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Tata Nexon - the indica that shoud've been

It is inspiring to believe a company like Tata have undergone a thorough transformation whose outcome is visible in a product such as the Nexon Introduction I finally had a chance to test drive the Tata Nexon top end diesel AMT mini SUV. Yes, the same one that has been making waves before and after its launch. If you know me well, I am a guy who would base reviews on everyday usability of the products that I test, and here it is no exception.
It is really inspiring to see how far Tata Motors have come in terms of being able to design a radically different type of product in their portfolio. Ever since sometime now they have set sights on good designs all the way from the Tiago to the Tigor and to the Hexa. The Nexon is the cream on the cake if I were to genuinely say so. So you do want to hear about what the car has to offer and I am going to take you right into that part of the review.
There have been many reviews written on this car and even videographed for the viewers by now. Yet…

Apple car play finally gets Google maps

It has been a horrid wait. Honestly Apple's own maps has never launched in India yet. Even in other countries Apple maps never used to show things properly and they had made a fool of themselves royally. The company even fired two of its iOS executives Scott Forstall and John Browett when they refused to acknowledge the poor performance of Apple maps.

Well since those learnings Apple has been steadily trying to improve its maps division specifically for India. We do already know they are adding more and more data points day by day. They also said they are looking at about 5000 employees for their Hyderabad division since 2016.

During all this time, users of Apple iPhones readily and steadily switched back to Google Maps, and have been conveniently using it since sometime now. Of late there are lots of cars that sport either as inbuilt or custom build ICE or in car entertainment units which support Google Play and Apple Car Play like the Sony XAV which I have reviewed earlier on this…

Focal Spark wireless bluetooth earphone unboxing and review

Introduction
In my quest for a good pair of earphones, you will have already noticed that I experienced with many of them here and here. During this journey I chanced across a suggestion from a friend on the Focal brand and the fact they were selling their earphones at a discount on Amazon.

Since the offer was too good to resist, I purchased these online.
Unboxing video
Here is a little unboxing I created for you to understand what the packaging of the earphone looks like.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/257Ei2DYDRf54sRn6


Strong points
The Focal Spark has these pros going for it

Very easy to wear for long hours
short cable means lesser tangling unlike the Samsung UFlex
Good sound quality - bit of muddy bass, but largely good distributions of highs mids and lows
Very good battery standby time - you charge it once and when you don't use it the earphones does not lose battery power too soon - this is in stark contrast to the Uflex earphones from samsung which used to annoy me during the middle of tha…

The battle of the best wireless bluetooth earbuds

Introduction
I was in the market gathering interest in wireless earbuds of all shapes and sizes. Since my previous attempt at buying Leaf ear buds did not go so great as I thought it would, I had to scour the market again for something better. This is when I chanced upon Samsung UFlex with the BYOD pricing which was tempting for me to buy and use since I almost got it at 50-60% of the cost. What it proved to be for me is a detailed story!
As is the case wireless bluetooth earphones come in two different forms, one with the neckband and one without (the true wireless variety). The problem with the former was that there was always a band that was either too big or got caught in between collars, Id cards, or even worse seat belts of the car. The pros included great battery life, and good connectivity. The issue with the latter was the lack of wires meant losing the buds easily, mediocre battery life and constant connectivity drops every now and then with skips and jumps in music playback. …

Samsung U Flex bluetooth wireless earphones unboxing and review

Intro
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZBxS4siFo8UL6bM29

The craze these days in tech is the set of wireless bluetooth earphones all over the market. They are there in all kinds of price ranges, shapes and sizes ranging from bands, thin over the neck strips, pure wireless without any wires and so on. I being a geek naturally got sucked into this craze as well and after seeing many many reviews on youtube and other blogs, decided to opt for the Samsung U Flex bluetooth wireless earphones.
Pricing
https://photos.app.goo.gl/86rtoKgLMnXtg4sb8

The headset is priced currently at 4999/- on the samsung shop website, but being a corporate BYOD login user I got the product for 3522/-, with no cost emi options as well. Samsung does good on the BYOD side, and it is this kind of ventures that makes a company retain its customers.
Unboxing video
The details of the U Flex are available all over the internet, so I will start with an unboxing video of the headset for you below.

https://youtu.be/ypjEvrWMOzw



Since this…

Thirunelveli Halwa - how to get it right?

A bit about the town and its famous sweet



If you have any knowledge of the place Tirunelveli, then you would also have knowledge of the fact that it is famous for a sweet originating from there, the Tirunelveli Halwa. Tirunelveli is 700 km from Chennai and if you are an avid driver, then this route is for you. A mere 85km and a one hour drive from Kanyakumari, this town boasts of the famous Tirunelveli Halwa sweet from the Iruttukadai (dark shop).



Made with Tamiraibharani water, and a secret formula, people queue up for the only 2-3 hours of time for which the shop remains open during the evening hours to gobble up all the Halwa made there. The sweet made from wheat, ghee and sugar laced with nuts is a treat to the taste buds though I must warn you that this is the most fattiest combination of ghee and sugar and is almost on the lines of Gulab Jamoon.



So what makes the Tirunelveli halwa so great in taste?



A few pointers




It is made with Karupatti or palm jaggery (I have not used that in my …

Dhanushkodi - reminiscence of the past

As the driver took us into Dhanushkodi town, we could see the effects of mother nature that had wrecked the town so badly. If you have already not read about the Pamban Bridge experience, click here to see a stunning 4K video of the famous bridge.

The Ram Sethu or the bridge made by Rama and his monkey friends and the story of how the floating stones were used to build it is also explained in another post.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/6nu6CnL3ge7vJQUk9
Commutation details
We hired a 4x4 Jeep - don't get ideas about the famous Jeep brand of cars and the iconic Wrangler type of vehicles here - this was a modified Mahindra jeep which was a barebones 4x4 - something that could get you out of the muck if you were stuck while traveling on the sands. At about some distance into Dhanushkodi you are stopped by the government checkpost beyond which you need a 4x4 to navigate the sands and reach the beach. Although the governement has lately constructed a road till the tip of the ocean now, we deci…

Who provides the fastest LTE speeds in Bengaluru?

The story of mobile data in Bengaluru
First things first, let's put aside some details and facts about what made me to do this test as such. I usually have at least two sim cards, sometimes four just to get an exact view of who provides good service and where in the city.

The where part is very important as one has to understand that you will not get great data speeds or great call quality everywhere in the city you live. There are a lot of factors that become the reason for this behaviour including distance from cell tower, inability to provide more cell towers or signal amplifiers due to low numbers of users in the area, etc.
Players in the comparison
So I had one sim from each provider - Reliance Jio, Airtel, Idea 4G and Vodafone. Good enough to compare LTE data or 4G data as some claim - whatever be the minor differences.

By some of the conversation and information on quora - Theoretically LTE is expected to support a speed of around 100Mbps for users in motion and around 1Gbps for…

Places to see around Kodaikanal - a quick recce

In my last post I discussed about the Kodai Resort Hotel and the benefits it offers being in the middle of Kodai. If you are interested to know more about that click the link. During my stay in Kodaikanal as part of my Madurai-Rameswaram-Kodai trip, I also got a chance to view the most important tourist attractions in and around Kodai. We had a Toyota Innova which I had hired from Madurai, which we continued to use around Kodai. If you rather wish to read about the Kodai International Hotel, click here.
The majestic Kodaikanal Lake
As you would expect, the Kodai town and the lake itself was created by the British folks during the 19th century. The Kodai lake is a star shaped man made catchment area which holds all the rainfall the area receives. Its outflow of excess water forms the silver cascade waterfall 8km downstream.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pKrsipWEXGTuyKzY8

The lake has lots of eateries around it, and offers activities like cycling, walking, jogging, etc. You could just sit by th…

Kodai Resort Hotel - is it worth the money?

Introduction
If you live in South India, and the talk about hill stations crops up, the first thing that comes to the mind are places like Ooty and Kodaikanal. I have already written about Ooty and the stay in Destiny Farm Stay and you can click here to read that article. In this article I bring you a review of the Kodai Resort Hotel and discuss whether the hotel is worth staying in to go aroung sight seeing in Kodaikanal easily. If you wish to read about the Kodai International instead, click here.

Kodaikanal is roughly 450+ kms from Bangalore and the journey by drive can take anywhere between 8 to 10 hours. If you drive at night, add a few more hours to that since you will be traveling slow. If you have kids this number will substantially go up further. One of the other ways to get there is to take a train from Bangalore to Kodai Road Junction station and further take a private cab to reach Kodaikanal. The distance from Kodai Road is 80km and will take about two to three hours to comp…

Review of the sharp air purifier and humidifier KC-F30E-W.

Introduction After years of struggling with Bangalore’s weather, I tried to understand why my kid was getting sick with asthmatic symptoms over and over again. It struck me there’s something about the air quality that creates this problem other than the pollen in the air.
Looking at Bangalore go from bad to worse it was only an eventuality that I had to really think of investing into an air purifier for my bedroom. Over the years the technology for air purifiers has only become better and better and with standard HEPA filters and air filters being used in air conditioners and the like, the same also started being used for air purifiers. With cities like Delhi almost have an air purifier for every home the concept is still catching up for Bangalore which is taking some time to reach the level of dust pollution that is seen in Delhi.
There are a lot of companies working on air purifiers such as Sharp, Philips etc. A quick search on Amazon shows a host of companies offering air purifier…