• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Mobile Phones

  • 5 solid smartphones under R5000

    Smartphones have come a long way in the past decade, from the awkward but capable Symbian camera phones to the modern era's large-screened marvels. And nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the budget arena. It can be argued that the R4000 to R5000 arena represents the best balance of features and price, delivering some flagship-level functionality at a more wallet-friendly price. We picked a few standout picks in this bracket. Huawei P9 Lite The P8 Lite did fantastic numbers in South Africa last year, laying a claim to being the most popular handset, aside from flagship devices. Fortunately, the P9...

  • LG V30: next flagship to use OLED screen from LG Display?

    LG Display has apparently been ramping up production of OLED screens for a while now. In fact, recent reports claim that both Google and Apple are trying to make (or have made) lucrative deals for OLED screens. Now, Korean-based publication The Investor reports that the LG V30 will also jump on the OLED bandwagon. The publication cites industry sources for the news, with these sources saying that the new phone is expected to launch in September. It would mark the first time that LG uses an OLED screen for its recent flagships. The G series and V series have traditionally used LCD...

  • Iris scanners on phones are neat, but here’s how they can get better [Column]

    The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a ton of great tech packed into it. There's that gorgeous screen that experts are calling the best mobile display ever. Then there's the high screen/body ratio and great camera experience (so far). It's not perfect though, with the fingerprint scanner being in a ridiculously silly place. Fortunately, you can forego the fingerprint in favour of an iris scanner on the front. But again, things aren't ideal here either. Truth be told, the Galaxy S8 has the best mobile iris scanner on the market right now. But that's not saying much, given the number of iris scanner-equipped...

  • HTC U11 is now official, DxOMark calls it best mobile camera

    The HTC U11 was leaked some hours ago, but now, the Taiwanese brand has officially revealed the smartphone to all. For starters, that pressure-sensitive frame (dubbed Edge Sense) is indeed a thing. This allows you to launch apps, the camera, take photos and more with a squeeze or two of the phone's edges. Additionally, users can set the sensitivity, to prevent accidental squeezes. You've also got that same striking finish as the U Ultra, looking like a fingerprint magnet of note, it must be said. But HTC has introduced IP67 water and dust resistance, rating it for 30 minutes of immersion in...

  • Confirmed: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 set for South Africa

    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review) is quite possibly the best budget phablet on the market right now, owing to its large battery, snappy processor and capable camera for the price. It's been a while since the Note 3 launched locally though, while the Redmi Note 4 has launched in China and several other locales earlier this year. Fortunately, local distributor MIA Group has told Gearburn that the company will indeed be bringing the Redmi Note 4 to South Africa. "We have placed an order and are awaiting confirmation on local launch date," a representative told us in response to a query,...

  • HTC U11: new flagship gets leaked in press video

    The HTC U Ultra is probably the most disappointing smartphone of 2017 so far. Between the small battery capacity for the phone's size and the lack of a headphone jack, the new smartphone was misstep compared to previous years. We know that the company is working on the HTC U11 smartphone though, and now, a member of the press has inadvertently leaked details, it would appear. According to the video uploaded by the user (with a mirror on DailyMotion), the U11 offers a pressure sensitive frame of sorts. Simply squeeze the edges to launch apps, activate the camera and more, the clip...

  • What can you expect from your mid-range 2017 smartphone?

    You don't need to spend R10 000 or more to get a good smartphone these days, as there are loads of great devices for half the price. In fact, this year's crop of mid-range smartphones should be killer devices of note, being powered by Qualcomm and MediaTek chips, to name a few. Qualcomm's got its recently revealed Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660 chips, while MediaTek has its P20 (and the rumoured P23) on tap. So what will phones powered by these chips be capable of? Power Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 is pretty much a slightly more powerful 625, featuring the same octacore A53 CPU...

  • Spec comparison: Huawei P9/Plus vs Huawei P10/Plus

    The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus launch in South Africa today, so you'd obviously expect the phones to be an improvement over the P9 and P9 Plus But just how big is the difference between the four phones then? We've got a spec comparison for you. Battery The P9 wasn't bad in the battery department, featuring a 3000mAh pack that's about standard for a flagship phone these days. Meanwhile, the P9 Plus offered a notable 3400mAh battery. The P10 ups the capacity somewhat, moving to a 3200mAh pack. The P10 Plus sees a jump from 3400mAh to 3750mAh. Combine the slightly larger batteries...

  • Huawei Q&A: water resistance, Huawei Watch 2 and more

    Huawei held the launch event for its P10 and P10 Plus this week, also revealing that the P8 Lite 2017, Huawei Watch 2 and P10 Lite would be coming to the country. We also interviewed SA consumer business group GM Zhao Likun and senior director for smartphone product line marketing, Justin Zhang. Both the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 are water resistant, and Huawei CEO Richard Yu initially claimed water resistance at the P10 global launch. Unfortunately, this wasn't quite the case, but Zhang has clarified the comments. "The reality is that we do want to have everything in the phone, but...

  • Exclusive: OnePlus 5 set for July launch in South Africa

    The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T were two of the more affordable flagships of 2016, making their way to South Africa via Takealot. Of course, it was recently announced that the OnePlus 5 was indeed coming. It's not called the OnePlus 4 as the number is considered bad luck in China, the manufacturer explained. Now, Takealot has confirmed to Gearburn that the OnePlus 5 will be launching locally as well. "We should have our first batch arrive in South Africa in July; dates are not 100% confirmed but could be as early as the first or second week in July," a representative...