Because my beat on htxt mainly consists of mainstream news, education and SMMEs, 2017 was a fairly uneventful year for me in terms of technology.
I didn’t buy any new gadgets, and there weren’t many new gizmos launched this year that made me want to part with my money.
That having been said, I do need an update of my most important gadgets. My Innjoo One is no longer enough for all the work I want to do (I’ve found this out the hard way while on the job, sometimes) and I need a new laptop too – both of which I plan to get very soon, maybe before the year is even up.
However, as for tech introduced throughout the year, a few things caught my eye.
For starters, the grand return of Nokia (albeit under a new parent company) into the real smartphone contender space piqued my interest.
The launch of 3310 was pretty cool; it brought with it some nostalgia and took me back to my very first cell phone – a Nokia 3310, of course – in 2004. But it did little to really hold my interest. I am yet to see anyone walking around with one and beyond its reveal and launch, it’s ceased to be a talking point.
What did come out of the HMD Global camp and grabbed my interest, are the new range of Android-powered smartphones.
Part of the reason why Nokia tanked under Microsoft was the Windows Phone system. It just didn’t work out and cost the software company quite a bit.
I’ve always said I would never look outside the Android family for a phone. I can move around between brands, but never the operating system. So, upon hearing that Android Nokia’s would be hitting South Africa, the thought of actually buying one crept into my mind.
I haven’t made my mind up on which brand I’ll be going for next, but I can say that Nokia is on the list with Samsung, Sony and Xiaomi.
I got to play around with the Nokia 8 for a bit when my colleague Brendyn was reviewing it and liked most of what I saw. It’s a solid build, Android-powered and reminded me of the time back when Nokia was still a major player and I vowed to stick to the brand for life (boy did a lot happen in the space of five years since then).
Nokia also launched a range of lower-tier smartphones along with the 8, all which will suit most buyers’ pockets. Let’s see how it performs in the next couple of years. We all know that two years in tech is like 10 years in real life. Things really do change that fast!
VR? – No thanks
I haven’t put on a single virtual reality (VR) headset this year, mainly because I’m not as excited about it as I was two years ago, but also because I’ve mostly encountered them at corporate events and/or exhibitions, which means whatever content I would have been experiencing would be marketing material from particular brands – not very exciting.
VR is just one of those technologies one can do without and even forget about for an entire year. It’s not an essential, in my opinion.
Finally on the Explora train
DStv deserters can skip this paragraph, since I know you probably don’t really care much for what’s going on with the service and are either enjoying watching content on streaming services or have retired to cute villa on the coast where you don’t want to watch any TV.
We finally bought a DStv Explaora this year. Yes, I’d been watching TV the old-fashioned way, running from the kitchen to the lounge so I don’t miss an interesting moment on a programme, having to wait for ad breaks to go make some coffee – until we unwrapped shiny new Explora decoder.
I won’t be drawn into the content available on DStv because there’s still a huge lack of great programming across most of the channels.
But, in a nutshell, my DStv experience has been slightly improved. No if only they’d stop endless repeats and bringing stale American reality programmes and producing South African versions of it.
Here’s hoping 2018 is a more eventful year since – at least tech-wise.