Nokia Middle East marked the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, with a skydive airdrop of the first consignment of the phone from the sky onto Palm Jumeirah. The smart phone will go on sale to the public for the first time in the Middle East at Gitex on October 5 Image Credit: supplied


This must be one of the best smartphones of the year.

First LG threw out the Optimus moniker to give its premium line up an exclusive ring.

Second it threw in Qualcomm’s lightning-quick 2.26 Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor (the first smartphone in the world to have it) for silky silky-smooth graphics on videos, games, faster web browsing and multiple apps (four cores handling different tasks at the same time). It also ensures outstanding battery efficiency.

Third it brought in classy design – near zero bezel with an instinctive design and a refined rear start key (it takes some getting used to though) aligned with a expansive 5.2” full HD display.

Fourth it brought in brilliant music under the hood. The G2 is the first phone to feature 24 bit/192kHz Hi-Fi playback for studio-like quality sound. Additionally, there’s multi-mic recording with advanced noise cancellation,

And fifth, it brought in great imaging quality with optical image stabilization for blur-free images and videos (there’s also 8x digital zoom). This is especially handy in long exposures at night. According to CNET Asia, the LG G2, 13-megapixel shooter (along with iPhone 5S) is your best bet in smartphone cameras (iPhone 5S, LG G2, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z1 were compared). There’s 9-point AF for fast and accurate focus besides six modes for shooting, including burst mode, HDR, panorama etc

Glossy, smooth, and thin, the slim lightweight device stands 5.45 inches tall, 2.79 inches wide, and 0.35 inch thick.

Connectivity includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE allowing for speeds upto 150mbps, NFC, and infrared port. The phone packs in a 3000mAh battery for taking on the most demanding tasks without breaking into a sweat.

We particularly liked the Guest mode feature where you can set up an alternate log-ins so you can protect the privacy of your phone (messages, images, call log etc) while lending it to someone (kids, friends) etc.

There’s 16GB internal memory with additional 50GB free storage on cloud (lifelong).

Gitex offer: LG G2 is part of the du smartphone festival (includes 8 smartphones) for Gitex, where they are offering up to 20 per cent cash discount on device, a portable Bluetooth neckband, 10GB data for 12 months (minimum billing Dh250).

Price: Dh2,399


Sony Xperia Z1

This phone boasts credentials to being the best Android smartphone in recent times. Its stunning looks combine OmniBalance design with premium materials in a slim waterproof and dust resistant smartphone.

After winning rave reviews at the global launch at IFA in early September, this one-piece aluminium frame beauty comes with tempered glass on the front and back for beauty and durability.

Sony combines the best of its Bravia TV technology, ClearAudio technology and camera expertise in the Z1.

Z1 features Sony’s “G Lens” with a 27mm wide angle and F2.0 aperture, custom made large 1/2.3-type CMOS image sensor Exmor RS for mobile and a BIONZ for mobile image processing engine for images on par with conventional compact digital camera. High shutter speeds prevents blur. The most impressive feature must be the crazy fast Timeshift burst feature where you can capture 61 images in two seconds flat.

Thanks to Bravia TV technology, Xperia Z1 features Sony’s unique TRILUMINOS Display for mobile, creating a wider palette of rich natural colours for an immersive viewing experience. It also includes X-Reality for mobile for super sharp display and videos.

Xperia Z1 also brings Sony’s audio expertise to play with Sony’s ClearAudio+ to optimise audio experience without need to adjust individual settings.

There’s also an Info-eye Innovative visual search function that provides related information on landmarks and items such as books simply by capturing them with the camera.

The Xperia Z1 runs on the super fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE for amazing speed, incredible graphics, 3D games and videos. The Xperia Z1 also includes a 3000 mAh battery, with the Battery STAMINA Mode optimising usage further. There’s 2GB RAM, flash memory up to 16 GB expandable up to 64GB.


Sony SmartWatch 2:

The second screen for Z1 enhances phone functionality by helping you read messages, handle calls, access notifications, initiate the shutter on your phone – all from the convenience of the wrist.

Z1: Dh2649

Smartwatch: 799


Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia’s Windows 8 camera phone aims to blow the competition away in smartphone cameras. The latest mega shooter from Nokia has a 41 megapixel sensor featuring ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, Xenon flash for stills and LED for video. With PureView technology and optical image stabilization, the device can produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera even in low-light conditions. Besides that, there’s a dual capture feature – one image of 38 megapixels for editing opportunities and a 5-megapixel image for social networks.

With a beautiful interface that visually demonstrates how settings will affect the final photo or video, Nokia Pro Camera makes it easier than ever to capture, edit and share photos and videos with unrivaled clarity.

The 4.5” AMOLED (1280x768), PureMotion HD+ screen has sunlight readability capability along with super sensitive touch. There’s a 2000 mAh battery, wireless charging supported via cover. The phone runs on 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor and has 2 GB RAM, 32 GB internal memory; 7 GB free SkyDrive cloud storage.

Nokia Middle East marked the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, with a skydive airdrop of the first consignment of the phone from the sky onto Palm Jumeirah. The smart phone will go on sale to the public for the first time in the Middle East at Gitex on October 5.

Gitex offer: If you buy the big boy this Gitex there’s a bonus – the first 1,000 customers walk away with an mobile photography kit including camera grip, mobile imaging tripod and a flip cover.

Dh 2,699


BlackBerry Z30

The biggest, fastest and most advanced BlackBerry, the all-touch 5” BlackBerry Z30 features BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.

The Super AMOLED display moves away from the LCD of the Z10 and the phone is powered by a 1.7 GHz Snapdragon processor and 2 GB or RAM that allows for faster browsing and more details on games.

The Z30 keeps you hyper-connected through the BlackBerry Hub that gives a peek into all your messages from wherever you are with just one swipe - choose whether to dip into them or simply return to what you were doing.

With the BBM app, you can receive and respond to BBM messages from within any other app. Whether browsing the web or watching a video, you can always remain connected.

Online reading is easier in Reader mode which removes page clutter at the touch of a button.

With up to 25 hours of battery life, you can keep going for longer.

UAE offer: Meanwhile, Anghami app, the most popular music app in the Middle East and North Africa is now available for all BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Featuring an expansive music catalogue with unlimited high-quality Arabic and international numbers, you can either stream songs live or download them on your BB to play when offline. What’s more, should you be in the mood for some new music, the Anghami ‘Surprise Me’ feature tracks your taste and suggests new songs that help you get into the groove!

Price: DhDh2,499


Sony Alpha3000

The Sony Alpha3000 camera offers picture quality, manual controls and artistic possibilities of a D-SLR in an easy to use camera with interchangeable lenses. The 3000 features a large APS-C Exmor 20.1MP sensor for pro-quality pictures and Full HD video.

The electronic viewfinder (Tru-Finder) offers 100% field coverage. Particularly interesting for creative buffs will be Picture Effect which provides a palette of 15 artistic treatments, such as retro photo, miniature and partial colour. There are 18 interchangeable E-mount lenses on the easy to grip camera.

Price: Dh1,799 including a 18-55 lens, carrying case and 8GB memory card. Zoom lens (18/200mm lens ranges between Dh3,599 – Dh3,799)


Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear

Sennheiser’s new addition to the Momentum family - Momentum On-Ear - headphone adds a dash of colour to their product range - blue, green, pink and ivory. The Momentum headphones deliver great sound in a cool, chic design. Equipped with high-quality audio technology and finished with the finest materials, the MOMENTUM unites form and function like no other headphones.



ME Champ kids tablet

The limited edition ME Champ kids tablet enables learning along with play for kids. This is one of the the smartest infotainment platforms for kids and is specifically meant to improve cognitive skills of children while empowering parents with a control mechanism.

ME Champ’s intuitive interface gives free access to a variety of kid content including free Access to more than 500 apps for categories such as games, books and education; free access to first few web apps (more than 50 apps) under sub-categories for games, e-challenge and education; free navigation and access to all videos under the TV menu. The child can also play music and videos, and view photos on the ME Champ.

Parents can supervise the usage of the ME Champ through an in-built ‘Parental Control’ mechanism -- Application Manage to selectively allow apps usage, Online Navigation for limited access to websites, Password Protection, live usage statistics enabling complete control, and time management.

Price: Not Available


Sony NEX-5T

Sony’s new NEX-5T camera packs pro-quality pictures and wireless freedom into a powerful, pocket-sized camera with interchangeable lenses for DSLR-style images and generous control options.

There’s a generously-sized APS-C sensor with 16.1 megapixels to grab more light than the small sensor in ordinary compact cameras. The richly-detailed DSLR-quality stills and Full HD video, with ultra-low picture noise for crisper twilight shots and atmospheric interiors additionally offer a rewarding photographic experience.

Advanced Fast Hybrid AF combines phase-detection autofocus to track fast-moving subjects with contrast-detection AF for speedy, accurate focusing in any scene.

There’s a tiltable LCD screen that flips up to 180° for a comfortable view while the camera is held at arm’s length. Auto Portrait Framing takes the guesswork out of good-looking self-clicks, cropping your composition for polished results. There is also a digital level gauge that makes it easy to keep horizons steady and true.

Price: Dh2,699 (bundled with 18-55 lens, carrying case and 8GB memory card).