Keep your hands on your pants, Berlin, because Mobile Choice is landing in just two weeks for the massive global IFA 2013 event. Huge brands such as Sony and Samsung are launching their latest smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices between September 4-6, and we’ll be bringing you hands-on photos and previews of these shiny new gadgets right here!
In the meantime, enjoy our full IFA rumour-roundup preview, complete with every major leak to date...
Sony has scheduled its huge IFA launch on September 4, just three hours before Samsung’s Unpacked event kicks off. We're expecting to see Sony’s latest premium smartphone, a super-slender and highly desirable piece of kit if teaser shots are anything to go by.
The new smartphone is code-named the Sony Xperia i1, but we’ve also heard the name ‘Honami’ batted about. Leaks have indicated that this 5-inch HD smartphone will rock a supremely sharp 20-megapixel camera, possibly with a dedicated camera button, matched up with a Sony G lens and the Bionz image processing engine. This focus on optics isn't a surprise, given how cameras have begun increasingly prominent in modern mobiles - just witness Nokia's 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 or Samsung's 'is it a camera or is it a phone' Galaxy S4 Zoom.
Alongside the sparkly super-duper snapper, expect a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor backed up by 2GB RAM (read: mega-bloody-fast for games and stuff), 16GB of storage expandable via a microSD slot, full 4G LTE and NFC support, a 2-megapixel front camera and a 3000 mAh battery. Very impressive indeed if it all pans out.
We’ll be attending Samsung’s massive Unpacked event in Berlin on September 4 (kick off 7pm local time, 6pm UK time), where we’re hopefully going to get our mitts on the new Galaxy Note 3. The latest stylus phablet should boast a 5.7-inch, 1080p AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.3 out of the box, with the possibility of screen variations depending on territory. And of course the excellent S Pen stylus will make a return, allowing you to scribble directly on the Note 3’s display.
There are also rumours of a Samsung smartwatch being revealed, nicknamed the Galaxy Gear, which would communicate wirelessly with your Galaxy phone to inform you of any waiting notifications. The Galaxy Gear should also allow you to send brief text messages to contacts, and stream media. We’ve also heard rumours of a flexible display, which can bend around your wrist for a wide viewing space. It’s enough to give us serious geek chills.
HTC has already released a dinky version of its flagship HTC One smartphone, cunningly titled the HTC One Mini, and at IFA it will unveil the mighty HTC One Max, which goes in the other direction. We expect a phone with a huge 5.9-inch display (putting this firmly in phablet territory), and if it’s a crisp and beautiful HD screen as you’d hope, then this will be a serious must-have for movie and web fans.
We’ve heard that the HTC One Max will be powered by an exceedingly nippy 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, and you’ll get a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage. The camera is likely to be some variation of the UltraPixel camera from the original One smartphone, complete with the excellent Zoe mode which captures short three-second clips of your day and compiles them into a cool compilation tape.
Asus’ big launch coincides with Sony’s on Wednesday September 4, where new ‘innovative devices’ will be revealed. Asus has already launched its feature-packed budget MeMO Pad HD 7 tablet, and worked with Google on the soon-to-be-released New Nexus 7, but we reckon we’ll see new entries in the FonePad and MeMO Pad ranges at IFA. That 'We Transform' teaser on the website suggests more dual devices such as the Padfone (a mobile phone that converts into a tablet using a nifty dock) will also be presented.
Although hosting a NYC launch event for its new Optimus G2 smartphone earlier this month, LG is still expected to show off its new G Pad tablet at IFA 2013. Leaks point to a rather unusual 8.3-inch device (sitting somewhere between an iPad and iPad Mini) with a Full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution. Its major selling point seems to be its incredible slender design, with minimal bezels surrounding the screen, making it a compact size despite the spacious display. It also allegedly packs a quad-core processor.
As usual, Apple will be shunning IFA to reportedly launch its new iPhone 5s/iPhone 6 on September 10 at an exclusive event. Expect to see another four-inch device with a new fingerprint sensor and upgraded camera, featuring a f2.0 aperture lens for brighter evening shots. There will also be a 128GB model if rumours are correct. Apple should also peel back the curtain on its much-anticipated budget model, the iPhone 5c.