Jacky’s Electronics appointed as Apple Authorised Reseller

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, Industry, News

Jacky’s Electronics, the UAE’s leading multi-brand consumer electronics retailer, today announced that it has become an Apple Authorised Reseller offering the complete range of Mac, iPad and iPod products along with a wide range of accessories in store.

“We are excited to become an Apple Authorised Reseller,” said Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Electronics. “Jacky’s mission is to provide the best products, service and support in the market, so we’re delighted that Apple’s innovative products and solutions are now officially available in our stores. Our trained staff will also be on hand to provide expert advice as well as after-sales support to our customers.”

At Jacky’s, customers will be able to learn all about the latest products from Apple including the iPad mini, a completely new iPad design that is 23 per cent thinner and 53 per cent lighter than the third generation iPad and features a stunning 7.9-inch Multi-Touch display you can hold in one hand.

The new fourth generation iPad with an amazing 9.7-inch Retina display and A6X chip that delivers up to twice the CPU performance and up to twice the graphics performance of the A5X chip. The all-new iMac featuring a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, faster processors and an innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro featuring a stunning Retina display and all flash storage in a new compact design.

Guide to purchasing the iPhone 5 from du and Etisalat

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, Features, Smartphones

After weeks of speculation, Apple’s iPhone 5 finally officially landed in the UAE today and is available for purchase and we have reviewed it right here.. While both Etisalat and du made the iPhone 5 available for pre-ordering through their websites since the 9th of December, Etisalat rolled out the highly anticipated device through a midnight launch at many of it’s business centers across the UAE. If you are interested in getting the iPhone 5, we hope the following guide is useful in selecting which carrier and plan to go with.

First up, you need to decide if you want to simply purchase the iPhone 5 outright without any contracts or take up a package. The following table compares prices of the iPhone 5 between Etisalat and du for purchasing the unit without any contracts.

iPhone 5 Etisalat du
16GB AED 2749 AED 2749
32GB AED 3149 AED 3199
64GB AED 3549 AED 3599

 

The price is similar across both telcos however, Etisalat has slightly better pricing on the 32GB and 64GB units saving you 50 Dirhams. However, du provides you with 100MB of data per month for the first six months completely free and if you have an existing plan with them for which you pay AED 250 Dirhams or more, you get 1GB data per month free for a year.

Etisalat on the other hand offers you a plan for AED 225 per month that includes 8GB of data per month, 200 national SMS per month and 800 minutes of local or 200 minutes of international calls per month. This plan is contract-free meaning you are not restricted to stay on this plan however, it expires after a year of your purchase meaning you will have to get another standard plan with them after 12 month. Alternatively you can purchase a 1GB data from Etisalat at AED 99 per month which is offered for any phone.

If you prefer paying for your iPhone 5 in monthly installments instead of a full upfront payment, then you have the following offers available from du and Etisalat

Carrier Upfront Costs Monthly Payment Monthly Plan details Validity
Etisalat 16GB Free
32GB: AED 399
64GB AED 799
AED 499 4GB Data
200 SMS
800 local or 200 Int’l minutes
12 months
Etisalat 16GB Free
32GB: Free
64GB Free
AED 249
AED 279
AED 299
2GB Data 18 months
du 16GB Free
32GB: Free
64GB Free
AED 270
AED 305
AED 335
1GB Data 12 months
du 16GB Free
32GB: Free
64GB Free
AED 155
AED 175
AED 200
1GB Data 24 months

 

So which plan should you go for? We think that you should purchase the iPhone outright and go with Etisalat’s package of AED 225 per month which is a steal since you’re getting 8GB of data along with lots of local or international minutes and 200 local SMS.

However, if you don’t want to pay that much outright then both du and Etisalat offer attractive payment plans. We wouldn’t chose the AED 499 package from Etisalat as du has better packages through their Elite Super plans that start at AED 100 per month. We also suggest getting a 12 month or 18 month contract instead of a 24 month contract as data prices will continue to go down and you don’t want to be locked in a contract for two years.

Apple iPhone 5 Review

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, Articles, Reviews, Spotlight

Like it or not, you cannot argue that the iPhone is the device that proved to be the catalyst for the mass adoption of a full slate design phone. Apple continues to update the iPhone every year to bring it on par or exceed with the specs of the industry and every other year with a new design that pretty much sets the industry standard for other phones. This year’s model, the iPhone 5, continues in that path with a new design that, while being instantly recognizable as an iPhone, continues to astonish. But is design and specs the area that the iPhone really needs more work on? We find that out in our iPhone 5 review.

Packaging

Packaged in the very familiar box, the iPhone 5 comes with the usual USB cable, charging plug and a pair of earphones. Apple has replaced the earphones with their new earpods that supposedly fit better in most ears and up the quality from the previous generation. Also included in the sim tray removal pin for the nano SIM- more on that later. In short, the packaging on the iPhone 5 is pretty similar to previous models with everything laid out neatly and easy to access.

Build Quality and Design

Although many people might not necessarily like Apple’s fenced ecosystem, few can argue the quality and design of their products. With the latest revision, the iPhone 5 manages to get thinner and lighter and yet provide you with a bigger screen size. Measuring 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and weighing just 112g, the iPhone 5 is unmistakably similar to older iPhones and yet very new and extremely light in your hands. You might think it looks a bit too narrow for a phone with a 4.0” screen, especially if you’ve used some of the larger sized Android phones, but Apple has stuck to the same width to make sure that the iPhone continues to be very usable with a single hand- something you just can’t do with wider screens and second and more important.

The back of the iPhone 5 has been changed from a full glass back from the previous generation to a two tone design with small pieces of glass on top and bottom but an aluminium finish in the middle which is also used around the device. I received the black version of the phone which is not exactly black but has a slight shade of blue that looks incredibly slick and sexy. Hands down, it’s the most gorgeous phone that I’ve held to date.

On the left you have volume keys as well as the mute switch while the top continues to hold the lock button. The speakers are still positioned at the bottom which isn’t necessarily the best place for them as you can easily cover them with your hands when holding the unit sideways. Also found at the bottom is the 3.5mm audio jack and the new Lightning connector that has replaced the aging 30-pin iPod connector we’ve had for many many years.

Specs and Performance

The iPhone 5 continues to use a dual core processor although the Apple A6 that powers it seems to offer a significant performance boost over the older iPhone 4S and many Android devices. The triple core PowerVR SGX 543MP3 certainly helps push the graphics capabilities of the iPhone 5 and it is believed than Apple has doubled the RAM from 512MB to 1GB to make the device feel more snappy. the following table compares the iPhone 5 to the Nokia Lumia 920 as well as the Samsung Galaxy S III-  probably the two closest competitors for the iPhone 5.

Apple iPhone 5 Nokia Lumia 920 Samsung Galaxy S III
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm
Weight 112g 185g 133g
Screen Size 4.0 inches LED-backlit IPS TFT
640×1136 res, 326ppi
4.5″ IPS TFT ClearBlack
768 x 1280 res, 332ppi
Super AMOLED 4.8″
720 x 1280 res, 306ppi
Processors Apple A6
PowerVR SGX 543MP3
Qualcomm MSM8960 SnapDragon
Adreno 225
Exynos 4412
Mali-400MP
Max Speed 1.2 GHz Dual Core 1.5GHz Dual Core 1.4GHz Quad Core
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
Storage 16/32/64GB 32GB 16/32/64GB + MicroSD
OS at launch Apple iOS 6.0 Windows Phone 8 Android 4.0
Connectivity HSDPA 42.2 Mbps
HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
HSDPA 42.2 Mbps
HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 3.1
NFC
HSDPA 21 Mbps
HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
LTE Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
802.11a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.0
NFC
Camera 8 MP
1.2 MP
1080p @ 30fps
8 MP Carl Zeiss with OIS
1.3MP
1080p @ 30fps
8 MP
1.9MP
1080p @ 30fps
Battery 1440 mAh Li-Ion 2000 mAh Li-Ion 2100 mAh
Price AED 2749 AED 2449 AED 2499
SunSpider 906ms 923ms 1505ms

The iPhone 5 beats the Nokia Lumia 920 in time to complete the Sun Spider benchmark in just 906ms making it the fastest phone we have tested to date.

Screen UI and Apps

Since the launch of iPhone, Apple has continued to use a 3.5” screen size. This was ok four years back but with other phones pushing the boundaries of portability, the iPhone’s screen started looking quite a bit on the smaller with. With the iPhone 5, Apple tries their best to give you a larger screen without increasing the size of the device by much and thus you now have a 4.0” screen that doesn’t necessarily look much bigger than the 3.5” screen on the previous iPhones. Touch technology is now integrated in the iPhone 5′s screen as opposed to a separate layer below the screen which makes the screen thinner and icons appear as though they are almost floating on the screen.

What Apple has done is simply make the screen taller and not wider. Thus the horizontal resolution remains the same at 640 pixels while the vertical resolution has increased from 960 to 1136 pixels. Where this helps with is that none of the developers need to recompile their apps to work on the iPhone 5. If your app is not optimized for iPhone 5, you will simply see black bars above and below the screen- very much like what you see when watching a widescreen movie at home. If you do update your app, you can utilize the full screen.

The User Interface on the iPhone is starting to show it’s age and an extra row of icons really doesn’t help much. While iOS 6 brings some interesting updates such as Facebook and Twitter integration as well as tap to tweet and post on Facebook, it looks pretty much like it did at launch. Looking at aon OS like Windows Phone or even Android with all it’s widgets certainly makes you want more out of your iPhone.

While the interface looks the same, the performance of moving between screens and apps is phenomenal- you will barely notice a lag or stutter on the iPhone 5 with everything moving in and out smoothly. Android has certainly imporved over the last year but the immediate responsiveness you get from an iPhone continues to but it ahead of Google’s OS as far as responsiveness is concerned.

The iPhone 5 doesn’t come with any exclusive app that you cannot get on older iOS devices. Apple’s updated iOS 6 does bring new apps like Maps and Passbook but they’re also available on iPhone 4S. Touching real quick on the two apps, Passbook doesn’t have any apps that are supported in the region and, although we know the disaster associated with Apple Maps, what makes it worse is that there are no turn-by-turn directions for this part of the world yet. Luckily Google Maps got released today and I’m sure Apple will get their mapping app sooner than later. Siri has also been updated providing more info on movies and sports as well as allowing you to tweet or post on Facebook but again, nothing ground-breaking as far as Apple apps are concerned is exclusive to iPhone 5.

Camera

Apple continues to improve the camera on the iPhone and although the number of pixels that the iPhone 5’s camera takes continues to stay at 8MP, you can see the difference in the speed and quality of shots. Low-light photos have certainly improved however, the Nokia Lumia 920 remains the king of phone cameras. Same thing with videos which are recorded in 1080p and are of pretty good quality but the Lumia bests it. You do have an option of taking a picture while shooting a video now as well as take Panoramic shots that stitches pictures together but again, these are new iOS features that are available on the older 4S. Where the iPhone helps significantly is the speed at which you can take pictures- it’s almost instant. However, there were time when I had to wait for the camera app to load.

The front camera also receives an update and now takes videos at 720p helping with Facetime videos which is sadly blocked in the UAE.

Battery Life

With a larger screen and faster processors, I wasn’t expecting the iPhone to not fare too well as far as battery life is concerned. After all, the iPhone has never been a contender for best battery life and the battery equipped on the iPhone 5 is marginally better on the new iPhone- 1440mAh vs 1432mAh on the iPhone 4S.

The result? You’ll get about the same time of usage on an iPhone 5 that you did on an iPhone 4S. For casual users that don’t have push mail, that means almost two days while moderate users should easily make it through a way. For heavy duty users, I’d expect a 12-14 hour day before needing to recharge and by heavy usage I mean push mail, a good hour or so of iPod usage, around the same for web browsing and some navigation.

Conclusion

The iPhone 5 is the best iPhone to date. That was a given. The question is that does it still have what it takes to compete with the latest generation of Android handsets as well as Windows Phone 8 handsets. In short, yes. The construction quality of the iPhone 5 is superior to any other phone I’ve reviewed and the interface is fast and butter smooth. Many apps still debut on the iPhone before making their way to other platforms- a testament to the eco-system that Apple has built.

What works against the iPhone 5 is iOS6 which is now showing it’s age. There is no denying that Android offers a lot more flexibility while Windows Phone 8 brings a slick new UI and Apple really needs to update the core OS. However that hasn’t stopped the iPhone 5 from selling out and I would suggest you get yours from Etisalat or du before that happens here in the UAE as it did with the iPhone 4S.

Prices for the iPhone starts at AED 2749 for 16GB which is slightly more than what you would pay for the Nokia Lumia 920 or the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE at the telcos. It’s not cheap but with most of these handsets, you are getting a quality product that should serve you well for a couple of years. Check out our iPhone 5 buyer’s guide to decide which plan works better for you between Etisalat and du.

Woman tasered while trying to buy multiple iPhones

December 13, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Today in the “what were they thinking” news category, a woman was tasered outside an Apple store in Nashua, New Hampshire after trying to buy more iPhones than the Apple store allows.

Store policy allows for a maximum of two phones per customer – the woman, Xiaojie Li, allegedly bought two iPhones a few days earlier before returning to the store to buy more for family members. Staff at the Apple store asked her to leave, and when she refused the police were called in. When she resisted arrest, the police decided that the best thing to do would be to electrocute the living daylights out of her and drop her to the ground.

Cell-phone footage of the event has emerged, and Li’s daughter told a local TV station that her mother doesn’t speak English, so was not able to understand what the store employees or the police were trying to tell her.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xocxNw988g0&w=550]

(via CNET)

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