For the past week, for any tech news that you’ve read, chances are, it was announced in Berlin, Germany, where IFA, an international trade show where manufacturers get together to show off their latest gadgetry, was taking place from August 31 to September 5 (pre-show events kicked off as early as the 28).
HardwareZone was there, and we started our trip at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event, where the Korean CE giant unveiled a giant of a smartphone called the Galaxy Note II. It crams a 5.5-inch screen, a quad-core 1.6GHz processor, and an 8-megapixel camera into a package that’s just 9.4mm thin. Not to mention it comes with a good dose of S Pen magic. Then came the Galaxy Camera, an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-running camera (yes, camera!), which also happens to be the first Android camera with 3G/4G connectivity. Till now, some quarters are still debating whether it’s more phone than camera, or more camera than phone. After which, Samsung had its one-more-thing moment when it announced the Ativ brand. We took a long hard look at the Windows 8-driven Smart PC and Smart PC Pro, so check it out if a convertible tablet is your thing. And let’s not forget about the Windows RT-powered Ativ Tab, and the first Windows Phone 8 device, the Ativ S.
If there were already so many new gadgets before IFA opened its grounds officially, imagine the deluge of announcements when the show kicked into full gear. If the 29 belonged to the smartphones (read also: the LG Optimus L9), the following day was the TVs’ turn to dominate the headlines. Samsung picked up where it left off the previous night, and wowed us with its 55-inch ES9500 OLED TV and 75-inch ES9000 Smart TV. Sony also announced its first 4K TV, the ginormous 84-inch Bravia 84X900. LG reminded us that it too has a 55-inch OLED TV that’s 4mm thin, and Toshiba had an 84-inch quad full HD (that is, 4K) TV on show. For Sharp, we were more intrigued with what it’s trying to achieve with IGZO and ICC. Philips also unveiled its flagship 9000 series, and PFL6900 series of Smart TVs. The latter has an impossibly thin 1.2mm frame. For Panasonic, let’s just say they’re the king of plasma displays.
While Google and Microsoft weren’t physically at IFA, their presence were still felt. Besides Samsung, a slew of Android and Windows 8-related devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops, and what have you) were announced from the likes of Acer, Dell, Lenovo, HP, HTC, Huawei, Sony, Toshiba, and ZTE. With Windows 8 slated to arrive on October 26, it’s not hard to imagine that many PC OEMs are now in a mad rush to have their products be in the first wave of Windows 8/RT-ready devices.
If you just can't get enough of IFA, check out the list of news and feature articles we’ve curated for you below.
Highlights from IFA 2012