Gadgets galore at IFA 2014


IFA Hold on to your hats, gadget junkies. The IFA (short for the mouthful ‘Internationale Funkausstellung’), one of the world’s biggest yearly consumer electronics conference, will be putting the tech spotlight on Berlin, Germany this coming September 5 to 10, 2014. As with all expos, the exhibitors are trying to tease the crowds with sneak peeks into what they will be unveiling during the show proper. We’ve tuned in to the latest feeds from Deutschland and here’s a roundup of announcements from the brands we know and love. LG LG G Watch R Right on the heels of their newly released G3, G Pads, and G Watch is the round-faced LG G Watch R. Unlike most smartwatches today which sport a polygonal shape, the G Watch R pays homage to the beloved form of timepieces. It has a 1.3-inch plastic OLED screen with a 320×320 resolution fully using all the limited screen space. Inside is a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, and 410 mAh juice. It’s dust and water resistant too! LG G3 Stylus LG is also unveiling the LG G3 Stylus which is a much more affordable version of its flagship namesake. Don’t get too excited yet though. Its name and affordable price tag won’t mean that it’s as powerful as the original G3. Far from it, it’s equipped with a 5.5-inch screen with a 960×540 resolution, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 13MP camera, and 8GB expandable storage. However, it does have a dedicated stylus that takes advantage of the screen’s real estate. Those specs are not anywhere near high-end, but it does bear the tried and tested LG name. Sony Sony Z3 Sony has announced the Xperia Z3, the next step in their “Z” line of smartphones. This one’s a rather quick follow up to the Z2 released earlier this year so expect it’s an upgrade rather than a revolution. It’s 7.3mm thin (0.9mm than the Z2), and has a smaller footprint of 146mm x 72mm. This means a thinner bezel will be surrounding the 5.2-inch 1080p display billed to be better than its competitors’ screens. The Triluminos display technology; powerful 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, Adreno 330 graphics processor, and 3GB RAM; 20.7MP snapper fitted with the proprietary Sony G lens for 25mm wide-angle shots and improved photo quality; nanoSIM and microSD slot with support for up to 128GB; and dust and water resistance up to three feet are specs reserved only for the best of the best. The price tag will be a whole other matter, though. Sony Z3 Compact If the Z3’s a little big for your taste, then you might want to look into the Xperia Z3 Compact. It’s literally a shrunk down version of the Z3 but sporting a smaller 4.6-inch 720p display, 2600mAh juice, and 64GB microSD support. It’s also certified water and dust proof. Given the smaller footprint to cram the innards in, it has a bulkier but still manageable 8.6mm thickness. The Z brothers also support PS4 remote play which allows you to use them as gaming controllers and stream a game to the phone and use a regular Dualshock 4 controller. Sony Tablet For those wanting a bigger screen size not meant for a phone, Sony’s offering the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. It’s a blown up version of the Z3, featuring the same powerful specs but with an 8-inch full HD screen and 270g heft. Though tablets are not meant for taking pictures, the Z3 Tablet Compact has a respectable 8.1MP primary camera and 2.2MP front snapper with a 1080p video chat capability. It also resists water and dust – a feature Sony will gladly run to the ground. Sony E3 You’ll likely need to shell out an arm and leg for the Zs above so you better start saving up. If you don’t have a lot of money to burn, Sony’s got you covered with their “affordable” Xperia E3. It features a 4.5-inch display, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 5MP rear and VGA front cameras, and Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. Samsung Samsung Note 4 The much anticipated Galaxy Note 4, Gear VR, Note Edge, and Gear S smartwatch will be featured in the IFA. The Note 4 has the same 5.7-inch screen as its predecessor but with an improved quad HD Super AMOLED display with a 2560×1440 resolution; 16MP primary camera with improved light sensitivity; 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB internal storage; and Android KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Design-wise, the Note 4 looks sleek, with the metal running the phone’s sides complementing the back’s faux leather surface. Other features include a rear heartrate monitor and improved S Pen functions. Samsung VR 3 Used in conjunction with the Note 4 is the Samsung Gear VR. You attach the former on to the latter’s front as a display, with the Gear VR providing the stereoscopic 3D technology to immerse you in another world. Samsung Note Edge The Note Edge is a quirky looker. Instead of a flat or concave screen, it capitalizes of Samsung’s bendy OLED tech to extend the screen OVER the mobile’s left side. The result is a very unique phone with a side screen which, according to Samsung, will be a game-changer in our mobile interactions. Samsung Gear Meanwhile, the Gear S smartwatch was designed with independence in mind; it functions perfectly and completely even when it’s not connected to your phone. Its 2-inch curved OLED screen provides impressive displays from any angle and is big enough for quick SMS and e-mails thanks to the included Fleksy keyboard. It has a dual-core 1.0GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, and 3G connectivity. Yes, it has a SIM slot so it can literally be a wrist phone. Running everything together is Tizen, a mobile OS developed by Samsung. Asus Asus will be putting on display its ZenWatch, EeeBook X205, and the ultraslim ultrabook Zenbook UX305. Asus ZenWatch The ZenWatch is a 2.5D curved glass wrist piece with a stitched leather strap. It supports any Android device running at least 4.3, and features support for the ZenUI wellness app, Watch Unlock, Tap Tap, Remote Camera, Presentation Control, Find My Phone, and Cover to Mute. Asus EeeBook The company is also bringing back the “Eee” line of netbooks with the EeeBook X205. It sports an 11.6-inch LED backlit display housed in a 17.5mm thick and 1kg heavy shell. The netbook’s specs include a battery providing up to 12-hours of juice, a quad-core Intel processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB/64GB internal memory, two USB ports, an HDMI socket, and a card reader. Asus UX Lastly, the Zenbook UX305, dubbed as the “world’s slimmest 13.3-inch QHD+ laptop” has a mere 12.3mm breadth rivalling the 17mm MacBook Air. It weighs 1.2kg, and carries an Intel Core M processor with either a 128GB or 256GB SSD for ultrafast data access. The display has a 3200×1800 resolution powered by a battery lasting up to 10-hours on a single charge.   Most of the devices announced don’t even have estimated prices yet. We’ll keep you posted on when they’ll be released here and how much they’ll go for. In the meantime, better start gathering up all the loose coins in your house because you’ll likely need every centavo the moment these babies hit the shelves. Images from: