Category: TECH & GADGETS

Huawei’s P40 Pro and MateBook pack punch but smartphone is limited by software

Matebook x Pro

Huawei fans will be happy to know the P40 series is now available in Australia, with the P40 Pro featuring a high-quality Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera with Huawei XD Fusion Engine. The smartphone’s camera is capable of incredible zoom capabilities and has an overflow display as well as a high definition selfie camera. The camera also manages to take impressive images in low-light environments.  Battery life is a big selling point, as is its cutting edge design. With light use, you should be able to get two full days’ worth of activity.  The one thing that could be a deal-breaker is the lack of available software due to the absence of Google services such as Google Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. The RRP for the Huawei P40 is AU$1099 and the P40 Pro is AU$1599.  P40 Pro highlights in a nutshell: Ground-breaking camera innovations that radically expand mobile photography and video capture possibilities, including the advanced Ultra Vision Leica camera system. Cutting-edge design including the HUAWEI Quad-curve Overflow Display that delivers outstanding fluidity and responsiveness. Powered by Kirin 990 5G to deliver integrated 5G connectivity with the most comprehensive 5G band support, robust AI performance and power. While Huawei’s new high-end laptop – the MateBook X Pro – is competitively priced, the hardware has not changed much since its predecessor. Weight, dimensions and design are pretty much identical, with a 13.9 inch LCD panel. The obvious difference is the newer Intel i7-10510U CPU.  Pricing for the Huawei MateBook X Pro starts at… Read More

How risky are you? Nord VPN has some numbers that’ll shock you

Woman work laptop computer

Turns out Australians are at a high risk of becoming victims of cybercrime, according to the new Cyber Risk Index by NordVPN. We have a high-income economy, advanced technological infrastructure, urbanisation and digitalisation. But, these same factors increase the prevalence of cybercrime, so we need to be more careful, they say! What are you doing that puts you at risk? Basically everything. The more time you spend online increases your risk the most, driven by Australia’s reputation for whopping internet consumption. NordVPN’s Cyber Risk Index shows that 9 out of 10 Australians use the internet, which presents a lot of opportunities for cybercriminals to strike. “Australians are very active on social media, and a whopping 17% of the population play online games — that’s the 7th highest score globally,” says Daniel Markuson, internet privacy mastermind at Nord VPN. “That’s fine”, you think. “I’m not at risk”, they say. Wrong. Given the average monthly wage in Australia is almost $2000 higher than the average, the temptation for online shopping is greater, offering up a much more enticing target for cybercriminals, too. How can you relax the risks to you? So, the good news is, Australia’s ranked 11th globally on the Global CyberSecurity Index. It’s a score that evaluates legal, technical, organisational and capacity building factors on a country level. But the real factor that contributes to your risk is you. You’ve got to understand what increases the cyber risk — that time spent online and income are very important factors. That’s a profound step towards a… Read More

Vodafone Alcatel 1v 2020 4g: Alcatel has covered new smartphones under $200

Alcatel smartphones

If you’re shopping around for a smartphone without the smart price tag, then the good news is Alcatel has just released three smartphones under $200.  Available through Vodafone, the top-end Alcatel 3L (RRP $199 including a prepaid $40 SIM pack), the mid-range 1V (RRP $149 including a $30 SIM pack) and the budget 1B (RRP $99 including a prepaid $10 SIM pack) hit all the right notes for the savvy smartphone shopper.  So what are the key differences between the 3L, the 1V and the 1B? The Alcatel 3L ($199) Let’s start with the top-end 3L model. The Series 3 models are Alcatel’s latest addition to their smartphone lineup. It features a 48MP AI camera, a 2MP macro camera and a 5MP super wide-angle camera. It has a 6.22 inch HD+ Vast Display screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and weighs 165g. Battery capacity is 4000mAh, which should provide all-day performance. The 3L also features  Face Key and fingerprint sensor.  Talk time is approximately 20 hours on 4G and 30 hours on 3G. Standby time is 461 hours (4G) and 586 hours (3G). Phone charging takes over two and a half hours.  The Alcatel 1V ($149) The mid-range 1V model has the same following features as the 3L: Face Key and fingerprint sensor as well as the 6.22 inch HD+ 19:9 Vast Display screen and a battery capacity of 4000mAh. Display resolution is HD+ 720 x 1520  pixels, which is also the same as the… Read More

ASMR, but make it stylish: Unbox the new Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 like never before


ASMR. Some get it, most don’t, but regardless of how you look at it, the concept – and executing it – is kinda fun. Sennheiser cottoned on and has launched their highly anticipated – and insanely stylish – latest piece of tech with exactly that in-mind. And we’re happy about it. This unboxing, but done in a way you’ve never seen before. You hear every rip of the protective packaging, every slide of the box’s lid and tabs, every click of a case fastening and tap of a surface: for a brand like Sennheiser that makes the products it does, it’s the launch of their latest product done in never a more apt way. Watch the video here and whet your spine-tinglingly ASMR addicted appetite: But, why are they good? Well, ?Sennheiser, much like with the rest of their products, offers exceptional sound quality. There’s 7mm dynamic drivers that create outstanding stereo sound with deep bass, natural mids and clear, detailed treble. Thanks to the built-in equaliser and the Smart Control App, this sound experience can be perfectly tailored to your taste. Couple that with general stylish looks and major status, they’re a solid investment you’ll want to unbox yourself again and again and again.

Automating your home: A lot more possible than you thought

Interiors home living room

In the days of Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Siri, who can do anything you need other than make your morning coffee and take your stuff to the dry-cleaners, your home is next in the long line of tech updates. And the best bit, is that the days of just being able to time your lights and flick them using an app are over – you can turn your home into something seriously ‘of the future’ with just a few updates. Think: Talking to your centralised hub like Amazon Alexa having your air conditioning units, humidifiers and more reacting together in response to changes in your home environment communicating with postmen and couriers through the door bell relaxing and unwinding in the evenings by setting schedules with connected products such as scent diffusers, lighting and curtains returning to a freshly vacuumed and mopped home, every single day. Things like this are doable with a whole range of tech, like these nifty finds. Sort your life out with Amazon Alexa From scheduling things in your calendar, to simply setting a timer, to generally reducing your screen time, these Amazon Alexa babies make life easier! Control your home’s temperature without even thinking about it Using the Connect Universal Smart IR remote with temperature and humidity sensors, helps with controlling TVs and air cons from a single remote. Set scenes to automate your life! Have constantly clean floors thanks to Ecovacs Control your personal cleaner using the the Ecovacs app or with voice command through Amazon Echo or… Read More

No wires, more music – Blue Ant are doing a new wireless earbud

Blue Ant Pump Air 2

They’re stylish, lightweight and work without you having to try; the Blue Ant Pump Air 2 is the next thing in wireless music. The Blue Ant brand has done some great stuff when music’s concerned. Not only is a heap of their stuff wireless and good-looking, it’s enhanced by the fact they’re a technology company that makes music, meaning all the gizmos and whatsits in the background and where the real marvel comes into play. They’re all about family, too. Not in the people sense, but the full range of offering sense, making something for everyone when it comes to audio products that are packed with intuitive techy innovations. Take the new Pump Air 2 wireless earbuds, for example. They provide next-gen sound with Bluetooth 5.0 that ensures quick, consistent connectivity with exceptional range HD audio all wrapped-up in a nice little sleek design that delivers a premium immersive listening experience. Tack onto that the fact they’re water – or sweat – proof, stay in your ears, run for 15 hours thanks to the protective and charging, wireless micro-charging case and pair automatically with your phone, it’s a win-win. Get them for $169.95, or see more at the Blue Ant Wireless website.

The Fitbit Versa 2: A new watch, only this time, with Alexa

Fitbit Versa 2

What’s the time? What was my sleep score last night? What’s the weather doing today, Alexa? No, we’re not talking to a smart home hub. We’re actually playing with the new offering from FitBit, the Versa 2 Health and Fitness Watch.  Loaded with features such as Amazon Alexa, 24/7 heart rate tracking, a sophisticated sleep tracker, on-screen workouts and smartphone notifications, Versa 2 is an affordable smartwatch with looks to boot. It’s elegantly curved with a new AMOLED screen and an anodised aluminium finish. Unlike its predecessor, Versa 2 has an always-on display. Just remember though, if you select this option, you will chew through your battery life a lot quicker.  Speaking of battery life, one of the most impressive specs about Versa 2 is the 5+ day battery life (which varies with use, as we mentioned earlier with the always-on display). This is a significant point of difference when comparing battery life with the Series 5 Apple Watch which only offers 18 hours before requiring a recharge. The Versa 2 extended battery life allows you to wear the smartwatch while you sleep, if you’re interested in monitoring your sleep pattern. Each night, Versa 2 will track your light, deep and REM sleep and after it learns your sleep patterns, it will provide you with a personalised sleep score.  With the newly integrated microphone and Alexa function, you can ask Alexa a question, but unlike a home hub, she won’t talk back to you (which probably isn’t a bad thing, right)? She only responds via… Read More

3 things to consider before buying your next set of headphones


Headphone sales are steadily increasing in Australia thanks to the flow-on effect created by the skyrocketing popularity of music streaming.  While buying new headphones may seem like a trivial errand for many, audiophiles have successfully transformed the headphone movement from a mere hobby to a culture.  The days of simply grabbing the nearest headphones off a shelf when you want to listen to music are long gone and careful consideration now goes into every purchase.  There are a lot of things to reflect on before you can confidently part with any money. While some of these things are obvious, others are somewhat more obscure. Thankfully a few basic tips will make it a lot easier to find the perfect headphones without having to rely on a strategy of trial and error. Don’t disregard ergonomics and design Headphones come in so many shapes and sizes that it can be somewhat overwhelming to choose the pair that is right for you. While a conventional headset with soft earmuffs may appeal to some, others may be more drawn to the sleek, unobtrusive design of in-ear headsets.  One of the most pertinent choices you will be faced with is the one pertaining to wired vs. wireless headphones. While wired headphones do not have a power constraint, their wireless counterparts are compatible with a larger variety of devices. Before buying headphones you will also have to decide whether you are looking to make a practical purchase or one that is style-driven. Once you have decided this and taken all the other relevant factors into considerations you will be able to comfortably pick the headphones that will meet your needs the best. Sound quality is of the utmost importance Sound quality… Read More

Has Mac got your back when you’re switching from Windows?

Woman work laptop computer

The Windows vs Mac debate is an ongoing and impossible fight. As Apple develop more advanced systems, though, you wouldn’t be alone if you considered leaving Windows in the dust. Still, it would be naive to go into a switch like this blind. Too often, ex-Windows users make the mistake of assuming that Macs won’t be all that different. In reality, these are very different devices, and they offer very different experiences. To make sure you can adjust, it’s vital to ask the following questions before you even set foot inside an Apple store.  Picture Credit – CC0 Licence Could you access the same applications? The Microsoft Store is very different from the Apple app store, and both offer varying app access. In some cases, you may find that a Windows app isn’t compatible with a Mac at all. This has traditionally been a problem with Windows-centric programs such as Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Office. Luckily, a version of Office is now widely available on Mac. Windows have also recently released a Mac-friendly version of Edge. If you’re after advice on how to use Microsoft Edge for Mac browser right now – Setapp and companies like them can provide all the information you need before making the change. It’s still vital to note, though, that there may be apps you can’t transfer. If you use such programs often, it’s vital to consider whether there are appropriate alternatives, or whether you’re best off staying put. Image Source – CC0 Licence Would you be able to transfer… Read More

Turn your party up: The new Wonderboom 2 is ready

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 1

Parties aren’t worth having unless there’s enough tunes to drown out your sobriety, which is why Ultimate Ears have again pumped out another wireless speaker. The new version of the OG Wonderboom from 2017 has been reimagined with better stuff all over for your party – and just general chill out – needs. Aptly named the Wonderboom 2, it comes equipped with even more bass, 30 percent more battery life, it’s waterproof, dustproof, and able to float. It’s also got a redesigned button interface on the top so you can easily play, pause and skip tracks directly on the speaker. You can even pair two Wonderboom 2 speakers using the upgraded Double Up feature to enjoy a true wireless, left and right stereo experience, or simply party louder. It’s fabric, colourful, durable and good for life and now, available for $129 from retailers. Go forth and party.