[Review] Lumia 640 XL: Affordable big screen smartphone in total package

Big screen smartphones at affordable price points have continued to drive the growth of phablet category in many markets of mobile industry. Some phablets are merely over blown versions of their standard size smartphone siblings while other have compromises in specifications and performance for sticking out to their affordable price label thus sacrificing “bigger is better” consensus in smartphone world.

Microsoft have positioned Lumia 640 XL in dead center to above two extreme ends of affordable phablet category product line. Lumia 640 XL retains most of the design from its regular size sibling Lumia 640 while at the same time actually being true to “bigger is better” with extended battery life, higher quality camera and user experience aspects with lesser compromises in key areas. I’d like to thanks Microsoft Mobile India and perfect relations team for lending me the review device for 3 weeks trial period.

640 XL front

640 XL front

Specifications:

5.7″ IPS 720p with ClearBlack display technology protected by Gorilla Glass 3
1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Snapdragon 400 chipset, 1GB of RAM
Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim, Windows 10 update coming by end of this year
13MP autofocus camera, LED flash, 1080p video recording @30fps
5MP front-facing camera, 1080p video
8GB of inbuilt storage, microSD card slot, up to 128GB
30GB of free OneDrive storage
3,000mAh Li-Ion battery

Lumia 640 XL is available in variety of colors and finishes such as  matte cyan, matte orange, matte black, matte white, and glossy white. I have tested the matte cyan version which is really great looking and has firmed grip on hands.

Design and Build:

Lumia 640 XL design comparison

Lumia 640 XL design comparison

Microsoft have gone with simpler design approach with the 640 XL as the corners are rounded and a bit less curvy back in comparison with Nokia Lumia’s very attractive and popular fabula design with rounded corners and pillow like curvy back. Nonetheless, the quality of polycarbonate material and really great matte finish makes Lumia 640 XL not only nice to look at from distance and nearby but also feels very solid in the hands.

Lumia 640 XL measures in 157.9 x 81.5 x 9 mm with 171 gm in weight, which is neither too big or too chunky in comparison with similar display size phablets. Unfortunately, the 640 XL doesn’t feature dedicated camera shutter physical button which is present in all upper mid range and high end Lumia devices

Display:

display

display

The display is 5.7 inch in size which is sweet spot nowadays with such phablet devices, though with only HD resolution at around about 259 PPI and of IPS lcd technology. Full HD display would have been great for such screen size but because of its affordable price tag it misses out sadly. Fortunately with clearblack display polarized filter technology and Lumia color profiles, the display is quite sharp, colorful and easily view-able in any time of the day and even in bright sunshine outdoors.

640 XL features unique low power display notification called Glance, which is quite useful in quick glancing of time and notifications without unlocking the phone through gestures. 640 XL also has double tap to unlock and double tap on virtual buttons to lock the device, quite handy features for its affordable price!

User experience and UI:

640 XL is among few Lumia devices running Windows Phone 8.1 update 2 with Lumia Denim custom firmware. The update 2 brings mainly two big features: organized settings menu with category-wise list options and tighter app privacy options with apps accessibility control options such as microphone, camera, contacts and other privacy focused parameters.

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Apart from few changes, the Windows Phone 8.1 update 2 ui is as same as the 8.1, faster, smoother and rock solid stable.

Also its worth mentioning that, Lumia 640 XL will be included in the first wave roll out of Windows 10 Mobile end of this year, which introduce awesome ui changes such as more number of tiles and tiles sizes on home screen, transparency tiles slider and support for full background images and other cool changes. Below is one such example of cool customization capability of tiles-homescreen on Windows Mobile 10.

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Performance:

Snapdragon 400 SoC with 1 GB of ram is sufficient enough to keep Lumia 640 XL smooth and fast in performing simple tasks. Though the gpu is bit old which means graphic intensive games like Asphalt 8 and others run bit slow with drop of frames here and there as well as “loading” lag while accessing rich capture edits and navigating through other resources heavy apps and games.

Overall, I’d rate 640 XL slightly above average in terms of the performance compare to similarly priced devices from competition thanks to optimized Windows Phone 8.1 os for low end processors.

Camera: 

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I would definitely rate Lumia 640 XL’s 13 Megapixels camera above average compare to similar price points devices from competition as the 13 Megapixel shooter with Lumia’s wel-known Imaging algorithms and advanced Lumia camera app delivers great performance in good lighting conditions and acceptable in low light scenarios looking at its price point. Lumia 640 XL ‘s selfie camera is also quite good with 5 Megapixels and offers great quality.

Lumia camera’s user interface is simple to use and offer variety of manual controls such as focus, white balance, iso, exposure and others.

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Lumia Camera’s the best feature: Rich capture (with dynamic flash and auto hdr) is pleasantly included in the 640 XL which puts the XL two steps above competition for imaging performance.

Auto HDR and Dynamic flash are the most useful camera features I have ever used on smartphones as they help to capture best shot in tricky lightning conditions as well as enable capturing images of highly dynamic colors for adding artistic feel.

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There is also a cool feature integrated into camera roll called “Living Images” which displays a small animation of 2-3 seconds of preview before the storing of image captured while scrolling through captured images. Living Images has been there on Windows Phone platform since 2014 with Lumia Denim, it is superior to Apple’s live photos in user experience point of view as live photo requires steady holding of phone for 2-3 seconds even after capturing of image while Living Image doesn’t require that.

640 XL can capture videos up to 1080p resolution at 30 fps with mono sound. I found video recording quality to be slightly above average and bit less staler compare to its image capturing. You can check out sample photos captured by me with Lumia 640 XL below.

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Multimedia experience:

640 XL provides rich multimedia experience thanks to its massive 5.7 inch screen with great sharpness and vibrant colors for nice videos and movie watching experience. For music listening, I would rate it as ok in terms of its loudspeaker output but excellent sound output when headphones plugged in, thanks to its variety of graphic equalizer and surround sound experience.

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Video playback is also smoother with up to 1080p resolution support and now with 8.1 update 2 release the default video player supports the playback of mkv video files out of the box. I would also recommend some powerful and free 3rd party video players such as Omni Mplayer and VLC player for Windows Phone.

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Battery life:

Lumia 640 provides excellent battery life of 1.5 days for normal usage and about a full day for occasional heavy usage.

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Conclusion:

I was greatly impressed with Lumia 640 XL in terms of the build quality, strikingly cool cyan color with grippy matte finish, high contrast 5.7 inch display and finally the great camera experience especially in terms of the cool addition of Rich capture.

Performance was mostly nice and it didn’t degrade with increasing number of applications installed in storage. The battery life was slightly above average though I expected bit more.

So I’d definitely recommend Lumia 640 XL for anyone looking for a great big screen smartphone experience at an affordable price.

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[Review] Lumia 830 : Affordable innovation in premium design

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There is a growing set of problems for customers who are looking for a new affordable smartphone with high end specifications these days:

  • The affordable smartphone is likely a year old device with dated specifications i.e a year or two old flagship with no support of software or hardware.
  • “Me Too” high end specifications smartphone, affordable but nothing special.
  • Ok smartphone in terms of high end specifications and design with affordability but no game changing features and almost impossible to purchase thanks to very selective distribution.

Microsoft Mobile have exactly tried to solve these issues with new Lumia 830, positioning it as an affordable flagship!

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So I have been testing Lumia 830 since few weeks which was sent to me from Bloggers Mind and have decided to share my thoughts on same:

Specifications:

Lumia 830 has got it almost right in terms of specifications to justify its positioning against flagship devices with easy to hold 5 inch HD display protected with Gorilla glass 3, quad core Snapdragon processor with 1 gb of ram, 16 gb internal storage with support upto 128 gb memory through micro sd card, 10 Megapixels main camera with Optical Image stabilization, 1 Megapixels front camera, 2200 mah removable battery with Qi wireless charging support.

Lumia 830 is available in four colors: bright green, bright orange, white, black

Design and build:

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The front of device is a mix of 2.5D curvy glass and metal. Front is a bit inspired, albeit modified from iconic Lumia fabulla design first featured in Lumia 920, here the modified part is rounded corners instead of sharp corners featured in Lumia 920 and other Lumias, so because of these rounded corners and  metal frame, Lumia 830 is comfortable in hand and it would not heart palms during a long video recording session or a long session of playing games in landscape.

WP_20141224_11_22_01_ProThe back of device is an instant eye catcher because of the rounded black camera module. Now this camera module may look like a hump but actually it is an excellent indicator of Microsoft Mobile’s cutting edge imaging innovation, the camera is world’s first slim camera module with built in Optical Image Stabilization technology which I’d talk about it later in camera section. Another noticeable part is loudspeaker grill.

Micro-usb port, 3.5 mm audio jack are located on top, right hand side of the device have three standard Windows Phone buttons, Volume rockers, lock/power key and camera key.

Lumia 830 measures in size of 139.4 x 70.7 x 8.5 mm with 150 gm weight, not too heavy and not too light.

Display:

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The display is 5 inch in size with HD resolution at around about 294 PPI and of IPS lcd technology. As you can see from above, it is almost impossible to see any pixels and thanks to high brightness mode and Lumia color profiles, the display is one of the best IPS lcd I’ve seen in smartphones and with innovative clear black display technology, Lumia 830’s display is perfectly visible in bright light and during day time in outdoors.

Another cool Lumia display innovation is Glance. Check out Glance screen below, which basically is ultra low power display mode for displaying notifications in most awesome way.

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User experience and UI: 

Latest software release Windows Phone 8.1 update 1 from Microsoft and Microsoft Mobile’s fine touch in form of Lumia Denim update has taken user experience to next level with the key highlights being Cortana (best in class personal digital assistant) , more customization in terms of home screen wallpapers, Folders support in tiles homescreen, all new pull-down notification center and a lot more.

Windows Phone operating system’s tiles user interface in general, looks and works great on bigger screens so Lumia Denim works great on 5 inch screen of 830. Check out below Lumia Denim features in brief official Microsoft video:

Performance:

Since the inception of Windows Phone operating system in 2010, it doesn’t really require as much powerful cpu and gpu as those flagships running android. The quad core snapdragon 400 processor with 1 gb of ram enables lag-free experience and overall smooth performance.

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In general, do not get confused by snapdragon 400 processor’s mid range positioning on Android platform as this processor is powerful enough on Windows Phone operating system for flagship grade smooth performance.

 

Camera:

Lumia 830 comes with great 10 Megapixels Pureview ZEISS lens with 1/3.4”″ sensor size,LED flash and optical image stabilization which enables blur free pics and video for our generally shacky hands while taking photos/videos! . OIS also enables terrific low light image capabilities. Camera is definitely on par if not above in comparison with many high end and even flagship devices.

It is quite rare that even though Lumia 830 is not a flagship device but it still features OIS technology which is only present in very few flagship devices like iPhone 6 plus, Galaxy Note 4 and Lumia 930.

This Lumia also comes with 4 high amplitude audio capture mics, thus joining in world’s few smartphones( Lumia 930 and 1520) with Dolby 5.1 audio capture during full HD and HD video recording. Clearly, the audio in recorded video is of professional quality.

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There is more good news as up coming Lumia Camera 5 app update from Microsoft Mobile, it will enable Lumia 830 to capture images during its video recording along with Rich capture modes like action shots etc.

Lumia camera application in terms of user interface is commonly found in all other Lumias with lots of control options:

camera-UI

Check out the images captured by me with Lumia 830’s 10mp camera below:

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Overall, as you can see the 10 megapixels camera module with OIS outputs great shots in all light conditions and imaging is overall flagship kind of quality. In terms of camera quality positioning within Lumia lineup, I’d rate Lumia 830’s camera slight below the  flagship 930 Lumia because of the missing Pureview loss-less zooming technology.

Entertainment experience:

Lumia 830 delivers great user experience for media consumption, thanks to its bright and beautiful display. 1080P videos look so great that now I’d prefer watching movies on my phone rather than on my laptop or tv.

Dolby has done awesome job in partnership with Microsoft mobile to bring new feature with Lumia Denim update, called Dolby Dialogues which amplifies the human voice while watching movies or videos.

Music listening experience is also class leading on Lumia 830 as the Cyan update brings Dolby virtual surround sound enhancement replacing old Dolby headphones and also the equalizer access is now also possible for music listening through phone’s speakers.

Lumia 830’s single loud speaker is loud enough for not missing calls and ok during video watching experience.

Lumia 830 also has Mix Radio app built in, which is great for streaming free music mixes without creating an account with no advertisements in between. Mix radio also provides personalized music experience from its Play me feature and it also looks fantastic with the above new Dolby enhancements.

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Battery life:

For normal usage scenarios, the battery life is just fine as it lasts for just more than a day on a single charge, while for heavy usage in terms of playing resource hungry games or using location based apps for hours then the battery life is about 10 hours which is still acceptable compare to others.

Conclusion:

I am impressed with my Lumia 830 experience of about 4 weeks as my main phone. My findings are:

  • Design and build quality is top notch and is comparable to current top 1% of flagship smartphones like iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4 and Lumia 930.
  • The display is vibrant, bright and colorful in indoors and outdoors, 294 PPI display resolution is not ground breaking but acceptable.
  • The camera is of flagship quality with best in class add on features and world’s first Dolby 5.1 audio in full HD video
  • Performance is solid, in fact I never had a moment where I felt “too slow to load”
  • Battery life is average

So yes, Lumia 830 certainly has flagship quality hardware experience, software can be a matter of taste though Lumia Denim has done most things right in terms of interface and user experience. Its affordability in terms of price positioning, I think it is just right because of all the innovations inside and that premium design with solid build quality.

 

 

 

[Review] Lumia 1520 : The best of big screen experience that doesn’t end up owning you

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There are two kinds of people in the world: one who often settle after acquiring certain things, and the other who keep looking for the bigger and the better things. Lumia 1520 from Nokia (now Microsoft Mobile) is specifically there for that later part of the segment.

Modern smartphones are keep getting better albeit also bigger in size as gone are the days when a smartphone with screen size of 4 inch considered to be big. There has been a new trend for smartphones emerging lately which is infamously known as Phablets (phone+tablet). The Phablets are keep pushing the boundaries between big screen smartphones and mini 7 or 8 inch tablets with best of the both experiences. As the phone manufacturers keep releasing new phablets every month, it is important to know that how they are differentiating the phablet experience for the consumers and making smartphone experience better , so lets look at Nokia’s first phablet,the Lumia 1520 in my experience with the device for a month of usage. I’d like to thank the folks over at Bloggers Mind for this review unit.

1520

1520

Unboxing with 360 degree device view:

Lumia 1520 box comes with a pair of in-ear headphones, nano sim card removal tool, standard microusb charger with detachable usb cable and the user manuals. My review unit was in white color, 1520 is also available in black,red,yellow and green (US only).

Check out the unboxing and 360 degree view of the device in below video:

Specifications:

Lumia 1520 is not just a device with huge screen of 6 inch but it is a Nokia phablet with flagship specifications which still hold true against the fierce competition of this year, thanks to Snapdragon 800 processor with 2gb ram, 32gb in built storage with microsd slot for memory expansion up to 128gb, gorgeous 6 inch full HD clearblack IP display (387 PPI) with Nokia Glance, Gorilla Glass 2 and massive 3400 mah non removable battery with Qi wireless charging built in.

Lumia 1520 also comes with Pureview imaging technology with 20 megapixels Carl Zeiss lens with 1/2.5″ sensor size, Optical Image Stabilization, dual-LED flash and 2 megapixels selfie camera.

Design and build:

Lumia 1520 on front carries the iconic Lumia fabula design which is present in Lumia 920, 800 etc. The front look really compliments the tiles user interface of Windows Phone.

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The non removable back of the phablet includes the camera hump along with the powerful loud speaker which is located at the bottom part.

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The 3.5 mm headphone jack is located at the top while micro usb charging port is located at the bottom. The right hand side features familiar Windows Phone design of volume rockers, power/unlock key and the camera key which can also wake up the device with the launch of default camera app by long pressing it. The left side of the device is just plain except microsd card slot and nano sim slot.

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is,a huge phone,as the 6″ screen alone is huge for a pocketable device. At 162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7mm, it’s actually a thinner phablet. Its weight however is not, the Lumia 1520 weighs good 209g, but because of the larger footprint the device is weighted equally and thus feels solid in the hand.

Display:

Lumia 1520 sports massive 6 inch full hd display with way above Retina display standard (326 PPI) as it has 387 PPI which enables high quality viewing experience with no visible pixels. The display technology is of IPS type along with Nokia’s innovative and class leading Clear Black technology which enables best in class Sunlight visibility in outdoors and great viewing angles. There is also a new display technology which Nokia debuted, adaptive pixel technology which makes sure that Lumia 1520 display is bright and blur free at any light condition by adjusting the display brightness at each pixels level.

There are also famous Nokia display features like double tap to wake up and Nokia glance (low power display mode which shows clock/notifications with always on/peek accessibility without need for unlocking the display )

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User experience and UI: 

Latest software release Windows Phone 8.1 from Microsoft and Nokia’s fine touch in form of Windows Phone 8.1 Cyan update has taken user experience to next level with the key highlights being Cortana (best in class personal digital assistant) , more customization in terms of home screen wallpapers, all new pull-down notification center and a lot more.

Windows Phone operating system’s tiles user interface in general, looks and works great on bigger screens so Lumia Cyan works great on huge 6 inch screen of 1520. Check out below Lumia Cyan features in brief for Lumia 1520 video from Nokia:

Performance:

Since the inception of Windows Phone operating system in 2010, it doesn’t really require as much powerful cpu and gpu as those flagships running android but this time Nokia went all in approach by powering Lumia 1520 with 2013’s best cpu,gpu and ram combination.

Even in 2014, Windows Phone runs very smooth and just flies with Snapdragon 800 processor with 2gb of ram, 1520’s performance is at par and even notch above most of the Android flagship smartphones of this year. The gpu is adreno 330 which is very powerful and gives amazing gaming experience on 1520’s huge 6 inch screen. I have not yet noticed any lags or slow downs on my Lumia 1520 unit.

I’d also like to add an interesting observation that, because of the polycarbonat body and relatively huge build for a phablet, Lumia 1520 has best in class heat dissipation while playing hd games for longer duration or using location apps for long time.

Camera and Imaging features:

Lumia 1520 comes with formidable 20 Megapixels Pureview ZEISS lens with 1/2.5″ sensor size,dual-LED flash and optical image stabilization which enables blur free pics and video for shack hands and also terrific low light image captures.

The phablet also comes with 4 high amplitude audio capture mics, thus bringing in world’s first smartphone with Dolby 5.1 audio capture during full HD and HD video recording.

There is more good news as up coming software update, Lumia Denim will enable Lumia 1520 to capture videos in 4k resolution with 24 fps and thats not all, the update will also bring image capture at 8 megapixels resolution during 4k video recording, adjustable flash thus illuminating the age old problem of whether to use flash or not, and many other enhancements.

The imaging performance is top notch. Lumia 1520 offers 3 different image capture modes: JPEG 5 MP over sampled images, JPEG 5 MP over sampled images + original 16 MP images, JPEG 5 MP over sampled images + DNG 16 MP images.

Nokia camera application in terms of user interface is sames as the one I reviewed during my Lumia 1020 trial:

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Check out the images captured by me with Lumia 1520 below:

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Entertainment experience:

Lumia 1520 delivers great user experience for media consumption, thanks to its huge and beautiful display. 1080P videos look so great on my 1520 that now I’d prefer watching movies on my phone rather than on my laptop or tv.

Dolby have done awesome job in partnership with Nokia to bring new feature with Lumia Cyan update, called Dolby Dialogues which amplifies the human voice while watching movies or videos.

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Music listening experience is also class leading on Lumia 1520 as the Cyan update brings Dolby virtual surround sound enhancement replacing old Dolby headphones and also the equalizer access is now also possible for music listening through phone’s speakers.

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Mix radio also looks fantastic on 1520’s beautiful screen and with the above new Dolby enhancements, Mix radio’s cool mixes play great on the device.

Battery life:

Battery life is phenomenal on 1520 because of the huge battery of 3400mah rating as well as comparatively low power consumption nature of Windows Phone with respect to iOS and Android.

For normal usage scenarios, the battery life is pretty awesome as it lasts for around 3 days on a single charge, while for heavy usage in terms of playing resource hungry games or using location based apps for hours then the battery life is around 2 days which is again pretty impressive compare to other big screen phones running android.

Overall I must say, Lumia 1520 is the best device with longest battery life I have ever used and with up coming software updates I’d say that it will keep getting better, which is a really cool thing as great battery life is a must for a device with 6 inch display and such awesome 20 MP Pureview camera which inspires the user to take many photos.

Conclusion:

The phablets are latest trend in smartphone industry and they are often developed in a way that they are only targeted for consumers who are just looking for bigger phones. Many smartphone OEMs make that common mistake of handicapping their phablets in one or many of the important aspect of smartphone’s user experience. More often it is the camera or the processor or the display quality or combination of those which comes in compromised manner and thus the consumers after purchasing the phablets feel that they shouldn’t have gone with the decision.

Fortunately, Lumia 1520 is not that kind of phablet which is compromised in specifications. Lumia 1520 is, by far the best phablet with specifications that deliver great on all aspects of smartphone experience in terms of great display, awesome camera, solid performance and amazing battery life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nokia XL review: Bigger experience….. big style!

Hi all,

I have been testing Nokia XL for past few weeks. Nokia XL is a sleek big screen device with pretty much same industrial design and same user interface as Nokia X which I reviewed recently. So lets look at comparison of both and my experience with Nokia XL:

Nokia X vs Nokia XL:

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Not your regular sales package! :

Bloggers Mind sent quite an unique Nokia XL box with the handset, a pair of headsets, wall charger and two mirrors with the list of Android apps available for Nokia XL written on its sides. Check out this special packaging in un-boxing video below:

Specifications:

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In terms of specifications, The display resolution is disappointingly same as X which results in just 187 PPI. Processor is bit different but same from Qualcomm, dual core 1 GHz and same gpu of Adreno 203. However, the ram is 768MB on XL compare to 512MB on X.

Battery is also bigger with 2000mah on XL which is a bit low for the device with 5 inch display.

Camera is much improved on XL, 5 megapixels with much needed autofocus instead of fixed focus along with a led flash for low light photography.

Performance:

Nokia XL performs smooth even on 768MB ram thanks to lightweight and responsive fastlane ui. However, the phone struggles a bit in handling resource intensive heavy games or apps. Compare to Nokia X, Nokia XL feels little more responsive, fluid and smooth.

Battery life:

The battery life of XL is very good compare to Nokia X even though the XL has massive 5 inch screen. The XL lasts one full day of heavy smartphone usage activities while for moderate to low usage, the phone easily lasts more than 2 days on a single charge. Overall, I am impressed with Nokia XL’s battery life.

Media consumption:

Movies look great on Nokia XL’s big 5 inch display, the vlc player from Nokia app store enables Nokia XL to play any format of video files up to 720p resolution. The loudspeaker on XL is more clearer and louder than Nokia X’s loudspeaker. Another thing about the loudspeaker is its central location at bottom side of phone which makes it output more loudness, particularly helpful during voice calls on loudspeaker.

Camera: 

Nokia XL has 5 megapixels autofocus camera with single led flash. It is not the best in class 5 megapixel shooter but it does produce good images in good light conditions. In low light, camera performs slightly below average.

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Conclusion:

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Looking at the current price tag of around 10.5 k INR, Nokia XL with fastlane ui and Android apps is targeted for heavy apps and media consumers who are inclined towards bigger screen smartphones. Last week, Microsoft announced the end of device life cycle for Nokia X family of devices with 18 months support so if you are looking into more than two years of phone ownership then this phone might not be the right choice. Overall, Nokia XL delivers well in aspects like media consumption, games and apps experience on bigger screen so it is a strong contender for entry level big screen phone with Nokia promise of build to last quality and trendy color options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nokia X review : Stairway to Android

Hi All,

On February 24th at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain 2014, When Stephen Elop announced Nokia X, at first glance it looked like a Lumia running on Android OS. Elop communicated Nokia X as an entry level smartphone for connecting next billion to Microsoft services and Android apps.

The next billion are the segment of consumers who are looking for their first purchase of smartphone with affordable price and basic smartphone feature and entering into smartphone experience.

Nokia X is mainly targeted for those first time smartphone users and also for consumers who want value for money for their purchase.

Nokia X is positioned as an entry level smartphone with Microsoft services and Android apps. So lets look at how effective and value for money, Nokia X is for the consumers.

Unboxing:

Retail Packaging:

Nokia X comes in six different color options: bright red, bright green, cyan, yellow,black and white. My Nokia X is in white color and it definitely looks stunning. Nokia X retail box includes single piece micro usb wall charger and red pair of headsets. It unfortunately doesn’t include micro usb cable.

Specification:

4″ IPS LCD WVGA capacitive touchscreen, around 233 ppi
1.0 GHz dual-core Cortex-A5 processor, Adreno 203 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8225 Snapdragon S4 Play chipset, GPS
512MB RAM
Proximity sensor, accelerometer, display auto-rotation
4GB internal storage (1.2GB available to the user)

Design and Build:

Nokia X design

Nokia X design

The design of Nokia X is nice and it feels solid and premium in the hands. The dimensions are 115.5 x 63 x 10.4 mm, it weighs about 129 g. There are volume keys and lock key on the right side of the phone while 3.5 headphone jack is located at top and micro usb port on bottom. There is 3.15 Megapixels fixed focus camera on back along with one loud speaker grill located at bottom right hand side corner. The white version looks really nice and its compactness allows for a perfect one hand usages. 

One Hand usage

One Hand usage

The front of Nokia X consists 4 inch IPS display with WVGA resolution. Unfortunately the display doesn’t come with Gorilla glass protection. There is only one capacitive key which is the back button.

Front

Front

Display:

Nokia X display is a 4″ IPS LCD of WVGA (480 x 800 pixels) resolution, which is around 233 ppi. It is actually enough for comfortable web browsing, media viewing and reading documents. The colors look accurate, vibrant and punchy on Nokia X display. The display looks ok in bright light and out doors so I think its pretty descent IPS panel there for such an entry level smartphone.

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display

Call quality and Loud speaker:

The loud speaker is loud and outputs clear sound. Nokia X delivers solid media playback experience because of its vibrant display and high volume loud speaker output.

The call quality is satisfactory on Nokia X where callers have no problem hearing my voice for most of the calls.

User Interface:

The phone comes with Nokia X Software Platform 1.0. Nokia X user interface is a mix between the latest Asha ui and Windows Phone 8 ui with some noticeable changes here and there.

There is also a Glance screen with notifications which is found in Lumia smartphones, there is also nice looking lockscreen. The ui is based on gestures as Swiping it reveals one of the two views – the app drawer and the Fastlane.

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lockscreen              home

 

The app drawer on Nokia X resembles a lot of Windows Phone homescreen where all apps shortcuts look like Windows Phone tiles. They are re-sizable and you can also change the base color of each tile. Sadly though the tiles don’t have live tiles capability. Android widgets are supported which include analogue clock, calendar, email, Facebook etc. Apps that come with a default widget, such as the BBM,also appears in the widget menu.

Swiping to either left or right of the homescreen takes you to the Fastlane. The Fastlane keeps track of all your recent activity, opened apps go there, recent web pages, along with contacts you’ve called, messages and emails, calendar events (birthdays, to-dos), recently installed apps, recently shared content, recently taken notes and pictures, radio stations, and even social network posts, replies, likes and etc.

fastlane

Android apps performance:

Nokia X manages to run most of Android apps and games without any problem though resource heavy games like Asphalt 8 are no go with un playable performance.

Overall Nokia X handles Android apps well thanks to its dual core snapdragon processor.

Microsoft Services:

Unlike any other Android running smartphone, Nokia X doesn’t come with those familiar Google services and apps but instead it comes with powerful and productive Microsoft services like One Drive, Outlook email etc which makes Nokia X perfect for the productivity on the go.

Camera:

Nokia X has a 3.15 MP camera with 2048 x 1536 resolution in captured images. It doesn’t have autofocus which makes Nokia X unusable in taking pictures of close objects. In day light, Nokia X manages to capture average images while in low light it is poor because of the lack of led flash. Nokia X captures video at 480P resolution with 30 FPS where video quality is same case as with still captures, average video quality in day light while poor quality in low light. Check out a sample photo captured by Nokia X below:

sample

Media experience:

Nokia X has standard music player which looks much like Asha music player. It has equalizer feature along with audio enhancements like 3D, Loudness and Bass Boost. Nokia X delivers solid audio output through headphones. Nokia X doesn’t have dedicated video player but it can directly play a video from gallery. It supports video files playback of resolution up to 720p in 3GP, MP4 and MKV format.

Nokia X also comes with Nokia Mix radio which is undoubtedly, one of the best free music streaming app for the smartphones. Also Nokia Mix Radio for Nokia X is heavily customized local flavor in terms of variety of Bollywood mixes so Nokia Music Radio on Nokia will never cease to amaze you with those unique mixes which also can be downloaded for offline playback.

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Conclusion:

Nokia X is a stairway to Android for the next billion who are looking for a value for money entry level smartphone capable to run Android apps with known Nokia qualities like built to last hardware and rich colors.

Review: [Lumia 1020] Return of the Camera Smartphone King!

Hi All,

Three weeks ago I received shiny yellow Nokia Lumia 1020 from Nokia India for the review purpose. Nokia had created history last year when they had announced Nokia 808 Pureview with 41 megapixel camera sensor running Symbian OS but this year Nokia once again have created history by releasing Lumia 1020 with 41 megapixel sensor with added capability of excellent low light imaging through OIS. My short usage period of Lumia 1020 had been a spectacular one, especially the imaging experience. So lets look at my experience of the device.

King

Camera Smartphone King

Design:

Front View

side view

side view

Being a Lumia 920 user, design wise I believe Lumia 1020 is an incremental innovation compare to Lumia 920 design. The major change is of course reduction of weight and a bit thinner profile with matte finish. I particularly like the change in terms of matte finish as it provides better grip and also lesser prone to scratches and finger prints.

I would also like to mention that through out my experience I had not find the device difficult to hold due to the camera hump as mentioned by many tech review sites. In fact the camera hump on the back of this devices is the most beautiful camera hump I have seen on a smartphone.

Hump view

Hump view

Display:

The display is 768P HD with AMOLED panel type which means that there are deeper blacks, highly saturated colors and excellent viewing angles with low power requirements. Also the CBD technology helps a lot while operating device in bright light or at outdoors with no loss in picture quality.

Processing Power:

The device comes with identical hardware specs( S4 MSM8960 1.5 Ghz Dual core cpu, adreno 225 gpu)  as Lumia 920 except its 2 GB ram which is a plus point and adds performance boost in terms of fast app switching and fast loading of apps.

Battery Life:

Battery life is around 1 and half day for moderate usages and around 1 day for heavy usages.

Camera Performance:

The value proposition of this device is of course the imaging capabilities thanks to its massive 41 MP camera sensor, revolutionary oversampling PureView Pro technology for ultra Zooming capabilities and also OIS which makes sure that low light photography is as good as during day time and of course the smooth video recording capability.

Apart from above eye catchy specs, the built in Camera application known as “Nokia Camera” makes sure that the awesome Imaging hardware is perfectly matched with the awesome software with value addition of various controls like shutter speed, focus modes, white balance, exposure time etc to make photography user experience intuitive.

camera-UI

Camera Samples:

Macro

Macro

Zoom in to see the details

Zoom in to see the details

Low light 1

Low light 1

Low light 2

Low light 2

Low light 3

Low light 3

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Conclusion:

Lumia 1020 is currently the best camera smartphone available with modern looking Windows phone 8 user interface and unmatched user experience through unique Lumia exclusive imaging apps like Refocus, Smart cam etc makes this phone a must buy.

[Fight!] Nokia Purity in-ear vs Nokia Coloud Pop in-ear

Hi All,

So I’ve been using Nokia Monsters Purity in-ear stereo headphones since 2 months on my Lumia 920 and laptop. This in-ear headphones is undoubtedly the best in-ear headphones I’ve used so far with excellent high quality stereo sound output and very impressive noise cancellation thanks to its nicely designed ear buds which not only fit in the ears perfectly but block most of outside noises.

WP_20130907_10_37_47_ProOne week ago I started using Nokia’s new headphones range called “Coloud” with two over ear headphones, Boom and Knock and one cool in-ear headphones called “Pop”. Coloud Pop is nicely designed in-ear headphones which comes in three vibrant colors (Cyan, Red, Yellow) and at affordable price.

WP_20130907_10_27_59_ProColoud Pop has lived up too its reputation so far for my daily usage pattern so I guess now it is the time to decide which one is overall great?

[Fight!] Nokia Monster Purity In-ear Vs Coloud Pop In-ear:

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Sound Quality:

Sound quality has been excellent from both of the headphones and though overall in terms of deep bass levels and soft instruments playback reproduction, Purity is slightly better than Coloud Pop headphones.

Ear Buds:

There is no point of getting high quality sound output if the ear buds are painful and uncomfortable to ears. Luckily, the ear buds on both headphones are well designed and fit in the ears comfortably for longer duration of continues pain free music listening experience.

Noise Cancellation:

Purity edges out Coloud Pop when it comes to music listening in noisy environment. Purity in-ear headphones have ear buds specifically designed for noise suppression purpose. Noise cancellation is there in Coloud Pop in-ear headphones but not as effective as Purity ones.

Tangle-free Cords:

Both headphones have tangle-free cords and they are very comfortable to carry around while walking or running or at indoors. Coloud Pop really shines in this area with its innovative design where the headphone jack bends on itself, branded as “Zound Lasso” which can be utilized in various ways to carry Pop in a cool fashion.

Controls:

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Monsters Purity features on cable controls with a key which can be used for play/pause music and answer/end calls. There is also volume + and – buttons for volume control. While Coloud Pop features multifunctional single button which can be used for play/pause music and answer/end calls and also for playback of next song through two clicks and for playback of previous song through three clicks. So Coloud Pop has an edge here because there is only one step required to change volume i.e pressing of volume key on phone but there are multiple steps required for the playback of next or previous songs.

Conclusion:

Nokia Purity and Coloud Pop are colorful and high performing in-ear headphones for Nokia and other windows phone devices. Both of them have their strongholds and weaknesses, I guess at the end of day it comes down to user specific requirements.

Review: Nokia coloud range ( Boom, Pop, Knock)

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Hi All,

I have been testing Nokia Coloud headphones range ( Boom, Pop, Knock) since a week, thanks to very awesome Mr. Dean Pattrick from Nokia Music. Coloud headphones range brings high quality music listening experience in 3 vibrant colors yet low in prices. The three new headphones are produced by Zound industries and they are customized for Nokia. All three come in Yellow , Red and Cyan. All three have tangle free cords and they all have pretty cool design where the headphone jack bends on itself, branded as “Zound Lasso’.

The compatibility specification on all three says that compatible with devices including Nokia Asha and Nokia Lumia devices running Windows Phone or iOS running devices though I have tested all three on my Nokia Lumia 920 as well as my windows 8 running Dell laptop without any issue.

All three feature mic and call accept/reject cum playback control key which is to be pressed 2 times to play next song and 3 times to play previous song. Voice quality is very good both in terms of sender and receiver during calls for all three headphones tested on Lumia 920.

Boom:

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Coloud Boom is based on over ear headphones construction and the ear cups can be adjusted side ways. The ear cups’ closed construction is such that it blocks outside noise and provides comfortable music listening. The thing I like the most about the Boom is that, It gives the most balanced stereo sound output with high bass levels compare to the other two and also the flexibility of the tangle free cord which comes out from left ear cup while doing any movements with the headphones on.

Pop:

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Coloud Pop is based on in ear construction headphones. This one is very light in terms of weight and comes with three different sizes of ear caps for perfection. The sound output is good in terms of higher bass levels though the noise cancellation is not as good as Boom. The thing I like most is that, it fits very well in ear and even while walking it doesn’t get loose from the ears. So far this one is my favorite compare to the other two when it comes to outdoors.

Knock: 

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This one is over ear based like the Boom. Unlike the Boom, Knock is very light in terms of weight and it can be easily put on or be removed. The ear cups are not constructed in close manner like the Boom but they give comfortable feeling than the other two headphones. Sound quality is good but lacks bass levels mainly due to its open construction of the ear cups. Its design makes it look like ideal headphones for girls and older people.

Welcome!

Hi!.

I am Hradayesh Nimavat. This is my blog, dedicated to express my opinions for Nokia audio accessories and Nokia Lumia devices. Feel free to ask me anything about Lumia devices and its audio accessories. Thanks for visiting this site.