Best of TechRadar: this week's star features and hottest reviews
5th Oct 2013 | 10:10
Our favourite articles from the last 7 days
The internet is a fast-moving animal and it's hard to keep track of!
Here's a round-up of all the best stuff from the last week on TechRadar...
Apple rumours: How to tell fact from fiction
Separate the iWheat from the iChaff with our handy iHelper
The Apple rumour mill never sleeps!
While we were oohing and aahing at the iPhone 5S and 5C, rumourmongers had already turned their attention to the next event in the middle of October.
iPad 5s! Apple TVs! Fuel-cell powered sexbots! Maybe even an iWatch! Many and perhaps even most of the predictions will turn out to be bobbins, but how can you tell which bits of smoke have fire? Allow us to help...
How Gracenote is taking control of your TV
The scary interactive future of TV has arrived
Gracenote is planning to take control of your TV.
The company, ubiquitous with music metadata services, has developed a suite of technologies that take the concept of interactive TV to an unprecedented level.
From next generation programme guides to personalised ad replacement, the company is reinventing the very foundation of television. "This is disruptive tech," company president Stephen White tells TechRadar with casual understatement. Continue reading...
The Tesla S has the most insane in-car touchscreen multimedia system ever
Massive 17-inch touchscreen revolutionises in-car tech
Tesla's new Model S has the best in-car multimedia system yet. There, we've said it.
Centred around a preposterously huge 17-inch capacitive touchscreen, the Model S's bonkers in-car system is far from perfect. On paper, it's also far from being the Model S's main attraction, what with its world-beating 310-mile pure-electric range.
But TechRadar was lucky enough to be the first to get its hands on the full European-spec version of Tesla's all-electric luxury saloon. And we've discovered that the Model's S's infotainment is the most surprising aspect of a car that defies expectations on several levels. Continue reading...
Why are mobile phone batteries still so crap?
Battery life hasn't kept pace with advances in mobile computing - but that could change soon
Mobile computing promises the world: web access, photos, music and maps, everywhere you go. And it can really deliver - for a while. But poor battery life means you'll probably soon run into problems, with some devices leaving you staring at a useless blank screen well before the end of the day.
There are some steps you can take to keep your system running longer, of course. The display is a major mobile phone energy hog, so reducing its brightness and timeout (the time a phone waits for input before turning the screen off) can make a significant difference. Continue reading...
Secrets of cinema: ultimate tips for the best movie experience
Take your movie watching to the IMAX!
There's something magical about sitting in the pitch black of the cinema while new worlds unfold around you and envelope you in their wonders. With tickets expensive, plus pricy popcorn, in this age of VOD services you can watch on home cinema systems growing more impressive by the day, you'd expect nothing less from a trip to the movies.
You can't always guarantee you'll love the film you choose but with a few handy tips you can at least make the most of the very best sound and pictures and the finest 3D on the biggest screens to amaze your ears and dazzle your eyes. Continue reading...
This week's hottest reviews...
Samsung Galaxy Gear
Is this the smartwatch to put the wind up Apple?
What makes a smartwatch these days? Is it something that simply sits on the wrist and buzzes when the phone does something in the pocket? A fully-fledged phone it itself? Or, like the Galaxy Gear, something in between?
We've got all kinds of devices pretending to be a smartwatch, and there's definitely an interest from consumers, if not a desire, for such a thing strapped to the wrist.
The Gear is certainly an attractive device, a clever mix of metal and rubber that gives it a really solid feel. It has to do that, as you'll be forking out £299 or $299 (Around AUS$324) for the privilege of owning one, although there are loads of deals out there to take some of the money off if you buy it with a Note 3. Samsung Galaxy Gear review
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Smarter, longer, faster, something else-er... this is an evolution and a half
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a great phone and if you were to own one you wouldn't be disappointed. It provides a great onscreen experience - as long as your hands are big enough to reach across it - and its stuffed full of tech to almost warrant its lofty price tag.
Its size will be a real stumbling point for many and we'd recommend going into a store and just holding the Note 3 for a while to see if it's something you can cope with. There will be some people out there who will love the inclusion of the S Pen, and it totally makes sense in the Asian markets where text input is greatly enhanced with a stylus, but in the Western world its uses are far more limited. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review
Without doubt the best smartphone LG has ever made
We really like the LG G2. It's one of the better Android smartphones you can buy right now. The screen is large and gorgeous, and because the display almost reaches out to the very edges of the device, it doesn't feel any wider than it has to.
The display and camera are really killer, and performance is incredible. It ate up every benchmark for breakfast, turned out great photos and dazzled us with its high-resolution display. Oh, and on top of that, battery life was a charm.
Using the smartphone doesn't come with the headaches, hiccups and hangups that we get with other device, thanks mostly to the gorgeous display and powerful chipset.
So, is it all butterflies and roses for the LG G2? LG G2 review
Dell XPS 13 and 15
Dell's souped up Windows 8.1 laptops have big ideas
Let's face it - if Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air was human, few would blame it for having an ego of Kanye West-sized proportions after being copied for years by sub-par imitations.
Recent efforts to emerge from the Windows camp, however, indicate that rival manufacturers are edging ever closer to making desirable alternatives with their own distinct personality and style.
It looks good, feels light yet sturdy and provides tons of battery life, so what's not to like? Not much, as it turns out - a feat replicated by its larger 15-inch sibling - Dell's revamped XPS 15. Hands on: Dell XPS 13 and 15 (2013) review
Can Apple take on the entrenched streaming incumbents?
Pity the poor maker of an iPhone flashlight app. There you are, minding your own business, selling a useful tool at ninety-nine cents a pop, and that punk Jony Ive goes and builds your product right into the control panel for his iOS 7. For one corner of the App Store, it's a true economic upheaval.
The same could be in store for Pandora, now that iTunes Radio is on the scene. The two are markedly similar services, letting users listen to endless musical streams based on their tastes, with the option to buy in for an ad-free experience. iTunes Radio review