Skip to main content

Best gadgets of IFA 2014: Sony Xperia Z3, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Moto 360 smartphones

Shhh. You hear that? That's the future, barrelling towards you like a faithful Labrador, and it's bringing a whole goodie bag of gadgets between its jaws. Why? Because IFA 2014 is nearly upon us.

Taking place in Berlin, IFA (or Internationale Funkausstellung, which no one except Aatif Sulleyman (opens in new tab) can pronounce) is one of the largest consumer electronics events in the tech calendar.

It's a veritable cornucopia of gadgetry. The 5 – 10 September will see the world's most prodigious tech giants catapult their smartphones, tablets and gadgets into public consciousness a crucial three months before the Christmas bonanza begins.

So which gadgets should you be keeping an eye trained on the horizon for?


Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The invitations have been sent out, and Samsung's "Unpacked 2014 Episode 2" is expected to see the unveiling of the much-anticipated Galaxy Note 3. Its predecessor earned an official ITProPortal Best Buy, but with whispers that Samsung is slipping from its top spot as a smartphone great, can the Galaxy Note 4 rise to expectations?

The answer is a resounding "perhaps." The allegedly 5.7in phablet is tipped to be the world's first 4K smartphone with a retina scanner. With most expecting it to feature the same fingerprint scanner introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S5, it looks like the Note 3 will be bang on 2014's biometric trend.

Samsung Gear VR

Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus have been dominating headlines for months, and rumour is that Gear VR will be Samsung's attempt to carve a slice of the chatter.

The virtual reality headset is apparently currently being tested by developers as Samsung hurries to have it ready for release at IFA. Details are hazy as yet, but it's expected that the gadget will only be compatible with high-end Samsung smartphones. Docking a smartphone into the Gear VR should kick into motion head-tracking technology, using the handset's inbuilt accelerometer and gyroscope.

Most seem to agree that the Gear VR will boast an OLED display and run the Tizen OS.


LG G Flex 2

Aside from the LG G3 Stylus – a phablet size version of the popular flagship smartphone – we've heard on the grapevine that LG is going to release a second curved smartphone: The LG G Flex 2.

For those who may have missed it, the transition period between 2013 and 2014 saw a flurry of smartphone manufacturers experimenting with curved handset technology. LG went head to head with Samsung as both, ahem, bent over backwards to earn the title of "first flexible smartphone manufacturer." Trouble is, with a price tag of £650, the LG G Flex wasn't exactly popular. It scored only three out of five stars when he reviewed and launch sales were lacklustre to say the least.

Still, rumour has it that that's not stopped LG taking a second bite of the Apple. A follow-up device is said to be announced at IFA, though nothing else is known apart from the fact it will be called the G Flex 2. Obviously.

LG G Watch R

Anyone who tuned in to this year's Google I/O will realise that it is round smartwatches, not square, that are getting developers' hearts pumping. Not to be outdone by the super-stylish and popular Motorola Moto 360, IFA 2014 will see the launch of LG's own round smartwatch: The LG G Watch R.

While the original G Watch was criticised for its unwieldy chunkiness, the G Watch R looks remarkably like a traditional clock face. ITProPortal can confirm it will have a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor alongside 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

It will also have a 410mh battery and can withstand being submerged in a metre of water for up to 30 minutes. We have to say, we're excited for this one.


Sony Xperia Z3

The Sony Xperia Z2 was only just announced at this year's Mobile World Congress, but everyone and their tech –savvy granny are now expecting Sony's brand new flagship, the Sony Xperia Z3, to launch at IFA 2014.

Nothing's been confirmed yet, but we've been looking through a few leaked photos on our Sony Xperia Z3 live blog (opens in new tab). It seems the Z3 will boast an ultra-slim design with a 20.7-megapixel camera and waterproof coating.

Interestingly, in our poll a resounding 100 per cent of you said that you thought the Z3 was launching too soon. We've never known ITProPortal reads to agree on something so vehemently.

Sony SmartWatch 3

IFA is going to be chock-full of smartwatches – be prepared for a smorgasbord of wearable technology. Sony is keen to cash in on the trend; it was one of the first tech behemoths to launch a smartwatch, with the second iteration (Sony SmartWatch 2) launching almost exactly a year ago.

It makes sense then that most people believe the SmartWatch 3 will be unveiled at this year's IFA. What is more of a surprise, however, is that there are also whispers that the device is abandoning Android Wear as its operating system. Instead, the smartwatch will run its own unique OS, alongside a higher resolution screen and built-in Wi-Fi. This is beard-strokingly intriguing.


Motorola Moto X+1

At this year's MWC, Motorola promised a follow-up phone to its wildly popular Moto X smartphone by "late summer." It didn't appear in time for Google I/O, so our money is on IFA for the grand unveiling of the brand new Moto X flagship. Word is it will be called either the Moto X+1, or just the Moto X2, straight up.

Word on the web is that specs will include a 5in screen with full HD resolution, up to 64GB or storage and a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor.

Motorola Moto 360

But it doesn't end there. We wouldn't be surprised if Motorola released a new version of its popular Moto G budget smartphone at the same time as the Moto X2.

The Moto G set a new precedent for budget smartphones, packing seriously impressive specs into a £135 price tag. It's now believed that a dual-SIM Moto G2 will launch with a quad-core ARM processor and Adreno 305 graphics. There's no word on the OS as yet, but we'd bet money that Moto would be willing to splash out on the newest Android Lollipop operating system.

What are you looking forward to at this year's IFA? Let us know in the comment section below, or on our new live chat function in the bottom left hand corner.

Alysia is a multi-talented freelance filmmaker, presenter, and writer. She's worked with and created content for Netflix UK, IGN, BAFTA, the Guardian, the BBC, and has written for sites like IT Pro Portal GamesRadar, IGN, and more. She also works with UK gaming body, UKIE.