The best Australian tech deals for September 2017

Instant cameras are fun, so grab one before the weekend and have a good time with friends and family, while you save money at the same time. Or you could push yourself at the gym with the Jaybird Freedom Wireless headphones that are now $100 cheaper. 

If you're after a brand-new OLED TV, Sony's got its A1 series on sale. 

Here are Friday's deals:

New deals added Friday, September 1

Sony A1 4K HDR OLED TVs (from $4,697; usually from $4,999): Want in on the trend that is OLED tellies? Now you can have one and save some dosh too. Sony’s A1 OLED series come with a 4K HDR X1 Extreme processor and what Sony calls Acoustic Surface technology. Meaning the surface of the telly acts as a sound source, using four actuators at the rear of the panel. So fill your home with sound without adding a sound bar with the 55-inch A1 OLED on sale for $4,497 (usually $4,999) and the 65-inch A1 Bravia going for $6,997 (usually $7,499). That’s a saving of up to $502.

Fujifilm Instax 50S instant camera ($99; usually about $200): Get creative, take some shots and have the prints ready instantly. The Fujifilm Instax 50S is a nifty little instant camera that comes with a flash mode, a close-up lens and a self-timer – lots of ways for you to go snap-happy. The Instax 50S is only $99 at Harvey Norman, where it usually goes for around the $200 mark. Not only do you get the camera, you also get a backpack included in the price.

Jaybird Freedom Wireless in-ear headphones ($149; usually $249): It’s sweatproof, with up to 8 hours of play time – the Jaybird Freedom Wireless could be your next gym buddy, especially since there’s $100 off on the RRP at JB Hi-Fi. Jaybird promises the ear tip are comfortable and will stay secure, no matter how hard you push yourself during a workout. Get the Jaybird Freedom Wireless for just $149.

More hand-picked deals from the Australian TechRadar team

If nothing from today's selection tickled your fancy, check out these other TechRadar-recommended deals:

Previous days' deals that are still available

Deals added Wednesday, August 30

Sony MDR-1000X noise-cancelling wireless over-ear headphones ($499; usually $699): Shut the world out when you want to enjoy your favourite tunes, podcasts or audiobooks with Sony’s top-of-the-line noise-cancelling over-ear Bluetooth headphones. We think it can give the Bose QC35 plenty of competition. Featuring swivel earcups, digital noise cancelling and its own carry case, these premium cans are currently on sale at Harvey Norman with 30% off on the RRP of 699. So hurry and grab a set of the Sony MDR-1000X for just $489 until September 10.

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS digital camera ($349; usually $519): Superzoom cameras are great travel companions. Not only will you be able to capture memories that are near at hand, but you get to take pictures of locales and things far away, too. And Canon’s PowerShot SX540 HS gives you a 50x zoom – that’s a 24-1200mm equivalent – giving you the opportunity to even shoot the Moon in great visual detail. The camera houses a 20.3MP CMOS sensor and comes with Zoom Framing Assist to detect and track moving subjects. It’s usually priced at $519, but the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS is on sale at JB Hi-Fi for $349, saving you $170. That’s a great budget price for a superzoom.

Fitbit Charge 2 Special Edition ($144.50; usually $289): Give yourself, or someone you love, the nudge needed to get fit and healthy again by grabbing the Fitbit Charge 2 from JB Hi-Fi for just half price! Not only will the wearable keep tabs on the exercise you're doing, but will monitor your heart rate, automatically recognise certain types of exercise and provide guided breathing sessions whenever you need to control your thumping heart. Get the Fitbit Charge 2 Special Edition for just $144.50.

Dyson DC58 Animal handheld vacuum ($199; usually $349): Cleaning up after your loveable pet has been everywhere can be a massive chore, but the Dyson DC58 Animal vacuum cleaner makes it a breeze. With a 350W Dyson digital motor, powerful suction and an ergonomic design, this vacuum cleaner promises to keep your home spick and span. It usually retails for $349, but head to David Jones and get the Dyson DC58 Animal vacuum cleaner for just $199. That’s a 40% discount on the RRP, or a saving of $150.

Deals added Monday, August 28

Sony Alpha A7s full frame digital camera ($2,799; usually $3,299): Sony’s A7 range of full frame cameras may have been around for a while, but they’re still some of the best ones around. The Alpha A7s was designed for photographers that have a need to shoot 4K videos or work in low light conditions a lot. It may have low pixel count of just 12MP, but it also provides a high ISO sensitivity of up to 409,600. We think it’s a pretty neat package, despite its price. But for now, you can save $500 on the Sony Alpha A7s by purchasing it directly from Sony. The price is down to $2,799 from it usual RRP of $3,299 for the body only. Plus, if you choose to a lens as well, you get 10% off all E-mount lenses with any interchangeable lens camera bought.

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Pro Edition ($899; usually $1,499): Samsung’s 12-inch Galaxy TabPro S is a darn good Windows tablet with a Full HD Super AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s incredibly thin, boasts a decent battery life and will keep you working on the move, removing the need for you to carry a laptop as well. If you hurry, you can save a cool $600 on the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S (Pro edition) by heading to Catch.com.au and getting this premium device for just $899, down from $1,499.

BlueAnt Pump Lite wireless sportsbuds ($29.95; usually $99.99): Aussie manufacturer BlueAnt has been making waves in the audio industry with its great-sounding headphones that are affordable, comfortable and good quality. The company’s sports headphones are no exception either, with the BlueAnt Pump Lite promising excellent sound quality and a comfortable yet tight fight to suit any workout regime. These wireless headphones come with different wing tip sizes and buds to suit any ear. Better yet, they’re available for just $29.95, saving $70.

Jabra Move wireless over-ear headphones ($79; usually $177): Jabra’s got a winner in the company’s Move wireless cans with its bold yet lightweight design and excellent sound quality. We gave these headphones 4.5 out of 5 stars when we tried them on. It’s an excellent budget option for listening to your music while on the move without being tethered to your phone. Save yourself $98 on the Jabra Move cans by getting a set from Catch.com.au for just $79. That’s down from $177.

Deals added Friday, August 25

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 2-in-1 laptop ($1,188.99; usually $1,698.99): Dell’s 15-inch 2-in-1 features a Full HD display and the company promises pretty good battery life. Powered by a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD gives plenty of oomph to keep you ticking off your to-do list. Until August 31, you can save a cool $510 on this 15-inch 2-in-1 machine, which is currently on sale for $1,188.99 on Dell’s website.

Dell Inspiron 15 gaming laptop ($1,199; usually $1,499): Get your game on with Dell’s 15-inch gaming laptop, featuring a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card. Plus there’s 20% to be saved on this machine – get the Dell Inspiron 15 gaming laptop for just $1,199 and save $300 on the usual RRP of $1,499.

Canon EOS 80D DSLR camera + EFS18-55mm lens ($1,499; usually $1,998): If you’ve been looking for a good enthusiast DLSR to upgrade from either your smartphone or from an old compact camera, then take your photography skills to the next level with the Canon EOS 80D. And you get to save money on the package that includes the 18-55mm kit lens when purchased from Kogan. The EOS 80D and lens is available for $1,499, saving you $200 on the usual retail price of $1,699. More importantly, this is Aussie stock and comes with a two-year Canon warranty.

Deals added Wednesday, August 23

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ($139; usually $179): Book lovers, this one is for you. Read your favourite books in digital format on the latest Kindle Paperwhite’s higher resolution display. There’s even an adjustable backlight to make reading more comfortable in any environment and the battery should give you nearly two weeks between charge. Myer has already reduced the price of the Kindle Paperwhite to $159, but when you add the code ANNIVERSARY20 at checkout, the price drops to just $139. So grab it quick – the Paperwhite is available in both Black and White.

Asus Transformer Pro T304UA-BC028R 2-in-1 laptop ($1,749; usually $2,199): There’s plenty of grunt under the hood of this sleek-looking 2-in-1 from Asus – a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Plus there’s a microSD slot if you need more storage, and the device comes with the keyboard and stylus, getting you up and running practically straight out of the box. It retails at over the $2,000 mark, but you can save a few hundred dollars by heading to Mwave and getting the 12.6-inch Asus Transformer Pro for just $1,749.

Sennheiser PXC550 noise-cancelling wireless headphones ($438; usually $629): If you’re keen to shut the world out when out and about so you can enjoy your favourite tunes in joyous harmony, the Sennheiser PXC550 on-ear wireless headphones give you total control of how much ambient sound you’d like to allow in. Touch-sensitive ear cups keep you in control of your environment and promise comfort and great sound. Heck, you can even let the world in by switching off the noise cancellation whenever you want. These premium cans retail for $629, but the Sennheiser PXC550 headphones can be yours for just $438 when purchased from Addicted To Audio, saving you a cool $191.

DJI Mavic Pro drone ($1,360; usually $1,699): Get up and flying with one of the best drones available in the market. The DJI Mavic Pro comes packed full of features – a ground-facing camera, ultrasound, GPS, and plenty more. You can save 20% on the RRP of $1,699 by purchasing it from eBay, but be sure to apply the code PRESENT at checkout to avail the discount. This brings the price of the DJI Mavic Pro down to a sweet $1,360 and includes a two-year warranty and free shipping. Offer ends August 30.

Deals added Monday, August 21

IPVanish 1-year VPN plan (about AU$49, usually about $98): In support of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s fight to protect online freedom of expression and user privacy, IPVanish is offering 50% off a one-year VPN subscription plan to new customers, with part of the proceeds donated to the EFF. This offer requires the use of the code PRIVACYFIRST at checkout and brings the cost of the plan down to about $49. IPVanish is our top pick for the best VPN service for Aussies looking to keep their online lives private.

Apple iPhone 7 (from $879; usually from $1,079): If you’d like to lay your hands on Apple’s latest flagship handset before the new ones launch next month, you can head on over to Kogan and save yourself a couple of hundred dollars in the process. The 32GB iPhone 7 in Black and Rose Gold is available for just $879, saving you $200 on the regular RRP. If, however, 32GB isn’t sufficient storage space for you, the 128GB model in Jet Black is now on sale for $999, down from $1,229. That’s a saving of $230. It is important to note that these are imported models, so make a purchase if you’re comfortable with that.

Lenovo T470 ThinkPad 14-inch business notebook (from $1,249; down from $1,749): Lenovo’s T470 is a powerful solution for both the home and the office – the latest seventh-gen Intel Core processors, 8GB of RAM, and Windows 10 Home make for a reliable and speedy machine. You can grab the ThinkPad T470 from Lenovo’s store starting from $1,249, reduced 30% from the starting price of $1,749.

GoPro Hero5 Black 4K action camera ($396; usually $499): The GoPro Hero5 Black is a sturdy little camera that shoots 4K videos at 30fps and 12MP still images. If you’d like to record your next surfing adventure or your mountain biking trip, you can save well over 20% off the regular RRP of $499 by heading to eBay and nabbing a GoPro Hero5 Black for just $396. Just be sure to use the code PRESENT at checkout to avail that price. This offer ends August 30.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-australian-tech-deals

People will take 1.2 trillion digital photos this year — thanks to smartphones

Thanks to smartphones, millions of people around the globe are turning into prolific photographers. According to estimates from InfoTrends, people will take a hundred billion more photos in 2017 than they did in 2016. As highlighted by this chart from Statista — which is based on the InfoTrend’s data — the vast majority of those photos will be taken on smartphones. 

Sales of digital cameras have drastically declined over the years, dropping from 121.5 million in 2010 to an estimated 13 million in the first half of 2016, according to the Camera and Imaging Products Association. The sophistication of smartphone cameras allows everyday users to take high-quality pictures easily, and for most consumers, it makes no sense to spend extra money on a separate device just to take photographs.

The popularity of social-media sites including Facebook and Instagram has likely played another key role in the rise of smartphone cameras, since it’s generally much easier to upload photos from a smartphone than from stand-alone cameras. Chart of the Day 8/31

SEE ALSO: One chart shows Netflix’s dramatic 20 year rise

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to use Facebook’s awesome new 360-degree photo feature

Todos los detalles sobre el nuevo Moto X4

Moto X4

Puede que Motorola haya introducido un buen número de dispositivos en lo que va de año sin embargo, la compañía considera que aún hay hueco para alguno más. Así, en el marco de la feria IFA 2017 que se está celebrando en Berlín, Motorola (de Lenovo) ha presentado el nuevo Moto X4.

El nuevo Moto X4 se sitúa directamente entre la línea Moto Z2 de gama alta y la línea Moto G de gama media. Incluye una pantalla Full HD de 5,2 pulgadas, y es alimentado por un procesador Snapdragon 630 de Qualcomm con 3 GB de RAM y 32 GB de almacenamiento interno, o 4 GB de RAM y 64 GB de almacenamiento, dependiendo del mercado en el que nos encontremos. Además, cuenta con un diseño elegante y de líneas sinuosas que brilla en la luz, así como con una configuración de doble cámara que hará las delicias de los aficcionados.

Moto X4: especificaciones técnicas

Y para que no te pierdas detalle alguno, te hemos preparado una tabla con las principales especificaciones técnicas del Moto X4 aunque, tal y como como hemos señalado al presentarte el nuevo LG V30, debes recordar que en los smartphones, no todo son componentes pues también debemos atender al rendimiento, autonomías, etcétera.

Moto X4

Marca Lenovo – Motorola
Modelo Moto X4
Sistema Operativo Android 7.1 Nougat
Pantalla 5.2 pulgadas LTPS IPS Full HD + Corning Gorilla Glass
Resolución 1080 x 1920
Densidad de píxeles por pulgada 424 ppi
Procesador Snapdragon 630 de Qualcomm con ocho núcleos a 2.2 GHz
GPU Adreno 508 a 650 MHz
RAM 3 GB / 4 GB
Almacenamiento Interno 32 GB o 64 GB ampliable a través de una ranura para tarjetas de memoria microSD de hasta 2 TERAS adicionales
Cámara principal Dual – 12 MPX con enfoque automático con detección de fase (PDAF) apertura f/2.0 + 8 MPX Gran Angular con 120º de campo de visión y apertura f/2.2 + Flash LED doble con temperatura de color
Cámara Frontal 16 MPX gran angular con apertura f/2.0 + Flash / luz de selfie
Conectividad Bluetooth 5.0 BLE – Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz + 5GH – 4G LTE + Conector jack 3.5 mm + Nano SIM + Dual SIM
Sensores  Lector de huella + Gravedad + Proximidad + Acelerómetro + Luz ambiente + Magnetómetro + Giroscopio + Concentrador del sensor
Resistencia al polvo y al agua IP68
Batería 3.000 mAh no extraíble + TurboPower de 15 W para disponer de 6 horas de energía en tan solo 15 minutos
Localización  GPS + GLONASS + Galileo
Dimensiones 148.35 x 73.4 x 7.99 mm
Peso 163 gramos
Colores  Super Black + Sterling Blue

Microsoft’s CEO is again standing up to Trump on immigration

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to LinkedIn on Thursday to stand up for the DREAMers — undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

With President Trump reportedly considering ending an Obama-era program that protected such immigrants from deportation, Nadella defended “smart immigration” policies, saying they can “help our economic growth and global competitiveness.”  

“We care deeply about the DREAMers who work at Microsoft and fully support them. We will always stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone,” he wrote. 

Nadella also discussed his own immigration story. As a child, he was inspired by the “ingenuity of American technology.” Later, he was able to come to the US to pursue his dreams thanks to the country’s then-welcoming immigration polices. 

“This is the America that I know and of which I am a proud citizen,” he wrote. “This is the America that I love and that my family and I call home. And this is the America that I will always advocate for.” 

Nadella’s note followed a post on Microsoft’s official blog by Brad Smith, the company’s president. Microsoft is “deeply concerned” at the prospect of Trump ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects DREAMers, Smith wrote, noting that the move would affect 27 company employees. Over the next decade, the program’s end could cost the American economy $460 billion in lost gross domestic product, and could mean $24.6 billion less in contributions to Social Security and Medicare, he said, citing unnamed studies. 

“DACA recipients bring a wide array of educational and professional backgrounds that enable them to contribute in crucial ways to our nation’s workforce,” he wrote.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft officials have raised their voices to oppose Trump’s immigration policies. The company and Nadella also issued a statement when Trump announced his plan to ban immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Earlier this year, Nadella spoke at the White House, talking about his path to the American dream and advocating for diversity and opportunity for all. 

You can read Nadella’s full statement here.

SEE ALSO: Read what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told employees on Trump’s immigration ban

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here’s how the top Silicon Valley companies are responding to Trump’s immigration ban

Samsung gets green light to test self-driving cars in California

Though known primarily for handsets like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, Samsung could soon become a big name out on the road.

The South Korean tech giant has been given a permit by the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles in the state, according to a list of approved companies updated this past Wednesday.

This isn't Samsung's first brush with testing self-driving cars, as the company was previously granted permission to run tests in South Korea this past May.

Other companies with the same California permit as Samsung include mainstays like Volkswagen, Ford, Honda, BMW and Nissan, as well as relative newcomers like Nvidia and Alphabet's Waymo.

Samsung Galaxy S(edan)

While a major opportunity for Samsung, it's still unclear if the platform it's working on will be intended exclusively for commercial transport, or if consumer cars will be also be making use of it.

It's also unknown which auto manufacturers hope to use the tech, though Samsung has reportedly been using modified Hyundai cars for its current tests.

Samsung's move to push autonomous vehicle testing also comes at an interesting time stateside, as US legislation is moving to vote on a new proposal next week intended to expedite the deployment of self-driving vehicles nationwide, according to Reuters.

At the same time, another little-known company by the name of Apple, Inc also has a permit to test out self-driving cars, meaning we could one day see the two warring phone makers take the competition out to the streets.

Via TechCrunch

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-gets-green-light-to-test-self-driving-cars-in-california

Lenovo’s latest creation turns your Tab 4 into an Amazon Echo Show-like smart speaker

Lenovo has come up with a unique way to turn your humble house into a smart home with its new Home Assistant Pack. 

Unveiled during IFA 2017, this "pack" consists of a speaker onto which you attach a Lenovo Tab 4 tablet. This creates a sort-of makeshift Amazon Echo Show, i.e. a speaker with a display.

And wouldn't you know: the Home Assistant Back is backed by digital assistant Amazon Alexa, so it will provide verbal as well as visual information to users.

The types of information you'll see on tablet's screen include weather updates, a look at your calendar and what music is being played. 

Like an Amazon Echo, the Home Assistant Pack speaker is voice activated. You can ask it to perform tasks, such as play music or turn on a connected device. 

The speaker base features two three-watt speakers, and it can detect your voice from up to three meters away with its double built-in mics, Lenovo said. 

It's also light, weighting 300 grams, or just over half a pound, letting you take the speaker and dock from room-to-room as you like.  

Amazon’s Echo Show

If this all sounds appealing, there is a catch. The Home Assistant Pack only works when connected to a Tab 4 series tablet, which thankfully is a device we were pleasantly surprised by when we first encountered it in our hands on Lenovo Tab 4 review

As the tablet comes with either an 8- or 10-inch screen, your Home Assistant Pack has a little built-in customization. 

There's also an optional Kid's Pack, which turns the Tab 4 into a device for young ones, and a Productivity Pack that transforms the Tab 4 10 and Tab 4 10 Plus into a 2-in-1 for us older folk, according to Lenovo.

The Home Assistant Pack starts at US$79.99 (about £65 / AU$100), with prices varying by country when it launches in October. 

By comparison, the Amazon Echo Show costs $230 (about £180 / AU$290), however it comes with the screen built-in.

The Tab 4 itself is a great value, only costing $109 (about £85 / AU$140) and $149 (about £115 / AU$190) for the respective sizes. So, for a Tab 4 8 and Home Assistant Pack, you'll spend $188.99. Still less than the Echo Show.

  • IFA 2017 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/lenovos-latest-creation-turns-your-tab-4-into-an-amazon-echo-show-like-smart-speaker

The best Smart TV platforms in the world 2017

Best Smart TV Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best smart TVs and smart TV platforms you can buy in 2017.

One of the biggest concerns when buying a new TV is its smart platform. Now that pretty much every TV we buy has some form of smart TV platform in it you want to make sure it works for you – hence why you're searching for the best.

The best smart TV platforms ensure they never get in the way of you and your content – these are still TVs after all, not giant wall-mounted tablets. They should be fast to start up, easy to keep updated and, if they're really good, help you locate new shows and movies to watch.

Where once it was about how many apps you had, the Internet connected television is now just as much about what OS is being used.

All smart TVs give access not only to top-tier services like Netflix and Amazon Instant, but to the various digital TV catch up services available, too. Separate apps are one thing, but increasingly the services formally offered by apps are being integrated into the user interface (take LG's webOS 3.5, for instance).

For better or worse, there's no one industry standard. Smart TV platforms tend to change every year or two among the big TV brands. Here in 2017 we've seen a new focus on operating systems, with the likes of LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony all opting for webOS, Tizen, Firefox and Android, respectively.

Let it be said that all of these platforms are usable, functional and most of the time downright enjoyable to use. But while they may look alike on the surface, under the hood there are a plethora of differences between them.

So, what's the best smart TV platform? We've ranked the the world's major connected TV platforms in descending order, putting just as much emphasis on ease of use as app selection, to help you as you buy into a whole new generation of online television. Plus, once you've found a smart TV platform, we've included five of our favourite TVs that use it – that way you'll have a good starting point when it comes time to find the right TV for you.

Just want to know to know the Best Smart TV on every platform? Here you go!

Android TV OS has now become a familiar sight on Sony sets. 

If you've never used it before, Android TV is organized into tiers, of which the upper-most is tutorials and ads (the sort of stuff you really don’t need to see that often). This is followed by rows of apps, games, inputs and settings. 

Overall, the Sony X900E is a great HDR TV that occupies a sweet spot between performance and price. UHD image clarity is excellent, color performance luscious and its HDR delivery adds just the right level of zing. 

With superb 4K image clarity, powerful SDR-to-HDR remastering, and a smooth direct LED backlight, Sony is offering something very different with the X900E.

Read our full review: Sony BRAVIA XBR-55X900E 

The 65EZ1002’s smart TV system is pretty to look at, easy to use, and effortless to customise – everything, in other words, that a smart TV interface ought to be.

It’s not the most content rich system in town, perhaps, but I don’t actually think that’s a bad thing. Most of the key TV-centric apps are there (Netflix in 4K HDR, Amazon in 4K HDR, the catch up TV services for the main terrestrial broadcasters via an integrated Freeview Play app), and it’s actually kind of nice not to wade through mountains of dross just to find all the good stuff. 

It’s worth adding that since the 65EZ1002 uses Freeview Play to provide its broadcaster catch-up TV services, you can search for shows you’ve missed via an intuitive electronic programme guide that scrolls back as far as seven days.

Read the full review: Panasonic TX-65EZ1002 OLED TV

It’s taken awhile to get there, but Samsung can now claim a really strong smart TV engine with its latest ‘Eden’ interface. For starters, it manages to deliver swift and logical access to a healthy amount of content from a home screen that takes over impressively little of your screen real estate. 

As well as letting you customize the row of icons on the home screen at will, the addition last year of a second tier of ‘contextual’ links that changes depending on what app you’ve got chosen in the main tier has transformed the system’s speed and simplicity. It’s good to see, too, that Samsung has tried harder this year to add live TV features to its Eden interface.

As for the TV itself, compared with rival OLED technology there are still occasional backlight distractions, and effective viewing angles remain limited. However, the Q9F also sets new HDR-friendly standards for brightness and color response, while its new panel structure and state of the art screen filters enable it to combat ambient light better than any other TV, making it uniquely watchable in a typical day to day living room environment. 

While it might not make the ‘OLED or QLED’ argument redundant, it certainly does a hell of a job of showcasing the latter’s strengths. 

Read the full review: Samsung Q9F QLED TV

LG’s webOS smart TV interface was the first one that really felt like it had been developed from the ground up for TV rather than smartphone or PC users: It’s graphically rich, incredibly straightforward and logical in its layout, easily customizable, slick to navigate and sensibly focussed on the sort of TV-centric apps most users actually want a TV to deliver.

These apps include (4K/HDR-capable) versions of Amazon and Netflix, Youtube, NowTV, plus all of the catch up services for the main terrestrial UK broadcasters courtesy of the Freeview Play service, which lets you search for shows you might have missed via an electronic program guide that scrolls back through time as well as forwards.

The latest version of webOS built into the OLED55C7 only really delivers a couple of relatively minor enhancements over previous versions: support for ‘360’ VR clips navigated by waving LG’s magic remote control around; and the option to use the number buttons on the remote control to directly access favorite apps. But there’s no need to fix something that isn’t broken.

Read the full review: LG OLED C7

The smart TV version of Roku both looks and acts like the platform used on streaming video devices like the Roku Ultra and Roku Premiere+: The Home section contains all the apps in your library, while My Feed tracks movies and TV shows you’re interested in and shows you where they can be found. We're also pretty big fans of Roku's universal search feature that rifles through 300+ apps to find movies and TV shows and displays them with the cheapest option first.

Overall, Roku TV is simple, efficient and straightforward enough for most people to pick up and use without a problem.

New for platform in 2017 is the ability to label inputs (labeling one input as Xbox or DVD Player instead of Input 1, etc…), some additional smartphone features and, for the first time, Dolby Vision support. Dolby Vision allows you to get the absolute most from the TV in terms of performance and while tracking down Dolby Vision content is a bit of a hassle, Roku does a good job highlighting all the available content in a new row in the 4K UHD Spotlight app.   

Read the full review: TCL P-Series 55P607

Sony Android TV

1. Sony: Android TV

It's official; Sony has the best smart TV platform for the year of 2017. The mere mention of the word Android in relation to a TV will automatically alienate half of all smartphone owners, but Sony is not alone in hoping that the other half will want to go Google in the living room.

Sharp and TP-Link's Philips have also joined Sony in embracing the Android TV OS from Google, so it's hardly an industry standard just yet, but Android TV is polished enough to put it in the running.

It's not just in TVs though, you'll find connected boxes, like the Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV sporting Google's TV OS too.

Unlike other new smart TV platforms, Android TV services are not built around icons along the bottom of the screen. Press the Home button on the remote and up pops a full-screen page that's dominated by a carousel of videos from YouTube and from Google Video.

Scan down and there's a row of Sony Select services (a mix of the main apps, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant, which naturally differ between Sony and another manufacturer like Philips), links to the Google Play Store, Google Play Music, Google Play Movies and TV, YouTube, Netflix and many more besides.

Further down is a list of the TV's inputs and settings; it's all fairly conservatively done.

Sony Android TVs are also unique in having some serious storage; 16GB is the default for 2017, which is far more than most smart TVs.

Owners of Android phones/tablets can use their device to control Android TVs via the TV SideView app, which comes complete with a plug-in for voice search, while Google Cast allows video and photos to be natively streamed to the TV (iOS users can download the AirBuddy app to Google Cast). Controllers from Logitech and Razer also promise console-less gaming.

However, aside from Android TV's interface exhaustive content that TVs from Sharp and Philips will match, there will soon be a Sony-only add-on. All UK Sony Android TVs now have built-in YouView services, too.

With Android TV and YouView, Sony has at last got smart TV right – thanks to Google.

Best for: content-grabbers

Five Sony TVs with Android TV:

Three Philips TVs with Android TV: 

Panasonic Firefox OS

2. Panasonic: My Home Screen 2.0

If you live in the UK, Panasonic's My Home Screen 2.0 is the best-looking and most easily customisable smart TV platform around.

Panasonic's smart TV interface has had a complete overhaul  (then known as Firefox OS) and the new interface has been renamed to My Home Screen 2.0, though it bears no resemblance to version 1.0 from 2014. 

Much like Samsung and LG, Panasonic has abandoned the concept of having a separate smart TV homepage in favor of pop-up icons. However, these colorful, circular and very large icons appear stretched across the middle of the screen in a dynamically responsive carousel.

It's simple stuff, with icons for my TV, apps, devices, inputs, and specific TV channels all presented. It's also by far the easiest smart TV interface to customize, with apps or services can be 'pinned' to the carousel in seconds.

There is also a Home page, but it's a lot less cluttered than in previous years, containing just 14 apps, though the range is still limited.

Up front is a link to Panasonic's apps market, alongside pre-loaded apps like Netflix, Amazon Instant, YouTube, AccuWeather, and links to the TV's internal features and services including a calendar, inputs, TV channels and a web browser provided by – you guessed it – Firefox.

However, it is a fairly basic browser.

Panasonic also has a UK-centric digital TV; the aging ace up its sleeve.

Just as Sony unleashed YouView to its Bravia TVs, the Viera instead got Freeview Play, which integrates catch-up TV services the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 into the core user interface.

Without Google Play, the My Home Screen 2.01 doesn't compare to Android TV on content, but Panasonic's OS is less prescriptive and much easier to customize. It's the best-looking, simplest smart TV interface yet.

Best for: your parents

Five Panasonic TVs with Firefox OS:

Best Smart TV

3. Samsung: Smart Hub and Tizen OS

It may still be called Smart Hub, but Samsung's smart TV platform for 2017 is completely new.

It's based around the Korean manufacturer's Tizen OS now being rolled-put on all of its gadgets. That may be so, but the layout of smart TV services bear more than a small than a passing resemblance to LG's webOS interface.

That's largely because icons, apps and shortcuts are all accessible via dynamic icons on a horizontal strip across the bottom of the screen.

Replacing the separate, rather boring grids of app icons from 2014, the Tizen interface monitors what you watch/use, suggests new sources, and allows some customization. A dynamically changing "Recent" box in the far-left corner cycles between recently used apps, TV channels etc.

A featured section in the centre promotes apps you haven't used lately, which can feel like irrelevant adverts, and they keep returning (Twitter on a TV?). This isn't based on your activity or habits, which is a shame.

However, the chance to customize the on-screen icons is the highlight; a sense of permanence is welcome when it comes to some AV inputs and key apps you use everyday.

This is all an effort to dodge clutter, and it mostly works well, though there are plenty of occasions when it's necessary to go hunting for a specific app. Thankfully that's made easier by a Smart Hub multimedia page that divvies-up content from apps and from your own USB sticks/home network.

In may no longer be front and centre, but there remains a Samsung Apps panel that lists all downloaded apps, too.

It may not have Freetime or Freeview Play, but what Samsung does boast is access to all UK catch-up TV apps; BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5 are all here, as is Netflix, Amazon Instant and YouTube. In fact, the only significant app that's missing from Smart Hub is Sky's Now TV.

In the US, there's Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, HBO Go / HBO Now, YouTube, Spotify and Vudu. (Want even more apps? Check out our 10 best Samsung Smart TV apps gallery.)

There are a few nice extras in the Tizen version of Smart Hub, too, such as a split-screen option for watching live TV while browsing an app, but Samsung's effort can't quote match Android TV or the Firefox OS.

Best for: Samsung phone owners

Five Samsung TVs with Tizen OS:

LG webOS

4. LG: WebOS

With the arrival of webOS in 2014 , LG's smart TV offering was completely refreshed. All LG smart TVs from 2014 and 2015 got webOS 2.0, and 2016 and 2017 saw the release of webOS 3.0.

That was then, but now you can expect to see webOS 3.5 here in 2017.

Much like Samsung's Smart Hub, webOS 3.5 is built around a taskbar that pops-up from the bottom of the screen. Apps, whether a content hub like Netflix or simply a HDMI input on the TV, are treated the same, with a dynamically changing roster across the bottom of the screen. The app icons pop-up, they jig about, they drop-down, and they change order.

It's fast – really fast – but locating something not on this Launcher Bar is actually very difficult. Nor is customising WebOS as easy as it could be.

Content-wise, it's pretty good, with a line-up that includes Netflix, Amazon Instant, Freeview Play, the BBC iPlayer, YouTube, the ITV Player, All 4 and Sky's Now TV.

For US folks there's your standard Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Google Play TV and Movies, as well as Hulu, VUDU, MLB.TV, and FandangoNow.

Unfortunately, as of webOS 3.5, Spotify is no longer available. 

There's a nice flicker panel for scrolling through 'live' sources and apps, and a Today panel across the middle of the screen that gives one-flick access to scrolling cover art for live TV programs and movies.

Dynamic, colourful, but often rather dizzying to use, WebOS is inconsistent in design and dynamics, and takes a while to get to know; all but the tech-savvy can find themselves baffled.

Best for: the tech-savvy

Five LG TVs with webOS:

Best Smart TV platforms

5. TCL, Sharp, Hisense, Haier: Roku TV

But while webOS and Android TV are established players in the TV space, there's a new kid on the block that wants to shake up the industry: Roku TV.

Announced back in 2014 for TCL TVs, Roku TV has quickly grown into the go-to pick for many of the low-cost TV manufacturers. In 2017, you can find Roku TV on some Haier, Hisense, Insignia, Sharp and TCL TV models with more partnerships in the works for next year.

We're already up to Roku OS 7.5 which brings live TV pausing to the table, alongside the dedicated 4K Channel for anyone with a UHD screen.

As a platform, Roku TV borrows the interface and feature set from the company's set-top boxes, the Roku 2, Roku 3, Roku 4 and Roku Streaming Stick.

What that means is that you'll find a robust universal search function that will scan over 30 different apps like Netflix, Google Play TV and Movies, Amazon, VUDU and more to find you the lowest price on the TV show or movie you want to watch, as well as around 4,500 channels of content to watch.

Add to that some neat features like a dedicated app that helps you keep track of upcoming movies and TV shows via the My Feed section and a private listening mode when you want to watch TV without disturbing the whole house, and you have all the trimmings of a very bright up-and-coming star.

Best for: the binge-watcher

Two TVs with Roku TV:

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/television/6-best-smart-tv-platforms-in-the-world-today-1120795