Acumen's tech expert, Aki Anastasiou, looks at the new Series 6 Apple Watch, Microsoft's Surface Pro 7 and a new smartphone from Nokia.

Apple Series 6 Watches

The ultimate smart watch that keeps tabs on your health

It is quite amazing how far Apple has come with their smart watches. The recently announced Series 6 Apple Watches have now even more added features to keep tabs on your health and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. Aside from the longer battery life, a brighter display and a new processor, the new watch has some interesting, new and very smart sensors. Knowing how much oxygen your body is absorbing is a key indicator of the overall wellness of your body. The deeply illuminating green, red, and infrared LEDs at the back of the watch shine light onto the blood vessels in your wrist, and photodiodes measure the amount of light reflected. Using smart algorithms, the watch is then able to measure what your blood oxygen levels are at any given time.

The watch has also improved the way it measures your heart. By simply touching the digital crown on the side of your watch, you can read your heart’s electrical signals. This will alert you to any irregular rhythms that could trigger a heart attack. The metrics are so impressive that many universities are collaborating with Apple and doing research on how these watches are saving lives. 

Apple has also included Fitness+ onto their new watches. The new fitness experience integrates the metrics of your Apple Watch, your iPhone and Apple Music to create a new way of exercising. A monthly subscription will give you access to a variety of the most popular workouts and even yoga classes with some of the best personal fitness trainers in the world.

Dell XPS 17 9700

The laptop beast that delivers incredible performance

Price R39,000

Don’t you sometimes get frustrated with the size of your laptop screen, especially when multitasking and running spreadsheets at the same time? There is just not enough screen space. A 13-inch or a 15-inch screen just doesn’t cut it when you are working on multiple documents. The new Dell XPS 17 is a beast – a gorgeous beast. The 17-inch edge to edge display gives you a sense of open space in which to work comfortably. The brushed metal and carbon fibre surface surrounding the keyboard makes you feel like you are holding something special. It has the Intel 10th generation core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM. If you can imagine the ultimate 4x4 that can attack any kind of terrain with no substitute for quality, then the Dell 17-inch laptop is it. This isn’t a bakkie, but a top-of-the-line Range Rover. It is packed with smart Dell intelligence running in the background to make sure your machine works optimally. Don’t expect a light machine, though - this baby weighs around 2.5kg, but the agility that it adds to your work experience makes it worth lugging around. Oh, and the battery is awesome – 22 hours, comfortably!

Surface Pro 7

Microsoft adds pizzazz to your computing experience

Priced from R18,000

Let’s be honest; laptops are not meant to be a fashion statement. They can be dull and boring. The Microsoft Surface Pro breaks that mundane perception. Microsoft has finally added the Surface Pro to their product line in South Africa. If you are not familiar with this computer, it falls into the 2-in-1 design category, which is basically a tablet with a detachable keyboard, similar to Apple’s iPad Pro models.

The Surface Pro, which runs Windows 10, has Intel’s latest Core i5 processor and features a USB-C and USB-A port. What I love about the Surface Pro range is the fact that you can customise the device to your lifestyle. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make the Surface Pro Type covers as stylish as possible. The colours and designs are fantastic, and they really do make a statement. The keyboard was also surprisingly good. Another cool feature is the Surface Pen which delivers a natural writing and drawing experience. I was surprised how accurate the pen was writing on the screen and, if used properly, it can definitely enhance your digital experience. The portability of this device is the winner. It weighs just over 1kg and fits comfortably in your handbag or man bag. I loved the fact that you could be up and running in seconds.

Nokia 7.2

Great value phone without a style compromise

Price R6,000

For those of you who were in love with Nokia over 10 years ago and filed for divorce, you may fall in love again with this iconic brand. HMD Global purchased the phone brand from Microsoft just over four years ago and since then have been making waves with the Nokia phones they have launched. Their phones use Android One, which is the stock version of Google. In other words, they don’t add any unnecessary software to the device, and it is Google’s standard version of their mobile platform. What this means to users like you and I is that we get security updates and phone updates before other brands launch them. If you are looking for a device that is stylish, well-built and has a fantastic camera, the Nokia 7.2 will really surprise you. It may be a mid-range phone, but once you start using it, you will try and justify why the high-end phones cost so much. The device is slick, and the Zeiss 48MP camera takes some incredible photographs. At R6,000, for a device of this quality and a 6.3-inch screen, you will be hard-pressed to find better value.

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