Real World Consumer Tests and Product Reviews

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LG G5 Modular Smartphone Review

Key features and specifications as well as consumer review of the very interesting LG G5 Modular Smartphone

In today’s review, you will see LG’s 2016 model G5 – a nice, sleek model with great screen, lots of memory and a lovely wide-angle camera. There are certain drawbacks, like the ugly software and the build quality but overall, this is a good modular smartphone option currently selling at around $350.

Key specs
·        5.3-inch IPS QHD screen
·        Snapdragon 820 processor & 4GB RAM
·        32GB onboard storage and microSD slot
·        2,800mAh battery
·        USB Type-C v3.0 port
·        Fingerprint sensor
·        16-megapixel rear camera & 8-megapixel front camera
·        Additional 8-megapixel wide-angle rear camera
·        LG UX 5.0 on Android Marshmallow
Design and features
The G5's design is very clean, with only a single volume clicker and SIM-tray present on either side. The volume control has a very shallow push, but it's usable. The lock switch is located just below the camera sensors. The standby switch also houses a fingerprint scanner – something that is now considered necessary for any 2016 smartphone. The fingerprint reader is fast and accurate and you don’t even have to press down to unlock the phone, instead you can glide your finger across and it’ll bypass the lockscreen completely.
The LG G5’s modular system is its stand-out feature. Along the side of the handset sits an almost indistinguishable button  - when you press it in, the bottom chin of the phone will pop out so you can pull it off and remove the battery. Once removed, you can attach it to other modules, or "Friends" as LG calls them. At launch, there are two modules available. The camera grip adds a touch more battery, a separate shutter button for both photos and video, and a jog dial for zoom. The second module is a DAC powered by some B&O tech. The DAC gives you 32-bit audio and an extra headphone jack. Unfortunately, both models are on the expensive side.
Display-wise, the one on the LG G5 is the best yet – even though on the surface it appears that not a whole lot has changed. LG hasn't made the switch to a 4K display; it remains quad-HD. The display on the G5 remains a IPS LCD panel too, rather than the AMOLED panels favoured by Samsung and Google. The display however is smaller than before – 5.3-inches as opposed to 5.5-inches. But the number of pixels remain the same; they're simply crammed into a smaller surface area. The display is incredibly sharp, far more true-to-life and softer than the Galaxy S7 display
LG has also improved the brightness of the screen – at its highest, it's at 900 nits, but there will be few instances in which it will need to be set so high. Around 50% is right, or you can opt for auto-brightness. The G5 display's black level – an area in which many IPS displays struggle – is solid. While not as deep as those on the Samsung Galaxy S7, blacks on the LG G5 are suitably inky and deep, and mean the display has a great contrast ratio.

Software and performance
The software on the LG G5 is a little hit and a miss. It includes the latest version of Android – that’s 6.0.1 – with all the fantastic tweaks and additions that Google added towards the end of last year. However, like the majority of Android phones, it’s been heavily skinned.
The biggest deal-breaker is that LG has completely removed the app drawer, which is exactly what Huawei has done. The other problem here is the serious amount of bloatware loaded onto the phone.
The processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is backed up by 4GB RAM, an Adreno 530 GPU and a single storage option – 32GB. Browsing, scrolling through menus, opening up apps, and all the other things you do all-day, everyday on your phone are mostly smooth and lag-free. Most of the time, though, the G5 performs brilliantly.
The main 16-megapixel, 16:9 camera is far more by-the-book, but it’s excellent nonetheless. Colors are natural, the laser-auto focus system is spot on, and each shot is packed with details. Intricate detailing in walls, licks of paint on a picture and wool strands from a carpet are all picked out perfectly.
The secondary camera is an 8-megapixel sensor, so the results aren’t quite as sharp as the main camera, but the pictures it produces are genuinely different and, well, cool. It’s great for landscape shots, although we’d avoid using it for close-ups.
4K/UHD video looks great, as you'd expect. It's smooth and crisp, although shooting for long periods does cause the device to warm up ever so slightly.
Battery life
The battery life on the LG G5 is good. Not phablet good, but it manages to easily last the day with about 10% remaining during heavy use. The 2,800mAh battery isn't the biggest on the market; it’s beaten by the Galaxy S7 and the HTC 10, which both boast 3,000mAh units. It is removable, however, so you could throw a spare into your bag to double your running time. Additionally, standby time is fantastic – leaving the phone unplugged overnight only drops the battery of around 3%.
Last impressions
The LG G5 is a really good phone, but in a year of really great phones it can’t quite match the impressive standard set the by the HTC 10 and Samsung Galaxy S7. Overall, the G5 feels a little cheap compared to other flagship handsets and LG’s software remains on the "less attractive side".

LG G5 Modular
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LOGITECH Z333 Multimedia 2.1 Speakers

LOGITECH Z333 - the better cheap 2.1 multimedia speakers

LOGITECH Z333 Multimedia 2.1 Speakers
LOGITECH Z333 Multimedia 2.1 Speakers


Today we will review a good budget sound solution – the Logitech Z333 multimedia speakers. Currently selling at around $60, these speakers are mostly suitable for PC sound or a low-end home cinema setup. The set includes 2 speakers and a subwoofer.

The sound these speakers produces is fairly clear and deep – the Z333 delivers 80W peak power and 40W RMS sustained power. The bass is intense with the large 5-inch front-firing driver. A lot of power and a large driver are required to accurately reproduce and make you feel the low-end frequencies. By directing the low frequencies to this dedicated subwoofer, it provides the needed listening experience and allows you to hear the bass as it was recorded.
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Vodafone Smart Prime 6

In today’s article we will review Vodaphone’s ultra-budget solution Smart Prime 6 – this is an under $100 phone (it’s currently priced at ~$90). As you could expect, the Smart Prime 6 is not a best performer or a looker, it’s unremarkable in mostly every way but for those shopping at the bottom end of the market it's worth shortlisting. The design is solid and not bad-looking, the battery life is good and it comes with Lollipop so despite the shortcomings in a lot of aspects, there’s still market for it.

We're at a time in smartphone evolution when budget phones are actually not all that and that means you can save yourself some money without ending up with a real clunker of a handset. The Smart Prime 6 is pretty much the cheapest way to get 4G today and you get a 5-inch 720 x 1280 pixel display, 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and Android 5.0 Lollipop too. The camera is 8-megapixel shooter and there's a 2-megapixel model on the front. 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (expandable via memory card) round out the key specs.
Design and features
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is well constructed and feels comfortable to hold. The back panel is gray plastic and the metaling trim around the screen adds a touch of class to the otherwise simple and boring design. The screen is somewhat disappointing – not really sharp or bright  but it is usabl, although you may need to use it on full brightness most of the time.
Button and port positions are standard, with a headphone socket on top and the microUSB connector underneath. The back is removable, but the battery isn't – flipping off the case lets you get the memory card and SIM card slots.
Maybe the best thing about this phone besides the price is that it comes with Lollipop – it feels so polished that you could almost be fooled that you’re using a much better phone. Otherwise, the performance is not brilliant – you get a 1.2GHz CPU but it works well enough. Trying to scroll down complex websites does occasionally give a noticeable lag when using the phone.
If used to a normal extent – a bit of texting, a bit of web browsing, a couple of YouTube videos and several calls for 2 days straight the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 leaves the battery at 75% which is much more than we expected. We believe that if you’re a heavy user, the Smart Prime 6 can get you through a whole day. With a low-powered CPU and a so-so screen, you'd expect battery life to be decent, but nevertheless it's good to know that the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 can stay juiced for a very respectable length of time.
As a phone that sticks to the basics, the Vodafone Smart Prime 6 actually does them rather well – calls, texts and web browsing are all neatly taken care of. The stock apps for these essential functions remain largely unchanged from their stock versions with the exception of the Messenger app for SMS that has been given a red color. The keyboard is very much stock Lollipop, too.
The 8-megapixel doesn't exactly inspire confidence, and the photos taken by the phone are pretty underwhelming, with details getting blurred and noisy. The phone struggles particularly with low light, and though there is an HDR mode to try to lighten up shadows and darken highlights it's not particularly refined. The full HD video clips are fine, too. As with budget phones as a whole, we've now reached a stage where any mobile is going to be at least passable in the camera department, and that's exactly what this is.
Overall impressions
The Vodafone Smart Prime 6 is an under-powered, ultra-cheap phone that still gives you 4G and Android Lollipop.  The screen is a bit of a let-down, though it's good enough for the money you're paying. Some extra brightness and resolution would certainly be welcome. The battery is surprisingly strong and can get you through a whole day with heavy use, so this is really more than you can expect for less than $100. The camera, which despite a decent interface and fast operation produces pictures that are very average. If you want great shots you'll need to carry a separate camera with you.
Physical Features
Dimensions: 121.6 x 64.4 x 11.8 mm (4.79 x 2.54 x 0.46 in)
Weight: 112 g (3.95 oz)
Screen size – 4 inches, 480 x 480 pixels
2 MP front camera and 8 MP back camera
Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, hotspot
Bluetooth v4.0m A2DO
MicroUSD v2.0
Li-Ion 1400 mAh
CPU: Dual-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A7
SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
      Browser: HTML     
Radio: FM radio     
GPS Yes, with A-GPS     
3.5mm jack         
MP3/eAAC+ player           
MP4/H.264 player     
Photo/video editor     
Document Viewer     
Voice memo/dial/commands
Internal: 4 GB, 512 MB RAM
microSD, up to 32 GB

Vodafone Smart Prime 6 video review
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Sony KD-43XD8099 Bravia 4K TV

Sony KD-43XD8099 Bravia is one of the best in the 40-50 inch 4K TV class

Sony KD-43XD8099 Bravia 4K TV review

As one of the absolute leaders in modern TVs, Sony represents a titanic shift in home entertainment. We will look at one of their 4K models – the Bravia XD8000 series, more specifically the 43-inch Bravia XD8099.

Initially, this TV set catches the eye with its sleek looks – Sony TVs are famous for the chic shape. The XD8099 takes it a step further with the sleek aluminum frame, trademark central stand and convenient cable placement at the back and through the stand so you can hide the wires.
The TV comes with Android OS which is very convenient for users that prefer Google’s products through the years and use Android-based mobile devices. You can download apps from Google Play, personalize the TV just like your mobiles and stream content from your smartphone to the TV. You can also use Voice search, Netflix and so much more. The TV supports Playstation now as well so you can play on the TV if you have a Playstation controller.

Best 32-inch Full HD TVs - Sony, Samsung, LG and Finlux

Picture Quality
This Bravia maintains 4K HDR resolution and offers a greater colour palette than previous Sony models. Sony backs the depth-enhancing tech with the innovative TRILUMONOS backlight and crisp 800Hz motion rate. This model delivers top-shelf HDR with a staggering 10-bit colour depth.
The upscaling 4K X-Reality PRO feature boosts the picture quality of everything you watch – whether it will be an 1080p Blu-Ray or very low-resolution Web video to 4K. After analysing each pixel and comparing patterns, the system restores detail lost in compression and transmission. The system also reduces noise and reproduces optimum contrast, colour and sharpness.

Sony’s TRILUMINOS Display Technology expands the range of colours of that you see on more conventional LED displays so the picture you get is treated with deeper reds, more natural greens and sharper blues. With Motionflow XR 400Hz, every image on the screen refreshes at a higher rate than normal. Sports and fast-moving action look noticeably smoother, sharper and more natural, with reduced blur and judder.

TV without stand (W x H x D)
96.0x56.4x4.5(1.03) cm
TV with stand (W x H x D)
96.0x61.2x21.6 cm
Stand Width
TV without Table-top Stand
13.2 kg
Audio power output (10W x2 Audio Power Output)
Clear Phase Speaker
Dolby® Digital / Dolby® Digital Plus / Dolby® Pulse
S-Force Front Surround
24p True Cinema
4K X-Reality™ PRO
Advanced Contrast Enhancer (ACE)
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Motionflow XR 400Hz
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
4k Ultra HD
LED Backlight
Edge LED
Screen Size
Aspect Ratio
Android TV
Screen Mirroring
Wi-Fi Direct
HDMI Input
4 (3 side, 1 rear)
Composite Video Input
1 (side analogue conversion)
RF Connection Input
1 (side)
1 (rear)
Ethernet Input
1 (side)
USB Input
3 (side)
Audio Output
1 (side / hybrid w / HP & sub)
Digital Audio Output
1 (Rear)

Sony Bravia KD-43XD8099 is an expensive TV but it is definitely worth the money. If you consider buying premium 4K TV no matter the price tag then the KD-43XD8099 will definitely suit your needs, offering best in class picture and very good build quality.

TV specifications of the 49 inch Full HD LG 49LF540V
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Samsung UE49KU6100 4K UHD LED TV

Samsung UE49KU6100 4K UHD LED TV

The KU6100 model is essentially the curved version Samsung offers for its base KU6000 model. In respect to picture quality, features and performance, the two models are pretty much the same. We will take a look at the curved KU6100 version as the curved TVs seem to be all the rage nowadays – whether it’s just for the fashionable look or Samsung’s claim for more immersive TV experience is true we cannot yet determine (nor could anyone else, for that matter, and to my eye the difference is mostly cosmetic).

Starting with the visual inspection, this TV is sleek and elegant, slim, and beautifully curved. The rim around the edges is thin and practically unnoticeable when you turn on the TV – it does not ‘eat’ the inches of the screen away. The single metallic stand in the center is stable and position in such a way that lets you position the TV on a smaller table if needed. The KU6100 is also wall-mountable.

As you can see in the specifications below, this is the 49-inch version that costs approximately $700 - $750 and supports 4K resolution. The price is mid-range and the features are great, the TV is overall very impressive. The KU6100 takes full advantage of the UHD resolution for day to day television and the is a 4-step upscaling process that does the job incredibly well so you can enjoy your existing Blu-Ray collection without the need to constantly pump UHD content to the TV.

Samsung’s Smart features are impressive as always and easy to use – you get the usual BBC iPlayer, ITV player, ALL4 and 5 On demand plus premium content. UHD content is available through Netflix, Amazon prime and Youtube. You also get a full web browser that is re-designed and much easier and faster to use.

You can also use the TV for gaming – you get access to an array of games without the need to invest in a console. You will, however, need a separately sold game controller and not all of the game features are available in all locations.

Picture Quality

The dynamic range of this TV is impressive, and it's able to show a huge amount of shadow detail. However, motion clarity is less impressive. This is a 50Hz screen, and Samsung's Auto motion Plus system is able to replicate an effective motion rate of 100Hz, but that's not as fast as we'd like when it comes to watching sport or action, especially on a screen this big. Viewing angles are also restricted, so if you sit too far off-center, the colors start to grey out and fade.

The 4K resolution is beautiful, however models up from this range will produce a more lifelike image, and smoother motion for sport and movies. Overall though, the picture is great, you can experience impressive brightness, enhanced shadow detail and naturally accurate colour. UHD Dimming technology divides the TV screen into hundreds of small zones, analysing each one independently to adjust color, brightness and sharpness so you can experience better shadow detail and accurate color when watching your favorite video content.

Samsung UE32F6400 32-inch 3D Smart LED TV


General Information
Product Name
49" KU6100 6 Series Curved UHD HDR Ready Smart TV
Product Type
Interface Ports
Energy and Performance
Energy Efficiency Class
Maximum Resolution
3840 x 2160
Physical Characteristics
Depth with Stand
31 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate
13.50 kg
Weight Approximate
12.30 kg
Width with Stand
110.4 cm
Height with Stand
70.1 cm
110.4 cm
11.9 cm
64 cm
Black, Silver
Technical Information
Media Player, Curved Screen, UHD Dimming, Game Mode, Picture in Picture, PVR (Personal Video Recorder), Wall Mountable, Picture on Picture, Auto Power Off, Film Mode, Screen Mirroring, Eco Sensor, Web Browser, Auto Program, Closed Caption
Streaming Service
Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, YouTube, HbbTV
Aspect Ratio
Backlight Technology
Internet Access
Smart TV
PC Streaming
Electronic Program Guide
Screen Size
124.5 cm (49")
Network and Communication
Wireless LAN
RMS Output Power
20 W
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