Nokia 8 Will Reportedly Be the Nokia Flagship Phone, Not Nokia 9

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • New images tip the Nokia 8 to sport a bezel-less design
  • It is also tipped to sport an iris scanner
  • The Nokia 8 flagship may be launched this month

The rumoured Nokia 9 has been been the go-to name for tipsters for the upcoming Nokia flagship phone for several months, but it now seems the Nokia 8 will be flagship instead. A report from China suggests the Nokia 8 will sit on top of the Nokia foodchain instead of the oft-leaked Nokia 9. The report substantiates its claims with images and marketing materials of the Nokia 8, complete with design details. If true, this would suggest the Nokia 9 might be launched sometime later this year, after the Nokia 8 is revealed, in order to compete with iPhone 8 and its ilk.

In the report by Chinese site CNMO, the Nokia 8 is seen sporting a bezel-less design, apart from a USB Type-C port and dual speakers at the bottom edge of the smartphone. Another image also shows a unique thin vertical camera strip at the back of the smartphone on the left side, something that does not fall in line with previous rumours seen about the Nokia 8.Nokia 8 Will Reportedly Be the Nokia Flagship Phone, Not Nokia 9

The smartphone is also tipped to sport an iris scanner, again, something that was tipped to arrive on the Nokia 9. All of this seems to suggest that the Nokia 8 will be the true flagship that will be unveiled this year, and not Nokia 9.

Whatever the phone is called, the Nokia flagship device is expected to be launched as soon as this month. It is expected to be IP68 water resistant, support dual-SIM slots, and a fingerprint scanner as well. The smartphone is expected to feature a 5.3-inch QHD display, will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 SoC paired with 4GB or 6GB of RAM (some rumours even point to an 8GB RAM variant), and support 64GB of inbuilt storage with microSD card slot for expansion.

The smartphone will sport a 13-megapixel dual camera setup at the back and a 13-megapixel front camera as well. The dimensions are expected to be at 151.55×73.7mm. The Nokia 8 or Nokia 9 is expected to be priced at EUR 749, while the India price is tipped to be at Rs. 44,999.

 

Samsung Galaxy On Max with 13MP front & rear cameras launched in India at Rs 16,900

 

Samsung has launched the Galaxy On Max photography-centric mid-level phone in India at a price of Rs 16,900. The Samsung Galaxy On Max will be exclusively available for buying from online retail website Flipkart in black and gold colours starting from July 10. It won’t be sold offline, at least initially.

The USP of the Galaxy On Max, besides its all-metal unibody design, is Samsung Pay Mini and Social camera (read a camera with filters). While Samsung Pay Mini is a lighter version of the company’s Pay mobile payments service platform, the Social camera lets users apply filters and interact with social media apps like Facebook and Instagram directly from the camera app itself.

Being photography-centric, the Galaxy On Max comes with 13-megapixel cameras on the front as well as on the back. While one of the lenses has an aperture of f/1.7 the other has an aperture of f/1.9 which technically should entail in better low light photos. Both the cameras on-board the Galaxy On Max come with flash.

 Samsung Galaxy On Max with 13MP front & rear cameras launched at Rs 16,900

“Today consumers use their smartphones to capture memories. Galaxy On Max is the perfect device for this, enabling users to click brilliant photographs under all light conditions. It also offers the option of sharing pictures on-the-go with a single click. Galaxy On Max will redefine the way people click and share pictures,” Sandeep Singh Arora, vice president, Online Business, Samsung India said.

Erstwhile, the Samsung Galaxy On Max comes with a 5.7-inch 1080p screen and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek processor clubbed with 4 gigs of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which is expandable by up to 256GB via micro-SD card slot.

The dual-SIM phone runs Android Nougat-based TouchWiz UI software and supports 4G LTE connectivity. It is further backed by a 3,300mAh battery.

With the On Max, Samsung is again targeting tech-savvy phone buyers that use online sites for their shopping needs. This phone will only be sold online. However, that also makes the job of the On Max much more difficult because it will have to compete with the devices like the Moto G5 Plus and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 that are very strong online and are incredibly popular.

Samsung only recently launched the Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max phones in India at a price of Rs 17,900 and Rs 20,900 respectively. Both the phones also come equipped with the Galaxy On Max’s supposed USP features, aka, Samsung Pay Mini and Social camera.

Interestingly, these are not the only phones Samsung is going to launch in India this month. The company is also expected to unveil the Galaxy J5 Pro, which it has already launched in countries like Malaysia, in India in the coming days.

 

Sony G84XX model appears in AnTuTu: Features Android O and Snapdragon 835 SoC

With the IFA 2017 coming up, Sony is expected to launch several smartphones at the event. While most of the reports have suggested that Sony will launch a flagship handset which will be the Sony G83XX model and a compact version which will be Sony G84XX.

Sony G84XX model appears in AnTuTu: Features Android O and more

While nothing is officially confirmed as yet, a new Sony smartphone has just appeared in a benchmarking database, AnTuTu. Dubbed as Sony G8441, this is yet another smartphone model from Sony. So the question now is which smartphone will Sony actually launch.

That being said, the appearance of the new smartphone on AnTuTu means only one thing.
We now get to know some of the key features and specifications of this device. And at the same time, we will be giving or guesses on which smartphone this model could actually be.

Sony G84XX model appears in AnTuTu: Features Android O and more

Besides, the listing on AnTuTu reveals that the device is powered by a Snapdragon 835 chipset. The device seems to come with 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage along with sporting a 720p HD display. As for the camera the alleged smartphone sports an 8MP sensor both at the front and rear.

The interesting thing here is that the smartphone is running on Android O. However, it is worth noting that these are not the final specs that the smartphone will be launched in. The company is basically testing the smartphone and the features and the company might not include these in the final product.

As for our assumptions, we are guessing this Sony G83XX model could be a smartphone in the Sony Xperia XZ series. But again it could entirely be a new smartphone in a new series. As of now, no official statement of confirmation has been provided about the phone or its availability. We are expecting the company to make some announcements during the company’s IFA conference in Berlin on August 31.

Mysterious HTC Ocean phone renders leaked: Has four cameras

Yesterday, we reported that a HTC smartphone codenamed as the Ocean Life is coming down the pipe. According to a post on Twitter, the smartphone will come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chipset and the Edge Sense technology.

Mysterious HTC Ocean phone renders leaked: Has four cameras

Today, images of another HTC smartphone has appeared on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo. However, unlike the Ocean Life, it seems to be a flagship device. We say this as the renders show the smartphone featuring a bezel-less display. So it is not that likely for a mid-ranger to have an edge-to-edge display. However, we are not denying the possibility of it being the same device.

Maybe HTC has decided to put more focus on the design-aspect, rather than the inner specifications. Also, it is too early to say anything for sure. Until we get any indication from HTC itself, the authenticity of these images remain undefined.

Mysterious HTC Ocean phone renders leaked: Has four cameras

Looking at the images, you can see the HTC phone sporting a border-less display with no bezels on its sides. Even the top and bottom bezels are pretty thin. Interestingly, the top bezel of the phone bears the Ocean logo. Moreover, a front dual camera setup is also visible.

The smartphone’s corners are rounded and it seems to bear vertically stacked dual cameras along with dual-tone LED flash on its back. Unfortunately, other than the pictures, no features and specifications has been revealed.

It goes without saying, this is just a leak. So you ought to take this with a pinch of salt. In any case, HTC is expected to launch a new smartphone sometime in October.

 

LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 hardware specs leaked ahead of July 11 launch

 

The LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 seems to have visited benchmark website Geekbench revealing some key hardware specs of the phone in question ahead of its scheduled launch on July 11. The phone, as per the listing, does justify its mini credentials however it is also being tipped that it would carry the G6’s USP near bezel-less Full Vision display.LG G6 Mini aka LG Q6 hardware specs leaked ahead of July 11 launch

The  LG Q6 — LG-M700 – as per the Geekbench listing is powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor clubbed with 3 gigs of RAM. The original G6, to recall, comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor paired with 4GB of RAM inside. The LG Q6 is further said to run Android 7.1.1 based LG UX which is LG’s custom skin.

India Today Tech had previously reported that the G6 Mini was in fact in the works and that it would launch in India sometime in August-September. “Very soon India will see a variant of the G6 at a much more affordable price,” Amit Gujral who is head corporate marketing, LG Electronics India had said while speaking exclusively with India Today Tech in May. “We have always brought marquee features in our flagships and we have gone ahead, made much more efforts by our R&D to bring those features into slightly lower mid-end segment,” he had further said.

The marquee feature of the G6 is its unusual 18:9 Full Vision display. Now, multiple reports have come up seemingly confirming that the G6 Mini will indeed carry the same Full Vision display as the G6, only in a smaller 5.4-inch form factor. The screen-to-body-ratio of the Q6 will apparently be greater than 80 per cent. The notable exclusion in the Q6 is said to be the dual-camera system as the phone in question will reportedly come with a single 13-megapixel shooter on the back.

 

LG vs CM in Puducherry: Understanding the question of nomination to UT House

 

Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi administers the oath of office to three BJP leaders at Raj Niwas on July 4. Official Twitter handle @thekiranbedi

A dawn-to-dusk bandh backed by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy against Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi shut down much of Puducherry on Saturday. Narayanasamy described Bedi’s induction of three BJP leaders into the state Assembly last week as “a shame on the Constitution and the democratic norms and conventions”, and M K Stalin, working president of the DMK, which is in a coalition with the Congress in power, accused Bedi of “indulging in actions that blatantly disregard the democratically elected government”. On Friday, Narayanasamy had tweeted a picture of a protest fast against Bedi’s “actions of being an agent of BJP”, to which the LG had retorted, “Feel sad for our most beautiful part of India… Puducherry”, tagging the official handles of the President, Prime Minister and Home Minister. Earlier on July 6, she had posted on Twitter, “Since when is application of Law a ‘murder of democracy’? [See the] law. Central Govt has [the] power to Nominate & LG has [the] power of oath giving..!”, and “How is carrying out ones responsibilities being an agent of a party? This is Govt of India direction & as Administrator I have to abide.”

What exactly did the LG do, which precipitated the latest round of confrontation with the Chief Minister? What are the provisions under which she acted? What is the background and context of that law? What is the larger process by which lawmakers are nominated to elected bodies of people’s representatives?Puducherry, Puducherry politics, kiran bedi, Puducherry CM, Puducherry LG, V Narayanasamy, bedi vs V Narayanasamy, mk stalin, indian express news, india news

Whom did LG Bedi nominate to the Puducherry Assembly, and under what circumstances?

On July 4 evening, Bedi administered the oath of office to V Saminathan, president of the BJP’s Puducherry unit, K G Shankar, its treasurer, and S Selvaganapathy, an educationist and member of the Puducherry BJP, making them members of the Assembly, and posted pictures of the ceremony at Raj Niwas on Twitter. In a press release issued the following morning, the LG’s Secretariat said the oath ceremony had been carried out “against the background of their (the nominated members) reporting the compelling circumstances they had been placed in”, following which “a careful decision was taken not to delay their taking the oath. Hence, without any public function being organised, the oath was administered in the LG’s office chamber itself.

Political parties including the Congress, DMK, VCK and Left condemned the Centre’s “arbitrariness” in choosing the three nominated members – which allowed the BJP to enter the Assembly — and the “undemocratic” manner in which they had been “secretly” sworn in. The ceremony in Raj Niwas was held on the eve of a scheduled hearing in the Madras High Court of a petition filed by a Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister, seeking a stay on the nominations. The three BJP leaders had earlier met Assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam to press for the oath; however, Saminathan told reporters on July 4 that “We took the oath as the Speaker delayed the swearing-in ceremony”.

What does the law say on nominating members to the Assembly of a Union Territory?

Article 239(A), first introduced in the Constitution by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1962, allows Parliament to enact a law for the creation of “a body, whether elected or partly nominated and partly elected, to function as a Legislature” for Puducherry. Under The Government of Union Territories Act, 1963, “the Central Government may nominate not more than three persons, not being persons in the service of Government, to be members of the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory.”

Puducherry and Delhi are the only two Union Territories that also have elected Assemblies. Delhi is governed under the National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991. As per The Government of Union Territories Act that governs Puducherry, the 30-member Assembly can have an additional three members nominated by the Centre. Bedi administered the oath of office to the nominated members based on the recommendation sent by the union Home Ministry.

Where else are members nominated in a legislature?

There are two other types of nominations in a legislature: either for a community that is not adequately represented, or for members with expertise in a particular field. Rajya Sabha provides for 12 nominated members with expertise in the fields of science, art, literature and social service. In Lok Sabha, two members from the Anglo-Indian community can be nominated if the community is not adequately represented in the House. Anglo-Indian members are also nominated in nine state legislatures: West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Jharkhand. In both cases, the purpose of nomination is mentioned in the Constitution. Jammu & Kashmir has a provision for two women members to be nominated if women are not adequately represented.

What powers do nominated members have?

Anglo-Indian members of Lok Sabha enjoy the same powers as any other member of the House They can vote during a no-confidence motion. The power is similar for Anglo-Indian nominated members in state Assemblies. In Rajya Sabha, too, nominated members enjoy the same powers as other members. In the case of Puducherry, however, nominated members in the Assembly cannot vote in a no-confidence motion nor can they vote on financial matters. Since the nominated members cannot vote in a no-confidence motion, they cannot disturb the existing majority of the ruling party. In the election for the President of India, no category of nominated member is eligible to vote.

So, why does the system of nominated members exist in Puducherry?

At the time of the debate in Rajya Sabha on the Constitution Amendment Bill, the purpose of the nomination appeared to be to allow members from a community not adequately represented to be part of the legislature. However, in the enacted law, there was no mention of representation from weaker or inadequately represented sections as a purpose of the nominations. In fact, one member argued that the concept of nomination should not be applicable at all, given the size of a Union Territory, and called for such a clause to be made available only under certain conditions. Another member felt that the union government would use this provision for ulterior motives — he referred to a situation in the Nagpur Corporation where the Congress managed to overturn its minority situation by nominating members to the body. A third member suggested the use of single transferable vote, like in the case of elections to Rajya Sabha, to nominate members. A fourth suggested the use of a Resolution in the Assembly to approve the nomination of members.

What is the process followed in the nomination to the Puducherry Assembly?

Political parties have been arguing that only the Speaker has the power to induct a member in the House. However, the law for Puducherry only specifies that the central government has the power to nominate; the process to be followed is unclear as there is no rule or notification. This is similar to the nomination of an Anglo-Indian member: while the All India Anglo Indian Association and Federation of Anglo-Indian Associations in India can send recommendation for nomination to Parliament and state Assemblies, the government has the final say in sending the names to the President or Governor for nomination.

 

Can the OnePlus 5 Be a Good Replacement for Your Google Nexus?

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nexus users have been short on options for an upgrade
  • The OnePlus 5 is bringing back the midrange flagship
  • It’s also close to stock Android and relatively quick on updates

Google’s Nexus smartphones were known to be the flag bearers of the Android operating system. While they were made by different manufacturers over the years, Googlehad a close eye on the entire process to ensure you got a pure Android experience.

Things changed last year though, when Google decided to launch the Pixel range of smartphones. The introduction of the Pixel and the Pixel XL marked the end of the Nexus lineup, and the higher pricing for the Pixels meant that the stock Android experience was no longer affordable.

That means that if you are a Nexus user, you only had two options for an upgrade – stick to your existing phone for as long as Google supports it, or switch to another brand and live with its version of Android. But if you’re a Nexus user, well, September 2017 is when the company stops pushing Android updates other that security patches for the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X.

ALSO SEELife After Google Pixel and Pixel XL: The Nexus Will be Missed

If you have one of those phones then there aren’t too many options available if it’s time to upgrade to a new mid-range flagship. With the launch of the OnePlus 5, there’s another option around now though.

OnePlus5Nexus OnePlus 5 Nexus

The OnePlus 5 is priced at Rs 32,999 for the 6GB/ 64GB version, and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB/ 128GB version which makes it cheaper than the current Pixels, and in all likelihood cheaper than the upcoming Pixel 2 as well. For that price, you get pretty good hardware with a Snapdragon 835 SoC, which is by far the most powerful processor in Qualcomm’s stable at the moment.

But as a Nexus user, the Android experience and the regular updates have been a big part of the package, apart from the performance, which is an area that the OnePlus 5 does deliver on. So as a Nexus user, how is the experience of moving to the OnePlus 5?

ALSO SEEOnePlus 5 Review: Worth the Upgrade for OnePlus 3T Owners?

The good news is that with Oxygen OS you are getting a UI that is pretty close to stock. You’ll also feel at home with the OnePlus launcher, which looks a lot like the Pixel launcher. Google Assistant is also available right away by long-pressing the fingerprint scanner. In these ways, it’s pretty close to the stock experience, but if you are among the ones who tinker with their phones, the developer community support for OnePlus devices is huge. You would find multiple custom ROMs and tweaks for the OnePlus 5.

In terms of updates, Google would still be the fastest to ship out Android updates to its smartphones but OnePlus isn’t far behind. We have seen that the company could ship out Android updates for the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T faster than other manufacturers in the market. So you won’t really be missing much if you do think about the OnePlus 5.

 

Google Pixel Now With Rs. 13,000 Cashback but Is It Worth It?

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pixel is available at an effective starting price of Rs. 44,000
  • However it still isn’t the best value for money
  • It’s worth considering only if you absolutely must have stock Android

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are now available in India at a steep price cut via Flipkart and other retailers across the country thanks to a cashback offer. Now, this usually means you get your money back for purchases made via credit or debit cards issued by specific banks. But in a refreshing change, the Pixel and Pixel XL purchases made via cash will also be eligible. What this means is that you get a Rs. 13,000 instant discount on the smartphones.

A prominent retailer told Gadgets 360 that the reason why the phone is getting such a big discount is because there’s a lot of unsold inventory in India – a stark contrast to the US where the phones can’t be found. But are the Google Pixel phones worth buying at the new price, nearly seven months after their release?

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have last year’s tech

At launch the Pixel and Pixel XL were the fastest in their class, toting the then top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC along with integrated Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. The Pixel XL has a 5.5-inch 1440×2560 pixels display, while the Pixel has a 5-inch panel at 1080×1920 pixels.

Seven months later, Google’s flagship isn’t really flagship material any more. The Samsung Galaxy S8and S8+ (review) both sport far more processing power, and they’re not alone. Xiaomi had launched the Mi 6 with faster, more efficient internals as well, and OnePlus’s new flagship is said to be around the corner as well.Google Pixel Now With Rs. 13,000 Cashback but Is It Worth It?

At the same time, flagships from brands like LG and Sony, while also sporting last year’s internals have made some interesting strides in camera tech, with the LG G6 sporting a dual camera setup and the Sony Xperia XZs cramming in a Motion Eye camera system, which essentially shrinks the tech found in cameras such as the Cybershot RX10 III, to fit inside a smartphone.

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL look dated

The newest flagships are moving to sleek bezel-less designs, as we saw at the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. Google’s own industrial design looked familiar months ago, and it seems plain outdated today. Plus the mix of glass and metal on the back gives it an unfinished, inconsistent feel. All of this results in smartphones that are chunky, and even boring, considering what else is available in the price range today.

Even after a Rs. 13,000 price drop, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL are still expensive

Speaking of the price range, the Google Pixel carries a maximum retail price of Rs. 57,000 for the 32GB storage variant; if you want more storage, you’re going to have to put down Rs. 66,000. The Pixel XL Rs. 67,000 and Rs. 76,000, for the 32GB and 128GB models respectively.

The cashback offer means the Google Pixel will be available at an effective starting price of Rs. 44,000, which isn’t too bad. But most flagships with comparable specs have gotten deeper price cuts at the time of writing.

These include the LG G5 (Rs. 31,600), HTC 10 (Rs. 37,600), and the Sony Xperia XZs (Rs. 38,468), while the likes of the OnePlus 3T were cheaper than the Pixel and Pixel XL from launch itself, and continue to be cheaper even now.

Seven months after launch, some of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL’s biggest problems haven’t been fixed

In the smartphone world, seven months is a lifetime. Despite touting a best in class camera, its lens flare issue is yet to be resolved. In addition to this, Bluetooth pairing is still inconsistent and batteries in some units are prone to early shutdown. Don’t expect Google to be supportive either with some suggesting that after sales service, at least in India isn’t quite capable of fixing all issues.

For all of these reasons, it’s hard to justify a Google Pixel or Pixel XL today, even after the price cut. The only reason could be knowing that you’ll get the latest versions of Android ahead of everyone else – at least until October 2018. If that’s enough of a reason for you to spend at least Rs. 44,000, then your choice is pretty simple; for everyone else, the Pixel phones need to go the extra mile to get us on board.

 

Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is here, but the Indian Apps Just Don’t Seem Ready

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Amazon has finally launched the Fire TV Stick in India
  • The launch was accompanied by a large number of Indian apps
  • Most of these offer a poor experience on the television screen

On Wednesday, Amazon launched its Fire TV Stick in India, priced at Rs. 3,999 (there’s a Rs. 499 cashback for Prime members), which means that for the first time since the launch of Amazon Prime Video in India four months ago in December, there’s an easy way to get your content on to the television screen. Of course, that’s not all the Fire TV Stick does – you can install apps for Netflix, Hotstar, Gaana, Eros Now, DittoTV, and others, though, at 8GB, storage space is a little limited on the Fire TV Stick.

Although you could import a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to India before this, there were limitations. For one, there were almost no Indian apps available, so if you wanted to watch the IPL on Hotstar, for example, then you were out of luck.

And of course, Amazon’s own Prime Video wasn’t supported. What’s more, the service wasn’t available on other devices that support it internationally, such as game consoles. Yes, you could AirPlay it onto an Apple TV if you have an iOS device, but not many people in India live wholly inside Apple’s ecosystem. With the official launch of the Fire TV Stick in India, that’s changed, and you can now queue up an episode of The Man in the High Castle without having to use your phone to force it to launch, but most of the new Indian apps leave a lot to be desired.

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amazon fire tv stick story

Poor design not optimised for televisions
The Fire TV stick is great if you’re a Prime Video subscriber who also uses Netflix and YouTube. These are easily our favourite services on the platform, because of how aesthetically pleasing and simple to use they are.

On the other hand, out of the various Indian applications that we tried after the announcement on Wednesday, only Gaana’s music stream app seems like one that doesn’t need a complete overhaul. The app’s fairly basic, but the search works fine, the different UI elements are at least clearly readable, and the UI is easy to navigate with the Fire TV remote. Meanwhile one of the worst experiences was while using Hotstar.

On one hand, given Hotstar’s catalogue and relatively reasonable pricing, we’re happy to see it as a Fire TV app. On the other hand, the UI is practically an incitement to violence. Scrolling through is not smooth, the focus seems to get ‘stuck’ at times when you’re nearing the edges of the screen, requiring one or sometimes even two extra keypresses to continue to scroll, and there are times when it’s is even more inconsistent.

hotstar tv ui hotstar

Sometimes, for example, you’re trying to scroll down the list of categories on the home screen, and the focus will jump up to the categories bar on the top of the screen, so you’re now on the Sports tab. Tapping the left or right keys at this point is fine, but tap down again, and you’re back to scrolling through the list you were on.

Sometimes, pressing the back button will take you to the categories bar. At other times, it will ask you if you want to exit Hotstar. Accurately scrubbing is next to impossible, and there are no subtitles available.

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A clear lack of testing
We tried out a number of other apps – having used an imported Fire TV for a couple of years we’ve got a fair amount of exposure to how apps can and should look on the device.

What we found was that just about every other app had some issues. For example, although Hotstar was definitely the worst experience, DittoTV also suffered from poor navigation, and felt more like something that was designed for mobile displays – and touchscreens.

Eros Now was the best looking app, but there were a couple of major shortcomings that keep us from wholeheartedly praising it. For one, there’s no search function in the application, which is pretty much unforgivable. Secondly, the content is a little too small to read easily on the screen. It looks like you should either be watching it on a big, 70-inch display, or you should be sitting just two feet away from the television.

eros now ui eros now

This led to – for example – looking at the Rangeela poster thinking, “this doesn’t look like I remember”, and on loading you realise it’s actually the poster for Rangeeley. In that case, it wasn’t just the title text under the poster that was too small to be seen – that’s the case with every entry on Eros Now – but also the text on the poster itself. Finally, a minor quibble – in the settings the first option is select languages. The only choice in there is ‘All languages’, which makes us wonder why the option was added at all.

ALSO SEEAmkette EvoTV 2 4K Review

Things will get better
The good thing about all of this is that apps can and likely will be updated, and get better. And unlike the Apple TV, which is expensive and – according to completely unofficial estimates – doesn’t have a wide install base in India, Amazon’s offering is relatively cheap. Add in the fact that it’s the ‘official’ – and for many, the only – way to watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV, and Prime Video itself is a service that’s pretty reasonably priced, you can see a number of people being interested in the Fire TV Stick.

And if there are users, then the developers will also be motivated to improve their offerings and provide better solutions. What’s surprising though is why Amazon, which has been in this business for some time now, didn’t work more closely with the developers to ensure that the first experience people have with its hardware doesn’t have these kinds of issues.