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How-To Guides

  • 5 older budget smartphones that are still worth buying [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 look at older budget phones that still warrant a look. Not everyone can afford this year's crop of mid-range smartphones (nevermind the latest flagship devices). But that doesn't mean you have to buy an ultra low-end device... Instead, why not opt for a mid-range device from last year or the year before? Sure, it'll be a few Android updates behind and it might not be as smooth as today's flagships, but these budget smartphones...

  • Gearburn’s guide to Huawei’s Kirin processors [Updated]

    Update, 17 October 2017: We've updated our guide to include the Kirin 970 chip (powering the Mate 10) and the mid-range Kirin 659 processor. Original article: We've already taken a look at Qualcomm's Snapdragon range and MediaTek's family of chips, showing you exactly what you're getting for your cash. Now, our eyes turn towards one of the newer players on the smartphone processor block. Yep, this time, we're looking at Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin chips. What kind of horsepower should you expect? How does a Kirin 960 differ from a Kirin 650? We answer all of this and more. The flagship processors Kirin 910/910T -...

  • 5 questions to ask before buying a smartphone

    Buying a phone isn't quite as big a commitment as buying a car or house, but it's still a pretty noteworthy move to make. You don't want to be stuck with a smartphone you hate, especially when many people keep their devices for two years or more. So how do you ensure that you get a capable device that delivers value for money? We've got five questions you should ask yourself before buying the phone. Is your old phone good enough? It might seem like an obvious question, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?If your old phone works well enough...

  • 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...