HTC One X, Canon DSLR, budget speakers make their mark

We review thousands of tech products. Every week, CNET Reviews Editor in Chief Lindsey Turrentine tells you which gear impresses us right now and why.

If you clicked over to CNET on Thursday, you might not have noticed any of our full reviews, because we were too busy nerding out over (and previewing in-depth) Samsung's announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Samsung's followup to the hugely popular S2 and flagship Android phone dominated the conversation this week with its Siri-like voice commands and ability to sense your eye movement.

The Galaxy S3 won't come out until this summer, though, and we don't expect everyone (or anyone) to sit around and wait for it, especially since no one is sure yet how Samsung will configure the LTE version for the U.S. and since the HTC One X comes out Sunday. The One X and a handful of other devices earned our high praise this week.

HTC One X sets a lofty bar
HTC announced its "hero" phone, the HTC One X, at CES in January, but the phone is finally showing up at a U.S. carrier (AT&T, for better or worse) on Sunday, May 6. The epic buildup didn't hurt HTC. When CNET's Brian Bennett got his hands on the dual-core model, he wasn't sure it would compete, but the all-plastic phone surprised him with its "style, speed, blazing 4G, and power galore" and he gave the phone an Editors' Choice award. While it's possible that the Galaxy S and its whizbang extras will earn more than four stars from us after its summer release, it may not -- and in the meantime, the One X is a truly worthy Android alternative.
The long-awaited Canon EOS 5D Mark III Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

A big week for flagship gadgets
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III showed up on Lori Grunin's doorstep this week, too -- another long wait finally at an end. We've been looking forward to reviewing this camera, the next generation of Canon's popular, full-frame Mark II for months and months. The camera didn't disappoint. Its revamped processor makes pro photos cleaner and faster, with better color in video. The ambitious DSLR comes with an ambitious price too, though -- about $4,300 -- making what's possibly the most important thing to know about the 5D Mark III is the fact that it's $1,000 more than the Mark II, which is still a fantastic camera.

The Big Jambox is a giant version of its older sibling. Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive

Surprise speakers
Jawbone surprised everyone this week with the Jawbone Big Jambox, a bigger version of Jawbone's wildly popular Jambox mini Bluetooth speaker kit. A competitor to the Bose SoundLink system, the Big Jambox sounds a little less warm but looks radically cool. The Big Jambox is like something from Alice in Wonderland, as if Jawbone fed the Jambox some magic cake to make it balloon to three times its original size.

But we found the $250-something speaker soundbar from Haier -- yes, the company that also makes air conditioners -- even more shocking. We fully expected the Haier SBEV40-Slim to produce middling sound, but it turned out to be awesome. Otherwise known as the Haier Slim Evoke, the 1.1-inch think soundbar looks nice and sounds crisp, making it the best budget soundbar deal we can find.

TV beauty
Consider David Katzmaier's review of the Panasonic TC-P50UT50, and we can call this week satisfying with or without a big phone announcement from Samsung. He says that the Panasonic TC-P50UT50 is "one of the best TVs we've seen, with astounding picture quality for the money." Learn more about Panasonic's beauty and the rest of our top-rated reviews from this week in our full slideshow .

 

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