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David Phelan

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style

Samsung is the world’s dominant mobile phone manufacturer – but does that mean it’s the best? Its latest release is the Galaxy S5, a mainstream phone designed to sell in huge numbers. It’s big, with a 5.1-inch screen, measuring up at 142 x 73 x 8mm, so it won’t suit smaller mitts. Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung's Galaxy S5: eye- …
David Phelan, 11 Apr 2014
Samsung Google Nexus 10 Android tablet

Samsung Google Nexus 10 tablet review

Why would you buy a tablet other than an iPad? Obviously, some don’t care for Apple’s locked-in system and others like the way users can dig more deeply into the workings of Android. Good enough reasons, sure, but the truth is that until the day dawns when a tablet is of comparable specification, but substantially cheaper than …
David Phelan, 23 Nov 2012
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

Kindle came first, of course, but is it the best ebook reader still? After all, there is a wide range of alternatives from multi-talented colour-screen machines like the Google Nexus 7, Kindle’s own Fire and Fire HD models and now the iPad mini. Those are designed to offer greater versatility with apps galore. But they lack the …
David Phelan, 13 Nov 2012
Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5 review

Time was, smartphones did little that was actually smart. They had front-facing cameras and maybe a touchscreen, but operating systems geared more for a stylus than fingers. It wasn’t until the iPhone landed in 2007 that things changed. For the next few years Apple continued to deliver the brainiest of smartphones. No one else …
David Phelan, 21 Sep 2012
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Android tablet review

Remember your first touchscreen? If it was a personal organiser or satnav, chances are it used a pressure-sensitive, resistive screen. If it was a Palm, you probably had a stylus to pick out letters onscreen. The arrival of capacitive screens that responded to human touch certainly made an impression and now account for nearly …
David Phelan, 28 Aug 2012
Nike+ Fuelband activity monitor

Nike+ Fuelband activity monitor review

I’m on a roll. Well, a streak, actually. That’s what Nike calls it when you hit your activity target for three days on the trot. The Nike+ FuelBand aims to get you fitter by scrutinising what you do. Nike+ Fuelband activity monitor Motion carried: Nike+ Fuelband activity monitor The theory is that by keeping tabs on how many …
David Phelan, 23 Jul 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III Android smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung's Galaxy S III is one of the most feature-stuffed smartphones yet. Well, at least there’s room, as it's equipped a 4.8in screen. Samsung's Galaxy Note 5.3in tablet-phone aside, this handset touts the largest display you'll find on a mainstream mobile and it packs a quad-core CPU too. Samsung Galaxy S III Android …
David Phelan, 30 May 2012
Nokia Lumia 900 Windows smartphone

Nokia Lumia 900 WinPho 7 smartphone

So you’re trying to revive the fortunes of what was, until a few weeks ago, the biggest mobile phone manufacturer on the planet. You’ve launched a handset or two with a new operating system and they’ve gone down quite well. So what next? How about taking one of those handsets and releasing a near-identical one, different only in …
David Phelan, 16 May 2012
Sony Xperia S Android smartphone

Sony Xperia S NXT series Android smartphone

So farewell, then, Sony Ericsson. The Xperia S is the first phone for a decade to be branded with the Sony logo, and very nice it looks, too. As does the phone itself, a large screen with matt-black rubberised casing and a curious transparent strip across the bottom. It feels good in the hand, thanks to the curved back, though …
David Phelan, 07 Mar 2012
Motorola Motoluxe Android smartphone

Motorola Motoluxe Android smartphone

Don’t be confused by the name: it may be seem classy and good-looking but this is a mid-range handset, not a deluxe one. It’s also quite distinctive, which is good at a time when Android handsets are numerous and often me-too copies or unimaginative derivatives. Motorola Motoluxe Android smartphone A comfortable compromise: …
David Phelan, 21 Feb 2012
Prada Phone by LG 3.0

Prada Phone by LG 3.0

Why is black and white classier than colour? And should we want our phones, with their increasingly glorious screens, to mute their rainbow hues? It’s the arrival of LG’s third collaboration with Prada that’s raised these questions – a handset that favours an interface dressed mostly in black and white. Prada Phone by LG 3.0 …
David Phelan, 14 Feb 2012
Orange Tahiti 7in Android tablet

Orange Tahiti 7in Android tablet

IPTV Week logo The iPad is all very well, but with its 9.7in display it can be just too big to cart around. Something lighter and more luggable could be the answer. Since there’s no 7in iPad – and the BlackBerry PlayBook has very few apps – we’re left with Android and even this smaller size is still relatively rare on …
David Phelan, 25 Jan 2012
Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Ambilight TV

Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold 50in ultra widescreen TV

CES 2012 Week You’ve got to hand it to the guys at Philips – they’re plucky. They introduce Ambilight, the strange but effective backlighting effect which plays coloured lights on the wall behind your telly for a more relaxing, more immersive experience. Then they create a TV that’s super-wide, perfect for film aficionados. …
David Phelan, 12 Jan 2012
Kobo Vox e-reader

WHSmith Kobo Vox e-reader

So you’ve been tempted by an e-book reader but the brouhaha surrounding the Amazon Kindle Fire launch in the States has confused you. A colour screen must be better, right? But will it ever come to the UK? If you really can’t wait, rival e-book reader manufacturer has stolen a march on Amazon and released a gadget that looks …
David Phelan, 05 Jan 2012
Jawbone Up motion-sensing wristband

Jawbone Up wearable health sensor

Jawbone is known for its excellent Bluetooth headsets and a very cool, if pricey, portable speaker called the Jambox. By any standards, its new product is pretty out there. It’s a rubberised wristband with a motion sensor in it. When you connect it to its free companion iOS app, it becomes something to help you become healthier …
David Phelan, 28 Nov 2011
HTC Titan

HTC Titan WinPho 7.5 smartphone

The HTC Titan is big, really big and yet the Taiwanese manufacturer has managed to make this sizeable WinPho 7.5 smartphone look manageable. Much of that is down to the thinness of the handset, making it feel less massive than it actually is. HTC Titan The big picture: HTC's Titan It helps that there’s nothing on the front of …
David Phelan, 02 Nov 2011
WHSmith Kobo Touch e-book reader

WHSmith Kobo Touch wireless e-book reader

The joys of the e-book reader are considerable. You can carry a thousand books in your pocket and download more in a matter of seconds while you’re sitting in the garden – assuming the Wi-Fi stretches or you have a 3G model. If there are words you don’t recognise, you can look them up with one touch too. And in the case of …
David Phelan, 26 Oct 2011
Apple iPhone 4s smartphone

Apple iPhone 4S

Apple’s design language is easily recognisable: clear glass or plastic that’s spray-painted from the inside, a frequent use of aluminium, stainless steel and any colour so long as it’s white or black. But the new iPhone takes this familiarity further, by making the iPhone 4S almost identical to last year’s iPhone 4. Apple …
David Phelan, 18 Oct 2011
Nokia X7

Nokia X7 Symbian Anna smartphone

When you buy a mobile, you know that you’re likely to be stuck with it for the life of your contract. Good news: you’ll get used to its quirks and differences. Bad news: you can only watch as gorgeous handsets are released for the next year or two. Nokia X7 Smart move? Nokia's X7 But what’s trickier about the new Nokia X7 is …
David Phelan, 05 Jul 2011
Jawbone Era

Aliph Jawbone Era motion sensing Bluetooth headset

Hands-free connections for mobile phones have come a long way from wired earpiece-and-microphone combos. Mind you, it’s still a comic pleasure to see people using these as they hold the microphone near their mouths just to be sure. The arrival of Bluetooth nixed the cables but created problems of connectivity, complicated set-up …
David Phelan, 07 Jun 2011
LG Optimus 3D

LG Optimus 3D dual core Android smartphone

Fancy a Nintendo 3DS so you can play 3D games on the move but don’t have the pocket space for a console and a mobile? LG has come up with an alternative in the (sizeable) shape of its Optimus 3D. Like the Nintendo games machine, this phone offers 3D without those darn glasses you need at the cinema. And it also has twin cameras …
David Phelan, 06 Jun 2011
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook 7in tablet

The PlayBook is described by makers RIM as the first professional-grade tablet. RIM, of course, is best known for its e-mail handset, the BlackBerry. A good deal larger and minus the distinctive keyboard, RIM’s Playbook is a handsome machine, well-designed and with great build quality. RIM BlackBerry PlayBook Building bridges: …
David Phelan, 16 May 2011
Nokia E7

Nokia E7 Qwerty slider smartphone

The Nokia E7 is the company’s latest for phone for business and, in keeping with the styling makeover first seen on the N8, it features a sleek aluminium casing with tapered ends and a big 4in screen. Indeed, it could easily be mistaken for an N8 at first glance. Nokia E7 For business and pleasure: Nokia's E7 It’s only when …
David Phelan, 11 Apr 2011
Jawbone Jambox

Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker

It’s a chunky little fella, the Jambox, and when you look at it, it’s not instantly clear what it is. Jambox is the creation of Aliph, the makers of the excellent and stylish Jawbone Bluetooth headsets, and the company’s noise-cancelling smarts come into this product, too. In fact, it turns out it’s a great wireless stereo …
David Phelan, 22 Mar 2011
Rim BlackBerry Bold 9780

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9780 smartphone

If you’ve seen one BlackBerry, you’ve sort of seen them all: the latest models nearly all talk the same design language of smallish screen and biggish keyboard, the unchanging row of buttons and, generally a chrome frame. Rim BlackBerry Bold 9780 Refashioned but still unmistakable: Rim's BlackBerry Bold 9780 And despite the …
David Phelan, 25 Feb 2011
BT Home Hub 3

BT Home Hub 3 ADSL Wi-Fi router

Everything is wireless these days, it seems. It’s convenient, effective and liberating not to be tied down to a laptop or whatever with wires. But if you find your Wi-Fi behaves erratically, dropping connections or stuttering to a stop when you’re streaming video, say, you’ll know it’s not always plain sailing. And then when you …
David Phelan, 24 Feb 2011
Binatone Homesurf 7

Binatone HomeSurf 7 Android tablet

If 2010 was the year of the Apple iPad, this year will, if Motorola, HTC, HP and others have their way, be when everyone else gets in on the touchscreen computer act. Binatone has made an early strike with its super-low priced machine that’s powered by Google’s Android operating system. Binatone Homesurf 7 Donut anyone? …
David Phelan, 14 Feb 2011
Philips 58PFL9955H

Philips 21:9 Cinema 58in LED backlit TV

How much do you like your movies? Enough to spend £4,000 on a telly? If so, you’ll find the new 21:9 ratio TV from Philips to be very good value. Not only does it give you the best way to watch widescreen movies in close to native proportions, it has some of the best image quality yet seen. Plus Ambilight, oh and outstanding 3D …
David Phelan, 22 Jan 2011
Google Nexus S

Google Nexus S Android smartphone

What do you want from a smartphone? Good looks? New, new features? Decent battery life? The latest operating system? If so, the Nexus S should be right up your alley. The latest Android handset comes direct from Google but where its predecessor, the Nexus One, was made by HTC, this one is created for Google by Samsung. Google …
David Phelan, 12 Jan 2011
Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED

Philips 46PFL9705H Ambilight 46in LED 3D TV

The latest Philips Ambilight TV features the same neat, curved-edged styling as the 32in 32PFL9705 set Reg Hardware reviewed in September 2010. Although a lot of the features are the same, this one has that new feature du jour, 3D. It's considerably bigger, too, but like the 32-incher, the slim bezel means it’s nearly all screen …
David Phelan, 08 Jan 2011
Philips 32PFL9705 Ambilight TV

Philips 32PFL9705 Ambilight 32in LED backlit TV

Ambilight, the curious multi-coloured backlighting effect exclusive to Philips, is a remarkable thing. It doesn’t suit every programme – do you really want splashes of colour on the wall around the TV when you’re watching sombre announcements on the news? – but for entertainment it is an impressive, immersive addition. Philips …
David Phelan, 22 Sep 2010
Sony Bravia KDL-32NX503

Sony Bravia KDL-32NX503 32in LCD TV

Monolithic is a desirable word, unless it’s applied to small things like a mobile phone, a peanut, a shrew. So does it fit a flatscreen TV, especially one at the lower end of screen sizes deemed suitable for a living room? Sony Bravia KDL-32NX503 Leaving space in your living room: Sony's Bravia KDL-32NX503 Monolithic is the …
David Phelan, 31 Jul 2010
HTC Wildfire

HTC Wildfire Android smartphone

So you like the sound of this Android smartphone business, but you don’t want to spend a fortune? Well, the HTC Wildfire isn’t the first budget Android blower, but it’s arguably the best. HTC Wildfire Hot product: HTC's Wildfire Previously, if you wanted an Android phone on the cheap you had to sacrifice stuff. First to go …
David Phelan, 20 Jul 2010
Motorola Flipout

Motorola Flipout

You can’t deny Motorola’s creativity – a square phone, huh? And if you find an iPhone just too big, the new Flipout is certainly compact - it's 66mm square - and will fit into the tightest pocket. This means the screen isn’t huge, but at 2.8in it’s certainly usable. Motorola Flipout Motorola's Flipout: Touch the Google Search …
David Phelan, 08 Jul 2010
Google Nexus One

Google Nexus One

The flourishing Android operating system has appeared on phones made by Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and HTC. Now Google has launched its own handset, though it’s actually made by HTC, which has made the bulk of Android handsets so far. Google Nexus One Nexus One: hardware by HTC, software by Google The thing about …
David Phelan, 10 Mar 2010
Toshiba Regza 55SV685D

Toshiba Regza 55in LED backlit TV

Do you watch too much TV? You see, it’s not just the hours you put in: you risk the accusation that telly means too much to you if your screen dominates your living room, and therefore your life. It’s a matter of taste, but arguably a 55in screen is pretty much the limit for respectable viewing and Toshiba’s snazzy SV series can …
David Phelan, 13 Feb 2010
Samsung UE40B7000

Samsung UE40B7000 40in LCD TV

Flatscreen TVs with LED backlighting offer more vivid colours, darker blacks and greater contrast than regular LCD screens. And there’s a slimness dividend, too, as edge-mounted LED backlights take up less space than conventional LCD bulbs. A case in point is Samsung’s UE40B7000, a 40in 1080p HDTV that’s only 30mm deep. Samsung …
David Phelan, 30 Nov 2009
Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500

Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500 200Hz 46in LCD TV

Remember how flatscreen TVs used to look: dominated by huge side- or bottom-mounted speakers and with large silver or grey bezel frames? The latest models are positively anorexic in comparison, shaving centimetres off every dimension except the display itself. Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500 Sony's Bravia KDL-46Z5500: handsome So …
David Phelan, 04 Nov 2009
Philips 21:9 56PFL9954H

Philips Cinema 21:9 56in LCD TV

Think of a widescreen TV. The widest one you’ve seen, you know, one with big, garish speakers stuck on the side. Well, whatever it is, it’ll be nowhere near as wide as this new, premium-priced LCD TV from Philips. Philips 21:9 56PFL9954H Philips' Cinema 21:9 56PFL9954H Current widescreens have an aspect ratio of 16:9, so when …
David Phelan, 31 Jul 2009
Pioneer Kuro KRL-37V

Pioneer Kuro KRL-37V LCD TV

Pioneer makes great plasma TVs featuring the deep blacks and impressively high contrast that this technology offers. For years the company’s mantra was akin to ‘Plasma good, LCD bad’. So it was a surprise last year when Pioneer announced it would be making LCD screens. Like the plasma models, these screens are called Kuro. The …
David Phelan, 05 Jun 2009
Aliph Jawbone Prime

Aliph Jawbone Prime Bluetooth headset

Last year Reg Hardware ran the first UK review of Jawbone II, the second Bluetooth headset from Aliph. This wasn’t just another gizmo for hands-free phone calls, it looked better than the rest, was easier to set up and reliable too. It also featured effective noise-cancelling characteristics, based around technology developed in …
David Phelan, 28 May 2009
Philips 42PFL9803H/10

Philips 42in Ambilight LED array TV

Philips flatscreens have a lot going for them. The picture quality is usually strong, sometimes outstanding. The designs are striking and eye-catching rather than bland or anonymous, though this doesn't mean they please everyone, of course. Philips 42PFL9803H/10 Philips' 42PFL9803H/10: now with LED array backlighting There …
David Phelan, 20 Mar 2009

Samsung LE40A786 'smart LED' 40in LCD TV

When flatscreen TVs first arrived, they were expensive and had picture quality considerably inferior to traditional CRT screens. But they meant that large screens were a possibility without taking up acres of real estate in the living room. And although picture quality wasn't so good, the TVs looked great with the picture off. …
David Phelan, 26 Jan 2009

Philips Aurea II 42PFL9903H 42in LCD TV

How in-your-face do you want your TV to be? Why not try one with a frame that lights up? This is not just Philips' Ambilight effect, this is second-gen Aurea, where the frame sprays multiple colours at you from the front too. So as the picture in a nature show switches from succulent leaves to a tiger’s face, so the frame snaps …
David Phelan, 15 Nov 2008

Hitachi UT32MH70 32in LCD TV

When you’re watching TV you want to be directly in front of it, right? So why should a manufacturer make a fuss about a TV's sides, specifically how thin they are? Even more puzzling is the fact that greater thinness actually does make a difference, as this sleek TV from Hitachi proves. Hitachi UT32MH70 32in LCD TV Hitachi's …
David Phelan, 01 Nov 2008

Philips Cineos 42PFL9603D Ambilight LCD TV

Philips' Ambilight feature at first seems bizarre: back-mounted lights that change hue as the dominant screen colour does. However, it's hard to switch off once you’ve used it. So what do we make of Philips' new, uncompromisingly-designed LCD model that has hidden speakers, the latest image processing technology and Ambilight? …
David Phelan, 12 Aug 2008

Pioneer Kuro PDP-LX5090 plasma HD TV

How serious are you about your telly? If you find yourself in cocktail-party conversations saying, 'Oh, I don’t really watch TV...' then either you’re in denial, or you haven't seen the latest Pioneer Kuro. You see, it’s a 1080p "full HD" 50-incher, and there’s no way someone can come into your living room and not remark on it. …
David Phelan, 11 Jul 2008

Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset

Hands-free headsets are a boon for mobile users. Not only can you pretend to be Lieutenant Uhura, but you can write while you're on the blower or drive more safely. And legally. Last year, Aliph released the Jawbone, a Bluetooth headset that was different from most earlier devices because it was sufficiently stylish for you not …
David Phelan, 30 May 2008