ITy Bytes 19 August – Xiaomi and Vivo here, Samsung’s QLED gaming monitor update, Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2, Smartphones shipments down but Apple nose-dives, Google going green; ScamWatch – secret questions

ITy Bytes 19 August
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ITy Bytes 19 August – in this edition,

  • JB selling Xiaomi and vivo phones,
  • Samsung QLED curved Gaming monitor range expands,
  • Ultimate Ears Wonder Boom Boom,
  • Google commits to sustainable design,
  • Global smartphone shipments down 2.3% y-o-y but Apple down a disastrous 18.2%,
  • Scam watch – secret questions should never be asked,

ITy Bytes 19 August is a short, curated collection of news you may like to know

JB selling Xiaomi and vivo phones

Xiaomi and vivo are brands not formally sold in Australia – until now. Xiaomi has been very badly grey marketed by shady companies out to make a quick buck by selling unapproved models on the cheap. Vivo, owned by BBK that also owns OPPO and OnePlus.

JB is listing Xiaomi’s Mi A3, ($499), Mi 9T ($699) and its flagship Mi Mix 3 5G ($1399). Vivo (Australian website here) says its lower-cost S1 and Y17 will be at JB Hi-Fi soon.

The big news is that the handsets are approved for Australian Telco networks and carry genuine Australian warranty that conforms with Australian Consumer Law – grey market does not.

Original story courtesy of Ausdroid  

And its official from vivo – we are here and expect more


  • A 6.38-inch Super AMOLED Halo FullView Display, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio and 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • ‘Always On’ Display which allows users to glance at their phone, to check alerts or the time, without consuming excessive amounts of power
  • In-Display Fingerprint Scanning technology
  • 32MP Front Camera featuring Ultra HD resolution, with Vivo’s AI Face Beauty function offering multiple selfie modes: Selfie Frontlight, AR Stickers, AI Filter
  • A rear AI Triple Camera, which includes a Sony IMX499 Camera Sensor, 8MP Wide-Angle Camera and 2MP Depth Camera
  • Octa-core processor, 6GB RAM,128GB ROM, and a Dual-Engine Fast Charging 4,500 mAh battery


  • A 6.35-inch Halo FullView Display, with an 89% screen-to-body ratio and 19.3:9 aspect ratio
  • 20MP front camera designed for clearer selfies, supported by Vivo’s AI Face Beauty enhancement facial feature
  • Rear Triple Camera, including an 8MP AI Super-Wide-Angle Camera, 13MP Main Camera and 2MP Depth Camera
  • Octa-core processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB ROM and a Dual-Engine Fast Charging 5,000mAh battery

Fred Liu, Managing Director, Vivo, Australia, said,

“Vivo is excited to be able to release the S1 and Y17 today, as our first foray into the Australian market. Vivo is dedicated to understanding the needs of consumers, through in-depth research, to ensure our products and services offer consumers the technological capability they seek.

Samsung QLED curved Gaming monitor range expands

Samsung is expanding its QLED curved gaming monitor arsenal with the $2599 49-inch CRG9 and $599 27-inch CRG5, the world’s first 240Hz curved gaming monitor.

Samsung CRG9

The 49-inch CRG9’s 1800R curve draws gamers in for a rich experience, while its 5120 x 1440 delivers crystal clear detail. It has a 120Hz screen refresh rate and AMD Freesync 2.

Phil Gaut, Director of Display and Memory Solutions, Samsung Electronics Australia, said,

“Our curved monitors create a field of view that displays content right up to the edges, so gamers can take in all the action. With the introduction of two new curved monitors, Australian gamers now have more options when it comes to finding the monitor best suited to their style of play.”


The 27-inch CRG5 has a 240Hz refresh rate and NVIDIA G-SYNC compatibility, 3000:1 contrast ratio and minimal bezel design offer near edge-to-edge screen on three sides.

Ultimate Ears Wonder Boom Boom

Ultimate Ears has updated its portable baby speaker Wonder Boom to Wonder Boom 2. In doing so, the flattened squat cylinder has even more bass and ‘bigger’ sound.

GadgetGuy reviewed the original Wonderboom back in May 2017 and awarded it 4.5-out-of-5 for ‘robust, fine-sounding and long-lasting Bluetooth speakers with remarkable sound from such small speakers; waterproof; can pair two for louder sound…

Well, Boom Boom is back with its characteristic 360° ‘around’ sound, longer 13 hour battery life, IP67, double up stereo pairing, and a new out-door boost mode (technically an EQ) delivering louder, crisper music (at, we suspect, the expense of  a few hours battery life). It is also drop-proof to 1l.5m.

The $129.95 speaker comes in stylish two-tone fabric, drawing inspiration from this season’s athleisure wear and colourways. WONDERBOOM 2 (website here) is available in five colours: Deep Space Black (Black), Crushed Ice (Grey), Radical Red (Red), Bermuda Blue (Blue) and Just Peach (Pink).

GadgetGuy will be reviewing it shortly.

Google commits to sustainable design

All made by Google products will include recyclable materials by 2021. That means its Design team will be asked to change and make products that last as long as possible are easy to disassemble for recycling at the end of the product’s life and use the most sustainable materials.

Ivy Ross, head of Google’s hardware design team, says, “Some people think design is about making things look pretty or look good. And really design is about solving problems for humanity. Sustainability is probably the most important problem of our lifetime. Won’t we feel great as designers if we are taking that on?”

Google Green

And has updated a list of things Google Assistant can do. What strikes me compared to a year ago is that the commands are much less structured, more conversational and more intuitive. Most questions now are in simple phraseology. It will now answer from your favourite sources and use Australian references instead of having to nominate them. One I really like is the ability to string three commands together. Small steps but a big difference over a year.

Global smartphone shipments down 2.3% y-o-y but Apple down a disastrous 18.2%

IDC has released the Q2, 2019 Global smartphone sales figures (April/May/June). Samsung sold 5.5% more, Huawei 8.3% more (before its death dive caused by the US Presidential Executive Order) but the huge casualty was Apple with an 18.2% decline year-over-year.

ITy Bytes 19 August

But that only tells half the story – look at Q1 as well.

ITy Bytes 19 August

Apple is continuing to haemorrhage in China where patriotism is pushing sales towards Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO/vivo.

Of course, Q2 does not fully reflect the impact of the US Presidential Executive Order, where we understand Huawei sales are down 60-80% in Western markets.

ITy Bytes 19 August

Scam watch – secret questions should never be asked

A growing number of scam websites are now asking ‘secret questions’ that are the same as your bank or government department asks. The scammers sell the information on the dark web to complete your potential ID theft profile.

Secret quesion

For example, the age-old questions like

  • The first and last name of your first boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • Phone number do you remember most from your childhood?
  • Favourite place to visit as a child?
  • Favourite actor, musician, or artist?
  • Name of your favourite pet?
  • City were you born?
  • High school did you attend?
  • Name of your first school?
  • Favourite movie?
  • Mother’s maiden name?
  • Street did you grow up on?
  • What was the make of your first car?
  • When is your anniversary?
  • Favourite colour?
  • Father’s middle name?
  • Name of your first-grade teacher?
  • High school mascot?

They are also mining social media for potential secret answers like pets, schools etc.


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