It's hard to believe it's been almost an entire week since we liveblogged the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 events while struggling to keep tabs on the numerous other announcement made throughout the halls of IFA 2013. But now that we've had a moment to catch our breaths and take a more holistic approach to all that transpired at the exhibition, it feels like just the right moment for a pick of some of the most interesting devices that we witnessed undergo their respective rite of passage.
Two main events took place on the 4th of September, as you probably know – the announcements of the Xperia Z1 and the Galaxy Note 3 – both of which sent a merciless barrage of raw information that we did our best to decipher and transform into a legible, coherent format, while preserving the core for you. Somewhat unfortunately, however, the caliber of the aforementioned introductions overshadowed other great devices that saw the light of day for the first time. For that very reason we've cherry-picked some of best of those for you in the slideshow down below, which is precisely where you should head right about now.
Best of IFA 2013
Best of IFA 2013
1. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The next iteration of Samsung's fabled line of phablets offers a noticeable upgrade over its predecessor, in a very Sammy fashion. Namely, pretty much every internal in the Galaxy Note 3 has received some pampering, making the Samsung phablet, once again, one of the most compelling offerings on the market. That is, if you can stomach (or more importantly, handle) the 5.7-inch display, of course.Read more
2. Samsung Galaxy Gear
Ah, smartwatches! The promise alone makes us giddy. Of course, Samsung did ensure that the early, experimental stage of the Samsung Galaxy Gear was made clear and heard across the room, so we're a little less sure of what to make out of the Gear. Did the South Korea-based company rush to a market expected to become the next frontier in mobile tech, by releasing a premature product? We're not completely sure, just yet.
With skepticism and caution disposed of in the most reckless of manners, we're nevertheless truly excited to see the category receive validation from the tech behemoth. While the limitations of the Galaxy Gear are telling
, it does feel like the wearables niche is on just the right course, and this one particular journey has managed to grab the complete and utter attention of the inner geek in us.Read more
3. Sony Xperia Z1
Few phones can claim they outperformed the Sony Xperia Z1 in the game of hype, and they're far between. Formerly known as the Honami, the 5-incher comes sporting some amazing tech, both on the hardware and software side of things. An undisputed star among these, however, proved to be the 20.7MP camera unit that makes use of Sony's proprietary G lens and the Exmor RS sensor. However, being almost an exact replica of its predecessor, the Xperia Z, the Z1 failed to surprise anybody in terms of design, though whether that is a bad thing remains to be seen. In the meantime,Read more
4. Sony DSC-QX10/QX100
Sony's lens-style attachable cameras are definitely something new on the market, and while pending approval from consumers, we still have to admit that the Japanese company has put forward an interesting proposition. On the down side, the rather steep price point (yet still cheaper than a dedicated DSLR) will ensure that this remains strictly a niche product for the photography buffs among us, who value portability and comfort.Read more
5. LG G Pad 8.3
With a release date slated for Q4 2013, LG's G Pad 8.3 marks the return of Samsung's local arch-rival to the tablet space. Choosing to go compact, the G Pad offers 8.3-inches of screen estate, a middle ground that we feel confident will appeal to many. As big of a consideration as the display size may be, we're however itching to know about the pricing on the tablet -- something LG did not see appropriate to share with us just yet. Read more
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition)
A refreshed version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 was also unveiled during Samsung's Unpacked event, and it features some considerable upgrades. To start off, while the display hasn't grown in size, the pixel density has doubled from the 1280x800 to 2560x1600. Not one to get complacent, Sammy has also upped the processing might of the 2014 edition of the Note 10.1 -- it is now powered by a 1.9GHz Exynos Octa SoC and 3GB RAM.Read more
7. Alcatel One Touch Hero
While riddled with relative obscurity, Alcatel continues to storm the gates of the smartphone market, though so far it doesn't seem like either one will budge. As vital as the market response to a smartphone is, in this particular case we have to hand it to the One Touch Hero -- it has really gone full out. Whether potential buyers see it that way, however, is an entirely different topic.Read more
8. Acer Liquid S2
Like Alcatel, Acer's smartphone division has been struggling, and mostly failing to make any headway, especially in non-local, Asian, markets. Considering the rather quiet unveiling of the Acer's Liquid S2 phablet, it doesn't really seem like the Taiwanese manufacturer is hoping to change that and take the market by storm. A pity, since the 6-incher comes packing top of the line internals, with pricing in the $590 to $720 ballpark, depending on the region. Exact release date hasn't been circled, but we're told to expect a launch in mid- to late-October.Read more
9. Asus FonePad 6
Making its contribution to the big-screened effort, the phablets market is joined by Asus and its new FonePad 6. The Taiwanese company doesn't appear to agree with that categorization, however -- Asus is marketing the FonePad 6 as a tablet, for reasons unknown to us. Petty considerations aside, the Asus FonePad 6 is different from other tablets in one notable regard: powering the device is a dual-core Intel Atom Z2580, which delivered some snappy performance during the short one-on-one time we had with it.Read more
10. Asus Transformer Book T300
The 13.3-inch Transformer Book T300 is Asus' latest reinforcement to its line of unconventional convertibles. Yeah, that's a thing in computing now, as well. Having almost wholly created the niche on its own, Asus has the advantage of having refined previous designs and used that knowledge and insight to build a really beautiful and functional piece of hardware. Completely operational as a stand-alone tablet, the T300 is nevertheless probably best used as you would a conventional laptop -- without the dock, the slate still weighs in at over a kilogram. There are upsides to the above statement, of course. For one, those of you who demand the very top of the line hardware won't be disappointed by Asus' latest Transformer -- the device can be ordered with some bleeding edge hardware.Read more
11. Sony Vaio Tap 11
Sony really made the most of it over at IFA 2013, by introducing a bunch of products at once, one of which was the Sony Vaio Tap 11. Ignoring the slightly misleading title, the Vaio Tap is actually 11.6-inches and sports a 1080p panel with Sony's Triluminos tech incorporated. Never one to fall behind on specs, Sony has also included some exciting hardware in the tablet, including an option for up to 512GB SSD, a last-gen Intel Core processor and 4GB of RAM.
But processing power is hardly where Sony stopped, for the Vaio Tap 11 also sports a very slim profile, at 9.9mm, and comes with a host of extras that are bound to come in handy. Those include a stylus, plus an attachable keyboard and a retractable kick-stand, very much alike the Microsoft Surface.Read more
12. Lenovo Idea Pad Yoga 2
On track to dethrone the previous king of convertibles, Samsung's ATIV Q, we saw Lenovo take the drapes off the Idea Pad Yoga 2 which will launch a direct offensive against the slate from South Korea. The Yoga Pad 2 is thin, light and sports a 13.3'', 3200x1800 display, offering an astonishing pixel density.
Don't let the attractive looks fool you, though -- Lenovo offers some beastly internals for the Yoga 2, such as a fourth-gen Intel Haswell chipset, up to 8GB RAM and a massive 512GB SSD. Read more