Dienstag, 10. September 2013

IFA 2013 Impressions

This year at IFA was fun again, of course. But somehow it was less interesting compared to last year. I guess, this was because it seemed that anyone had the same on their booths. Last year, there where different focusses at the vendors, competing for your attention. Last year we had improved LED/LCD's, AMOLED's, TrueLED at Sony and 4K and glasses free 3D at Toshiba.
This year, mostly everybody had 'the worlds first 4K/UHD AMOLED', sometimes curved, and thats it. And interestingly, anyone showed that they can do ultra smooth panning. This problems finally seems to be solved and many vendors demonstrated this. Probably, the average built-in CPU is now fast enough of handling this.


Samsung showed 'the worlds largest Samsung UHD TV' with 110'' ...


... and the world's first ...

curved UHD OLED TV (according to Samsung).

But also, surprise, surprise, a 'bread-and-butter' UHD OLED TV.

We could play around with the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a companion device to some newer Galaxy Smartphones/Phablets and shot some really ugly photos with it ;-)

Besides from that, the Samsung booth was a little uninspiring, showing many of the same. I was looking for  a high spec notebook, but all I found were tablets and ultrabooks. They showed some of their NX cameras, but compared to Sony's NEX lineup, the NX lineup is a joke.

Trying to get Android into the business smartphone sector, Blackberry leaves a gap here, they had some expert stands with their Knox technology, making it possible to seperate private and business data on the same smartphone with some remote device management features. From my point of view the most interesting aspect of Samsungs booth.

Samsung also showed some improvement for their Plasma-TV lineup, but they are still not on par with Panasonic. So as long as Samsung sales their Plasmas for the same price as Panasonic, there is no point in buying one. But it is good to see, that some vendors are keeping up on Plasma as long as it takes for AMOLED to be available in moderate prices.


Of course, TCL also had the ...

... world largest UHD 3D TV


Toshiba upgraded their engine for UHD, now calling it CEVO4K capable of 4K upscaling of FullHD material.

Right before IFA, Toshiba announced 'the worlds first UHD TV below EUR 3000,-', but had no information on that model. They showed conventional LCD TV's with LED backlight, but with 4K resolution.

Toshiba demonstrated, that they where one of those vendors who solved the mistery of flicker free pan shots. Overall, the pictures looked very natural on Toshiba's TV's, compared to the over-punchy looking Samsungs. But due to conventional LED backlight, the 84'' modell hat problems with homogeneous lightning.


Of course, Panasonic has a much broader offering than the average home entertainment vendors.

For example, Panasonic showed their latest top end electric shaver. This thing is great, it went absolutely smooth over my face and I never heave been shaved that good by an electrical shaver.

I liked their new coffee machine. Just insert coffee, water and milk if needed. Then choose what you want on the touch screen and that's it. The cappuccino really tasted great.

Of course, Panasonic showed their excellent Plasma-TV lineup, this year with modell line number 60. So it is the GT60, VT60 and new top model ZT60. Every year, when it seemes that Plasma technology could not get even better, Panasonic brings a refined line up raising the bar a little further.

Panasonic also was one of the vendors showing that they have solved the flickering pan shot problem, showing a wall of flowers scrolling through the screen at high speed without the slightest flickering.

Interestingly, they also showed conventional LCD/LED screens with 4K resolution and amazing contrasts and blacks.


Sony also had the world's first 4K OLED TV ;-)

But Sony also offered a 4K video download service with some preload movies on a device looking like a big disc.

At least the 4K demo videos showed great detail.

And Sony showed their PS4, out of contest as Microsoft wasn't there to show the XBox.


LG also showed a wide line up ...

... with conventional IPS 4K displays

The 84'' model showed an enormous level of detail.

Of course, LG was also world's first with 'the worlds largest 77'' curved UHD OLED TV' (does this mean, that all the other 77'' TV's are smaller? ;-)

Especiall with LG's flicker free Cinema 3D technology, the picture quality is absolutely amazing. The 3D effect is that good, that I got the feeling that the screen is a window which I could just open.

Next to excellent picture quality, LG showed some nice classical picture frames around their screens. In addition with a screen saver showings classical paintings, you could save the money for your next Rembrandt ;-)

LG also showed their new top notch smartphone G2 with full HD display and all mechanical controls moved to the back. The idea is not bad, but I am not sure if I would get used to it. Unfortunately, the G2 only has non expandable built in storage, which is a no-go for me.

Like Samsungs Galaxy S4, the G2 can be equipped with a flip cover with a square hole in it. Closing this cover, the G2 switches to a minimal mode showing a collection of clocks, lets you do phone calls or use the music player without opening the cover.

As last year, LG showed the same XXXLarge 3D video wall ...

... but it was less impressive as last year mostly because they showed a different video which just was not so good.

And my personal best of show award goes to ...

... one of the cheapest gadgets. The new high end Panasonic shaver is absolutely amazing. Just the price tag of about EUR 300,- for the shaver and additional EUR 80,- for the charging/cleaning station keeps me from immediately buying it.