The direction tech is heading these days is pretty fascinating. Suffice to say that researching and reading about all the newest technological advances consumes a major part of my time. This blog is meant to share my thoughts on what's happening in this fantastic world and get fellow tech-enthusiasts to contribute their thoughts and experiences as well.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Smart watches, which one is most suited for you?

Smart watches, which one is most suited for you?

Contrary to popular belief smartwatches have been around for a while. Back in 2001 IBM teamed up with Citizen Watch and built what was to be the first smartwatch. It was a Linux based system which had Bluetooth, and an accelerometer but, had only a few hours of battery life. It was called the QVGA. Later, Fossil, Microsoft and finally Sony Ericisson built watches in chronological order. Paving the way for the Samsung S9110, the first smartwatch with touchscreen capabilities.
However, smartwatches branched out from being a standalone watch to a companion system to the smartphone. I believe the Samsung S9110 began this trend. And now in 2015 there are a variety of smartwatches to suit almost every need, from watches for fitness enthusiast to geeks. Just like the smartphone guide I’d made a couple of months ago, this one is aimed at helping you choose the perfect smartwatch.

Alright, in my opinion there are a couple of watches that you really need to look out for. The Pebble smartwatch, Apple watch, Motorola moto 360, Sony SmartWatch, FitBit Surge and finally the LG watch Urbane. Here’s a breakdown of all the watches listed above.

                                                  Pebble Smartwatch
            Easily the best smartwatch you can get without breaking the bank! This well-crafted machine has simple setup and usage functionality. Moreover, its key selling point is universal compatibility. Pebble has custom apps for both? Android and IOS devices, however, the IOS app is said to have slightly better compatibility. You can choose between an array of watch faces and simple apps to customize your Pebble smartwatch. Other major selling points of this device include a seven day long battery and a waterproof rating of 5 ATM, that 165 feet for fresh and saltwater. The extended battery is mostly due to the fact that Pebble watches use a greyscale display type or as Pebble calls it, E – paper. This seemingly is what gives it five days more than the completion. The watch offers all basic features of mirroring notifications, but also support fitness tracking apps.

You can buy them at - India:

            Apple Watch (Sports Edition in picture)
            The Apple watch comes in two sizes: 38mm and 42mm and three versions: The Watch, Watch Sport and Watch Edition. However, while each one has a different strap type they are all the same under the hood. Basically the difference is purely cosmetics, the Watch sports either a leather or a stainless steel strap, the Sports edition sports a rubber strap in an array of flashy colors and finally, the Watch Edition sports an 18 carat yellow gold or rose gold case and a leather strap. The Sports edition is the cheapest at $349, the Watch at $549 and the Watch Edition at $17,000 at its highest. The watch itself is compatible only with IOS phones and has a display size of 1.32 inches. It has a fantastic OLED display, it’s flashy to say the least.   Perhaps this the reason for its below average battery life, a mere 18 hours.  As seen in the Pebble, this too has a square like shape. In my opinion, a square watch is more likely to stand out in a ring shaped watch market. All three variants have an accelerometer and a heart rate monitor. Apple calls the round knob on the left of the ‘The Digital Crown’, which is used to access a number of functions like: zoom, scrolling and to input data. However the touchscreen can be used for the same features. In addition, you can access Siri by holding down on the crown.

You can buy them at – India: Not available yet


          Motorola Moto 360

            If you added a microchip to a regular Timex watch you would get the Moto 360. Simple yet, elegant. This watch will set you back $150 in the US and Rs 13,000 in India. Quite lacking in features though, as you can see in the picture the watch acts as mirror for your smartphone. Giving directions using Google Maps, above the Google icon can be either clicked on to search (just like on any smartphone) or by saying “okay Google”, however, the voice recognition software needs work. Unlike in the Apple watch the Moto 360 has limited apps that can be used on it – 3rd party apps like Facebook messenger, RunKeeper, WhatsApp and Uber. However, while the range of apps are tiny it is highly likely that major app developers will incorporate Android Wear (the OS that the Moto 360 and other Android based smartwatches run on) into their apps. Thus, I believe the next update or next watch from Motorola would have far more apps, and hopefully a more feature rich product. Although the watch does have fitness tracking features, it is far from the capabilities of a FitBit. But all in all it’s a fantastic option to show off Android Wear.

You can buy them at – India:

                        FitBit Surge
            First and foremost the Surge is a fitness focused smartwatch, not that it doesn’t offer the features that other smartwatches have but, we’ll get to that later. As a fitness watch the Surge is really good. It has a total of eight sensors that together track your steps, distance traveled and calories burned. Sleep tracking is also included however, currently there is no feature for the watch to detect when you sleep and wake, thus making it a bit of a hassle. Moreover, this is one of the first smartwatches to be compatible with all three Smartphone OSs. Windows users are in for a treat, with windows 10 around the corner early beta runs show that the Surge can work alongside Cortana (The windows version of Siri). A real world example would be something like “FitBit, I ate pancakes for breakfast” and it would log those calories into your fitness chart. The Surge itself is only water resistant, meaning it would be a good idea to take it off before getting into the pool. On the bottom side of the watch is the heartbeat sensor which continuously monitors your heartbeat, FitBit calls this “PurePulse”. This is done by reflecting a green LED light against your skin, and calculating the changes in blood volume. Lastly, the watch mirrors all your phone messages and caller ID. And as a plus lets you switch tracks from your music player. Pretty useful if you gym or run.

You can buy them at – India:

            LG Watch Urbane
            Not much uniqueness in this one. It has a luxurious feel to it, the Rolex of smartwatches today. It has stainless steel case a plush leather band. It should be noted that this a pretty large watch face, so if you have slender hands this is going to stand out. In terms of sensors it offers a built-in heart rate monitor, accelerometer, barometer, compass, and gyroscope. Other watch reviewers are saying that the heart rate monitor isn’t very accurate as the displayed heart rate was rather erratic during their testing. The 410 mAh battery gives you two days when using basic features but, only a day when using all its features. Even though the Urbane is the only watch to ship with Android Wear 5.1 it doesn’t have too many advantages over the ones running lower versions of Android wear. Android wear 5.1 allows for built-in WiFi support, this allows you to connect your watch to an unprotected router without the need for your smartphone. However, as most WiFi networks are password protected your reticted to using the watch as a standalone in public areas that offer WiFi and coffee shops. But all in all, this is a tough sell.

You can buy them at – India:

 So there you have it, my five smartwatches to look out for. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cool stuff heading your way this year

This year is going to be great year for tech enthusiasts alike. Last year on September 10, 2014 (correct me if I’m wrong) Microsoft announced windows 10. Apparently skipping 9 to get as far away from windows 8 as possible. At CES (Consumer Electronic Show) there were plenty of new stuff announced. Namely, the Snapdragon 810 processor, USB – Type C, a new BMW electric car, free - form display by SHARP and better drones. I shall further discuss these new advancements below.  


Microsoft did something different this time, in order to appease as many consumers as possible they’ve allowed the BETA build to be downloaded by anyone who wants. Do note that as it is still in BETA it is strongly advisable to not install this onto your primary system. The BETA build has been in progress since its release last year and is expected to end mid-2015. By looking at the picture you will immediately notice that the start bar as returned! Moreover, Microsoft has included Cortana, a digital assistant in-built into the system. Cortana is a primary character of Halo series, Microsoft’s bestselling First Person Shooting game. Recently Microsoft has confirmed that anyone can upgrade to windows 10 for free! And surprisingly enough people with pirated copies could upgrades as well, although, they will not be listed as an original copy. And lastly Microsoft is trying to have a universal app concept. So that and app on your phone could be used on say your XBOX One and on your Surface tablet.

Snapdragon 810

Snapdragon processors are present in a majority of smartphones today. The photo shows the key features that this new processor brings. Although, it is up to the company that builds the phone whether to include all these features or not. For example, a budget phone from HTC will not have gestures and voice activation. Phones like the Nexus 6 and the LG G Flex 2 already house this processor with more to come this year.


‘One cable to connect them all’, quoting CNET. And that’s exactly what this new cable those. Type C can be used for just about anything that needs a cable to be plugged it, be it for HDMI input to charge a laptop. In addition, type C allows for faster charging as it’s able to provide up to 100 watts at 20 volts. Basically now you can charge your iPad by plugging it into your laptop. Another prime feature is faster data transfer rates of up to 10 GBs. That’s an entire HD movie in a second! The only drawback of this is that it requires a different port. And although adapters will be available they would be an additional device to carry with you. The new Google Chromebook and 12 – inch MacBook already have USB type C ports, with more devices coming soon.

Better Drones

CES this year so a wide variety of commercial drones. And costing at less than $1,300 dollars these are pretty hard to pass up. The DJI Inspire 1 (displayed in the picture) is a slightly more expensive drone (costing at about $2,900) but allows users to shoot videos in 4k. For this particular model the carbon – fibre landing gears lifts and rises for take-off and landing, allowing a 360 degree viewing angles and 125 degrees tilt for the camera. 
What’s cool about these new drones is that they’re simple to use. Some models can have the remote connected a tablet so that the consumer can get almost real-time footage from the camera. 
Another Kickstarter started drone called the Air-Dog follows user wherever he or she goes. Allowing for better photos to be takes. 

BMW i8 and i3

Almost anyone who’s watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol should recognise this car. It’s BMW’s new i8, an electric hybrid car. It is similarly prices to the popular Tesla model S, costing at around $130,000 dollars (2.4 Cr Rupees). Besides the futuristic looks the car comes with the BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. But wireless charging definitely is a unique feature in this car.
‘Premium quality and high performance with a focus on sustainability’ quoting BMW’s brochure is the way forward for compact electric cars. Priced at a much cheaper $42,500 (20 Lac Rupees) the car makes for a pretty decent package. The car has a similar charger to the Tesla Model S, with charging points at malls and BMW service stations (3.5 hour charge time). When BMW unveiled the i3 at CES they had a live demonstration of a futuristic feature. Press a button on the phone’s custom app and it automatically drives to your location. Although this feature still needs work, it’s definitely something to note.  

Free form display

Although Sharp unveiled their free form display technology last year it only recently gain hype when Nintendo become its customer. This could possibly be for a portable gaming console or a sleep-tracking device. The display uses Sharp’s new IGZO technology and can be crafted into almost any irregular shape. Thus making it perfect for car dashboards alike. As this technology is still new, it would be interesting to see where this be in the future. Perhaps an integration in the new IOT (Internet of Things) industry. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How to access Spotify/Netflix outside the US

What you need: access to the internet (obviously) and a program which can setup a VPN (Virtual Private Network)


Step 1

Download a suitable VPN program. For this tutorial I'll be using TunnelBear. Google this and you should find this

Step 2

Download the PC or MAC version of it

Step 3

Once you've installed it, open it up. And you should get something that looks like this

Step 4

Next click ON. Disconnected gets replaced with connecting and once connection is successful you're ready to go

Step 5 (for Spotify)

Now that you're connected to the US, open up an incognito window on chrome and head to You'll notice that /us/ will be visible in the URL. Now all you have to do is make an account and download Spotify onto your computer/smartphone.

Step 6 (for Netflix)

Open an incognito window in chrome and go to Again, like in you will see 'US' included in your URL. Now all you have to do is setup your account and you're good to go.



This method can be used to connect to any country exclusive website. Also you can even use this to convert the Google Play Store into the American/UK version of it. The only difference in the method is that, you need to change your address and phone number (both need to be from same state) to someplace in US or whichever store you want to connect to. This is what the American Play Store looks like…


Notice the addition of Newsstand, Music, and buy gift card. This method allows you to redeem Google Play gift cards from any country.

Hope this helps.

My Top 10 Essential Apps (Android & IOS)

The app you really need on your phone....

Push bullet
This app is free for Android and IOS Here's an app that mirrors notifications from your phone onto your computer or tablets. Quite like how pushbullet puts it "Never miss another phone call or text message again while using your computer!" Here are some examples of how you could use this app:-
  • Found an interesting website on your phone? Push it to your comp to read about it later
  • Need to transfer a picture real quick? Push it to your computer. Thereby avoiding the hassle of searching for it in Dropbox.
  • Need a universally accessible list? Make one on pushbullet and push it to your computer or a friend's

The app is available for free on both the app store as well as on Google play. Plus you can download the chrome extension and computer plugin for free as well to sync the app with your PC.


Titanium backup (root only)
Unfortunately this app is only available for rooted Android devices. No such restrictions on IOS

The app is a much better way to back-up data on your phone. The function that sets this apart from other apps is that it backs up your app data as well. Thus, you are not going to lose stuff like the levels you've completed on Angry Birds and all your messages on whatsapp. What more - you can transfer this data to the cloud (dropbox/iCloud/google drive) with one click. Its one of those programs which you install, set-up and then forget about. - this is the free version.


360 security - antivirus

This app is free for both Android and IOS
The app is a mix of a cleaning tool and an antivirus program. It's pretty simple to use and has a neat UI. Plus, here is a summary of its features:-
  • Scans apps as you download them to check for viruses
  • Allows you check permissions for all your apps
  • Cleans temporary memory to speed up your phone
  • Backs up contacts
  • Has all the required security tools like anti-theft, call/sms blocker, anti-virus, privacy protector and real time protection.



This app is exclusive to Android.
The app does pretty much but the same tasks as titanium back-up. The only difference and probably the biggest is that your phone does not have to be rooted. The app requires you to connect your phone to a computer (a Helium plugin is required) to activate the back-up process, which can be save to google drive or your SD card.

This app is exclusive to Android.
Now I know that there are hundreds of clock widgets across the play store alike. However, this is the app I like the best. It's pretty simple to use and has a colourful UI. But the part that gives this app the number one spot would be due to its variety of alarm tones. And as someone who finds it hard to wake up at 5 AM, this nifty little app does the trick.

Blue light filter
This app is exclusive to Android.
It's about time that people understood the reason for red eyes or having trouble sleeping after using their smartphones for hours. And blue light filter is the antidote. It adjusts your screen colour and screen brightness according to your preferences. This is a really good app however, due to lack of awareness of the effects of blue light this app does not receive the attention it deserves.

Astro file manager
This app is exclusive to Android.
Quoting their google play page "Organize, view and retrieve all of your pictures, music, videos, & documents; built-in app backup & task killer; manage all your files regardless of where they are stored ". So as you can see this app packs a bunch, containing everything that a file explorer can have.

This app is exclusive to Android.
I think calculators are pretty useful in phones, so why not have a fully loaded one right? The app comes with 6 vibrant colors to boost the beauty of Calcoid's UI. The app makes for both a regular and a scientific calculator!

True caller
Even though this app has been around for quite a while, you still find throngs of people who haven't heard of it. To put it simply the app makes use of the internet to trace the person who is calling you. And allows you to either add unknown numbers to your contacts or block them. Thus, no more prank calls.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A quick guide to buying the perfect smartphone for you

Alright folks – welcome to another post by me, the tech pundit. This post is for those of you who are still wondering which phone to buy, basically which one suits your need the best. What should you consider before arriving at a decision?


This is the first thing you are gonna want to look at before looking for phones. Because there is no point in having a 20k budget and looking for a current gen iPhone.Therefore I split costs into five categories: inexpensive (below 10K), moderate (10 – 20k), value for money (20 – 30k), the have beens (30-40k) and lavish (40K and above).I think the above list is fairly simple to understand - ‘the have beens’ include phones that have been replaced with newer model phones like the S5 for the S4 and therefore are cheaper than before.

Operating System

The operating system is something you should pay close attention to. Would you choose IOS for its simplicity, Android for its freedom or windows for its more personalized experience? Also if you’re a techie, it’s worth noting that all these OS’ offer their own custom voice integration programs. Android has Google Now, IOS has Siri and windows has Cortana (relatively new).  In case you didn't know the voice integration provides a hands free experience. Here a simple example of using Google now to send a message – “okay Google” (open voice recognition) “send message to mom” pause “what time are you back”. The audio is processed in a few seconds and the phone asks for confirmation to send, respond “yes”. And it’s complete. Simple and it’s a really cool experience!


RAM comes in many values ranging from 512MB to about 3GB. It all basically comes down to this simple formula, more RAM = more multiprocessing. Which means that you can have many apps open without affecting the speed of the phone. So, it boils down to if you are a savvy user versus a functional one.

Processor speed

This is another aspect which you should pay close attention to. The higher the processor speed the higher the overall performance of the phone, same as laptops and computers. Thus if you want to render games at a high graphic level a phone with something with a 2.0 GHZ processor or above would be ideal. Whereas if you all you use your phone is for calls, messaging and emails then speed between 1.0 and 2.0 GHZ would be most suitable.Another thing you might observe while looking at phones is the number of cores that they have. Like computers, phones too have cores, each with a different purpose. Basically the more the cores – the more efficiently the tasks are processed. This also aids battery life. (Give examples of phones and how that will help)

Screen size

Screen size varies from phone to phone. IPhone in general have small screens while most Samsung phones have medium sized screen. While looking through phones you’re going to want to look for screens measuring 4 inches, 4.5 inches, 5 inches or 5.5 inches. Because anything smaller or larger would be quite uncomfortable to hold and talk on.


The easiest way to find the battery life of the phone of your choice is to type ["your phone name" 3G talk-time] as this is what takes up the most amount of battery life. Therefore if can last up 10 or above hours your good to go.


This is something purely preference based. For me having a decent camera on my phone is somewhat important. The more megapixels the camera has, the better - this is in fact a common misconception (although it may be true in some very minor cases). What matters more are factors such as quality of lens, speed of shutter and an overall good aperture. Another misconception is that an 8 MP photo is double the size of a 4 MP photo, this is actually false. Because 8MP= 3264 x 2448 and 4MP= 2272 x 1704, thus as you can see it isn't double the size.

Here are a couple of examples of a configuration you can consider while looking for a phone:

Person 1

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – working adult      

OS: Android
Speed: fast
Price: extravagant budget
Screen size: huge
Battery: lasts a day
Camera: above average, used often
Strength: screen is weak but flip cover case provides 360* protection
Weight: in between heavy and average

Person 2

Nokia Lumia 720 – student

OS: Windows 8.1, Love the functionality the phone presents, as well as the customization of the start screen and live tiles.
Speed: fast
Price: value for money
Screen size medium
Battery: lasts up to two days on 3G/WI-FI
Camera: use it often, stellar quality
Strength: strong – no scratches or cracks on the phone

Person 3

Nexus 4 – student

OS: android, cheaper than any apple phone, highly configurable, good apps and design fast
Price: value for money
Screen size: large
Battery: lasts a day on WI-FI
Camera: used rarely
Strength: appears to be strong, no scratches so far     _________________________________________________

If you go about it in this way before purchasing a phone, it will save you lot of trouble and importantly money and give you the best experience possible.

Now that I've laid out the guide lines for you what is the right smartphone for you?

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Nexus Killer

Everything you need to know about the ONEPLUS ONE, I know its long but trust me, it’s worth it.

The release of the Nexus 5 caused a stir in the mobile industry because it formed a new benchmark for the mid-range phones. With its sleek black (or white) design and its affordability, it definitely encouraged consumers to go for this top-tier mobile phone. Moreover, Google’s extensive marketing and publicity for the Nexus 5 made this phone a sought after buy.  However, now in April 2014, a new smartphone similarly priced has been unveiled.

Oneplus One, probably a weird choice for a name but, on their website they have a far better name, short and powerful. Behold the Flagship Killer.

 Take a minute to look at this beauty. Observe how it curves around the edges, this gives a more comfortable feel when you hold it. Done drooling? Then check out these features because I’m sure they’re gonna blow you away – 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 801 CPU, 3 GB of RAM, 5.5 inch screen, 3100 mAh battery, 13 megapixel camera, plus it supports 4g and as a bonus it runs stock CyanogenMod 11S which by the way is based on Android 4.4 (KitKat).

Now there is more good stuff to come - this beast comes in two variants, 16 GB at $299 (18,000 rupees approx.) and a larger 64 GB variant at $349 (21,000 rupees approx.). Like seriously, that’s a pretty awesome deal for phone with those specs. For the sake of comparison, the Nexus 5 comes out at around $399 for their 16 GB variant, that’s right the OnePlus One’s 64 GB version is cheaper.

I feel if this phone takes off, it has the potential to completely change the mobile industry. Probably give Samsung and Apple a run for their money. Why?  These features are enough for the majority of mobile consumers, that’s you and I. Below, I will further discuss the features of on this phone and show how it stack up against other phone. Click here for a hands on video 


The Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 is a beautiful processor. It is a quad-core processor which clocks at 2.5 GHz compared to its predecessor – the Snapdragon 800 which also was quad-core but clocked at 2.3 GHz. The Samsung S5 is the only phone that I know which beats the OnePlus One’s processor, moreover the S5 has a Snapdragon 801 processor as well. However, it has an octa-core processor, which means that it has 8 cores whilst the OnePlus One has only 4 cores.

It’s worth mentioning that the average price of these smartphone (excluding the OnePlus One) is $784 US dollars and about 47,000 India Rupees.


RAM is a frequently over looked factor when consumers buy budget smartphones. RAM stores temporary memory in your phone and allows you to access apps faster in your phone, essentially the higher the RAM the smoother your phone will run.
Here are a list of popular budget phones for you to compare with: Samsung galaxy grand 2 has 1.5 GB of RAM, the Nexus 5 has a 2 GB of RAM, the Moto g has 1 GB of RAM, the Lumia 820 has 1 GB of RAM and the Sony Xperia SP has 1 GB of RAM. Let that sink in…. To remind you again the OnePlus One has 3 GB of RAM!

Screen Size

The screen…. This is one more aspect of the phone which doesn’t cease to amaze me. It’s a 5.5 inch full HD LCD screen. Now the display is built with LTPS technology which I’ll get to in a minute. This is an IPS screen and it uses TOL (Touch on Lens) technology which reduces the distance between the touch sensor and the display panel. Moreover the shatter proof gorilla glass 3 on this ensures that it would survive falls from you’re hand, believe me, I have gorilla glass 3 for my phone and it’s never broken.

Now, to explain LTPS technology. LTPS (Low Temperature Poly Silicon) is faster and more integrated then other LCD screens. The Poly Silicon grains in the screen allow electrons to travel 100 times faster. In English this allows for higher resolutions (perhaps even 4K resolution) and higher speeds. This technology that is going to going to replace the poplar AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light emitting Diode) completely 2020.  And the only other phone rumoured to have this tech incorporated in their screen is the iPhone 6. 


 In my opinion this is the most important feature of a smartphone because a dead phone is useless. Most smartphones last about 12 hours while using 3G or less on 4G that is excluding iPhones which have battery lives of around 10 hours on 3G. The OnePlus One houses a non-removable Li-Po 3100 mAh battery. Also a 3100 mAh (milliamps hour) battery is something unheard of, that to one that is Li-Po (lithium polymer). The fact that the OnePlus One uses a Li-Po battery explains why the manufactures managed to keep the phone this slim. This website further explains the difference between Li-Po battery and the traditional Li-Ion battery.


The phone comes with a Sony EXMOR IMX214 16 megapixel camera plus a 5 MP front camera, seems like an overkill for a $300 dollar phone. The back camera boasts a six lenses setup which can take 4k pictures, the exact resolution for is 4128 x 3096 pi for the back camera and 1080 pi for the back camera. In addition the phone uses a dual LED flash to allow users to take beautiful low light pictures. You can view the camera and video samples at gsm arena’s website.            


With the OnePlus one due to release in two months more people are beginning to discover this new operating software. But what is CyanogenMod? CyanogenMod is an open-sourced software built upon Android firmware, the Current version of CyanogenMod is built upon Android 4.4 (KitKat).

The phone on the top runs CyanogenMod 11 while the phone below it  runs on Android 4.4.2. As you can see there is very little difference in the way both phones look, however CyanogenMod gives the user more freedom to personalise his/her device. I won’t get into too much detail because CyanogenMod is too vast a topic to discuss in on blog. However, if you are interested in learning more about CyanogenMod you can view it here.

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