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All posts by Julia Breakey

Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch).
  • The Gearburn Podcast #18: should headphone jacks stay or go?

    The headphone jack's reign as king of smartphone audio is fading as Apple, HTC, Lenovo and Google all make moves to cut it out of their latest phones. This week on The Gearburn Podcast, Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker talk the pros and cons of the trusty 3.5-millimeter jacks. On the face of it, Andy argues, there is no real reason manufacturers should want to rid devices of headphone jacks. Regular headphones are cheaper, they work immediately and they allow you to listen to music and charge your phone at the same time. But, of course, there are two sides to every story...

  • Fitbit Alta HR review: Is the HR a good Alta-rnative?

    Some of us aren't good at motivating ourselves to exercise. Sometimes you get home after a long day at work, and there seems nothing better than popping something frozen into the oven and crawling into bed. But those days become weeks, and then months, until eventually you're faced with the fact that neither your body nor your mind can handle your lifestyle anymore. For some, that's when you call your fit friend who lifts, like, 300kg a day, boet. But not even they can be there everyday to make sure you're meeting your goals. Enter Fitbit: the company that designs wristbands...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #17: Our favourite ever review phones

    Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker have reviewed many a phone in their day, but which stood out among the rest? Was it Vodacom's Smart Kicka, with the ability to teach older people how to use Android and survive a trance music festival? Or perhaps it was an expensive Samsung, ready to compete with the iPhone once and for all? Or maybe it was the iPhone itself, standing tall as the phone others desperately want to become. Find out if Hadlee and Andy have great opinions or if they've lost their marbles completely on this week's episode of The Gearburn Podcast. If you...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #16: Who will be the next Huawei?

    Huawei has been doing some amazing numbers both locally and internationally, claiming to be the second most popular smartphone company in Africa (and with the amount of our loved ones who own its phones, it isn't difficult to believe). This week on The Gearburn Podcast, Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker look at how the company grew so quickly, and which other companies are headed towards the same. Xiaomi has potential, but lacks the marketing clout in South Africa. Hadlee argues that for the Chinese company to grow, it needs to put devices into the hands of network providers so that prepaid isn't a consumer's...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #15: Are smartphones too fragile?

    Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker sit down to talk about how fragile smartphones have become. The duo was spurred on by their use of the Samsung S8, and the care it requires to keep it undamaged. Naturally, the conversation compared this to past phones that "you could drop and they would bounce off the floor and you could catch them again". The team ask whether protection like phone covers are essential, if curved screens are worth the danger they bring, and more. If you like what you hear and would like to comment, add a suggestion or share...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #14: Who won E3?

    Gaming studios and console manufacturers have descended on LA to showcase their new wares at E3. EA, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Microsoft and Sony all held their conferences this past week, revealing the latest and greatest they have to offer. In this week's podcast, Hadlee Simons and Matthew Alexander talk through their favourite parts of each conference, as well as the biggest letdowns. From the latest Spider-Man game to Microsoft's Xbox One X to the ever-increasing odds of the Nintendo Switch gaining long-term traction, the team discuss it all. If you like what you hear and would like to...

  • Hisense C30 Rock: It’s invincible, but you’ll wish it wasn’t

    The Hisense C30 Rock is indestructible, but its software is so insufferable that you will almost wish it wasn't. Think Edward Cullen: beautiful exterior, strong like steel, but damn if you don't try and fight it anyway. The Rock and I got off to a bad start. The review phone Gearburn had been sent was still set to demo mode, and, every time it was unlocked, played a taunting jingle that haunts my dreams. And while that shouldn't bother the average consumer, I want you to understand the mocking nature of this phone. It promises, then giggles as it takes...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #11: Single v dual cameras

    There are plenty of smartphones coming out this year touting their inclusion of dual cameras, but is it really all it's cracked up to be? In this week's Gearburn Podcast, Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker talk through the advantages and disadvantages of single and dual cameras alike to figure out if the hype is really worth it. On the single camera side, we have one big camera instead of two small cameras -- meaning a bigger sensor, and often, higher quality results. But the dual camera allows for after-the-fact refocusing and beautiful depth of field effects. The team grapple with it all in...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #10: Does the Galaxy S8 our appetites?

    The Samsung Galaxy S8 is the smartphone world's latest talking point, and it's now available for pre-order in South Africa. But is the phone worth the immense sum Samsung is asking? Despite the extensive spec list (from the impressive screen to the iris scanner to the updated selfie camera), the Gearburn team struggle to get too gushy about Samsung's newest device in today's podcast. Bixby's possible integration with Google Now is unclear, the home 'button' is uncomfortable -- and just one exploding battery could spell disaster for the brand. Fresh from the South African Samsung Galaxy S8 launch, Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker talk through...

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4A review: The Little Budget Phone that Could

    Xiaomi has consistently released phones that provide real bang for your buck and the Redmi 4A is no different. It may not have all the frills of a high-end Samsung phone -- or even the Redmi 3 -- but for R1 999, it does everything the average smartphone user needs it to and it does so with ease. Sure, it's got modest specifications, but Xiaomi's Redmi 4A won't ask much of you if you don't ask much of it. The hardware The Redmi 4A is meant to be a cheaper, simpler alternative to the Redmi 3 and its internals revert to specs akin...