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IFA 2015: Sony unveils ‘vivid’ new Z5 smartphones

At the IFA 2015 expo in Berlin this week, Sony Mobile unveiled its next-generation Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact, and the world’s first 4K smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium.

“Smartphones are part of people’s lives” said Hiroki Totoki, President and CEO at Sony Mobile Communications. ”Since users already create, share and enjoy most of their content on the go – we’ve set out to bring Sony’s latest innovations in camera, design and display to ensure the Xperia Z5 series is the best possible lifestyle and entertainment platform.”

Xperia Z5 features Sony’s brand new large 1/2.3 Exmor RS for mobile 23MP sensor and F2.0 G Lens – it’s Sony’s first completely re-imagined smartphone camera module since Xperia Z1, designed with Sony’s interchangeable lens camera α technology for clear,  vivid imagery every time.

The camera is capable of the fastest autofocus in a smartphone, a powerful blend of speed and accuracy to capture split-second moments with ease. It delivers a ground-breaking speed of just 0.03 seconds – faster than the blink of a human eye (average 0.1 – 0.4 s), so whether you’re jumping for the frisbee in the park or diving into the pool, you’ll have the power to preserve spontaneous action in real-time.

A combination of the large 23MP Exmor RS for mobile sensor and advanced processing software lets you get close to subjects; whether it be a landmark, architecture or other objects of interest, with 5x clear image zoom with minimum loss of quality. Advancements in low-light photography means you can capture clearer photos at night or in darker surroundings with less noise and blur – perfect for capturing the sunrise or night skyline.

With the continued popularity of content capture for social media, Xperia Z5 series brings significant advancements in the evolution of Sony’s SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode for video. Further improvements mean you’ll be able to continuously capture action smoothly, such as riding a bike or skateboard, free from jolts or shudders. It also features better low-light performance without blur.

Designed for life, with the same flagship experiences in a choice of form factor

Designed by leading creatives at Sony’s Creative Center studios in Sweden and Japan, Xperia Z5 presents a svelte continuous plate form, with a metal frame and frosted glass back. It’s striking, comfortable to hold and waterproof for everyday convenience. With a 5.2” display, sleek looks and 2015 fashion and interior design cues, colours range from elegant to expressive for any personal style or taste; White, Graphite Black, Gold and Green.

For those who prefer a compact smartphone, Xperia Z5 Compact brings the same great camera technology and features in a pocket-friendly compact device. It delivers uncompromised performance in a beautifully compact design with a 4.6” display, perfect for one-hand use. The Z5 Compact let’s you express personal style with fresh, vibrant colours including Yellow and Coral, in addition to White and Graphite Black.

Both devices represent iconic Sony craftsmanship with premium materials throughout, including frosted glass finishing to the rear and a subtly etched Xperia logo engraved on the side, as well as capless USB for quick efficient connection and charging.

On the side, a new integrated fingerprint sensor power button means each device is personal, protected and easily unlockable with a simple pick up and press in one natural movement. It will also support the FIDO standard; authentication via fingerprint for online payment services – with news on first partners shared closer to launch.

Powerful performance that meets demands

Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, featuring octa-core CPUs, 64 bit capabilities and ultra-fast 4G LTE speeds, letting you reach new levels of performance for video, photography and gaming. Whether you’re multi-tasking over Wi-Fi or the latest 4G network, both devices deliver the speed you need.

Download email with attachments in seconds and enjoy video streaming with no delays or unwanted buffering.

Powerful smartphone features demand smart power management, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact are equipped with Sony’s incredible up to two-day battery stamina and innovative power-saving technology, which gives you superior long-lasting battery performance. With Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 enabled on the new devices, you can get 5.5 hours usage with just 10 minutes of charging with a certified Quick Charge 2.0 charger, such as the Quick Charger UCH10 (dependant on market variants).

Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first 4K smartphone

Xperia Z5 Premium is the world’s first 4K smartphone with a sharp, vivid 5.5” 4K TRILUMINOS Display for mobile and IPS, where breathtaking detail is depicted with pinpoint accuracy for the most natural images, at four times the resolution of Full HD.

Xperia Z5 Premium will upscale your favourite content to 4K, enhancing any native or third party videos or photos so you can view Netflix, YouTube or your holiday shots in rich, vibrant 4K detail. The Xperia Z5 Premium is built to allow you to get creative by capturing in 4K and immediately enjoying the content on your device, with the option of preserving any moment as an 8MP quality image.

Port the memory card from Sony’s 4K Action Cam FDR-X1000V to the Xperia Z5 Premium to enjoy your footage immediately – or simply connect to the big screen either wirelessly via DLNA or with MHL 3.0 to enjoy your content on a 4K TV.

Xperia Z5 Premium is designed from the ground up as a high-performance mobile device, powered by the Snapdragon 810 processor. A high capacity 3430 mAh battery lasting for up to two days, with quick charge capability, eliminates the need for regular charging.

Xperia Z5 Premium features a large 32GB internal memory, with the capability to take a 200GB external microSD card, which offers extra room for 4K videos and movies, and images too. Xperia Z5 Premium also features Sony’s innovative memory on display feature – the data transfer between processor and device is optimized so Xperia Z5’s display memory technology remembers the display of images seen on your smartphone and catches the image or video so that you don’t need to reload the full image each time you view it – preserving battery power in the process.

A flagship series powered by an entertainment and content ecosystem

Across the Xperia Z5 series, Sony’s rich expertise in audio technologies lets you enjoy sound in incredible detail and clarity. High-Res Audio reproduces high frequency sound for a studio quality experience. DSEE HX upscales the audio fidelity of your existing MP3, AAC or Spotify tracks to near High-Res Audio quality. And for high quality wireless music listening, Sony’s LDAC codec transmits data three times more efficiently than legacy codec over Bluetooth.

Now, for the first time, Sony’s new High-Resolution Audio Headset MDR-NC750 allows you to enjoy combined Hi-Res Audio music with Digital Noise Cancelling – so you will hear your tunes as they were intended to be heard, with ambient background noise reduced by up to 98%.

Keep playing your favourite PlayStation 4 (PS4) games wherever you are in the home with PS4 Remote Play. Simply connect your Xperia Z5 series device to your PS4 via home Wi-Fi and use the DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller to ensure you never miss a minute of the action.

To ensure you continue to enjoy the best experiences that Sony has to offer, all Xperia Z5 series users will benefit from access to Xperia Lounge Gold – delivering the world of Sony entertainment at your fingertips. Get access to exclusive competitions and offers; be among the first to try out new apps; and enjoy the latest movies, TV episodes and music included with your device.

“The latest Xperia Z5 series is able to offer unparalleled experiences to smartphone users in the areas that they are most interested in, superior long-lasting battery performance and quick charging, take calls in the rain or help you capture your most important memories in stunning detail fast, even when captured in low-light.” says Mark Fenzel, Country Manager Sony Mobile South Africa,

Smart style, with new accessories

A range of stylish and protective Style Cover Window cases will be available for each Xperia Z5 series model at launch, in respective corresponding device colours – each will let you access your favourite smartphone widgets through a smart window.

Stereo Bluetooth Headset SBH54 is versatile headset with a doubling handset function, designed for users who want a convenient companion device to a large screen smartphone, allowing you to take and make calls, see messages, play music and enjoy FM radio.

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Mobile is the new branch

Standard Bank has launched an account for mobile devices that gives back 500MB of data a month

Standard Bank has introducd a R4.95p/m bank account called MyMo that customers can open on their mobile devices, loaded with data and airtime offerings and other benefits such as virtual and Gold physical card.

MyMo account holders will also enjoy the convenience of a cheque account through a Visa and Mastercard gold card. Once the account is open, users can choose to either receive R50 in airtime or 500MB of data a month, if their card is swiped more than four times a month. A further megabyte of data is loaded on the account for every R20 spent.

“MyMo is an account for everyone, whether you just landed your first job or have been around the block. With no documentation required it only takes a few minutes to open the account,” says Funeka Montjane, Chief Executive for Personal and Business Banking, South Africa, at Standard Bank Group. “For just R4.95 a month customer will be able to enjoy free swipes and ATM withdrawals at only R6.50 for amounts under R 1 000.

“Mobile is the new branch. This account is about bringing the mobile branch into customers hands, it is about convenience and security while banking.”

She says mobile offers low cost transactional banking which integrates people and businesses into the new connected economy, making mobile the new branch ecosystem that will drive and connect Africa’s growth. Physical connections to the economy are rapidly changing to digital where banks have to move from being financial institutions to service organisations.

“In the past people congregated in communities and eventually cities to maximise the advantages of connectivity. Today a simple hand-held device has the potential to open infinite doors, transforming individuals’ access to opportunities, regardless of where they are, and like never before in history. 

“Historically, a bank account represented access to economic citizenship. Today, having a simple device enabling digital access to a modern banking platform is a passport to global connectivity and vast human development potential.”

The bank says it is using technology, and mobile phones in particular, to deliver low-cost transactional channels accessible to all our customers. The evolution in mobile can be seen in transaction options like cash back at the retail checkout till rather than the ATM, free digital banking rather than using a branch, and the ability to transact using digital wallets, even without a bank account.

“Developing comprehensive connected ecosystems requires a mind-set change from Africa’s banks,” says Montjane. “Banks will evolve away from traditional financial service organisations, into service ecosystems enabling broad universal access to almost everything like enhanced purchasing experiences of vehicles and homes, online procurement of goods and services and lifestyle elements like rewards and travel. 

“These connectivity drivers will also act to future-proof evolving connectivity ecosystem by allowing us to offer untold future services while deriving income from as yet unrealised revenue streams,.   

From a customer perspective, the kind of ecosystems of knowledge, access and, ultimately, connectivity that banks will come to provide will radically transform the share of life that almost all individuals will be able to access.”

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Two-thirds of SA staff hide social media from bosses

With 90% of people in employment going online several times a day, it can be hard for most workers to keep their private and work-life separate during the working day (and beyond). The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab reveals that 64% of South African consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 60% of South Africans also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

Globally, the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, 35% of South African employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, 60% of South African are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% of South Africans saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 53% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 29% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 3% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good nor bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines to adhere to in the digital age:

  • Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
  • Be aware that system administrators may at least, in theory, be informed about your web browsing patterns.
  • Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
  • Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.
  • Start using Kaspersky Password Manager to ensure your social media and other personal accounts are not at risk of unauthorised access by someone else in an office. Install a reliable security solution such as Kaspersky Security Cloud to protect your personal devices.

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