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Best of IFA 2014 Awards!

As we look back at some of the fantastic devices that were launched at IFA 2014, we recognize the best of the best, with Android Authority's Best of IFA 2014 Awards!
Features
By
September 9, 2014
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After a slow summer, things in the Android world picked up at a whirlwind pace over the past week, right before and during IFA 2014. As we reflect on some of the fantastic devices we got our first look at, consumers certainly have a lot to be excited about. From highly-anticipated flagships from Samsung, Sony, and Motorola, another great “premium mid-range” smartphone from HTC, to a slew of smartwatches that really got our mouths watering, and a lot more, IFA 2014 had it all.

If you’ve followed our coverage of CES 2014 and MWC 2014, you’ll know that we here at Android Authority recognize and acknowledge the best of the best at these tech shows. That continues here as well, with the Android Authority Best of IFA 2014 Awards! Let’s get started!

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Samsung does what it does best, taking everything we loved about the Galaxy Note 3, and kicking things up a notch. It may not be the most innovative strategy, but that’s what the Note Edge is for. What you do get with the Galaxy Note 4 is one of the few devices to boast a Quad HD display, and one of the first to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processing package.

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Apart from the fact that Samsung packs all kinds of hardware and software features imaginable into their device, the marquee feature of the Note series, the S Pen, has also been enhanced to offer the best stylus experience, bar none. Very deservedly so, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is Android Authority’s choice for best flagship release at IFA 2014!

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At a time when a small form factor was also indicative of mid-range specifications, Sony decided to shake things up with the Xperia Z1 Compact, a smartphone with a small 4.3-inch display, but featuring other specifications identical to its high-end namesake. That continues with Sony’s latest mini offering, the Xperia Z3 Compact.

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The Xperia Z3 Compact is identical to its bigger sibling in almost every way, save for a 4.6-inch display, with a 720p resolution. Pretty much the only option you have if you’re looking for a high-end device in this size range is the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, which is why it receives our award for the Best small factor flagship smartphone!

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There are a couple of factors that make the Lenovo Vibe X2 quite unique. For starters, it features a “multi-layered” design, resulting in a multi-tone look that is really good. Secondly, it is the first device to use the new octa-core MediaTEK MT6595 4G LTE processor. It comes with other high-end specifications as well, including a Full HD 5-inch display. A 13 MP rear camera is coupled with a 5 MP front-facing unit, that allows you to take selfies using gestures, or by blinking at the camera.

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If the regular multi-tone look doesn’t do it for you, a special bamboo edition of the device will also be available. You get great hardware and a beautiful design, at what should be an affordable price tag, and that is why, the Lenovo Vibe X2 is the winner of the Best flagship smartphone! 

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Huawei’s latest flagship offering boasts an attractive metal construction design, with clean lines and a sleek profile. The angular design makes it very easy to grip, despite its large size. Speaking of its large size, you get a 6-inch Full HD display here, along with high-end specifications, including Huawei’s in-house octa-core Kirin 925 processing package.

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One of the marquee features of this phone is its fingerprint scanner, placed on the back below the camera unit, allowing for a quick and simple way to get into the device. Also great is its huge 4,100 mAh battery, that should easily give you full day of use, if not more. This device gives you a really good and affordable option in the phablet category, and that is why the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 is one of our choices for the Best Flagship at IFA 2014!

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The HTC Desire 820 is another wonderful addition to the ever-growing Desire series, and falls in a category that HTC calls “premium mid-range.” HTC’s signature BoomSounds speakers are available here, and the colourful elements of the design, along the focus on the selfie, means that the Desire 820 will appeal to an younger audience. The inclusion of a 64-bit processor is great, the full benefits of which we’ll get to see with the upcoming release of Android L. Its predecessor, the Desire 816 was the winner in this category at MWC 2014, and HTC has another winner on their hands with the current iteration. Which is why, we are extremely pleased to recognize the HTC Desire 820 as the Best Mid-range Smarphone at IFA 2014!

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Sony took the wraps off of its latest tablet offering earlier this week, called the Xperia Z3 Tablet CompactIt’s all in the name for this latest tablet offering, with the device bringing the best features of the Xperia Z3 to an 8-inch tablet form factor, different from the 10-inch display size that previous high-end Sony tablets have come with. 

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This tablet packs high-end specifications is a light and compact body with the attractive signature Sony design elements bringing it all together. It is one of the best tablets in the size range, and that is why, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is our recipient for the Best Tablet award at IFA 2014! 

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While the LG G Watch served as a reference point for Android Wear, the follow up is anything but. The LG G Watch R stands out with its unique design, being one of the first smartwatches, along with the Moto 360, to boast a circular design. LG has made a conscious effort to make its latest offering as “watch-like” as possible, complete with a chronograph.

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You get premium build materials all around, with a durable stainless steel frame, and a leather strap, that can also be replaced to your preference. This quality and style comes at a price though, and that is why the LG G Watch R is our winner of the Best Premium Smartwatch at IFA 2014!

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The Asus ZenWatch is without a doubt one of the most attractive Android Wear devices to date, even if it sticks to a “regular” rectangular design. The watch is made primarily from stainless steel, and boasts a slightly curved AMOLED display. Staying with its premium nature, you also get a genuine leather strap. There’s even some pretty cool special features here like the ability to trigger a camera shot from your watch, and a built-in heart rate monitor. The best part? You get all of that at a very attractive price point, and that is why, the Asus ZenWatch is our choice for the Best Affordable Smartwatch award!

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The new Moto X was launched at an event in Chicago, and not at IFA 2014, but because of the timing, and the fact that it’s really good, we felt that it deserved a special mention at the very least. Motorola took everything we loved about the original Moto X to a whole other level. Almost every aspect of the device has seen a bump, from the larger, higher-resolution display, upgraded processing package, front-facing speakers, and some new software features, all packed in a premium metal construction design. Add to it a near stock software experience and the promise of timely software updates, the new Moto X is certainly a great device to have. Which is why, the new Moto X is also a special mention for Android Authority’s Best Flagship Award!

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We work hard in our quest to deliver to you the very best in all things Android and mobile technology. Do let us know what you think of our awards, our choices, and how we’re doing! Comprehensive reviews of all the devices above, and a lot more, are on their way soon, so stay tuned with Android Authority because we are your source for all things Android!