This week on TechRadar

iPhone

This week brought news that the iPhone 5 may ship with SIM cards that will connect to any network while other Apple rumours suggested that iOS 4.2 is coming this month.

It’s also rumoured that Google’s OS – Chrome OS – will become available on consumer devices this month.

Read on for this week’s most popular stories on TechRadar…

 

Top five news stories

 

iPhone 5 to ditch SIM cards for online account?

Apple could be bringing out the iPhone 5 with a SIM card that can be accessed on any network – effectively bypassing the carriers’ distribution networks for selling the phone.

GigaOM is claiming that Apple is working with SIM-card manufacturer Gemalto (which is coincidentally suing Google over Android) to create a special card that would allow users to buy a phone directly from Apple, and then connect to any network they chose.

 

Apple iOS 4.2 update imminent

It seems Apple will unleash the next update to iOS this month – version 4.2.

Rumours are circulating that iOS 4.2 could drop as soon as next week.

As well as bringing bug updates to the iPhone and iPod touch, the new release will also bring multitasking to the iPad for the first time.

The update will also fix the ‘alarmgate’ bug that caused problems with iPhone alarm clocks following the European move to Daylight Saving Time at the weekend.

 

HTC Desire HD fails to knock original Desire off top spot

Whether you consider the HTC Desire HD to be the sequel to the original HTC Desire or another in the family, it’s not a better phone.

That’s according to TechRadar’s 20 best mobile phones in the world buyer’s guide, which looks at every smartphone around and brings you the cream of the crop.

Reviewers found that the while the original Desire had battery issues, the new Desire HD has got the same problem – but thanks to a 4.3-inch screen, the drain is even harder, so with the best combination of all-round excellence, the original has hung on to the top spot.

 

Skyfire brings Flash to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch

If you want to watch Flash videos on your Apple iPhone or iPad then you will finally be able to later this week.

Not that Apple has reached some kind of groundbreaking deal with Adobe, of course – rather, a new app launching this week provides iPhone and iPad users with a decent workaround solution to enable them to watch online videos originally encoded in Adobe Flash.

 

Rumour: Google Chrome OS out this month

Google Chrome OS rumoured to be released on consumer devices later in November 2010.

Google’s Chrome Operating system is rumoured to be launching later this month, according to anonymous “component players” in Asia.

We first reported on Google Chrome OS back in November 2009, though Google has remained schtum since that time about its plans to release the new operating system in new consumer devices. 

 

Top five in-depth articles

 

10 best camera phones for 2010

These days, a phone isn’t worth having if it doesn’t have a top-notch snapper strapped to its back.

We’ve rounded up the crème de la crème of camera phones and delved a little deeper than simple megapixels to establish what handsets should be on any self-respecting mo-pho’s (mobile photographer’s) wishlist.

 

20 best mobile phones in the world today

We’ve all got at least one mobile phone each, right? The trouble is, how do you decide which is the best mobile phone for you?

Hopefully, TechRadar’s extensive mobile phone reviews can help you with that. But if you’re still stumped, you’ve come to the right place. Because here we have a constantly-updated list of the best mobile phones you can get.

Whether you’re after the best budget music phone or a the best smartphone, the top ones are all here. And we’ve got in-depth reviews of all of them.

 

iOS 4 vs Android 2.2

The term ‘smartphone’ has been bandied about for over a decade now, but where it previously meant a horrible, clunky experience, and often the need for an unwieldy stylus, the new generation is more akin to something out of Star Trek.

Everyone has one, and the user interfaces and applications are only getting better.

Apple struck first with the launch of the iPhone, creating the expectation of a slick, touch-based experience. It blew away the competition by simply working as users wanted, which says a lot about the systems that came before.

 

Hands on: Creative ZiiO tablet review

We’re just back from the launch of the Creative ZiiO tablets – and we managed to get some time with the latest addition to the Android family.

First up, it’s important to note the price-point – Creative has set the price for the 10-inch at £249.99 for an 8GB version and £269.99 for the 16GB version.

For the smaller 7-inch version the prices are £199.99 (8GB) and £219.99 (16GB).

The reason this is important is that Creative has taken some major decisions to bring the tablet price down to virtually half the price of the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab: best UK prices compared

Before the Samsung Galaxy Tab went on sale, it was always a bit unclear how much it was going to cost.

But now that it’s on UK shelves, the UK mobile networks are rolling out their data plans along with subsidised retail prices, and the picture is starting to look a bit clearer.

The good news is that monthly data plans are available from as low as £5 per month. The bad news is that most plans still involve an upfront fee of about £500. 

 

Top five reviews

 

Microsoft Kinect

While Sony’s PlayStation Move uses the PlayStation Eye camera to detect and measure the location of high-tech and spatially-aware handheld controllers, Kinect has no physical controllers to speak of at all.

The idea is that your body is the controller. It’s up to
the Kinect games and apps to use the camera and microphone to work out what you’re doing and what you’re saying, and to interpret your commands in the appropriate fashion.

The Kinect sensor contains an RGB camera and a depth sensor to track your movement. It measures the positioning of 48 key joints in your anatomy and by tracking the movements of these joints, it can work out exactly what position your body is in. What’s more, it sees in 3D by overlaying the input from the RGB camera with the depth sensor.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the first major tablet release since the Apple iPad launched about five months ago. With a tidal wave of Android tablets about to sweep through the tech world, it’s possible that if the Galaxy Tab were to disappoint, it could damage the perception that Android tablets will be able to top the iPad on features and performance.

The price certainly indicates that Samsung believes the Galaxy Tab can topple the Apple iPad from its tablet tower. The 16GB model costs £530, which is £100 more than the Wi-Fi only version of the iPad. It is, however, exactly the same price as the cheapest 3G iPad, which is clearly no accident.

 

HP Envy Beats Edition

HP has gone another route with the HP Beats Edition, and employed the help and expertise of legendary Hip Hop producer Dr Dre and his Beats brand, that manufacturers high-end headphones.

Built around the chassis of a standard Envy 14, but £400 pounds more expensive, the HP Envy 14 Beats Edition features a number of audio upgrades.These include specially designed Beats speakers and clever positioning of the notebook’s sound card, allowing for impressive sound quality when using the bundled Beats Solo headphones.

 

HTC Desire Z

The HTC Desire is, in effect, the second in the new Android range from HTC, with its much larger brother, the HTC Desire HD, taking most of the limelight. But it’s more that ‘spare a thought’ for the HTC Desire Z, as this phone is designed to encompass the best Android has to offer with HTC’s sublime Sense overlay – and a QWERTY keyboard to boot.

 

Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD

A stickler for tradition, Epson’s PX720WD resists the temptation of settling for five inks, as found in the likes of the Canon PIXMA MG5150 and HP Photosmart Premium C309G. So instead of getting both dye-based and pigment-based black inks as a compromise between document and photo printing, the Epson goes for the full 6-ink monty.

Billed as an all-in-one for photo enthusiasts, it serves up the conventional mix of CMYK dye-based inks, along with additional light cyan and light magenta inks, boasting an enhanced colour range for truly photo-realistic output. At least, that’s the theory. 

 

Also reviewed this week

 

 

Audio systems

Revo AXiS review

 

Compact cameras

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS review

Canon G12 review

Canon IXUS 1000 HS review

Samsung WB2000 review

 

Desktops

PCO Group Evolution 3D review

CyberPower Game Cube review

 

DSLRs

Nikon D3100 review

 

eBooks

Sony PRS-650 Reader Touch review

 

Graphics cards

MSIGeForce GTS 450 Cyclone review

 

Keyboards

Thermaltake eSPORTS Challenger review

 

Laptops

Elonex eTouch 1000ET review

Dell Latitude E6410 ATG review

HP Envy Beats Edition review

 

Mice

Mionix NAOS 3200 review

 

Microphones

Blue Microphones Yeti review

 

Mobile phones

HTC 7 Mozart review

HTC Desire Z review

 

Monitors

Samsung SyncMaster BX2350 review

 

Printers

Epson Stylus Photo PX720WD review

 

Sat navs

TomTom Urban Rider review

 

Software

Parallels Desktop 6 Switch to Mac Edition review

Norton Internet Security 2011 review

Webroot Internet Security Complete review

Ilium Software eWallet 7.1.1 review

 

Storage

Toshiba 750GB 2.5-inch HDD review

StarTech 2.5″ SATA HD rack review

Kingston DataTraveler Ultimate 64GB review

 

TV receivers

Comag SL30 HDMI USB review

 

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