In just less than a week, the second-largest consumer electronics show will kick off in Berlin. IFA 2013 is going to be the place that many technology giants will be releasing their latest and greatest products. With the aim to get these devices on shelves before the end of the year to drive holiday sales, we should be in for plenty a treat. We already know that both Samsung and Sony will be bringing flagship products to the conference but, there's a little more to it than that. This year's IFA conference might be the year that we see some surprises and maybe even devices from folks you might not expect. Let's take a look at what we're likely to see at this year's event and from who!
Sony and the Xperia Z1
The device that was once known as the "Honami" has been leaked more times than we care to count but, we still don't know all of the facts. Despite having a big massive pile of them. As is common with Sony, the Xperia Z1 is to be their "second flagship" of the year. 2012 saw the release of the Xperia S (the ION on AT&T) and then the Xperia T in the later part of the year. With the Z1, Sony is looking to build on the industrial design they debuted with the Xperia Z. However, the Xperia Z1 is apparently going to have more in common with the much-larger Z Ultra when it comes to what's on the inside. Packing a Snapdragon 800 inside, Sony's Xperia Z1 should be a big part of the show next month.
So far, these are the leaked specs that could make up Sony's Xperia Z1:
- Water-proof, shock/dust/shatter-resistant via IP 55/58 standard
- 20.7MP rear camera, f/2.3 with 4K video recording
- 2MP FFC (front facing camera) with 1080p video recording
- 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Triluminos display
- 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, with Adreno 330 GPU
- 16GB internal storage and microSD card support
- 3,100 mAh battery with STAMINA mode
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- IR Blaster/Remote, Dual (Stereo) Speakers, and Support for MHL and Miracast
- NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 with LTE and WiFi b/g/n/a and ac
- 144 x 73.9 x 8.3mm
There are rumors of a "mini" version of the Z1, dubbed the "Itsuki" right now. Rumors on this have been a little sketchy but, if Sony really were to pack in some of the above specs into a 4.3-inch sized device, they could very well have the best device below 4.7-inches on the market. As HTC and Samsung have shown with the One Mini and the Galaxy S4 Mini, there is a market out there for smaller devices.
Another Xperia smartphone is not the only thing that Sony is bringing to the show. The above image is of leaked "external lens cameras" that popped up a few weeks ago. It's said that these cameras will connect to a smartphone over WiFi and can be paired through NFC for Android devices. Essentially, these are the guts of a point-and-shoot camera attached to your smartphone. With the two devices coming together to deliver a much better experience overall when taking photos. This is certainly one of the more unique concepts that we've seen out of Sony for some time and we're very interested to get the final details on these "G" lenses.
Samsung and The Galaxy Note III
This isn't exactly a hard release to predict, is it? For the last two years now, Samsung has had a large presence at IFA, in smartphone size and otherwise. The Note III has become one of the most anticipated devices of 2013 and in the coming days we'll be able to put all of the rumors and speculation to bed. Which have been numerous, we've seen parts of the device leak, specs and more. Now, we know enough to confidently say that the Note III will not be growing too much in size compared to the Note II. Coming in at somewhere around the 5.69-inch mark, with slimmer bezels and reduced size could add-up to a device not much bigger than the Note II was physically, if at all.
While different parts of the world are said to be getting different configurations, these are the rumored specs for the Note III:
- 5.99 inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD sAMOLED or LCD Display
- aQuad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU presumably clocked at 2.1 GHz or Exynos Octa CPU
- 3 GB of RAM
- 16/32 GB of Storage with expandable storage being made available via MicroSD
- 13 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 2.1 megapixel front facing camera
- 3,100 mAh user replaceable battery
- Samsung's S-Pen
- LTE Advanced
- HSUPA+21 (850 / 1900 / 1800 / 1900 MHZ)
- WiFi 802.11 a/g/b/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
The Note III is obviously a big release for Samsung and it seems like they're going to keep the formula much the same as the Note II. We can't blame them either, if it isn't broken then don't try to fix it, as the saying goes. The Note III is obviously going to be a powerhouse, with great performance and another great AMOLED display. While we've seen parts of the device leak and details of its internals, we've heard very little about the software. The S-Pen was arguably what made the Galaxy Note line so popular. Sure, there are people out there that just prefer larger devices but, people who don't have still fallen in love with the Note because of the S-Pen. Just what Samsung is going to add or improve upon when it comes to the S-Pen and the software is going to be very interesting, indeed.
Of course, the Galaxy Note III is not the only thing Samsung is said to be showing off at IFA 2013. The Galaxy Gear smartwatch is also something we've been hearing about for what feels like forever. We've heard some crazy things when it comes to the Galaxy Gear but, we can say that a flexible display is pretty much off the cards completely. Also, specs wise we're looking at a device with a dual-core 1.5GHz Exynos 4212 processor that features accelerometer, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC with a 2.5-inch OLED display at 320 x 320. Recently, we heard that the device could be shipping with a 4MP camera but, that's pretty unlikely, don't you think?
The Software side of things is going to be pretty important here. A recent leak from @eveleaks showed us what the app might look like. We've been hearing that the Gear will enjoy tight integration with Galaxy devices but, might not function to its fullest when used with none Samsung devices. Synced notifications and the like are what the Galaxy Gear will be good at. As well as this, developers with the device in their possession are apparently working on apps to be distributed through the Samsung Apps store, which would explain the listing in the screenshot above. Hopefully, the Galaxy Gear won't be a Samsung-exclusive device and it'll come packing more features than just notifications and the like.
LG and the G Pad
LG recently launched the G2 and now they're looking to launch the G Pad 8.3. Coming in a little larger than most, the G Pad looks to be very similar to the G2. This is hardly surprising as LG looks to create a whole new brand under the letter. With a Full HD display, at 8.3-inches the G Pad might be what a lot of people have been waiting for but, with the new Nexus 7 coming in at such a great price, LG have some stiff competition.
The G Pad isn't the only thing that we could be seeing from LG though, as they recently announced a 5.5-inch panel capable of a dizzying 2560 x 1440 display resolution. While LG haven't said they're going to be doing anything with the display just yet, it's clear that's heading to smartphones. A display with a resolution like that would be something to behold, that's for sure.
IFA is a big show and there's going to be plenty of devices on show from pretty much everyone in the industry. Archos have already announced some of their devices, but we assume we'll be seeing more of them at the show. As well as this, there's a chance that Lenovo might have something to show off as their mobile side of things has recently started to make them more money than anything else. Companies that sell consumer electronics such as fridges and the like might have something to show off running Android but, these are all likely to be more gimmcky than anything else.
Overall, we're in for some interesting announcements and some fresh Android devices. Keep it locked to Android Headlines as we bring you all the news from IFA 2013!