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Mobile Phones

  • We investigate: will Rich Capture land on HMD’s Nokia smartphones?

    I've previously waxed lyrical about my love for Rich Capture/Rich HDR , one of the coolest smartphone camera features to see the light of day (at least when it worked). First seen in the Lumia range of phones, the feature allowed you to change the level of HDR, flash or exposure after you took a photo. So if you like pastel hues, you can crank the HDR up. Or you can find a happy medium between a flashless photo and a scene-blinding flash, check below for an example. Rich Capture with no flash. The...

  • Super HDR: Vivo’s new HDR mode claims AI smarts, better results

    Between the Vivo X20 Plus UD (with its in-display fingerprint scanner) and the Apex concept phone, Chinese brand Vivo has been making waves in the West lately. Now, its latest innovation is a so-called Super HDR mode. Vivo revealed the new photography mode this week, saying it follows the same principles as traditional HDR, but makes for a better fit in more extreme scenarios. This is because the mode sees 12 images snapped at once for Super HDR, at a range of 14 EV (exposure value). By comparison, Google's latest iteration of HDR+ (seen on the Pixel 2) takes "up to 10 identical...

  • Sony’s excuse for removing headphone jack on XZ2 range is silly

    Sony's Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact mark a turning point for the company -- at least from a design perspective. Gone is the OmniBalance design, being replaced by the so-called "Ambient Flow" styling. However, the company also joined several other manufacturers (such as Apple, Lenovo, Essential and Huawei with the Mate 10 Pro) in ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack. It's an odd move, especially seeing that Sony is a multimedia juggernaut in general. Now, Sony has answered questions on its blog (as spotted by Xperia Blog), explaining why it dropped the jack. "This is part of the shift to our new Ambient...

  • Xiaomi Mi Note 3 review: do you need a flagship phone?

    The Xiaomi Mi Note 3 might not be officially available in South Africa, but prominent online retailer Gearbest has them in stock. At around R5000, it makes for a very favourable comparison to the locally available Mi A1 (review). Is it worth the grey market import though? Let's get on with the review... Design I'll get this right out of the way: if you want a headphone jack, you'll need to avoid the Mi Note 3. Much like the Mi 6 flagship, this device follows that divisive trend, making the Mi A1 the winner by default if it's super high on your list of...

  • MIUI 9 hits devices this week, bringing a few new features

    Whether you like it or detest it, you can't argue that Xiaomi doesn't pay some attention to MIUI. The Android skin's features are heavily driven by the community, so Xiaomi owners will be glad to hear that the stable version of MIUI 9 (i.e. not a beta) launches this week. The news (spotted by TechRadar) was delivered by Xiaomi global vice-president and Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain on Twitter. As promised, #MIUI9 is now available for all devices!@XiaomiIndia is committed to bringing the best and the latest OS to all our Mi Fans. That's why we're even updating the phones that...

  • 4 little-known smartphone brands now available in South Africa

    Mobile enthusiast? Then you'll know about the likes of Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, LG and other prominent smartphone brands. But there are a few more brands out there that are actually available in South Africa. Whether they're available via networks, Cellucity, Takealot or online stores, here are some of the little-known brands that have recently established a local presence. Ulefone Ulefone generally stands out thanks to its Samsung-inspired naming conventions. Seriously, they released an S8 model (and Pro variant) when the Galaxy S8 launched, and they've since followed up with an S9 to coincide with the Galaxy S9 launch. In any event, the Ulefone...

  • Exclusive: Dual-screen ZTE Axon M, Blade V9 in works for South Africa

    In a crowd of notched Android phones or iterative designs, MWC 2018 also had a few unique smartphones on offer. And probably the most unique device on display was the ZTE Axon M, packing a Kyocera Echo-style dual-screen form factor. The dual screens allow you to either treat each screen separately or as one tablet-style display, making for a unique selling point, if anything. Now, ZTE's South African representatives have confirmed to Gearburn that they're looking at bringing the device to South Africa, along with the mid-range Blade V9. The representative said they were bringing "awesome products like Axon M Dual Screen...

  • White House blocks Broadcom, Qualcomm takeover attempt

    It looks like Broadcom's lengthy bid to acquire US chipmaker Qualcomm is finally over, after the White House announced that it has blocked the takeover attempt. The White House noted that a Broadcom-owned Qualcomm "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States". Furthermore, US President Donald Trump noted that the law doesn't provide "adequate and appropriate authority" for him to protect national security in this issue. As a result, any possible deal has simply been blocked. "The proposed takeover of Qualcomm by the Purchaser is prohibited, and any substantially equivalent merger, acquisition, or takeover, whether effected...

  • Mystery ZTE mid-range phone leaks, packing standard features for 2018

    ZTE is an experienced hand when it comes to the smartphone sector, being a manufacturer of white-labelled devices, mid-range phones and high-end handsets. Now, its latest phone has leaked via the TENAA regulatory body, looking like your typical 2018 mid-range phone. The ZTE V890 (as it's called on the website) packs a non-descript 1.8Ghz octacore processor, fingerprint scanner, 3900mAh battery, 3GB/4GB/6GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB/128GB expandable storage. But it also follows the tall screen trend, offering a 6-inch 2160x1080 display -- we can't see a notch here either. In the camera department, you've got a 16MP+2MP dual camera setup on the...

  • ICYMI: Honor smartphones now available via Takealot

    It's taken a while, but Huawei's Honor sub-brand is now available locally via Takealot, we noticed (are we late to the party?). The Honor brand of phones pack similar specifications to Huawei's main lineup, but feature different designs and a generally cheaper price tag. For instance, the Honor 8 had a cheaper price internationally, while also featuring near-identical specs to the Huawei P9 (review). The Honor sub-brand also distinguished itself from Huawei's phones by being online-exclusive at first. In terms of devices available in South Africa, they bear quite a resemblance to the recently launched Huawei P Smart. There's the R3499 Honor 9...