2020 S3 (8Y) cockpit & layout - I'm NOT SURE!!

essooil

Registered User
Hi,

This question is about the new 2020 S3 (8Y). I've posted my question in the 8V section because I value the opinions of drivers who currently own a 2017 - 2019 A3 or S3 (posters in the 2020 S3 (8Y) forum might be biased).

QUESTION: What do Audi 2017 - 2019 A3 / S3 (8V) owners think of the cockpit layout and controls in the new 2020 A3 / S3?

First of all, I do LOVE the fact the pop-up screen has been replaced with a touch screen that is in the dash. That looks great. I also love the slightly angled dash that has that "wrap around" feeling (a bit like Knight Rider). Nice air vents too. You can also adjust the RGB lighting - nice touch.

But...

1) The virtual cockpit screen is noticeably smaller. The 2020 virtual dash is only 10.25 inches. After almost 4 years you notice things like this. The old virtual cockpit is 12.3 inches (over a foot wide). Why would Audi mess around with one of the most attractive features of their cars – the virtual cockpit? Crazy! I know the new touch screen in the dash is bigger than the old pop-up screen, but why couldn’t Audi just leave the virtual cockpit screen the same size as before?

2) On the automatics, the gear “stick” (shifter) has been replaced with a small “switch”. I really like the look of my current S3 centre console with a “proper” gear stick. I have the carbon gear knob cover which really sets it off. What do other A3 / S3 drivers think of this small switch to select gears?

3) I also don’t like where the cup holders have moved to. They mess up the streamlined look of the centre console. Also, I have an Amazon Alexa "dot" in the right cup holder and a 10 inch Android screen over the top with Torque on (see photo). The tapered raised sides to the right and left of the cop holders makes my 10 inch Android screen tilt so I can easily see it. Not sure where I would put my Android screen in the new 2020 S3??

S3 Android Screen.jpg


4) Cigarette socket: In my current S3 I can utilise the cigarette socket behind the cup holders to power an extension lead that has 4 x USB 5v connectors to power my Alexa, Android Tablet, my Snooper and Dash cam. My 10 inch Android screen also hides the Cigarette socket. Putting the cup holders in the middle of the centre console is very inconvenient for me!

5) I couldn’t believe how small the centre console storage compartment now is. My Samsung S20 (not a big phone) wouldn’t even fit inside it. The wireless phone charger has moved forward to a little storage area below the air con controls. This means my mobile phone will be on display for all to see. I liked the “Audi phone box” being a box.

6) There are no USB connectors in the centre console storage compartment. I keep my 256GB SSD in there with all my music and films on. Again, the USB connectors have moved forward to below the air con controls. This means my SSD will be on display for all to see. I don’t want to connect it / disconnect it every time I get in / out.


It’s a shame – because I LOVE the touch screen in the dash.

I was just curious what other Audi A3 or S3 drivers thought of the changes I've mentioned above?

Oh, and is there a cigarette socket in the front anywhere?

Appreciate any comments. Am I being unreasonable??
 

T-1000

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
It’s terrible.....
as someone reminded me the other day, whoever decided to omit the LED’s from the climate buttons so they can’t be seen at night needs to fired straight away.


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Bells

Registered User
It’s terrible.....
as someone reminded me the other day, whoever decided to omit the LED’s from the climate buttons so they can’t be seen at night needs to fired straight away.


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Wow that really is cost cutting to the next level :tearsofjoy:
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
Surely this must be a production line fault?????

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T-1000

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
Surely this must be a production line fault?????

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More an oversight somewhere.

Perhaps the buttons where supposed to be illuminated but someone forgot to order the correct ones, then when they noticed they hoped no one else would
They’ll probably come out with some rubbish about using the MMI touch screen instead bit like when Apple had the antenna issue on early 5’s and they told people who complained, nah your holding it all wrong WTF !


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essooil

Registered User
Thanks for the feedback. Can't believe what you say about the buttons below the air con display. The photo above and below shows this is a clear a omission. Another crazy decision (or oversight).

audi-a3-sportback-2020-im-test.jpg


QUESTION: Is there a cigarette lighter socket anywhere in the front?

I know there is probably a cigarette lighter socket in the boot which can power my rear camera, but I also need one in the front. I need 12v to power my break out box which in turn powers my snooper, dash cam, Alexa and Android tablet. I can only see 1 x USB standard and 1 x USB type C which wont be enough.
 
Thanks for the feedback. Can't believe what you say about the buttons below the air con display. The photo above and below shows this is a clear a omission. Another crazy decision (or oversight).

As a design engineer, I’d say that this is a deliberate and reasonable design decision. The function and position of the keys is identified by the displays above them. The keys for which this is not the case (eg the heated seats) are illuminated. You may not like the decision on aesthetic grounds, but I’d bet that a team of people thought long and hard about whether those displays should be illuminated or not. (It’s a German designed car; function drives form; the keys do not need to be illuminated.)

And these are good quality keys. In terms of look and feel they remind me of the backlit switches that go into aircraft cockpits.

QUESTION: Is there a cigarette lighter socket anywhere in the front? I know there is probably a cigarette lighter socket in the boot [..]. I need 12v to power my [..] Alexa.

There is a 12V socket in the centre console, not far from the handbrake switch, IIRC. You only get a socket in the boot if you option the storage pack. BTW, I’m pretty sure I have seen something about Alexa being integrated into the car in the future: I guess as a potential software upgrade.
 
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essooil

Registered User
Thank you Adam. Yes, I see the cigarette lighter. Right in the middle of the centre console (bottom right of this photo).
3_audio-com_mobile_v1.jpg


You might be right about a team of people thinking long and hard about the buttons underneath the air con unit, but I can't believe they thought long and hard about the cigarettes lighterposition because anyone who needs to permanently plug something in is going to completely ruin the look of their car.

QUESTION: Does anyone know if a main dealer would wire in an extension to the passenger footwell area so I can connect my device's? (like if I did spend £42k on a new one).

So far I have no where to store my SSD with my music on, no where for Alexa and no way to connect any of my device's up (snooper, dash cam, Alexa).

But, I still quite like it!
 
You might be right about a team of people thinking long and hard about the buttons underneath the air con unit, but I can't believe they thought long and hard about the cigarettes lighterposition because anyone who needs to permanently plug something in is going to completely ruin the look of their car.

:grinning:Yeah, that does seem a strange place to put it, at first glance. I can only guess they have assumed that the USB sockets are sufficient to power most in-car electronics and that the 12V socket will be used for higher power applications like tyre inflators, car kettles and lighting cigarettes <shrug>
 
I really don't like how angular it all is, particularly the air vent pods. It looks aggressive but not in a good way. The curves and circular air vents of the 8V are much nice, IMO.
 

Jcbmally

Started with nothing & still have most of it left.
Surely this must be a production line fault?????

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More an oversight somewhere.

Perhaps the buttons where supposed to be illuminated but someone forgot to order the correct ones, then when they noticed they hoped no one else would
They’ll probably come out with some rubbish about using the MMI touch screen instead bit like when Apple had the antenna issue on early 5’s and they told people who complained, nah your holding it all wrong WTF !


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Same in the new Cupra Formentor, the "touch" temp control is not illuminated, neither is the -/+ volume (circled red) but at least that can be adjusted on the wheel..
cupra-formentor-2021-interior.jpg
 

Matt Titanium

Registered User
You may not like the decision on aesthetic grounds, but I’d bet that a team of people thought long and hard about whether those displays should be illuminated or not. (It’s a German designed car; function drives form; the keys do not need to be illuminated.)
And these are good quality keys. In terms of look and feel they remind me of the backlit switches that go into aircraft cockpits.

Can only assume fitting the smaller Fisher Price version of the Virtual Cockpit follows the same design principles. It doesn't need to look good.
 

Nige Smith

Registered User
It’s terrible.....
as someone reminded me the other day, whoever decided to omit the LED’s from the climate buttons so they can’t be seen at night needs to fired straight away.


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This is the same with the Golf apparently!
 

GeoffT

Registered User
I don't like much about the 8Y interior and am not the least bit tempted to change to one. I don't like the removal of the MMI wheel in favour of touchscreen. If you have to go touchscreen to appeal to the kids, at least leave the MMI wheel too, for those that prefer it. IMO it is much safer to use on the move than touchscreen.

I also prefer a "proper" Stronic stick rather than a tiny fisher price toy button

I'm quite disillusioned by the new car market generally at the moment. My 8V is 3 years old in March and I normally change then, but very little out there tempts me. I don't want an SUV or a hybrid/electric which seems to be what everyone is making, so I'll either stick with my 8V for much longer than I normally do or maybe get either a M135i or 128ti, or possibly the new 2 series coupe when it comes out. Seems to me that only BMW are making anything that appeals and hasn't bought into the full touchscreen madness.
 

jassyo06

T-Cut King !
As a design engineer, I’d say that this is a deliberate and reasonable design decision. The function and position of the keys is identified by the displays above them. The keys for which this is not the case (eg the heated seats) are illuminated. You may not like the decision on aesthetic grounds, but I’d bet that a team of people thought long and hard about whether those displays should be illuminated or not. (It’s a German designed car; function drives form; the keys do not need to be illuminated.)

And these are good quality keys. In terms of look and feel they remind me of the backlit switches that go into aircraft cockpits.



There is a 12V socket in the centre console, not far from the handbrake switch, IIRC. You only get a socket in the boot if you option the storage pack. BTW, I’m pretty sure I have seen something about Alexa being integrated into the car in the future: I guess as a potential software upgrade.
But they are the same keys taken from pfl A4/A5 of which are illuminated in the A4/A5

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Can only assume fitting the smaller Fisher Price version of the Virtual Cockpit follows the same design principles. It doesn't need to look good.

:-D Controversially perhaps, I prefer the smaller screen on the grounds that the fuel and temperature gauges are on permanent display. But perhaps I have some hitherto unknown German ancestry? ;-)
 

T-1000

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
But they are the same keys taken from pfl A4/A5 of which are illuminated in the A4/A5

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Thought long and hard hmmmmm was it just before finishing time on a Friday afternoon


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But they are the same keys taken from pfl A4/A5 of which are illuminated in the A4/A5

That’s interesting. Then again, even if based on switches from other models, unlit buttons are cheaper. If they don’t need to be lit to perform their function and Audi’s engineers were looking to reduce manufacturing costs in the cheaper model then removing the illumination is still a reasonable decision. Mazda have done a similar thing with the climate controls on the latest Mazda 3 and CX-30 (ie the buttons directly underneath the display aren’t lit).

It’s either that or a design/manufacturing error in the A3 that was either overlooked in pre-production cars or for which Audi decided they didn’t have time to fix it before production. That sounds less likely to me, but I guess we’ll know in time.
 
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GeoffT

Registered User
The trouble Audi have got, is that they had a reputation for making some of the nicest interiors in mainstream cars. If they start penny pinching (like all of VAG seem to be now) and lose that advantage then you might as well buy a Skoda.
 
The trouble Audi have got, is that they had a reputation for making some of the nicest interiors in mainstream cars. If they start penny pinching (like all of VAG seem to be now) and lose that advantage then you might as well buy a Skoda.

VW, Seat and (IIRC) Skoda have all completely removed physical climate controls from their equivalent models. So, simply by providing always present, easily accessible, controls, Audi is maintaining a higher quality interior compared to its siblings, even if the buttons - inherited from the A4/A5 - aren’t illuminated :)
 
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s3mad_dude

Noggies ruuuule!
I’ve only had my facelift 8V S3 for 18 months (4 year old car now) and comparing it to the newer 8Y I have absolutely no plan to upgrade. I don’t like the plastic bloated styling of the exterior and the interior is nothing special. I had a 8Y A3 courtesy car when my S3 was in for a service. At the time I too noticed the awkward climate control buttons and the lack of lighting when dark and the tiny phone charging mat. The new S3 for me is like upgrading from an iPhone 11 to the 12. No new features but just a “slightly better screen” to entice the youngsters in no doubt. I’ll stick with mine I think for many more years to come. There’s a lot to be said about buying a product towards the end of its lifecycle. You get facelift, extra options, normally a decent price etc....oh and the new S3 is 310bhp too. So, it’s hardly an upgrade on the performance front either.
 

GeoffT

Registered User
VW, Seat and (IIRC) Skoda have all completely removed physical climate controls from their equivalent models. So, simply by providing always present, easily accessible, controls, Audi is maintaining a higher quality interior compared to its siblings, even if the buttons - inherited from the A4/A5 - aren’t illuminated :)

It's not exactly a ringing endorsement though is it - Audi haven't quite made their interiors as bad as the rest of the VAG group.
 

Nige Smith

Registered User
VW, Seat and (IIRC) Skoda have all completely removed physical climate controls from their equivalent models. So, simply by providing always present, easily accessible, controls, Audi is maintaining a higher quality interior compared to its siblings, even if the buttons - inherited from the A4/A5 - aren’t illuminated :)
That doesn't make it right or attractive to buyers though!
 
That doesn't make it right or attractive to buyers though!
I can definitely see how it makes it unattractive to existing customers (though I don’t think that newcomers to the brand will have the same reservations). So what would you buy instead, within the A3/S3 price range, to achieve your desired levels of quality?
 

GeoffT

Registered User
f they don’t need to be lit to perform their function and Audi’s engineers were looking to reduce manufacturing costs in the cheaper model then removing the illumination is still a reasonable decision.

Removing illumination from any button you ever need to press is just cheapskate penny-pinching. To dress it up as a reasonable engineering decision is spin worthy of a politician.

That dash at night looks like a smile with teeth missing and is inexcusable by Audi.

When I bought my 8V and compared it to the competition at the time, the interior was one of the features that sold me on it. Now it's no better than anything else and the removal of the MMI wheel alone means I won't buy an 8Y.
 

GeoffT

Registered User
I can definitely see how it makes it unattractive to existing customers (though I don’t think that newcomers to the brand will have the same reservations). So what would you buy instead, within the A3/S3 price range, to achieve your desired levels of quality?

BMW F40
 
I am finding it hard to understand why you would put the Virtual Cockpit Plus with Dynamic Display in the Edition 1 and Vorsprung models but not the standard S3 - Surely the S3 should have the sportier dials but no you can have them in a 1.0 TFSI Edition 1 but not the S3 unless you go S3 Vorsprung

More penny pinching by Audi which let's face it started in the 8v with S3 being removed from the Seats, Steering Wheel etc just so they can use the same items across the S-Line as well therefore saving money
 

s3mad_dude

Noggies ruuuule!
More penny pinching by Audi which let's face it started in the 8v with S3 being removed from the Seats, Steering Wheel etc just so they can use the same items across the S-Line as well therefore saving money

Yep agreed. First mod I did was put the earlier style 8V S3 steering wheel badge on to replace the lame “S” badge which is used across S-line models.
 

Moots

Registered User
This is the same with the Golf apparently!

There aren’t any buttons in the golf they’re all Haptic Touch nonsense

I’ve owned my S3 for about a month now, some thoughts below.

Smaller virtual cockpit than my golf gti - I thought this would really bother me. However after a month the screen is great, it’s not too small and I’m happy with it. The info is clear and everything I need to see is there.

Folding mirrors - personal opinion I hate the way Audi implement these, on the golf they folded in when the car locked and unfolded when unlocked. On the Audi they only unfold when the engine is started, which makes it harder to identify if my car is locked/unlocked at a glance.

Mmi - My biggest bugbear is that they’ve removed the speed limit from the nav on the mmi, on every other car I’ve had this has been present and it feels like they’re trying to force you to pay for the traffic based system which I’ve no interest in.

Park assist - total waste of time, poorly implemented. Way too faffy unless you really can’t park.

B&O sound system - great love it, needs a bit of tweaking but once you get it set right it’s really good IMO.

Ambient light pack - this was something I didn’t think I’d notice that much, but it was an option that I could afford and just makes the car a nicer place to be, not for everyone but I personally thought it was worth £100.

Drive of the car is great, it’s obviously very fast but it’s also so useable, very comfortable and from a design perspective when you’re in the car it’s a nice place to be. I prefer it to the 8V but I was never a fan of the pop up screen and I think the new MMI is really good and pretty straight forward to use.

Oh and the myAudi app, just go away. It’s broken more than it works, goes down for weeks at a time, either fix it or don’t offer it. *****.

Happy to answer any specific questions you have
 
There aren’t any buttons in the golf they’re all Haptic Touch nonsense

I’ve owned my S3 for about a month now, some thoughts below.

Smaller virtual cockpit than my golf gti - I thought this would really bother me. However after a month the screen is great, it’s not too small and I’m happy with it. The info is clear and everything I need to see is there.

Folding mirrors - personal opinion I hate the way Audi implement these, on the golf they folded in when the car locked and unfolded when unlocked. On the Audi they only unfold when the engine is started, which makes it harder to identify if my car is locked/unlocked at a glance.

Mmi - My biggest bugbear is that they’ve removed the speed limit from the nav on the mmi, on every other car I’ve had this has been present and it feels like they’re trying to force you to pay for the traffic based system which I’ve no interest in.

Park assist - total waste of time, poorly implemented. Way too faffy unless you really can’t park.

B&O sound system - great love it, needs a bit of tweaking but once you get it set right it’s really good IMO.

Ambient light pack - this was something I didn’t think I’d notice that much, but it was an option that I could afford and just makes the car a nicer place to be, not for everyone but I personally thought it was worth £100.

Drive of the car is great, it’s obviously very fast but it’s also so useable, very comfortable and from a design perspective when you’re in the car it’s a nice place to be. I prefer it to the 8V but I was never a fan of the pop up screen and I think the new MMI is really good and pretty straight forward to use.

Oh and the myAudi app, just go away. It’s broken more than it works, goes down for weeks at a time, either fix it or don’t offer it. *****.

Happy to answer any specific questions you have


Seems to be different answers about this

Mmi - My biggest bugbear is that they’ve removed the speed limit from the nav on the mmi, on every other car I’ve had this has been present and it feels like they’re trying to force you to pay for the traffic based system which I’ve no interest in.

I thought someone on here had said that the dealer said it's an error and should be included as the owners manual says it is - Very poor if it's not as the traffic sign recognition is different compared to just showing the speed on the sat nav screen
 

Moots

Registered User
Seems to be different answers about this

Mmi - My biggest bugbear is that they’ve removed the speed limit from the nav on the mmi, on every other car I’ve had this has been present and it feels like they’re trying to force you to pay for the traffic based system which I’ve no interest in.

I thought someone on here had said that the dealer said it's an error and should be included as the owners manual says it is - Very poor if it's not as the traffic sign recognition is different compared to just showing the speed on the sat nav screen

that was probably me working through it, an Audi master technician has said it’s not included and it’s because my car has the ability to use the camera based system, it isn’t enabled because I didn’t spec that pack, but could be enabled at some point through function on demand. I think that’s extremely naughty of Audi, given that the manual states it should be available if you don’t have the camera based systems. One of those where it’s vague and Audi probably use it as a mechanism for upselling options.
 
that was probably me working through it, an Audi master technician has said it’s not included and it’s because my car has the ability to use the camera based system, it isn’t enabled because I didn’t spec that pack, but could be enabled at some point through function on demand. I think that’s extremely naughty of Audi, given that the manual states it should be available if you don’t have the camera based systems. One of those where it’s vague and Audi probably use it as a mechanism for upselling options.

problem is haven’t they all got the camera fitted because it’s part of the pre-sense and lane assist that’s standard which means that the manual is incorrect and no one will get it
 

Moots

Registered User
problem is haven’t they all got the camera fitted because it’s part of the pre-sense and lane assist that’s standard which means that the manual is incorrect and no one will get it

Based on the responses I’ve had so far probably yes, it might only be base a3’s that get it. Which is fkin ridiculous.
 

Matt Titanium

Registered User
The trouble Audi have got, is that they had a reputation for making some of the nicest interiors in mainstream cars. If they start penny pinching (like all of VAG seem to be now) and lose that advantage then you might as well buy a Skoda.

I made the decision to move from a Golf to an A3 within 2 minutes of sitting in and liking the 8V.
It took about the same time in an 8Y to decide against "upgrading" to the new one.
 

essooil

Registered User
Some really good replies to my initial question/comments. Seems like the older 8V is still popular (although I really do still like the touch screen mounted within the dashboard on the 8Y).

Regarding traffic sign recognition, are you saying its not enabled as standard, but is available as an option. What option is it part of?

A question for 8Y owners, if you had a dash cam and a snooper, how would you power them? remembering you might need one USB port for your music (USB Flash drive). From what I can see there are only 2 USB ports, unless there are some somewhere else such as in the glove box?

Would an Audi main dealer wire in a cigarette socket to the passenger footwell at extra cost?
 

tb123

Member
As a design engineer, I’d say that this is a deliberate and reasonable design decision. The function and position of the keys is identified by the displays above them.
The thing with the buttons lining up with the displays above them is that makes sense when looking straight at the display (sitting directly in front of it) but is much harder to line up when sitting off to the side and in the dark, it’s just guess work - and this is something you are trying to find while on the move.

I’ve worked with plenty of design/hardware/software engineers over the years the seem to have NFI how people use things in the real world beyond their cubicle.
 

auzzam_crd

Active Member
My honest two cents on this:

1) the sline spec for the S3 and normal A3 has been unfairly stripped down. I think Audi had played it very clever and kept some of the good stuff for the higher trims. For example if you now want an s3 but the larger cockpit you cannot upgrade and must pay almost £8/9k to move to the vorsprung spec.

Very crafty. I feel like it's cheapened the s-line trim. Previously these were very sought after and always had good quality to them.

2) owning an 8y myself, I think the interior is great for a modern stylish look but share the thoughts around the temperature controls lol. I always end up guessing in the dark.

The gear selector is weird at first but is okay once you're used to it, but personally I still would have preferred the normal gear stick.

3) to wrap up, if you own an 8v I don't think you should go to an 8y, it will be the equivalent of swapping up to the latest iPhone, there is still nothing else out there on the market in my opinion that comes close to the 8y in terms of brand new cars.

Here's a in-depth comparison review I did a few weeks backs that may help with pointing out more of the differences:

 
The thing with the buttons lining up with the displays above them is that makes sense when looking straight at the display (sitting directly in front of it) but is much harder to line up when sitting off to the side and in the dark, it’s just guess work - and this is something you are trying to find while on the move.

I’ve worked with plenty of design/hardware/software engineers over the years the seem to have NFI how people use things in the real world beyond their cubicle.

That’s a fair comment :-D Ergonomics isn’t a necessarily a standard part of the training. I’d hope that Audi are using ergonomics experts to make the decisions in this case though.

I’m looking forward to taking on the unlit controls challenge in a month or two ;-)
 

Moots

Registered User
My honest two cents on this:

1) the sline spec for the S3 and normal A3 has been unfairly stripped down. I think Audi had played it very clever and kept some of the good stuff for the higher trims. For example if you now want an s3 but the larger cockpit you cannot upgrade and must pay almost £8/9k to move to the vorsprung spec.

Very crafty. I feel like it's cheapened the s-line trim. Previously these were very sought after and always had good quality to them.

2) owning an 8y myself, I think the interior is great for a modern stylish look but share the thoughts around the temperature controls lol. I always end up guessing in the dark.

The gear selector is weird at first but is okay once you're used to it, but personally I still would have preferred the normal gear stick.

3) to wrap up, if you own an 8v I don't think you should go to an 8y, it will be the equivalent of swapping up to the latest iPhone, there is still nothing else out there on the market in my opinion that comes close to the 8y in terms of brand new cars.

Here's a in-depth comparison review I did a few weeks backs that may help with pointing out more of the differences:


Some good videos on your page pal, keep up the good work
 
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