Doctor Who To Visit New Zealand…


Or rather, the actor who plays the 12th Doctor, the inimitable Peter Capaldi, will visit New Zealand later this year for an intimate evening with fans.

While this is good news, personally, I would have relished the chance to share an evening with Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker, the inventively foul-mouthed PR practitioner from BBC series The Thick Of It.

Regardless, Kiwi Whovians will no doubt be delighted by the news.  Press release below…

“BBC Worldwide ANZ today announced that Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi, will head to Auckland, New Zealand on the 24th November for an intimate evening with fans.

This visit will follow on from the Doctor Who Festival in Sydney to be held in November and last year’s successful Doctor Who: The World Tour where Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman visited seven cities, in 12 days including Sydney, Seoul, New York and Rio de Janeiro.

Commenting on the forthcoming trip Peter Capaldi said: “New Zealand was one of the first countries to ever show Doctor Who, so this feels like a very special trip. To reach a place that has kept the flame alive for so very long, kind of feels like Doctor Who is coming home.”

Further details of the event and venue will be available shortly. To be the first to hear about tickets sign up to the newsletter here

Doctor Who Series 9 will premiere on Prime later this year. ”




LG G4 phone launch – as it happened

29 April 2015: So, here we are in Singapore where LG aren’t just launching a phone, they are promising to “let you see and feel true greatness”.  That’s from the press kit blurb, which admittedly, always tend to lash on the superlatives.

But anyway, let’s see how the day goes..

9:55: Media stroll from the Marina Bay Sands (yep the one that dominates Singapore’s skyline with a rooftop infinity pool that spans three sky scrapers) to the nearby ArtScience Museum, the distinctive building which happens to be shaped like a lotus flower.




10:00: Registration time.




10:30: Launch presentation begins: Continue reading

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge launching in New Zealand on 11th April

Samsung New Zealand today revealed the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones on TVNZ Breakfast, confirming they will launch in New Zealand just one day after Korea on the 11th of April 2015.


Click image to see Breakfast’s first look at the phones on

The new S6’s do away with a number of features seen in the S5; gone are the plastic backs, removable battery and USB 3.0 connection; instead the S6’s feature a premium glass and metal form factor, a non-removable battery and a standard micro usb connection.

The touchwiz interface has been pared down to speed up the Android Lollipop experience, though customers can choose to download and install a range of Samsung apps if they wish.

The Galaxy S6 Edge, pitched as the more premium of the two, features slightly curved edges which can be used to show some notifications when the phone is placed face down.

I only had the phones for 30 minutes but here are the features I’m interested in delving into when I get a more thorough hands on experience.

  • Microsoft apps pre-installed – Onedrive and Onenote for starters
  • Wireless charging built in – works with most standard wireless chargers.
  • Low light lenses on the rear (16mp) and front (5mp) cameras.

Samsung badly needs a hit phone; they suffered from disappointing sales of the S5 and have had to sit back as competitors like Apple and Xiaomi have stolen market share from them in the crucial Chinese market.

Prices for the New Zealand market are yet to be confirmed but expect to pay over $1049 (estimate) for each off contract.

The full Samsung Press Release follows…

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge define what’s next in mobility

 Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge – smart invents beautiful – the most advanced mobile devices in the market

 Auckland, New Zealand, March 2nd 2015 – Samsung Electronics New Zealand today announced its entirely redefined smartphones; the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, creating a new and absolutely unrivalled global standard in design, craftsmanship and performance.

As consumers seek ways to be more informed, entertained, connected and free to spend more time doing what matters most, Samsung delivers unparalleled beauty, speed, and performance in two extraordinary smartphones that totally change the game. Both the Galaxy S6 and the S6 edge incorporate vastly enhanced processing power; a high quality super-fast loading camera to catch all the important moments; charging that’s 1.5 times faster than the Galaxy S5 for our ever busier lives and, what’s more, they come in an elegant glass and metal design; appealing to the most fashion forward.

“By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and our missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas,” says JK Shin, president and head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung. “With a reimagined design, robust partner network and truly innovative services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer two completely differentiated products that deliver the ultimate in smartphone options.”

 Stefan Lecchi, Head of Telecommunications for Samsung Electronics New Zealand, says, “We set out to create a smartphone that could do more, faster, so that our customers can give more time to the people and things that make a difference to their lives – whether that’s work, play or just simply staying in touch. We’ve absolutely delivered that – and what’s more, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge also have a stunning look and feel. Smart has totally invented beautiful, and we’re excited to see how Kiwis will respond.”


Standout features deliver what’s next in mobile

 Beauty Meets Purpose

Crafted from metal and glass, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge blend beautiful design with meaningful innovation and powerful features. The glass body is available in an array of colourful jewel tones, including White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz, and Green Emerald*. This incredible design required unique glass molding technology and unmatched craftsmanship, setting the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge apart from any other mobile devices on the market. The premium aesthetics are complemented by a totally new interface that greatly enhances usability and functionality.

 Vivid Images with Fast, Bright Camera

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are equipped with incredibly vivid, bright and fast front and rear smartphone cameras. The bright (F1.9) lenses and high resolution sensors on both front (5MP) and rear (16MP) cameras provide superior image quality, even in low light. Auto Real-time High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) provide advanced light sensitive and crisp camera solutions. Further, the camera app launches in 0.7 seconds and a new “Quick Launch” feature give users fast, direct access to the camera in any screen by simply double clicking the home key button. These advanced camera functions enable users to capture their most precious and personal moments in uncompromising quality; however and wherever they want.

 Super Charging and Plug Free

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge also offer incredibly fast charging that’s 1.5 faster than the Galaxy S5, giving 2 hours of HD video play after only 10 minutes of charging. With first-of-its-kind fully embedded wireless charging technology,  the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are setting a new industry standard for universal wireless charging. Compatible with both WPC and PMA standards, the devices work with any wireless pad available in the market (WPC and PMA certified).

 Ideal for the business use – Enhanced Secure Mobile Experience

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are built on the upgraded, end-to-end secure mobile platform Samsung KNOX, offering defence grade features for real-time protection from malicious attacks. These new devices are also ready out-of-the-box for business – enabling instant access to partner environments that offer increased productivity and flexibility.  The devices work seamlessly with the likes of Mobile Iron, Airwatch, and Microsoft Office 365. As business works increasingly in the Cloud, security is enhanced with a touch fingerprint scanner, super quick authentication and encrypted data saved in secure device storage.

Samsung Exclusive Technology for higher performance and lower power consumption

The thin (6.8 mm/7.0mm edge) and lightweight (132g /138g edge) Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge integrates the most advanced Samsung exclusive technology available today. With the world’s first 14nm 64-bit mobile processor technology in combination with 64-bit Operating System, new LPDDR4 memory system and Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.0 flash memory, users can undertake multiple tasks at the same time whilst enjoying significantly lower power consumption.

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge users can share and enjoy a clearer brighter viewing experience anytime and anywhere thanks to the 5.1” Quad HD Super AMOLED screen display which has an incredible pixel density of 577 pixels per inch (ppi). Outdoor visibility is effortless with display brightness reaching up to 600cd/m2 (candela per square metre).

Enabling simple and secure mobile payments in New Zealand

Today Samsung announces the launch of Samsung Pay; a new, easy-to-use mobile payment service.  Protected by Samsung KNOX, fingerprint scanning, and advanced tokenisation, Samsung Pay works with both NFC (Near Field Communication) and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) and Barcode technology.  Samsung Pay is not expected to be available in 2015 in New Zealand.

However, New Zealanders will shortly be able to enjoy the convenience of mobile payments.  Samsung has a partnership with Semble – a ground breaking New Zealand industry collaboration, bringing together Paymark and mobile network operators (2degrees, Spark and Vodafone) with banking partners (ASB and BNZ) to offer an integrated mobile wallet experience to Kiwis. The Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge and more than 700,000 Samsung devices will be able to make smartphone payments using Semble.  This is set to launch early 2015.

Release dates

Galaxy Zero and Galaxy Zero edge will be available globally starting in April 2015 with 32/64/128GB storage options available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz (Galaxy Zero only) and Green Emerald (Galaxy Zero edge only).

Samsung reveals NZ product line up for 2015 but keeps some products under wraps

Samsung yesterday put their consumer electronics products on show, giving kiwis a glimpse of the technology they can expect to see in retail stores in the coming months.

While a great number of products where revealed at the Bangkok launch, including the stunning high-end 88 inch JS9500  SUHD television, there was no official mention of the upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone.

Instead the media were shown the new Galaxy A range of ultra slim smartphones which are pitched more to the mid market as well as a plethora of digital home appliances.

Samsung Forum 2015 Key Announcements

SUHD TV:  Pitched as the next leap forward in UHD TV technology, Samsung showcased a range of SUHD televisions.  While UHD itself is still in the early stages of adoption, the new SUHD standard will deliver more than double the brightness and greater colour richness of the previous technology.

This is possible because of nano-crystals which transmit different colours of light depending on their size, producing higher colour purity with increased light efficiency.

Despite all of that, Kiwis will potentially be most interested in the Rugby Mode smart feature which enhances the look of a sports game and produces highlights of key match moments on the fly.  Prices and dates available for the 2015 televisions are yet to be announced.

Premium Audio: A new line up of home theatre audio solutions were revealed.  The WAM 7500/6500 speakers deliver a 360-degree sound from a stylishly egg shaped body.  The company also showcased its new Curved Soundbar 8500 series which complements their range of curved TV’s.

Digital Appliances:  The Dualwash washing machine drew a lot of attention due to a non-digital innovation.  The washing machine has a built in sink in the lid which allows users to pre-treat their laundry before tipping it into the wash.

Phones and Music:  The assembled media were hoping to catch sight of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6, but there were to be no leaks before its March reveal. Instead they were shown the mid range Galaxy A devices.  The Galaxy A7, A5 and A3 all feature a slim metal unibody design in a range of colours and sizes.

Beyond hardware, Samsung announced the arrival of Milk Music in the Asia-Pacific region with a rep confirming that it would launch first in Australia and New Zealand.  Optimised for mobile devices, Milk Music is Samsung’s version of an internet radio/music discover .

The “Listening TV” issue

Separately from the launch, Samsung New Zealand also put paid to the internet reports that Samsung Smart TV’s may be “listening in” on private conversations and transmitting the information to advertisers.

A press release issued just before the conference.  “Voice recognition allows the user to choose to control the TV using voice commands in addition to their remote control and is a Samsung Smart TV feature which can be activated and deactivated by the user.

It went on to say “If a consumer consents and uses the voice recognition feature, voice data is only given to a – voice-to-text conversion provider during a requested voice command search.  At that time, the voice data is sent to a server which searches for the requested content then returns the desired content to the TV. “

Delegates at the Samsung Forum that I spoke to seemed bemused that the voice search feature, commonly seen these days in smartphones, had received so much adverse publicity.

Super-slim iPad Air 2 reaches New Zealand

According to the quote from Wallis Simpson, you can never be too rich or too thin.  Apple seems to have applied that maxim to the all new iPad Air 2.  Not only is it rich in features and apps, it is amazingly thin and light.

In fact, when my review unit arrived I wondered just how they managed to get all of the electronics into what is essentially a thick slice of air.

ipad-air-finish-grey-201410ipad-air-finish-gold-201410 ipad-air-finish-silver-201410

Apparently magic has something to do with it.  Honest!  At the global launch 10 days ago Apple’s Philip Schiller describe the iPad as a “magical” piece of glass that runs more than 675,000 apps specifically designed for it.

Was Phil using the word magical in the sense that the device is beautiful or delightful, or was he hinting that supernatural powers were at play in creating the device?

I suspect the former, but either way, the new iPad has finally reached New Zealand so you’ll be able to go in-store and figure that one out for yourself.

Here’s what you need to know about the all-new magical device: Continue reading

Gadget Roundup – Top Tech for Kiwi Springtime

In this month’s gadget roundup we’ve got a jumping drone, a premium hairdryer and a smartphone with a gnarly zoom lens, proving once again that the world of tech is constantly evolving.   To find out about these products and many more, read on…


Drone On

 Kids of all ages went gaga over the Parrot AR Drone but the relatively high price kept the enthusiasm in check. That’s not a problem for the new, Parrot Rolling Spider drone which clocks in at an affordable $149. This ultra-compact drone, controlled by a tablet or smartphone, flies indoors and outdoors with surprising speed and stability. Acrobatic tricks are available from the free app and you can even steam video from its integrated mini camera. It’s guaranteed to generate hours of fun as is its stablemate the Parrot Jumping Drone (pictured).

ParrotJumpingSumo-B1 RS_RED_FrontView_Wheels_Sticker

Heart Beat

Gadgets that measure body movement are all the rage but this is one takes biometric measurement a step further. The TomTom Runner Cardio GPS sport watch, $399, has a built-in Heart Rate Monitor which accurately measures changes in blood flow in the wrist by shining light through the skin. As heart rate monitoring is the most accurate way to understand how the body is responding to exercise, runners can easily use the heart rate settings in this TomTom watch to improve their performance.


Portable Sound

The Haka strikes fear into opposition teams but you don’t have to wait for the next big test to hear the All Blacks rousing challenge. This special, limited edition All Blacks UE Boom portable Bluetooth speaker, $299.90, sports the silver fern design and plays part of the Haka when you turn it on. Like the All Blacks the UE Boom is known for its power and ability to perform under all manner of extreme conditions.


Zoom In

Most smartphone cameras are fine when you want to take a selfie, but they’re not so good for long distance photos. The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom, $799, solves this problem by packing a 10 X optical zoom lens into the rear of a flagship Galaxy smartphone. That means that you’ll always have a zoom camera with a 20.7 megapixel sensor at hand, allowing you to capture the moment whether it’s right in front of you or many metres away.


Good Hair Day

When is a hairdryer not just a hairdryer? When it’s made by British brand ghd, makers of the iconic hair straightening irons, of course. The ghd aura, $300, promises to give salon quality results at home by virtue of its patented Laminair technology. This aligns hair in a single direction leaving it ultra-smooth and shiny. Meanwhile the Cool-Wall feature creates a ring of cool air around the hot air, so the user can get closer to the scalp for volume and increased root lift.

 aura_stood CMYK HR

Laser Like Focus

LG may have launched the G3, $1049, their new global smartphone with the mantra “simple is the new smart” but this sleek phone is packed with sophisticated technology that puts it well ahead of the competition. The 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS display has four times the resolution of current HD smartphone screens while the 13MP camera has a revolutionary Laser Auto Focus system that shoots stunningly sharp images in a fraction of the time required by conventional phone cameras. Simply stunning.


 Be Safe, Be Seen

Exercise is important at most times of the year, but if you’re running or cycling in the dark, it’s just as important to be seen. The Halo Belt 2.0, $55, is a reflective, fully adjustable belt that also emits a solid or flashing light. While it’s designed to be worn buckled around the waist, it is also commonly worn over the shoulder or even clipped around a backpack. The belt recharges quickly through a USB connection and is available in red, blue and green.

Vincent Pilot Ng Halo Belt 2.0 Blue

Game On

Serious gaming requires serious power, and the Asus G750, $3,599, is one of the most powerful gaming laptops currently on the market. The eye-catching design draws inspiration from stealth fighters, while the keyboard layout is ergonomically designed to give gamers greater comfort during long playing sessions. With specs that include a 17.3 inch screen and Nvidia’s most powerful graphics card yet, this 4.8kg powerhouse is a force to be reckoned with.


Light Sleeper

Frequent business travellers know how off-putting jet lag can be. Re-Timer glasses, $395, promise to knock jet lag for six using the power of light therapy. All you have to do is wear Re-Timer glasses for 30-50 minutes a day for four days before you leave on a long-haul flight. The gentle exposure to the green light will gradually and naturally shift your sleeping pattern, so you can arrive feeling on the ball for that important business meeting.

Retimer clear cut

Behave Yourselfie

The Fujifilm Instax Share, $246, is a wireless device that allows you to instantly print the special moments you’ve captured on your phone. The Instax share app lets you customise your image before sending it wirelessly to the printer. If you want a reminder of the date, time and even the temperature when each pic was taken, no worries; one of the templates allows you to add this to the image prior to processing. It’s one way of making sure each shot is a one of a kind.

Fujifilm Instax SHARE

Streaming Sounds

 It’s a first world problem but a lot of homes have older speakers that can’t stream audio from modern wireless devices like tablets and smartphones. That’s where the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter, $69.90, comes in. This small adapter connects to a speaker or hi-fi system through an RCA or 3.5mm input, instantly adding Bluetooth functionality. You then simply pair your phone to start sending big beats or classical compositions over the air. Problem solved.


Top Tablets

If you’re in the market for a new top-end tablet, you’re going to love the look of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab S. The premium Android Tab S comes in two sizes, a 10.5-inch, starting at $749, and 8.4-inch version, $599. They are the first tablets to feature high-resolution Super Amoled screens and as a result images are brighter and more colourful than similarly priced tablets. Parents will love the “Kids Mode” feature which gives little ones a safe place to play and prevents them from deleting any of Mum or Dad’s apps.

[Image] Galaxy Tab S 10.5-inch_5


Content created by John Buckley, orginally published in KiaOra Magazine, published by Bauer Media, 2014.


First Look at the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in New Zealand

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launched in New Zealand on Friday the 26th of September.  Here’s the “First Look” and discussion with Matty McLean and Alison Pugh on Breakfast on the morning of the launch (copyright TVNZ 2014).

iPhone 6 Clip

Click the image or this link to visit the TVNZ website to view.

Having spent 48 hours with both handsets I’ve been asked by a number of people which one I prefer.  Right now I’m enjoying the iPhone 6 more than the 6 Plus which is a surprise to me as I’m a fan of larger format phones.

The iPhone 6 just seems to be more manageable in the hand, and there aren’t enough special features built into the 6 Plus to warrant the larger size.  Sure it’s great for photo and video viewing, but is the portability trade-off worth it? I’m not sure.

Oh and yes, it’s still flat despite having been transported in my jeans pocket. I guess NZ is going to have to try harder to get on the #bendgate bandwagon.

New Zealand one of the only countries to get Bolt from Instagram (for now)

instagram_bolt_for_androidInstagram has today launched Bolt, a one-to-one visual messaging app for iOS and Android that lets you capture and send photos and videos to friends with just one tap. Instagram pitch it as simply the fastest way to share an image or a video.

Bolt is the first new standalone app from the Instagram team. It launches exclusively today in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Mobile messaging is how people communicate today, but sharing an image still takes too many steps and too much time. Bolt is designed to be fast and simple – it’s for communicating in that moment with people you’re close to, as quickly as possible.

“Bolt lets you shoot and send photos to your best friends—with one tap,” said an Instagram spokesperson. “Send both photos and videos as fast as you see them. Bolt is the newest app from the team who brought you Instagram.”

Here’s how it works

• Sign up with your phone number, no email address needed.

• Add friends to your “favourites” list

• With just a single tap, you shoot and send a photo or video.

• Add text captions if you want – you can also reply directly to messages you receive with a photo

• Once you swipe away a Bolt message, it’s gone

What is Bolt? The quick overview

• Standalone, one-to-one photo and video messaging app

• One tap to instantly capture photo or video, choose recipient, and send

• Optional text/captioning

• Sign up with your mobile phone number

• Add up to 20 contacts (“favourites”) to message 1:1


• New Zealand/ app stores from July 30, 2014

• iOS (iOS 7+) and Android (Ice Cream Sandwich +)

Lightbox Is Here – Telecom Delivers TV Over The Internet

A new online service is about to give Kiwis a lot more choice over how they watch TV shows.

Telecom Digital Ventures today revealed that their new streaming service, called Lightbox, will launch in the coming weeks offering people with a broadband connection the opportunity to choose what they watch, when they like and with no ads.

At launch TV shows Lightbox will include 24Live Another Day, starring Kiefer Sutherland as the iconic Jack Bauer.

24 2Game of Thrones junkies will likely get their costume drama fix through Vikings, currently in production on its third season.

Drama series Mad Men is also confirmed as part of the line-up.

While the full line-up of shows won’t be revealed until the service goes live,  Launch Director for Lightbox, Simon Hoegsbro says viewers can look forward to entertainment the whole family will enjoy.

“We’re launching with around 5000 hours of award winning TV shows that span all genres – whether you’re into drama, comedy, sci fi, fantasy, reality or kids shows, there’s something for everyone.”

A free 30-day trial will allow TV lovers to explore the service thoroughly before they make their first payment of just $15.

Vikings 1

The Details: How Lightbox Works

The service can be used across multiple devices, including laptop, desktop, iPad and Airplay on Apple TV.

Up to five devices can be registered to each Lightbox account, and two shows can be played at once, so you can watch the latest drama series in the living room while your kids sing along to their cartoon favourites in their bedroom.A parental control function enables parents to filter out content playback according to rating.

Set up is easy. There are no contracts or installation visits required and membership is available to all New Zealanders, regardless of their broadband service provider.

“Our aim is to bring our service to as many homes as possible,” says Hoegsbro. “We want viewers to discover shows they’ll love, and have the freedom to watch them on their own terms. Lightbox enables exactly that.

“We hope New Zealanders will take advantage of our free 30-day trial to check out what we’re offering and watch some great TV shows. To pre-register, visit and enter your email address.”

Small print: Compatible device and broadband required. Your ISP charges apply. Lightbox is $15 per 30 days after the 30 day free trial. Terms of use apply.


Twitter: @lightboxNZ

Bright and Beautiful – meet the new Galaxy Tab S Tablet

If you’re in the market for a new top-end tablet, you’re going to love this news. Samsung has announced their 2014 flagship tablet for the consumer market – the Galaxy Tab S.

The Galaxy Tab S actually comes in two sizes, a 10.5-inch and 8.4-inch version, but both pack new Super Amoled screens.  The display resolution for the Tab S is an eye-popping 2,560 by 1,600 pixels and the rich colour saturation really impresses.

Both tablets have a fingerprint sensor which owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be well used to.  The cameras are a rear facing 8-megapixel and a 2.1 mp front facer.

Samsung spent a lot of time at the launch in New York focusing on movies and magazines, both of which are bound to look great on this screen.  We’ve heard a lot about tablets being used for “second screening” that is, used for snacking on internet content while watching TV.  With this release you feel that Samsung are trying to make the tablet the first screen; and when movies and TV programmes look this good you can only ask “why not?”

The tablets have a new smart feature built-in, SideSync 3.0.  This allows your S5 and the tablet to sync in real-time over wi-fi or wi-fi direct.  You can even see a pop up of your phone on the tablet and use all of the functions of the phone from the tablet screen.

Parents will love the multi user logins which allow you to set up limited device access for the kids. No longer will you have to search for icons on your home screen, only to find the kids have deleted them.

The Galaxy Tab S is designed to appeal to the premium consumer and both models will go on sale in New Zealand in July.



















The invitation to the Auckland event: