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Hands-On

  • Nokia 8: first impressions of Nokia-branded Android flagship

    The Nokia 8 was just launched last month, but it's quickly found its way to South African shores already. Launching last week, the device has an attractive R9499 price tag and quite a few features. We took delivery of our review unit on Friday, so what do we make of the smartphone thus far? Read on for our first impressions... What's in the box? Crack open the package and you'll be greeted by the smartphone and all the requisite accessories. So that means earphones, SIM tool, USB Type C cable and the charger. It's simple and to the point, while not skimping on...

  • Hands on: Oukitel’s record-breaking K10 000 Pro should last a week

    I grew enamoured with the Oukitel K10 000 when I got my hands on it at MWC 2016. After all, how ballsy is it to make a massively thick smartphone with a record-breaking 10 000mAh battery inside of it? Then the Oukitel K10 000 Pro, the original model's successor, found its way onto my desk, courtesy of Gearbest. So what are our first impressions thus far? I must say that the phone comes in a rather pleasant, lightly textured box. Inside the package, we found a plastic case, SIM tool, USB On-The-Go cable, charger and cable and flip case of sorts --...

  • What you’ll love and hate about the new Moto Z Force (and its Moto Mods)

    Following its refreshed strategy, Motorola today at IFA 2017 unveiled its forthcoming smartphones and accessories. Headlining these devices is the company's new flagship, the second generation Moto Z Force. The first device was a marked success for the company, selling three-million units worldwide in its first year. But the new edition, the company states, builds on the promise of the first. But is it a novel entry into the crowded flagship smartphone space? In many ways, yes. It sports a large (and rather wide) 5.5-inch 2560x1440 display that doesn't shirk the bezels like its contemporaries. They're...

  • First look: Samsung Galaxy Note 8

    Another smartphone has taken its first, nervous steps into the South African market. It bears the sigil of a well-respected house, but wears a name that has come under fire in recent months. Samsung yesterday launched its Galaxy Note 8 in New York, a launch many billed as the most important for the company in recent years. Not only is the Note 8 the most feature-packed device the company has ever made, but it's also tasked with righting the Note 7's wrongs. Granted, the general public and airports across the world have largely forgotten the fiasco, and Samsung was quick to thank...

  • BlackBerry KeyOne hands-on: a dying donkey, or an inspired dark horse?

    Remember BlackBerry? Remember those budget Curve devices that introduced a slew of people to the internet? Remember BIS? The service that offered users a seemingly uncapped internet service for a set fee each month? We do, and we miss that BlackBerry. Dearly. Current "BlackBerry" isn't exactly what it used to be back in the 2000s. Yes, that ergonomic keyboard hasn't gone anywhere, and much of the spirit of the company lives on through its latest devices. But TCL -- the same company behind Alcatel's phones -- are now making the phones, and simply slapping that fruity embellishment on their rear covers. While...

  • Watch Dogs 2 [PS4] first impressions: life hacking

    Gone are the days of the cold and sombre tone of Aiden Pearce's Watch Dogs. Ubisoft's latest iteration of the franchise, Watch Dogs 2 is more colourful, in tune with its Millenial appeal and improves a number of facets of the original game. This includes driving machanics, the addition of fast travel, and different ways to play. In Watch Dogs 2, you play as Marcus Holloway, a young talented hacker who is tasked with bringing down San Francisco's intrusive surveillance systems. This after the baddies ctOS framed him as the lead suspect of a crime. The open world map of San Francisco is beautiful...

  • LG V20: can you record clear audio at a concert?

    The LG V20 is easily the most-hyped smartphone of the year when it comes to audio capabilities. Between the quad-DAC hardware and Hi-Res Audio support, the firm is positioning their phone as an audio playback beast of note. However, LG has also sold the V20 on its audio recording abilities, featuring three high-quality microphones, an HD audio recorder app and Hi-Res Audio recording support in the camera. In fact, when using the camera app, users can adjust the microphone directivity, low-cut filter, gain and LMT (limiter) features, giving a range of hitherto unseen audio recording options. So then, just how does it...

  • LG V20 first impressions: three cameras, two screens, one phone

    Every company has its fair share of bad ideas. Some are worse than others, and some tend to live in the zeitgeist for quite some time. Even so, the key for any firm is to recover from them. For LG, the G5 is more a scar than a beauty spot on the company's past, but the device did give the Korean manufacturer plenty of room to improve. And that improvement now arrives in the form of the LG V20. Although the LG V20 isn't quite a successor to the G5, it takes its older brother's content creation philosophy and builds on...

  • Titanfall 2 campaign first look: BT and me

    In Titanfall 2, the relationship between you -- protagonist Jack Cooper -- and your first Titan -- BT -- is reminiscent of the partnership between Drax and Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy. And it's just as awesome. While the game was installing, I had the option to play the same training run which we first saw in the beta. In the fear of getting bored, I put the control down and waited for the title to install fully. Once I could access the full game, I was introduced to the beautifully metallic visuals of BT's former pilot, Tai Lastimosa rushing into...

  • Uncharted 4 preview: the necessity of narrative, the bonus of beauty

    I'm not a huge fan of Nathan Drake (that's right, let's start this piece on a bombshell). In fact, I think he's among the most annoying, arrogant and apathetic characters in gaming, at least judging by the previous instalments of the Uncharted series. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End goes on sale this week, and we can only imagine how excited the host of PlayStation aficionados are. Naughty Dog and Sony are probably fairly giddy too, because this is easily the biggest PlayStation launch of the year (sorry Bloodborne). But the real question is, is the game worth picking up at launch?...