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IFA 2018: Smartphones, Devices, and All the Tech Candy

4
Sep

Last week Europe’s top tech show wowed press and public alike. Tech companies have in store amazing things for consumers this year. The tech trade show is not often heavy in smartphones. This is due to Apple, Samsung, and other companies releasing on their own timetables or during the Mobile World Congress, yet there were some new devices on display.

Rather than review all the items IFA had to offer, we will focus on smartphones, mobile devices, and accessories.

After all, Apple, Samsung, and Google are only three companies in a field with rich with manufacturers.

Phones and Devices

As mentioned, the big three manufacturers do not announce new products at IFA. Samsung has already released their new products for the year, and Apple and Google are scheduled for the next few months.

Not to mention, the Mobile World Congress is held in early 2019. That being said, there were a few smartphones that surprised techies.

The first one of note was the Sony Xperia XZ3. While Sony has lagged competitors regarding hardware. Yet the Xperia XZ3 appears to overhaul and update the phone to the competitive playing field. The bezels are slimmed, the screen is OLED, and the phone has front facing speakers which make it great for movie watching. The camera is not cutting edge like Huawei, but it’s tolerable. And the phone itself has plenty of power in performance and battery life. Most notably, Sony has equipped their phone with Android 9.0 Pie, which makes it a competitive phone.

However, at close to $900 the phone costs as much as Samsung and Apple without the finer details.

The second notable phone that will have release in the US is LG G7 One and LG G7 FIT. Both phones are a step down from the flagship G7 ThinQ, offering last year’s Snapdragon processor with 4GB of RAM and only 32GB of onboard storage. The camera is a 16-megapixel single-lens camera, which is a step down from the big three. However, that being said, LG is expected to price both phones cheaper due to the step down hardware. This makes the LG a mid-range option without too many sacrifices.

The third phone to make a splash is Blackberry’s less expensive Key2LE. While including many of the features of the more expensive Key2, the cheaper body and processor offer the full QWERTY keyboard with less cost. Also, the battery took a hit, dropping to 3,000mAh. This has put Blackberry’s full keyboard in the middle of affordable range with an estimated release cost of $400.

While there were more releases from HTC, Hauwei, and ZTE, their devices will not be offered for sale in the US.

Wireless Charging

According to Digital Trends, IFA had a large offering of wireless charging options. While gaining uptake in recent years, Apple’s adoption of the Qi standard opened the playing field wider. There were quite a few upgrades and new options in devices this year. We will pick the few that offer the most efficiency or difference.

The Porto Q, by Moshi, is a stylish wireless charger with a fabric cover. While the fabric is a nice touch, it is not the most utilitarian aspect of the wireless device. Rather, this wireless charger has a 5,000mWh battery, allowing for wireless charging on the go without needing a wall plug. Also, there is a USB-A port for charging devices that lack Qi functionality. In essence, this wireless charger is a portable charger for any device.

The Aircharge Dual Charger is taking on a section of wireless charging that has yet to receive much attention. Namely, Aircharge has designed the charger for both a mobile phone as well as something else. This something else could even be a gaming remote, such as a PS4 wireless controller. Although the user would need to purchase the PS4 Dual Shock Smart Adapter, this option provides efficiency and flexibility to the gaming world as well as the mobile world.

Finally, Zen’s Dual and Watch charger offers everything necessary to the Apple consumer. Not only does the charger hold up to two smartphones, charging swiftly with up to 10W per pad, but the charger offers a separate but connected portion for charging an Apple Watch. The charger is both MFi and Qi Certified, and with room for two phones and a watch, this charger could be the only thing charging device needed on the nightstand.

Overall, the smartphone and accessory world is complex and is offering more to the consumer with every turn. On the docket for development is a smartwatch, with a full screen and camera on the watch, as well as a smartphone/tablet that can be rolled to fit your needs.