Sony XZ, Samsung Gear S3 and VR releases feature at IFA 2016

1 Sep 2016

Xperia X Compact features a 4.6” HD display, packing an improved camera on its predecessors

The launch of Sony’s latest premium smartphone, another smartwatch from Samsung and Alcatel’s new virtual reality (VR) range have all featured at IFA’s Berlin showpiece event.

While many people are waiting around for Apple’s latest device releases on 7 September – with the new iPhone 7, as well as a new MacBook Pro and Apple Watch expected – a lot of product launches are happening right now, in Berlin.

IFA 2016, which opens its doors to the public tomorrow (2 September), is currently host to most major technology companies. In the vast halls of the Messe Berlin, plenty of gadgets and gizmos are being revealed.

Future Human

IFA Sony Samsung Gear

One of the more eye-catching of these is Sony’s release of the Compact X and XZ as part of its Xperia smartphone range.

As it’s Sony, the cameras are the main draw for these phones, and both boast improvements on their already-impressive predecessors. ‘Triple image sensing technology’ is behind the boost, with image, distance and colour-sensing making up the holy trinity.

They each also boast video improvements, with 5-axis image stabilisation, as well as longer battery lives, too.

The XZ features a 5.2” HD display.

The XZ features a 5.2in HD display

Xperia X Compact features a 4.6” HD display

Xperia X Compact features a 4.6in HD display

Elsewhere, Samsung’s releases include the Gear S3, which boasts greater water resistance, increased durability through Corning Gorilla Glass and significant advances on its screen face.

The rotating bezel has a raft of new features and, with a touchscreen and the ability to write messages on the screen, it is a decent upgrade on its predecessor.

Alcatel has gone down the VR route, announcing a partnership up with several 360-degree camera makers and revealing Vision and Alcatel 360.

Calling Vision the first-ever all-in-one mobile home entertainment VR device, Alcatel claims it can be worn for as long as three hours without discomfort.

Alcatel Vision

“VR is the next big computing platform and will reshape the way we experience the world,” said Nicolas Zibell, GM of parent company TCL Communication.

“That’s why we’re jumping in feet first. Our new mobile VR device and 360-degree camera are for those who believe that technology can change the world – and they want to be part of that change.”

Alcatel 360

The 360-degree camera is the Alcatel 360, a small device that lets filmmakers produce VR and other immersive content.

Equipped with dual 210-degree fisheye lenses, the Alcatel 360 camera can be plugged into micro USB ports, with the available cameras including 360fly 4K, 360fly HD, ALLie Camera, Insta360 4K and Nico360.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic