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Mobility Guide Issue 1 | April 2012 |

Helping you choose smartphones and tablets




Mobility Guide 2012 April 2012 | Issue 1

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Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. No material, text or photo graphs may be reproduced, copied or in any other way transmitted without the written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or of the editor. We recognise all trademarks and logos as the sole property of their respective owners. TechSmart shall not be liable for any errors or for any actions in reliance thereon. All prices were correct at time of going to print.

Editor TechSmart & Mike Joubert > 083-290-2889

TechSmart Mobility Guide April 2012

Print media manager Suzanne Rall

You say you want an evolution? hen we started reviewing cellphones back in 2003, every incremental change was met with great excitement. Oh, how we loved the tiny colour screens, the rather horrible built-in cameras and integrated MP3 players that could only play a few songs due to storage constraints. Ever so steadily we saw the assimilation of PDA functionality, QWERTY keyboards, more advanced touchscreens, the integration of onboard GPS and push email. All this is of course nothing new these days, but I’m still amazed at the amount of excellent tech onboard even entry-level smartphones. TechSmart’s inaugural Mobility Guide is there to help potential smartphone users (and current ones) make the right choice when it comes to picking a handset. We introduce the main operating systems, suggest some of the best phones, and even look at the top tablets for those venturing even further down the portability trail. I hope this makes your next trip to your mobile service provider a successful one.


Enjoy the issue, Mike (



4-7 The Main OS contenders As the driving force behind smartphones, what are the main operating systems available and what does each one offer? We take a look at BlackBerry OS, Android and Apple’s iOS.

8-9 TechSmartʼs top smartphones With such a large number of smartphones on offer, which ones are the top choices? Here we have a look at the top high-end smartphones, while also checking out the best budget choices.

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13 BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 The long anticipated OS update for BlackBerry’s PlayBook tablet has finally arrived. We look at the major changes 2.0 is bringing and its benefits to users.

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12 TechSmartʼs top tablets It’s amazing to think that in a period of only two years, Apple’s iPad tablet changed the IT landscape as much as it did. So what are the best tablets out there? Go to p12 to find out.

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BlackBerry OS: What you need to know BlackBerry OS is the proprietary mobile operating system developed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) for its range of BlackBerry smartphones. The success of BlackBerry devices started off in the corporate sector, with a reputation built based on class-leading push email support, excellent fingerfriendly QWERTY keyboards and a strong emphasis on security. s the addictiveness of BlackBerry grew (referred to as “CrackBerry” at one stage), with support from even President Barack Obama, its popularity spread to regular consumers too. The BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), offering email, browsing and social networking for a fixed R59 per month, and BlackBerry Messaging (BBM), an instant messaging service, found an especially willing market locally. Although internationally RIM’s market share has seen a decline thanks to the strength of Apple and Android, here in SA (and other developing markets), it’s still a massive


BlackBerry OS versions ike with most mobile OSs, new features are included with each new incarnation of BlackBerry OS. Users have to connect their device to their PC, and use the BlackBerry Desktop Software to download and install major OS feature updates. However, a lot of the minor feature sets (or bundle packs) can be downloaded over the air (OTA). You can check for the availability of these by going to settings in the main menu (wrench icon), then selecting “Device” and finally, “Software Updates”.



powerhouse. According to Strategy Worx Consulting, BlackBerry makes up a staggering 44% of the local smartphone market, in contrast to Android’s 8% and Apple’s 4% (see p15).

End call button. If you want to exit an app and get back to the main screen, press this button. You can also hold it in if you want to turn your smartphone off.

The main buttons

Why buy?

all button. Pressing the call button takes you to a list showing the numbers you recently dialled. You can also search for someone’s contact info by typing their name or clicking on the phone book icon to search through your contacts.



Menu. Hitting the Menu button provides you with a list of options to choose from. This list will differ depending on whether you pressed the Menu button whilst in an app, or within the main menu. Optical trackpad. This five-way button allows users to scroll their way through the menu system or webpages by swiping either up, down, left or right . You can also press the button to select something within the menu system. Back. Like its name suggests, the Back button takes you one step back within the menu structure. BlackBerry 5 OS. The majority (47%) of BlackBerry users run this version on smartphones such as the Bold 9700 and Curve 8520. BlackBerry 6 OS. Released in 2010, BlackBerry 6 OS brought new features such as a unified social networking feed, enhanced browser and universal search to RIM’s mobile platform. This version is used by 34% of BlackBerry users on devices, including the Torch 9800, Curve 9300 and Bold 9780. BlackBerry 7 OS. The latest version was released late last year, and although it looks virtually the same as version 6, it is a lot smoother and faster to navigate. BlackBerry 7 OS runs on smartphones like the Torch 9810, Bold 9900, and Curve 9380.

he biggest draw card for BlackBerry devices is also the main reason why BlackBerry smartphones remain so popular in SA – RIM’s BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). A R59 BIS subscription provides BlackBerry users with free access to their email (up to ten different accounts), chatting services, internet browsing (barring video streaming or large file downloads) as well as social networking (Facebook and Twitter). BBM (included with BIS) is an instant messaging platform and one of the largest mobile social networks in the world. It enables BlackBerry users to chat with each other, send multimedia content such as photos, music as well as videos (though limited to sending 6 MB sized files), and even challenge their friends within certain BBM-connected games.

The BlackBerry line-up urve range: RIM’s Curve line-up is targeted at users that don’t want to spend more than R4000 on a smartphone and includes devices such as the all-touch Curve 9380 and 9360 (nontouchscreen with QWERTY keyboard). These offer slightly scaled down specifications in regards to CPU, screen resolution, etc. Bold range: The high-end Bold series offers the best specs and functionality available to users of RIM devices, including the company’s fastest smartphone processor on the Bold 9900 (singlecore 1.2 GHz QC 8655 processor). The Bold range includes a physical QWERTY keyboard, and now, on the 9900, also a beautiful touchscreen. Torch range: Like the Bold series, the Torch range offers the best functionality available to users of the Canadian firm’s smartphones. The difference is that all Torch phones include a slide-out physical keyboard for when some serious typing needs to be done, while a touch-screen allows browsing and email checking on the fly.



Android: What you need to know When search giant Google officially released the Android operating system in 2007, weʼre quite sure they did not expect it to become the resounding success that it currently is. As it stands today there are 850 000 Android handsets and tablets activated each day, with the total number of 300 million Android devices in operation. nlike Apple’s iOS and BlackBerry 7 OS, Android is not limited to one specific manufacturer’s devices. It’s free to use, meaning there is no activation or usage fee associated with this operating system. This, coupled with the >450 000 apps available in Google Play (previously known as Android Market), makes Android a very tempting offer. Some of the main manufacturers making use of Android includes Samsung (their Galaxy


range), Sony (previously Sony Ericsson with their Xperia range), HTC, Motorola and Huawei. Internationally, Android is the world’s number one OS, with a market share of close to 50%. Here in SA it’s another story though, with Strategy Worx Consulting putting Android’s share of the market at a measly 8%.

The main buttons ome. Pressing the Home button returns you to your main Android screen. This works in any app, or from any of your different screens. Press? When you want to return to your main Android screen.


Menu. The Menu button can be seen as one of the most important buttons, since it will display a menu list when pressed in any app. This will present you with more options to choose from. The menu will differ depending on which app is open, and in which part of the app you are located. Press? When you want further options regarding the app you are in. Back. Sometimes you’ve entered a screen where you don’t want to be in, or find yourself too far into a certain menu structure. Not to worry, the Back button

Android versions G

oogle definitely has a sweet tooth, with different versions of Android alphabetically named after types of desserts. Extra functionality and features are added with each new incarnation of Android, but all the different versions have caused a headache for developers, with fragmentation one of the main critiques against Android (a large amount of malware the other). Although handset manufacturers sometimes promise version updates, these are few and far between locally here in SA. Android 2.2, Froyo. About 23% of Android devices run on Froyo (an abbreviation of Frozen Yoghurt), with most entry-level devices opting for this version. Android 2.3, Gingerbread. If you buy a device that

takes you one step back, much as the name implies. Press? When you find yourself stuck in a place where you don’t want to be. Search. Represented by a little magnifying glass, the Search function is not present on all Android devices. If pressed from the main screen, it will open Google’s search functionality. Type anything in the search bar and it will not only search the web, but also your phone for related apps and contacts. In certain apps it will perform a search within the app, for example in Gmail it will search your mail for all content related to your query. Press? When you need to find something.

Why buy? any describe Android as the perfect system for geeks, because it allows for a lot of tinkering and modification. Truth is, anyone is able to master it, since you don’t become the world’s number one smartphone OS by being difficult. Android is on offer in a wide variety of phones, not just in regards to form factor, but also in price, and you’ll be able to pick up an Android running phone for as little as R1200. If you make use of a lot of Google’s services (Gmail, Docs, Maps, Talk, Picasa) then Android is definitely for you.


has been released last year, chances are it will run Gingerbread. It brings enhancements to the user interface, camera, near-field communication and better battery management. Android 3.0, Honeycomb. Released as an operating system for tablets, you won’t find Honeycomb doing duty on smartphones. It improved Android in the graphics department, while also making better use of the screen real-estate on offer with larger tablets. Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Version 4 was released late last year, and as such it’s not well represented on devices yet. Ice Cream Sandwich incorporates the best Gingerbread has to offer, while also making it accessible for smartphones. It brings with it Face Unlock, improvements to data management, virtual buttons instead of physical ones, and a better camera amongst others. 5


iOS: What you need to know Appleʼs iOS is famed for being intuitive, fast and easy to use – on all these counts its popularity is well deserved. Major updates, such as the recent iOS 5.1, are often almost as highly anticipated and speculated about as a new iDevice, thanks to the fact the numerous enhancements and new features are often added, while retaining the platformʼs accessibility. dditionally, the OS covers a broad spectrum of Apple’s devices (and only Apple devices), including the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, which ensures that users can switch between devices without needing to learn new functionality. This exclusiveness though means that the OS works the same across all Apple products, rather than having individual quirks and user interfaces as found on its Android




counterparts. However, the OS owes much of its popularity to its imperviousness to malware and generally rock-solid stability.

Navigation ome: The solitary home button is the extent of the OS’s navigation, simultaneously being used to exit apps, and return to the home screen. Functions: Unlike Android, all other functions of the OS are accessed via touchable icons, most notably, settings. Here users can adjust settings that apply to the device as a whole, or to individual apps that they have installed. In a similar fashion, navigation across the device comes from the swiping between various pages (more are automatically added as needed), and apps can be organised into folders, which can subsequently be renamed.


there is a depth and wealth of features on offer for those willing to learn all the OS’s secrets. While it certainly accommodates commonly used cloud based services, such as Gmail, Facebook and Twitter, it brings its own unique offerings to the mix, such as iCloud and AirPrint (for backing up information to the cloud and wirelessly printing from one’s device, respectively). Additionally, via apps, devices running iOS are infinitely extensible, and designed specifically to take advantage of one operating system and one manufacturer. Thanks to the tremendous growth of the App Store, there are certainly no shortage of high quality apps that take advantage of the OS; this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Why buy? OS has a legion of followers, most notably, for its simplicity and undeniable ease of use. Irrespective of how tech savvy one is, or isn’t, Apple’s operating system has a knack for being extremely intuitive. However, beneath its apparent simplicity


nlike Android devices, Apple’s iOS does not have numerous versions, but instead, is collectively updated to the latest iteration of the OS. Updates however, take two forms: major upgrades, such as from iOS 4 to iOS 5, which usually offer up new features to all Apple’s mobile devices, and minor upgrades, such as iOS 5.1, which instead focus on fixing bugs. Another aspect of installing new updates worth bearing in mind, is that they can only be done via iTunes, cannot be done over the air, and often are hefty downloads that can take some time. iOS 5.1, for example, weighed in at more than 700 MB, and Apple’s server does seem prone to timing out, meaning it can take a


few tries before the update is ready to be installed. Unfortunately, bugs and problems arising from new major updates are not uncommon; taking the leap from one version to another is therefore best done when well informed. The most notable complaint that emerged when Apple updated its previous version iOS 4.3.5 to iOS 5 were reports that some iPhone 4S users noticed their battery life diminishing drastically. This was subsequently addressed and fixed; however, users may want to adopt a wait-andsee-approach between major updates rather than being early adopters when Apple announces a new version of its OS.


Ask the right questions when you upgrade your handset Nashua Mobile provides tips for making the correct choice

Chris Radley, managing director at Nashua Mobile

Itʼs always exciting to head for your local cellular store to choose a new handset once your two-year contract has run out. But you should also use the handset upgrade and the renewal of your contract as an opportunity to pick the perfect package for your needs. Chris Radley, managing director at Nashua Mobile, offers some tips about the questions to ask about your cellphone package and new handset.

About your tariff plan

About your phone

etting a free phone on the incorrect tariff plan can end up costing you more over the lifetime of the contract than getting the right tariff plan and selecting the phone that you want.



• Start out by asking your service provider to help you analyse your usage of your current package to see if it is the right one for your needs. You’re wasting money if you have too few or too many minutes, data megabytes and SMS messages included in your tariff plan. Nashua Mobile stores can run a tariff analyser to help you understand your usage patterns. • How many minutes do you use in an average month? If you have a lot of free minutes left each month-end, it might make sense to downgrade to a cheaper package. But if you exceed your monthly free minute allowance every month by a significant amount, you might be wise to upgrade to a package with more free minutes. • Which package best meets your patterns for making outbound calls? Some packages offer cheaper off-peak call rates while others are better suited to people who make their calls during peak hours. Choosing the right one can save you a lot of cash. • How much data do you consume and how many SMS messages do you send? Check what your package offers you as part of the deal and look into additional data and SMS bundles that can save you a lot of money if you SMS and use data services a great deal. Nashua Mobile has also launched Xtreme Data, which allows predictable data billing for regular email, browsing, social networking and instant messaging. • Does the package offer per-second billing? This is normally a cheaper option than per-minute billing – you’ll only have to pay for the time that you actually talk rather than being billed for a full minute when you’ve only spoken for a few seconds. Don’t be fooled by cheaper rates per minute on per minute packages; generally per second is still cheaper.

atch your phone to your requirements and not necessarily to your wardrobe. Two years with a difficult-to-use handset is a long time.

• What do you really want from your phone? Do you spend a lot of time on the road speaking to people or do you value data services? If you need a long battery life with plenty of talk time, that sexy touch-screen phone might not meet your needs. • Do you just want to make calls or send text messages, do you want to get email, use social media tools and browse the web or do you want the whole high-end applications and multimedia experience? There are some great-looking, feature-rich entry-level smartphones that might do nicely if you care more about cost than fashion. • Do your friends all use BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) or do they prefer another instant messaging service such as WhatsApp? BBM is included in the BlackBerry data subscription, making it a cost-effective alternative to SMS, whilst WhatsApp is available across a wide range of phones; however you do pay for your data usage. • Do you really need Wi-Fi, a high-end camera, a touchscreen, GPS and all the rest of the bells and whistles? Be wary of buying an expensive package to get a top-end smartphone if you probably won’t use all of its features. • What can you get for your budget that best meets your needs? Ask about the options for prepaid and postpaid packages alike.

For more information, visit 7


Top high-end smartphones The smartphone has become an integral part of modern life, offering a multitude of apps, web browsing, instant messaging, email, and, oh yes, calling. But when you are looking for the best of the best, what are your choices? Here are a few of the favourites round the office.

Motorola RAZR XT910


leek is the keyword when it comes to the RAZR, thanks to a body that measures a wafer-thin 7.1 mm (compared to the S II’s 8.5 mm). But the Android 2.3-running RAZR certainly does not sacrifice substance for style, since it has a few valuable tricks up its sleeve. Most notable of these is Motocast, which allows you to access files, movies, pictures and music stored on your home PC from almost anywhere. Also worth a mention is the excellent 4.3" screen (540 x 960 pixels, 256 pixel per inch), a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9, 1080i video recording, all combining to make the RAZR a noteworthy successor to the original series.


Full Review:

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple iOS

hile everyone was expecting the iPhone 5, Apple decided that, for now, a speedier iPhone 4 is enough. The 4S looks exactly the same as its older brother, but is noticeably faster. This is due to the same A5 chipset that does duty on the iPad 2 (incorporating a dual-core 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor), while a new dual-antenna design speeds up internet browsing. Also onboard is Siri, a voice-based digital assistant that can help with a number of tasks (we got bored with it quite quickly), while Apple improved the already great digital camera, plus upped the video recording to 1080p. With a gorgeous 3.5" screen (640 x 960, 330 ppi), you can’t go wrong with the iPhone 4S.


Full Review:

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900

BlackBerry OS

IM’s BlackBerry Bold series has carved itself a very strong niche in the smartphone world, with the Bold 9900 being the best (and smartest) in the current line-up. It’s the first touch-and-type Bold device, meaning you have the trustworthy physical keyboard, but now with the benefit of a touch-screen to play around with too. The 2.8" screen (640 x 480, 287 ppi) is a pleasure to work on, while BlackBerry 7 OS is 40% quicker than OS 6 due to Liquid Graphics. The phone further offers some new features, such as NFC and voice-activated search. At 10.5 mm it’s also the thinnest BlackBerry out there, allowing us to easily punt this as the best device from RIM yet.


Samsung Galaxy S II Android rowned as Best Smartphone of the year at the Mobile World Congress, it goes without saying that there is much to like about the excellent Android 2.3-running Samsung Galaxy S II. The dual-core Cortex A9 1.2 GHz processor with a full 1 GB of RAM makes light work of graphic intensive applications, while its features are further enhanced by 16 GB of storage, a sharp 8 MP camera and full HD video recording. Combine this with a beautiful 4.3" Gorilla Glass display (480 x 800 pixels, 217 ppi) and a hipster jean-friendly 8.5 mm body, and you have yourself TechSmart’s Top Smartphone of 2011.


Full Review 8

Full Review:

Samsung Galaxy Note


s it a smartphone or a tablet? We are going to throw Samsung’s brilliant Galaxy Note in with the rest of the smartphones, simply because we had a lot less hassle carrying this around than what we initially expected. With a brilliant 5.3" screen (800 x 1280 pixels, 285 ppi), one would expect this hybrid device to be big and bulky, but the fact that it is only 9.65 mm thick makes it (almost) pain-free to carry around. It’s blisteringly fast (thanks to a dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex A9) and comes with the S-Pen stylus to help with writing and sketching. And with a scheduled Premium Suite (incorporating Android Ice Cream Sandwich) upgrade in the works, the Note should soon become even better.


Full Review:


Top entry-level smartphones BlackBerry Curve 9360

BlackBerry OS

IM’s sleek BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone is only 11 mm thick, compared to the Curve 9300’s 13.9 mm frame. The Canadian company equipped this device with its finger-friendly QWERTY keyboard for fast, accurate typing. Beyond this, you will find a 2.44" HVGA (480 x 360 pixels, 246 ppi) LCD screen that sports a higher resolution than the previous Curve’s 320 x 240. Unfortunately the 9360’s screen is not touch-enabled, which puts it under pressure from touch-and-type devices that include both a QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, such as HTC’s ChaCha.


BlackBerry Curve 9380

We are quite surprised at how powerful entry-level smartphones have become, bringing faster processors and up-to-date operating systems to the mobile-loving masses. So if you are on a budget, which device is right for you?

BlackBerry OS

lack of touch isn’t a worry on RIM’s other new Curve, the 9380, which is the firm’s first touch-only smartphone in the Curve range. It sacrifices the physical QWERTY keyboard in favour of added screen real estate, which amounts to 3.2", compared to the 2.44" you get on the Curve 9360. This TFT capacitive display is quite responsive and offers a good resolution (360 x 480 pixels, 188 ppi) for a budget-friendly device. Powering this Curve is a Marvel Tavor MG1 processor running at 806 MHz, which enables smooth and fast navigation of the BlackBerry 7 OS. Also onboard is a 5 MP fixed-focus camera with LED flash that captures decent looking photos.


Full Review:

HTC ChaCha


TC’s ChaCha is powered by a 800 MHz processor and boasts 512 MB of memory, which enables it to run Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and HTC’s updated Sense interface smoothly. This is a touch-and-type device that sports both a QWERTY keyboard and a responsive 2.6" (480 x 320, 222 ppi) touchscreen. A more exclusive feature of this phone is its Facebook integration, boasting a dedicated Facebook button which, rather counter-intuitively, doesn’t take you to your news feed, but rather defaults to a status update field.


Full Review:

Samsung Galaxy Gio

Full Review:

Android esides the Gio, Samsung holds another card up its budget smartphone sleeve – the excellent Galaxy Ace. Like the Gio, it is powered by an 800 MHz processor, but features the ARM 11 as opposed to the Gio’s Qualcomm processor. It also operates on a more up-to-date version of Android, namely 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) and boasts a 5 MP auto-focus snapper with LED flash, as compared to the Gio’s average 3.15 MP camera. What really seals the deal is the Ace’s slightly bigger frame (112.4 x 59.9 x 11.5 mm) and, more importantly, a larger 3.5" Gorilla Glass display (320 x 480, 158 ppi). The Ace makes the entry-level smartphone experience a thoroughly enjoyable one.

B Android

amsung’s little pocket-rocket measures 110.5 x 57.5 x 12.2 mm and weighs in at just 102 g, but it punches above its weight due to the presence of zippy 800 MHz Qualcomm processor. Count in an excellent 3.2" touchscreen (320 x 480, 180 ppi) with nicely saturated colours, plus the fact that out of all the models here it’s also the cheapest (R1999), and the Gio becomes even more appealing. Its unassuming looks might not distinguish it from the budget crowd, but underneath its surface appearance, it packs a real bang for your buck.


Samsung Galaxy Ace

Full Review 9


BlackBerry Bold 9790 BlackBerry Bold 9900 Slim, sleek and sophisticated

For those who pursue the best of the best

Collaborate, network and share like never before with the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone.

As the thinnest Bold yet (10.5 mm), the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone provides ultimate choice, with an iconic QWERTY keyboard 6% larger than previous BlackBerry Bold devices, a 24bit high-resolution touch screen, and a precision-based optical trackpad.

uilt with defined finishes and functional features, the distinctive BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone provides a seamless touch display, precise optical trackpad, navigation keys and the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard in a compact size. Now you can not only do it all, you can choose how you do it. Plus, with the new BlackBerry 7 OS, navigating through documents, enjoying multimedia and staying connected with friends and business contacts is easier and faster than ever before. If you want the distinctive BlackBerry smartphone experience, the new BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone is for you.


Quick specs: • • • • • • • • • • •

2.45" capacitive touchscreen QWERTY keyboard with optical trackpad 480 x 360 pixel resolution at 246 ppi BlackBerry 7 OS 8 GB onboard memory, expandable up to 40 GB via microSD card 5 MP Camera, flash, continuous auto focus, face detection, image stabilisation, scene modes, 2x digital zoom VGA video recording (640 x 480) GPS Assisted, standalone and simultaneous GPS Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz b/g/n, 5 GHz a/n Data: HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), HSUPA (5.76 Mbps) Size: Approximately 110 x 60 x 11.4 mm

he distinctive BlackBerry Bold smartphone combines premium materials, purposeful detailing and best-in-class workmanship with sophisticated BlackBerry performance. The new BlackBerry 7 OS drives that performance by providing 40% faster browsing with the fastest engine ever in a BlackBerry device. BlackBerry 7 also provides new features such as the proprietary Liquid Graphics technology, which allows for fluid navigation and faster response times on the high resolution touchscreen. It also supports incredible new experiences like Near Field Communication; Augmented Reality-enabled digital compass and accelerometer for more precise, real-time information; and voice activated universal search. Add to all that a 1.2 GHz processor, 8 GB of onboard memory (that you can expand with a microSD card), HSPA+, HD video recording, dual-band Wi-Fi, and so much more. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the performance-driven smartphone with sophisticated style, for those who pursue the best of the best.


Quick specs: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Full, wide QWERTY keyboard with optical navigation trackpad BlackBerry 7 OS 1.2 GHz Processor 5 MP camera with flash and 720p HD video recording capability 1230 mAH battery 768 MB RAM and 8 GB on-board memory Micro SD slot supports up to 32GB cards New Augmented Reality enabled with digital compass and accelerometer Dual-band Wi-Fi and integrated GPS Tri-band HSPA+, Quad-band GSM/EDGE NFC technology Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support

Data plan required. Please check with your service provider for availability, costs and restrictions. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third-party products or services.



Migration to the mobile cloud is well underway The migration of mobile applications and services to the cloud will deliver a wealth of cost, flexibility and productivity benefits to consumers, business users, application developers and network operators in the years to come.

his according to Robyn Milham, head of sales for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry solution. She says enterprise users especially are adopting the cloud as a way to drive down IT operations costs, improve the resilience and flexibility of their IT infrastructures and ensure that their users have access to missioncritical data and applications wherever they are.


Critical mass in SA Cloud computing is quickly gathering critical mass in South Africa. The IP EXPO Corporate Robyn Milham, head of Cloud Survey 2011, sales for Southern Africa at a report by World Wide Worx, recently Research In Motion (RIM) found that 46% of the 100 large JSElisted corporations that were interviewed are already using cloud computing. This number is expected to be close to 60% by 2013. “The technology behind cloud computing is not completely new,” says Milham. “RIM has used a cloud-like infrastructure for more than ten years to deliver services such as push email and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) to BlackBerry smartphone subscribers. But we are now seeing more applications move to the cloud as the mobile network infrastructure improves and businesses become more reliant on a range of mobile business applications.” RIM is building on its expertise in cloud services by taking its product portfolio to the cloud, with plans to build solutions and services for everything from enterprise mobility management to payments and credentials, she adds.

Security an issue The rise of cloud computing, particularly as an enabler for mobility, brings with it many opportunities for businesses, but also poses some challenges. Foremost among these is mobile security. “Companies need to ensure that they manage and secure devices in the field that store corporate data and also have access to corporate information applications in the cloud,” says Milham. RIM recently launched three new cloud-based services to help businesses of all sizes to secure, manage and control BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud.

• BlackBerry Protect For SMEs and individuals, BlackBerry Protect is a free application designed to help users find lost BlackBerry smartphones, and keep the information on these devices secure. Furthermore, BlackBerry Protect allows users to wirelessly backup, restore and locate their BlackBerry smartphone. In the event that their BlackBerry smartphone is misplaced, lost or stolen, BlackBerry Protect provides features such as: remote device wipe, remote device lock, ‘Lost and Found’ screen, locate device on a map, remote activation of the BlackBerry smartphone loud ringer, and wireless device backup and restore. • BlackBerry Management Center BlackBerry Management Center is the ideal solution to protect multiple devices. It is a free online service for small businesses to centrally manage company- or employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones in the cloud and protect business-related content stored on the handsets. The service is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that access email services from an internet service provider (ISP) or web-based email services like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo!. • BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 RIM is also working with partners such as Microsoft to align its solutions with their cloud-based services. For example, RIM announced general availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new service for business and government organisations that extends Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry smartphones and allows customers to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud.

Optimised services Milham says that bandwidth constraints mean that mobile cloud services need to be highly efficient and optimised, which is an area of strength for RIM. RIM’s global BlackBerry infrastructure is an integral part of its ability to deliver industry leading push services, security, manageability and spectral efficiency for RIM’s customers and partners. BlackBerry smartphones are extremely efficient due to data compression through the BlackBerry Infrastructure, which passes more than 25 petabytes of data traffic in a month. On average, browsing the web is twice as efficient, email is four times more efficient and social messaging is twice as efficient than other smartphones. This efficiency lowers roaming fees, allows a customer to do more on their data plan and also provides less strain on the carrier networks.



TechSmartʼs Top Tablets Tablets have proven themselves to be more portable than notebooks, and just as, if not more, versatile than smartphones. For first time buyers though, or those looking to upgrade, the question remains: which tablet should I choose?

New iPad

Apple iOS

nformally known as the iPad 3, Apple’s new iPad brings a stunning new Retina display which offers a 2048 x 1536 resolution and 264 ppi (pixels per inch) that far outstrips its predecessor. Additionally, it boasts a speedier processor and double the amount of memory (1 GB), while retaining the ten hours of usage. However, it is a little thicker and heavier than the iPad 2, and it seems as if some issue with regards to heat still need to be resolved. However, if you want the latest iPad, which app developers are increasingly catering for, the new iPad appears to be the way to go. Not available locally yet. Starting from $499 (US) for 16 GB Wi-Fi only. 4G also available.


Apple iPad 2

Apple iOS

he stalwart of the current crop of devices, the iPad 2 is for many users, the go-to tablet of choice. Even as it has been upgraded by the new iPad, it still offers exceptional value thanks to a comprehensive range of apps. Better yet, the introduction of the new iPad has further pushed prices for the iPad 2 down, making it more affordable than ever. In the iPad 2’s favour, it has already proven itself to be free of issues, and offers an undisputed more than ten hours of runtime on a charge. With a screen offering a resolution of 1024 x 768 and 132 ppi, it’s certainly clear enough for most. Simply put, it is still one of the best tablets out there. Starting from R3999 for 16 GB Wi-Fi. 3G also available.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1


year ago, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 turned heads for being the thinnest tablet around and weighing in at only 585 g. While the original is still held in high regard, it is set to be superseded by the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 in the upcoming months. We expect this to push the existing dual-core Galaxy Tab 10.1 even further into the affordable, great value for money section of the market, especially as the device is due for an Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update in the near future. Nine and a half hours battery life, access to the Google Play market (formerly Android market) which is only improving and growing, and a screen that offers a resolution of 1280 x 800 and 149 ppi, and knocked our socks off, makes the Galaxy Tab 10.1 of the past and future clear contenders in the tablet space. Starting from R3999 for 16 GB Wi-Fi. 3G also available.



Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime


rossing the operating system Rubicon, tablet users who prefer Google’s Android OS to Apple’s iOS may want to give the Transformer Prime a serious look. The 10.1" tablet boasts the latest Tegra 3 quad core processor, which makes it exceedingly fast and responsive (a little more so in our tests when compared to the iPad 2). Additionally, its LED Backlit screen with Super IPS+ offered a respectable resolution of 1280 x 800 and 149 ppi, which enabled it to hold up well outdoors. However, the real differentiating factor is the optional docking keyboard (R1300), which transforms the device into a capable tablet-netbook hybrid, while adding a USB port and full-sized SD card slot. It’s on the pricey side, but still worthy of consideration. Starts from R5999 for 32 GB. Wi-Fi only.


BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry Tablet OS

hen the BlackBerry PlayBook was originally released, it won us over on the navigation side. It offered hassle-free menus and excellent multitasking, but there were a few issues regarding usability. These have now been addressed thanks to the PlayBook’s update to BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0, which brought integrated tabbed email, calendar and contacts to the device, silencing some of the main critiques against the device. The PlayBook’s 7" screen (600 x 1024, 170 ppi) makes it considerably more portable than its 10" competition, which is certainly a factor worth considering for users who value maximum mobility. It’s also very zippy thanks to its 1GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU and 1 GB of RAM. Starting from R5500 for 16 GB. Wi-Fi only.



BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0: What you should know New OS delivers an enriched user experience for BlackBerry PlayBook tablet users After RIM released their 7" BlackBerry PlayBook last year, the deviceʼs long awaited operating system (OS) update - PlayBook OS 2.0 - is finally here.

corporate data with BlackBerry Balance allow you to get more out of your BlackBerry PlayBook every day. Plus, an updated virtual keyboard with auto correction and predictive next word completion learns how you type to enable faster, more accurate typing.

lackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 delivers an enhanced tablet experience and allows you to use the BlackBerry PlayBook in new ways throughout the day – at work and at play. New BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 features include:

• New apps and content: Thousands of new apps are being added to BlackBerry App World (including a range of Android apps that will run on the BlackBerry PlayBook), while support for a new BlackBerry Video Store is expected later this year. Enhanced web browsing capabilities are also available with BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.


• Integrated email client with a powerful unified inbox: With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 you have the option to use a unified inbox that consolidates all messages in one place, including messages from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as personal and work email accounts. • Social Integration with Calendar and Contacts apps: The built-in calendar harnesses information from social networks and makes it available where and when users need it. Contact cards are also dynamically populated with updated information from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to create a consolidated view of contacts. • Updated BlackBerry Bridge app: BlackBerry Bridge is a unique app that provides a Bluetooth connection between your BlackBerry PlayBook and core apps on your BlackBerry smartphone (including BBM, Email, Contacts, Calendar and Browser) in order to let you view the content on the larger tablet display. With BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0, it’s easier and quicker than ever to take documents, web pages, emails and photos that appear on your BlackBerry smartphone and display them on your BlackBerry PlayBook for an optimised viewing and editing experience. The updated BlackBerry Bridge app also provides a new remote control feature that allows a BlackBerry smartphone to be used as a wireless keyboard and mouse for a BlackBerry PlayBook. • Improved mobile productivity: Updated document editing functions, the new Print To Go app, and increased control and manageability of

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion RIM recently launched the highly-anticipated BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, RIM’s nextgeneration mobile device management (MDM) solution for enterprise customers. Built on the foundation that has established BlackBerry Enterprise Server as the gold standard for government and businesses, BlackBerry Mobile Fusion delivers a cost-efficient, secure, reliable and scalable solution that consolidates the management of smartphones and tablets running BlackBerry OS (including support for BlackBerry PlayBook and future BlackBerry 10 devices) as well as Android and iOS, and provides a single, unified, web-based console for easily managing all devices. For more information on BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, please visit

Availability The BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software update is now available as a free download for all BlackBerry PlayBook tablets. For more information please visit 13


Nashua Mobile introduces R59 flat-rate data package Xtreme Data taking on BIS Much like the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), Xtreme Data brings together internet browsing, social media, email and instant messaging, all for a flat-rate of R59 per month. The predictable and fixed monthly cost removes the uncertainty associated with other data rate plans and eliminates the chance of ʻbill shockʼ.

Nokia only t this stage the offering is available for contract customers on specific Nokia handsets. These include the Nokia C3 and X2-01 Series 40 phones, and the Nokia E5, E7 and N8 smartphones. Both the E7 and the N8 run the Nokia Belle OS, previously known as Symbian Belle. Nashua Mobile’s executive head of marketing, Tim Walter, stated that they are busy with data usage tests on Nokia’s new Windows Phone running Lumia 800 to see if it can be included in future packages. The company also mentioned that the service will be expanded to include other smartphones based on the Symbian, Windows Phone, iOS and Android platforms, allowing a much wider group of people to enjoy affordable, predictable data costs no matter which smartphone platform they prefer.


So what does the package offer? According to Nashua Mobile’s fair usage policy, users will be offered speeds of up to 512 Kbps for the following services: - web browsing, - email access with calendar, shared, contacts, tasks and notes, - social networking with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, - instant messaging with WhatsApp, Facebook Chat and MXit. Streaming services such as YouTube are not included in the package, with for example blocked on the Xtreme Data network. To ensure quality of service, Nashua Mobile has put a 100 MB Average Use threshold in

place. Once crossed, users will be throttled and/or shaped. Furthermore, 160 MB is believed to be the High Use threshold, with customers likely to encounter even further restrictions once crossed. SMS notifications will be sent to warn users if the thresholds are approaching. Walter mentioned that the Xtreme Data product range will be expanded in future for those with more strenuous data needs.

Technicalities The Xtreme Data service works by routing data from the handset to Nashua Mobile’s shared GSM data access point names (APNs) from Vodacom and MTN. From here, web access is controlled and managed by Nashua Mobile’s infrastructure partners. Says Nashua Mobile MD, Chris Radley: “The cost of data usage has been one of the most significant barriers to wider use of smartphones for web access and other online applications. With our new offering, we hope to make the mobile web accessible and affordable to a wider range of smartphone users.” Visit for more information.

Nokia E7 Smartphone

Nokia C3 Nokia E5 Smartphone

Nokia X2-01

Nokia N8 Smartphone

Working in conjunction with Nokia, Nashua Mobile has announced its Xtreme Data offering to the local market. 14


Smartphones: the current state in SA The numbers in mobile for South Africa Smartphones have made massive inroads across the globe over the past few years. So how are the numbers looking locally? Local consulting company, Strategy Worx Consulting, compiled all the figures, coming to some very interesting conclusions.

Smartphones Smartphone Penetration These smartphone penetration statistics use the population of South Africa as a base. It’s interesting to note that 15% of the population of South Africa are thought to have a smartphone.



Smartphone penetration

of mobile users access the internet

Handsets and Operating Systems BlackBerry maintains their majority market share of the smartphone industry at 44%. The iPhone and Android handsets have the smallest presence at the moment which forms a stark contrast to the US market where Android handsets comprise of the majority of smartphones. 83% 79% 78% 74% 73% 65% 62% 62% 57% 51%

Photo / Video Web Surfing Email General Search Social Networking Music Player Product Search Mapping / Location Assistance Games Banking / Finance

Smartphone Use The data on the right shows the expected result that the most used feature among smartphone owners is the camera and email/internet. What is interesting to see is how many users are involved in social networking on their smartphones.

Snapshot of MXit MXit is South Africa’s largest social mobile communications platform. It is in the lead at the moment with its primary competitor being the BBM service. WhatsApp Messenger is an upcoming competitor although still far behind.

Sources Executive Summary: South African Social Media Landscape 2011 – World Wide Worx & Fuseware 15

TechSmart, Mobility Guide, April 2012  
TechSmart, Mobility Guide, April 2012  

Helping you choose the best smartphones and tablets.