Wednesday, August 26

OnePlus 2 : Lucky, I didn't get a launch week invite

OnePlus 2 : Lucky, I didn't get a launch week invite 

When regular invite queue for Oneplus 2 opened, I was late by a few hours ending up behind 21k request. 

But, as the invite queue crossed 3 million, I saw myself down the queue at 50k+. Considering the demand vs supply and factoring in some 300k special invites, I expected an invite possibly by the 3rd week of August. 

By the third week, I found myself still at 50k+. After doing some #hype work, my position move up to 28k. Over the same time, better device reviews came in concluding OnePlus 2 is just average. The much trumpeted camera features turned out to be dud, I thanked God, for not giving me an invite at the launch week. 

While I dropped my plan, I was looking at the numbers and its interesting. 

The request sign ups which moved exponentially in first week and at a stable avg. rate 100k/day over second week started to fall over the 3rd week to an avg. of 10k/day. While first week was frenzy by early adopters including me, the second and third week figures directly reflected the average review ratings.

At the same time, there is barely any movement on top of the queue. It took one week to move up 500.

With the average reviews, nothing much to offer, Oneplus attempting the shortage #hype with Oneplus 2 wont be a happy ending for sure. 

Did get an invite recently but then, there no longer exists any compelling reason to buy the #oneplus2. I happily let it expire. 

The Oneplus invite for 1+ came in too late.
the invite email
Good bye OnePlus, It was too late too little

Tuesday, August 25

Google Now contextual Info shown on Maps

Saw contextual information at work on Google Maps. While hovering above Trivandrum city, I noticed a date linked to the Airport place-marker. 

Curious about the date, I checked the place info page and voila, that was my flight info. I had a ticket with destination as TRV. Google Now placed it on Maps just because I was panning over the destination city. 

It was my first experience and hence quite surprising. Was the date info was already with Maps since the time Google Now got the itinerary or was the info was passed on just when I browsed over Trivandrum city?

Oneplus 2 - impressions and What went wrong

- What went wrong

During the launch hype, I did try to get hold of an invite for OnePlus 2.
Over the first week, test reports masked the negatives as "this is a pre-release version" (free phone, dinner and much more)
2nd week, real reviews and comparisons concluded that 2 is just a tad better Oneplus 1. While stuff like NFC, QuadHD didn't matter to me, Camera does matter.

OnePlus dedicated a whole page on the website for camera with 6element lens, OIS, Laser focus, bigger pixel sensor and fast shots. But in real life, even with the supercharged processing speed, the camera just doesn't deliver.

camera samples at tech buffalo

camera samples at GSM Arena

OnePlus 2 thus ends up as a good buy only for the money. It failed in every respect to be called flagship killer.
Rating : 3.0

Price : 24,999. By at Amazon Invite only

So What went wrong?

  1. #hype went overboard on an already high expectation device
  2. Just a 1 in Metal body and glossy marketing
  3. NFC omission was un-necessary and fingerprint seems to be a last minute addition
  4. Oxygen OS didn't turn out to be a game-changer like the Oneplus 1
  5. They should have brought a better camera tech

Oneplus 2 was no way an engineering challenge, so those brilliant engineers were working on something else. A new device?

Sunday, August 16

Q&A: smartphone cameras better to learn photography

Got some awesome photographers in my circle and I often join them in action. As they go about setting up equipment and wait, my curiosity naturally revolved around the camera and the man.

infographic: 3 points to improve your smartphone camera skills

best out of cellphone camera
On advice, i have been playing around within the limits of a smartphone camera

1. Should I get a camera gear of my own? 

No! Not now
Getting a formula 1 car doesn't solve your problems, nor does a G wagon. You still need to have the skills and experience the environment, whether its a race track or off-road. 

Apart from having creative or artistic elements, or learning the science, you need to experiment . If you haven't tried extracting the best aspects of your smartphone camera, how are you going to even touch the manual mode on a dSLR?

The dSLR wont suddenly enhance your skill levels. You still will be shooting poorly composed pics that just have much more detail. You may even end up disappointed as the flaws will be much more evident. 

2. So when does an pic become Art?

As an art, its about expression. letting a single frame tell the story. Iconic photographs let us visualise an entire era in that single frame. Some let us peep into the future while a great portrait captures an entire personality. No wonder we call it an Image.

3. What about landscape photography or magazines?

Landscapes or anything subject can be Art. Its a fine line between Art and descriptive photographs. Great wildlife photographs or exotic locations, captured with great difficulty at that perfect moment gives us those wow goosebumps. But until the image can be more than the event itself, it remains only as a great pic. And that applies to all types of photographs. 

4. digital enhancements?

There is nothing wrong in digital enhancement. The photographer wishes to represent his perspective and has the liberty to use any tool available to do so. The tools, if available in the past, say in 1920s, would have been certainly used then too. While purists have their own self imposed constraints like only using film, no filters etc, an Artist has the liberty to mix and match any tool to attain his goal. 

Finally, the photograph (the lines are blurring) is judged by what is conveys and not how it was shot. 

5. What should I do to get one great shot?

First, Open your eyes. Explore your smartphone camera, experiment to find what it is good at. Then learn to frame. Finally Play with lights and shadows.

This is a part of many questions that I keep asking my abled friends and the answers represent a combination of their views.

Saturday, August 15

OLA brings ONEPLUS 2 experience to its Taxis in India

The OnePlus 2

Probably for the First time in India, a product experience is being coupled with a taxi ride!

OnePlus have always looked at new ways to grow its fanbase. Now, Ola cabs will bring the OnePlus 2 experience via its taxis. Just choose the OnePlus 2 option while booking and have a first hand experience of the #2016flagshipkiller on your ride. 

In typical OnePlus way, the offer is available only on select days and luck plays its role. 
  • August 17-18: Bangalore & Chennai
  • August 21-22: Hyderabad & Mumbai
  • August 25-26: Kolkata & Delhi
Full info at Olacabs Blog.

OnePlus 2 Invite

Simultaneously, Ola is running another campaign offering exclusive invites to buy a OnePlus 2. With a 3 million plus waitlist for an invite, Ola is offering a chance to jump the queue! 

skip the queue
Each time you recharge your Ola money wallet, you stand a chance to get an exclusive invite to buy a Oneplus 2. The campaign is up and running between 13 to 26 August 2015. 

Ola is certainly going to see a high in its wallet service. Wonder, whats the next thing to hit taxis!

Direct sign up at OnePlus queue

Tuesday, August 11

ALPHABET - Google finds its parent

Google's new mother ship

The news of a certain " ALPHABET " reducing " Google " to a mere G was a jaw dropper. 

Google got parents

Can be termed as typically Google,  turning things upside down, unconventional roots and etc.etc.. Yet, its unbelievably crazy for a super successful company to down-shift its core brand during a business re-jig. Bold move, BOLD 

As unconventional Google can be, instead of naming itself as the parent company with x y z babies,  Google created a parent for itself! Awesomely named ALPHABET,  the Google we live with is now just a G among the larger plans. Others to join the party include V for Venture, C for Calico, L for life sciences, W for wings drone and the X-Labs. 

new icon for google
Google reduced to G

The new G gets its best man Sundar Pichai to focus as the new CEO, while the founders will pilot the ALPHABET mothership. Its first missions must be on Google's energy investments, hunt with Ventures while also incubating Cars, wings, life and whatever else that bubbles out of xlabs. 

Saying Google is just a G in the equation, though subtle in style, is a loud signal to its investors and analysts that its plans are beyond mere moonshots, its encompassing the whole universe. 

The Markets must be buzzing, while I wonder, from where on earth did Google get the idea of ALPHABET. It sort of connects everything google like beads on a thread. Perfect!

And an equally cool domain name.

Somehow I feel today is Apr1.