This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar
6th Oct 2012 | 07:00
All the latest gear reviewed and rated
Is time speeding up? How can there by only 79 days until Christmas? Is it really now more than a year since Steve Jobs passed away? Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 out yet?
It's hard to believe how fast the world of tech spins on its axis. We've reached the quietest time of the tech year and yet we've still got a steady stream of awesome gear coming through our doors.
So allow us to walk you through some of the week's highlights and link you to all the other reviews we've published in the last seven days.
After a lengthy absence from the TV market, the 46-inch Philips 46PFL8007 marks a very strong return to the UK TV market for Philips. It's a truly high-end model with a super-slender design, Edge LED lighting and local dimming technology that also benefits from the brand's highest level of picture processing, Perfect Pixel HD. Philips sensibly enables you to adjust almost every facet of this processing, as well as providing enough colour, gamma and white balance management options to earn the endorsement of the independent ISF calibration group. It's also equipped with active 3D technology (two glasses are included), and best of all, it's the only LCD TV we've seen this year able to produce pictures good enough to give the all-conquering Sony HX853 models a run for their money.
It remains to be seen if YouView does sweep away Freeview+HD boxes, but over-priced, so-called smart boxes such as this one will struggle to stem that tide. You could make a case for its thoroughly disappointing Play app being a mere extra feature, and therefore beyond much criticism, but apps like this do offer a genuine reason to buy, so its failure in our test is decisive. Not so the excellent Photo app, and picture quality is beyond reproach, but there are just a few too many niggles for us to be comfortable living with it. And while it will do a reasonable job in most living rooms, the lack of Wi-Fi and a third tuner make the VW11FVRHD50 appear far from mighty – though it's the high price that takes it down a full mark.
The Sony Xperia T is a very, very good phone. Everything about it is slick and well-executed and the performance is certainly what we expect from a £400 device. However, the Sony Xperia S was a very, very good phone. When a new model comes out, we look for it to improve upon the previous one and unfortunately, hand on heart; this doesn't improve on the last generation of smartphones as much as it should. Admittedly, it's not about simply ramming higher specs into a thinner and lighter phone – we've moved past that now. But it should be about offering a fresh experience with new features and offering us a die hard reason to shell out for an upgrade.
Smart TVs for a second room are rare, and this 26-inch effort from Sony canters to victory by sporting a good array of apps and a great all-round picture that's helped by its 'kind to YouTube rubbish' HD-ready resolution. If Sony hadn't skimped on sound and build quality it could have been on to a real winner, but we'd still recommend the Sony KDL-26EX553 as one of the most capable 'second screens' around.
The Linksys EA4500 isn't like a normal router. It's more like a glimpse at the future of networking. The specification list includes dual-band Wireless-N, DLNA certification and support for gigabit Ethernet - although the imminent ratification of 802.11ac does cast a shadow over the EA4500.
And this week's other reviews...
Digital TV recorders