Top Five Tech Highlights From IFA 2015

Top Five Tech Highlights From IFA 2015
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IFA, or “Internationale Funkausstellung” to give it its native title, is one of the biggest consumer technology trade shows in the world. Each year, the tech industry’s most important brands converge on Berlin to show off their latest and greatest products. Here’s what you need to know from this year’s show.

This week, our fearless Gizmodo colleagues travelled to Germany to cover IFA 2015. We’ve collected five highlights from the showroom floor that we feel are particularly relevant to Lifehacker readers; from an Australian hands-on with Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch to Acer’s latest PC gaming blitzkrieg. Click on the headlines to read the full stories.

Sony Unveils Monster 4K Smartphone

One of the most talked-about products at IFA 2015 was Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium. This is being billed as the world’s first 4K screen smartphone and it’s a true monster — the 806-ppi display measures a whopping 5.5 inches and packs in 3840×2160 pixels; double the pixel density of the iPhone 6 Plus. As befits a device with “premium” in its name, the Z5 boasts a metallic gold and chrome finish. Fancy.

Despite its gargantuan size, Sony reckons the Xperia Z5 Premium can last up to two days in-betweeen charges thanks to its 3430mAh battery. The device will come bundled with a pair of in-ear digital noise-cancelling headphones in Australia. The Xperia Z5 Premium is expected to ship some time in November. Local pricing and availability details for Australia will follow in the coming weeks. Click here for a hands-on.

New Gaming Goodies From Acer

IFA 2015 has unveiled plenty of new PC gaming gear with Acer leading the charge. Highlights included a new Predator tablet and phone, a 17-inch gaming laptop powered by Intel’s Skylake processor, and a Nvidia G-Sync gaming monitor with a 200Hz ultra-wide curved display. The new gaming laptop boasts a Core i7-6700HQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX980 graphics, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and 512GB NVMe PCIe solid state drives. There’s also a 4K display option for the smaller 15-inch model.

Click here for more details and photos.

Intel’s Skylake CPUs Squeeze Onto Smartphones

Intel’s new Skylake processors are so tiny they can even fit inside smartphones. During IFA 2015, Intel announced it’s already testing the new Core M chips inside “phablets” which is particularly intriguing for Windows users. The latest version of Microsoft’s OS comes with a new feature called Continuum for Phones, which will allow smartphones to seamlessly transform into a Windows 10 desktop experience. You just plug your phone into a keyboard, mouse, and monitor — or connect wirelessly with something like WiGig — and the apps and interface stretch themselves to fit. The chip purportedly delivers twice the performance of an iPad Air 2 with comparable battery life and can scale up or down to suit the task at hand.

Click here to see the full story.

Samsung’s Gear S2 Makes Smartwatches Sexy

Samsung’s new Gear S2 smartwatch was finally introduced to the world. According to Gizmodo’s hands-on, it’s a damn impressive gadget that feels slick and sturdy thanks to its stainless steel construction. The lightweight design successfully toes the line between feminine and masculine (this is a unisex device, after all).

Navigation is handled via a rotating dial followed up by a quick tap on the touchscreen. Other highlights include Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connectivity, an NFC chip and a 360x360pixel Super AMOLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 3. The watch is IP68 water resistant and promises three days of battery life. No word on Australian pricing yet, but you can probably expect to pay between $400 and $500.

Check out the full review here.

Lenovo’s Surface Pro Competitor

The Miix 700 is Lenovo’s answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro — it’s the same size, same weight and comes with a detachable magnetic keyboard and inbuilt tablet kickstand. Like the Surface Pro, it boasts a 12-inch touchscreen with a native resolution of 2160×1440 pixels and a 3:2 aspect ratio. It will come with 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of solid state storage and one of Intel’s new Skylake-based Core M chips. Best of all, it actually comes with the keyboard folio dock, unlike the Surface Pro. It also has two two full-size USB ports. The Lenovo Miix 700 will launch in the US this November for $US700, with Australia likely to follow sometime after.

See the full report here.

For more IFA news and hands-on features, head to Gizmodo’s IFA 2015 page.