A week in reviews: 23 - 27 June

Summer solstice has seen the peak of daytime hours come and go and we've been most of those hours to bring you the latest tech reviews. In addition to the latest Nikon D810 full-frame DSLR camera announced this week, we've seen plenty of other top kit besides.

Sony has been ruling the high-end compact camera market for a number of years now. Can its latest RX100 III elevate its pricey pocketable camera to king of the compacts?

Elsewhere we've been talking to some high profile figures. From the pro drivers behind Castrol's absurdly awesome Blackout challenge video to talk the future of racing, to the boss man behind Xbox Studios to ask how Xbox One can win.

Also on the site we've been digging deep into LG's webOS system in its latest Full HD TV, bring you the lowdown on Amazon Fire TV (which should be coming to the UK in the future), and see whether Nokia's Windows Phone 8 take on budget has the goods to hold strong against the advancing pack of Android devices.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III review

Quick review: The RX100 III adds key features that were absent in its predecessors and is the camera to shake up the high-end compact market one again. We love the new built-in electronic viewfinder, the tilt-angle LCD screen, the lens ring's smooth control and the newer, faster lens. If pocketable is priority then the RX100 III is the best of the bunch. Assuming you can afford it that is, as £700 is far from budget - but then it is something worth saving up for.

Pros: Built-in electronic viewfinder, truly pocketable size, super-fast 24-70mm (equivalent) lens, customisable lens ring control, great image quality, sturdy build, ND filter added

Cons: Autofocus ought to be more effective in all lighting, it’s crazy expensive, shorter focal length than predecessor, no touchscreen, small button controls

Price: £700

Full article: Sony RX100 III review

 

LG 42-inch webOS Smart TV review

Quick review: LG has taken a quantum leap in smart TV interfaces as webOS is the best we've ever used. Not only is it better than any other TV ever made, it's as easy to use as a tablet or smartphone. Only one or two performance caveats hold this TV back: no LG app store at launch in the UK and some absent apps such as 4oD and ITV player being the most prominent. We also feel that black levels aren't best in class but results are visibly better than those offered by last year's LG models.

Pros: webOS is the best operating system on a TV yet, attractive design, stacks of detail in picture

Cons: Lack of apps at UK launch, backlight can cost black levels, sound quality limitations

Price: £760

Full article: LG LB700V 42-inch Smart TV with webOS review

 

Nokia Lumia 630 review

Quick review: The Lumia 630 is Nokia stepping into budget land. But it's something of a mixed bag. Despite being cheap and better built than many competitors we found the software experience can feel a little slow and, with our review device, a little buggy too. There are hardware compromises too, especially in the display, when pitched against rivals such as the Motorola Moto G. Affordability is one of the things that starts to work against Nokia: with plenty of legacy devices, you could pick up a stronger Lumia device on contract that offers a better hardware experience without breaking the bank.

Pros: Affordable, nicely designed and feels good quality, offers the latest Windows Phone 8.1 software

Cons: A number of hardware compromises, display resolution isn't competitive, some software bugs, not 4G

Price: £100

Full article: Nokia Lumia 630 review

 

Amazon Fire TV review

Quick review: Amazon's answer to set-top box hardware also happens to be a casual gaming console. But it's only available in the USA for the time being. And when it does finally arrive in the UK we worry that it'll be too little too late. Yes it will be a great access point for Prime subscribers to stream content, but with Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV options already well embedded Amazon has a fight on its hand.

Pros: Beautifully designed, impressive voice search, fast and powerful, open to third-party services, and original in-house games available

Cons: Voice search only works with a few services, limited apps and games available at launch, and slow FreeTime feature roll out

Price: £N/A in the UK / $100 USA

Full article: Amazon Fire TV review



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