Reviews

Moto Z Keyboard Mod could be a reality very soon 

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From the Moto Z unboxing article we just posted the other day, we mentioned Moto Mods, they are unique hardware units that you magnetically attach to your Moto device to add extra functionality. The Moto Mod we tested was the JBL Sound Boost. It left us with a very positive experience due to its easy integration and amazing sound.

Motorola vowed that they will push the technology to developers out there to come up with innovative mods. It seems that their strategy has been working. A company by the name Livermorium has started a campaign at Indiegogo to gather funds to manufacture a Physical Keyboard Mod .

For those not familiar with Indiegogo, it’s a crowd funding website where startups publish their idea and people contribute money to make the idea a reality.

The company requires a total of $100,000 (KES 10,000,000) to actualize the Keyboard Mod. So far, a total of $34,623 has been contributed and there is still a month to go before the campaign is closed. If you fancy such a mod, you should consider chipping in. The retail price of the keyboard is set at 120 once it is produced. However, contributing $60 towards the goal secures you a free black mod once they start shipping. $80 gets you a choice of gold, black or white color mod. $200 gets you a limited edition mod in which ever color you desire, $500 guarantees you a laser engraved edition and lastly $600 will ship you 10 mods for selling.

We hope that this momentum goes on and we see more manufacturers get on board with the mods technology. It is a breakthrough feature that once you start using, you will wish all phones had it as we will illustrate on the Moto Z review we are working on. Remember, one doesn’t have to possess the Moto Z to take advantage of mods; they also work on the cheaper Moto Z play as well as the big battery Moto Z Force edition.

Why Chinese smartphone brands will still dominates in Kenyan markets.

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Over the past couple of years, China’s top smartphone makers have become one of the biggest on the market. The country’s most successful manufacturers have shifted away from cheap me-too models to compete more seriously for the high end of the market. Recent years Chines brands have crushed their presence in the local market with low-cost, medium and high-end smartphones, providing customers with a wide range of internet-enabled devices.

The rising Internet usage to connect on social media, growth of app based services and the penetration of internet in the country has also driven the high demand for smartphones. The total number of mobile Internet subscriptions grew to more than 21 million last year, up from 14 million a year earlier.

Pricing.

Chinese budget smartphones range between Sh5, 000 and Sh20, 000, where 66% of the country occupied by the youth and 46% are unemployed hence many will go for chines smartphone where their budged range.   Hong Kong-based Infinix, for instance, has sold more than 500,000 units since entering the Kenyan market in 2014, riding on e-commerce to cut distribution costs and enabling lower prices. .The entry of Techno, Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo and Infinix into Kenyan market has exerted downward pressure on smartphone prices in a market teeming.

China phones are so cheap because there are less costs of marketing and advertising included in the price. The value of the hardware of a customary phone only makes one quarter of the selling price. By buying a Smartphone you also pay for (apart from the phone itself) the manufacturer’s marketing. Companies as Samsung, HTC or Apple invest millions in advertising in TV, the internet or posters. These costs make the prices rise and have to be paid by the customer. Additionally you also pay for the manufacturer’s name. For a China phone there are none of these costs.

Quality.

Mobile handsets top the list of items that traders ordered from China last year, underlining the popularity of the low-priced smartphones in the Kenyan market despite concerns over quality. Many will have to go for them because they offer same spec with leading smartphone brands like iPhone and Samsung.

A China phone has the same performance as a Smartphone of a well-known label because they are manufactured with the same hardware and technology. Even Smartphone manufacturers as Samsung, HTC or Sony have their Phones produced in China and buy the various components (display, camera, processor…) from other manufacturers there. Chinese brands as Xiaomi, THL or Cubot get their hardware from the same manufacturers as the great and popular brands. Therefore only the name makes the difference, not the technology.

Phone specs.

China phones use – as most of the well-known manufacturers – Google’s Android operating system. Often they even get more frequent and quicker updates, as this is for example the case with Samsung. Chines phones have fancy features like dual lenses at the back camera for sharper pictures, unibody metal design and fingerprint sensor. Also, they offer’s long lasting batteries which deliver up to  24 hours of talk-time and standby time of up to 250 hours.

For a long time it was said that Phones from China were nothing more than bad replicas of the well-known brands and that they didn’t work. In fact, this was right a couple of years ago. Now, however, there is a new generation of China Smartphones, which blow the branded phones away.

Enjoy durable LG smartphones without sacrificing aesthetics or performance

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New innovations in smartphones are now making it possible for phones to combine durability with performance and elegant, striking exteriors.

Although smartphone durability is rarely among the top concerns that consumers give when looking for in a new phone, in not so many years to come, a phone’s durability is going to be increasingly important to consumers.

Again, as smartphones continue to evolve, it’s getting harder and harder for manufacturers to create compelling new features and functions that drive existing users to upgrade their phones. Sure, there are important increases in display sizes and resolutions, improvements in camera quality and modest increases in performance. But most of these have been underway for quite a while now. This, making smartphone durability the next battleground.

Experts estimate that nearly half of all active smartphones are currently broken, meaning that cracked screens or waterlogged phones are extremely common.

In as much as we lack hard statistics on reasons for phone replacements in Kenya, a good percentage of smartphone replacement purchases are based on broken phones-either from dropping on the ground, dropping in liquid or any number of other accidental spills bound to happen to devices most of us carry with us all the time and everywhere we go. It is for this reason that having a durable device is bound to be attractive to consumers.

As unsightly as phone cracks and scratches may be, most amount to little more than cosmetic damage and don’t interfere with phone functionality. Water damage on the other hand is another story entirely. Not only do smartphones represent a significant investment, but they carry sensitive data that may not be backed up. These are just a few of the reasons why it is so frustrating to lose a smartphone.

Worry about that no more, LG’s trendsetting V20 that has features to effectively prevent breaking shows that the phone is intended for extended use with features that effectively resist breaking, even by accident. Through this model, LG has been successful in keeping a phone sleek, lightweight and still durable.

This innovative phone was constructed using premium materials that can commonly be found on aircraft, sail boats and mountain bikes. It passed drop tests conducted by an independent lab that conforms to US military standards, the results of which show that the phone can survive repeated drops landing in a variety of positions.

Another test by Android Authority was able to crack the screen only after dropping it on screen from about eight feet in the air.
“Once in a while our smartphones slip through our fingers and fall, when that happens, your phone had better be LG V20. This trendsetting phone’s chassis uses the military grade material made for aircraft. Drop tests have shown that LG V20 is tough and unbreakable, it is designed to handle fairly standard drop heights,” said Moses Marji, General Manager Marketing LG Electronics.

Apart from being unbreakable, the phone has a wide-angle lens making it capable of capturing wonderful selfies. Additionally, it has an HD audio recorder that picks only prominent voices and cancels background noise. The recorder uses sophisticated microphones which empower users to create studio quality recordings.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S8 to come with 1000fps slow-motion video. 

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Samsung Galaxy S8 rumors are coming in from left and right. Most of the times the leaks are repetitive. However, every once in a while you get a really juicy piece of intel.  According to the latest leak, the S8 will come with a 12 MP camera. Now before you frown that Samsung has retained the same resolution that was in the previous S7, this new iteration comes with a whopping 1,000 fps slow motion video. Now recently Sony Xperia XZ Premium made headlines with its record breaking 960fps but it seems that glory will be short-lived.
Sony achieved that by using its new sensor the Sony IMX 400. Samsung had traditionally used Sony sensors and even mixed them with Samsung ones depending on regions. This time round, reports say that S8 will not employ the Sony sensors. We are assuming that the in house ISOCELL Samsung cameras will be utilized.
Other amazing tech on the camera will be a new Iris sensor. It will utilize a 3.7 MP scanner along side a 8MP selfie camera. We recently had an encounter with such a scanner on the very affordable Fero Iris and it was quite a positive experience.  This, however, won’t be the first time that the company is working with Iris scanners. The ill- fated Galaxy Note 7 was the first phone in the world to have it. Samsung will only have to build on that knowledge.

Moto Z: Unboxing & First Impressions of the World’s Slimmest Phone.

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Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the world’s leading laptop manufacturer with plans to replicate the same success into the mobile world.

Lenovo has launched the Moto Z, the world’s slimmest phone which comes with ground breaking modular design and premiumspecs and innovative features.

TechMoran got a review unit and let’s see if Lenovo is winning or yet to.

Key Specs

Screen: 5.5 inch QHD AMOLED

Processor:  Snapdragon 820, 4GB RAM

Storage: 32 GB internal with Expandable storage

OS: Android 6.0 installed but Android 7.0 update is available

Rear Camera: 13MP rear with OIS and dual tone, dual LED flash coupled with Laser autofocus.

Front Camera: 5MP with LED flash

Battery: 2600 mAh with turbo charging.

 box box back 

In the box

  • Moto Z
  • Turbo Charger
  • Bumper case
  • Style Shell mod

in the box acces

Note : Neither earphones nor USB Type C were packaged in the box. Sometimes reviews units have some components missing. There is a chance that these items will be available in the final retail box.

Design

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Moto Z has the most breathtaking design of all time. The metallic frame with rounded edges blend seamlessly with the 2.5D glass covering the front. The back has glass at the top and bottom antenna lines, with metal in between. The metal had subtle lines on it which would lead one into thinking that it is solar powered. But the most pleasing aspect of the device is how slim it is, at 5.2mm,the Moto Z is the thinnest phone from a global manufacturer. It is simply breath-taking. On top of that, the golden color model that I have reflects light with its rear panel making the phone shine like a piece of jewelry.

display back

The only negative is in the easily oiled-up nature of the back panel and the unconventional front panel; there is a finger print scanner below the screen which weirdly doesn’t double as a home button. The phone uses on-screen keys instead. Most of the time I found myself pressing the fingerprint sensor expecting to be taken to the home screen. Also, I have some reservations with the sensors that are located next to the fingerprint, they are unsightly. I only wish that Motorola would have covered them. Fortunately, they are invisible on the black model. The good news is that the finger print is very fast and can save up to 5 fingers.

What I found surprising was the location of the speaker. The earpiece doubles as the main speaker of the phone. Perhaps this was a move made to keep the phone so slim. Nonetheless, the speaker is loud enough to hear even in a noisy room so you won’t miss any calls.

 

Display

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The display of the Moto Z is stunning; the AMOLED brings out rich colors. The saturation, however, is toned down. Unlike other AMOLED screens, the colors have a natural look even at “vivid setting”. Samsung screens have their colors popping out more. To some, the conservative and natural color representation might be a plus, others would have wanted more punch considering that this is an AMOLED display. Despite where you stand with color representation, you will greatly appreciate the sharpness of the screen. At QHD resolution, the Moto Z has over 400 pixels per inch. This means that even the smallest details will be very sharp with no pixilation whatsoever.  All in all, the screen has richer colors than what you would find on an LCD screen and on top of that, the 2.5D glass on it is very smooth to the touch which adds to an overall premium feeling.

Performance and software

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As you would expect from a high end phone like this one, the performance is to notch. The snapdragon 820 with 4gb RAM is the same configuration found in the Samsung Galaxy S7. The phone simply flies through the Android 6.0. Moto Z has stock software, which only helps the phone run leaner and faster. Only one app is not stock, the Moto app. This app holds all the magic that makes the phone unique from other stock software phones. The Moto app holds the options for activating and setting up the Moto Voice which can be used to control the phone hands free. This voice feature has been a signature of Motorola phones since the days it was owned by Google. The app also holds settings for Moto Display which senses when you are close and automatically turns on the display. The sensors below the screen are meant to make this feature flawless. Finally, the app has the Moto Actions, they let you do things like flip to mute, shrink the screen to one handed mode using one swipe and much more.

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During the review period, I got a notification for an update to Android 7.0. The update brings along native split screen multitasking among other features. I will install the update and tell you how it runs on this device.

 

Camera

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The 13 MP rear camera has dual-LED flash, which are also dual tone meaning that they preserve the natural color of the subject. It also has optical image stabilization for steady video recording and a hidden laser focus. The front facing camera is 5MP with an LED flash for low light shots. Initially impressions of the camera are positive with the phone taking decent pictures during bright and low light. Most impressive is how the flash doesn’t blow out the scenes. A more detailed photography dissection will be on the full review so make sure to look out for that.

In case you want more control with the snaps, there is a powerful manual mode dubbed “professional mode”. It has sliders to help you adjust exposure, ISO,  white balance and more, the mode comes in handy under low light. I have managed to squeeze out more light into the images using this mode.

Battery

The battery is only 2600 mAh. Lenovo says that it can last for a whole day but we will have to put it to the test to prove that. On a positive note, the battery maintains its percentage while in standby very well. I once left it at 97% before going to bed at night; it was that same percentage when I woke up about 7 hours later. In addition, the charging is really fast. This phone takes less than an hour and a half to fill up from zero to 100%. It is so amazing at first you will think that percentage meter is playing tricks on you.

Moto Mods

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This is the phones claim to fame feature. It is Motorola’s shot at the modular phone concept called Project Ara, that they had kick started right before that division was taken by Google. LG G5 had tried to do a modular design but the Motorola’s approach is miles better. With LG you had to remove the phone’s bottom section, which would turn off the device , before interchanging the modules. On the Moto Z, all you have to do is snap the module in the magnetic back cover of the phone and the integration happens automatically, thanks to an array of pins located on the bottom rear.

All sorts of modules, called Moto Mods, have been made. Inside the box you get a free style shell mod whose purpose is to protect the pins as well as add a little personality to the device.

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bass boost

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My favorite was the JBL Sound Boost mod. It is like a portable stereo speaker, but much smaller and connects via magnets instead of tedious Bluetooth pairing. It was really loud and had punchy bass. Even at the highest volume, it did not distort.

More manufacturers are producing mods for Motorola, we can only hope that this trend keeps up and we get a thriving ecosystem of this promising and genius technology.

 

Huawei P10 Lite goes straight to pre-order without being launched first.

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Huawei thought, “launches are so boring, let’s be different and skip them all together” at least that’s what I think was going on in their minds. The Huawei P10 Lite just got on pre-order on an Italian online retailer called Monclick. The site exposes the phone in its full glory revealing all its specifications.

Sure, the P10 Lite has been in the rumor mill for a while just like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 is as well as the LG G6 did, but it’s always good to see the specs verified by a creditable source. This time round the rumors were correct. The Huawei P10 Lite came with a 5.2” Full HD display, powered by Kirin 655,4GB RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Calling the shots is Android 7.0, running under the EMUi 5.1 skin of Huawei phones.  The cameras include a 12MP sensor with an f2. 0 sensor and 8MP front facing selfie shooter.  This whole package is wrapped in a glass black and front body with a metallic frame sandwiched in between.  A finger print scanner keeps the back camera company on the glass rear. A 3000mAh battery is onboard too, and is quickly filled by fast charge technology. As you can see, this being the “lite” version, a lot of the bells and whistles of its bigger brother the ,Huawei P10, are missing. For instance, neither the dual camera technology nor the Leica fine tuning is available in this package, but that’s the whole purpose of the “lite” category, offering the same DNA as the flagship but at a fraction of the price.

The Italian site even has the price stated, the phone will retail at €350. The package is reasonably priced in line with the Huawei product culture. A quick Google translation from the Italian phrase “Prenotabile: Disponibile dal giorno 11/04/2017” reveals that the phone will be available in stores on April 11th,this year.

One Plus 3T Colette launched, a very limited edition fashion oriented phone.

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The One Plus has a been a very interesting company, it is among the youngest in the mobile manufacturing field but also among the fastest rising. What makes the company special is the flagship-rivaling hardware it produces and sells at very affordable prices. It has been making headlines for all sorts of things from weird marketing stunts to new products iterations. This time round, the company has made a partnership with a French fashion house, called Colette, to produce the One Plus 3T Colette Edition.

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Colette is a brand that has been in the fashion industry since 1997, it prides itself as an experience which offers “a never ending assortment of fashion, high-tech, arts, streetwear, beauty and waters.” The company decided to team up with One Plus to release the device as a celebration to their 20th anniversary.

The One Plus 3T Colette Edition is, for the most part, very similar to the previous 3T, available in Kenya through Avechi stores, but there are some minor differences. The Colette Edition comes with the Colette logo on a black paint job, a whopping 128 GB internal storage with no expansion slot, and a higher price tag of €479 (KES 52,877 according to current exchange rates ). Only 250 units will be produced, all of which will be available in the Colette Paris store on 21st March at 11 AM.

The remaining specs are very high end and similar to the usual 3T. They include 5.5 Full HD AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 coupled with a whopping 6GB RAM. Photography is done with a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS) and a 16 MP front facing camera. The system is under the command of Android 6.0 and powered by a 3400 mAh which supports the legendary Dash Charge feature that fills the battery to 60% in only 30 minutes. A finger print sensor is on-board as well and located under the screen.

If this phone follows the sales tradition of the other products from One Plus, there is chance that the stock will end before the store closes that day.

 

Lenovo Sets Stage for New Mobility with Smart, Connected Devices & Services

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Lenovo introduced a new device portfolio at Mobile World Congress 2017 that spans nearly all mobile form factors for the ultimate in choice with: the detachable Miix 320, blending affordability with connectivity on-the-go – two convertibles, mobile powerhouses Yoga 720 and 520 – four tablets, the versatile Tab 4 family built for everyone in the family – and Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus, smartphones that pair premium features with affordable prices.

Lenovo also announced an enhancement to Lenovo Connect with support for reprogrammable e-SIMs, which on select Windows LTE enabled devices, will allow customers to take advantage of their local Telco contract for data when at home and the best local wireless pricing when they are roaming, without having to swap out their SIM.

Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus: Captivating Design, Unlimited Performance.

Moto G heritage is one of premium features without a premium price tag, and the all-new Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus remain true to this legacy, delivering what people want most without a premium price tag.

The newest members of the Moto G family bring together an unexpected combination of beauty and power. Both devices feature precision crafted metal design – a first for Moto G – and powerful octa-core processors that enable exceptional performance. Long lasting, all-day batteries mean less plugging in and more getting done, fingerprint readers keep user information safe and secure and advanced camera capabilities allow for the capture of stunning photos with faster focus. Unexpected is now extraordinary.

Lenovo Tab 4 Series Tablets for Kids and the Family

The Lenovo Tab 4 tablet family builds on the foundation of its mainstream tablets by making them even better: delivering four beautifully designed, powerfully built devices crafted for every member of the family. High on the multimedia experience, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 models have dual speakers and Dolby Atmos®. The Lenovo Tab 4 family also introduces an all-new premium line for media buffs: the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus, sporting a standout dual-glass design with full HD displays, powerful processors and up to 12 hours of battery life.

We take the tablet concept ever further with optional packs that transform the Lenovo Tab 4 series into dedicated kid’s tablets or productivity tablets.

The Kid’s Pack comes with a shock-resistant bumper, a blue-light filter and a pair of colorful, scratch resistant 3M stickers, augmented by an optimized kid’s experience from the Lenovo Kid’s Account, which features up-to-date and curated kid’s content, a browser with whitelisted websites and scheduling tools for parents. The tablets can also transform into a 2-in-1 Android workhorse with the addition of the optional Productivity Pack with Bluetooth keyboard, which complements the experience of the Lenovo Tab 4’s productivity interface.

This interface incorporates a taskbar for quick switching between apps, multi-window support, support for common keyboard shortcuts, and optimization for mouse and keyboard operations.

Miix 320 Detachable with Lightning-Fast LTE Option*

The Miix 320 combines the productivity of Windows 10 with full keyboard in a lightweight, affordable detachable. Use it as a laptop with its up to FHD 10.1-inch display for work or detach and use it as a portable tablet on the go weighing only 550g. 1 With up to 10 hours of battery life, you can catch up on a full season of Game of Thrones® without a charge. 2 Connect nearly anywhere with its optional LTE.* The mobile multitasking generation will find its balance of size and weight particularly useful with its detachable screen to watch videos, its stable docking keyboard and full PC performance when needed to create content.

Keeping Connected Anywhere with Lenovo Connect e-SIM

Lenovo Connect e-SIM enhancement makes it easy to connect anywhere in the world – no more swapping out SIM cards. Lenovo Connect gives users a seamless connection and local wireless pricing even when they are abroad by taking advantage of local Telco contract for data. Users can even share the same plan across devices when those devices are enabled with Lenovo Connect.

Yoga Convertibles Balance Design, Performance and Mobility

There are times when mobile users want the full power and productivity of a PC in a thin and light machine. As these multitaskers constantly flip between work and play, we built the Yoga 720 and 520 for them, available in 13, 14 and 15-inch models. The 15-inch Yoga 720 is the most powerful convertible in its class3 and comes with up to the latest 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 discrete graphics, blazing-fast Thunderbolt™ 3 and up to nine hours of battery life.2 For those looking for a wafer thin device, we designed the 13-inch Yoga 720 that’s 17 percent thinner than before at just 14.3mm.4 All the convertibles give users the most freedom and flexibility to use

Nintendo Switch, a hybrid handheld & in-house gaming console

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Nintendo has had quite a merry go round history when it comes to the gaming industry. The Nintendo Wii was its claim to fame; it outsold the Sony Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360 by a huge margin. This could be credited to the fact that the company caters for the casual player which is a market that covers a wider audience than that of hardcore gamers that Playstation and Sony targets. Nintendo’s luck ended when it launched the successor to the Wii, the Nintendo Wii U. It performed poorly in the market and was no match to the great PS4 and Xbox One. The company went back to the drawing board and came up with a new solution, the Nintendo Switch.

switch

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The switch is a very unique console; it is a handheld gaming device that can instantly be transformed into an in-house console. The system includes the actual switch console with comes with a 6.2 inch screen. To turn the system into an in-house console, you simply dock the Switch console into a docking station which instantly displays the game on the TV. The dock is connected to the TV via HDMI.

Switch-gamepad

The console has J –Con controllers that can either be attached on either side of the Switch display (making it look like a PS Vita) to play on the go or can be snapped to a grip device that would create a traditional looking gaming controller. This latter mode is perfect when playing on the TV.  The button arrangement is similar to that of the Xbox console.

The Nintendo Switch has a battery that can be used 2.5 -6.5 hours depending on the game being played while the J con’s batter can last up to 20 hours. Speaking of games, the system uses small cartridges that can be slotted into the device. Moreover, users can simply buy games online via the eShop. To keep kids from putting the cartridges in their mouth, a bitter coating was put on them which is quite a neat touch. Another neat move is the act that Fifa, from EA sports, is making a comeback to the Nintendo platform.

Nintendo-Switch-bundle

In the box you find the Switch console, the J-con controllers, the grip device, the dock, a HDMI cable and a power adapter, no games are included. The Nintendo Switch will retail for $299 or KES 29,999, while the games cost around KES 1,500 ($15). That makes it cost the same as the standard PS4 and Xbox or even a bit higher now that discounts on those two are available everywhere. Despite this fact, the Switch keeps getting sold out, so much so that it has become the company’s fastest selling console from Nintendo. It will be interesting to see if it breaks the sales records made by the Wii.

 

Tecno Camon CX and CX Air Leaked Specs and Exclusive Images

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Just the other day, Tecno sent out invites for the launch of its new phones, the Tecno Camon CX and the Tecno Camon CX Air, the X moniker represents 10 in roman numbers. This will be a successor to the selfie oriented Tecno Camon C9. The name Air can be seen as a hint to a super slim phone. Apple has used that name to refer to their thin iPads and even Macbooks.

Camon-C10

Tecno choose Kenya for the Global Launch, this emphasizes the notion that the country is truly the Tech Hub of Africa,  no other country has seen the unveiling of these two phones. Fortunately, the rumor mill has already gathered some of the expected specifications. The Camon CX and CX Air are said to be 5.6mm thin effectively making them among the slimmest phones in the world and living up to the ‘Air’ name. Other leaks say that the actual waistline is 7.75 mm with the 5.6mm being the visual slim size. There are two sets of specs being rumored, they include,

leaked

  • Display: 5.5 inch Full HD Display
  • Processor: Mediatek MT6750T Octa Core
  • RAM : 2GB
  • Camera: 16.0MP Rear Camera with Ring-Flash (Quad-Flash) on The Rear Camera, 0MP Front Facing with Dual-Flash
  • OS: Android 7.0 Nougat , HiOS 2.0
  • Battery: 3200mAh Li-Polymer
  • Storage: 32 GB Internal storage, Expandable Memory up to 128 GB

 

Other features

  • Full Metal Body
  • 75 mm Thin (5.6mm Visual Slim Size)
  • Water Drop Screen
  • 5D Glass screen
  • Light Speed Charge
  • Dual SIM Card, Three Slot
  • Super Screenshot
  • Fingerprint
  • 4G Connectivity

The second set of rumoured specs includes higher end internals, among them is a total of four cameras.

Camon-C10

  • Display : 5.5 inches Full HD Display
  • Processor : 2 Ghz MTK Helio P10 Octa-core 64-bit
  • OS : Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Ram : 3 GB
  • Storage : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera : Dual ( 16.0 MP )
  • Front : Dual ( 8.0 MP )
  • Battery : 4,000 mAh

There is a possibility that the second set represents the specifications of the CX and the initial bunch portrays the CX Air. Well, the best part is that we won’t have to wait long to see the actual phones, Tecno will unveil them at March 23rd, only a couple of days from today.

 

BlackBerry Aurora is not a Blackberry phone, let me explain 

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BlackBerry has been in the rumor mill for a while now. Yesterday, it finally got launched but to the surprise of many, the company behind it goes by the name BB Merah Putih. It is of Indonesian origin and has the license to make phones bearing the Blackberry brand name but only for that country. As we had started earlier in the Blackberry Keyone unveiling, TCL also has the license to distribute berries for most parts of the world.
Indonesia is a unique country since Blackberry had a huge demand in that country.  Even before the TCL deal, Blackberry phones still continued to be sold in that region.
Back to the Aurora, it comes 5.5 inch 720p, Snapdragon 425 coupled with 4Gb RAM which are enough to push the Android 7.0  and DTEK software preloaded in the phone. The camera section is endowed with 13MP rear sensor and a 8MP front facing one. Keeping the lights on is a 3,000 mAH battery. Surprisingly, it is the first Blackberry to feature dual SIM capability.
At the moment, the phone is available for pre-order in Indonesia at a low price of $260 (KES 26,000). We can only hope that these iterations won’t dilute the values that once defined BlackBerry

HDR Screens: All you need to know about this new tech trend

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You might have realized from the announcements made at MWC 2017 that flagship phones are coming with the so-called “HDR Screens” or “High Dynamic Range screens”. This technology has seen some applications in TVs, computers monitors, and even gaming consoles such as the new PS4 Pro and Xbox One S. Not until recently that the trend went to mobile devices pioneering on the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

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Firstly, HDR on cameras should not be confused with the one on screens. Cameras produce HDR photos by taking many pictures with different exposure levels then combining them into one snap that has better rendering. On screens, the tech is much more advanced.

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What makes HDR screen better is a combination of factors which include much larger color representation. Non-HDR screens can output 16 million colors but HDR goes all the way up to a whopping 1 billion color-output. Moreover, it gives images that have richer contrast and darker blacks than traditional variants; the brightness is also much higher than the standard screens.  The result is images that are close to what a human eye sees in the natural world. For instance, with HDR, you can tell something that is “really dark” from another thing that is “just dark”, standard screens or SDR simply shows a general shade of black. Dynamic HDR improves on the Static HDR even further.

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HDR is not tied to resolution, that’s why LG G6 has it on a 2K (1440p) display and the Sony Xperia XZ Premium applied it on a 4K (2160p) panel. In addition, OLED screens tend to render HDR images better than LCD ones. This is because OLEDs have independent pixels that can be completely turn off to give a truly dark color. In the same light, not all HDR screens are created equal, there are several formats available.

HDR10 is the most commonly used format, its open source nature has played a key role in its popularity. Game consoles, TVs and blu-ray players have widely utilized this variant. All other formats in the market use the HDR10 as a basis and build upon it.

Dolby Vision is another HDR format tuned by Dolby. It is fundamentally HDR10 but on steroids. It has increased color gamut of up to 138% of SDR screens and can also reach up to 4000 nits of brightness. This level of brightness is above any TV ever made, HDR or not. Phone screens have not yet been able to crack the 1000 nits brightness level. Unfortunately, to enjoy this added benefits, your device hardware has to support Dolby Vision, existing HDR screens cannot get this improved aspect via software update, so it is a point to bear in mind when shopping for this next-gen displays. Netflix and Amazon have adopted this format of HDR, this will only serve to make it grow in popularity in future.

Technicolor also got into this bandwagon with its Advanced HDR technology. This variant promises to provide all viewers with a consistent experience by delivering HDR to any device regardless of it being SDR or HDR.  The technology will use the capabilities of your device to provide the best HDR rendering possible when watching content shot in high dynamic range.

So next time you see HDR in phone specifications you will be familiar with the tech. It will be interesting to see how HDR grows overtime but signs are pointing to quite a bright future.

 

So you think your octa core can beat the quad core? Think again.

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Every time you look at smartphone’s specifications, you find that processors are labelled either dual core, quad core, octa core or deca core. These names indicate the number of cores available. However, more cores does not necessarily translate to more power, there are a lot more considerations. We will go through the major types of smartphone processor cores to help you understand the fine print next time you check out phone specifications.

ARM

ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) Holdings is the company that is at the center of mobile processor cores. The company provides the architecture that acts as a blueprint to manufacturers of mobile CPUs (Central processing units). The current architecture version is ARMv8 it comes in both 32 bit and 64 bit variants. 64 bit is equivalent to what laptops and desktops have been using as their standard, all it means is that mobile applications using this higher bit level can access more RAM than was previously possible. The ARMv8 has brought forth 5 processor cores that are running in almost every modern smartphone out there, they include Cortex A35, Cortex A53, Cortex A57, Cortex A72, and the latest Cortex A73. These 5 cores are the ones that are used in every smartphone apart from Apple and Intel mobile chip-sets.

The cores are divided into two distinct groups namely, power saving group and high performance group. The power saving cores are focused on carrying out simple tasks such as sending texts, making calls and other basic phone activities. Their main aim is to conserve as much battery life as possible. These cores are the ones that are most active in phones and also come with frequencies that do not normally exceed 1.8GHZ. Power savings cores include Cortex A35 and Cortex A53. The high performance group, as the name suggests, are for doing the heavy lifting. They are the least utilized cores in a phone; they only get activated when playing processor intensive games, recording 4k resolution videos and when running complex apps such as photo and video editors. The 3 remaining cores are all in this group.

ARM Cortex A35

This is the latest power saving core from ARM. No processor from the major manufacturers is utilizing this core. It is an ultra-power saving core that would be most suitable in smart watches due to their small batteries and their low powered tasks which include fitness tracking and syncing notifications.

ARM Cortex A53

This is the most utilized and most versatile core of them all. It is found in all tiers of smartphones from entry level to high end phones. It mostly comes in either quad core configuration or octa core. The popularity of this core can be credited to its power saving features, its decent performance for everyday tasks and low production cost. It can handle HD and Full HD displays when coupled with a capable graphics processing unit (GPU).

ARM Cortex A57

big-LITTLE-ARM-officially-unveils-Cortex-A7-Image1_101

This core was released the same time as the A53. It was supposed to act as the high performance complement of the Cortex A53. Manufactures made octa-core chip-sets with four A53 core and four A57 cores to balance out the power saving and high performance equation. This kind of setup is called the big.LITTLE (written in small and capital letters in a paradoxical manner) configuration whereby the power saving cores are combined with high performance cores in the same processor; the cores are only activated when needed. For example, when typing a text message, the phone will only activate the power saving A53 cores, when playing a game, the A57 cores are woken up. Manufacturers can have this configuration in all manner of combinations; the most common is octa core with 4 power saving and 4 high performance cores like in the Samsung Galaxy S6. Other manufacturers have used 2+4 to make hexa core or even 2+4+4 to form a deca core. ARM has come up with a better high performance core to replace the A53, meet the A72.

ARM Cortex A72

This core has entirely replaced the A57. It offers 50% more performance than A57 at the same frequency. Unfortunately, only high end phones come with the A72 built in. This core has become the option of choice for manufacturers using big.LITTLE configuration. It also allows all manner of combinations. The bulk of 2016 flagship phones came with this core and thanks to its high performance, 4k video recording and virtual reality were made possible.

ARM Cortex A73

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This core is the latest offering from ARM with 30% more performance than the A72 it is meant to replace. Currently, only one chipset utilizes it, the Kirin 960 from Huawei’s subsidiary called Hisilicon. It allows up to 2.8GHZ frequency levels while at the same time saving 30% more power than its predecessor the A72. It is no surprise that the Kirin 960 found in the new Huawei Mate 9 and the Huawei P10 is the most powerful and benchmark topping chipset currently available in any phone. In 2017, we are going to see a  lot of high end chipsets come with this core. Samsung has already announced plans for using a customized version of it in its next flagship processor called the Exynos 8895.

Custom cores

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It is good to note that ARM only gives blueprints detailing how manufacturers can build processors. Some companies use the blueprints as they are, without tinkering with them. On the other hand, companies such as Samsung and Qualcomm usually alter the blueprints to make custom cores. The Samsung Exynos chipsets recently started using custom cores called Mongoose, the first phone to utilize them is the Galaxy S7. Qualcomm’s latest custom cores are called Kryo, they are found in all 2016 flagship cores in the Snapdragon 800 series. Snapdragon processors are the most popular chipset in android smartphones. Apple’s custom cores are called Hurricane, they are being used in the latest iPhone 7. Altering cores has many benefits such as squeezing the most power out of the lowest count. For instance Apple only uses a dual core setup, yet it has one of the highest benchmark scores of any chipset. Qualcomm uses only four Kryo cores in total, and was the reigning benchmarks champ in 2016 android flagships. Samsung Exynos uses 4 Mongoose cores and 4 A53 cores to make a total of 8, it’s always among the leaders in the android world especially in the power saving sector when compared to Snapdragon chipsets. Mediatek uses 10 non-customized cores yet it was only midrange in terms of performance, thousands of points behind the likes of Samsung and Apple, however, this deca cores are affordable and prioritize on power saving over speed, they are found in the new Infinix Zero 4 Plus and the Tecno Phantom 6 Plus.

Conclusion

In conclusion, not all cores are created equal. It is wise to look for cores that will fulfill your smartphone lifestyle. Those that do a lot of social networking and little to no gaming can do with power saving cores (A35 and A53), however those that are power users who do lots of gaming and heavy apps need the A72, A73 core. Remember, more cores does not necessarily mean more power. The power factor lies in the type of cores used.

 

Kenya’s BRCK launches Moja free public Wi-Fi & SupaBRCK, its newer version you might find useful

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Kenya’s BRCK has launched SupaBRCK,a connected rugged microserver powered by a dual core Intel 64-BIT processor with a up to 5TB of hard drive space and a 10-hour onboard battery life.

SupaBRCK also comes with 3 SIM card slots for 4G LTE and 3G connectivity and a content delivery network (CDN) capability allowing individuals and education and entertainment content delivery firms to use it to store their webpages or content locally giving users to experience faster upload speeds, a better online experience coupled with lower data costs.

While a $50 smartphone can work as a Wi-Fi hotspot for 6 to 8 devices, a smartphone’s connection is weak and slow and cannot be used commercially and is not enterprise grade. With ability to connect 50 devices, SupaBRCK is that rugged Wi-Fi router that can allow you to access your most visited sites fast and cheaply and reliably. And because it works as a CDN, a user would easily cache their sites or content on its 5TB storage for further use. No more Netflix and chill, it loads supaFAST.

Unlike version one of BRCK which could power or conect some 20 devices. The new SupaBRCK is able to connect around 100 devices to power and internet and can also use Solar Power as it has multiple types of connectivity inputs.

For schools, SupaBRCK beats the Kio Kit which only aimed get classrooms online, but kids were already doing this using cheap $70 Android tablets, SupaBRCK goes an extra mile by allowing students and schools to locally store educational content in an offline setting on its microserver or in the BRCK Cloud.

BRCK has also launched Moja, a free public Wi-Fi set to be rolled out in Kenya and Rwanda in 2017. Though Kenyans might not care any longer about free Wi-fi, some countries in Africa would find this fascinating.

“Moja WiFi is network of free public internet access points that allows anyone to get online, even if they don’t have a lot of disposable income for this purpose – as in most frontier markets,” announced the firm. BRCK has also launched Moja CDN, an infrastructure-as-a-service offering that provides compute and storage capacity to organizations such as iROKO, Buni.tv, ShowMax, Netflix, BBC’s BritBox and Amazon Prime to host their applications or content locally.

If we gave BRCK a 3/10 as a device you would need, SupaBRCK gets a 7/10 for its ability to do 4G LTE, ability to be powered by solar, it’s 5TB storage and its CDN capability especially for enterprise customers across markets with connectivity and electricity problems like Africa.

We won’t be surprised if Moja Wi-Fi courts Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi or vice versa.

Little known TECNO & Infinix sister brand itel mobile pushes image with new brand partnership

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itel mobile, a Transsion brand and sister to TECNO and Infinix has signed Kenya’s Avril, a local musician and actress, as its brand ambassador on a one year contract.

The financial details were not disclosed.

As the main brand image of itel mobile, Avril will grace campus events sponsored by itel mobile, attend CSR activities sponsored by itel, and tweet, share on Facebook or Instagram everything itel mobile.

“I am extremely excited to partner with Itel on their new chapter into Kenya. Great affordable phones help us communicate better and that’s the essence of good living. I’m looking forward to a great partnership” Said Avril.

17156324_1241201635994662_728374758779885845_nAvril has in the past years won several awards, among the latest being, Bingwa Awards – Bingwa ever relevant female artist, best dressed female artiste – Jumia Glamour Awards, and Business Daily – Top 40 under 40.

Chris Zhao, itel mobile Kenya manager mentioned that they decided to work with Avril because she is young and successful which touches the hearts of many hence making her the best choice, since itel is a young brand that is growing at a fast rate and quite affordable to the “common mwananchi”

Launched in 2007 , itel is present in 45 countries. In 2016, itel said it delivered 50+ million mobile phones to worldwide consumers. It’s focus markets are Africa, India and other emerging markets.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A10.1” with S-pen unveiled in Kenya

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Samsung Electronics East Africa has  introduced the Galaxy Tab A 10.1” with S Pen in Kenya in Samsung Experience stores, Fone Xpress outlets and authorized dealers countrywide.

The new Tab A combines a strong octa core processor, along with a large and vibrant 10.1” display that brings content to life all within a sleek and highly mobile, lightweight tablet.

Users can write notes, draw/sketch and edit with precision. They can even annotate documents and take notes on screenshots or even create GIFs (short animation of a video) by simply using the S-pen to draw around a preferred area of a video as it plays.

The S Pen can translate and pronounce any word when a user hovers over it, as well as select and animate a GIF to share with friends and family.

The Tab A 10.1” also incorporates a new app, Samsung Notes, which combines Samsung’s fleet of writing apps, such as Action Memo, S Note and Scrapbook, in one location for a seamless experience.

With a high resolution (WUXGA 1920 x 1200) screen and a higher pixel density (1.7 times denser than its predecessor), the Tab A is packed with a powerful Octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and a long-lasting 7300mAh battery.

It has a large 10.1” screen suited for multi-tasking and allows users to run two apps side-by-side using the Multi-window feature. It has a microSD™ card to expand its memory from 16GB up to an additional 256GB.

The New Huawei P10 is just a replica of the previous P9

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At MWC Huawei unveiled their new flagship device, the Huawei P10 and the bigger P10 Plus.

Though the two phones share common specs, the P10 plus comes with a bigger 5.5 inch QHD display and a bigger 3,750mAH battery. What worries me is that the two phones are like a re-branded Huawei P9 from late last year.

Huawei Mate 9 unveiled late 2016
Huawei Mate 9 unveiled late 2016

Well, in Huawei’s defense, the P10 is advancement over the P9, but not in many areas, I guess the best way to describe the P10 over the P9 is an “incremental update”.

Everything about the two phones is the same apart from the location of the network antennas, the camera and the slight chipset upgrade. Can you spot the difference from the two phones below?

Huawei P9 Grey Back
Huawei P9 Grey Back
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Huawei P10 Grey Back

The P10 comes with a 5.1 inch IPS NEO display, which is 0.1 mm smaller than the P9 has. The same Full HD resolution stays.  IPS NEO is different from standard IPS screens in that this tech makes the colours richer than the limits of an IPS; blacks are deep like in OLED displays. In other words, the phone gets AMOLED colours without utilizing the expensive OLED panels. Speaking of color, the P10 comes in an array of them.

image001

Powering the device is the Kirin 960, the same one that was on the Mate 9 last year, accompanied by 4 GB RAM and a 32 GB expandable storage.

The camera rear is a dual 20MP + 12MP Leica optics system. The 20MP is a monochrome sensor that doesn’t have the colour pigments, this kind of setup works together with the 12MP to produce better low light pictures than other Dual camera systems. The P10 camera shares the same aperture size as the P9 from last year. The new changes comes in the 8MP selfie camera, same resolution with the P9, but is now co-engineered with Leica with goodies such as automatic wide angle shots when the phone realizes that more subjects have joined in on the photo. It also comes with a wider aperture to bring in more light in the selfies.

The USB- Type C port returns, with fast charge on board too, the only difference is that the battery has been slightly bumped from 3,000mAH to 3,200mAH. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is still intact.

With 2017 smartphones coming with 4K display resolution, HDR screens, water and dust resistance bodies, quad DAC for next level audio and much more, the Huawei P10 seems like a lazy effort from Huawei. Maybe it has started to get comfortable after achieving the title of “the number 3 top smartphone manufacturer in the world.

The many similarities with the previous Huawei P9, with marginal advancements only in the chipset and camera, make me recommend that one year old phone over this new one. The Huawei P9 from 2016 has now become much cheaper and yet offers almost 80% of the features the new Huawei P10 has.

The Huawei P10 will go on sale towards the end of March at the cost of KES 70,500 (€650). In contrast, the Huawei P9 from last year goes for KES 46,550 at Jumia, and it is even cheaper at Avechi, KES 42,000, that is over 40% savings for over 80% of the tech.

Samsung Introduces the Galaxy A series smartphones in the Kenyan market

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Samsung Electronics East Africa has introduced the latest Galaxy A series; the 5.7-inch A7, 5.2-inch A5 and 4.7-inch A3 smartphones into the Kenyan market.

The Galaxy A comes with a metal frame and 3D glass back and is available in three stylish colours including Black Sky, Gold Sand and Blue Mist.

The Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 devices have front and rear 16-megapixel cameras while the Galaxy A3 has an 8-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera.  The Galaxy A 2017 range of smartphones also feature a Floating Camera Button which you can move freely around the screen, so you can comfortably take selfies with one hand.

Galaxy A  series offers IP68 water and dust resistance and has expandable storage with microSD support up to 256GB. The Galaxy A is equipped with reversible USB Type-C port for easy connectivity including hassle-free charging. It also features Always on Display so users can quickly glance at the time and calendar without waking up the device, saving time and battery.

The new A series range of smartphones feature a fingerprint sensor and a new Secure Folder feature with biometric authentication based on Samsung KNOX.

Samsung Galaxy A7 Specs:

Galaxy A7
Network LTE Cat.6 * May differ by markets and mobile operators
Display 5.7” FHD Super AMOLED
AP 1.9GHz Octa Core
OS Android 6.0.16 (Marshmallow)
Camera Rear : 16MP (F1.9), Front : 16MP (F1.9)
Video MPEG4, H.265(HEVC), H.264(AVC), H.263, VC-1, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8, VP9
Audio MP3, AAC LC/AAC+/eAAC+,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
Additional features MST technology(Samsung Pay), Samsung KNOX, S-Voice, Dual SIM option

* Samsung Pay launches may vary by market-readiness

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v 4.2, ANT+,

USB Type-C,NFC (UICC, eSE)

Sensor Accelerometer, Proximity, Geomagnetic, RGB Light, Hall

Fingerprint scanner, Barometer

IP Code IP68
Memory 3GB RAM + 32GB Storage

Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)

Dimension 156.8 x 77.6 x 7.9mm
Battery 3,600mAh, Fast Charging

 

Samsung Galaxy A5 Specs:

Galaxy A5
Network LTE Cat.6 * May differ by markets and mobile operators
Display 5.2” FHD Super AMOLED
AP 1.9GHz Octa Core
OS Android 6.0.16 (Marshmallow)
Camera Rear : 16MP (F1.9), Front : 16MP (F1.9)
Video MPEG4, H.265(HEVC), H.264(AVC), H.263, VC-1, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8, VP9
Audio MP3, AAC LC/AAC+/eAAC+,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
Additional features MST technology(Samsung Pay), Samsung KNOX, S-Voice, Dual SIM option

* Samsung Pay launches may vary by market-readiness

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v 4.2, ANT+,

USB Type-C, NFC (UICC, eSE)

Sensor Accelerometer, Proximity, Geomagnetic, RGB Light, Hall

Fingerprint scanner, Barometer

IP Code IP68
Memory 3GB RAM + 32GB Storage

Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)

Dimension 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm
Battery 3,000mAh, Fast Charging

Samsung Galaxy A3 Specs:

Galaxy A3
Network LTE Cat.6 * May differ by markets and mobile operators
Display 4.7” HD Super AMOLED
AP 1.6GHz Octa Core
OS Android 6.0.16 (Marshmallow)
Camera Rear : 13MP (F1.9), Front : 8MP (F1.9)
Video MPEG4, H.265(HEVC), H.264(AVC), H.263, VC-1, MP43, WMV7, WMV8, VP8, VP9
Audio MP3, AAC LC/AAC+/eAAC+,AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WMA, FLAC, Vorbis, Opus
Additional features MST technology(Samsung Pay), Samsung KNOX, S-Voice, Dual SIM option

* Samsung Pay launches may vary by market-readiness

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v 4.2, ANT+,

USB Type-C, NFC (UICC)

Sensor Accelerometer, Proximity, Geomagnetic, RGB Light, Hall, Fingerprint Scanner, Barometer
IP Code IP68
Memory 2GB RAM + 16GB Storage

Micro SD slot (up to 256GB)

Dimension 135.4 x 66.2 x 7.9mm
Battery 2,350mAh

 

Samsung’s Simon Kariithi moves to GOtv Kenya as GM

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Simon on the left with other officials from GOtv

Simon Kariithi, Director – Mobile Phone Division at Samsung Electronics East Africa was last month appointed the position of General Manager-GOtv Kenya.

In his role, he will Report to the Managing Director, Kenya. Simon has extensive working experience in Sales & Marketing within Telecommunications, having worked in Samsung Electronics for over 12 years, rising from sales manager to director of Internet & Mobile, where he extensively covered East and Central Africa Region.

He has also been an Export Manager- Consumer Electronics at Xperts Trading Company UAE. Simon holds a Master of Science degree in Business Management from University of East Anglia and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. In his role, Simon will be responsible for leading, directing and controlling GOtv Kenya’s operations.

Other high profile executive appointments within its East African office include:

  1. Mwendwa Maundu: General Manager – Regulatory Affairs – East Africa

Mwendwa has been appointed the position of General Manager – Regulatory Affairs within East Africa. Mwendwa has extensive work experience in Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Competition Law as well as Intellectual Property (IP)Law.

His last station was at Safaricom Ltd within the Regulatory & Public Policy Department for the last six years having previously worked for Mohammed Muigai Advocates. He holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) from University of Nairobi and is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya. In his role, Mwendwa will drive regulatory and public policy within the business.

  1. Kenneth Oyolla – General Manager, Commercial East Africa

Kenneth Oyolla will spearhead commercial activities for MultiChoice East Africa as the General Manager in-charge of Marketing, Sales and Customer Experience. Mr. Oyolla brings a wealth of experience in Sales and Marketing to the regional office having held several senior Marketing and Sales positions at Microsoft/Nokia Corporation. He started his career at Unilever Kenya where he held several senior roles in Customer Marketing, Channel Development Manager/National Account Manager- -Durban, South Africa, Trade Marketing Manager, and Brand Manager.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) from University of Nairobi and he is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at London School of Business.  In his new role, Mr. Oyolla will oversee all DStv and GOtv Sales and Marketing efforts in MultiChoice East Africa and will report directly to the East African Regional Director, Mr. Stephen Isaboke.

  1. Mr. Wycliffe Omondi – HR Business Partner, East Africa

Mr. Wycliffe is the new HR Business Partner within East Africa. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Omondi has been working at Tullow Kenya since January 2013 as the Human Resource Manager. He has held several senior HR positions at Philips South Africa in charge of Africa Market, at Aggreko International and at Unilever East and Southern Africa.

He holds a BA, Building Economics and Management and a Higher Diploma from IHRM and is currently pursuing an MBA at Strathmore University.  He will be responsible for all HR functions for the MultiChoice East Africa territories within Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

The move is aimed to bolster the firm’s current efforts at enhancing customer experience on both its GOtv and DStv platforms.

According to MultiChoice East Africa Regional Director, Stephen Isaboke, the business is reshaping to improve customer experience, whenever and wherever they engage with the firm.

“Our strategy is to continuously provide customers with more of their favorite content, at great value. The new team will play major a role as part of the wider team in delivering the experience our customers deserve – and we are determined to put this at the center of our internal culture and values,” said Isaboke.

The executives will complement MultiChoice’s current focus on customer satisfaction and market growth said the firm.

Sony bets high on cameras, introduces Xperia XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra

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Sony was on a roll at MWC at Barcelona, it released not one but 4 different phones. Each one of these phones are targeted to a different target market. Apart from the Sony Xperia XZ Premium that we already reported on, the company launched the Sony Xperia XZs, Sony Xperia XA1, and finally the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra.

Sony Xperia XZs

xzs

The XZs comes with a 5.2 inch full HD display of the Triluminous variety. The phone is wrapped in a glass back and front while a metallic frame runs in between to form a water and dust resistant body. Under the hood is a Snapdragon 820 from last year’s flagship phones, it is backed with 4GB RAM and a choice between 32GB and 64GB internal storage; the space can be expanded via a micro SD card up to 256GB. Photography is catered for by a 19MP Motion Eye rear camera that supports 960fps super slo-mo mode and a 13MP front facing camera. 960fps is a world’s first super slo-mo on a  mobile phone, others don’t go past 240fps. USB type C is on board as well as a 3.5 mm head phone jack and a stereo speaker setup. The whole system runs on android 6.0 Nougat and is powered by a 2,900mAH battery. Lastly, a fingerprint sensor conveniently placed on the side mounted power button handles the device security.

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra

sony-xpera-xa-1-ultra-8

This phone comes with a whopping 6 inch screen with full HD resolution and almost no bezels at all, its quite breath-taking. A Mediatek Helio P20 runs the show revealing the midrange nature of the phone. 4 GB RAM will ensure smooth multitasking and a choice of 32GB or 64GB internal space is available, both with expansion slots of up to 256GB. The Ultra XA1 is a targeted to shutterbugs who love taking photos, it is equipped with 23MP rear camera and a mega 16MP selfie camera with an LED flash. The music sector is covered by a 3.5 mm jack which many manufacturers, such as Apple, are abandoning. Android 7.0 is on-board and is kept on by a meagre 2,700 mAH battery; fortunately it supports Pump Express 2.0+ fast charge through the USB-Type C.

Sony Xperia XA1

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This is the low end of them all and obviously the most affordable. It keeps the price low by going with a 5 inch HD display, 3 GB of RAM, a 32GB storage, 8MP selfie camera with no LED flash and a 2300 mAH battery. Sony decided to bring some features from the XA1 Ultra such as the 23MP camera, the USB-Type C with Pump Express 2.0+ fast charge, the same Mediatek Helio P20 chipset and the Android 7.0 Nougat version. Both the XA1 and the XA1 Ultra have no water resistance nor dust protection.