The sub-compact or sub-4 metre SUV space is clearly one of the most keenly contested segments in the Indian passenger car space. There are some very popular cars present here like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecos- port and the Mahindra XUV 300. As the festive season approaches, other automakers too are looking at getting some share of the lucrative pie. And so the past few days have seen the introduction of two new cars in the segment — the Kia Sonet and Toyota Urban Cruiser. Interestingly, both these cars are based on already existing products; while the former takes inspiration from the Hyundai Venue, the latter is essentially a re- badged Vitara Brezza.
We told you in great detail about the Kia Sonet when its world premiere took place in August. That included the engine and transmission options along with all the features that have been provided with the car. Now with the launch past us, we know exactly how many variants the car comes in and what are their prices. The Korean company has launched the car at introductory price of Rs 6.71 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India) which is for the base HTE variant that comes with a 1.2 Petrol engine and a 5 speed Manual Transmission. In all, the Sonet is being offered across 17 variants, including two petrol engines, one diesel engine with two different configurations, five transmissions and two trim levels — Tech Line and GT-Line. Kia said that it was able to garner over 25,000 bookings for its car till the launch.
The 1.2 litre engine has come in the most afford- able variants that range from Rs 6.71 lakh to Rs 8.45 lakh. The popular 1.0 litre turbo petrol engine that we’ve seen on many cars from Hyundai like Venue and Verna, comes in 5 variants that range from Rs 9.49 lakh to Rs 11.99 lakh. Interestingly there is no manual transmission on offer here and the only available options are either a 7-speed DCT automatic or the new 6-speed IMT or intelligent manual transmission which is a clutchless technology but lets you change gears manually. Finally, the 7 diesel variants range from Rs 8.05 lakh to Rs 11.99 lakh and these include both manual and automatic options. However, the prices of some top-end variants of both
petrol and diesel engines are yet to be shared.
Kia has also revealed the fuel efficiency figures of all the engines. While the 1.2 petrol engine with 5 speed manual transmission delivers 18.4 kmpl, the 1.5 litre diesel promises 19.0 kmpl for 6-speed manual and an impressive 24.1 kmpl for the 6-speed automatic. Some of the features are a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen with navigation and live traffic information, an air purifier with virus and bacteria protection, BOSE premium seven-speaker sound system with sub-woofer, front ventilated driver and passenger seats, 4.2-inch colour instrument cluster, remote engine start via UVO connect and smart key (Automatic and Manual transmission), multi-drive & traction modes for automatic models and a wireless smartphone charger with cooling function.
Toyota Urban Cruiser
The Toyota Urban Cruiser is the second model to be launched in India under the global Toyota-Suzuki alliance following the premium hatchback, the Toyota Glanza. The Urban Cruiser is based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, but the company has tried to make enough distinctions between the look and feel. On the exterior the SUV gets a two-slat wedge cut front grille with chrome that reminds of the Toyota Fortuner. The dual chamber LED projector headlamps with chrome accents and split LED tail lamps are also changed. There are 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels on offer and roof rails are finished in gun metal grey. The car also gets some new colour options in single tone as well as dual tone.
The interior also gets a new dark brown colour and you cannot miss the Toyota logo on the steering wheel. The 17.78 cm smart playcast touchscreen audio works with Android Auto, Apple Carplay and
Smartphone- based navigation. Some other features include engine push start/ stop button, rain-sensing wipers, auto AC and cruise control. The car runs on the same 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine that we’ve seen on many cars from Maruti Suzuki including Vitara Brezza. Both Manual and Automatic Transmissions are on offer and claimed fuel efficiency figures are 17.03 kmpl and 18.76 kmpl respectively. All the variants of the car come with the smart hybrid technology which aids in better fuel efficiency.
In terms of safety the car gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, hill hold control and ISOFIX child seat restraint system. In all there are 6 variants on offer divided equally between manual and automatic. Prices for the manual variants range between Rs 8.40 and Rs.9.80 lakh (ex-showroom) while the automatic variants are priced between Rs 9.80 and Rs 11.30 lakh.
THIS HAND-HELD DEVICE CAN READ CANCER BIOMARKER
A team of Canadian researchers has created a prototype for a hand-held device to measure a biomarker for cancer like a blood sugar monitor, paving the way for home-based cancer monitoring and improving access to diagnostic testing. The device could be used in a medical clinic or at home, all without lab work, greatly simplifying the process for testing blood for cancer’s signature. This is how it works. A user would mix a droplet of blood in a vial of reactive liquid, then place the mixture onto a strip and insert it into a reader. In minutes, the device would measure an antigen that indicates the degree to which cancer is present. The prototype has been designed to monitor prostate specific antigen (PSA) and the technology can readily be adapted to measure other markers, depending on the form of cancer or other chronic disease, said the study appeared in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
LG RELEASES WORLD’S 1ST ROLLABLE TV FOR RS 64 LAKH
LG Electronics on Tuesday released the world’s first rollable TV in South Korea at a jaw-dropping price of $87,000 (about Rs 63.9 lakh) as the tech giant aims to target high-end consumers amid the pandemic. The company said overseas launch schedules of LG Signature OLED R have not been fixed yet due to the Covid-19 situation in each country, reports Yonhap news agency. LG said the product, which uses flexible OLED display that leverages self-lighting pixel technology, is designed to deliver a differentiated user experience to high-end consumers and strengthen its position in the premium TV market. The 65-inch TV model named RX is highlighted by its screen that rises from a box and can be rolled up inside. Depending on how much the screen has rolled up inside the base, it provides three different viewing options for users to design interior space. LG’s rollable TV was first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the United States last year. The world’s top OLED TV maker originally planned to launch the rollable TV in 2019, but its mass production has been delayed due to OLED display supply and yield rate issues.
NOKIA INTRODUCES 2 FEATURE PHONES WITH 4G IN INDIA
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, on Tuesday launched two new feature phones—Nokia 215 and Nokia 225—with 4G connectivity in the India market. The Nokia 215 comes in cyan green and black colour options and will be available online starting October 23 and at retail outlets starting November 6 for Rs 2,949. The Nokia 225 in classic blue, metallic sand and black colour options will be available online starting 23 October and at retail stores starting 6 November for Rs 3,499, the company said in a statement. Nokia 215 4G and Nokia 225 4G feature 2.4-inch LCD displays. Both the phones feature a 3.5mm audio jack, Wireless FM Radio, an MP3 player, and a flashlight. Nokia has added the class Snake game on both the phones. The primary difference between the two phones lies in the optics. While Nokia 225 4G features a VGA snapper on the back, Nokia 215 4G doesn’t come with any camera.
GIONEE LAUNCHES BUDGET SMARTPHONE FOR RS 5,499
Smartphone maker Gionee on Tuesday launched a budget device Gionee F8 Neo for Rs 5,499 in the ongoing festive season. The device is available in three colours—blue, black and red. “Gionee products are going to be developed by the team based in India. The company is also committed to locally manufacture all its products in the country. In the smartphone category, Gionee intends to provide an unadulterated UI and UX to the consumers,” the company said in a statement. The smartphone comes with a 5.45-inch LCD display and a 3000mAh battery. The device is powered by an Octa-core processor with 2GB RAM+32 GB ROM feature (expandable up to 256 GB via microSD card). The device is equipped with a single rear camera of 8MP and a 5MP front selfie shooter. The handset is also loaded with features such as face unlock, slow motion, panorama, night mode, time-lapse, burst mode, QR code, face beauty and more.
OPPO A33 WITH 90HZ DISPLAY, TRIPLE CAMERA LAUNCHED
Chinese smartphone maker OPPO on Wednesday launched ‘OPPO A33’ with a 90Hz refresh rate display and triple camera set up in India. OPPO A33 will be available for sale at Rs 11,990 for the 3+32GB variant across both Flipkart and mainline retail outlets. Consumers can also avail 5 per cent Cashback applicable from Kotak Bank (Credit Card EMI/Debit Card EMI), RBL Bank (Credit Card EMI & Non-EMI), Bank of Baroda (Credit Card EMI) and Federal Bank (Debit Card EMI). The smartphone features a 6.5-inch punch-hole screen with 90Hz refresh rate support. The device packs an AI triple camera set up on the rear of the phone, including a 13MP main camera, a 2MP depth camera and a 2MP macro lens. The smartphone also has an 8MP front-facing camera for selfies. The device comes equipped with a large 5000mAh battery paired with 18W fast charge that can get you through the day until the evening on just a single charge. In addition, OPPO A33 comes with ColorOS 7.2 with an aim to increase the day-to-day usage efficiency by giving fast and smooth experience.
GALAXY WATCH 3 BLENDS FASHION WITH FITNESS
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is one of the best Android smartwatches that I have come across so far. A watch with the right blend of fashion and fitness, it comes with a dazzling design, a vivid display, and features like a blood oxygen tracker.
While the blood oxygen feature can measure and track oxygen saturation over time, the 120 home training programs help you track workouts at home. Besides its fitness and wellness purposes, the design is also an attraction. Samsung has stuck with a traditional circular shape for the display, with a rotatable raised bezel that enables you to physically cycle through on-screen menus.
ACTIVITY AND FITNESS
The most integral part of a smartwatch is its fitness features. The Galaxy Watch 3 offers multiple fitness options: running, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing, elliptical workouts, and dynamic workouts. It detects when your workout starts and ends, which is always helpful when you are trying to monitor your fitness.
Samsung has also equipped Watch 3 with stress tracking, which takes into account peak heart rates and suggests breathing exercises too. In the latest update, the watch also gained SPo2 monitoring, which allows you to monitor blood oxygen levels. However, to test this, you’ll have to be extremely stable as even a slight shake will result in the test being aborted. The watch also has a women’s health section for monitoring menstrual cycles and its effects on the wearer’s fitness.
Design and display
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is thinner, lighter and smaller than its predecessor, but gets a bigger screen. The watch is comfortable to wear even while sleeping.
The traditional round dial looks sleek and beautiful. The beige strap with my review unit made the dial stand out even more. The display is bright and easy to read in all types of light, be it indoor or outdoor. To the right of the smartwatch, there are two buttons. The bottom one acts as a power button and is also customizable to perform tasks with a long press and double click. It also acts as a home button. The button at the top is for going ‘back’. For navigating through the UI, the user will have to use the rotating bezel, the buttons and the touchscreen – all of which works flawlessly.
The watch is available in two sizes: 41mm and 45mm. The core features are the same in both the models, with just a few minor differences in the specifications.
The Galaxy Watch 3 is powered by Exynos 9110 chipset and runs on Samsung’s Tizen software. The chipset is loaded with 1GB of RAM (as compared to the 1.5GB RAM on the LTE version of the original Galaxy Watch). The watch is preloaded with several apps and third-party apps can be downloaded from the Galaxy store or the Tizen store. Apps load as quickly as expected and moving between multiple apps is also an easy task.
The smartwatch comes with e-SIM support too. As of now, only Jio and Airtel are supported, but Samsung has said that it will add more carriers soon.
After a full charge, the Watch 3 let me have a total usage time of one-and-half days. There is a battery saver option but that takes away most of the smart features and leaves you with only the phone and SMS apps to use. However, you can also manually select the apps that you want to receive push notifications from and avoid other notifications on the watch, helping you save more battery.
The Galaxy Watch 3 can be an easy choice for you if you are looking for good specs along with dazzling design. The price and the battery may be disappointing for a few, but on every other ground, this watch is a true winner.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 is available in two sizes. The 41mm variant is priced at Rs 29,990 for the Bluetooth version and at Rs 34,490 for the 4G one, and will be available in the colours, Mystic Bronze and Mystic Silver. The 45mm variant is priced at Rs 32,990 for the Bluetooth model and at Rs 38,990 for the 4G variant, and will come in Mystic Black and Mystic Silver.
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