Reviews

OPPO Honored by IDG as the Top Global Smartphone Brand and Top Connected Devices Brand for 2016-2017

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OPPO, the ever-evolving global smartphone brand, has won two top honors from International Data Group (IDG) at a ceremony hosted on 6th January 2017 as part of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas.

 

In an announcement from Patrick Kenealy, Managing Director of IDG Ventures USA, OPPO was recognized as the Global Top Smart Phones Brand and Global Top Smart Connected Devices Brand for 2016-2017. OPPO’s Technology Planning Director, Luma Lu, accepted the award at the ceremony held at Las Vegas.

Kenealy’s remarks acknowledged the growing success and technological leadership of a group of rising smartphone brands, including OPPO that made great strides in their global expansions during 2016.

He credited these brands as ‘constantly accelerating transformation and upgrading and striving for innovation’, and noted that the award ceremony’s honorees were chosen through a process that evaluated brands in terms of technology, design, interaction and user experience.

Speaking on receiving the honor, Will Yang, Brand Director, OPPO India said, “OPPO is delighted to have been recognized at CES for our innovative technologies. This award motivates us to work hard and commit ourselves in bringing out the best camera phones for our consumers. We believe 2017 will be a better year in terms of performance and we will be striving hard to work towards the same.”

The ‘Global Top Brands’ ceremony is organized by US-based International Data Group (IDG) and is fully supported by research agency International Data Corporation (IDC). This year marked the 11th time IDG has held the event, which aims to bolster the development of the consumer electronics industry through celebrating top global brands that have distinguished themselves with innovative technologies and a commitment to user satisfaction.

Behold the Nokia 6, an Android Nougat powered 4G smartphone

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HMD Global Oy, the firm which secured the exclusive Nokia brand licensing rights in mobile phones in late 2016, today launched the Nokia 6 smartphone in China targeting over 552 million smartphone users in the country.

With an aluminium unibody,  the Nokia 6 display has a bright hybrid in-cell 5.5” screen with full HD resolution and incredible colour reproduction wrapped in 2.5D Gorilla Glass. The display stack is laminated together with a polarizer layer enabling excellent sunlight readability and slim form. Nokia 6 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 430 processor with X6 LTE modem designed for excellent battery life and superior graphics performance.

The Nokia 6 has 4GB RAM and 64GB storage with which to run the latest version of Android Nougat and is packed with entertainment to bring to life the latest that Android has to offer. The dual amplifiers deliver a 6dB louder sound than a regular amp, giving higher voice, deeper bass and unmatched clarity.

The Nokia 6 packs a 16MP phase detection auto focus rear camera for sharp detailed pictures, and an 8MP front camera.

Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global said: “Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market. We start today, with our premium, high quality Nokia 6; built to deliver a fantastic core user experience for Chinese consumers. We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year.”

Nokia 6 will debut exclusively through JD.com in early 2017 in China. Competitively priced for the aspirational smartphone user, the Nokia 6 is 1699 CNY ($245.57)at JD.com.

Samsung launches QLED TV Ahead of CES 2017

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Samsung Electronics has announced its new QLED TV series – Q9, Q8, and Q7 – during the company’s 2017 product unveiling, held at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center in Las Vegas

According to HyunSuk Kim, President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, “With the advent of QLED TV, we provide the most true-to-life picture on screen. We have been successful in solving for past inconsistencies in the viewing experience and consumer pain points while redefining the fundamental value of TV.”

With picture quality remaining a top priority for consumers around the world – especially as the average TV continues to increase in size, Samsung’s 2017 QLED TVs represent yet another leap forward.

The new lineup offers dramatically improved color performance, displaying DCI-P3 color space accurately and – in another world first for Samsung, QLED TVs are capable of reproducing 100 percent color volume. This means they can express all colors at any level of brightness – with even the subtlest differences visible at the QLED’s peak luminance – between 1,500 and 2,000 nits.

Color volume presents color that can be expressed at different levels of brightness. For example, a leaf can be perceived as different colors from yellowish green to turquoise, depending on brightness of the light. Samsung QLED TV display can capture even subtle differences in color pertaining to brightness. This kind of color detail cannot be easily depicted in the traditional 2D color space models.

This breakthrough is a result of Samsung’s adoption of a new metal Quantum Dot material – making it possible for the TV to express a significantly improved range of color with much greater detail compared to conventional TVs.

The new Quantum dots allow Samsung QLED TV to express deep blacks and rich detail regardless of how light or dark the scene is, or whether the content is being played in a brightly lit or darkened room. Furthermore, Samsung QLED TV can generate peak luminance as high as 1,500 to 2,000 nits, with no impact on its ability to deliver accurate and impeccable color. With its metal alloy Quantum Dot technology, brightness no longer has to be compromised to boost color performance, which is also maintained regardless of how wide the viewing angle may be.

 

BlackBerry licenses its mobile phone unit to TCL to focus on security software

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BlackBerry has licensed its security software and service suite, as well as related brand assets to TCL Communication who will design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices.

The move will allow BlackBerry to develop its security and software solutions, serve its customers and maintain trusted BlackBerry security software, while TCL Communication will manage all sales and distribution and serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with dedicated sales teams.

BlackBerry is transitioning its handheld devices strategy to focus on software innovation for devices around the world. BlackBerry already had an agreement with TCL Communication which saw TCL produce DTEK50 and DTEK60 handsets on Android which deliver the standard of security that customers and partners trust.

“This agreement with TCL Communication represents a key step in our strategy to focus on putting the ‘smart in the phone’ by providing state-of-the-art security and device software on a platform that mobile users prefer and are comfortable with,” said Ralph Pini, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. “TCL Communication is the natural choice to license BlackBerry’s software and brand on a global scale. We successfully partnered with them on the DTEK series of secure smartphones and we’ve been impressed with their excellence in hardware design, development and manufacturing.”

Samsung releases software update to finally kill all Galaxy Note7 devices out there

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“A software update will be released starting on December 19th and will be distributed within 30 days. This software update will prevent U.S. Galaxy Note7 devices from charging and will eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices,” the firm announced.

Samsung, through various carrier partners, will notify consumers through multiple touchpoints to encourage any remaining Galaxy Note7 owners to participate in the program and to take advantage of the financial incentives available.

The firm added that anyone who was not yet returned their device should immediately power it down and contact their carrier to obtain a refund or exchange. The firm in October announced plans to totally end production and distribution of its Note 7 brand globally after a number of replacement phones exploded too.

Samsung, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and mobile carriers and retailers extended the recall program since the affected devices can overheat and pose a safety risk. The final software update will kill all the Galaxy Note 7 phones in the market; regardless of whether the phone is working or not.

Samsung is offering incentives, of up to a $100 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets if a user exchanges their Galaxy Note7 for another Samsung smartphone. Those that have already exchanged their Galaxy Note7 device for another Samsung smartphone, will receive up to a $75 bill credit from select carrier or retail outlets in addition to the $25 their previously received.The expanded recall applies to all Galaxy Note7 devices – including the original and replacement.

Huawei Mobile officially launches Mate 9 in the Kenyan market

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Huawei Mobile has officially launched its Mate 9 in the Kenyan market following its global launch early in November. Available in all Huawei retail outlets across the country, the KES69,999 Huawei Mate 9 is a predecessor the Mate 8, which was launched earlier in the year under the Mate series.

The launch of the Mate 9 comes months after unveiling the Huawei P9 in the local market.

So far the device has received much traction in the Kenyan market with over 90% pre-orders made across the region in the past two weeks. According to Mark Hemaobin, Managing Director, Huawei Mobile – Kenya.

Android smartphones face a common flaw – over time, they lose their speed, responsiveness and momentum, in what we refer to as performance erosion. With the Mate 9, Huawei is introducing a dynamic interplay of industry-leading hardware and advanced software that works together to bring consumers a new kind of Smartphone experience that gets smarter and more efficient the more you use it.

The HUAWEI Mate 9’s Kirin 960 chipset puts faster computing at your fingertips, and its innovative, intuitive EMUI 5.0 learns and adapts to your usage behaviors, optimizing performance throughout the lifetime of the device, while also offering breakthrough battery power.

Key Specs

Size: 156.9mm x 78.9mm x 7.9mm

Weight: 190g

Color: Space Gray/Moonlight Silver/Champagne Gold/Mocha Brown/Ceramic White
Display: 5.9″ FHD Display
CPU: HUAWEI Kirin 960, Octa-core CPU (4 x 2.4 GHz A73+ 4 x 1.8 GHz A53) + i6 co-processor, Mali-G71 MP8
Operation System: Android™ 7.0
Memory:4GB RAM + 64GB ROM plus Micro SD card slot, support up to 256GB (uses SIM 2 slot)

USB Type C (High Speed USB)
Sensors: Fingerprint Sensor, G-Sensor, Gyroscope sensor, Compass, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, Hall sensor, Barometer, IR

Main camera: 20MP with 4K video recording

Front camera: 8MP
EMUI: EMUI 5.0
Battery: 4000mAh (Typical Value)
Dual SIM Support

NFC: NFC supported
In the box

 

Samsung aims to bolster tablet sales in Kenya with Msingi pack e-learning software

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Image from samsungtomorrow.com

Samsung Electronics East Africa aims to increase tablet sales in Kenya after it partnered with local firm Virtual Essence, to bundle its Msingi pack e-learning software for lower and upper primary classes with the Galaxy Tab A 7” tablet for the benefit of teachers, parents and children who want to interact with up to date educative content and school revision material.

The Msingi pack application has multimedia e-learning content for Math, English, Swahili, Science and Social studies. It also includes digitized revision past papers that can be completed on the tablet with reports and scores generated for each completed paper.

an innovative company specializing in e-learning solutions for Primary schools, meant to make learning easier, more exciting and highly motivating. The partnership provides a technologically enticing yet educative way of engaging school children at home as parents continue to grapple with the extended December holidays in Kenya.

“We are excited to partner with Samsung and it is our hope that this will go a long way in promoting awareness of the Msingi Pack platform for learners in the country.  Msingi Pack aims at bringing together all stakeholders of learning by having specific relevant content for teachers, parents and students. The content is 100% local and is aligned to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) syllabus,” said Virtual Essence General Manager Jonah Wanjohi.

Launched in 2009, Msingi Pack has since then grown to include Msingi Pack Mobile for smartphones and tablets, Msingi Pack junior student companion, Msingi Pack junior for schools – lower primary ( Class 1 & 2) and Msingi Pack student companion for upper primary (Class 6, 7 & 8).

The Msingi Pack will be available for free on the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7”, a 7-inch display with reading mode, long lasting battery, 1.5GB of RAM, and an expandable micro SD storage of up to 200GB for additional storage. The Galaxy Tab A 7” also has a specialized Kids mode that allows for parental controls to be applied to the tablet to ensure the digital safety of younger users.

Samsung says customers buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 Flat or Edge will enjoy a bundled offer to take home the Galaxy Tab A 7-inch at a discounted price of Sh10, 000 from the previous Sh21,000. The S7 Flat currently retails at Sh69, 999 while the S7 Edge retails at Sh79, 999.

The Msingi pack application will be provided via a specialized Micro SD card package that customers purchasing the Galaxy Tab A 7” will receive.

LG targets the festive season to introduce its 4K OLED Televisions in Kenya

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Electronics manufacturer, LG has introduced 4K OLED TVs in the Kenyan market as the festive season jets in expecting to make a sale or two of its most expensive line of TVs.

An OLED TV screen uses self-lighting Organic Light Emitting Diodes to make TVs thinner, brighter and more energy efficient. Adding 4K or four times the pixels on Full HD screen (1920 x 1080), these TVs are the best in the market.

LG yesterday unveiled two models in flat and curved configurations and two sizes-led by 55-and-65- inch ranging between Ksh500,000 and Ksh800,000.

“We are pleased to introduce 4K OLED TVs to Kenyan consumers, 4K TV is a much more superior type of OLED TV, a demonstration of our commitment to continuous innovation in order to deliver unparalleled at-home viewing experience,” said Moses Marji, General Manager Marketing, LG Electronics.

LG says 4K OLED TVs will see consumers enjoy awe-inspiring picture with perfect blacks and incredible color, even from wide viewing angles unlike any LCD/LED TV can deliver.

Blacks rendered by OLED TV are up to 200 times deeper than those of an LCD panel, creating an infinite contrast ratio and bringing colors to life like never before possible.

LG OLED TVs were launched for the first time in 2013, ushering in a brand-new category of television in the world. Both experts and consumers alike consider it the best picture quality on the market today.

OLED this is the most important advancement in TV technology in more than a decade, and LG is riding on that wave, investing more into Ra vast improvement over both LCD and plasma,” added Marji

 

6 Reasons why you should buy the Wiko LENNY 3 this Christmas

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Before we tell you the reasons why you should buy the Wiko Lenny 3; find below its key specifications and what you will find in the box on purchase.

Key Specs
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

In the box, there is the Wiko Lenny 3 mobile, an AC adapter, the phone’s removable battery, headsets, a micro USB cable, user manual and warranty pack and 2 SIM card holders.

Here is why we think you need to buy it for yourself or as a gift to a friend or a loved one.

1.Price

The Wiko Lenny 3 is just Ksh 8,999 price phone running beating several handsets to fall in the most affordable and sleek smartphones in the market.  With its Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

2. Latest software and security updates

Wiko Lenny 3 runs on the latest mobile Operating System on Android 6.0, also called Marshmallow which gives users access to millions of apps right to their fingertips.  Android Marshmallow is also soft on the battery and saves your juice for those important meetings, music and movies you want to use it for.

It allows you to set what info your apps can access and gives you the privacy you want as it lets you define what you want to share and when. You can also turn permissions off at any time, too.

Android 6.0 allows you to skip the crazy passwords and use your fingerprint to unlock your phone and lets you secure your device, music, documents, data and apps from malicious access.

3. Screen size

The Wiko Lenny 3 has a 5” HD display screen which is a super AMOLED display screen and a front 5MP camera with a Wiko logo at the top right.

The Super AMOLED display promises a quick response time for apps and media, use of less power and a clear image due to the thin screen. The thin screen is good for watching movies, reading and viewing photos.

The 5-inch display has a good resolution of 1280×720 pixels but the brightness is low making outdoor use of the phone hard. However, if you adjust its brightness, the Wiko LENNY3 5’’ HD display is good for viewing multimedia content.
4. Performance

Powered by a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor, a 2000mAh removable battery, the Wiko Lenny 3 sufficiently powers most functions of the phone well. The phone has a fair performance on reading, listening to music and web browsing. It’s not the best browsing speeds but the phone stacks it up.

Though the  phone is not good for heavy gaming as demanding games slow the processor down, users can play various lightweight games without any noticeable slugs in the processor power. The 1GB RAM matches the phone’s price and functionality with medium speeds on mild multi-tasking. Its 8MP main camera can take some fairly good photos in broad daylight but the quality fades in poor light. The 5MP front camera also has an LED flash and a wider angle for a group selfie.

5. Wiko UI

Like the Wiko Robby, Wiko Ufeel Lite, the Wiko Lenny 3 has a customized Wiko UI for easy access to apps, music and battery optimization and gives the phone a cool feel and appearance away from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow UI which is found on millions of Android devices.

The Wiko UI makes the Wiko phones look stylish and make them stand out from the crowd.

6. Storage

The Wiko LENNY3 has a 16GB ROM extendible to 64 GB via micro SD. If formatted the 64GB can be used to store apps directly from the phone. Apart from apps, the memory card can be used to store photos taken by the phone’s 8MP main camera. Music and movie lovers can find the 64GB enough to carry and transfer their music and movie files from computers at work to their home computers or laptops without any difficulty; making it the best smartphone for use this holiday. Wiko Lenny is targeted at migrating users from feature phones to smartphones and that makes it a perfect fit for sub-Saharan Africa.

Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi targets Kenyan market with Redmi range of phones

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Xiaomi the Chinese phone company has increased its smartphone portfolio in the Kenyan market with the launch of  the Xiamo Redmi Note 2 which was launched in partnership with Telkom Kenya, the exclusive retailer of the Redmi Note category in Kenya.

Targeted for the entry level smartphone the Redmi boasts a Dual Sim, 5.5-inch full HD screen, 64-bit Octa-core processor, Android  OS v5.0 (lollipop) and a 13-megapixel camera, the Redmi Note 2 gives the best android phones out there a serious run for their money retailing at kshs.19, 999. The phone also boasts 16 GB storage expanding to 32GB.

Xiaomi is seeking penetrate into more African markets that have proved to be key to their global expansion after their dominance in Asia and the middle East region.

According the Mobile Economy Report 2016, the next frontier for the mobile market expansion will be increasingly focused on the developing world with more than 90% of the incremental 1 billion new mobile subscribers forecast by 2020 coming from developing markets.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 the phone is where quality and convenience meets affordability with the company aiming to infiltrate the Kenyan phone market aggressively in the coming year hoping to bring a fresh new look into the Kenyan mobile scene.

 

Etisalat and Samsung Launch Device, Data and VR Experience Centre in Lagos.

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Today, Samsung and Etisalat at an event in Lagos launched a new initiative to allow customers experience devices, data and virtual reality.

Samsung has created a Samsung Experience Zone at the Adeolu Odeku experience center, where they will demo Samsung devices and get customers to experience these devices. This product demo and experience will provide further opportunity for people to experience Etisalat 4G LTE in action.

sam-vr

The demo corner or Samsung Experience Zone at Adeola Odeku is the first of its kind to be launched by a mobile operator and walk-in customers can experience the mobile ecosystem of Samsung from mobile phone to the Virtual Reality Gear powered by etisalat 4G network.

 

 

 

 

New Lithium Batteries Promises to Extend Smartphone Battery Life

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An MIT spinout is preparing to commercialize a new rechargeable lithium metal battery that offers double the energy capacity of the lithium ion batteries that power many of today’s consumer electronics. This invention may actually prove to be revolutionary, with the company aiming to enter production next year.

Founded in 2012 by MIT alumnus and former postdoc Qichao Hu ’07, SolidEnergy Systems has developed an “anode-free” lithium metal battery with several material advances that make it twice as energy-dense, yet just as safe and long-lasting as the lithium ion batteries used in smartphones, electric cars, wearables, drones, and other devices.

“With two-times the energy density, we can make a battery half the size, but that still lasts the same amount of time, as a lithium ion battery. Or we can make a battery the same size as a lithium ion battery, but now it will last twice as long,” says Hu, who co-invented the battery at MIT and is now CEO of SolidEnergy.

 

The difference with this tech? It’s essentially a very minor variant on existing lithium ion batteries, making it practical to manufacture them on existing production lines. Not only that, but the company has already successfully demonstrated that it works in a prototype iPhone 6 battery.

The battery essentially swaps out a common battery anode material, graphite, for very thin, high-energy lithium-metal foil, which can hold more ions — and, therefore, provide more energy capacity. Chemical modifications to the electrolyte also make the typically short-lived and volatile lithium metal batteries rechargeable and safer to use. Moreover, the batteries are made using existing lithium ion manufacturing equipment, which makes them scalable.

Because the batteries offer twice the energy density, you’d be able to double the battery-life of a product without increasing the size of the battery.

This invention would be revolutionary, to various future consumers, but more so to companies like Apple who will use the tech to instead provide the same amount of battery life as today in ever-slimmer devices.

http://news.mit.edu/2016/lithium-metal-batteries-double-power-consumer-electronics-0817

Wiko Robby targeted at music & media lovers

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In our unboxing article, and review piece, we look at Wiko Robby’s 5.5 inch HD display screen as suitable for multimedia content such as movies, music videos and photos. But there is one thing we forgot-it’s Dual speakers powered by Auro 3D technology.

The Auro 3D technology gives the Wiko Robby an immersive 3D sound effect, hence an outstanding audio experience great for watching movies, playing a game or listening to music . Auro 3D, developed in 2005 by Wilfried Van Baelen, adds two extra layers to the surround experience: height and overhead which has been used in films like Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1, and in Lucasfilm’s Red Tails.

Using Auro 3D is like having more sound coming from more directions and in real time, making the music or movie extremely realistic. The Wiko Robby’s music player comes with an equalizer, surround sound, bass boost with 3D sound by Auro-3D.

The phone’s dual speakers ensure that a user gets loud enough music either on the the speakers or via the headphones or a Bluetooth headset to an external speaker. It’s 2500 mAh battery also allows one to enjoy music and media content for a longer time.

The Wiko’s Robby supports USB OTG which means users can use it as a storage or streaming device for their music and other media to share it to external outputs such as TV, projector and PC for a maximum multimedia experience with amplified sound and better and  bigger viewing capacity. At work, the Wiko Robby can also be used to project to a bigger screen during presentations, pitches among others.

On storage, the Wiko Robby supports Micro-SD cards of up to 64 GB creating more space for a user’s multimedia content from music, videos and films and moments with friends. The memory is also enough for one to download apps for use and stream music or movies on the go to watch via the Wiko Robby’s huge 5.5 inch screen.

The 8MP main camera can also be used to take photos and videos at night using the LED flash or during day in bright light.  Though the video quality might not be 100 percent satisfactory; both the 8MP and 5MP main and front cameras are worth the price of the phone, the major hindrance to media consumption is the phone’s 1GB RAM and its slow processor otherwise the Wiko Robby is just two speakers in a 5.5 inch music box.

 

Wiko Lenny 3 Review

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A few weeks ago, we did an unboxing and first impressions of the Wiko LENNY3, a Ksh 8,999 price phone running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) powered by a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor. The Gold colored phone weighs around 177g and comes with a 2000mAh  removable battery.

Like most of the Wiko family it’s a 16 GB internal memory expandable to 64GB and has 1 GB RAM with a 5” HD display screen.

Key Specs
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
Sim CARD : 1 Mini SIM + 1 Micro SIM
Weight : 177g (with battery)
Battery : 2000 mAh Li-ion
Internal memory : 16 GB expandable to 64 GB via Micro USD.
RAM : 1 GB
Main camera : 8 MP with flash.
Front camera: 5 MP

Display & Appearance
At Ksh 9,000, you The review piece of the Wiko Lenny3 comes in a metallic gold back cover with an 8 Megapixel camera at the back, a 5 inch full HD super AMOLED display screen and a front 5MP camera with a Wiko logo at the top right.

The 177g smartphone is a bit heavier but its rounded curves make it fit and feel good in the palm and feels cool to touch. It’s full HD 5” display screen has a  Super AMOLED display promises a quick response time for apps and media, use of less power and a clear image due to the thin screen. The thin screen is good for watching movies, reading and viewing photos.

The 5-inch display has a good resolution of 1280×720 pixels but the brightness is low making outdoor use of the phone hard. However, if you adjust its brightness, the Wiko LENNY3 5’’ HD display is good for viewing multimedia content.
Hardware, OS & Performance

The Wiko Lenny3 has a metal design back cover and comes in Grey, Bleen, Lemon Yellow, Cinnabar, Gold and Rose Gold colors. The phone uses a 4 core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor which sufficiently powers most functions of the phone well. The phone has a fair performance on reading, listening to music and web browsing. It’s not the best browsing speeds but the phone stacks it up.

The phone is not good for heavy gaming as demanding games slow the processor down and a user has to restart it over again to work. The 1GB RAM also doesn’t help and slows speeds and makes the touchscreen insensitive. Its 8MP main camera can take some fairly good photos in broad daylight but the quality fades in poor light. The 5MP front camera also has an LED flash and a wider angle for a group selfie but it won’t take brilliant photos like other premium smartphones with better cameras.

We had a bad experience with the phone’s 2000 mAh removable battery during our review. We expected 2000 mAh to be tougher than it was but the longest time the battery could work on 3G and music was 3 hours and double that on basic phone functions. The weight and the battery capacity are Wiko Lenny 3’s two worst nightmares and we expect the firm to work on a better Lenny version soon. The phone’s apps for battery life optimization aren’t so helpful for users who want a full smartphone experience as they only allow users access to basic functions such as SMS, voice and calculator.

Like the Wiko Robby, Wiko Ufeel Lite, the Wiko Lenny 3 has a customized Wiko UI for easy access to apps, music and battery optimization and gives the phone a cool feel and appearance away from the Android 6.0 Marshmallow UI which is found on millions  of Android devices.

However, with LENNY3 at the price its selling in the market, its 16GB ROM extendible to 64 GB via micro SD and  Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 3G capabilities and the 8MP main camera; one wouldn’t mind giving out as a gift to new smartphone users. Wiko Lenny is targeted at migrating users from feature phones to smartphones and that makes it a perfect fit for sub-Saharan Africa.

What we liked
+ Dual SIM
+16GB internal memory expandable to 64GB
+ The price
+Removable battery
+ 5inch display screen

What we disliked
– Weak battery
– Low RAM
– No 4G
– Low camera capacity
– Poor voice quality

 

Conclusion

Wiko Lenny 3 is worth all its price as its targeted at new smartphone users moving up the ladder from feature phones. The only problem users will have is the weak battery which runs for only half a day. The smartphone is also a bit heavy for its features and Wiko might need to up the battery, reduce its weight and up its camera to make the new version a sale across Africa where the entry-level market is still virgin.

Wiko Robby Review

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In case you missed our unboxing article, Wiko Robby boasts of a huge screen something suitable for multimedia contents such as movies, music videos and photos. You can also read so clearly on the 5,5’’ HD display screen which has IPS technology which improves readability and viewing angles.

Like its sister phones, the Wiko Robby has a metallic finish with a slightly curved back cover to fit in your palm and pocket perfectly. The  Ksh 11,000, Wiko Robby runs Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow) and has a Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7 processor. See below more specs.

Key Specs
Display: 5.5” IPS Technology
Display resolution: HD (1280×720 pixels), pixel density: 267 ppi
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor: Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
GPU: ARM®, Mali™ 400MP
SIM CARD : 2 Micro SIM
Size: 155×79.1×10 mm
USB™ OTG : Yes
Camera: 8 MP with flash
Front Camera : 5 MP with a selfie flash
Weight: 185g
Battery: 2500 mAh Li-Po
Internal memory: 16 GB expandable via Micro SD up to 64 GB.
RAM: 1 GB

Design & Appearance

Wiko Robby is available in green, blue and rose-gold with a metallic coated back cover gives the 5.5 inch 3G smartphone a premium feel. Weighing 185 grams with its 2500 mAh removable battery inside, the Dual Sim smartphone  lacks a fingerprint scanner but has gesture control allowing users to make voice calls, turn on or off apps minus using the normal buttons.

The phone also has a position sensor allowing the phone to function perfectly even when rotated 180 degrees. Thus, Wiko’s Robby can be used in all four directions.

Overall the phone looks good in design and appearance and can be a fashion item to lovers of bright colors.

Specs and performance

Wiko Robby doesn’t have very great credentials even though it looks beautiful.  It is powered by a 4 core MediaTek’s MT6580M processor running at 1.3 GHz on a 1GB RAM making multitasking to slow the phone’s processor and making simple gaming difficulty especially if one has other apps open in the background.

The 1GB RAM makes it a weaker device for anyone who used to faster load speeds when reading their content online, browsing internet pages or watching YouTube videos. The manufacturers did an injustice installing a 1GB RAM storage for the processor, limiting it to few applications the clock can run at the same time.

On Software and UI, Wiko runs on Android 6.0 and uses Wiko UI which means it will have the latest software updates when they are available from Google’s Android anytime. The Wiko UI means users have access to a customized look and feel away from the boring normal Android UI which is standard to most phones running the OS. With ‘Phone Assist, One Clean and My Launcher on the Wiko UI, users have quick access to modified apps simplifying the use of the phone.

Despite its low performance, Wiko’s Robby is not exactly energy saving when compared with other devices. Of course, it should be remembered that Robby is equipped with a larger screen that consumes a considerable part of the energy in many scenarios. The rates are pleasingly low in off and standby. Thus, it is possible to leave the smartphone unused for a prolonged period of time and still have battery power afterward.

Wiko’s Robby 2500 mAh battery can run for slightly six hours on normal use-voice, SMS and camera minus 3G. On 3G it ran for some 5 hours while on heavy use it can for 3.5 hours making it a heavy power drainer maybe due to its huge display screen and resolution. However, it’s USB port supports OTG meaning you can also use it to charge other devices or connect to any USB enabled device such as PC and use it as your computer accessing documents from its 64GB Micro-SD card.

Though the phone is affordable, Wiko ought to know most mobile network operators, including Kenya’s Safaricom are pushing for 4G uptake to bolster their revenues as well as increase load speeds for 4G devices users. Wiko ought to manufacture more 4G devices for the African market to align itself with MNO’s objectives.

We didn’t have a problem with voice calls as the phone has great speakers even when rotated. The phone’s audio is also good for music, movies and YouTube. Wiko Robby has Dual Speakers both supporting Auro 3D sound effects bringing a club experience to music.

Wiko Robby also has double microphones at the top and bottom and the phone works regardless of the side you pick it. It’s noise recognition technology deals with the noise around; making voice calls as clear as talking to the other person in the same room.

The phone’s 8MP main camera with a LED flash and auto focus makes it a better option among devices in its price range. The LED flash allows users to take clear photos even in dark rooms or with less light. The 5MP selfie front camera allows for great selfies and as long as the user balances their light modes, quality photos can be achieved but they can’t be compared to a professional camera or a camera from a high-end smartphone.

What we liked
+ The price
+ The huge display screen
+ removable battery
+ USB OTG
+ Dual speakers and audio surround.
+ Gesture control and dual speakers.

What we didn’t like
– 1 GB RAM
-Poor processor
-Weak battery for huge screen
– Poor camera
-No 4G/LTE

Conclusion
At Ksh 11,000, a 5.5-inch display screen and Android 6.0, the phone will sell thousands of pieces especially to smartphone users who value audio and screen real estate as important for their media consumption. Though it doesn’t support 4G LTE, the phone connects to 3G making it a preference to data conscious users who want to get online but not at a costly price.

Huawei Introduces the HUAWEI Mate 9

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Huawei has introduced the HUAWEI Mate 9 and the exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9, the newest members of the Mate Series provides users with an all new Android experience – featuring the Kirin 960 for the fastest computing performance, SuperCharge technology and a stunning new UX.

The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a Kirin 960 chipset processor,  EMUI 5.0 user interface,  superCharge technology that delivers a full day’s charge in 20 minutes and second generation Leica dual-lens camera with 12-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and Hybrid Zoom, featuring a superior 2x magnification.

The Kirin 960 is the world’s first chipset to feature an ARM Cortex-A73/A53 Octa-core CPU and Mali G71 Octa-core GPU and combines a 4000 mAh high-density battery with Huawei’s all new SuperCharge technology which increases battery life to provide over two days of uninterrupted performance.  The HUAWEI Mate 9 features the second generation dual-lens camera co-engineered with Leica.

The HUAWEI Mate 9 features a 5.9” FHD display and is both beautifully designed and comfortable to use.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is a limited edition smartphone with a remarkable 5.5” curved AMOLED display that offers a smooth, sleek feel. It will be available exclusively in Graphite Black. (See additional PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 details.)

14910434_1134165039986144_6490910375330801880_n With EMUI 5.0, the HUAWEI Mate 9 becomes more intelligent and efficient over time by understanding consumers’ behavior patterns, and ensures the highest priority applications are given preference subject to system resources.

Pricing and Availability

  • The HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Black, Space Gray, Moonlight Silver, Champagne Gold, Mocha Brown and Ceramic White.
  • The exclusive PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 is available in Graphite Black.
  • The HUAWEI Mate 9 will be available in the following first-wave launch markets:

 

Huawei also launched the HUAWEI FIT, a fitness watch featuring heart rate monitoring, automatic step counting, sleep tracking and support for multi-sport activities. The HUAWEI FIT is available in Titanium Gray and Moonlight Silver for €149.

Version                                 EUR (includes tax)

HUAWEI Mate 9 4GB + 64 GB €699
PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 9 6GB + 256GB €1395

 

A Gadget that Can Charge all your Gadgets is Here

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Having a power bank is probably one of the best gadgets you can own. Phones consume more battery and what’s even more annoying is not being able to have a source of charge for all your gadgets when you’re out. But can you imagine owning a power bank that does a little bit more than charging your phone but also sends you notifications? This is exactly what the smrtFOBis meant to do. The smrtFOB is a module power bank that’ll send users notifications when it needs to be charged. It’s got Bluetooth built-in so it can be tracked and comes with swappable Lightning, micro-USB, or USB-C cables. Because it’s modular, additional features can be swapped in, like a 32GB flash memory.

This is probably the world’s smartest charger that has a simple “lego-like” design that allows users to customize its features, state-of-the-art wireless charging and an app for your phone with breakthrough intelligent notifications. It is quite hard to forget to charge your phone because you almost always have it with you, but you can easily forget to charge your other devices and smrFOB will remind you. The most fascinating feature about this gadget, it the storage it has. It has 32GB external storage that can also be used for photos and videos that you would perhaps want to save. The way the smrtFOB charges is not like any other ordinary gadget that needs to charge on the socket. A beautiful charging surface was created using Rezence wireless charging technology. As long as it’s on that surface, the smrtFOB will always be charged all the time. While the smart power bank is charging, you will be able to charge your phone and a module into smrtFOB and place while it’s still on the surface charging.

The gadget is also small enough to fit on a key chain so it’s hard to replace it and even harder to have a gadget that’s run out of battery. Because the built-in battery has a powerful punch, it has up to five hours of talk-time on 3G and up to four hours of video playback. The fact that this new gadget has an intelligent app that provides helpful reminders and notifications to ensure you never leave the house without your charger, keys and other important things means that finally people can enjoy their smart devices without worrying.

Unboxing & First Impressions: Wiko Robby

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ae734b3b68e84c3fcb60a55b8b98003eWiko Robby is sold in a hardened but beautifully branded box showing the firm’s dedication to ship only quality products to the market. Before one opens the box, there is an assurance of quality, class and durability just by observing the packaging and branding. Wiko knows that first impressions last and can make one to either buy or pass the phone for another especially in this new-to smartphone market segment where specifics are more of the same or nearly the same.

Inside the box

The Wiko Robby
Battery
Headset
Micro USB Cable
User guide and Warranty
An AC Adapter

The Dual SIM Android 6.0 Marshmallow powered smartphone has a 5.5-inch display screen, a removable 2,500mAh battery and a  Quad-core Mediatek MT6580M 1.3GHz processor.

The 3G smartphone has a 1GB RAM, a 16GB internal memory which can be expanded via microSD and it’s main camera is 8MP while its front camera is 5MP.

Like it sister releases Lenny 3 and Ufeel Lite, we quickly notice that the Wiko Robby runs its own customised UI which comes with features such as My Launcher, Phone Assist, My Music, Battery Tips & Widget, My Apps among others making it easier for a user to access their apps, save the battery when it reaches a critical level, take photos instantly and make calls and lock or unlock their phones easily.

 

Introduction

At 5.5 inch, the phone is a bigger than its 5 inch sister brands but this makes it better for media consumption-say music, movies, apps, photos and even text.  The screen is also good for shots combined with the phones 8 MP main camera.

The phone slightly fits in my palm and makes it a bit hard for one to use one hand to operate it but its slightly curved back cover makes things a little better. On appearance, the Wiko Robby comes in Space Grey, Gold, Bleen, Lime and Rose Gold. Below are some of the key specs the Wiko Robby has; we shall dig into a deep dive in our review in a week’s time.

ce287a3ca45bc16ba4b5534a598ea566Key Specs
Display: 5.5” IPS Technology
Display resolution: HD (1280×720 pixels), pixel density: 267 ppi
OS: Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor: Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
GPU: ARM®, Mali™ 400MP
SIM CARD : 2 Micro SIM
Size: 155×79.1×10 mm
USB™ OTG : Yes
Camera: 8 MP with flash
Front Camera : 5 MP with a selfie flash
Weight: 185g
Battery: 2500 mAh Li-Po
Internal memory: 16 GB expandable via Micro SD up to 64 GB.
RAM: 1 GB

Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G LTE Review

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wiko-u-lite-1We did an unboxing of the Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G LTE here and we promised to get into detail when we do the review so that you can buy the phone for yourself or for a friend. Firstly, Wiko is designed in France and the Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G is one of the three recent devices the phone maker recently launched in the Kenyan market.

Wiko Ufeel Lite has a shiny Karat Rose Gold back cover with rounded edges in Lime Green. Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G LTE stands out from majority of phones in the market  due to its key distinctive features such as  My Launcher, Phone Assist and its 5 function Fingerprint.

Key Specs

Network : 4G LTE
Operating System : Android™ 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
GPU : ARM®, Mali™ T720
SIM Card : 2 Micro SIM
Colors : Lime, Slate, Chocolate, Rose Gold
Battery : 2500 mAh Li-Po
ROM : 16 GB
RAM : 2 GB
External memory : Micro SD up to 64 GB
Display: Size : 5”
Main camera : 8 MP
Front Camera : 5 Megapixels + Selfie flash

Design & Display

The phone has a premium metal finish on its back cover and a metal frame. The phone’s metallic-like body has rounded edges making it an easy fit into one’s pocket or hand during use. The phone weighs 147 grams with battery inside and is 143.5×71.5×8.5 mm in size.

It’s 5” Display screen has On Cell and is multi-touch enabled. On-Cell technology reduces the space between the glass and the display screen allowing users to enjoy their multimedia content on a wider screen which is clear and more responsive.  We loved that the screen gets totally black when turned off thereby saving the battery and showing great images due to its high resolution : HD (1280×720 pixels), pixel density of 294 PPI and a brightness of 420 nits.

The display screen also has 16 million colours and comes with a content adaptive backlight control  (CABC) technology helping it adjust the backlight to give viewers clear videos, text and images.

The Wiko Ufeel Lite is a 4G LTE Dual SIM available in Lime, Slate, Chocolate, Rose Gold colours. It’s USB is OTG enabled meaning it can connect to another phone for charger or USB mouse, USB anything so you can turn it into anything if you have a USB connector.

 

Features, OS & Performance

The Ufeel Lite has a 64 bit 1.3GHz 4core processor running on a 2GB RAM. It runs the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is an LTE 4G smartphone.

With 4G and the 2GB RAM, the phone’s 64 bit processor can handle large amounts of information with ease allowing for users to play games, multitask and download their favorite movies at full speed. The 16GB is enough for storage of media files say around a whole series or five full length movies but you can still expand it to 64GB via micro SD.

We tried the 1.3GHz 4core processor with 64 bits phone to run a few games and the 2GB RAM phone didn’t disappoint.  With a 4G connection, one can play games say Asphalt, chat with friends over OTT platforms as well as download any content in the process. Ufeel Lite is pretty good on memory with its 16GB internal storage with a capability to expand it to  64GB via micro SD giving more room for photos, videos and text content.

Its 8MP main camera with a LED flash allows you to take clear photos in low light rooms and its 5MP front camera with flash is also a good addition for selfie lovers. Users can also use the professional mode to take great photos.

The phone has a metallic lining back cover for both beauty and durability. On software, the Wiko UI has a quick application launcher called My Launcher to help users customize their own experience and access their most used apps easily.

Its Phone Assist is for users to get assistance, say access the power saver, check notifications, optimize the phone, see their default apps, updates or the black list. On the display screen there is also a voice Phone Assist for a perfect control of all your applications. The My Apps section is a list of a user’s apps a panel on the right edge allowing for one to search for an app in alphabetical order. My Music gives music lovers a quicker access to music functions among others.

Wiko UI and Wiko OS allow for faster app access minus the traditional shortcut key or hotkey common on Android OS. The UI, OS and phone’s Quad Core 1.3GHZ processor make it an average power-horse in the mid-range smartphone market. The 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory 4G smartphone with an SD card of up to 64GB is one of the most affordable smartphones in this price range.

Camera

The Ksh 15000 phone might not be so impressive to photo lovers as it has an 8MP main camera and 5MP front camera. The main camera allows for Panorama, Face Beauty, HDR, Night shot, Professional Mode, Sports Mode, Wideselfie, Continuous shot, Smile shots and it has an LED flash.

The Front Camera is 5MP and also has a selfie flash allowing one to take images in Auto, Incandescent, Daylight, Fluorescent, Cloudy modes. For Video, the phone can do a [email protected] fps. Because the Ufeel Lite has LED flash, it guarantees clear photos even in low light conditions and its quick autofocus means you can do instant photos even on random things that happen as you move.

The front 5MP front camera is good for selfie lovers as it has a Wideselfie function allowing a user to take a selfie alone or with a group of friends easily. In short, though Ufeel Lite is no comparison to a professional camera, one can take clear photos as long as they know how to navigate around the modes.

 

Battery

The phone has a non- removable battery with a safety lamination. The battery has a 2500 mAh capacity and could do 4 hours on 4G, around six hours on 3G and 8 hours on calls and texts alone. On light use, the phone can do 12 hours before the battery runs totally flat-this might vary with how well the battery is charged before use.

In case the battery level goes so critical, a user might want to use the two power saving modes the phone has. The power saver and the  super power-saver can help one save enough battery for two more hours.

Fingerprint scanner

Wiko Ufeel Lite has a second-generation fingerprint sensor placed below the display where most phones put their menu or home buttons. . Located below the display screen, the fingerprint scanner unlocks in less than 0.5 and can register up to 5 different fingerprints for apps, music, documents or contacts, using one or two hands.

With fingerprint access, the smartphone only obeys the user making the phone great for security-sensitive users for their documents, music, apps, photos and even videos. Ufeel Lite is the first phone allowing users to user more than two finger prints to do that.

 

What we loved

  1. Great outer design
  2. Fingerprint scanner
  3. 5inch display screen
  4. Android 6.0
  5. Long battery life
  6. Internal memory
  7. 4G LTE

What we disliked about the phone

  1. Non removable battery
  2. Poor camera
  3. The color choices
  4. Heating up on gaming.

Conclusion

The Wiko U Feel Lie 4G LTE is a great phone at the price range with the latest software and a good battery performance. It’s fingerprint scanner makes it a highly secure and personal allowing a user to pick five different functions to lock.

The 4G smartphone has a long-lasting battery, has a great design and weighs less making a it a perfect phone for use by students, traders and even business people who use data a lot but need a simple phone for lightweight productivity tools.

Xiaomi replaces the phone’s hardware proximity sensor with ultrasound software in its new MIX phone

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Xiaomi is using INNER BEAUTY, an Elliptic Labs ultrasound sensing proximity detection ‘technology in its new phone “MIX,” replaceing the phone’s hardware proximity sensor with ultrasound software.

This also allows the speaker to be completely invisible, extending the functional area of the screen all the way to the top edge of the phone.

“We are thrilled to have our ultrasound proximity software featured in the new smartphone from world leader Xiaomi. Elliptic Labs is the only ultrasound proximity feature vendor designed into a tier-1 mobile handset,” said Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs.

Until now, all smartphones required an optical infrared hardware proximity sensor to turn off the screen and disable the touch functionality when users held the device up to their ear. Without the proximity sensor, a user’s ear or cheek could accidentally trigger actions during a call, such as hanging up the call or dialing numbers while the call is ongoing.

INNER BEAUTY ultrasound proximity software  hides the speaker behind the phone’s glass screen, eliminates the unsightly holes on a phone’s screen and eliminates common issues with hardware proximity sensors, such as their unreliability in certain weather conditions or in response to various skin colors as well as dark hair.

The value INNER BEAUTY brings to mobile OEMs includes not only more screen real estate but also reduced cost with the removal of the hardware sensor.

Xiaomi‘s new MIX phone will be sold primarily in Asia. Xiaomi sold more than 70 million phones in 2015 and its new Model MIX with its ultra- thin bezel will appeal to users who want more screen space for watching videos or gaming on their phone, and without unsightly proximity sensor holes.