When one talks about ultra-portable laptops one simply does not look beyond the Apple MacBook Air. It’s the benchmark and since its inception no Windows OEM has even come close to delivering a product that matches its immense quality in terms of design and usability. That was until Sony’s Vaio Pro came along, which according to the company is the lightest 13-inch UltraBook on the planet and manages to eclipse even the MacBook Air. The question many want us to answer is that weather it is better than the MacBook Air. While the answer to that question is not as clear cut as one might hope, the final result is quite intriguing. Read on to find out more.
Why is this handset a big deal? Because BlackBerry’s revival rested on its all-new BB 10 software – but the only two BB 10 handsets that have been launched so far have been priced too high to make a difference to markets such as India. The Z10 came in at Rs 43k, and the keyboard-equipped Q10, at a staggering Rs 45k price that was universally criticized. So while much of the world didn’t get very excited about the Q5, India’s mobile market has been very curious about it.
When Apple launched the first iPad in 2010, I was of the opinion that it mared the end of stand-alone ebook readers, just like smartphones did to portable music players and handheld gaming consoles. Why should I buy the Kindle, a dedicated ebook reader, when I could get the Kindle app on my iPad and my smartphones for free and get the same books on it? Why should I carry two separate devices when I can do with one? Even though I bought Kindles during my trips abroad for my friends and family, I always resisted the urge to pick one for myself. I didn’t need one. Or so I thought till I started using the Kindle Paperwhite.
When BlackBerry unveiled BB10 and the first two smartphones running on the new operating system, everyone sort of intuitively decided that the Q10 with its QWERTY keypad was the flagship smartphone. Surprisingly, BlackBerry launched the all-touch Z10 first, which led many BlackBerry die-hard fans (yeah, they still exist) to wait for the “real deal.” The Canadian smartphone maker finds itself in a peculiar situation as it struggles to keep up with its rivals that have all-touch phones with huge touchscreens as well as appeal to its existing user base that swears by its physical QWERTY keypad. Can Blackberry cling on to the past while forging a place for itself in the future of mobile computing? Let’s find out.
When one talks about tablets, it’s basically a one-way street. It’s all about the iPad, especially in the 10.1-inch category because no Android OEM has gotten around to make a really premium 10-inch plus tablet that would take on the iPad. Additionally, the UI and app scaling problems of Android get exaggerated on the 10-inch form factor. All that said and done, Sony believes it can pull off a rabbit out of its hat and deliver a tablet that’s not only premium, but matches the iPad spec for spec. And indeed that is true with the Xperia Tablet Z which is not only the lightest and thinnest 10.1-inch tablet in the world but also is waterproof and boasts a number of spec sheet niceties that would make a Cupertino faithful cringe. But at Rs 46,990 does it provide an experience that is comparable to the iPad with Retina Display and deliver good value. Read on to find out more.
When it was launched last year the LG Optimus G was the very definition of state of the art. It was the first smartphone to have the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and it even beat the iPhone 5 by implementing a Zero-Gap display before it. Today though, in a post Galaxy S 4 world it’s not that anymore. It does not have the latest and greatest specs, but then again it does not cost in excess of Rs 40,000 like most flagship smartphones.
The Optimus G offers a great build, an impressive feature set, and a design that was an inspiration for the Google Nexus 4, which also recently landed in India. This means it competes with the likes of the Galaxy S III, the Sony Xperia SP, and the Xperia ZL rather than wizards like the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S 4. But can it compete? Read on to find out more.
Entering the Indian smartphone market is not an easy proposition. The market is flooded with a number of local vendors who are blooming thanks to the market for low-cost Android smartphones, and the high-end is dominated by Samsung and Apple, while Nokia and BlackBerry make do with the left overs. Panasonic at one time used to compete in the feature phone market in the mid-2000s, but it was not able to compete against the might of Nokia. Fast forward eight years, the Japanese giant is back and this time around it has outsourced production of its phones so that a more localized product is created for the price sensitive Indian market. The Panasonic P51 is synthesis of this dream. If this works out well in India, then Panasonic will replicate this strategy in other emerging markets. Read on to find out if the Panasonic P51 has what it takes to succeed in the Indian market.
Nokia used to be the king of smartphones and feature phones, now it rules neither. While Windows Phone as a platform is on the rise, the growth is very slow, and in its last quarter, its Asha line of feature phones took a massive tumble in terms of shipments. Well, the writing was up against the wall considering Android smartphones have been becoming cheaper and smoother to use, month after month, but Q1 of 2013, was a real knock-out punch for Nokia. The Finnish company hopes that the Lumia 520, which was announced at MWC earlier this year, could be the smartphone that could take on Android smartphones in the sub-Rs 10,000 segment. Priced at Rs 10,499, it does pack in all the things that Nokia stands for and offers a decent feature spread. But does it tick all the right boxes for the average Indian consumer? Read on to find out.
Jabra has made a name for itself by delivering high quality Bluetooth peripherals for smartphones and tablets for years. Its Bluetooth headsets have set the bar in the market as they deliver sublime audio quality, comfort of use and they are built like tanks. Unlike the Bluetooth headsets, the Tour is a speakerphone, which Jabra believes can be handy in both the car while driving and be a companion in the conference room. Additionally, it claims that it can also double as a speaker for listening to music. We put it through the paces, read on to find out if it’s any good.
A 7-inch phone might be considered as an excess by many, but if the number of phablets being launched recently is anything to go by, there is a budding market in the country companies are scampering to tap into. With the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Micromax Funbook P600 and HCL ME Y3 already present, Asus has put its hat in the ring with its 7-incher FonePad. How good is the phablet you ask? Well, let’s find out.
How do you trump the world’s best-selling smartphone? That’s the billion dollar question every time Apple launches a new iPhone. But this time it is Samsung and its flagship Galaxy S 4 smartphone that’s doing the bidding. The Galaxy S III has been a runaway success for Samsung and has come to define Android as a platform more than Google’s own Nexus series of devices. It might not have been the best smartphone but it remains to be the best-selling Android smartphone of all time. Does the Galaxy S 4 have enough in it to take over from its predecessor? Let’s find out.
The Lumia 620 is an incredibly important phone for Nokia. Not only it brings down the Windows Phone 8 experience to a level below Rs 15,000, but it also strives to bring a level of hardware and design sophistication to the price segment that no one else can. It is a very important product for Nokia as the Rs 12,000-15,000 price band is one of the fastest growing smartphone segment. Other top tier smartphone brands compromise on design, build quality and certain other features in this segment, while homegrown brands are hitting them hard with top-of-the-line specifications. Nokia is in a unique position not only with its Windows Phone 8 platform but also its insistence on a premium Lumia design language. Let us see if the Lumia 620 can compete with the manic march of cheap Android smartphones that are starting to hit the market with top draw specs. Read on to find out more.