Sony Xperia Z1
Value for money: ***1/2
Unveiled in Berlin at the beginning of this month,Sony’s best smartphone yet Xperia Z1 was launched in India on September 18. The phone has a 5-inch display,16 GB internal memory,and runs Android Jelly Bean (4.2). While its processing power is impressive,the best feature of this phone is the camera. It has a Sony lens with an aperture of F2.0,which makes it great for low-light photography. This phone is also dust- and water-resistant provided all the flaps are closed. Sony launched two lens cameras QX100 and QX10 that connect to any phone via WiFi. These cost Rs 24,990 and Rs 12,990. Sony also unveiled the Smartwatch 2 for Rs 14,990. This watch is compatible with most Android phones and apart from showing the time,it lets users control functions such as music,etc.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Value for money: **
Samsung recently updated its Note series of smartphones with the launch of the Galaxy Note 3. Priced at Rs 49,900,this is among the most expensive smartphones in the market. It has a 5.7-inch display at 1920×1080 pixels. The phone runs Android Jelly Bean (4.3),with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. This phone has a 13-MP camera and weighs 168 g. The phone packs a powerful processor,3 GB RAM and a 3,200 mAh battery. Note 3 buyers will get the new stylus,called S Pen,which lets them use the phone as a notebook. Samsung also launched a smartwatch called Galaxy Gear for Rs 22,990. It pairs with some high-end Galaxy phones and lets users control essential phone functions. At the moment,its battery life is rated at just one day,which might irk users. Samsung will eventually add support for more phones,but at the moment,it works with just a few.
Value for money: ***1/2
Harman’s JBL Charge is a portable Bluetooth speaker that was recently brought to India. The speaker looks very good and offers 12 hours of playback on a single charge. This unit is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled phone. Its name is derived from a handy feature you can plug your gadgets to the speaker to charge them. This means that JBL Charge is also a portable battery pack. For those interested in the hardware,this speaker has two 41 mm drivers,2×5 watts of amplification and digital signal processing. The speaker comes with a bass port,that increases bass output of any song. This product comes with a nice pouch to let you carry it with you. JBL says it takes 3.5 hours to charge this speaker. This unit is priced at Rs 9,990.
Micromax Canvas Tab
Value for money: **1/2
In a step up from the budget Funbook series of tablets,Micromax has brought the Canvas Tab P650 to the mid-range segment. Priced at Rs 16,500,this 3G tablet has an 8-inch IPS display and supports phone calls. It has 16 GB memory,expandable to 48 GB via a microSD card. The tablet has a quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM,along with a 5-MP rear camera and 2-MP front camera. It runs Android Jelly Bean (4.2.1). The Canvas Tab comes with many of the extra features found on Canvas 4,such as look away to pause videos,etc. The 4,800 mAh battery is said to be able to provide five hours of browsing on a single charge. Micromax faces competition from Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and Asus Fonepad,and will have to provide impressive performance to outsell those two.