By Wares November 17, 2018 Phones, Mobile Devices & Portable Audio

A round-up of some of the latest local and international phones, mobile devices and portable audio category news.


Global research company Canalys has released some interesting estimates and information on the global smartphone market.

Q2 2018 saw shipments of 340 million units comprising 73 million from Samsung (–8%), 54 million from Huawei (+41%) and 41 million from Apple (+1%).

Looking closer at Apple’s shipments, 16% were to China and 36% were to the United States.

Between its launch in November 2017, and the end of June 2018, Apple shipped over 50 million iPhone X units with the cheaper 64GB variant slightly more popular, accounting for 56% of units shipped, compared with 44% for the more expensive 256GB variant.

While this split is far more skewed towards the expensive variant than any of Apple’s other iPhone models, Canalys suggests that, past a certain price point, consumers are less focused on price points and treat them as luxury items.


Google’s much anticipated (and significantly leaked!) new Pixel smartphones were finally unveiled last month.

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL (see photo) have larger screens than previous models with the Pixel 3 increased from 5” to 5.5”, while the XL moves up from 6” to 6.3”.

Both models feature wireless charging, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 4GB of RAM, and a 12.2MP camera on the back and new dual-sensor front-facing camera on the front.

Both devices come in Black, White, and a light pink called Not Pink. They also boast one of the toughest dedicated security chips around in the Titan M, an enterprise-grade security chip custom-built for the Pixel 3using technology derived from their cloud servers.

Google also unveiled a premium Chrome OS-powered tablet in the form of the Pixel Slate. Described by Google as the future of Chrome OS, it’s designed to deliver high productivity in a mobile form.

Slate is touted to be released in a range of configurations but standard models come with an Intel Celeron processor with options up to an i7 chip. The Pixel Slate Keyboard will be sold separately.

As usual, there is no word of an official release in New Zealand.



Touted as the best and biggest iPhones so far the 5.8-inch iPhone XS (see photo) and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max feature “all-screen” Super Retina displays, a faster and improved dual camera system (with advanced new photo and video features), the first 7-nanometer chip in a smartphone, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, a new gold finish and bring Dual SIM to iPhone for the first time.

Both also boast splash and water resistance of IP68 (up to 2 metres for 30 minutes). iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are available in 64GB, 256GB and 512GB models in space grey, silver and a new gold finish.

For a more affordable, colourful model, the new iPhone XR shares the same new chip and faster Face ID as its new XS siblings, and includes a 6.1-inch “edge to edge” Liquid Retina display, classy aluminium and glass design in six new finishes, a 12 MP f/1.8 single lens wide-angle camera and is IP67 splash & water rated. Available in white, black, blue, yellow, coral and red.


Known for its sustainable design practices, House of Marley is introducing the No Bounds family of all terrain speakers designed using lightweight and buoyant, consciously harvested cork.

The No Bounds Bluetooth outdoor speaker (above left) is water and dust-proof (IP67) and boasts a 10+ hour battery life with wireless dual-speaker pairing capability giving the ability to stream music across two No Bounds speakers.

The No Bounds Sport (above right) offers high-performance 360° sound, a functional and intuitive rotating volume dial to quickly adjust your music, and an extended battery life Durable and lightweight, it also floats and is available in three colourways. The charging cable can be stashed in the twist-bottom cork base for seamless portability.

All No Bounds series speakers are designed using signature Marley REWIND fabric, non-toxic REGRIND Silicone, REGRIND Cork, and Recyclable Aluminium.

The larger No Bounds XL will be released this spring.


Microsoft has launched its most affordable tablet to date, the 10” Surface Go. Retailing here for $699, it weighs just 1.15 pounds, is only 8.3mm thick and is pitched as offering laptop performance and tablet portability in a more versatile form factor.

Powered by an Intel Pentium Gold Processor 4415Y, users can expect to seamlessly launch applications like OneNote, or stream videos from Netflix without worrying about battery life (Microsoft is quoting up to 9 hours).

The Type Cover is available in standard black or the Signature Type Cover with Alcantara in three rich colours:Burgundy (see photo); Cobalt Blue; and Platinum. It also boasts a full-mechanical keyset, backlit keys, optimum spacing for fast, fluid typing, and an extra-large glass trackpad for precise control and navigation.

For users who prefer a more “desktop” experience, the Surface Dock5 can transform Surface Go into a workstation and charge at the same time as connecting to a full-size keyboard and multiple external monitors.

Surface Go comes with Windows 10 Home in S mode; by using only apps from the Microsoft Store and browsing with Microsoft Edge, Windows 10 in S mode keeps speeds fast. Commercial customers can also opt for Windows 10 Pro.


The Logitech Slim Combo and Slim Folio are now compatible with fifth-generation iPad and the latest gen 6. Each brings laptop-like typing to the iPad and also come with an Apple Pencil holder.

The Logitech Slim Combo has four use modes – Type, View, Studio for sketching and Read – and has a detachable keyboard and adjustable kickstand for maximum comfort and flexibility.

Slim Folio features laptop-like typing with large, well-spaced keys and a row of iOS shortcut keys so typing is fast and comfortable on the iPad. Slim and lightweight, but built to withstand years of everyday use to protect from scratches, bumps and spills, the Slim Folio is made with water-resistant material.


The new Dicapac Economy Waterproof Case is now available from Pudney & Lee and is suitable for Android, iPhone or other model smart phones up to 6.3” screen size.

This case has a PVC Camera lens cover, is IPX8 water proof rated and features an air bladder that allows it to float.

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