Berlin has recently played host to the one of the biggest tech events of the year with IFA 2012 seeing a slew of new and unusual devices being unveiled by the some of the world’s biggest electronics manufacturers.
From versatile budget phones such HTC’s Desire X to almost bizarre domestic appliances such as the Philips Home Cooker, the showcase event covered the whole spectrum of consumer electronics, making public some interesting products that could well become commonplace in the near future.
The latest poll to run on the Dialaphone blog asked our readers what they thought was the most exciting device to emerge from IFA 2012. In the past, a number of our polls have returned results which have been more or less inconclusive, with few runaway winners emerging. This one was different however, with over half of respondents plumping for the Samsung Galaxy Note II as the most exciting device to emerge from the event.
Samsung is the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer and the release of the Note II will be amongst the most significant events in the mobile arena this year. Perhaps even more interesting than the release of the Galaxy S III, the Note II signals a genuine shift in the smartphone industry with what used to be seen as a niche area the market, the ‘phablet’, becoming accepted as a mainstream device.
When the original Note was released last year it was seen as a very unusual device due to its comparatively enormous 5.3-inch display that bore hallmarks of the tablet devices that many manufacturers were producing at the time. In the meantime, screen sizes of more regularly positioned devices such as HTC’s flagship One X have grown, with displays which push close to the 5-inch mark becoming the norm. Large devices such as the Galaxy Note and Note II are no longer anomalies and have moved away from being seen as niche devices to become more accepted as regular smartphones.
In this respect, the announcement of the Note II, with its 5.5-inch display and 1.6GHz quad-core processor, is a major handset launch that has garnered a great deal of attention from both commentators and consumers alike. With Samsung continuing to innovate whilst producing devices which break sales records, it is little surprise that our poll reflected the interest that the mobile-buying public has in the Korean manufacturer’s new handset.
Second in the poll was another Samsung Galaxy device, this one even more innovative than the Note II. On first impressions, the Galaxy Camera looks to be a truly awesome piece of equipment and has certainly inspired a great deal of discussion in the Dialaphone office. A compact camera which features a full touchscreen and runs Android Jelly Bean is an incredibly enticing prospect and could well be the start of a trend that sees the easy-to-use user interfaces of smartphones transferred to other electronic devices.
Boasting a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and 4.77-inch display the Galaxy Camera also has Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, opening up a huge range of options to photographers. While images captured with the device should be of an excellent quality, users will have access to the full range of photography apps available for the Android platform, and a display which is large enough and of a high enough quality to allow onscreen editing. Pictures can then be upload to Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or any other online service straight away, with access to cloud storage also being a significant bonus.
Hopefully, the Galaxy Camera signals the beginning of a new trend of smart devices which sees manufacturers taking the best elements of the smartphone technologies they’re so fluent in and building them into other electronic goods. Whilst Samsung isn’t the first manufacturer to do this – Japanese camera-maker Nikon recently announced the Android-powered Coolpix S800c – the Korean firm’s status as the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer should see the device getting some significant attention and possibly taking this kind of technology into the mainstream.
Our poll’s third place was occupied by Sony’s new flagship phone, the Xperia T. The Japanese manufacturer unveiled the new device and demonstrated its Mobile BRAVIA Engine powered 4.6-inch display. Sony has also included a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor is drawing attention to the NFC functionality of the handset. Dialaphone has already had a hands-on with the new Xperia device and we’ll be carrying out a full review of the device at a later date.
Bringing up the rear were two other devices which show existing technologies advanced by their respective manufacturers. Sony’s Vaio Tap 20 takes laptop and tablet technology and combines them into a device built for the upcoming Windows 8. Whilst at first glance the Vaio Tap 20 looks like a large tablet with a 20-inch display, it comes with peripherals including a keyboard and mouse which give it similar functionality to a laptop.
There was also the Philips 9000 Series Frameless TV, a distinctive television set available in 42-inch and 47-inch versions. With a brushed aluminium casing and a bezel that is just 1.2mm wide, the 9000 Series is a great looking device that appropriates design elements recently in laptop, tablets and phones, to yet another area of consumer electronics.
IFA 2012 was a showcase for some fantastic devices and generated a great deal of interest amongst consumers. Whereas previous Dialaphone polls have not produced outright winners, it is certainly interesting to see just how much anticipation there is surrounding the Galaxy Note II launch, and also that the Galaxy Camera is something that is being closely watched.