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Opera 54 builds blockchain into browser

Opera has announced that it is the first major browser to integrate a crypto wallet to enable access to a range of blockchain services.

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Opera has added cryptocurrency capabilities to its latest version of its Opera browser for Android – Opera for Android 54. This version of the browser integrates Bitcoin (BTC) and TRON payments to its crypto wallet, along with a refreshed user interface (UI) with ten new colour themes.

The Android version of Opera had supported Ethereum only, and has now added support for Bitcoin and TRON, enabling payments and transactions to be made directly in the browser without any extensions. By opening its Crypto Wallet to some of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, Opera is making it possible to send and receive these virtual currencies directly from the browser in the same way one would send or receive an image or music file.

Opera also now supports online payments with blockchain where merchant support exists. This means users can pay with their cryptocurrency that’s a built-in wallet, including sending person-to-person and interacting with websites to pay for goods or services.

Stefan Stjernelund, Product Manager of Opera for Android, says: “We realise that mobile browsers are no longer just a means to connect users to the internet – they have evolved into multipurpose tools that are actively removing the barriers to owning and transacting using cryptocurrencies.”

Now for ‘transition focus’

Opera has added a splash of colour to its user experience. The browser’s upgraded UI focuses on reducing unnecessary distractions by introducing a new concept called “transition focus”. 

“Transition focus is a beautiful interface that features a clean, bloat-free design to ensure features like a free unlimited VPN, a built-in ad blocker and the Crypto Wallet that can be accessed quickly and fluidly,” says Stjernelund.

Opera has added ten colour options that enable users to adjust the browser to their taste and preference. The browser’s colour themes can match the Android system’s dark or light mode or be set up independently.

Stjernelund says: “We want the Opera browser to set a new standard among browsers by providing the features that a modern browser should have. With this version, we are ushering in a series of design changes and digital tools that speak to the future of browsing, one that goes beyond just connecting users to the internet.”

Opera continues to provide an integrated news service – Opera News – that keeps users up to date with current affairs. It also includes a cleaner design with integrated night mode to put less strain on readers’ eyes.

Opera for Android 54 is available for download on the Google Play Store.

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Samsung to release Galaxy Note10 Lite in SA

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 Lite, unveiled at CES 2020 two weeks ago, will be released in South Africa next month.

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Samsung has unveiled the new Galaxy Note10 Lite at a preview event in Johannesburg. Building on the legacy of the Galaxy Note series, this Lite model brings key premium features like the latest camera technology, signature S Pen, immersive display and a long-lasting battery, at a more accessible price point. The Galaxy Note Lite is positioned between the Galaxy A Series and Samsung’s flagship devices. It will be launched in South Africa in February, with a recommended retail price of R12,999.

What’s different from the Note10?

The Note10 Lite drops support for wireless charging, waterproofing, and a curved screen. Other than that, it’s a very capable device at a far lower price

“The Galaxy Note devices have met consumer demands around the world and has proven to be popular in South Africa,” said Justin Hume, director of integrated mobility at Samsung South Africa. “These devices represent our continuous effort to deliver industry leading innovations, from performance and power to intelligence and services. The Galaxy Note10 Lite will make the experience more accessible to South Africans.”

To read the full breakdown of device specifications, click here.

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Sony Xperia 5 scores high

The latest compact flagship from Sony, the Xperia 5, scores a high 95 in DxOMark.

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The Sony Xperia 5, announced in September 2019, is the latest compact flagship, intended as a more affordable, pocket-friendly alternative to the full-sized Xperia 1. Key features on the Xperia 5 include a 6.1-inch OLED display, as well as the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset with 128GB of internal storage and 6GB RAM. Storage is expandable up to 1TB via micro SD.

The main camera boasts the same triple sensor and lens setup as on the Xperia 1. All three sensors offer 12MP resolution, with a large 1/2.55-inch sensor for the main camera, and a smaller 1/3.4-inch sensor for each of the ultra-wide and telephoto modules. The main sensor is coupled to a 26mm-equivalent f/1.6 aperture lens; there’s also a 16mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 52mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens offering x2 optical zoom shots.

Other features include 5-axis optical image stabilization (OIS) and predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus on the main and telephoto cameras, eye-tracking autofocus, HDR, and LED flash. 4K video is available for 2160p@24/30fps capture on the Xperia 5, but the Sony’s 5-axis gyroscope-enabled OIS only kicks in for HD video recording at 1080p@30fps.

Key camera specifications:

Triple camera

  • Primary: 12MP 1/2.55-inch sensor with 1.4µm pixels and 26mm f/1.6-aperture lens
  • Ultra-wide: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 16mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Telephoto: 12MP 1/3.4-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixels and 52mm f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Predictive Dual Pixel PDAF autofocus & 5-axis OIS (main & telephoto)
  • LED flash, HDR, eye-tracking
  • 4K 24/30fps video with HDR
  • Full HD 1080p@30fps video with 5-axis gyro-EIS
  • Although not officially launched in South Africa, it is available from some online outlets.

Click here to see samples of the photography on DxOMark’s website.

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