Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Spice Pinnacle Stylus Mi-550 Review

The ever-expanding screen sizes of smartphones have baffled some people, who want excellent viewing experience as well as comfort of holding. Pinnacle StylusMi-550 from Indian brand Spice finds the right balance of screen size and holding comfort. The USP is obvious in the name itself. The product comes with round headed stylus that makes taking notes a very easy task.  In my view, it's just elegant and sophisticated like Note 2. Let me reveal more on the product.


The phone looks great with a massive display that utilizes the front real estate smartly. It looks much similar to Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  There is no physical button on the front panel; 3 capacitive buttons are given at the bottom side. Volume control on the left hand side; 3.5mm audio jack on the top; a microUSB port at the bottom; and power button on the right hand side. There is a thin silver colored bezel along the sides that adds to the visual appeal. The stylus can be inserted and pulled out as and when required from slot given at the bottom of the device. The back panel has a glossy white finish. An 8MP camera, dual-LED flash and speaker complete the back panel. The free flip cover that comes in the pack is extremely attractive. It fits very well to the device, giving access to all controls. Removing the back panel welcomes a 2500 mAh battery, 2 SIM card slots, and a microSD card slot.

Unboxing and Hands-on video

Camera, music and video

The 8MP camera records 1080p HD videos @30fps. In addition, it offers you various features like Self portrait, Geotagging, Face detection, Self timer, Zero shutter delay etc to customize and get desired pictures. There is a 2MP camera on the front panel for video chat. The pictures clicked using the front camera also looked great. No need to ask anyone to click your self portrait, you can get a good one using the Pinnacle Stylus front camera. I clicked a few indoor and outdoor pics using this camera. Really satisfied with the picture quality. The earbud type headset quality is good, not excellent though. The speakers delivered loud enough sound; even the quality of music is really good. It plays HD video.

Call and Data

Pinnacle Stylus showed consistent 3G data performance. Call quality seemed good with no call drop and voice cracking. The device does not have native 3G video call option, but you always can enjoy video calling via 3rd party applications like Skype and Gtalk.


Trust me, the 5.5 inch display with HD (1280 x 720px) resolution is just amazing. The display shows vibrant colors. Images are crisp and sharp. The spaciousness of the screen also makes it really great for viewing Web pages and multimedia. The touchscreen is very responsive.

User interface

The onscreen QWERTY keyboard is good for typing. I have given it to a couple of friends who accurately typed a sentence with ease. I did not judge the keyboard myself because; I’m not really good in typing on mobile screens, no matter how good the keyboard is. The dialer is plain with no adornment. I personally like a bit colourful or button like look in place of simple digits on the dialer. You can easily access call logs and contacts from the dialer itself. Quick access to connectivity settings, display auto-rotation settings and brightness settings can be opened from the notification bar. The camera interface is neat and clean.

Processor and memory

The device comes with 1.2 GHz quad core processor that does seamless multi tasking. Memory specs encompass 8GB internal memory, 1GB RAM, and 32GB expansion via microSD card. 

Software and apps                                        

The handset ships with Android v4.2 (Jelly Bean) and comes with a number of Google's services, like Chrome, Gmail, Google Maps, Gtalk, and YouTube. Above all the Google Play store gives you an option to download a number of games and useful apps. Preloaded apps include NQ Mobile security, Ever Note, Opera Mini, News & Weather, and Hungama. Spice Note, an app from Spice, helps you take notes on your phone.


It offers all the standard connectivity options including dual-SIM, 2G/3G, Wi-Fi, USB, and GPS. The only option not given is NFC, which any way doesn’t affect much, as it is not used commonly in India now. It would be icing on the cake if Spice has given USB OTG feature as well; the first Pinnacle device Mi-530 featured it.


It comes with a 2500 mAh battery. The phone was alive for more than a day of average use – Did gaming, surfing, music playing and calling moderately.


The big yet gorgeous artefact, with its looks and performance, is expected to grab the market. A worth buy at a price of Rs 15499. I hope the price to satisfaction ratio will push its penetration in the market. Good job Spice!!!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Lenovo P780 review

Lenovo P780 is going to give its buyers a most useful feature - which is the ability to function as a power bank, which none of the other handset offers. All you need to to is connect the phones using USB and OTG cable. The 4000 mAh colossal battery starts charging your friend's smartphone. You can simply reverse the cable connection to charge your phone using any other phone. I think this features would be somthing everyone wants to have; especially people who travels a lot.

I have written a review of Lenovo P780 on Saholic blog.

Pl read
Lenovo P780 review

Monday, 7 October 2013

Spice Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ Mi-492 Review

Guys.. Just wrote a review of Spice Stellar Virtuoso Pro+ Mi-492 on Saholic Blog.

Quick Specs

Display - 4.5 inch capacitive touchscreen, 854 x 480 px

Back camera - 5MP camera - Autofocus,  Night, Zoom, 720p HD video recording, LED flash

Front camera - 1.3MP front camera

Processor - 1.3 GHz Dual core processor

Memory - 4GB internal memory, 512MB RAM, 32GB expansion, 2GB Spice Cloud

Connectivity - 2G/3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, GPS/A-GPS

OS - Android v4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Security features - Gesture screen lock, Remote lock, wipe & locate, Free antivirus

Battery - 1730 mAh battery

Entertainment - Music and Video player, FM radio

The device is a good option for Android beginners. Satisfied with the Camera and Music experience. Pl read the detailed review @ http://blog.saholic.com/stellar-virtuoso-pro-mi-492-review/

Monday, 1 July 2013

Sony Xperia Z Ultra Vs Samsung Galaxy Mega : Comparison of Phablets that Matter

There was a time when 5 inch mobile handsets were considered risky propositions because the trade pundits considered them to be a tad bigger for mobile phones.  Then came the Samsung GalaxyNote and the course of thinking changed, forever, perhaps.
Now, almost every handset maker has a phablet, bigger than 5 inches, in its repertoire to attract the buyer. And the size is going only one direction, upward. Today, in our comparison section we are going to give you a detailed comparison of two of the biggest and probably the best phablets in the world today :  Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and SonyXperia Z Ultra.

Display and Build

The 6.3 inch SC-LCD display of the Galaxy Mega has a pixel resolution of  1280x720p where as the Xperia Z Ultra has a 6.4 inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080p. It is quite clear that the Xperia Z Ulta is not just bigger but better as well. And to add some more points, the Z Ultra is water and shatter proof. Z Ultra wins the first round.

Processor and RAM

The Galaxy Mega has a 1.7GHz dual core processor, which is complimented pretty well by a 1.5GB of RAM. There is no doubt that this combination sounds lethal but the appeal gets a little mellowed down when comes head to head with 2.2GHz quad core processor of Z Ultra, coupled with 2GB of RAM. Galaxy Mega does not stand a chance here.


The 8MP back camera of the Mega is capable of recording full 1080p HD videos; there is a 1.9MP front camera for video chat and self portrayal. In the Xperia handset, the camera section comprises of an 8MP back and a 2MP front camera, both the cameras can record full 1080p HD videos.  There is nothing much to chooses between the two prototypes, but in a comparison the Z Ultra will have a upper hand.


The Mega comes in two storage avatars: 8GB and 16GB; the onboard storage capacity of the device can be furthered till 64GB via microSD card. The Z Ultra has a 16GB built-in memory that can be extended till 64GB through a SD card. Both the handsets are on the same ground.

Connectivity and Battery

In the connectivity section Mega has 2G/3G/4G, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and NFC; Xperia Z more or less has the same items on offer. Once again, no result.  The Mega shelters a 3200 mAh battery and the Z Ultra has a 3000 mAh battery. So no result, once more. 

There is no doubt that both the handsets are state of the art devices and neither one of them will disappoint you if you went with it. But, it is also clear that with better display, processor, RAM, and camera the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is a far superior handset than the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.   

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Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand : Phablets in Comparison

Monday, 24 June 2013

Quad core – Does it really boost performance of a Smartphone?

Smartphone players have done much on the increasing screen size, loading advanced versions of operating system, reducing thickness of the device and so on. From last year beginning, the quad-core mania started. Instead of blindly counting on the theoretical benchmarks and expecting the device to perform more swiftly than the dual-core device, it is always better to understand other factors that actually affect the device performance in real-life tasks.

Theoretically multi-core can be compared to room with multiple doors. When too many people gathered in the room are asked to leave the room simultaneously, a 4 door room can be emptied easily compared to a 2 door room. Besides the fast processing, quad-core chips also promise better battery life. This is because, a single core has to work hard to complete a task on its own, while multiple cores does the same work with more ease, depleting the battery slower.

Theory is just theory. There are many factors that actually affect the processing speed.

Requirement for operating system support

No matter how many cores are there in the processor, there is nothing much it can do without the help of software. There should be software to divide a particular task and assign to each core a portion of the task. Technically this is called “Multithreading” and this process can be done only with the help of software. So it is important to have a software that supports multithreading.

Lack of multithread execution in apps and games

Suppose you have a multi-cored device loaded with multithreading supported software. But what if the apps or games are not coded to support multithreaded execution? It is highly complicated for developers to write codes or debug apps and games to support such execution.

Limitations in video streaming

The most demanding applications that should ideally get benefited from multiple cores are gaming and videos. When threaded games are not being developed, streaming videos from various online sources also is not getting benefitted from multi-cores. The reason is that the videos steams cannot be easily broken up. So they end up being processed using a single core; other cores may be either idle or being used for less demanding tasks such as email.

Memory bottlenecks

Apps processing can be divided into multiple cores. But the multiple cores are still using shared memory space; that means there is no dedicated memory assigned to each core. In some cases, the memory architecture can also become a bottleneck.  A single channel memory architecture reduces the data transfer rate between the memory and chipset, compared to a dual channel memory.

Battery life myth

“More cores means less power” theory is not always right. It all depends on how intelligently the software is able to do the optimization to minimize the energy consumption. The energy efficiency is improved only when more demanding tasks are being carried out. But most of the time, multiple cores are being used for less demanding tasks, ultimately increasing the energy utilization.

To conclude: Performance is not just connected to number of cores, but tied to an optimized ecosystem of hardware and software.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Nokia / Windows duo for great triumph

I have heard many saying that “My Nokia survived so many falls”, thanks to its rough and tough build; the main attribute the Finnish manufacturer was always known for. Other areas where the manufacturer has proved excellence are its camera and sound quality. But Nokia experienced failure in the past in creating a good combo of hardware and software, ever since Android phones came in to the market. When other mobile makers launched handsets on Android platform, which got great acceptance due to its simplicity and customization options, Nokia kept hold of the lousy Symbian variants, which was the reason for losing its hold in many markets.

A shift in platform was inevitable for Nokia to survive the competition. But its decision to embrace Windows was a shock for many and it gained a lot of criticism for turning down the open source OS giant Android. Though Nokia Lumia 800 launched in 2011 had a miserable journey, the subsequent Lumia launches saw increasing acceptance in the market. With the launch of Lumia 920, 820 and 720, a majority of customers was ready to break away from Android, and adopt the all new, fresh and sophisticated Windows operating system.

With improved hardware configurations, refreshing user interface, and growing app base of Market Place, Nokia / Windows 8 OS duo seems to be very promising. Let me put down a few points that I felt worth mentioning.

  • The unlimited free download from Nokia Music is bless for all music lowers.
  • The navigation app (Here Maps) is more visually appealing than the native Android navigation app, though the utility value of both remains the same.
  • I really liked the office apps; we can easily make an excel sheet or doc and share via email. To add, many apps such as Handyscan that scans a doc, coverts to pdf and allows to you to send via email have been made available on the Market Place.
  • Kids Corner acts as a “guest mode”, preventing un-intentional data modification, when given to children for using games and other apps. You don’t need to worry about accidental purchase, download or other changes in your phone by your kid.
  • The dynamic tiles and live update on the homescreen are refreshing, compared to the Android homescreens.
  • You can turn on the battery saver mode that switches off certain services while in standby to help extend battery life. Automatic brightness adjustment also helps save battery.
  • Access to X-Box Live games hub makes it an interesting gaming device
  • The growing app base on Market Place and Nokia Store offers a lot more to explore for entertainment and productivity. Many popular games like Temple Run that were available only on Google Play are now obtainable on Market Place as well. Small but annoying issues like lack of shortcuts for connectivity options including Wi-Fi and Data – which were a swipe and click away in Android – can be easily resolved by installing connectivity apps.

But I need to mention other shortcomings that bothered me as well in this post. We can’t turn on Bluetooth right from the media file, which was possible in latest versions of Android. Selection of multiple video files in Albums also is not happening. I hope such small issues would be addressed by the makers in the coming software updates! Not to worry Windows… these shortcomings are nothing in front of the efficacies…

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Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand : Phablets in Comparison

Friday, 1 March 2013

Micromax Canvas HD A116 VS Samsung Galaxy Grand : Phablets in Comparison

It seems that, in the mobile phone arena, nothing less than 5 inches matter anymore; the new trend has come and has come to stay. And if the five incher has dual-SIM support, the proposition becomes great from good. So, it is obvious that most of you must be eager to find out, in the plethora of five inchers, which handset is up to the mark and which isn’t. For those who believe in price to satisfaction ratio, the question becomes a little bit more complex. Today, I am here with two of the most interesting Phablets with dual SIM support. The handsets are Samsung Galaxy Grand I9082 and Micromax A116 Canvas HD. Lets divulge into a comparison.

Look and Feel

Though the weight and dimensions of the handset is not out yet, but the Micromax A116 is, in looks, somewhat similar to the Micromax Canvas 2 A110. The black and white color texture makes the phone even more pretty. Whereas, the Samsung Galaxy Grand has the customary Samsung elegance that makes it an extremely desirable handset. The handset weighs 162g and has a dimension is 143.5 x 76.9 x 9.6 mm. Grand comes in two colors: Metallic Blue and Elegant White. In looks, advantage Grand.


The Galaxy Grand houses a 1.2GHz dual core processor, backed by a 1GB of RAM. In reply, the Micromax Canvas HD has a 1.2GHz quar core processor on offer, complimented well by a 1GB RAM. With a quad core processor, the Micromax A116 is the clear victor.


Both the handsets sport an 8MP camera on the rear side of the body with features like auto focus and LED flash support. The Grand offers you a 2MP camera on the front whereas, the A116 has a VGA secondary camera. But the main difference is the camera of the Grand offers full 1080p video recording that A116 seems to be missing. Samsung Galaxy Grand.


As said earlier, both the handsets sport a 5 inch display. The Grand has a WVGA screen with 16M color depth but the A116 has a HD IPS LCD with the same color depth. No need to say that the A116 is a better handset here. 

Both the handsets, in the connectivity segment, offer almost similar features, namely: GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, USB, and Bluetooth. But from a user experience point of view the Grand scores some points over the Canvas.

Other features

The Grand has 8GB of onboard storage, while Micromax offers 4GB of the same. Both the handsets run on Android Jelly Bean OS. Both of them have GPS.  

The Verdict

There is nothing much to choose between the two of the handsets, but with a price tag of INR 13,999(which is 7500 less than Galaxy Grand), HD screen, and a quad core processor the Micromax A116 emerges as a slightly better handset. Thumbs up, A116

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Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Samsung Galaxy Grand I9082 vs Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100

Are you planning to buy a big screen Samsung phone? Before deciding on which one to choose from the most talked about two smartphones from the Korean handset maker- Samsung Galaxy Grand I9082 and Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 16GB,  just think for a while.. Is it worth paying additional Rs 15000 for merely a few extra features?


Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 16GB

Rs 21500
Rs 36900
5 inch TFT LCD, 800 x 480 px
5.5 inch HD super AMOLED + Gorilla Glass, 1280 x 720 px
161 g, 9.6mm
180 g, 9.4mm
Onscreen QWERTY
Onscreen QWERTY with S-Pen
SIM support
Dual-SIM, Quadband 2G, Triband 3G
Single SIM, Quadband 2G, Quadband 3G
1080p HD record n playback
1080p HD record n playback
8MP back, 2MP front
8MP back, 1.9MP front
8GB internal +64GB expansion+50GB Dropbox
16GB internal +64GB expansion+50GB Dropbox
1.2GHz Dual core + 1GB RAM
1.6GHz quad core + 2GB RAM
2100 mAh 
3100 mAh 
Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Android v4.1 (Jelly Bean)

Congratulations Samsung!.. for adopting the excellent pricing strategy for Galaxy Grand. Really competitive features, and no doubt, really competitive pricing!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Lava Iris 502 : Detailed Review

First came Samsung Galaxy Note, followed by an aura of incredulity, got massive success; then, the market started to get flooded by mobile handsets(or phablets we should say), sizing in access of 5-inches. Today, there are countless such handsets waiting to be purchased in the market, manufactured both by Indian and foreign makers. In the genre of phablets, the Indian manufactures seem to be gaining the upper hand over the foreign makers. The reason for the domestic makers to excel in this area is quite conspicuous, they are offering almost the same specs but at an unbelievably low cost. So, let’s talk one of such indigenous phablets - Lava Iris 501.  

Processor and RAM

The Dual-SIM device houses a 1GHz dual core processor, which is companioned by a 512MB RAM. The computing speed of the handset is quite good and it passes the speed test quite easily.


The Iris 501 has a 5inch TFT LCD screen. The screen has a pixel resolution of 800x480 has supports 16M colors. The display of the device might not sound exceptional (which it actually is not) but after using it I found it above average, without doubt.


The 5MP camera of the handset takes good pics and visuals. The camera is supported by an LED flash and offers autofocus. One thing here needs to be emphasized that the functionality of the camera does not dwindle in low light conditions. There is a VGA front camera for video chat and self portrait.

Storage Capacity 

The Iris 501 has a 4GB internal storage capacity; and for those who like to store huge amount of data and entertainment on their devices, the storage capacity can be furthered till 32GB via microSD card. The device stores 300SMS and 1000 phonebook entries. No complains.


2300 mAh Li-Ion battery of the handset gives a talk time of 7 hours over 2G and a standby time of 25 days to its users. Both the talk time and standby time of Lava 501 are above average.


In the connectivity segment, there is GPRS, EDGE, HSPA, and Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity; for faster and easier data transfer there is USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Nothing more is expected from a 10K handset.

Other Features

The device runs on Android ICS operating system. There are number of sensors such as: Accelerometer, G-Sensor, Gyroscope, Light Sensor, and Proximity Sensor. Then there are lots of preloaded apps like Saavn music, Group chat, Hike free message app, Fushion music app, and other Google things.      

The Verdict

The most amazing thing about this handset is the price to satisfaction ratio; with a price tag of INR 9999 and features such as 5 inch screen, Android ICS, dual camera, 2300 mAh battery, 3G, Wi-Fi, and pre-loaded apps, I would say the said ratio is quite high. Grab the Lava Iris 501.
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