Mobile Nations Weekly: IFA 2015 Edition
This week marked the tech extravaganza that is IFA 2015. The team headed to Berlin to check out all the latest and came away impressed with the offerings. They were small and wrist-worn, but impressive nonetheless. Yes, we're talking about smartwatches, the most impressive and surprising of which was the Samsung's new Gear S2 smartwatch.
But Samsung and companies like Motorola and Huawei showing off their new wearables were not the only shows in town. PC makers had a strong presence, presenting their latest wares, including a slew of laptops powered by Intel's new Skylake processors and an insane 4K 12-inch laptop and a stunningly-thin Windows 10 tablet from Toshiba.
There's a whole lot more that went down this week, so click on through to check it all out!
iMore — Next week is iPhone week
It's time. Kicking off on Wednesday at 10am PT, 1pm ET, Apple's 2015 iPhone event is set to bring us the iPhone 6s, iOS 9, watchOS 2, Apple TV 4, and maybe even iPad Pro. And iMore will be there to bring it all to you live!
Android Central — Watch watch watch watch phone watch watch watch...
The theme for this year's IFA was clear from the start: watches. Practically everybody had one to show off, but the real winner was Samsung's new Gear S2 smartwatch. It runs their Tizen OS, but it's buttery smooth and super responsive, with a unique rotating bezel around the awesome circular AMOLED display. And in an added bonus, Samsung made the Gear S2 compatible with a wide range of non-Samsung Android phones.
Motorola also launched their new smartwatch, the Moto 360 (2015), a solid update to their first-generation Android Wear device. We also got some time with the higher-end Huawei Watch and the ASUS ZenWatch 2.
Smartwatches weren't the only thing going down, though. Sony updated their Xperia line again with the Z5 series, including the standard Xperia Z5, and new Z5 Compact and the Z5 Premium with an absurd 4K display. Huawei announced the new Mate S with a pressure-sensing display and we went hands-on with the expanded ASUS ZenFone line, including the optical zoom-equipped ZenFone Zoom, plus a few new ZenPad tablets
- Hands-on with the impressive new Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch
- Samsung Gear S2 vs. Apple Watch vs. LG Watch Urbane
- Sony's new Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and 4K Xperia Z5 premium
- Checking out the new Moto 360 smartwatch
- Huawei Mate S: first impressions
- Wrist-on: Huawei Watch
- This is the ASUS ZenWatch 2
- The expanded ASUS smartphone line: ZenFone Deluxe, ZenFone Zoom, ZenFone Max and ZenFone Laser
- Hands-on with the ASUS ZenPad tablets
CrackBerry — Good security
While most companies were busy with IFA this week, BlackBerry was off acquiring multi-million dollar companies, rolling out their hardware to new regions and winning security contracts with over 200 airports nationwide. Seems not attending IFA in any official capacity served BlackBerry well — they still took care of business.
- BlackBerry's AtHoc wins TSA contract to secure over 200 airports nationwide
- BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition now available in Hong Kong
- BlackBerry to acquire Good Technology for $425 million
Windows Central — Continuum, cloning, and Core
It has been a busy week not so much for Microsoft but their manufacturer partners at IFA in Berlin. Acer has announced two new budget Windows Phones with a third high-end one that can even do Continuum on the way. Lenovo has plenty of announcements mostly for mid-range devices although they have a very nice looking Surface clone called the MIIX 700. Meanwhile, Toshiba may have stolen the show with their 4K 12-inch Ultrabook and as yet unnamed two-in-one device.
Intel has given details on the 6th generation of Core processors under the codenamed Skylake. Some of these processors – optimized for Windows 10 – are already making their way to market.
You can read all the latest news from Microsoft and the PC world right in our IFA hub.
- Hands-on with the MIIX 700, Lenovo's answer to the Surface
- Why Lenovo's MIIX 700 is a good thing for Windows 10 and the Surface brand
- Hands-on with Toshiba's gorgeous Radius 12 convertible with a 4K display
- This is Toshiba's latest Windows 10 2-in-1, the Dynabook
This week on Kicked we look at walkie talkie headphones, a better shower experience, a music player with built-in lights, and more! Plus, Drew resists the urge to revisit the dubstep throwdown.
We're also giving away some great prizes! For your chance to win a Pebble Time smart watch, an Ilumi smart bulb 10-pack, or the Coolest Cooler, watch this video and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You've only got until the end of September so subscribe today!
This week on Connectedly, we saw quite a few new wearables being shown off thanks, in-part to IFA Berlin. We learned more about the Samsung Gear S2, Asus ZenWatch 2, Runtastic Moment, and even a wearable for your Kids with a built-in tracker. We also saw updated releases for smart home upgrades in the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat and the SmartThings Home Automation Hub. There were plenty of exciting Crowdfunding projects, including Wireless earbuds that will charge right off your phone and the Nebia Shower Head.
- Hands-on with the Samsung Gear S2
- 2nd generation Nest Learning Thermostat now $199
- The Asus ZenWatch 2
- These wireless earbud headphones charge off your phone
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.