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

The Wrap – More 5G, More Power

There may not be a Mobile World Congress this year, but that hasn’t stopped the phone news. Learn about the 5G effort in 2020, and how much more power you can expect from gadgets this year. All in five.

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It’s the end of February 2020, and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and normally this is the part of the year where we’d talk about phones, about lots of phones. It’s normally Mobile World Congress, a massive event not unlike CES in Vegas where new technology is announced, though MWC is primarily about phones.

Mobile technology in general, actually, with phones, tablets, and what communication tech is doing for the time.

However this year, that’s not the case, because MWC is cancelled. One of the many things the novel coronavirus has affected this year, companies started pulling out of Mobile World Congress at the start of February, and in the space of about two weeks, the show had been cancelled.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be any new phones. Far from, it in fact. While Mobile World Congress isn’t on in Spain, companies are using the power of the internet to launch new devices, both this week and next.

This week, we’ve seen a few, and the message is loud and clear, with 5G taking centre stage in 2020. Again. Maybe properly this time.

Last year was supposed to be the year of 5G, and while it did arrive, it wasn’t the most amazing experience, with connection drop outs and lacklustre speeds, especially in comparison to what was expected. Telstra and Optus both have it, and there are devices out there from LG, Oppo, and Samsung, but this year, expect more 5G, almost like a take two. This time with feeling.

That started with Oppo’s sister brand Realme, a company that typically focuses on lower priced phones. Realme announced the X50 Pro 5G this week, a handset that could see 5G and four rear cameras drop to a more wallet-friendly price, though not in Australia, because Realme’s local people have said that it probably won’t launch here.

There will be more 5G phones coming to Australia, though, and we expect the LG V60 ThinQ will be one of them, and like its V50 sibling from last year, it’s coming with another dual screen accessory. Yes, this idea just won’t go away, and LG is pushing it once more with the V60, which will have identical 6.8 inch OLED screens, one on the phone and the other on the dual screen gadget.

LG’s V60 looks to be one of those phones to impress with media, supporting high-end audio and a 3.5mm jack, a rarity in phones lately, and even captures 8K video, but its cameras take a slightly stalled approach, with only ultra-wide and standard cameras, plus a depth sensor. No telephoto camera here, which is a strange omission for a flagship phone.

At least it’s 5G, and so will be Huawei’s Mate Xs, a new foldable phone that turns into a tablet, and lets you use its powerful rear cameras as selfie cameras.

There is a catch, though, because like the Mate 30 Pro, the Huawei Mate Xs will not come with Google’s services, meaning no Google Play, no Gmail, no Google Maps, and none of the apps you already have. It was one of the biggest pain points on the Mate 30 Pro, and until the US government and China resolve this trade ban, it will continue to be a problem with Huawei, too.

But it’ll have 5G in its current form, though there is a new 5G coming. Telstra announced the millimetre wave form of 5G is on the way, and will see its first device later this year. At the same time, 5G is expanding to more cities in Australia, and you can expect more 5G devices overall this year. We’re expecting a 5G iPhone in September.

5G isn’t the only way you can expect more power in devices this year, because depending on the device, it’ll come in different ways.

There’s talk of more memory in upcoming phones, possibly as early as the middle of the year for the phones coming then, because Samsung is making 16 gigs of memory for phones.

Memory tends to make phones and computers run more smoothly, and more PCs and Macs tend to top out at 8 gig. We’re beginning to see 12 gigs in flagship phones, and 16 gig is just plain nuts. It could mean your next phone is more impressive than your next PC.

More power is also on the way for video games as well, with Microsoft talking about its next Xbox a few months before E3 in the middle of the year. E3 is typically when we see all the goss on games come out, and with a new Xbox and PlayStation both expected this year, the competition will be fierce.

Microsoft is already feeling pretty confident, announcing a staggering 12 teraflops of speed, a term which basically says “whoa, this thing is really nuts. It’s going to be insanely powerful”. And just like that, we’re excited for the Xbox Series X.

And finally Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand is packing more power now, thanks to a new speaker, the HyperBoom. Bigger than the cylindrical Boom and MegaBoom, it comes with more volume and bass, but also a hefty price tag, fetching just a dollar shy of six hundred.

They’re just some of the examples of the power in this year’s products, and we’re sure we’ll see more in the days to come. You can expect more phones next week, and more gadgets galore, but that’s it for this episode of The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup.

A new episode of The Wrap 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. Take care.

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