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Overall: A good all-rounder.
Design: The design is also well laid out: The camera's top encompasses a mode dial for quick mode selection and a one-touch movie button to jump straight into motion recording; the rear has a four-way d-pad control, a thumbwheel to cycle through settings, a Q.Menu for accessing the all important options and a variety of other buttons including an AF/AE lock and AF/MF adjust. The grip position can get a little uncomfortable if shooting in rapid succession.
Performance: Switch the FZ48 on and it's ready to go in little time. The Sonic Speed AF keeps the onus on speed and delivers on its super-fast focusing promise when shooting at the wideangle end. Zoom in further, however, and there's a noticeable slow down in achieving focus, though it's still very swift. So long as you don't anticipate the same top-speed focusing from front to back of the zoom range you'll be pleased with the results overall.
Image Quality: The FZ48's images are well-exposed and vibrant in colour. The Auto White Balance can slip between colour casts rather quickly, however, even when shooting the same scene under subtly changing light. Detail is reasonable at low ISO settings but the level of processing does give pronounced texture to edges and details can appear over-compressed even at the lowest ISO 100 setting. This isn't surprising for a sensor of this size, though the downscaled 12.1MP sensor (the FZ45's 14.1MP sensor has more pixels) hasn't had as huge an impact on final quality as could be expected.
Value: The first FZ48 shipment is retailing for around £320 in a number of online stores, positioning the model at a similar or more affordable level to much of the competition. The Nikon P500 and Fuji HS20 are both available for a similar sum, while the Canon SX30 IS and Sony HX100V are available somewhere inside the £350-400 range. The Panasonic may not offer as long a zoom as those other models, yet its fast autofocus system provides an alternative value.
Overall: The Lumix FZ48's fast autofocus is its premier feature, capable of attaining focus in little time. Other features are equally impressive - the LCD screen looks great in playback and has a wide angle of view, plus the movie mode allows for a good level of recording control. Panasonic Lumix FZ48 product shotHowever the lack of Raw shooting does axe one of the top features from the previous FZ45 model, and the FZ48's final image quality, although well exposed and supported by an excellent image stabilisation system, isn't quite able to quite match up to the finer detail from the likes of the Fuji HS20. For images used at less than full size this will go largely unnoticed in most instances. For a compact superzoom with a long-reaching zoom the FZ48 has plenty on offer and is competitively prices. It's easy to use whatever your level, has an effective layout and an autofocus system that puts the majority of the competition to shame
Shades purchased: Berry Smoothie and Candy Apple.
Overall: The perfect balance between colour, gloss and moisture, all for a reasonable £7.99.
Packaging: Very sleek, with a quilted plastic cover, corresponding to the lip butter colour. The base itself is black, with a silver twist-up tube. I really like the fact that the tube clicks back into place once you've twisted it down, to avoid any accidental twisting whilst in your bag. The lid also clicks into place so you know your lippie is secure!
Texture: Literally melts onto your lips and does actually feel like butter. There is a good amount of slip to the product, meaning it adds enough moisture without being overly glossy. It doesn't cake up like regular lipsticks can do, as it doesn't have that heavy wax base.
Colour payoff: Very good from both shades. They can be applied quickly for a sheer wash of colour, or built up for that lipstick look. Berry Smoothie is a lovely mid-tone pink, perfect for a complexion pick me up as it has cool blue undertones. Candy Apple is a slightly-orange red. It's not over the top or too dramatic, but is a modern twist on the classic red lip.
Durability: As you'd expect from a balm cross lip colour, you can't get through a meal or a couple of drinks without the need to touch up. However, the product wears off evenly, without leaving that unsightly line around your lips. Bonus. The lip butters are in credibly comfortable to wear.
Overall, whether you're looking for a quick flash or a more dramatic colour, why not give a Revlon Lip Butter a shot?
Overall: HTC have certainly just sprung the little Desire C out of nowhere.
Design: It's like a shrunken-down pebble-shaped version of the HTC One X. It fits really nicely in the hand, as it's a 4.2" phone, with a 3.5" screen, and only 2.4" wide. At 12.5mm thick, it is a little chubbier than most phones this size, but that's a good thing, as it feels more solid. The design itself is really simple, available in black or white. I chose white, just because I thought it looked a little snazzier.
Camera: Although HTC boasts a 5MP camera on this one, I'd beg to differ. The lens is a single, rear-facing deal, without sensors or even an LED flash. I avoid taking night photos or close-ups with the camera, as the quality is just not good. Daytime shots, or ones in good light are pretty decent though.
Software: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. One of the best features, in my humble opinion. Apps can be downloaded in a jiffy, and there's plenty of homescreen space for widgets, including quick links to up to four apps. HTC has blended the overlay very well too, as it doesn't look too foreign nor too plain and boring.
Battery life: Pretty good for only a 4.6Wh battery. It lasts me a solid 36-48 hours before dropping below the 10% mark and needing a top up.
Storage: A bit iffy, only offering 4GB before needing a microSD card. Saying that, I only added a 2GB micro, and that's holding all my music, images and videos, so you don't have to bump it up too much.
Connectivity: A nifty little charger-come-USB cable is included with the phone, similar to that used with an iPhone. Plug straight into a socket to charge, or remove the USB cable from the plug to connect to your computer. The earphones provided don't really do the Beats Audio justice, but that was quickly rectified with a pair of Heartbeats. A 3.5mm jack is as standard.
Overall, despite a couple of downsides, the HTC Desire C is a great little phone if you're venturing into the world of apps and don't want to spend £500 or so on an all-singing all-dancing iPhone or Samsung Galaxy. At around the £170-mark, you get a pretty decent phone.