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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Oppo R15 is a slick upper mid-range phone, ruined by (yes) a notch

    Chinese mobile brand Oppo is one of the world's largest smartphone makers, even if you can't find them in South Africa and the USA. Nevertheless, the firm's Oppo R15 is looking like a neat buy for those who can't quite afford a flagship handset. Starting at RMB2999 (R5698 as a straight conversion), you're getting a brand-new Helio P60 chipset (quad-core A73 plus quad-core A53, as well as AI processing unit), 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. Other noteworthy additions include a rear fingerprint scanner and 3450mAh battery. Move to the front of the device and you'll notice that it...

  • Buying a sub-R5000 laptop? Keep these tips in mind [Tech-Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aims to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. You don't have to spend R10 000 or more on a laptop if all you plan to do is browse the internet, consume some content and type away on it. In fact, there are loads of laptops out there for R5000 or less. But what should you remember when buying these? We've got a few pointers. Expect Celeron chip, but what about i3? When buying a laptop for R5000 or less, you obviously shouldn't expect the most powerful processor...

  • Android Wear is now called Wear OS because reasons

    The Android Wear family of smartwatches plays second fiddle to the Apple Watch in terms of popularity, but that doesn't mean Google is giving up yet. In a bid to take the fight to rivals, the company has decided to... rename Android Wear to Wear OS. The company justified the rebranding by claiming that its technology and users are evolving. "As our technology and partnerships have evolved, so have our users. In 2017, one out of three new Android Wear watch owners also used an iPhone. "So as the watch industry gears up for another Baselworld next week, we're announcing a new name that better reflects...

  • The Sims Mobile and more: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn's Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. It's been a while, hasn't it? But we've gathered some of the better mobile games out there this week. So let's get on with it. We've got four picks this time, including #WarGames and The Sims Mobile. Read the full rundown below. #WarGames (free - iOS) Spotted by Touch Arcade, #WarGames is an interactive story of sorts, coming from the same person behind the well-received Her Story. The title, starring a group of hackers,...

  • CoD franchise on sale this weekend via Steam

    Steep discounts on Call of Duty games tend to be rare on Steam. After all, the games are popular enough that people will buy them anyway. But if you're still holding out on buying a few CoD games, then you'll be glad to know that the franchise has been discounted as part of a weekend deal on the PC storefront. The discounts range from the ho-hum (25% off Black Ops 3, 35% off World War Two) to the very attractive (50% off CoD, CoD 2, CoD: United Offensive, World at War, Infinite Warfare, the Modern Warfare games). Not enough of a discount...

  • Android Oreo: has your phone received it? [Updates]

    Android Oreo has been pushed out a while back, appearing out of the box on the Pixel 2 and Huawei Mate 10. But when will other brands deliver the update? We'll be periodically updating this page as brands roll out Oreo. Note: We'll be updating this article as brands reveal Oreo plans and as major phones receive the update. Asus Earlier this year, the company revealed that it would be "gradually" rolling out updates to compatible phones until the end of the first half of 2018. No word if the green button has been pushed yet, signalling the start of the rollout. As for compatible...

  • Watch: Drake plays Fortnite on Twitch, breaks viewer records

    Fortnite is currently duking it out with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) for title of most popular battle royale game right now. But Fortnite has received a massive shot in the arm after rapper Drake joined in on the fun, streaming via Twitch. The rapper, using the gamertag TheBoyDuddus, joined popular streamer Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins to play Epic's title, attracting over 600 000 viewers on Twitch at its peak. As of writing, the stream, which is still ongoing, had 487 000 viewers. Watch live video from Ninja on www.twitch.tv playing fort nite with @ninja https://t.co/OSFbgcfzaZ — Drizzy (@Drake) March 15, 2018 According to one report, the previous...

  • We investigate: will Rich Capture land on HMD’s Nokia smartphones?

    I've previously waxed lyrical about my love for Rich Capture/Rich HDR , one of the coolest smartphone camera features to see the light of day (at least when it worked). First seen in the Lumia range of phones, the feature allowed you to change the level of HDR, flash or exposure after you took a photo. So if you like pastel hues, you can crank the HDR up. Or you can find a happy medium between a flashless photo and a scene-blinding flash, check below for an example. Rich Capture with no flash. The...

  • Super HDR: Vivo’s new HDR mode claims AI smarts, better results

    Between the Vivo X20 Plus UD (with its in-display fingerprint scanner) and the Apex concept phone, Chinese brand Vivo has been making waves in the West lately. Now, its latest innovation is a so-called Super HDR mode. Vivo revealed the new photography mode this week, saying it follows the same principles as traditional HDR, but makes for a better fit in more extreme scenarios. This is because the mode sees 12 images snapped at once for Super HDR, at a range of 14 EV (exposure value). By comparison, Google's latest iteration of HDR+ (seen on the Pixel 2) takes "up to 10 identical...

  • Sony’s excuse for removing headphone jack on XZ2 range is silly

    Sony's Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact mark a turning point for the company -- at least from a design perspective. Gone is the OmniBalance design, being replaced by the so-called "Ambient Flow" styling. However, the company also joined several other manufacturers (such as Apple, Lenovo, Essential and Huawei with the Mate 10 Pro) in ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. It's an odd move, especially seeing that Sony is a multimedia juggernaut in general. Now, Sony has answered questions on its blog (as spotted by Xperia Blog), explaining why it dropped the jack. "This is part of the shift to our new Ambient...