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Samsung unveils Note 4 in SA

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Yesterday, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 4 is now available in South Africa. The device features an enhanced S Pen, better multitasking options and a Quad HD Super AMOLED display.

Samsung Electronics announced the expansion of its Galaxy Note series with the new Galaxy Note 4, with an evolved S Pen.

“The Galaxy Note 4’s larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology have launched a new standard in smartphone culture,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. “With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world.”

Powerful Performance that Matters the Most to You

The Galaxy Note 4 uses a 5.7″ Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display that makes colors images crisper, and colors brighter. Images are produced with deep contrast, better viewing angles and response times as fast as a millionth of a second, providing lag-free movie viewing.

Due to its large screen, the Multi Window feature is able to maximise users’ experience providing them with the key to easier multi-tasking. Users can choose how they access their applications with full, split or pop-up screens and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one swipe.

The Galaxy Note 4 also sports an advanced camera that is able to reproduce brighter and clearer images. The device is equipped with a 16 megapixel rear-facing camera featuring a smart optical image stabiliser that counter-balances camera shake and automatically extends exposure times in dark settings. In addition, a 3.7 megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 offers a default 90 degree shooting angle and up to 120 degree wide angle, so users can take the best group shots with friends.

Another enhanced feature of the Galaxy Note 4 is the Fast Charging and Ultra Power Saving Mode, enabling charging from 0 to 50% in 31 minutes. It comes equipped with multiple microphones and an improved speaker phone for better noise cancellation when speaking in loud environments. A built-in voice recorder offers eight different directional voice tagging and a selective playback capability that allows users to isolate and listen to specific voices in a group conversation.

The Galaxy Note 4 also offers an improved fingerprint scanner.

S Pen and S Note for Everyday Tasks

Making everyday tasks much faster and easier, the Galaxy Note 4’s S Pen has been specifically evolved to serve as the primary tool that users go to for common, everyday mobile device use. This new S Pen offers a much more authentic pen experience, with a more natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen. The S Pen also introduces a more user-friendly Air Command functionality along with other intuitive features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select that allows users to create and collect content with ease. A new Smart Select feature enables consumers to easily piece together content from different origins and share it with ease.

Premium yet functional design

The Galaxy Note 4 features a metal frame with fluid curvature that blends with the device display. The 2.5D glass screen, inherited from the GALAXY S3, offers extra protection while perfectly complementing the device’s rich viewing experience. A soft-textured back cover provides comfort that makes it easy to control with one hand. The device not only looks beautiful, but offers a superior grip and enhanced durability.

The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in “Charcoal Black,” “Frost White,” “Bronze Gold,” and “Blossom Pink” through Samsung Experience Stores, leading retailers and local operators, starting in October.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Reliable satellite Internet?

MzansiSat, a satellite-Internet business, aims to beam Internet connections to places in South Africa which don’t have access to cabled and mobile network infrastructure, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Stellenbosch-based MzansiSat promises to provide cheap wholesale Internet to Internet Service Providers for as little as R25 per Gigabyte. Providers who offer more expensive Internet services could benefit greatly from partnering with MzansiSat, says the company. 

“Using MzansiSat, we hope that we can carry over cost-savings benefits to the consumer,” says Victor Stephanopoli, MzansiSat chief operating officer.

The company, which has been spun off from StellSat, has been looking to increase its investor portfolio while it waits for spectrum approval. The additional investment will allow MzansiSat’s satellite to operate in more regions across Africa.

The MzansiSat satellite is being built by Thales Alenia Space, a French company which is also acting as technical partner to MzansiSat. In addition to building the satellite, Thales Alenia Space will also be assisting MzansiSat in coordinating the launch. The company intends to launch the satellite into the 56°E orbital slot in a geostationary orbit, which enables communication almost anywhere in Africa. The launch is expected to happen in 2022. 

The satellite will have 76 transponders, 48 of which will be Ku-band and 28 C-band. Ku-band is all about high-speed performance, while C-band deals with weather-resistance. The design intention is for customers of MzansiSat to choose between very cheap, reliable data and very fast, power-efficient data. 

C-band is an older technology, which makes bandwidth cheaper and almost never affected by rain but requires bigger dishes and slower bandwidth compared to Ku-band connections. On the other hand, Ku-band is faster, experiences less microwave interference, and requires less power to run – but is less reliable with bad weather conditions.

MzansiSat’s potential military applications are significant, due to the nature of the military being mobile and possibly in remote areas without connectivity.  Connectivity everywhere would be potentially be life-saving.

Consumers in remote areas will benefit, even though satellite is higher in latency than fibre and LTE connections. While this level of latency is high (a fifth of a second in theory), satellite connections are still adequate for browsing the Internet and watching online content. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) may see the benefits of satellite Internet before consumers do. The applications of IoT in agriculture are vast, from hydration sensors to soil nutrient testers, and can be realised with an Internet connection which is available in a remote area.

Stephanopoli says that e-learning in remote areas can also benefit from MzansiSat’s presence, as many school resources are becoming readily available online. 

“Through our network, the learning experience can be beamed into classrooms across the country to substitute or complement local resources within the South African schooling system.”

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Nokia 6.1 gets slice of Pie

HMD Global has announced that the Nokia 6.1 will start receiving Android 9 Pie – the second smartphone in the portfolio to receive the latest version of Android less than a month after the update arrived on the Nokia 7 plus.

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Packed with Google’s newest software and building on the features of Android 8.0 Oreo, Android 9 Pie’s focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning gives owners a more customised and tailored experience.

Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the Nokia 6.1 is over 60% faster than its predecessor. Also, now offering enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

The Nokia 6.1 has been selected by Google to join the Android One family and therefore users get exclusive access to Apps Actions – a feature only available to Android One and Google Pixel devices.  App Actions helps users get things done faster by predicting their next move and displaying the right action on right away.

Now with Android 9 Pie, the Nokia 6.1’s already impressive battery life is further complimented with the introduction of Adaptive Battery, an update that uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on the most important apps.

Other key features of Android 9

·       Slices – Identifies relevant information on favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when needed

·       Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from interactions with different settings

·       New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled)

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