5 things to watch at the IFA gadget show in Berlin

AP News
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Posted: Sep 01, 2015 11:51 AM
5 things to watch at the IFA gadget show in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — Some 1,500 companies and over 250,000 people are expected to visit Europe's flagship technology show, the IFA in Berlin, when it opens to the public on Friday.

The event, which runs through Sept. 9, will showcase a range of new mobile handsets that will hit stores just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Beyond phones, the event will see technological innovations applied to all aspects of life, from Internet-connected kitchen appliances to rollable keyboards.

Here are five things to look out for at the show.

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SONY SMARTPHONE

The Japanese electronics giant is expected to release three new models for its Xperia smartphone line.

The Z5 will come in several variants: a standard, a compact and possibly premium version.

Each of the new devices is reported to come with a 23 megapixel primary camera.

Like previous devices in the series, all Z5s will be dust and water proof, while the rumored premium version is expected to sport a 5.5-inch screen with 3840 x 2160 pixels. This would give it a 4K resolution — a standard that was only recently rolled out for high-end televisions.

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SAMSUNG SURPRISE

Having already announced its latest range of Galaxy S phones last month, Samsung then jumped the gun on its own Berlin launch party by revealing a new smartwatch on Monday.

The Gear S2 will be round and come with a better battery life.

IFA-watchers are hoping that the South Korean company has something else up its sleeve for its presentation Wednesday. The company is under pressure from Apple on the one side, and a growing number of Android competitors on the other.

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TOUCH TYPES

The Apple Watch had it. Now smartphones are going to get it.

Force Touch, a technology that allows users to transmit different commands to their smartphone depending on how strongly they press the touchscreen, is expected to make an entrance at IFA.

Huawei has been tipped as the first company to introduce it in their new device, ahead of the launch of Apple's new iPhone next week.

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ALCATEL ATTACK

Chinese company TCL, which owns the Alcatel One Touch brand, is launching two new entry-level smartphones in Berlin.

The Pop 3 comes with either a 5-inch or a 5.5-inch screen — comparable to Samsung and Apple's high-end phones.

At under $200, these Android-powered phones will be competitively priced despite the large display.

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ROLLABLE KEYBOARD

IFA isn't just about smartphones and watches though. Thousands of new gadgets, from drones to smart fridges are launched there each year.

Among the most eye-catching items previewed before the events is the Rolly, a Bluetooth keyboard that can be folded into a long rectangular box. Its manufacturer, South Korean company LG, hopes the Rolly will appeal to people who always carry their tablet around but prefer to type on a keyboard than a touchscreen.

Other accessories that might catch consumers' eyes include a USB cable with a built-in LED light that manufacturer Hama says makes it easier to plug in your device in the dark.