All posts by Vaibhav Sharma

Nokia Lumia 1320 Hands On

Lumia 1320

The Lumia 1320 is the second device to be announced at Nokia World 2013 and it along with the 1520 packs a 6″ display. Talking in terms of specs, the 720p ClearBlack screen is paired with LTE, an impressive 3,400mAh battery, a 5MP autofocus camera along with a front facing camera, 8GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion). It packs a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip along with 1GB of RAM.

Hands On With The Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia 1520

A reading of the Nokia Lumia 1520′s spec sheet ensures that you come away feeling like it’s a no compromise device. A 6″ 1080p display, 2 GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip, a 3400 mAh battery with inbuilt wireless charging, 4 HAAC mics for capturing great audio, a 20 MP Pureview Carl Zeiss camera that brings a lot of the 1020′s heroics in a smaller package, a beautiful unibody design and finally the construction — classic Nokia. That’s to say its solid, feels premium, and comes in a bunch of colours – white, yellow, red and black in this case.

I spent some handy on time with this beast, and this is what I think.

Any questions, please let me know in the comments section below!

Uber’s Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi

After starting operations in Bangalore a few weeks ago, San Francisco based affordable luxury car rental service Uber is ready to add New Delhi to its growing list of cities. Uber’s fleet in Delhi will include Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mercedes E & S class, BMW 3 & 5  series and Audi Q3, A4 & A6 and using any of these cars as a taxi isn’t going to be as expensive as you might think. Uber charges Rs. 70 as the base fare, plus Rs. 20 per kilometer and Rs. 2 per minute from there on in. The minimum fare will be Rs. 200.

In comparison, Meru Cabs, a popular Delhi taxi company charges Rs. 23 per kilometer. The only time Uber can turn out to be considerably more expensive is when you get stuck in a jam, as irrespective of the distance travelled, you are being billed Rs. 2 per minute or Rs. 120 an hour. Uber will initially cover Central and South Delhi with parts of Gurgaon, but the company plans to cover all of NCR soon.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

Despite that Uber has tremendous potential to disrupt the rental car business, as in addition to pricing, the biggest pillar it stands on is the convenience its mobile apps offer. The app uses GPS to pin point your location and shows you the ETA of cabs around your location, and you can hail a cab with a single press of a button – no calls, no keying-in pickup addresses etc. Since the app is already tied to your credit card (something you need to do during sign up) paying for the ride at the end is also not a hassle, and everything is handled electronically.

Before you embark on a journey, you can also get a fare quote so that you have an idea of what you’ll be paying at the end of a journey. If you’re travelling with a friend, you can also choose to split the fare and get a portion billed to his/her Uber account.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

(For example, a ride from India Gate to Defence Colony will cost somewhere in the region of 200-250 Rupees depending on traffic)

Another feature that the company wishes to highlight is safety. The app features a share my ETA option that lets you share your ETA with friends and family once you’ve boarded the car. This results in your  friend/family member getting a text with a link that gives them information about the car’s precise location in real time, including the driver’s name and car details.

Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides Uber's Affordable Luxury Rental Car Service Hits Delhi - Here's A Promo Code For Two Free Rides

I’ve used Uber while visiting the United States, and the overall experience was very pleasant. Therefore I recommend that you give Uber a go here in India as well, whether you’re in Delhi or Bangalore. To get you started, the good people at Uber are giving The Handheld Blog readers two free rides of upto Rs. 500 each. All you need to do is enter the promo code “THEHANDHELDBLOG” in the Promotions tab if you already have an Uber Account or while signing up.

Download the Uber app for iPhone or Android, or you can redeem the discount directly at uber.com/go Uber also has a BlackBerry app, but Windows Phone users will have to make do with the web version for now.

Uber is currently active in 45+ markets across 6 continents and is backed by industry heavy weights such as Google Ventures, TPG Capital, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Goldman Sachs, Benchmark Capital and Menlo Ventures among others.

How To Update To The Latest Windows Phone GDR3 Release Right Now & For Free

Microsoft has just announced the third major update to Windows Phone 8, and while it is aimed at adding support for new chips and screen resolutions, it also brings certain improvements for existing users. Things like rotation lock, a new driving mode, internet sharing over bluetooth, the ability to change alert tones, close apps, and better storage management among others.

But unlike the GDR2 release, which after months of being announced is still not available for all Windows Phone 8 devices, your wait for GDR3 won’t be as long. While it make still take months for it be approved by the carrier and come to you ‘officially’, Microsoft was opened a backdoor for enthusiasts who cannot wait – the Developer Preview Program.

So if you own a Windows Phone 8 device, and want to get the just announced GDR3 release right now and want to avoid paying for a Developer Account, here’s what you need to do:

  • Sign up for the free App Studio program. It takes less than 10 seconds, you just need to sign in with your MS account and accept the terms and conditions.


Windows Phone App Studio

  • Open the app on the phone, accept the terms and conditions. Sign in with the MS account you registered with at the App Studio program.
  • The app will tell you to goto Settings and check for updates like you usually do. The update will show-up, and you can install GDR3 like it were a regular over-the-air update.

That’s literally it. That’s how easy Microsoft has made it for you to get early access to the GDR 3 update and kudos to them for doing that. This not only keeps the developers happy as they get time to test their apps, but the 1% of the population that keeps cribbing about slow updates no longer has anything to complain about.

There are a few caveats though. MS warns that this might void warranty, and that you will not be able to go back to GDR 2 post updating to the new release. But if you like to live dangerously – GDR 3 awaits.

Video: Detailed Lumia 1020 Hands On

At the India launch of the Lumia 1020, I spent some quality time with the new king of smartphone cameras and it is hard to come away without being thoroughly impressed with what Nokia has been able to cram into a ‘fairly’ slim device. Pricing concerns aside, the sheer power of the 41 megapixel sensor is felt the moment you pick the device up. Since the phone has a mechanical shutter, you can hear and feel the shutter open everytime you launch the camera. It is a very subtle sound, but one that manages to resonate power.

Lumia 1020 Hands On

Unlike the Lumia 920, the 1020 features a matt finish that looks and feels premium. I liked the glossy finish of the 920, so I wasn’t entirely convinced about how the matt finish would pan out, but Nokia’s somehow managed to make it feel even nicer. In the video below I go over the hardware, compare it to the Lumia 925, take a look at the Pro Camera application and play around with the camera grip accessory that Nokia will be selling alongside the 1020 – among other things.

Have any questions that you’d like answers to? Let me know in the comments section below.

Lumia 1020 To Go On Sale In India Starting Oct. 11 – Comes With Free Year-Long Insurance

At a press event today, Nokia officially unveiled the Lumia 1020 in India. The good news is that it’ll go on sale in less than two weeks i.e. on the 11th of October. The not so good news is that Nokia still isn’t willing to divulge pricing information owing to the fluctuating rupee. When asked about pricing, representatives pointed us to the 800$ price point, that it retails at in some markets. Judging by that, be prepared for a 50,000 INR Lumia 1020.

Lumia 1020 Launch Inda

While that price point may be on the higher side, Nokia is bundling in a free insurance plan with the purchase of the device. New India Assurance will cover the Lumia 1020 for a period of one year from the date of purchase, and this includes loss of device as well as accidental damage. Buyers will also get a Rs. 1000 voucher for downloading apps from the Windows Phone Store. Vodafone users will be offered 2GB of data for two months.

In addition to this, a Your Movies app with a database of 3000 movies will be pre-loaded so you can stream or download movies on the go. Buyers will also get free ebooks from Flipkart, via the bundled app. Finally, Nokia will also give buyers free access to Ozone WIFI zones across India.

While there is no doubt that the Lumia 1020 packs an exceptional camera, and should be the defacto buy for all photography enthusiasts, it remains to be seen if Nokia will bite the bullet and price it under 50,000 INR in India to attract a larger audience.