Category Archives: Gadget

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.

Design
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.

Display
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.

Hardware
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.

Software
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.

Camera
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.

Design
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.

Display
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.

Software
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.

Hardware
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.

Camera
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.

Design
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.

Display
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.

Camera
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.

Hyve Pryme smartphone

Despite being a relatively fresh entrant in the industry, domestic brand Hyve has been aggressively at work to carve a name for itself in the fiercely competitive Indian smartphone market.
After barely five months of launching its Storm and Buzz smartphones, the company has made its third handset – Pryme, official. Bearing a price tag of Rs 17,999, Hyve claims that the Pryme is the first smartphone from an Indian manufacturer to come with MediaTek ‘s deca-core Helio X20 chipset.
It’s obviously too early to say how good the Hyve Pryme is. We went hands-on with Hyve’s newest offering, and here are our initial thoughts about it.

Design
Hyve Pryme has a metallic unibody. The volume rocker and power button are placed on the left, while the SIM tray is on the right. The front panel is home to a 5.7-inch Full HD display with 2.5D curved glass design. Above the display lie a notification LED, an 8MP selfie camera, an earpiece and a proximity sensor.As for the rear, it’s where the 13MP primary camera with dual LED flash is. The bottom edge has a speaker and a USB Type-C port. A 3.5mm audio jack is at the top.
Overall, we feel that the look and feel of the Hyve Pryme is quite good. At 8.35mm thick and weighing 188g, it’s quite lightweight too.

Display
Hyve Pryme has a 5.7-inch Full HD 2.5D curved glass display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution. In the limited we used it, we found the display to be fairly decent. Viewing angles are good, and so is the colour reproduction. That said, the large screen size does make the Hyve Pryme a bit difficult to use with one hand.

Hardware
Hyve Pryme is powered by a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 200GB via microSD cards. The dual-SIM smartphone has a 3,500mAh battery, which the company claims lasts an entire day. However, this is something we’ll only be able to test out in our detailed review.
In our limited usage of the Hyve Pryme, we did not experience any heating issues or lag with the device. We’ll reserve our final word till we review the device in detail.

Software
Hyve Pryme runs stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. This means that there are no bloatware apps and the overall experience is quite smooth.

What we think
At a price tag of Rs 17,999, the Hyve Pryme is likely to compete with mid-range devices such as Lenovo Z2 plus and Oppo F1S. While our initial impressions of the phone are good, you’ll have to wait for the complete review to find out whether it’s actually worth buying or not.

Vivo V5

There’s no doubting the fact that the selfie craze is here to stay. Whether it’s parks, public transit, parties or just about anywhere, it is not uncommon to see people holding their smartphones with outstretched hands and clicking selfies (or even ‘groupfies’). It’s probably why smartphone manufacturers have started making devices that are specifically targeted towards selfie lovers.
Earlier this year, Gionee launched its S6s selfie-focused smartphone. Oppo, too came out with a refreshed version of its F1s selfie-expert handset , a while back. And now, it’s Vivo ‘s turn.
The company’s newest launch – V5, is a selfie-centric smartphone that comes with a 20MP front-facing camera. Priced at Rs 17,980, it also has a 13MP rear camera. We went hands-on with the Vivo V5 , and here’s what we think of it.

Design
The White and Gold coloured Vivo V5 has a simple yet elegant design. The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch HD display, below which lies a capacitive home button. There’s also a fingerprint sensor integrated into the home button. Above the display is an earpiece, the aforementioned 20MP selfie camera with LED flash and the proximity sensor.The rear panel of the Vivo V5 houses a 3,000mAh battery underneath. The panel has Vivo branding in the centre, while the primary camera and LED flash are in the top left corner. The volume rocker and power buttons are placed on the right, while the SIM tray is on the left. The speaker grille, USB charging/data port and 3.5mm audio jack are placed at the bottom.

Display
The smartphone has a 5.5-inch HD display of 720×1280 pixel resolution. During our limited time with the smartphone , we found the Vivo V5’s display to be quite promising. Colours are vibrant and viewing angles are pretty good too. However, we’ll only be able to comment on aspects like sunlight legibility once we review the smartphone in detail.

Camera
Since the Vivo V5 is a camera-centric phone , we were really looking forward to see how good it is when it comes to taking photos. And even though we used it for just a little while, we’ll say are quite happy with the camera quality.
The pictures clicked with the 13MP primary camera turned out to be really good. Colours are accurate and there is no distortion in images. The image quality doesn’t deteriorate even when zooming in.As for the highlight 20MP selfie-camera, it left us quite impressed. We clicked quite a few selfies and the Vivo V5 didn’t disappoint.

Hardware and software
Powered by 1.5 GHz octa-core CPU, the Vivo V5 comes with 4GB of RAM and offers 32GB of internal storage. There’s also a microSD card slot for expandable storage. The V5 comes with a hybrid SIM tray, so users will have to choose between dual-SIM functionality and expandable storage. It runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box, skinned with the company’s own Funtouch OS UI layer.

The way smartphone users decide to buy online

Over the course of last 125 years, we humans have invented a number of wonder devices that serve us at our beck and call making our life easier and smarter. But no other device can match the extent to which the smartphone has embedded itself in our life and subconscious mind. In fact, our favourite device has long since discarded its utilitarian identity of being just a mobile phone that allows us to talk to others.
The smartphones have now become such a critical external appendage that users feel incomplete and lost whenever their device is not within their reach. Given that the smartphones play a key role in connecting device owners to the whole wide world, it is logical for the commercial microcosm to hail the device as its new poster boy. But we need to examine the smartphone user’s buying behaviour before we extrapolate it as the only transactional tool for online purchase.The present scenario: A recent study has revealed that over 90% of consumers now use their mobile devices for making impulsive purchase decisions on categories such as fashion, travel, music and movies. The same study also says that 36 % consumers place a higher weightage on researched decision-making on products and services like insurance and investments for which they still rely on their PC or laptops. But this trend does not tell us which device consumers rely on more for buying, and which ones they check products frequently on, before taking the final plunge.
Till 2015, global trends suggested that a greater percentage of online purchase traffic was driven by the PC. Conversely, around the same time Google had reported that search queries generated from India via mobile had superseded that of the desktop searches. However, we have to wait and see how Indian consumers who are now using their mobiles for performing search; eventually do their buying. For high unit cost categories like Cars or Housing it can be safely said that consumers do a ground research online. But a further in-depth research and actual purchase definitely happens offline with physical visits to the market.In another report titled ‘How India ordered food online in 2015’ it was estimated that close to 85% users had placed food orders on their mobile phones and a total of over 1 million orders were placed online through Zomato. This once again demonstrates user preference for mobile in a category that thrives on consumer impulse.So, it seems that the product category of intended/impulsive purchase matters when it comes to buying online, whether it be via app or through the website.

HTC Desire 10 Pro smartphone

HTC’s this year flagship – HTC 10 , reaffirmed the fact that the company isn’t renowned for making well-rounded and solidly-designed smartphones for nothing. But not everyone is looking to buy a flagship smartphone. For those who want HTC’s design and quality at an affordable price, the Taiwanese smartphone maker has launched a new mid-range smartphone – Desire 10 Pro.
Launched at an event in New Delhi, the HTC Desire 10 Pro was introduced back in September this year. It was introduced along with the Desire 10 Lifestyle, which itself launched in the country recently at a price of Rs 15,990.
We went hands-on with the new HTC Desire 10 Pro, and here are our initial thoughts on the company’s latest offering.

Design
HTC Desire 10 Pro has an all-metal body and comes in three colour variants – Stone Black, Polar White and Royal Blue. It sports a 5.5-inch display. While the SIM tray is located on the left side, the volume rocker and power button are on the right. The top of the display has a 13MP front camera, earpiece and proximity sensor, with three capacitive navigation keys being at the bottom. HTC Desire 10 pro has a 20MP camera (with LED flash), along with a fingerprint sensor placed below it.
Overall, we quite liked the look and feel of the HTC Desire 10 Pro. At 7.86mm in thickness and weighing about 165g, it’s quite lightweight too.

Display
HTC Desire 10 Pro features a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass on top. During our limited time with the device, the display appeared quite sharp. Colours are vibrant and viewing angles are decent too

Hardware & software
HTC’s new Desire 10 Pro is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The smartphone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery. In our time with the device, it worked pretty good and appeared quite snappy. However, we’ll only be able to test it out more once we review the device in detail.The Desire 10 Pro runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC’s Sense UI layer running on top. There’s an app drawer as well, so the home screen doesn’t look cluttered.

Camera
The camera is one of the highlights of the Desire 10 Pro. The phone comes with a 20MP rear camera with LED flash, along with a 13MP front-facing snapper. The camera app itself has a Selfie Panorama mode that lets you capture 150-degree wide-angle selfies.

HTC 10 evo smartphone

The Desire 10 Pro wasn’t the only smartphone that HTC launched at its Delhi event. In addition, the company launched the HTC 10 evo, the price of which will be revealed by mid-December of this year. However, going by the specifications, it’s quite likely that HTC 10 evo will be priced higher than the HTC Desire 10 Pro.
We played around with the smartphone for a little while, and here are our initial impressions.

Design
HTC 10 evo has an all-metallic unibody design. An IP57 rating means that the smartphone is water, dust and splash resistant. The front panel has a 5.5-inch display with a layer of curved Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top.
While the nanoSIM tray is located on the left, the volume rocker and power button are on the right. Above the display lie a notification LED, an 8MP selfie-camera, an earpiece and a proximity sensor.
As for the rear, it’s where the 16MP primary camera with dual LED flash is located. The bottom edge has a speaker and a USB Type-C port. However, there’s no 3.5mm audio jack on the HTC 10 evo.Overall, we were quite impressed with the look and feel of the HTC 10 evo. It resembles the company’s current flagship smartphone – HTC 10 quite a lot, and that’s a good thing. At about 8.09mm in thickness and weighing around 174g, it’s manageable with one hand.

Display
HTC 10 evo has a 5.5-inch Quad HD display of 1440×2560 pixel resolution. In the limited we used it, we found the display to be fairly good. Viewing angles are good and so is the colour reproduction. Due to the high pixel density, everything from images to text appears impressively crisp.

Hardware and software
HTC 10 evo is powered by a 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC, paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The storage is expandable via microSD cards of up to 2TB in size. The smartphone has a 3,200mAh battery, which the company claims provides a talktime of about 23 hours while on 3G/4G. However, this is something we’ll only be able to test out once we review the smartphone.
In our limited usage of the HTC 10 evo, we did not experience any heating issues or lag with the device. Apps open up quickly and multi-tasking works really good too.

Camera
HTC 10 evo comes with a 16MP camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) and dual LED flash. The camera can record 4K video with high resolution audio. As for the selfie camera, the phone has an 8MP snapper with a BSI sensor. The front camera can record Full HD video.

Huawei Honor 8

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has gained quite some fame in the Indian smartphone market, thanks to its well-specced yet affordable smartphones. But it seems that Honor now wants to come out of the shadows and compete in other segments as well.
Case in point is the recently launched Honor 8 , a smartphone that’s likely going to compete in the upper mid-range segment. It’s the first Honor smartphone to come with a dual rear-camera setup, similar to the one on Huawei’s P9 flagship.Priced at Rs 29,999 and having most specifications identical to the P9, the Honor 8 can be considered as a cheaper alternative of the P9. We played around with the device for a little while, and here are our first impressions

Design and build quality
The design of the Honor 8 is definitely something that Huawei could boast about. It has a slim profile and is available in refreshing colour variants. Honor 8 has a glass body with a metallic frame, which looks pretty great. However, it’s quite susceptible to fingerprints. The volume rocker and power button are placed on the right, while the SIM tray is on the left. The 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging port and speaker grille are at the bottom.During our short time with the device, we found the Honor 8’s overall build quality to be great. The Sapphire Blue variant looks extremely good. The phone does heat up a little, but this is something we’ll only be able test out more in our detailed review.

Specifications
The Honor 8 uses Huawei ‘s home-grown Kirin 950 chipset paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded using microSD cards. It has a 5.2 inch Full HD display of 1080×1920 pixel resolution and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, powered with the company’s own Emotion UI layer. The smartphone is backed by a 3,000mAh battery with fast-charging support.
In the camera department, Huawei Honor 8 boasts dual 12MP cameras at the rear with dual-tone LED flash. Interestingly, this dual-camera setup lacks the Leica branding that adorns the company’s primary flagship – P9. There’s also an 8MP front-facing camera for selfies.

What we think about it
Glancing at raw specifications, the Honor 8 doesn’t seem to be very different from Huawei’s P9 flagship. It appears to be a promising mid-range device, and will likely compete against the likes of OnePlus 3 . But how well it performs in real-world usage conditions, is something we’ll only be able to find out in our detailed review of the device. Don’t forget to check back for the same.