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Acer Swift 7 Laptop Review: TE Award 2017 Winner.

6:46 PM Add Comment

           The words thinner, lighter and faster are some of the known words which we usually come across when it comes to the brand name, Apple. For the past couple of years, Competitors have tried their best to match those borders created by the tech giant. So challenging that point, Acer joins the territory of being the thinnest ever Ultrabook series by the company: winning themselves the Taiwan Excellence Award for the category. This exact laptop will be showcased at the upcoming Convergence India 2017 event, Speaking of which, I got an early glimpse of the product & Here are my initial thoughts regarding the Acer Swift 7 - The Thinnest Laptop to this date.

Acer Swift 7 Review: Wins the TE Award 2017.

Acer Swift 7 Specs:
  • 13 inch IPS LCD with 1920*1080 HD Resolution.
  • 1.2 GHz Intel Core i5 (7th Gen) Processor with 8GB DDR3 RAM.
  • 256GB SSD with no optical drive support.
  • It comes with WiFi, Bluetooth, 2 x USB 3.1 slots & a touchpad for connectivity.
  • Provides up to 9hrs of backup & has a four cell Lithium-ion type battery.
  • For the Audio, It comes with Dolby Audio and Acer True Harmony support.
  • Windows 10(64-bit).
  • Ultrabook weighing 1.1 KG & 0.39 inch thick which is astounding.

Acer Swift 7 - Design:
            The first sticking appeal when hold it would be, How thin the laptop is! It is one of the best-designed laptops I've ever seen & So will be your case, once you hold it. The Matte black aluminum body gives it a nice overall feel complementing the design of the Acer Swift 7. The combination of the gold inner surface and matter exterior coupled with the chamfered edges just exudes premium ability from every corner or angle. It joins the league of being slim around the 12-inch MacBook & HP Spectre series. It's due to the spacing between the keyboard & the screen which stands as a high point in the design department. The same lightweight appeal feels solid when it comes to content creation as you won't feel the laptop heavy when kept on your laps or knees. You don't even need to worry about any flexing issue at all; just in case you're worried.

 Acer Swift 7 Processing Power:

           The design is not only the segment where the new Acer Swift 7 touts to excel at its best, As processing adds up as a major point in its alley. Acer has gone ahead with the new Intel Core M series processor, which is an energy efficient chipset. Your day to day tasks which include content creation may that be photoshop, writing or editing videos on the Adobe suite would be a breeze. The same is also said well when it comes to the benchmarks; Results are quite decent for a laptop which is lightweight and something which goes toe to toe with the 12-inch Macbook & HP's Spectre series. The performance is in regards to the SSD speeds which helps in achieving better read and write speeds. The added 9hrs of battery life, support for 2×2 802.11ac WIFI with MU-MIMO is a bonus.

Final Thoughts:
            Whether it's the slim form factor or the thinnest design, Acer surely has challenged the status quote with the Swift 7 series ultrabook. The particular reason made it's debut in the Taiwan Excellence Awards chartering them an award for the design appeal of this ultrabook. Whereas TE would be showcasing their best picks from the tech world with over 100 products at Convergence India 2017. Convergence India 2017 is a nationwide event which houses the latest glimpse of the tech world from Telecom, Broadcast, Cable and Satellite TV, Cloud & Big Data, IoT, Digital Homes, Mobile devices, Film and Radio, Content Creation, Management, and Delivery, etc. On top of that they also house sessions from the leading leaders guiding the IOT industries. So make sure to visit them here & have an in-depth info about the schedule.

*This is a sponsored post*.

Brainwavz M3 Review: IEM Earphones for Rs.5400?

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Brainwavz M3 Review

           Recently Brianwavz launched their brand new Brianwavz M3 IEM Noise isolating earphones in India for a quite hefty price. Up until now, I've got a chance to review various Brainwavz Earphones though all of these fall under Rs.4000 price range. So judging the earphones considering the mid-range or affordable tag regarding sound output was rather a tad easier. But the new Brainwavz M3 earphones cost you about Rs. 5399 which would immediately create a diversion in any user's mind concerning: Are they worth it? Since finding a great pair of earphones under any budget is always a tough task. The company claims that the M3 is capable of delivering excellent sound when it comes to Highs, Lows, and Mids. So after using the Brainwavz M3 for well over two weeks, Here is my in-depth Brainwavz M3 Review.

Brainwavz M3 Review: IEM Earphones for Rs.5400?

M3 IEM Specifications:
  • It has a frequency response between 20Hz to 20 kHz.
  • It has got 10.7mm dynamic drivers which provide a rated impedance of 20 ohms.
  • It has input power rated at ten mW, While the sensitivity is 115 dB at one mW.
  • The M3 has a 1.3m long oxygen free cable which is silver plated and has a Y-cord in the mid area. Whereas it has a 3.5mm gold plated audio jack(45°) in the end.

Design & Build:
Brainwavz M3 Review

           The moment you hold the Brianwavz M3 you would realize that the primary earpiece units have a rather different and unusual design, which would be typically found on Bluetooth earphones. The extra space or a hump which you might observe on the central units is useful in providing accurate highs, mids, and lows. Whereas it also doubles as a spot given to fit the earphones snugly inside your ears. That could get imagined as a permanent ear fins attached to your earphones. While that extra hump does perform the job of fitting earphones correctly and the grip is excellent. The main earpiece is made up of plastic whereas there is a metal layer which adds premium appeal to the M3, That metal strip also helps in indicating the left and right unit. Moving along the cable on this earphone is termed as oxygen free cable, which means that you will observe fewer tangles. Well, that has been genuine, and with a typical flick of the wrist, Any knots sort up correctly. Moving ahead through the cable, you would notice a Y-joint ahead, while there is no in-line mic present on these earphones which follows the footprints of its predecessors. Whereas lastly there's a 3.5mm jack present at the back which fits in smoothly, but the only thing which I hate is it's 45° angle orientation, As it gets removed, pocket-friendly league. So, in the end, the design implementation feels odd visually, but it helps in real world usage for adding that needed grip retaining a light form factor.

Audio Output & Ergonomics:
              So I've used a couple of Brainwavz Earphones which lie in the M range series. Accordingly the M1, M2 series have been known for producing a balanced output. Therefore I was expecting a similar footprint here along as well, While that is what I observed. But given that hefty price tag, I was looking for a lot more regarding Bass, but the output didn't felt appealing to my ears. Sure it is an improvement from its predecessors, while the audio output is crisp and punchy, but the bass lays on the flat side in my opinion. The Highs, Lows, and Mids as described were observed in my usage as the vocals were properly audible in any playback formats which sometimes are overshadowed by few earphones. Apart from the vocals, the Electronic music played well rather the Brainwavz M3 did a great job in this department. It did a great job in reproducing a balanced output, but the only thing which felt flat in my opinion was that punchy bass output. That been said I was testing these earphones via a CDLA connector which eventually connected to these earphones through my LeEco Le 2. So this is what I observed in my usage pattern, Overall it fits the check mark for a quality pair of earphones. Although using these earphones for an extensive period might make it feel uncomfortable, which I believe won't be a good idea. But again if you only swap the default ear tips with the provided comfy Eartips then you might observe comfort, As I did.

In-built Accessories & Warranty Info:

Brainwavz M3 Review

              The first thing you would notice as soon as you hold any Brianwavz earphones box is that it's loaded with detailed information about the product inside. That is very appreciated as the user gets a bird's eye view of the product, Many other brands fail in this department as they only put all the manufacturing information which is unnecessary in my opinion. So the Brianwavz M3 comes inside a hard shell box which houses six different sets of silicone ear tips in all sizes, a Velcro zip, shirt clip, one set of Comply Ear-tips & Lastly a warranty card which doubles as a user manual. Speaking of which the M3 comes bundled with two years of warranty which is typically double the than any other usual Brianwavz Earphone.

Price & Links To Buy:
             These earphones have been priced at Rs.5399 which is whoppingly high than most of their in-ear style earphones. Whereas to you can buy it from following sites: Flipkart, Amazon.

Brianwavz M3 Review - Worth the Rs.5399 price tag? Final Thoughts:

Brainwavz M3 IEM Review
             The Brianwavz M3 earphones are for those who want a decent design, punchy sound quality, crisp vocals, deep lows, mids, and highs. Whereas it's also for those, who don't have any budget restrictions on their mind while buying any earphones. I liked the Build & Sound quality which is why I can recommend it. But if you think about deep bass, Then it's not even close in my list. I feel that these earphones have been slightly overpriced for the output which they provide. I would rather recommend one buying a Brainwavz BLU-200 earphones which are an excellent pair of earphones priced well under Rs.4000. So that's about it when it comes to the Brianwavz M3 Review If you've any doubts or queries regarding the same just leave them in the comments below.

Also See: Brainwavz BLU-200 Earphones review.

Nokia 6 with Android Nougat 7.0 officially launched in China: Specs, Price.

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           After a long sleep of nearly four years going through highs and lows, Nokia is officially back in the game. The brand Nokia under the company HMD Global was earlier rumored to announce not one but a total of 7 devices at the upcoming MWC 2017 in Barcelona. We were totally excited for this, But today out of a sudden the Company made headlines by launching the brand new Nokia 6 in China. Nokia 6 is their mid-range full-fledged Android smartphone, which is not related to Microsoft by any means. The phone has decent specifications, but it's not the phone, but rather the comeback has excited the fans globally. Under the parent company HMD Global, Nokia marks its first step with the new year bringing back some of the most iconic nostalgic memories from the past. So let's understand more about the new Nokia 6 Smartphone with regards to its price, specs, and availability.

nokia 6 official launched


Nokia 6 with Android Nougat 7.0 Launched in China: Specs, Price:

             So HMD Global is the company which had secured the brand name Nokia in late 2016 when the deal acquisition between Nokia and Microsoft got terminated. Thus ever since HMD Global has been the parent to the brand Nokia and officially owns the rights to the Nokia brand name concerning the license. As a result of which Nokia 6 was officially announced today in China. HMD Global assures that they will take care in providing quality products worth supplementing the iconic Nokia brand. Nokia products launched under HMD Global would bring back the Nokia Design, Build, Endurance and Elegance from the past in a bold fashion resembling their first ever device, the Nokia 6. The company adds that It takes nearly 55 minutes to craft an entire Nokia 6 from a single solid block of 6000 series aluminum. Then it undergoes two different set of anodizing processes which takes nearly Ten hours to complete. Later on, it's again polished for about five mins to obtain the final result of a well-built aluminum uni-body design.
Nokia 6 Price.

Nokia 6 Specs:

                So the brand new Nokia 6 has a 5.5 inch Full HD hybrid in-cell display, Whereas it has a 2.5D curved glass on the edges. While speaking about protection, it has got covered by the corning gorilla glass. While remember the clear black display technology from the past Nokia Belle smartphones? HMD Global says that similar technology has been applied to the display on Nokia 6 which helps in an excellent readability, as claimed by the company. Speaking about the processor, The Nokia 6 comes with the Qualcomm's Snapdragon 430 Octacore chipset housing X6 LTE modem which claims to provide enhanced battery life & a better graphics performance. The processor has been coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB Internal storage, Whereas no official word on expansion with memory card slot. But I feel that 64GB is more than enough. On top of that, it runs on the latest version of Android Nougat 7.1. However, I don't have any information as to whether it runs on stock version or if they have any skin on top of it.

                While if you speak about the design, I feel that it looks like a Oneplus 2 morphed into an iPhone 4 body. Whereas if we are talking about that, the Nokia 6 has dual amplifiers on board which is stated to deliver 6DB louder sound than any other conventional amplifier. That is possible due to the inbuilt Dolby Atmos support. Moving to the camera department, It houses a 16MP Rear camera with PDAF, F/2.0 aperture & 8MP Front Camera. They also have their particular camera application which is said to take better pictures with some software algorithm tweaks.

Nokia 6 Specs, Price.

   Starting on the China launch, Mr. Arto Nummela, CEO - HMD Global expressed that, “Just a short while ago, we announced the launch of HMD Global. From the outset, we have stated that we aim to move with speed to establish a position as a player in the smartphone category & create products that truly meet consumer needs. The Nokia 6 is a result of listening to our customers who desire a beautifully crafted handset with exceptional durability, entertainment, & display features. Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market. We start today, with our premium, high-quality Nokia 6; built to deliver a fantastic core user experience for Chinese consumers. We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year.”

             Check out his last statement from above which clearly mentions that they will be launching more smartphones in the first half of 2017 itself. According to some rumors, there are seven smartphones which would get launched in future.

Nokia 6 Price & Availability:
              Nokia 6 has been priced at 1699 CNY which is approximately 245$(Rs.16,500 approx). However, it'll mark it's debut exclusively via in early 2017 across China.

Nokia 6 with Android Nougat 7.0 officially launched in China: Specs, Price.

             The new Nokia 6 is rather a physical implementation of the nostalgic memories of the hardcore Nokia enthusiasts. "The better late, than never" come back has taken up on fire across the Internet today. Looking up at photos online, It seems like Nokia is back with a bauce. I can't wait to see it announced in India and provide an extensive look at the same. HMD Global is excited to announce their first product while teasing about the upcoming smartphones in the first half of 2017. So let us know, what you guys think about the Nokia 6 in the comments below. While share this awesome news with your friends and most importantly family, As the camaraderie, is back.

Honor 6X soon to be Launched In India: Specs, Price, and Availability[Accompanies Cheapest Dual Camera Lens].

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               For a while, the Company Huawei Honor has a been on a ride of announcing Dual Camera lens-centric smartphones. While if we speak about that, The Huawei P9, Honor 8 & Honor 8 smart has been a resemblance of how the cameras should be structured to obtain a well-constructed shot. So after the success of these smartphones, Huawei's Honor wants to extend their dual lens setup today in the mid-range market in India with their newest device, Honor 6X. Hence after having the taste of the Honor 6X for a while, It won't be wrong to judge that it stands as the best mid-range smartphone that offers excellent camera performance under Rs.15,000 price tag. It was launched a few months ago in China, due to which rumors got surrounded whether it would make it's debut in India soon enough. On the contrary, We were fortunate to get an early hands-on experience before it's actual official debut. Therefore some of our words may vary with the final version of the Honor 6X. As today it has been officially announced globally, let's find out more about the Honor 6X with regards to its price, specs, and availability.

Honor 6X soon to be Launched In India: Specs, Price, and Availability [Accompanies Cheapest Dual Camera Lens].

Processing Power, Display & Build:

                 So the Honor 6X houses the Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 655 Octacore chipset(16nm) which comes with a 64-bit architecture clocked at 2.1 GHz. On the graphics side, It has a Mali-T830 MP2 chipset. Speaking about the RAM, The Honor 6X differentiates in two models one that comes with 3GB housing a 32GB Internal Storage, While the second model comes with 4GB RAM and 64GB Internal Storage. The expansion is available on both of these via a MicroSD Memory Card Slot with up to 256GB. However, it'll only hit your spot if having a Hybrid SIM tray is fine on your end(1 SIM+Memory Card / 2 SIM+No memory card). As of the real world performance, I played with the Honor 6X for more than 2hours, and I didn't notice any hiccups. App load times were smooth enough, and even the multi-window mode was available on it despite the fact that it was running on Android Marshmallow 6.0, So that was interesting. Whereas the company also briefed us on the upcoming Nougat update hitting it & other devices later in the year. Finally talking about the battery it has got a 3340mAh Li-polymer non-removable battery onboard. While as a bonus, Fast charging has been incorporated into this device.

Honor 6X Launch In India

                Concerning the physical appeal, The Honor 6X sports an 8.2-mm thin body & has an overall large form factor, which amps up the weight to 162 grams. All that seems convincing as it has got a metal built, But to my liking, I didn't felt it hefty by any means. The Honor 6X has got a beautiful 5.5 inch IPS LCD panel which supports 1080p Full HD resolution maxing out to 401ppi. While speaking of beautiful things, It has a 2.5D curved display on the front which helps in providing a uniform shape on its entirety. However, there's no official word yet whether it has got any glass protection display on the front. The fingerprint scanner below the camera setup follows a similar footprint from it's elder brothers; It's not clickable, but the gestures have been implemented here. One of my most loved ones has to be swipe down to pull the notification shade. Also, it has got On-Screen buttons which are great, but the protruding chin and similar matching forehead make it look large. But hey, what can one ask more for such a pricing? If you're getting a well-equipped device regarding performance, Expect few comprises in little areas.

Honor 6X Camera (Dual Lens Setup):

Honor 6X Launched In India

                The Camera segment is where the Honor 6X shines not because it houses a tag of affordable "Dual-Lens" setup being it's USP, But because it performs exceptionally well in real world. In fact, I can claim it right now that the sales for this device are going to be on fire. Speaking of the camera, the Honor 6X sports a dual lens setup with the first sensor being a 12MP unit, while the secondary being a 2MP unit. The design implementation on it keeps the camera module intact, though the camera setup bulges out. It has a glass construction built beside the dual lens setup, which signifies the term "More the light into the sensor better is the output." So speaking about implementation, The engineering team has done a great job. The rear setup takes Full HD 1080p videos at 30FPS which can be a shame considering the dual lens setup. But the absence of 4K won't be a regretting factor since the output quality of a 1080p video might serve your needs judging the quality, in my opinion, based upon my hands on usage. Besides that the lens blur mode works perfectly on the Honor 6X. There are several modes available on the default camera app including Manual Mode for Photos and a dedicated Manual Mode for Videos. Tough if you take HDR pictures there's some lag observed, Though that could get fixed in future software updates. We took several photos in extremely low lighting conditions, and the results were solidly appealing with proper contrast & deeper blacks. Whereas it also holds a LED flash beside the dual lens setup. Whereas if you're confused about the dual setup, It mimics the thought process of HTC's Dual camera implementation to create a depth of field. The 2MP sensor performs that task of a mapping the view and creating subtle blurs on the lens blue mode.

Honor 6X Dual camera

               If you switch the sides on the front, The Honor 6X has an 8MP Camera. Again it does a job of taking significantly better photos than anyone else even under Rs.20000 segment. Sure there is a little bit of noise sometimes, But judging the quality and the fact that I took photos under low light, That impressed me a lot. The front camera has also got few modes up its sleeve. If I get a review unit, I'll explore more on this topic.

Software Info:

Honor 6X Launched In India Dual camera

               It runs on EMUI 4.1 build on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0 with Huawei honor's own flare of customizations. Their several signature fingerprint gestures and Multiwindow mode makes its way here. Whereas there's no App drawer found on EMUI 4.1 which is suitable to my liking, while Speaking about bloatware it's on the small side.

Honor 6X Price & Availability:
               The Honor 6X is available in four different colors from gold, silver, grey and rose gold colour variants. Whereas speaking about the price, it'll be as follows for the respective variant:

3GB RAM: $150
4GB RAM(32 GB): $190
4GB RAM(64 GB): $240

Let's have a quick run down over the Honor 6X Specs:
  • HiSilicon Kirin 655 Octa-core chipset (2.1 GHz Cortex-A53 Quad Core & 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 Quad Core).
  • Mali T830MP2 with 3GB RAM (32GB Internal) & 4GB RAM (64GB Internal).
  • Expansion is available up to 256GB(Hybrid SIM).
  • 5.5 Inch Full HD IPS LCD Screen(2.5D curved glass, 401 PPI).
  • Primary Camera: 12MP + 2MP Dual Lens Setup, shoots 1080p@30fps with LED Flash.
  • Secondary front camera: 8MP.
  • Fingerprint Scanner (0.3S unlock).
  • 3340mAh li-polymer non-removable battery with fast charging support.
  • Supports WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1 and comes with 4G VoLTE enabled.
  • Dual SIM device(Nano Sims, Hybrid slot).
  • Runs on Emotion UI 4.1 build on Android 6.0.
  • Colors: Silver, gray, blue, rose gold.

Does Honor 6X have the best dual camera lens setup in the affordable mid-range segment? Final Verdict:

 Honor 6X Launched In India Dual camera

               Well, I'll straight rest this judgement on my side as I've not used this device for an extended period. But for a while that I got to spent with the Honor 6X, It has excited me since I've used a couple of devices ranging under Rs.15000 while they've never hit the mark of calling them a perfect mid-range smartphone. But I guess with such a camera, robust software integrations & overall look and feel; It might be the next big thing in the mid-range market, in my opinion, hands down. So what do you guys think? Do you like it's camera performance? Let me know in the comments below.

Honor 6X Unboxing & Hands On[India Exclusive]:

Also See: Huawei P9 - Understanding The Leica Lens System

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review: Excellent Build under Rs.1000

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Evidson Audiowear R5 Review

             Earlier this month, Evidson announced their newest pair of Budget friendly earphones, the Evidson Audiowear R5. These pair of earphones are targeted towards the affordable section and towards the users who are looking for having a decent experience under Sub Rs.1000 price range. I was lucky enough to try these earphones, While after using it for the past week I've come up with some conclusions with whether you should buy it or not. I compared it with many other earphones in this price range and with most cases, R5 had the upper hand. It provides an excellent bass experience and comes with an in-line mic with play pause buttons. To my eyes, It's design feels similar to that of OnePlus Bullets V2 earphones. So let's find out more about these earphones in my Evidson Audiowear R5 Review.

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review:

Build & Design:

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review                 
               Speaking about the main unit, it's a metal alloy build with soft edges, and it feels pretty lightweight. Everything from the imprinted Evidson logo, left and right marks seem pretty accurate regarding physical design appeal. At first, I felt that these primary units must be made out of plastic considering it's price, but I was wrong. Such kind of design would make it long lasting and durable in rough & tough situations. While if scroll down from the main unit, the cables are flat & made of a matte rubberized material which provides an excellent grip. So far the only thing I've observed here is the weak joint which connects the cable and the main earphone unit. But in my testing period I've not encountered any issues with it so far, So that's a pass in my judgment. Rounding it off the in-line mic is also present here Since most of the brands avoid this in such a price segment. Though that mic quality is pretty average and, it'll handle your basic call conversations. That in-line mic remote also houses play/pause and volume buttons which provide good feedback. If you speak about the silicone ear tips, S, M & L sizes are offered to fit for every ear and talking about fitting, It snugs inside correctly at least that's what happened in my case. Whereas they're comfortable too, so that adds as a definite point in its alley. In the end, it's finally right on my end to recommend anyone a good looking pair of Earphones in this price segment. But does that follow up in its audio performance?

Audio Output & Ergonomics:

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review

              Apart from its Design, the Evidson Audiowear R5 does a commendable job while staying in the sub Rs.1000 price segment. So the Audio output was crisp and on the warm side with accurate mids, and a decent amount of high & low shallow tunes. Though the Evidson Audiowear R5 has a decent amount of bass which is suitable enough to please an average user's mind. I played several tracks via these earphones on my devices including a varying flick of different genres. Whereas depending upon that usage, I feel that these earphones do a better job in vocals than the electronic music. So popular tracks will play fine, and after looking at the audience base in India, It won't be any issue for the users here. Whereas I observed a different kind of listening experience on the R5 Earphones, The left unit gave high vocals and flat audio tracks & the right unit did the exact opposite. I don't know whether this is the case with every R5 Earphone; However, this won't create a problem on your hearing end as the output from both the units gets mixed when you listen to any particular track.

Added Accessories & Warranty Info:
               So along with the Evidson Audiowear R5 Earphones you get 2 different sets of silicone ear tips & that's it. Well considering the price and all the added benefits that come along with its price, It's perfectly fine, and many wouldn't complain at all. However, it comes with one year of warranty, and these earphones are a Made in India product.

Evidson Audiowear R5 Specifications:
  • It has a rated impedance of 15.8 ohms with 106dB sensitivity at 1mW.
  • Frequency response lies between 30 Hz to 20 kHz.
  • The R5 has a flat style cable, and it is 1.2 meters long. Whereas as a  bonus it has a 3.5mm Gold plated audio jack having no weird 45° angles(It has a straight connector).

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review - Final Verdict:

Evidson Audiowear R5 Review

              If you're interested to find earphones under Rs.1000, Then the R5 could be a right choice. Excellent vocals, Decent Bass and Music output along with the presence of in-line mic remote everything is just right on, Perfect. These are available online at a price of Rs.899 INR only. Considering this price range, Sennheiser CX-180 is one of the top choices by the users across Internet, But with the added in-line mic, Audiowear R5 has an edge here. But can you consider it against Cx-180? Well, it is a winner in every other department other than the Audio segment, Since here it's almost similar. So what do you guys think about the Audiowear R5? Would you buy it & If Yes, Why? Let me know in the comments below.

Links to Buy:
Flipkart, Amazon.

Also See:  Evidson Sound Supreme X55 Earphones Review

PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

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PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

           Demonetization is a word which has been the talking point for about the past month in our country. But if you flip the coin, isn’t there a need to eradicate that old, usual transaction method and go paperless? Even though there might be a major issue replacing the old notes, there are many ways in which one can utilize their money for the things they need to buy. The primary solution, and another talking point presently, is digital payments. So today let's find out how PhonePe could be your next digital wallet with its robust & secure online payment services.

PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

           So PhonePe is a digital payment platform built specifically for mobile devices. Presently, only the Android version is available, but the iOS version is also expected to hit the market soon.  With a host of features, including PhonePe's trademark "Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which allows direct bank-to-bank transfers with only the recipient’s mobile number," this app helps you in connecting your bank account to your app for wallet payments. Speaking of which, PhonePe stands in the league of the trusted and secure digital payment platforms in the country, when compared to several other E-Wallet platforms. So let's understand everything behind the app in-depth and the services they offer which are unique and most necessary considering Demonetization in our country.

Important features of the PhonePe App Ecosystem:
  • MPIN Feature:  It's like adding an extra sheet of security on each of your transactions, as without MPIN, the transaction wouldn't take place. Consider it as a replica of ATM Pin, whereas just like the ATM Pin, You shouldn't share your MPIN to anyone. The MPIN Feature is a part of PhonePe's UPI system, where one can perform online transactions using a VPA (Virtual Payment Address). It lets you pay both online and offline merchants directly from your bank account without the need of your debit/credit card, OTP or your IFSC code. Whereas the other party doesn't receive any of your information, which is why everything is secure.
  • Direct Bank to Bank secure transfers:  Here PhonePe uses there secure "Unified Payment Interface" which is supported by the Government of India. While as it's built on IMPS which is immediate payment service, This service allows one to transfer money between any two following bank accounts by simply using your mobile number or by using a VPA(Virtual Payment Address). Both of these actions are very useful as they don't provide any of your bank information to the third party. So next time you want to transfer money from one bank to another, just enter the particular person's phone number or VPA, and the next moment you know that the amount had been transferred to their bank account immediately.
  • Let's say if you don't have UPI activated on your bank account; You cannot receive payments on your Bank account. Though you can get those refunds via Flipkart or Myntra, mostly adding up that money in you PhonePe account.
  • Even if you ran out of Wallet Balance on your PhonePe account, don’t worry you can rather use your Bank account to process transactions which can be done by a reg mobile number or VPA. So don't worry if you ran out of your wallet balance, because PhonePe's services have got you covered.

Several Recharges, Payments, and secure transfers methods:

PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

             So after having a PhonePe account, one can utilize that to pay his/her Postpaid, DTH, Data card bills, etc. You can also send as well as receive money from your friends, family, etc. You can even split your bills with your friends during the payment itself. Scanning a particular QR code to send the money also works perfectly fine. Whereas there are no hidden charges for performing any of those actions. Whereas if you return your product to Flipkart, Your refund would get initiated in your PhonePe account. Yes Bank powers PhonePe's services and which is why everything is 100% secure as claimed by the company. While all the payment transactions take place without letting the third party have any information or the Bank having any passwords or additional info on the same. Even if you want to withdraw the wallet money back to your Bank account, there are no extra charges for the same.

Are there any exclusive benefits for PhonePe users compared to other E-wallets?
PhonePe App Review: Your Next Digital Wallet.

              Here you get higher transaction limits which are 30L/month when compared to 20K for wallets. Whereas there's no urgency to add money to your wallet as the bank amount is directly used to perform a transaction. After the demonetization had occurred, mostly the withdrawal amounts were decreased offline. But if you think of online transactions, you can spend up to 1 lakh per transaction. Whereas there are no worries regarding your account safety, Even if you've performed one transaction within two years, as your account would be still up and running.

Steps to create a PhonePe Account:
  • Since it's exclusively available on Android, Head over to Google Play store and download PhonePe app.
  • Once installed, Open the PhonePe app and enter your mobile number for initiating the registration process. Also keep in mind to enter the phone number, which gets linked to your bank account.
  • Start entering your Name, E-mail Address and set your 4-digit password for activating your wallet account.
  • Then head over to ‘Create New VPA,' followed by linking your bank account by tapping your bank, as the app is smart enough to auto fill those details.
  • Once confirmed with all the correct inputs, You're all set to use PhonePe's services.
Click here: Download the PhonePe Android App

PhonePe App Review: Final Verdict.

PhonePe Digital Wallet.

          Since PhonePe is now a part of Flipkart, their major target is to promote the use of online digital wallets and reduce the old cash-based transactions. Whereas according to some surveys conducted by Google, They think that India will have an increase in digital payments ecosystem. The digital payments industry will reach the mark of $500 billion by the year 2020. So Cashless transactions are the future, so why not be a part of it at the forefront? The PhonePe app has been downloaded over 5 lakh times from Google Play store, Whereas you can get up to Rs.100 off on your first UPI transaction. So that's about it guys, If you've any queries let us know in the comments section below.

*This is a sponsored post, Though I've used the system before expressing my thoughts.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.

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               With the shortage of currency notes in our nation, we're witnessing people standing in ATM queues for hours. This sudden movement of demonetisation by our Prime Minister has given everyday person a thought of how "E-Wallet" could save his/her time. So taking the positive outcome of that side, turning ourselves and joining the Digital India Movement, let's understand this concept of E-Wallets. Speaking of which, the first one that comes to my mind is Freecharge. FreeCharge is India's largest growing digital E-Wallet platform has been around since the inception of mobile wallets and can help you step into the Cashless Transaction Ecosystem. One of the best things about the wallet is that you can make a transaction under merely 10 seconds. No need to rush and run again to get your dues paid, cool huh?

FreeCharge Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.

               FreeCharge is a Digital portal which can be used to access several services such Prepaid & Postpaid Recharges, DTH, Metro Recharges, Electricity Bills, Water Bills, etc. FreeCharge has also tied up with several brands which is the reason why they're available at more than 100,000+ Merchant Shops, both offline and online combined. Most of their traditional retailers are Snapdeal, BookMyShow, Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda, Shoppers Stop, McDonald's, Cafe Coffee Day Express, Etc. So let's put everything into various steps and understand their entire ecosystem and functionalities.

How to download Freecharge App?
              Simply head over to Google Play store or Apple App store and search for FreeCharge App. Once downloaded and installed, simply register with your mobile number, e-mail address or social accounts, Verify OTP with your account and you're ready to go. You are immediately get greeted with a Rs.20 cashback coupon & few 100% Cashback offers.

User Interface Walkthrough:
              Once you've logged in, you can find that the app interface is quite minimal and intuitive. The Home screen has the list of important features such as Mobile, Electricity, DTH payments, etc. While below you can see that one can pay/send money, request money, split the bill or add money to your FreeCharge wallet. Adding money to your account is as simple as performing an online transaction, everything happens on an OTP so you can stay assured, that everything is secure. Whereas when one moves from home tab to the Chat and Pay section, where a conversation can take place between your friends and the merchants leading to a transaction.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.
              Next is the Account tab, you can find your account details listed here. You can view all the transactions you've made with Freecharge and also register as a FreeCharge merchant. Account tab gets followed by the Offers tab which houses all the offers and coupon codes running throughout the day across several outlets in India. You can also get a 5% cashback on adding Rs.250 in your wallet. The last tab shows various information such as places where FreeCharge transactions are accepted, how one can use FreeCharge on WhatsApp and how you can receive free recharges. We'll discuss this below in detail.

How to use Speed Pay, Chat-N-Pay & Split Bill Feature:

SpeedPay Feature:
         So remember during the initial signup you've filled in your information right? That's the first step of completing your account. The second is feeding in your Billing details, which can be done by adding your payment method. Once you've entered all the required information, you can get your transactions done within seconds. Just select the FreeCharge button during an operation under 10 seconds you will find the payment completed. So the clumsiness to enter your information, again and again, is eradicated in a smarter way. On top of that, the FreeCharge App would timely remind you to keep track of your payments and important bills to avoid the trap of late payments which mostly have late charges too.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.     
  Chat-N-Pay Feature:

          This feature lets you have conversations in a secure manner with your friends, family, and merchants when it comes to transactions. Speaking of which it gets done in just under 5 seconds. Here you can keep a solid track of which friend or family owes you a certain amount of money or vice-versa. This Chat-N-Pay feature also allows you set reminders for the pending dues you owe from your friends or family, which certainly goes for your naughty siblings.

     Split Bill:

           Remember few scenarios where you go out to hang out with your buddies where one of your friends says that he would pay the bill and rest everyone would give him their fair share since everyone is out of change? Well in most cases, the person who paid for your expense ends up getting nothing ns we all know how friends would only keep delaying the subject. But with the new Split-Bill feature, the one who pays can stay worry free as he will get his fare shares back. As everyone is required to pay at the same time with this new split-bill feature, so negotiation is finally comfortable since you're dealing with a tough subject – Friendship – but without hurting anyone.

      How does the Payment to Merchant's work? Let's discuss this feature.

            Well, one can use his/her mobile number to pay to the merchant or essentially use the QR code to pay the merchant. Just scan the QR code which will detect the merchant, add the amount and pay – that’s it! You can also generate an ONTHEGO PIN which can be used in the merchant’s POS machine along with your mobile number to accept the payment, which can be generated even without the internet. Everything is a smooth process without complications of any kind.

Now let’s find, how WhatsApp Payments work:

            Aren't you 24/7 on WhatsApp? Don't you think the integration of FreeCharge would be a great option to have to process your transactions since we all are already familiar with its interface? So FreeCharge has taken a significant step in this area and introduced or let's say, integrated the Chat-N-Pay service which is secure and encrypted, end to end. Here you can send or receive your money within 10 seconds if your wallet is pre-loaded, and it is possible – those aren't just numbers.


How does the new Donations feature work? 

           As we already know that the demonetization has suddenly affected several NGO's in bigger numbers as most of them work on cash-based transactions. So FreeCharge is stepping in to help these social workers by creating digital donations through their app or rather ecosystem. Just tap the Donate button to make donations to the several NGOs in our country instantly. These NGOs namely are the Akshaya Patra Foundation, Maitri India, Magic Bus India Foundation, Child Health & Foundation for Mother, Nizamuddin Dargah, etc. So anyone can create a change in a stranger's or rather a needful person's life by simply donating a small chunk of his earnings. Remember every penny you give counts and is used for a good cause. FreeCharge is making sure to take several other NGOs onboard in upcoming weeks.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.

FreeCharge: Go Cashless & Try Digital E-Wallet Ecosystem.

           So by providing all of these extensive features, in a Nutshell, FreeCharge is seeking to integrate a change in our old cash-based ecosystem. It's nice to see companies like FreeCharge take advantage of such occasions and implementing a change in how economic transactions should be held. I'm pumped to try their features, while I look forward to all your queries in the comments section below. Finally, Digital India is not a dream anymore.

Download now: Android, iOS & Windows.

*This is a sponsored post, Though I've used the system before expressing my thoughts.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review: Is It Worth Rs.18,000?

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               Back in the day after entering India, Asus had focused on bringing budget friendly devices to compliment the mid range Market. It was primarily the reason why the company progressed here in the country since they offered value for money. Ever since that, The Company has been able to build their empire in both the offline and online market. Recently they announced their Zenfone 3 series which was a complete surprise & separation from their current set of devices regarding pricing. The Company is trying to compete with Samsung and Apple if you talk about the aggressive pricing. We have already reviewed the Asus Zenfone 3(4GB Model), So have a look on the same. However remember the Max series from the Zenfone lineup? The device which comes with a humongous battery life. The "Max" tag has been one of their best attempts of bringing a device having all day battery life and so far they've done a great job. Not a long ago, They launched the Asus Zenfone Max(Snapdragon 615 Variant) which is a beast having a 5000mAh battery on-board. So continuing that path, Recently Asus Zenfone 3 Max was showcased from their newer Zenfone 3 series. The new Zenfone 3 Max comes in two different variants, Although we have the higher end model which is the Asus Zenfone 3 ZC553KL Variant. Comparing it with the older Zenfone Max, Is the 4100mAh battery and a toned down processor any better? Let's find out in my in-depth Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review: Is It Worth 18,000?

Design & Built:                 
                 If you've read my Zenfone 3 Review, You already know how premium the device feels, But again the glossy back kills that appeal. Thankfully Asus hasn't installed a glass back here on the new Zenfone 3 Max; the company has gone ahead with the conventional aluminum body design. Speaking of which the 2.5D Curved glass on the front and the aluminum metal body throughout the surface feels like a solid combo. The device has subtle curves along the edges, though you would find a somewhat sharp edge on the front glass panel, which connects the metal body via some plastic outline. The Zenfone 3 Max gives a premium appeal in hand, and one will have an uninterrupted time with the device if his/her usage period is on the long side.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

                On the back there are antenna line cutouts, whereas the top and bottom part of the back panel has been made of plastic, Rest is made up of aluminum metal. The plastic part has been kept for a better signal reception, While it has been colored appropriately to match the metal tone. Remember the fingerprint magnet appeal of the Zenfone 3? Thankfully this design eliminates that, due to which there are hardly any smudges left on the back of the Zenfone 3 Max. The lock & Volume keys are perfectly clicky and tactile. Whereas there's a little weight to this device and you can feel it in when held, So better buy a case for protection from accidental drops. Though if you compare the Fingerprint Scanner from the Zenfone 3 & 3 Max, The scanner is in square format, It might not be as fast as Zenfone 3, but at least they've got the placement right. Also, There's no Camera sensor bump due to which the device lies properly on a flat surface. So in the design department, This has to be one of the best-designed smartphones by Asus, I mean it.

Fun Fact: Many asked me whether I had an iPhone/Pixel when I used it in public. I guess since the design seems appropriately same, It can trick few.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

                I also wish that the speaker grills were situated at the back, As during gaming sessions or watching a video in landscape mode, The speakers get easily covered which results in muffled audio. It would've been better if they had provided stereo speakers with speaker grills on both the sides of the Micro-USB port. Also speaking of which the audio output is quite tiny from the incorporated speaker. Though Asus has provided an outdoor mode within the Software, So that the output gets doubled. But I wouldn't recommend anyone doing this as the output gets distorted on a high level. Whereas speaking about the Design department, it's available in Titanium Gray, Glacier Silver & Sand Gold colors.

Display & Visual Appeal:
 Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review
                 The Zenfone 3 Max has a 5.5inch Full HD IPS LCD Panel having a 72.3% screen to body ratio. Whereas the display panel gives out 401ppi. When it comes to the real world, The Display is real as it gets. It's sharp, Vivid, Slightly toned down but that's acceptable as long as saturation gets observed. In the bright sunlight it's visible, but can sometimes be a hit or miss, when selected the auto brightness mode as it's sometimes slow to respond. But as always you can tune up the brightness. Viewing angles are great and especially that subtle 2.5D curve helps in merging that look. Whereas when it comes to the protection, Asus has thrown a gorilla glass panel on the top. While it also comes with an oleophobic coating which helps in reducing the scratches. While below that gorgeous display is the capacitive navigation keys, which as always aren't backlit. I don't know why Asus does not incorporate backlit keys, Though if you have a hard time at night only turn on the one-handed mode, which lets you have on screen buttons for simplified navigation.

Processing Power & Statistics:
                So the new Zenfone 3 Max comprises of the Snapdragon 430 Octacore Chipset clocked at 1.4Ghz coupled with 3GB RAM & Adreno 505 GPU. If you talk about general day to day tasks, It performs like a charm. Now don't get the 3GB RAM trick you with the fact, that performance would be a breeze here, Because it isn't. The moment you start loading apps in the background or the longer any game is kept in the memory when minimized, the device start to lag a bit. By the way, this doesn't mean in anyway, that it stutters or any force closes get observed. The ZenUI has improved a lot over the past couple of years; Now it feels more snappy & you won't find any issues having the walkthrough over the interface.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

                 If you're a heavy gamer, Then you might be disappointed as Zenfone 3 Max suffers from frame drops when you play graphic intensive games. I feel that the processor is working pretty hardcore and handles most things like a charm, But Games is certainly not a part of it. That is why when you play games for more than odd 30mins you can find the device heating up considerably, and this might piss few up. Though the heating tends to be on the medium side, You won't require keeping the smartphone aside for few moments or so. But don't let this change a thought in your mind that it's a bad device, As it isn't. I agree the fact that here a slightly underpowered processor is implemented by the company. So it can be a decent option for an average user who is a casual gamer regarding processing power. Also, I ran few benchmarks on this device and here are the results of the same with different apps:
  • Antutu: 24097.
  • Geekbench 4.0: 643/1993 (Single/Multicore)

Camera Performance & Review:
                Speaking of the numbers, the Asus Zenfone 3 Max has a 16MP PixelMaster 3.0 Rear camera with F/2.0 aperture, PDAF, Laser Autofocus 2.0 with TriTech mechanism & lastly the dual LED flash. If you switch the sides, On the front it has an 8MP Camera with F/2.2 aperture. The Rear Camera can shoot 1080p videos at 30fps, Whereas so does the front camera but at 10fps at maximum which is disappointing. Since we're through with the numbers, let's talk about its real world performance.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Camera review
                The rear camera does a decent amount of job in producing sharp images which are noise free but in bright daylight. Sometimes it over exposes the subject, but that can get easily fixed by the manual mode. Focusing and snapping speeds were impressive again in broad daylight. The shots produced by the rear sensor are good enough to suit your social media requirements. Though when the light dims, There's an entirely different story to it. Noise gets observed, and photos are at times underexposed, But that can be somewhat balanced by the inbuilt flash though get ready for some over saturated shots. Since most of these are just Software issues, Asus may provide an update in future to patch these minor flaws. Though most of the times, the Rear Camera manages to get a fabulous shot if you've got the patience to do so, I'm talking about the Manual Mode on this phone. I don't know what kind of wizardry Asus has done with this mode; The 16MP sensor manages to click excellent shots if you're familiar gambling with the ISO, Shutter speed, White balance & Manual Focus. OIS is absent, But EIS does a decent job of stabilizing a shot.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL camera review

              Though if you switch to the front 8MP unit, It's not a great camera but rather satisfiable. Does the job of taking selfies and there's nothing more than that to talk about it. Since if you start taking photos during night, You will observe a considerable amount of grain. But again it's a good camera if you're using it in daylight. The inbuilt Camera app is the best camera application I've ever used. It has plenty of modes available within the app, Although most would be satisfied with the Auto, HDR and Manual Mode itself. Hence despite all of that the Camera will be an excellent companion to your day to day activity, But don't have high Thoughts.

Overall Software & User Interface:
              The Zenfone 3 Max runs on the Asus ZenUI 3.0 built on top of Android 6.0.1, While over the past couple of years, Asus has refined the UI a lot and now it feels fast and snappy though the ever popular Bold and Big icons are always there. The launcher has been updated with performance tweaks, and due to the themes integration, you can apply virtually thousands of theme from the theme store. But I feel that is unnecessary as I hardly switched my theme, But hey that's just me. Then there's the Mobile Manager App and the Game Genie, Two new features which have a lot of interesting things going on, system wide. While as always you will find bloatware, but that's rather on the weak side with ZenUI 3.0 update. Though the ZenUI reserves about 8GB for these things, which to be honest isn't that great. I mean sure many of these apps come in handy during times, But it would've been great if an option to uninstall was provided, As you get left with the 23-24GB of storage. Though additionally Asus provides about 2 Years of 100GB storage on Google Drive and 5GB on their webstorage ecosystem. Whereas expansion is available via memory card slot upto 256GB.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

                The mobile manager is always running 24/7 in the background, and it keeps your system running smooth by keeping ample amount of RAM properly distributed. But the fact that, it's always on the notification bar bugs me a lot. Same goes for the Game Genie app, As soon as you open up any game, The Floating toolbar opens up, However, if you love to keep your scores and get tutorials in an organized way, Game Genie is the way to go. Apart from that several other apps such as Audio Wizard and Functions such as Zenmotion and Gestures can come in handy on a long run, Since it's a big device.

Battery Life & Reception:
              Battery life, The USP of this device. The inbuilt 4100mAh battery is capable of providing a better backup running up to a full day and a half when you're moderate with usage. Though if you're a heavy user, it can last you up to 8-10hrs which is pretty nice for a device. I got about 6hrs of the screen on time with the new Zenfone 3 Max which included Gameplay, Extensive SoundCloud usage, Youtube & Writing notes, while during that the device was connected to WiFi and 4G LTE and I was still left with about 15% battery left. Sure there's a decrease in the number regarding capacity from the previous generation which is 5000mAh, But I won't bother that I'm getting an overall better-designed smartphone.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

               Whereas speaking on the reception part, It supports 2G/3G/4G on all networks but lacks VoLTE. That can stand as a major issue due to the Reliance JIO's current market dominance in India. That been said the handset is VoLTE supported and the company has confirmed with me that VoLTE update will be available in early 2017. While my calling experience on this device was Average and sometimes worst. I had network issues on this device and many times the call got dropped automatically. Though this issue has got resolved with the recent update, I received on 19th December 2016. But I can't wait to see VoLTE running on this device as using Jio4GVoice app is just overall pathetic.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC55KL Review - Final Verdict:

Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL Review

               If you only consider the Zenfone Max department up until now, This is certainly a welcome upgrade from the previous generation. The Zenfone 3 Max ZC55KL variant is a great device when it comes to battery life, design appeal, and overall ergonomics. But that doesn't mean that it's a great performer when it comes to the slightly underpowered Snapdragon 430 Chipset. If it had a Series 6 processor from Qualcomm then I wouldn't mind paying that price for which it gets currently sold. Speaking of which, The Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC55KL variant is now available to buy on Flipkart. So, in a nutshell, it's pocket friendly, Physically oriented and a road warrior's choice, But looking at the chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi selling Redmi 3S Prime at almost half the price with similar configuration might deviate many of us. If you're looking for buying it, links are as follows:

Flipkart: 2GB Variant.
Amazon: Silver Variant.

  • Great Design.
  •  Decent Battery Life.
  • Slightly Underpowered Processor.
  • Heats with extensive gaming.
Also read:  Asus Zenfone 3 ZE520KL Review: If It Wasn't For The Glass Back

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