Amazfit Stratos Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Xiaomi-backed wearables brand Huami’s Amazfit Stratos is a multi-sport GPS watch with some features of smartwatches. It’s swim-proof, can track outdoor runs, shows you notifications from your smartphone, lets you store music, and promises up to five days of battery life. All this comes at a price tag of Rs. 15,999, which is a pretty good price if it all works well. We used the Amazfit Stratos for a week to find out whether it’s worth considering as a “smart” watch for fitness enthusiasts.

Amazfit Stratos design and comfort

The Amazfit Stratos looks stunning in photos but the actual product isn’t as good-looking. It’s really bulky, with a thick circular dial and large buttons. While we appreciate the large display, it looks a bit like a flat tyre and isn’t a full circle. The Amazfit Stratos is a bit too bulky to be comfortable for everyday use. It uses a silicone strap and we found that it fit securely and didn’t cause any additional discomfort.

The display is perhaps the biggest weakness of the Amazfit Stratos. It’s an always-on display, which is great, but the positives end there. The glass on top is very reflective, and under bright light, it is hard to read what’s on screen. The backlight tended to hurt our eyes in dim rooms because it lights up the entire screen. With the Amazfit Stratos, waking up in the middle of the night to check the time on our wrist was a painful experience every single time. Even though it has some cool watch faces, the display isn’t good enough to show them off.

One big design flaw with the Amazfit Stratos is its charger. The charging cradle snaps on to the bottom of the watch, but it can fit upside down just as easily. If you accidentally get it wrong, you won’t be able to charge the watch because the pins won’t make contact. While the mechanism works just fine, this oversight could be rather annoying in the long run.

amazfit stratos reflective screen hand gadgets 360 Amazfit Stratos

 

Amazfit Stratos software and ecosystem

The Amazfit Stratos is compatible with iOS and Android, and you’ll need to download the Amazfit Watch app on your smartphone. The app allowed us to choose to sign in with an existing Xiaomi account, and we tried this first because we had created one when reviewing the Xiaomi Mi Band 2. However, it just did not work, so we had to create a new account. The pairing process was smooth and we found the app to be well-designed. It shows data in neat graphs and you can see historical data quite easily too.

Our issue with the app is that it doesn’t do much. It has a setting to change units from Imperial to Metric, but that change didn’t reflect on the watch. We had to do this from the watch’s settings. Similarly, options such as auto-upload data, 12- or 24-hour clocks, do not disturb mode, etc. can only be changed on the watch.

The Amazfit Stratos uses a proprietary operating system, which is quite common in the fitness segment. Companies such as Garmin and TomTom do the same thing. It takes some time to get used to the interface of the Amazfit Stratos, though. It has a touchscreen, and three buttons for you to navigate through the UI. Press the top one to scroll up, and the bottom button to scroll down, and if you want to select an option, you can use the middle button. The app shows a tutorial to take you through other actions, such as long-pressing the top button to go back, etc. but this is not intuitive at all.

We also noticed that the touchscreen only works if you “wake” the watch by pressing one of the buttons. If you try to use the touchscreen after it’s been idle for some time, it remains unresponsive. These are minor annoyances that add up to make the overall experience feel clunky.

amazfit stratos apple watch gadgets 360 Amazfit StratosApple Watch (left) and Amazfit Stratos

 

However, the watch does show notifications and lets you read full messages even from third-party apps. You can’t reply to any notifications as this watch is meant to be a fitness wearable with notifications, and not a proper smartwatch. While we found the notifications useful, people who need more control might not.

Amazfit Stratos performance and battery life

We can live with an average UI if the Amazfit Stratos does its job from a fitness standpoint. To test this, we ran it through some standard tests. The first is to test the step counter by walking 1,000 steps and counting them manually. Then we checked if the Amazfit Stratos recorded them accurately. The results were surprisingly good — the Stratos recorded 1,002 steps when we counted 1,000.

Our second test was to check if the GPS of the watch was accurate. We first drove a car through a route near our office in Mumbai to establish a 1-km distance as our test track. This route took us under a flyover as we wanted to see if the watch can trace the route accurately. We ran the test with the Apple Watch Series 2 on our left hand and the Amazfit Stratos on our right. The Stratos took three minutes to lock on to a signal in an open space on the main road, which was frustrating. Our Apple Watch found a GPS signal instantly (as it uses a paired iPhone’s GPS when). Most running watches take around two minutes to find a GPS signal, and three minutes is a bit too long.

Then, the Stratos recorded the 1km distance as 1.64km. The Apple Watch had no such issues and it showed the route to be exactly 1km long. When we looked at the route recorded by the Amazfit Stratos, it had marked a start point far from where we had actually begun recording the walk, but once we took a U-turn under the flyover, the Stratos corrected itself.

We tried this test a second time, just to check whether the same error was repeated. On this attempt, it took one minute to lock on to a GPS signal at the same spot, which was good to note. The Amazfit Stratos had a much better showing, but it still wasn’t entirely accurate. On the second try it recorded 1.11km on the 1km route, and its starting point was slightly off.

Overall, this kind of inconsistency is worrying, because we’d always be second-guessing whether the Stratos’ tracking is accurate.

amazfit stratos buttons gadgets 360 Amazfit Stratos

 

We also noticed that the Amazfit Stratos doesn’t have a dedicated tracking mode for strength training or gym sessions, or for other activities such as Pilates and yoga, which are found on several other fitness-oriented wearables. Given that, we used the elliptical training mode to track a 90-minute gym session, and found that the heart rate sensor on the Stratos didn’t do a great job. When we looked at our heart rate during the session, the Stratos always showed a value that was either too low or too high based on how we were feeling at that point. A look at the data later confirmed this.

The Apple Watch showed our maximum heart rate during the session as 191 beats per minute, while the Stratos’ data said this was 175bpm. It was a strenous session during which we felt like we’d fully exerted ourself, and our maximum heart rate definitely should’ve been higher. We could also see the heart rate data peaking at different times on the two watches, and felt that the Apple Watch’s data was more accurate.

Sleep tracking with the Amazfit Stratos was a bit of a mixed bag. We compared its data against what was recorded on the Apple Watch by the excellent Sleep++ app, and found that it was accurate sometimes but not at other times. One day we’d set an alarm for 5.30am and we woke up but went back to sleep. On that day, the Stratos claims that we woke up around 5.30am, whereas the Apple Watch data suggested that we woke up at 7.40am. The latter is closer to reality. When we managed to sleep uninterrupted at night, the data was fairly accurate.

We like the fact that the battery life of the Amazfit Stratos is around five days. Without using GPS, it lasted almost seven days on a single charge. The moment you start tracking workouts using GPS, the battery starts to drain more quickly. It’s worth mentioning that by default, features that could drain power – such as automatically uploading workout data – are disabled.

Finally, we really missed automatic workout tracking feature on the Amazfit Stratos. We did forgot to manually begin a workout on one occasion, and the Stratos didn’t log it for us. With companies such as Fitbit adding this feature to their products, and Apple announcing it with watchOS 5, it would be nice to see this feature come to the Amazfit Stratos as well. We were unable to go for a swim during the testing period, but we did subject it to a shower multiple times and it continued to work just fine.

amazfit stratos apple watch reflective screen hand gadgets 360 Amazfit Stratos

 

Verdict
The Amazfit Stratos looks great on paper but fails to live up to its promise in many ways. We really like the idea of a fitness-focused wearable that shows notifications and looks like a cool everyday watch, but the Stratos’ implementation of many features leaves a lot to be desired. Its bulk makes it uncomfortable to wear every day, and its decidedly masculine styling means that women aren’t likely to find it appealing.

While we think that it could work as a multi-sport watch under ideal conditions, the Amazfit Stratos’ inconsistent performance means that we hesitate to recommend it over products from established brands such as Garmin, TomTom, and even the Apple Watch, which isn’t strictly direct competition for the product. The pricing — Rs. 15,999 — is great for the features offered, but we still think the TomTom Spark would be a better choice for fitness enthusiasts on a budget. Those who can afford an Apple Watch Series 3 would be better served by it.

Pros

  • Battery life
  • Always on display
  • Notifications
  • Accurate step tracking

Cons

  • Poor display quality
  • Inaccurate GPS tracking
  • Inaccurate sleep tracking
  • Awkward touchscreen UI
  • App doesn’t do much

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Design and comfort: 2.5
  • Tracking accuracy: 2.5
  • Software and ecosystem: 3
  • Battery life: 4
  • Overall: 2.5



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NDTV Exclusive : Panic in Dadri, five incidents of firing on the same pattern


नई दिल्ली: दिल्ली एनसीआर के ग्रेटर नोएडा के दादरी इलाके में कुछ लोग बाइक से आते हैं और रात के अंधेरे में एक समुदाय के लोगों को लगातार गोलियां मार रहे हैं. पिछले एक महीने के अंदर पांच घटनाएं हुई हैं जिनमें पांच लोग घायल हुए हैं. एक शख्स बाल-बाल बच गया. सवाल ये है क्या कोई माहौल खराब करने की कोशिश कर रहा है?

ग्रेटर नोएडा के पास दादरी इलाके में एक समुदाय में दहशत का माहौल है. पूरा सच जानने के लिए सबसे पहले हम मिले 57 साल के फ़ैयाज़ अहमद से. पेशे से दर्जी फ़ैयाज़ 10 जुलाई को रात करीब 10:30 बजे अपने घर लौट रहे थे, तभी दादरी मेन रोड पर बाइक पर आए 2 लोगों ने पीछे से आकर उनकी कमर के पीछे गोली मार दी. एम्स में इलाज कराने के बाद फ़ैयाज़ अपने घर पहुंच चुके हैं, लेकिन गोली अब तक उनके जिस्म में फंसी हुई है. फ़ैयाज़ के पास पैसे भी थे लेकिन उन्हें नहीं लूटा. उनका कहना है कि उनकी किसी से कोई दुश्मनी नहीं है. कोई है जो दो समुदायों के बीच माहौल बिगाड़ने की कोशिश कर रहा है.

 

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इसी इलाके में रहने वाला 14 साल का फैज़ान 12 जुलाई को अपने पिता की मीट की दुकान से लौट रहा था. दादरी मेन रोड पर रात करीब 9 बजकर 40 मिनट पर बाइक पर सवार 2 लोग पीछे से आए और उसकी कमर के पीछे गोली मार दी. इस 14 साल के बच्चे की किसी से क्या दुश्मनी होगी? मोहम्मद फैज़ान के मुताबिक वे लोग बाइक पर सवार थे और गोली मारने के बाद अंधेरे में तेज स्पीड से निकल गए. फैज़ान के पिता निज़ामुद्दीन के मुताबिक उनकी या उनके बच्चे की किसी से कोई रंजिश नहीं है. फैज़ान अब खतरे से बाहर है और अपने घर पर है.

 

jo69pusc


इसी तरह पेशे से दर्जी 26 साल का इरफान 14 जुलाई को अपनी दुकान बंद करने के बाद घर जा रहा था. रात के अंधेरे में बिना बात किए बाइक सवार दो लड़कों ने रात करीब 9:30 बजे उस पर फायरिंग कर दी. लेकिन वह बाल-बाल बच गया. इरफान के मुताबिक उसने पुलिस में शिकायत नहीं कि क्योंकि डर के मारे उसके घरवालों ने शिकायत दर्ज करवाने से मना कर दिया था.

दादरी के ही नई आबादी इलाके के रहने वाले 30 साल के शौकीन का परिवार बेहद गरीब है. शौकीन का 4 भाईयों का परिवार है और सभी मज़दूरी करते हैं. शौकीन 22 जुलाई को अपना मोबाइल रिचार्ज कराने के बाद लौट रहे थे कि तभी बाइक पर सवार तीन लड़के आए और रात करीब 9 बजे औरों की तरह उनकी कमर में गोली मार दी. शौकीन ठीक से बात नहीं कर पा रहा. उसका इलाज पूरा करने की बजाय उसे अस्पताल से पहले ही घर भेज दिया गया. उसके शरीर में ज़ख्म का निशान साफ दिख रहा है, जिस पर मक्खियां भिनभिना रही थीं. उसका इन्फेक्शन लगातार बढ़ता जा रहा है.

 

j66c08fs


यहीं मेवातियन मोहल्ले में रहने वाला पेशे से ड्राइवर 24 साल का सलमान अपने दोस्त अफसर के साथ 9 अगस्त को ईंट के भट्टे पर जा रहा था. रात 10 बजकर 20 मिनट पर 2 बाइक सवार लड़कों ने बिना बातचीत किए उसकी कमर के पीछे जबकि अफसर के पैर में गोली मार दी. दोनों खतरे से बाहर हैं. अफसर का इलाज चल रहा है. सलमान के मुताबिक हमलावरों ने हमसे कोई बातचीत नहीं की, सीधे गोली मारी और भाग गए. अफसर की मां मुनीशा के मुताबिक उसके बेटे की किसी से कोई दुश्मनी नहीं है.

 

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खास बात ये है कि सभी को गोलियां एक ही पैटर्न पर कमर के पीछे मारी जा रही हैं. केवल अफसर के पैर में गोली लगी है. गोली मारने का समय रात 9 से 11 के बीच है और निशाना एक ही समुदाय के गरीब तबके के लोगों को बनाया जा रहा है, जिन्हें न कानून का ज्ञान है और न कोर्ट कचहरी की समझ. उनके पास इलाज़ तक के पैसे नहीं हैं. गोली भी शरीर में ऐसी जगह मारी जा रही है जिससे किसी की मौत न हो, यानि मक़सद दहशत फैलाना हो सकता है.


पुलिस ने हत्या की कोशिश के 4 मामले दर्ज किए हैं. वह मानती है कि कोई एक समुदाय के लोगों पर लगातार गोलियां चला रहा है लेकिन हमलवारों का सुराग अब तक उनके पास नहीं. ग्रेटर नोएडा के एसपी आशीष श्रीवास्तव के मुताबिक हमारी कई टीमें काम कर रही हैं. हम हमलावरों को जल्दी पकड़ लेंगे. ऐसा लगता है कि इस तरह के हमले के जरिए हमलावरों की मंशा माहौल बिगाड़ने की हो. वहीं स्थानीय लोगों का मानना है कि एक समुदाय को निशाना बनाने के पीछे एक बड़ी साजिश हो सकती है.

srnbm55o


पेशे से वकील और समाजवादी पार्टी के नेता नवीन भाटी का कहना है कि दादरी में हिन्दू और मुस्लिम समुदायों के लोग रहते हैं लेकिन यहां कभी कोई दंगा नहीं हुआ. अब कुछ वोट के भेड़िए वोट पाने के लिए दोनों समुदायों को लड़ाने की साज़िश कर रहे हैं. इसी इलाके के रहने वाले याकूब मालिक का कहना है कि ये कोई सिरफिरा इंसान नहीं करता अगर वो करता तो किसी एक समुदाय के लोगों को ही गोली नहीं मारता, सबको मारता. इसके पीछे जो भी हो लेकिन वह माहौल खराब करने के अपने मंसूबे में कामयाब नहीं हो पाएगा.VIDEO : दादरी में अंधेरे में पीठ पर गोली चलाने वाले कौन?

अब पुलिस जांच के बाद ही साफ होगा कि हमलावर महज़ 2-3 दिन हैं या इसके पीछे संगठन है, लेकिन हैरानी की बात ये है कि लगातार इस तरह की वारदातों के बाद भी हमलावर पुलिस की पकड़ से बाहर हैं.



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Noise Aqua Mini Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


It’s easy find a Bluetooth speaker that fits pretty much any budget these days, but finding a good one at a low cost that’s also waterproof is still a bit tricky. Indian accessory and wearables maker Noise might have just the solution for all those who are looking for such a thing.

The Noise Aqua Mini is a compact Bluetooth speaker that’s IPX7 rated, which means you can dunk it in a little bit of water without worrying about killing it. It’s also very well priced at just Rs. 1,999, making it good budget contender. It’s time to see if it sounds good too.

Noise Aqua Mini design and features

The Aqua Mini is the company’s debut waterproof speaker, and for a first attempt, it’s not too bad. The speaker is designed to be rugged, which is why it has an industrial look with exposed bolts. It’s not the prettiest, but it gets the job done. The exterior is built out of hard plastic and rubber, with metal mesh inserts at the front and back.

Noise Aqua Mini buttons ndtv noise

 

The Aqua Mini has a row of buttons on the top for power and music playback control. Despite the stiff rubber coating, the buttons themselves don’t need much effort to press. On the side, we have a thick flap that conceals a Micro-USB port, reset pin-hole, and auxiliary-in port. The right corner of the speaker has a soft rubber handle, to which you can attached a carabiner that comes in the box. With this, you can clip the speaker onto things when you’re travelling.

The speaker doesn’t feel too heavy at 220g and it’s quite sturdy too. It easily survived a couple of drops. The finish of the plastics could have been a little better, and we would have liked at least a few colour options, instead of just black. In the box, you get a 3.5mm stereo cable, a Micro-USB charging cable, and a manual.

The Aqua Mini uses Bluetooth 4.2 with the Low Energy profile, which should help in prolonging battery life. There’s a 50mm full-range driver with an impedance of 9 Ohms and a rated power output of 5W, but there’s no mention of the frequency range. There doesn’t seem to be any passive radiator either, to help with the low-end frequencies. The speaker doesn’t have a microSD card slot or USB port so you can’t use it as a standalone music player, but there is a built-in FM receiver.

Noise Aqua Mini performance and battery life

When we first took it out of the box, the speaker sounded quite flat, but it sounded better after burning it in for a few hours. Due to the relatively large driver, the Aqua Mini gets very loud when you’re listening to it indoors. Outdoors, you’ll still need to max out the volume. We didn’t hear our music distorting at high volumes, which is good.

The bass is not punchy, as expected, but the driver moves a good amount of air within the chamber so that low-end frequencies aren’t completely flat. Genres like EDM, heavy metal and hip-hop don’t fare too well as the speaker simply cannot push out good bass. Other genres like jazz, pop and even country are easier for the Aqua Mini to handle.

Noise Aqua Mini ports ndtv noise

 

Instrument separation isn’t the best in the mid-range, and the sonic signature isn’t as warm as we’d like, but it doesn’t sound tinny either. Vocals are handled quite well and are put front and center, which is noticeable in tracks such as Dreams by Fleetwood Mac. Higher frequency notes sound good too. The vibration of the driver causes the body of the speaker to vibrate too, but the rubber feet help it stay planted on most surfaces.

The controls work well, but we wished that the volume could have been controlled with a single press of the respective buttons, instead of long presses. A single LED light hidden within the front mesh changes from blue to green when you switch to FM mode. There’s also an audio cue, which is the same as the notification alert tone on iPhones.

FM radio works well only if you plug in a 3.5mm stereo cable, which acts as an antenna. The internal microphone worked well for handling phone calls. Noise doesn’t specify for how long the Aqua Mini can survive underwater but going by the definition of the IPX7 rating, it should be able to withstand depths of up to one metre. We dunked it a few times in water and even used it in the rain and it continued to work just fine.

Noise Aqua Mini hang ndtv noise

 

The internal battery is rated to last for up to 10 hours, which seems slightly conservative, as we managed to get close to 11 hours of music playback, with the volume set to 70 percent most of the time and a mix of Bluetooth streaming and FM radio playback. Charging is slow and even with a high-wattage charger, it takes close to three hours to fully charge this speaker. Sadly, there’s no way to check the battery level. If it’s very low, you hear a little sound and the LED starts flashing red.

Verdict
The Aqua Mini is a good first attempt from Noise, and at its current retail price of Rs. 1,999, it’s one of the few decent sounding IPX7-rated speakers in the market in this segment. It has powerful sound for its size, built-in FM radio, and good battery life, and is rugged to boot.

Price: Rs. 1,999

Pros

  • IPX7 rated
  • Rugged body
  • FM receiver
  • Good battery life
  • Clear vocals and highs

Cons 

  • Slow charging
  • Weak bass, suppressed mids
  • Not the prettiest design
  • Can’t check battery level

Ratings (out of 5) 

  • Design: 3.5
  • Audio quality: 3
  • Battery life: 4
  • Value for money: 4
  • Overall: 3.5



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Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Review – NDTV CarAndBike





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The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is meant to take on the likes of the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Ghost

The epitome of engineering, design, and luxury in the Daimler universe. This is a car that is meant for the chosen few. The very very few. And while it made its world debut last year and India debut in February this year, it has finally been made available to us to test. And yes, we have it for you first. And exclusive. This is the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. And I am driving the range topper S 650 – not your average car and not even your average chauffeur driven one. But yes, most owners will spend exponentially more time in the back than in the front. The cabin is the true lap of luxury. After all this car is meant to take on the likes of the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Ghost. The finest, softest leather, the best gadgets money can buy, and yes that includes a Burmester 3DF sound system with not 10, not 12, not even 16, but 26 speakers! You can customise everything, thanks to ‘designo’ individualisation. So, there are 4 options for the wood or lacquer trim, 6 for the leather – and you can get the Nappa leather if you want – and there are 12 paint shades to choose from for the exterior.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
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The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 takes on the likes of the Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Ghost

Traffic in the NCR region can be quite the pain. And even more so with this car since it is a whopping 5462 mm or almost 5 and half metres long. It is longer than the long wheelbase S-Class by 207 mm. In fact, just the wheelbase is 3365 mm, long enough then, to fit an entire Maruti Suzuki Alto in and still have some space to spare. Yes, it really is that large and that makes it a bit of a yacht, especially while navigating through traffic. But since I started my ride by sitting in the rear, I was feeling very relaxed just the same. Magic Body control – a carryover from the S-Class, is the adaptive air suspension which works to give you the best ride quality possible. Now with the extended length of this car, it becomes a little bit more crucial and I have to say, it’s executed really well. It’s the attention to detail that really sets this car apart even when compared to every other luxury sedan.

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Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is 207 mm longer than the long wheelbase S-Class

And then there is Magic Sky Control – another Maybach staple. This is the panoramic roof with glass that can be tinted or made transparent at the flick of a button. Double glazed glass windows, electric sun shades on the windows, and even more. Multiple airbags all around the cabin, include side impact and curtain airbags at the back. But you also get seat belt bags as well for outer rear passengers. This Maybach takes your safety so seriously that it even has a retractable seatbelt buckle that comes up to greet you when you open the door on that side. It has a small red LED light, so you just can’t miss it even at night.

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The chauffeur package on the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 provides an additional 77mm of legroom

The chauffeur package gives me an additional 77mm of legroom, with the front left seat folding forwards, and a footrest deploying below it. Like I needed that – given how big this car already is. But it means you can really stretch out. A nice soft headrest, a little padding on the leg rest as well means you can relax and even nap comfortably. Now you know about the massage functions, the S-Class always had it too. But on the new Maybach you get little extra. It’s called ‘Energising Comfort’. It actually gives you a theme-based massage settings – refresh, vitality, joy, and well-being. What it does is not just the appropriate massage function to go with that theme, but also a fragrance that’s dissipating into the cabin, and to further match that theme, ambient lighting and screen display. If that wasn’t enough there’s also music that plays in keeping it with that. This cocoon of comfort and safety is perfect to insulate you from the world outside and is perfect to bring you to your high flying, big number crunching, power lunch work meetings.

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The cabin of the Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is a cocoon of comfort and safety which insulates you from the world outside

I could go on and on about how luxurious the car, and all those nice features in the cabin. And while the Maybach S 650 is all about that for sure, it is also about its 6-litre V12 engine. It puts out 617 bhp and a ridiculous 1000 Nm of peak torque. The S560 that gives you 460 horses by the way – and that is a V8. But really if you do plan to drive yourself at all, the S650 is the one to get. And so, I too switched to the driver’s seat next. The power delivery is smooth and absolutely seamless. And of course, there’s that sublime chassis to keep everything very calm and composed. The 7-Speed gearbox though does feel a tad dated and slow.

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The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 comes with a 6-litre V12 engine

You get blind spot warning, semi-autonomous features like the lane keep assist and also autonomous emergency braking. I already told you about the Magic Body Control that gives you great ride comfort. But you can also use it to lift the car in case of a huge speed bump or any other rough road condition. The multiple drive mode settings include the predictable Comfort, Sport and Individual. And then there is Curve. This helps keep sway and body roll low, to guarantee a more comfortable ride and handling experience to rear passengers in particular. Needless to say, I was happy to leave it in Sport.

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The Maybach S 650 comes with semi-autonomous lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking

The car looks imposing and not just because it is huge. That massive front grille, and the spectacular optional wheels really make you stop and stare. You have 9 wheel patterns to choose from by the way! And it helps of course to have a custom designo matte paintjob that our test car has, isn’t it? It would be cool to get the Maybach logo hood ornament though – and yes you can get one optionally. The logo is present on the C-pillar and the car name is spelt out on the boot lid. Of course, that lovely V12 badge on the fenders adds that promise of power. The car is very much like the S-Class otherwise, though in a more obviously sophisticated way.

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The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is ₹ 86 lakh rupees pricier than the range-topping S-Class sedan

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The virtual cluster gives you different displays, but you can also mess around a lot with the interior lighting. Besides the 64 colours on the ambient lighting, you also get the ‘Multicolour’ option. This lets you animate the colours to offer different shades on the top and bottom half of the cabin. Pretty funky. The Mercedes-Maybach S 650 is priced at ₹ 2.73 crore, and the S 560 will set you back ₹ 1.93 crore. That’s still ₹ 86 lakh rupees higher than the range-topping S-Class sedan for the Maybach S 560. But like I said at the very beginning – this car is not for everyone. And yes – not even two of me could afford it!

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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Xiaomi has launched the Mi A2 as its second Android One phone in India. Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. The new Mi A2 promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor. 

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. Xiaomi has now launched a successor to the Mi A1 called the Mi A2, and it promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor. 

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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After NDTV Sting, Police To Move Court Against Accused In Pehlu Khan Case


Jaipur: 

After an NDTV investigation showed an accused in the mob killing of Alwar dairy farmer Pehlu Khan bragging about the attack

The man in the hidden camera video, Vipin Yadav, was one amongst the mob which attacked 55-year-old Pehlu Khan while taking home two cows he had bought at a cattle fair. The mob had attacked him, suspecting him of cattle smuggling.

Vipin Yadav was arrested, but walked out after spending five months in jail.

In the hidden camera footage, he is clearly heard telling NDTV journalists that he beat up Pehlu Khan for an hour and a half and that he was the one who chased and stopped the two pick-up trucks.

Haan humlog 1.5 ghante tak pitate rahe … pehle 10 aadmi aaye phir 20 aadmi aaye waha karib 500 log akatrit ho gaye (We kept beating him up for 1.5 hours. Initially, there were 10 people then the crowd swelled),” he told the NDTV team posing as researchers from the US

Maine hi nikaale the, aur bike aage nikaalne ke baad bhi wo rok nai rahe they, toh maine zabardasti chaaabi nikal ke unko baahar nikaal liya

Pehlu Khan died due to the severe injuries he had received.

Vipin Yadav walked out on bail after the Rajasthan High Court accepted his bail application on the grounds that there were about 200 people present at the spot; Vipin Yadav was not named in the police complaint or FIR; no specific action of his was named in the crime; and that he was not present at the spot of the lynching.

But with Vipin Yadav now accepting his role in the crime in the hidden camera footage, the Rajasthan police say they will move an application in the High Court to cancel his bail.

“Our first endeavour will be to take this evidence in record and carry out our own supporting investigation so this becomes admissible in court of law,” Jaipur IG Range V K Singh said.

“Thereafter we will cite this evidence in the trial against the accused as well… This has made the case strong and watertight against him,” he added.

Vipin Yadav and eight others accused in the Pehlu Khan case are currently out on bail.





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Xiaomi Mi A2 Review | NDTV Gadgets360.com


Google originally started the Android One programme to deliver the stock Android experience on entry-level handsets in developing markets. However, there were no new products in India after the initial launches from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice. Google later revived Android One in 2017 to offer users smartphones running stock Android without any manufacturer customisations. The first of these in India was the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) which launched last year.

More manufacturers have enrolled into the program since then, but very few devices have made it to India. Nokia, an HMD Global brand, was the first to announce that its entire Android lineup would adopt Android One and all the smartphones that it announced at MWC 2018 have now launched in India. Xiaomi has now launched a successor to the Mi A1 called the Mi A2, and it promises better hardware while still running bone-stock Android. So should the Xiaomi Mi A2 be the first choice for an Android purist on a budget? We put it to the test.

 

Xiaomi Mi A2 design

The Mi A2 is a well-designed smartphone. It has a metal unibody that gives it a premium feel in the hand. The first change you will notice compared to the Mi A1 is that it has a big 5.99-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the phone tall and narrow. The sides are curved which makes it comfortable in the hand. Our Black review unit had a matte finish which resisted fingerprints to some extent. This phone is quite slippery and we would recommend that you put the case supplied in the box to use.

The power and volume buttons are on the right and offer good feedback when pressed. We found that the power button is well placed, but the volume buttons are a little too high for our liking. Xiaomi has positioned the selfie camera, earpiece, selfie light and a notification light above the display while the space below it is blank. For those curious, this smartphone has a single-colour notification LED.

The USB Type-C port at the bottom has speaker grilles on either side but only the right one houses a loudspeaker. An IR emitter that can be used to control IR-based appliance is at the top along with the secondary microphone. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack so you get a USB Type-C dongle in the box. Xiaomi claims that it has used a high-quality amplifier to improve audio output from the speaker and headphones.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Back Panel Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has opted for a dual camera setup at the back, which is now positioned vertically compared to the horizontal setup on the Mi A1. There’s a 12-megapixel primary camera, a 20-megapixel secondary sensor, and an LED flash. This camera module protrudes quite a bit causing the Mi A2 to rock when placed on a flat surface. The fingerprint scanner is next to the camera module, at the natural resting position of either index finger. Xiaomi has opted for a 3000mAh battery to power the Mi A2.

Xiaomi Mi A2 specifications, software, and features

The Chinese smartphone maker has chosen the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor to power the Mi A2. It has eight Kryo 260 CPU cores and an Adreno 512 GPU. The A2 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Sadly storage isn’t expandable unlike the Mi A1, and you will need to make do with the storage you get. This is a dual-SIM smartphone and has two Nano-SIM slots. There is support for 4G and VoLTE on both SIMs.

The 5.99-inch display sports a full-HD+ resolution, has a pixel density of 403ppi, and uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection. Viewing angles are decent but the display does not get very bright. You don’t get the option to tweak the output. The Ambient Display feature wakes the phone when you get a notification.

At 3000mAh, the battery capacity is lower than what most other smartphones in this segment offer. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 (Review) for example packs in a bigger 4000mAh battery. The Mi A2 supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ but you only get a standard 10W charger in the box. Connectivity options on the Mi A2 include Bluetooth 5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou.

Xiaomi Mi A2 SIM Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

Xiaomi has focused on the cameras of the Mi A2. The 12-megapixel primary rear camera has 1.25-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. The secondary 20-megapixel camera uses 4-in-1 pixel binning with bigger 2-micron pixels and an f/1.75 aperture. Unlike the Mi A1 which had zoom lens for 2X optical zoom with the secondary camera, the one on the Mi A2 should help in low light instead.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 runs stock Android 8.1 Oreo, and Xiaomi has added its Feedback, File Manager, and Mi Drop apps on top. While the Feedback app cannot be disabled or uninstalled, you can go ahead and uninstall the other two. The camera app has also been customised by Xiaomi and is different from the default Android app – more on that in a bit. Of course, this phone also has gets Google apps preinstalled. When we started reviewing the phone it was running the June security patch but we got a software update during the course of the review bringing us up to date with the August security patch.

If you are an Android purist, you will like the software experience on the Mi A2. It has an app drawer, and you need to swipe up to see all your installed apps. You also get Google Feed by swiping right from the homescreen and summon the Google Assistant by long-pressing the home button. We found that the phone lacks an app to let you use the IR emitter, which means that you cannot start controlling appliances right out of the box. You can download the Mi Remote app from the Play Store, but Xiaomi told Gadgets 360 that it will be rolling out an update after which the app will be preinstalled. The only gesture the Mi A2 supports is that double-clicking the power button will immediately launch the camera app.

Xiaomi Mi A2 performance and battery life

We have used the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), which has the same processor as the Xiaomi Mi A2, and was also running stock Android. The Xiaomi Mi A2 offers similar performance and we found no lag or stutter when flipping through the phone’s UI and multitasking. With 4GB of RAM, you should be able to multitask easily without the phone automatically killing apps in the background. The fingerprint scanner is quite fast and was quick to unlock the phone.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 scored 1,33,467 in AnTuTu, and 1,645 and 4,840 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. These scores are slightly lower on average than those of the Nokia 7 Plus, which managed 1,37,573, 1,590 and 5,780 respectively. The Mi A2 also got 24,850 in 3DMark Slingshot Unlimited and 14fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.

Xiaomi Mi A2 Port Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

 

We played games such as PUBG, Clash Royale, and Asphalt 9. PUBG ran at medium settings by default and we did not have any issues with performance. We played the game for 25 minutes, surviving an entire round, and found that the phone did get warm to the touch without getting uncomfortably hot. Asphalt 9 ran at the default settings without any hiccups either.

In our HD video loop test, the smartphone ran for 8 hours and 13 minutes, which is below average. We have seen the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and the Redmi Note 5 last for close to 16 hours thanks to their bigger batteries. With our usage comprising of active WhatsApp and Gmail accounts, an hour worth of games, some time with Instagram, and making a few calls, the battery saver mode kicked in after 7 and 30 minutes. If your usage is similar, you will need to keep the charger handy. The supplied charger takes close to 2 hours to charge the Mi A2 completely but so should invest in a Qualcomm Quick Charge certified charger to speed that up.

Xiaomi Mi A2 cameras

Xiaomi has worked on its camera app and it is different from the stock Android camera. You get Short Video, Portrait, Square, Panorama, and a Manual mode, apart from the usual Photo and Video modes. The Manual mode lets you set white balance, focus, shutter speed and ISO, and also lets you choose between the ‘regular’ and ‘low light’ lenses. Xiaomi claims that it has tweaked the Portrait mode such that it uses the 12-megapixel camera in favourable light conditions but switches to the 20-megapixel camera in low light, but we found that this did not actually happen. While one lens is in use, the other acts as a depth sensor. 

The Mi A2 is fairly quick to meter light and lock focus. Photos taken with the Mi A2 outdoors have a good amount of detail and colours are quite accurate. Zoom into an image and you can still see details without much loss. We noticed that the camera app also switched HDR on automatically when the scene required it, bringing out more details from the shadows and delivering slightly sharper results. Autofocusing is quick when taking macros and we found that the Mi A2 could focus on relatively small objects. Macros were sharp and the phone managed good separation between the subject and the background.

In low light, the Mi A2 bumps the ISO up and lowers the shutter speed to help the primary camera capture more light, instead of switching to the secondary one. Xiaomi should have taken advantage of the better sensor for low-light shots by switching automatically, but you can do this yourself in Manual mode. These photos also have decent amounts of detail but we noticed aggressive noise reduction being applied in darker areas, leading to a watercolour effect when zooming in.

Tap to see full-sized Xiaomi Mi A2 camera samples

 

Selfies are detailed and we got sharp results when shooting indoors. The selfie fill light comes in handy when shooting in low-lit conditions. HDR is available for the selfie camera and kicks in automatically when required. You can also select the level of beautification you need, and an Advanced mode which lets you tweak different beautification parameters.

Video recording on the Xiaomi Mi A2 maxes out at 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie camera. You also get the option to shoot in 1080p at 60fps rather than 30fps with the rear camera, but we found that it had difficulty locking focus at the higher frame rate. Video stabilisation is available for the rear camera, and helps you capture steady footage.


Xiaomi Mi A2 in pictures

 

Verdict
The Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review) was an obvious choice for anyone looking for stock Android on a budget. Things however have changed, with HMD Global bringing in Nokia handsets that run pure stock Android as well. Xiaomi will have to compete on pricing, and that’s exactly what it has done with this launch.

The Xiaomi Mi A2 gets the cameras right and is amongst the best camera phones at this price point. Also, the powerful Snapdragon 660 processor has so far been restricted to more expensive phones, making this phone a tempting option for someone looking for a performer on a budget.

Xiaomi has priced the Mi A2 at Rs. 16,999 which is quite aggressive for the hardware it offers. However, there are a few chinks in the Mi A2’s armour. Its battery capacity is below average, resulting in relatively poor battery life. Xiaomi has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack and there’s no microSD card slot, which are both things that buyers look for. If you can’t do without stock Android and want good cameras without paying too much, then the Mi A2 should check all your boxes. If you’re okay with MIUI, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) is still a good alternative at a slightly lower price. You might also want to keep an eye on the upcoming Honor Play.


Is Xiaomi Mi A2 the best Android One smartphone in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.



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NDTV news impact : Lawyers of Hapur lynching victims approach Supreme Court


खास बातें

  1. हापुड़ लिंचिंग मामला सुप्रीम कोर्ट पहुंच गया है
  2. याचिका दायर कर आरोपियों की ज़मानत रद्द करने की मांग
  3. सुप्रीम कोर्ट सोमवार को करेगा मामले ने सुनवाई

नई दिल्‍ली : एनडीटीवी के खुलासे के बाद मंगलवार को हापुड़ लिंचिंग मामला सुप्रीम कोर्ट पहुंच गया है. पीड़ित समयुद्दीन ने एक याचिका दायर कर आरोपियों की ज़मानत रद्द करने तथा लिंचिंग केस का ट्रायल उत्तर प्रदेश से बाहर करवाने की मांग की है. इस मामले में वकील ने याचिका दाखिल कर मामले की जल्‍द सुनवाई की मांग की थी जिस पर सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने सुनवाई की तारीख सोमवार को तय की है.  याचिकाकर्ता की मांग है कि इस मामले की जांच के लिए एसआईटी का गठन होना चाहिए और इस मामले की सुनवाई यूपी से बाहर होनी चाहिए. 

हापुड़ मॉब लिंचिंग का आरोपी बोला, मरते कासिम को मैंने पानी नहीं दिया, क्‍योंकि उसने मरती गाय को पानी नहीं दिया

आपको बता दें कि इस मामले में पुलिस की जांच में NDTV को कई खामियां नज़र आईं. सबसे बड़ी ये कि पुलिस FIR में इसे रोड रेज का मामला बताया गया जबकि वीडियो सबूत कुछ और कह रहे हैं. आरोपी और पीड़ित दोनों ही पक्षों का कहना है कि ये हमला गाय मारने को लेकर हुआ. मुख्य आरोपियों में से एक को तो इस मामले में अपनी भूमिका पर कोई पछतावा नहीं है.


उत्तर प्रदेश में हापुड़ जिले के बाजेधा खुर्द गांव में हम मिले राकेश सिसोदिया से. कासिम को पीट-पीटकर मार डालने और समीउद्दीन को घायल करने के मामले में दर्ज FIR के मुताबिक राकेश और 8 अन्य लोग दोनों को लाठी-डंडों से पीटने के मामले में आरोपी हैं. लेकिन कोर्ट में ज़मानत की मांग करते वक़्त राकेश ने कहा कि हमले में उसका कोई रोल नहीं है और वो मौके पर मौजूद ही नहीं था. कोर्ट ने आरोपी की भूमिका पर कोई विचार ज़ाहिर किए बिना ही ज़मानत दे दी. उसने कहा कि जेल में 5 हफ्तों के दौरान उसने जेल अफसरों कर्मचारियों को भी बड़ी शान से बताया कि उसने क्या किया. राकेश के मुताबिक उसने जेलर से मारने की जो बात कही उसे दिखाने में हमें भी मुश्किल हो रही है. उसकी बातों में कोई अफ़सोस नहीं है. बल्कि एक ख़ास समुदाय के प्रति अपनी नफ़रत को लेकर गर्व महसूस कर रहा था. ठाठ से बता रहा था कि जेलर के सामने सब कुछ बताया.

la3rpke

राकेश ने बताया कि ज़मानत पर जेल से छूटने के बाद उसका हीरो की तरह स्वागत हुआ और इससे उसके समर्थकों की फौज भी बढ़ गई. एकमात्र ग़लती जो उसे लगी वो ये कि इस पूरी घटना का उसके लड़कों ने मोबाइल पर वीडियो बना लिया. उसने बताया कि इस बार पुलिस उनके साथ है जबकि पिछली सरकारों में ऐसा नहीं होता था. कासिम का जो वीडियो सामने आया था उसमें वो काफ़ी ज़ख़्मी हालत में दिख रहा है. उसे पानी मांगते हुए सुना जा सकता है. और इस बात पर राकेश का हैरान करने वाला जवाब सुनिये. राकेश कहता है, ‘वो मुझसे कह रहा था (उसकी आवाज नहीं निकल रही थी) पानी… मैंने कहा तुझे पानी पीने का हक नहीं है. तूने मरती हुई गाय को पानी नहीं दिया है और ये मैरी फौज तुझे छोड़ेगी नहीं, तुझे एक एक मिनट मारेगी.

 

अलवर मॉब लिंचिंग का आरोपी बोला, मैंने ही रोका था पहलू खान का ट्रक और निकाली थी चााबियां


एक अप्रैल को एक और वीडियो वायरल हुआ. राजस्थान के अलवर में पहलू ख़ान की भीड़ के हाथों पिटाई का. पहलू ख़ान की बाद में अस्पताल में मौत हो गई. भीड़ के मुताबिक पहलू ख़ान और उसके साथ अन्य लोग गायों को मारने के लिए ले जा रहे थे. लेकिन पहलू ख़ान के परिवार ने कहा कि वो डेयरी के लिए मवेशियों को लेकर जा रहे थे और इसके लिए उनके पास पूरे काग़ज़ात भी थे. पुलिस ने मामले में नौ लोगों को आरोपी बनाया. लेकिन चार महीने बाद ये सभी ज़मानत पर बाहर आ गए. प्रॉसिक्यूशन के मुताबिक पुलिस ने आरोपियों की शिनाख़्त परेड भी नहीं कराई जो इस केस की सबसे बड़ी कमज़ोरी है.

राजस्थान के अलवर ज़िले के बहरोड़ में, हम मिले विपिन यादव से. पुलिस ने जो शुरुआती गिरफ़्तारियां कीं उनमें विपिन नहीं था. उसका नाम शुरुआती एफ़आईआर में भी नहीं था. उसे बाद में उठाया गया जब पुलिस ने दावा किया कि वीडियो में उसे पहलू ख़ान पर हमला करते देखा जा सकता है. अपनी ज़मानत याचिका में यादव ने दलील दी कि वो उस जगह नहीं था जहां पहलू ख़ान को पीटा गया. कोर्ट ने कहा कि अंतिम फ़ैसले पर कोई विचार व्यक्त ना करते हुए कोर्ट याचिकाकर्ता को ज़मानत देती है. हमने विपिन से बात की ये कहते हुए कि आरएसएस और दूसरे हिंदुत्व संगठनों पर अध्ययन के लिए हम अमेरिका से आए हैं.

टिप्पणियां

VIDEO: प्राइम टाइम: अलवर, हापुड़ की भीड़ की हिंसा पर NDTV की पड़ताल

विपिन ने बताया कि पहलू ख़ान को पीटने वालों में वो भी था. बल्कि उसने एक घंटे से भी ज़्यादा समय तक उसे मारा. बल्कि विपिन ये मानता है कि वही था जिसने पहलू के ट्रक को रोका था और उसकी चाबियां अपनी जेब में रख ली थीं. लेकिन पुलिस को ये ब्योरा क्यों नहीं मिला. मौके पर देर से पहुंची पुलिस ने आनन फ़ानन में गिरफ़्तारियां कीं.

 



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Supreme Court To Take Up Hapur Lynching On Petition Over NDTV Expose


Two men were assaulted by a mob in Hapur, some 70 kilometres from Delhi, on June 18

New Delhi: 

After an NDTV investigation in which men accused of lynching are caught on hidden camera bragging about the killings, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the Hapur lynching case.

Lawyers for the Hapur lynching victims went to the Supreme Court for an “urgent hearing” after NDTV aired the sting operation on Monday. Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra has agreed to hear the case on Monday.

The case involves a mob attack on June 18 in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur, caught on cellphone videos. The video showed a meat trader, Qasim Qureishi, being thrashed; the 45-year-old died later. The crowd also beat up another man, 65-year-old Samiuddin, at times pulling his beard while shouting abuses at him for allegedly killing a cow.

The police made four arrests, naming a local, Yudhishthir Singh Sisodia, as the main accused. The charges in the First Information Report (FIR) include rioting, attempt to murder and murder.

But 18 days later, Sisodia walked out on bail. NDTV travelled to Bajedha Khurd village in Hapur to meet him.

Sisodia, in a written statement to court, said that he had no role in the attack and wasn’t present at the spot. But on hidden camera, he bragged about the crime, saying he even accepted it before jail authorities. Sisodia had spent five weeks in jail.

Haan maine bola ki wo gaaye kaat rahe they, maine usko kaat diya… jailer ke saamne (I told the jailer that they [the victims] were slaughtering cows so I slaughtered them),” Sisodia told NDTV.

Pehli baar mai jail gaya, mujhe dar lagna chaaiye thaa. Lekin nai maine waha bhi khoob dhoom machaai aur jailer ne jaate hi poocha ki kis case mein aayae ho? (I wasn’t scared to go to jail. I caught the attention of the jailer, who asked me what my case was),” he said.

Sisodia went on: “Maine turant kaha, 302 aur 307, full murder and half murder, wo gaaye kaat rahe thee maine usko kaat diya baat khatam (I said section 302 and 307, full and half murder, they slaughtered cows, I killed them).”

Sisodia explained how he got a hero’s welcome after he got bail in the last week on July.

Mujhe 3-4 gaadi jail par lene gai thi. Rakesh Sisodia zindabd ke naarey laagey. Mera swaagat kiya logo ne baahe failaa ke, mujhe bada garv hua (3-4 cars had come to pick me up from jail. People were raising slogans in my name. People welcomed me with open arms, I felt very proud),” he said.

Meri fauj tayaar hai. Koi gaaye kaate, s*** mai usko katwaa denge, s*** ko khade khade. Hazaar baar jail jaana pade jaayenge (My army is ready. If anyone slaughters a cow, we will kill them and go to jail a thousand times),” he said.

He also went on to speak about police support because of the current regime.

In the video of the attack, bystanders can be heard asking Qasim to be given water. Sisodia’s account of this moment is chilling.

Maine kaha tujhe paani peene kaa haq nai hai, tune marti hui gaaye ko paani nai diya. Meri fauj tujhe choregi nahi tujhe ek ek minute maaregi s*** ko. (I said he has no right to drink water, he slaughtered a cow. My army will kill him by every minute),” he said.

Mujhe lag nai raha thaa ki s*** Qasim marega, wo bach gaya Samiudin ghutno mein se khoon tango me se khoon (I thought Qasim would die, but that Samiyuddin was bleeding),” he added.





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