TRICK OR TREAT?

Are new fea­tures in smart­phones re­ally us­able?

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - MOBILE - By Nidhi Sin­gal

The stiff com­pe­ti­tion in the smart­phone space is forc­ing ev­ery­one from big multi­na­tional brands to In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ers to add fancy fea­tures that will make their de­vices stand out in the crowd. But are th­ese just gim­micks or fea­tures that can end up chang­ing the way we use smart­phones? Here is our take on a few of them.

SMART SCROLL

This is a fea­ture for peo­ple who are too lazy to scroll a page with their fin­gers. Smart Scroll au­to­mat­i­cally moves the page up­wards when your reach the bot­tom of a page thanks to a com­bi­na­tion of eye de­tec­tion and the an­gle at which the head or the de­vice is tilted.

Good or Bad? Found on the Samsung Galaxy Note II and S4, this fea­ture takes some prac­tice to mas­ter.

SMART PAUSE

A lot of peo­ple watch videos on the smart­phone, but you of­ten have to rewind to watch parts you missed out as you were look­ing away. Samsung has found a so­lu­tion with the smart pause fea­ture in its flag­ship smart­phones. This fea­ture, when turned on, de­tects eye move­ment and pauses video as you look away. The video re­sumes play­ing as soon as you look back.

Good or Bad? A good fea­ture if it works smoothly as on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Ir­ri­tat­ing if the phone is slow like the Mi­cro­max Can­vas 4.

PHONE NEAR EAR TO DIAL

This soft­ware en­hance­ment di­als an open con­tact or the per­son with who you are hav­ing a text con­ver­sa­tion as soon as you bring the phone near your ear. No touch re­quired here.

Good or bad? The fea­ture works. But how dif­fi­cult is it to dial a call when brows­ing through a phone­book or while check­ing a mes­sage?

BLOW TO UN­LOCK

Un­lock­ing a smart­phone has never been dif­fi­cult, but now there is a new way to do it. With the blow to un­lock fea­ture, you can bring the de­vice near your mouth and blow up from the bot­tom of the phone. This fea­ture on Mi­cro­max’s Can­vas 4 ac­tu­ally works, though you need prac­tice to mas­ter it – like get­ting a con­sis­tent blow. It also works near a fan or air con­di­tioner.

Good or Bad? Good if you have a wet hand, but will make peo­ple stare.

FLIP PHONE FOR SPEAKER

The ex­tra-large dis­play sizes of new smart­phones of­ten makes it dif­fi­cult to turn on the speaker with one hand. So this new fea­ture, found in the Mi­cro­max Can­vas 4, is a great help when you are driv­ing or busy with some­thing else. All you have to do is flip the phone over to switch on to speaker mode.

Good or Bad? This is a use­ful fea­ture and sim­ple to use.

ONE SIDE KEY­BOARD

The 5-inch ph­ablets are dif­fi­cult to man­age with one hand, es­pe­cially if you are try­ing to type on it. This is why more man­u­fac­tur­ers are adding one­side key­boards to make it ac­ces­si­ble with a sin­gle hand.

Good or bad? The one-side works if your phone is un­der 5.5 inches, any­thing larger and this makes no sense as you can’t even hold the phone.

HAND WAVE

Wav­ing your hand to mute a call sounded good in 2008 when Sony Eric­s­son launched this fea­ture in its Z555. Lava has added the same ges­ture to click im­ages or flip through pho­to­graphs in the gallery. You need to wave in front of the phone cam­era for this fea­ture to work.

Good or Bad? A sim­ple swipe is much eas­ier to flip through the im­age gallery, es­pe­cially when the wave has a limited suc­cess rate.

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