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Day 4 - IFA International

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BUYERS' GUIDE

BUYERS' GUIDE SMARTPHONES I FA international Official Daily News Source f or International Visitors at IFA STATE OF PLAY It could be said that smartphones are proof that companies should create objects that consumers don’t want — or at least don’t know that they need. When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, the idea of combining what at the time appeared to be a glorified MP3 player with a phone seemed like a strange idea to a lot of people. It was only when people started using the device that they realised it was something they couldn’t do without. Today the smartphone has become the ultimate consumer device. But with the market now flooded with smartphones, how do you choose the best? The experts from EISA have provided the following guidelines. MARKET NOMADIC COMMUNICATION PRODUCTS SMARTPHONES AND MEDIA TABLETS 5% 84% 2010 308 Mn 15% 11% 2% 84% 11% 2011 552 Mn 5% 17% 1% KEY SELLING POINTS TECHNOLOGY Operating system The domination of the Android operating system is clear, followed by Apple’s iOS. The Windows phone is still struggling to gain momentum, while the Symbian is set to be terminated. New operating systems, including Mozilla, Ubuntu and Tizen, are emerging, but whether or not they will have a significant impact on the market remains uncertain. Processor The effectiveness of the processor affects every application, from camera to audio player. Not only do GHz and the cores affect the speed of the smartphone, but also RAM memory and GPU. Display The screen is clearly pivotal, as it serves as both display and user interface. Resolution is the most often quoted specification in marketing, but in fact pixel density (pixel count in relation to screen surface) is equally important — as are brightness and contrast in determining video performance. FEATURES Long battery life Arguably still the most important factor for manufacturers is battery life. Today’s high-end smartphones use a lot of energy to drive their large screens and various wireless technologies. There is still much to be desired in terms of standby and talk time. New technologies will continue to address this issue. Near Field Communication (NFC) Set to become increasingly important, NFC technology — or tapto-pair functionality — allows smartphones to be connected with televisions or audio systems. It can even be used for contactless bank transactions. 4G LTE Higher speed data transmission is welcomed by most consumers, but it will still take time to install the infrastructure needed to make this technology widely available. At the top end of the market, buyers are shopping for LTE today, even though they will not be able to use it to its full potential until tomorrow. DESIGN Gestures and pens While touch control is the standard today, some manufacturers still provide a stylus with their devices because some consumers find using these easier for certain tasks. Active covers With smartphones competing to be ultraslim and designed for maximum display area, covers are becoming an important distinguishing feature. Active do a lot more than look good and protect the device — watch out, for example, for covers features photovoltaic cells or additional screens. Protection People take their smartphones everywhere, so they need to be rugged enough to withstand tough conditions. While the world has yet to see a smartphone you can take when SCUBA diving, splash-resistant waterproofing and protection against dust are beginning to become key features. 83% 2012 865 Mn THE FUTURE 82% 2013 Est. 1.201 Mn Smartphones Media Tablets Others The high-end smartphone market is slowing down. Low-end smartphones are becoming the new standard on the global market, driven by new entrants from Asia and niche players. If distinguishing one high-end smartphone from another is hard, distinguishing one low-end smartphone from another is next to impossible. Our thanks to EISA for their help in compiling this buyers' guide. INNOVATING @ IFA THE GALAXY GEAR Not a phone in its own right, the Galaxy Gear is really a phone accessory. It connects to your phone through Bluetooth. The Gear will be compatible with the freshlyannounced Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, while software updates for the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, and Galaxy Note II are in the works to introduce compatibility there as well. It comes in six different shades and has already over seventy purpose-built apps to work with it. The majority are running and fitness apps. » HALL 20 / STAND 101 LG G2 The G2 is LG’s flagship smartphone and it’s packed full of new features. Answer Me is a function where the phone answers automatically when the user brings it close to their ear. QuickRemote gives the user control over every other smart device in their home and Plug&Pop automatically recommends options whenever a headset or USB cable is detected near the phone. The G2 is fitted with an optical image stabiliser for taking photos in poor light. » HALL 11.2 / STAND 101 40

NOMADIC LIFESTYLE SMARTPHONES PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT SONY XPERIA Z1 Many commentators see Sony as the brand to watch this year in the smartphone sector. The Z1 is the first mainstream device to contain a 21-megapixel camera. The camera is operated by a physical shutter button and there is also a side port for SD cards. The Sony Z1 is very much a photofriendly phone. UNIQUE SELLING POINTS BIG SHOTS BATTERY LIFE DISPLAY » HALL 4.2 / STAND 101 The 21-megapixel camera is the biggest of its kind commercially available. Sony has fitted a huge 3,000mAh battery in the Z1. The Sony Z1 uses Sony Bravia triluminous technology to power the 5-inch screen. LIQUID S1 Acer’s phablet is not just a bigger phone or a smaller tablet, it’s an attempt by the manufacturers to break through smartphone restrictions. The phablet is arguably a much better multimedia experience than other smartphones. It is feature and entertainment heavy, including a camera app that works when the user says “cheese”. » HALL 12 / STAND 101 UNIQUE SELLING POINTS MULTI-TASKING VOICE COMMANDS SIZE The Liquid S1 allows users to leave several apps open at once, rather than flicking back and forth. Personal voice commands unlock the S1 and activate apps remotely. The 5.7-inch screen makes taking photos or watching video content more enjoyable. BLACKBERRY Q5 A new design for the Blackberry. The Q5 features an evolved keyboard and a new look that Blackberry is describing as “youthful”. Instant action shortcuts make this one of the easiest Blackberrys to use. The generously-proportioned screen makes app usage more enjoyable. » HALL 9 / STAND 213 UNIQUE SELLING POINTS APP ACCESS TYPING FUNCTION Access to more than 100,000 apps on the BlackBerry World storefront. The Q5 comes with a QWERTY keyboard to allow faster typing and messaging. Screen-sharing capabilities and Blackberry face-to-face video conversation are included on the phone. IDOL ALPHA Alcatel have never made a high-end phone before. The Idol Alpha, wrapped in a 3D aluminum frame is a good first step in the premium market. The Alpha runs Android 4.2.2 with a special UI designed by Alcatel and features a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display and a 1.2GHz quad-core SoC. But its real selling point is its unique look. » HALL 1.2 / STAND 124 UNIQUE SELLING POINTS DESIGN DURABILITY SIZE The phone is bookmarked by translucent parts. It gives the appearance that the phone is floating in mid-air. The Alpha has a metallic back and the front is completed with an oleophobic coating to prevent scratches. The Alpha has a relatively large 4.7- inch screen. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 9 th September 2013 41

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