This week on The Wrap, we’ll talk sleep tech, with earbuds to help you sleep and a mattress to track your sleep. Plus the latest news and a review of Apple’s best iPhone this year. All in five.
It’s the beginning of December 2020, almost the end of this year, and you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with December finally upon us, we can almost put an end to this year. Yikes, what a year.
Despite the obvious thing looming over us all, we’ve seen some things, and technology has continued to come out, though this year, we’re seeing more focus on health technology, plus the regular focus on phones.
So that’s what we’re focusing this show on today: health tech, and phones, because there’s been quite a bit happening in each.
The focus on health take makes a lot of sense, too: you’re probably somewhat of a fan of that phone, and so using gadgets to monitor your health is understandably quite important. You can find wearables that help with that, tracking vitals and what not, and you can even stand on a smart scale.
But lately, one of the areas that has kind of popped up out of the blue is that of sleep tech, a type of technology that tries to help you catch some zzz’s, and really just get to sleep properly.
We’ve checked out two pieces of sleep tech recently, with a gadget you sleep on, and another you sleep with
The gadget you sleep on is the Withings Sleep Analyser, a concept that kind of says it all, using your body to track whether you have sleep apnoea. It’s a gadget that will act like a bit of a diagnostic tool to tell people if they’re at risk of a dangerous and potentially fatal kind of apnoea, basically where snoring becomes not being able to breathe properly.
Withings has done this by way of a gadget that stays under your mattress, and basically monitors what your heart is doing, tracking how you sleep, how deep your sleep was, and whether your sleep should have you seeing a doctor, which it does quite well.
At $200, the Withings Sleep Analyser seems like an easy way to find out whether you need to look into your sleeping patterns more, and whether you should see a doctor, though it assumes you can already sleep.
That’s different from the Bose SleepBuds 2 we checked out, which try to get you to go to sleep.
And these are definitely not for everyone. More like a white noise generator that plugs directly into your ears, the SleepBuds 2 are a $400 pair of earphones that only work with the Bose Sleep app and its special background sounds. They really only have one job, and don’t work on anything else, which makes the $400 spend really difficult for something like this, even if they do kind of work.
They’re both examples of sleep tech, and how health tech can change to help you get your head around your health.
But there are plenty of other things happening, and not just with regards to tracking your health.
Toshiba returned to the laptop space this week in Australia, kind of, as Dynabook became the new Toshiba for our market. That’ll be handy if you’ve missed Toshiba’s brand of laptops, which are back, kind of, though under different name.
Vodafone gave prepaid subscribers some access to unlimited data, handy because they were probably capped to begin with.
And chip maker Qualcomm gave us a sneak preview of what we can expect in phones shortly, as the Snapdragon 888 was announced, bringing 5G, smarts, and advanced camera tech to a chip for your mobile phone.
Speaking of your mobile phone, we checked out Apple’s biggest this week, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and boy is it a big phone.
It’s Apple’s biggest iPhone yet, offering a 6.7 inch screen with that new design that echoes both the iPad Pro and the old iPhone 4 and 5, but it comes packing the goods. Oh, does it.
While it’s clearly a bigger iPhone, it’s basically the iPhone 12 Pro in the best way possible. Much of the hardware is the same, and you get more of that 5G love, but there’s a bigger screen and bigger battery, and that leads to a battery life easily capable of 24 hours, pushing into the second day with no problems. It’ll depend on your usage, but you can get a day and a half with Apple’s big phone, no drama.
The other big deal in this phone is the camera system, and like the iPhone 12 Pro, there are three cameras, plus the LiDAR system for AR and portrait shots. Unlike the 12 Pro, the Max actually has marginally bigger camera sensors with marginally more zoom, and it’s enough to really just make the iPhone 12 Pro Max stand out.
The camera in last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max was good, but this one manages to be even better. And at night, Apple even gives you something you don’t get on any other iPhone: a form of image stabilisation that moves the sensor slightly, allowing you to get the some of the best low-light photography from any phone, not just an iPhone.
While its size and price may turn some off, the phone is simply excellent. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is an absolute star.
We could keep talking about it all day, but we’ve run out of time. So you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up. A new episode goes live every Friday at Podcast One, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, but for now, have a great week. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.