IFA Berlin, held between 4-9 September featured announcements from all over the tech industry as companies tried to showcase their newest products. It was clear that Sony’s engineers have had a busy year because Xperia introduced three new flagships together — the Z5, Z5 compact and Z5 Premium. The Compact is the smallest of the three, with less than satisfactory specifications but scoring points with people for whom size matters. The Z5 is the standard version, with specifications to match offerings from other companies. The Premium is the hard hitter. With a mirror-like back that comes in three colours, the 4K display is the biggest feature from Sony on the smartphone — while other screens have begun breaking the 400 PPI barrier, the Z5 premium sports a 806 PPI display. The 23 MP camera on the back is capable of shooting 4K video and you won’t need a 4K display to view it in its complete glory. The massive battery promises two days of usage on a single charge and a 32 GB inbuilt storage to accommodate the large 4K videos. The new line of Xperia phones boasts open ports that can withstand water damage, allowing them to do away with the flaps they’ve had so far. The phone also now has a fingerprint sensor on the power button located on the side of the phone, which makes using it really convenient.
Huawie’s Mate S beat the iPhone 6s and Plus at featuring a touchscreen that recognises the intensity of force you subject the screen to. But the software on the phone didn’t make much use of the technology besides creating shortcuts, getting rid of the navigation icons, showing previews of small image thumbnails when pressed down upon and weighing an orange. The Huawie Watch on the other hand, was a much more exciting product. Running Android Wear, it works with both Android and iOS but the chassis maintains the look of a conventional watch and comes with realistic watch faces. Other smartwatches on offer were from Samsung. Having launched their latest phones before IFA, the Gear and Gear Classic and Gear 3G were all that was new from the South Korean giant. With a new take on smartwatches, these featured a round face and design that would suit a sporty or a sophisticated personality. Sony also showed off their FES Watch prototype made of e-ink paper and everything from the dial to the strap can be changed as it’s a display.
Huawie’s Mate S beat the iPhone 6s and Plus at featuring a touchscreen that recognises the intensity of force you subject the screen to. But the software on the phone didn’t make much use of the technology.
Lenovo, on the other hand, was busy confessing its love for cramming projectors into a smart device with the Yoga Tab 3 and Smartcast phone. The projections from Lenovo’s devices work better in dimmer rooms and laptops might remain your trusty companion for presentations and movie nights. All the computers, from desktops to tablets shone with Windows 10 on them. This was the first time Windows was taking centre stage. From tiny budget laptops, like the Acer Aspire One Cloud at $169 (including 1TB OneDrive storage and Office 365), the Asus VivoStick (turns your TV into a PC), to the Revo (desktop that can be assembled and customised by putting different component and blocks together) ran Windows 10.
We’ve seen some instant cameras come out of the shed this year but the one from Polaroid at IFA comes with filters and a technology that prints instant photographs without any ink, while storing a digital copy on the SD card. The camera from Polaroid will take care of a traveller’s needs and the 360fly is aimed at a much more adventurous userbase. The camera can be mounted to a skateboard, bike, even drone, to capture and share videos in 360 degrees.
Fairphone 2 has a feature that puts it in direct competition with the Ara. You can take it apart, exchange parts and take a tiny load off electronic waste. The Fairphone 2 is a new concept,o but the SL-1200 has been one of the most trusted turntables for a while and Philips has taken the lid off a new motor that will feature in the upgrade making the already popular product more timeless.