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Sunday, August 7, 2016

LeEco Le2 User Review

Several reviews have been written about this phone from the time that it was released by several bloggers and tech reviewers alike. Each one talks about how the phone performs in the hand of a tech user. However, the average plain Joe user is just that. A lay man. He is not interested in how well the phone performs in the battery tests or how the phone behaves when it is subjected to extreme stress. An average user is more concerned about how the phone behaves when it is loaded with limited set of apps. How long the battery lasts when he kills time playing Pokemon Go or any such game while he waits for someone or is just looking for some fun. Or how well the phone performs when he decides to have music streaming on Wynk while he browses Facebook or engages in that marathon Whatsapp session with his friends.

Mandatory Specs:

  1. Big Screen (5.5 Inches)
  2. Lots of Memory to store your pics and Whatsapp Images (32 GB) but sadly, you cannot expand it.
  3. It supports Dual SIM (no it is not hybrid and yes, it is Nano SIM), both with 4G support.
  4. 3 GB of RAM (This makes it blazing fast).
  5. Has no 3.5mm jack but gives you an adapter to use your fave headphones nonetheless.
  6. USB Type C slot (This is new and will soon be the standard, replacing all microUSB cables that you have at home).
  7. The processor does not matter; it manages to keep the phone blazing fast without getting hot. That is all that really matters. If you still want to know, it runs on Snapdragon 652 Octacore processor. 
  8. 16 MP Rear and 8 MP front camera that allows those great pictures when you are out on a picnic or excellent selfies when you are out with your friends.
  9. Fingerprint recognition for that keep my data safe moments! That includes an App Lock as well so that your gallery can be locked and your BAE’s pics hidden safely away when you give the phone to someone to use.
  10. Quick Charge that comes courtesy the SnapDragon processor. Running out of the home in 15 mins and battery is without charge? No problem. Quick Charge would push your battery to last you around 6 hours on a 10 min charge. Keep your data off though, that will drain the battery out faster.


Review:

I had given the phone to my wife to use for the period that it was with me. I wanted to know what a non-technical regular layman user thought about it. She has the standard set of apps that most of them have. A few games, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, some taxi apps, some shopping apps, 2 mapping apps, Dropbox, skype and may be a few more. Exactly what a typical user would have. Her earlier phone was a Moto G, so she was used to the stock Android feel. Le 2 comes with LeUI that has been skinned to sit on Android Marshmallow. The skinning steers away from stock Android Experience and introduces several new features that are totally different. No more swipe down to access your setting tiles to quickly toggle your Wi-Fi or data. In its place instead would come only the notifications. Clicking the app switcher button brings up the list of recent apps and your quick settings. Similarly, no more display all contacts saved in your Google account. It displays a list that it curates on its own. Multiple clicks later you can finally see that elusive contact of yours that you were looking for.
Changes aside, the phone is fast and lasts almost 2 days on a single charge. Play Pokemon Go and it drops to 1.5 days. The supports all India 4G LTE bands and offers excellent speeds without any issues. I faced no network or call quality issues while I was using this phone. In case you are planning to use Reliance Jio, the phone supports VoLTE that would allow you to make calls on the LTE network and not fall back to 3G or 2G networks. This would mean that the other party and you would get to experience call quality in HD like clarity.
I have never been a big fan of Stock Launchers and generally resort to either Google Now or Nova Launcher. The reason has been that stock launchers have all gone the Apple way and have done away with the concept of App Drawer completely. I feel that this clutters up my desktop which I prefer to customize while keeping a majority of my apps hidden away safely inside the app drawer.
All in all, the phone is excellent in terms of battery and usability and would definitely succeed to keep its master happy. Just like a well-trained Pokemon! ;-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Press Release: Power-packed Elite Note from Swipe for a Bigger, Bolder and Better experience only for Rs. 7,999/

India, 26th April 2016: Swipe Technologies, India's leading Mobile Internet Player, is all-set to change the rules of the game in India's mobile phones industry. Following months of anticipation, Swipe revealed Elite Note today - a bigger, bolder& better smartphone that promises to provide a genuinely enjoyable and powerful experience– without making a dent on pockets. Elite Note will be exclusively launched on Flipkart on 26thApril. Elite Note boasts of superior design, premium build quality and powerful hardware at a disruptive price point.
Launching the new smartphone, Mr. Shripal Gandhi, Founder & CEO of Swipe Technologies said "We've carefully listened to our users' feedback and incorporated suggestions in crafting Elite Note, not only in terms of hardware but software too. We chose premium materials, highest performing components, out of the box software features to make this an unparalleled & holistic user experience. With its compelling features, attractive styling and pricing, we are all-set to make a mark and disrupt India's mobile phone market. The #PowerOfBig is for user to see and feel with Elite Note. "
Mr. Anil Goteti, VP – Business, Flipkart said, "We are happy to announce the exclusive launch of Swipe Elite Note on Flipkart. The new-age features of this new device will be a big hit amongst the young smartphone users." 
The Elite Note is powered by high speed Quadcore processor and 3GB RAM that offers a fluid & lightening quick user experience. A 3000 mAh marathon battery powers the Elite Note for more than a full day of use.Today's premium devices deliver immersive experiences through high speed connectivity. Keeping that in mind, we have ensured that the Elite Note supports 4G LTE and advanced multimedia without compromising performance or battery life.
The all-new Elite Note comes with a vibrant 5.5" HD IPS display with Vi-Di technology that brings a brighter, bolder, bigger world right in front of your eyes. Elite Note has premium appeal as it has the finest sandstone back cover that ensures a comfortable touch in hands. A visually-stunning, incredibly tough Dragon trail Glass – a lightweight, flexible and scratch-resistant glass with extraordinary strength – comes as a protective cover glass for the very stylish Elite Note, which not only enhances the phone's style quotient, but also offers exceptional resistance to scratches and bumps of everyday use.
What gives Elite Note its wings is its incredible power. With its massive 3GB RAM and ample 16GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB) - matched perfectly with 1.3 Ghz 64-bit Quad-Core processor, Elite Note can move as quickly as user's imagination. With enhanced processing power, an Elite Note user can enjoy apps and games to their full potential. It supports the latest 4G LTE networks as well as Wi-Fi, so that the user can stay in touch with friends, family and the rest of the world in real-time.
Elite Note's Freedom OS, based on Android 5.0 Lollipop, gives it truly amazing power. Based on the enhanced version of Android 5.0 OS, it enjoys top-level speed and unwavering app execution. Due to a unique feature of changing android functions according to user's behavior and style, FreedomOS offers an extremely personalized experience
What good is a smartphone without an exception photo-taking experience? To capture special moments and create everlasting memories, Elite Note comes with a 13MP rear camera with f1/3.2 aperture with flash that can capture every moment easily in exceeding clarity. Its 5MP front camera comes with a wide 88 degree 4P lens which allows for more light to enter the camera to help the user take a clear Selfie even in less than ideal lighting conditions.
Elite Note also supports outstanding Remote Technology that is effortless to pick-up & use, due to inbuilt IR sensor. It gives a user complete and overall control for multiple electronic appliances like Air-conditioner, Television, Set-Top boxes,etc
The stunningly beautiful and incredibly powerful new Swipe Elite Note comes at attractive price point. A price tag of Rs 7,999 makes this object of desire truly affordable for the aspiring youth. Swipe's new offering will be available exclusively on Flipkart from 26thApril 2016.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Kingston SSDNOW UV300 - A Review

SSDs have come a long way from being extremely expensive and out of reach from common hands to being available in every 3rd Laptop being sold now. Technology progress and innovations have brought this once every gamer's dream into a reasonable range thereby ensuring that every upgrade meant an SSD. They have also come a long way and are now not only slimmer but also much lighter. Keeping up with this design philosophy, Kingston recently launched the new ultra-affordable UV300 series SSDs.

Specifications:
Form factor: 2.5"
Interface:
SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s) – with backwards compatibility to SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s)
Capacities1: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB
Controller: Phison S10
Baseline Performance2:
Compressible Data Transfer (ATTO):
120GB – 550MB/s Read and 350MB/s Write
240GB – 550MB/s Read and 490MB/s Write
480GB – 550MB/s Read and 510MB/s Write
Incompressible Data Transfer (AS-SSD and CrystalDiskMark):
120GB – 505MB/s Read and 280MB/s Write
240GB – 510MB/s Read and 445MB/s Write
480GB – 510MB/s Read and 495MB/s Write
IOMETER Maximum Random 4k Read/Write:
120GB – 95,000 IOPS and 13,000 IOPS
240GB – 95,000 IOPS and 20,000 IOPS
480GB – 95,000 IOPS and 26,000 IOPS
Random 4k Read/Write:
120GB – 64,000 IOPS and 12,000 IOPS
240GB – 81,000 IOPS and 18,000 IOPS
480GB – 81,000 IOPS and 25,000 IOPS
PCMARK® Vantage HDD Suite Score:
120GB, 240GB, 480GB – 81,000
PCMARK® 8 Storage Bandwidth:
120GB – 145MB/s
240GB and 480GB – 165MB/s
PCMARK® 8 Storage Score:
120GB –4,805
240GB and 480GB – 4,860
Anvil Total Score (Incompressible Workload):
120GB – 2,600
240GB – 2,950
480GB – 3,740
Power Consumption:
0.1W Idle / 0.36W Avg / 1.26W (MAX) Read / 4.14W (MAX) Write
Storage temperature:
-40°C~85°C
Operating temperature:
0°C~70°C
Dimensions:
100.0mm x 69.9mm x 7.0mm
Weight:
120GB, 240GB, 480GB – 52g
Vibration operating:
2.17G Peak (7–800Hz)
Vibration non-operating:
20G Peak (10–2000Hz)
Life expectancy: 1 million hours MTBF
Warranty/support:
Limited three-year warranty with free technical support
Total Bytes Written (TBW)3:
120GB: 60TB
240GB: 120TB
480GB: 240TB

Review:
The folks at Kingston were nice enough to send the SSD to us for a round of review. We used the SSD as a primary drive for a period of one month before we decided to review it. Having been in the corporate world for more than a decade now, I am no longer a gamer I used to be, hence, this review is purely from a perspective of a near normal user who would probably use this in his ultra-book/laptop to speed things up. I use an ASUS UX31E ultra-book with Windows 10 running on it. For my test, I decided to load a backup ghost of my existing setup on the new SSD. This was so that I got an exactly same setup that I use on a day to day basis. I did not perform any benchmark tests using the softwares that are normally posted on every tech site with the review. Plainly since they are not going to be any different. My benchmarking was purely limited to the claims that Kingston made about being 10 times faster than a standard 7.2K RPM HDD. Since I had not a HDD but a SSD to compare with, this would be an apple to apple match.

Operation
Existing SSD
Kingston SSD
Change
Boot Time
15 Sec
10 Sec
33%
Time to Load and start playing a 4 GB Video File
1 Sec
0.5 Sec
50%
Time to Start Adobe Lightroom and start editing a RAW file
5 Sec
3 Sec
40%
Time to copy a 4 GB file from Drive C-Drive D and Vice Versa
20 Sec
18 Sec
10%
Shut Down
5 Sec
4 Sec
20%


As is evident, there was an average 30% increase in speed in all operations after I decided to make a switch to the new SSD. I would like to point out here again, that I used a ghost back up image from my existing SSD to the new Kingston SSD just so that I could mirror the same environment on the two. This way, if my scores were to be compared with the other sites, they may or may not be same. You may see an even better improvement depending on your setup. An upgrade to the Kingston SSD is definitely recommended in case you are looking at something new and more modern.