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

The Wrap – Size, Speed, Sound (February 1, 2019)

CES might be over, but new technology is still rolling in, and this year you can expect more storage, more speed, and better sound. News from Samsung, Jaybird, Optus, Olympus, Fender, and Sonos on The Wrap.


For the start of February 2019, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and even though it might seem like there are dedicated times for when new technology comes out, it’s always happening.

You know that feeling when you buy something and how you know it has already gone out of date? It’s like that, but all the time. Technology is always changing and always being refreshed, though it does get changed at specific times.

If you want to buy a new TV, best wait until April to May when all the new models come out, and the old ones go on sale. If you want a phone, February is when most in the first half of the year are announced, with March to June seeing new models, while the second half runs from September to November for the year’s last models.

Most other technology doesn’t have a specific time, though it’s best to check the tech sites to find out if and when something is coming out.

Like if there are new earphones coming out, which there are. Jaybird this week announced a mostly waterproof version of its “Run” wireless and cordless earphones are coming in the Run XT. We say “mostly waterproof” because while you can go running in the rain, you can’t swim with them.

Only a handful of wireless earphones are made for swimming, and Jaybird’s Run XT aren’t them, but for $280, that may not matter. In fact, the one pair we know that can are Sony’s SP-900, and they cost $500.

But suppose you don’t want earphones. Suppose you want a new phone.

Well, it’s pretty clear that late February will reveal new phones from Samsung, from LG, and from plenty of others, but before that happens, there’s some news about what’s going into phones.

Like how this year we could see phones push into the one terabyte limit for storage. That might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re talking about storing photos, apps, games, and more, it’s worth mentioning.

And this week, Samsung is the one mentioning it, announcing a one terabyte chips that will be used for phones.

Now we’re not exactly sure which phones will get these one terabyte chips first, but the smart money is on one of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 models, and possibly its foldable phone, all of which will likely be released to Australia later this year.

Also coming to Australia in the phone world is that whole 5G thing we’ve been talking about, and while Telstra has said it will have some exclusive 5G phones first, Optus appears to have 5G home broadband almost ready to go.

Well, kind of anyway, as Optus targets 5G home broadband this year. It’s a launch that came this week with only a few suburbs in Australia set to be compatible from the beginning, though Optus says more places will be switched on by 2020.

When it does launch, the theory is that Optus’ 5G speeds could be faster than the NBN parts of Australia already has, though it will come with a promise guaranteeing a minimum of 50 megabits per second.

We’re not quite sure what that means for the possibility of the 2000 and 3000 megabit speeds that 5G will technically be capable of, and our expectations are actually more in line with 4G’s 100 to 500 megabits. But Optus will have something made for 5G, and apparently it will cost $70 per month for unlimited data.

And that’s not the only bit of news we’ve seen for intriguing products over the past week.

Olympus has a new mirrorless that straddles somewhere between big and small camera, sporting the technology needed to capture at really high speeds. It will do 4K and Cinema 4K video, but the Olympus OM-D E-M1X will also capture images at a crazy 60 frames per second. Absolutely crazy.

Also crazy is a new guitar from Fender that combines acoustic and electric for something truly unique in the Acoustasonic. It’s a crazy idea for a guitar, and one that packs in sounds that you can change, and a USB plug to recharge your guitar. No, we’re not kidding, and yes, that’s a little crazy.

And in the not so crazy world, those of you with a Sonos will now have one more way to listen to the music of the world, as YouTube’s Music service has gone live for Sonos.

That brings the total amount of services on Sonos up to 78 options. Now some of those won’t work in Australia, but it does make Sonos the most service friendly speaker system out there, supporting the big ones like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google and YouTube’s paid Premium offerings, but also some smaller ones, too.

While we’re talking Sonos, there’s a rumour that Sonos is also building some new smart speakers this year, possibly to act as an addition to its Beam and Playbar soundbars, creating a surround sound system with new smart speaker satellites.

Something possibly to look forward to, and for another show, because we’re out of time. But you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. The Wrap will be back next week for more technology in five minutes, but for now, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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