Tag Archives: IFA

#SGGQA 10: IFA Highlights, Best Lifestyle Smartphone Features, and YOUR Galaxy Note 5 Reactions!

On this week’s show we look at some of the highlights from IFA in Berlin, we talk about our favorite lifestyle features in our phones, share some responses to last week’s CTA, and read YOUR replies to my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 reviews! Make sure you’re charged and ready.  It’s PODCAST TIME!

Also, check out my friend Jaclyn’s Youtube channel, where she talks about oceanography and cool undersea creatures! Next week we’ll be working together on some videos covering ocean science and technology! I might get to play with some sharks… http://www.youtube.com/jaclynfriedlander

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Samsung Reveals Their First Circular Smartwatch, The Gear S2

samsung gear 2 black smartwatchThe original Gear S was a beast of a smartwatch experiment, blending a large curved display with a 3G cell radio. Their follow up looks to be more subtle and refined.

The Gear S2 aims to blend in more, looking like a more traditional timepiece, and it’s the company’s first circular watch face. A 1.2″ screen with a 360×360 resolution, in an 11.4mm thin frame.  The smaller screen means Samsung can also shave a little size off the battery and continue offering 2-3 days of use on a charge.

This will not be an Android Wear affair, powered by Samsung produced dual core CPU, it’s a Tizen OS watch designed specifically to pair with Samsung phones. NFC on board will tie directly into Samsung Pay for mobile payments.

samsung gear 2 silver smartwatchSamsung has a number of partners on board supporting apps utilizing the new round display, and it will be interesting to see how current apps might eventually work with this smaller screen.

There will be two flavors of Gear S2, a BT and WiFi only model and the S2 3G which incorporates an “e-SIM” for voice and data services when not directly paired to a phone. Two color options will be available, silver and dark grey, and there will be different band options for those watch bodies.

We don’t have pricing info yet, but Samsung expects the Gear S2 to start shipping in October. You can read the full press release below.

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Lenovo Bets BIG on 6.8″ Smartphone – The Phab Plus

I’ll be honest. With the rise of phablets like the Note and Lumia 1520, I’ve almsot entirely stopped using mini-tablets like my Nexus 7. Lenovo is doubling down on big screen phones with the Phab Plus.

We can joke about what this might look like holding it up to your face, but the calls are no longer the primary use for our “phones”. We expect excellent data driven experiences. In a way, it is kind of silly that our LTE enabled tablets can’t make and receive calls…

PHAB Plus_Gold_Details_01The Phab Plus sports a 6.8″ 1080p screen paired with a Qualcomm Octa-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. 32GB of storage is built in, and you can add more via MicroSD. A 13MP rear camera and 5MP FFC should handle most photo and video tasks, and the larger body means there’s more room for a larger speaker and “sound chamber” Lenovo claims will offer a more immersive audio experience.

This LTE device will have a 3500mAh battery which Lenovo claims is good for “up to 2 days of battery”, but I would imagine this will likely be a “charge every night” kinda phone.

From a design standpoint, it follow in the footsteps of their Vibe series, rounded aluminum frame.

PHAB Plus_Gray_Hero_05-1This mini-tablet phone wont break the bank. $299 seems pretty reasonable for such an audacious experiment. We’re still waiting out shipping info, but expect the Phab Plus before the holidays.


Trio of Lenovo Vibe Smartphones Focus on Budget Friendly Prices and LONG Battery Life

Lenovo unveiled their new line up of Vibe Smartphones at IFA, focused on bring a premium experience to mid-range pricing.

VIBE P1_Gold_Hero_01The Vibe P1m and P1 bring HUGE batteries to the table, 4000mAh and 5000mAH respectively. That might sound like overkill for daily smartphone usage, but these phones can also be used to charge up other gadgets over USB-OTG. Handy when you’re out in the field, and also packing a camera for example.

Other specs on board are solid mid-range Android. A Qualcomm 615 Octa-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, 5MP FFC, up to 32GB of storage on the P1 (16GB on the P1m) with MicroSD card expansion. They look nice too, built with an aluminum shell and Gorilla Glass 3 on the face. Not a collection of kit at all, considering the P1m starts at $159 and the P1 will sell for $279.

VIBE S1_White_Hero_01Stepping up to the Vibe S1, Lenovo thinks they might have the solution for the perfect selfie, and it comes in the form of dual front camera sensors. Flanking the ear piece, you have an 8MP camera for actually taking the photo, and a 2MP sensor for measuring depth and distance. We’ve seen similar solutions before on rear cameras, and it can be a handy trick for blurring photo backgrounds or adjusting focus.

The S1 moves to a MediaTek Octa-Core CPU and 3GB of RAM. It retains the aluminum and Gorilla Glass combo, but shrinks the battery from the P series to a 2500mAh capacity. As this is the most premium offering  of the three announced, pricing climbs a little higher, but users will only need to fork over $299 for a “flawless” selfie.

Huawei Watch: Design Styles and Pricing Announced

huawei watch steel and leatherThe much teased Huawei Watch is official! Announced at IFA, this circular displayed fashion piece will be joining the Android Wear ranks soon, with pre-orders shipping September 17th.

We also have confirmation on styles, and pricing. A classic stainless steel body with a black leather strap will start at $349, moving to a steel bracelet will bump up the price to $399. The Black Steel body and bracelet will cost $499, and the rose gold watch will cost $699 and $799 with Alligator leather strap and rose gold bracelet respectively.

The tech on board seems like ballpark Android Wear. A 1.4″ AMOLED screen with a 400×400 resolution should look nice and crisp. The Snapdragon 400 CPU is well known, and with current software is a snappy performer on other watches. Plus, we’re happy to see WiFi and 4GB of storage listed as features.

huawei watch blackHow this all pairs with the 300mah battery for run time will be interesting to test as Huawei claims “up to two days” of battery life.

It’s a good looking timepiece. You can read Huawei’s full announcement below!

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Sony Showcases 4K screen, Cameras, and Waterproofing on Family of Xperia Z5 Smartphones

Announced today. Sony took the wraps off their newest flagship phones. The Z5, Z5 Premium, and Z5 Compact.

04. Z5_white_groupSony is first to market with a 4K display on a phone. The Z5 Premium will sport the Qualcomm 810 with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of built in storage, and the ability to add more via Micro SD card. Quite a feat shrinking that resolution down to a 5.5″ screen.

The bread and butter Z5 shrinks down to a 5.2″ display and reduces the resolution to 1080p, but retains largely the same overall experience.

The 4.6″ screened Compact also returns, continuing Sony’s track record of producing a smaller form factor phone which matches most of the specs found in their larger flagships. Always happy to see a smaller premium phone rather than gimped “mini” budget phones.

12. Z5_Z50c_WhiteWhite_Group 2For all three, Sony’s hard edge rectangular design retains the Xperia feel we all understand. Water resistance seems to be improves ala Samsung, where ports no longer require awkward flaps.

Sony produces most of the top tier camera sensors found in competing phones, so it makes sense they would save “the good stuff” for themselves. Their newest sensor is a half inch 23MP beast with an f2 lens aperture, and they’re touting the world’s fastest smartphone auto focus. Combined with OIS, it should make for a solid competitor to the current crop of flagship phones.

Lastly, the side mounted power button gets upgraded to include a fingerprint sensor, a fairly ingenious design, providing one action for turning the phone on and unlocking, without resorting to a hardware Home button or rear mounted scanner.

The family of Xperia Z5 phones should be shipping in October, with country and pricing info to follow. You can catch Sony’s full press release below.

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Lenovo Refreshes Helix Business Ultrabook and Horizon Portable All-In-One PC

Announced today at IFA, Lenovo has refreshes planned for some of their most unique Windows 8.1 PC’s.

ThinkPad Helix PowerBaseThe new Helix gets a slimmer build and finally gets the more powerful and efficient Intel Core M chipset. Helix is an 11.6″ tablet which can dock in a clam-shell keyboard for a more traditional laptop experience.  Lenovo calls their latching system “rip and flip” as the tablet can be inserted either facing towards or away from the keyboard for multi-mode usage. You can use the Helix as a tablet, laptop, or in “stand mode”. The Helix features up to 12 hour battery life with the Ultrabook Pro Keyboard dock.

As the Helix is a part of the Thinkpad line for business users, it includes support for a digitzer pen and security features like a fingerprint reader, smart card reader, and three factor authentication.

Lenovo Horizon 2e_Hero_01Consumers looking for an All-in-One experience can look to the Horizon 2s and 2e. Like the Flex 20 we reviewed recently, the Horizon 2 is a battery powered AiO. Like a semi portable, giant tablet which can replace your desktop PC running a full version of Windows 8.1 on an Intel Core processor.

Lenovo has shaved 10 pounds off the weight of its first Horizon PC, while including a battery capable of up to three hours of run time. The multi-mode stand also returns, allowing you to prop the screen upright, hold it at an angle, or lay it completely flat for tabletop gaming.

The Helix with Ultrabook Keyboard dock will be available in January starting at a price of $999. The Horizon 2e will launch in October starting at $749. You can catch Lenovo’s full PR below.

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Nokia Unveils “Affordable Flagship” Lumia 830 Smartphone

Lumia-830_group1Following the announcement of their Lumia Denim, Nokia showed off the first phone which will include the software update.

Nokia is positioning the 8XX line as upper mid-range. The Lumia 830 has a 5″ 720p display powered by a Qualcomm 400 series quad-core. The rear shooter scales back to a 10MP shooter which supports 1080p video and includes optical image stabilization. While there’s only 16GB of storage built in, it will include a MicroSD card slot unlike its bigger brother the 930.

It also retains a lot of the design language we current enjoy, a metal frame with a polycarb back which will come in white, black, orange, or green. It’s a nice aesthetic touch, not punishing consumers who opt for the less expensive models.

The Lumia 830 will be available this month with an expected launch price of 330EUR. You can see Nokia’s teaser vid below, and their full PR after the jump.

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