Tag Archives: phone

Nokia Bid for Alcatel-Lucent Goes Through: French Regulator

Nokia Bid for Alcatel-Lucent Goes Through: French Regulator

France’s stock market regulatory body said Monday that Finnish telecom group Nokia’s all-share offer for French-American rival Alcatel-Lucent had been successful.

Nokia now holds around 76 percent of shares and voting rights in Alcatel, the French financial market authority, AMF, said in a provisional report.

It said the “minimal condition” for Nokia to control at least 50 percent of shares and voting rights had been “satisfied”.

“The offer therefore is proceeding positively,” the French regulator said, adding that its final report was due Tuesday at the latest.

Once the world’s top mobile phone maker, Nokia hopes the merger will help it become the world’s number one network equipment and service provider.

The acquisition will allow Nokia to expand from telecoms networks to Internet networks and “cloud” services to better compete with its global rivals, the Swedish group Ericsson and Huawei of China.

The merged group eyes a combined revenue of nearly EUR 25 billion ($27.3 billion or roughly Rs. 18,15,80 crores).

Nokia’s shareholders gave their consent in early December to the offer which has sparked fears of job cuts among staff both in Finland and France.

Under the public exchange offer, Nokia offered 0.55 Nokia shares for each Alcatel-Lucent share.

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Original Article

Homido Mini Is a Cheap VR Headset That’s Even Simpler Than the Google Cardboard

The Homido Mini is a small, easy to use, and extremely portable virtual reality ‘headset’ for mobile devices that works with apps that support Google Cardboard. It’s reasonably cheap, and you can use it to very easily showcase VR experiences without having to carry around a large boxy cardboard headset, which makes it a great buy if you’re interested in virtual reality.

Getting into virtual reality has never been easier thanks to smartphone-powered VR headsets. Although a full-fledged VR setup is expensive – for example, the Oculus Rift will cost you $599 to pre-order (roughly Rs. 39,500) – mobile setups are significantly cheaper.

The Samsung Gear VR has launched at Rs. 8,200 in India and is available elsewhere at $99 (approximately Rs. 6,700). But aside from that, there are also a number of Google Cardboard headsets. You can get these online for prices ranging from roughly Rs. 200 for basic cardboard sets, to around Rs. 2,000 for more fancy designs with plastic bodies and headstraps.


One problem with all these headsets is that they’re not really very portable – you can disassemble the headset but this takes time and effort, and an assembled Cardboard headset isn’t something you can really slip into your pocket.

The Homido Mini is the simplest possible solution to this problem – its creators recognised that the essence of Cardboard is just the lenses positioned to let you look at images on your phone’s screen, and so they got rid of everything else.

The result is a tiny gadget that will fit in the palm of your hand. The Homido Mini has a clip in its centre to attach to your phone, and two lenses that fold into a slim line along this axis. The lenses fold outwards to look like a pair of eyeglasses, and that’s all there is to the Homido Mini.


To use it, you simply need to hold your eyes up to the lenses, and you’ll see the world in 3D just like you would with a regular Cardboard headset. Since there’s no buttons on the Homido Mini, you’ll need to touch the screen with your finger, but given how minimal the headset is, this isn’t much of a problem. There are no straps to attach it, so you’ll need to use one hand to hold the phone up at all times, though this is the case with most basic Cardboard headsets too.

It’s got a thin plastic frame, and the entire thing collapses into a small unit that you can easily keep in your pocket when you’re traveling, though you’ll want to get a small pouch or something else to carry it around in, to protect the lenses from getting scratched or smudged.

When you want to use it, just unfold the lenses, and then line up the clip with the divider line in the middle of your screen, and attach the Homido Mini viewer. It’s a lot simpler than fitting a phone into the standard Google Cardboard headset, where you’re worried about lining up the screen with the holes, and where you can easily turn the flaps in the wrong direction damaging the cover in a moment of carelessness.


Also, since it’s made of plastic and not actual cardboard, there’s less risk of ruining it forever by putting the headset down on a slightly damp surface.

As a basic Cardboard headset, the Homido Mini performs admirably. Since there are no straps or flaps, it’s easy to set up and use, and it also means that it’s comfortable to use for people who wear glasses. If your power is high enough that you can’t ditch glasses when in VR, then this is definitely a lot more comfortable.

However, the design also means that it allows all ambient light in when you’re viewing something in VR. That’s not ideal, and can reduce the immersion for some experiences. However, although it’s mildly annoying, we found it was not as bad as we had feared.


As a Cardboard headset, this kind of viewer has some general problems that are common to other headsets too. For one thing, your inputs are limited, and since your hand is tied up to hold the phone in place, you can’t even try and use a Bluetooth remote or controller. That means that the Homido Mini is best suited for looking at photos or videos, than playing a game.

Secondly, unlike the higher end headsets for PCs, or even the Gear VR, you can’t adjust the IPD on Cardboard headsets. That shouldn’t be a problem for most, but some people will find any Cardboard headset blurry as a result. And because the headset has no accelerometer or gyroscope (again, unlike the Gear VR or better headsets) there can be some issues with the view drifting. If you’re using a slightly older phone, then you’re going to see some other issues as well including ghosting of images, or laggy motion tracking.

The Homido Mini lives up to the ‘Mini’ in its name with a very portable and easy to use device that lets you carry a VR headset in your pocket. That’s not to say that it’s perfect – it lets light in, lacks any means of going hands-free, and has the usual Cardboard issues to boot.


Despite these caveats, the experience of using the Homido Mini has been excellent. Watching 360-degree videos on YouTube or exploring photospheres and images taken with Cardboard Camera all works perfectly. And since the Homido Mini is small enough to slip into your pocket, it’s always on hand when you want to show someone a glimpse of VR. It might not be the best Cardboard viewer you can get for the price, but if you’re looking for something you can slip into your pocket and easily take with you when you’re traveling or want to show something to a friend, then it’s great.

Price: $14.99 (approximately Rs. 1,000) on Amazon

Please note, Amazon does not ship the Homido Mini to India, so you’ll need to get this when you’re traveling or via one of the services that can ship to India.

Original Article

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The Xperia Tablet Z is Sony’s attempt at making a comeback in the tablet segment after its previous attempts with Xperia Tablet S and Tablet P. The tablet is based on the company’s recent flagship phone the Xperia Z in terms of design as well as software and is without doubt one of the sleekest devices available in the market. Is it the best tablet that money can buy at this point in time? We try to find out.

Build/ Design
At 6.9mm, Xperia Tablet Z is the thinnest tablet around – iPad fourth generation is 9.4mm thick, in case you are wondering. Sony engineers have done a commendable job, packing in all the power into such a sleek device. It weighs 495 grams and for a 10-inch tablet the weight to dimensions ratio of the device makes it easy to carry. The tablet follows the same OmniBalance design that we’ve seen in the Xperia Z and sports a rectangular shape with subtly rounded corners. The front of the tablet is dominated by its 10.1-inch TFT display surrounded by a Black bezel. There’s minimal Sony branding above the display at the left hand side, while the 2.2-megapixel front facing camera is placed at the middle.
Just like Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone, the tablet is water and dust resistant and all ports on the device are covered with plastic flaps for protection.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Looking at the edges, on the left side you’ll see a round aluminium power/ screen-lock button. The button protrudes out and some might draw parallels with the crown of a watch. We also saw this in the Xperia Z, though it’s much smaller this time. Just below the button, you’ll find a volume rocker key that is made of plastic. Despite being thin, the volume rocker offers good tactile feedback. Contacts for docking the tablet are also present on the left side. If you look carefully, you’ll also notice a flap that hides the 3.5mm headphone jack, above the power button.
There are no ports or buttons on the right hand side. However, the tablet features four small speaker outlets, two of which are located at the bottom edge, while the other two are located on the left and right edge.
Coming to the bottom edge, besides the two speaker outlets, a Micro-USB connector port hides behind one flap, while the micro-SIM and microSD card slots are covered by another flap at the other end of the edge. The micro-SIM slot features the same tray that we saw in the Xperia Z smartphone. The plastic SIM card tray has to be pulled with the help of a fingernail by the user.
There are no controls at the top but you’ll notice an Infrared blaster on closer inspection.
As with other devices featuring protective flaps, you’ll need to take care when you open them or plug cables, as it’s not very difficult to break them.
The back is made of plastic and sports a matte finish. The quality of plastics used here is better than what we’ve seen in products from rival brands. But our only gripe with it is that it’s a smudge magnet. You’ll see some silver Xperia branding at the centre and the 8-megapixel rear camera lens at the top right corner, flush with the tablet.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Overall, we feel that the Xperia Tablet Z has been designed really well and is a looker for sure, especially considering the fact that it’s designed to be water and dust proof. However, the rectangular shape and sharp corners might not appeal to everyone when it comes to everyday use.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z features a 10.1-inch TFT screen that has a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels and pixel density of 225 pixels per inch. While it might not match up to the pixel packed displays of the iPad and the Nexus 10 tablet on paper, the HD screen renders text and images well, and colour reproduction is accurate. Text looks extremely crisp, while app icons and images look sharp. Images and videos look great thanks to the addition of Sony’s BRAVIA Engine 2 technology.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The tablet offers good viewing angles and under sun visibility was also satisfactory, during our use of the tablet. However, it’s not the brightest display that we’ve seen.

Software/ User Interface
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sony’s own custom user interface layer on top.
The lock screen has been borrowed from the Xperia Z smartphone complete with the unlocking gesture resembling the motion of your finger through a set of window blinds. The lock screen also offers shortcuts to directly unlock and initiate the Walkman (for playing music) and the Camera app. You can also unlock the screen by double tapping it. If you set a password or PIN the tablet offers you an option to immediately lock the screen when you press the lock button or to wait for some time. This is handy when you want to keep a short screen lock time but also want to have uninterrupted access.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The tablet’s UI features three Android capacitive buttons, namely, Back, Home and Task switcher, that are placed at the bottom left corner similar to old Honeycomb/ Ice Cream Sandwich tablets.
Unlike the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, the tablet’s onscreen controls and status indicators for network signals and battery, are at the bottom left instead of the centre, and the notification panel and quick access settings (for Wi-Fi, Screen rotation, brightness, notifications, Airplane mode and shortcut to settings) are located at the bottom right. The same bar also features two shortcut keys, one for access to small apps and another to launch the Universal Remote app. Unfortunately, there’s no toggle for Bluetooth or mobile data and the tablet doesn’t include a toggles widget.
At the top, there’s a bar that features shortcuts for Google Now and Google voice search in addition to four other customisable shortcut slots, similar to the Quick launch shortcut bar that exists in Microsoft’s Windows operating system (the desktop one). At the right hand side on the same bar, you’ll find a button for the App launcher and another one to modify the home screen, change the theme and wallpaper or add apps and widgets.
The Xperia Tablet Z offers themes that change the colour scheme of the phone along with the home screen and lock screen wallpaper. You can choose to add up to seven home screens or even reduce the number to one. These can be populated with app shortcuts and widgets.
Sony bundles its Walkman music player app, and a gallery app that it calls ‘Album’. In addition to displaying pictures on the phone, the app also allows users to connect to online services like Facebook and Picasa and view their online pictures. It also includes a built-in photo editor. The tablet also features Sony’s own software keyboard that works well.
For web browsing, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z bundles the Chrome browser. Since Chrome doesn’t support Adobe Flash player, the phone is not capable of playing Flash videos even if the Flash plugin is side-loaded.
Sony has also includes additional apps including a Back up & restore app, a Notes app, TrackID (a Shazam like music recognition app), Socialife (brings social network feeds), PlayNow, Smart Connect (which lets users set an event when an accessory is connected to the phone), Xperia Link (to share Internet connectivity with Sony devices), Wisepilot (for navigation) and a lite version of OfficeSuite that allows users to view Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Our review unit also featured links for installing Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited services and PlayStation Mobile. All these content services are not available in India and we’re not sure if these shortcuts are included in the retail units.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Sony has tried to include some India-focussed content on the tablet with apps like Sony Liv and Sony Music. Indian users can download free songs from Sony Music’s international as well as local catalogue for 6 months and Sony Liv gives lifetime access to free streaming of popular TV programmes from Sony’s India channels. Our review unit did not feature these apps so we did not get a chance to give them a spin. However, Sony has confirmed that these apps come pre-loaded on retail units available in the market.
Although the tablet doesn’t offer voice-calling functionality, it does come with a Messaging app for sending and receiving text messages. We found this useful as certain networks require you to send a text message for activating or renewing data plans or for checking data usage.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Another useful app is the Remote Control app that allows you to use the tablet as a remote control for almost all your devices including your TV, Cable/ Satellite box, iPod dock or even a projector. Besides the pre-programmed options, you can even make the app compatible with your device by simply allowing it to learn the functionality from your device’s remote. We tried programming the app to our set top box and it worked in a jiffy.
As we mentioned earlier, the tablet also offers Sony’s small apps, which can run on top of other running apps, similar to LG’s QSwipe apps and Samsung’s pop-up play. Sony ships seven of these small apps, namely Calculator, Timer, Notes, Remote, Voice Recorder, Clip Manager and Browser, plus more small apps can be installed via the Play Store. We wish Sony had included a Video player small app as well.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z features an 8-megapixel rear shooter. The camera app is feature rich, having Superior auto, Normal, Video, Burst, Picture Effects, Sweep Panorama and different Scene selection modes.
The Superior auto mode doesn’t let you customise granular settings barring that of the Resolution and Timer. The normal mode allows you to tinker with settings like Exposure value, White balance, ISO, and others. The camera also includes image and video stabilisation modes so that pictures and movies do not get affected even if your hands are not steady. The camera interface is similar to that of the Xperia Z smartphone but it misses out on a few things including an HDR video recording mode.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The tablet’s camera takes decent pictures outdoors in daylight but indoor pictures turned out to be a bit grainy. Colour reproduction was pretty accurate and colours did not look oversaturated. Taking pictures in the dark however, isn’t a great experience as the tablet does not come with a flash.
The images taken through the camera did not miss on details though we had issues with focusing at certain times, which was a little delayed.
The Xperia Tablet Z can capture 1080p video at a frame rate of 30fps. You can also take still shots of 1-megapixel resolution while recording video. In our tests, the tablet took decent videos and the stabilisation mode worked as promised.
The tablet also features a 2-megapixel front facing camera that is also capable of recording 1080p videos. We were able to click decent quality pictures, indoors. The videos shot using the front camera also turned out to be good.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Overall, we feel that though a large tablet like the Xperia Tablet Z is not really meant for taking photographs, Sony has done enough with the camera to take care of your needs in case of a ‘shutter-bug emergency’.

Performance/ Battery Life
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor with 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 320 chip for processing graphics. There is 16GB of internal storage, which is expandable by another 32GB via a microSD card.
With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the overall experience of navigation through the interface was impressive, thanks largely to Project Butter and all the power under the hood. However, at times, we did experience minor lags while swiping across home screens, and launching apps. We did not encounter any issues while playing games, scrolling web pages or switching between apps.
We were able to play full-HD clips, and all formats including .MOV and .AVI were natively supported by the tablet. The four speaker outlets on the tablet deliver good quality sound at high volume levels but the loudness could have been better. The tablet also supports ClearAudio+, which gives the sound more clarity while playing music and offers Equaliser presets for personalising sound output. The tablet also offers FM radio functionality.
The tablet comes with a giant 6000mAh battery, and we were not very satisfied with the backup that it delivered. We were able to get around 5 hours of HD video playback, with the display on full brightness levels which puts the Xperia Z tablet somewhere in the middle when compared to other Android tablets. Did Sony go too far squeezing the tablet impacting the battery life? Perhaps.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The standby time with multiple email accounts configured and push notifications on was decent though. With intermediate usage during the day including some casual gaming, web browsing and playing videos, the tablet was able to easily last a full day. It’s worth pointing out that we had turned off Wi-Fi and auto-brightness, and the phone was hooked to a 3G network with the screen brightness at the highest level.
Altering these settings might help in running the phone for a longer duration, depending on your usage pattern. Sony also offers a STAMINA mode, which as per the company can improve the standby time by automatically shutting down battery-draining apps whenever the screen is off and starting them up again when the screen is back on. All our testing was done with the STAMINA mode turned off, which is the default.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z comes with NFC, which can be used to beam files to other NFC enabled Android devices via Android Beam, and receive information from NFC tags.

At a price of Rs. 46,990 the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is an expensive offering from the Japanese electronics giant. The tablet packs in a large number of features, a unique design and high-end specifications, but recommending it over the latest generation iPad (3G+WiFi) that costs a similar amount, is a bit difficult. The Apple iPad still offers access to a more evolved ecosystem when it comes to tablet optimised apps and content. Though you’ll get access to Google’s Movies and Books stores with the Xperia Tablet Z, the iTunes Store is a step ahead as it also offers a large collection of music titles at attractive price points. Tablet-optimised Android apps are also far and few when compared to the iPad.
If you’re looking for a tablet that offers business features, then you could also consider the HP ElitePad 900, that costs less than the Xperia Tablet Z and runs Windows 8, a full-fledged desktop operating system.


  • Brilliant HD screen
  • Good build quality
  • Sleek
  • Dust and Water proof


  • Steeply priced
  • Battery backup could’ve been better

Ratings (Out of 5)

  • Design: 4
  • Display: 4
  • Performance: 3.5
  • Software: 3.5
  • Battery Life: 3
  • Value for Money: 2.5
  • Camera: 3
  • Overall: 3.5

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Original Article here

Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 Dual SIM Feature Phones Roll-Out Begins

Nokia 130

Microsoft’s feature phones, the Nokia 130 and Nokia 130 Dual SIM, launched last month at a recommended retail price of EUR 19 (approximately Rs. 1,500), are now being rolled out globally.

The Redmond giant on Monday announced that both the handsets will first be available in countries including China, Pakistan, and Nigeria. Meanwhile, the phones will be rolling out to more markets over the coming weeks. However, the company did not reveal names of the countries getting the feature phones next.

Notably, the Nokia 130 Dual SIM is listed on the company’s India site without pricing and availability details. The Nokia 130 Dual SIM will be available in Black, Red, and White colour options.

Microsoft announced the roll-out on the Conversations blog and noted, “The Nokia 130 is a perfect device for people young and old alike who are looking for their first mobile phone, or for those looking for a rock-solid backup phone to use alongside their smartphone.”

Other than the different number of SIM card slots supported by the Nokia 130 Dual SIM, both models come with identical specifications and run Nokia OS Series 30+ out-of-the-box. The smartphones feature a 1.8-inch QQVGA (128×168 pixels) 16-bit LCD colour display that offers 114ppi.

The 1020mAh battery on the Nokia 130 Dual SIM is rated to offer a standby time of up to 36 days and 26 days respectively. With physical keypad and 4-way navigation key, as well as a flashlight, both Nokia 130 phones come with a built-in video player, MP3 player and FM radio.

The phone additionally supports storage expansion up to 32GB via microSD card. While both Nokia 130 Dual SIM measure 106×45.5×13.9 mm, they weigh 68.6 grams and 67.9 grams respectively. Connectivity options for the Nokia 130 phones include 2G network support, Bluetooth 3.0 (with Nokia’s Slam technology) and Micro-USB for connection and charging.

Announced in August, the launch of the Nokia 130 Dual SIM came as a surprise considering that the company along with the discontinuation of the Nokia X series of Android smartphones had confirmed its decision to abandon Nokia’s Asha and Series 40 phones.

An earlier report quoted Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Devices Group, Jo Harlow who hinted that with the help of the Internet-connected phones like Nokia 130 Dual SIM, the company can utilise and introduce services like Bing and OneDrive to more customers.

Nokia 130

Gionee Elife E8 First Impressions

Gionee Elife E8 First Impressions

Chinese handset-maker Gionee has launched its flagship Elife E8 smartphone in partnership with domestic e-commerce player Snapdeal priced at Rs. 34,999.

What is good?
The phone has an elegant uni-colour look, its metal sides giving it sturdiness. The Gionee Elife E8 also comes with a dedicated camera button enabling users to take quicker photos. The positioning of the fingerprint scanner is good and it is also very fast.

The 6-inch wide quad-HD display is amazing to watch movies on. Gaming is also a delight. There were no problems with viewing angles.

The 64-bit octa-core MediaTek processor, along with a 3GB RAM, can take anything that you throw at it. Switching between apps was very fluid. Gaming was also fun as there were no lags while playing games like WWE Immortals, Nova 3, and Mortal Kombat.

Going by Geekbench 3 scores, the phone has excellent multi-core performance. On An Tu Tu, the phone scores 49,992 points, taking it very close to other rival flagship devices and above the Meizu MX4.


The Gionee Elife E8's rear 24-megapixel camera is an excellent performer under all light conditions. Pictures taken on the device came out clean with no noise or blur. This time, Gionee has also included a professional mode along with other modes like PicNote, Panoroma and Ultra Pixel and Smart Scene. The front 8-megapixel camera takes good pictures in well-lit conditions and is a premium performer for video chats.

Gionee finally took into consideration the need of storage for Indian consumers and has provided a 64GB internal storage which can be further expanded to 128GB via a microSD card.

The device also comes with other features which are common in flagships like NFC, Bluetooth 4, and Wi-Fi. It also supports dual-SIM 4G-LTE.

The phone's 3600mAh battery is also very impressive, retaining a better part of the charge on heavy usage.

What doesn't work for the phone?
The phone has a bulky design owing to its huge screen size and battery. The back panel is made of plastic which doesn't seem very appropriate and it is a tad heavy as well. The camera button's utility could have been improved if it could also be used to quick launch the camera app.

The screen-to-body aspect ratio could have been better to gain more advantage from the huge display.


Gionee's decision to go with a MediaTek processor could be a spoiler but the company's decision to stick to MediaTek could be due to the higher price points of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Using a Snapdragon would also increase the cost of the device, making it impossible to compete with rival devices in terms of an aggressive price point. A Snapdragon 810 SoC would make the phone one of the best in the market.

Although the E8 scores high points on An Tu Tu, it is nowhere near the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge plus which has an unrivalled 69,000-plus points.

The front camera doesn't capture wide angle pictures, which is a minus for selfies with a large group.

Keeping in mind the price, the features except for a Snapdragon processor, this is the perfect crwod-pleasing combo from Gionee's stable. Sales volume shall speak for the rest. It is definitely worth a look at before opting a costlier rival which mostly has the same specifications.

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Gionee Elife E8

Gionee Elife E8

  • Review
  • Key Specs
  • News





Front Camera



1440×2560 pixels




Android 5.1



Rear Camera


Battery capacity

3500mAh See full Gionee Elife E8 specifications

  • Gionee Elife E8 First Impressions

  • Gionee Elife E8 With 24-Megapixel Camera Launched at Rs. 34,999

  • Gionee Elife E8 India Launch Set for Thursday

  • Gionee Elife E8 With 24-Megapixel Camera, Marathon M5 With 6000mAh Battery Launched

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