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MWC: Nokia ‘reloads’ 8110

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At this year’s Mobile World Congress, HMD Global announced four new additions to its portfolio of Android smartphones, namely the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6 and Nokia 1.

It has also “reloaded” the iconic Nokia 8110 feature phone, with 4G connectivity, apps including Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Search, Facebook and Twitter, and the return of the slider phone.

HMD Global also announced it is to become Google’s first global partner to have a full suite of devices selected into the Android One programme. “The unwavering commitment to deliver a pure, secure and up-to-date Android experience has ensured Nokia smartphones were a natural fit for the global programme,” said a company statement.

HMD Global provided the following information:

Three new Nokia smartphones – the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus and the new Nokia 6 – join the Android One family, offering a high quality software experience designed by Google. Each phone will stay fresh over time with the latest AI powered innovations to the highest grade of security from Google. With a pure Android installation, Nokia smartphones come with no unnecessary UI changes or hidden processes that would eat up battery life or slow them down so you can enjoy your new phone for longer. Each of the new phones comes with a limited number of pre-installed apps so that you’ll get more storage space, as well as the latest innovations that help you stay ahead of the game every day.

By shipping with Android Oreo out of the box, you’ll be able to enjoy the latest features, including Picture-in-Picture for multitasking, Android Instant Apps to discover and run apps with minimal friction, 60 fantastic new emojis and battery-maximising features like limiting background app use.

Introducing four new Nokia Android smartphones and expansion of the portfolio:

Nokia 8 Sirocco: an ultra-compact powerhouse for the fans

Inspired by the rich design heritage of Nokia phones, the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s elegant design and compact style is the ideal blend of precise craftsmanship and purposeful innovation. Delivering powerful storytelling features including enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics and carefully tuned acoustics with Nokia spatial audio, the Nokia 8 Sirocco is an ultra-compact powerhouse, and our most beautiful smartphone to date.

Its curved glass finish envelops a precision-crafted stainless-steel frame to deliver a fusion of strength and beauty. Just 2mm thin at the edge, the Nokia 8 Sirocco combines a curved edge-to-edge pOLED 2K 5.5-inch display with smaller bezels and moulded body curves to create an ultra-compact profile.

Nokia-8-Scirocco

Its stainless steel frame is 2.5 times stronger than 6000 series aluminium, and its 3D Corning® Gorilla Glass 5 is robust enough to endure life’s everyday knocks. Luxuriously weighted and perfectly balanced, it feels more secure in your hand thanks to the improved grip given by the dual diamond-polished stainless steel frame.

Now capture every detail thanks to the Nokia 8 Sirocco’s dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics that combine an ultra-sensitive, wide angle primary camera for impressive low-light performance and a secondary 13MP sensor with 2x optical zoom. And with Pro Camera mode you get full manual control over every picture you take, helping you capture photos like a pro.

Available from early April, the Nokia 8 Sirocco will retail for a global average retail price of €749, excluding taxes and subsidies.

Nokia 7 Plus: the flagship hero for everyone

Made for creators to deliver stunning content, the Nokia 7 Plus has the screen, power, design and features to make it a true hero in our smartphone range. Combining innovative optical hardware and imaging algorithms, the Nokia 7 Plus captures moments into photos that are true to life. With enhanced Dual-Sight, dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics combine an ultra-sensitive 12MP wide-angle primary camera for excellent performance in both low-light and extra bright conditions and a secondary 13MP camera that delivers 2x optical zoom for the moments when you wish you were closer.

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To enable you to capture and enjoy more content for longer, the Nokia 7 Plus is backed by the powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 660 Mobile Platform. It’s been optimised and integrated for maximum performance and battery life, even when you are broadcasting your #Bothie videos live on Facebook or YouTube. Optimised to extract every bit of juice from the already powerful 3800 mAh battery, the Nokia 7 Plus delivers an amazing 2-day battery life.

Its gently curved back and slim edges give you a big-screen experience in a comfortable, neat package. The vivid 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ display makes the Nokia 7 Plus perfect for browsing, social media consumption, gaming and entertainment with more content in the same width as a traditional 5.5-inch display device.

Available in a choice of two colour blends, Black/Copper and White/Copper, the Nokia 7 Plus will go on sale from early April and will retail for a global average retail price of €399, excluding taxes and subsidies.

The New Nokia 6: our award-winning phone just got even better

Building on the success of its predecessor, the New Nokia 6 packs even more powerful performance and great new features in a more compact, durable body. Over 60% faster than its award-winning predecessor, it now offers enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, a more compact screen-to-body ratio, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo.

Nokia-6_Beautyshot

The New Nokia 6 takes the original’s precision craftsmanship to the next level by combining a unibody, made from a solid block of 6000 series aluminium, with an 11-hour two-tone anodising and polishing process. And by uniting a sculpted 2.5D display with damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, the New Nokia 6’s compact and refined body is built to last.

Our engineers have integrated the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 Mobile Platform to deliver fast and smooth performance alongside great day-long battery life.

Available in three slick colour blends: Black/Copper, White/Iron and Blue/Gold, as well as two configurations of 3GB RAM/32GB ROM, which will be available in early April, or 4GB RAM/64GB ROM coming later, the New Nokia 6[ii] will go on sale in early April and will retail for a global average retail price of €279 excluding taxes and subsidies.

Nokia 1: a complete Nokia smartphone experience, accessible to everyone

The Nokia 1 is a breakthrough in accessible technology, delivering smartphone essentials with the reassuring quality you expect of a Nokia phone and a refreshingly familiar design to fans around the world. Giving more people access to technology, it comes with Android Oreo™ (Go edition), a version of Android optimized for devices with 1GB RAM or less. The Nokia 1 is designed to be smooth and responsive, with full access to the Google Play™ Store so you can find all your favourite apps from WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram to mobile banking while also highlighting apps that are optimised for Android Oreo (Go edition).

Nokia-1

Featuring the iconic ‘Nokia smile’ in a fresh new package, you can give your Nokia 1 a makeover thanks to the popular Xpress-on covers, available in a range of vibrant colours. Simply click on and off in seconds to express your personal style with these exchangeable covers. Each cover has been built with the same precision and attention to detail as the phone’s original cover. Inherently coloured, the tough two-tone polycarbonate cover is ready to take on every day knocks and bumps with its durable design.

Available from early April in Warm Red and Dark Blue to fans around the world, the Nokia 1 will retail for a global average retail price of $85, excluding taxes and subsidies. Xpress-on covers, sold separately, are available from $7.99 in Azure, Grey, Yellow and Pink.

For the Originals: Reloading Nokia 8110

Reloading the legendary Nokia 8110, this 4G feature phone comes complete with the iconic curved slider design. Giving you the chance to switch off, have fun and relax with the knowledge that all your smartphone essentials are there when you need them.

With a familiar and easy to use interface, it features intuitive tactile mechanics, with slide to answer and end calls, as well as an addictive helicopter style spin on its axis. Nokia 8110 comes with the craftsmanship you expect from a Nokia phone, delivering durability and reliability as standard. Nokia 8110 delivers crystal-clear VoLTE calling and is perfect for anyone who wants an iconic 4G feature phone or a companion phone. With access to an app store, for favourites like Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Maps, Facebook and Twitter, send and receive emails or import your contacts and sync your calendar with Outlook and Gmail. To keep it running flawlessly, the Nokia 8110 features the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform. And yes, it comes with a revamped version of Snake.

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With two vibrant colours to choose from, Traditional Black and Banana Yellow, the Nokia 8110 will be available from May and will retail for a global average retail price of €79, excluding taxes and subsidies.

Florian Seiche, CEO of HMD Global, said:

“This time last year, we started our journey with huge expectations from fans and a massive responsibility to deliver on the legacy of one of the most innovative brands in our space. Since then we have reintroduced well-loved icons, forged partnerships with friends old and new and delivered our pure, secure and up-to-date Android experience across our smartphone portfolio. Last year we shipped over 70 million Nokia phones.

“As we’ve expanded our portfolio we’ve always maintained one vision: to deliver great Nokia phones that live up to the values that our fans expect. It has been an exhilarating time and as we look ahead, we plan to build on our success by expanding our portfolio and giving consumers a wide range of Nokia phones they can love, trust and rely on.”

Juho Sarvikas, Chief Product Officer of HMD Global, said:

“Today, we are delighted to announce the expansion of our range with the introduction of five new devices, setting new benchmarks in smartphone design with Nokia 8 Sirocco and delivering our most accessible smartphone to date in Nokia 1.

“Through these new devices, you’ll see our innovative approach to engineering and our strong legacy in imaging coming to the forefront in collaboration with ZEISS. And you will recognise our best in class materials led design and the distinctive finish throughout the portfolio which delivers all the reliability and durability expected of a Nokia phone.

“We pride ourselves on making smartphones that address real-world needs. Our commitment to pure, secure and up-to-date Android is core to our strategy and is loved by consumers. Today, we take that commitment to a deeper level by becoming the lead partner for the Android One programme globally, delivering an experience that is endorsed by Google.”

Pekka Rantala, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer of HMD Global, said:

“A smartphone is an everyday partner and something people need to know they can rely on. Last year we promised that we would deliver on all the hallmarks of a true Nokia phone experience and that we would live up to the trust people have in the Nokia brand. This year, we are delighted to join the Android One programme that reinforces our commitment to pure, secure and up-to-date Android and makes us a natural choice. Today, with our expanded portfolio, we feel every consumer can pick a Nokia phone they can truly rely on.”

Jamie Rosenberg, VP, Business & Operations, Android & Google Play:

“Android One is our flagship partner programme, and this comprehensive line-up of new Nokia smartphones represents our biggest partnership to date. Now, users around the world can find the perfect device to fit their needs and know they’re getting a high-quality hardware and software experience that’s smart, secure, and simply amazing.”

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Small South African town goes smartphone-only

Vodacom partners with farming business to upgrade all residents of Wakkerstroom from 2G devices to smartphones

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All residents of the small town of Wakkerstroom, which straddles Mpumalanga and kwaZulu-Natal provinces, have had their 2G feature phones upgraded to 3G devices.

The initiative is a result of Vodacom partnering with BPG Langfontein, a farming business that employs the majority of the people living in Wakkerstroom. It is now the first smartphone-only town in South Africa. This is a model the network provider says it hopes to replicate across the country as part of its mission to connect people who live in deep rural areas and are still dependent on 2G networks.

Wakkerstroom, is the second oldest town in Mpumalanga province, on the KwaZulu-Natal border, 27 km east of Volksrust and 56 km south-east of Amersfoort.  

“There are growing expectations for big corporates the size of Vodacom to serve a social purpose, and for us to use our resources and core capabilities to make a significant contribution in transforming the lives of ordinary people,” says Zakhele Jiyane, Managing Executive for Vodacom Mpumalanga. “We are helping to remove communication barriers, so that citizens in the area can be part of the digital revolution and reap the associated benefits. By moving the more than 1400 farm workers from 2G to 3G devices, this will also free much needed spectrum and this spectrum can be re-farmed to provide for faster networks such as 3G and 4G.

“Crucially, the move opens a new world of connectivity for farm workers in Wakkerstroom. As a result, most people in the area will now be able to use the Vodacom network to connect on the net and access online government services, eHealth services such as Mum&Baby and eCommerce. Learners can now surf the internet for the first time and access Vodacom’s eSchool free of charge and those who are actively looking for jobs can start using their smartphones and tablets to apply for jobs over the internet on Vodacom’s zero-rated career sites. This will be key for driving growth to the benefit of people living in this area.”

Vodacom has already deployed 4G base stations in Wakkestroom as part of this initiative.

For the next phase of this project, says Vodacom, it is going to educate the farm workers about data and the benefits of the Internet. Vodacom will also look at various ways in which it can help empower members of this community in areas of education, gender-based violence and health.

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10 more African countries join Facebook fact-checking

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Facebook today announced the expansion of its Third-Party Fact-Checking programme to 10 additional African countries, which now join  Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and Senegal in the project,

In partnership with Agence France-Presse (AFP), the France 24 Observers, Pesa Check and Dubawa, this programme forms part of its work in helping assess the accuracy and quality of news people find on Facebook, whilst reducing the spread of misinformation on its platform.

Working with a network of fact-checking organizations, certified by the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network, third-party fact-checking will now be available in Ethiopia, Zambia, Somalia and Burkina Faso through AFP, Uganda and Tanzania through both Pesa Check and AFP, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cote d’Ivoire through the France 24 Observers and AFP, Guinea Conakry through the France 24 Observers, and Ghana through Dubawa.

Feedback from the Facebook community is one of many signals Facebook uses to raise potentially false stories to fact-checkers for review. Local articles will be fact-checked alongside the verification of photos and videos. If one of our fact-checking partners identifies a story as false, Facebook will show it lower in News Feed, significantly reducing its distribution.

Kojo Boakye, Facebook Head of Public Policy, Africa, said: “The expansion of third-party fact-checking to now cover 15 countries in a little over a year shows firsthand our commitment and dedication to the continent, alongside our recent local language expansion as part of this programme. Taking steps to help tackle false news on Facebook is a responsibility we take seriously, we know misinformation is a problem, and these are important steps in continuing to address this issue. We know that third-party fact-checking alone is not the solution, it is one of many initiatives and programmes we are investing in to help to improve the quality of information people see on Facebook. While we’ve made great progress, we will keep investing to ensure Facebook remains a place for all ideas, but not for the spread of false news.”

When third-party fact-checkers fact-check a news story, Facebook will show these in Related Articles immediately below the story in News Feed. Page Admins and people on Facebook will also receive notifications if they try to share a story or have shared one in the past that’s been determined to be false, empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.

Providing fact-checking in English and French across eight countries, Phil Chetwynd, AFP Global News Director said: “AFP is delighted to be expanding its fact-checking project with Facebook. We are known for the high quality of our journalism from across Africa and we will be leveraging our unparalleled network of bureaus and journalists on the continent to combat misinformation.”

Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor from Pesa Check who will provide fact-checking services in Swahili and English added: “Social networks like Facebook haven’t just changed how Africans consume the news. Social media is often the primary access to digital content or the ‘Internet’ for many Africans. They shape our perceptions of the world, our public discourse, and how we interact with public figures. This project helps us dramatically expand our fact-checking to debunk claims that could otherwise cause real-world harm. The project helps us respond more quickly and directly. We’re seeing real positive results in our interactions with both publishers and the public itself. The project also helps our fact-checks reach a far larger audience than we would otherwise. This has helped us better understand the information vacuum and other viral dynamics that drive the spread of false information in Africa. Our growing impact is a small but tangible contribution to better informed societies in Africa.”

Caroline Anipah, Programme Officer, Dubawa (Ghana) said: “Dubawa is excited to be in Ghana where the misinformation and disinformation have become widespread as a result of technological advancement and increasing internet penetration. Dubawa intends to raise the quality of information available to the public with the ultimate aim of curbing the spread of misinformation and disinformation and promoting good governance and accountability.”

Derek Thomson, editor-in-chief of the France 24 Observers, said: “Our African users are constantly sending us questionable images and messages they’ve received via social media, asking us ‘Is this true? Can you check it?’ It’s our responsibility as fact-checking journalists to verify the information that’s circulating, and get the truth back out there. Participating in the Facebook programme helps ensure that our fact-checks are reaching the people who shared the false news in the first place.”

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