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Reviews

  • 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...

  • Fitbit Ionic long-term review: daft software mars excellent fitness tracking

    Smartwatches have never been able to come close to smartphones in the hierarchy of digital needs. But that's slowly starting to change. Although Android Wear still languishes in the doldrums of slow development, Apple's Watch Series 2 adds notable features to an already competent smartwatch. The Series 3, launched around September 2017 went one better, adding LTE support and more. But it's a watch that only works within Cupertino's ecosystem, and that, for many, is a deal breaker. The same too can be said about Android Wear. That's where the Fitbit's Fitbit OS powered Ionic comes rushing through the door. Launched a...

  • Xiaomi Mi A1 review: the mid-range device to beat?

    Pure Android joined tall screens as being another notable trend in 2017, as HMD, Lenovo and Essential refrained from skinning their devices. You can also add Xiaomi to the mix, the firm introducing the Mi A1 at the tail-end of last year. Fortunately, MIA Group has brought the device to South Africa, coming in at R4999. Now, after a few weeks with the device, we've got a verdict. So, stock Android... Boot up the Android One phone and indeed you've got stock Android here, with little in the way of preinstalled third-party apps to be had. We say "little", because Xiaomi's remote...