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

The Wrap – August 25, 2017

Samsung’s latest big Galaxy, Nikon’s equally big camera, Intel’s big new processor, and a big birthday for a big Twitter invention. It’s a positively massive Wrap.


For the last week of August, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest roundup of technology in the smallest of packages, and this week small is hardly the word to use. Rather, you’ll want to think big, because the news this week is very big for quite a few brands.

Yes, we’ve had quite a few announcements this week in what has turned into quite a seriously important week ahead of next week at IFA, with news across phones, cameras, computers, and the internet.

So let’s do this in the order of significance, and that starts with Samsung, because no other announcement seemed to be quite as important as this one.

You might say, well, it’s just another phone, but what a phone, as Samsung came together to build what appears to be one of the best phones yet.

Now Samsung has already had a pretty good year, and Samsung’s S8 easily ranks as one of the best phones you can find, but the Galaxy Note 8 could be even better.

Announced in New York City, Samsung’s new phone features some of what made the Galaxy S8 work, but some other new bits, too, perfecting the phone overall and adding a stylus, as well as a few other bits and pieces.

For starters, the screen is bigger, and now fits a sizeable 6.3 inches, a size that borders on being a tablet, but thanks to a long screen with virtually no edges should fit in the hand much more nicely.

That S Pen stylus is also there for drawings and notes, as is more memory and potentially more storage, but so are more camera, as one becomes two, at least on the back.

Yes, Samsung has joined the double camera club, with a wide lens and a telephoto lens, combining for two times optical zoom and a less useful ten times digital, because it’s always fun to blow up pixels.

But really the biggest deal is the tightening of the whole package, with fast and balanced, well, everything, and overall the Note 8 looks like a serious challenger for phone of the year, even with its $1499 price tag.

Mind you, there is of course a new iPhone or three being announced very, very soon, not to mention a new Google Pixel, so there’s still room for something else to steal the spotlight.

Next up is Nikon, and while the news the camera brand had wasn’t as hyped up as the Note 8, it’s still quite a big deal, and that’s because Nikon’s latest camera features a positively huge full-frame sensor made not just for photos, but videos too.

That’s what you’ll find in the D850, the latest interchangeable lens camera made for professionals sporting a staggering 45.7 megapixel sensor that can hit 9 frames per second when firing, and handle some decent low-light too.

Filmmakers will marvel at the video capabilities, too, and given how still cameras are slowly impeding on video cameras, that’s going to be a big deal here, partly because 4K Ultra HD video works in full frame, but 8K Ultra HD — the format that is even more impressive than 4K — is supported in time lapse mode.

Just think about that for a second: 8K. We don’t even have TVs that go that high. Hell, good luck finding a computer screen that does it. They just don’t exist, but this camera will capture to it.

And there’s support for something we’re not sure we’ve seen before, but wonder why it’s taken so long to do: a film holder and micro lens for the quote-unquote scanning of film using a sort of lens. Granted it’s optional, but it would complete the cycle of film to digital, which with this staggering set of features on the D850, should be pretty easy to do.

Locally there’s no official price — it’s a Nikon thing in Australia, and Canon does it too — but the early expectations are that the Nikon D850 will fetch a tag of a little over $5,000.

A little less expensive and just as important, Intel this week announced new chips are coming your way, and you know what that means: new computers are coming with them.

The new chips are part of the Intel 8th generation, and while they may seem brand new, they’re basically new and improved versions of the previous 7th generation, with Intel squeezing a little more oomph out of them.

That means they feel faster while keeping battery life up, improving laptops and tablets so that they feel faster in the right areas, while keeping modern technologies like 4K video, mixed reality, and virtual reality a big part of what they can do.

You’ll see them in new computers very shortly, though if we had to bet, we’d say next week at IFA in Germany would be when most of these new arrivals would be popping up.

And finally one last thing, because Twitter has big news this week: the hashtag has turned 10.

It’s the way conversations on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn stayed connected, and it started ten years ago on Twitter.

For those who don’t know, a hashtag is basically a word or a phrase with a pound sign at the front, and when used with social posts, tells a social network that the post links with others using the same tag.

It’s easy for anyone to create, you just do it, and anyone can. Our daughter is only seven weeks old, and she already has three. They can even be your little secret, but keep in mind, other people can use the simply by stumbling onto them.

Just like how we’ve stumbled onto the end of the show. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll be back next week with more news, reviews, and a hashtag or two, delivering your serving of tech in a comfortable bite-sized package.

Do have an awesome sauce weekend and just as brilliant a week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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