The best of IFA 2014

  • Rajiv Makhni, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 14, 2014 11:20 IST

I’ve recently been trying on a new device on my wrist. The Mio ALPHA, which is the world’s first wrist-based heartbeat sensor that can record your heart rate even in the middle of the most active workout without, well, missing a beat.

The other advantage is that it can monitor your heartbeat all through the day too, and, thus, is a great way to analyse your body rhythms when you are stressed, relaxed and especially when you are extremely excited. I kept the Mio on analyse mode all through IFA-Berlin, the world’s largest electronics fair.

My heartbeat averaged ‘super excited’ almost all through. But, even without a Mio, let me get your heart pumping with the best of IFA 2014.

Samsung 4 and Note Edge:

The Note 4 is the typical evolution Samsung throws in with a better screen and fantastic new things you can do with the stylus, including using it as a mouse, and also for multi-selection.

But the Note Edge is truly cutting edge. One side of the screen curves in and you can use that space literally as an independent screen. It can update stocks, display weather information, give notifications when the phone is idle, show extra app icons and a whole lot more. There are rumours that it won’t make it to India, but that would be a grave mistake as this one will sell like hot cakes here.

Gear S Smartwatch:
Samsung gets it almost right with the smartwatch this time. This is a watch independent of a phone, looks good and has great functionality. The interface is smooth, the large screen is very usable even to type, and the straps and add-ons are brilliant.

Gear VR:
Collaborating with Oculus, this VR headgear uses the Note 4 phone as its main system (thus is untethered and has no ugly wires), has touch and tap controls on the side and gives you an experience like you had a 175-inch screen all around you.


G Watch R:
It’s the first time that I wore a smartwatch that looked more real than a real watch and yet had all the functionality I want from a device that goes on my wrist.

Reality check: The G Watch R looks much more real than a real watch.

G3 Stylus:
The G3 from LG continues to set most Top Five Smartphone charts on fire. And the add-on of the Stylus phone in the family makes it even better. Finally LG has a sub-brand of winning smartphones.


QX30 Lens:
Sony started off the whole idea of independent lenses for phones and tablets that were almost as good as professional lenses. QX30 is the latest addition to that range. You can pair it with a smartphone via Wi-Fi and use the 30x optical zoom that provides the 35mm equivalent of a 24-720mm zoom, plus it can shoot Full HD 60p videos too.

Z3 Compact Tablet:

Sony has the market cornered for two things. Tablets that are waterproof and dustproof, and tablets that keep setting records for being super thin. The Z3 compact tablets, measuring at 6.4mm, were being dunked in and out of water to show its water-resistant properties. Did I mention you can shave with it too?

Xperia Z3 and the Z3 Compact Phone:

The new Z3 has everything needed to move on to the next level, but somehow the Z3 Compact steals a march over its bigger brethren. Eye Glass:

Google Glass has competition and it’s called Smart Eye. The concept is the same but this one is just a tad less nerdy to look at. It gives you a screen just off axis to your peripheral vision and can give you directions and maps, recognise faces and even guide you with step-by-step recipes when you are cooking!

Tennis Analyser:

Tennis players, rejoice! Tech will now make you better at the sport. Take off the handle cap of your racquet, insert this Sony cap and off you go to play. This can take a video of your game, analyse your swing, sweet spot hitting, speed of your racquet head, point of contact and all your problems. My analysis was spot on – ‘Give Up’.

Toshiba, Panasonic, Lenovo, Microsoft-Nokia, Alcatel, Philips and a whole lot of other brands including hidden gems from many companies, will be featured in part 2 of this column. But that will be next to next week. The very next one is a no-holds-barred in-depth analysis on Apple and its new iPhones. See you then!

This is part 1 of a two-part series. Watch out for part 2 in this space.

Rajiv Makhni is managing editor, Technology, NDTV, and the anchor of Gadget Guru, Cell Guru and Newsnet 3

From HT Brunch, September 14
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