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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leads#3: Budget Android Phones in India Rev.2

Its been quite a long time since the last post. In this post I will be discussing some of the budget android phones that is currently available in the Indian market as of September 2010.

This post can be considered a sequel to my earlier post on budget phones here. Before we can jump into our list of devices, it will be very much helpful to you if you can understand the nuances of touch screen phones here so that it will help you zero on the right device. Lets get down to business right away with a small picture graph for some insight into growth of Android.


1) Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500

· Operating system: Android V2.1 with TouchWiz 3.0
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/2100
· Processor: 600 МHz processor
· Internal: 170 MB(256 MB RAM,512MB ROM) + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g,DLNA, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR(A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 2.8” 240x320 pixels resolution (QVGA),256k colors
· Camera: 2 MPx with LED Flash
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, Accelerometer, FM Radio,SWYPE text input.
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1200 mAh

First on our list is the Samsung Galaxy 5, which is an affordable budget phone. If you are on a tight budget and are looking for a smart phone stop here, just go ahead and buy this small droid. It has a capacitive screen, which ensures good touch sensitivity. It has got all the features that the higher end phones have except for the small screen with a low QVGA resolution. Samsung Galaxy 5 i5500 sells for around Rs 9000/-

2) Spice Mi-300

· Operating system: Android V1.6/2.1
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/1900/2100
· Processor: Qulacomm MSM7225 528 MHz
· Internal: 156 MB+ microSD
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR(A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.2” 480x320 pixels resolution (HVGA),16M colors
· Camera: 5 MPx with LED Flash
· Other features: G-Sensor, Proximity Sensor
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1230 mAh

And for the first time we see an Indian Phone manufacturer coming up with an Android device. This phone has a very descent spec, especially a 3.2” screen with a HVGA resolution. It is also based on the Qualcomm platform, which ensures a good processing power. Initially when the phone was launched it came up with Android V1.6 but later the devices are coming up with Android V2.1. You can check out a small video on this device here:. The Spice Mi-300 sells for around Rs 10,000/-

3) Videocon V7500 Zeus

· Operating system: Android V1.6 upgradeable to V 2.1
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, UMTS 2100, HSDPA 7.2MBPS/HSUPA 2MBPS
· Internal: 512 MB + microSD
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 (A2DP,GAP,HFP,HSP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.2” 480x320 pixels resolution (HVGA),262K colors.
· Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, digital compass, accelerometer, proximity sensor.
· Battery: removable 1230 mAh(two batteries provided)

After Spice jumped up into the Android arena, another Indian phone manufacturer, Videocon have come with their device called Zeus. Like the Spice MI-300, Zeus is also a very descent mobile with good spec sheet. It comes with Android V1.6 but Videocon has promised an update to V2.1 in the end of October. Videocon has provided two batteries with the pack,one as a back up battery. The expected price for Videocon V7500 Zeus is around Rs 10,000/-.

4) LG Optimus GT-540

· Operating system: Android V1.6/V2.1 with Custom UI
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/2100, HSDPA 850/2100
· Processor: Qulacomm MSM7227 600 МHz processor
· Internal: 130 MB(256 MB RAM & ROM) + microSD
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - Resistive , 3.2” 320x480 pixels resolution (HVGA) 256k colors
· Camera: 3.2 MPx with autofocus
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, Accelerometer, FM Radio,Divx Certified Device
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh

Optimus GT-540 is the second Droid from LG after the LG – Gw620. The earlier model did not make a cut in the Indian market despite having similar features and a slide out keyboard. This phone has a major set back with its Resistive screen which I think doesn’t do justice to androids, especially when phones which cost lower than this such as Samsung Galaxy 5 have a capacitive screens. But other than the resistive screen the Optimus has a very good spec sheet. It has got a HVGA resolution screen and a DivX certification which means there is no need for you to convert all those .avi(Divx/Xvid rips) and .divx files. Just copy them to your card and voila the phone plays it for you without any hitch. The phone in the US shipped with Android 1.6(remember you will not be able to send files via Bluetooth in this version) but LG announced that it would ship with Android V 2.1 in India. The LG Optimus GT-540 sells for around Rs 11,500/-

5) Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800/i5803

· Operating system: Android V2.1 with TouchWiz 3.0
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/2100
· Processor: 667 MHz processor
· Internal: 256 MB RAM,512MB ROM + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g/n,DLNA, Bluetooth 3.0+EDR(A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.2” 240x400 pixels resolution (WQVGA),16M colors
· Camera: 3.2 MPx autofocus
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, Accelerometer, FM Radio,Proximity Sensor,Multi touch input,DNSe,DivX certified,Document Editor
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh

With the success of Spica, Samsung have introduced its replacement, the Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800. But hold on! There’s one set back here too. Inspite of a HVGA screen,Samsung has gone ahead with an odd WQVGA resolution screen and a 667Mhz processor replacing the 800 MHz processing power of SPICA. However Samsung has thrown in a very good set of features which is better than SPICA like more internal memory of 512 MB ROM and a 256 MB RAM,Bluetooth 3.0(only phone in the lower budget to have this new standard),proximity sensor,multi touch,DLNA capable and FM radio. Like his elder brother, Galaxy 3 is also a DivX certified device. It has got a rich application in it along with DLNA which means you can share your multimedia files among all your DLNA certified devices. Except for the screen resolution, Galaxy 3 packs a good set of features which is worth having a look at it. The Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800/i5803 sells for around Rs 12,000/-.

6)HTC Wild Fire

· Operating system: Android V2.1 with HTC Sense UI.
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, UMTS/HSDPA 900/2100
· Processor: Qualcomm MSM7225-1, 528 МHz processor
· Internal: 384 MB(512 MB ROM) + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0) for charging and sync, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.2” 240x320 pixels resolution (QVGA)
· Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus and Flash
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, proximity sensor, digital compass,multitouch input method, Turn-to-mute and lift-to-dim-out a call.
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1300 mAh

Like the way Samsung placed a replacement for their mid range phone, the Taiwanese manufacturer has given us a perfect replacement for the Tattoo in the form of HTC WildFire. HTC is known for its good build quality and have done that here too. It looks much like the HTC Nexus One/HTC desire. But again this phone comes with a paltry QVGA resolution display, which doesn’t do justice to android at all. Other than the display the wildfire has got good hardware and their Sense UI in itself is a crowd puller, which makes this device deserve a look. Turn to mute and dim out a call are some unique features available on this device.The HTC Wild Fire sells for around Rs 15,000.

7) Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 Mini/MiniPro

· Operating system: Android V1.6 with TimeScape UI.
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, UMTS/HSDPA 900/2100, HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100
· Processor: Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz
· Internal: 128 MB(256MB RAM & ROM) + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0) for charging, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 2.55” 240x320 pixels resolution (QVGA) with 16M colors(65k effective)
· Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus and LED Flash
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, Accelerometer, slideout keyboard(Mini Pro)
· Battery: removable Li-Po 950 mAh.

Sony Ericcson landed with a bang with their flag ship device Xperia X10 in the android world. Now that they grabbed the attention, they have released the mini version of the X10 as Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 Mini and the same device with a slide out keyboard called the Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 Mini Pro. Mini/Mini Pro has a small display of 2.55” capacitive screen and as expected a QVGA resolution for the small screen. These two devices have completely different purposes compared to the list that we have seen. These devices run on Android V 1.6(Bluetooth file transfer??? Nope!!) which is outdated but Sony Ericcson have promised an update for these devices at the end of this year. One important thing to watch out is that with Sony Ericcson Mini, you cannot change the battery similar to the iphones where the battery is inbuilt and irreplaceable but that’s not the case with Sony Ericcson Mini Pro which also has a slide out keyboard. These phones comes with Sony Ericcsons very own TimeScape UI or the phone corner UI where a shortcut for four different applications can be placed at the four corners of the home screen. The Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 Mini sells for around Rs15,000 and the MiniPro for Rs 750 more than the Mini.

8) Motorola BackFlip MB300

· Operating system: Android V1.5 with Moto Blur UI.
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 21003, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 2100
· Processor: Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 MHz processor
· Internal: 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0) for charging, 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.1” 320x480 pixels resolution (HVGA),256K colors(65K effective)
· Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus and LED Flash
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, proximity sensor, digital compass, accelerometer, reverse flip with QWERTY keyboard,BACKTRACK touch panel
· Battery: removable Li-Ion 1400 mAh

Motorola came back to the smart phone race with their Motorola milestone/Droid. And they have slowly introducing their products in India too after their poor performance in Indian market. This device has a very good spec sheet that is a very good deal for a descent smartphone esply the display resolution. But the irony is it’s a little pricey plus it comes with Android V1.5 with no upgrade in near future. Another note able feature is that Motorola has promised a software update(not to V2.1) which contains some performance tweaks and free MapMyIndia GPS solutions.This Android device with an unusual physical key board sells for around Rs. 17,000/-.


We have seen 8 devices each with its own pros and cons.Selecting a particular device may depend on so many factors like one may wish to have a physical keyboard, or for a good build quality, multimedia performance and more. So in my leads I will be looking at the overall picture.

Android’s main aim is to provide a flexible upgradeable system. So it will be wise to decide on a good hardware with descent spec sheet, which can fit the upcoming different versions of Android and good application support. So you buy a good phone and then you get to enjoy different features whenever a free update comes from google Android(based on availability).

With more manufacturers coming up with Android, the features like wifi,GPS,3G etc. can be found in every android device. But here are certain things that can be deemed a good spec sheet for future updates.

1)Good Screen size and Resolution 2)Processor 3)Inbuilt memory

That being said, on a touchscreen phone, the screen resolution matters the most because all the application(most of them) trust on this parameter. So if we can get a phone with the right resolution it can support many applications. So which is the right resolution? Unfortunaterly we can not tie upto a particular resolution but on the availability of applications and the picture clarity, HVGA resolution is a descent one. It has got good number of applications supporting it and viewing pictures and videos are very good. And as far as screen size goes, as an Android user, I think any thing more than 3.0 inch should do the trick.

Secondly the processor and the internal memory matters. Android V2.1 runs smooth on 500MHz and plus, and as per the rumors the next version to the now latest FROYO Android V2.2 has a minimum requirement of 1GHz and 512MB of RAM. Getting a 1 GHz processor on a budget should be a dream but its not a distant reach. But for now Android 2.1 is a stable system and Android v2.2 is a more tweaked system utilizing the H/W efficiently. So as much processing present more good be for your update. Same goes for the internal memory. Android V2.1 runs very smooth on 128MB RAM and 256 MB should be smoother ride on Android V2.2. But 512 MB would be a perfect choice.
And finally, the manufacturers should be willing to give their device the updates and the device should have a good community support if incase you have plans to root the device.

In my opinion Android V2.1 is the stable and feature rich version however if a device is capable of at least Android V2.2 FROYO it would be too good as it has a feature to install your applications on to your Sdcards rather than onto your inbuilt memory.

So from the processing ability and screen resolution, Spice Mi-300, Videocon Zeus and Motorola backflip makes the cut. Motorola so far have not announced an update to Android V2.1 and not sure if they will do.So, we are left with two devices which are stuck still with android V1.6. Though they have announced an update to V2.1 , am not sure how good the device works and we don’t know if there will be any further updates to 2.2. If you are confident about the performance of these devices, then look no further, they have got good spec and if they can deliver, they are the devices for you.

Well if we can do a bit of sacrifice on screen resolution we have many options. Considering the features and upgrades Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800 and HTC wild fire makes the cut from the group because both have promised an upgrade to Android V 2.2 FROYO whereas Sony Ericcson have yet to give an update to Android V2.1. Now further if we investigate, the Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800 has a little better resolution(an odd WQVGA though) than the QVGA of HTC Wild Fire plus a host of other features for a lot lesser price. Galaxy 3 comes with Bluetooth 3.0,DivX certification, DNSe sound engine and DLNA for content sharing, all of which comes for around Rs 12,000 only compared to HTC wildfire for around Rs 15,000.

So the Leads here is to Samsung galaxy 3 i5800 for its host of features for a good price package. LG Optimus definitely is a good device had it been with a capacitive screen rather than a resistive screen. Resistive screens simply don’t do justice for android for which it doesn’t make it into my list. There are so many unofficial ROMS available such as Cyanogens mod, Leshaks etc that give you the power of root. Both HTC and Samsung have good community support but the former does have an upper hand.
If at all Sony Ericsson had released their X8, then it would have been the optimal solution. But the device is yet to make an entry. If you plan to wait for some more time, then you may check out this device called Sony Ericcson X8 which will be a pefect buy provided it runs on Android V2.1. Here is its Spec sheet:

Sony Ericcson Xperia X8

· Operating system: Android V1.6 with TimeScape UI.
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900 / 2100, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
· Processor: Qualcomm MSM7227 600MHz
· Internal: 128 MB + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.0” 320x480 pixels resolution (HVGA),16M colors(65K effective)
· Camera: 3 MPx with Fixed Focus
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, digital compass, accelerometer, scratch-resistant surface
· Battery: removable Li-Po 1200 mAh
The price of X8 if placed around Rs 13,000 to 14,000 should be a good buy.

Another device to watch out for is Huwaei IDEOS, which comes preinstalled with Android V2.2 FROYO. Its expected price is around Rs 6,000. Here is its spec sheet:

Huwaei IDEOS U8150

· Operating system: Android V2.2
· Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 2100,
· Processor: Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz processor
· Internal: 256 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM + microSD (hot swappable)
· Interfaces: Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
· Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 2.8 ” 320x240 pixels resolution (QVGA),262K colors
· Camera: 3.15 MPx
· Other features: GPS , A-GPS, FM Radio, accelerometer
· Battery: removable Li-Po 1200 mAh

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Leads#2: DivX Certified Mobiles in INDIA

Well, there is no end to this ever growing technology. One thing that changed the perception of mobile phones was the mp3 technology. Every phone manufacturer made sure that their mobile had the mp3 support and it was a huge success that it almost dumped the mp3 players. Things are getting even hotter because now its time to have video playing capabilities on your phone and that’s how we have the .h264 technology.

Ahh! Its not over yet. Am sure everyone knows about those .avi movie files. They completely changed the way we watch the movies. They offer such good compression yet maintain superior quality. You get that same DVD quality but with a reduced size on disk(A 4GB DVD can be ripped to a .avi file of 700MB maintaining almost the same quality). The compression algorithm behind this .avi file is called the DivX/Xvid algorithms. Now what if these are available on a mobile device? Yes they already are. In this post I will post some of the DivX certified mobile phones which will almost dump your media player.

There are many software solutions available on the net. You can download the media players; install them on your mobile to play these files. But nothing can match the DivX certified mobiles. Reason? Because these devices are tried and tested and offer solution from the hardware (.h264) rather than software, so you get superior movie watching experience.

In the mobile phone industry (in INDIA) only Samsung and LG are offering Divx solutions. But things will change soon. All the phones discussed here are the ones that are available from 2010. There are many other phones like the LG KM Arena,Samsung Omnia etc who also offer the DivX certified devices which are quite old now. Additionally you may also want to know some of the touch screens like TFT LCD,OLED,AMOLED and Super AMOLED from our post on Touch Screen Phones here which will be helpful in judging the right DivX phone.

There are four classification in the certification listed as under:

DivX HD: Resolution 1280x720, supports .avi(encoded with DivX/Xvid algorithms), .divx files and .mkv(Matroska Video) HD files.

DivX Mobile: Resolution 320x240 supports .avi(encoded with DivX/Xvid algorithms) and .divx files

DivX Mobile Theatre : Max Resolution 640x480 supports .avi(encoded with DivX/Xvid algorithms) and .divx files

The coolest thing here is, you need not do any conversion. Just dump your movie files and these DivX certified devices just plays them smooth.Ok lets check these DivX babies right away:

Samsung Galaxy SPICA:

So in the ascending order, the phone that is in great demand in India is Samsung’s Galaxy SPICA i5700. This phone comes with a 3.2” capacitive TFT LCD(16M colors) screen with 800MHz processor doing the number crunching.It runs on Android Éclair which is from Google and the OHA which is getting popular now. It has got Samsungs own DNSe technology for superior audio quality. It’s a sheer pleasure watching movies on this phone. This phone is a DivX Certified Mobile device. I had watched a movie with a resolution of 704x288, it played them very smooth. You can check the review of SPICA in one of our posts here. Spica sells for around Rs. 12,500. Its very hard to find this phone in the market, if you find one just grab them, its worth for the money you pay.

Samsung Jet(2):

Samsung Jet s8003 has 3.1” AMOLED(16M colors) resistive touch screen, 800MHz processor and DNSe technology which makes sure you get a good audio experience. With the AMOLED screen the colours are more sharper, deeper and brighter than the good old TFT LCD and watching movies on such a display is awesome. If you don’t know what AMOLED’s are check our post on touch screen phones.The phone sells for around Rs. 13,000 and is a DivX Certified Mobile device.

LG GW620:

LG GW 620 is LG’s first Android phone running CupCake. It has 3” Resistive(256k color) TFT LCD screen, 528 MHz processor and a QWERTY slide out keyboard. The phone sells for around Rs 16,000 and is a DivX Certified Mobile device.

Samsung Wave :

Samsung has brewed up their own new OS called Bada OS. And Wave is the first device, infact their Flagship device to run their Bada OS. Wave has a 3.3” Super AMOLED Touch Screen(16M color), with a 1 GHz processor doing the math, FM Radio and DNSe.
If the Jet offered crisp movies with its AMOLED screen, Wave has Samsung’s new Super AMOLED screen which is more superior than the latter. Now this mobile is for sure going to make a bold statement on the multimedia front. This phone sells for around Rs. 18,000 and is DivX HD certified Mobile, which infact is the first phone to have HD certification. This means it will play all your 720p videos and .mkv files like a champ.

Samsung Galaxy i899:

Galaxy i899 is the first CDMA phone with Android Platform in India. This phone has a 3.2” AMOLED(16M colors) Resistive Touch Screen, with a 800MHz processor and DNSe. So, this phone too has the AMOLED screen which will make sure that you have a good movie watching experience. This phone sells for around Rs 19,000 which is tied with Reliance and is a DivX Certified Mobile device.

Samsung Galaxy S i9000:

The last phone on our list is from Samsungs Galaxy family called the Galaxy S i9000. This phone is Samsung’s flagship Android device. It has a huge 4” Super AMOLED(16 M color) touch screen with 1 GHz Processor doing the number crunching,FM Radio, DNSe and DLNA technologies. 4” screen+ Super AMOLED+DNSe+ DLNA= Theatrical experience.This phone is a DivX HD certified Mobile.The phone sells for around Rs 27,000.


We have seen 6 different phones to super phones and it looked like a one sided game with Samsung filling 5 phones here. This trend of DivX certified devices has just started and other player will soon join LG and Samsung to catch up the mobile entertainment race.

Now picking your right DivX certified device depends on so many factors ranging from price,OS and to many other features like camera etc. But as far as our leads is concerned, it is to pick the device which is quite good player on all the segments (price, feature etc.).

So the Leads here is to 3.3” Super AMOLED screen+ DNSe+DivX HD(play HD .avi,.divx and .mkv) + flagship device+cost + feature = Samsung Wave S8500. Watching those movies on those Super AMOLED screens is surely going to give you goose bumps. With a price range of Rs 18,000, the Leads here is to Samsung Wave S8500.

If price is not a concern then Samsung Galaxy S is the mobile to look for as it has the now stable Android running and moreover is the flagship device of Samsung as well. This would simply mean that all the Android updates for Samsung will start from this device.

If none of the device impressed you, then you might check for good old LG KM Arena or the Samsung i8910 HD which are also DivX certified devices. To check out the complete list of Divx certified phones(or any DivX certified electronic device) check here.

Coming Soon:

Watch out for Samsung i5800 also called the successor of Samsung Galaxy SPICA and LG GT540 Optimus , the two phones which will be announced in the last quarter of this year. These devices are DivX Certified Mobile device.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Android Phone USB Tethering

Well as promised in the earlier post, I will discuss on how to convert your Android phone as a modem and browse from your PC in this post. There are handfuls of applications available for achieving USB tethering. However I had picked two methods one for M$ Windows and the other for Linux, which were little straight forward. Again you need not have to root your phone to achieve USB tethering. Lets get started with Windows:
For Windows(7/XP/Vista):

To do USB tethering in windows you need the tool called pdanet. Go to this site and download the installation file. The installation is pretty much straight forward.

Pre requests:

1) Drivers for your phone (Usually available with applications CD that comes along with the phone).
2) Pda net from this site.

*Note: If even after all the following steps your android mobile is not detected, try installing the android phones device drivers and then install pda net.

Step 1:

Install the Pda net application in your system. Do not connect your Android phone to the PC unless the pdanet application on your pc asks you to connect it. During the installation process, if everything went well, a message will be displayed as shown:

Follow the instructions in the message i.e connect your Phone with the following settings enabled: settings->applications->development and enable USB debugging. You should also enable installation of applications from unknown source by traversing to settings->applications and then enable the unknown source.

If this step is completed successfully then you should see the pdanet application in your android phone.


From your phone run the pdanet application and select enable USB Tether. Now from your pc right click the pdanet icon in the start up list and select connect. The pdanet application can be seen running on your startup list. If not manually start the pdanet application. Congratulation, your Internet connection has been set up.

So everytime you want to tether your Android phone, make sure that the USB debugging option is enabled on your phone and then connect it to your computer.Launch the pdanet application in your mobile. Finally launch the pdanet application from your windows PC and establish a connection from there.

While disconnecting, make sure that you turn off USB tethering from your mobile first and then on your PC.

For Linux(Ubuntu):

In Linux, USB tethering is achieved using the azilink tool.
1)Android sdk for linux which can be found here.
2)Openvpn 2.1 (you can download from the launchpad here).
3)azilink and azilink.opn file(check out them here).

There already is a detailed post on how to achieve USB tethering here. This post will help you set up the USB tethering in Ubuntu. However in step number 4 of that post, while setting up rules files for your device, you may replace the ATTRS{idVendor} with the following code whichever is applicable:

*source of the above information.

The following posts may be of interest to you:

To know whats there more in this blog check here.

Want to sync your contacts from/to PC and your Android Phone??? Watch this space for the solution. If this post helped you, you can show your support by buzzing this post to your friends, becoming a follower or Join hands to publish your own review/posts.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Installing apk Files Offline on Android Devices

The DROIDS nowadays happens to be the most happening device. The rate at which the number of applications that is increasing in the Android market speaks for itself. But there are people who don’t go for an Internet connection and thus cannot enjoy these applications, which takes your DROID to a different level. Don’t worry; there is a work around here to install these applications offline. In this post I will discuss how to install .apk (Android Application installation file) files in your DROID offline. I dont take any responsibility if you brick your phone in the process.

There are two cases:

CASE 1: If you already have a file manager then the task is very simple.

Maneuver to Settings->Applications and check the unknown source. This basically will allow you to install applications offline from 3rd party websites (mind you these applications are not authorized by Google, so there is no guarantee of its behavior). Then browse from your file manager to the specified folder and long press the .apk file. Voila your application is installed. A file manager is something like an explorer in windows, which allows you to browse through your files/folders in the SD card.

CASE 2:You have just now brought a brand new DROID and it doesn’t have a file manager.

In this method we will be using the Android SDK (Software Development Kit) to install files in your DROID. Follow the steps below one by one:

Note: Do not connect your phone to the PC unless it is specified in the following steps.

Step 1:

Download the Android SDK and install it in your PC. You can follow this link, which clearly explains all the steps including the download link of the SDK. You may however need to follow just the first 3 steps provided in the link.

Step 2:

Next you have to install the drivers of your Phone in the PC. Most of the manufacturers provide a CD with applications along with the Phone, which contains the drivers for the phones. Follow the instructions provided in the CD and install the drivers.

Step 3:

Now in your Phone (DROID), traverse to Settings->Applications->Development and enable (check) the USB debugging options. Once done, connect your phone via USB to the PC. If all the drivers were successfully installed then your device should be identified as a Android USB Composite device.

Step 4:

Open a Command prompt. Just issue the following command in the prompt:

adb install path/application

Where path is the path where your application is stored in the PC and application is the name of the application. Note: there is a space after adb and install. Issuing this command should start the installation procedure. And if all went successful you will get a message stating the application was successfully installed to your DROID.

First time reader of this blog? Check this post to know whats more in this blog!
Want to use your Android Phone as a modem for browsing Internet??? The solution is here. If this post helped you, you can show your support by buzzing this post to your friends, becoming a follower or Join hands to publish your own review/posts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Tech Entrepot's New Additions

Well, the past month had witnessed nearly 10 posts on various topics. We had also introduced couple of new interesting sections. The two new sections are Leads and Guides. There are few more other relevant sections, lets go one by one.


The section Leads will help to choose from various options which includes technical specifications, market value and finally states some advantages of each gadget over the other which will clearly lead you to a right choice and that’s why its called leads.

Here are some Leads for MAY 2010:
Budget Android Phones.


This informative section will basically introduce to various technology, its pros-cons, technical terms, market value and finally will introduce to some gadgets using those technologies. So knowing the technology before using it will be more productive and makes more sense right? So keep watching this space for more guides.

Here are some guides for MAY 2010:
Conditioning Mobile Phone batteries.
Touch Screen Phones.

Android Information:

As you can see from the posts in the month of MAY, there was more heat on Android and the DROIDs. The reason is one of the blog author owns a DROID so he quite often does experiments as a result you can expect more posts on Android :) . If you are aspiring to buy a DROID keep watching this blog there are lots more to come.

UP Next:

This section will just let the readers know the upcoming posts. Sometimes it takes a little time to actually publish the posts mentioned in the up next section due to the time constraints with each of those respective authors. But it’s assured that it will be published.

Related Videos:

Here you can view videos if any related to the posts in this blog.

HOT Gadgets:

All the gadgets that are reviewed will be put up in this section.

Most Frequently visited Posts:

If you are a first time reader or a casual blog reader then this section will let you choose the most frequently visited posts in this blog.

From the readers count, which reads nearly 1000 for just one single month is encouraging to go even little farther and publish posts on new topics. So it’s the readers who make this happen. You can always help this blog by publishing your own reviews, which in turn is going to help other readers. Just mail in your review to and then you will be added as an author after which you can publish any number of posts.

If you like this blog and the idea behind this blog you can do some of the following:

Google Buzz:

On the right hand top of every post you have a buzz button, which you can click to share the post with your buzz mates. This will ensure that more readers come out and therefore many more reviewers come up which will help the seekers. So if you like the post feel free to buzz it to your friends.

You can catch The Tech Entrepot in Google Public Buzz in this link:

Subscriptions and sharing:

You cannot reach the blog all the time? No problem, you can just subscribe to The Tech Entrepot blog by providing your email id. A verification mail will be sent to you. Upon clicking the verification mail you will then get the posts right into your inbox. Further you can also share these posts in Tweeter as well as Face book.

Support & Suggestions:

Theres always room for improvements. If you would like to suggest any new ideas feel free to use the comments section to feed in your ideas. There are many posts in queue for this month from speakers to laptop and multimedia phones. So have an eye on this blog on all weekends for new posts. As always show your support by becoming the blog follower and well if you have a review just send an abstract to and from there on you can publish any number of posts on this blog.

::Blog Admin::

Monday, May 24, 2010

4 Ways to increase battery backup in Android devices

In this post I will discuss some of the ways in which you can increase your battery backup in the devices running Android v1.5. However most of the features are applicable across different higher versions. All these tips are from the software point of view i.e the OS. However there is more to prolong your battery backup. Do check the post on Battery Conditioning to know more.

Warning: I don’t take any responsibility if you brick your phone while doing this.

1)Screen brightness, sounds / vibrations :

As can be seen from the Touch Screen phones post, the display is the one, which utilizes your battery the most. So it is highly essential that we supervise its usage. The screen brightness can be reduced when indoor, which can be very effective. Other than that we can also set a timeout for the screen so that whenever the screen is idle, the screen automatically gets locked.

To achieve this maneuver to Settings->Sound & Display->Brightness. From there reduce the screen brightness. You can also set the screen timeout at the same place (sound & Display) as well as some additional options such as Phone vibration, Audible touch-tones and Audible Selections, which can be unchecked to disable.

2)Task Killer:

Android as you know is multi tasking which means many activities can be run simultaneously. You can always view the recently run program by long pressing the home button. But whenever you navigate away from a task it is not closed and it still remains in memory. Take for example you open a browser, and then navigate away by the cancel or the back button, the browser still runs in the memory and is not closed. To ensure that unnecessary applications are closed a Task Killer is mandatory. This will ensure that all the unwanted process running in the background which u never knew was running and those sucking your battery gets killed. To know more on Task killer check this post Essential android applications.

3)Disable Internet connectivity.

The important pillar of android is that it lets you customize your device with thousands of applications from the Android market. But most of the applications connect to internet for remote processing or at-least for ads which u never want it to. There are many applications such as juice defender which allows you to turn off your internet when not in use. But you can also manually do it by changing the APN name from your settings.

To achieve this maneuver to Settings->Wireless Controls->Mobile Networks->Access Point Names. From there select your service and change the APN name. And whenever you wish to use the internet you may replace back with the original APN name.

4) Aero Plane Mode:

Network services are the programs that run constantly and probe for the availability of signal in your area there by sucking your battery considerably. Most of the people leave the phone switched on or at least in silent mode during night. And all those hours these services probe for signal strength and utilize the battery. By switching to the Aero Plane mode all these services are put to sleep. Of coarse you don’t want to do this on day time especially when you are waiting the call from the special one. This method is useful for those who don’t want to lift calls in the night but yet would like to use the phone as an alarm.

This is achieved by long pressing the end call/power button and from there select the Aero Plane mode.Always turn off Bluetooth, wifi or any other services when not in use. These are monstrous services which suck your battery.

As said all these options are done from the software part. you can do a lot more by properly maintaining your battery by conditioning it. Check the post Conditioning Battery for more.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Conditioning batteries

We spend days and months to figure out the best gadget that meets the requirement and fits the budget constraints. And once done we are happy to have one and get carried away. There is one more important thing to note for those researchers: Battery conditioning. Batteries have become so important that when you purchase a mobile gadget we look for the best back up but most of the times we fail to condition it accordingly to prolong battery life as well as backup.

So in this article I will throw some light on some terminologies and efforts required to increase your battery life. Since most of the gadgets now rely on Lithium-Ion batteries I will restrict my discussions to the aforementioned though a little bit comparisons here and there with Nickel batteries.

Battery ratings:

The storage capacity (charge) or the time that a battery lasts is mentioned in terms of mAh. mAh is an abbreviation for milli-ampere hours, which are units of electrical charge. Larger values, for batteries of the same battery voltage, indicate that the battery has a larger capacity and will power your phone for a longer period of time before charging. The mAh ratings range from 700 mAh to upto 1800 mAh for mobile phones.

Do not get carried away by the mAh ratings. The ratings and the software running on the phone are interdependent. If the software consumes more battery then the promised ratings cannot be accomplished. Now all my discussions will be pointing to mobile phones, however the charging method remains the same for all the Lithium-Ion based gadgets.

Threshold levels:

Lithium-Ion batteries have two levels i.e. say for example if the battery can store 100% charges only 90% of it is available for charging. So when you over charge a Lithium-Ion battery, the protective internal circuits in the battery simply stops it from charging. In a similar manner when your battery is having only 10% of charge left the software in the mobile simply instructs you to plug in for charging. The left over 10% can be utilized by the software in the mobile to run the clock (time) something similar to CMOS batteries, which helps you run the clock in PCs. So this is an organized and efficient way of battery usage as compared to the Nickel based batteries.

First time charge:

Lithium-ion is a very clean system and does not need priming as nickel-based batteries do. Priming is a procedure in which your battery is trained to or initialized to hold charges. If careful priming is not done to the Nickel based batteries then battery back up will be lower than what its ratings state. Here in Lithium-Ion batteries the 1st charge is no different to the 5th or the 50th charge, which is evident from the thresholds level section. Most of the Lithium-Ion batteries take upto 3 – 4 hrs for a full charge from zero. So there is no point in charging the Lithium-Ion batteries for 8 hrs and more for a first time charge. Always stick to the manual of the product and they clearly mention the duration your battery requires to get fully charged.

Subsequent charging:

In order to prolong your battery life, the Lithium-Ion battery should always be operated with 70% of charge. The reason is, when the batteries are continuously charged to their 100%, the probability of cells getting damaged is high as a result of which the lifetime of the battery gets reduced. So it is always advised to maintain charge in the 70% of charge limit. However, frequent charges in this pattern could lead to malfunction of the gauge that gives you the battery level indication. To avoid this you can do a brief topping charge every 20 days where you can charge from 0 to 100% battery life.


If you are not going to use your battery, then the first thing you need to do is to remove the battery from the device and store it in a cool place around 20 – 27 degree Celsius. The battery should neither be with full charge nor without charge. It has to be around 40% to 50% and should be charged at least once in 40 days to make sure that the battery cells don’t die.

Software control on batteries:

Most of the smart phones instruct you to charge when the 10 % limit is reached such as the symbians, windows, Linux, the androids etc. However there are lots of feature phones that run on their proprietary softwares of the manufacturers of which quite a few fail to convey this message and continue to use the remaining charge until it is drained. Continuous draining of charges will also cause the cells to damage. Similarly over charging can also damage the cells in the battery though we have the protective internal circuitry. As a rule of thumb do not drain nor overcharge.


As we saw Lithium-ion is a very clean system and does not need priming as nickel-based batteries do. The 1st charge is no different to the 5th or the 50th charge. So the instructions from the shopkeeper to charge the battery for 8 hours or more for the first time may be leftover from the nickel battery days. So here are the key things that you need to follow to get better battery backup and battery life:

  • Do not overcharge.
  • Do not drain the battery.
  • Always try to maintain the battery charge level in the 70% range.
  • For every 20 days do a topping charge by charging your battery from zero to full to avoid battery gauge mal function due to previous step.
  • Always use the chargers from the respective manufactures and if not, the battery cell can be easily damaged if charged with 3rd party chargers.
  • If the battery is not used, disconnect from the device and store it in a cool place with 40 –50% charge in it. Charge that battery once in 40 days.

I hope this would have given you a good idea on how to maintain your battery. If you are keen to know from the technical aspects of Lithium-Ion batteries you can check here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Leads#1: Budget Android Phones in India

UPDATE(1 October 2010):: The latest revision of Budget android phones can be found here.

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since the blog was started and the response is pretty impressive (you can check all the stats here). Thanks to all the readers for visiting this blog and do visit in future also to get to know more about gadgets reviews and tips & tricks. I extend a warm greeting to all of you to come out with reviews of your gadgets, which sure will be helpful to all the other readers.

And now I would like to introduce a new section in this blog called leads which basically wont cover any reviews but will lead you to various options available in the market to whatever gadget you are looking for. To start with I decided to go with android phones also called as Droids as the heat of android is there all over this blog (the poll results speaks for itself).

When the android OS was released, leading manufacturers came out with devices with impressive specifications which meant it will be costly and buying them would be a dream altogether. Capacitive screen, camera, 3G,Wifi, GPS receiver and android packed together into a gadget will set you back to 30k and plus. And many times it-raised questions like Android is Open Source and still the device cost wasn’t affordable to many. And this year saw the release of handful of devices aimed at the lower segment with more such devices coming up at the end of 2010.

Before you zero on to a droid there are few things you must consider. As posted in the “Android OS V 1.5 Cup Cake review”, one top priority of Android is to create an upgradeable system. This means you buy the hardware in the form of a phone with an OS with which you will get lifetime updates. So you enjoy new features every time a new version of Android comes out which is absolutely free. For this to happen you should buy a phone that can handle the future updates of the OS like say for example good memory and processing ability. And most importantly a manufacturer who is willing to give updates to the device.

So in this post I will cover some of the Android devices available in India in Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 range.

1)HTC Wildfire:

HTC is a Taiwanese company, which is very well known for its smart phones. This firm developed the first google phone called the G1 to the new google phone called the Nexus One. HTC have announced the new phone: Wildfire aiming the mass market. This phones build is pretty similar to the Google Nexus One and the HTC Desire phone. Here are the specifications:

·Operating system: Android 2.1 + HTC Sense User Interface
·Networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, UMTS/HSDPA 900/2100
·Processor: Qualcomm MSM7225-1, 528 МHz processor
·Internal: 512 MB + microSD (hot swappable)
·Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0) for charging and sync, 3.5 mm headphones jack
·Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive , 3.2” 240x320 pixels resolution (QVGA)
·Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus and Flash
·Other features: GPS , A-GPS, proximity sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, digital compass
·Battery: removable Li-Ion 1300 mAh

Now that is an impressive spec sheet for the lower segment completely satisfying the requirements I mentioned. The only drawback to this phone I see is the display resolution which is just QVGA (refer this post to know more about resolutions). But the impressive HTC sense user interface just makes up for that set back. This phone is announced and is expected to hit Indian market at the end of June. The estimated price of this phone in Indian Rupees is around Rs 16,000(announced for a price of 250 euros).

2) HTC Tattoo:

Another entry from HTC in this segment is HTC Tattoo. As the name indicates this phone is tattooed according to the buyers wish against available options. This phone too comes equipped with the impressive HTC Sense UI, which basically is GUI customization over the androids UI. Here is the spec sheet.

·Operating system: Android v1.6 (upgradeable to v2.1)+ HTC Sense User Interface
·Networks: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900 / 2100
·Processor: Qualcomm MSM 7225 528 MHz processor
·Internal: 512 MB + microSD (hot swappable)
·Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0) for charging and sync, 3.5 mm headphones jack
·Screen: TFT LCD - resistive , 2.8” 240 x 320 pixels resolution (QVGA) with 65k colors.
·Camera: 3.15 MPx.
·Other features: GPS , A-GPS, proximity sensor, digital compass.
·Battery: removable Li-Ion 1100 mAh

This phone has a small display of 2.8 “ with just QVGA resolution and a camera with no auto focus and flash. It basically comes with v1.6 but can be updated to v2.1. And another let down is that the screen only supports 65k colors. This phone sells for around Rs 13,000.

3) LG GW620:

The GW620 is the first android offering from LG and is the only phone that comes with a physical slide out keyboard for the lower segment. Lets see what we have in this phone:

·Operating system: Android v1.6
·Networks: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900 / 2100
·Internal Memory: 150 MB + microSD
·Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 +EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
·Screen: TFT LCD - resistive , 3.0” 240 x 320 pixels resolution (QVGA) with 256k colors(65k active).
·Camera: 5 MPx, autofocus, LED flash.
·Other features: GPS , A-GPS, Accelerometer, digital compass,slideout keyboard,DivX Player.
·Battery: removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh

This is the only phone in the lower segment touch screen phone running Android, which has a slideout physical keyboard. This phone is also a DivX certified phone, which means you can play the conventional .avi media files. So far LG have not announced any updates for GW620. The display supports 256k but can display only 65k(as Android v1.6 supports only 65k). The phone costs around Rs 14,000.

4) Samsung Galaxy i7500:

Samsung galaxy is the phone that comes equipped with the brilliant AMOLED screen (check this post to know about AMOLED). Here are the specifications of Galaxy:

·Operating system: Android v1.5
·Networks: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/1700 /2100
·Processor: Qualcomm MSM7200A 528 MHz processor
·Internal memory: 8 GB + microSD (hot swappable)
·Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
·Screen: AMOLED - capacitive, 3.2” 320 x 480 pixels resolution (HVGA), 16M colors (65K effective)
·Camera: 5 MPx with Auto Focus and LED Flash
·Other features: GPS, A-GPS.
·Battery: removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh

Now this phones spec sheet is very impressive with the brilliant AMOLED screen, 5MPx auto focus camera with LED flash. But all these features gel well only with Android v2.1+, take for example the brilliant AMOLED capable of 16M colors but can deliver only 65k with v1.5. Unfortunately Samsung have not announced an update for this device and not sure if there will be an update in future. If there is an update then this phone will be a killer buy for its hardware spec sheet. The phone costs around Rs 15,000.

5)Samsung Galaxy Spica i5700:

There’s another offering from Samsung called the Galaxy SPICA which is the striped down version of the Galaxy. Here is the spec sheet:

·Operating system: Android v1.5 upgradeable to v2.1
·Networks: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz, EDGE/GPRS, HSDPA 900/2100
·Processor: Samsung 800MHz processor
·Internal memory: 180 MB + microSD (hot swappable)
·Interfaces: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR (A2DP), microUSB (USB 2.0), 3.5 mm headphones jack
·Screen: TFT LCD - capacitive, 3.2” 320 x 480 pixels resolution (HVGA), 16M colors (65K effective)
·Camera: 3.15 MPx with Auto Focus.
·Other features: GPS, A-GPS, Accelerometer, Digital Compass, DivX player.
·Battery: removable Li-Ion 1500 mAh

As the above specifications say it’s a big let down on the imaging front with no flash. And like Galaxy, SPICA has a 16M screen but only 65k is effective as it runs Android v1.5. But Samsung has announced an update to v2.1 and also comes pre installed with V2.1 with recent packages. This is also a DivX certified phone. The phone sells for around Rs 12,500.You can read the review of this phone in this post.


The Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy SPICA where introduced during November 2009 and were priced more than Rs 20,000. At the same time HTC introduced the Tattoo for around Rs 16,000. That was the time when Samsung made their pricing policy aggressive and decided to bring down the cost of SPICA to Rs 12,500 and Galaxy to Rs 15,000.And then LG wanted to catch up this low budget game with their slide out mobile GW620 making the competition even more tight. This battle has brought more options for the lower segment and made touch screen phones running Android a viable option.

Now we have seen 5 affordable devices to choose from, ranging from a device having a slideout keyboard to a DivX certified phone. On paper the yet to be released HTC WildFire and SPICA look interesting and are the only phones to come with the now stable Android v2.1 loaded with lots of features. These are different options to look for but we do not know how these devices perform in reality though we have reviewed SPICA recently, which is pretty impressive. The SPICA with an impressive hardware spec is a killer buy for its price. Check out the review and judge for yourself.

And for those who can wait a little longer here is good news though unconfirmed. Samsung is coming up with two more low end phones namely Samsung i5801 termed Galaxy 3 which is the successor of SPICA having AMOLED Capacitive screen and Samsung i5500 which is rumored to be a Corby series phone running Android. Both these phones have Android v2.1 running.

So if you are looking for an Android v2.1 rich in Features then the leads here is to HTC Wildfire,HTC Tattoo or Samssung Galaxy SPICA.

To know more on the above devices visit for comprehensive reviews.

UPDATE(1 October 2010):: The latest revision of Budget android phones can be found here.