7 reasons why now is the time to buy a Windows Phone
And two reasons why it isn't
For a long time, the biggest decision to make when weighing up a new smartphone has been whether to plump for iOS or Android. But with Windows Phone 8.1 bringing some significant extra functionality to the table, Microsoft's app store growing in scope and quality, and Nokia still producing top-notch hardware, the time is right to upgrade to Microsoft's OS — or so we think. Don't believe us? Check out these reasons to see how Microsoft has leapt forward with its OS.
Meet the awesome tech that will soon make your smartphone smarter
Gadgets, now with added brain
Context is everything. Your smartphone knows where you are and what direction you're facing, but that's about it. What if it knew your context? Not just where you are, but what you're doing, who you're with – and what you're likely to do next. It's called contextual computing, and it's going to make your smartphone into a much better personal assistant. With context, a smartphone, tablet, wearable device or headset could detect when you're driving and read your text messages out loud. It could detect when you're low on battery and start preserving power. It could even alert you when someone really important to you is suddenly nearby. Contextual computing is about improving interaction between human and computer – and it's about computers becoming intelligent. Read all about it
A great all-round TV for a very attractive price
A quad core processor, intense detail and fantastic blacks levels make the first-ever 48-inch TV we've reviewed a winner. A fine example of a direct LED-backlit LCD TV, the UE48H6400 has contrast and black levels to spare, while both upscaling and smart TV impress, too. Samsung 3D will presumably add the missing apps on its smart TV platform as quickly as it can, but the lack of the BBC iPlayer, Demand Five and BBC Sport apps at launch is a lesson in what to do with a brand new TV launched in Spring; leave it in the shop until late summer, that's what. Samsung UE48H6400 review
Alfa Romeo's new 4C supercar proves that less is more and super fun too
Carbon-fibre to the core, 40MPG-plus and looks to die for
Can supercar remain relevant in this energy-conscious, technology-obsessed age? That's the conundrum du jour for car enthusiasts. And it's a question addressed head on by the fabulous new Alfa Romeo 4C mini supercar. That's because Alfa hasn't just used tech for tech's sake with the 4C. It's taken the concept of what makes a supercar back to first principles. Then it's considered how to use the latest technology to deliver the best possible driving machine. Crucially, however, Alfa has done all that with more than one eye on relevance and sustainability.
Attack of the Chinese superphones
The brands Apple and Samsung should fear
The likes of Huawei and ZTE are already making moves into the developed smartphone nations, and they're set to be followed by a legion of Chinese smartphone makers in the next year or so. The incumbent Chinese brands may not be making particularly big waves just yet, but with ferocious marketing campaigns and strong budgets from domestic success, it may not be long until the likes of Apple, Samsung and Sony are looking nervously over their shoulders. So we have taken a look at some brands you may not even have heard of, alongside a few more familiar manufacturers to pick out those that could be shaking things up in the next decade. Continue reading...
The fitness band that lasts a year on one charge
Before you head into the quality of its various fitness features, the Vivofit's always-on display and year-long battery life make it a wearable winner - possibly the only one that could replace your watch right now. Luckily, the fitness stuff is good too for anyone looking for a tracker that doesn't get too serious. It might lack GPS but there are plenty of features to get you moving. When it gets dark the Vivofit becomes a little less useful, given that it misses both an alarm and a backlight, but luckily there are enough positives - including the low price - to make the Vivofit a fitness band to recommend. Garmin Vivofit review