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Phones, apps & learning tools: Here are the best tech launches of 2017

Today the world is dominated by technology. Everyday new and emerging gadgets and technologies seek to worm their way into our lives!

Middle East and Africa are among the fastest growing mobile markets in the world and according to Global Media Intelligence Report by eMarketer, mobile phone penetration in the UAE is forecast to reach 82.1 per cent in 2017.

Keeping track of the latest entries into the market has, therefore, become essential. Here’s a quick look at some of the latest gadgets and technologies launched in the Middle East this year.

LG Gram: lightest laptop with longest battery life

LG Electronics has launched its lightest laptop in the Middle East. LG Gram (model 15Z970-T) which has the longest battery life (60Wh), a 15.6-inch display and a compact 14-inch body. It has a borderless screen with narrow bezel on all sides. The product has a full HD IPS display and has two levels of backlighting, making it much easier for work. In addition, the advanced reader mode software offers customised screen conditions for reading, limiting exposure to harmful blue light and reducing eye fatigue.

Microsoft Office 365 with Arabic learning tools for special needs students

Microsoft has announced the availability of a range of Arabic learning tools for students with special needs in Word Online and OneNote Online, including text-to-speech features.

Office 365, and its inclusive classroom technology like Learning Tools, has features that help users with dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. The Read Aloud feature gives audio versions of text, with simultaneous highlighting that improves decoding, fluency and comprehension while sustaining the reader’s focus and attention, Microsoft says.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Samsung officially launched its flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones in the Gulf. The Galaxy S8 builds on Samsung’s heritage of creating stunning designs and functional devices. Available in 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 and 6.2-inch Galaxy S8+, the Infinity Display and bezel-less design form a smooth, continuous surface with no buttons or harsh angles. The result, according to Samsung, is a truly immersive viewing experience without distractions and makes multi-tasking more convenient.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

This is part of Dell’s drive towards expanding its portfolio of gaming products for dedicated PC gamers in the region. Declared the world’s smallest 13-inch 2-in-1, the XPS 13 2-in-1 is designed to give consumers optimal performance when they need it. With 7th Gen processors, it delivers amazing performance and fires up within seconds. Its 360-degree hinge also means that it can convert into four, flexible positions – tablet, tent, laptop and stand mode – so you can watch, work or surf the way you want.

Mi MIX, Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A

Xiaomi has announced the launch of three new smartphones in the Middle East and North Africa region. Mi MIX establishes a new bar for smartphone innovation, incorporating cutting-edge display technologies and new innovations that do away with the physical earpiece speaker and proximity sensor. Redmi Note 4 provides flagship-class performance at an incredible price, featuring a full-HD display and a battery that will last over an entire day. Redmi 4A is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, and comes with two SIM slots and 4G support.

Ooredoo Qatar roll-out fixed line and wireless network upgrades

Ooredoo Qatar has announced two major upgrades/launches for their home market – the roll-out of 4.5G for smartphones and faster fiber speeds for fixed-line services. By taking this leap in wireless connectivity, it’s also laying the foundation for the future implementation of 5G connectivity. Apart from this, while it already provides fiber connectivity to many households, and now they’ve upped the ante with a new 10Gbps speed option.


LG announced the launch of the G6, it’s new flagship,  that features a 5.7 inch display with an 18:9 screen ratio, 4GB of RAM, Dual 13MP Cameras, and a 3,300 man battery. The phone’s most standout feature is its tall screen. LG has customised its OS to leverage the 18:9 aspect ratio screen. The G6 is water and dust resistant, certified IP68, which means it can be immersed in up to 1.5m of water for 30 minutes.

Amazon Prime Video app

Amazon enters the competitive video streaming playing field by bringing their Amazon Prime Video streaming service to the Middle East region. There are no restrictions on its use, as you can access it on their official app across various iOS and Android devices. With the expanded global rollout, you can easily download any movie/TV show from the Amazon Prime Video library for offline viewing.

Samsung Gear 360

Samsung has announced the launch of the new Samsung Gear 360, a 4K resolution-capable 360-degree camera with a refined design for easier use. With enhanced features for high-quality content, the Gear 360 is lightweight and compact, offering an expanded Samsung VR ecosystem. When the Gear 360 is synced with a compatible smartphone or computer, the new device enables users to share their best experiences with high-quality live broadcasting or direct uploading to platforms such as Facebook, YouTube or Samsung VR.