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ET Recommendations: Gadget, game and app

Get these headphones and bolster them up with these free apps for Android and iOS

Jun 07, 2015, 04.14 AM IST
Creative Sound Blaster Jam
Get it for: Rs 3,499

When you think of wireless Bluetooth headphones, the first image is of a bulky and large headset.

However, with the Sound Blaster Jam, Creative wants to change this notion. The Sound Blaster Jam is similar in size to standard wired over-the-ear headsets.

It has an all-plastic body with a black matte finish that looks and feels premium for its price.

On the earcups is a glossy finish with a dotted design to add flair of style to the headsets. The padding on the earcups is comfortable to use for long hours. You get Bluetooth 4.1 and Near Field Communication for easy pairing.

Controls are located on the right ear cup.

There is a micro USB port for charging and a microphone for voice calls. The entire exterior of the earcup is a button along with a small indicator light. The single large button is multi-functional — it works as a power on/off, playback start/pause, initiates pairing mode as well as voice call accept button. Around the large button are volume up/down buttons and a button for bass boost. In our usage, we found the button placements to be ergonomic and easy to use.

Sound output is where the Sound Blaster Jam surprises us. Volume levels are loud with crisp treble output and great clarity. Bass output is good — there is no deep thump, but the bass is good enough for most genres of music.

What further impressed us was that even at maximum volume the headphones did not lose out on clarity and gave a balanced output. Even voice calls worked great — we got clear audio and the person on other end also did not have any issue hearing our voice.

Battery life is superb — we managed to get close to 18 hours of usage with medium to high volume levels connected with an Android smartphone. Overall, the Creative Sound Blaster Jam is highly recommended to anyone who is looking for a lightweight Bluetooth headset.

Block Mania Blast Game for Android Get it for: Free

Block Mania Blast is a Tetris-inspired game where in you have to line up various blocks. While like Tetris the main idea is to arrange the blocks in such a way that they fill a single line, there is one key difference. Instead of the blocks on top falling down to fill the space, in Block Mania Blast that space is left empty and you have to fill it again. This makes the game more interesting and keeps you hooked on.

Another difference is that you cannot twist the blocks to make them fit an open place and they have to be used in their default orientation — this makes the gameplay harder as the levels progress. The game’s graphics are well done and so are the audio effects. However, keep in mind that there is no leaderboard or option to play with a friend. One good thing is that there are no ads in the game. If you are looking for a fun and challenging game, do give Block Mania Blast a shot.

Office Lens App for Android & iOS Get it for: Free

Microsoft’s free app converts your smartphone into a portable scanner. When you launch the app it gives you a simplified camera interface to take pictures. As you start framing your shot, the app automatically identifies the area with text on a document for selecting and hence saves the time of editing and cropping your image.

You can select if you are capturing a document, whiteboard or a photograph — the app automatically adjusts the colours and removes reflection / glares from the photo. After you take the photo, you can delete it or crop it before it is saved.

You can also import a previously taken photograph. The 'save' dialogue box gives you multiple options — select the name of the document as well as places where you want to save/share the document.

What makes this app special is that it can instantly convert the image into a PDF, word document or PowerPoint documents (files are saved in OneDrive cloud storage). You can choose to save the image in the Gallery, OneDrive storage or in the OneNote app. The app works well and is free from irritating advertisements.

Highly recommended.
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