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

The Wrap – Waiting for new phones

This week on The Wrap, we’ll hint at what’s coming in phones from August to October, plus reveal what’s happened in OLED TVs, earphones, and check out a brand new mid-range mobile from Moto, too. All that and more in five.

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For the beginning of August 2022, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and as we’re now officially into the back half of the year, we can start thinking about phones and TVs and all the stuff that normally comes with it.

August is basically the time where you’ll want to really consider whether that iPhone or Samsung or Pixel purchase is worth making, because between August and October, any number of gadgets named like that could pop up.

To put it into perspective in less than the time it takes to order and drink your cup coffee – which is what this show is all about – if you’re considering buying a new Pixel, maybe wait until after October, which is when the new model is expected. And if you’re thinking of buying a new iPhone or Apple Watch, new models are expected some time between September and October, so buying now mightn’t be a great idea.

And if you thought a Samsung Galaxy phone or watch was on the cards right now, just wait a bit, because come next week, there will likely be new models to look out for.

Before then, there’s plenty of stuff to get into, which we’re getting stuck in right now.

Starting with Samsung’s other news for the week, and it has to do with a technology it has been out of for a while: OLED TVs. Samsung is back with them, after nearly a decade.

If you’ve been looking for a TV, you might have seen Samsung’s QLED range, which are LED-backlit TVs with quantum dots to enhance the colour. They’re bright, shiny, and really suited for well-lit rooms, but they lack the natural vibrance of an OLED TV, with organic light emitting diodes the territory for LG.

But not anymore, as Samsung returns to OLED TVs with the S95, a model that will see a 55 and 65 inch option, and basically give LG a bit of a fight it has largely been left to play in by itself. Sony and Hisense also have OLED TVs, but they’re actually just LG panels, whereas what Samsung is making, its Quantum Dot “QD-OLED”, will be made by Samsung. They won’t be cheap, but they will be popping up shortly.

Also set to pop up shortly is a new breed of Laser TV, as Hisense teams up with legendary camera maker Leica for something very soon. We’re not expecting the Leica Cine 1 to be cheap, but given it comes with the Leica name, you probably already expected that.

While we’re waiting for those new phones from Google and Apple and Samsung, Asus and Motorola have been busy making mobiles for now.

Asus has launched something compact and hand-sized in the Zenfone 9, a 5.9 inch phone which might not sound small, but is, especially when you compare it to what’s out there.

The regular-sized iPhone 13 is 6.1 inches while the iPhone 13 Mini is 5.4 inches. Close to the middle of each of these, the Asus ZenFone 9 is a fairly small Android phone, which these days is becoming rarer. We’d say the Samsung Flip is probably the smallest, which in last year’s Flip 3 was a 6.7 inch phone that folded smaller.

The Zenfone 9 is almost a full inch smaller in size and arrives with two cameras, as opposed to the usual minimum of three you might expect. However, it also comes spec’d for performance, with the latest Snapdragon chip, 5G, WiFi, and a 120Hz screen.

No price on it just yet, though it does look like Australians will see it as a new flagship option.

A little below that, there’s what’s happening in the mid-range, and we’re checking out a recent Motorola for that.

There are a few recent Motorola models, the Moto G82 5G is the model we’re looking at, a $499 phone that also offers 5G, a 120Hz screen, and a few cameras, which already seems like it nails a value.

On paper, it sure does, and in practice, it’s not bad, either. While the cameras could be a lot better, the battery can hit one full day at a minimum or push out to two if you need to. We actually hit forty eight hours.

We do wish the cameras were improved, but if you don’t need the best cameras in the world, the Moto G82 5G is a value pitch worth considering.

And while we’re talking pitch, let’s talk about a pair of earphones quickly, the Technics AZ60. They’re from the Panasonic-owned Technics brand, and basically an almost four hundred dollar approach to wireless sound which is quite good.

The sound is well rounded, leaning more to balanced than warm, and the comfort is strong, too, from a pair of truly wireless earphones that looks nothing like the AirPods.

The noise cancellation isn’t bad, either, though it doesn’t rank among the best we’ve heard. In in-ears, you’ll want to look to the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser Momentum True 3 for that.

They also miss out on wireless charging, something you can find for much lower, and the Technics app needs work, but if you find the AZ60 for below $300, they could just make a great play for someone interested in a portable audio upgrade with some classic brand name connection.

Technics still makes record players, and it appears they also do a decent pair of truly wireless noise cancelling earphones, too.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found each week at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get podcasts from. 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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