Category Archives: Reviews

Lenovo Vibe P1m (User Review)

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Planning to buy a new phone? Are there any specifications you look forward to when making a decision? If you are anything like me, (hopefully not) you would probably spend months (1.5 year to be precise) when choosing a new phone. I have major commitment issues you see, and buying a phone for me is a biggie. When I buy a phone, I usually use it until it begs me to stop. So I have a very hard time selecting a phone I deem perfect, that is unless it comes in a pretty color such as red or orange, (I respect myself too much to go for pink).

Skimmed through the first paragraph? Good choice. Welcome. Let’s talk about the real reason you are here. Lenovo Vibe P1m. The first new thing I got to try out for the year 2016. The phone promises to amaze all tech junkies with its flashy innovative features. Those who appreciate a ‘MediaTek MT6735P 1.0GHz 64-bit Quad-Core processor’ and a ‘5.0” HD (1280×720) IPS display’ should certainly check out the new Lenovo Vibe P1m as it has both of these emm things. (Convincing aren’t I?)

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As for me, my cellphone requirements revolve around taking pictures, tweeting and sometimes calling other bloggers to ask if they are attending a particular event, and if so can they pick me. Hence a phone must foremost have a very good camera. The pictures I take are mostly of food (I sadly do not have a face made for taking selfies). I also prefer a device that doesn’t take too long to load the gazillion tweets I missed, because I didn’t check my phone in the past 20 minutes and Twitter melted down over whatever high horse it is on at present. Calling, for me is the least of my worries, but I assume you people think voice clarity and what not is important too.

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For me Lenovo Vibe P1m checked off all the boxes. It has a great camera (8MP auto-focus rear camera w/ LED flash and 5MP fixed-focus selfie camera. I still don’t take many selfies though). It comes with a ton of space (2GB RAM + 16GB internal storage and 32GB microSD expandable storage) allowing me to download whatever stupid game I am into at the mo, (piano tiles and spider solitare).  Oh and there is a plus point. It comes equipped with a massive battery, an innovative rapid charging function and a physical switch for instant power boost (ask me to explain later).

If you would rather check out a boring site listing all features and specifications than reading this awesome user review, I pity you (BOO!) But fine, I list down some so you can justify visiting my blog.

The cool new features include:

  • MediaTek MT6735P 1.0GHz 64-bit Quad-Core processor
  • 0” HD (1280×720) IPS display
  • 4000mAh battery w/ quick charge and power saving functions
  • OTG charging support
  • Splash-proof nano coating by P2i
  • 8MP auto-focus rear camera w/ LED flash
  • 5MP fixed-focus selfie camera
  • 2GB RAM + 16GB internal storage
  • Up to 32GB microSD expandable storage
  • LTE (4G) 150Mbps (DL) / 50Mbps (UL) data speeds
  • Dual Micro SIM
  • Android™ 5.1, Lollipop with VIBE UI

The phone priced at Rs. 17,900/- comes in two colors Onyx Black and Pearl White (sadly not a fancy name for red or orange).

Follow and engage with Lenovo Pakistan on social media for latest news, images, videos, customer support and regular competitions and prizes.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/LenovoPakistan

Website: http://www.lenovo.com/pk

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About Lenovo:

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a US$39 billion personal technology company, the largest PC company in the world, serving customers in more than 160 countries. Dedicated to building exceptionally engineered PCs and mobile internet devices, Lenovo’s business is built on product innovation, a highly-efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution.  Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services. Its product lines include legendary Think-branded commercial PCs and Idea-branded consumer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family of mobile internet devices, including tablets and smartphones. As a global Fortune 500 company, Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Raleigh, North Carolina.  For more information see www.lenovo.com

 

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Say it with Pepsi!

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While technology is yet to discover a way to let you slap people virtually, it has begotten Emojis or emoticons that let you express your true emotions in your physical absence. Conversation in the 21stcentury is conducted mostly through typed messages we send one another via text or other means. And while we can describe how we feel using words, but ‘ain’t nobody got the time for that’! That is where these emojis take the cake.

Did someone share a not so funny joke with you? Has someone been messaging you nonstop? The answer to both is a simple emoji. Just send one back; that constitutes as a reply relieving you of your obligation to respond, with words. Emojis now come in all shapes and sizes. There is one for every emotion, and they aren’t restricted to simple smiley faces either. They represent tons of new things such as bloody footsteps that I assume you send someone when you are having thoughts about murdering them and then walking away from the crime scene. Or a game console, indicating that you are a ‘player’!

But while the emojis save us from saying what we feel when we aren’t present within close proximity, what does one do when one is out of words in the company of (yikes) other humans? Social convention expects you to laugh out loud at other people’s jokes (no matter how lame) and be glum when someone shares a sad story. But when you have to ask permission from the parents to go on a fun trip with friends, to tell a crush how you really feel, social convention wants you to shut up. HA! Now you don’t have to follow it anymore!

Whenever you are at a loss of words, for any reason whatsoever, you now have a way of being heard without saying anything. How? Why with Pepsi of course! For all us suffering from social anxiety, and yes even you confident ones, Pepsi is introducing its limited edition cans and PET bottles featuring some of our most favourite emojis!

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The ‘#SayItWithPepsi campaign was first launched by Pepsi Canada in June 2015 and became an immediate hit! A wide collection of fun and expressive Emojis was introduced on special edition Cans & PET bottles,encouraging people to make and share their own stories by ‘saying it with Pepsi’.Fun videos, cool merchandize, great activations to an exclusive customized keyboard (available for iOS & android), Pepsi has found the best way to use Emojis in the real world!

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The successful #SayItWithPepsi campaign in Canada kick started the Emoji movement spreading across to other countries like the USA and Thailand. And very soon something similar can be expected from Pepsi Pakistan!

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I for one am extremely excited for that! I absolutely hate someone asking me for a sip of my Pepsi, and now I can buy a bottle that could perhaps say ‘people get your own’. They are after all telling us to ‘Say it with Pepsi’! Fingers Crossed.

Want to know more about #PepsiMoji? Check out the following:

https://twitter.com/PepsiCanada/status/622151018709516288

https://twitter.com/PepsiCanada/status/622064534178545665

https://twitter.com/PepsiCanada/status/622177838888652800

10 Thoughts you get while watching Bin Roye

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Pakistani dramas are well liked across the world especially in India due to their close depiction of the real world (although with heavy Urdu, we honestly don’t talk like that). The cinema and theatre however have largely remained dormant, with barely 15 movies being released in the last decade. So while our dramas remain unbeaten, the movie industry is still learning how to fly. Just recently we have seen some attempts being made to revive cinema in Pakistan. Ashamedly I have been unable to watch most of those movies, but the reviews I came across are mostly full of praises.

Therefore when I got a chance to see the newly released Bin Roye, I was interested in seeing it. Before I review the movie for you all, let me just take a minute to say, I don’t really watch Pakistani dramas. There I said it. You may organize a crazy mob against me, I don’t care. I can’t sit and watch beautiful ladies crying in every episode. My life is sad enough already. And yes I happen to be the 1% of Pakistan’s population who missed out on Humsafar altogether, and the other dramas everybody has been talking about. Just please understand my brain is wired differently. I process things on a different pace, maybe even on a different plane.

Bin Roye was the second Pakistani movie I saw after Duktaar. And for my review I would like to share with you some thoughts that crossed my mind while watching this movie.

  • Wait what?

Yes, that’s an actual thought that went through my mind during the first half of the movie. So it begins with Mahira Khan’s character Saba trying to spot the Eid ka chand, which she manages (quite a feat). Once that happens, Saba, overcome with happiness, runs along with her much older cousin Humayun Saeed, Irtiza to shop for bangles. For the longest time possible I thought the movie was shot in Lahore, because while Chaand Raat in Karachi is a grand event in itself, there are no big dance parties at the bangle stores. If people randomly started dancing, we will look towards the nearest wall to find the number of Bengali Baba to perform an exorcism. But wait it was all in their head (wait whaaat?)

  • Creepy cousin alert!

So Saba and Irtiza are first cousins growing up together. Irtiza loses his parents as a child and is brought up by Saba’s parents. There is another guy in the picture, but we are never told who he is, Zafar I believe his name is, whether he’s Saba’s brother or Irtiza’s, or just furniture I honestly can’t tell you. To me Irtiza is your average chacha ka beta whom you should be avoiding at all costs. I can tell for a fact that whatever was happening between the two wasn’t brotherly love and wrong on a lot of levels. Also a hint of pedophila. He is much older than Saba, (I did my own calculation and will share later) and treats her, well, like a friend instead of a sister. (Warning signs if you ask me). All her life Saba has been spoilt by Irtiza, going out ice cream eating and entering his room without knocking. Emmm I am really sorry, but aren’t we trying to educate our young girls not to Trust anyone, especially creepy much older cousins who call you ‘friend’.

  • Cousin galore and basic mathematics.

Well Saba has another cousin, who we learn is actually her sister Saman. And here my calculations kick in. Saba’s mother is seen telling her husband that Saman the older sister is 22. That makes Saba 19 20. Irtiza on the other hand is referred to their Dadi as 30ish. Interesting no? No. It is creepy. It is also the love triangle.  While I personally am against intermarriages, it is allowed in our religion and if other people choose to do it, fine by me, but this plot is ridiculous. Do these people have no lives outside their household?   One grew up in America for crying out loud. Surely they must have met other people,

  • Nesvita works wonders.

All through the movie we see Mahira Khan running. A lot. Also being a little loony due to her love for Humayun Saeed. This made me conclude that regular consumption of Nesvita will give me strong bones to impress the other fat ladies at the gym, but on the other hand increase my chances of going bat shit insane.

Bones strong to mei strong!

Bones strong to mei strong!

  • Do you want to build a snowman.

At one point in the movie a character loses their parents. I honestly excepted the other cousins ( there are just cousins, no one else) to sing do you want to build a snowman.

  • Do not cross roads!

I am a spoilt brat who still has no idea how to cross the road. Usually my car stops inches away from my destination, however if in the event that I do have to cross the road, my parents usually hold my hand. Yes I am in my Twenties why do you ask? Watching this movie just reinforced my determination not to cross roads. Better get more petrol than to risk well something (whew that was close.)

  • Why must the larka always be 10 years older?

I have given you exact calculations. Irtiza is at least 10 years older than both cousins. Which means when he was graduating from university, at least one of them was in class 6 ( yes, I have given this too much thought). Tell me that isn’t a little creepy.

  • Fashion in Pakistan is on fire.

So seated next to me during this movie were my very fashiony friends who kept pointing out the various designer dresses Mahira and the other cast wore throughout the movie. I am no fashion expert, but appreciation should be given where due. Those outfits were Fahhanncccyy!

  • Wait, where have I seen this before?

The story borrows content heavily from certain bollywood movies like Hum Apke Hai Kon, and Kuch Kuch Hota Movies (yes I have seen both). Numerous scenes in the movie looked very familiar.

  • I still support the rise of cinema in Pakistan.

I took my mum to see the movie, and the critic in her said that while the story was good, the acting skills and dialogues need work. Mahira alone cannot be responsible for the movie. Her acting was actually on point. Her character is the only one that actually goes through some development in the movie. Everyone else is well just there.

Don’t let my review stop you from seeing this movie. Nothing is ever good enough for me, (unless it’s a book, by Oscar Wilde) go watch it, form your own opinions and groove on!

Bin Roye:

Distributed in Pakistan by HumTv.

Directors: Shehzad Kashmiri
Momina Duraid

Written By: Farhat Ishtiaq

Cast:

Mahira Khan as Saba

Humayun Saeed as Irtiza

Armeena Rana Khan as Saman

Adeel Hussain

Zeba Bakhtiar

Javed Sheikh

Jahanzeb Khan

Here is the trailer for the film if you haven’t seen it.

Interwood – Signature Kitchens, Workstations and Wardrobes!

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So a couple of years ago, my brother decided it was high time he got married. The entire family pulled in all stops to give him a super cool wedding. And of course the entire house got broken down to be remodeled again. After a month of sleeping in any place that was flat enough to be laid our rooms were ready and it was time to redo the kitchen. It took another few weeks of ordering food (and that is precisely when I ballooned to triple my God intended size) and finally our kitchen was ready.

The final version, while better than the former one, was certainly not what we wanted. The carpenter was a buffoon who didn’t know what he was doing, and also disappeared for a while, prompting us to call in another one. The corner dedicated to the fridge turned out smaller than the fridge itself and had to be broken corner again, the marble slabs were horribly mutilated. So here I am today, writing this blog in the hopes that no one else has to go through what my family did.

If someone in your family out of the blue decides to get married too, or you are just tired of the same old kitchen, ALWAYS take help from professionals. Going commando will only leave you with erm, plenty of heart break (let’s go with that).

Lucky for you Interwood has recently launched its new line of Signature Kitchens along with Wardrobes and Smart Workstations for those lucky people who work from home. Designed by the acclaimed Italian architect Alfredio Zengiaro, the different models have brought out the best in terms of design and manufacturing. So now, you will actually look forward to going in the kitchen and making your food, instead of hoping it magically appears in front of you. There are around 15 different models of kitchens so you can choose the one that best reflects your style and décor.

The Smart Workstation range by Interwood has been designed for small office spaces and this beautifully finished, contemporary range is available in a variety of colors, ideal for small and medium sized offices across Pakistan.

Interwood also introduces Raumplus, a wardrobe system designed by a German company by the same name, perfect for the walk-in closet, built-in closet and corners.

Interwood Signature Kitchen and Smart Workstations range is now available in Interwood stores across Pakistan, with prices starting from PKR: 38367.

About Interwood:

Established in 1974, Interwood Mobel (Pvt) Ltd has progressively become the leading furniture manufacturer in Pakistan. Building on its mission of manufacturing high quality, innovative products at affordable prices, Interwood believes that true value of its furniture lies in the sense of comfort, touch of romance and possibility of self-expression it provides. At Interwood, we aspire to a finer living for you, whether you are at home or in the office.

Pakistan’s first Halal Makeup!

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You might have been on the receiving (even forwarding) end of that email which warned ladies of the lead content in lipsticks. Or you could be related to people who told you that young girls doing makeup ran the risk of getting ugly wrinkly skin sooner than natural. I happen to have experienced both (yes, received and forwarded) but still then I refuse to care. I am a self acclaimed makeup buff, and proudly own more lipsticks, nail polishes, glosses, blush kits etc than can be counted. And I do dish quite a hefty price for them every now and then. So tell me my lipstick is full of lead and I should throw it away, and I will give you a look that will burn you from inside out. That is my version of leading the thug life!

However for those of you ladies who do care, I have some good news. Masarrat Misbah, (an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and one of the pioneers of the hair and beauty industry of Pakistan with the Depilex Group which hosts Pakistan’s largest chain of salons, Depilex Beauty Clinic and Institute) has launched a line of Pakistan’s first Halal Certified Makeup ‘Masarrat Makeup’ (MM).

Masarrat Misbah is the lady who clearly has my respect. She has done extensive work for the rehabilitation of burnt and acid attack survivors in Pakistan and continues to facilitate these wonderful women in various ways, many of whom actively work in her beauty clinics.

So when the lady introduces her line of Halal and safe makeup, you know it’s going to be something worth trying. I read articles almost everywhere stating that most lipsticks contain fish scales, or other things deemed unlawful in Islam. These products are free from any animal substances and other toxic chemicals.

A great of research went into the developing the right formula for these products and has been made keeping in mind the unique skin tone of Asian women. According to Misbah herself

“MMMakeuphas become a reality after two years of research, primarily focused on a color range best adapted for the Asian skin tone, climate and complexion, with an emphasis on textures, colors, pigments and most importantly formulations.”

At present MM Makeup is available for customers in Pakistan only and can be bought online via cash on delivery. The makeup will be available at all leading outlets in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad in June. International customers interested in the line will also be able to get their hands on MM Makeup in June 2015.

Can’t wait to try them out myself!

For more details:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/masarratmakeup

Facebook: www.facebook.com/masarratmakeup

Twitter: www.twitter.com/masarratmakeup

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/masarratmakeup

Breakfast at Cosmopolitan

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So I know I have been MIA for some time now and I also know you don’t really care. But the review I am about to share with you, ought to make up for the time lost.

So every Saturday evening you promise to make the most of your weekend. You tell yourself you will stay up late to watch both the movies you have been planning to for a while now, or catch up on your favourite shows, and then wake up early to try out breakfast at some new cafe. However plans are meant to be spoilt. The minute you make one, you feel the beginning of the worst migraine in history, only to sleep before 10 (yeesh) and then wake up after 1(boo) on Sunday to eat whatever mom puts in front of you.

Yeah that’s my average weekend. But last week I was blessed with an above average one, and so I happened to stop by the well talked about new cafe Cosmopolitan for breakfast.

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The menu set for that fine morning boasted of famous dishes from around the world. If you ever wondered what your Parisian or Spanish counterpart wakes up to every morning, here’s your answer! Items such as The Spaniard, The Parisian, The New Yorker and Normandy were just some of the choices.

I opted for The New Yorker, (because why not), and French Toast (because why the heck not??) My friend ordered Normandy and the Ferrero Rocher Pancakes.

While the food was being prepared, I took a quick look around. Cosmopolitan is a cozy little cafe where you can hang out any day of the week. Whether your company involves a party or rowdy, overbearing people or an interesting little book, I am sure the very comfy decor will make you feel right at home.

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Back to the food. Sigh. The New Yorker was a combination of Steak and Fried Eggs, sausages and Potato Hash. The steaks were well done, just the way I asked them to be and were well seasoned. Now I have watched enough MasterChef to be fully aware of how the yolks of fried eggs are supposed to break open and well, inundate the steaks (eep). The yolks on my plate were definitely a bit overdone which in my case was a good thing because the last thing I want is yolk all over my food. Them being overdone let me eat the whites around them with ease and just leave the yellow part (because yikes .. yolk breath!) The dollops of sauce provided a good balance to the dish overall. However the Potato Hash accompanying the steak and eggs really needed more time in the pan and some less oil. They left a greasy raw after taste in my mouth which is of course a big no no.

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Once done with the savouries, I quietly waited for the sweets. While the Ferrero Rocher pancakes were brought about fairly quickly, I had to wait quite some time for my French Toast. So I took this time to indulge in those pancakes, which to be honest were the highlight of the entire breakfast menu. Light and fluffy pancakes, fully fully drenched in thick, creamy chocolate, straight out of every girl’s chocolate fantasy. Even though I had not ordered them, I could not resist stuffing my face with numerous bites, until the person who had ordered them, began giving me those polite ‘lay off woman’ looks.

Picture courtesy Farwa B Naqvi (Cause look at it!)

Picture courtesy Farwa B Naqvi (Cause look at it!)

And finally after forever I was served with the French Toast. Wow what a letdown. A spongy tough piece of bread sitting atop some fairly tasteless Vanilla Creme Anglaise with some equally bland whipped cream. I for one am not too fond of overly sweet desserts, but this particular dish made me wish I had ordered something else. Two bites in, I begged everyone sitting with me to try it out (never a good sign).

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While my experience was lukewarm at best, I was promised a much extensive breakfast menu (with pepperoni and mushroom omelettes among them) by the very gracious owner that will be launched very soon, so I am definitely going back again.

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BONUS:
At the Karachi Eat Festival, I stopped by Cosmopolitan stall and got some chicken strips for my sister’s kids I brought with me and chicken and mushroom crepes for myself. Long story short, we loved both items, so there’s one more reason to definitely go back to try more things.
All in all, Cosmopolitan Cafe is a must try.

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Gone Girl – Book Review

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First things first, I have never written a review where a major spoiler wasn’t dropped at unsuspecting readers. And with this review, I am trying very hard to keep the story as elusive for you all as possible. However if unintentionally I do let something loose, I apologize in advance. (I have spoilt more books for my book-loving friends than Hollywood can every boast to do).

So Gone Girl. The movie just came out recently and everybody is losing their minds over it. If you are an avid reader, watching the movie before reading the book is nothing short of blasphemy. So with this thought in mind, I too, decided to read the book first.

The review:

Boy meets girl. Boy girl fall in love. Boy girl get married. Boy girl grow apart. Boy has to move back to his native town to look after his sick mother, and takes girl with him. One fine day, girl disappears.

There is an ominous sign of struggle. The living room of the house they live is is a mess. The police are called to investigate. What starts off as a missing person’s case soon converts into a homicide with all clues pointing towards the boy – Nick if you must know. So did he really kill his wife – Amy? Or was she kidnapped?

On the surface of things, you can say the book appears to be well, nothing out of the ordinary. But wait till you get to the good part. The author Gillian Flynn very successfully manages to spin a web that draws you in tighter and tighter as you read on.

These best part about this book I felt was the way it was written from the point of view of both the main characters. Just when you start feeling sorry for one character, bam, she gives you the same story from the other side and you are left flabbergasted. Of course once you reach part two and the real story begins you cannot wait to discover what happens at the end.

The ending. Yes. If you think you can successfully dodge any curveball any author throws your way, you are in for a painful wake up call. The ending shocks you. A ‘what in the name of hell’ shock.

The book is one roller coaster ride after another, starting off slow, then steering off rapidly. A definite must read.

I now wait for the movie to be available in a decent print. I have heard they changed the ending a bit for the movie version. If so, I am very intrigued. Once I watch it, I’ll do a movie vs book review as well.

Bonus: I am adding a trailer of the movie:

Double Bonus: Here is a list I found of 9 books you can read if you loved Gone Girl, bookmark it for later.

  1. Cartwheel BY Jennifer Dubois
  2. Dare Me by Megan Abbott
  3. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
  4. I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
  5. What Was She Thinking? By Zoë Heller
  6. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
  7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  8. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  9. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

For more details you can check out http://www.bustle.com/articles/32570-if-you-loved-gone-girl-try-reading-these-9-other-books-too