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Hot property! The SA startup using tech to match buyers and sellers with agents

House for sale sign
BestAgent matches home buyers and sellers with estate agents. Image: Rawpixel

An innovative online platform, aimed at assisting property buyers and sellers in South Africa to find the best real estate agents for their needs, is gathering momentum.

BestAgent.co.za, which uses authenticated sales data and client reviews, aims to simplify the process of finding suitable agents in a market with over 45,000 registered professionals.

Founded by Stefan van Niekerk, a real estate attorney and conveyancer, and Marcel Koole, with expertise in computer science and psychology, BestAgent evaluates estate agents based on their transaction success in specific regions. This approach is designed to provide users with data-driven insights to make informed decisions.

The concept originated during the March 2020 lockdown and was developed into a functional solution by Koole in June 2021. Since then, the platform has registered nearly 800 estate agents, with over 100 joining in the past month alone.

“Our platform is a game-changer for anyone navigating the real estate market,” said Van Niekerk, the CEO. “We provide a transparent and reliable way for both buyers and sellers to identify the best-suited estate agents in their desired areas.”

The platform’s distinctive feature is its verification process. Sales data is incorporated into the platform only after the official transfer of property at the Deeds Office, ensuring the accuracy of the information provided. This method is a departure from traditional real estate practices, which often involve agents continuously reaching out to potential sellers over long periods.

Van Niekerk noted that in South Africa, homeowners typically change properties every nine years. BestAgent.co.za is designed to change the traditional approach, allowing buyers and sellers to connect with agents when they are ready to transact.

This model, according to Van Niekerk, has been successful in other markets such as the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

Koole highlighted the platform’s use of various data points, including property type, location, price, sale date, and client reviews, to independently rank estate agents’ performance in different South African cities and neighbourhoods.

“All these data points are verified before it is published on our platform,” he added. – GeekWire.co.za

Three trends set to shape the tech industry in 2024

John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer for Dell Technologies.
John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer for Dell Technologies. Image supplied by company

Generative AI will move from disruption to optimisation, the “Edge Platform” approach will become more prevalent, and Zero Trust infrastructure will be mandated across a wide range of industries in 2024.

These are three key predictions from John Roese, Global Chief Technology Officer for Dell Technologies.

“The centre of the universe for 2024 is AI. Next year will be all about putting AI into practice at the edge, diversifying the hardware pool and securing it through Zero Trust,” he said in a statement released by the company.

“We’re entering an AI era so need to recognise that long term, AI will drive architectural change across the entire IT ecosystem for many years to come. Actively think of AI but do not do it independent of other architectures – this is how you’ll make sure your visions and actions align for long-term success.”

AI: moving from theory to practice

Roese expects that the Generative AI dialogue will move from theory to practice with shifts from training infrastructure and cost to inference and cost of operation.

Generative AI (GenAI) is a type of Artificial Intelligence that can create a wide variety of data, such as images, videos, audio, text, and 3D models.

“While GenAI has sparked incredibly creative ideas of how it will transform business and the world, there are very few real-world, scaled GenAI activities. As we move into 2024, we will see the first wave of GenAI enterprise projects reach levels of maturity that will expose important dimensions of GenAI not yet understood in the early phases,” said Roese.

Increasingly, enterprises will shift from broad experimentation to a top-down strategic focus on picking the few GenAI projects that can truly be transformational.

Looking further into the future, Roese expects that quantum computing will address the major issue of extreme demand for computing resources required for GenAI, and most large-scale AI. He anticipates that quantum computing will bring about a massive leap in the ability of AI systems.

Roese also predicts that the computing foundation of modern AI will eventually become a hybrid quantum system where the AI work is spread across a set of diverse compute architectures, including quantum processing units.

As data continue to be at the centre of our future, extracting value from it will be crucial in unlocking transformative business opportunities. Roese believes that enterprises will recognise that there are two ways to build a modern edge – the proliferation of mono-edges or as a multi-cloud edge platform.

Choosing the latter to adopt an “edge platform” approach where modern edge becomes an extension of the multi-cloud infrastructure is the way forward.

Zero Trust fortifies the frontier

With the democratisation of AI, and as more data and intelligence move to the edge, data management will become increasingly important. As a result, the expanded threat surface heightens the importance of developing real Zero Trust architectures and mandating Zero Trust.

“Zero Trust will become the default end state people are moving towards,” said Roese. “It’s the right answer on how to change the curve on cyber so we expect to see more Zero Trust mandates to proliferate around the world.”

Roese added that Dell’s project Fort Zero will be delivered into the market in 2024 as the first commercial full Zero Trust private cloud system in the industry, something he said would pave the way for Zero Trust adoption across various industries.

New Fujifilm Instax Pal and Mini Evo Brown land in South Africa

The Instax Mini Evo, Fujifilm's flagship hybrid instant camera, is now available in a new Brown colour
Fujifilm's flagship hybrid instant camera, the Instax Mini Evo, is now available in brown. Image supplied by the company

Fujifilm has announced the release of two new products in the South African market: the Instax Pal camera and the Instax Mini Evo in Brown. These latest additions to Fujifilm’s lineup offer unique features and designs, catering to photography enthusiasts and casual users alike.

Instax Pal: a compact companion for instant photography

The Instax Pal, unveiled in September 2023, marks a departure from Fujifilm’s traditional instant camera offerings by focusing solely on photography. This lightweight, palm-sized camera, weighing just 41 grams, is designed for capturing spontaneous moments without the need to use a smartphone.

It connects via Bluetooth to the Instax Pal app, allowing users to transfer images with an Instax frame or print them directly on Instax printers, including the Instax Mini Link 2, Instax Square Link, and Instax Link Wide.

Equipped with a 4.9MP camera, the Instax Pal features internal storage for up to 50 photos and supports microSD cards for additional storage. The camera offers various shooting modes, including Standard, Remote, and Interval, the latter taking continuous shots at three-second intervals. The Instax Pal app also enables users to create animations, edit images, and share them on social media.

Available in five colours – Lavender Blue, Powder Pink, Milky White, Gem Black, and Pistachio Green – the Instax Pal is priced at R1,799 including VAT and is available at select retail stores and online.

Instax Mini Evo Brown: expanding the flagship range

The Instax Mini Evo, Fujifilm’s flagship hybrid instant camera, is now available in a new Brown colour. The Mini Evo has gained popularity for its ability to save and print photos, offering users ten lens effects and ten film effects, which can be combined to create 100 different shooting styles. The dedicated Evo app allows for direct printing from smartphones and saving photos with Instax frames for easy social media sharing.

The Brown Instax Mini Evo maintains the retro design of the original model, featuring a print lever, lens- and film-effect dials, and a new USB Type-C charging port. This limited-edition version is priced at around R2,900, including VAT, and comes with a matching case and a pack of Instax Mini film.

In addition to these releases, Fujifilm South Africa has also announced that the Instax Square SQ40 instant camera will be available in the country from January 2024. – GeekWire.co.za

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: a step towards the future, a nod to the past

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 5 blends flip phone nostalgia with cutting edge tech. Image supplied by Samsung

In an increasingly crowded smartphone market, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 5 stands out with its unique blend of nostalgia and cutting-edge technology, offering a glimpse into the potential future of mobile tech while also harking back to the flip phones of yesteryear.

Design and display: aesthetics meet functionality

The Z Flip 5’s design is a harmonious marriage of form and function. Its sleek, gapless hinge allows the device to fold into a compact form, reminiscent of the flip phones of the early 2000s. Yet, when unfolded, it reveals a vibrant 6.7-inch AMOLED display that offers a bright, crisp, and smooth user experience.

The display’s foldable nature doesn’t compromise its quality; colours are vivid, blacks are deep, and the brightness is sufficient for outdoor use. The crease at the fold is there, but it’s something that most users find fades into the background of their daily experience.

The outer cover screen has received a significant upgrade, now boasting a 3.4-inch display that offers more than just notifications and time. It’s a fully interactive experience, allowing users to respond to messages, control music, and even use it as a viewfinder for the camera.

This enhancement in functionality transforms the cover screen from a passive feature into an active tool that complements the main display, ensuring that the phone’s design is not just about aesthetics, but about adding real value to the user experience.

Performance: power in your pocket

The performance of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is where the device truly flexes its technological muscles. Armed with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the same chip powering many flagship models, the Z Flip 5 handles tasks with remarkable agility.

This is complemented by 8GB of RAM, which ensures that multitasking is a breeze, allowing users to flip between apps with no perceptible lag. Whether it’s for casual browsing, streaming high-definition videos, or engaging in graphic-intensive gaming, the Z Flip 5 stands tall amongst its competitors, delivering a seamless performance that belies its foldable form factor.

The device comes with a choice of 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, catering to a range of users from the media-hungry who may carry an extensive library of apps, photos, and videos, to the more casual user. The absence of a microSD card slot for expandable storage is a point of contention for some. However, the generous onboard storage should suffice for most users, especially in an age where cloud services are increasingly prevalent for additional storage needs.

The Z Flip 5’s performance prowess is not just about raw power; it’s also about the efficiency and smoothness of the user experience. Samsung’s One UI interface, layered over Android 13, is optimized for the foldable display, offering intuitive interactions and a user-friendly experience that leverages the unique form factor of the device.

Features like Flex Mode, which splits apps between the top and bottom halves of the display when partially folded, showcase Samsung’s dedication to not just providing power but also enhancing usability through thoughtful software design.

Camera: competent but not class-leading

The camera system on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, while not breaking new ground, delivers a performance that is more than just serviceable—it’s downright enjoyable for the everyday photographer. The dual 12-megapixel rear cameras, comprising a wide and ultra-wide lens, capture images with commendable clarity and colour accuracy.

In well-lit conditions, photos are vibrant and detailed, showcasing Samsung’s ability to produce cameras that perform consistently across various lighting scenarios. The night mode also sees a slight improvement, allowing for better low-light photography—a welcome tweak that extends the camera’s versatility.

However, it’s in the finer details of camera innovation where the Z Flip 5 maintains a conservative stance. The absence of a telephoto lens means that users looking to zoom in on distant subjects will have to rely on digital zoom, which, despite software enhancements, cannot match the quality of optical zoom found in some of the Z Flip 5’s peers.

This omission is felt more keenly when considering the device’s premium positioning in the market, where expectations for a more comprehensive camera setup are naturally higher.

The 10-megapixel front-facing camera is adept for selfies and video calls, producing clear and flattering results. Yet, the true camera delight comes from the ability to use the main cameras for self-portraits, thanks to the cover screen acting as a viewfinder. This clever use of the Z Flip’s form factor not only provides superior selfie quality but also exemplifies the innovative spirit of the device.

Again, it’s a fusion of form and function that elevates the user experience, making the most of the hardware at hand.

Battery life: adequate but not exceptional

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a study in balance, providing enough power to get through a day but not stretching much beyond. The 3,700mAh battery is a modest offering in the current landscape where larger batteries are becoming the norm.

For the average user, this capacity translates to a day’s worth of emails, social media browsing, video streaming, and photography, all without the anxiety of a midday charge. However, it’s worth noting that ‘normal usage’ is a variable term, and for those whose phone usage leans towards the heavier side, the Z Flip 5 may struggle to keep up without a supplementary boost of power.

The charging speed of the Z Flip 5 is competent, with the ability to reach a full charge in about 90 minutes using a 25W charger. While this is not groundbreaking when compared to the ultra-fast charging capabilities some competitors offer, it is sufficient for a quick top-up. The convenience of wireless charging is also present, adding to the device’s modern credentials and providing users with an alternative charging method that fits seamlessly into a wireless ecosystem at home or in the office.

The adaptive battery software within the Z Flip 5 does its part to extend battery life, learning user habits and adjusting power consumption accordingly. This intelligent power management can help squeeze more life out of each charge, ensuring that the phone prioritizes energy for the apps and services you use most. Despite this, the reality remains that the Z Flip 5’s battery life is not its standout feature, and while it doesn’t underperform, it doesn’t dazzle either.

Price: innovation at a premium

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5’s price tag, starting at R 26,999, is a reflection of its position at the forefront of smartphone innovation. The cost is not just for the hardware but for the novelty and design ingenuity that a foldable phone represents. It’s a luxury statement, a piece of technology that doubles as a fashion accessory and a conversation starter.

However, the premium pricing also invites scrutiny and comparison with the top-tier devices across the smartphone spectrum. When matched against flagships that boast superior camera systems, larger batteries, or more robust displays, the Z Flip 5’s value proposition hinges heavily on its unique foldable feature. It’s a price that demands justification through daily use, where the convenience of a large screen that folds down to fit comfortably in one’s pocket must be weighed against the cost.

The Z Flip 5 does come with twice the starting storage of its predecessor and a suite of incremental upgrades that enhance its overall user experience. These improvements, while subtle, contribute to the device’s premium feel and performance, making it a solid choice within the foldable niche. Moreover, the cost includes not just the physical device but also the extensive research and development that has gone into refining the foldable technology to its current iteration.

For consumers, the decision to purchase the Z Flip 5 will come down to how much value they place on its foldable design and the flexibility it offers. It’s a device that stands out in a sea of standard smartphones, offering a glimpse into what the future of mobile technology could look like. For those who are captivated by this vision, the price may well be worth it. – GeekWire.co.za

Huawei Expands Watch GT 4 Series with new premium models

Huawei Watch GT 4 Premium
Huawei's newly released Watch GT 4 Premium is available in Grey and Silver versions. Image supplied

Huawei has introduced two new premium versions of its flagship smartwatch, the Huawei Watch GT 4, in South Africa, offering enhanced design elements and the same advanced technology features that have defined the series.

The Grey version, available in a 46mm size, showcases a contemporary and sophisticated design. It features a stainless-steel case and an integrated stainless-steel strap, a design choice that deviates from the traditional lug and strap format. This integration allows the strap to appear as a seamless extension of the case, providing a snug and secure fit on the wrist.

The watch undergoes over a dozen precision manufacturing processes, including fine grinding and sandblasting, resulting in a durable and corrosion-resistant 316L stainless steel body with a ceramic texture. Huawei says this model is designed for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and seek a watch that makes a bold statement.

The Silver version comes in a smaller, sleeker 41mm form factor. As the name suggests, it features a silver-coloured stainless steel body with gold accents, reminiscent of a two-tone piano key. The intricate link bracelet strap blends silver and gold elements, which the company says adds a timeless charm to the watch.

This model is notable for being the first in Huawei’s smartwatch range to employ intricate handcrafted gold-alloyed techniques, involving over 17 complex processes.

Advanced features maintained

Despite the focus on design, these new models retain all the technological functionalities of the Watch GT 4 series. They boast an impressive battery life of up to 14 days for the 46mm model and up to 7 days for the 41mm. The watches are equipped with the upgraded TruSeen™ 5.5+ heart rate monitoring technology, offering enhanced precision in heart rate and workout tracking.

Additionally, users will find the popular Stay Fit app for managing weight and calories, and the Sleep Breathing Awareness feature, among other functions. The watches maintain their versatility with call, message, notification handling, music playback control, and compatibility with Huawei, Android, and iOS devices.

Availability and promotional offer

The Huawei Watch GT 4 Grey and Silver versions are now available for purchase in South Africa. Priced at R9,999, these watches can be bought from the Huawei online store and any Huawei Experience Store. Customers will also receive a complimentary Huawei Freebuds 2 SE and the Huawei Refresher Service, which includes software updates, watch cleaning, UV disinfection, and strap cleaning.

The original Watch GT 4, launched locally in September, is still available for R6,999 for both the 46mm and 41mm models.

‘Black November’ bargains promise portable power without breaking the bank

EcoFlow Delta 2
EcoFlow's flagship Delta 2 is one of the power stations on sale this November. Image supplied

As the summer season approaches in South Africa with no end in sight to loadshedding, EcoFlow, a company specializing in portable power solutions, has launched an extended Black Friday sale that could be a beacon for those looking for a more affordable way to blunt the impact of power outages.

EcoFlow’s sale, running throughout November, offers up to 47% off on products including portable power stations, solar panels, and extra batteries.

The company’s flagship Delta 2 power station is among the items on sale. Known for its high capacity and rapid charging, it is now available at a 28% discount, bringing the price down to R17,999. This model boasts a modular design allowing capacity expansion from 1-3kWh and can be fully recharged in 80 minutes, with a rated power output of 1800W, expandable to 2400W with X-Boost technology.

For those seeking the best combination of affordability and versatility, the River 2 Max is discounted by 38%. Now at R7,999, it features a 512Wh battery capacity and a recharge time of one hour, with a 500W rated power output, which can be doubled using X-Boost.

The more compact River 2 may be one the biggest bargains. The company is offering a 43% reduction, slashing the price to R3,999. It includes a 256Wh battery and similar rapid charging capabilities, suitable for powering essential devices.

Warranty and After-Sales Service

EcoFlow stands behind its products with a five-year warranty for the Delta 2 and River 2 series, promising up to a decade of reliable power thanks to their 3000-cycle battery life. The company also provides on-site after-sales service, ensuring customer support and product reliability.

In addition to power stations, EcoFlow’s solar panels are available at significant discounts, especially when bundled with power stations, promoting sustainable and off-grid living.

The company’s Black Friday deals present a timely opportunity for South Africans to equip themselves with reliable and sustainable power solutions. With substantial discounts, a reassuring warranty, and a range of products to suit different needs, consumers have a chance to prepare for the summer’s power challenges without breaking the bank.

Huawei Watch GT 4: a stylish new entry in South Africa’s wearable market

The Huawei Watch GT4 comes in two stylish variations
The Huawei Watch GT4 comes in two stylish variations

Huawei has launched its latest addition to the South African smartwatch market, the Watch GT 4. Local tech aficionados first got a glimpse of this eye-catching wrist candy back in May when it featured as a side attraction at the Chinese tech titan’s launch of its flagship smartphones, the P60 Pro and Mate X3.

But the new watch was front and centre at yesterday’s official unveiling at the Hazendal Wine Estate in the Cape Winelands, a suitably swanky venue for a device aimed at tech enthusiasts and style-conscious consumers alike.

Design and aesthetics

Huawei describes the Watch GT 4 as a ‘Fashion-Forward’ wearable, which aims to seamlessly blend technology with fashion. Available in two sizes, 46mm and 41mm, the watch offers distinct design variations to cater for a variety of wrist sizes and fashion tastes.

The 46mm variant boasts an octagonal design, reminiscent of classic timepieces, and is available in three colorways: classic brown leather strap, rainforest green GMT, and a black rubber strap. The 41mm model showcases a sleek pendant design, available in two-tone piano key bracelet, Milanese bracelet, and white leather strap variants.

Beyond the default designs, users can further personalize their watch faces from a gallery of over 25,000 designs, ensuring that the watch complements their unique style.

Health and fitness features

Earlier iterations of the GT line did a solid job of blending style with robust performance in the health and sports tracking department. The GT 4 doesn’t disappoint in this respect, with over 100 workout modes, accommodating everything from mainstream activities like jogging and biking to more niche pursuits like Padel and eSports.

The fourth-generation watch introduces three major new health features: PPG Arrhythmia Analysis, Menstrual Cycle Management 3.0, and Sleep Breathing Awareness. These features leverage Huawei’s TruSeen™ 5.5+ health indicator monitoring technology, which offers enhanced accuracy in heart health readings, even during dynamic activities.

The GT 4 also boasts the upgraded TruSleep™ 3.0, providing users with comprehensive insights into their sleep cycles and respiratory health during sleep.

Connectivity and battery life

The Huawei Watch GT 4 is compatible with both iOS and Android devices, ensuring a broad user base. It offers quick messaging and replies, third-party application access, and an impressive battery life of up to two weeks, surpassing the staying power – at least on paper – of many mainstream competitors.

Pricing and availability The Huawei Watch GT 4 is priced at R6,999 in South Africa. Customers who register for the promotional offer will receive additional gifts worth R2,500. The watch will be available in stores from 6 October 2023.

Twin peeks: A first look at Huawei’s new South Africa-bound flagships

Huawei P60 Pro
Huawei's new P60 Pro will be available in South Africa from 1 June 2023. Image supplied

Introducing the P60 Pro and Mate X3

Chinese tech giant Huawei has unveiled two flagship devices, the P60 Pro and Mate X3 smartphones. Launched at an event in Johannesburg on 18 May, both phones will be available in stores from 1 June.

The P60 Pro, the successor to the highly regarded P50 Pro, boasts an impressive battery life, top-tier processing power, and a camera system that Huawei claims rivals professional DSLRs. The Mate X3, by contrast, claims to be the world’s slimmest and lightest large-screen foldable smartphone.

The P60 Pro features a 6.6-inch OLED display, while the Mate X3 sports an 8-inch foldable OLED screen, offering superior image quality, colour reproduction, and viewing angles. Both devices are powered by Huawei’s proprietary Kirin 990 chipset, promising excellent performance and energy efficiency.

Huawei Mate X3

Cameras galore

Particularly notable is the P60 Pro’s camera system. It comes equipped with a 108 MP primary sensor, a 12 MP periscope telephoto lens, and a 40 MP ultrawide sensor, making it a real contender in the realm of smartphone photography. The camera also boasts optical image stabilisation and Huawei’s unique RYYB sensor, which enhances low-light photography.

The Mate X3, on the other hand, flaunts an 8 MP selfie camera and a 40 MP primary sensor on the rear. Furthermore, it carries a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, enhancing the device’s security without compromising on its sleek design.

Battery life is a standout feature for both devices. The P60 Pro offers a 4500mAh battery, while the Mate X3 brings an even beefier 5000mAh battery to the table. Both devices support Huawei’s SuperCharge technology, ensuring rapid charging without overheating.

Huawei has included an ample 8GB of RAM in the P60 Pro, making multitasking a breeze, while the Mate X3 comes with a hefty 12GB RAM. Storage is equally generous, with options for 256GB or 512GB in both devices.

The Huawei P60 Pro costs R24 999, while the Mate X3 will set you back R44 999. Both will be in stores from 1 June 2023, but they’re available now for pre-order with Huawei sweetening the deal for early birds with a limited freebie offer of a Watch GT3 SE and FreeBuds 5i.

Apps and partnerships

In the face of ongoing concerns about the absence of Google Mobile Services on its devices (a legacy of US-imposed ban), Huawei has put significant effort into enhancing its alternative, Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). HMS provides users with an array of apps and services, including Huawei’s AppGallery, which offers a range of global and localised apps.

Watch these

On the wearables front, the company unveiled two new smartwatch lines, starting with the Huawei Watch Ultimate. Positioned as a “luxury smartwatch”, it boasts a zirconium-based “liquid metal” body, giving it a premium and durable feel. Its glass cover is made of high-strength sapphire glass, ensuring protection against scratches and damage and Huawei claims it is capable of withstanding water depths of up to 100m.

The company showcased a number of these at the launch event, focusing on its partnership with Standard Bank and announcing a collaboration with radio station Jacaranda FM.

With a battery life of up to two weeks, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, all-night sleep tracking, and 90 minutes of daily exercise tracking, the Watch Ultimate offers a comprehensive range of health and fitness features.

Huawei’s new Watch 4 series also offers an array of advanced features and health management capabilities, most notably a blood sugar monitoring feature which lets users track their glucose levels and gain insights into their overall health.

Huawei Watch 4

Huawei also introduced two new additions to its laptop lineup. The Huawei MateBook X Pro is a lightweight yet powerful laptop weighing just 1.3kg. It is equipped with a 13th-generation Intel Core processor, ensuring fast and efficient performance for various computing tasks. The MateBook X Pro features a sleek and modern design, making it an attractive option for professionals and students alike.

South African prices and availability for the new watches and laptops have yet to be announced.

Power solutions

With loadshedding an ongoing concern for South Africans, Huawei used the event to announce its new Power-S seamless solar hybrid power and backup system designed for commercial and industrial scenarios to help businesses ensure continuous power supply.

The Power-S solution features an all-in-one design that supports simple installation, making it convenient for various settings. It allows users to flexibly expand the capacity of batteries and power modules, catering to different budgets and power requirements.

Huawei did not list any pricing for the Power-S solution, but it did announce a price drop on its home-focussed Power-M product. The recommended retail price for the Power-M now starts from R69,999.

Super nova! New ‘flagship lite’ available in SA for under R6000

The Huawei nova 11i has landed in South African stores. Image supplied by Huawei

Huawei has announced the release of its latest smartphone, the nova 11i, in South Africa. The device, part of the company’s “flagship lite” series aimed at younger consumers, is now available for purchase at selected retailers and through the Huawei online store.

The Huawei nova 11i features a large screen with narrow 1 mm bezels, offering a screen-to-body ratio of 94.9%. The device is designed to be comfortable to hold, with a moisture-proof and fingerprint-resistant coating. It comes in two color options: Mint Green and Starry Black.

The smartphone is equipped with a 5000 mAh battery, which can be charged up to 60% in 30 minutes, thanks to its 40 W Huawei SuperCharge Turbo feature. The device also includes smart power management technology and intelligent charging protection.

In terms of photography, the Huawei nova 11i has a 48 MP High-Res Camera, a 2 MP depth camera, and a 16 MP selfie camera. The cameras use algorithms to optimize image quality in different lighting conditions. The device also includes a motion detection feature that adjusts the shutter speed in real time.

Good sport

The nova 11i’s launch coincides with the announcement of the continuation of Huawei’s partnership with South African football club SuperSport United.

As part of the ongoing collaboration, SuperSport United players and staff will have access to the latest Huawei devices, including the newly released Huawei nova 11i.

Huawei Vice President of Operations, Akhram Mohamed said, “advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision will support and monitor players performances and provide analysed data for the technical team.”

SuperSport United CEO Stanley Matthews said football has experienced a technological explosion in recent years with data analytics and performance measurement driving recruitment and retention decision making around players.

“In Huawei we have a globally recognised partner at the cutting edge of the technology industry with products and features that can give us a competitive edge on our fellow rivals in the PSL,” Matthews added.

The Huawei nova 11i is available from Vodacom, MTN, Telkom, and Cell C stores, as well as the Huawei online store with prices starting at R5 999 or R329 a month on a 24-month contract.

Samsung’s Z Fold 4 blends innovative design and premium performance

Samsung Galaxy Fold 4 5G
Samsung's Galaxy Fold 4 is a multitasking maestro. Image supplied by Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G is the latest iteration in Samsung’s foldable smartphone lineup, demonstrating just how far the technology has evolved since its inception.

The device embraces the now familiar book-like design, refining it with subtle improvements to enhance its appeal and durability. Reassuringly, it now boasts an improved hinge mechanism, providing a smoother folding experience that feels more natural and sturdy. It’s complemented by a water-resistant rating of IPX8, making the phone more resilient to the elements.

The exterior of the device features a 6.2-inch AMOLED cover screen, providing a compact smartphone experience for quick interactions. On unfolding, the Z Fold 4 5G reveals a 7.6-inch AMOLED main screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, delivering an immersive tablet-like experience. The bezels have been reduced and the under-display camera technology provides an unobtrusive screen layout, making for an improved viewing experience.

Performance and Battery Life

Equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset and 12GB of RAM, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G excels in performance, handling everyday tasks with ease and running demanding applications without hiccups. Despite its powerful internals, the device manages to maintain an impressive battery life, thanks to its 4,500mAh battery.

Samsung’s One UI 4, based on Android 12, offers seamless transitions between the cover screen and the main display. It also provides a host of multitasking options, such as Flex mode, which splits the main screen in half for simultaneous app usage. With the improved multi-window mode, users can run up to three apps at the same time. This was seamless and stutter free in our testing.


The Z Fold 4 5G sports a triple-camera system on its rear, consisting of a 12MP ultra-wide, a 12MP wide-angle, and a 12MP telephoto lens, providing versatility for a variety of shooting scenarios. The main 12MP wide-angle camera produces sharp, detailed photos in a range of lighting conditions, with reliable autofocus and image stabilization. The 12MP ultra-wide lens captures a broader field of view, while the 12MP telephoto lens offers 3x optical zoom for distant subjects.

The under-display 4MP front camera, though not the highest resolution, produces decent if underwhelming selfies. However, the cover screen’s 10MP front-facing camera provides better quality for those seeking higher-resolution selfies and video calls.

Connectivity and Extras

As a 5G-enabled device, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G offers fast internet speeds for those with access to 5G networks, still a frustratingly spotty experience in South Africa. It also includes other advanced connectivity features such as Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

The stereo speakers tuned by AKG, offered an impressively immersive audio experience for when you’ve left your earbuds at home.

One of the standout extras of the Z Fold 4 5G is the S Pen Fold Edition, which Samsung says provides a seamless stylus experience for note taking, drawing, and more. The S Pen Pro, a separate accessory, adds even more functionality, including remote control capabilities.

Alas, our review device did not come with either, but from what we’ve heard from those who’ve used these extras, it enhances the device’s multitasking capabilities significantly. However, Samsung hasn’t provided a slot in the Z Fold 4 to store a stylus, unlike its non-folding Galaxy S22 and S23 Ultra devices.

Our verdict

Samsung has refined the foldable smartphone experience with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G, showcasing a stunning design, top-tier performance, and a plethora of advanced features. Its improved hinge mechanism and water-resistant build make it more durable, while the seamless integration of software and hardware facilitates a versatile user experience.

The triple-camera system offers versatility and excellent photo quality, even though the under-display front camera may not be the best choice for selfie enthusiasts. The inclusion of the S Pen Fold Edition and AKG-tuned stereo speakers further enhance the device’s functionality and appeal.

However, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G’s steep price point means it’s not for everyone. It’s best suited for those who want a cutting-edge, high-performance device that can provide both a smartphone and a tablet experience in one package. For anyone willing to make the pretty hefty investment required, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G is a remarkable piece of technology that showcases the future of mobile devices.

The Galaxy Z Fold 4 5G is available on contract from R3 073,00/pm or for a cash price of R32 999.