The Wrap – August 24, 2018

New gear from LG, Alienware, and Fitbit, as well as a big announcement from Nikon and a summer addition from Dyson. Plus we’ll review Samsung’s big phone for 2018, the 6.4 inch Galaxy Note 9. It’s a big Wrap packed in five minutes.

Transcript

For the week ending August 24, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with the end of August in sight, it’s time to prepare yourself for another onslaught of techy goodness from around the world.

Next week is IFA, what is essentially the European CES that happens in August or September, and it signals the impending release of new headphones, TVs, and other large electronics that’ll make their way out in time for Christmas.

And this week that starts with LG, which has a few speakers on the way boasting hi-res audio support and durability, coming in the XBoom. There are quite a few of these, so we don’t expect you to memorise them, but it’s the first of many, with next week likely revealing a list of bits and pieces that will see new specs in new tech.

For instance, there were new computers this week, with Alienware releasing more powerful PCs and laptops with individual lighting under keys, while Lenovo made a thinner, lighter workstation for people who need big and powerful computers for work.

There were new things from Google and Fitbit, as well, the former announcing an update to its Google Fit fitness application, refreshed and ready for action on Android, iPhone, and Android wearables.

Fitbit also talked up the next generation of its wearables, this time without the watch. It’s called the Charge 3, and it’s one of those thin health trackers that is now more durable and can even be taken into the water, making it swimproof. There’s also a big seven day battery, a touchscreen, and the ability to monitor blood oxygen while you sleep, later on giving it the ability to work out if you potentially have sleep apnoea or other breathing problems.

Fitbit’s Charge 3 won’t be out until November, so you have some time to work out whether it’s something you want in your life.

And that’s true of other gadgets.

This week, Nikon signalled it’s getting into mirrorless cameras again, announcing the full frame Z6 and Z7, new cameras that look more like Nikon’s digital SLRs, but have no mirror mechanism.

That’s a re-entry for Nikon into mirrorless cameras, something it tried once before, but is now kind of doing it properly, building a full-frame mirrorless to take on Sony’s. There will be two to start with, featuring a big new lens mount that can take Nikon’s lenses, including one which will let in a staggeringly crazy amount of light, working at F0.95. We normally think F1.4 or 1.8 is low light. This is even more light. Crazy.

Depending on what you need, there’ll be a choice of 45 or 24 megapixels, but there’s no word on price or availability yet.

While Nikon’s new gear isn’t here yet, there were other things announced that have arrived.

Dyson’s Pure Cool is one such thing, with the next generation of Dyson’s bladeless fan sporting two filters to remove allergens and pollutants before the air is sped up and released again.

You can control Dyson’s Pure Cool using a phone or tablet from anywhere in the world, so that’s cool — literally — but the technology here is all about making the air safer, and it will even tell you what your air is like using a small screen on the front of the fan.

And one more gadget has arrived this week, as it’s the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, one of the biggest smartphones of the year. Literally.

At 6.4 inches, it’s massive, and while it’s only a hair bigger than last year’s, most of what makes this phone so interesting come from improved specifications and more functionality from the very thing that sets it apart from every other phone.

First, there are those specs, with much the same tech as what’s in the S9+, sporting a fast processor, lots of storage and memory, two cameras, and a big 4000mAh battery.

We found around a full day of life on offer, but the tech here is essentially among the best you can find, and is punctuated by the stylus, what Samsung calls the S-Pen.

Like last year, you can scribble, write, and draw, but now the S-Pen has Bluetooth support, allowing you to control the phone remotely. You can fire the camera using the button on the S-Pen, control a slideshow, and more. It’s a great addition to the Note 9, and helps to make it something more than just another big Galaxy phone, and we can see a lot of uses, much like a selfie stick, only with you all the time.

The Note 9 is very expensive, but most flagship phones are, and given that it’s such a great package, it’s an easy recommendation.

But it’s likely not going to be the last one we make, and with the new iPhones and the next Google Pixel next, there’s still quite a bit to get through for 2018.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One, Apple Podcasts, and Pickr.com.au, and we’ll be back next week for more.

Until then, have a lovely week and weekend, whichever comes first. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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