Telstra’s not so great week, what’s in a megabit, new gear from Razer and Fujifilm, and how will HTC wow you with its iPhone competitor. All on Geek Pride and Towel Day, it’s a geeky episode of The Wrap.
For the week ending May 25, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while May 25 may mean we’re getting close to the end of the month to some, it also means two other things if you happen to her a bit geeky.
If you’re a geek, it’s Geek Pride Day, so wear your geekiness outside and be proud.
And if you’re an even bigger geek, May 25th is also Towel Day, celebrating The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and all that was Douglas Adams.
While May 25 might be all about geek pride, this week arrived with a different feeling if you happened to be Telstra.
Earlier in the week, Telstra’s network went down for a few hours, taking down the phone network and data, with people unable to do anything on what is arguably Australia’s biggest mobile network.
Conveniently, this was the same day Telstra’s competitor Vodafone announced upgrades to its network bringing faster mobile connectivity, and hopefully stability, something Telstra might want to look into a little bit more.
Sadly for Telstra, that wasn’t its only lack of luck this week, being taken to court by its other competitor, Optus, over advertising for its new unlimited plans which inferred they were simply “unlimited”.
While that’s technically true, the Australian Federal Court agreed with Optus in the case, because unlimited in this instance is limited by speed. You’ll get 30-odd gigabytes of unlimited 4G access monthly, and then a connection limited to the ADSL maximum of 1.5 megabits per second for the rest of the month.
With the court’s judgement, those ads will likely disappear, and it’s possible we might see a similar move from Vodafone, though recent ads that Pickr has seen from Vodafone have said 1.5 megabits.
That probably means nothing to most people, so let’s explain it quickly: 1.5 megabits is not 1.5 megabytes. Far from it.
It’s actually under a quarter of a megabyte per second, so not exactly fast. To get any megabit speed, take the number and divide by eight.
That’s the megabyte speed, which is a different unit of measurement.
And sadly, 1.5 megabits is actually ADSL1 speed, so not fantastic, especially in a world where 4G can get so much faster. Hell, 1.5 megabits is actually under 3G’s 7 to 21 megabits.
That makes it hard to recommend the unlimited plans, though TPG’s has our attention because its “unlimited catch” resets daily, with one gigabyte unlimited daily.
Long story short, even with Telstra’s “unlimited” issue in court, all the unlimited plans are doing this slow mobile catch, and while we don’t think they’re for everyone, if you have kids getting into bill shock monthly, we can see where it might be value.
Mobile issues weren’t all the week, though, because there was a new computer from Razer packing a lot of gaming power into a super-slim machine. It kind of looks like a black MacBook Pro accented in bright green, so that’s cool.
It wasn’t alone either: Fujifilm offered a mirrorless camera made to look positively old school, while Acer also has a few big gaming computers of its own.
And while all of these come with their own cool looks, the big new product for the week wasn’t a camera or a even a computer, though it does have both on-board.
The first half of the year is almost over, so HTC just got this one in, and it’s a big phone with packing in a fast chip, high-speed connection to 4G networks, and two SIM slots, one of which can also be a microSD slot to expand the 128GB of storage if you want. That’s a lot of room to move.
It’s called the HTC U12 Plus, and despite its name, there is no U12 standard. We asked. And essentially, it’s a big phone, with a 6 inch Quad HD screen, and two big speakers on the top and bottom.
The big features that make this thing shine are the edges which are squeezable, meaning you can control the phone by squeezing it.
The other big feature is, of course, the camera, and you’ll find two cameras on the back for getting far and close, while the front gets two cameras as well.
All up, HTC’s U12 Plus looks like a nice phone, though it’s strange: we’re more drawn to the design with a very slick two-tone red and gold colour and a translucent blue that lets you see the hardware underneath.
We like our see-through tech, and we’d have more of it if more existed. We’re hoping the U12 Plus is an amazing phone, because if it is, we’re going naked baby. I mean translucent. You know what we mean. You know what, don’t worry about it, just picture a translucent phone. That’s easier.
Or just head to the website, where you’ll find all these stories complete with pictures.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup.
The Wrap goes online every Friday, and we’ll be back next week for more of what’s happening in tech in the space of five minutes.
Until then, have a tremendous week and a lovely weekend, whichever comes first, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.