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The first iteration came with a 5MP main shooter at the rear, and won a lot of accolades and was even tagged ‘the best tablet camera’ by some. The mini 2 again gets a 5MP unit, which is now an iSight unit capable of 1080p video. The device also comes with an improved FaceTime HD webcam on the front for video calls and self-portraits.
The device comes with tradition iPad storage options, i.e., 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and the mighty 128GB. With these many variants on sale, your plea of Apple devices not having an expansion slot might fall to deaf ears! Although it definitely is a problem to not have an expansion slot, it is a part of the Apple strategy that makes their devices optimized to the core.Processor and Battery
There’s again no mention of the battery capacity in mAh, we have only been told that the iPad mini 2 will have the same 10 hour battery life, which is quite a bit better than other Android tablets lurking around.Display and Features
Apart from the A7 chip, the Retina Display on the device is another highlight. The 7.9 inch display panel comes with a resolution of 2048×1536 pixels, which according to Apple is so high that the human eye cannot differentiate between pixels, thus making the screen seem very fluid. The 7.9 inch form factor is a favourite among many (including me), and that was with the first gen iPad mini which had a 1024x768p resolution; it can be imagines how much more this Retina Display will pack.
The device will come with Apple’s iOS 7 so you can lay back and enjoy the device without having to worry about updating the firmware and other things, which invariably, users dread.Looks and Connectivity
Connectivity includes WiFi, expanded LTE support and Bluetooth. Of course, the device will have a non-LTE version too, which will sell for less.Comparison
There won’t be many competitors in the market to the iPad mini 2, since most tablets come in the 10’’ and around form factor, and those which do come in smaller sizes do not offer anything like a 64 bit processor or Retina Display. In Indian Market this tab will compete with up coming tablets like Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″, LG GPAD 8.3, Nexus 7 second generation and Xolo Tegra Note, which Nvidia claims will be the fastest 7 inch tablet.Key Specs
Model Apple iPad mini 2
Display 7.9 inches, 2048x1536p
Processor Apple A7
RAM Not known
Internal Storage 16/32/64/128GB
OS iOS 7
Cameras 5MP rear, HD front
Battery 10 hours (claimed)
Price Starting $399Conclusion
Having used the first gen iPad mini, I can say that the device is among the best tablets I’ve used. It is surprisingly easy to hold the device in one hand, and the screen real estate strikes a wonderful balance. Now with the updated internals and screen, the experience of using the device will surely end up being better; so the device is recommended to anyone who’s looking for a powerful tablet with good battery life. However, you will have to give up on the customizability of Android.
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Camera and Internal Storage
As you would’ve expected, the phone comes with a 5MP main camera. This unit sits at the rear of the device, and can take pictures up to 2592х1944 pixels in resolution. However, the phone does not feature LED flash, which pretty much will render the camera useless during low light situations.
The front of the device comes with a VGA unit to aid you in video calling. You can expect this unit to suffice during day time, when there is enough light. Some problems like low frame rate might be encountered during low light situations.
On the storage front, the Desire 300 packs 4GB of ROM which is what we expected in a device like this. The storage can be expanded up to 32GB using a microSD card.Processor and Battery
The device will come with a dual core 1 GHz processor based on the Cortex A5 platform. The chipset used is the Qualcomm MSM8225 which houses a dual core Snapdragon S4 Play processor. Although the processor isn’t the best in the market, you can expect the device to come good when it comes to daily tasks such as email, IM, etc.
Gaming on this device wouldn’t be recommended, especially when we’re talking of the latest graphic intensive games. Games like Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, Temple Run might just run fine but do not expect the device to provide you with a lag-free experience of NOVA 3. The phone will have 512MB of RAM to accompany the dual core processor, which fits in well with the device. The Desire X on the other hand comes with 768MB of RAM which puts it a bit ahead of the Desire 300.Display and Features
The Desire 300 will come with a 4.3 inch screen, which, as mentioned previously, is among the smaller screen sizes seen in the market today. The panel will feature a resolution of 800×480 pixels which returns a not so good pixel density of 216 PPI. This means that the phone will not be the best device for multimedia and gaming.
However, the low resolution will mean that the GPU of the device isn’t put under extreme pressure; which, in turn, will mean a faster and snappy UI. However, this might be affected by low RAM availability.
The phone will come pre-installed with Android v4.2.2 which is pretty impressive. Of course, HTC’s Sense UI will be overliad on the stock Android OS for a better look and feel, like most other HTC devices in the market. Android v4.2 comes with battery optimizations, which will help optimize the most out of the 1650mAh battery.Looks and Connectivity
The connectivity features of this device include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, WiFi hotspot, etc.comparison
The phone will be expected to compete with many domestic phones like the XOLO Play, Lava Iris 504q, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, and a host of other quad core devices.
Since the pricing and availability of this device isn’t confirmed yet, we can’t really do a head-on comparison. Once HTC reveals pricing details, we’ll be able to list many other competitors.Key Specs
Model HTC Desire 300
Display 4.3 inches WVGA 800×480
Processor 1 GHz dual core
RAM, ROM 512MB RAM, 4GB ROM expandable by up to 32GB
OS Android v4.2.2
Cameras 5 MP rear, VGA front
Battery 1650 mAh
Price To be announcedConclusion
Nonetheless, aggressive pricing is what is needed now; India is a country where the price is the first thing the buyer sees. If the device is priced around the 10k INR mark, it is bound to do well.
Camera and Internal Storage
On the memory storage front, A55 HD comes with the 4 GB of internal storage capacity that can be expanded up to 32 GB via Micro SD card. Though the phone comes with the expandable memory option, but the internal storage of the device seems to be on the lower side as the phone comes with the HD display which means that the customers will be able to play the HD games and movies, and we know that it requires more space as compared to the normal data so the internal memory seems to be a bit insufficient. Though the external memory storage will not let you to run out of space.Processor and Battery
The A55 HD comes with the 2000 mAh of battery, and this seems to be enough for the average users and can easily give backup of about a day. For the heavy users it can last for less than a day after a single charge. The battery segment was important with regard to this device as first it has the larger HD display and second it is a Quad Core based processor, but the battery seems to be a decent one and will not let the phone to dry down easily.Display and Features
The display can be considered as the USP of this device, the A55 HD sports a larger 5.0 inch OGS Capacitive HD touch screen. So the device comes with the HD display which altogether changes the user experience of the device. And comes with the screen resolution of about 1280 x 720 pixels which clearly depicts that the device comes with the HD screen as we had stated earlier. Again the OGS display helps to increase the clarity of the device and is not included in most of the device in this segment. With the large screen that again comes with the HD screen will let the users to enjoy the games and will make the display quality to be crystal clear and sharp.
The Videocon A55 HD comes with the number of features, for connectivity options it comes with the 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The phone runs on the Android v4.2 Jelly Bean OS and adds newer features and apps to the device. The A55 HD also offers the dual SIM feature to the customers that lets to use both the SIM at the same time. The phone also supports unique features like flip-to-silent and face-detection for unlocking the phone.Comparison Key Specifications
Model Videocon A55 HD
Display 5.0 inch OGS Capacitive HD touch screen, with screen resolution of about 1280 x 720 pixels
Processor 1.2 GHz MTK6589 Quad Core processor
RAM, ROM 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage capacity that can be expanded up to 32 GB via Micro SD card
OS Android v4.2 Jelly Bean
Camera 8.0 MP of primary camera with LED flash, 3.2 MP of secondary camera at rear
Battery 2000 mAh
At last we can state that this device from Videocon, A55 HD is surely ready to buzz the market in its segment. With the addition of Quad Core processor, dual camera, dual SIM and HD display the phone seems to offer all the features expected in this price segment. The Videocon A55 HD is launched at the price tag of Rs.13,500 and is a good option in this price. Secondary camera of this device is also a notable feature. So all and all Videocon had come up with a nice and powerful device that too in the budget segment and will not be heavy on the pockets of the customers.
Going by the specifications, we do not find any major upgrade in the successor of the Redmi 3S apart from the addition of the fingerprint scanner. So, let’s put the two budget smartphones side-by-side and find out their pros and cons. To make things fair, here we will compare the Redmi 3S with only the 2 GB / 16 GB variant of the Redmi 4.Xiaomi Redmi 4 Vs Redmi 3S Specifications Coverage Design and Build Quality
Speaking of the design language, the Redmi 4 looks like a fusion of the Redmi 3S and the Redmi Note 4. The phone looks genuinely premium and feels great in hands. The Redmi 3S is a very well-built handset too. Both the phones feature a metal back with plastic inserts at the top and the bottom. A circular fingerprint scanner sits at the back of the newer device, while the older one is void of it.
Verdict: The Redmi 3S felt a bit more solid in hand than the Redmi 4. The latter looks more premium though.Display
There is absolutely no difference between the displays of the Redmi 3S and the Redmi 4. Both of them have good quality 5 inch IPS LCD panels with HD (1280 x 720) resolution. The later model comes with a new ‘Night Mode’ which adjusts the screen for optimum night time usage. This is not a deal breaker though. However, the 2.5D curved display of the Redmi 4 increases its visual appeal.Verdict: Redmi 4 wins due to its 2.5D curved screen. Hardware and Storage
The Xiaomi Redmi 4 comes with a Snapdragon 435 chipset while the Redmi 3S features a Snapdragon 430 SoC. Coming to processing power, both the chips are absolutely identical. The only difference between the SD 435 and SD 430 is in their 4G modems.Verdict: Tie in terms of processing power, while the Redmi 4 has an edge ahead regarding connectivity. Software and Performance
Both the contending smartphones run on Xiaomi’s in-house MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Performance and gaming are mostly the same as both the phones have similar processing powers.
The Redmi 4 also comes with an optional Android 7.0 Nougat based beta version of MIUI 8. You may opt to install it at your own discretion or wait for the stable release. Unfortunately, this is not available for the Redmi 3S.Verdict: Redmi 4 wins due to newer Android version. Camera
Speaking of the camera, the Redmi 4 performs slightly better than the Redmi 3S. Hardware-wise, both the sensors are absolutely identical though. We suspect Xiaomi has done some fine tuning on the newer phone. This is only valid for the rear shooter as the selfie quality is basically same in both the handsets.Verdict: Redmi 4 has the upper hand. Connectivity
Here is where all the differences accumulate! The Snapdragon 435 of the Redmi 4 comes with a better 4G modem than the SD 430 of the Redmi 3S. The former offers up to 300 Mbps / 100 Mbps download/upload speeds while the latter is restricted to 150 Mbps / 75 Mbps only. The newer smartphone also comes with dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), while the older model features a single band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz only).Verdict: The Redmi 4 is a clear winner. Battery
Both the Redmi 4 and Redmi 3S boast 4,100 mAh batteries. So, power backup Is not an issue in any of them.Verdict: Tie Conclusion
As you see, the Redmi 3S and Redmi 4 are very similar to each other in most of the aspects. However, it is the presence of fingerprint sensor which makes the Redmi 4 a much better buy than its predecessor. You can buy it without any doubt as few phones offer this kind of value for money proposition.
The Twelve South HiRise, which was announced last week, is an aluminum stand and docking/charging station for Apple devices that include a Lightning dock connector. The HiRise supports the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, seventh-generation iPod nano, and the iPad mini (the 4th-generation iPad is too large). Unlike the typical iOS Device dock, the HiRise, as the product name implies, raises your device a few inches high in the air. Twelve South also ships versions of the HiRise for the MacBook (review) and iMac (review)…
The HiRise does exactly what Twelve South says it does, and it does it well. The stand is sturdy and my iPhone 5 and iPad mini both can sit in the HiRise securely. I am not worried about my devices falling off of the stand. The aluminum materials that the stand is made from are very robust and of similar color and texture to the aluminum that Apple uses for the base of the iMac and LED/Thunderbolt Display stands.
The stand is very convenient for watching video in the portrait position, and I also tend to use my iPad and iPhone in portrait while it sits in the stand. The HiRise and stable enough to allow full usage of the iOS Devices. This is great if you want to use your iPad from your nightstand while you are in bed or if you want to use your device at a desk.
The HiRise includes a piece of metal in which the iOS Devices actually are placed onto and a second piece of metal for holding the device upright. This second piece also prevents your devices from falling back or tilting.
The HiRise includes multiple dock adapters so that an iPhone inside of a carrying case can fit in the HiRise. With the different adapters included with the HiRise, Twelve South says that the Griffin Reveal, Incase Pro Snap, Otterbox Defender, Speck Candyshell, Twelve South BookBook, and Twelve South SurfacePad are all supported. However, other cases could be used if you test out some of the adapters.
In addition to being a stand, the HiRise is also a charging station. The accessory allows you to wire through an Apple Lightning connector.
While the HiRise works well, a handy feature that the accessory lacks is the ability to remove your iPhone from the stand easily (without lifting up the entire stand). In order to remove your iPhone, you will need to hold down the stand’s base slightly so the whole accessory does not move.
The stand does not come pre-assembled, so you will need to set it up yourself. The HiRise’s box includes all of the materials you will need, including screws. The stand may take you a few minutes to assemble and I highly encourage following the included setup guide and online instructional video.
The HiRise is a great accessory for anyone looking for a nicely designed, well-constructed and convenient iOS Device stand. The stand makes it easy to video call, watch video, and conduct other iOS Device functions. I recommend it for anyone looking for such a dock.
The HiRise costs $34.99.
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Wednesday’s best deals include iPad mini 5 a new Amazon all-time low, Apple’s upgraded i7 Mac mini at $150 off, and Powerbeats3 for $70. You’ll find all that and more below in the latest 9to5Toys Lunch Break.iPad mini 5 hits Amazon all-time low
Amazon offers Apple’s iPad mini 5 Wi-Fi 64GB for $350. You can save on additional configurations at Amazon with prices dropping in-cart. All of today’s deals match our previous mentions as well as the Amazon all-time low.
Apple’s latest iPad mini delivers an ultra-portable design, 7.9-inch Retina display, and an A12 chip + M12 coprocessor. Touch ID rounds out the list of notable features along with support for Apple Pencil. We heralded its smart form-factor as a defining feature “when portability matters most” in our hands-on review.Upgraded Mac mini $150 off
B&H offers Apple’s upgraded Mac mini 3.2GHz i7/16GB/512GB for $1,549. That’s down $150 from the regular going rate and a match of the best we’ve seen on this model.
Mac mini comes loaded with I/O, including four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.1 Type A ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and more. Upgrading to the larger SSD is a good move, as it’s nearly impossible to do that yourself on the 2023 Mac mini. Check out our hands-on review for more details on the 2023 Mac mini.Powerbeats3 are $70
Amazon offers the Powerbeats3 Wireless In-ear Headphones in red for $70. Originally $200, today’s deal is down from the usual $100 price tag and a new Amazon all-time low. With warmer weather and spring on the horizon, going with this popular pair of wireless earbuds at a low price is a great way to gear up for workouts and long runs. Powerbeats3 are backed by Apple W1 chip with fast pairing, Siri control, and up to 12-hours of playback on a single charge. One neat feature is after 5-minutes of powering up, you’ll have an hour of playback.CalDigit’s Thunderbolt 3 Dock falls to a new low
B&H offers the CalDigit TS3 Plus Thunderbolt 3 Dock for $200. Usually selling for $280, a price you’ll find at Amazon right now, today’s offer saves you over 28%, beats our previous mention by $30, and marks a new all-time low. If you’re hoping to create the ultimate desk setup powered by a MacBook, look no further than the TS3 Plus. This hub features a whole host of I/O for your Mac, including five USB ports, three USB-C outputs, DisplayPort, Gigabit Ethernet, and more. Plus, 85W USB-C charging allows you to connect to all of these inputs with a single cable while still powering your Mac. Learn more in our hands-on review.Honeywell’s HomeKit Thermostat is $87
Home Depot is offering the Honeywell T5 HomeKit Smart Thermostat for $87. That’s $40 or so off what it was fetching at Amazon prior to selling out and beats the lowest price we have tracked by $2. With Honeywell T5, it doesn’t matter if you prefer Alexa or HomeKit as you can tweak your smart home’s temps using either ecosystem. Having used a smart thermostat for many years now, it’s become one of the first installations I carry out whenever moving. I love being able to quickly change temps from bed if I get too hot or cold.Best trade-in deals
9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way! Use code 9to5mac for an extra $15 on all trades.
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