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      Someone Gifted Me An Apple Watch, Here’s What I Have To Say / FossBytes · Tuesday, 16 March, 2021 - 06:39 · 5 minutes

    Apple Watch Experience 1

    Apple Watch has taken the tech world by storm. It has dwarfed not only the other smartwatches, but it’s also challenging the likes of Rolex in terms of popularity.

    As part of its annual refresh, Apple previously launched the Apple Watch Series 6 and the new Apple Watch SE , bringing the budget ‘SE’ moniker to its smartwatch lineup. It’s similar to what we have seen for iPhones with the release of the iPhone SE.

    As the title suggests, I recently got an Apple Watch SE as a gift, and I have been using it for a couple of weeks now. My experience with wristwatches has been limited, and Apple Watch SE is the first Apple-branded smartwatch that I own.

    I have played around with a couple of Android smartwatches but never gave serious thought to wearing one all the time. This is mostly because I haven’t been a watch person for most of my life.

    By the time I started living my life as an adult and understood the importance of time, smartphones were already a thing. I was not too fond of the idea of wearing an extra piece of hardware when a tiny brick in my pocket could show me the time.

    Now, let’s talk about my Apple Watch SE experience, or I’d say Apple Watch experience in general. That’s because the WatchOS that powers them keeps the experience similar across the lineup.

    Here, I’d like to say that if you buy an expensive thing, such as an Apple product, you have to find reasons to like it because you burned your pocket for it. I guess that barrier is not present in this case.

    Apple Watch doesn’t change your life but makes it easier

    Apple Watch Experience 2

    Now, I could write an Apple Watch SE review and tell you about the battery life, performance, and all the Apple Watch features you can get by paying a couple of hundred bucks. But I guess there are already tons of them floating on the internet and impacting people’s decision to buy an Apple Watch.

    Still naming a few, it can track my daily workout, track my sleep, remind me to wash hands, and analyze my heart rate in real-time, for starters. Visiting the Health app on the iPhone made me realize what humongous amount of data Apple collects using a tiny device sitting on my wrist. I wonder if I’d actually need all of it.

    Fall Detection is another useful feature that Apple has added. I hope I don’t end up activating it someday. Overall, Apple Watch is part of the Apple ecosystem, that can control your phone, AirPods, and even the smart devices connected to your home network.

    Thanks to Apple’s Continuity features, I can take phone calls on my Apple Watch, and silencing a call on the phone automatically mutes the Watch audio. That’s the level of harmony we are talking about between the two devices.

    However, in all the Apple keynotes, you’ll see the company focusing on health-related tech it adds. For example, the accuracy of the Series 6 blood oxygen sensor has been questioned. You can easily spend a few dollars and buy a blood oxygen sensor. But Apple promotes it like it’s the only thing you’ll ever need in the Apple Watch. Maybe, it’s an attempt to take advantage of the pandemic.

    Apple Watch Experience 3

    Anyway, what I realized is that I never felt the need to use the Apple Watch. But now that I have it, it has improved my daily life in many ways. It complements the iPhone in a way that saves me a lot of time and effort.

    Here, a famous quote from the Apple co-founder Steve Jobs makes a lot of sense:

    “It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

    Above all, I now use my phone fewer times in a day which is a step towards becoming less of a smartphone addict.

    Apple Watch: An extension to my iPhone

    It’s a known thing that Apple Watch doesn’t work without an iPhone. In other words, if you are an Android user, you’ll have to spend at least $600 if you want to own an Apple-branded smartwatch.

    Staying within the budget, you can go for the 2020 iPhone SE + Apple Watch SE combination that’ll set you back by $678. You can buy an older iPhone to further cut the cost.

    Now, even though Apple might be trying to market Apple Watch as a standalone device, for instance, by adding cellular support and a dedicated App Store, it’s still an extension of the iPhone.

    What happened during my usage is I was unlocking my iPhone less because I could easily check everything from time, notifications, compass, listen to music, etc., just by lifting my wrist. But at the end of the day, the Apple Watch still needs the iPhone to sync data that could be utilized further.

    Not to mention, you can’t set up an Apple Watch without an iPhone (not even an iPad or Mac). However, the latest WatchOS 7 update allows the Watch to be set up on a family member’s iPhone if needed. But it does make sense as iPad and Mac aren’t as portable as the iPhone and apps like WhatsApp don’t work natively. The iPhone is still Apple’s prime product which explains the design choice.

    Also, an Apple Watch can connect to WiFi or cellular when the iPhone is not nearby. But you won’t get notifications from third-party apps if the iPhone sitting far away isn’t connected to the internet.

    Of course, there are technical reasons to blame apart from Apple Watch’s dependence on iPhone and I am not saying it’s a deal-breaker. What I am saying is it might take a while before the Watch can be a truly autonomous product.

    Apart from that, my overall experience has been good and buttery smooth.

    What do you think about the Apple Watch? Let me know in the comments.

    Apple Watch SE Review

    Aditya Tiwari

    Design And Build
    Ease Of Use
    Value For Money


    Apple Watch SE is a budget smartwatch from Apple that draws power from the older S5 chip and runs the latest WatchOS 7. However, it compensates by adding the same display as Series 6 but without AOD. Watch SE has almost similar battery life and features as Series 6 except for the faster S6 chip, VO2 Max, and U1 chip. Overall, it’s a great buy for those who want to enter the world of Apple Watches without spending too much.


    The post Someone Gifted Me An Apple Watch, Here’s What I Have To Say appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV: Exclusive First Review, Specs, Images / FossBytes · Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 - 06:58 · 4 minutes

    Volvo XC40 Recharge EV

    Are electric cars the future? That might be debatable for some, but the car-makers are going full steam ahead with their EV plans. While, at the moment, a country like India is not yet ready for electric vehicles in regard to the infrastructure, electricity supply, and other issues, the number of electric cars available is also very less.

    You have Tata Nexon EV , Hyundai Kona , and MG ZS — the next offering is the Rs 1 crore EQC from Mercedes. Yes, that is a large gap and Volvo wants a big piece from that un-occupied space. With no compact luxury SUV that is electric on the horizon, the XC40 Recharge would have no competition as of this year or even in the foreseeable future. But what is the XC40 Recharge all about? Let’s take an exclusive look at the car before its October launch.

    How does Volvo XC40 Recharge look?

    It is an XC40 all right but a closer look will reveal that it is no standard petrol XC40. The front grille is changed and there is no grille since there is no engine, so you get a painted body cover.

    Apart from that, the famous Thor’s Hammer Volvo style lights and compact plus boxy appearance make the XC40 look more like an SUV when compared to rivals. We also see different wheels and we can expect more color options.

    The rear styling is the same which means you can see the large typical Volvo style tail-lamps that stand out. You can spot a small badge that signifies it as the EV version. Else, it is the standard XC40.

    What about the interiors?

    Open the solid feeling doors and it is the regular XC40. You have the same large portrait touch screen and an all-black cabin. There is stitching and the quality is very plush. Equipment levels would also be expected to be similar in order to keep the costs down but the XC40 Recharge is expected to get a few extra features.

    The instrument cluster is different for the EV version, while it is the first Volvo to get a brand-new infotainment system powered by the Google Android operating system. The infotainment system also has the Volvo ‘On Call’ connected tech feature, using which you can check the range or your driving habits plus more features.

    Tell me about the XC40 Recharge power and range…

    Yes, these are the main factors that you should keep in mind when buying an EV. The XC40 Recharge, with two electric motors, gets a 78kWh lithium-ion battery which is located in the floor. This is an electric all-wheel-drive power-train that has a total power output of 408hp and 660Nm. The power figures are impressive too as it is capable of reaching 100kmph in just 4.9 seconds. That is proper fast! There are also drive modes and the top-speed is limited to 180 km/h only.

    Moving on to Volvo XC40 Recharge range: More than a conventional car, the range of an EV is more important as charging stations are far too few. In the XC40 Recharge, the range figure is 418km which is one of the best in India. This figure is not an ARAI figure but on the basis of the WLTP and EPA driving cycle. However, one should expect a rear-world range comfortably near 350km or at least above 300km. This means it will take care of your daily commute for a few days without the need for any charging!

    The impressive range would be the main confidence booster in buying an EV. With XC40 Recharge, you can visit Jaipur once and charge it while coming back. While it might seem tight for many to attempt that, as a city-based commuter, the XC40 Recharge could be the ideal luxury SUV. It will also get regenerative modes to adjust the regenerative braking and different modes.

    What is the charging time?

    The XC40 Recharge supports fast charging and the battery charges up to 80 percent of its capacity in 40 minutes. The XC40 Recharge will also get charging equipment bundled with it.

    Volvo has not yet disclosed details regarding the charging infrastructure but we expect their dealers to have charging facility and they can tie-up regarding installing chargers at popular places. There are currently 25 dealerships in cities including in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi NCR – South Delhi, West Delhi, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Indore, Raipur, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana, West Mumbai, South Mumbai, Pune, Raipur, Surat, Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

    What would be the price of XC40 Recharge?

    That is another crucial factor in determining how well the XC40 Recharge can do in India. The standard petrol XC40 starts at Rs 40 lakh while the electric version should be Rs 10 lakhs more. With a cost of Rs 50 lakh or slightly more, the XC40 Recharge should find takers since it is the only full electric SUV at this price point.

    The XC40 Recharge has a good enough range and is as spacious as the standard XC40 which means the leap to electric will not compromise practicality. Volvo wants to double its volume in India in the next 2 years while it wants the majority of its sales to be electric by 2025. With the XC40 Recharge, we think it has a good chance.

    The post Volvo XC40 Recharge Electric SUV: Exclusive First Review, Specs, Images appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine India Review: Mileage, Features, Pictures / FossBytes · Tuesday, 9 March, 2021 - 06:05 · 5 minutes

    Mercedes A Class Limousine featured

    The A-Class is going to be the most affordable Mercedes ever but the company hopes that you will want to buy it for reasons other than that. The A-Class packs in technology and luxury in equal quantities, as you will discover in our detailed review below.

    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine Review

    What is the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine all about?

    India is a changing country with a more affluent younger population that has the desire to own luxury products. That makes the segment of entry-level luxury cars quite appealing in terms of market share and also for buyers who can realistically dream about getting that fancy car earlier in their lives. The A-Class is for that kind of buyer.

    front side view

    It’s interesting to note that Mercedes launched the A-Class brand as a hatchback some years back, but this new car is a proper luxury sedan. The reason is clear and simple: the Indian market is not that matured to accept a 40 lakh hatchback, but a sporty and stylish sedan fits the bill better. The A-Class limousine would also be the cheapest Mercedes sedan below the C-Class while also being the most affordable Mercedes ever.

    How does it look?

    Mercedes A Class Limousine side view front

    The A-Class Limousine is a proper Mercedes but it is not the kind you normally see as this one has a clear youthful persona. The styling is very much like the old CLA or the bigger CLS where it looks more like a four-door coupe rather than a typical sedan like the E-Class. It is more stylish and features very much an attractive design.

    headlight mercedes

    We particularly like the long and shapely hood while the roof slopes down. Further on, the headlamps and the grille being decorated with small diamond-like bits is a premium touch. The A-Class is smaller than the C-Class but has balanced proportions with a length of 4549mm along with a width of 1796mm. Indian spec cars also have their ground clearance increased plus you have 17-inch alloy wheels on offer. In total you have six colors on offer.

    What about the interiors?

    Mercedes A Class Limousine dashboard

    Step inside and you are surprised by the amount of room on offer or the air lay-out. You do not expect such a compact car on the outside to have a cabin like this. Also, the A-Class Limousine looks and feels expensive just like any Mercedes would or should. The steering wheel is a sporty three-spoke unit but what grabs your attention the most is a couple of displays being joined together. Both are 10.25-inches in size and we are glad that Mercedes is giving a proper digital display and not cutting costs.

    steering of mercedes A Class Limousine

    You also get a nice slab of wood finish that continues across the entire cabin. Look closer and the quality is the same as you would get in an E-Class. The steering controls have a knurled look for the volume scroller while the air vents actually look like jet turbines! The buttons below are also of high quality. If you look elsewhere, there is also a touchpad to control various functions of the car.

    Is the A-Class Limousine feature-rich?

    Yes. Also, entry-level or not, the A-Class Limousine is still going to be a Rs 40 lakh car, so obviously features are what you expect and get. You get the basic 10.25-inch screens including a digital instrument cluster plus cruise control, paddle shifters, panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, 64-colour ambient lighting, wireless charger, touchpad with haptic feedback, connected technology, and more.

    What about the technology on offer?

    Let’s start with the two screens as first of all. The display along with graphics is top class while the quality is also brilliant along with the layout. The digital instrument also has various displays and you can customize to your liking. Nothing has been pared down for this car.

    The A-Class Limousine also has the latest Mercedes infotainment system called the MBUX. You can access it via voice commands with the phrase “Hey Mercedes”. The connected car technology has 43 features including live traffic, remote functions and even Alexa plus Google home integration. Hence you can pair your car with home assistance like Alexa or Google home which means you can control various functions of the car from your home!

    Other functions include a “what3words” navigation function and technology like autonomous brake assist.

    Is A-Class Limousine spacious?

    rear seat comfort in mercedes A Class Limousine

    The A-Class Limousine has a wheelbase of 2729mm and also has headroom of 944mm. Hence it is a lot more spacious than the previous CLA and also other luxury cars. While the transmission tunnel limits it to being a four-seater, the A-Class limousine has enough comfort and headroom for even tall passengers.

    How is it to drive?

    The A-Class Limousine comes with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol is a 1.4-liter turbo unit which makes 163hp and 250nm. It has a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The petrol engine is decent to drive but it is not very fast and you have to work the engine to extract the performance. That said, for a comfortable, luxurious cruiser, the A-Class petrol fits the bill and the gearbox is also quite responsive in the city.

    mercedes engine

    If you want performance, then diesel is a better bet. It is a 2.0 turbo unit that makes 150hp and 320Nm while the gearbox is a new 8-speed auto. The diesel is more effortless and offers better performance along with snappier shifts. It is also more efficient over petrol engline at 21.3 kmpl with the petrol giving 17.5kmpl.

    Mercedes A Class Limousine wheels ground clearance

    For India, the A-Class Limousine has its suspension tweaked and is also raised from the ground a bit more than the international spec, which means speed-breakers are a no worry. The ride quality is also nice and the suspension has the typical soft Mercedes feel which owners would like. The only issue we had — there is some road noise that filters in.

    Should I buy A-Class Limousine?

    mercedes A Class Limousine rear view

    There is plenty on offer for you to consider the A-Class Limousine, especially with its styling, features and technology, plus it has the proper Mercedes feeling of luxury. It does not feel like it is some sedan that has been slapped on a Mercedes badge. At Rs 40 lakh starting, the A-Class Limousine could be the perfect luxury car for the successful young Indian.

    The post Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine India Review: Mileage, Features, Pictures appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Hola VPN Review: Why You Should Ignore The Free Version & Go For Hola VPN Premium / FossBytes · Saturday, 6 March, 2021 - 06:09 · 5 minutes

    Hola VPN review

    The internet is rife with VPNs and therefore it becomes important to choose one wisely. If you are in the market for a VPN service provider, chances are you might get befuddled by the sheer number of options available out there. While you can choose from the best VPNs that are rated highly amongst frequent users, there are other lesser-known options as well that could help you hide your digital footprint.

    One such VPN is Hola VPN, which has received notorious reviews for its free version, and rightly so. If you are considering Hola VPN, we have all covered all the points that you must consider before investing your money in it. We used the VPN thoroughly, conducted speed tests, read through privacy policies and also tried unblocking geo-restricted websites.

    Here is our comprehensive review of Hola VPN.

    Let’s start with the basics.

    Hola VPN: How Does It Work?

    Before we jump into details, you must know that Hola VPN offers two different versions – a free one and a paid one (Hola Premium). Hola VPN is an Israel-based VPN service that offers its free services based on peer-to-peer technology (which is not a VPN per se) and a paid version which is VPN in the truest sense.

    Unlike other best free VPNs that limit the bandwidth or number of servers, the Hola VPN free works on peer-to-peer technology and can be considered a proxy service at max. It means you share your bandwidth with others while using the Hola VPN free version. There are chances that other free users are using your IP address to browse the internet “anonymously”.

    Hola advertises its browser extensions as “Hola Free VPN Proxy Unblocker – Best VPN” that uses split tunneling technology to unblock geo-restricted websites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and more.

    Hola VPN Premium, on the other hand, is a proper VPN service albeit their website does not mention the encryption protocols used by the VPN service. There are around 1,000 VPN servers around the world (1,500 for Hola Ultra Advanced VPN users).

    Hola VPN Speed & Performance

    As is the case with all the VPNs, speed throttling is an unavoidable issue. Surprisingly, Hola VPN premium impressed me in this regard. In the speed tests I conducted over a couple of US and Europe based servers, the speed throttling was almost negligible and the ping rate was between the range of 40 and 100.

    Therefore, I have no complaint regarding speed from Hola VPN Premium. Also, the user interface of the Hola VPN macOS app is friendly and you can connect to the VPN with just one click.

    Hola VPN: Unlock Netflix, Amazon, Prime & More

    If your primary aim behind buying a VPN (Psst! here’s a nifty VPN buying guide ) is to unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime catalogs of different countries and access websites that are blocked in your region, Hola VPN’s browser extensions are what you should go for.

    Notably, Hola VPN browser extensions operate on standard VPN protocols and not peer-to-peer technology.

    I successfully unblocked the US catalog of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video US. For free users, it is free to stream Netflix and other video streaming sites for 1 hour. However, you should understand that Hola VPN’s free version is more of a proxy owing to its peer-to-peer architecture therefore unblocking blocked websites is naturally the task it is good at.

    Torrenting: A Strict No Go

    However, if you’re buying Hola VPN for Torrenting, you’re simply wasting your money as Hola’s official website clearly mentions that they do not support torrenting. It says, “ The use of Bittorrent on our network is not allowed, and we are blocking Bittorrent traffic “.

    Security & Logging Policy

    This is where things start getting murkier. Hola VPN free can be called a cybersecurity’s antagonist. Besides routing your internet traffic through other peers instead of safe servers, Hola VPN also logs plenty of details from you, thus defeating the entire purpose of using a VPN.

    If you’re using the free version of Hola VPN, it’s keeping a log of the following information from you:

    • Log data may include the following information – browser type, web pages you visit, time spent on those pages, access times, and dates.
    • Your personal information including your name, email address, and IP address. If you opt to sign up using a third-party account for instance your Google account, Hola will also keep a log of the information stored by Google.
    • If you’re signing up with a social media account, Hola is accessing your basic information including full name, home address, email address, birth date, profile picture, friends list, personal description, as well as any other information you made publicly available on such account.

    Hola says the reason why it logs the personal information of users is that it can report any malicious activity to authorities. The website says, “Th ese measures are probably what make Hola the least attractive VPN for people with malicious or illegal intent to use. They much prefer the various other VPNs that promise not to keep logs “.

    Hola Premium, however, has a strict no-log policy. If you are a premium customer, Hola will not store logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries.

    Interestingly, I had to manually turn on the “No logs” option in my Premium account as it was disabled by default.

    To sum up, Hola VPN is intrusive and lacks a proper security mechanism to keep the privacy of its users intact. In fact, the free version mooches the IP address and bandwidth of users without informing them properly. Therefore, if you’re buying a VPN for cybersecurity, my best advice would be to steer clear of Hola VPN free. The paid version has all the features, you’d want in a good VPN therefore, your first choice should be Hola VPN Premium.

    Hola VPN Pricing

    Hola VPN offers a free service that works on peer-to-peer technology; it’s a proxy service and not a VPN. if you’re opting for the more-secure premium version, here are the prices of Hola VPN:

    • $2.99/mo for 3-year plan
    • $7.69/mo for the yearly plan
    • $14.99/mo for the monthly plan

    Importantly, Hola does not support Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

    Hola VPN Conclusion

    Everything about Hola except its privacy policies and data logging mechanism is great and I understand how silly it sounds especially when we are talking about a VPN service. If you want a website unblocker, Hola VPN is a great option to go.

    For privacy enthusiasts, it could be a nightmare owing to the fact that you’re sharing your bandwidth and IP address with another free user who might be a hacker.

    Hola Premium does sound reliable and could be a strong contender for one of the best VPNs out there once Hola fixes the impending issues.

    The post Hola VPN Review: Why You Should Ignore The Free Version & Go For Hola VPN Premium appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      New Tata Safari Review — Better Than Harrier Or Hector Plus? / FossBytes · Friday, 26 February, 2021 - 08:17 · 5 minutes

    tata safari 2021 full view

    The new Tata Safari is basically a longer Harrier and is the three-row version that was first displayed at the 2020 Auto Expo. In the Tata range, Safari is the flagship SUV being sold over the Harrier at a premium; thus, for the extra money, you get an updated design plus a longer car along with a more luxurious interior plus the three-row seating, of course.

    New Tata Safari 2021 Review

    How does it look?

    new tata safari 2021 sideview Images: Fossbytes

    The new Safari looks brilliant and has lots of road presence when seen for the first time and also looks longer than the Harrier, which it is. The extra length of nearly 65mm over the Harrier gives it a more elegant design, which adds to the looks, no doubt. Compared to the Harrier, the Safari has been designed to look more premium; hence you get the grille, which is finished in chrome and the same goes for the headlamp surrounds below. However, the side and the rear styling have more differences, and it is where you can see the new look. Unlike the Harrier, the roofline has been increased, and there is now a rear quarter glass being added for the third row.

    Also, notice the nice way the roof-rails look somewhat like the previous Safari, and the “Safari” badge looks well done. Safari also wears bigger shoes as it gets 18-inch alloy wheels. There is not much choice in terms of colors as you get only three options: Royale Blue, Orcus White, and Daytona Grey.

    wheel and ground clearance safari 2021

    What about the interiors?

    The interiors impressed us more than the exteriors; here, the differentiation is more evident, and the execution of the design is amongst the best we have seen from any Tata Motors car. It feels tough — from the solid doors to the big steering wheel, along with chunky switchgear. It feels big and sturdy — something which owners will like.

    The old Safari was outdated, and here we are glad Tata Motors did not see the past. The new Safari cabin looks really premium with a white interior and seats and the classy ashwood used, plus there is leather used on the door pads. The dashboard has soft-touch materials and also has an anti-reflective top-layer that looks/feels classy. This is one of the top-tier cabins for the price.

    Some crucial changes make life easier when compared to living with a Harrier. There is an electronic handbrake for one, and the USP port location is also easier to access. The steering wheel has buttons that are easy to use, while the part digital instrument cluster is also nice, even if not quite as tech-focused as its rivals with a full digital cluster.

    The touch screen at 8.8-inches could have been bigger too as all other SUVs in this segment have vastly bigger screens. We also think the quality of the touch display along with rearview camera graphics could be better.

    That said, the Safari does quite well in the overall features count with equipment like a panoramic sunroof (one of the largest that we have seen in this class), 6-way Powered Driver Seat with adjustable lumbar support, captain seats, auto headlamps, drive modes, electronic parking brake, 9-speaker JBL audio system, Android Auto and Apple Car Play Connectivity plus connected tech, 6 airbags and more. However, wireless charging is missing from the features list.

    Is Safari 2021 spacious?

    Absolutely! Since one of the biggest reasons to buy Safari is the space and comfort on offer. The white color looks inviting, and once inside, the middle row is the best place to be with the Captain Seating layout. The standard is a 7-seater bench, but the 6-seater Captain’s Seats is the better option. The seats are superb and are very comfortable while having the right cushioning. Legroom and headroom are also fantastic in the second row. There are also special features include a boss mode to create even more space by moving the front seats ahead, while the 2nd row also gets a 60:40 Split along with auto climate control, ambient mood lighting, and plenty of storage space.

    The third row is surprisingly good, and access to it is best via the space between the captain’s seats; once in, even tall passengers will not complain. Yes, thigh support is less, but headroom is good and you also get a separate blower control and USB ports.

    What’s the technology on offer?

    The Safari is the second Tata Motors car to get connected technology and it gets various features like location-based services, vehicle diagnostics, remote features (remote lock/unlock etc.), over-the-air updates, and vehicle security services. It also gets Terrain response modes connected to the ESP along with offroad ABS, traction control, hill-hold, electronic stability control, hill-descent control and more.

    How is new Safari to drive?

    The Safari gets the same 2.0 turbo diesel present in the Harrier along with the same 6-speed manual and automatic gearbox. It is a monocoque chassis-based SUV (For instance, Fortuner is a ladder-frame) and based on the same Land Rover platform. Controversially, it does not get a 4×4, unlike the last Safari.

    While Tata Safari is heavier than Harrier, performance is the same as the diesel engine plus automatic being the best combination rather than manual, requiring more effort. The engine starts with a typical diesel noise but soon settles into a smooth idle. On the go, the automatic gearbox is nice and smooth for city traffic. The steering requires more effort though, since it is a bit heavy but gets better at higher speeds. Speaking of which, the Harrier is pretty responsive and cruises very well.

    It gets drive modes, and Sport mode is very quick and does enough for all those highway overtakes. It is also brilliant in its stability. Unlike the previous Safari, the new one is much better and does not have too much body roll. Braking for such a heavy car is decent but could have been more confidence-inspiring. Superb ground clearance and terrain response modes are also enough to offer off-road capability for most situations other than hardcore off-roading.

    Should you buy Tata Safari 2021?

    Prices for the Safari start at Rs 14.6 lakh while the fully loaded version is Rs 21.4 lakh. That makes it good value on the basis of its design, space and the excellent suspension which makes for a comfortable family SUV. Getting one over the Harrier is a bit of a no-brainer due to the extra space, features and the added road presence. It is also a better packaged product. Over its immediate rivals, the Hector Plus has more features and a petrol engine while the Safari has the looks and the capability.

    Overall, if you want a big SUV with comfort, features and the ability to go over any road surface with ease, then you should look at the Tata Safari. It is a lot better than the earlier Safari too, we might add!

    The post New Tata Safari Review — Better Than Harrier Or Hector Plus? appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Renault Kiger Compact SUV Review — Mileage, Features, And Pictures / FossBytes · Monday, 22 February, 2021 - 11:10 · 6 minutes

    renault kiger on road

    The Renault Kiger is the most “VFM” SUV that you can buy, but as our review says, there are enough reasons to buy one other than its affordable pricing.

    What is the Renault Kiger all about?

    Meet the Venue/Sonet rival from Renault; while they may have taken their time, Renault has entered the subcompact SUV space with a bang. Called Kiger, this is based on the same platform as Triber and is also about both affordability and value. Kiger is in-fact priced a step below the other established SUVs in this segment and aims to lure hatchback buyers into upgrading to an SUV but without hurting their wallets too much.

    Renault Kiger has been developed with keeping our requirements; with the top-end version well below the Rs 10 lakh price-bracket, Kiger surely has a lot of potential to do well. But is it spacious or feature-packed plus how is the engine in terms of performance? We drove the turbo petrol Kiger to answer just that and more!

    kiger front view

    Renault Kiger Review

    How does it look?

    A crucial victory for Renault is the looks of the Kiger as that is half the battle won. It looks different from other subcompact SUVs and has its own style which appeals to us and also a lot of the public judging by the reactions it got on our test drive. Finished in this blue color, the Kiger looks very good and also has a youthful flair along with a sense of style — it is not shy at all. It is, however, less of a proper SUV in terms of lacking the typical boxy appeal. The lines are curvier and it is more like a crossover.

    Still, you cannot miss those LED DRLs at the top along with the cluster of LED headlamps below with the grille also being divided. The grille is big and lends the Kiger a lot of presence on the road. You will also see roof-rails along with the equally good-looking 16-inch diamond-cut alloys. It is when seen from the side that the Kiger looks a bit less like an SUV due to the roof which goes downward but it does give it a futuristic look. Renault has also put in cladding at the sides and rear while the roof is black for a dual-tone look.

    The rear is again more of a raised hatchback but the edgy tail-lamps are again very well executed and the roof-spoiler is also a nice touch. It certainly aims at the younger crowds, but it’s a design that grabs more attention than some of the other SUVs out there.

    What about the interiors?

    We have to say that the interior of the Kiger surprised us and it feels better built than the Nissan Magnite, another SUV which is also built on the same platform as the Kiger. The design is suitably premium, and it goes for an all-black look which is again another hint towards its sportiness. The interior shares more with the Triber but compared to that car, the Kiger is more luxurious! There is gloss black on the steering wheel and center console, and there is an 8-inch touch screen and a digital TFT instrument cluster. Some nice touches are the switches for climate control which are well finished!

    You will also see a round knob for the drive modes. The instrument cluster is basic though but the design is nice and it gives you the information that you need. Also, the image of Kiger on the digital dials is a nice touch. The touch screen is simple in design too and has lesser options as compared to other cars, for example, a Sonet, but is neatly done and has a decent enough touch response. We would also say that the screen showing the rearview camera is of very good quality. The cabin does not feel built to a price as a whole but the lower half of the dashboard does get some hard plastic and more soft-touch materials could have been used.

    What is the technology onboard?

    It all starts with the key which is a hands-free access card and it looks cool along with being different (other Renault cars also have this type of key). Other than that, the reconfigurable instrument cluster gets a TFT screen that changes color according to the driving mode selected via the knob on the center console.

    renault kiger dashboard

    Other features include climate control, steering controls, white ambient lighting, wireless charging, rear ac vents, four airbags plus more importantly a PM2.5 Clean Air Filter. The audio system on the Kiger is an Arkamys 3D unit and sounds fairly good while being better than some of the other sub-compact SUVs. There is, however, no sunroof or connected technology.

    Is it spacious?

    Absolutely! Kiger surprised us how it can squeeze out so much space inside its compact size and it’s all down to the platform it uses. The seats are a bit thin but offer decent comfort but the real deal is the space between them. Renault says that there is a 710-mm Couple Distance between seats while to us the cabin does feel airy. The rear due to the sloping roof feels a bit compact initially but the sheer space inside at the rear seat is very good. Legroom is excellent as is headroom plus you can squeeze in a middle passenger with a flat floor (nearly). The 405l boot is also the biggest! Further on, we liked the center armrest storage which holds 10.5l and the door pockets can hold 1l bottles.

    How was our driving experience?

    The Kiger is going via the petrol-only route with a pair of 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engines. The base spec engine is the same 1.0 petrol found in the Triber which makes 72PS and 96Nm. The turbo petrol 1.0 makes 100PS and 160Nm. For both engines, you get a standard 5-speed manual, while the 1.0 has an AMT gearbox the turbo petrol gets a CVT automatic. We drove the turbo petrol manual and found this engine likable.

    It does not have the best refinement though and some vibrations do creep inside the cabin and overall some noise is there. That aside, the Kiger feels compact and easy to maneuver while the gearbox itself is not heavy along with the clutch. Thanks to the turbo you also do not need to always downshift to lower gears at low speeds as the torque pulls through. That, along with the compact size, makes it an ideal-sized SUV to tackle our cities. The ride at city speeds is also firm but not uncomfortable, however, the 205mm ground clearance makes tackling speed-breakers and potholes an easy task.

    Out in the highway, Kiger also felt reasonably powerful and the engine felt quick — no doubt helped by the lightweight nature of the Kiger. The gearing is also correct and you do not feel it is running out of breath or is lacking extra gear. We would say that most of our driving was done with the Sport mode selected for the Kiger as that is where it performs with the most enthusiasm. Normal mode is decent but lacks punch while eco mode, not intolerable at all, has a throttle response that is blunted quite a bit. You will get 12-14kmpl overall in terms of its fuel economy though.

    Should you buy Renault Kiger?

    There are four trim levels but we say get straight to the top for the turbo petrol manual or CVT since the turbo petrol is much better suited for city or highway driving along with coping with a full load of passengers. The manual top-end turbo petrol is Rs 8.5 lakh and that is great value for the looks, features, and space on offer. Sure the engine is a bit on the noisy side and some features are missing here, but you cannot miss the value for money proposition that Renault brings here. It is a lot cheaper than other subcompact SUVs and makes for a great if you are shopping for your first SUV.

    The post Renault Kiger Compact SUV Review — Mileage, Features, And Pictures appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Citroen C5 Aircross Review – India Specs, Features, Mileage, Images / FossBytes · Monday, 22 February, 2021 - 08:26 · 6 minutes

    citroen C5 Aircross

    Meet Citroen, a new car-maker that is the latest entrant to the Indian market. It may be new to us but Citroen is more than 100 years old and has been a mainstream car-maker hailing from France. It makes premium as well as mass-market cars. In India, it will compete with the likes of Hyundai, Kia, MG, and others. It is taking a top to bottom approach and first giving India a feel of what this brand is all about with the C5 Aircross. The C5 Aircross is a premium 5-seater luxury SUV that will rival Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass amongst others, and Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace.

    Citroen C5 Aircross Review

    How does Citroen C5 Aircross look?

    Unlike anything, right? The C5 Aircross stands head and shoulders above other SUVs for its unique design and styling. That is a very French way of doing things by the way! Other than the Tiguan All-Space, the C5 is bigger than all other SUVs with a length of 4500mm, width of 1969mm, and also has a healthy ground clearance of 230mm. It sits on 18-inch wheels which would be standard.

    There’s no doubt that you would be giving the C5 Aircross a second glance when you see it for the first time with that huge grille which is brilliantly executed, and that massive Citroen logo that connects the headlamps to the grille. The grille is divided into two layers — even the front bumper gets colored red inserts. There is also a healthy amount of cladding and the obligatory skid plate.

    Move your eyes to the side and the surfacing is sleek while the roof gently flows in. There is a floating roof that wraps around the car while the A/B pillars are black for a sporty dual-tone effect. Speaking of which, there are seven color combinations on offer, including three dual-tone ones. Rounding off the overall design is the rear, which has interesting-looking tail-lamps which give the C5 a “crossover” look while the cladding along with the neat-looking exhausts adds a touch of SUV-like presence. You will note the C5 has roof rails and yes, these are functional ones!

    What about the interiors?

    The French know style well and the C5 Aircross interior is stylish all right along with being well put together also. However, that is the least you would expect from an SUV with an estimated price-tag of nearly Rs 30 lakhs! The design is welcoming and the quality is amongst the best in class. The dashboard and other areas that you regularly touch are all soft and high quality while even below the dashboard you will see uniform quality everywhere. The intelligent use of leather and wool is also another area where the C5 cabin gets good marks.

    The steering wheel is thick and big in size but is nice to hold while behind that is a 12.3-inch TFT display. The center console is very well executed with an 8-inch touch screen along with multiple air vents stacked alongside. Notice the touch surfaces below, which have some important shortcut buttons while even the volume knob is high in quality. The gear lever is on the other side of the driver which is a bit of a hassle to reach out but there is the traction mode knob taking space elsewhere.

    Is it practical or spacious?

    There are plenty of storage options including cup holders, multiple storage places in the centre console and big enough door pockets to store a large water bottle. The boot space is 580l while removing the rear seats will get you 1630l of space. Another area where the C5 impressed us is the seats!

    The front seats are broad and cushioned very well which offer superb comfort and the same goes for the rear seats which are soft plus set at a nice angle to relax.

    The space at the rear is not huge despite the size but the fact that these seats can be reclined and moved individually, gives it additional flexibility.

    Is Citroen C5 Aircross feature-packed?

    You get nearly everything including some “must-have” features like dual-zone climate control, cruise control, touch screen with Android Auto/Apple Car Play, rear view camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, panoramic sunroof, powered driver’s seat, electronic parking brake and more.

    Some features which stood out were the hands-free parking, cool puddle lamps, front plus rear parking sensors, a hands-free boot release, blind spot monitoring system, an on-board air quality system, and a “coffee break alert”.

    How’s the technology on-board?

    The digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is neat and comes with three display modes — all are easy to read and contain a ton of information. When it comes to the central touch-screen, the infotainment system is nice and easy to use with neatly stacked icons along with a responsive touch. The coffee alert system activates when you are driving for more than two hours above 65 km/h while the blind spot assist does help you navigate the car through traffic with constant alerts. We also liked the audio system in terms of its sound quality — it’s among the better audio systems in its class.

    How does it drive?

    Citroen is keeping things simple with just one engine option and one standard automatic gearbox. The engine in question is a 2.0l diesel which develops 175BHP and 400Nm torque. There is no 4×4 but it does get the Grip control which is connected with the Hill Descent control. To us more impressive than the engine is the 8-speed automatic which is smooth in its nature and is suited to the C5. The thick steering wheel may seem large but it is very light and driving it in stop-go traffic is next to no effort and the same goes for the gearbox or engine. For typical everyday traffic, the C5 is very well suited with its good visibility and light steering.

    When taken out on the highway, the engine sounds a bit gruff and gets loud when driven hard. There are paddle shifters behind the steering wheel and there are drive modes of course but you get the feeling that the engine does not like being hurried. At slow speeds, you get some diesel noise and it gets increased at high speeds. That said, the stability is very nice and it is also a good handling SUV with body roll kept in check. Even though C5 is a big SUV, it does not feel so when driving it. In terms of fuel economy, the official figure is 18.6 kmpl while we got 13-15 kmpl.

    How is the suspension?

    The C5 promises “comfort” above other things and the main reason for that is the suspension which uses hydraulic cushions. We drove the car over rough surfaces and uneven roads plus some off-roading to find that the C5 Aircross does live up to some of that promise as this suspension absorbs the impact but does not transmit it to the cabin. It is quite stable over bad roads while the suspension is tuned to be soft for a comfortable feel. Yes, it is not as agile as a Compass but you get a softer and a better ride, which we think will appeal more to customers in India.

    Should I buy Citroen C5 Aircross?

    The C5 Aircross will not be cheap with an expected price-tag starting from Rs 30 lakh but we think it has what it takes to justify that on the basis of its looks and the comfort that it provides along with its luxury quotient. It will be first sold through special dealerships in only ten cities known as the “La Maison Citroen” dealership concept, and it’ll slowly expand its footprint to more cities. However, there is also a showroom on wheels concept for places where there isn’t a proper showroom. Overall, the C5 Aircross is the perfect brand builder for Citroen and will appeal to those who aren’t seeking a run-of-the-mill luxury SUV.

    The post Citroen C5 Aircross Review – India Specs, Features, Mileage, Images appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review [Comfort, Features, Images] / FossBytes · Thursday, 18 February, 2021 - 06:46 · 8 minutes

    BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review

    BMW has changed itself and its latest version of its 3 Series happens to be for the ‘back seat driver’. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about.

    BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review

    What is the 3 Series Gran Limousine all about?

    BMW has always been about driving pleasure before anything else, and its 3 Series is perhaps one of its most iconic cars worldwide. Despite SUVs gaining popularity, the 3 Series continues to hold ground for its design, performance, and also having that quality plus driving appeal, which makes it different. The new Generation 3 Series, launched last year, was a shift since, along with being bigger than its predecessor; it was also tuned to be a bit more comfort-oriented.

    The steering and ride were changed, which was not a bad thing since that is what the segment demands. However, in some ways, BMW also managed to keep the basic driving pleasure DNA embedded in it via the excellent new 330i and also the diesel. However, this move to launch the 3 Series Gran Limousine is surprising at first, it does make sense when thought after some time. This BMW is meant for the owner who would like to be driven around and not drive it themselves. And on top of that it is a 3 Series which has always been about its driving!

    The reason for the shift is the changing requirements and the success of its arch-rival Mercedes. Mercedes launched its E-Class with a long wheelbase some years back, and since then, it has completely dominated this segment. It has space that no other car in its class has due to its longer wheelbase over its rivals.  BMW has done the same, but instead of choosing to launch the 5 Series with a long wheelbase, the 3 Series has been chosen due to its cheaper cost and higher sales potential. As a result, we have the 3 Series Gran Limousine or in other words a 3 Series with a longer wheelbase. Along with that, BMW has also changed the positioning and made the 3 Series a more appealing car for those who would look at a chauffeur-driven car. It is the only car in its class to have a longer wheelbase.

    How does it look?

    The 3 Series Gran Limousine is fitting a gap between the 5 Series and the 3 Series. It is the replacement for the 3 Series GT that has been discontinued worldwide. The 3 Series Gran Limousine is defined by numbers as the wheelbase plus length has been increased plus some small tweaks. From the front, the 3 Series Gran Limousine can be mistaken for the regular 3 Series with the same kidney grille, plus the front is the same as the BMW 3 Series Luxury line.

    front view BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Images: Fossbytes

    It is a sporty-looking car with the kidney grille nicely stretched out and a nice shape for fog lamp enclosures. There are also 3 Series design details, including the short overhangs plus the long bonnet.

    When seen from the side, you can see the difference between the standard and the long-wheel version. A long wheelbase means the wheelbase or the space between the wheels have been increased. Hence it is the same with the 3 Series Gran Limousine where there are longer doors now being added to the rear of the GL.

    As a result, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine is now the longest car in its class, with a length of  4,819 millimeters. That makes the difference with the 3 Series Gran Limousine having a much more classy appearance, whereas the standard sedan is much sportier. Thanks to its length, it’s more about elegance, while the appearance is of a much bigger car or a car from a segment higher.

    Move to the rear, and it is a classy but sporty look with the three-dimensional L- shaped LED taillights along with two large tailpipes. This is the Luxury Line, whereas the MSport trim gives it a much more aggressive appearance, however, we think this version suits the 3 Series Gran Limousine more. The build quality plus the paint finish is, of course, brilliant. Speaking of which, there are four colors available with the BMW 3 Series GL namely – Mineral White, Melbourne Red, Carbon Black, and Cashmere Silver.

    What about the interiors?

    The 3 Series Gran Limousine is all about the interior since that is where the extra space has gone to. However, before that, let us take a look at the interior design. The design itself is simple and somewhat less flashy than rivals or sporty, but the quality of materials with the leather to the chrome or metal used is all top quality.

    The new 3 Series is a lot more appealing and luxurious than the earlier one, plus there are some nice details like the glass gear-lever. There is a big 10.25-inch touch screen which is intuitive to use and it also has a high-quality display. Move to the steering wheel and it is a sporty looking one, true to BMWs but behind it, the old dials are changed with new digital dials which is 12.3-inch in size.

    Is it spacious?

    Now let us talk about the rear seat since this is what the car is all about. In plain numbers, the 3 Series Gran Limousine has an extra 110 millimeters of wheelbase being added to it, which automatically also means that the rear doors are now 110 millimeters longer when compared to a standard 3 Series sedan.

    In terms of plain rear seat space, there is an extra 43 millimeters of legroom now in the rear seat, which means it has the most space in its class here. Upon testing the rear seat, we have to say that it is by far the most spacious sedan as you can really stretch out with so much legroom and a good amount of headroom.  You relax after a long day at work and the extra space makes all the difference. However, the big central tunnel means that this is best for two persons at the back.  The seat itself is more comfortable plus the angle is set at a more relaxed angle. Also changed is the Vernasca leather upholstery being given here plus there is a newly designed headrest along with a new central armrest between the rear seats.

    Is it feature rich?

    In terms of features, the 3 Series Gran Limousine is very well equipped and even gets more features than a standard 3 Series. It all starts with a bigger panoramic sunroof, which is crucial as it adds an airy feel to the cabin. Then you have ambient lighting with six colors while new here is the illuminated strip on the back of the front seats. Other features include a three-zone automatic climate control with active carbon filters (which cools the cabin down quickly), a Harman Kardon Surround Sound system with 16 speakers, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (useful and convenient), wireless charging, parking Assistant with rearview camera, etc.

    There is also the MSport which gets Gesture Control which recognizes hand gestures and there are six of them, including turning up the volume or answering/rejecting a call. Another important feature is the heads-up display which brings more information to the drive without the need to look down at the instrument cluster. In terms of safety, you get features like six airbags, Attentiveness Assistance, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), electronic parking brake with auto hold, and ISOFIX child seat mounting.

    What engines are offered?

    The 3 Series Gran Limousine is available with two engine options. The petrol is the 330Li which is a two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged making 258hp and 400Nm. The diesel is also a two-litre four-cylinder, which makes 190hp and 400Nm. Standard is an eight-speed automatic transmission while you also get paddle shifters which give you manual control. There are also launch control and drive modes like Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+.

    How does it drive?

    The BMW 330Li is the pick of the bunch as it is smooth and extremely refined. There is barely any sound when you push the start button while compared to the standard 3 Series the ride is less busy and the suspension more silent. The Gran Limousine rides very well plus the refined engine adds to the luxury experience. The softer suspension is the key to the 3 Series Gran Limousine having a better ride over the standard 3 Series. Even if you drive the car does not feel big in its size and it is agile while the engine is superb. It is silent when you want it to be, but lets out a lovely snarl when driven in “S” mode. Overall you can really have some fun driving this car fast. Of course the sharpness and the handling brilliance of the standard 3 Series have been toned down and the soft suspension brings some body roll but for most drivers, this car offers enough thrills behind the wheel. The steering feels light but direct and weighs up with an increase in speed.

    Now when you do sit at the back you will notice how the car rides and the suspension does not make you move around. The tyres and the suspension absorb more of the road, hence making it a very comfortable chauffeur-driven experience. However, the 135mm ground clearance and the longer wheelbase means going over speed breakers requires more caution.

    Is it fuel efficient?

    The 3 Series Gran Limousine is heavier and drinks more than the standard 3 Series but 12kmpl is very much possible while driving it fast will make it around 7/8kmpl for 330Li petrol.

    BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: Should you buy one?

    The 3 Series Gran Limousine starts at Rs 51.50 lakh while the top-spec MSport is Rs 53.90 lakh (all prices ex-showroom). In terms of pricing, the 3 Series GL is about Rs 9 lakh more expensive over the standard 3 Series plus is also amongst the most expensive in its class. However, the extra money you pay goes into the longer wheelbase which makes this car stand out amongst its rivals. No other sedan offers this much space while it is still great to drive like any 3 Series. Overall, in short, it is the most complete luxury sedan in its class right now.

    The post BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review [Comfort, Features, Images] appeared first on Fossbytes .

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      Movim | Basic Review & Beginner's Guide

      Timothée Jaussoin · / Movim · Sunday, 14 February, 2021 - 11:17 edit

    Thanks for this awesome guide by UbuntuBuzz. With a lot of details and some ideas of improvements for the future. #Movim #review #guide