Asam Bangia's Blog

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Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II


Let’s take a look at how the technical specs of the iPhone 4S stack up next to those of our favorite new Android smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S II

Apple iPhone 4S vs Samsung Galaxy S II
iPhone  4S  Galaxy S II
Price (with contract) $199 to $399 $199.99
OS iOS 5 Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) w/ TouchWhiz 4.0
 Processor  Apple A5 (dual-core) Samsung Exynos (dual-core)
 Display  3.5-inch 960×640 IPS 4.3-inch 800×480 SAMOLED+
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3 (mm) 129 x 66 x 8.9 (mm)
Weight 140g 117g
Cellular  CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A/GSM/HSPA GSM/HSPA+
Max. speed 14.4Mbps down/5.8Mbps up 21.1Mbps down
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (single-band) 802.11 b/g/n (dual-band)
 Rear camera 8-megapixel AF w/ LED flash 8-megapixel AF w/ LED flash
 Front camera VGA 2-megapixel
 Video capabilities
 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps
Internal storage  16GB/32GB/64GB 16GB
Mini SD No Yes (expands storage up to 48GB)
Max. battery life  8 hrs talk/6 hrs browsing 3G/10 hrs video/40 hrs music 8 hrs talk
 Construction Glass w/ aluminum band Plastic
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October 5, 2011 Posted by | My Gadgets | , , | Leave a comment

11-digit mobile numbers soon?


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There is no consensus yet among the major service providers on the issue of an early migration to an 11-digit sequence

The unprecedented growth of cellular telephony in India has forced a rethink on the national mobile numbering plan much earlier than anticipated.

With a mobile user base of over 550 million connections — and with over 5 to 6 million net additions every month — the question looming before policy planners is whether to continue with the 10-digit mobile number for some more years or to ring in the 11-digit sequence (as some countries like China have already done) as a one-stop, long-term solution that would take care of future needs.

The National Numbering Plan (NNP) 2003 was formulated for a projected forecast of reaching the 50 per cent tele-density level by 2030.

While the fixed line connections showed a decline, the unprecedented growth of the mobile segment meant that the anticipated 450 million mobile connection milestone was achieved in 2009, and the figure is now poised to cross the 1 billion mark by the end of 2014.

Sensing the need to revisit the National Numbering Plan (NNP) 2003, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently issued a consultation paper seeking views from service providers on a better utilisation scheme of number resources.

The basic question raised by TRAI was whether the 10-digit mobile numbering scheme was sufficient for a few more years or whether the boom in the mobile user segment warranted an early migration to an 11-digit sequence.

However, there is no consensus yet among the major service providers on the issue.

The BSNL’s argument is that the 10-digit scheme would hold fine for at least another 10 years. Migration to a 11-digit sequence would entail major changes, costs and inconvenience to users, it said.

Those in the industry supporting continuance of the scheme till 2014 or beyond, call for opening up more fixed line levels which remain grossly under-utilised.

Proponents of a migration to the 11-digit scheme say the transition can be easily implemented through pre-fixing an additional digit for all existing mobile numbers. According to TRAI, the level ‘9′ for a 10-digit numbering system generates a maximum of 1,000 million numbers. Another 500 million are freed up against a few sub-levels of level 8.

However, while theoretically an estimated 1,500 million numbers should thus be available across mobile networks, in reality the number is much smaller due to various reasons.

Therefore, the practice is that the Department of Telecom allocates new blocks of numbers once a service provider demonstrates 60 per cent utilisation of the allotted numbers. Significantly, TRAI has observed that in many of the service areas, the utilisation of numbers by service providers is well below 60 per cent.

One of TRAI’s suggestions is to introduce an integrated service-area based scheme where STD codes would be merged with the numbers to form a 10-digit number for fixed phones. The other alternative is to switch to 11 digits.

However, this would require modifying all fixed and mobile systems software, changing billing database, causing inconvenience to users in the form of dialling extra digits and updating of phone memory books, TRAI said.

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April 5, 2010 Posted by | My Gadgets | , , | Leave a comment

Samsung India launch of two new dual sim handsets (B-5722 and Duos 259)


Samsung India today announced a fresh thrust on its Dual SIM business by introducing two new Dual SIM handsets in the market –B 5722 Dual SIM GSM + GSM touch screen phone and Duos 259, a Dual SIM CDMA + GSM multimedia phone. The two new launches will strengthen the Company’s Dual SIM offering to 6 handsets, including GSM and CDMA segments.

“Consumers are showing a growing preference for Dual SIM phones both in the GSM as well as the CDMA space. We are working at catering to this growing consumer need by introducing new differentiated Dual SIM handsets that come with the unique Samsung advantage of Dual Active mode” states Ranjit Yadav, Director –Mobile & IT. The Dual Active Mode implies that both the SIMs are active all the times. For example, if a user is talking to someone on SIM 1 and gets a call on SIM 2, then he/she will be able to see the person who is calling and can accept the call on SIM 2.

According to a release the just launched B-5722 GSM + GSM Dual SIM Active Phone, comes with a dedicated SIM switching key and a 7.11 cm (2.8″) Full Touch Screen. Given the growing consumer preference to chat and access SNS on their mobiles, the Samsung B-5722 comes with SNS Quick Links and Instant Messenger (IM). The Dual Sim phone comes with advanced features like Stereo FM with recording, 1200 mAH Battery with a talk time of up to 13.4 hours, supports external memory up to 8GB and comes with Advanced Mobile Tracker feature. It is priced at Rs.10,650 /-.

The Duos 259 is a GSM + CDMA Dual SIM Active phone that comes with a 5.58cm( 2.2″) screen, 262K colour TFT display, 1.3MP Camera, Stereo FM Radio with recording, a powerful 1140mAH Battery and SD card support upto 8 GB. It is priced at Rs.7799 /-. With the new launches today, Samsung range of Dual SIM handsets across both GSM and CDMA technologies is priced in the range between Rs.4620 /- to Rs.10,650 /-. “We are looking at the Dual SIM handsets contributing up to 15% of our total handset volumes this year” states Yadav.

In view of the growing preference of Indian consumers towards downloading applications and customizing them to meet their needs, Samsung has hosted a Java application store on Samsung Fun club, the site for popular games, music, ringtones, free content, wallpapers and videos.

With approximately 3 million unique users who access the site through both WAP and Web, the Java application store is designed to tap this user base and offer them more downloadable versions of their favorite applications on their mobiles.

Currently users can download from 40 applications, and Samsung India is closely with the developer community to work on these applications which range from – Communication (IP & VOIP), Messaging, Entertainment, Personal Finance, Lifestyle, Learning, Social Networking to Maps on Mobile and Mobile Internet.

The applications are available for top selling models of Samsung phones like Corby series, Metro, Star series and even the Dual SIM phones. “We plan to add at least 10 more applications on Samsung Fun Club by the end of this month” states Yadav. The Company plans to introduce its proprietary Bada platform in the country in Quarter 2 and will be working with Indian developers to develop applications for the same.

March 19, 2010 Posted by | My Gadgets | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows Phone 7 Interface: Microsoft Has Out-Appled Apple


16th Feb 2010

I’m sorry, Cupertino, but Microsoft has nailed it. Windows Phone 7 feels like an iPhone from the future. The UI has the simplicity and elegance of Apple’s industrial design, while the iPhone’s UI still feels like a colorized Palm Pilot.

That doesn’t mean that the Windows Phone 7’s user experience would be better than Apple’s. The two user interface concepts—data-centric vs function-centric—are very different, and the former is quite a radical departure from what people are used to.

And if you’re not familiar with Windows Phone 7, check out our hands on and the post where we explain everything about it.

With the iPhone, Apple put together an extremely simple modal interface that works, one that people of all ages and backgrounds understand right away: “This is a device that adopts different functions and gives me access to different kinds of information depending on the icon I click on.”

It’s pretty simple idea, which made it a raging success. In fact, that success is the reason why this model is Apple’s bet not only for mobile phones, but for the future of computing. It is also the reason why the Androids, Palms, and Blackberries of this world are following them.

Clean slate

Microsoft’s approach is completely different. Instead of becoming another me-too cellphone, like Android and the rest, the Windows Phone 7 team came up their own vision of what the cellphone should be. In the process, they have created a beautiful user interface in which the data is at the center of user interaction. Not the apps—specific functions—but the information itself. At some points, in fact, it feels like the information is the interface itself.

Out of the box, this information is organized into areas called hubs, which follow the user’s areas of interest. Accessible through live tiles in the home screen, the Me (the user), people, pictures and video, music, and games—plus the omnipresent search—hubs give views into several data sources, connecting and presenting them into an interweaved panoramic stream. These hubs dig heavily into many databases, both locally and into the cloud.

Rather than accessing an app to get contact information and make a call to a person, open another app to get her Twitter updates, and then another app to get her Facebook updates, and another for her latest mails to you, and yet another one to watch her photos, the Windows Phone’s people hub offers a seamless view into all of it, presented in a very simple and logical way. On a function-centric model like the iPhone, when the user thinks “I want to make a call”, he puts the device in “calling mode” by clicking on an app, selects a contact, and calls. When the user thinks “What’s up with John Smith?” he puts the device in Facebook or Twitter or Mail mode, and so on.

Microsoft has organized the hubs into panoramas, by stitching groups of information as columns of a single landscape screen—bigger than the phone’s display—that can be scrolled with your finger. The solution—tied together with minimalist interface aesthetics and animations that are inviting, elegant, and never superfluous—works great.

What about other applications?

Instinctively, I like Microsoft’s approach to organizing the core of our digital lives—people+social+multimedia+communication all merged into the hubs. I like it better than the “it’s a phone, it’s a mail program, it’s a browser, it’s an iPod” Apple approach. It’s less rigid than the iPhone or Android’s model, offering a richer experience, inviting to explore, and offering data from many points of view in a quick, clearly organized way. It also seems morehuman, and that’s certainly something Apple—or their followers—have to worry about.

Does that mean that function-centric models are worse? Like I said before, not necessarily. Especially because the information-centric panoramas don’t fit every single task people expect their iPhones to perform now. And when I say every single task, I really mean the two gazillion apps populating the Apple store. Microsoft could dress the hub experience in any way they want, but if their devices don’t offer a rich application market, they will fail the same way the current competition is failing against Apple.

Fortunately for Microsoft, the Windows Phone model is not only information-centric, but also function-centric. According to Joe Belfiore, gran jefe of the Microsoft’s Windows Phone Program, applications are not required to plug into the hub metaphor or the panorama user interface. When the development toolkit comes out in a month, it will encourage applications just like the ones you have in the iPhone today. In other words, Microsoft understands that one approach is as important as the other.

They are just hoping that their hubs would be a better, funner, more intuitive way to access and cultivate our digital lives, which is mainly what most consumers want to do nowadays. Looking at what they have shown today, I think they may be in the right track. But, like the Zune HD, it just may be too late.

Send an email to Asam Bangia, the author of this post, at akbangia@in.com

February 16, 2010 Posted by | My Gadgets | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment