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

The Wrap – Crazy cameras and budget phones

What’s new in the world of tech? Why there’s phones and cameras and a gadget that cleans the air. We’ll clear the air by checking that, plus look at Canon’s new web-focused camera plus review the 2022 iPhone SE, all in five.

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It’s the end of March 2022, and this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and while previous weeks in technology have had a bit of a theme going for them, this week has been a bit of a theme-less event of sorts.

There hasn’t been a consistent message across the various gadgets we’ve heard about, and instead, there have been a bunch of things, ranging from crazy cameras to cheap phones to laptops and even a gadget that cleans the air.

In fact, that’s a gadget we’re starting with, playing with something a little bit different from Panasonic, the Portable Nano X Air Purifier, a device that looks a whole lot like a big cup, but doesn’t serve up water. Rather, this little gadget serves up fresh air, using a bit of science out of Panasonic’s air conditioners and shrinking it down to fit in something a little bigger than a coffee keep cup, but clearly isn’t.

Powered by a USB cable, the Portable Nano X isn’t so much an air purifier as it is an air cleaner, using that little big of science to quell bacteria, pollen, and even odours, and helping throw bad smells out. Surprisingly, it worked, and made our time with the dogs and even the baby’s nursery smell that much better.

You won’t find cool air from the Panasonic Portable Nano X because it’s not an air conditioner, but it can handle the air and clean it of smells, and that is something worth talking about.

Also worth talking about is Canon’s crazy new camera, which is a little like a web cam, but also not. It’s called the Power Shot Pick, and it’s basically a hyped up webcam, capturing Full HD video footage by monitoring you, responding to your voice commands and able to be controlled by an app.

Think of it as a camera for capturing videos for Tik Tok and the like, because that’s clearly the focus. It feels like the sort of thing Canon hopes people will adopt instead of a phone, but at a little over $600, it may not be the sort of thing everyone jumps head first into.

Something you might find a little easier to jump into is what’s new from Shazam, which kind of just happens in the background. Simply put, when you run Shazam’s music identification system on music, you’ll now find out whether there are gigs and performances of the artist you look up. That’s great now that music is coming back to venues, and could see more people checking out bands as the scene comes alive once again.

It’ll work on for the app on both iOS and Android, which is distinct to a recent controller from Steel Series which only works on Android. If you happen to be a mobile gamer keen to use a physical controller, Steel Series has a controller for Android and Chromebook in the Stratus Plus, but it’s just for Android. There’s a separate model for iPhone and iPad, but it’s not this one.

There are also new laptops from Lenovo on the way this week, with 13, 14, and 15 inch computers both in the high-end ThinkPad X series, plus the less high-end ThinkPad L series, with options in both standard clamshell laptops and 360 degree hinges. Lots of options for lots of needs.

And that’s true in phones, as well, with one more phone this week from Oppo, the A76, a model that’s more or less the no frills approach to mobile making, bringing a sizeable 6.56 inch screen, a massive 5000 milliamp battery, and a couple of cameras at the back. You’ll miss out on 5G in this model, but for 350 bucks, you may not care.

A little more higher end, Motorola also has at least two cameras in a new phone on the way, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, a 5G model pitched closer to the thousand dollar mark, and arriving with another big screen, this one at 6.7 inches.

Moto’s neat trick here is what you get with the cameras, with Motorola providing two 50 megapixel cameras on the back, one made for standard shots and the other ultra-wide. It’s a big setup for each, and one that promises to give a little more oomph for photos alongside the chip inside, which provides a decent amount of oomph, as well.

Inside the Edge 30 Pro is the same chip in Samsung’s Galaxy S22 making it a high-end phone with a lower high-end price, fetching 999 locally. That’s the high end of the mid-range, but still quite competitive.

And it’s not the only competitive mid-range phone out there.

Apple’s iPhone S E counts as one, and it’s a phone we liked more than we expected. While the design is a touch old and not much has changed, the S E is still a top choice. Priced from a little over 700, the updated phone has the heart of an iPhone 13 and support for 5G, but little else has changed. The camera is still the same, but it’s still surprisingly good, and everything else is fine, too. It’s water resistant, supports wireless charging, and feels the way a small phone should.

In short, the iPhone S E is compact and friendly and still a surprising device. It offers the look and feel of an iPhone that still comes with a button, and that’s totally fine, ideal for those who still love that.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found at Listener, 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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