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Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S9

Devices

Posted on March 6, 2018

3 min read

Unveiled at Samsung’s massive Unpacked event in Barcelona last week, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be available to purchase on selected plans from Telstra March 16. If you want to check Samsung’s latest phone out before you buy it, there will be preview models in the majority of Telstra stores around the country from today.

For those that want to know exactly what you’ll be getting when you unbox your very own Samsung Galaxy S9, here’s a preview of everything you’ll receive from us – including our pre-order bonus of a Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible and additional Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017) tablet.

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S9 shares a similar look and feel to Samsung’s previous top smartphone, the S8. You might recognise it because Samsung has continued with the beautiful edge-to-edge 5.8-inch Infinity Display with Quad HD+ resolution.

On the front of the phone, you’ll also see the 8-megapixel selfie camera as well as Samsung’s iris recognition security features (top left and right).

When you turn it over, you’ll get your first look at the Galaxy S9’s innovative 12-megapixel camera, whose dual-aperture lens adapts to the photograph depending on lighting conditions. If you look carefully, you can actually see the apertures change when you’re taking photos.

The other noticeable feature here is that Samsung has moved the fingerprint sensor from the S8 to the centre line of the phone – further away from the camera, making lens smudges far less likely.

From this view you can also see the heart rate sensor to the right of the camera.

On the bottom of the handset, we can see that while other devices have moved away from including a 3.5mm headphone port, the Samsung Galaxy S9 retains it – meaning that you can use both Bluetooth or wired headphones, like those included in the box. There is also a multipurpose USB Type-C connector for charging, data transfer, or connecting other accessories.

The headphones included in the box are of an ergonomically designed earbud style, lightweight and comfortable. They have been tuned and branded by Samsung’s partner AKG, and have a 3.5mm jack to connect directly to the S9. A packet of small, medium and large silicon earbud tips is included to suit different ear sizes.

You will also find a fast-charging Samsung travel USB power adapter and USB-C cable in the box. Another USB connector in the box lets you directly connect your existing phone to easily transfer your data during the initial setup of your new S9.

Of course, all the necessary extras are included too – like an ejection pin to help you insert SIM cards or microSD memory cards, a basic clear plastic case to help you protect the phone, and some paperwork which includes a Quick Start Guide, the Warranty Card (which we recommend you always hold on to) and guide on how to transfer content to your brand new Galaxy S9.

If you want to get yourself a proper hands-on experience, the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ are available to preview in most Telstra stores starting today.

If you are already convinced that this is your next phone, then you can take advantage of our exclusive pre-order offer – a bonus Samsung Wireless Charger Convertible and a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2017), available to customers on eligible mobile plans. Click here for more information.

Goodbye, wallet: why your phone is the cashless future

Cyber Security Consumer advice

Posted on February 1, 2018

3 min read

Telstra security operations specialist Darren Pauli has spent nearly a year with his smartphone replacing a wallet – securely making payments for everyday items and services. There are some guidelines you should keep in mind if you’re considering doing the same.

My wallet is history. I carry my phone instead.

How often do you use your Medicare card? How often do you pull out your driver’s licence? If you’re like me, the answer is rarely.

It was some time in March of last year that I acted on this realisation and threw my wallet in the bin – opting instead to carry only my phone.

That digital device – these days much more of a computer than just a phone – is my credit card, driver’s licence, and the link to my entire digital life.

With it, I can buy coffee by tapping it at point-of-sale machines (using Android Pay or Apple Pay), and I can securely access all of my important data and essential digital services with a few taps of apps.

The reason behind my switch from wallet to phone was simple: modern mobiles are faster and more user-friendly than ever, and security technology is now both reliable and easy to use.

This confluence of technology meant that, for me, the wallet’s 400-year reign as a mandatory hip accessory was over.

Replacing your wallet with your phone isn’t without risks. Keeping a scan of my driver’s licence and other documents in the cloud may be not be enough to keep some security pros happy, but the checks I employ are a big improvement on those the average person uses.

The two essentials

Firstly, your mobile and your bank must support near field communication (NFC) payments. This is required to make contactless payments.

Almost all Android phones include NFC, and most modern Apple devices have technology for Apple Pay built in (a full list can be found here).

Secondly, you must acquaint yourself with a security-driven mindset. Sometimes called operational security, this mindset is used to safely navigate technology through competence and confidence, not fear.

You can start now by setting a unique password for your bank account. Change your email account password next week.

Think of operational security (opsec) as the measure of your security awareness in the world of technology. You win points for knowing how to spot phishing, and for making up a fake birthday and home address for Facebook and other websites.

In short, you become more security-savvy the more you think like an attacker and build roadblocks to frustrate your opponent.

In 2018 this is a necessary skill: You cannot force your favourite online chat forum to use better security that’s harder to hack, but you can change your forum password to something unique or disposable. You can keep your real information out of your forum profile.

And doing this means hackers who break into that forum will not be able to use your password to get into your emails, or use your real name, birthdate, and address to help open a bank account.

In bite-sized chunks, strong, painless mobile security is possible. And maybe even a future of lighter pockets.

This is part one of a two-part series on smartphone and password cyber security. The second part covers in-depth security tips for using your phone as a mobile wallet.

Review: Two weeks with Pixel, a phone by Google

Devices

Posted on November 15, 2016

4 min read

Michael Eva spent two weeks with the Pixel, a phone by Google. Here’s why he’s now an Android™ convert.

The reviews for the Pixel™, a phone by Google, have been glowing with pundits labelling it the best Android phone to date and the camera being rated as the best a smartphone has seen yet. Stacked with features that include advanced video stabilisation, the Google Assistant voice recognition service with serious AI smarts and more, this is a serious smartphone from Google.

Caught up in the hype and excited by the promise of an exciting new mobile phone experience I decided to swap back to Android and give the Pixel a whirl. I’ll confess, my experiences with Android phones in the past have sometimes been patchy. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some amazing Android devices already on the market it’s just that I jumped in early on in Android’s life and was left feeling that I was experiencing an operating system that still had some maturing to do.

The Pixel has well and truly put to bed any doubts I had about Android devices. It’s incredibly fast, has one of most impressive smartphone cameras ever and is really lovely to hold and look at. That’s only the beginning though. Here’s just a few of the reasons why I love this phone:

For the record I road-tested a ‘Quite Black’ 5”, 32 Gig version of the phone. It also comes in a larger (XL) 5.5” which I’ve now set my sights on.

It’s fast:

After two weeks of solid use, a stack of apps downloaded and used the Pixel shows no signs of slowing down. It’s such a pleasure to swipe down your notifications or click on an app and have it load almost instantaneously.

Fingerprint scanner:

Google have done something really simple that makes a really big difference. They’ve put the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. For me this has turned it from being a novelty feature to something I use literally every time I turn on my phone.

The best camera:

The Pixel has transformed my shaky video and blurry photos into something worth keeping. Double-clicking the power button to pull up the camera also makes it really quick and easy to capture a snap before the moment’s gone. There’s some cool camera features too like the panoramas and photoshpere which are fun and easy to use.

If you've got any doubts about the camera's quality check out the images some of Australia's best Instagram photographers took with the phone below.

Unlimited storage for photos and videos in the cloud:

There’s not a lot to say about this except for ‘YES’!

Battery Life and Fast Charging:

The battery power is great. It easily lasts a day. The best bit is that you can get a day of charge with 15 minutes on the charger thanks to the Pixel’s fast charge technology. I can personally vouch for the value of this quick charge tech having rushed the phone onto the charger a number of times before running out of the front door.

It looks and feels good:

The aero-space grade aluminium (I kid you not) and polished glass make this phone look and feel great. I’ve had a lot of fun handing it around at barbeques and seeing people’s surprised reactions as they turn the phone over in their hands.

Brag-factor:

Because it’s the new kid on the block Pixel is still pretty special and unique. In a market full of familiar devices, it is nice to have one that feels completely new. It’s also the first device I’ve had that other people are keen to get a look at when I pull it out.

The Pixel, a phone by Google, is a big win for Google and Android in the mobile phone stakes and definitely a phone worth considering next time you are looking at upgrading.

*Android is a trade mark of Google, Inc.
# Pixel is a trade mark of Google, Inc.

 

Tags: Android,

5 Tips for a Strong Selfie Game

Tech and Innovation Devices

Posted on May 11, 2016

3 min read

Search #selfie on Instagram and you’ll find a whopping 288 million posts using the hashtag.

We’re clearly very passionate about snapping selfies and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact selfie camera technology is getting better and better every year.

The latest example of this advancement in selfie technology is the new HTC 10. It features a 5MP Ultra Pixel front facing camera with Optical Image Stabilisation. Most smartphones have had this feature on their back cameras for some time now but HTC are bringing it to the front so your selfies will have less blurring.

So once you have your hands on your brand new HTC 10 which incidentally is available in our stores right now, and you’re ready to selfie, keep these 5 tips in mind as inspiration!

1. Natural lighting

When taking a selfie natural lighting is best and make sure you’re facing towards the light source. Avoid down lighting at all costs, it will create shadows on your face that you don’t want!

2. Phone height

Where you hold your phone will also make a big difference to your selfie, make sure it’s no lower than your nose. This way you can focus on your eyes and your smile rather than emphasising features like your chin – because really, none of us want that.

3. Choose your filter carefully

An Instagram filter can make or break your selfie. Choose something with a warm hue like Valencia or Walden. You want to go for something that softens your photo giving you that sun kissed look.

4. Know your angles

The rule here is to either tilt your head, or tilt your phone. You want to make sure your photo isn’t too symmetrical and that you’re showing off your best side.

5. Look into the camera

For a great selfie, make sure you look into the camera. It’s very tempting to check yourself out on the screen to make sure you’ve got your pout perfected, but remember to look back up at the camera at the last second!

The Price Tag

You can purchase the HTC 10 on a range of Go Mobile plans and Go Business Mobile plans.

If you’re in to sport and not just selfies, you’ll be pleased to know our Go Mobile plans come with an AFL Live Pass or NRL Digital Pass including in your Telstra mobile so you can catch the live and behind the scenes action!

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Tags: Android,

Tech tip: how to change your phone language on your Android device

How to

Posted on April 21, 2015

1 min read

Has a friend changed your phone language and you’re unsure how to fix it? Did you swap it for a laugh – only to get lost on your way back? Well, have we got the tech tip for you! (more…)