Category Archives: Featured

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.

The iPhone 5C Just Made The Dying iPhone 5 A Whole Lot More Attractive

If there is one thing Apple is good at, it is sticking to its prices. Each year a new iPhone is released and till the time a successor is announced, it continues to command its premium price. Post that one year, it is relegated to the second tier and is sold at a slightly lower price point. Infact, for a lot of time the common industry wisdom was this – Apple has a cheaper iPhone, its the last year’s model. Then the clamour for a new cheaper iPhone grew, and when details about a new plastic iPhone leaked, the world was convinced that a cheaper iPhone was indeed coming. As it turns out, Apple can still surprise.

The iPhone 5C is going to replace the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 will no longer be sold, and instead you’ll be presented with the colourful new iPhone 5C. The 5C is essentially the iPhone 5 in a plastic case, with a slightly better battery and a slightly better front facing camera. These are minor improvements, and ones you’ll probably not even notice in day to day use. There is one aspect in which the 5C presents an advantage – it along with the 5S supports Indian LTE bands, making it one of the first smartphones to do so. That being said, both Reliance Jio and Airtel’s LTE rollout isn’t quite lighting up the country and it will be more than a few months before you can think of LTE as a viable option.

iPhone 5C India

The iPhone 5C is $549 unlocked for the 16 GB model. Further, because Apple doesn’t increase prices post launch, it pegs the Dollar rate at a much higher value that the current rate to protect its margins should the Rupee fall further. With this in mind, the cheapest price that one can expect for the iPhone 5C is around 40-42,000 INR. You can currently buy an iPhone 5 for about 42-43,000 INR.

While Jonny Ive might claim that the iPhone 5C is unapologetically plastic, it will never feel as premium as the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5S. Infact, in my book the iPhone 5 is a better buy than the 5C, LTE support notwithstanding – and this purely down to looks. Since the 5 and the 5S are almost identical, Apple is using the 5C as another way to differentiate the 5S from yesteryear’s model.

The iPhone 5C was never destined to be a cheaper iPhone, it is perhaps a manifestation Ive’s desire for colour. A lot is being said about how colour matched wallpapers and iOS 7 transparencies on the 5C add to the experience of one colour permeating through, but I do not buy into that. Most people will change wallpapers the moment they get a new phone, and iOS 7 will then start reflecting that colour, not the colour of the phone. This isn’t a big deal – but the point I’m making is that why get a plastic iPhone when you can get a the same thing in beautiful aluminum.

Once the iPhone 5C and the 5S start selling in India, you won’t be able to buy the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5S will touch 50,000 INR easy, so if you want an iPhone closer to 40 than 50, get the iPhone 5 while you still can.

Stephen Elop Takes A Very Awkward Question, Aces It

At Nokia’s Lumia 1020 keynote, Stephen Elop had to take one of the most awkward public questions a CEO has had to take in a long time. It was a really public setting with the entire world’s tech press in attendance, and the event was also being live streamed across the world. Five minutes before the question, Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO-AT&T Mobility had been on stage, and Stephen Elop had just called AT&T a great partner.

Then comes the extremely awkward question. The lady from Forbes.com called AT&T a horrible partner, while praising Nokia’s Lumia devices. There is a lot of merit in that question, and you can see that everyone agreed with her by the cheers the question got, but what could Elop possibly say to go out of a high?

There are lots of ways that you can answer that question, after all most CEOs are also masters of saying a lot without saying anything, but I really liked how Elop tackled it.

Instead simply saying that they’ll working more closely, train more people and the usual press speak, he acknowledged a more fundamental issue. Making Lumia work is Nokia’s problem and not AT&T’s. While they might also want a third ecosystem at some level, there’s only so much they’ll do.

Elop’s answer is testament to the challenger mindset that he’s been talking about for the last few months, and it is refreshing to see a CEO being honest about a company’s challenges.

For once, Nokia had managed to knock this keynote right out of the park, and ending on such a tricky question could have taken from the experience just a little bit, but Elop handled it well, and for that he deserves credit.

Dreaming Up Imaging Apps & Hacks Can Win You A Lumia 1020 & A Trip To Sweden

Interested in winning the just announced Lumia 1020 and a trip to Lund, Sweden? You might find this interesting. Nokia’s developer program has just announced the ‘Future Caption Competition‘ a competition inviting all the imaging apps and hacks that you can think of. Nokia wants you to ‘push the limits of imaging too, think outside the box, and create apps worthy of the phone’s unique capabilities’.

You can submit upto 3 ideas, and Nokia will be flying the the creators of the 10 best idea to a hackathon in Sweden, where you’ll code that idea into reality alongside Nokia’s imaging experts. While this suggests that you should know code, there is some hope for those of you with a bright idea but no coding skills. If your idea makes it to the top 10, you can take another developer to Sweden with you.

Dreaming Up Imaging Apps & Hacks Can Win You A Lumia 1020 & A Trip To Sweden

So its time to think of a bright idea, and find a developer friend who can do the heavy lifting for you. Then, there’s another competition called the ‘Nokia Imaging Wiki Competition‘. Here Nokia’s looking for ‘great original articles, tutorials and guides that showcase the opportunities in imaging and photography on Lumia, and in particular from the new SDK and Nokia Lumia 1020’. The prizes here also include the Lumia 1020, and membership of the Nokia Premium Developer Program for Lumia for up to four wiki contributors. Then Nokia will also pick one winner for the best feedback on the Nokia Imaging SDK.

Good luck.

Video Recording: iPhone 5 versus Lumia 928

The iPhone 5 because of its sheer popularity and competence has become the defacto standard to which new challengers can be, and are generally compared with. The Lumia 928 on paper seems like the better camera phone, it has optical image stabilisation, 3 high amplitude capture (HAAC) mics to give you distortion free sounds even when you’re shooting in loud places like concerts and finally, it has a wider field of view while shooting videos. The iPhone 5 crops the sensor when it switches to the video capture mode, so if you’re standing at the same spot and shooting video from the iPhone and the Lumia, the Lumia will get you a wider field of view.

The following videos have been shot in the default mode, and should give you a good idea of how both of these devices pan out.

Sample 1

Sample 2

I tried to keep both phones as stable as possible, so the distinct advantage of having OIS on the Lumia might not be immediately clear, but if you listen to the audio using a headset (anything apart from the regular laptop speakers) the difference in quality is abundantly clear. The Lumia sounds quieter, but is of higher quality. The difference in the field of view becomes clear immediately when I switch phones.

The one thing that I like about the iPhone is that you can tap the screen to adjust the exposure, and that’s really useful. On the Lumia, you’ll need to adjust the settings beforehand. Secondly, there were occasions where the Lumia was focus hunting, but this can be taken care of by turning continuous auto focus off from the settings.

What do you think?

HERE City Lens Is Actually Useful & A Great Travel Companion

While Nokia Maps and Drive (now rebranded as HERE Maps & Drive) have become available to other Windows Phone 8 users, the one location app that’s still a Nokia exclusive is City Lens. HERE City lens is an app that use augmented reality to show users points of interest around them. It uses a live feed from the camera’s viewfinder and places POIs on top of what you’re seeing through it, thus letting you know what is where.

HERE City Lens

This application has been available for a while, but despite all this time I didn’t really use it much. My belief was that it was more of a marketing tool for Nokia to get the WOW! rather than an app that could actually be useful in the real world. I was mistaken. While on a recent trip to San Francisco, I didn’t pack for the weather and needed to shop. Since, I had no clue about where I should be headed or which stores were around me, I decided to give City Lens a go on the Lumia 928, and I was impressed.

Once you launch the app, it lets you choose the kind of POI’s you want to see around you.

HERE City Lens Is Actually Useful & A Great Travel Companion

Then, you can just pan the camera around and see what is where, and how far it is.

HERE City Lens Is Actually Useful & A Great Travel Companion

But that’s not all, it you put the phone down, but still have it in the landscape mode, it will plot all those places on the map.

HERE City Lens Is Actually Useful & A Great Travel Companion

Finally, if you turn the phone into portrait mode, it will simply display a POI’s in a list, sorted by distance. Really useful if you’re looking to browse quickly.

HERE City Lens Is Actually Useful & A Great Travel Companion

Here’s a look at the app on video:

I liked how the application responds to the manner in which you’re holding the phone. very smart and elegant. So the next time you’re in an unfamiliar location, don’t forget to give HERE City Lens a try, chances are that you’ll like what you see.