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b8ta and Business France to Launch Hardware Startup Brands from France

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From October 1st to December 31st, 2021, the b8ta lifestyle and tech concept store, will host eight French High-tech products in a dedicated corner in their Dubai Mall shop. This exclusive showcase will highlight disruptive French brands in the fields of mobility, entertainment, artificial intelligence, health, and education. It will be the opportunity for tech enthusiasts or newbies from all over the world to discover, test, and buy the most innovative and cutting-edge products in the b8ta Dubai Mall store or through their online platform.

Held for the first time in the Middle East, The French Tech Corner at b8ta is the result of a partnership between Business France (the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy) and the b8ta store, a software-powered retailer with stores in the Middle East, U.S., and Japan. “Business France is happy and proud to join forces with b8ta, a Retail pioneer, that has recently set up operations at Dubai Mall. b8ta brings up the most innovative products to local consumers, and it’s with a great pleasure that France will introduce highly diverse start-ups to showcase their latest Tech products. Selected French Tech companies will benefit from the “booster effect” of the Expo 2020 which will also open its doors on October 1st, with millions expected visits within 6 months,” stated Frederic Szabo, Managing Director Business France Middle East.

b8ta’s General Manager for Middle East and Africa, Ramit Harisinghani commented “b8ta is delighted to partner with Business France to launch 8 innovative brands to the region. b8ta’s analytics and feedback opportunities combined with Business France’s comprehensive ecosystem make it the ideal platform for French start-ups to launch a product in the Middle East. Brands can benefit from b8ta’s business model, called retail-as-a-service, that helps them market, manage and measure offline experiences.”

The UAE is by far the most dynamic country in terms of the tech ecosystem in the region and represents 35% of the 10,000 start-ups headquartered in the MENA region.

UAE citizens, residents, and travellers from all over the world are invited to visit the b8ta store in Dubai from October 1st to December 31st, 2021, to discover the French Tech corner and the most unexpected Tech products curated from France.

Meet French Tech brands at the b8ta store

EYELIGHTS: Offers a motorcycle helmet with integrated GPS, packed with electronics.

AUDIOZEN: Helps you fall asleep thanks to its offline Morphee mobile box placed near your bed.

PRET A POUSSER: Markets simple and autonomous indoor gardens with a wide range of seeds.

Y-BRUSH: Offers an electric toothbrush that brushes teeth in 10 seconds using sonic vibrations.

REENBOW: Blends augmented reality and teaching, offers a solution that lets you learn in an amusing and immersive way.

EARSQUARED: Sells wireless headsets that allow you to listen to music, radio, connect a GPS, and enables to answer phone calls while keeping the ear canals free.

FAMILY SELF CARE: has developed a connected device that makes daily beauty and wellness personalised, sustainable and enjoyable through herbal oils.

LIVING THINGS: is developing a 3D project on the Mona Lisa using AI.

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Gadgets

Long Term Review: Huawei nova 8

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Huawei’s new nova 8 was launched in the UAE in August 2021 and the company promptly sent us a device for a long-term review. We have been using the Huawei Nova 8 for the past two months and the overall experience has been so awesome, that we even forgot it didn’t come with GMS pre-installed!

The nova 8 is a beautiful device, both inside and outside. The phone uses a curved glass design while retaining the physical buttons on the side for functionality and aesthetics. The curved edges from the front and back perfectly fit into the metal mid-frame, making it feel smooth and sleek.

On the right edge of the device, you will find the volume and the power buttons, while the left edge is flush. On the bottom edge, you will find the USB-C charging port, a speaker grille, and a noise-cancelling microphone. On the top edge, you will find the dual-SIM tray and another noise-cancelling microphone.

Inside the box, you get the Huawei nova 8, a SIM ejector tool, a clear jelly case, a USB-C charging cable, and the compact 66W supercharger. The nova 8 has also gone through a series of aesthetic changes. While the nova 8i looked more like Huawei’s Mate series, the nova 8 comes with a large camera module that sits on the top left corner on the rear of the device.

The unit we received for this review is the Gold Blush colour variant priced at AED 1799. On the front, you get a 6.75-inches Full HD OLED Edgeless display that offers a resolution of 2340-by-1080 pixels, a 90Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR10. On the top in the middle of the screen, you will find a cutout that houses a 32MP selfie shooter.

Turn the phone around and you come face to face with Huawei’s quad-camera Nebular Camera System. Now, this setup includes a 64MP HD Main Camera, 8MP Ultra-Wide angle Camera, 2MP Macro Camera, and a 2MP Bokeh Camera. Huawei says that the nova 8 uses a 4-in-1 light fusion technology, which makes it easier for people at all skill levels to take pictures in crystal-clear quality.

Indoor Shot Sample

The phone also comes with a Super Night Mode that makes photos sharper and brighter. The Huawei nova 8 also makes wide-angle photos look more natural with its 120° Ultra Wide Angle Camera and anti-distortion AI algorithm. The Bokeh Camera creates natural Bokeh effects for portraits, while the Macro Camera takes up-close shots in clear and minute details, with a focus distance of just 4cm.

Then there’s a Dual-View video feature that helps vloggers record HD 1080p videos in a playful way. In this mode, the display splits in two, with one showing a close-up shot captured by the Ultra-Wide Angle Camera, and the other displaying the whole picture shot by the Main Camera. This mode is great for shooting events or locations, such as visiting a park or zoo.

Outdoor Shot 1

Outdoor Shot 1

The 32MP front camera also offers a Super Night Selfie 2.0 mode, which uses the phone’s AI algorithm to removes flares reflected from glasses. The phone also supports Huawei’s Multi-screen Collaboration feature. Using this feature, the nova 8 can be connected with a PC to form a “Super Device”. Once connected, you can open up to three windows on the PC and the PC can access mobile files, while the smartphone can function as the PC’s thumb device, making cross-device file management easier than ever.

Outdoor Shot 2 (1X)

Outdoor Shot 2 (1X)

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the Kirin 985 5G processor. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. No provision for expandable storage is included in the nova 8 though. The nova 8 runs on EMUI 11, which is based on Android 10. The phone does not come with GMS pre-installed, though you do get Huawei’s AppGallery for all your app needs.

Outdoor Shot 2 (Wide Angle)

Outdoor Shot 2 (Wide Angle)

You also get Petal Maps for navigation, Petal Search to search and install apps, Huawei Health, Huawei Music, Huawei Video, and lots more. We found Petal Maps to be a great alternative to Google Maps and the directions and routes were very accurate every time we used them.

With Petal Search and AppGallery you can install almost any app you ever wanted to use on the nova 8. The phone also comes with a 3800mAh battery that supports supercharging at 66W, which can reach from 0% to 100% battery capacity in less than 35 minutes.

Night Shot

Night Shot

In terms of performance, the Huawei nova 8 delivers. Multi-tasking through multiple open app windows worked like a charm. We also used the multi-screen collaboration feature by pairing the nova 8 with the Huawei Matebook 14, and everything felt butter smooth. Gaming sessions turned out to be very good, thanks to the nova 8’s solid specs.

The camera on the nova 8 is something to look out for – it performs brilliantly. Whether it is indoors or outdoors, the camera performed quite consistently. The focusing is quite fast, which is a welcome addition, considering situations when you do not want to miss a great moment. The selfie camera also performed very well.

The Huawei nova 8 is priced at AED 1799, which puts it right at the top in the mid-range smartphone section. However, what you get at a mid-range price point are lots of premium bells and whistles. The overall design is eye-catching, the specs are top-notch, the camera performance is excellent, and the overall UI experience is really very good.

If you are into content creation such as vlogging and want to start off with a solid mid-range smartphone, available at an affordable price point, you can’t go wrong with the Huawei nova 8.

Price: AED 1799

Huawei nova 8 AED 1799
  • Final Rating
3.5

Summary

Under the hood, the phone is powered by the Kirin 985 5G processor. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. No provision for expandable storage is included in the nova 8 though. The nova 8 runs on EMUI 11, which is based on Android 10. The phone does not come with GMS pre-installed, though you do get Huawei’s AppGallery for all your app needs.

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Gadgets

GITEX 2021: Toshiba Gulf FZE to Highlight Surveillance, Enterprise HDD and KIOXIA SSD Storage Solutions

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Toshiba Gulf FZE will be offering a complete 360 of Data storage solutions for Consumers and Enterprise at Hall 4, Stand H4-B2 at GITEX 2021 held at DWTC from 17th to 21st October 2021. On display will be Toshiba range of Storage products and KIOXIA (formerly Toshiba memory) NAND Flash memory products.

Visitors to Gitex can view a wide range of innovative hard disk drive (HDD) products to meet the varied demands of the diversified storage marketplace. Products displayed will include high capacity power-efficient storage for Cloud Data Centers, capacity and performance HDDs for Enterprise IT, client HDDs for PC/Desktop, and specialty drives for Surveillance, NAS systems, set-top box video, gaming, and external storage for Windows and Mac PCs.

The 18TB MG09 Series Hard Disk Drives, 3rd-generation 9-disk Helium-sealed design, and innovations in energy-assisted recording helps customers achieve new levels of storage density and power efficiency. With 12.5% more capacity than prior 16TB models, 18TB MG09 CMR drives are compatible with the widest range of applications and operating systems.

For KIOXIA various flash memory such as NAND flash, BiCS FLASH and Solid State Devices (SSD) will be displayed. Flash memory has become a standardized memory device and KIOXIA, the inventor of flash memory, has carved out a path to a new era in which we are able to carry videos, music, and data with us wherever we go.

Kioxia puts great emphasis on retaining the same excellent quality, performance, and reliability standards, that consumers are used to expecting from the formerly known Toshiba Memory product line-up, dedicated to the development and production of innovative class-leading flash storage solutions.

Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE said, “With our competence and experience combined with our value chain of highly driven and proven channel partners and distributors, we look forward to the visitor response to our new products at Gitex 2021. Our 18TB MG09 Series delivers new levels of storage density and power efficiency to our cost-conscious cloud-scale and storage solutions customers and it is compatible with the widest range of applications and operating environments.”

Also highlighted at GITEX will be Canvio portable storage lineup with new applications and designs, adding new Canvio Flex and Canvio Gaming models along with new colors and textures. The next generation of Canvio designs delivers seamless portability, high storage capacity, and broad compatibility for various USB devices. It meets the evolving needs for storage solutions suited for a broad range of users, including multi-platform users, gamers, business professionals, outdoor photographers, and students. There’s a model that fits everyone’s needs.

Toshiba Gulf FZE will be in Hall 4, Stand H4-B2 at GITEX 2021. Activations on the stand include a photo booth competition where winners can walk away with attractive prizes.

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Audio Devices

Review: Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds

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Sennheiser has entered into the affordable wireless earbuds category with the launch of the new CX True Wireless earbuds. This pair of wireless earbuds are part of the company’s CX range and are a bit similar-looking to the CX 400BT. However, one area where it differs is the fact that the company has equipped each bud with its own homemade TrueResponse transducer.

While the earbuds lack active noise canceling (ANC) feature, they do impress with the sheer quality of audio they offer. In terms of size, the earbuds do feel a bit bulky, but they are quite lightweight nevertheless. They also fit snuggly into the ears and do not slip out even during an intense head-banging session!

Sennheiser also offers a Smart Control App that lets you control, personalise, update and configure the Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds or any Sennheiser headphone, headset, or soundbar for that matter. Through the Smart Control App, you can also adjust the EQ to your liking. The earbuds support wireless connectivity through Bluetooth 5.2, along with aptX for lag-free connectivity with Android smartphones.

The charging case of the CX True Wireless is also very similar to those that accompany the CX 400BT. While the earbuds offer a battery life of up to 9 hours, you do get two additional full charges in the case, making it a total of 27 hours of battery life.

Once out of the box, you do need to perform a firmware update, which then provides you with a touch-sensitive interface on each of the earbuds to customise the commands. You can use it to control audio, answer calls or even launch your phone’s assistant.

The earbuds also come packed with dual microphones, which optimizes voice pick-up for calls and voice assistant access even when using just one earbud. Each earbud can also be used individually via a simple ‘role switching’ feature. Using the Smart Control app, you can allow the Sidetone feature to enable their own voice to be heard during calls.

The Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds are also IPX4 rated – so you don’t need to worry about sweat or splashes of water. During our tests at a consistent volume level of 70dB, the earbuds offered a total battery life of 8 hours and 27 minutes, before they needed a recharge.

Audio quality was fantastic – it offered very nice and deep bass, very natural-sounding mids, and very clear highs. The quality of audio on calls was also very impressive. The earbuds fit very comfortably into the ears and you really do get a very tight seal to eliminate outside noise to some extent.

While the CX True Wireless is available in both matte black and matte white for a price of AED 549, it does not accompany any bells and whistles such as ANC, wireless charging, and so on.

What it does however offer is a comfortable fit, excellent audio quality, and very good battery life. If you are looking for an excellent pair of wireless earbuds and do not really care about the bells and whistles, the Sennheiser CX True Wireless earbuds could very well turn out to be a great choice.

Price: AED 549

Sennheiser CX True Wireless Earbuds AED 549
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

While the earbuds lack active noise canceling (ANC) feature, they do impress with the sheer quality of audio they offer. In terms of size, the earbuds do feel a bit bulky, but they are quite lightweight nevertheless. They also fit snuggly into the ears and do not slip out even during an intense head-banging session!

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