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Opinion

  • 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...

  • Nintendo NX games should put story, gameplay before graphics

    A few years ago, a game debuted on the PlayStation 4, a then new and exciting concept that was to take gaming to an entirely new level, into the eighth console generation. This game was The Order: 1886, and based on that name, you can easily imagine a game filled with lore, exciting quests through the 17th century and lots of metal-on-metal combat. But beyond this, you'd expect a good story. Expect is really the key word here. Although the game looked great -- honestly, it's still one of the best looking games on the PS4 -- absolutely nothing else about...

  • 2015 retrospective: was it one of the best years in gaming?

    This past year was either fantastic or utterly terrible depending on your personal preferences, but for those interested in single player games, innovative indie titles and tons of remasters, 2015 was the year for you. It saw an abundance of episodic releases, a fair share of controversy and even GTA fans got what they'd been screaming for: a PC release. 2015 was also of course the year of the tragic passing of long-time Nintendo president Satoru Iwata at the age of 55. This is the past year in retrospective, both the good and the bad. Nostalgia 2015 saw the release of remasters of...