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MWC: Nokia devices herald new era for brand

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The Nokia brand sealed its comeback to the handset market with three new Android devices and a “reimagined” 3310, launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday.

HMD Global, the home of the revived Nokia phone brand, heralded a new era for the handset name at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, unveiling a new generation of Nokia smartphones.

The highly anticipated global portfolio features three new smartphones: the new Nokia 6, “delivering performance and immersive entertainment in a premium and extremely robust design”; Nokia 5, an “elegant smartphone that fits perfectly in your hand”; and Nokia 3, which delivers “quality at an affordable price point”. The new range of Nokia smartphones all run Android Nougat and offer a secure and up to date experience that features the voice-controlled Google Assistant.

The launch also saw the return of a modern classic – the iconic Nokia 3310, “reborn with a modern twist on design”.

“The family of products announced demonstrate a belief that every consumer should have access to premium quality, not just those with high end flagship devices,” HMD said in a statement. “Combined with a thoughtful design philosophy that focuses on improving the smartphone experience at every level, each technical component has been carefully considered and integrated into the phone design to have the biggest benefit on consumers’ daily lives. Drawing on the hallmarks of the Nokia phone heritage of quality, simplicity and reliability, the range is designed for a new generation of fans.”

HMD provided the following information:

With a commitment to deliver pure Android, users can expect a simple, clean and clutter free experience. Featuring the latest Google services, as well as monthly security updates, Nokia smartphones are safe, secure and up-to-date. The new Nokia smartphones feature Google’s most recent innovation, the Google Assistant, building further on a great Android experience. Our teams have worked together to ensure the Google Assistant is integrated, allowing for conversations with the Google Assistant to take place easily on Nokia smartphones.

It was also announced that the world-renowned game Snake will be snaking its way back into people’s hearts with a new version available to play on Messenger, part of Facebook’s Instant Games cross platform experience. The new free Snake game is designed to be played with groups of friends making it even more playable than the first time around.

The new Nokia range of Android smartphones unveiled ahead of Mobile World Congress includes:

Nokia 6 is going global – combining superior craftsmanship and distinctive design with immersive audio and an impressive bright and colourful 5.5” full HD screen, the Nokia 6 delivers a truly premium smartphone experience. The unibody of the Nokia 6 is crafted from a single block of 6000 series aluminium. The smart audio amplifier with dual speakers allow consumers to experience a deeper bass and unmatched clarity, whilst Dolby Atmos® sound delivers a powerfully moving entertainment experience. Available in four colours – Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper – the Nokia 6 will retail at an average global retail price of €229.

Nokia 6 Arte Black Limited Edition – celebrating the worldwide Nokia 6 portfolio is the Nokia 6 Arte Black Limited Edition. With 64GB storage and 4GB RAM, this special edition combines the best features of the Nokia 6 family in a stunning black high gloss package and will retail at an average global retail price of €299.

Nokia 5 – a sleek and compact smartphone that nestles in your hand. The Nokia 5 has been precision engineered out of a single block of 6000 series aluminium to create a perfect pillowed body that flows seamlessly into the sculpted Corning® Gorilla® Glass laminated 5.2” IPS HD display. Powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 430 mobile platform and the Qualcomm® Adreno™ 505 graphics processor, the Nokia 5 brings robust structural integrity, attention to detail and the quality of a high-end flagship to everyone. Available in four colours – Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper – the Nokia 5 will retail at an average global retail price of €189.

Nokia 3 – a stunning new smartphone designed to deliver an outstanding experience with unprecedented value.  With a precision machined aluminium frame forged out of a single piece of aluminium, a sculpted Corning® Gorilla® Glass laminated 5” display and seamlessly integrated 8MP wide aperture cameras (front and back), the Nokia 3 packs a truly premium quality smartphone experience into its compact and elegant form. Available in four distinctive colours – Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White – the Nokia 3 will retail at an average global retail price of €139.

Also announced were:

Nokia 3310 a modern classic reborn. Thin, light and incredibly durable, the Nokia 3310 is a head turning modern twist on one of the best-selling feature phones of all time. Boasting an incredible 22-hour talk-time and month long stand-by, the Nokia 3310’s fresh, colourful, modern design brings it bang up to date. The Nokia 3310 is available in four distinctive colours – Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish, and Dark Blue and Grey both with a matte finish. The Nokia 3310 will retail at an average global retail price of €49.

Accessories also introduced was a portfolio of Nokia accessories that follows iconic design philosophy. As perfect companions to these smartphones, the full Nokia accessories portfolio includes a range of headsets, portable and Bluetooth speakers, in-car chargers, cases and screen protectors.

The new portfolio of Nokia smartphones and feature phones is on display at Mobile World Congress.  Local availability will be announced in markets in Q2, 2017.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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