Sunday, August 28, 2016

Titan Juxt Pro : Worth the Hype?

I recently happened to attend the launch of Titan Juxt Pro through a special invitation for tech bloggers. Titan Juxt Pro is Titan's second attempt in capturing the smartwatch segment, a large portion of which is left completely untapped.

The " Fitness band" companies tried to make a significant attempt in making a dent in the Fitness and Lifestyle industry, but no one except Xiaomi could even remotely get a minuscule share. Either wearing the fitness bands became a fad or people had very less options except for the 1000rs Xiaomi Band  or the 10,000 Rs Fitbit Band (for the premium segment). Frankly both Xiaomi and Fitbit offered similar quality in terms of accuracy, measurement, features, though Fitbit seemed to last much longer.

The Titan Juxt I


Cut to the chase to the smartwatch industry, the whole trend began with Apple who infamously launched an Apple Watch. With very less takers in India,  this gave watch leaders like Titan to mark their presence by launching the first ever Indian smartwatch , called Titan Juxt for 15K . This smartwatch was more or less the usual watch with standard dials except for a small rectangular digital display which gave you notifications from the web, calls and counted steps as well

Hands on with Juxt Pro :

The Juxt Pro however is a complete redesign from its predecessor. Its a complete smartwatch in all aspects, with fully customizable digital display dials, storage options for music, steps counting, call notifications and much more. It comes with both a metal and a leather variant, has a stainless steel encasing, and a battery that can last for 36-48 hours depending on usage



  • First impressions with the watch seems impressive. With all those hardware built inside, the watch seems slightly heavy but doesn't have much of an issue when you wear it for sometime. 
  • Everything about the watch is digital. Be it the Cloud storage for steps and other info , remote locking, 20+ digital  dials that can be changed at the click of an button (even you    can design your your own dial)
  • Works on a Titan built OS , though fully compatible with  Android and iPhone (A key point compared to Apple watch that doesn't sync with Android phones).
  • With barely any competition in the smart watch, this will be the only brand that may probably pop into your mind.
  • Waterproof and can work upto  30m below water (Smartbands with IP67 tech can work only upto 4-5 m under water)
  • Touch screen is smooth and has a corning gorilla glass 3 for scratch protection



  • Priced at 23,000 this can be a huge deterrent for many interested people. Even the luxury segment customers may find this a bit costly for a "Titan" smartwatch. Even during the launch, we were expecting them to price it at 14-16,000 but 23,000 is a bit too much
  • The watch doesn't exude luxury. Yes, it's a digital watch but it doesn't project the luxury/premium watch feel you get, when you buy a similar watch for 20,000. 
  • The interface takes some time to get used to. The side buttons in the watch are slightly hard to press to change settings and displays and not really smooth.



Titan has played a big gamble and invested quite heavily in this smartwatch, which reflects directly on the high price. But has the smartwatch industry really caught on , for a buyer to invest 23,000 rs into it? Probably not just yet.

Smartwatches are definitely the future, with the Internet of things catching up on every single appliance around the house and the need to "Stay digitally connected" has just intensified. Smartwatches deliver you just that. But one may not be ready to pay that amount of a price for that need.  Until then a 1,000 rs fitness band with a digital display and heart monitor is just more than enough to do the trick (at least for now)

Here's a link where you can purchase the watch from  : Titan Juxt Pro

It's funny that phones are now being used for checking the time , and watches are being used to check phone notifications. That's the world we live in -  Karthik Murali

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Redmi Note 3 vs Redmi 3S Prime

Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 3 in Gold  colour on March 9, 2016 and was declared to be an instant hit. Probably they literally "struck" gold with this one.  You can read its review here : Redmi Note 3 (Gold) Review

However just 5 months later , Redmi has now launched a 3S Prime version of the Note 3.

However new is not always better and you may have to think twice before considering the 3S Prime over the Note 3

Why Redmi 3S Prime is Better 

  • Price

The Note 3 was priced at Rs. 9,999(16GB ROM/2GB RAM) and 12K (for 32GB ROM/3GB RAM) version. Interestingly, the 3S Prime has been priced Rs.3000 cheaper at just 8,999 for a  32 GB/3GB variant .  This may immediately seem like a better deal in paper , to think you are getting a newer variant with a higher capacity for 3K cheaper(compared to a 2GB variant)

  • Operating System

3S Prime comes with Android Marshmallow (v6) compared to Lollipop in Note 3 (no official word on a OS upgrade yet on the latter) .

  • Screen Size 

Redmi Note 3, similar to its "Note" predecessors came with a 5.5 ' screen (which became a screen standard for similar brands like OnePlus ,Asus,LeEco, Motorola etc)3S prime however comes with a reduced 5' IPS display screen .  This could be an interesting strategy among a growing discontent of large screen phones, that's difficult to handle with a single hand or keep it securely in a shirt/jeans pocket.(On Similar lines Apple iPhone SE came up with a 4' screen for a 40K price tag,but it bombed heavily in the Indian market )

Why Redmi Note 3 is better ?


  • Processor

Apart from the RAM, the processor is the key in ensuring that the phone can handle multiple applications at once, doesnt lag or hang , and can work a whole lot faster.  Quite disappointingly, Redmi 3S Prime has opted/downgraded for a " Snapdragon 430 Octa Core 1.4 GHz" processor when compared to a relatively powerful Snapdragon 650 64-bit 1.8 GHz. This can mean significantly poor performance in the 3S Prime and can handle only very basic apps

  • Camera

The Redmi series have never enjoyed the brilliance of a Xiaomi Mi Series camera , but Note 3 offered  a very decent camera quality to the consumers and came with a 16MP/5MP camera
3S Prime, for reasons unknown comes with a reduced camera resolution of just 13MP in the rear while the front remains the same ( All early reports indicates a very poor photo clarity taken in the 3S prime)

  • Resolution 

Source :

Redmi Note 3 was on target with a Full HD, 1920 x 1080 Pixels resolution. The Redmi 3S prime on the other hand is just 1280 x 720 Pixels and doesnt offer a full HD resolution
(Again a significant downgrade from the Note 3 series)

Comparison Summary :

Redmi 3S Prime Redmi Note 3
Price 8999 11,999
Resolution HD, 1280 x 720 Pixels          Full HD, 1920 x 1080 Pixels
Graphics Adreno 505 Adreno 510
Processor Snapdragon 430  1.4 GHz   Snapdragon 650  1.8 GHz
Camera 13 megapixel  16 megapixel
Storage 32GB 32GB


Redmi Note 3 overpowers the 3S Prime in all aspects including Camera, Resolution, Processor and even a bigger screen size. Even if the 3K price difference bothers you, you can still opt for the 2GB Ram variant of Redmi Note 3 at 9K and be content, than purchasing the 3S Prime

With the 3S Prime, it clearly shows that the folks at Redmi and Xiaomi are just experimenting with their existing models without driving anything new. The mark of a Xiaomi brand is its innovation, quality and sturdiness. This is very clearly lacking in all departments when it comes to the 3S Prime. I'd sincerely hope Redmi discontinues the "Prime" series in future and stops experimenting on the Note series.

Buy it here : 

You can buy the Redmi 3S Prime here :
Redmi Note 3 Purchase Link :

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Le2 Review : Truly without compromise

LeEco Le2

I happened to be one of the lucky few (among several lakhs) to be fast enough to apply for "Customer experience Officer " option in LeTv and get my hands on the latest and spectacular #Le2, 6 days before its actual launch.

Having used the phone for the past week,  I should admit that, this by far is one of the best phones I've ever used till date ( I have used a wide variety of phones including Nokia, Samsung, Asus and Xiaomi). Incidentally this is the first LeTv phone I've used till date and being impressed is an understatement

Here's a short frank review of the newly launched #Le2


Key Highlights of Phone

       (Specs Image Source :

  • Price point of 12K , which to me is a brilliant offer for the amount of hardware specifications it carries along with it. Any brand with similar hardware specifications would easily cost 20K. The Mi5 has almost the exact specs(except for the Snapdragon 820) for more than double the price at 25,000
  • Rose Gold Colour and Design : The phone's design really stands out and the gold colour adds a beautiful touch to it . A 5.5' device, the phone comes with a nice silicon case , sleek and very easy to handle and operate. The phone is made very light and easy on the hands
  • The Le2 doesn't come with a standard 3.5 MM output but rather has an extra joining cable which can be used to connect the earphones. Not sure why this was done, but either ways, the clarity of sound and the speaker is excellent. It comes with a Dolby Atmos speaker and neatly placed in the bottom than the front or rear. This to some extent amplifies the sound volume and quite clear too
  • Remote Control feature through Wifi or Infrared sensor to operate any TV!! 
  • The user interface looks strikingly similar to an iOS. However on top of this, the phone's interface is easy to handle and the navigation is very fast. The notification bar is retrieved by selecting the left button than scrolling down the top bar , unlike other phones. Guess you can get used to it in a couple of days. 
    • An interesting feature is where the phone's unlocking option aligns to the right when you try unlocking with the right hand thumb and vice versa . For a 5.5' screen this is very useful as you are able to operate it quite easily in one hand. 
  • The fingerprint unlocking feature is super fast and unlocks the phone in microseconds as you place the finger on top of it.
  • Camera : The camera is one of the key highlights of the phone. A 16MP camera in rear and 8MP in front, it has a wide variety of options to take spectacular shots (incl HDR/Panorama/Slow motion videos). It has also options to change ISO,White Balance, Contrast,Saturation etc which seems to be a glaring miss in many high end phones these day. Camera quality is definitely upto the mark (far better than its predecessor) 

  • 3GB RAM and Snapdragon 620 processor is a major plus for those heavy usage users. Battery easily lasts for more than 1 day with significant usage 
  • Quick charging facility : Having been used to charging for more than 4+ hours, the #Le2 gets charged within the hour and even 10minutes of charging powers nearly 20% charge which can be incredibly useful for emergencies ( Charging port however is USB-C in the phone end and the standard USB 2.0 at the other end to connect to a charger/laptop) 
  • Le2 come with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). Key advantage being you can now control which app needs what kind of access. Ex : You can now prevent your games, music apps or others to access the web/camera/contacts/gallery etc. This ensures higher protection and privacy for your data 

    • One of the biggest highlights however is the Live TV option. With a click of a button I'm able to watch all TV channels live ( including Eng/Hindi/Telugu/Tamil news,sports,entertainment etc) . This is aided by a free 1 year LeEco membership when you buy the phone.

    Things that can improve

    • Radio is a glaring miss. I love to listen to all those radio shows many a time and lack of radio feels like a small disadvantage to me
    • Though 32 GB internal memory is sufficient, a lack of SD Card slot can be difficult sometimes. Even at a future state, when you want to format the phone, it would have been easier to just move contents to SD and hit format. This now requires me to backup to a cloud or PC and then reset (again only if required)
    •  Minor UI/Design changes to improve user experience and some more inbuilt options for a ringtone/wallpaper would have been nice ( but again you can get them easily online for free)

    Verdict - 9/10 (Highly recommended buy)

    Thursday, June 23, 2016

    Redmi Note 3 (Gold) Review

    Right from the onset, Xiaomi has set one objective quite clear. They want to emulate the iPhone models and someday try to be better than them. They began by pricing their phones (Starting with Mi3) nearly 30% of a usual iPhone . The phone had a rock solid metal body, a super fast OS without the Launcher (just like an iPhone) and a brilliant camera. Without any second guesses, stocks flew off the digital shelves, through the flash sales conducted by Flipkart

    Launch of Redmi Note 3 however has grabbed some eyeballs definitely, not because of their hardware specifications, but primarily the "iPhone" like design . Even the colours weren't spared as they have launched the exact 3 colours of the iPhone 6/6S, namely Silver, Space Grey and wait for it, Rose Gold.

    But nevertheless, the Redmi Note 3 definitely warrants a good rating

    Price  (Rating : 10/ 10)

    The price point is almost exactly similar to other recently launched models. The 10-13K price segment is the hottest in the industry and almost everyone prefers to get something in this budget. (Very few actually opt in for the 25K phones and there's a whole different segment that insists on getting only a 50K iPhone)
    Redmi Note 3 is priced at 10K and should definitely admit that it is worth every penny for that price or even more. Good luck even finding a piece , as most pieces seem to fly out of the shelves every time it comes back in stock

    Processor (Rating 8/10)

    A Snapdragon 650 Processor easily does the trick for Redmi Note 3 . The apps loads very fast and doesn't seem to have any lagging issues

    Battery (Rating : 10/ 10) :

    One of the most impressive features about the phone is its humongous battery capacity. With a 4050mah battery, this easily gets to power for more than 1-1.5 days even with heavy usage. That to me is a single major advantage that tips the favour of this phone. Almost all phones in the 10-13K doesn't cross the 3000mah limit

     Storage (Rating : 8 / 10) 

      It comes with a default 16GB storage and a optional SD Card slot which relieve the phone of some of the large photo and music files a user wanna carry. Incidentally it also comes with a 32 GB version at 2K extra . On a practical note, the same 16gb SD card would cost you anywhere less than 300rs and better to spend on that instead of a 32gb version model

    RAM (Rating : 6 /10) :

    Slightly disappointing expectations on this front, the Note 3 comes with only a 2GB RAM and almost everyone would have second guessed and expected a 3GB RAM. The extra 1GB RAM if it had been there would have made a lot of difference to handle several applications and big graphic intensive games. However for a normal user who'd probably use it only for Music/FB/Calling/Whatsapp, 2GB is more than sufficient for the phone to handle its tasks.  You may tend to see some minor overheating now and then after a long call or playing a game, but it shouldn't be of any concern

    Camera (Rating : 6 /10 )

    The most important feature while selecting a phone is the camera. Xiaomi usually has excellent cameras in their phone , since their Mi3. However the Redmi series has always been a letdown in the camera perspective and never really had much focus on it.  Though they claim to have a 16MP camera rear and 5MP in front, the photos lack sharpness and not as bright in comparison with a similarly priced phone like the Moto G3/G4

    OS , General Performance, Design & Overall Rating  :  8/10

    Xiaomi 's MIUI is fantastic as always. Smooth , launcher less user interface and works like a charm. It never seems to hang even when multiple applications were opened . The design is also beautiful with the Golden colour to be the highlight of this launch.

    Verdict : A definite buy and easily one among the top budget phones in the market

    Thursday, April 14, 2016

    10 Things they dont say when you buy an iPhone

    You are out on the market searching for a new mobile, and most people would blindly recommend you an Apple iPhone. When you ask them why is it cool, they'll say , "Oh, because its an iPhone.". Yes, the phone may act as a good status symbol and the latest versions are pretty fast. But that's about it. When you boil down to the finer tech specs, this is what you'll be missing , when you compare to a 10,000 Rs Android phone :

    1. No Dual Sim Card Slots : Yes , every basic Android phone worth 5000 INR has a dual sim card slot, but with an iPhone 6/6S you always have to stick with a single sim card (Probably a easier way to make you buy 2 iPhones for 50,000 each)

    2. No Radio. So if you're someone who loves to listen to the FM radio, you'd be sorely disappointed

    3. No Expandable External Memory  : If your phone comes with a default 16 GB or 32 GB, your available internal memory will be 5GB lesser than that . So you always need to be conscious of that growing space with every photo you click or every song and video you upload through iTunes (iPhone OS updates require atleast couple of GB left for it to do a complete updation, so you need to keep check on that as well . This is also an easy way to make further money by forcing you to buy an expensive Apple iCloud subscription

    4. Quality of Lightning Cable : The data/charging cable which is called a lightening cable comes only for 6 months or max 1 year ( if you're lucky) . So get yourself a new cable in your warranty just before the 12th month (even if your existing cable is working fine) so that you can work for another 6-10 months.    The failure rate of the cable after 10 months is nearly 90%. Those new cables come at a hefty price of a min 800-1000 INR

    5. The phone doesnt support OTG  cables or OTG Pen drives. OTG pen drives is a dual pen drive which can be used in a laptop and the other end of the drive in a phone (     But iPhone given their different size specifications as well as compatibility doesnt support this.

    6. Syncing : File transfer is the biggest thing that you may crib about post getting an iPhone. It'll never be the easy Ctrl C + Ctrl V that you always did in an Android or Windows phone. Files has to be synced to a iTunes app, synced, and then the phone has to be resynced to download those songs or pictures. Every single time ! You may feel better off not listening to those songs than doing the whole sync process

    7. No Gorilla Glass Protection: Yes, your 50,000 INR iPhone lasts only until the first accidental drop with no hardened display or gorilla glass protection . The display can easily get shattered even if you use a tempered glass on top of it.. So you need to think whether you need to get a 50K iPhone that can last only one single drop

    8. Display Problems : In case you do damage your display accidentally you have the following 2 choices:

    • Original Display Replacement: An original iPhone display will not be usually available. In the case of say iPhone 6 or 6s, the iPhone service center will offer you a refurbished iPhone for 24,000 in exchange for your old phone. This refurbished device has no warranty, will not come with any accessory and you have no idea how long it will last. Paying 24K for that is downright ridiculous
    • Duplicated Display Replacement :  Unless you live in the metros, getting a replacement display for an iPhone is very tough (Irrespective of which model) . In the big cities, you can only get yourself a duplicate display imported from China in a local bazaar which will cost you roughly 8-10K including labor charges (for iPhone 5C/6/6S). The guy will usually offer you 3 months local warranty and chances are that the display will go off in 6 months is fairly high. Consider yourself lucky if it works for more than a year .

    9. Loss of Value : When the next iPhone version gets released, the existing's model retail price will be reduced by almost half and your current phone's valuation goes for a huge nose dive. Eg. iPhone 5S that was selling initially at 50K is now 21K in Flipkart and Amazon

    10. Non Bluetooth Tethering : You want to transfer that important photo or song from a friend's phone. Well you cant do that with Bluetooth unless he has an iPhone too

    Friday, April 8, 2016

    Sony MDR-XB30EX Review

    If you ask me which is difficult , choosing a good phone or choosing a good pair earphone, I'd definitely choose the latter. When it comes to choosing a phone, the specifications are pretty explicit and you have a limited no of brands to choose . This makes the process far more easier and you can narrow it down quite easily to 2-3

    But when it comes to choosing a pair of earphone you need something ,within your budget, that can give you the sound output equivalent to a super expensive brand and at the same time should be comfortable wearing it and of course long lasting.

    A simple search for earphones in all e-commerce websites gave me a list of 40-50 brands each boasting of the best sound quality, at low prices, with great bass and treble  . The process becomes even tough when you have to narrow it down to 4-5 , after sifting through thousands of reviews , both positive and negative. E-commerce retailing can always give you a small disadvantage of not having hearing the sound directly or feeling its touch to see if you are ok with it. Some of my initial choices included a Creative earphones, Philips, House of Marley , Sound Logic ES and of course Sony

    With all the other brands, you know that you'll be expecting a fairly straight mid range vocals and a controlled bass. Sometimes the sound can be as flat as it can get and leaves you wanting for that punchy bass feeling that you always wanted.  Sony, in this case has delivered just that

    The SonyMDR-XB30EX has the "Extra Bass" in its name itself and delivers a powerful, rich, high bass which no other earphone in this range or even extra can remotely deliver. The sounds are clear, the bass is phenomenal as the pulsating beats can totally deliver a superior performance

    I recall a scene in Jobs movie , when he says : "Both "Coach and Economy land in the same runway, but they cant be the same". This is where you realize the power of Sony.

    Sony is one of those premium brands that can always be classy to carry around and you know it screams of quality and power. It has the potential to turn you into that ultimate bass head as you begin to swing your head to the tunes of the punchy bass.

    I tested these quite extensively with various tracks of DJ LikeMike, The Knife, Hardwell, Metallica and of course some punchy beats of Rahman and the sound output was outstanding. The initial period during burn-in can be a bit wavery but it just gets so much better after that

    Price :

    Rs.1689 in Amazon :
    Rs.1985 in Flipkart   : 

    Note : This is one of the most popular versions which is duplicated in China. So please be careful and not buy any variants which costs you around 400-450 in less reliable sites like Shopclues

    The Flipkart and Amazon link posted above have been personally verified to be original and safe to buy

    Summary :

    This is one of the best bass earphones in the market and totally worth every penny of it. Chances are that once you get to hear this earphone, you will never go back to any other model or brand

    Pros :

    • Excellent Bass
    • 4Hz- 24000Hz Frequency Response
    • 13.5 MM driver that provides the additional bass
    • Good price point in the 1500-2000Rs segment.  Comparable brands of similar quality will easily cost Rs.3000+
    • Additional earbuds are provided based on ear size


    Just be very careful while purchasing it, as there are many sites and sellers dealing in duplicate copies of this and you can easily be misled.

    Verdict : A definite buy for all music lovers !!

    Saturday, April 2, 2016

    Xiaomi Mi 5 : A Pre - Review !

    The much awaited day for Xiaomi loyalists is here. A breed , similar to Apple users, Xiaomi users have predominantly stuck to the brand quite fiercely since its launch in India.

    Unlike Apple which saw it going back on the technology line to launch an  smaller 4' iPhone SE phone for a 40,000 INR pricetag, Xiaomi has held strong to launch a really fast powerful phone and from the features , it certainly doesn't disappoint. They certainly have delivered and even beaten expectations

    Price : 25K INR
    To begin with ,this is by far their most expensive phones at a price tag of 24,999 . Can it see a price drop after 4-5 months ?
    Most probably yes, probably to compete with the likes of Nexus 5X and OnePlusTwo (both of them started at 25000 and now selling it at 23,000)

    The Mi4 during its launch was priced at 20-21K price tag and now retailing at just 15K in Flipkart. Though the sales of Mi4 hadnt taken off like its predecessor Mi3 , they are high chances that the Mi5 might definitely a big hit

    So what do we get new for the extra 10K in the Mi5, when compared with the Mi4 ?

    Storage : 32GB (non expandable)

    Mi5 now sports a 32 GB internal memory compared to 16GB internal space in Mi4
    Again, there is no external SD card slot, but to a large segment of the population, 32 GB should be more than sufficient. It however supports OTG Pen drives which can be used to access external storage data

    Battery : With no surprise, Mi5 comes with a 3100 mah non-removable battery , that can easily last more than a day or two depending on heavy your usage is and can definitely not leave you stranded with no battery to spare at a crucial time

    Processor & Speed : One of the key points of Xiaomi phones are their minimalistic interfaces and fast response times. With a Snapdragon 820 Processor and 3GB RAM, this is definitely gonna be way faster than its predecessors

    Camera :  MI claims that it has a special 4axis  optical image stabilization and a next gen 16MP sensor with a sony camera . This is one of their key selling points for Mi5 ,but early product reviewers claim it may not be the case. Though the images may definitely be way sharper and better than other Mi Phones, it may not really give a run for its money when compared to the raw images shots of Nexus , OnePlus 2 or the Iphone 6s (This is a point not personally tested and only mentioning from general reviews of product testers yet)

    Other Miscellaneous Features :
    • USB C connectivity
    • Quick charge option
    • Fingerprint Sensors
    • 3D Glass Body (No more cheap plastics)

    Verdict : Can someone consider ditching that expensive 50K iPhone and go for the Mi5?

    A definite Yes without a moment's notice !!