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Weekend Roundup: Google Nexus 5 launch imminent, plus counting down to IFA 2013 and the Galaxy Note 3

Counting down to IFA 2013

It's that time of the year again. In a few days, the tech world will start descending on Berlin for IFA, Europe's biggest electronics showcase and a firm highlight of the ITPP calendar. And while we look forward to the beer, bratwurst and bohemian vibes of the German capital as much as anything, what really gets us itching to leap on a budget flight every year are the new product launches. On this front, IFA 2013 looks to be better than ever.

Predictably, Samsung is doing its utmost to hog the limelight, with the Korean tech titan all-but-confirmed to launch the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch at a special event. Elsewhere, Sony is looking to step up its smartphone game with the Xperia Z1 'Honami', which is thought to feature a 5in, Full HD display and come with an impressive 20-megapixel primary camera. HTC could get in the action as well, with the Taiwanese firm thought to be ready to break cover with the hulking HTC One Max phablet at IFA. Lenovo, Acer, Asus, and Archos also have major launches to drop on us, so there's unlikely to be a dull moment over in Berlin. For a full idea of what to expect, check out Will Dalton's preview of IFA 2013.

Goodbye, Google

It has been a busy week over in Mountain View, California, where search giant Google has seen a number of important product developments coincide with an unexpected personnel shakeup. For starters, the Nexus 5 launch appears to be imminent, after Google price-slashed current flagship handset the Nexus 4 to just £160. The elephantine Internet company also broke cover with official UK pricing for its new Nexus 7 (2013) tablet, but the real story for many was the defection of now ex-Android guru Hugo Barra (pictured, left) to rising Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi. The business world is understandably intrigued by Barra's move to the Far East (though, to be clear, it's still unconfirmed exactly where he will be stationed), with the high-profile poach dramatically underlining China's rapid ascension to tech superpower status.