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ZODIAC

Found 45 results

  1. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Exotic Fruits

    No blockbusters to review? No problem. This week, Zain and Shantanu are reviewing something much more interesting... exotic fruits.
  2. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Badla

    Zain & Shantanu reviewed Badla recently and just like every week they have an awesome Honest Review for you. Check it out...
  3. When it comes to budget smartphones and the Indian market, Xiaomi has managed to build a brand name that delivers smartphones with aggressive pricing. It's not only the pricing that matters, but smartphones also need to work and need to work well. Redmi, now a sub-brand of Xiaomi has managed to do just that, deliver great smartphones with an attractive price. However, Xiaomi steps up the game with the Redmi Note 7 Pro with upgraded specifications and a camera that can challenge even some of the top-tier smartphones. Xiaomi has also upgraded the design with captivating colours for users who prefer to be trendy and fashionable. It retails in India for Rs 13,990 and comes in different configurations. It has a 48-megapixel primary camera paired with a 5-megapixel sensor for portrait shots at the rear and a 13-megapixel sensor selfie shooter. We've been using the smartphone for a while to find out whether it's still the king of budget smartphones. Here's our review of the Redmi Note 7 Pro: Design And Display Xiaomi has completely overhauled the Redmi Note series with a beautiful gradient design that catches the light. It's something similar to what we've seen on other smartphones. However, the Redmi Note 7 Pro stands out from the crowd thanks to its bold colours. What's cool about the design is that the smartphone has an all-glass design both at the front and the back with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. This makes the smartphone a tad bit heavier than the previous iterations; however, we like the solid feel to the smartphone. We particularly like the Nebula Red colour which we got to see at the launch event. At the front, Xiaomi as a dewdrop notch display that removes the additional bezels you may have seen in previous models. The design of the smartphone feels very premium and very similar to what you would find on the iPhone XR. It feels solid and does not feel like a budget smartphone from any angle. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Xiaomi also retains the headphone jack which is always a plus in our books and has now added Type-C support. We can finally transfer files faster and charge a Redmi smartphone quicker than ever before. In addition, the Redmi Note 7 Pro also has a p2i nano-coating which protects the smartphone from accidental spills. It's not water-resistant, but it will protect your smartphone from water spills in your bathroom. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to the display, the Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a 6.3-inch full-HD+ LTPS LCD display with a resolution 1080x2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. For a smartphone that costs less than Rs 15,000, the display is quite sharp and accurate for an LCD. Sure, it's not the best you find as compared to flagship level smartphones but it does a fair job at colour reproduction and brightness. The colours on the display do not look oversaturated and look close to real-life. The brightness is also solid as it comes in handy when viewing it directly under sunlight. It has a brightness level of 477 nits which is quite impressive for an LCD panel. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Redmi Note 7 Pro's star attraction is its 48 MP rear Sony IMX 586 sensor that delivers some of the most amazing pictures we've seen on a budget smartphone. We've seen this sensor on the Honor View 20 before and it manages to deliver some great details and clarity in images. It captures the right colours and delivers some of the most beautiful pictures in HDR mode. In fact, sometimes we couldn't believe we shot these images with a budget smartphone. Most of these pictures were shown in 21MP however you can always take the full 48MP images by toggling the feature in the settings. Budget smartphones tend to struggle in low-light photography however Xiaomi has introduced its new Night Mode in MIUI 10. The new model does manage to take brighter images in low light which the budget smartphone was unable to do previously. The dynamic range also plays a crucial role in delivering these shots. It works very similar to Google's Night Shot as it combines different a series of images taken in different contrast levels to give you a better low-light image. Overall, we were quite pleased with the camera performance and even raises the question for the need of flagship level smartphones. Sure, flagship smartphones have great cameras but the gap is being closed quite rapidly thanks to smartphones like Redmi Note 7 Pro. Gallery View this post on Instagram Pictures shot using the #redminote7pro. Loving the night mode and it's quite decent from a phone that doesn't break the bank. #xiaomi #smartphones #gadgets #techie #technology #tech A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Mar 10, 2019 at 11:44pm PDT Software Performance The Redmi Note 7 Pro ships with MIUI 10 and we would like to address the elephant in the room. MIUI 10 does have advertisements and if you wish to disable them you can do it by following these steps. Having said that, these advertisements are a bit annoying especially when you install a new application. Xiaomi has a security app that scans newly installed applications that have advertisements embedded within it. You can easily turn off the feature however it is a bit jarring when you kept getting bombarded with advertisements. If you want a seamless, experience, we suggested you follow the steps above. If you look beyond the ads, MIUI 10 looks quite clean and visually appealing with satisfying animations and overall stability. You have usual functions like dual apps and a new gesture navigation system that is easy to use. It's quite similar to what we've seen on the new iPhones but with slightly different animation and multi-tasking layout. Performance Equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 675 chipset, the Redmi Note 7 Pro delivers a great overall experience when it comes to performing tasks daily usage. While it works great with less CPU intensive apps, it lacks in processing graphics for fluid gaming. On PUBG mobile, the smartphone would often have massive frame rate drops in high settings and has the rubber-banding effect too. We would recommend you play GPU intensive games with lower settings. Furthermore, the Redmi Note 7 Pro does heat up a bit when playing games which were expected as it does not have a dedicated cooling system like the POCO F1. Regardless, the smartphone is good enough for casual games like Temple Run and can handle games like Asphalt 9 in medium setting. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of Geekbench scores, the Redmi Note 7 Pro scored 6520 in the multi-core test while it scored 2380 in the single core test. In our opinion, that's quite a respectable score for a smartphone that costs only Rs 13,990. The Redmi Note 4 Pro comes with 4,000 mAh battery which has remained unchanged from previous models. Battery life on the Redmi Note 7 Pro is exceptional with moderate usage as we had almost 6.5 hours of screen-on-time. We tested the smartphone with navigation, gaming and communication. In addition, it also supports QC4 however you need to buy a compatible charger separately. The Redmi Note 7 Pro was able to last almost two days on a single charge which is quite impressive for any smartphone. The Final Say If you are looking for a smartphone that can take awesome pictures, last 2 days on a single charge and can delivery awesome battery life, the Redmi Note 7 Pro is your best bet. The new smartphone has stepped up its game in the photography department and can perform well with moderate usage. Starting at Rs 13,9990 the Redmi Note 7 Pro is the king of budget smartphones right now.
  4. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Sonchiriya

    Zain & Shantanu are reviewing Sonchiriya this week. They decided to skip Luka Chuppi for this. Did it work out for the best? Let's find out...
  5. Every year, Samsung starts off the year with a bang when it comes to flagship Android smartphones and the Galaxy S10 Plus is no exception. It's the ambitious attempt by Samsung to sway customers towards their products and the Galaxy S10 Plus is one of those devices. Last year, Samsung brought incremental upgrades to the Galaxy S9/S9 Plus from its predecessor which left many of their fans unimpressed. However, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a whole different story as it boasts quite a few upgrades in almost category. The Galaxy S10 Plus has a new 6.-4inch type of screen called the 'Infinity-O display', has a total of five cameras and the world's first ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Unlike the U.S./Chinese version, the Indian unit is powered by Samsung's own Exynos 9820 chipset and is coupled with various RAM configurations. It comes in three stunning “prism” colours and starts from Rs 73,900 for the 8GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant. We've been using this variant for a few weeks and here's our review to determine whether it's worth the price tag: Design & Display Android smartphones are known to be bold and adventurous when it comes to experimentation and the end result is almost always awesome. Android smartphone companies are trying to experiment with displays to deliver an all-screen phone with various design innovations. Samsung chose to implement its 'Infinity-O' display that offers almost an edge-to-edge screen experience. The S10 Plus almost has zero bezels with the exception of a narrow chin. The dual-selfie camera hole on the display has been carved out using lasers giving it a flush look and achieving a near edge-to-edge display experience at the same time. Having said that, when you first use the Galaxy S10 Plus for watching video content, the holes are a bit distracting until you get used to it. This was true when we reviewed the Honor View 20 and it remains the same as Samsung's offering. However, if you want to hide the holes, you can always implement clever wallpapers like the ones we've mentioned here. The Galaxy S10 Plus is also not a small smartphone that can be used by one hand. It measures 6.2 x 2.91 x 0.3 and needs to be operated with two hands unless you have long fingers. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a slight curve in the design which can result in accidental touches. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We've been using the Prism White variant of the Galaxy S10 Plus and it is one of the most beautiful colours we've seen on a smartphone. It changes colour whenever the smartphone catches the light and gives off a very regal vibe when viewed from afar. The Galaxy S10 Plus also comes in a ceramic finish (it's more expensive) which feels more durable than the all-glass design. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of display quality, the Galaxy S10 Plus has a quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display which has been termed as the best display on a smartphone yet. It has a wider colour gamut and dynamic tone mapping that enhances colours and brightness. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a brightness level of 624 nits, highest on any smartphone yet. For reference, the iPhone XS Max has a brightness level of 603 nits. The display itself is one of the best you can find on a smartphone to watch video content on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It supports HDR10+ playback which is probably the highest quality you can get in videos when it comes to dynamic range. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has stereo speakers which are powerful enough to accentuate the experience further as it is powerful, clear and loud. The speakers have rich audio and a robust sound overall. Performance Our Galaxy S10 Plus unit is powered by Samsung's Exynos 9820 chipset and is coupled with 6GB of RAM. Having said that, the Exynos 9820 chipset is not as fast as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset which you can find on a U.S. version of the smartphone. The Snapdragon 855 chipset is based on TSMC's 7nm process, whereas the Exynos 9820 is based on an 8nm LPP FinFET process. Regardless, the Exynos 9820 processor works like a beast and showed some impressive results in benchmark scores. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We also played games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile to check it's overall gaming performance. The Galaxy S10 Plus was able to run both games in the highest settings without any drops in FPS. Having said that, we did see the Galaxy S10 Plus overheat a bit right under the camera module at the back. On Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, the S10 Plus turned in a multi-core score of 10,146, which beats the OnePlus 6T (8,972) and Pixel 3 (7,316). © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Even though the graphics are at par with other Android flagship devices, the Exynos version of the Galaxy S10 Plus underperformed when it comes to GPU benchmark scores. It managed to score 4265 on 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme score (OpenGL ES 3.1 test). In fact, the iPhone XS, Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 6T pulled ahead in this department. Battery Life When it comes to battery life of the Galaxy S10 Plus, the performance was slightly above average as it could not last longer than a full day of charge. Sometimes, the Galaxy S10 Plus would not even survive the full day depending on our usage. Keep in mind, we were testing an Exynos version and the battery life performance may differ for a Qualcomm version. We used the Galaxy S10 Plus for navigation, mild gaming, 4G LTE web browsing, music/video streaming and reading comic books. We had almost 4 hours 30 minutes of screen on time and the smartphone could last only a day and then some. This is with light usage which was not impressive considering the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 4,100 mAh battery. You can always switch the display to Full HD+ in order to conserve more battery life however QHD+ is so much better for watching videos which obviously sacrificed battery life. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy S10 Plus also has reverse charging if you want to charge any of your accessories or even second wireless charging supported smartphone. It's called 'PowerShare' and it turns the back of the S10 Plus into a charging mat. The PowerShare feature works great to charge accessories like a smartwatch and the great part is that the smartphone automatically disables the feature once your battery level falls to 30 per cent. Biometrics © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla This is the first time Samsung has included an in-display fingerprint sensor on a smartphone and it works a little different from what you may have seen before. It is embedded right into the screen and is fast to set up. You simply have to hold your finger in the specific area of the screen and it unlocks quite fast. Sure, it isn't as fast as a traditional fingering sensor, however, it does work when we need it to. It comes in handy in dark environments as the facial recognition on the Galaxy S10 Plus isn't as accurate. Having said that, during the day when facial recognition works, it is quite fast and you won't end up using the fingerprint scanner anyway. In terms of accuracy, there were a few instances when fingerprints weren't being read however overall the ultra-sonic sensor was consistent and accurate when scanning thumbs. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy S10 Plus has a triple-camera setup at the back and dual selfie camera at the front. The rear setup has an optically stabilised 12-megapixel main sensor with a dual aperture that can switch between f/1.5 for night shots and f/2.4 for the day. The second sensor is an ultra-wide 16-megapixel f/2.2 sensor that lets you capture more field of view and lastly a stabilised 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. The wide-angle camera lens works similar to what we have seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and other Samsung phones. You can zoom out and capture a wider field of view and somewhat get a fish-eye effect. It's a great lens to use, especially if you like to capture a lot of landscapes and environments. Having said that, the ultra-wide lens did give off some grain in low-light which is manageable by editing the images in third-party software. The portrait mode is known as “Live Focus” is also a dream to work with as it accurately blurs the background on objects and even pets. In fact, our favourite lighting option in 'Live Focus' mode is the “Colour Point” mode which basically turns the background into monochrome. The triple camera also does a great job of utilising HDR which you can see in one of our samples below. It was able to capture the blue sky and the definition of the clouds accurately. Having said that, we would have loved to see a dedicated night mode similar to what we see on the Pixel 3 and even budget Android phones like the Redmi Note 7 Pro. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The front cameras also feature dual-lens setup which basically lets you take normal or wide-angle selfies. You can even use the same portrait mode effect like “Colour Point” while using the selfie camera. It does a great job at blurring the background and is at par with other flagship smartphones. Here are a few camera samples that you can review below: View this post on Instagram Pictures shot using the #GalaxyS10Plus. I was quite satisfied with the picture quality, especially the "Colour Point" feature in the portrait mode. Wide-angle also does a decent job. #Technology #GalaxyS10 #tech #Gadgets #Smartphones #techie #samsung A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:45am PST The Final Say If you are looking for a powerful Android smartphone that can tick almost every box, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a great purchase you can consider. It has one of the best screens on a smartphone and takes some awesome pictures. It even supports HDR10+ content which is a plus if you like to watch movies on-the-go. Having said that, we did find the Galaxy S10 Plus lacking in the battery life department which we are sure can be fixed in a future OTA update. Overall, the Galaxy S10 Plus is very familiar to what we've seen before but at the same time makes huge leaps with various new features.
  6. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Alita Trailer

    Zain and Shantanu ran out of cash so they can't watch any movies to review this week. Instead, they decided to review a trailer, Alita: Battle Angel.
  7. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Total Dhamaal

    Zain & Shantanu are back this week with a total dhamaal movie. Okay, the movie isn't that great but their review of it is absolutely brilliant. Enjoy.
  8. The smartwatch and wearables industry is growing at a fast pace and there was bound to be an affordable smartwatch that can do everything that an Apple Watch can do. However, not all smartwatches are as fluid as the Apple Watch or deliver an experience that keeps users loyal. However, if you are looking for an affordable smartwatch, the Amazfit Verge is the closest bet that offers GPS navigation, fitness tracking and notification management for Rs 12,000. The smartwatch category is flooded with numerous options, but does the Amazfit Verge perform better than the rest of them? Let's find out. Design Being a budget smartwatch, the Verge does not offer the same build quality as a premium smartwatch. It's got an all plastic body with one plastic button on the upper right corner. It's light and does not offer that feel good factor you would want from a watch. The red button is used for navigating apps and selecting options. However, the button is not accurate as we would have to often click the button multiple times to get the OS to respond. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The smartwatch comes with a proprietary charger which we feel was not the best design option to go with. When done charging, sometimes we would have to yank out the smartwatch hard, fearing we may just break the strap or the charger. We would also have to place the smartwatch in the current orientation as it does not have charging pins on both sides of the charger. The circular dial on the Amazfit Verge houses an AMOLED display which is bright enough to be clear and visible in bright sunlight. The display is good enough to read notifications and text which is a plus to have on a smartwatch. There are 10 watch faces you can choose from which can be changed from the watch itself or from the app. Having said that, the watch-faces are quite rudimentary and does not offer many customisations. Features The one thing I love about the Apple Watch is the ability to view notifications and take appropriate action. For example, I can reply to WhatsApp messages, text messages and send voice notes without ever opening my smartphone. On the Amazfit Verge, you do get notifications, but you cannot reply to text messages or even read emails. There's no support for third-party apps which makes it quite disappointing, The only apps you can use are the ones that come pre-installed i.e. heart rate reader, timer, stopwatch and that's about it. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Amazfit Verge has an integrated mic and speaker. This can be used for making and receiving calls straight on the smartwatch. In order for this feature to work, you need to have your smartphone near you. You can even use the stereo speaker to listen to music as it has 4GB of onboard memory (2GB more storing music). In our experience, the feature worked well especially when making calls. Callers did notice that I sounded like I was using an earpiece. However, we would have loved to see the Amazfit Verge would ring at the same time as the smartphone. Call notifications were sometimes delayed and in that time we could just pick up the call on the smartphone. It kind of defeats the purpose of having a call feature on the smartphone if we don't get notified on time. Performance Being a smartwatch, it is able to track your activity and exercises just like any other smartwatch however not all is rosy in this category either. We found the footstep tracking to be inaccurate when calculating steps taken manually and comparing it with the readings. In fact, we tried to test the accuracy by wearing the smartwatch for the first time on our drive to work. The Amazfit Verge tracked 200 steps while we were driving indicating that it isn't as reliable as budget fitness bands. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to GPS tracking, the smartwatch was accurate at most occasions; however, we found it to be off by 200 meters sometimes in select areas and sometimes off by a kilometre. This may not bother a casual runner. However, it can be quite disadvantageous for hikers and outdoor runners. The other problem with the GPS feature is its inability to start up quickly. We were ready to go for a walk and had to wait for the GPS to start working. The Amazfit Verge takes particularly long to catch the GPS signal which can be frustrating if you want to just get going with your workout. The heart rate monitor is accurate on the Amzfit Verge as the results were almost identical with the Apple Watch Series 4 and Omron Pulse Oximeter. The Amazfit Verge has the ability to track different types of workouts and can automatically detect your activity. This is a nifty feature that works on the Amazfit Verge as advertised. However, you cannot track multiple workouts at the same time as you will need to end each activity tracking mode before starting another. This basically does not allow a user to track different activities in a single workout which can be a bit frustrating when exercising. You don't want to keep looking at your smartwatch before you start a new exercise as we're already in the flow and don't want to stop. The Final Say The Amazfit Verge offers every feature you want to see on a specs sheet. However, it simply doesn't cut it. Just because it has all the features doesn't mean it's a great smartwatch. It needs to be executed properly for cohesive user experience. From delayed notifications to a less than an appealing design choice, the Amazit Verge is not something we expected. The operating system needs to be more refined and needs to be able to handle more than one app at a time. Activity tracking also needs improvement which is one of the salient features of a smartwatch. Priced at Rs 12,000, it's suitable for people who are looking for a smartwatch packed with features and can sacrifice the overall user experience.
  9. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Gully Boy

    Zain & Shantanu just had to review Gully Boy this week. Is the movie worth your money? This is the only review you need to watch to figure it out.
  10. Post-Apocalyptic shooter games are now becoming a common theme in games that have caused fatigue amongst seasoned players. However, whenever a new Metro game is set to release, we all seem to set that fatigue aside as the franchise has a fresh outlook towards the theme. Metro Exodus exudes that feeling as it's probably the only game that leaves a fearsomely oppressive feeling right off the bat. © MensXP You continue the story in the franchise with Artyom, set in the dark gritty world of post-apocalyptic Russia. You're in the dark underbelly of Moscow's metro system where you will encounter scary ghouls and in always in mortal danger from mutated beasts. 4A games left no stone unturned to give you the true feeling of fear as you will be battered right from the beginning of the game. You will encounter monsters in the dark and often find yourself stuck in sticky situations that don't work in your favour. You will either have a weapon that needs cleaning or your mask is about to break that needs repairing. It's not only the monsters that strike fear in you, but it's also every bit of the game such as mechanics and limited resources that add to the fear. Metro as a franchise was always set in the gritty underground world of tunnels and sewers where you would only get a glimpse of destroyed Moscow in cut-scenes and specific missions. However this time in Metro Exodus, 4A games takes you out of the world of gritty tunnels and puts you in a heavily-armoured train called the Aurora. You and a group of survivors venture out of Moscow to find survivors and link up with Command to find out what is going on. © 4A Games In the franchise, Moscow's tunnel dwelling survivors believed that they were the only ones that manage to live. However, as you play Metro Exodus, you learn early on that there are survivors elsewhere. This also translated to you taking the Aurora through semi open-world environments where you will struggle to find resources to fix the train throughout your journey to 'Command'. Don't mistake this for an open-world game as Metro Exodus still exudes the elation of skin-of-the-teeth survival and oppressive gameplay even when you are in the open. 4A games is known for making games that are terrifying and Metro Exodus is exactly what you want to see from this studio. It has linear sequences that are filled with scary encounters and the sandbox environments word is filled with outposts, tunnels and buildings where you need to scavenge resources. Whether you like it or not, you will be forced to visit these locations if you want to upgrade your weapons or need ammo. It's these locations where you will experience some of the most terrifying moments in the game. To compliment all the game mechanics, 4A has created some of the most beautiful environments with fine attention to detail. Having said that, the game was a little buggy in some areas (at least on PC) which sometimes hindered your overall experience. Since you visit different locations thanks to Aurora, the game keeps things interesting as you visit different locations in rural Russia. The survival mechanics is probably our favourite feature in the game that adds to your panic when you're trying to defend yourself. Gunplay seems realistic as well since you are using scrappy guns that you have crafted with different components found in the world. These guns are not your run-of-the-mill weapons that don't have a kick to it. This particularly adds even more panic when skirmishing with ghouls, human enemies and beasts. © 4A Games Crafting works very similar to what you may have experienced in 'The Last of Us', each time you must crouch, open your bag with resources and craft whatever you need to complete your mission. You can craft medkits, weapons or pump up weapons since everything in Metro is quite analogue and nothing has advanced in terms of technology. Having said that, it's the best implementation of survival crafting we've seen since TLOU. If you're looking for a game that offers stealth and survival, Metro Exodus marries the two concepts perfectly. Metro Exodus has its own caveats with some bugs and some extremely long sequences where your character does nothing but stand, it's still one of the most exceptional experiences we've had in a very long time. The characters in the world are exceptional with great voice acting and a world that looks beautiful on RTX graphic cards. With deep and complex levels and incredibly scary monsters, Metro Exodus is the only post Apocalyptic game you need to play this year.
  11. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Manikarnika

    Manikarnika is the first Kangana Ranaut film that Zain and Shantanu reviewed. Was it worth a watch? Let Zain and Shantanu tell you so you don't have to waste your time.
  12. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Bharat Teaser

    Since there was nothing to review this week, Zain and Shantanu decided to review the 'Bharat' teaser. After all, when Salman Khan announces a movie, even the teaser is bound to be a super hit, right? Or so we thought.
  13. Zain and Shantanu were eager to review an Emraan Hashmi film and the serial kisser obliged with 'Why Cheat India.' Was it a good movie, though? Here's an honest review.
  14. Salman Khan came on the Kapil Sharma show and that was reason enough for Zain and Shantanu to review it. It goes without saying that they had some vociferous opinions on the episode, the show and Salman Khan.
  15. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Simmba

    Rohit Shetty is back with another cop movie and this time it's Ranveer Singh in the lead. Sounds like a recipe for fun. Zain and Shantanu decided to review this movie simply because they couldn't ignore it.
  16. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Zero

    Zero is the only Shah Rukh Khan movie that released in 2018. It goes without saying that everyone was eager to watch it. Zain & Shantanu were there on the first day to watch it. Here's what they though of the movie.
  17. ADMIN

    Honest Review: 2.0

    2.0 was the first time Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar shared space on the silver screen. The hype behind this movie was huge. Here's what Zain and Shantanu had to say about it. Brace yourself, the review isn't exactly positive.
  18. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Namaste England

    Does Namaste England match up to Namaste London? Here's Zain and Shantanu's verdict in another MensXP Honest Review.
  19. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Race 3

    Race 3 was one of the biggest blockbusters of 2018. But, was it a good movie? Zain & Shantanu went to watch it in order to figure out. Here's their honest review of the movie.
  20. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Sui Dhaaga

    How was Sui Dhaaga? Did you like the movie? Here is what Zain & Shantanu had to say about it.
  21. ADMIN

    Honest Review: The Nun

    Zain & Shantanu wanted to watch a scary movie so they chose 'the Nun'. Unfortunately, the movie ended up being more funny than scary. Here's their review.
  22. In the last year, the smartphone industry has drastically changed in India. Xiaomi has been on a blitzkrieg to grab market share and everyone has been trying their best to catch up. In this chaos, we witnessed the launch of a new brand called Realme. At first, the company focused on making budget phones and rapidly changed its focus to the midrange as well. The Redmi series has been ruling the segment, and the Realme U1 was launched specifically to challenge the incumbent. Realme is a very young brand and has always wanted to attract the younger audience. The Realme U1 has a premium-ish design, huge cameras on paper, and a brand new processor. Realme also has OPPO's backing in terms of development experience and readily available technology. While the Redmi Note 6 Pro was massively trolled for using the same processor of the predecessor, Realme grabbed the opportunity. But, specifications mean nothing if they can't deliver an equivalent experience. Let's see whether this phone has what it takes to be a segment leader. Design & Display: © MensXP The phone looks strikingly similar to the Realme 2 Pro, in fact, the two have the exact same design, display, physical dimensions, weight and even the camera and loudspeaker grille placement. The Realme U1 comes in three colour variants—Ambitious Black, Brave Blue and Fiery Gold. The device is extremely light to hold and sports a glass-like back with a reflective surface. The back cover is made out of a transparent acrylic composite and not glass. The Realme U1 has a plastic frame around the display that bulges out on all four sides, giving the rather flat device a rounded appearance around the edges. I prefer the curved edges as it makes the phone ergonomic and more resistant to drops. The backing isn't easily prone to scratches and the camera bump is barely noticeable. © MensXP The left side houses the volume rocker and a SIM tray, while the right side has the power button. A micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack sit at the bottom. For authentication, a fingerprint scanner is located on the rear which is sufficiently fast and extremely easy to locate. Yes, the reflective backing makes the phone slippery and prone to smudges. When compared to the competition, the phone has a cleaner design and the composite material does an excellent job at imitating itself as glass. © MensXP On the front, it has a 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2340x1080. Thanks to the waterdrop notch, it has a whopping 90 per cent to body ratio. In terms of looks, yes, the front looks stunning due to the small bezels and chin. For indoor usage, the display is bright enough and has well-saturated colours. But it lacks contrast and visibility under direct sunlight is poor. Camera: © MensXP Realme U1 comes with a 13-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear camera, and a 25-megapixel front camera. The rear camera has the Portrait mode, where you can create a shallow depth of field. The rear camera does deliver well, even if the details might not be as sharp in low-light. It also supports facial identification point via AI for faster authentication. In good lighting conditions, the rear camera has exceedingly sharp pictures with ample detail. In low light, the phone often fails to adjust proper shutter speed or exposure and messes up the image. Same goes for the front camera. Obviously, it comes with an AI Selfie mode to beautify pictures and you can turn it off. © MensXP It supports video recording in 1080p and the quality is as we expected. The auto-focus is quick to respond and the frame rates are solid. While the camera app can work well most of the time, there are times where it lags a bit. © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP © MensXP Performance & Software: Under the hood, the Realme U1 is very different from the Realme 2 Pro. It features MediaTek's Helio P70 processor clocked at 2.1GHz and paired with ARM Mali-G72 MP3 GPU clocked at 900MHz for better image processing. In simpler terms, the overall performance and AI tasks are much better than the P60 and it's unarguably one of the best in the price range. The phone's performance did not show any glaring problems. There is no noticeable lag during gaming with titles like PUBG on "medium" graphics, and there's no heating issue or massive frame drops. There's also a DND for Gaming mode making it a delight for intensive gamers. Our unit had 3GB RAM, and it was more than sufficient for light multitasking. © MensXP The phone runs Android Oreo out of the box along with ColorOS 5.2 UI. ColorOS on this phone does have some new tweaks and features making it more stable and optimized for heavy usage. There are a few bloatware apps, but they can be easily removed and additional features include gestures for navigation, taking screenshots, and enabling split-screen mode. The UI still doesn't have an app drawer, and like every other phone, the notch can be disabled. Overall, the UI does tend to stutter sometimes, but they aren't long enough and won't actually affect you for more than a second. It comes with a 3500 mAh battery which lasted me well through the day, and even more on lighter usage. The screen on time is almost 14.5 hours and the phone comes bundled with a 10W charger. The Final Say: © MensXP Starting at Rs 12,999, the Realme U1 is a worthy phone that delivers well on all fronts. In fact, performance-wise it's often better than its much more expensive counterparts like the Redmi Note 6 Pro. The phone is built for users who want performance, good selfies, and a sturdy design. If you're looking for a photography-centric phone, this isn't built for you. The Realme U1 starts at Rs 11,999 for the 3 GB RAM model and the 4 GB RAM variant is priced at Rs 13,999. Considering, that the Realme U1 has a powerful processor and delivers a decent battery life, the 3 GB variant is actually a must grab.
  23. We got Netflix girl Radhika Apte to join Zain & Shantanu to review an old horror movie, Veerana. Let's see what the Ghoul girl has to say about it.
  24. ADMIN

    Honest Review: Fanney Khan

    Zain & Shantanu are back reviewing Fanney Khan. They talk about everything from the plot to the cast in their unique, hilarious way. Enjoy.
  25. When it comes to smartphones, you can never find the right blend that does almost everything perfectly. Either a smartphone has a great camera and lacks in performance or it does not have adequate battery life. There are only a few smartphones out there that deliver an all-around experience and Huawei's Mate 20 Pro is amongst them. We've been using the smartphone for a few weeks and can only describe the smartphone as 'near perfect'. The Mate 20 Pro is a marvel that brings new features that makes a smartphone exciting. It looks beautiful and performs like a beast when it needs to. Let's find out why the Mate 20 Pro is the almost perfect smartphone of 2018: Design Language and Display MensXP/Akshay Bhalla When it comes to design, the Mate 20 Pro has a similar vibe like other Huawei smartphones that have launched this year; however, it does resemble the Galaxy S9+ in terms of look and feel. It as curved edges and an all screen design with a rather small notch. It's striking in terms of looks and is narrower than other smartphones we've used this year. It fits snug in your arms and can easily fit your pockets thanks to the 6.39-inch display that isn't too overbearing. The smartphone also has atlas back with “hyper-optical pattern” that makes it easier to hold and prevent fingerprint smudges. This pattern at the back makes it less slippery than other all-glass smartphones; however we still recommend you use the supplied case for better protection. MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Huawei has removed the headphone jack and instead uses the USB-C port for transmitting Digital audio. The phone also does not have any visible speakers as it channels the sound through the same USB-C port. At first, you will feel weird listening to music or making a loudspeaker call however in time you get used to the sound. The Mate 20 Pro has a 6.39-inch OLED display that has Quad HD+ resolution and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is by far one of the prettiest screens we've used. It has a resolution of 1,400 x 3,120 resolution with a very sharp 539 PPI. Naturally, anything we viewed on the smartphone looked extra lush and vivid. The contrast on this panel is perfectly marked when watching HDR content and the colour reproduction was accurate as one would expect from a high-grade OLED panel. Performance The Mate 20 Pro is also a beast when it comes to performance. It has Huawei's proprietary 7nm Kirin 980 processor. The new SoC has some drastic improvements in performance that is well reflected in the Mate 20 Pro. In terms of performance, it is one of the fast Android smartphones we've used this year and sometimes beats the OnePlus 6T as well. The chipset has been crippled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. We experienced no lag while launching apps and multi-tasking. Gaming on the smartphone was a delight and gave us the extra as we did not experience any frame rate drops or even battery life issues. MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Speaking of battery, the Mate 30 Pro is outfitted with a 4,200 mAh battery that lasted at least 19 hours on a single charge. We used the smartphone for gaming, internet voice calls, Youtube Videos, Navigation, Social Media and hours of listening to music over Bluetooth. Huawei has also included a 40W fast charger in the box that essentially charged the phone to 70% in 37 minutes. In about an hour, the smartphone gets fully charged and is ready to go again. You can even use the smartphone to wirelessly other smartphones. A near feature we used during our travels to the U.S. We used the Mate 20 Pro to wirelessly charge our iPhone XS Max and still had enough juice left to use the phone for another 4 hours. Biometrics The Mate 20 Pro comes with two ways to unlock the device i.e. with face recognition and the in-display fingerprint sensor. The 3D IR face-scanning system works exactly as it does on the iPhone X/XS. It basically projects IR dots onto your face to recognise every single facial feature. The facial recognition feature works as advertised and works even in low-light environments. In fact, it is so fast that you don't even realise the device has already scanned your face. It doesn't even give you an opportunity to use the in-display fingerprint sensor. MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The in-display fingering sensor is embedded underneath the screen just like on the OnePlus 6T and Vivo Nex. It lights up the area where one needs to place their thumb in order to unlock the smartphone with this method. We used this unlocking method in a completely dark environment when the 3D IR face-scanning system could not recognise our face or while driving. It's a neat feature to use when you are distracted and don't want to look at your phone when unlocking. You will also end up using this feature for authentication on certain apps like PayTM. You need to be a little more precise when placing your thumb; however, it still works as fast as the OnePlus 6T. Camera MensXP/Akshay Bhalla This is the marquee feature of the Mate 20 Pro that made us fall in love with the smartphone. It has a triple camera setup that has arranged in a 4x4 matrix along with the LED flashlight. The main camera is 40 megapixels, the ultra-wide is 20-megapixels and a third eight-megapixel telephoto camera. The cameras support 0.6 to 5x optical zoom and can go up to 10X with digital zoom. In terms of camera quality, the camera is capable of taking pictures with copious amounts of detail and has impeccable colour accuracy. Low-light performance is out of this world especially when we used the dedicated night mode. The camera can also identify objects using Huawei's AI mode called HiVision. We used it to identify a Christmas tree and it worked like a charm. It does, however, identify a few things incorrectly which will probably be fixed in the next update. Having said that, the Mate 20 Pro can sometimes take over saturated pictures when it uses Master Ai to tweak pictures. You can always disable this mode if you prefer taking natural looking shots. Here are some of our camera samples that will give you a better idea: The #HuaweiMate20pro is a beast when it comes to night photography. Shot this at 4 am outside my hotel. pic.twitter.com/2CuxkMwVrU — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) November 28, 2018 Damn I'm loving the camera on the #HuaweiMate20pro pic.twitter.com/ndKIoQrmIu — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) November 28, 2018 Some more images I shot using the #huaweimate20pro pic.twitter.com/CHHR6iwGKv — Akshay Bhalla (@Bhallanator) December 2, 2018 The Final Say The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is by the only smartphone we've used this year that delivers everything it advertises. The only thing we did not like about the smartphone was it's UI and gestures. Having said that, it's subjective according to one's taste and one can even use other launchers on top to give it a more refined experience. Having said that, the Mate 20 Pro is everything you expect from a flagship smartphone; it delivers amazing photos, performs like a beast and has amazing battery life. It has a very accurate 3D face recognition system and a powerful processor. The display on the smartphone is a delight to use and consume content and it can even charge other phones wirelessly. The Mate 20 Pro is the smartphone we wanted all year and Huawei has finally delivered a device that is near perfect. It retails in India for Rs 69,990 and is certainly not cheap but it is packed with features that justify the high price. If you are an Android lover and want the ultimate phone of 2018/2019, the Mate 20 Pro should be your next purchase.
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