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

The Wrap – Retro cameras, games and phones

This week on The Wrap, we’ll talk retro cameras from Leica and Nikon, plus hint at what notable device is likely coming from Samsung. Plus what AMD is doing inside a phone, and more, all in five minutes.

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For another week in January, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with the world’s biggest tech show to start the year done and dusted, and technology kind of kicked off, we’re beginning to see things happen.

While we’re not quite sure of the decision to go face to face until everyone is vaccinated, we’re hoping everyone stays safe because they need to, that thing we’re all sick of talking about doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, settling in for yet another year of something we really, really don’t want to talk about.

So let’s talk about tech instead, because you might get some joy out of some of what’s coming, or even find something new to add to your life.

This week, there has been a surprising amount, compared to the practical crickets we had last week. In fact, it was so quiet last week, we didn’t have a show. We took a break. We put our feet up for a change and just gazed into the openness of space and asked for some tech to showered on our existence.

This week, however, there’s more afoot, and first on deck is what will be happening in February, with Samsung’s next phone set to be announced. Samsung hasn’t quite said when exactly – our guess is the 9th or 10th – but the company has used the word “note” enough times in a release to give us a firm idea of what’s happening, with the next phone, the S22, very likely to have an S-Pen.

You might recall that Samsung didn’t have a Galaxy Note model last year for the first time in ages, but the S21 Utra supported an S-Pen stylus if you had one, as did the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Our guess is that the S22 Ultra when it’s announced will come with an S-Pen built into the body, just like the Note phones did. But that’s not all it will come with.

Samsung has already talked up a new processor, with its Exynos 2200 not only getting support for both kinds of 5G in Australia, but also an AMD graphics chip inside, similar to what’s in the Xbox and Playstation 5. It’s not going to be exactly the same, but it could be the first taste of near-console-like graphics we’ll see on a phone this year.

That’s possibly the week’s biggest news, short of Microsoft splashing around $96 billion Australian to buy Activision Blizzard, which could see more games on Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, but also fewer games on other consoles.

However the news this week in tech was also about the accessories and peripherals you might rely on.

Take what’s happening in speakers, because if you have a Google speaker, it may actually do less than it did a month ago. That’s not your fault, but Google and Sonos have been actively fighting in court, and recently, Google lost.

Both Google and Sonos make wireless speakers that talk to each other for house-wide multiroom audio, but it’s an area Sonos practically pioneered, and it may well be one Google hasn’t licensed Sonos’ patents on. That’s not technically your problem, but if you have a Google speaker, it also kind of is.

It means owners of multiple Google Cast speakers will have to control the volume of their speakers individually, with grouped volume disappearing from Google audio products, at least for now. It’s also possible we’ll see these issues on other speakers, but for now, it’s Google’s alone.

Those are the big ticket items, mind you, because most of the news was much, much smaller. Belkin has headphones for kids, Logitech has a mouse for both lefties and righties, and IKEA’s Symfonisk picture frame speaker started making its way to Australia.

Leica also had something big, but it’s a little niche for some. If you’re a photographer with plenty to spend, Leica’s slate in 2022 includes the M11, a camera that will cost around 13 thousand dollars in Australia without a lens, but some with a 60 megapixel full-frame sensor that can jump around megapixel amounts if you don’t want that full 60.

Of course, it’s an expensive camera to find that sort of feature in, and one that may well fit the budgets of only a certain few. Not us.

However we’ve been playing with a camera more for us, the Nikon Z Fc, a delightful camera that like the Leica harks back to the good ol’ days of cameras, with controls all over it. Controls for sensitivity, shutter speed, and exposure.

It’s a 20 megapixel APS-C mirrorless for Nikon, it’s slightly different from the full-frame Nikon Z models we’ve seen prior. However, for $1500 in Australia, it’s a retro camera that feels worth the price. We wish there was a flash, but given how expensive Leicas are, the Z Fc feels a little like the poor man’s digital Leica, and a camera we’ve really fallen for.

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, but otherwise, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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