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.
Remember the allegedly hilarious video for "The Smart Cube" from last week, which toed the line between awkward funding campaign and a parody of awkward funding campaigns? We mentioned at the time that it was almost certainly an alternative marketing campaign for a Samsung product, probably the Android-powered Galaxy NX camera. There's no way to say this without sounding a little smug, so: yeah. It is.
The Muku Shuttr is a simple piece of hardware that reached its Kickstarter funding goal in under a week, ending its campaign with almost ten times its original goal. It appeared an audience was ready and waiting for a mobile camera remote shutter.
I'm generally fascinated by the variety of mobile photography accessories pouring out of Kickstarter lately (I eagerly backed the Lumu light meter and am awaiting my unit now), and naturally wanted to give Shuttr a try.
There's a reason the world has transitioned to HDTVs. It's not that there was anything wrong with the concept of the television, it's just that the old giant boxes that occupied so much space in our homes were entirely the wrong shape for the task at hand. A giant cube with an antenna is a design that begs to be portable in a way televisions never have been. That's why the form-factor needed to move into a new market, and that's what makes the Smart Cube such a good idea.
Android phones are immensely customizable, but typically, these tweaks take place internally. We swap out launchers and keyboards like car floor mats and seat covers. We pop in widgets like an aftermarket radio and toss on live wallpapers like air fresheners hanging from the rear-view mirror. But by keeping our attention inside the car (wait, what was I talking about again?) we ignore all the external tweaks that are possible. Introducing Pressy, a Kickstarter project that wants to pop into your earphone jack so that you can take pictures and turn on the flashlight without having to unlock your device.
The Sony Honami, or possibly the Xperia i1, still doesn't have an official existence. But it's been spotted in leaked renders and system dumps, so it's a pretty safe bet that it's coming to market at some point. The big phone with an even bigger camera sensor was recently spotted hanging out with an iPhone 5 on Chinese forum Digi-Wo, which also compared it to a less bombastic Xperia Z.
No one makes watches quite like the Swiss, and the same seems to be true of smartwatches. While competitors tout the ability to check text messages and emails without having to pull out a phone, which is pretty convenient, or answer calls just by holding your hand to your ear, which is admittedly kind of awesome, the first Swiss smartwatch promises a 41MP camera. If James Bond were in the market for a smartwatch, he'd put down a pre-order for the Hyetis Crossbow.
Samsung's Galaxy NX is an unusual product – a high-end mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses running Android. Everyone suspected it would be expensive, but the price, now confirmed in the UK, is really up there. At £1,299, it will cost about the same as the upcoming pro-level Canon EOS 70D (with a comparable lens).
The Galaxy NX is essentially a Samsung NX series shooter with Galaxy Camera software features grafted on.
If you've ever wanted a Parrot AR Drone that feels more at home in the water than in the air, you'll want to check out the Ziphius Kickstarter campaign. This remote-controlled floating drone just passed its $125,000 goal with less than a day and a half remaining, and is scheduled to go into mass production later this year with backer units shipping in March 2014.
Ziphius is a floating drone, a Raspberry Pi control board, twin propellers, and a 1080p video camera with an LED flashlight, shoved into a lightweight waterproof chassis.