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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.


Review: The Samsung A32 4G is here!

Samsung’s newest offering launched last month. Rest assured, the A32 has some impressive tricks up its sleeve - on a budget! Under the Hood The first in the A series range to boast the 90Hz Super AMOLED display, the A32 provides a crisp, clean viewing experience with high refresh rate. The device memory is the same as other mid-range smartphones on the market - 64GB with 4GB RAM or 128GB with 4GB - 8GB RAM. The device comes equipped with the latest software (Android 11) right out the box which is a pleasant and welcome surprise. Screen and Body There is no compromise on screen size when compared to its predecessor, the A31. Gamers will be impressed by the smooth operation the A32 has on offer. The brightness of the A32’s display and the safety net of the Eye Comfort Shield (which makes the brightness manageable for your eyes) is another point in this device’s favour. This smartphone is slickly designed. The camera is embedded within the casing – rather than situated on an island as we've become accustomed to – adding to the A32's sleek look. Released in four colours in some countries, South African's are limited to two versions – Awesome Black and Awesome Blue. Although this isn't much of a pain point because Awesome Blue is bright and funky enough to hold its own. Camera Quad cameras are the standard we’ve come to expect when with smartphones and the A32 doesn’t disappoint. The primary lens is an impressive 64 MP camera equipped to capture every moment in striking colour. Extra camera capabilities include an 8 MP Ultra-Wide, a 5 MP Macro and a 5 MP Depth Sensor with autofocus to make your subjects truly stand out. Selfie fans won’t be disappointed either, not with the 20 MP selfie camera that puts the focus on what really matters – you! Battery For all its awesome specs, it’s the A32's battery that really let’s this device shine. Capable of going nearly two days without a charge, supported by 15W quick-charge, this is a fantastic option for those who are constantly on the go. Verdict This is an outstanding budget smartphone. Coupled with the phone’s battery life and excellent display, it’s sure to be a firm favourite in 2021.


Bits and Bytes – April 2021 Edition

LG exits the smartphone game Since the 2000s, South Korean multinational electronics giant LG has been churning out innovative smartphones. Sadly, their pioneering spirit wasn’t enough to match up against the industry front-runners, leading to LG closing up their smartphone shop. But what does this mean for LG smartphone users? LG has committed to providing Android 11 updates to 13 smartphones for a period of 3 years. These include the LG Wing, the LG Velvet, the LG Velvet LTE, the LG V50S, the LG V50, the LG G8, the LG Q31, the LG Q51, the LG Q52, the LG Q61, the LG Q70, the LG Q92, and the LG Q9. But for now, it’s a case of farewell – we’ll hopefully see the brand put their skills to use again in the near future. Coming Soon: The Next iPad Pro As we get closer to the launch of the iPad Pro, whispers about Apple’s latest offering have been making the rounds. Rumours suggest the iPad Pro promises to deliver better all-round performance – from an outstanding display and improved cameras to the inclusion of Final Cut Pro and compatibility with more accessories aimed revolutionising video content creation! Your next Playstation could be your smartphone! Earlier this month, Playstation listed a job opening that lit up the gaming world – Head of Mobile, PlayStation Studios. The ad states that the company is looking to expand their game development “from consoles and PCs to mobile & Live Services with a focus on successfully adapting PlayStation’s most popular franchises for mobile…” This news bodes well for gamers worldwide as this offers more ways to get your game on and proves that not even Playstation is immune to the power of the smartphone! Microsoft to get a slice of Apple? Microsoft is on course to purchase Nuance Communications – the company that laid the groundwork for the creation of Apple’s voice activated virtual assistant, Siri. The $20 billion deal could help change the face of the health sector, allowing doctors to capture patient discussions and add these to the patient’s file. This would be one of Microsoft’s biggest acquisitions, second only to its $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn five years ago. High-tech toilets – a big deal down under Japanese-style toilets have become all the rage in Australia recently. Fuelled by an increased need for hygienic practices due the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toto toilet has taken over domestic homes down under. Originally a 5-star hotel purchase, these smart-toilets with heated seats, bidet and an air purifying function – with some versions even boasting remote or auto flushing – have become common place in homes across the country! Who knows, SA may be next to catch on!


The Top 6 South African Apps You Need to Download Today!

We all need a little help staying on track sometimes, especially when our days are filled with work, family and loads of other responsibilities. In a world where there’s an app for almost everything, why not use your smartphone to stay organised? Here are the top 6 South African apps that will help you save time and make the best out of your day: South African Food Recipes App From now on, you can have a ready answer to the inevitable “What’s for dinner?” question. Not only does the South African Food Recipes app boast a library of hundreds of local recipes, it also supplies substitute ingredients so you can shop for your meals based on what’s in season. It’s a cultural culinary experience, all from the comfort of your own kitchen! Download it here. MobeeWash Getting the car washed is usually at the bottom of our to-do lists, but what if you could bring the carwash to you? MobeeWash is a car washing app that connects you to a network of dependable mobile car washers who will bring the tools of their trade to you. While you’re busy getting the important stuff done, your car can get the long-awaited cleaning it deserves. The app is cashless, keeps you updated during the process and allows you to choose from three wash types to suit your budget. Download it here. Quench The Quench app brings alcohol deliveries to your door within 60 minutes. Much like an online food ordering and delivery service, Quench allows you to shop online for the alcoholic beverage of your choice and have it delivered to your location. The app also offers deliveries from Woolworths and Dischem stores. Download it here. MediPrice App If you’re looking for more affordable medication options, this is the app you need. Created by Cape Town software developer, Michael Lukusa, the MediPrice app is free to use and free of ads. MediPrice gives you all the necessary information such as medicine ingredients, retail pricing, dispensing fees and pharmacy locations, so you can make an informed decision about how and where to purchase your medication. Download it here. Namola Designed to assist you and your family in an emergency, the Namola app allows you to press a button on your phone for assistance from the largest network of medical responders in South Africa. It also offers national coverage and a paid feature to get armed response if you need it. Download it here. COVID Alert South Africa COVID Alert is a free notification app that helps you track your exposure to COVID-19 through contact tracing. The app does not require any personal information and updates through Bluetooth. The app provides detailed instructions on how to proceed if you have come in close contact with someone who has tested positive or if you have received a positive result. Download it here.