CES 2013 was a decidedly sleepy show by most accounts, but this year's IFA is shaping up to be anything but. Devices set for a reveal are still under proverbial lock and key, but chatter, teases and leaks have painted a fairly full picture of what we can expect to see in Germany: smartwatches and wearables, Haswell hardware and phones with 4K shooters. Join us past the break to get up to speed on what Berlin might dish out this week.
Word of a handset codenamed Honami first surfaced earlier this summer, and now Sony can't keep itself from teasing a September 4th reveal of what's now expected to be called the Xperia Z1. Leaks have been building a profile of a device with some serious photo chops: a 20-megapixel sensor that's capable of shooting 4K video. Official images of the device show that it's packing a G-branded lens along with an LED flash, and if we're taking its sneak peek trailer literally, it might even be waterproof. It'll reportedly be paired with a 5-inch, 1080P display and a Snapdragon 800 SoC. Admittedly, it's a little early to start talking release dates, but if yet another leak is to be believed, folks in the UK might be able to get their hands on it through Three starting September 24th.
In addition to its smartphone endeavors, it's a fair bet that Sony will also have some cameras to show off. Sure, the company's recently revealed the Alpha A3000 and NEX-5T, but it might just have something a little more exotic for the show: the QX10 and QX100 "lens cameras," which attach to smartphones and tablets. From rogue press shots and a manual, we've gathered that they're self-contained units with built-in WiFi, a processor, SD card slot and controls, but rely on paired devices for framing and the like.
On the PC front, Sony's confirmed to debut a VAIO laptop / tablet hybrid. By the looks of the teaser trailer, we can expect the notebook to transform by folding back on itself, á la Lenovo's Yoga line of IdeaPads, to complete the metamorphosis.
Kaz Hirai and friends may also showcase a Google TV dongle, which just skirted past the FCC.
JK Shin and Co. have two headliners confirmed for a debut at the show: the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Galaxy Note 3. Although Samsung's acknowledged the existence and name of its intelligent timepiece, scuttlebutt, trademarks and patents involving it haven't provided a terrible amount of detail. A recent screenshot of a reported Android companion app, however, makes mention of NFC, Bluetooth and app support. At this point, it's anyone's guess if it'll make use of "Youm" flexible displays, especially since the firm is soliciting ideas and business plans for the technology.
Also on deck for the outfit is its Galaxy Note 3, and rumors point to 4K video capture, high-quality 24-bit audio and a 5.7-inch screen (or 5.68 inches, if you're a stickler for dimensions). An internal Three UK memo sent our way reveals that the Note's third incarnation could hit the carrier on September 16th.
Naturally, the parade of 4K screens will continue at IFA, and the Korean manufacturer is set to debut its latest. Namely, a 98-inch commercial Ultra HD "video wall," and a 31.5-inch UHD monitor. While we hope the latter will be labeled with a price tag somewhere this side of affordable, we don't recommend holding your breath. At any rate, Samsung will give up its current batch of secrets on September 4th.
Not only did LG taunt us with an early mention of its G Pad 8.3, but it's also gone as far as giving us the complete lowdown ahead of IFA. Its slate packs an 8.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 WUXGA display, which is said to be a first for an 8-inch tablet. Within its sleek 8.3mm-thick and 338-gram chassis, the pad houses a hefty 4,600mAh battery, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 SoC and 2GB of RAM. A recent FCC filing from August hints that there's another tablet, which will carry a 9.8-inch screen and the model number V500.
According to Dimitar Valev, the outfit's Bulgarian mobile communications head, LG has also been hard at work on a smartphone, smartwatch and a Firefox OS device. Naturally, IFA is the prime event for the company to show off its complete battery of brand-new gadgets, and we're bracing for the impact. Details are slim on the handset side, but Valev expects hardware larger than the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, and that a Firefox phone will launch early next year. On the smartwatch front, info is also scarce, but the talkative exec did mention that the ticker could use flexible-LCD tech.
Laptops and PCs
Computex played host to the initial volley of Haswell-infused devices, and we can expect IFA to continue the march of machines using the power-efficient processors. Not only is it a given that Intel's new silicon will populate other PCs, it's also a safe bet that convertible form factors will trickle down from Windows 8 launch flagships to more affordable hardware. Yes, we're looking at you Lenovo, LG, Sony and Toshiba.