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Sony goes for fun with E5

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Sony Mobile Communications has unveiled the  Xperia E5, described as “a fun, easy-to-use smartphone” with advanced Sony performance and camera technology, at an accessible price point.

“Xperia E5 is a no-compromise approach to smartphone capability at this section of the market,” said Tsutomu Sato, Director of Product Marketing, at Sony Mobile Communications. “It’s the perfect device for those seeking affordable access to the performance, camera technology and design more often associated with high-end mobile devices.”

Sony provided the following information: 

Underpinning the combination of performance and power is the MediaTek MT6735 processor – its advanced Quad-core platform and fast 4G LTE capability, provide an immersive and vibrant multimedia, gaming and mobile internet experience.

Downloading and storing content is also made simple, with a large 200GB memory expandable via microSD card, capable of securely housing essential apps, music, images and games.

Xperia E5’s battery is long-lasting so you can use it for up to two days between charges – downloading apps, streaming video and browsing social networks, all without regularly reaching for the plug socket.

Available in Graphite Black and White, this powerful feature set sits within a slim 8.2mm form factor, weighing only 147g – for a natural and comfortable hand fit.

Not only does Xperia E5 make smartphone photography easy, both the 13 MP rear and 5 MP front cameras recognize what and where you’re capturing. Auto Scene Recognition analyses the conditions and whether you’re shooting a nouvelle cuisine dish or a selfie, it adjusts the settings accordingly for high quality shots – and with the additional option of HDR, you can be sure images look sharp and striking on the 5” HD display.

The swipe control camera interface makes it easy to flick between modes, and the all-new “Share” button allows for instantaneous upload to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with a few simple taps.

“Smart Cleaner” works diligently in the background to ensure maximum power is available to your Xperia E5 at all times – automatically removing unused processes and cache data. The result: a fluid experience and longer-lasting device.

Introduced at the heart of the 2016 Xperia portfolio, “Xperia Tips” is your personal assistant – intelligently attuning to your preferences, providing relevant and timely on-screen advice to help you get the most from your Xperia E5.

And, the re-imagined “Introduction to Xperia” helps you get set up and started within minutes, with account sync, seamless content migration from previous devices and personalized app recommendations.

Xperia E5 launches locally in August 2016 with a recommended retail price of R3,999.

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Vodacom cuts cost of smallest bundle by 40%

The country’s largest mobile operator has kept to a promise made last month to slash the price of entry-level data packages

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Vodacom has cut the data price of its lowest-cost bundle by 40%, reducing the price of a 50MB 30-day bundle from R20 to to R12. This follows from the operator’s promise in March, when it announced a 33% cut in the cost of 1GB bundles, to reduce prices of all smaller bundles by up to 40%.

Vodacom’s various 30-day data bundle prices will be cut across all of its channels, with the new pricing as follows:

30-day bundle size New Price Reduction
50MB R12 40%
150MB R29 33%
325MB R55 33%
500MB R79 21%
1GB R99 34%
3GB R229 23%
5GB R349 14%
10GB R469 22%
20GB R699 31%

Vodacom confirmed it will provide free data to access essential services through Vodacom’s zero-rated platform ConnectU with immediate effect. The value of these initiatives, it says, is R2.7-billion over the next year.

“Vodacom can play a critical role in supporting society during this challenging time and we’re committed to doing whatever we can to help customers stay connected,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Vodacom’s Consumer Business Unit. “Since we started our pricing transformation strategy three years ago, our customers have benefitted from significant reductions in data prices and the cost of voice calls. Over the same period, we invested over R26 billion in infrastructure and new technologies, so our customers enjoy wider 2G, 3G and 4G coverage and vastly increased data speeds.”

The latest data reductions will complement the discounted bundle offers that will also be made available to prepaid customers in more than 2,000 less affluent suburbs and villages around the country. For qualifying communities to access further discounted voice and data deals, they need to click on the scrolling ConnectU banner on the platform via connectu.vodacom.co.za

ConnectU – which is a zero-rated platform – also went live this week. It will provide content aimed at social development and offers a variety of essential services for free. Learners and students enrolled in schools and universities can access relevant information for free, with no data costs. The ConnectU portal includes a search engine linked to open sources such as Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as free access to job portals; free educational content on the e-School platform; free health and wellness information and free access to Facebook Flex, the low data alternative to Facebook that enables customers to stay socially connected.

Vodacom’s popular Just4You platform has been a significant contributor to the approximately 50% reduction in effective data prices over the past two years. Substantial cuts in out-of-bundle tariffs and the introduction of hourly, daily and weekly bundles with much lower effective prices have also driven increased value and affordability, resulting in R2-billion in savings for customers in 2019.

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OneBlade shaves price of electric precision

Electric razors and their blades are usually quite expensive. But the Philips OneBlade shaves the cost, writes SEAN BACHER

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Electric razors come in all shapes and forms and their prices vary as well. When your nearest electronic retail outlet opens again, you will be able to pay a small fortune for a wet and dry razor that cleans itself, shows you when it needs to be recharged, and tells you to replace the cleaning solution – all via a little LCD panel in the handle.

But does everyone want that? Does everyone need that? Surely there must be customers who want an easy-to-use, no-mess, no-fuss razor that gets the job done just as well as a “smart razor”?

With this in mind, Philips has launched its OneBlade wet and dry electric razor. The razor is dead simple to use. It comes with three stubble combs – 1mm, 3mm and 5 mm –  which can be clicked onto the head much like one would with a hair shaver. Should you want a really close shave, simply the combs off. I found this to be the most effective as I don’t have a beard.

The razor’s blade is the size of the striking side of a matchbox and has 90-degree angles all round. This offers precise shaving and, because of its small size, it is able to get just about anywhere on a person’s face.

The blade has a usage indicator that shows when it is time to replace the blade – usually after four months – and an additional blade is included in the box.

The OneBlade’s battery takes up to eight hours to charge, and will give up to 45 minutes shaving time.

Overall, the Philips OneBlade will give a man a comfortable and precise shave. Its battery life, combined with its size, makes it a perfect travel companion as it is no bigger than an electric toothbrush. Its relatively low price compared to other electric razors also counts in its favour.

The One Blade can be bought from most electronic retailers or can be ordered online from websites like takealot.com. The razor retails for R650 and a set of two new blades will cost around R450.

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