The IFA is touted as the biggest consumer electronics trade show in the world. Does it beat CES? That I’m not sure but I do know it is a great place to catch up with the latest gadgets the big guys have to offer. It’s especially interesting what’s available this year in terms of Android: lots of new tablets, phones and then some. Here’s a few notable devices from this year’s German event.
Samsung Galaxy Note
Undoubtedly my favorite in the show, this device from Samsung is “not a phone, not yet a tablet”. If you’ve handled the Dell Streak, this is something similar but slimmer. The 5.3-inch screen makes it more comfortable for viewing movies, writing texts and composing emails. It also has some note taking and handwriting capabilities via an included S Pen stylus and a special S Memo app, something HTC Flyer users would be familiar with. Other things to look out for in this device: 1.4GHz dual-core processor, Super AMOLED screen, 1080p-friendly 8MP camera and HSPA+ support.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7
Yet another entry by Samsung in its Galaxy family of tablets, the 7.7 is a much needed revamp of the classic 7-incher Tab it introduced last year. Gone is the clunkiness and first-born blues and in comes a larger, more stunning Super AMOLED display. It also sports a new, thinner chassis, one we’ve seen on its larger siblings. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 will be loaded with Android 3.2 as well as an HSPA+ chip which supposedly can be used for calls, something most tablets don’t offer. Other specs include a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of internal memory, microSD slot that can support up to 32GB cards, dual cameras and WiFi-N capability.
Samsung Galaxy S II LTE & Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE
Samsung also announced an update to their existing Galaxy line during the IFA. The LTE version of the Galaxy S II was revealed, which has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, Android Gingerbread 2.3 and 4.5-inch Super AMOLED with 3D graphics. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is also getting its LTE chops. The new version has Android 3.2 and a lower clocked 1.0GHz dual-core processor.
Sony Tablet S
After a lot of teasers, Sony finally outs the Tablet S at the IFA. This tablet, much like other Sony products such as the Vaio, brings with it a unique fashion sense into the Honeycomb scene. First, you’ll notice that its form is like a folded magazine, which tells us that its intended to be as comfortable as reading one. On top of that, there’s also a dual-core Tegra 2 inside the Tablet S which makes the 9.4-inch, 1280 x 800 pixel screen look quite vibrant. Other extras are a full-sized SD card reader, two storage options (16GB or 32GB) and an IR port so that it can be used as a universal remote for compatible TV, setup boxes and more.
Sony Tablet P
In a daring move of ingenuity, Sony created this dual-screen clamshell tablet dubbed the Sony Tablet P. The Honeycomb 3.2 device has two 5.5″ displays and has 4GB of internal memory, a full-sized SD card slot like the Tablet S and access to Sony services. The device also supports DLNA streaming and will be up for pre-order with AT&T soon. A unique form factor, I’m sure, but adding a hinge to a tablet doesn’t quite sit right with me.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
The new S version of the Arc runs on a 1.4GHz processor and boasts an 8.1 MP camera. Like its predecessor, it has a comfortably large 4.2-inch screen. It also has the latest Gingerbread iteration (2.3.4), HDMI out and an included 8GB microSD card. These might look like minor iterations for this line of smartphones but Sony Ericsson promises that it will be 25 percent faster when starting up the camera and 20 percent faster when throwing up webpages on the screen.
Sony Ericsson Walkman Mobile Entertainment Player
The original Walkman might be forgotten by some but its brand lives on. Here is the prototype of a new Walkman device that runs on Google’s very own OS. Like other similar devices from Sony Ericsson, this has a dedicated W. button at the side that gives easy access to all your music with one press. It also has the S-Master MX suite software which improves the audio output quality. The prototype has a 4.3-inch screen, DLNA compatibility and access to Sony’s Music Unlimited service.
An AT&T exclusive, the new tablet from HTC is 4G capable, has a 10.1-inch screen and is packed with dual-core 1.5GHz processors. It carries the latest iteration of HTC Sense, now optimized for tablets, but this does mean that it only has Android 3.1 loaded. Unlike other tablets, it boasts an 8MP rear camera for taking stills and video. Internally, it will have 32GB of storage with a microSD slot capable of adding 32GB more. No news if this is coming to other carriers and countries.
HTC Sensation Special Edition
Though the official handset images aren’t out yet, we’re expecting HTC to announce their new version of the HTC Sensation, now powered by Beats by Dr. Dre. This new Sensation appears to be a cut above its precursor, with a 1.5GHz processor, 4GB internal storage and a 1,730mAh battery. And since it will be packing some specialty Beats headphones, the price is expected to go up as well. We’re still waiting for news of an official announcement and expect one very soon.
Lenovo IdeaPad A1
The technology Lenovo put into their new Android tablet isn’t new. Seven-inch display, 1GHz single-core processor, Android 2.3: there’s nothing to be excited about here in this front. Except for the price, of course; this tablet will retail for only $200. That’s even cheaper than a Galaxy Tab and this will surely attract both value-for-money regular consumers and tinkering-minded tablet hackers. One other outstanding feature that you might miss out is that this tablet has offline GPS. That makes it a great dashboard device right there for perennially lost road warriors.
Philips GoGear Connect 3
It’s not everyday you come across a PMP that runs Android, and Gingerbread at that. Philips revealed the GoGear Connect 3. Similar to how an iPod Touch is an “iPhone without the phone”, this Android portable media player has everything the dessert-themed OS can offer sans calls and texts. It has a 3.2″ screen, capable of 720p playback and is loaded with the Android Market app for all your downloading needs.
Nope, that’s not an iPad 2 you are looking at. This ultrathin wonder is actually Toshiba’s latest entry into the tablet market, the AT200. It has a 1.2GHz processor and 64GB internal memory. It’s also packed with a few handy ports: microUSB for data, microSD for expansion and microHDMI for video output. Android 3.2 is also the OS of choice for this thin slate and it has an expansive 10.1″ screen.