The call for ‘Make in India’ products started in 2014 and over the past seven years, we have seen a massive amount of products being made in India. The China ban has also helped by increasing the demand for Indian products. The product I review today is from one such company, Mivi, which is a Hyderabad-based company). The product in question is the Mivi Collar 2 wireless earphones.
Inside the box, you’ll find the Mivi Collar 2 wireless neck band, two pairs of silicone ear tips (one pair comes pre-installed on the neck band), a micro USB port cable to charge the band, user manual, a craftsman’s note with details on the making of the product, a welcome note from the founders, and warranty registration instructions.
The Mivi Collar looks like most other wireless neck bands, with functional buttons on the sides. The left side of the neck band has the volume rockers with the power/MFB (multi-function button) to the device switch on or off. The micro USB port sits next to it, which helps charge the device. The right side has the Mivi branding printed on it.
This neck band comes in six vibrant colors, blue, black, red, orange, green and grey. The product is lightweight and comfortable and the built quality is good.
The Mivi Collar 2 Wireless Neck Band comes with Bluetooth 5.0. A key feature is that the neck band comes with dual pairing, so you can connect your laptop and phone simultaneously.
The neck band also comes with a IPx7 rating which means it is a device with level 7 water resistance and can survive (without any damage) immersion in water of up to 1m (approx. 3ft) for up to 30 minutes.
AUDIO AND CALL QUALITY
Mivi claims that these neck bands have HD Stereo Lossless Audio. They come with a built-in MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical System) mic which gives a crystal-clear call experience. You can also use or enable Google Assistant and Siri with this product. However, listening to music was an average experience with this device. It does the work but there is nothing out of the box.
The Mivi Collar 2 Wireless Neck Band provides ten hours of play time (at mid volume) after 10 minutes of charging, as claimed by the brand. For a full charge, you would need to give it around 40 minutes.
The Mivi Collar 2 Wireless Neck Band, priced under Rs. 2000, is a Made-in-India product with good battery life, good built quality and clear call quality. But it lacks noise cancellation, which its competition provides, and comes with micro USB charging which might be outdated for a few consumers. The earbuds also tend to fall out while working out. However, priced at a competitive cost and ticking the right boxes, the Mivi Collar 2 Wireless Neck Band can be a good choice for many who now want to indulge in Made in India products only.
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FIRST LOOK: NEW DEVICES ANNOUNCED AT APPLE’S SPRING EVENT
Apple’s big spring announcement saw four new devices, the AirTag device tracker, Apple TV 4K, and the new iMac and iPad Pro both powered by the M1 chipset. The company also launched the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini in purple colour. It also announced a revamped Apple Podcasts app which will now offer podcast hosts to charge a subscription fee as an option.
It’s time for another add on in the iPad collection, the all-new 12.9-inch iPad Pro was launched which the company claims is its most powerful and advanced iPad to date. It runs on an Apple-designed M1 chip that makes it the fastest device of its kind. The iPad Pro features a new Liquid Retina XDR display. It now includes support for Thunderbolt. iPad Pro also gets an all-new ultra-wide front camera. The company has also launched an 11-inch iPad Pro. The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space grey finishes. The iPad Pro is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB configurations. The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 71,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 85,900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 99,900 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 11,3900 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Apple iPhone 12 & Mini get a purple splash option now. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini in purple colour are priced at Rs 79,900 and Rs 69,900 respectively.
Apple also introduced an all-new iMac featuring a thin design, enabled by the M1 chip. It features a 24-inch 4.5K retina display with 11.3 million pixels and 500 nits of brightness. The iMac includes a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, mics, and a six-speaker sound system. Also, Touch ID comes to iMac for the first time. It joins the incredible family of Mac models powered by M1 including MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. It is available in an array of colours: green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver.
The specifications of the iMac:
1. Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 256GB storage, 8GB memory, Magic keyboard: Rs 1,19,900
2. Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 256GB storage, 8GB memory, additional 2x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID: Rs 1,39,900
3. Apple M1 chip, 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 512GB storage, 8GB memory, additional 2x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID: Rs1,59,900
A set of fun accessories have also been introduced by Apple. AirTag helps keep track of and find the items that matter most with Apple’s Find My app. Whether attached to a handbag, keys, backpack, or other items, it taps into the vast, global Find My network1 and can help locate a lost item. AirTags have precision-etched polished stainless steel and are IP67 water- and dust-resistant. A built-in speaker plays sounds to help locate AirTag while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery. AirTag features the same setup experience as AirPods—just bring AirTag close to the iPhone and it will connect. AirTag can be purchased in one and four packs for Rs 3,190 and Rs 10,900, respectively, and will be available beginning from 30 April.
The second-generation Apple Pencil was also introduced and is priced at Rs 10,900. The Magic Keyboard for the new iPad Pro will be available in black and white at Rs 27,900 for the 11-inch iPad Pro and Rs 31,900 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with layouts for over 30 languages.
The Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available at Rs 15,900 for the 11-inch iPad Pro, and Rs 17,900 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. The Smart Folio for the new iPad Pro is available in five colours at Rs 7,500 for the 11-inch iPad Pro, and Rs 9,900 for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Apple announced the next generation of Apple TV 4K, delivering high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision. Apple TV 4K gets the A12 Bionic chip. There’s an all-new design Siri Remote on Apple TV with intuitive navigation controls. The new Apple TV 4K will be available starting at Rs 18,900.
The all-new Siri Remote features a clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy and is touch-enabled for directional swipes. It comes in a one-piece aluminium design. The Siri Remote will be available separately for Rs 5,800 and is compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.
WORLD CAR AWARDS 2021: THE BEST OF BEST ANNOUNCED
An electric car becomes the World Car of The Year 2021; Volkswagen ID.4 bags the top honour.
NEW DELHI: The 2021 World Car Awards, which celebrate the best cars around the globe, were announced in a virtual event on Tuesday night. This time around the awards specially recognised the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and applauded the industry for rising to the many challenges it has faced. Ninety-three distinguished international journalists from 28 countries make up the World Car Awards jury panel. This year cars across 5 categories were nominated—World Car of the Year, Urban Car of the Year, Performance Car of the Year, Luxury Car of the Year and the World Car Design of the Year.
Volkswagen ID.4Mercedes-Benz S ClassPorsche 911Honda eLand Rover Defender
WORLD CAR OF THE YEAR
For the fifth time in the history of World Car Awards, a Volkswagen took home the coveted trophy, but it was rather unique. Beating the likes of Honda e and the Toyota Yaris, it was Volkswagen ID.4 which became the first electric car from the brand to win the award. This year’s winner was chosen from an initial entry list of 24 vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists was announced. Vehicles eligible for the World Car of the Year award must be produced in volumes of at least 10,000 units per year, must be priced below the luxury-car level in their primary markets, and must be “on-sale” in at least two major markets, on at least two separate continents, between 1 May 2020 and 1 May 2021.
URBAN CAR OF THE YEAR
The Honda e was chosen from an initial entry list of seven cars from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists was announced. The top three in this category were the Honda e, the Honda Jazz/Fit and the Toyota Yaris. In this category apart from the conditions mentioned above, vehicles must be a maximum of 4.20 metres in overall length and be approved for operation on public roads. The electric hatchback was launched in Europe last year and its retro design theme and modern technology have really made the car popular in many markets where it is sold. It remains to be seen if Honda gets the hatchback to India.
PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR
The Porsche 911 Turbo emerged as the winner in this category beating the likes of Audi RS Q8 and the Toyota GR Yaris. This is the eighth World Car Award bagged by Porsche, making it one of the most awarded brands by WCOTY. The new-gen Porsche 911 Turbo is much more powerful than its previous generation. The 3,745 cc six-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine makes about 572 bhp and 750 Nm. Both are 40 bhp and 40 Nm more than the previous generation. It takes just 2.8 seconds for the car to reach speeds of 100 kmph from zero and even that is 0.2 seconds quicker than before.
LUXURY CAR OF THE YEAR
It is rather difficult to beat the ‘best car in the world’ wherever it is nominated. This is the fourth World Luxury Car win for Mercedes-Benz and the second time that the S-Class has won the title in the World Car Awards’ 17-year history. It was chosen from an initial entry list of ten cars from all over the world, then a short list of three finalists were announced. Apart from the winner, the other finalists were the Land Rover Defender and the Polestar 2. The new generation S-Class gets a more attractive design, along with many new features and the latest generation of Mercedes’ MBUX system. The car which made its global debut in September last year, will likely be launched in India later this year.
CAR DESIGN OF THE YEAR
The iconic Land Rover Defender took home the award for the car design of the year. This is the sixth World Car Design of the Year win for Jaguar Land Rover. No other manufacturer has received as many design awards in the history of these awards. The World Car Design of the Year category, and the corresponding award, are meant to highlight new vehicles with innovation and style that push established boundaries. This year, the cars eligible for the 2021 World Car Design of the Year award encompassed all the contenders competing in the other four award categories. These were the Honda e and the Mazda MX30.
SAMSUNG MAY TIE UP WITH OLYMPUS FOR CAMERAS FOR ITS NEW PHONES
Washington: Samsung may collaborate with Japanese optical products company Olympus to create camera modules for the next generation of Galaxy smartphones, as per a report. As indicated by Mashable, there is no confirmation from one or the other company on the turn of events, but it is being claimed that the cameras delivered by Olympus may debut in either a special edition Galaxy Fold or the flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra. The Japanese company allegedly moved toward the South Korean tech giant to offer branding as well as expertise in key areas of photography and videography. The discussions are supposed to be at the initial stage. Tipster Yogesh tweeted that Samsung could be the next brand to hop on the cart of partnering with a reputed camera brand for its smartphones. Mashable cited a later report by ‘Tom’s Guide France’ that asserted that insiders ‘FrontTron’ and ‘Ice Universe’ confirming that Samsung and Olympus could work together for future smartphone camera tech. This partnership could allow Samsung to improve its smartphones’ camera quality. Due to the lack of official confirmation, this information can’t be confirmed.
XIAOMI TO LAUNCH THREE TABLETS; ONE OF THEM TO HAVE SNAPDRAGON 860 CHIP
New Delhi: Covid-19 has given a new lease of life to small screen for online classes, content streaming and office-related work. No wonder, a number of manufacturers are lining up to make their mark in this segment. The latest to join the list is Xiaomi, which is planning to launch as many as three tablets this year. All these tablets will be powered by Qualcomm 8-series processors and at least one of them can have Snapdragon 860 chip which was recently used on the Poco X3 Pro. The three tablets are believed to be codenamed with model numbers K81, K81A, and K82 respectively. These three tablets are expected to have IPS displays with a 2560 x 800 resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. These displays will have a brightness level of 410 nits. While one of these tablets are expected to have 48-megapixel main camera, the other two may feature 12-megapixel primary lens. All three will have four rear cameras that include an ultrawide camera, a macro camera, and a depth camera.
ACER NITRO 5 WITH 11TH GEN INTEL TIGER LAKE CPU LAUNCHED AT RS 69,999
New Delhi: Acer has launched one more gaming laptop in India and this one comes is aimed to lure casual gamers. Named Acer Nitro 5, the laptop starts retailing at Rs 69,999 and carries highlights like the latest 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card. Nitro 5 comes with some promising specifications for gamers, including a 144Hz refresh rate for blur-free gaming, a 3ms response time and an internal heat dissipation technology named CoolBoost to keep the laptop from overheating. Price at Rs 69,999, the Acer Nitro 5 variant is powered by the new 11th-gen Intel Core i5. Coupled to this is an 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD configuration. Nitro 5 comes with a 15.6-inch IPS display that features a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution. In addition, it boasts of a 144Hz refresh rate along with a 3ms response time and 300 nits peak brightness.
OPPO A35 WITH 13-MEGAPIXEL TRIPLE CAMERAS LAUNCHED
New Delhi: Oppo has launched a new smartphone in its low-cost A-series. The phone is called A35, and has been launched in China. This, however, is not a new phone. It is only a rebranded avatar of the A15s that arrived in India back in December. The Oppo A35 seems like an entry-level smartphone that is not much big on specifications, but it is suitable for people who do not want much from their phone. The colour options of the Oppo A35 are Ice Jade White, Glass Black, and Mist Sea Blue. Oppo has not announced the price of the A35 smartphone yet. However, the A15s, which is the same phone as the A35, costs Rs 11,490 on Amazon. Oppo A35 is a low-end smartphone. There is a 6.52-inch HD+ IPS LCD on the phone with a 60Hz refresh rate, a 20:9 aspect ratio, a 296 PPI pixel density, and 480 nits of brightness. The smartphone uses a MediaTek Helio P35 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. You can add a microSD card of up to 256GB on the phone if you need more storage.
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