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Samsung taps into SAA

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Samsung has entered into a partnership with South African Airways (SAA) to upgrade the in-flight entertainment offering to business class passengers through the provision of Samsung tablets on selected flights longer than three hours.

SAA will initially launch the project on its Mauritius route, enhancing the travel experience for professionals and addressing their unique travel needs by adding more choice. The tablets are pre-loaded with content that can be used to read magazines, watch movies and listen to music.

“During trial tests with SAA, passengers responded that they rated convenience and relevant information sources as key, while travelling. This relationship enables us to showcase the comfort, accessibility and content advantages that a Samsung tablet offers,” said Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung Electronics SA.

The collaboration brings together two brands who are both synonymous with quality and innovation in order to deliver a smarter, more suitable in-flight environment for South Africa’s national airline customers. With productivity and an improved infotainment offering in mind, the business class traveller can now enjoy the Samsung mobile innovation.

“After an extensive study it was clear that executive travellers demand an in-flight multimedia system that can replicate, or even transcend what they are accustomed to on the ground. As a result, we have customised the tablet to meet the specific and unique requirements of the SAA business class passenger,” continues Potgieter.

“Our association with Samsung is aligned with our business philosophy and sets us apart from our competitors, where no such offering currently exists. As a premier brand we constantly evolve the offering to our customers; this new and improved on-board experience alongside premium mobile Samsung devices, will further augment our position as a full service and innovative airline,” says Sylvain Bosc, SAA Chief Commercial Officer.

Increasingly, corporate companies join forces with technology firms to grow and enrich customer expectations and therefore, their value proposition. SAA, together with Samsung and Microsoft, developed the customised application for regional flights and as a result, travellers will now be able to conveniently access information anywhere. The A320 new generation aircraft will also make provision for the tablet to be conveniently placed in a slot in the back of the seat equipped with a charging point.

Further to this, SAA is provided with a value-added service that takes the travel expedition to new heights. Cabin crew are able to distribute the devices, which will contain both South African, African and international content, once in-flight and collect the tablets prior to landing for safe keeping and redistribution for the next flights.

“This validates our commitment to deliver the latest product innovation and value added services to consumers. Core to this offering is to provide business travellers with an experience that meets their evolving needs in order to enhance their journey with SAA,” concludes Potgieter.

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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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