Sidhant Ryan Malhotra


Xiaomi, Gionee, Vivo and now Meizu – The Chinese smartphones are taking on the world! But is this invasion a good sign? Is using a $100 Chinese phone the same as using a $1000 iPhone? How will this impact the industry? Let us analyse:

The Good

The greatest boon to the customer  has been a drop in the price brackets, spearheaded by these Chinese devices.  You no longer need to sell out your kidneys to buy a smartphone! With Redmi 1s  being priced under 7000  along with the likes of Lenovo A6000, you now get fast processors, hi-speed connectivity and excellent performance – at exceptional price points. Also, this has fuelled a price war between the champions (Samsung, Apple, HTC, etc) and the challengers (Micromax, Karbonn, Lenovo, etc). Motorola’s attempt to cash in on Moto G, and later Moto E`, testified that even the Champs want to take over this segment. With increased features and reduced pricing the customer is only at advantage in this ongoing price war.

A major effect of this import is the increased innovations in smartphones. These phones come with different advancements and great enhancements (Oppo’s reversal camera or MI’s MIUI for instance), which force the international and even local players to look into their R&D! It’s no longer easy to fool customers, if you don’t give the consumer what they want, someone else will.

The Bad

The biggest impact of this invasion is on the local retailers & manufacturers. Micromax now not only needs to fight Apple but also Xiaomi. As our Prime minister pointed out in one of his speeches – It drains our wealth!

Apart from this moral-economical issue, there are a few more hindrances. With the price brackets coming down, it seems companies are less likely to experiment. If incorporating a better technology would make the phone expensive – the  company would be shy to try it! This might lead to stagnation, where price is the only influencing factor in the competition.

Another effect which is a a by product of the aforementioned stagnation is monotony! Look around, you’ll see how all the new phones don’t only look similar but infact are… An octa-core processor from  Mediatek, a 13MP back camera, a 5MP front camera, a 5 inch display – it seems there’s a standardization of specifications in the market!  Even the likes of Apple or Samsung now keep upgrading their hardware rather than updating the features & functionalities.

The One who Changed it all

But there are those who still innovate! The phone that shook the world as it proclaimed itself “the flagship killer” and certainly stood by it. Though Chinese in its origin the Oneplus One had a global approach. With limited invites available through contests, quizzes and other social network gimmicks, the phone soon created a frenzy!  Purchasable through flash sales, it did sell in a flash, week after week!

But this one was not all about marketing. Packing an Octacore Snapdragon processor, with 3 gigs of RAM and more importantly running on the most popular custom android rom Cyanogenmod, the phone was fully packed. This 5.5 incher also offered a great battery back with a 3300 mAh under its hood. Oneplus One very creatively merged the bridge between performance and pricing. This innovation is necessary for this industry to sustain.

The Chinese domination is here to stay. And instead of retreating, it’s growing from strength to strength. But can the markets survive in heterogeneity? Would experimentation end? What is more important pricing or productivity? Only time will tell.

Sidhant Malhotra

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After months of hide and seek, WhatsApp has finally made its voice calling facility open to all. Though available for the past two months, the feature was purposely hidden and could be unlocked only by receiving a call from an existing WhatsApp Calluser. So began a cycle of seeking and pleading from WhatsApp friends and foes to help make free calls but now, in its latest update for Android, WhatsApp has made this much-awaited feature available to all.

Though the update should reflect in the Play Store (version 2.12.19+), you may download it manually through WhatsApp’s official website. However, only the Android version officially supports voice calling as of now.

Is WhatsApp calling good enough? Let’s analyse the change:

Free calling over the internet is not special anymore. Viber, Skype and even Facebook Messenger already support this feature. Calling from WhatsApp is much efficient, simply because of the number of Indians who’ve adopted WhatsApp gradually.

The new update is visibly different as the layout has slightly changed. There are three tabs on the main screen, namely Calls, Chats and Contacts. A popup with a call button now appears when you tap on your contact’s display picture on the main screen. Also, a call button is placed on the title bar of each contact’s chat window next to their name. Once you call someone, the calling screen appears along with speaker and mute options.


Firstly, the current version has a few bugs, hence you may experience call drops, hang-ups or freezes. Not a big deal, as future updates would solve these issues.

Secondly, the placement of the call button in the chat window is a little annoying. It gets pressed while checking someone’s status! Though it may seem petty, it is seriously a nuisance. Even if you hang-up in a split second, the receiver will get notified.


Though still rough around the edges,WhatsApp calling is a great step towards making the best instant messenger even better!

iOS Users

Though WhatsApp calling should soon be launched for iOS as well, the impatient ones may try this: hit and install WhatsApp Beta. Ask any Android user to call you on WhatsApp (talk for atleast 10 seconds). You can now enjoy WhatsApp calling on your iPhone!


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After ‘poking’, ‘tweeting’ and ‘pinging’ – it’s time to start ‘Yupping’! With modern day conversations becoming shorter and quicker, it makes sense to send crisp messages with one click. That’s what Yup does – you can send stock or custom messages to your friends with just a tap! The stock messages are questions like ‘Miss me?’,’Love Me?’, etc most of which can be answered with the word – ‘Yup!’ (hence the name we guess)

You can create a new account or login through Facebook, though logging in through Google is missing. Once registered you can add friends, invite other people and begin to ‘Yup’. Based on the successful app ‘YO!” it features a similar the UI – an interactive tile based layout (like a Windows phone) which displays all your contacts and services in a vertical pane. However, once you start adding more & more friends it may feel a bit messy, as everything is clubbed together. Also, to add a new contact, you must know its username, in other words name or number won’t be sufficient.

But messaging is just one part of Yup, it features a host of other features. To bring everything under one roof, the app allows you to put various services in the form of tiles. You can have news, email, Facebook, weather, etc all one the main app screen You can also subscribe to a bunch of other services like movie reviews,gadget reviews, Bollywood news, jokes, and much more! You can even put tiles linking to other apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, etc. which will open from Yup itself. Another pretty useful feature is the SOS button on the top right corner, that shares your location with your friends in the times of need.

Sidhant Malhotra

[email protected]

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With the biggest annual fest for mobile devices the Mobile World Conference coming to an end last week there are a lot of new devices unveiled. While new phones are launched every week, the ones launched at Barcelona are special. So here’s the most promising (and much awaited) device from the top Android smartphone manufacturer – Samsung Galaxy S6!

To be very honest Galaxy S5 was not a successful phone (it sold 40% less units than its predecessor) and with Apple recently dethroning Samsung to become the world’s top smartphone manufacturer, Samsung really needed to pull out an ace! At MWC Samsung launched a successor to its Galaxy S lineup – the S6. For the past 5 generations a major complaint users have had with this lineup has been its cheap-looking plastic exterior which overshadows the exceptional hardware-software performance.

With the S6, Samsung has specifically fixed this issue.  The phone is a beauty with premium glass-metal design. Though we aren’t complaining but you can’t help notice some striking similarities between the designs of S6 with its arch-rival the iPhone6!


Samsung never compromises on the displays for its flagships and S6 is no exception. With a 5.1’” Quad-HD (1440 x 2560 pixels) Super AMOLED screen the display is simply jaw-dropping!  For those who seek durability it comes with the latest Gorilla Glass 4 front-back panels. The overall build is solid and slim at around 6.8 mm.

In terms of hardware, Samsung Galaxy S6 unapologetically kills the competition. Packed with a 64bit Exynos octa-core (Quad 2.1GHz + Quad 1.5Ghz) processor and coupled with 3 gigs of ram calling it fast would be an understatement. The CPU is both sufficient and very efficient in handling all routine and rigorous tasks hailed at it. The rear camera though unchanged at 16MP has been made more snappier with visible enhancement, and the ‘Selfie’ (front) camera has been kicked up to 5MP (Full HD).

In terms of software, the phone runs Android Lollipop topped with Samsung’s new and minimal Touchwiz UI. It’s simple, minimal and capable in terms of usage and utility. The phone supports Wireless Charging and apart from Samsung’s  “Fast Charging” technology. The company also introduced its version of Apple pay, but it’s Indian introduction is uncertain.  Samsung also offers 115 GB cloud storage for Free with each device!

Though the phone comes in three storage options; 32, 64 and 128GB, Samsung in pursuit of visual perfection sacrificed the option to expand the memory. The Galaxy S6 doesn’t have a microSD card slot (like iPhone, Just Saying :P). Also, the new ‘Premium’ design doesn’t feature a removable batter.

The phone comes in four colors and should be available in India by April end. Also launched along, is a variant with an AMOLED side panel – Galaxy S6 Edge; with exact same configuration as the S6 and functionalities of last year’s Note Edge. This too would hit Indian shores in April.

To sum it up, if you are looking for a premium device with powerful performance, on paper, the S6 might just be the best smartphone you can buy. It’s both bold and beautiful!


Sidhant Malhotra

[email protected]

It’s not easy to select a data plan these days – it’s confusing out there! The MB / KB system, exceeding data limits, hidden costs, etc. And for some, spending on monthly packs makes little sense when they can access high speed WiFi most of the time. However, the need for mobile data cannot be dismissed that easily. There are times and places, when and where, you need internet! So, what’s the fix? Well Opera Software attempts to answer this question.

As you may be aware, Opera is one of the most popular browsers in the world. A reason for this is its availability – it runs on almost all platforms (Android, iOS, Java, Windows, OS X, Linux, etc). Across the globe, Opera is tying-up with cellular companies to provide affordable data packs and with sponsors to provide FREE sessions! Launched last year, Opera Web Pass has already tied up with all major players in India; companies including Vodafone, Idea and Tata.

The highlight of using the Web Pass is that you don’t need any pre-existing data plan arrangements with your service provider. The packs are extremely affordable and service specific for instance, Rs. 7 for Facebook weekly pass. Again, these web packs are different from the ones provided by your service provider. All one needs to do is download Opera Mini and open on his/her phone to browse through the available packs.

The Free Part: As previously mentioned, apart from cheap data packs, sponsored sessions are also available. For Vodafone & Idea users, FreeCharge provides free data for a day, with 5MB and 10MB limit respectively. One can simply open Opera Mini, from the ‘Speed Dial’ and select Internet Pass / Idea Web Pass option to avail this limited time offer.

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While Moto G made high-end smartphones affordable, the advent of Xiaomi on the Indian shores has made them even cheaper. Giving “more” in “less” seems to be the new guideline for the smartphone manufacturers! Continuing with this fad, two new phones have stormed their way into the market – Micromax Yureka Yu and Lenovo A6000. Let’s take a look at both of them:

Micromax Yureka Yu

This one was in the spotlight for quite sometime, specifically for it’s legal tussle with OnePlus One. Sporting a 1.5GHz (64 bit) octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, Adreno 405 GPU, 2 GB RAM – this monster can put most flagships to shame! The 5.5 incher comes with dual cameras (13MP rear and 5MP front) and 16 gigs of internal (expandable) storage, coupled with a rather average 2500mAh battery. However, the heart of this 4G phone is in its software which runs on CyanogenMod 11 (KitKat) and gives the user an Android experience which makes the user feel liberated if one has always used stock Android. At Rs.8,999 – the phone really makes you shout – “Eureka!”

Positives :

Exquisite hardware with exclusive software at an exceptional price!


Average battery.

Lenovo A6000

Relatively new in the market, Lenovo A6000 runs on 1.2 GHz quad core Snapdragon 410 (64 bit) processor, packs 1 GB of RAM and offers 8 gigs of internal (expandable) storage. The 5 inch phone comes with a decent 2300mAh battery life, and average optics (8MP rear and 2MP front). The phone runs on Android KitKat. But, the USP of the phone lies in being hailed as the cheapest 4G phone in the market being priced at Rs 6,999 (it’s also the cheapest with 64bit CPU)!


Unparalleled features at an unbelievable price!


None, but for two more grand you can get the beast – YU.

How to get your hands on one of these?

The phones are sold through weekly held flash sales on Amazon (Thursday) and Flipkart (Wednesday), respectively, where you must register in advance to qualify as a buyer. Also, due to the discrepancy in the supply-demand ratio the sales end under 4 seconds on average. So if you are looking for a new phone that doesn’t cost a fortune, go register!

There are tons of games available for your phone, but not all are equal.The facts that define what makes a game good – Storyline, VFX, SFX, Gameplay and many more. But every now and then, there comes a game – Angry Birds, Temple Run or Flappy Bird ; that has to be rated above these parameters.  Akinator, the Genie is one such game – it’s not just good, it’s magical!

When I first played this game (around 2011), I was simply blown away! Though the game is pretty  famous (worldwide), it recently came to my notice, that many in DU are deprived of it (even if you are aware, we’ll show you how to get it for free)!



The best games are the ones, which can be played by all (guys and girls, young  and the old). When you launch  the game, a turban-wearing Genie greets you and asks you to pick a character. The basic concept of Akinator is – you think of anything & the Genie will guess it right! (What the…?) The character can be real, fictional, historical and even mythical! It will ask you a series of questions in multiple-choice format, answers to which can be: Yes, No, Don’t know, Probably, Probably not. After around 20 questions (mostly less), based on your inputs, it’ll make some guesses. If he can’t get it right in a few chances, you win! But the fact is, it will almost always guess it right!Akinator1


Trust me, in order to beat him I have also tried thinking of the following – Raj Malhotra (DDLJ), Vegito (Dragon Ball Z), AbRam Khan (SRK’s son), Barney Stinson (HIMYM), Osama bin Laden (yeah, that one!) and even my dad! The dude can guess them all! If you (somehow) beat him, he acknowledges defeat & asks you to put in your character’s name (which further strengthens his database). Though I now know how it works, it still feels magical, you seem to wonder if the guy is psychic!

Akinator 2

To be honest, it’s not a game that you will wanna play the whole day, let’s  put it this way – it ain’t Candy Crush! However, it surely is an experience watching him read your mind. So go ahead, think of anything you can and watch Akinator guess it! The game requires an internet connection and is available on all leading app stores: iOS,  Android, Blackberry and Windows, priced around INR 120. A limited free android version is also available on Android.

But, there’s a (legal) way to play it for free on all devices…

The Free Trick

Though you can easily download the paid game for free on any device using unfair means, there’s a legit way to play the same. The official website offers the game for free – Just Open and Play! To make it more convenient on your phone, open the website using your default browser, tap options and add the page to home screen. Now you can play the game for free anytime!  Game ON ^_^

With over 700 million activated accounts, WhatsApp is undoubtedly the king of mobile social messengers. Not only is it extremely popular, but this Facebook owned application is one of the best when it comes to efficiency and ease of use. Though pretty much perfect, I bet we have all been jonesing  to use it on our computers!, Iit’s quite understandable – a much bigger screen, a physical keyboard, multi-tasking abilities; it’s  dreamlike. And guess what? With it’s latest update WhatsApp actually did it! With WhatsApp Web you can access all your chats, media & contacts at the comfort of your browser. What? Where? How? – we’ll tell ya!


Now the concept of using WhatsApp on a computer is not novel. There are tons of softwares, browser extensions and app-emulators which allow you to do the same. But WhatsApp Web is simply more convenient and efficient. A point to remember though – it’s NOT a WhatsApp alternative,  you must have WhatsApp installed on your phone! Basically, WhatsApp Web is an extension of your existing WhatsApp messenger. It allows you to send messages (text & voice) and media (images & videos) just like the mobile app.


There’s no setup or installation. Simply open WhatsApp (latest version) on your phone, tap the menu button (top right) and select WhatsApp Web, a QR code scanner will appear, post an instructional pop-up message. Next, head to on your computer (using Chrome browser) and scan the QR code on the left. Done! Your browser will now mirror your phone’s WhatsApp application allowing you to use all the functionality with much ease!



The feature however, comes with it’s own limitations. Firstly, it can only be used with Google Chrome, which shouldn’t pinch, considering almost everyone has it installed (right?). Secondly, though it can be used from Chrome on  most operating systems – Windows, Android, Mac (OS X); it can’t be accessed on iOS. But the biggest limitation is its dependability on your phone’s WhatsApp.   Since it’s a mirror interface, the messages are basically sent & received by your phone therefore, both your phone and your computer must to be connected to the internet. Also, for esential features like changing status & display picture, creating & leaving groups and blocking contacts, you will have to use the mobile application.


Despite its shortcomings, WhatsApp Web completely changes the way we use WhatsApp – trust me, typing on a full-fledged keyboard feels divine!   Moreover it is an excellent way to share media with your peers. Say you want to share pictures from your camera among your friends on WhatsApp. Instead of transferring them to your computer and then on your phone, you can simply send them from the PC itself!

WhatsApp Web is a revolutionary enhancement which every WhatsApp user is sure to like. Though far from perfect, it’s definitely a  great first step towards its integration with our different devices.

How would it feel if you could build your own phone; for which you could decide what you want and what you want to skip? You’ll no longer need to choose between a Samsung and a Motorola– instead, you will be able to create your own device. Sounds unreal, right?

This may soon be a reality as Google’s Project Ara might come to India early next year.

How it works

Project Ara phones are a collection of Lego-like blocks. These blocks contain hardware pieces – cameras, processors, battery, RAM, display, and so on. There are three sizes – mini, medium and large – which can be achieved through a combination of magnetic blocks of different sizes. The blocks are removable and replaceable as well.

Now what seems to be the height of customization is that you can choose your own specifications and design for your phone! And since they are replaceable, you can simply buy a new component instead of buying a whole new device! For example, you may build a phone with a 5MP camera and may require a 13 MP shooter after a year. Instead of buying a new phone with the required specification, you could simply buy a 13 MP ‘camera block’ and swap it with the current one. If reports are to believed, this swapping would be in realtime, i.e. no need to reboot your phone! You can even carry spare blocks with you & change them on the go!


You will have to compromise on your phone’s aesthetics in lieu of the customization. Since the phones are made of colourful, magnetic blocks, the phone might look like a toy! Also, the phone is thicker and heavier, as all hardware is on the exterior.


This seems to be the next big thing in the world of technology. Creating your own phone seems dreamlike! Also the hardware being offered is very versatile, like the resolution range from average to full HD. We will have to wait for January to get the exact details on hardware, software, availability, etc. However, if trends are to be believed, Google may launch the product by the next Google I/O. By early 2015, you shall be able to create your own devices online, order them and use them. Start planning your devices!


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The biggest technological extravaganza of the world, Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) wrapped up recently, being held from January 6th- January 9th, 2015 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas,Nevada, USA. Like every year, thousands of new products were unveiled and hundreds of new technologies were introduced.

Last year we told you about the weird gadgets introduced in CES 2014. ( See here.) This year we are back with some weirder ones! Let’s dive in:

1. iSet Watch :Tennis Statistic Watch

Wearables are the new fad, however not all of them are productive. This smart tennis watch helps you keep a score while playing tennis – you win a point, you tap & it shows 1-0. The watch helps you track your score & works best if both players are wearing the gadget. But the question is, why?

iSet Tennis Watch | Image Courtesy:

2. SleepPhones

There’s not much to write about this one. It’s a pair of wireless headphones inside a headband made specifically for those who can’t sleep without listening to music, priced at $28.95.

Sleep Phones | Image Courtesy:

3. Baby GlGl: a bottle that tracks milk

It’s not easy to raise a baby, especially the younger ones. Introducing, Baby Glgl (pronounced Glug), the most useful gadget ever. It is equipped with an inclinometer which calculates the best angle for tilting a baby bottle to reduce air bubbles. And that’s pretty much it.

Baby GlGl bottle | Image Courtesy:

4. E-Tape

An inch tape is a highly productive tool, but why not push the lines? The E-tape is an inch tape with a screen which displays accurate measurements and converts them into feet, inches, millimetre, etc. It also sends this data to your phone. Though not useless, it’s definitely bizarre!


5. Sony Walkman ZX2

Beautifully designed and exceptional acoustics, this is a smart Walkman, which is also equipped with Android OS for enhancing multimedia experience. It can surely put any mobile device to shame in terms of looks and sound quality. But why would one buy a Walkman in 2015? Why would anyone use a 4 inch screen with poor resolution?


Sony Walkman XZ2 | Image Courtesy:

Also, the walkman runs on android JellyBean which is now 3 years old & is equipped with a low resolution (480p) 4inch screen . The biggest shocker is the price – $1,119.99 (INR 70,0000+) for a Walkman seems bizarre! However stunning it may be, it’s still just a music player.

6. Rollkers

Everyone’s in a hurry in this fast-paced life, but some companies have taken it way too seriously. A French company showcased a prototype of Rollkers; automatic skates which attach to the sole of your shoes and claim to increase your walking speed upto 7 miles per hour! You can’t help but laugh, imagining how everyone will look with wheels beneath.

Rollkers | Image Courtesy: