Tuesday, January 26, 2016

                           Many people in India might have not  heard of this word Virtual Reality (VR), in fact I was one of them, until Lenevo released its most awaited smart phone of the year, Lenovo K4 Note with ANT VR headsets. I was not able to purchase the bundle offer which comes with Lenovo K4 Note and  ANT VR headset, due to non availability during its first flash sale in India. So I was looking for an alternate inexpensive VR headset on Amazon.in where I found this product PROCUS, an Indian VR headset company from Chandigarh as its website says. But looking at the product anyone can make out that its an Chines imported product.

                       Virtual reality is an immersive experience in which your head movements are tracked in a three dimensional world, making it suited to games and even movies. When you strap on a VR headset, you’re immediately in the new digital world. The visuals sell the sensation, but sound is what makes it stick.

                    After placing my order on Amazon.in I downloaded few 3D movies like RIO 2, 300 rise of an empire etc., and I must say the experience was awesome as a first time VR user along with Dolby Atmos surround sound. Although you must have watched many 3D movies in your cinema theater, but with a low cost  device such as  Google cardboard or the one which I am using you can experience  the same effect in your house including 3D content. Now you can forget traveling to multiplexes, parking hassles, costly tickets, long queues. At a fraction of the cost enjoy at your home and at your convenient time with better viewing quality.

                 While buying inexpensive VR headsets make a note that it should accommodate 3.5 inch to 6 inch size phones.  It should have a IPD (Inter Pupillary Distance) adjustable knob which is very crucial for having a good VR experience else you will face doubled images or crossing eyes or any sort of stress. It should also include focal length adjustment knob to change the distance between the phone and the screen as well as focus adjusting knobs around the lens to cater to people who use spectacles. A VR headset should have space to allow more ventilation to avoid heating of your phone kept inside. There should be slits on the side for connecting chargers if in case your battery drains out and a headphone or an OTG controller if required. The FOV (Filed of view)  should not be less than 90 degree.  A magnetic switch, or a foam based one, or a controller will be an added advantage where you can control your phone without having to remove from the VR set. But for this the phone should have sensors such as Magnetic sensor and Gyroscope sensor.

                         The current lineup of VR products run in terms of price and accessibility.  You can get your feet wet with Google’s product (named Cardboard).  Cardboard is very inexpensive, for any where from Rs.150 to Rs.1000 you can get a Cardboard compatible headset that will house your smartphone for VR. It uses easy to obtain components like cardboard, biconvex lenses, a couple of magnets, Velcro, and a rubber band. You assemble it all yourself, following Google’s step-by-step instructions with pictures.

                    After assembling and to experience  a whole new world just you need to download cardboard app from  Google store which is free and you can try various free apps and games.  Must have a mobile with good HD quality display, memory capacity and battery life. It is advisable to have a phone with gyro for 3D and 360 viewing features or playing games.

But what are the best VR headsets and which one should you choose?  I have  listed some of the top VR headsets available. Make use of the details and experience the whole new Virtual Reality world. If you like it please feel free to comment and share your ideas.

   Oculus Rift
   Sony PlayStation VR
   HTC Vive
   Samsung Gear VR
   Microsoft Holo Lens
   Zeiss VR One
   Google Card Board.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

    Less than a year after launching Lenovo K3 Note which was a huge hit for Lenovo, it has launched the much expected phone of the year 2016 in India named Lenovo K4 Note, a Vibe series and on the same day it started registration exclusively on Amazon in two  versions, i.e one with standalone phone at Rs. 12000 and other with ANT VR bundle with Rs. 12500 for flash sale on 19 of Jan.2016.
         The Lenovo has launched K4 note along with ANT VR headsets whics is called bundle offer with a special price tag of Rs.12500 for first few flash sales, and after that ANT VR headsets which alone costs Rs.1299 and will have to be brought separately along with  Lenovo K4 note which costs Rs.12000.

As per the Lenovo's announcement it received 2,00,000 registration for the first flash sale within 2 days from the date of launch which was a quite big number. It was forced to close its VR bundle offer due to huge registration much before the deadline given for  registration. But first flash sale which was on 19th of Jan had only 10,000 sets which were sold within a second. I too tried my luck but failed to grab one. In the second flash sale which was on next day had 60,000 sets but without bundle offer. This time a was lucky enough to grab one.

    Lenovo K4 Note is 5.5 inch, full HD display phone with 3GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt memory which can be expended upto 128GB with external memory card. 

1. Design

   The handset features a curved back panel and metal on sides and rear camera. It is black in color and weights nearly 160 gm, considering the metal frame and 5.5 inch screen size its not bulky. The metal on the side adds premium look to the phone and curved back panel helps in easy grip. 

    Coming to the front you get to see three navigation keys below the screen which are not back lit which I personally didn't like, above the screen there are sensors and front  camera. There are two front firing speakers  supporting Dolby Atmos.
       At the back there is 13 mega pixel F2.2 camera with dual LED flash  and a new finger print scanner. To the right of the screen there is volume button and power button which are of metal.

      Overall I can say it is good looking phone.

2. Display 

     Lenovo K4 note comes with 13.9cm full HD (1080*1920) IPS display with a pixel density of 401 ppi with 178 degree wide angle, and corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It has color  reproduction adjustments and users can customize as per there requirement. The display is quite bright and and is easily visible in the outdoors during the day time with auto brightness kept on. The colors are natural and vivid. There was no pixilation during reading and it was fun. It has LED notification for incoming calls and sms.

 3. Hardware @ Software

         Lenovo K4 note comes with Octa core Mediatek MT6753 64bit chipset with 3GB DDR3 RAM and comes with 16GB of built-in storage which can be expanded up to 128GB via microSD cards as well as USB OTG. It runs on a Android  5.1 Lollipop with a light version of Lenovo's Vibe UI skin on top.  I found smooth transitions with no apps loaded. 

       The K4 note has a 13-megapixel rear camera with auto focus, an 2.2 aperture and dual tone LED flash. Along with this it comes with 5 mega-pixel front facing camera for selfy lovers.

         In terms of connectivity it includes 4G LTE for both the sims, A GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC card for transferring files. NFC is an additional advantage which you can see in this mobile. 

          It sports a 3300mAH battery which is non removable which is rated to deliver up to 265 hours of 3G stand by time and 22 hours of 2G talk time . The adapter comes with quick charge option with 5.2V and 2.0A output. The back cover of the phone is thin poly carbonate which can be removed easily and can be replaced with the leather and wood covers which the company is about to release in market soon.

             Under the hood it has two SIM slots which can be used as 4G LTE and there is hidden micro SD card slot which is not easily traceable and can be expanded up to 128Gb in addition to 16GB inbuilt memory. The SIM slots are not hybrid slots.

             One of the highlight feature of the phone is its finger print scanner placed below the rear camera. It worked like a charm without fail. Its quick and can open your phone within micro seconds.

  4. The tiny box comes with following items.
  • Lenovo k4 Note Phone
  • AC Adapter
  • Thin back transparent cover
  • USB cable
  • Screen gaurd
  • K4 note manual
   5. Conclusion
        From the little time I spent on the first day  it seemed like a good phone with a descent package of software and hardware combinations. I did not face any lag issues with no user apps installed on it. I could not use ANT VT headset as it was not available. But I would love to experience the virtual reality world and TheaterMAX technology with Dolby Atmos speakers.

      That's all folks for the day. Thanks for reading my reviews. Please share your views in comments section below