Life & Technology – 2GB 26th April, 2015

I always asked about good cheap smartphones, and LG is bringing a AUD$150 handset to Australia in early May. The phone’s called the LG Leon, it’s got a gigabyte of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, a 5 megapixel camera and runs Lollipop, the latest version of Lollipop.


If you need a good, cheap smartphone that’s 4G enabled, this is one to have a look at – Harvey Norman will have in stores soon.


Qantas is doing something a bit different in May: it's running a hackathon. Clever coders will have 24 hours to build an app or service "that improves the lives of all travellers" using select data provided by the airline. First prize is an impressive AUD$4,000 worth in flights! Click here for more information.


Friday marked the day Apple fans started receiving their Apple Watches in the mail, but it’s been a very different product launch for Apple. We’re used to seeing massive lines whenever Apple brings out a new product, but there wasn’t any of that – this is because the Apple Watch was an online only launch. You can go into an Apple Store to try on an Apple Watch, but you can’t take one home with you. If you want one, you have to order through the website.


If you haven’t ordered one yet, you’re out of luck – you’ll most likely be waiting until at least June. Once again, it looks like the latest Apple product is short supply and high demand.


We always talk about upgrading our smartphones, but the home phone is rarely part of that conversation. Home phone manufacturer V-Tech has been putting a lot of cool features into their landline handsets, and this week I spook with V-Tech CEO Mark Franklin to learn about a few of these. My personal favourite feature in the V-Tech range of handsets is call blocking, which allows you to block up to 20 different numbers, or block all calls from unknown sources. Another nifty feature is Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you can make and receive calls from your smartphone on your home phone! V-Tech's range of phones is available from our sponsor Harvey Norman.


The Surface 3 is less than two weeks away – no, I'm not talking about last year's Surface Pro 3, but the Surface 3. The Surface 3 is a new, smaller, lighter Surface from Microsoft clocking it at just over 10-inches. While the Surface Pro 3 was heralded as the "tablet that can replace your laptop", Microsoft is calling the Surface 3 "the tablet that can be a laptop". The Surface 3 starts at AUD$699 for the base model, but you'll also need to spend AUD$179 if you want the TypeCover, and another AUD$59.99 if you want the pen. The Surface 3 is available in early May and can be pre-ordered from our sponsor Harvey Norman now.


Sony has just announced its new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4. The Xperia Z4 is almost identical to Sony's previous flagship, the Xperia Z3. While the two handsets are almost aesthetically identical, the Z4 is 6.9mm thick and weighs 144g, making it both thinner and lighter.


The Z4 does however differentiate itself with an improved processor – an eight-core 2GHz Snapdragon 810 – and by running Android Lollipop out of the box. Otherwise, the handset still features a 5.2-inch 1080p display, 20.7 megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM, expandable storage and is water and dust resistant. At the moment, the Xperia Z4 has only been confirmed for Japan – but hopefully we’ll see it in Australia a little later this year.