The Standouts of the 2014 IFA Consumer Electronics Event in Berlin
It’s September again and Berlin once more attracts tech enthusiasts to its annual Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin more popularly known as the IFA consumer electronics event or simply IFA. This annual event in Germany, in recent years, has become a prominent platform for showcasing the latest in consumer electronics, from smartphones to tablet computers, smart wear, and various other electronic devices. If Taiwan has Computex, Germany has the IFA to attract tech enthusiasts not just in Europe but in different countries across the globe.
The following can be considered as some of the best tech featured at the 2014 IFA event:
This device is claimed by Asus as the world’s thinnest 13-inch ultrabook with a QHD display. It is only 12.3 mm thin and 1.2 kg in weight. If you think Macbooks represent the best in laptop computer design and performance, you should consider giving the Asus Zenbook UX305 a try. At its core is an all-new Intel Core M processor to ensure solid performance and seamless multitasking. It has a 256 SSD storage and 8GB RAM. The 3200×1800 pixel LED-backlit IPS display performs impressively as powered by an Intel HD Graphics 5300 GPU.
Arguably, Motorola is the one that put the needed marginal change in the smartwatch market by introducing the Moto 360 with its round display. For years, smartwatch makers seemed to have no way of making potential buyers take a second look at their products. Motorola created some buzz in showing how it is possible to have a traditional-looking wristwatch (with the circular face) that many won’t feel awkward wearing. LG did themselves a favor by following Motorola’s lead. Their new smartwatch is arguably the best-looking model right now, making people forget about their abominable first try in offering a smartwatch.
3. LG 8K TV
Suspend your sense of practicality for a while and marvel at LG’s newest television with an 8K resolution. Yes—8K—that’s twice the resolution of Ultra HD or 16 times sharper than HD. Its 7,680 x 4,320 px resolution is record breaking for a TV. You can argue that it’s practically useless for now since TV manufacturers are even struggling to make consumers adopt the 4K revolution. Nevertheless, it’s one step forward in TV technology so seeing one isn’t completely ridiculous.
4. LG Kizon
While most companies focused their efforts on wearables for adults, LG thought of bringing wearable tech to younger users. LG Kizon is wearable created for kids to allow their parents to track them. It is equipped with Wi-Fi and GPS radios for connectivity and location monitoring. It also has a SIM card slot since it is also intended to serve as a one-button emergency dialing device.
5. Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Of course, Samsung can’t be unrepresented on this list. The successor to the Galaxy Note 3 is a highly anticipated device. The Korean company unveiled the fourth iteration of their niche-create Note series at IFA and did not fail to please fans. While the Note 4 may no longer win loyal customers of other brands, it is still a solid effort from Samsung. Its camera now has optical image stabilization. More notably, it now comes with a 2K 5.7” Super AMOLED display (2,560×1,440 px) that is able to reach a peak brightness of 500 nits. It also comes with more accurate display colors by default to address the concerns of those who keep criticizing Super AMOLED’s color accuracy.
6. Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
Sony used IFA to announce their latest marginally upgraded flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z3. However, the Z3 does not appear to have the wow factor despite offering a brighter display, improved display efficiency, remote PlayStation gaming, an improved camera, and the highest dust-proofing and waterproofing for smartphones. This is because Z3 is not that different from its predecessor. Nevertheless, the Z3 was announced with a smaller sibling, the Z3 Compact, that arguably saves the day for Sony’s otherwise boring smartphone flagship announcement. The Z3 Compact comes with the specs and features of the Z3 in a smaller form factor, making it the most powerful smartphone in its size range.
Samsung introduced on IFA 2014 the world’s biggest ultra HD TV that bends. What makes it different from other gigantic ultra HD TVs is its ability to transform into a curved screen. Curved televisions have been around for quite some time but some buyers hesitate to get them because they are not accustomed to the curve. Samsung made sure that their new TV won’t repel the interest of those who prefer purely flat panels by offering this bendable TV that can bend to curve the display and return to its flat form at the flick of the remote control.
Well, nothing revolutionary has been announced on IFA so far. The new tech products presented have mostly been slight improvements from previous generations. This is not really that surprising considering that many of the technological breakthroughs or impressive new tech developed this year have already been announced in other tech conferences or events held in the earlier parts of this year. Next year’s IFA might be able to show a better new range of consumer tech products.