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!
What is your idea of a holiday? Now that you have perhaps been to hundreds of resorts already do you still expect the 101st to be of the same ambience? Like a great reception with uniformed people welcoming you with some flowers or whatever, and then a grandoise room awaiting your fall on the bed to be in peace with yourself?
Or are you ready for a different type of experience? Are you the types who would prefer to check out something that tests your perception and mental skills a bit ? Besides that is your idea of a coffee estate something thats deep inside the clouds many thousands of feet above sea level with winds that chill your body to make you want that hot cup of tea more often than not?
My trip to Eagle eye holidays makes me think I need something like this again though i am unsure whether I would get such a right mix of things most often or not. Without much ado then let me tell you what made this trip memorable to me. Eagle eye Holidays is a coffee plantation or estate as we would often refer to it. This is situated near Kadavanthi or Kadathi, which is few tens of kilometres away from nearest proper civilization called Alduru (read: Aaldoooru). Alduru itself is few tens of kilometers from Chikmagalur which is the nearest proper town.
Reaching Chikmagalur from Bangalore requires that you partly travel on NH4 highway upto Nelamangala, and then take left to get onto SH48 which goes to Kunigal, Adichunchanagiri, Channarayapatna and Hassan along the way to Chikmagalur. The road upto Chikmagalur is what makes it worthwhile to undertake this journey. If you are a car driving maniac and are true to your wheels, you are not going to forget this hair rising highway drive. My current love is my Figo and speeds of 130kmph was a child’s play on this road. Particularly the SH48.
Though the NHAI is still developing the toll booths at a few places, the road by itself is an awesome piece of highway for speed racers! Don’t get me wrong, racing need not always be with another person, and need not always be of the rash type! If you are the expert driver types this drive should see you reach Chikmagalur in 4 1/2 hours flat. Such is the quality of the highway. But wait a minute… if you thought that’s all this highway is about quite contrarily – NO! How about throwing in some great looking paddy fields and rural sceneries on the way? And some lakes? How about the old tree lined roads you’ve always seen in your childhood? Some small hillocks? Lets make it more greener – Add some windmills churning power from the winds, and some neat twists and turns of the road. This is what being cheerful on a long drive is about. You got to drive to experience the talk.
And you thought its all over when you reach Chikmagalur? Wrong again. Is this all you can think of? Assume I make the road the airport runway tarmac types, smoothen it off a bit more, add greater angle to the twists and turns, remove uphill components, and also subtract oncoming traffic. This then becomes nothing short of annilhation. Add another car who is spirited in testing your driving skills and negotiation and we have nothing short of a F1, well expect your car of course
The 30 odd kms between Chikmagalur and Alduru is sheer awesomeness for both speed drivers and slow drivers alike. The pristine beauty of large trees around, the amazing tranquility and discovering your inner self. Enough to rejuvinate you for some time to come.
Every good thing or bad thing will have an end. And if the good comes first the bad comes next in the cycle. After Kadavanthi somewhere along the way the next 10-20kms of road gets bad with potholes all around and this is where you feel the need for perhaps a cheap hatchback with 20" alloys to take on the road like a monster! The map given by the resort is more of a type you would use for a treasure hunt, leave alone navigate somewhere. In this case the treasure being finding the resort itself. Add poor road signages and you are now really one with nature. If nature wills you will get to the treasure else not.
Its therefore essential that you stick to the map. Yes, take some glue, stick the map to the windshield, use the same glue and stick your nose on that map as well. Why? Because if you dont, you would forget that right turn at the paddy field landmark and the left turn at the dam gate landmark. Sounds punky in 2011 isnt it ? Welcome to some rural tones!
Oh and by the way you would like to call the resort for directions would you? Well assume that none of the mobile signals show up besides good old airtel and you are lucky to be holding phones of other operators services and there you hit the jackpot of ruining one chance to reach the resort with any sort of help.
The more I followed the second map that showed me the way to resort, the more I felt lost by each passing minute. Some 2kms away from the resort (lets correct that terminology shall we: say coffee estate) the last right turn takes you to a stone graveled road that will test your car in and out. after two gates when you take left onto the property, with a mile or more to, you begin to wonder if this is a con-job. Yes, i would say yes, its a master crafted con-job to disprove the very perceptions you had of how a resort must be.
The last mile makes you wonder whether you entered someone else’s property by mistake and what if that guy let loose his gunmen on you. Straight from a movie flick. As your car struggles hard to cope the incline, you reach a dead end with a 180 sharp hair pin bend. As you wonder "what more?" and whether your car would want to take that hair pin bend, two people come to you and say "welcome to eagle eye holidays". It was a hot afternoon and we reached a bit late after some searching around and panicking. And a welcome drink was more than welcome. it was gulped down even without understanding what was given to us. The reception is more of a shack made with wood on a higher platform. And once you get onto the platform, you are no more interested in thinking about the journey.
The view of the western ghats and the valleys below soothen you down and you just want to rest a bit with the cool windws blowing on you under the thatched roof. Before we stepped into our room, lunch awaited us. The food given by resorts is always questionable. Here too some foodstuff werent great, but not all foodstuff was bad. Given this fact, Eagle Eye holidays provided good food at best if not sumptuous. Some items like the next day morning’s breakfast were yummy to keep away from. The rooms themselves were well appointed and there are many different types of rooms. Valley view rooms, glass houses, (for the brave) the tree house which is mostly open and perched on tree tops, hutments, and standard rooms are available. The rooms themselves are between 2,500 bucks a night upto 5,000 a night. We stayed at a waterfall room which in my opinion is a ridiculous idea. Agreed the management wanted to save a few boulders and/or could not avoid removing a few rocks so they integrated those and few faux rock arrangements into a thematic waterfall room. However neither was there a waterfall which is swithced on for an hour, nor does the room lend itself into any kind of ambience as such. The Tree house or hutments would make better rooms to stay in in terms of practicality. Also given the foregone conclusion that the waterfall room is costly (at 5k a night) its best to avoid this altogether.
Other than that the hot water facilities are governed by solar water heaters perched atop and in between trees. Due to the tropical climate of the coffee estate, there is no dearth of hot water which gets generated by the solar during the scorching afternoons. The upholstery like blankets towels, bedspreads are hand washed daily in front of you and its a job well done compared to a washing machine type of wash cycles. Due to the sprawling nature of the 130 acre estate, there is enough room to dry clothes daily. The management have also created a 30 feet deep lake in the middle of the property. A natural trail of road leads to this lake which offers coracle rides and fishing activities. Again dont expect professional fishing equipment to be handed over to, but with whatever stick and wheat balls used to lure the fish, my cousin who accompanied me on this trip was able to catch a good sized fish. If you want to laze around and do things that are not of the usual resort type, these activities fall into that list.
Being situated at a coffee estate there is no dearth of good coffee provided at all times and there is no restriction on the amount you can have. if you are hungry you eat. Period. A stroll upto the lake, and few peaceful hours later, its time for some campfire. Of course hot drinks are served during this nightly hour with some loud music and dance to follow. To add some dazzle to the show, the clear sky makes it possible to view the wonderful constellation of all the stars for those hungry stargazers. During the day time, there are plenty of subjects to shoot photographs with in the resort – flowers, fruits, birds, objects, elevations, winding roads etc.
The only downside to this resort is that the rooms are aligned across a path which is very steep which makes it impossible for old people to climb and this could be a dampener to people wanting to go to this resort. It took over ten to fifteen minutes for me to switch between reception and room each time which shows difficultly level. Not that I am lean, well built and all that. I’m the usual paunchy type of mid-life-crisis-beating-man Early mornings begin with chirping birds and a great breakfast, not to mention some games like shuttle, table tennis, and strong coffee again with a great view of the mist settling in the western ghats valleys. Post breakfast there is just about time to go for a 2 hour trek deeper into the estate. If one would like to skip it, we can have long chats over breakfast and freshen up with a bath and just enough time to pack the bags and leave. This is offically called the two-days-one-night-package-syndrome that resorts exhibit. Best part of the journey was just the occassional treats we packed for eating on the way, full meals taken care of package at resort, and some lunch on the way back home. Plus meals for your car (fuel). No other nonsense expenditure.
Its also worth mentioning that once you are in the resort its NOT worthwhile planning trips to Shringeri, Augumbe mountains, or Belur or Halebid which are all nearby. This is an exclusive deal. Not an all-in-a-single-day deal. So bottom line is would I recommend this resort to others?
- For the off the beaten path ambience – YES
- For the cost – SORT OF YES
- For the meals – YES
- For the peace of mind – YES
- For the drive – Oh YES!!
- For the hospitality – YES
- For the coffee – YES
- For their payment mechanisms – NO! (they accept only cash, so there is no confirmation of prior room booking)
The pictures would speak more than anything else. What are you waiting for? Hit the road now!
Tags: alduru, ancient, augumbe, balehonnuru, bangalore, bath, belur, bengaluru, birds, blog, bonfire, breakfast, camera, camp, campfire, car, car park, channarayapatna, chikmagalur, coffee, coffee day, coorg, coracle, cr, crpatna, dance, dinner, district, drinks, drive, dslr, eagle, estate, eye, fishing, fuel, games, ghats, halebid, hassan, highway, holidays, hospitality, hot, hotel, huts, kadavanthi, kamat, kannada, karnataka, kodathi, kunigal, lake, lokaruchi, lunch, maps, meals, mist, monuments, moon, mountains, music, mysore, nature, navigation, NH4, NH58, NHAI, night, ooty, out, owner, party, photos, plantation, reception, resort, restaurant, ride, rooms, serai, shringeri, shuttle, slr, starts, stay, table, tennis, trails, tree top, trees, valleys, videos, water, waterfalls, western
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.
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