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Gadget Guru October 2013

QX-100 Series Cell Phone Camera Lens
Published

A Smarter TV
The Sony Bravia Smart Stick has been making headlines the last couple months as it prepares to launch. The mobile high def dongle runs both Google TV and Sony’s own Bravia apps. Users just plug it into any Sony TV purchased in the last year and can stream all sorts of goodies from their computers to their televisions. What makes this unique are several key functions similar brands don’t offer, like “picture-and-picture” and the ability to install and run various Android apps from the Play Store. Preinstalled apps include Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Redbox, and more. While it might only be a step up from the Chromecast, Google is nothing if not progressive when it comes to its electronics, and so it’s just a matter of time before they release further apps for this that will likely change the way we buy TVs. $35. store.sony.com

Gear Time
If Samsung has anything to say about it, we could see a world of wrist-talkers very soon. The Galaxy Gear hits stores this month with specs that have the gadgetverse buzzing. A 320 x 320-pixel, 1.63-inch touchscreen comprises the interface. A speaker and a pair of microphones can both record and play sound, while a BSI sensor and autofocus lens in the wrist strap capture 1.9-megapixel stills and 10-second video clips at 720p. Apps can link the watch to your Galaxy phone so voice commands can pull up your call list and place calls. Numerous other apps are in the works, such as music, video, and games. Buttons on the side of the face cycle through home pages, voice commands, and even a safety feature that will send your location to a predetermined friend or family member in case there’s an emergency. The Gear has 4 gigs of memory, which will likely expand as it gets upgrades and redesigns. It comes in a range of colors such as black, green, and oatmeal. $299.   samsung.com

Get the Picture

Sony is having a banner month. Its newly-released QX-100 Series cell phone camera lens can elevate a typical built-in camera to that of a high-end digital one. The lens features a 1-inch, 20.2MP Exmor RCMOS sensor, paired with a fast, wide-aperture Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 3.6x optical zoom and a Bionz image processor. It works for both still photography and video, complete with zooms, program settings, and auto-focus. It syncs to iOS and Android systems via a Wi-Fi signal. An assortment of clips come with the lens so you can fit it to the phone (or tablet) of your choice. Because it works via the Wi-Fi signal (which includes a password function), you can detach it and use it separately as well, should you need to thrust it into a tight spot, or – let’s be “obvi” – to take some professional-looking selfies. $498.   store.sony.com   Ryan Thomas

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