Internationale Funk Ausstellung may be a huge and guttural mouthful to pronounce, but IFA in Berlin is truly the mecca of technology and the 2013 version may well have been the best yet. New category wars got started, the next generation of TVs we can actually afford were showcased, mobile phones took a new leap forward and innovation oozed out from every pore of this gigantic event. Here’s a quick report card on all the goodness of IFA 2013.
Samsung Note 3
The phone that gave birth to the term phablet and now owns it. Note 3 breaks from Samsung’s klunky plastickyness by bringing in leather, an array of colours and also takes big screen and stylus intelligence to a new level. It may well be the best Note to date. All other companies should be afraid, very afraid!
Sony QX10 and QX100 add-on lenses
Sometimes, you see true genius reflected in the soul of a gadget. This is one of them. It attaches to your phone or tablet, its optical lens technology is better than most DSLR cameras, it has built in Wi-Fi, can be controlled with an app on your phone and gives spectacular
images. It costs an arm and a leg, though.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
The SmartWatch war is truly on and this is the best showcase for it. Fantastic looking, a little big on the wrist, excellent add-on to your phone, runs its own apps too. But, it’s marred by the fact that you need to charge it every day and it has a high price tag.
Panasonic 4K 20-Inch Tablet
What was just a prototype has now become reality. This is the tablet that makes all other look decidedly old-school. At four times the resolution and with ergonomics that defy its size, this is the best professional and family tablet on the planet.
If an award has to be given for the biggest superhero of IFA, then this phone gets it. It reinvents phones as well as accessories. A flip-on cover with an E Ink display, another with Qi charging, a little add-on bluetooth phone that comes in the box and a spec sheet that is as long as its accessory list. Truly a hero!
Sony Xperia Z1
Sony’s comeback and resurgence in mobile phones is complete. The Z1 is by far its best yet. Top specs, great looks, waterproof and with optical technology that beats any standalone point-and-shoot camera.
If a hinge can do magic, then the R7 is its best example. This is one laptop that can be converted, shaped and molded into almost any thing you desire. Top-of-the-line hardware mated with a super-intelligent hinge make this the most flexible, angular and powerful laptop at IFA.
Panasonic GX 7
Here’s a camera that makes sure that what really matters in image technology is executed for you in a simple manner. This small, solidly-made camera can shoot pictures almost in pitch dark, has great stabilisation and an array of add-ons that make most huge DSLR’s look very, very
Sony Smartwatch 2
I have to admit, the first Sony SmartWatch was underwhelming and junky. This one corrects most of the faults but still doesn’t have enough to be a ‘must-have’. It’s priced better than the Galaxy Gear but has fewer than half the features.
Samsung 4K UHD 65 inch LED
What was just aspiration and fantasy will finally become reality. Samsung’s 4K UHD TV has four times the resolution of your normal TV and will finally hit Indian shores at a price of about R4 lakh. That’s a premium of just 20 per cent over a normal 65-inch LED.
From HT Brunch, September 15
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