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Opinion

  • New BlackBerry vs new Nokia: who will actually win? [Column]

    The story of 2017 has really been one of phoenixes (phoenixii, phoenii?) rising from the ashes, as both the Nokia and BlackBerry brands are back on the market. Nokia, coming back courtesy of HMD Global, has already seen three smartphones launch, in the form of the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. Meanwhile, the BlackBerry name has been used by TCL Communications in order to launch the BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone earlier this year. Who is actually poised to emerge the winner though? Nokia's smartphones are still slowly making their way around the world, but it's clear they seem to be hitting the...

  • Google Home, Amazon Echo can fight HomePod, but where are they?

    The smart speaker arena looks set to go into overdrive as Apple finally joined the party last month with the HomePod. Featuring an array of audio hardware and smart adjustments, the device is pretty interesting. Then there's the Apple Music integration, as you use your voice to sift through tracks and playlists. Taken together with the audio chops and there's little wonder why Apple is positioning it as a high-end audio speaker. It may be marketed as a speaker first and assistant second, but the truth is that it still plays in the same space as Amazon and Google's products. And...

  • It might not be ‘real’ Nokia, but HMD’s phones have potential

    2017 marks the return of the Nokia name to the smartphone market, after the Nokia handset division was gobbled up by Microsoft in 2012. In case you don't know, today's Nokia-branded smartphones aren't coming from the 'real' Nokia. Instead, it's the result of a licensing agreement between Finland's HMD Global and Nokia itself (i.e. the firm that owned Nokia's handset unit before selling it to Microsoft). Although to be fair, many former Nokia employees seem to have joined HMD. The first product of this arrangement is already available in South Africa, in the form of the new 3310. But it's a...

  • 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...

  • The chase for thin bezels is lovely, but is it worth it?

    The past few months have seen the trend of thin bezels, or a high screen/body ratio, making headlines. Sharp's Aquos Crystal popularised the trend back in 2014, and then we had the Xiaomi Mi Mix, released late last year. The Mi Mix managed to up the ante in an incredible way, delivering super-thin bezels that makes for an astounding design. Even Samsung's rumoured Galaxy S8 and LG's G6 (hands-on) don't quite stack up in terms of design, it could be argued. Xiaomi's smartphone retains some incredibly thin borders on three sides, with the bottom being the only part of the phone...

  • What can you buy instead of an Apple Pencil or an iPad Pro?

    Local Apple retailer Digicape has released pricing for the latest range of iPad Pro 9.7-inch tablets. All of them will more than likely cost you several years of credit card debt to have one of these new devices. Here at Gearburn, we've put together a handy guide of alternative items you can purchase for the same price as the 256GB WiFi and cellular model, as well as the Apple Pencil. Prepare to be shocked, amazed, and rethink your life choices. Apple's iPad Pro 9.7-inch was shown off a few weeks ago to much farfare, we think. The device is the latest...

  • Quantum Break: is Windows 10 and Xbox One cross-play a good idea?

    Thanks to a huge recent announcement by Microsoft and Remedy Entertainment, the world's getting the previously believed Xbox One exclusive title -- Quantum Break -- on Windows 10 too. This didn't go down well with the gaming community. Some believe this mark's the death of the Xbox One as a console. Others believe, like Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer, that it's good for gamers. Others, well, others are just mad. But how revolutionary, detrimental or absolutely brilliant is this move by Microsoft? For fun, and to study the gaming community's concerns more intricately, we'll have a look at some of the best comments...

  • Listen up, Apple: 4 features we’d love to see on the iPhone 7

    Many would argue that the Apple iPhone 6S, or 6S Plus for that matter, is the perfect phone. The zenith of smartphone technology. The absolute pinnacle of mobile engineering. To that we'd reply "there's absolutely no such thing as a perfect phone." Even though it's probably the best phone you can purchase right now and I absolutely loved my review device, it has its flaws; flaws that are preventing older Apple users from jumping ship, and flaws that make other phones from other marques seem a lot tastier. So, what are they, and how can Apple right these wrongs in time for...

  • Game study: what makes a game ‘overrated’?

    "Overrated" is a word that gets thrown around a lot nowadays. It's a word that has been used with ever increasing regularity as the internet becomes more prevalent in our daily lives and is used to describe pieces of art in every medium, whether it's games, films or music, but here we'll just focus on the gaming side of things. What must be understood about the term is that everything created with the intention of being consumed as some form of entertainment product is both loved and despised by somebody. There are people out there that genuinely enjoyed Aliens: Colonial...

  • 6 reasons why the PlayStation 3 is better than the PlayStation 4

    The current console generation has been around for a few years now and are starting to come into their own. The problem is, they're still not perfect and their predecessors are still outshining them in some respects. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One still aren't where they should be in terms of functionality and features. I still have a PlayStation 3 and while I have debated selling it off to purchase its younger sibling (the PlayStation 4), I've finally decided it isn't a good idea. Here are six reasons why I'm keeping my PlayStation 3. Backwards compatibility for bygone eras Yes, I'm...