Asus ROG G752VY Review – The Mother & Father of All Gaming Notebooks!

It’s almost a month since I got my hands-on Asus ROG G752VY and I have a mixed feeling on this high-end gaming laptop. If you remember, last year I did a review on its predecessor Asus ROG G751J which blew my mind. Well, this new gaming notebook from Asus has upgraded specs & yeah, a higher price range.

I feel it’s time to start my review and this time, unlike my previous reviews, I want to make it as short as possible, so readers can easily get the better insights of Asus ROG G752VY. So, let’s stop waiting & kick-start the Asus ROG G752VY Review.

Asus ROG G752VY Review –

As usual, the review framed in segments, and if you have no patience and want to have a quick check about the ROG G752VY, just go ahead at the bottom to find the Pros, Cons & Final verdict. For now, I’m going with the gaming notebook design & the build quality.

Design & Build Quality

Asus always amazes me with their unique designs in their products. Whether it is a smartphone, a notebook or a tablet they always better their designs & produce new designs. It can be clearly seen on the new ROG G752VY too. Though the laptop’s design has inspiration from the predecessor, the color combination nailed it.

Earlier, most of the ROG series notebooks comes in black & red, and for the first time, they have gone out of the box and introduced gray [hairline design] & orange. It is not the only thing that has changed comparing to the predecessor as the exhaust vent got tremendous changes. This time they included vents to exhaust the dust along with air. I feel this is a good move!

As of high-end specifications, the gaming laptop does weigh a lot [4.4KGs]. It’s very hard to lift it and carry around, but these are designed to replace the regular desktops. So, these are just to stick at your work desks. Coming to the orange stripes on the metal body, they give a beast look to the laptop.

Orange is the new red :p

The metal body comes with a proper matte finish, and the lid is easy to lift. I didn’t find any bent or something while lifting, or even a slight vibration of the display after lifting the lid. It means the lid is completely protecting the display from damages like it won’t harm even if you keep a considerable weight on the lid/ or close the lid very fast etc.

Coming to the keyboard, the Asus ROG G752VY has a chicklet keyboard with backlit keys. Though the design made in gray & orange, you can find RED color over the keys. [Asus can’t just get out of RED :p]

Anyhow, the backlit colors can’t change, so you’ll be going to stick with RED, just RED. Just like the previous gaming laptops from Asus, you can find individual keys + a dedicated ROG key here too. I will explain the usage of these keys in the performance. The ergonomic design of this keyboard provides complete flexibility while playing games. Even, the key travel is not very deep, and you don’t have to worry about the click sounds as it’s not audible.

On the rear side, you can find the sonic subwoofers which are new for Asus gaming laptops. They claimed to provide a better sound quality, but let’s see how they work in the performance section. As usual, you can find all the essential ports like the USB 3.1, USB Type-C [thunder bolt], USB 3.0, HDMI & several other required ports. You can find the complete information on the specifications.

The build quality is decent, and as already explained about the lid, I feel the overall laptop looks robust, and it can withstand drops [from small height]. I haven’t tried, and I don’t think anyone will try if they watch the price tag. But as far my test went, I am completely satisfied with the build quality. It’s from Asus, and they usually invest a hell lot of money in R&D to perfect the design & I feel they lived up to the mark regarding quality too.

Anyhow, let’s move on to the display, the one that shows the games :p

Display

The Asus ROG G752VY has a huge 17.5’ FHD LED backlight display with anti-glare. The visuals are stunning, and the color depth is amazing. Let me show you in the images, instead of saying it.

Here I played a few original Blu-ray movies in this 17.5’ monster and see the color production by yourself.

Isn’t it amazing? Also, the ROG G752VY has NVIDIA G-sync feature, so there won’t be any transitions or fuzziness while forwarding or backwinding the scenes. The same feature will help to optimize the refresh rates of games. Now, the main part of the review – Let’s take a look at this gaming notebook performance.

Performance

The Samsung SSDs in Asus ROG G752VY performs very well under normal and extreme usage conditions. The first SSD functions as a boot drive which boosts up the boot speed and the 2nd SSD works great to install games and provide excellent read and write bandwidths.

The pair of speakers on ROG G752VY also boasts a subwoofer & delivers a crisp sound with a bit of bass. However, the volume did disappoint me which could not get fixed even after updating Realtek drivers. Tweaking Asus’s Sonic Studio program won’t help either.

“Playing A game with speaker volume on ROG G752VY is a Bummer!

Intel’s Core i7-6700HQ clubbed with 16 GB of RAM provides a high-level performance in ROG G752VY. The laptop doesn’t overheat while gaming, thanks to the 3D vapor chamber cooling module and the dual exhaust fans on the back.

Nvidia GTX 980M GPU with 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 RAM performs wonderfully, as expected. Since the GPU supports Nvidia’s G-SYNC technology, so the GPU will be running all the time, thus leaving a slight impact on the battery life.

I played few games to test the performance selecting Extreme Preset of Asus’s Turbo Gear. GTA V returned an average frame rate of 58 FPS with G-sync turned off. Battlefield 4 gave an average frame rate of 83 FPS with extreme settings. At last, FarCry 4 showed up an average of 57 FPS, which was better than expected.

Battery Life:

The ROG runs on an eight cell battery with capacity 6,000 mAh. Even with extreme performance conditions, it smoothly crosses 1hr 50 mins mark which is quite good for a heavy gaming laptop under stressed out conditions. With this capacity of the battery, it can easily pass 4 hours mark under normal usage conditions.

Pros:

  1. 17.5’ FHD bright, stunning display
  2. Impressive design
  3. 3D Vapor Chamber cooling module
  4. Excellent gaming performance
  5. Nvidia G-SYNC
  6. Upgradeable

Cons:

  1. Heavyweight (That’s understandable though)
  2. Volume level not up to the mark
  3. Price

Verdict:

The Asus ROG G752VY carries the best design we have seen from ASUS in their gaming laptop segment in a long time. It is a premium gaming laptop, and gamers will not be disappointed with the performance. However, standing at a high-end notebook price segment, Asus ROG series has got some fierce competition like Acer Predator series which arrives in a more compact package & Alienware. The 3D cooling system of Asus Rog G752VY is indeed one of the best assets here. Asus has got some bulk weight considering 4.4 kgs, but that’s understandable. Asus Rog G752VY will set you back by Rs. 1,79,990. The choice is yours!

Asus Zenfone 3 Max Review – A phone that can run marathons

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Zenfone 3 Max

Asus launched its Zenfone 3 Max series early in 2016 to cater to an unmet need in its offerings – to match the likes of Gionee and Xiaomi with good battery and all-around performance. The everlasting blockbuster mantra in the smartphone market we have seen recently is to deliver a phone that can run marathons without losing an ounce of energy and companies are leaving no stone unturned to enter that ball game. In this Zenfone 3 Max review, we’ll be delving deeper into this beauty of a phone.

The recent launch of Asus saw two variants – Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL – priced at Rs 17,999 and Zenfone 3 Max ZC553KL priced at INR 12,999 playing the same game – a large battery. While the INR 12,999 phone has a smaller screen, MediaTek SoC with a 13MP camera, the phone we are about to review now( ZC553KL) has a 5.5-inch display. Qualcomm SoC and 16MP rear camera with an 8 MP front shooter.

So, let’s get started with Zenfone 3 Max Review – a phone built with a design you can feast your eyes upon.

Zenfone 3 Max Review:

Design:

You can show the phone to a random person, and there’s no way he’d guess a price lesser than INR 20000. Yes, it has an aluminum unibody design with the trademark Asus curved edges. With thin bezels, the phone is a real beauty.

The rear end accommodates the camera with no bumps whatsoever and the fingerprint sensor with an oleophobic coating. Asus has stuck to regular USB cables with no fancy gigs with charging or earphone slots. The mono speakers can be found on the bottom next to the USB slot. The build quality, on the whole, feels much better than Zenfone Max original.

Display:

Zenfone 3 Max comes with a 5.5 inch full HD display with a 73% screen to body ratio which solely contributes a lot to the looks.  The pixel density of 410 ppi is satisfactory; the colors look vibrant, and there is nothing to complain.

Zenfone 3 Max display

The phone also has a 2.5D glass which would help you keep it shining for a while. The auto brightness serves its purpose well, and I didn’t find myself adjusting brightness during the day.

Recommended: Asus ZenFone 3 Review

Software:

The phone runs on Zen UI on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow which made sure there were modifications on stock Android (minimal). The changes are noticeable if you love stock Android but don’t change your experience altogether – Ex: You can see an individual notification on every app. Asus also has a Theme app which lets you use a lot of cool free themes.  There is an option for easy mode, kids mode and also one touch operation if you’re going to do some serious texting.

You can enable gestures and customize the fingerprint scanner to do an array of things.You can use the fingerprint sensor to answer calls, open camera and take photos as well.

Zenfone 3 Max- Fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanner customizations

The phone lets you play around without boring you out in a couple of weeks, and that’s cool. Here’s the jinx:  We’d have liked it if Asus had reduced the amount of bloatware that the phone is loaded with and instead put the control in the hands of the consumer.

Zenfone 3 Max
Storage available

The fingerprint sensor is a let-down as it isn’t the sharpest sensors around. I found myself unlocking the phone manually quite a few times – especially when the phone has been asleep for a while. If you are using the phone regularly, there weren’t many issues though.

Hardware:

The phone, contrary to all our expectation features a Snapdragon 430 SoC! Yeah, you read that right. While Snapdragon 625 could have done justice to the price, Asus has preferred to stick to the Octa core 430 64 bit processor clocked at 1.64 GHz. The difference is felt as the phone is sluggish while multi-tasking and hence we wanted to test the performance. The octa-core processor explains the reason for the fingerprint sensor’ sluggishness while the phone’s asleep.

That apart, the phone comes with a 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage. Adreno 505 GPU is fairly robust to handle gaming. The hybrid SIM slot lets you load an additional 128GB into your phone which will sure come in handy. Of course we ran a few performance benchmark test results here to see how it fared compared to the competition. Head over to Performance Benchmark Results and see how it fared.

Battery:

Obviously this is a huge plus as the USP of the phone is its massive 4100mAh battery! You can charge the phone once and forget about it for a couple of days. On decent usage, it came past 1.5 days. There are multiple power saving options presented and you can even schedule options such as adjusting brightness, CPU performance and switching off networks during few times of the day. Ex: You can set a schedule of 12 PM to 6 AM where you can reduce phone brightness and turn off all networks.

Hey, do you know of someone who’d say no to some extra battery at no extra weight? I don’t. If the battery has been a pain point in your history of phones, you’d love this.

Camera :

With a 16MP rear camera enabled with PDAF, laser autofocus, dual tone flash and EIS, Zenfone 3 Max does fairly well in bright light. I particularly liked the low-light mode which enhances light sensitivity, and the images have a stark difference when taken in low light mode. The phone automatically suggests you shift to the low light mode when the need is, and that comes in handy. The camera also features an HDR mode, beautification for selfies and super-resolution mode.

Zenfone 3 max camera modes

Since most of us barely having time to explore modes but stick to Auto, let me show you few images taken in the auto mode of the phone.

Zenfone 3 Max review-camera

The photo fanatics would love the inbuilt effects with which you can click pictures without having to go through the struggle of editing to apply an effect.

Zenfone 3 Max camera

Zenfone 3 Max - selfie

The color reproduction is fair although it tends to be a little over-saturated at times, that’s something you can live with. You can find a list of similar full-size images taken with HDR mode, Low-light mode, and Auto-focus to decide for yourself – Zenfone 3 Max Camera Samples all in one place.

On the whole, Asus has made a nice improvement over Zenfone released in May, but there are issues with the phone’s performance and fingerprint sensor. The biggest plus is the battery which can last easily for two days and the phone won’t let you down there. If you’re looking for a <INR 20,000 phone with decent performance, camera and a good battery life, you can go for Zenfone 3 Max.  We feel the phone is going to face still competition from lesser priced rivals like Redmi Note 3 which has a better processor at a lower price. The long-term performance of Zenfone3 Max is something that we need to wait and watch.

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Attractive and sturdy design
  • Vibrant display
  • Audio quality

Cons

  • Hardware
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Image quality
  • Price

Verdict:

Zenfone 3 Max is a phone that has a superior build and amazing battery life. With an average processor, the performance isn’t exemplary but still is more than sufficient for day-to-day activities. The camera is fairly good equipped with multiple shooting modes. Priced at 17999, it might face stiff competition from lesser priced phones.

Nokia’s Comeback to Smartphone Business in 2017 Might not be Successful

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Being a Nokia fan, I was very excited when I heard that Nokia is returning to the smartphone business and launching a new smartphone [or a couple] in 2017. But, being a tech journalist, I’m afraid Nokia may not survive in the smartphone business. Though the hype is real, it may not survive until unless it shows something new beyond the smartphones.

As already speculated in The Verge, the world doesn’t need any more Android phone makers as it’s already filled with a lot of manufacturers. I believe the smartphone market has come in saturation, and it may go down soon if there’s no magic [change]. Considering Nokia as a new brand, their significant market share will be more in Europe [just like it used to be] as of company’s base. It never had a huge market share in the USA, and even in the future, it may not have it.

In the US, Apple & Samsung have a significant market share, and the world has already adapted to the premium/luxury design/specifications provided by the duo. So, to be a competitor to Samsung & Apple, Nokia should have a better marketing plan to make it succeed.

In China, the market share is full of Apple Fanboys, and the local vendors like Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, & Xiaomi. As Nokia was idle for a long time, so Chinese users may not show interest in buying a smartphone from new brand [as Nokia is entering to Android, it’ll consider as new] and will continue to buy the premium-end smartphones from other brands. The same thing applies to the entire Asia region too as the mobile market share is being dominated by the Chinese OEMs.

What should Nokia do to be successful?

If the rumors are true, Nokia is planning to launch two smartphones [the same two smartphone concept] – one a high-end flagship to be a competitor to Samsung & Apple and a mid-end smartphone to give competition to Huawei, Asus, Lenovo, etc.

Nokia shouldn’t end up as HTC & Sony!

Well, to be successful, the Finnish company should follow what these two major brands are doing. Yup, you guessed it – Xiaomi & OnePlus are by far the most successful brands ever. The reasons are obvious; they showed the actual potential of online marketing & direct marketing by word of mouth. From 2014, I’ve been writing many articles on Xiaomi’s marketing strategy and still the company is dominating the mobile market with its flash sales strategy. On the other side, OnePlus became successful with word of mouth, and the invite based sales [not anymore].

The point here is, to be successful in the mobile business, the brands should think beyond the user’s expectations and should come up with new surprises. The same way, Nokia should plan something to be in the business, or it will end up as a failure. Just like as mentioned in The Verge, Nokia should create an eco-system which will make the users buy a single device that connects all other devices than buying separate devices for different things.

Also, as I already mentioned that smartphone business is coming to saturation, Nokia should also think about other things like accessories. The recent MacBook Pro is the best example on why Apple’s targeting accessories. Xiaomi had this plan before all other brands, as the firm has launched an iPad enemy, MacBook Air competitor, etc. They also have their drone, Air Cleaner, Cooker, earphones, smart light etc.

Even OnePlus hasn’t just committed to smartphones alone. They even have their cases, screen guards, headsets, bags, drones, etc.

All these conclude that, if Nokia launches a smartphone just like it used to in 2010 then I believe the company may not do well in the market. Also, the brains behind old Nokia had already fled to Microsoft. Though the HMD Global is investing huge money on retrieving the core team & on marketing, the success lies in an innovative plan to make a big comeback.

Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano Specs and Prices leaked online

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Mi Mix Nano

Barely a month after Xiaomi released Mi Mix, a bezel-less smartphone, a new leak has surfaced with specifications for Xiaomi Mi Mix Nano. An image share on Weibo, Chinese social network reveals that Xiaomi is working on a mini version of Mi Mix – Mi Mix Nano.

Mi Mix Nano will also be a bezel-less phone that comes with a 5.5 inch display and ~420 ppi pixel density. The screen to body ratio would be 90% (a tad bit lesser than Mi Mix at 93%). Mi Mix Nano is said to be packed with a 4 GB RAM and 64 GB of storage. Running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the phone would come packed with a Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 821 processor. With respect to the camera, it will sport a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front camera, similar to its predecessor.

Mi Mix Nano is tipped to be priced at around CNY 3000 (Roughly INR 30,000).

Mi Mix Nano on WeiboIf you’re someone who is into bezel-less phones, you would love Mi Mix launched on October 25th.  It is a 6.4 inch phone with curve edges and killer borderless looks. Mi Mix runs on a Snapdragon 821 processor as well with a 4GB/6GB option encasing a 4400mAh battery.

Xiaomi Mi MixBad news is that Xiaomi had made it clear that Mi Mix won’t be available in India.  If the sources are true, all we can do now is to hope that Mi Mix Nano would be available for Indian users as well. After all, India is its second biggest market and hence it shouldn’t disappoint Indian users.

OnePlus 3T appears on Oppomart ahead of its launch priced at $499

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OnePlus 3T

OnePlus released the OnePlus X around the same time last year leading to speculations on the company releasing another budget phone. But that wasn’t the case as we are looking at another flagship – OnePlus 3T to be launched at midnight India time today (11.30 PM). OnePlus will be using Facebook Live for this launch.

With OnePlus 3 launched just a few months back, OnePlus is already looking at an upgraded version. The phone is not going to look too different from OnePlus 3 going by what was revealed in Weibo. We could see a OnePlus 3 looking at the mirror with a ‘T’ on the front panel. The phone would be available in black and white color variants and the unlocked version can work in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Ahead of the launch, OnePlus, CarlPei and Qualcomm have been rolling out teasers leading to today.

OnePlus 3T teaser

OnePlus 3T teaser

OnePlus 3T teaser

What to Expect

With some of the images leaked on Weibo, Chinese social network and Oppomart’s listing, it is expected to ship with a 3300mAh battery and a Snapdragon 821 chipset. While the chipset is normally clocked at 2.15 GHz, OnePlus is to clock it at 2.35GHz instead. It will also come out with Dash Quick charge technology where it will optimize battery by adjusting backlight and balancing between static and dynamic content of the screen.

OnePlus 3T Oppomart listing

 

OnePlus 3TOnePlus 3T

The screen should still stay at AMOLED and not LCD going by Carl Pei’s tweet.

OnePlus 3T_CarlPei

With a 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage options as rumored and its support for Daydream VR, it sure will be a direct competitor to Pixel at its price. The rear camera would be a 16MP lens with a Sony IMX298 sensor and a 8MP front shooter. Oppomart has priced it at $499 (Around INR 33000).

We will have to wait till end of the day today to confirm the facts and about a month to lay our hands on the OnePlus 3T.

Asus Zenfone 3 Max Launched In India Starting At Rs. 12,999

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Today Asus South Asia and country manager, Peter Chang launched Asus Zenfone 3 Max in India, expanding their Zenfone 3 series launched in 2016. Unlike previous generations of Zenfone Max, Asus Zenfone 3 Max comes in 2 variants, a 5.5 inch Variant ZC553KL priced at Rs. 17,999 and 5.2 inches variant ZC520TL priced at Rs 12,999. The 5.2-inch variant is on sale now in Flipkart and offline stores. The 5.5-inch variant will be sold from November 16.

Both the Asus Zenfone 3 Max variants flaunt similar elegant metallic design with 2.5D rounded edges and come with a large powerful battery of 4100 mAh. Like previous generations of Zenfone Max, this one has got Reverse Charging Capability to charge other devices using OTG cable.zenfone-3-max-zc553kl-1

Asus Zenfone 3 Max Specifications:

Key SpecsAsus Zenfone 3 Max
Display5.2 inch
5.5 inch
Screen ResolutionHD, 1280 x 720
Full HD, 1920 x 1080
Operating SystemAndroid 6.0.1 Marshmallow
ProcessorQuad-core 1.25 GHz
Octa-core 1.4 GHz
ChipsetMediatek MT6737M
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
Memory3 GB
Inbuilt Storage32 GB
microSD cardYes, up to 128 GB
Primary Camera13 MP, f/2.2, autofocus, LED Flash
16MP, f/2.0, autofocus, Dual LED Flash
Video recording[email protected]
Secondary Camera5 MP with f/2.0 aperture
8 MP with f/2.2 aperture
Battery4100 mAh
Fingerprint SensorYes
4G readyYes
VoLTEYes
Weight148 g 
175 g
SIM card typeDual SIM
Price5.2 inch : Rs. 12,999
5.5 inch : Rs. 17,999

 

The Asus Zenfone 3 Max 5.2 inch (ZC520TL) is powered by 1.25 GHz MediaTek MT6737T SOC and has 13-megapixel rear shot and 5 MP selfie snapper. Along with 32Gb of storage, ZC520TL can support 32GB external SD card.

On the other hand, Asus Zenfone 3 Max 5.5 inch (ZC553KL) is powered by 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC with a 16-megapixel rear camera and 8MP selfie camera with 84-degree wide-angle lens. It supports external storage up to 128Gb along with onboard 32Gb internal memory.

Both smartphones will be available in Glacier Silver, Sand Gold, and Titanium Gray color variants.