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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII review
8:24 pm | October 18, 2019

Author: admin | Category: Cameras Compact Cameras Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Editor's Note

• Original review date: October 2019
• Most recent instalment in Sony's RX100 line
• Launch price: $1,198 / £1,200 / around AU$1,725
• Official price now: $1,299 / £1,049 / AU$1,569

Update: May 2024. Starting where the RX100 VI finished, the seventh iteration of Sony’s premium compact proved impressive in our original review. We continue to rate it highly today: thanks to its solid feature set, impressive performance and pocket-friendly design, we think it remains one of the best compact cameras you can buy. One of the major drawbacks at launch was its price, and the RX100 VII is still an expensive option in 2024. Sony has only offered minor reductions to its RRP in Australia and the UK, while the price has actually increased in the US. With no sign of a direct successor, we think its popularity is likely to endure for some time, which means its price will probably do the same. Seasonal discounts are also relatively rare, with any reductions usually limited to around $100 / £100. If you want to save on the RX100 VII, your best bet is to look for a second-hand model in good condition.

It's hard to think of another camera series that has made it through to its seventh iteration, but the popularity of Sony's RX100 line goes some way to explaining how we got here.

Previous RX100 models have found their way into many photographers' hands, both as backups to interchangeable-lens models or as primary cameras for those not wishing to be burdened by a larger and heavier system. It's also one of the best travel cameras. But with asking prices now firmly into four-figure territory, some may find the more recent offerings harder to justify.

Even so, with its most recent models sporting longer lenses and inheriting key features from Sony's Alpha line of mirrorless cameras, while keeping the bodies just as portable as before, the compact camera series still appears to be moving in the right direction. So what tricks does the Sony RX100 VII pull off that we haven't seen before? 


  • 20.1MP 1-inch stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM chip 
  • 20fps with AF/AE and up to 90fps without
  • 4K video recording to 30p

While the first five RX100 models maintained a relatively restrained zoom range and a wide maximum aperture, the RX100 VI swapped it for a lens equivalent to 24-200mm in 35mm terms, and the RX100 VII retains this optic. The fact that Sony squeezed this lens into a body no larger than before was impressive, but the trade-off was a reduction in maximum aperture.

The lens has aspherical, advanced aspherical and extra-low dispersion glass on the inside to help keep things rosy, while Optical SteadyShot technology has also been included to keep thing stable. 

It's very unusual for a camera to have the same sensor resolution throughout seven consecutive models; however, the sensors haven't been the same this whole time, and it's no surprise that the RX100 VII has been blessed with a new one, albeit one that still conforms to the same 1-inch dimensions and stacked architecture as before.

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It also still has a separate DRAM chip to help crunch through all the data from the sensor at speed, and it now works with the latest version of the company's BIONZ X engine – and that partnership provides some pretty staggering burst-rate figures. 

Indeed, this is one of the big shifts from the RX100 VI, and brings what Sony claims to be performance in terms of speed that's on a par with its A9 model, which is still the flagship mirrorless camera in the Alpha family.

What does that mean in figures? It means 60 autofocus and auto-exposure calculations per second, which allows for burst shooting at 20fps with autofocus and auto-exposure working throughout, without any blackout of either the viewfinder or the LCD.

While that's impressive enough, if you're willing to sacrifice adjustments to autofocus and auto-exposure and call on the Single Burst Shooting drive mode, you can shoot images at 30fps, 60fps or a ridiculous 90fps at their full resolution – the other catch is that all of these modes can only be used to capture seven frames at a time.

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII specs

Sensor: 20.1MP 1-inch Exmor RS CMOS sensor

Lens: 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 (35mm equiv.)

Screen: 3.0-inch tilting touchscreen, 921,600 dots 

Viewfinder: EVF with a 2.36 million-dot resolution

Burst shooting: 20fps (up to 90fps in Single Burst Shooting mode)

Autofocus: Hybrid AF: 357 phase-detect AF points and 425 contrast-detect AF points  

Video: 4K to 30p; Full HD to 120p

Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Battery life: 260 (LCD), 240 (EVF)

Weight: 302g (including battery and card)

Videos are once again recorded to 4K UHD quality at a maximum 30p, with no pixel binning and the option of 4K Active SteadyShot, which is said to be eight times more effective at steadying footage than the more conventional 4K Standard SteadyShot.

If you don't need 4K recording, you can knock this down to Full HD at frame rates up to 120p. Various super-slow motion options lie on top of this, with frames rates of up to 960fps achievable, and it's also now possible to bypass the default five-minute recording restriction when shooting in 4K.

All of this is supported by a strong secondary video feature set, with a 3.5mm microphone port at the camera's side, S-Log2, S-Log3, S-Gamut3.Cine and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) modes, and the usual focus peaking and zebra options we've seen in many previous Sony models. The camera can also detect when you're shooting vertically, and preserves this orientation after footage has been offloaded. 

The big change with video is that the RX100 VII offers Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF while recording. Up until now, these have only been made available for stills in the A9 and A6400 (and now the more recent A6600), although here it's on hand for both stills and movies – and we'll be exploring exactly what these allow and how well they work in a second.

Many things, however, haven't changed from before. The electronic viewfinder still neatly hides in the top plate when it's not required, and pops up into position with a single flick of the catch at its side, and this presents a feed with the same 2.36 million dots and 0.59x magnification (in 35mm terms) as before.

The 3-inch LCD touchscreen beneath this is also the same, with 921,600 dots. Once again, this is mounted on a relatively long bracket, which allows it to swing downwards to sit at a 90-degree angle to the camera, or upwards to face the front – perfect for vloggers, which is a key audience for the RX100 VII.

The battery provides 260 frames per charge, or 240 if you tend to use the viewfinder – a modest improvement of 20 frames on the RX100 VI

The battery provides 260 frames per charge, or 240 if you tend to use the viewfinder – a modest improvement of 20 frames on the RX100 VI. These figures hardly thrill, but they're somewhat expected for a camera with such a small body (and thus, a tiny battery). In any case, as is the case on all cameras, the average user will enjoy a higher battery life than these CIPA figures suggest in real-world use because of how they are determined – and USB charging helps here too.

Next to the battery is a single slot for SDHC and SDXC cards, which are supported to the UHS-I standard. That means you can still use the faster UHS-II cards, although you won't see any performance advantage in doing so.

Build and handling

  • Very compact and solid metal body
  • Lack of grip and only a little rubber used
  • De-clicked control ring around lens

The RX100 design has barely changed since the start of the series back in 2012, and with the exception of some minor cosmetic differences the Sony RX100 VII looks identical to the RX100 VI, while the metal body feels just as solid as those of previous models.

It's impressive when you consider the raft of features Sony has managed to pack inside that small body, not least that optic. But this also means the same criticisms can be aimed at the new model as were leveled at its predecessors, such as the lack of a grip around the front, and only a small square of rubber on the back plate where the thumb falls.

This makes it less comfortable to handle than rival models, such as the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III; it's clearly a camera that's designed to be as compact as possible, although you can get an optional grip if you decide you need one.

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One advantage the RX100 VII has over some rivals, however, is that the rear control dial can be rotated without the thumb constantly bashing into the side of the LCD screen, on account of it having a thin profile and being flush with the back plate. This is often a challenge on such small bodies, but here it's only really a small issue once the LCD is extended out from the body a little.

The electronic viewfinder springs up easily from the top plate when you release the catch at its side, and, as on the RX100 VI, you no longer need to pull the viewfinder back before you can use it.

One advantage the camera has over some rivals is that the rear control dial can be rotated without the thumb constantly bashing into the side of the LCD screen

The control ring around the lens has a knurled finish that makes it nice to operate. It's de-clicked, and provides no physical feedback as standard, although the camera does make small clicking sounds as it's rotated to make up for this. The fact that it's de-clicked makes it more suitable to use during video recording, where the camera would otherwise pick up operational sounds, although it's a minor annoyance that there's a slight lag between the dial being turned and settings being registered.


  • Real Time Tracking and Real Time AF
  • 357 phase-detect point and 425 contrast-detect points
  • Excellent face and eye detection

The RX100 VI packed a great autofocus system, but that didn't stop Sony making better autofocus one of the priorities in the RX100 VII. The AF systems on recent Alpha models, together with firmware updates to older cameras, have ramped up performance across that line, and now Sony is looking to bring same magic to its  Cyber-shot range.  

So what's new? Well, there are now more phase-detect AF points for a start, up from 315 on the RX100 VI to 357 here, and these cover 3% more of the frame than before. The previous 25-point contrast-detect AF system has also been ramped up to a 425-point system, with Sony promising that the camera can focus in as little as 0.02 seconds.

The biggest change autofocus-wise is Real Time Tracking, which uses AI-powered tools to automatically switch between standard autofocusing when tracking a moving subject and face/eye tracking when the system detects a person's face. This should make it easier to quickly focus on what's key as people step in and out of the frame, or change position in relation to the camera.

The biggest change is Real Time Tracking, which uses AI-powered tools to automatically switch between standard autofocusing when tracking a moving subject and face/eye tracking when the system notices a person's face

Partner this with continuous autofocus and you have a very powerful combination. The availability of usefully broad focal range shows just how impressively this can work, as you can zoom to the telephoto end, have the camera pick out a very small subject in the distance, and watch as it sticks with it. 

The face detection system doesn't need to have too big a face in the frame for it to recognize what it's shooting, although subjects do need to be a little closer in order for the system to start detecting and tracking the eye (eye detection is fairly pointless with more distant subjects anyway). When this does kick in, it manages to track eyes very well, even when the subject is side-on to the camera.  

This system works impressively well during video recording too, where the camera stays with a human subject both as they move across the frame and as they move closer to or further away from the camera. Sony has shouted loudly about this feature, and you can see why. 

There's little doubt that this is the best autofocus performance you can get on a compact camera right now, and this would make the RX100 VII a particularly strong choice for families – trying to keep a lock of a moving child can be quite the test for any camera.


  • Image stabilization system appears very effective
  • Viewfinder performs well
  • Touchscreen could do with more work

Sony has received some stick for its menu systems in the past, which are somewhat overflowing with options, although color coding has made them easier to navigate in recent models. 

What we have on the RX100 VII is much the same as before. There's a lot to wade through, but the option to set up a tab with your own options is a saving grace, although there's still the odd annoying abbreviation here and there.

The touchscreen works well for setting the focusing point, being nice and responsive to even lighter touches, and you can also use the screen as a touch pad when using the viewfinder – always handy in lieu of a joystick-type control. 

The screen can also be used to zoom into, and move around, captured images, but that's about it. It doesn't appear that anything has actually changed from the RX100 VI, which means the screen is fine for basic tasks, but it does place the camera behind its peers elsewhere; it would be good to see touch control come to the Fn menu at the very least in future models.

The viewfinder is a fair bit smaller than what we're used to on mirrorless models, but this is to be expected; the main thing is that it's relatively bright and sharp. While the lack of any kind of eyecup normally makes such viewfinders a bit of a pain to use in brighter conditions without cupping your hand around them, the RX100 VII's finder maintains very good visibility even when you don't.

The RX100 VII's 90fps burst capabilities are one of the main things that separate it from the previous model – and indeed, every other compact camera. It's certainly impressive that the camera is able to reach these heights and spit out full-resolution images, but the fact that its buffer depth is just seven frames makes you wonder just how practical it is.

In use, the camera will capture the first seven frames as you depress the button, and discard anything afterwards. Seven frames at 90fps equates to less than 0.8 seconds of reality being captured (though it'll be more if you use the 30fps or 60fps options), so you need to have pretty sharp reflexes to nail the perfect moment. 

Were the camera able to offer deeper buffer depths at its 60fps and 30fps settings, this burst rate would perhaps be more usable; but it can't, and presumably there's a technical reason for this, possibly the lack of UHS-II support. Ultimately, it ends up being impressive to play with, but potentially of limited use in reality. 

Most people would be better off using the more standard burst mode, which can chomp through a still respectable 20fps with autofocus and auto-exposure working throughout. Using the fastest UHS-I card we could get our hands on, the camera was able to capture round 100 raw and JPEG frames simultaneously, although, as you'd expect, these can take a little time to fully write to the card.

Image quality

  • Great details throughout, though corner softness visible
  • Great noise control at moderate ISO settings
  • Detailed 4K footage with effective face detection and tracking

We were impressed with the image quality from the previous RX100 VII, so does the Sony RX100 VII live up to our expectations?

In short, the camera manages to produce strong images across a range of conditions, with minimal intervention required. Detail is excellent overall, and what's particularly good is how well this is maintained when using ISO settings towards the middle of the sensitivity range; plenty of detail lurks in slightly noisier images, so it's just a case of removing this noise. 

On the whole, details are great in the center of the frame, and are generally well maintained to the edges, with just slight softness in the corners at both ends of the lens. This appears to be worse at the wide-angle end than at telephoto lengths, although it does improve a little as you stop down the aperture. 

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/4, 1/30sec, ISO160

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/4, 1/30sec, ISO160 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 41.9mm, f/4.5, 1/125sec, ISO250

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 41.9mm, f/4.5, 1/125sec, ISO250 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 50.7mm, f/4.5, 1/160sec, ISO1250

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 50.7mm, f/4.5, 1/160sec, ISO1250 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/5, 1/160sec, ISO3200

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/5, 1/160sec, ISO3200 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO100

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO100 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/3.2, 1/30sec, ISO320

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/3.2, 1/30sec, ISO320 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/4.5, 1/30sec, ISO400

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 24mm, f/4.5, 1/30sec, ISO400 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 49mm, f/4, 1/100sec, ISO100

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 49mm, f/4, 1/100sec, ISO100 (Image credit: Future)

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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 41.9mm, f/4.5, 1/125sec, ISO250

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII at 41.9mm, f/4.5, 1/125sec, ISO250 (Image credit: Future)

Click here to view the full-size image

Exposures are generally sound, although scenes with a relatively wide tonal range – if you're shooting indoors with windows in the frame, for example – will see a loss of detail in their highlights. Some of the details in these areas can be brought back with careful raw processing, though. 

Colors are very nice on standard settings, and there's a particularly broad range of color options in-camera if the default Standard mode isn't quite to your taste. It's a shame, however, that the absence of in-camera raw processing means these can't be tweaked post-capture without recourse to a computer.

Some lateral chromatic aberration can be seen in images, although the worst of this is lifted away from JPEGs in-camera, and it can be removed from raw files fairly effortlessly.

Video quality has impressed on previous RX100 models, and it continues to shine here. Detail is abundant, and rolling shutter is kept to a minimum as the camera moves around the scene. As with pretty much any compact camera like this, wind noise is easily picked up by the built-in microphones, although the fact that you can hook up an external mic gives the RX100 VII an advantage over many other models.


There's no doubt that the Sony RX100 VII is an impressive camera. Given the strong performance and huge popularity of previous models it was likely that any changes Sony made here would only make it a better performer – and that's pretty much the case.

Special praise goes to the autofocus system, which is not only fast but remarkably good at keeping track of moving subjects, noticing faces at a distance and switching between face/eye detection and more standard tracking as the subject changes in distance and orientation. While some rival models aren't bad for speed by comparison, the fact that some are still based on contrast-detect AF alone means it's unlikely they'll be able to catch up with what Sony is doing here until that changes.

On top of that there's the excellent image quality, detailed 4K video, and considerable control over both. The retractable viewfinder and fine LCD screen make for a perfect partnership, while the body's high build quality and small size – especially when you consider the lens and inclusion of the viewfinder – make it easy to carry around and slip into a pocket, and be confident it will survive the odd bump and scrape. 

So there's lots to love about the RX100 VII – but lots that could be improved too. There's still no grip, which makes for less-than-ideal handling, nor is there the option to process raw images in camera. The touchscreen is still underdeveloped, and while the lack of an ND filter may be explained by the longer-than-usual lens, it still makes capturing videos in bright light more difficult. The option to shoot at up to 90fps sounds impressive, and in a way it is, but the shallow buffer depth makes this feature somewhat impractical. 

And that fact that all of this comes at a considerable cost makes you realize Sony's logic in keeping all of the previous RX100 models available. Many people either don't need this level of performance or are better served by the shorter, brighter lenses of previous models. Those expecting sharpness right to the corners of the frame, or flexibility in low light, may be better served by one of those cameras – but in terms of performance, those are the only major things to bear in mind. 

So, while this isn't a camera for everyone, and while its omissions make it less than ideal – even for those that are drawn to it – in terms of packing a whole lot of tech and generally solid performance into such a small body, it's impossible not to be impressed with what Sony has achieved here. For all its foibles and its lofty price tag, the RX100 VII is easily one of the most accomplished and desirable compacts on the market right now.


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Sony RX100 VI

The RX100 VII's closest competitor is arguably the previous Mark VI iteration, given how similar the spec sheets of the two models are. The key differences are in the sensor, crazy-high burst speeds, autofocus systems and the fact that the newer model offers a mic port – but if you're happy with the rest of the spec sheet, you can save yourself a little cash by going for a camera that we still rate very highly.

Read our in-depth Sony RX100 Mark VI review 

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Panasonic ZS200 / TZ200

The ZS200 also sports a 1-inch sensor with 20.1MP, and is similarly fronted by a superzoom lens, although the one here reaches a little further than the RX100 VII's, stretching between 24-360mm in 35mm terms. It matches the RX100 VII is providing 4K video and has a small electronic viewfinder, and while it lacks a mic port and can't shoot at the lofty heights of 90fps, it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

Read our in-depth Panasonic ZS200 / TZ200 review

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Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

With a 20MP 1-inch sensor, a pop-up electronic viewfinder and 4K video squeezed into a pocket-friendly shell, Canon very much has the same kind of audience in mind for its PowerShot G5 X Mark II as Sony does for its own model. It's considerably cheaper, and has a grip that makes handling far nicer, but its lens doesn't reach anywhere near as far and its autofocus system, while perfectly capable, can't touch what the RX100 VII is packing.

Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II review

Revlon Pro Collection One Step Dryer and Volumiser review
3:20 pm | October 7, 2019

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Hair Care Home Small Appliances | Comments: Off

• Original review date: October 2019
• Still Revlon's latest (and greatest) hair brush dryer
• Launch price: £60 / $60
• Official price now: £60 / $60, but very regularly discounted

Updated: February 2024. It's hard to beat perfection, and while this particular hair brush dryer isn't quite perfect, it's as close as we've seen. Offering an excellent balance of great performance, decent design, and excellent value, this is the brush dryer to beat. There is now a slightly more premium version, the One-Step Volumizer Plus, which has an oval head and activated charcoal pins and with a slightly more premium design for $10 / £10 more; to be honest, the ovular barrel of the original One-Step Volumizer is in part why it works so well, and I'm not one for the infused pin marketing gimmick. The rest of this review remains unchanged.

Back in the 1990s hair heyday of steam hair straighteners and crimpers, the 2-in-1 hair styler reigned supreme. At a time when professional-style dryers were overly expensive, brushes that doubled up as hair dryers were cheap, convenient and helped achieve the voluminous, bouncy style made famous by the likes of Jennifer Aniston. Yet, as hair dryers became more advanced, and dropped in price, 2-in-1s fell out of favour. 

Fast forward to today: not only are 2-in-1s back, but they also give many of their rival barrelled hair dryers a run for their money. The Revlon Pro Collection One Step Dryer & Volumiser reviewed here just happens to be our favorite of the lot – and it costs only $60 / £60 too.


(Image credit: Vicky Woollaston)

The Revlon Pro resembles an oversized barrel brush with a chunky handle. At the bottom of this handle – where it meets the 2.5-metre cord – is a single switch that you rotate to select a temperature and speed setting. One rotation enables the cold shot function. A second rotation switches to the lower of the two speed settings, while a final rotation switches to the faster of the two. The heat increases between the speed settings, too. 

Instead of having a perfectly rounded barrel, the cylinder has two slightly flatter, longer sides, in order to help lift the hair from the roots and give it more volume.

The Pro is factually not much to look at, with Revlon’s bright pink colour scheme feeling like an unwelcome throwback to the original models. It’s also heavy. At 850g, the Revlon Pro is almost twice the weight of the Dyson Supersonic – with the long brush design preventing the weight from feeling evenly distributed.

This design choice, however, does make it more compact than a traditional barrelled dryer, while saving the hassle of having to take a separate brush when traveling. Plus, its performance soon helps you forget the Revlon Pro’s weight and style shortcomings.


(Image credit: Vicky Woollaston)

Even on the lowest of the two speed/temperature settings, the Revlon Pro dried our medium-length fine hair in an impressive three minutes and four seconds, which goes some way to negating its heavy, bulky design – as you won’t need to be using it for long. Its large size also means you can dry and style large sections of hair in one go. What’s more, because it styles as it dries, our arms didn’t ache from holding a brush and separate dryer at awkward angles – as is the case with some of its rivals  – and we didn’t have to do anything to finish our style once it was dry, saving even more time. 

This latter point is in part due to the Revlon Pro’s ionic technology, but also because the temperature remains constant throughout. Unlike with traditional dryers, the Revlon Pro is always at the same distance from the head because the hair is wrapped around it; you can’t accidentally place it too close on one section and too far away on another. This means it dries the hair evenly and gently. The ionic technology then smoothes the hair and the rounded design shapes it. We were, and continue to be impressed with just how voluminous, shiny and smooth our hair looks after using the Revlon Pro. 

(Image credit: Vicky Woollaston)

We didn’t see a noticeable difference in drying times on the hotter, faster setting and would often dry on the slower mode to help prevent causing damage to our hair. The faster setting is also incredibly loud, annoyingly so. In terms of decibels, it’s not drastically different to rivals but the tone of the sound is sharp and grating.

Finally, what we feel is the most significant feature of the Revlon Pro is the fact you can use it one-handed. When time is tight in the morning, or you just fancy an extra few minutes in bed, you can apply make-up at the same time as drying your hair. Believe us, we do this regularly. If that’s a little too ambitious, you can enjoy a cup of tea or eat toast at the same time. This, for us, is a gamechanger.


If a little more care had been put into the design of the Revlon Pro and its motor wasn’t so annoyingly loud, we’d happily recommend it over more expensive rivals, such as the GHD Air, because it’s performance is just so good. Unless we’re looking to rough dry our hair or style it differently, the Revlon Pro is our go-to dryer. 

The fact that we can only use it for one drying and styling option does mean it lacks versatility, and if you’re particularly skilled at blow drying you likely won’t see the benefits of using it. 

If it did offer more versatility, or it had been better designed, it would likely cost more, though – so we’re willing to take that hit to get salon-style performance and extra time in bed for only $60 / £60.