This week on The Wrap, delve into the fun and games of Black Friday sales with a timely scam warning, explore what’s happening in foldables, and hear what Spotify has given all users, not just the paying ones. All that and more in five.
For the week ending November 26 2021, the last week of November this year, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and to our friends overseas in America, Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to shopping season, with Black Friday kicking off the US shopping season, and kind of doing the same thing here.
Australians don’t really have Thanksgiving, but Aussies aren’t against a good bargain, and that’s largely what this is about, as shoppers look for the best deals in tech and everything else.
And there is a lot happening. This episode won’t date remarkably well if we talk just about that, so instead, let’s talk about something related, because while good for your wallet, Black Friday can come with risks, as well.
It seems like only yesterday we spoke about scams for Scams Week, but that might be because we’re always talking about them and they’re always happening. This week, you might have seen some dodgy texts suggesting you have voicemail on a special link, because Flubot scams are back in force.
If you get one, don’t click, especially if you’re on Android. The payload is more for Android, but it’s a form of hygiene you should train yourself on: don’t open messages when you don’t know who sent them.
During Black Friday, that holds true, as well, with scammers taking our love for bargains and finding ways to use them against us. Black Friday scams will typically appear out of the blue, promising massive discounts over scam emails.
But because you shouldn’t trust everything that comes in, question just how strong that discount seems. If you get an email that seems too good to be true, or an SMS suggesting a major price drop, and either wants you to go to a website you’ve never heard of, don’t trust it. Just ignore it. Scammers are hoping you’ll fall for the bait, and hand over those personal details you want to keep personal.
Hand them over, and not only will you potentially become another statistic, but you might have less money to spend.
And given there’s still stuff coming out, that might be a problem.
In Australia this week, Rode released a tiny new microphone for capturing your voice more clearly, Fujifilm offered a new take on the “instant camera” with a tiny printer inside in the Instax mini Evo Hybrid — trying saying that one ten times fast — and a new company launched a tracking tripod of sorts for your phone, coming in the $200 Pivo Pod.
Spotify also added song lyrics to every account regardless of whether you’re paid or not, so you can sing your little heart out over the holidays when you’re opening presents.
And if you’re opening a foldable this year, or are expecting to, we’re finally getting stuck into foldables, so it’s time to look at what this whole area looks like.
You know, foldables were supposed to blow our minds when they launched a couple of years ago, and while they’re cool, they haven’t quite taken off immensely. As it happens, only a handful have launched in Australia, and most have come from Samsung, which clearly is building the most for folks today.
Simply put, if you want a foldable phone, you have a choice between a Samsung Flip and a Samsung Fold, and if you want a foldable laptop, it’s just a selection of one, with the four-thousand-dollar Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold.
Foldable phones are a little more economical than that — kinda, sorta — with the $1500 Flip 3 and the $2500 Fold 3, both of which are similar, but also different.
They’re similar because they offer similar performing hardware and foldable screens, but work in slightly different ways. The Flip 3 runs on a Snapdragon triple-eight and packs in 5G and more into a 6.7 inch phone designed to fold-up and fit nicely in your pocket. The battery life isn’t great and good luck hitting a day, but it’s about the most compact phone save for the iPhone 13 Mini, which itself is lovely, as well.
On the other side, there’s the Fold 3, which is a 6.2 inch phone that unfolds into a 7.6 inch tablet, complete with S-Pen support. There’s no S-Pen in the box, but the specs are similar again, with the same chip and 5G, and a battery life that can hit 24 hours, but will probably need a nightly charge. Both are water resistant, both support wireless charging, and while both are cool, they don’t quite hit our dreams of what foldables can do.
We love how compact the Flip 3 is, but the battery life is less than fantastic and the cameras should be better. The Fold 3 has the same problem with cameras, because while we can live with compromises, if you’re paying $2500 for a new phone, you should be getting similar tech to the other expensive phones.
Where the Fold 3 changed our mind a bit was entertainment. There’s really nothing quite like being able to whip out a big screen anywhere and play games or read comics or watch movies and such, and the 7.6 inch flexible screen of the Fold 3 makes that possible.
It’s why we rated the Fold 3 over the Flip 3, even though they could both be better. We’re a few generations into foldables, with the first arriving in 2019, so here’s hoping next year, we not only see more of them, but better stuff all around.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode appears every week on LiSTNR, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time. Stay safe, stay sane and take care.