Tag Archives: Android

Panasonic launches P81, its first flagship smartphone with octa-core processor, for INR 18,990

Panasonic has unveiled its latest Android smartphone, P81, with 5.5-inch IPS HD display and 1.7GHz true octa-core smartphone. Powered by Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), the 7.9mm thin smartphone boasts of a nice leatherette design. The phone features a 13MP Full HD-capable autofocus camera with a decent 2500 mAh battery.

The Panasonic P81 will be available to consumers in India from the third week of May at a best price of INR 18,990.

panasonic_p81

The phone packs in several additional features like the new multi-tasking experience where users can play around designing screens. ‘Device Cleaner’ to free up device RAM, Multi Play capabilities like dual window operation, and Panasonic’s signature feature, the ‘Gesture Play’.

“With the launch of the Panasonic P81, we have reached yet another milestone as this is the first model of the “P” series featured with octa-core processor. The introduction of this model reiterates our commitment to keep innovating as we believe that it is a direct result of the consumers’ needs, and customer centricity has to be at the core of developing products for the Indian consumer.”
– Manish Sharma, Managing Director, Panasonic India

In India, the phone comes bundled with Apps Freebies of INR 9,900 including 6 months of Evernote Premium subscription, free entertainment downloads from Hungama for a month, and content from India Today.

Review: HP Slate 6 VoiceTab

After flirting with Windows Mobile for their maiden foray into smartphones and then pinning hopes on webOS before it got killed two years ago. HP is taking another stab at the smartphone market with Android this time.

HP Slate 6 VoiceTab

HP VoiceTab series – Slate 6 and Slate 7 – hit the crowded phablet market in India intended for consumers who prefer to have one device for calls as well as web browsing, media consumption, and games. Also, Slate 6 is a dual SIM device, and that appeals to a lot of users in India.

Design

The HP VoiceTab Slate 6 is a surprisingly nicely designed phablet. It’s just 9mm thick, making it one of the slimmest device in the category. Also, at 160gm, it is surprisingly light for its size.

5

The slim chassis of the 6-inch device makes it easy to hold and grip despite the large size. Of course, phablets of this size aren’t made for one-handed operation despite what the marketing folks claim, but the Slate 6 is not unwieldy and is quite easy to carry.

The removable back cover has a grey checkered design pattern with matte finish that gives the device a premium feel despite being all plastic. The gold finish on the sides and the metal buttons also adds to the appeal.

While the build quality of the phone is pretty good overall, the plastic materials used are very average. When you hold it firmly and attempt to twist, you’d feel as you’d break it. The back panel too is pretty flimsy.

HP Slate 6 VoiceTab

Hardware

Powered by a not-so-popular 1.2 GHz Marvell PXA1088 quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM and Android 4.2.2, the Slate 6 looks good on paper for a mid-range device. The 16 GB internal storage with microSD expansion is at par as well.

However, the overall responsiveness of the device is a let-down. HP stays away from heavy customizations and skinning, and runs stock Android, but the optimizations seem to be missing. The UI has a noticeable lag and apps take a few extra, I won’t say seconds, but maybe milliseconds. It wouldn’t have been annoying for most users, but the performance is inconsistent and apps like the default browser would sometimes hang and require a force quit. Casual games work all well on the Slate 6, but graphic-intensive games like Asphalt 8 obviously struggle at high graphic settings.

The HP Slate 6 features a 6-inch IPS 720p display. While the display is good enough and colors are accurately bright, the viewing angles are below average.

Camera

The 5MP rear camera of the Slate 6 is a decent camera in good light. The contrast isn’t right there and you wouldn’t have a lot of details in the photo, but they are pretty okay and sharp. In low light and outdoors in evening though, the camera app takes quite a while to focus, and there’s too much noise in the photos. The camera optics and the software disappoint overall. The 2MP front camera though works well for video calls and those selfies.

Summary

HP Slate 6 VoiceTab

The HP VoiceTab Slate 6 works, but does not impress much. The design is surprisingly sophisticated, but the user experience is listless and the camera offers sub-par experience. The 3000mAh battery last through the day, which is pretty good for a phablet.

At INR 22,990, the Slate 6 is not a bad device, but the performance issues make it hard to be recommended, especially in a crowded market. A software update could take care of most issues, but that’s shooting in the dark. The HP VoiceTab Slate 6 is well-intentioned, but an average comeback from HP.

TruePlex for Android Shows How Risky Your Installed Apps Are

Earlier today, the FTC announced the terms of its settlement with the free torch app “Brightest Flashlight”, which had surreptitiously collected real-time location data of its users and sold to advertisers. Although Android doesn’t allow you to modify the permissions that an installed app has, Google does display the permissions that an app is requesting before you install the app. A privacy breach like the “Brightest Flashlight” incident can easily be avoided by paying attention to the permissions that an app requests. For example, there is no valid reason for a torch app to access your location. If you find that an app requests more permissions than justifiable, it might be best to simply avoid it and pick a less nosy alternative.

The trouble is that if you have been using Android for a while, you must have already installed dozens of apps. Manually reviewing their permissions is a cumbersome process that very few users will be willing to undertake. This is where a new app called TruePlex can help.

Trueplex-Android-App

TruePlex is a new app which does one simply thing. Once installed, it cross-references the apps installed on your phone with its database, and generates a report with a rating (lower is better) for each identified app. The rating is based on the amount of access the app has to private data. A higher rating doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something is wrong, but it does indicate that you should take a closer look at the permissions the app is requesting. Tapping on any of the app icons in the report opens up a new page which lists all the permission an app has. While it makes sense that your SMS app will have access to your messages and contacts, be wary if a random game requests the same permission.

TruePlex-Android-App-Security-Report

TruePlex looks and feels like something hacked together over a weekend. The app basically has a single screen, and all it does is prepare a report of the permissions that apps installed on your device have. Quite appropriately, TruePlex itself doesn’t request any special permission. This will perhaps instantly make it As soon as you hit the “Let’s Go” button, you are taken to your web browser, where your report is displayed. You also have the option of creating an account on the TruePlex website. This will allow you to compare you device score with other users.

TruePlex-Android-Security-Report-Detail

To be fair, the app is very basic, the report is ugly, the website is buggy, and there’s still a lot of work to be done. The database is still small, and not all of your apps are rated. I’m sure that if it gains popularity, we’re going to see a lot more polished app in the coming weeks. I’d definitely want to see it automatically figuring out what permissions my installed apps have, and generating a report even if the app isn’t in the TruePlex database. Nevertheless, the app is already quite useful and worth a download. The app is essentially similar to BitDefender’s Clueful app. However, TruePlex is a lot more lightweight, and requires no permissions for itself. On the flip side, the report lacks the succinct one line summary that Clueful provides.

[ Download TruePlex ]

The New Facebook for Android App: What’s New and How to Download It

Facebook-Android-App-Redesigned

Close on the heels of the website refresh, Facebook is pushing out a major revamp of its Android app. I am not a very big fan of the recent Facebook website redesign; it took an already cluttered user interface and made it even worse. Fortunately, the changes on the Android front are a lot more positive.

The new app feels a lot more vibrant and cheerful, mainly due to the use of lighter and brighter shades throughout the UI. Everything is also distinctively flatter.

Facebook-Android-App-New-UI

The top bar has been split into two, and the navigation drawer on the left has been removed. The new layout is not only more visually appealing, but also more intuitive.

Facebook-Android-App-New-UI-Places-Activities

The upper half has just two buttons – one for Search and the other for accessing phone contacts. The second half contains all the navigation options including Friend Requests, Messages, Notifications, and Profile and Settings.

Facebook-Android-App-New-UI-Settings

The new Android interface is more compliant with the Android design philosophy, and is definitely a step in the right direction for Facebook. Unfortunately, it’s still not ready for prime time. It’s currently only available for the Facebook alpha testers. If you want it right away, there are a few hoops you’ll have to jump through.

  • Go to the Facebook Alpha Testers group and signup with your Google account. This needs to be the same one that you’re using for the Play Store.
  • Once you’ve signed up successfully, you should be able to see the following page.

    fb_google_groups

  • Follow this link to become an alpha tester. If all goes well, you’d be able to see a message stating “You are a tester”.

    Facebook-Alpha-Tester-Signup

  • Now open the Play Store on your mobile phone, and you should be able to see an option to update Facebook. Download and install the update.
  • Go to Settings –> Apps –> Facebook. The current version of the Alpha build is 9.0.0.0.19. Your version should be same or higher.

    fb_app_version

  • ‘Force Stop’ the app, and ‘Clear Data’.
  • Launch the Facebook app. You will have to sign in once again. Once you login, you should be able to see the new Facebook layout.

Please keep in mind that Facebook builds released in the alpha channel are expected to be buggy. They might be buggy, crash-prone, or might not work at all. If you want to go back to the normal build, simply “Quit the Test“, and un-install and re-install the Facebook app from the Play Store.

[via Reddit]

Gionee ELIFE S5.5 launches in India for INR 22,999: Photos, Hands-on, and First Impressions

Gionee ELIFE S5.5

At a grand event in Goa that the company dubbed as ‘Slim Fest’, Gionee announced the Gionee ELIFE S5.5 in India. Named after its biggest feature – a 5.55mm slim body, the phone will be available in the market starting April 27.

Design

The ELIFE S series is a new product category that Gionee intends to position not just as a flagship smartphone series but also as a fashionable accessory.Gionee ELIFE S5.5

“Smartphones are treated both as electronics and pie of art by consumers worldwide and that’s why we adapted a new approach with a focus in design. Smartphone is something that we carry on a daily basis, they are like a part of the human body, and there is zero distance between a user and their smartphones. This is similar to a piece of fashion clothing; it represents its user’s taste, personality, and even identity.”

– William Lu Weibing, President, Gionee

Gionee ELIFE S5.5
Thankfully, with all that emphasis on design – and the unique proposition of being the world’s slimmest phone – Gionee ELIFE S5.5 does not compromise on performance. The specifications sheet is top-of-the-line with a true octa-core 1.7 GHz processor and 2 GB RAM powering the internals. The 5-inch full HD display is vivid and gives a nice first impression, although like most AMOLED displays, the colors are a little washed out.Gionee ELIFE S5.5

Gionee claims that the problem of high power consumption by slim phones is taken care of by the highest capacity density ratio of S5.5’s battery. The phone features a modest 2300mAh battery, but the power optimizations that Gionee packs in might just get it through the day.

Camera

The 13 MP rear camera does not match the brilliance of Gionee ELIFE E7, which the company touted as the best amongst all Android smartphones, but works good for most conditions. The 5 MP front camera features a 95 degrees ultra-wide angle that allows you to click better self-group shots and full-body selfies. I’ve grown tired of the term and the trend, but yeah, it’s a feature.

Gionee ELIFE S5.5

While the phone is very slim, the camera lens protrudes on one corner. It’s smooth, and doesn’t look bad at all, but makes the claim of a ‘slim phone that packs everything’ a little incorrect.

Software

The Gionee ELIFE S5.5 features the Android-based AMIGO OS 2.0 that has been customized specifically for the S5.5. It is Android 4.2.2 under the hood, and that would annoy a lot of Android enthusiasts, but the company would rather have you focus on AMIGO.

Gionee ELIFE S5.5
The AMIGO OS is not bad, and is well-intentioned. Android fans might get disappointed because it does not include certain popular Android features like widgets. However, if you give a little time or if it is your first Android phone, it would grow on you and provide a functional user experience.

The camera software, like the ELIFE E7, consists of two shooting modes – the professional and normal camera settings – and can really help you get the best out of the camera optics.

Specifications

  • Display: 5.0” Super AMOLED Plus display
  • Processor: Octa- Core 1.7GHz CPU
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • Camera: 13.0MP AF +5.0MP AF Camera 95 Degree Ultra-Wide Angle
  • Software: AMIGO OS 2.0 (based on Android OS, V4.2)
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Dimensions: 145.1 x 70.2 x 5.55mm
  • Battery: 2300mAh (non-removable)
  • Single SIM
  • OTG Support

Summary

The Gionee ELIFE S5.5 is available in five colors – Black, White, Blue, Pink, and Purple. These are not vivid colors like Nokia, mind you, but look subtle and stylish.

Gionee ELIFE S5.5

The phone is priced at ₹22,999 and will be available in the market later this month. It’s a great price for a flagship Android phone, and it will compete with not just the middle-range Samsung and Sony phones but also with the top-end phones from Indian players like Micromax.

LG G2 Review

After playing catch-up for several years, LG Mobiles is finally in a position to take charge. Samsung is still the market leader by a huge margin, but the Nexus 4 succeeded in instilling the belief among consumers that LG can also make good smartphones. Last week, LG Electronics India (LGEI) launched its latest flagship Android smartphone – the LG G2. The G2 has a lot riding in it. LGEI expects to pick up 10% of the Indian market share by the end of the year, and it’s targeting Rs. 200 crore in revenue from the G2. On paper the G2 is a monster; however, how does it stack in real life? Read on to find out.

Appearance, Display and Battery

LG-G2-Front

Unlike in the Nexus 4 or the Optimus G, the G2 is made entirely out of plastic. There’s no metal or glass to be found anywhere in the construction. Personally, I don’t mind the absence of glass. There’s no denying that the aluminium bodied Xperia Z1 exudes a more premium feel, but avoiding metal often helps in bringing down the cost and reducing weight, and glass is way too fragile to be practical in a device that you’re going to use day in and day out. However, what I’m disappointed about is the return to the cheap glossy exterior that LG had done so well to avoid in its 2012 line-up. The rear cover has a reflective pattern that’s mildly interesting, but the glossy finishing means that it’s a smudge magnet. The battery in the Indian version of the G2 isn’t user replaceable, but that has allowed LG to fit in a giant 3000 mAh battery in the relatively compact dimensions (138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm) of the G2. However, even with a plastic body, the G2 is fairly heavy, weighing about 143g.

LG-G2-Rear

The most distinctive feature of the G2 is its button placement. All the buttons in the G2 are placed at the back, just underneath the camera. This seems counter-intuitive and definitely takes some getting used to. In fact, this is probably the single most debated aspect of G2. When I began using the G2, I wasn’t entirely convinced about the idea. In theory, the button placement made sense. Single handed operation isn’t exactly a joy in most recent top-of-the-line droids, and the reason for that is that reaching buttons placed on the top or on the sides is difficult for anyone with normal sized palms. The G2’s rear buttons should be a lot more convenient to use since they are placed just where your index finger should reside while normally gripping the phone. In practice, things didn’t start so well. For the first couple of days, I had to repeatedly turn my phone to see where the buttons were. However, things improved quickly as muscle memory kicked in. After just a week of regular usage, I instinctively knew exactly where the home and the volume buttons were . In fact, the rear-buttons are now among my favourite things about the G2. LG deserves to be applauded for coming up with the concept and being brave enough to use it in their flagship.

LG-G2-DIsplay

The gorgeous edge-to-edge full-HD display that we saw in the G Pro has gotten even better in the G2. The G2 features a 5.2’’ full-HD (1920×1080) IPS display with a 424 ppi pixel density. This is a good two inches more than the Sony Z1 and the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, the G2 is actually smaller than the Z1 and about the same size as the S4, thanks to its extremely slim bezels, which almost vanishes when the display is off. As far as quality is concerned, there isn’t a single thing that I could find to criticize. The colour reproduction is brilliant, viewing angles are great, and outdoor visibility is never an issue.

LG-G2-Another-View

As I mentioned earlier, the battery in the Indian version of G2 is non-user replaceable. However, this has allowed LG to use a special step design to pack in more power. I didn’t run any benchmarks, but the G2’s battery backup is among the best I’ve seen in high-end smartphones. It’ll easily last through a day and a half of normal usage on 3G, and will probably keep on ticking for well over two days on 2G. LG claims a talktime of 21 hours on 3G and 31 hours on 2G.

LG-G2-Battery-Backup

Hardware

The LG G2 is powered by the mighty Snapdragon 800 chipset, which includes a quad-core Krait 400 processor clocked at 2.26 GHz, and an Adreno 330 GPU. In terms of performance, the G2 is in the same league as the Note 3, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z Ultra, and ahead of pretty much everything else. No matter what you do, performance is never an issue with this phone. It maxed out the normal 3D Mark benchmark, maxed out a few of the tests in the 3D Mark Extreme benchmark, and was in the top 3 in the 3D Mark Ultra benchmark. The G2 has crazy amounts of processing power, which allows it to do stuff like zoom into full-HD videos and play them in windowed mode with adjustable transparency.

LG-G2-Quadrant-Benchmark-Score

Quadrant Benchmark Score

LG-G2-3DMark-Ultra-Benchmark-Score

3D Mark Ultra Benchmark Results

My review unit has 16 GB internal storage; however, a 32 GB model is also available. I’d recommend going for the latter since it’s only a couple of thousand rupees more expensive and the absence of any expandable memory support makes the extra storage crucial. The LG G2 has all sorts of connectivity options that you can imagine. Some of them are Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi direct, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0 with Low Energy mode support, and USB on-the-go. The chipset that LG is using is LTE enabled; however, the units being sold in India are 3G only. I suspect that LG might have disabled the LTE chip to conserve power. LG didn’t elaborate if it’s possible to later enable the LTE functionality through an update.

Software

I’m not an Android puritan, and don’t by default hate all software customizations. With that being said, it’s worth nothing that my main complaints with the G2 are all software related. There are a bunch of unique features in the G2. The first one that you’re going to encounter is the Knock-on feature. One of the disadvantages of having the power button at the back is that you’ve to lift up to phone to unlock it. Knock-on attempts to alleviate this issue by allowing you to unlock the G2 by simply tapping on the screen twice. The concept is deceptively simple and brilliant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. It works most of the time, but it also fails enough times to make me prefer the physical button over Knock-on.

LG-G2-Optimus-UI-Launcher

The G2’s built-in launcher is among the better ones, and is capable enough to not make me miss any of the third-party launchers. It has all the essential features including folders and dock, and even throws in a few fancy features like multiple transition effects.
The G2 runs on Android 4.2.2, which is recent enough, but is still a version older than what Samsung Note 3 ships with. This isn’t as big a deal as it used to be, since Google has decoupled a lot of functionality from Android updates. Sure, I’d love to have Android 4.3 on-board, but I don’t feel like missing out on anything significant even with Android 4.2.

Somewhat disappointingly, LG hasn’t opted to leverage the Quick Settings feature introduced in Android 4.2. Instead, it has retained its old Notification pane with scrollable power buttons, Q-slide apps, brightness control, and volume control. With the exception of the volume control, all of these are handy additions that you’d find yourself using every now and then. However, packing all of them into a single screen is a bad idea, as it makes the notification pane look horribly cluttered. In the G2 only about half of the notification pane is actually available for displaying notifications.

LG-G2-Voice-Mate

Some of the other unique features in the G2 are:
– Guest Mode: You can protect your privacy by setting up a limited environment for your friends or kids while lending the phone. In guest mode only pre-configured apps are accessible.
– Clip Tray: Just like the Microsoft Office Clipboard, the Clip Tray provides you access to stuff you have copied in the past. The Clip Tray in G2 can store as many as 20 texts or images.
– Text Link: This is another really neat productivity enhancer. The G2 is capable of understanding certain phrases and sentences in your message. If it detects an address in an SMS, it’ll offer to open up maps. If it detects an appointment, then it’ll offer to add the event to your calendar or to your Memo.
– Audio Zoom: This feature was first introduced in the G Pro, but is featured more prominently in the G2. While recording in landscape mode you can tap on a particular subject and the G2 will attempt to amplify the sound from only that subject in the recording.
– Slide Aside: A three-finger swipe from right to left dismisses the currently open app and saves it in a container. A three-finger swipe from left to right restores it. You can save up to three apps using Slide Aside and quickly switch between them. LG claims that it radically improves multi-tasking, but it seemed more like a gimmick to me. The default Android Task Switcher can be used to do the same thing with a lot more ease.
– Shot and Clear: This is similar to the context aware fill feature in Photoshop. In theory this allows you to fix photo bombs, and get rid of other artefacts in an image. However, this feature obviously has limitations, and doesn’t always work.
– Life Square: Life Square is an automated journal that logs pretty much everything you do. This includes events in your calendar, updates you post on Facebook, links you share on Twitter, pictures you take on the camera, and people you text and talk with on the phone.
– QuickRemote: Like most of its competitors, the G2 features an IR blaster, which allows it to act like a customizable universal remote.
– QuickMemo: The trusty old QuickMemo feature is retained in the G2. Quick Memo is the quickest way to capture, annotate, and share a screenshot.
– QSlide: QSlide is like the Pop out feature in Samsung, which allows apps to run in a part of the screen, while freeing up the rest of the space for other tasks. So, you can run the YouTube app in a corner of the screen, while working away on your email. LG has also thrown in the ability to adjust the transparency of apps in QSlide mode. There are a bunch of QSlide enabled apps including the Video player, SMS app, and Calendar.
– Capture Plus: Capture Plus option in the Browser takes full page screenshots of websites.
– Answer Me: To receive a call, simply hold up the phone next to your ear.
– Voice Mate: Voice Mate is LG’s own attempt at creating a voice assistant. The app has pretty decent speech detection, but can’t really do much. Google Now is miles ahead of Voice Mate, and I don’t understand why Samsung and LG are even trying to compete with Google in this arena.
– Smart Screen and Smart Video: These are two more gimmicky features, which were undoubtedly inspired by the Samsung Galaxy S4. Smart Screen allows the G2’s display to stay on when the phone detects your face, and Smart Video automatically pauses the video when the phone cannot detect your face. LG obviously realizes that both of these features are far too inaccurate to be of significant use, and hence has disabled them by default.

LG-G2-Life-Square

There are a bunch of other features including a Translator, and a Task Manager. Traditionally, one of the strong points of the LG Optimus UI has been its customizability, and G2 continues that tradition. There are a massive number of things you can change without ever having to install custom ROMs. This includes customizing the touch navigation buttons, changing the lock-screen swipe effect, changing font type and size, and tweaking notification LED behaviour.

LG-G2-Customizable-Front-Buttons

Multimedia

Cameras are back in the spotlight, and the Nokia’s Lumia series has really set the cat among the pigeons. Everyone including Apple and Sony are trying to beef up their camera. LG has fitted the G2 with a 13-megapixel camera that’s at least mighty on paper thanks to its optical image stabilization and muti-focus capability. The good news is that the camera is truly among the best we have seen in a smartphone, and delivers on its promises. The Xperia Z1 will probably outdo the G2’s shooting capability, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The G2 features manual focus, which allows it to take some stunning macro pics. In fact, the automatic Macro focusing mode is also among the best I’ve seen in a phone camera. The G2 supports ISO levels up to 800, and beats the S4 as well as the HTC One hands down, as far as low-light photography is concerned. The optical stabilization mode also makes its effect felt while recording from a bus or an auto. The G2 captures full-HD (1080p) videos at 60 fps with stereo sound. HDR mode has also been thrown in for good measure. However, when it came to audio zooming, that feature just didn’t work for me. For now, I’m chalking it up as a gimmick rather a real enhancement.

LG-G2-Camera-Sample

Low light shot with Manual Focus

LG-G2-Camera-Night-Mode

Outdoor photo in Night mode

LG-G2-Outdoor-Pic-High-ISO

Outdoor photo in Normal mode with high ISO

I’ve always been a fan of LG’s Video player, and it has retained its strengths in the G2. You can pinch to zoom into any part of the video, or zoom and track a particular subject. With YouTube like seek preview, you can preview exactly where you’re about to jump to in the video. And with Q-slide you can continue to playback the video while doing your work.

Like the Note 3, the LG G2 can output 24 bit 192 KHz Hi-Fidelity audio. LG has paired its flagship with the new Quadbeat 2 earphones, which are surprisingly good. They’re not as bass heavy as Sony’s stunning MH 1c, but the soundstage is equally wide, and the IEMs sound really balanced. In fact, if you are looking for a budget IEM, the Quadbeat 2 is something you should definitely look at. Although, LG has done a great job with the bundled earphones, the phone’s speaker is bit of a disappointment. The speaker isn’t bad by any means, but it sticks out as a sore point because pretty much every other aspect of the G2 is superb.

Conclusion

LG has gotten a lot of things right with the G2, including the display, the SoC, the physical button placement, and the camera. As a result, the G2 is an absolute joy to use. The downers are the lack of expandable storage, the average speaker quality, the slightly old Android version, and some poor design choices in the Optimus UI. The 16 GB model of G2 is selling for about Rs. 40,000. The 32 GB model costs a couple of thousand bucks more. This makes it about ten percent cheaper than the Note 3, which is also significantly bigger than the G2. In my opinion, the biggest competition to the G2 is the Xperia Z1, which has the advantage of a better build quality, dust and water resistance, superior camera, and slightly better benchmark scores. Where the G2 outshines the Z1 is display quality and ergonomics. The G2 is a better phone than the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. However, the Galaxy S4 is now available for about Rs. 36,000. I suspect that within a couple of months the G2’s price will also come down to similar levels. However, until then the price difference also makes the Galaxy SIV an alternative worth considering.

LG’s biggest achievement is that it has gone from competing solely on price to competing on performance and quality. Until a year or two back, you brought LG phones because they offered good value for money, not because they were the best phones in the market. With the G2, LG has succeeded in raising the bar and changing the game.

Celkon Mobile Launches The ‘Rahmanishq’ AR 45

Celkon Mobile, a relatively new entrant in the Indian mobile market, today unveiled its new budget Android powered smartphone – the AR 45. The company will be offering the handset under the Rahmanishq series, and will be pre-loading some hit content of the musical composer on the handset.

On the specs side, the AR 45 does pretty well by offering a 4.5-inch screen with WVGA (800*480) resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core A7 processor and 512MB of RAM. There is also 4GB of internal storage space, of which 1GB has been dedicated for installing apps. The presence of a microSD card slot should please all the music lovers by offering them abundant storage space.

 

Elaborating on the product, Mr. Murali Retineni, Executive Director, Celkon Mobiles said, “With the launch of RahmanIshq series, we are raising the bar for affordable innovation especially for the music lovers. AR45 has a full display touch screen and a 5MP rear camera with a novel feature of smile detector. RahmanIshq smartphones are power packed with pre-installed AR Rahman’s chartbusters.”

At the back of the AR 45 is a 5MP camera with software gimmicks like smile detection. Celkon has been emphasised on the music quality of the handset, and has packed in stereo speakers along with K-class amplifiers.

The handset will hit the retail stores for Rs 7,999 in October.