• 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

  • Qualcomm expected to move to 8nm chips ‘pretty soon’ [Exclusive]

    The past year has seen Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and Mediatek all move to a tiny 10nm manufacturing process for their high-end mobile chipsets. A smaller manufacturing process generally results in a tinier chip and energy savings, resulting in better performance and battery life. Now, in an interview with Gearburn on the sidelines of Africacom 2017, a Qualcomm representative has confirmed that the company is expected to move "one level" down from 10nm. "So, at the moment we are on a 10nm (manufacturing process) and we are moving, pretty soon, 10nm, one level down," said Simone Severini, the firm's technology lead for Sub-Saharan Africa. "How...

  • OnePlus 5 slated to hit SA next week, Nokia 8, Xperia XZ1 still cheaper

    A OnePlus 5 release in South Africa has been a long time coming. We saw Takealot confirm that they were targeting a July release, but haven't seen much movement in that regard. Now, Stuff reports that Cernotech will be launching the smartphone on 15 November. The distributor is also responsible for CAT smartphones in South Africa. As for pricing, the publication reports a R12 000 prepaid tag. Too much to handle? FNB is also launching the device for R599 a month on a two year contract. The OnePlus 5 packs a Snapdragon 835 chipset, a massive 8GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch full HD...

  • Energizer smartphones set for 2018 in SA – but will you care?

    Energizer revealed a range of smartphones at MWC 2017 this year, following on from the firm's previous forays into the arena. It makes some sense after all, given it being a battery company and all. Sure, you're not plopping AAs into the phones, but there is a marketing angle right there. Now, a visit to the company's stand at Africacom 2017 has yielded more information. And a concern about pricing. Mohsin Abdul Khaleq, director of business development for Energizer distributor Hypertalk, tells Gearburn that the phones should be available next year. "Basically, we're launching the Energizer brand in South Africa. It should be available...

  • Interview: Mediatek’s Finbarr Moynihan on 2018 trends, more

    Taiwan's Mediatek remains a strong player in the budget smartphone space, with its processors powering scores of models around the world. But what's next for the chipmaker? What kind of trends does the firm see next year? We visited AfricaCom 2017 to interview Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international sales, for more details. As previously revealed, Moynihan said Mediatek would be taking "a bit of a break" from flagship chips. The representative gives his take on the high-end segment. "What we see happening in the... flagship market... frankly, it's probably become Apple and Samsung for the most part," the executive explains. "...it's...

  • iPhone X’s Samsung-made screen is best – Displaymate

    Earlier this year, we saw the Samsung Galaxy S8 and then the Galaxy Note 8 claim top marks for screen quality from benchmarking firm DisplayMate. This is due to Samsung's expertise in crafting fantastic AMOLED screens, having come a long way from the original Galaxy S smartphone. Now, with Apple's iPhone X out of the door, the device's Samsung-made OLED screen has wrested the 'best display' crown from the Note 8. "The result: Apple has produced an impressive Smartphone display with excellent performance and accuracy... What makes the iPhone X the Best Smartphone Display is the impressive Precision Display Calibration Apple developed, which transforms the OLED hardware...

  • Mediatek taking ‘a bit of a break’ from flagship chips [Exclusive]

    When it comes to high-end smartphone processors, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, Apple's A11, Samsung's Exynos 8895, Huawei's Kirin 970 and Mediatek's Helio X30 are considered the top dogs. But if any processor failed to live up to expectations, it was Mediatek's chip. Far from seeing a ton of volume, the decacore Helio X30 only saw buy-in from Meizu (Pro 7 Plus) and Elephone (X8 Lite), coming nowhere near the success of the Helio X20 and rival brands. Now, Mediatek's general manager for international sales, Finbarr Moynihan, told Gearburn that the company is taking a break of sorts from flagship chips to focus on "new...

  • Huawei takeaways: from 2018 flagships to Huawei Pay

    The South African launch of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and Porsche Edition took place last night, delivering key details on the two handsets. We also got the chance to interview Zhao Likun, general manager of Huawei South Africa's consumer business group. So here's what you should know... The Mate 10 Porsche is very expensive We already obtained MTN's pricing for the two phones and, surprisingly enough, they are cheaper than the recommended retail price. As for the actual recommended price? You're looking at R17 999 and R26 999. The latter is over R3000 cheaper. Here's hoping the yellow network doesn't pull a...

  • No new Nova devices for South Africa – Huawei

    The Huawei Nova was a bit of a mixed bag in South Africa, owing to great specs but an expensive R6999 price tag. There was a power-efficient Snapdragon 625 chip, a camera that delivered the goods and slick design, but the similarly equipped Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 came in at a much cheaper price. Still, with prices now as low as R4499 online, the Nova is finally looking like great value for money. So when will the Huawei Nova 2 or Nova 2i launch in the country? Unfortunately, this isn't on the cards. Zhao Likun, general manager of Huawei South Africa's consumer...

  • 5 older budget smartphones that are still worth buying [Tech Savvy SA]

    Tech Savvy SA is a series of articles on Gearburn and Memeburn that aims to deliver useful, locally relevant advice to the average South African. This time, we look at older budget phones that still warrant a look. Not everyone can afford this year's crop of mid-range smartphones (nevermind the latest flagship devices). But that doesn't mean you have to buy an ultra low-end device... Instead, why not opt for a mid-range device from last year or the year before? Sure, it'll be a few Android updates behind and it might not be as smooth as today's flagships, but these budget smartphones...

  • Mate 10 Pro, Porsche get priced for SA – they aren’t cheap

    Huawei has finally revealed pricing for its Mate 10 Pro and Mate 10 Porsche edition smartphones. And they won't be a bargain by any measure. The Mate 10 Pro is set to have a prepaid price of R17 999, while the Porsche Design variant packs an eye-watering R26 999 price tag. By comparison, MTN's own pricing last week listed the phones at R17 379 and R23 449 respectively. The two phones sport a Kirin 970 chipset with Neural Processing Unit, the latter enabling faster and offline AI tasks. Otherwise, a 4000mAh battery, rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and 6GB of RAM are also shared...