Featured: IFA Day One Round-up


Today IFA started out strong with many great looking Android devices, and apparently Samsung won the day in the Android camp not just with one, but with 3 upcoming devices: a 7.7" tablet, a large 5.3" smartphone, and a 3.6" iPod touch competitor. But there were a few others such as Lenovo and Toshiba who showed some impressive devices as well. Let's take a look at the round-up for day 1 at IFA.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Samsung has finally put SuperAMOLED on the original Tab's sequel, which was a much requested feature for it a year ago. Not only did they put SuperAMOLED+ on it, but they also used a higher 1280×800 HD Resolution, which is great for such a smaller size. The tablet is incredibly light weight at only 335 grams, which is only about 13% heavier than a Kindle 3, but with a significantly larger screen. I think the 7.7" size is even better than 7" one for reading. 7" seems a bit too small, while 10" seems too big for heavy book reading. The tablet also comes with a 3 MP rear camera, an a 2 MP front-camera, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and Wi-fi 802.11 N.


Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung has set to change how people use smartphones, or at the very least to satisfy a group of people who would like the biggest possible screen that can still fit in their pockets. The Galaxy Note also comes with a built-in stylus that you can use for – you guessed it – taking notes. The smartphone will surely gather some sales from the enterprise market who are used to using a stylus instead of their fingers.

The Note also has a SuperAMOLED display with an HD resolution of 1280×800, which looks extremely crisp in a 5.3" size. The higher resolution is not good only to make the screen much crisper, but also to show more content on the screen. For example on a sites where you normally have to scroll a lot, you now scroll a lot less because of the 1280-pixel length. Also in landscape mode, you'll see the content exactly as you would on a notebook, because this a notebook grade resolution.  The Note is also fast, with a dual core 1.4 Ghz Exynos chip. It has a 8MP rear camera and a 2 MP front-camera, and comes with Android 2.3.


Galaxy S Wifi 3.6

Out of all the Android manufacturers, Samsung seems to want the hardest to make a strong alternative to Apple's iPod Touch, and so far they are doing a great job at it. In day one of IFA they've announced a 3.6" beautiful PMP that comes with a 1 Ghz OMAP4 chip, 8-16 GB of internal storage, micro-SD card, GPS, a mic for VOIP calls (so you can still use as a phone), 480×320 resolution display, 2 MP rear camera and VGA in front. This PMP will only cost £149 and £169, depending on the storage. IT will arrive in UK in October.


Toshiba AT200

Toshiba didn't exactly impress when they launched their Thrive this spring, which was one of the thickest tablets around in a time when everyone else was going ultra-slim. But they are coming back with a vengeance, announcing a tablet that will be only 7.7 mm thick, which is even thinner than Samsung's tablets. But even at that thickness it manages to have a micro USB port, microSD card slot, and a micro HDMI jack for connecting the AT200 to an HDTV. The tablet is powered by a dual core 1.2 Ghz OMAP 4430 chip, and will launch by the end of the year in Europe, hopefully with Android ICS.

Lenovo A1

The Lenovo A1 is the first tablet that is "good enough" and costs under $200. Its only competitor in this price range right now is the TouchPad, which isn't exactly a fair fight, considering it was a firesale sale when HP wanted out of the PC business. But this is a great 7" tablet for people who want to check their e-mail, browse the web, read books and play some games. It has a 1 Ghz Cortex A8 chip, 8 GB of internal storage and a 1024×600 resolution, which is not bad for the size (close to iPad's resolution). The tablet is also designed well, although a little on the thick side, but still looking great for the price. It will have a Android 2.3 and will also sell in higher-end versions with more storage for $249 and $299.

Pretty good start for IFA so far. Let's see what day 2 brings.