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Samsung unveils Note 4 in SA

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Yesterday, Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 4 is now available in South Africa. The device features an enhanced S Pen, better multitasking options and a Quad HD Super AMOLED display.

Samsung Electronics announced the expansion of its Galaxy Note series with the new Galaxy Note 4, with an evolved S Pen.

“The Galaxy Note 4’s larger screen size and iconic S Pen technology have launched a new standard in smartphone culture,” said Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics SA. “With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world.”

Powerful Performance that Matters the Most to You

The Galaxy Note 4 uses a 5.7″ Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display that makes colors images crisper, and colors brighter. Images are produced with deep contrast, better viewing angles and response times as fast as a millionth of a second, providing lag-free movie viewing.

Due to its large screen, the Multi Window feature is able to maximise users’ experience providing them with the key to easier multi-tasking. Users can choose how they access their applications with full, split or pop-up screens and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen with one swipe.

The Galaxy Note 4 also sports an advanced camera that is able to reproduce brighter and clearer images. The device is equipped with a 16 megapixel rear-facing camera featuring a smart optical image stabiliser that counter-balances camera shake and automatically extends exposure times in dark settings. In addition, a 3.7 megapixel front-facing camera with f1.9 offers a default 90 degree shooting angle and up to 120 degree wide angle, so users can take the best group shots with friends.

Another enhanced feature of the Galaxy Note 4 is the Fast Charging and Ultra Power Saving Mode, enabling charging from 0 to 50% in 31 minutes. It comes equipped with multiple microphones and an improved speaker phone for better noise cancellation when speaking in loud environments. A built-in voice recorder offers eight different directional voice tagging and a selective playback capability that allows users to isolate and listen to specific voices in a group conversation.

The Galaxy Note 4 also offers an improved fingerprint scanner.

S Pen and S Note for Everyday Tasks

Making everyday tasks much faster and easier, the Galaxy Note 4’s S Pen has been specifically evolved to serve as the primary tool that users go to for common, everyday mobile device use. This new S Pen offers a much more authentic pen experience, with a more natural brush effect that perfectly emulates writing on paper with a fountain or calligraphy pen. The S Pen also introduces a more user-friendly Air Command functionality along with other intuitive features such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select that allows users to create and collect content with ease. A new Smart Select feature enables consumers to easily piece together content from different origins and share it with ease.

Premium yet functional design

The Galaxy Note 4 features a metal frame with fluid curvature that blends with the device display. The 2.5D glass screen, inherited from the GALAXY S3, offers extra protection while perfectly complementing the device’s rich viewing experience. A soft-textured back cover provides comfort that makes it easy to control with one hand. The device not only looks beautiful, but offers a superior grip and enhanced durability.

The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in “Charcoal Black,” “Frost White,” “Bronze Gold,” and “Blossom Pink” through Samsung Experience Stores, leading retailers and local operators, starting in October.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Blockchain unpacked

Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.

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This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.

What is blockchain?

A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.

A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.

Each block stores:

–           A number of valid records or transactions.
–           Information referring to that block.
–           A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.

Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.

As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.

How is blockchain so secure?

Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.

Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.

In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.

What else can blockchain be used for?

Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.

Use of blockchain in healthcare

Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.

Use of blockchain for documents

Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.

Other blockchain uses

This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things  (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.

Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.

Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.

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Samsung unveils the quad-cam smartphone

Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy A9, the world’s first smartphone with a rear quad camera.

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“As a global leader in smartphone innovation, we understand the demand for meaningful innovation in a fast-paced world driven by visual communication,” said Justin Hume, Director: Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa. “Building on our legacy in smartphone camera development we’re introducing next-generation technology across our entire Galaxy portfolio to give more consumers the opportunity to experience cutting-edge innovation. We’re excited to deliver on this promise and debut world leading smartphone camera technology with the Galaxy A9.”

Samsung provided the following information (including the adjectives):

The Galaxy A9 allows you to capture dynamic and beautiful photos effortlessly. With four lenses, experience even more ways to unleash your creativity and capture, create and share stunning images.

·         Get close without compromise with 2x Optical Zoom for incredible and detailed close-up shots even from far away.

·         Capture the world in its fullest and without limit, with the Ultra Wide Lens, and shoot like a pro with the Scene Optimizer. Thanks to AI Scene Recognition, your camera is now smarter, and able to identify the subject and adjust settings accordingly for the best photo, in an instant.

·         Express your creativity with the Depth Lens, giving you the freedom to manually manage the photos’ depth of field and focus on the subject for stunning, professional looking images.

·         Capture clear and bright images in both bright and low light conditions with Galaxy A9’s 24MP Main Lens, for gorgeous photos at any time of the day.

The reliable 3,800mAh battery life on the Galaxy A9 lets you live without limits and enjoy outstanding long-lasting performance. You can now capture everything, without restriction, store more and delete less with the Galaxy A9’s 128GB storage and up to 512GB of expandable memory.

Designed to make life more convenient, the Galaxy A9 features Bixby, Samsung Pay and Samsung Health and you can take advantage of the many multi-tasking benefits the Galaxy A9 offers, including App Pair.

First Class Design

Building on Samsung’s heritage in first-class design, the Galaxy A9 is styled in three unique colors; Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink with a sleek and ergonomic design, that fits in one hand with a 3D Glass curved back for a high-quality comfortable feel. The Galaxy A9 will be available in South Africa from December.

Check out the specs on the next page.

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