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Top 5 Flagship Smartphones of 2019!

Staff Writer / 10-01-2020 / News

Every year, smartphone manufacturers scramble to outdo each other when it comes to their flagship smartphones, packing in as many hardware upgrades and features as possible. Leading this pack for the last several years is Samsung and Apple, with Chinese manufacturers Huawei and Xiaomi closing the gap quickly thanks to their ranges of high-quality, feature-packed smartphones that are much more affordable. As a result, smartphones are evolving faster than we can keep up, and 2019 definitely had its share of incredible devices.

Here is our list of the top 5 flagship smartphones to have graced us this year:

Apple iPhone 11

Apple sprung their brand-new smartphone offering on us in September this year, loaded with the latest iOS 13 software which has been well received by users. In terms of looks, it’s available in 6 new colours (White, Black, Red, Lavender, Yellow and Green) with an aluminium and glass design and 6.1-inch Liquid Retina Screen.

The iPhone 11 supports faster charging and the battery will last longer (approx. 1 hour) than in the previous iPhone XR. The 2 rear camera lenses, one of which is a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, and the other, a new 12-megapixel ultra wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, will no doubt be irresistible to those who want to take their mobile photography to the next level. For selfie fans, Apple has introduced a feature called ‘slowfies’ into the front facing camera, adding a whole new dimension to your selfies.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

These smartphones are being touted as the most powerful iPhones ever made. Both sport the all new surgical-grade stainless steel exterior with a matte finish available in gold or even midnight green, among other new colours. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max both house triple cameras at the rear, including an awesome 12MP wide angle camera which will allow you to cram more into a single photo. On the downside, you will have to deal with a slightly bulgier iPhone because of the extra camera. Apple is promising loads of power with this range, but they’re also offering four more hours of battery life than its predecessor, the iPhone XS).

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung’s flagship smartphone is undoubtedly the Note range and this year it provided us with the Note 10. In terms of screen size, the Note 10 has a 6.3-inch screen which is actually smaller than its predecessor, but it has a dynamic AMOLED+, HDR10+-certified screen made of Corning's latest Gorilla Glass 6. At only 168 grams, it’s really nifty and compact which makes the phone easy to handle. The Note 10 features three rear cameras - a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 12-megapixel wide angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. There's a 10-megapixel selfie camera at the front. Added to that, it has Live Focus Mode which auto focuses on subjects while shooting video. It also has a Zoom-In Mic feature which cuts out all background noise when recording audio.

The Note 10 is an upgrade to the Note 9 in that it has 256GB of onboard memory but doesn’t have a slot for an SD Card. The 8GB of RAM is decent enough to run applications on the device without any delay or lag. On the battery front, it is smaller than the Note 9 at just 3500mAh.

Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro helped the Chinese company raise the bar this year. The first feature that stands out is the quad camera setup. The Leica quad-camera setup consists of a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide camera, an 8MP telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and a “time of flight” camera. It has a larger screen at 6.47 inches with OLED display. The P30 Pro is available in a variety of colours and also is a dual-SIM smartphone. The slot also doubles up as Huawei’s nano memory (NM) card slot. It is powered by Huawei’s next-generation Kirin 980 chipset, comes with 8GB of RAM and a bumped-up 256GB of storage that is expandable using an NM card.

Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus

Regarded as a more affordable, compact version of the Note 10, the Galaxy S10 range was one of the most talked about smartphones of 2019. Both the S10 and S10 Plus have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, Super AMOLED Infinity-O display, 8GB RAM (with 12GB option), 128GB to 1TB storage options with a microSD slot for even more capacity, five cameras, IP68 rating, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and a stunning design with Prism colour options. The S10 plus come with high level water resistance and also the popular fast wireless charging. The additional capabilities to charge up other devices and gear via wireless technology on the back of the S10 Plus is ideal for people on the go.

There’s no doubt that 2019 has served up some really awesome smartphones that promise to get even better when 2020 rolls around. For now, though, it all comes down to the features you’re looking for, your brand preference and, of course, the price you’re willing to pay.


Bits and Bytes – July 2021 Edition

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Bits and Bytes – June 2021 Edition

Lego Inspired Smartphone has Entered the Chat Building your own, customisable phone may no longer be just a fantasy. Xiaomi has requested a patent for the Lego Smartphone, a three-piece device each housing a different smartphone aspect – camera plus PCB, battery and speaker / USB function. While not a new concept, the Chinese electronics company could be the first to execute the idea to its full potential and give smartphone users the capability to modify parts of their device as and when they choose. Huawei – The Right Time for A New Smartwatch? The tech giant plans on releasing a smartwatch range without Android in June. Since Google cut ties with the company, the Huawei Watch 3 and the Huawei Watch 3 Pro will be the first to run on the company’s own operating system – the HarmonyOS. Only time will tell if the new system will meet consumer expectations. A WhatsApp Mixed Bag WhatsApp recently announced it would no longer hinder users who did not accept its updated privacy policy which came into play on 15 May. In the lead up to the change, WhatsApp faced worldwide backlash – including from South Africa’s Information Regulator which suggested it would pursue legal action of over the inconsistent terms and conditions of the policy and wrote to the mobile messaging app requesting a revision. The heat is still on the Facebook-owned app in various countries but earlier this month, WhatsApp released some happier news. Soon users will be able to operate on four devices using a single account. This is just one among a host of other upgrades promised by Facebook head himself, Mark Zuckerberg. Other promised upgrades include the “view once” feature, allowing users to share images and videos with their contacts that will disappear after only one viewing. A Good Dose of Horror Boosting tourism and immune systems go hand-in-hand in Transylvania – the birthplace of the vampire. Bran Castle, the inspiration behind author Bram Stoker’s book Dracula, opened its doors to tourists in search of a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Tourists were given the shots for free and later gained free entry into the museum's “Medieval Torture Instruments” exhibit where they were encouraged to check out “jabs of a different kind”.


The Hisense Infinity H50 Lite – Loaded Performance

The Hisense Infinity H50 range hit South African shores in April and has been making waves ever since. The latest edition is the Infinity H50 Lite. This device is the smallest in the series – the H50 and H50 Zoom being its predecessors – but it remains big on providing superior performance and style. Under the Hood The Infinity H50 Lite holds its own against other Android devices in its price range. The smartphone is powered by an Octa-core engine with a MediaTek chipset, a Helio P70 CPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB of built-in storage capacity – all factors that increase the phone’s smooth operational aspects. The device comes loaded with Android 10 straight out the box. Screen and Body With a 6.55” HD+ O-Infinity display, this smartphone is proudly 84% screen – a major plus for anyone who wants a phone that doubles as a video streaming and gaming device. The H50 Lite fits comfortably in hand and the design is not at all hampered by the largely plastic body and frame. The glass front adds a sleek touch and the iridescent colour options, including a deep green and blue which enhance the high-end feel of the smartphone. The speaker is located at the base of the phone and comes equipped with a nifty noise cancellation feature. Camera Quad camera capabilities are the norm right now and the H50 Lite is no exception. The phone boasts a 2 MP macro lens, a 2 MP depth camera, 5 MP wide-angle camera and 48 MP HD main camera that come together beautifully to create clear and colour-intense images. The bokeh effect is also active here, ensuring faces and people really stand out in a pic. The 16 MP front-facing camera’s beauty mode ensures the perfect selfie every time by reading and adjusting to the environment. Battery The Lite is powered by a 5100 mAh battery so expect longer usage times. Fast charging is possible thanks to the MediaTek Pump Express 2.0, which drastically reduces charging times. Verdict If you’re in the market for a device that doesn’t compromise on style or performance – even on a budget, the Hisense Infinity H50 Lite could be the one for you!