While exhibitors at the IFA electronics show in Berlin will have booths open until September 10th, all the new announcements have been made and it’s time to take a look back at all the fascinating new gadgets that we saw. As well prepared by the rumors as we were, Samsung still managed to surprise us and dropped the bomb with the Galaxy Note Edge, a device with a wrap-around screen that curves over the right edge of the phone. Experimental, innovative or a gimmick? Time will tell, but this was far from the only exciting new device. Sony upped the stakes with a particularly gorgeous Xperia Z3 Compact with bold colors and a mesmerizing translucent shell. Other companies also had a lot to show.
Take a look at the best gadgets from IFA 2014 right below.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge was the surprising sidekick to the flagship Galaxy Note 4, but it captured even more of the limelight with its wrap-around curved screen. What’s it all about? Take a look at the experimental design and the customizable edge screen in the slideshow below.
Samsung had shrouded the Note 4 in a veil of secrecy that never really broke cover, so despite us all knowing that it was coming, no one had an idea about its actual looks. Luckily, all of that waiting was well worth it - Samsung embarked on a new era of premium devices with the Note 4 that has a sturdy aluminum frame and is quite the looker.
The Samsung Galaxy Alpha was officially unveiled a few before IFA 2014, and it was in fact the first handset to sport the new metallic design that Samsung is adopting all throughout its top offerings. Its 4.7-inch form factor makes it much more convenient to use single-handedly than the Note 4, and we got a deeper look at it at IFA 2014.
Sony is tireless with its Xperia Z flagships, and after two new devices in just the last year, it introduced the Xperia Z3 at IFA 2014. The handset brings even more polish to the established ‘omni-balance’ design language and a slight bump up in silicon power, but overall, it’s a minor upgrade.
The Xperia Z3 Compact is where Sony seems to deliver a lot more in terms of novelty: first, the handset has gotten a larger, 4.6” display while remaining practically as big as its 4.3” predecessor, and second, it’s got new, great-looking colors with a unique translucent edge that contributes to the stand-out looks of the phone. Naturally, the Z3 Compact has also gotten a spec bump, so it’s even faster than before.
The Lenovo Vibe Z2 is the second smartphone the Lenovo unveils today, and this one comes with a focus on style: it’s thin, features a brushed metal unibody design and has a great camera for selfies. The 5.5-inch, phablet-sized Vibe Z2 is also the company’s first 64-bit smartphone, running on a quad-core Snapdragon chip clocked at up to 1.4GHz.
The Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is an unmistakeably premium device, and this is the exact first impression you get when you get the chance to try it out. It has a full-on aluminium unibody construction with extremely slim bezels and very thin sides. It's a beautiful phone, and another example of Huawei's level of attention to design, which is rare in the Android realm. The phone might be thin, but its on the heavier side at some 6.53 oz (185 g) of pure mass, and there's no getting around the fact that it's a huge phone.
The new Moto X was not unveiled at IFA 2014, but this does not stop it from being a terrific flagship phone, selling for less than the price of a regular flagship. Its looks are a bit weird at first - the gigantic camera eye, with an equally oversized Moto logo below, looks particularly peculiar, and the three front-facing IR cameras look a bit strange, but for all else the Moto X is a sleek-running Android phone coming with a larger, 5.2” 1080p display, and a Snapdragon 801 chip.
The new Moto X is here, and these are its 10 new features
Asus has big hopes for its Zenwatch, a device that comes with a gorgeous, stylish design, and looks like a real watch and a nerd’s computer-strapped-on-a-wrist. However, it’s got Android Wear under the hood, a system that looks the same on all gadgets, and this will make it a bit harder for Asus to stand out.
The LG G Watch R is probably the closest a smartwatch has gotten so far to the looks of a traditional watch, with its round form and classical look. Don’t be mistaken - it runs Android Wear, spiced up with beautiful watchfaces, but once again - all else is identical with Google’s wearable OS, so it might be hard for LG to stand out in the crowd. Finally, the price for the beauty of the G Watch R is expected to run accordingly to its looks.
The Gear S is the most weird-looking of all new smartwatches unveiled at IFA. It does not even try to imitate a classic watch - instead, what you get is a gigantic, 2.2” curved display strapped to your wrist. Geek’s paradise or regular person’s nightmare? Or both? Time will tell whether the form factor of the Gear S has a future.
Lenovo has just lifted the cover off its brand new Vibe X2, ‘the world’s first layered smartphone’. This is a fancy description of the stand-out ‘tri-layered’ strips of color on the side of the phone, but what’s truly remarkable is that the Vibe X2 is a stylish and sleek metal 5-inch handset that is the world’s first to feature MediaTek’s MT6595m octa-core chip.
While Motorola did not hold an IFA event, its own unveiling of new devices co-incided with the Berlin show, and that’s why we felt obliged to include the Moto G new-comer in this round-up. It’s a truly astounding handset offering a great value for the money: the new Moto G has grown its 720p display to 5 inches in size and now features a higher-res, 8-megapixel camera and expandable storage.
Huawei announced the Huawei Ascend G7 smartphone - an upper mid-range model that seems very interesting and appealing. For starters, the device has a big 5.5-inch 720p INCELL display, allowing for an exceptionally thin display assembly. Thanks to this, the Ascend G7 is only 0.29 inches (7.6mm) thick - almost a 0.03 inch (1mm) difference with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and it has the same slim bezels. Interested?
HTC builds up on its most successful Desire phone - the Desire 816 - with the new Desire 820. With an equally large 5.5-inch display, front-firing speakers and with a proud display of colorful glossy plastic, the Desire 820 comes with hopes to continue the successful path of the original.
Nokia is bringing the ‘PureView’ camera concept down to more and more affordable devices. The Lumia 830 is probably the cheapest device we’ve seen so far with ‘PureView’-marketed camera, but this time around we’re talking about a more sensible, 10-megapixel resolution. Apart from that, it’s a fairly typical Windows Phone 8.1 mid-ranger featuring a Snapdragon 400 system chip.
There were not many new tablets at IFA 2014, but the one that clearly got the most oohs and aahs was the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. The 8-inch Full HD tablet comes with great water and dust resistance, and is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to hold even with just one hand.