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IFA 2015: Sony unveils ‘vivid’ new Z5 smartphones

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At the IFA 2015 expo in Berlin this week, Sony Mobile unveiled its next-generation Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact, and the world’s first 4K smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium.

“Smartphones are part of people’s lives” said Hiroki Totoki, President and CEO at Sony Mobile Communications. ”Since users already create, share and enjoy most of their content on the go – we’ve set out to bring Sony’s latest innovations in camera, design and display to ensure the Xperia Z5 series is the best possible lifestyle and entertainment platform.”

Xperia Z5 features Sony’s brand new large 1/2.3 Exmor RS for mobile 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens – it’s Sony’s first completely re-imagined smartphone camera module since Xperia Z1, designed with Sony’s interchangeable lens camera α technology for clear,  vivid imagery every time.

The camera is capable of the fastest autofocus in a smartphone, a powerful blend of speed and accuracy to capture split-second moments with ease. It delivers a ground-breaking speed of just 0.03 seconds – faster than the blink of a human eye (average 0.1 – 0.4 s), so whether you’re jumping for the frisbee in the park or diving into the pool, you’ll have the power to preserve spontaneous action in real-time.

A combination of the large 23MP Exmor RS for mobile sensor and advanced processing software lets you get close to subjects; whether it be a landmark, architecture or other objects of interest, with 5x clear image zoom with minimum loss of quality. Advancements in low-light photography means you can capture clearer photos at night or in darker surroundings with less noise and blur – perfect for capturing the sunrise or night skyline.

With the continued popularity of content capture for social media, Xperia Z5 series brings significant advancements in the evolution of Sony’s SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode for video. Further improvements mean you’ll be able to continuously capture action smoothly, such as riding a bike or skateboard, free from jolts or shudders. It also features better low-light performance without blur.

Designed for life, with the same flagship experiences in a choice of form factor

Designed by leading creatives at Sony’s Creative Center studios in Sweden and Japan, Xperia Z5 presents a svelte continuous plate form, with a metal frame and frosted glass back. It’s striking, comfortable to hold and waterproof for everyday convenience. With a 5.2” display, sleek looks and 2015 fashion and interior design cues, colours range from elegant to expressive for any personal style or taste; White, Graphite Black, Gold and Green.

For those who prefer a compact smartphone, Xperia Z5 Compact brings the same great camera technology and features in a pocket-friendly compact device. It delivers uncompromised performance in a beautifully compact design with a 4.6” display, perfect for one-hand use. The Z5 Compact let’s you express personal style with fresh, vibrant colours including Yellow and Coral, in addition to White and Graphite Black.

Both devices represent iconic Sony craftsmanship with premium materials throughout, including frosted glass finishing to the rear and a subtly etched Xperia logo engraved on the side, as well as capless USB for quick efficient connection and charging.

On the side, a new integrated fingerprint sensor power button means each device is personal, protected and easily unlockable with a simple pick up and press in one natural movement. It will also support the FIDO standard; authentication via fingerprint for online payment services – with news on first partners shared closer to launch.

Powerful performance that meets demands

Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, featuring octa-core CPUs, 64 bit capabilities and ultra-fast 4G LTE speeds, letting you reach new levels of performance for video, photography and gaming. Whether you’re multi-tasking over Wi-Fi or the latest 4G network, both devices deliver the speed you need.

Download email with attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering.

Powerful smartphone features demand smart power management, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are equipped with Sony’s incredible up to two-day battery stamina and innovative power-saving technology, which gives you superior long-lasting battery performance. With Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 enabled on the new devices, you can get 5.5 hours usage with just 10 minutes of charging with a certified Quick Charge 2.0 charger, such as the Quick Charger UCH10 (dependant on market variants).

Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first 4K smartphone

Xperia Z5 Premium is the world’s first 4K smartphone with a sharp, vivid 5.5” 4K TRILUMINOS Display for mobile and IPS, where breathtaking detail is depicted with pinpoint accuracy for the most natural images, at four times the resolution of Full HD.

Xperia Z5 Premium will upscale your favourite content to 4K, enhancing any native or third party videos or photos so you can view Netflix, YouTube or your holiday shots in rich, vibrant 4K detail. The Xperia Z5 Premium is built to allow you to get creative by capturing in 4K and immediately enjoying the content on your device, with the option of preserving any moment as an 8MP quality image.

Port the memory card from Sony’s 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V to the Xperia Z5 Premium to enjoy your footage immediately – or simply connect to the big screen either wirelessly via DLNA or with MHL 3.0 to enjoy your content on a 4K TV.

Xperia Z5 Premium is designed from the ground up as a high-performance mobile device, powered by the Snapdragon 810 processor. A high capacity 3430 mAh battery lasting for up to two days, with quick charge capability, eliminates the need for regular charging.

Xperia Z5 Premium features a large 32GB internal memory, with the capability to take a 200GB external microSD card, which offers extra room for 4K videos and movies, and images too. Xperia Z5 Premium also features Sony’s innovative memory on display feature – the data transfer between processor and device is optimized so Xperia Z5’s display memory technology remembers the display of images seen on your smartphone and catches the image or video so that you don’t need to reload the full image each time you view it – preserving battery power in the process.

A flagship series powered by an entertainment and content ecosystem

Across the Xperia Z5 series, Sony’s rich expertise in audio technologies lets you enjoy sound in incredible detail and clarity. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound for a studio quality experience. DSEE HX upscales the audio fidelity of your existing MP3, AAC or Spotify tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s LDAC codec transmits data three times more efficiently than legacy codec over Bluetooth.

Now, for the first time, Sony’s new High-Resolution Audio Headset MDR-NC750 allows you to enjoy combined Hi-Res Audio music with Digital Noise Cancelling – so you will hear your tunes as they were intended to be heard, with ambient background noise reduced by up to 98%.

Keep playing your favourite PlayStation 4 (PS4) games wherever you are in the home with PS4 Remote Play. Simply connect your Xperia Z5 series device to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action.

To ensure you continue to enjoy the best experiences that Sony has to offer, all Xperia Z5 series users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.

“The latest Xperia Z5 series is able to offer unparalleled experiences to smartphone users in the areas that they are most interested in, superior long-lasting battery performance and quick charging, take calls in the rain or help you capture your most important memories in stunning detail fast, even when captured in low-light.” says Mark Fenzel, Country Manager Sony Mobile South Africa,

Smart style, with new accessories

A range of stylish and protective Style Cover Window cases will be available for each Xperia Z5 series model at launch, in respective corresponding device colours – each will let you access your favourite smartphone widgets through a smart window.

Stereo Bluetooth Headset SBH54 is versatile headset with a doubling handset function, designed for users who want a convenient companion device to a large screen smartphone, allowing you to take and make calls, see messages, play music and enjoy FM radio.

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Acer gaming beast escapes

Acer this week unveiled two notebooks that take portable gaming to new extremes.

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Acer  unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks this week at the next@acer global press conference in New York. They include the powerful Predator Helios 500, featuring up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a distinctive white chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.

“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”

“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”

Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast featuring overclocking, 4K 144 Hz panels

Designed for extreme gamers, the Predator Helios 500 is a gaming beast. It features up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memory increases responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.

Top-notch visuals are delivered on bright, vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver incredible sound and hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.

The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customized through the PredatorSense app.

A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colors. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.

Acer’s PredatorSense app can be used to control and monitor the notebook’s vitals from one central interface, including overclocking, lighting, hotkeys, temperature, and fan control.

Predator Helios 300 Special Edition brings a sophisticated design twist to gaming notebooks

Acer’s budget-friendly Helios 300 gaming line sees the addition of a Special Edition model featuring an all-white aluminum chassis accented with gold trim, an unusually chic design for gaming notebooks.

The Helios 300 Special Edition (PH315-51) allows for ultra-smooth gameplay via its 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate. The rapid refresh rate shortens frame rendering time and lowers input lag to give gamers an excellent in-game experience. It’s powered by up to an 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor, overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, up to a 512 GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe solid state drive, and up to a 2 TB hard disk drive.

The Helios 300 Special Edition also comes equipped with up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and is upgradable to 32GB. Intel Optane memory speeds up load times of games and applications, access to information and improves overall system responsiveness. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet provides fast wired connections, while Gigabit Wi-Fi is provided by the latest Intel Wireless-AC 9560 that delivers up to 1.73Gbps throughput when using 160 MHz channels (2×2 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz).

The Helios 300 Special Edition also includes two of Acer’s ultrathin (0.1 mm) all-metal AeroBlade 3D fans designed with advanced aerodynamics and superior airflow to keep the system cool. They can be controlled with Acer’s PredatorSense app, which offers three usage modes:

1. Coolboost mode:

For heavy loading games, rendering, streaming, and extended video consumption

2. Normal mode:

For productivity tools like Microsoft Office

3. Silent mode:

For web browsing and online chatting

Price and Availability

Predator Helios 500 will be available in South Africa in June starting at R34 999.00

Helios 300 Special Edition will be available in South Africa in August 2018. Exact Price will be communicated closer to the time.

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LG G7 arrives in SA

LG this week introduced South Africa to its latest premium smartphone, the LG G7 ThinQ, focused on bringing useful and convenient AI features to the smartphone experience.

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Powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, the LG G7 ThinQ offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage to run demanding tasks and apps with. It is equipped with a 6.1-inch Super Bright Display, but the LG G7 ThinQ remains compact enough to use with one hand.

Sporting a new design aesthetic for the G series, the polished metal rim gives the LG G7 ThinQ a sleeker, more refined look, complemented by Gorilla Glass 5 on both the front and the back for enhanced durability. Rated IP68 for dust and water resistance, the LG G7 ThinQ is also awarded MIL-STD 810 c certification, having been subjected to a range of extreme temperature and environment tests designed by the United States military.

The LG G7 ThinQ has an 8MP camera up front, rendering clear and natural selfies, with two 16MP cameras at the back that deliver higher resolution photos with more detail, as well as a Super Wide Angle configuration.

As with other leading brands, LG has evolved its signature camera by including AI functionality. The AI CAM offers 19 shooting modes for intelligence-optimised shots. Users can also improve their photos by choosing from an additional three effect options should the AI CAM recommendation not suit their taste.

The new Super Bright Camera captures images that are up to four times brighter than typical photos shot in dim light. Through the combination of pixel binning and software processing, the AI algorithm adjusts the camera settings automatically when shooting in low light.

Live Photo Mode records one second before and after the shutter is pressed for snippets of unexpected moments or expressions that would normally be missed. Stickers uses face recognition to generate fun 2D and 3D overlays, such as sunglasses and headbands, that can be viewed directly on the display.

New to the G series is Portrait Mode, which generates professional-looking shots with out-of-focus backgrounds. This effect can be generated using both front and rear standard lenses as well as the rear Super Wide Angle lens.

LG G7 ThinQ offers further AI functionality with the inclusion of Google Lens features. Google Lens is a new way to search using the AI and computer vision. Google Assistant and Google Photos allow users to access more information on objects such as landmarks, plants, animals, and books. It can identify text or visit websites, add business cards to contacts, events to the calendar or look up an item on a restaurant menu.

A button just below the volume keys launches the AI functionality. A single tap of this button launches the Google Assistant, while two quick taps launches Google Lens. Users can also hold down the button to start talking to the Google Assistant without the repetition of the OK Google command.

With Super Far Field Voice Recognition (SFFVR) and the highly-sensitive G7ThinQ microphone, the Google Assistant can recognise voice commands from up to five meters away. SFFVR is able to separate commands from background noise, making the LG G7 ThinQ an alternative to a home AI speaker, even when the TV is on. Commands for the Google Assistant have been increased in the LG G7 ThinQ so users can get more done with their voice alone.

“The LG G7 ThinQ is strongly focused on the fundamentals and its launch marks a new chapter for our company,” said Deon Prinsloo, General Manager for Mobile Communication, LG Electronics S.A Pty Ltd. “Through the combination of personalised and useful AI functionalities with meaningful smartphone features, this is LG’s most convenient and in the moment smartphone yet.”

Key Specifications

  • Mobile Platform: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform
  • Display: 6.1-inch QHD+ 19.5:9 FullVision Super Bright Display (3120 x 1440 / 564ppi)
  • Memory:
    • LG G7 ThinQ: 4GB LPDDR4x RAM / 64GB UFS 2.1 ROM / MicroSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera:
    • Rear Dual: 16MP Super Wide Angle (F1.9 / 107°) / 16MP Standard Angle (F1.6 / 71°)
    • Front: 8MP Wide Angle (F1.9 / 80°)
  • Battery: 3000mAh
  • OS: Android 8.0 Oreo
  • Size: 153.2 x 71.9 x 7.9mm
  • Weight: 162g
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 5.0 BLE / NFC / USB Type-C 2.0 (3.1 compatible)
  • Colours: New Aurora Black
  • Others: Super Bright Display / New Second Screen / AI CAM / Super Bright Camera / Super Far Field Voice Recognition / Boombox Speaker / Google Lens / AI Haptic / Hi-Fi Quad DAC / DTS:X 3D Surround Sound / IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / HDR10 / Google Assistant Key / Face Recognition / Fingerprint Sensor / Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 Technology / Wireless Charging / MIL-STD 810G Compliant / FM Radio
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