The Wrap – Apple’s new gear and Samsung’s S10+

Apple has new gear this week, as iPads, iMacs, and AirPods arrived alongside a new cordless vacuum from Dyson. Plus hear our Samsung Galaxy S10+ review, all in five minutes.

Transcript

For the week ending March 22, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and what a week it’s been. A week filled with new products practically every day, even though it feels like next week is going to be bigger.

Next week, we already know Huawei is having a big event in Paris for its next major phones, though these won’t be foldable. These will likely be normal and aim to unseat and possibly unsettle Samsung, as well as the other phone companies releasing new models this year.

Before Huawei’s event, there’s also something from Apple, with an expectation that Apple will be launching a rival for Netflix, Stan, and Amazon. Essentially, Apple’s foray into entertainment only started with Apple Music and Beats Radio, and the feeling is by next week, we’ll have news on a TV service for Apple’s devices.

But even before that, Apple has been making announcement after announcement this week, releasing new gadgets ahead of that next big event.

This week, it’s been a bit of a nightly thing, with a new product to wake up to every day.

On Tuesday, there were new iPads, as Apple revived its iPad Mini and iPad Air. Both get new chips and improved performance, with the iPad Mini and iPad Air also supporting the Apple Pencil. That means every iPad can be used with the Apple Pencil, from the sub-$500 iPad 9.7 all the way to the iPad Pro 12.9.

The iPad Mini is still a 7.9 inch pint-sized pad, while the iPad Air takes over from the 10.5 inch iPad Pro, retaining the Smart Keyboard connector, but basically leaving an entry point for folks who don’t want to spend over a grand on the iPad Pro.

There are also new iMacs this week, again with faster processors, this time from Intel’s eighth and ninth generation Core processors, as well as new graphics, too.

And there’s even a new generation of Apple’s AirPods, the little white wireless earphones you’ve probably seen in people’s ears.

We last reviewed them back in 2017 and found them great if you were in a quiet room, though they let in a lot of sound if you weren’t, like if you were in transit, which is one of the downsides of earbud designs.

We’re not sure if Apple has changed that for the second generation AirPods — we doubt it — but we do know there are improvements to the wireless syncing, with a new Apple-designed H1 chip helping to keep the AirPods connected, while battery life has been improved, too.

Apple has also made an optional wirelessly charged case for folks who live in a wirelessly charged world. If you own an iPhone bought in the past couple of years, this might be you.

In fact, much of our world is cordless and wireless, and that’s also true of our appliances.

One more is this week as well, as Dyson unveils its V11, a cordless super strong vacuum cleaner that holds a lot of power, even more than last year’s V10, but also features technology in the vacuum that can adapt to the floors you use it on.

We’re not at the point where we can change the power of the vacuum based on the type of dust, but we can based on the type of floor, with the technology potentially saving battery life as you run the Dyson V11 vacuum over carpets and hardwood floors.

That might let you get the cleaning done faster because you won’t have to wait for the vacuum to recharge, and that means more time to do the things you want.

Perhaps that’s reading, because there’s a new budget Kindle with front-lighting for $139 this week, or it might be entertainment, with a new Oculus Rift arriving later this year.

Or it might be time with a new phone, which is what we’ve been doing with the Galaxy S10 Plus, Samsung’s latest phone.

It’s a big phone that aims to do a lot, delivering three cameras, a fast processor, and lots of storage under a 6.4 inch screen. And it’s a phone that looks a little like the old Samsungs, but also something new.

The Galaxy S10+ features faster WiFi with 802.11ax, a new ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, and improvements to the camera and battery life.

And for the most part, the Galaxy S10+ offers just that: improvements all around. The phone feels slicker, the design is clean, the balance is spot on, and we’re even seeing better battery life across the board.

The only problem is we’re not sure it’s necessarily enough. The Galaxy S10+ is definitely a great phone, and it catches up to what we saw from Huawei and Google last year, but the battery could be better, and we feel that as good as the camera is, it may lose to other cameras this year.

If you’re upgrading to an S10+, we can’t imagine you’ll be dissatisfied, but given it’s only the first of the year’s new phones, you may want to wait a month or two to see if the S10 Plus is the best around.

But that’s it for this episode of The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap should be back next Friday for more technology in five, but until then have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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