It’s not for the first time that Tata Motors has come out with a 7-seater SUV. The examples are many, including Sumo, Aria and Hexa. But there’s one name that strikes a much stronger chord with enthusiasts all over the country—the Safari. The car was last seen on sale in the country and now it has made a comeback as a 7-seater version of the Harrier SUV. Earlier this week Tata launched the car in the market, and I had a chance to sample it a few weeks prior to that.
Yes, this is the XL form of the Harrier if we can call it that, but there are many differences between the two cars. The face is similar but there are elements that give this one a distinct identity. The grille with tri-arrow pattern is different and unlike the Harrier which gets black skid plates, this one gets them in silver colour. The car is longer than the Harrier but crucially the wheelbase remains the same. It also gets 18-inch wheels which are a size bigger than the Harrier. It is towards the rear that the car reminds you more of the earlier Safari with the stepped-up roof, roof rails and the side cap. The tailgate is also refreshing and there’s no way you can mistake the Safari with the Harrier while looking at it from behind.
The Cabin gets a new Oyster white theme while many design elements do remind you of the Harrier. The 8.8-inch touchscreen system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while it also gets voice recognition. The Safari is also a connected car with Tata’s Intelligent Real Time Assist or iRA connected car tech finding a place on the SUV. The top XZ variant of the SUV features a 9-speaker JBL system, leatherette upholstery, 7-inch TFT display instrument cluster, electrically adjustable driver seat and an electronic parking brake which wasn’t seen on the Harrier. The second row is a good place to be in especially with the captain seats and a large panoramic sunroof. You can also push forward the front passenger seat by pulling a lever while sitting here. The access to the third row is not as seamless what surprises you is the amount of space on offer. The overhangs on the exterior have helped. If you fold down the third row then 750 litres of boot space is on offer.
At the launch of the car, Tata Motors also introduced an ‘Adventure’ persona variant of the car which will come with black tinted charcoal grey machined alloys, a piano black finish in its grille, roof rails inserted along with a Safari mascot placement on the bonnet. On the interiors, it gets earthy brown interiors, dark chrome interior accents on air vents, knobs, switches, inner door handles and instrument cluster along with a piano black interior pack on steering wheel, grab handles, floor console frame and IP mid pad finisher.
The engine is the same as seen on the Harrier. Unlike a few of its recent cars the company is offering the automatic right from the word go. But there’s no Petrol engine on offer here and unlike the previous Safari there’s no 4×4 option available as well. The Automatic certainly gives a better, more refined drive experience as the manual shifts still can get smoother. However, the car does get 3 driving modes which are called Eco, City and Sport and the dynamics of the car change quite a bit with the change in these modes.
RIDE & HANDLING
The Safari, like the Harrier, is built on the Land Rover D8 platform derived Optimal Modular Efficient Global Advanced Architecture or OMEGARC. That means it has in it to take on the tough terrains. The brilliant ride quality was a highlight on the Harrier and that is exactly the case on the Safari as well. The car feels sturdy and gives the occupants great confidence. Yes, there’s some body roll but the dimensions explain that. And this may not be a 4×4 but the electronic stability program gets rough road and wet modes to give you more traction in tricky situations.
The Safari has become even more versatile than it ever was, and the only missing checkbox is perhaps all-wheel drive capabilities. It is an attractive-looking car which gets an inviting cabin. And yes, the Automatic is certainly going to pull a lot more people to a Tata dealership. The SUV starts at Rs. 14.69 lakh (ex-showroom) and goes up to Rs. 21.45 lakh for the top variant and that range also might just get a lot more buyers interested.
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MICROSOFT SURFACE PRO 8 WILL HAVE 120HZ DISPLAY, THUNDERBOLT SUPPORT
WASHINGTON: American tech giant Microsoft will be launching a new Surface Pro 8 model next week and a new leak of the upcoming device appears to have revealed exactly what to expect from it.
According to The Verge, a Twitter user recently published a photo of the Surface Pro 8 from what appears to be a retail listing. The account claimed the Surface Pro 8 will ship with a new 13-inch 120Hz display with narrow bezels and two Thunderbolt ports.
Last week, the outlet has reported that the Surface Pro 8 would ship without USB-A ports, in favour of USB-C and Thunderbolt. They also reported that Microsoft has been testing 120Hz displays for the Surface Pro lineup. The leaked image and specs line up with what was heard from sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans.
The leak also revealed that Microsoft is moving towards removable SSDs on the Surface Pro 8. This matches with the Surface Laptop 4, Surface Pro X, and the business-only Surface Pro 7 plus and will henceforth make it easier for businesses to swap out drives.
The company has planned a Surface hardware event on September 22, 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT onwards, where it’s expected from the company to announce the Surface Pro 8, a Surface Go 3, a newly designed Surface Book 4, an updated Surface Pro X, and the successor to the Android-powered Surface Duo, as per The Verge.
GOOGLE MIGHT HAVE SECOND FOLDABLE PIXEL SMARTPHONE IN THE WORKS
WASHINGTON: Tech giant Google appears to be internally testing a second foldable Pixel smartphone.
As per The Verge, the device is said to be under development with the codename ‘Jumbojack’, that’s referenced in a future version of Android 12 identified as ‘Android 12.1’. This is the latest foldable codename we’ve heard about at Google, following reports of another device called ‘Passport’.
Not much is known about what form Jumbojack could take, but The Verge has a couple of key details.
It seems to have two screens, with one that deactivates when the device is folded. That suggests we’re looking at a similar design to Samsung’s foldables, which combine a small external screen with a larger internal folding display. However, there’s no word on screen sizes or internal specs, reported The Verge.
Interestingly, there’s speculation that the Jumbojack codename could be a reference to Jack in the Box’s Jumbo Jack cheeseburger, an implication that the phone will fold ‘hamburger style’ like a Z Flip as opposed to ‘hotdog style’ like a Z Fold.
But, much like the foodstuffs, that speculation is best taken with a good pinch of salt. Unlike Passport, which reliable leaker Evan Blass reported is still scheduled to launch before the end of the year, there’s no indication about when or even if Jumbojack will see a commercial release.
There’s a possibility it might just be an internal prototype, designed to help build foldable functionality like improved multitasking into Android itself.
AMAZON SETS DATE FOR ITS BIG FALL HARDWARE LAUNCH EVENT
Washington: American multinational company Amazon has officially announced the date for its upcoming big fall hardware event. The tech giant has set the launch event to take place on September 28 at 12 pm ET / 9 am PT.
According to The Verge, the invite for the event does not disclose any further details regarding what to expect from it, though it did state that there will be “news about our latest Amazon devices, features, and services.” The event will be an invite-only one; hence there won’t be any public live stream.
During the past years’ events, Amazon has announced new Echo speakers, updates to Alexa’s software, new Eero routers, updated Ring cameras, and more. The company also tends to announce its more unique and experimental products at its fall event.
In the previous years, they have announced the Echo Loop ring, the Echo Frames glasses, and the Ring drone (which has yet to make a reappearance since its initial debut last year.) Some people may have gotten an early look at Ring’s dashcam as well, when its images leaked out this June, as per The Verge.
APPLE LETS USERS ADD COVID VACCINATION CARD TO WALLET
WASHINGTON: American tech giant Apple is all set to bring verifiable Covid-19 vaccination cards to Wallet application as part of a future iPhone software update. According to TechCrunch, the latest feature will take advantage of the international SMART Health Cards standard (already in use in several states) to produce proof of vaccination, sign it with a private key and create a public key to verify your information. Also, the just-released iOS 15 already allows users to store verifiable vaccination and test results in the Health app using the same standard. One will receive their records through QR codes, downloadable files or healthcare providers who use Health Records on iPhone. The company has also promised that there will be strict privacy for the user’s data. Apple would not have any access to the imported or shared records of the users, and users have also been told that all information must be encrypted and it should be securely stored when transferred elsewhere. Apple also would not be able to see vaccination cards or how the users have used them. However, the company has not revealed when it will release the card update.
SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 3 REVOLUTIONISES THE WAY ONE LOOKS AT FOLDABLE DEVICES
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the 3rd generation of foldable device from Samsung and in the market still in the forefront of foldable smartphones. The device has revolutionized the way one looks at foldable devices. The way Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has been worked on and updated it has for sure cut a niche for itself in the market. Using the device for the last couple of days has made me change my opinion about foldable devices completely.
DESIGN & DISPLAY
Design for the device remains the same. The dual screen with the smaller screen in the front and the book style design opens to the larger screen. The hinge on the screen which was the biggest hitch with its predecessor seems to have been worked on well. The phone feels easy to open and use. The design is what gives it the oomph factor. You have a device in hand and fold it open you experience a 7.6-inch tablet like display. The Ultra-Thin glass makes the device certainly sturdier and gives the durability confidence which was not there with its previous model.
Samsung has added IPX8 water resistance on the device which is a technological achievement.
The device is designed in a beautiful aluminium & glass body which gives it the premium feel but at the same time makes the device a lot heavier.
Display is what largely defines this device. The entire dual screen aspect which folds makes the device path breaking.
On the inside, the Fold 3 has a 7.6-inch tablet display with a wide 5:4 aspect which is meant for all your work, social media, viewing content & even reading. The crease in the middle no longer bothers one’s eye. It is something one would expect for now in a foldable device.
The screen gives a great viewing experience & would be a delight for gamers. It was very easy & comfortable for taking Zoom meetings & webinars as well.
The AMOLED gives it perfect blacks and vivid colours, while Eco2 helps it get brighter without increasing the power consumption. You get Gorilla Glass Victus & UTG on top avoids scratches.
The screen outside you get a 6.2-inch AMOLED panel, which also runs at 120Hz . Its 25:9 aspect ratio. The front feels nice & tall and is great to use with a single hand. The screen is good enough for all your basic work.
PERFORMANCE & SOFTWARE
The device is powered by Snapdragon 888 SoC. The chipset is phonemical and works wonders. You will have no battery or heating issue with the device. Multi-tasking is breeze and there is no hitch or lag in the device. The device runs on Android 11, One UI 3.1.1. With the number of functionalities, the software handles the device very well. The software meets the hardware just as you would expect from a high-end device like this.
Just like its predecessor, the rear camera setup comprises a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 12MP telephoto shooter with 2x magnification. The only upgrade is the inclusion of OIS on the zoom camera.
Camera might not be the biggest highlight for this device but non the less the images are good might not be at par with the flagship devices. The images that you get from this device are as good as any. The color and vibrant effect are on point. Just for those who look at the nitty-gritty in a photo might find a bit of a disappointment.
Space Zoom gets a 2x lens here. The 4MP under- screen camera might not give the best output but is good for video calls and webinars. The 10MP front camera is the one you would prefer to use.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 battery is 4,400mAh which takes close to 2 hours for a full charge heavy full day usage would get you 16 hours of work time. Normal usage you can use the device for the entire day.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 in India is priced at 256GB: Rs 1,49,999 | 512GB: Rs 1,57,999 the device is a great pick for someone who has the money for it most importantly it is a great aspirational device as well. If you want the coolest looking device which is real conversation starter with great tech inbuilt then this is for sure your pick. But if you are looking for a device with a battery camera than Samsung has a lot more to offer from its array of products. This device is a tech revolution which is totally worth a shot.
JAIPUR-BASED CARTIST GIVES A SECOND LIFE TO AUTOMOBILE JUNK
The key to survival of our planet for much longer is sustainability. Tonnes of junk that comes out in our daily lives if treated well, can-do wonders. This has been proven by a Jaipur based Himanshu Jangid who runs Cartist – India’s first automobile art platform that promotes youth, artists and society as a whole creating an automobile art ecosystem.The idea is to promote upcycling of auto parts and curating designer furniture through utilizing old car parts and automotive waste. Inspired by elements of nature, crafted by hand, Sustain by Cartist aspires to create a sustainable auto-art ecosystem through leasing a second life to old automobile by adopting upcycling automobile parts to create sustainable furniture and bring them mainstream by reducing costs of recycling/ scraping, ultimately reducing waste, carbon footprint, and protecting our resources.
Showing concern about the impact of climate change, ultimate goal of Cartist is to accelerate the transition of the automobile industry towards a circular economy. Upcycling is one of the most significant ways one can lower their impact on planet earth, whether one is buying clothes, home items or even home furniture. Founder, Cartist, Himanshu Jangid said that climate change is a burning issue in the world. Around 20 million cars are scrapped and there is no way to know where these old cars can be taken and disposed. ‘Sustain by Cartist’ is a solution to this issue by Cartist. Local artists and their talented craftsmanship has been incorporated to create these stunning art pieces and also provide them with employment opportunities.
All curated furniture made by upcycled auto parts have been assigned a unique Indian name to connect with our culture. The idea is to help people easily adopt a sustainable way of living. For example, ‘Stambh’ means ‘pillar’ that stands upright in its glory. Side table is handcrafted from crankshaft, flywheel, wood plank and incorporates miniature art form. ‘Chowki’ means a low seat or stool, staple utility seating used in traditional Indian households. The seat is upcycled by using shocks absorber and hand weaving by local artisans. ‘Gaddi’ symbolized the throne, a royal affair of seating of kings and Queen. Chair is handcrafted from pillars of car and gold leafing work is done by craftsmen.
The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com
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