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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Q&A: UK’s STK mobile brand on three year warranties, SA-bound phones

    From local brands and Chinese companies to long-established players, the South African budget smartphone sector is in pretty solid shape. In saying so, there's always room for differentiation and lower prices, so we're glad to see UK-based STK come to the country. The company initially came to Southern (and South Africa) in June 2016, seeing combined feature phone and smartphone sales of 300 000 units in the process, STK's regional manager Eben Heunis told Gearburn. Then in February, STK announced a deal to stock its phones in Shoprite and Checkers stores, putting it on the radar. The range starts at just R599...

  • Huawei Nova 2 now official, Apple-inspired camera setup in tow

    The Huawei Nova has a lot going for it (a capable camera, power-sipping chipset) but, truth be told, it's been available globally since last year. Still, barely nine months after the device was revealed at IFA, we've got a sequel in the form of the Huawei Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus. And the most noteworthy feature in the range might just be the dual-camera setup, featuring a 12MP f/1.8 shooter (1.25 micron pixels) and an iPhone 7 Plus-style 8MP telephoto camera. The Chinese brand adds that refocusing after the shot is still present, as well as a "3D dynamic...

  • New Nokia 3310 now available in SA, but is it worth the price?

    It's taken a while, but HMD Global has announced that the new Nokia 3310 is now officially available in South Africa. A feature phone running Nokia's ageing Series 30 platform, the Nokia 3310 also features a new version of Snake, a 2MP main camera, a torch, microSD card support, microUSB port and audio jack. Otherwise, HMD Global is promising standby time of 31 days, talk time of 21 hours, 51 hours of MP3 playback and 39 hours of FM radio playback. Cell C stocks the dark blue version of the handset, retailing for R749. Meanwhile, MTN will stock the dark blue, warm...

  • Expect a massive leap for 2018’s budget smartphones

    We've already reported on ARM's new CPU cores, with the A75 core tipped to power 2018's flagship phones, while the graphics department also gets an update. However, the UK chip designer is also preparing to deliver what could be the biggest change to budget smartphones in quite some time. The A55 core brings a long-overdue upgrade ARM's heavy-lifting cores, used in many a flagship chip, have enjoyed regular upgrades, going from the A57, to the A72 to the current A73 core. But the new A55 marks the first time in three years that we've seen an upgrade to the designer's lightweight/budget cores. So...

  • These chips will power your 2018 flagship smartphones

    ARM is arguably the most important mobile company in the world, responsible for designing the CPU cores and graphics chips that get used in hundreds of millions of phones around the world. So when the UK-based company announces new designs, well, the rest of the mobile world takes notice. After all, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung and Huawei use these designs when building their chips. Now, ARM has announced three new designs, in the form of a new heavyweight CPU core, a new lightweight core for power efficiency and a new graphics chip. ARM A75 - a CPU core for the machine learning era? The A75 succeeds...

  • Samsung is targeting super-tiny 4nm chips on its roadmap

    Tech enthusiasts know the drill. Every year or two, we see smartphone chips being produced on an ever smaller process, cramming more power into tinier bits of silicon. Last year saw 14nm (nanometre) and 16nm chips being produced by the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm and Huawei. This year? Well, we've seen 10nm chips being produced, in the form of the Samsung Exynos 8895 and Snapdragon 835. China's MediaTek is also preparing 10nm chips for release later this year. Just to put that into perspective, one nanometre is one billionth of a metre -- human DNA is roughly 2.5 nanometres in diameter. Now, Samsung...

  • Far Cry 5: churches, militia, more in announcement trailer [Video]

    We got official confirmation of Far Cry 5 a few days ago, with a few teaser trailers following earlier this week. Now, Ubisoft continues the drip-feed of information with its announcement trailer, giving us a better idea of what to expect? "Discover the world of Hope County, this idyllic place home to a community of freedom-loving people and a fanatical doomsday cult which has been quietly infiltrating every aspect of daily life," read an excerpt of the video description. As for the video itself? Well, we see forest environments, hunting (along with wildlife such as deer and bears), fishing, a religious...

  • Zombie Gunship Survival 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. Who says that mobile games are trash? There are loads of solid picks out there, if you sift through the noise. We've got some top quality games this week, but our favourites? Well, I'd say Zombie Gunship Survival and Prison Architect Mobile... Check out the full rundown below. Prison Architect Mobile (free to play - Android, iOS) What happens when you combine prison and strategy? You actually get this indie classic, which...

  • Android co-founder teases new phone – does it have a 360 camera?

    Andy Rubin made waves earlier this year when his new firm, Essential, teased a new smartphone with thin bezels. Now, the Android co-founder's company has teased a look at the device, as well as a launch date, saying that "something big" was coming on 30 May. Hi, welcome to our Twitter page. We're here to let you know something big is coming May 30th! Stay tuned... — Essential (@essential) May 25, 2017 So what could it be? Essential later tweeted a silhouette of the device, showing a smartphone with what appeared to be a bulbous attachment atop it. However, it seems like we're looking...

  • Computex 2017: Acer Nitro 5 is one for the gamers

    Computex 2017 hasn't started yet, but Acer has already revealed a few wares, most notably in the form of the Nitro 5 gaming laptops. So what are you getting then, in terms of specs? "You can choose from models featuring up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with 7th Generation Intel Core processors or AMD Radeon RX550 graphics with 7th Generation AMD A-series processors," Microsoft notes on its blog. In other words, if you're waiting for AMD's Zen chips in a laptop, this isn't for you. Nevertheless, these laptops all support up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM. Other notable features include SSDs...