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HTC One A9 slips into SA

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HTC has announced that a limited number of the HTC One A9 will be available in carbon grey from selected MTN stores and from the MTN online store this December.

The HTC One A9, the latest addition to the HTC One Family, is the first non-Nexus smartphone powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

“Combining the best of HTC’s acclaimed design and innovation with the latest from Google’s Android, this smartphone stands out from the crowd,” says Neeraj Seth, Head of Marketing for HTC Middle East and Africa. “It combines striking design on the outside with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and HTC Sense on the inside to create an uncompromising smartphone experience.”

“MTN is excited to offer this niche smartphone to its customers who are looking for a smartphone that is distinct to what is currently available in the market,” says Larry Annetts, Sales and Marketing Executive at” MTN South Africa. MTN has made substantial investment to capacitate and optimise its network to ensure that its customers using smart devices such as the HTC One A9 can have a seamless and pleasant user experience. As we wind down the year for the festive season, this desirable and limited edition device would make a much-sought gift.”

HTC provided the following information:

Metalmorphics: A new standard of all-metal design excellence

An evolution of the HTC One family design, the HTC One A9 draws on the natural beauty around us, by using rich, striking colours and unique finishes – an approach called “Metalmorphics.” A 5-inch, edge-to-edge, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4, Full HD AMOLED screen cascades into the metal frame, giving you brighter and more vivid colours for brilliant graphics and gaming.

Unleash your inner photographer

The HTC One A9’s front and rear cameras, coupled with powerful yet simple editing tools, mean epic photos and videos are only a tap away. Its main 13MP rear camera features Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), which automatically minimises hand shake and corrects vibrations to give you a crystal-clear picture every time.

The front UltraPixel camera delivers the best self-portraits in any lighting condition, using HTC’s UltraPixel sensor to capture 300% more light than conventional smartphone cameras.

With the HTC One A9, no detail is too small. Offering an optional Pro mode to capture the perfect photo without being a photography expert, you can also save photos using RAW capture – a tool used by professional photographers – for an unmatched level of detail and post-shot editing flexibility. Or you can keep things simple with Photo Editor’s one-button enhancement feature, which automatically brightens colors and sharpens edges for unbelievably clear and crisp photos.

Sometimes a still photo just isn’t enough. With the HTC One A9’s Hyperlapse editing tool you can speed up your videos to 12 times as fast for a dramatic time-lapse effect, creating an immersive video that perfectly captures the moments that matter. Speed through your video or use capture mode to edit in slow motion, highlighting those unforgettable memories. Or use HTC Zoe to easily and automatically mix your best shots and videos into one professional-looking highlight reel that can be shared with friends and family to tell the story of any moment from every angle.

Awesome audio: music the way it’s supposed to sound

The HTC One A9 delivers amazing sound quality, with HTC BoomSound integrated into the headset combined with Dolby 5.1 Audio surround technology. With a built-in DAC that delivers audio at 24-bit, 192 KHz quality – better than CD quality – it provides a richness and depth like you’ve never before heard from your music collection.

Cutting-edge software: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

The first non-Nexus smartphone powered by Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the HTC One A9 brings Google’s latest innovations and the simplicity of HTC Sense right out of the box. Combined with a multi-directional fingerprint scanner, Android Pay makes purchasing items as secure and as easy as “tap, pay, done.” Google’s Now on Tap feature also intuitively provides contextual information about whatever is on your screen – look up reviews for a movie from a text, hear a song mentioned in a blog post, or book seats at a restaurant from an email, all at the press of the home button.

With so many new features, the HTC One A9 has also been designed with all new power-saving capabilities to maximize battery life. Doze automatically turns off power hungry applications when your phone is left idle, such as when charging overnight, while App Standby knows when an app open in the background isn’t being used and shuts it down until you need it again. In addition, the phone’s new processor, AMOLED screen and support for the optional HTC Rapid Charger 2.0, for up to 75% faster charging are all optimized to maximize battery life throughout the day. In real terms this means, for example, that you can play 12 hours of HD video on one charge.

Performance designed for the way you use your phone

Featuring the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor with integrated X8 LTE and 64-bit octa-core CPUs, the HTC One A9 is designed to deliver a perfect balance of powerful performance, fast connectivity and better battery life. The HTC One A9 will be available in the 16 GB version and features expandable memory, supporting up to 2TB in SD card storage, perfect for storing all your apps, games, photos, music and videos.

The HTC One A9 will be available in South Africa from MTN for just R479 p/m over 24 months, including 30 GB free data or at a prepaid price of just R10 199.

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As selfie cameras rise, so must selfie etiquette

Selfies were once a sign of narcissism or self-obsession. Now they are the new normal, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

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You can blame Oxford Dictionaries for making the “selfie” respectable. After all, being named Word of the Year, as it was in 2013, does tend to soften some of the self-consciousness in this most self-conscious of actions.

Once seen as a symbol of narcissism and self-obsession, it is now the new normal, to the extent that most smartphones are sold on the basis of the front camera. Or, as that feature is now almost universally named by manufacturers, the “selfie camera”.

I was one of the hold-outs, having a near-allergy to the selfie. I still resist, but succumb more often than I would like. The reason for continued resistance is that it remains a big leap from the word becoming respectable to the action itself shedding its narcissistic image. 

For most, it’s already happened, and for that you can blame Ellen DeGeneres. She  choreographed the most famous group selfie yet at the 2014 Oscars, when she roped a bunch of actors into a group selfie, using the then-new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Her tweet of the photo became what was then the most retweeted posting ever on Twitter, and was estimated to have been worth a million dollars in marketing value to Samsung.

Ironically, it was Samsung’s up-and-coming challenger, Huawei, that came up with a new word for this type of selfie: the “groufie”. Thanks to an 8 Megapixel front camera on the new Huawei Ascend P7 camera that year which took the highest quality selfies – and groufies – possible on a smartphone at the time.

It didn’t end there, and selfies and groufies have morphed into variations like selfscapes (selfie in a landscape), skyfies (selfies from the air, using remote controlled devices) and jerkies (selfies to make an idiot out of yourself). I invented all of those on the fly, so it’s easy to imagine a new word emerging for every type of selfie.

Continue reading about selfie improvements through the years.

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Mickey’s 90th for SA

Disney Africa announced the local launch of the Mickey the True Original campaign, joining the global festivities honouring 9 decades of Mickey Mouse, his heritage, personality and status as a pop-culture icon.

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As 18 November 2018 marks 90 years since his first appearance in Steamboat Willie in November 1928, a series of world-wide celebrations will be taking place this year and South Africa is no different.

The campaign will come to life with engaging content and events that embrace Mickey’s impact on the past, present and future. The local festivities kick off in earnest this month, leading up to Mickey’s 90th anniversary on 18 November 2018 and beyond:

  • An exclusive local design project where ten highly talented South African artists will apply their own inspiration and artistic interpretation on 6-foot Mickey Mouse statues.
  • Once revealed to the public, the statues will form part of the Mickey the True Original South African Exhibition, inspired by Mickey’s status as a ‘true original’ and his global impact on popular culture. The exhibition will travel to 3 cities and delight fans and families alike as they journey with Mickey over the years. Featuring 4 sections highlighting Mickey’s innovation, his evolution, influence on fashion and also pop culture, the exhibition is in collaboration with Samsung and Edgars, and will visit:

o   Sandton City, Centre Court: 28 September – 14 October

o   Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Expo Explore Court: 19 October – 11 November

o   Canal Walk Shopping Centre. Centre Court: 16 November – 26 November

  • Samsung continues their collaboration with Disney as they honour Mickey’s 90th anniversary nationally at all Samsung and Edgars Stores. Entitled Unlocking the Imagination, fans are encouraged to visit these stores, take a selfie with a giant Mickey plush toy using their Samsung Galaxy Note9 and stand a chance to win not only a giant Mickey plush, but also an international family trip. Visit www.Samsung.com for more information
  • Mickey’s 90th Spectacular, a two-hour prime-time special, will be screened on M-Net 101 later this year. The elegant affair will feature star-studded musical performances, moving tributes and never-before-seen short films. Superstars from music, film and television will join the birthday fun for the internationally beloved character.
  • In addition, look out for special programming on Mickey’s birthday (18 November) across Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303), Disney XD (DStv, Channel 304) and Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309).
  • In retailers, Edgars will be stocking a complete collection of trendy fashion, accessories and footwear for the whole family, inspired entirely by Mickey Mouse.
  • Mickey will be the central theme of an in-store campaign nationwide this November and December, with brand new products, apparel, toys, as well as titles from Disney Publishing Worldwide, including books, arts & crafts and comics
  • Discovery Vitality and Disney are celebrating healthy, happy families this festive season by offering helpful and exciting tips and tricks on how to eat nutritious, yet delicious, foods, all inspired by Mickey. There’s also a trip to Disneyland Paris up for grabs. Log on to www.discovery.co.za/vitality for information.
  • And much more – check the press for updates

“Binding generations together more than any other animated character, Mickey Mouse is the “True Original” who reminds people of all ages of the benefits of laughter, optimism and hope,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and Country Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With his universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, no other character quite occupies a similar space in the hearts and minds of a global fan base and we are thrilled to be sharing these local festivities.”

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honour of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on 18th November 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City. Since then, he has starred in more than 100 cartoons and can currently be seen on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303) in the Mickey Mouse cartoon series and on Disney Junior (DStv, Channel 309) in Mickey and the Roadster Racers.

South African fans are encouraged to share their Mickey Mouse moments on social media using the hashtag#Mickey90Africa.

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