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IFA: Moto expands Mods

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Lenovo, through its Subsidiary, Motorola Mobility, introduced two new and mobile devices at IFA in Berlin – the moto x4 and the moto z2 Force Edition along with the latest in Moto Mod, the new 360 Camera Moto Mod, for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The fourth generation moto x offers a great user experience, with smarter software, the latest camera technology, and a beautiful design. And the moto z family and compatible Moto Mods continues to grow with the introduction of the moto z2 Force Edition and 360 Camera Moto Mod – offering consumers even more possibilities.

moto x4: Bringing Style into Sharp Focus

The moto x has always incorporated the best software experiences, providing users with a uniquely intuitive, smarter, and easier to use device. The latest addition, the moto x4, features all the latest Moto Experiences, coupled with all-new software features.

A smarter camera 

moto x4 features a smarter camera that does more than just capture photos. The new Landmark Detection1 feature on moto x4 lets the camera serve as an eye to the world, from scanning a business card to animating selfies with Face Filters.

The combined capabilities of dual 12MP and 8MP rear cameras, and advanced software with dual Autofocus Pixel technology, creates professional quality images, whilst the 16MP front-facing camera, with an adaptive low light mode3 and new Panoramic Selfie feature, provides a wider background that take selfies to the next level.

Powerful, protected, performance

Powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and equipped with powerful performance capabilities, the moto x4‘s is protected by IP68-rated water resistant design4 – offering protection from accidental spills, splashes, and even puddles – and a 3D rear contoured design, anodized aluminum frame and Corning® Gorilla® Glass that protects the front and back from scratches, making for a strong and beautiful device.

New and intuitive experiences 

Even at the busiest moments, moto x4 is a genuinely smart smartphone. Amazon Alexa is integrated into moto x4 device – so there’s no need to unlock to get started9 – and the wireless sound system, allows users to connect up to four Bluetooth® audio devices at the same time7.

For even greater accessibility, the moto x4 is also equipped with Moto Key – allowing you to access your favorite password-secured websites on your phone or laptop with a simple touch of your finger, while strong encryption ensures data stays protected8.

moto z2 Force Edition: Protected, Polished and Powerful 

The new moto z2 Force Edition shatters limitations with a screen that’s guaranteed not to crack or shatter, and a slim, all-metal design, dual 12MP cameras and the fastest possible data speeds.

Strength and performance 

With a 5.5” Quad HD AMOLED display that’s guaranteed not to crack or shatter, the new moto z’s thin, polished design is reinforced with the strength of 7,000 series aluminium.

The all-day battery allows users to keep going without searching for a power outlet – and when it is time for a boost, add 8 hours of power in just minutes with TurboPower charging. The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform features unbeatable performance, instant responsiveness, and the fastest possible data speeds that allow users to download large files and apps in no time, or stream music and videos effortlessly.

Professional shots made easy 

Two cameras mean twice the focus. The dual 12MP cameras, one monochrome and one colour, work together to capture brilliant, top-quality photos which also allow users to add a blur effect to the background or foreground and capture true depth of field.

Just like moto z2 Play, the moto z2 Force Edition features the latest Moto Experiences including night display and instant queries in Moto Voice and the front fingerprint reader.

And because this new moto z is also compatible with Moto Mods, users can control their mobile experience – instantly transforming into a 360° camera, gaming console, powerful stereo speaker, video projector, battery powerhouse and more.

Moto 360 Camera: Capture Everything

Simply snap the new 360 Camera Moto Mod onto any moto z device and turn it into a 360-degree camera that captures everything. With the click of a button, users can record interactive 360-degree 4k video featuring immersive 3D audio that will follow the direction you’re viewing.

Advanced editing software allows users to adjust content to fit their unique needs, and once they’re ready to be viewed, photos and videos can be easily shared with friends and on social media right from the Google Photos app.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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