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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 #22: Best and worst smartphones of 2017

    It's that time of year where we sit back and reflect on the last twelve months -- and this week on The Gearburn Podcast, we're looking at the world of smartphones. From the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, smartphone users were made a lot of promises. But were they kept? Hadlee Simons and Andy Walker sit down to chat which phones blew them away, and which were more disappointment than digital dream. Listen to the full conversation here: https://soundcloud.com/burn-media/the-gearburn-podcast-22-best-and-worst-smartphones-of-2017 Recommended reading: iPhone 8 Plus review: a refined 7 Plus with wireless charging Nokia 8 review: a cheaper flagship (and...

  • iFrogz Coda wireless headset: great sound, but imperfect

    The iFrogz Coda wireless headset is a neat little piece of technology that, while producing great sound, is far from perfect. Let's start with the basics. The Bluetooth headset comes packed with a short charging cable and three sets of ear tips. The plastic device is made to clip onto your collar, and the wires are just over 30cm long. The body itself is light yet sturdy, and I -- a very accident prone individual -- have never worried about breaking it. At first blush, the magnetic clip seems worryingly weak, as if a small tug will pull it off your collar...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #20: The good, bad and overpriced of Google’s launch

    Welcome to the (sometimes) fortnightly Gearburn Podcast, where we postulate on the biggest happenings in the current tech world. This week, Hadlee and Andy sit down to discuss Google's underwhelming launch that gave us all slight déjà vu to a launch of Apple past. From the overpriced Google Pixel 2 to the funky Google Clips and the questionable Pixelbook, Google has presented products that we aren't quite sure we buy into. We discuss why in the podcast below. If you like what you hear and would like to comment, add a suggestion or share your valued opinion with us, catch us on Twitter @gearburn. Feel free...

  • Xiaomi Redmi 4A vs Redmi 4X: which should you buy?

    Xiaomi's Redmi 4X is here, but with near identical specs to this year's other release, the Redmi 4A, it may be difficult to make the final call on which phone to buy. So here's a breakdown of just how these two phones differ. The price As the newer (and slightly better-specced) phone, the 4X comes in at R2799 -- R800 more expensive than the 4A, which launched at R1999. But is the extra cost worth it? The looks As far as appearances go, the phones are pretty much the same. They both have around a 70% body-to-screen ratio, and both come in gold and black/"dark...

  • The Gearburn Podcast #19: What did Andy think of IFA 2017?

    This week on The Gearburn Podcast, Hadlee Simons questions Andy Walker on IFA 2017 in Berlin, which Andy got to attend. Andy says the "massive" expo was an incredible experience, although he wished he had more time. Luckily, what he did get to see was well worth it. These included brightly-coloured home appliances, an 8K TV, and a phone he thinks may just become the phone of the year. Catch more on Andy's IFA experience in the podcast below. If you like what you hear and would like to comment, add a suggestion or share your valued opinion...

  • 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...