Sketching still alive in me, even if little

It must be a long time when I did sketching of this kind last time. I used to sketch during the low points of life when I felt much low or engrossed in heavy thoughts not letting me think straight.

Sketching usually takes certain level of concentration over the piece of paper leaving all those inner and external thoughts away from your mind momentarily even if not completely. Trust me, even if just few moments, it helps your soul and many a times gives a straight thinking to move ahead with fresh commitment yet again.

Engaging office life, typical limited resource management and then at home kiddo as full time attention, sketching is sure not an easy thing to do. Yesterday night once we were done with dinner and kiddo was showing me that how she can draw some alphabets even if with some help and has started getting settled with school life, the idea to try sketching once again hit me.

Took a broken HB pencil of kiddo, sharpened it, managed to get a small piece of eraser left in the box and started it on the art book gifted to me by my younger bro don’t know which year.

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The timestamp of this picture was 2208 hrs, I might have started one or two mins before this point. I always prefer to start with eyes as for me, eyes always been the focus point in any face.

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For me, the complicating part in the face always been the nose and luckily this time, I was through that point by 2215 hrs and basic outlines of the face were ready.

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Now it was time to make a rough outline and limiting myself to the portion of the picture as per available size of sheet. Time was 2224 hrs.

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By 2238 hrs around, the sketch was almost done and it was time to take some photos and cross check if anything additional needs to be done.

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Here goes the original base over which I was making the sketch.

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And the final product…..

Timestamps of the images taken in between

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Gionee Elife S5.5 – Time to move beyond biases and stereotypes

Yes! Its again been long, since when I wrote last time, but I hope to make it up again with a detailed review of the product, about which I talked out in last blog post, the slimmest phone in the world right now, Gionee Elife S5.5. Slimness is obvious introduction, but trust me, this review would make you learn really a lot about the product and slimness would be just a little part of that.


Let’s know the brand first….

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Brand Gionee: Preface

If we look at landscape of phones or more precisely smartphones, then sometimes it looks literally unbelievable that what has happened within less than a decade. We seen how less relevant conventional calls and messaging have gone in last decade, we seen how outdated non-touch phones became in a short period of time and we seen once towering personality of phones, the Nokia, going out from even top three manufacturers from once 80% market share. Same happened around prices of smartphones,  which risen up with unbelievable rise in smartphone specs and crossed even cost\ capabilities of desktops even.

In high priced game of HTC, Samsung, Apple etc, players like Micromax, Karbonn, Xolo etc also tried their bit, but even if some of their products succeeded a bit or offered a valid alternative, the difference between premium products and their products was always visible even by single look at product. But then, Gionee entered into the market.  Trust me, you need to read further and see this product in action to know why I feel a strong endorsement for this particular product. It definitely helped me in enlightening myself about the new players, the bright future ahead and I expect it would leave the same effect on you as well, that never write anything off, the landscape has changed in past and can change again.

Before starting the review, one should have a look at my earlier two posts 1 & 2 to have an idea about the company and why it galvanizes hope even in early interactions. This is a company, who entered in a market where “china” was literally synonym with duplicate, mediocre, unreliable etc (Might not be true for all in reality but the common perception) and rather than bending own ways to handle the market perception like many other competitors, decided to take it heads upon over itself to change the entire landscape.

Be it kind of products finishing/ logo etc, be it bold & unprecedented market strategies, be it kind of blogger interactions, be in unique Tier 1 retail relations, Gionee seems to be combining all the good parts of their competitors like Nokia, Apple, Samsung and Huawei into one and its definitely seem to be getting it right till now at least. 

Continue reading “Gionee Elife S5.5 – Time to move beyond biases and stereotypes”

Nokia Care–Teaching lesson to service industry since years

All of us know that what all those customers visiting Care/Service Centers have in common;

They all do visit if the product is not functioning properly, repeat problems or in certain cases they are negative towards the company itself.

When you look at things in this way (specially the last point), then it becomes very important for companies to curate a top class Care/ Service Center experience to tackle the aggressions and disappointments of consumers.

As customer experience and customer service increasingly become a strategic priority for companies looking to differentiate themselves, most of them are realizing that some of their consumer interactions (face to face or contact centers) represent more than just costs; they’re moments of truth for customers, points in time that significantly impact customer loyalty.


If we sit back and recall our last Service Center experiences, then I am sure that we can sure remember one of those worse ones a few years back and we can sure remember that how we talked about those experiences with our friends. It clearly shows that much important Customer Care is. Are companies really doing something about it now in recent years?

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Luckily, I got a chance to visit and see the process followed by Nokia Care Centers in general and would like to share the same with you so that you can understand that why Nokia remains consumer’s favourite.


Nokia Care: the process

As about the looks and process inside a Service Center, it changes as per the user base and type of handsets change city by city, area by area, time by time, so its not exactly possible to keep each Service Center in the same way as a metropolitan city would have. Yes! there might be alterations in minute details in comparison but more or less, Nokia Care Centres catch the consumer eye. They are easy to locate & give a comfortable feeling once you enter. The basic amenities like seating space, air-conditioning, cleanliness, decent branding are common to all Nokia Care Canters.

Let me now share the different elements of a Nokia Care Center:

  1. The reception:

    The reception in a traditional Nokia Care Center has been replaced by a Token System that generates token on the basis of task category & also sends this information to Care Center manager. You get a touch based, ATM like looking token machine with different task categories from which customer can select the relevant option.

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    As you can see, this system removes the middle man carrying up your tokens and subsequent order no. The new system is very transparent in its functions. While the centralized reporting helps Nokia in further improvements, but it also improves the turnaround time with per call. DSC05199Along with token, you also needed to fill Customer Information Slip for record purpose, so that Nokia may contact you about your experience if required.

  2. Waiting area: Comfortable seating at the Waiting area makes it relaxing. An LCD TV is showing the latest Nokia promotions about products as well as valuable Consumer Information like (Do’s & Don’ts, Consumer Awareness initiatives like Recycle etc.). Another LCD displays token allotment and also the average waiting time.
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  3. Monitoring and tracking the tokens: It sounds too good to be true but gone are those days when you were needed to sit for long in Nokia Care Centers to get your number. While efforts are made to attend to customer at the earliest, in case any customer is waiting for long, the Center manager would attend to the customer himself. The company monitors the Average Waiting Time centrally to take corrective actions.
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  4. Product & Accessory Display: One thing that has always been part of a Nokia Care Center and that is Accessory Display. It’s still the same though Nokia Care Centers in certain cities might have the latest products on display too.

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  5. Service Desks: The number of service desks depends on the location & number of customers visiting the Care Center and the one that I visited was at Delhi, it had larger number of desks.

    DSC05208The Service desks are not only equipped with common accessories like covers, headphones etc. but also keep catalogue of protection plans as well.

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    Like the one, you see here, Nokia Care Protect plans extends your warranty for 12 months more (Obviously after inspecting your device once and if found perfectly fine), which will be exactly same as the normal warranty. Unfortunately, only those users that are covered in warranty can enjoy this benefit, not the one who are left with expired warranty.

  6. Technical Desks: Not all the issues are as simple that one expert can solve without doing dirty things like opening your device or opening screws within mins, so all the cases that require further work beyond just an expert inspection, will go into technical section.

    Obviously consumers are not allowed to enter into technical section as it requires some form of Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection, though all such technical desks  will always have a transparent glass front. Logic behind the transparent glasses is, people out there can have a view if the technical desk want to show them the exact problem with their handsets.

     
  7. Feedback Section: I am not sure if I would have come across a cute feedback section like this in some Service Center. It was pleasing to see the openness & transparency at Nokia Care Centers to collect customer feedback.

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    And more better is, this is not just namesake. Put a negative feedback and you can be assured that someone will personally meet you or call you about that feedback.

  8. Collection Counter: Obviously not all issues can be resolved within mins or even in hours, many a times, you need to come to Care Center on a later date, just for the collection purpose. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to put a customer coming for collection into the same queue as of people with complaint. Obviously, a separate desk for collection.
  9. Accessory Replacement: Nokia Care Centers maintains a stock of commonly used accessories batteries, headphones etc. Let me remind you, you will never get a repair of headphones and batteries in case of Nokia as such items get instantly replaced with a new one rather than doing some ad-hoc solution (obviously when in warranty).. 

    Nokia ensures adequate stock in all Care Centers to avoid disappointed customers coming for service. The stock in Nokia Care Center varies as per patterns of consumers visited there.

  10. Internal Training & skill enhancements: We were very excited to know if those technical desk people were given chance of having hands on over latest upcoming gadgets before the marketSmile with tongue outNokia keeps on training each one of them about handsets throughout the year.
  11. Outcall to customers about their experiences: This is another feat that Nokia seems to have adopted from the best practices of service industry. Random calls to Customer to know if they have been satisfied with their experience with Nokia Care Center. Also if they have any suggestion in mind for further improvements. All of such calls get well documented and forwarded to concerned authorities for further decisions if required.

So, this pretty much sums up what a Nokia Care look like and functions like. When I was asked, for me it was actually hard to come up with a suggestion to bring further improvement.

Do you find the process good enough or do you have some of your own suggestions? Do you have any good or bad experiences with Nokia Care recently? Please share them with me, I hope you will be listened by right ears.

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”

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”

First BlackBerry at Layman’s Take-It is a BlackBerry Torch 9860 with BB OS7

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While the excitement of receiving a Nokia N9 one day back isn’t over yet, the first day of November opened the another door for Layman’s Take. This time, I got BlackBerry Torch 9860 (All-Touch) review unit for seven days. (The first from an Indian PR and really the quickest response I would ever had from anyone other than Nokia)

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That’s bound to be an exciting week for me and readers sure gonna get an entirely fresh take about a Blackberry because, if you bar a few mins interactions with old BlackBerry models, then I been totally unaware of the new world that been sweetheart of most of the business persons out there.

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So, what you wanna hear about this new world? Or what you wanna suggest me about it? Send me all those questions, comments, tips on nitish@nitishkumar.net or @nkumar_ I am waiting ….

DA-BANG at Layman’s Take-Yeah it is an Nokia N9

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Finally it is the time to end the suspense and to reveal what I been holding since last few days. Yes! The One is here. The one you waited to hear about from me, the one, over which I was dying to get my hands on. And finally thanks to Tom and Paul, it is here. King of kings, Nokia N9.

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Its been 323 days back from here, when I requested the Santa to bring a Nokia N900 for me and while I thought he missed my plea back then in flood of pleas from others, I can hear that he didn’t missed me, but thought to greet me with something even bigger than that. Something that might have removed all the shortcomings of Nokia N900 I once cribbed about and bring this much more than for counting even my fingers could fell short.

It is a dream come true.

I know you wanna hear all about it, I know you wanna see all what you haven’t seen.. in next coming days, I will try that I wont disappoint you all. Now let me go back to the dreamland again.