Sony http://www.stuff.tv/sony/all en-GB First leaks suggest that the Sony Xperia Z4 will be a smartphone on steroids http://www.stuff.tv/android/first-leaks-suggest-sony-xperia-z4-will-be-smartphone-steroids/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The first trickle of Xperia Z4 information points to a 64-bit powerhouse with a QHD display </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="First leaks suggest that the Sony Xperia Z4 will be a smartphone on steroids" alt="First leaks suggest that the Sony Xperia Z4 will be a smartphone on steroids" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-z3-slant.jpg?1413797821" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s only been a short while since the launch of the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review" target="_blank">Sony Xperia Z3</a> &ndash;&nbsp;just over a month to be exact&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;but Sony is already beavering away on its its successor.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/hafizahosman" title="View user profile.">Hafizah Osman</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/first-leaks-suggest-sony-xperia-z4-will-be-smartphone-steroids/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/android/first-leaks-suggest-sony-xperia-z4-will-be-smartphone-steroids/news#comments Android Smartphones Sony Xperia Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:26:44 +0000 Stephen Graves 1450861 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: Will.i.am’s smartwatch about to launch, Windows 10 preview nets massive downloads, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue also coming to PC http://www.stuff.tv/littlebigplanet-3/fully-charged-william-s-smartwatch-about-launch-windows-10-preview-nets-million-do <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wake up, plug in, and read our morning tech news roundup </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Will.i.am&#039;s smartwatch" alt="Will.i.am&#039;s smartwatch" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/will-i-am-smartwatch_0.jpg?1413340222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Will.i.am’s smartwatch launching this week </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Remember when music producer and Black Eyed Peas member Will.i.am revealed that <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fully-charged-webos-never-was-and-william-s-big-smartwatch-revealed/news">he created a smartwatch</a>? Turns out it&rsquo;s actually a real thing, and it&rsquo;s apparently launching later this week at an event happening on the same day as <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/new-ipads-new-macs-no-u2-hopefully-what-expect-apple-s-16-october-event/feature">Apple&rsquo;s planned iPad reveal</a>.</p> <p>Will.i.am&rsquo;s effort was first shown on <em>Alan Carr: Chatty Man</em> back in April, and he claimed it to be a standalone device with the ability to make calls - like Samsung&rsquo;s Gear S - as well as play music and access Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The rounded design also looked quite large on his wrist, as you&rsquo;ll see in the clip above. Android, perhaps? It&#39;s not clear just yet.</p> <p>His company, i.am+, will reveal the watch in San Francisco this Thursday, 15 October, at software expo Dreamforce 2014. The press release claims it to be a &ldquo;bold new device that allows for a sixth sense mentality and represents a new way of being connected.&rdquo; Can the real thing live up to that masterful PR fluff? We&rsquo;ll have a better sense in a couple days.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://www.virtualpressoffice.com/RODAccess?did=1264261163127&amp;pid=1765437&amp;ct=C">PR Newswire</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fully-charged-webos-never-was-and-william-s-big-smartwatch-revealed/news">Fully Charged: The webOS that never was, and Will.i.am&rsquo;s big smartwatch revealed!</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Rj7IfmUbF0M" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Windows 10 preview nets a million downloads </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Microsoft surprised some folks by making the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/windows-10-technical-preview-now-available-download/news">Windows 10 Technical Preview</a> available to freely download about a year before the planned full release, and intrigued users have responded by flocking to the first look at the company&rsquo;s next big operating system.</p> <p>According to Microsoft, more than a million users have downloaded the preview, with more than 200,000 feedback pieces sent from within the OS. Almost two-thirds of the installs are on actual PCs, as opposed to virtual machines, and the overall download tally is sure to rise as the program continues on into next year.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/10/13/checking-in-on-the-windows-insider-program/">Blogging Windows</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/6-things-we-love-about-windows-10-and-3-we-hate/feature">6 things we love about Windows 10 - and 3 we hate</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="800" title="Windows 10 Technical Preview" alt="Windows 10 Technical Preview" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/windows10-preview-desktop.png?1413340222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Assassin’s Creed Rogue also coming to PC </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Surprise, surprise: <em>Assassin&rsquo;s Creed Rogue</em>, which was slated to be an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 exclusive to sate fans without new-gen consoles this holiday season, will also come out on PC.</p> <p>However, the computer version won&rsquo;t see release until early 2015, while the console versions are due out next month. Don&rsquo;t be remotely surprised if <em>Rogue</em> eventually also does make its way to Xbox One and PS4 in one form or another once <em>Assassin&rsquo;s Creed Unity</em> makes its mark.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://blog.ubi.com/assassins-creed-rogue-story-trailer/">UbiBlog</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review">Assassin&rsquo;s Creed Unity preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/h-dgUPQVnv0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> LittleBigPlanet 3 delayed a week </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&rsquo;re anxious to reconnect with Sackboy and meet his new pals in <em>LittleBigPlanet 3</em> next month, we&rsquo;re afraid you&rsquo;ll have to wait a little longer: Sony announced yesterday that the European date has slipped a week to 26 November to &ldquo;give Sackboy the best opportunity to shine.&rdquo; We&rsquo;re not so sure that digital burlap is supposed to shine, but we understand the intent.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://community.eu.playstation.com/t5/LittleBigPlanet/LittleBigPlanet-3-Coming-to-Europe-26th-November/td-p/22400611">PlayStation</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/littlebigplanet-3/littlebigplanet-3/review">LittleBigPlanet: First Play preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dyxKIP8KNgk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/littlebigplanet-3/fully-charged-william-s-smartwatch-about-launch-windows-10-preview-nets-million-do#comments Console games Gaming LittleBigPlanet 3 Smartwatches Sony Windows 10 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 06:30:00 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1450182 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony announces PlayStation Experience expo in Las Vegas http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-announces-playstation-experience-expo-las-vegas/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Not content just to show at wider events, the console maker claims its own space </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation 4" alt="PlayStation 4" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/playstation4_0.jpg?1412999462" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eager for hands-on time with the next big PlayStation 4 games, and maybe even a first glance at some unannounced titles? Better book a flight to Vegas, since Sony&rsquo;s planning a public event of its own.</p> <p>The PlayStation Experience will be a two-day event held in Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States on 6-7 December, and unlike PAX and other expos, Sony won&rsquo;t need to fight against Microsoft, Nintendo, and others for attention: it&rsquo;s all about PlayStation.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-announces-playstation-experience-expo-las-vegas/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-announces-playstation-experience-expo-las-vegas/news#comments Gaming PlayStation 4 Sony Fri, 10 Oct 2014 20:36:26 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1449936 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony Xperia Z3 Compact http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-compact/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Is this the best little Android in the universe? Spoiler: Yes. Yes it is </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Who&#039;s a pretty phone then?" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DSCN9955.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Balls to compromise.</p> <p>That was Sony&rsquo;s mantra when it came to shrinking the original Z1 into the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z1-compact/review">Z1 Compact</a>, and it&rsquo;s looking for a repeat performance with its successor.</p> <p>The Z3 Compact aims to offer the same power and performance as the gorgeous full-fat Z3, but in a smaller and more manageable chassis. It could well be the new people&rsquo;s champion of the smartphone world.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £370.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Solid, waterproof build </div> <div class="field-item even"> Great battery life </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Capable of great photos </div> <div class="field-item even"> Zero compromise on power </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Very comfortable to use </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Camera app is overly complicated </div> <div class="field-item even"> Not quite as premium as its big brother </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Cooler colour balance won’t suit all </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> SOLID, COMFORTABLE BUT NOT QUITE PREMIUM </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Z3 Compact is essentially a shrunken Xperia Z3, and that is definitely a compliment.</p> <p>It looks smart and feels very comfortable in the hands, thanks to its diminutive size and rounded edges. The glass front and back panels feel reassuringly solid, weighty and premium, too.</p> <p>We do have one gripe with it however - it&rsquo;s disappointingly creaky when flexed. We&rsquo;ve got no reason to doubt the overall build quality and there&rsquo;s no reason why you&rsquo;d want to flex your phone, but once you know the creaks are there it becomes a bit of a niggle. Oh, sorry.</p> <p>Unlike its larger Z3 brother&#39;s metal edges, the Z3 Compact settles for plastic, which obviously feels less expensive. It&#39;s a shame, because metal surroundings would result in a nicer look and feel, as well as offering increased strength.</p> <p>Having said that, the edges don&rsquo;t feel cheap, and their translucent colouring does a good job of standing out.</p> <p>Consider that the Compact is &pound;100 cheaper than the flagship Z3, and it seems churlish to complain about the use of slightly less premium materials.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Nice behind" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9956_1.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Mmm, translucent plastic" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9971_0.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia Z3 Compact tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.6in 1280x720 Triluminous display with X-Reality engine <br /><strong>Processor</strong>: 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801&nbsp;<br /><strong>RAM</strong>: 2GB <br /><strong>OS</strong>: Android 4.4 KitKat <br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 20.7MP rear, 1080p/4K video<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 16GB (+ microSD)&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2600mAh&nbsp;<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: x8.7mm<br /><strong>Weight</strong>: 129g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The rest of the Z3 Compact will be familiar to Sony fans. Its microUSB, microSIM and nanoSIM ports are all covered by flaps, which allow it to happily swim around in up to 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes &ndash; that&rsquo;s the highest waterproof rating in a Sony phone to date.</p> <p>The power, volume and camera buttons all grace the right-hand side. The power button could perhaps be a little higher up, as that&rsquo;s where your thumb naturally rests when holding the phone, but that&rsquo;s no big deal.</p> <p>Front-facing speakers sandwich the top and bottom of the screen, and they&#39;re worth the extra bezel for the most part. While not as loud or as clear as the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review" target="_blank">HTC One (M8)</a>&#39;s impressive BoomSound speakers, the Z3 Compact still blasts out music louder than its size suggests. Its rear does tend to vibrate a bit in the hands if the volume is cranked up all the way however.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review" target="_blank">HTC One (M8) review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Classic Tibbles" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/20141010_161709.jpg?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="It can do pushups too" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9965_5.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A SCREEN THAT&#039;S A PLEASURE TO USE </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Before we jump into pixel counts, white balance and colour saturation, let&#39;s talk about size.</p> <p>The Z3 Compact has bumped up its screen size from its predecessor&#39;s 4.3 inches to 4.6 inches.</p> <p>While that might alarm the small-handed gadgeteers who appreciated the Z1 Compact so much, we can happily report that there&rsquo;s nothing to worry about.</p> <p>Sony has managed to cram a larger screen into a body that&#39;s practically the same size as the original Z1 Compact, which means that you&rsquo;ve got more screen to enjoy without the need for +1 dexterity.</p> <p>In a world littered with smartphones that require a juggling act to reach the top notification bar (we&rsquo;re looking at you, iPhone 6 Plus and Galaxy Note 4), the Z3 Compact gets a 15/10 for ease of use.</p> <p>Yes, you might get screen envy when comparing it to the likes of the 5.5in <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/g3/lg-g3/review" target="_blank">LG G3</a> when viewing movies side-by-side, but use the Compact on its own and you&#39;ll feel so darn comfortable using it that nothing else will matter.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/g3/lg-g3/review" target="_blank">LG G3 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="No more thumb stretching \0/" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9959.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So, back to resolution: it&#39;s 720p, and yes, you will notice a drop in sharpness compared to the full HD and 2K smartphone screens that abound right now - but only when you actively scrutinise them all together.</p> <p>The G3 in particular definitely shows up more detail, while the Compact&#39;s screen can appear almost fuzzy in direct comparison.</p> <p>But in general use, you won&#39;t be complaining - you probably won&rsquo;t even notice. 319 pixels per inch still delivers sharp text, and images and videos still look great as long as the screen isn&#39;t strapped to your face.</p> <p>Sony&#39;s image enhancement engine does a great job serving up punchy, bright colours, although as with many of Sony&rsquo;s phones (and TVs for that matter) the overall balance is a bit cooler than you might be used to. You&rsquo;ll probably get used to it, but if you don&rsquo;t there are dedicated settings for adjusting white balance. I&rsquo;ll admit to not getting quite the tone I was after, but then I am something of a perfectionist.</p> <p>Blacks are great, though - deeper and truer than the ones found on the G3. Samsung&rsquo;s AMOLED displays still remain the ultimate displays for those after the blackest of blacks, but the Z3 Compact does make the nominations envelope.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-galaxy-note-4/review" target="_blank">Samsung Galaxy Note 4 hands-on review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Pretty eh?" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9973_1.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="An explosion of colour" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9972_0.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> MINIATURE MUSCLE </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sony hasn&#39;t messed around when it comes to power. The Z3 Compact may be small, but it sure isn&rsquo;t weak.</p> <p>While its Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor isn&#39;t as powerful as the more recent 805 offering found in the Galaxy Note 4, it still matches the power found in current flagships such as the LG G3, Sony Xperia Z3 and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/moto-x-2014/review" target="_blank">Motorola Moto X</a>.</p> <p>Unlike on those fancy-pants superphones, Qualcomm&#39;s silicon only has to worry about pushing a 720p resolution here, and that helps to ensure the performance is extra silky smooth. From heavy multitasking to running the latest graphically shiny games such as FIFA 15, you won&#39;t be left wanting for power.</p> <p>As with most current smartphones, the rear tends to get rather warm during intense use, but with winter coming perhaps you&rsquo;ll be glad of that?</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/moto-x-2014/review" target="_blank">Motorola Moto X hands-on review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="We scored, honest" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9969_0.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Multitasking champ" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9970_2.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A FORMIDABLE CAMERA, DROWNING IN COMPLICATED MENUS </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Like its full-sized Z3 sibling, the Compact has a 20.7MP camera, and it takes genuinely impressive photos.</p> <p>Assuming you&rsquo;re prepared to take the time to get things just right.</p> <p>The Xperia camera app is bursting with different shooting modes, and settings are buried in complicated menus - &nbsp;the complete opposite of the effortless point and shoot camera apps of phones such as the HTC One (M8) and iPhone 6.</p> <p>It took us a good few minutes of frustrating trial and error to figure out how to turn on HDR, for example. Manual mode has to be selected, but even then, you can&rsquo;t turn it on when shooting at 20.7MP. You have to bump the resolution down to 8MP to turn HDR on. It&rsquo;s overly complicated, and that&rsquo;s just for something that should be very simple.</p> <p>We&rsquo;d recommend sticking to superior auto mode for most of the time as it does a very decent job of assessing the scene. Shots in good lighting show up plenty of detail and accurate colours, and the 8MP shots taken in this mode are you&rsquo;ll ever need if you&rsquo;re a simple social media shutterbug. The 25mm wide-angle lens means that you can cram more into each shot, too, which is another nice bonus.</p> <p>If you fancy cropping into shots or flexing your photographic muscles, then there&rsquo;s that 20.7MP manual mode, which allows tweaks of everything from the white balance to ISO, as well as selecting the type of scene.</p> <p>If you take your photography that seriously you&rsquo;ve probably got a serious camera, but the Z3 could come in handy if you just happen to stumble across the perfect shot but don&rsquo;t have it with you.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Anyone got a map?" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9960.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="It&#039;s a lens" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9957_1.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><iframe class="imgur-album" frameborder="0" height="550" src="//imgur.com/a/hrw9P/embed?background=292929&amp;text=ffffff&amp;link=4e76c9" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Both the Z3 and Z3 Compact boast a 12800 ISO setting &ndash; more than any of its rivals to date. While shots at these higher ISO levels are brighter, we find that the G3&rsquo;s 13MP shots pick up more detail in dimmer conditions, with more accurate colours and less noise, possibly due to its optical image stabilisation and two-tone LED flash.</p> <p>Sony&rsquo;s less serious AR modes also return, letting you overlay dinosaurs, little fairy&hellip; things, and other digital characters over the real world. While it&rsquo;s fun for a few minutes, you&rsquo;ll probably ignore this feature once you&rsquo;ve shown it off to your mates once or twice.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ANDROID’S LEFT WELL ENOUGH ALONE </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Thankfully Sony&rsquo;s stuck to its guns by not messing around with Android too much, unlike its Samsung, HTC and LG rivals.</p> <p>Any visual modifications to Android 4.4.4 KitKat are kept simple, and there&rsquo;s not a massive amount of bloatware on board.</p> <p>Naturally, Sony&rsquo;s own services such as Music Unlimited are being pushed on its Xperia devices, but the most impressive non-stock software present is the Lifeblog app.</p> <p>It tracks everything from your calories burned, steps taken and workouts, to photos captured and videos captured. You can scroll through a summary of your activities on a day-by-day basis, condensing your life into one single app - it&rsquo;s far more useful and not nearly as depressing as that may sound.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">PS4 </a>owners can look forward to Sony&rsquo;s Remote Play app which is already available on PlayStation Vita and is set to launch later this year on Sony&rsquo;s top phones and tablets. Combined with a controller, the Z3 Compact will act as a gateway to the PS4, allowing you to stream games in realtime - as long as the network connections at both ends are fast enough.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re dead excited to get testing with Remote Play on mobile and will update this review when the app launches.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review" target="_blank">Sony PlayStation 4 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Nice and subtle" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9958_0.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Old Skool" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/black-sheep.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A battery that keeps going. And going </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Battery life remains the Achilles heel of even the greatest of smartphones, but the Xperia Z3 blew us away with its stamina and we&#39;re happy to report that the Z3 Compact shares its Duracell Bunny DNA.</p> <p>Our standard video rundown test involves looping a 720p video, with Wi-Fi connected, the screen set to 50% brightness and app/email syncing on.</p> <p>This test was carried out twice, and the Compact lasted just over ten hours both times.&nbsp;</p> <p>While not quite as high at the 13+ hours achieved by the Z3, it&#39;s still an impressive figure, beating the LG G3 by more than half an hour.</p> <p>In standard use, you can get away with at least one and a half days on a single charge, which is very impressive indeed.</p> <p>Our reviews process, coupled with a two hour commute (each way) makes for higher than average use, and the Compact still happily lasts an entire day.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1280" height="720" title="Refuses to die" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Screenshot_2014-10-10-08-03-40.png?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Z3 Compact is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best sub-5in Android phone available today.</p> <p>The power of a full-size flagship, an excellent camera and an impressive battery life are all crammed into a device that&#39;s a pleasure to use no matter the size of your digits.</p> <p>If your hands can manage a bigger device there are smartphones around that offer bigger and more beautiful screens and cameras that are more point-and-shoot friendly, but for smaller-handed gadgeteers Sony&#39;s no-compromise Pocket Hercules will tick every box.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Moments before the neighbourhood cat went for the yarn" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN9974.JPG?1413886234" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> screen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> apps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Camera </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Powerful insides, an excellent camera and a great battery life, all crammed into a compact and fairly striking 4.6in chassis. Impressive stuff.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Meet the best mini smartphone in the universe </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-compact/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-compact/review#comments Smartphones Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Fri, 10 Oct 2014 17:27:37 +0000 Sophie Charara 1446070 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: Apple’s U2 album download numbers revealed, Amazon opening retail store, and Minecraft on PlayStation Vita next week http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/fully-charged-apple-s-u2-album-download-numbers-revealed-amazon-opening-retail-store-and-mine <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The weekend is mere hours away - but first, read all of this tech news </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="U2&#039;s Songs of Innocence" alt="U2&#039;s Songs of Innocence" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/u2-apple-songsinnocence.jpg?1412995279" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Apple shares U2 album stats </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The free release of U2&rsquo;s new album&nbsp;<em>Songs of Innocence</em>&nbsp;to all iTunes users proved controversial, as some didn&rsquo;t want an album forced into their libraries, while others didn&rsquo;t really understand how it got there in the first place. But free is free, and a fair number of the 500 million iTunes users took advantage of the offer.</p> <p>According to Apple&rsquo;s Eddy Cue, serious VP of Internet software and service, the album was downloaded some 26 million times in full, while 81 million iTunes users listened to at least one song from the album. And if you did either and don&rsquo;t want it on your computer anymore, well,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/fully-charged-iphone-6-notches-record-pre-orders-first-windows-only-branded-phone-spotted-and-">there&rsquo;s a tool for that</a>&nbsp;now.</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/6274359/itunes-numbers-u2-songs-innocence-album">Billboard</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature">Apple&rsquo;s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Amazon opening New York store </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amazon may be a massive online retailer, but the company still understands the value of putting devices into people&rsquo;s hands - especially when it comes to distinctive tech like the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/amazon-kindle-phone/review">Fire Phone</a>. To that end, Amazon will reportedly open a store in the heart of Manhattan in New York City very soon.</p> <p>The pop-up store is said to function like a convenient urban mini-warehouse, allowing customers to order select items for same-day pickup, but CNBC says the store may also host demonstrations for the Fire Phone,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/amazon-s-refreshed-kindle-fire-lineup-includes-6in-us99-tablet-plus-kid-centric-variant/news">new Kindles</a>, and perhaps the Fire TV.</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnbc.com/id/102070643">CNBC</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/ifa-2014/amazon-fire-tv-hits-uk-23-october-79-prime-members-can-get-it-cheap/news">Amazon Fire TV hits UK on 23 October for &pound;79</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="778" title="Amazon Fire Phone" alt="Amazon Fire Phone" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/firephone-launch_1.png?1412995278" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Minecraft ready to roll on Vita </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With Microsoft&rsquo;s recent acquisition of Mojang and the Minecraft franchise, some PlayStation Vita fans might have worried that the promised port wouldn&rsquo;t make its way to the Sony-made handheld. No need for concern, however, as the game has been announced for release next week.</p> <p>The Vita version will debut in Europe on 15 October, delivering a compact version of&nbsp;<em>Minecraft</em>&nbsp;that features controller support, making it a whole lot more appealing than the phone and tablet versions.</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/4JStudios/status/519987042139525120">Twitter</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/microsoft/microsoft-acquires-minecraft-and-creator-mojang-us25-billion/news">Microsoft acquires Minecraft and creator Mojang for US$2.5 billion</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/QFZoDbgncJA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disney’s Tomorrowland teased </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Tomorrowland</em>&nbsp;- loosely inspired by the Disney park attraction of the same name - is out next May, and the first teaser trailer above shows a bit of the digital wizardry being put into the live-action film.</p> <p>Before you shrug the film off for its thematic origins, know that it&rsquo;s directed and co-written by Brad Bird, the man behind amazing films like&nbsp;<em>The Incredibles</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>The Iron Giant</em>. He even directed a rather excellent live-action film with 2011&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol</em>. Fingers crossed that he scores again here.</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k59gXTWf-A">YouTube</a>&nbsp;via&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/9/6953069/the-first-tomorrowland-teaser-trailer-and-poster">The Verge</a>]</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1k59gXTWf-A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/fully-charged-apple-s-u2-album-download-numbers-revealed-amazon-opening-retail-store-and-mine#comments Amazon Apple Film and TV Gaming Minecraft Music PlayStation Vita Sony Fri, 10 Oct 2014 06:30:00 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1449850 at http://www.stuff.tv Driveclub http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/driveclub/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don&#039;t feel too bad if you&#039;re left out of this (PS4) exclusive club </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Driveclub review" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DC_Screen_38.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Driveclub</em> was pegged as one of the big PlayStation 4 launch exclusives: a slick, social sim-lite racer that would show off the new platform&#39;s myriad enhancements.</p> <p>But then it was delayed just weeks before release. Now, nearly 12 months later, we&#39;re finally playing it &ndash; considering how flawed it still is, we can&#39;t help but wonder what kind of condition it was this time last year.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £49.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> PS Plus members can download PS Plus Edition for free and upgrade to full game for £35 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">6 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Clubs are a fun hook </div> <div class="field-item even"> Enjoyable racing </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Immediate, dynamic social challenges </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lacks energy or personality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Visual inconsistencies </div> <div class="field-item odd"> No vehicle tuning </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Fast and fine </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>That&#39;s totally surprising, since the game hails from Evolution Studios, the team behind the wonderfully raucous <em>MotorStorm</em> series. Perhaps switching to a realistic racing approach sapped some of the enthusiasm from the team, because what&#39;s here is a dry, menu-centric affair that comes off a little undercooked in spots.</p> <p>On the asphalt, <em>Driveclub</em> certainly holds its own, with fast, precise circuit and sprint races on tracks inspired by real-world locales. Without driving assists available, zipping around the courses requires a subtle touch, lest you spin out on a hairpin and spend the rest of the jaunt playing a typically futile game of catch-up.</p> <p>As in something like <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/forza-horizon-2/review" target="_blank"><em>Forza Motorsport</em></a>, <em>Driveclub</em> puts an accessible spin on the sim genre: it&#39;s fun, but not terribly frustrating in the early hours. You can pick a ride &ndash; including real-world desirables such as the McLaren 12C and Ferrari F12berlinetta &ndash; and start cruising easily enough, but staying on the track and actually competing for the checkered flag requires nuanced braking and careful approaches to turns.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/forza-horizon-2/review" target="_blank">Forza Horizon 2 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Simply getting around a course is easy - winning requires more skill and subtlety" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_08.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1600" height="900" title="Brake power is exaggerated to encourage you to chuck the cars into corners" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_25.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Join the club? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Driveclub&#39;s</em> hook comes from social racing and integrated challenges, which are appealing additions. Most notably, you can create a crew for you and five of your online buds and rep your team across the Internet. That also means it&#39;s possible to take your six-driver club into a race against another like-sized squad in the 12-player online showdowns and work together to block paths, nudge foes into barriers, and secure a team victory.</p> <p>That&#39;s awesome if you can get your whole club online at the same time and find the right competition. But even in the off moments, your squad&#39;s collective progress in all types of races (even single-player ones) add to the club ranking, which helps unlock additional cars, liveries, and more down the line.</p> <p><em>Driveclub</em> also uses its online-connected nature to pull quick-hit challenges into all of your events, adding a little arcade-style flavor into the otherwise traditional events. At certain points on each track, you&#39;ll encounter drifting, high speed, and racing line tests that pit your score against that of another online player &ndash; either a friend or a random. The challengers&#39; scores can occasionally be well outside what you could actually pull off in a given span, which is annoying, but generally they&#39;re fun little tasks that can spice up a race even if you&#39;re struggling at the back of the pack.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/alien-isolation/review-0" target="_blank">Alien: Isolation review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Driveclub review" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_22_1.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cruise control </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Some players will surely be so enamored with the team concept that they&#39;ll invest hours and hours into <em>Driveclub</em>, but it&#39;s a shame that there isn&#39;t a more enticing core game to truly enable that community layer.</p> <p>Sadly, the game is downright drab in moments. The single-player career mode simply finds you amassing points by clearing a listing of events &ndash; races, time trials, and drift challenges, each with secondary objectives &ndash; and unlocking cups to complete. The approach is strongly reminiscent of <em>EA&#39;s Shift 2: Unleashed</em> from early 2011; in fact, quite a lot of the overall experience here (sans social elements) recalls that game, but that was three and a half years and a whole console generation ago.</p> <p>Beyond the simple career, <em>Driveclub</em> offers only single races and multiplayer matches to tackle, again with no real personality built into the design. Lacking depth extends past the races themselves and into the garage, where the cars can&#39;t be upgraded or tuned beyond the livery designs.</p> <p>In many respects, <em>Driveclub</em> seems content to be a very slight game that leans hard upon its social functionality, but the lasting appeal of social play depends on having a really rich core experience. And that&#39;s not here.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/crew/review" target="_blank">The Crew preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Driveclub review" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_27_0.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Beauty, befuddlement </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Inconsistent presentation proves a real surprise. The vehicle exteriors are nicely modeled, and there are impressive effects in spots: dazzlingly lit tunnels, bursts of confetti tossed onto the track as you approach crowds of spectators, and windshield grime that becomes visible as you turn towards the sun. Evolution&#39;s ambition to tap into the new-gen hardware shows here and there.</p> <p>But it doesn&#39;t feel like they followed through on all of their plans. In fact, some areas look downright unfinished. The pre-race location overviews are almost uniformly disheveled, with scenery that looks comprised of clay and half-dried paste. Elsewhere, the repeated environmental elements look like placeholder assets that never got replaced in time for the retail release.</p> <p>The on-track scenery doesn&#39;t look so rough, thankfully, but the lighting is frequently a distraction. When playing in cockpit view, the interior is often so dark that you can&#39;t make out the details. And the wild shifts are curious: you&#39;ll complete a turn and shift from full illumination outside to a dim dreariness. I don&#39;t long for uniformly lit locales that never change, but Evolution went way past the point of subtlety in its pursuit of realism, and the result takes away from the experience.</p> <p>That said, <em>Driveclub</em> does intentionally shrug off reality in one area, and it&#39;s actually a neat addition: many events speed up the passing of time so that each lap represents a different time of day. You may start a race in total daylight, but the final lap is in pitch-black nightfall. That gives the action an extra sense of dynamism at times, and while a weird tweak, it&#39;s at least an interesting one. Evolution&#39;s planning to add similarly dynamic weather in a post-launch patch, which should have an even more interesting and fun effect.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Driveclub review" alt="Driveclub review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_44.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Driveclub verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Visual inconsistencies aside, <em>Driveclub</em> is a perfectly solid racer &ndash; but for Sony&#39;s first big foray into the genre on PlayStation 4, we expected a lot more. The team dynamic adds an engaging perk to the solid simulation racing, but there&#39;s little depth and energy around the experience, as exemplified by the bog-standard career, lack of non-visual vehicle customization, and sleepy menu-driven design.</p> <p>After playing something as joyously designed and boldly styled as <em><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/xbox-360/forza-horizon-2/review" target="_blank">Forza Horizon 2</a></em> on Xbox One &ndash; which itself has a club component &ndash; it&#39;s tough to run into a racer that feels so conventional and borderline tepid. That may not be much solace to PS4 owners, but alas.</p> <p>There&#39;s fun to be had here, but I expect that most players will be plenty satisfied by the free PlayStation Plus version &ndash; with fewer tracks and cars &ndash; and not feel the strong need to pay for the full release. That giveaway is a gambit that may not work out well for Sony, as <em>Driveclub</em> doesn&#39;t strongly earn the upgrade.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apps-and-games/console-games/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Games in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Driveclub verdict" alt="Driveclub verdict" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DC_Screen_54_0.jpg?1412850420" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Graphics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 6 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> depth </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 6 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> addictiveness </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 5 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Team racing and social features are nice perks, but Driveclub&#39;s core experience fails to generate much excitement</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Driveclub review </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/driveclub/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/driveclub/review#comments Console games Driveclub PlayStation 4 Sony Wed, 08 Oct 2014 08:43:49 +0000 Tom Parsons 1449562 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony A5100 http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-a5100/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony’s camera is the littlest APS-C lens swapper in the world – but is it a case of small being beautiful? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony A5100 is the smallest APS-C interchangeable lens camera in the world " alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-a5100-main.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How small is too small? Depends on the gadget, obviously.&nbsp;A postage stamp-sized TV would be pointless. But a teeny tiny lens-swapping camera? Well that might just work.</p> <p>Sony clearly thinks so, because its latest E-mount camera, the A5100, is&nbsp;the smallest and lightest camera in the world for its class.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £550.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> with 16-50mm lens </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tiny and lightweight </div> <div class="field-item even"> Great photo and video quality </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Lightning-fast autofocus </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No electronic viewfinder </div> <div class="field-item even"> Screen a tad small for touch </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Build and design: a wee wonder </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We&rsquo;ll say it again: the A5100 is small. It&rsquo;s wee. It&rsquo;s tiny. It&rsquo;s little. Dinky, even. And that&#39;s both a good and a bad thing.</p> <p>First, the bad.&nbsp;</p> <p>The A5100 lacks&nbsp;the large grip of the A6000 to help you hold it steady, merely having a small textured bump to cling to. With the (also compact) 16-50mm kit lens attached the thing has a nice balance in your mitts, but attach larger, heavier bits of glass and things start to feel a little less poised. </p> <p>Morever, because there&rsquo;s no viewfinder (more on that below) you&rsquo;ll be framing shots using the screen and thus holding the camera out in front of you, which makes it even less steady. It&rsquo;s not a huge deal-breaker in our opinion, but it&rsquo;s worth noting &ndash; especially if you happen to be of the larger-fisted persuasion.</p> <p>But then there&#39;s the good. </p> <p>Our hands are probably best described as &ldquo;normal-sized&rdquo;, and we had no real problems using it. The diminutive size and light weight (it&rsquo;s just 283g with battery and memory card) make it one of the most convenient system cameras to carry around everywhere. It won&rsquo;t fit in your pocket (unless you wear really, really big jeans), but put it in a bag with one of Sony&rsquo;s smaller E-mount lenses on it and you won&rsquo;t even know you&rsquo;re carrying it.</p> <p>The exterior is tough plastic, which seems acceptably solid and sturdy to us. The A6000 has a metal body, and Sony&rsquo;s reasoning is probably that those who want to go down that particular route can pay a little more for the next model up.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The A5100 is almost preternaturally small" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-a5100-in-hand.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Usability </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As mentioned above, there&rsquo;s no electronic viewfinder here. While that helps keep the A5100&rsquo;s size as small as possible, it does mean you&rsquo;re forced into using the 3in TFT screen for composing shots. Personally, we like using a viewfinder: they&rsquo;re handy on a sunny day when reflections make the LCD barely visible; they let you hold the camera up to your face, which helps steady it; and they&rsquo;re great for situations where you don&rsquo;t want the screen distracting or irritating people around you, for instance at concerts. Plus,&nbsp;Sony has a recent history of making brilliant, sharp OLED EVFs.&nbsp;</p> <p>That said, the screen is sharp and bright, and it&rsquo;s also touch-sensitive. While this can be a source of annoyance in some cameras, Sony has made the physical controls good enough that you don&rsquo;t need to use the touchscreen at all if you hate it &ndash; and at the same time, features such as touch focus (tap a spot on-screen and the A5100 focuses there and takes a photo immediately) are frequently useful. We do wish it was a little bigger and more sensitive to your taps, however.</p> <p>The screen also tilts upwards up to 180 degrees, which means you can face it forward (hello, better selfies) or up (hello, shooting with the camera held at waist level). Again, handy stuff.</p> <p>As with all Sony&rsquo;s E-mount cameras, there&rsquo;s no optical image stabilisation built into the A5100. Where it feels OIS is necessary, Sony builds it into lenses, so it isn&rsquo;t a huge deal if you&rsquo;re using E-mount glass. However, if you&rsquo;re mounting other lenses via an adapter, you&rsquo;ll need a steadier hand than you might with some competitors&rsquo; system cameras.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The screen flips 180 degrees to facilitate selfies" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-a5100-screen-flip.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Super-speedy autofocus </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As with its beefier sibling the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-a6000/review">A6000</a>, the A5100 has Sony&rsquo;s latest hybrid autofocus system, marrying 179-point phase detection with 25-point contrast detection. Those words might not mean much to you, but translated into normal human words they indicate that it&rsquo;s very, very fast and very, very accurate when it comes to autofocus.</p> <p>Half-press the shutter button and you&rsquo;ll find the A5100 locking on to subjects almost instantly (and staying locked even if those subjects move, thanks to the superb tracking focus mode). For a camera that sits just above entry-level, it&rsquo;s incredibly impressive, and useful too: it&rsquo;ll help you properly capture moments you might otherwise have missed.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony A5100 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Sensor: </strong>24.3MP Exmor APS-C CMOS</p> <p><strong>Lens mount:</strong> Sony E-mount</p> <p><strong>ISO range:</strong> 100-25600</p> <p><strong>Continuous stills shooting:</strong> 6fps</p> <p><strong>Flash:</strong> built-in pop-up</p> <p><strong>Video capture:</strong> Up to 1080p at 60fps in AVCHD 2.0/MP4/XAVC S formats</p> <p><strong>Screen:</strong> 180-degree tilting 3in LCD with 921,600 dots</p> <p><strong>Connectivity:</strong> NFC, Wi-Fi, USB, micro HDMI
Dimensions: 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7mm</p> <p><strong>Weight:</strong> 283g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Photo quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The A5100&rsquo;s 24.3MP APS-C sensor is of the same physical size as those found in most DSLRs, and it&rsquo;s the same as the one used in the A6000. Its large size helps it capture more light in short shutter speeds, which makes it a good performer in lower light situations (although there&rsquo;s also a pop-up flash should you need it).</p> <p>Sony&rsquo;s BIONZ X processor also aids noise reduction, and you can push the ISO sensitivity up a long way before noise starts to become an issue. The ISO range is impressively wide for a cheaper system camera (100-25600), and shots taken at 3200 and below are relatively noise-free. When using a fast or image stabilisation-equipped lens, you can shoot handheld in truly murky conditions and still end up with usable results.</p> <p>In good light, though, the A5100 truly excels. We mainly used the 16-50mm kit lens, and found that on a sunny day this combination turned out shots with superb detail, contrast, colour reproduction and, in the right conditions, good bokeh and a narrow depth-of-field. As with most Sony cameras, it also has the ability to create lovely HDR exposures with both bright and dark areas of the image nicely exposed.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/stuffs-guide-photography-what-bokeh-and-how-do-i-get-it/feature">Stuff&rsquo;s Guide to Photography: What is bokeh &ndash; and how do I get it?</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="1800" title="Sony A5100 sample shot (with 16-50mm zoom lens)" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sample-trees.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="800" title="Sony A5100 review" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sample-churchill-theatre.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="800" title="Sony A5100 review" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sample-spider.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="800" title="Sony A5100 review" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sample-war-mem.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Video quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Impressively, the A5100 can shoot in three different video formats: AVCHD 2.0, MP4 and XAVC S. You&rsquo;re probably familiar with the first couple (AVCHD is more suited to TV playback, MP4 to PC playback), but you might not know much about XAVC S. It&rsquo;s a Sony-developed format that supports 4K (not on this camera, sadly) and offers extremely high image quality &ndash; so high, in fact, that it wouldn&rsquo;t even record on our (not particularly old or slow) SD card. But really, it&rsquo;s aimed at pros and enthusiasts rather than people who just want to film their cat looking surprised or their kid&rsquo;s first steps.</p> <p>Happily, we can attest that the other formats both work on normal SD cards and that they both offer excellent quality: crisp, clean 1080p at up to 60fps, with all the advantages offered by top notch lenses. And clear stereo sound, too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wi-Fi smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Sony A5100 comes with Wi-Fi, allowing you to connect to other devices to wirelessly transfer photos and videos and remotely control the shutter. It&rsquo;s not a feature we imagine all or even most owners making use of, but compulsive internet sharers will appreciate the fact that you can take a snap with this camera, transfer a lower-res version to your phone and then post it to social media straight away.</p> <p>Sony&rsquo;s PlayMemories app (available for iOS and Android) is one of the better camera-linking smartphone apps in terms of functionality and reliability, and if your phone or tablet is NFC-equipped then linking it up to the A5100 should take all of ten seconds once you&rsquo;ve tapped the products together. With other phones, things will be a little more fiddly.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The PlayMemories app lets you shoot remotely" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-a5100-app.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony A5100 verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We&rsquo;re hugely impressed with the Sony A5100, given its price. For &pound;550 (and you&rsquo;ll probably find it cheaper than that online very soon) you get superb still and video quality in almost all conditions, as well as class-leading autofocus, all crammed into a camera almost preternaturally tiny. And a decent zoom lens too!</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not perfect (we&rsquo;d really like a viewfinder, but we suppose there&rsquo;s always the A6000 for that) but it&rsquo;s hard to think of a better overall performer for the money. Highly recommended as a first system camera.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="We do miss an EVF, but that aside it&#039;s hard to fault the A5100" alt="Sony A5100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-a5100-rear.jpg?1412948222" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> stills </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> video </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>DSLR-quality performance in a camera a third the size of most DSLRs</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-a5100/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-a5100/review#comments Sony System Cameras Thu, 02 Oct 2014 13:14:46 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1448867 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: PlayStation Home closing, Yahoo dropping its directory, and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke selling new album via BitTorrent http://www.stuff.tv/music/fully-charged-playstation-home-closing-yahoo-dropping-its-directory-and-radiohead-s-thom-yorke <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wipe the sleep from your eyes and catch up on the weekend’s top tech news </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="PlayStation Home" alt="PlayStation Home" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-playstation-home.jpg?1411975959" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> PlayStation Home shutting down in March </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sony&rsquo;s PlayStation Home initiative on PlayStation 3 has always been a curious thing: a Second Life-like virtual community that offered limited interaction and seemed geared more towards marketing and promotions than fun and entertainment. And still, it commanded a bit of a community in its nearly six years of existence.</p> <p>But that&rsquo;ll be about the end of it. Sony has announced that PlayStation Home will close on 31 March 2015, and new content will cease being added in just a few weeks, on 12 November. Sony cites a &ldquo;shifting landscape&rdquo; for the move, and we&rsquo;d guess that means even fewer people paying attention to Home now that the PS4 is out and thriving (and not made available on that console).</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/PlayStation-Home/PlayStation-Home-Update-September-26-2014/td-p/44552202">PlayStation Forums</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">Long-term test: Sony PS4 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yahoo closing its 20-year-old directory </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s been a long time since Yahoo was considered a search giant, and the company has diversified itself greatly over the years. And at the end of this year, 20 years after its beginning, Yahoo will finally close its iconic web directory.</p> <p>The directory&nbsp;<em>was</em>&nbsp;the Yahoo experience initially, and the name is an acronym for &ldquo;Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,&rdquo; but Yahoo says its &ldquo;business has evolved.&rdquo; On 31 December, the directory will close, leaving the company to focus on its more modern ventures.</p> <p>[Sources:&nbsp;<a href="http://yahoo.tumblr.com/post/98474044364/progress-report-continued-product-focus">Yahoo Tumblr</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/9/27/6854139/yahoo-directory-once-the-center-of-a-web-empire-will-shut-down">The Verge</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/fifa-15/fully-charged-ouya-s-all-you-can-play-plan-rankles-developers-orkut-cut-google-yahoo-saves-c">Fully Charged: Ouya&rsquo;s all-you-can-play plan rankles developers, Orkut cut by Google, and Yahoo saves Community from cancellation</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="670" title="Yahoo" alt="Yahoo" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/yahoo-logo.png?1411975959" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thom Yorke selling new album via BitTorrent </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Radiohead is perhaps the most progressive major act around when it comes to digital efforts, whether it was selling 2007 album&nbsp;<em>In Rainbows</em>&nbsp;as a pay-what-you-want download or recently pumping its trippy mobile app&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/fully-charged-apple-denies-icloud-breach-celebrity-photo-leak-radiohead-s-new-music-weird-app-">full of new tunes</a>, and now singer Thom Yorke is pursuing a new avenue to get his music to fans.</p> <p>On Friday, Yorke released his new album,&nbsp;<em>Tomorrow&rsquo;s Modern Boxes</em>, via BitTorrent, allowing interested fans to spend US$6 to gain access to the eight songs and music video. The BitTorrent Bundle app claims more than 333,000 downloads as of this writing, but it&rsquo;s unclear if that&rsquo;s of the whole bundle just a tally of all of the files counted individually. Oh, and a&nbsp;<a href="http://store.tomorrowsmodernboxes.com/Store/StoreDIIPound.htm">vinyl edition is available</a>&nbsp;for collectors.</p> <p>[Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://radiohead.com/deadairspace/tomorrows-modern-boxes">Radiohead</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/fully-charged-apple-denies-icloud-breach-celebrity-photo-leak-radiohead-s-new-music-weird-app-">Fully Charged: Apple denies iCloud celebrity photo breach, Radiohead&rsquo;s new music is in a weird app, and Land Rover contest could send you to space</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="700" title="Thom Yorke&#039;s Tomorrow&#039;s Modern Boxes" alt="Thom Yorke&#039;s Tomorrow&#039;s Modern Boxes" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/thomyorke-tomorrows.jpg?1411975959" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> New Assassin’s Creed Unity trailer </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As the November release date nears for&nbsp;<em>Assassin&rsquo;s Creed Unity</em>, Ubisoft&rsquo;s regular barrage of trailers has begun digging deeper into the various gameplay enhancements found within.</p> <p>This latest clip explores the benefits of the ample player customization and details the roles in the co-op missions, making this truly intriguing new entry seem like it&rsquo;ll be downright entrancing.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/assassins-creed-unity/review">Assassin&rsquo;s Creed Unity preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vQEocdLSgZ8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/music/fully-charged-playstation-home-closing-yahoo-dropping-its-directory-and-radiohead-s-thom-yorke#comments Gaming Music PlayStation 3 Sony Ubisoft Yahoo Mon, 29 Sep 2014 06:30:00 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1448821 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony’s PlayStation TV micro-console arrives on 14th October http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-s-playstation-tv-micro-console-arrives-14th-october/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> But only in the US and Canada – Europeans will have to wait another month or so </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="Sony’s PlayStation TV micro-console arrives on 14th October " alt="Sony’s PlayStation TV micro-console arrives on 14th October " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/playstation-tv.jpg?1411536292" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sony has announced that its <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/gamescom-2014/share-play-coming-ps4-plus-playstation-tv-and-playstation-now-dated-uk/n" target="_blank">PlayStation TV</a> device will be on sale from 14th October in the US and Canada &ndash; and has revealed a list of almost 700 games with which it&rsquo;s compatible.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>But that&rsquo;s not all. It&rsquo;ll also support the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/ces-2014/playstation-now-game-streaming-service-coming-ps4-ps3-ps-vita-and-more/news">PlayStation Now live game streaming service</a>, meaning you can play a host of PS3 titles via your home broadband connection. Available games include The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls and God of War: Ascension.</p> <p>And then there&rsquo;s something for PlayStation 4 owners: Remote Play. Hook the PS TV up to a second TV in your house and you&rsquo;ll be able to play your PS4 games on it, even if someone else is playing another game in the living room (yes, it&rsquo;s the same Remote Play that you&rsquo;ll find on the PS Vita and Sony&rsquo;s latest batch of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review">Xperia Android devices</a>).</p> <p>The PlayStation TV will cost US$100 (&pound;60) standalone, or US$140 (&pound;85) with a DualShock 3 controller and 8GB memory card. A UK price has not yet been confirmed by Sony, but we should know more before the European release date, which has been mooted for 14th November.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://blog.us.playstation.com/2014/09/22/nearly-700-games-available-to-play-on-playstation-tv-on-day-one-this-october-2/" target="_blank">Sony PlayStation blog</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">Sony PlayStation 4 review</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="A European price of €99 has been set for the PS TV" alt="A European price of €99 has been set for the PS TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-ps-tv-box-shot.jpg?1411536292" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-s-playstation-tv-micro-console-arrives-14th-october/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/sony-s-playstation-tv-micro-console-arrives-14th-october/news#comments Gaming PlayStation 4 Sony Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:16:30 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1448355 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony Xperia Z3 http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Another Xperia smartphone so soon? Who cares when the Z3 is this good... </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony makes tweaks in the right places to the stunning Z2" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/xperiaz3-ross.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sophie-charara" title="View user profile.">Sophie Charara</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sony&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z2/review">Xperia Z2</a>, launched this April, was a mere nip and tuck away from smartphone perfection. But in the cut-and-thrust world of high-end smartphones, coming close just isn&#39;t good enough, and in the final reckoning we preferred the HTC One (M8) and LG G3.&nbsp;</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £530.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sleeker, lighter build </div> <div class="field-item even"> Day and a half battery life </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Takes stunning pictures </div> <div class="field-item even"> Water resistant </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Supports hi-res audio files </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Default white balance is off </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sony pushes its subscription services </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Camera&#039;s auto mode isn&#039;t 100% reliable </div> <div class="field-item even"> PS4 Remote Play isn&#039;t ready yet </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Which one&#039;s the new one? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On first unboxing the Z3 you&#39;ll suspect someone&#39;s just stuck a new logo on the Z2.&nbsp;</p> <p>But look a little closer and you&#39;ll notice a few tweaks that really do make an incredible difference. The difference between &#39;I know it&#39;s well-specced and well-built but I just don&#39;t love it&#39; and &#39;I need one right now&#39;. It takes getting one in your hand to really appreciate it.&nbsp;</p> <p>The aluminium and tempered glass OmniBalance design now has rounded sides and, while the body is still angular and doesn&#39;t sit completely snug in the palm like a One (M8), it&#39;s enough to make it much more comfortable. It&#39;s a compromise - Sony wants OmniBalance to be iconic the way a BMW or Mercedes design is, even at the expense of comfort - but this time it&#39;s a compromise that allows for the contours of human hands while keeping the year-and-a-bit old Xperia aesthetic.&nbsp;</p> <p>It also helps massively that the Xperia Z3 weighs just 152g - that&#39;s 11g less than the Z2 - and is skinnier too at a mere 7.3mm. Throw in the fact that that it&#39;s ever so slightly smaller in height and width terms and you have a phone that feels less like a big, heavy block of a tech and more like a standard premium flagship. Yes, it&#39;s a big phone with a 5.2in screen but it&#39;s not overly wide in the hand compared to, say, a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-note-3/samsung-galaxy-note-3/review">Galaxy Note 3</a>. </p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="556" scrolling="no" src="http://gfycat.com/ifr/RecklessDecimalHyena" width="700"></iframe></p> <p>The flaps hiding the microUSB, SIM and microSD slots are smaller, rounded and more refined and even though the top and bottom bezels still look a teensy bit retro, the bezels either side of the screen are now slimmer.&nbsp;</p> <p>With all that glass you might be worried about smashing it but Sony has added new nylon caps to the corners. It says handsets are most likely to be dropped on corners, so replacing the old aluminium edges is designed to make the Z3 more durable. Sure enough, while we were testing the Z3&#39;s camera, we dropped it (on purpose, of course. Maybe). Apart from a small scuff on the top left cap, the Z3 survived as flawless as before. &nbsp;</p> <p>Another big advantage of the OmniBalance design is that it&rsquo;s water- and dust-proof, so the Z3 is capable of withstanding anything the weather can throw at it &ndash; as well as enabling you to make calls from the shower and watch Netflix in your Jacuzzi. You can&#39;t use the screen properly when it&#39;s wet but the new IP65/68 rating is the highest waterproofing you can get on a smartphone right now (surviving up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5m of water) with a new higher dust resistance too.&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the course of our testing we&#39;ve managed to play around with a few Z3s. The white model was our favourite - it&#39;s less reflecty outdoors than the black model. There are also two new colours in the form of copper and silver green. Hey, at least it&#39;s not <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/how-ruin-best-looking-phone-world-step-1-pink/news">pink</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review">HTC One (M8) reviewed&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Clean lines, lush materials - only the iPhone and HTC match this " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-back_1.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="4000" height="3000" title="Slim and solid but still pretty droppable " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-side-view.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Water, dust and fuzzproof - kind of " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-top-jack.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="900" title="A lovely new curved frame - music to our eyes and fingers " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-sim-slot.png?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia Z3 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 5.2in 1920x1080 (424ppi)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Processor</strong>: 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core&nbsp;<br /><strong>RAM</strong>: 3GB<br /><strong>OS</strong>: Android 4.4 KitKat&nbsp;<br /><strong>Storage:</strong> 16GB/32GB (+microSD)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Battery:</strong> 3100mAh<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 20.7MP, 1080p/4K video rear, 2.2MP front, 1080p video<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC&nbsp;<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 146 x 72 x 7.3mm<br /><strong>Weight</strong>: 152g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In defence of 1080p </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Given that the Xperia Z2&#39;s screen is one of the best we&#39;ve ever laid eyes on, we&#39;re not going to complain that Sony&#39;s pretty much left it alone.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s 20% brighter than the Z2&#39;s screen - 600 candela, fact fans - and it really does help when you&#39;re looking at the screen outdoors as the front of the Z3 can be very reflective in direct sunlight, particularly&nbsp;the black model.&nbsp;</p> <p>It has the same full HD resolution and is unsurprisingly as sharp and punchy as the Z2. Deep blacks don&#39;t quite rival those on the Galaxy S5 but are still impressive and text looks crisp and clean.</p> <p>The X-Reality setting returns to pump up colours further still as well as improving contract and sharpness - fine if you want to wow friends with photos but we&#39;d rather keep it turned off. Even more Samsung-like is the new Super-vivid mode. Scroll through the preloaded Sony World Photography Awards with this turned on for hyper-real hues. Both are unnecessary, as colours look really vibrant on the Sony, more so than the more natural-looking LG G3; which you prefer comes down to personal preference.&nbsp;</p> <p>But the screen isn&#39;t exactly the same. This time around, Sony&#39;s preset white balance makes webpages, games and movies look too blue. We played around with the sliders until we got it just right but considering that Sony makes such an effort with its display tech, we&#39;d prefer this to be perfect out of the box.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why not 2K? Sony&nbsp;says it&#39;s too hard for the human eye to discern the difference, and seemingly isn&#39;t planning&nbsp;to put a 2K screen on a 5in smartphone anytime soon. Or even on its 8in<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-tablet-compact-hands/review">&nbsp;Z3 Tablet Compact</a>.</p> <p>Now, if you&#39;ve got eyes like Stuff&#39;s trained pixel hunters then you&#39;ll know that on the contrary it is possible to discern more detail in video, images and ebooks on 2K screens than regular 1080p ones.</p> <p>We viewed it side-by-side with the LG G3 and whether displaying hi-res pics of spices or crisper detail and textures such as fur and snow in 1080p nature vids, the G3&#39;s bigger 5.5in 2560x1440 screen made its extra pixels known.</p> <p>However, while there is a difference, it&#39;s not going to affect your day-to-day enjoyment of the device. For many people, the Z3&#39;s 424ppi display offers plenty of pixels for your peepers to compute.&nbsp;</p> <p>As we&#39;ve seen with the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/g3/lg-g3/review">2K LG G3 </a>and the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/find-7/oppo-find-7/review">Oppo Find 7</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/oppo/oppo-find-7a/review">Find 7a</a>, there is a trade-off between resolution and battery life too. Rather than gamble on 2K and fewer hours between charges, Sony&#39;s gone and upped the battery life on the Z3.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/g3/lg-g3/review">LG G3 - Stuff&#39;s no.1 smartphone - reviewed</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Live Colour LED/ Triluminous/ X-Reality. Translation? A stonking screen" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-slant.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Compact catches up: a 4.6in screen versus the Z3&#039;s 5.2in screen " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-with-compact.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="Pow! Whack Sony&#039;s settings up to the max and it&#039;s blinding " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-apps-1.png?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This battery goes and goes ... and goes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Battery life was the one thing we really wanted to test on the Xperia Z3. Why? Because to justify the lack of a 2K screen Sony has been throwing around bold claims that both the Z3 and<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-compact/review"> Z3 Compact </a>last two days of regular use. Now, looking in more detail at Sony&#39;s tests, it puts this two days as five hours per day of intensive messaging, gaming, web etc.&nbsp;</p> <p>Skeptical? So were we. There&#39;s a smaller 3100mAh battery (versus the Z2&#39;s 3200mAh unit) for starters. A brighter screen too. And Sony reckons the Z3 will last two days in the same conditions as those in which the Z2 lasts 1.4 and the Z1 lasts 1.2 days.</p> <p>Well, it&#39;s time to set aside your cynicism - because the Z3 has the best battery life of any smartphone we&#39;ve seen in a long time. </p> <p>We haven&#39;t got it to two days on one charge yet but that&#39;s probably because we&#39;ve been hammering it night and day. And since we received our test units, we&#39;ve averaged a day and a half out of it without any of its (many) Stamina and battery saving modes turned on, largely thanks to the fact its standby juice-saving is brilliant.&nbsp;</p> <p>It was even more impressive in our battery rundown, clocking just under 14 hours (13 hours 52 minutes to be exact) on our 720p video loop with Wi-Fi on and half brightness. Now, it&#39;s worth noting that the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z2/review">Xperia Z2</a> managed 12 and a half hours in the same rundown so it&#39;s not a huge difference on playback alone, but in regular use it&#39;s certainly enough to get you four or five extra hours on top of an already excellent battery life. The LG G3, in comparison, lasted for 9 hours 25 on the same test.</p> <p>Sony puts the extra efficiency down to two things - the Snapdragon 801 processor, here clocked at 2.5GHz but also present in the Xperia Z2 - and a new display technology that it&#39;s developed which retains the memory of whatever is on the screen, meaning less reloading and more efficiency. It doesn&#39;t have a catchy name like Sony&#39;s other screen technologies, but it seems to be doing the trick. The only true two-day flagship we&#39;ve tested is last year&#39;s brilliant <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/lg-g2/review">LG G2</a> and the Xperia Z3 comes very close to matching it.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nosing around the settings, Stamina mode returns and Sony follows Samsung and HTC&#39;s lead with an Ultra Stamina mode. There&#39;s no Wi-Fi or data connection when you&#39;re in this mode, but otherwise it looks spot-on for festivals with phone, messaging, camera, contacts, alarm, clock, calculator, FM radio, settings and Bluetooth. Everything is still in colour, unlike rivals, and though there&#39;s no music playback and it takes 30 seconds or so to make the switch, it estimated seven days on 34%, so we can&#39;t argue with that. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-s5/samsung-galaxy-s5/review">Samsung Galaxy S5 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="No monochrome shut-down shenanigans here just a brilliant Stamina mode " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-battery-1.png?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="That 67% should last well over a day - huzzah" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-corner-straight.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A smartphone cam for enthusiasts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Given that the Xperia Z2&#39;s&nbsp;20.7MP camera&nbsp;is one of the best we&#39;ve ever laid eyes on, we&#39;re not going to complain that&hellip;&nbsp;</p> <p>No, really. All that Sony needed to do was make the best better, and it has done so here thanks to a few choice tweaks. For starters there&#39;s a new 25mm G lens for wide angle shots - with an Xperia Z2 on hand, you can immediately see how much more the Z3 fits in frame, which is good news for all those group shots.&nbsp;SteadyShot for video has also been improved. The idea is to put an end to shaky footage so you can compete with all those Hyperlapses on iOS for smooth video when moving about and it works well against wobble-tastic video on lesser Androids.&nbsp;&nbsp;Its main focus, though, is on making the Xperia Z3 the low-light photography king. The sensor now has light sensitivity up to IS0 12800; by comparison most phones will go up to only ISO 800 or so before giving up. It&#39;s worth noting that the extra sensitivity isn&#39;t available in auto mode and the difference over the Z2 isn&#39;t jaw-dropping, but all the same low-light photos are among the closest to compact cam quality we&#39;ve seen.&nbsp;This Xperia&#39;s been eating its carrots.&nbsp; <p>Now, as with the Z2 your love of the Z3&#39;s camera really does depend how much time you&#39;re willing to spend with it; you do need to learn your way around Sony&#39;s camera app and settings to get the best out of it. For instance, in manual mode you get maximum ISO of 3200 and for video it&#39;s 2000. Just as certain resolutions - such as 20.7MP - are only available in manual mode. Settings are also greyed out depending on what resolution and ratio you select. So it&#39;s one to spend some time with, but once you get the hang of it the images you take can be spectacular. Pics are very, very detailed, allowing you to zoom in on textures and comfortably crop scenes.<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="375" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/99712217@N05/15298662286/in/photostream/player/" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p> <p>Superior Auto mode is still present and it&#39;s still quick to switch between modes, but it&#39;s also still hit and miss (particularly on exposure) for getting <em>that</em> shot every time. Together with the fact that the Z3 isn&#39;t the fastest shot-to-shot, partly down to processing, the likes of the<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/g3/lg-g3/review"> LG G3</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-iphone-6/review">iPhone 6</a> stay on top for reliable on-the-fly snapping. One more quick moan - why is the lens still right in the top corner precisely where our fat fingers might cover it when snapping in landscape, Sony?&nbsp;</p> <p>To fill out the features sheet, Sony has thrown in some more of its social camera apps. The best of these is the blogger-friendly live broadcasting to YouTube feature, following on from live broadcasting to Facebook in past Xperia phones. But there&#39;s also Face In to add a selfie bubble to shots, AR fun, which gives you more effects to layer on to pics, and Multi Camera - which lets you combine up to three smartphones or accessories (such as the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sg/sony-cyber-shot-dsc-qx10/review">QX10 lens</a>) to stitch together different angles of one scene.&nbsp;</p> <p>Another nice touch is Highlights Movies which the Z3 creates automatically after a day out taking stills and video. HTC&#39;s very similar Video Highlights feature, which debuted on the HTC One, is slicker, enabling you to add footage and images you prefer rather than just remove duds as Sony allows. But you can swap the music within the small selection and export as an MP4 file when you&#39;re finished.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z2/review">See sample pics taken with the Xperia Z2 in our review&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Live YouTube broadcasting, nice " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-camera-1.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Superior Auto mode will save the day " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-camera-2.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Fast, Smooth and Always Tracking </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sony&#39;s added plenty of features - some useful, some gimmicky - to its camera app. The Z3&#39;s Android skin, though, stays relatively free of these quirkier additions.&nbsp;</p> <p>As ever there&#39;s lot of pre-installed Sony guff but this can be easily removed. Once you&#39;ve taken care of that, Android 4.4.4 KitKat looks clean and easy to navigate, with Sony extras such as Walkman and Movies Unlimited present.</p> <p>This time around, though, Sony has changed the layout of these built-in services slightly to push users into buying films from Movies Unlimited or, in our case, renewing a lapsed subscription to its Spotify-rival Music Unlimited. Sign-in details for all its services, such as PlayMemories for photos in Album, now appear in the top-left corner of settings. Great if you want to plunge headfirst into Sony&#39;s excellent ecosystem - PlayMemories is a great deal because it&#39;s basically free cloud storage - but really irritating if you just want to be left alone.</p> <p>The real main addition to apps is Lifelog, which we really like. This slick life-tracking app displays a timeline of your day with colourful icon bubbles for each activity. You can &#39;play back&#39; your day to see the figure move and it even shows a bus graphic when it knows you&#39;ve been in transit. It&#39;s all a bit like stalking a cartoon of yourself, and is as fun as that sounds.</p> <p>The usual steps, distance and calorie tracking are here but it also records browsing, gaming and viewing habits on the phone itself with graphs and goals for both. For fitness, this all-in app is great with day, week, month and year views and the ability to sync to <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-smartwatch-3-and-smartband-talk-hands/review">Sony&#39;s GPS-enabled SmartWatch 3</a> when that arrives. For everything else, perhaps its good to log your mobile Netflix addiction for posterity?&nbsp;</p> <p>As for performance, it&#39;s flawless. We&#39;re running calendar widgets over 1080p videos, using Sony&#39;s small apps function and much more, all without a hitch. Downloads of everything from Spotify playlists to big Android games over Wi-Fi and 4G are fast. And moving around KitKat is just dreamy. With an AnTuTu benchmark score of 41,357, beating the LG G3, and a decent SunSpider 1.0.2 score of 855.4ms, it&#39;s no surprise that the now slightly higher clocked 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 and 3GB RAM equal zero lag in use.&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, the only niggle is that the phone heats up when overworked. Not a problem when gaming but it does restrict filming in 4K to one-to-two-minute bursts.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="952" title="Lifelog (left) and small apps (right) " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-lifelog-screen.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Audiophiles, listen up </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>LG got there first with hi-res audio, but Sony will no doubt own it.&nbsp;</p> <p>That&#39;s because Xperia smartphones have been our favourite Androids for sound quality for a while now, giving the iPhone a run for its money as a music player. So the addition of hi-res audio capabilities makes perfect sense. Sure, there&#39;s not a whole lot of places to get the files but once you do, you&#39;re laughing.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sony&#39;s also pushing its own DSEE HX engine, promising to uprate your lower quality MP3s to near high resolution by focusing on the higher frequencies - this is available as a setting when listening through the Walkman app. The Z3 is getting a close listen in the <a href="http://www.whathifi.com/products">What Hi-Fi? Sound &amp; Vision</a> testing labs this week, so we&#39;ll update this review with verdicts on hi-res audio and the uprating engine.&nbsp;</p> <p>The front-facing stereo speakers sound clear and loud - not like the small, tinny sound we&#39;re used to from smartphones. We still prefer the HTC One (M8) for an impromptu blast of Spotify, though, and when the Z3&#39;s speakers are on full blast, the back vibrates rather worryingly. It&#39;s not nearly as bad as the Galaxy S5 but turn the sound up when playing <em>Real Racing 3</em> and you&#39;ll really feel it. &nbsp;</p> <p>In terms of audiophile accessories, there&#39;s Sony headphones to take advantage of the Z3&#39;s digital noise cancelling. Travellers won&#39;t hear the hum of the aeroplane and won&#39;t need to charge their &#39;phones, making it a neat trick if you&#39;re willing to pay a bit extra. It&#39;s not new to the Z3 but it is clever.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature">What is high-res audio? Everything you need to know&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Audiophiles may need to steady themselves " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-audio.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The phone you can play PS4 games on </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We saved potentially the best to last but sadly PS4 Remote Play is another feature we haven&#39;t had a chance to test out on the Xperia Z3 yet. It will, however, be coming to the Z3 in October, so look out for an update. &nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s a genuinely exciting feature borrowed, of all places, from the much underhyped <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pch-2000/playstation-vita-slim/review">PS Vita</a>. It allows Z3 series smartphones and tablets to play real PS4 games over Wi-Fi when your PS4 console is turned on or on standby. You play using a DualShock 4 controller, which can be used with a mount, or alternatively you can prop up the Xperia Z3 or 8in Z3 Tablet Compact to see the screen.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s best over your home Wi-Fi network. The example Sony gives is if the kids want to watch something on the telly while gamer parents continue playing upstairs on the Z3. But Sony also says it is possible to connect to another Wi-Fi network outside your house, though there&#39;s no guarantee of the experience and we&#39;d be surprised if this takes off.&nbsp;</p> <p>The feature may come to other Xperias such as the Z2 and Z2 Tablet in time, but Sony has zero plans to extend Remote Play outside the Xperia family. Quite right too, as finally Sony&#39;s promise of a real ecosystem is coming together with Exmor sensors in smartphones, NFC in 160 of its mobile, camera and AV devices and now this brilliant PS4/Xperia mash-up.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-4/review">Long term test - Sony PlayStation 4 eight months on</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The gaming mount for DualShock 4 will be sold separately " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-xperia-z3.png?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="You can also play PS4 titles on the Z3 Tablet Compact " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Xperia_Z3%20Tablet%20Compact_PS4_Black_0.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia Z3 Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sleeker, sexier and more capable than any Sony handset to date, the Z3 is the smartphone that proves Sony&#39;s formula - namely not to compromise on quality in any area. Not on screen. Or camera. Or battery life. Or audio.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s the anti-Samsung Galaxy. There&#39;s no gimmicks. Sony doesn&#39;t need them because it seems to understand more and more how we use its smartphones.</p> <p>It&#39;s listened to criticism and made the Z3 lighter, slightly smaller and easier to hold than the Z2. At the same time it&#39;s innovating in oft-ignored areas such as hi-res audio and hardcore gaming. But it&#39;s far from just niche and the genuinely brilliant battery life is for everyone. &nbsp;</p> <p>OK, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z2/review">Xperia Z2 owners</a> will be grumpy and rightfully so. It can&#39;t continue pumping out an iteration of its best phone every six months but Sony itself admits this won&#39;t be forever. Just till it gets on top, we&#39;d bet.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:</strong> <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/smartphones/top-ten">The ten best smartphones in the world right now&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="A bit too soon but an exciting set of upgrades" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-z3-front_0.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="4000" height="3000" title="Take your pick: Z3 Compact, Z3 and Z3 Tablet Compact " alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-family.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 hands on review " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/z3-family-front.jpg?1413813648" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> power </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> screen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> apps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Camera </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Refinement more than revolution, the Xperia Z3 is the phone the Z2 should have been and every bit as good as that sounds&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia Z3 review: &quot;Sleeker, sexier and more capable&quot; </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review#comments Android Smartphones Sony Xperia Z3 Mon, 22 Sep 2014 17:14:42 +0000 Sophie Charara 1443187 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony QX1 http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-qx1/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> An add-on that makes your smartphone shoot like a DSLR? Snap it up! If you have the lenses to get going, that is.. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="An add-on that makes your smartphone shoot like a DSLR? Snap it up!" alt="An add-on that makes your smartphone shoot like a DSLR? Snap it up!" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-qx1-grip.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sony is still willing to innovate - sometimes in quite bizarre fashion &ndash; and few devices encapsulate that vision better than the QX1.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £250.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> (body only) </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">6 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Small and sturdy </div> <div class="field-item even"> Hassle-free pairing with NFC phones </div> <div class="field-item odd"> DSLR photo quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Can be awkward in your hand </div> <div class="field-item even"> Little creative freedom with video </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Expensive when starting from scratch </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sturdy and small </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The QX1 is a fairly pricy product aimed at people who are serious about improving the quality of their photos, and Sony has clearly made an effort to make the product feel worthy of its status and price tag. Even without a lens attached, it&rsquo;s a weighty thing (for its size) with lots of metal in the body. A wrist strap comes in the box, and we suggest you use it &ndash; because if you drop the QX1, it&rsquo;ll hit the ground hard. The exterior is made from thick matte-finished plastic and feels tough enough to withstand everyday use.</p> <p>A door at the back pops open to reveal a lithium-ion battery, chargeable via USB, plus a microSD slot. You don&rsquo;t need a microSD card inside to shoot stills with the QX1 (smaller preview images will be stored into your phone&rsquo;s memory) but you will need one if you want to shoot at the highest quality or if you want to capture video.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a tripod mount at the bottom of the QX1 and &ndash; a first on the QX range &ndash; a pop-up flash on top. There&rsquo;s also a shutter release button on the left side (half-pressing this will trigger the autofocus), while on the right a display gives you three pieces of info at a glance: remaining battery power; the presence (or not) of a microSD card; and whether or not Wi-Fi is switched on.</p> <p>Supplied in the box is a phone mount that clips your smartphone (tablets will be too large) to the back of the QX1. This can be replaced by a hand grip and/or a tilt mount which are sold separately as a package.</p> <p>Then there&rsquo;s the lens mount. The QX1 supports lenses made for Sony&rsquo;s E-mount system (of which there are plenty), and by attaching an official Sony adapter you can also use A-mount lenses (of which there are a whole lot more) with autofocus. Third-party adapters will allow lenses from Leica, Nikon, Canon and more to be attached, at the cost of autofocus.</p> <p>It&#39;s worth noting here that &pound;250 gets you the QX1 with lens mount but when adding a lens, you&#39;re looking at more like &pound;400 to get started. Unless you already have a stock of Sony glass at home.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="It looks mighty weird, but it&#039;s lighter and smaller than a DSLR" alt="It looks mighty weird, but it&#039;s lighter and smaller than a DSLR" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-in-hand_0.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Awkward to hold, easy to set up </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>To use the QX1, you&rsquo;ll need to install Sony&rsquo;s PlayMemories Mobile app on your smartphone &ndash; and at present that&rsquo;s available on Android and iOS. You then connect the QX1 and phone via Wi-Fi Direct (incredibly easy if you&rsquo;ve got an NFC-equipped phone and a bit of a faff if you haven&rsquo;t), open up the app and you&rsquo;re ready to shoot.</p> <p>Photos and videos can be taken either by tapping the on-screen button (you can also set your focus point by tapping a section of the screen) or pushing the physical shutter release button. Half-pressing the latter will engage autofocus.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s an immediately evident problem with the QX1, it&rsquo;s that it&rsquo;s quite awkward to take photos with it. We often found that we were neither comfortable using the physical button nor the screen to take a shot, and that a lot of our photos came out slightly wonky even though we&rsquo;d felt like we were framing them dead-on. Perhaps that&rsquo;s just a consequence of using a new type of camera that&rsquo;s held in a different way to existing DSLRs and compacts, and perhaps it&rsquo;s something we&rsquo;ll get used to &ndash; but we can&rsquo;t deny that there&rsquo;s an issue there, minor as it may sound.</p> <p>The PlayMemories Mobile app allows a large degree of control when taking photos. You can shoot in Aperture, Shutter or Program priority modes if you want to change settings significantly, or switch to one of the two automatic modes: Intelligent Auto for everyday shots; and Superior Auto for more dimly lit scenes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The supplied phone mount will hold most smartphones securely" alt="The supplied phone mount will hold most smartphones securely" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-rear-view_0.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Our QX1 with an A-mount adapter and Sony 70-300mm G lens" alt="Our QX1 with an A-mount adapter and Sony 70-300mm G lens" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-on-tripod.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Photo quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Here&rsquo;s where the QX1 really excels: it&rsquo;s essentially a 20.1MP DSLR that&rsquo;s the size of a DSLR lens. With a large APS-C Exmor sensor and the ability to use high quality lenses, it happily takes photographs that no smartphone camera could dream of capturing.</p> <p>We mostly used it with Sony&rsquo;s 16-50mm E-mount power zoom, a compact lens which comes with optical image stabilisation. It&rsquo;s a good all-rounder and the photos above were all taken using it &ndash; but we were far more excited once we&rsquo;d bolted on Sony&rsquo;s LA-EA4 adapter, which allowed us to use our larger A-mount lenses.</p> <p>This meant we could take extremely detailed close-ups of spiders using a 90mm macro lens or snap far-off birds using a 70-300mm zoom. You lose optical image stabilisation here, which means you either need to shoot in good light or possess a very steady hand (or tripod), but the results we got were DSLR-quality and on our phone in moments &ndash; ready to share straight away to Instagram or Facebook, or send to a friend via MMS.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;ve slotted a microSD card into the QX1, a full-resolution 20.1MP image will be stored on there &ndash; handy if you want to print or blow up shots or shoot in RAW mode for maximum post-processing potential &ndash; but the smaller (5MP and around 500k in size) photos that are stored straight away on your phone are of more than sufficient quality for most purposes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="1803" title="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" alt="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/st-martin-in-the-fields.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="799" title="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" alt="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/hayward.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="799" title="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" alt="Sony QX1 sample (with 16-50mm lens)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/betjemen.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-4"> <div class="field-label">Image #4:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_4" width="1200" height="802" title="Sony QX1 sample (with 90mm A-mount macro lens)" alt="Sony QX1 sample (with 90mm A-mount macro lens)" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-spider.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony QX1 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sensor: 20.1MP Exmor APS-C CMOS</p> <p>ISO range: 100-16000</p> <p>Video: MP4 1920 x 1080 at 30fps</p> <p>Wi-Fi and NFC: Yes</p> <p>Weight: 216g</p> <p>Dimensions: 74 x 69.5 x 52.5mm</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Video quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>You&rsquo;ll also need a microSD card in the camera if you want to record HD video. It&rsquo;s recorded in 1920 x 1080p in MP4 AVCHD format, and looks very nice indeed &ndash; but aficionados may be a little disappointed with the lack of tweakability on offer. You can&rsquo;t manually focus or change settings like ISO or aperture, so there&rsquo;s little room for outside-the-box creativity.</p> <p>Essentially, it&rsquo;s a bit like capturing video on a smartphone, albeit with far, far superior image quality (less noise, cleaner colours and better contrast).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony QX1 verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As we said earlier, we find the Sony QX1 to be a bit of an oddity, and we&rsquo;re not quite sure who it&rsquo;s aimed at.</p> <p>Existing enthusiasts will likely find themselves annoyed at the awkwardness of having to pair it with a phone and hold it in an unusual way (and they probably own a system camera already anyway), while smartphone users looking to boost their handset&rsquo;s shooting capabilities may find it a little too pricey. After all, you can buy a standalone Sony A5000 E-mount camera, which has the same sensor, 16-50mm lens and NFC/Wi-Fi combination for only a few pounds more.</p> <p>That said, we&rsquo;ve had a lot of fun with the QX1 due to its small size and the ease with which it pairs with our NFC Android phone. The fact that you can instantly share photos taken with it using any number of smartphone apps may be a novelty, but it&rsquo;s not wearing off for us after a couple of weeks.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/system-cameras/top-ten">The 10 best system cameras available right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="We like the QX1, but we&#039;re not quite sure who it&#039;s forWe like the QX1, but we&#039;re" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-on-shelf.jpg?1411322529" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> stills </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> video </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> build </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A quirky and high-quality photo add-on for your phone but it&rsquo;s hard to think of anybody who&rsquo;d find the QX1 essential</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-qx1/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-qx1/review#comments Smartphones Sony System Cameras Sun, 21 Sep 2014 18:02:10 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1447893 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: Sony refocusing on high-end phones, Samsung phone trade-ins surge due to iPhone 6, and Deadpool movie dated http://www.stuff.tv/iphone-6/fully-charged-sony-refocusing-high-end-phones-samsung-trade-ins-surge-due-iphone-6-and-dead <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Finish out the week strong by starting the day with a blast of breezy tech news </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" alt="Sony Xperia Z3 Compact" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-xperia-z3.jpg?1411193650" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Amidst losses, Sony shedding mid-range devices </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We&rsquo;ve had kind things to say about Sony&rsquo;s phones, with two models currently residing on our list of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/smartphones/top-ten">the 10 best smartphones</a> in the world right now - but they&rsquo;re just not catching on with consumers like the company wants them to.</p> <p>As a result, Sony says it will post a loss of US$2.14 billion (&pound;1.3 billion) for the fiscal year ending in March, which is about five times larger than the original projection. Sadly, that also means that Sony plans to cut about 1000 workers, or 15% of the headcount from the division.</p> <p>With other companies having much more success with low-priced devices, Sony says that it will refocus its smartphone efforts on higher-end devices while cutting some of the mid-range fluff. Here&rsquo;s hoping that means even more focus on great premium handsets to continue stocking our best list for some time to come.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/18/business/international/sony-widens-expected-loss-to-2-14-billion.html?_r=0">The New York Times</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review">Sony Xperia Z3 hands-on review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Samsung phone trade-ins surge on iPhone 6 release </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Device trade-in specialist <a href="https://www.gazelle.com">Gazelle</a> tells Bloomberg that trade-ins of Samsung smartphones tripled last week in advance of today&rsquo;s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus release. One-third of Android users polled by the service say they&rsquo;re likely to switch to the iPhone 6, and some 39% claim the bigger screen is the primary reason why.</p> <p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing a higher propensity to switch,&rdquo; said Chris Sullivan, CEO at Gazelle, citing the larger screens and other added functionality. &ldquo;This is going to be a strong and compelling product for Android users to switch.&rdquo;</p> <p>Still on the fence about Apple&rsquo;s new handsets? Be sure to read our <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-iphone-6/review">iPhone 6 review</a> and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-iphone-6l/review">iPhone 6 Plus</a> review to find out our take on Apple&rsquo;s first pushes beyond the four-inch display barrier.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-18/apple-s-new-iphones-seen-fueling-switch-from-android.html">Bloomberg</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-iphone-6-plus-vs-samsung-galaxy-note-4-weigh/feature">Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4: the weigh-in</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Apple iPhone 6" alt="Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Apple iPhone 6" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iphone6-vs-galaxys5_0.jpg?1411193650" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Deadpool movie coming in 2016 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>After years of delays, 20th Century Fox has announced that a live-action movie based on Marvel Comics anti-hero Deadpool will hit cinemas in 12 February 2016. Ryan Reynolds, who portrayed the character in <em>X-Men Origins: Wolverine</em>, hasn&rsquo;t yet been signed to a deal, but he&rsquo;s expected to be in the role.</p> <p>This summer, years-old test footage leaked (seen above) and generated a huge amount of fan appreciation, showing that it&rsquo;s possible to nail the frenetic action and humour of the character on film - at least in CG. Whether or not that translates into a live-action setting, especially with a rather short timeframe between now and the release, remains to be seen.</p> <p>Additionally, next year&rsquo;s <em>Fantastic Four</em> reboot has been pushed back a couple of months to 7 August, while the <em>Assassin&rsquo;s Creed</em> film - which was supposed to fill that late summer slot - has been pulled off of the schedule entirely. The Hollywood Reporter&rsquo;s sources say a 2016 debut is now more likely.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/x-men-spinoff-deadpool-gets-734172">The Hollywood Reporter</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/playstation-3/deadpool/review">Deadpool (video game) review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LoXGsv9nsNs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/iphone-6/fully-charged-sony-refocusing-high-end-phones-samsung-trade-ins-surge-due-iphone-6-and-dead#comments Android Film and TV iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus Samsung Smartphones Sony Fri, 19 Sep 2014 06:30:00 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1448035 at http://www.stuff.tv Group test: the best cheap smartphone you can buy http://www.stuff.tv/moto-g/best-cheap-smartphone-you-can-buy/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Looking for a sub-£150 smartphone? We&#039;ve tested every budget handset that matters UPDATE: 5in Moto G (2014) tested </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="You could buy all these for 1.5 iPhones. But that would be silly" alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/best-cheap-smartphones-main-2.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>The bad budget smartphone is dead.</p> <p>Never again should you put up with pixelly screens, sluggish web speeds and cameras so bad that an Etch-a-Sketch would be better, because you can now get an all-round reliable phone for less than &pound;150. So while there still are plenty of bad phones out there, you needn&#39;t concern yourself with them any more.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sophie-charara" title="View user profile.">Sophie Charara</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Moto G 4G (£150) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 2013&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/motorola/motorola-moto-g/review">Moto G</a>&nbsp;is now ludicrously cheap, frequently dipping below &pound;100 - but 4G makes this new model ever better.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&#39;s sturdily built and fits snugly into one hand, while its use of swappable Motorola Shells give you the option to customise its look on a daily basis. The 4.5in, HD, 326ppi screen is the real selling point over its fuzzier-screened rivals; it matches the much pricier <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-mini-2-hands/review">HTC One Mini 2</a>&nbsp;on this front. Next to most other phones in its class it looks pin-sharp, with vivid but natural colours and good contrast.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not without problems - the 5MP camera does still disappoint sometimes, especially in low light, and you only get 8GB of built-in storage. But the addition of a microSD card slot means you can now add up to 32GB of space, and in day-to-day use nothing comes close.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The Moto G 4G takes the top spot " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/moto-g-review_0.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="4000" height="3000" title="Both Moto Gs - with and without 4G - are worth considering " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/moto-g_0.JPG?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Motorola Moto G 4G tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.5in 1280x720 (326ppi) with Gorilla Glass&nbsp;<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400/1GB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP 720p rear, 1.3MP 720p front&nbsp;<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2070 mAh&nbsp;<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 8GB (microSD up to 32GB)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6mm/ 143g&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Moto&rsquo;s also left the 4G with an almost-untouched version of Android KitKat, adding a few genuinely useful features but nothing more. That helps everything run smoothly and you can can expect speedy downloads, streaming and browsing over 4G. The best bit? Even with more pixels to push than most cheap phones, the Moto G still lasts a day between charges.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you have specific criteria - for instance you&rsquo;re a n00b who likes the look of Windows Phone or taking pics is your priority - then other budget phones down this list might make more sense. But for most people, the Moto G 4G will do very nicely indeed.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭</strong><strong>✭</strong><br />Fantastic and futureproof, this is as close to budget phone perfection as you can get in 2014</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Motorola Moto G 2013 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Our go-to budget phone of 2013 is still on sale and cheaper than ever, at around &pound;100 for the 8GB model. Everything we love about the Moto G 4G applies here - if you can stick to 3G, this handset is the biggest bargain in tech.</p> <p>If 8GB of storage isn&rsquo;t enough you could always splash out &pound;150 on the non-expandable 16GB model - but of course we&rsquo;d recommend getting the expandable Moto G 4G instead. Either way, feel smug. The original Moto G is still a seriously clever choice.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>:&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/motorola/motorola-moto-g/review">In-depth Moto G (2013) review&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia M2 (£150) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Until the new 5in Kogan Agora 4G turns up, the Xperia M2 is the best way to get a big screen on a budget. It&rsquo;s just a shame that 4.8in screen isn&rsquo;t very sharp at 229ppi and suffers from poor viewing angles. Because otherwise you get a ton of Sony for your money here.</p> <p>Its blocky plastic design, available in purple, white and black, is based on the high-end <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/samsung-galaxy-s5-vs-htc-one-m8-vs-sony-xperia-z2/feature/1-sony-xperia-z2">Xperia Z2</a>. There&rsquo;s no waterproofing as you&#39;d find on that premium Xperia, but for &pound;150 PAYG, we&rsquo;re not complaining.</p> <p>Performance is much better than previous mid-range Sony phones we&rsquo;ve encountered thanks to a Snapdragon 400 processor which powers every handset on this test bar the Moto E and HTC Desire 301. Battery life is pretty good, too, matching the Moto G 4G. Plus Sony has thrown in extras you won&rsquo;t find on other budget blowers such as small apps, Stamina mode for the battery and a pulsing notification light to stretch to over a day of use.</p> <p>Its more than decent 8MP camera is the highlight, though. AF can be a little sluggish but it&rsquo;s easy to use, with Sony&rsquo;s quick Superior Auto mode plus lots of settings to dig into and reliably good 1080p video. It doesn&rsquo;t get close to the top smartphones for picture quality, but it&rsquo;s the best all-round snapper of all the cheap phones we&rsquo;ve tested.</p> <p>If Sony had stuck a higher res screen on the M2 and added support for 4G, this would be more of a rival for the Moto. As it is, it falls just short.</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭✩</strong><br />Fine features and the best choice for shutterbugs, only the screen lets the M2 down</p> <p><strong>UPDATE</strong>: Sony has just announced the M2 Aqua with identical specs to the M2 plus IP65/68 waterproofing and dustproofing, higher even than the Xperia Z2 and probably what we can expect from the Xperia Z3. There&#39;s no price yet but if it&#39;s &pound;150 and under, we&#39;ll add it to this budget phones group test.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The M2 gives you camera chops on a shoestring " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-xperia-m2-review_0.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Big screen, small money " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-xperia-m2-2.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony Xperia M2 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.8in 540x960 (229 ppi)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400/&nbsp;<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 8MP 1080p rear, VGA front&nbsp;<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2330 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC&nbsp;<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 8GB (microSD up to 32GB)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 139.6 x 71.1 x 8.6mm/ 148g&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nokia Lumia 630 (£90) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In a sea of cheap Androids, the Lumia 630 stands out like an alien-goo-green buoy keeping Windows Phone fans safe from ridicule. Sure, Android has more games and the 630 is far from the highest specced device here, but this Nokia gets a lot right.</p> <p>The battery life is the best for the money - not by much, but the 630 will give you an extra hour or so over the rest. It&rsquo;s the lightest at 134g, comes with a decent, if low-res, screen and some excellent freebies including Nokia Drive.</p> <p>Windows Phone 8.1 is both friendlier than stock KitKat for beginners and now has useful Android-style features and settings, too. Even the 5MP camera has its moments - outdoor and macro shots look great and low-light images aren&#39;t the grainiest we&#39;ve ever encountered. It&rsquo;s a little slow in use next to the likes of the Moto G but it&#39;s easy to forgive that at this low, low price. If you can&rsquo;t live without 4G speeds, try the similar but more expensive Lumia 635.</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭✩</strong><br />Cheap, cheerful and reliable, the Lumia 630 is only outclassed by the best budget Androids</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nokia/nokia-lumia-630/review">In-depth Nokia Lumia 630 review&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Representing Windows Phone - the unbelievably cheap 630 " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nokia-630-review_0.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Nokia Lumia 630 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.5in 854x480 (221 ppi)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400/512MB RAM&nbsp;<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP 720p rear, no front&nbsp;<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 1830 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 8GB (microSD up to 128GB)&nbsp;<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 129.5 x 66.7 x 9.2mm/ 134g&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Moto E (£90) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Does budget mean less than &pound;100 to you? Serving up tidy, reliable, loveable Android for the masses, the 4.3in Moto E is your best bet below a ton.</p> <p>A compact and sturdy build, slick performance and close-to-stock-Android OS impress, with only the quality of its 5MP camera, the miserly 4GB of storage and the lack of a front cam letting it down majorly.</p> <p>The 1980mAh battery isn&rsquo;t swappable and will conk out an hour before most here, but it still comfortably lasts a day of light use on one charge, and there are swappable Motorola Shell covers to keep things fresh on the desaign front. The screen, though lower-res than the Moto G, is still a cracker at this price, with apps, games and webpages all looking lovely on it. Motorola really has the monopoly on value brilliance and if your budget is truly tight you should look no further.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭✩</strong><br />Moto does it again. This is the best smartphone you can buy under &pound;100</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/motorola-moto-e/review">In-depth Moto E review&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The Moto E is easy to love " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/moto-e-review_0.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Moto&#039;s budget brilliance in 4.3in and 4.5in sizes " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/moto-g-and-e-group.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Motorola Moto E tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.3in 540x960 (256 ppi)<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200/1GB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP 480p rear, no front<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 1980 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 4GB (microSD up to 32GB)<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 124.8 x 64.8 x 12.3mm/ 142g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Moto G (2014) (£145) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Another Motorola! The 5in Moto G (2014) isn&#39;t a direct replacement for the 4G model or last year&#39;s handset (now priced at &pound;100). It&#39;s the Moto G for people who don&#39;t mind sacrificing a bit of battery life here, a splash of 4G there for a big screen and much better camera than the original 5MP snapper.</p> <p>So what&#39;s been improved? It performs just as fast as the first Moto G and Android is just as clutter-free. The main difference is the bigger build (it&#39;s the biggest here) - it&#39;s sturdy, though, and still sits nicely in the hand. It&#39;s sacrificed the old Moto G&#39;s neat, tidy look; there&#39;s just more plastic, so that couldn&#39;t be helped without impressive - and costly - engineering. But Moto has included some very decent (for the money) stereo speakers on the front. They don&#39;t match the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/htc/htc-one-2/review">One (M8)</a> but you won&#39;t be ashamed to use them in the back garden either.&nbsp;</p> <p>Battery life, again, isn&#39;t quite as great as the Moto G 4G. Streaming video on a commute, the bigger 5in screen sucks up 22% an hour versus the 4.5in phone&#39;s less worrying 16%. Still, it lasts the day so we&#39;re not complaining too much. Speaking of the screen, it&#39;s 720p and chances are you won&#39;t notice the slightly-less-sharp picture compared to the original. Colours are slightly more natural too.&nbsp;</p> <p>The real stars are the two new cameras, both welcome improvements. Images look a lot less blurry and smudgy than before with clear, in-focus shots and accurate colours. Video too is much more usable. The new 8MP cam on the back takes a while to focus at night but if you hold steady, you can get some impressive pics for a &pound;150 phone. All round, we&#39;d still recommend the 4G Moto G &ndash;&nbsp;but if phone photography is your thing, consider the 2014 model.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭</strong><strong>✭</strong><br />Moto has done it again - big screen, almost-stock Android and one of the best cameras for the money&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="It&#039;s the Moto G but not as you know it " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DSCN5121%20with%20Annotation.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Motorola Moto G (2014) tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 5in 720x1280 (294 ppi)<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400/1GB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 8MP 720p rear, 2Mp front<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2070 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 8/16GB (microSD up to 32GB)<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 141.5 x 70.7 x 11mm/ 149g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="4600" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/also-rans_0.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> EE Kestrel (£100) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>4G is no longer a luxury. With the EE Kestrel available for &pound;99 outright, or &pound;14 a month, you might be tempted to choose this tweaked and rebranded 4.5in Huawei handset over the Moto G 4G.</p> <p>Before you do, bear in mind that it&rsquo;s not as easy to love. For starters, it lacks the lovely HD screen and smooth performance of the top Moto. It also has the most retro design of the bunch, both in terms of hardware and its Emotion UI software. Still, the battery life is brilliant, the expandable storage is handy and unlike some, it has both an OK front camera and a rear flash. It&rsquo;s silly-slim too, at 7.85mm thick. The fastest browsing and streaming this side of &pound;150 then, but not quite the full package.</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭✭✩</strong><br />Still the cheapest way to get 4G, but there are better all-rounders for the money&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>:<strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/ee-kestrel/review">&nbsp;In-depth EE Kestrel review&nbsp;</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Afforda-4G from EE " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ee-kestrel-review.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> EE Kestrel tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.5in 540x960 (245 ppi)<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400/1GB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP 720p rear, 1MP front<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2000 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G/4G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 4GB (microSD up to 32GB)<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 131 x 65.3 x 7.85mm/ 145g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> HTC Desire 310 (£130) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Desire 310 is a&nbsp;smart looker both outside and in. Exterior attractiveness is conferred by a tidy, slightly curved plastic build, while on the interior HTC&rsquo;s Android skin Sense looks good and runs without a hiccup. Like the Sony Xperia M2, it also packs a few features you&rsquo;d be more likely to see on a &pound;500 phone. So the Desire 310 gets HTC&rsquo;s excellent BlinkFeed RSS reader (searchable and with offline reading), plus the ability to make short video montages with the nifty Zoe Video Highlights tool.</p> <p>But while colours look nice and natural on the 4.5in screen, it&rsquo;s just not got the pixels to show off Android games and HD movies. Plus, it always seems to look a bit grubby even with brightness on full whack, it can get a little warm when taxed, you might need to charge it up before bedtime and the 5MP camera isn&rsquo;t anything special. Maybe HTC should&#39;ve worried about getting the basics right rather than lavishing software treats on us?</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭</strong><strong>✩</strong><strong>✩</strong><br />Nice looking and packed with features but the Desire 310 doesn&rsquo;t nail the essentials well enough&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="It&#039;s like a small One (M8) - if you squint " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/htc-310-review.jpg?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> HTC Desire 310 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.5in 480x854 (218 ppi)<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.3GHz quad core MediaTek/512MB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP 1080p rear, VGA front<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 2000 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 4GB (microSD up to 32GB)<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 131 x 65.3 x 7.85mm/ 140g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo (£135) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The 4.5in Smart 4 Turbo doesn&rsquo;t live up to its tantalising promise: a quad-core, 4G, KitKat budget phone for less than &pound;150. While performance is generally good, the overall feeling with the &lsquo;Turb&rsquo; is frustration - with the low-res 480x854 screen that looks a bit 3D (in the bad way), with the very slow 5MP camera that takes fuzzy, mostly unusable shots, with the dark front camera and with the cheap-feeling (and looking) plastic build.</p> <p>Vodafone&rsquo;s tinkering with Android is lighter than EE&#39;s - you get just a handful of widgets, there&rsquo;s capacitive buttons to free up screen space and the battery does last a day. But anyone looking for afforda-4G should turn to the Moto or, as a cheaper option, the Kestrel.</p> <p><strong>Stuff says</strong>:&nbsp;<strong>✭✭✭</strong><strong>✩</strong><strong>✩</strong><br />A valiant effort but Vodafone has cut too many specs to keep up with the best budget phones</p> <p><strong>READ MORE</strong>: <strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/smartphones/top-ten">The ten best smartphones money can buy</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="There&#039;s smarter phones than the Smart 4 Turbo " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/vodafone-smart-4-turbo-review.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="The unusual suspects " alt="Best cheap smartphone 2014 test " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/best-cheap-smartphone-test-main.png?1410954150" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen</strong>: 4.5in 480x854 (218 ppi)<br /><strong>Power</strong>: 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 400/1GB RAM<br /><strong>Camera</strong>: 5MP rear, VGA front<br /><strong>Battery</strong>: 1880 mAh<br /><strong>Connectivity</strong>: 3G/4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0<br /><strong>Storage</strong>: 4GB (microSD up to 32GB)<br /><strong>Dimensions</strong>: 134.5 x 67.5 x 10.4mm/ 138g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Budget smartphones tested </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Every sub-£150 handset that matters </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/moto-g/best-cheap-smartphone-you-can-buy/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/moto-g/best-cheap-smartphone-you-can-buy/feature#comments Android HTC Moto G Motorola Nokia Smartphones Sony Windows Phone Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:54:11 +0000 Sophie Charara 1444737 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV http://www.stuff.tv/kd-55x8505b/sony-kd-55x8505b-4k-tv/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony’s entry-level 4K TV isn’t the best, but it’s still pretty darn good and that price tag makes it a bit of a bargain </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV review" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Sony-KD-55X8505B-2-1200x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/ced-yuen" title="View user profile.">Ced Yuen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There was a time, not so long ago, when you needed a mortgage to get a 4K TV. Or at the very least some sort of exchange involving kidneys.</p> <p>But these days they&rsquo;re within reach of mere mortals. And what&rsquo;s more, they&rsquo;re largely very good now. It&rsquo;s still early days, yet we&rsquo;ve already dealt with some stunners.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £1,800.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-price-notes"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Also available in 49in (£1400) and 65in (£3000) versions </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-review-url"> <div class="field-label">What Hi-Fi? review URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> http://www.whathifi.com/sony/kd-55x8505b/review </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Good picture </div> <div class="field-item even"> Good specs </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Adjustable feet </div> <div class="field-item even"> Cheap for 55in of 4K goodness </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rivals have better picture performance. And features. </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Bare aesthetic necessities </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>With a price like that, we&rsquo;re not expecting a diamond and fur lining (although that would be quite a sight). This is a more stripped-back affair.</p> <p>It doesn&rsquo;t have <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/kd-55x9005b/sony-x9000b-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">its bigger brothers&rsquo;</a> massive built-in speakers or the aesthetically pleasing (yet stable) wedge shape that houses them. But if you&rsquo;ve already got some home cinema speakers, you probably don&#39;t want to pay extra money and find extra room for a TV with better in-built sound anyway.</p> <p>And it does have a pop-up camera (well, push-up, really) for video calls. And it has flexible stand placement: you can have its feet near the centre, or wide apart at either end of the screen. The wider setting is more stable, but it&rsquo;s nice to have the option to make the footprint much smaller if you&rsquo;ve only got a little shelf.</p> <p>Sony follows the trend of offering two remote controls. There&rsquo;s a standard button stick, which is nicely laid out, and then there&rsquo;s the minimalist, touchpad-tastic One-Flick remote, which is unfortunately utterly unintuitive and more than a little frustrating. <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/55ub950v/lg-55ub950v-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">LG&rsquo;s Magic Remote</a> this ain&rsquo;t.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="Those feet can be moved to the middle if your TV shelf isn&#039;t as wide as the telly" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-3-1600x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="900" height="900" title="There&#039;s a camera for Skyping, but it can be removed to make the TV&#039;s lines even neater" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-camera-900x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Full spectrum </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So the aesthetics aren&rsquo;t particularly fancy, but Sony has sensibly refrained from stripping down the specs.</p> <p>What you get here is about as much as you&rsquo;ll get on any current set: four HDMI 2.0 inputs, three USBs and a bunch of legacy connections such as SCART and component (we do hope you&rsquo;re not using these anymore. There are Freeview HD and satellite tuners, and the t&rsquo;interweb connection can be hard-wired and wireless.</p> <p>Less visible but arguably even more important to a 4K telly is the internal HEVC decoder, which is what Netflix wants for 4K streaming. Considering the rarity of 4K footage right now, we&rsquo;d say that&rsquo;s pretty important. Bear in mind you&rsquo;ll need good internet speeds: 15-20mbps is recommended.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/netflix-time-broadcasters-are-doing-4k-we-ll-be-next-thing/news" target="_blank">Netflix - by the time broadcasters are doing 4K, we&#39;ll be on to the next thing</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The Sony has the all-important HEVC codec on board - you need that for Netflix 4K" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-side-1200x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="550" height="900" title="Surely we can just do away with the Scart connections now, can&#039;t we?" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-back-550x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony KD-55X8505B tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Screen size</strong>: 55in</p> <p><strong>Resolution</strong>: 3840 x 2160</p> <p><strong>Display technology</strong>: LCD with LED backlight</p> <p><strong>Speaker output</strong>: 20W</p> <p><strong>Built-in camera</strong>: yes</p> <p><strong>Connectivity</strong>: Freeview, Satellite (x2), HDMI 2.0 (x3), USB (x3), Component, Composite, Scart, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Headphone, Optical output</p> <p><strong>Dimensions (hwd)</strong>: 79 x 123 x 28.5cm with stand, 74 x 123 x 6.6cm without stand</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong>: 24.1kg</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 4K? OK! </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>On that note, let&rsquo;s get playing. Who in their right mind would get a 4K TV and not immediately load up some 4K? It&rsquo;s straight to Netflix for a bit of <em>Breaking Bad</em>.</p> <p>We watch Bryan Cranston fiddle with blue crystals and it looks lovely. As is the point of 4K, the picture is superbly detailed and razor sharp. Edges are well defined without looking processed.</p> <p>Colours are rich, but skin tones remain convincing. We wouldn&rsquo;t call it a natural palette &ndash; it&rsquo;s a little punchy &ndash; but it&rsquo;s never noticeably unrealistic, and there&rsquo;s plenty of subtlety in gradation and shading. To say this is a step-up from Blu-ray doesn&rsquo;t do justice to how much of a massive jump it is.</p> <p>But the Sony does have a weakness, and it&rsquo;s the depth of the black levels. It never gets really, truly, inky dark, so very dim scenes suffer. The Black Corrector setting helps, but even so the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-ue55hu7500-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">Samsung UE55HU7500</a> edges ahead.</p> <p>The Samsung also does better with the standard-def and 1080p stuff you&rsquo;ll be asking it to upscale on a regular basis. Sony always handles colours beautifully, but it loses out on fine detail and subtlety.</p> <p>And if you&rsquo;re one of the few people who actually enjoys watching 3D movies at home, you&rsquo;ll be pleased to hear that the Sony plays them well, with decent brightness, minimal crosstalk issues, and passive 3D glasses that are very comfortable. There&rsquo;s no escaping looking like a nerd, though.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/25-best-things-watch-netflix-right-now/feature" target="_blank">The 30 Best Things to Watch on Netflix right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The passive 3D specs are light and comfy. But who watches 3D these days?" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-3D-specs-1200x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Interface-off </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Like most TV manufacturers these days, Sony doesn&rsquo;t seem that fussed whether or not you watch actual TV on your TV, and so there&rsquo;s a fancy interface. It&rsquo;s nowhere near as ambitious as the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/55ub950v/lg-55ub950v-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">LG 55UB950V&rsquo;s</a>&nbsp;brightly coloured webOS UI of prettiness, but it does the job.</p> <p>What you get is a mature, neatly laid-out portal. The main categories of TV, Movies, Music and Apps are divided into neat panels, and navigation is intuitive.</p> <p>As is the case with most smart hubs, there are some questionable features. Take the Social View button, for instance. That turns the TV into a sort of Twitter (but worse) with a feed scrolling along the bottom of the screen. Less pointless is the Discovery feature, which gives access to favourite and oft-used services, while recommending related content.</p> <p>Sony&rsquo;s app offering is fairly strong, but not quite as comprehensive as Samsung&rsquo;s. There&rsquo;s still no sign of ITV Player or 4oD, but you do get BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video and Netflix, as well as Sony&rsquo;s own on-demand Video Unlimited service, which gives pay-as-you-go access to loads of movies day-and-date with the DVD release, all in 1080p with surround sound.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/bravia/sony-bravia-s90-sony-reveals-not-so-curved-new-curved/news" target="_blank">Not-so-curved is the new curved, according to the Sony Bravia S90 4K TV</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1600" height="900" title="It&#039;s neat and intuitive, but the Sony smart hub doesn&#039;t have quite as many apps as Samsung&#039;s" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-1-1600x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Choose your weapon!" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-remotes-1200x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&rsquo;re after the very shiniest, most sparklingly advanced 4K TV out there, this isn&rsquo;t it. It doesn&rsquo;t have the sexiest styling. It doesn&rsquo;t have the fanciest interface. It doesn&rsquo;t have the very biggest app offering. And it doesn&rsquo;t have the absolute best picture quality.</p> <p>But it&rsquo;s not actually far behind in any of those departments, and when you consider that it&rsquo;s currently a good &pound;400 cheaper than the &pound;2200 <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/samsung/samsung-ue55hu7500-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">Samsung UE55HU7500</a> benchmark, that will seem a very reasonable compromise to lots of people looking to take 4K into their lounges.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/tvs/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best TVs in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV verdict" alt="Sony KD-55X8505B 4K TV" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony-KD-55X8505B-4-1200x900.jpg?1409853687" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> picture </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s a little less brilliant than the most brilliant 4K telly, but it&rsquo;s a little less expensive, too</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/kd-55x8505b/sony-kd-55x8505b-4k-tv/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/kd-55x8505b/sony-kd-55x8505b-4k-tv/review#comments 4K KD-55X8505B Sony TVs Thu, 04 Sep 2014 18:01:29 +0000 Tom Parsons 1446600 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony QX1: hands-on with Sony’s DSLR-quality phone add-on http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-qx1-hands-sony-s-pro-friendly-phone-add/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Interchangeable lenses on your smartphone? Sony’s latest QX camera does that – and more besides </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony QX1: hands-on with Sony’s DSLR-quality phone add-on" alt="Sony QX1: hands-on with Sony’s DSLR-quality phone add-on" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-qx1-main.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>A trio of <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ifa-2014/sony-xperia-z3-could-be-first-audiophile-smartphone/news">new Xperia devices</a> aren&rsquo;t the only things Sony has in store for phone-lovers at IFA 2014. The company also announced a pair of new QX cameras. Remember the Wi-Fi-powered <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ifa-2013/sonys-new-lenses-turn-your-smartphone-super-charged-compact-cam/news">QX10 and QX100 Smart Lenses</a> from last year, which clipped onto a smartphone and turned it into a powerful snapper?</p> <p>Well, the QX30 and QX1 take things to a whole new level.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> QX30: zoom, zoom, zoom </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The QX30 is quite straightforward: essentially, it&rsquo;s an updated edition of the QX10 but instead of a 10x optical zoom lens and 18.2MP sensor it packs a 30x optical zoom lens and 20.7MP sensor. Optical image stabilisation remains (and rightly so: it&rsquo;s a must if you plan on using the full range of that zoom), and there&rsquo;s also full HD video recording at 60fps, 10fps continuous still shooting and lock-on autofocus, which&rsquo;ll keep a moving subject in focus.</p> <p>What else is there? A microSD card slot; a clamp for fitting the QX30 to your phone; a tripod mount; and four colour finishes. The QX30 will be on sale later this month, priced at around &pound;250.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The Sony QX30" alt="The Sony QX30" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx30.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> QX1: lens be &#039;aving you </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The QX1 is a different beast altogether. It supports Sony&rsquo;s E-mount lenses (and, by extension, any other lenses you can fit via an E-mount adapter &ndash; Sony says over 210 current lenses are compatible) and features a huge APS-C sensor, so essentially it turns your smartphone into a compact system camera. There&rsquo;s even a pop-up flash.</p> <p>The sensor has 20.1MP, but it&rsquo;s its physical size that should excite photographers, because it means less noise in shots, as well as making it easier to have a pretty defocussed background (aka <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/stuffs-guide-photography-what-bokeh-and-how-do-i-get-it/feature">&ldquo;bokeh&rdquo;</a>).</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve managed to get our hands on a pre-release QX1, and it&rsquo;s an exciting device for anyone who wants to get the best quality shots using their phone. It&rsquo;s surprisingly easy to setup, assuming you have a phone with NFC: you simply ensure you have Sony&rsquo;s PlayMemories app (available for both Android and iOS) installed, then touch the QX1&rsquo;s NFC icon with your phone &ndash; in a moment or two, the camera and the phone are connected and you can start snapping away.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The QX1 is solidly built and fairly lightweight considering its innards, although we were using the dinky 16-50mm zoom lens that will be included in one possible package (the QX1 will be &pound;250 alone, or something like &pound;400 with the lens). If you&rsquo;re bolting on a larger E-mount lens, or an adapter and an A-mount lens, things are going to get quite a bit more unwieldy. To help out, Sony has made grip and tilt attachments that&rsquo;ll make holding the QX1 (and other QX cameras) a little bit more comfortable.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The QX1 is lightweight in your hand" alt="The QX1 is lightweight in your hand" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-in-hand.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Image quality? From our brief test shots, it seems excellent &ndash; check them out above &ndash; but we&rsquo;ll be giving the QX1 a proper review in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for an in-depth verdict on what is a very unusual, but very innovative device.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="802" title="Sony QX1 sample shot" alt="Sony QX1 sample shot" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-wide.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="802" title="Sony QX1 sample shot" alt="Sony QX1 sample shot" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-tight.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="802" title="Sony QX1 sample shot" alt="Sony QX1 sample shot" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-qx1-macro.jpg?1409881578" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-qx1-hands-sony-s-pro-friendly-phone-add/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> IFA 2014 Smartphones Sony System Cameras Thu, 04 Sep 2014 17:07:22 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1446598 at http://www.stuff.tv