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How-To Guides

  • Our favourite budget smartphones of 2017 thus far

    Yes, high-end smartphones are slowly creeping up to the R20 000 mark (and breaching it in some cases), but budget devices are also continuing their march to great performance. Don't believe us? Here are some of 2017's best budget smartphones so far. For the sake of clarity, we're not going above R5000 (US$386). Xiaomi Redmi 4A We start at the low-end with the Redmi 4A (review), being Xiaomi's cheapest SA device this year. So what do you get for R2000? The phone packs a Snapdragon 425 processor that won't run the latest games well, but it's ideal for general performance and lightweight 2D titles. Other...

  • Get these tech items for your next protest

    Earlier this year, South Africa saw some of the largest protests since the Apartheid era, as citizens rallied against President Jacob Zuma. But whether you're in South Africa or abroad, it never hurts to prepare yourself before a protest. With that in mind, we've got a few tech items you should consider for your next protest. Power bank or spare battery It's become an almost essential tool for smartphone owners in general, and the power bank can be a life saver for protesters as well. The rule of thumb is to get as big a power bank as you can afford. Failing that, you should...

  • Manual smartphone photography: here’s what those terms mean [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. This time, we demystify manual photography terms for the average (non enthusiast) smartphone owner. It seems like years since smartphones usurped dedicated cameras to become the most popular way to take photos. That's not to say that dedicated cameras are obsolete (not at all), but more and more people find their phone camera to do the job well enough. Smartphone camera apps are generally easy to understand, with auto modes going a long way to help. But what if you'd...

  • Smartphone photography jargon: here’s what it all means [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. In this edition, we're looking at camera-related terms you might find on your smartphone spec sheet. It used to be the case that only a few people had cameras, then cheap point-and-shoot cameras made an appearance and that number ballooned. However, the proliferation of smartphones has resulted in hundreds of millions (if not billions) of cameras being used on the market, with photography being one of the most essential and popular tasks on a phone. There are many terms...

  • A beginner’s guide to smartphone jargon [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. This time, we demystify smartphone terms for the average (non enthusiast) consumer. Buying smartphones can be a bit of an intimidating experience if you're not familiar with all the tech terms. What's the deal with PPI? Are more cores better? Is a 2000mAh battery a good thing or not? Don't fret though, because we've waded through the smartphone jargon to tell you exactly what these terms mean... Keep an eye for a future edition though, where we cover smartphone...

  • Spec shootout: Huawei P10 vs LG G6 vs Samsung Galaxy S8

    South Africans will have several top-end smartphones to choose from over the next few weeks and months. We've already seen the LG G6 launch, but Samsung's Galaxy S8 is released on 5 May, while the Huawei P10 is also set to appear next month. How do these phones compare to one another though? We've put together a spec rundown for you. Horsepower Image: Kirin 950 chip The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus features the same, in-house Kirin 960 processor as the Mate 9 (review), featuring four ARM Cortex A73 cores and four A53 cores. In saying so, the heavyweight...

  • Here’s what to know before buying a R1000 smartphone [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. This week, we look at the key numbers and specifications to look out for when buying a R1000 smartphone. Budget smartphones are the lifeblood of many emerging markets, being used by the majority of citizens. After all, who can afford a R11 000 smartphone, right? However, you don't want to get duped by an overpriced store -- use our guide to buying a R1000 smartphone. How much power should you be getting? Generally speaking, your R1000 (and under) mobile device...

  • 8 essential gadgets for ghost hunting this Halloween

    In celebrations of All Hallows’ Eve (that’s Halloween if you didn’t’ know) we have decided to take a look at some of the cutting-edge tech being used in the ethereal realm of “paranormal investigations”, better known as “ghost hunting”. We might still be a long way from the “proton packs” and “ecto goggles” of Ghostbusters fame but that doesn’t mean the way present day equipment is being used in ghost hunting is any less intriguing. Also, I will have to admit that my knowledge of these paranormal affairs are a bit lacking so if you know if any other crazy gadgets...

  • 10 tips for shooting better smartphone photos

    Mobile cameras have come in leaps and bounds since the VGA-quality snaps of years gone by. Today's mobile cameras use some impressively miniaturised components and loads of horsepower to generate some lovely results. Still, there are loads of useful features and tips to keep in mind when shooting with a smartphone. Turn on the grid Most smartphone cameras have a grid option in the camera settings, offering a 3x3 grid for framing your shot properly. You'll want to use this grid for ensuring that your shot isn't skew or if you'd like to follow the rule of thirds in general. Speaking of framing... Learn about framing,...

  • iPhone 7: non-contract, prepaid pricing in South Africa

    It's iPhone 7 launch day in South Africa, and that means long lines outside stores and very slow online payments portals. But where can you buy an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus in South Africa, and how much will it cost you? Related: Should you buy an iPhone 7? Our handy flow chart might help And what will it cost if you don't want an annoying network provider in on the deal too? We take a look at all the available prepaid and non-contract options below. Digicape Digicape will offer seemingly all variants of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, with prices ranging...