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Vishal Mathur

Vishal Mathur is Technology Editor for Hindustan Times. When not making sense of technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.

Articles by Vishal Mathur

Smartphone makers are wasting no time in the race for innovation and loyalty

Will AI define the smartphone class of 2024? Likely. Phone makers aren’t pondering over the ideal time for new launches. That’s good news for consumers, with experience defined by significant forward steps across specs and collaborations

OnePlus’ camera partnership with Hasselblad will be important for their next flagships; (right) Qualcomm’s latest chips for Android phones will focus on faster performance and AI compute. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 10:55 AM IST

As refurbished tech makes its case, scout a good deal but be wary of red flags

Refurbished or renewed gadgets is where users on a budget search for value and smartphones dominate this space but there is effort to bring more devices within the fold of relevance

Checklist of all tests done on an iPhone 11 Pro listed by ControlZ and (right) the grading details as described by ReFit Global. (HT Photo)
Published on Jan 15, 2024 11:24 AM IST

For Xiaomi’s premium phone expedition, the Redmi Note 13 Pro+ is a pivot

For years, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note series set an experience example at much lower price points and since 2023, a push towards premium pricing required matching with maturity of specs & experience

This may just be the best-looking Redmi Note phone thus far, with vegan leather and colour blocked finish. (Vishal Mathur | HT Photo))
Published on Jan 11, 2024 10:21 AM IST

A path mapped, automakers and tech giants drive forward together at CES 2024

Tech giants Qualcomm, Google, Intel & Samsung to name a few, are providing an often artificially intelligent (AI) foundation for carmakers to weave a connected, smart and even driverless car, on it

This year too, at CES 2024, tech companies and automakers seemingly have taken significant steps forward. (Official images | HT Photo)
Published on Jan 10, 2024 11:42 AM IST

CES 2024: AI to EV, what to expect at global tech showcase

Over the years, CES is where tech companies have given the world a peek at modular phones, dual screen laptops, self-driving tech and robots for homes

The four-day CES 2024 began on January 9. (Official images)
Updated on Jan 10, 2024 08:59 AM IST

Microsoft’s vision for Windows is set to change your keyboard, after 30 years

A Copilot assistant key replacing the Windows key on keyboards is a hint of broader changes that Microsoft intends for Windows PCs this year. Later this year, a major Windows 11 update will further enhance this AI envelope

Official handout image.
Updated on Jan 05, 2024 10:42 AM IST

Android flagship battles resume as Vivo X100 Pro settles a photography yardstick

This is the best camera setup in an Android flagship for now, which this year’s upcoming flagships will have to better. On the other side of this coin is unintuitive software, which Vivo must tackle quickly

Vivo X100 Pro (Vishal Mathur/ HT Photo)
Published on Jan 04, 2024 01:08 PM IST

A snowball effect in personal tech: Looking ahead into 2024

Smaller chips, AI support, reimagined operating systems - it’s a world changing faster than ever, driven by both need and momentum.

The dichotomy in the smartphone space is represented by the dumbphone or feature phone on the one hand, and cutting-edge models such as the X100 Pro on the other. The OnePlus Pad (above left), meanwhile, could give the iPad some tough competition.
Updated on Jan 01, 2024 05:18 AM IST

Vishal Mathur picks his favourite reads of 2023

A book that follows Elon Musk’s rapid personality transformation marked by the troll persona taking over, and a volume that goes back in history to pick moments pivotal to defining the designs of tomorrow

Of troll personae and the designs of tomorrow (Macmillan Business)
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 05:32 PM IST

An Elon Musk idea that didn’t work: The hyperloop is dead, for now

For years, Hyperloop One which had significant investment from Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, promised being shot through metal tubes in capsules or pods was the future of transport. It however, is not

This was a Hyperloop One pod, at a certain stage of its development. (Wikimedia Commons)
Published on Dec 25, 2023 10:59 AM IST

IQOO 12 as Android’s torchbearer for speed, with inspiration from BMW Motorsport

The first Android flagship phone heading into 2024, and also the first to use Qualcomm’s latest generation chip. Performance isn’t up for debate, and neither are the impressive cameras. You’ll just have to make do with clunky software

IQOO 12. (Vishal Mathur/ HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 25, 2023 09:18 AM IST

Adidas Supernova Rise review: Finds the right mix for a high-performance trainer

Adidas’ approach to the Supernova Rise is to rework the very approach, which leads us to what you’d now increasingly expect from an everyday running shoe that doesn’t compromise on performance

Adidas Supernova Rise trainer shoes (Official Image)
Updated on Dec 23, 2023 11:54 AM IST

For a large screen TV, the Aiwa QLED Google TV 65 returns tremendous value

Despite some expected compromises, Aiwa’s smart TV effectively delivers on the large screen experience with relative nonchalance. That’ll hold it in good stead against tough competition

The 65-inch QLED, or Quantum dot LED TV panel, has a native 3840 x 2160 resolution. (Image: Aiwa official image)
Published on Dec 22, 2023 02:27 PM IST

Nike Alphafly 3 review: It’ll take a lot to match this racer’s potential

There is significant reworking of its tech architecture, all of which comes together rather neatly. So much so, this racing shoe has almost no competition, for now.

It is almost impossible to find fault with Nike’s attempts to redefine cutting-edge in a running shoe (Official image)
Published on Dec 21, 2023 01:34 PM IST

India provides a springboard to develop for global use: Google’s Miriam Daniel

At the turn of the year, an updated Google Maps will begin to helpfully add landmarks or popular area references to any address pins you share with friends or family

 (Official image)
Published on Dec 21, 2023 12:07 PM IST

Google Maps introduces address descriptors, live view walking navigation in India

Lens in Maps, fuel-saving navigation and address descriptors arrive on Google Maps in early 2024, with some remaining Android exclusive, for now. Public transport guidance is the next big focus area

Google has worked with AI solutions and street images (Representative Photo)
Published on Dec 20, 2023 12:59 PM IST

Behind Apple Journal’s simplicity resides a concerted approach towards wellness

The Journal app will be a simple way to reflect on our life’s timeline, and multiple studies have suggested there are positives to journaling regularly

Wellness is one of the reasons why Apple has made this app, in the first place. (Image: Apple)
Published on Dec 13, 2023 02:35 PM IST

A French AI start-up may have commenced an AI revolution, silently

Paris-based Mistral raised $415 million in Series A funding that puts the company’s valuation at an estimated $2 billion

Mistral AI is also releasing beta versions for Mistral 7B and Mixtral 8x7B models, which will be available in three sizes (Mistral AI)
Published on Dec 12, 2023 02:16 PM IST

Apple MacBook Pro 14 with M3 is a strong case, as Air and Pro differentiation blurs

There is an increasing overlap between the MacBook Air 15 and MacBook Pro 14, with increasing performance and design parity. Price differences will play a crucial role

Apple Macbook Pro. (Official image)
Published on Dec 08, 2023 09:26 AM IST

Proton Drive’s photo backups on Android, and a determined pursuit for pertinence

The new Android app for Proton Drive adds fully encrypted photo backups and interface improvements, as it competes with Google and Microsoft’s cloud storage propositions. For iPhones, the same functionality arrives in the coming months

Unlike cloud storage services from Big Tech, Proton Drive’s use of end-to-end encryption ensures your private photos cannot be leaked. (Official image)
Published on Dec 07, 2023 05:15 PM IST

Google Gemini is a big step forward for AI models

For consumers, Google Bard and Pixel 8 Pro phones will offer a first tryst with the new model.

Google Gemini AI models (Representative Photo)
Updated on Dec 07, 2023 04:19 AM IST

Sony gives us timely reminders that digital ownership is still not trustworthy

Spoiled by convenience of quick access on smartphones or smart devices, we find ourselves in an era defined by unreliable digital purchases

Representational image. (HT Photo)
Published on Dec 06, 2023 11:24 AM IST

Meta is betting on India’s ‘Gen Z’ Instagram users to drive trends in 2024

Content shared by Instagram’s Indian user contingent is expected to spark conversations around careers, sports, gaming and fashion. No surprise that, since India leads Instagram’s global user base share

For representational purposes only. (Reuters Photo)
Published on Dec 05, 2023 10:45 AM IST

Apple MacBook Pro 16 with M3 Max forces PC makers to reset and restart, again

Alongside benchmark resetting performance, a familiar design but with a new colour and staggering spec customisation options that define a category

The new Macbook Pro,
Published on Dec 04, 2023 08:13 AM IST

Proton Drive is finally a cloud storage alternative to OneDrive and Google Drive

Proton’s privacy focused approach to a suite that includes email and VPN, makes it a subscription alternative to Google or Microsoft’s app ecosystems

A native app for Apple’s Mac computing devices is now available. (Proton)
Published on Nov 29, 2023 10:25 AM IST

3D visuals, hiking trails: See how maps and navigation apps are changing

There’s an app that watches the driver for signs of drowsiness; another lets users point to any 3-sq-m lot on the planet. Take a look.

The navigation app What3Words slices the Earth into virtual 3-sq-m blocks, for greater accuracy. Each square is assigned a unique three-word address.
Updated on Nov 25, 2023 03:41 PM IST

Gaming income and adoption in India rides an upward curve: HP study

One in three respondents consider gaming as a career choice with earning money and recognition the two primary attractions for the choice

At least 52% of active gamers now consider this as a main career choice – up from 33% in last year’s Gaming Landscape Study. (HP India / HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 23, 2023 08:03 PM IST

While OpenAI sorts it’s chaos, rival Anthropic’s Claude chatbot is evolving

The 200,000 token ability with Claude 2.1 does mean the ability to handle more information, but despite a 32,000 token upper limit, OpenAI’s GPT-4 still sets the standard for context quality

Claude 2.1 can now analyse as many as 1,50,000 words in a single prompt. (Official photo)
Published on Nov 23, 2023 10:40 AM IST

Is decentralising Artificial Intelligence the way forward?

With the OpenAI and Microsoft AI research unit issue in the backdrop, we're seeing a shift in how we approach training, transparency and control of AI models

(FILES) This illustration picture shows icons of Google's AI (Artificial Intelligence) app BardAI (or ChatBot) (C-L),(AFP)
Published on Nov 22, 2023 05:44 PM IST

A new, diverse OpenAI board takes shape as Sam Altman returns

For now, details are awaited on the exact number of board members in its final configuration, but the expectation is the strength will be closer to seven

Sam Altman, left, appears onstage with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at OpenAI’s first developer conference, on Nov. 6, 2023, in San Francisco. (AP)
Published on Nov 22, 2023 05:02 PM IST
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