A week in reviews: 7 - 11 April

Phone season is upon us. As is the Samsung Galaxy S5 which you can go and buy in the shops right now. But is it worth it, and can it better the HTC One (M8) which also landed around the globe this very week? We've got the full review on the site for your eager eyes, in addition to a hands-on with the Copper Gold edition model.

Keeping the Samsung theme running there's the Galaxy TabPro 10.1 tablet that we've given the review treatment to too. For us the 10.1-inch model is the optimum scale, preferable to the 8.4-inch TabPro we've also seen recently. But does that premium price lack the premium build to match?

As ever we like to keep things varied here on Pocket-lint, so this week also sees us whizzing around in the Volkswagen Golf GTD, catching late night TV via the Humax HB-1000S Freesat box, and listening to tunes courtesy of the Spaced360 Bluetooth speaker. Also don't miss our review of the remarkable Monument Valley iPad game, it'll baffle your brain in the most brilliant of ways.

Next week it's all about Sony. The Z2 is in the office in both tablet and phone forms and we're already digging deep into them to see whether the Japanese maker has got what it takes to out-perform the competition. Stay tuned...

Samsung Galaxy S5 review

Quick review: The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a fantastic handset. But the design is playing it safe and not as luxury as the HTC One (M8). There is merit in the smaller scale, waterproofing, access to the battery and pedometer and health-based focus in the Samsung though. That will offer enough of a unique sell to many, we just wish it wasn't so plasticky as ever.

Pros: Great display, good camera performance, fast connectivity, software makes good use of larger display, reasonable battery life

Cons: Plastic build, navigation of the user interface feels slower than it should be

Price: £579

Full article: SGS5 review

 

Samsung Galaxy TabPro 10.1 review

Quick review: Of all the "Pro" Samsung tablets, the Galaxy TabPro 10.1 is among our favourites. It's just the right scale, is slim and light, yet packs plenty of power in too. We would like a more premium design for the price, as it's not cheap by any means. If you don't want a stylus then it's an excellent Android tablet option.

Pros: Excellent display, lots of power, Android & Samsung software works well, decent battery life, multi-tasking options

Cons: Expensive, that faux leather and plastic build, software approach "doubles up" access approach

Price: £449

Full article: Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro review (10.1 inch)

 

Volkswagen Golf GTD review

Quick review: The Golf GTD is a great car. It sits, at the very least, near to the top its class. Its panache and class should make you think hard about spending extra on an Audi A3; its general polish and design integrity sits it heard and shoulders above a Mercedes A-Class. The real question is more in relation to the rest of the Golf range: we get why the GTD is popular, but we find the petrol GTi that much sharper, while the more const-effective Mk7 Golf standard diesel has bags of appeal that, strangely, work against the GTD. Ultimately, though, that won't matter to most of its buyers because it still ticks more boxes than any of its rivals.

Pros: All the usual Golf benefits, thumping mid-range performance, sharper GTi-like looks

Cons: Not as sharp as the GTi, 6-speed isn’t as smooth as new 7-speed, struggles to put power down in the wet, not as economical as some rivals

Price: from £24,675 | £27,635 as tested

Full article: VW Golf GTD review

 

Humax HB-1000S Freesat HD box review

Quick review: The Humax has turned around out expectation of Freesat. It's a near-perfect, cost-effective home solution for free live TV. If you happen to have a satellite dish in place - or you could install one - then this affordable box is simple to setup and delivers great looking live and catch-up content, in high-definition where applicable. No contracts, no hidden costs, it's as simple as that.

Pros: Good quality image, high-def (where applicable), easy setup, Free Time catch-up an elegant solution, keen price, faster EPG navigation than some competition

Cons: Need a dish for live TV, slow start-up from cold, no Wi-Fi (wired only), lacks premium channels (as expected), inexplicable dish/connection outage can occur

Price: £90

Full article: Humax HB-1000S review

 

Spaced360 Bluetooth speaker review

Quick review: This quirky 360-degree sound machine kicks out sound in all directions thanks to Orbitsound's Airsound technology. Good looks, quality build, great battery and a rounded sound make it a decent bit of kit. It's only the price point and lack of chest-rumbling bass that let it down.

Pros: Distinctive design, good sound, quality build, easy to charge, portable

Cons: Not particularly hard-hitting bass, quite a lot of money

Price: £250

Full article: Spaced360 review



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