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CES: House of Marley sustainable earbuds

House of Marley is showcasing sustainable wireless earphones, the Liberate Air, made of bamboo and recycled plastics, at CES this week.

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Earth-friendly audio maker House of Marley is showcasing its first sustainably designed truly wireless earbuds, Liberate Air. It has been recognised as a CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree.

Designed as an eco-conscious alternative within a plastic-driven market, House of Marley Liberate Air provides a greener choice for personal audio, using consciously-sourced and recycled materials. The first sustainably-designed, truly wireless earbuds are constructed using a method of blending natural elements with technology in a responsible manner, while delivering optimal functionality and performance. 

House of Marley says the bamboo incorporated into the case and earbuds is more durable than standard-use synthetic materials, exhibiting the tensile strength of steel. This allows for increased durability, while extending the life of the product. The Liberate Air case features an RPET fabric wrap made from recycled plastic bottles, which offer an IPX4 sweatproof functionality, on top of a case body engineered from recycled PP and natural wood fibre (sawdust) composite. The earbuds also feature bio-based PLA housings, alongside partially-recycled plastic, providing a sustainable sound experience without sacrificing quality.

The sustainable design isn’t just for show. Liberate Air delivers premium performance alongside key wireless features, including Bluetooth 5.0 technology, USB-C charging, tap control functionality with Siri/Google Assistant, and a 9-hour on-board battery life.

Mario Lasen, VP of House of Marley, says: “We are honoured to be recognised by the Consumer Electronic Show for our continued efforts to develop and design products that are more sustainable and environmentally responsible within our industry. It is important to understand and acknowledge that every industry and market has the ability to adopt more eco-conscious methods and practices. In the case of House of Marley, we are committed to continuous sustainable innovation, finding new ways to develop audio products by exploring alternative materials, packaging, production methods and recycling programs in hopes to encourage growth alongside other members of the CTA.”

The consciously-sourced materials used in the design and craftsmanship of the Liberate Air reflect the mission of House of Marley as the first audio brand to craft products that include sustainable materials and contribute to global reforestation. As part of their environmental give-back platform, Project Marley, House of Marley has contributed to the planting of over 191,000 trees in partnership with non-profit organisation One Tree Planted. 

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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Sony Xperia 5 scores high

The latest compact flagship from Sony, the Xperia 5, scores a high 95 in DxOMark.

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The Sony Xperia 5, announced in September 2019, is the latest compact flagship, intended as a more affordable, pocket-friendly alternative to the full-sized Xperia 1. Key features on the Xperia 5 include a 6.1-inch OLED display, as well as the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset with 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM. Storage is expandable up to 1TB via micro SD.

The main camera boasts the same triple sensor and lens setup as on the Xperia 1. All three sensors offer 12MP resolution, with a large 1/2.55-inch sensor for the main camera, and a smaller 1/3.4-inch sensor for each of the ultra-wide and telephoto modules. The main sensor is coupled to a 26mm-equivalent f/1.6 aperture lens; there’s also a 16mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 52mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens offering x2 optical zoom shots.

Other features include 5-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus on the main and telephoto cameras, eye-tracking autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. 4K video is available for 2160p@24/30fps capture on the Xperia 5, but the Sony’s 5-axis gyroscope-enabled OIS only kicks in for HD video recording at 1080p@30fps.

Key camera specifications:

Triple camera

  • Primary: 12MP 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and 26mm f/1.6-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 16mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Telephoto: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 52mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus & 5-axis OIS (main & telephoto)
  • LED flash, HDR, eye-tracking
  • 4K 24/30fps video with HDR
  • Full HD 1080p@30fps video with 5-axis gyro-EIS
  • Although not officially launched in South Africa, it is available from some online outlets.

Click here to see samples of the photography on DxOMark’s website.

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