The Wrap – August 17, 2018

The 5G future begins as Telstra switches on a part of its new network and Samsung talks up a 5G chip. Fives aren’t the only big deal, with a 4K service from Foxtel, a limited edition PS4 Pro, and Oppo’s Find X detailed. All that on this week’s tightly packed Wrap.

Transcript

For the middle of August 2018, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while last week ended with Samsung news, this week offered a little more.

With the Galaxy Note 9 well on the way for next week on August 24, the big S has been talking up other things it has coming.

And one of those is a new watch, with the Galaxy Watch arriving in October. That’s an update for the now two-year old Gear S3 smartwatch, with both a 42mm and a 46mm version coming.

The watches will have battery life ranging from two to four days, and a circular screen, making the Galaxy Watch look more like a watch than some other smartwatches, and will even have 4G built directly in.

But 4G is no longer the big deal it used to be. It’s big, but not so big that it’s super important.

What is important is 5G, understandably the follow-up to 4G. It’s not just another number, but a new piece of technology that aims to improve connectivity everywhere, offering faster speeds, and this week, 5G has two developments.

One is that Samsung has made a 5G modem, which means we could see it in a phone as early as next year, possibly even a Galaxy S10.

More importantly is the 5G access, and this week Australia has some of that, with Telstra flipping the switch on 5G access on the Gold Coast.

It’s the first location for Australian 5G access, and Telstra says it will be rolling out more later on, with as many as 200 more 5G spots set to be live by the end of the year, working to a June 2019 launch date.

You’re going to want a 5G phone or a mobile broadband modem to connect, and by June, we’re expecting we should have some. We might even see one later this year, which will be good news for folks keen to test that 5G network out.

Before then, there’ll be more 4G phones, and there’s one more this week, as Oppo’s Find X makes its way to stores.

Oppo’s latest phone, the Find X isn’t another iPhone clone. Rather, it’s one of Australia’s first devices to be pretty much an all-screen phone, featuring a display that covers almost 94 percent of the front. It’s so much that you’ll probably not notice the frame and call it an all-screen phone, and something the Oppo Find X has managed by hiding the parts.

Take the cameras, because both the front and back cameras are hidden at the top. There’s a 16 and 20 megapixel camera on the back, as well as a 25 megapixel camera at the front, but they’re under the top and only come out when you need them.

It’s also Oppo’s first flagship phone in ages, sporting 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, a 6.4 inch display. You’ll find it in stores shortly, where it’ll arrive for just over a thousand dollars.

Oppo’s big addition to its range was just one of many new things this week, with a new pair of headphones from Blue, a blue PlayStation 4, and a 4K service from Foxtel.

Blue’s headphones are called the Sadie, and while they’re not wireless, they do come packing an amplifier. We’re curious to try these out, and while them being wired seems a little strange in a mostly wireless world, we’re intrigued by the idea of the amp being built in.

It’s a little more intriguing than Sony’s blue PlayStation 4, but that’s still cool, with a limited edition translucent blue model made for the 500 million PlayStation sold. That’s across the entire PlayStation range since Sony’s launch of the PlayStation brand back in 1994, and there’ll be 50,000 of these special blue PS4 Pro models coming out.

Finally there’s a 4K TV service on the way for your 4K TV, as Foxtel in Australia readies a 4K channel.

It has the novel name of being called channel 444, and it will bring 4K movies, 4K TV shows, 4K concerts, and 4K sports to 4K TVs across Australia.

It’s an interesting move, not just because more 4K content is always welcome, but because TV broadcasts are almost always below Full HD 1080p in Australia.

You will need a 4K TV to see the stream, as well as Foxtel’s new iQ4 box, but the cable network will have a 4K cricket game after Channel 444 launches in October, with a November 4 Australia vs South Africa cricket match being streamed in 4K.

All those 4s, and we’re approaching the 5 mark, which means we’re out of time.

So you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at PodcastOne and Apple Podcasts. Until then, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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