Category Archives: Reviews

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

The HTC One packs a quad core Snapdragon 600 chip, 2 GB of RAM, an incredible 1080p 4.7″ IPS display  and runs Sense 5.0, a new iteration of Sense that trims down the UI to a very large extent, while not taking away too much from the default Android experience. With its premium aluminium construction, there is hardly anything you won’t like about this device.

HTC One Tips Tricks

The HTC One is definitely one of 2013’s top smartphones, and as is the case with most devices these days, there are features that are obvious and then there are some that take a bit of finding. Over the last few days that I have been using the HTC One as my primary device (review coming soon) I have come to learn a few nifty shortcuts and tricks that every HTC One user should know.

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

  • How Use The HTC One To Create Video Highlights Of Pictures & Video Taken On Another Camera: Details here.
  • Capacitive Buttons: Because the One only comes with two capacitive buttons, instead of the 3 button default Android setup, the home key has some added responsibilities. A long press of the key launches Google Now, while a quick double tap, ala iOS, launches the multitasking app switcher. From there you can kill apps by simply dragging them off the screen.
  • Screenshots: Taking screenshots is very easy, just hit the home button and the power key simultaneously and a screenshot will be saved to the gallery. The One also has the ability to take screenshots while a video is playing. So if you want to quickly grab an image, just tap the screen once while the video is playing and hit the camera button that appears. A 1920 x 1080 screenshot will be saved to the gallery.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Homescreen Setup: By default, whenever you press the home button the first thing you’ll see is Blinkfeed. There is no way to turn Blinkfeed off, but fortunately you select another homescreen to be the default screen. To do this, pinch the homescreen and you’ll be presented with the following screen. Now choose the homescreen you want to set as the default by pressing down on it and dragging it to the ‘Set As Home’ option that appears.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Jump To Top: Very hand for long lists, wherever you are to quickly jump to the top, hit the notification bar once. This works in all sorts of lists – Contacts, Blinkfeed, Music Player and so on. 
  • Secure Inbox: If there are certain messages that you’d best keep from prying eyes, the HTC One has you covered. Long press on the message you so wish to hide, and select the move to Secure Inbox button. Then when you wish to goto that message, choose ‘Secure Inbox’ from the list and enter your password. Note: The password is set the first time you enter the Secure Inbox.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Two Finger Scrolling: Scrolling with two fingers on any list displays the corresponding alphabet as you scroll along. Great when you want to stop at a particular letter in say, the Contacts app. In the messages app, a two finger scroll results in the dates being displayed as you scroll along.
  • Bluetooth Remote for the Camera: A bluetooth headset can act as a remote for the camera. Mount the One of a tripod and be part of the shot. Makes you wonder why didn’t anyone implement this earlier.
  • NFC & Usage: Buried in the settings menu under the ‘More’ heading is a toggle for NFC, turn it off if you’d like to save that every bit of battery life. The Usage option lets you restrict and monitor the amount of data your device is using. You can also keep tabs on your cellular minutes and text messages. Very handy if you don’t have unlimited data.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • App Gallery: By default, the Sense UI displays a grid of 3 x 3. Thankfully you can change this to 4 x 5.  Also present is an option to hide certain apps completely. So all the operator branded junk that you never open can now easily be removed from sight. Also, you can list apps alphabetically, or by the date they were added. You can also have a custom setup if you like.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Power Saver: The HTC One has a power saver mode, use it. It throttles the CPU, reduces the brightness, makes the data connection goto sleep for small intervals, and turns vibration off. Based on experience, just letting the phone throttle the CPU and suspend the data connection makes a lot of difference. Enjoy that screen, don’t skimp on the brightness.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Stop Google Play from auto creating shortcuts: If like me, you hate it when an app is automatically added to your homescreen the moment you installed it, this tip is for you. Goto Google Play settings and uncheck the auto-add widgets button.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Gracenote Integration: Thanks to its Gracenote integration, the One automatically adds album art to the music you’ve copied to the device. That’s not all, it will even pull the lyrics down from the Internet and display them – synchronised.

Must Know HTC One Tips & Tricks

  • Unresponsive/Reset: If the HTC One ever hangs, or becomes unresponsive you can’t really pull the battery out. The way around that problem is holding the power button down for 10 seconds. The phone will reboot and hopefully your problem will be fixed.
  • Changing Shortcuts in the Dock: You can change the default apps in the dock, and even add folders. However, this cannot be done from the homescreen and you’ll have to be in the app drawer to make changes.

In addition to these, there are a ton of other must know things – Zoes, Video Highlights, IR Blaster for controlling the TV. Which ones are your favourites? Sound off in the comments section below!

Unboxing 3 Lumia 920s: Red, Yellow & White

The Lumia 920 and 820 went on sale in India last week, and we were able to walk into a Nokia Priority Store on launch day and pick up 3 Lumia 920s, one in roaring red, one in glorious yellow and one in elegant white. So if you’ve been on the fence about which Lumia 920 to pick up, the following video should help answer that. Personally, speaking, my struggle was choosing between the Yellow and Red.

Unboxing 3 Lumia 920s: Red, Yellow & White

The Lumia 920 comes to India in Yellow, Red, White and Black for now. The first three colours feature a glossy finish, while the Black comes in matte, similar to the Lumia 800. The new Lumias had initially launched in a selected number of cities across the country, but by now the rollout should have reached all major towns and cities. So if you’ve picked up a shiny new Lumia 920, let us know in the comments section below. (YouTube link to the unboxing):

The unboxing has also been filed on a Lumia 920 which was handheld throughout, and the following video itself presents an excellent example of the wonders Optical Image Stabilisation can achieve.

Nokia 808 Pureview Unboxing: 41 Megapixel Goodness

The Nokia 808 PureView recently started shipping in various countries around the world including India, and this is what the retail India unit looks like. The devices comes with a 12 month subscription to DRM-free music from the Nokia Music Store that gives you access to over 40 lakh songs, I’m a huge fan of this service, and coupled with the FM-transmitter in the PureView 808, its a real breeze to use.

I will not go over the basic specifications of the device again, as I’ve previewed it extensively in the past. What I’m looking forward to is Nokia’s rich recording technology for videos that lets you capture excellent sound. Plus, this is the first smartphone that can actually let you get lossless zoom during HD video recording. Not only that the 808 uses the full frame of the camera to give you a nice wide angle even when you are shooting in 1080p.

Another aspect that Nokia really has going for the 808 is that the apps on the Nokia Store are incredibly cheap. You can buy high quality apps like Gravity and Joikuspot for as little as Rs. 35 and most other apps are just Rs. 5. This coupled with operator billing makes purchases really seamless. All in all you get the feeling that by buying a 808 PureView you’re not only getting unlimited DRM free music and worldwide navigation, but also a ton of apps for free.

Without further ado, behold the 808 PureView unboxing:

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit – Shot On A PureView 808

At the official launch of the PureView 808 in India, I spent some time with the retail unit of the PureView 808 and filmed a demo looking at some camera specific apps like ColorizIT and Silent Film Director that Nokia is bundling with the phone, and the Camera Lover Pack that will be a free download from the Nokia Store.

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit - Shot On A PureView 808

The PureView 808 is already on sale across in India, Nokia’s online store lists it at Rs. 33,899 but if you walk up to your local Nokia Store, you should be able to get it for about or a little less that 33,000 INR.

Since this video demo has been shot on a PureView 808, you should get an idea of its video capture abilities as well. The video was shot in a large hall which had a lot of background noise, and I wasn’t sure how clearly would you be able to hear me in the video. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality with which the 808 was able to capture sound. A lot of phones can do 1080p video, but no one does it with the full frame and with audio capture that comes to the PureView.

I also take a quick look at the camera specific apps that Nokia will be pre-loading or offering for free via the Nokia Store.

ColorizIT lets you take a photo and strip away the colours, and then selectively add colour to one portion of the image, if done right, it lets you create some excellent pictures.

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit - Shot On A PureView 808

Here’s an example.

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit - Shot On A PureView 808

Next is an app that will be available as a free download from the Nokia Store, Camera Lover Pack. It features the ability to take panoramas, and use some other funky camera effects.

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit - Shot On A PureView 808

The last is Silent Film Director, it lets you add filters in real time while shooting video. So you can make the video look like a ’70 movies, a ’20’s film, a black and white clip and so on. You can even increase the speed on the clip, and add some background music. A pretty fun app, and the best part is that it can work with 720p video.

Demo: Retail India Nokia 808 PureView Unit - Shot On A PureView 808

If you can’t see the video above, find the 1080p sample on YouTube here.

White Samsung Galaxy S3 Unboxing & Overview

The Galaxy S3 is definitely one of the hottest devices of 2012, and will continue to be the reigning Android flagship come 2013. Samsung’s just started selling the device across the world, and it just went on sale in India. While the maximum retail price in India is closer to the 43,000 INR mark, you can get it for anything between 38-39000 INR in in stores and online.

While Samsung in recent months has followed a policy of not dropping prices quickly, I do expect the retail price of the S3 to settle closer to the 35,000 mark rather than the near the 40,000 it currently is.

Back to the device, its a 4.8″ Super AMOLED display packing, 1.4 Ghz Quad-core processor touting superphone that is just 8.6 mm thick.  There’s also an 8 MP camera, an impressive 2100 mAh battery, NFC and the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) inside. The device was supposed to come out in blue and white, but Samsung’s apparently hit a few production snags with the blue version and you can just buy the white currently, which isn’t really a bad thing.

So if you were to walk into a store and get a Galaxy S3, this is what it would be like. The unboxing video follows:

I will be bring you a ton of S3 coverage in the next few days, but in case you want me to cover something specifically, let me know in the comments section below.

A Detailed Look At Tizen on Samsung’s First Prototype Device

Tizen just hit the 1.0 release last week (codenamed Larkspur), and at the Tizen Conference I’ve had the chance to play with the prototype device that Samsung has been handing out to developers to test their applications. Its basically a super large screen device, (4.65 inch my guess is about 4.3-4.7″ inches, 1280 x 720p HD Super AMOLED) that’s running on an 1.2 Ghz dual core A9 chip, with 1 GB of RAM. There’s also an 8 MP camera. In some cases it contains a cellular radio, while some device are WIFI only. There’s no word on what clock speed are they running at, or the the size of battery that’s inside.

A Detailed Look At Tizen on Samsung's First Prototype Device

While it is a reference design, it still gives us an idea of what the Tizen UI will look like and the core functionality that will come with it. We’ve already known that Tizen has an excellent HTML5 browser that bests everything currently on the market. After playing with the phone, we now know that it is heavily inspired from what Samsung’s been doing with TouchWiz. There’s a pulldown notification area just like Android, there are WIFI, Bluetooth toggles etc just like on Touch Wiz, multiple homescreens and so on. More importantly, there’s support for tethering out of the box, there’s also support for Google, Facebook and Twitter accounts out of the box so that you can sync your contacts nicely. There even seem to be push notifications for activity on Facebook etc, although I haven’t seen it in action.  Next, there’s support for services like Picassa, YouTube to aid in uploading content.

I spent some time with the device and captured my initial impressions as I went though the process of exploring the new OS. The following 7 minute video should give you a fair idea of what to expect on Tizen.

Again, this was a reference device and the load times, speed of operation etc does in no way represent what a real-world Tizen phone would be capable of.

If you are looking for pictures of the prototype device our friends at Tizen Talk have a few. What do you think of Tizen?