Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Redmi Note 3G (India Version) - Unboxing & First Impressions

On 24th November 2014, Mi India announced the Redmi Note 3G and Redmi Note 4G for India. This is their 3rd phone that's launched in India. Previously they had launched their 2013 flagship model Mi3 and the Budget phone Redmi 1S. These phones have seen great sales figure and is still much loved and wanted by many people.

Redmi Note 3G is launched for INR 8,999 (approx $145) whereas Redmi Note 4G is priced at INR 9,999 (approx $161). The Redmi Note 3G phone will be sold in India through Flipkart via their flash sales (starting from Dec 2nd, 2014). Sale of Redmi Note 4G would commence 1-2 weeks after this.

At this price, Mi has nailed it again. There is no real competition in the market which can challenge this phone currently. Some are either priced higher, have lower specifications, or lack certain features.

Redmi Note comes with some amazing specifications. Since there are two variants, there are some difference among the two as well. The main difference between these phone is that the Redmi Note 3G is a Dual SIM Phone [3G + 2G] which runs on an Octa core 1.7 Ghz MTK 6592 Processor and GPU is ARM Mali 450. Whereas the Redmi Note 4G is a Single SIM Phone [4G (FDD-LTE&TD-LTE), 3G, 2G] which runs on a Quad core 1.6 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM 8928 Processor and GPU is Adreno 305.
Redmi Note 3G runs on MIUI V5 which is on Android Version 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) whereas Redmi Note 4G run on MIUI V5 which is on Android Version 4.4 (Kitkat).

Apart from the above mentioned differences, both phones have almost same specifications. They have a display of 5.5" size, HD IPS Multi-touch Screen. There was a lot of confusion regarding the glass it comes with. The actual Redmi Note doesn't have a Gorilla Glass. But the ones that are being sold in India will have Gorilla Glass 3 protection. This was clarified by Mi during the launch event. (pic added below) The panel is based on the OGS technology and it offer 178-degree wide viewing angles. It may be a bit difficult for one hand operation and to fit in pockets sometimes. But it is great to watch movies, videos, photos, play games etc. Also it doubles up as a good e-book reader.

Both phones have 2 GB RAM. They come with 8 GB Internal memory and the memory can be expanded externally via a MicroSD card to 64 gb in Note 4G (32gb in Note 3G).

Redmi Note houses a 13 megapixel camera at the rear and a 5 megapixel camera at the front. It has an aperture of f/2.2. Phone has an LED flash at the rear. Both the front & rear cameras can record video at full HD resolution (1920 x 1080p). The rear camera is not as fast as I expected. There were some lags clearly noticeable when taking pics. But the front camera is very impressive. It is very well suited for taking some amazing selfies and could be your favorite phone if you love taking selfies. Personally, I can definitely say that this is the best front camera I have seen on any phone.

It comes with a huge Lithium-ion Polymer battery of 3100 mAh capacity which can give brilliant battery backup. On any sort of heavy usage, it will definitely last for more than 24 hrs. The maximum I have extracted on this phone is 3 days, with WiFi ON all the time (not using Data Connection).

It also has an FM Radio, Dual-Mircophone Noise Suppression, 3.5mm Stereo jack, USB 2.0 OTG, 1080p HD Video Hardware decoding. It supports Bluetooth 4.0 LE, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n (WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac on Note 4G), GPS, A-GPS etc.
Sensors included are Gyroscope, Light Sensors, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor and Digital Compass.

The phone comes only in White color. You can personalize with various colorful cases that are available in the market.

In the end, all I can say is that this phone is ahead of it's competition and totally worth at what it is priced.

Here is the unboxing video of Redmi Note 3G

Bonus Video - Timelapse Video taken on Redmi Note 3G

Official Presentation confirming Gorilla Glass 3 on Redmi Note phone.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Android 4.4.3 KitKat Force OTA Update on Nexus Device

After long wait and a series of rumors, Google has finally started rolling out the latest Android 4.4.3 update to its Nexus devices (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 and Nexus 10), GPE devices and some Motorola Phones (X, G & E) through OTA (Over-The-Air) update.

However, many of the Nexus owners known to me (including me) were unable to get the OTA update on their phone while the rest of the people were getting it all over the world.

Of course, you need not always wait for OTA updates. You can download the official factory images corresponding to your Nexus device from Google's repository and flash your phone by using adb (Android Debug Bridge) and sideload command. But not everyone is familiar with adb and not everyone wants to follow all manual methods and update their phone, since OTA is just easy.

This post is not going to explain how to use adb and update your Nexus device with the latest Android Update. Here I'll explain a method which will tell you how you can make your phone to forcefully look for OTA update and continue with the Android 4.4.3 Update. These steps will work on all OTA updates (when your phone isn't notifying you with the update).

One important thing to remember is that you can only update to Android 4.4.3 if you are already on Android 4.4.2. Your phone should be connected to WiFi or 3G/4G network. Also make sure that your phone is charged enough so that it doesn't get switched off during the update process.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Apps > All tab > Google Services Framework

Step 2: Tap on Clear Data first and then tap on Force Stop (Tap OK on the next warning message)

Step 3: Restart your phone.

Step 4: If your phone shows an update notification on the Notification Bar, tap that and jump to Step 7.

Step 5: Go to Settings > About phone > System Updates

Step 6: Tap on Check now.

After this step, wait for few seconds and your phone would notify you that an System Update is available for your phone.

Step 7: Once you see the Update notification, Tap on Download to download the firmware to your phone. (The filesize for the 4.4.3 update for Nexus 5 is 92.2 MB)

Step 8: Once download is completed, you will be asked to Restart & Install.

This would take some time (approx 5-10 mins). Once restarted, you'll see that your phone has been updated to Android 4.4.3 KitKat.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slow Motion Videos - Canon Powershot SX40 HS

I recently gifted myself an Advanced Point & Shoot Camera from Canon called the Canon Powershot SX40 HS on my birthday (Yeah, I have this habit of gifting myself with something on my birthday). One cool feature of this camera is that it can record videos in Slow Motion. I'm not an expert on cameras, nor I'm a professional photographer or videographer. So I won't be talking much about the camera or any other technical aspect.

The purpose of this blog post is to only show some of the test videos that myself and my friend shot during one of our recent Road trip. Canon Powershot SX40 HS allows you to take Slow Motion Videos in two different settings.
  1. 120 fps (frames per second) : Videos are shot at 120 fps and playback at 30 fps; gives a video resolution of 640 x 480.
  2. 240 fps  (frames per second) : Videos are shot at 240 fps and playback at 30 fps; gives a video resolution of 320 x 240.
We had taken many small clips and combined it and made 4 videos. All the editing has been done in Windows Live Movie Maker. Below are the videos that I have compiled. Enjoy watching it.
  • This video is of some Eagle and other birds flying. I've joined couple of video clips in this, few of which were shot at 120 fps and few at 240 fps.
  • We stopped in a village where few kids were playing and taking bath in a small pond. They happily agreed to show their tricks, and helped us shooting this video. Few clips in this video are shot at 120 fps whereas few as shot at 240 fps.
  • Next two videos are of some riding shots on our Motorcycles. Complete video is shot in 120 fps. The first one is of me riding my 2011 Honda CBR 250R and the second video is my friend Niranjan Prasad riding his 2012 KTM Duke 200.

Hope you liked our amateur attempt of shooting videos in Slow Motion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Samsung rolls out ICS Update for Galaxy SII in India

When Google released the latest version of its mobile operating system, Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.x) in October 2011, Samsung announced that their flagship model, the Samsung Galaxy SII (i9100), which was then bundled with Gingerbread (2.3.x) would be getting the Official ICS Update soon.

Ever since, all the Galaxy SII users around the world started waiting for update from Samsung. The impatient ones and the geeky ones went ahead and rooted the phone and installed various ICS based custom ROMS which is available online. But the normal users still had to wait for Official updates.

Samsung started rolling out the ICS update for Galaxy SII in the month of March, 2012. But for the users in India, it was a long wait. Today, on 29th May 2012, Samsung India has finally released the update officially.

Users in India can now update their Galaxy SII phone to Android 4.0.3 using Samsung Kies or OTA update. If you are unable to update by the above mentioned steps, you can take it to any Authorized Samsung Mobile service centres, and they would update it for you free of cost.

After update, your Baseband version becomes I9100DDLPA, Kernel version becomes 3.0.15-I9100XWLP7-CL340913 dpi@DELL134 #3 and Build Number becomes IML74K.XWLP7

As per Google, there are quite a lot of changes and improvements in ICS. There is a definite performance boost with increased battery life and phone becoming fast. Also there are some good UI changes that will interest many users.

Samsung India has rolled out the ICS update for Galaxy SII G (I9100G) phones as well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mobile Number Portability is here!

Yes, you heard it right. Finally the much awaited Number Portability has become a reality in India. It was launched in Haryana on Thursday, 24th Nov 2010. And by the beginning of 2011, it will be available to all the subscribers in India. In simple words, Number Portability allows consumers to retain their phone numbers even when they switch operators. Now this is going to benefit both the consumers as well as the service providers. How? Well, here in this post, I've gathered some information about it from various sources so that it can help people to have more idea about it.

What is Number Portability?
Number Portability allows consumers and businesses to keep their existing telephone numbers when they switch operators. It, literally, means that numbers are portable from operator to operator - whether that opertor is a mobile, wireline, or VoIP service provider.

How does it benefit the consumer?
It gives subscribers the freedom to choose operators based on criteria like services, price, and customer service. Their freedom of movement is not influenced by the inconveniences and costs that come with changing numbers.

How does it benefit the operators?
It also makes it easier for operators to compete for customers, precisely because it eliminates a major barrier to churn - that is, reluctance to change numbers. Although this increased risk of churn is a concern among some operators, number portability has been a huge success around the world, because it helps to level the playing field, giving all operators more opportunities to grow their subscriber bases and revenues.

How to Port your Number?
The six simple and quick steps for porting your number is shown in the image below.

(Source: LiveMint.com)

How much will it cost you?

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has fixed a ceiling of Rs. 19 as porting charges that the new service provider may collect from the subscriber. The money will go to the clearing house for facilitating the service.

For pre-paid customers, do note that migrating your number to a new carrier will mean that you shall be losing any prepaid balance that you have in your existing account. So remember to use up all your carrier minutes before you approach the new carrier.

Post-paid users need to remember that the MNP application could be rejected if you have not completely paid all your dues with the existing carrier. Make sure your last bill has been paid for.

I hope these informations would help you in understanding what Number Portability means and how you can change your service provider without changing your number.