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LG Watch W7: digital meets mechanical

LG announced its first hybrid smartwatch, the Watch W7, that combines mechanical movement with digital functionalities. As the first LG wearable to run the new Wear OS by Google platform, says LG, the Watch W7 is designed for consumers who value the look of a traditional analogue timepiece but desire the convenient functionalities of a connected smartwatch.

Click through to read more about the smartwatch and its specs.

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The watch was developed in partnership with Soprod SA of Switzerland, and features high-precision quartz movement in a stainless steel body.

It combines smart and mechanical features. In full operation mode, the LG Watch W7 can run for up to two days on a single charge, and then an additional 3-4 days in analogue-only mode. In mechanical analogue-only can operate for up to 100 days, or more than three months before requiring a charge.

In addition to keeping accurate time, the analogue hands also display additional information such as an altimeter, barometer, stopwatch, timer, and compass directions. Wear OS by Google allows for thousands of customisations with alternate watch faces and complications available online. The watch is also compatible with all standard 22mm watch bands.

LG Watch W7 Key Specifications:

• Chipset: Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 2100 Platform
• Operating System: Wear OS by Google
• Display: 1.2-inch LCD (360 x 360 / 300ppi)
• Size: 44.5 x 45.4 x 12.9mm
• Weight: 79.5g
• Memory: 4GB eMMC / 768MB LPDDR3
• Battery: 240mAh
• Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g, n / Bluetooth 4.2 BLE / USB Type-C 2.0
• Sensors: 9-Axis / Pressure
• Movement: 2 Hands / Micro Gearbox
• Color: Cloud Silver
• Other: IP68 Water and Dust Resistance / Quartz Movement

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OnePlus 7 Pro scores high in audio playback

OnePlus’s latest flagship scored a high 65 in DxOMark’s Audio Scoring tests.

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Introduced earlier this year as OnePlus’s latest flagship, the OnePlus 7 Pro packs a lot of punch into a premium phone that is priced below many of its competitors, starting with a 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED QHD+ display that can run at 90 Hz. A Snapdragon 855 SoC, along with 6GB/12GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage ensure that it can handle a multi-application workload. Rounding out the specs are a 48MP main camera that includes separate ultra-wide-angle and telephoto camera modules. As is now common in audio specs for flagship devices, the OnePlus 7 Pro supports Dolby Atmos and has a dedicated microphone for noise cancellation.

We put the OnePlus 7 Pro through DxOMark’s rigorous Audio test suite to measure its performance both at playing audio back through its built-in speakers and at recording sound using its built-in microphones. In this review, DxOMark broke down how it fared in a variety of tests and in several common use cases.

Audio specifications include:

  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Dedicated microphone for noise cancellation

About DxOMark Audio tests: For scoring and analysis in our smartphone audio reviews, DxOMark engineers perform a variety of objective tests and undertake more than 20 hours of perceptual evaluation under controlled lab conditions. This article highlights the most important results of our testing. Note that we evaluate both Playback and Recording using only the device’s built-in hardware and default apps.

Read more in DxOMarks’s detailed review.

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Nedbank to offer Mara phones to customers

Nedbank has partnered with Mara Phones to offer South African-made smartphones to its clients, along with finance options.

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Nedbank says it has partnered with Mara Phones to offer its South African-made Android smartphones to the bank’s clients, via flexible financing options. Pricing has not yet been announced, but the devices will be preloaded with the Nedbank Money App, suggesting that they will be heavily subsidised in order to drive app usage. Nedbank has apparently purchased several thousand of the handsets.

Mara Phones, a division of the Mara Corporation, recently launched what it claimed to be the first African-based smartphone-manufacturing factory in Kigali. President Cyril Ramaphosa opened the second factory in Durban on 17 October 2019. Each factory has a capacity to produce a few million smartphones units per year.

Ahuti Chug, chair of Mara Phones, said: “Our aim is to increase smartphone penetration on the continent by providing problem-solving, tailored solutions to for our customers and partners. This partnership strengthens our vision to change the narrative by demonstrating that Africans can produce high quality tech products. 

“The importance of quality and affordable smartphones cannot be overstated as they enable connectivity and efficiency.  It is part of Mara Phones vision and strategy to partner with financial institutions to offer solutions to consumers.” 

According to Ciko Thomas, Group Managing Executive for Nedbank Retail and Business Banking, the partnership resulted from Nedbank’s recognition of the close alignment of the Mara Phones philosophy with Nedbank’s purpose to use its financial expertise to do good. 

“Like Nedbank, Mara Phones is committed to leveraging technology to enable financial inclusion and enhanced education, healthcare and agriculture outcomes in South Africa and across Africa,” he says, “Through this transaction, the ability of both organisations to deliver on this vision will be significantly enhanced.”

The full details of Nedbank’s Mara Phones offer are still under wraps, but Thomas said the Nedbank offer would be a pre-packaged, high-value proposition, with the smartphones preloaded with the Nedbank Money App, and delivered via flexible finance options that make it easy for clients to pay for their devices.

Thomas says that Nedbank offer is unlikely to be network-specific. 

“We believe our clients should be able to use the mobile network of their own choosing, so we will be offering some, or all, of our Nedbank-bundled, dual-SIM Mara Phones devices without SIM cards, allowing the new phone owners to use prepaid voice and data packages from any cellular service provider.”

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