My 2014 Nexus Wishlist [UPDATED]

Nexus 5

[Update 10th November 2014]

The Nexus 6 has been announced and will be available from Google Play from the 12th of November, 2014. The phone sports a 5.9 inches 2560×1440 OLED display, runs on a Snapdragon 805 processor with 3 GB of RAM. The phone runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. It also sports a 13mp rear-facing camera with dual-LED flash.

[Update 17th Aug 2014]

A new benchmark on GFXBench indicates that the Motorola Shamu may come with a Snapdragon 801 and 1080p display.

The Nexus 5 is Great, with a capital G. Ask me, I have been using it for several months now. It doesn’t skip a beat, ever. But there are a few annoyances, and none of them subtle. This year we will, hopefully, get a look at the next Nexus, what with Sundar Pichai confirming in this year’s Google I/O that the Nexus line is to continue. So I wanted to make my wishlist known. As the title suggests, this post will keep on updating till the device releases.

First of all, what is known to us till now. Well, this year’s Nexus tablet (Nexus 8?) will be made by HTC and the smartphone(Nexus 6?) is being made by Motorola. The tablet is codenamed Flounder and the smartphone is codenamed Shamu. Both of these devices should be releasing with Android L out-of-the-box.

So, what can we expect to see in these devices? HTC is rather fond of their dual front speakers, so I hope that they do make an appearance on the tablet. Since Snapdragon 805 is due towards the end of this year, it should be on-board the smartphone. Snapdragon 805 will be the last 32bit processor from Qualcomm. There should be at least 3 GB of RAM.

Now, here goes my wishlist.

  1. A bigger battery…O come on, Google, you know this is a legitimate wish. The Nexus 5 battery is pathetic and the life you can squeeze out of a single charge is all over the place.
  2. Software improvements – Albeit this is not for the device, but I hate it how the N5 becomes noticeably hot, even when it is idle, and this blogger is just listening to some songs on Play Music. Also, this problem is also a concern with several Snapdragon processors, so really hoping Qualcomm pays some attention to this problem.
  3. The 2560 by 1440 2k display on the G3 is gorgeous but you can’t make out any pixels even on the N5’s 1080p 442ppi display. So, either way, we will be happy.
  4. Seeing as a 16 gig unit has so less free space left OOB, Google should churn out 32 & 64 gig units this time around, since I don’t think expandable storage will be making a comeback on a Nexus.
  5. Now, this is entirely personal. It rains a lot here and is very humid and hot all the year round. I would really love a dust and water-proof device this time around.
  6. Every other smartphone manufacturer is focusing heavily on the camera unit. The N5 has a pretty good 8mp shooter in the back, but Google should up the ante. No HTC, I am not talking about your puny 4mp UltraPixel cameras. And while we are at it, throw in a Zeiss lens or two like those gorgeous Lumias 😉

Well, that’s it for now! Will keep updating. Think I missed something? Why not add them below in the comments?

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The Cuckoo’s Calling & The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike series

Did you know about the 2 Cormoran Strike books – The Cuckoo’s Calling & The Silkworm, before you came to know that JK Rowling had written the books and Robert Galbraith is actually her pseudonym? Chances are you did not!

Well, I have to make a confession before I continue. I am a huge Harry Potter fan. But Rowling just coming to the press and announcing to the world that Galbraith is really her seems to me to be no more than a lame attempt to increase the sales of her book. However, I also started reading the books after I heard that the books had been penned by Rowling. ‘The Silkworm’ was not yet out, and I started reading ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. It was unlike Rowling and very unlike the only other book by her outside of the Harry Potter verse, ‘The Casual Vacancy’, and it is a compliment since I hated Vacancy. I stopped reading Vacancy after a few pages, but this was not the case with Calling. The book starts with the death of a supermodel and the world would have you believe that she committed suicide, but did she? Well, you can trust Cormoran Strike, with his sidekick Robin, to get to the bottom of it all and dig out the truth. Strike really ‘strikes’ you as a very unconventional detective, what with his limp due to the fact that he lost one of his legs in the war. You will not fall in love with the character, but you will sure appreciate the way Rowling builds him up in the book. By the time you finish the book, you will be able to imagine him as a man of flesh and blood.

The Silkworm picks up after Calling, and continues the story. I am really not fond of books where the author just keeps the protagonist the same and changes the rest and pretend that nothing happened. So, full marks there Rowling. Here we deal with the sudden disappearance of an author. His wife comes to Strike and asks him to find her husband. Strike accepts the case because he pities the wife. And we are on into another wonderful case.

The Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

Divergent

 

Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent & Allegiant) has all the makings of a new superhit, and from the looks of how the Shailene Woodley starrer Divergent has fared at the box office, I guess when the last 2 books are adapted for the silver screen, they too will be a huge success for Summit Entertainment.

The books, however, seem to be a repeat of the dystopian future that we have often seen visited and revisited in the last few years in a dozen or so books/movies. The female protagonist, Beatrice, seems to be a direct copy off the Hunger Games trilogy, but there’s no love triangle playing out in Roth’s trilogy. The premise is the same, where the protagonist is unaware of the world she lives in and is on a path of discovery that will take her, and us readers, to new places. But one thing that cannot be denied to Roth is the way she handles the story, the first book at least.

There will be no spoilers in this review, but the first book is where the story really takes off. The last 2 books are just a continuation, and as such, do not seem too interesting. But we need to see where all of this is going, and what happens in the end, and hopefully, that will keep the readers hooked on to the books till the end.

 

The Xiaomi Mi3

Xiaomi Mi3

The Xiaomi(or Mi , as they like to be called now) Mi3 is an amazing device, at least in terms of specs. This handset has a great cost to performance ratio. And this phone was also recently launched in India exclusively through the online retailer Flipkart. Mi sells all its devices through flash sales and the Indian market is not an exception. Anyone who wants to get his hands on this device has to go to Flipkart and register for the nearest upcoming sale. The website as well as Mi’s official Facebook page informs everyone of the date & time the device will go up for sale. Then on the day of the sale the person has to log in and try to buy the device. No one can warrant you a device, and this has already earned Mi a bad name in India.

However the device in question has all the top specs that last year’s flagships boasted, albeit at a much higher price. The Mi3 is selling on Flipkart at 13,999 INR and sports a 5 inches FHD OGS JDI display, Snapdragon 800 processor @2.3Ghz MSM8274AB, Adreno 330 graphics, 2 GB RAM, a RF 13mp camera with a Sony f/2.2 sensor & dual LED flash, a FF 2mp camera, 16GB non-expandable storage. All this awesomeness is powered by a 3050mAh battery.

While this device is the cheapest Snapdragon 800 touting handset by far, Mi has already announced the Mi4 worldwide and the same is already available in it’s home market in China. Hugo Barra, the company’s VP, has recently said that the Mi4 is currently undergoing certification in India and should be released by 2014 year-end. The Mi4 is powered by the latest Snapdragon 801 and is almost entirely crafted from metal.