Wednesday, December 25, 2013

iPhone 5 or Goophone i5, which one would you buy?

According to many web sites that follow phones, the company Goophone has cloned Apple's 5 phones by just looking at the leaked photos of Apple design. It appears they even patented the design in China even before Apple's release which will make it very difficult for Apple to get in.  It may be noted that the decline of Nokia in Asia was often quoted as being related to Chinese cheap know outs.

On the plus side, the Chinese Goophone has impressive specifications even rivaling Apple's. I will not be surprised that you will soon find this cheap knock-out (I would not call it that as it deserves more respect vis-a-vis its specifications) coming into USA any time soon.

Here is a comparison of specifications from the quoted site below the image.


Follow the story here, if you have missed,

Here is a video comparing the two from this site:


Monday, December 23, 2013

World's cheapest tablet for $25

I am assuming $1 about 60 RS which changes daily.

The subsidized tablet Akash 4 (Akash means sky) conceived in 2011 to put a tablet in every student's hand in India will go on sale on January 2014. It appears that Datawind of UK had the exclusive contract to make this device which now will be tendered and some 18 manufacturers have shown strong interest. It will eventually cost RS 1500.

4G enabled tablet will with approximate dimension of 7"comes with 4GB internal storage extendable to 32GB with a SD card. It will have a scratch resistant touch screen and will support Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G,and 4G connectivity. It should weigh about 500gm and sport a front camera. Battery time around 3 hours with video or 5 hours browsing the internet.

Follow the complete story here:

For the first pictures of Akash (more correctly Aakaash)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Microsoft challenges Apple and Google with Cortana

Windows Phone 8.1 updates the present phone. According to rumor mill (not so unlikely rumor), Windows Phone 8.1 with Personal Digital Assistant Cortana should be available as early as April 2014. This may coincide with the build conference.

Looks like Bing Search will be replaced by 'Cortana' for voice and text search, taking the battle a step nearer to Apple's 'Siri' and Google's NOW. MSFT has done lot of work with voice and I am not sure why they did not turn on this feature earlier. MSFT does not like to test water, unless a shark is swimming and a whale is shooting air. Anyway, good luck, it's never too late.

Nokia appears to be working on the hardware side of the phone with mostly 007 related stuff like 'Goldfinger' a '3D touch' system(Industry first?) and 'Moneypenny' using onscreen keyboard.
According to the same sources, looks like Microsoft also wants a second serious hardware manufacturer, the like of Samsung and it working towards this goal.

On a serious note, these many things should take The Phone (reserved for windows Phone only) to more giddy heights by 2015.

Sources quoted:

APPS for windows Phone exceeded 200000Plus

Looks like Windows Phone is making great strides but still a lot to go. It seems to have surpassed 200,000 apps that you can download from store. Is it the total number that matters? or is it the quality and usuability of apps that matter? or is it the popularity?. I suppose all the above should happen. Here is a screen shot from the Windows Store.

Also read this article on PCWORLD,

How does it measure up against competitors. Here is an answer copied from this site:

There is a lot of catching up.

I wonder whether there is a breakdown as to quality!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera details

If you use it in sports, capturing events, quality videos, weddings, nature photography  and a dozen more of photographic activities you should seriously consider Nokia Lumia 1020. iPhone is history!

Here is an exploded view of the camera lifted from Nokia Site.

If you use it in sports, capturing events, quality videos, weddings, nature photography  and a dozen more of photographic activities you should seriously consider Nokia Lumia 1020. iPhone is history!

Make sure you visit this site and check out the photos/videos.

These details taken from Nokia site as well.
  • Main camera
    • Main camera sensor: 41 MP, PureView 
    • Main camera focus type: Auto focus 
    • ZEISS optics: Yes 
    • Sensor size: 1/1.5 inch 
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.2 
    • Camera focal length: 26 mm
    • Camera minimum focus range: 15 cm
    • Camera image formats: JPEG 
    • Flash type: Xenon flash 
    • Flash operating range: 4.0 m
    • Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On
  • Main camera features
    • Main camera - other features: Optical image stabilization, PureView, Backside-illuminated image sensor, 6-lens optics, High resolution zoom 3x
    • Digital camera add-ons: Nokia Smart Camera, Cinemagraph lens, Panorama lens, Bing vision, PhotoBeamer, Creative Studio, Nokia Glam Me, Nokia Pro Camera
  • Photography apps
    • Nokia Pro Camera: Get the most out of the Nokia Lumia camera: it works great in Auto mode or you can take full manual control over exposure, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and focus, just like on an DSLR-camera.  The different framing grids help you to frame your shot, and if you did not get the shot completely straight, don't worry - you can straighten and crop it afterwards, over and over again. Plus, for the first time ever for Nokia Lumia, we’ve included an HD video mode that records high-quality stereo sound. 
    • Nokia Smart Camera: Shoots a sequence of photos, making it easier to capture great moments. Choose your Best Shot or combine the photos into one picture, make a strobe effect to emphasize motion, remove unwanted objects or choose the best faces for great group shots. 
    • Creative Studio: Get more out of your pictures with this quick and easy photo editor. Creative Studio’s editing tools let you quickly adjust color balance, remove red eye and apply filters. Then, share your pictures directly on Facebook and Twitter. 
    • Cinemagraph: A magical blend of photo and movie-like animation, creating pictures that seem almost alive. Helpful on-screen assistance lets you select the animated area of your picture and easily create and edit a cinemagraph. You can share your cinemagraph with friends via social media, email and messaging. 
    • PhotoBeamer: PhotoBeamer is an innovative and easy way to show your pictures on any screen. Point your Nokia Lumia at any screen displaying and enjoy your photos anywhere with family and friends. It's a mobile projector that's always at hand. 
    • Nokia Glam Me Lens: Glam Me is the leading face beautification app for Windows Phones. With Glam Me, you can automatically enhance your self-portraits with toning, eye resizing, teeth whitening and all sorts of artistic effects. 
    • Panorama: Get the bigger picture with Nokia’s easy-to-use Panorama app. Simply take your pictures and the app automatically stitches them into a picture-perfect view. Once you’re done, share your panorama directly to Twitter and Facebook. 
  • Image capturing
    • Capture modes: Video, Still
    • Scene modes: Automatic, Night Portrait, Sports, Night, Close-up, Backlight
    • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
    • Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, ISO 800, ISO 1600, ISO 3200
    • Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Month, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from social networks
  • Secondary camera
    • Secondary camera resolution: 1280 x 960 pixels
    • Secondary camera f-number/aperture: f/2.4 
    • Secondary camera - other features: HD 1.2 MP wide angle, Video recording, Still image capture, Video call

    Incredible Video using Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone

    This came in to my email box.

    This video is incredible.  I am sure the new Nokia Tablet will also have similar performance.

    With the breakthrough combination of a 41-megapixel sensor and Optical Image Stabilization, it allows you to capture details like no other smartphone camera in the world. _ I agree.

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Four tablets to choose from, which one would you choose?

    Price range not much different although Amazon could be cheaper, depends on what you want to buy. Are a Gamer? Are you a Movie enthusiast? Are you averse to carrying a tablet heavier than 1,5 lb.". Are you going to do serious business with it? Is your hobby photography? You have to make the choice. Here is a line up of the choices.

    Surface Pro 2
    Surface Pro 2 $899 (Surface 2 $349)   0.53" thick;
    16:9 aspect ratio;1920x1080,
    System Memory:4GB and 8GB
    Windows 8.1 Pro,
    less than 2lbs,
    Hardware Buttons-Volume and Power,
    10-point mulit-touch,4th Gen Intel i5 Processor,
    Bluetooth 4.0.
    Battery 7-15 days idle Charges in 2-4 hours
    2yr Free  200GB SkyDrive storage, Free Skype voice calling 60
    countries for 1 yr.
    Ports: USB 3.0, mini Display Port and microSD card reader
    Dual angle kick stand(tablet to laptop transformation)

    External supported: monitor, Ethernet, speakers, full size
    keyboard, printers and other peripherals.  It is a tablet, no it is a
    2yr Free  200GB SkyDrive storage, Free Skype voice calling 60
    countries for 1 yr.
    The nice thing is you can put stuff into it and take it out
    relatively easily with ports. It has business applications
    perfected over decades. I suppose enterprise customers will buy
    them as presents to their employees.
    Download user guide:
    Link to Surface products:

    iPad Air
    iPad Air, iOS7 based product, a mere 0.29" thick (can it float
    in air?), A7 Chip x64bit architecture-a first among peers, M7
    motion processor, iPad to large screen via AirPlay, Print
    anything using AirPrint, Airdrop sharing with no setup.

    Free Apps
    Nokia 2520
    Display Clear Black, IPS LCD 10.1"; contrast
    rating:120; Battery capacity:8000mAh; Primary camera: 6.7 MPS
    with Zeiss Optics;
    processor: Qualcomm SnapDragon 800, Processor type: Quad-code
    2.2 GHZ; 8.9mm x168mm;
    4G-LTE connectivity, superfast charging and a 6.7MP camera with
    ZEISS optics. If you are a shutter bug this one for you. Beats
    all others in this respect. Display resolution: Full HD (1920 x
    1080); Maximum standby time: 25 days Windows RT 8.1

    Link for all Nokia Products

    Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
    Highest resolution (2560x1600) and the best pixel density (339
    ppi); True rendition with perfect color (100% sRGB); Background
    light taken care off by dynamic image contrast; light weight
    design good for extended viewing such as movies; 2.2 GHz quad-
    core Snapdragon 800 processor-2 GHZ,2GB RAM; Audio: Custom Dolby
    digital; Graphic processor: Adreno 330; At least 12 hours of
    battery life when in use; Camera: Front facing: 720p HD  rear-
    facing 8MP camera that allows for high-resolution photos and
    1080p HD video;
    One click support with MayDay support 24 hours Free, you can
    see your support staff on screen.
    More details here:


    Monday, September 23, 2013

    iPhone 5s is available at an Apple store near you.

    Follow the review here:

    What are its features?
    • It is the first smart phone with 64 bit architecture
    • It has an outstanding camera
    • It has finger print recognition system
    • The above in addition to other standard features.
    Oh, Yes. It comes in 3 colors, Gold (very easy to seduce Indian and Chinese markets), Silver and grey. In fact, I heard that gold colored 5S is sold out in China. 

    The A7 chip is at the heart of this phone with the M7 chip providing much needed motion related data processing.

    Here are some of the details of the chips:

    A7 chip was designed by Samsung using its 28 nm Hi K Metal Gate process. It is twice as fast as A6 and it is the first time 64-bit architecture used on a smart phone. Even for computers 64-bit is a recent introduction. 

    The M7 Co-processor takes care of motion data from accelerometers, gyroscope, and compass.M7 lessens the load on the A7. M7 is from NXP Semiconductors (part number NXP LPC18A1) and is based on ARM's Cortex-M3 architecture. NXP details are found here:

    The above details were excerpted from the following site:

    About future iPhones:

    Read my post on Apple's future chips, and who provides them here:

    About Touch ID

    As a run of the mill user, I never bothered about this feature. I ahd it on my Toshoba Lap top years ago. However it is a definite improvement for the folks who use 123 as their password. Can it be hacked? Perhaps some one will, and they can claim the bounty offered by Nick(@nickdepetrillo) to anyone who can hack the finger print scanner.

    The touch sensor and finger print detection depends on the A7 chip which was built with security in focus. This security feature if it works well in practice  (in business transactions)  may drive up the sales

    Finger print detection is accessed via Home button(See picture). 

    Here are some technical details:

    Phone buttons and externals:

    • Retina display
    • 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
    • 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
    • 800:1 contrast ratio (typical)
    iSightCamera (very similar to iPhone5c)
    • 8 megapixels with 1.5µ pixels
    • ƒ/2.2 aperture
    • Sapphire crystal lens cover
    • True Tone flash
    • Backside illumination sensor
    • Five-element lens
    • Hybrid IR filter
    • Auto-focus
    • Tap to focus
    • Face detection
    • Panorama
    • Auto image stabilization
    • Burst mode
    • Photo geotagging
    Power and battery life:
    • Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
    • Charging via USB to computer system or power adapter
    • Talk time: Up to 10 hours on 3G
    • Standby time: Up to 250 hours
    Built-in sensors:
    • Three-axis gyro
    • Accelerometer
    • Proximity sensor
    • Ambient light sensor
    • Fingerprint identity sensor
    Default (out of the box APPs):
    Looks like a complete set but fewer than in 5C!

    Additional free apps:

    For complete specs here is the link from which some of the above were taken:

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Apple aligns with a new supplier of chips

    Apple to severe its relationship with Samsung:

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company(TSMC) to supply chips to Apple on a 3-year agreement. TSMC is listed on NYSE.

    Apple Chipset lineup according to a Digitime article:

    A8  20-nanometer design rule-->2014
    A9  16-nanometer design rule-->2015
    A9X 10-nanometer desgin rule-->2015

    The 20-nanometer node and its features appears on TSMC's site here:

    But (Hodentek wonders ?) getting from 20 to 16 and 10-NM will not be easy within a year. 

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    iPhone5C coming soon to an Apple Store near you

    Follow the breaking story here:
    The iPhone 5C will go on sale on Sept. 20, with pre-orders starting on Sept. 13.

    What are its features?

    iPhone 5C comes with 5 colors. This cheaper version of the smartphone starts at $99 for a 16GB model with a two- year contract.
    Home screen and Wall Paper matches with the color you choose.

    All plastic back cover with a structurally sound steel reinforced frame holds the innards as well as functioning as an antenna.  Finger print resistant oleophobic coating on front

    Graphic provided by the Apple Desigend A6 chip.

    Improved battery life:
    Power usage:
    Talk time: Up to 10 hours on 3G
    Standby time: Up to 250 hours
    Internet use: Up to 8 hours on 3G, up to 10 hours on LTE, up to 10 hours on Wi-Fi
    Video playback: Up to 10 hours
    Audio playback: Up to 40 hours

    iSight Camera:
    8MP iSight camera (ƒ/2.2 aperture, Sapphire crystal lens cover, True Tone flash, Backside illumination sensor
    Five-element lens
    Hybrid IR filter)
    Face detection, Panorama, Geo-tagging

    Video Recording:
     1080p HD video recording 30 fps
    True Tone flash
    Video Stabilization
    Improved video stabilization

    Audio Calling:
    iPhone 5s to any FaceTime-enabled device over Wi‑Fi or cellular

    4" wide-screen multi-touch retina
    1136 x 640 Pixel at 326 dpi
    800:1 Contrast

    Uses LTE Wireless bands and you can get connected even from remote
    "AirDrop lets you share them wirelessly and directly with people nearby"

    External Connectivity

    Default Apps: Really the needed ones (wish list: add a few free games)


    Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Differences between Lenovo Yoga 11 and Yoga 11s

    Lenovo Yoga 11 is history although one may be able to still buy it.

    This is replaced by Yoga 11s. The differences are in operating system and chip architecture.

    Yoga 11  was Powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3 (only quad-core processor for Windows RT) that is capable of automatic power adjustment.

    Yoga 11s with Windows 8 Pro OS, powered by advanced Intel Core “Ivy Bridge” microprocessors

    Yoga 11 was not compatible with many Windows 8 developed programs. Probably Windows RT will be reworked to fix this.

    Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 11.6" LED 64GB Convertible Tablet - Wi-Fi - NVIDIA - Tegra 3 T30 1.30GHz - Gray  $799.00

    IdeaPad Yoga 11s (Touch) - 59370508 - Silver Gray - 3rd Generation Intel Core i3-3229Y (1.40GHz 1600MHz 3MB)  $799.00

    Thursday, August 1, 2013

    Jump start learning Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone

    What is MVA?

    MVA is Microsoft Virtual Academy and you can learn building apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 free of cost. That is right, at no cost to you (Well, that is mighty generous). Of course you can learn a whole lot of others besides Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone.

    Form factors is an important difference between these two platforms. Issues / concerns are described.

    Check it out here:

    For example, this particular course has 4 modules:
    • Comparing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8
    • Basics of View Models
    • MVVM
    • Sharing Code
    This paraticluar module (Comparing Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8) is neither about building apps for the two platforms nor it is going to show code that works for both platforms.
    Code reusability is explored between the two operating systems.

    Application Life cycle is explored:

    Each platform has its own XAML Controls
    UI reuse is not a thing that you can look forward to, but data model is the one that makes reuse easier. Data Model APs are portable (specifically read/write) across these two paltforms.

    *Windows Phone 8 SQL CE
    *WIndows 8 has no specific built-in database api
    *MVVM helps porting code between the two platforms. Review Portable Class Libraries project template in Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate (non-express edition is needed).

    The screen shots are captured from the video at the above site. The last screen shot is from Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate.

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    This Samsung phone battery was a trash

    The contract with AT& T for phone usage was for 2 years. The battery died after 15 months. For a further one month it charged but did not hold any charge. Finally it fell from table to ground about 3' differential. I tried to put it back, but the back lid would not close. I noticed that the battery had a bulge in the center. It appears to have bloated.

    The Windows OS was OK and it performed well as expected, but the hardware was another thing. The location of the volume switch is not ideal on this phone. It frequently got into the lowest setting (normal handling fumbling for camera switch which is on the other side mower end) and quite a few calls were not picked up.

    I am not sure if the battery was made where it is supposed to have been made(!). It says Japan but how am I to make it sure.

    It appears that the battery markings need some editing besides its innards which requires overhaul. This battery is not carried by AT &T and not available at Radio Shack (this may be Honolulu's problem). I need to hunt for this battery on line.

    This battery sucks!!

    Is it made in Japan or China? Make up your mind SAMSUNG!

    The battery should be covered by the contract.