Thursday, January 24, 2019 01:38 PM

OPPO F7: Flaunt selfies, relish more screen space (Tech Review)

By Krishna SinhaChaudhury
New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Chinese handset maker OPPO introduced its photo-focused "F" series in January 2016. The company has now refreshed the line-up with F7 at Rs 21,990 for the selfie-loving generation.

OPPO is among the few of those credited with starting the selfie-centric smartphone craze. The effort paid off well and OPPO has been refreshing its "F" and "A" series from time to time in the country.
The new F7 smartphone follows the new trend of having a screen with 19:9 aspect ratio -- a notch above the display that we first saw on the Apple iPhone X.
Aggressively priced at Rs 21,990, OPPO F7 essentially competes with the newly-launched Vivo V9 that sports similar specifications.
How does the smartphone fare in daily usage? Here's the verdict.
The design and build of the new F7 is a welcome change from what we saw in previous iterations of OPPO's "F" series devices.
The company has done away with full metal-body design in favour of an all-plastic body that makes it very lightweight to hold and look flimsy at the same time.
At a first glance, it would look like a glass sandwich design but OPPO has accommodated a piece of polymer composite material on the rear.
Similar to other "notched" Android devices, the F7 also has a smaller notch compared to iPhone X which houses the sensors, the earpiece and a 25MP selfie camera with F/2.0 aperture.
The device has Artificial Intelligence (AI) beauty (for the front camera) feature and sensor HDR capabilities.
The self-portraits came out nice and we liked the option wherein we could manually choose the level of beautification for clicking selfies.
The 6.23-inch LCD IPS display with full HD+ resolution has been housed in normal-sized package thanks to the 19:9 aspect ratio that gives more screen space for viewing.
The display was sharp with on-screen navigation keys. However, the keys usually hide while using full-screen apps, to be brought back with an upward swipe from the bottom of the screen.
A Mediatek Helio P60 chip powers the device coupled with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which performed well.
The phone is fuelled by 3,400mAh battery and runs Color operating system (OS) 5.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo OS.
Unlike its closest competitor, the Vivo V9, Oppo F7 uses a 16MP single sensor. However, it clicked decent images in adequate lighting conditions.
We particularly liked the alternative to ditch the on-screen navigation keys. The gestures, when activated, gave a better overall experience.
What does not work?
The rear camera's performance was pretty weak in dim-light conditions. Lack of 4K-video recording is another put off.
Also, the device lacks dual rear cameras unlike Vivo V9.
OPPO has also skipped a USP-Type C charging port -- which is the trend today -- in favour of the dated Micro-USB port in the F7.
Conclusion: OPPO F7 is a decent smartphone that should appeal to most selfie-focused users who want more screen space in a traditional 5.5-inch device.
(Krishna SinhaChaudhury can be contacted at krishna.s@ians.in)

ksc/na/vm/sac
image

Liz Hurley slammed for wearing cleavage-baring dress with son

Los Angeles, April 9 (IANS) British actress Elizabeth Hurley faced flak from social media users for a revealing dress she wore in a post to mark her 16-year-old son Damians birthday.
In the photograph, 52-year-old Hurley is seen wearing an embellished dress with a deep plunging neckline, while her son wears a floral-print blazer.
"Happy Birthday to my little prince Damian Hurley. The light of my life for the last 16 years," she wrote.
Her fans and followers began debating whether her outfit was appropriate or not, with some blasting it was "embarrassing" and writing that she shouldn't "showcase her assets", reported Fox News.
"Creepy showing off at your son's birthday. Cover up you're a mum," said one social media user.
However, there were other fans who defended her.
"You look amazing. A lot of people are jealous," said one user, adding: "You and your son, please enjoy yourselves and live your lives. Don't worry about the naysayers. Best wishes."
Another said: "Damn haters! LOL! She worked hard for her physique, let her wear anything she wants. All you haters, go work on yourself, focus on yourself and no others! Such a shame how there are always haters."
While Hurley's cricket star ex Shane Warne wrote: "Happy birthday D man, hope EH is spoiling you !
Damian is also an actor and model. He is Hurley and American businessman Steve Bing's son.
--IANS
rb/in

image

Similarity between theatre and politics, says Fadnavis

Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Politics and theatre have a similar nature with the common people's involvement a major part in both, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Sunday."A theatre is a place where all the sentiments of the..

image

Rahul rides in metro, browses for books in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, April 8 (IANS) ACongress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took time off his busy schedule to ride in a crowded metro and went shopping for books at a bookstore here."Gandhi, accompanied by party leaders, rode the metro and later..

image

Rahul rides in metro, browses for books in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, April 8 (IANS) Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday took time off his busy schedule to ride in a crowded metro and went shopping for books at a bookstore here."Gandhi, accompanied by party leaders, rode the metro and later..

image

Dog care tips to beat the heat

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The scorching heat takes a toll not only on humans but on animals as well. If you own a dog or you can care for a street dog, save them from the heat by keeping them hydrated and don't serve them day old food in the..

image

Jaitley undergoes dialysis before kidney transplant

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is undergoing dialysis at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) ahead of a kidney transplant surgery that may take place in the next few days, a hospital official said..

image

Clandestine work in a realistic frame: Matt Helm and his exploits (Column: Bookends)

By Vikas Datt
What can we expect of spy fiction? Should it be all glamour -- parties, fast cars, women (or lets say partners), casinos, over-the-top and plentiful action in exotic locations with clearly marked good and bad sides, as in James Bond films? Or should it be the gritty, unromanticised variant -- with less-than-perfect protagonists, moral ambiguity, power politics and devious mindgames, as in the John Le Carres novels?

Both approaches have their supporters, but the latter, darker and edgier approach, is more realistic. The James Bond novels, not the films, are also a good example. But like most human endeavours, there can be examples combining the best of both -- like this enduring, but unfortunately not very well-known, example.
American author Donald Bengtsson Hamilton's long-running Matt Helm series (1960-93) combines intricate plotting and multiple layers of deception, with generous but believable servings of action (including sex), varied settings and colourful characters
Matthew L. 'Matt' Helm (code name Eric) is a protagonist who doesn't pretend to be a superhero, or depend on a range of dazzling gizmos, and while fully professional and proficient in armed and unarmed combat, can allow himself to be fooled or betrayed (especially by women) or beaten up in the pursuit of his goal. He is technically not a spy or secret agent, but rather a counter-agent, tasked with dealing with enemy agents at home or abroad -- in a permanent manner.
Like his creator Hamilton (1916-2006), Helm is of Swedish origin, lives in Santa Fe (New Mexico) and saw action during World War II. However, while Hamilton was in the Navy Reserve, our hero worked with a clandestine team targetting top German officers in Europe. He debuts in "Death of a Citizen" (1960).
Helm, now working as a photojournalist in his hometown since the war, is happily married and has three children. However, at a party, he runs into a former colleague, a woman, who seeks his help, telling him that their former boss Mac (as they called him) has sold out and seeks his support. However, after some time, he runs into Mac and is told the opposite. Whom does he believe and who has kidnapped his toddler to persuade him?
Helm does recover his child, but the way he does it drives his wife away. He has no option but to return to his old life in Mac's small but effective agency -- hence the title.
In the next 26 books, from "The Wrecking Crew" (1960) to "The Damagers" (1993) -- all told in first person in Helm's sardonic and detached tone -- he tackles Nazi fugitives to Soviet and Chinese agents, terrorists (both homegrown and Arab), and several megalomaniacs (from mafia to politicians), as well as ambitious service rivals trying to take over their agency or cripple it by eliminating its most experienced operative -- him.
While most of the books are set across the US -- from the northwest coast to the Florida Keys and from Chesapeake Bay to Hawaii -- Helm frequently operates in Mexico and the (fictional) South American country of Costa Verde, as well as Canada, Sweden, Britain, Norway, and the Caribbean.
Some the motifs the series displays are necessary to appreciate the books. First of all, Helm's agency is a small no-frills outfit and, apart from their weaponry, there are no fancy cars or gadgets. Secondly, there is an overwhelming focus on the professional approach -- the assigned mission is predominant, no matter what else happens -- injured comrades can take care of themselves, threats to colleagues or others will be ignored and it is better that agents don't form liaisons for the other's sakes.
Helm himself is a jaded but competent operative -- with a sardonic opinions on everything, even women wearing trousers. While the last is wasted on his boss, who seems unaware of sarcasm directed at him but uses it effectively himself, it works mostly well on the women he works with/encounters in his missions.
On a meta level, Hamilton not only imbues his stories with believable plots, but his depiction of the hard, thankless life, the craft and system of espionage professionals is also most realistic.
There is much more to be discovered in the books -- available online -- but read them with caution. Should you get even a little influenced, you are liable to learn how only interests -- not relations -- endure, today's enemies can be tomorrow's friends (and vice versa), and find yourself analysing actions, intentions and words of all those around you -- and even become somewhat paranoid.
This is how espionage is related to real life.
(Vikas Datta is an Associate Editor at IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at vikas.d@ians.in)
--IANS
vd/sac

image

Mithila paintings adorn Madhubani railway station

Madhubani, April 7 (IANS) Once looked upon as one of the dirtiest railway stations in India, Madhubani in Bihar now sports a completely different look with Mithila paintings adorning its walls.
The rich artistic and cultural legacy of Madhubani region has contributed its transformation to one of the cleanest stations in the country.
Mithila paintings are done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens and matchsticks. Artists use natural dyes and pigments to make geometrical patterns.
Bindeshwar Pathak, brand ambassador of the Rail Swacch Mission of the Indian Railways and founder of Sulabh International, on Saturday tagged Madhubani as "the cleanest station of the country".
Divisional Railway Manager Samastipur R.K. Jain said it was a unique initiative of the Indian Railways to experiment with local artists voluntarily painting the works in a short span of two months.
More than 225 artists, 80 per cent of them women, volunteered to paint the station free of cost.
"It is a kind of world record as the total wall area of more than 14,000 sq ft has been fully painted with various themes under traditional Mithila painting style, said Gannath Mishra, a senior railway official, who has supervised the project.
--IANS
som-sar/vm

image

Jaitley under observation, kidney transplant in a day or two

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for kidney transplant, was kept under observation on Saturday and the surgery may be done either on Sunday..

image

Madhubani railway station gets a makeover with Mithila paintings

Madhubani (Bihar), April 7 (IANS) Once looked upon as a dirty railway station, Madhubani station in Bihar now sports a completely different look.
The rich culture of the region -- Mithila paintings -- now adorn the walls of the railway station. Not just that, it has also now transformed as one of the cleanest stations.
Divisional Railway Manager Samastipur R.K. Jain said that it is a unique initiative of the Indian Railways to experiment with local artists voluntarily painting the works in a short span of two months.
More than 225 artists, 80 per cent of them women, volunteered to paint the station free of cost.
"It is a kind of world record as the total wall area of more than 14,000 sq ft has been fully painted with various themes under traditional Mithila painting style, said Gannath Mishra, a senior railway official, who has supervised the project.
--IANS
som/vm

image

Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrim dies of cardiac arrest

Jammu, April 7 (IANS) A 60-year-old man died of cardiac arrest on Saturday while performing the pilgrimage to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi, police said.Guru Nath of Maharashtra fell unconscious near the temple..

image

Indrani Mukerjea undergoes brain MRI, condition stable

Mumbai, April 7 (IANS) Former INX Media chief Indrani Mukerjea underwent a brain MRI scan and other tests after she was rushed to the Sir J.J. Hospital here due to an alleged drug overdose, a top official said on Saturday.
"We are carrying out several tests and she has just undergone a brain MRI. We are awaiting the reports. These will help us ascertain whether she had a drug overdose or it is some other issue," hospital Dean S.D. Nanandkar told IANS.
Indrani -- in custody since August 2015 as one of the prime accused in the April 2012 disappearance and subsequent murder of her 24-year old daughter Sheena Bora -- was rushed to the hospital around 11 p.m. on Friday from Byculla Jail.
She was reported to be in a semi-conscious and delirious state.
However, Nanandkar said she was now responding well to treatment, all her vital parameters were normal and her health condition was "stable".
Further action will be taken after the medical team evaluate her test reports, he added.
Earlier, in 2015, Indrani had been rushed to the hospital for a similar medical emergency arising out of a suspected drug overdose and remained under treatment for nearly a week.
--IANS
qn/ksk/sac

image

Life's a 'ball' for Rihanna

Milan, April 7 (IANS) Singer Rihanna had a ball at the launch of her Sephora Loves Fenty Beauty collection here.The 30-year-old singer attended the party on Thursday night with her niece Majesty, who turns 4 in June.Embracing her childlike..

image

Jennifer Aniston gets new blonde highlights

Los Angeles, April 7 (IANS) Actress Jennifer Aniston, who is getting on with life as a single woman again following her split from husband Justin Theroux, has got new blonde highlights.Aniston was photographed while leaving a Beverly Hills..

image

Blue Ivy Carter has her own stylist

Los Angeles, April 7 (IANS) Singer Beyonce Knowles' six-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter has her own stylist and personal shopper named Manuel Mendez.Mendez has been working for Beyonce's Parkwood Entertainment since 2009. The 36-year-old..