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

The Wrap – September 28, 2018

A big final week before a monumental October, celebrating a big birthday, looking at massive new cameras, hot new Amazon speakers, and we’ll answer the question: is Apple’s $2000 iPhone XS Max worth it? Find out on The Wrap.


For the last week of September 2018, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round up, and it’s been one big week leading into what is shaking up to be a massive October, so let’s get stuck in.

Starting with a birthday, so everybody wish happy birthday to your favourite search engine, Bing– just kidding. But it is Google’s birthday, as the search engine we’ve all know and practically rely on turns 20. It can almost legally drink in America. Just one more year, or it can Google fake IDs.

That birthday ends September, as does the announcement of quite a few gadgets on their way out to people in the next few weeks, starting with four new Amazon speakers. There’s a new version of the hockey puck-sized Echo Dot, a new version of its plus-sized sibling, the Echo Plus, and one that is all about that bass, with an Echo Sub.

And there’s also something a little different coming in the form of a screen. Called the Echo Show, it’s basically a 10 inch tablet with a speaker and Amazon’s smart assistant inside, and it’ll accompany you in the kitchen, the living room, and let you ask Amazon’s Alexa things, with the answers not just being told, but shown on screen.

You can even call people on Skype, because there’s a webcam, and really it’s just the start of a category we expect more from, as the smart home takes off with more smarts around the home. We suspect Google has one coming, and Lenovo showed one at CES earlier in the year, so expect quite a few more on the way.

There’s also more coming from what used to be Netgear’s Arlo security brand — and is now just Arlo — with security lights to help stop would-be intruders, while Samsung’s Galaxy Watch looks set to launch next week.

This week much of the news centered around cameras, thanks in part to Photokina in Germany.

There, we saw the announcement that Panasonic would be joining the likes of Sony, Nikon, and Canon with a full-frame mirrorless camera, announcing the S1 and S1R. The cameras will need new lenses, something Panasonic has been working on with Leica, and Leica has some ready to go.

That brings both good news and bad news, though. The good news is that when Panasonic’s S1 comes out, it will have lenses. The bad news is they’ll probably cost a fortune because Leica is making them.

But we’ll know for sure when the Panasonic S1 and S1R come out next year.

Before then, a new camera from Fujifilm is grabbing our attention, offering a staggering 50 megapixels in a bigger medium format sensor. It’s not even the most impressive, with Fujifilm talking about a 100 megapixel camera. That’s not going to be ready for a little bit, but at least you’ll find the 50 megapixel GFX50R in stores November for just over seven grand.

Now $7K is a lot of money for a camera, but you know what else is a lost of money? Two grand for a phone.

That’s how much Apple’s new iPhone XS Max costs, with the 256GB model costing $2049 while the 512GB model is $2369, just twenty bucks shy of Apple’s 512GB super thin MacBook. It’s so expensive, you might as well call it the two thousand dollar phone, because it is.

So is it worth it?

We’ve been reviewing the iPhone XS Max for a week now, and we can tell you that while it may not hit the value Apple is looking for, it is a very good phone.

An incremental update to the iPhone X, it’s not an upgrade path for anyone with last year’s special model, but if you’re after a big iPhone with a massive screen and matched battery life, the XS Max is it.

Nevermind that we still can’t say the name right — is it 10S, or XS Max? — the phone is another great Apple design wedged in between glass and metal. It’s slippery, but it feels great in the hand, and the performance is solidly matched, too.

You’ll find no lag from the new hardware, and Apple’s new chip just flies. The camera is also worth pointing out, not just because it’s good, but because it does a great job with colour and highlights, and doesn’t blow out images like previous models.

The battery can hit a good day for most people, but if you don’t call people as often, you’ll find a day and half is possible, too.

Our only major issue is the price, which is just staggeringly crazy. We get the iPhone is a premium brand, but paying this much for a phone is hard, and Apple even takes out the Lightning converter.

So is the iPhone XS Max worth it? Maybe, but if you’re on the fence, check out the competition because there’s a lot of strong competition this year.Lots to choose from and not enough time, at least not today, because we’re out.

So you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One, Apple Podcasts, and, and we’ll be back next week more tech in no time.

Until then, have a great week and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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