Every year, consumer electronics brands prepare their most buzzworthy products for unveiling at IFA in Berlin, hoping to wow the thousands of tech journalists and consumers present. The 2013 edition of the trade show was no different, and in addition to Samsung and Sony's highly anticipated new releases, a few unexpected new gadgets debuted at the trade show are making waves in the tech world. Here is a selection of eight of the most remarkable products from IFA 2013.
A smart and connected watch
Without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Gear was the star product at IFA 2013. The watch connects to a Samsung smartphone or tablet through its Bluetooth connection and can be controlled by voice or by movement, allowing users to take calls or manage their calendar without taking the phone out of their pocket. The specs of the device include a 1.63-inch Super AMOLED screen, an 800MHz Exynos processor, a 1.9MP camera and an NFC chip. The model will be marketed in 150 countries from September 25. The price announced for the US market is $299.
A smartphone that films in 4K
The Acer Liquid S2 smartphone stands out from the crowd with its ability to film content in 4K resolution (Ultra HD). The model features a 6-inch screen with Full HD resolution (1920x1080 pixels) and is 4G-compatible. The Acer Liquid S2 will be available in Europe from late October for €549. No US release dates have been announced yet.
A smartphone with a smart camera
Sony's new high-end smartphone, the Xperia Z1, boasts the distinction of a 21MP camera and a waterproof case. The model also offers a visual search function, dubbed Info-eye, which allows users to obtain information on certain objects photographed by the camera, including monuments, landscapes, or books. The model will be launched worldwide before the end of September at prices ranging from €699 in Europe to £599 in the UK, making it one of the most expensive smartphones on the market.
An 84-inch UHD screen
Philips presented new TVs in its 9000 Series in Berlin, including the 84PFL9708, with an Ultra HD screen (3,840x2,160 pixels) measuring a stunning 84 inches. This exceptional TV is available in Europe at the rather steep price of €15,000.
A 20-inch tablet
The Panasonic Toughpad UT-MB5 was among the most surprising and original IFA reveals. The 20-inch tablet has a UHD screen (3.840x2.560 pixels), making it an interesting choice for artists and other design professionals who require exceptional image quality and a relatively large screen in addition to mobility. Currently only a prototype, the model could be launched as early as 2014, although no prices have been announced.
A very flexible PC
Among the most interesting laptops presented, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro is a compact model, just 15.5mm thick, and is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen with 4K resolution (3200x1800 pixels) and a remarkable 178° viewing angle. Entirely convertible, the model can be transformed from a laptop into a tablet in one simple movement. Under the hood, the Yoga 2 Pro is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor and a 512GB SSD. The model will be available in October at $1,099 in the US and €999 in Europe.
A pen for writing in 3D
Among the most fun and whimsical gadgets at this year's IFA, the 3Doodler 3D-Printing Pen allows users to "write" in 3D by waving the device, which heats a thin stream of plastic that hardens upon contact with the air. Like many other original projects, the concept got its start on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. The device is available online at $99.
A camera for spherical pictures
The Ricoh Theta is capable of taking a 360° panoramic photo with just one press of the button thanks to a number of small integrated lenses. The handheld device photographs the scenery around, above and under itself, producing a spherical image. The camera is already capable of syncing with an iPhone, and Ricoh plans to roll out compatibility with Android devices in 2014. The device is now available for preorder in France, Germany and the UK at €399.