Go Big With Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

expert choice blog image microsoft

In the past two years, the demand for large screen phones, also called phablets, has gone through the roof. People love big screen devices. Apple was the last phone that acknowledged the big screen trend and last year the iPhone6 was lapped up in the record numbers.

Earlier, Microsoft devices infiltrated the world of larger phones with the Lumia 1320 and 1520. While the 1520 was a superlatively classic device, the 1320 was relatively average. This time, Microsoft is making a comeback with Lumia 640XL.

Display and Design

The 640 XL is pretty big with a screen size of 5.7 inches. Though the display has no issues in terms of viewing angles, the pixel density leaves a lot to be worked upon. While reading, text pixilation issues come to the fore. The body of the phone is made up of polycarbonate giving it a solid feel and this massive phone may not fit into your pocket. This time around, Microsoft has designed a pleasing phone, but it is too big to handle with one hand. Yet another drawback includes the sharp edges that may dig into your palm, making it uncomfortable to hold even though it is slimmer than the other smartphones.

Software

Microsoft XL runs Windows Phone 8.1 update2 that includes all the Lumia Denim update features with a few other enhancements. The setting app has been improvised to use the in-app search. You may also access the preloaded Lumia features such as Lumia Camera, Lumia Creative Studio, Calendar Data, Lumia Moments, Lumia Selfie and Lumia Storyteller. Facebook, Fitbit, Foodpanda, NDTV, Ola cabs, WeChat, BBM, etc. are a few of the preinstalled third-party apps on the device. Fortunately, you may uninstall the undesired apps from the lot.

Camera

One area where Microsoft smartphones have always held an edge over Android phones is the camera quality. The Lumia 640XL features a 13MP camera with 1/3-inch sensor, f/20 aperture, and Carl Zeiss lens. Is all this worth it? Yes, it is. Lumia has an incredible rear camera. It captures nice pictures during the day as well as at night. The camera also excels in shooting videos. You can shoot up to 1080 videos at 30 frames per second. The effortless capturing of shake free videos is simply amazing. In the front, the phone is equipped with a 5 MP sensor that clicks wide angle selfies.

Battery Life and Performance

Lumia battery has always impressed its customers. The 3000mAh battery with a frugal Qualcomm 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU converts to an awesome battery life. With 8GB of inbuilt storage, it supports up to 128GB of expandable memory. The call quality is quite good and the loudspeaker is also decent. Even in this Lumia phone, you may double tap the display to wake it up so there isn’t any need to reach for the power button.

Is it worth a look?

In a nutshell, the Microsoft Lumia 640XL is a solid budget phablet if you consider features such as camera, battery, and basic functionalities. As it is a Windows phone, it doesn’t match the rich experience of the similarly priced Lollipop Android phones.

 

LG G4 Doesn’t Live up to the Wait

LG G4

After immense hard work, LG has managed to deliver likeable phones and has revamped its branding. The LG G3 was released on May 2014, and after a yearlong wait the next upgraded phone LG G4 was launched in April this year. However, it fared differently than the expectations. Let’s see how.

Design

Surprisingly, LG didn’t do anything drastic to the new design as the changes are just conservative. The buttons are still on the back though it is an inch taller and wider than the other phones in its class including the HTC One M9 and 2014 Moto X. The G4 keeps the rear button layout that has become a landmark of every other LG phone. The 5.5-inch phone is too large to carry in the pocket.

Display

Just like its predecessor, it also uses a QHD panel which is incredible. LG has thankfully improved its color quality and direct sunlight performance when compared to the last year’s model. The IPS Quantum display and N-Type liquid crystals are one of the best in the market right now with 25% more brightness. With a 1440 x 2560 pixel display and corning Gorilla Glass 3, it simply looks amazing.

Software

LG again falls into the common trap of making arbitrary changes to the Android interface. The Lollipop (5.1) operating system upgrade provided no user facing benefit. A weird LG app store has been introduced with two different superfluous voice command systems that involves weather forecasting and basic getting-started tips.

Specification and Hardware

With 32 GB internal memory and 3 GB of Ram, it also adds on with a 16MP LED rear camera and 8MP front camera. To its credit, LG has added some useful specifications like the Dual Window mode but it has a limited breadth app support. Certain lags have also been noticed in the recent LG G4 which doesn’t always operate smooth. The 3000 mAh battery life, however, may be considered a positive aspect.

Conclusion

The G4 can be considered as a fine yet not an exceptional device. It needs to offer something that goes beyond what everyone else is delivering, something that will create a richer user experience.

 

Moto G 2nd Gen Review – A Budget Smartphone

moto g

Whenever someone talks about the budget smartphones, Moto G is still at the top. This phone, when launched, sparked everyone’s expectation from a low price phone. With the launch of the Moto G 2nd Gen, the latest version of Motorola’s smartphone, you can start using Google’s latest update, Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The phone is available both in 8GB and 16GB models, however, you can expand the storage up to 32GB via microSD card slot. There is a dual-sim feature available if you have more than one sim card.

Display:

The phone is very comfortable to hold with its curved back of 6mm at its thinnest point and 11mm at its thickest. This version of Moto G is just 6g heavier than the previous one. For films and music, it delivers very nice sound quality with its ported dual speakers at the front.

With the resolution of 293 PPI (pixels-per-inch) the screen looks perfectly crisp and sharp. Small text can be easily read because of 1,280×720 resolution with a responsive touchscreen. The color accuracy for Moto g 2nd Gen is not any better than the older version but it is still legible both in and outdoors. The high contrast level, at 960:1, develops plenty of detail in our high-contrast images, and the screen’s viewing angles are equally brilliant.

Camera:

The Moto G 2nd Gen has improved its camera with an 8-megapixel rear sensor using an f2.0 aperture. You can also change the aspect ratio of the pictures taken from 16:9 to 4:3. The new Moto has all the same photo modes available, including HDR and Panorama modes. The HDR mode effect is a little strong and that helps in bringing a lot more definition to the shots and brightens a gloomy afternoon. Whether the HDR mode is turned on or off, the images still look great.

Performance:

This new generation phone use a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, which keeps the performance at a peak.

Battery Life:

The battery life is awesome. The new Moto G’s 2,070mAh battery lasts 9 hours and 39 minutes which beats the Moto G by about 30 minutes. After updating the phone to Android 5.0, there is hardly any measurable difference in the battery test.

Conclusion:

With 4G & Android 5.0, this pocket-friendly smartphone phone is worth buying both in terms of overall value and money. This phones has proved itself as the one of the well-featured phones in this segment.

Microsoft Lumia 640: Windows at its Best

Microsoft Lumia 640

Windows phone has risen above expectations as it has introduced another impressive handset – the Microsoft Lumia 640, coming this March. It has been scrutinized as an appropriate budget phone. This mobile device with a wide 5-inch screen offers versatile features. It delivers a seamless integration of hardware essentials. Although it is a predecessor of Microsoft Lumia 640 XL, it is an updated phone with Windows 10 features and comprises notable features that are listed below:

Display

The Microsoft Lumia 640 is a hefty smartphone with a 5-inch display, HD resolution of 1280 X 720 and Gorilla Glass 3, qualities that make for a nice viewing experience.

Camera

It’s 8.0 MP camera with autofocus is pretty good at clicking pictures. It has a 4X zoom with LED flash. The minimum focus range is 10 cm but it isn’t a selfie phone as its front camera is just 0.9 MP. Though its video recording options are acceptable with 1080p main camera resolution and 30 fps camera video frame rate.

Memory

Momory is satisfactory with 1 GB Ram and 8 GB internal. The phone is expandable up to 128 GB using a MicroSD memory card. It also promises 30 GB of free cloud.

Battery

Promising to function for long hours, the phone offers a replaceable battery with the capacity of 2500 mAh. There is a favorable standby time of 35 days. The maximum talk time on a 3G network is 20 hours and on a 2G network for 27 hours.

A few limitations include mediocre screen and slow loading pages that sometimes irritate the user but overall, the phone offers an impressive web browsing experience. Offering the right value for money spent, the device is going to appeal to those who prefer spending wisely on cellphones. Moreover, it beats up a few android phones that are of the same price range.

YU Yuphoria Review: A 4G Budget Phone by Yu Televentures

YU Yuphoria

YU Yuphoria, a budget phone with CyanogenMod OS has recently been launched by YU Televentures. However, this phone has been launched to sell online only. YU Televentures has also released the Cyanogen OS sporting YU Yureka in the past which became standard among budget smartphones.

Build & Design:

The design of this phone stands out among all the other phones in this price segment. The metallic frame gives a firm grip to the phone while also lending a smart appearance. The white and gold version of the phone has a bulkier look that makes it an exclusive phone in a low range category. The Corning Gorilla Glass 3 keeps the phone scratch free and also ensures that there is no problem browsing with the phone in sunlight.

Performance:

As far as the device’s performance is concerned, there are two USPs that make this phone unique and sought after. One is the metal frame and the other is its CyanogenMod OS. This mode is the safest mode for someone who is interested in getting more out of Android. However, the phone sometimes takes time to load the wallpapers and apps.

Social media sites can be browsed pretty fast and are responsive. Though the phone gets heated up during a long call, the audio quality is just fine. However, if you are listening to music on a high volume you will notice that the voice quality is not at its best.

Camera:

As per the specifications, the rear 8 MP camera is not up to expectations. The colors just do not match up with the settings. However, the front 5 MP camera is just fine for snapping sharp selfies.

Battery:

With regular usage, the phone battery lasts for 10 hours, which includes calls, browsing on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. The battery power saver mode is quite impressive in that it does not let the phone die for approx. 40 minutes without charging.

Summarizing Technical Specs:

  • 5-inch 720p HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection

  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with 2GB of RAM, Adreno 306 GPU and 16 GB internal storage

  • Cyanogen OS 12 on Android 5.0

  • 8 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera with a wide-angle lens

  • 2,230 mAh battery.

  • Dual SIM with 4G

With the useful and interesting specifications this new phone offers, it is sure to suit many routine users’ expectations. However, those who look at cellphones not as communication devices but more as their go-to gadget for most tasks might not feel so satisfied.

G4 Stylus and G4c by LG- Flagship Smartphones

g4

LG has introduced flagship smartphones, the G4 Stylus and G4c with high-end user experience features for the mid-range market. Both the phones are powered by a 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor and support LTE. However, there are some differences such as the display of the G4 Stylus is 5.7 inch compared to the G4c which is 5 inches. Additionally, the stylus has a 3,000mAH battery and G4c has 2,540mAH. Both the phones have Android 5.0 Lollipop with 1 GB of Ram though the 8 GB storage is expandable.

These mid-range phones have features like gesture shot, knock code, and glance view which make them fun-to-use devices. The super-quick autofocus camera can get crisp shots even in dim surroundings.

These premium phones with a low-price tag will grow the LG market in terms of price and performance as claimed by the president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. He also stated that this time around, it will exceed customer’s expectations of what an LG phone should be.

Both the G4 Stylus and G4c are available in LTE and 3G configurations, offering metallic silver and floral white color options. Following are the technical key specifications for the tech geeks.

G4 Stylus Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core (LTE) / 1.4GHz Octa-Core (3G)

  • Display: 5.7-inch HD IPS (258ppi)

  • Memory: 1GB RAM / 8GB ROM / microSD

  • Camera: Rear 13MP (LTE) or 8MP (3G) / Front 5MP

  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)

  • Operating System: Android 5.0 Lollipop

  • Size: 154.3 x 79.2 x 9.6mm

  • Weight: 163g

  • Network: LTE / 3G

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / A-GPS / Glonass / USB 2.0

  • Colors: Metallic Silver / Floral White

  • Other: Stylus Pen / Laser Auto Focus / Gesture Shot / Glance View / Knock Code™

G4c Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core

  • Display: 5.0-inch HD IPS (294ppi)

  • Memory: 1GB RAM / 8GM ROM / microSD

  • Camera: Rear 8MP / Front 5MP

  • Battery: 2,540mAh (removable)

  • Operating System: Android 5.0 Lollipop

  • Size: 139.7 x 69.8 x 10.2mm

  • Weight: 136g

  • Network: LTE

  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / A-GPS / Glonass / USB 2.0

  • Colors: Metallic Gray / Ceramic White / Shiny Gold

  • Other: Gesture Shot / Glance View / Knock Code™

Both phones by LG seem to carry features that would appeal to gizmo freaks as well as regular mobile users alike. But how these phones would actually perform in the competitive market is for time to tell.

Motorola Nexus 6 Review: Google’s Flagship Phablet

motorola Nexus

Well, Nexus 6 is a Google phone that is thicker, wider, and taller than Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It’s an enlarged version of the Moto X and shares similar design language. To give your fingers some rest, a nice dimple and smooth curve have been provided at the back of the phone.

The back of the phone is made of plastic and is resistant to scratches. The two front-facing speakers are very loud and can damage your eardrum if you put the phone up to your ear with full volume.

The 6-inch screen size is a big reason for Nexus 6’s existence. The resolution is 1440 x 2560, which at 493ppi, sits between the Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus in terms of pixel density. Showing content on your phone to other people is easier because of larger space on the phone screen. You can easily type on it or turn it into a movie-watching gadget.

To save power, Motorola has added a feature extension called ”Ambient Display” that just pops up notifications without powering on the complete screen.

The Nexus 6 has a fair battery life according to phablet standards. It has a 3220mAH battery that can give the device power for a day and a half. But if used heavily, it dies out after 14 hours. Android has finally introduced battery save mode which turns off the background data. Also, a few hours of charge can be added in just 15 minutes of charging via higher voltage compared to that of a standard USB charger.

The phone is indeed super-fast. With its 2.7 GHz quad-core snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM, app installations and playing games seem pretty smooth.

The past experience with the same lineage of phones has been consistently bad with cameras. But this time, Motorola has introduced a 13-megapixel sensor similar to the 2014 Moto X, with stabilization. Android 5.0 Lollipop has also been introduced with the concept of ”Material design”, which conceives a world of magic paper underneath your Nexus 6 screen.

With the improved notification update in Lollipop, you can check and interact with it on the lock screen itself. Besides, Google has added a ”Do Not Disturb” mode called a priority mode that can help you take complete control during meetings and other situations where you do not want to use your phone. .

As compared to last the couple of Nexus phones, the Nexus 6 is incredibly expensive with the support of the big carriers in the US.

Oppo N1: The Next Gen Mobile

oppo

Finally, a newcomer has arrived in the market to light fire in the consumer’s heart. Smart phone newcomer Oppo has brought forward a decent package of features at a pocket-friendly price.

Oppo has given an innovative bend to the phone with its revolvable cam. Instead of just ordinary camera phones, this innovation really proves to be marvellous in the area of capturing images. There are now many phones available with those ordinary camera’s, but the versatility of a portable camera adds so much more fun to mobile photo capturing. We never thought capturing a moment could be so exciting. The extra pixel rate and features make a big difference in the final appearance of a photo. And, of course, Oppo’s build quality and software innovations are just incomparable.

Although a newly launched smartphone, the N1 seems to be hitting the competitors market. Its huge size with a 6-inch display is even bigger, suited for people with large hands or weak eyes. The phone looks and feels incredibly premium and guarantees a “Hey, which one is that?” query each time you reveal it from your pocket. A mere 213g with great weight distribution doesn’t make it feel heavy.

The Oppo N1 is featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC processor, similar to other models available in the market. This quad-core chipset can assure up to 1.7 GHz of speed and has 2GB of RAM to help it all the way. Needless to say, the operating system and apps run with ease without any issues. The phone also has a very capable Graphical Processing Unit which handles well any kind of graphic-heavy content.

We would have liked a top-of-the-line Snapdragon model in the market at this price but having Oppo with the specs and performance it promises is a fairly good deal.

To read more, visit http://goo.gl/69Fx14.

Vivo X5 Pro to Be Equipped with an Eye Recognition Technology

VivoX5

It’s no news how Vivo has been persistent with teasing its next smartphone, the X5 Pro, for the last few weeks or so. Not only this, apart from the company’s teases, we’ve also observed an intentional render of the smart phone getting leaked. Well, it’s the third time now that you’ll be seeing a whole new teaser that will not only surprise you but also catch your eye for good!

Thankfully, it’s not the usual mundane contour of the X5 Pro’s rounded corners that we’re going to be witnessing this time around. There’s more, and it definitely catches the eye (you may already have worked out some guesses just by looking at the image above.) Vivo seems to have equipped their upcoming smartphone with an eye recognition technology, or more aptly an Eye ID – a feature that has had no precedents so far. The technology seems to function through iris scanning, which as per Vivo’s own claims is expected to be more secure in comparison to any other authentication method. The main reason for that to be the case is that the information its sensor views cannot be copied.

The technology will be employed both for securing the phone as well as specific apps even any confidential data you want to keep secure.

Although not many details have been revealed as of yet, the X5 Pro might get its official launch on May 7th, 2015, which isn’t many days from now. However, all of the things heard about the launch date seem to be a product of the grapevine. However, if that’s true then we barely have little over a week to go – as of this writing.

The handset is expected to sport a metal build, 2.5D curved glass on the front, along with a 3,500 mAh battery, a USB Type C connector, as well as the ability to click 32 megapixels of quality pictures with its front camera. However, you need to take note that it is likely to be achieved through some kind of software chicane, instead of a 32 MP sensor. As far as the main snapper goes, it should ideally be available with phase detection autofocus with all of the normal features and specifications, backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset.

Sony Xperia E4g: Tinier, Yet Better

sony xperia

It’s good to see how Sony’s more approachable E-series has come a long way. In fact, it has gotten way better with its newest fourth generation bet, featuring abundant functionality and usability aspects at an affordable price. While the Sony Xperia E4 boasts of many a new features, it somehow falls short of its predecessor in many respects. But focusing more on the positive aspects and considering the price tag, it appears Sony has done well, if not better.

Having made some creative adjustments in the specifications, the makers have established that the Xperia E4g is indeed a true successor to the E3. Instead of making the display size 5.0 inches, Sony decided that this device would go for a smaller 4.7-inch size. The panel has mainly stuck to the same pixels resolution of 540 x 960 and the decreased screen size paves way for a higher ppi of 234. The overall dimensions of the phone measure 133 x 71 x 10.8 mm and its weight stands at a total of 135g.

Among the key features, the phone has a 4.7″ 16M-color 540×960 IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with an Android OS v4.4.4 KitKat. The processor stands strong, a Quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53; Mediatek MT6732, Mali-T760MP2. However, the RAM doesn’t seem to offer much with 1 GB capacity. In terms of storage capacity, the phone has 8GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot. And that’s not all. The Sony Xperia E4 is also equipped to satisfy users having a penchant for mobile photography as it supports a good enough 5MP camera with 1080p@30fps video and a 2MP front-facing camera with 720p video. Other provisions include LTE connectivity with optional Dual SIM support, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, GPS receiver, Bluetooth v4.1, FM radio, and a strong 2,300mAh non-removable battery that will last long enough for a regular mobile user.

While the E4g is good to go with the many feathers in its hat, there are some things that might not impress users. For one, the device has a low screen resolution which isn’t a user-friendly feature. Also, the phone comes with a non-removable battery.

However, the Xperia E4g is expected to do well in most spheres given its price tag. It will be available globally, maybe with single-SIM and dual-SIM versions aiming at different markets.