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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Back to Basics: Android

Greetings Readers,

Firstly I would like to say thank you for all of your support. This really means a lot to me and my brother! I hope you all continue to support me and my brother in our technological endeavor.

As you all know, we have done a review, a comparison and an opinion article on this site. Many of you might be up-to-date in the latest trends of technology. However, there may be many of you, who might be exploring technology for the first time. This article is to enlighten both veterans and new users about Android.
I shall write it in a sort of question and answer method to make it more easy to read and understand.

What is Android? Android is a mobile Linux-based operating system(OS) made by Google for smartphones, tablets and even some portable media players(PMP). To say it in a simple manner, Android is like Windows for smartphones. Android was initially a separate company called Android Inc. which made a few software files and themes for mobiles. Google had plans for making it's own mobile phones to expand and distribute it's web services in. They saw a spark of potential in Android Inc. and hence, bought the company in 2005. Google worked closely with Android developers for 2 years to design an OS for almost every phone user. By the end of 2007, they introduced Android 1.0 to developers. By October of 2008, Google joined hands with HTC in launching the first ever Android smartphone - the HTC Dream also known as the T-Mobile G1(In USA).

Different Android versions? Android has been undergoing many changes since it's original release of version 1.0. The first major update was Android 1.5 which was codenamed Cupcake. Google decided to have code names based on desserts for each Android update. The different versions are Alpha(1.0), Beta(1.1), Cupcake(1.5), Donut(1.6), Eclair(2.0/2.1), Froyo(Frozen Yoghurt)(2.2), Gingerbread(2.3), Honeycomb(3.0/3.1/3.2), Ice Cream Sandwich(4.0) and Jelly Bean(4.1/4.2/4.3). If you noticed the trend here, then you would know Google names the desserts in alphabetical order. Going with this trend, Android 5.0 will be called Key Lime Pie.

Which companies make Android phones? The companies that make Android phones are called OEMs(Original Equipment Manufacturers). These OEMs include Samsung, HTC, Sony, LG, Motorola, Lenovo, Huawei, Pantech, ZTE, Oppo and many others. They each bring their own designs and form factors to the already wide variety of Android devices. Each company has their own set of followers depending on their customer satisfaction.

Why aren't Android interfaces the same? Each company wants their phone to stand out. That is why they make their own user interfaces(UI). The original Android interface made by Google, though pretty good, isn't meant for the normal user. It is preferred by developers and Android enthusiasts. Each interface has it's own unique features or drawbacks, likewise, each of the interfaces have their own name. Samsung's interface is called Touchwiz Nature UX, HTC's interface is called Sense UI, Sony's interface is called Xperia UI, etc. On a side note, I would like to add that my favorite interface is the stock Android UI.

Which is the best Android phone for me? This is a question that I cannot answer, unfortunately. I can however, give you all opinions and some information regarding a product. In the end, it is up to you, the reader, to decide because you are the one who shall be using the device for the better part of 2 years or so. Do a lot of research before buying a phone, that's my only advice to everything who reads this. Search for information about that device online. Check if the price is within your budget. Ask for opinions from other people. Read reviews. Finally, check if the device will be popular enough for developer support(This will be explained in another article). If you follow these points, you will be satisfied with your device till it is time for upgrading.

I hope this article was both informative and interesting.
Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

As always, leave your opinions or questions in the comments below.

Until next time!   

This article was contributed by AJ.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Battle Of The Giants

      World has dramatically changed and especially the Technologies.Smartphones are evolving day by day and they have now taken the World to a whole new level. Its time to find which smartphone is holding the top spot. In this review I am going to do an overview of the current best smartphones.For this epic battle our stars will be Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Apple Iphone 5.Now lets look at the comparison of these smartphone kings.

1.HTC One
           One of the best devices from HTC is the HTC One. This is the current flagship device from HTC. This phone supports a full HD display with the resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with 469 ppi. With this resolution and ppi the display on this device is stunningly great. It comes with the Android Jelly bean (4.1.2) software and the company has started to roll the next  update for this device. It has an excellent chipset of Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 containing Quad -Core 1.7 Ghz Krait 300 processor and the Graphics processor used on this device is Adreno 320 which has the ability to run high end graphic games with no issues.

The camera on this device is a 4 Ultra Pixel with Optical Image Stabilization and it can record videos at 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. This phone comes with the latest HTC Sense version which makes the device easy for the user to enjoy with. Overall its an excellent High end smartphone from HTC and it holds the No.1 Spot in the Smartphone Ranking.

2. Samsung Galaxy S4
         After beating the Apple using the S3 and Note 2 the Samsung introduced the next big thing which is the Galaxy S4. The 5" mega star from Samsung has brought some serious competitions to the smartphone market.With the latest Android Jelly bean and also with the first ever Excynos 5 Octa core processor the Samsung Galaxy S4 works like a magic. The first 4 core supports Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 and the remaining 4 cores supports Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 chipsets which takes this smartphone to a whole new level.
Samsung said that 10 million S4 have been sold during the first week from their Initial launch.This phone supports various gestures which makes the device easier to use. With 13 MP camera this phone can capture pictures at a stunning rate and also records full HD vidoes with 30 frames per Second.The latest Touchwiz Nature UX interface makes the device look great and better for usage. With all these features this phone holds the 2nd spot in Smarphone Ranking and  phone has the ability to reach the top spot and with no doubt the competition between HTC and Samsung will be upto the mark.

3. Apple Iphone 5 
              After the success from previous Iphone devices apple launched thier current flagship device which is the Iphone 5. This phone comes with a 4" display and it supports a resolution of 640 x 1136 pixels with 326 ppi. It supports a 8 MP camera which record full 1080 pixel videos at 30 frames per second. Apple used their latest Apple A6 chipset which comes with the dual core 1.2Ghz processor. The reason for Apple to lack in the Smartphone race is because of their poor user interface and also for not changing their smartphone tactics according to the current smartphone environment.
 They introduced their own Apple Maps with Iphone5 which caused the smartphone to lose its reputation since the maps were not upto the mark. Most amount of people complained about the Maps and its dual core performance. Apple made a big mistake by sticking to the dual core processors when other Smartphone companies were evolving with Quad core , bigger screens and display.However Apple still managed to race to the 3rd Spot because of its previous history and also because of the die hard fans of Apple. Apple has to evolve with their next upcoming device and if they don't they may lose the opportunity  to compete with the Smartphone rankings in the near Feature.

 I hope you liked this review from me and stay tuned for next updates.
Till then its Azz
Signing off

This article was contributed by AZ

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Opinion About Sony

Hey Guys! How'z it going? Advanced Happy New Year people!

Ok lets get down to the wire. What to discuss today? Let's talk about Sony, previously known as Sony Ericsson.

What kind of a company would launch a smartphone right after the next month they got their flagship device? Sony would do that. Ah come on Sony, what happened to you? You are one of the best smartphone dealers in the World and I loved you but these days I dont know what's wrong with you guys. Try and understand why I am saying this. Sony launched an excellent device which is the Sony Xperia T on August 2012 but it was available in stores only in September. It came with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-Core processor, clocked at 1.4Ghz and the awesome Adreno 225 GPU. This phone is great and people started to buy it since it was the flagship device. I was planning to go for this device and was waiting like around 2 months to buy it but all of a sudden, Sony launched another device which is the Xperia V which is dust and water resistant. Xperia V has got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait Dual-Core processor but this one is clocked at 1.5Ghz and it also has the same GPU.

I was stunned by Sony's decision because they just launched a flagship phone a month before.
If I had bought a Xperia T then I'd be holding an outdated phone and I don't need that because most people want the latest device and all the people who were holding Xperia T felt like they have an old phone. Sony, if you wanna compete against the best smartphone dealers then please wait for like 6 months before launching another device. That could help in increasing your reputation and who knows, you might even bring down Samsung, Apple, HTC and Nokia. Remember this-No one is gonna give you the Guiness World Record for launching most number of phones in a single year.
Hope you understand this and come with the bang next year with an awesome device.

Till then it's Azz,
Signing off

This article was contributed by AZ.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The First Review

Welcome Readers,

It's been a busy week and before it draws to end, I would like to finish it with the very first review of "The Wireless Teens"! The spotlight of this review falls on the Samsung Galaxy S Duos. 

 Video Review:-

Introduction:-

The Samsung Galaxy S Duos was launched on August 2012 as a Low to Mid-Range Dual Sim Android smartphone. It holds the title of Best Dual-Sim Phone of 2012. Based on market availability, there are only two arch-rivals for this phone, the HTC Desire V and HTC Desire VC. This phone follows the Samsung Galaxy S III design language, meaning the phone is quite stylish. It is currently available in White and Black colors, with White being the most common of the two.

Specifications:-

The phone packs decent specs such as a single-core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7227A Cortex A-5 SoC with Adreno 200 GPU with aid of 768 MB RAM. It comes with 4 GB Internal memory out of which only 1.8 GB is available to the user but it is expandable upto 32 GB via a MicroSD card. It offers a 5 MP camera along with LED flash and it also offers a VGA front-facing camera for video calls. The display is a TFT-LCD capacitive touchscreen, measuring 4-inches with screen resolution of 400x800 WVGA which leads to a pixel density of 233 ppi. Finally, the phone is fueled by a 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Hardware Layout:-

The front of the device features the dominant display. Above the display is the Samsung Logo along with the front speaker, proximity sensor and front-facing camera. Below the display is the Physical Home button, to the left of which lays a Capacitive Menu button and to the right of which lays a Capacitive Back button. The back of the device consists of the loudspeaker at the left, a Camera to the right of the loudspeaker and the LED flash below the Camera. The Samsung logo is located at the middle of the battery cover. The right side of the device consists of  the Power button at the top and a MicroSD card slot below. There isn't a physical camera shutter button. The left side of the device consists of the Volume Rocker with a small hole which is the GPS antenna. Finally, the bottom of the device houses the micro-USB port at the center with the microphone to the right of it.

Features:-

The main feature of the phone is obviously, the Dual-Sim capability. The active Sim in use can directly be switched from the Notification bar or through the Settings. The phone launches with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's Touchwiz Nature UX. Samsung has stated that it will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the second or third quarter of 2013. This is a great bit of info for potential buyers to note, though it might be a long wait.

Touchwiz Nature UX(Brief Overview):- 

Touchwiz Nature UX has 7 customizable homescreens which the user can edit to their liking or even remove. The Notification Bar offers a few Quick Toggles and also a Brightness adjustment slider due to the lack of an Ambient light sensor. The Quick Toggle settings are as follows:
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Sound
  • Screen Rotation
  • Power Saving Mode
  • Notifications
  • Mobile Data
  • Bluetooth
  • Driving Mode 
  • Auto-Sync
Samsung has optimized Touchwiz to run with minimum to no lag on Android 4.0. The amount of lag depends on the amount of running applications which take up too much of RAM. 

Note: Lag can be reduced to a certain extent by clearing the RAM. This can be done by long-pressing the Physical Home Button and swiping off the running applications. Otherwise Long-press the Physical Home Button and tap on Task Manager. Select the RAM tab and click Clear Memory. 

System UI Screenshots:-






 

Camera Overview:-

The Camera offered on the Galaxy S Duos is 5 MP.  The camera offers decent to good pictures
depending on external factors. There are a variety of modes on offer for the user to choose. They are as follows:
  • Camera Switch
  • Flash Toggle
  • Shooting Mode selection:
  1. Single Shot
  2. Smile Shot
  3. Panorama
  4. Cartoon
  5. Share shot
  • Camera Effect:
  1. No Effect
  2. Negative
  3. Black and White
  4. Sepia
  • Settings:
  1. Edit Shortcuts
  2. Self-Potrait Toggle
  3. Flash Toggle
  4. Shooting Mode
  5. Scene Mode
  6. Exposure Value
  • Photo/Video Toggle
  • Shutter Button
  • Photo Preview

Browser:-

The Samsung stock browser performs very fast. It has a minimalist look but offers an array of different features. The browser's Navigation Toolbar consists of the Refresh button, Address Bar,Tab button and Bookmark button. 

Clicking on the Tab button reveals a separate page displaying the amount of open tabs. The user can decide to open a New Tab or a New Incognito Tab. Click on the Bookmark button and you are taken to a page in which all your Local bookmarks(stored on the device) and Google bookmarks as well. There are tabs for your History and Saved Pages as well. Beyond this, even more options are available after the Menu button is clicked. They are as follows:

  • Forward
  • New Window
  • Add Bookmark
  • Add shortcut to home
  • Share page
  • Find on page
  • Desktop view
  • Save for offline reading 
Gaming Performance:-

Gaming performance is beyond par if the user remembers to clear the RAM before playing. Games that have been tested by me which run lag-free, so far are:
  • Temple Run
  • Angry Birds(All versions)
  • Drag Racing
  • Turbofly 3D as well as Turbofly HD
  • Jetpack Joyride
  • Dead Trigger
  • Need For Speed Hot Pursuit

Battery Life:-

Battery life is decent but varies according to the amount of usage. The user can last a full day with light to moderate use. Heavy use drains the battey within 12 hours. When two Sims are inserted battery drains considerably faster, reaching 0% withing just 6 hours. Charge times are relatively quick within 2 hours. Overall no big surprises in the battery life department.

Verdict:- 

The Samsung Galaxy S Duos is the 2012 version of the original. Minor improvements in the form of the latest Android version, more RAM, Dual-Sim capability and a more unique styling makes this a great choice for first time smartphone user although the price is on the higher side at 16,000 INR. The phone performs really smooth for an outdated single-core processor but now with the introduction of budget dual-core smartphones in this price range it is questionable. Competition in this category is limited with only the Desire V going toe-to-toe. As said earlier, first time smartphone users will really appreciate and so will those who need to use two Sims but cannot compromise on styling.


Hope you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
Leave your opinions and questions in the comments below.

Until next time!   

This article was contributed by AJ.