Hottest gadgets at IFA 2013: The tech that deserves your attention
IFA 2013 has kicked-off, bringing with it a swathe of new gadgets to get excited about. We're seeing updates and new launches left, right and centre. Here we're pulling together the best of the best, the devices you should be getting excited about, the sort of thing you might add to your Christmas list.
We're battling through the press conferences and announcements, bringing you plenty of action from the show floor before the show opens to the public. But the things that really catch our eye you can read about here. We'll be adding to this feature as we get to grips with more exciting tech.
You can follow all our IFA 2013 news via our IFA 2013 homepage, but if you're after the best devices all in one place, you've landed on the right page.
Sony Xperia Z1
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the show, the Sony Xperia Z1 takes a great phone and makes it better. The design has been tweaked slightly so its better in the hand and now has a waterproof 3.5mm headphone socket. But it's under the skin where the biggest changes have been made.
There's now a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor meaning more power, along with a 20-megapixel camera sensor lifted from Sony's Cyber-shot range. Oh, and the 5-inch full HD display has been made better. Available from September, the Sony Xperia Z1 is worthy of your excitement.
We've fondled Sony's latest to bring you our first impressions.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
No sooner had Sony updated its flagship Android smartphone, Samsung dropped the phablet bomb. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rolls out with a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB of RAM, making it one if the highest-spec devices around.
Samsung has made design tweaks, with a leatherette back cover and stitching detail to make the Note more notebook-like, as well as boosting the display to 5.7-inches with a Full HD resolution. There's heap of software improvements too, meaning that multitasking is now even better and the S Pen more effective.
We've seen it, we've stroked it, now you can read all about it.
Sony QX10 lens-style camera
Is it a camera? Is it a phone accessory? Is it a lens? The lens-style cameras from Sony might be dividing opinion, but we admire the fact that the Japanese giant is still prepared to gamble. The play here is for better-quality images, giving you a real lens, a big sensor, but leaving the controls to your smartphone. That means you get the advantages of quality and connectivity.
If quality is what you want, then it’s the £399 Sony QX10 that you need. Its expensive, but then it gives you the lens and sensor array from the £649 high-end RX100 II camera. That means Zeiss glass and a 20.7-megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor. Maybe it's crazy, maybe it's brilliant, read our hands-on and be the judge.
READ: Sony QX10 hands-on
Samsung Galaxy Gear
It's going to divide opinion, some hate smartwatches, some are overwhelmed with excitement, such is the world of wearable tech. Samsung made its predicted announcement of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and we're quite taken with it. Sure, there are some limitations at the moment: it's a fledgeling platform for apps and compatibility with your phone is current restricted with Android 4.3 Samsung devices, but we still feel that something special has happened here.
It's not the first smartwatch, but it might be the biggest driver for smartwatches in the near future. It's nicely built and intuitive to use and that's the most important point: it does the things we want it to do. So maybe the novelty of taking a call through it will wear off, but with Samsung pushing the app support, Galaxy Gear feels like the first step in something much larger.
Of course, we've strapped it on and had a play, so take a look at our first impressions.
Philips 4K Ambilight TV
Announcements about next-gen UHD TVs are appearing all over. There's jousting over smart TV functions, about ecosystem compatibility with a woder family devices and barely the mention of the lack of actual 4K content to watch on these super-sharp TVs. If you're looking for a real differentiator, then we give you Ambilight. Philips's light-fantasic feature has been available for a number of year, helping the action spread from your TV into the room, making for something that not only looks great, but is uniquely immersive too.
With the 65FPL9708, Philips brings you bang uptodate with the latest display technology, as well as the Ambilight tech. It's slim, the picture looks fantastic and it stands out from the crowd in the UHD TV line-up. What more could you ask for? An aggressive price, that's what, with the 65-inch 4K beast hitting the shelves at €4,999.
We've cast our eyes on it, so you should really read our first impressions.