Homegrown Auto major Mahindra’s biggest claim to fame always has been to make rugged SUVs that can take on the tough challenges thrown at them by the punishing Indian roads. The Bolero has been acing this task for decades and has consistently been the company’s largest selling car for years. Adding to the Bolero’s portfolio is the Bolero Neo, a new sub-4-metre SUV from the company which essentially is the refreshed version of the TUV300. Clearly, Mahindra believes the Bolero name will give the car greater success than what it has been able to achieve till now.
The silhouette of the 7-seater SUV pretty much reminds me of the TUV300 but take a closer look and there’s a lot that differentiates the two. The vertical slat grille gets a generous amount of chrome and truly stands out. The bumpers get more curves and lesser edges which makes for a slightly more premium look. The imposing stance is helped further with static bending headlamps that also come with DRLs. What catches your attention first is the body cladding that runs across the door handles from the front to the rear. Square wheel arches with cladding and a side-step also add to the SUV character while the 15-inch alloy wheels add a bit of premiumness. A sporty spoiler and the spare wheel mounted on the door make up for an otherwise ordinary-looking rear. In all, there are seven colours to choose from — rocky beige, majestic silver, highway red, pearl white, diamond white, napoli black, and royal gold.
The cabin is designed by the Italian giant Pininfarina which is now owned by Mahindra. And it is definitely more likeable than before. Premium fabric seats are also better than earlier while the driver’s seat can be adjusted for height. The front two rows get a centre armrest while the twin-pod instrument cluster is mostly analogue but gets a small display at the centre that gives some useful information. The familiar seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, seen on many other cars from the brand, is here too and responds well to your needs. Mahindra’s Blue sense mobile app also helps you in accessing the system and control some of its functions. What’s missing here is a rear parking camera and the car just gets reverse parking sensors. The third row gets side facing seats that shockingly come without seat belts. With a lack of proper space, it will be better to use the third row more for luggage storage. The car gets a boot space of 384 litres.
The Bolero Neo is built on third generation chassis shared with Scorpio and Thar and it comes with the all too familiar Mahindra mHawk engine. The 1.5-litre engine makes around 100 bhp and 260 Nm of torque that is an improvement of around 20 Nm when compared to the BS4 engine. It is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and for the time being, Mahindra is only offering the Neo with this option and there is no automatic model. The car certainly has a go-anywhere set-up, thanks to the body on frame construction, rear-wheel drive and multi-terrain technology. This mechanical locking differential gives the wheels more traction and is engaged when one wheel loses traction and the difference between the two wheels is around 100 rpm. This doesn’t make the car an all-wheel-drive vehicle but will bail you out from tricky situations. For enhanced fuel efficiency, there’s a micro hybrid setup with a start-stop function along with an eco mode.
SAFETY & PRICE
The Bolero Neo gets safety technology such as standard dual airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD), and cornering brake control (CBC). The SUV also gets an ISOfix child seat mount but it is not a standard feature. There are three variants of offer: N4, N8, and N10 while N10 optional comes with multi-terrain technology. Prices start at Rs 8.48 lakh and go up to Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom) for the N10. The price of N10(O) has still not been revealed. Mahindra says, with the launch of Neo, the Bolero SUV portfolio would now have the existing Bolero and the new SUV. So, both the urban and rural can take their pick can pick their choice of wheels.
The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com
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LOGITECH G435 LIGHTSPEED WIRELESS GAMING HEADSET: IT’S ECO-FRIENDLY AND COMFORTABLE TO WEAR
Logitech well known for its gaming accessory have recently launched The Logitech G435 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Headset available in some real fun colors the wireless headset are not just lightweight and comfortable but are easy on your pocket and sustainable. They will be a good pick for a young gamer but is it a real performance winner let’s find out.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless come in exciting a vibrant color option making the headset stand out. They have angular and squarish ear cups, soft and breathable memory ear foams, and a headband with a cutaway middle. G435 are carbon neutral and very lightweight. Something that Logitech is trying to achieve with these G435. Its ear foams are soft and breathable enough to keep your head nice and dry. The G435 is made with recycled plastic, comes in responsible packaging, and has been certified Carbon Neutral.
All the buttons are also well placed. Having the power volume up, volume down, and mic mute are all well placed on the left side.
PERFORMANCE & AUDIO:
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless is a gaming headset and what is most important for a gaming headset is the audio quality & performance. Logitech promises its ear foams will keep you cool and comfortable while absorbing sound waves to isolate you from outside noise when playing. The passive noise cancellation doesn’t help as much as you would have expected. The bass quality is good, but you will find a miss while playing games when the pitch is high.
Therefore, the gaming might miss out on audio delight experience. Which is good but could have been better.
You can charge your wireless headset with the included USB- C cable. The headset can go on for over 17 hours with a single charge.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Logitech G435 Wireless Gaming Headset is available for sale at INR 7,495 on Amazon.in and retail stores.
Logitech G435 Lightspeed Wireless are a perfect bet for a young gamer. They look cool come in some real fun colors. They are comfortable and above all eco-friendly.
They are pocket friendly the real downside is audio which I will still say is good but could have been better.
In terms of performance the headset does count to be a winner.
Mic sound could have been better
No app support
ŠKODA KODIAQ 7-SEATER SUV IS THE FIRST BIG CAR LAUNCH OF 2022
The SUV has changed when it comes to engine, chassis, driving dynamics, safety, in-cabin entertainment, connectivity, comfort and luxury features.
Škoda Kodiaq was first launched in India 4 years ago and now the SUV has made a comeback in the BS6 era. According to brand, the SUV has changed when it comes to engine, chassis, driving dynamics, safety, in-cabin entertainment, connectivity, comfort and luxury features. The car is now available in showrooms across the country, at a starting price of ₹ 34.99 lacs (ex-showroom, pan India). It is available only as a 7-seater in Style, SportLine and Laurin & Klement variants.
Škoda Kodiaq interior.
With its redesigned front and rear and a hexagonal grille, the new Kodiaq looks a little more rugged than before. It features a new bonnet, the front and rear bumpers are now body-coloured, and the head and taillight clusters have new cosmetic and functional additions to them. The headlights have the ŠKODA Crystalline LEDs with illuminated eyelashes and dynamic turn indicators at the rear. There’s also a new rear spoiler design and all variants get 18 alloy wheels.
The Style and Laurin & Klement variants focus on the rear seat luxury with stone beige leather perforated upholstery for the L&K, with more chrome inside and outside. The SportLine has a more driver-oriented appeal with all black suedia interiors, a 3-spoke flat-bottom sport steering wheel, more side bolstering, integrated headrests, and expanded shoulder support sport seats for better cornering. There are 12-way adjustable electric seats with in-built cooling and heating in the L&K. The car is equipped in options of a three or two-spoke steering wheel, ambient lighting along with a Canton 625 W 12-speaker audio system with a subwoofer. Besides, you can remotely open and shut windows, door mirrors and the all-new panoramic sunroof.
The new Kodiaq is equipped with a 20.32 cm infotainment touchscreen equipped with inbuilt navigation and full connectivity via the MyŠKODA CONNECT App. You also get USB C ports, 12V socket as well as wireless charging, and support for wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Style variant comes with 4 analogue dials and digital readouts displaying essential information to the driver. The SportLine and L&K trims come with a Virtual Cockpit with digital dials and a digital console that complements the 26.03 cm media interface with five themes to suit the driver’s needs.
The Kodiaq also offers a power nap package with a blanket, allowing passengers to have a relaxed and comfortable experience. You also get a ticket-holder in the A-pillar, illuminated and cooled glovebox, dashboard storage, and the easy grip mat for the front bottle holder. The car gets 270 litres of boot space with seven seats up and with the last row seats folded down, 630 litres of storage is on offer. This becomes 2005 litres with all five seats in the rear folded down. A virtual pedal with the electric tailgate allows users to open and close the rear boot with just a swing of the leg.
At the heart of the all new Kodiaq is the 2.0 TSI engine that does duty on many cars in the VW family. It makes 190 PS and 320Nm, which allows the car to accelerate to 100kph in 7.8 seconds. Skoda says a progressive steering enhances the driving dynamics of the SUV a sit flexes its forces depending on driving conditions and vehicle speed, making the car easy to manoeuvre at slow speeds and offering the driver better control at higher speeds.
In addition, the first-in-segment Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) offered in the L&K, allows the driver to select between Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sports, Snow and Individual driving modes. At the heart of the DCC are dual-shell, gas-liquid shock absorbers mated to an Electronic Control Unit that constantly monitors terrain and provides optimum damping characteristics to each shock absorber lending smooth and consistent ride and handling characteristics allowing this full-size SUV pack in agile, car-like dynamics.
Apart from a total of 9 airbags standard, the Kodiaq also gets adaptive front headlights, automatic dimming exterior mirror (on driver side) and defogging across all transparent surfaces, electronic, mechanical and hydraulic brake assist, stability control, multi-collision braking and park assist with hands free parking among others. In addition, the flagship L&K packs in hill descent control and a 360-degree camera as standard.
The Kodiaq is first of many cars that the Czech automaker plans to launch in India this year. Next in line is the hugely anticipated Slavia sedan that will launch in the March. The brand says it has a firm strategy in place to make 2022 its biggest year in India, since its entry into the country.
SAMSUNG ANNOUNCES ODYSSEY NEO G8, WORLD’S FIRST 4K 240HZ MONITOR
SEOUL: South Korean tech giant Samsung today unveiled three new models of its monitor line-up for 2022. All of these are slated to be officially announced during CES 2022 from January 5-7 in Las Vegas.
According to GSM Arena, the first of these new monitors is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8. This is a 32-inch display with the world’s first 4K 240Hz panel. It also features a 1000R curvature and Quantum Mini LED backlighting. The mini LED backlighting system uses units that are 1/40th the size of conventional LED units.
With Samsung’s Quantum Matrix and Quantum HDR 2000 technologies, the display can achieve up to 2000 nits of peak brightness in HDR content with 4096 step backlight adjustment.
The monitor also supports dual HDMI 2.1 ports and a single DisplayPort 1.4 connection. The Auto Source Switch+ feature will automatically change sources when a connected device is powered on. The CoreSync feature adjusts the RGB lighting on the back of the monitor to match the contents of the screen.
The next model is the Smart Monitor M8, which features a webcam that works with the built-in Google Duo app. The monitor also comes pre-installed with apps for streaming services, letting you use the monitor as a smart TV without having to connect to a source device.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S21 FE 5G WITH 120HZ AMOLED DISPLAY, ANDROID 12 LAUNCHED
SEOUL [SOUTH KOREA]: South Korean tech giant Samsung didn’t wait long to announce something in 2022. The Galaxy S21 FE 5G is finally here. The company shared the phone’s launch announcement on its Twitter handle. “The Fan Edition is back: the new #GalaxyS21FE 5G, with all the things you love, so you can experience your everyday passions to the absolute fullest,” the tweet read.
Upfront the Galaxy S21 FE 5G has a 6.4-inch 2340x1080px AMOLED that runs at 120Hz with a touch sampling rate of 240Hz, reported GSM Arena. Processing is done by a Snapdragon 888, which comes with 5G capabilities. There are four cameras on the Galaxy S21 FE 5G – a 32MP fixed-focus f/2.2 selfie shooter and a 0.5x-1x-3x combo on the rear. Those are a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 12MP 1/1.76-inch f/1.8 main camera with OIS, and an 8MP f/2.4 stabilized 3x tele.
The Galaxy S21 FE 5G is loaded with shooting modes – Night mode takes up to 14 images to combine into a multi-frame single image, there’s Multi-camera recording that can combine the front and rear wide cameras in a single video.
AI face restoration uses deep learning to enhance textures in the eyebrows and lips. And Object Eraser works just like Magic Eraser on the Pixel 6 series, allowing you to get rid of straggle objects in your images.
VIVO V23 PHONES LAUNCH IN INDIA
NEW DELHI: The much-anticipated Vivo’s V23 series was launched in India on Wednesday with its V23 Pro and V23 smartphones.
As per GSM Arena, the highlight of both phones is their design and selfie cameras – both combine metal with glass, but the V23 has flat sides, while the Pro features a dual-curved design. Both phones employ Fluorite AG Glass, which is said to provide a soft, matte finish to the surface of the glass. The V23 phones in Stardust Black or the special Sunshine Gold, which can change their colour when exposed to direct sunlight for up to 5 to 6 minutes.
The Vivo V23 Pro has 3D curved front and back glass and a thinner frame. Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, it’s the faster phone. It comes with 128GB or 256GB of storage.
The Pro’s display is a bigger 6.56-inch 1080p AMOLED, running at 90Hz. The battery has a 4,300mAh capacity and support for up to 44W charging.
There are five cameras on the Vivo V23 Pro – a 50MP wide camera with eye autofocus support, and an 8MP ultrawide camera sit on the front. On the rear, there’s a triple setup with a 108MP main, 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro units.
The Vivo V23 has a smaller 6.44-inch 1080p 90Hz AMOLED display and a slightly smaller 4,200mAh battery – once again with 44W charging.
Reportedly, the chip of choice is the MediaTek Dimensity 920, while RAM and storage options are the same as 8/128GB and 12/256GB.
THE LAST EDITION BUDS PRO ARE THE BEST WIRELESS BUDS ONEPLUS CAN OFFER
OnePlus might have joined the bandwagon of wireless earphones a bit later than the others but have been very good in catching up. The last edition Buds Pro are the best wireless buds the company can offer. They are expensive in comparison to their predecessors but are they really the best let’s find out.
In terms of design OnePlus might have had a standard design element but with the Buds Pro that has changed, the earpieces and charging case look quite unlike the company’s older products. They have kept a very cool matte- gloss combination for the earpiece and charging case.
The earpiece casings have a neat matte black finish, while the stems have a glossy dark grey finish. It gives the premium feel and appeal which is something you might not be expecting from a wireless headphone below 10,000.
To navigate through your Buds Pro, you need to use the glossy stems of your earpiece. They are touch sensitive and unlike the others it is not tap and swipe but press and hold. More like the Apple Airpods Pro.
Play/ pause (single-press), next track (double-press), and call controls are fixed and can’t be changed, but the triple-press and long-press controls can be modified through the Bluetooth settings.
Buds Pro can be well enjoyed by people who like to listen to music with a good bass. Music with a lot of treble might not be a delight to your ear so much. High pitch audio might not be the best in the Buds Pro. For your regular calls and audio meetings and audio tapes Buds Pro are great.
OnePlus Buds Pro has a Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity, with support for the SBC, AAC, and LHDC Bluetooth codecs. The earphones have 11mm dynamic drivers, a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz, and three microphones on each earpiece for ANC and voice calls. Three pairs of ear tips and a charging cable are included in the sales package.
Buds Pro works best with OnePlus smartphones for other devices you can use HeyMelody app which is used for the same purpose.
It’s possible to switch between adaptive active noise cancellation and transparency modes and set the intensity level of the ANC between normal, maximum, or an adaptable ‘smart’ setting which adjusts itself based on your surroundings.
Active noise cancellation on the OnePlus Buds Pro is very effective for the cost price ANC quality is equivalent to higher end wireless earphones.
Battery life is very important for such devices especially when you are on go. Buds Pro has a decent battery which worked for 6.5 hours with ANC on. It gets a 40mAh and the charging case gives up to 4 additional hours.
ZEN MODE AIR:
An interesting and refreshing feature. Zen Mode Air lets you use the earphones to listen to any of five ‘white noise’ clips of calming nature sounds. It is activated by pressing and holding the stem for three seconds.
OnePlus Buds Pro are for sure the best wireless earphones for me in below 10,000 category. They offer you good style & deign great ANC and a cool Zen Mode. The earpieces are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance, and the case is also IPX4 rated for water resistance. You also get good Audio quality. So, getting a Buds Pro would never be a bad idea.
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