Short review of the Lenovo Smart clock


I was not looking what I was doing and plugged in my Alexa power supply into my wooden LED digital clock that I purchased from Singapore for above 50 SGD and the next thing I know is the clock was beeping with screwed up display.

I knew that was the end of it. So there began my search to replace that clock. I checked out many websites in India and came across that the same LED clock including shipping would cost me much more than 50SGD. It was not worth it and I was wondering what to do when I came across the Croma web site which was selling the Lenovo Smart clock at a deep discount of 3999/- down sharply from the MRP of 9999/-

At the time it was launched the thought of someone having to pay 10k for that clock astounded me. So I did not for it at that time. However at 3999/- it was a compelling buy.


I made a short video on unboxing this clock. It was a fairly simple unboxing and took very minimal time and less fussy as well. Take a look for yourself.

Salient points about the gadget

The following are worth mentioning about the gadget

  • Quite some decent amounts of clock faces
  • pretty amazing brightness levels almost doubling up the clock as a night lamp for your room
  • Good readable main clock face font
  • Amazing loudness of volume for announcements and google replies
  • Main controls such as brightness, volume etc are neatly placed on the slide up menu on the clock
  • Other widgets such as alarms, weather etc are accessible by swiping left or right
  • Textured cloth finish with volume buttons on top of the clock
  • Triangular shape makes it sit on the desk without an issue
  • Other buttons such as mute, power cable input etc are neatly placed at the rear and are accessible without even seeing them, mute button being a slider is easy to operate
  • Hardware seems rock solid in the hand as well as throughout the operation
  • Since it connects to WiFi, even after a power cycle, it picks up the current time from the network without a fuss unlike other digital LED clocks
  • Integration with devices to cast to, is commendable
  • USB connectivity at the rear

CONS: There are really no points I can take to nitpick on this product. I really do not have much to say on the negatives of the product. In fact in my opinion there are really no negatives. Had it been sold for the original price of 10000 it would have been a huge negative, but that is also not the case now.


The Lenovo Smart Clock is a great buy at 3999/-, the hardware is slick and fuss free, the display is amazing and so is the sound. It does sound a bit tinny since it is not a bass machine like say the HomePod and rightly so. This is not a device built for music but still gives you listening pleasure if you wish to play music.

For what it has to offer, it is pretty accurate and integrates google tech very well inside what is a right dimension of hardware. The Lenovo Clock is a hardware that would get you to actually use it more than say a Google Home Device. Its understanding of Indian English accent is commendable as well considering how far Google has come with this.

So what are you waiting for, let me know in the comments below if you liked the review and if you are going to get yourself one of these.

Until my next post, Stay safe!

WAHL wired hair clipper – is it a good buy?

So finally I did it. The opportunity came across. COVID. I could not and did not want to go for a haircut to a salon outside due the risks. The only other option was me to have a haircut at home itself. And for my kids as well.

I had a Philips beard trimmer which was unsuitable to cut hair on the head. In fact it is even a wrong tool to use to do that. I had seen a lot of these hair trimmers in the salons that I was interested to see what they were using. And then it came through. I made an Amazon purchase for the WAHL corded clipper.

So was it a good purchase? Read on to find out as I will share interesting snippets about this product.

Features of the product

In short its a corded hair clipper. Period. But with a difference.

  • Very powerful and consistent motor
  • Adjustable blade with a mechanical handle
  • Chrome plated rust proof blades
  • Comes with four attachments for different hair lengths

Talking points

The clipper is heavy. If you do not hold it properly it can give you wrist pain. It is seriously heavy in a good way. It feels solid in the hand. The motor is powerful. Really powerful. You can feel it when you switch it on. Perfect build for the price.

The hair lengths attachments help you adjust how much of hair length you want to clip. It take a bit of getting used to.

Here is a video review of the product unboxing

Utilitarian aspect

This is the real thing about this product. Can you actually use it at home. I used it at home and this is what I found out, read on.

  • You need the person to sit on a bar stool preferably for you to stand upright while trimming hair. If you are bending forward and downward to where the subject is, its not a great position
  • There are tactical ways of running the trimmer on the hair, if you don’t keep the angle right, you are going to snip right upto the scalp. It takes a lot of getting used to get this right
  • You take the longest measurable attachment, move from bottom to top, then the next one move from bottom upto 3/4th of the top, then the next one from bottom upto 1/2 the top and the last one bottom upto 1/4 the top. This is the pattern to leave longer hair at top while having the shortest hair at bottom
  • For the top of the head its best to use comb, your hand and scissors. Weave your hand along the top hair, raise it up and snip a quantum that pops way out of your fingers, keep repeating this until there is no more hair that pops up beyond your hand depth when placed on the top of the head. This is by far the easiest thing to do as its a natural step
  • For all the attachments provided you still need the comb and scissors method too, and its not totally avoidable.
  • There is no magic formula to use this machine. Everything comes by experience. We need to use different mechanisms to get the haircut done.
  • There are other aspects such as lots of hair sticking onto body or falling on the floor at home which needs to be taken care of. We need a good apron preferably satin onto which hair does not stick. Again experience plays the part to find out what suits best
  • For the hair that needs to be completely removed such as edges, we can use beard trimmer without any attachments, but carefully
  • If you are using any of this on children, utmost care is to be taken to accommodate the fact children however old they are will move their head beyond a point as they begin to get frustrated. For an inexperienced user who gives the haircut this process can go on until 45 minutes to an hour and still result in imperfection.
  • There is no way to learn this without humans as that method is expensive requires dealing with wigs to practice, etc


The product is solid for its price. It has none of the efficiency issues that we may have with cordless trimmers. It’s a simple product with not much tech complications, but still can get difficult to use as the process is more about skill than anything about the product usage itself.

The other things it will teach you are patience, care, being slow, and getting to know how difficult a barber’s job really is. This is why everyone cannot be a barber. This is not a lawnmower job, it is a hair trimming job. And if the end result is a disaster you not only lose that customer, you will lose other customers also by word of mouth.

With every lost customer, the skill is hard to master. If you liked this review, leave me your comments below!

WWDC – Improvements to the iOS 14 release – part 2

In my last post we discussed the impact of the new features being launched as part of iOS 14 release which is upcoming. Simultaneous improvements to WatchOS, iPAD OS, MacOS, and TVOS also mean all things get incrementally better than before.

In this second post, let us discuss the remaining things that made up the WWDC announcements.

Watch OS 7

So the Watch Os is undergoing some transformation as well. The things they have introduced are

  • additional complications that developers can provide in their apps
  • Much more detailed level of customisations to watch faces to include specific information
  • Sharing of watch faces – now you can simply share your watch face or add a watch face you see on the net, or even share on social media
  • The map enhancements are now added to watch OS, specifically focussing on cyclists.
  • The watch OS also adds an app called Fitness which now has recording of dance moves very accurately for different variety of dances, which measures accurate calorie burn rate
  • Watch OS also now focusses on tracking sleep better and more importantly preparing for you to go to sleep by dimming screens, showing relevant messages, playing calm music, etc. It also measure sleep activity to monitor what is happening when you sleep.

Note: For India however the cycling data on watch is not going to be so very useful yet. The sleep monitoring assumes you have the watch on, and the phone near you which we Indians are not accustomed to.

Special feature – helping you with your hand washing during COVID times. Apple thought they could use their existing sensors to include this feature where the watch knows the time when you are washing your hand apparently and runs a 20 second timer to ensure you wash enough. During pandemic times such small but important features add to customer delight if not anything else. Again for India, one cannot be really sure how many of us will even be using these watches or wearing them all the time.


Apple is making many improvements to privacy of customer data. Customers can now choose what kind of data they want to send back to the servers. Some of the salient points on privacy are as below

  • Most of the data is processed in the phone, with minimal queries to servers, or storage on servers
  • Customer get to decide what data to share with Apple
  • Signing in with Apple Pay is going to get wider reach and going to be provided to older operating system users as an upgrade
  • Location sharing can now be approximate
  • Users will need to give permission to apps when they use mic or camera
  • Safari will now show you what data is being tracked by websites
  • Users will be able to see the information the App will track before they download that app

For us Indians, this is a welcome move to protect privacy of phone users.

Smart Home

The home app is now going to have a uniform standard of being able to identify appliances within home since Apple is now collaborating with many companies to integrate their products into the OS.

Smart notifications like the one that comes up when AirPods are nearby and ready to pair for example will now be shown on iPhone with automatic intelligent automations being suggested by the phone for each device.

Special focus is on some things like

  • lighting systems – adaptive lighting to adjust colour temperature throughout the day
  • Cameras – will now integrate with Apple TV, and users would be able to decide and designate the exact area they want to monitor for movements with ability to use Siri to help you show cameras that you want to see right on your TV

Apple TV

Apple TV gets slightly better with PIP support for handling workout activities while watching your favourite shows, multi user profiles with pausing games where the user left off the previous times, etc.

Apple TV+ also includes Foundation, a visualisation of Issac Asimov’s novels.

In the last part of this article series, let us see what is coming up as part of Mac OS Big Sur.

Redmi K20 Pro review


The Redmi K20 pro is a medium priced phone that was launched in India in mid May of last year (2019). The actual availability was somewhere after that towards late 2019. This blog post attempts to provide some details regarding the phone and also contains a link to the detailed video review of the phone.


The phone comes with the following features
  • Snapdragon 855 chip
  • 6.4″ AMOLED display
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB ROM
  • 48MP + 13MP + 8MP triple rear camera
  • 20MP popup selfie front camera
  • 27W charger
  • In display fingerprint charger
  • 4000 MaH battery
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Initial and usage impressions

Video Review

The video review of this phone is available here for your viewing

Chipset and performance

After a long time the Snapdragon chips have come of age and 855 is no slouch either. Although SD has moved onto 865 chipsets already, the 855 is still a fast processor and Android blazes through with apps loading super fast on this phone. I tried having different apps load and in the background and multiple pages on browsers, everything loaded just fine. In fact I will go one step more to say if you use this phone you will be hooked onto these fast processors and will not look back to the sub 15000 rupee phones anymore. At least I will not anymore!
The Snapdragon or any fast processor for that matter, really makes a difference and I could not imagine apps load so fast on a Mi phone. 


Finally seeing an AMOLED display on a Redmi is refreshing. I cannot rave more about the display as much as I have in the video review, but all I wish to say is that the display is crisp and clear and it is really good to watch videos or photos on. The brightness is sufficient and more than enough for games, videos and photos even in a dimly lit room. And this is a big plus for this phone.

Storage and RAM

6GB RAM is pretty standard for android phones these days and so is 128GB storage. RAM and ROM getting cheaper by the day means for the same money you get more bang. The storage is more than enough for keeping those large photos for days on end, and for your browser or mail attachment downloads. And in the case you need more you have support for micro SD card although I dont see myself using it much. 128GB is more than enough for a start and if you have the 256GB nothing to beat it.


Everyone is jumping onto the camera bandwagon these days and Xiaomi is no different. When the whole world is converging onto the phone so also will the memories in terms of videos and photos. With large storage and good cameras this means you can now enjoy photography more than ever on the phone itself. Of course people do still use DSLRs and the likes, but there is a lot more the phones can do nowadays compared to yesteryears. 
The triple camera of this phone helps produce some great shots. Night photography is not excellent but sufficient enough for a phone this expensive and there is nothing much to complain about.  The popup camera in the front for selfies at 20MP is really good beating most of the average selfie phones. But I kind of felt the image was a bit too softened with noise removal and it did not look very crisp.
I will post images taken from this camera in a short while more. This phone also supports 960fps HD slow motion video too. Other than there is a wide angle mode, a telephoto mode to complement your photography skills.
In summary the cameras on this phone are very good and though not in the league of the Samsung phones, they come a pretty decent second in the race. There is still some way to go for Redmi phones to sport awesome cameras but this also means the cost goes up if they do it. So either for the tech or for the cost we have what we have on this phone and it is seriously not so much a bad deal.

Other features

There are some features unique to this phone
  • The pop up camera is one such feature. It is surely more gimmick than substance, but it feels premium and works well, its definitely eye catching.
  • Form factor is very good even though display is 6.4 inches, since width is a bit narrower it feels premium to hold in the hand
  • There is an in display finger print sensor which is again a bit gimmicky but still a cool feature and feels pretty modern compared to some older phones. It does not work all the time like I said in the video, but it still is an interesting addition.
  • The 4000 MaH battery is a standard on all Xiaomi phones and this one also sports the same prowess. This is really good as I never have to charge the phone for 2 full days for my kind of limited usage. If you are worried about whether the battery will last at least the whole day, you need to stop worrying on that count. If this phone cannot do that no other phone will.
  • Although understated the 3.5mm headset jack being there means all your old headphones, earphones will still work on this phone! Yaay!


You can buy this phone on Amazon for a good discounted price in 2020. For a price point of 27000 (after 2000 off on MRP) on Amazon, its a very good buy. There are further discounts on credit cards upto 3000 rupees more and also exchange offers on your older phone. With a no cost EMI also on offer this phone comes at a juicy not to be missed price and deals.
Do you own this phone? If so let me know in the comments what you feel about it. Until the next review, take care and stay safe.

The Dyson V11 absolute pro review



After being accustomed to Eureka Forbes for most part of my life with the demo man coming to my home and later managing to convince me to buy one of their vacuum cleaners each single time, I slowly moved on to the likes of Karcher. All of these vacuum cleaners however were wired and had to be lugged around the house along with the wire. This was irritating at some point and I wanted something which would cut free the cord. Here is where the Dyson family of vacuum cleaners used to appeal to me since a long time. Finally I decided to take the plunge in 2020 and went in for the DysonV 11 absolute pro.


What it claims to be

Dyson V 11 absolute pro is a cordless vacuum cleaner obviously with rechargeable battery about the size of a laptop battery and can be easily used around the house to clean the house. So what is special as compare to the other vacuum cleaners you may ask? Well from the looks of it there’s nothing really different from other vacuum cleaners but when you begin to use this machine you see the finance with which it is built. The looks, the attachments, the ease of attaching and removing something, the way it glides over the floor, the way in which you can keep it clean, the way charges, and so many other things in between – these are what makes it really different from other vacuums.

So basically it comes with the main unit along with many accessories for which you Will need a bag to store them. It’s a professional design with the stunning blue look and feel extremely premium to hold in the hand. It’s almost like the Apple of phones.



After the purchase of the vacuum cleaner the goods were delivered to me by courier within a couple of days. Post that an appointment was set for demonstrating the vacuum cleaner and me being the usual guy decided not to go for it since I knew how to use vacuum cleaners. Nevertheless after sometime I thought I should still let the appointment go through and called the guy for a demo.

The guy said he will take a Ola cab and reach my home. I have never seen any service personnel come by taxi for a demo. Just imagine the level of comfort his company gave him to do a task well. Small things matter right? He was at my home on time very professionally dressed and already to show me the demo of the vacuum cleaner. He went about to explain all the parts very well and detailed some specifics of how to use each part.
He had to wall mount the vacuum and he did that in an extremely professional way. Not a single bit of dust fallen on the floor anywhere. I was extremely impressed with his way of working and vacuum cleaner was on the wall in no time.

Detailing the parts

The vacuum comes with the following parts


  • Main unit which also has charging port
  • charging cable
  • Wall mount apparatus
  • One long tubular attachment
  • One floor cleaning part
  • One crevice cleaning part (for in between mattresses, sofas)
  • One mattress, sofa cleaning part
  • One carpet, mat cleaning part
  • One electronic screen cleaning brush
  • One cobweb and wall corner cleaning brush which can also be used for windows
  • One bent attachment to reach above air conditioners, fans
  • One spring attachment to pull, extend and clean inaccessible areas

Detailing the modes of operation

There are basically three modes of operation, Turbo, Medium/Auto and Eco


  • Eco stretches the battery upto an hour
  • Medium / Auto takes the battery until 40 minutes
  • Turbo is usually around 15 minutes

All these vary the suction power and produce different results.


Cleaning the parts

The user manual has a lot of information about how to attach the parts how to clean them and so on. These are pictorially depicted and easy to understand. The user manual has a lot of information on how to interpret alerts from the machine, understand if there is a blockage in the machine, and how to look for blockages within the vacuum cleaner in such rare instances. The level of instructions are not confusing and are very pictorial easily get the point. Two of these parts can be cleaned with water. The main unit has a filter which can be cleaned washed and dried in sunlight and put back again.

The dust holder area in the vacuum is within the main unit and can be open to dispose of everything in a dustbin. You need to ensure that when getting rid of the dust you don’t put your face to close with the dustbin, else there is lot of micro dust which could fly out causing cough.

Summary of the gadget

There are very few things that are professionally designed in the world while at the same time addresses real life issues while we humans use these gadgets.


Here are a few things that tilted my favour towards the Dyson v11

  • Professional look of the device
  • Heard a lot about the professionalism of the company and the level of investment they do into their design (such as bladeless fan etc)
  • Cordless vacuum means no more wires worry or tangling or hurtling vacuums across the house
  • Easy way to dispose dust straight into the dustbin – no dust bag etc
  • Suction power is uniform until the last drop of battery
  • Charging is done overnight and its ready to go again in the morning
  • Professional installation support and easy to read manual
  • Wall mount option
  • Attachments that are sensible to use and easy to attach/detach at any height
  • Entire vacuum can be held in one hand like a huge gun
  • Slickness in the tech
  • Easy cleaning options


Here are a few things why people may not buy a Dyson

  • Karcher and Eureka are still at affordable range of about 5-15k INR. For everyday vacuuming at cheaper price these are still great options
  • At nearly 50000 INR this is one of the costliest vacuums in India and is not affordable to someone who likes it but is restrained by the cost factor
  • The main unit is heavier than I expected and hence you need to keep it at an angle while cleaning the floor else your wrists are gonna hurt after a while.
  • For floor cleaning I would still prefer something like the Roomba simply because its automation level vs the price point of 2/3rds of Dyson means it would do its job without me having to intervene.
  • At the end of the day no vacuum can ensure your entire house is clean always. Its a mix of vacuuming mopping and sometimes even deep cleaning windows and doors that ensures maximum results.

In summary I purchased this gadget at a zero cost emi of 2500 INR a month for two years. I know that this gadget is there to remain with me for a couple of years and this offer was great for me. I know I have invested in a company that puts thought into design for addressing real world issues and does that in style with their products. I am a happy customer of Dyson and feel that their products and their professional approach will give a lot more choice to the customer in future.

If you have the money and are looking for a good vacuum in the market, there is nothing better than this one at the moment. Go for it !

2020 – The shark joins the family

I am not new to T-BHP, and have been here since about mid 2006. That is now 14th year with the site. That said, I have also had the good fortune to own many new and pre-owned cars (just due to my craze in cars). I started off with a Maruti 800 3rd hand car to learn driving in 2000, after which I moved on to Fiat Palio NV, a new Maruti 800 AC, the Swift VDI, Honda City pre-owned, the Ford Figo, Nissan Sunny, Honda Civic pre-owned, Maruti Ciaz, Honda BRV pre-owned, Tata Nano pre-owned, and Maruti Celerio. As you would see after the downfall or the news of FIAT not doing so well, I went with Honda or Maruti mostly with the exception of also having the FIAT MJD where possible. 
You can read about some of my other cars here, here, and here
Few of these cars were petrol, and few diesel, but I have always been a diesel-head. I do not know what really made me change cars, but on a pure ROI basis, I would have spent as much as about 2-3 cars changing so many cars over this period. Of all these Maruti was no nonsense and I knew what to expect. Although they still were/are making tin cans with the probable exception of XL6. I was a 3 time Honda owner and have finally ditched Honda after a hattrick session of issues with these cars and my legs which I will detail a bit later.
Buying another car was just a routine affair for me after so many. But I was in a severe dilemma. After so many cars, I just wanted my legs to be at peace. Of all these the celerio and BRV were automatic petrols and the BRV was fantastic for ownership – it was such a fuss free car. But the issue of leg pains tormented me all over again. My thoughts that automatics will be better for legs were rubbish. The right leg was angled badly in automatic cars and this was hurting me. I had to go manual again. And diesel it had to be to leverage on the torque. Now the question was which one this time?
Criteria to own a car
I had to buy one more car. A car that would keep me happy for few more years without a change. I knew it had to be a diesel manual for sure as it put me at ease compared to the automatic as I had control over how to drive my car. It had to be value for money for the features given and it had to meet these criteria.
  1. Leg space with far seat push back for driver seat
  2. Ground clearance to avoid shitty potholes in Bangalore
  3. Not too much body roll if possible
  4. Tech gimmicks
  5. Reasonably good mileage, torque and power
  6. Complete VFM for the price paid
  7. Good AC with inbuilt stereo supporting apple car play for my phone
  8. I did not want to install any accessory this time extra barring a few I wanted everything in the car itself – fully loaded vehicle
  9. Resale was a consideration but the lowest priority one
Too many choices in 2019
Given the great launches of 2019, I had the following options this time around without paying heed to any pricing bracket. 
  1. Nissan Kicks
  2. Ford Ecosport
  3. Tata Harrier
  4. MG Hector
  5. Kia Seltos
  6. Renault Duster
  7. Renault Captur
  8. Jeep Compass
  9. Tata Hexa
  10. Nexon / WRV / Brezza / Ertiga 
  11. XL6, Ciaz 1.5D
I needed to be absolutely sure that any car I buy was VFM, and kept me cool during my 25km (total per day) commute up and down in Bangalore if you know what peak traffic looks like. So the ground rule was that any test drive had to be in similar conditions and if someone didn’t offer me that it was a no-no for me.
Now for elimination rounds. Ready?
I took a test drive of kicks diesel and my opinion was that the pedals were a bit hard to press, but overall the engine was good, but the car was rather lacklustre even with its intelligence. The horrible part was the sub par below HD rear camera that put me off. Seating was for 5. Grey leather interiors were not so great. The music system was sub par. They were offering 0% interest scheme etc but the whole sales pitch was not really up to the mark. At about 17.4 lacs OTR Bangalore, this was not so much VFM. At 15 you could consider this. Moreover Kicks was fast approaching the likes of Duster, Captur, etc into oblivion in terms of dated designs. Kia almost smashed every other car out of the park with Seltos.
Duster and Captur
I had seen much of this already, and although these are the toughest cars money can buy honestly in that price range, the design was dead on arrival for me so I had to drop it. Even if I had bought these they would easily depreciate by 50% very very soon as I had enough experience with Ola cash my car, or Olx, or cars24, etc by now. So buying one of these means 5-7 lac of depreciation in 2-3y. Design and modernness and appeal was missing in 2019 to go forward. So no test drive taken.
Jeep Compass
Eliminated due to cheaper options with same engines available at lower price point such as hector, harrier. Also space was a concern. 
Nexon, WRV, Brezza, Ertiga
All dropped because at about 10-12 lac-ish they either lacked features, or power, or space or something or the other. Only way to get more is to go to  15 lac + range. Initially I wanted to stop at 15 lacs, but later I made up my mind to go to 20 + or – 1 or 2 more lacs. As long as there was VFM. The VFM always ensured I listened to my mind than my heart.
New launch, only petrol, no diesel, so dropped although it was more appealing than Ertiga.
Ciaz 1.5D
Old hand, I already owned 1.3 ciaz, was very cool to drive. Took a test drive of 1.5D and was blown away by the drive. Absolutely scintillating engine and overall drive. Smooth like hell. But reserved judgement for a while more. I got this at 13.75 lacs. Which means it was tending to 15 already. Surely VFM with everything in place – leather seats, white led’s alloys, and what not. Strong contender for sure.
Tata Hexa
When the car was launched the Tata hexa was awesome. But once more new choices were available this car also seem to be getting obsolete with respect to design. It is not that it was an incapable car but the engine was a bit outdated and I was in two minds whether to go for it or not. I also perceive the car as heavy and was not so much to go towards the Tata brand. Their service network leaves a lot to be desired and after owning the Tata Nano I was not okay to go to Tata again with the exception being Harrier.
Ford Ecosport
The Ford EcoSport was an old horse again. It has sold very well since inception over multiple iterations. Even after so many years it was still not looking very outdated. My friend owned an eco-sport automatic and I have driven it multiple times. As long as you handle it with care it is a breeze to drive within city traffic. But the version I was considering was a diesel manual the same one the Figo came with. The dealer offered me a 12 km ride and the car performed extremely well. The engine was very potent and each and every functionality was well integrated within the car. I actually kind of like the sync system in the older car. The point is about finding what you want easily and Ford are masters at this. I did have some leg pain but that’s probably because I was driving the new Ford for the first time and it took some time getting adjusted to.
The Ford EcoSport was a strong contender in the buying game and at about 15 lakhs this was a very good machine to go for. 
Tata Harrier
Even though I was concerned about the bulk of the car the Harrier was a worthy alternative at about 18.5 lakh. This was not the top end version. The dealer offered me a 12 km drive through peak traffic. I also took a shorter test drive around the office once more. The first thing you notice about the Harrier is its bulk. It is a real SUV but also one that blocks many parts of your vision with its thick pillars. When you’re standing next to vehicles in peak traffic,  you don’t get a sense of safety and feel that you may probably  hit the two wheelers standing next to you.
Gear shift and clutch seem a bit disconnected and although it easy to drive and powerful to the interiors lack finesse and Tata could have done better for a car this expensive. Of course there are eight speakers and the Harman stereo but I somehow felt the tech stuff could’ve been more cooler. It would not be wrong to say the hexa is actually better than the Harrier inside. Since the car seemed way too big for me and did not offer me VFM for the price I have to pay I decided to drop it.
Kia Seltos
This car has been grabbing headlines ever since its launch simply because it is a car with all the features anyone can ask for at this point in time. The point was not that the people did not have money but they wanted a vehicle which offered them more. In every possible way this car was good but I did have some things to pick on.
The doors wouldn’t open wide enough and the space in the middle row was just about okay if not great. This was a car where the clutch and gear shift were mated very well and it was a joy to use. The power is adequate for five people and the torque meant that you could putter around in city traffic easily. So this car was obviously in the list.
MG Hector
This car was the dark horse among all cars and irrespective of the negative publicity it manage to gather, as a car it offered much much more at a lower price point. This car was sitting right higher than Ford EcoSport and slightly lower than the Seltos top end HTX+ variants. Ride quality was very good and I had a 12 km test drive of this car as well. The power was very good and the way it was able to handle potholes on the road was awesome. It had huge amount of space both for the rear passengers as well as for luggage and this was a selling point for me.
I preferred to go for the top end variant but the problem was this was going about 20 lacks. The second gear had an issue in this car and was not properly tuned so I did have a few instances where the car stopped in second gear. The fiat MJD with 170 bhp of power was very evident with this car.  This car made the Harrier look pale in comparison. This car also made it to my buy list.
Kia Seltos, MG hector, Ecosport and Ciaz 1.5D.
For a long time, I really wanted the 1.5 Ciaz again, but the thought of owning another Maruti again kind of made me look elsewhere. The XUV and Scorpio were out since they were old, outdated and somewhat not in my taste. The Verna did not even figure here because I did not prefer a Hyundai. So also the Venue since it was utmost a small 5 seater raised to a good ground clearance. Somewhat felt it was overpriced. 
I booked the hector, second variant manual diesel. White colour. Paid 50000 bucks. I told him take your own time to deliver upto 5 months. I wanted the delivery to be in 2020. During the time I waited, I could not still give up on the others so easily. After a lot of reading about BS4/6 confusions for diesel cars and the fact I already owned Ciaz with a heavy heart I decided to let the 1.5D go. After driving the Seltos I came to appreciate the features a lot and for 18.9 lacs I was getting leather ventilated seats, Bose speakers, purifier, sun roof and what not. So I decided to cancel the hector booking and book the Seltos instead. By now it was November of 2019 and when I went to book it, they jacked the prices to 19.5 and at this price the HTX+ made no sense for VFM – my original criteria.  Without a bit of thinking I dropped the Seltos as well. 
Wild card entry – Mahindra Marazzo

That left the Ford Ecosport only on the list. Very capable and right in all sense of the word. I had carefully kept off MUV cars in all this search but this is where I called Mahindra and asked them whether they would give me a test drive of the marazzo and I got my 12km test drive upto my home in peak traffic.  I checked for parking at my home and it was a bit tight. But still managed to feel that parking was possible correctly.
The car itself was a 120bhp 1.5 Diesel from the Mahindra stable and the first thing you notice is its super silent engine/cabin. On the test drive, it was not the star performer, but ticked many of my boxes on the list. The price was 18.6 which is why I had dropped it last year before the BRV. But here it was again this time at a whole lot lesser – almost 10%+ down on original pricing OTR. This was the M8 fully loaded model and for the value it was offering midway between 16 & 17 lacs, it was astounding enough for me.
Bonus is it was a 7 seater /  8 seater config possible. I opted for the aquamarine green and specifically did not want to go for loan, somehow managed to scoop up the money and made a full downpayment for the aquamarine colour – mid December. However a couple of days after payment was made, he said the colour isn’t available and there was a glitch on the facts he stated that car was there. This was India Garage. They offered me a white instead and he confirmed it was under transit. I had to make a choice. I opted for the 7 seater (2+2+3) , pearl white M8 top end variant of the BS4 marazzo which was on an irresistible offer price in December.  The risk was with BS6 fuel on BS4 car but heck even BS2 vehicles still ply and there is nothing wrong with them and I trust the industry to find a way out.
There was a death in the family around Christmas so had to wait until that cleared up, so moved by registration to 1st of Jan 2020. So 2019 model registered in 2020. And no aquamarine, but Pearl white. 
PDI and delivery
I had made the full downpayment and told him to hold the car until Jan 1st. He got it to showroom on Dec 31st, so my new year eve was spent checking it out at the basement of the showroom. Was looking good and waiting for its driver – me!! 
On Jan 1st, called my fil, wife and kids (mom wasn’t able to come due to medical complications) to the showroom by 4pm. Car was getting cleaned and ready. Finished paper work which was minimal – no loan, full DP and nothing much to fill. Everything was done. Someone suggested to verify against TBHP PDI so did that. Was all ok. They gave me a bouquet and some photographs later, it was mine. 
The car was finally mine – the gentle shark Mahindra Marazzo! This is where the story begins. Due to extreme paucity of time, I will need to update this thread in different parts. Please bear with me. For now I will leave you with a couple of photos. Enjoy!

Big Data Introduction

I am beginning to put up some technical topics on my blog henceforth. 
As a beginner post, here is an introduction to the concepts of Big Data. The content here is based on books I read, articles I read on the internet and also based on looking at demos of certain software that I or other people use. The effort I make is to put perspectives about the domain into a crisp readable mind map which is concise and puts forth a big picture for readers.

I use mind maps. If you are uncomfortable with mind maps, please look elsewhere for a better way to understand these topics. 
This mind map covers the facts about Big Data, the challenges we face with the amount of data we are generating in this world today. There are constraints to using hardware, constraints on the nature of the data that we aim to process, etc.
When discussing drawbacks, it is also useful to understand the alternatives of how problems can be solved and the risks of using such alternatives. When we try and do some operations on Big Data they can be done entirely online or offline – so it is important to understand the choices we have to handle data in this manner.
Further data is also processed in different ways depending on where the data is coming from, what exactly we want to do with the data (index, search, etc). There are tools meant for usage for specific types of processing which are also listed in the map.
Hadoop being the popular (until now) distributed data processing framework means that it has thrown its weight around considering how many companies invested into it, to use it, to enhance it and produce outcomes on large amounts of data for purposes such as business analytics, or data sciences areas.
Finally the map also covers the related tools/projects in conjunction with Hadoop that exist in the ecosystem today and what they are capable of doing to help the Big Data domain. Obviously then what you would need to do is, based on your interest dwell deeper into an area that you are interested to know more.
I will leave you with a quote I saw in a particular book that defines the reason we need a different way to attack the problems Big Data poses.
If you need an ox for heavier pulling you don’t grow a larger ox, you put more oxen

Focal Spark wireless bluetooth earphone unboxing and review


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.


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 that long walk
  • Charging is quick and gives full charge that does not let you down anywhere
  • You can pair two different phones to this earphone over bluetooth at same time (which could be a boon or a bane)

Weak points

The Focal Spark like any other earphones has few cons that I noticed during my usage which I will like to point out here

  • The wire is a tad bit too short, it needs to be about 20% longer to fit better
  • The earphone is best suited for music but not necessarily phone calls, I did have a feedback that the phone calls were not pretty clear. You can check that here.
  • The earbuds are a bit tight so wearing them for longer hours means it will feel like your ears are blocked. This is exactly where the Airpods do better. They are there and not there at the same time.
  • The bass was not exactly clear and was a bit muddy. Focal has still some way to go to beat Bullets V2 by OnePlus.
  • The asking price of 7000/- is not exactly less, but right now you can bag a pair for close to 3000/- which makes it either a steal or well, unpopular as the case maybe!
  • It comes with micro usb charging which is not so 2018, but this was not such a downer for me, would have still preferred usb-C which is quite the standard these days.


In conclusion, these are an excellent pair of wireless earbuds for music purposes if not exactly phone calls. The buds have excellent battery life, and are good to hear and use. They are comfortable over long hours of wear and you just need to find an eartip of the size that suits you better. Having said that, for the current price on offer, this is a steal, and you should go for it !

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


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 purifiers. I also understood that when the air becomes dry within the room or the atmosphere we are in, it starts to cause an irritation in people’s throats which further cause a lot of cough and runny nose symptoms. couple this with the usual asthmatic symptoms and the whole situation turns nasty with an allergic cough that lasts for over a week or two in small kids.
So now I not only needed a solution to purifying the air at home, I also needed a solution which helps me to humidify the air within the room.

Two in one

Given my need, I wanted a unit which had both the air purifying function and humidification function in a single unit. After having seen a lot of reviews on YouTube and checking out some products on Amazon, I came across an advertisement regarding the sharp KC-F30E model.
For once I did not want to make an online purchase and I wanted to just pay up the cost and have the air purifier on the hand immediately. For this reason, I picked up the contact number for the customer care for Sharp, and make a call to them to understand the models they have and the payment options to secure one of these models.

Purchase experience

Sharp could not answer my call when I called them but they promptly return the call and assigned an executive from Bangalore city to deal with my case. The executive was in constant touch with me in spite of my busy schedules and I asked him if there was a no-cost EMI option to purchase this product.
Due to my busy schedules the executive was kind enough to meet me at a time of my choice and place of my choice and he brought in the purifier unit to my office along with the payment machine. The device cost me 23500 rupees and I paid the whole thing by a credit card with no cost EMI option for 1 year which cost me around close to 2000 rupees every month.

Device statistics

The device itself is around 5kgs in weight and is as big a personal computer desktop tower or slightly more. The whole unit fits into the boot of my car and I could get it home easily. ,The device itself is constructed in a simple manner with easy access to the filters, the water bay and the controls on the front panel of the device. The device runs on a 5A socket and it’s very easy to use.

Unboxing video

Below is the video I made for the unboxing of the device which you can see to understand what the device looks like in reality.


The device has a few easy to use buttons on the front console. There is a button to switch between the display of humidification level and temperature in the room. There is a timer button which can help you set the humidification / air purification function to last between 1 hour & 8 hours after which the unit will switch off automatically.
The mode button helps you to switch between the modes auto/ night-time /slow and fast. The Haze button helps to operate the unit at Max high fan speed for 10 minutes followed by 50 minutes operation at high fan speed, and then alternates between low and high level for 20 minutes each.
Then there is the power button for switching the unit off or on, and it also remembers what state the unit was in in the event of a power cut. Further to this using this buttons by the means of a long keypress we could switch the modes between humidifier and purifier, and using either or both, and so on.


The unit has a back panel which can be easily removed which gives access to two filters one being the HEPA filter and the other being the deodorizing filter. These can be separately removed and vacuumed or soap cleaned whenever needed.

Besides this, there is a humidifying filter which resides within a filter frame, which sits further in humidifying tray that holds the water needed for humidification. This tray is easily accessible and we can fill it with water up to the specified level and plug it back into the unit very easily.

General notes on operation

As a consumer, I understood how to use this device. I went about trying to use it with the water filled into the humidifying tray. The unit is pretty noisy at higher fan speeds but upon setting it to automatic it settled down to a very quiet operation which is barely audible.
If you are expecting the unit to cool the room just like an air conditioner you are mistaken and you will not be able to achieve that with this unit. However, the dampness in the room is clearly felt after a while because of this unit doing its humidifying function.
The lighting on the unit is good and it shows different colours based on what it possesses the dust quality within the room (Green / Orange). The device claims to remove dust particles upto 0.3 microns which would mean coverage on most categories of dust commonly found in homes.

Tangible benefits

I am yet to understand what the exact tangible benefits of using this unit are and my metric of measurement would be how healthy my son would be if this unit is in operation every night in the room that he sleeps in.
If his levels of asthma are under control and he does not get into an allergic cough situation because of using this unit then I would believe that this unit is functional to the extent that I expected it to be.


For the given price the humidifier and air purifier unit combined in one is a worthwhile investment for now as it doesn’t break your bank. it is a bit bulky but it is also quite during operation and the only need is to find the space for it within your room.
The tangible benefits of this unit would be understood only over long term use but for heavily polluted cities it is almost becoming necessary to have an air purifier as of today.
With constant industrialisation and construction activities going on around the city and the temperatures within the city heating up it is only important that dry cities need the function of humidification as well within the homes that we live in. The sharp purifier and humidifier unit exactly aims to achieve this need.

If you liked the review, please spare few moments to let me know your thoughts down below in the comments.

Written with StackEdit.

Details of Ford Edge showcased in LA auto show

Ford showcased its latest Edge SUV featuring 2.7 L ecoboost engine in LA auto show last year. This would be the 2017 model for the USA. This should have been the next level of EcoSport for Indian market as well hovering around the 16-20L margin. One may expect Ford to launch this model if the need arises. The Edge comes with a bold exterior design, with all leather seats, ambient lighting in the underwell, an array of wheel choices from 18-21″, sun roof.
In terms of technology the car comes loaded with sensors around the vehicle to make passengers aware of what is nearby while driving. The Ford Sync software goes upto 3.0 version which has the same goodness of the older voice based technologies, but also includes suggestions of what’s nearby etc for the driver. System assisted active park assist is a much needed feature. 180 degree front camera, sirius satellite radio, adaptive steering which adjusts to the way driver drives, and cross lane assist are some additional features.
The engine comes in either 2.0 ecoboost or the regular 3.5L Ti-VCT in the USA. There is also a 2.7 sporty ecoboost engine available. This engine comes with 315 hp power and all wheel drive options. Auto start stop in traffic means better fuel efficiency and automatic decision making on when the engine is on and off. There is also a six speed automatic featuring paddle shifters and cruise control feature. Huge cargo space options, individual tyre pressure monitoring system, foot operated lift gate are additional goodies.
Further options for trailer tow packages, and a compelling 5/5 * rating makes it a good buy.
The car is rated at 21 – 29 MPG, and costs upwards of 28500 USD.