Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bucket Tech: Huawei Mate 10 - First Impressions


Monday afternoon in Munich, Chinese mobile phone giants, Huawei unveiled their latest flagship smart phone, the Mate 10, along with the Mate 10 Pro and Porsche Design Mate 10 to the world's media. With Samsung and LG having gained the markets attention with their new smartphones, namely the Galaxy Note 8 and the V30, Huawei had to pull out something spectacular with the Mate 10 and unsurprisingly, they did. After launching the world's first smartphone SoC chipset, the Kirin 970 at IFA2017, that very same chipset will power the Mate 10. The chipset is essentially an octo-core processing unit which is split into two quad core processors. It has a combined output of 4.2GHz, but it's the AI abilities that shine through in it, with it being able to perform much faster than it's competitors. The AI capabilities don't stop there as it improves the camera and also be able to translate foreign languages without internet connectivity. 


The design of the Huawei Mate 10 has changed compared to the Mate 9 with it being more rectangular and flat, almost like a P10 Plus, the edges seem to have a smooth bevel finish but the main talking point is the screen. Huawei have opted for the long screen trend which enables "FullView Display" which gives the device one of the best screen to body ratio on the market which Huawei was quick to point out at the launch with a direct comparison with the iPhone X. Moving to the rear of the phone, Huawei have continued with their long-term partnership with Leica, with the Mate 10 sticking with dual lens technology but lenses now are vertically aligned as apposed to horizontal like previous models. The lenses remain as 12 MP RGB and 20MP monochrome which fuse the picture to give a true colour output. Leica have also thrown in a dual ISP to the lens to enhance the picture. The Mate 10 is also rated IP67, which makes it dust and waterproof, so you can take that call, whether you're in the middle of the dessert or in a monsoon. 


A strong aspect about the Mate series from Huawei undoubtedly the battery life, the Mate 10 series has a 400 mAh on board and can deliver 48 hours of life with normal use. That in this day and age is pretty impressive, given the chipset and display which we all know loves to kill the battery. The devices also come with fast charge technology, as seen on the P10 as pretty impressive, With this behemoth battery, 30 minutes of charging from 1% will give the the Mate 10 approximately 58% life. So far this phone seems the business and really set to rock the elite business smartphone market. It's due to land in SA later this year and by then hopefully we will have more info on it. It's nice to see Porsche Design come on again to design a special edition version fo the Mate 10, the Mate 9 Porsche Design was quite a hit and I'm personally eyeing the PD Mate 10 for my next phone.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Choon: Aly & Fila - Beyond The Lights


We keeping the trace theme from last week going into the new one with some Future Sound of Egypt by Aly and Fila. We haven't heard form the Egyptian Trance duo in a while and with their new album 'Beyond The Lights' being released this year, we have the title track from it featured today. Their tours have been sold out and having last seen their live set at Tomorrowland ASOT stage where only Aly performed, its safe to say that they are representing the African continent on the highest level for Trance music. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bucket Seat: BMW 420i Gran Coupe


From a person that never saw the point of a Gran Coupe when it was first released to someone who swears its the best possible form of car on the market now, one can only imagine how eagerly I was awaiting my chance to test the revised BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. Having attended the launch a few months back and getting the opportunity to thrash it around some of the twisty testing roads that Mpumalanga had to offer, it already showcased some great attributes but I needed to spend more time with it, figure out what makes this revised model so much more special than the original. BMW spent a lot of time expressing how with this new model, that Four Means More, and having looked at market trends from buys of the 4 Series, scrutinizing everything from what engine was more popular to what extras were most wanted in the cars, they could suit the revised model to what they think the buyer would want. 


DESIGN

If one has to take a quick glance at the car, not much has really changed in the design of the Gran Coupe, the car has grown by millimeters here and there thanks to a redesigned chassis but it isn't easily seen with the naked eye but can be experience when inside the car. The most striking features of the revised design is the lights, both the front and back lights have seen a make-up artist and had some details and eyeliner added to them, the results are outstanding. The cars now have ditched Xenon technology and have opted for LED, with the new 4 Series coming with Bi-LED lights as standard with the option to upgrade to the Adaptive LED lights which is more evident with it's hexagonal design, which is quite prominent and give the car so much character. The 420i GC which I had on test had the standard Bi-LED head lamps which also look great. On the inside, some nice touches were added, with extra chrome detailing, give the car a more premium feel. 


PERFORMANCE

The original 420i engine didn't leave much to the driver in terms of excitement or performance, the new engines that come from the 3 Series have been introduced into the 4 Series range and has made a load of difference. The engine packs quite a punch and pushes out 135kW with 290Nm of torque to get it going. The car was extremely responsive in all driving modes, Sport + is the most fun mode to drive it in but it has that usual problem of making the car extremely thirsty. Driving around in Eco Pro mode isn't as bad as it seems and I had it in this setting for most of my time. Don't expect a fast response to the throttle though as it tries to minimize high revving and long accelerations for obvious reasons, it even warns you when you're over doing it. 


COMFORT

When having a look at the 4 Series, there is one thing you have to remember the car is a Coupe, the Gran Coupe is still essentially a coupe but with 4 doors. So the ride and stance of the car still remains true to its Coupe heritage. The car sits much lower than your regular sedans and this just makes thins so much more better for the driver. The passenger also gets a good kick from this as well being at this low seating position, almost makes it feel race car-ish. Seating configuration is suited for 4 people as the car does have bucket seats both in the front and back but you can seat 5. As mentioned before, BMW have given the entire line up new chassis which have been redesigned to give the driver a better driving experience, with stiffer suspension, modified dampers, updated ABS which is very evident with the shortened breaking distance. The cars boot is quite big and with the ease of the automatic tailgate makes it very easy to pack an unpack the car.


TECH

Normally when getting a test car from BMW, we used to getting a press car with loads of extras, unfortunately this time around, we were given the bare essentials if you would like. How I said earlier about BMW noticing trends in their customers? Well they chose to equip the car with the extras that were most chosen when buyers purchased their cars. So nothing fancy but still enough to get excited about. Most essentially is the professional Sat-Nav which comes with the large infotainment screen. The layout of the menu has changed and is taken from the new 5 Series with tile formats. Not entirely sure if the hand gestures package is offered in the 4 Series though. Bluetooth telephone and Audio streaming should be a norm now but BMW still has the audio streaming as an optional extra but I think that might change soon with Apple Car Play connectivity and Android Mirror screening. 


VERDICT

As I said from the beginning, this derivative of the 4 Series is my favourite and there's nothing that can change my mind about it. Yes the price of the 4 Series has gone up from the last but that is why BMW was drumming in the 4 Means More tag line, essentially saying that the 4 Series has become more of a premium luxury sports coupe with it offering the customer more as standard and actually works out to their benefit. This car will definitely make my 10 car garage, simply because  how it fuses practicality and sportiness in a car. There's not many sportbacks out there that can do this with so much ease and fun. 


SPECIFICATIONS

 Engine
 2.0L 
 Gear Box
 8 Speed Automatic with paddles shift
 Power
 135kW
 Torque
 290Nm
 Top Speed
 250Kph (electronically limited)
 0-100kph
 7.5 Seconds
 Price
 R651 400






















Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 Wartburger Spring Festival


Nestled just outside Pietermaritzburg, lies a quaint town of Wartburg, having passed there a few times, you might miss it if you blink but many don't know about this little wonder and the history it holds. When I tell people about it, many respond, "what burg?", so here's a quick history lesson for you. The town was settled in the 1850's by German families, and is named after the Wartburg Castles in Eisenach, Germany. To this day, the Wartburg area has had a large population of German speaking citizens who predominantly farm in the surrounding area around town. Okay, enough with the lessons, time to focus on the main reason of this post, the Festival! In it's second year running, the Wartburg Spring Festival is getting ready to host the masses coming in to enjoy all things German.  The event will build on the long-standing traditions of the Wartburg Lutheran Church Bazaar, one of the most anticipated events on the town's calendar with its sale of processed German meats, advents biscuits and other fresh produce. 


This year the festival sees Orion Group's Wartbuger Hof Hotel joining in to host a fun family event in collaboration with the Wartburg Lutheran Church. The bigger and better festival will see stall holders and exhibitors from as far as Cape Town showcasing their artisanal items to the public. Some of the stallholders and craftsmen, include the top KwaZulu-Natal craft brewers, including Lion's River Brewery and Railroad Brewey. Nadia Gmeiner and Antoinette Kleyn, the event organisers, said that they were ecstatic to be involved in such an event. "The town of Wartburg is a beautiful gem and our hotel, the Wartburger Hof, owes a lot of its success and support to the people of this town. For us to be a part of the festivities and the camaraderie among the brilliant townsfolk is such an honor for us and we hope to increase the support and numbers to this years event."


The Wartburger Spring Festival promises to  delight the young and old alike. There will be a number of stalls which range from arts and crafts to artisanal food and beverages including traditional German cuisine that is sure to delight even the most discerning palette. The even will take place on Saturday, 21 October 2017, on the grounds of the Wartburger Hof Hotel. It is a nice excuse for many to explore the countryside and will be a great outing for the entire family. For those wanting to host a stall at the Festival, please contact Nadia Gmeiner on 011-718 6416 or email beerfest@wartburghotel.co.za. For more information, please visit www,wartburghotel.co.za or follow the event on Facebook. To buy tickets to the Festival, they are available online at NuTickets

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday Choon: NWYR - Voltage


If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me tweet last week that NWYR are probably the best break through artist of the year. Many won't know who they are but are actually no strangers to the EDM game. Earlier this year when the Ultra Miami line-ups were announced, many were surprised to see the exclusion of W&W. The big room specialist who normally are a crowd favourite were not going to perform at the mega festival but later many discovered that they were but under a new alias, NWYR. The Dutch duo created NWYR to be more trance focused and have a heck load of music to share to the world. This has blown open their fan base now, with many trance goers attending their set at Ultra. Their set at the ASOT stage at Tomorrowland was mind blowing, it's so refreshing to see their take on trance, it has so much energy and great tempo, I honestly cannot wait for more new releases from them. Today we have featured their debut single, Voltage which just personifies how electric their music is, do enjoy. 



Friday, October 6, 2017

Bucket Seat: KIA Picanto 1.2MT Smart


So a couple weeks ago I spent a week with the new KIA Picanto, it was my first time driving one of these ultra small hatchbacks and truth be told, before getting it I was a bit pessimistic about driving it. I mean you see these cars on the road, they are like half the size of a normal car and all you can think about is how safe is it really? Some even go as far to dub the cars in this segment as "a coffin on wheels", that is quite a statement hence I thought I'd use the time with the car to not only see what it had to offer but to also dismiss these absurd fears that many seem to have about them. Give this KIA and others like it some voice that their are actually better than many think they are. 


DESIGN

The car I received was the range topping 1.2 Smart Manual Transmission, the Picanto comes in four variants, Start, Street, Style and Smart with differences in the range are the cosmetics and extras with the choice of two engines. The Picanto has grown and matured through the years and it's reached the stage where it's design is aimed and appealing to the younger market, during my time with the car it was the youth that it got turning heads and getting a second look. The design is spunky, the car has a pretty stout stance but the design of the car is very bold that add's bulk to it. The colour in which I got it from was "Lime Light" which made it even more outstanding, there are 11 colours for you choose from, again giving you the option to make your little Picanto unique and to your taste.  The addition of the new LED lights in the front and back add to the character of the car and apart from making the car visible to others, it looks really cool! On the interior, they have made some changes but the key one being the large infotainment touch screen display which was also in the Rio but more about that later. 



PERFORMANCE

The Picanto is ultimately a city car, with it's size and weight, the two engine sizes the car comes in is perfect for it. The 1.0 litre engine is an in-line 3 cylinder, 12 valve DOHC engine, while the 1.2 litre which I had has an in-line 4 cylinder, 16 valve DOHC. The max power output on the 1.2 is 61kW with torque coming in at 122Nm which is more than enough power to carry this 1.3 tonne car around. The 1.2 is pretty nippy and with the short wheel base makes the car extremely fun to drive around. The turning circle on the car is amazing and best of all, parking the car is effortless, be it alley docking or parallel parking but if you still have difficulty, the Picanto comes with rear PDC's and a reverse camera. On the road, the car drives well, even with it being light it sits great on the road and the economy with fuel consumption makes my wallet smile. With the tight turning circle it makes cornering fun and really does make the drive all that more enjoyable. 


COMFORT

It is a small car, so don't expect much in terms of space, while the drive and front passenger can sit pretty comfortable in some rather nice seats I must add, not sure how comfortable the rear passengers will be. In saying that I did have 4 adults in the car a few times and surprisingly didn't have much complaints. On the road, the ride quality is faultless, not much wind noise in the cabin and it feels pretty solid. Which comes back to the safety concern which is raised by many. A motor manufacturer isn't going to produce a car on the market that isn't safe, the Picanto uses more than 44% advanced high strength steel in its chassis and has received a 4 star NCAP safety rating which is pretty good if you ask me. 


TECH

With the infotainment center, the car like the Rio has the build applications for Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto. Since it took me a while to hack the Android Auto with the Rio, I was ready to test it out fully with the Picanto, while this isn't an advertisement for Android Auto, but it just works so well with the car. Voice commands not even with a touch of a button, just tell it what you want and it will do it, from getting your directions, choosing music, reading texts and whatsapp messages or calling someone. The KIA also has a great entertainment center should you not have any access to these apps all which is easily accessible and manage on the large touch screen. The car also came with a glass sunroof, handy little extra when you 


VERDICT

To put those myths that I spoke of earlier to bed, yes the Picanto is small, yes it is light in weight but it is no where as unsafe as perceived to be, in fact its the total opposite. With a high NCAP safety rating and multiple airbags, it's one of the safest cars in its class on the road today. It's a cute but funky little car, definitely great for young drivers, the added technology and features that is available with the Picanto is also a major draw card for the people who are more in-tune and want to have the latest tech in their car. With the great drivability of the car, easy maneuvering and comfort of it, really adds up to one exciting package and great for urban driving. So whether it be a city run around or something for a first time driver, the Picanto really is a great all round car. 


SPECIFICATIONS


 Engine
 1.2 litre, in-line 4 cylinder DOHC
 Gear Box
 5 Speed Manual
 Power
 61kW
 Torque
 122Nm
 Top Speed
 170km/h
 Fuel Tank
 35L
 Price
 R 195,995









Photography by: Malusi Msomi aka DBN Spotter
Twitter: @dbn_spotter
Instagram: dbn_spotter
Website: dbnspotter.com


Behind the scenes video of the shoot.
Drone footage by Avish_Karr mvrc1988
Camera footage by amg133

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Riaad Moosa - Life Begins Tour


South Africa's favourite Doctor come comedian is back with another tour that is sure to leave the audiences in stitches!....of laughter, not the medical type. In his latest show, 'Life Begins', Riaad explores the myth of the saying "Life Begin's at 40", in a hilarious one man show which is a snapshot into his life as a 40 year old, a father of three kids, husband, comedian, actor and with all the current cultural and political issues thrown in. 

Having already treated sold-out crowds in Johannesburg and Cape Town, the next leg of his tour see's him visiting Rustenburg, Newcastle, Durban and Empangeni from the 21st of October. 

"Even though I am now 40, in many ways, I feel like I'm still crawling and I'm looking back at my journey from being an aspirational doctor, coming from a relatively conservative Muslim background, where both of my parents were doctors, and how I actually journeyed to becoming a stand-up comedian" - says Riaad


Being a qualified Doctor, Riaad has spent most of his life treating people with laughter on stage and in doing so he has won many awards for his stand-up, acting, writing and presenting. He has built his reputation to be one of South Africa's most popular and acclaimed funny men. His jokes serve as a remedy for the nations ill's. 

"The show is very philosophical and existential. It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I'm supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head - with Trump, with Brexit; In South Africa, the 'State Capture', 'Fees Must Fall, 'DOOM'. And it's about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude. Through my comedic lends, I hope to put a different spin on that and hopefully my next 40 years will be lived with renewed vigour and excitement" _ Moosa added

To make sure you get your prescription of laughter with Riaad Moosa's side splitting funny one-man show, Life Begins, at the following venues around South Africa:



  • 21 October (20h00) - Rustenburg Civic Centre, Rustenburg
  • 4 November (20h00) - Blackrock Casino, Newcastle
  • 10, 11, 12 November (20h00) - The Playhouse Theatre, Durban
  • 18 November (20h00) - Umfolozi Hotel Casino and Convention Centre Resort, Empangeni
Tickets from R150 and are now on sale at Computicket online and outlets. 

For more information, follow Riaad on Twitter and Facebook

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday Choon: Zonderling ft Mingue - Remedy


Martjin van Sonderen and Jaap de Vries are the Dutch DJ duo who make up Zonderling. Both are highly regarded producers in the Netherlands and have been doing great things on their own but earlier this year decided to combined their talents and the outcome has been spectacular. Tunnel Vision, a track that was released by them at the beginning of this year caught the attention of Don Diablo who then made a special edit of the track. The latest single from the two called Remedy which features Mingue on the vocals is our featured track of the week and was released last month, it was featured on the Ultra Miami aftermovie and is a future banger of note, just in time for the South African summer. 




Thursday, September 28, 2017

Corona SunSets Festival 2017 - Cape Town



Following the success of last years event at the scenic shores of Clifton beach, Corona SunSets Festival is back to leave goers mesmerised by deep house sounds and one of the most picturesque sunsets you will see on the African continent. I can personally vouch for this Festival after attending last years and can definitely say it is one that is not to be missed. Even if you aren't the biggest fan of deep house, just the location and the vibe will have you in awe. Set just above the shores of the Atlantic, is the Bungalow in Clifton, with Lions head as your backdrop and the 12 Apostles behind you, it doesn't get better than this. Add to it some awesome decor as well and a line up of the hottest local and international DJ's, throw in some ice cold Corona's and you have one epic jol. The line up for the Festival has been announced and has Jonas Blue and Klingande as headliners with a variety of local support acts which include Timo ODV, MiCasa and Strange Loving. Tickets are on sale now, at NuTickets so get yours now to avoid disappointmend. 


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bucket Seat: Toyota Yaris Pulse



With the ever fluctuating price of petrol, and the increasing price of cars now, many are opting for smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles. In South Africa, the B-Segment category is one of the popular ones, with small hatches being top of the list. A firm favourite with the majority is the VW Polo but with it's popularity over the years, comes a price as it is, according to insurance companies an extremely high risk car. Fortunately for the consumer, there are many other models to chose from the B-Segment range, and the next model that ticks all the boxes is made by one of the most reliable names in motoring, Toyota. The Japanese outfit first introduced the Yaris to our markets in the early 2000's, ever since then it became one of their popular smaller models. While it didn't have all the bells and whistles, it had everything a little run around would need at the time. Aircon, Power Steering, USB and ABS, moving onto today, the Yaris has evolved into a city car of the future, as I discovered recently while driving around in the new Yaris Pulse.


DESIGN

The design of the Yaris has taken a great turn for the better, it's new ultra sleek, modern Japanese look really suits the car, it almost looks like something out of a Manga cartoon. It has adopted the X style front end and spindle type grille from it's smaller brother the Aygo and knits into the new front head lights perfectly. The head lights and rear lights have been elongated from the previous model with edgy lines, adding to the Yaris sharp looks. The model came with two tone paint, with a dark maroon at the bottom and black on the roof and side pillars which really accentuated the car's design and appeal. The car comes with a multi-spoke 15" alloy wheels, which add's to the cars sporty appeal. Moving onto the inside, the layout is clean and neat. I particularly liked the instrument cluster, it's well laid out and easy to use. The large touch screen infotainment system is also pretty user friendly that has everything you need at a touch of a button.


PERFORMANCE

The engine in the isn't the most powerful one around but has sufficient power for the Yaris. It's a 1.5 litre, inline 4 cylinder motor which producers 82kW of power with 136Nm of torque. The model I had came with a seven speed CVT gearbox, yes you read right, the Yaris CVT has 7 gears and paddle shift. This did surprise me when I first saw it but it proved to be quite useful, not to mention quite fun to use you on windy roads. A warning though, making use of this function in sport mode (yes it has sport mode too) does tend to make the car a bit thirsty but overall the car is very fuel efficient. 


COMFORT

The Yaris is a small car and you not going to fit a circus in there but it is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort. Front passengers have tons of space for themselves, the rear passengers also have a decent amount of leg room given if the people in front reach some sort of compromise. The boot space has improved from the first gen model as well, you can get a decent amount of luggage in there. The car doesn't comes with climate control, which is a pity, I would have hoped that this one being a top of the line model would have it. The ride quality is good enough for a car like this, meaning you do feel the road if it's a bit bumpy but generally gives a good ride around most roads. The cruise control is pretty stock standard as well, does the job and with the 7 gear transmission really increases it's economy. 


VERDICT

Overall the new Yaris Pulse is a great city car, be it for going to and from work or for a kid going to college. It's small, has a great turning circle, has most of the tech that the younger crowd would want in a car. The engine is nippy and it is light on fuel. The looks are a bonus if you ask me, as there are many cars in the market which fit into this segment but don't really look that appealing. The car is well priced too, quality and finishes wise, the Polo does pip it in that department but Toyota's reliability and great resale value come into play.


SPECIFICATIONS



 Engine
 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder, CVT
 Gear Box
 7 speed automatic
 Power
 82kW
 Torque
136Nm
 Top Speed
 175km/h
 0-100km
 11.2  seconds
 Price
 R 249,600