IFA 2014: What are you most excited to see?

August 29, 2014
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ifa berlin logo James Cridland

After plenty of hype, one of the biggest events of 2014 is nearly upon us: IFA Berlin! Next week we’ll be live on the floor covering all the latest news and bringing you tons of exciting video footage from the event. And yes, we’re just as excited as you are!

For this week’s Friday Debate, we discuss what we are looking forward to seeing (or what we hope to see) the most at IFA 2014. This could include a specific mobile device, or simply a product category (like smartwatches or tablets) that you’re hoping gets some extra focus.

As always, after you’re done hearing what we have to say, be sure to let us know what you think by casting your vote in our poll and sounding off in the comments below.

Robert Triggs

There’s so much to look forward to this year, and I guess the Note 4 and new Xperia devices are a given.

As well as the big brands I’m interested in Huawei’s presence at IFA. The Mate 7 is no doubt going to be a high-end affair, and I can’t wait to see how it stacks up against devices from Samsung and Sony. We’ve seen lower-cost manufacturers creeping up their market shares this year, and this year’s presence in Berlin could mark the beginning of a campaign into Western markets.

I’m also very curious about the next batch of wearables to be shown off. I have been waiting to see how a standalone, SIM ready smartwatch fairs in the market place, and hopefully I’ll finally get to see if Samsung’s Solo can prove whether or not this is a must have feature. It could flop, but it’s going to be interesting to see how/if it works in the flesh.

Not to mention that we’re going to be swamped with stylish round smartwatches this time, all of which should give the Moto 360 some serious competition. I’m still not sold on the smartwatch trend, but perhaps this year’s IFA will convince me to buy one.

Finally, the broader tech nerd in my wants to see some more virtual reality, so I’m rather hyped for Samsung’s Gear VR. If this proves to be a cheaper alternative to the Rift, and isn’t just limited to Samsung devices, then I can imagine a lot of people picking this up for a little fun. I won’t be holding my breath, but again there’s bags of potential here.

Jonathan Feist

I think Rob nailed most of how I feel about this year’s IFA. I especially want to say again that this could be the single biggest week of the year for wearables. That said, IFA may just be the biggest week of the year for budget-mid range devices as well.

There is not a manufacturer out there that hasn’t noticed the value and dominance of the Moto G. Perhaps Motorola just got lucky, but it seams nearly every manufacturer is launching something that follows the same basic recipe, hoping to steal some of the Moto thunder.

Where I think others will successfully steal Motorola’s thunder is in the round faced smartwatch category. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been with the masses in considering the Moto 360 the ‘best’ (looking) smartwatch we should see this year, but the last week alone has seen some impressive competition hit the news.

I may no longer be sure where the Moto 360 stands for most people, but I am quite convinced that the first rounded Android Wear smartwatch to land on store shelves will be the winner of this ordeal. Best Buy already gave us the impression the 360 is just about here, but Samsung has the power to go from 0 to Google I/O-giveaway in a matter of days, as it feels, so I can’t give Motorola the victory just yet.

Wearables are fun, and certainly the ‘in’ thing, but all the new phones in the budget category are more important. I took a look at ZTE as a company recently, they do not have a single phone that I would stack up against an LG G3 or similar high-end device and expect a win, but they are still within top 5 smartphone shipments around the globe.

In between ZTE, the Moto G, a big handful of other Asian brands that are trying to make a name for themselves while working to expand globally, and all of the other devices and manufacturers that are not competing in the ‘flagship’ category, IFA promises a treasure trove of things to come. To me, only the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is destined to deliver big specs at a big price point, (just about) everything else, of which there will be plenty, I expect in the under $350 range for price or value.

I am still waiting on the compelling Android Wear device that is not glasses or wrist watch. Maybe we’ll get lucky and see something new in wearables at IFA. I am hoping for it.

Gary Sims

This year’s IFA should be the best one yet, mainly because of the increasing popularity and availability of wearable devices. This year’s show will all be about smartwatches. I don’t think any one manufacturer will steal the show with its offerings, but we will get a glimpse of the direction things are going. We can expect wearables from many of the big names like Samsung, Asus and LG, plus there will be a strong showing by smaller niche brands as well.

Price is still a big factor for wearables, if they remain an expensive optional extra that supplements smartphones or tablets then their appeal will remain limited, but once they become a consumer level product then everything could change.

Besides wearables there is a lot to expect in terms of smartphones. Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note 4, which should be of great interest to those who like large screen phones. It will be especially interesting to see the Note 4’s display and processor package in action.

Then there is the much anticipated Xperia Z3 from Sony and the LG G3 Prime with its new processor package (thought to be the Snapdragon 805). Sony could also unveil the Z3 Compact. But it isn’t only Samsung, Sony and LG that will launch devices, you can expect a lot of announcements throughout the show, and hopefully some nice surprises.

Tablets could also play a big part at IFA. Although they generally don’t get as much attention as smartphones (and now wearables) they will be there.

Overall look out for news about 64-bit devices and keep an eye on the big Chinese OEM’s like Huawei and ZTE. The show will also feature lots of non-Android related gadgets and goods. Developments in the TV sector will be of particular interest, especially those looking for the next big thing after 4K, curved screens perhaps? Also, we must not forget the humble laptop and its cousin the Chromebook.

Whatever your consumer electronic interests, I think IFA 2014 is going to be a whopper!

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