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Mobile Phones

  • You can now watch YouTube HDR videos on your smartphone

    Last year saw Google implement HDR support on YouTube, allowing users to both upload and watch HDR-enabled videos. The move meant that those with compatible smart TVs could get in on the action. But smartphone owners were left out of the lurch for a while though, which was no surprise when the Note 7 was the only HDR-compatible phone at the time. Now, it seems like Google has flicked the switch for mobile HDR, judging by a recent reddit post. And after an update to the YouTube app on our Galaxy S8, we were able to see mobile HDR videos as well. YouTube's take...

  • Is Google very close to buying HTC’s smartphone division?

    Last month saw reports that HTC was exploring a variety of options, ranging from a full company sale to its mobile unit being spun off. Now, it would appear that Google is closing in on a deal to acquire the mobile division or a major part thereof. The two companies are in the final stage of talks that would see the Mountain View company only take a mobile-related unit rather than the whole company or the VR division, a Taiwanese publication reported. The website claims that negotiations should be completed by the end of the year -- at least that's what Google Translate tells...

  • Nokia 8 launches in SA: we got pricing, but what else to know?

    Back at the international Nokia 8 launch, we managed to suss out the South African pricing of the new handset, coming in at a recommended price of R9499. Now, HMD Global has made it all official, confirming that sales have started for the new device in South Africa. So what should you know? For starters, the phone is exclusive to Vodacom right now, coming in blue and steel colours. Don't care for the prepaid price? Then you can grab it for R449 a month on a uChoose Flexi 150 contract (12 months). As for specifications? You're looking at a 5.3-inch 1440p display, Snapdragon...

  • Huawei working with third party apps for AI chip in Mate 10

    Huawei made quite a big splash at IFA 2017, after announcing its Kirin 970 processor. In a somewhat unexpected move, the company integrated a "Neural Processing Unit" (NPU) on the processor, being a chip designed for AI tasks. Naturally, we had a few questions to ask about the AI capabilities of the NPU, the Kirin 970 in general and the Mate 10. For starters, what kind of real-world user cases would we be seeing as a result? We've seen the image recognition tests, for one, but what else should we expect? What to expect from AI-focused silicon? "The NPU is also integrated into...

  • iPhone 8 rumour roundup: iPhone X box leaked?

    There are always murmurings and leaks about the next iPhone -- even when the current one has just been pushed out of Apple's doors. So it's for this reason that we saw it fit to publish an iPhone 8 or iPhone 7S rumour roundup, gathering some of the more notable rumours and reports in one convenient location. We'll only really know what to expect when the phones are actually launched, but die-hard fans starved for info will definitely get their fix here. Is it called iPhone X? - 7 September 2017 We're less than a week away from the launch event, and the...

  • Huawei passes Apple for number two spot – Counterpoint

    Huawei has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past four or five years, overtaking a variety of smartphone manufacturers. Now, the latest numbers from Counterpoint Research show that the firm has passed Apple to be the number two smartphone manufacturer. "According to the latest research from Counterpoint's Market Pulse for July 2017, Huawei has surpassed Apple in global smartphone sales consistently for June and July. With August sales looking strong for the Chinese vendor, a hat-trick for Huawei could be on the cards," the research firm wrote in a statement. The stats are extremely noteworthy, illustrating the Chinese firm's rapid rise. But...

  • Our favourite budget smartphones of 2017 thus far

    Yes, high-end smartphones are slowly creeping up to the R20 000 mark (and breaching it in some cases), but budget devices are also continuing their march to great performance. Don't believe us? Here are some of 2017's best budget smartphones so far. For the sake of clarity, we're not going above R5000 (US$386). Xiaomi Redmi 4A We start at the low-end with the Redmi 4A (review), being Xiaomi's cheapest SA device this year. So what do you get for R2000? The phone packs a Snapdragon 425 processor that won't run the latest games well, but it's ideal for general performance and lightweight 2D titles. Other...

  • Nokia phone receives update before Google’s own Pixels

    Back when HMD announced its initial range of Nokia-branded smartphones earlier this year, it touted pure Android and fast updates as two main selling points. In fact, earlier this year, former HMD CEO Arto Nummela told Gearburn in an interview that the range would all be getting Android updates in no time flat. Now, the latest security update for Android has been pushed out -- and Google's devices weren't the first to get them. According to Nokia Power User, citing reader tips, the September security update has been pushed to the Nokia 5 before the Pixel and Nexus phones. The publication adds...

  • Hisense backtracks, no A2 Pro launch for South Africa

    Back in July, we heard from a Hisense South Africa official that the A2 smartphone would be missing the country. Tony Shi, Hisense SA's cellular product line director, told media that the unannounced (at the time) A2 Pro model would be coming to our shores though. Last week finally saw the device confirmed at IFA 2017, so we thought it would be wise to chase more specific launch details for South Africa. Now, the company's local marketing agency has confirmed that the A2 Pro is no longer on the cards for the region. Hisense has made an about-turn on the A2 Pro coming...

  • Vodacom launches two new budget smartphones at solid prices

    Last year saw Vodacom launch the Smart Platinum 7, the Kicka 2 and a host of other solid smartphones. Now, we've got two more smartphones coming from the network. According to Bandwidth Blog, the two phones are the Smart V8 and Smart N8, coming from Vodafone. The former is the more expensive model, packing a lower mid-range Snapdragon 435 processor (octacore A53), 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. Other noteworthy specs include a 16MP main camera, 8MP selfie shooter, 3000mAh battery and a 5.5-inch full HD screen. The Smart V8 will set you back R3599 on prepaid, or R299 a...