Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpg

One other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpg

Shankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpg

Who should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpg

One other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpg

Shankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpg

Who should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb Review

Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb connects to your phone via Bluetooth
  • Controlled via Android or iOS app
  • It is available online at around Rs. 1,300

Delhi-based Cube26 is one of the few (but increasing) number of Indian companies trying to establish themselves by designing and developing hardware in the country. Earlier this year, we reviewed the iota Lite, Cube26’s first smart bulb, and were largely impressed by the offering.

Cube26 has now unveiled its ‘Reos’ sub-brand with the launch of Reos Message, Reos Music, and Reos Camera apps for Android, as well the Reos Lite, an upgraded version of the iota Lite. Just the iota Lite, the Reos Lite is a smart LED bulb, which fits into anyE27 slot in your house. What this means is that the Reos Lite is the kind of bulb that screws into its slot, though included in the package is converter for fitting it into a ‘normal’ (B22) socket.

The Reos Lite works like any other LED bulb, but the free Reos Lite app for iOS anAndroid gives you access to its smart features. The app is an updated, rebranded version of the iota Lite app that sports a much-improved interface. Launch the app and your Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb should show up in the list of available devices, connecting to your phone over Bluetooth, which must be turned on your phone. Select the bulb and tap on Proceed to be taken to the main screen of the app, where all the action happens.(Also see: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying LED Lights)

The main screen shows a colour picker where you can tap to change the colour of the light. You can also take pictures and then use the colours in the photo to pick a colour for light – this could be handy if you are trying to match the colour of the light with the rest of the room, for example. A slider at the bottom lets you adjust the brightness of the light. The Reos Lite is capable of hitting 1100 Lumens, a massive increase compared to the 500 Lumens on the iota lite. You can of course toggle the bulb on and off from within the app as well, and interestingly, even if you switch the bulb off from the mains, it remembers the last colour of the light when it powers back on. However, if you power off the bulb right after changing the colour, sometimes it will power on in the last but one colour, ostensibly because it didn’t have the time to save the previous state.

If the mains are powered off, then the app will lose its connection with the bulb, and anything will you do will obviously have no impact. The bulb powers back on as soon as you switch the mains on, even if you’d shut it down from the app previously. This is a nice touch, because it maintains the behaviour of a ‘regular’ light, where you expect it to power on as soon as the switch is flipped. However, in our experience, toggling the main switch can mess with the state of the app and though the Bluetooth pairing is restored as soon as the bulb is powered back on, you may have to restart the app to control the light.

The second tab lets you synchronise the the light to music. You can pick songs from your device and as they play, the intensity of the light will vary accordingly, with a random colour picked every time. You can also synchronise the intensity of the light with the microphone input on your phone such that the light glows brighter or lighter depending upon the level of your voice.

The Modes tab of the app lets you choose from one of the many preset modes. For example, you can have the light switch between red, white, and green colours (Christmas mode); a simple Reading mode with bright, yellow light; and a mode that mimics the flicker of a candle; among others. You can even build your own mode, defining the transitions between various colours, and the duration as well as brightness of each effect.

The final tab lets set timers or schedule for your light. For example, you could set a timer to switch the light off (or on) after 30 minutes; or you can have a more detailed scheduled, where you, say, have the light automatically switched on or turned off at a certain time of day. A schedule lets you pick frequency as daily, or week day, or any day(s) of the week. Both schedules and timers are followed even if your phone is switched off, or out of the Bluetooth range of the light – which sounds useful if you want to set up your lights to look like you’re at home even when you’re travelling. The Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb can also be setup to double up as a notification LED for your phone, flickering when you get a SMS, for example.

Though you can control more than one Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb from your app (and have them all controlled via a schedule, switching lights on and off automatically when you want), each bulb only connects to one device at a time. Since the bulbs connect over Bluetooth, the range is also pretty limited. The Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb officially has a range of up to 15 metres, but like all things Bluetooth, it works best within the same room and when you have a clear line of sight between the phone and the bulb. This is our main complaint about the Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb since we really missed the ability to control the light from another room, and adding support for Wi-Fi would make the bulbs much more useful, and potentially allow them to be controlled over the Internet as well.

The app has another problem where it doesn’t detect that the connection with the bulb has been lost and lets you modify the bulb’s state. For example, you can modify the colour of the light in the app even when there’s no active connection, and but the next time the connection is restored, nothing happens as the app syncs with the ‘real’ state of the light. The app needs to be smarter about detecting connection drops and should stop you from wasting time making any changes when the bulb is not connected.

The Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb is available via Flipkart at around Rs. 1,300 and it ships with a B22 adapter, which means it will work with just about any light in your house. At the price, it’s a pretty accessible option for anyone looking to add a ‘smart’ light to their house at nearly one-tenth of the price of more expensive options like Philips Hue – our only real complaint is the limited range that comes with Bluetooth connectivity.

Tags: Cube26, Reos Lite, Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb, Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb Price, Reos Lite LED Smart Bulb price in India
[“source-ndtv”]

Coolpad Note 3 Lite First Impressions

Coolpad Note 3 Lite First Impressions

Coolpad, a tech company that is still taking baby steps in India, announced last year that it would soon launch its first ‘Made in India’ handset. As promised at the time of announcing the Coolpad Note 3, the company on Friday introduced a variant called the Coolpad Note 3 Lite, which is manufactured in Indiain partnership with Videocon. The Chinese firm continues its tie-up with Amazon for exclusive sales of the device. Priced at Rs. 6,999, the Note 3 Lite will be available through scheduled flash sales starting on January 28.

The Coolpad Note 3 Lite is a budget smartphone, but still packs a number of features and some specifications that customers look for in mid-range handsets. Although on paper it is not as powerful as its elder sibling, it does leave us with some overall positive first impressions. It is also one of the least expensive smartphones in India with a fingerprint sensor.

(Also see:  Coolpad Note 3 Lite vs. Coolpad Note 3)

The design of the Coolpad Note 3 Lite is not ground-breaking and we have already seen similar things from several other budget smartphones. It has a white polycarbonate body with a golden rim running around the edges. Measuring 140.8×70.4×8.9mm, the device’s power and volume buttons are easy to reach with one hand. Typing is also easy on the Coolpad Note 3 Lite’s stock Google Keyboard. Although the white rear shell is removable, you cannot remove the battery. The grip is good not only because of this phone’s compact size, but also due to the texture of the shell. The smartphone has two Micro-SIM slots and supports dual-standby and 4G LTE (Indian bands) on both. A single speaker is placed towards the bottom of the rear, and the fingerprint sensor is just below the rear camera.

coolpad_note_3_lite_back_ndtv.jpgThe Coolpad Note 3 Lite has a 5-inch IPS screen with HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution. The screen is bright with a reasonable pixel density of 293ppi and claimed 178-degree viewing angles, but is barely viewable under direct sunlight. Although the text and images are not as sharp as seen on phones with full-HD displays, this seems to be good deal given the price point.

As far as the performance is concerned, the Note 3 Lite runs smoothly. In our limited time with the smartphone, we tried several apps and websites, and encountered no lags. Switching between apps was also stutter-free. The device packs a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor clocked at 1.3Ghz with an integrated Mali T-720 GPU, clubbed with 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM. Coolpad’s Cool UI 6.0 software overlay is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop and is fairly straightforward. The company is already working on an update based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We will run the smartphone through our full test process to see how it fares in different situations. Stay tuned for our complete review of the Coolpad Note 3 Lite.

coolpad_note_3_lite_camera_screen_ndtv.jpgThe device offers numerous features in the camera department. The 13-megapixel rear camera has a f/2.0 aperture lens and is quick to capture images, even in low light. Although the images shot in artificial light tended to have a jelly-like effect when zoomed in, this should not be much of a concern for very casual users. In addition to the usual Photo and a Video options, the Note 3 Lite also boasts of a Pro mode which gives users more control over the aperture, ISO level, brightness and colour settings. On switching to the Pro Mode, the screen shows circular dials much like we’ve already seen with Nokia smartphones. Image filters including Mono, Fresh, Calm, Memory and others are also included. You can even use the fingerprint sensor at the back as a shutter button, especially while taking selfie shots.

Talking about selfies, the front-facing 5-megapixel camera delivered decent results. While we found the front camera struggled somewhat in low light, it worked without any issues in bright outdoor environments.

coolpad_note_3_lite_front_buttons_ndtv.jpgThe Coolpad Note 3 Lite has 16GB of inbuilt storage, out of which users would only get around 10.6GB for their apps and media. This won’t be an issue as the smartphone also supports microSD cards of up to 32GB. Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, and Micro-USB (with OTG) connectivity are also featured.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear panel didn’t let us down. Not only can it be used as a camera shutter button as mentioned above, but it can also be used to unlock different apps, which is good for privacy. Setting up the fingerprint sensor was hassle-free and the process took only a few simple steps. The Note 3 Lite also has a split-screen feature, which until now we’ve usually only seen in mid-range and high-end smartphones.

The Coolpad Note 3 Lite runs on a non-removable 2500mAh battery that is rated to deliver up to 10 hours of talktime and up to 200 hours of standby time. However, we cannot confirm that before we test the smartphone thoroughly for our full review.

coolpad_note_3_lite_back_open_ndtv.jpgThe latest smartphone from Coolpad does seem as though it will win some hearts based on the specifications and features it offers for well under Rs. 10,000. We faced no problems while using it. The Note 3 Lite is likely to match competition from the Lenovo Vibe P1m, Intex Cloud Swift, and Lenovo A6000 Plus along with Xiaomi’s Redmi 2 Prime. Coolpad seems to be making a strong play for the budget smartphone market, which will help the company stay on track after selling 20 million units in Q1-Q3 last year. Stay tuned for our full review.

Missed the news? Here’s a list of all phones launched at MWC 2016 on one handy page – or catch our full Mobile World Congress coverage.

Coolpad Note 3 Lite

Coolpad Note 3 Lite

R 6999

  • Design

  • Display

  • Software

  • Performance

  • Battery life

  • Camera

  • Value for money

  • Good
  • Fingerprint sensor works well
  • Good battery life
  • Sturdy
  • Competitive specs
  • Bad
  • Average camera performance
  • Long charging times
  • Custom skin lacks polish
  • Forgettable design
Read detailed Coolpad Note 3 Lite review
Tags: Android, Coolpad, Coolpad Mobiles, Coolpad Note 3 Lite, Coolpad Note 3 Lite Price,Coolpad Note 3 Lite Price in India, Coolpad Note 3 Lite Specifications, Coolpad Smartphones, India, Mobiles, Note 3 Lite,Smartphones
[“Source-Gadgets”]