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The best and worst of IFA 2012

Windows 8 hybrids, Samsung phablets and smart towels a-plenty
Thu Sep 06 2012, 14:09
ifa 2012 logo

A WEEK HAS PASSED since hundreds of technology journalists from around the world descended on the German capital of Berlin for what was one of the year's biggest consumer electronics tradeshows, IFA 2012.

The INQUIRER joined in on the fun, running around the press conferences and hundreds of vendors' display booths to bring you the news as it happened from the show floor. Dodging drills, saws and pieces of wood and diving out of the way of forklift trucks while builders prepared the Messe conference centre for the arrival of the general public, the two press days included tonnes of announcements, releases and brand new products to play with from firms like Samsung, Sony and Asus.

One major product category that dominated IFA this year was without question laptop-tablet hybrid devices made for Windows 8. Almost every major PC maker was in Berlin announcing their latest PCs, tablets and laptops designed specifically for Microsoft's next operating system, and with each announcement came news of yet another new laptop to tablet convertible device.

As with any major trade show, there were highs, lows, disappointments, surprises and, of course, the outright weird. Here's our rundown of the best and worst of IFA 2012.

What we liked at IFA
Without being biased towards the Koreans, we have to admit that Samsung pretty much stole the show at IFA this year.

Orchestrating two separate press conferences, revealing a slew of new devices and presenting a booth that put all the other firms attending IFA to shame in both size and design, the Korean firm knocked our socks off.

samsung logo ifa

Unveiling what seemed to be a never ending range of distinctive devices, the first night of IFA saw Samsung launch an even bigger phablet, the Galaxy Note 2, the world's first Android powered digital camera dubbed the Galaxy Camera and the world's first Windows Phone 8 device, the bizarrely named Samsung Ativ S.

samsung galaxy note 2 smartphone front

From our hands-on reviews and video demos, it's not difficult to see why Samsung managed to impress us. Running the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system (OS), the Note 2 has a huge 5.55in screen, which we think has to be the best screen we've seen on a phone, ever.

As for the Galaxy Camera, it too runs Google's latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS and has a 16MP image sensor with a 21x optical zoom lens. it also connects to WiFi, 3G and even 4G networks so pictures can be taken, edited with a number of filters and shared instantly to the web, something we've not seen in a camera before.

Samsung Galaxy Camera

Next: Windows Phone 8 devices tip up.


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