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Gadget Reviews

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Review: Pint-sized power

Published by on Feb 23rd, 2015, 7 Comments

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Over the last three to four years the only noticeable change in the smartphone market has been an increase in screen size. Sure, specs have advanced in leaps and bounds at the same time, but to the average user it isn’t completely evident – unless you buy a budget device.

In a world of ever growing screens, few have tried to make a proper flagship device in a smaller size. The only exceptions are the previous iPhone 5 models and last year’s Xperia Z1 Compact. The successor to the Z1 Compact is the Z3 Compact – Sony chose to align the naming with its bigger brother, the Xperia Z3, that launched at the same time.

Before we look at the device in more detail, check out some of the key specs and features of the Xperia Z3 Compact: (more…)

Sony Xperia Z3 Review: The smartphone underdog

Published by on Feb 10th, 2015, 3 Comments

SonyZ3-003Sony has been playing with the big boys over the last couple of years and the new Xperia range (from the Z1) has really put the company up there among the best. It seems like only yesterday (and probably was) that Sony released the Xperia Z2 in South Africa and now the new Z3 is here. What is even more baffling is that the Z4 might be revealed in May this year. This crazy release schedule probably has more down sides for me than up sides, but that does not mean that Sony will skimp on the details.

Famed for its super cool camera and sleek design, the Xperia range has continued to gather customers since its inception, or have they? The Z3 looks a lot like the Z2, and after a quick glance at the spec sheet (below), you might argue that it makes the same type of noises. This is important because, by its own admission, Sony isn’t doing very well at competing in the phone-making game. Will the Z3 offer enough over the Z2 to warrant an upgrade? Will the Z3 help the struggling Sony ship? Read our Xperia Z3 review to find out. (more…)

Apple iPhone 6 Review: Still the go-to smartphone?

Published by on Jan 20th, 2015, 3 Comments

iPhone-204Apple introduced the iPhone 6 models in September last year and the devices made it to South Africa by the end of October, which in itself was a great surprise for Apple consumers of our rainbow nation. The iPhone 6 range is supposed to be the “game-changer” model for the Cupertino based company. Apple finally caved on the idea of a larger phone and the iPhone 6 (at 4.7 inches) and iPhone 6 Plus (at 5.5 inches) clearly shoves Apple out of the “4-inches-is-perfect-Steve-Jobs” mentality.

As an Apple user with a perfectly timed Vodacom contract I was able to pick up the new iPhone 6 a week after its launch and have been using it for a little over two months. This review will hopefully provide an unbiased (as far as possible) view of the iPhone 6 (4.7-inch model) and whether Apple has been able to step out of their comfort zone and produce a truly top of the range smartphone. (more…)

Review: LG Tone Pro Bluetooth Headphones

Published by on Dec 12th, 2014, No Comments

LG6Wearable tech is a hot topic right now. It seems as though the smartphone has been playing second fiddle to the recent surge in interest of smartwatches and other wearable tech like fitness armbands and the like. Every tech company wants to make sure they get their slice of the revenue pie, whether in the smartphone, smartwatch, music or any other product line. But a product that never really gets as much attention is headphones.

There is a clear difference in the type of consumer when it comes to headphones. On the one side you have the guy that uses his smartphone accompanying set of headphones and never has a problem with them. On the other side you have the audiophile that needs clear crisp sound, deep non-distorting bass and of course stylish design and mobility when it comes to his/her headphones. I have been using a set of LG Tone Pro Bluetooth headphones for the past few weeks and I think it brings to two consumer opposites a bit closer together. Read the review and find out why. (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Still the best phablet?

Published by on Nov 18th, 2014, 3 Comments

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Some said that this type of device would never take off, yet here we are in the fourth generation of one of the hottest properties in the mobile world – the Galaxy Note range. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the newest in the hit range, which is now in a segment that is becoming ever more crowded.

Even Apple, who swore by their “perfect for one handed use” size, has admitted defeat and made their devices larger to keep up with the trend. While there are many more devices of this kind in the market today than even a year ago when the Galaxy Note 3 launched, Samsung wants and needs this device to be a massive success. They are seeing profits slipping drastically, a major factor being the fact that the Galaxy S5 wasn’t as big a success as its predecessors. The Note 4 tries its best with updated design and top-notch specs, but can it deliver? (more…)

Jawbone Mini Jambox Review: Your “jam” in a mini box!

Published by on Nov 10th, 2014, No Comments

mini-app-bg2When it comes to looking for a decent set of portable speakers you are going to have your hands full. The market is saturated with way too many varieties, cheap imitations and horrible designs that makes the task of searching for the perfect product all the more difficult. First you have to decide exactly what type you want, is it going to be standing in one spot most of the time? Do you need a charging dock? Does it need to be portable with decent battery life? Does it need to be wireless (i.e. bluetooth)? There are SO many angles to consider and SO many options out there that you might just think: “Stuff it, I’ll buy the first thing that looks OK!”. We recently got our hands on a very special device by Jawbone called the Mini Jambox. It looks like an artist’s creation and sounds like a premium German sound system. I am going to try my best to convince you that the Mini Jambox is the answer to your portable speaker needs… (more…)

Sony Xperia C3 Review: Best smartphone for selfies?

Published by on Oct 31st, 2014, No Comments

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Yes, it has come to this; we now have a new dimension in the smartphone arena – the best smartphone for taking selfies.  The Sony Xperia C3 is set to be a favourite for people who strive to take the perfect selfie or groupie.

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LG G3 Beat Review: The prince of the kingdom?

Published by on Oct 31st, 2014, 4 Comments

LG G3 Beat-006It has been full steam ahead for the LG train this year with the release of quite a few significant mobile devices. So far we have seen the G-Flex, G3, G-Watch (as well as G-Watch R) and of course the G-Pad hit our South African shores. Now, just in time for the festive season LG is introducing their mini flagship smartphone the G3 Beat. The Beat joins the mini market which already contains the likes of the Alcatel Onetouch Idol Alpha (see review), Motorola Moto G as well as the Sony Xperia Compact (and many others). But the Beat, with a 5-inch screen, can’t exactly be called a mini even though it is smaller than its big brother the G3. Earlier this year the G3 had everyone abuzz with its sleek style, Quad-HD screen and super thin bezels, will the G3 Beat follow in those illustrious footsteps? We got out hands on one to answer that question… (more…)

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