Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

Sony, $ 279 SONY de­serves ex­tra marks for in­no­va­tion with this smart­phone ac­ces­sory. Called a “lens cam­era”, the QX10 looks like a lens but acts like a cam­era, with its pocket- sized, 105g form fea­tur­ing a shut­ter but­ton and zoom con­trol on one side.

The de­vice of­fers a 10x op­ti­cal zoom to cap­ture 18.2- megapixel pho­to­graphs it saves to a Mi­croSD mem­ory card, but it uses your phone Google or Ap­ple as a viewfi nder and trans­mits copies for quick shar­ing on­line.

The QX10 is the per­fect phone ac­ces­sory on pa­per but soft­ware hitches let it down.

Sev­eral- se­cond buffer­ing de­lays can de­liver frus­tra­tion and the QX10 some­times stub­bornly re­fuses to con­nect to a phone, leav­ing you with no viewfi nder. We await a se­cond gen­er­a­tion. sony. com. au GAL­AXY S4 AC­TIVE Sam­sung, $ 699 THIS new smart­phone stands out for two rea­sons.

First, it hides all but­tons.

In­stead, nav­i­ga­tion keys ex­ist only on its screen, and power and vol­ume keys lie on its back in a sur­pris­ingly er­gonomic ar­range­ment.

Se­cond, the G2 op­er­ates dif­fer­ently, with taps and slid­ing short­cuts.

Tap the screen twice and you can turn it on or off. Slide a fi nger up the screen and you can ac­cess Google Now, voice con­trol or a memo app.

They’re handy ad­di­tions that let you cus­tomise the phone.

The G2’ s other strength is its power, with a 2.3GHz quad- core chip and 2GB RAM that shows in ev­ery­day op­er­a­tion.

It only fea­tures 16GB stor­age with no space for a mem­ory card, how­ever, and its rounded, plas­tic form won’t please ev­ery­one. lg. com/ au Z30 Black­berry, $ 749 clar­ity, as well as all the slick touch con­trols that come with Black­Berry 10 soft­ware.

This phone fea­tures the v10.2 up­date that also de­liv­ers in- app replies and a Pri­or­ity Hub for mes­sages deemed im­por­tant.

The on- screen key­board teems with use­ful sug­ges­tions, for those will­ing to give up tan­gi­ble keys, and on the hard­ware front its 2880mAh bat­tery will last two days, a dual- core 1.7GHz chip and 2GB RAM keeps it rea­son­ably speedy, its 16GB stor­age can be ex­panded, and 4G con­nec­tiv­ity de­liv­ers mes­sages fast.

Apps are still miss­ing from Black­Berry World, of course, and the phone’s body is fat­ter than its ri­vals. au. black­berry. com

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