REVIEWS

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Zotac gt 630 2GB DDR3 Zone Edition Gaming performance.

So you are on  a lookout for a graphic card priced around 5k INR and tumbled across ' Zotac GT 630 2GB DDR3 Zone Edition ' somewhere on the web to add to your confusion. If you don't understand the gigga bytes of data about clock speed , memory and cores provided on other blogs , but want to know how this card performs in day to day usage , then this is your destination. In this blog I will tell you how this card performs without going into the specs.
Since the gfx card is aimed the lower spectrum of the market, the specs of the rig used to evaluate performance was

  • Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo E7500  @ 2.93GHz            

  • Memory: 4GB

  • HDD: 1TB

  • OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

    • 450 watts power supply

       

      Games Tested with fps and settings 

    • Gta 5               - 20 to 30 fps - lowest settings 
    • Max Payne 3   -30 to 40 fps - medium settings
    • Cryis 3            -20 to 25fps -lowest settings
    • Gta 4               - 20 to 30 fps- medium settings
    • Call of duty: Advanced warfare - 15- 25 fps - lowest settings 
    • Far Cry 3        -40 to 60 fps-  medium settings
    • Need for speed : Msw 2012 - 20 to 30 fps - lowest settings 

    • Need for speed : Rivals - 20 to 25 fps - lowest settings
    • BattleField 3   - 30 to 35 fps - medium settings
  •  
     
     
  These were some of the top demanding games and the GT 630 handled it quite well with temperatures withing 50 degree Celsius ( with room temperature of about 35 degree avg). You will surely get better performance if you have a better CPU (i3 or higher) and more RAM.


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Android One lollipop update. Better late than never, because never was not an option.




Android One users in India have waited for months for this day. Every rumor  gave then hope and fueled their frustration when they realized that those rumors were not true. I dare say that Google 'trolled' by saying that the update will begin 'soon'.
But finally that day has come and the 5.1 updates have started rolling out. Android One phones were appreciated for their clutter free 'stock'  experience. Hopefully Google has fixed all the issues with the not so sweet 5.0 and made 5.1 sweeter than Kitkat on Android One.



The OTA update with a build number  LMY470 is about 409 MB. If you cant wait for the ota like me, download the ota zip file which an  xda member had captured and install it by..
  1. Copy the ota zip file to your phone.
  2. Power off device.
  3. Boot into recovery.
  4. Choose install zip from SD card.
  5. Then choose the zip file.
  6. Wait till the update finishes.
  7. When promted ,select reboot system now
  8. Now you are 5.1!!
Please be patient for the first boot as it will take about 10-15 min depending on the number of apps you have installed on your phone.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Micromax Canvas A1 Lollipop update to roll out soon

Android One was Google's mega strategy to reach 'the next billion' people. To achieve this it had to target the 'mass market' and the take on the biggest challenge of combining 'affordability' with 'latest technology'. The most unique feature of these phones is that Google itself handles the OS updates.


Months have passed since Lollipop was officially announced and started rolling out to the Nexus family, but there is no official word from Google as to when Android One devices will get the 5.0 update. This may be because Lollipop is still buggy and  major OEM's have also delayed the update. Htc who promised Lollipop update on all of its phones within 90 days of the software’s availability from Google issued a  statement on the company’s website
“We’ve been working hard in the labs with Google and our carrier partners ever since the code release and are making great progress so far, but if you’ve been following the progress of this rollout you will know that Google has had to address several issues with this release. We’ve been diligently working to fix some of them on our end and incorporating Google’s fixes as quickly as possible, but despite everyone’s best efforts some carrier versions of the HTC One (M8) and HTC One (M7) will not meet our 90 day goal, which is February 1st."
But there is some good news to all Micromax Android Canvas A1 users. In response to a comment on Google plus post Micromax Mobile replied that Lollipop update might be rolled out soon. Though the post didn't give a specific date for the update.

  Since Google handle the software updates, we can assume that the time frame will be the same for the other two Android One phones also. Some posts on other websites indicate that the update is expected around Feb 25th. 
UPDATE:Google confirms the 5.0 (5.1 is expected as Android One devices launched for Indonesia run 5.1 run out of the box) update for Android One.Android One users in India — you'll be getting the Lollipop update in the next few weeks. @androidone


































Saturday, 29 November 2014

One plus faces the first blow from mircomax

Some annoucements create a lot to hype and excitement in the market. In India, there were two such announcements should have created such a hype, But no one expected that those two announcemets would fight each other to create a bigger one.
The first one was that Indians would officially be able to get their hands on the 'Flagship Killer'. The second one was Micromax's announcement of its new brand -'YU'. But they had something in common to keep the consumers more exited and that was ...CyanogenMod. Cyanogen popular among advanced users for its Custom Roms for android phones that offer extreme personalization options to change nearly all components of the mobile user interface, including wallpapers, icons, fonts, boot animations, and controls. Cyanogen also  announced its upcoming Themes app that will act like a store  for Cyanogen OS users to browse and download free and paid themes. Since the hardware if made by Micromax , prices are expected to be affordable.




OnePlus also ran on the CyanogenMod 11S and is expected to get the lollipop update soon globally.
But what was a big blow to One plus was that Cyanogen's exclusive partnership with Micromax meant that they would not  provide support any other devices shipping in India, which meant that the One Plus users in India would not be able to get a taste of Lollipop on their One Plus One. However One Plus was quick to respond to the news in a blog post -' A letter to our Indian users' saying that " It is truly unfortunate that a commitment we both made to our Indian users will now not be upheld.". But
this should not be a problem to advanced users as they can easily install ROMs from other Android development sites like XDA developers and not get caught in the fight to conquer. Since the demand for the One was mainly for the package at a very affordable price, users who want not just the hardware but the software as well might shy away from buying the device. This means lesser demand and hence it might be a little bit easier to get a phone (Atleast the invite) that is already very very difficult to get.
Its clear that Micromax is poised to grow and dominate the market once ruled by Samsung and Nokia with such tie ups.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Micromax Canvas A1 : The Nexus between performance and price.




During the Google I/O this year Sundar Pichai, the senior vice president at Google said "I am used to cutting edge phones and I have been using this one for a while and its really good". Android one is Google's mega strategy to take over the world of information.To achieve this they had to target the 'mass market' and the take on the biggest challege of combining 'affordability' with 'latest technology'.
Micromax Canvas A1 was one among the new breed of smartphones created  to achieve this purpose.
Since this phone is more about how Google intended to combine hardware and software, my review is divided into hardware and software and find out how much they were successful.






Hardware: 

It seems that Google and Micromax have drawn a lot of  inspiration from the current Nexus 5 while designing this phone. The phone is well built with a rubberised type back which feels really good while holding the phone. The front bears the FWGA IPS 4.5 inch screen with a resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. The lower resolution  with a larger screen size gives it a decent pixel density of about 217 ppi which is decent. Color reproduction is not the best with darks more like greys but the ambient light sensor makes sure that you don't struggle when under direct sunlight.One thing worth mentioning about is  the excellent sensitivity of the screen. The lack of  Gorilla Glass means that you have to be extra careful about the Canvas A1.



Unboxing
Under the hood, the Canvas A1 is powered by a Mediatek MT6582 which is a Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz. Coupled with 1 GB RAM and Mali-400 GPU, performance in one word can be described as 'snappy and fluid'. Launching apps to minor and somewhat major multitasking everything  just works  pleasantly in harmony with vanilla Android. Heavy games like Asphat 8, GTA3,GTA vice city and sanandreas ran without any lag or frame drop. Which is very impressive considering the price .Out of the 4GB of onboard storage you have access to about 2.1 GB with storage expandable upto 32GB via a micro SD card.





Free ram available
storage


































The 5Mp shooter on the back may not be an excellent performer but not a disappointment like the one on the Moto E. Under well light conditions, the photos are impressive considering the price.With the Google camera application you get features like motion blur, panorama, photosphere but controls are limited to turning ON/OFF HDR ,flash and manual exposure control. Video recording is possible at 1080p with the back and 720p with the front camera. The camera while recording faces the problem of focusing and produces videos that are shaky. The front 2Mp camera is just enough for video calls with average performance in well lit conditions.The single loud speaker on the back is loud enough but will not compete with you dock in loudness. Connectivity features include everything from bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n  

,EDGE ,3G(21Mbps up /5.7Mbps dwn) to GPS except NFC and LTE. Sensors include gyro, proximity, light and magnetic .The battery  being a 1700mAh and powering a quad core CPU will last you just about a day's use under heavy usage.

 

 

 

 

 

Software:

 


 

'Always on the latest version of Android' is the catch phrase that is linked to everthing associated with Android One. So it's just like the Nexus and Play edition devices, where you are sure to have your phone running the latest version of Android. Out of the box, the phone runs 4.4.4 with Google Now (aka Google experience) launcher and all Google apps and few bloatware.












The Stock OS ensures smooth and fast performance. Stock Android is the best in terms of  aesthetics and is prettier and more intuitive to use than the Android skins that are created by most of the Chinese and Indian smartphone manufacturers .There are also region specific features in softwares like Search and translate. Some app settings are frustrating it requires you insert a memory card to just start clicking pictures. Also, the phone doesn't allow you to receive .apk file another phones.But there are ways around this and the phone will not let you down in any manner.
 

Micromax and Google will surely achieve the traction necessary to reach the next five billion people with the first generation of Android One devices. The promised  5.0-Lollipop update should bring a host of new features and make the Canvas 1 more interesting. With Google recomended hardware and timely and updates Android one at an affordable price, this phone is for those want the 'Nexus' experience at an affordable price.


Monday, 1 September 2014

How fix 'missing PSpice menu' in Capture Student (OrCad Capture 9.1)

SPICE (Simulated Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is a  software that can be used to  simulate different circuits and can be used to perform various analysis of electrical and electronic circuits including time domain response, small signal frequency response, total power dissipation, determination of nodal voltages and branch current in a circuit, transient analysis, determination of operating point of transistors, etc. You will most likely use it if you are a geek or you need to as it is part of you school or college curriculum. The software is easy to install and easy to use, users on Windows 7 and 8 might run into compatibility issues and the 'Pspice menu' might be missing, not letting you to 'run'  and analyse the circuit. In this blog ,I will show you some of the ways of getting these problems fixed in some easy steps. I have assumed that you have installed PSpice (OrCad ver9.1).

Fix 1:
  •  Right click on the 'capture student' icon, then go to the 'compatibility tab'.
  • Check the 'Run this ...for' Check Box and select 'Windows2000' from the drop down list.
  • Check the  'Run this program as administrator' Check Box.
  • Hit on 'Apply' and then 'Ok'.
  • Run the program.
      This should fix the problem, if not try changing the compatibility mode to 'Win Xp SP1'.

  

  
        Fix 2:Please note that this fix will work only if all the steps mentioned in Fix 1 is applied. 



  • Open  the 'Capture Student' application.  
  • Now go to file>open>project.
  • Then navigate to the 'example.opj' project file located in the 'Examples'  folder in C*:\Program Files\OrCAD_Demo\PSpice\Capture_Samples\Anasim.
  • Now check whether the Pspice menu is present.
  • If yes, save the project and create a new project  before closing the example project.
  • The new project should have all the problems fixed.


 
















Did this fix help you or do you have a better fix ?.Feel free to comment and share.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Moto E review

The Moto for Everyone

The moto for everyone ?


Companies  all over the world focus and put all their revenue and energy into their flagship forgetting the mass market.What the people in this mass market  usually get is underpowered and overpriced 'not so smart phones'. Most flagship launches are surrounded with a lot of hype and rumours. Rarely does a company hit the 'ultimate success' spot after the launch .The reasons for failure usually are lack of features,design  and many other factors. But the most prominient of all these aspects is pricing. Indian companies like Micromax,Karbonn were leaders in launching phones targetting this mass market. Motorola entered this territory late and launched the Moto G which was a phenomenal success. Now with the lauch of the Moto E, the company is set destroy the 'Feature Phone'.With a launch price of 6999INR, Moto E is a small phone with great features. Lets see if this small  phone can take on this challenge . 

Design,the one aspect that determines success of a phone even if has the power to move mountains has never been so important than in the current scenario.Well in that matter, Moto E is defenitely ahead. With the same DNA from its brothers (the Moto X and G ), comfort and solid  is what you feel when you hold the device in your hand for the first time.The front 4.3QHD 540 x 960 rez diplay even though very reflective ,is something never seen in this price bracket.The display offers very good colours and viewing angles, making it ideal for gaming or catching up on a movie while travelling. The panel is not so good under direct sunlight however as it tends to wash out and the grid of touch spots is clearly visible. You even get a water resistant coating for the entire body and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3.You can swap out the back panel on your phone for other colours, should you choose to customise it. The cover is a bit of a pain to remove though. Underneath, you’ll find the two SIM slots and microSD card slot.


image courtesy of tech2


















Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 dual-core SoC onboard and the 1GB of RAM ,the device is very snappy. From the time it takes for app launches to the transition animations, everything feels very fluid .Though there is  a light noticelable lag when multitasking between heavy apps but the  overall flow and feel is just Snappy. Much of this fluidity is because of the improved  memory management in Kitkat.


Available free max free RAM
The Moto E features 4GB of onboard storage, out of which 2.21GB is usable.Unlike the MotoG, motorola decided to add memory card support and supports upto a 32 giggs card. Once you insert it, the phone prompts you if you wish to move all the videos and photos over to the SD card. You can manually move installed apps over as well The loudspeaker is surprisingly loud for a mono speaker and offers pretty good clarity too.

 And now lets talk about the camera that I feel is the only piece of the puzzle that  Motorola got wrong. On paper ,the phone has a rear 5MP shooter. With HDR one would expect much from the E. But things turn out to be on the negative side as the camera lacks autofocus .The pictures lack detail, and can be only used only for social networking and other stuff on the web. If you want a phone with average camera, STAY AWAY!.As long as you’re not too close to the subject, the pictures are passable and more than adequate for social media sharing.The photos look horrible on the view finder but after you have taken the shot, some agressive software processing gives mixed results. Sometimes the shots turn out to be good  and sometimes not so.Video recording  maxes out at 480p with similar performance.







Shot taken in bright day light


Notice the sever lack of details near the trees and blurred effect near the car
 The 1980mAh battery will easily give you a full day’s worth of usage. This is with a mix of calls, music, gaming and surfing the web over Wi-Fi. The standby time is pretty good.

Just like the G,the Moto E is poised for great success in the current market. Motorolar clearly has understood the mass market.And if not for one reason ,the phone would be a phenomenal success. With promised software updates, its clear that Motorola is working towards that and the Moto -E is the moto for everyone. Motorola clearly blurred the lines between a feature phone and a smart phone by pricing a smart phone for a feature phone's price.