Lenovo Vibe Z review : What’s your Vibe?

Lenovo Vibe Z K910

Lenovo entered the Smartphone market very recently and have launched few if not many interesting phones. The K800 and the K900 were one the first few phones to be running on Intel’s Atom processor. In January 2014 the company bought Motorola from Google. The company was also recently listed as the world’s fourth largest Smartphone manufacturer. The future for world’s largest PC maker in the Smartphone market is, I must say, looking very bright.

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The company’s flagship model the Lenovo Vibe Z was announced last year and comes with all bells and whistles to battle the likes of the Samsung S4 and the HTC One. So let’s find if this flagship will match up to the segment leaders.

Quick look at the specs

  • Operating System – Android 4.3
  • Dimension – 149.1 x 77 x 7.9 mm, 145.2 g.
  • Camera – Sony IMX13513 MP f1/1.8, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 1080p video at 30fps. 5 MP front facing camera.
  • Display – IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors. 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches with 401 ppi pixel density.
  • Processor – QualcommSnapdragon 800.
  • Memory & Storage – 2 GB RAM + 16GB storage. Non-expandable.
  • Battery – 3000 mAh Li-Po, i.e Lithium Polymer, battery rated for 33 hours of talk time on 3G and up to  26 days stand by on 3G.
  • Colours – Silver and Titanium.

Design and Handling

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The Lenovo Vibe Z has a massive 5.5” 1080×1920 display and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The phone is pretty large and is not comfortable for one handed use. The bezels on the sides and the bottom could have been a little thinner for better handling. But this is not really a deal breaker. The phone is really light for its size at just 145.2 g, other 5.5” phones like the Galaxy Note 3 weighs 168g and the LG G Pro weighs in at 172g. Some of its weight can be credited to its battery, Li-Po batteries are believed to be thinner and lighter when compared to standard Li ion batteries.

Lenovo have put in a lot of effort to make the phone look good and we really appreciate the effort. The back panel is finished either in Titanium or Black and I should say that both feel really good and premium.

Lenovo VibeZ Back With Camera

The power button is placed on the top right hand corner and the volume rocker is on the left hand side. The phone uses a micro SIM and the tray for the same has been placed on the right hand side. The microphone is at the bottom of the screen, just below the glass area. The 3.5 mm headset jack is placed on the top left corner and the micro USB charging port is placed at the bottom. All in all, the phone feels really good to hold and gives you a premium and expensive feeling. A micro SD port will be sorely missed.

There are three capacitive keys placed at the bottom for navigation. The home button is placed at the center, the back button to the right and the options menu to the left.

Display and User Interface

The 5.5” display has a resolution of 1080×1920 with a pixel density of 401 ppi . While, this may not be on par with the 441 ppi of the Galaxy S4, the difference is minimal. The fonts in the browser look very crisp and so do the pictures.

The phone comes bundled with a heavily modified Android 4.3 and the layout is clean and simple. The colors of the icons and the system wide features are pleasing to the eyes. There are a lot of customizable options to make your phone distinguishable. The phone comes inbuilt with a Theme Center, where one can choose from an array of themes. Each theme comes with its own set of icons and widget designs, to suit everyone’s taste.

Theme Center

Once you switch on the phone, it’s not difficult to notice that the App Drawer is missing. This means that every app installed will be added on to the desktop and as apps increase in number it becomes a must to sort out your apps into folders.

Multi-Tasking-Lenovo-VibeZ

The Multi Window feature enables one to make full use of the 5.5” screen and toggle between two apps on the home screen. This lets you read a book and browse the internet in parallel without having to switch between the apps. Lenovo have included a lot nice features to play around with, Smart Answer automatically answers an incoming call when placed near your ear. Smart Call, makes a call to the person whose contact or message you are viewing without having to hit the dial button. Smart Dial is a feature which alters the size of the dialer keys based on the angle of the phone to favor one handed use, a useful feature considering the size of the phone.

Wide Touch is a one-shortcut access to all your favorite apps and system toggles. It basically provides you with an ease of access shortcut window where you can organize all your favorite and frequently used apps. As mentioned it also provides you with a shortcut to all the system toggles like wifi, Bluetooth etc. It is similar to Apple’s own AssistiveTouch feature.

The phone comes inbuilt with a lot of Lenovo proprietary apps, Lenovo calls it the DOit series of apps. The SHAREit enables you the share photos, videos, apps and other data to a paired devices or a group of devices. The CLONEit feature in this app lets you import all your files to a selected device. This is a nice addition provided the receiver device also has SHAREit installed which is available in the Google Play Store. We tried SHAREit with a Lenovo – Non Lenovo pairing we found data transfer to be considerably faster than normal bluetooth transfer.

SECUREit protects your phone from viruses, spam and malware. SYNCit helps you backup or restore your contacts, messages and call logs. SNAPit is your Camera and SEEit is your Gallery. Although on our device, SNAPit and SEEit came preinstalled as Camera and Gallery.

Lenovo have tied up with Gameloft to provide some very popular paid games at a discounted price. The Amazing Spiderman 2 for instance regularly available at Rs 390 is available for Rs 20 in the Gameloft store.

The phone has an inbuilt FM radio with a recording option. We did record a song over the radio and the quality of the recording was far from impressive.

Driving Apps

Drive mode gives users only those essential apps that one might need while driving, without the use of hands ofcourse. The user interface is pretty simple and and gives you access only to Navigation, Messages, Music and Telephone. Voice recognition is not upto the mark, but we were able to get what we needed after certain trials.

Battery

The 3000 mAh battery that powers the Lenovo Vibe Z is pretty powerful. We threw everything possible at it, gaming, browsing, extensive camera use and we were still able to manage more than day’s usage on a single charge. The Power Manager lets you toggle between various settings to squeeze the most out your battery.

Battery

Running really low on charge? Don’t fret, the Ultimate Saving Mode, will turn off all data connections making available only messaging, dialer, contacts and clock to access the screen also turns mostly black with white and blue to conserve power.

Camera

The Camera unit is a Sony IMX13513 MP f1/1.8, as you can see it is a pretty fast lens. The camera is pretty quick to take photos. Though it is a 13 MP unit, you will be able to capture a maximum of 12 MP at 4160×3120 pixels at a 4:3 ratio. For a 16:9 ratio one will have to settle for a maximum of 9 MP at 4160×2340 pixels. The volume keys can be used for digital zoom.

The camera offers a lot in terms of feature, if you are not an auto camera mode kind of person there are options to alter ISO, White Balance, Metering and the likes. Here is a list of other features available.

  • HDR for photos
  • Dual shot mode with the front and the rear camera.
  • Macro mode.
  • Smile shot.
  • Super night mode, for nice night shots.
  • Burst mode.
  • Self-timer.

There are also other useful features like

  • Eraser – This erases unwanted objects in your picture.
  • Group
  • Normal Gif
  • Magic GIF – Capture a GIF and make edits with some coloured markers.

Apart from these there is huge list of filters available at your fingertip. Oh and by the way they give you a live preview too.

The HDR mode works pretty well for those pictures where the light hits the lens directly. In the attached pic you can see that the detail captured around Jerry is pretty commendable, the colors look natural too. We also captured an outdoor picture in HDR, in the picture 2 you can clearly see that we get more blues in the sky but the reds and the greens don’t look natural.

The Camera is capable to capturing full HD videos at 30 fps. Sadly, there is nothing more to write about the video capture, unlike the Galaxy S4 you don’t get an option to shoot at 60 fps, neither there are any slow motion options. There is no HDR mode for the video either. So all you get is a straight forward 1080p video at 30fps.

The 5MP front facing camera can be described as selfie oriented and why not? We were really impressed by the detail and the quality of the photos taken by the front camera. The lens fills in enough light and is quick to capture photos. The front snapper is also capable to capturing full HD videos. We have to say that it is one of the best front facing cameras we have ever used.

Performance

The Snapdragon 800 processor is a tried and tested processor and we didn’t encounter any lags or glitches in heavy usage. The onboard 2GB RAM does help smooth and speedy performance. We were able to comfortably able to switch between applications while playing games. One problem we encounter though is that the phone does heat up when subjected to heavy usage. This is not that uncomfortable, but it is definitely noticeable.

The graphics are pretty impressive, we threw a couple of action games like Frontline Commander and Real Steel and the detail of the imaging were on par with its competitors.

Connectivity and Browser

The default browser was satisfactory in all aspects. We threw whatever possible at it and it renders content smooth and fast. Zooming into content renders smooth and crisp fonts and images, thanks to the 1080p screen. Videos too ran smooth and we didn’t encounter any sorts of lag during browsing.

Telephony , Gallery and Music player

The phone comes with Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic and does a really good job of cutting out noise. We didn’t encounter any voice related problems or disturbance on either side of a call.

The Gallery is given a really nice touch. You can view photos and videos either through albums or all at once. The photos are nicely spaced out and thumbnails appear as squares or rectangles. These thumbnails also act as live tiles, which is really nice touch.

Jigsaw is an inbuilt gallery extension where you can choose photos and arrange them in predefined collage templates.

There is a very clever option to view only portraits or landscape photos. The gallery automatically filters out only portraits or landscapes based on option chosen.

The phone doesn’t come with any proprietary Lenovo music player. We tested its music capabilities with the Play music app. We were really blown away with the performance of the bundled earphones, the sound is crisp and clear. The bass boost is accurate and not overdone. We also like the build quality of the earphones, they are definitely built to last. The loudspeaker is placed at the back at the bottom, the surface of the phone is slightly curved here making sure the speaker is not blocked when placed on its back. This also helps in reflecting sound and the final result is pretty good.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Vibe Z definitely has the vibe of a flagship smartphone, there’s not really much to not like about the phone. The build quality is excellent, though the camera has its downsides it still performs well for everyday use. It’s also priced pretty well at around Rs 30,000, the Exynos Galaxy S4 is priced about the same, but it’s not a Snapdragon. There is a lot to like about the phone, we really loved the 5 MP front facing camera, the sound clarity is crisp. All in all, the Lenovo Vibe Z gets a big Thumbs Up from My Portable World.

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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.

XOLO launches Q600, a Quad-Core Android Phone at Rs. 8999

Xolo has announced that they’ve just released the fourth Q-series phone running on Android Jelly Bean. The Q600 is a Dual-SIM 3G device powered by a 1.2Ghz Quad-Core processor. The phone also sports 4.5 inch display with a resolution of 854 x 480 with a pixel density of 217 PPI. This is the cheapest Quad-c0re phone from Xolo, pegged at a retail price of Rs. 8999.

They’ve bundled  Swype along with the phone, so you don’t have to go buy the replacement keyboard app when you get the phone, so you can start Swyping as soon as you get it.

XOLO Q600 Key features on the Q600

  • 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 4.5″ TFT Display
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • Dual SIM (3G+2G)
  • 4 GB Internal Memory
  • External memory expandable up to 32 GB
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • VGA front camera
  • 2000 mAh battery

For more details about the phone, just to the Press Release right after the image gallery.

The XOLO Q600 in Pictures

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Read the Press Release

XOLO launches Q600 – The powerful smartphone powered by Quad core.

XOLO Q600 is priced at Rs. 8,999
July 2, 2013: After the successful launch of XOLO Q1000, Q700 and Q800, XOLO – the Premium Smartphone brand, today announced the launch of Q600. XOLO Q600 is the fourth Quad-core smartphone announced by the brand under its Qcore series. With this new launch XOLO with its promise of delivering something better and extra with every product, aims to provide a faster smartphone experience to its customers at an attractive price.

Q600 packs in a powerful 1.2 GHz Quad-core processor which offers Fast User Interface (UI) responsiveness, fast applications launches and smooth performance.

The XOLO Q600 runs on latest Android Jelly Bean v4.2. It comes packed with an exclusive app XOLO Secure – an Anti-theft app to protect your beloved device.  XOLO Q600 also comes preloaded with Swype keyborad to enable users to type faster in lesser time with unmatched ease of use and convenience.

It is equipped with a 4.5″ TFT display which supports 5 finger touch gesture. It has a resolution of 854×480 with 217 PPI. It comes with 4 GB of internal storage and 512 MB of RAM for a smoother smartphone experience.

The XOLO Q600 sports a 5 MP rear camera to capture vivid and sharp images and a VGA front camera for 3G video calling. It comes with a powerful 2000 mAh battery which offers up to 333 hours of stand by time and up to 13.4 hours of talk time on 2G and up to 10 hours of talk time on 3G.

The XOLO Q600 comes with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and has an Accelerometer for a great gaming experience. This smartphone is available in a beautiful white color.

The other phones in XOLO’s portfolio are X500, X900, X910, X1000, A500, A700, A800, A1000, B700, Q700, Q800 and Q1000.

Nokia Asha 501 – Colourful and Affordable Touchscreen @ Rs. 5,500

Last week, in an event in Delhi, Nokia had launched the Nokia Asha 501, a Full-touch, Dual Sim phone based on their new Asha Platform. The Nokia Asha 501’s UI is a welcome improvement over their older ones with a swipe driven interface to navigate the phone features and switch out of apps.

Stephen Elop with the Nokia Asha 501
Stephen Elop launched the device at the event, with Peter Skillman taking us through the features of the Asha 501, and quick demos of the features as well. Sangeeta Bavi the followed up with the giving a quick round-up of what developers can expect from the Asha Platform and additional monetization avenues available to them.

Quick Specs

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • Display: 3 inch LCD Touch Screen with QVGA resolution (320 x 240)
  • Memory : 128 MB, 64 MB RAM
  • Storage: 4GB included, upgradable to 32 GB via MicroSD cards
  • Camera: 3.2 MP fixed focus camera, no Flash.
  • Connectivity: 2G, WiFi, microUSB
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor
  • Battery: 1200 mAh battery, with standby time of upto 48 days and 17 hours talk time.
  • OS: Nokia Asha Platform 1.0
  • Colors Available: Yellow, Red, Green, Cyan, White and Black

[/list]

Rather than going over the standard phone overviews, which I’m sure you’ve already read up on countless other sites already, here are a few insights about the Asha 501 based on our experience at the Launch event and a Q&A session with Stephen Elop after the launch. If you are looking for a demo of the Asha 501, jump over to the end of this post for the video.

IMG_1657

Where’s the  Asha 501 placed?

According to Stephen Elop, the Asha 501 is not meant for the main-stream smartphone users, but for the  80% of the world’s market, especially the emerging markets. What makes this phone ideal for them?

The price for one, since the Asha is announced at $99, which is around Rs. 5,500. It’s a full touch-screen phone, which is a good phone to transition to from a basic phone. So people using basic phones and who are looking to upgrade to the next level, the Asha fills the void between the basic phone and the Smartphone range.

Why not a Cheap Droid?

Well, we all know that there are phones from “other” platforms too in the Rs. 4000 and up ranges. Why not those you ask? Have you really tried those phones? Since an OS which was built for better hardware is  being squeezed into cheaper components, the user experience on these devices really lack polish and smoothness.

Apart from that Nokia’s Build quality is well known, which is miles apart form those other “cheap” smartphones. To mark his point, while he was talking, Elop just took a phone he was holding and threw it on the floor! The phone came out of this unscathed and working.

700-nokia-asha-501-red-frontWhy not Windows Phone then?

According to Elop, they “didn’t try cramming a high-end OS into a low-end phone“, and compromising on the user experience. If they did, with the processing power this phone has, the “live” tiles wouldn’t be live any more, and the entire UI wouldn’t be as smooth as it needed to be. The Asha Platform on the other hand is optimized for this low-end smart phone.

Nokia’s aquisition of SmarterPhone, and integration of their technology into the Asha platform allowed then to bring the fully swipe driven interface which gives a smart phone like experience on a lower-end device like the Asha 501.

Amazing Battery life

Most touch phone these days don’t last more than a day or two on a single charge.  Nokia did have a tall order to fill in order to achieve and amazing 48 days and talk times of upto 17 hours on the Asha 501. To achieve this the phone’s new Operating System did play an important role. They’ve limited the multi-tasking ability on the device.  Background tasks is one of the main battery killers on smart phones. Some system apps like the Music Player do run the background, but most others don’t. Of course it seems as if the phone multitasks since the applications restore their state when they are re-launched, but most don’t run the background.

The OS itself can’t contribute to such a long battery life, so Nokia did take some decisions to skimp on some functionality. Forgoing a 3G connectivity and some sensors. But this was required to boost battery life. 2G lends to a longer time between charges for the device. When we asked Elop regarding this, he did mention that a 3G version is also expected soon.There’s always WiFi if you want faster connectivity when you’re at home or office.

Nokia Xpress Browser and FastLane

Nokia Asha 501 FastlaneThis phone comes with Nokia Xpress Browser, which works by compressing the data being sent to the phone while you surf, allowing for faster surfing even on 2G connections. The browser also features the Nokia Xpress Now, which is a magazine like content discovery engine which shows up trending news in your location and doubles as your browser’s Home page.

The Asha Platform now has a new feature called the FastLane which shows up to 50 Recently accessed contacts, social networks and apps in the order of the last access time. This feature provides a record of how the phone is used, giving you a glimpse of your past, present and future activity. This also works as a shortcut for your frequently accessed apps and contacts, since they show up in your Fastlane.

Launch Dates?

According to Nokia, the Asha 501 should start hitting the shelves in India some time in June priced at around Rs. 5,500.

Nokia Asha 501 Demo

Nvidia Announces the Tegra 4 processor, 6X more Graphic Crunching Power than Tegra 3

Nvidia Tegra 4 Processor
Nvidia today announced their latest mobile processor the Tegra 4, which will soon be powering our latest smartphones this year. Even though the press release below has more details, we though we’ll outline what the Tegra 4 has to offer in more simplified language.

The Tegra 4 processor is a Quad core processor with 72 custom GPU cores, what this translates to is 4 times more graphic cruching power on this CPU compared to Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processors. This should translate to smoother apps and more graphic intensive gaming experiences on Tablets and phones. More graphic capabilities also translates to your gadgets being able to play even higher resolution movies.

The Tegra 4 also allows your phones to take HDR photos in a jiffy, since the processor itself can handle all the computation required to create these kind of snaps. This also allows the device to allow you to get a  live HDR preview before taking your snap. Earlier HDR was a hit and miss photography technique, where you could see the results of the snap only once you take it. Devices running the Tegra 4 can now allow you to get a live HDR preview before even taking a snap. How cool is that?

Nvidia also claims that all this raw computation power won’t take too much toll on your device’s battery. The new processor up to 45% less juice from your batteries compared to their Tegra 3 processors which means that a device running on this processor could allow you to view videos for 14 straight hours!

Let’s wait and watch for announcements on which smartphones are going to be shipping this processor this year. Here’s the Press Release from Nvidia with more details of the Tegra 4 processor.

Press Release

NVIDIA Introduces World’s Fastest Mobile Processor

Tegra 4 Features 72 Custom GPU Cores, Quad-Core Cortex-A15 CPU for Superb Performance and Efficiency; LTE Enabled with Optional Chipset

LAS VEGAS—CES—Jan. 7, 2013—NVIDIA today introduced NVIDIA® Tegra® 4, the world’s fastest mobile processor, with record-setting performance and battery life to flawlessly power smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, auto infotainment and navigation systems, and PCs.

Tegra 4 offers exceptional graphics processing, with lightning-fast web browsing, stunning visuals and new camera capabilities through computational photography.

Previously codenamed “Wayne,” Tegra4 features 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce™ GPU cores–or six times the GPU horsepower of Tegra 3 – which deliver more realistic gaming experiences and higher resolution displays. It includes the first quad-core application of ARM’s most advanced CPU core, the Cortex-A15, which delivers 2.6x faster web browsing and breakthrough performance for apps.

Tegra 4 also enables worldwide 4G LTE voice and data support through an optional chipset, the fifth-generation NVIDIA Icera® i500 processor. More efficient and 40 percent the size of conventional modems, i500 delivers four times the processing capability of its predecessor.

“Tegra 4 provides enormous processing power and efficiency to power smartphones and tablets, gaming devices, auto systems and PCs,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Tegra business at NVIDIA. ”Its new capabilities, particularly in the area of computational photography, will help improve a whole range of existing products and lead to the creation of exciting new ones.”

Computational Photography Capability

Among the Tegra 4 processor’s breakthroughs is its Computational Photography Architecture, which automatically delivers high dynamic range (HDR) photos and video by fusing together the processing power of the GPU, CPU and the camera’s image-signal processor.

Its HDR capability captures images, including those taken with a flash, the way they are seen by the human eye – with detail in both bright and dark areas.

Unprecedented Power Efficiency

Designed for maximum energy efficiency, Tegra 4 includes a second-generation battery saver core for low power during standard use, and PRISM 2 Display technology to reduce backlight power while delivering superior visuals.

Tegra 4 consumes up to 45 percent less power than its predecessor, Tegra 3, in common use cases. And it enables up to 14 hours of HD video playback on phones.

Tegra 4 Key Features

  • GeForce GPU with 72 custom cores
  • Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU, plus a 2nd Generation Battery Saver Core
  • Computational Photography Architecture
  • LTE capability with optional Icera i500 chipset
  • 4K ultra-high-def video support

Useful Links

www.nvidia.com/tegra
www.tegrazone.com

About NVIDIA

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Today, its processors power a broad range of products from smartphones to supercomputers. NVIDIA’s mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on GPUs to enjoy spectacularly immersive worlds. Professionals use them to create 3D graphics and visual effects in movies and to design everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. And researchers utilize GPUs to advance the frontiers of science with high performance computing.The company has more than 5,000 patents issued, allowed or filed, including ones covering ideas essential to modern computing. For more information, see www.nvidia.com.

37% of UK’s 55+ Adults Own a Smartphone -Are they using it smartly?

Research conducted by Teqno-Logical.com in London has revealed that 37% of UK’s 55+ adults own a smartphone but don’t use most of its functions.

According to the latest survey conducted by Teqno-Logical.com among 1268 respondents that are 55 or older, 37.2% (472 respondents) of them own a smartphone, about 58.1% (736 respondents) have a feature phone, while 4.7% (60 respondents) don’t own any mobile device at all. 37% is quite a big number, so it’s a bit surprising and quite contrary to the stereotypical opinions about the older generation.

In our society, 55+ adults are considered to be unaware of the trends in the world of technologies, but our research showed that this stereotype was wrong: 37% is quite a big number, and though it might be a bit different in other cities outside London, it still proves that not only young people are interested in smartphones and other modern gadgets”, said Amelia Hunter who conducted the survey. “On the other hand, we have found out that 55+ smartphone owners usually don’t use the features of their devices. Moreover, most of their phones were bought for them by other people”.

37.5% (177) of the 472 smartphone owners have chosen and bought their devices themselves, while the other 62.5% got their smartphones from their children or other relatives. Most of those are used phones – the respondents said they got the old phones of their children when those bought new and more advanced ones. 26.9% of the smartphones turned out to be running Android, 21.4% were iPhones, 18.8% were Nokia’s Symbian phones, 14.7% were Blackberries or other phones with QWERTY keyboards. 18.2% of respondents didn’t know / didn’t care what platform their phones ran.

So what smartphone features do 55+ people usually use? As one would have expected, nearly 68% of the respondents said they only make calls with their smartphones; more than 18% said they use texting from time to time, too, 9% said they surf the net, 4% admitted they liked taking photos with their smartphones, and only 1% used their phones for social networking.

It’s also interesting that, according to Teqno-Logical.com’s survey, most of 55+ smartphone owners in the UK aren’t interested in apps or don’t even know what apps are. Only 7% said they have ever downloaded an app, and only 3% of them have ever paid money for it.

As for feature phone owners, 78% of them said they liked their phones and didn’t want a smartphone. Almost all of them use their mobiles to make calls, and about 30% admitted they send text messages, too.

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

Reviewing Facebook’s Revenue Making Techniques

On one hand, rumours about Facebook shutting down flooded  Facebook pages. On the other, Facebook is deploying all possible techniques to improve its revenue. Starting from Ad Preferences on the side of the profile page to the latest compulsory ‘Timeline’, Facebook is all set to improve its revenue. Already, Facebook provides users with sponsored stories which their friends have read and liked. Moreover they display ads based on your likes which you may not even be able to opt-out from. While these are the existing strategies that Facebook has deployed already, the new feature that could boost the revenue of Facebook is placing of ads in the news feed of mobile users.

 

Out of almost 1 billion users on Facebook, nearly half of them access it through their smartphones, and this number is increasing. This statistics led to the new ad placing feature of Facebook. While placing ads on the news feed of  smartphone users could vastly improve  revenue, it is a menace to the users: displaying ads could degrade the performance and speed of access through smartphones.

Already Facebook has filed a monstrous $5 billion public stock offering thus making it the 6th largest IPO in US history and the 15th largest IPO in Global history. Moreover this $5 billion is just the initial fund-raising target, sources from Facebook say that this amount will be increased gradually based on demand from investors. At this rate Facebook may soon overtake Google, McDonald’s and Boeing, thereby trailing behind only Apple. While these are possible threats to commercial companies like Google & Twitter, what could bothers users would be the annoying ads which could be placed forcefully in our news feed. Facebook users generally don’t take kindly to changes made, especially now with the new news feed that’s more focused on the ‘Timeline’.

Facebook has gone one step ahead of  other social networking sites by reportedly working to launch a new smartphone in conjunction with HTC. The main question, if a ‘Facebook Phone’ is launched, would be this: would you buy it? The idea of a ‘Facebook Phone’ sounds great but that doesn’t necessarily mean that users would prefer this over the iPhone &  Android Phones. Mobile users, especially those using smartphones, would prefer a device that supports multiple services and functions and would not be limited to services provided by Facebook.

Apart from this, the major revenue would be from ads as mentioned earlier. These ads are going to occupy a large part of your timeline. This could dominate your news feed on your mobile device, especially with the limited real estate available.  This would be  beneficial to Facebook since the news feed is the first thing to be loaded when you access Facebook through your smartphone, but could be a major gripe for mobile users. However, we will only know what Facebook has in store for mobile users when Facebook launches this new revenue generation model. It is pretty obvious that this would be  a bane for Facebook’s mobile users and boon for Facebook. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best because what we need is less annoyance and more fun from Facebook.

 

(Image Credit: Techwek)

Is your Smartphone Air Travel Friendly?

Times rapidly change and mostly the focus is on increasing comforts with time. Mobiles were considered a luxury at one period and now they are the hottest trend and necessity. However, Smartphones have the edge in the new age market. The recent development related to Smartphone usage is its insisted in Air travels. The focus has shifted from simple conversational purposes to important time saving tweaks like online ticket booking and even checking on the airport gate information.

Stats reveal incredible results regarding the increase of Smartphone uses in Air travel just over the last couple of years. What could have contributed to this increase is the launch of numerous air travel friendly apps that cut in on time and effort that you would otherwise have to put in your air travel related tasks. These apps can help you download your flight information remotely, on the go flight check in, air travel tickets price comparisons, booking, booking, and delivering tickets and many other functions that frankly seem extremely convenient for frequent travelers as well as busybodies.

The survey revealed very interesting tid-bits. For instance, the stats for carrying Smartphones is the highest among first / business class air travelers and this percentage has steadily increased for frequent travelers. The percentage of Smartphone carriers was only 28 percent last year; but the numbers jumped to 54 percent over the course of just one year.

The Smartphone owning frequent air travelers use travel friendly apps for a variety of reasons. Their curiosity extends towards the next developments regarding similar apps. The functionality of the apps is necessary to capture the buying interest of this elite group. In line development trends show that very soon air travelers might be able to rent a car via Smartphone apps, check on bag fees, particular custom rules and augmented reality will also make an appearance where it can be used to check out closest airport hangouts and bars.

The survey was inclined towards researching self-service trends amongst airline travelers. The survey was conducted on a focus group that comprised of heavy frequency fliers from highly popular airport terminals. The areas include Atlanta, Frankfurt, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Sao Paulo, and Mumbai. These areas were selected due to their popularity and widely eclectic travelers’ group base. In retrospect, the survey makes sense because the wider dimension of the focus group took various semi-groups in to account. The statistics, therefore, will have a higher credibility option.

Technology experts envision a rise in similar apps and increase in the actual functional utilization by the crowd. The future might get trendier with such phenomenon as mobile tickets, bar-coded mobile access to boarding passes, travel precautions and safety tips right in your mobile. These perks will allow you to save on the time that was till now spent in long boarding and booking lines at the airport. Again, since mobile check-in will no more be a fiction, thanks to augmented reality, chances are you will not have to reach the airport on a tight deadline.

Conclusively, catching the flight will turn out to be the only task, everything else related to the situation can be handled remotely.

The New Waterproof Fujistu – Toshiba Smartphone

Are you worried about carrying your multi-functional and multi-featured smartphone while you are holidaying? You may be anxious to carry your mobile with you when you are relaxing at the beach front or swimming pool or water fountains. There are times that you and your lover mobile may be drenched in rain in spite of your extreme care. Thanks to the new phone from Fujitsu-Toshiba; you are free to carry your mobile wherever you want. The waterproof smartphone from Fujitsu-Toshiba makes you smart enough to talk even when it is raining. You can take snaps and record videos from the underwater world with the new smartphone.

Fujitsu supplies mobile phones to NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan’s biggest mobile phone operator and Toshiba supplies cell phones to KDDI Corp, Japan’s second largest telecom company. Fujitsu has traditional strengths in the design of water resistant mobile phones, usage of finger print technology and making of mobile phones for old people. Toshiba is successful in making its presence in the smartphone market by supplying Microsoft windows based smartphones in Japan, Asia and Europe. Ever since the mobile phone business of Fujitsu and Toshiba was merged in October, 2010 they were swift in making moves to present a breed of smartphones to the world markets.

Androids have made their way in the world of smartphones. The latest smartphone announced by Fujitsu-Toshiba comes with waterproof body with Wimax and 13 mega pixel Camera. The smartphone named as Arrows Z comes with 2.3.5 Android OS, dual core processor, 1 GB RAM, 4.3” LCD display with 1280×720 resolution. Waterproof body, digital TV Tuner, e-wallet function and video recording at its highest accuracy with 13 MP Camera are other remarkable features of this smartphone. The ultra new model from Fujitsu-Toshiba can be connected to other digital gadgets through various ports including HDMI, micro SDHC and micro USB.

 

The phone weighs 131 grams with a sleek thickness of just 10.1 mm. Japan’s second biggest carrier KDDI plans to offer Arrows Z to its subscribers from the month of November, 2011. It may take few more months to launch the phone in other markets including US and Europe. Fujitsu Toshiba Arrows Z ISW11F is one of the 6 new models unveiled by KDDI for the coming winter season. The collaboration between Fujitsu and Toshiba has yielded a host of smartphones. The phone equipped with Gingerbread Android OS may challenge the current dominant player in the market, Softbank. The phone’s display features are closer to Samsung Galaxy S2 model HD LTE.

Having witnessed the brunt of sales in the domestic market and no scope for further expansion, Fujitsu has eyed the tremendous potential of smartphones in the world market. The joint venture brought down the number of mobile phone manufacturing companies from 10 to 6 in Japan. The current market is dominated by Nokia and Samsung which produce smartphones on large scale and cater to the worldwide market. The Japan based joint venture Fujitsu-Toshiba is all set to tap the global smartphone market.

It will be interesting to watch how the Arrows Z will resist the market in spite of its resistance to water! Will it float or sink to the market currents or current market? Let us know your thoughts.