iQOO is out with a new series iQOO 9, which gets a Pro, SE and a 9 mid variant. iQOO has stormed the market with a set of good devices. Holding high value and giving good results. I review the iQOO 9 a device which is redefining the brand.
iQOO 9 succeeds the iQOO 7 which is now a full upgrade from its predecessor not just in specifications but in cost as well. So how does this full upgrade fair let’s find out?
DESIGN & DISPLAY:
Just like the iQOO 7 Legend which had collaborated with BMW M Motorsport iQOO 9 continuous the collaboration and gets similar design ques. The Legend (white) variant gets the iconic tri- colour stripes. I have the Aplha (Black) variant for review which gets a gratinated back which has grey lines running vertically giving some texture to the back. The camera module sits on the left in a rectangular shape which is well fitted in the back panel. The texture doesn’t get finger marks due to its matte finish.
The front of the device remains almost similar with thin bezel lines, flat display, and a punch- hole selfie camera. The device is thicker at the top and having thinner sides and slightly curved edges. The device is light, looks and feel premium when you hold it in your hand.
iQOO 9 gets a 6.78-inch AMOLED screen which is very responsive with a crisp and clear which gets a 120Hz refresh rate.
SOFTWARE & PERFORMANCE:
iQOO9 is Android 12 based Funtouch OS 12 right out of the box, so you do get some slightly different UI designs, new widgets, and an extended RAM support.
There is 12GB of physical RAM while the support boosts it with 4GB of additional RAM when needed for heavy operations.
iQOO 9 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ processor which makes the device run fast with no lags so far. Multi-tasking the device handled with ease. You have no problem using the device for long hours during social networking. The smartphone performs well and in terms of gaming and graphics you will find no lag, or the gaming experience will not feel a glitch at all.
The smartphone features a triple camera on the rear side that consists of 50 MP (wide) + 12 MP (telephoto) + 13 MP (ultrawide) while on the front there is a single camera of 16 MP (wide).
The images derived from the main lens under natural light look well crafted. Under low light condition the images seem to be leaking color. Photo clicked in portrait mode gives a good bokeh effect being my favorite of the lot. Night mode does give some good pictures and does the work well.
The ultrawide lens does help capture decent images not the best I would say but a bit of edit can help you get social media friendly pictures. The front camera to my delight is very real and gives natural looking pictures. Portrait mode uses a beauty filter while clicking which just smoothens your skin and nothing more. All in all, the camera section will be a good experience on the iQOO 9.
iQOO 9 powered by a 4700 mAh Battery geta a 120W fast charge and they claim a 100% charge in 19 mins. It also geta a 10W reverse wireless charging. I did use it extensively and the battery was just about ok.
At a starting price of Rs 42,990 iQOO9 is not any mid segment device this one does place itself on the higher end. It is a device high on performance and looks good with a great display and super-fast charging. What it misses out on is an outstanding camera and battery life. iQOO 9 might have a few misses but it is for sure a game changer when it comes to its brand.
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GIZMORE LAUNCHES MAKE IN INDIA SMARTWATCH GIZFIT 910 PRO
Gizmore, a Delhi-based audio and wearable manufacturer, introduces an extremely affordable smartwatch at Rs 2,499. It is not just a made in India product but also one such device which gets an AI-powered Voice Assistant at this price range.
Gizmore has gone ahead with the square dial and this smartwatch is a successor to Gizfit 910. They have managed to keep the metallic finish feel premium even at this range. You get a slim bezel, and a bright 500 units display to enjoy information on the dial. Just like the smartphone the screen of a smartwatch is extremely important as it is your source to engage with the watch.
Gizfit 910 Pro also features a heart rate and blood pressure monitor which can be tracked with the companion app. You also get constant reminders to drink water. Which might not seem so useful to many but once you start using it you realise the need of it. It helps users to track their step count, SpO2, heart rate, sleep cycles, and even menstrual cycle.
Gizfit 910 Pro is your smartwatch which is committed to keep you healthy and fit. In order to do so you can pair it with any of your Android devices and track your workout. It comes with sports modes which include like outdoor runs, cycling, badminton, football, and yoga.
Features which I enjoyed and found convenient and was happy to see on the smartwatch were mirroring of notifications which makes the smartwatch a lot more useful. Comes with an in-built microphone which enables a hands-free calling functionality. It is IP67 water and dust resistant.
In terms of connectivity, the smartwatch comes with Bluetooth 5.1, which it uses to connect with the smartphone to track workouts using the phone’s GPS, as well as to stream music and make calls. It also has a music controller that can be used to play, pause, and shuffle tracks, as well as adjust the volume.
Battery is always a very important part when it comes to smart wearables and this one does the job well. You get a longer battery life if you don’t use the calling feature and can enjoy over six days of battery life. Your watch can be fully charged within two hours.
For a segment like smart wearables, the competition is increasing every day. You have some new device making its mark. Under Make in India, we see a lot of new manufactures entering this market. Gizmore has been around for a while and has well placed their products in this segment. With Gizfit 910 Pro they have a price and feature advantage. Well, that can make them market winners if they continue manufacturing good products at affordable prices with good features.
JEEP’S NEW 3-ROW SUV MERIDIAN IS CAPABLE AS WELL AS PRACTICAL
Jeep Meridian all set to take on the Toyota Fortuner in the premium SUV space.
Iconic SUV brand Jeep has launched a brand new 7-seater in the Indian market. The new Jeep Meridian has been launched at an introductory starting price of Rs 29.9 lakh, ex-showroom and goes up to Rs 36.96 lakh for the top 4×4 model. Jeep gets many features that have not been seen before in the premium SUV segment. With the Meridian, Jeep is getting ready to take on the mighty Toyota Fortuner which has been a bestseller in the segment for a long time.
DESIGN AND COMFORT
The big USP of the Meridian is that it gets 3-row of seats and caters to a big family. The SUV gets 840 mm between the first and second row, and 780 mm between the second and third row, making it the most spacious vehicle in the segment. It also gets 481-litres of boot space while seating five people and 170 litres of boot space when all seven seats are occupied. To get access to the third row, the SUV gets one-touch fold-and-tumble seats in the second row and the 80-degree door opening angle to help passengers get in and out with ease. The SUV stands at a length of 4,769 mm, a width of 1,859 mm, 1,698 mm tall, and has a 2,782 mm long wheelbase.
According to Jeep, the Meridian is ready to take on the dreaded Indian summer. The SUV cools up to 30 per cent faster than competitors, thanks to the multi-zone climate control system, dedicated third-row AC-evaporator unit, and the thermo-acoustic cabin insulation. The Meridian features Emperador Brown leather seats, third-row cooling with controls, automatic headlamps and diamond cut dual-tone 18-inch alloy wheels. The higher Limited (O) trim additionally gets a two-tone roof, a dual-pane sunroof, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 360-degree camera, and a powered lift-gate with programmable height, obstruction detection, etc. The all-new Meridian is also a connected car and comes equipped with Jeep’s UConnect5 suite that offers a host of connectivity and infotainment features.
TRIMS AND POWERTRAINS
Jeep Meridian is available across two trims, Limited and Limited (O). Both Limited and Limited (O) are available with the 4×2 front-wheel drive and a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and a nine-speed automatic transmission. A nine-speed automatic transmission with the 4×4 all-wheel drive is also available in the Limited (O) trim. The SUV is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine that generates 170 hp at 3,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 350 Nm available between 1,750-2,500 rpm. Jeep is also claiming the fastest acceleration and highest power-to-weight ratio on the car. It can go from 0-100 km/h in just 10.8 seconds and can attain a top speed of 198 km/h. It is also claiming to be one the most fuel-efficient SUVs in the segment promising an ARAI certified figure of 16.2 km/l.
ENGINEERING AND ARCHITECTURE
The new Jeep Meridian gets the first-in-segment completely independent front and rear suspension setup. It comes equipped with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) and Hydraulic Rebound Stopper (HRS) to ensure a smooth ride, good comfort, and enhanced driving dynamics for all kinds of roads and terrains. It also promises the best steering control in the segment, thanks to the lowest parking torque of 2.2 Nm and a dynamic torque of 4.3 Nm. Its low turning radius of 5.7 m will help to an extent in city driving. The SUV’s credentials are further strengthened by the terrain-proven unibody SW platform which helps bring the authentic Jeep DNA to life.
Talking about safety, the Meridian gets 7 airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, ABS with EBD, adaptive cruise control, lane assist, blind-spot detection, and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System). It is now available for booking on Jeep India’s website and at Jeep dealerships across India with a down payment of Rs 50,000. Deliveries will begin in June.
The author is a senior editor at carandbike.com
ASUS ZENBOOK 14 OLED HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Asus has well-positioned itself in the Indian tech market when we talk about laptops and notebooks. They have recently introduced a new lineup and that has been grabbing attention. The high-end laptop from ASUS has carved a niche for itself. Asus Zenbook 14 OLED is one such from this present lineup and below is my take on this latest device.
ZENBOOK 14 OLED SPECS SHEET
Zenbook 14 OLED is 16.9 mm
Weighs 1.39 kg
Display with 2.8K OLED HDR NanoEdge
Powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, and Intel Iris® Xe graphics.
16GB RAM and up to 512GB SSD PCIe 4.0 SSD
Dolby Atmos sound system powered by a smart amplifier
ASUS ErgoSense keyboard, and ASUS NumberPad 2.0.
Asus has not shied from making the device look elegant and slim. It is lightweight and easy to use and carry around. Fits well in one’s hand and can be easily carried around at work or even for travel. The laptop is sleek in its design and keeping the style minimalistic works wonders for it.
You get a 16:10 2.8K OLED HDR NanoEdge touchscreen which has a vibrant display. This display is good to work on and the contrast is comfortable to work on. You will find it easy to work on this laptop and even viewing and gaming will be easy for the eye. With a good display what you really need is a good sound system and you get one in this laptop. The Dolby Atmos makes the experience worthwhile. The smart amplifier does make the sound quality way better. Making the entire experience a lot more engaged and wholesome.
Something which has been a personal favourite in this laptop is the touchscreen number pad it is without a doubt extremely useful and helps increase productivity for sure. You would realise after a few days of usage how it helps increase efficiency. When we are constantly working on the laptop what we need is a good webcam specially for our online meetings and calls. The 3DNR webcam provides the needful. You not just get good video quality, but also good sound and an AI noise cancellation facility making your calls a way easier and noise-free process.
The laptop gives no issues like heating or draining out. I am not a gamer but had tried a few low graphic games on the laptop and felt no glitch at all. For heavy graphic games, I might not be in the right place to suggest. In terms of battery, the laptop charged fast and helped function well for seven to eight hours. In the usage, there were a lot of video meetings and constant web browsing. In terms of battery, there is nothing for me to complain about.
Using the laptop for good over two weeks there was really nothing to dislike or complain about. Introduced at Rs 1,04,990 with a lot of offers on the price this is a high-end laptop. That is the only catch that this product has. One must look at the great design, fully rounded spec sheet, and some great additions like the numeric touchpad, great sound, and excellent display before making up their mind against the laptop due to its price tag. It is a well-rounded laptop which has something for everyone.
TATA MOTORS EXPANDS ITS ELECTRIC VEHICLE RANGE WITH NEXON EV MAX
The Tata Nexon EV has been the most successful electric car in India and by some distance. Tata Motors already has more than 25,000 EVs on the Indian roads, out of which over 19,000 are just Nexon EVs. Now, the company has gone ahead and launched a more powerful version of the car called the Nexon EV MAX. It also gets many premium features not seen on the regular Nexon EV and more importantly the range has also gone up significantly. According to Tata Motors, the idea behind this new car is to enhance the appeal of EVs and expand the market with a new offering for customers who are looking for longer intercity travel.
The Nexon EV Max is equipped with a 40.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which means the battery capacity is 33% higher than the Nexon EV. It results in an ARAI certified range of 437 km (under standard testing conditions), which is approximately 125 km more than the Nexon EV. The EV produces 143 PS of power and delivers an instant torque of 250 Nm available at the push of the pedal, resulting in 0 to 100 kmph time of under 9 seconds. At the same time, you also get a car that is heavier than the Nexon EV and has a slightly lower ground clearance.
With Nexon EV MAX, Tata Motors is introducing a multi-mode regen feature which will help drivers to adjust the level of regenerative braking through switches on the floor console. Customers can choose between 4 regen levels based on the driving conditions: Level 0 with nil recuperative braking, going up to the highest Level 3 aiding single-pedal driving. This will help the user to get a higher range depending on the remaining charge and traffic conditions. The car also gets auto brake lamps which get activated once a certain level of regen is achieved, this helps to alert fellow motorists.
You also get 3 driving modes on the car—eco, city and sport. Plus there are eight new features on the upgraded ZConnect 2.0 connected car technology. This means the ZConnect app offers 48 connected car features. The feature list now covers smartwatch integration, auto/manual DTC check, setting a limit for charging, monthly vehicle reports and enhanced drive analytics.
The Nexon MAX also gets more safety features like ESP with i-VBAC (intelligent – Vacuum-less Boost & Active Control), hill hold, hill descent control, electronic parking brake with auto vehicle hold and all 4-disc brakes. Tata says its battery and motor pack are IP67 rated for a weather-proof and worry-proof performance. The battery and motor warranty of Nexon EV Max is 8 years or 160,000 km.
In terms of looks and design the Nexon EV MAX is just like the Nexon EV apart from the new Intensi-Teal you see in the pictures. You also have the daytona grey and pristine white options to choose from while dual-tone body colour will be offered as a standard. The cabin is much more premium and gets additions like a jewelled control knob with active mode display, all-new makarana beige interiors, leatherette seats with ventilation for front passengers, air purifier, wireless smartphone charging, auto-dimming IRVM and cruise control.
The Nexon EV Max is available in two trim options –XZ+ and XZ+ Lux. These will be available with options of a 3.3 kW charger or a 7.2 kW AC fast charger. The 7.2 kW AC fast charger can be installed either at home or at the workplace, which helps in reducing charging time to 6.5 hours. A 50 kW DC fast charger will charge the car from 0% to 80% in just 56 minutes. Prices begin at Rs 17.70 lakh which is Rs. 3.20 lakh more than the Nexon EV. The top-of-the-line XZ+ Lux with a 7.2 kW AC fast charger will set you back by Rs. 19.24 lakh (ex-showroom).
The author is a senior editor at carandbike.com
APPLE DISCONTINUES IPOD AFTER 20 YEARS, AVAILABLE ‘WHILE SUPPLIES LAST’
Apple has announced that it’s discontinuing the iPod Touch, and said that the product would be available ‘while supplies last.’
Confirming the announcement in a news post on Tuesday, the company said, “the spirit of iPod lives on” in all of its devices that play music, such as the iPhone, iPad, and HomePod Mini. The halt in sales of the last remaining model in Apple’s lineup of portable music players marks the end of an era.
First introduced 20 years ago, the original FireWire-equipped iPod model acted as just a portable music player, and Apple made models that were pretty much exclusively for listening to audio up until 2017, when it discontinued the iPod Nano and Shuffle.
While the iPod Touch has been embraced by some iPod enthusiasts as the new classic music player, it also found a following for those who wanted an iPhone-like experience but didn’t actually need a phone, reports The Verge.
Tony Fadell, one of the developers of the original iPod, mentioned in an interview with The Verge that the iPod team knew the iPhone could end up overtaking music players.
“It became very clear to us that there was a real threat from mobile phones, feature phones. They were starting to add music, MP3 playing, to the cell phones that they were shipping at the time,” he said.
The original iPod touch was released in 2007, the same year when the first iPhone had also released.
It has mostly the same hardware and software as the original iPhone, except for the calling features.
With Apple giving up on its iPod line, the tech giant is eager to direct its market audience toward its other products that offer music playback.
The halt in sales of the last remaining model in Apple’s lineup of portable music players marks the end of an era.
BABY S-CLASS: NEW-GENERATION MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS ARRIVES IN INDIA
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class is big on luxury, comfort and tech, and its prices start from Rs 55 lakh.
The C-Class has been an extremely successful car for Mercedes-Benz in India and has contributed significantly to the growth of the luxury car brand in the country. More than 37,000 units of the car have been already sold in our market till now and that is a big number for a luxury vehicle. Now the German carmaker has launched a new generation of the luxury car in India, one that it says it much more advanced than earlier in many ways. In fact, according to Mercedes the C-Class now in many ways is a “baby S-Class”.
Interior of the carThe New C Class
The new car clearly looks like the most stylish and exclusive C-Class ever. It follows the brand’s design philosophy of ‘Sensual Purity’ which also adds a bit of sportiness. There 2 are styling trims offer – Avant-Garde and AMG, the latter being available only on the top-of-the-line C 300d. This variant also exclusively gets Digital Light which has a light module with three extremely powerful LEDs in each headlamp, whose light is refracted and directed by 1.3 million micro-mirrors. The resolution is, therefore, more than 2.6 million pixels per vehicle. The C 300d also gets 18-inch, AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels while the other two variants – C 200 and C 220d get one size lesser wheels. All variants get Obsidian Black, Opalite White Bright and Cavansite Blue colour options while Mojave Silver, High-Tech Silver and Selenite Grey are available with C 200 and C 220d only. The car is now longer and wider than before while the wheelbase has also gone up which would mean more space in the cabin.
The cabin is where you realise just how close has the C-Class come to the S-class. The 11.9-inch touchscreen is loaded with features and is also tilted towards the driver by 6°– 7°. The car is equipped with NTG7, the latest generation MBUX that now gets more connect features and a “Hey Mercedes” voice command system. The C 300d exclusively gets a Burmester 3D to surround sound system. The car also gets Wireless smartphone integration and over-the-air updates where the software is always kept up-to-date. Then there is biometric authentication which helps the car remember your settings for seats, music, climate, etc. Car to X Communication technology has been adopted from S-Class, which is a ‘social network’ for Mercedes-Benz cars, where cars can talk to each other, ensuring more safety in real-time. In total there are 5 different hazard warnings that Mercedes-Benz cars capture and transmit within the network – rains, skidding, general warning, accident and winds. Mercedes is claiming more legroom, headroom, shoulder and elbow room for rear passengers on the new C-Class.
The new C-Class has been launched in three variants: C 200 (Petrol), C220d (Diesel) and C300d (Diesel). While the Petrol is a 1496 cc motor that makes 240 hp and 300 Nm, the C220d has a 1993 cc engine that churns out 200 hp and 440 Nm. On the C300d, the same engine makes 265 hp and 550 Nm and all the engines are paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The car also uses a 48V Integrated Starter Generator that helps in getting more power and torque along with better fuel efficiency. While the C 200 returns 16.9 kmpl, the C220d gives an impressive 23 kmpl. The C300d also isn’t too far behind at 20.37 kmpl.
The price for the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts from Rs. 55 lakhs for the C 200 while the C 200d will set you back by Rs. 56 lakhs. The C300d with its AMG line and some extra features has been priced at Rs. 61 lakhs (ex-showroom). Finance plans for the car starts from Rs. 60,000 per month with the flexible end of term options while service packages start from Rs. 85,000 for 3 years and unlimited km. The brand is claiming overwhelming customer response with more than 1000 confirmed bookings coming in even before the launch, the highest ever for a single Mercedes model in India. According to them the current waiting period on the car already extends to 2-3 months.
The author is a senior editor at carandbike.com
In total there are 5 different hazard warnings that Mercedes-Benz cars capture and transmit within the network: rains, skidding, general warning, accident and winds. Mercedes is claiming more legroom, headroom, shoulder and elbow room for rear passengers on the new C-Class.
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