Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – April 8, 2017

A week of TVs, a security scam for gamers, and a phone that can take twice the pictures no matter if its a selfie or a standard shot. This is The Wrap.




It’s Saturday April 8 and if you’re keen to hear the bulk of technology’s news in Australia, you’re in the right place. This is The Wrap.

And this week, the wrap is all about TVs and security, because the bulk of the news this week has been about that.

So let’s start with the world of TVs, because this week Kogan made an announcement regarding Australia’s least expensive curved 4K TV, releasing a 65 inch Ultra HD TV with a slight curve for $1199.

The TV won’t come with smarts or much in the way of modern connectivity outside of four HDMI ports, but it does come with a low price tag, which is something a lot of people will probably go for.

If that $1199 price tag sounds like it’s too good to be true, it might be just a little, with Kogan changing the price to $1399 later on, where it competes with TVs running from a grand to close to $2300. That will make the competition interesting, especially with rival Hisense announcing its own TVs for the Australian market.

A little more premium, Hisense is looking to throw its hat into the ring of quantum dot technology, a concept that uses little crystals in the screen to enhance the colour, and something Samsung, Sony, and LG have been relying on for over a year.

Hisense is trying that for its own TVs this year, attacking the high-end part of the market with 75 inch TVs from $7999. Its smaller TVs won’t get the crystal colour increases, but it could make spending interesting in the upper echelon of the market, especially as the big boys compete for around the $10K mark and higher.

In fact, this week Samsung let journos and the general public go eyes on with its new QLED TVs, and while the prices are a little on the high side, the imagery is also spectacular, with really bright colours and totally dynamic visuals.

In the TV world, the organic technology that is OLED — a tech championed by LG and this year Sony — is often seen as the best around, but this year’s TVs really could give the OLED screens a run for their money, with just as impressive visuals while relying on Quantum Dot-based LED, not just the organic stuff.

Still, we’re going to suggest the one thing we keep suggesting, and that’s auditioning. In case you don’t know what that means, we’re telling you to see it for yourself, and spend time in front of the TVs when you’re looking to buy, because everyone has different eyes, and that’s going to mean a different experience when it’s time to plonk down the cash.

Plonking down cash on things is great, but not everyone wants to spend on the latest gadgets.

In the world of PCs, there are gamers keen to experience Nintendo’s latest Switch console on their computers with the help of a piece of software called an emulator because, well, it will potentially save you money by emulating the console on a proper computer, Windows and Mac.

There’s only one catch: there is no Nintendo Switch emulator. Far from it, actually, because game emulators tend to take a few years to make, and a month into the launch of the Switch, we’re not quite there yet.

But that’s not going to stop cybercriminals from being dodgy and trying to convince you otherwise, because that’s the new scam going around, telling anxious and keen gamers that if they want to install a Nintendo Switch emulator and play “Zelda: Breath of the Wild” on their laptop, they just need to click on a file for Mac or Windows PC.

Except no. So much no. All the no. So much no you wonder if no still means no.

Dead set, while the fake emulator is pretty much using you to make money for a few cybercriminals, it could do more later on, with ransomware a possibility further down the track.

Right now if you want to play the new Zelda, you’re going to need to buy the Switch.

Or borrow it from a friend you really like. Or just play it in store until the clerk kicks you out. We’ve all been there, so many times. So so many times.

One more bit of random news and it comes in the form of a phone, and if you’ve ever visited Pickr, you know how obsessed we are with these things. Hell, most people tend to be, so it’s not just us.

Finishing up this week, Alcatel showed off a phone that comes with a neat trick: you know how you can get two cameras on the back of the iPhone 7 Plus? Well Alcatel’s “Flash” will give you two on the back and two on the front, just in case you want double the selfie and double the standard pictures.

Two cameras on each side is unusual and potentially a world first, with the Flash delivering four cameras in a body that also comes with a ten-core processor.

That said, the specs don’t look amazing, at least not for our market, and it even arrives with an older edition of Google’s Android. Right now, though, there’s no word on whether Alcatel will even make the Flash available to Australia, with Saudi Arabia the first place where this one is expected.

But hey, if we just jab Alcatel enough with our Pickr cattle prod, there is a chance someone might listen.

And if not, we’ll just keep jabbing them, waiting till next week to see if our jabbing does anything else. Tune in then for a little more news you might have missed, as we wrap the week in as close to five minutes as we can, with a side serving of analysis, too. Take care and we’ll see you then.

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