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Talk to me on WeChat

I’ve been receiving a few emails each day from people wanting to know about Chinese devices, mainly the Find 5. Here’s a QR code you can scan on your WeChat app to be able to talk to me. I usually come online (on WeChat) at least once a day, so you can be sure of your questions getting an answer within 24 hours.

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All those who aren’t QR code savvy can add me using my username – thequalcomm.

 

Cheers!

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Burger (King) – Good Food at a Great Price!

East Street, Pune.
Burger King, East Street. 

A good place for food. I’ve tried some other things apart from the awesome Mini Chicken Burger (priced 35/- INR). The fact that I don’t even remember the names of those other dishes goes to tell how good the Mini Chicken Burger is.

Happened to visit the eatery again today, with friend Mayur (who will soon be joining me here, so be easy on him) and decided to do a video on his thoughts about the place.

Back to the Mini Chicken Burger, you get a delicious chicken patty sandwiched between buns, with a generous (too much sometimes, if you’re a shabby eater) amount of sauces and salad (consisting of cucumber and onion) around. A soft drink to wash the awesomeness down, and you’re in heaven, sitting right at one end of East Street.

As you will hear Mayur say, the franchise has another outlet in Koregaon Park. You get better food (surprisingly) at the East Street outlet though, and a much better and open ambiance at the KP outlet.

We usually choose to have our burger on the first floor, which provides ample view of the bustling streets and a cool breeze thanks to the many windows.

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The windows I just talked about.

The walls of this one are adorned with mirrors and posters of cult music acts like The Beatles, John Lennon, etc. and a few newer ones like Linkin Park which blend in very well with the minimalistic design of the place.

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The Beatles in all their glory.

Here’s what Mayur had to say about the place, the food and some other things

 

As is pretty evident, we’re still n00bs at this, however, this is just the start!

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OPPO Find 5 Unboxing and Review [Developing Post]

Been a long time since I posted, and things have changed since. I got a part time job, so I could afford a better phone than the Jiayu G4 which I had earlier planned to get. Not only that, the Jiayu is still out of stock. So with the money I got off selling the UMI X1, I added my first salary and was still short of more than half the cost of a 32GB OPPO Find 5. Dad chipped in with a generous amount, and here it is. Full in-depth review will come soon, keep watching this space.

OPPO Find 5 full specs:

  • Screen size: 5 inches
  • Resolution: 1920x1080p Full HD
  • Display type: IPS LCD
  • Protection: Gorilla Glass 2
  • Cameras: 13MP rear (Sony Exmor RS sensor), 1.9MP front
  • RAM: 2GB LPDDR2
  • ROM: 16GB (White), 32GB (White/Black)
  • Expandable memory: No
  • Processor: APQ8064 chipset, 1.5GHz quad core Krait CPU
  • OS: Android 4.1.1 customized by OPPO
  • Battery: 2500mAh
  • Removable? No
  • In the box: Phone, Users manual, SIM ejector pin, 2 NFC tags, Dirac HD earphones, USB Cable, USA Charger
  • SIM type: Micro SIM
  • OTG, MHL: None
  • Other: OPPO’s first international phone. Great community support at OPPOForums. Dirac HD sound, which is pretty amazing.
  • Price: 16GB 499USD, 32GB 569USD.
  • Here is the link to GSMArena’s specs page if you will.

Packaging:

China is giving me sweet surprises. First it was the UMI X1 with neat packaging, now the OPPO. This is by far the best phone packaging I have come across, the box is of good quality laced with a metal sheet on the corner of one flap. The front has ‘OPPO Find 5’ etched, with the numeral ‘5’ highly stylized. The two flaps open like doors and are held together by magnets when not open. The backside of the box has the key specs printed on it with a few important information such as the IMEI and barcode. When you open the flaps, you are greeted by the phone which sits on top of everything else, which looks great. In my opinion the black version looks even better than the white one. PIC 1. There is a matte-styled screen guard installed on the phone from the factory, which again has some information regarding the phone usage. The phone itself sits on a paper/cardboard sheet which has a little flap on the top which makes it possible to take the phone out without having to invert the box. The level of detail in the packaging shows you how much OPPO are trying to impress their customer. I’d say they’re highly successful with me at least.

Upon taking the phone out, you see a black envelope sitting in the box, with a white USB charger on the other side. The two-side open envelope carries the user’s manual and a credit card shaped card which houses the 2 NFC tags. Under the envelope, in one section there is the pair of Dirac HD earphones and the USB cable, and the charger (USA pin) in the other. That is pretty much it for the packaging. Impressions: Excellent.

Accessories:

As I said, the phone comes with one micro-USB to USB cable, a USA pin charger, and the Dirac HD earphones which are open type. That’s all from OPPO, my seller included a USA pin to EU pin adapter because that is what we use here. The adapter is ok OK quality, costs about 15 INR in my country.

PICS

Device:

The device feels insanely sturdy. I’ll be updating the review with comparisons with phones like the Lumia 920 and SGS3, etc. Almost the entire front is covered by glass, which is coated with Gorilla Glass protection. One thing I’d have liked would be curved glass, but then it might not have suited the sharp design of the phone. Below the glass, there’s the phone’s chin which continues from the sides and back. The front top houses the proximity, light, etc sensors, the 1.9MP camera on the left and the notification LED on the right with the speaker sitting in the center.

PIC

The Power/Lock button is on the left, while the vol+/vol- buttons sit on the right. It might take some getting used to for you to properly operate the phone since most major manufacturers have the power button on the right.

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3.5mm audio output on the top.

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Micro USB port on the bottom.

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The phone’s back is curved, meatiest at the center. This makes you feel that the phone is thinner than it actually is, since you only get a measure of thickness on the sides, and this on is at the thinnest at those points. The phone feels extremely premium and well made, and the weight adds to the premium feel. The weight (162g) might actually not suit the fairer sex or in general people with small hands.

The design takes a minimalist approach, and there’s literally nothing printed on the front. Even on the back, there is OPPO printed in the center and other certifications and warning below the grilled holes for the speaker. It really makes you want to look and the device over and over.

Having played a bit with the SGS3, this phone beats the S3 hands down in terms of overall feel and the satisfaction of holding something premium in your hands. The metal frame around the phone again adds to it.

Screen:

The screen is a full HD panel measuring 5 inches diagonally. It is extremely bright, and viewing angles are excellent. Since I’ve been indoors during day-time ever since I got the phone, I haven’t been able to test it under sunlight but I would assume the screen would not let me down.

 

Post in development, will be updated as and when I can. You can comment and discuss in the meantime.

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AndroidGuruz are NOT official resellers of OPPO atleast; confirmed

As I (maybe many more, looking at their attitude towards potential buyers) suspected, AndroidGuruz (www.androidguruz.com, oppo.androiduruz.com) are NOT an official reseller of OPPO products in India. As you can see from the picture posted, I had a conversation with OPPO on Twitter (@OPPO) and they confirmed the same. AndroidGuruz have been misleading the media according to OPPO, and one should be careful before making a deal with them. This is like a nationwide scam and people are giving it a lot of footage on blogs and websites, and no one has bothered to check their authenticity yet. I think I saved myself a hard time by confirming this with OPPO themselves, as I was about to place an order with AndroidGuruz for an OPPO Find 5. Time to start thinking again.

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Foul play by UMI India

Being a follower of electronics – especially those having origins in China, I was very excited to hear about UMI being launched in India. I was glad about the fact that I would be able to avail the X2 at the same price as the Chinese, and avail domestic warranty without having to send the device back to China. I was caught off guard by the UMI guys over at India – if they actually represent UMI, which is not clear even as of today. I will be referring to the people behind this as ‘the people’ henceforth in this article. So, the people were fast in setting up innumerable Facebook pages and websites – www.umimobiles.in, www.umimobiles.com, www.umimobile.in, https://www.facebook.com/umimobile, https://www.facebook.com/UmiIndia. Indians are in the coming-of-age phase when it is electronics, so the interest they managed to garner was HUGE. Apart from the websites and webpages, the people were also quick in setting up a working bank account and a ‘customer care unit’ which never had an executive who could attend your call, all of them apparently were ‘busy on other calls’.

The first Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/umimobile, also the most popular in terms of followers (3376 followers at the time of writing this post), was set up on January the 30th, 2013. Since then, the people have announced various devices – ranging from ultra low budget phablets to UMI’s flagship, the UMI X2. The device became hugely popular, and UMI got many takers at the same time. The device was priced at 14,000 INR which is pretty much at par with the Chinese counterparts, and a person like me would think the device is a steal at that price, since I have only been importing gadgets from China and they tend to cost a whole lot more after import. Anyway, back to the people. They also put up a pre-order link, where the buyer had to pay 500 INR at the time of booking and the remaining 13500 INR before shipment. Pre-ordering and online payments do not have many fans in India, where people started buying online only after the introduction of the COD (Cash On Delivery) concept. In spite of that, people went ahead and pre booked the UMI X2 in huge numbers – only to be disappointed through the coming months. If my memory serves me right, people started pre-booking in February, and were promised delivery in March. In March, the people started putting up statuses on the UMI Facebook page saying the devices would be in India on xxx date, and that they would start shipment on yyy date. Unfortunately for the buyers, nothing materialized, the string of false promises grew by the day. Now, people were starting to get agitated, and the only way to get in contact with the people was via the Facebook page. So, buyers started putting allegations on the people and started posting their queries on the Facebook page as they had nowhere else to go to. The people’s reply to this was amazing – all those who asked questions on delivery and vented their anger, WERE BLOCKED FROM THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE. People without access to the internet and debit/credit cards paid the pre-booking amount offline, and many did not even have proof to show they did. This sort of a behaviour from a company trying to make a name for itself is not expected.

I bought myself an UMI X1 last year, imported from China, and was quite happy with it. I had also reviewed the device which got a good response and pushed me forward to review the UMI X2 as well – but this behaviour from the people made me swear to myself to not buy an UMI device unless it is for free.

I am still in confusion if it is the same UMI guys as the ones who make the device in China, since there were talks about a franchise called AndroidGuruz (www.androidguruz.com, https://www.facebook.com/Androidguruz (the website says ‘coming soon’ since more than 2 months)) which would be selling a total of 42 Chinese branded phones in India including UMI, Jiayu, Xiaomi, etc. I would hope that it is the AndroidGuruz people behind this fiasco, being a liker of UMI.

Also I would suggest readers to NOT pre book any device with UMI/AndroidGuruz until you have seen the device in stock or at a retail store out of the 200 they claim to be working on.

Following are the sort of false promises I talked about – none of them has materialized yet.

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I was one among the other 9000+ to call and there was no call back, which they had promised to do.

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Posted this picture a few weeks back but no word yet.

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It never came to India.

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No deliveries were announced, even after almost 2 moths.

2

Riding to the West Coast of India – and then a hill station

Places: Konkan (Karde Beach) and Mahabaleshwar
Date: 22-24 Dec 2012
Total distance: 520km (as per my RTR’s speedo)
Starting point: Hotel Ambience, Wakad, Pune
Riders:
1. Abhijit (Jeetley) – RTR160
2. Suraj – Pulsar 200
3. Mayur – CBF Stunner
4. Myself – RTR180

Route:
NH4-Bhor-Poladpur-Khed-Dapoli-Karde Beach (Day 1) – 252km on odo
Karde-Dapoli-Poladpur-Mahabaleshwar (Day 2) – 383km on odo
Mahabaleshwar-Pune (Day 3) – 520km on odo

Accomodation and nutrition:
Konkan – Were surprised to see most (all) hotel booked to the capacity at Karde. Finally found a (not great) room for a night, for Rs. 800, almost attached to the beach. You could smell the beach there. Food was sub-par, anyone riding to anywhere close to Dapoli take along a few packets of Maggi.
Mahabaleshwar – Jeetley has been here tonnes of times, knows this place in and out. Tried at Soonder Villa, but was packed to its capacity. A middleman took us to Apsarra hotel, got a superb room for 1000 for 24 hours. The place was amazing and recommended to anyone, will post the contact soon. Got some amazing tea, talked to the owner about his 1971 RE which he kickstarted for us. Woah! Food wasn’t a problem there, lunch was ordered from Domino’s and ate a little in the market at night as no one was really hungry. Breakfast was at the awesome Mapro’s on the way back.

Everything else:
Getting permission from Mom was checkpoint #1. Dad had a near fatal accident 10 years back, she was apprehensive. But agreed nonetheless.

The roads after Bhor were simply awesome. Rode at good speeds for long times. Felt great! You don’t get to do that everyday. Also the backwaters of the Nira-Deoghar dam served a superb view. Couldn’t help but stop multiple times. Very less traffic too, so it was really good. But there was a bad patch of about 10-12km till Bhor, and then a real bad patch of 10km exactly on the way to Mahabaleshwar from Poladpur ghat.

Okay. so here’s some pictures.

PS: They’re clicked on the UMI X1.

Cheers!