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Pinnacle unveils LTE phone

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Pinnacle Africa has unveiled its first LTE smartphone, the Proline XM-502, available to the market from 7 August at a recommended retail price of R1 699. The Proline XM-502 is one of a few to offer LTE connectivity under R2 000.|Pinnacle Africa has unveiled its first LTE smartphone, the Proline XM-502, available to the market from 7 August at a recommended retail price of R1 699. The Proline XM-502 is one of a few to offer LTE connectivity under R2 000

The Proline XM-502 delivers lightning-fast LTE connectivity up to 10 times faster than a typical 3G smartphone. Real-world testing shows download speeds exceeding 25Mbps, making the XM-502 even faster than the majority of broadband ADSL connections.

“LTE is fast becoming the standard on mobile phones,” says Max Stone, Brand Director at Pinnacle Africa. “We partnered with MediaTek to launch the first commercially available smartphone based on their new 64-bit LTE platform, delivering performance that has never been seen before in a sub-R2 000 smartphone.”

With four 64-bit ARM Cortex-A53 processors, the XM-502 delivers supercharged performance right out the box. Applications load faster and respond faster. Games run better with smoother graphics. The XM-502 will always be able to keep up with today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

With an overall thickness less than 8mm and an edge that narrows down to 4mm, the XM-502 defines a new style that is both modern and functional. The non-slip rubberised back wraps elegantly around the XM-502, framing the large 5” display in an eye-catching red or white. The flush-mounted camera, colour-coded side buttons and hidden navigation buttons contribute further to a timeless design that is instantly recognisable.

Running Android 5.1, the XM-502 benefits from the very latest version of Lollipop. With major design improvements over KitKat (Android 4.4), Lollipop is better at managing RAM and storage and has an improved user interface with a vastly enhanced notification system. Security and connectivity is improved and new features, such as Smart Lock, Quick Settings, and on-screen navigation buttons are utilised.

The XM-502 can capture stunning pictures with the 13-megapixel rear camera, or snap better ‘selfies’ with the 5-megapixel front camera. With a sub-second launch time; users are never more than a heartbeat away from capturing their special moments. Be more creative with Live Photo, Panoramic and Multi-angle View modes. Anti-shake, motion tracking and face detection make it even easier to take better shots. The XM-502 also lets users press the volume button for the shutter, giving back the pleasure of using a real button to take pictures.

“We’re giving our customers an affordable phone that delivers real performance,” says Max Stone. “With the runaway pricing of many brands, the Proline XM-502 offers an alternative that delivers the highest performance-to-price ratio on the market.”

Key Specifications:

•             Display: 5.0” IPS qHD (960 x 540), 220ppi

•             Operating System: Android 5.1 Lollipop

•             CPU: MT6735M (64-bit quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, 1.0 GHz)

•             RAM/Storage: 1GB RAM, 8GB storage, expandable via MicroSD card slot (max. 32GB)

•             Cameras: 13MP primary (5MP hardware) with LED flash, 5MP secondary (2MP hardware)

•             Network: Dual SIM, Cat 4 LTE (up to 150Mbps)

•             Battery: 2,000mAh battery (user replaceable)

•             Dimensions: 144.4 x 72.6 x 7.9 mm

•             Accessories (included): Charger, USB cable, earphones, screen protector, silicone cover

•             Available colours: Boston Red or Snow White

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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