I bring to you a review comparison of the iPhone 4S 32GB vs the Google Nexus 4 16GB.
Apple is finally launching the iPhone 5 tomorrow in India. A mail from the imagine store specifies that they would launch the iPhone 5 tomorrow. What is already a well known fact is that the iPhone 5 replaces the earlier iPhone 4S with the pricing remaining intact at about 44,500 for the 16GB version, 52,500 for the 32GB and a whopping 59,000+ for the 64GB version.
At the price of the 64GB version Indians could do a lot of better things like paying 6 months of rent for a house, or buying a bike, or even buying an iMac. For the more culinary oriented guys, this money can buy you 300 costa cafe mochas, or about 600 MacD burgers.
While the iPhone 5 definitely has a lot going for its design and functionalities with the iOS6, it still does not justify the price being double of what other smartphones that provide same or similar features. S3, or the HTC 1x for instance.
Where Apple shines as compared to the others is in honoring its device warranty with mostly a replacement for devices like the iPhone or the iPad or with a definitive repair for the iMac. But these goodies too come with a cost of roughly 10%-20% of the product price in terms of a yearly Apple care cost. While this is still justified for the iMac or the Macbook Pro, it most certainly looks to be an overkill for a device such as an iPad or a phone.
With the leading phones by HTC, Samsung and Google at roughly half the cost, Apple’s iPhone 5 pricing seems to bring down the sheen in a highly competitive market. Add to that propreitary accessories, plus inaccessibility to the file system and not much real functionality available and the recipe isn’t even worth what you are paying for. Add to that a sloppy maps and siri functionality for India, and you would be having a dead on arrival product as compared to other phones which are live and fresh at the moment.
Google and Samsung are right on top of the game giving Apple a tough time in terms of pricing. While Apple still would make most of its revenues in America, Europe, and UK alone, there is a fierce couter attack on the Asian side from the Korean giants Samsung and LG. LG’s upcoming nexus 4 will be butter smooth, has had a great review on major websites, plus at half the cost and much better google integration is more than ready to trounce the iPhone hands down.
The latest release of Google’s voice search for Apple devices only goes to prove how important Indian english as an accent is for India specific devices. The accuracy of Google’s software is simply mindblowing and more realistic than the dreamy Siri software which is more based on retrospecting on the questions asked to it. Needless to say the gaffe on the siri and maps precision has led to Apple asking its executives handling these to depart which has also led to its share price erosion to some extent and also brings to the forefront the possible bitter politics that can rear its ugly head sooner or later.
There is also no conclusion on whether the carriers would be launching nano-sims across the country once the device is rolled out. Most likely they will but they remain until this day tightlipped about this possibility even many of us already know too much about the iPhone. The iOS6 itself is losing some of its sheen after the jelly bean 4.2 update as the iOS6 has no great additions than what used to already be there.
So given the upsides and downsides of the iPhone 5 launch, would you go ahead and buy one of these? I would love to hear from you on this! Go ahead pour your comments!
AOL launched a web based mail client called Alto recently. Currently to login to alto you can use your existing GMail(google), iCloud(apple), AOL(america on line) or yahoo mail ids. Further to sign-in you need an invitation from Alto, which you need to request on their webpage (www.altomail.com). The speciality of altomail seems to be its so called simplicity in organizing and displaying information to users once it retrieves the same from any of the above mail services. Their concept revovles around stacks of mails which are formed from different topics such as shopping deals, or starred(important) emails, or any other topic as chosen by the user.
So you can stack up everything from your best friend or say all promotional emails from a bank for example. You could keep adding all sorts of rules to fill up the stack like for example all mails from india.com or all mails only from email@example.com, etc. You can delete and entire stack as well. Also, you have the option of choosing to create the stack by those mails being skipped out of the inbox itself. As you can see the video explains all this in a simple fashion. There are also delete and forward and reply options per email which are easy to use, but if I were you, I prefer outlook.com’s simplicity to the gmail’s power over the Altomail look and feel. The point about altomail is that the concept wears off on you after some prolonged use and you begin to wish you saw the emails the good old way where you could choose whatever you dont want and just do something with them such as archive them or delete them as usual.
Moreover at the moment you can use only the four specified email services with perhaps more to come. However the user interface has no options to change the font and the default font is kind of bold and to some extent non space saving and kiddish after a while. The metro UI of microsoft anyday scores over such things hands down. So whether or not Alto is for you is something that you need to use it and decide, but for now, the concept is to try and simplify your inbox which many providers have tried in the past and its nothing new. Alto equals these providers if not surpasses them. Go and check it out by requesting an invite for yourself!
Most people have only couple of interesting questions in mind when it comes to android OS.
Is Samsung better or the Google Nexus better in terms of usage? Is SVoice better or Google Now better in terms of answers? Is ICS slower than Jelly Bean, if so how slow?
What if pictures and videos could do the talking? Wont it be great? Take a look at this video which was shot at 300 frames per second and slowed down to half of that or quarter of that to give you an exact idea how good this looks!
Okay that was great wasnt it? Now how about the comparison of questions to both these services and who answers more accurately and fast enough?
Take a look for yourself !
If you liked this give your comments across in the comments section. The next thing pending is a proper review of indian english accent and questions to the device based on that! Stay tuned for that article!
Tags: 3g, 4.0, 4.1, accent, android, answers, apps. activities, bangalore, bengaluru, blog, data, dictation, edge, english, galaxy, google, google now, google voice search, hspa, htc, ice cream sandwich, indian, jelly bean, karnataka, language, nexus, one x, packets, questions, s voice, s3, samsung, server, sIII, speech, translate, web
So the big iPhone launch event is now over and the dust is settling down. I must say that Engadget has done aÂ fine job of updating on the event progress while it was on. It takes a lot of effort for a tech website to be spot on with respect to the updates. Given its experience in handling past Apple launch event this was a cakewalk for Engadget this time as well. Finally Engadget also summarized the whole event in aÂ short bulleted fashion for people who don’t have the time to read the full scoop.
Given this introduction let us then discuss the top 7 reasons why you should NOT buy the iPhone 4S. These reasons come out of my experience with using the iPhone 3GS for a year or more. So lets head straight on then …
- Closed filesystem – While for a person who does not bother to look beyond his iPhone, he can live entirely only with the phone without having the need to transfer anything out of the iPhone. Unfortunately not everyone is like that so one would like to have the ability to transfer important documents, photos, and other files out of the iPhone. This need may arise since we would use the phone with the associated data service to download a lot of useful things from the net. Imagine not having the feasibility to transfer it out of the phone. You might ask me if this is totally impossible – well not exactly – you can do so if you transfer it to another iDevice only.
- Absence of ports – I do agree and everyone here would also tend to agree that Apple makes a wonderful set of products. But omitting things like a USB port or a mini HDMI port only means that Apple would want its ecosystem to be protected to such an extent that one has to buy an iMac or iPad to transfer data out or an Apple TV product to transfer video content to a TV. I have a boxee box, which does all that and more by connecting up to a simple WiFi network and it needless to say has a HDMI port, USB slots, SD card slots and wireless NAS accessibility via uPNP protocol. All at < 200$ (Rs.10000). In today’s world, I cannot fathom paying 650$ without any of these just for the sake of lifestyle.
- Camera – When Apple launched 3GS version of the iPhone they provided a meagre 3.2 megapixel camera without flash, even when other manufacturers were already on the 5MP bandwagon with dual led flashes. While daylight photos were not so bad, night shots were pathetic. I am not even still considering the time it takes to edit that photo outside of iPhone as the transfer process itself requires iTunes software on an iMac or a PC. Arguably while apple has done away with the need for a PC anymore, can you think of atleast one time where you would love editing your photos on the phone itself. Its a small screen and you will run out of patience pretty soon. You might be wondering that it still has a 1080P full HD recording ability and hence more superior than a few other phones. Well I do tend to agree, but it all boils down to the same question as earlier – how would you transfer the content out for proper processing before sharing. For novices the phone would do it all automatically by processing and uploading to a video sharing service such as youtube, but for professionals who would like to edit the video more in depth, would find it intimidating when the device does not allow certain things. Coming to apple’s claim that the camera takes pictures in 1.1 second with a 0.5 second timing after the first picture, there are many other phones which also take pictures in about two seconds or so and offer face recognition since a couple of years now and this is nothing ground breaking. If i can wait for 1 second, i can also wait for 3 seconds!
- Pricing and rollout countries – Pricing has always been a premium for the iPhone. It continues to be so for the iPhone 4S which will retail for $649 or a little over Rs.32.500 in India on a fully unlocked basis. If you notice carefully India is NOT one of the countries which will get the iPhone 4S on October 28th. This directly shows the step motherly attitude that Apple has towards India. It has not skimped in the same way for the iMac though so far from releasing it on time. There are a lot of factors for this attitude from Apple. In a country where 3G speeds are not as consistent as they should be and in a place where a few thousands of geeks consider that India is geeky just because they use all the tech that is available, it does not mean that there will be millions of sales of the iPhone. The real winners out of phone sales in India would be those who provide dual sim phones with music player and radio, with perhaps a memory card slot thrown in at a rock bottom price of less than 50$ (~ about Rs.2000). Given this situation, a company like Apple which is vying for market share has no business in India with its ultra high end smartphone. And they are in no mood to subsidize it either.
- Carrier based subsidies – Unlike in the USA, carrier based phone subsidies and exclusivity for phone launches along with subsidies is not prevalent in India. With mobile number portability in place already, there is hardly any hope for this kind of model to work in India. Without subsidies we are then only looking for a very small percentage of market penetration Apple can achieve with its smartphone.
- Other feature sets -
- Flash disk size is hardly a differentiating factor these days for phones. I would at the maximum cycle around 1000 songs in my entire phone owning history and if I have 10000 songs while its good, we are talking only of a very select subsection of smartphone owners who are bound to be such music addicts. So if I am not a music and movie addicts there is no way that I can put the iPhone’s 16GB space to have anything else practically given the limitations on what can be stored and what not.
- GSM/CDMA universality is again anything groundbreaking. The early advent of dual sim, triple sim, and quad sim phones with multiple combinations of GSM/CDMA are more than already enough to provide the flexibility and for Indian’s going abroad there is a rare necessity to use two SIM cards on the same phone even alternatively instead of in parallel.
- iOS5 with iCloud - While the iCloud (which I had written about here) is a brilliant effort by apple for descoping physical limitations of the device storage, the concept itself is nothing groundbreaking. Almost every other provider is now on the cloud. The difference might lie in the way the other providers (versus apple) that let you access the cloud. On windows, accessing apple cloud is the slowest so far compared to say even Hotmail. Amazon cloud is yet to be tested by me and how Google might fare is only a fair guess having used google for a lot of time now. The real problem with iCloud is the missing information or lack of knowledge of how to find the files stored in the cloud. While other providers just list what you have in the cloud, Apple has incorporated the cloud concept into every application. So if I want to open some content, the only way is to get into the application having the ability to open that content, and then find the stored cloud content which I have created. This approach is useless and in no way enables me to get what I need quickly. I do appreciate apple’s clutter free approach in keeping cloud content specific to the applications that can harness it, thereby classifying it properly, but what is the use if I cannot see what I have stored in entireity on the cloud (ala Kindle Fire) ? The notification bar in iOS 5 has no quick launch buttons for bluetooth, WiFi, etc even in iOS5 !!
- Font and screen sizes – due to the limited screen size, even tasks such as facebooking, or emailing on an iPhone is not possible for a long duration. After prolonged use of the iPhone 3GS i have already increased the font size in order to prevent permanent damage to my eyes. Kids playing games on a small screen are only inviting a disaster as far as their visual abilities are concerned. On the outset it does not look like a big issue to many, but as a user of iPhone over a year, I cannot underline the importance of doing certain things on a bigger screen device. Atleast 7 inches of screen size, and most preferably a 10″ screen. This is the most ideal for heavy multitasking even if its just gaming or browsing or reading. This is perhaps where the kindle screen is a better alternative with e-ink technology compared to a retina display which is dazzling rather than practical to the already strained eye.
So if the Apple iPhone launch was all about brickbats, are there no boquets then? Your guess is as good as mine. Apple is a company which stresses on innovation. And when the give a feature they will implement it in a way incomparable to other mobile manufacturers. The TOP 7 reasons why you MUST go for an iPhone would be:
- Siri voice recognition – Here is an app which recognizes what you need and contextually remembers and answers all your related questions. Going all the way upto taking the stress out of you to do mundane tasks such as sending messages, shuffling music, etc. But the big question here is whether it will understand Indian English accent? That is yet to be proven and only time will tell.
- iTunes match - it is not clear how well this service will function yet. This seems to be a nice feature, but not compelling enough for an iphone buyer in India even if he is a music addict.
- the A5 chip – Apple’s processors are always a judicious choice and if you have seen the way an iPad 2 behavious with respect to screen renderings for graphical applications or games, then its not hard to imagine how blazing fast the iPhone 4S would be in the same aspects.
- Airplay mirroring - agree that this is a seamless feature, but it also requires equipment on the other end to support this kind of handover of content like a TV taking over from iPhone or gaming on the TV from an iPhone. We are still talking about a good six months before someone makes this possible. For those devices that already have airplay enabled, they will profit from this feature immediately
- Battery life - For those who own current generation apple devices they will already know the state of their battery prowess. Start with 100% at morning coffee, and you are < 10% before an evening coffee, leave alone dinner. Apple seems to have understood this and have high claims on battery life. This simply means the new iPhone would very well extend into day two of battery being in good shape kicking out those silly Mophie and other juice products into the bin sooner than later.
- Lifestyle device category - I cannot stress on this aspect any further than I always have. Apple makes lifestyle products. One that suits all age groups. So if I can do something on my iPhone, my kid can find something else worth doing for his age, and my aged parents can marvel and photo album swipes for their age and understanding. This is where Apple really shines and one device can keep all ages happy.
- App store - Apple we know pioneered the concept of app store and today they have anywhere more than 1,50,000 apps. This pretty much means you have an app that will help you brush your teeth and an app that will potty train your kids and an app which will monitor vital health signs of a sick aged person at your house if necessary. Extending the app store to iMac, iPad and the iPhone apple has ensured that they are on top of the money minting pie for a long time to come. Anybody else who makes mobile devices now has to have a store even it means aping apple and even if it means they have only two apps – facebook and twitter. For me honestly about ten apps should suffice. But it is really the needs and wants of 5% of the worldwide mobile phone market who own this phone that really matters. And the apple app store is pretty much geared to cater to this growing need in style.
So here were my 7 top reasons you should and should not go for the iPhone, now the call is yours. Tell me if you will or wont go for the iPhone 4S by answering the poll below!
Apple finally has launched its iPad 2 in India, at reasonable prices of 29,500 for the Wifi version and 36,900 for the 3g version which is quite competitive to Samsung’s tablet prices and also to Apple’s USA pricing.
In the USA the same version is available at 499$ and with about 8-10% tax that works out to ~ 525$ which in Indian money roughly translates to 24,675 bucks assuming a dollar is 47 bucks. This does not include shipping costs and is applicable only for USA store pickups and Apple online purchases.
Still the Indian version has roughly about 20% more cost making it viable to purchase one from USA directly if you know someone there. But if you need warranty for a year, immediate pickup and instantaneous nirvana, head to a Croma, or eZone or Staples store or very much to the Apple authorized iMAGINE stores and pick up the iPad right here!
With a super fast dual core A5 processor, roughly about 512MB RAM and FaceTime HD, 10 hours battery that would probably last much longer if you switch off that Wifi, and iPad Smart cover at an extra 2000 bucks, the tablet war really starts to heat up for Samsung, Acer, Asus, Motorola (if they really care about India anymore).
Apple’s main competitor remains Samsung though they collaborate within for supplies of memory chips and at lawsuit trials elsewhere! It is to be seen how Samsung prices its 10.1″ Android Honeycomb tablet in comparison to this latest salvo from Apple.
Also heating up the atmosphere would be the impending iMAC refresh with thunderbolt port, and Sandy bridge Intel core i5 processor line which will retain Apple’s products as the most powerful and easy to use for some time to come. The cost is always a question, but then to own something beautiful, one should not be too iffy about cost factor isn’t it ?
Note that its only a matter of time before HDFC, ICICI, Barclays, SBI and Citibank jump into the experience to offer the iPad 2 on EMI schemes which makes it all the more easier to own one!
(all images courtesy apple website)
Tags: apple, ipad2, sbi, icici, barclays, citibank, loan, emi, wifi, 3g, price, india, bangalore, bengaluru, blog, karnataka, IT, industry, corporate, flash, motorola, asus, transformer, acer iconia, tablet, 10.1″, galaxy, honeycomb, android, google, apple, purchase, croma, staples, ezone, imagine, authorized, reseller, ipad smart cover, idea, 3g, airtel, aircel, tata docomo, reliance, uninor, vodafone
Once upon a time touch screen phones were considered luxury. If they had 2MP cameras, they were worshipped, and if they possessed Wi-Fi, it was not meant for the middle class. All that is now passe. With the entry of the BIG 3 super hit phones, the Indian market just heated up to get exciting. So who are these three and what’s on offer? Find out more below.
Image source: www.gsmarena.com
The last one month has seen some hot launches in the smartphone market from none other than Research in Motion (RIM – Blackberry), Motorola, and Apple. Each has unleashed a turf war with their best selling products – the Storm 2 Blackberry touch, the Milestone, and the 3GS iPhone. A brief comparison of the specs are as below:
If we compare the Moto Milestone, and apple iPhone 3gs briefly with Blackberry Storm 2 9520, these are the features available:
|Features||Milestone||Storm 2||iPhone 3GS|
|Sensors||Yes||No proximity sensor||Yes|
|Internal memory||256MB||2GB !!||256 MB|
|3g Speed||Upto 10.2 Mbps !!||7.2 Mbps||7.2 Mbps|
|Camera||5 MP !!||3.2 MP||3.2 MP|
|Video||24 fps||24 fps||30 fps !!|
|Flash||Dual LED !!||LED||None|
|Processor||600 Mhz, lesser graphics||528 Mhz||600 Mhz, better graphics !!|
|GPS with maps||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery||1400 mAh||1400 mAh||1200 mAh|
From this comparison you can see that for the price point under question the best value for money phone would most naturally be the Moto Milestone. However, more of everything does not mean a better phone.
For example if you look at the table, graphics is much better in iPhone which means their user interface will needless to say be the best among the three.
Also if you look at video recording, the iPhone surpasses its competition by a good 5fps more.
So also with the bands supported for 3G. In this department the blackberry is the worst.
Again if you see the camera, the Moto beats competition hands down with 5 mega pixels with dual LED flash and the apple is not even worth talking about
So which one must you consider? Well frankly, for me, these are my opinions considering I have or will be using atleast two among the three titans of smartphones, the storm and the 3GS.
When it comes to price the Milestone from Motorola kicks everyone else out
When it comes to navigation and usability for all people of the house, the apple iPhone wins by a big margin. One should also not forget the 1,50,000 applications that the appStore has for users compared to Google and Blackberry
For pure business applications, the Motorola milestone has the potential to keep people happy for a long time, perhaps until Google itself releases its 1GHz Nexus One (which it does not intend to in India)
One another important thing is that while Apple iPhone 3GS in India is locked to Airtel or Vodafone, the Motorola Milestone and Blackberry Storm 2 will be available unlocked for any operator in the country which is a huge plus point at that price.
With good 3g data services support from BSNL and the impending 3G spectrum auctions, all other private operators will shortly follow with their 3G services, all these phones are set to harness the power of 3G from various operators to provide video calling and other such facilities. These phones support 3G quite well as expected and this is a good feature in all phones in comparison
All these phones have 3.5mm standard headset jack making them all multimedia ready by nature of design
All these phones are GPS enabled with the Moto supporting free turn by turn navigation which is a big boon to finding your way in a lost place.
If you are the person who likes physical qwerty keypad, Moto is for you, if you like both touch and press (surepress) keypad, the storm is for you and if you like the touch only keypad, iPhone is for you. I am used to touch typing, so both Storm and iPhone 3gs appeal to me more than the physical QWERTY of Moto.
Google has only 30000 applications, compared to Apple’s 1,50,000 which is a huge marketing plus for Apple. Blackberry apps are not worth mentioning at all frankly
For any comparison there have to be negatives, so here they are:
Though the Moto Milestone sports 5MP camera, there is no 30fps video recording which is a shame
The RAM in both Moto and Apple is only 256 as compared to 2GB in Blackberry. This is a vast difference
None of the handsets support dual camera (front and back facing) which are most necessary for video calls, and this is a shame for the price paid.
Limited support for each of these handsets in terms of warranty repairs and the limited reach to the customers is slightly disheartening.
Blackberry and Apple have no clear maps usage policy which makes it difficult for a normal user
Locking to operator is going to hurt Apple’s fortunes compared to the other two competitors
Non removable battery is bad for Apple whereas not for the other two since they also sport more powerful batteries
In SUMMARY, if you love core technology, want huge features for low price, with Google’s famed Android 2.1 OS, look no further than the Motorola Milestone. If you are the business conscious user who have been a fan of RIM and their products and appreciate their push email technology and still need other commonly found features, then the Storm 2 is a refreshing change from RIM with their touch based screen and surepress typing technology. The large memory, and slick business features will appeal the business community for sure. If you want ease of use, large amount of apps to chose from, and don’t mind the extra cost, for what you get in return – the famed apple popularity, at the cost of some missing features, then the iPhone 3GS is for you.
Take your pick, for now mine is the iPhone 3GS since I feel Google has some catching up to do with Apple. As for blackberry, I enjoyed it as long as I had it, and would recommend it even though I don’t own it now.
I was trying to use Gmail video chat and knowing google, i expected it to be really easy to configure and use. But i was in for a rude shock as my browser did not support the active-X control that I need for using video over gmail. For those of you who are curious, my browser is K-Meleon – the worlds fastest literally beating opera to it.
So I decided to give it a shot until it worked and so went back to Illegal Explorer (oops! IE). I hated IE all my life, and it was a browser only designed for MS and its own sites to load properly from day one. However within minutes I got the gtalk video activeX installed on my system for IE. Great I thought now video would work, since it showed a nice little video icon against my name. But when I contacted prakash, my friend, video would not work for him! I got him to install the same activeX control on his system, and even after that it would not work! Both of us were using Illegal Explorer, both of us had the activeX installed, and yet gtalk video would not work.
But on one fine day, I clicked against his name, when both our icons showed video mode, and viola, I could see him instantly. Since that day, my webcam stopped functioning, and if its due to google, then I hate you folks for screwing up my webcam. While i am still struggling to get my webcam going, what the other friend of mine and me saw were just my photo to one side of the screen at the bottom for me and on the video screen for him.
So there you go, as of now its a thumbs down for Gtalk video for the setup ease, but for quality, nothing beats it!
DO YOU HAVE ANY SIMILAR EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? GIVE ME YOUR COMMENTS!
Today, I was thinking aloud whether to give this government less marks on its progress, when I was pleasantly surprised by this advertisement. It was regarding the railways and the karnataka government aligning to start off a road under bridge widening at Benniganahalli, on Old Madras Road. For those of you who dont know about this nightmarish hell, it is the place in Bangalore where most office goers (actually I must say millions of them) invariably waste about half an hour or more each morning just stalled in an impossible traffic jam which takes its own evil path to solve each day.
The crux of the matter was in the fact that this was a railway bridge going above the road, belonging to the railways, and was an important rail link between karnataka and tamil nadu. For the past two successive governments, this road was never widened, just due to very less political will on the matter. Of course where are politicians bothered about normal people like us? Or are they really. Well the current government harping on the development agenda has just proven that they are. And how serious they are at this.
How long did it take for an alignment to come through between the railways and the BBMP? Very few days actually. And boy, what music is it to my ears really! For one whole year, I had endured the Benniganahalli daymare (I changed my earlier word to suit the time it occurs!) praying that someone notice it. Take a look at the video showing the daymare here. There were also protests done for upgradation of this situation.
And finally BJP has taken initiative on this. In fact their splurge on Bangalore development is bound to strike the right chords with the scores of citizens who are benefitted by these measures. Now I dont really know or care how long this project takes. The ball has been set to roll. Thats all matters. I a while, I would be saving almost an hour each day taking this route and this is a really good thing in life.
So here’s wishing our CM good luck in this and his future endeavours.
Update: Here is an artist sketch showing how wide the road will now be and the view of the bridge as well!
Source: TOI, 24/2/09