Trending December 2023 # 4 Useful Tablet & Smartphone Benchmarking Tools # Suggested January 2024 # Top 16 Popular

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Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming the main daily computing device. In fact, for people who aren’t PC gamers or who don’t need to use an office suite, there are few reasons to own a laptop or PC these days. In a pinch you can even use something like the Samsung DEX and turn your phone into a desktop computer for a bit.

The only reason this is even possible is because the processors and graphics chips in our mobile devices are now desktop-class when it comes to performance. Well, not current desktop class. Just good enough to run desktop-grade apps like an office suite, full web browser and so on.

Table of Contents

Thanks to this focus on performance, we’ve seen many benchmarking apps and tools come out over the last decade or so. These let you run tests on your device and then show you how well it’s done.

Why would you want this? For one thing, you can compare the results to other users who have the exact same model. So if there’s something wrong with your device, you can do an objective test to prove it. You can also check whether your device is performing better or worse after an operating system update.

Maybe you want to know if that new tablet or phone you’ve been eyeing is really worth buying compared to what you have.

AnTuTu (iOS & Android)

AnTuTu provides a single numerical score after testing your device. This score is composed of tests that look at several areas of device performance. This makes it pretty easy to see where specifically a device is having issues or has performance weaknesses.

The UX (user experience) score is particularly useful as it gives an indication as to how snappy the device is at day to day tasks. However, to the delight of the mobile device review industry, there seems to be a test for every component and metric of a smart device’s performance. This makes it easy to diagnose and compare your device to everything else out there.

Geekbench 4 (iOS & Android)

Geekbench is specifically marketed for its cross-platform nature. Besides running on Android and iOS, it’s also available for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Earlier versions of Geekbench were criticized for favoring ARM chips as found in mobile devices. This is not a problem when you want to compare devices using that architecture, but it’s not so great if you bring x86 processors into the mix. Luckily those issues have been largely resolved in version 4.

3D Mark (iOS & Android)

PC gamers know the name 3D Mark well. For decades it has been one of the key benchmarking tools to illustrate just how much horsepower your fancy computer kicks out.

Apart from that, 3D Mark software has always contained some pretty forward-looking features. Graphical technologies and techniques that are still years away from the mainstream. Not only does this push a system to the edge, as a good benchmark should, it gives us a taste of tomorrow’s graphics today. 3D Mark benches have been worth running just to look at the pretty pictures since day one.

Getting to grips with the various 3D Mark versions can be a little confusing. However, as long as you pay attention to the market segment 3DMark recommends for each benchmark, you’ll have numbers appropriate to your specific device.

It’s also a great way to show off just what your phone can do. Honestly, this is the prettiest benchmark of them all, for mobile devices.

Sunspider is an interesting benchmarking tool, because it isn’t tied to any one particular platform. It’s browser-based, which makes it platform agnostic. As long as the device in question can run JavaScript, it can run SunSpider.

This means we can do all sorts of interesting things with it. It also means the waters are somewhat muddied, because we are also testing browser performance. Even using the same browser on different platforms may introduce additional variation in performance that isn’t related to the raw power of the hardware. However, it is a real test of a specific application doing the same work on all machines.

It’s also a great way to see how much new hardware has improved, since the ability to run JavaScript spans across many generations of hardware.

The final big reason to use Sunspider is if you’re comparing different browsers on the same system or to compare browser updates. Mobile devices are largely used as web-browsing devices, so having a choppy experience is a big deal.

You should be aware that Sunspider is no longer maintained and it’s recommended to use the more recent JetStream. Yet, since there’s such a vast database of Sunspider test results, it remains a useful tool to compare devices across time and will remain so for quite a while.

Scream If You Want To Go Faster!

Thanks to these benchmarking tools, you too can now brag to your friends about how fast your latest phone is. Which is a good thing when you need to play mobile games to make up for your sudden lack of anyone to hang out with.

You're reading 4 Useful Tablet & Smartphone Benchmarking Tools

4 Useful Freeware To Check And Repair Bad Sectors On Ssd Drives

It’s frustrating to deal with a computer that is freezing, won’t boot, or has information that is unreadable. There can be any number of issues that could be causing these issues, and determining the cause is not always easy. One of the issues you should check for is the presence of any bad sectors on your hard disk.

Bad Sectors

Bad sectors occur when a portion of the hard disk can no longer be written to or read. When you store something on the hard drive, the information is saved on more than one sector, which may or may not be adjacent to one another. If any sector with information from that file is damaged, it will be impossible to access that file without errors occurring.

The bad sectors of a hard drive cause poor performance and overheating of your PC because it is very difficult to read the data from a hard drive with many bad sectors. You can also lose important files or get the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) error when these sectors cause problems with your computer.

Freeware to Check for Bad Sectors

Using freeware to locate and repair bad sectors is not an ideal solution. Many of them have limited functionality and may set limits on the number or size of files they can recover. However, if you want to start with something free to see if you can fix the problem without spending a lot of money, one of these tools can get you started.

1. SeaTools by Seagate

Seagate has two free hard drive-testing software programs — SeaTools Bootable and SeaTools for Windows. The bootable version is more full-featured, but SeaTools for Windows is easier to use.

SeaTools for Windows performs several fundamental tests that can help determine the health of your hard drive, and all types of internal drives can be tested, as well as external drives connected by firewire or USB. The program tests most hard drives regardless of the manufacturer. It also includes useful information about the drive like its serial number, capacity, rotation rate, cache size, and firmware revision.

2. Macrorit Disk Scanner

Macrorit Disk Scanner is an easy-to-use program that checks your hard drive for bad sectors. It sets up quickly, since it’s fully portable and you don’t need to install anything.

A large portion of Macrorit’s screen displays a visual representation of the scan’s progress and clearly indicates any damage. The program updates often and works on many Windows operating systems.

A useful feature of Macrorit Disk Scanner is a display showing how much time is remaining on the scan.

There is a paid version of this program with more features or for those needing more than occasional personal use.

3. GSmartControl

You can download GSmartControl for Windows as a portable program or as a regular program you install normally. It works with all versions of Windows down to XP. It’s also available for Mac and Linux.

GSmartControl can run three different hard drive tests and provide you with detailed results to indicate the overall health assessment of a drive.

Short Self-Test: A two-minute test that detects a completely damaged hard drive.

Extended Self-Test: A seventy-minute test that inspects the entire surface of a hard drive to find errors.

Conveyance Self-Test: A five-minute test that purportedly finds damage that happened during the transporting of the drive.

It also gives you information about your drive, such as the power cycle count, multi-zone error rate, and calibration retry count.

4. HDDScan

HDDScan is a free hard-drive testing program for all hard drives, no matter the manufacturer. This is a portable program and doesn’t need to be installed.

It is very easy to use but does not have any help docs or tips for how to use the different options. HDDScan supports most drive interfaces and seems to be updated regularly. You can use HDDScan in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP, as well as Windows Server 2003.

You never know when an issue like bad sectors will affect your machine, so keep everything backed up. If you have issues with your machine and suspect bad sectors on your hard drive, these free checks may be a useful first step.

Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she’s excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact Vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Our Verdict

This is a case of horses for courses. The 8in form factor is great for reading, or watching and playing whilst on the move. If you need to stand up on your commute, for instance. Meanwhile Sony’s 10in tablet is a stylish and powerful full-sized slate. If you are in the market for an Android tablet, Sony’s devices are high-quality, fairly priced.

Sony recently gave the whole world of tech the eyes, and launched the Xperia Z4… as a tablet. We’re still waiting to find out what is happening with the Xperia Z4 smartphone, and indeed whether Sony is committed at all to making

Sony’s latest tablet is the Xperia Z4 Tablet – a 10in slate that is, confusingly, an update to the excellent Xperia Z2 Tablet. It means that Sony is currently selling that 10in tablet, as well as a smaller, Kindle-sized 8in slate improbably called the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Snappy, huh?

If you are in the market for a non-iPad, consumption tablet, these are two of the best. So we set out to find out what separates Sony’s little n large. It’s the only Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet comparison review you need. (Also see: Best tablets.)

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: UK price & availability

Sony has now revealed that the Xperia Z4 Tablet will cost £499 when it becomes available to buy in the UK in June.

So far, £499 is the price Sony has revealed for the WiFi-only model with 32GB of space and it comes with a keyboard, so it’s possible that you’ll be able to pick up the Xperia Z4 Tablet at a lower price without the keyboard. The 4G version is £579 with the keyboard.

At launch the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact was priced from £329. Now you can pick up the most basic Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact from just £299. That’s for the 16GB Wi-Fi only version – which right now is the only flavour on offer from Sony’s UK website.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Design & build

The Xperia Z4 Tablet has a 10.1in display. It is a square, blocky-looking device even thinner than its direct predecessor, the Xperia Z2 Tablet, at 6.1mm compared with 6.4mm. This is an exceptionally thin tablet.

Light, too. The WiFi model of the Xperia Z4 Tablet is 392g, while the 4G LTE model is 396g. It is a delight to hold, particularly impressive considering its 10in display. And the Xperia Z4 Tablet is waterproof up to the highest rating available: IP68. The headphone port and microUSB ports don’t even need covers to make the device waterproof, so feel free to use the Xperia Z4 Tablet in the bath or by the poolside without a worry.

The Xperia Z3 Compact is one seriously thin and light 8in tablet. At 6.4 mm and 270 g is is thicker, but lighter than its big brother. It’s almost like holding a phone because the device is so slender – holding it one-handed is a breeze. The stainless steel frame looks great and we like the rounded curves of the cover. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will be available in black or white only.

It’s also dust- and waterproof, with a soft touch plastic rear cover which matches that of the Xperia Z2 Tablet. This may not look quite as impressive but provides much better grip. Waterproofing in this case means slightly fiddly flaps (apart from the headphone jack) but they do hide everything neatly away, too.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Display & hardware

Taking a closer look at the screen on the Xperia Z4 Tablet, you’ll find a 10.1in display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution, which equates to an impressive 299 ppi. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has an 8in screen with a Full HD (1920 x 1200) resolution. This makes for a pixel density of 283 ppi. Not quite as impressive as big brother, but not something you will notice, either.

Inside the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, which is both octa-core and 64-bit. It’s paired with 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage and a microSD card slot for adding up to 128GB more.

Connectivity-wise, you’ll find 11ac WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and MHL 3.0, as well as an optional 4G LTE model for the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet.

Sony’s newest tablet has High-Res audio, too, with front-facing stereo speakers, digital noise cancelling support, automatic headphone compensation and a new LDAC codec which supposedly transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

We’ve not yet been able to test this claim, but Sony suggests that you can expect a whopping 17 hours of video playback from the Xperia Z4 Tablet’s 6000mAh battery.

Inside the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor which is the same as previous Sony devices such as the Xperia Z2 Tablet but the chip is clocked higher at 2.5GHz. Alongside this is 3GB of RAM and we can report smooth performance during our time with the tablet.

In terms of storage, there are 16- and 32 GB models (11GB available after firmware on the former and 26 GB for the latter) but Sony offers a microSD card slot for adding up to 128GB. Again: right now we can see only the 16GB version on sale direct from Sony, although the other models are in stock elsewhere.

Wireless includes 11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 LE but no IR Blaster for taking control of device like TVs. There’s also no wireless charging but there is a dock connector on the side if you wish to buy a compatible accessory – Sony’s official Magnetic Charging Dock DK39 costs £39.

It’s also great to see front-facing stereo speakers although they do distort fairly badly when the volume is at the upper end.

Despite clocking the processor higher, Sony touts an impressive 15 hours video playback from the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact’s 4500mAh battery. (See also: Best budget tablets UK.)

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Cameras

On the rear of the Xperia Z4 Tablet is an 8.1 Mp camera, which uses Sony’s Exmor RS sensor. The front-facing camera is a 5.1Mp camera with a wide angle lens, which will allow you to get more people in the frame.

If you’re into tablet photography then the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has a pretty decent 8.1 Mp rear facing camera with an Exmor RS sensor – about on par with the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. However, the high quality 2.2 Mp front camera is arguably more useful for video calls.

With both phones you can play around with plenty of camera apps such as Sound Photo, AR fun, Face in, Multi camera and more. Using the Superior auto mode will automatically mean 6 Mp 16:9 photos and Full HD video so if you want the full 8 Mp (at 4:3), switch to manual mode. (See also: The 29 best Android tablets of 2023 UK.)

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact vs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Software

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google’s latest version of its operating system. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact comes with an earlier version of Android OS in the form of 4.4.4 KitKat – an upgrade to Android L will come in due course, we’re told.

With both tablets Sony has added its own interface, though it’s not much different from stock Android aside from the pre-loaded Sony apps such as Walkman, Album, PlayStation and Lifelog.

There’s also PS4 Remote Play, which lets you play PlayStation 4 games on the device from the console over the same WiFi network.

Specs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop

10.1in IPS Triluminos screen, 2560×1600, 300ppi, 500cd/m2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 64-bit


32GB internal storage, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)

8.1Mp rear camera with Exmor RS

5.1Mp wide angle front camera

MHL 3.0

Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac


Bluetooth 4.1

Nano-SIM (LTE model)

6000 mAh battery


392g (Wi-Fi), 396g (LTE)

Black, white

Guide To Top 8 Useful Arduino Shields

Introduction to Arduino Shields

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How Useful Are the Arduino Shields?

You don’t have to think about the loop. Typically the shield contains all components that you need.

You need to place shields across the Arduino pins – they are less susceptible to errors than connecting the separated pieces.

The shield can be removed from the Arduino quickly and kept when you like, without concerns about doing the circuit and canceling it again.

Shields quickly add new functionality to the Arduino, which would be challenging to build otherwise.

Top Useful Arduino Shields

You can easily connect your Arduino to the Internet with an Ethernet shield. The Arduino acts as a client or a server with this shield. You have to install the shield on Arduino and connect it via an Ethernet cable to a network. The Ethernet shield also contains an SD card slot to store network data. The shield can access the Arduino pins, meaning that extra hardware or another shield can still be attached on top. The Arduino Ethernet Library supports the Ethernet shield.

1. L293D Motor Drive Shield

The motor shield offers a simple way for Arduino to power engines, so the circuitry must not be built. You have to attach the motors to the sockets. It comes with 3 processors, 4 DC engines or 2 phase motors, or 2 servo engines. It has 3 driver processors. It also has a connector for attaching an external motor power supply.

2. Data Logging Shield 3. Proto Shield

The prototype shield is a prototype shield but doesn’t do anything alone. But it is beneficial to layout your projects without space because it is supplied with a mini breadboard that perfectly fits on top of the shield. In addition, to produce a nice, permanent circuit, you can solder your system to the prototyping area.

4. Adafruit RGB LCD Shield

This Adafruit shield comes with a five-button and RGB LCD. The main benefit of the defense is that it uses only two I2C Arduino pins over other LCD shields or even other LCD screens. Many sensors can be attached to these pins because they share the I2C bus. This means that all the pins for connecting other components are still open.

5. Arducam Mini Module Camera Shield

With 5 megapixels, this shield uses SPI communication to interface with the Arduino. This is a simple way to add a webcam to your projects in Arduino. It can capture 5MP JPEG pictures and capture tiny video clips. This system also supports other blackboards such as Raspberry Pi, ESP8266, and Beaglebone.

6. Bluetooth Shield 7. Arduino WiFi Shield

The shield protects a wide range and sends the new secure onboard antenna for powerful signals.RN171 supports the networking protocols UDP, TCP, FTP, and HTTP, which fulfills needs for many network projects such as Wireless and Internet Stuff (IoT), Smart Home Networks, robots, and weather stations.

8. RS232 Arduino Shield

RS232 Shield is an industrial equipment communications standard port. This module is based on MAX232, a dual driver/receiver that contains a capacitive voltage generator to provide a single 5-V supply to the TIA / EIA-232-F voltage stage. The shield incorporates DB9 (female) connectors with different RS232 devices. In addition, communications and commissioning are supported by RS232 headers. It offers the welding areas to use extra space for prototyping fully. It is convenient.


In this article, we have seen what Arduino shields are, their uses, and various Arduino shields tools.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to Arduino Shields. Here we discuss an introduction to Arduino Shields, how useful it is, and the top 8 useful shields in detail. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more –

15 Useful Android Widgets You Should Try

Widgets not only add an aesthetic appeal to your Android smartphone’s home screen, they also make your device more functional by providing some features that allow you to make use of certain apps without even opening them. What’s really great is that you can find widgets that span across a variety of use cases, which means that there’s one (if not many) for everyone. So, if you’ve been looking for some decent Android widgets to spruce up your device’s home screen and use your Android smartphone more efficiently, then check out this list of 15 useful Android widgets that you should try.

Useful Android Widgets You Should Try in 2023

1. KWGT Kustom Widget Maker

Starting off at the top of our list is KWGT, a custom widget maker which allows you to make your own Android widgets that you can place on your home screen. The app offers a bunch of included presets, with the Play Store filled with even more presets created by other developers that you can use. The app allows you to completely tinker with the widget design, which means that even if you’re using one of the available presets, you can completely make it your own.

Download KWGT Kustom Widget Maker (Free, in-app purhcases)

2. Google Calendar

Next up is the Google Calendar widget, another useful widget that you can use to stay abreast with your schedule by taking a glance at your phone’s home screen. In order to access the widgets, you’ll need to install the Google Calendar app, after which two new widgets will be added to the widget menu.

As mentioned, the app offers two different widgets, both of which can really come in handy depending on the way you keep a track of your schedule. While one widget shows your schedule for the week, the other gives you an overview of your schedule for a month. The most handy part about using these widgets is that you can easily add to your schedule by just tapping on the date within the widget, eliminating the need to first open up the app and then scroll to the specific date. If you don’t

3. 1Weather

Having a weather widget can also be very useful as it allows you to get a brief overview of the weather forecast with just a glance. 1Weather is a great weather forecast app that comes with 12 widgets of different sizes that not only tells you the temperature but also provides information like the wind speed, humidity and the chances of rainfall. The Android widgets included with the 1Weather follow a variety of different design choices, which means that you’ll easily be able to find one that goes well with your setup.

The app has a tiny 1×1 widget, which is quite minimal and just tells you the temperature along with an icon denoting the cloud cover, along with a large 4×3 widget that displays the time, temperature, location, date, humidity, wind speed and chances of rainfall. The larger widget even has a Google Search bar built in, which means that you can remove the stock search bar and give your setup a cleaner, more homogenous look.

Download 1Weather (Free, in-app purchases)

4. Todoist

The larger widgets allows you to completely customize the view and segregate all the tasks at hand based on your schedule, offering a lot of useful information on the home screen. The smaller widget, on the other hand, is just a 1×1 icon that lets you quickly add a new task to your to-do list, without requiring you to open up that app.

Download Todoist (Free, in-app purchases)

5. Calendar Widget by Home Agenda

Download Calendar Widget by Home Agenda (Free, $1.99)

6. At a Glance Widget by Google

Since the launch of the Pixel lineup, Google has been adding many exclusive features to its software and apps. But sometimes those features make way to a larger segment of Android devices. ‘At a Glance’ widget is one such feature that was introduced with Pixel Launcher, but now has been baked into the Google app. As a result, now you can use this minimal weather and calendar widget on any Android device. The best part is that it supports almost all the launchers out there. With this widget, you can readily access the Calendar and real-time weather information on your home screen.

7. ColorNote

Remember sticky notes from earlier Windows days? Well, you can get a similar feature on your Android device too with ColorNote. It allows you to create notes and you can set them on your Android screen using colorful widgets. It works exactly like the Windows Sticky Notes and I am happy that you can organize and edit the notes on the fly. The best part about ColorNote is its resizable widget which is completely free, unlike other apps. It basically means that you can display more content on your home screen in a scrollable interface. Apart from that, you can also sync your notes online and the notes are encrypted before uploading to the server. All in all, ColorNote is a useful Android widget and you can use it in place of Google Keep.

Download ColorNote (Free)

8. Month Calendar + Stuff

If you want a calendar widget that is minimal, has tons of themes including dark mode then I would highly recommend Month Calendar. Along with that, my next pick would be the Stuff widget for quickly creating to-do lists and notes. I prefer the combination of Month Calendar and Stuff because of how well they sync together— both in terms of looks and features. In one screen, both the widgets accompany each other and bring all your events, schedules, notes, and reminders. Further, Month Calendar has both schedule and month view whereas Stuff has the ability to add tasks quickly in one-tap. I would say if you looking for an integrated solution for calendar and to-do widgets then Month Calendar and Stuff are your best options.

Download Month Calendar (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

Download Stuff (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

9. Digitox

Digitox is one of the essential Android apps that you must use to track and understand your smartphone usage. It offers an Android widget where you can readily monitor how long you have been using your phone, how many times you unlocked the device, and how many notifications you received in a day. This will give important insight into your smartphone addiction behavior and may help you cut down phone usage. The widget sits on the home screen and you can tap the refresh button to pull updated data, in case it doesn’t auto-refresh in the background. Keeping all points in mind, if you want to limit your smartphone addiction, consider using the Digitox widget.

Download Digitox (Free, Offers in-app purchases)

10. AirVisual

With rising air pollution all around the world, it has become necessary to keep a tab on air quality around you to lead a healthy life. In addition to weather widgets, now it’s time to include AQI widgets also on your home screen. And for that, the AirVisual app offers the best widget for monitoring the real-time AQI of any location. I personally use this widget to track the quality of air with all the details including pollutants level, amount of PM2.5 particles, and more. AirVisual collates the data from institutes of local governments all around the world. And where the data is unavailable from a primary source, it calculates the AQI by modeling the satellite data. To sum up, AirVisual offers the best widget for tracking AQI and you should definitely use it.

Download AirVisual (Free)

11. Google Maps

The app even has widgets which allow you to quickly share your location with friends and ask a friend to share their location with you. Even though the app doesn’t include any full fledged widgets, the widget shortcuts are really useful and I’ve used them quite frequently to check the traffic on my way back home and to share my location with friends. And if you are using Google Maps, you should also check out our article on best Google Maps tips to get the most out of the service.

Download Google Maps (Free)

12. Google Keep

Google’s popular note taking app – Keep – also has a couple of really useful widgets that you should use on your Android device. The app features a simple shortcuts widget, which displays five shortcuts that will allow you to add a new note, a new list, a new voice note, a new handwritten note and a picture.

The second widget, apart from featuring the aforementioned shortcut, also displays some of your recent notes, depending on how you resize it. As you can see from the image above, the widget displays two of my most recent notes, which means that you won’t be forgetting anything important if you have it right on the home screen.

Download Google Keep (Free)


IFTTT is a great automation app that lets you create applets that can do a predefined action with a single tap or when a particular parameter is true. The app, in itself, is quite handy as it lets you automate a number of mundane everyday tasks like switching on the WiFi when you get to work and it also features a couple of widgets that allow you to trigger a predefined task by tapping on a button on the home screen.

Download IFTTT (Free, in-app purchases)

14. Simple Text Widget

Typography fans will really appreciate the Simple Text Widget, a widget creator like KWGT which lets you create your own Android widgets to place on your home screen. What’s unique about the widgets created by the Simple Text Widget app is that, as you might have guessed already, the widgets are all text.

You can customize the text completely to your liking and go for a look that complements your home screen setup. The Android widgets can be customized to do practically everything from creating shortcuts for apps to telling the weather or time. You should definitely check out the Simple Text Widget if you’re gunning for a minimal home screen setup on your device.

15. Clip Stack

Clip Stack a nifty clipboard manager app for Android which allows you to manage all that things you copy to the clipboard in one place. The app features a very handy widget that displays the most recent text copied to the clipboard and features a shortcut that allows you to create a new clip.

What’s really great about Clip Stack is that it can remember unlimited amounts of text copied to the clipboard, which can even be recovered after rebooting the device. I personally use the Clip Stack widget to keep a record of things that I wish to read later (I know there are other more user friendly ways to read things later) or to save phone numbers or other contact information which I don’t have the time or patience to copy down.

Download Clip Stack (Free, in-app purchases)

Bonus: Beebom

If you’re already using the Beebom app, I strongly urge you to try out the new widget by adding it to your home screen. Not only is it a great way to keep up with the latest tech news, it also gets rid of the hassle of opening the app again and again to find the latest headlines, which is quite convenient.

Download Beebom (Free)

Try Out These Android Widgets Right Now

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet Review

Our Verdict

The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is a seriously impressive device and easily one of the best tablets we’ve ever tested. The design is astonishingly thin and light and the waterproofing with only the need for one cover is a bonus. This topped with excellent hardware, performance and software means we can barely fault it. However, the fact Sony bundles it with the Bluetooth keyboard with no option to buy it alone means that it’s more expensive than rivals. We feel it’s a 9/10 products but we’ve no choice but to mark the value score lower.

This year Sony has updated is flagship Android tablet so we have a new  iPad Air 2 rival. Sony claims it’s the world’s lightest 10in tablet with a 2K screen so here’s our Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review. Updated on 28/7/15 with our video review. Also see: Best tablets 2023.

Last’s years Z3 range included one tablet which was Sony’s first smaller size, the 8in Z3 Tablet Compact. Instead of replacing that range – which also has the Z3 and Z3 Compact phones – Sony has added to it with the Xperia Z4 Tablet. It’s a new 10in device which succeeds the Xperia Z2 Tablet so there is no Xperia Z3 Tablet in a 10in size. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2023.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review: Price and competition

We expected the Xperia Z4 Tablet to come in at £399 matching the iPad Air 2 but it costs £100 more than that. Before you panic and run to the Apple store, this is because it comes with the Bluetooth keyboard dock so there is a reason for it.

Sony’s main Android rival for the high-end 10in tablet is Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S which was £399 but can now be purchased for under £300. It’s a long way from being old and decrepit too, so represents quite a saving in comparison to Sony’s new tablet.

The more expensive model with additional  4G LTE connectivity will set you back £579 placing it only £60 short of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which it is competing against considering the laptop style keyboard dock.

It’s a real shame Sony has decided to only sell the tablet this way as many consumers will no doubt want just the tablet and it’s not like you can sell the keyboard because other users will have one as standard. Retailers are saying the keyboard is free but it’s clearly factored into the price and we hope Sony changes its mind in the future.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review: Design and build

Its predecessor was and still is an impressive tablet and we didn’t think Sony could do much to the 6.4 mm, 426 g chassis. However, it has managed to slim it down further to 6.1 mm which isn’t much but the weight has dropped to just 392 g.

In comparison with the market leading iPad Air 2, it’s the same thickness and a decent 45 g lighter so tops marks to Sony. The Xperia Z4 Tablet feels great in the hand with the weight particularly making it easy to handle. The firm calls it the ‘World’s lightest 10in tablet with brightest 2K display’.

Sony continues to offer dust- and waterproofing, this time to an IP68 rating which is the highest available. We’ve got used to the headphone port not needing a cover or flap to keep the moisture out but now the microUSB port doesn’t either which is a great addition. Only having one flap for cards is ideal as you rarely need to open it.

Also see: Best 10in tablets 2023.

Aside from the above changes, the design remains essentially the same. A reasonable bezel runs around the display which doesn’t look great but means you can hold any side without needing to touch the screen, leaving your fingers in the way.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet will be available in black and white options but we’ve only seen black listed at retailers so far.

What we thought was an optional Bluetooth keyboard dock (BKB50) is now bundled with the tablet in the UK. It supports tilt and a trackpad for what Sony calls a ‘premium laptop experience’. The Xperia Z4 Tablet slots in easily and then you can adjust the angle or close it like you would a regular laptop.

It all works pretty smoothly and there’s a limit to how far back you can tilt the tablet so it doesn’t topple over (unlike the Acer Aspire Switch 10). The keyboard is a little flimsy and the keys are small so it’s not the optimum experience but you can certainly get a reasonable amount of typing done without pulling your hair out. The trackpad is surprisingly good and using Android with a mouse cursor actually makes a lot of sense.

Some things are awkward but there are many keys dedicated which alleviates this such as navigation, the drop down notification bar and even power. After a while you’ll probably find yourself not using the touchscreen but our main issue is that not everyone will benefit from the accessory yet you have to pay for it.

Since there’s no physical connection to the tablet, there’s no hard drive, extra battery or ports such as USB in the way of features. It simply connects over Bluetooth and charges via micro USB.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review: Hardware and performance

The screen size remains at 10.1 in but Sony has improved the resolution to 2560 x 1600 and boosted the brightness to 500cd/m2. That’s plenty of brightness on offer and the pixel density of 299 ppi is impressive outpacing the iPad Air 2 which is 264 ppi. The ‘Triluminos’ screen looks great and the IPS panel means great viewing angles. We really can’t fault it and it’s up there with the Galaxy Tab S 10.5.

On the audio side is added support for High-Res audio like the Z3 range with front facing stereo speakers, digital noise cancelling support, automatic headphone compensation and a new LDAC codec which supposedly transmits data three times more efficiently than Bluetooth.

An impressive claim and is that the Xperia Z4 Tablet can last a whopping 17 hours of video playback from the 6000 mAh battery – for comparison Apple only touts 10 hours from the iPad Air 2. In our battery test in Geekbench 3, the tablet lasted an impressive nine hours and 53 minutes with a score of 5933.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review: Software and apps

For software, the Xperia Z4 Tablet runs  Android 5.0 Lollipop and Sony adds its own user interface which doesn’t really have a name.

Sony has kept things quite vanilla meaning the experience is close to that of a

We particularly like the addition of app icons on the nav bar at the bottom so you can launch apps without returning to the homescreen and a sort of start menu – when the Bluetooth keyboard is in use.

Xperia Lounge which has been around for a while now offers silver and gold tiers with the top level reserved for Z devices. Sony promises content including music, video, cloud storage, stickers, themes and software upgrades for the life of the tablet.

As well as the High-Res audio support mentioned earlier, the Xperia Z4 Tablet includes PS4 Remote Play enabling you to play PlayStation 4 games on the device from the console over the same Wi-Fi network.

Read next: Best new tablets coming in 2023.

Specs Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet: Specs

Android 5.0 Lollipop

10.1in IPS Triluminos screen, 2560×1600, 300ppi, 500cd/m2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 64-bit


32GB internal storage, microSD card slot (up to 128GB)

8.1Mp rear camera with Exmor RS

5.1Mp wide angle front camera

MHL 3.0

Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac


Bluetooth 4.1

Nano-SIM (LTE model)

6000 mAh battery


392g (Wi-Fi), 396g (LTE)

Black, white

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