A week in reviews: 30 June - 4 July

It's the week of Wimbledon, and we've been watching luminescent tennis balls fly across the curve of our TV screen. Because this week it's the turn of Samsung's curved H8000 TV to get the review treatment. Does curved make sense or should all eyes be on the 4K resolution revolution instead?

Rather than the echoed cries of "go on Andy" we've been giving our backing to the LG G3 smartphone this week. Because it's amazing - as you can read in our full G3 review.

But that's not all. We've been bouncing between the Sony A6000 compact system camera, budget Acer Z5 smatphone and blasting our faces with air thanks to the pricey but oh so cool AM06 Desk Fan.

LG G3 review

Quick review: LG has thrown everything into the LG G3 to make a phone representative of a company at the top of its game. The G3 is well designed, has a "Quad HD" screen with more resolution than its near competitors, and the 13-megapixel camera is great too. With a 5.5-inch screen size it is big though, sitting half-way between phone and phablet territory. For some it will be too big and lack battery longevity, but we think it's a well designed handset that challenges the best of its competitors.

Pros: Display offers lots of potential, design, great camera, power

Cons: Battery life isn't great, might simply be too big for some people

Price: £480

Full article: LG G3 phone review

 

Acer Liquid Z5 review

Quick review: The Acer Liquid Z5 is great value for money, offering a plenty of tech alongside a big display for under £100. However it fails to stand out among the crowd because its main competitor, the Moto G, is so strong. 

Pros: Value for money, bigger display than many rivals, generally good design, great multi-tasking interface, different modes for variety of abilities, good battery life

Cons: Low resolution display, poor viewing angles, speaker volume not great, slow camera, will be too large for some, card cover flaps look ugly, doesn't stand out in busy market

Price: £95

Full article: Acer Z5 review

 

Sony Alpha A6000 review

Quick review: The Sony A6000 is an echo of its earlier NEX-6 model, making it a sensible balance of small and light but also powerful and capable of producing great images. We love the built-in electronic viewfinder, tilt-angle LCD screen and the step forward in autofocus ability. If you want a small system camera where a viewfinder is essential then the A6000 has heaps going for it. It's also so keenly priced that it will have a lot of the competition looking over their shoulders.

Pros: Keenly priced, built-in electronic viewfinder, tilt-angle LCD, great build quality, impressive high-res image quality, 11fps and AF-S an achievement at this price

Cons: Some autofocus accuracy slip-ups, battery life needs to be better, no touchscreen, JPEG processing a little harsh for higher ISO sensitivities

Price: £649

Full article: Sony A6000 review

 

Samsung UE48H8000 curved TV review

Quick review: The curved TV conundrum. In its 48-inch scale the Samsung H8000 series has impressed us for just how good its picture quality is, although for the curve to really take hold we'd recommend the larger 55- or 65-inch panels. The H8000's biggest problem isn't selling the curved design - which after a couple of weeks we've realised is a better idea than it sounds - it's that Full HD sets aren't aspirational like UHD 4K. And for only a couple of hundred pounds more we'd be more tempted by the resolution rather than the curve. Saying that, the UE48H8000 is a great TV, so we can't mark it down for that.

Pros: Picture quality, Smart Controller, smart functions

Cons: Too small for the curved effect to really take hold, close in price to 48-inch UHD sets from Samsung

Price: £1300

Full article: Samsung H8000 48-inch curved TV review

 

Dyson Cool AM06 Desk Fan review

Quick review: It's a fan without the blades. Ooh, tres cool.As with most Dyson products you are paying a lot for all that engineering and "cool factor". A standard cheap (and probably noisier) desk fan with blades will set you back £20 compared to the £250 asking price of the Dyson - and that is likely to hugely affect those interested. But the AM06 looks great, has a remote control (don't lose it)  and will draw attention to itself from curious friends and family whatever room you put it in.

Pros: Looks cool, quiet, powerful, timer option for bedtime, safe, remote control

Cons: You are paying a lot for the "cool" factor, don't lose the remote

Price: £250

Full article: Dyson Cool review



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