Affordable Tablets – Wishtel Ira Thing 2

The Indian market is witnessing a lot of new affordable tablets in recent times and it is becoming difficult for the buyers to select the best one from the options that are available.

Though I have already tried hands on with other affordable tablets like the Micromax Funbook and Karbonn Smart Tab, my first tablet review is going to be about the Wishtel Ira Thing 2 as it is the latest entrant in the market and is not yet reviewed on other tech sites and blogs.

The Ira Thing 2 is Wishtel’s latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich (OS 4.0.3) budget tablet which comes with a price tag of just Rs. 6,499.

Wishtel is a new entrant in the tablet market which had launched its first tablet Ira a few months ago. The Ira thing 2 is wishtel’s second android tablet in the Indian market. For more details visit – http://www.wishtel.com/

The hardware and software specifications of the Ira Thing 2 are as follows:

Hardware Specifications:

Processor 1.5 GHz
RAM 512MB
Display 7″ TFT LCD Multi touch Capacitive Touch Screen WVGA (800*480; 16:9 ratio)
Camera 1.3 MP (Front Facing)
Ports USB + Mini USB + HDMI
Memory 4 GB Internal + Extendable up to 32 GB (via MicroSD Card)
Battery Rechargeable Battery 3000 mAh (4-5 hours on single charge)
Sensors 4 dimensional Gravity Sensor
Sound Built in Stereo Speakers + Built in Microphone
Other Slots 3.5mm Audio Jack Slot + Memory Card Slot (Micro SD) + Charging point
AC Adapter 9V DC Output
Dimensions 20.3*13.7*1.45cm
Weight 400 grams
Colours Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pink
Other keys On top (Horizontal) – Lock/Unlock, Mic Reset, Menu and Escape Buttons

Software Specifications:

OS Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Connectivity Wifi – Built-in 802.11b/g WLAN Card
3G – External Support through USB port (Only 3G Dongles)
Internet Inbuilt Browser (with Flash Support)
Languages Multi Language Support (including Hindi)
Documents Office Suite (Word, Excel, PPT, PDF), eBook reader
Video Formats Full HD (1080p), RM, RMVB, MKV, FLV, MPG, MP4, 3GP, DAT, MOV
Audio Formats MP3,WMA,WAV,AAC,OGG,APE,FLAC,AC3 + Recording (MP3, WMA)
Preinstalled Applications Office Suite, Skype, Super HD Player (Video Player), Angry Birds (Space), Skype, Aldiko (eBook reader), Sound Recorder, Android Play Store (Market)

What’s in the box?

Ira Thing 2 Tablet, AC Adapter, Ear phones and User Manual

Hardware:

The hardware specifications are really good considering the price tag. A 1.5 Ghz processor and 512MB ram gives a pretty decent processing speed and unless 3 to 4 applications are simultaneously used (multi tasking) I did not notice any sluggishness in the operation.

Software:

The tablet runs on Google’s latest Android 4.0.3 ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) which keeps it at par with all the other android tablets. Android’s playstore lets you download all the latest applications and games via Internet. A couple of applications come preinstalled with the Ira Thing 2 viz. Angry Birds Space, Super HD Player, Skype and ofcourse other necessary applications like file manager and others which are common for all the tablets.

Display:

The display looks quite decent, though I won’t say the images look very crisp. But it definitely doesn’t let you down. The resolution of 800*480 and 16:9 ratio is good enough for reading ebooks/documents, browsing the web, playing some games and viewing pictures and HD videos.

Build Quality:

The build quality is not that great but this is where the main difference lies between the affordable tablets and the high end ones. The body and buttons look plasticky but a little compromise on the build quality is okay considering the overall package that the Ira offers. The tablet has a glossy finish as a result of which you can notice finger prints on the surface.

Sound:

The stereo speakers used are wonderful. The sound is quality is really good on the loud speakers. Though the earphones provided in the package are not that great, you can always use other ear phones for listening to music.

Battery Life:

On a single charge, the ira thing lasted for 4 hours 15min of heavy usage which included browsing the web via Wifi, playing games, videos and trying out different applications. A 3000 mAH battery is good enough for moderate usage.

Accessibility:

There are three physical keys (buttons) on the tablet viz. Lock/Unlock (Also for shutting down device), Menu and Escape button and a mic reset button. It’s a little weird that they haven’t given a volume rocker key, it’s replaced by touch sensitive points on the screen.

Connectivity:

The device is wifi enabled and you can also use 3G dongles directly via the USB port, which is the best part as you don’t have to buy or carry any cord/port for using the dongle. Unfortunately there’s no Bluetooth in the Ira thing 2. You can directly connect flash drive (pen drives) upto 32gb and manage your files easil with the help of the user friendly file manager.

Storage/Memory:

The internal memory of 4GB is pretty decent for storing ebooks, documents and your favourite music collection alongwith some pictures and videos. It supports MicroSD card (upto 32GB) so you can always buy one if you wish to put all your music and pictures on the tablet.

Colours:

Unlike other tablets, the Ira thing 2 is available in 6 different colours viz. Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue and Pink. Though this gives the  Ira an edge over its competitors in terms of looks, I don’t really know how many people out there would buy a yellow or blue tablet (girls can definitely go for the pink one).

Final Verdict:

Considering the price tag of Rs 6499, I must say the tablet definitely offers a value for money deal. A 1.5 Ghz processor which is faster than all its competitors backed up by 512mb ram and Android ICS surely makes it a good contender in the affordable tablets. So, if you are in the market to pick up a budget tablet and are on a really tight budget, you can definitely consider the Wishtel Ira Thing 2.

Please do keep in mind that all these budget tablets come with their own set of pros and cons and one has to definitely make some compromises viz. the build quality (most importantly) and the screen resolution. My advice would be please do try your hands on before buying any tablet as that would give you the perfect feel of it.

I would also upload an unboxing and reviewing video of the Ira Thing 2 on youtube and my blog in a few days.

Competition:

Micromax Funbook – Rs 6499

Karbonn Smart Tab – Rs 7450

HCL ME Tab – Rs 7,999

Courtesy: www.flipkart.com (for prices)

In the news: http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/BIZ-GAD-wishtel-thing-2-tab-up-for-grabs-at-just-rs-6500-in-india-3516594.html

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This review is completely based on my own opinions about the tablet after moderately using it for a couple of days.

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Best Smartphones under different price groups (in India)

In this article, we will have a look at the best smartphones that you can buy in a particular price range starting from Rs 5,000 ($90) to Rs 35,000 ($620) and above.

Here, I am just going to put a simple list of the price range and the best smartphones that fit into that category. The evaluation of these phones is done after moderately using them, reading multiple reviews and considering user opinions.

The whole idea is to eliminate the process of you going through multiple reviews of multiple phones and then facing confusion. This article would help you to identify the best smartphones that fit in your budget.

This post will be followed by some more articles which would include a comparative study between the smartphones belonging to the same price category, where I will also mention the exact price of these phones.

I have not included some of the other growing brands like Micromax, Lava, Karbonn etc as I will be writing a separate article on these phones.

Here is the list, you can also check out the detailed specs and reviews of these smartphones on www.gsmarena.com for more information.

(Check out – https://smartphoneforme.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/useful-websites-links-for-smartphones/)

Please note that these are not the only phones that are available in this category. This is just a list of three to four shortlisted phones in the respective price groups on the basis of my opinions and evaluation.

Click on the list (picture) for an enlarged view

Android or iPhone or Blackberry

Nokia, the mobile phone giant has lost considerable market share to Samsung and other players in the market. I am sure most of us have stopped even considering Nokia as an option while buying a new smartphone.

So, this post is basically meant for people who are confused between an Android (Google’s OS), Apple iPhone (iOS) and a Blackberry (RIM)

Well all these smart-phones have their own set of pros and cons. Lets have a look at the most basic advantages and disadvantages that come along with these devices.

1. Android Phones

Pros:
Excellent software/application support
Thousands of Apps (free) to download online
Wide variety of phones (to suit your budget) – Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola
Frequent OS updates (for improving performance)
Android phones can also function as a router to share Internet.
Multitasking

Cons:
Some phones become sluggish (slow) after installing many apps.
Most of the Android phones are touch screen phones without keyboard (there are a few exceptions)
Most of the features need internet (which is not major issue now)
If you are buying an expensive android phone you might not like the fact that there are many phones available at really cheap prices which operate on Android.

Verdict: If you love to experiment with new apps and games, and chat with your family and friends on whatsapp and other messengers, this phone is for you.

2.  Apple iPhone 4/4S

Pros:
Amazing software support
Very good battery life
Touch screen sensitivity is mind blowing
Camera is great
Visuals are very nice and eye catching
Very snappy processing
Does not become sluggish even after installing apps
It gives you a good feeling (If you don’t have an iPhone, you dont have an iPhone) – Exclusivity, for brand concious people

Cons:
Many of the good apps are paid (not free)
Micro simcard support only (Normal SIM Card dosent fit into it)
No Flash support in the web browser
No file transfer over Bluetooth or USB Mass Storage mode
No hardware shutter key for the camera
No FM radio
No keyboard, No stereo speakers
No microSD card slot
Too dependent on iTunes for loading multimedia content
Poor loudspeaker performance
Very expensive
Hardware cannot be opened manually like other phones

Verdict: If you love visuals and experiencing new games and softwares in your free time and can shell out a lot of money then this phone is for you.

3. Blackberry

Pros:
Excellent Connectivity (Messengers viz BBM, yahoo, gtalk, whatsapp work seamlessly)
Amazing email client (can also sync with your enterprise server)
Most user friendly qwerty keyboard (easy typing)
Very fast and snappy

Cons:
Battery life not great in some models
Camera quality not great
Application support is bad
Almost all models have similar utility and features. (Minor change in visuals cz of the new OS)

Verdict: If you are always on the go and have to reply to your emails instantaneously; love chatting with family and friends and don’t care about applications then this phone is for you. There is a wide range of models to select from.

You can check out this youtube video which shows the functionality of all the three devices simultenously

Useful websites (links) for smartphones

If you want to read detailed reviews of smartphones and compare them with other phones then there are a few websites which are really good for this

1. http://www.gsmarena.com/ – Here you will find brand wise classification of smartphones and you can also compare phones. The reviews are really well written.

2.http://www.phonearena.com/ – an alternative to gsmarena

3. http://www.youtube.com/– for those who are curious to watch the unboxing and handling of the phone, youtube is the perfect place for this. You can search for any phone model and check out how it works. youtube is perfect for those who order phones online and have not physically operated the phone.

4. A couple of trustworthy websites for buying phones online in India:

http://www.flipkart.com/phones?_pop=flyout

http://www.homeshop18.com/mobiles-26-accessories/category:3024/

http://www.tradus.in/mobiles-accessories

http://shopping.indiatimes.com/mobiles/

http://www.themobilestore.in/home-mobiles-&-tablet

5. For buying used phones in India

http://www.olx.in/

http://www.sulekha.com/

http://www.quikr.com/

Which Smartphone to buy? Confused!? Lets find the perfect smartphone for you that best fits your need and budget

There are hundreds of smart-phones available in the market today. So if you are finding it difficult to find the perfect smartphone that best fits your need and your budget then this is the right place for you.

Whether I should buy a Blackberry or an Android or an iPhone or a Nokia.. This is the most basic question that first comes to our mind while buying a phone.

Once we select the type of phone then comes the second and more specific question i.e. which model should I buy now? There are times when we end up buying a wrong phone and then regret our decision later. So it definitely makes sense to put in some kind of research before buying an expensive gadget like a smartphone.

Here you can post your requirements and budget.  Also, if you have already shortlisted a couple of phones and you are now confused which is the best one for you, you can post your query and I will try to help you out with the same.

1. Which are the most important features of smartphone for you (Options – Screen Size, Battery Life, Memory, Camera, Keyboard, 3G, emails etc) – you can add your own

2. What is the budget that you have allocated for this purchase?

3. Any other specific requirements

4. Your list of shortlisted smartphones (if any)

Also, you can shoot any kind of queries about smartphones, laptops etc and I will try my best to help you out with the same.