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Mobile Phones

  • Apple debuts $129 battery packs for new iPhones

    Apple launched something big on Wednesday, but it's not a new iPhone. Instead, it's an attachment designed to snap onto the company's current crop of mobiles. Official battery cases will soon become available for the iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max. The packs, which offer some bulky protection in addition to extra juice, gives the iPhone XS and XS Max an additional day's worth of battery power. IPhone XR users can expect an increase to video playback time of 27 hours. Apple, as usual, remains mum on the mAh capacity of these packs. But they come at a price. And a pretty...

  • 3 phones under R500 that will run WhatsApp in SA

    Some smartphone users really don't require the fanciest materials, multiple rear cameras, silly notches or the fastest processor. Instead, all they need is a cheap device to run popular apps, like WhatsApp. In previous years, we've covered some smartphones that did just that at higher price points. But in 2019, as these prices continue to soar, we rummage about the bargain bin to see just how little you have to spend on a WhatsApp smartphone. Here are three Android smartphones below the R500 mark that will run WhatsApp without much fuss. Mint Fox | R399 Previously one of South Africa's biggest selling smartphones according to...

  • Samsung Galaxy M series to launch in India on 28 January

    You're probably familiar with Samsung's flagship S series, it's larger Note series, and even possibly its A series (above) of mid-range devices. But now, the Korean company is adding a brand new letter to its lineup. Dubbed the Galaxy M series, this trio of new lower-mid-range Samsung devices is set to launch in India later this month, taking on the likes of Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi. According to prior leaks, all three phones will sport similar designs, with a waterdrop notch up front, relatively skinny bezels, rear-mounted fingerprint readers, and large batteries. The Galaxy M10 is the smallest of the three, featuring...

  • 2019’s Flagship ‘iPhone 11’ to feature three rear cameras

    The next iPhone flagship will have three cameras at the rear, this according to a report (paywall) by the Wall Street Journal. Apple is planning at least three variants, the report continues, in similar vein to the current lineup of the iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, and iPhone XR in terms of pricing, size and specs. The "iPhone 11" and triple-camera "iPhone 11 Max" as the devices are being informally referred to, will feature OLED screens. While the iPhone XR replacement will stick to LCD. The latter will also be promoted to a dual-rear camera setup. Feature image: Apple

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7: teardrop notch, 48MP rear camera for $150

    Just like Honor is a sub-brand to Huawei, Xiaomi's Redmi is now operated independently. And the new brand's first big move is the newly announced Redmi Note 7. The phone shares a number of traits with the early 2019 smartphones we've seen thus far: a large rear camera sensor, a large teardrop-notch screen, and a fairly modest price. To put some numbers to these, there's a 48MP snapper -- the sensor's made by Sony, not Samsung this time around -- alongside a 5MP sensor at the rear for depth info. Up front, the phone's teardrop notch is top and centre of the...

  • Hisense U30 sports punch-hole screen, tasty mid-range specs

    We've heard little from Hisense since the H12 (pictured above) finally arrived in South Africa late last year, but at CES 2019 in Vegas, the company lifted the covers on what could be its next mid-range contender. And it's rather exciting on paper too. Dubbed the Hisense U30, the phone features a 6.3 inch 2340x1080 LCD screen. More interestingly, it also has a punch-hole camera, which houses a 20MP selfie camera. Yes, and that means no notch, just a hole in the screen's top left hand side. At the rear, Hisense employs a 48MP primary camera and a 5MP depth sensor alongside it. Internally,...

  • LG Q9 is a reheated G7 Fit for students

    LG has this week launched a new phone, but it's not a flagship. Instead its a new entry to its Q-series, the LG Q9. The phone is a curious move for the Korean company. Although it's set to debut in the country for US$450, it'll only be available in six months time. Stranger still is the spec sheet, which looks an awful lot like the LG G7 Fit which it launched back in August 2018. The Q9 features a now customary large, fairly dense and notched screen of 6.1 inches with a 3120x1440 resolution. LG also claims it's the brightest in its...

  • These smartphone makers are launching 5G phones in 2019

    Brace yourselves, 5G is set to become as annoying marketing jargon in 2019 as waterdrop notches, AI, and foldable displays are already. But that doesn't mean the tech is DOA. 5G has intrinsic value for consumers, arriving with faster speeds and better call quality among other benefits. But which companies are focusing on the next generation mobile tech? Here are a handful that have announced their intentions to launch a device with 5G capabilities in 2019. OnePlus You're not getting the headphone jack back, OP fans, but OnePlus is planning to launch a phone with 5G support in 2019. According to a report by...

  • 3 smartphone design fads from 2018 we absolutely hated

    We've seen some pretty stupid smartphone fads in 2018. From the obnoxious, to the courageous, to the insane, and the arguably unneeded, we take a look at the year in smartphones from the point of view of a jaded marketing executive. Artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence is great. There's no denying this. It allows apps and phones to recognise flowers and buildings, and spit out highly relevant information. (All this without visiting a single Wikipedia page.) But when a smartphone maker centres its entire marketing programme on this feature, we have to just sit back and shake our heads. For starters, a smart...

  • Nokia 7.1 review: living in its sister’s shadow

    I love surprises. Don't you? When I got the Nokia 7.1 for review -- rather spontaneously an unannounced, I should add -- I was largely expecting the device to disappoint. The Nokia 5.1 did. Its lack of a real strong point made it difficult to care about it, or even mention in important conversations. Earlier this year, I also reviewed the stellar Nokia 7 Plus, a phone which was the complete opposite. It was a breath of fresh air, and cost about the same as the 7.1. It had flagship aspirations, and back then, I called it the best phones of 2018. But,...