This month, #Trending Tech looks at the affordable Tecno Spark 8C smartphone, a new entry-level soundbar from premium brand Sonos, and a payment terminal from Yoco for your small business.

1. Tecno Spark 8C

Tecno has released its newest Spark 8C, aimed at young creatives. Whether you’re starting college or are a budding entrepreneur, the Spark 8C has some premium features at an affordable price.

It features a large 6.6-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, yet is 9mm thin. It has 4GB of RAM that can be extended to 7GB, along with 128GB of storage and a dual SIM. It has a 13MP dual rear AI camera, 8MP selfie-cam, rear fingerprint sensor and long-lasting 5000mAh battery.

The rear camera has AI scene recognition, bokeh effects, HDR, slow motion, AR shots with filters, time-lapse and panoramic shots. It also has a beauty mode and portrait shots with smile capture. It shoots video in 1080p HD on both the front and rear cameras.

At set-up, users can fill in an e-warranty for the device.

The Spark 8C is available in bold, yet playful colours that stand out, such as turquoise, lilac and black. It will retail for R3 299. We think that’s a whole lot of phone for your money.

2. Sonos Ray

Sonos recently launched a new compact soundbar to expand on its home theatre range. The premium audio brand’s newest addition is the Sonos Ray, available in either matte black or white.

Its unobtrusive design means it is not a distraction. It is aimed at those who have never owned a soundbar before or want a secondary speaker.

It pairs with an app, either Android or iOS, which is how you control it. It can also link to existing TV remotes through infrared. The soundbar supports Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity, Apple AirPlay 2 and an included optical cable that fits into a flat screen TV.

The speaker has two tweeters, four digital amplifiers, a bass reflex system and an adjustable equaliser. It also has night sound, speech enhancement and Trueplay, an iOS-only feature by Sonos. Trueplay uses software to measure acoustics in a room to fine tune the sound accordingly. It also supports capacitive touch controls on the bar for play, pause, skip, replay and volume, with LED lights to indicate a connection and mute status.

The difference is a step up in sound quality when compared with your TV’s built-in speaker, with options to control the equaliser on the app.

It costs R6 499.

3. Yoco Khumo Print

Seeing that side hustles are common these days, you may consider innovative ways to accept payment. If you’re a small business owner or are self-employed and want to accept contactless payments, take a look at Yoco’s latest smart card machine.

The new Khumo Print allows you to print receipts for all payments should customers request them.

The smart card machine is completely touch-screen, requires no Bluetooth or smartphone pairing, and runs independently through its unlimited 4G connectivity built-in, so you don’t have to rely on Wi-Fi.

It is unlike Yoco’s other machines that send digital receipts via SMS or email. It makes sense if your customers are international travellers, who don’t have local numbers to SMS to or need receipts for VAT refunds.

The machine accepts multiple payment methods such as tap to pay, swipe, chip and PIN, and Apple Pay support.

It can process transactions within two seconds and promises an all-day battery life. The Khumo Print has no monthly fees or contracts, takes five minutes to set-up and comes with three receipt rolls. It retails for R2 599.

Published in the City Press: