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Ratings by Smruti (35)

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Reviews by Smruti (12)

80% of 460 users found this user's reviews helpful
on 22 January 12
Smruti rated:

Symbian Belle is the latest iteration of an OS almost a decade old now. From being the most sought after OS to being probably the most criticized one, it has seen it all. Most mobile manufacturers had lost faith in it by the end of 2009, save the biggest of them all, Nokia. Indeed, only an OS backed by Nokia could have survived that long. However, since the coming of touchscreens, Symbian market shares have nose-dived. Only that it seems to retire on a high.

Symbian Belle does remind us of the glorious past it had once had. The future remains bleak, but Nokia 701 endeavors restore the users’ faith in the OS. On the outside, you have a tried and tested clad which was first seen and appreciated with Nokia C7. The generous use of metal and smooth curved edges, make 701 a beauty to withhold. Also, the 1ghz processor and 512 mb ram make Symbian Belle a pleasant sight. In fact, the specs are enough to enable 701 play HD games with ease.

1. The body is almost completely made of metal alloy which gives it excellent ergonomics. It can be handled with one or two hands with ease.
2. 1GHz ARM 11 CPU, Broadcom BCM2727 GPU and 512 MB RAM are enormous numbers for any Symbian phone. It handles Symbian Belle with utmost ease. There will not be much lag with many applications open.
3. 3.5” nHD screen is a LCD IPS ClearBlack Display unit. The resolution is only ok, but the screen has very high brightness, decent contrast, excellent sunlight legibility and very good viewing angles.
4. The battery at the back does have some pretty impressive numbers when it comes to standby, music playback time or talk time. In real life usage, it may last 2 days with ease on moderate usage.
5. Impressive audio quality.
6. 720p video recording may no longer attract eyes, but the quality is downright impressive.
7. NFC support.
8. 8gb of inbuilt storage, which can be expanded to 32gb more. Given that all Symbian apps can be installed on memory cards or elsewhere, it is a huge plus.

1. Symbian admittedly has less number of apps.
2. Symbian browser is still some way off the competition.
3. Camera lacks auto-focus. Other than that, it does quite well though.

Symbian Belle still has many fans who would insist that Symbian is the least resource-monger of all the present OS, gives excellent battery backup, and incorporates true multitasking. Most of such assertions are true. All HD games would fly on Nokia 701. Even playing angry birds on it and other android mobiles with similar hardware (the difference is overwhelming) would give you an idea how less demanding the OS is. However, android does beat Symbian Belle in terms of sheer number of apps, overall eye-candy, versatility and in having a faster (not necessarily smoother) UI.
Sony Ericcson Xperia Ray and Xperia Neo V are very tempting android alternatives with 1 ghz processors, 512 mb ram and planned upgrades to ICS. A better camera or a bigger screen should tilt your preferences to the former or later.
Nokia Lumia 710 has been grabbing headlines of late. It is definitely worth a look.

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Nokia 710 (Black) : Mobile
Price: Rs. 9999
on 22 January 12
Smruti rated:

A much awaited price cut has given Nokia Lumia 710 a prospect to be one of the best sellers. A 1.4ghz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset, 512 mb ram, 3.7” screen with WVGA resolution, the list goes on. Lumia 710 has many offerings to surprise you with a price tag of around 15.5k. On the Software side, Windows Phone Mango may win many hearts with its simplistic interface, which may not be as versatile as, say, Android, but is ridiculously fluid, and stays that at all times.

1. 1.4ghz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset coupled with 512 mb ram provide a buttery smooth experience. It is very close to what you will get even on the costliest windows phone.
2. 3.7” LCD ClearBlack display with WVGA resolution provides crisp bright colors. The overall contrast is good.
3. Video Recording offers good resolution and colors, bit rate is quite high.
4. 8gb on board storage (At this price, it is excellent).
5. Free life-time voice guided navigation.

1. Disappointing battery life. Turning off multi-tasking may improve the battery life, but it isn’t the most pleasing option. With moderate usage, it may not even last a full day.
2. Disastrous audio quality. The frequency response is way off (something you simply can’t associate with modern day phones), intermodulation distortion is too high.
3. The other cons include the limitations of Windows Phone OS. No expandable storage, no Bluetooth file transfer, no DivX/XviD support out of the box, over-dependence on Zune.

Yes, some shortcomings are a little too much to be ignored (What was wrong with the audio quality). But battery life may not be comparatively very good in some competing android devices either. What you definitely get with Nokia Lumia 710 is a total commitment by Nokia-Microsoft to make this ecosystem as strong as possible. And what used to come at an appalling 20k, is now available at three-fourths the price. Considering that, Lumia 710 may be a very tempting package at this point of time.

Samsung Omnia W I8350 is a close competitor, with similar hardware. It even brings a SuperAMOLED screen and metallic back, all at a very slight increase in price. But you will be giving up on SatNav and Nokia Drive.
HTC radar is all about good finish, but it comes with “only” 1 ghz processor and a higher price. If price is not an issue, you can go all the way up to Nokia Lumia 800 which flaunts a very hot polycarbonate uni-body, better battery and camera.
However, there is ample competition outside Windows Phone. Sony Ericcson Xperia Ray and Xperia Neo V are very tempting android alternatives with 1 ghz processors, 512 mb ram and planned upgrades to ICS. A better camera or a bigger screen should tilt your preferences to the former or later.
Nokia offers some Symbian phones too. Nokia 701 and 700 come with very similar hardware. More importantly, Nokia Belle has been in news for good things.
However all phones mentioned do have a higher price than Nokia 710 which could well be the defining factor when many young people finalize on a model to buy.

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A Cameraphone beyond comparision
on 04 February 12
Smruti rated:

In many ways, Nokia N8 was keen on making a difference when it was announced back in 2010. It had to usher a new dawn for touchscreen Nokia smartphones. More importantly, it had to beat compact cameras in their own game. Almost 2 years have passed, the dawn never came. Symbian ^3 even in its new avatar was much unpolished, and failed to bring Symbian into reckoning. But we have not found a more capable camera phone either. And yes, Nokia N8 did sell well.

As Symbian Belle knocks at the door today, which is by some distance, the best Symbian OS ever, there is also a painful realization that the N8 hardware is rather outdated. Well, save the camera module. With the advent of SuperAMOLED plus HD screens and dual-core processors, N8â??s 3.5â? AMOLED of nHD resolution and 256 MB ram do seem modest. Rumors suggest Belle will be the last update to the phone. Does one buy it? On the flip side, you have a true wonder of a camera, capable of putting even dedicated cameras to shame. Symbian OS makes sure the hardware is still enough to enable you play HD games. The aluminum unibody is a pleasure to handle. And finally what squares the deal is that the price has come down too. Still, does one buy it?

1. A true gem of a camera. The 1/1.83� camera sensor is still the biggest on any smartphone. It is ably aided by an almost perfect Carl Zeiss lens capable of shooting 12MP photos and a powerful xenon flash. Numbers aside, the camera produces images of stunning quality. Resolved detail remains downright impressive across all situations, more so in less lighted conditions, where the huge sensor comes in handy. There is not much purple fringing, or any other lens distortion for that matter. In other words, humbling achievement by a mobile phone.
2. The aluminum unibody feels sturdy and as if is built to last.
3. Humungous 16 GB on board storage which can be further expanded by a memory card.
4. 3.5� AMOLED screen of nHD resolution provides nice colors, good brightness and decent sunlight legibility.
5. Video recording is stuck at 720p, but the output is rather nice. With continuous autofocus and best-in-class dynamic range, it actually produces better videos than many 1080p camcorder phones out there.
6. All round retail package with a lot of goodies.

1. 680 MHz ARM 11 CPU and Broadcom BCM2727 GPU give an impression of an outdated phone. There have even been Symbian phones with more processing power. 256mb RAM doesnâ??t help either.
2. Symbian browser lacks behind the competition.
3. Relatively lesser applications compared to Android or iOS.

If you are bullish on having a good camera-smart phone, apple iPhone 4s comes closest to N8â??s imaging skills. It also comes with an out-of-the-world UI, fast processor, the most advance GPU and ups the video recording capabilities.
Comparing prices, Sony Ericsson Ray offers a very capable 8 mp camera with latest android (planned upgrade to ICS). The Sony Bravia display is among the best in LCDs. Resolutions is high as well, although screen estate is small (3.3�). Sony Ericsson Neo V offers a similar package with a downgraded 5 mp camera but a 3.7 inch screen.

There is very slight chance of you reading this review and yet not having a thing for cameras. The N8 is head and shoulders above all competing phones when it comes to taking pictures. And this is exactly why N8 has gained immense popularity. It will probably go down as a legendary phone. A true imaging king, a pioneer of Symbian ^3, and more importantly, a tribute to the N-series.

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A Bada Flagship
on 09 January 12
Smruti rated:

Android is now the king of all mobile operating systems. iOS is not too far behind. Windows phone is gearing up for an attack, bolstered by the new player in its arena. Symbian is dwindling away after a glorious decade or so. Meego is beautiful and yet dead. Did anyone ever notice Bada in the midst of all this??

And yet, 4 inch of SuperAMOLED, fairly slim profile and generous use of metal, all at a nominal price makes Samsung wave III S8600 a tempting package indeed.

1. Gorgeous 4” SuperAMOLED screen. SuperAMOLED along with Nokia’s CBD are the best mobile displays in the market today (which obviously includes the retina display).
2. Very appreciable build quality.
3. Excellent battery backup. With moderate usage, 2-3 days may be expected.
4. A wonderful video player. The stock video player plays everything you throw at it, and it supports subtitles too.
5. Good 5MP camera.
6. Bada OS is modeled a lot like Android and hence behaves similarly, which given the current market trend is not a bad thing at all.

1. Audio quality is the upper mid range is something that is taken for granted. Samsung wave III however fails to deliver.
2. Video recording isn’t really impressive.
3. Limited 3rd party apps (I am actually being polite in saying only ‘limited’).
4. No GPU. Most mobiles at this price bracket and even those that are cheaper have it.

The cons are hardly potential deal-breakers but it all boils down to buying a OS which has only a handful of phones, very limited apps and has been updated only twice in the last 2 years. But then, very unlikely would one disagree that you are getting good value for your money.
Sony Ericsson Ray offers a very capable 8 mp camera with latest android (planned upgrade to ICS). The Sony Bravia display is among the best in LCDs, resolutions Is high as well, although screen estate is small (3.3”). Sony Ericsson Neo V offers a similar package with a downgraded 5 mp camera but a 3.7 inch screen.
Samsung galaxy R I9103 has seen a massive price reduction in the last few months, and is now available at a similar price. It brings a bigger screen and a dual-core cpu (and gpu) to the table. LG Optimus Black and HTC desire are amongst the other once high end phones now available at a similar price.
Samsung Onmia W I8350 offers Windows Phone at a cheaper price, although a smaller 3.7 inch screen, everything else almost remaining same as wave III. Nokia Lumia 710 has been grabbing headlines of late, it might well be worth the look.
Last but not least, lets not forget our good OLD Symbian phones. Nokia 701 might be a tempting package if you are thinking out of android.

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An Affordable Window
on 04 January 12
Smruti rated:

Windows Phone OS has relatively very strict requirements. Keeping that in mind, Samsung I8350 is as cheap as windows phones will get (atleast until Windows Phone Tango has arrived). Nevertheless it flaunts a 1.4 ghz scorpion processor, 3.7 inch SuperAMOLED screen and a metal body. Not bad, Samsung!
The OS on the other hand is not as versatile as, say, Android, but it may come as a breath of fresh air to some. Simple, fast and beautiful. However over-dependence on Zune, no Bluetooth file transfer, relatively less apps and no true multi-tasking can’t be overlooked.
1. Albeit being at the bottom of the food chain (for Windows phones), the cpu and gpu(1.4GHzQualcomm MSM8255Snapdragon CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, 512MB of RAM) don’t scream it. On the contrary, they are as good as any windows phone out there.
2. 3.7” SuperAMOLED is one gorgeous piece of hardware (It has pentile matrix though).
3. 8gb inbuilt storage.
4. Mobile Office looks as good as it has ever on any OS.
5. Metal back gives it a sturdy and premium feel.
6. 5MP snapper does well in decently lit environments
Most cons would be due to limitations of the OS as has been listed earlier and is obviously common to all windows phones.
1. Other than those, the video recording is not something to boast about.
2. The speaker is relatively quiet.
The most obvious alternative is Nokia Lumia 710. Lumia phones have an edge over other Windows phones in having nokia drive. 710, however, is all plastic and has a ClearBlack LCD(not AMOLED). But its price may fall in coming months.
HTC Radar comes with a 3.8” S-LCD and 1 ghz scorpion processor, and as of now, is priced higher than Omnia W I8350. If price is not a constraint, you can probably go all the way up to Nokia Lumia 800, if you find its polycarbonate body irresistible.
Omnia W I8350 faces two hurdles. One is the hype that Nokia has created during its launch of the Lumia duo. It is almost Nokia Lumia or any other OS sans windows. The second and as important is the presence of many Android alternatives at this price. Sony Ericcsson Ray and Sony Ericcsson Neo V from the Sony family and more importantly Samsung galaxy R I9103 with its dual core processor may well be worthy competitors.

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Nokia Asha 200 : Mobile

Nokia Asha 200 (Graphite)

with Bundled 4GB Memory Card
Price: Rs. 4055
Simple No-Frills Dual Sim
on 04 January 12
Smruti rated:

A simple feature set like Nokia Asha 200 may not grab headlines, but it is phones like this that have kept Nokia alive in the market. Put in other words, this is something Nokia marvels at, entry level reliable sets, invariably looking better than what their price suggests.

1. Dual stand-by unlike the first gen dual sim mobiles by Nokia which had single stand by.
2. Excellent battery life. With moderate use, you may expect 3-4 days on a single charge.
3. Good qwerty(which is quite rare at this price point, most qwerty phones have wobbly keys).
4. Good audio quality(again at this price point).
5. Display could have been worse.

Given, that it is an entry level set, cons are many, lets list only those that stand out.

1. Very low internal memory and ram.(Even lower than what X2-01has).
2. Miserable camera and video quality.
3. Slow class 12 edge gprs.

If you are looking for this handset, chances are you are interested in dual sim. If it is not the case, you might better have a look at Nokia X2-01 which comes at a lower price and has more internal memory, ram and a faster gprs.
Samsung Ch@t 322 comes with optical trackpad and a slimmer profile and is again cheaper. If qwerty is not a must, Samsung C3752 may well be worth the look.
There are many touch-screen dual sim mobiles at this price range too- Nokia c2-03(No dual stand-by), Samsung Champ DUOS E2652.

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Symbian is no longer catching up!
on 14 November 11
Smruti rated:

People who are biased against symbian are invariably the ones who have used symbian 60 and not symbian anna or belle. Symbian has evolved since and along with better battery life and solid build quality, Nokia phones are slowly coming back to life.

Nokia E6 is a package hard to beat at its price range for someone looking for qwerty and touch.

Pros:Excellent build quality, Good battery backup, Good crisp screen with brilliant contrast and brightness, Nice qwerty keypad, Good video recording, 8 gb inbuilt storage.

Cons: Smallish screen, Admittedly outdated processor, Camera quality is not vry good(No, I do not have problems with EDoF, but even resolved detail has left me wanting).

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Beauty and the Beast
on 20 October 12
Smruti rated:

There cannot be a greater proof of photos doing a gadget injustice than HTC One X. As you hold the real thing, you can not help but admire its all polycarbonate uni-body with premium matte finish, specially at the back. Turn the thing around and feast your eyes on arguably the best screen around.The 4.7 inch HD Super LCD 2 with RGB matrix makes the screen super sharp, with great colors and viewing angles. And it is not as if the duo are trying to hide inside: the phone rocks a Tegra 3 T30 chip with 4 cores clocked at 1.5ghz and a capable ULP GeForce GPU.

Here is a list of pros and cons:
1. Absolutely gorgeous hardware. There are no two ways about it.
2. 4.7 inch Super LCD 2 brings in a phenomenal balance of over-saturation and true colors. It has great contrast for a LCD screen and very good viewing angles. RGB matrix means it has the full set of 3 sub-pixels to flaunt.
3. Tegra 3 might not be the fastest CPU any more but it still screams high end. Also, there are many THD games exclusively for Tegra based mobiles and gadgets on the play store.
4. 1gb ram and 32 gb internal memory(No micro sd card slot though).
5. Great video player, which plays everything you throw at it(would have been a shame otherwise, given the pleasant screen).
6. Beats audio

1. HTC prefers slimmer waistline more than a capable battery. The downsides of such a disposition are apparent in One X. 1800 mAH may not sound very measly, the real life performance may sometimes be frustrating. LCD screens generally need more juice, and the battery simply fails to stand against the competition.Even with normal use, it may not last a day. But would you buy a One X to put it to normal use?
2. It (still)runs Android 4.0.4. Considering that quite a few phones run 4.1.1, and nexus gadgets are already receiving 4.1.2, it is not something for One X owners to be proud of.
3. Unimpressive camera and video recording capabilities. Traditionally, this has been an area where HTC haven't made much effort. Ostensibly, One X is a victim of that.

1. Any HTC One X review wouldn't be complete without a reference to Samsung Galaxy S3. The duo are fighting it out at the top. Although S3 doesn't stand a chance in terms of build quality, it oozes performance in every sense of the word. Exynos quad is a better performing SoC with an equally good-if not better CPU and a vastly superior Mali 400 GPU. It has great battery backup, better imaging capabilities. On the screen front, S3 produces ambitious colors, but some people may prefer it. Also, samsung is doing a better job at bringing out updates, now that S3 is already updated to jelly bean. However, for people looking for a better looking phone and willing to live with the under performing battery, HTC One X may suit better.
2. Nokia Lumia 920 is on the verge of hitting stores. It is neck and neck in terms of looks and overall build quality here. 920 has a much advertised screen and camera. The Snapdragon S3 powered by dual krait cores is quite capable as well. Although Windows Phone hasn't had a great start, to be fair with the lumia, Windows 8 promises to bring a lot on the table with things like native code support etc. Nevertheless, if you are looking for an android device, you might want to give this a miss.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is another alternative. With probably the most powerful SoC to date(Optimus G is yet to be released) an ample screen, it will definitely be better at watching videos or surfing the net. On the downside, you may have to tailor all your apparels to suit the humongous phone.
4. Last but not least, apple's new iphone 5 may look tiny, but it certainly packs a punch. With an all conquering GPU and many million apps, it will never be a bad buy.

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Walkman Spirit, Android Inside
on 10 January 12
Smruti rated:

Fact 1: Samsung Galaxy Ace has been tenaciously holding on to the mid-range for quite some time now.
Fact 2: Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman is keen to change that.

A list of specifications that would put most top-dogs of yesteryear to shame is a good base to start from. Indeed, Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman comes with mouthwatering hardware (and latest android software) considering the price tag hanging over it. Add to it the planned upgrade to ICS and it probably becomes a seemingly irresistible package, or does it? The pros and cons will put us in a better position to answer that.

1. A 1 ghz ARMv7 processor coupled with 512 mb ram is rare for an android device at this price. It sure assures smooth handling of the OS.
2. Adreno 205 gpu.
3. Planned ICS upgrade is a huge plus. It means your phone is highly unlikely to get outdated in the next year or so.
4. HD video recording (although not perfect, it is way better than what most competitors have to offer).
5. Walkman lives true to its name, provides excellent audio output.

1. The screen is smallish, has poor contrast and inadequate viewing angles.
2. Video player handles only mp4 and 3gp format (the stock video player). It can handle 720p videos though.
3. The all plastic build and 14.2 mm waistline do not scream premium. To be fair, it was never meant to be a premium device after all.
4. Battery backup is uninspiring.
5. 320 mb internal memory is a painful restriction. It means you cannot install a lot many apps (as quite of them have to be installed on the phone memory itself).

At the end it is about getting your priorities right. If you want the latest android on a good processor on the cheap, look no further.
The most obvious alternative would be the Ace duo. Samsung galaxy Ace has been selling well. It has a 800 mhz processor and 256 mb ram. Its internal memory is low as well. Video recording is as worse as it gets but it has 0.3” more screen estate. Ace plus will now be rolling out soon. It ups the ante with a 3.65” screen and a 1 ghz processor combined with 512 ram.

Nokia 603 comes in a similar price and with very competitive hardware too. The HD video recording on board 603 is far better, as is the Nokia Clear Black Display screen. Although it beats Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman on many other counts as well, Android ICS and Symbian Belle are not quite in the same league.
Nokia 700 is another alternative with a 3.2 inch AMOLED CBD display and very attractive profile. HTC Wildfire S is also worth a mention.

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Decent tablet, but Nexus 7 blows it away
on 19 October 12
Smruti rated:

Tab 2 3100, with its generally pleasant screen and sd card, sim slot is a smart buy considering other options, i.e. options other than Nexus 7.

If you haven't already heard about it, Nexus 7 is the latest google product running vanilla android(4.1.2 as I write). It houses a Tegra 3 quad core processor and higher resolution screen. Also, its rubbery plastic back gives it a more premium feel than Tab 2. On top of that, it is available at atleast 3k less.

Unfortunately Nexus 7 is not released in India. But it is available on ebay and other sites. One would have to give up on warranty, but is guaranteed a powerhouse performance that only few mobile gadgets can match(all of them priced many times Nexus 7) and good support from google(direct updates).

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