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
Global smartphone shipments down 2.3% y-o-y but
Apple down a disastrous 18.2%,
Scam watch – secret questions should never be
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.
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.
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?”
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.
But that only tells half the story – look at Q1 as well.
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.
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
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?
Mother’s maiden name?
Street did you grow up on?
What was the make of your first car?
When is your anniversary?
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.
DO NOT PROVIDE SECRET QUESTION ANSWERS TO ANY WEBSITE EXCEPT LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT OR YOUR OWN BANK’S SITE. IF YOU MUST INVENT ANSWERS THAT ARE NOT USED ANYWHERE IMPORTANT!
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