REVIEWS

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.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

How to speed up Galaxy S duos

                 How to speed up Galaxy S duos without rooting



So you thought that just like many other S duos (most of the Samsung phone) users that there is no escaping the traditional 'LAG n HANG' problem of your  phone.Well, there is one way around the problem -'ROOTING'. But rooting is not for the faint hearted, so I will tell you how to speed up your S duos in some easy steps .These steps are very simple and will surely have a considerable performance improvement in your device. Speeding up S duos is all about freeing up  RAM memory.

Not using a task killer :

   The major culprit  behind the lag is Samsung's very own  'TouchWiz' skin .When you install a task killer to auto clear the RAM, the 'TouchWiz home' which is cached in the RAM is cleared, causing it to reload every time  when you use your device. This takes considerable time, and causes the lags. So the best option is to uninstall every task killer that you have installed.

Force stopping apps:

Most of the apps even when not active or used, are kept cached by the Android OS so that they are loaded faster when you need them. But some of the apps like facebook have background functions that draw some juice. So, unless you use the app very often, force stop them. This will not cause any problems.For stopping apps .
Go to settings>application manager> then force stop the app that you dont use very often (its not just often its 'very often').

 


















Disabling all the Bloatware:

Samsung has provided us with a rich set of bloatwares. From S-apps , ChatOn  and S etc to S everything . This not only eats up precious storage but also RAM memory. As rooting is required to remove these apps , the next option would be to force stop them. This also dosent help as theykeep auto starting. The most effective method is to 'disable'  the app.
Go the settings>Application manager >All tab ,select the  app. If the current app installed is the updated one and not the stock one, then you will be promted to 'uninstall updates'. Uninstall the updated and then disable the app.

 

If you are not an active user of  ChatOn services, it would be a great idea to diable to 'Samsung Push service' also.
















Clearing the Clipboard:  If you use the stock samsung keyboard and do a lot of  'copy paste' and take screenshots often, then you will end up filling the clipboard in the keyboard. To clear the clipboard ,go to messages ,open a new message then open the clipboard as show below. To remove items , hold on the item and then remove from clipboard.

 

 

 

Using apps:

Till now everything  I said was about killing and force stopping apps  but now lets use some apps to help us. Using  some managers like Mobile care, All in one tool box  etc will help you in clearing the cache, history, empty folders etc. And remember to force stop even this app after you have used it.

Uninstalling unwanted apps: 

We are so addicted to installing and trying out new apps but we often forget to unistall the ones that we dont use. Uninstalling unwanted apps is not something that has to mentioned as its understood .

Some more steps are

Deleting/Reducing the number of widgets and home screens

Performing a factory reset after you have created the necessary backup of all your data and then performing all the steps mentioned above.

 

These steps will defenitely help you in using your device with less frustration  and if you are not satisfied , then the next step is only rooting and going for custom ROMs.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to mention them in the comments section  of this blog .

 

 




Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Flagship killer

                         OnePlus One vs ? 

  We all have heard and seen the hype and rumour surrounding the flagship launches. Compaines call it the 'revolution' which is nothing but an evolution and 'The next big thing', which  happens to be 'Just the next thing'. Falling for all this, you brought yourself a flagship recently and are convinced that you  got 'The Flaghip of the year' and made the wisest choise?. Think twice!(those of you watching the internet closely will know what i am taking about ). Because the very defenition of 'Flagship' seems to have been slightly redefined. It is no more just the very high end specs and all the bells and whistles, but a factor that we never expect it be  associated with  -'PRICE'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A company called OnePlus seems to be taking  this aspect head on with the moto 'NeverSettle'. OnePlus is a start-up company and producer of smartphones from China founded on December 17, 2013 headquartered in Hong Kong and Shenzen. Now you might think how on earth can a company with no notable  history just make a phone that can stand against the SAMSUNG, HTC, APPPLE , SONY etc. But they have done it with the OnePlus One. With killer specs and more importantly a pricing of $299  that makes the deal so tempting. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The phone  has a 5.5 inch 1080p  screen with a pixel density of about 401ppi. Most smartphones you see these days have plastic chassis. But OnePlus went with a material that we haven't seen very much of in smartphones, magnesium .The phone like most recent high-end phones, is powered by  Qualcomm's blazing-fast Snapdragon 801 coupled with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 330GPU. In terms of  storage, we see a new  strategy here with the One. OnePlus is skipping the 32 GB option, jumping straight to 64 GB for just $50 more than the 16 GB model. Considering Apple charges an extra $100 to jump from a 16 GB iPhone to a 32 GB one, $50 for an extra 48 GB is looking like a pretty sweet deal. The rear of the camera has 13Mp shooter with dual LED flash which can even record 4K and  720p slow motion videos @120fps .The front has a 5MP shooter for all your selfies. In the software department , One dosen't dissappint at all. Running on the latest 4.4 kitkat  the One ships with the mod community's favorite custom version, Cyanogenmod. CM builds that you download for rooted phones typically feature the stock Android UI (or something very close to it), but the special version of CM (11s) that runs on the One has its own unique appearance. Like all versions of Cyanogenmod though, the beauty is in how customizable it all is. The OnePlus One lets you choose between using onscreen or capacitive (below screen) navigation keys. If you go with capacitive keys, then you'll always be able to use 100 percent of the screen for your apps and content. If you go with onscreen navigation, then you end up sacrificing a little real estate. Apart from all this ,One also packs in Tap-on display ,Wake with voice and  NFC features. The phone gets its juice from a 3,100 mAh battery which OnePlus is advertising "over a day's worth of battery life". Out of the box, the One will come in both "silk white" and "sandstone black" colors. Right now it looks like the white model is tied to the cheaper 16 GB version, while the black  to the $50 more expensive 64 GB One. 

 

With this launch ,OnePlus  has hit the one spot where its competitors are weak and lacking and 'Smashed' the flagship by their never moto 'NeverSettle'. What do you think?. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Why this is do or die for Apple

           Has Apple lost its charm or its  that the  competion just  caught up?

   So folks, its the time of the year when the rumour mill churns out the best rumours. Yes, I am talking about 'The big daddy of innovation-Apple' . From the mouse, Mac ,GUI and the iPad,Apple constantly challenged the status quo and led the way. Times are getting tougher  for Apple  as rivals are inching closer and even beating them at their game . The world's watching Apple fall as  some predicted when  Steve jobs passed away.
  Apple generally  launches its new iPhone(s) in September and the last quarter of the year blows up with sales. Sales typically hit the top peak  around the holidays , but Apple has supercharged this by releasing iPhone at that time.  Demand consistently peaks after a new iPhone debuts, as you’d expect.
From 2007 to 2011, iPhone sales doubled every holiday season, more or less. A new iPhone meant way more sales, but that’s no longer the case. In 2012 that growth fell by two thirds, and even with two iPhones in 2013, it all fell again by another two thirds. But you wouldn’t realize this by looking at the sales chart. Sales look like the chart on the left. It’s the one with a lot of upward momentum.

Look at the chart and you’ll see why Apple is finding it tough to stay on the top. Dwindling growth each year for the last few years.  But  a look at the rumours on the web about the speculated products(if true) show that Apple is moving in the right direction .
A new iPhone is  obvious. But how different will it be when compared to the current gen? Only Apple knows. Based on a recent survey, its clear that the world cant wait for an iPhone with a bigger display. 


  “This is the highest level of demand for an unannounced Apple model in a ChangeWave survey – stronger than we’ve seen in previous years for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 models prior to their announcements,” said Andy Golub of 451 Research. “Speculation over a larger screen iPhone is clearly striking a chord with consumers.”

 

 

 

This is quite contrary to what apple convinced us some time ago . Apple tried to convince us that  4inch was the perfect size for a phone. They were even seen ridiculing the competition (Yep,the note lineup).But now the  phablets rule the world .A recent leak suggested that the next iPhone will have a 4.7 inch screen and even more variants. A new Mac book pro ,Apple Tv etc are to expected.

 









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another leak(pic shown below) points out that Apple clearly know its situation and hudles.



But when you believe something and make others believe the same and then you realise that you were not right  is what Apple is finding difficult to fight. Just like with the screen size,closed ecosystem , and also the megapixel count race. Not to mention  the 'premium' tag that Apple devices hold proudly for we the customers are tapped.What this situation has is that it has created a new environment with faster,cheaper devices and we are left with  more options to chose from.


 What will Apple do and to what extent will they 'Think Differnt' to get back on track has to be seen.