This week on The Wrap, there’s plenty of news on hand with wearable information from Withings, Fitbit and Huawei. Plus, we’ll talk about PlayStation changes and review Apple’s M2 MacBook Pro, all in five minutes.
In the last week of June of this year, you’ll be listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech collection, and with the end of the financial year in sight, you may be surprised to learn that there’s very little of what’s happening out there. . have to do with.
Oh sure, you can use this week, the last remaining days of Australia’s fiscal year 2021 to 2022, to look for tech deals if you have to. But this week we heard less about your wallet and more about your hands, because hands and wrists are part of the big news of the week.
Withings has a hand in that, excuse the pun, and used the week to announce a new variant of its ScanWatch, which a few years ago was Australia’s first smartwatch to be approved with an EKG and an electrocardiograph, in is able to give you a little glimpse of what your heart is working on.
Two years is a long time in the world of wearables, and while Apple and Samsung are both offering the technology in their devices locally, Withings is once again upgrading things. The changes to the underlying technology of the new ScanWatch Horizon are not huge, with appearance more the focus of this model. Rather than offering a simple watch style with an elegant design, the ScanWatch Horizon is made of stainless steel with a nautical focus, made to be more chunky than the minimalist focus of the past.
It’s still the same technology, with the EKG, heart rate, and focus on sleep, plus a small screen, but it’s more like a metal watch you might see your dad or grandpa rocking.
Fitbit is also adding to the wearable news this week, launching some new sleep tracking for many of its wearables, with a month-long sleep tracking profiler. Owners of a selection of Fitbit wearables who also subscribe to the Fitbit Premium service can see how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you sleep, the variations and a host of other factors, all to gauge how you sleep and hopefully offer improvements.
They probably don’t have a section for parents dealing with babies so we’re kind of hoping for a bonus section stating that fact, but if you’re having trouble sleeping and you don’t have a bub in your life, it can give that little bit of extra information to help.
And Huawei has a few gadgets in this area too, as the once heavy hitter in smartphones offers some tech for your wrists too.
You don’t see much of Huawei lately, thanks in part to the entire trade issues with the US government. Without the ability to run the Google Play Store, Huawei’s phones are very niche locally. Still usable, but barely.
But the wearables are useful, because they don’t need Google to work, and they can work on Android and iOS devices without worry.
There are a few more this week, and one is very interesting. There’s the Watch Fit 2 that looks a bit like a more budget-oriented style of non-Apple Apple Watch, a distinctly Fitbit-inspired Band 7, and a circular premium model, the Watch GT3 Pro.
But the one that grabs us is the Watch D, an eight-hundred-dollar smartwatch with something we’ve never seen in a watch before: a blood pressure monitor.
We’ve been testing it for the better part of a week and it’s a total surprise. While the Watch D looks and feels like a sturdier Apple Watch, it’s focused almost entirely on health.
There is no payment support and the dials need more finesse, but the blood pressure function is decent. It’s kind of a health-focused watch, though you have to be willing to splurge on it. It is surprisingly charming, which is certainly nice to see.
Wearables aren’t the only thing we heard about this week, though. Games saw a showing, with Sony relaunching its PlayStation Plus service with three tiers, essentially doing what Netflix does for movies, but for games. Xbox already has that with Game Pass, and Sony is doing it for PlayStation in PS Plus.
Australians will miss cloud gaming and PS3 titles, but depending on how much you spend, games are basically available for PS4, PS5 and even some of the older consoles.
And finally, we take a look at Apple’s latest MacBook, the M2 MacBook Pro, which is basically a preview of the upcoming Air. The new Air has a new design and a new chip, and although it won’t be released until July, the 13-inch Pro sets the pace.
It offers solid performance and is one of the fastest laptops you can find, but it can feel a bit like yesterday’s technology. It has the older Macbook Pro design, an older screen, fewer ports, and generally feels below where the 14-inch MacBook Pro is, despite being only a few hundred fewer.
It’s really hard to recommend the 13 inch M2 Macbook Pro because we don’t know what it is for. Most will probably end up on the Air, while Pro users will really be better off with the 14in Pro. If anything, it just offers a sample of the following computers from Apple. The next Air around the corner.
For now, you’ve listened to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest tech collection. A new episode can be found every week on Listener, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. For now, have a nice week and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay healthy and be careful.
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