HIGHLY ANTICIPATED GAMES UNVEILED AT G-STAR - The Daily Guardian
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HIGHLY ANTICIPATED GAMES UNVEILED AT G-STAR

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GAMES - G-STAR

Seoul: South Korean gaming developers and publishers have been unveiling their latest titles featuring cutting-edge graphics and technology at an ongoing game expo. This year’s G-Star Global Game Exhibition is not operating offline booths due to concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak, and fans must participate in the Thursday-Sunday event through the online streaming platform Twitch, reports Yonhap news agency. Game developer WeMade Co. showcased its first massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) Mir 4 for mobile platforms. The game will be co-published by Kakao Games. Mir 4, a sequel in the popular Mir series, features 3-D graphics that will provide an unprecedented level of freedom of movement for players compared to its predecessors, according to the company. Meanwhile, online gaming company Krafton Inc. is scheduled to showcase its MMORPG title “Elyon” later in the day. The game will be published by Kakao Games.

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SAMSUNG BRINGS A GOOD BUDGET BUY WITH THE GALAXY M02S

Richa Kapoor

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Over the past two years, Samsung seems to be understanding the minds of its customers a lot better. The brand is very well placed in the top and mid segment but a good budget device was something which seemed to be missing so far. However, with the Galaxy M02s, Samsung has bridged that gap too.

SPEC CHECK

The Samsung Galaxy M02s sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, paired with 3 or 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of onboard storage. Storage is further expandable with a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 based OneUI 2.5 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 5,000mAh battery.

The model also features a triple rear camera setup including a 13MP primary camera, an 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. At the front, there is a 5MP selfie snapper too.

DESIGN AND DISPLAY

The Galaxy M02s does not feel like a budget device once you unbox it. Samsung has clearly taken cues from its highly successful S series and A series while designing this device.

At the rear is the camera module and a plastic body with matte and gloss styling. While on the front, the Galaxy M02s sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a U-shaped notch. It has thin bezels all along except the chin.

The Galaxy M02s sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge. The charging port is surrounded by a 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. On the left edge, there is a SIM tray which can accept two SIM cards and a dedicated microSD card.

PERFORMANCE AND SOFTWARE

The Samsung Galaxy M02s is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor paired with 3 or 4GB of RAM. Basic multi-tasking on the device is easy, but you do feel a bit of a lag while switching between apps. Gaming is possible on the device but it will be not as much fun but that’s the best a budget device can offer.

The Galaxy M02s runs on Android 10 based One UI 2.5. The user interface feels like it could have been better. However, it does get a lot of new-age features like system-wide dark mode and face recognition.

CAMERAS

The Samsung Galaxy M02s sports a triple-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 13MP primary camera, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. It also gets Live Focus, Pro Mode and the company’s AR facial features. The phone misses out on a night mode though.

The images taken by the device are decent and in many ways the best you can expect from a budgeted device. It does fall short in low light. The front camera lets you take satisfactory images, which might be grainy sometimes, but you do have a beauty mode which you can switch off as required.

BATTERY

One of the biggest advantages of this device is its large battery. It comes with a 5000 mAh battery, which also makes the device a bit heavy. But a single charge runs the device for more than a day. It supports 15W fast charging, however, it comes with a standard 5W charger in the box

VERDICT

At the starting prices of Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999 you get a device with a good design, decent display, great performance, but an average camera. If you are looking for a smartphone under Rs 10,000, the Galaxy M02s will not disappoint you.

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JAGUAR LAND ROVER ANNOUNCES BIG PUSH TOWARDS ELECTRIC MOBILITY

By the end of the decade, in addition to an all-electric Jaguar line-up, it is anticipated that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will come with zero emissions.

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NEW DELHI: Tata Motors-owned British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has spoken about a big shift towards sustainability when it comes to future cars from the luxury brand. The company has announced a ‘Reimagine plan’ which will essentially be the electrification of both Land Rover and Jaguar brands on separate architectures with two clear, unique personalities. In a significant move it has been confirmed that Jaguar and Land Rover will offer pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030. By the end of the decade, in addition to an all-electric Jaguar line-up, it is anticipated that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will come with zero emissions.

In fact, by the middle of the decade, Jaguar will have undergone a resurgence to emerge as a pure electric luxury brand. According to the company, the new portfolio will still be focused on creating engaging designs along with pioneering next-generation technologies. Importantly it has also been mentioned that although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form a part of the line-up. Taking about Land Rover, in the next five years, the SUV brand will welcome six pure electric variants through its three families of Range Rover, Discovery and Defender SUVs. The first all-electric variant will arrive in 2024.

NEW ARCHITECTURES

In order to establish different personalities for the two brands, a new architecture strategy has been announced. Land Rover will use the forthcoming flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). It will deliver electrified internal combustion engines and full electric variants as the company evolves its product line-up in the future. In addition, the brand will also use pure electric biased Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) which will also support advanced electrified internal combustion engines. Future Jaguar models will be built exclusively on a pure electric architecture. By consolidating the number of platforms and models being produced per plant, the company says it will be able to establish new benchmark standards in efficient scale and quality for the luxury sector.

From a core manufacturing perspective Jaguar Land Rover will retain its plant and assembly facilities in the home UK market and around the world. As well as being the manufacturer of the MLA architecture, Solihull, West Midlands will also be the home to the future advanced Jaguar pure electric platform. The brand has also announced that its subscription model named PIVOTAL, will now be rolled out to other markets following a successful launch in the UK.

ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2039

Jaguar Land Rover’s aim is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039. As part of this plan, the company is also preparing for the expected adoption of clean fuel-cell power in line with the maturing of the hydrogen economy. Development is already underway with prototypes arriving on UK roads within the next 12 months as part of the long-term investment programme.

A new centralised team will be empowered to build on and accelerate pioneering innovations in materiality, engineering, manufacturing, services and circular economy investments. Approximate annual commitments of £2.5bn will include investments in electrification technologies and the development of connected services to enhance the journey and experiences of customers, alongside data-centric technologies that will further improve their ownership ecosystem.

WORKING WITHIN TATA GROUP

Jaguar Land Rover has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.In order to realise its vision of modern luxury mobility with confidence, the company says it will curate closer collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Tata Group companies to enhance sustainability and reduce emissions as well as sharing best practice in next-generation technology, data and software development leadership.

N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, commented: “The Reimagine strategy takes Jaguar Land Rover on a significant path of acceleration in harmony with the vision and sustainability priorities of the wider Tata Group. Together, we will help Jaguar realise its potential, reinforce Land Rover’s timeless appeal and collectively become a symbol of a truly responsible business for its customers, society and the planet.”

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ITEL TO LAUNCH SMARTPHONE WITH HD+IPS BIGGER DISPLAY

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New Delhi: itel is all set to strengthen its smartphone portfolio with another new and powerful offering. As per sources, the company might launch the premium looking smartphone with HD+ display on February 1 via an exclusive association with Amazon. As per the render images, itel’s new addition in the A-series portfolio will be equipped with a bigger display and dual security. The phone will come with a 5.5-inch bigger screen with a curved display, dual security and 2GB RAM + 32 GB ROM-making it a complete offering for its customers. Going with itel’s strategy, the product will be priced aggressively and expected to be priced in the sub Rs 6,000 segment wherein itel has already established itself as a strong brand.

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CANON LAUNCHES 7 NEW INK TANK PRINTERS IN INDIA

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New Delhi: Expanding its PIXMA G Series lineup, Japanese giant Canon on Tuesday launched seven new ink tank printers at a starting price of Rs 11,048. The new PIXMA G Series printers include the drip-free, hands-free ink refilling mechanism and a user-replaceable maintenance cartridge designed to ensure minimum downtime and maximum productivity for homes and businesses. The new printers PIXMA G1020, PIXMA G2020, PIXMA G2021, PIXMA G2060, PIXMA G3020, PIXMA G3021, PIXMA G3060 are priced at Rs 11,048, Rs 13,922, Rs 14,523, Rs 14,203, Rs 17,102, Rs 17,704, Rs 17,403, respectively. An integrated ink tank design also keeps the printer footprint compact, while providing a clear visual indication of remaining ink levels, the company said. The new Canon G series is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which enables voice-activated printing. All the printers will be available across leading e-commerce platforms and authorized retailers starting 15 February.

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ONEPLUS BUDS Z: BEST BUDS ON A BUDGET

Richa Kapoor

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Earbuds, earpods, earplugs or earphones – call them by any name, but they are all equally important for all of us. OnePlus has made an addition to their kitty of buds with the Buds Z and we take a look at how it fares.

CONTENTS

Inside the box, you get a pair of the Buds Z earbuds, three pairs of differently sized silicone ear tips (with one pair pre-installed on the buds), a capsule-shaped case, a Type C cable to charge the OnePlus Z case, and a user manual with a warranty card.

CONNECTIVITY

The Buds Z connects simply and seamlessly. As long as you have NFC on your smartphone, all you need to do is flip open the case and your device is ready to connect. The process takes just a few minutes.

AUDIO QUALITY

The most important feature for earphones is always audio. For me, the first check for a good device is easy connectivity, followed by its sound.

OnePlus has placed a 10 mm dynamic driver for a decent amount of bass in its earbuds, with added bass boost technology. You also get HD audio options, which are available in settings. The earbuds also support two Bluetooth codecs, the AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) and SBC (Smart Bitrate Control). OnePlus has also included 3D Stereo with Dolby Atmos support and panoramic sound for a futuristic surround sound experience. To enjoy the audio at its best, make sure you are listening to music or movies which have been recorded and optimized with Dolby Atmos.

However, while audio quality is great, call quality on the OnePlus Buds Z is not as good in comparison. You do get dual mics on each of the buds, which help to pick up your voice.

The earbuds also have automatic ear detection, which means that if you pull out one or both the buds, whatever you’re listening to pauses automatically. Bring the buds back into your ear and the audio will resume on its own. This is definitely a rare feature to find at this price point.

TOUCH

The OnePlus Buds Z come with a circular touchpad on each bud. You can double-tap on the touchpad to answer a call or to change the soundtrack. Google Assistant can also be used by double-tapping on the touchpads. However, the touch command features can be customized to your liking, with a different function for each bud too, by going to the Bluetooth settings on your phone.

BATTERY

These earbuds, together with the charging case, deliver up to a total of 20 hours of playback – this number is based on the 5 hours which you can get from the earbuds and an additional 15 hours after using the charging case. (The 20 hours of total battery life is valid while playing music with the volume set to 1/3, in AAC mode.)

VERDICT

Priced at Rs 2,999, the Buds Z are a great pick for many. They have a lot of features to boast about, at a price which can be cheaper than other premium earbuds. The only disappointments for buyers can be the fact that they don’t get full noise cancellation with the Buds Z, the buds are IP rated but not totally IP67 and IP68 compliant, and the bass audio is not the best. However, on the upside, it is a pair of light earbuds, which are convenient to use and available at a very competitive price.

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RENAULT GETS SET FOR SUBCOMPACT SUV SPACE WITH KIGER

The car, recently revealed at its world premiere that took place in India, is being promoted by Renault as a product that will offer value for money and attract the buyer in more ways than one.

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The very popular subcompact SUV segment in the country is getting more crowded than ever before. After the arrival of the Nissan Magnite in December, its alliance partner Renault is all set to launch its own version of the car in the market. The Kiger is built on the same CMFA+ platform as the Magnite, and shares many features as well as engines with it. The car was recently revealed to the world at its world premiere that took place in India and Renault is promising a product which will offer value for money and attract the buyer in more ways than one.

LOOKS

The Kiger reminds one of the popular Renault Kwid, but is also very similar to the concept model shown a couple of months back. What catches one’s attention instantly is the sculpted bonnet along with an aggressive bumper. The upper strip is formed by the front grille and LED daytime running lights which give the car an elevated stance. The three LED headlights encased in a chrome octagonal unit are quite unique too. On the rear, you get C-shaped LED tail lights, a rather big spoiler and aluminium-finish skid plates. The profile has typical SUV traits like square wheel arches, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and a high ground clearance of 205 mm. Renault will offer the car in a wide range of single or dual tone colour options.

INTERIORS

The 8-inch touchscreen sits right at the centre of the dash and provides wireless connectivity with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The 7-inch all-digital instrument cluster is one of the highlights as it gives the cabin a very modern look. In the front, the Kiger offers a 710 mm distance between the seats – the best in its segment, according to Renault. There’s good space to store small articles with a total onboard capacity of 29 litres. Renault is promising the best boot capacity in the segment with 405 litres, which extends to 879 litres with the second row folded. There are a lot of other features on offer, which include a 3D sound system by Arkamys, which automatically adjusts the sound volume according to the speed of the vehicle at higher trim levels. You also get climate control, ambient lighting, reverse parking camera, wireless charging and an air purifier in the car.

ENGINE

There are two petrol engine options for the Renault Kiger. Both are 1.0 litre three-cylinder motors, one of which is naturally aspirated and the other turbocharged. The latter gives a power output of 100 PS and a torque of 160 Nm and promises a fuel efficiency of 20 km/litre. Renault is offering this engine with a five-speed manual gearbox along with a CVT option, just like the Magnite. The naturally aspirated engine churns out a much lower 72 PS and 96 Nm and comes with five-speed manual or AMT gearbox options. Like many other cars in the segment, there is no diesel engine on offer here.

DRIVE MODES

There are different driving modes on offer and the instrument cluster changes its colour and widget configuration according to the mode selected. The Normal mode provides an optimum driving parameter of the engine apt for city driving conditions while the Eco mode is inclined towards providing better fuel efficiency. It changes the overall appearance of the TFT into green, with the indicators, like an animated leaf, providing real-time feedback to maximize economic driving. However, if you are looking for a more spirited drive, the Sport mode comes in with crisper engine response and faster shifting. The screen appearance turns red with quick information of acceleration gauge, torque and power ratios. Owing to the platform, the company is promising a turning radius of 5.02 metres on the car.

SAFETY

The Kiger gets two front airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger along with two side airbags to round out the safety suite. The second row gets 3-point seat belts for two passengers, while the middle passenger gets a lap belt. Along with this, the hands-free system on the car includes an auto-lock function for the door when drivers walk away from the vehicle.

The Kiger will hit the roads soon and by all indications, it will be a car that will be priced aggressively, just like the 7-seater Triber as well as the Nissan Magnite. This only means that the segment is going to see even more competition now.

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