This is a roundup of my radio insert with Melody Miya on UJ FM if you might have missed it.
Samsung Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge
When Samsung outed the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge last year, we all generally lavished it with praise. It was for a good reason — they were easily the nicest phones Samsung had crafted in years, even though one was clearly more popular than the other. This year isn’t really about reinventing those formulas, but about refining them, and the results are the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. You’ll be able to get your own starting this Thursday, March 11.
There’s at least one big difference between the S7 and the S7 Edge, but let’s start with all the things they have in common. They both ship with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and both with have either an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (quad-core 2.15GHz + quad-core 1.6GHz processors) with 4GB of RAM or an Exynos chipset, depending on where you’re buying one. Both are available only with 32GB of internal storage, but that’s not exactly a problem, since both have microSD card slots. (Yep, they’re back!) I briefly played with both, and if there was a performance difference, I missed it completely — the S7 and the S7 Edge are incredibly powerful devices that easily dealt with my short-term fiddling.
The cameras wedged into both of these devices are surprisingly nice, too, especially considering that Samsung went with 12-megapixel rear camera sensors instead of 16-megapixel affairs like last year.
And LG’s G5 sits next door (the companies are from the same hometown in South Korea)
This year, LG built a denser, more premium-feeling machine. And It feels pretty damned fantastic to use. Part of that is because of how much better it fits in hands thanks to a slightly smaller 5.3-inch IPS Quantum display. Like the G4, LG was shooting for accuracy over color saturation, and the result is a brighter, attractive screen with great viewing angles and a protective glass panel that curves enticingly away from you at the top of the phone. When the screen’s off, part of it will remain lit to offer you the time and your notifications; LG says that always-on stuff drains the battery by only 0.8 percent an hour.
There’s an 8-megapixel camera sensor on one side of the LED flash and a 16-megapixel sensor on the other. Everything runs really nicely, too, as you’d expect from a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM.
I’ve teased, many a times on this show what VR is, how we use and future uses it has and over the past two weeks it has become evident that it is here to stay. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg even said “VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want. It is here to stay”
We saw announcements from brands such as Samsung – who have been at the forefront of consumer VR -, HTC with their Vive and LG also made one all set to reach us before the end of the year.
Sony to kill Z line
On a rather unexpected note, we had a breakfast with the team from Sony Mobile South Africa in the north on Friday, Here sony was introducing local media to the devices launched at MWC and have them ask questions relative to the local market. Before we get into the details, It was quite a mystery what Sony was going to unveil at MWC this year, but now we know – a new line of Xperia X smartphones and “smart products” to go with them.
The X-series, as I like to call them, are to replace the outgoing Z-lineup. Rather sad if you come to think of it, or if you’ve just upgraded to the Z5 yourself. The X-series comes in the form of the Xperia X and XA. The devices themselves aren’t going to set any performance records, but Sony has tried to make them as compelling as possible in terms of design and photo features.
Rav 4 vs Mazda CX-5
If you’re searching for a compact crossover, we hope your shopping list includes the 2015 Toyota RAV4 and the 2015 Mazda CX-5. Both are among today’s top small SUVs, boasting reasonable pricing, generous equipment levels, impressive fuel economy and lots of interior space. But we had to compare which one is better.
I won’t bore listeners with the details, but to conclude; If you’re looking for a competent small crossover, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 and the 2015 Toyota RAV4 are both excellent choices — but we’d rather have the CX-5. One reason is its comfortability and class: its quite exceptional from a company such as Mazda – if you the 626 and Mazda 2 or 3. They’ve really managed to redefine themselves over the past few years. I had the 2.2D AWD and, your fuel economy will trump the RAV4’s numbers.
We also like its strong crash test ratings, and we’re a little unnerved by the RAV4’s poor performance in IIHS testing. The CX-5 still offers nearly every gadget the RAV4 does, along with a lower starting price for shoppers who don’t want their new SUV to break the bank. The only drawback? The price. This specific Mazda will set you back close to 500K, while the Rav4 is at 40K cheaper. — and for some shoppers, that alone might be enough to choose the Toyota over the Mazda.