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

The Wrap – Apple’s new gear plus Moto’s $500 5G phone

This week on The Wrap, hear about what’s new from Apple including the iPhone SE, M1 Ultra, and Mac Studio, plus 5G in Tasmania and a 5G phone for under $500, all in five.

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For the middle of March 2022, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you’re someone who fancies themselves a bit of an Apple fan-person, you probably know all too well what happened earlier on, because Apple had an event.

And my, what an event it had.

Yes, Apple had an event, though it was largely expected, with a new iPhone announced, even if it wasn’t one of the new flagship models, as Apple replaced the iPhone S E. An update to what is largely becoming known as the entry-level iPhone, the S E has been updated to include a new chip straight out of the iPhone 13, meaning it also has support for 5G.

Other than that, it’s largely the same phone, with the same 4.7 inch screen, fingerprint sensor under the home button, and even the same camera.

Interestingly, Apple’s iPhone S E gives Apple something Google doesn’t have in Australia, with a 5G phone around the 700 dollar mark, which is where this one sits.

Apple also updated its iPad Air, and it’s basically now like the iPad Pro, with its M 1 computer chip found inside. That more or less sounds like a standard sort of refresh, though we’ll have more on it when we review it.

However, the most interesting Apple stuff came from its computers, and that may well be where its whole “peak performance” tagline came from ahead of the event.

You see Apple used the event to launch a new chip, the M1 Ultra, which is basically two chips joined together to work even faster than the one, and Apple is throwing this technology into one machine, the Mac Studio.

It’s a little like the Mac Mini, but taller. It’s basically the same width and length, but much taller, with a whole heap of grunt at that. It’s a computer not made for most people or most needs, really focusing on the creative, with content creators at the heart. It’s no wonder it’ll be a little expensive, and goes with a new 27 inch screen from Apple, as well, something that kind of replaces the iMac 27, which is now gone.

In short, the combination of new Mac Studio and Mac Studio Display are basically Apple’s high-end, at least until a new Mac Pro arrives, likely in the middle of the year, when Apple will have more stuff on the way.

Before then, there have been a few things happening, such as how Tasmania has joined the world of 5G in Australia, at least on Optus, which switched on the technology with a bit of a catch.

If you’re listening to this show in Tasmania, you now have 5G on Optus, but only if you have some very specific phones, namely Samsung’s Galaxy phones from last year and this year, and the Oppo Find X3 Pro. We checked with Optus whether it will work on 5G iPhones, like the aforementioned iPhone S E, and the answer is, well, no.

Fortunately, it should work eventually in Tasmania, and indeed much of the rest of the country.

Elsewhere in technology, Google is prepping a new version of Android just for tablets, which also means folding phones will likely see a version of Android made for their bigger screens, too. Coming in Android 12 L, it’s a shift back to the good old days of when there were two flavours of Android, one for phone and one for tablet, much like there is now for iPhone and iPad.

And while we’re talking about Android phones, we’re kicking off our reviews for this show with an Android phone, and one we’ve been itching to finish off, the Motorola Edge 20 Fusion.

You can think of this one as a 500 buck phone, because that’s what it is, bringing a sizeable 6.7 inch screen with support for 5G to this price point, and then something extra: a huge 108 megapixel camera.

That’s more or less unheard of at this price, offering a big camera to match its big screen, and from what we found in our review, a big battery life, to boot. Like its Edge 20 sibling, we found roughly two days of battery life were possible, while the spec listing read really well.

While the Edge 20 looks good on paper, and performs quite well, the camera is seriously slow, often leaving you with blurry shots or images that don’t quite work. The camera is so slow that it kind of hurts the whole inclusion of a big camera, which dents the package. If you can live without the camera, there’s a great value to be had here.

Which is much the same feeling we have on one other gadget we’re reviewing, a pair of earphones from Jabra, the Elite Active 4.

They’re another of the many, many truly wireless earphones you can find, but they come with the ability to cancel noise, water resistance, plus some decent comfort for under 200 dollars in Australia

They also have an app to support them, but more importantly, they’re fairly balanced and easy on the ears, making them a great option for folks who just want to get stuck into their sound.

There’s nearly 30 hours of battery life between the earphones and the case, which is great, and while the noise cancellation is a little on the basic side, the Elite Active 4 earphones are pretty solid value all around.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. Everything on this show and more can be found at the wrap dot com dot au, and a new episode can be found at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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