The Wrap – A sleek smartwatch and Google’s pocket Pixel – Pickr
This week on The Wrap, what does Google’s handheld Pixel 6a look like, and is it worth the price? Also, can you get a smartwatch to last a month? And what’s new for players on the way? All that and more in five minutes.
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It’s late July 2022 and you’re tuned in to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech roundup, and as we head into August we’re gearing up for new devices, starting with new new foldables next month.
Yes, it looks like Samsung is set to announce two new models in the coming weeks, likely including a fourth-generation Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip, and possibly others as well.
Before that, Samsung has new displays on the way, at least in the desktop space.
While you’ve probably seen Samsung TVs before, and maybe even Samsung screens without realizing it — because Samsung’s screens aren’t just used on its phones, but also on iPhones — you might not think -be not to Samsung screens for your computer.
But if you’re a gamer you might want to, with some big new monitors on the way, one of which looks set to deliver 4K resolution at a staggering 240 hertz. That might not mean much to you, but if you’re a gamer, it means potentially super silky smooth animations. It comes in a 32-inch screen from Samsung, the Odyssey Neo G8, a curved display with a few light elements on the back designed to grab attention, provided you don’t mind paying two grand for it privilege.
It’ll be joined by a slightly slower 165hertz model in the G7, while the 240hertz refresh rate will be offered in a Full HD model or two for considerably less in the flat but inexpensive $550 G4.
It’s a similar situation in gaming laptops, which will see twice the refresh rates of new Alienware laptops with a 480 hertz screen option in 17-inches. Sure, these will be big computers to carry around, and probably expensive too, but if you need something made for gaming there seems to be plenty of options this year, that’s for sure.
There are, of course, lots of options for lots of things too. There are new Philips TVs in Australia as another player looks set to bring OLED displays locally, while local 5G providers are also expanding beyond the three main ones, Optus, Telstra and Vodafone.
Both Optus and Telstra have tried 5G in its mobile virtual network operators, and now Vodafone is bringing 5G to its carriers as well. This means that if you subscribe to one of the smaller players on the market, you will be able to see 5G support on your phone very soon, provided you subscribe to the right plan.
You’ll need one of those newer 5G phones, but they’ve been popping up over the years, so if you’ve upgraded in the last couple of years, you may even have one, even if you don’t. you don’t realize it. Again.
There are newer models though, and the one we’re reviewing right now, the Google Pixel 6a. It’s a new entrant in the Pixel lineup, but it’s a bit different as Google is returning the “Pixel a” series to Australia, which is essentially its low-cost entry. Or cheaper, because at 750 locally the Pixel 6a isn’t cheap, just smaller.
It’s a distinct 6.1-inch 5G phone from the standard Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch, or even the 6.7-inch 6 Pro, and it sports a similar look. It’s the same chip as in the bigger models, but the screen isn’t as smooth and the camera isn’t as solid. Instead, you’ll be removing the camera from the Pixel 5 from a few years ago. It’s not bad, just different, and you won’t get wireless charging or a decent battery, probably requiring overnight charging, although we expect more from mid-range mobiles these days.
That might be enough to make the Pixel 6a worthy of a compromise or two – saving you a little money between models – but we’ll consider your options carefully, as the mid-range offers a good choice. , and Google is a few months away from upgrading its Pixel lineup, likely in October.
It’s kind of like that in wearables, which are also seeing updates right now.
While a new Apple Watch is expected to arrive in September, with Android wearables on the way as well, there’s another option as well. And it’s a watch that doesn’t look like your conventional smartwatch.
Withings has updated its ScanWatch model, a style of smartwatch that looks more like a standard analog watch, but comes with a small display. Its hands are electronically controlled and your time comes from your phone, but look at the watch and it will look like a regular analog watch.
Inside, however, everything is smart. It’ll get notifications from your phone and track a whole bunch of health metrics, looking at heart rate, blood oxygen, and perform an ECG – an electrocardiograph – letting you check your vital signs in a watch that doesn’t shed either plus battery life like a regular smartwatch, up to a month.
However, you will miss some things. You can’t talk through, there’s no GPS, it doesn’t store music, and you can’t pay for things with it. The ScanWatch lacks some aspects, but if you’re looking for a watch that looks and feels like one, and doesn’t need overnight charging, the ScanWatch Horizon is a wearable worth checking out.
So far you’ve listened to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech roundup. A new episode can be found every week on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get podcasts. For now, have a great week, and see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane and take care of yourself.