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Samsung Galaxy A30 and A50 series are a delight

Meet the all new Samsung Galaxy A30 and A50.

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Samsung Galaxy A30 and A50

The world of smartphones is constantly moving forward, with a never-ending and almost scary parade of improvements and upgrades which have continued to fascinate us. Two of which have particularly caught our attention recently are the Samsung Galaxy A30 and A50.

If there’s one thing clear about Samsung’s strategy in 2019, it is that the company is going aggressive to reclaim market share. The Galaxy M series showcased that Samsung knew how to make a great budget phone if it set its mind to the task, and it definitely went on the offensive once again with the 2019 Galaxy A series.

Samsung Galaxy A30 design, optics and display

Samsung Galaxy A30, Samsung Galaxy A50

Samsung Galaxy A30

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is a rather solid phone. It is very light to hold and really sleek, at only 7.7mm thickness. The look of the A30 fits 2019 standards, with a bezel reduced display, it looks more than convincing. The Galaxy A30 runs on Samsung’s new One UI, which is based on Android 9 Pie.

The Super AMOLED display is a definite highlight. Being a Super AMOLED panel, the contrast ratio is obviously top-notch. The display looks fantastic even at extreme angles and I would rank it as among the best in the category. Brightness levels go sufficiently high and the phone is easily visible outdoors.

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The large screen is separated by a small notch cutout at the top, popularly called a ‘teardrop notch’, and it’s used to house the selfie-cam. At the bottom of the device is a 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with a USB-C connection.

The power and volume buttons on the side of the device felt a little too high up to use comfortably, as did the rear fingerprint sensor, which is an issue that comes with the size of the device but depending on how you hold your device this may not be a problem.

By default, the icons on the home screen are comically large but this can be fixed easily by choosing a denser grid for the home screen and app drawer. You can even enable a one-finger swipe-down gesture on the home screen to pull down the notifications shade.

This is immensely helpful as it’s nearly impossible to reach the very top of the screen comfortably with one hand. You also have the option to use face recognition instead of — or in addition to — using the fingerprint scanner.

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Samsung Galaxy A30 camera

The Samsung Galaxy A30 is quite an impressive budget phone for photography. It has a rear dual-lens camera consisting of a 16MP main sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and 5MP ultra-wide lens with a f/2.2 aperture. The ultra-wide lens has the same encompassing 123-degree field of view as the Galaxy S10 series.

The front of the phone has a 16MP selfie cam. Landscapes had fairly good detail, and with the wide-angle sensor, you can get a lot more of any scene in the frame. As will all Samsung phones, the camera’s user interface was very easy to use, with all effects and options easy to find and a very quick shutter speed capturing moments quickly.

Like the Galaxy S10, the A30 has a scene optimizer to bump up saturation and contrast a bit to make the image more striking and visually appealing. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you like to mess around with filters before sharing your shots, you’ll probably like it.

Samsung Galaxy A30 battery

The 4000mAh battery is one of the Galaxy A30’s strong suits. With a sizable battery capacity of 4,000mAh, the Samsung Galaxy A30 will easily last you a day and it’s almost as big as the 4,100mAh battery in the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. The bundled fast charger is able to take the battery to about 70 per cent in an hour, which is not bad at all.

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The Samsung Galaxy A30’s Android 9 operating system is smooth to use, opening apps and navigating menus with ease. It also supports microSD cards, in case you need more storage.

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Key Specifications

  • Size: 158.5 x 74.7 x 7.7mm
  • Screen: 6.4-inch FHD+ (2340×1080) Super AMOLED
  • Rear camera 1: 16-megapixel AF f/1.7
  • Rear camera 2: 5-megapixel FF f/2.2
  • Front camera: 16-megapixel FF f/2.0
  • Memory: 3GB + 32GB / 4GB + 64GB – microSD up to 512GB
  • Battery capacity: 4000mAh
  • Processor: Octa-core processor (2 x 1.8GHz, 6 x 1.6GHz)

What’s in the box?

  • 5V/2A charger with adaptive fast charging
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Earphones
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Transparent TPU case

Samsung Galaxy A30 Review Verdict: Should You Buy One?

In 2019, Samsung has radically changed its mid-range gameplay. The company is working hard to please young consumers and the Galaxy A30 is mostly a step in the right direction. It makes a compelling case for itself with its gorgeous screen, appealing design, Android Pie based clean software and a massive battery.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy A30 is a well-built phone, which looks decent even with its plastic body. It’s available in multiple colours.

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Samsung Galaxy A50 – A feature-rich budget phone!

Samsung Galaxy A50, Samsung Galaxy A30

Samsung Galaxy A50

The first thing you notice when you pick up the A50 is its sleek and lean physique. Second is its rear panel, which has a reflective coating that scatters light through the plastic panel and makes for some beautiful hues. All said and done, the build quality of the A50 looks solid, feels light in hand and pocket.

Design, optics and display

The Galaxy A50 is the embodiment of a great budget phone: it has an evocative design with a gradient pattern at the back, the hardware is rock-solid, it comes with the latest version of Android, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and there are three cameras at the back.

In short, Samsung has managed to completely overhaul its budget strategy, and the result is a device that the Galaxy A50 easily holds its own against the best that this segment has to offer.

If there’s one area where Samsung improved the most with its 2019 budget lineup, it’s the design. With the Galaxy M and now the Galaxy A series, it is easy to see that Samsung put a lot of thought into the overall design aesthetic.

The Galaxy A50, in particular, looks stunning thanks to a gradient finish that creates a rainbow effect as light bounces off its surface. Another highlight of this new Prism design language is smooth flowing curves — the back curves seamlessly to meet the metal mid-frame, and all four corners are rounded.

The material at the back isn’t glass, however, with Samsung relying on a plastic chassis for the A50. The gradient pattern is just a reflective coating on a plastic back, and this allows the A50 to save considerable weight.

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That said, the phone is just as prone to fingerprint smudges as glass-backed devices. And although the A50 doesn’t have premium materials, the fit and finish is excellent and the phone feels just as durable as the best that Samsung has to offer.

There’s also some very handy and quick face recognition – you can choose to activate the front camera as soon as you raise the phone – it’s fluid and you don’t have to wait for visual confirmation that it has worked. There are of course tons of customization options like text size, icon size, gesture shortcuts, gesture navigation, lock-screen widgets, message bubbles, etc.

Google’s Digital Wellbeing feature for Android 9 is also supported so you can see detailed app usage statistics, have the Galaxy A50 prompt you when it’s time to wind down for the night, and impose time constraints on individual apps to help yourself focus.

Camera

One of the key features of the Galaxy A50 is the camera arrangement. There are three cameras at the back, with a 25MP primary lens joined by an 8MP wide-angle shooter and a 5MP depth sensor. The back has gradient colouring, and our black review unit gets rainbow-like patterns that make it look absolutely stunning. The back also holds a triple rear camera setup with the three sensors stacked vertically.

There are also lots of add-ons like Live Focus mode for portraits, a 480fps 720p slow-motion video mode, Hyper-Lapse mode for timelapse videos, AR emojis, and intelligent scene optimization. Overall image quality is good, especially in daylight – photos come out looking nice with quite a lot of detail.

The wide-angle camera gives you a lot of flexibility and it’s actually quite surprising how much more you can fit into a frame when standing in exactly the same spot. You can change the type of background blur in portrait shots and there’s a fake dolly-zoom effect that you can make GIFs out of – edge detection is quite good too.

On the software front, the Galaxy A50 is running One UI based on Android 9.0 Pie. The software is near-identical to what you get on the Galaxy S10, with the same interface elements.

Battery life

Battery life is excellent thanks to a generous 4000mAh battery that ensures you easily get over a day’s worth of use. With light to moderate usage, you can easily make it into the next afternoon before you need to charge the phone. The phone has fast charging support and comes with a fast charger bundled in the box.

What’s in the package?

Inside the box, Samsung has bundled almost everything that is essential for a new buyer. The Galaxy A50 box contents are as follows:

  • Samsung A50 mobile phone unit
  • Travel Adapter
  • USB Type-C Data cable
  • Earphones
  • Ejection Pin
  • TPU Soft Case Cover
  • User Manual and documentation

Verdict: Should You Buy One?

With the re-imaged A-series, Samsung is really showing that it knows how to bring the fight back, and seen on its own, the Galaxy A50 is a solid mid-range device. The Galaxy A50 seems to be a well thought out mid-range offering.

The phone seems to be ticking a lot of right boxes. The design is cool, the AMOLED display is good quality. Overall, the Galaxy A50 practical experience is much better than what its spec-sheet implies.

Should you buy one? Absolutely

NM Partners represent articles published in paid partnerships with corporate organisations. They include press releases, targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications on behalf of our Paid Partners.

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Economic Roundup

Nigeria´s rising debt, rising inflation and more | Economic Roundup

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4 of my staff were paid by the FG MSME Survival Funds’ – Lola Petra Allen

MSME Survival Fund Program aims to protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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MSME, world bank, FG seeking FDI to develop Special Economic Zones - Trade Minister, FG clamps down on filling stations, others for faulty measuring and weighing equipment, AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement- Trade Minister, FG meets group to access AfCFTA's $650 billion market, UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

The Fifth Edition of the annual Lagos Small Business Summit organized by SME100Africa in commemoration of the Global Entrepreneurship Week was held virtually with an outstanding attendance of inquisitive entrepreneurs who registered in their thousands looking for relevant tips, skills, and knowledge about business in Nigeria. The event was chaired by Mr Charles odii the Executive Director of SME100Africa.  The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment where he spoke on how Government and small business owners can keep up with the market.

A participant of the Lagos small business summit Ms Lola Petra Allen, a small business owner who is the CEO of Lola Petra Ventures which specializes in Trading, bakery, food and Beverages based in Ogun states spoke up to testify and show appreciation of the FG survival funds, she shared her experience before, during, and after applying for the survival fund. Ms Lola announced that the day before 4 of her staff members were credited a sum of N30,000 by the FG and the Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo Honourable Minister Niyi Adebayo showed his appreciation of Ms. Lola’s testimony, stating that although many had received their funds from the program, they did not come forward to share about it but she did.

Ms. Lola went on to share her entire experience when asked by the host and CEO of Inversion STC, Brian Oji to explain to those in doubt and seeking more answers how it all went down; She stated that she got the link through a former institution school group and decided to check the legitimacy of the link; once she had confirmed this, she went on to apply just like everyone else and decided to keep following up for changes and necessary requirements. She got to a stage where she was expected to register her staff which she could not register because 2 members had prior issues with their Bank Verification Number (BVN) and had to be dropped otherwise her application would not have been accepted; after this stage, she and her staff were captured and eventually got to the final verification stage. The entire process led up to her employees being paid by 7 am the previous morning.

The Federal Government MSME Survival Fund Program is a part of the Economic Sustainability Plan, which aims to support and protect businesses from the potential vulnerabilities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has 3 parts which any MSME business owner is eligible for, the MSME Revolving Guaranteed Off-take Scheme, The Payroll support and MSME Grant.

To apply and receive the funds that can help keep your MSME afloat during this pandemic, click this link https://survivalfund.gov.ng/

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Why you should be concerned about Nigeria’s cybersecurity problems

A VPN guarantees the security of online browsing by means of an encrypted “tunnel,” which replaces dedicated lines and hardware.

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According to the CIA Country Fact Book, Nigeria has nearly 85.5 million internet users. Mobile cellular subscriptions are slightly more than 184 million, an approximate 88 per 100 Nigerian inhabitants. Deloitte, a leading worldwide business services and consulting firm predicted that in 2020 Nigeria, like the rest of the world, would “witness unprecedented cyber-attacks and cybersecurity solutions.”

The real problem for Nigerian citizens is highlighted in this Stears Business online article. The average Nigerian, like citizens the world over, is accustomed to surrendering personal data in exchange for digital services. The problem in Nigeria is that there are no government mandates to prevent and report misuse or compromise of all that data.

The Stears article points out that “Nigeria is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to cyber-attacks.” As recently as 2018, “about 60% of Nigerian firms suffered an attack…” The bottom line is “Nigerian firms are being attacked, but no one is reporting what is stolen.”

The flip side of the issue is government censorship and control of internet access. According to Freedom House, after the February 2019 elections, the Nigerian government considered legislation to “restrict online speech” in response to the spread of misleading and false online information.

While civil libertarians, bloggers, and internet users mobilized to oppose the bill, the government continued to leverage existing criminal defamation laws to arrest people for online activities. Nigeria has also blocked websites promoting the independence of the Biafra region and previously shut down internet access in three northern states during the Islamist Boko Haram insurgency.

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The good news is that Nigeria’s internet infrastructure is decentralized and complex. This promotes competition and makes it difficult for the government to systematically filter or censor internet use.

Nevertheless, there are troubling reports that Nigeria’s government accessed call records from service providers and arrested at least three reporters along with numerous bloggers for online activities. Also, journalists and news sites reported several distributed denial of service cyberattacks.

So, the struggle between Nigerian citizens and a government concerned with security means that hacking, privacy, and censorship issues will remain part of the Nigerian digital landscape indefinitely. Internet uses wanting to access Nigerian resources should use a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

The best reasons to use a VPN in Nigeria

VPNs are an encrypted tunnel

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A VPN guarantees the security of online browsing by means of an encrypted “tunnel,” which replaces dedicated lines and hardware. The “tunneling” is by means of a pathway where a packet of data is enclosed within another encrypted packet, which can neither be intercepted nor read without the encryption key at the destination.

The VPN shows the user’s address as that of the VPN server the user logged into—a secure server in Nigeria, for example. When the VPN routes the user to the that secure VPN site, the data is encrypted.

Hackers and other surveillance agencies will have a difficult time tracing and tracking the user, even if the destination site is not secure. This is due to location and IP masking provided by the VPN server.

VPNs provide privacy and online protection

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Browsing without a VPN makes the user a sitting target for trackers. Without the privacy and online protection of a VPN, the internet service provider can observe and record the user’s browsing activity and habits and sell the data to marketers. Also, without a VPN, the user can be vulnerable to compromises on unprotected public networks through so-called “Man-in-the-Middle” (MITM) attacks.

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Preventing MITM breaches

Protecting against MITM attacks is the top reason for using a VPN. This is especially so on public Wi-Fi networks. Cyber criminals use detection technology and clever tactics like employing fake websites and apps. The goal is to gain their victim’s user credentials and passwords. The interference can be real time, or through injection of malware to the victim’s device for later activation.

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MITM hackers use a number of tech-savvy and clever strategies, which include the following:

  • using so-called “pineapple” devices to find nearby unsecured user networks
  • DNS spoofing to lure the user to fake websites
  • using fake web applications to trick the victim into providing personal login credentials
  • using “sniffer” software to detect online activity of their target users
  • hijacking unencrypted session cookies, which show email login information

A VPN, then, acts as a mobile shield. It hides the user’s IP address and adds encryption to the mix. Even if the hacker were to intercept the connection, what is displayed is only indecipherable gibberish.

VPNs bypass geo-blocking

Most countries enforce copyright restrictions and allow online streaming services to permit access to local users only. A premium VPN service like Surfshark can defeat VPN blockers. It does that through location hopping seeking servers that to bypass government censorship and geo-blocking. Essentially, a VPN maintains the founding principle of the internet, which is free and open access to everyone.

VPNs defeat unfair pricing practices

Some online shopping services display different prices based on from where the shopper logs in. Those price variances can be as great as 150 percent. The common practice is to charge a user logging in from an affluent location the higher price, or the user could be directed to a site that has premium prices.

Looking for the best price for a flight to Abuja? The foregoing pricing practices are also employed by some airlines, their ticketing agents, as well as auto rental agencies and hotels. A traveler see could higher or lower ticket prices for the same trip, depending the IP address of the traveler. So, logging into a VPN server from a variety of VPN locations is a way to find the best traveling bargains.

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The Advantages of Premium VPNs

Free VPNs are not the best choice

There are a variety of free VPN services to choose from. They offer free downloads with no subscription fees. Rather than charging the user, free services raise revenue through intrusive ads and engage in sometimes shady practices that exploit their users. Free VPNs can also make the user’s online experience less secure and slow down web performance.

Free VPNs are essentially stripped-down versions of their premium counterparts. However in contrast to premium services, free VPNs:

  • monitor the user’s online activity and sell the logs to marketers
  • make the user a secondary target for hackers through malware-infested ads
  • slowdown browser performance/speed with popup ads broadband restrictions (i.e., throttling)

Premium VPNs are the optimum choice

On the other hand, for a low monthly subscription cost a premium VPN service provides the following advantages:

  • a no-logs policy–The user is never tracked on line, nor is any record kept of the user’s internet browsing habits.
  • state-of-the-art encryption and security protocols—A premium VPN includes 256-bit, military grade, unbreakable encryption.
  • a “kill switch” which safeguards against data linkage—When the user’s connection drops off the line, the VPN disconnects the user from the internet automatically.
  • effective bypassing of geo-blocking and VPN detectors—This is done through VPN server hopping.

A VPN Does Not Replace Online Security Measures

VPNs do not provide an absolute shield against cyber-attacks. Non-technical phishing and social engineering can bypass the best security where unwary users have been duped into downloading cleverly concealed malware.

So, a VPN is only one element of an overall security awareness that must include the following:

  • using strong antivirus software, which the provider updates as new threats develop
  • activating the built-in security settings already present on Windows and Mac operating systems
  • avoiding entering public Wi-Fi networks unprotected by a VPN
  • logging on to websites that only have the HTTPS header
  • being on the lookout for email phishing and never clicking on suspicious attachments or links
  • using a solid password strategy, e.g., lengthy passwords, with a different password for each secure entry point
  • backing up everything every day as the final defense against malware attacks

Summary and Takeaways

Nigeria, like everywhere else, has been a target of phishing and malware attacks. This densely populated African nation has been a target of cyber-attacks, but has lacked transparency in both reporting breaches and enforcing online security. Also, the Nigerian government has a history of trying to impose web censorship.

So, when signing on to the Nigerian internet, users should always use a strong, premium VPN. A VPN protects the user’s online connection that masks the user’s location and IP address. A VPN also protects against surveillance, online tracking and man-in-the-middle attacks.

MITM attackers use clever tactics both live attacks and injecting malware on the user’s device. Live MITM attacks can dupe the user into signing into fake websites and disclosing login information. VPNs also bypass geo-blocking and defeat unfair pricing practices.

Premium VPNs have distinct advantages over free VPN services. Free VPNs can compromise the user’s online anonymity and expose their systems to malware. Free VPNs can slow down the user’s internet experience with popup ads and restricting the user’s broadband width.

Premium, subscription-based VPN’s, on the other hand, have “no-logs” policies. They neither collect nor log user data. Premium VPNs also employ best-in-class encryption and security protocols. They do a better job in defeating VPN blockers.

A VPN must be considered as an important, but not the only element of, overall online security preparedness. Users need to load antivirus software, use their operating system built-in security—firewalls, encryption, etc.– and stay away from unsecured public Wi-Fi portals without using a VPN. Finally, for best web security, users should only enter websites that have HTTPS as part of the address designation.

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