Bigger and better the dominant theme for electronics

Berlin show sees larger screens for phones and TVs

Philips ambient light flatscreens at the consumer electronics trade fair IFA in Berlin. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Philips ambient light flatscreens at the consumer electronics trade fair IFA in Berlin. Photograph: Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

 

Big mobile phones, bigger TVs and a new generation of wearable devices were all on the cards at the IFA electronics show in Berlin.

How often do you use your phone to make or receive a call?” Lenovo

While Sony revealed what it says is the world’s first phone with a 4K display, Lenovo unveiled its phone/tablet hybrid, the Phab Plus, which comes with a 6.8 inch screen.

“How often do you use your mobile to make or receive a call?” asked Lenovo’s Jeffrey Meredith, emphasising that the smartphone has moved beyond a simple voice communication device.

The trend towards 4K devices, pushed by a TV industry that is looking to boost sales in what is expected to be a flagging year, continued with Panasonic’s announcement that it was adding a 65 inch OLED model to its Viera line. The new TV will come with advanced picture processing technology that has its roots in Panasonic’s professional audio visual division, and Panasonic drafted in the help of Hollywood colourist Mike Sowa to tune the picture.

Sony, meanwhile, was pushing its line of ultra thin TVs, adding a new model to its 4K line up in Europe, the Bravia X91C.

According to research by GfK, the worldwide TV market is expected to fall by almost 2 per cent this year, with an estimated 230 million TVs set to be sold. That compares to 234 million in 2014, when sales were boosted by the Fifa World Cup. In Western Europe, the figures are slightly worse, with a fall-off of around 6 per cent expected.

However, the research claims that ultra HD - or 4K - TVs will be the saviour of the sector, with more than 28 million TVs expected to be sold worldwide in 2015. The largest number will be sold in China, GfK said, with four million predicted in Europe.

IFA officially opens on Friday, but the major announcements are usually made ahead of the main show

Lenovo used its press conference to showcase its new gaming PCs - the Y series - and its new wearables from its Motorola unit. The followup to the Moto 360, launched last year, wasn’t a single device but a collection. The new watches offer a longer battery life - up to two full days of use - and the collection includes a new Sport option, which comes with built in GPS.

Intel also took to the stage on the first day, both at its own press event and at Lenovo’s, to debut its new line of Core processors, including the i3, i5 and i7. The sixth generation of the company’s Core processors claim to be more than 200 per cent faster and allow batteries to last three times longer, in some cases.

According to Intel’s Kirk Skaugen laptops and tablets using the new generation of chips will be have speeds similar to what tower computers of three years ago could achieve.