This week, learn all about Apple’s return to the mid-range in the iPhone SE, and how it fits in with the other iPhones. Plus a budget phone for under $300, an expensive phone for over $1500, and what Sony is gifting PlayStation owners. All in five.
For the middle of April 2020, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with lockdown in place for many of us, it’s clear that we’re online more than ever, behind a computer, a tablet, a phone, or maybe even a TV.
If you’re inside behind a TV, you may have a few freebies to keep you company this week, depending on what you’re into.
For instance, if you’re curious about some of the programming on Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV Plus, Apple is streaming some free right now. Owners of an Apple iDevice or computers bought in the past year get a year free anyway, but this freebie assortment goes to everyone.
If you own a PlayStation 4, Sony is also gifting a couple of games for the next month or so, offering the remastered Uncharted collection and another title, Journey, all for nothing.
Freebies are clearly welcome during this time when we’re all at home, because saving money is always nice.
Telcos have even joined in on some of that, with extensions of extra data from at least one Australian mobile provider, Telstra, though we bet more will chime in shortly.
And that’s good because so many of us are on our phones these days. Even though we’re not going outside quite as often, mobiles still matter.
We use them to connect with people online and over the phone, and we can even reach out to the World Health Organisation to find out what’s going on with this whole coronavirus situation, with Facebook Messenger launching that this week.
If anything, our phones are the gadget we rely on most. Between cameras and music and the day-to-day, it’s no wonder we want to upgrade them so regularly.
There are, of course, a lot of different phones in the market. Some can be cheap as chips, and others are expensive.
In the first category, one popped up recently from Realme, a sister brand of Oppo, with the Realme C3, a $269 phone offering a big 5000mAh battery under a 6.5 inch screen. We’re not expecting the best performance from this phone as it’s clearly made for budgets, but an Android phone with a big screen and big battery without a big price is clearly compelling, and should be an interesting option for people looking to save money.
Of course, you can probably expect a new Google phone on the way as well, and we’re a few weeks from a new mid-range Pixel announcement, but before that happens, Apple has something of its own.
Yes, it’s a new iPhone, so there’s that. But it’s not your regular flagship iPhone. Rather, it’s a return to the mid-range, as Apple releases a phone for under a grand, something we’ve not seen from Apple in quite a while.
It’s called the iPhone SE, and if you’re thinking that you’ve heard that name before, it’s true: Apple did have an iPhone SE years ago in a smaller 4 inch phone made for a budget. The new iPhone SE is a similar approach, offering what is basically the look and feel of a 4.7 inch iPhone 8, but with the guts of an iPhone 11, and the camera of the iPhone 10R before it.
Basically, the 2020 iPhone SE is an iPhone 8 made for today, complete with the home button and Touch ID, and a much lower price tag, starting at $749 in Australia, a good three hundred lower than the iPhone XR, a phone that is getting close to two years old.
And it looks quite interesting, particularly because the price will make it a compelling option for folks who want a new iPhone, but don’t want to pay the typically high price you might see connected with an iPhone.
Or any phone, for that matter. We’ve been checking out the Huawei P40 Pro this week, which carries a somewhat normal flagship price of $1599, even though this isn’t your ordinary phone.
It features 5G, a glass body, and four cameras on the back, all of which handle themselves quite well. We’re not going to say it’s a whole heap better than last year’s P30 Pro, but the improvements are marginal.
The problem with Huawei’s P40 Pro is just how outside of Google it is. Much like the Mate 30 Pro, there’s no access to Google Play services, so no official Google app store. That means the only way to move over apps is via a phone clone on an Android phone, and if those apps aren’t on Huawei’s store — and most aren’t — you need to keep an Android phone up to date and regularly clone those apps over.
Some apps do work. After cloning, Apple Music worked. Spotify worked. Sonos worked.
Many do not. Uber doesn’t work. Fitbit doesn’t work. Samsung fitness gadgets, Stan, and pretty much anything with Google in the title wouldn’t work. There are so many things that don’t work that the P40 Pro feels like it would only be great if you lived outside of Google’s ecosystem. No gmail, no photos, no drive, no Chrome. There’s no tap and pay either. And if you want a wearable, it’ll have to be from Huawei. That makes this flagship phone really hard to recommend.
And that’s sadly all the time we have, so you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode goes online every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but until then, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe and take care.