The best TechRadar reads you may have missed

(Image credit: Future)

As weeks in 2021 go, the last entry was a quiet one. Sure, there was the small matter of the Super Bowl, but who’s interested in competitive cereal-eating anyway? The point being, it was refreshing to be spared the terror of insurrections, mutated virus strains and general political unrest for one week, at least. 

Of course, just because it was all quiet on the politics front doesn’t mean the global tech-sphere didn’t have some things to say. The worlds of smartwatches, cameras and phones have all enjoyed some exciting recent announcements – and who isn’t interested in hearing about what makes a wireless speaker worth $1500?

Here, we’ve picked out the best news and features of the week, from the reasons you won’t get real HDR from cheap TVs to what makes now the right time for in-screen Touch ID on the next iPhone 13. We’ve also gone ahead and checked out how one smart display is turning back the clock, and detailed how tech is helping one writer learn the piano during lockdown.

There’s also a host of exciting review and opinion content for you to sink your teeth into, but if you’re after something a little easier on the eyes (but maybe not the ears), we’ve parked the latest episode of the TechRadar Noise Cancelling Podcast at the end of this article for your convenient listening pleasure.

wireless speaker

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)

The best things in life are (not) free 

What makes a wireless speaker worth $1500? The latest effort from Bang & Olufsen aims to prove that money can buy you happiness – of the audible kind, at least.

The Beosound Level harks back to the brand's classic 70s audio devices by coming in a choice of (beautiful) fabric or oak finishes and a slim, rectangular build that stands out from its cylindrical competitors. It also sounds pretty good, too, which is always nice in a speaker.

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View of a piano

(Image credit: Chayapak Jansavang / Shutterstock)

How tech is helping me learn the piano during lockdown 

In a time when tech usually causes us to waste away the hours playing video games or watching TV, it’s refreshing to be reminded that it can still help with productive, wholesome activities. 

One TechRadar writer details how he’s used the latest helpful apps and gadgets to make his piano-playing a little less amateur-key-smasher and a little more Frédéric Chopin. 

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Concept smart alarm clock

(Image credit: John Karlsson)

Turning back the clock 

Smart displays have become part of the furniture in many households, and they're unashamedly futuristic-looking, high-tech devices – but what if you prefer a more understated look or long for a more tactile experience?

Well, Swedish designer John Karlsson felt so strongly about wanting a product that actually looked like it belonged in his home that he's created a concept which merges modern features into a classic alarm clock. Check it out – we defy you not to be impressed.

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(Image credit: Dolby)

Is your TV giving you phoney HDR? 

As the latest and greatest TVs condemn the models of yesteryear to the discounted section, you might think it wise to pick up one of these wallet-friendly screens for their HDR capabilities.

But proceed with caution. As our TVs editor details here, HDR isn’t quite as black and white as perhaps you thought it to be, and that cheap deal you’ve been eyeing up might not deliver on the colorful picture you’re looking for.

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Nikon Z7 II / Nikon D800

(Image credit: Future)

Is it time to upgrade your Nikon? 

“I've owned, used and tested a lot of Nikon cameras down the years, from the Nikon FM through to the Nikon D850. In fact, I still rock what is now a truly beat-up Nikon D800 – surely that shutter is going to pack in any day now. But that's far from the only reason why I'm convinced that now is time to upgrade to a Nikon Z7 II.”

One Camera writer breaks down why he’s finally considering an upgrade to his long-standing snapper of choice.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

(Image credit: Future)

The time is right for in-screen Touch ID on the next iPhone 

If Samsung has proven anything over the past decade, it’s that it usually arrives to the latest tech parties before Apple. Tim Cook and co. have been known to ride out the popularity of their devices until demand for genuinely new tech reaches sales-affecting levels (which, it’s worth noting, is next to never). 

With the Samsung Galaxy S21, the South Korean behemoth is again leading the way for the Americans. Could we see in-screen Touch ID on the iPhone 13 as a result? It seems likely.

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Amazfit GTS 2e

(Image credit: Future)

Impressive wrist features for a modest price 

With a bright OLED display, good battery life and a raft of impressive workout tracking tools, the Amazfit GTS 2e is easily one of the best fitness trackers in its price bracket.

In our review of the wearable device, we break down what it does well, not so well, and ultimately why it’s worth strapping to your wrist.

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Robinhood / GameStop debacle and AirPods Pro 2: Noise Cancelling podcast episode 50 

The week's biggest tech news, in podcast form! We have you covered with the Noise Cancelling podcast, which is brought to you by TechRadar and our sister sites Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide.

This week's show is presented by Gareth Beavis, TechRadar's Global Editor-in-Chief, and Sherri L. Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Laptop Mag, with guests Olivia Tambini, Music and Audio Editor at TechRadar, and Adam Vjestica, Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, who join us (remotely, of course) to talk about the last seven days in tech.

Catch up on all the latest tech gossip, from our breakdown of the biggest Wall Street scandal since the 2008 financial crisis to our reactions to the AirPods Pro 2

Read more…

You can find every episode of Noise Cancelling here too 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.