Tag Archives: Mobile News

LG Optimus Vu III Leaked

The LG Optimus Vu was frankly a bizarre device. A phablet with a large screen but an odd aspect ratio (4:3), which not only made grasping it hard, but also neutered the benefits of the large screen while watching videos. It came with a stylus, but didn’t actually have a slot where you could store it. The Vu had many such obvious flaws poor sales performance. However, that didn’t daunt LG’s spirits. It followed up with Vu II in its home market. Now, after almost a year, LG might be gearing up for the third entrant in its Vu series.

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Sample Panorama captured using the LG Optimus Vu III Camera

PhoneArena has spotted a couple of spotty images in a Chinese blog, which suggests the existence of the Vu III. An alleged screenshot of the Vu III indicates that the new phablet will have a resolution of 1280×960 pixels. This means that the new Vu will continue using the odd 4:3 aspect ratio. Clearly, LG sees something about the boxy dimensions that we don’t. There’s also a sample panoramic photo that is said to have been captured using the LG Optimus Vu III.

LG has really upped its game over the past several months. The Optimus G, the Nexus 4, and the Optimus G Pro were all great devices in the own rights. Let’s hope that they will prove us all wrong and surprise us with the Vu III.

The New Budget iPhone Might be Called the iPhone 5C

The rumor mills have been churning about the budget iPhone for a long time. However, the flurry of recent leaks suggests that something is definitely cooking. Apple has been put under pressure by the massive popularity of budget smartphones from the likes of Samsung, Sony, and LG. The Cupertino based giant is widely expected to finally relent to market pressure and release a cheaper iPhone later this year.

iPhone-5C-Budget-Leaked-Picture

The new budget iPhone is expected to forgo expensive glass and aluminum body in favor of a cheaper poly-carbonate shell. A couple of days back, a blurry-cam pic of the purported budget iPhone with its FCC id was leaked. Now, a new snap from a Chinese blog suggests that the new iPhone will be called the iPhone 5C.

iPhone-5C-Budget-Packaging

All of the boxes in the picture above are pristine white and only have Apple’s logo besides the name of the phone. This fits in with Apple’s simplistic design ethos. In fact, they look quite similar to the 4rth generation iPod Touch boxes. However, the overly glossy surface that looks anything but elegant, and the slightly large dimensions (7-8 inches thick) raise doubts. Take this news with a generous serving of salt. We’ll surely learn more in the coming days and weeks through the inevitable leaks.

CyanogenMod Project Explains Nemesis, Reveals New Camera App Called Focal

CyanogenMod project has been teasing something called Nemesis for the past few days. Now we know exactly what they were hinting at. Nemesis is an initiative to tackle the biggest problems areas or the weak spots of the CyanogenMod ROM.

To kick things off, CM team is focusing on the camera app. While the smartphone camera UI has experienced radical improvements over the past couple of years, unofficial ROMs haven’t really managed to keep pace. To remedy things, CyanogenMod project is developing a brand new camera app called Focal.

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Focal builds upon the work that Google has done in the Jelly Bean camera UI. Judging from the screenshots published by Android Police, on the surface Focal seems to be similar to the stock camera UI. However, the differences become apparent as soon as you dig deeper. Focal retains the best parts of the stock app including Photospheres (Picsphere) and Panoramas. On top of that it adds a bunch of new scene modes, flash settings, picture effects, and more. The biggest selling point of Focal are:
Widget Chooser: This feature allows you to customize which features are listed in the options bar. Make life simpler by getting rid of features you never use.
Auto-enhancement: When this feature is enabled it will automatically apply post-processing on the picture to enhance it.
Exposure Ring: A novel feature, which when enabled adds a second ring (besides the focus ring) to the interface. Just drag the ring to various areas of the screen and exposure settings will be automatically adjusted. If you drag it to a dark spot the entire snap will be made brighter, while the reverse will happen if you drag it to a bright spot.

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Focal is scheduled to be merged with CM nightlies by this weekend. However, it’s only the first phase of what’s expected to be a significant revamp of CyanogenMod apps and features.

Intex Cloud X3 is a Dual-Core Android 4.2 Smartphone for Rs. 3790

MediaTek processors have turned out to be a big hit among Indian manufacturers looking to offer attractive looking specs at jaw dropping prices. The MediaTek MT6589 enabled the boom in affordable quad-core smartphones. Now, the recently announced MT6572 is gearing up to push down the price of dual-core smartphones.

Intex-Cloud-X3

The first phone to take advantage of the new MT6589 chip is the Intex Cloud X3. This chip supports up to qHD resolution, but Intex has settled for a lot less. The Cloud X3 has a HVGA (320 x 480 pixels) resolution, which means that the 3.5’’ display will have below-par pixel density. However, that is quite acceptable. Because, Intex will be selling the Cloud X3 at a jaw dropping price of Rs. 3,790 (about 65 USD). The MT6572 will be clocked at 1 GHz, and will be powering a fairly recent Jelly Bean (Android 4.2) OS. Don’t expect spectacular performance from the X3 though. The dual-core processor is based on the dated Cortex A7 architecture, and there is only 256 MB RAM. Internal storage is only 115 MB, which will cause additional headaches for users. As is customary for phones at this price range, the Intex Cloud X3 has dual SIM support. Connectivity options include 2G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. On the multimedia front, Intex has managed to squeeze in both front (VGA) and rear (2 MP) cams. Even FM and GPS chips are present.

The Cloud X3 is a specs powerhouse that promises to deliver full-fledged smartphone experience at a bargain basement price. The only thing that needs to be seen is how usable will the phone be keeping in mind the low-end chipset and severe lack of memory and storage.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Announced, Brings Minor New Features

Along with the new Nexus 7, Google also revealed the newest version of Android at its press event. As expected, Android 4.3 (still codenamed Jelly Bean) doesn’t have any major new feature. In fact, users will be hard pressed to identify any differences between this and the older version.

The first new feature that Google demonstrated is restricted profiles. A restricted profile can limit what content and apps a user can access. It can even be used to define what functionality within the particular app is available to a user. For example, you can block in-app purchases in a game for your kid’s profile.

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Android’s notification feature has once again been slightly improved. You can now see your notification history and browse through dismissed notifications. Additionally, third party apps also have access to your notification. This should be good news for smart watches and other similar devices. Stock apps like Chrome, Drive and Maps have been updated, while Hangouts has replaced Talk and Google Keep has been added.

Under-the-hood changes include support for OpenGL ES 3.0 which should offer improved graphics performance and allow games to use higher quality textures. The previously announced Google Play Games app, which acts as a hub where you can see what your friends are playing and track their achievements in a leader board, is included in the new Android. Bluetooh 4.0 with Low Energy mode is also in. Additionally, a new hardware-based encryption for DRM has been added, which will be first leveraged by an updated Netflix app.

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Android 4.3 update will begin rolling out to Nexus devices today, while other Google experience devices will get it soon. The Nexus devices that will be receiving the update are the Nexus 7, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Galaxy Nexus.

Nokia Lumia 625 Announced

Nokia’s latest Windows Phone smartphone for the budget conscious buyer is out of the bag. The Lumia 625 was announced earlier today, confirming much of what had been suggested in earlier leaks. Realizing that there is a growing demand for large screens, Nokia has equipped the Lumia 625 with a 4.7’’ screen. Interestingly, this is the largest display we’ve seen in a smartphone from Nokia. Even the latest flagship – the Lumia 1020 – sports a 4.5’’ display. However, in order to accommodate a larger screen at a lower priced phone, Nokia had to compromise by lowering the resolution to WVGA (480 x 800 pixels). This amounts to a pixel density of 199, which is a fair bit lower than the standard these days. The IPS LCD being used is also said to suffer from narrower viewing angles and inferior outdoor visibility. Nokia has, however, retained the “super-sensitive touch” feature from its flagship, which enables the touchscreen to work even with gloves.

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In terms of hardware, the phone is quite capable. It runs on a Snapgradon S4 chip, which features a dual-core 1.2 GHz Krait CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. However, only 512 MB of RAM is available, which means that not all apps and games will run on the handset. The 625 comes with a 5 megapixel rear camera capable of recording stills at a resolution of 2592х1936 pixels and full HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps. There is also a VGA front cam. The handset is LTE equipped and supports Bluetooth 4.0, but NFC didn’t make the cut. The 2000 mAh battery is a significant step up from the 1300 mAh battery in the Lumia 620, and should ensure good battery backup. Talk time is rated at 19 hours on 2G and 13 hours 20 minutes on 3G. The Nokia Lumia 625 is expected to be launched across Europe, Africa, Latin America, and parts of Asia (including China and India) in Q3 for about $290.

Nokia Introduces Entry Level Smartphone Asha 501 in India [Hands-On]

The distinction between smartphones and dumb phones has continuously blurred over the past few years with the plummeting prices of smartphones and the increasing capabilities of the so called dumb phones. Nokia Asha 501 burrs this line further with smartphone like features at a low price point.

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The Nokia Asha 501 sports a 3-inch QVGA (320×240) resolution display with capacitive touchscreen. The touchscreen is capable of discerning up to two simultaneous touches, which allows it to detect simple gestures like pinch-to-zoom. As far as picture clarity is concerned, it is what you’d expect from a display with 133 ppi pixel density. Viewing angles are decent, but I didn’t get the opportunity to test the display outdoors. With the Asha 501, Nokia is introducing its new OS called “Nokia Asha software platform”, which is targeted at budget handsets. The Asha software platform comes with its own app store, and as many as fifty preloaded apps. Asha apps are essentially Java apps, and apparently porting existing J2ME apps is fairly straight forward. Nokia has reached out to developers to ensure that the phone launches with popular games like Asphalt 6 (preloaded), Need for Speed Shift, and Ninja Fruit Cutter. Nokia’s excellent HERE maps is also supported, however isn’t preloaded. However, due to the absence of a dedicated GPS chip, it will presumably rely on cell towers for location information.

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The Asha software platform seemed intuitive and well designed from the brief hands-on time I got with the 501. The user interface is strongly driven, with a swipe up bringing up a context menu, a swipe down revealing the notifications, and a swipe to the left or right opening the ‘Fastlane’. The Fastlane is sort of an extended notifications area that Nokia touts as the hub for your past, present, and future. The Fastlane keeps track of everything you’re doing and lists the past fifty activities. This includes your recent contacts, the apps you’ve used, and the songs you’ve listened to. Tapping on any one of the items opens up the relevant app. You can directly update your Facebook or Twitter stream from the Fastlane without having to open up a new app. Additionally, it shows the upcoming events from your calendar. The low-end hardware did cause some hiccups, and some of the apps seemed prone to crashing, but the phone behaved reasonably well. The apps developed by Nokia are mostly beautiful, especially the Alarm and Music app, however third-party apps were a bit all over the place.

On the multimedia front, there is a 3.15 megapixel rear camera, which performs about as well as you can expect a camera in this price range to perform. It captures QVGA video at 15 FPS and snaps images with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels. The Asha 501 supports audio and video playback, and includes a well done music player that even allows you to share music with other Asha phones by tapping two handsets. This utilizes a new feature called ‘Slam’, which can also be used for sharing images and other files. Slam works like the tap to send features we see in high end handsets; however, instead of using NFC, which low-end smartphones don’t support, it works purely using Bluetooth. On the connectivity front, the Asha is a dual-SIM handset with 2G and W-Fi (b/g) support, but it leaves out 3G. This is a surprising omission from a handset that is otherwise pretty feature packed. Nokia believes that consumers who pick the Asha 501 over other budget smartphones like the Lumia 520 are unlikely to have 3G connectivity, which still remains fairly expensive. Given that according to TRAI, only about 2% of Indian mobile subscribers are on 3G, Nokia may be onto something. Nevertheless, I would certainly like to see a 3G enabled version in the future, even if it costs a thousand bucks more.

One of the biggest concerns with smartphones is its battery life. The Asha 501 comes with a 1200 mAh battery, which isn’t exactly massive. However, thanks to the Asha platform, Nokia expects the 501 to last at least a couple of days for most people. Talk time is rated at 17 hours, and music playback at 56 hours.

Nokia-Asha-501-Back-Battery

The Nokia Asha is a low-end smartphone meant for folks who want a capable touch screen phone from a reputed brand but are on an extremely tight budget. It’s available in six attractive colors (White, Black, Yellow, Red, Green, and Blue) and costs Rs. 5199. Spending about three thousand bucks more will get you the Lumia 520 or a bunch of low-end Android smartphones from the likes of Samsung, Sony, and LG. However, if you don’t have that extra three thousand, then Asha offers a tempting option. It allows you to upload pics on Facebook, check-in to Foursquare, follow latest trends on Twitter, surf websites on Nokia Express browser, listen to music, and more. The Asha 501 takes care of most basic user requirements, and throws in the convenience of a capacitive touchscreen. The lack of 3G still irks me; however, as far as first impressions go, the Asha made its mark on me.

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LG Optimus G Pro E988 Review

A short while back, LG launched it’s new flagship, the Optimus G Pro, in India. Coming mere months after the Optimus G, which in itself was an excellent smartphone, the Pro attempts to take things to the next level. But, does it succeed? Read on for our full review.

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Appearance and Display

Although LG hasn’t been using the word phablet for the Optimus G Pro, in reality, it is more of a competitor to the Samsung Note II than the Galaxy SIV. The Optimus G Pro features slimmer bezel than the Note, and as a result is slightly more compact. However, it’s still too large for one handed operation, and for a lot of users the size will definitely be a cause for concern. Thankfully, LG has attempted to make things slightly easier by placing the power and volume buttons on the side instead of on the top. There are two capacitive buttons along with a physical home button that also doubles up as the notification LED. Unlike it’s predecessor, the G Pro features a shiny all plastic body. It definitely doesn’t feel as good in the hand as the Optimus G. However, the plastic back offers quite a few advantages. The most obvious benefit is increased durability. I couldn’t muster up the courage to drop test the review unit, but the plastic back definitely increases the odds of the handset surviving a fall. The plastic back has also enabled LG to make the battery user replaceable. To LG’s credit, it has tried to infuse some character into the back cover by imprinting a Optimus G like pattern on the back which shines under light. The effect is not as spectacular as it’s in the Nexus 4; however, it still looks pretty cool.

LG-Optimus-G-Pro-Back

The Optimus G Pro features a full HD (1080p) 5.5 inch IPS Plus LCD display, which boasts of a pixel density of 400 ppi. The display is quite simply spectacular. It’s crisp, vibrant, yet well balanced. LG’s display is definitely among the best, if not the best, that you’d find in the current breed of smartphones. It has extremely wide viewing angles, and is bright enough to be legible even under direct sunlight. HD videos are a joy to watch on the giant display, and made me willing to accept the inconveniences caused by the size.

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Hardware and Software

The LG Optimus G Pro features a Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600 chipset that houses a Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300 processor and an Adreno 320 GPU. The top notch SoC is well complemented by 2 gigabytes of RAM. Although I didn’t get around to running any benchmarks, the phone was consistently fast. Whether I was zooming into a full-HD video, or switching between a dozen tabs in Chrome, or playing Asphalt 7, the G Pro never missed a beat. You’re unlikely to be complaining about the performance of this device for quite some time to come. The review unit I received had 16 gigs of internal storage (slightly more than 10 GB is available to the user); however, I believe that a 32 GB edition might also be released in the market. The storage can be augmented by up to 64 GB of external memory (microSD).

On the connectivity front, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Miracast, Bluetooth 4.0, MHL, and NFC are supported. It also sports an IR blaster that can be used for controlling your television. The Optimus G is an LTE enabled handset; however, this is of little benefit in India. The G Pro features a powerful 3140 mAh battery, which ensures that even with a gigantic display and a bleeding edge chipset, the handset can keep on chugging along for a full day (or more) on moderate usage on 3G. The Note II features a similar battery; however, thanks to its last-gen chipset and a lower resolution display, it will probably last a bit longer than LG.

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LG doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Android updates. It’s launching the G Pro with Android 4.2.1, even as Samsung managed to ship the Galaxy SIV with Android 4.2.2 just months after the update was released by Google. There are rumors that LG is testing Android 4.2.2 on the Optimus G Pro; however, so far there hasn’t been any official confirmation. The G Pro runs LG’s Optimus UX, and comes with the usual suit of LG specific apps. Some of the most notable software enhancements include:
QuickMemo: QuickMemo can be triggered anywhere anytime through the dedicated hardware button. It captures the current content on the screen, and allows you to annotate and draw on top of it. Notes saved through QuickMemo are sharable through email, Facebook and other networks.
QSlide: QSlide enhances multitasking by running supported apps in a windowed mode. So you can continue surfing the web while watching a movie. Qslide supported apps include the web browser, video player, Memo, Calendar, and Calculator. You can also adjust the opacity of these apps so that they don’t get in the way of your workflow.
MediaPlex: Most the fancy new features in the video player that were introduced with the Optimus 4X have been retained in the Optimus G Pro. So, you can pinch to zoom into a video, get a neat preview while seeking, and increase or decrease playback speed. All of these work flawlessly even on full HD videos, and are perhaps the best demonstration of the power of the Snapdragon 600.
Smart Screen and Smart Video: These two features are exactly the same as the Galaxy SIV’s Smart Stay. The Optimus G Pro can detect when you are looking at the phone and accordingly prevent the screen from timing out. Similarly, it can also detect when you aren’t looking at the phone and automatically pause videos. Both of these features are disabled by default, which suggests that LG isn’t too confident about their accuracy.
Quiet Time: You can pre-define a time range during which your phone will automatically go into silent mode, and disable all sounds expect that of multimedia and alarms.

LG-Optimus-G-Pro-Settings

There are a bunch of other neat stuff including Vu Talk, configurable notification toggle buttons, video editor, and music video creator. The SMS notification implementation is particularly cool and deserves a shout out. When you get a new message, you get a neat popup near the top-left, which lets you to immediately reply to the SMS without having to open up the Messages app.The Optimus UX doesn’t exactly go overboard with features like TouchWiz; however, it offers supports extensive customization options which will please the power users. My favourite setting is the ability to map the QuickMemo button to any custom app, including the camera app. The Optimus UX is not without issues though. LG still uses the unified volume control option, which can be frustrating. The notification menu appears a bit cluttered with the inclusion of power control widgets, QSlide apps, and a brightness control slider.

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Camera

The LG Optimus G Pro sports a 13 megapixel rear-camera and a 2.1 megapixel font camera. While many of the early reviews criticized the camera quality, I found the G Pro to be an excellent snapper giving great performance both indoors and outdoors. LG has been continuously refining the Camera app over the past few generations, and as a result its a joy to use. All the usual stuff including preset scenes, exposure adjustment, white balance settings, ISO settings, panorama and HDR mode are there. Additionally, LG has thrown in manual focus, color modes, time catch shot, dual shot, and VR Panorama. Time catch shot is a nifty feature whereby the camera automatically preserves shots from moments before and after you pressed the shutter, and allows you to keep the best shot. VR Panorama is essentially Google Photo Sphere, which allows you to stitch together multiple pics to create a 360 degree view of any point. Dual shot, as the name suggests, uses the front and rear cam simultaneously to take a pic of the photographer as well as the subject. This works for both stills and videos.

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The G Pro is capable of recording full HD (1080p) videos with continuous auto-focus at 30fps. HDR mode is supported; however, it yielded disappointing results for me. Due to some reason, HDR videos seem to be desaturated and devoid of details. The video player supports Live Effects that can track faces to add silly effects as you shoot the video. It can also replace the background provided the camera frame remains still.

Verdict

The Optimus G Pro is a fabulous device and a worthy successor to the Optimus G, which was LG’s first truly great smartphone. It’s most obvious feature is the huge display, which is absolutely fantastic. You’ll find yourself wanting to use the phone simply because of the display. However, at the same time, the large size will also make you want to pick up an HTC One or even an Samsung Galaxy SIV. They are so much easier to hold and use that many will be willing to forgo the advantages of a large screen. Do you want a phone that can be used with one hand, or do you want a phone that can shoulder some of the responsibilities of a tablet? That’s the single biggest question you’d have to answer. If you want a phablet, and don’t plan on doing any drawing or sketching, the G Pro will serve you well. It’s a generation ahead of the Note II and is a better performer in every way. The Optimus G Pro delivers in terms of performance, display clarity, camera quality, and battery life. It’s a true winner.

LG Optimus L3 II Dual E435 Review

In all the hullabaloo surrounding the launch of flagships boasting of the latest and greatest technology, it can be easy to forget about devices like the Galaxy Ace and the Xperia Tipo. However, it’s these low-margin bargain devices that have helped Android zoom ahead of the iPhone. In fact, according to Opera’s State of the Mobile Web report all of the top nine handsets used by Opera Mini users were priced under Rs. 10,000 (about $165). LG’s new entrant in the budget smartphone category is the LG Optimus L3 II Dual E435. After using it for a week, here’s my quick review.

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Appearance and Display

The Optimus L3 II won’t win awards for its design; however, it definitely doesn’t look bad. Like most other second generation L-series devices, the latest iteration of the L3 has dropped the bold rectangular design and gone back to the traditional rounded edges. The phone is small, but solidly built and feels wonderful to hold. The plastic body feels well-constructed and doesn’t creak, while the buttons offer good feedback. My biggest complaint with the body is that the front buttons aren’t backlit. This makes them difficult to spot in the dark.

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The 3.2’’ display is small by today’s standards, but considering the price, you can’t really complain about the size. However, what’s shocking is the resolution. Thanks to a meagre resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, even the tiny display can manage only a 125 ppi pixel density. This is far lower than that of similarly priced Sony Xperia Tipo Dual (180 ppi) and Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos (165 ppi). As a result, everything on the screen appears pixelated. Reading small text is nothing short of a nightmare on this display. The viewing angles and outdoor visibility are pretty decent; however, none of the other positives can make up for the horrific resolution. The L3 II has the worst display that I’ve seen in an Android phone so far.

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Hardware and Software

The LG Optimus L3 II is powered by a Qualcomm MSM7225A Snapdragon chipset which comes with a 1 GHz processor and Adreno 200 GPU. It has 512 MB RAM, and 4 GB of internal memory. Quite obviously, you can’t expect the L3 II to be able to run all of the games and apps; however, it is capable enough to tackle the likes of Temple Run and Cut the Ropes satisfactorily. In fact, as far as CPU power is concerned, the L3 II is ahead of the Ace Duos and Tipo. The lower resolution further reduces the computing load on its chipset. There were a couple of seconds of wait while opening apps or switching between tasks, but I didn’t encounter significant freeze ups. General operation is reasonably smooth, and LG’s budget smartphone feels a lot more responsive than its competitors like Tipo.

As far as the hardware is concerned, the best thing about the L3 II is its battery. The L3 II 1540 mAh battery, which is quite a bit more powerful than the one found in the Galaxy Ace. Thanks to the tiny screen and the low-end single core processor, the battery isn’t really pushed too hard. As a result, even with reasonable amount of usage on 3G you should be able to make it through the day without requiring a recharge. This is significantly better than what most flagships have managed to offer.

The L3 II Dual packs a 3.15 megapixel rear camera capable of snapping images at 2048×1536 pixels and recording VGA resolution videos at 30 fps. The picture quality is exactly what you would expect. It’s good enough for Facebook and Instagram updates, but not something you’d be happy carrying on a vacation. The absence of even an LED flash means that the camera is useless in low light scenarios. The Camera app offers five different preset scenes and supports white balance, ISO, and exposure adjustment.

As the name suggests the L3 II is a dual SIM phone. It has a dedicated button, which allows you to toggle between two SIM cards. The switching happens quite quickly without requiring a reboot. However, you cannot use two SIMs at once.

On the software front, LG has launched the L3 II Dual with Android v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), which is once again better than its closest competitors. Like all LG smartphones, the new L3 also comes with the Optimus UX. However, the only fancy feature that has made it into the L3 II is Quick Memo. QuickMemo is a sharable, system-wide notebook where you can jot down stuff quickly or annotate and comment on documents. Almost all of the other goodies that we saw in the flagship Optimus G have been dropped. Thankfully, even the stripped down Optimus UX has lots of configuration options and nifty tricks up its sleeve. You can change themes, use any of the half a dozen preloaded screen swipe effects, enable Quiet time, edit the lock screen shortcuts and more.

Verdict

Budgets phones are all about compromises. It’s often difficult to pick the best phone in this category, as the best really depends on the user. The LG Optimus L3 II has its fair share of flaws, as does all of its competitors. The L3 II Dual costs just Rs. 7,500 and LG has had to make plenty of trade-offs to get there. The real question is can you live with the decisions LG has made? The L3 has a horrible display; however, the same low resolution display probably helps in boosting its performance. The L3 has a newer version of Android than most phones in its class, and feels smoother than many of the other low end devices that I’ve used. If performance is important to you and you are willing to overlook the display, the LG II Dual might be a good fit for you. However, if you are looking for a decent display, you need to look elsewhere. Similarly, if you want a decent camera, the old Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830 with a LED flash might be a better buy. Alternatively, if Android isn’t a must for you, you can even take a look at the Lumia 520. It doesn’t have as many apps as the Android smartphones; however, offers a better camera and significantly better performance.

Gmail Tries to Tackle Inbox Clutter with Tabs

AOL isn’t exactly a hotbed for innovation, but its Alto mail did introduce a few neat concepts. The chief among them is the idea of stacks and automatic categorization. Unfortunately, Alto also had too many inconveniences to ever become a mainstream product. However, the good news is that Google is taking a leaf out of Alto’s book. Yes, Gmail is taking inspiration from an AOL email product.
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Google has annoucned a new tabbed inbox for Gmail that builds on the automatic categorization concept featured in Alto to reduce your inbox clutter. Gmail already has Priority Inbox, which surfaces mails that matter to you. Now, it will be grouping mails further, depending upon its source of origination. For example, one can tuck away all notifications from Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn under the Social category. Similarly mails from Groupon and its likes can be put under the Promotions category. You can setup custom categories and customize how you want your mails to be categorized.

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Google will also be updating its Android and iOS apps (for iPhone and iPad) to add support for a categorized inbox. You will see your uncategorized mail by default when you open the Gmail app. You’ll be able to navigate to your categories from the left menu, as shown in the above screenshot. The updated Gmail app will be released within a few weeks, while the desktop version will be rolled out gradually.