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BW Businessworld

Back With A Bang

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It's evidently clear what HTC's trying to do with the One X — shake off the slump and gloom borne out of being toppled off the top of the Android pile, and reinvigorate the brand's lineup with a flagship phone with the biggest bragging rights — a gigantic display, top notch hardware specs and gorgeous design.  Can the One X truly be HTC's comeback device? This is where you'll find out!

Design wise, this phone can literally take a master class for the industry on how to get first impressions right. I cannot overstate just how beautiful a device this is. A curved profile and polycarbonate unibody shell means that the phone not only feels premium but it also remains light for its size (and thin, at 8.9mm!). Even with its monstrous 4.7 inch display, the phone was surprisingly not unwieldy to hold.  The unibody design does mean that the battery is no longer user replaceable, nor do you get the option of adding any extra storage through a microSD card. And like the iPhone and the Xperia S, it requires a microSIM card.

Then again, HTC did manage to get design right every now and then, though it rarely led the pack in terms of hardware specs. Stuff of the past, really – with the One X, HTC's packing in a bleeding edge Nvidia Tegra 3 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, the first phone to launch with such specs. There's a generous 1GB of memory and 32GB of storage on board. And then there's that large 4.7-inch screen that is such a stunning part of the One X. A 720p high definition (HD) display, it treads confidently into "retina" territory, with the individual pixels becoming invisible to the naked eye. The camera — an 8.0/1.3 megapixel rear/front combo is super snappy, with almost zero shutter lag. That it comes wielding the latest release of Android 4.0 and HTC's latest Sense user interface just goes to show there were very few corners cut when dreaming up this baby.

Is this phone perfect then? Heck no, it has its downsides too. Image quality is not as game changing as HTC would have you believe, and battery life is iffy, at best, never pushing more than 10-11 hours of moderate use. Pricing is well, premium. Despite these compromises, this is clearly one of the best mobile devices I've seen, period. Folks, this is *the* Android smartphone to beat in 2012.

Rating: 9/10
Price: Rs 42,999

Seriously Fun
After the prolonged delay, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich trickle has finally started, only this time it has shown up in the most unlikely of places, in a sub-Rs.10,000 tablet from the house of Micromax. The big question for the Funbook is — can it break away from the crowded unusable-budget-tablet segment?
For something that retails at Rs. 6,499, the Funbook is well put together yet remains slim and easy to hold, and you have a tough time believing you're paying that little for this device. A fairly usable 7-inch 480x800 pixel capacitive display adorns the front of this device, and it has the usual complement of buttons and ports. It is strange that the options, home and back buttons are included in the first place, since Android 4.0 doesn't really need physical buttons as these functions can be accessed directly through the ICS user interface. What is interesting though is that the Funbook supports the use of USB pen drives and 3G dongles with this device, which is a huge plus for the device.
Under the hood, the device is powered by a 1.22 GHz Cortex-A8 CPU and two Mali 400 graphics chips, which gives it pretty decent graphics chops for its price. Is it usable though? Yes, if you want to put it through its paces by running full high definition 1080p video or playing Angry Birds, it's up to the task. However, the tablet is often plagued with lag when you're browsing the web or navigating the user interface, which one could pass off as par for the price, but it's disappointing. The content partnerships, especially on the education front, might differentiate the device, but in the end, I can recommend this only for those on an extremely tight budget.
Rating: 7/10
Price: Rs 6,499

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