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Moto Z family arrives in SA

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The eagerly-awaited arrival in South Africa of the Moto Z phones from Motorola brought with it a family of add-ons called Moto Mods.

Lenovo has introduced South Africans to what it calls “the next era of mobile technology” with the launch of the Moto Z smartphone, which is joined by Moto Mods that enable users to choose the capabilities of their smartphone. It also brings the Motorola phone brand back to South Africa after a long absence.

Lenovo provided the following information:
The Moto Mods Family includes the JBL SoundBoost speakers so users can take the party with them, the Insta-Share Projector so they can share content as and when they want, power packs from Incipio so consumers are never out of battery, and the Hasselblad True Zoom, that will enable aspiring photographers to capture precious moments on the go.

Made from military aircraft-grade aluminium and stainless steel, the new Moto Z is durable, yet thin – just 5.2 mm – and ultra-light with a 5.5” Quad HD AMOLED display. The smartphone is equipped with a powerful Qualcomm SnapdragonTM 820 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB or 64 GB of storage inside. Those looking for even more storage for pictures, videos and apps can add a microSD card up to 2 TB.

Moto Z has a high-resolution 13 MP camera with optical image stabilisation and laser autofocus, which helps users take beautiful, true-to-life pictures in any light and condition. The front-facing 5 MP camera includes a wide-angle lens, which is great for fitting friends in the picture. Moto Z also includes an extra flash on the front camera to ensure users look their best, even in low light.

The smartphone comes with a water-repellant coating, which shields the phone from rain, splashes or spills. With the fingerprint reader, a touch is all it takes to instantly wake up the phone. Moto Z supports up to 30 hours of battery, so people can go all day and well into the night without needing to stop and recharge their phones. When in need, the TurboPower™ Mod provides up to 8 hours of power in just 15 minutes.

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Moto has teamed up with Hasselblad, who has been at the forefront of the imaging industry, to design an imaging experience that completely transforms mobile photography. Add advanced imaging capabilities to the phone in a snap, and create and share like never before. Featuring 10x Optical Zoom and a Xenon flash, all is needed is to just focus on getting the shot – lighting and distance will never stand in the way of capturing the perfect image. Customers can expect even more control and flexibility with the ability to shoot in RAW format, in addition to the physical shutter and zoom controls, guaranteeing a great handling experience. With True Zoom, users will also get free access to Hasselblad’s Phocus software for streamlined editing control and the highest quality output. Users will also be able to share beautiful results with family and friends while still in the moment with automatic backup and unlimited free storage for two years with Google Photos.
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For those who enjoy listening to loud music, the Moto Z offers a high-quality JBL SoundBoost that will give the smartphone a boost with powerful stereo sound in a snap. The Mod includes a built-in kickstand that is guaranteed to make videos and music more immersive.

The JBL SoundBoost also includes 10 hours of battery life that allows people to listen longer without using their phone’s battery. The speakerphone also ensures that calls come in loud and clear no matter the location
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The Moto Insta-Share Projector snaps easily onto the Moto Z phone and enables instant sharing of photos and videos. The Mod projects up to 70” on any flat surface so the big screen is with users every step of the way. With the integrated kickstand, people can project at any angle which allows friends and families to gather together to watch their favorite pictures, shows, and even games.

The Insta-Share Projector comes with built-in battery that provides users with up to one extra hour of screen time before using the phone’s battery.
The Moto Z will be available at select retailers:

·         Takealot.com from 1 November 2016
·         Cellucity from 1 November 2016
·         Dion Wired from 13 November 2016

Moto Z will be available in Black & Lunar Grey. The pricing will start from:

 

Moto Z (comes with Moto Style Shell) R12,999
Moto Insta-Share Projector Mod R 4,699
Incipio offGrid Power Pack Mod R 1,199
JBL SoundBoost Mod R1,699
Hasselblad True Zoom Mod R 4,299

 

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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