We saw plenty of great stuff in Berlin this year, but who delivered the best?
Everyone is safely home from Berlin, and we've all had some time to look at and think about all the Android stuff we saw at IFA 2013. If you're like me, you've scoured the web and read every little scrap you can find, and have an opinion or two about it all.
When it comes to popular demand, the Samsung Note 3 is going to get all the glory. It's looking like the Note 3 will be one heck of an update to the series, and fans of the larger phones are going to be very happy. But we can't forget everything else. We saw a lot of great stuff there!
We've put together some thoughts from the folks here at AC, and you'll find them after the break along with a poll where you can share. The same poll is in the sidebar to the right, so you can always find it. Jump through, see what we thought, then be sure to tell us what you think!
The Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear are the big winners, right? I mean, how can they not be? Samsung's done pretty good with them. And, actually, I might even venture to say that the Note 3 actually deserves more credit for going with the faux leather back. It's different — and better — than the old glossy plastic. What is there to complain about now? (Plus, it's already got the perfect ad lined up.)
I'm also really curious to see what you normal folks — as in not someone who lugs around multiple phones and cameras for a living — do with the Sony QX10 and QX100 cameras. These are strange little products — but they're very well done. Folk are gonna have some fun with them.
The best part about working for Android Central is getting information about all the new and coming devices sent right to your inbox. I'm sure I missed something from IFA, but I'll wager I didn't miss much.
Out of everything we saw, what intrigues me the most are the Sony QX lenses. While they won't be perfect (no RAW file support on the QX100 is a total bummer), they will be a tool you can use to take some great pictures and share them right from your phone.
Because they're from Sony, the optics and image processing will be good, and I think they will turn out to be worth the price for folks who want pictures that are better than a smartphone can deliver. I can't wait to get my hands on one and give it a try!
Sony really brought their 'A' game to IFA this year, and while the stuff they announced may not be the best selling devices to come out of the show, they're the ones that I left Berlin feeling most excited by. The Xperia Z1 is pretty nice, if a little too bezel-y, but it's the QX10 and QX100 in particular that will stay with me from this years trip to Germany.
Why? I'm not sure I can actually say. I'm not sure I could recommend either of them to a friend or family member as a serious purchase to meet a need, but damn, I've enjoyed the hell out of using the QX10 this week. It's a fun little device, and that's the best part of it for me. It's not something that will necessarily change my life in anyway, but it's made me happy using it. Sometimes I think we can get too bogged down to actually remember that we're supposed to enjoy technology, right?
Oh, and outside of mobile; damn, Samsung is making some nice TVs. I mean really nice. And I got chance to play a couple of PS4 games while I was there, and, yeah. I'll be buying one of those, too.
I think what interests me most from IFA is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. While there were a lot of cool (and odd) products, I don’t think there will be another that outsells the Note 3. Samsung had a surprising hit with the Note and has continued to iterate with each generation. The question I have is when the Note line (or products like it) will make carrying both a phone and tablet obsolete. I currently am using a Nexus 4 and also carry a Nexus 7. Will a device that’s 5.7-inches make having only one acceptable? Time will tell, but that 1080p display is sure to be beautiful. I need it to make phone calls, texts, but also make watching movies an enjoyable experience.
I have to say that Sony definitely impressed me the most with their phone and "lens camera" announcements at IFA. Working to differentiate from other hardware makers with their long-standing expertise in cameras is a fantastic idea for Sony, and its great to see them thinking outside the box both in "traditional" smart phone camera advancements with the Xperia Z1 and the brand new category of phone-attachable camera lenses.
Whether or not these products will turn out to be successful remains to be seen, but the fact that Sony is back to trying new and interesting things is enough to have me excited. Consumers here in the US don't have enough opportunities to see the highest-end phones from Sony, and I hope that his refocusing and change of direction can also bring with it a focus on all markets around the world.
Although I wasn't at IFA to see some of the really crazy and zany stuff, the one normal item I guess I could say I'm excited for is the Samsung Galaxy Note III. I've owned every single iteration of the Note series since they started producing them and as much as some folks make fun of the size of my device, it's pretty much ideal for me. The thing about the Note III that I find so appealing though is how Samsung managed to jam so much into it yet, managed to get it all into a slimmer profile. I'm also curious to see how well this faux-leather backing will feel in the long run, the Note always felt a little cheap because of the plastic so hopefully this will give it the premium feel it deserves.
All the new phones and tablets announced at IFA were great, but what I noticed the most were the accessories. There is a bigger push than ever by manufacturers to not just sell “flagship” devices, but many things to go with those devices. Watches, like the Samsung Galaxy Gear, are making a come back (I never thought I would wear a watch again, but it looks like I may in the near future). The Samsung Gamepad for the Galaxy Note 3 looks pretty slick, giving potential Note 3 owners the option of a makeshift Nvidia Shield. Also those Sony Cyber-shot accessories — they are not quite an elegant solution for the current quality of smartphone cameras, but a cool idea nonetheless. Time to increase the new device fund to allow for a future accessory or two.