Friday, December 31, 2010

Number Portability in India - Benefits and Drawbacks

 

One of the most awaited developments in the mobile telecommunications space is the introduction of “Number Portability” in India. Remember when as a student, you used to keep changing numbers as and when a new scheme was introduced by different service providers, and it was such a painful affair to update your friends with your new mobile number? You know what, it’s no longer going to be that. Number Portability promises to remove the shackles that the service providers have over the user by allowing them to retain their existing number while moving to a new network. So, is this for real? Let’s see what we as a user should be aware of before jumping into the game.

cell-phone-number-portability

What You Should Look Forward To

Increase Competition – Reduced Call Rate

If you believe in Murphy’s Law (Who Doesn’t), then the service provider apart from yours always has that perfect plan which your network just refuses to adopt. It may be a roaming cost of 50 Paisa per second or free national SMSs or Night Time free calls on the same network. Whatever be the reason, you are now free to say goodbye to your current network. Also, with increased competition due to users switching to other networks, mobile operators will be forced to come out with new schemes and value added services to retain customers.

india-mobile-number-portability (1)

Better Service

One of the most annoying aspects of having a mobile phone is that when there is a problem with the mobile phone service, it is very difficult to get it rectified by calling the respective customer care or resolving the issue by visiting one of their physical offices. While some service providers have excellent resolution times, most don’t. The second annoying aspect of owning a mobile phone is the number of telemarketing calls and SMSs one gets from the service provider. Apart from wasting valuable time, it may end up costing money in case the user is in roaming. Number portability should address both these issues, since operators would want to retain existing customers.

Better Coverage

Network operators will also be forced to invest in their infrastructure to ensure that it’s the state of the art, providing high call clarity and wide coverage. There have been several instances, especially during roaming, where one is stuck in a place with no network coverage and unable to connect to a different network. This should change and call drops would be a forgotten issue.

What You Should Be Careful About

Pushing Postpaid Schemes

We had written previously on how attractive a prepaid scheme is currently. With the introduction of Number Portability, this should change. By making postpaid more lucrative, service providers would hope to retain customers and ensure that their Average Revenue per User (ARPU) remains high. So, if you are the kind of user who prefers to recharge their account on the fly and like to track call costs after every call or SMS, Number Portability would probably change that.

Number Portability in India = Increased Call Charges?

We just mentioned how call rates would reduce with the introduction of Number Portability. However, there are just a handful of operators, and it would not be difficult to align their schemes with each other so that the incentive for the user to shift service providers would be removed. However, this is just a possibility and it may just not happen.

Introduction of Contract Based Phones

It is no secret that the iPhone revived AT&T’s fledging sales in the US. If a mobile phone manufacturer would introduce one of the best handsets that you have always coveted, but locked to a network that you do not prefer, then the whole purpose of number portability would be defeated. However, this is something that we as users would just have to live with.

However, all said and done, number portability is set to revolutionize the mobile telecommunication scene in India and despite the above mentioned drawbacks, it is a welcome move. The end user has more to benefit that lose and that is what matters.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Five Tips to take the Best Photos on your Cell Phone

When it comes to be photography, there are two kinds of people – one who love to have their photographs taken and the other - who love to take photos. While having a state of the art digital camera would be the best option for both kinds of people, it is not always possible to lug it around everywhere we go. Sometimes, the best camera is the one which you have at hand – your cell phone. Most cell phones have at least a decent VGA camera if not a 5 or 8 megapixel camera phone. Let’s see how to take great photographs however good or bad the quality of your phone’s camera may be.

Get Closer to the Subject

Most camera phones do not have a great zoom lens. What you usually see is digital zoom which really does not make much of a difference. In order for you to get sharper and clearer photographs with your cell phone, get closer to the subject. This will ensure that you don’t have to use the inadequate zoom and at the same time help you capture the finer aspects of your subjects.

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Use Light Effectively

It is common knowledge that photography is all about light irrespective of whether you are using a DSLR or a camera phone. Make sure that there is adequate lighting, especially on your subject. Also, use the phone’s flash if it has one in order to highlight your subject.

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Get to Know Your Camera Phone’s Settings

Most camera phones let you change the ISO settings, adjust the white balance and also allow you to play around with different photography modes. For instance, you can shoot on your camera in black and white or sepia modes if you want to give it a special effect. While white balance and different ISO settings will give your pictures a more realistic look given a variety of lighting situations. If your phone has night modes, sunlight, incandescent light modes, burst mode etc, they would also help in shooting great photos under different lighting conditions. Also ensure that the phone is set to capture photos at the highest quality. Most phone’s us low quality JPEF as default.

Hold It Still

While professional and even simple digital cameras have some great auto focus functions, unfortunately, your cell phone camera will not be able to boast of the same. The only option is to hold the phone really still and ensure that your subject is also not moving. Apart from low quality auto focus functions – most camera phones are notorious for their lag while taking a picture. As many of you would have noticed, the phone usually takes a couple of seconds to save the image and if the subject or the camera moves, it results in a blurred photo.

Learn To Use Editing Software

You don’t have to be a Photoshop Guru in order to distinguish your photos. Even with a free and a relatively simple software such as Google’s Picasa, you will be able to create very good montages, collages and even movies with the photos you shot on your cell phone.

Picasa-Logo

The most important lesson is to not stop experimenting. Unless you know your phone’s settings in and out – from the way the zoom works to the different settings in the phone, it would be difficult to take good photos. Also, simple hygiene tips like keeping the lens clean and going for a phone which has a lens cover can result in some amazing photos that you would treasure for a lifetime.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Securing and backing up your phone

 

All of us have faced at one time or the other the agony caused by losing a mobile phone. More than the pain of losing an expensive phone, it is the problems created due to the loss of our phonebook, SMS history, Pictures and Videos. Also, the fear that this precious information can land into a stranger’s hands can be a nightmare. So, let’s see how we can secure our phone, and back up our phone so that we can just get another new phone and continue without a major disruption to our lives.

Securing Your Phone

Use Default Security Applications

Many mobile phones have their own software which lets you track your phone if it is lost. Remember to enable the security options and use it so that the phone alerts you when the SIM card is changed. Some smart phones also activate your inbuilt GPS device to SMS the phone’s location to a saved contact.

Label Your Phone

Sticking a label with your contact information can go a long way in helping you recovering your phone. Just add an alternate contact number, your name and email address. You can also add some kind of a reward for the person who returns your phone.

Backup Your Phone

Most phones have expandable memory card slots. Ensure that your phonebook, photos, videos and other information is backed up on your memory card. Ensure that you backup your memory card using a computer so that you can just buy a new memory card and have your new phone fully functional very quickly.

Mini-SD-Memory-Card

Use the PC Suite Software

Most of us just ignore the software that was provided with the phone. It’s a good time to have a look at it. These software suites automatically synchronize your phone with the software on your computer. This is an excellent way to ensure that you always have a copy of your contacts, SMS, and multimedia.

PhoneConnected

Use Backup Software

Many service providers provide a GPRS based application to backup your mobile phone. BSNL, for instance provides a synchronization application to backup your phone’s contacts, events, tasks, notes, photos, videos, SMS and even ringtones.

If you are outside India, Verizon for instance provides a media storage service that helps to back up 25 gigabytes worth of photos, documents and other unprotected content from the phone to the cloud. Eventually, the idea is for that content to be viewable on a variety of screens, including phone, TV, tablets or computers.

Irrespective of which method you choose, the most important and absolutely essential part is to have some kind of a backup. And with a good backup strategy comes peace of mind tags along.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Effectively manage E-mail, Instant Messaging and Web Surfing on the go

 

Mobile phones have gone beyond being a device with just calling and texting functions. Just a couple of years back, it was difficult to get our hands on a good mobile handset which could offer a complete multimedia experience without burning a hole in the pocket. By multimedia experience – it includes not just camera and Bluetooth but a complete online internet suite which lets you do what you love best – communicate, in a variety of ways such as email, IM, texting, tweeting and social networking. There are several handsets now which let you do these and much more. Let us have a look at how we can redefine the way we look at communication on the go with a decent handset and just an affordable GPRS connection.

Email

If you have not experienced the benefits of checking your email on the move, then you are definitely losing out on several hours of productivity. Even on a slow GPRS connection, Gmail and Yahoo Mail for example load easily and give you the flexibility of accessing your mail without rushing to your computer.

Mail

Instant Messaging (IM)

All of us love to chat on IM. It’s the only form of entertainment at work. Imagine if you can do the same thing on the move. Connect to your friends and colleagues in real-time with IM. See who’s available, and carry on a chat for as long as you like. It’s fast, easy, and affordable. With phones offering a variety of resources such as Nimbuzz - an application which lets you communicate with online buddies from Windows Live Messenger (MSN), Yahoo IM, ICQ, AIM, GoogleTalk, Facebook, MySpace and many more, it is easier to get in touch. Many phones offer Skype services as well which lets you get closer to your friends abroad without worrying about call rates.

Yahoo IM

Use Social Networking Like a Pro

With a simple GPRS connection, you can update status messages and photos on your Facebook account, ensuring that your friends and family stay in touch with you. Or if you prefer, you can also use Twitter to send quick and relevant updates to hundreds of your friends at the same time, without resorting to texting them.

Facebook

Get on the Information Super Highway

Getting on the internet was never easier. With most phones available with the preloaded Opera Mini Browser, slow page loading is no longer a concern. Check your favorite websites on the go and stay informed on the latest sports, current affairs and entertainment news quickly and easily.

The biggest advantage of using instant messaging and email to texting and making phone calls is that they most service providers do not charge additional rates while using web based services in roaming. These services enable you to harness the web experience on your phone, saving you not just time, but also money.

If you’re on the lookout for mobile phones packed with all these utilities, at astonishingly affordable rates you should check out the latest offerings from Accord Mobiles, here: http://accordmystore.com/.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prepaid Vs Postpaid - The Real Cost

 

At some time or the other, all of us have faced this dilemma - to opt for a prepaid mobile connection or for a postpaid one. Given a choice, most mobile operators would want you to choose a postpaid plan simply because their Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is higher on those plans. If your phone bills have been bothering you lately, it’s time to have a long hard look at your mobile phone bill and see where you can cut costs.

Understand your Usage Type

It is important that you understand your usage type. Are you the kind who makes calls for a few seconds and hangs up or the kind who talk for long hours on the phone? If you are the former, there are several plans available in the market offered by almost all the operators which bill you by the seconds. This way, if you make calls for a few seconds, you will not be charged for the entire minute. If you tend to talk for longer durations, it is advisable to go for a plan which bills you by the minute. While these options are available in both prepaid and postpaid avatars, usually prepaid plans come with better deals once in a while (which are announced via SMS), say for example billing at half a paisa per second for local calls, and sometimes even for STD calls.

Pay Per Secons

Understand Your Usage Needs

It is essential that you understand how you use your mobile phone. A mobile phone now is more than a communication device. It is a lifestyle device which lets you share photos, videos, email and a host of other things. Once you know the kind of usage that you put your phone to, it is easier to understand which plan suites you well. If you are someone who uses a lot of data – like GPRS (now 3G), Multi Media Services (MMS), and make a lot of STD calls, it is advisable to opt for a postpaid plan since it would be silly to keep recharging your phone constantly. On the other hand, if you are a person who uses more of SMSs (both local and National), makes less calls and not much use for data services, a prepaid plan makes better sense. Postpaid plans are better suited for the older generation while prepaid plans are more suitable for the youth.

Understand Your Requirements

The final part in this section is to know if you can afford a postpaid plan. While prepaid offers full talk time, displays the cost of each call and allow you to change plans as and when they are launched, postpaid saves you from constantly recharging your balance, it is also useful while in roaming when your mobile plan will not leave you high and dry without any currency to make important calls.

Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both these offerings.

Pros and Cons of Prepaid

Pros

  • Provides you tighter control on the cost.
  • It is more economical.
  • Provides flexibility in terms of changing plans.
  • Call rates relatively the same (or cheaper)

Cons

  • Have to recharge constantly
  • Can leave you without connectivity in an emergency

Pros and Cons of Postpaid

Pros

  • Provides details of each call at the end of the month(Itemized billing)
  • Can be used to claim Mobile phone bills (at offices which reimburse the same)

Cons

  • Has hidden charges like service taxes etc.
  • Not as transparent as prepaid

While postpaid plans have their advantages, it is clear that prepaid is the way to go if you are looking at cutting down costs.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rain Proofing your Mobile Phone

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All of us love the rains. It is the time of the year when everything around us seems clean, fresh and new. Then reality strikes us and we are traumatized by traffic jams, getting late to work and a non-functional, rain affected mobile phone. While we can’t do much about the first two, there are certainly ways by which we can ensure that our mobile phones last through the rain. Here are a few pointers:

Get a Ziplock Bag

Sometimes, the best solutions are the easiest ones. Just head over to the kitchen and find yourself one of those ziplock plastic bags which your mom uses to keep food fresh in the freezer. If those bags can last in the freezer, then the rain has absolutely no chance. You may consider using one of those bags which you need to squeeze to lock, as they are more durable than the bags which you need to slide to lock. You can even throw in a silica gel packet which comes with electronic goods to ensure that any moisture trapped in the bag would be absorbed by it.

Get a Protective Cell Phone Case

While a mobile phone case will not really completely secure your phone from the rains, it will definitely reduce the damage caused by the water, since the case would cover the essential ports and the back. Another advantage is that these protect your phone from physical damage, scratches and falls – ensuring that your phone lasts longer, and maybe get you a better value when it’s time to upgrade.

Go for a Rugged Phone

Some of the phones have rubberized covers which prevents dust and to some extent – water from entering the phone. Also consider using an alternate and inexpensive, yet sturdy phone during the rains so that you can prevent the damage on your more expensive phone.

Basic Common Sense

How many calls do we receive that are absolutely essential that makes us whip out the mobile phone when it’s raining? If you replied not many, then just don’t answer the calls. Let it be safe inside your ziplock bag and tuck it inside your bag. However, if you MUST answer the call, use hands free to connect it to your phone which is in the waterproof bag.

When Everything Else Fails

  • If despite all your precautions, you end up with a water damaged phone, try the following steps.
  • Take the phone apart, and let it naturally dry on a newspaper in the sun. if it’s still raining, then use a hairdryer, but be careful not to put too much heat. Once you ensure that the phone is completely dry, let it charge overnight. Hopefully, this should make the phone work.
  • Most manufactures do not provide warranty against water damage. Your best bet would be to walk to the nearest corner mobile repair shop. They usually do a good job of bringing your phone back to life.
  • So, go ahead, enjoy the rains while they last, because it really is the best time of the year. And do yourself and your phone a favor – leave it behind.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to get the Maximum Battery Life from Your Phone

 

All of us have been in the situation where we are stranded with a phone on low battery and dreading the moment when it will get switched off. Though we may have chosen a phone with a marathon battery, maybe even a dual battery – and despite our best efforts, this is still a likely scenario. However, it is possible to get the maximum juice from your battery by following simple guidelines.

Reducing Brightness

The fact that a cell phone’s battery is mostly consumed by its display is not very well known. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your phone stays on for a longer period is reducing the brightness, at least during the night or when you are indoors. You can also use black wallpapers since bright wallpapers tend to use more battery to enhance the display.

Airplane Mode

The mobile phone radio (and no, not the FM Radio) is the next battery hog. While it is impossible to decrease the usage of the cell radio, it is definitely possible to reduce its battery usage. While you are low on battery, it is a good idea to use a single SIM on your dual SIM phone, as this reduces the load on the cell radio. When travelling, consider switching to the airplane mode, which completely turns off the reception. You can switch off the airplane mode when you reach the destination. This will prevent your mobile phone to constantly check for signal, especially when in roaming.

Go Minimalist

When you are low on battery, quickly ensure that your Bluetooth, GPRS, Infrared, and Wi-FI are turned off. Also, avoid using your phone to take photographs and to listen to music or watch videos. It is also wise to turn off the vibrate mode too. By disabling the above features of your phone, you can make the remaining charge last surprisingly long.

Some Good Habits

While the above suggestions would get you more juice from your phone, it is also important to follow some good practices to ensure that the battery health remains stable for a longer duration. Lets quickly have a look at them.

Keep Battery Contacts Clean

This is one of the easiest but most ignored facts. Imagine wearing a contact lens which has dust on it. Now apply the same principle to your cell phone battery contacts. Over time, contacts may accumulate dirt which reduces the efficiency of energy transfer. Clean them with a cotton swab and rubbing or isopropyl alcohol. And yes, don’t overdo it.

Avoid Constantly Charging The Battery

Batteries come with a limited number of charging cycles. Usually it is a good idea to charge the phone after the battery is completely discharged. However, the general thumb rule is to charge it every alternate day (provided that your battery has enough charge remaining).

So go ahead, use your phone the way it should be used – without any boundaries.

                                         Long Battery Phones

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Indian Athletes Create History at The ASIAD

 

While the celebrations for their stellar performance at the Common Wealth Games had just started to mellow down, Indian athletes have given the country men another spectacular reason to cheer. And this time it was in China, at a stage much more competent than Common Wealth Games, Delhi. At the 10th Asian Games, India has delivered its best performance ever by gathering a total of 14 gold, 17 silver, 33 bronze medals and ranking 6th in the overall medal tally.

 

Rank

Nation

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Total

1

clip_image002 China

199

119

98

416

2

clip_image004 South Korea

76

65

91

232

3

clip_image006 Japan

48

74

94

216

4

clip_image008 Iran

20

14

25

59

5

clip_image010 Kazakhstan

18

23

38

79

6

clip_image012 India

14

17

33

64

7

clip_image014 Chinese Taipei

13

16

38

67

8

clip_image016 Uzbekistan

11

22

23

56

9

clip_image018 Thailand

11

9

32

52

10

clip_image020 Malaysia

9

18

14

41

Although we are 5 ranks below China, the new behemoth in the world of sports, and even under some countries like South Korea, Iran and Kazakhstan, the performance at Guangzhou has proved that this billion plus civilization is undoubtedly a force to reckon. With an upbeat performance at the Olympics, CWG, and now at the Asiad, the Indian contingent in Guangzhou has announced in true style the arrival of India on the sports arena. We take this opportunity to highlight the performance of 10 outstanding athletes and two teams, who by grabbing the top slot for the tricolor on the flag staffs in Guangzhou have made their countrymen proud and happy beyond measure.

Athletics

From all the 64 medals in India’s kitty, perhaps the most cherished four are the ones earned by Indian Women’s athletic team in Guangzhou. This brigade of young girls from the nooks and the corners of our country not only stood the ground in face the stiff competition from some of the world’s finest athletes. Leading the bandwagon was Aswini CA from Udipi who grabbed the top spot in 400m hurdles. Aswini then partnered with her team mates – Manjit Kaur, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose to seal another gold medal for the nation in 4 X 400m relay. Here is a recap of the nail biting photo finish that kept the entire country at the corner of their seats:

 

India at 4X400m relay

The third gold medal in Athletics came from Sudha Singh, a 24 year old from Rae Bariely who bagged the first slot in the 3000 m staple chase. And the final medal in this category came from Preeja Sreedharan who proved her mettle in the most grueling and demanding format of the spot – the 10,000 meter run. While the brave ladies from the women’s contingent clearly stole the show, one gentleman ensured that men’s team also gets a mention in the final list of gold getters. Joseph Abrahim, A Indian Railways employee from Kerela gave his career best performance in the 400 meter hurdles to secure the top berth on the podium.

Boxing

India’s silver getter in the Beijing Olympics 2008, Vijendar Singh displayed top form at Guangzhou. Vijendar dismantled Attos Aboev, the double world champion from Uzbekistan in true style gaining an unassailable five point lead to seal his gold in men’s 75 kg category. Here is a quick recap of the final:

 

Boxing Finals at the 10th Asiad

 

Right on his footsteps was Vikas Krishan, another prodigy from the boxing hot bed of Bhivani. Vikas displayed a precocious combination of skill and tenacity to ensure his place on the podium in the men’s 60 kg category.

Tennis

Somdev Devvarman created history by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in the men's singles tennis event of the Asian Games after outplaying top seed and world number 44 Denis Istomin. The 25 year old from Guwhati then partnered with Sanam Singh to brag the doubles title as well.

Kabadi

As the inventors of the sport, Indian’s commonly consider dominance in the sport of Kabadi as their prerogative. But little do we realize the stiff competition that countries like Iran, Kazakhstan, and even China pose in the Kabadi ring. Hats off to the men’s and women’s Kabadi team, who despite the tough competition passed the test with flying colours.

Rowing

While every name in this list of athletes is in itself an extraordinary story of unflinching determination and indomitable will, none is more inspirational than the story of oarsmen Bajrang Lal Takhar who before enrolling for the rowing team couldn’t even swim. Relying purely on his courage and hard work, this gentleman overcame daunting odds to row India to its first major victory in a water sport.

Billiards

India’s gold haul in Guangzhou was given a head start by country’s most famous Billiards and Snooker champion, Pankaj Advani. The 25 year old from Bangalore clasped the gold in the billiards men’s single in a close fight with Myanmar's OO Nay Thway Oo.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dual Battery Phones to the Rescue

With killer features such as multimedia, dual SIM, FM Radio, Bluetooth, GPRS etc becoming very common in a mobile phone, it is easy to understand why the phone has become an indispensable part of our lives. However, these features take a heavy toll on a mobile phone’s battery. Mobile phones are increasingly becoming power hungry. How many times have we wished that our batteries would last longer, so that we could finish that one important call? It can be really annoying to carry a charger to ensure that we are always available. The solution is to go for a mobile phone with a “Dual Battery”. A dual battery mobile phone has a regular high performance battery, but unlike in regular phones, it also has a lower capacity internal battery (which in itself can last for at least 5 hours). The internal and external battery have their own status indicator, and when you charge the mobile phone, the external battery starts charging, once the internal battery is fully charged. This way, the technology ensures that your emergency battery is always available on standby. Read on to know how a mobile phone with a dual battery can boost productivity in your life.


Traveling

The most important concern while traveling is that batteries don’t last. While on roaming, the mobile phone constantly checks for new networks and this takes a heavy toll on the battery. It is a common sight to see a long queue in trains around the charging outlets, which are mostly inadequate. These are the times when one wished we had spare batteries, so that we don’t waste our time over the charging outlets, but continue to enjoy the benefits the mobile provides. A dual battery phone does exactly that. It provides you with an inbuilt spare battery which should comfortably last till the end of the trip.

Emergency Calls

When things go wrong, they tend to go really wrong. Murphy’s Law has been proved time and again. It is easily possible for a person to be stranded in the middle of nowhere and not have access to his mobile phone because it ran out of battery. While this in itself is not a cause of concern, just consider the fact that he/she cannot place a call from a local phone booth simply because they have no access to their contacts and do not remember important phone numbers. These are the kind of situations where a phone with a dual battery would have come to the rescue.

The Novelty Factor

Remember the time when you could proudly display a dual SIM phone and surprise your friends and colleagues? Well, those days are long gone, however, with a dual battery phone, you can surely impress the people around you. Apart from the novelty factor, these phones are usually very sturdy and designed to last really long.

So, go ahead, and check out Accord Q155, the latest dual battery phone from Accord and never worry about running out of charge or carrying a travel charger again.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Organize your life with a Dual SIM phone


We love to organize everything in our lives. From files and books, music and movies to polishing our to – do list. We like to as much time to our family, friends and work, which should be the ideal order. However, most of us end up spending time at work while the other two are often ignored. How can this be changed? Let’s see how a simple dual SIM phone can come to your rescue, adding value and improving the quality of your life.

Get Two Numbers, Give Everyone Just One

Get closer to the people you love:

One of the most irritating aspects of work is that people call you at odd times of the day, irrespective of whether it’s a weekend, or a holiday. People who you don’t want to talk to. The simplest solution is to get a number which you can give to people who are very close to you and another for your colleagues. This way, you can switch off the other number and peacefully enjoy your time off. On a dual SIM phone, you can do this without the hassle of carrying two handsets. It is essential that you separate your work life from your personal life and experience the change that this smart, but simple move will enable.

Get more productive at work:

By having two numbers, you can also reduce the distraction that personal calls tend to become during an important meeting or a project. When you switch off your personal phone, your friend who wants to invite you to his party over the weekend can wait until you have time to take personal calls. This way, you decide when to be available and who gets to talk to you. Of course, you can give both your numbers to people who are extremely close to you so that they can reach you in case of emergency but know when not to bother you unnecessarily.

Enjoy the benefits of lower costs:

Most of us have faced this issue at some time or the other – we have one mobile phone operator providing better calling rates, while another mobile provider offering amazingly low SMS rates. Number portability has not yet been implemented in India and mobile operators call the shots. You are stuck to one operator simply because you don’t want to change your number. When you have a dual SIM phone, you can have your cake and eat it too. You can enjoy the benefits of low calling rates, as well as low SMS without having to carry two instruments. Unlike a dual SIM adapter, a dual SIM phone allows you to be available simultaneously, without having to switch between two SIMs. So you can receive SMSs on one number, and reply from the other, seamlessly. Also, several models allow you to choose one SIM from a GSM provider and another from a CDMA provider.

Travel without any hassles:

One of the most difficult things to do while travelling is to stay in touch with our near and dear ones. The roaming rates are still prohibitive and sometimes it is just not possible to have long conversations while travelling. The solution is simple, get a local prepaid SIM on your dual SIM handset, check who is trying to reach you and call them back from your local SIM. You can also give your temporary number to a special few, who can call you directly on that number. You would also be doing the people you are travelling with, a favour since they can you your phone to make urgent calls and also make some amazing local friends. Two SIM card slots in your phone means that the second you get to your foreign destination, you are ready to switch over to your international SIM from your local one with less chances of misplacing your original SIM card or having two phones to care for. Now just make sure that your phone is a quad band phone so as to have a phone that will be able to make calls or messages all over the world.

So, it’s not just time to upgrade your phone, it’s time to upgrade your life. Check this link out to discover the coolest dual SIM phones available in the country at http://www.accordmobiles.com/products.html.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Six Features to Look Out for in a Music Phone

A mobile phone is not only a device to stay in touch with the rest of the world but also an instrument which lets you connect to oneself, and there can be no better way to connect to oneself than to listen to music. Let us see are the most important features that a mobile phone MUST have to be considered a music player.

3.5 mm jack

Imagine having to carry along an adapter to be able to listen to music with your favourite earphones and not with the (mostly) boring ones which come along with the phones. Adapters are a real pain and the most important feature of a good music phone is a 3.5 mm jack on which you can directly plug in your earphones and start listening to music right away.


Built – in FM transmitter

Today, most phones come with a built-in FM transmitter (Thought they require you to plug in the earphones). However, it is best to double check this important feature before purchasing your phone. Also, see how good the quality of the signal reception is and the ease with which you can scan for radio channels, store them and have one touch access to your favourite radio stations.

Support for Stereo Bluetooth

When you really want to enjoy your music, you’ll want to hear it in stereo. And that means the phone should have the ability to connect with a Bluetooth-enabled speakers or stereo headphones — different than the Bluetooth headsets used for making hands-free calls. You may use Bluetooth occasionally for transferring files to your friend’s phone and so forth. However, if your phone supports stereo Bluetooth, get ready to get hooked – wirelessly. A stereo Bluetooth is different from that with which you just make boring calls. This one lets you listen to music, and of course, also lets you make calls. Look out for a phone which supports A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) so that you can experience true wireless music listening.

Music Formats

While MP3 is the standard format for music, look out for a phone which is not just able to play MP3 but also various other format such as WMA and AAC. Make sure the phone you want will be able to play the music you have or want

Battery Life

The sooner you accept the fact that your phone will not last as long as it usually does, when you start listening to a lot of music, you will understand the significance of a powerful battery faster. In order to make sure that your phone does not run out of juice during the most crucial moments, you should consider having a spare battery with you. Other options are to go for a phone with a dual battery. That will ensure that you never miss that most important call.

Support for External Storage

You will be surprised how fast your phone will run out of space once you start storing music. A typical MP3 music file occupies around 5 MB of space and even if you have just 30 songs, your phone’s internal memory will not be enough. Go for a phone which supports external SD/Micro SD so that you never run out of space.

Keeping these factors in mind, it’s time to dump the portable music player or give it to some young cousin and start enjoying the benefits of your music phone. And just in case if you’re on the lookout for a music phone that has all these features you should check out Q155, a swanky new phone from Accord, fully loaded with a top class music player, camera and many more features.



Monday, September 20, 2010

Mobile Phone Memory


Don't you just hate those "No Memory" messages right when you are about to receive a most critical file?


With Multimedia features in your mobile phone, you have the opportunity of listening to music, clicking pictures, creating videos and even downloading films into your mobile. So where does all this stuff go?

Your cell phone is constantly hungry for memory as you store more and more of your world within it. Images, games, applications, wallpapers, themes, music and even text messages take up space in your mobile. So depending on your phone’s capacity and your usage preferences, it’s important to maintain enough storage memory in your mobile.

Your Accord Mobile has a camera, video recording, sound recording, MP3 player, and a phonebook and diary all built into it. You can also surf the internet on it, which means that it will keep a record of the pages that you have visited. All this requires memory.

Your mobile phone has two types of memories - Internal and External. It’s important to understand the difference between the two and know what's going where within your phone.

Internal Memory

Your phone’s internal memory comes within the handset. This is extremely essential for your phone to carry out the simplest of actions. When you receive text messages or other files into your phone (through Bluetooth or otherwise), these automatically get stored within the internal memory.

Some ringtones, wallpapers, themes etc come as part of your mobile’s software. These are always stored within your mobile’s internal memory and often cannot be moved or deleted. In other words, they are part and parcel of your internal memory and will occupy that space no matter what.

So your best bet is to control those which can be moved or deleted in the internal memory to ensure that you always have enough space to work with.

Keep your phone’s internal memory clean by getting rid of all the unwanted messages and data within it or by moving it to the external memory.

External Memory

The external memory in your mobile is quite flexible. It comes in the form of a chip which can hold files to a particular capacity. There are a variety of chips with different capacities available in the market. But it’s important to know which type and what capacity can your mobile handle or recognise.

Most Accord Mobiles give you the flexibility of adding external memory of up to 4 GB. Accord Mobiles recognise Micro-SD microchips; the most common and reliable chips available in the market. It’s also one of the cheapest. You can get a 4GB Micro-SD card in the market for about Rs.600.

In general, the rule to follow when buying storage for your mobile phone is the more the better. It is always better to have more storage and not need it than to need it and not have it. Over a period of time as you use your phone for various purposes, you will also need more storage for the pictures you click, videos you create, music you listen to and even the reminders, birthdays, notes etc which you store in your calendar.

An average MP3 file takes up around 4MB of space depending on the length and quality of the recording, so a 4GB memory card can hold around 1000 songs, that’s as good as a Nano. Music would normally be transferred to your mobile from your PC. When you plug in your mobile to a PC, you will be able to open the external memory as a folder in the PC and directly copy and paste music, image or video files into the memory.

If you take a lot of videos, the storage will fill up more quickly. So once again, keep enough memory in your phone depending on your usage. The actual size of a video file will vary with the length of the film. Short video clips of the sort that you may normally watch on a phone are generally around the same size as a music file, so bear this in mind.

You can store thousands of pictures in your mobile phone’s external, even when clicking at the best resolution. But keep in mind that there are other files that will also take up space in your mobile.

The pictures and videos you create with your Accord Mobile camera get stored directly into your external memory. So you don’t have to worry about the internal memory getting eaten up as you click away.

One thing to consider though is to regularly back up all your images and videos and other important files from your Accord mobile onto your PC or an online storage service like Flicker where you know that they will be safe. There is nothing worse than having your phone stolen and losing all your important photos inside it.

Your mobile also has a specialised phone book memory. Accord gives you phone book memory to store up to 500 contacts!

In addition to that, most SIM cards come with an internal memory where you can store an additional 250 contacts or sometimes more. The contacts are stored in simple 'Name and number' pairs. Entries containing multiple phone numbers and additional information will usually not be stored on the SIM card. If you try to copy such entries to a SIM, your mobile’s software will break them up into multiple entries and all additional information will be deleted. Most SIM cards even store a number of SMS messages.

It is advisable to store all your important contacts within your SIM card. In case you decide to upgrade your phone, all your important contacts will be within your reach instantly when you insert your SIM into the new phone. At least till you can transfer the rest of your phone book into your new mobile.


HOW TO USE EXTERNAL MEMORY

· Make sure you note down which type of external memory and till what capacity is supported by your mobile and buy an external memory chip accordingly. Most Accord Mobiles support Micro-SD chips of up to 4 GB.

· Install the card. Once you have the correct memory card in hand, turn off your phone and insert the card. Your Accord Mobile user manual clearly shows where the external memory chip can be inserted and how to place it. When you turn the phone back on, the phone will recognize the card that has been installed.

· Start storing. Some ringtones, wallpapers, graphics etc stay connected to your internal memory. But all the music, videos, pictures etc which you add to your mobile can be stored directly to this external memory chip. Download from the internet to the external memory or connect to your PC and transfer.

· Make sure to back up. You can use your external memory chip to store hundreds of pictures and songs and other applications but remember to back up these files regularly to your PC or external hard disks so that you never lose them!

PROTECT YOUR MOBILE’S MEMORY

Mobile phone recycling has become crucial in today’s environment. We encourage everyone to give in their old phones for recycling. But before giving your phone away, for recycling or otherwise, it is important to ensure that you remove all personal information and files from the mobile.

If you have stored some contacts in your SIM card, start by taking the card out. Remember that your call history will be saved in call logs and there will be other information such notes and memos. All this will reside in the phone's internal memory. You should delete all of this.

There are also reset commands available in your Accord Mobile. Just one click will remove and delete all your personal information. It is still always advisable to recheck all information, in address book, call logs, and other data stores of your phone to ensure that it’s all gone.

If you can’t find the reset commands, that’s what the User Manual is for. Open your Accord Mobile’s user manual and you can easily locate the reset commands for your every need. If you have misplaced your user manual, don’t fret. Log on to accordmobiles.com and you can download the specific user manual for your Accord Mobile for free!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Notes on the 64th year of independence.




Today India completes 63 years since gaining independence from the British Raj on 15th august 1947. Around the country, one question often emerges on this day. Newspapers ask celebrities, anchors ask politicians, teachers ask students, and we often ask ourselves: What does Independence mean to you?

In a country riddled with paradoxes and brimming with cultural diversity, the only thing certain is a myriad different answers for that very question. The economic gap between the rich and the poor, the psychological gap between the urban and the rural and the physical gap between the north and the south; perspectives and thinking change every few kilometers with language and lifestyles. One's moment of celebration may be completely lost on another.

With that question and its multitude answers in mind, let this Independence day be a celebration of our differences, a chance to find common ground and unity in diversity. After all, that has been the motto all along. We studied it in school and even wrote essays to reiterate that fact : Unity in Diversity. The slogan for a rising India.

So how are you going to celebrate this Independence day?
Kite flying has been the quintessence of India's freedom and development over the years. We all can relate to childhood memories of colorful patang wars and manja cuts on fingers.
Or watch the unfurling of the flag and speech by the Prime Minister on national TV.
Or get out on town because there are Independence day specials going around everywhere. Sales, discounts, special menus, singing and dancing nights, all around the country has been drowned in the Indian flavor this weekend.

Watch Rand De Basanti, wear khadi or sing "मिले सुर मेरा तुम्हारा", start blogging in Hindi or go visit the national museums and cultural hubs around your city.

Happy Independence Day


Jai Hind


Thursday, July 22, 2010

User Profiles on your Mobile

User profiles define how your phone reacts when you receive a call or a message, how your keypad sounds when you press a key, the alerts you do or do not get, the light effects you see on your mobile and much more.

User profiles are a great way of increasing the productivity and efficiency of your phone. Your Accord Mobile comes with certain preset profiles for your convenience. Once you get familiar with these, you will be able to use them in specific circumstances or events without having to change your mobile’s settings (ringtones, themes, light effects etc) again and again. Each of the available profiles can be left at their default setting or customized to suit your needs. So you can select and customize the most suitable profile for your situation.

Accord Mobiles provide you with the following preset profiles:

· General: The general mode is the default mode for your mobile phone. When you get your phone for the first time, it will be in the general mode. As the name suggests, the mode has all the general features. No added effects or quirks.

· Meeting: This is generally the silent mode for your phone. Every mobile needs a easy to set silent mode for when you enter areas where cell phones are not allowed or need to be kept on silent. The Meeting mode can be kept such that it is perfect for when you are in such areas. You can customize it by keeping the vibrating mode on, if it suits you. Further, you can add or remove the light effects depending on the event. I usually keep the light effects on so that in a dark movie hall I know when my phone rings even though it’s on silent.

· Indoors: Simply a profile suitable for Indoors. The ringing volume is kept low as noise levels are also very low indoors. Shrill or loud ringtones can be jarring as such.

· Outdoors: As the name suggests a profile for the outdoor environment. We are surrounded with a lot of buzz around us in malls, on the roads etc. Keeping that in mind, this profile normally has the highest volume set for ringtone. Sometimes its set on vibrator too as that is the best way to get aware of your phone ringing in a loud or noisy area.

· Headset: This is a specialised Accord Mobile profile which gets activated whenever you connect a headset to your phone. There is no option of activating it manually. It will automatically get activated only when an earphone is connected. You can customize this profile in many unique ways. For example, if you got to Customize and set Answer Mode to Auto, incoming calls will automatically get answered whenever you are on headset.

· Bluetooth: This profile is specifically designed to suit your needs while using the Bluetooth feature of your mobile (for more on Bluetooth check out our previous post "All About Bluetooth")

How to activate a User Profile

All your User Profiles are stored within the settings of your phone. When you open user profiles, the entire list is presented and you can choose which to activate. Alternatively, there are often shortcuts to change the profile. In standby state, you can hold the hash (#) key to switch to the mute mode. To switch back to the original mode, hold the hash (#) key again. Check your Accord Mobile User Manual for more specific instructions.

How to Customize a User Profile

Through the same list, you can choose to customize individual profiles. The features you can usually customize are:

· Tone setup: You can set the incoming call tone, power-on prompt tone, power-off prompt tone, message tone, and keypad tone.

· Volume: Set the volume of the conversation tone, the ring tone, the keypad tone. This is the most handy feature. You can keep the volume high for crowded places, low for when you are asleep and on mute during meetings or lectures.

· Alert type: You can select from ring, vibrate, ring and vibrate, or ring after vibrate. A vibrating alert can be very helpful but keep in mind that it uses up battery.

· Ring type: Set the ring type to Single, Repeat or Ascending.

· Extra tones: You can also activate or deactivate the warning tone, error tone, network connection tone, and conversation start tone.

· Answer mode: Set whether to answer incoming calls by pressing any key or only by the green key.

Select your preferences for each and you have your very own specialised profile for special occasions.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Interesting Facts about Cell Phones


We’ve got some interesting cell phone facts for you:

Did you know that a cell-phone is actually a complicated radio? Interesting right?

Cell phone (telefone celular) is a wireless, portable, long-range, electronic telephone, which during travel can seamlessly change antenna connections, from one radio reception cell to another radio reception cell, without dropping or losing the ongoing call.

Besides the standard voice function of a telephone, latest cell phones (telefone celular) as all of us know have features such as SMS for text messages, MMS for multimedia messages, radio, games, internet connectivity for email, browsing, blogging, music (MP3) playback, memo recording, built-in cameras and camcorders, ringtones, personal organizers, Push-to-Talk (PTT), Bluetooth and infrared connectivity, call registers, streaming video, downloading video, video call, and also serve as wireless modems for PCs that can be connected to the Internet.

The power in a cell phone (telefone celular) is obtained from rechargeable batteries, which can be recharged from the mains, a USB port or a cigarette lighter port in an automobile. Nickel Metal Hydride were the most common types of batteries, which due to the "memory effect" (the user can recharge only when the entire battery is drained off) were replaced by Lithium-Ion batteries, which did not suffer from any memory effect.

Cell phones (telefone celular) came into existence because of the invention of hexagonal cells in 1947, for the base stations by Bell Labs engineers. This was further developed during the 1960s by Bell Labs. During a call, the channel frequency could not be changed automatically from one cell (base station coverage area) to another cell (base station coverage area) as the person traveled from the area of one cell to the area of another cell. Amos Joel of Bell Labs invented a breakthrough invention and called it as the `call handoff` by which the channel frequency could be changed automatically from one cell to another cell, during the same call, as the mobile user traveled from one cell to another cell. Due to their heavy construction, these phones were used mainly in automobiles.

The first practical cell phone in a non-vehicle setting, and which could be handheld, was invented by Martin Cooper, who made the world`s first handheld cell phone (telefone celular) call on April 3, 1973.

The technology by which the cell phone (telefone celular) works depends on the mobile phone operator; however, all of them use electromagnetic radio waves, which are in touch with a cell site (base station). The base station is composed of several antennas which are mounted on a pole, tower, or building. Cell sites are spread at a distance of 5 to 8 miles (approx. 8 to 13 km) from each other. The low power transceiver from the cell phone transmits the voice and data to the nearest cell site. During movement, the cell phone will "handoff" the information to other cell site. Mobile phone operators use many technologies to maintain the smooth stream of digitized data from the cell phone to the cell site and vice versa.

The wireless telephone technologies are grouped under heads known as generations, starting from zero generation or 0G. The current generation going on is 4G; however, there are old cell phones (telefone celular) that still operate on 1G, 2G, and 3G technologies.

The difference between a walkie talkie and a cell phone is that walkie talkies can communicate as far as 1000 ft. and cell phones can transmit several miles away from the cell tower.

The first truly mobile phone (one that didn’t require its own case for transportation) went on sale in 1985.

There are half as many active cell phones on the planet as there are people

Korean teenagers can be called text messaging fans. They send over 200,000 text messages a year, that’s about 60 texts per day.

Mobile phones are being used around the world to notify people of upcoming disaster and emergencies. Phone companies in countries like Finland and Japan, where earthquakes are very common, are already integrating such feature. What’s more, the service would be absolutely free of charge!

As a convenient method of vote delivery, the Estonians now using their mobile phones. It also serves as a very convenient means to show their personal identification.

In many cafes and pubs around the country, you will find waiters taking your order on their cell phones. Apple showrooms across the World are adopting this method to eliminate the use of paper entirely. So buy an Accord Mobile and you can contribute towards saving the trees!