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Apple iPhone 8 might include the mega feature that Samsung S8 skipped

5/27/2017 09:17:00 pm
Apple iPhone 8 might include the mega feature that Samsung S8 skipped
Apple's next edition smartphone, the iPhone 8 or iPhone X or whatever the company decides to call it is rumored to be full of new features, including the most talked about one. According to a new report by Economic Daily News, Apple has been able to overcome its difficulties in embedding the TouchID  under the display. Apple's supplier TSMC confirmed that the tech giant has resolved the issue and we can now see the fingerprint sensor beneath the screen.

Additionally, its also confirmed that the new iPhone will have minimalistic bezels and will be equipped with an OLED display, the screen technology majorly used by Apple's main rival Samsung. Moreover, the new smartphone would also include augmented reality based infrared image sensors inside the cameras.

Samsung was supposedly planning to embed the fingerprint sensor under the display in its recent flagship, the S8 and S8+ itself but may have entered into production problems owing to the lack of mass availability of such displays, being a new technology per se. This would definitely give iPhone 8 a mega boost provided the rumors and news sources are true.

Apple is slated to launch its tenth anniversary iPhone on September 17 so only a few months remain before the biggest tech company in the world again takes centerstage and showcases its latest and greatest smartphone once more. But its still a long way to go and you should be ready to take all rumors with a pinch of salt as the finalised features and functions of iPhone 8 would only get revealed after its production starts, probably somewhere around July.

Asus launches ZenFone Live smartphone with livestreaming beautification technology for Rs. 9999

5/24/2017 08:56:00 pm
Asus launches ZenFone Live smartphone with livestreaming beautification technology for Rs. 9999




























Delhi, India, 24th May, 2017 - Taiwanese portable devices manufacturer Asus has today launched its ZenFone Live smartphone in India. The phone's USP lies in its BeautyLive app which enables users to create hardware optimised live videos using the device's real time beautification technology. BeautyLive, available for both rear as well as front cameras, uses smart algorithms to smoothen out the skin, to remove freckles and blemishes and is coupled with a tight integration with social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. ZenFone Live has been launched for Rs. 9999 and it would be available across online and offline retailers starting today.

In terms of specifications, the phone lands up as a medium ranger device. The metal crafted design uses 2.5D arc glass but is astonishingly lightweight at 120 grams. It utilises a 5-inch HD IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The screen-to-body ratio employed by the screen is 75% which also has a bluelight filter for eye protection. ZenFone Live runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Quad-core processor along with Adreno 305 GPU. The device sports 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory which might seem to be on a lesser side considering the large amount of bloatware that Asus smartphones are generally filled with. ZenFone Live does not stand out as an exception either.

For camera enthusiasts, there is a 5 MP PixelMaster front camera with 1.4 ┬Ám pixel size for capturing more light and for better light sensitivity. As mentioned above, the front camera boasts of world's 1st real-time beautification technology for enhanced live streaming quality. Moreover, to improve the quality of live streams further, the device intelligently utilises dual MEMS microphones for clearer voice quality and less distortion and noise. Also, the audio solution uses DTS Headphone X, a technology that delivers a 7.1 channel virtual surround sound experience. The rear camera stands tall with a 13 MP PixelMaster lens.

The 4G capable dual SIM dual standby phone has inbuilt connectivity options like Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Miracast, Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE Cat.4 networking, GPS, AGPS, GLONASS. ZenFone Live boasts of a battery capacity of 2650 mAh through a non-removable Li-ion battery. And it features Android 6.0 Marshmallow wrapped under ZenUI 3.0. It is available in three colors - Navy Black, Rose Pink and Shimmer Gold.

You can buy Asus ZenFone Live in Black color here:
http://amzn.to/2rRnaMg

Tecno Mobile launches 5 new smartphones in India focusing mainly on night photography with proprietary Pixelex engine

4/18/2017 10:52:00 am
Tecno Mobile launches 5 new smartphones in India focusing mainly on night photography with proprietary Pixelex engine
New Delhi, 18th April 2017: Chinese smartphone brand Tecno Mobile has launched its range of new smartphones in India. Tecno Mobile is a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings which also owns the 'itel' brand of smartphones in the country. The tagline for the new Tecno Mobile devices says "Do the undoable" which emphasizes the philosophy that the company followed while manufacturing these smartphones. The brand is focusing on night usage and promises to #OwnTheNight with unique image processing technology powered by Pixelex engine. These devices are supposedly customised to the needs of the Indian users as well. 

The new range of smartphones from Tecno Mobile encompass five models namely, i3, i3 Pro, i5, i5 Pro and i7 ranging in prices from Rs. 7990 to Rs. 14990. The four models i3, i3 Pro, i5 and i5 Pro would be available in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab commencing from 22nd April 2017 while the top end i7 would hit store shelves in May 2017.

These new smartphones have features that are made specially keeping Indian users and their usage in mind. This is reflected through the prefix 'i' in the nomenclature of the models. In terms of cameras, the software and hardware have been optimised according to local Indian skin tones, color preferences, contrast etc. The skin tones and hues would be maintained even in ultra low light conditions as per the brand. The phone cameras are also equipped with Pixelex technology which would give sharp images and videos at night time. The rear camera sports Quad LED flash while the selfie camera boasts of an LED flash along with a screen flash. Users can also configure screen brightness during video calls. 

These smartphones employ front fingerprint sensors which also have an anti-oil coating again keeping in tandem with the usage patterns of Indians who tend to use their devices with food soiled fingers.

Other features include high capacity batteries with inbuilt fast charging which the brand calls Rocket charging. This works 20% faster compared to other widely available fast charging technologies. The devices come preloaded with Tecno's in-house HiOS operating system based on Android Nougat which offers split screen feature and a host of customisation options. 

Tecno smartphones come with a '151' promise which gives 100 days replacement warranty to customers, 50% buyback and 1-year one-time screen replacement at only Rs. 250 service charge though the brand mentions that this promotional offer is available for a limited time only. The new devices come in three colors, Champagne Gold, Sky Black and Space Grey.

OnePlus 5 rumored specifications

3/04/2017 02:35:00 pm
OnePlus 5 rumored specifications

























New Delhi, 4th March 2017 - After a successful venture with OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, the company is all set to introduce its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 5 in the market. OnePlus 5 is going to be a high end smartphone with top of the line specifications and if history is to be believed, it would still be priced very nominally. Today, we are going to round up the rumored specifications of the phone.

OnePlus 5 would supposedly feature a dual-edge display which would be the highlight of the upcoming device. The RAM available on the phone might be bumped up from 6 GB to 8 GB. The internal memory might also receive an increase to 256 GB. 

Another key jump would be the processor used by OnePlus 5, with rumors pointing to Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 which is the latest and greatest processor by the SoC manufacturer. Snapdragon 835 is bound to be aboard a flurry of flagship devices this year with Samsung Galaxy S8 being another one of them. In terms of shooters, the rear camera would be a 23 Megapixels lens while the front selfie camera would be a 16 Megapixels lens.

The company is yet to make any concrete announcements about any of the features listed above. However, they would most probably be overriding OnePlus 4 and naming their newest flagship OnePlus 5 considering the fact that number 4 is not considered lucky in China. We all know what happened when Samsung tried to override a number with their Note series last year and we hope such a fate does not even come close to OnePlus.

Intex launches 4G VoLTE enabled smartphone Aqua Strong 5.1+ for Rs. 5490

3/03/2017 06:00:00 pm
Intex launches 4G VoLTE enabled smartphone Aqua Strong 5.1+ for Rs. 5490
New Delhi, 3rd March 2017: India's leading smartphone manufacturer Intex has today launched a new smartphone Aqua Strong 5.1+ to strengthen its 4G VoLTE portfolio. The phone has been priced at Rs. 5490 and would be available in Black and Gold colors. It weighs 150 gms and is 10.1 mm thick thereby providing an elegant appearance to the device.

In terms of specifications, Aqua Strong 5.1+ features a 5 inch FWVGA display with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. It is powered by a 1.3 GHz Quad-core processor coupled with 1 GB RAM. The internal memory available in the device is 8 GB which can be further expanded up to 64 GB via a microSD card.

For cameras, there is a 5 Megapixels Fixed focus rear camera wth LED flash and a 2 Megapixels Fixed focus front camera on board the Aqua Strong 5.1+. The device boasts of a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery which measures talk time up to 5 hours and standby time up to 250 hours.

The smartphone runs Android Marshmallow 6.0 and comes preloaded with various Value Added Services (VAS) and utility enhancing features. Some of these digital services include MiFon Security which is a 9-in-1 security suite, VdioPlay which is a video aggregator app, GamePlay which offers a gaming hub for all Intex users and a QR code reader which can scan and decode QR codes. These services enhance the functionality of the device. Additionally, the phone also comes bundled with smart tracking which allows the device to be tracked if it gets stolen or lost.

Meizu showcases Super mCharge, the world's quickest fast charging solution at MWC 2017

2/28/2017 05:00:00 pm
Meizu showcases Super mCharge, the world's quickest fast charging solution at MWC 2017
Barcelona, 28th February, 2017 - China's leading mobile manufacturer Meizu has just unveiled its latest state-of-the-art smartphone fast charging solution at MWC 2017 being held at Barcelona, Spain. The new fast charging solution, termed Super mCharge uses high voltage direct charge method to deliver incredibly fast charge with a stark control on battery temperature ensuring safety.

Super mCharge can recharge an entire battery in just 20 minutes through its 11V/5A connector delivering a performance throughput of 55W. This is a breakthrough in terms of fast battery charging as its much quicker and more efficient than any method available currently. Additionally, the battery temperature through Super mCharge maxes out at 39℃ thereby ensuring safety for the users as mentioned above.

The safe and ultra durable Super mCharge with its 3000 mAh ATL battery can retain upto 80% capacity through 800 charge and discharge cycles making the battery last for more than two years. The ability to recharge an entire battery in such a short span of time while maintaining an optimum temperature should be a game changer in the field of mobile fast charging solutions and probably spark a revolution of sorts in mobile telephony.

Lenovo to launch Motorola Moto G5 Plus in India on 15th March

2/27/2017 10:13:00 pm
Motorola to launch Moto G5 Plus in India on 15th March
New Delhi, 27th February 2017 - Lenovo is going to launch the Motorola Moto G5 Plus in India on 15th March as per the media invite that the company has started sharing. The invite clearly mentions the Plus variant but not anything about Moto G5. Moto G5 and G5 Plus just made headlines at the MWC 2017 being held in Barcelona. Pricing for the Indian variant would be unveiled at the day of the launch though G5 Plus starts at $229 for 2 GB RAM and 32 GB internal memory variant.

In terms of other specifications, the metal clad Moto G5 Plus sports a 5.2 inch Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 67.1% screen-to-body ratio. The phone gets powered by an Octa-core Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 SoC clocked at 2.0 GHz. There is Adreno 506 GPU to power the graphics in the system. It features 2 GB, 3 GB or 4 GB RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of internal memory depending on the markets where it will be sold. The memory can be further expanded up to 256 GB through a microSD card. 

Moto G5 Plus packs a 12 Megapixels rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, 4K video recording and dual LED dual tone flash. The front camera is a 5 Megapixels shooter with f/2.2 aperture.

The dual nano SIM phone is equipped with sensors like front home-key mounted fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and compass. It has a non-removable Li-ion 3000 mAh battery with fast charging option called TurboPower and would be available in Lunar Grey and Fine Gold colors. The connectivity options available on the device include Dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, microUSB 2.0, and an FM radio. It comes preloaded with Google Assistant and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Additionally, it includes Motorola's proprietary features like Actions, One Button Nav mode and the ability to see notifications without switching on the display through Moto Display.

Motorola should be able to drive decent sales of the new phone in the Indian market provided they keep the pricing in tandem with that disclosed at MWC. The G series has always been known to provide high quality features at an affordable price and the latest addition G5 Plus should be able to carry the same flag forward for the brand.

Amazon.in hosts Samsung Carnival between 21st February and 23rd February

2/22/2017 01:33:00 pm
Amazon.in hosts Samsung Carnival between 21st February and 23rd February













Bangalore, February 20, 2016: Amazon.in has just introduced 'Samsung Carnival' wherein customers can get discounts and price cuts on loads of Samsung products between Tuesday, 21st February and Thursday, 23rd February. This means an easy and convenient access to a number of Samsung consumer electronics online.

Here are a few of the great deals available:
1.    Samsung 80 cm (32 inches) FH4003 HD Ready LED TV (Black) – close to 25% off
2.    Samsung 59 cm (24 inches) HD Ready LED TV (Black) - close to 30% off
3.    Samsung Galaxy On7 Pro – Rs 500 off
4.    Samsung Galaxy On5 Pro - Rs 500 off
5.    Samsung 5.0 kW (1.5 ton) AC – Rs 6,000 off
6.    Samsung 192L Refrigerator – Rs. 3,560 off
7.    Samsung 253L Refrigerator – Rs. 3,060 off
8.    Samsung 20L MW73AD Microwave – Rs. 500 off

Amazon.in along with its partner app brings across a vast portfolio of 100 million products classified into various verticals to consumers across the country. Amazon has a wide list of salient features that make it the top e-commerce portal in India namely secure ordering, choice of various electronic payments, full time customer service, convenient and customisable delivery times and A-to-Z guarantee for protecting customer purchases. 

And in turn, Samsung rates as a top mobile phone and consumer electronics vendor in India. Its product showcase envisages televisions, digital appliances, mobile phones, air conditioners and a host of other products. Samsung electronic products have a huge demand across the country and the new 'Samsung Carnival' on Amazon.in makes for a convenient shopping experience for buyers to lay their hands on these products.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition

2/22/2017 12:41:00 am
Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition

























Asus is always hard at work and they keep bundling out smartphones in an already expansive market. They have just launched the newest member to the Zenfone 3 series, the Zenfone 3S Max as a mid range phone for a price of Rs. 14999. The device acts as a successor to last year's Zenfone 3 Max which had a battery capacity of 4100 mAh and was priced at Rs. 17999. We reviewed the Zenfone 3 Max (ZC553KL) sometime earlier. The latest one, the Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL) receives a battery bump at 5000 mAh but has a smaller display at 5.2 inches. The phone is available in all online and offline channels in black and gold colors. Today, we are going to review the Zenfone 3S Max to see if it has the guts to compete in the overflowing mid range market of smartphones.

You can buy Asus Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL) in Gold color from Flipkart here:
Buy Asus Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL) - Gold

Design

We had the gold version of the unit for review and it is a beautiful phone undoubtedly. The build quality of the device is top-notch and it feels wonderful in the hand particularly due to the curved edges at the back. Even though it carries a 5000 mAh battery, it does not seem very thick, which is again due to the well rounded edges at the back. The 2.5D contoured glass on the front makes swiping in and out a breeze. The 5.2 inch display has thin bezel on the sides and equally sized head and chin. The head carries the LED light, the proximity sensor, the loudspeaker grille and the camera lens along with the brand's logo. The chin has a rectangular home button along with the embedded fingerprint sensor. The home button happens to be a clickable one and is not touch sensitive. The smaller size of the display makes the device highly pocketable.

The edges have a somewhat unique design. The top antenna has been moved to the top edge which also has a 3.5 mm audio port.  The left edge has the dual SIM hybrid slot, the bottom carries the microphone, microUSB port and loudspeaker while the right edge has the volume rocker and power button. The buttons provide a great tactile feedback but are very hard to press.

Its the back of the phone that adds immensely to its its good appearance. The back maintains rounded contours and only the bottom antenna is visible as the top cap has been moved to the top edge. This gives Asus far more space to place the camera and the LED flash. The camera has a squarish lens and finds a place on the top left, with a microphone hole and a dual tone LED flash placed just at the right end of the lens. The Asus logo in the upper central area completes the back. However, its the shining matte glow of the back that lends an extremely pretty finish to the phone's design.

All in all, the build quality and design on Zenfone 3S Max are superb for its price point.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition

























Specifications

Zenfone 3S Max is a metal body device with 2.5D contoured glass that sports a 5.2 inch HD (720p) IPS display. It has a built-in bluelight filter to prevent eyestrain during dark. The phone is fuelled by an Octa-core 64 bit MediaTek 6750 SoC clocked at 1.5 GHz coupled with 3 GB RAM and Mali T860 GPU. The internal memory available on the device is 32 GB which can be further expanded to 2 TB via a microSD card. As a pain point, the phone features a hybrid dual SIM slot (Micro SIM 4G + Nano SIM 4G) which means you'll need to give up either your second SIM card or your microSD card. VoLTE support is available now as well through a FOTA update. We don't get a USB Type-C port as yet and have to contend with microUSB 2.0 port for data transfers and for charging.

In terms of cameras, there is a 13 Megapixels PixelMaster 3.0 rear camera with dual LED real-tone flash and an 8 Megapixels front camera with 85 degree wide field of view. The 5000 mAh battery phone also has a home key mounted fingerprint sensor as well as connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS and AGPS. For audio enthusiasts, there is ICEpower enhanced 5-magnet mono loudspeaker. But the biggest feature happens to be its operating system. Zenfone 3S Max sports Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box along with all its goodies including split multi-window app multitasking. The OS is layered with ZenUI 3.0 on top along with its customisation options.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition

























Display

Zenfone 3S Max carries a 5.2 inch HD IPS display delivering a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The 282 ppi pixel density and ~400 nits brightness might not seem enough on paper but the display does maintain enough brightness with adaptive brightness switched on. But there is this little nag with brightness on Asus smartphones. Like the Zenfone 3 Max we reviewed before this one, the brightness level sometimes changes very discretely and not smoothly which can cause a headache for people with even slight motion sickness. This mostly happens when getting out of the camera app.

The viewing angles are fairly deep and the screen is not very reflective which we welcome with both hands. The color reproduction is natural but lies towards the cooler blue side of the spectrum. You'll enjoy watching Youtube videos and playing games on this smartphone as the color reproduction remains real. The bluelight filter comes in quite handy when you wish to use the device during later hours of the day or during the night. As an additional brownie point, the display is completely usable under direct sunlight.

Operating system

Zenfone 3S Max runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box which is highly commendable since there are very few smartphones that can boast of doing so currently. In terms of availability of Android 7.0, many phones out there are still weeks to months away from being updated to the latest and greatest version of Android. As is the norm by now, Asus has bundled a lot of bloatware in the device most of which is particularly not useful at all. The only significantly useful app we found is the Mobile Manager which can assist you with data usage, battery modes, notification handling, privacy and security settings and applying permission settings. We found ourselves using the app quite a bit through our testing.

There is a system wide search facility available by swiping down anywhere on the home screen, which is reminiscent of the one available on iPhones.

Due to the use of Android 7.0 Nougat, the settings now show a little piece of data below them which can be quite useful in saving time. However, you still cannot customise what little nibble of data you wish to see for each setting. Touch and motion gestures from ZenUI are available in their full glory. Notifications can be customised at a per app level along with the ability to deal with each notification from the notification bar itself without moving inside the app.

For app multitasking, there is support for multi-window to be able to run 2 different apps simultaneously in split windows on a single screen. Due to the small size of the display, this way of multitasking is usually not very useful and it can become quite cumbersome to go through an app in only half the area of the display. Moreover, the entire operating system seems a bit too overloaded with features and the amount of information you see and need to handle can actually get on your nerves at times. Asus should start looking towards some sort of simplicity and minimalism when it comes to software design.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competitionAsus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competitionAsus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition

Camera

The phone carries a 13 Megapixels PixelMaster 3.0 rear camera with PDAF, f/2.0 aperture and dual LED real-tone flash. The camera interface is a very basic one but does provide all the required settings, modes and options. The shutter and autofocus is fast in good lighting conditions which means you'll enjoy taking quick multiple photographs in broad daylight. However, things tend to get a little murkier and slower as the lighting dims down. Here are a few sample pictures we clicked with the rear camera.

Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition





















Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition





















Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition




























Asus Zenfone 3S Max ZC521TL Review - A decent performer with great battery life but facing fierce competition






















The rear camera images are usable but do not exude excellence. The color reproduction over blows and over delivers basic colors during image post processing. But the main problem lies in the lack of detailing that a 13 Megapixels camera should actually capture. And the problems magnify in low lighting scenarios much further. If we use low light mode in the camera app, then the noise gets reduced but a lot of detailing is lost and if we click low light images in auto mode, then there is a lot of noise that seeps in to the images. Moreover, focus lock time and shutter lag is very prominent in low light scenarios which we mentioned above.

The front selfie camera again over processes the basic colors and over saturation is quite visible in the images. There is a lack of detail in selfie images too. Video quality is fine but a lack of stabilisation can act as a deterrent to record videos without a tripod in stock. Videos also tend to feel a bit more shaky than they actually should be with newer frames tending to jump over the previous ones discretely rather than through smooth transitions.

Performance

Asus has bundled in an Octa-core MediaTek 6750 processor running at 1.5 GHz on this phone along with 3 GB RAM. These specifications should impart a decent performer in theory. And that is exactly what this smartphone ends up being, a decent performer. Multitasking is quick and peppy but the apps themselves take a moment or two to fully load after the successful switching takes place. Moreover, we had more than one episode of the camera app crashing and then not being workable anymore without a reboot of the device. At that moment, the phone actually becomes slow as well. But that should get rectified with future firmware stability updates.

The phone scorches through Asphalt 8 Airborne and there are no hiccups while playing the game for a prolonged time too. Non 3D intensive games like Subway Surfers are in any case handled well by the phone. We did not experience any heating issues while playing games though the back becomes understandably warm during battery charging. But the warming is very slight and there is no need to raise an alarm.

The loudspeaker at the bottom of the phone is loud enough at high volume levels. Though the bass is slightly muffled, the frequency distribution is even otherwise and the phone sounds good to the ears. Quite refreshingly, the bundled earphones produce wonderful sound with even sound distribution across all frequencies and its a pleasure to use earphones with the device.

The call quality using VoLTE on Jio 4G was loud and clear. However, our review unit was not able to maintain Jio Wi-Fi tethering hotspot for even a couple of minutes even after a number of retries. And that too at the same place where Lyf Flame 1 sustained a hotspot with the same Jio SIM card for a long while. We tried digging in the Mobile Manager app to find if some setting in the app was causing it to break but could not find any.

The fingerprint sensor quality is sluggish at best and tends to be slower than some other devices that we have tested it on. You can use the fingerprint sensor to answer an incoming call.

Here are the phone's scores on some benchmarks:
Antutu - 38783
Geekbench 4 CPU - Single core - 574, Multi core - 2404
Geekbench 4 Compute/GPU - 1394

Battery

Here is the USP of Zenfone 3S Max, its huge 5000 mAh battery. And it manages to impress us with around 2 days of moderate usage though intensive use tends to bring the usage time down. The good part is that the device almost always runs for more than a day no matter how hard you try to push it. The included Mobile Manager app has 5 modes to help you setup the battery usage the way you want, but we don't think you'll use it much with an already high juice device.

The bundled 5V/2A stock charger took precisely 3 hours 45 minutes to completely recharge the battery from 0% to 100% while the phone was in standby mode but without any downloads or activities running. We wish they had some fast charging option too for a battery this big a size.

Reverse charging though works successfully, can be painstakingly slow for a few devices. However, that also depends on the battery capacity and charging limitations of the device to be recharged using reverse charging. We reverse charged Samsung Galaxy Note 1, which worked quite fast but reverse charging Coolpad Note 3 Plus was excruciatingly slow even though the smartphone showed that the battery is getting recharged.

Rating

3.5 stars





























Verdict

Asus Zenfone 3S Max is a capable device in terms of performance and with its stellar battery life. But it just falls short in the camera department. The competition at the mid-range level is fierce. Zenfone 3S Max has to compete with the likes of Redmi Note 4, Coolpad Cool 1, Honor 6X and Lenovo P2. All the four mentioned rivals are slightly more well rounded devices and some have dual cameras but lesser battery life. So the buying decision merely depends on whether you can compromise a little on the camera quality for excellent battery life or whether you are looking for a device which is better suited for all needs than just the battery. If its the battery that entices you more, then Zenfone 3S Max is a perfect choice, but if you can compromise a bit in the battery department for a better camera, then Redmi Note 4 or Honor 6X might do the trick for you.

You can buy Asus Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL) in Gold color from Flipkart here:
Buy Asus Zenfone 3S Max (ZC521TL) - Gold

HTC launches U Ultra smartphone with Dual Display, Android 7.0 Nougat in India for Rs. 59990

2/21/2017 10:39:00 pm
HTC launches U Ultra smartphone with Dual Display, Android 7.0 Nougat in India for Rs. 59990


























New Delhi - February 21, 2017 - HTC has today launched its flagship smartphone U Ultra in India. The pricing has been fixed at Rs. 59990 and customers using a Standard Chartered Debit or Credit card are eligible to avail 7.5% cashback on the phone's market price. The device would be available starting 6th March 2017. Additionally, the phone comes bundled with a one-year insurance covering liquid damage and physical damage. In terms of special features, the device is equipped with liquid surface, 3D contours, a symmetrical curved glass construction, a combination of AI technologies and high end cameras. The HTC U Ultra is available in three colors including Brilliant Black, Cosmetic Pink and Sapphire Blue. 

Specifications wise, HTC U Ultra packs a 5.7 inch WQHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Super LCD 5 display with Gorilla Glass 5 protection. There is a supplemental 2.0 inch secondary display on the top with a resolution of 160 x 1040 pixels. The phone gets powered by 64-bit Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clocked up to 2.15 GHz. This is coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory which can be expanded up to 2 TB via microSD card. There is a hybrid dual SIM slot in the device. 

The cameras are a major highlight of the Ultra with a 12 Megapixels HTC UltraPixel 2 camera marking the rear end. It features PDAF, OIS, f/1.8 aperture and 4K video recording among other features. The front selfie camera sports a 16 Megapixels UltraPixel BSI sensor supporting Full HD 1080p video recording. 

HTC U Ultra runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box layered with HTC Sense. It gets an AI based Sense Companion to give you supportive suggestions based on the way you use the smartphone. The 4G VoLTE capable phone carries HTC's long standing legacy in sound technology forward with USonic, BoomSound Hi-Fi edition, 3D audio recording through 4 always-on low power microphones, Hi-Res audio stereo recording and noise cancellation.

The battery capacity of the device stands at 3000 mAh along with QuickCharge 3.0. The sensors include ambient light, proximity, motion g-sensor, compass, gyroscope, magnetic sensor, fingerprint sensor and sensor hub for activity tracking. In terms of connectivity options, the Ultra sports GPS, AGPS, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Type-C, Bluetooth 4.2, Dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, HTC Connect for wireless media streaming and AirPlay, Chromecast, DLNA, Miracast compatibility. For some unique functions, you have motion launch, quiet ring on pick-up, pocket mode, flip to mute and display color personalisation.

In terms of pricing, HTC is competing directly with Apple's iPhone 7, Google's Pixel and Samsung's S7 Edge. It remains to be seen whether HTC has the guts and the glory to stand tall in this cut throat competition. 

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017

2/09/2017 09:44:00 pm
Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























Taiwan Excellence (#DrivingInnovation) is an initiative by Taiwanese government to promote products across genres like Electronics and Information Technology to a global audience. Taiwan Excellence is wholly and solely committed in their long standing virtues of dedication to product quality and service by carefully selecting products of utmost standards. They believe in delivering an end to end solutions package to the customers and businesses at large thereby ensuring an enduring fulfilment throughout the supply chain. Their catalog of products is vast and covers stupendous brands that believe in customer delight more than customer satisfaction. And they happen to achieve their targets to the maximum with sheer commitment to the cause. 

Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan's most innovative and value added products and services. The badge of Taiwan Excellence is hard earned and is awarded to products and brands that show immense excellence in Research & Design, Quality, Marketing, Manufacturing and entire supply chain avenues. It was started by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C. in 1992 and by now, the symbol and the award are recognised in 100 countries globally.

Taiwan Excellence is organised by Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA, Taiwan (BOFT) which implements policies and regulations that govern foreign trade, economic cooperation, and foreign investments.  The project in turn gets implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). BOFT and TAITRA work hand in hand to implement numerous trade promotion activities along with mission critical government projects that entail commercial trade and investments. TAITRA aids Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers to help them survive and thrive in international markets along with imparting skills to mitigate risks in an internationally competitive scenario. TAITRA boasts of around 1200 foreign marketing specialists headquartered in Taipei as well as over 50 overseas branch offices worldwide.

Taiwan Excellence recently showcased their client portfolio along with a huge variety of products at Convergence India 2017 Exhibition held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The products were very well exhibited and specialists from each client were available to converse with the visitors to clear their doubts and queries. 

According to the Director of TAITRA, Mr. Scott Yang, the stall was receiving tremendous response and that they are focused entirely on delivering quality products to the end consumer. When asked about conflicts with Indian Government's initiative of Make in India, Mr. Yang re-affirmed that their sole aim is to entitle each customer the best in class end to end solutions package and so they are ready to co-exist and cooperate with the local government's initiative. Moreover he was very optimistic about the opportunities that such a trade show brings to the consumers and manufacturers alike and hence helps in bridging the gap that connects the two most important entities of any trade. He also mentioned that their medical client Karma is the number 1 manufacturer of wheelchairs in Asia which is quite a feat in itself.





























Here are a few of the clients and their exhibited products.

Optoma Corporation (http://www.optoma.com) had a very interesting small sized high definition projector on display. This ultra short throw projector W319UST can project a 100" image from less than 0.5 m away. It projects large shadow-free images from a short distance and has a powerful 16W built-in speaker. For connectivity options, it includes two HDMI ports nd an RJ45 control and monitoring port.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017


A wide variety of products from the house of Edimax (http://www.edimax.com) were presented too. And one of them stood out from the catalog particularly. Its a Multi-Function Dual Band Wi-Fi Router BR-6288ACL that actually looks like a torch from a distance. This 802.11ac Wi-Fi router is a 5-in-1 device supporting access point, range extender, wireless bridge and WISP. It also has a high gain internal antenna for excellent Wi-Fi performance.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























Another high quality product on display was Heartway Medical Products' (http://www.heartway.com.tw) BRIO Power Scooter S19P. This portable electric scooter delivers high efficiency performance and an optimum experience in an urban setting but can definitely be used at country side as well. Though we would have liked to ride the scooter and have a hands-on experience, time as well as space constraints limited our ability to do so.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























The next product we were immensely impressed with and didn't have much information about before having a look was the CASHIDO (http://www.cashido.com.tw) 10 Second Machine with Ozone Faucet OH6800_XA2. Since bacteria contaminates food and washing food in tap water does not eliminate bacteria completely, this 10 second machine on your faucet safeguards your food against those harmful substances using the natural oxidisation powers of ozone. To our surprise, a 10 second rinse kills over 99% bacteria and removes over 75% pesticides and hence the name, 10 second machine. It has a large number of use cases and can be installed at homes, restaurants, schools, hotels, spas and other places that come in contact with food. It also has a smart touch screen to select various modes like hand, vegetable and meat washing.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























Another product that captured our immediate attention was DrayTek (http://www.draytek.com/index.php?/lang=en) Enterprise-level ceiling mount access point AP910C. As the name suggests, this access point can be mounted on the ceiling and has optimised antennas built in. This wireless access point can be installed and used in hospitals, small offices, universities or colleges.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























In the plethora of IT products, we also found some medical products make their way. Medical client APEX (http://www.apexmedicalcorp.com) displayed their Respiratory Therapy iCH Auto. This therapy has a clinically proven auto-adjusting algorithm. It uses an SD card and USB port for efficient data exchange with devices and it works in an ultra quiet manner. The product leaves a very small footprint including a heated humidifier.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























Other than the miscellaneous products mentioned above, there were also the usual suspects of mobile and computing devices, USB devices, power supplies, cables, surveillance systems and networking devices neatly designated across the stall. A few of these clients include world famous brands like Acer, Asus, msi, ADATA, Transcend, Gigabyte etc. and some not so famous ones like Apacer, Avision, LOF, plustek, yantouch among others.

Taiwan Excellence showcases best in class technology products at Convergence India 2017




























All in all, Taiwan Excellence is focused in its vision of promoting products of tremendous quality that come out of the stable of Taiwanese manufacturers. The clients delivering these products are further engrossed in their efforts to provide superior after sales service thus making the entire experience of buying or shopping a treat for the consumers. Taiwan Excellence is a symbol of pride for Taiwan that promotes, showcases and rewards products that are exceptionally well developed and maintain optimum quality of service. Taiwan is a country well known for its marvellous manufacturing capabilities and the Taiwan Excellence stall at Convergence India 2017 provides the most suitable platform for Taiwan's industries to promote trade in India thereby strengthening foreign commercial relations with our country. This #DrivingInnovation effort by Taiwanese government shall open the doors to multifarious avenues of economic trade between the two countries and promises to be a great booster to technology adoption in our country on the whole.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android

2/07/2017 05:04:00 pm
Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Indian smartphone brand Swipe very recently launched their affordable smartphone offering, the Elite Power in India for Rs. 6999 exclusively on Flipkart. The main selling point of the device is its 4000 mAh battery and we don't think there is any other smartphone in the country that can offer that large a battery capacity at that minimum a price. Swipe has always been known for good specifications at budget level prices. However, the brand has yet not been able to match the standards of its Chinese counterparts, be it in the quality or be it in the sales volume. Today we are reviewing the Swipe Elite Power and would put it to its paces to see if it stands tall in the behemoth of smartphones that we have available today.

You can buy Swipe Elite Power in Space Grey color here.

Design

Like a number of phones available at this price point, the design of the latest smartphone from Swipe also spells the word 'minimalism' in bold. It has a very simple, no frills design. It does look solid in the hands though the body is on a thicker side due to a large battery. The slightly curved back makes it easier to hold. However, the device feels a tad heavy. The front of the smartphone has a very prominent and large head and chin. The head houses the sensors, the front camera lens and the speaker while the chin space stands wasted as the brand has opted to go for on screen buttons, so in essence, the chin space is entirely empty. It does not even have the logo in front. The 5.5 inch display has a pretty thick black bezel on both the sides. A microUSB port and 3.5 mm audio jack is provided on the top edge, the left edge has a hybrid dual SIM slot, the bottom edge has a microphone hole while the right edge carries the metallic volume rocker and power button. The buttons are slightly less clicky than we would have liked.

The back is made out of brushed aluminum divided into 3 portions. The back has a bit of taper towards the edges which we talked about above. There is a circular camera lens, an LED flash below it and a circular fingerprint sensor right below that too. The branding and loudspeaker complete the back. Though a very tiny groove has been provided at the back to lift the phone a tad bit while listening to music, we still prefer a front or bottom edge placed speaker for higher decibels and more clarity. Its the simplicity of the design and sturdiness of the build quality that stands out though.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Specifications

Swipe Elite Power sports a 5.5 inch HD IPS display running at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It is pushed by a Quad-core Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) processor clocked at 1.1 GHz and supported by Adreno 304 GPU. The RAM available on the device stands at 2 GB while the internal memory available is 16 GB which can be further expanded to 32 GB via a microSD card. The dual SIM phone has a hybrid SIM slot, which though better than a single SIM slot, still serves little purpose for people who wish to use both the two SIMs as well as the microSD card. Both the SIMs support 4G VoLTE. First SIM slot uses a micro SIM card and the second uses Nano SIM. The rear camera resolution of the device is 8 Megapixels and that of the front camera is 5 Megapixels. It also sports a fingerprint sensor. The operating system powering the smartphone is Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. The connectivity options available on the phone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and FM Radio. It also has a Li-ion battery slated at 4000 mAh which is the USP of the device. The phone is available in Space Grey and Champagne Gold colors.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Display

Elite Power has a 5.5 inch HD IPS display supporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The display is above average but does not maintain enough brightness with adaptive brightness turned on. The viewing angles are deep though the screen is extremely reflective. The colors lie on a warmer side of the spectrum and appear slightly washed out. But the screen does not hurt the eyes on long viewing. Moreover the display is fairly usable under direct sunlight. The only qualm we have is with the reflection issue which we wish was controlled slightly better.

Operating system

You really can't beat a smartphone that runs stock Android. Elite Power runs stock Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 and as a result, its peppy and fast. There is absolutely no bloatware on the device though we found a hassle in that there are no battery settings. We are not so sure if that's a case with other stock Android smartphones too but dug deep to search for battery settings with no returns. (Update: Our faulty first review unit had a software glitch and the replacement unit that we received showed battery options in settings successfully.)

Another small detail that caught our eye was that the toggle settings that appear from swiping down from the top list only 'Mobile Data' in capital letters and all the others normally. Again, we could not find any other stock Android device around us to know for sure but this looked awkward and silly. Moreover, we did miss the customisation and the gestures that we have come to love so much in other Android smartphones. Also, the system takes up around 5 GB of the internal memory, thereby leaving only around 10 GB for the user which can become quite a pain if you use two SIM cards in both the slots. That's the bane of a hybrid SIM slot.

Camera

The camera app is basic but does have settings like ISO, Exposure and White balance and a wide variety of shooting modes like HDR, Backlight and Landscape and many others. Sadly, the shutter lag is very prominent though and takes away the pleasure of clicking continuous photographs. Here are a few sample pictures we clicked with the rear camera.

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Clearly, the camera is the weakest link of this smartphone. Colors are completely washed away and are not close to what you will see naturally with your eyes. Moreover, as you zoom in, you'll need to have rock solid hands else the picture easily goes out of focus. The camera tries to over compensate for exposure in situations with low lighting but does not perform up to the mark even with natural lighting conditions. The lack of detailing and sharpness in portrait shots is another issue plaguing the rear camera. Low light shots show a lot of noise and don't capture details at all. Even the front camera image quality is only usable at best and suffers from loss of sharpness and natural colors. Further, the recorded videos are extremely shaky due to lack of any kind of stabilisation. We find the cameras extremely lacklustre and consumers searching for a better camera should look elsewhere.

Performance

The usage of stock Android makes for a decently fast performing smartphone even though the amount of RAM or the processor is not what you will find in higher end premium devices. The phone shows no considerable lag except for the camera shutter lag we mentioned above. But yes, the more the apps you have opened at a given point of time, multitasking or switching between apps does tend to become slow which is quite reasonable at this price point. Moreover, the apps take a considerable amount of time to install on the phone after their download has finished. We also played Asphalt 8 Airborne on the device. Though the loading times were high, we were pleasantly surprised to see the phone handle the game well without any frame rate drops. And the phone does not heat up even while playing graphic intensive games.

We successfully called through Jio 4G which connected over VoLTE for HD voice. The call quality was loud and crisp. The loudspeaker at the back is loud enough and is good with high frequencies but muffles the sound a bit with lower frequencies. Being at the back of the device does not help the cause either. The fingerprint sensor at the back of the phone is fairly fast and can be further used to answer an incoming call, click a selfie, stop the alarm or clear the notification panel via a double tap.

Here are the phone's scores on a couple of benchmarks:
Antutu - 22577
Geekbench 4 - Single core - 390, Multi core - 1015

Battery

Swipe Elite Power is equipped with a 4000 mAh Lithium-ion battery which ran for approximately 1.5 days of moderate usage. This is impressive considering the price of the smartphone and can be a deciding factor for many consumers to make their buying decision. There is no fast charging available which should not be expected either. But sadly, there is no reverse charging either. The stock charger provided with the box is a generic charger and is not manufactured by Swipe.

Rating

3 stars

Swipe Elite Power Review - A lacklustre camera undoes great battery and stock Android




























Verdict

Swipe Elite Power tries hard at being a complete package but fails miserably on a few ends. Though you get great battery life and stock Android sans bloatware at an extremely affordable price, you cannot overlook the fact that the cameras perform poorly. Moreover, you'll most definitely have to give up the secondary SIM slot to use a microSD card since only 10 GB of internal memory is available. We recommend this phone only in a scenario where you are tight on budget and need a big battery 4G enabled device. The device directly competes with Coolpad Mega 2.5D and Xiaomi Redmi 3S, more so with the latter due to similar specifications though Redmi 3S lacks a fingerprint sensor. For all scenarios where a fingerprint sensor is not used, Swipe fill find it hard to compete against Xiaomi. We wish so much that Swipe had tried a little harder with the camera quality as a lacklustre camera can be a deal breaker for a large number of users. As a result, Swipe would again have to turn towards an offline sales model to be successful with this phone, they'll find it a hard run online.
 
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