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All posts by Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat.
  • How do Intel’s new budget chips compare to Qualcomm laptops?

    Last week saw Qualcomm and partners finally peel the curtain back on Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 laptops at the Snapdragon Summit. We saw the Asus NovaGo and the HP Envy X2 devices, packing Snapdragon 835 processors, hybrid designs and touting lengthy battery life. This week has seen Intel strike back in a sense, revealing the Pentium Silver and new Celeron chips. But you have to wonder whether these are viable challengers to Qualcomm's laptops just yet. They'll probably be more powerful... To be fair, the Snapdragon laptops are still a largely unknown quantity at this point in the performance department. We spent a bit of...

  • FEZ and Life Is Strange: 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. We missed out on last week's mobile gaming rundown, owing to our Snapdragon Summit coverage. But we've got a few solid picks this week. Our favourites include a sequel to last year's excellent Reigns and a mobile version of iconic indie title FEZ. Reigns: Her Majesty (paid - Android, iOS) Reigns was one of my favourite mobile games last year, as you struggled to stay on the throne and made decisions using a Tinder-like...

  • Skyrim Switch review: should you hold it in high RedGuard?

    Say what you will about Skyrim being available on almost every platform known to man, but it's one of the better releases on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, it's an old game. But in a launch year that's seen a ton of goodness come to the Switch, Skyrim on the go is yet another tantalising prospect for owners of the console. In fact, I've only been playing it in portable mode, the Switch keeping me company on a recent transatlantic trip. Haven't heard of Skyrim? The latest core game in The Elder Scrolls series, 2011's Skyrim is an action/RPG set in a medieval-style open world, with...

  • 6+ solid tech gifts for R500 and under

    You don't have to spend thousands to get a tech-focused gadget for a loved one. Hell, R500 will do just fine for a few categories. From gaming to VR and beyond, we take a look at some gadgets that won't break the bank account. Headphones (wireless and wired) The move to drop 3.5mm jacks means that wireless headsets and headphones are more important than ever. And yes, you can find Bluetooth accessories for R500 and under if you hop online. You can find wireless earphones for as cheap as around R258 on the likes of Raru, all the way to the R500 mark. Do check...

  • Signs point to Galaxy flagship with under-display scanner

    Biometric firm Synaptics is no stranger to the mobile sector, producing fingerprint scanners for a variety of smartphone brands around the world. Now, its latest statement (spotted via r/Android) confirms that it's bringing "world first in-display fingerprint scanners" to a "top five OEM" in the near future. "Designed for smartphones with infinity displays, Synaptics' Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors magically activate in the display only when needed," an excerpt reads. Of course, Samsung calls their latest screens "infinity displays", suggesting it's the Korean firm. It's widely believed that Samsung's awkward placement of the fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S8 (review) was due to the...

  • Nintendo Switch hits 10m units sold, closing in on Wii U

    The Nintendo Switch has enjoyed a fantastic launch year thus far, being the most popular console in the USA for several months running. Then there were the games, offering everything from Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey to Golf Story and Doom. It's hard to argue that the console isn't the hottest thing in gaming. And this week, Nintendo announced that the console has hit the 10 million unit sales mark, crossing the line after less than a year on the shelves. Thanks to you, #NintendoSwitch has sold 10 million units worldwide in 9 months! Here’s to an amazing 2018!...

  • FYI: Google Home Mini works just fine in South Africa

    Google hardware is notoriously tough to come by in South Africa, as we've found out over the past couple of years. This is chiefly due to a combination of pending localisation and regulatory approval, country manager Luke Mckend told us in an interview earlier this year. For what it's worth, I managed to grab a Google Home Mini for US$30 during a work trip to the USA last week. And the good news is that it works well enough thus far (in case you didn't know), even without proper localisation in place. In terms of the hardware setup, the Google Home Mini...

  • Xiaomi Mi A1, Mi 6 priced for South Africa

    We've been eagerly anticipating new Xiaomi devices in South Africa, particularly the Mi 6 flagship, Mi Mix 2 and Mi A1 pure Android handset. Now, at least two of these devices have popped up on distributor MIA Group's website. The black Mi 6 listing (seen in main image), spotted by reader Sumen Pillay, delivers a phone with a R8999 price tag. That makes it cheaper than the Nokia 8 and Sony Xperia XZ1 devices. The Mi 6 packs the same Snapdragon 835 processor, but also offers a 12MP dual-camera setup (a standard and telephoto layout), 6GB of RAM, a 5.15-inch full...

  • Qualcomm interview: from Snapdragon on Windows 10 to AI silicon

    Between the Snapdragon 845 details and Snapdragon-powered Windows machines, we had loads of Qualcomm news last week. We also interviewed Keith Kressin, Qualcomm's senior vice president of product management. From the Snapdragon 836 claims to AI silicon and Snapdragon PCs, here's what we learnt. On claims that Snapdragon 836 was in the pipeline Earlier this year, we saw a report which claimed the Snapdragon 836 was incoming with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. That obviously didn't happen. The chip was ostensibly set to be a minor upgrade over the Snapdragon 835 (akin to Snapdragon 820/821). But we obviously got more Snapdragon 835...

  • Q&A: Utomik is another subscription gaming platform out there

    We've taken a look at a few noteworthy subscription gaming platforms before, covering the likes of Jump and Xbox Game Pass in more detail. But Utomik is another platform to gain prominence recently, offering a library of over 600 games, so-called "smart download" functionality as well as high-profile deals with WB and Ubisoft. We conducted a Q&A with CEO Doki Tops. Gearburn: How did the idea for the service come about? Doki Tops (DT): A lot of the founding team of Utomik first got together in 2004. We were an indie and platform developer in a time when there was no real good...