The last smartphone we met before we say goodbye to the IFA 2013 was not actually presented on the expo. Unlike Samsung, Sony, Acer and Asus, Nokia didn’t even hire a booth to show its devices to the consumers. We still managed to find the latest Lumia 625 smartphone at one of the IFA side-events, showcased by the company’s new owner – Microsoft. It’s quite an interesting gadget that offers big screen on a budget price.
Nokia announced the Lumia 625 back in July, a couple of weeks after the company unveiled its 41MP Lumia 1020 cameraphone monster. This is also the last Lumia phone unveiled before Microsoft acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services. And while it’s still unclear what will happen with the rumored Lumia 1520 phablet, the Lumia 625 has already gone on sale.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 and the recently announced at IFA 2013 Sony Xperia Z1 are the hottest cameraphones out there. Sadly, we are still in the process of obtaining both of them for an extensive camera shootout, but luckily our colleagues at TBreak.se have managed to do that already and had some quick shots to share with it.
The photos range from landscape through macro to night shots and give a very decent idea of what the Z1 is really capable of. If you’ve been following our extensive IFA 2013 coverage (and you really should), then you’d know that we took the Z1′s camera for a spin, but it’s interesting to see how it fares against the cameraphone-to-beat – the Nokia Lumia 1020.
The Nokia-owned HERE mapping service has announced that it’s now partnering with Mercedes-Benz as well as other automotive suppliers to start connecting select cars to the cloud.
The partnership relies on the HERE Connected Driving framework, which allows the cars to compute real time information on demand. The goal is to give the car more information in turn giving it a wider control over different aspects of the driving. This, according to HERE will create “an entirely new class of services.”
Alcatel brought out a trio of thin and light Android smartphones in the Idol line. The Alcatel One Touch Idol Alpha is the aluminum-clad leader of three with unibody design and attractive transparent elements for design and notification purposes. Then the Idol S follows close behind with a 4.7″ 720p screen dual and 8MP / 1080p camera. The Idol Mini brings up the rear with a thin and light design – 7.4mm thick, 96g – and a dual-SIM option.
Our hands-on impressions of the three follow after the break.
LG marks a strong comeback to the tablet market with the G Pad 8.3 and showcased it in full at the IFA 2013 show, albeit being mum regarding availability and pricing.
Thankfully, today the Korean company shared its plans to distribute the G Pad 8.3 and the good news it’s going to be available in 30 countries by the end of the year.
Sony has announced a new device for the Japanese market called the PlayStation Vita TV. Based on the PlayStation Vita’s hardware, the Vita TV is a tiny device that plugs into your TV and lets you play games and multimedia content.
The PlayStation Vita TV has basically the same hardware as the Vita, which enables it to play not just Vita games but also PSP and PSOne titles from the PlayStation Store. The PlayStation Vita TV comes with a single DualShock 3 controller to enable you to play games on your TV.
Sony has just announced the second generation model of its handheld gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, at the SCE Japan press conference. The new model is said to be 20 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the previous generation Vita.
Along with the reduction in size and weight, Sony has also swapped the OLED display in the previous model with an LCD on the new one. But despite these changes, the new Vita will have a longer battery life of six hours, compared to five on the previous one.
Microsoft has announced that their music service, oddly named Xbox Music, will now be available on iOS and Android devices. The company has made dedicated apps for both platforms and they are now available for download for free on their respective stores.
Xbox Music is Microsoft’s subscription based ‘all you can eat’ music service, where you pay a subscription fee and then stream as much music as you want. You will need to purchase the Xbox Music Pass that enables you to use the service.
You may know 2K Games from excellent desktop and console series such as Bioshock, Borderlands and Mafia. Their sports division, 2K Sports, has now released a new title for iOS, called 2K Drive.
2K Drive is a racing game but not quite in the same league as your Asphalt or Need for Speed. It’s more along the lines of Real Racing, wherein it is a simulation racing game that tries to be more realistic with believable physics and other characteristics. We took it for a spin to see how it performs.
It’s just been three days since Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 at IFA in Berlin and the phone has already been put through a review process. Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru managed to get their hands on a review unit and promptly put up a quick review of the device.
The review is in Russian so we have to depend on Google Translate’s translation skills to glean any information off it. There is still a lot of other information that doesn’t require translation, such as product photos, screenshots, benchmark scores and camera samples.
Flipboard has made an odd announcement after an somewhat puzzling withdrawal of its app from the BlackBerry World.
First Flipboard released a port of its Android app in the BlackBerry World store, but then it was quickly pulled out. The following announcement was made on Twitter shortly after:
Smartwatches are the talk of the street right now and for a very good reason. They are cool, capable and understated. At the IFA 2013 expo, both Samsung and Qualcomm announced their smartwatch representatives: the Galaxy Gear and Toq. Naturally, we had to compare them to the Sony Smartwatch 2, which was announced a couple of months ago.
You may be thinking that smartwatches aren’t really our scope, but remember that while we are professional phone reviewers, we are also geeks. This puts the smartwatch product category right in our alley.
LG made a lot of fuss with the “learning from you” campaign, saying how much the company listened to its customers when designing the LG G2. Well, one of the most common wishes among users is a decent battery life, let’s see if LG delivered.
The relatively thin (8.9mm) body of the G2 with a curved back must not have made it easy – the battery has a stepped design to make the most of the internal volume and it worked, the phone packs a beefy 3,000mAh battery.