This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar
17th Dec 2011 | 08:00
All the latest kit reviewed and rated
This week we've a bumper selection of reviews for you, including Sony's new Alpha a65 SLT camera and a hands on review with LG's new Prada phone.
For those looking to get started with photography, the Canon Powershot AS40 HS is a fantastic, fuss-free choice.
And there's plenty more besides - read on to see all this week's reviews.
Sony's online shop price for the A65 stands at £789 (body only) or £869 (with 18-55mm lens). This places the A65 in the same arena as mid-entry-level DSLRs like the Canon EOS 600D and Nikon D5100 – albeit at a higher price-point that's justified by its raft of high-end features. In essence, the A65 attracts largely the same points of praise and criticism as the more expensive A77, due to the fact that it shares much of the same technology underneath its unassuming plastic outer shell.
For a lower price, you don't miss out on that many features, so if you're not bothered about having a weather-sealed camera body, top LCD panel, marginally faster continuous burst mode or more sophisticated AF system than the (still very good) one that the A65 offers, then it makes perfect sense to save some cash and plump for the A65.
We're pretty sure the 'new kind of TV' promised by Apple TV and Sony, among others, will improve on Samsung's Smart Hub - but, for now, it's a good place to start. Boasting enough features to be deemed at least a mid-to-high-end TV, the Samsung PS51D8000 keeps plasma at the forefront for anyone after picture perfection, but it's 3D that this set excels with. Sensibly - in our view - sticking to active shutter 3D while the slow trickle to the less impressive passive 3D tech continues, Samsung is quickly becoming as known for its good value 3D plasma as it is for its impossibly slim LED TVs.
It's sculpted another stunner with the Samsung PS51D8000, and although Smart Hub could do with debugging and super-charging, this is an easy-to-use TV with all the latest features - and a cracking 3D performance.
The Prada 3.0 has a 4.3-inch NOVA display, which might not have the wow-factor of a Super AMOLED from Samsung, but does still offer superb brightness and a thin form factor, previously seen on the sadly unloved LG Optimus Black.
A 1GHz dual-core, dual-channel processor is on board too and while it might not sound as flashy as the 1.5GHz CPUs being bandied around these days, it's not lacking in grunt. But it's not the specs that this phone will be sold on - it's the fashion house tag associated with it. To that end, Prada 'Saffiano' decoration adorns the back, a Prada docking station and Bluetooth headset, plus a 'fashionable Prada bag' too for the 8.5mm-slim handset. There's also a customised Android overlay atop Google's Gingerbread OS - which LG has promised will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in due course.
It's worth noting that while you can pick up an entry level DSLR, such as the Canon EOS 1100D for around the same price, which will give better image quality overall, you do get the incredible zoom range in a smaller and lighter body that isn't part of a more expensive system.
Is the Orange San Francisco 2 the best phone on the market? No, not by a long way. But for most people, the whole 'money is no option' argument doesn't come across when it's time to buy a new phone, and pound for pound, the San Fran 2 seems to be, once again, one of the bargain buys of the year.
This week's other reviews
iPod and MP3 players
Media Streaming Devices
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