Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – The Return of the Phablet

Samsung Galaxy Note II like it’s predecessor has become a showstealer, being a bridge between the phone and a tablet. The phablet! According to a recent news item, more than 5 million Galaxy Note II’s have been sold till date. Yup it is indeed big – the phone comes with a 5.5 inch screen which makes it to look stunning. At the same time, do not be afraid that you will have to hold a big block near your ears when you have to make a call. The phone is actually slimmer than the original Galaxy Note.

The size of the phone is the most debated element. Some find the phone to be OK after they’ve played with it a little bit; some men and women had no problems in sliding the phone to their pant pockets and/or handbag/purse, respectively. But, some find the phone to be too large to handle with one hand, especially when one has to reach the other end of the screen. Nevertheless, the big screen is a winner. The super AMOLED screen makes the experience excellent for media, games and graphics. The phone also overcomes the most popular bluish tint problem that is common with AMOLED displays.

Build – Samsung Galaxy Note II is available in two colors – Marble white and Titanium Gray. A hard silver color bezel runs around the glossy plastic corners of the device. In fact the Note 2 has borrowed it’s styling from the Galaxy S III, making this look like the bigger brother. Even though the device is ‘large’ the slim form factor of the phone makes it feel smaller than it actually is when you hold it. In fact the Note 2 is larger than the original Note!

Processor and Internals –  The device has a 1.6 GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM and 16 to 64GB of internal memory (depending on the model you pick). You can add an additional of up to 64 GB of memory via a microSD slot. Due to the quad-core processor, switching between apps is smooth and swift; but the phone does lag behind when switching between the portrait and landscape views (this can however be locked if you don’t prefer the auto-rotate). The speedy processor also ensures that the apps and games you load on the device don’t lag.

Platform – The Galaxy Note 2 ships with Android Jelly Bean. Samsung has also added their TouchWiz interface on top of the Android layer. The Android Purists can always find things to niggle about this since it overrides some of the Android Jelly Bean interfaces, but the Touch Wiz should go well with most other Android users.

Stylus Pen – The phone comes with a more easy-to-use and handy stylus pen, which is redesigned from that of the original Note. Since it is not round and has squared off edges, the pen is easy to hold and helps keep away accidental presses and doesn’t slip off the hand. Even though the television ads show the S Pen working up it’s magic on the Note, a word of caution – it can be clunky at times and some of the features work well only with Samsung Apps. It’s a useful addition nevertheless for quick scribbles, annotations and notes on the fly.

Software – The camera software has many predefined shooting modes for efficient capture. One of the coolest features is the Best Face feature that lets you take multiple shots of group photos and the feature looks out for out-of-focus faces or faces that look away from the camera. The Best Face feature then combines the best faces (of individual persons) from the different shots to make a better photo. The camera is also able to quickly auto focus on moving objects and also changes orientation pretty fast. The front camera is 1.9 megapixels and helps with good quality video calls.

Battery backup –  The 3, 100 mAh battery can keep the phone up to 14 hrs of intense use (watching Youtube videos, streaming high quality songs etc), most users who end up getting the Note 2 is because of the battery life on this device – it just gones on and on, on a single charge.

Overall the phone excels in its performance, look and feel. I applaud  Samsung’s attempt to make Galaxy Note II a bridge between the phone & the tablet.

You can get more information on the Galaxy Note II from Samsung’s site.

Find The Perfect Business Laptop – Here’s a Shortlist.

Laptops have become a part of our lives. Be it business or personal use, just like a smartphone, everyone wants to have a laptop of their own and consider it as a personal possession – and have it totally customized to their taste. Thanks to the technological advancement and the healthy competition among the top laptop manufacturing companies, we have a wide variety of laptops to choose from as per our needs.

When we choose a laptop for our business we go for certain special features as opposed to choosing a laptop for personal use. Yes, business laptops have to be durable, portable and powerful. They need to be stable given the fact that they will be used for extended hours (compared to a personal laptop), easy to carry for meetings, sometimes abroad, and should be able to withstand the intense usage and still respond fast!

Finding the perfect laptop for your business could be challenging taking into consideration these two facts –

1. You have specific requirements that demand a strong and powerful laptop when it comes to your business usage.
2. You have a wide variety of laptops to choose from.

Here is the deal – if you have point 1 ready, I am going to help you with point 2. Below is a shortlist of the best laptops that will suit your business requirements –

Toshiba Portege R935-P322 – This laptop comes under the ultra-portable category and is priced fairly lesser compared to the other laptops in this category. The laptop overtakes the past ultra-portables with a mobile processor which is certainly a plus; this reflects in the increased processing speed (especially with the multimedia tasks). The laptop has a battery life of 9+ hours. If you are after the ultra portability and fast processing speed that comes at a reasonably lower price, this is your piece.

Dell Latitude E6220 – This laptop also comes in the ultra-portable category but is a bit pricey for a 12.5 inch laptop. One of the coolest things about this laptop is that you can choose the battery settings that will allow you to travel light or use your laptop for computational purposes even for a day. I must admit that the laptop is not eye-catching or sleek, but it has a fast performance, the necessary components that a business will normally require and more importantly, warranty and service options that are expected by large business companies.

Lenovo Thinkpad T420 – Again, not a stylish-looking laptop but a workhorse that does the job. You can call it an all-purpose laptop with a solid build and a race horse performance. The laptop comes with multiple warranty options that are usually expected by business organizations. This piece is known for its rigid build, and robust performance. So if that’s what you need, go get it.

Vizio CT14-A2 Ultrabook – This one is elegant, has a metallic build and thin. When it comes to performance, it comes very close to its competitor (in performance) Acer Aspire S5 but is fairly low-priced that the Acer. The laptop lacks certain outward features – an in-built memory card reader, Ethernet jack, backlit keyboard, speaker sound quality, one more USB port (it has 2) etc. But certainly these are not a big deal if your business doesn’t require these features. I’d call it a minimalist performer.

Apple Macbook Pro (15-inch, Retina Display) – How can I complete this list without mentioning the Macbook Pro? If you are into a business laptop which has a robust performance, longer battery life and a great look that you can boast in your business meetings or conferences, yes, you should go for it. Retina display makes great resolution screen on a small-sized laptop possible. The machine boots and is ready in about a few seconds; wakes instantaneously from sleep and can stay asleep for 30 days with your work intact. The battery life is amazing (do I have to say this?) and yes it has a backlit keyboard. The only thing is that some of  your apps may have to be updated to be compatible with the retina display.

Can iPad Mini sideline Android based tablets?

Apple has rolled out the new iPad Mini and it is the time to assess its impact on the current generation tablet ecosystem. As per analysts’ view, there is no threat for the cheap tablets that are placed in the market. However, iPad Mini is likely to affect the premium tablet segment.

Let us check how iPad Mini will affect the prospects of other tablets.

No threat for Entry Level Tablets

As the price of iPad Mini ranges from $329 onwards it is far away to get into the eyes of customers who are used to low priced tablets. It is also likely that iPad Mini many not attract customers who would like to go for Amazon Kindle Fire or Google Nexus 7. The same logic applies here because of the significant price gap. However, there are other set of analysts who strongly argue that the price difference will not affect the prospects of iPad Mini. In this case, there should be a reason to worry by Amazon and Google.

If customers are required to choose between iPad Mini and Android based tablet (at the same price range), iPad Mini will be the customers’ choice. It is due to the innumerable number of quality, premium and versatile iOS based applications available from the App Store.

Threat to iPad Mini from Low Priced Tablets

Low priced tablets such as Nook Simple Touch were sold at a very thin margin or without any margin at all. Such kinds of tablets’ manufacturers are gearing to make profit by selling various services and products (books, music, and videos). Low priced tablets have a great opportunity to offer an attractive alternative to iPad Mini if they can offer applications that enhance customers’ experience or can include entertaining applications. Such kinds of tablets will certainly be a definite bet against iPad Mini. Even though these tablets may not offer great graphic capability, high quality camera and premium apps, they can challenge iPad Mini.

Challenge to iPad Mini by Premium Tablets

Considering the fact that Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 offers a premium hardware platform, it has the capability to challenge iPad Mini. On the other hand, even though these tablets are offering great features at a very less price, you will not get matching applications from Android segment. For example, Kindle Fire is more tuned for Amazon by which you can access Amazon’s services in a better way. You will not have any applications that have the worth to enhance your entertainment. There will be a significant tradeoff between iPad Mini and other tablets.

Conclusion

In spite of the cost factor, it is expected that iPad Mini will certainly be able to capture the middle range tablets’ market in the coming days. It is likely that iPad Mini will receive the same kind of applause as its counterpart iPad had received before (by purchasing more than 3 million units within one week). The craze for Apple products will not come down even though there is a great difference in the pricing side. However, iPad Mini will have little impact in the enterprise environment. iPad Mini has to overcome drawbacks like lack of Retina Display, screen size and high price factor.

The Phone that Works for up to 15 Years

A new phone that works for up to 15 years is going to be launched soon. Xpal Power (mobile accessories manufacturing company) is the brain behind this innovative technology. The new phone is going to be made available for less than $50. If the dream phone lands into your hands, you will be free from any kind of botherations especially during emergencies. Even if your vehicle breaks down in the middle of the journey and if you don’t have even the last point of your Smartphone’s power, you are still through as you will be able to call from the ‘never dying always alive’ new wonder phone, SpareOne. The SpareOne is named after the purpose that it really serves. It is really a spare one when all your ways of communication channels are cut off. It is like a beacon in the storm. Let us have some more light on this new phone, SpareOne.

 

Interestingly, SpareOne is not much sophisticated to offer you all kinds of luxuries even a basic model of a branded phone offers. It is so simple that it functions with minimum features. The phone comes with a microSIM and it has the facility to call emergency numbers as well as place regular calls. You can place emergency calls even where there is no SIM inserted into the phone. SpareOne has a list of use cases for the device, check it out, here.

Unlike RF handsets which communicate through radio signals without the need of any satellites, SpareOne is going to work on GSM technology (in terms of signal transmission) that is used in the current generation of mobile phones. The significant difference comes in the way it logs phone calls and allows to make phone calls. At the outset, the idea may look so imprudent yet it gives ample opportunity to implement ‘B’ kind of plan when all kinds of conventional communication channels are closed. The question to be answered here is how the phone is going to survive for up to 15 years by being powered with AA battery. As a matter of fact, the shelf life of AA batteries is of the maximum of 4 years. It is news for layman that AA battery can expand in delivering goods for 15 years. The company specifies that it has a “pull me out isolator” that deals with battery discharge when the device is not in use. You can learn more about that, here. They also specify the kind of battery that provides this standby time, which is the Energizer Ultimate Lithium L91.

As per the reports, the dual band GSM phone will have two variants, one for the Americas (850 & 1900 MHz) and one for the rest of the world (900 & 1900 MHz). The phone will be made available at an affordable price of $49.99. As per the information available from the project director of SpareOne, the phone is intended to be used for emergencies to be left in the car and restaurants so that any kind of emergency calls could be attended. The phone can be used in roadside emergencies, outdoor adventures and tourist excursions. SpareOne can be pre-programmed to get instant access of key phone numbers.

You can learn more about SpareOne by visiting their website.