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People Using Desktops More to Bank Online



Despite mobile banking rising in popularity among UAE consumers, most prefer to conduct online banking through their bank’s desktop site, according to a survey conducted by, one of the Middle East’s leading financial comparison site, in conjunction with RBBi. The survey, which compiled responses from almost 400 UAE residents, revealed that 36.3% of consumers prefer to access internet banking through a mobile or tablet app. However, traditional online banking proved to be the more popular option, with 42.2% indicating they prefer to access internet banking through their bank’s desktop site.

The results of the survey also confirmed that the vast majority (85.29%) of UAE consumers prefer online banking of any kind to visiting a branch, with over 80% citing convenience as the major factor in this preference. The statistics indicated that, although they show a large appetite for convenience when it comes to banking services, many UAE consumers are not yet sold on the merits of mobile banking versus traditional online banking conducted through a desktop website.

“The UAE’s banks have done a fantastic job in bringing mobile banking services to market with a vast array of innovative banking apps. But it appears that customers still view banking as a job to be done at a ‘proper’ workstation, through a desktop website. This could be down to a perception that desktop banking is somehow more secure, or it could be that consumers simply don’t realise that the majority of banking services are now available on mobile,” said Samer Chehab, COO of “If banks really want to attract more mobile users, our survey results indicate a need for greater education on the benefits of mobile banking. Concerns about mobile banking safety need to be addressed, and the convenience of having most banking functions available in your pocket needs to be pushed further.”

The survey results indicated that UAE consumers are generally satisfied with their internet banking services, with 44.4% of respondents claiming there is nothing that frustrates them about their internet banking experience. However, improvements could still be made; according to the study, 26.1% said that one frustration comes with the lack of access to all information online, while 18.3% said that online banking doesn’t give them access to the same services as visiting a branch does.

The survey also found that the majority of users (52.5%) are most likely to use internet banking for checking their account balance – something which is possible to do on both mobile and desktop online banking. Paying bills (just under 50%), transferring funds between accounts (34%), wiring money (27%) and downloading personal bank statements (25%) also featured highly on users’ lists of most likely activities to complete while banking online.

“It’s possible to complete all of these tasks via the mobile apps of the region’s leading banks. Given that our survey respondents indicated a preference for convenience when it comes to banking services, it seems strange that more consumers aren’t opting for mobile. We can only assume that users view simple banking tasks and more complex banking tasks in the same way – i.e. banking tasks can’t possibly be easy enough to complete with a few clicks on a mobile phone,” said Chehab.

Indeed, for more complex tasks, the survey indicated that users forgo online banking altogether. Almost 31% said that they were highly unlikely to request a loan or credit card through internet banking, and 43% said they were highly unlikely to use online banking for getting financial advice. Likewise, 41% said that it was highly unlikely they would use internet banking for managing their investment portfolio, while 26% said they would least likely order a cheque book online.

In terms of online banking products, Emirates NBD’s online banking service was used by the most respondents, with 27.8% claiming to regularly use the service. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s online banking was second-most popular, with 17.2% share, while Dubai Islamic Bank rounded off the top three with 7.4%.

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Smartphones That Wow: The Most Impressive Flagships of 2024



Does your current smartphone feel like a relic from the ancient times? Plagued by stuttering videos, crashing apps, and a battery that quits faster than a toddler’s attention span? If yes, you’re already due for an upgrade. But upgrading your smartphone is no small deal. It’s a commitment, an investment of both money and time spent adjusting to the new quirks. They’re how we bank, navigate, stay connected, and sometimes, how we escape from the present. So, you deserve something amazing.

Navigating the smartphone market is a jungle of jargon, though. We have to look past the marketing gimmicks, hyperbolic commercials, and pointless features. So, let’s cut through the noise and focus on smartphones that offer a truly transformative experience, with a dash of “wow” mixed in for good measure. Here is the cream of the crop in 2024.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra
Starting with the design, the Pura 70 Ultra features a stunning Starry Pattern back panel that is sure to turn heads. Its Starry Pattern back panel shimmers with an intricate texture, while an embossed plaid texture adds a unique tactile dimension. The luxurious vegan leather further enhances its sophisticated style. The XMAGE label and red-ringed primary camera add tasteful accents.

But the real star of the show is the camera system. The headline feature, the 1-inch Ultra Lighting pop-out camera, is a first for any smartphone. When shooting, the lens smoothly extends out with a satisfying mechanical whir. This retractable design allows the phone to pack a massive 1-inch sensor and an f/1.6 aperture into a body that’s just 8.4mm thick.

The 1-inch sensor is significantly larger than what you’ll find on most smartphones. This translates to better light-gathering ability, improved low-light performance, wider dynamic range, and a shallower depth of field for that beautiful bokeh effect. Combined with HUAWEI’s XD Fusion Pro image processing engine, the results are simply stunning.

With the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra’s Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, you can capture fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity. The Ultra Speed Snapshot feature can lock onto fast-moving subjects and snap tack-sharp pictures, even at speeds up to 300km/h. Also, the Ultra Lighting Macro Telephoto Camera can capture highly detailed macro shots from just 5cm away, with up to 35x magnification.

Huawei has done a phenomenal job of improving the durability of the Pura 70 Ultra with Crystal Armor Kunlun Glass. This nanocrystalline material is both harder and more flexible and dramatically boosts scratch resistance by 300%, while also improving drop resistance. The Pura 70 Ultra also features 100W wired and 80W wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge. You can top up the 5200mAh battery to 50% in just 15 minutes, whether you’re plugged in or going cord-free.

The HUAWEI Pura 70 series now offers an enhanced and optimized AppGallery experience, bringing convenience and efficiency to your fingertips. Users can rest assured that all their favorite apps, including social media, banking, shopping, video streaming, and navigation, are readily available. With just one click, you can download essential apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Careem, Youtube and Maps directly from the HUAWEI AppGallery.

iPhone 15 Pro Max
The iPhone 15 Pro Max maintains the familiar silhouette but introduces a new material – titanium. This material offers a significant leap in durability compared to traditional stainless steel, providing exceptional scratch and dent resistance. You’ll also immediately notice the phone’s lighter weight compared to the 14 Pro Max. In addition to the new material, there are subtle refinements like slightly thinner bezels and a redesigned camera module. And, of course, a new range of colour options.

Another notable change is the absence of the iconic silent switch. Instead, the iPhone 15 Pro Max features a new Action button, which can be programmed to perform a variety of functions, including activating the silent mode. So, it basically adds more flexibility than before.

There are some not-so-insignificant camera upgrades, as well. The main 48MP rear camera features a new, larger sensor, offering improvements in low-light performance. The 12MP periscope telephoto lens allows for optical zoom up to 5x, enabling users to capture distant subjects with exceptional clarity. Also, it lets you shoot video in ProRes, which gives you a tonne of latitude in postprocessing if you are into that. The 12MP ultrawide shooter also lets you take close-up macro shots.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max addresses one of the primary concerns of power users – battery life. It can last a full day even with heavy-handed usage. The main reason behind this improvement is the A17 Pro chip, which delivers unmatched performance while being remarkably power-efficient.

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
The Galaxy S24 Ultra carries forward the legacy of the S series. There are sleek design refinements, an improved camera system, and a few other changes. The Galaxy S24 Ultra builds on Samsung’s established design language. It feels distinctly Samsung.

Samsung has reinforced the S24 Ultra’s frame with titanium. This provides greater protection from accidental drops and everyday wear and tear. Curved edges soften the look and enhance comfort in hand. Smaller bezels maximize the expansive display while maintaining a sleek, modern aesthetic. Also, there is the S Pen, which is a surprisingly capable tool for drawing and sketching. Even though the Ultra model belongs to the S24 Series, it is in a league of its own. From its curved glass slab design to materials and the inclusion of a stylus, it’s the most distinctive phone in the entire series.

The Galaxy S24 Ultra camera system is designed for enthusiasts as well as content creators. The primary rear camera uses a massive 200-megapixel sensor, providing incredible details and cropping flexibility. This time, Samsung takes night photography to the next level with improved astrophotography. Moreover, the S24 Ultra deepens its integration with Samsung’s Expert RAW app, giving even more control over image parameters if you crave true manual control and professional-level editing.

Samsung seems to have taken a step backwards with the zoom, though. Instead of the 10X optical zoom found on the S23 Ultra, the S24 Ultra only has a 5x optical zoom. Nonetheless, the results look promising. You are more likely to use the 5x zoom in everyday situations, so it’s hard to call this a downgrade.

While the wired charging speed of 45W is a bit on the slow side for a 2024 flagship, the 15W wireless charging is long overdue for an upgrade. That said, the 5000mAh battery is quite capable and gives you plenty of battery life.

Which one to choose?
You can’t go wrong with any of these smartphones. They are all great in their own right. But we have a soft spot for the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra for good reason. Firstly, it’s a bold statement about the future of mobile imaging and design. Its pop-out camera, equipped with a large 1-inch sensor and the Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, sets the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra apart from its competitors. In fact, this smartphone might just be the one that finally allows you to leave your bulky DSLR or mirrorless camera at home.

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HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra is Now Available for Pre-Orders in the UAE



Huawei smartphones have carved a unique niche through their relentless focus on cutting-edge mobile photography. And its P Series smartphones have carried the standard for its relentless pursuit of innovation. This journey of P Series smartphones began in 2012. It was a lineup dedicated to pushing the boundaries of mobile imaging and design. Now, after over a decade, this iconic camera-centric smartphone series is transforming, reborn as the ‘Pura Series’. This name change signifies an evolution. Pura, meaning “Purity,” sets the series’ new tone, signifying a bold fusion of fashion and technology, refined design, and an audacious vision for the future of mobile photography.

The three new smartphones – HUAWEI Pura 70, HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro, and HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra –bring new pioneering features to the smartphone market, and have once again delivered on camera innovations, continuing the long-standing hallmark of the smartphone series. After a comprehensive review, renowned tech lab DXOMARK has crowned the HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra as its top smartphone camera, awarding it a score of 163. The review highlighted the smartphone camera’s excellent colour accuracy, earning the phone a historic all-time high rating in the category, and leading autofocus capabilities. The camera showed strong performance in other categories as well.

One of the key focuses of the Pura Series is its dedication to aesthetic design. Pura isn’t shy about its ambition to be a fashion statement and explore a powerful fusion of classic artistic styles, modern aesthetics, and trends plucked right from the runway. Starting with the design, the Pura 70 Ultra features a stunning Starry Pattern back panel that is sure to turn heads. The intricate embossed texture gives the phone a premium feel, while the gleaming starry motif evokes the lights dancing on the Seine River in Paris at night. The delicate plaid texture embossed onto the back panel adds a unique tactile feel, and the vegan leather finish elevates the overall elegance. The XMAGE label and red-ringed primary camera lens add a final touch of sophistication.

But the real star of the show is the camera system. The headline feature is the Ultra Lighting pop-out camera featuring a 1-inch sensor, a first for any smartphone. When you are shooting, the lens smoothly extends from the body with a satisfying mechanical whir, like professional camera gear. This isn’t just a hardware gimmick. The retractable design means the lens physically extends when you activate the camera, allowing Huawei to pack a massive 1-inch sensor and an f/1.6 aperture into a body that’s just 8.4mm thick. It’s a truly innovative solution.
The 1-inch sensor is a game-changer too. It’s significantly larger than what you’ll find on most smartphones. This translates to better light-gathering capabilities, improved low-light performance, wider dynamic range, and a shallower depth of field for that beautiful bokeh effect. In short, that means, better photos, especially in low-light situations. Combined with HUAWEI’s XD Fusion Pro image processing engine, the results are simply stunning.

A big sensor is only part of the equation. To capture the perfect moment, no matter how fleeting, you need speed, and with the Pura 70 Ultra’s Ultra Speed Snapshot feature, you can do just that. This feature uses multiple short and long exposures in tandem with the HUAWEI XD Motion Engine to capture fast-moving subjects with stunning clarity, allowing this phone to freeze time in ways that were once thought impossible.

The Ultra Speed Snapshot feature employs a combination of motion detection algorithms and predictive autofocus, enabling the camera to lock onto fast-moving subjects and freeze them in time, even at speeds up to 300km/h. Whether you’re trying to photograph a bird in flight, a dancer in motion, or an F1 car zooming by, the Pura 70 Ultra is up to the task. The advanced motion algorithms ensure the foreground subject is crisp while the background remains clear and detailed.

What if you prefer your subjects small and up close? Well, the Pura 70 Ultra has you covered there too. The Ultra Lighting Macro Telephoto Camera can capture highly detailed macro shots from just 5cm away, with up to 35x magnification. You can capture the intricate veins of a leaf and fill the frame with a single flower petal or insect wing and reveal details invisible to the naked eye.

What’s equally remarkable is that Huawei has done it all while also improving the phone’s durability. The Pura 70 Ultra steps up with Crystal Armor Kunlun Glass, a nanocrystalline material that’s both harder and more flexible than traditional smartphone glass and dramatically boosts scratch resistance by 300%, while also improving drop resistance. It’s the kind of durability that gives you the confidence to take this camera phone on all your adventures.

Speaking of adventures, the Pura 70 Ultra is always ready for action thanks to 100W wired and 80W wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge. You can top up the 5200mAh battery to 50% in just 15 minutes, whether you’re plugged in or going cord-free. Whether you’re topping up between flights at the airport or powering up wirelessly in your car, the Pura 70 Ultra is ready when you are.

The HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra in Starry Pattern Design Green, Brown and Black priced at AED 5099. The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro in Black and White is priced at AED 3999. The HUAWEI Pura 70 in Black, White and Pink priced at AED 2999 is available for pre-orders in the UAE starting from May 15th with gifts worth of AED 898 including HUAWEI FreeBuds Pro 3 and HUAWEI Care+ 6-month package, from Huawei Experience Stores, e-shop and selelct retailer across the UAE.

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Acer Unveils New 14-Inch Chromebook Plus Powered by Intel Core Processors



Acer has expanded its line of Chromebook Plus laptops with the Acer Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T), providing users with a performance-minded, compact and durable model that enables them to do more with the AI-powered capabilities of ChromeOS. “The new Acer Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T) delivers the sought-after combination of a portable design, 14-inch Full HD display and performance-minded technology that lets users get the most out of exciting capabilities offered with Chromebook Plus,” said James Lin, General Manager, Notebooks, Acer Inc. “Students, businesses, families, and individuals need to be more productive, connected and empowered than ever, and can achieve this using Acer Chromebook Plus devices.”

The new Acer Chromebook Plus 514 is the latest addition to Acer’s lineup of Chromebook Plus laptops that offer enhanced Chromebook performance and experiences, emphasizing better hardware designs with upgraded displays and cameras paired with powerful productivity, creativity, and multimedia capabilities.

Like all Acer Chromebook Plus laptops, users have the power to do more with the new Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T). Powered by an Intel Core i3-N305 processor and an ample 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, the Acer Chromebook Plus 514 provides 2x the speed, memory, and storage, giving responsive performance and efficient multitasking, whether running built-in AI-powered apps like Google Docs and Photos, watching favourite shows in full HD on a 1080p display, or movie-making with LumaFusion. Plus, the processor ensures all-day enjoyment with up to 11 hours of usage on the fast-charging battery.

The Chromebook’s 14-inch Full HD display features IPS technology, 300-nit brightness, and wide viewing angles, ensuring everything on it – from video and photos to images and text – is vibrant, crisp, and clear. The display is the perfect palette to take on AI-powered graphic design and photo editing tools, like Magic Eraser in the built-in Google Photos app as well as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Express powered by Adobe Firefly generative AI. Additionally, the Chromebook Plus 514’s display is available in touch- and non-touch models, with anti-glare coating, so it can be enjoyed in bright-light conditions.

The Chromebook Plus 514’s powerful combination of fast and reliable Wi-Fi 6E and conferencing tools makes staying in touch easy and enjoyable. The 1080p webcam features Temporal Noise Reduction (TNR) for noise cancellation, plus AI-powered tools that enhance clarity, lighting, and blur backgrounds. The webcam’s facial auto exposure feature adjusts the exposure based on the lighting conditions around the subject’s face for more flattering images; it also features the Blue Glass lens to produce high-quality imagery even in low-light conditions. When privacy is needed, the webcam can be closed with a physical shutter, or users can mute the dual microphones and turn off the camera with a single click. Plus, the exceptional visuals are complemented by dual upward-firing speakers with DTS Audio.

This new line will be sold in configurations with up to 512 GB of storage to ensure users can store important creations locally. When Acer Chromebook Plus 514 users are away from an internet connection, File sync on Chromebook Plus keeps Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides always accessible, whether online or offline.

The Acer Chromebook Plus 514 was designed to be portable yet durable, so users can experience its powerful performance on-the-go throughout their day. Weighing only 1.43 kg and measuring 20.5 mm thick, the new Chromebook is U.S. MIL-STD 810H compliant, making it ready to stand up to daily wear and tear. Also, it can be connected to the latest devices, either via Bluetooth 5.2 or through its wide port selection that includes dual USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C ports (one on each side) supporting USB Charging.

In line with Acer’s commitment to create a continuous positive impact on the environment, the new Acer Chromebook Plus 514 supports the company’s Earthion mission, boasting several EPEAT registrations as well as eco-friendly features such as the OceanGlass touchpad made of ocean-bound plastic waste. It contains recycled materials, sustainable packaging, and an energy-efficient design that meets Energy Star certification.

The new Acer Chromebook Plus 514 is available with Chrome Education Upgrade for seamless device management in schools. Chrome Education Upgrade helps administrators manage devices at scale and will offer admin policies to help manage all Chromebook Plus features. The Acer Chromebook Plus 514 is a great device for educators and staff, as well as higher education students, helping them access tools like Screencast, Adobe Express, and File Sync to enable offline productivity. Equipped with powerful controls, administrators can maximize productivity, streamline device usage, and easily deploy security configurations to ensure their school community remains safe from threats. Administrators can also leverage Chrome Education Upgrade’s functional features such as zero-touch enrollment and 24/7 Google support.

The new Chromebook Plus line is also available with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade, unlocking the built-in business capabilities of ChromeOS. The Acer Chromebook Plus Enterprise 514 enables IT departments and the workforces they support to onboard quickly with zero-touch enrolment, stay productive with easy to manage device policies that simplify user experiences, and keep data and users safe with features like data controls and remote device wipe to prevent data leaks. With 24/7 IT Admin support and ChromeOS troubleshooting assistance, managing updates, insight reports, and technical issues have also been made easier.

The Acer Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T) will be available in EMEA in June, starting at $479.

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