Listen, I don’t have the greatest history when it comes to tablet relationships. We have… a checkered past. I was pitched on this fabled third device long ago, but I can’t help but feel that we’ve all been hoodwinked. I’ve found myself maximally productivity on a flash-based laptop, and on the go, with a phone at least keeps me in the game. I’ve been struggling to figure out how a tablet fits into such a workflow for years, and after living for a while without one, I talked myself into giving the whole thing another whirl.
It’s the Kickstarter project that has largely defined what’s possible on the service, and if you’re reading this, you’re well aware of how many millions the Pebble team raised in order to concoct a wrist-worn notification device. A device that just so happened to emerge as the term “smartwatch”, was taking hold. It was something of a perfect storm, really; years ago, Fossil and Sony Ericsson tried to bring the Dick Tracy motif to the masses, but the world wasn’t yet ready. Today, we’re all ready.
Despite shipping to backers around a year ago, Pebble only recently added full, unabashed support for the iPhone (iOS 7, to be exact). As it turns out, the addition of full Notification Center support makes Pebble one of the only smartwatches on the market (hello, Metawatch) that’s tailored for Apple. I set out to investigate one thing: is the Pebble the smartwatch that Apple has yet to build, and is really good enough to work in tandem with an iPhone that’s constantly buzzing?
The first Nexus smartphone, the HTC-built Nexus One, was launched in 2010 as a developer-centric device. Back then Google was wary of competing with its hardware partners and had limited the phone’s supply and availability. The trend continued for the following two successors – the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus – both made by Samsung. The turning point, however, was last year’s LG-made Nexus 4 that proved to be immensely popular with consumers and also helped LG revive its smartphone fortunes.
While previous Nexus smartphones provided the pure Android experience, they were not the best daily workhorse smartphones. The Nexus 4, for instance, had a terrible battery and could barely see through half-a-day on a single charge. And the lesser said about the camera, the better. But Google managed to get away with the hardware shortcomings of the earlier Nexus smartphones by claiming it was aimed mostly at developers and enthusiasts. That certainly isn’t the case with the Nexus 5, which has seen a more aggressive roll-out, hitting India within weeks of its US launch. Can the Nexus 5 take on this year’s flagship smartphones like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and the LG G2? Let’s find out.
Smartwatches are the future… or something like that. As growth in the smartphone market slows, especially at the high end where companies have been making a killing, consumer electronics giants need to look elsewhere to bolster earnings growth. For Samsung, Microsoft, Google, Sony, LG and maybe even Apple, that “elsewhere” is wearable computing.
The wearables category definitely has legs but no one knows where it will end up going. Are fitness bands the future? Will consumers clamor for connected eyewear? Or will top companies dump enough marketing dollars into smartwatches that we all forget how geeky they are and ditch our Tags, Fossils, Rolexes, Tissots, Seikos, Citizens, Bulovas, Breitlings, Weils, Cartiers, IWCs, Panerais, Jaegers, Omegas, Hamiltons, Ebels and Hublots in favor of a digital watch tied to a smartphone?
When Apple first introduced the MacBook Air, the world looked on in amazement. What kind of sorcery was this? How could Apple squeeze a 13-inch laptop into a case so remarkably slim and sleek? But now we’re spoiled. Making gadgets thinner and sleeker with each new iteration isn’t impressive anymore — it’s expected. Forget the R&D, engineering and technology involved, this year’s phones, laptops and tablets have to be thinner than last year’s models. And so when Apple unveiled its completely redesigned iPad Air, people weren’t nearly as impressed as they were with the MacBook Air back in 2008. While the impact of the iPad Air on consumers can’t possibly match the wow factor Apple achieved with the MacBook Air, those who think Apple’s latest full-size iPad is anything short of a huge step forward should think again.
When Microsoft decided to focus the Xbox One marketing campaign around the console’s media capabilities, my main concern was that everything would work just well enough, and nothing about the console would stand out. If the Xbox One was going to be a living room media device and a cable box and a video game console, something would have to give. But Microsoft proved me wrong: First and foremost, the Xbox One is a very capable gaming device, and a worthy successor to the Xbox 360.
The sub-Rs 10,000 smartphone market is currently one of the most hotly contested segments in India and local and global players alike are trying their best to dominate it. Earlier this year, Chinese smartphone maker ZTE entered the Indian market with a slew of devices and among them is the Blade G2, which falls in the said category. In a price range where it is imperative to strike a balance between performance and value for money, can the Blade G2 succeed? Read on to find out.
Pound for pound, the HTC One is easily among the best smartphones on the planet. Back in August, I pitted the One against Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4 and crowned HTC’s handset the winner. With a gorgeous design, premium materials, solid performance, a stunning 1080p display and several unique software enhancements, it’s no wonder the One regularly receives praise from those who use it. But unfortunately, the sleek smartphone has done precious little to reverse HTC’s fortunes.
If the PlayStation 4 is any indication of the quality of the next generation of gaming, then it was worth the wait after all. I’m writing this review seven years to the day after Sony brought the PlayStation 3 to the United States, a console I swore I would never buy after Sony revealed the ridiculous price tag at E3. Seven years later, the Japanese electronics giant has value in mind and the PlayStation 4 is a bargain.
It happened: the MacBook Air has officially been trumped as my recommended road warrior machine. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s another Apple product that’s doing the trumping. Released last month alongside the iPad Air and revised iPad mini with Retina display, the Haswell-infused 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been my sole computer for the past four weeks. For those who slept right through the announcement, here’s a bit of a refresher: it’s dramatically faster than last year’s model, it’s cheaper, and most impressive of all, it’s thinner.
Nokia, as we know it, is going away. The company itself will remain, of course. It might even be consistently profitable some day. But the face of Nokia that most consumers are familiar with will be a thing of the past. Nokia will soon sell off its devices and services business to Microsoft for about $5 billion as part of a $7.2 billion deal. But in the meantime, the company has a product pipeline to clear and the new Lumia 1520 is certainly one of the more interesting devices Nokia will be launching before the big changing of the guard. The 1520 marks Nokia’s first foray into the increasingly popular phablet category and if not for Apple, Nokia would be the last major smartphone vendor to enter the space. But is the company’s new 1520 just a bigger Lumia phone, or is it also a better Lumia phone that continues moving in the right direction and picks up where the Lumia 1020 left off?
Uber launched its premium car pickup and drop service in Delhi last month. I had been itching to try the service as I had earlier used it in the US and was left very impressed. I wanted to see whether Uber could retain the same standards here in India and whether it could emerge as an alternative to popular radio cab services. For those unaware about Uber can find out more here.