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Sony Xperia Z1 first look video review

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Ready to take on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One is Sony's new flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia Z1.

The successor to the impressive Xperia Z, the handset launched at this week's IFA tech conference in Berlin, revealing key new improvements such as the addition of a 20.7MP camera sensor, a 5-inch 1080p display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.

We spent some hands-on time with the handset to bring you this first-look video review.

To read our in-depth first impressions, click here.

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HANDS ON REVIEW: Sony Xperia Z1

As we approach the end of another busy week at Shiny Towers, we thought we'd earned ourselves a little back rub to soothe the muscles and ease the tension that only continuously blogging about gadgest and gizmos brings.

Here we take a look at the Home Creation's Electric Massage Chair, currently on a limited £149.99 offer from Aldi.

It boasts 6 different body points of massage, 10 levels of intensity, 10 massage modes and a heating function too, but is it really better than just sitting on the back of a bumpy bus ride?

Hit the video above to find out.

Panasonic HM-TA1 Video Review

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A few months ago Panasonic's launched a new range of pocket HD camcorders in the shape of the HM-TA1, their competitor to the Flip.

Capable of shooting 1080p video, the 53 x 17.8 x 104mm HM-TA1 features a 2-inch LCD screen, a wide angle lens, digital zoom and an LED light, not often seen in pocket camcorders.

Recording straight to SD cards, the HM-TA1 can also be hooked up to Skype and used as a makeshift webcam, as well as featuring one touch controls for uploading videos to YouTube.

You'll also be able to personalize the camcorder a little, as it features a removable silicone case that can be replaced with a handful of designs.

Check out our video review above.



Memorex have expanded their range of iPod docks with a few new additions, including the Tagalong and PartyCube, which we've had in the Shiny offices to test out for the last few days.

Not aimed at audiophiles, these unusually-shaped docks are instead intended to be the centre of a party, and can both be taken away and used without mains power.

Cheap as chips (both weigh in at well under £80) and stylish to boot, what they lack in sonic-wow factor they make up for with portability and nifty design.

Anna from Shiny Shiny puts them through their paces in the video above.


Audio specialists Blue have turned their hand to iPod/iPhone accessories with the launch of the Mikey microphone add on for Apple's devices.

A stereo mic that can record CD-quality audio, it's a pricey but essential bit of kit for musicians and sound recording enthusiasts alike.

Anna from Shiny Shiny goes hands-on in the video review above.

VIDEO REVIEW: Mindflex mind-control boardgame

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"Do or do not, there is no try."

The immortal words of green, drawf Jedi Master Yoda of the Star Wars films, said to the skeptical Luke Skywalker when he totalled his X-Wing in a swamp. We all know how his lack of faith turned out; with a destroyer of planets lobbing off his arm. Not pretty.

Still, we digress. Well, sort of. just like Yoda raised the X-Wing out of the mud in Empire Strikes Back, you too can test your Force powers with Mindflex, a mind-control boardgame from Mattel that challenges you with floating a levitating ball around an obstacle course using thought power alone.

Available from all good toy shops (and some rubbish ones too) for around £80, check out Gerald putting the game through its paces in the video above. It's a bit mad, and it genuinely works too.

The Urbanears Plattan Hi-Fi Headphones have been around for a while now and after testing them out we know why.

These simple yet stylish headphones have a 20-20khz frequency response and 112dBA sensitivity, or in other words these headphones pack some serious sound. They also feature a lengthy 47" fabric cord, a 3.5mm stereo plug and microphone and remote button. The Urbanears bring together functionality and a cool minimal style that I personally love.

These headphones are very reasonably priced at £49.99 and are available here in a range of colours

VIDEO REVIEW: Auluxe Dew 2.1 speaker system

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Boasting a Red Dot Design award and sporting a substantial £199.99 price tag, the Dew 2.1 speaker system from Auluxe are quite an investment.

But can the Dew speakers live up to the Auluxe branding, which itself suggests "audio" and luxury" combined? We put the speakers through their paces and give our opinion above.

Click on the video to see what we thought.

VIDEO REVIEW: Philips Original Energy Light

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Tech Digest yesterday had a play around with the Philips Original Energy Light, and learnt a little about S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder, not to be confused with sexual anxiety disorder) in the process.

Blasting out 10,000 Lux of light intensity, it's designed to cheer up those have depression brought on by those dark winter months.

But did it make the Shiny team any happier? Check out the video review above for our thoughts.

VIDEO REVIEW: Philips The Stretch headphones

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Extreme sports enthusiast that wants your tunes to sound as big as the air your grabbing? Philips The Stretch headphones, in patnership with O'Neill surfwear, may be just what you're after.

With a durable build, nifty fitted design and wonderful audio quality, you can colour Tech Digest impressed.

Check our full impressions in the video above.

VIDEO REVIEW: i-Mego Retro Classic headphones

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Tech Digest got to sit down and rock out with the i-Mego Retro Classic headphones recently.

While their stylish radio-mic style design may catch the eye of the retro rockers out there, will they do your rock-a-billy tunes any justice?

Check out the video review above to find out.

VIDEO REVIEW - Putty Monsters

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I was walking down the highstreet yesterday and, no word of a lie, I heard Christmas tunes playing. No word of a lie. Either they'd popped the wrong CD in the player or it's the earliest Christmas shopping season drive I've yet been privvy too. No doubt it'll also mean that the little ones will be rolling out the parchment and quill and getting together a Christmas list, and we wouldn't be surprised if we saw Putty Monsters making an appearance on there somewhere.

Made for kids by kids, they're a goggly-eyed glob of malleable putty that can be stretched and squashed into an infinite number of kooky creations. Good clean fun for the kids (and big kids), they even have their own social network where you can hunt down the most inspired creations that people have uploaded. Shiny Shiny's Saskia has a play around with them in the video above.

Available from Firebox for £9.99.

Looking for a set of noise cancelling earphones? Then let Anna from Shiny Shiny guide you through what to expect from the RadioPaq Dot and BlackBox i10 sets in the video review above.

While the RadioPaq Dots may be best suited to fashion-conscious teens with a bit of pocket-money to spare, the self-powered BlackBox i10s are where the real noise-cancelling fun is, blocking as much as 92% of external sounds out.

Hit the video above for Anna's full thoughts.

Anna from Shiny Shiny recently got to have a play around with Wacom's brand new Bamboo Fun Pen and Touch Tablet.

Combining a USB touch pad with a stylus, it lets you draw and write directly into applications such as Photoshop without the need for a mouse.

Available on Amazon in medium (£170) and small (£90) sizes, hit the video above to find out if it's actually worth your hard earned cash.

With the Apple iPad just under a week away from its UK launch, and with the international iPad app store now up and running, it's a great time for UK tech-heads to start thinking about what applications to download to the tablet device once they get their shiny new toy.

But after spending a small fortune on the iPad itself, you may be feeling a little short of cash to be splashing about on apps. You've got boring things like bills to pay as well as tech addictions to feed after all. Shiny Shiny's Anna has had the pleasure of having an iPad for a few weeks now, and she's put together this handy guide to five of the best free apps available for the device.

Hit the video above to check it out.

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Video Review: LG Viewty GT405

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LG's Viewty range were once at the fore-front of smartphone tech, selling like hot-cakes back in 2007. But with handsets throwing everything but the kitchen sink in as standard these days, LG's once cutting edge approach to mobile internet and cameraphone technology isn't as unique as it once was.

Their latest handset, the LG Viewty GT405 takes a slightly different approach. Aiming to be more affordable and accessible than the competition, it's available for just £13 a month from the Three network.

That's not to say it isn't throwing around some decent specs however. The 3-inch resistive touchscreen phone features a 5MP camera and excellent video editing abilities as well as a host of built-in social networking apps including Twitter and Facebook.

Anna from Shiny Shiny puts the LG Viewty GT405 under the microscope in the video review above.

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Video Review: Sound Machine noise boxes

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Sound Machines are the latest sound effect boxes available from IWOOT.com. Available in three different themes (horror, football and cartoon), each box houses 16 different sounds.

Check them out in action in the video review above.


Tired of watching videos on a titchy iPod screen? Then take a look at this video review of the Vuzix Video iWear 920 glasses, modelled by Shiny Shiny's Anna.

The glasses claim to replicate a 67 inch screen infront of your eyes, but was that enough to convince Anna to splash her cash? Click above to find out.

Available from March, you'll be able to pick the glasses up from www.iwoot.com for £249.


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Video Review - Nokia X6 Comes With Music

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Nokia may have seemed a bit lazy recently, but the Nokia X6 Comes With Music is certainly one of their more exciting phones for quite some time.

A touchscreen interface, pretty decent camera, massive storage space and the much-touted Comes With Music facility sure make it a pretty desirable little number.

Andrea from Shiny Shiny turns the X6 up to eleven and gives her view on the handset in this video review.

Video Review - Motorola Dext

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Motorola's Dext sure is packing in some cool features. But is a great keypad and the Motoblur UI enough to save the smartphone from its cripplingly low battery capacity?

Anna from Shiny Shiny goes hands on and gives her views on the handset in this video review.

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