It's a week like no other in the calendar year; the week when the IFA trade show sees tech companies and media alike descend on Berlin. And this year it was a big one from a smartphone perspective, with Samsung, Sony, Motorola and Nokia each revealing some major products.
Unlike our typical weekly reviews round-up, this week - in addition to the Acer S3 laptop and Cogito Pop connected watch reviews brought to you ahead of the show - we focus on the biggest and best products from the show. From the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, to the Sony Xperia Z3, to the new leather-clad Motorola Moto X, and Asus ZenWatch.
Next week there's even more excitement to be had. From Apple's impending iPhone 6 and smartwatch announcements, to Intel's IDF show, there's a whole lot of techie fun on the horizon.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Quick review: The logical progression to the Note series, the Galaxy Note 4 ups the screen ante with its 5.7-inch Quad HD resolution (2560 x 1440) panel. And it looks to be a stunner. There are plenty of tweaks elsewhere too: new multi-tasking abilities, better stylus control and extra power under the hood. If you're after a phablet size phone with a stylus then Samsung looks to have set the level to aspire to here.
Full article: Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Quick review: The surprise variant of the Note 4 is the Note Edge, complete with a curved screen edge and customised user interface. We think it's more about Samsung showing off what it can do rather than making a product that's necessary, but the ability to have a section of the screen dedicated to news, Twitter, weather and other apps is certainly fun at the very least.
Full article: Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review
Sony Xperia Z3
Quick review: Sony lifted the lid on its flagship Z3,a mere six months after the Z2 arrived. The 5.2-inch device doesn't dip into Quad HD screen territory, but does refine the overall design and align itself with PlayStation thanks to the ability to play PS4 games via Remote Play and the DualShock 4 controller. Very cool.
Full article: Hands-on: Sony Xperia Z3 review
Quick review: Finally, a company thinking about smartwatches as watch-a-like devices rather than gigantic "look at me" tech products. The Asus ZenWatch is the smartest Android Wear device that we've seen yet, complete with a proper tan strap and a great looking screen. Asus could be the Android Wear winner right here.
Full article: Hands-on: Asus ZenWatch review
Motorola Moto X (2014)
Quick review: Motorola is increasingly delivering products that take a different approach to design. The latest Moto X comes in a leather-clad finish option, but also boosts the specs considerably compared to the earlier 2013 model. This is Moto gunning for a position in among the flagship devices and, from what we've seen, it stands a pretty good chance.
Price: £439 (16GB)
Full article: Hands-on: Moto X 2014 review
Acer Aspire S3 (2014)
Quick review: The Acer Aspire S3 is an Ultrabook that doesn't aim for superlative performance in any area, but instead balances the price-to-power ratio better than many competitors. Decent performance, a good screen (despite reflective qualities) and dedicated graphics mean there's even a bit of gaming cred for a price that won't send those on a strict budget scurrying back to having to buy a chunky laptop.
Pros: Decent screen, dedicated graphics means better gaming than some competitors, versatile
Cons: Screen reflections, battery life just ok, keyboard keys a bit shallow, not the most thin/light
Full article: Acer Aspire S3 2013 review
Cogito Pop connected watch
Quick review: The Cogito Pop smartwatch is a fun, fashionable watch that connects you to your smartphone without overbearing you with information. But it's also difficult to score as it doesn't put the "smart" in smartwatch and that sees it sit at a tangent to the rest of the market. We love the Cogito Pop for its simple approach to connectivity, but that could be seen as a burden too given what else is available on the market.
Pros: Good lightweight design, comfortable to wear, battery doesn't require charging, subtle notifications, water-resistant construction
Cons: Connection temperamental, notification icons redundant in bright conditions, bulky design won't suit all, one-way street with notifications
Full article: Cogito Pop review