If you have Rs 20,000 to spend on a touch-screen smartphone, the choices are just endless.
The Nokia X7 handset looks superb. It is edgy, with the corners angling inwards, giving it a futuristic look. The sides are also at an angle—curved inwards towards the rear panel. It seems like there are speakers hidden away in all four angled corners, but actually there are only two—the other two are evidently for uniformity. The mixture of plastic and aluminium does give the phone a classy look.
Battery with life: One charge lasts two days.
Carrying forward from the trend set by the Nokia N8, the SIM card slot is on the left, and so is the microSD card slot. Push them in from one side, and once the other end emerges, pull it out. This mechanism isn’t very smooth to operate. We don’t really understand the point of such a design.
There really is no other way of putting it—the X7 isn’t a performance phone at all. A 680 MHz processor, with 256 MB of RAM, is a bit of a disappointment.
Moving beyond this disappointment, the 4-inch AMOLED display is quite good. The colours are appreciably distinct, but do lack a bit of punch in terms of vividness. The crispness is good, and shows in the clarity of the text—reading text on websites, for example, is a pretty good experience. The brightness is quite solid, so much so that turning it up too much may lead to the display becoming uncomfortable to use.
The updated Web browser is one of the really good things to come out of the Anna (OS) update—it renders pages quicker and smoother. Pinch to zoom works more smoothly and the text generally fits well. The good old feeling continues from the Nokia E6!
The X7 does tend to become a bit hot when browsing the Internet, or while chatting on the phone for a long time. And the metal back does induce some sweat on palms.
Battery backup is very good—full marks to Nokia there. The X7 offers two full days of usage, more than what we bargained for.
Symbian Anna is like a completely new OS in some respects. The Anna update has gone a long way in bringing it closer to Android. The performance has improved appreciably. However, Nokia’s Social app needs a complete overhaul—poor design and no integration with the contacts.
The Nokia X7 is quite a unique-looking phone—kudos to Nokia for finally getting the aesthetics right, at least for the most part. At Rs 20,000, it is in the hottest price bracket in the smartphone market—it, therefore, has to contend with the most competition.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stand out in its price segment. Symbian Anna gives the X7 an edge over the N8 in terms of performance— while the N8 is part of a different series, it could be called a spiritual predecessor. It is strictly for those who find its looks appealing, or are Symbian/Nokia aficionados.
Platform: Symbian Anna;
Processor: ARM 11 680 MHz with Broadcom BCM2727 GPU; RAM: 256 MB; Display: 4-inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen, 640x360 pixel resolution; Memory: microSD slot up to 32 GB; Camera: 8 MP with 720p HD video, dual LED flash; Battery: 1200 mAh
Price: Rs 22,829
Build quality: 7
Value for money: 5.5
* Ratings out of 10
The trapezoidal design gives the Slingbox PRO-HD a pretty big footprint. The purpose of this device is to stream video content from a device like a direct-to-home or DTH set-top box or even a DVD player to your laptop or smartphone. The Slingbox PRO-HD is capable of doing 1080i HD video streaming over a network. What the Slingbox PRO-HD misses out on is HDMI input and wireless LAN capabilities.
You need to go to http://in.slingbox.com/ to set up the PRO-HD. An account needs to be created, and the process is a tad annoying. While this works on Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, it refused to work on Google Chrome. The account sign up and login allows the PRO-HD to be detected. We did face the issue that the device wasn’t detected the first couple of times. First, we connected the Tata Sky HD set-top box via the component cable. We were surprised by the quality offered when we were viewing on a laptop—it’s pretty good. Once the video begins, you can also open up the remote for the device connected to it. The Tata Sky HD remote that popped up looked exactly the same as the actual remote! Impressive attention to detail, we must say.
Impressive: The Slingbox PRO-HD offers good video quality when connected to a laptop.
The Slingbox Pro-HD is a very interesting concept and a unique device aimed at what is currently a very niche market, but one that has the potential to grow, given its abilities. The streaming from the connected devices (STB, DVD player, etc.) is flawless, even for HD content, assuming your Internet connection is up to the task.
The ability to watch content streamed from somewhere, anywhere, is a novel feature.
Media streaming device; works with up to 1080p HD video sources; one component, one composite and one S-video in and one each for video out; Coaxial audio pass-through; LAN connectivity; works with Windows and Mac PCs; no monthly rental; Mobile apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone
Email: www.slingmedia. com/go/contact
Price: Rs 14,999
Build quality: 7.5
Value for money: 6
Write to us at businessoflife@ livemint.com