Saturday 24 February 2018

DVD reviews

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Delicate little flowers, those smartphones. We spend half our time gazing at them in slack-jawed amazement, the other half in terror of dropping or breaking the damn things.

Who among us doesn't have a sad story to tell about a phone's unfortunate encounter with a toilet bowl or a €100 repair bill for a cracked screen?

We've seen rugged phones before, of course, but they have always been ugly or underpowered runts.

Finally, someone has copped on that consumers want (nearly) indestructible beauty and power.

Take a bow, Sony. Your new Xperia Z is the only high-end mobile able to withstanding a beating or a dunking.

Waterproof to one metre and dust-proof, this Android has much to recommend it but nothing more so than its lack of fear in harsh environments such as, er, pubs and beaches.

The Xperia Z faces incredible competition in the Android superphone camp, especially from the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S4. The Sony's huge, crisp screen, thin build and innovative "stamina" mode – eking two days out of its battery – keep it in the same ballpark as the forthcoming S4 and HTC One.

But, on a software level, it doesn't feel quite so cutting edge. Prominent apps on board link to Sony's video and PlayStation games stores – but neither are available in Ireland.

The Xperia Z is available on most networks, costing with O2 for example €580 on pre-pay or €340 on a typical 12-month, €50 contract.

www.sonymobile.com/gb

Want to consult your iPad for recipes while cooking but don't like the idea of prodding at it with greasy fingers?

Belkin has thought of that, with its new €35 Chef Stand.

A simple prop for the iPad, it comes with an oversized, washable rubber stylus to control the touchscreen. Unfortunately, while the stand is useful the stylus requires a worrying amount of pressure to register a swipe or tap.

www.belkin.com/uk

Irish Independent

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