“A roundup of the best smartphones unveiled at IFA 2015”
IFA 2015 was witness an array of gadget launches spread over a varying user spectrum. We went all the way to Berlin to bring you exclusive coverage and we were met by a bit of everything. From flagship smartphones to the latest editions of some renowned wearables, to tablets from various brands, to smart home appliances too. While there’s a lot to talk about, let’s start with a roundup of the top smartphones launched at the trade show.
Sony seized the limelight by launching the Xperia Z5 Premium (first impressions) which now holds the tag of being the world’s first smartphone to boast a 4K display. Alongside, the brand introduced two more down-to-earth offerings – the Xperia Z5 and the Z5 Compact.
The Xperia Z5 Premium stole the show with its 5.5-inch TRILUMINOS display with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,16 pixels. This translates to a pixel density which treads way past Apple’s so called magic number of 300 pixels per inch and amounts to a blistering 806ppi. The processing capabilities of the device include an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor mated to 3 gigs of RAM. The onboard storage on the device is rated at 32 gigabytes and can be expanded by making use of a microSD card. The Z5 Premium is equipped with a 23MP camera with Sony’s 1/2.3 Exmor RS sensor at the back and a 5Mp shooter on the front. With an IP65/68 rating, the smartphone is capable of withstanding immersion of up to 1.5 metres for as long as 30 minutes. The device also sports a fingerprint scanner. The Xperia Z Premium comes with 4G support and offers other connectivity options like dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth, A-GPS, NFC, DLNA and Miracast. Running Android Lollipop 5.1.1, the device is backed by a 3,430mAh battery.
The Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact share core specs with the more royal Z5 Premium. However, the Z5 sports a 5.2-inch full HD display while the Z5 Compact gets a smaller, 4.6-inch 720p screen. The smallest of the three gets single SIM support while the other two will offer dual SIM slots.
Launched in the initial days of the event, the Huawei Mate S falls into the phablet segment with a full HD AMOLED 2.5D curved display which spans 5.5 inches. A variant of the phone features a screen with force touch technology that can sense varying pressure on the display, thereby enabling the user to perform various functions by changing the applied pressure. Powering the Mate S is an octa-core Huawei Kiriin 935 processor which has four of its cores clocked at 2.2GHz and other four running at 1.5GHz. The chipset is mated to 3GB of RAM. The Mate S can be bought in either a 32GB internal storage variant or 64GB one. On the rear of the device lies a 13MP snapper accompanied by a dual-LED flash. The camera sensor is equipped with optical image stabilisation. There’s an 8-megapixel shooter at the front, also assisted by an LED flash. The Huawei Mate S is equipped with a fingerprint scanner (Fingerprint Sense 2.0) on its rear panel. The phablet runs the brand’s Emotion UI 3.1 atop Android 5.1 Lollipop. On the connectivity front the smartphone sports 4G LTE support, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. A 2,700mAh battery keeps the device running. Priced around Rs 48,300 (32GB variant), the Huawei Mate S will be up for grabs in the colours Mystic Champagne or Titanium Gray. The 64GB variant of the device will be available in Prestige Gold or Coral Pink and is priced near Rs 52,000.
The Huawei G8 was launched alongside the Mate S. Under the hood, the smartphone hides an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 engine with four cores humming at 1.5GHz and the rest clocked at 1.2GHz. It gets 3GB of RAM just like the Mate S. The Huawei G8 has been provided with 32GB of flash storage which is expandable. The smartphone sports a similar display as that of the Mate S. The rear camera on the G8 is rated at 13 megapixels while on the front you will find a 5MP shooter. The 4G capable smartphone offers other connectivity options like Bluetooth, dual-band Wi-Fi and GPS. Running Android Lollipop 5.1 out of the box, the Huawei G8 also comes with the brand’s Emotion UI 3.1 on top and is backed by a 3,000mAh battery. The device is priced at around Rs 29,600 and will be available in Dark Silver, gold and white colour options.
With people going down right crazy about selfies, it only seems fair to equip smartphones with front cameras just as good as their primary cameras. Lenovo has tried to do something similar by launching the Vibe S1 with dual front camera setup. The device sports an 8MP BSI sensor as the primary selfie shooter along with a 2MP sensor for depth sensing. As a result, you can change the point of focus in a selfie, as well as play with effects like bokeh and cut-and-paste. To complete the experience there’s a 13MP primary camera with dual-tone LED flash. Powering the Lenovo Vibe S1 is an octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor working with 3GB of RAM. While there’s 32GB of flash storage available, you can expand it up to 128GB with the help of a microSD card. The Vibe S1 rocks a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution. Lenovo’s Vibe UI runs atop Android Lollipop on the device. Connectivity options include support for dual-SIM and 4G LTE. The Lenovo Vibe S1 sips juice from a 2,500mAh battery. Priced at around Rs 20,000, the smartphone sports metallic frame and comes in two variants – Pearl While and Midnight Blue.
These battery life specific additions to the Lenovo’s Vibe series run Android Lollipop and feature humungous batteries and OTG charging capabilities.
The Vibe P1 rocks a 5.5-inch full HD IPS LCD display. As its engine, the device gets a 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset working in tandem with 2GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of internal storage which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. The camera department features a 13MP primary shooter supplemented by a dual-tone LED flash. There’s a 5MP front camera as well. Connectivity options on the dual-SIM smartphone include 4G LTE support, NFC and Bluetooth 4.1 LE. The USP of the Lenovo Vibe P1 is its massive 5,000mAh battery which is claimed to deliver up to 44 hours of talk time and 26 days of standby time. The metal clad smartphone from Lenovo also hides a fingerprint scanner in its home button. Priced at around Rs 18,500, the Lenovo P1 will be available this October in Gold, Platinum and Graphite Grey colours.
The Vibe P1m houses a relatively smaller 4,000mAh battery which is said to deliver 16 hours of talk time and 23.5 days of standby time. A quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor clocked at 1GHz fires up the device. The processor is mated to 2GB of RAM. The display of the Vibe P1m spans 5 inches and sports HD resolution. There’s 16GB of built-in memory in the device which can be incremented up to 32GB. The Lenovo Vibe P1m is a dual-SIM device which supports 4G and other connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and GPS. Available in variants like Onyx Black and Pearl White, the device will be up for grabs earlier than the P1 for a price of around Rs 10,500.
Having decided to go all big and fabulous, Lenovo came up with a big-screened addition to its portfolio, dubbed the Phab Plus. The phablet sports a gigantic 6.8-inch 1,080 x 1,920 display translating to a pixel density of about 326ppi. Ticking at 1.5GHz , an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor sits inside the Lenovo Phab Plus and works in harmony with a 2GB RAM. The inbuilt storage is limited to 32GB, however, it can be topped up via a microSD card. The device sports a 13-megapixel primary shooter with LED flash and a 5MP front cam. As is expected, Lenovo’s Vibe UI runs on top of Android Lollipop on the Phab Plus. Dolby Atmos sound enhancement tech along with three microphones and a voice processor are also a part of the Phab setup. Standard connectivity options are supported by the dual-SIM device including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and supports for 4G. The Phab Plus comes with a 3,500mAh battery. The phablet will be available in three variants – Gunmetal Grey and Titanium Silver and Champagne Gold – and is priced near Rs 20,000.
Acer Predator 6
Apart from a plethora of other smartphones Acer launched at IFA 2015, the brand also introduced the gaming centric Predator 6, which happens to be the world’s first smartphone with a deca-core processor. A MediaTek Helio X20 SoC powers the Predator 6 with three core clusters ticking at 1.4GHz, 2.0GHz and 2.5GHz. There’s 4GB of RAM to help eliminate any lags, and a Mali T880 MP4 GPU to take care of the graphics. The smartphone will ship with Android Lollipop out of the box. Enhancing the experience is the device’s 6-inch HD display and four front facing loudspeakers. The device also sports haptic feedback technology which is intended to make it feel like a real gaming controller. There’s a 21MP autofocus primary camera on the device. The Predator 6 comes equipped with USB OTG capabilities as well.