Intex Aqua N2 launched for INR 6,990

Intex Technologies has launched the Aqua N2, the company’s latest smartphone in the Aqua series.

Powered by a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, the Intex Aqua N2 runs on Android 4.2 and comes with dual SIM support and standby similar to other Intex smartphones. The phone also supports OTA updates and users get free access to 5GB of space with Intex Cloud app. Innovative apps such as Matrabhasha supports 22 regional languages to enables use of smartphone in user’s own mother tongue. The N2 comes loaded with apps like Intex Play, an application that facilitates downloading popular applications and games and Intex movies for unlimited streaming and downloading of latest Bollywood movies free of cost for a month.

Intex Aqua N2 specifications

  • 4.0-inch (800 ×480 pixels) WVGA capacitive touch screen display
  • Dual SIM
  • Android 4.2
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal memory, Expandable memory up to 32GB with micro SD
  • 5MP Auto Focus Camera with LED flash
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio with recording
  • 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth and GPS
  • 1400 mAh battery

 

The Intex Aqua N2 is available in Black & White, and is priced at INR 6,990 and comes with a free flip cover. You can purchase one from the 40,000 plus distributors, reseller outlets, more than 42 INTEX SQUARES (exclusive retail stores), several hypermarkets and leading e-commerce portals across the country

XOLO Play Tab 7.0 with Nvidia Tegra 3 launched at INR 12,999

Barely a month after it’s entry into the tablet market, Xolo today launched its first Tegra 3 based Android tablet , the Xolo Play Tab 7.0.

The Xolo Play Tab 7.0 features a 7-inch IPS (1280×800 pixel) display and is capable of full-HD video playback. The tablet is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor along with 1GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is preloaded with Nvidia’s TegraZone for tegra optimised android games. The play tab sports a 2-megapixel front-facing camera with no rear camera. The device comes with 8GB of inbuilt storage with support for a microSD card. Surprisingly, this device does not offer 3G connectivity or voice calling.

Xolo Play Tab 7.0 key specifications

  • 7-inch IPS (1280×800) display
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB inbuilt storage, microSD card support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 4000mAh battery

 

The Xolo play tab 7.0 is now available in India for a best buy price of Rs 12,999.

Xolo Play Tab 7.0

How to Resolve ‘The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?’ Error and Restore Data

The inception of digital cameras, even in the devices like mobile phones, has made it possible to click even the tiniest moments of our lives. These digital cameras (even the inbuilt cameras in phones) have the property to transfer the clicked photos to our computers and most of us avail this advantage as well. In order to keep the copy or sometimes free up space on our digital camera memory card, we transfer our invaluable photos to our computers. Moreover, some of us even send these photos to external data storage devices like external hard drive for keeping them safely.

Therefore, in order to prevent data loss, we generally do not keep our precious photos in our camera. However, observing these precautions too does not guarantee that your photos are completely safe and secure. This is because of the file system corruption on the data storage device. The corruption of data storage device like hard drive of your computer, external hard drive of your computer, or the memory card wherein your photos are stored, generally results in an error message. One such error message is:

“The drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”

 After getting this error message, when you go to ‘Disk Management’, you will find that the affected disk is healthy, but it does not have any file system and drive letter. These kinds of drives are generally known as ‘RAW’ drives, which mean they are not prepared to be used with the Operating System (OS) or the data cannot be read due to the corruption. Since every disk needs to be formatted with a file system before use, due to the raw nature of the file system of this disk, you get this ‘drive not formatted’ error message.

A disk generally becomes RAW when it encounters severe virus infection or sudden power failure.  Some practical examples of getting the drive error are:

Mathew, a Windows 2000 user, encountered this error message suddenly when he was trying to fix the problem with the sound card of his system. Prior to getting this error message, he was able to access the drive with all its contents, but then he suddenly got the error message “Disk in drive E: is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?”. He lost the accessibility of all the data stored on this drive. Moreover, he lost the accessibility of this complete drive itself. In his problem, he states that before encountering this problem, the file system of this ‘E’ drive was FAT32, but now it is RAW. He needs some solution for this problem, as he uses this drive as a backup drive for storing his precious photos and videos.

Similar problem occurred with Eliza, who uses Windows XP:

Eliza says that for quite a long time, she has been using an external hard drive for backing up her invaluable image and video files. Few days back, when she attached her external drive to her computer for taking the backup of some recent photographs, she encountered an error stating that ‘the disk in drive D is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?’. After this error message, she lost the accessibility of the entire drive. Moreover, the drive letter along with the file system of the drive was not visible in disk management; instead, she could see a RAW drive.

What to Do When Come Across Such Issues:

 Since this error message creates inaccessibility of the drive, to conform the option to format your drive remains the only way to make your disk accessible. As we know formatting causes complete data loss, all your images, photos, videos, or all other data stored on your drive is deleted. In such situation, if you have the backup of your data, then you can easily overcome the loss. However, you should not worry even in the unavailability of the backup, as for such situations, use of professional software is recommended.

A reliable commercial image recovery tool recovers all deleted or formatted files from the drive. However, after performing the format, you should not use your drive until the recovery software does its job. This precaution is for avoiding the overwriting of formatted data else you will never be able to restore data.

The formatting of data storage drive does not cause data loss instantly; instead, it only reinstalls the file system and the data remains at its place physically intact. However, due to the changed file system, you are unable to find anything on your drive. Moreover, the newly installed file system marks all the space free to be reused, despite the fact that old data is there at its place. However, if you perform further format or saving of new files, then chances of overwriting of older ones are quite high. Since a formatted file is impossible to be recovered even by the most efficient recovery software, it is suggested to observe this precaution.

If you do not use your formatted drive and use professional software immediately, then you can easily recover your lost files and folders and undo the loss. Most of the tools of this category support the recovery of all kinds of multimedia files and are available separately for Windows and Mac users. However, the steps of recovery are almost the same for both the Operating Systems. Generally, all tools have three simple steps of recovery, which can be explained as:

  • Select: First, install the software on your computer, and then attach the affected external hard drive to this system. However, if the error is encountered with the hard drive of your computer itself, then download the software to any other computer and attach your computer’s hard drive to this system. After that, run the tool and select your affected data storage media. In case of data loss and the same error in memory cards, it is suggested to attach the memory card with the help of a card reader.
  • Scan: After you have started the software and selected your affected hard drive, click an option to start the scanning of this drive. Generally, all efficient tools of this category provide the preview of recoverable files after completion of the scanning process. With this preview, you can select or deselect the files for recovery.
  • Save: As you have selected the drive for recovery and chosen the files itself, click the option to recover them. After successful completion of the recovery process, select the option to save the recovered files. Some tools provide automatic option for the saving of recovered files; however, go for an appropriate option and save your recovered photos, videos, and other media files at your preferred location.

 You have to work wisely and obey all the precautions and proper steps for the recovery. Losing hope does not solve your problem; instead, opting for an appropriate solution according to your problem is recommended.

Online World Stylus RollerBall Let You Write on Paper and your Tablet

Here’s a cool accessory for those of you who can afford it. The  Online World Stylus RollerBall from  Online, a German fine writing instruments maker, multitasks as both a pen and a stylus.

Online World stylus Roller Ball PenThe World Pen Stylus rollerball is made of pure aluminum and  is equipped with a  quality stylus tip and allows you to scribble, write or draw on your phone or tablet’s screen. If you have one of those newer touchscreen laptops, yes, this works on those too. The other end of the pen features a rollerball with blue ink for  jotting down your thoughts on paper and signing autographs and cheques. Take your pick.

The product itself is in the premium segment with excellent finish and quality.  You can pick up one of these here in India from a William Penn outlet at Rs.4,225.  William Penn currently has 25 stores spread across Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Kochi

XOLO gets into the tablet market with the XOLO Tab

Xolo, which has a plethora of Android Smartphones in its portfolio, including some Intel Chipset based devices (X900, X910, X1000) and a Tegra 3 Device (Xolo Play), is now getting into the Tablet market as well, with the launch of the Xolo Tab, an 8″ Android tablet that is quite affordable for a WiFi + 3G device.
image

 

Here’s a brief run through of the specs:

  • Screen – 8″ 1024×768 pixels, IPS
  • SOC – Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (1.2 GHz Quad Core A5 Processor, Adreno 203 GPU)
  • Connectivity – GSM 900/1800 MHz, HSPA 2100 MHz, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0\
  • Storage – 4GB Internal Storage, 1GB RAM
  • Imaging – 2MP Rear Camera, VGA (0.3MP) Front Facing Camera
  • OS – Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Battery – 4000 mAh

What really surprised me was the fact that it didn’t utilize a MediaTek chipset like most other devices in the same price range and the fact that it runs 4.1.2, when most of the other Xolo devices run 4.2.2. But that’s all pretty much forgiven when you take into account the price of the device: INR 13,499. We’ll try and get our hands on one and take it for a quick test.

 

Here’s the Press Release:

XOLO expands its portfolio, launches its first Tablet- XOLO TAB
6th September 2013: After making a successful entry in the Indian Mobile Phone industry last year, XOLO now enters a new segment with the launch of its first Tablet. XOLO – a premium smartphone manufacturer came into existence last year in April, 2012 with the launch of the world’s first mobile phone with the power of Intel Inside and since then XOLO has launched various phones in the mid to high end smartphone segment. The brand’s philosophy since the inception has been to provide something better and extra to its customers, with an intent to deliver an experience of +1. XOLO’s latest addition to its portfolio is Slim and Powerful Q1000s and XOLO Play, a true delight for gamers that is powered by 1.5 Ghz NVIDIA Tegra quad-core processor with NVIDIA GeForce GPU.
XOLO today expanded its portfolio with the launch of its first Tablet – XOLO TAB. The light weight XOLO TAB comes with a big IPS 20.32cm (8) screen that offers clear and crisp display with a resolution of 1024×768 for an amazing and comfortable experience. It supports multi-touch and pinch to zoom. It has an Adreno 203 GPU and is capable of playing HD videos at 720p @30fps.
It runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 and comes packed in with a powerful Snapdragon 1.2 GHz quad-core processor for faster and  improved performance. It also supports 3G video and voice calling to ensure users are always connected with their friends and family.
For faster and smoother experience the new XOLO TAB is equipped with 1GB RAM. It comes with 4GB of internal memory of which 2.5GB is available for the users and the external memory can be expanded using a microSD card up to 32 GB to store lots of songs, movies and games.
It has a 2 MP rear camera and a 0.3 MP front camera that can be used to make 3G video calls. It supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity as well.
Its 4000 mAh battery ensures that it doesn’t need frequent recharges and assures you of uninterrupted fun.
This big 20.32 cm (8) quad-core Tab with 3G connectivity is available for purchase at Rs. 13,499 only. It will be availabe in the white color in the retail stores by the end of this week.
 

Intex Launches the Aqua i7 an Android with full HD display and 2GB RAM

Intex Aqua i7Intex, earlier known for their computer peripherals, has jumped into the Android Smartphone bandwagon with their latest phone. At a press event in Mumbai yesterday, Farhan Akhtar, brand ambassador for Intex mobiles, unveiled their flagship model the Intex Aqua i7. This phone comes with a 5 inch full HD resolution (1280×1080) screen which features OGS (One Glass Solution) display technology and Corning Gorilla Glass. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a 1.5GHz quad core processor with 2GB RAM, which should make your apps and games operate with ease.

The phone will retail in India for Rs. 21,900 starting from September 9th from retail and online e-commerce retailers around India. The price for the phone includes accessories worth Rs. 5,500 from Intex which includes a flip cover, Cloud space , screen guard, limited edition key chain and pen personally signed by Farhan.

Commenting on the launch, Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Senior GM-Mobility Division, Intex Technologies  said, “After an overwhelming response to Aqua i5, we are excited to launch our flagship offering Aqua i7. Intex takes pride in consistently introducing quality and performance oriented products for its consumers. With the launch of Aqua i7, we are foraying into the premium handsets segment and are confident of providing the best user experience to consumers who are looking for a device with pleasing aesthetics designed to offer power packed performance.”

Features of the Intex Aqua i7

  • Running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system the phone is powered by 1.5 GHz quad core processor
  • A slim design (7.88 mm) with has a 5 inch full HD (1280X1080) screen which flaunts Corning® Gorilla® Glass that produces deep color rich display while providing protection
  • The phone comes bundled with 13MP rear camera capable of capturing full HD videos and 5MP front camera videos and videos
  • The phone features 2GB RAM for your apps and  32GB internal storage for your media and files.
  • For the sequrity concious, the phone comes pre-loaded with NQ Vault and NQ Security
  • The smartphone is equipped with a host of 15 applications and various cool features such as: Look away, wireless display, Intex cloud, Intex OTA, locate, Intex Play, Intex Zone, personalized screen and 10 pre-loaded full HD video songs which makes it a perfect phone to hang out with
  • Movies for free via Intex Movies app with one month free subscription
  • Intex’s online OTA (over the air) software application will help you update your phone’s software automatically to do away with lag timing or other delays faced while using various applications on the phone
  • Aqua i7 also has 3G, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GSM+WCDMA and HSPA+ as connectivity options.
  • The phone is bundled with a  2000mAh battery that provides a talk-time of 7 hours and standby time of 220 hrs

For more details on the phone, head over to Intex’s Aqua i7 product page.

Nokia Launches the Lumia 925 and the Lumia 625 in India

Nokia has just launched the much awaited Lumia 925 in India for Rs. 33,499, along with the mid-range Lumia 625 for Rs. 19,999. Whilst the selling point of the Lumia 925 is its brilliant camera and its aluminum frame, the Lumia 625 is touted as an entertainment device with its big 4.7” screen.

nokia lumia 925

The Lumia 925 being a spiritual successor to the previous flagship Nokia 920 comes with improvements to the camera and design. The Lumia 925 becomes the first phone in the Lumia line to feature an aluminum frame, with polycarbonate back available in white, grey or black. The result is it makes the phone thinner and lighter; this is a huge relief as the 920 was too heavy and bulky to live with. The Lumia 925 will also taste the much appreciated Nokia Pro Cam seen first on the Lumia 1020 once the Amber update is out.

Nokia Lumia 925 Specs:

  • 4.5″ 16M-color PureMotionHD+ AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 1280 x 768 pixels, with a 332 ppi pixel density.
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, [email protected] video recording and 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Optical Image stabilization with floating lens technology
  • 32GB of inbuilt storage ( Not expandable)
  • Aluminum frame, with thinner and lighter profile.
  • FM radio
  • White, grey or black color.
  • Rs. 33,499 retail price.

Nokia Lumia 625 front and back

On the other hand, the Lumia 625 is purely marketed as an entertainment device. The device boasts a huge 4.7” screen, biggest in the Lumia line up and it looks like Nokia wants its users to fully utilize this screen. For starters, Nokia is offering goodies worth Rs.16000 in the form of an Entertainment package out-of-the-box. This includes movies, eBooks from Flipkart and access to the Nokia Music Store, among others.  The phone also comes preloaded with Your Movies app, through which the users can not only stream but also download movies.

Nokia Lumia 625 Specs:

  • 4.7″ 16M-color IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen of 480 x 800 pixels, with a 199 ppi pixel density
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, [email protected] video recording
  • 8GB internal memory, expandable up to 64GB.
  • 1.2 GHz Dual-core Krait with 512MB RAM.
  • Orange, Bright green, Yellow, Black and white colors.
  • Upgradeable to WP8 Amber.
  • Rs. 19,999 retail price.

Follow the link to the press release for more – Nokia Lumia 625+925 India Launch Press Release.

Accessorise and Protect your phone with Case Mate

Your smartphone really is your portable computing device, your camera, media player, and so much more. You’ve probably invested a lot of money in your smartphone, both for the hardware and for the services and apps that you’ve purchased. You’ve probably also spent a lot of time setting it up so that it’s just right for you to use. Now all it takes is a little slip and what you have, is a broken phone (most probably the screen), a trip to the service center, and a hefty charge for replacement parts.

The most practical way to protect your phone is to put a case on it. It’ll probably also set you apart from the hundreds of thousands of people who have the exact same device. There’s a plethora of accessory makers out there, but the one that I’ve used for almost every smartphone that I’ve owned is Case Mate.

Now, what I generally do is buy the case from the Case Mate website or from Clove and pay extra for shipping to India. What I didn’t know though, was that as of late last year, Case Mate has an online presence in India. So that’s two benefits: It’s cheaper than buying it abroad and you’ll get it quicker (I really need to go and run a quick calculation to see how much I would have saved had I known about this).

They have a huge range of series, so regardless of what kind of cover you want, you’ll probably find something you like, from the Barely There series to the Pop Cases (with a kick stand to prop your device) to the  Tough Cases (which I personally prefer). You can also customize your case.

So head on over to Case Mate and a have a look and buy from their site. You can also follow them on Twitter and on Facebook. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

[button style=”2″ caption=”Visit Case Mate India” link=”http://www.case-mate.in/”][/button]

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Nokia Lumia 720 – The Budget-Premium Windows Phone

It was about time Nokia brought in something substantial into the mid-range smartphone market and from the very first glance it becomes obvious that Nokia has put in a lot of effort into the Lumia 720. The phone is ruggedly built and feels as solid as every other Nokia.

The Lumia 720 comes packaged with a 1 GHz dual-core Krait CPU but has only 512 MB of RAM on board. This places certain limits, such as not having access to some applications in the Windows Marketplace. But that shouldn’t hold you back from buying one as the Lumia 720 has a lot of nice tricks up its sleeve. The camera for example can be compared to phones one level higher, but more on that later.

Lumia 720 Specifications

Let’s start with some quick specs. The phone comes with a 4.3” ClearBlack IPS LCD display, and runs the latest Windows Phones 8 OS. It is retails at about Rs. 17000.

Display : 4.3” ClearBlack IPS LCD display, WVGA resolution with 217ppi pixel density.

Processor : 1 GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8227 chipset, 512MB of RAM

Connectivity : Quad-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support

Storage : 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable up to 32GB via MicroSD card.

Camera :  6.1MP autofocus camera with F/1.9 lens and LED flash, [email protected] video recording

OS : Windows Phone 8

Battery : Non-removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BP-4GW)

Colors : Glossy White, Red and Matte finish Black, Blue.

What’s in the box

What's in the Box for the Lumia 720

As mentioned, the Lumia 720 is built solidly and borrows its looks from the 920 which works well in its favour. The unibody structure is made of polycarbonate.  The phone is 9mm thin and weighs 128g. The phone looks svelte and it gives you a premium feel.  The Lumia 720 is available in four colors, White and Red in glossy finish and Black and Blue in matte finish. I prefer the matte finish as its less prone to finger prints and scratches. But hey it’s a personal choice; it actually looks the best in red.

Lumia 720 in hand

On the right hand side, it has a dedicated Shutter key, power/screen off button and the volume keys. The memory card slot is on the left hand side and it is hot swappable. The phone comes with the industry standard micro USB charging at the bottom, the microphone is also placed here. If there is one thing to complain about then it has to be the bezels, they are too thick on all sides especially at the bottom. It would have been nimble if not for the thick bezels. The phone comes with a 2000mAh battery which should be good for 10h of 3G usage.

Display, User Interface & Handling

The Nokia Lumia 720 comes with a 4.3” ClearBlack IPS LCD display of WVGA resolution with 217ppi, while it may not sound on par with its competitors; the Windows Phones 8 is designed in such a way that the relatively low pixel density doesn’t really show.

The Lumia 720

Coming to the UI, I have always been a fan of Windows Metro UI and the Lumia 720 doesn’t fail to impress me. The phone comes with windows phone 8.0 out of the box. The Metro UI has come a long way and feels exceptionally smooth on the Lumia 720. The UI isn’t too predictable as its competitors and it might take some time getting used to. But believe me, it’s a very refreshing change. The UI is plain and simple, on click of the unlock button reveals the lock screen. The lock screen can be customized to show updates from any apps, it also displays a mini music player with basic functions. Upon press and hold of volume button on the lock screen, an icon to toggle vibrate and ring mode appears which comes in handy. A nice feature is the ability to change the wallpaper on the lockscreen automatically using apps from the marketplace or certain built-in ones.  A swipe from bottom of the lock screen unlocks the phone.  The homescreen is a vertical grid of live tiles; WP8 allows for resizing of tiles, an app can be pinned to the homescreen or start menu upon press and hold in the menu. An app tile can be sized to a quarter, normal or a double sized tile. There are options to change the background to either black or white, there also several accent colors to choose from in the settings menu.

The Messaging is pretty basic. The keyboard layout felt a little bit cramped, each key is elongated and as a whole takes up too much space on the screen. I personally would have preferred a wider space for each key and shortened a little bit. The keyboard also provides predictions but they are not quick enough neither are they accurate, you’ll have to wait for a fraction of a second longer than its competitors. Here again, the predictions take up too much space, the font size can be reduced to make more space.

The Lumia 720 comes with free 7GB space on SkyDrive, comes in handy to store or back up any data.

Switching between apps is pretty easy, just press and hold the back button and all the opened apps are revealed in a horizontal manner. However, there is no way to close apps from here; it only provides an interface to switch apps. One has to open the app and press the back button to close it.

Camera

The Camera clearly has to be the best part of the Lumia 720. The phone comes with a 6.1 megapixel autofocus camera with super-fast F/1.9 lens. That’s one of the fastest lenses fitted to a phone. The recently announced Lumia EOS comes with a F/2.2 lens to give you a perspective.  The result is the images are just right, the colors are perfect and are sharp, and the photos are very pleasant to view on the ClearBlack LCD display. The phone comes with the shutter key on the right hand side which means you don’t have to look for the app, it is always ready.

Lumia 720 Camera Sample2

Nokia seems to be taking their camera modules very seriously. The camera produces very well detailed photos and because of the fast lens nature you might as well get some nice bokeh, which mean it is also good for portrait photography. The Camera comes preloaded with a lot of tweaking; one can change the ISO, the White Balance and even the exposure value. There are also a few pre-defined scenes which can come in handy. There’s option to switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio. While Nokia smart shoot clicks a series of photos and helps you choose the best one, Nokia Cinemagraph takes small clips and convert them to GIFs.

Lumia 720 Camera Sample1

The fast lens helps in capturing good low light pictures as well, thanks to the focus assist light. Though it might be a little grainy, it’s not a deal breaker and clearly trumps others in its class. Here is link to the comparison with  the Nexus 4. The phone is equipped with a lot of photo apps. Nokia Glam Me, takes self-portraits only and as the name suggests polishes the photo with some touches. Further tweaking to the photo is available at the hands of the user. Options to increase the tone, adjust softness, making your eyes look bigger and even whitening your teeth are available. Head to the end of the post for more Camera Samples.

Connectivity and Browser

The Lumia 720 comes packaged with Internet Explorer and the browser is pretty powerful. It took whatever sites I threw at it without a problem. The one thing I would like to complain about is the images on zooming in might appear grainy. The browser was capable of handling HTML5, was also able to play HTML5 embedded videos.

Music Player/ Video Player

Apart from having the usual music player, the Lumia 720 has something called Nokia Music. This is nothing but Nokia’s very own music service and it comes free with the phone. All you need to do is register and then you are provided with unlimited music streaming and free music downloads. The Nokia Music store has a huge collection of songs across various genres. The Nokia Music app also provides you suggestions based on your music history, which is a nice touch. There are a plenty of equalizer presets, one can also define a custom one. When the screen is locked with music playing in the background, on wake a mini widget like music player with controls appears on top of the screen.

Apart from the Nokia Music app, you also get a Music Player which essentially just plays music with the same layout as the Nokia Music. But one thing missing here is an equalizer, so I’d rather stick to Nokia Music. Sadly, there is no FM radio, which comes as a surprise as Nokia doesn’t usually miss such basic features.

The Video Player is pretty powerful, I was able to play DivX, avi, mp4 and full HD movies as well. The layout is pretty minimalistic and doesn’t intervene with the video. You get your basic play/pause, forward and backward controls with a timeline and a full screen toggle button.

Apps/ AppsStore/ Office

The Lumia 720 comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office, this is very helpful and one doesn’t have to look around for third party apps. This is such a blessing in disguise. Word, Excel and PowerPoint are the apps which are available, and all documents can be synced with SkyDrive for easy access through Desktop and Phone.  Editing is allowed only for Word and Excel while only viewing is permitted for PowerPoint files.

Windows Phone Store is slowly catching up with its rivals and it recently crossed the 100,000 mark too. Microsoft claims that most the Top selling apps are available for WP8. It has also the basic apps a sedate user need, while pro users may complain about some powerful apps missing. The phone comes with some very common games preinstalled. Xbox live is the Games Hub rival of Apple Games Center, the user can create a profile and avatars. Xbox Live keeps track of yours and friends’ profile, gaming achievements and avatars.

Another nice feature on WP8 is there is no need for a separate app for Gmail and Facebook. Just add your Gmail/Facebook account through setting menu and voila you are done. All your Facebook News feeds, mails, contacts are synced to the phone. The only drawback is that it’ll take time getting used viewing these as all the details are displayed in WP8 fashion, in black and white Metro style. Another issue is that if you’re a heavy Gmail user who likes a threaded conversation, just be prepared to give this up: the Windows Phone mail app doesn’t work very well with Gmail (or some might say it’s the other way round), and it breaks conversation threading.

Maps

The Lumia 720 come pre-loaded with Nokia’s proprietary Here Maps, Bing maps is totally out (which is a really good thing). The Here maps is great and is on par with the industry standard Google Maps, the maps are pretty accurate and I didn’t have any problem finding places of interests. The maps come with four different types of views: Maps, satellite, public transport and traffic. In Bangalore, the public transport gave me only the Metro route. Traffic view, like in Google Maps, gives you a color coded guidance of traffic around your city. Green for smooth flowing, Red for slow and Orange for moderate. One nice feature with I liked is it gives you guides of certain prominent buildings. The building with the guide is highlighted as a transparent building, zoom in and you can it shows you where the lifts, elevators, showrooms and restrooms (very useful feature in a big mall) are located. Click on the building and you can get a floor wise guide of all the facilities in the building.

Nokia Here Drive is a turn by turn navigation app. Sadly it wasn’t working on this device as it is not yet available in India. Supposedly it provides turn by turn voice guided navigation and also provides the same capability offline.

Conclusion

Nokia has struck the right balance with the Lumia 720, it’s solidly built with a great Camera and a refreshing UI. I feel that WP8 has a great potential ahead, it just needs more support from us users. If one can live with the limitations of the apps available, this shouldn’t fail to impress anyone. It’s a great phone for first time buyers; while the funky Red and Blue suits college kids and the Black and white will suit professionals. It could be a very good second phone for those who like to experiment with phones. Solid build quality, great camera and refreshing UI: Put all these together and I say Nokia has got a winner on their hands.

More Camera Samples from the Lumia 720

Click on the images for a bigger version.

Blackberry Launches the Blackberry Q5 in India for Rs. 24990

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India unveiling the new BlackBerry Q5 in New Delhi
Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director, BlackBerry India unveiling the new BlackBerry Q5 in New Delhi

At a press event in New Delhi yesterday, Blackberry launched their next phone running on the BB10 platform, the Blackberry Q5.The Blackberry Q5, like the Q10 also features a QWERTY keyboard to complement the touch screen interactions on the phone. The Q5 should be available in India from the 20th of June at a price of around Rs. 24,990.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director for India at BlackBerry said, “The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone has a stunning youthful design that comes in exciting colors, and offers the full cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality as well as access to the growing catalog of BlackBerry 10 apps. With its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, it gives customers the best of both worlds.”

Quick Specs

Blackberry Q5 India LaunchThe Q5 has a 3.1 inch touch-screen, with a resolution of 720 x 720 resolution, at 329 PPI. It’s powered by a Dual Core 1.2 GHz processor and comes with 8 GB internal storage capacity. The storage is expandable up to 32GB  via a microSD card. It’s powered by a 2180mAH non-removable battery, rated for up to 12.5 hours of talktime on 3G.

As we mentioned this device is running on the BlackBerry 10.1 operating system and comes with a physical QWERTY keyboard. The phone also features a 5 megapixel rear camera which is capable of capturing HD videos at 1080p, and a 2 megapixel front camera.  The Blackberry Q5 comes in Red, White and Black for the Indian market.

You can get the full specifications of the Q5 here. For more information on the Q5, head over to Blackberry’s Q5 page. Read on for the press release from Blackberry:

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Press Release

Bangalore – India, July 16, 2013– BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB) today launched the newest BlackBerry® 10 smartphone, the BlackBerry® Q5 smartphone in India. The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard in a stunning, youthful design that is confident and makes it easy for customers to have fun, create, share and stay connected.

Available in Black, Pure White and Pure Red color models, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone offers a powerful and unique mobile computing experience with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality. Features and apps work seamlessly together, allowing your every move to flow into the next. With its classic QWERTY keyboard re-engineered for optimized typing and its 3.1” touchscreen, the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone gives you the best of both worlds.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director for India at BlackBerry said, “The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone has a stunning youthful design that comes in exciting colors, and offers the full cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality as well as access to the growing catalog of BlackBerry 10 apps. With its physical QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, it gives customers the best of both worlds.”

The BlackBerry Q5 smartphone comes with the BlackBerry 10.1 software. As part of the BlackBerry 10 experience, a peek into the BlackBerry® Hub lets you stay close to what’s important to you without stopping what you’re doing. Create the perfect shot every time with BlackBerry Time Shift, and tell your story using BlackBerry Story Maker and share with friends on Facebook. Use BBM video and Screen Share, and discover local apps from a catalogue of over 120,000 apps available on the BlackBerry® World™ storefront.

The new BlackBerry Q5 smartphone is expected to be available from authorized retailers in India starting July 20th.

For more information on BlackBerry 10, please visit www.blackberry.com/blackberry10

About BlackBerry

A global leader in wireless innovation, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. BlackBerry is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BB). For more information, visit www.blackberry.com.