Chronicles of a man on a journey. Husband. Father of three. Designer. Fauxtographer. Goa forever. Since MMXII.
Unmetric gets acquired by Falcon.io, joins Cision group
Our official post regarding the acquisition is now up on the Unmetric Blog.
Now that the embargo on communication has been lifted via our official channels, I’m allowed to finally share my thoughts on last week’s historic milestone.
I feel proud to be part of this product team that has gone from strength to strength since its humble origins in the spare bedroom of Lux’s Chennai apartment in 2010. Unmetric is today one of the leading competitive benchmarking tools, and counts marquee brands like General Motors, Unilever, Pepsi, Oppo, Sony Pictures and others.
I’m personally thrilled as this is my first experience of an acquisition as an employee. Though I came onboard just over a year ago, it feels like I’ve been part of the crew for much longer. Getting acquired by Falcon.io is a big deal, as they themselves have a world-class platform built by 300+ folks spread across 6 cities around the world. Chennai now becomes their base in India and their newest global office.
All this means that the future is very promising! In fact, I’m just back from our Chennai office where the official announcement was made. After having conversations with key folks from the Falcon team, I realise our teams are so alike in terms of culture, synergy and product expertise.
Just thinking about all the possibilities this opens up for our products and customers has me grinning like a Bond villain.
The best is yet to come!
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
First off: I’m a DC fanboy.
Second: Even within the MCU there are many other superheroes I relate to more than Spider-Man.
But man was I surprised by how good this was!
Such an intelligently-crafted film that just sucks you in. Each of the lead characters has their own issues to deal with, which are handled brilliantly against the overall struggle vs Kingpin.
Standout scenes for me — death of the original Spider-Man, Peter B. Parker learning to “let go”, and of course, Spider-Ham!
Felt blessed to witness this amazing sunset at Vainguinim Beach today. Shot at precisely 6:43pm on my Pixel 3a using Night Sight, and then tweaked a bit in Snapseed.
Unexplored beaches in South Goa
Wow, I live in Goa and I’ve never been to these beaches.
Heard about them, yes. Visited them, nope.
God, I really need to get out more.
Is it a coincidence I’m listening to Into Clouds as my Indigo flight soars into thick clouds enroute to Chennai this morning. Not sure what to expect with this trip, but I’m sure everything will be clarified soon.
After All hits the right notes — Luttrell loves to put things on a slow simmer!
Illusion Of Perfection
Smooth progressive grooves perfect for rainy afternoons — these Anjunabeats boys know how to rock!
Will I Ever Find Love and J2 are my current favourites.
Illusion Of Perfection.
A design is not an answer. It’s a hypothesis. Forgetting this leads to arrogance. Failing to communicate it leads to disappointed stakeholders.
This is not a professional review — there are plentyoutthere who have already said great things about the Pixel 3a. This post is opinionated, and deliberately so. I am not an average user — I design digital products for a living and thus have high expectations of the user experience. I have a certain set of requirements from a phone, which may differ wildly from yours.
I’ve been using Google’s new Pixel 3a for 72 hours a couple of weeks now, so I thought I’d share my perspective as a user based in India.
For full context, I bought my Just Black Pixel 3a off Flipkart the day it went on sale. Though the selling price was 40K, I got mine for 28K by trading in my old Nokia, and using a combination of discounts from HDFC Bank and Flipkart Plus.
Very decent. My old Nokia was metal and glass, and apart from the lighter weight, I couldn’t tell the difference. I wouldn’t have thought this was plastic if I hadn’t read about it earlier.
Buttons are very tactile, although my volume rocker has a slight horizontal wobble.
I can use the phone comfortably with one hand. It’s tall and narrowish. If the phone is in my right hand resting on my curved pinky, I can sweep my thumb from the bottom left corner to about 80% to the top without readjusting my palm. I don’t think the XL would afford the same.
I’m a fan of all-black phones, so this one matches my aesthetic preferences perfectly. I plan to get a nice sturdy case from Spigen or UAG to complete the look, once those hit India.
This is subjective. For one, I absolutely love that there’s no notch here! I still don’t get why all OEMs are chasing 100% screen-to-body ratios at the expense of putting obtrusive notches and cutouts.
Sure the bezels could have been thinner, but I don’t have too much of an issue with them.
The two-tone finish and single-camera placement at the back is unique and you can easily tell even from a distance that this is a Pixel. Can’t say that about your average Chinese OEM these days.
The gOLED panel is good! Colours are punchy at the Adaptive display setting, but that is just too over the top for me — I currently have it at Boosted. Some Reddit users complained about a yellowish gradient on the non-XL model (even The Verge mentioned this in their review), but I couldn’t spot anything even after trying.
There is a very slight blue shift off-axis — a characteristic of OLED panels. You won’t notice it unless you really try.
I don’t trust the Dragontrail glass used here as much as Gorilla Glass, so I’m going to be using a screen protector for sure. The Dragontrail glass seems pretty sturdy.
But the biggest difference I noticed on the display was the superior haptics — miles ahead of anything I’ve used so far.
Cellular and audio
So many professional reviews don’t say anything about this, although it’s one of the primary functions of a phone.
I’m on Reliance Jio here in Goa, and data speeds are good. Call quality seems fine, which means the microphone also functions well. Phew!
Speakers work great. No muffling or distortion. The bottom-firing one is louder than the earpiece.
At this point you may ask why I’m mentioning all these things — the Pixel 3 had lots of issues of this sort, so I’m relieved none of them are present here.
From initial bootup, the software experience has been very smooth. I always prefer a clean install on a new device, even though the Pixel allows you to migrate your apps, SMSs and more from your old phone.
The 3a breezes though everyday tasks like social media, taking photos and videos, chatting on Whatsapp and Slack, and occasional tracks on Apple Music.
But this phone will probably frustrate those who spend most of their free time playing PUBG or other intensive games — they are simply not the target audience for this phone.
Absolutely gorgeous, and very similar to Android One devices. No bloatware to be seen at all, which is a relief from Samsung and other past phones I’ve used. The phone ships with standard first-party Google apps like GMail, Calendar, Contacts, Messages, Maps and so on.
One issue I’m seeing right now is that the last security patch reads 05 March 2019, but I’m sure that’s something Google will fix in June.
Other small things make a difference too — like the subtle, tasteful wallpapers and ringtones the 3a ships with. Nice.
So much has already been said by so many reviews about the phenomenal camera this thing has! It consistently nails the dynamic range, details, colours and exposure. Every. Single. Time.
Portrait mode is absolute fire.
Let me just say that it’s difficult to get a bad shot with this camera — in fact, I’m now pressurised to take my photography game up a notch to fully realise this camera’s potential.
QA issues and after-sales support
Pixel phones have been infamous for QA issues in the past. Seems like every generation of devices had some significant issue — lens flare on the OG Pixel, display issues on the Pixel 2 and microphone/RAM issues with the Pixel 3. Many Reddit users in the US have had multiple Pixel phones exchanged but still experienced the same issues.
However, here in India, all my friends who’ve owned Pixel phones had nothing to complain about. Some of them had got the Pixel 2XL on Day 1 and had zero issues. Which leads me to believe the Reddit brigade is just an understandably vocal minority.
My 3a so far has exactly zero issues — and I’ve been minutely inspecting every aspect of both the hardware and software as I type this. It seemingly has none of the issues previous Pixel phones have reported.
So take your own call.
After-sales support in India is handled by a third-party entity called B2X in Mumbai. While they have doorstep pick-and-drop, this may affect your decision in case you ever need to service your phone. I’m generally super careful with my devices. I can’t remember the last time I had to visit any phone service centre, so this didn’t bother me too much.
Who is this phone for?
Folks who value a consistently great camera experience — night or day. Folks who hate waiting months to get software updates. Pixel fans who don’t want to pay full price for the regular variants.
This phone excels at photography — that is its raison d’etre. If you don’t value this, the 3a is not for you. Plain and simple.
If you use your phone heavily for gaming and other intensive multitasking, you’d be better off with a OnePlus or Pocophone.
A common comment seen on forums everywhere is that you could just slap GCam onto any budget phone like a Redmi Note 7 Pro and get comparable results. Yes, sometimes you do get very decent images and they may suffice for you; but I’ve used these ported apps on my Nokia and I’ve seen firsthand how broken the entire experience is. Tread with caution.
For me personally, the software on all of the Chinese OEMs (barring OnePlus) is garbage — I would avoid them even if they had great cameras.
Pricing in India
Those looking to buy the Pixel 3a should do so in the initial launch period (which AFAIK ends mid-June) as there are plenty of discounts and offers to sweeten the deal.
As a rule, never ever pay full price for a Pixel, especially in India.
As mentioned earlier, I got mine on Day 1 for 28KINR which was pretty sweet. You can get it for ever lesser if you currently own a flagship phone.
Do I wish it was priced less? Of course! But we could say that about any phone now, couldn’t we?
To conclude, I absolutely love my Pixel 3a and — barring something catastrophic happening to it — can honestly see myself using it for the entire 3 years that Google has promised support for. It feels great to finally be onboard #TeamPixel.