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Reviews

  • iFROGZ Coda Bluetooth Speaker review: cheaper than a family dinner

    What can you buy for R229? I recently dropped R212 on ingredients for brownies (they were damn good, thanks for asking). I also managed to pay for around 12 litres of petrol for about the same amount. Thanks South Africa. But if you said "a Bluetooth speaker", you would've guessed right. And perhaps surprisingly so. The iFROGZ Coda Bluetooth speaker is easily the cheapest wireless desk thumper I've ever used or reviewed. And coming in less than a family meal at your neighbourhood steak ranch, it may be one of the better bargains of the year. We've already reviewed the speaker's cousin,...

  • Astrum ST250 review: alarm clocks can still be pretty cool

    Today, we're reviewing one of the most important devices you can own: an alarm clock. Say what you will, but if smartphones didn't have built-in alarm functionality, we'd all still own one or be lost without. But the little devices have come a long way since their days of simply beeping achingly loudly at 5am every morning. They're fast becoming like smartphones: jacks of all trades. The Astrum ST250 is a good example. It's a device that meshes together a number of products -- from alarm clock to Bluetooth radio -- into a 700g package. Visually, it comfortably melds the classic clock...

  • The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit review

    The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a short and charming but often sombre narrative game by DONTNOD Entertainment (the creators behind the original Life is Strange) that acts as a stand-alone prequel to the upcoming Life is Strange 2. The game takes place on a lazy Saturday morning at a snow-covered Beaver Creek home, a small fictional town in Oregon (the same US state all previous Life is Strange games were located) where we follow ten-year-old protagonist Chris and his adventures as Captain Spirit, a superhero alter-ego of his own creation that aids him in facing his often harsh...

  • Solo Everyday Max 17.3-inch laptop bag review: carry on, carry on

    The Solo Everyday Max 17.3-inch laptop-slash-duffel bag is unlike any other backpack I've ever used, and that's both a good and bad thing. Built by the New York-based satchel firm, the Everyday Max isn't your typical zips, flaps and straps sort of affair. In fact, it's a bit of a jack of all trades. But before I delve into the bag's unique features, a quick tour. The Everyday Max is much, much larger than your traditional laptop bag. It can swallow 17.3-inch laptops, a tablet, and a fair few other accessories while still boasting plenty of space for clothing items too. As...

  • Nokia 7 Plus review: the best phone of 2018 thus far

    Hot take: flagship smartphones are boring. The only innovation that's sweeping across this segment lies in the marketing material. But just a few rungs lower on the device ladder, the smartphones playing a supporting role and not carrying the weight of public brand perception on their shoulders -- are the most exciting Jostling for position, manufacturers try desperately to undercut one another on price in the upper mid-range segment, while adding almost as many creature comforts you'll find on flagships. For instance, the Nokia 7 Plus. In many ways, the 7 Plus is much the company's large-screen flagship as it is...

  • 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...