OPPO R11 Review playing with the big boys

first_imgBatteryPerformance, however, is the only standard by which consumers measure their smartphones these days. Now more than ever. battery life has become a major point of discussion as well as a major pain point. The 3,000 mAh battery in the OPPO R11 might not seem much, but considering other factors involved, it does seem adequate.The Snapdragon 600 series has been notable for its nearly perfect balance of performance and power efficiency, which is the Snapdragon 625 in particular has been a favorite among mid-range devices. The improvements in the 630 and 660 promise to prolong battery life even more. Then there’s the fact that OPPO R11 doesn’t have as much pixels to push in its 1080p screen. An AMOLED type panel also contributes some battery-saving features, though sometimes only marginal, depending on what’s on display most of the time.With average mixed used, we got around 19 hours of battery life in a day. Definitely not the 2-day life that Sony used to brag about, but still gives you enough time to postpone charging until you get to bed. You will indeed charge it almost every day, but even then OPPO tries to make it as painless as possible. The phone features the company’s own proprietary VOOC Flash Charge that promises 2 hours of talk time with only a 5 minute charge time. While that might indeed sound like an ideal compromise, it does come at a price. Two, in fact. One, you are beholden to OPPO’s chargers, as no other charger or power bank advertises support for VOOC. Second, you will be missing out on the USB-C fun, as VOOC technology itself seems to be stuck using micro USB connection for now.CameraUnlike the OPPO F3 Plus, the OPPO R11 doesn’t have some fancy shmancy camera gimmick to rely on. No dual front cameras here. All eyes, then, are on the dual rear cameras. In a bit of a role reversal, the “lesser” sensor, the one with 16 megapixels, is considered the regular one with its f/1.7 aperture. The higher 20 megapixel sensors, on the other hand, has an f/2.6 lens and is used for telephoto shots. There is no extreme wide-angle here, no monochrome sensor either. It’s definitely an outlier in this year’s dual camera arena, but it does have one ace up its sleeve: the 2X optical zoom is performs very well without loss of detail. That is, if you get the lighting right.The OPPO R11’s cameras are representative of almost every OPPO smartphone we’ve reviewed so far. They are good, but not outstanding. They produce good photos under ideal lighting conditions but immediately show their weakness in poorly lit scenes. It’s not terrible, mind you, especially if you use the correct f/1.7 camera. Noise, however, is visible and wouldn’t pass professional tastes. And, sadly, there is no image stabilization to speak of. OPPO tries to balance this through its camera app. As seems to be the trend these days, it offers advanced manual controls for those who prefer to tweak every setting to perfection, or as much as they can given the camera’s limitations. The app is also fast and the shutter quick so, provided you have a steady hand and good lighting, you’re assured that you won’t miss a beat.Despite being alone, the front camera is no pushover. It has a 20 megapixel sensor, definitely one of the highest on that side of the phone. The lens has an f/2.0 aperture, which, again, is OK but not spectacular, especially in dim light. With the right conditions, it still makes for a great selfie.And, of course, there are the bokeh and “Beauty” modes that makes every look pretty, even though the little guy below definitely doesn’t need any embellishing.Wrap-upOPPO is definitely one of the underestimated brands in the market, especially in the international scene. Its “Selfie Expert” F series have mostly delivered on that promise, even if there’s still a lot of room for improvement. With the OPPO R11, the company takes a step closer to joining the big boy’s arena, but still keeps one foot secure in the “affordable” ring. It’s definitely not perfect and nowhere near being a premium smartphone in terms of features. But with the right mix of specs and price, it comes close to being an everyday driver for the masses.If you’re looking for gorgeous design, professional cameras, and blazing fast speeds, you have to look elsewhere and be prepared to spend a fortune. But if you’re in the market for an affordable performer that does OK without being over the top in features and in price, then the OPPO R11 should definitely be in your list of candidates. DesignIt’s almost pointless to talk about OPPO’s smartphone designs. Nearly every model will inevitably be compared with and mistaken for an iPhone at first glance. There are differences, of course, but they are too subtle to be noticed except by those who take the time to look deeper and longer.The similarities with an iPhone is less blatant in the R11 that it was in the F3, which, in turn, felt like a step backward aesthetically compared to its bigger F3 Plus sibling. For example, the antenna lines follow the same arc pattern as the iPhone 7 but are less visible, taking on almost the same color as the rest of the back, and are composed of two lines each. Despite having less lines, OPPO still boasts of the exact same, or even better, signal reception.The back is also subtly curved, unlike an iPhone. It also curves at all edges. These two factors contribute to a better grip and more confidence that the phone won’t easily slip out from your hand, despite having an all metal body. While Xiaomi has the lion’s share of the Chinese market and fellow Chinese OEM OnePlus making waves in the international scene, OPPO remains undoubted and produces a steady stream of smartphones every year. A stream that, in all honesty, has accumulated into a rushing river that threatens to flood the smartphone market with nearly indistinguishable devices. Save for a few standouts, like the recently launched F3 and F3 Plus, OPPO’s smartphone nearly look identical not just with each other but with other brands as well. With the OPPO R11, however, the company seems to be ready to break out of that mold. While still not exactly premium smartphone material, the OPPO R11 takes a step forward in joining the big leagues. SpecsIt’s still pretty much a specs race among Chinese manufacturers, but one that has a slightly different spin. OEMs are racing to offer the best specs at a price, with price sometimes being the more critical factor. In most cases, like in the OPPO F3, that meant utilizing a usually cheaper MediaTek processor. With the R11, however, OPPO has decided to go with a Qualcomm. Not the highest Snapdragon, mind, but still the latest as far as its higher mid-range series of chips go. Somewhat ironically, this Snapdragon 660 and the R11’s 1080p resolution are probably the only specs that don’t match up to high-end standards.• Operating System: Android 7.1, ColorOS 3.1• CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660• RAM: 4 GB• Storage: 64 GB, expandable up to 256 GB• Display: 5.5-inch 1920x1080n AMOLED• Main Camera: 20 MP f/2.6 + 16 MP f/1.7 wide-angle, 2x zoom• Secondary Camera: 20 MP f/2.0• Battery: 3,000 mAh, VOOC Flash Charge• Dimensions:• Weight:DisplayHonestly, the Full HD display isn’t really a big thing, at least not for OPPO’s core market. Very few of the major OEMs, not even Xiaomi, has completely jumped onto the QHD train. Their customers don’t seem to mind either. These users prefer a longer battery life over extra pixels they may not even notice, especially with majority of online content mostly still averaging at 1080p. It’s a tradeoff users are willing to make for an overall better experience.OPPO does make up for it by using an AMOLED panel, still a rarity with OEMs aside from Samsung. This adds to the OPPO R11’s longer battery life, since OLED uses up less power overall, especially when display black pixels. AMOLED also has the distinction of producing richer and more vibrant colors, something we could attest to ourselves. AMOLED also uses no power when displaying a black screen, which makes it particularly conducive for always-on displays and features.In contrast to the movement happening in the mainstream market, OPPO and its kin haven’t been quick to join the bezel-less bandwagon just yet. The OPPO R11 still has bezels all around, especially top and bottom. OPPO does boast of how thin it is at the sides, only 1.66 mm wide, but they’re still there and still very visible.PerformanceThe most remarkable thing about the OPPO R11 isn’t it’s all too familiar design or its bright and bezeled display. It isn’t even its price. OK, maybe price does factor into it. But when taking the R11 for a spin, its most impressive feat is how well it performed in the field, so to speak. It it performed admirably well for a smartphone that might not exactly fit the “premium phone” mold.A lot of that has to do with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660. Release just last month, this, along with the Snapdragon 630, is Qualcomm’s first mid-range processor to use its own Kryo cores, putting it in the same group as its Snapdragon 821 and 835, albeit at lower clock speeds. This meant harnessing the power of Qualcomm’s Spectra ISP for dual camera support, its Adreno GPU for graphics prowess, and support for 2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, among other things.Together with an ample 4 GB of RAM, 6 GB if you get the R11 Plus model, that practically meant smooth sailing even with a good number of apps open. Make no mistake, it’s not going to hold a candle to this year’s high-end processors, be it a Snapdragon, Kirin, or even a Helio. But it comes pretty darn close when it comes to practical, every day use.And for the benchmark fans, here’s a peek at the numbers coming from Geekbench as well as AnTuTu. While definitely not the highest, the Snapdragon in the OPPO R11 nearly comes close to last year’s flagships and, at least in one case, even surpasses them. Definitely a glowing testament to Qualcomm’s and OPPO’s achievement.last_img read more

Amazons Nest sales tipped to end soon as smart home rivalry grows

first_imgThe rivalry between Amazon and Google will result in an end to Nest sales through the online retailer, according to a recent report. Google’s Nest team was reportedly informed by Amazon in recent weeks that it won’t sell the newest Nest products, and as a result Nest will stop offering any of its products through Amazon. The decision came from “the top” of Amazon, the sources claim. People familiar with the alleged call from Amazon to Google recently spoke with Business Insider, claiming Amazon got in contact with the Nest team to give them the bad news. The decision isn’t due to any issues with the Nest products themselves, the sources say, but rather is the decision of someone or multiple someones “from the top” of Amazon.According to the report, Amazon’s team never pointed fingers at company CEO Jeff Bezos, but Nest employees reportedly ended the call under the impression that the decision came from Bezos. Due to Amazon’s decision not to sell newer Nest products, the Nest team reportedly decided to stop offering any Nest devices for sale through the online retailers.Assuming that is true, the existing Nest products available through Amazon will be the last; once inventory runs out, Amazon won’t have any remaining Nest gadgets to offer. Nest allegedly decided to stop offering any of its products through Amazon because it would prefer to only offer all Nest devices or none at all.AdChoices广告The move isn’t surprising. Amazon has seen wild success with Alexa and its growing line of smart products. The company recently hinted at a wider expansion in the smart home market via the acquisition of Ring, but Google is quickly becoming a strong threat with the launch of Google Assistant and its Google Home products. Underscoring Google’s own efforts was its recent decision to bring Nest back under its wing.SOURCE: Business Insiderlast_img read more

Apple Watch 4 to have more screen more battery more sensors

first_imgThere’s still some debate on whether smartwatches should be defined by their touch screens just as smartphones are. But for Apple, that’s pretty much the case. Smartwatch screens are relatively small but Kuo says that the Apple Watch 4 will increase the screen size by as much as 15%. The current selection includes the standard 38 mm and 42 mm, so a size increase of that magnitude would push the numbers up to 44 mm and 48 mm, respectively.Now you might think that Apple will do an iPhone X and reduce the bezels to keep the overall case size the same. That might be partly true, but another part of Kuo’s predictions might dash those hopes. The smartwatch will supposedly have a bigger battery to offer a longer operating life, which does translate to a bigger case.There will also be more sensors inside, says the analyst, going beyond the heart rate monitor. This goes in line with Apple’s mission to turn the Apple Watch into a miniature health lab. What those sensors are, however, Kuo doesn’t say.Aside from the price, expect the Apple Watch 4 to be just as expensive, having more of the good stuff. That said, the older models will remain on sale with lower prices, which would help Apple maintain its lead in the smartwatch market. Kuo expects Apple to sell 22 to 24 million Apple Watches, across all generations, this year, 30% more than 2017.VIA: 9to5Mac Both tablet and smartwatch markets aren’t exactly at their peak, but Apple keeps on chugging along at the head, leaving most in the dust. The latest education-oriented iPad will carry it forward in the tablet market and, according to Ming-chi Kuo, the upcoming Apple Watch series 4 will do the same for wearables. The Apple Watch 4, according to the famed KGI Securities analyst, will deliver many of what users have been asking for but there will be a price to pay in more way than one.last_img read more

Skype debuts Content Creator mode with features for podcasters streamers

first_imgMicrosoft has revealed that it’s updating the widely used Skype software with tools to improve call recording. The voice and video calling service isn’t getting a native recording feature, mind you, but instead is streamlining its integration with existing third-party apps like Wirecast, Xsplit, and Vmix, making it easier for streamers, vloggers, and podcast hosts to get quality recordings for audio and video production. Story TimelineSkype PayPal update live: here’s how to Send MoneyMicrosoft Teams gears up to replace SkypeCortana is now in Skype on iOS and Android to make chats easierSkype for Desktop redesigned with new social features and cloud supportSkype Private Conversations end-to-end encryption arrives for Insiders The feature is part of a new “Content Creators” mode that’s coming to Skype on the desktop for both Windows 10 and Mac. Once users switch the app to the new mode — currently in preview form — they can choose which NDI-supported third-party software they want to use. This will allow them to get “clean” recordings of all call participants, with files that can easily be imported into other editing software, including Adobe Premiere Pro.Microsoft notes that in addition to aiding production of podcasts and vlogs, the feature can enable streamers to broadcast a call live on their YouTube or Twitch channels. There’s also potential for people like news journalists and business users to get better recordings of sources and important meetings.Skype says it will be giving Content Creators a full premiere next week, with a final release this fall on Windows 10 and Mac.AdChoices广告SOURCE Skype Bloglast_img read more

Facebook nixes 5000 ad targeting options that can be used to discriminate

first_imgEarlier this year, Facebook said it was addressing the issue of “misuse” on its advertisement platform by adding an anti-discrimination prompt to its tools, limiting exclusion targeting, and more. The company has taken a bigger step today, saying that it is removing more than 5,000 targeting options to prevent the abuse.“While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service,” Facebook said in its announcement, “we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important.” Among the targeting options that will be removed include user attributes like religion and ethnicity.At the heart of the matter is advertisement targeting, which enables advertisers to target a specific audience. This helps the company avoiding wasting money on ads that are presented to people who aren’t relevant to the topic or product, but opens a door for discrimination. Given the right targeting options, advertisers can, for example, avoid showing housing ads to certain groups of people.In addition to removing the ad targeting options, Facebook plans to require its advertisers to certify that their ads are in line with Facebook’s non-discrimination policy. This requirement will apply to companies that Facebook says are taking out employment, housing, and credit ads. SOURCE: Facebook Following criticism, Facebook has announced the removal of 5,000 ad targeting categories that made it possible to discriminate against individuals based on ethnicity and similar things. Facebook has previously been called out about these ad targeting options, which critics say have been used to discriminate based on race.last_img read more

FCC greenlights SpaceX to launch 7000 satellites for broadband services

first_imgThe proposed systems that the companies want to build out use non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) satellites and are expected to enable fixed-satellite service in the US. The goal of the services is to increase the availability of high-speed broadband and competition in the marketplace. The FCC’s approval for SpaceX shows a much grander vision than what SpaceX talked about before.The FCC approved SpaceX for a very-low-Earth orbit constellation of more than 7,000 satellites using V-band frequencies. SpaceX was also granted a request to add 37.5-42.0 GHz, and 47.2-50.2 GHz support to its previously authorized NGSO constellation. Kepler’s approvals with the FCC will allow it to offer “global connectivity for the Internet of Things” according to the FCC using NGSO satellites in the 10.7-12.7 GHz and 14.0-14.5 GHz frequency bands with 140 proposed satellites.Telsat plans 117 NGSO satellites operating in the 37.5-42.0 GHz, and 47.2- 50.2 GHz frequency bands. LeoSat’s NGSO constellation will have 78 satellites and will operate on 17.8-18.6 GHz, 18.8-19.4 GHz, 19.6-20.2 GHz, 27.5-29.1 GHz, and 29.5-30.0 GHz frequency bands. There is no clear indication of when any of these broadband services might be ready for consumers to use. A couple years back SpaceX was talking up a plan that would see it put 4,425 satellites into orbit to roll out global broadband connectivity. That promise is closer to reality today with the FCC announcing that it has approved the requests of four different companies to roll out new and expanded broadband services using satellites. The four companies include SpaceX, Kepler Communications, Telesat Canada, and LeoSat.last_img read more

Leica CL Street Kit camera bundle targets street photographers

first_imgThe Leica CL is an APS-C mirrorless camera the company bills as an ideal system for street photographers and others in need of a capable, highly portable camera. The device isn’t cheap, costing around $2,800 for just the body. Photographers keen to adopt the system now have the option to get a unit paired with a suitable lens, extra battery, and black leather strap. Camera maker Leica has introduced a new bundle called the CL Street Kit. The new product features the Leica CL mirrorless camera, as well as a spare battery, black leather camera strap, and more. The camera is targeted at street photographers who need ample battery power and a convenient way to carry their gear. Story TimelineLeica M10-D digital camera nixes LCD for analog experienceLeica Q-P revealed with two batteriesLeica D-Lux 7 takes classic style to the smartphone agecenter_img The Leica CL Street Kit is targeted at “all skill levels,” and it includes a Leica Summicron-TL 23mm F2 ASPH lens. That lens, according to Leica, offers an ideal balance between sharpness, field of view, portability, and speed for getting shots in the moment. The camera supports other compatible lenses too, of course, also covering other photographic needs.The Leica CL features a 24-megapixel sensor, rapid autofocus, support for shooting speeds up to 10fps, a built-in EyeRes viewfinder, an L-Mount bayonet, and compatibility with Leica’s mobile app. Users can use the Leica FOTOS app to directly transfer and share images from the camera to social media platforms.AdChoices广告The Street Kit’s included camera features the maker’s classic anodized black finish, which pairs nicely with the included black leather camera carrying strap. There’s a second battery, as mentioned, all bundled together for $4,195 USD. The Leica CL Street Kit is available to purchase from Leica’s stores, dealers, and boutiques as of today.last_img read more

Qualcomm and Lenovo reveals the worlds first 5G laptop

first_imgOf course, all of these hinges on the software experience that will be delivered on this Project Limitless 5G laptop. Windows 10 on ARM, specifically Snapdragon, has so far been a massive disappointment in terms of delivering that Always On, Always Connected PC promise. Fortunately, Qualcomm and Lenovo have until next year to iron out the kinks, as 5G coverage isn’t expected to be fully rolled out until 2020. Because of its immediate connection with mobile network carriers, 5G is often thought of as an upcoming revolution in smartphones. However, it’s also promised to drastically change the face of computing, from traditional computers to the Internet of Things. So far, however, we’ve only seen smartphones and networking equipment with 5G capabilities and almost nothing else. At Computex 2019, Qualcomm and Lenovo announced their joint Project Limitless and their first baby, the world’s first 5G-enabled laptop. The notebook is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx platform, what the chip maker calls its “most extreme Snapdragon ever”. It has Qualcomm’s newest custom Kryo 495 CPU cores and Adreno 680 GPU not found in any other Snapdragon chip. Its selling feature, of course, is its network connectivity.The Snapdragon 8cx sports two modems. The X24 LTE modem supports the fastest Category 22 LTE available today but the real star of the show is the X55 5G modem. More than just blazing fast speeds, up to 7 Gbps on a perfect day, Qualcomm wants people to know why 5G in the PCs is a good thing.Of course, you can easily download gigabytes of videos or stream without spinning icons but the technology will also let you do real-time translation in video chats, especially when paired with on-device AI. It also means less waiting time when collaborating with others remotely over large files, like editing a video on the go.last_img read more

Facebook Avatars arrive fashionably late to the Bitmoji party

first_imgEver since the creation of emojis, humans have found a new way to communicate with each other pictorially. Emojis gave way to stickers and stickers gave way to the rebirth of animated GIFs but all of these formats, while expressive, are too generic to be personal. Then along came Bitmoji, which was snapped up by Snapchat in 2016, giving way to personalized avatars that later gave way to thinks like Animojis and AR Emojis. Now Facebook has finally arrived at the party three years later with Avatar, just in time to convince today’s young generation that it’s still hip and trendy. Originally designed for college students, Facebook exploded to become “that thing kids use”. It was eventually supplanted by the likes of Instagram (which Facebook acquired) and Snapchat (which Facebook fears) as the social network of choice by some youngsters. And thanks to recent scandals, Facebook’s image has become even more “grown-up”, filled with issues that only adults worry about.In that context, Facebook Avatar’s terribly late arrival is almost like a Hail Mary to get back into the good graces of younger users. Just note the current lack of options to represent an older demographic. To be fair, Facebook says that’s still coming and the feature is still in development. Then again, it has been in development for the past year or so.What Facebook Avatars lacks in features and depth it makes up for in diversity and ease of use. One of the supposed reasons for Facebook Avatar’s late arrival was because it made sure it will have enough options to represent as many classes of people as possible. Except old classes of people. It also tried to make sure that the process of making a 2D representation of yourself will be as easy as possible.AdChoices广告While you will be able to see Facebook Avatars popup in Facebook News Feed comments and Messenger chats, only users in Australia can actually create their Avatars. The range of expressions and emotions that the Avatars can take will naturally grow over time, as will their representations, hopefully. And don’t be surprised if, in the future, some form of monetization creeps into the platform. Facebook hasn’t thought about it yet but, since it’s Facebook, it’s only a matter of time.last_img read more

YouTube considers plan to scrub childrens content from main app

first_imgThe radical plan has been detailed by the Wall Street Journal, which claims that if company executives decide to follow through with the idea, every video starring kids will be shuttled off to the separate YouTube Kids app. The company hasn’t confirmed any plans to do this, however, instead vaguely referring to the fact that it has many ideas for improvements, only some that become reality.The report arrives amid growing criticism over predatory behavior and videos that have been found on the platform. Examples of these concerns were highlighted earlier this month by the New York Times, which specifically pointed toward YouTube’s automatic recommendation system.The criticism focuses on the automatic recommendation system’s ability to recommend videos of kids to users who have previously watched other videos featuring children, at least according to recent research. Past reports about the issue include one from Wired revealing disturbing comments left on videos featuring young kids.The new report claims YouTube is considering a change that will help protect kids from some of these issues by moving all kids content to the YouTube Kids app, possibly also scrubbing the auto-play feature. There’s no way to know at this time whether YouTube will ultimately follow through with the idea, which would require a massive effort given how many videos would need to be moved. The news comes amid the FTC’s alleged investigation into YouTube’s handling of kids videos. Story Timeline100 Thieves CourageJD team-up official, YouTube, Twitch in the mixYouTube claims to ‘tackle hate’ while LGBTQ harassment continues unabatedTesla cars are getting “Fallout Shelter”, Netflix and YouTube YouTube may introduce a massive change to how it handles children’s content, a new leak claims. Company executives are reportedly considering a plan that would move videos targeted at children from the main YouTube app to a separate app, as well as disabling the auto-play feature that causes new random videos to play after the current one ends. last_img read more

EVs in Europe legally have to make fake noise – and the

first_imgElectric cars in Europe are going to get a little more noisy, with new regulations coming into force that demand they emit a pedestrian-warning sound when at low speeds. The acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS) are now mandatory on all new models of battery-electric vehicles, as well as on hybrids which are able to operate in electric-only modes. The aim is to reduce the potential for accidents in urban areas in particular, where the far quieter mechanical noises of EVs compared to traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles can present a hazard. Without that engine sound, pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users might not realize an electric vehicle is approaching. Both the European Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission have been looking into just what sort of workaround might be required, since around 2014. Now, it’s going into European policy from July 1st, 2019. At this point, all new electric cars need to have an AVAS. Thankfully, automakers won’t need to replicate an ICE sound specifically. Instead they’re expected to use variations on the electric whine that some EVs have already adopted. The noise must be played when the car is moving at speeds under 12 mph, as well as when reversing. AdChoices广告Come July 1st, 2021, all new vehicles sold of either battery-electric or hybrid capable of electric-only drive will need to be fitted with an AVAS, meanwhile. The different acoustics of electric cars have given automakers new headaches to address when it comes to development. Some have embraced the challenge, even commissioning elaborate custom noises for their vehicles. Others have cited the absence of an evocative ICE soundtrack as a barrier to entering the EV segment. On a more practical level, it can also emphasize other acoustic work the car companies must do. With less engine noise to mask it, road noise and wind buffeting can be far more noticeable in the cabin of EVs. Above a certain speed, around 18 mph, tire noise the like start to become more significant noise-generators, audible both inside and outside of the car.While the new rules apply to cars sold in Europe, the US is not far behind. The NHTSA confirmed back in 2016 that it was working on “Quiet Car” safety standards, which come into force from September 1, 2019. That will require all new hybrid and EVs to emit safety sounds when traveling in forward or reverse, up to around 19 mph.last_img read more

Administration Touts Thriving Medicare Advantage Under Health Law

first_imgAdministration Touts Thriving Medicare Advantage Under Health Law Enrollment in the private plans is projected to increase 11 percent next year, while premiums hold steady, officials say, disproving predictions made by critics of the health care law.The Associated Press/Washington Post: Premiums Inching Higher For Popular Medicare Advantage Plans; Strong Rise In EnrollmentMonthly premiums for popular private insurance plans through Medicare are only inching up next year, the Obama administration said Wednesday, trumpeting good news for skeptical older voters on a closely watched election-year issue (9/19).Politico: Medicare Advantage Shrugs Off CutsThe Obama administration is declaring a small victory on Medicare: The private Medicare Advantage plans haven’t been hurt by “Obamacare” after all. In fact, they’re thriving, according to administration estimates released Wednesday (Norman, 9/20).Reuters: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Projected To Grow 11 PercentEnrollment in Medicare Advantage, the private insurance segment of the popular U.S. healthcare program for the elderly, is expected to grow 11 percent next year while premiums remain steady, government health officials said on Wednesday. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that 14.5 million people will enroll in Medicare Advantage plans in 2013, based on insurance industry expectations. That is up from 13.1 million people this year (Morgan, 9/19).The Hill: HHS: Health Law Strengthened Medicare AdvantageEnrollment is up and premiums are down in Medicare Advantage (MA) as a result of the healthcare law, the federal health department reported Wednesday. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued projections that MA enrollment will increase by 11 percent over the next year while premiums hold steady. Sebelius attributed a 28 percent rise in MA enrollment and 10 percent drop in MA premiums since 2010 to the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically divisive (Viebeck, 9/19).Kaiser Health News: Capsules: HHS Touts Growth In Medicare Advantage Plans, Drop In Premiums Just days away from a House hearing where Republicans are likely to charge that the 2010 health law’s cuts to Medicare Advantage plans will cause insurers to leave the program and seniors to pay more for coverage, the Obama administration said Wednesday that as a result of the law seniors now have more of these private plans to choose from and that coverage is less expensive (Carey, 9/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

Some Employers Continue To Offer Skinny Plans

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Some Employers Continue To Offer ‘Skinny’ Plans Even though the Obama administration will not enforce the mandate requiring large employers to offer coverage for another year, some companies still plan to offer so-called “skinny,” or limited benefit plans — and the federal government will permit them, according to Politico. Other reports look at the growth in part-time jobs and whether that is a result of the health care law.Politico: ACA Penalties Spawn ‘Skinny’ PlansEmployers heaved a sigh of relief when the Obama administration announced it would not enforce Obamacare’s mandate that large companies provide insurance to their workers next year. But some companies plan to offer “skinny plans” designed to duck the biggest penalties anyway, according to industry consultants. And the Obama administration has extended its blessing to this limited coverage, even though it would not protect individuals from medical bills that could cause financial ruin in the case of severe injury or illness (Norman, 7/16).The Associated Press: Health Insurers Fear Young People Will Opt OutDan Lopez rarely gets sick and hasn’t been to a doctor in 10 years, so buying health insurance feels like a waste of money. Even after the federal health overhaul takes full effect next year, the 24-year-old said he will probably decide to pay the $100 penalty for those who skirt the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase coverage (Kennedy, 7/15).The New York Times’ Well Blog: Health Insurance Within ReachEver since Marci Lieber, a part-time social worker in Brooklyn, learned she was pregnant, she and her husband have been scrambling to find health insurance. But insurers consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition, and won’t sell anyone a new policy that covers it. That changes on Jan. 1, 2014, when insurers will no longer be permitted to deny coverage of pre-existing conditions — and all Americans will be required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Ms. Lieber, 37, hopes to purchase a policy through New York State’s new health exchange as early as this October (Rabin, 7/15).Fiscal Times/TheWeek.com: Obamacare: The Part-Time, Low-Wage Job CreatorThis year, the leisure and hospitality industry has been adding the lion’s share of new jobs to the U.S. economy. Since April, hotels, restaurants, bars, and other leisure businesses have created an average of 50,000 jobs a month, double the rate from 2012, and more than any other industry. In June, 75,000 of the 195,000 new jobs created in the entire economy were cooks, waiters, bartenders, etc. Traditionally, a booming leisure industry points to a healthy economy: When people have more money to spend and confidence in their jobs, they treat themselves to more food, drinks, and vacations. But that’s probably not what’s happening here. The Wall Street Journal says many of the new jobs are part-time, which could be a direct reaction to ObamaCare (7/15).PBS NewsHour: Austin Musicians Find Unique Solution For Affordable Health Care (Video)Country, rock, punk, soul. Regardless of genre, two things once united most musicians in Austin, Texas: a lack of health insurance and income averaging less than $16,000 per year. Ray Suarez reports on a how an unusual health alliance keeps artists’ health care costs low so they can keep playing (7/15).last_img read more

Hospital Bills Spike 37 For Patients With Private Insurance Study

first_img Patients, even those with employer-sponsored health plans, may face another condition after they are discharged from a hospital stay: acute sticker shock. Out-of-pocket hospitalization costs rose 37% from 2009 to 2013, with the average patient paying more than $1,000 per hospital visit, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan. The survey took place before many of the Obamacare provisions were in place, including the health insurance marketplaces. (Channick, 6/27) Medical treatment is getting pricier every year, and a new study shows that patients are carrying a bigger and bigger share of the cost. It found that even people with health insurance pay, on average, more than $1,000 out of their pockets for a hospital stay. (Fox, 6/27) Los Angeles Times: Patients Pay A Higher Share Of Hospital Bills, Study Finds The amount that people with private insurance still had to pay for hospital visits grew 37 percent from 2009 to 2013, a study finds. And it’s probably still going up.The study, conducted by the University of Michigan and published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests employers are using high-deductible plans to keep premium costs down. (Ramkumar, 6/27) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.center_img Bloomberg: Even With Private Insurance, Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Hospital Visits Shot Up 37% Hospital Bills Spike 37% For Patients With Private Insurance: Study Average out-of-pocket costs rise to over $1,000 per hospital stay, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. NBC News: Even With Insurance, A Hospital Stay Will Cost You $1000 Or More last_img read more

FDA Chief To Launch New Drug Office As A First Step Toward

first_img Kent Thiry, CEO of the dialysis provider DaVita, told a breakout session audience on Monday evening that the company is working to close on the sale of its medical group to UnitedHealth Group in the first quarter of 2019. He said the federal government shutdown could complicate the deal. … Last month, DaVita announced it had agreed to lower the price on its medical group, DaVita Medical Holdings, to $4.34 billion, from $4.9 billion. (Bannow, 1/7) Nearly every person who’s run the Food and Drug Administration in recent history agrees the agency should break free from its political supervisors — a rare consensus from commissioners who served under Republican and Democratic administrations alike. In two papers published Monday, all seven of the FDA’s most recent commissioners wrote that the current setup — in which the agency is a mere subdivision of the Department of Health and Human Services — interferes with the ability of its scientists to protect the health of the public. (Swetlitz, 1/7) FDA Chief To Launch New Drug Office As A First Step Toward A Systematic Overhaul Of How Medicines Are Reviewed The Office of Drug Evaluation Science is going through the final stages of review and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expects to start the office in the first half of this year. Gottlieb will outline his plan via video-conference at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. The Food and Drug Administration plans to create a new office to improve the review of new medicines — one that will develop a standardized approach to using personalized medicine, digital data, and patients’ own reports, according to Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Gottlieb will outline the plan for the new 52-person group, called the Office of Drug Evaluation Science (ODES), as part of a talk at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday. Because of the government shutdown, he will deliver the talk via videoconference. (Herper, 1/7) Stat: FDA Plans To Create A New Office To Leverage Cutting-Edge Science  Modern Healthcare: On The Ground At J.P. Morgan’s Health Conference  This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Stat: Former FDA Chiefs Agree Agency Needs Independence, But Differ On Details In other news on the agency —last_img read more

Zenfone 6 gets killer Pixel 3a and P30 Pro camera features –

first_imgAsus is adding a number of killer Pixel 3a and Huawei P30 Pro-like camera features to its latest Zenfone 6.The features are being added via an over the air update that began rolling out on Thursday. According to the release the update is being staggered, so it could be a while before it appears on every Zenfone 6.“Since the server pushes update notice to different serial numbers by batches, it may take some days for you to receive the FOTA notice,” explained the release.“Thanks for your patience. You may tap “System updates” in [Settings] >[System] to check if there is new firmware available.”The key feature is a new Super Night mode on the phone’s ultra-wide camera sensor. This is a custom feature we’ve traditionally on seen on Google Pixel and top-end Huawei phones, like the P30 Pro. It should in theory radically improve the Zenfone 6’s low light performance. We’ll be testing the new mode the moment the update is available for our Zenfone 6 review unit.Related: Best smartphoneYou can see a full list of the other new features being added to the Zenfone as part of Asus’ latest update below:Enable “Super Night mode” on Ultra-wide camera.Get weather displayed on the lock screen.Optimize translation strings in Setting.Improve system stability.Improve camera rotation stability.Optimize UI Animation.Optimize the headphone sound quality.Related: Best camera phoneThe Zenfone 6 is the latest flagship from Taiwanese tech mogul Asus. It’s primary selling point is a custom “flip camera” setup that combines a primary 48-megapixel Sony sensor with a secondary ultrawide sensor. Unlike competing phones the setup can be flipped up to take selfies. This gives the Zenfone 6 an all screen, notch free design that we thing’s outright gorgeous.The flip system is one of many notch replacements being demoed at the moment. The OnePlus 7 Pro features a pop up camera design that sees the front sensor rise out of the phone’s top. Xiaomi and Oppo are also looking at ways to create ‘in display front cameras’ that are invisible to the naked eye. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy.last_img read more

Get a 43inch Philips 4K HDR Ambilight TV for a bargain price

first_imgAt 43-inches, this TV’s size is more suited to smaller rooms than a big lavish lounge. Or if you’re one of those high-rollers who has a big 4K TV gracing the living room, this would make for a decent bedroom TV.BUY NOW: Philips Ambilight TV for £395 – down from £600 on AmazonThe 43PUS7303 boasts Philips’ Ambilight technology, with the Intelligent LEDs casting colours to the wall behind, for an immersive light show that complements the images on screen.Related: Best Amazon Prime Day Deals 2019The 7303 implements Philips’ P5 Picture Engine. That optimises the sharpness of the image, as well as giving more oomph to colours, contrast and better motion handling. The seta also supports HDR10, HLG HDR and HDR Plus. The latter appears to be version of HDR that boosts non-HDR content so that it captures the “original richness and liveliness of the content”.Buyer beware though, if you’re after a set with all the catch-up apps, this is not that set. It does not have ITV Hub, ALL 4 and MY5 apps. You do, however, get Google Assistant, Google Play Store and Chromecast built in. Philips Ambilght TV DealPhilips 43PUS7303/12 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV with HDR Plus and Ambilight 3-sided – Dark Silver (2018/2019 Model) [Energy Class A]Want to add a little flare to your living room for a bargain price? This Philips Ambilight TV has had a massive discount for Prime Day, but watch out, the deal won’t be around for long.Amazon|Save £205.01|Now £394.99View DealNow £394.99|Save £205.01|Amazon We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. You can count on Amazon reducing a Philips Ambilight TV as part of its deals promotion and it’s done it again for Prime Day. This time Amazon has discounted a 2018 Philips 43PUS7303/12 Ambilight TV by 34%.That hefty drop sees it fall from Amazon’s RRP of £600 to £395. The last time it was around this price was back in May of this year. Philips Ambilght TV DealPhilips 43PUS7303/12 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Android Smart TV with HDR Plus and Ambilight 3-sided – Dark Silver (2018/2019 Model) [Energy Class A]Want to add a little flare to your living room for a bargain price? This Philips Ambilight TV has had a massive discount for Prime Day, but watch out, the deal won’t be around for long.Amazon|Save £205.01|Now £394.99View DealNow £394.99|Save £205.01|Amazon ——————————————————————————————————–Grab these great Prime Day savingsSave £40 on the Kindle Paperwhite£160 off the Dell Inspiron 14 Chromebook Amazon Prime Day Deals Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. If you want a second take on the qualities of the TV, this Amazon review from Electropicnic makes a case for its virtues. “…these really are underrated and awesome televisions that offer a unique experience that no other brand has. Not to mention motion processing, colour reproduction and contrast as good as if not better than more expensive models. Philips settings can be a little on the fiddly side at times to get the best out of them but for the price these televisions are in a class of their own. Cannot recommend them enough.”For more amazing offers, follow us @TrustedDealsUKWe may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. That’s why we want to make sure you’re well-informed and happy with your purchase so that you’ll continue to rely on us for your buying advice needs. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.last_img read more

Audi Installs Used LithiumIon Batteries From PHEVs In Factory Vehicles

first_img EVgo Introduces New Grid-Tied Chargers With Second-Life BMW i3 Batteries Second-life is excellent for the environment and for the economy.Audi found a second-life application for lithium-ion batteries, previously used in Audi A3 e-tron and Audi Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrids. The used batteries, that for various reasons were drawn from cars, can replace lead acid batteries in factory EVs like fork-lift trucks and tow tractors.The test project was launched in the main plant in Ingolstadt, but Audi thinks that it could save millions by using old batteries in all plants around the world.Lithium-ion batteries can provide more power and range (even used ones) than lead acid, as well as charge quicker and without limitations.Battery second-life Volkswagen Reveals Its Mobile Fast Charging Station In Geneva “Factory vehicles in Audi’s production plants such as fork-lift trucks and tow tractors have so far been powered by lead-acid batteries. When the batteries are empty, employees remove the battery packs weighing up to two tons from the vehicles and connect them to a charging station for several hours. However, lithium-ion batteries can be charged directly where the vehicles are parked during normal downtimes, in breaks between shifts for example. This saves space and also eliminates the high manual effort required to replace the batteries. Audi would save millions if it converted its entire fleet of factory vehicles to lithium-ion batteries at its 16 production sites worldwide.”“The remaining charging capacity of a lithium-ion battery after use in a car is more than sufficient for the requirements of the transport vehicles. Their driving characteristics actually improve considerably as a result of this use: They can keep their speed constant even on ramps – factory vehicles powered by lead-acid batteries cannot do that. In addition, regular charging during breaks prevents downtimes during working hours.The battery of an Audi e-tron for example consists of 36 individual battery modules and is located under the car’s passenger cell between the axles in the form of a flat, wide block. After batteries are taken back, the project team checks each individual module for its continued usability. They then install 24 modules in each new battery tray. This has the same dimensions and weight as the previous lead-acid batteries of the factory vehicles, so the company can continue to use all of those vehicles without any major investments. In the future, specialized employees could take over the assembly of the second-use batteries in the company’s own battery center.The project team from the areas of production, logistics and development has been working on this second use of used battery modules for about two years. After the first tests were successful, they are now testing the first converted factory vehicles in everyday production. This pioneering project is one of many that demonstrate Audi’s commitment to the sensible and efficient further use of batteries from electric cars. It is also conceivable that used battery modules could be used in mobile charging containers for electric vehicles or in stationary energy-storage systems. Audi is also developing recycling concepts: At the end of the battery lifecycle, valuable elements from them are to flow into new products and will thus continue to be used.” About the project: “Like all automobile manufacturers, Audi is obliged by law to take back energy carriers after they have been used in cars. Because they still have a large proportion of their original charging capacity, an interdisciplinary project team is now investigating how batteries from Audi e-tron* test vehicles, for example, or from hybrid models such as the Audi A3 e-tron and Audi Q7 e-tron, can continue to be used sensibly. A number of other advantages have already become apparent during the test phase.”center_img Volvo Buses Examining Potential For Battery Second-Life Source: Electric Vehicle News 5 photos Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on March 8, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Ford Tourneo Custom Plugin Hybrid Van To Launch In Late 2019

first_img Ford Confirms Mustang-Inspired Electric SUV Goes 370 Miles Per Charge Source: Electric Vehicle News The regenerative braking power/braking power to be adjustable through two modes: Drive or Low on the gear selector.Ford Tourneo Custom Plug-in HybridHere are more details of what to expect inside:“Available in upscale Titanium specification, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid has been engineered to provide superior levels of refinement and comfort. Premium standard equipment includes Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures, and delivering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility free of charge.Standard FordPass Connect on-board modem technology enables each occupant to benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity with the ability to support up to 10 devices. A range of features can be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle ownership and operating experience easier and more productive, including Vehicle Status, Vehicle Locator and Remote lock/unlock.Active Park Assist is also offered, which helps steer the vehicle into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, while the driver controls acceleration and braking.”Ford Tourneo Custom Plug-in Hybrid specs:up to 50 km (31 miles) of all-electric rangeseries-hybrid driveline configuration with 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extendertotal range of more than 500 kilometres (310 miles)13.6 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor of the passenger compartmentcharging in 3 hours (240 V, 32 A)anticipated CO2 emissions from 75 g/km, fuel-efficiency from 3.3 l/100 km8 seats Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on April 3, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News EV Auto is intended to provide the optimum blend of performance and efficiency. The vehicle’s control algorithms monitor battery energy levels and the current driving scenario – such as whether motorway or stop-start driving – to decide whether to activate the range extenderEV Now prioritises usage of stored battery energy, deactivating the range extender until battery levels reach a minimum state of charge for emissions-free drivingEV Later prioritises the range extender and leverages regenerative charging to most efficiently maintain the current level of battery charge, ready for later useEV Charge utilises the range extender to top up the battery for when further EV Now travel is needed Series-hybrid driveline for European vansFord announced the launch of two plug-in hybrid van models in Europe, with series-hybrid driveline configuration:the new eight seat Tourneo Custom Plug-in Hybridand the already known Transit Custom Plug-in HybridBoth are equipped with about a 13.6 kWh battery, which is expected to give them a range of up to 50 km (31 miles). Wheels are driven exclusively by the electric motor, while the gasoline engine is harnessed to work as a generator.The main idea to offer such type of a PHEV is to reduce local emission and comply with ultra-low-emission vehicle zones. The anticipated fuel economy will be 3.3 l/100 km, while emission is hoped to be 75 g/km CO2 emissions (of course it depends on the share of all-electric mode out of overall mileage).Sales will start in late 2019, but we don’t know the pricing just yet. In 2018, Ford sold about 17,100 Tourneo Custom people-movers (up 28% year-over-year), which means that there is potential to sell at least a few thousand of the PHEV versions next year.Ford news 9 photos 2020 Ford Escape Brings With It A Plug-In Hybrid Option .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }Ford Transit Custom PHEV specs:up to 50 km (31 miles) of all-electric rangeseries-hybrid driveline configuration with 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extendertotal range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) 13.6 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the load floorcharging in 3 hours (240 V, 32 A)full cargo volume offered by the standard vanover 1,000 kg of payloadPress blast:Ford Reveals Versatile Tourneo Custom People-Mover with Zero Emission-Capable Plug-In Hybrid PowertrainFord announces first-in-class Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid. Innovative people-mover designed to reduce local emissions; able to enter ultra-low-emission vehicle zonesPlug-In Hybrid can be charged using mains electricity for targeted 50 km (31 mile) zero-emissions range, or 500 km (310 mile) range using 1.0-litre EcoBoost range extenderElectrified powertrain requires no compromise to generous interior space. Versatile people-mover offers eight seats and unique-to-segment conference seatingCustomer deliveries of Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid to start in late 2019AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, April 2, 2019 – Ford today delivered the global public debut of the Tourneo Custom people-mover with an innovative new plug-in hybrid powertrain at a special “Go Further” event in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Combining zero-emission driving capability and no range anxiety, the spacious eight-seat Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be available to European customers from late 2019.The first-in-class Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid is among the first models unveiled as part of Ford’s strategy to deliver one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers. The vehicle can be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission driving – contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the eight-seat people-mover to enter the growing number of ultra-low-emission vehicle zones being introduced across Europe.The Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid’s front wheels are driven exclusively by an electric motor/generator, powered by a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender, working alongside regenerative braking enabled by the motor/generator to recharge the battery. The advanced hybrid powertrain targets a zero-emission driving range of up to 50 km (31 miles) or 500 km (310 miles) using the range extender. *Like the diesel powered Tourneo Custom, the Plug-In Hybrid model retains the unique-to-segment ability to arrange the two rear rows in conference format for outstanding access and enhanced interaction between passengers – or in two rows of three seats facing forward.“Uniquely innovative and flexible, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid can adapt to an unparalleled variety of use cases, giving owners and operators the advantage of being able to drive in ultra-low-emissions zones and still cover the same ground between battery charges as a traditionally-powered people-mover,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “Whether delivering executive shuttle services or ferrying large families, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid will offer comfort and refinement while also contributing to improved local air quality in busy urban environments.”Following the launch of the new Tourneo Custom at the start of 2018 – with an all-new premium interior and stylish new front-end design – Ford sold 17,100 Tourneo Custom people-movers during the year, a 28 per cent increase compared with the previous year.Zero emissions. Zero range anxietyThe new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration in which the front wheels are driven by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine. The compact, liquid-cooled battery pack is located under the floor of the passenger compartment, and is carefully positioned to preserve the generous interior space offered by the 2.0-litre EcoBlue-powered Tourneo Custom.Four selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:EV Auto is intended to provide the optimum blend of performance and efficiency. The vehicle’s control algorithms monitor battery energy levels and the current driving scenario – such as whether motorway or stop-start driving – to decide whether to activate the range extenderEV Now prioritises usage of stored battery energy, deactivating the range extender until battery levels reach a minimum state of charge for emissions-free drivingEV Later prioritises the range extender and leverages regenerative charging to most efficiently maintain the current level of battery charge, ready for later useEV Charge utilises the range extender to top up the battery for when further EV Now travel is neededUsing a charging port located within the front bumper, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid can be charged using a domestic 240-volt 10-amp power supply to achieve full charge in 5.5 hours, or using a commercial 240-volt 16-amp or 32-amp supply to achieve full charge in 3 hours.Drivers can also choose the degree of energy recovery and braking assistance afforded by the regenerative charging system by selecting either Drive or Low on the gear selector.Releasing the accelerator pedal in Low-mode increases the vehicle’s programmed deceleration, automatically illuminating the brake lights when necessary to warn drivers behind. The greater deceleration increases the amount of kinetic energy recovered and stored in the battery, extending potential electric range.Inside the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter, and a smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator. Trip computer functions are configured specifically for the hybrid powertrain. EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status graphic displaying distance-to-empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.Luxury, refinement and connectivityAvailable in upscale Titanium specification, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid has been engineered to provide superior levels of refinement and comfort. Premium standard equipment includes Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures, and delivering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility free of charge.Standard FordPass Connect on-board modem technology enables each occupant to benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity with the ability to support up to 10 devices. A range of features can be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle ownership and operating experience easier and more productive, including Vehicle Status, Vehicle Locator and Remote lock/unlock.Active Park Assist is also offered, which helps steer the vehicle into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, while the driver controls acceleration and braking.Ford continues to explore the positive effects that the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can have on cities, by running customer trials with prototype vehicles in London, U.K., to be followed by Cologne, Germany and Valencia, Spain later in 2019.The company earlier this year announced that every Ford nameplate from the all-new Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered.# # #Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid anticipated CO2 emissions from 75 g/km, fuel-efficiency from 3.3 l/100 kmAndroid and Android Auto are trademarks of Google Inc* Officially homologated fuel-efficiency and CO2 emission figures will be published closer to on-sale date 2020 Ford Explorer PHEV Revealed With 25 Miles Of Electric Range Ford explains that there will be four selectable EV modes:last_img read more

Audi ETron Sportback Rendered Into Stylish Electric Crossover

first_imgThe Sportback gives the crossover a sleeker rear while retaining the rest of the E-Tron’s strengths.Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img