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Hisense expands Infinity range

Hisense has added H11, F24 and E7 models to their Infinity line of affordable smartphones. The latest additions feature small bezels, with more than a 80% screen-to-body ratio, 2.5D glass displays and 5.99” screens with 18:9 aspect ratio.

Infinity H11’s design offers an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor and accelerometer.  It allows for a ‘Double Tap Wake-up’, glove operation and wet-hand operation. The H11 has a 12MP Ultra pixel rear camera, and 16MP front camera – perfect for selfie taking. The fingerprint sensor helps with for quick unlock, call answering and one touch camera access. The large capacity 3400mAh battery allows for 315 hours of standby time or 10 hours of HD video. The device has 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM and allows for up to 128GB expandable memory.

Hisense Infinity F24 has a high proportion metal body that provides a comfortable grip experience formed by carefully selected micron-grade sand particles. It has a 5P lens, 13-megapixel rear camera and 8MP front camera. The F24’s 3400mAh battery charges based on intelligent dual-charge chip that spreads current and reduces heat to achieve 2A current while ensuring the safety. The enhanced fingerprint sensor supports all-dimensional identification and allows five group fingerprints inputting as well as fast unlocking the phone whether display is on or off. In terms of network and processing capabilities, the F24 has 4G LTE and a faster 1.5GHz Quad Core processor.

Both the F24 and H11 come with the Android Nougat (Android N) operating System. The Android N OS introduces the concept of “Doze” which improves battery life by 20% when on power-saving mode.  It also supports a bundled notifications application, as well as Unicode 9, which comes with over 70 emoji icons – making for a fun and easy user experience. Cameras for both come with multiple shooting modes including Baby, HDR and V-gesture. The F24 is also easily accessible through the use of the fingerprint sensor, which can be used as a camera key.

Hisense reveals the Infinity E7. The device is slightly smaller than the F24 and H11, at 5.5”, but has the same aspects and similar screen-to-body ratios. The display offers an immersive viewing experience that supports an HD resolution of 1440×640 pixels, presenting clear, crisp, and vivid images and is easy to read from all angles due to the adoption of IPS technology.

The Infinity E7 is trendy, stylish and practical. The E7 features a 16MP rear camera, perfectly adequate for any setting – night or day. It offers a speedy focus feature, as well as panorama, HDR and more modes. The 8MP front camera has built-in Face Beauty and Smile Cap functions, capturing natural colours and producing the best selfies. The Android smartphone comes with a MT6580, Quad-core 1.3GHz processor and offers a 1 Gb Ram and 16Gb expandable memory, as well as a 2450 mAh battery that lasts 245 hours when on stand-by.

“We’ve added these to our line-up to offer our consumers a variety of products to suit their needs, but more importantly to provide technology that not only makes their lives easier, but is also durable and available at an accessible price point,” says Ryan Curling, Hisense South Africa’s Marketing Deputy Executive.

He continues: “Our innovative range of mobile phones enables consumers to capture, share and celebrate meaningful life experiences, memories and moments, both big and small, all at the touch of a screen – allowing them to be the heroes of their own life story. For this reason, we have adopted the tagline ‘Do You. Do Life’, with ‘aim high’ being the underlying ethos. As a mobile brand designed to fit people’s lives, Hisense Mobile is utilising this strategy to encourage living life to the fullest, doing new things, stepping out of comfort zones and sharing experiences, because, at the end of the day, life is too short to do average.”

The Hisense Infinity series will be available from all mobile networks from March 2018. The recommended retail prices are: Infinity H11 – R4499, F24 at R3299 and Infinity E7 at R1799.

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How to create an esports team

2018 was a landmark year for South African esports as one of the country’s best teams took the battle overseas and made waves in the international scene. A year ago Bravado’s top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team relocated to Arizona in the U.S., a venture dubbed Project Destiny, where they used the opportunity to train as full-time professional athletes and conquer the best teams out there.

Project Destiny was a massive success. A year later and Bravado’s CS:GO team had carved a name for itself through several high-profile victories and invitations to top tier tournaments. Clearly this is not the end of the story and the team has been reflecting on the lessons and opportunities.

Team captain Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali helped lead Project Destiny and gleaned a considerable amount on what needs to go into an esports team.

Team for the right reasons

For aspirant pro players who want to up their game, pun intended, he advises starting at the basics: why do you want a team?

“In recent times, people want to create a team with no direct intention, not knowing if they want to do this casually and socially, or professionally. Doing this professionally requires risk. It depends on how much work and sacrifices are contributed to the cause of creating a team. Playing socially is fine, part-time, as many people do, but playing professionally and wanting to reach the top one day, purely depends on your dedication, motivation and intention.”

Put in the hours

Like any aspirant pro athlete, preparation requires hours of training. Bravado’s players all put in several hours of training daily, 7 days a week, and Project Destiny’s full-time pros worked multiple training sessions every day, usually in the morning and afternoon for 4 hours each, as well as competitive matches in the late evening.

But even Bravado members who are not full time still put in hours of training every day. Serious players need to find the time and build up their dedication because this level of performance is simply the bar set in esports. Said Dimitri:

“The general esports title or game a team competes in will require anything, if not more than, a traditional sport outside of esports would require to get to the top.”

Fortunately, you don’t have to go all-out from the start. Esports are tiered with the top players in the highest tiers. So there is space to cut your esporting teeth while making room for it in your life. But never forget that to be one of the best means no half-measures. In esports, you have to commit to win.

Share goals

“A good team player is an individual who views his team as a single unit and not just himself as an ‘individual player’ in the bigger picture,” said Dimitri. “They put their team first and before themselves. This is the first main fundamental of a mindset required for a team player.”

Pro teams shouldn’t be mistaken for gaming clans, which are more casual and where gaming is a hobby. Even though they can be very competitive, clans mostly play for fun and entertainment, whereas a professional team is highly competitive with goals that it sets out to accomplish.

This is important because it helps the team members agree on the importance of those goals and the focus required. If you are not willing to show up every day to play the same game, partake in training exercises and learn from feedback, a pro career won’t work for you:

“Playing professionally requires aligned individuals where they share common goals and have equal intentions to realize what they want to achieve and what it takes to compete at a high level.”

Be patient

Professional athletes aren’t created overnight. It takes many years of focus and dedication while also pursuing studies or working at a day job before someone manages to ascend into a paid career. Esports is the same and demands patience alongside dedication.

Esports teams amplify this requirement. While in Arizona, Bravado applied the maxim “Teams who work together win together.” Household chores were divided up between players, creating a sense of common responsibility. This repetitive reinforcement of team values is crucial for success, whereas impatience for a team to ‘click’ is a recipe for disaster:

“Often, teams do not achieve their desired results and achievements in the short run and immediately resort to a roster change. Or someone in the team is replaced without a completely valid reason. This underestimates the importance of sticking together to create synergy in the long run.”

He also added that using time smartly is perhaps even more important than the amount of time spent on training. The team under Project Destiny used a full-time coach who helped set routines, objectives and priorities:

“The mistake with teams struggling to improve these days is that they do not know and understand how to work with limited time, and how to do this best and constructively as possible. Often teams that aren’t at a top competitive level yet arrange bootcamps, but set the limited time they have with each other incorrectly, or rather not to the best potential.”

When Bravado embarked on Project Destiny, it aimed to put South African esports on the map and serve as role models for aspirant players in the country. By those measures, it has been a huge success and Bravado continues to grow and educate. Through the ongoing support of sponsors Alienware and Intel, Bravado continues its mission of creating esporting excellence and opportunity for South Africans.

Learn more at bravadogaming.com or contact Bravado’s players directly via their social media accounts.

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Opera reveals SA browsing habits

Opera, one of the world’s major browser developers, and leader in AI driven digital content delivery and discovery, has released its State of Mobile Web 2019 report, revealing that nine out of ten people in South Africa use their mobile browser every day.

Other Key findings from the report include:

  • Internet users in Africa use their browser to access social media domains such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, followed by entertainment and search websites
  • Opera News users in Africa spend 50% of in-app time watching videos
  • South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than people in India
  • Opera Mini saved users nearly 100 million USD in mobile data in 2018

The report reveals that the Opera mobile browsers and standalone news app were used by nearly 20 million internet users in Africa and by more than 350 million people globally in the first quarter of 2019. The State of Mobile Web 2019 report also shows that Opera experienced a growth of more than 26 percent of its user base year on year, compared to the first quarter of 2018 in Africa.

“We are thrilled to see that our mobile browsers and news app have grown by 25 million monthly users in the last year, ” said Jørgen Arnesen, Head of Marketing and Distribution at Opera. “The new Opera News app has led this positive growth, as well as the introduction of new features to our mobile browsers like built-in VPN and crypto wallet. The successful partnerships Opera has with major smartphone manufacturers in Africa have also contributed to this massive growth”.

The 2019 edition of the State of the Mobile Web report looked into the use of the Opera Mini browser and the Opera browser for Android, and it shows that mobile browsing is one of the most popular online activities among African internet users. For example, in South Africa, nine out of ten people use their mobile browser every day, an activity they prefer over the use of other applications like YouTube.

The report also revealed that on average, Africans using Opera spend more than 30 minutes browsing online each day. The most browsed category of websites was social media platform domains such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, followed by search engines like Google, and entertainment and sport websites.

100 million dollars  saved on mobile data

In the State of the Mobile Web 2019 report, Opera gives detailed insight into the use of the data savings feature in the Opera Mini browser, and compares the average price of mobile data in 20 countries in Africa. The results revealed that the data compression mode in Opera Mini saved users nearly 100 million USD of data in 2018.

In this analysis, Opera also compared the costs of data in some African countries with the cost of mobile data in India and Germany. The outcome of this analysis showed that South Africans pay six times more per gigabyte of mobile data than Indians and almost the same price as Germans for one gigabyte of mobile data.

Rapidly changing  news and video consumption landscape

The report takes a look at the trends of news and video consumption across Africa. This includes analyzing the usage of its standalone Opera News app, which grew from launch to over 20 million users in a period of one year. Categories like breaking news, local news, and entertainment were the favourites among users in the first quarter of the year.

Video content is also becoming more popular among people who use the Opera News app. The report shows that people spend 50 percent of in-app time inOpera News watching videos on Instaclips, the recently added video feature on the news app.

The usage of Instaclips keeps growing since its test launch in December 2018: in Q1-2019, Instaclips registered a total of 122,000 videos uploaded in different languages such as English, Portoguese, French, Arabic and Swahilli.

Expanding beyond browsing to fuel digital transformation

Opera’s commitment to digital transformation in Africa is ongoing. Beyond the development of its mobile browsers and standalone news app, Opera has made major investments on the African continent, expanding its services to other technology areas such as FinTech and digital advertising.

In 2018, Opera announced the launch of OKash, a fintech micro-lending solution that quickly gained traction among mobile internet users in Kenya. Today, OKash ranks among the most downloaded micro lending applications among Kenyans and its user base keeps on growing.

In May 2019,Opera announced the introduction of Opera Ads, a new advertising platform that allows media agencies and publishers to run more targeted marketing campaigns through the Opera platforms.

Available online

The full version of State of Mobile Web 2019 report is available to read online or for download by clicking here.

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