Monthly Archives: December 2017

Nubia Z11 Mini

NEW DELHI: nubia has entered the Indian smartphone market with the launch of its first smartphone – Z11 Mini. With an aim to attract photography enthusiasts, the smartphone is priced at Rs 14,500. It offers a 16MP rear camera with LED flash and flaunts a stylish metallic design . We spent some time with the Z11 Mini and here are its first impressions.

With a metallic and glass unibody design, the nubia Z11 Mini is definitely impressive. Despite having a 5-inch display, the phone is surprisingly comfortable to use with one hand. The round-shaped edges of the phone are surrounded by a metallic ribbon making it comfortable to hold the device.
The power button and volume rockers are placed on the right, while the SIM card tray is located on the left. The front panel houses three backlit soft keys and an 8MP selfie camera. The rear, is covered with glass and has a 16MP camera with LED flash accompanied by the nubia branding and a fingerprint sensor.

The 3.5mm audio jack is placed on the top, whereas the USB Type C charging port and speakers are located at the bottom. With a 2.5D curved glass display and an all metal bumper the Z11 Mini sports a shiny look.

Z11 Mini features a 5-inch Full HD display with a 1080×1920 pixel resolution. It is sharp and vibrant enough to offer fairly good colour reproductions. Viewing angles are decent and the large display provides an all round experience. It provides a considerable amount of visibility in sunlight as well.

The handset is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. It also has a 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB through a microSD card. The phone has a hybrid dual-sim slot to help users choose between a dual-sim and an expandable storage mode.
Although we used the Z11 Mini for a limited time, the device heated up after moderate usage. In all likelihood this can be due to its all-metal body. However, the handset handled activities, such as app switching and light gaming without any issues.

The smartphone runs theAndroid 5.1 Lollipop operating system padded with an added layer of customisation. The UI makes manoeuvring within the operating environment slow. However, the interface is pretty clean and user friendly. With gesture control features, the Z11 Mini might enjoy some kind of exclusivity by virtue of the price bracket it is available in. With no app drawer and all apps placed on multiple homescreen, the handset loses out on a point.

As mentioned earlier, the nubia Z11 Mini comes equipped with a 16MP rear camera with LED flash and an 8MP front camera for selfies. While using the phone, the camera produced good pictures in normal lighting conditions. Colour reproduction is decent as well, with the beautification feature further enhancing selfies.

Motorola Moto Z

Motorola has finally launched its modular smartphone Moto Z in India. Priced at Rs 39,999 the handset offers a good design and powerful specifications. It also comes with an interesting set of modifications to enhance user experience. We spent some time with the Moto Z and here are our first impressions.

With the Moto Z, Motorola has taken the term ‘thinnest’ to the next level. We were quite impressed with its design. The handset comes with a stainless steel frame measuring 153.3 x 75.3 x 5.19mm and feels wafer-thin. It is light in weight as compared to its competitors. While the power and volume buttons are placed on the right, the SIM tray is located at the top. The 3.5mm audio jack is however missing with a USB Type C connector at the bottom. The rear panel has a protruding 13MP camera with dual flash and magnets for clasping different ‘mods’ on the device. The company is offering four different ‘mods’ with the device to enhance user experience (You will read more about ‘mods’ in our detailed review).
The front panel has a 5MP selfie camera on the top and a fingerprint sensor to unlock the device.

The Moto Z features a 5.5-inch Quad HD display with a 2560×1440 pixel resolution. The screen is also protected with a coating of Corning Gorilla glass. The display is sharp and vibrant therefore offering a good colour reproduction. Viewing angles are decent and so is its visibility under the sun.

The device runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box and offers stock- Android experience similar to other Motorola devices. The presence of an app drawer keeps the home screen clutter-free.

Powered by a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Moto Z is backed by a 4GB RAM and 642GB internal storage expandable to 2TB via a microSD card. Apart from a USB Type C connector which doubles up as a headphone port, it sports a 2,600 mAh battery with ‘Turbo’ charging support.
For the limited time we used Moto Z, the device heated up after moderate usage, which can be attributed to its all-metal body as of now. However, it handled everything else without issues.

The Moto Z is equipped with a 13MP rear and a 5MP front camera both coming in with an LED flash. They produced decent images under normal lighting conditions. The camera app offers various modes and filters to make pictures look even better. However, if you a photography enthusiast, you can opt for the Hasselblad True Zoom mod which features a 10x optical zoom with Xenon flash, an ability to shoot in RAW format , a physical shutter, and zoom controls. It allows a user to edit images in Hasselblad’s Phocus software.

BlackBerry India MD is talking about the company’s future plans

The thing about being number one in the market is that you always have to reinvent yourself over the years to stay relevant. Something similar happened to the once dominant smartphone player, the erstwhile BlackBerry. Their devices were used by everyone from the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton to personalities like Dustin Hoffman.
As per reports, BlackBerry is shutting down manufacturing of their smartphones and will depend on third party players to build and sell their phones. They are planning to transform into an enterprise software services player.
In an exclusive interaction with ETtech, Narendra Nayak, MD, BlackBerry India talks about their India plans, acquisitions and what the future holds for BlackBerry.
How have the last few quarters panned out for BlackBerry keeping in mind the recent earnings report?
In the last 18 months, we have gone through a significant transformation. We have pivoted ourselves from a device led company to a software services set up. We have become an open company from our days of offering just BlackBerry OS devices. We went to android because it gave us an opportunity to reach a wider audience.
Moreover, we made our BlackBerry enterprise server multi platform and open. We just want to increase our portfolio of solutions for a larger customer base. Our platform of products gives us the ability to offer a broader set of solutions to the market.
Our enterprise software revenue crossed our device revenue last quarter. Software has become a big contributor to this space. We have a very strong portfolio of IP and we monetize that IP. We have one of the largest patent portfolios in the world. The software and IP based revenue made our cash flow positive.BlackBerry’s recent earnings report suggests that you are outsourcing your handset business and wholeheartedly entering the enterprise Software services segment. How have acquisitions help build your enterprise portfolio?
We have had ten straight quarters of positive cash flow. We are sitting on a healthy cash balance even after acquisitions. We are done with financial transformation. We are now in the execution and growth phase of the transformation.
To the same effect, we have made few critical acquisitions namely – Secusmart, Movirtu, WatchDox, AtHoc and Good technologies.
With Secusmart, we will venture into the secure voice space. Also, it has encrypted voice over IP and with its platform we launched an enterprise grade solution in the secure voice space. Then we had acquired a British company called Movirtu in the virtual sim space which helps one to run up to 9 numbers which will work as separate physical numbers. You need to register them separately with the carrier as different numbers.
Thirdly, we got hold of an Israel based organization called WatchDox which operates in the enterprise file sync and share phase. This will make our enterprise mobility management complete. It will help end customers share content within and outside of organization in a secure manner and yet keep control over the security of the document.
Also our acquisition of AtHoc will help provide services to government in case of urgent natural disaster situations where secure communication needs to be broadcasted to multiple end points.
Apart from this, we also got on board one of our competitors, Good Technologies 11 months back which is one of our largest acquisitions so far. We are in the last phase of our joint product integration.

Lenovo Phab 2 Plus

Having announced it at its Tech World conference back in June this year, Lenovo has finally brought the Phab 2 Plus to India. Bearing a price tag of Rs 14,999, the phablet-class smartphone is available exclusively on Amazon. We went hands-on with the Lenovo Phab 2 Plus for a little while, and here are our first impressions.

Lenovo Phab 2 Plus has an all-metal body and comes in two colour variants – Champagne Gold and Gunmetal Grey. But even with a big display and sizeable battery inside, the phablet feels surprisingly thin and lightweight. While the SIM tray is located on the right side, the volume rocker and power button are on the left.The top of the display has an 8MP front camera, earpiece and proximity sensor, with three capacitive navigation keys being at the bottom. Lenovo Phab 2 Plus has a dual-camera setup at the back, with a fingerprint sensor placed below the camera modules.

Lenovo Phab 2 Plus features a 6.4 inch Full HD IPS display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution. During our limited time with the device, the display appeared quite sharp. Colours are vibrant and viewing angles are decent as well.

Hardware & Software
Lenovo Phab 2 Plus is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MTK8783 chipset, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The phablet has a 4,050mAh battery as well. In our time with the device, it worked pretty good overall. However, we’ll only be able to talk about in more detail once review the device.The Phab 2 Plus runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Lenovo’s custom Vibe UI layer running on top. There’s an app drawer so the homescreen doesn’t look cluttered. The phone also comes with some pre-installed apps like McAfee Security, Netflix and SwiftKey.

Lenovo Phab 2 Plus has a dual-camera setup with two 13MP modules. The phone also supports augmented reality (AR) functions. An 8MP front-facing camera is also included.During our limited usage, the rear camera seemed to perform appreciably well. It has a fast focus but the images look a little washed. That said, we think that low light performance could’ve been a little better.
The augmented reality functionality of the Phab 2 Plus seems to be quite impressive, but we’ll need to test it out further to give our final verdict.

What we think
The Lenovo Phab 2 Plus definitely seems to be a well-rounded contender in the budget smartphone segment. It looks good and has features such as fingerprint sensor, dual-camera setup and augmented reality support, all at an affordable price of Rs 14,999. But how well the Phab 2 Plus performs in real-world usage is something we’ll only be able to tell after we review the phablet in detail. So stay tuned.