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Samsung Galaxy M01s

Samsung Galaxy M01s, the rumoured follow-up to the M01 series which launched earlier in June, has been reportedly spotted in a Google Play Console listing. It says that the upcoming Galaxy M01s might be a rebranded version of Samsung Galaxy A10s. If the rumored model actually comes out as a rebranded Galaxy A10s, it can be expected to feature a 6.20-inch display, along with dual rear cameras. According to the reports, the rumoured Galaxy phone comes with the name “Samsung Galaxy M01sGalaxyA10s”. The listing shows specifications under the ‘a10s’ moniker including the octa-core MediaTek MT6762 SoC, the PowerVR GE8320 GPU, a 720×1,520 pixels display with 280ppi pixel density and 2GB of RAM. It also lists both Android 9 and 10, but as seen in the Wi-Fi Alliance listing of the rumoured Galaxy M01s, it may come with Android 9 out of the box.

Shinco S43UQLS 4K LED smart TV

Indian television brand Shinco has launched its latest television, the S43UQLS 43- inch 4KbHDR LED smart TV, for Rs 20,999. The product is currently available on the company’s official website shinco.in. It will also be sold on Amazon in India. Apart from 43-inch display, the television is a smart TV running on a custom interface based on Android 9, which supports the official versions of a number of popular apps and streaming devices like Hotstar, Zee5, Sony Liv, Jio Cinema, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video etc. The Shinco S43UQLS television has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage for apps, and each powered by an A55 quad-core processor. There are 3 HDMI ports two USB ports, and support for HDR up to the HDR10 format. The television has a rated audio output of 20W from its speakers, and supports dbx-tv audio technology.

Poco M2 Pro with quad rear camera

Poco M2 Pro is all set to launch in India on 7 July, the company has revealed through its official social media channels. Poco, which is a subbrand of Xiaomi in the country, has also sent out media invitation for the launch. Poco M2 Pro will be Poco’s second smartphone in the country this year, after X2 model launched in February. The new phone will come with a quad rear camera setup, as showcased in the launch teaser. It is suggested that Poco M20 Pro will come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC. It’s suggested that the new phone would come with Bluetooth v5.0 as well as dual-band Wi-FI connectivity options. It is likely that the Poco M2 Pro could just be a slightly tweaked version of the Redmi Note 9 Pro that was launched in India in March.

Oppo F15 4GB RAM

Oppo F15 may soon see a slightly toned down and more affordable variant with 4GB of RAM in India. As per new reports, Oppo plans on releasing the 4GB variant of F15 model in India in the first week of July. This rumoured new variant is said to cost less than Rs 18,000. Reports suggest, this new phone will have 4GB RAM, along with 128GB storage capacity. There is a quad rear camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.79 lens, an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.25 ultra-wide-angel lens, and two 2-megalpixel sensors for capturing portrait and monochrome shots, with f/2.4 lenses. For selfies, the Opportunity F15 has a 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 lens.

Thomson Oath Pro 4K Android TV

Thomson has launched its latest range in India, the Oath Pro series of Android TV-based televisions. This series is priced at Rs 24,999 onwards, and is available in three sizes — 43 inches, 55 inches and 65 inches. All these TVs in the range will have Ultra-HD resolution (3840×2160-pixel) screens, along with support for HDR up to Dolby Vision format. The television will go on sale on July on Flipkart. The smart TV supports HDR up to the Dolby Vision standard, along with Bluetooth 5.0 for remote, external audio and accessory connectivity. The series sports a design with thin bezels, a gold chin and gold table stands.

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Auto & Tech

MG Hector Plus: A new option for big Indian family

The third car from Morris Garages India, MG Hector Plus is an extension of the Hector SUV, with the big difference of having an extra row of seats in the latest one. Is it all about this?

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Morris Garages India has launched its third car in the Indian market in the form of the MG Hector Plus. This after making its India debut with the Hector in June 2019 and following it up with the ZS electric vehicle earlier this year. The Hector Plus is primarily based on the Hector, but the big difference is the presence of an extra row of seats. But that’s not all, when compared to the Hector the new car gets many changes on the exterior as well as the interior. It was first shown at the Delhi Auto Expo in February 2020 and its subsequent launch got delayed owing to the Covid-19 lockdown. Now, the SUV is finally here, so let’s tell you more about it.

LOOKS

Looking at the segment it comes in, the MG Hector was always big on dimensions. So when it added an extra row of seats inside they didn’t even have to increase the wheelbase of the Hector Plus. Yes, the length has gone up slightly, 65 mm to be precise, but that is because of the overhangs in the bumpers on the front and on the rear. The front grille remains the same, though the chrome surrounds have disappeared. Apart from this, the Hector Plus also gets freshly designed headlamps as well as daytime running lights. There’s also a new rear tail light design and revised skid plates. That’s enough to help you differentiate a Hector Plus from its smaller sibling. However, the 17 inch wheels, which used to look small even on the Hector, remain the same, making them look disproportionate to the overall size of the vehicle.

INTERIORS

The first thing you notice once you step inside the Hector Plus, apart from the 3 rows of seats of course, is the presence of captain seats on the second row. This wasn’t seen on the Hector and is a major ‘plus’, on the Hector plus, something that will ensure more comfort for the occupants. This also makes access to the third row easier, which just like most other 6/7 seaters is low on space. The company itself is saying that it is better suited for the children. It has also confirmed that a 7-seater version is on its way, which will have a bench seat on the second row. The other big difference is the new generation of the already popular i-smart touchscreen system, which takes a plethora of voice commands and also gets a chit-chat feature. The boot hatch in the Hector Plus can be opened by swiping your feet under the body of the vehicle.

ENGINE

 The MG Hector Plus has been launched in both petrol and diesel engine variants and the engines remain the same when compared to the MG Hector. The 1.5 litre Petrol engine comes in 2 iterations one of which is mild hybrid. It churns out 141 bhp and 250 Nm and comes with 6-speed manual or dual clutch transmission options. The mild hybrid however comes with just a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox. The diesel is a bigger, more powerful mill and also comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 2.0 litre engine delivers 168 bhp along with a peak torque of 350 Nm. But overall the number of trims has reduced when compared to the Hector SUV.

RIDE, HANDLING AND SAFETY

The Hector Plus is slightly heavier than the Hector and that has had a positive effect on the ride quality; it certainly has become better specially on the second row. Technically however the suspension hasn’t really been tinkered with. How it handles too largely remains the same and some bit of body roll is evident. When it comes to safety the car gets a lot of features as standard; this includes traction control, electronic brake force distribution, ABS, tyre pressure monitoring system, dual airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors, electric parking brake, electronic stability control and hill hold control. 6 airbags and a 360 degree camera are reserved for the top variants.

PRICES

The MG Hector Plus has been launched at a starting price of Rs 13.48 lakh (exshowroom, Delhi) for the Style Petrol manual variant. The DCT here comes in only the top 2 variants called Smart and Sharp which are priced at Rs 16.65 lakh and Rs 18.20 lakh respectively. The Hybrid has been offered only with the top variant and will set you back by Rs 17.29 lakh. The Diesel is available in all 4 trims which are priced between Rs 14.43 lakh and Rs 18.53 lakh. That is around Rs 60,000 more when compared to the Hector across variants. The company has said these prices will increase by up to Rs 50,000 after 13 August, 2020 depending on the trim level.

The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com.

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KIA SONET FIRST OFFICIAL IMAGE OUT, WORLD PREMIERE ON 7 AUGUST

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Kia Motors India revealed last week the first official design sketch of the productionready Sonet, and its world premiere will happen on 7 August. The concept version of Kia Sonet was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020. The Sonet will be Kia Motors’ second “Made in India” vehicle after the Seltos. With its arrival, Kia Sonet is expected to give competition to the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300 and Ford EcoSport. The Sonet’s price (ex-showroom) is expected to be between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 13 lakh. With the official image out, it is obvious that Sonet is quite similar in design to the concept version unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020. However, Kia Motors India has not revealed the details of the Sonet’s interiors yet. But the SUV is likely to come with a 10.25- inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, wireless phone charger, Bose premium audio system, among others.

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SMARTPHONES SET TO GET TOUGHER

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If you are one of those who keep tumbling their phones and get scratches on your smartphone’s screen, there is good news for you. Corning Inc, the American technology company that specialises in specialty glass, ceramics, and related materials, has announced the nextgeneration of protective glass for smartphones — Gorilla Glass Victus. The company calls it the “toughest glass” ever to be created for a gadget, one that can easily survive a drop from six feet of height.

The company claims that Victus provides significantly improved resistance to scratches and falling onto hard surfaces compared to competing glasses and even older Gorilla Glass generations.

The company has lab tested the Gorilla Glass Victus for taking falls from 6.5 feet straight onto hard and rough concrete. When it comes to repeated fall resistance, Corning says that the new Glass can withstand 20 3.2-feet drops on an average. This is 25% more than what Gorilla Glass 6 can offer from the same level of height.

Gorilla Glass is a very popular choice for smartphone displays and back covers. It has been designed into more than 8 billion devices by more than 45 major brands. Through the company’s Mobile Consumer Electronics (MCE) Market-Access Platform, Corning continues its legacy of innovation with its market-leading cover glasses as well as glass and optics for semiconductor products that enhance performance, deliver new connectivity features, enable new designs, and support immersive user experiences with augmented reality and 3D sensing.

According to research done by Corning in the three largest smartphone markets in the world (China, India and the United States), it has been discovered that durability is one of the most important purchase considerations for smartphones, second only to the device brand. The research found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for improved durability. In the research, durability has been rated twice as important when stacked against features like screen size, camera quality and device thinness.

To recall, the first Gorilla Glass was used by Steve Jobs on the first iPhone and ever since then, Gorilla Glass has become a key feature in smartphones by all the major smartphone makers.

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IPHONE SE: IS IT FOR EVERYONE?

Richa Kapoor

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Apple’s most affordable iPhone SE (2020) is a device which would be loved by those who have a strong inclination towards a good software phone. If you are one of those who buys a phone for its hardware, then it’s just a “blast from the past”.

LOOKS & DESIGN

The new iPhone SE 2020 looks identical to iPhone 8 and is slick and does carry Apple’s typical attention to detail. Even if you are someone who gets disappointed by size, you can’t complain about this phone’s build quality: 148 gm in weight and just 7.3 mm thick, this is a small phone, and it’s very easy to use with just one hand. The front and rear are all glass with an aluminium frame. The product does have an IP67 rating for water resistance.

The device comes with a 4.7-inch screen with a large bezel top; and with conventional looks, this phone can be dissatisfying for a few. Available in 3 colours (black, white and red), but after looking at the red iPhone which we were offered for a review, our first reaction was that when you looked at the phone it appeared the build and the design quality weren’t negotiated at all.

CAMERA

You get only one 12-megapixel f/1.8 rear camera and 7-megapixel f/2.2 front camera, which might leave a bit disappointed. The device comprises good and new software and an old hardware, the sensor and specs are the same as that of the iPhone 8. The A13 Bionic SoC helps you get that zing in the camera department. You get all the modes, from portrait mode with manually variable depth and studio lighting effects using software, smart HDR, extended dynamic range in video, to selfie video stabilisation.

The daytime photography is a delight to the eye and would astonish many what a single 12MP is capable of. Unfortunately, quality wasn’t as good at night. What won my heart was the video quality. The recording goes up to 4K at 60fps, video quality was excellent, with smooth stabilisation even when we were moving around, the video at night was far more delightful than the pictures. For the front camera you get portrait lighting and variable aperture effects, and no beauty mode (I like that).

The camera setup wouldn’t be a personal pick for a lot of buyers who look for a higher sensor and love beauty mode. But all those people who appreciate a good software and hardware mix and disapprove of beauty mode (like myself) would give a thumbs up to the camera section.

THE USP

The USP of the iPhone SE (2020) is Apple’s current-gen A13 Bionic processor which is capable of on-device machine learning. This is the same chip that has been used in the far more expensive iPhone 11 Pro. This clearly shows that Apple is looking at giving a certain level of performance and feature to this product. There is simply no doubt about how powerful this processor is. When you glide through some apps on the device you will understand how well the processor is mated with the device.

PRICE

This is Apple’s most affordable iPhone starting from Rs 41,000. Well for many it is the most affordable iPhone which comes with a smartest chipset. For others it is still too steep and looks like an old iPhone 8.

 FINAL VERDICT

So is the iPhone SE (2020) for everyone? Maybe not! It is a device for those who look for an iPhone which is small and handy, matted to an excellent software and even if it is old school it is still modern in the ways it is needed to be. For all those people who want a big screen to view content and play games and the hardware is the real character for what you judge a smartphone, then the iPhone SE (2020) is not for you. For someone who wants an Apple device and doesn’t want to spend a lot, this is the device for you and it wouldn’t disappoint you at all.

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ONEPLUS NORD: A REAL GAME-CHANGER

Richa Kapoor

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The newest entrant in the list of mid-range smartphones is the OnePlus Nord which has the maximum 6 cameras in the OnePlus device and can be called a ‘flagship camera setup’.

CAMERA

There are a total six cameras on the handset, four at the rear and two at the front. The main camera on the rear is the same as the flagship phone — the OnePlus 8. It’s a 48 megapixels Sony IMX586 sensor (with EIS and OIS image stabilisation) teamed with a f/1.57 lens, which can take 48MP images, although 12MP is its default setting.

The smartphone comprises a 5MP depth sensor, 2MP macro-camera, and an 8MP, 119-degree ultra wide angle for landscape shots. The main 32MP, f/2.45 snapper at the front is accompanied by an 8MP, 105- degree ultra wide camera. Shooting modes which are available on the device include portrait, nightscape, super macro and pro, plus Full HD, slow-motion video capture at 240fps and 4K recording at 30fps.

BATTERY

OnePlus Nord comes with a 4,115mAh power pack with support for Warp Charge 30 charging, which should get you from 0% to 70% in 30 minutes using the bundled cable and power adapter in the box. There is no wireless charging support.

LOOKS AND DESIGN

 The Nord comes with a premium design which has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display, 20:9 aspect ratio, full HD+(2400×1080 resolution), 90Hz refresh rate for fluid scrolling with a metal frame and gorilla glass both at the front and rear.

 It is a bit smaller than the OnePlus 8 making it a good one-hand use device. It measures 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm and weighs 184g. The power/lock key is placed on the right, the volume rocker sits on the opposite side, while on the base you’ll find a centralized USB-C port and the dual SIM card port. There’s no headphone jack on the OnePlus Nord and the phone is available in two colours– Gray Onyx and Blue Marble. We get a good screen on the handset with minimal bezel, with just a punch-hole and the dual selfie camera that it houses. Nord is of course not a curvy device like the OnePlus 8, but it still doesn’t feel chunky. It gets a clear and bright display. Nord supports face unlock, and it can combine both biometric security features for faster unlocking.

 THE USP

The phone comes with 5G support and a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor with 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB storage options You get Google’s Android 10 operating system, overlaid with OnePlus Oxygen OS 10.5.

 PRICE

The OnePlus Nord starts at Rs 24,999 for the base 6GB RAM/64GB variant, which will be made available in September. The 8GB RAM/128GB storage and 12GB RAM/256GB storage variants are priced at Rs 27,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively. They will be made available from 4 August via Amazon and the company’s own website.

FINAL VERDICT

The first impression of OnePlus Nord has been positive. Device gets a great camera setup, flagship styling and design and above all competitive pricing. Real test will only happen when we do a full review; however , with its first look, the device leaves us impressed.

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The big, powerful & loaded Audi RS7 arrives in India

With a range of personalisation options, the RS7 is available as a wide-bodied five-seater and delivers improved performance along with enhanced efficiency. But is it worth Rs 1.94 crore?

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The Audi RS7 is the kind of car that makes sportscar enthusiasts go weak in the knees. The car was on sale in India in the first generation and now the German luxury carmaker has launched the sportback in a brand new second generation at a cost that again is not for the weak-hearted. With a range of personalisation options, the RS7 starts at Rs 1.94 crore (ex-showroom). Audi says it is now available as a wide-bodied five-seater and delivers improved performance along with enhanced efficiency delivered by a mild hybrid system. But is it worth that exorbitant price tag? Well sit back, read further on and decide for yourself.

Looks

This car has got some broad shoulders and distinctive roofline that lend it an athletic stance. The flat, singleframe grille features a threedimensional honeycomb mesh and the car also gets LED headlamps with dynamic indicators as standard or HD Matrix LED headlamps with laser lights as option. On the profile flared wheel arches and low stance give it an aggressive race car look. High-performance impression is also accentuated by RS-specific door sills with black inlays. The brake calipers are painted in black as standard or red upon request. There’s a lot of drama on the rear with the strip of lights getting an impressive design. The RS-specific oval exhaust pipes and rear bumper with diffuser add to the sportiness. A powered spoiler is there too which automatically extends from the tail-gate when speeds cross 100 km/h. A panoramic sunroof though only comes as an option on the car.

Interiors

According to Audi the idea is to make the cabin look sporty and futuristic. What you cannot miss are the special RS displays that use the Audi virtual cockpit to provide details of tyre pressure, torque, performance, oil temperature, boost pressure, lap times, acceleration, and G-forces. A flat-bottomed, fully perforated RS Sport leather steering wheel sports new large RS aluminium shift paddles. The driver can use steering buttons to enable the new Audi drive select RS1 and RS2 modes. This automatically opens the RS-specific displays in the Audi virtual cockpit. A standard B&O sound system features a 3D front surround system and 16 speakers with a 705 W output. RS sport seats upholstered with black pearl Nappa leather or RS Sport Seats covered with Valcona leather are available as options. Offered with five seats for the first time, the car has luggage capacity of 535 litres, which can be increased to 1,390 litres with the split rear seat backs folded down.

Engine

The real magic is surely in the heart of the RS7 and most will buy this car purely for this reason. The loud and fast 4.0 L twin-turbo TFSI petrol V8 engine produces 600 bhp and delivers 800 Nm torque. It works with an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission with optimized shift times. The car races from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds and while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h; this can be increased to 280 km/h with the optional dynamic package and to 305 km/h with the RS dynamic plus package. Mild Hybrid System (MHEV) comes with a 48-volt main on-board electrical system and this does help in slightly better fuel efficiency. To make it even better, in higher gears at low to medium loads and engine speeds, 4 cylinders automatically deactivate to save some more fuel. And finally the famed Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is there too and also includes launch control function.

Ride & Handling

The RS7 gets five-link front and rear axles with standard RS adaptive air suspension which can be set to three modes, and can also be set on automatic level control. Dynamic all-wheel steering, high performance RS ceramic brakes and RS sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) come as options and promise to take the fun quotient to a new level. Depending on traction, up to 70% drive force can flow to the front wheels and up to 85% to the back wheels. Wheel-selective torque control optimises handling through bends, it provides power to the wheels that need it when cornering.

 Verdict

The five-seater RS7 combines a striking coupé-like grand tourer look with everyday practicality. It is loaded with technology where the main aim to make sure the driver enjoys the experience every single time she takes to the wheel. If the car is already not exclusive enough there are a host of optional extras, as mentioned earlier, that provide even more exclusivity. But in that case be ready to shell out some more money, maybe a lot more money. Audi has confirmed that the RS7 isn’t the only RS model scheduled for 2020, which means you can hope to save some money and still get the RS experience.

The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com.

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