When can you buy an iPhone X, what is Razer’s first phone, how do Bose’s new QuietComfort headphones sound, and why we love our mobiles. Answering all the questions on this week’s The Wrap.
For the first week of November, this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology cover all, covering what’s happened in the week of tech that was.
And if you’re into phones, the week of technology has your name on it, because this week kind of encapsulated everything you might want from a phone obsessed world, starting with the iPhone X, which is officially out today, but good luck finding one.
Yes, what will no doubt be the big game changer for Apple is officially available from November 3rd, and early reviews are quite good, though not terribly surprising since Apple rarely (if ever) makes anything that makes you wonder why bother at all.
In fact the one thing you might be wondering with the new iPhone X “isn’t why bother”, but rather “when exactly can I get mine”, and that’s a bit of a tricky one.
Opening to preorders last Friday, the iPhone X sold out about as fast as it possibly could, and while telcos told us earlier on that you’d want to get in early so as not to miss out on the initial stock, we’re not sure there was anything that could actually be done about that.
Right now — on November 3rd 2017 — if you were to put an iPhone X on pre-order, there’s a good chance you won’t be getting it until January, with times of up to eight weeks being listed by some carriers, while the term “backorder” is more or less just being used to describe what’s going on.
And that means you’re in for a wait, as Apple does what it can to match the demand, which at the moment is quite strong. And that may even give you enough time to ask questions: do you even need the iPhone X? Could be perfectly happy with another similar phone? And do you need a new phone at all?
Our guess is that if you’ve found your way to this point, waiting the agonising one month since Apple first announced the iPhone X and other manufacturers had models announced in between — the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the Google Pixel 2 XL, for instance — you’ve already worked out that you can’t, and you must have the new iPhone. It calls to you, like a beacon of the future, persuading you with its minimalist design, dual cameras, and face unlocking technology.
But what if something else could tempt you over?
If you’re a gamer, a new phone is on the way that just might, as Razer enters the world of smartphones.
Now if you’ve never heard of Razer, there’s a good chance you’re probably not a gamer, as this is a brand responsible for devices like mice, keyboards, and video game controllers, but over the past few years, Razer has been dabbling in devices like laptops and VR headsets, and this week is taking those experiments to a new level with the Razer Phone.
Clad in an aluminium casing not unlike its Blade laptops, the Razer Phone is essentially a high-end phone meant to give gamers something a little more geared at them.
Generally iPhones get the games first, but Razer is making a few partnerships to try and change that, connecting with the likes of Square Enix and Namco for games made for its phone, and we haven’t been this curious about a gaming phone since the Nokia N-Gage.
Ok, that’s technically not true, but there’s a lot to be interested in here, with dual cameras, a massive 8GB of RAM, and a huge battery, not to mention a 5.7 inch screen that runs faster to make games look better on it.
There’s just one catch: there is no word on whether the Razer Phone will arrive in Australia.
But that’s ok, right, because you have plenty of phones to choose from. Aside for waiting for the iPhone X, you have the perfectly good other iPhones, Samsung’s S8 and Note 8, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL, Huawei’s Mate 10 first followed later on by the Mate 10 Pro, Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium, LG’s V30+, not to mention great phones from the other brands.
And choice is important, but so is acknowledgment of who we are, and according to a report from Telstra, who we are is a nation that really loves phones.
Released in the eighth annual Telstra Smartphone Index, the telco has found that 81 percent of people would be lost without them, and that almost one hundred percent are reliant on their phone because of the camera.
Amazingly, there are still some dumbphones — you know, the ones with a physical numeric keypad — out in the world, but by and large it’s a smartphone world, and that’s the way we all like it.
There is one other type of phone we dig on, and that is the headphone. Actually, that one is plural. Headphones. With an “s” on the end.
There are some great reasons as to why, from the privacy of listening to anything you want to the fact that pretty much everyone loves music.
Well recently Bose released its update to its long-running QuietComfort headphones with the QC35 II, and while they’re both quiet and comfortable, they’re also a little more.
Designed in more or less the same way as last year’s QuietComfort 35, the second-generation model is actually the latest in the company’s long-running 11 year old QuietComfort headphones, and the latest isn’t just made to be a canceller of noise, but also with a twist.
We live in a pretty web savvy and net connected world, and many of us rely on Google to help us do things. In fact, the Google Assistant has become pivotal in many lives, thanks in part to devices like the Google Home.
Well on the Bose QC35 II headphones, a direct link to the Google Assistant can be found, with a single button push activating the Google Assistant and letting you talk, and having it help you out.
Need to have your notifications read out? It can do that. If you’ll need a jumper out there today? It can do that, too. And if you’re feeling a dose of musical attention deficit disorder, she can change tracks for you, as well.
It’s not completely perfect, and we found the Google Assistant across both Android and installed on iOS — because you have to install it — a little buggy regardless of the phone you were using, but some of the time the feature works beautifully, and you can get your phone to become your personal DJ or your local weather-person, making it a handy feature.
Also helping the second-gen Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones is that they’re wireless thanks to Bluetooth, and they also sound good, too.
Understandably, that’s super important, because otherwise, what’s the point of buying headphones if they don’t sound good?
Fortunately, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones do happen to sound great, and are super comfortable, too. The balance is more than acceptable, and while we’d have liked more from the bottom end, the latest Bose noise cancelling cans will definitely have fans.
They’re not the only headphones on the way, though, so tune in over the coming weeks to see what we have to say on other pairs, like the latest Beats Studio with adaptive noise cancellation, as well as the new Sony cans.
Or, you can do what we’ll always suggest, which is to try them in a store for yourself to see if they match the style you listen to. We try to get as many styles as possible in our reviewing playlist, but sound is a very personal thing, and you may have a totally different experience.
For now, though, your experience of this podcast, The Wrap, will have to come to an end, as that is where we have reached.
You’ve been listening to The Wrap, the official podcast of Pickr.com.au and Australia’s fastest technology podcast.
We’ll be back this time next week with more news and a review, which may or may not be about phones. We’ll just have to wait and see. Until then, take care and have a great week.