Huawei Y7 Pro
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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus!
Samsung recently launched its flagship Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ smartphone phablets in South Africa and across the world. Unlike previous generations, this is the first time Samsung has split the Note brand into two offerings, leaving many people confused over which model to choose. Here are some of the highlights and features of the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ to help you make up your mind. Design Naturally, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a huge screen - in fact, it’s the biggest Note to date with a 6.8-inch screen, which is perfect if you’re a serious gamer or if you use the Note 10+ for design or video editing. In contrast, the smaller Note 10 has a 6.3-inch screen, which is actually smaller than the display found on the previous generation Galaxy Note 9. The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ have a dynamic AMOLED+ screen made of Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 6. In terms of feel, the Note 10 is more compact and easier to handle, weighing just 168 grams compared to the bigger Note 10+, which weighs in at 195 grams. If you have small hands, it’s advisable to go for the sleeker Note 10. Both phones come in a variety of colours, but only the Note 10+ is available in the eye-catching Aura Blue. Cameras The Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ have the same cameras and sensors. The three rear cameras comprise a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. The front of each device sports a 10MP selfie camera. Live Focus Mode auto-focuses on subjects while recording video, while the Zoom-In Mic feature cuts out background noises for crisper, clearer audio. Under the Hood Although both phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset, there are a few notable differences. The Note 10+ has 12GB of RAM while its little sibling has 8GB. This means multi-tasking and running background apps is smoother on the Note 10+. Storage is another major factor in the new Note 10 range. The Note 10 is an upgrade to the Note 9 in that it has 256GB of memory but doesn’t have a slot for an SD Card. The Note 10+ is available with either 256GB or 512GB of onboard storage and features an SD Card slot to expand the capacity up to 1TB if required. Battery Battery life has become a major selling point for smartphone users. The Note 10+ ships with a large 4300mAh battery for much longer usage on the go. Surprisingly, the Note 10 has a 3500mAh battery, which is actually smaller than the one in the Note 9. Price and Verdict The Note series from Samsung has always been targeted at power users with a focus on productivity on the go. The Note 10+ is definitely an improvement over previous versions and will set you back around R 22 999. The Note 10 is slightly disappointing as it doesn’t provide many improvements from the Note 9. Nevertheless, it’s much smaller and easier to handle than the Note 10+, and with a price tag of R 18 999, it does seem like a good choice as an entry into the flagship arena.
5G is Coming: Here’s What You Need to Know!
Faster internet is just around the corner with the rapid development of 5G wireless technology across the globe, but is it that much better than what we have right now? In order to understand 5G, let’s look back at the wireless technologies that paved the way for it to become a reality. The first generation (1G) of wireless technology emerged in the early 1980s with the introduction of mobile phones like the Motorola DynaTAC, which could only be used to make phone calls. Then came the second generation (2G) that improved the quality of voice calls as well as enabled SMS and later MMS. The tail end of the 90s saw the emergence of 3G technology, which finally gave cellphones internet access and video calling capabilities. The latest, and soon to be replaced, generation of wireless technology is 4G LTE, which has taken internet usage beyond mere web browsing. These 4G networks enable people to live-stream, make group video calls, stream video and music, play online games and much more thanks to faster speeds between 10 to 50 Mbps, depending on the network. Fast forward to 2019 and we have 5G on the horizon, with tech giants all scrambling to bring the 5th generation of wireless technology to consumers around the world. According to telecoms experts, 5G will provide users with real-world speeds of between 700Mbps to 3Gbps! This means that a file that took you a few minutes to download on 4G would take mere seconds on a 5G wireless connection. Other applications will also benefit from 5G technology, especially those that require real-time connections like Uber or Taxify. 5G could also aid the development of autonomous driving and robotic surgery. International tech website cbinsights.com say that 5G will revolutionize the health-care, manufacturing and automotive industries. Microscopic cameras equipped with 5G will be able to provide real-time streaming in and out of patients’ bodies, setting the groundwork for more remote diagnoses and other more complex practices. We’ve already seen progress in terms of robotic surgery - in January 2019, a team in China tested 5G remotesurgery for the first time, successfully removing an animal’s liver in the province of Fujian. However, it’s not all great news. As 5G provides more bandwidth, cell towers will have a smaller coverage radius. Networks will have to build more cell towers to reach all their subscribers, which will result in higher costs for the networks that consumers will likely end up bearing. In simple terms, 5G isn’t going to be cheap. It’s expected that 5G technology will be launched globally in 2020, but cellphone manufacturers have already started developing 5G-ready smartphones. Samsung, Huawei and LG have already released phones that support 5G; surprisingly, Apples latest iPhone 11 range lacks 5G suppo rt. Former Minister of Telecommunications Siyabonga Cwele last year stated that South Africa will only release 5G licenses when the standards of 5G have been agreed upon by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the telecommunications body of the United Nations. Some of South Africa’s networks have already started testing 5G technology and are just awaiting the official roll out from the rest of the globe. The USA has also started 5G trials this year, so you should expect it to hit SA sometime next year if all goes well. It comes with a massive jump in download speeds and lower latency, but it seems that you will have to fork out a bit more for 5G technology during the initial launch period. Stay tuned for more updates on South Africa’s 5G rollout as we get them.
Are Google and Facebook Really Spying on You?
Privacy has become a major concern in the always-connected age of smart devices and ever-present social networks like Facebook and tech giants like Google. Most people do not want devices listening to their conversations, storing them, or worse, sending these private conversations back to social networks and developers through their apps. But this seems to be exactly what’s happening! So, are social networks like Facebook and search giants like Google really spying on you through their apps? The quick and easy answer to that is, “yes, they are”, but probably not in the way you think. There’s been many reported occasions where users have had private conversations and then had adverts relating to that specific topic turn up on Facebook or even on search engines like Google. Dutch publication VRT NWS reported that Google hires independent contractors from around the world to listen to and transcribe audio recordings from Google Assistant in order to improve the technology. Amazon has also been shown to practice this with its Alexa smart assistant. Your smartphone ‘listens’ for trigger words such as ‘Hey Google’ in order to record what you’re saying, decipher it and deliver accurate results. Without the triggers, your voice recordings are just stored on the device for a certain amount of time before being overwritten; however, the concern is that these recordings may not be out of the reach of third-party apps like Facebook or WhatsApp who use this data to target you with customised, highly specific ads. Jason Nurse, Assistant Professor in Cyber Security at the University of Kent explains this idea further, saying, “Imagine you have just started to think about where to go for your next holiday. You spend the morning visiting travel agents to discuss the latest deals and then visit your favourite restaurant, a popular Caribbean food chain in the city. Excited about your potential trip, later that night you watch mostly TV shows on the tropics. The next day, your social media feed contains flight, hotel and tour ads with deals to Barbados. Essentially, this is how data is gathered from your smart devices and then advertisers grab the opportunity to target you.” Surely by now you’re asking, ‘Is all this legal?’ It absolutely is. Remember those terms and conditions you accepted without reading? This is where you’re agreeing to let companies share your data with third parties. Even with new laws that try to protect people’s information, tech firms are constantly looking to push the boundaries of data gathering and algorithm design in ways that can feel invasive. There is a way to control what Google hears. Since it’s reliant on voice-activation when it hears the phrase ‘Hey Google’, disabling its access to your microphone would put a stop to the app listening and recording your voice. Tech website komando.com states that Google introduced a new My Account tool that lets you access your recordings and delete them if you want. You can also ask Google to permanently stop recording your voice. Here’s how to turn off the "OK Google" wake phrase: On Android, just go to Settings >> Google >> Search >> Voice and turn “OK Google” detection off. There is also a way to disable Facebook's access to your microphone. For Android users, go to Settings >> Applications >>Application Manager >> Facebook >> Permissions >> and then turn off the mic. Disabling this will affect how you use the app itself as some of its features will not be available, such as Live Video. To be fair, these tech firms listen to your conversations to train their AI to be better at understanding you and delivering accurate results. It also streamlines their advertising campaigns to deliver online ads that are relevant to you. The problem is that they haven’t been entirely honest or forthcoming about how these technologies work, which has understandably angered a lot of people. However, if targeted ads and an accurate AI are not important to you, a simple fix is to just shut off these services as described above, or you could just watch what you say in the vicinity of your smartphone!