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MWC: New Sony XZ phones more immersive

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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Sony Mobile announced two new smartphones to its flagship range, the Xperia XZ2 and Xperia XZ2 Compact.

Sony says the devices are “built around the concept of bringing you the most immersive entertainment experiences yet”.

The flagship Xperia XZ2 has an extended 5.7” HDR Full HD+ 18:9 display. Viewers can watch existing HDR content, using Sony’s Bravia TV technology, X-reality for mobile, which will up-convert content to near High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The XZ2 incorporates a new haptic experience, adding the perceptual sense of touch so users can feel the viewing experience. It uses Sony’s new Dynamic Vibration System, which analyses audio data and lets users feel the action in their hands, bringing movies, games and videos to life. Videos can also be shared with friends, thanks to the XZ2’s powerful front facing stereo speakers. Featuring S-Force Front Surround, they’re the loudest Xperia speakers yet.

High quality audio is also provided, using Sony’s audio expertise with Hi-Resolution Audio together with DSEE HX technology for upscaling.

The Motion Eye camera gets a ground-breaking upgrade with the world’s first 4K HDR Movie recording in a smartphone. usersu can now capture video with greater contrast, detail and true-to-life colour and share or upload to a compatible HDR TV or YouTube. Super slow motion video recording is also upgraded, with 960fps now possible in Full HD. Motion Eye camera uses intelligent control features such as Predictive Capture with motion and smile detection, Autofocus burst and Predictive Autofocus, and Quick Launch and Capture.

The 3D Creator application launched last year is now available with greater flexibility for 3D scanning. Users can you create 3D scans of objects or faces in less than a minute using the main camera, as well as 3D selfies using the front camera.  Post-processing is now available to achieve greater quality of 3D scans. The 3D scan or selfie can now be posted directly to a Facebook timeline within 3D Creator.

A new design expression, with a fluid 3D glass surface that creates a seamless form, is contrasted with a tough exterior, built with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and metal frame to add extra durability and a premium feel.  Its four different finishes offer a reflection and shine from every angle, thanks to the glass and flow of light, available in Liquid Silver, Liquid Black, Deep Green and Ash Pink. Certified IP65/IP68, XZ2 is designed to withstand splashes and spills.

The Xperia XZ2 Compact (Left) and the Xperia XZ2 (Right)

The Xperia XZ2 Compact (Left) and the Xperia XZ2 (Right)

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with X20 LTE, XZ2 will provide immersive user experiences at connection speeds up to 1.2Gbps, with the second generation Gigabit LTE solution.

The XZ2 carries a large 3180mAh battery and power efficient control thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform. Xperia’s useful battery features are also included, such as Smart Stamina, STAMINA mode, Battery Care and Qnovo Adaptive Charging technology, which help the battery stay healthy for a longer lifespan. It supports a wireless charging dock (WCH20), and other compatible Qi chargers.

Xperia XZ2 Compact

The premium compact version of the phone, the XZ2 Compact, offers similar features in a smaller form factor, with a 5” HDR Full HD+ 18:9 extended display, intended to be “the ultimate compact entertainment device”.

It features many of premium updates found in its big brother, such as all the Motion Eye 2018 upgrades, including 3D Creator for selfie and Full HD Super slow motio.  It also uses Sony’s audio enhancing technologies, such as Hi-Res Audio and front facing stereo speakers, and is also powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform.

Its curved body offers comfort in the hand, while durability is ensured with a tough exterior, including Corning Gorilla Glass 5, anti-scratch hard-grade polycarbonate, IP65/IP68 and metal frame. It is finished in four colours with a smooth frosted finish: White Silver, Black, Moss Green and Coral Pink.

Accessories

A range of supporting accessories will be available, including covers Style Cover Touch and Style Cover Stand in corresponding colours for both models. Also available are charging accessories, the Wireless Charging Dock (WCH20)  and Quick Charger. The new 2-way Style USB Audio and Bluetooth Headset (SBH90C) allows users to enjoy music and talk wirelessly in high quality as well as via a wired USB Type-C Cable option that offers Hi-Res Audio with direct USB digital output.

The Open-ear Stereo Headset (STH40D) offers lightweight and comfortable dual listening, and Xperia Ear Duo utilises Sony’s acoustics leadership to deliver wireless ‘open-ear’ stereo headphones, so that one can listen or communicate while simultaneously hearing sounds around one. A USB Type-C 2-in-1 Cable (EC270) is also available for enjoying audio with non-Bluetooth headphones and simultaneously charging the phone.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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