By Wares September 05, 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.


The Samsung Note 9 is available with major NZ outlets this month. This iteration of the large and powerful Note series has a larger 6.4” screen, more powerful 4,000mAh battery and 128 to 512GB of internal storage depending on the model. Internal specs have been increased making it an ideal device for mobile gaming with an Octa-core 10nm processor, and 6GB RAM for the 128GB model or 8GB RAM for the 512 GB version. It also includes the new Bluetooth enabled S pen for drawing, writing, and a range of remote control functions.

The S pen will also come with the new Galaxy Tab S4 that will be available from September. The Tab S4 has a large 10.5-inch display, with thinner bezels and Super AMOLED display and is the first Galaxy tablet to feature Samsung DeX, a desktop-like interface that makes multitasking easier. Users can enable Dex mode on the device alone, or paired with the Book Cover Keyboard (sold separately) and a TV, monitor or other external display to create a full workstation.

A 7,300mAh battery provides up to 16 hours of video playback and Samsung Knox, Samsung’s defence-grade mobile security platform ensures critical information is protected at multiple levels of the device. IT managers can also tailor the employee interface to align with business needs. Connectivity has also been advanced with Samsung Flow allowing for easier control of connected devices and file transfer while the SmartThings app makes the Tab S4 an ideal hub for controlling your smart home devices.

The Tab S4 will be available in a WiFi and 4G LTE model.


Microsoft has revealed its smallest, cheapest Surface product to date. At just 0.5kg and 8.3mm thick, Surface Go “packs portable performance into a 10-inch device”. With a long life battery, great display and fast processor, this iPad competitor is available at the end of August.


The new inReach Mini from Garmin is one of the most compact satellite communicators on the market.

Now palm sized compared to previous bricks, this model measures 10x5cm, weighs just 100g and brings safe, reliable communication to the most off-grid locations.

When used with an Iridium satellite subscription, users have two-way text messaging, 24/7 SOS function, weather updates, navigation, tracking info and more available to them in areas with no mobile coverage.

Bluetooth capability also allows for connection to compatible Garmin wearables and handhelds while the Earthmate App easily pairs with the inReach Mini for access to unlimited maps and aerial imagery on compatible smartphones.


Sony also released a new model in July with the XA2, an affordable “super mid-range” model with a 23MP Exmor RSTM for mobile rear camera and 8MP 120° super wide-angle Exmor R selfie camera. Its borderless design encases a 5.2” HD display of Corning Gorilla Glass, and features a one-touch rear fingerprint sensor in the smooth, metallic-back panel. The device is composed of anodised aluminium on the sides and diamond-cut finish on the top and bottom, an evolution of the recognisable Xperia “loop surface” form.


In July OPPO released the R15 Pro to NZ retailers. This flagship model features a 6.28-inch super full screen and dual 20MP camera with improved camera technology enhanced by AI and a new Sony sensor.  The camera includes ‘Sensor-HDR’ technology which dramatically improves back-lit selfies and allows users to check high dynamic exposure live effects in real-time. Lo-res selfies are a thing of the past thanks to the 20-megapixel front camera along with upgraded scenario recognition based on AI-enhanced technologies. The R15 Pro has a resolution of 2280x1080, for full HD+ viewing, VOOC Flash Charge, and comes with 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM combination with a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 processor.


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