By Imran Khan
A bank with a Smartphone?
Who would have thought that a bank would release their very own Smartphone? First National Bank has recently launched 2 Smartphones, called the ‘ConeXis A1’ and the ‘X1’, which are manufactured by ZTE. The device itself is “powered” by the bank, including having their logo garnishing the device and the startup screens. Off course the pre installed FNB banking app is in place and we noticed that they even customized everything on the display to their corporate colours. The phones themselves are not necessarily the best and tradeoffs have been made in order to make the price so reasonable.
The X1 model is the most expensive handset, coming in at R150 a month over 24 months. What you will get is an entry level snapdragon processor, 5.2 inch screen, 8 gigs of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel from camera. The cheaper A1 model comes in at R59 a month and for that kind of money you get a quad core processor, a 4 inch screen, the same storage, a 5 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front camera.
Here is the difference – you will have to be an FNB client off course and in a rather confusing move FNB will be asking for a deposit (at 5.5% interest rate), which will be refunded after the 24 month contract period. Those deposits are R500 for the A1 and R1500 for the X1 upfront, in aid of encouraging saving. We think that it is a great move made by the bank, but we would like to see the option in the future of signing the contract with your own handset or a better handset than the current offering.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung has officially launched a “recall” on its latest flagship handset, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It appears that a factory fault has caused the handsets to overheat and eventually explode. After thorough investigation, Samsung concluded that the latest batch had an issue with the battery cell. There were some 35 reported cases and with that the local “phablet” release has been postponed to the end of September. So, fans of Samsung devices; if you bought a handset already by importing it, Samsung will take it back and give you a new handset. For those still waiting for the handset, watch this space for more on this developing story as well as the full review on this Smartphone closer to its local release.
Digital future of gaming
We were shocked to find more and more PC games forcing users to download large amounts of data before loading up the installation. Just recently we purchased ‘Grand Theft Auto 5’ and were faced with a massive download of 50 gigabytes. Why though? We went in search of the answer to this question from game stores. The first response was that it is easier and cheaper to distribute games digitally, as the distribution costs of physical media discs can be quite alarming. The second reason is “storage”. The latest laptops and PC’s never kept up with the trends of storage, as games grew in size, by offering larger hardrives and BluRay disc drives in time, compared to console manufacturers. It’s part of the reason that we moved to “cloud storage”. Not too long ago we were all installing games with multiple DVD discs, but the latest titles require much more space and that is all down to the intelligence and properties of the games. Large open world games like ‘GTA’ and ‘Need For Speed’ are at the top of the list. However this seems to be to the detriment of the game dealers since customers are steadily moving online to Steam, Rockstar and other servers.
Our advice is to always check the back of the disc for the requirements, because “needs an internet connection” no longer means just to verify or register your games, but it could put a massive dent in your internet account. We would also advise our readers to break up their downloads over a week, averaging about two to three gigs per day, to avoid having your internet speed “throttled”. This limit may change, depending on your service provider and it is advisable to give them a call to make sure before starting large game downloads.