In this issue, we delve into the cutting-edge of mobile technology, exploring three game-changers: Apple's iPhone 15 Pro Max, Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5, and the Sonos Move 2. These devices aren't just pushing boundaries; they're redefining them. Join us as we analyze their innovative features, design, and how they're set to transform our digital interactions in the business world and beyond.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Did you say USB-C?

Price: From R33 500

https://www.istore.co.za/shop-iphone-15-pro-max

iPhone fever has hit after Apple unveiled its latest iPhones and Apple Watches at its biggest event of the year. So are you ready for your upgrade or to trade in your old iPhone? Honestly, I felt a bit underwhelmed, but Apple has the ability to give you just enough of a reason to upgrade.

Firstly, all the new iPhone 15s come with a USB-C port. Hallelujah! You have the European Union to thank for that. New EU rules passed by regulators in 2022 are forcing all smartphone manufacturers to have USB-C charging as standard by autumn of 2024.

It makes things so much easier when charging devices. One cable for your iPhone, iPad and other non-Apple devices. Not only that, but transferring videos off your iPhone is now super-fast and you can now also charge your AirPods or Apple Watch directly from your iPhone.

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone Pro Max do shine with some updates that will probably convince you to upgrade. Apart from the USB-C, the top-of-the-range iPhone now features a new titanium design vs the previous stainless steel, making it lighter and tougher – 8% lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The previous mute switch has been replaced with a customisable action button that will allow you to decide how that button works for you. You may for example want to trigger the camera from there, or start recording a voice memo instantly instead of opening your phone and searching for the app.

There’s also a new chip that makes everything faster. The A17 Pro makes all functionality nippier, you really see that difference when using autocorrect or transcribing your voice and when taking pictures or playing games.

Apple has again upped its game on the camera, with improvements on its 48MP camera lens. Apple says that the Pro range effectively packs the equivalent of seven pro lenses into the phone. The Pro range gives serious photographers many options to take great photographs and shoot amazing video. The Pro Max has a 5X optical zoom that takes spectacular photos.

Overall, some very cool enhancements including better wireless performance with the new Ultra-Wideband chip. This one is very useful; it makes finding things and friends more accurate and has three times the range. If you are, for example, looking for friends in a large crowd this makes it more accurate, likewise if you are looking for things in the Find My app.

The Pro range does have some unique features and the titanium for me is a winner! Are you convinced yet?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

A reason to go foldable?

Price: From R45 000

https://www.samsung.com/za/smartphones/galaxy-z-fold5/

Samsung has also been busy launching its new range of foldable phones. The Flip 5 and Fold 5 phones have become a very interesting smart phone category that is gaining popularity over the last few years.

The Fold was first introduced four years ago, and I will admit I was rather sceptical when it was released. It was clunky and not easy to use.

Fast forward to 2023 and Samsung has spent millions on the technology and user experience to make a compelling phone in a unique category.

The latest Galaxy Z Fold 5 is slick, very durable and once opened you can’t even see it is a foldable phone.

Just take the hinge and the mechanism responsible for opening and closing. The latest Fold 5 has a newly designed hinge that can handle around 200 000 folds.

So, here’s an interesting statistic. On average Americans check their phones 144 times a day. That would be just over 50 000 times a year. Take that number into the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and then you realise just how durable that hinge is.

Now that we have the technical information out the way, let’s look at the size and features.

The 7.6-inch screen (20cm from edge to edge) with a Dynamic AMOLED display pushes out 1750 nits, making it almost twice as bright as the previous model. In fact, it is brighter than the latest iPhone, just to put it into perspective. It weighs 253 grams and is 13.4mm thick when folded. Once the phone is opened you can’t see any lines down the middle – it is seamless.

The camera system is also quite decent, where a 50MP wide-angle lens, a 10MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom and a 12MP ultra-wide lens in the back it gives you great photography options. The 10MP front-facing camera produces great quality when in conference mode.

It features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that is lightning fast and optimised to gives users a full day on their phones.

So why do you need a bigger screen? Well apart from the obvious, a bigger screen experience, you get more space to work from, multitasking and viewing content.

Samsung has also introduced a new S-Pen for the Fold 5, giving more functionality to the device, with more apps now available for the Fold 5, and a newly designed taskbar.

It fits comfortably between a smartphone and a tablet, so there is definitely a niche in the market for users who will find the Fold 5 attractive as both a work tool and an entertainment device.

Foldables are an interesting category: they make up roughly 2% of the smartphone market with sales around $25 billion. This market is expected to double by 2027.

Sonos Move 2

Premium portable sound

Price: R13 000

https://www.takealot.com/sonos-move-2-bluetooth-wifi-wireless-smart-speaker/PLID93895372

Sonos, the world’s leading sound experience company and the people who brought multi-room wireless audio to the home, have introduced another speaker that you can take wherever you go.

The brand-new Sonos Move 2 features stereo sound, with 24-hour battery life and has a IP56 rating, making it very durable and able withstand accidental drops, splashes, rain, dirt, and sun. The new speaker comes with an overhauled acoustic architecture, that features dual tweeters, dynamic bass and a premium stereo sound experience. 

The tech inside the speaker is fascinating. The built-in microphones use Sonos’s Trueplay technology to analyse the acoustics surrounding it, and then it automatically optimises the sound to give you the best acoustic experience.

You can stream from any device and even take it into the boardroom and utilise the audio from your presentation.

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