All posts in Gadgets

Nigerian bloggers react to the Samsung Galaxy S5

Last week, Samsung Mobile Nigeria hung out with Bloggers and Developers at the CCHub MX Lab, in Lagos, to find out what they think about the features of the Samsung Galaxy S5

Forget That Puny USB Charger, Huawei’s Latest Phablet Will Power Your Other Devices

Giant

Announced at the ongoing International Consumer Electronics Show, Chinese tech challenger Huawei’s latest monster, the Ascend Mate 2, sports a non-removable 4,050mAh battery. In everyday speak, the device can hold three times the quantity of power an iPhone could ever hope to store, and Huawei estimates that one charge will take you through two days of unrestrained use. Against that very, well, powerful backdrop, it makes absolute sense that the 6.1-inch 4G/LTE phablet comes with a USB port for reverse charging: this thing is effectively a backup power pack for other devices. No, Samsung didn’t see this one coming.

See the Ascend Mate 2 charging an iPhone in a cheeky photo from Huawei’s CEO of consumer services, Richard Yu’s CES presentation below.

Giant 2

Images via GSM Insider, International Business Times

Is BRCK The Solution To Your Internet Connectivity Problem?

No network signal, no power. There’s power, but there’s no network signal. The network signal is strong, but your battery is “too low for radio use.” That’s the nature of getting online in Africa.

Enter: BRCK.

Engineered by Kenya-based non-profit tech startup Ushahidi, developers of the eponymous data crowdsourcing platform that wowed Africa a few years ago, BRCK — a solidly-built cloud-managed modem/router — may well be the solution to widespread Internet connectivity problems on the continent.

The rugged (oil/dirt/splash resistant) 510-gram box touted as a “backup generator for the Internet,”  will suck juice from Ethernet, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile networks for a blissful eight hours (without a mad dash for a nearby power source), piping the good stuff to up to twenty connected devices (top that, Huawei). It also comes with USB ports so you can charge stuff off its huge 8,000 mAH battery, as well as an Arduino-compatible expansion controller that should interest would-be hack.., er, hobbyists.

No word yet on when the approximately ₦32,000 device will land on store shelves in Nigeria, but you can learn more about BRCK here and from Ushahidi co-founder Juliana Rotich’s TED Talk below.

Image via Wired

P’9982 – Another Smartphone From BlackBerry And Porsche Design

Porsche Design and BlackBerry recently announced the elite, new, all-touch Porsche Design P’9982 Smartphone from BlackBerry and a second Crocodile model strictly limited to just 500 devices worldwide. Uniquely designed and expertly crafted, the P’9982 is exquisitely fashioned from high-quality materials and features a customized version of the BlackBerry 10.2 Operating System to give you the ultimate personal experience.

The P’9982, which extends the Porsche Design luxury brand’s range of modern luxury smartphones, features a satin finished frame forged from the finest quality stainless steel, complemented by a hand-wrapped genuine Italian leather back door. The back door of the limited edition model is hand-wrapped in genuine Crocodile leather.

SEE ALSO: TECNO Mobile Phones Now Come With BBM App Pre-installed

Distinguishable by its special series of PIN numbers, owners of the P’9982 will be instantly recognizable in the exclusive world of Porsche Design smartphone owners. The smartphone carries Porsche Design’s luxurious, iconic styling uniquely through the BlackBerry 10 experience to give you an exquisite handset purposely built to excel at mobile communications, messaging and productivity.

The new P’9982 smartphone comes with a customized version of the powerful BlackBerry 10.2 OS, with key features such as:

1. BlackBerry Priority Hub – BlackBerry Hub is the one place to manage all your conversations and notifications. The new BlackBerry Priority Hub intelligently filters messages to give you instant access to the conversations and content most essential to you, helping you stay organized and focused on the most important tasks.

2. BlackBerry Keyboard – The BlackBerry Keyboard learns how you type, what words you use, and can correct your mistakes on-the-fly. It can also give you next-word suggestions that you can simply flick into your message, helping you type perfect text, every time.

3. BBM Video with Screen Share – BBM Video with Screen Share takes video chatting further by letting you simply swipe to share what’s on your display. With BlackBerry Natural Sound your BBM Voice and Video calls will sound like you are in the same room.

4. Camera Time Shift mode and BlackBerry Story Maker – The camera’s Time Shift mode starts capturing your picture before you even take it, giving you the power to pick the  perfect moment. BlackBerry Storymaker lets you take a collection of photos and videos, and add music and effects, to create an HD movie that you can instantly share.

5. BBM Now in any app – BlackBerry 10 continues to refine the unique communications experience of the platform. If a BBM message arrives, you can instantly reply to the message without even leaving the app you’re in.

6. Apps for the Porsche Design customer – The BlackBerry World storefront showcases essential apps for the P’9982 smartphone customer, including productivity apps, games, videos and music based on what apps you’ve downloaded. Get the best on BlackBerry World, uniquely suited to you.

Find your individual look with exclusive Porsche Design accessories that have been specially selected to perfectly complement your new P’9982 smartphone. Inbox, you’ll find everything you need including the premium stereo headset, a polishing cloth, USB cable for high-speed data transfer and an international charging kit. The P’9982 smartphone also offers exclusive after market accessories including handcrafted backdoors made from fine Italian leather that are available in three colors, so you can choose a look to express your individuality.

The Porsche Design P’9982 smartphone from BlackBerry will be available from Porsche Design stores, select carriers and retailers around the world beginning on November 21. For more information about the P’9982 can be found at blackberry.com/p9982.

TECNO Mobile Phones Now Come With BBM App Pre-installed

TECNO mobile phones will now pre-install BBM on TECNO phones running the Android operating system. With BBM pre-installed, customers will be able to easily get started chatting and connecting with friends and family on the popular private social network from BlackBerry.

BBM, with its privacy, control and immediacy, is very popular in the Nigerian market, where everybody wants a BBM PIN.

According to Vice President, TECNO Group, Mr. Arif Chowdhury, BBM will be preloaded on TECNO phones in 20 countries. For customers already using TECNO phones, BBM will of course be available as a free download on the Google Play store.

This collaboration is good news for customers,” said Chowdhury. “It is our objective, not only for Nigerians, but for Africans as a whole, to acquire smartphones and enjoy a smart life and to be able to use the phone to its maximum benefit, and that is why we are working with BlackBerry to pre-load BBM on all new TECNO smartphones.

After the huge success of the Phantom A series, TECNO is now launching the next star product named Phantom AIII, and of course, this high technology smartphone will come preloaded with BBM,” added Chowdhury.

Android customers can enjoy the rich features of BBM that include: 

  • BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.
  • More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.
  • Keep your group in the loop – Multi-person chats are a great way to invite contacts to chat together. BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.
  • Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.
  • Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don’t have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

Executive Vice President for BBM at BlackBerry Mr. Andrew Bocking said, “BBM continues to grow in popularity and as the recent launch on Android and iOS suggests, BBM is the ‘must have’ app for active conversations. While we continue to evolve BBM with more features and functionality, we are excited to work with OEMs like TECNO to pre-install BBM, giving their smartphone customers in Africa quick and easy access to the service right out of the box.”

Do watch this space for a review of the BBM App experience on the TECNO as well as the new Phantom AIII.

Lumia Tablet, Giants And The New Asha Series – #NokiaWorld

There has been a lot of rumour about Nokia tablet but Stephen Elop,  Nokia CEO finally unveiled the 10” tablet alongside 2 different Lumia devices – 1520 and 1320, and 3 Asha phones (500,  502 and 503) at the ongoing Nokia World event in Abu Dhabi.

The new tablet not surprisingly runs on Windows 8 OS with 10.1 inch screen size and 2 USB ports.

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1520 is a 6 inch size device, 20 mega pixel camera,  1080 pixel screen (Full HD).

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1320 is a 6 inch with 5 mega pixel camera,  720 pixel screen.

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Asha 500, 502 and 503 were also introduced with prices which we will put up before the end of the day.

Stephen Elop also mentioned that Nokia will retain their staffs has they join Microsoft.

More updates on the Live Blog.

[Gadget Review] The Bamboo D700 7” Tablet

Not too long ago, the in-thing in town was the feature phone which had a camera, had the radio and came with some extra wow accessories, and that was it – case won. Those days seem to be so far away now, with the advent of Smartphones, smart tablets, and the phone-tab hybrid combo all rolled in one.

Here we are at a time where a phone, tablet, and even a computer system could all run on the same OS (operating system), in such a way that you could migrate your job from one device to another and keep it going without missing a beat. At least not in the continuous flow of the job, even if the convenience levels are somewhat different – considering screen size, keyboard comfort, and similar features.

Enter the Bamboo android smart tablet. Imagine the features of two phones, a mini laptop, touch screen features, with rear and frontal cameras, combined in one light and easy to carry around piece – There you have the Bamboo D700. Been playing around with it for some time now, just so that I could get some perspective to do this review.

Not Just another Android Tab

At the point of picking it up, I thought the same – maybe it is just another tablet of the many out there now. But I found out something different. The Bamboo tab seems to be made for the Nigerian market, because it has got features customized for this environment. Let me just give you a tip before we get into the real deal, a tab with a relatively rough-designed back, bundled with apps like the IrokoTv, Jobberman, and FM radio. Does that tell you anything? Just about what we need in this market. Before I get ahead of myself, let’s get back to the beginning.

What’s in the Box

The Bamboo Tab D700 comes packed like a Smartphone in a rectangular box. Inside the box, the tab is bundled with a full set of accessories such as a comfy suede comfy pouch with a rope-knot lock piece, a micro USB cable, a wall plug for USB charging, a pair of earphones, a car charger kit, a reader stand /holder (car/table leg stand), and a manual. All of the latter colored black, except the manual.

Hardware Design and Accessories

Designed with the slightly rough back for good grip and convenience, at just the right weight which allows for convenience even if held in hand for a long time. It runs on a dual core processor, with 1GHz frequency, and as much as 12.94 Gigabytes of internal storage, put together to provide superior performance.

On the top of the tab, the power button is located at the upper left corner, with the volume up and down buttons next to it. To the upper right are the dual SIM slots, and the TF or mini SD chip slot. On the right side there is the HDMI slot, the earphone jack, a Mic (mouthpiece point) and the micro-USB slot. The rear (2.0 megapixels) camera lens is more to the left of the center point on its end, while the frontal facing camera (0.3 MP) is quite centralized – which I must add has got lovely color separation and comparatively great output.

Also available are the usual features often seen on Android now: 3G / Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB interface, and a lovely touch screen keypad, with spaces between each tab to allow easy typing. It can also be used as a Mi-Fi device when the tethering spot feature is enabled, plus a micro-usb to full USB interface converter which allows for use of flash drives, data modems, and other dongles.

Using the Bamboo D700 Tablet

Enabled for dual SIM use with an efficient SIM management interface; the amazing thing is that even with all of the latter, it still adequately features an impressive battery life to boot. Pre-loaded with interesting applications, such as mobile terrestrial TV, crisp and clear FM radio application, business applications, and reader apps like Kobo.

Truth is, the Radio feature is my personal best especially as it can record FM, has the open speaker option, and lets you get a listen while doing other things on the Tab (first I have seen, and just right for Nigerians in love with their radio). An added advantage for female users would be the ovulation and fashion applications which come with the bundle.

Bundled with other great apps like GPS test, Airtel TV, flash player, kobo reader app, my days, MX player, Pose, and a paired wireless input device app enabled via Bluetooth. World clock and power control widgets. It works well even when plugged in to system via usb charging cable. With Long lasting battery life – it could go 2 straight days without charging, if put to fair use.

Impressive Camera Settings

The abilities of the cameras may not be entirely wowing, but they have got features that would endear the tab to users who love video recordings. Especially the pause option feature while recording videos, which is really great – done with a brief hold on the record button – It could adequately resume and pause recording intermittently. It has also a great zoom half circle track.

You could slide to fast forward or reverse track. same zoom track exists for still camera shots, plus color effects enhancement for pictures, combined with a flash mode. It could be set to capture a max of 16 continuous shots; with very stable and smooth slide touch.

How About The Down Sides

Even with as much quality and performance that it exhibits, I found a few down sides. The TV signals were not too clear, and ran on a mono sound system. (Listed countries did not include Nigeria although it picks some more channels, when I chose Morocco and South Africa, both of which seem to run on similar TV bands we do).

Also there are only one set of buttons for back, home, and refresh functions, with no options elsewhere on the panel. I was equally disappointed that it didn’t come with an HDMI cable, even though the HDMI slot exists. There was no felt pen and no games available, except you had to download from the play store.

Should you buy the Bamboo D700

On the strength of its features, quality and performance , I would say the Bamboo D700 tab would make for use, as it has got unique features which definitely make it stand out. Selling for a little over the naira equivalent of $250, the price might be the slight issue here, but compared to others out there it is relatively cheaper proportionate to the value of its amazing offerings. Another incentive is that the Bamboo D700 comes with a free Airtel SIM card, 100MB of data, 20 Free SMS, and 20 minutes voice calls every month for 6 months.

Conclusion

I cannot cover all of the features of a fully functional tablet in the few words of a review, but I have managed to highlight some of its interesting sides and maybe the seeming downs, just to create some perspective. The product happens to come with some game-changing features which could make a huge difference in these parts. Don’t expect miracles out of it –but if you are looking for a tab which creates a new dimension, bundled with features that could make your life easier – especially on the move, then I feel the Bamboo D700 is your better bet.

How To Swap Your Old Phone with a New Lumia 520 device?

Do you have an old Nokia phone and you have always wished you could lay your hand on the Lumia 520 device? Are you tired of your old phone of any brand and ready to move with times? Your prayer has been answered. There is no better time than now for you to switch all thanks to the partnership between Airtel and Nokia in Nigeria. This isn’t the first offer Airtel is bringing to its customers in Nigeria. And we expect many more to come before the end of the year.

What’s the Catch?

Nokia Nigeria is partnering with Airtel Nigeria to give people an opportunity to swap an old functioning device (yes, device of any brand) with the Lumia 520 in addition to paying N23,990 in any of the Airtel outlets nationwide. The good news is that you can switch to more than 1 Lumia 520 device as along as you have more than 1 old phone with you.

The Lumia 520 currently goes for around N28,000 in retail. So, if you have an old phone that you don’t want to use again, what are you waiting for? This might be an opportunity for you to live your dream. Customers who partake in this transaction will also get up to N10,000 worth of value (N4,000 discount on the retail price of the device, enjoy N3,000 worth of airtime and N3,000 data spread over a 6-month period).

RELATED: Nokia Lumia 720 And 520 Unveiled In Nigeria

Speaking on the offer,  the Chief Sales Officer of Airtel Nigeria,  Inusa Bello,  said that the initiative is another first by any operator in Nigeria. He believes this will further provide telecoms value to Nigerians in line with Airtel’s commitment to become the most loved brand in the Daily lives of Nigerians.

How does the Lumia 520 upgrade program works?

  • Upgrade your handset to Lumia 520 smartphone at only N23,990. Current Retail Price is N28,000

  • Customer will also have to text “SMART” to 141 to activate the free 500 MB for 6 months. The customer MUST recharge with minimum of N1,000 monthly to get the free 500 MB. The free offer is for 6 months.

  • Once the customer drops the old device and picks the new devices, the customer MUST text “UPGRADE” to 141 to receive the N6,000 value.

  • The value is split as follows:

    • 6 Months Free Airtime worth N3,000 – spread across 6 months

    • 6 Months Free Data worth N3,000 – spread across 6 months

    • Lumia 520 device discount worth over N4,000

  • The Lumia 520 device MUST be activated with an Airtel SIM (old or new) before given back to the customer.

  • The agent at the showroom will assist the customer migrate data from existing line to the new Lumia 520.

So, do let us know your experience by dropping your comment below.

Is Bamboo Tablet What We Need in Nigeria?

Using a smart device is no longer a luxury but a necessity for most people. This has been matched with series of smart phones and / or devices on sales. Every OEM now has something to offer to this set of customers. Whether these OEMs dominate the market segment is question for another day. The big brands are actually finding it hard to control the market segment no thanks to the OEMs like Tecno and others who have been able to introduce sophisticated devices at affordable prices.

On Tuesday, I was introduced to another device – Bamboo D700. This is a tablet built specifically for the emerging market starting from Nigeria.Why Nigeria first? The answer is obvious. We have the numbers and are always willing to try new things out. The Bamboo device will be sold at $306 – N49,950 – and it comes pre-loaded with some features relevant only to the local market.

Why I think Bamboo has a chance in this Market?

  1. Female Edition – This is the first time I am hearing of a device that would have special female edition different from the standard edition. The female edition would be able to help women track their menstruation cycles and also enable parents to track their teenage daughters’ menstrual period as well. It also comes with a feature that can help women to monitor their fertility period. One other interesting feature is colour management that helps women know the perfect outfit for them.
  2. Electricity – The tablet is developed to provide a long lasting battery life and it allows about 44-hours talk-time on 2G networks, 25-hours on 3G networks and about 1048 hours stand-by time. This therefore gives the device an edge in a country with poor electricity supply.
  3. Television on the goal – Do you still remember the time when you can watch TV on your mobile phone with a long antenna or the Nokia device that allows you to watch DSTV on the go? Bamboo also comes with this feature. You can get to enjoy your interesting TV programmes on the go without an external antenna.

Other features

  1. Bamboo books – a library for the users
  2. Bamboo movies and Bamboo news – This is entertainment at its fullest.

Every Bamboo tablet owner in Nigeria will enjoy 6 months free data subscription starting Airtel. Other network operators will come on board soon. We will be bringing you a full hands-on review of the device in few days. So, watch this space, watch this space for the review. Meanwhile, enjoy some images of the tablet below and let us know what you think of the device in the comment section below.

The Bold And Beautiful Nokia Asha 210 [REVIEW]

Nokia Asha series are smart-feature phones made for emerging markets and Nokia has introduced Asha 210 to add to the Asha family. Personally, I fell in love with the device the first day I saw it at the launch event.

The Boldness and Durability

Nokia is known for durability of their devices. This is one edge they have over other manufacturers. The Asha 210 is no exception.

Keyboard and Messaging

The QWERTY keyboard gives users a better experience with texting, chatting and typing on the device.

Colourful

The Asha 210 is getting some of the colourful phone range that Nokia introduced with the colourful. The phone comes in blue, red, yellow, white, and pink.

SIM Cards

The phone uses two SIM card with the first slot on the panel seat just under the battery and the second slot by the side.

Camera and Image

The phone has a 2 Mega Pixel camera and video with image editing tool.

Battery

Lisbon 1200 mah battery, with 12 hours and 40 hours of Music time.

Screen

  • 2.4 inch display
  • 320 X 240 Pixels resolution
  • 169 PPI pixel density

Apps

YouTube (Mobile browser version), Whatsapp (integrated with your contact book), Facebook, Twitter, and lot of games to be downloaded from Nokia Store.

Connectivity

Wifi, Bluetooth, Slam Bluetooth (enables you to share video or image over bluetooth without having to pair with other devices)

According to Nokia Nigeria and Facebook, Asha 210 users would have access to Facebook browsing free of charge on all mobile networks.