IFA 2014 officially kicked off today in Berlin, Germany. We’ve been here all week for press conferences, briefings and other events. While the show will continue on for the next several days, we’ve already had a chance to check out the latest smartphones, tablets and smartwatches that will be on display. There were some major announcements from companies like Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, Alcatel, Intel, Huawei and more, but we’re here to narrow down some of our favorites.
1. Galaxy Note Edge
We could easily fill out this list with Samsung products because the company came out swinging at IFA 2014. The Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Gear S and Gear VR are all impressive products, but I think my favorite of the bunch was the Note Edge.
It offers a unique curved display where an entire area is dedicated for shortcuts, notifications and more. Plus, it doesn’t sacrifice on features people love about the Note family of devices. It still offers an S Pen and includes a powerful Snapdragon 805 processor, a first-class 16-megapixel camera and a stunning 5.6-inch Quad HD display.
I can’t wait to see what sort of use cases developers come up with for the “Edge” when it launches.
2. Sony Xperia Z3
I admit, leading up to the show I wasn’t entirely excited about the Xperia Z3. That’s because rumors suggested that it wasn’t much better than the Xperia Z2. I was wrong.
While the processor only received a minor speed bump, the design of the Xperia Z3 is much more premium, offering a metallic border and a thinner profile. Additionally, Sony boosted the camera performance and added an amazing new feature that allows you to stream games from your local PS4.
Toss in the stunning 20.1-megapixel camera, a dust and water-resistant design and the promise of two-day battery life and you have a smartphone that’s going to be hard to resist when it launches.
3. Lumia 830
Yes, there were other flagship smartphones that were announced during IFA 2014.
Still, we think Microsoft easily earned a spot on this list with the Lumia 830, which it dubbed the Windows Phone flagship for everyone. It’s basically a more affordable version of the Lumia 930 and offers a 5-inch 1280 x 720-pixel display, support for Qi wireless charging, 1GB of RAM and a 10-megapixel PureView camera. We loved the form factor when we had a chance to check one out, and it’s only going to retail for €330 when it hits the market. That’s a pretty irresistible price for what we think is a more premium Windows Phone product.
4. LG G Watch R
The original G Watch is a basic rectangular screen that sits on your wrist. There’s really nothing special about the design at all. That changes with the G Watch R, which offers an amazing steel body, an incredible and bright circular P-OLED display, a heart rate monitor and more. It’s definitely the smartwatch LG should have launched right away. We fell in love with the G Watch R when we finally had a chance to see it during IFA 2014 and while the company hasn’t announced the price, we won’t shy away from dropping serious cash on this one. It actually looks like a watch, but offers all of the functionality that Android Wear has to offer.
5. Asus EeeBook X205
Are netbooks coming back from the dead? Asus is certainly going to make a try. It unveiled the EeeBook X205 during the IFA 2014 trade show, and we can’t wait to check it out when it hits the market. The laptop will offer Windows 8.1 with Bing, an 11.6-inch display, 64GB of storage, microHDMI, up to 12 hours of battery life and more for just $199. Yep — a Windows machine for just $200. It reminds me of the original EeePC days, when you could get a similar experience with Windows XP. Can the EeeBook revitalize the netbook industry for Windows 8? We certainly hope so.