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. GSMA holds the Mobile World Congress, the biggest expo of Mobile and Telecom products, in Barcelona every year and awards the best products of the past year.

HTC_One_360_Wide
Best Smartphone 2013 – HTC One

For 2013, HTC One won the Best Smartphone award. HTC One won the award leaving behind the likes of iPhone 5s, LG G2, Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

On the other hand, Nokia’s last year blockbuster Windows smartphone, the Lumia 520 won the Best Low Cost Smartphone and Nokia 105 won the Best Feature phone of the year award. The other nominees in the Best Feature Phone were all unsurprisingly from Nokia.

In the tablet segment the Apple iPad Air bagged the best tablet award. iPad Air won competing against the likes of Asus made Google Nexus 7 2013, Sony Xperia Z tablet and Apple’s own iPad Mini with Retina display.

LG won the award for the Most Innovative Device Manufacturer of the Year for its innovative LG G Flex and LG G2 devices.

Motorola to launch Moto X in India and Australia in next few weeks

Buoyed by the fantastic Moto G sales, Motorola announced that it will launch its flagship, the Moto X in India in next few weeks. Australia will also be getting a taste of Motorola’s flagship around the same time. Motorola has also announced that the successor to the Moto X is coming soon to a select markets starting the US.

Moto X
Moto X

At its MWC 2014 event, replying to a question on the Moto X launch in Asia, Motorola officially announced the Moto X India launch plans. However there is no word on whether Motorola will bring the Moto Maker to India or not. To rewind a bit, Moto Maker allows users to customize their phone before buying it. The customization includes color choice, internal memory, accessories to be included in the box and etc…

Moto-X-2

The Moto X is the first smartphone launched by Motorola with the inputs from Google after Google had bought it. The phone currently available in US and UK and retails for $349 unlocked in the US.

Considering the Moto G was launched in India at a reasonably competitive price, it would be interesting to see how Motorola prices the Moto X. I think a sub 25k INR price will make be great.

Sony Xperia Z2 announced at the MWC 2014

Sony has officially announced its flagship Xperia Z2 at the MWC 2014. The phone will be replacing the Xperia Z1 which was announced just 6 months back.

Xperia Z2
Xperia Z2

The phone comes with 5.2” Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile with X-Reality for mobile picture engine and is powered by 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset with 3GB of RAM. The internal storage is 16GB and is expandable up to a 64GB via microSD card.

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The phone carries the legacy of its predecessor of being water and dust resistant and is IP58 certified.

The camera is the same found on the Z1. The 20.7 MP sensor however is capable of recording 4K videos. The phone runs on Android 4.4 out of the box.

A battery of 3000mAh is included to power the device.

Sony Xperia Z2 Specifications:

Processor: 2.3 GHz Qualcomm MSM8974AB Quad-core
Display: 5.2” Full HD TRILUMINOS™ Display for mobile with X-Reality for mobile picture engine
Dimension: 146.8 x 73.3 x 8.2 mm
OS: Android 4.4 (Kitkat)
Memory: RAM: 3GB, 16GB User Memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+, USB 3.0, IR Remote
Durability: IPX5 and IPX8 (waterproof) and IP5X (Dust protected)
Camera: Main (Rear): 20.7MP and Front-facing (2.2 MP 1080p) Camera
Video: UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization
Battery: 3000mAh

Samsung Galaxy S5 unveiled at the Samsung unpacked 5 event at MWC 2014

The most awaited phone of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is officially announced by Samsung at the MWC 2014.

Galaxy S5
Galaxy S5

The phone comes with a 5.1” Full HD Super AMOLED display and is powered by 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 805 chipset with 2GB of RAM, 150Mbps LTE and a 16MP camera. The internal storage can be either 16 or 32GB and is expandable up to a massive 128GB via microSD card.

The phone is IP67 certified making it water and dust resistant. There is also a fingerprint sensor and heart rate monitor. The fingerprint scanner is integrated into the home key below the display.

galaxy s5

The camera is upgraded to 16MP which records 4k videos as was reported in number of leaks leading up to the launch. The phone runs on Samsung’s own TouchWiz skin based on Android 4.4.2.

A battery of 2800mAh runs the show and Samsung claims a Standby time of 390 hrs. and Talk time of 21 hrs.

The Galaxy S5 is scheduled to launch globally in April and will be available on all major US carriers. There is no official word on pricing yet.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Specifications:

Processor: 2.5GHz Quad core application processor
Display: 5.1” FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080), 432 ppi
Dimension: 142.0 x 72.5 x 8.1mm, 145g
OS: Android 4.4.2 (Kitkat)
Memory: RAM: 2GB, 16/32GB User Memory + microSD slot (up to 128GB)
Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth®: 4.0 BLE / ANT+, USB 3.0, IR Remote
Additional Features: IP67 certificated Dust & Water Resistant, Emergency Mode, Ultra Power Saving Mode, S Health, Quick Connect, Private Mode, and Kids Mode
Camera: Main (Rear): 16MP (1/2.6”, Phase Detection AF)
Sub (Front): 2.1MP (1920 x 1080, Wide-angle lens)
Camera Features: HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, and Virtual Tour Shot
Video: UHD@30fps, HDR, video stabilization
Sensor: Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture, Fingerprint, Heart Rate Sensor
Battery: 2800mAh
Standby time: 390 hrs. / Talk time: 21 hrs.

Nokia X : Nokia’s first android phones official

The Nokia Android phone is official. After number of leaks and buildup, Nokia’s first android phone is, the Nokia X is finally unveiled. However the biggest surprise is Nokia launched not just one but three of them, X, X+ and XL.

As reported earlier the Nokia X will run on a forked version of android. The android version is 4.4.2. The UI is pretty much similar to windows phone OS and there is also the familiar Fastlane feature from the Asha range of smart feature phones. Though the phones are running on AOSP, there will be no official google apps. Nokia has created an app store and users can also install apps from third party app stores and by side loading them.

Nokia-X-Dual-SIM
Nokia-X-Dual-SIM

Talking about the phones, the 3G enabled Nokia X boasts of a 4” WVGA IPS LCD with 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal memory. Under the hood there is a dual core Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play processor with Adreno 203 GPU. There is a 3.2mp camera at the back and no secondary camera. The phone will be immediately available across the globe for 89 euros (~7000INR).

The second in the X club is the X+. The X+ is similar to the X but with additional RAM at 768MB and Nokia has added a 4GB micro SD card to internal storage. The phone will be available from Q2-2014 for 99 euros (~7600INR).

Nokia-XL-Dual-SIM
Nokia-XL-Dual-SIM

The third and the most interesting phone in the Nokia X lineup is the Nokia XL. As the name suggests it’s the bigger version of Nokia X+. The phone comes with a 5” WVGA display, 5MP autofocus camera at the back and a 2MP front facing camera for Skype calling and occasional selfies. Rest of the specifications are similar to the X+. The phone will also be available starting Q2 for 109 euros (~ 9300INR).

Telegram: A worthy alternative to WhatsApp

After the massive Facebook – WhatsApp deal, there has been a lot of talk about the messaging services and which one is the best of them. Type Messaging or IM in the Google, Apple or Windows app store and you will be flooded with hundreds of apps that look and work exactly the same way with the sole aim of providing instant messaging and content sharing access to users but only a few apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Line have been able to make a mark for themselves.

Adding to the growing list of messengers, we have a new kid on the block, Telegram, which aims to be different from the others. Telegram is a free cross-platform messenger launched in 2013 by the developer Digital Fortress LLC. It’s available on iOS and android with no ads and the developer says the service will remain free from subscription and ads for lifetime.

telegram
Telegram for iOS
Android version
Telegram for Android

The app has all the features that one expects from a modern day messenger like group chat with up to 100 people, video sharing up to 1GB, instant photo and media sharing etc.. The apps UI looks somewhat similar to WhatsApp and just like WhatsApp is loaded with number of emoticons.

But thats not all. The biggest USP of Telegram is its Speed, Privacy and Security. The app provides an interesting feature called Secret chats, which as per the developer provides end-to-end encryption to ensure that a message can only be read by its intended recipient. All your secret chats are never logged or stored on any of the servers and the user can automatically program the messages to self-destruct from both the devices so there is never any record of it. So, there is no worry of Mr. X or the NSA reading all your private and confidential messages. All the secret chats are encrypted, regardless of type. Telegram encryption is based on 256-bit symmetric AES encryption, RSA 2048 encryption and Diffie–Hellman secure key exchange.

So the big question is should you abandon WhatsApp and switch to Telegram? When you take into account all the features the app provides, with zero fees for lifetime and no ads, and club it with the additional security for your private and confidential messages and media, it’s definitely worth consideration. But before you switch to Telegram, make sure you have your friends also on the messenger.

Like the article, click the like button below and let me know your comments. Thank you for reading.

Facebook acquires WhatsApp for $16billion

Facebook has acquired the famous cross platform messaging service WhatsApp for huge sum of $16 billion. The deal will include $12billion worth shares of Facebook and $4billion in cash.

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Facebook says just like Instagram, which it purchased for $1billion, Whatsapp will also operate independently. Whatsapp has built a leading and rapidly growing real-time mobile messaging service, with Over 450 million people using the service each month; 70% of those people active on a given day. Whatsapp accounts for more users than the Facebook messenger app. So it’s a good and obvious buy for Facebook which is losing its user base to the messaging services like Whatsapp, Viber quite rapidly.

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

After the buyout, Whatsapp co-founder and CEO will join Facebook board of directors.

Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, “WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world.”

HTC ONE successor to be unveiled on 25th March

HTC will be unveiling its next flagship, the HTC ONE successor on March 25th. The phone will be unveiled via simultaneous events to be held in New York and London.

htc-invite-mar25

HTC had launched the HTC ONE flagship February last year with sleek aluminum unibody and innovative 4MP Ultra Pixel camera at the back. The phone got some rave reviews and was undoubtedly the best build phone of the year. However the good reviews did not convert into great sales figures for the reason being the camera although good but was clearly not on par with what competition flagships had to offer and HTC never marketed the phone good enough.

But the successor is said to overcome all those drawbacks and is said to pack dual sensors at the back. It is also expected to come with bigger display, sense 6.0 UI and all other 2014 flagship internals. The recent leaks suggest that the phone will retain the same styling as its predecessor.

What else does HTC have in store only time will tell. stay tuned for all the updates.

Source: TheVerge