February 22, 2017

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Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Review

Asus has introduced many Smartphones under Zenfone 3 series. Actually my first Asus smartphone was Zenfone 2 Laser, and today I’ve the Zenfone 3 Laser to review in this article.

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser

Build and Design

Zenfone 3 Laser sports 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass display with an all aluminum body which has made device feel premium. You’ll immediately realize it when you hold the device. We’ve reviewed the Zenfone 3 Max a while ago, the Zenfone 3 Laser comes with same design & build quality. Weight of Zenfone 3 laser is 150g which feels really light in-hand.

The display panel at front is big 5.5" display. Below the display, there are back, home and recent apps keys which are not backlit. On the lower side, there is a speaker, charging port (which isn’t USB-C) and microphone. On the top, yes, there is 3.5mm headphone jack, and on the right, you’ll find the power and volume keys. On the left, there is a hybrid sim card tray, which supports dual-sim 4G connectivity. On the back side, it features rear camera with dual-tone LED flash and laser auto-focus, with fingerprint sensor and the Asus logo on the bottom side. The display looks sharp and color quality is also good. The display is bright enough for viewing in direct sunlight.

Performance, Battery Life

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser sports 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor with clock speed of 1.4GHz and an Adreno 505 GPU. It has 4GB of RAM and has a 32GB of internal storage which can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. Storage available out of the box from 32GB is 23.53GB.

The device supports one micro-SIM and other nano-sim (or microSD card). Both the sim can support 3G and 4G connectivity. The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow on top of Asus’ ZenUI 3.0. Asus has improved the ZenUI a lot since the inception of it, there are some notable features introduced in ZenUI 3.0 like Real-time animated weather and clock widgets & Mobile Manager which Asus define as one-stop tuning shop to keep your Zenfone running at maximum speed.

The Zenfone 3 Laser performs well while running regular tasks. There were no hiccups while multitasking/browsing. Games can also able to run smoothly without any kind of issues. Device did get little warm after long gaming and while recording 1080p videos, but it wasn’t that much uncomfortable at all. The fingerprint sensor does its job greatly. But sometimes it doesn’t work; you’ve to unlock it via pin/pattern you’ve set. The sound from speaker and headphones was decent. The 3000 mAh battery performs well as it always had at-least 15 percentages left at the end of day. The Zenfone 3 Laser doesn’t support fast-charging, it took me approximately 3 hours to charge fully via provided charger.

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser

Camera

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser has 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture and dual-LED flash. It can record up to 1080p video. There are lot of capture modes to choose from to enhance the shots. The main feature of this particular device is that it has laser autofocus which helps to focus on a specific object in about 0.03s as claimed by Asus. We clicked some sample images with Zenfone 3 Laser, few of them you can see below.

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Sample Shot

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Sample Shot

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Sample Shot

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser Sample Shot


In my opinion, camera performs well in day-light but in some low light conditions, it struggles to capture details. Talking about video, can able to record good looking videos and stabilization is also good. Here’s a sample video recorded from Zenfone 3 Laser.

There’s an 8-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture. Images from front camera looks great and it manages to capture colors properly. But again in low light, front camera is also struggling to capture details; here Asus needs to improve it.


Final Thoughts on Asus Zenfone 3 Laser

Asus Zenfone 3 Laser performs well and has a great camera. The design does give a premium feel, but it seems little overpriced to me. There are some devices in the market which offers better processor than one comes with Zenfone 3 Laser, as near same price point. It doesn’t mean that I’m not recommending this device, but It would be better if Asus priced it little lower.

Thanks to Asus India for sending me a review unit of Zenfone 3 Laser.
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January 26, 2017

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Offer: Google Pixel gets Rs. 10,000 Discount on Flipkart

In India, Google Pixel and Pixel XL is available to be purchased from late 2016. The pricing of these devices are on the higher side than expected and may be because of the low sales, this offer is announced.

Google Pixel

Google Pixel gets Rs. 10,000 discount on Flipkart

Under this offer, buyer will be able to get Rs. 10,000 flat discount on buying Google Pixel via any Credit/Debit cards from Flipkart. Google Pixel 32GB variant is sold at Rs. 57,000 and 128GB variant is sold at Rs. 66,000; which will be Rs. 47,000 and Rs. 56,000 respectively after this offer applied. This offer is valid till 31st January, 2017 (23:59 hrs). Apart from this offer, there are also some other offers in case buyer is purchasing the device from Flipkart. Sadly, Rs. 10,000 discount is not available on Google Pixel XL (First Impressions).

In case you don't know about the Google Pixel, it sports an aluminum uni-body and also features glass at the back. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor equipped with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and fingerprint sensor on the back. It comes with 12.3 MP rear camera and 8 MP front camera. Display provided in Google Pixel is 5" FHD Amoled panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Pixel comes out of the box with Android 7.1 Nougat, supports data-syncing and charging through USB-C port and also comes with 3.5mm audio jack.


Let me know in the comments if you're interested to buy 32GB or 128GB variant of Google Pixel at Rs. 10,000 off.
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January 23, 2017

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First Impressions: Google Pixel XL (after 48 hours)

I've to say this, more I'm using the Pixel, more I'm loving it. Actually the Google Pixel XL is available to purchase in India from late 2016 but review unit just arrived few days back. I'm writing this article after using Google Pixel XL for more than 48 hours.

Google Pixel XL

Google Pixel XL is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996pro) processor and Adreno 530 GPU. Comes with 4GB of ram, 32/128GB of internal storage. (I got 32GB variant) Pixel XL weighs 168g. As obvious, comes with latest Android 7.1 "Nougat". Display in Pixel XL is 5.5", QHD AMOLED panel (2560x1440) with pixel density of 534ppi. Pixel XL is powered by 3,450 mAh battery. The rear camera is 12.3MP (Sony Exmor IMX378 sensor, f/2.0 aperture), front camera is 8MP (Sony Exmor IMX179 sensor, f/2.4 aperture). Can able to record up-to 4K video from rear camera while up-to 1080p from front camera. Fingerprint sensor is located at the back, which is pretty fast in my opinion.

After reading the specifications, you might guessed that it would not lag at all or at-least able to provide smooth experience. Actually the device is really smooth. As also stated by some other reviewers, the device is much smoother in case compared to previous generation Nexus devices. I've done a little experiment in Pixel XL yesterday, I've opened more than 15 different apps, I can able to move back and forth between apps and the thing is that all the apps were in the memory, means none of them has reloaded/refreshed. This time, Google has optimized it fully and provided best stock experience of Android till date.

Battery life was also impressive, I was able to get more than 5 hours of screen-on-time with 4g data enabled and 2-3 hours of WiFi hotspot active. Audio coming from the speaker is also loud than I expected. Will talk more about everything in the full review, but as I've stated at first, more I'm using the Pixel, more I'm loving it.

Stay connected with us, will publish full review soon, Thanks :)

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January 20, 2017

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UPI payment System – Future of Banking in India

What is UPI Payment?

UPI is an advanced version of the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS); that means it is faster than NEFT payment method. UPI Service is for instant online banking and fund transfer payment method. The UPI makes fund transfer quite simple as sending a text message.

Unified Payment Interface (UPI)

It facilitates VPA ‘Virtual Payment Address’ as a payment identifier for collecting and sending money to merchant and user. It works on a two authentication factor. UPI also provides a scheduling Pull and Push money transactions just like sharing bills.

You can easily send money and receive online payment using UPI Payment method. UPI work 24 by seven by 365 that means you can use UPI payment method anytime anywhere in India. UPI payment method is much easier than another payment method like Internet banking, Wallet, etc.

Who is behind UPI?

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is an organization that manages all retail payment system in India. Unified Payment Interface is an initiative by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and set up with the support of RBI (Reserve Bank of India).

Indian Bank Association also includes to set up UPI payment. The NPCI also operates the Rupay payment and allows different banks to connect and transfer money.

How does UPI work?

Before demonetization, if you want to make any bank payment online, you have to type all kind of things related banks like Account number, account type, Bank name or IFSC Code, etc. But now with the UPI payment, you don't need to type this all, only you have to type is their Unique Aadhaar identity Number, You can also send money using their registered mobile number or VPA (Virtual Payment Address).

If you have registered your mobile number with your bank, so you can use UPI easily without any problem. By NPCI, only 29 banks have agreed to provide UPI (Unified Payment Interface) service in India.

Top 21 UPI applications for approx all Banks in India that are compatible with both Android and iOS operating system. Here we have listed some UPI Application with download link.
Author Bio
This guest post is written by Bhavesh Sondagar who works at theandroidportal.com. He loves to write about tech & gadget related stuff on his blog.
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January 05, 2017

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ASUS Presents Zennovation at CES 2017


CES 2017 Asus Press Event

India (5th January, 2017) — ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih today unveiled the ASUS ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom smartphones during the Zennovation press event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. ZenFone AR will be the world's first smartphone that is both Tango enabled and Daydream-ready. Tango is a set of sensors and computer-vision software by Google that enables smartphone augmented reality. Daydream is Google's platform for high-quality, mobile virtual reality and supports Daydream VR apps. ZenFone 3 Zoom is built for photography and extended use with the world's best smartphone camera and a large, 5000mAh battery.

ZenFone AR is also the world’s first Tango enabled device to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, and is designed to deliver cutting-edge smartphone augmented reality experiences. ZenFone 3 Zoom is powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor.

Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and President, QCT, joined Chairman Shih onstage to provide more details about the processors in ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom, and highlight the strong relationship between ASUS and Qualcomm Technologies.

“The Snapdragon 821 processor is a perfect fit for a flagship Tango enabled device like the ZenFone AR,” said Amon. “You need a powerful heterogeneous computing and power-efficient chip to handle the intensive processing and complex features needed to optimize and deliver rich augmented reality experiences. We congratulate ASUS on this exciting new product and are excited to now have Snapdragon processors powering devices across their lineup.”

Also onstage to reveal more about ZenFone AR and Tango, as well as demonstrate some of the amazing augmented-reality experiences available through innovative mobile apps and games were Erik Hermanson, Head of Content & Brand Marketing at ASUS, and Johnny Lee, Director of Engineering for Tango. “Our phones already assist us in our day-to-day lives, but we believe they can do even more. We’re excited to see Tango technology incorporated into ZenFone AR, making its capabilities available to more people,” said Mr. Lee. Jeff Kirwan, Global President of Gap, then demonstrated Dressing Room by Gap, an augmented reality app that allows Gap customers to model clothes on a virtual mannequin and view it from any angle.

Following the announcements, ASUS hosted a demo area showcasing ZenFone AR, ZenFone 3 Zoom, and the latest lineup of lifestyle, business, and Republic of Gamers (ROG) gaming products. New lifestyle and business products include the ZenBook UX490 laptop, VivoPC X desktop PC, ProArt PA32U monitor, and ASUSPRO B9440 business laptop. New gaming products include the ROG Maximus IX Extreme motherboard, ROG Gladius II mouse, ROG GR8 II gaming PC, ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 router, and ROG Strix Magnus gaming microphone. Additionally, several desktop and laptop PCs updated with the latest 7th Generation (‘Kaby Lake’) Intel Core processors were also shown, including the Zen AiO ZN270 desktop, ROG GT51CH gaming desktop, and the ROG GX800VH and G752 gaming laptops.

ASUS won eight CES 2017 Innovation Awards, with products across four competitive award categories honored for outstanding design and engineering innovation. The award-winning products include: ZenFone 3 Deluxe, Designo Curve MX34VQ, Vivo AiO V221, ZenBook 3, ROG GX800, ROG Maximus IX Apex and ROG Maximus IX Hero, and an upcoming powerful ROG gaming laptop.

All ASUS and ROG products will be on display at the ASUS Media Suite at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, from 9:00am-6:00pm on 5th-7th January, 2017.

Asus ZenFone AR (ZS571)

ASUS ZenFone AR

ASUS ZenFone AR is a next-generation smartphone that represents a significant advance in mobile virtual-reality (VR) and augmented-reality (AR) technologies. It is the first smartphone that will be Tango enabled and Daydream-ready. ZenFone AR was developed in close cooperation with Google to deliver the best Tango and Daydream experiences.

ZenFone AR is the thinnest and lightest Tango enabled device. This breakthrough in size and weight is made by possible the innovative ASUS TriCam system, a three-camera system consisting of a 23MP main camera, motion-tracking camera, and depth-sensing camera. Unlike three-camera systems in other devices, the design of the ASUS TriCam system clusters its array of cameras to reduce their footprint within the phone, enabling the entire phone to be thinner and lighter.

ZenFone AR features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor that is optimized for Tango, and Asus claims it is the world's first smartphone with 8GB of RAM. ZenFone AR's powerful performance and innovative camera work in conjunction with Tango to enable smooth and compelling smartphone AR experiences. A beautiful, 5.7-inch WQHD Super AMOLED display and a new five-magnet speaker makes Daydream VR apps, games, and videos more immersive and entertaining. Android 7.0 ‘Nougat’ lets users get the most out of ZenFone AR with new multitasking features and other enhancements that deliver a great mobile experience.

ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL)

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom

ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom is a 5.5-inch smartphone designed to excel at photography with a dual-camera system that captures gorgeous photos and videos. It is also the world’s slimmest smartphone with a high-capacity, 5000mAh battery, giving users extended usage times without compromising style and portability. ZenFone 3 Zoom’s innovative dual-camera system comprises two 12MP cameras, one with a f/1.7-aperture, 25mm wide-angle lens and a second with a 59mm lens. Users can instantly switch from the 25mm primary camera to the 59mm camera, giving them a 2.3X optical zoom that is perfect for portraits and capturing distant subjects. An improved TriTech+ autofocus system automatically chooses among three autofocus technologies — Dual Pixel PDAF, subject tracking autofocus, and second-generation laser focus — depending on the situation to achieve accurate focus, even when photographing moving subjects.

ZenFone 3 Zoom is also the first ASUS smartphone with SuperPixel camera technology that enables it to focus incredibly quickly and capture clear photos at night or in low-light environments. ASUS-exclusive hardware and software enhancements boost sensor light-sensitivity by up to four times by intelligently adjusting ISO levels while shooting and applying noise reduction in post-shot processing.


ZenFone 3 Zoom has a high-capacity 5000mAh battery that is sculpted to fit in the phone’s super-slim, 7.9mm full-metal body. The phone weighs just 170 grams, yet with its large battery. The high-capacity battery also complements ZenFone 3 Zoom’s photographic capabilities, allowing users to shoot more photos, enjoy power-intensive operations like time-lapse photography. ZenFone 3 Zoom can also double as a high-speed power bank for charging other devices.
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January 03, 2017

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Experience is the Best Teacher

Experience is the best teacher cover image

Why am I writing this article?

I was at my college and we were asked to speak on a topic for couple of minutes in English. Actually there were some cheats in which the topic has already been written. We have to pick one randomly. I’ve picked one cheat and the topic wrote on it, was “Experience is the best teacher.” After speaking for about 5 minutes, I’ve started thinking deeply about this topic and then I thought about writing my opinion in this blog. And here I’m doing it.
So basically, there are two types of experience we get in life:
  1. Good Experiences
  2. Bad Experiences
It seems to me, here in the title, it’s about the bad experiences which mean that the bad experiences are the best teacher. Because you know, “Everyone seems good at coffee table.” Isn’t it? I hope your answer would be yes.

Anyway, mostly bad experience is what we get when we don’t get what we wanted. Isn’t it? You’ve probably read somewhere that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. I’ve learnt a lot in my life from the bad experiences. I’ve observed that from failure, one will be able to learn a lot and one thing should be noticed here is that, when we face something personally, we’re less likely to forget it in our life, so it’ll remain as a lesson and will help to make ourselves better. Sandeep Maheshwari said in his video season, "Failure makes you humble. Without failure, one can’t be mature, one can’t be wise." Elon Musk says, “If you are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

As life is a long-journey, failure/success will occur many many times, we should always remember, if we focus on learning, we’ll be able to live our life peacefully and greatly. And when we focus on learning, we’re getting better every day; we’re making ourselves more flexible and it is not a small thing at all. Believe me, if you’re focusing on learning, though there will be failures but you’ll going to enjoy that too. Why am I writing too much about failures? Because failure will give us bad experiences and which is directly related to the main purpose of this post.

Sometimes the only thing that can make us a better person is a hard lesson. As also said by Steve Jobs, “Sometimes life's going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.”

Let me know what you think about this topic in the comment section. I hope I’ll be able to write more articles like this in the future. Keep learning, keep growing :)
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