This week's hottest reviews on TechRadar

sony smartwatch 2
Sony's wrist-based sequel that Samsung should worry about

The first week of September is always chock-full of awesome tech and this year is no exception.

With IFA powering us along towards the Christmas buying bonanza, we've been playing with the most sought-after gadgets on the planet.

Top of the list has to be the Galaxy Gear – the much-mooted and long-awaited smart watch from Samsung. The Korean kings have been working on smart watch technology for yonks, and the fruit of that labour is finally here. But is it everything you hoped it would be?

Also on TechRadar's slab of lust this week have been a variety of 4K TVs, 3D headsets, mobile phones, tablets and more. So have a browse and start making your list for Santa!

1. Samsung Galaxy Gear

Galaxy Gear review

Samsung has got some things really right on the Galaxy Gear: the styling is great and the interface is nifty. We like the way the camera works (although we're not sure you'd want it, even for the likes of Vine or Instagram) and the idea of Smart Relay appeals to our geekier nature.

But we were a little shocked at how laggy and slow the interface was on the watch – it instantly felt like every other sub-par smartwatch we'd encountered in the past.

Samsung could still turn this one around, but there needs to be a big step forward to make the Galaxy Gear worth anywhere near the money that's likely to be asked. Hands on: Samsung Galaxy Gear review

2. Sony Smartwatch 2

Hands on: Sony Smartwatch 2 review

The Sony Smartwatch 2 is the ideal foil to your Sony, or any Android Ice Cream Sandwich or above, smartphone, making it a much more universally appealing device.

It's got sleek lines, a lower price and a decent range of apps available at launch, making it a toy you can legitimately ask for at Christmas and then spend all day playing with.

It's not got the lag we've seen with so many other smartwatches, and a long battery life makes it much more of a proposition for the charging-naysayer compared to the Galaxy Gear.

Technologically speaking, it doesn't have the specs to match up to the Gear, nor does it have the functionality. But to some people, those looking for a simple device that quietly alerts them to text, call and Facebook updates, this could be an ideal candidate to replace the Timex. Hands on: Sony Smartwatch 2 review

3. Sony Xperia Z1

Hands on: Sony Xperia Z1 review

The Sony Xperia Z1 is definitely another step forward from the brand that's going from strength to strength in the smartphone market.

It's an impressive phone that packs so much technology inside you can't help but enjoy all the treats on offer - and it's well packaged in a way that makes us love to try all the different features.

It's a chunky beast, which may put some people off, but the metallic chassis is one we really like and pushes the premium message even further, and the addition of a microSD card slot is one we always love to see.

Given it's not likely to command the mega cost of the Lumia 1020, the Z1 is a decent phone that will rival the Galaxy S4 on the shop shelves - so if you can get over the bulk, it's one of the most exciting smartphones to check out this year. Hands on: Sony Xperia Z1 review

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Galaxy Note 3 review

The Galaxy Note 3 is very much an evolution, with the specs starting to top out. The 3GB of RAM, the 13MP camera and octa-core processor are all nice additions, as well as things like superfast 4G on board.

It's excellent sonically, can display superbly crisp images, and has a number of tweaks to the camera that mean it can take decent snaps. Those are the things we want to judge the Note 3 on, not the ability to click the S Pen in a different manner.

James Rivington

James was part of the TechRadar editorial team for eight years up until 2015 and now works in a senior position for TR's parent company Future. An experienced Content Director with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), E-commerce Optimization, Journalism, Digital Marketing, and Social Media. James can do it all.