Category Archives: Featured

Insane Quadcopter Lumia 920 Image Stabilisation Demo

At the Lumia 920’s India launch, Nokia strapped a Lumia 920 and a Galaxy S3 to a quadcopter and flew it around the conference hall. While they didn’t refer to the S3 by name, but as a competitor’s device, one could tell. Both devices were strapped to the quadcopter (pictured below) side by side, and the quadcopter promised a very bumpy ride indeed.

Lumia 920 Quadcopter

I was able to film both quadcopter flying around, and the resulting footage captured from both smartphones, the difference was remarkable. (YouTube link)

Nokia Lumia 920 & 820 Will Ship With Windows Phone Portico Update Pre-Installed

Nokia announced an update for the Lumia 920 and 820 last month, but mentioned that it would only be available in the US and Canada immediately and that the update would come to users across the world in early February. But if you’re picking up a new Lumia 920 or 820 in India, the good news is that it will be shipping with the update codenamed Portico pre-installed.

Lumia 920 Firmware

This update includes updates from both Microsoft and Nokia. There are certain all round improvements to Windows Phone functionality plus some Nokia specific enhancements Post the update, the OS version number will be 8.0.10211.204, while the firmware will be 1232.5951.1249.0001.

The PR1.1 Firmware Improvements include:

Windows Phone Portico

  • Messaging: You can now add multiple recipients at the same time when you send a text message and automatically save unsent text messages as drafts. You can also finally edit received text messages before you forward them.
  • More efficient and reliable Bluetooth connectivity.
  • More efficient and reliable start-up sequence.
  • Enhancements in imaging performance and battery management.
  • Text replies to incoming calls: Can’t take a call? Now you can send a prewritten text reply to a caller directly from the call answer screen. It’s a nice way to let people know that you’re not ignoring them.
  • Internet Explorer improvements: You can now change your settings to prevent pictures from downloading automatically—an easy way to help keep data usage low. You can also delete selected sites from your browsing history and leave the rest intact.
  • Wi-Fi improvements: You can now prioritize Wi-Fi connections based on your connection history, but more importantly tell your phone to keep the WIFI connection active even when the screen times out or the phone is locked.
  • Additional platform updates and enhancements.
  • On the Lumia 920, this update also improves the camera algorithm to give you better day light photos that are much less fuzzy. A very welcome fix indeed.

Nokia Music Unlimited Launches In India For Windows Phone, Old Lumias Get A Year’s Subscription For Free

In addition to the Lumia 610 launch, Nokia India today also announced that Nokia Music was finally coming to its Windows Phone lineup. The Lumia 610 will be the first to ship with Nokia Music and Mix Radio pre-installed, but I was able to verify that both these services will also be coming to existing Lumia devices by the end of the month. Although, you will need to upgrade your devices to the latest tango build before you can use Nokia Music or Mix Radio.

The best part is that even if you already own a Nokia Lumia device such as the 800 or the 710, you will still get a full year’s subscription to the Nokia Music Store for free. I have been a huge fan of the service, and I’m glad to see Nokia take care of their existing customers as well. In addition to DRM free downloads from the Nokia Music store, users will also get access to Mix Radio that has specially curated playlists for the Indian market.

The Lumia 610 Launches In India, Comes With 1 Year Subscription To Nokia Music & Mix Radio

The big news from the Nokia India ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ event that happened today morning is that the Lumia 610 will finally go on sale in India for a ‘best buy’ price of Rs. 12,999. While this is the official Nokia price, I expect the Lumia 610 to retail for slightly less in the market. The 610 is Nokia’s first budget Windows Phone that packs a 3.7” LCD with a 800 x 480 resolution, an 800 Mhz processor, 256 MB of RAM, a 1300 mAh battery, support for 7.2 MBPS HSDPA, a 5 Megapixel Camera and will come in Cyan, Black, White and Magenta.

At close to the 12,000 INR price point it is a very compelling product, as most similarly priced Android devices come with poor processors and even worse 480×320 or 320×240 screens. Infact, its biggest competition comes from the Lumia 710, that is a speedier Windows Phone that retails for about 1.5-2,000 INR more. I have spent some time with the device at its MWC launch, and here are my initial impressions.

The only drawback of the Lumia 610 is that because of being slightly lower spec’d some applications do not run on the device. All of Nokia’s core apps like Maps, Music and the camera extras work just fine though. The Lumia 710 has none of those limitations, but if you’re forced to stick to a budget, the 610 is a very good looking phone.

Must Know Galaxy S3 Tips & Tricks

The Galaxy S3 is the sucessor to the super successful S2, and since I did a very popular must know tips & tricks post for it, now would be a good time to do a follow up for Samsung’s latest superphone. The S3 packs a quad core processor, a GB of RAM, a 4.8″ Super AMOLED screen with a 1280 x 720p resolution, a 2100 mAh battery, support for NFC and runs Ice Cream Sandwich with the TouchWiz layer on top.

TouchWiz is Samsung’s Android skin that differentiates the look and feel of its devices from others, while at the same time adding useful tweaks. Since this is a brand new version of TouchWiz, you’ll have to learn a few new tricks to get the best out of this flagship device. Samsung has also bundled a few useful and a few gimmicky features, some apparent and some hidden. This post explores a bunch of must know tips and tricks that every Galaxy S3 user should master.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, hit this link to go to YouTube. If you’d like to see these tips & tricks in text instead of video, read on.

  • Setup Any Screen As Your Default Homescreen: TouchWiz finally adds the ability to setup any screen as your homescreen. Just hit the home button on the top right, and once selected, everytime you hit the physical home key, you’ll be taken to that screen. You can of course move homescreens around as well.

 Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Change Lockscreen Shortcuts: Changing the shortcuts on the dock of the homescreen is fairly straightforward, you simply drag an icon from the homescreen to the dock and it gets replaced. However the option to change the quick launch shortcuts on the lockscreen is a little hidden. You have to go into Settings>Security>Lockscreen options and then tap the shortcuts label to get to the screen on the right. Once there, tap an icon to replace it.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • WIFI Direct: This feature lets you send files to another WIFI Direct devices like the S2, or the S3 at speeds much higher than bluetooth. This is done by establishing a adhoc WIFI network, here’s a demo and an explanation of how it works on the S2. On the S3, the procedure is similar and once you’ve used it, you can turn it off by going into Settings>Wireless & networks. If you’re sending files between two S3’s, then just touch their backs to each other (NFC) and the phones will do the rest.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • LED Customisation: Out of the box the S3 doesn’t let you change the LED for specific tasks. You can’t have a red notification for missed calls, blue for emails, yellow for messages and so on. Fortunately an app called Lightflow can let fix that.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Get Flipboard & Photo Editor: The S3 has a ton of apps pre-installed including Google Plus, however if you’re looking for Flipboard you’re out of luck. To get it you’ll have to go into an app called ‘More Services’. While you’re there I recommend you get Photo Editor as well, a very capable free tool. Also present are a bunch of other free apps.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Task Manager & Clearing RAM: Despite packing 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor, the S3 does get a little sluggish at times. The TouchWiz launcher sometimes has to redraw the apps once you exit a heavy app and so on. While the S3 uses the ICS way of killing apps by sliding them off the screen, Samsung’s also retained its own task manager. Its accessible from the bottom left of the task switcher screen and lets you quickly uninstall apps, clear some memory and even monitor storage.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Motion Activated Actions: Some motion activated controls are cool, while others are gimmicks. I’ve explained all of them in the video, but to quickly recap:

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

– Direct calls dials the number of the contact you are looking at, if you put the phone to your ear. This also works if you’re in messaging and looking at a text.

– Smart alert vibrates the phone the moment you pick up the phone from a flat surface/table to let you know of any missed notifications. That way you won’t have to turn the screen on to see if you’ve missed a call etc.

– Tap to top works as advertised. A double tap on the top of the phone brings you to the top of a list.

– Tilt to zoom is fairly obvious, and pan to move icon uses the accelerometer to move icons around based on the direction in which you’re tilting the phone.

  • Enable Swype like typing: Unlike other Galaxy smatphones, the S3 doesn’t come with Swype pre-installed and there’s no official beta either. Fortunately Samsung’s own keyboard has some Swype like features. Once enabled from settings you can swipe to type.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • EQ setting during calls: A hidden setting that can be accessed by going into call settings and then additional settings. Access call settings directly from the dialer by hitting the menu key.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • More Useful Call Settings: Get extra volume in calls when you’re in noisy places by enabling the extra volume in call settings. Another option is to increase the volume of the ringtone if the phone detects that its in a pocket/handbag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Display battery percentage: For the control freaks among us, goto Settings>Display and hit the checkbox.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Facetag & Buddy photo share: The S3 gallery has the ability to recognize faces and it prompts you to tag them. Once you do that, an option called buddy photo share comes in handy. By selecting this option you can directly email the photo(s) to all the people tagged in the photo without having to compose an email, enter their addresses and so on. It can send the email to any one person tagged in the photo as well. Sometimes face-tag gets annoying, specially when you’re just trying to browse photos on the large display of the S3 as it keeps showing a box around the face. That time you can turn Face tag off by hitting the menu key and choosing face tag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Additional security in Hotspot mode: The S3 has tethering capabilities and you can even set a password to protect your precious bandwidth. However Samsung has gone one step ahead and introduced a feature called ‘Allowed device list’. With this turned on, despite the fact that you have the right security code you won’t be able to connect to the hotspot, unless your device has been added to the ‘allowed list’.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

In addition to all of these, there are a bunch of things that work in the same manner as the S2, so check this post out as well. The one thing I am disappointed about is the fact that you can no longer control the brightness from the notification bar, unlike the S2. I also did a tips and tricks post for the Galaxy Note which can be found here.

What did I miss? Sound off in the comments section below!

Video: Lumia 900 v Lumia 800, Big Is Beautiful

Nokia really has something special with the Lumia 900, it is the perfect combination of size, weight and looks that just gives the device a really excellent feel. Although it does borrow from the same design language that the Lumia 800, and before it the N9 employed, Nokia’s made some improvements that are really welcome.

Gone is the curved 3.7″ display of the Lumia 800, and instead we now have a impressive 4.3″ AMOLED CBD display that’s flat. To power a larger display, also present is a bigger 1830 mAh battery, instead of the 1300 mAh version in the Lumia 800. A lot of people wanted a front facing camera in the Lumia 800, and the 900 fixes that as well. But that’s not all, Nokia’s also refined the top of the phone, which gets rid of the door/hinge that used to cover the micro USB port and instead the port is now directly accessible. The micro SIM port can be opened using a pin, much like the iPhone. All in all these few improvements have gone a long way in making the Lumia 900 a true master piece. The one niggle that I have is that the shiny plate on the back that proudly says Nokia and details the camera, is still prone to picking up a scratch or two if you are not careful. But that’s a small price to pay for owing such a beautiful device.

In the following video I’ve put the white Lumia 900 and the black Lumia 800 head to head
to help give a better idea of what to expect. Since the Lumia 800 packs the same processor and software capabilities as its younger sibling, it still remains a compelling buy if you are looking for a great Windows Phone device. Or if you want something smaller.

I personally think that the 4.3″ Lumia 900 is a great size, and not too big at all.