Gadgets and Deals

Lots of people have asked for the invite for the OnePlus 2 which I never had!

Looks like today have an open sale, no invite required..go for it :)


If you need a small computer to run as a media server, file server or even build an IoT solution, then the Raspberry Pi is a good start. has an offer on the Raspberry Pi for just Rs. 1738

Grab it while it lasts. has dropped the pricing for Nexus 6. The Nexus has had a good reputation of top notch hardware at a reasonable price. However this changed with the Nexus 6 launch. While it was great hardware, it wasn’t cheap this time.

Now Nexus 6 is finally had a price dropped and it now makes sense. A new Nexus is expected soon and hence the price drop but it still looks good.

For those who came in late, here is whats interesting about the Nexus 6:

  • Water Resistant body
  • 5.96″ screen – may be big for some
  • 13 MP Camera with Optical image stabilization
  • 2.7 GHz Qualcomm quad-core processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 3220 mAh battery
  • Dual Band WiFi
  • Wireless Charging

Last month, and the Linux Foundation’s community website sponsored a 10-day SurveyMonkey survey that asked readers of both sites to choose their favorite three Linux- or Android-based open-spec single-board computers. This year, 1,721 respondents — more than twice the number from the 2014 survey — selected their favorites from a list of 53 SBCs, compared to last year’s 32.


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Since the onslaught of mobile phone with cameras, camera sales have been on the decline. The point-and-shoot camera are getting quickly replaced with mobile phones with decent camera functions. The other high-end are the DSLRs. If you need something more than a point-and-shoot but don’t like the big and bulky DSLRs, keep reading.

These high-end pocket cameras have a lot of technology borrowed from the DSLRs but are in a compact body, primarily large sensor (good pictures) and full manual controls. They are not exactly pocket friendly in price but most of them would fit in your pocket. They also support RAW format which is nice to have. Some of them are almost the price of an DSLR though, or even higher! Except for interchangeable lens, they have everything that you would want from a DSLR. If you still wasn’t interchangeable lens but smaller size, look for a mirrorless, but they are not as tiny as most of these.

Features Canon G1XII Canon G7X Canon G16 Sony
 Resolution  12.8MP  20MP  12 MP  20MP  20MP
 Sensor  1.5″  1″  1/1.7″  1″   1″
 Aperture  F2.0 – F3.9 F1.8 – F2.8  F1.8 – F2.8 F1.8 – F2.8  F1.8 – F2.8
 Focal length (35mm equiv). 24-120mm 24-100mm  28–140 mm 24-70 mm  24–70 mm
Optical Zoom 5X  4.2X  5x  2.9×  2.9×
 Viewfinder Optional  None  Builtin  Builtin  Builtin
 Video 1080p 30fps  1080p 60fps 1080p 240fps 1080p
 WiFi  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes  Yes
 LCD Tilting  Tilting  Fixed  Tilting  Tilting
Weight  553 g  304g  356 g  287 g  298 g
 Touch Screen   Yes  Yes  No No  No


  • The Canon G1XII is the heaviest and also the only one with 1.5″ Sensor
  • Except for Canon G6 the rest of them have 1″/1.5″ Sensor
  • The Canon G16 has an optical view finder, while Sony RX100’s have electronic view finder built-in
  •  The Canon G16 and the Sony RX100’s have slow motion video, but they are missing touch screen
  • The RX100 IV is the only one with 4K video

I had been thinking of my Touch Table project for a long time. My research on existing solutions was a bit disappointing: mostly insanely expensive, large, or platform locked, they did not fit my vision of a [Android or Linux-powered] ‘desktop’ that would allow me to fit it into my existing workflow, rather than hope that applications would support it (like the Microsoft Surface).



The best phone money can buy, one plus one is now available without an invitation.

If you are in the market for a new phone, here is your chance.

Here are three invites for One Plus One – India edition.

Grab them before they last :)

Click on the link below.


Use any of these 3 4 invite codes:






If you have been eyeing the OnePlus One, you have good news!

Buy the OnePlus One without an invite at Amazon India.

This deal is only Tomorrow Tuesday 10th Feb at 10AM.


Raspberry Pi 2 is here.

  • A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 1
  • $35

And now runs Snappy Ubuntu Core.


This Thanksgiving, Amazon Fire Phone is available at a special price of $199. For that price it looks like a great phone.

  • Unlocked
  • 2.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Bright 4.7″ HD display
  • 13 MP camera with optical image stabilization, HDR, and LED flash
  • 4 G LTE
  • NFC support
  • Free Headphones
  • Free Amazon Prime for 1 year.

The only reasons why I wouldn’t buy this is..

  • Tied to Amazon app store, no Google Play,
  • 4.7″ Screen, if you are in the market for a bigger display
  • No expandable memory slot
  • GSM Only

My setup:

Laptop with Ubuntu 14.04LTS  and Nexus 4.

I also assume you are comfortable with the command prompt. You need to run some commands from terminal.

If you are already running Android 5.0, you can skip Step 1 and go directly to Step 2 to root your device. In my case, I didn’t wait for the OTA update, but if you prefer to play it safe, get the Android 5.0 update and then start.


Make sure your laptop is charged or plugged into the power and your phone is charged too.

Take a full system backup, because these steps wipes the Android clean.

And ensure your laptop doesn’t go into suspend mode while you do this.

Now install a few packages:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

sudo apt-get install fastboot

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

Step 1: Installing Android 5.0

NOTE: This will wipe the system clean so if you haven’t backed up, go and back up first.

Download the correct file from the Google site:

For Nexus 4 it is called.


Now extract the files, it will show you a directory


Change to this directory occam-lrx21t

Now boot into the bootloader, remember this step as you will need to do it a few times.

adb reboot bootloader

If it’s not able to find the device,  you can boot manually.

For nexus 4, while holding the volume button down, press the power button.

Now unlock the device with the following command.

fastboot oem unlock

Now flash the Android 5.0 Image by running this command from the directory above.


After a few minutes, On the phone you will see a new boot up logo for Android 5.0. this will take a few minutes to complete. Grab a coffee or your favourite beverage.

Once this is complete, wait you still have to root the device.

wait, don’t do much on your android, as the unlock process may wipe your data!

Step 2: Rooting Android.

Download the rooting script from chainfire:

When you scroll down, you see the actual link to download.

This will download this file:

Extract this directory, change to this directory.

Now boot into the boot loader with your preferred method. I used volume down button + power on.

Now type these commands.

chmod +x 

Step 3: Installing MultROM manager

Find the app in Google Play and Install.

Start the app. This will ask you to install 3 things, go ahead and install.


It will also boot into recovery mode.

Once its done, it will reboot and start android.

Now start the MultROM manager again.

You should see the option to install Ubuntu Touch.


Step 4: Installing Ubuntu Touch

If you want demo files, select the -demo

you can choose stable OR development version, you can also install both one by one.

This step took the longest amount of time for me. Go get a nap!

It will ask you to reboot once.


Once this is done, there is no intimation that it is completed.

When you reboot, it will give you an option to boot internal (Android) or Ubuntu Touch. Here you can select Ubuntu Touch and boot into it and setup.

Final Housekeeping. Boot into bootloader and lock the boot loader again:

fastboot oem lock

click on start to reboot your system.

Note: If you upgrade your Android, you will lose the dual-boot and have to start again from step 2 which may differ with your android version.

After the  iPhone 6 vs Android: Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC M8 and Xiaomi MI3,  I am now comparing the Phablets: iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and Note 3 Neo. I picked the top Phablets and also the budget Note 3 Neo.

Features iPhone 6 Plus Note 4 LG G3 Sony Xperia Z3 Note 3 Neo
 FingerPrint Sensor  Yes  Yes No No No
Shatter Proof  No No No Yes Yes
Screen Size 5.5″  5.7″ 5.5″ 5.2″ 5.5″
Resolution 1080 x 1920 1440×2560  1440×2560 1080 x 1920 720 x 1280
RAM 2 GB  3 GB  2/3 GB  3 GB 2 GB
 Memory Card Slot No  Yes Yes Yes Yes
Primary Camera 8 MP  16 MP  13 MP 20.7 MP 8 MP
Selfie Camera 1.2 MP  3.7 MP 2.1 MP  2.2 MP 2 MP
CPU Dual-core
1.4 GHz
2.7 GHz+
1.3 GHz
2.5 GHz
2.5 GHz
 Hexa Core
1.7 GHZ+
1.3 GHz
64 Bit ? 64 Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit 32-Bit
 FM Radio No TBC Yes (in D855) Yes No

Still want an Apple ?

I was watching the iPhone 6 launch last night and was wonder what the fuss is all about? Well it’s from Apple and people may be drooling.

Lets find out how the iPhone 6 compares with the Leading Android phones. I am only comparing the specifications and features and not the actually quality which is very subjective.

Here is Apple iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and Xiaomi MI3. Galaxy S5 and One M8 are the premium Android phones while the MI3 is the poor man’s option or the rich mans budget phone which ever way you look at it.

Features iPhone 6 Galaxy S5 One M8 MI3
 FingerPrint Sensor  Yes  Yes No No
 Dust Resistant  No  Yes  No  No
 Water Resistant   No  Yes  No  No
 Screen Size  4.7″  5.1″  5.0″  5.0″
 Resolution  750 x 1334  1080 x 1920  1080 x 1920  1080 x 1920
 Full HD  No  Yes  Yes  Yes
 RAM  1 GB  2 GB  2 GB  2 GB
 Memory Card Slot No  Yes Yes No
Primary Camera 8 MP  16 MP  Dual 4MP  13 MP
Selfie Camera 1.2 MP  2 MP   5MP  2MP
CPU Dual-core
1.4 GHz
2.5 GHz
2.3/2.5 GHz
2.3 GHz
 FM Radio No No Yes Yes
4G LTE Yes Yes Yes No

As you can see the Android variants are leading in almost all the specifications which does matter. This includes the inexpensive Xiaomi Rather than innovating, Apple seems to only playing catch-up. Apply skillfully hides the finer specifications. Its your choice to stand in the queue for iPhone 6 or go with an Android at a cheaper price.



The global announcement of AMD’s first ARM-based server SoC (system-on-chip), otherwise known as the Opteron A1100, happened end of January 2014 with Suresh confirming that the first samples would be shipped by end of March 2014 with full production happening by the end of the year.
Née “Seattle”, this part, which is part of the top-bin (i.e. the fastest parts from a particular batch) is built around eight 64-bit ARM Cortex-A57 cores clocked at 2GHz and fabbed at 28nm. Other useful titbits include a TDP of 20W, 4MB L2 cache and 8MB shared L3 cache.


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Huawei’s MediaPad X1 is not only a good alternative to an iPad Mini but also has phone capabilities. Announced at Mobile World Congress and expected to be launched in March 2014.

Claimed to be the slimmest 7″ tablet, Here is what is cool about it:

  • 3G with calling facility
  • 4G LTE (optional)
  • Quad Core Processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 7″ Full HD, IPS panel
  • 13 MP camera (sony lens), with 5 MP secondary camera
  • 16 GB Internal storage
  • Expandable MicroSD slot
  • 5000 mAh battery, which is powerful enough and can also be used to charge other devices
  • WiFi  b/g/n, Dual Band in the 4G version
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Just 239g lightweight and slim

Here are the limitations:

  • No Android KitKat, there is no plans or commitment for Huawei.
  •  Little awkward to use a phone because of the large size.

Since today’s phones don’t even last a day, you should use your primary phone for voice only, and use this device for all data activities. The X1 could be good tablet device but little awkward to hold as a phone. Could be used with Bluetooth as a phone.

Interesting tidbits:

Rubin recounted his first meeting with Samsung’s executives by saying “You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?’ is basically what they said. They laughed me out of the boardroom. This happened two weeks before Google acquired us.”  Considering that there were actually eight people on the team for Android, it shows that they really did not care for the company at all.

Back to 2005.  Google CEO Larry Page agrees to meet with Rubin and loves the idea.  Google had been looking for an innovation to bring to the mobile industry, and they were afraid that another company, such as Microsoft with their massive resources, would beat them to it.  Page offered to purchase Android for $50 million and some various perks, and the whole original Android team was absorbed into Mountain View at Google HQ, and thus began the story of Android, and how it was not taken by Samsung but rather the innovative Google.

Never underestimate what a 6 people company can do :)

Read the complete article:


A friend of mine was looking for a budget phone with a lot of features. While there are bigger brands which are more expensive, I came across Xolo Q3000 which offers similar features at an affordable price.

Here is what I liked about it:

  • 5.7″ IPS  full HD display – good if you like big displays
  • 1,5 GHz Quad Core Processor
  • 2 GB RAM – enough to run many applications
  • 4000 mAh  battery – this is almost double than most phones, will give you a charge for days not hours!
  • Dual SIM
  • 13 MP Camera
  • 16 GB built in Memory with MicroSD Slot
  • Android 4.2
  • Micro USB and USB on-the-go

Although I haven’t used a Xolo myself, I have also heard about some issues with Xolo’s service.

The competitions (namely Micromax and Intex) are about to launch Octo-core processors (8 cores), I don’t know how much better performance you will derive but for now this looks like a good phone.


Intel’s solution for next generation wearable technology is Intel’s Edison. SD card size computer is launched at CES.


  • Dual-core low-power 22nm 400MHz Intel Quark processor.
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Runs Linux


Blueshift is the cool speakers that charges in 5 minutes and plays for 6 hours.

Sam Beck is the guy behind Blueshift, an open source sustainable electronics business that is all about building cool stuff. Helium speakers are the company’s first product to market and will be the world’s the first supercapacitor-powered portable speakers. Not to mention the design files are open source.

In this interview, Sam shares with me his unique business mindset and why he’s not afraid anyone will steal his thunder, even while they might have access to his design.

If we build stuff that’s cool enough, we’ll find a way to make money.

Read More:

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