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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Moto G Plus | 4th Generation

Motorola launched 4th generation Moto G earlier this year. The device comes in two versions - Moto G Play and Moto G Plus. We got our hands on Moto G Plus.

Lenovo acquired Motorola mobility from Google in January 2016 and this is the first Moto G after the acquisition. The technology sphere was extremely excited and curious to see what value Lenovo could add to an already successful Moto G line up. Right from the 1st generation, the G series has been a budget line but never felt like one. Always packed the best hardware in that price range, decent camera, great quality screen, etc. 4th Generation Moto G Plus is no different. Lenovo has done great, the device is fast, responsive and exciting.

Some of the key features:

  • Android™ 6.0.1, Marshmallow
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 617 octa-core processor upto 1.5 GHz
  • 2 GB / 3 GB RAM
  • 16 GB / 32 GB  internal, up to 128 GB microSD 
  • 5.5" Full HD screen, 1920 x 1080, 401 PPI
  • 3000 mAh Battery, TurboPower support
  • 4G LTE, Cat6
  • 16 MP Rear Camera, 5 MP Front Camera
Throughout our usage, the phone did not even hang once and we are quite happy with the performance. Camera is great too, lacks OIS though. On the downside, there is no magnetometer - no compass, the phone heats up a little with extensive usage. Nevertheless, the specifications and the performance is way too good for a budget smartphone. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

HiSilicon Kirin - The next big thing?

We got our hands on Huawei P9 and Huawei Honor 5c powered by HiSilicon Kirin 650 and HiSilicon Kirin 955 chipsets respectively and boy! we are impressed with the performance. Kirin chipsets are manufactured by a fabless semiconductor company called HiSilicon based in Shenzen, China. It also happens to be a subsidiary of Huawei.

Here are the brief specifications of both the chipsets:

Kirin 650:
  • 4 core Cortex A53 (2 GHz) + 4 core Cortex A53 (1.7 GHz) CPU
  • Mali-T830 MP2 GPU, 600 MHz
  • LTE Cat.6 (300Mbit/s)
Kirin 955:
  • 4 core Cortex A72 (2.5 GHz) + 4 core Cortex A53 (1.8 GHz) CPU
  • Mali-T880 MP4 GPU, 900 MHz
  • LTE Cat.6 (300Mbit/s)
  • USB 3.0
Huawei made a bold move by not sticking to the mainstream Snapdragon or Mediatek chipsets and we believe the move paid off quite well. Here is our experience with the Kirin chipsets: 
  • Power utilization is optimized, battery lasts long
  • Phones did not heat up despite heavy 3D gaming for a long time
  • Highly responsive software
  • Better cellular performance
HiSilicon is definitely got the goods, but can it be the next big thing?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rich Text Formatting on Whatsapp

Rich text formatting (RTF) like feature has been rolled out on the latest version of WhatsApp for android. The version we tried was v2.16.57. Rich text formatting was never expected but in the end, it happens to be a nice surprise by WhatsApp. Those wondering - How to make bold, italics and strikethrough on WhatsApp? Look no further.

As of now, only bold, italics and strikethrough are supported. It is even possible to use a combination.

Make sure you have the updated version of WhatsApp and try out the following things:

1. Bold:

In order to make text bold, enclose it between Asterisk (*) symbol. Eg. *xyz*

2. Italics

In order to make text italics, enclose it between Underscore (_) symbol. Eg. _xyz_

3. Strikethrough 

In order to Strikethrough text, enclose it between Tilt (~) symbol. Eg. ~xyz~

It is possible to use a combination of bold, italics and strikethrough together.

Nest a symbol pair with another symbol pair. Eg: ~_*xyz*_~

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are now available

A month after Samsung announced it's flagship devices Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, they have now hit the market. Priced approximately at $810 (USD), prices vary marginally from market to market. While both the devices are identical specifications wise, the Galaxy S7 edge has a larger display, bigger battery and an edge display just like its predecessor Galaxy S6 edge primarily for notifications.

This time, the flagship devices are water resistant with IP68 certification and also have a microSD card slot. The camera seems to be a major improvement packing a 12 MP Dual Pixel camera with support for Motion Panorama, Action Autofocus, Hyperlapse, etc.

Key Specs of both the devices:

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge:

  • Curved 5.5 inch Super AMOLED display -1440p resolution; 534ppi
  • Gorilla Glass 4 front and rear panels
  • IP68 certified 
  • USA model: Snapdragon 820 chipset - quad-core Kryo processor (2x 2.15GHz and 2x 1.6GHz cores); Adreno 530 GPU; 4GB of RAM
  • Global model: Exynos 8890 chipset - octa-core processor with four 2.6GHz Mongoose and four 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 cores; Mali-T880 MP12 GPU; 4GB of RAM
  • 12MP f/1.7 dual pixel camera
  • 5MP f/1.7 front-facing camera, 1440p video recording at 30fps
  • 32/64GB of built-in storage; microSD slot up to 200GB
  • Cat9 4G LTE (450Mbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+, NFC; GPS
  • Wireless charging (Qi/PMA)
  • 3,600 mAh battery, quick charge
Samsung Galaxy S7:

  • 5.1" Super AMOLED display - QHD ,577ppi, 
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Global Model - Exynos 8890 chipset: quad-core 2.6 GHz Mongoose + quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A53, Mali-T880 MP12 GPU (our review unit)
  • USA Model - Snapdragon 820 chipset: dual-core 2.15 GHz Kryo & dual-core 1.6 GHz Kryo, Adreno 530 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM; 32GB/64GB of built-in storage, microSD up to 200GB
  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 12MP camera, dual pixel
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/1.7 aperture, QHD video, HDR
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Cat9 4G LTE (450Mbps); , Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, NFC, IR port, Bluetooth 4.2, ANT+
  • 3,000mAh battery
  • Wireless Charging
  • Quick charging 
Both the devices sport a power pack configuration. Hope they can live up to the expectation and take on the monster flagships from Sony, HTC, etc.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

AMD FirePro S-Series offers Hardware based GPU Virtualization

AMD has unveiled the new FirePro S-Series graphics cards. This series is the first one to have GPU Virtualization. AMD calls it the Multi-User GPU (MxGPU) technology.

To simplify further, these cards can be installed on a server to cater to the graphics needs of several PCs simultaneously. Remote computers can connect to the server which has FirePro S-Series cards installed and make use of the unmatched graphics processing capabilities.

The new cards come in two versions - FirePro S7150 and S7150 X2. While the S7150 can support 16 simultaneous users, the S7150 X2 can support up to 32 simultaneous users.

These cards will offer support  for OpenGL, OpenCL and DirectX.

Other than single server support, this series can be installed in a data center to perform heavy duty computations.

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