Friday, October 17, 2014

More Firefox OS phones ..

A number of Firefox OS phones have been launched in India. The latest one being from Zen (available on Homeshop 18:

The only issue I have with all the Firefox OS phones released so far is the very bare minimum processing power of each that is somewhat detrimental to the first time user experience. I have recently being playing around with WebIDE for app development on Firefox OS, and I feel that there needs to be slightly beefier hardware to make the UI responsiveness better. In that respect, the 'coming soon' Alcatel Fire E phone might just cut it well (

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Now quad core smartphone below 5k INR

The below 5K phones with good user experience is soon becoming a reality with Karbonn introducing an Android Kitkat based phone for only 4999 INR.

At this price you get pretty decent spec phone with a quad core, 1GB ram, 5mp AF camera, and a VGA front camera, 800x480 - 4.5" screen.

At this price point it would well be the cheapest 3g capable smartphone in India right now. Now we need to wait and see when Windows based phones can hit this price point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Initial impressions of Karbon Android One

The Karbonn Android One device is not something that it's exceptional in hardware. It is normal. The only thing that may stand out is that there are all the sensors that you would probably find in a mid range phones. What makes this phone different is not the hardware but the software.
Android One is directly supported on the software side by Google, and is expected to get all major software updates for about two years. This is the only thing that sets it apart from other offerings. Essentially you should be using this only if you have interest in keeping the system always up to date. If you are just looking for a phone, this is a good to own. But if you are purely looking in terms of hardware then you did be looking somewhere else. This is especially true in terms of display resolution of the current devices : at best they are poor, with very poor text clarity and sharpness. 
And then there is issue of bloatware. There was an impression that android one would be free of these. That however does not seem to be the case. The android one device that I have has a number of apps that I simply do not want,  but there is no way to remove them. About the only thing that you can do is to hide or disable them.
There are however good things. You get a very much stock android experience , one that you would typically get on q nexus device. This I includes the google now launcher , feature which are missing in devices like moto e. The camera and photo app is one of the better ones I have used and are really good and easy to use and take good snaps. And then there are a host of other google apps that we have taken for granted: Google maps and gmail being the ones that I use the most.
In the end when I compare it with say Firefox phone that launched recently in India, I find that if you are looking for a mobile computing device then it would be better to save up and buy one of the android one devices rather than go for the really cheap Firefox phone. If however you are buying a phone and occasionally would like to be connected then Firefox phone is a good option to have.

Is Android One really free of bloatware?

It is a big NO. Have a review I unit of  Karbonn Sparkle android one phone and it has got a host of pre-installed apps that I cannot simply uninstall. These include: olyx, snapdeal,  saavn, QuickOffice, news and weather, moneycontrol. I am also finding a lot of Google applications to be bloatware : Google + to be specific.