Proporta Turbocharger 5000–[An Essential Accessory to have]

I am not sure that I ever would have reviewed a product and would have rated it as “An Essential Accessory” but there is always a first and for me, it happened to be Proporta USB Turbocharger.

Smartphones and their battery life, something most of the users talk about, bitch about many a times because of the simple fact of life, if your phone is out of battery, then there is no difference between a 7mm thick phone and a 17mm thick one. But still the temptation of owning a slim phone is something that neither manufacturers nor users are giving up.

Its not that manufacturers and users are not trying for the solutions/workarounds and its definitely not the case that you can’t do anything about it.There are two ways to deal with it; spare batteries and portable chargers. Lets discuss both a little.


Issues with spare batteries

The regular readers here would not have missed my review about Mugen Batteries in past and the friends on Twitter and real life would have seen that how those batteries remained an integral part of my daily routines (and some of the regular issues). As time passes by, you learn about some of the limitations around these extra-power/replacement batteries, like the ones given below:

1. NO HOT SWAPPING: If you are running out of battery then you need to remove that battery and use the spare battery. Obviously, this involves switching off your phone for once even if for half a min only.

2. Battery Calibration: With the spare battery solution, you get two types of spare batteries; either of same power (mAH) or of extra power (more juice). The issue is, most of the time, the underlying OS is not that smart to handle this and you need to calibrate the batteries (many a times, its 2-3 cycles means 2-3 days long process) otherwise you wont be able to take full advantage of the juice that these batteries can provide to you. Obviously a cumbersome thing for the n00bs and for even geeks.

3. The size & shape: Love it or hate it, most of the Smartphone manufacturers nowadays feel like flaunting the slimness of their phones rather than caring for the fact that how much long the “slim” battery lasts for the user. For overcoming the issue, the user either has to use his device less or have to carry a charger with him all the time or have to opt for a thick battery for him that obviously negates the first cause that was slimness. Truth is, people don’t prefer to show their phones as thick stabs.

4. No separate charging: A spare battery can not be charged in separate, it has to be in device for getting charged. Means if you are preparing for some trip, then you first charge your first battery, then you pull out the battery and then charge the other one. Obviously a big amount of time required and when you put it on a scale of daily routine, then it becomes a mess.

5. Multi-usability: The issue with spare batteries, is their being specific for one handset. The smart users who need such things are actually carrying more than one devices with them and not only that but also changing the devices by each year. Is it wise to keep on purchasing spare batteries for each of the device?

6. Price: As of now, if you buy a separate same capacity spare battery then the price remains reasonable but due to the type of tech involved in high capacity batteries, the price remains an issue in the later case. It might be as worse as 4-5 times higher than the stock battery price.


How I got introduced to Proporta?

After going through the first solution in detail, I decided to give the second option a try; the portable chargers like the one I seen in hands of @SamDLaw first (that was a Nokia DC-11 1500 mAh). 1500 mAh was not enough for me, so I was to look for other solutions and the biggest name I heard of in twitterverse was of Proporta; An expert in field of mobile phone accessories, cases and portable chargers.

As it was mostly an online store and there was no way to get it from some nearby store in India, I wrote back to Proporta about my interest in Proporta Turbocharger 7000 and for my surprise, after a few days later, a sweet conversation with Jitender @ Proporta led to a review unit of Proporta Turbocharger 5000 for me (as Turbocharger 7000 was out of stock for the moment).

Proporta TurboCharger 5000: The Unboxing

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The wait didn’t took long and within days, I got a call from security of my office that “Sir! you got an Air Mail” and the well packaged accessory was in my hands.

Continue reading “Proporta Turbocharger 5000–[An Essential Accessory to have]”

Hands on over Nokia Pureview 808–Layman’s Take

Yeah! It would be one of the rarest occasions when I might be posting about just a hands on, but a hands on over a Smart phone having 41mp camera in it, is rare of rarest in itself. it was hard to keep the excitement within and I know you wanted to listen from me about it…

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It started from an invite from Aditya (@adityavnathan) about a Nokia Reviewers workshop in Hotel Oberai, New Delhi for April 10, 2012, with Vesa Jutila, Head of Symbian Smartphones Product Marketing, Smart Devices at Nokia.

While the name of Vesa Jutila was a hint in itself, I was already hinted that it’s about Nokia Pureview 808.

I knew that Tuesday will be a weekday and it wont be easy to bunk the newly joined office in middle, but when it’s about Nokia Pureview 808, it was hard to stop someone who been proud owner of Nokia N82 and Nokia N8-00 and there I was and some other blogger friends….

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Apparently its not the first event related to Nokia Pureview 808 in India as Dolby event in Mumbai (mid March) happens to showcase it first, though this should be the first official event related to Nokia Pureview 808 in India from Nokia itself. Delhi took the first spot, Mumbai will be next for Wednesday event.

Continue reading “Hands on over Nokia Pureview 808–Layman’s Take”

Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right

It rarely happens that I write a Layman’s Take on a Symbian App, barring Gravity posts, but when I was checking out the latest fMobi version 2.5, then it certainly felt worth mentioning and we are here, reviewing fMobi 2.5 that is being called as the best Facebook client out there for Symbian.

While Official Nokia Social app been already a pain for Symbian users, more tragic was the absence of official apps from Twitter/Facebook like popular social services. Adding more insult to injury was the web browser part that never got a preferred treatment from these services despite of having Symbian in market leading position for a time. Part of the blame goes to tedious development with conventional C++ that was always a tough job for developers due to rapid changes across interfaces\features of social sites. With Qt though, Symbian got a sigh  of relief and out of many apps getting benefitted from it, one was our fMobi.

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fMobi: First released on 05 July, 2011 (not sure of exact date), the Qt-Based Facebook client fMobi kept on growing its fan-base by each passing day due to plenty of features combined at one place with a smooth working UI (Thanks to Qt). You can understand the level of popularity by the fact that It didn’t took even three months, when it got acclaimed as best Facebook Client for Symbian by Nokia itself.

Its not that I didn’t noticed it then, but somehow it was features like shaky split screen input etc (not a fault of app itself but Qt version issues) that kept me away from embracing it fully rather than relying on some other apps, but this fighter app didn’t gave up and kept on luring me time to time with each update. And when I checked out the latest version 2.5, then I was like.. this is the right time, when the app deserves a mention like a Layman’s Take on fMobi.

What makes fMobi special and superior over other clients out there?

The keywords are innovation and consistency which makes fMobi always one step up ahead of the competition. fMobi chooses a different UI and mannerism than the official apps and yet delivers an experience that brings you best of Facebook activities. Being in latest Qt, its smoothness/animations in various actions, native split screen integration and its own way to notification will sure please any Symbian user.

it might not be free like some of the Facebook clients out there, but the way, this is being developed and being enhanced in each iteration, I couldn’t even compare it with any of the existing clients out there (when there is no real official Facebook client there and Nokia Social is kind of no challenge since always). A few things certainly worth the price (Just Rs. 50/-).

 

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on fMobi–Finally a Facebook Client getting the things right”

Gravity reaches version 2.50, Belle UI, pull to refresh, YouTube Section and more

November 23, 2011 was the last time, when Gravity got the last update that was v2.00 Build 7009 and after exactly one month later, we got the preview build for the always exciting and innovation app Gravity that is actually a pride for Symbian. (Am I the only one who is reading the trend of exactly one month for each new build here? January 23, 2012 now?)

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Even if its a time, when hard core Nokia fans are either moving towards Windows Phones or keeping it low most of the times in a tough battle against the growing base of Android, one must admit that post February 2011, Symbian^3 has seen tremendous activity under his name. Many Qt apps joined the pack to enhance the user experience, Nokia websites got redesigned in fancy blue and even if hopes of Symbian Belle (now Nokia Belle) kept on playing hide and seek with us, those who experienced the performance of Nokia N8 like old handsets with leaked Belle can guarantee you that nothing is finished yet.

Meanwhile the above debate is on, there was one app that was always standing apart of everything, apart of Belle, Anna, S60 etc, apart of Android vs iOS vs Symbian. Yes! our Gravity!! And we really waited impatiently for the next version of the same, not because of some bugs or some expectations, but just to wonder that what new innovation the all in one app Gravity brings for us this time. So, let’s take a ride of what we see new in this new build of Gravity (v2.50, Build 7025):

(First I will cover Symbian^3 changes only will update S60 features later on)

1. Belle compatible bottom bar:

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Though most of Nokia Community still don’t have access to Symbian Belle but once Symbian Belle arrived in market in form of some new handsets, it was unavoidable to ignore the UI navigation theme as on Symbian Belle that has shifted from those Options\Cancel button and taken form of icons now. The new build of Gravity tries to do the same though with addition of option to “reverse the toolbar” for those who feel its more natural to have options menu on the left like it been in Symbian always.

Minor UI changes but those who are already on Symbian Belle will appreciate it and those who are not, will get a preview of upcoming via this app.

2. Pull to Refresh and minor but noticeable change in design:

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After tap to top, Gravity finally gets the most awaited feature that is pull to refresh. Pull to refresh is not limited to Twitter only but works in Facebook, FourSquare, Google Reader, YouTube etc as well.

The other minor change is replacement of text by icons (as been theme of Belle UI). You can see icon of a pen in place of New Button and Belle like options icon though I still wonder that why @janole didn’t replaced the Back button by an arrow icon?

3. YouTube Account added: 

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One of the feature addition with this new build is the option of YouTube account. While we already had the capability to play YouTube videos since last few builds, it was a one step forward to add accessibility of YouTube account in the form of familiar Gravity theme. It includes favorites, Watch it later, My Uploads, friends videos and you can always search with a split screen keyboard. Though I couldn’t find an option to upload some videos, but this is still great for a start.

I was personally expecting MISO and Tumblr to be part of Gravity by version 2.50, but as @janole said its a preview build only so may be later.

4. Google Reader section can now display the images as well:

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While today you might think it as one of those many features that Gravity added by this new build, but as @janole said, this was the main feature idea with which @janole started working on the new build. Again like other sections, we find the UI options going via small icons in place of Text (except the odd Back button like old days). Did you noticed the recording like icon for Read or Unread?

Must say, with inline picture display, now you can think of adding your Google Reader Account in Gravity permanently than using any other apps (be aware of heavy data usages though).

Though I find it odd that Google reader section can share the posts via Twitter only not via Facebook or any other service. Also while in outer menu, option to copy the link on clipboard is present, we miss the same in full post mode. May be next build bridges these gaps.

5. Entirely redesigned and more productive Twitter Trends screen

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I don’t how many of you use Twitter Trends actively but for experienced users, its been an essential part of Twitter experience by which they can keep a tab on most important things happening around. In older version of Gravity, not much was configurable here, but with the new Gravity, you can check trends worldwide or by country specifically as well.

I must tell you, you gonna love it.

6. Satellite mode, zoom-in, zoom-out buttons added for maps:

Scr000047 Since @janole has changed the UI for displaying the image preview and maps, it has enabled Gravity to do some more tricks. This one is the latest.

Zoom-In and Zoom-Out buttons are now added to UI in bottom bar and you no longer needed to remember the volume key shortcut for the same. Also the globe like icon next to option icon let you toggle between maps mode and satellite mode.

7. Image saving option:

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While Gravity already had probably the best support for displaying images from multiple services, addition of saving pictures option makes it a killer now. Gravity was already displaying the non-service images by just URL ending with .jpg, .png etc and with this, things gonna really really challenging for other clients across all platforms. Though the same feature is limited with Twitter Image previews only, but I see no reason that why @janole wont extend the same functionality for Facebook images as well in near future. Finally we can see the larger version of images via Native Gallery and can store it and zoom in.

Gravity was already storing the images earlier as well but those were kind of cache version hidden inside private folders of Symbian. Images will be saved in Images folder of E: drive now.

8. Many other minor changes

Scr000042 There might be many minor changes hidden inside that I am yet to discover though one of them was display of last user names with an “@” on the accounts screen (like the name of @aktiwary showing in the above screenshot).


What is still annoying with Gravity on Belle?

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You can blame awesomeness of Gravity full screen mode that @janole always skipped to provide much support for non-full screen mode which remains one of those weak points about Gravity. Like in above screenshots, you can see that on Symbian Belle with full touch phones, one can not write a new tweet as there is no button for that neither than option for new tweet in menu. Also the Gravity Keyboard doesn’t work in non-full screen mode.


Download link for New Gravity version 2.50 Build 7025

Link

So, anything else you find in the new Gravity, do tell me?

The first real Windows Phone at Layman’s Take from @Nokia_Connects

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Update: The review unit is from @nokia_connects. There was some confusion as came via Nokia India

While many of the readers are yet to finish the giant Nokia N9 review that I posted few hours back, here comes the another big news. Nokia Lumia 800 has just been delivered at Layman’s Take.

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While you might be wondering about the first Bluedart bag in place of usual DHL package then let me give you another surprise. This is the first review unit to me from Nokia India itself (in co-ordination with Nokia Connects obviously) and to add into the excitement of the latest device, let me tell you that it will remain with me for next two months.

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Not to forget, as per my wish, Nokia decided to treat me with the Black Model. So… now its time to shot a big YAHOOOOOO … oops! big BINGGGG as @modibimal says

Layman’s Take on Nokia N9– Music of Beethoven

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Its been enough long since I didn’t came back  about the much awaited Nokia N9 post, the Layman’s Take on Nokia N9, but I wanted to assure you that I wasn’t lost and was exploring the beauty from the most critical angles, so that you can get a view beyond the praises, beyond the technicalities… beyond the background stories … beyond Meego’s Future etc.. just a practical and real life plain view about the device and here I am .. back again..

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What will you do if …

  • You know that you are among least wanted out there …
  • You know that nothing matters now, no matter how hard you try …
  • You know that this is actually the last life you are going to live out there …
  • If you have to face the world out there alone as even your own people will back off from you …

Yes! this been exactly the thing with Nokia N9, when it was waiting for its turn to come out in lights.

Odds from whole universe been tiding their hands against this lonely warrior. Big tech blogs were habitual of discarding anything from praises, if a name Nokia attached with it. Think of the adrenal in your veins when you know that people are ready to discard you even before giving you a tiny chance, leave the talk of a fair chance, think of the thoughts going on inside, when you know that even your company don’t want to launch you all over the world and just want to pass it on?

Do you know, what Nokia N9 did?

It did something that only heros do, like Beethoven did, with composing legendary music even when he went medically deaf. Nokia N9 stood tall in front of all the odds and turned around the things single handedly.

Its been long since when we heard literally hundred percent reviews about a Nokia filled with adjectives only and when it happens then if it tempting you to know about it “more and more” then you are perfectly sane. After all, when people like Gizmodo, who even refused to review Nokia N8 (still the best Nokia phone for me till date), feel tempted about it, then why should you hide your lust for it?

I had every reason to  literally beg for this gadget pornography and thank to kind people at Nokia, I wasn’t denied like always. Smile

But who was I?

The one who started his mobile blogging with almighty Nokia N900 and still dreams about that “old” resistive device only, I was obviously not surprised by the praises coming in the way of Nokia N9, knowing that it was successor to Nokia N900 itself with removal of most of its shortcomings (not all).

I was obviously not starting afresh here. I had my own expectations, coming from Nokia N900 and Nokia N8 combined, let’s see what I felt about the device, but I should warn you that once you click the Read More link, you are into a post that is as big as around 11000+ words, more than double larger that any other review I posted till date..

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on Nokia N9– Music of Beethoven”

Layman’s Take on BlackBerry Torch 9860- Focused about work beautifully

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Its been a time with loads of exciting stuffs to me, first Nokia N9 and then BlackBerry Torch 9860, Two totally new platforms with a contrast nature. Like I usually been doing with my review units, I was required to immerse myself into one of them totally as my main phone to know about things more than skin deep, but it definitely was tougher this time. But still, Blackberry grabbed my attention in many ways and definitely left a very good impression for a first time Blackberry user. A lot to say, but will try to keep it compact.


BlackBerry and me:

It should come up as a strange fact that despite of being called as a workaholic, I been far away from the BlackBerry World till now.

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Reason …

My first short encounters were with models like BlackBerry 8800 two years back, when we purchased around a dozen for our office. The same model never strike me about its looks or QWERTY (didn’t liked that in comparison of likes of Nokia E71/E72 etc). So, it was a sort of first impression that left me with a bad taste just by looks\ design even when I didn’t tried the services part.

Secondly, as far as services part is concerned, then in those days, I wasn’t much into social services/facebook etc (just created those accounts after that time period) and push mails were not that big concern to me so obviously paying a premium amount for BIS/BES services was out of question, when I never felt any particular need of timely delivery.

But things changed over time. I started “regular” blogging by Feb 2009 and later on joined Twitter/Facebook etc by end of 2009 I guess. Mails/ Twitter/ Facebook feeds kept on finding their ways deep into my life and now I generally take part into dozens of twitter communications with roughly 100 tweets/mentions per day and similar about the mails. Now was the time, when timely delivery was important, now was the time, when I was ready to pay premium was accurate services and that’s now it was about time, when I dig into and explore the BlackBerry world, which been a legacy about service delivery till now.

Thanks to twitter and @kaushaldivya5 that I got a chance to take a look over the latest of BlackBerry’s adventure with Full Touch.

Let’s see what I felt about my first BlackBerry …

Continue reading “Layman’s Take on BlackBerry Torch 9860- Focused about work beautifully”