Best of IFA 2015
IFA Berlin is Europe’s biggest consumer tech show, with over 300,000 attendees, 13,000 exhibitors and hundreds upon hundreds of product launches. To get noticed, you had to have something pretty special – and here we celebrate the very best.
An “insane” 5.5in screen is the star of the show here – who really needs 4K on a such a small display? But there’s something about this bold new phone that Alphr’s reviews editor Jon Bray really liked, including a “mirror-finish back”, a blistering spec and a 23-megapixel camera with plenty of extras to help photos turn out beautifully. Read Jon’s full hands-on review of the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium here
Arguably the standout launch of the whole IFA 2015 show, Jon lavished praise on the Samsung Gear S2 because it “dares to be different”. It’s the company’s first round-faced watch, but what really marks it out is a rotating bezel that makes it easy to navigate and select apps, “much like the digital crown on an Apple Watch”. Fitness freaks will like it too, with a bundled Nike+ Running app, heart-rate monitor and a bunch of health-based watch faces. Read our wrist-on review of the Samsung Gear S2 here.
Lenovo does love to unveil sexy new products at the big shows, and the first of its three Alphr Best of IFA awards is for the IdeaPad Miix 700. In the best spirit of tech firms the world over, it’s safe to say Lenovo has “taken inspiration” from Microsoft’s excellent Surface Pro range, with a kickstand to accompany the magnetic keyboard. But here the keyboard is included in the price – and that’s a commendable $699 (we’re still waiting for UK prices). Read more about the Lenovo IdeaPad Miix 700 here.
Best laptop IFA 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260
The ThinkPad range of laptops just keeps on evolving, with Lenovo unveiling both a 14in and 12.5in convertible laptop at IFA. It’s the 12.5in version that gets our vote, with Intel’s Skylake chip inside, and enough to get our laptop specialist Sasha Muller rather excited: “It has everything. There’s power, connectivity, flexibility and stylus support all crammed into one supremely portable chassis. Is this the holy grail of business laptops? Maybe.” Read our full hands-on review of the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260.
IFA 2015 is arguably the show where Huawei discovered a new-found confidence and authority: it aims to be the biggest and best phone maker in the world, and certainly isn’t afraid of the big bad Apple. The Mate S even beat the iPhone 6s to the punch, with a Force Touch screen making its debut here. As Jon says in his hands-on review of the Huawei Mate S, it’s “packed with all the features you could possibly want plus a few extras to boot”.
“Imagine if an Intel NUC had an illicit love affair with a box of Lego,” wrote Sasha Muller from the IFA 2015 showfloor, “their lovechild would surely be the Acer Revo Build”. You can start with the mini-PC base and then add on whatever you like – hard drives, external GPU, speakers – to form a veritable tower of technology. Even the price looks good, with Acer saying they’ll start from £200 when the Revo Build goes on sale in October. Read Sasha’s hands-on review of the Acer Revo Build here.
Best of IFA 2015: Motorola Moto 360 Collection
Square-faced smartwatches? So very 2014. Motorola, a Lenovo brand, introduced four new models of its revamped Motorola Moto 360 at IFA 2015, which it dubs the Moto 360 Collection. Whichever you choose (there’s a sports model, plus an even slimmer design that Motorola hopes will win over previously cynical female customers), the chunky look of its predecessor is consigned to history, with tweaked hardware to match. Read Sasha’s verdict on the Motorola Moto 360 Collection here.