The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the manufacturer's flagship mainstream size Android phone for 2014, and it sports a new fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor. It has a best of breed 5.1" Super AMOLED HD display running at 1920 x 1080 and it runs on the new 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU with 2 gigs of DDR3 RAM. As you'd expect from Samsung, it's very slim yet it has a removable battery and a microSD card slot. The rear 16 megapixel camera is one of the better models on the market and it can even shoot decent 4K video. The GS5 runs Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung's TouchWiz UI and software. It's available on all major and some regional carriers.
We liked the first HTC One quite a lot, and this year's model address many of its (sometimes small) shortcomings while bringing us one of the most gorgeous phone designs yet. The HTC One M8 is or will be available on all major carriers and it runs Android 4.4 KitKat with HTC Sense 6 for a tasteful and light customization of the OS. It's the first phone to ship with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad core CPU for modest speed gains and it has 32 gigs of storage plus a microSD card slot. The 5" full HD LCD is sharp and bright, and the new 5 megapixel front camera will be a hit with the video chat crowd and selfie fans. Is it perfect? Not quite, but it's good enough to win our Editor's Choice award.
What if your Kindle Fire was your TV's best buddy? That's the idea behind Fire TV, which runs the Android-based Amazon Fire OS from the Kindle Fire HDX on the same sort of quad core CPU you'd find in an Android tablet or smartphone. Fire TV isn't for reading books of course--that would be truly weird on your HD TV. Instead it embodies everything Amazon envisioned when it started making Kindle Fire color LCD tablets, a line that's very distinct from the Kindle Paperwhite line of E-Ink ebook readers. Fire products, both Kindle and TV, are designed for streaming movies and TV and for playing games.=.
The Nokia Lumia Icon has a striking 5" full HD Clear Black OLED display with outdoor brightness mode and heightened touch sensitivity for gloves. Like the Lumia 1520 and top Android smartphones, it runs on a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core CPU with Adreno 330 graphics and 2 gigs of RAM. It has has dual band WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and a front HD webcam. The 20MP PureView camera that can shoot DNG RAW files? It's every bit as good as the excellent Lumia 1520 camera.
The Tab Pro 8.4 is chock full of high end features like a fast quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU with Adreno 330 graphics and an impressively high resolution 8.4", 2560 x 1600 display. At just under 12 ounces and less than a third of an inch thick, this Android 4.4 KitKat tablet is as lightweight and slim as the iPad mini but Samsung manages to squeeze in an AV IR remote, 2 gigs of RAM, dual band WiFi 802.11ac, GPS, Bluetooth and two capable cameras. The tablet features Samsung's new Magazine UX and Hancom Office; it's worth a serious look if you're in the market for a high end 8 inch tablet.
There's nothing like the Sony Alpha a7... well except the higher megapixel a7R and the new film-loving Alpha a7S. Beyond that trio of tightly knit siblings, there are no other full frame sensor, DSLR-style cameras on the market that are nearly this small and light. The a7 is the natural upward evolution of the Sony NEX APS-C interchangeable lens cameras, and the a7 has grown up Alpha menus, plenty of dials and controls and of course, that big 24MP full frame sensor. This mirrorless camera offers continuous autofocus for 1080p video recording, Sony's fast new BIONZ X processor, excellent image and video quality and a quality weather sealed body for $1,700 ($2,000 with kit 28-70mm lens). Is your big DSLR weighing you down or are you ready to move up from a Sony NEX camera? If so, check out our in-depth review pronto.
Unless you want an iPad or iPad mini, it's not easy to find an Android tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio display. Acer comes to the rescue with an 8" midrange Android 4.2 Jelly Bean tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio IPS display, Intel Atom dual core CPU and cameras front and rear. Unlike the Kindle Fire HDX and 2013 Nexus 7 that sport 7" widescreen displays in glorious full HD, the Acer Iconia A1-830 has a 1024 x 786 display. But for $200 how much can you expect?
It's great to see Sony innovating and taking the world of digital cameras to places they've never been. Their latest entry looks like a small Alpha DSLR style camera but it's really a bridge camera taken to the max. It has a fantastic 24-200mm Carl Zeiss lens with a constant f/2.8 aperture for low light and bokeh delights, some of the best 1080p video recording we've seen on a camera under $5,000 and it takes very good still shots too. It uses the same 1" sensor as the popular Sony RX100 II mated with their new BIONZ X processor that's also found in the Sony Alpha full frame A7 and A7r. It's not cheap at $1,299, but there's no other camera on the market that does so many things so well in one compact SLR-style package.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 sits in between the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is in many ways the no-pen version of the Note 10.1 2014 Edition. The tablet has a bright and colorful 2560 x 1600 display and it runs on the Exynos 5 Octa 1.9GHz CPU with MALI T628 graphics and 2 gigs of RAM. This is a WiFi tablet with dual band 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth and cameras from and rear. It weighs just over a pound, making it as light as the iPad Air.
The Dell XPS 11 is one of the sexiest Windows 8.1 2-in-1 convertible Windows tablets/Ultrabooks on the market. Looking at it will inspire a strong case of geek lust: it's super-slim with clean lines and a very attractive and classy looking carbon fiber and metal casing. Open it up and you're greeted by a 2560 x 1440 Sharp IGZO 11.6" display that's bright and has wide color gamut. And the keyboard--it looks so cool, and at first blush you might think it's a normal keyboard because each key is defined by a matte surface separated by what looks like a gloss black bezel. Ah, but those backlit keys don't actually move; like the Surface Touch Cover, they're capacitive touch sensitive keys. The XPS 11 runs on 4th gen Intel Haswell Y series Core i3 and i5 CPUs with 4 gigs of RAM, a 128 or 256 gig SSD and dual band Intel WiFi AC.
Some folks have given the LG G Flex a hard time for being downright odd: it's a curved 6" Android smartphone with some flexibility to avoid breaking. The curve actually feels good in the hand, cuts down on glare and makes this otherwise huge phone a bit more manageable. Inside the specs are all flagship with one exception: a 2.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage, a huge battery and a capable 13 megapixel camera that can shoot 4k video. But the display resolution is relatively low at 720p, and that hurts. Is that enough to doom the G Flex? Read our review to find out.
And now for those who want something smaller than the Nokia Lumia 2520, we have the Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphone, released at the same time as Nokia's first Windows tablet. The Lumia 1520 has a few firsts as well: it's the first Windows phone phablet, the first with a full HD display and the first to sport a quad core processor. Nice! Though the 6" Lumia 1520 might be too big for some, there's no denying the temptations of a Windows Phone that finally competes spec for spec with flagship Android phones. And the Lumia manages to beat most with its 20 megapixel main camera with dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss lens.
The ThinkPad T440s is the slimmed down version of Lenovo's 14" T Series business laptop. With each iteration the "s" model gets even slimmer and lighter, and the new Intel Haswell model weighs just 3.6 pounds and is 0.8" thick. It has a backlit keyboard that's spill resistant an internal roll cage for strength and a carbon fiber and magnesium casing. We look at the model with a lovely full HD IPS display, Intel Core i5 Ultrabook CPU and an SSD drive. The laptop has plenty of ports and it features Lenovo's new Power Bridge system with hot-swappable batteries plus an internal permanently installed battery.
The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is the company's more business-minded and high end tablet. The ThinkPad 8 has an 8.3" full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display- besting the 1280 x 800 competition (Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo Miix 2 8, Acer W4 and Toshiba Encore). Some 8" Android and iOS tablets have full HD or higher displays, so why not Windows? This full Windows 8.1 tablet runs on a 1.46GHz Intel Atom Bay Trail Z3770 quad core CPU with 2 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage.
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