Spying smartphones could save your life
Never mind the NSA - we need iPod nannies
There's a big problem with wearable health tech: the people who need it won't buy it. With the obvious exceptions - people who have conditions that mean they need to keep a close eye on what their bodies are up to - the kind of people who'll embrace wearable health gadgets are the kind of people who don't really need them. If you care enough about your health to drop hundreds on health kit, you're probably not the kind of person who runs screaming from salad bars. We don't need health sensors for healthy people, we need them for everybody else. We need smartphones that will spy on us.
How Spotify dealt a huge blow to its rivals
Swedish streamer just got a lot more powerful
Spotify just bought The Echo Nest - a music intelligence engine. If you're a Spotify user, you should be happy about the move - the company has inherited a treasure-trove of music data, which can only make Spotify's products better. "With The Echo Nest joining Spotify, we will make a big leap forward in our quest to play you the best music possible," said Daniel Ek in the company's statement. But if you're not, you might find the musical rug being whipped out from underneath you.
This week's hottest reviews
It's OLED. It's curved. It's bloody brilliant!
The long, long wait is over and vaguely affordable big-screen OLED entertainment has finally arrived. And what style it's arrived in, with the 55EA980W imperiously rising to the challenge of living up to all the hype OLED has built up around itself over the past three or four years. Apparently OLED screens remain prohibitively difficult to make, leading to everyone bar LG seemingly withdrawing from the OLED market again for the time being. But that loss looks set to be LG's gain, for if it can continue to make OLEDs as outstanding as the 55EA980W, there will surely always be people out there desperate to buy them. Read: LG 55EA980W review
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
Samsung throws everything into the fledgling maxi-tablet category
As the first significant manufacturer to step forward with its vision of a super-sized tablet, Samsung has quite a job on its hands to convince the world that there is a genuine need, and that this isn't just a gimmick. If nothing else, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 successfully answers that question to the affirmative. It's not a tablet you'll want to lug around with you or whip out in public, and it is dauntingly expensive. But if productivity is foremost in your mind as you shop for an Android tablet, the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2's combination of huge HD display and S Pen interactivity is a compelling combination.
Read: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 review
Nokia Lumia 1320
A capable phablet, but is it already obsolete?
The Nokia Lumia 1320 is positioned as budget alternative to the all-powerful Nokia Lumia 1520, but there's a problem. The Nokia Lumia 1520 has dropped in price significantly, making the 1320 seem surplus to requirements. Comparisons aside, it's an extremely hefty phone that lacks Nokia's usual design flair, with a workmanlike plastic construction that's prone to creaking. This middle-of-the road feeling continues with its underwhelming processor, average camera, and lack of any stand-out software that really marks the Lumia 1320 out as unique. You'll be getting a strong Windows Phone 8 experience here, but that can be had for less money and in a more desirable package these days. Read: Nokia Lumia 1320
A weather-proof all-rounder well-suited to beginners
This is a good purchase for those looking for their first DSLR and want something a little bit rugged that can cope with a wide variety of different shooting conditions. If you have no particular affiliation to the Canon and Nikon standards here, definitely think about the K-50, if for the weather-sealing alone. Read: Pentax K-50 review
AlcoSense Digital Breathalyser Lite
An affordable and reusable tool for testing your blood-alcohol levels
There are two conundrums facing the Alcosense Digital Breathalyser Lite. Firstly, is it accurate? On that subject we can't be sure thanks to the disappointing lack of co-operation from Avon and Somerset Constabulary. That said, we've seen enough to think the device works well and would function in its intended role. In other words, we think the Alcosense Digital Breathalyser Lite will indeed give you a good guide as to whether you are risking driving over the allowed limit.
Read: AlcoSense Digital Breathalyser Lite review
Philips Fidelio E2
A decent two-speaker setup that offers sound far above its paygrade
Slight sound niggles aside there is a lot to love with the Philips Fidelio E2 speakers. Coming in at a price point that (literally) sounds to good to be true, they will be hard to beat in their category. The only issues you may have are with styling - the wood finish won't fit all living rooms - and an occasional low dirge but these are slight complaints when the overall package is such a multi-faceted delight.
Read: Philips Fidelio E2 review