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Posts tagged with 'gadgets and deals'

Prakash

This Thanksgiving, Amazon Fire Phone is available at a special price of $199. For that price it looks like a great phone.

  • Unlocked
  • 2.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Bright 4.7″ HD display
  • 13 MP camera with optical image stabilization, HDR, and LED flash
  • 4 G LTE
  • NFC support
  • Free Headphones
  • Free Amazon Prime for 1 year.

The only reasons why I wouldn’t buy this is..

  • Tied to Amazon app store, no Google Play,
  • 4.7″ Screen, if you are in the market for a bigger display
  • No expandable memory slot
  • GSM Only


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Prakash

My setup:

Laptop with Ubuntu 14.04LTS  and Nexus 4.

I also assume you are comfortable with the command prompt. You need to run some commands from terminal.

If you are already running Android 5.0, you can skip Step 1 and go directly to Step 2 to root your device. In my case, I didn’t wait for the OTA update, but if you prefer to play it safe, get the Android 5.0 update and then start.

Pre-Preparation.

Make sure your laptop is charged or plugged into the power and your phone is charged too.

Take a full system backup, because these steps wipes the Android clean.

And ensure your laptop doesn’t go into suspend mode while you do this.

Now install a few packages:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

sudo apt-get install fastboot

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

Step 1: Installing Android 5.0

NOTE: This will wipe the system clean so if you haven’t backed up, go and back up first.

Download the correct file from the Google site:

https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images

For Nexus 4 it is called.

occam-lrx21t-factory-51cee750.tgz

Now extract the files, it will show you a directory

occam-lrx21t

Change to this directory occam-lrx21t

Now boot into the bootloader, remember this step as you will need to do it a few times.

adb reboot bootloader

If it’s not able to find the device,  you can boot manually.

For nexus 4, while holding the volume button down, press the power button.

Now unlock the device with the following command.

fastboot oem unlock

Now flash the Android 5.0 Image by running this command from the directory above.

./flash-all.sh

After a few minutes, On the phone you will see a new boot up logo for Android 5.0. this will take a few minutes to complete. Grab a coffee or your favourite beverage.

Once this is complete, wait you still have to root the device.

wait, don’t do much on your android, as the unlock process may wipe your data!

Step 2: Rooting Android.

Download the rooting script from chainfire: http://download.chainfire.eu/297/CF-Root/CF-Auto-Root/CF-Auto-Root-mako-occam-nexus4.zip

When you scroll down, you see the actual link to download.

This will download this file: CF-Auto-Root-mako-occam-nexus4.zip

Extract this directory, change to this directory.

Now boot into the boot loader with your preferred method. I used volume down button + power on.

Now type these commands.

chmod +x root-linux.sh 
./root-linux.sh

Step 3: Installing MultROM manager

Find the app in Google Play and Install.

Start the app. This will ask you to install 3 things, go ahead and install.

Screenshot_2014-11-23-23-52-01

It will also boot into recovery mode.

Once its done, it will reboot and start android.

Now start the MultROM manager again.

You should see the option to install Ubuntu Touch.

Screenshot_2014-11-23-23-55-30

Step 4: Installing Ubuntu Touch

If you want demo files, select the -demo

you can choose stable OR development version, you can also install both one by one.

This step took the longest amount of time for me. Go get a nap!

It will ask you to reboot once.

Screenshot_2014-11-24-07-49-06

Once this is done, there is no intimation that it is completed.

When you reboot, it will give you an option to boot internal (Android) or Ubuntu Touch. Here you can select Ubuntu Touch and boot into it and setup.

Final Housekeeping. Boot into bootloader and lock the boot loader again:

fastboot oem lock

click on start to reboot your system.

Note: If you upgrade your Android, you will lose the dual-boot and have to start again from step 2 which may differ with your android version.

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Prakash Advani

After the  iPhone 6 vs Android: Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC M8 and Xiaomi MI3,  I am now comparing the Phablets: iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and Note 3 Neo. I picked the top Phablets and also the budget Note 3 Neo.

Features iPhone 6 Plus Note 4 LG G3 Sony Xperia Z3 Note 3 Neo
 FingerPrint Sensor  Yes  Yes No No No
Shatter Proof  No No No Yes Yes
Screen Size 5.5″  5.7″ 5.5″ 5.2″ 5.5″
Resolution 1080 x 1920 1440×2560  1440×2560 1080 x 1920 720 x 1280
RAM 2 GB  3 GB  2/3 GB  3 GB 2 GB
 Memory Card Slot No  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Primary Camera 8 MP  16 MP  13 MP 20.7 MP 8 MP
Selfie Camera 1.2 MP  3.7 MP 2.1 MP  2.2 MP 2 MP
CPU Dual-core
1.4 GHz
Octacore
2.7 GHz+
1.3 GHz
 Quad-core
2.5 GHz
 Quad-core
2.5 GHz
 Hexa Core
1.7 GHZ+
1.3 GHz
64 Bit ? 64 Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit
 FM Radio No TBC Yes (in D855) Yes No

Still want an Apple ?









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Prakash

I was watching the iPhone 6 launch last night and was wonder what the fuss is all about? Well it’s from Apple and people may be drooling.

Lets find out how the iPhone 6 compares with the Leading Android phones. I am only comparing the specifications and features and not the actually quality which is very subjective.

Here is Apple iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Xiaomi MI3. Galaxy S5 and One M8 are the premium Android phones while the MI3 is the poor man’s option or the rich mans budget phone which ever way you look at it.

Features iPhone 6 Galaxy S5 One M8 MI3
 FingerPrint Sensor  Yes  Yes No No
 Dust Resistant  No  Yes  No  No
 Water Resistant   No  Yes  No  No
 Screen Size  4.7″  5.1″  5.0″  5.0″
 Resolution  750 x 1334  1080 x 1920  1080 x 1920  1080 x 1920
 Full HD  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
 RAM  1 GB  2 GB  2 GB  2 GB
 Memory Card Slot No  Yes Yes No
Primary Camera 8 MP  16 MP  Dual 4MP  13 MP
Selfie Camera 1.2 MP  2 MP   5MP  2MP
CPU Dual-core
1.4 GHz
Quad-core
2.5 GHz
 Quad-core
2.3/2.5 GHz
 Quad-core
2.3 GHz
 FM Radio No No Yes Yes
4G LTE Yes Yes Yes No

As you can see the Android variants are leading in almost all the specifications which does matter. This includes the inexpensive Xiaomi Rather than innovating, Apple seems to only playing catch-up. Apply skillfully hides the finer specifications. Its your choice to stand in the queue for iPhone 6 or go with an Android at a cheaper price.

 

 







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Prakash Advani

The global announcement of AMD’s first ARM-based server SoC (system-on-chip), otherwise known as the Opteron A1100, happened end of January 2014 with Suresh confirming that the first samples would be shipped by end of March 2014 with full production happening by the end of the year.
Née “Seattle”, this part, which is part of the top-bin (i.e. the fastest parts from a particular batch) is built around eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2GHz and fabbed at 28nm. Other useful titbits include a TDP of 20W, 4MB L2 cache and 8MB shared L3 cache.

 

Read More: http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/servers/more-details-emerge-about-arm-based-amd-opteron-a1100-processor-series-1223236

 

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Prakash Advani

Huawei’s MediaPad X1 is not only a good alternative to an iPad Mini but also has phone capabilities. Announced at Mobile World Congress and expected to be launched in March 2014.

Claimed to be the slimmest 7″ tablet, Here is what is cool about it:

  • 3G with calling facility
  • 4G LTE (optional)
  • Quad Core Processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 7″ Full HD, IPS panel
  • 13 MP camera (sony lens), with 5 MP secondary camera
  • 16 GB Internal storage
  • Expandable MicroSD slot
  • 5000 mAh battery, which is powerful enough and can also be used to charge other devices
  • WiFi  b/g/n, Dual Band in the 4G version
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Just 239g lightweight and slim

Here are the limitations:

  • No Android KitKat, there is no plans or commitment for Huawei.
  •  Little awkward to use a phone because of the large size.

Since today’s phones don’t even last a day, you should use your primary phone for voice only, and use this device for all data activities. The X1 could be good tablet device but little awkward to hold as a phone. Could be used with Bluetooth as a phone.

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Prakash Advani

Interesting tidbits:

Rubin recounted his first meeting with Samsung’s executives by saying “You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us.”  Considering that there were actually eight people on the team for Android, it shows that they really did not care for the company at all.

Back to 2005.  Google CEO Larry Page agrees to meet with Rubin and loves the idea.  Google had been looking for an innovation to bring to the mobile industry, and they were afraid that another company, such as Microsoft with their massive resources, would beat them to it.  Page offered to purchase Android for $50 million and some various perks, and the whole original Android team was absorbed into Mountain View at Google HQ, and thus began the story of Android, and how it was not taken by Samsung but rather the innovative Google.

Never underestimate what a 6 people company can do :)

Read the complete article: http://www.androidheadlines.com/2014/02/andy-rubin-offered-android-to-samsung-first-and-they-laughed-just-two-weeks-before-google-snapped-android-up.html

 

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Prakash Advani

A friend of mine was looking for a budget phone with a lot of features. While there are bigger brands which are more expensive, I came across Xolo Q3000 which offers similar features at an affordable price.

Here is what I liked about it:

  • 5.7″ IPS  full HD display – good if you like big displays
  • 1,5 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • 2 GB RAM – enough to run many applications
  • 4000 mAh  battery – this is almost double than most phones, will give you a charge for days not hours!
  • Dual SIM
  • 13 MP Camera
  • 16 GB built in Memory with MicroSD Slot
  • Android 4.2
  • Micro USB and USB on-the-go

Although I haven’t used a Xolo myself, I have also heard about some issues with Xolo’s service.

The competitions (namely Micromax and Intex) are about to launch Octo-core processors (8 cores), I don’t know how much better performance you will derive but for now this looks like a good phone.

 

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Prakash

Intel’s solution for next generation wearable technology is Intel’s Edison. SD card size computer is launched at CES.

Features: 

  • Dual-core low-power 22nm 400MHz Intel Quark processor.
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Runs Linux

 

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Prakash

Blueshift is the cool speakers that charges in 5 minutes and plays for 6 hours.

Sam Beck is the guy behind Blueshift, an open source sustainable electronics business that is all about building cool stuff. Helium speakers are the company’s first product to market and will be the world’s the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers. Not to mention the design files are open source.

In this interview, Sam shares with me his unique business mindset and why he’s not afraid anyone will steal his thunder, even while they might have access to his design.

If we build stuff that’s cool enough, we’ll find a way to make money.

Read More: https://opensource.com/life/13/12/interview-blueshift-sam-beck

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Prakash

Former Nokia employees have got together to start Newkia, a company which plans to do what Nokia missed — Build an Android phone.

Sounds like a great idea, since Nokia has very good engineers and one of the best hardware, what they lacked was good software.

Read More.

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Prakash

Amazon has come up with the New Kindle Paperwhite.

The paperwhite which was released last year, has a back-light making it easy to read in the low light conditions.

It sports a 1 GHz processor vs 800 MHz before and better touch screen.

However the space is still 2GB out of which you can use 1.25GB for ebooks which is enough for 1000+ books.

The claimed battery life is 2 months, which sounds great considering our phones don’t even last 1/2 a day :)

The e-book is recommended for those who read a lot on the move as the e-ink is much easier on the eyes.

This new model will start shipping on September 30, 2013.

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Prakash

Next generation converged device with Phone and PC capabilities is here.

Here is the specs:

  • Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android
  • Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
  • Fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • 4.5in 1,280 x 720 HD sapphire crystal display
  • 8mp low-light rear camera, 2mp front camera
  • Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
  • Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
  • MHL connector, 3.5mm jack
  • Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery

 Order yours here.

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Prakash

If you have a cracked phone/tablet where the touch is broken. You can can use it by connecting external keyboard and mouse.

How to do it ?

If your device has a micro USB port, you can use a USB On-The-Go cable (provided your device supports USB On-The-Go.

CNET has a good article on this and also how to convert it into an ebook reader.

Read More:  http://cnettv.cnet.com/turn-cracked-nexus-7-e-book-reader/9742-1_53-50150705.html

 

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Prakash

Rockchip’s RK3188 processor is one of the fastest ARM Cortex-A9 chips around. The 28nm quad-core processor outperforms the chips found in the Samsung Galaxy S III and Google Nexus 7, for instance. And it’s a relatively inexpensive chip, which explains why it’s proven popular with Chinese tablet and TV box makers.

Most devices featuring the RK3188 processor ship with Android 4.1 or Android 4.2. But soon you may be able to run Ubuntu, Fedora, or other desktop Linux operating systems on an RK3188 device.

Read More.

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Prakash

Here is an inexpensive Ubuntu notebook, the ASUS X201E-DH01.

  • Intel Celeron 847 (1.1GHz) Sandy Bridge
  • 4 GB DDR3
  • 320 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 11.6-Inch Screen, Intel GMA HD Graphic card
  • 1 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0
  • SD MMC Card Reader
  • WiFi, Ethernet and Bluetooth 4.0
  • 1 HDMI and 1 VGA
  • 5 Hours claimed battery life.
  • Light Weight: 1.3 Kgs (2.9 Pounds)
  • Ubuntu 12.04 preinstalled!

It is not the fastest PC around, but enough for day to day tasks. Runs faster on Ubuntu than Windows. Is light weight for people on the move, inexpensive and has enough of ports.

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Prakash

While it is not certain if Google is going to offer Android or ChromeOS for PCs, but Intel is already working on making the $200 Android PC to boost the sagging PC sales.

So far, the notebook market is dominated by two players, Windows and OS X, but there’s an operating system that could drop into this mix and be highly disruptive — Android.

There’s been a lot of discussion bouncing around the tech blogosphere about Intel’s plans to get all disruptive and start supporting Android on devices that will cost in the region of $200.

While Microsoft might not be happy about being sidelined by a company that was once one of its biggest supporters, this is exactly what the PC industry needs.

Think this is a huge leap? It isn’t. Some of Intel’s Atom processors are already compatible with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Read More.

 

 

 

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Prakash

ASUS CUBE with Google TV Entertainment Device

Asus Cube (was earlier Qube), looks like an interesting device.

  • 5″ Cube, not exactly small enough to fit behind your TV.
  • HDMI in and HDMI out
  • LAN and Wireless
  • 2 USB Ports
  • IR Ports for remote
  • Remote with keyboard
  • Android 3.2 with Google TV
  • Streaming media: Google, Amazon and Netflix.
  • 50 GB free cloud storage from Google.

 

 

 

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Prakash

The Zotac Nano XS is a palm size PC. This can be used to build your own media center solution.

Size is 4 inches X 4 inches X 1.5 Inches and here is the rest of specifications.

Processor AMD E-450
(2 x 1.65 GHz Bobcat cores, 1 MB L2, 40nm, 18 W)
Chipset AMD A50M (Hudson-M1)
Memory 1 x 2 GB SO-DIMM Samsung DDR3-1333 (Maximum 1 x 4 GB) (1.6 GB Available to CPU)
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6320
(80 Stream Processors, 508 MHz core clock (Turbo to 600 MHz), 384 MB Available to GPU)
Primary Drive(s) Kingston SSDNow mS100 SMS100S2/64G mSATA 64GB SATA II SSD
Networking 150 Mbps Realtek RTL8188CU Wireless LAN 802.11n USB 2.0 Network Adapter (Bundled)
Realtek PCIe Gigabit Ethernet
Audio Realtek 2-channel HD Audio
Optical SPDIF (with mini-SPDIF Adaptor)
Headphone and mic jacks
Front Side Power button
IR Receiver
MMC/SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/SDXC Card Reader
eSATA / USB 2.0 Combo Port
Headphone / optical SPDIF adaptor and mic jacks
Right Side Exhaust vent
Kensington lock
Left Side Exhaust vent
Rear Side AC Adaptor input
HDMI 1.4a compatible port
2 x USB 3.0
1 x GbE LAN
2 x USB 2.0

 

 

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Prakash

Was happy to see the Rasberry Pi available in India.

  • Broadcom  700MHz  processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • Boots from SD card, running a version of the Linux operating system (supplied separately)
  • 10/100 BaseT Ethernet socket
  • HDMI video socket
  • 2 x USB 2.0 sockets
  • RCA composite video socket
  • SD card socket
  • Powered from microUSB socket
  • 3.5mm audio out jack
  • Header for GPIO and serial buses
  • Header footprint for JTAG connector
  • Connector for Raspberry Pi HD video camera
  • Size: 85.6 x 53.98 x 17mm

 

Although the $25 computer is available for $65 (Rs. 3003500) with a casing, It is not that much more considering it comes to US$59 ($46 for the board and $14 for the casing) on Amazon with the casing and doesn’t include shipping to India.

Rs. 2950 Board only available from RS

Rs. 3500 Board with casing from Kits and Spares.

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