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Nokia 8 Sirocco gets Pie

The Android 9 Pie upgrade has arrived on the Nokia 8 Sirocco, joining the family of Nokia smartphones running the new OS. A total of six Nokia smartphones made by HMD now run the Pie, giving users access to the latest features from Google across the range.

Click here to read more about the new features that Android 9 Pie adds to the handset.

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The Android 9 Pie update ensures that Nokia smartphones improve with time, thanks to intuitive AI that learns user habits to ensure the most effective and efficient experience.

The Nokia 8 Sirocco is an ultra-compact, beautifully designed device, blending Nokia’s premium craftsmanship with strong performance. Using Android 9 Pie will provide improvements to the smartphone experience based on daily phone use. Features like predictive system navigation adjust to and anticipate users’ personal requirements.

Other new features of Android 9 Pie which will benefit Nokia 8 Sirocco users include App Actions and Digital Wellbeing, new features exclusive to Android One devices and Google Pixel phones.

Key features of Android 9 Pie, as supplied by HMD:

App Actions – Helps you get things done faster by predicting your next move and displaying the right action on your phone; 

Slices – Identifies relevant information of your favourite apps to make them more easily accessible when you need them;

Adaptive Battery – Uses deep learning to understand usage patterns and prioritise battery power on important apps; 

Adaptive Brightness – Automatically adapts phone brightness by learning from your interactions;

New system navigation – Features a single home button that provides intelligent predictions and suggestions (user enabled).

Digital Wellbeing features:

Dashboard – Highlights screen time and phone usage including how many times device has been unlocked and number of notifications received;

App Timers – Set time limits on app usage;

Wind Down and Do Not Disturb – Set a daily schedule to get your phone ready for bed. Your screen fades to Grayscale, while Do Not Disturb silences notifications for a restful sleep. You can activate Do Not Disturb anytime you want to disconnect.

Product of the Day

Acer’s latest Chromebook means serious business

The latest Acer Chromebooks for business have arrived in South Africa. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the Acer Chromebook 715.

Click below to read the review.

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The Chromebook market has been perceived as very consumer-focused, until the recent introduction of management tools for Chrome OS.

To complement these corporate management tools, Acer has released the Chromebook 715, aimed at the business person that works in the cloud, in South Africa.

The unit we reviewed contained an Intel Core i5-8250U, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of eMMC storage. All of this was housed in a sturdy aluminium body. 

On the left side, the computer features a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a standard USB Type-A port, and a headphone jack, while on the right it has a Kensington Lock, another USB Type-C port just for connectivity and a microSD card slot. 

When open, the narrow bezelled 15.6″-inch display has a Full HD resolution for crisp lettering in documents. The wide colour gamut also ensures that colours are accurately represented on screen. 

The keyboard features a first for Chromebooks: a num-pad. This is especially useful for those working with spreadsheets on Google Sheets or Excel Online, or accountants working in web apps like Xero.

The overall design of this computer shows the professional look Acer was going for with a business-facing Chromebook. It has a grey aluminium body, which looks heavy, but comes to a mere 1.8kg. It’s much lighter than it looks for an almost 16″ laptop.

The performance is great and switching between web apps is fast. This is thanks to the embedded i5 processor, which doesn’t make as much of a noise as its Windows counterparts.

The computer isn’t for the “slashie”: those who run their personal and business lives on the same device. As a result, games don’t run on the computer because it doesn’t run applications. This asserts the device’s status as a purely business-focused device.

Apart from the hardware features, the computer is handled via the lightweight Chrome OS. 

Chrome OS is Google’s answer for those who only work with web apps, and don’t want their computer’s performance hindered by unnecessary apps. With the increasing power offered from web apps, the computer application as we know is likely to disappear eventually. 

With Google’s Apps for Work platform, the Chromebook lends itself to the same admin management tools that exist on other platforms. 
The integrated 45 Wh battery may seem small but operates for around 9 hours, thanks to the lightweight software and good battery management.  

Overall, for those who want a no-nonsense approach to computing, the Acer Chromebook 715 may be their best next device. However, its pricing at R7,999 may deter those who would expect to pay less.

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Philips’s new toothbrush does more than clean teeth

Philips’s new Sonicare DiamondClean toothbrush comes with five brushing modes, including one focused on gum care.

Click below to read about the new toothbrush.

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Brushing one’s teeth and following a daily oral healthcare routine has more than just cosmetic gain.

Plaque forms a film of bacteria between one’s teeth and gums, that if not properly removed can lead to gum disease and a range of diseases like diabetes and coronary heart disease. With statistics from Philips indicating that an estimated 90% of South Africans suffer from gum disease at some point in their life, good oral health has never been more important.

This is why the company has created the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush.

The Philips Sonicare is tough on plaque but gentle on gums.

Its brushstrokes drive fluid deep between a user’s teeth and along the gumline. According to Philips, one brush with this toothbrush does more than a manual toothbrush does in a month.

It features 5 modes to cover more brushing needs, such as Clean, Polish, White Sensitive and Gum Care, it offers a customisable experience providing up to 7x more plaque removal than a manual toothbrush. Philips says the users of this brush can also get a whiter smile in one week with the DiamondClean brush head and improved gum health in just 2 weeks.

For the person on the go, the USB travel case doubles up as a charger to ensure the device remains charged. For home charging, the charger glass doubles as a glass for rinsing after brushing. To activate charge, place the brush into the glass to experience two weeks of regular use from a single charge.

Available in a range of colours at Takealot and Dis-Chem for a recommended retail price of  R3299.

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