My First Android Phone

I never needed a smartphone, but as my Nokia 5530 started acting funny, I thought of getting a new one. My budget was 20K and Samsung Galaxy Core was what I got for it. My friends suggested me to get a Sony instead, but I didn’t like it’s design. Anyway this phone has got dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 4.5 GB of usable ROM, 5 MP back camera and VGA quality front camera, 4.3″ screen, as well as dual SIM capability and comes with Android OS 4.1.2 aka Jelly Bean. Good enough for me, all I hope is that it lasts for 2-3 years.

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Samsung E250

I needed a second set for myself, so bought a cheap one — Samsung E250. It comes with all the stuff that I need, such as Bluetooth, EDGE, MP3/AAC support, Java, FM radio, and most importantly good looks… well, it has got it all.

It has a sucky camera (VGA, 640×480 pixels), but I’ll never need to use it. My Sony Ericsson W810i comes with a very good camera but I’ve hardly taken any shots with it. It will also no doubt have some very cool apps available including games, online bingo, videos and other things like that. I don’t need too many apps but it is always nice to have a few things to play around with.

E250 is very light-weight (80 grams) and has interesting features such as mobile tracker, voicemail, offline mode, and more. Not bad for a $100 phone!

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Decoding QR Codes

QR Code acts like a bar code, but it’s two dimensional and smarter. It also has a higher capacity of handling data. While conventional bar codes can store up to 20 digits, QR Code or “Quick Response” code hold up to several hundred times more. I’m very impressed with this Japanese innovation and I’m sure you’ll be too after you find out what it’s capable of.

You can decode QR Codes with a camera phone. VGA camera is good enough, no need of fancy 3 megapixel ones. You need to install a QR Code decoder on your phone, my favourites are i-nigma and Kaywa Reader. Here’s how to get them:

  • i-nigma: from your phone, point your browser to and it’ll automatically detect the brand and model. Go to the next step to download and install it.
  • Kaywa Reader: same way as i-nigma, point your browser to and follow the instructions. This reader is much more simpler than i-nigma, and I use it myself.

Now that you’ve installed one of the above programs, let’s decode a QR Code. Let’s try with this one:

Russell's QR Code

Decoded correctly, the code above would display my URL and will ask you if you want to visit or not. The same way, it can decode phone number and give you an option to call; decode SMS that can be sent on a preassigned number; decode contact information that can be added on your phone’s address book. And yes, simple texts can be encoded and decoded as well.

Generate your own QR Codes from this site or this one and play with it.

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Sony Ericsson W810i

I was about to get myself a Sony Ericsson W200i, but I changed my mind after reading all the positive reviews of W810i. Even though it’s priced double my budget, I bought it today since it’s rich in features and more importantly Linux friendly.

Sony Ericsson W810i

Being a “Walkman” phone, the sound quality is superb, and so are the earbud headphones. The packages includes two tiny external speakers, which are of very good quality and can come handy if you want to listen to Radio or MP3s when a sound system is not available. This nifty device has a 2 megapixel camera, GRPS, HSCSD, and EGDE connectivity, infrared and Bluetooth for wireless transfers, and so on. For storage, a 512 megabyte card is included (Memory Stick Duo Pro) and supports upto 2 gigabyte.

Once cool feature of this phone is the ability to use the data cable to recharge it, which can be very useful for a tech person like me.

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