Sony's oft-leaked Xperia Z1 finally made its official debut at IFA in Berlin yesterday, and I had a chance to take a few minutes and look at the company's latest smartphone creation. The Z1 has opted to keep the same basic dimensions of the Xperia Z with its 5" 1080p LCD, enclosed in an aluminum chassis sandwiched between two glass plates. As such, holding the Z1 is very reminiscent of the Z - lots of glass, and an extremely solid, premium feel.
ASUS re-announced at IFA today a slew of new devices, some of which aren't actually new. We first heard about the Transformer Book Trio back in June when ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih introduced just under a dozen products in under an hour. The Transformer Book Trio is billed as a"three-in-one" ultraportable, though there are only two pieces - a tablet and a keyboard dock. If you're familiar with the ASUS Transformer line of products, there is nothing new about this form-factor.
ASUS is getting into the gigantic phone market in a big way. After their initial offerings in the Fonepad line (that's large, tablet-style phones, not to be confused with the docking Padfone) the company has announced a new model and at IFA in Germany, along with a previously announced but unreleased one. The Fonepad Note 6 (ME560CG) is a conventional "phablet" design, complete with stylus, which we saw back in June.
IFA is well under way in Berlin, and Sony is the first manufacturer to let loose with a volley of hardware clamoring for your bleeding edge dollars. The Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami"), the sequel to last year's flagship Xperia Z, was just revealed in Sony's press conference. It's a modest bump to most hardware with a massive, massive focus on the camera. As leaked in multiple reports, the Z1 sports a 20.7 megapixel rear camera, soundly smashing current-generation Android competitors.
Just yesterday we shared leaked photos of the upcoming but unannounced Sony Xperia Z1, otherwise known as the Honami. The folks at XperiaBlog shared a collection of official rendered press photos, and now they've got their hands on a full press release and specs ahead of tomorrow's planned unveil at IFA. Altogether, it's nine pages of material reminding us that Sony's successor to last year's Xperia Z flagship should be quite the impressive piece of tech.
LG has made the G Pad 8.3, for which we saw a teaser video just a few days ago, official. The sequel to the original Optimus Pad (LG has since dropped the "Optimus" moniker from their flagship line) is evidently packing a 1200x1920 display, Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor at 1.7GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB built-in storage, Android 4.2, and a 4600mAh battery along with a 5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front shooter.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is big. Really, really big. That is quite literally the entirety of the list of interesting features that distinguish it from other Samsung smartphones. It is a shamelessly single-minded product. In a way, that's a good thing - it's certainly a big part of what even makes it possible to sell the Mega for just $480 off contract ($150 on).
That's because the Mega really doesn't mess around when it comes to smart cost-cutting.
The HTC One mini is, in many respects, very similar to its larger, older sibling, the HTC One. It has a [mostly] aluminum body, BoomSound speakers (though they've been noticeably downgraded), and HTC's Ultrapixel camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5, and its 720p S-LCD2 display with Gorilla Glass 3 is breathtakingly good for a "mid-range" phone.
So, how does it cost a full $170 less than the HTC One?