Monday, 31 August 2015

Obi Worldphone SF1 steps into world's leading smartphone markets

Silicon Valley is the meeting place of world's most innovative technology and breath taking art. From the heart of the valley, Obi announces it’s unique range of smartphones under the master brand Obi Worldphone. Considering that the global legends like John Sculley and Robert Bruner of Apple fame have come together to envision, design, build and launch this range, we most certainly have to check Obi's flagship, the Obi Worldphone SF1, where SF stands for San Francisco and number 1 represents the first in series. This flagship device of Obi Worldphone had its global launch in San Francisco followed by regional releases in East Asia (Vietnam, Thailand), Middle East (Dubai, Saudi Arabia) and lately in India as well.   
Obi Worldphone SF1
In today’s hyper competitive smartphone market, the company claims that its mission is to bring beautifully designed, technologically superior smartphones, priced at an exceptional customer value. If this sounds like what you need, let's find out what this device really brings.

A design to stand out from the rest

With our phone becoming part of what we wear and carry, we also want it to reflect our unique style, choice and comfort. Even then, how easy is to discover and mould an original, unique design in a small utility device like smartphone? Well, Obi seems to have raised the bar here. A custom User Interface (UI) with original and authentic silhouettes as expected of Ammunition Group, where every detail and curve is carefully crafted to make the piece a class apart and instantly recognizable as Obi Worldphone.

Particularly, SF1 comes in the timeless classic black hue, with metallic accents and a unibody compose, with “Designed in San Fransisco” stamped right behind. The fiberglass-reinforced body has accents made of an alloy of Titanium and Aluminium. The High Young's module makes it less prone to bending. The premium of having an oleophobic, anti fingerprint and UV coating saves our time on keeping it new, clean and scratch free. It has an elevated floating screen experience, emphasizing on a more engaged interaction with what we see and do with our smartphone.

However, if you happen to be a smart, busy and, somewhat, clumsy person like me, your eyes would go looking for strength and durability. Thankfully, SF1 is built with Corning Gorilla Glass (GG4), the toughest in category to protect the display (It is important to note here that even iPhone6 has CGG3). The raised screen is placed with a special gasket for protection. The architecture is such that the metal end plates at the top and bottom are more likely to hit the ground before the glass and they have been designed to take the impact, so that we are ready to take knocks better, and explore life in style!

Read More: iPhone6 vs Obi Worldphone SF; It's specifications vs brand

SF1 comes with a rich and sharp display

With an eye for detail and expression, the smartphone screen gives a good 5 inch display, as is common and demanded in smartphones now a days. The dimensions are 146*74*8.1mm, giving it a sturdy look. The screen is equipped with High Definition (HD) 1080 X 1920 pixels, which means richer colour and sharper details with 443ppi in cell Display. To make you feel right in the middle of your movie experience, the device has Dolby 5.1 discreet channels of high fidelity surround sound. Having a secondary microphone helps in noise cancellation, so that you can communicate neat and be heard clear-cut no matter where you are.

A phone that runs on eight engines

Coming to the roots of the device, Obi’s SF1 processes on Qualcomm MSM8939 64 - bit Snapdragon 615 with 1.5 GHz Octa-core clock speed. This is a good speed, but there is more to it, especially considering that not only your smartphone should perform matching your pace but also save on power where you are taking it easy. Although the Snapdragon 615 is octa-core, it is not just eight cores. It is actually four fast (1.7GHz) plus four not-so-fast (1GHz) cores. As a result, the system shifts to the slower, less power-hungry, cores when there is no load, and back again smoothly when there is. The benefit is both performance and power saving. This is not yet common in smartphones, therefore, Obi’s SF1 sure comes with an advantage. The Adreno 405 GPU 64 bit in turn provides first class HD gaming experience due to its support for both 2D and 3D games, giving you both compatibility and performance. The phone operates on Google's, Android 5.02 (lollipop) software, hence all Google Play store supported applications run on Obi Worldphone.

SF1 comes loaded with softwares and storage choices

Beside Obi custom user interface, other softwares include Swiftkey, Accuweather, Clean Master, MS Office, AVG Anti virus and a lot more to come! To support all these there is a well planned option for either 16GB internal storage with 2GB RAM or 32 GB internal storage with 3GB RAM. Along with this it has a micro SD slot for an expandable memory upto 64 GB, hence we are never short of space. The DDR3 RAM and eMMC 4.5 ROM is the fastest possible option for the given processor, plus 15GB cloud storage on Google. The quick charge feature in 3000 mAh battery power supports phone life for 20 days standby time, upto 28 hours talk-time, 10 hours video playback time and a delightful 100 hours of music playback.

A camera that is supported with authentic hardware

Most importantly, with 13 Mega Pixels rear camera, 5 Mega Pixels front camera with LED flash on both sides powered by Sony Exmor IMX214 Sensor, SF1 is actually a professional camera in the palm of your hand. Not only it ensures superb lowlight photos, but in high density resolution too. The f/2.0 Aperture allows a good amount of light to fall on the lens to capture a sharper image. One can capture a scene with everything in focus or refocus the image taken as it is never too late, zoom to read text, click photos in low light as layered flash will not ruin the photo's brightness, texture, color or take split second perfect focus even in the sun. Capturing RAW images always allows higher quality photo, as it does not compress the photo like in JPG, BMP etc. formats. Touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama HDR. Video 1080p@30fps, Ubifocus, Chrome flash and optical zoom assist us to capture timeless memories and selfies, perfectly forever.

SF1 covers most of the networks

The network reach and communication features GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) /WCDMA (850/900/1800/1900 Mhz)/HSPA+ /4G LTE (FOD B3 1800 MHz and TDD B40 2300 MHz). The device supports Dual SIM (Micro and Nano, WLAN direct Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Dual band. Blutooth (v4.0 A2DP) and GPS with GLONASS. GLONASS is known to provide faster and accurate fixes, especially in EMEA, Asia and North America. The phone comes with a custom designed charger and a micro USB data cable (v2.0) to connect further. The brand upholds a standard one-year warranty in most markets. The phones are built by CK Telecom Limited, a leading mobile phone ODM/OEM provider in Heyuan, China.

Obi Worldphone SF1 takes smartphone experience to next level

Ammunition has designed Obi Worldphone from concept to completion. SF1’s industrial design, user interface (UI), superior features and packaging, everything is aimed at user experience, as if this stylish device is built to bring out the connection between the smartphone and its owner. With this combination of beauty and power, Obi aims to serve customers around the world. However, the most interesting aspect is the price tag (App. USD200-250), which actually makes one think as if the company is tactically underrating the device, as if this beauty deserved to cost more. Moreover, Obi promises to push the limits of smartphone experience by working to bring in more softwares and plans to sell its own line of accessories soon.

Well, SF1 most certainly brings some fresh air of Silicon Valley in the global smartphone market in terms of class, originality, display, camera, sound and battery life at an exceptional price. With its mission to fuel the dreams of those young and upbeat, we see every reason that the device would be able to attract attention across the markets. On the whole, to the great customer delight, Obi Worldphone SF1 seems to have raised the overall quality bar for the price point it comes in.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5: What is the Difference?

On 13th August 2015, Samsung pulled back the curtains on its Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 smartphones. Earlier the company had effectively split its S-line in two with Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge. Now they have split their phablet range into two new flagship models: Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5. Since both the devices are priced about the same, it is but natural that customers are keen to know the differences between the two. Therefore, we have decided to undertake a detailed spec to spec review of the two devices to find out how exactly they differ from each other.


In terms of overall dimensions, Galaxy S6 edge+ measures 154.4x75.8x6.9mm as compared to Note 5 which is 153.2x76.1x7.6mm, meaning the S6 edge+ is slightly thinner and fractionally longer. Furthermore, S6 edge+ hits the scale at 153gm compared to 171gm of Note 5. There is an extra pack for stylus that has been the key highlight of Samsung’s Note series but it also adds on some weight to the device. Both S6 edge+ and Note 5 as predicted follow the footsteps of their predecessors with a metal and glass construction. Also, both devices come with built-in fingerprint scanner. Most certainly, we find S6 edge+ is more exciting in terms of design with its dual edge display. However, the Note series has always had its fan following for its powerful features and sturdy built. Now that Note 5 is embracing aluminum over plastic for its rear, it is very likely to please its devotees.

Both Galaxy S6 edge + and Galaxy Note 5 have 5.7 inch super AMOLED display which produces terrific video and image viewing experience. Both of them also have QHD 2560x1440 resolutions with a pixel density of 515 ppi that adds on to sharp and crisp viewing experience. As such, the quality of visual experience is going to be the same in both the devices.

Both the devices have exynos 7420 chip under their hoods which is powered by 1.5 GHz processor and a 4 GB RAM. Both the devices are available in 32GB and 64GB internal storage variants, but there is no option for expandable storage in either. Furthermore, both S6 edge+ and Note 5 are powered with latest Android Lollipop 5.1 with Samsung TouchWiz Interface on the top. Although both the devices serve similar software experience, but there are differences too. In S6 edge+ there are specific apps that enhance the relevance of dual-edge display while Note 5 has specific apps that fit to its Stylus pen.
In spite of similarity, the major difference between the two devices lies in their software. In Note 5, Samsung has retained most of its previous productivity software and smart UI to make it a perfect business-focused device. Moreover, the stylus has been tweaked to be more responsive too. On the other hand, in case of S6 edge+, Samsung has focused more on edge screen functionality that makes it more of a consumer device. The screen edge technology offers Information Stream where headlines scroll on the screen edge, Night Clock which shows time on the edge at night, People Edge which has the favorite contact list selected by user and Edge Lighting which means color specific edge lighting when favorite contacts call. In addition, S6 edge+ also has enhanced people edge so that images and emoticons can be sent directly to the favorite contacts. Soon it might be upgraded on S6 edge as well.

Camera and Battery
The two devices, S6 edge+ and Note 5, have the same cameras, i.e. a 16MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera with an aperture of f/1.9. There is no difference even in the optics, lenses and features of the two handsets. As far as the battery is concerned both devices disappoint with 3000 mAh which surely isn’t the best in the phablet market.

Both devices have common features like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and NFC, and they support 4G and are compatible to nano SIM cards. In addition, both S6 edge+ and Note 5 support ‘Sidesync’ which is somewhat similar to Apple Continuity. SideSync allows users to handle phone tasks on their computers such as seamlessly transferring phone calls, files and even playing mobile games on PC, but this is available only on Windows OS for PC.

In India, Samsung launched the 32GB variant of Galaxy S6 edge+ priced at Rs 57,900 while the 64GB is not available at the moment. The exact price of Galaxy Note 5 will be available only after its launch in India but it is likely to be priced around Rs 60,000. As such, the two devices have identical specifications. The only differentiators are design and some software features. Therefore, the customer choice may be influenced by the price factor and their preference for overall design and software.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sony Xperia E4 Dual vs Xiaomi Mi 4i: The Winner is Clear

Calling Xperia range as ‘designed to inspire and built to last’, Sony presents the devices in hand as powerful tools to explore, discover and learn. On the other hand, Xiaomi emphasizes the high quality and performance of its devices and introduces an element of exclusivity by adding ‘just for fans’.Irrespective of the way two companies want their devices to be perceived, it is clear that both of them aim to deliver the best at moderate prices. Therefore, it is important to compare Sony Xperia E4 Dual and Xiaomi Mi 4i to find out which of the two makes for a better deal.

Look & Feel
We begin with the design features of the two devices. Sony Xperia E4 Dual measures 137x75x10.5mm and weighs 144g, whereas Xiaomi Mi 4i measures 138.1x69.6x7.8mm and weighs 130g. In general, Xperia is a relatively broader and thicker looking device and with its rounded shape and textured surface gives a sturdier look. Xiaomi, on the other hand, has a relatively sleeker body that may be more comfortable to hold in hand. Also, Xiaomi has used finely textured and matte-sprayed material for resistance to fingerprints and grease. It matte back cover is smooth to the touch and feels great against skin, and fits just right and bendsseamlessly across the sides to meet the front display. Furthermore, while Xperia is out in only black and white, Xiaomi is available in black and white including various other trendy shades like orange, light blue and pink.

On the display front, both the devices come with a screen size of 5 inches, but there is significant difference in pixel resolution that has implications for the quality of images. The Xiaomi device produces 1080x1920 pixel resolution and has a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch whereas the Xperia device comes with only 540x960 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 220 pixels per inch. It is obvious that in terms of crispiness and sharpness, the quality of images produced by Xperia would be somewhat lesser in quality than that of Xiaomi.

Xperia E4Dual is powered by Mediatek MT 6582 1.3Ghz Quad-core processor, where as Xiaomi Mi4i is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.7GHz Octa-core processor. Xiaomi has definite leg up over Xperia on several counts. Firstly, Mi 4i runs on Android 5.0.2 OS whereas Xperia E4 runs on a slightly older version Android 4.4. Secondly, Mi4i comes with 2GB RAM, which is double of Sony E4 that has 1GB RAM. Thirdly, with 16GB internal storage, Xiaomi is clearly ahead of Xperia E4 that comes with 8GB internal storage. However, it is note worthy that out of the two devices only Xperia provides expansion of storage through MicroSD card up to 32GB. Still, on the whole, Xiaomi leaves Xperia way behind at the performance level.

Additional Features
Camera has become an integral part of smartphone users lives. Moreover, given the love of people for selfies, a good camera can become a key to success easily. Once again, Xperia E4Dual, with its 5MP (rear) and 2MP (front) cameras, lags behind Xiaomi mi 4i that boasts of 13MP (rear) and 5MP (front) cameras. Furthermore, on the battery front, while Xperia has 2300 mAh battery capacity, Xiaomi takes a lead with its 3120 mAh battery capacity. Other add-ons like WiFi, FM, Bluetooth and GPS are available on both the devices. In terms of connectivity, both the SIM cards of Xperia support only 3G Network, while Xiaomi’s dual SIM supports 3G, 4G and 4G LTE networks depending on the market.

Concluding Remarks
We note that Xioami Mi 4i out shines Xperia due to its more advanced OS, bigger RAM, larger internal storage, superior cameras and longer lasting battery. There are distinctive design elements to consider too, such as overall size, shape and the color options to choose from, however, they could be a matter of individual preference.

Last but not the least, we also looked at the price tag on leading Indian e-commerce sites, where Xiaomi Mi4i is priced at around INR12,999 and Sony XperiaE4 Dual is at INR11,290. In spite of slightly higher price, we think Xiaomi offers a much better deal than Sony Xperia E4.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Micromax Unite 3 Q372: Wow, it is Mother-Tongue Friendly !

Micromax, the Indian smartphone company, has shown a remarkable growth. It is gaining popularity for delivering superior technology on affordable prices.The company also tries to establish personal connection with its target groups by promising to make life easier through its devices. One of its recent models Micromax Unite 3 Q372 aims at connecting its users to their mother tongues which is available in ten different Indian languages. “Bhasha ke methai badi lajwab hai”, says Micromax, the sweetness of the mother tongue is matchless. In this review, we try to find out what else this device brings besides the sweetness of the mother tongue.

The very first look tells that the device is a standard one. It is rectangular in shape and has curved edges, with not much to add on to users fashion statement. It is available in solid blue and white colors. On the display front, the device comes with 4.7inch screen and has a resolution of 480 x800 pixels and 16.7 M color depth. Considering that 5inch screen size is kind of becoming normal these days, it is slightly smaller, which could limit the experience of those keen on a theater feel while watching a clip on the device.

Micromax Q372 is powered by MTK, MT6582, 1.3 GHz Quad-Core processor. This device runs on latest Android lollipop 5.0 which can make multi- tasking easier. Also this device has 1GB RAM and 8GB inbuilt memory that is expandable up to 32GB with a micro SD card. So, one can explore the world of cinema, music and literature hassle free as the devices have updated version of android with enough storage space. The device comes with 2200 mAh battery that gives 8hours of talk time and 220hours of standby time that is reasonably good.

Unite 3 comes up with 8 MP back and 2 MP front cameras with 720 pixels and features like flash and autofocus. Looking at the connectivity,Unite Q372 is a dual-SIM smartphone that supports 3G network only on one SIM. It contains basic features like Bluetooth, FM, WiFi and GPS. Furthermore, the device is pre-loaded with applications like App Center, Ask me, Chaatz, Clean master, Dr safety, Facebook and Facebook messenger, Hotstar, MAD, Newshut, Paytm, Quiker etc. Micromax Unite supports 3GP and MP4 video format with 720p video resolution. It also supports MP3,Amr, Wav and AAC audio formats.

Looking inside the box, the device comes along with a charger, battery, warranty card, USB cable, User guide and a very impressive headset that is hands-free. Along with the impressive accessories, the device comes at an impressive price tag of INR 6000 approx. It is a reasonably good product that is not equipped with complex technologies and can easily cater for users of all age groups.

However, the standout feature of Micromax Unite 3 is the possibility of using multiple languages that makes the device suitable for those who prefer communicating in their mother tongue, and most certainly helps those who do not know any other language. Not only you can have the keypad in your preferred language, but also the menu can be changed in your desired language. Interestingly, the device can predict 2 lakh words for each language.