Smartphone Recommendations For Shutterbugs

A list of phones that can give point-and-shoot cameras a run for their money.

 
Smartphone Recommendations For Shutterbugs

Cellphone cameras have come a long way. From the humble VGA beginnings, their megapixel count have reached double digits. Today's smartphones can challenge point-and-shoot cameras. It may not give you the flexibility to interchange lenses like a DSLR, but camera phones clearly have an edge when it comes to portability. So if you’re planning to buy camera phone, here are your options at different price bands.
 

 

Under Rs 10,000



XOLO Q800 X-Edition
Street Price: Rs 8500

The XOLO Q800 may not be the best smartphone under 10k, but it definitely the best camera phone in this price range. The handset sport an 8 megapixel camera with BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) sensor. It helps you capture relatively sharper images in low-light conditions. The Q800 sports a 4.5-inch IPS display with 960x540 pixels. It’s powered by a run-of-the-mill 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chip. It comes with 1 GB RAM, which is enough to handle Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It’s a dual-SIM handset comes with 4 GB internal storage and microSD card slot. Connectivity features include Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS (Assisted GPS).



Under Rs 20,000

 

Street Price: Rs 17,000
Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia’s mid-range Lumia 720 comes with a 6.7 megapixel autofocus camera. It’s backed by Carl Zeiss optics that delivers incredible low-light photography. The Lumia 720 comes with Nokia camera app that debuted with the Lumia 1020. The software combines Smart Cam, video recorder, and DSLR-like Pro Cam in a single easily accessible suite. Apart from that, you get a 4.3" WVGA IPS screen, 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, and 2000 mAh battery. Although the phone only packs in 512 MB RAM, the Windows Phone 8 experience is smooth. To further sweeten the deal, the Finns have thrown in Nokia Music (free music download for a year) and HERE maps (offline sat nav).

 

Under Rs 30,000

 

Samsung GALAXY S4
Street Price: Rs 27,900

In the Android world, the Samsung GALAXY S4 has a great camera. The 13 megapixel auto focus snapper comes loaded with plethora of camera features including Dual Shot, Drama Shot, Cinema Shot, Sound & Shot, Eraser, Best Face, and Beauty Face. It is powered by the Exynos 5410 chipset that features 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor, and 2 GB of RAM. Other features include GALAXY packs in a 5" Super AMOLED screen, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD support for up to 64 GB, , 2 mp front-facing camera, Wi-fi, A-GPS with GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0, and 2,600 mAh battery. After the recent price cut, it’s a great deal for Rs 27,900.

Nokia Lumia 925
Street Price: Rs 28,000

In addition to its elegant design, the Lumia 925 offers an excellent camera. The module boasts of Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and Back Side-Illuminated image (BSI) sensor. To achieve OIS, Nokia has suspended the entire 8.7 megapixel Zeiss lens assembly on springs. This help cancel the shakes to produce sharper pictures even in low-light. Other specs include Snapdragon S4 processor, 4.5-inch HD AMOLED screen, 16 GB internal storage, and 2000 mAh battery. The phone runs Windows Phone 8 Black out-of-the-box and is eligible for WP 8.1 update. It comes with productivity apps Office Suite, SkyDrive integration, and HERE Maps.

 

Cost No Bar



Nokia Lumia 1020
Street Price: Rs 38,000

Nokia’s camera wonder, Lumia 1020 isn’t only about 41 megapixel sensor, but how the Finns have tapped its full-potential with a thoughtfully designed camera app. The 1020 offers total control over parameters such as shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and ISO. With so many settings to play around with, creativity is only limited by your imagination. The interface is so convenient that we wonder why Canon or Nikon couldn’t come up with something like this. Thanks to the Xenon flash, you can take snaps in pitch dark conditions. Long story short, the 1020 is way ahead of the competition. Click here to check out a few sample images.


Tags : Mobile Phones, Cameras, Buyers Guide, Nokia, Samsung, xolo

Smartphone Recommendations For Shutterbugs

A list of phones that can give point-and-shoot cameras a run for their money.

 
Smartphone Recommendations For Shutterbugs

Cellphone cameras have come a long way. From the humble VGA beginnings, their megapixel count have reached double digits. Today's smartphones can challenge point-and-shoot cameras. It may not give you the flexibility to interchange lenses like a DSLR, but camera phones clearly have an edge when it comes to portability. So if you’re planning to buy camera phone, here are your options at different price bands.
 

 

Under Rs 10,000



XOLO Q800 X-Edition
Street Price: Rs 8500

The XOLO Q800 may not be the best smartphone under 10k, but it definitely the best camera phone in this price range. The handset sport an 8 megapixel camera with BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) sensor. It helps you capture relatively sharper images in low-light conditions. The Q800 sports a 4.5-inch IPS display with 960x540 pixels. It’s powered by a run-of-the-mill 1.2 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 chip. It comes with 1 GB RAM, which is enough to handle Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It’s a dual-SIM handset comes with 4 GB internal storage and microSD card slot. Connectivity features include Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi, A-GPS (Assisted GPS).



Under Rs 20,000

 

Street Price: Rs 17,000
Nokia Lumia 720

Nokia’s mid-range Lumia 720 comes with a 6.7 megapixel autofocus camera. It’s backed by Carl Zeiss optics that delivers incredible low-light photography. The Lumia 720 comes with Nokia camera app that debuted with the Lumia 1020. The software combines Smart Cam, video recorder, and DSLR-like Pro Cam in a single easily accessible suite. Apart from that, you get a 4.3" WVGA IPS screen, 1 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 8 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, and 2000 mAh battery. Although the phone only packs in 512 MB RAM, the Windows Phone 8 experience is smooth. To further sweeten the deal, the Finns have thrown in Nokia Music (free music download for a year) and HERE maps (offline sat nav).

 

Under Rs 30,000

 

Samsung GALAXY S4
Street Price: Rs 27,900

In the Android world, the Samsung GALAXY S4 has a great camera. The 13 megapixel auto focus snapper comes loaded with plethora of camera features including Dual Shot, Drama Shot, Cinema Shot, Sound & Shot, Eraser, Best Face, and Beauty Face. It is powered by the Exynos 5410 chipset that features 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor, and 2 GB of RAM. Other features include GALAXY packs in a 5" Super AMOLED screen, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD support for up to 64 GB, , 2 mp front-facing camera, Wi-fi, A-GPS with GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0, and 2,600 mAh battery. After the recent price cut, it’s a great deal for Rs 27,900.

Nokia Lumia 925
Street Price: Rs 28,000

In addition to its elegant design, the Lumia 925 offers an excellent camera. The module boasts of Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and Back Side-Illuminated image (BSI) sensor. To achieve OIS, Nokia has suspended the entire 8.7 megapixel Zeiss lens assembly on springs. This help cancel the shakes to produce sharper pictures even in low-light. Other specs include Snapdragon S4 processor, 4.5-inch HD AMOLED screen, 16 GB internal storage, and 2000 mAh battery. The phone runs Windows Phone 8 Black out-of-the-box and is eligible for WP 8.1 update. It comes with productivity apps Office Suite, SkyDrive integration, and HERE Maps.

 

Cost No Bar



Nokia Lumia 1020
Street Price: Rs 38,000

Nokia’s camera wonder, Lumia 1020 isn’t only about 41 megapixel sensor, but how the Finns have tapped its full-potential with a thoughtfully designed camera app. The 1020 offers total control over parameters such as shutter speed, exposure, white balance, and ISO. With so many settings to play around with, creativity is only limited by your imagination. The interface is so convenient that we wonder why Canon or Nikon couldn’t come up with something like this. Thanks to the Xenon flash, you can take snaps in pitch dark conditions. Long story short, the 1020 is way ahead of the competition. Click here to check out a few sample images.


Tags : Mobile Phones, Cameras, Buyers Guide, Nokia, Samsung, xolo

Samsung's S5 Costs $50 More Than An iPhone 5S To Manufacture

This proves that Samsung just spends all its money in cramming the device full of features.

 

Samsung's latest flagship S5 device costs the company $256 to manufacture according to analyst IHS Technology, making it a whole lot more expensive than than rival devices and more importantly Apple's latest iPhone 5s.

 

According to a ZDNet report, the 32GB variant of the iPhone 5s costs Apple $207 to build, making the device almost $50 cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy 5S. In a world where devices running Google's Android are seen as being cheap (many of them are), the S5 is a stark contrast as IHS points out a few Android devices cost less as $35 to manufacture.

 

The calculations don't take into consideration costs of licensing software, royalty payments and other additional expenditures which bump up the cost quite a bit. The cost of just the components Samsung uses in its devices has been increasing over the years, as the company crams each iteration of its S phone with more features.

 

Cost of the components used in the Galaxy S3 came in at $ 205, the S4 was $236 and now the S5 costs $256.

 

Despite the added expense, there hasn't been any major changes in the design of Samsung's flagship devices, pointing to an evolutionary design approach.

 

"There are no revolutions or giant steps forward in this design. There's a lot of similarity and commonality between the S5 and other recent Samsung smartphones... However, there are many small changes throughout the design," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director of cost benchmarking at his, in the Zdnet report.

 

According to the report, one of the most expensive components used in the phone is Qualcomms MSM8974AC chip, which costs $41. The chip does combine the functionality of a processor and a wireless semiconductor, but adding the memory bumps takes the cost up to a whopping $102. The screen is the second biggest expense and is estimated to cost around $63.

 

The other reason the S5 costs so much to build is the many sensors that Samsung has crammed into it. Apart from featuring the regular accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer, the phone also has a barometric pressure sensor, a fingerprint reader and a pulse sensors.

 

However, there are a few variations in the components used based on the region the phone is sold in. The phone which IHS toredown includes a TV receiver which it is sold with in the Korean market. Even in India Samsung has gone ahead and changed the core processor of the phone from the Qualcomm Snapdragon to its very own Exynos chip.


TAGS: Mobile Phones, Android, Samsung, Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s

Google Plans A January 2015 Release For Project Ara ‘Gray Phone’

Sets an impossible target without even having the modified Android software in place for the 'Gray Phone'.

 

The world definitely thought (some still do) that Google was crazy when it took up Project Ara from Motorola mobility before handing them over to Lenovo. What was clear back then was that Google was indeed interested in the concept of an open hardware platform. Well, now after months of waiting, Google says that it has set its sights for a January 2015 launch of the Project Ara ‘Gray Phone’.

"It's called the Gray Phone because it's meant to be drab gray to get people to customize it," said Project Ara leader, Paul Eremenko at the world’s first Project Ara Developers Conference. Eremenko was one of those chunks of Motorola that Google managed to keep to themselves after the handover to Lenovo.

The component swapping Gray Phone according to Eremenko would be available to the general public as early as January 2015 and will cost $50. What he also said was that he and his small team are working hard with a number of hardware developers to make Project Ara possible and ready for the scheduled launch date. One of those companies includes 3D systems, a 3D printing company with whom Google is working with to build massive 3D printers. These are the same 3D printers that will help build those blocks that make up the Project Ara device.

It was just a few weeks ago that Google launched the Modular Developers Kit or MDK. The kit delivered the guidelines to hardware developers including the exact measurements of the blocks that would fit in, and even the locations of the components on the upcoming Project Ara phone.

Next up is obviously the software bit which is still in progress. Eremenko professed to developers present at the conference, that Android does not support dynamic hardware… as of today. According to Eremenko, Google will take care of the same and he also stated that software is currently last on their list of things to do.

Another developer’s conference will be in July with the third one set for September. The basic idea behind the conference was to share a timeline so that developers could make well-reasoned, intelligent decisions about their investments in the Ara system.
 


TAGS: Mobile Phones, Software, Android, Google

Samsung Has Not Forgotten Tizen Just Yet; Plans To Launch 2 Smartphones In Q2 2014

The first device will sport flagship hardware with the second being a more of a mid-range handset.

 

In a surprising turn of events, Reuters reports that Samsung will be launching two new Tizen-powered smartphones as early as Q2 this year. Senior Vice President (Product Strategy) Mr. Yoon Han-kil said that Samsung will launch its first Tizen-powered phone around the end of the second quarter while the second phone will come a bit later.

The first phone is said to sport some high end hardware specifications and will run an OS similar to what was showcased at this year’s Mobile World Congress. The second device is said to come with mid-range hardware specifications but will use the same Tizen OS used on the high-end device.

The world simply thought that Samsung had long forgotten the Tizen OS; there was not much news about it either. That was, until we saw some leaked images of Intel’s version of the diamond-shaped Tizen OS a couple of months ago. Then suddenly, Samsung had a handset on display at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona; which brought to light that Samsung may be up to something.

The OS on demo at the MWC looked very similar to TouchWiz, but had some mind-blowing widgets with multi-tasking capabilities like you can see in the video below. The speciality here was the ability to open multiple apps and keep them running while working on another app.

 

 

Of course, Mr. Yoon did comment that "Android still needs to be our main business.” which is pretty evident from fact that Samsung always ignores Windows Phone for Android; barely producing a single handset a year.

Some may say that there is no room for another OS in today’s mobile space, but with Samsung’s financial backing, they may actually make a space for Tizen in the mobile market. For those who have not noticed the presence of Tizen yet, you need search no further as it is already present in Samsung’s Gear range of wearables.

 


TAGS: Software, Mobile Phones, Samsung

Samsung's Gear Range Will Now Support 20 More GALAXY Devices

Supported devices now include the Tab, Mega, Grand, Note and even the old GALAXY S3.

 

Samsung has announced that its recently launched range of the Gear devices, will now support a more handset and tablets from Samsung. There are about 20 new devices that Samsung will add Gear compatibility to, which we guess will simply increase the number of Gear devices that will be sold for the Korean electronics giant.

The earlier GALAXY Gear smartwatch, did not see good sales, mainly because of its price and then its device compatibility. Samsung seems to have learnt from its previous mistakes and has included a wide range of GALAXY devices which even includes its prodigal son the GALAXY S3.

The devices that will soon receive Gear support for the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit are as follows:

Phones:
Samsung GALAXY S5
Samsung GALAXY S4
Samsung GALAXY S4 Zoom
Samsung GALAXY S4 Active
Samsung GALAXY S4 Mini
Samsung GALAXY S3

Phablets:
Samsung GALAXY Note 3
Samsung GALAXY Note 3 Neo
Samsung GALAXY Note 2
Samsung GALAXY Grand 2
Samsung GALAXY Mega 6.3
Samsung GALAXY Mega 5.8

Tablets:
GALAXY Tab4 series
GALAXY TabPRO series
Samsung GALAXY NotePRO 12.2
GALAXY Note 10.1 2014 Edition

All the above devices and some of their Korean counterparts will now get smart notifications and will be able to receive fitness data as well—adding value to older devices. This also means that you will now be able to download the Gear Manager or Gear Fit manager to your GALAXY device and stay fit.


TAGS: wearable, Mobile Phones, Tablets, Samsung

Samsung SDI Showcases A Curved Battery With V-Bending Technology For Wearables

Gets one step closer towards its goal of making a bendable smartphone by 2016.

 

Samsung SDI rolled out a tiny 210 mAh curved battery which it plans to use in some more upcoming wearables. The battery is said to offer a significantly longer life when compared to devices made by its competitors and is already in use in its Gear Fit wearable device which it launched globally a week ago.

Serious about the wearables space, Samsung claims that the improved battery can help the Gear Fit last for up to five days with low usage on just a single charge. Such claims could only be possible thanks to the V-bending technology. This technology allows Samsung to reduce the size of the battery while increasing the battery’s capacity; also making it flexible to an extent.

Reports say that Samsung has plans to be tap into the global market for smartbands which is expected to grow by a large margin in the current year itself. Curved batteries apart from finding utility in smartwatches and smartbands will also help Samsung develop better designed mobile accessories including Bluetooth headsets. Additionally, such battery technology could also feature in Samsung’s truly flexible smartphone which along with its flexible display technology, will find many applications in the coming years. 


TAGS: Hardware, Mobile Phones, Mobile, Samsung

Reliance Communications hikes pre-paid tariffs by up to 20%

Base calling rates go up from 1.5 paise/sec to 1.6 paise/sec, and cost of discounted plans to go up by up to 20%.

 

Reliance Communications, one among India's largest telecom service providers, has announced that it will hike tariffs by up to 20 per cent for all its pre-paid customers, as off 25th April, 2014.

 

Base call charges will be increased to 1.6 paise per second from 1.5 paise per second, while tariffs on discounted and promotional plans will increase by up to 20 per cent.

 

“At Reliance Communications, we continue to focus on growing profitable/paid minutes on our network and the current tariff hikes are part of our continued efforts to reduce free and discounted minutes, & offset the ever-rising costs of input materials,” said Gurdeep Singh, CEO of Reliance Communications.

 

The company added that the increase in tariffs will be applicable across India for all R-Com pre-paid customers. Moreover, new customers to Reliance's pre-paid network will pay a premium of 20 paise per minute in comparison to what the company currently offers.


TAGS: Mobile Phones, Reliance, pre-paid tariff

Gionee Launches The ELIFE E7 Mini, Designed For The Selfie Lover

Sports an octa-core processor coupled with a swivelling 13MP camera for high quality selfies.

 

Gionee finally launched its ELIFE E7 Mini, a compact version of its big brother the ELIFE E7 in India at a price of Rs 18,999. Unlike the mini versions of most flagships, Gionee decided to add something to the E7’s smaller sibling rather than simply deducting features from it - a swivelling main camera, perfect for selfie lovers.

The ELIFE E7 Mini does not boast the powerful Snapdragon 800 SoC found in the original E7 but still includes a capable MediaTek 1.7 GHz octa-core processor which will run the most demanding applications with ease. Coupled with the super-fast processor, is 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, but strangely there's no option to expand storage. The phone sports an incredibly sharp 4.7 inch HD (1280 x 720 pixel) IGZO screen, which is housed in an attractive unibody design, complete with a matte finish.

The highlight of the phone of course is the 13MP rotating camera unit. Why have a brilliant camera on the back and a paltry one on front, when people now-a-days use both equally? Gionee thought of adding a swivelling camera module since it made more sense for those who like to click selfies and post them on social media websites. And yes, it does include an LED flash.

The phone comes with a large 2,200 mAh battery which should easily get you through a day of use with all that clicking. Sadly, the handset comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, which is a bit disappointing considering that Samsung has already begun designing budget devices that run KitKat.

The ELIFE E7 Mini comes with NFC and is available in dual-SIM and single SIM variants. The phone is available in some really bold and vibrant colours including Purple, Blue, Graphite Black and White—all of which come with a matte finish.


TAGS: Mobile Phones, Android, Gionee, Elife E7 Mini, Swivelling Camera, selfie

New Leaked Images Of The Apple iPhone 6’s Front Panel Surface

Show a broader 4.8 inch panel right beside the current iPhone 5s.

 

Weibo has indeed been a blessing when it comes to factory floor leaks from China. This is because almost every handset out in the market gets manufactured in China. Well another Weibo leak from what seems to be an image taken from a stock room, shows a screen which may belong to the upcoming Apple iPhone 6.

There have been a number of leaks popping all over the web lately, and they all have one thing in common—a bigger screen for the upcoming iPhone 6. Well, this freshly leaked image shows a screen that is almost similar to the one that was leaked earlier but it seems to be a lot broader (which is unnatural when it comes to iPhones).

Unlike the previous front panel which seemed to have an edge to edge display, the new front panel seems to sport very a thin bezel. This alone makes this leak more credible than the previous one because a bezel-less display would indeed be hard to pull off.

However, keeping in mind Apple’s iPhone designs over the years, such a design seems to fall out of place from the rest of the herd. This is simply because it seems too broad for an iPhone. iPhones have been and always will be designed to be handy rather than large and cumbersome like most android phablets. Which is why we think this leak may be a high quality knockoff rather than something that would end up on the Apple iPhone 6.
 


TAGS: Mobile Phones, iOS, Apple, iPhone 6

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