The Skoda Superb has been on sale in the country for more than a decade-and-a-half and since then has been satiating the needs of the luxury sedan buyer in the country. It provides great comfort and luxury that is on par with more fancied German cars which by the way are much more expensive as well. For the year 2021 the Czech car-maker has introduced a refreshed version of the car which of course promises more luxury and tech than before. The car continues to get the same variants called SportLine and Laurin & Klement.
The refreshed Skoda Superb comes with a comprehensive raft of design and technological enhancements that effortlessly shifts it to a class above. The sharp and sleek new headlights now merge with the radiator grille and come equipped with LED daytime running lights, with illuminated LED eyelashes and ‘coming / leaving home’ function, as well as LED turn indicators, as standard.
The refreshed Superb also comes with an adaptive front-lighting system for optimum illumination of the road and its surroundings. The variable geometry enables the new headlamp units to respond to any change in speed, light and weather conditions. The available modes include city, intercity, motorway, and rain. This lighting system dons headlamp swivelling and cornering functions, in addition to dynamic headlamp inclination control. In addition to this, the shape of the front fog lights also adds to the exterior appeal of the car. These LED fog lights house four diodes to illuminate the area in front of the vehicle, especially in low lighting condition.
The Superb now sports a new 20.32 cm floating capacitive touch display, with proximity sensor, which features a glass design and an updated user interface. It is a part of the new generation Amundsen Infotainment System, with inbuilt navigation, developed by the Czech automotive manufacturer. The car also comes with SmartLink connectivity which supports MirrorLink, and is also compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also supports voice command control, Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming options. By placing a smartphone, face up, over the wireless charging pad, the mobile device automatically connects and starts receiving power while the cabin now also gets new ‘Type C’ USB ports.
The Piano Black décor, sets the tone for the more expensive Laurin & Klement variant, with Stone Beige or Coffee Brown perforated leather upholstery. The decorative elements are black and the use of chrome highlights adds to the appeal. The famed two spoke steering wheel design from the brand finds its way for the first time on the refreshed Superb. In the Sportline variant, the Carbon décor, new three spoke flat bottom SuperSport multifunction steering wheel with paddle shift and black Alcantara sports seats with integrated headrests add to the active theme. The car, now as standard, features the Virtual Cockpit – a customizable digital instrument panel that offers a vitalised perspective on comprehensive driving data and navigation.
The 360° surround area view, with an array of four wide angle cameras mounted on the front grille, fifth door and the wing mirror covers, displays the immediate area surrounding the car, on the central infotainment system of the on the Laurin & Klement version. The variant also gets a Park Assist function which minimizes the hassle of parking in tight spots by automatically identifying an appropriate parking place in a row of parallel or perpendicular parked vehicles. According to Skoda the system just needs a space 60 cm longer than the car itself when parking in parallel.
The SportLine variant is the more affordable of the two variants and is priced at Rs 31.99 lakh (ex-showroom). It is more suited for you if you love to drive. For those of you willing to spend more time on the second row, the top-of-the-line Laurin & Klement edition with all the bells and whistles will set you back by Rs 34.99 lakh (ex-showroom).
Zac Hollis, Brand Director, Skoda Auto India said, “Since its introduction, the Superb has been setting benchmarks in its segment, and the one above. With its compelling combination of elegant design, luxurious interiors, plentiful space, and distinctive presence, the saloon has been a favourite for many ‘value luxury’ seekers in India. The refreshed car hosts some contemporary updates that further elevates its appeal and shall be appreciated by all.”
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MEASURE A HEALTHIER YOU WITH APPLE WATCH’S V02 MAX
If there is something good which has come out of the pandemic, it’s the way humans have started to care about their health. From eating healthy and strengthening their immunity system to taking care of their workout regime, people have started giving more importance to fitness now.
Tech plays a vital role in this process, and smart wearables are one such category of products which makes healthy living a lot easier. From monitoring your workouts, step count and blood oxygen levels, these smart devices help you keep a check on all aspects of your health.
The Apple Watch was one of the first smartwatches to enter this arena. Over the years, we have seen many additions to the watch which have kept in mind the changing times—like the 20-second hand wash alert which has been a great add-on for the pandemic.
We have always liked the activity ring aspect in an Apple Watch because that pushes the person to work harder for their goals. You are constantly reminded to stand, walk more, and achieve the targets you have set for yourself. Above all, you have the option to compete with your friends which makes the process a lot more interesting. In the end, when the watch your goals achieved, it gives you a feeling of immense satisfaction.
Such options are usually hidden in the Health app and need to be discovered. One of my recent favorites has been the V02 max which has some great ways of checking how fit you actually are and giving you the ultimate aerobic fitness test.
Being at home for the past one year has meant that many like me have skipped heavy weight workouts and moved towards low endurance sports. The V02 max works well within such parameters. It is a measurement of the amount of oxygen from the air you breathe into your lungs, which is then transported by your bloodstream to your muscles, where it is converted into energy during a workout.
Why is V02 max important? If you have been training for a long time but do not have good endurance levels, V02 max is going to help you a lot. It helps measure your progress as an increase in V02 max indicates an improvement in your aerobic fitness. Improved workout endurance like the ability to run for longer periods without breaks can be measured in V02 max, helping you keep track of your improvement. During the last year, many of us have taken to running and walking outdoors and that’s where V02 max really comes into play. We need to remember that these are the two types of workouts which also help estimate V02 max on the Apple Watch.
How does one check their V02 max? For that, you need to use the Health app on your iPhone. Go to Health Data, then Activity, and scroll down. Once you have your data, you can compare things and keep an account of your wellness and health.
Personally, V02 max has helped me in the last few months. For someone who was majorly into weight training, switching to outdoor runs was hard and maintaining consistency wasn’t easy. However, having a constant measuring scale has been helpful in such a case as it only made me push myself for a healthier tomorrow.
RETURN OF THE LEGEND CALLED TATA SAFARI
The Safari has become more versatile than before, and the only missing checkbox is perhaps all-wheel drive capabilities. It is an attractive-looking car which gets an inviting cabin.
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.
SAMSUNG BRINGS A GOOD BUDGET BUY WITH THE GALAXY M02S
Over the past two years, Samsung seems to be understanding the minds of its customers a lot better. The brand is very well placed in the top and mid segment but a good budget device was something which seemed to be missing so far. However, with the Galaxy M02s, Samsung has bridged that gap too.
The Samsung Galaxy M02s sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display with an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, paired with 3 or 4GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of onboard storage. Storage is further expandable with a microSD card slot. It runs on Android 10 based OneUI 2.5 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 5,000mAh battery.
The model also features a triple rear camera setup including a 13MP primary camera, an 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. At the front, there is a 5MP selfie snapper too.
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
The Galaxy M02s does not feel like a budget device once you unbox it. Samsung has clearly taken cues from its highly successful S series and A series while designing this device.
At the rear is the camera module and a plastic body with matte and gloss styling. While on the front, the Galaxy M02s sports a 6.5-inch IPS LCD panel with a U-shaped notch. It has thin bezels all along except the chin.
The Galaxy M02s sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge. The charging port is surrounded by a 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume buttons. On the left edge, there is a SIM tray which can accept two SIM cards and a dedicated microSD card.
PERFORMANCE AND SOFTWARE
The Samsung Galaxy M02s is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor paired with 3 or 4GB of RAM. Basic multi-tasking on the device is easy, but you do feel a bit of a lag while switching between apps. Gaming is possible on the device but it will be not as much fun but that’s the best a budget device can offer.
The Galaxy M02s runs on Android 10 based One UI 2.5. The user interface feels like it could have been better. However, it does get a lot of new-age features like system-wide dark mode and face recognition.
The Samsung Galaxy M02s sports a triple-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 13MP primary camera, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. It also gets Live Focus, Pro Mode and the company’s AR facial features. The phone misses out on a night mode though.
The images taken by the device are decent and in many ways the best you can expect from a budgeted device. It does fall short in low light. The front camera lets you take satisfactory images, which might be grainy sometimes, but you do have a beauty mode which you can switch off as required.
One of the biggest advantages of this device is its large battery. It comes with a 5000 mAh battery, which also makes the device a bit heavy. But a single charge runs the device for more than a day. It supports 15W fast charging, however, it comes with a standard 5W charger in the box
At the starting prices of Rs 8,999 and Rs 9,999 you get a device with a good design, decent display, great performance, but an average camera. If you are looking for a smartphone under Rs 10,000, the Galaxy M02s will not disappoint you.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER ANNOUNCES BIG PUSH TOWARDS ELECTRIC MOBILITY
By the end of the decade, in addition to an all-electric Jaguar line-up, it is anticipated that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will come with zero emissions.
NEW DELHI: Tata Motors-owned British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover has spoken about a big shift towards sustainability when it comes to future cars from the luxury brand. The company has announced a ‘Reimagine plan’ which will essentially be the electrification of both Land Rover and Jaguar brands on separate architectures with two clear, unique personalities. In a significant move it has been confirmed that Jaguar and Land Rover will offer pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030. By the end of the decade, in addition to an all-electric Jaguar line-up, it is anticipated that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will come with zero emissions.
In fact, by the middle of the decade, Jaguar will have undergone a resurgence to emerge as a pure electric luxury brand. According to the company, the new portfolio will still be focused on creating engaging designs along with pioneering next-generation technologies. Importantly it has also been mentioned that although the nameplate may be retained, the planned Jaguar XJ replacement will not form a part of the line-up. Taking about Land Rover, in the next five years, the SUV brand will welcome six pure electric variants through its three families of Range Rover, Discovery and Defender SUVs. The first all-electric variant will arrive in 2024.
In order to establish different personalities for the two brands, a new architecture strategy has been announced. Land Rover will use the forthcoming flex Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA). It will deliver electrified internal combustion engines and full electric variants as the company evolves its product line-up in the future. In addition, the brand will also use pure electric biased Electric Modular Architecture (EMA) which will also support advanced electrified internal combustion engines. Future Jaguar models will be built exclusively on a pure electric architecture. By consolidating the number of platforms and models being produced per plant, the company says it will be able to establish new benchmark standards in efficient scale and quality for the luxury sector.
From a core manufacturing perspective Jaguar Land Rover will retain its plant and assembly facilities in the home UK market and around the world. As well as being the manufacturer of the MLA architecture, Solihull, West Midlands will also be the home to the future advanced Jaguar pure electric platform. The brand has also announced that its subscription model named PIVOTAL, will now be rolled out to other markets following a successful launch in the UK.
ZERO CARBON EMISSIONS BY 2039
Jaguar Land Rover’s aim is to achieve net zero carbon emissions across its supply chain, products and operations by 2039. As part of this plan, the company is also preparing for the expected adoption of clean fuel-cell power in line with the maturing of the hydrogen economy. Development is already underway with prototypes arriving on UK roads within the next 12 months as part of the long-term investment programme.
A new centralised team will be empowered to build on and accelerate pioneering innovations in materiality, engineering, manufacturing, services and circular economy investments. Approximate annual commitments of £2.5bn will include investments in electrification technologies and the development of connected services to enhance the journey and experiences of customers, alongside data-centric technologies that will further improve their ownership ecosystem.
WORKING WITHIN TATA GROUP
Jaguar Land Rover has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.In order to realise its vision of modern luxury mobility with confidence, the company says it will curate closer collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Tata Group companies to enhance sustainability and reduce emissions as well as sharing best practice in next-generation technology, data and software development leadership.
N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc, commented: “The Reimagine strategy takes Jaguar Land Rover on a significant path of acceleration in harmony with the vision and sustainability priorities of the wider Tata Group. Together, we will help Jaguar realise its potential, reinforce Land Rover’s timeless appeal and collectively become a symbol of a truly responsible business for its customers, society and the planet.”
ITEL TO LAUNCH SMARTPHONE WITH HD+IPS BIGGER DISPLAY
New Delhi: itel is all set to strengthen its smartphone portfolio with another new and powerful offering. As per sources, the company might launch the premium looking smartphone with HD+ display on February 1 via an exclusive association with Amazon. As per the render images, itel’s new addition in the A-series portfolio will be equipped with a bigger display and dual security. The phone will come with a 5.5-inch bigger screen with a curved display, dual security and 2GB RAM + 32 GB ROM-making it a complete offering for its customers. Going with itel’s strategy, the product will be priced aggressively and expected to be priced in the sub Rs 6,000 segment wherein itel has already established itself as a strong brand.
CANON LAUNCHES 7 NEW INK TANK PRINTERS IN INDIA
New Delhi: Expanding its PIXMA G Series lineup, Japanese giant Canon on Tuesday launched seven new ink tank printers at a starting price of Rs 11,048. The new PIXMA G Series printers include the drip-free, hands-free ink refilling mechanism and a user-replaceable maintenance cartridge designed to ensure minimum downtime and maximum productivity for homes and businesses. The new printers PIXMA G1020, PIXMA G2020, PIXMA G2021, PIXMA G2060, PIXMA G3020, PIXMA G3021, PIXMA G3060 are priced at Rs 11,048, Rs 13,922, Rs 14,523, Rs 14,203, Rs 17,102, Rs 17,704, Rs 17,403, respectively. An integrated ink tank design also keeps the printer footprint compact, while providing a clear visual indication of remaining ink levels, the company said. The new Canon G series is also compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which enables voice-activated printing. All the printers will be available across leading e-commerce platforms and authorized retailers starting 15 February.
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