5 game-changing phones


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Here’s a list of the most abused phrases in the world of tech marketing: breaking all the rules, innovation jaw dropper, next big thing, cutting edge, and game changer. And the most abused in the most abused list is of course game changer. It’s thrown around by every brand, for every phone, for every feature and every accessory. Most are not. Fortunately, some of them are. And recently, the intense competition in the Indian market has made the most unlikely brands stand up and be counted. To survive in the Indian market you don’t have to change the rules, you have to change the game itself. Here are five that did.

Honor Play

Honor and its parent brand Huawei may well be the most active brand in the Indian market. Add another adjective to it. It’s also becoming the most aggressive. Prices are low, specs are high and the categorisation is spot on. Within a spate of excellent phones comes the Honor Play. Sleek, good-looking, huge 6.3-inch notch screen, outstanding specs, the flagship Kirin 970 processor, great AI cameras front and back, a 3750 mAh battery, 6 GB RAM and then the major differentiator. It has GPU Turbo built in. Boosts any graphic intensive task like gaming and videos to the next level. And does it while remaining cool and composed. And it’s priced super low at a starter price of Rs 19,999. A true gamer’s performance phone, Honor hits this one right out of the park.

Vivo V11 Pro

If Vivo had a last name, then it should be innovation. It’s been running circles around other companies. Thinnest phone ever, in-display fingerprint scanner, pop up camera, fullview display and extra ordinary front cameras. And now with the V 11 pro it even gets its strategy game in order. It’s taken the best of all the innovations in its high-end phones, crammed the right ones into the V11 Pro and priced it just right. May well be the best-looking phone in the market right now. All glass 3D gradient design curved back, 6.4 inch full HD+ almost no notch tiny waterdrop Halo view screen, infra-red sensor light face unlock, Snapdragon processor, 6GB of RAM, dual cameras, 25 megapixel front camera and then the big one – an in display fingerprint scanner (Vivo continues to be the only brand in the world to have this) at a price point of Rs 25,990. The Vivo V11 Pro presses its fingers on all the right buttons.

RealMe 2

Realme 1 took the market by storm. Realme 2 took that storm and turned it into a tsunami. Realme is apparently a breakaway company from Oppo and seems to be on the path of pure war in taking on Xiaomi and all others, and taking no prisoners. For an under 10K phone it crams in all the big ones. Absolutely stunning all glass back prism effect design, a big 6.2-inch notch screen, Snapdragon processor, excellent dual cameras, 4 GB RAM, fingerprint scanner and absolutely outstanding battery of 4230 mAh. And then they priced the base model at Rs 8,990. This phone looks like a premium phone selling at an economy price. If an under 10K phone is on your wish list, then there is no better option than the Realme 2.

Oppo F9 Pro

Oppo is the other company that’s got itself a new last name for super innovation. The F9 Pro is proof enough. Super premium looks with a 3D glass galaxy prism back design, 6.3-inch super bright new waterdrop style notch screen, VOOC flash charging gives you two hours of talk time in five minutes of charging, five-layer voltage protection, the super awesome super intelligent Mediatek Helio P60 chipset plus great cameras, 6 GB RAM and a price of Rs 23,990. Oppo makes all phones around 20K look decidedly nervous.

Poco F1

This smartphone changes everything! Some Hindi bloggers even called it ‘bharat ke itihas mein sab se bada dhamaka’. There used to be flagship killers. The Poco F1 is a flagship killer killer. This is a Xiaomi sub brand and it’s designed for destruction. Snapdragon 845 processor, liquid cooling technology, Kevlar fibreglass back, 6.18-inch FHD+ screen, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage, great optics and a 4000mAH battery with quick charge. Prices start around 20K. As I said, an absolute flagship at an absolutely non-flagship price. One Plus, you should be afraid, very afraid.

There it is then. Five phones that change the game of phones. Watch out though. The game has just begun. There are major launches expected in the next few days. The game and all its rules are about to be changed once again.

Also Read : Maniac about your Mobile?

Source: msn.com

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Reservoir basins in district drying up due to weak rain


THANE: A weak rainfall over the last few days coupled with the gradualdrying up of basins at the base of Bhatsa and Barvi reservoirs over the lastfew days is forcing municipal corporations including Thane and Mumbai tostart drawing water from the dams early this year.The phenomenon that is usually witnessed in October has beenwitnessed starting September this time causing water supply officials toworry of an imminent water crisis till the next monsoon if it does notshower heavily over the next few days. However, the weather departmenthas assured of some heavy rains in the next few days, raising hopes of theirrigation department of having adequate water to last next year.

Officials said that the river basins have till last year had adequate water at this time of the season due to which the dependency on dam stock used to be nil as corporations lifted water from the weirs located at the base of the reservoirs which used to get the supply from mountain streams. However, the scenario has changed this year, said officials.

“The dependency on dam water is usually required from October as the river basin has ample water. This year, the situation has turned different with the weirs running dry and we have requested water to be released from the Bhatsa dam from the first week of September itself,” said a water supply department from one of the corporations drawing water from it.

The two major reservoirs have less water at this time of the year unlike last which experts attribute to the daily drawing of water and heat waves over the catchment area that could also have triggered evaporation.

As per the mid-September storage volume of the dams, the water levels in these dams is less compared to last year when some of them were 100 per cent full, said an official.

The Bhatsa dam that is the largest reservoir in the district has just 96 per cent stock as compared to the near 98 per cent volume by mid-September last year. In comparison, the Barvi dam that is a major supplier of water to the residential and industrial pockets in the district is 98 per cent filled while it was full to its capacity last year.

Officials from the irrigation department have assured there is no reason to panic as there is enough quota to meet the demand of the district till next year. “The water levels are less as there is no addition to the water levels due to lack of heavy rain in the past several days. However, there is no reason for us to worry as the stock in the dams is enough to last till mid-July next year. Usually, rain that picks up at the end of the monsoon helps increase the stock in the dams,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the meteorology department has predicted heavy rains in North Konkan accompanied with thunder and lighting over the next few days, which officials claim could improve the situation.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Railways takes up 1.2km Parsik tunnel stretch for repair


THANE : : The Central Railway (CR) has undertaken urgent repair works of the 1.2km-long Parsik tunnel between Thane and Diva on the fast corridor following complaints of continuous leakages inside the structure, which could possibly weaken it and damage the overhead wires. A railway official said the leakage of water inside the tunnel was posing a huge problem and accordingly an expert team from the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Rourkela, was deployed that suggested filling the cracks with a special solvent that could plug the leaks.

Accordingly, several night blocks have been scheduled so as to plug all the cracks and source of leakages in the structure of the arched tunnel, which was built over a century ago on the fast corridor.

“A special solvent is being used by railway engineers to ensure the cracks are sealed and possible leakages plugged. The team first drills holes in the walls of the tunnel and uses resin-bound chemical groute at select spots, which will aid in preventing leakage. The leakage in the tunnel used to cause a lot of damage to the overhead equipment and also to the ancillary infrastructure,” said a senior railway official.

As the Thane-Diva stretch is a busy corridor, the railway engineers have to execute the work at night after the last trains depart from the lines. The work was started recently and will be completed by the end of this year, said an official.

Two years ago, the structure had witnessed major faults thanks to the rampant encorachments above the hills.

Despite the Thane Municipal Corporation taking primary action, the issue of leakage persisted following which the railways undertook this urgent repair work.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

A quick guide to choosing between a ready-to-move-in and under-construction house


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When it comes to buying a house, should a property seeker choose a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one? We explain the crucial differences between the two, to help you arrive at a decision

While buying a property is no easy task, another decision that compounds the dilemma for home buyers, is whether to choose a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both options, the choice will depend on various aspects like, what the buyer is looking for, his needs/requirements an whether one is buying for investment or end-use.

According to Amit B Wadhwani, managing director of Sai Estate Consultants, buying an under-construction property makes sense, if one is looking at it from an investment perspective, while a ready-to-move house makes more sense, if the buyer is looking for accommodation. “As the buyer is also spending his earnings on the property, it should bring profit. The investment should help the buyer in the long run, wherein, he can sell the property, if need be,” adds Wadhwani.

Points to consider, while choosing a ready-to-move-in property

Choosing a ready-to-move-in flat, helps the buyer to avoid costs associated with living in a rental accommodation and the long wait in big cities, for an under-construction project to be completed. It also gives the home buyer a sense of security. Moreover, the buyer can check the neighbours and the infrastructure in the vicinity of the house, before buying the property.

“When opting for a ready-to-move-in house, a buyer gets what he sees, without the risk of any potential changes in the future. Other factors that influence buyers to purchase ready-to-move-in flats, include the construction quality, which can be verified before purchase, the social and physical infrastructure, availability of loan facilities and the low overall risk. Lastly, buyers do not have to have to wait or face the risk of delays and escalating costs,” explains Hiral Sheth, head of the department, marketing, Sheth Creators.

Manish Kadam, an assistant account manager in a media agency, who bought a house in Virar, in Mumbai, states that the best part of buying a readymade house, is the absence of a waiting period. “There is a lot of inventory in the real estate sector, which gives the home buyer a broad choice of location, configuration and low risk, as the ready-to-move-in segment has no construction delays. The GST (Goods and Services Tax) is also applicable on under-construction properties. So, even if one books an apartment, where the builder asks for 10 per cent and the balance after possession, one will still have to pay GST on the full amount,” points out Kadam.

However, the disadvantage of a ready-to-move-in house, is that it usually has a higher price than an under-construction property. Hence, it may not be an ideal choice from an investment and appreciation potential standpoint. Moreover, the buyer will not have the flexibility to choose the floor or configuration, as compared to an under-construction property.

Points to consider, while choosing an under-construction property

“Under-construction properties are generally in the non-established parts of the city and hence, the potential for price appreciation due to future development is good. However, this is not true in each and every case. One has to look at the location and future plans around that area. Moreover, in an under-construction project, a buyer also has flexibility in payments, with options like construction-linked plans, subvention schemes, flexible payment plans, etc.,” states Wadhwani.

The implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) and other buyer-friendly policies, aimed at bringing about greater transparency and compliance from developers, could boost home buyers’ confidence in investing in under-construction projects. However, in places where the RERA is not yet implemented, it is must for a home buyer to check the credentials of the developer and choose a reputed builder.

The biggest risk in an under-construction property, is that of delayed possession, maintains Sheth. One may also have to incur additional expense on an under-construction house, towards development charges, GST, etc., adds Sheth.

Irrespective of whether one is investing in a ready-to-move-in house or an under-construction one, Wadhwani suggests that home buyers should be mindful of the following:

  • The property that you intend to purchase, should have all the necessary approvals and licences.
  • Get all the information regarding the external parties connected with the project, like banks, advisories, etc., to get a better sense of project’s feasibility and quality.
  • Identify your desired location, keeping in mind your regular commute requirements.
  • Check online and on social media for user-based reviews on the locality, project and developer.
  • Consider the total budget for buying the house and plan your finances well.

Also read: What Decor Theme Works for You?

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Source: housing.com

Thane citizens go green, immerse idols in tubs, vessels at home


THANE: Most devouts hin Thane chose to immerse their Ganesh idols in tubs and big vessels at home instead of artificial ponds or natural water bodies.

Environment-conscious devotees have voluntarily decided to perform the immersion ceremony in their balconies or verandas of their houses, giving a green twist to Ganesh celebrations.

From filling a tub full of water, reusing water for gardening to performing noiseless and pollution-less immersion, Thaneites are leaving no stone unturned in celebrating the 10-day festival the green way.

Padmaja Pangam, resident of Siddhachal complex, said, “It has been more than 10 years that we are immersing our idols at home. In the evening after the usual chanting of prayers and hymns, the entire family gathers and we perform the ceremony.Firstly, we pick up the idol and carry it around the house. This symbolizes the last journey of the God for this year. We then put a mixture of curd on the idol and then carry him to the veranda wherein a bowl full of water is kept. We dip the replica a few times and then wipe the idol and re-use it next year.”

While some households perform the ceremony at an individual level, many are even using this technique for immersion of community Ganesh idols in their respective societies.

Vishal Shinde, a resident of Everest World Complex at Kolshet, said, “Looking at the condition of the Thane creek, we feel that we are polluting our resources. So, this year we thought of celebrating the festival the eco-friendly way. We had arranged for two immersion tanks. There was a separate one for idols made of Plaster of Paris and those of clay. We involved children to spread the message and the event was a grand success.”

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Thane: Waterfront plan may run into rough weather


THANE : The ambitious Gaimukh waterfront development project of the Thane municipal corporation (TMC) may possibly run into rough weather after the district administration has complained of indiscriminate damage to the ecology.

The district administration had received a complaint from activist Rohit Joshi, who is a member of the mangrove cell, that the waterfront project is leading to destruction of mangroves. The administration then registered an FIR against the contractor employed by the TMC under Sections 15 and 19 of the Environment Protect Act, 1986, on Friday. A joint survey was then conducted by the revenue department and city police on Sunday.

The revenue department, in its statement to the police, stated that the contractor has taken up construction work within 50m of the coastal zone without receiving the necessary permissions. The contractor is also responsible for the destruction of mangroves as dumping of debris is rampant there. This is in violation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms.

“We visited the spot on Sunday, along with the police, to analyse the damage done to the stretch where the mangroves were once present. Before we could reach the place, the contractor had already cleared a lot of debris that was dumped there. He didn’t have the requisite permissions from the Maritime board and the mangrove cell and had also violated the forest norms. The case may be forwarded to the state pollution control board which will investigate the matter,” said an official from the revenue department.

Joshi now plans to approach the high court witht he matter. “There was massive inundation along Ghodbunder Road this monsoon. Vehicles were seen floating due to waterlogging. The authorities must immediately look into this problem,” said Joshi.

Meanwhile, the TMC officials have refuted all the allegations and have claimed that there was no harm done to the mangroves and they had all the requisite permission to begin work.

“There is no incentive for the contractor to create extra land; so there is no question of him trying to reclaim land. We are only levelling the existing surface and not touching the mangroves at all,” said a senior official from the corporation.

Source : m.timesofindia.com

Bullet train work to start near Thane in January 2019


Around 26 villages in Thane district will also have to be displaced for the project

More than a year after laying the foundation stone of the bullet train project, on-ground work near Thane is expected to begin in January 2019. The National High Speed Rail Corridor Limited (NHSRCL), the executing agency of the 508-km bullet train corridor project, will be procuring boring machines for construction of the underground tunnel. The boring machines will be placed for the sea-bed work in Vikhroli, in Mumbai. Further, the station design of major stations has been prepared by the high speed corridor.

“The undersea tunnel will be major and critical work, which we aim to begin first. The tenders will be floated in November and boring work will begin by January 2019,” said Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson of NHSRCL.

Of the 508-km alignment connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, 155.76-km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04-km in Gujarat and 4.3-km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Around 26 villages in Thane district will also have to be displaced for the project.

The Joint Measurement Survey (JMS) of the land in Thane has been completed and process of land acquisition is likely to start soon. However, the implementing agency continues to face strong opposition in Palghar over land acquisition, as 109.06-km of the corridor will pass through the district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had laid the foundation stone of the PM’s pet project on September 14, 2017.

The work on the underground sea tunnel is critical and had already begun in December 2017, wherein a team of engineers from NHSRCL, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RTIES) Ltd, and Japan’s Kawasaki Geological Engineering studied the data on the seabed, based on geo-technical surveys. The survey was conducted to understand the structure and depth of the seabed of the Thane Creek in December 2017 and based on the report, the alignment of the tunnel was fixed.

Further, the NHSRCL is also in process of completion of the station designs of the 12 stations between BKC in Maharashtra and Sabarmati in Gujarat.

Station designs for BKC, Sabarmati, Baroda, Surat, Vapi and Billimora are completed; station designs for Maharashtra are going on. According to the proposed exterior, Surat railway station will have a diamond-shaped entrance, whereas the exterior of the Sabarmati station will be based on the Dandi March.

The bullet train stations will have two floors. The first floor will have concourse and the second floor will have two platforms. Meanwhile, BKC and Sabarmati railway stations will be called as the hub and will have four platforms each.

Source : hindustantimes.com

Artificial ponds, idol collection centres a hit on 1st visarjan day


THANE : Over 12,000 Ganesh idols were immersed till late Friday evening during a peaceful and well-supervised procession at visarjan ghats across the lake city.Artificial ponds,idol collection centres that have been set up by the civic body across the city were a big hit among residents.

“An accurate number of idols will be available only by late night,” said an official who was tabulating the data of immersions.

Out of nearly 50,000 household Ganesh idols that are there in the city, approximately 14,000 will be immersed by the end of Friday.

The old city and Wagle Estate area alone would witnessed nearly 5,600 immersions by the end of the day, while the immersion points at adjoining Kalwa, Mumbra and Ghodbunder areas would witness around 8,400 idols till Saturday early morning.

TMC officials said that the response to artificial ponds was encouraging this year as devotees prefer to immerse their idols here rather than using natural water bodies. The civic body had created artificial ponds at various parts in the city, including Upvan, Railadevi, Ambeghosale lake, Nilkanth woods, Balkum Rewale and Kharegaon. This was done to minimise the damage to natural water bodies.

The TMC said that adequate measures were being taken to keep the artificial tanks clean and also to ensure that the water in these ponds was purified at regular intervals.

Besides, idol donation centres have also been functional at various spots in the city where hundreds of devotees were seen handing over idols instead of immersing them in ponds. “We will collect the idols and immerse them together inside the creek where the force of water is more,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the regular immersion spots for small idols and those beyond five-feet at Parsik Retibunder, Kolshet and Kopri also witnessed a huge rush of devotees on the first visarjan day.

The TMC and city police said that they have deputed adequate staff at various chronic spots to ensure free flow of traffic during the festive season and also ensure safety of the devotees. The civic officials also deployed adequate staff along with CCTV cover to ensure safety in the CCTV.

There are nearly 50,000 household Ganesh idols within the city; of which 14,000 were immersed on the second day of the festival itself. The old city and Wagle Estate area alone would witnessed nearly 5,600 immersions by the end of the day, while the immersion points at adjoining Kalwa, Mumbra and Ghodbunder areas would witness around 8,400 idols being brought in for the visarjan till Saturday early morning. Meanwhile, regular immersion spots also witnessed a huge rush of devotees on the first visarjan day.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Variety of modaks add a unique flavour to Ganesh fest


THANE With Ganesh Chaturthi festivities underway across the city, the mouthwatering modak preparations has flooded every bylane here. While the jaggery, coconut and dryfruit filled steamed traditional modaks were once the only sweet offering or prasad offered to Ganpati, these sweet dumplings seem to have been replaced by a variety other substitutes.

From chocolate and dryfruit based modaks to sugarfree, rasmalai flavoured and caramel modaks, Thaneites have been experimenting with various new versions.

“Modaks are a must during the festival as they have to be given as prasad to all devotees. However, over the years, my family has gone astray from making the traditional jaggery-filled dumplings and have now started giving chocolate or mava modaks,” said Sharmali Marwa, a Pachpakhadi resident.

Some Thaneites have also started tweaking their traditional modak recipes and are adding some variety to the spread. “Every year, I try making sweets that are trending so that my kids get excited and join me in the kitchen. This year, we came across a shop in Mumbai that sells modak surprises, which are basically mini modaks with different sweet and savory fillings, including chocolate ganache modak and mushroom chilly modak. So I replicated some of them at home, this year,” said Kshama Kulkarni, a Vartak Nagar resident.

Some Thaneites had even approached homecooks to get a lesson or two on modak preparations. “Over the past few weeks, I had conducted sessions on unique modaks during which I taught students quick but interesting modak recipes like lemon-chilly modak, panchakhatya filled modak, caramel and sugar-free modaks and so on. Devotees are getting more and more experimental with every passing year. So, I have to keep coming up with recipes to meet the demand,” said Priti Doke, a city-based chef.

However, there are many who still follow the traditional way. “While some made ukdiche modak at home, many don’t have the time. In an attempt to keep the traditional flavor of the festival alive, we make and sell simple original coconut, jaggery and dryfruit based modaks for those who don’t have the time to make it,” said Medha Deshpande, a city based homechef.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Transport experts demand revision in metro routes


THANE : Transport experts from the city have sought a revision in routes of certain metro corridors planned for Thane district suggesting alternatives that could make the facility more popular and viable for travel.

The district is likely to see construction of few metro routes including the Belapur-Taloja, Wadala-Kasarwadavli and Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan among others. Experts here have said there needs to be an urgent review of routes of these lines so as to ensure maximise utilisation of these projects for the suburban residents who rely only on the trains as a faster mode of transport or road networks that have long become saturated.

Transport experts suggest a metro loop to be constructed within the district like the ones being planned for Mumbai so that it connects all farthest urban pockets of the district from Navi Mumbai to Bhayender, Kalyan and Thane. While there has been a demand to connect the Belapur-Taloja route to Kalyan or Dombvili, the need for linking Wadala-Kasarwadavli route till Mira-Bhayender has also been doing the rounds for a long time. In addition, diverting the Thane-Kalyan metro through Khadakpada till the APMC is also being suggested by experts and political leaders.

The state government needs to rethink about introducing more viable options for transporting passengers as the existing road and railway networks are largely saturated. There has to be a system wherein the commuters and freight movement is separated and travel for the former made more convenient. There is a need for urgent revision of the metro routes being planned in Thane district,” said transport expert Sulakshana Mahajan.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Thane guardian minister has also made a similar demand before the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to revise few metro routes connecting Thane and Kalyan.

“I have proposed an extension of the proposed metro IV project till Bhayender and also revise the Kalyan metro route to be diverted via Khadakpada and railway station to make it more viable for commuters. The present route may not be feasible for commuters as many, especially those staying in new Kalyan area would not be able to make use of it,” said Shinde.

When contacted, R A Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said there is already a plan for interlinking all the metros routes within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and the routes are finalised on the basis of the study done by consultants.

“We are working on linking the metro lines not just in Mumbai but in Thane suburbs as well. Presently, the alignment is based on what our consultants have studied and presented a report based on the situation of the roads and traffic situation in the city. If there is a need for connecting a certain area, that can benefit the commuters and motorists the same can always be explored in the future,” he said.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com