Hands-on: Nokia Lumia 610


Samsung Galaxy Chat goes big on texting


Hack Wifi : WiFiSlax 4.1 Final (WiFi Hack BootCD)


Samsung Galaxy Pocket


Motorola Atrix 2

Saturday, June 30, 2012





 MP4 HD:

Watch Online!

Download the Web's most advanced video player.


What's New in JW Player 5.10

The JW Player 5.10 release is another step in establishing the JW Player as the leader in cross-platform video playback. While JW5.10 includes numerous enhancements & bug fixes, the three most exciting features are:
  • HTML5 is now the default playback mode on Android Devices
    After Adobe announced that they would stop developing their Flash Player for Android devices in November 2011, we refocused our Android support on HTML5 mode. As a result, HTML5 will be the default playback mode moving forward.
  • Cleaner User Interface on iOS Devices
    We've taken a number of steps to clean up the way the player looks and behaves, focusing on iOS playback. Enhancements include:
    • Player preview image now fades in when player loads
    • Video is not displayed until it is sized correctly and ready to play
    • The buffering icon appears on the iPad while video is loading
  • Saved Volume in HTML5 Mode
    In HTML5 mode, the player now saves the user's volume settings. When a user returns to any page on your site where the JW Player is embedded, the player will be configured with the same volume or mute state as their last visit.
    Note: Not supported on iPhone/iPad due to technical limitations of iOS.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Mozilla Firefox for Android


Firefox on AndroidFirefox 10 for Android brings both familiarity and power to the Android browser scene, but it's the killer Sync that will drive attention to Mozilla's mobile browser. 

Mobile features

All the awesomeness of Firefox, packed into a mobile device.


Get to the Web quickly with speedy start up and page load times.
The Awesome Screen gets to know you as you browse so you can search easier and get to your destination faster.


Control your privacy and how much data you share on the Web with features like Do Not Track. Learn more
Enjoy the latest in security preferences to easily customize the settings for your passwords, private data, cookies, images and add-ons.


Experience the unlimited possibilities of the mobile Web with full support for HTML5 and Web APIs. Learn more
Sync your desktop history, bookmarks and passwords to all your devices for a painless browsing experience on mobile.
Personalize features and functionality with add-ons. Get add-ons
Effortlessly switch between tabs with live thumbnail images that show you updated snapshots of your sites.

Get Firefox for Android free from the Google Play Store


Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus

original link

Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus   
NXG Xtab A10 Plus
MRP: Rs 8200 (click the Buy Now link).

Pros:Well-priced; Impressive display; Sleek looks; Great audio quality; 1080p video support; HDMI-Out.
Cons:Terrible camera.

A couple months ago, we were blown away by NXG's entry-level tablet, the Xtab A10. Its affordable price tag made sure that no rival can beat it in terms of price-to-performance ratio. This time around, the manufacturer is offering a better screen and faster performance with its Xtab 10 Plus. Of course, that hikes up a few thousand bucks in its price tag. Let's find out if this new offering manages to strike a fine balance between price and performance, just like its predecessor.

Design And Build Quality
The retail box includes the tablet, USB cable, and charger. The gadget measures 7.7" (l) x 4.8" (w) x 0.3" (8 mm) (d), and tips the scales at 271 grammes. It's worth noting that NXG has done a great job at delivering a slim profile. Also, it's hard to find such lightweight tablets at this price point. The build quality is good too, and the icing on the cake is the brushed metal finish on its rear.

Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus

In the Xtab A 10's review, I had pointed out the screen's poor viewing angles. Thankfully, the manufacturer has addressed this issue, by introducing an IPS panel. Not only does this screen provide wide viewing angles, but also offers rich colour reproduction. Additionally, with pixel dimensions of 1024x600, it's one of the most pixel-packed screens you can have under 10k.

Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus The slate is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor, and has 1 GB of RAM. Other specs include:
  • A 2 MP rear and a front VGA camera
  • 8 GB internal memory and a microSD card slot
  • An HDMI port, 3.5 mm jack, and a micro-USB slot with USB OTG (On The Go) support
  • A 3000 mAh battery.

UI And Performance
Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus Similar to its predecessor, the Xtab A10 Plus runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box. NXG hasn't customised the UI too much, so the interface is clean. The tablet's hardware is good enough to keep the user experience pleasing. The tablet has a slight amount of lag though, but overall it's still miles ahead of its competitors. I also liked how this tablet's impressive display complements the ICS's looks.

The onboard browser has sleek looks and fast rendering time. Coming to the subject of gaming, the Xtab A10 Plus showed no signs of stutter while playing popular games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja.

Review: NXG Xtab A10 Plus The tablet's music player offers a basic UI, but it gets the work done. If paired with decent earphones, the Xtab A10 Plus can offer great sound quality. I also found the onboard speaker louder than any of those found on similarly priced tablets. As usual, you have plethora of equalizer settings and sound effects.

The tablet supports various video formats including DivX, XviD, WMV, and MP4. It had no problem handling 1080p videos. This is impressive, since many of expensive tablets from reputed brands sometime fail to keep up with 1080p videos. Moreover, the presence of an HDMI port means that you can hook it up to HDTVs.

In addition to a front facing camera, NXG has also included a rear 2 MP camera. As expected, the resulting photos are full of noise. In short, the camera is terrible and the lesser said about this feature the better.

Battery And Verdict
The Xtab A10 Plus packs in a 3000 mAh battery, at least that's what the manufacturer claims. Although I can't confirm battery's capacity, I can happily tell you that it's more than enough to keep the device powered on for a day under average use. While playing a 720p video in a constant loop, the battery lasts for almost 5 hours.

Similar to its predecessor, the new Xtab A10 Plus is very well priced. For around Rs. 8000, you get an excellent screen, 1080p video playback, HDMI port, and great sound quality. Although the rear camera is useless, it's added as a token feature. Therefore, if you're looking for an affordable tablet, the Xtab A10 is the way to go.

Features: 4.5/5
Design And Build Quality: 4.5/5
Performance: 4/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Mojo: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, June 28, 2012

India upgrades 'world's cheapest tablet' Aakash

Aakash 2 tablet computerIndia has unveiled a new version of what it says is the "world's cheapest tablet computer" - the Aakash 2.
The device, primarily for students, is to be sold for 2,263 rupees ($40; £26). It has a faster processor, longer battery life and more programming capability than an earlier version.
The government believes that low-cost tablets can help revolutionise internet access across India.
But distribution has been an issue, with few schools receiving the tablets.
A right to information request filed by Indian media blog Medianama showed that only 572 of the first devices have been distributed, reaching fewer than 20 colleges.
"There was some delay in taking the project forward for reasons I don't want to go into," Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told a group of teachers and students who had gathered to see the Aakash 2.
The Aakash 2 sample devices are now being tested, with manufacturing projected to start by July or August.
UK-based company Datawind, which faced criticism over delivery of the Aakash 1 in 2011, will manufacture the Aakash 2.
Bombay IIT, an engineering institution, aims to distribute 100,000 tablets to engineering colleges by the end of the year. It says it will use software to track the devices.
'Fully-fledged computer' Like its predecessor, the Aakash 2 allows users to watch online tutorials and videos, browse the internet and play games.
"It's a fully-fledged computer, not just an access device," said Prof DB Phatak from Bombay IIT. "The applications and the content on Aakash 2 are most important, not just the device."
The new version of the Aakash tablet has an 800Mhz processing speed, a three-hour battery life and operates on the latest Android software.
It also has an SD card slot, a USB port and works over wi-fi. It does not have 3G capability, however, so users need access to a good internet connection.
Bombay IIT has developed new apps like interactive class quiz programme Clicker and Sci-lab, which allows students to conduct interactive classes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Download Torrents Directly To Your Dropbox Account Via Boxopus

Download Torrents Directly To Your Dropbox Account Via Boxopus

Download Torrents Directly To Your Dropbox Account Via BoxopusMost of us are aware of cloud storage services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, iCloud, and Google Drive. Microsoft's SkyDrive offers extra storage for Windows Phone users, while iCloud and Google Drive offer 5 GB of free storage for users, which is more than Dropbox's initial 2 GB limit. Despite this limitation, the latter is by far the most popular of the lot.
Now, users have one more reason to pick Dropbox over its rivals, due to the introduction of a third-party service called Boxopus. It basically connects with your Dropbox account, letting you download torrent files directly without the help of a BitTorrent client.
The service is currently available in beta and is being offered for free, so all you need is sufficient storage in your Dropbox and an account with Boxopus. Users can add torrents from their computer and wait for the files to appear in Dropbox automatically once the download finishes. All torrent downloads are synched within a separate folder in your account. This will come as good news to all pirates, especially after the ban on torrent sites was lifted by the Indian government.

Download Torrents Directly To Your Dropbox Account Via Boxopus

Since it uses Dropbox's API, no other files in your account can be accessed. As mentions in its post, download speeds might not be as fast as you're accustomed to, since Dropbox takes time to perform the synch. Another catch is that as days progress, free users could face certain limitations, especially when a premium version of the service is launched.
The free offering seems to have caught on quickly, as certain torrent sites have even added an easy Boxopus one-click download option on their sites — with more sites believed to follow suit.
As of now, Dropbox has been silent about this new unofficial extension. However, rumour has it that Boxopus may be taken down by Dropbox so as to not offend the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), which has been pretty tough on P2P file-sharing sites.


2.5 GB FREE SPACE IN DROPBOX HURRY.............................





Facebook changes users' email address

Facebook has changed your email address. At least that's how many felt after a quiet but vast change in the way the company displays users' contact information.

Facebook replaced the email address users chose when they signed up and changed it to a address. The Facebook email accounts allow users to communicate with outside email addresses via Facebook.

The changes were first pointed out by bloggers over the weekend and publicized by media outlets Monday, leading to gripes from users, usually on their Facebook pages.

The company said in a statement in April that it was "updating addresses on Facebook to make them consistent across our site."

Facebook spokeswoman Jillian Stefanki said the site is also rolling out a setting that allows people to decide which email addresses to show on their pages.

"Ever since the launch of timeline, people have had the ability to control what posts they want to show or hide on their own timelines, and today we're extending that to other information they post, starting with the Facebook address," Stefanki said in an email late Monday. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

HTC launches Desire C in India @ Rs 14,999

Global smartphone manufacturer HTC has launched HTC Desire C in India. The entry-level smartphone is already available on certain online retail websites since sometime.

HTC Desire C runs on Google Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and comes integrated with HTC Sense 4.0.

The smartphone has a 3.5-inch HVGA screen with a 320x480 resolution and supports Near Filed Communication (NFC) technology. HTC Desire C has a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash.

Powered by a 600 MHz processor with 512 MB RAM, Desire C carries 4GB of internal memory. There's also a microSD slot option.

HTC Desire C has a 1230 mAh battery and comes with 25GB of free storage in Drop Box for two years. HTC Desire C will be available at MOP of Rs 14,999.

The smartphone is available in red, white and black colours.

Review : Acer Aspire V3 


Processor: Intel Core i5-2450M @ 2.5GHz, Turbo boost to 3.1GHz; RAM: 4GB; Display: 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 pixel; Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GT 630M with 2GB RAM and Intel HD 3000; Storage: 500GB HDD; Optical Drive: Yes; Connectivity: 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, HDMI, SD card slot, Ethernet and Wi-Fi


Simply put, the Aspire V3 is probably the laptop that comes closest to being a gaming laptop, from Acer’s lineup of products. They still do not classify it as that, but the specs suggest that it can work well for a gamer.
Build & Design
This is one of the glossiest laptops we have seen in a long time, and trust us when we say this, because we have seen a lot of glossy laptops. The piano black finish looks brilliant the moment the Aspire V3 is fished out of the box, but the maintenance hungry nature of a glossy finish becomes quite evident, quite quickly. The lid, the bezel and the palm-rest – shining away attracting dust, at first. Within minutes of being unpacked, the Aspire V3 will become a showcase for fingerprints and dust particles.
Thankfully though, there is some semblance of sensibility returning, or so you may feel when you see the metallic silver finish on the keyboard base and the area where the power key and the speakers sit. The keys themselves are matte black, but the differing colour theme does look very good. The touchpad has a matte finish, which is a huge relief.
Turn the laptop around, and you will see multiple cooling channels and vents. On the right side, assuming you are looking at the display head on, is the optical drive and two USB ports. On the left is the HDMI, USB – the 3.0 one, the headphone and mic jacks and a mighty cooling vent. We have been noticing a trend off late that certain ports are placed on the rear panel, particularly with some ultrabooks. However, no fancy placement stuff here, and the comfort level with ports on the sides is unparalleled. The memory card slot is on the front left corner, close to the notification LEDs.
No fancy build materials used here, but the humble plastic does very well in being classy. Solidly put together, with absolutely no creaks or loose ends to be heard or felt. Slightly on the thicker side, feels possibly more so because we have become used to looking at very slim notebooks. Ultrabooks, yes, we are pointing the finger at you! We have no qualms in saying his – the Aspire V3 has a very premium feel to the entire package. It is a bit disappointing that this premium feel doesn’t follow through, thanks to the maintenance needy build.
Features & Specifications
On paper, the Aspire V3 looks like a very powerful package. The spec sheet reads something like this – Intel Core i5-2450M clocking at 2.5GHz, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce GT630M (2GB) graphics and a 15.6-inch display.
The Aspire V3 comes with a Core i5-2450M clocking at 2.5GHz, with the Turbo Boost mode taking it up to 3.1GHz. In this day and age, 4GB of RAM seems a bit too less! Powering the graphics bit is the Nvidia GeForce GT 630M with 2GB dedicated memory, and is from the Fermi series of chips. Graphics switching, with the Intel HD 3000 graphics kicking in when on battery, or a light load scenario.
The 15.6-inch display (1366 x 768 pixels) is walking a tightrope between reflective and not being reflective, so much so that while we can make out its reflective nature at certain angles, it completely mattes out at other times. Pretty good brightness and contrast levels ensure that the Aspire V3 will work well in most lighting conditions. But the 15.6-inch display means there is adequate real estate to enjoy movies and games, though.
USB 3.0 comes natively to the new 7- series chipsets, and among the three USB ports on the device, one of them is the USB 3.0 one. Competence doesn’t end here, with a 500GB hard drive thrown into the mix.
The Aspire V3 comes with Dolby application preloaded, but we really didn’t find any difference in the audio quality, with the same content playing back! Well, we can’t blame the Dolby system for not doing its job, but it is probably the small laptop speakers that cannot really punch out the difference.
There are a whole bunch of preloaded apps on the V3 – backup manager, webcam software and user guide, plus some third party utilities which include Cyberlink’s MediaEspresso and MyWin Locker. We prefer laptops with a clean Windows out of the box, and even for testing we remove all software or just re-install a clean copy of Windows.
Speaking of which, the Aspire V3 comes with Windows 7 Home Basic (64-bit) preloaded. That is a bit of a surprise, and we expected the Premium version to be shipped with the base model, if not Ultimate.
It really isn’t a surprise that the Aspire V3 blazed through the benchmark tests, with some pretty numbers in tow. PC Mark Vantage’s score of 7569 is probably setting the benchmark for future laptops on the Ivy Bridge platform. This was re-verified by the more taxing PC Mark 07, that threw up a score of 2055. Since we do not have the latest Ivy Bridge laptop scores from other manufacturers as yet, we will not be able to compare just yet. However, the Aspire V3’s sibling, the ultrabookish Aspire V5, scored significantly lesser. But it won’t be ideal to compare the two, considering the vastly different power package. The Core i5 – 2450M on the V3 clocking at 2.5GHz can be boosted to 3.1GHz when needed, and the CineBench CPU score of 2.7 is among the highest we have ever tested on a laptop. We wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Aspire V3 will surely be the benchmark among Ivy Bridge laptops, as more trickle into the market.
With the Nvidia Fermi family’s GT 630M around, with its 2GB graphics memory waiting to be unleashed, the graphics benchmarks were something we were looking forward to! The 3D Mark 06 score of 9944 clearly indicates a very powerful and capable GPU. The more taxing 3D Mark 11 threw up three scores – 2085 for Entry Mode, 1238 on the more taxing Performance Mode and 379 in the extremely taxing Extreme Mode.
However, battery life does take a bit of a beating. With screen brightness at 100% (screen timeout turned off as well), and system in High Performance mode, the Aspire V3 lasted 2 hours from full charge to full discharge. Translate this into real life usage, and this will easily last around 4 hours under medium system load. This isn’t an ultrabook, which makes this score quite an achievement.
The 15.6-inch display does seem very satisfactory. Well, we cannot really make up our mind about whether this display is reflective or not! Probably, Asus made a display what was essentially matte, and decided, come on; let us make it slightly reflective just to confuse reviewers! Jokes apart, the comfort level is immense. Brightness and contrast levels are quite high, making the task of viewing most content easier. Crispness is quite good as well, and really makes its presence felt when reading a chunk of text on a web page or a word document. Could have done with slightly better black levels, and most videos will testify to that fact.
The keyboard, with the black keys, sits on top of a metallic grey base. Thanks to the big display, there is space for dedicated number keys too. Very comfortable to type on, once you get used to the space between the keys. Visually, the key placement on the Aspire V3 and even a MacBook Air is largely the same, but on the Aspire, the keys just seem more spaced out. Annoyingly, the touchpad is placed closer to the left edge, which takes some orientation familiarization before you become totally comfortable. Decent response for the most part, but does get a little under-responsive at times.
For a price of around Rs. 40,000, the Acer Aspire V3’s very good performance just gets a bit amplified, for the better. What you are essentially getting is a powerhouse with very decent graphics capabilities without having to spend a lot of money for it. Does have its share of design and build shortcomings, but none of them affect the critical bit – usability and performance. It is worth considering, and we say this to anyone looking for a laptop on a budget.



Computer virus hits office printers

Office printerThousands of office printers around the world have been spewing out page after page of gibberish because of a computer virus.
Reports from companies reveal that thousands of pages of paper were wasted when the Windows virus hit their PCs.
Security firms said the worst hit were large businesses in the US, India, Europe, and South America.
The culprit is a malicious program called Milicenso that has been re-used many times by hi-tech crime groups.
In a blogpost analysing the virus, security firm Symantec said Milicenso was first seen in 2010 and because it was a "malware delivery vehicle for hire" had turned up regularly ever since.
Its most recent incarnation was as a tool for distributing French language adware. Symantec said Milicenso could infect a PC by various routes, such as an email attachment, via a compromised website or by posing as a fake video decoder.
'Garbled printouts' Once installed, the virus polls a location on the net and re-directs web traffic so it serves up adverts.
Symantec said one side effect of infection was to generate a file in a PC's printer queue. This turns the contents of the files in the virus's main directory into print jobs.
"The garbled printouts appear to be a side effect of the infection vector rather an intentional goal of the author," said Symantec.
Victims hit by the virus have reported its effects via discussion forums run by security firms. In the worst cases, hundreds of printers have been generating gibberish and wasting reams of paper.
Security firms have now issued updates that should spot Milicenso and clean up any infections.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Samsung probes 'exploding' Galaxy phone

Samsung Electronics Co said it was investigating reports that one of its flagship Galaxy S III smartphones exploded in a user's car in Ireland.

Samsung launched the phone, the strongest rival for Apple's iPhone, in Europe on May 29 and in the United States on Thursday. It plans to roll out the device in Samsung's lucrative home market in South Korea on Monday.
A Dublin-based consumer posted comments and photos on a web site on Wednesday saying his Galaxy phone exploded while mounted on his car dashboard.
"There's no confirmation it was a fault with the phone. It may actually have been caused by a combination of my car mount and my car's heating system," the consumer wrote.
There have been other reports of Samsung smartphones overheating or exploding. In March, a Korean schoolboy reported that a spare battery for his Galaxy S II exploded in his back pocket. Samsung said then that massive external pressure or force caused the explosion.
"Samsung is aware of this issue (in Ireland)," the company said on its official blog. "Once the investigation is complete, we will be able to provide further details. We are committed to providing our customers with the safest products possible and are looking at this seriously."
A spokeswoman said on Friday the company was still looking into the matter.
Heat issues have been reported with other devices. In March, influential consumer watchdog Consumer Reports said Apple's latest iPad tablet threw off a lot more heat than the previous version, lending weight to complaints on Internet forums that the device could get uncomfortably warm after heavy use.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Download: SwiftKey 3 Keyboard (Android)

Download: SwiftKey 3 Keyboard (Android)If you think that typing on a touchscreen is frustrating, you're not alone. Thankfully, there's already a solution called SwiftKey. This predictive text app anticipates your next word and also corrects commonly made mistakes.
The latest version learns as you type to provide a level of accuracy that's amongst the best in the business. Additionally, the SwiftKey 3 comes with a few UI tweaks, improved performance, and new themes. New users will have to pay Rs 130 for the app. Fortunately, those who have already purchased SwiftKey X are eligible for a free update.

Developer: TouchType Ltd
Version: 3.0
Size: 4 MB
Price: Rs 130
Platform: Android
Download Page:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

REVIEW : Samsung Galaxy S III

View album

Ladies and gentlemen, this is undoubtedly the most powerful Android smartphone at the moment. And it doesn't look like anyone is taking that crown away from the Galaxy S III in a hurry. We have to vehemently defend Samsung against all the criticisms regarding the Pentile display and the so-called plasticky build quality. In both cases, the final product is absolutely brilliant, and totally worth the effort.
HTC One X’s reign as the best Android smartphone in the world was quite short-lived. The Samsung Galaxy S III has come, seen and conquered all. Well, at least our benchmark comparison sheet and our hearts!
Design & Build
People have criticized Samsung quite a bit and called the Galaxy S III plasticky. We don’t think so! The build quality has a classy feel to it. Allow us to explain. The 4.8-inch display is flanked by a very thin bezel, which inevitably helps keep the form factor within control, and that is critical considering this genre borders on the very thin line separating usable and ungainly.
There are two touch sensitive keys below the display – options and return, with the Home key being the hardware one. This one doubles up as the S-Voice and the ICS task manager key. The minimalistic design speaks loudly, so much so that when not backlit, the touch sensitive keys do not give you any indication of their presence. Above the display are what essentially looks like three tiny circles – LED notification, proximity sensor and the front facing camera. The earpiece has a silver finish to it, and a very thin border treatment to the home key as well.
This is a big screen phone, and doesn't want to hide the fact-800                                               
This is a big screen phone, and                                     
doesn't want to hide the fact      
The three circles on the front - notification LED, proximity sensor and front camera-800 
The three circles on the front – notification                                 
LED, proximity sensor and front camera
The 3_5mm jack on the top panel-800
The 3.5mm jack on the top panel
On the right spine is the power key, which has become a Samsung trademark! No hardware camera key, and that is sorely missed – we will get on to that a bit later. On the left spine is the volume rocker. On the top is the 3.5mm jack and on the bottom is the micro USB port. The fake aluminum frame around the phone isn’t appreciated though. That just shows disrespect to the buyer, by faking stuff. Anyone buying this phone already has made his / her peace with the plastic build, and this isn’t going to be fun to discuss at the next drinks party with friends!
The volume rocker on the other side_ No hardware camera key though-800
The volume rocker on the other side. No hardware camera key though
It is a Samsung trademark - power key on the side_ Don't like the fake metal frame around the phone-800
It is a Samsung trademark - power key on the side. Don't like the fake metal frame around the phone
Flip the phone over, and the enamel white finish immediately makes us compare it to the looks of the HTC One X (read our review). The Galaxy S III and the One X both have the polycarbonate finish, but the S III’s enamel finish has a bit more shine to it. In turn, that makes fingerprints quite visible, and will be prone to scratches from car keys, for example, when in the same pocket. The One X has a matte finish, and for anyone who isn’t using a protective cover or skin on the device, the One X will probably remain happier, and unblemished longer!
The Galaxy S III has more understated looks, while the One X has a slightly more aggressive tone. In both cases, the build quality is very good, with the polycarbonate present in both phones. Critical to mention that we do not agree with the so-called plasticky build quality criticisms the S III has faced all along. We had read all those criticisms, but didn’t let that have a bearing on our judgment when we first saw the Galaxy S III.
Even in the first impression story after the launch event, we had praised the build quality of the S III. Now that the review unit is here, all those who doubted my initial opinion are now becoming fans as well, having experienced the phone! The simple fact remains, just because the iPhone is aluminum doesn’t mean everyone will go the same way. If that were to be true, maybe the HTC One X should have received the same amount of criticism.
Samsung Galaxy S III

Download: London 2012 – Official Mobile Game (iOS, Android)

Download: London 2012 – Official Mobile Game (iOS, Android)The 2012 London Olympics is right around the corner, and as one would expect, the massive media coverage, and the hype prior to the event has started to build up. To further increase excitement among users, Neowiz Internet has launched a game for the Android as well as the iOS platform, showcasing certain events of the game. Authentic London venues will be found within the game, with 9 different events to choose from. These events include 100m running, 110m hurdles, 100m freestyle swimming, 100m butterfly swimming, Archery, Pole Vault, Double Trap, Triple Jump, and Kayaking. Users can select from three different modes to play from namely Training, Olympic, and Challenge.

Download: London 2012 – Official Mobile Game (iOS, Android)

The app is available in a free and "premium" version for both Android and iOS; however, there's no gargantuan difference between the two. While all features across the apps are similar, the premium version comes with 3000 stars and 5 max stamina points, which are worth over Rs 300 ($6). This app isn't for you, if you are not the one to indulge in micro transactions within the game. Either way, it’s good to have a game representing Olympics, to bring out the true spirit of the games.

Developers: Neowiz Internet Corp
Size: 72MB (Android), 146MB (iOS)
Price: Rs 145 (Android), Rs 167 (iOS). Free versions also available
Platform: Android 2.1 +, and iOS 4.0 or above
Download: London 2012 – Official Mobile Game - Free (Android); London 2012 – Official Mobile Game - Free (iOS)



Microsoft introduces Windows 8 mobile operating system

Untitled-2.jpgSEATTLE: Microsoft Corp's new phone software will be built on the same core as its new upcoming PC and tablet operating system, bringing the company one step closer to unifying its Windows franchise across a full range of screens that are revolutionizing computing.

The world's largest software company, which is running to keep up with Apple Inc's iPhone and Google Inc's

Android devices, said the common core means customers will have a greater choice of phones and applications, and be able to switch between multiple machines more easily.

The move follows the launch of the Surface tablet on Monday, Microsoft's effort to join the fast-growing mobile computing market and to tackle Apple's iPad head on.

 At an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Microsoft officially announced its new phone software, called Windows Phone 8, and said phones running the software would hit the market this autumn.

The new phones - made by handset makers Nokia, Samsung Electronics, HTC Corp and Huawei on Qualcomm dual-core chips - will feature voice commands, Skype calling, near-field communication (NFC) for wireless transactions and built-in maps for GPS directions.

Microsoft's voice recognition feature goes beyond Apple's rival Siri service by allowing users to issue commands to apps, not just the phone's core operating system.

The new software will support NFC transactions - in which the user taps a reader to make a purchase - but Microsoft is leaving it to independent software makers to write the actual applications controlling the process, meaning it will not be a direct competitor to the Google Wallet service for Android phones.

Microsoft's new phones will have an updated, customizable start screen in Microsoft's new 'Metro' style, which centers on touchable 'tiles', or colorful squares, representing people, applications and services which update in real time, for example showing Facebook posts or new email.

The Metro style is also the interface for Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system - designed to run on both tablets and traditional PCs - which Microsoft is expected to launch around October.

The success of the phones partly depends on the marketing support they get from carriers. No. 1 US mobile operator Verizon Wireless said in April it expects to have Windows Phone 8 devices in time for the holiday shopping season as it wants a strong competitor to Apple's iPhone and Google Inc's Android.

No. 2 US mobile operator AT&T and No. 4 T-Mobile USA said they plan to carry Windows Phone 8 smartphones later this year. No. 3 US operator Sprint declined to comment.

APP DEARTH Microsoft's Windows phones have been well reviewed but have not caught on in the market, partly due to the fact that there are only 100,000 or so apps available, compared to 500,000 or so for both Apple and Android devices.

Microsoft is hoping that a common core between its PC and phone software will make it easier for developers to create applications for both, with minimal adjustments.

The company said current devices, which run on Windows Phone 7.5, will not be able to update to Windows Phone 8. Windows Phone 7.5 users will be offered an update that includes the new software's start screen but excludes other features. That could dampen sales of Windows Phone 7.5 devices for the next few months until the new crop of phones appears in stores.

The Redmond, Washington-based company has invested billions of dollars in phones - including a deal with Nokia to use its software - in an attempt to break into the market.

So far it has had little impact, capturing only 2 per cent of the world's smartphone market last quarter, according to tech research firm Gartner. Google's Android leads the market with 56 percent, followed by Apple with 23 per cent.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vodafone joins 3G price war; cuts tariff by 80%

On one hand, telcos are battling the 2G auction diktat, while on the other the 3G war amongst the companies is heating up. Following its contemporaries, Vodafone announced that it has slashed 3G tariffs by up to 80%.
Vodafone’s move makes it the fourth telecom service provider after Bharti Airtel, Idea Celluar and Reliance Communication to reduce rates. 

According to experts, telcos are trying to monetize on 3G investments as it has so far dent profits. Moreover, experts point out that 3G investments have led to higher depreciation and interest payout. 

3G dynamics
3G investment has led to higher debt level
3G contribution to revenue under 10% presently
3G subscriber base under 10 mn for leading telcos
Roughly 25% 3G subs are active
Rural penetration still low
Domestic market price sensitive
3G to be main growth driver
Key highlights:
New entrants sparked cuts in voice tariffs post 2009
Telcos hiked voice tariffs in July 2011
3G rate cut intended to offset effect of hike in voice tariff

LG launches Optimus 3D MAX and Optimus L7

lg-optimus-max3d.jpgLG Electronics has now officially launched two new Optimus devices - the LG Optimus 3D MAX and the Optimus L7 smartphones in India. Both these devices have been available on Flipkart for about a week now.
A successor to the LG Optimus 3D, the LG Optimus 3D MAX sports a 4.3-inch screen with WVGA resolution & NOVA Display. It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, has 8GB of internal storage and two 5 MP cameras. Priced at Rs. 30,500 (Market Operating Price), the LG Optimus 3D MAX runs on Android 2.3 and has a 1520mAh battery.
Soon Kwon, President South West Asia Region & MD LG India shares, "With the Optimus 3D MAX, we want to set new standards of quality viewing and powerful performance on mobiles packed in a slim and modern design".
The other handset announced is the LG Optimus L7, which has a 4.3-inch display and runs on Android 4.0. LG Optimus L7 also has a 5MP rear camera but its front camera is 1.3 MP. Other features include a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM and onboard storage on 4 GB. The MOP of this smartphone is Rs. 19, 900.
"Design is consistently an important factor for customers when choosing a mobile phone and with L-Style we're going to go back to our roots as a company focused on products that fit into the lifestyle of customers," adds Kwon.
LG Optimus 3D Max P725 key specs:
  • Android 2.3
  • 5 MP camera
  • 0.3 MP front camera
  • 4.3-inch TFT LCD
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • Expandable storage capacity up to 32 GB
  • 1520 mAh battery
LG Optimus L7 P705 key specs:
  • Android 4.0
  • 5 MP camera
  • 0.3 MP front camera
  • 4.3-inch LCD
  • 1 GHz processor
  • Expandable storage capacity up to 32 GB
  • 1700 mAh battery

Motorola launches Razr Maxx for Rs. 31,590, Razr V to land in Q3

Motorola has announced two new smartphones for the Indian market today - Motorola Razr Maxx, and Motorola Razr V. NDTV Gadgets had reported about a week ago that Motorola is planning to launch Motorola Razr Maxx and now it is here.
The most notable feature of Motorola Razr Maxx is the huge 3,300 mAh battery inside, which according to the company gives 17.6 hours of talk-time on a single charge. Motorola Razr Maxx also sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display and is just 8.99 mm thick. The smartphone runs on Android 2.3 and is expected to get an upgrade to Android 4.0 soon. It comes with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 processor on board. Priced at Rs. 31,590, the handset will go on sale from June 21, 2012.
On the other hand, Motorola Razr V is the first Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone from the company. It is just 8.35mm thin, and features a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor. It will be available in charcoal, glacier white and rebel pink colour options. There are no details in regards to the pricing of this smartphone as of now and it is expected to be available by Q3, 2012.
Both the new Motorola Razr devices come with a splash-guard coating and Gorilla Glass for enhanced durability.
Motorola Razr Maxx key specs:
  • Android 2.3
  • 8 MP camera, 1080p HD video recording
  • 4.3 inch AMOLED display
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • 3300 mAh

Motorola Razr V key specs:
  • 4.3-inch (960 x 540 pixels) capacitive touchscreen
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS
  • 8MP auto-focus camera with LED Flash, 1080p HD video recording
  • 8.35 mm thick and weighs 125 g
  • 1GB RAM, 32GB expandable memory with microSD

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Acer Launches Aspire S5, World’s Thinnest Ultrabook Costs $1,399

Is it the thinnest Ultrabook? Acer says it is. The company’s new Aspire S5 measures just 0.59 inches at its thickest point and weighs 2.65 pounds. (Overall, it’s 12.8 x 8.95 x 0.44-0.59 inches). This system has a 13.3-inch display with a humdrum resolution of 1366 x 768, but inside, it boasts pretty good specs. A third-generation Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000, and a 256GB SSD. The cost is a pretty steep $1,399, but you do get a big solid state drive for your money.
Both the S5 and the S3, which is also being updated, will have two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a headphone/mic jack, but the S5 will also have a Thunderbolt port, and come with an HDMI-to-VGA adapter. How does it cram all this in? By a motorized panel on the bottom of the notebook that opens up at the press of a button. It looks pretty cool in person , but the jury’s still out on its practicality. 
The Aspire S3-391 is essentially a refresh of last year’s model with a new Champagne color and a lower starting price of $648. For that, though, you get a second-generation 1.4-GHz Intel Core i3-2377M processor, 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 3000, and a 320GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive and a 20GB SSD cache, similar to the first version of the Aspire S3. As before, this notebook measures 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.51-0.68 inches.
The S5 has a 3-cell, 2310 mAh Lithium-Ion battery that it says will last up to 6.5 hours; the S3 has a 3,280 mAh battery that will last up to 5.5 hours.


Leaked Screenshots Show Upcoming Changes To Microsoft Office Products

Microsoft’s been keeping changes to its various Office offerings under decently tight wraps, but details about both the upcoming Office 15 and changes to the online Office apps have still been popping up on the Web. Today’s tasty tidbits: the Chinese site has leaked screenshots that suggest Office 15 is getting a new name and a new logo, while managed to snag images of some upcoming UI changes to Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, which are integrated into SkyDrive and Hotmail.
Looking past CNbeta’s watermark above, you’ll see what the site claims is the new Office logo, which fits in nicely with the visual scheme adopted by the redesigned Windows logo that appears in Windows 8. Take a close peek at the name in the top of the window: Microsoft Office Mondo 2014 Preview. That also makes sense, assuming the screenshot proves to be real, as the last three Office iterations worked the year into their titles.
Windows reporter Paul Thurrott has gotten his hands on the Office 15 beta, which is expected to launch in June. He’s posted a bevy of in-action screenshots over on, meanwhile, says that the picture below comes from a preview version of changes to Office Web Apps, and more specifically, the Microsoft Word Office Web App. The images on the left come from the current version, while the images on the right show the tweaks coming down the pipeline, including the ability to see comments in Reading mode and a more Metro-friendly file menu, complete with tab names listed in all caps. has a few more pictures up on its website, so check it out if you’re interested. There’s no word on when the new-look Office Web Apps Preview is expected to roll out to everybody.

Tech Toys: Macbook Pro, Air and gift ideas for dad

Apple has upped the ante for laptops with its new MacBook Pro with retina display - the flagship computer that came out of this week’s announcements of software and hardware upgrades at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.MacBook Pro with retina display, Apple, starting at $2,230
Apple has upped the ante for laptops with its new MacBook Pro with retina display - the flagship computer that came out of this week’s announcements of software and hardware upgrades at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
If you thought the screen on your HDTV was sharp -- consider the new Retina display on this 15-inch screen has 5.1 million more pixels, three million more than your HDTV. After this, everything else is liable to look a little blurry on close inspection. Apple has also packed the power of a desktop into a super slim case -- measuring a mere 1.8 centimetres in depth, just over the MacBook Air which is 0.68 at its thickest point. The MacBook Pro with retina display, with the retina display only available in the 15-inch model, weighs in at a tad over two kilograms.
Its flash storage starts at 256 GB and can be upgraded to 768 GB, although that will set you back another $500 on the 2.6GHz MacBook Pro, pushing the price on that one to top $3,000. The 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro with retina display starts at $2,230 in Canada.
MacBook Air, Apple, from $1,029
The MacBook Air lineup got a boost with the new Intel Core processors, faster graphics and flash storage that Apple promises is up to twice as fast as the earlier MacBook Airs. The 11-inch MacBook Air, with a
1.7 GHz processor and 4GB of memory starts at $1,029 Cdn with 64GB of
flash storage. Bump that up to 128 GB for $1,129. The 13-inch
version has a 1.8 GHz processor, with 4GB of memory and 128GB flash storage starting at $1,229 and 256 GB at $1,529.
Gifts for Dad
Xbox 360 320GB Star Wars Kinect Bundle, $400
From the R2-D2 and C-3PO-inspired controller and console to the special edition white Kinect sensor, this Xbox will let dad revisit his Jedi youth.
House of Marley Bag of Rhythm Portable Audio System, $350
Get this in time for your Father’s Day beach barbecue and you’re liable to draw a crowd. This isn’t your regular conservative and retiring black or white iPhone/iPod/iPad speaker dock. Instead packed into a canvas bag, measuring 11 by 26 by 10.3 inches and weighing a hefty 15 pounds, this has a fancy wooden panel with speaker grills on the top. It takes six D-cell batteries to power all this sound.

Just what is Windows RT, anyway? (FAQ)

Microsoft has a supersecret announcement coming on Monday, and it may well be a tablet running Windows RT. Here's what we know so far about the mostly Metro, ARM-powered variation of Windows 8.

What in the world is Windows RT?
Coming off of our previous coverage, you may have heard about Windows 8 and Windows RT as being different. While Microsoft has made a point of cutting down on the number of Windows 8 versions available when compared with previous Windows releases, the company is also making a limited Windows 8 version to run on ARM processors called Windows RT (WinRT).

What does "RT" stand for?

"RT" is an abbreviation of Windows Runtime, the technical term for the engine that powers the new Metro apps. It's not the first Windows Runtime. The term "runtime" refers to the collection of application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to write software that can interact with the hardware and each other.

What is Metro?

Metro is the new user interface for Windows 8. Instead of icons, there are "tiles" that can surface information from the app in real-time.

So, what is WinRT?

Basically, WinRT is the Metro side of Windows 8. But it does more than implement the Metro interface, it also simplifies much of the programming for Windows developers. Coding for Metro is significantly easier than writing a program for Windows 7 and earlier. This is important for Microsoft because it can now point to Windows 8 as an attractive place for developers to ply their trade.

What's the difference between Windows 8 and WinRT?

There are several notable differences, and they could cause WinRT to fail while Windows 8 succeeds. Microsoft has produced a chart of the differences between Windows 8 and Window RT, but here are the highlights:

  • WinRT will work only on ARM-powered devices
  • WinRT will have a Desktop mode, but it will be restricted to pre-installed, Microsoft-produced software. This will include touch-optimized versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • WinRT will come with device encryption
  • Neither old nor new x86/x64 programs will work on WinRT

  • What kind of apps can WinRT run?

    The focus of Metro apps will be on Internet connectivity, cloud synchronization, and responsiveness. If it works in Windows 8 Metro, it will work on WinRT. 

    Will I be able to update an old ARM-powered device with WinRT?

    No. At this point, WinRT will be available only pre-installed. That's not expected to change, either.

    What's the benefit of ARM?

    ARM processors power virtually all iOS, Android, and other mobile devices on the market. ARM has gained so much traction in large part because of its better battery management.

    Are there any other drawbacks to WinRT?

    There are a couple that stand out so far that we haven't mentioned yet.
  • There are certain core APIs that Microsoft is restricting access to in WinRT that are available in full Windows 8. This has caused much consternation among browser vendors and has raised fears that Microsoft is attempting to cut off browser innovation by locking down WinRT the way Apple has locked down iOS.
  • The OEM license for WinRT is expected to be in the $80 range, so it's likely that WinRT devices will be notably more expensive than their Android-powered counterparts.
  • While we've seen some hardware specs for standard Windows 8 devices, including tablets, we haven't seen any confirmed specs for a single WinRT tablet. That doesn't bode well for manufacturer confidence.
  • There doesn't seem to be a way to visually distinguish a WinRT tablet from a Windows 8 tablet, which could lead to buyer confusion, to put it mildly.
  • Windows RT remains the biggest gamble that Microsoft is taking with Windows 8, because it's cutting itself off from legacy Windows. Sure, there's a free version of Office included, and that may draw some people in on its own. There's scant evidence from consumers or manufacturers that they're interested in this version of Windows 8, but it could also position Microsoft for future growth in a way that limiting itself to Intel chips can't.



    Friday, June 15, 2012

    Microsoft to buy Yammer for $1.2 billion -- report

    Business software company Yammer has agreed to sell itself to Microsoft for $1.2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    It’s not clear when the Yammer deal will be completed or announced, the report said.
    The deal is a sign that Microsoft may be trying to bolster its popular Office software suite, according to the Journal.
    Yammer is an enterprise social network that provides a secure way for employees to communicate and share files.
    It is one of a set of new software companies -- including Box, Dropbox, Jive Software and Basecamp -- that are providing workers with new tools to communicate, store and share files at work, or edit them along with their coworkers, the newspaper noted.
    The Yammer acquisition follows a handful of similar deals where large, established software companies purchase smaller players who are focused on social media.
    For example, in May Oracle acquired Virtue, a cloud-based marketing company, while Buddy Media, another social media marketing platform, was acquired by in early June.
    These new companies are a threat to Microsoft, which pioneered software for the workplace, the Journal said. However, the software also links in to and enhances Microsoft software products, such as Outlook e-mail, the newspaper said.
    The Journal also points out that the Yammer deal marks the second time Microsoft has acquired a company that’s about to do an initial public offering.
    Last May Microsoft acquired Internet video chat company Skype for $8.5 billion in cash -- the biggest acquisition in Microsoft’s history. Prior to the deal, Skype owners had filed documents to take the company public, the Journal said.

    Facebook wants your mobile number

    LONDON: In a bid to improve security on Facebook, the social networking website is asking each of its more than 900 million active users to provide it with their mobile phone numbers.

    The move comes in the wake of much-publicised password hacks at other networking sites including LinkedIn and eHarmony, the Daily Mail reported.

    Millions of Facebook users have already seen a link at the top of their desktop news feed requesting them to follow 'simple security tips'.

    Those that click on the link are led to the site's security page where they are asked to pick a unique password and given a tutorial on how to spot an online scam.

    They are then requested to provide their phone number for secure account recovery.

    This, Facebook claims, works because when a user confirms their phone number it allows the site to automatically wipe their password in the event of their account being hacked.

    The social network would then send a text message to the user informing that their password has been changed.

    This, the site reasons, would be preferable to sending the user and email because many of these are ignored as assumed junk and get deleted.

    Facebook today said the desktop security message, already seen by millions of users in the US, will be on all accounts in the next few days.

    However, it claims that the security update has nothing to do with the recent LinkedIn hack.

    The social network for professionals, LinkedIn admitted to being hacked, but did not reveal the exact figure, although 6.5 million of its 161 million users' passwords appeared online on a website.

    The website added that the lists published online only contained passwords and not logins, but that in all probability any hacker would have them too.

    And California-based eHarmony, one of the world's most popular online dating websites, also admitted earlier this month that the personal passwords of some of its customers were hacked and posted online.

    The company, which has over 20 million registered users, confirmed that passwords had been compromised but did not reveal the exact number, although some technology experts have put the figure at 1.5 million.

    Nokia Finally Launches 808 PureView For Rs 33,900

    41 MP camera phone released after a brief delay; features a 4" touchscreen, 1.3 GHz CPU, and Symbian Belle. 

    Nokia Finally Launches 808 PureView For Rs 33,900
    Nokia's latest Symbian Belle phone, the 808 PureView has been in the limelight for its 41 MP camera lens. It has already won many awards, including the prestigious Best New Mobile Handset, Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2012. Over a last few weeks, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the smartphone's pricing. Putting all these rumours to rest, Nokia has finally released the 808 in India.

    The runs latest iteration of the Symbian Belle OS, and is powered by a 1.3 GHz CPU. Its 4" AMOLED screen has pixel dimensions of 640x360. Other features include 512 MB of RAM, 16 GB of internal memory, expandable microSD card slot, HDMI out with Dolby Digital Plus support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, USB OTG (On-the-Go), 3.5 mm jack that doubles up as a TV-out port, GPS, FM-transmitter, FM radio, GPS, and an NFC chip.

    Before you go out and buy this phone, do take a look at our Nokia 808 hands-on article. For now though, the device will be available in black and white, while red variant is expected to release later this month.


    Review : Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7

    Panasonic-SZ7-Product-Shots -1-336.jpg 
    Panasonic-SZ7-Product-Shots -7-336.jpg 
    Panasonic-SZ7-Product-Shots -8-336.jpg
    MRP: Rs 12999

    Panasonic has always kept a low profile when it came to their cameras, especially when compared to the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony. However, there is no doubt that Panasonic has earned quite a reputation in the imaging product segment, especially with the likes of the FZ-150.
    In fact, Panasonic was the first company to launch a true “travel-zoom” camera, the DMC-TZ1, which ruled the roost for a while, at least till the other camera makers, could play catch up. Today, we look at the Panasonic DMC-SZ7, a long departure from the TZ1 of 2006, but yet, very similar in many regards.
    Build & Ergonomics
    The first thing you’ll notice about the Lumix SZ7 when it is pulled out of its cardboard box, is its ridiculously thin and small form factor. For a minute, we scratched our heads, wondering if the claim of the 10x optical zoom was real or not. It is also extremely lightweight (we played a 15 minute game of basketball without realizing the camera was in the pocket of our shorts) despite the battery and the SD card being in the camera.
    The body of the Panasonic Lumix SZ7 is made of high-grade plastic, which feels rather sturdy. While we wouldn’t drop the camera (we love our toys way too much to let them take a tumble), we’re pretty confident it would survive a small drop or two, even if not cosmetically. The black body of the camera is supplemented with slate grey metallic bevels that adorn the sides of the camera , giving it quite an elegant look overall.
    The button layout on the top is absolutely minimal, with just the on-off switch, the shutter button, the customary zoom control and a dedicated video recording button. The back features the usual dial that can be spun to sift through options. There’s also the usual menu, display and mode buttons that do pretty much what their name suggests.
    The overall build is sturdy and the camera feels good in the hands. It’s just the right amount of “light” for its dimensions, not too heavy, not too underweight. Even at the various focal lengths with the zoom barrel extended to different lengths, the camera doesn’t become unbalanced.


    We are always sceptical about gadgets that seem too good to be true. With a travel zoom this size, we were left wondering whether Panasonic had dumbed down the innards of the DMC-SZ7, so we picked it up and took a long walk through the city, taking a lot of random (well thought out, of course) shots. We started with the standard image quality assessment at the wide and telephoto end, with the Leica lens performing rather well in keeping sharpness at the centre and the edges intact. Of course the centre was sharper than the edges (as it is to be expected), but that doesn’t mean that the edges seemed lacking in any way.
    Sample Shots
    Macro shots revealed that the DMC-SZ7 lens has a barely noticeable barrel distortion, which is great! Don’t want that regular house fly looking like an over-fed, well-taken-care-of house pet now do we? Shooting under the mid-day sun, we did find that the camera’s ability to handle dynamic range isn’t all that stellar, with the emphasis being more on retaining/exposing for highlights than shadows. Of course, when exposing for shadows, the highlights in all our shots were consistently blown out.
    The one issue we did encounter during shooting was with the LCD screen. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 employs a 460K dot TFT LCD screen, which in several scenarios, tended to exhibit a lag or jitter under several shooting conditions. For example, when we were zoomed into a scene that was low on illumination or just when we tried to pan around too quickly, the screen would not work fluidly. Unlike its elder siblings, the TZ20, TZ25 and TZ30, the SZ7 does not include a touchscreen, which we feel is a good thing especially given how the screen can become sluggish in just rendering the lens view.
    Moving into the studio for our customary test target shots, we examine the SZ7’s ISO performance at each of its ISO 100-3200 steps. While JPG compression artefact is present in all images when viewed at 100%, the aggressive noise reduction becomes a prominent around ISO 800. At ISO 1600, the JPG artefact is enhanced due to the aggressive noise reduction algorithms, giving the details in the images a smudged look. The images at ISO 3200 convinced us to use it only in dire emergencies, as a last resort.
    ISO 100% Crops

    ISO 100

    ISO 200

    ISO 400

    ISO 800

    ISO 1600

    ISO 3200
    In terms of sharpness, well, there’s only one word – Leica. Leica has always had quite a reputation for superior optics and Panasonic’s association with the wonder-boy of lens-making has made it possible for Panasonic to really shine with respect to sharpness. The centre sharpness as revealed in our studio tests holds strong through the entire ISO range. The edges also held their own, being not as sharp as the centre of course, but still sharp enough to look good in large prints.
    The SZ7, like most point-and-shoot digital cameras these days, is capable of shooting full 1080p HD footage, though the smaller sensor limits the quality of output. The video recorded at full HD resolution (30 fps) is encoded at roughly 14mbps, meaning, the quality is just a little over average (GOOD Full HD footage is shot at 1080p encoded at 24mbps). We’re not really sure if it was a problem with our unit or just a general problem with this series, but the camera tended to underexpose by about 1/3 of a stop while shooting video. This wasn’t much of a problem during brightly lit day-time shots, but when shooting in low light, the level of noise would rise significantly. The audio, however, was of surprisingly good quality, thanks to the stereo mics.
    The Panasonic SZ7 is a gorgeous little camera that can become incognito the minute it slips into your pant pockets. It rocks a 10x Leica lens and a 14 megapixel sensor, all packaged into a slim package for a small price of Rs. 13,000. However, with the SZ7, you get what you pay for. There is obvious JPG compression artefact and the noise performance at ISO 1600 and above isn’t great. The video is great in normal lighting, but once the illumination dips, the video quality dips with it. Despite the shortcomings, the SZ7 is a great travel zoom camera, especially if you’re looking to pick up a camera on a tight budget.