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Asus ZenFone Max (2016) Review: Is It Worth Buying?

The Asus Zenfones wave seemed like ended with the Zenfone 2 clan of smartphones until Zenfone Max (2016) was released. Asus, this time has brought a powerful processor, better memory, better OS and massive battery in the smartphone that could reverse charge another smartphone like a powerbank. So, literally, you would have a 5000mAh powerbank in your pocket.

Battery may be highly eyed on, but it is not alone the master here. A smartphone is every sort of digital assistance for an average user. He would use it with any number of apps till the phone creaks out.

Asus Zenfone Max could be a long liver for some class of people and the hanger for some. It depends on the people and how they use it. If you are confused in buying a Zenfone Max, read this article, by the end, you will be having a decision.

No more confusions and no more waitings. Let's start reviewing the device.

asus-zenfone-max-2016

Design

With little changes to the design ergonomics of the Zenfone 2, Asus have made profound changes to the Max version. Having the battery size in mind, it was made a little bulkier to 10.5mm thickness from the edges.




A nice gold coloured bezel was continued on to all the three coloured variants, black, blue and white.

The design is not as premium looking as previous models but toughly built. If design is one of the factors that are driving you to buy this phone, you better think about it once again.


Display

Zenfone Max has a 5.5 inch 720p IPS HD TFT display with 450 LED nits. This may not be the best of the class but not bad at the price point and the form factor it is made with.


Performance

Zenfone Max released in the year 2016 has Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB internal memory. The processor has been upgraded from SD 410 to SD 615 while the RAM remained the same and the internal storage has been doubled to 32GB with no change in the expandability up to 64GB.

The older Zenfone Max has Android Lollipop v5.0 based Zen UI on board where as the new 2016 model comes with Android Marshmallow v.6.0.1 based ZenUI.

Camera

Both the Zenfone Max versions have the same 13MP rear cameras and 5MP front facing camera accompanied by the dual-tone LED flashes. There made no change in the cameras here. 

Network

Max supports LTE networks in both the slots unlike the previous versions that have only supported 4G in one slot and 3G in another. There are no changes in the network also comparatively to the older version. 

Battery

The Zenfone Max has a massive 5000mAh battery that could last long more than 2 complete days on heavy usage as well. The Snapdragon processor optimises the performance with battery power as they are made to serve the better mobile computing. But the version of the SD processor might worry you with over heating sometimes.

Pros

+ Tough build quality
+ Better processor
+ New colour
+ Android Marshmallow based ZenUI
+ Doubled internal storage
+ Massive battery

Cons

+ SD 615 processor shows heating signatures
+ Not so premium design
+ Bulkier in size; Adding back covers may make it look much hulkier

Conclusion

If good battery, good processor, doubled internal memory are considered with the processor heating issues, Zenfone Max can become a good companion for you. This massive battery device is good for travellers who don't power use the smartphone but for navigation and simple internet. C'mon you can't expect more from a phone of Rs.10,000 range.

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Hands on Pokémon Go: Download, Initial Setup & Play

The most awaited augmented reality game Pokémon Go is available now on Android and iOS. Playing this game is as funny as watching the show on TV. Niantic Inc. has brought some real enjoyable game on to the smartphones that take players into another dimension of fantasy.

 

Pokémon Go need GPS and camera to play. The augmented objects and Pokémons will be moving in the real work around you. You can see that with camera opened in the game.

 

Unfortunately, the game is not available in all the countries as it need the maps to collaborate with the play. Or else you will still see the augmented objects but not related to the real world objects. For e.g., you will see Pikachu walking and jumping but not on the ground. It will not consider the objects around. This spoils the true experience of augmented reality.

 

As it is not available in major countries, it is not also available in India. Yet, you could download it and play on your android (only android, no iOS) if you live in India or any other country where Pokémon Go is not officially available.

 

Pokémon Go is available on Android and iOS for some countries where this game works great. You may download it from Play Store or App Store as shown in this article.

 

Hands on Pokémon Go

Note: I have tried this game on Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 from a small town in India. It worked well and I wish my town had more Pokémon Go players.

 

After downloading and installing the game on your device, open it like every other app.

 

Pokemon-go-warning-screen

 

As the game is a augmented reality game where we need to be walking down the streets and town, it might take away our concentration on traffic and what’s happening around. The first screen that would see is a warning asking us to be aware of the surrounds while playing.

 

The next screen will have professor Willow introducing what Pokémon world is. Tapping on the screen a couple of times will lead us to next screen.

 

Pokemon-go-professor-willow-intro

 

You got to choose the gender of your character in the next screen. Choosing one to continue will take us to character customization screen.

 

Pokemon-go-choose-charachter    Pokemon-go-character-customization

 

In customization, we can customize the color of the hair eyes, cap, clothes, shoes and backpack. Mostly colors will be changed with a minor changes in the design of the elements.

 

Pokemon-go-character-customization-done

 

Click ‘Yes’ when you are done with the customization of the character. In next screen professor will give some Poke balls to catch the Pokémons.

 

Pokemon-go-porfessor-pokeballs

 

The game starts now and the camera will be opened.

 

Pokemon-go-game-starts

 

Note: I was shown a Bulbasaur and I found it in my garden. In an excitement to catch it I’ve forgotten to take the screenshot.

 

You can see the Poke ball lying on the ground in the following screenshot. Later I’ve shown the Bulbasaur stats on a pop up screen.

 

Pokemon-go-caught-pokemon  Pokemon-go-caught-pokemon-status  Pokemon-go-caught-pokemon-stats

 

You can walk down the streets in the city and explore the augmented Pokémon world.

 

Pokemon-go-walk--pokemon-world

 

You come back from the maps screen and check your profile, Pokémons caught, level you are in and so on.

 

Checkout more screenshots in a separate album on our Facebook page.

 

I am going to explore the Pokémon world. Who is joining me? Learn what you need to play this game on you device?

 

Check this article for downloading .APK file of Pokémon Go game on to your android device even it is not officially released in your country.

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How to Download and Play Pokémon Go in India

The real like Pokémon Game is available now with the help of advancement of technology and human intelligence. the fantasy of catching Pokémons and winning badges has become real. Niantic Inc. is the company which is working on the game prospects is planning to make this game available globally.

Unfortunately, this game is now available only in some regions that excludes India. Being one of the largest bases of anime fans, India has millions of Pokémon Go aspirants waiting for the app be available in the region.

Those who live in USA can now download the app from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. The app was made available in the New Zealand and Australia first followed by the USA. The developers are looking forward to bring this app available in UK and Japan too very soon. All they ask the fans is to wait a little while.

Although, the game can be downloaded on to Android in the form of .apk file and can be installed manually. This facility is only available with the Android devices. If you are living in India and wanted to try your hands on the device before the official release in the region, you may download it from this link and try at your own risk.

pokemon_go_india

Note: The application may or may not support you device or may not work based on the several other reasons. So, I recommend you to try this at your own risk.

To download and play the game on to your device, it need to satisfy the following prerequisites and compatibility conditions:
  1. For an iPhone, iPad and iPod, you need to have iOS 8.0 or later version of operating system on the device.
  2. For Android, you need to have Android 4.4 KitKat on the device accompanies by 2GB of RAM.
  3. Devices without GPS and only Wi-Fi connectivity may/may not be compatible.
  4. Not compatible with the Android phones that use Intel Atom processors (E.g., Asus Zenfone 2)
  5. May or may not work on the Android tablets as the game uses the portrait view.
  6. Though having all prerequisites, sometimes this augmented reality game may not run on certain devices because of several devices.
  7. Should play while being connected to the network for accurate location information and better gaming experience.
  8. Compatibility information may change and is advised to check the more updated information in any future at www.PokemonGO.com

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Countries That Have Pokémon Go Available

Pokémon Go is already here. It is available in the limited regions and the Niantic Inc. is still working to bring the augmented reality game to the every country that have access to smartphone technology.

As we know, the game will have the augmented objects and Pokémon characters moving around the real world. You can see the animations moving on the real world through camera access from the app.

The application will be using the masked maps with the information related to the other players and their statuses. Just like in the real Pokémon, you can catch Pokémons, challenge users, exchange badges and do more. People are going to become mad  living a new fantasy world created by technology.

Where is Pokémon Go available?

Just because it needs the GPS maps to direct you to the right places around the region, the developers of Niantic Inc. is working hard on Pokémon Go to bring it on for every possible country.

228081_Pokemon_Go_logo

It is now currently available in the following countries:
  • America Latina
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Belgium
  • Canada (EN & FR)
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Netherland
  • Portugal
  • UK/Ireland
  • Europe
  • United States
This list is will be updated regularly. Bookmark and stay tuned to this page for updates. Follow us Facebook and Twitter for update notifications.
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Make Your Child Dreams True with Pokémon Go

The next reality era of gaming entertainment has started with Pokémon Go. The augmented reality game developed by Niantic Inc. is fulfilling the child dreams of youngsters today.

Pokémon was one of the best Japanese animated cartoon series that took children into separate world. Children of that times lived a secret life in leading character Ash and his friends’ Misty and Brock. A large stock of merchandize was being marketed at those times. Later children grew up and Pokémon merchandize was stopped. That led everyone into disappointment.

After a decade of bidding a goodbye, the Pokémon series now re-entered in the form of a augmented reality game. In this game, you will be exploring the Poke world with your phone just like the real Ash, Misty and Brock, catch Pokémons on the way, have fights, exchange Pokémons, badges and live that second life again, but in reality this time.

pokemon-go-ash-misty-brock

You can create a profile and character associated with it, customize the apparel. The character will be shown on the Poke world map (normal GPS map makes into Poke world map). It moves along with you just the tracker moves on the regular maps. You can open the camera and see the augmented objects and Pokémons roaming around. That means you will see the Pokémon world only through your camera that open in the game application.

You can throw Poke ball to catch the Pokémons wandering around you. You may challenge or be challenged by the other Pokémon Go players in your area.

Pokémon Go totally changes the mobile gaming with the introduction of the augmented reality into it. Know if your region has availability to this game, download it from Google Play and start playing.

Gotta catch ‘em all! Gotta catch ‘em all.
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How to Remove Trotux Malware from Your Browsers

Trotux is one of the malware programs that hijacks the browser settings and occupies the homepage and search. This malware program comes with some free software. This would actually be installed with the free software that you download with or without being noticed.

 

Trotux infects the 3 major browsers, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. It hijacks the browser shortcuts on the desktop and hijacks the browser settings by not allowing you to change/remove anything.

 

The confusing thing is that you won’t find any extensions installed in the browser settings. You may not even find the malware in the program files or even existed not with the same name. In such cases, it is better to contact the expert user. Because, a technician might bring up service bill to stars in the sky. No! I’m not serious. You may reach out to a technician if you are really serious about it.

 

But, before that, try this out.

 

remove-trotux-malware-from-browsers

The actual Trotux that I’ve encountered is on my cousin’s computer. When I asked about it, he said that he was trying to download the IDM (Internet Download Manager). He ended up download the fake IDM setup with the uninvited guest of Trotux malware.

 

Removing Trotux malware from browsers

Step 1: If this happened to your own computer, find the program or file that you have recently downloaded and remove it first. Yes, the setup file I mean.

 

If this happened to your friend’s or family system, ask them what did they do and when was the last time they used it in good health. Find any malware program or files and remove them manually.

 

Step 2: Scan your computer for malware with the anti-virus software. At most cases, anti-virus software might not detect such stealth malwares on the system. Even the official Chrome malware cleaner tool cannot identify Trotux hijack. This is not to scare you but the fact.

 

Step 3: Download Malwarebytes on to your computer and install it. Make sure it doesn't flag any incompatibilities with the existed software on your computer. If Malwarebytes shows any incompatible software, remove it first temporarily and run Malwarebytes stress free.

 

 

Step 4: Scan the whole system with Malwarebytes and let it list out the threats. When finished, remove the shown threats.

 

Step 5: Restart the computer. Open the bowser and check now for the Trotux. Good if it is not visible. If it still shows up, better consult a technician for the sake of your data security.

 

Share this solution to your friends and help them get rid of Trotux browser hijacker. Comment below if you need any further verbal assistance regarding this. I’ll be happy to help at my knowledge level.

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Best Websites with Cool & Free PowerPoint Templates

I’m someone who has been in the position to not only present but also be among the audience of several PowerPoint presentations. A while back I was invited to review project proposals for developing a web portal and the presenters I encountered were using quite conventional PowerPoint templates that one would find by going through the default themes offered by Microsoft. That’s when I realized how using conventional templates can actually make a presentation look quite dull.

 

The Danger of using Generic PowerPoint Templates

Imagine that you are someone reviewing project proposals and watching a presentation made on a template that you yourself have probably used a few times. While the presentation itself might not be bad, the template itself is likely to distract you because it might seem dull and overused.

 

Dangers of generic PowerPoint templates

 

Now, imagine the same presenter is using a template you have never seen before; one that has more visual appeal than default, generic templates. The latter is likely to be more attention grabbing for you or any audience for that matter.

 

Best Websites Offering Awesome Free PowerPoint Templates

To help you get that X factor in your PowerPoint presentations, here is a list of some of the best websites with cool & free PowerPoint templates for making professional slide decks.

 Websites for cool and free PowerPoint templates

 

FPPT.com

FPPT.com or Free PowerPoint Templates is the name of a website which holds the status of a veteran PowerPoint templates’ provider. This website has more than 7000 free PowerPoint presentation templates for a plethora of topics. The slide designs are quite impressive and the imagery used for designing the PowerPoint backgrounds consists of high-quality graphics and photos.

 

The best thing about FPPT is that there seems to be hardly any subject for which a PowerPoint template is not available. You can use the categories, tags or search for templates using keywords to find a PowerPoint template which best suits your needs.

 

FPPT

 

SlideHunter

This is another website which offers some amazing free presentation templates. Other than PowerPoint, some of the Slide Hunter templates are also fully compatible with Google Slides, with an option to open the slide deck directly via your Google account.

 

Slide Hunter

 

SlideModel

SlideModel.com is another website for downloading cool PowerPoint templates. While most of the templates at SlideModel are paid, it also has a very impressive section where you can download a handful of free PowerPoint templates.

 

However, the really cool templates require signing up for a paid subscription, which is quite affordable considering the website offers more than 10,000 PowerPoint templates, many of which are also fully compatible with Google Slides and Keynote.

 

SlideModel

 

SlideModel has a range of templates with maps, charts, business diagrams, dashboards and more. If you are someone who requires giving presentations at a professional level, you can greatly benefit from SlideModel. This is because the presentation templates are editable enough to allow making changes to even small slide objects. This can help you customize anything from a demand & supply diagram to the map of USA, with each state highlighted separately with its own map.

 

In fact, you might be surprised at the number of map templates the website has for different regions, continents and countries, as well as the business templates which enable making the most elaborate diagrams with easy modifications to sample slides.

 

PPT Templates

If you want premium looking templates for free, with attractive, glossy designs, then simply check out PPT Templates. There are a number of categories with some very impressive template designs which can be easily used for professional or academic presentations. Some templates even come with a Google Slides button to allow you to open the template within Google Slides directly.

 

PPT Templates

 

It is worth mentioning here that to download templates from PPT Templates you will have to use the social buttons at the bottom of the download page. This means you will have to like, tweet or plus the template before the download button appears.

 

Summary

Preparing an effective presentation requires time and effort. To fight Death by PowerPoint and make an outstanding presentation, you can rely on pre-designed themes and PowerPoint templates that will bring a new style and flavor to your slides. The list of sites reviewed in this article can be used either to get inspiration in creating new presentation decks or to download pre-designed presentation templates that can help to save hours of manual work.

 

The websites mentioned above should provide you with a lifetime supply of cool PowerPoint templates for your presentations. These websites continually add new templates to their ever expanding gallery, so you can always be assured of new and interesting presentation templates available for download.

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Xiaomi Mi Max Full Technical Review: Traveller Choice Phablet

When the mobile phones are getting smarter and their screens were getting bigger, people thought it’s a trend and adapted to the 5+ inch screen though they are tough to fit in the pockets.

The tighter pants with smaller pockets have become an yesterday thing. I’d rather call this an adjustment to the inflexibility of the technology. The world started to realize that the bigger smartphones are not mobile anymore.

Xiaomi, one of those fastly grown companies has launched the new Mi Max featuring the ‘BIG’ as the new luxury need. The phone looks quite as good as Redmi Note 3 but is much bigger in hand with its 6.44 inch display. It is better be called a phablet rather a mobile phone.

Mi Max has been reviewed by some of the authority websites before its release in India and they reveal some interesting and shocking facts about the device.


Let’s take a look at those interesting facts and go through our style of very modular technical review of Mi Max and see if the size, though being a repulsively selective, convinces us to buy it.

Design

Xiaomi is at good at designing things. Their smartphones had the fantastic and beautiful design so far, till the Redmi Note 3 too. Mi Max comes with a metallic back design and 0.25D glass on the front. May be it is because of the larger and thinner size (7.5mm) of the phone or the bad build quality, the Mi Max opens inside out with the little application of pressure on the back with the thumb.

mi-max-design

Is it safe to carry in the pocket?

Seriously, you should get rid of that idea of carrying it in the pocket. With that low build quality of large body whatever, you cannot handle the device roughly.

Coming to the hardware ergonomics, Mi Max is designed with thumb reach power button and index-finger reach fingerprint sensor on the back. The rear is positioned on the top accompanied by the dual LED flash. The whole design is a unibody design with the SIM tray on the left just like the one Redmi Note 3 had.

On the front side, the Mi Max have the 0.25D glass covered all over. The capacitive buttons, camera and the earpiece speaker are positioned in Xiaomi’s regular fashion.

Who can buy Mi Max based on design?

The giants. #NoOffense. The Mi Max is not for normal hands seriously. The 6.44 inch size is a way too much for a smartphone, I mean a phablet to hold on. The build quality is also a disappointment from Xiaomi this time.

Display

Mi Max as the name suggests has a huge display of 6.44 inch that renders the picture quality of 1920x1080p floored over 342ppi. The 74.8% screen to body ratio is what stops the growth of the device to go much around such a big screen.

The display is good and the biggie form factor is double plus to the gaming and movie lovers.

mi-max-silver

Who can buy Mi Max based on display?

The bigger screen is definitely a ‘Yes’ for the gamers and movie lovers. This biggie will suit for those who travel much or spend time on internet browsing stories and news. For big talkers, Mi Max is uncomfortable to hold on for longer times.

Performance

Mi Max is packed with Snapdragon 652/650 high performance processors that are proved to deliver the best performance in their previous successful budget beast Redmi Note 3.

This device is a primary memory variant. The 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM is made available at the price of ₹14,999 and 4GB RAM and 128GB variant at ₹19,999.

The 3GB RAM with SD 652/650 is a great deal and RN3 with same configuration performs like a beast and stands on top of budget phones. Adding 1 more GB to the same chipset will allow more multi-tasking without a lag.

Who can buy Mi Max based on performance?

Who doesn’t love the performance? Consider this the Redmi Note 3 in bigger size and with 1 more GB of RAM. Anyone who loves the good performing smartphones can consider this (That wasn’t sarcastic BTW).

Operating System

Mi Max comes with the Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 based MIUI8 on board. This version of MIUI brings a lot of changes and interesting features to the system software like full page screenshots, dual accounts on single installation of apps, new caller  screen and more. If you are using any Xiaomi phone, wait for the update hit your device to get full access to the MIUI8.

miui8

Who can buy Mi Max based on the operating system?

Old Mi device and Redmi device owners better be upgraded to new Xiaomi devices to experiences the new hardware and software features. Upgrading phone for a new operating system might sound gross in your perspective. But, see my view of getting new features and hardware for better mobile computing.

Camera

Xiaomi has put the same Redmi Note 3’s camera lens in Mi Max, the 16MP PDAF rear camera with dual-tone LED flash and 5MP front camera. The camera performance seems to have improved with the MIUI8 that Mi Max comes in.

mi-max-camera

The camera isn’t that bad on Redmi Note 3 but have some issues of image stabilization on touch and noise on low light conditions. The camera is apt for the price point it comes for.

Who can buy Mi Max based on camera?

Those who don’t do much focused clicking, who don’t mind getting pictures with 100% good color reproduction and those who don’t actually do ‘Photography’ (not regular imaging) can buy Mi Max.

Storage

Mi Max is a memory variant as said before. It comes in two storage variants 32GB and 128GB at the prices of ₹14,999 and ₹19,999 respectively. The 32GB variant is what will be available from July 6th 2016 and the 128GB version will be released later in India.

The storage can be expanded with the hybrid SIM slot up to 256GB additionally. Those who need storage, Mi Max is a bang for the price.

Who can buy Mi Max based on storage?

Those who travel a lot and carry lot of movies, videos and who takes pictures a lot can buy Mi Max. Watching videos on big screen and reading is a different fun.

Network & Connectivity

The Mi Max supports 3G and 4G connectivity in both the SIM slots (hybrid SIM slot) but the 4G is only supported on first SIM when two SIM cards are simultaneously used. You may use the second slot to expand the memory up to 256GB extra along with the internal (either 32GB or 128GB).

Mi Max has 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, MU-MIMO enabled and Bluetooth 4.1, Bluetooth HID. It also has GPS, AGPS, GLONASS and BeiDou navigation connectivity system.

Who can buy Mi Max based on the network & connectivity?

Those who wanted a bigger phone, phablet with 4G calling facility and beast performance can buy Mi Max. It is expected to have the excellent call quality and delivers lag-free performance by comparing the hardware similarity between the Redmi Note 3 and this device.

Battery

Mi Max have a huge 4850mAh non-removable battery that comes with 5V/2A charger. It can definitely last long for two complete days on heavy usage as well. The Redmi Note 3 with the same chipset has excellent battery life and Mi Max with 25% extra juice will be the best plus.

Who can buy Mi Max based on the battery life?

With no other thought, Mi Max is for those who travel a lot. Once can enjoy the fullest of the battery life on Mi Max. Though it may not match the battery life of Kindle devices for readers, it would not disappoint you. Not only reading, the music, videos and movies will be on the go while travelling, without the low-power interruption.

Pros

+ Bigger display redefines the entertainment.
+ Good ergonomics
+ Huge battery life is impressive.
+ Camera is slightly better-ified than Redmi Note 3.
+ Performs better then Redmi Note 3 with SD 652 processor chipset.
+ 4GB RAM/128GB ROM version is available.
+ Runs on MIUI 8 based on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1.


Cons

- Low build quality; bends on slight pressure appliance.
- Bigger in size and difficult to carry around.
- Higher price tag just for a bigger screen and Android Marshmallow OS.
- Camera is not promisedly made better.
- Screen PPI is lower than Redmi Note 3 (~342ppi).
- Only available in 2 colors (Silver and Gold).

Conclusion: Should you buy Mi Max or not?

Mi Max’s hardware specifications which are the same of Redmi Note3 promises the great performance. The battery life is incomparable to any other device. It would make a great device for travelers the most and the homemakers. Gaming and watching videos would always be a great fun on bigger devices. If you are looking out for a phablet device for your needs, go for Mi Max without any other thought.

Mi Max comes with the almost same configuration as of Redmi Note 3. Only the SD 652 processor(optional)+bigger screen(with lower PPI comparatively)+800mAh extra juice in the battery makes up to ₹3,000 extra compare to the price of Redmi Note 3. It could have been around ₹13,999 (at most for the upgrades) in my opinion.


What do you think? Is Mi Max ‘for-everyone’ device? Or just for travelers and homemakers? Share your thoughts about Mi Max in comments below.
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