Vodacom’s flagship store was open at 06:00 already and served some snacks to fans who were waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone 6s. Continue reading Apple iPhone 6s and 6s pricing from Vodacom
Today, 16 October, is Apple iPhone 6s day in South Africa.
Vodacom, Cell C and MTN have launched the devices today. MTN was first with a midnight launch and some of the major MTN stores were open to provide eager customers the chance to grab the shiny new phone just in time for work.
Vodacom launched their offering at 06:00 this morning.
But, in this post, we will look at MTN’s strategy to make the iPhone more affordable by extending their contract period from 24 months to 36 months. Continue reading Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus prices from MTN
The Blackberry name was not a very popular name in South Africa amongst the blind and visually impaired users.
It was slow, crashed more than what was acceptable and generally provided a horrible UI that was slower than many things I can think of but, that I won’t mention here for the fear of not having enough server space to store the content thereof.
however, the Blackberry Passport was a refreshing change and Blackberry provided me with a test unit. Thank you.
The device feels very solid in the hand; a very sure 196 g, and comes with a physical qwerty keyboard.
Looking at the specs, one cannot really complain but, as a totally blind user, you would not really like the device.
The screen reader is still very unfinished and I wouldn’t use this phone as my primary phone.
However, the magnification features built-in are definitely of a decent standard thus, if you have some vision left and you can afford this beasty, I’d highly recommend it.
The phone is quite big and not the right size for everyone.
The Body Dimensions are 128 x 90.3 x 9.3 mm and as mentioned earlier, it weighs 196 g.
At the rear, toward the top, there’s a pannel that you can remove and there are two slots. One for the Nano-SIM and the other for the micro-sd card with a storage capacity of up to 128GB.
It is running BlackBerry OS 10.3, upgradable to v10.3.2 and sports a Qualcomm MSM8974AA Snapdragon 801 chipset with a Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU.
The GPU is not as high as I’d expect but, Adreno 330 does the job.
If you love storing a lot of media, you will have little to complain about as the Memory options are decent.
The micro-sd Card slot that we touched on earlier, has a capacity of up to 128 GB and Internally we are looking at 32 GB with 3 GB RAM.
This hardware combination is awesome and I never experienced any sort of lag when switching from one app to another or when running multiple applications at the same time.
The sound on this device is amazing. At the bottom grill, we find the stereo speakers. These performed well on speaker phone and excellent when listening to music.
Talking about speakers, the 3.5mm jack is at the top, just a little away from the left corner.
Blackberry provided a 13 MP camera, with 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization and LED flash,
The standard geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, and panorama features are found to make up the rest of the camera offering.
Oh, I almost forgot about the video recording. 1080p@60fps, is the best the BB can do.
The front camera is a 2 MP, 720p camera and suffices for video calling and other functions.
I’m not going into all of the specs but, I must say that the Non-removable Li-Ion 3450 mAh battery really comes in handy. The standby time is really good and even if you are a somewhat heavy user, it won’t let you down.
Perfect for the business user and for those who love their qwerty keyboards; really hard to find fault with this phone apart from the lack of action in the screen reader department.
However, as you may have heard, Blackberry is soon coming out with an Android based device with a full physical qwerty keyboard. Looking forward to that one? Just wondering because, I am!
Thanks again to Blackberry South Africa for having made this device available to me.
If you have any comments or suggestions, why not hit us up on Twitter at @AccessZA? Participation is key.
It is hard to imagine that just ten years ago, we were struggling to find an accessible phone for the blind. yes, there were the Nokias running on Symbian but, that was basically what you had to deal with.
Today, thanks to innovation from Google, Microsoft and Apple, we have a choice between Android, Windows mobile and iOS. We also have a number of manufacturers giving us options in the hardware space. Huawei, Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, HTC, Nokia, etc.
However, as you know, we do not always know if the software works so nicely with the hardware as many network operators and manufacturers modifies the operating system features.
In this light, I have been asked how accessible this phone or that phone might be for a person here in South Africa who might be considering a new contract with one of the operators or who might be due for an upgrade on an existing one.
It is difficult to recommend phones if I have not worked with them myself. On paper, things might look (okay) but, many times, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
AG Mobile is a new local mobile phone manufacturer on the SA landscape and I have been asked specifically about the accessibility of these devices for blind and visually impaired persons.
It would appear that this phone is primarily available from Cell C but, I might be wrong.
At this point, I cannot recommend any of the AG Mobile devices to any person who is blind or visually impaired, as I have not been able to test any of these devices thus far.
There are a number of really good phones and if you don’t have the funds to waste, don’t spend it on something that is not going to work for you.
I was very sad when I learned of a fellow blind person who was promised by a salesperson that this AG Mobile device would be perfect for her and that it is exactly the same as Samsung, if not better.
It is not exactly the same as Samsung, or Huawei, or HTC, or whatever other phone’s name you want to mention. It is exactly as the AG Mobile device it is supposed to be.
Be careful, guys and girls. Do not just sign up and believe the sales blabber that you hear. Their job is to sell to whoever they can. They don’t give a damn about the fact that you don’t earn a lot of money or that you are blind or visually impaired.
If you find that it works for you, please let us know. Let’s empower one another by sharing info.
UPDATE 9 May, 2016
I’ve had the chance to play with three of the devices and all I can say is: STAY FAR AWAY FROM THEM IF YOU ARE USING TALKBACK.
The phones were buggy, crashed, hanged, restarted on its own and generally didn’t perform well at all.