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Reviews

  • Sony Xperia XZ2 review: the best Sony smartphone in years?

    Sony has been responsible for torridly boring smartphones of late. The last interesting device by the company was the Z3 Compact which launched some four years ago now. I still remember reviewing it. On a weekend getaway with friends, the Z3 Compact did a remarkable job of capturing sunsets, beach scenes while lasting some two days on a single charge. In 2014, its block styling suited its utilitarian nature, but it was by no means ugly. The Samsung Galaxy S5 came out earlier that same year, and substituted the S4's plastic cladding with weird a weird BandAid like back. The iPhone...

  • Huawei P20 Pro review: not the sum of its cameras

    A certain Gene Jiao, Huawei's president of MEA, once told me that it's not the number of lenses you stick on a smartphone that's important, it's how you use the cameras you have. If this were true the Huawei P20 Pro would still have two lenses, like the P10 before it. Hell, it would have a single lens like the P8. So when the Huawei P20 Pro debuted with three cameras at the back, I raised an eyebrow. When it landed on our bench for review, I was dealing with a mild bout of smartphone fatigue. Nokia just had a local launch....

  • Hisense Infinity F24 review: part of the crowd

    Pretty much every new phone has a screen above five inches nowadays, even those that retail in the "budget" range. Even more common, it seems, are budget phablets. And the latest company to join this band of brothers is Hisense. The Chinese manufacturer told Gearburn back in February that the Hisense Infinity F24 would arrive in the country by March. And they weren't lying. On our test bench for the past few weeks, the Infinity F24 shows just how far Hisense has come as a device designer and manufacturer. Shedding the utilitarian design philosophy of the two previous Infinity devices -- the...

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra review: selfie control

    Looking for a big phone? You've come to the right place. Hide your skinny jeans and fashionable jeggings, because the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra is a pocket breaker. Sticking with Sony's angular aesthetic is an incredibly large slab of aluminium and plastic, measuring more than 16cm in length, and 8cm across. At 9.5mm deep, the XA2 Ultra's also one of the thicker phones you'll see debut this year. And yes, it's probably going to the be only device you can stand up on its bottom without assistance. The screens colour reproduction is excellent, and this doesn't change at extreme viewing angles either But...

  • We review: Body Glove’s Lite Bluetooth and colourful Pop earphones

    Open your ears, because we've got two earphones on the test bench today. While one requires a headphone jack and the other a Bluetooth connection, both are from American accessories company Body Glove. A company probably better known for its mobile covers and cases also makes the Lite for active people, and the Pop for more fashion-conscious users. Body Glove Lite As its name would suggest, the Body Glove Lite Bluetooth earphones are practically weightless. They're the airiest set of Bluetooth buds I've ever used, but that's probably thanks to its cheap-as-chips build quality. Sketchy plastic houses the control module, on which sit...

  • Far Cry 5 review: just another Far Cry game?

    There are some games you come across at certain points in your life that draw you in and never let you go. Just Cause 3 was one. While the late 2015 title was a complete mess on all platforms, and had a weaker storyline than most episodes of Peppa Pig, it was primal fun. Flying across the map like a harbinger of death and destruction, walking away from your newly exploded petrol station with your shades on, and just pretending to be a budget Marvel superhero clad in denim, made the game irresistible. Roll on 2018, and there's a new pretender...

  • Better Late Than Never: Battle Chef Brigade and more

    It's 'Better Late Than Never' time again, the review series that takes a look at the gaming titles we have unforgivably overlooked in recent months. In this instalment we will be looking at the charming winemaking sim Terrior, the action-laden Tesla vs Lovecraft, and the wonderfully quirky Battle Chef Brigade. Terroir (PC) Have you ever fancied yourself a wine connoisseur, or imagined running your own thriving vineyard? Then look no further than Terroir, a charming management sim that allows you to build, grow and run your very own vineyard. Terroir boasts a surprisingly in-depth system, requiring you to go through a number...

  • 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...

  • Asus ROG Zephyrus review: will it ROG your world?

    It's pretty much an established fact that gaming laptops are more expensive than the equivalent or better gaming desktops. But for R50 000, the Asus ROG Zephryus (GX501V) is pushing the definition of expensive. Is it all price tag and no brute force though? We review this premium-priced laptop. Design The ROG Zephyrus is probably the most unique notebook we've reviewed in quite some time -- at least when it comes to hardware design. Hoping for a full-sized keyboard? You get one, but everything is shifted to the bottom half of the base. The top half of the base is dedicated to a...

  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm review

    I can't recall the last time I felt more conflicted about a video game than Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a three-episode prequel to the original Life is Strange (2015) saga. After pondering it for days after completion (I still am), I still can't answer this question: is it a good game? Hopefully by the end of this review, the answer will become clear. In terms of a narrative-driven gaming experience, and viewed as a stand-alone title outside the larger series, it is still one of your best bets out there. Its experience is unique, the dialogue well-written, the...