October is a busy month in the world of tech and this week we've published no less than a 14 full reviews. That's two a day you lucky so and sos. And that's not even counting Apple's and Google's big news in the iPad Air 2 and Nexus 6 and 9 announcements.
But this week it's really all about the flagship smartphones. Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - Samsung's latest 5.7-inch device, a phone with few rivals - and Sony Xperia Z3 have passed through our hands.
Elsewhere we've got a variety of goodies: from tablets to cars to the latest gaming and headphones. It's a bumper week.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
Quick review: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a rare example of a phone that not only does shed loads, but does it all so well. No other 5.7-inch screen looks better and even if the competition is beginning to knock at its door the Note 4 can sit back on its throne with its feet up knowing it's done all the hard work. The plastic rear is a shame at this price, but it's a phone with few rivals.
Pros: Built-in S Pen stylus and related features, great screen quality, decent battery life, super powerful, improved multi-screen and software functionality, quality camera, fast 4G connectivity (CAT 6 LTE-A)
Cons: Still a plastic rear panel, some app/software excess, fingerprint detection unwieldy at this size, some multi-screen functions are long-winded and fussy to operate
Full article: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
Sony Xperia Z3 review
Quick review: Having criticised the earlier Xperia Z1 and the Z2 models, we feel like Sony has made the right moves in its latest handset. The Z3 gives you the design, the power, the display, the camera and importantly, the battery life. It's the flagship device where Sony has got everything right.
Pros: Battery life, great build, waterproofing, camera performance, powerful
Cons: Sony bloatware, still a little tall, design could be a little more seamless
Full article: Sony Xperia Z3 review
Canon PowerShot G7 X review
Quick review: As the high-end compact camera war hots up, Canon's first dip into the 1-inch sensor market is a solid effort. If it was 2013 then Canon would have struck gold with the PowerShot G7 X. But what a difference a year makes, for the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is a step ahead in a number of departments. But as much as we can split hairs over which camera does this or that better, what's clear with the Canon G7 X is that it's a positive push forward for the G-series. Even without a viewfinder, the G7 X is one of the more notable G-series Canon cameras for a number of years.
Pros: Great build quality, customisable lens control ring, decent low-mid ISO image quality with delicate processing, fast 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 (equiv) lens, smaller than many G-series cameras, WiFi works well, touchscreen tilt-angle LCD screen
Cons: No viewfinder or facility to add one, high ISO image quality (over ISO 1600) not all that, zoom toggle control rather than lens zoom ring, battery is only so-so, Sony RX100 III a step ahead, where are the next-level autofocus features?
Full article: Canon GX7 review
Amazon Fire HD 7 review
Quick review: The Amazon Fire HD 7's main issue is the Tesco Hudl 2. The supermarket chain's device is just that much better. But if you're an Amazon adopter and want simplicity and family-friendliness to come first then it's a tablet that progresses an already successful series. It won't be for all, but for those suited it's a solid product.
Pros: As simple a device to use as they come, surprisingly smooth and slick for an affordable tablet, colourful and cheery in design, Amazon FreeTime is a great way to encourage kids to learn before being rewarded with movie or TV show playback
Cons: Its chunky body won’t be for everyone, Fire OS 4 is as restrictive as ever for those looking for more customisation and control, the screen has a slight yellowish tinge, 8GB version only has 4.5GB of usable storage, no microSD card slot
Price: from £119 (with ads)
Full article: Amazon Fire HD 7 review
Kia Soul Mixx review
Quick review: The Kia Soul Mixx is a car that turns heads. Its styling - complete with beefed-up body kit and accentuated with the contrasting colour bodywork - might not be to all tastes, but we love it. It's individual, using those squared shoulders to muscle in on competition that is traditionally conservative in design and, on reflection, rather more expensive than it needs to be.
Pros: Stock options, good value for money, ride height, attention to details, fun exterior design, comfortable cabin with plenty of space
Cons: To get more options you have to step up a trim level, boot space is a little small, lack of engine choices, diesel sounds a little too much like a van
Price: £19,750 (as reviewed)
Full article: Kia Soul Mixx review
The Evil Within review
Quick review: The Evil Within is a determinedly old-fashioned game (even the washed out, near-monochrome visuals don't exactly scream "next-gen" at you). But it's a rare treat in a fast-twitch world for those who view themselves as survival horror aficionados. And beyond the gameplay, it serves up a more than respectable helping of pure, if at times rather off-the-wall, horror.
Pros: Pure, unadulterated, no-compromise survival horror, sometimes truly chilling, great weapons and upgrade system, decent puzzles, a meaty single-player experience
Cons: Clunky by modern standards, determinedly old-fashioned, no multiplayer, not for those who prize slickness and fast-paced gaming above all else
Full article: TEW review
Mac OS X Yosemite review
Quick review: Yosemite is a brilliant evolution of OS X that really enhances they way you connect with your iPhone and that's really the main aspect to take away here. But that experience isn't yet perfect. Yes there will be things you don't like, yes there will be annoyances that still exist, and at times points when you wonder why Apple hasn't done certain things, but on the whole Yosemite will add plenty of new features and enhancements to your desktop.
Pros: Continuity potential, new design, Spotlight's deeper search, enhanced notifications panel
Cons: There are still frustrations, incoming ringtones and distance to microphone for calls
Price: Free update
Full article: Apple OS X Yosemite review
Nokia Lumia 830 review
Quick review: The Microsoft Nokia Lumia 830 can't be faulted for its premium quality build, and while the processor and camera might lack a little power for some, that's why the price is where it is positioned. The two areas that you'll need to really think over: whether a mid-range 10-megapixel camera and middling 720p resolution on that 5-inch screen will be a deal-breaker or not. That's the Lumia 830's issue really: it's great but there are so many arguments to spend the extra £100 and grab the Lumia 930 instead.
Pros: Great build, latest Windows Phone 8.1 experience, battery life, camera options
Cons: Screen resolution lacks, lure of Lumia 930 more tempting
Full article: Nokia Lumia 830 review
Sennheiser Urbanite review
Quick review: We have very few if any moans about the Sennheiser Ubranite on-ear headphones' sound quality. It's not a neutral listen, though, so if that's what you're after then perhaps Bowers & Wilkins or another brand will better cater to your needs. But for a bright, colourful and bassy listen that doesn't over-stretch things the Sennhesier balance is just right. The price makes them doubly attractive too.
Pros: Great sound for big bass through to crisp top-end, loud output, adjustable and folding design, comfortable after weeks of wear, affordable price
Cons: Earcup covers can fall off too easily, unfolding can catch fingers too easily, would prefer a lighter and less “pinched” design
Full article: Sennheiser Urbanite review
Philips LivingColors Iris review
Quick review: We use Philips Hue every day and we love what the smartphone-controlled lighting system does. The addition of Iris to that gives a different look and feel than, say, the Bloom product. Iris and its transparent design makes for product that solves a specific problem or situation, but is a fun way of adding accent lighting to a space. If what we've described fits your situation, then the Iris will work wonders.
Pros: Everything you need to get you started is in the box, bright light source, easy to use and install, bulbs don't get hot
Cons: Only good for ambient light, easily knocked over, not necessarily the most logical start point for new Hue users
Full article: Philips Hue Iris review
Philips Fidelio E5 review
Quick review: The Philips Fidelio E5 is an attractive and powerful system that can transform from a 2.1 stereo system into a full 5.1 surround sound system with ease. No need for a separate amplifier or loads of wires, it's an out-of-the-box multiple solution for the modern home. If you want to scrap the separate amplifier, modernise your audio setup and yet don't want to lose that classic design aesthetic then here's a two-in-one solution to cater for your TV and music audio needs.
Pros: Compact, versatile with 2.1 and 5.1 options, attractive, well-balanced sound, wireless rear speaker solution
Cons: Fairly expensive, Auto Volume feature no good, NFC issues with review sample
Full article: Philips Fidelio E5 review
Parrot Jumping Sumo review
Quick review: The Parrot Jumping Sumo is a fun gadget that's easy to control once you've go the hang of it (despite us having some connection issues). The jumping aspect does stand it apart from just any old app-controlled remote control car too, but the premium you are paying for that - it's £140 - is pretty hefty. With competition from the Sphero Ollie, for example, the Jumping Sumo is something of a luxury purchase that you might find hard to justify not long after you get it out of the box, despite the fun to be had.
Pros: Jumps high, not another drone, fast and nippy
Cons: Can't record video without complication, have to turn off Bluetooth and connect directly with WiFI to work
Full article: Parrot Jumping Sumo review
Garmin Vivofit review
Quick review: The Garmin Vivofit is a step tracker that doesn't complicate things, but that's exactly why it's such a strong wearable. Add a battery life that can last for over a year - yep, a whole year - and it stands out compared to many of its peers. Don't expect minute detail adjustments like some more professional dedicated devices, but if you're in the business of simplicity with an interest in getting healthier then this is a great shout.
Pros: Year-long battery life, keeps things simple, clear display, accurate, affordable point to activity tracking, waterproof, ANT+ for optional HR monitor
Cons: No screen illumination, no altimeter, no vibration, optional heart-rate monitor not comfortable
Full article: Garmin Vivofit review
F1 2014 review
Quick review: While F1 2014 is impressive in technical terms for a PS3 and Xbox 360 game, the overwhelming sense you get is that it's preaching to the converted. Not a great deal is new, it's late to the season and having ignored the next-gen consoles just doesn't add a great deal to an established formula.
Pros: Looks fantastic for a current-gen game, cars feel startlingly authentic, new tracks are present and correct, beefed up Scenario mode adds depth
Cons: Ignores next-gen consoles, doesn’t feel significantly different to last year’s version, only really appeals to Formula One completists
Full article: F1 2014 review