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Rush reaches 1000 mark

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Within just three months of its launch, the Rush app-based courier service has pnotched up more than 1000 successful deliveries. Powered by WeChat, Rush promises “to fundamentally disrupt the courier industry in South Africa”.

Rush’s success is based on the simple principle of enabling customers to book a courier in real-time using a smart phone. This removes the hassle of having to stand in queues to post parcels, being locked into courier contracts that are not meeting expectations, and eliminates the usual exorbitant rates to send a parcel.

By aggregating numerous couriers onto the Rush platform, the company is able to offer customers a range of services and costs, through its Pronto, Same Day, Overnight or Budget delivery offerings.

The couriers represented on Rush at present are The Courier Guy, Courier IT, Skynet and Globeflight, with newcomer Road Trip Courier and industry giant RTT being the most recent couriers to join Rush.

Road Trip recently launched its courier division and will provide the Pronto service for Rush that offers delivery within the major SA metropolitan centres within 90 minutes, at a heavily reduced rate.

“Rush lives up to its motto of ‘your courier, your choice’, by offering customers the convenience of being able to choose their courier by service, by price, delivery time and even reputation,” says CEO Glenn Whittaker. “Simply download WeChat from the iOS or Android app store, follow the Rush official account and use the app to book, pay for and track deliveries.”

Whittaker says that Rush expects even greater uptake of the service as more customers become aware of WeChat Wallet.

The impact of Rush’s ever growing offering of couriers benefits customers by offering more options to suit their needs, as well as bolstering Rush’s capability to deliver any parcel to any destination in South Africa.

Matthew Slater, co-owner of Road Trip, says: “When we decided to launch our courier service, we discovered that the existing Rush services had a tendency to avoid the immediate ‘pick up and deliver side’ of the business. This offered us a niche where we could effectively plug in and use our existing infrastructure. By partnering with Rush, we are able to instantly deliver to an extended customer base that is actively seeking the kind of courier services we provide.”

Says Whittaker, “Small businesses in particular are finding our delivery services to be ideal. After all, the economy is slowing down and money is inevitably tight, so an increasing number of SMEs are embracing the courier services we offer in terms of price and choice. In fact, since our entire value proposition is built on saving our customers time and money, we are offering new clients up to R150 off their first delivery, provided they download WeChat and use Rush.”

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record

A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.

DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.

The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?

“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.

At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.

It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.

Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.

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SA car wins
Dakar Rally

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The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for an historic victory. Not only was it a first win for Toyota, but it was also the first petrol-powered car to win the Dakar in the South-American era.

The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.

The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.

The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.

“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”

Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.

Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.

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