May 2018/Issue 85
Invariably, when a print deadline looms the headlines are filled with things to distract us from the task at hand. This time around it was the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica debacle, along with the maelstrom of congressional hearings, finger-pointing and handwringing that followed. What did we take from it? That privacy is tough to protect – let alone police – in the age of sharing and liking, and that precious few of us pay as much attention to it as we ought to.
Which brings me to our smart speaker feature (p40). Team Stuff has mixed views on welcoming a device that’s always listening into our homes, but there’s no denying that many South Africans have no such qualms. Even though smart speakers aren’t readily available locally we get queries about them all the time, both from people looking to get one and those who’ve done so and want to get more out of it.
That’s why we’ve collected and tested the best of the current smart speaker crop (p40) so you can import/buy online/smuggle with confidence… especially as returns could be tricky if you choose poorly.
Another difficult choice we get asked about all the time is which smartphone to buy. No really, all the time. Huawei, LG and Nokia each have new flagship devices arriving any day now, but at time of writing the two handsets most deserving of your attention are Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X… which is why we’ve done the only sensible thing and pitted them against one another (p78).
Last year the Samsung Galaxy S8 took top honours in our Stuff Gadget Awards. It was a close call, and we expect this year’s contest to be even more nail-bitingly tight. For a look at what went down at the recent awards event (generously sponsored by VOOV, Hendrick’s Gin and Castle Lager) head over to our social pages (p88).
Next month we’ll be taking a look at some of new contenders for the smartphone crown, but until then, read the Ts&Cs when signing up to new online services, think about what you share online (and with whom), and remember: if you’re not paying for something you’re not the customer, you’re the product.