Phones and gaming - that's the essence of this week's reviews. We've seen the mighty yet mini Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, alongside the gigantic Huawei Ascend Mate 7 phablet not-so-mighty and most definitely not mini BlackBerry Passport.
As summer nears its end, the gaming rush also begins. We've been tapping our way through FIFA 2015 and Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One, while contemplating the various other games due to launch in the next two months. There are so many potential gems on the horizon.
Last up there's a tablet thrown in the mix, the Toshiba Encore 2 that fails to delight but delivers an affordable Windows 8.1 experience in a new 10.1-inch form factor for the range.
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review
Quick review: There's so much to like about the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It's one of few devices as powerful at this size, offers great battery life, is well designed and fully packed with features. Sony's pricing at £429 undercuts the rival Samsung Galaxy Alpha by a considerable margin, making it an even more enticing proposition.
Pros: Power in a compact package, great battery life, aggressively priced, refined UI, plenty of camera options, waterproofing
Cons: Some Sony bloatware, display could be better, can run hot
Full article: Sony Z3 Compact review
Huawei Ascend Mate 7 review
Quick review: There's no escaping the Huawei Ascend Mate 7's huge scale. But if you're in the market for a 6-inch phablet then few can challenge what Huawei has created. It's big meets beautiful with premium design flair, a great fingerprint scanner, ample performance and a battery life that will last for many hours. It's a device that stands out among its phablet peers.
Pros: Decent and giant screen, considerable battery life, excellent fingerprint scanner, ample Android performance, battery life can last for an age, competitive price point, metal body design feels premium
Cons: 6-inch screen means huge a handset, default theme is horrid (as are most downloadable ones), vibrate alert feeble, some software irks, battery life could still be better given 4100mAh capacity
Price: £400 (TBC)
Full article: Sony Z3 Compact review
BlackBerry Passport review
Quick review: Oh dear BlackBerry. The Passport is a spectacular "kick 'em when they're down" product. Although there are some great ideas here - BB10.3 is a great operating system, the screen is sharp, the keyboard swipe functionality is great - but somehow wrapped into a product that shouldn't have made it beyond the design sketch sheet.
Pros: Email power tools, battery life is fantastic, BlackBerry Blend's potential and BB10.3 a great update, swipe keyboard
Cons: Design, lack of BlackBerry specific apps, keyboard issues, did we mention the design?
Full article: BlackBerry Passport review
FIFA 15 review
Quick review: This year's addition to the FIFA franchise puts our high praise of last year's next-gen FIFA 14 in the shadows. FIFA 15 has shown us what a next-generation football game can truly offer in terms of graphics, but it is on the pitch during play that you will understand how far EA has come with the series.
Pros: Incredible visuals with player models and faces accurately reflecting their real-world counterparts, all 20 Premier League stadiums beautifully rendered, the action on the pitch has gone up a level with real ball spin and AI goalkeepers
Cons: Occasional graphical glitches that make players look like they’ve encountered a horrific injury, game modes are almost identical to last year, some might find the in-game purchasing for Ultimate Team an annoyance
Full article: FIFA 15 next-gen review
Forza Horizon 2 review
Quick review: If you like fast-paced arcade racers and a chunk of off-road madness thrown in for good measure then Forza Horizon 2 takes what was good about the original game and multiplies it. More off-road, more weather, more times of day to drive in. It's a veritable feast of awesomeness if you like this kind of game - and a title that puts its mark in the sand for the near competitors including the likes of Ubisoft's The Crew.
Pros: Amazing graphics, genuine sense of speed, 200+ beautifully rendered cars that move and feel just right, always online gameplay modes offer more than just other drivers, cunning use of the Drivatar system to make solo careers feel full of real people too
Cons: A lot feels just like the original Forza Horizon, sometimes the Road Trip element distracts from the open world experience and discourages exploration
Full article: Forza 2 review
Toshiba Encore 2 (10.1-inch) review
Quick review: In terms of an affordable 10-inch full Windows 8.1 tablet there's plenty of good to be taken away from the Encore 2, making it a genuinely viable purchase. The screen provides good angles of view with limited reflective qualities, while the new slim build is a step forward for the series. But negatives pull it back down: the large bezel surround, poor quality of the rear panel, limited screen resolution, odd Start button placement and the occasional glitch or slow response all work against the Encore 2.
Pros: Affordable, full Windows 8.1, non-reflective screen with good viewing angles and ample brightness, microSD expansion
Cons: Why is the Start button on top edge?, runs hot for no discernible reason, large bezel, not Full HD screen, some glitches, fails to stand out
Full article: Toshiba Encore 2 review (2014)