Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series has always been a great choice if you are looking for a budget friendly phablet. How Xiaomi kept the Redmi Note standing out in the extremely congested market is quite simple: delivering more while keeping the price down. But the original Redmi Note and the Redmi Note 2 are not without their flaws. The Redmi Note 3 is Xiaomi’s third attempt so we are going to find out if the Redmi Note series has finally matured or not.
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6
(Image source: http://blog.games.com/)
Ever since the inception of Google Play Store in 2008 (back then it was called Android Market); it has been going from strength to strength. Now with over one and a half million apps published; we can find practically any kind of apps in there. Some being so essential that we cannot live without them and some that are just…. well…. useless.
In this new series, I am going to share some less well-known apps which I think will be quite useful in your daily smartphone usage. These gems are mostly free and lack the attention that I think they deserve. In fact, I think some of them should be baked into the next version of Android for better user experience! Lets find out if you agree with me.
Last year’s Nexus 6 is definitely a great phone. However, its size is way too big for most of the people and its high price is not helping the case at all. We knew that it was destined to be a niche product right after it was announced. Nexus 4 for 2012, Nexus 5 for 2013, Nexus 6 for 2014, so Nexus 7 for 2015? Well, you know that is not going to happen as Nexus 7 is the tablet from Google. This year, Google announced a pair of Nexus phones, namely the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X. Can the two Nexus devices avoid the fate of the Nexus 6? I think the answer is yes.
Since 2014 we have a lot of devices which are affordable, yet capable enough to give the flagship phones a run for their money. ASUS is one of the player you simply couldn’t ignore in the so-called flagship killers with the introduction of their ZenFone 2. While the low price is one of the attractions, being the first phone to carry 4GB of RAM allows the ZenFone to steal a fair share of spotlight from other devices launched earlier this year. It has been months since the ZenFone 2 was launched but is it still good enough? Well, we are here to answer that question.
There are a few phones which carry the “ZenFone 2” name to we would like to clarify that the unit we are reviewing is the ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE551ML, which packs 32GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. There are a lot of variants of ZenFone 2 out there with different processors, display and memory size. I really think that the weird naming scheme will bring a lot of confusions to average consumers and I still don’t get the reason behind it.
Last year Apple had introduced the iPhone 6 Plus and their very first phablet was selling like hotcake. Conversely, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was not as popular among consumers, even though it was well-received among tech journalists. Given that Samsung’s Note series is one which started the phablet category, the Korean giant certainly won’t be too happy about it. So this year they decided to launch their flagship phablets before the new iPhone is announced.
Android 5.1 was first seen on an Android One device sold only in India and Google has no word on rolling out the update to other devices, including the Nexus devices which we are expecting to get the update first. Today, Google has finally make the Android 5.1 update official. This update is bringing stability and performance improvement, which will be useful to anyone. There are a few new features introduced too.
Making hybrids of phones and tablets seems to be in the DNA of ASUS. ASUS PadFone S (PF500KL) is a smartphone that comes with flagship specifications. Sounds ordinary? The special parts of this device do not stop here. It can be slotted into the optional PadFone Station which will convert it into a tablet. You can enjoy the benefits of both phone and tablet with one device. This means that you save the trouble of trying to sync data over 2 devices and share the same data plan. The best thing is that the ASUS PadFone S has a lovely price tag for what it offers.
Previously, the phone and the dock station are sold together. Although the complete experience is ensured, not everyone needs the tablet. This time, ASUS has made the PadFone Station optional. This will be great for people who think that the phone itself will suffice. It is always a good thing where customers have the choice to buy only what they need.
PadFone S has a very simple design and it comes in white and black. The sides are framed by brushed metal and the curved back has a soft-touch matte finish. The design is not bizarre but the phone is definitely elegant. The front of the phone houses the 5″ Full HD display with a resolution of 1920×1080 and pixel density of 441 pixels per inch. The display is covered by Gorilla Glass 3 and with anti-finger coating.
When Google silently announced the Android 5.0 Lollipop and the Nexus 6, the Nexus 9 also tagged along. The Nexus 9 is a 8.9″ tablet that runs the latest Android 5.0 and it is powered by very powerful hardware. There is basically no compromise on specifications and the price is still very attractive.
The Google Tablet
As usual, the Nexus 9 will be the “reference” tablet from Google for all customers and OEMs. This year, Google has decided against letting ASUS to produce the new Nexus tablet and the mantle was passed to HTC instead. While the Nexus 7 is just more than one year old, the Nexus 10 was launched back in 2012 and a lot of people has been waiting for an updated version. Being a 8.9″ tablet, I see it as the successor for both Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
The Nexus 9
HTC is certainly good at designing devices as appearance is one of the prettiest tablet on the market. The Nexus 9 comes in 3 colour options, namely Indigo Black, Lunar White and Sand. All of them have a black front and brushed metal framing the sides of the tablet. In my opinion, I find 3 of them very appealing and I would have a hard time to decide which colour to pick if I am going to get one.
Google has revealed the Nexus 6, their sixth iteration in the Nexus line up. Being the newest baby in the series, the Nexus 6 is definitely better than its predecessors. However, the baby is not small at all, literally. Sporting a 6″2K display, it is first phablet in the Nexus line up and the biggest Nexus ever. The internal hardware powering the device is also top of the line too.
The Nexus Brand
A lot of people might be unfamiliar with the Nexus brand. While the Nexus series is not overly popular among common consumers, partially due to the half-hearted marketing effort from Google, the series is the phone to get for a lot of power users and developers. For your information, it is a set of devices that are designed under Google and the Nexus phones showcases how Google defines Android and the direction the company wants to grow the platform. It will be some sort of “reference” for other OEMs in the coming year.
After releasing the Android “L” developer preview in Google I/O few months ago, everyone has been anticipating the arrival of the full OS update. Google has made it came true yesterday. Android 5.0 was launched quietly through the Android site and this version of Android will be powering phones, tablets, watches, TV and also vehicle.
So what does this update bring to the top of the table? While the appearance of the whole OS has been updated to bring a modern look, it does bring some new features which are noteworthy.
The new version of Android got a bigger bump in version number. From the previous version number 4.4, this update will bring Android to version 5.0. As usual, every version of Android will be named after some desserts in alphabetical order. The Android 4.4 has a nickname of Kit Kat which starts with letter “K”. So this version of Android should have a name starting with “L” and Google dubbed it as “Lollipop”. I have to say Lollipop is a good name if compared to weird names like “Lemon Meringue”, “Lady Fingers”, “Lava Cake” or “Lemonade” that was spread in the wild.