Monthly Archives: September 2017

Gadgets that simplify housework

Unable to find house help? Try these great gadgets to ease your burden.

Let’s do the Roomba!
iRobot Roomba: The acclaimed cleaning robot has finally come to India. This robot is one of the best in the market and smartly cleans up your home. Unlike other bot cleaners, Roomba maps the room with its intelligent sensors plus camera and vacuum cleans every nook and corner of the room. The user can control this robot with the help of the app and set a cleaning schedule as per their liking; after this Roomba will go back to its charg ing station and get into stand by mode. This one can be picked up for `59,990.

A new brew
Mr Coffee Smart Coffeemaker: All we need in the morning is a fresh cup of coffee. What if it could be ready without lifting a finger? Well some pre-taps on the mobile phone app are required, but once done the coffee machine will do the rest on its own. This coffeemaker connects easily to the home’s Wi-fi network and, in a matter of minutes, gets ready to brew a fresh cup of coffee (once set) every morning. Priced at Rs 15,200 it is compatible with Android as well as iOS devices and can be accessed at any time and from anywhere.

Quite a dish!
Bosch Serie 6 SMS60 dishwasher: Washing the dishes is probably the most painful job one has to do. A dishwasher like this one makes a lot of sense.Bosch Serie 6 uses minimal water and time to clean all types of utensils in the household. These include steel and ceramic among others. Just place them in the tray, set the mode and let the washer do the rest. It also shows you the amount of time left in the wash cycle. It can be picked up for Rs 35,000 from most online stores.

Two for joy
LG Twin Wash washing machine: This is a larger-than-life washing machine with a capacity of over 22 kg. You can put the whole week’s laundry at once and this washing machine will clean it with the best precision.This washer has a second tub underneath that washes your delicate garments. The modes can be managed with the help of the supplied app supported on both iOS and Android devices. There are some pre-loaded wash cycles and the rest can be downloaded, and managed through the mobile app. Further, there is a troubleshoot mode available on the app. In case the machine develops a snag, the app will tell you how to resolve it with out calling a technician.

Applications favored by women

While majority of smartphone apps are equally useful for both men and women, there are some that are designed to cater specific purposes only relevant to either men or women.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the women members of Gadgets Now’s team have compiled a list of some apps that we think women would love to have on their smartphones.

App that gives driving tutorials: Time and again, you hear a lot of people say how girls are the worst drivers. While there is no logical sense behind it, there is no shutting them up. Regardless, it would be great to have an app with an integrated voice assistant that can use motion sensors to provide feedback in realtime. That way, you don’t really have to hire a “male” driving teacher who thinks ‘Women can’t drive’.

App that reminds you not to overspend: This is something everyone aims to do, not just women – the art of saving and spending money judiciously. Since now, online transactions and mobile wallets have become more popular, there could be an app that can keep an account of user’s mobile wallet. It can be compatible with e-wallet services like Paytm and FreeCharge, so users can set a limited amount to be spent per day or week. And once the limit is crossed, they get notifications. This would not only help in saving money but also keep track of the account.

App that lets you create fake phone numbers: There are times when we have to call someone we don’t want to share our number with. All of us have been in situations where we’ve regretted sharing our number with someone, primarily because of the unwanted calls and texts that come later. So an app that can be used to create fake numbers for such emergency situations would be highly appreciated. It would help if the created numbers are temporary and expire after a set time.

App that suggests what makeup products you should buy: Buying the right makeup products is a struggle every woman faces. There are times when products look great in advertisements, but turn out to be a disastrous in reality. An app that can suggest what makeup to buy based on factors such as skin tone and complexion would be great. It could have the functionality to upload user’s image to work.

App that stops you from drunk texting: Heartbreaks and breakups are a part of everyone’s life. Every now and then, people are in situations when they are missing someone they used to know and end up getting drunk.

Lava Z25: First Impressions

NEW DELHI: After quite a few months, Lava has launched a new flagship smartphone . Dubbed Z25, the smartphone is part of the company’s new Z-series. Bearing a price tag of Rs 18,000, the Z25 is Lava’s costliest smartphone till date. The company says that it has worked hard on the design and camera aspects of the smartphone, and that it’s nowhere similar to Lava’s previous devices.We used the Lava Z25 for a short while at the launch event, and found it to be convincing in a few departments.

Design and display
Lava seems to have played it safe when it comes to the design. The Z25 has a smooth body made of Series 5 metal and looks decent from the front. However, the back panel is nothing interesting and looks exactly that of the Redmi Note 4 , Lenovo K6 Note or Coolpad Note 5 Lite . That said, it’s not bad overall.
During our limited testing, the fingerprint sensor was quite fast and recognized fingerprints every time. Lava claims that it can unlock the smartphone in 0.1 second.
The smartphone weighs 163g and has an 88.6% screen-to-body ratio. What we found to be baffling is Lava’s decision to go with on-screen buttons, even with the big bezel below the 5.5-inch display. Another issue is the inclusion of a low-resolution HD (720×1280 pixel) display in a Rs 18,000 smartphone. Budget smartphones from other brands such as Micromax and Honor, which are priced well below the Lava Z25, come with Full HD resolution displays.

Performance and camera
Coming to the OS, the Lava Z25 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company’s Star OS 3.3 UI layer running on top. The interface is easy to use, but doesn’t come with an app drawer. Also, app icons look outdated and similar to those seen in Android UIs by Chinese smartphone makers.
Lava Z25 features a 13MP rear camera with Sony Exmor IMX258 sensor, f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED flash. In our limited time usage, the camera performed well in artificial light conditions. However, we are yet to test it extensively. On the other hand, the 8MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture and LED flash was quite impressive. We think it could even be one of the best in this price segment. The camera comes with a front-facing LED flash, which helps in taking detailed images without any problems.

As far as specifications go, the Z25 is backed by a 3,020mAh battery and supports a Super Power Saver Mode. It is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM. It also has 32GB of internal storage, with support for microSD cards of up to 128GB in size.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2

Xiaomi launched the successor to its Mi Max smartphone in India. Dubbed Mi Max 2, the phablet is priced at Rs 16,999. The Mi Max 2 comes with a 6.44-inch full HD display and is backed by a massive 5,300 mAh battery, with fast charging support. We spent some time with the device and here are our first impressions of the same.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 is pretty good upgrade to its predecessor Mi Max in terms of design. The phablet now flaunts a curved design and matte black colour body which gives a stylish look to the device. The rear panel houses a 12MP rear camera with dual tone LED flash along with a fingerprint sensor and the company logo. The front of the device is home to a 5MP selfie camera and three capacitive keys for back, home and options. The right side has the power button and volume rockers while the SIM card tray sits on the left. The bottom of the device consists of USB Type – C and stereo speakers, while the top has the 3.5mm audio jack and IR blaster. The device is quite big in size but is not at all bulky. In fact, the design is much better when we compare it to its predecessor.

The Xiaomi Mi Max comes with a 6.44-inch full HD display with 1080×1920 pixel resolution same as its predecessor. The display is made scratch resistant with a coating of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 on top. The display is vibrant and offers pretty good visibility under the sun. The viewing angles are also fine and it also doesn’t attract smudges. We also played some games during our short usage and the large screen further enhanced the user experience.

The Mi Max 2 runs Android 7.0 Nougat operating system based on MIUI 8. The UI is clean and there is no app drawer, which means that all the apps are placed on the home screen. The smartphone also comes pre-installed with apps such as anti-virus, Mi account, updater and others, which are found in all Xiaomi smartphones.

The Mi Max 2 comes with a 12MP with Sony IMX386 sensor and dual LED flash. It can record full HD videos. There is also a 5MP f/2.0 front camera for selfies. The software features are similar to what is found in most Xiaomi phones. Since we didn’t spend too much time with the device, it is hard for us to comment on the quality of the camera. However, the device seems to click some decent images, especially selfies. Wait for our review for more details.