5 amazing gadgets from IFA Berlin
4K Blu-ray players, building-block PCs and super-smart watches have dominated headlines at the IFA tech show in Berlin
IFA is the world's premiere trade show for appliances and electornics. Below are 5 of the best gadgets that were on show this year:
1) Samsung Ultra HD Blu-ray player
In a nutshell: What the world has been waiting for – Blu-rays in proper 4K resolution
Want to upgrade to a 4K Ultra HD TV? Soon you can watch Blu-rays in proper 4K resolution. Samsung’s newly announced Ultra HD Blu-ray player has 4 times the resolution of normal Blu-ray. Sharp detail, improved contrast and more natural colours are coming to your movies. You can also stream Netflix and Amazon Instant Video in 4K through the player.
The Samsung Ultra HD Blu-ray player is expected to launch early next year. You’ll need to buy 4K Blu-ray discs. And 20th Century Fox has revealed it’ll be releasing new movies in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.
Did you know? The first Ultra-HD Blu-ray will be Kingsman: The Secret Service, according to the Blu-ray Disc Association
2) Sony Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone
In a nutshell: The first smartphone to feature a 4K-resolutuion screen
Just as you’re getting used to the idea of 4K TVs Sony launches the world’s first 4K phone – the Xperia Z5 Premium. As a reminder, 4K offers 4 times the resolution of Full HD.
So you can stream Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video in 4K to the phone’s 5.5 inch screen. Or shoot your own footage in 4K using the phone’s camera.
Whether you actually need a 4K phone is another matter.
Selfie snappers will find a redesigned camera too. Sony says it has the ‘fastest autofocus ever in a smartphone’. Photography in low-light is improved thanks to a sensor which takes in more natural light.
3) Samsung SmartThings
In a nutshell: Control your home from your phone with this smart home starter kit
Make your home more secure, know when the kids get back and set lights to come on at certain times with SmartThings.
Various sensors and smart devices are connected to the internet though a central hub. You control each device from a single smartphone app.
The SmartThings Starter Kit comes with the Hub and 4 sensors. Use them to:
- secure your doors and windows by attaching a Multi Sensor to know when they open
- know when the kids come through the door with the Presence Sensor
- wake up with your lamp by programming it come on at a certain time with the Power Outlet.
Control other non-Samsung devices from the SmartThings app too. Switch on the heating from the office with a compatible smart thermostat. Have the lights come on as you get home with compatible smart lightbulbs.
4) Motorola Moto 360 second-gen smartwatch
In a nutshell: The smartest Android Wear smartwatch gets an on-trend update
When the original Moto 360 launched last year it was the only smartwatch with a round face and stainless steel body. Now it gets a host of new features to make it stand out from the other round-faced smartwatches that have since launched. The distinctive, traditional-style watch design remains, and it still runs on Google’s Android Wear operating system.
The best new features are:
- watch lugs: The bits of metal at the top and bottom of a traditional watch – where the strap sits. Makes changing straps on the Moto 360 easy.
- different size options: if you have a slimmer wrist you may like the 42mm model, folks with chunkier wrists see the 46mm option.
- customise away: Choose your colour, texture of the bezel and type of strap with Moto Maker customisation options.
- longer battery life: You’ll get up to 2 full days of battery, according to Motorola.
- paired with iPhones: You can now also pair your Moto 360 with your iPhone – which couldn’t be done before.
- Live Dials: See date, weather and battery life on home screen and shortcut to favourite apps
- faster processor: Flick from screen to screen with speed thanks to the Qualcomm processor
5) Acer Revo PC
In a nutshell: Build your perfect PC without a screwdriver with these easy-to-assemble separates
If you like the idea of modifying your PC but don’t fancy taking it to bits, read on. For Acer has designed a desktop PC made up of parts which slot together like building blocks.
Start with the Main PC, then add more blocks as and when you need. Other blocks include:
- portable hard drive of 500GB or 1TB
- graphics Block to increase the PC’s gaming and design power
- power Bank to keep the PC running when you’re not plugged in to the mains
So you can boost your PC’s capabilities, and feel good about building it yourself, without having to reach for the tool box.