IFA 2012 Highlights

IFA 2012 Highlights

 

 

IFA 2012 Highlights

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.

Of course, we also got tons of AV announcements, from players like Creative, Epson, Onkyo, Philips, Sennheiser, and Yamaha.

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
LG Optimus L9 Announced, Comes with Keypad that Adapts to User (Update)

LG Optimus L9 Announced, Comes with Keypad that Adapts to User (Update)

NEWS / 08 Dec 2012

LG today announced the global debut of the Optimus L9, an Android 4.0 smartphone running on a 1GHz dual-core processor and sports a 4.7-inch IPS display. It also has new software such as the QTranslator and My Style Keypad.

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Updated with Video)

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Updated with Video)

FEATURE / 04 Oct 2012

Samsung today unveiled the sequel to its successful Galaxy Note smartphone at the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, the Galaxy Note II. We went up close and personal with it to find out what else's new besides its 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display and 1.6GHz quad-core processor.

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Camera (Updated with Video)

Hands-on: Samsung Galaxy Camera (Updated with Video)

FEATURE / 04 Oct 2012

The Samsung Galaxy Camera has a 16.3-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 21x optical zoom lens, and a high density 4.8-inch touchscreen. But its claim to fame is that it runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Here's a closer look at this quad-core-processor-equipped camera.

Philips Fidelio Lineup of Audio Products Refreshed at IFA 2012

Philips Fidelio Lineup of Audio Products Refreshed at IFA 2012

NEWS / 05 Sep 2012

At IFA 2012, Philips has added a slew of new audio products to their Fidelio range ranging from portable speakers, 5.1 systems and even soundbars.

Acer Adds Touchscreens to Aspire M3 and Aspire V5

Acer Adds Touchscreens to Aspire M3 and Aspire V5

NEWS / 04 Sep 2012

Acer has unveiled their initial Windows 8 strategy: equipping the very capable Acer Aspire M3, and the Acer Aspire V5 with touchscreens. Acer is no stranger to unconventional form factors, so this may mean that the Taiwanese manufacturer has something else up their sleeves in the coming months.

Samsung Galaxy Note II Accessories Unveiled

Samsung Galaxy Note II Accessories Unveiled

NEWS / 04 Sep 2012

It's been less than a week since the Galaxy Note II was revealed at IFA and Samsung has already have a horde of compatible accessories to show for.

Toshiba Reveals U925t Sliding Ultrabook

Toshiba Reveals U925t Sliding Ultrabook

NEWS / 04 Sep 2012

Toshiba will not be building the first wave of Windows RT devices, but that's only because it's focusing on Windows 8 machines, like the recently revealed Toshiba Satellite U925t sliding Ultrabook.

ZTE Unveils First ICS Phone with Intel Processor

ZTE Unveils First ICS Phone with Intel Processor

NEWS / 04 Sep 2012

ZTE is the first phone vendor to unveil an Android 4.0 smartphone powered by Intel's Medfield processor.

Yamaha Novelties at IFA 2012

Yamaha Novelties at IFA 2012

FEATURE / 04 Sep 2012

Yamaha has brought a treasure trove of products to IFA 2012, including new sound bars, desktop audio systems, and even a high-end CD player with a network-streaming client. Here are a few that caught our attention; fingers crossed that they will reach our shores soon.

Samsung's S Cloud Service Spotted on the Galaxy Note II

Samsung's S Cloud Service Spotted on the Galaxy Note II

NEWS / 03 Sep 2012

Evidence of the alleged Samsung's cloud storage service, S Cloud appears in a hands-on video of the Galaxy Note II.

Hands-on: HP's new Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4, and HP Envy x2

Hands-on: HP's new Envy Touchsmart Ultrabook 4, and HP Envy x2

FEATURE / 03 Sep 2012

We were invited to take a look at HP's new flagship touchscreen Ultrabooks, the HP Envy Touchsmart 4 and the HP Envy x2. Read on to find out what we thought about these upcoming Windows 8 devices.

Sneak Preview: Creative's D5xm Self-calibrating Wireless Speaker

Sneak Preview: Creative's D5xm Self-calibrating Wireless Speaker

NEWS / 03 Sep 2012

Creative is at IFA 2012 to showcase some of their latest products, such as the Sound Blaster Recon 3D, ZiiSound D5x, and Sound BlasterAxx. But sitting at one corner of the room is an unannounced product called the D5xm, which Creative is billing as the ‘world’s first self-calibrating modular wireless speaker system’.

Yamaha Revamps Aventage Range with AirPlay Support, RX-A3020 is the New Flagship

Yamaha Revamps Aventage Range with AirPlay Support, RX-A3020 is the New Flagship

NEWS / 02 Sep 2012

Yamaha has refreshed its whole Aventage range of AV receivers. The RX-A3010, RX-A2010, RX-A1010, and RX-A810 are all succeeded by new models, namely the RX-A3020, RX-A2020, RX-A1020, and RX-A820. All models are expected to retail from October in Europe.

Yamaha Updates Aventage Range with AirPlay Support, RX-A3020 is the New Flagship

Yamaha Updates Aventage Range with AirPlay Support, RX-A3020 is the New Flagship

NEWS / 02 Sep 2012

Yamaha has refreshed its whole Aventage range of AV receivers. The RX-A3010, RX-A2010, RX-A1010, and RX-A810 are all succeeded by new models, namely the RX-A3020, RX-A2020, RX-A1020, and RX-A820. All models are expected to hit the stores in Europe starting from October.

Onkyo's New Speaker System & Dock Play Nice with Bluetooth

Onkyo's New Speaker System & Dock Play Nice with Bluetooth

NEWS / 02 Sep 2012

Onkyo, the Japanese CE maker that specializes in home cinema and audio equipment, is present at IFA 2012 to showcase its latest products. We were at the booth, and found ourselves taking quite a bit of liking to the LS3100 2.1-channel speaker system and RBX-500 docking station.