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Sony launches XA Ultra in SA

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Sony Mobile Communications has announced a new addition to the revamped Xperia X series with the selfie-oriented Xperia XA Ultra.

The Xperia XA Ultra features a large 6” screen, 16MP front camera, low-light sensor, up to two days battery life and thin design with a borderless screen makes it a powerful mid-range smartphone.

Boasting an advanced selfie cam, it captures quality images by day or night. This is made possible by its 16MP front camera and Sony’s renowned low-light sensors. The Sony camera technology used in the Xperia XA Ultra helps achieve sharp, bright, blur-free shots and features a smart selfie flash to naturally illuminate a face for night scene selfies.

It benefits additionally from the Optical Image Stabilisation system to counter hand shake for both photos and videos. Taking a selfie is made even easier with the Hand Shutter feature. All it takes is raising a hand and the shutter timer will start to count down, leaving enough time to strike a pose. Capturing a spontaneous shot is also possible with the fast main camera, featuring 21.5 megapixels, Sony’s exceptional Hybrid Autofocus and quick launch and capture so one can go from standby to capture in a fraction of a second.

The infinity-feel borderless 6-inch Full HD display with curved glass is encased by a metal surround that creates a seamless feel. Despite the large screen, the Xperia XA Ultra’s razor thin design and One-handed Operation Mode means it sits comfortably in one hand.

The Xperia XA Ultra might have a big, bright display, but that doesn’t compromise the Sony battery standard. It still gets up to 2-days of battery life from a single charge. When the need comes for a quick battery top-up, the Xperia XA Ultra coupled to the Quick Charger UCH12 will get 5.5 hours of battery life in just 10 minutes. Additionally, with integrated Qnovo adaptive charging technology the lifetime of the battery is extended so over time one gets much more use out of the device.

This breakthrough model comes on the heels of Sony Mobile Communications’ announcement of the appointment of Jason Smith as its new Vice-President for the Middle East and Africa. Smith has been part of the Sony Corporation for the past 16 years, spearheading different markets in Asia and South Africa.

The new Vice-President’s focus will be to develop further the partnerships with operators and distribution partners throughout the region, while continuing to strengthen Sony Mobile Communications’ business in the Middle East and Africa markets.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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How Quantum computing will change … everything?

Research labs, government agencies (NASA) and tech giants like Microsoft, IBM and Google are all focused on developing quantum theories first put forward in the 1970s. What’s more, a growing start-up quantum computing ecosystem is attracting hundreds of millions of investor dollars. Given this scenario, Forrester believes it is time for IT leaders to pay attention.

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“We expect CIOs in life sciences, energy, defence, and manufacturing to see a deluge of hype from vendors and the media in the coming months,” says Forrester’s Brian Hopkins, VP, principal analyst serving CIOs and lead author of a report: A First Look at Quantum Computing. “Financial services, supply-chain, and healthcare firms will feel some of this as well. We see a market emerging, media interest on the rise, and client interest trickling in. It’s time for CIOs to take notice.”

The Forrester report gives some practical applications for quantum computing which helps contextualise its potential: 

  • Security could massively benefit from quantum computing. Factoring very large integers could break RSA-encrypted data, but could also be used to protect systems against malicious attempts. 
  • Supply chain managers could use quantum computing to gather and act on price information using minute-by-minute fluctuations in supply and demand 
  • Robotics engineers could determine the best parameters to use in deep-learning models that recognise and react to objects in computer vision
  • Quantum computing could be used to discover revolutionary new molecules making use of the petabytes of data that studies are now producing. This would significantly benefit many organisations in the material and life sciences verticals – particularly those trying to create more cost-effective electric car batteries which still depend on expensive and rare materials. 

Continue reading to find out how Quantum computing differs.

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