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Friday 19 September 2014

Samsung takes bite out of Apple with curved screen

Published 05/09/2014 | 02:30

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Samsung President DJ Lee presents the new phablet Galaxy Note 4 at the Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event ahead of the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, September 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke (GERMANY  - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Samsung President DJ Lee presents the new phablet Galaxy Note 4 at the Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event ahead of the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, September 3, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A woman sits in front of an interactive mirror at the IFA, one of the world's largest trade fairs for consumer electronics and electrical home appliances in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.
A woman sits in front of an interactive mirror at the IFA, one of the world's largest trade fairs for consumer electronics and electrical home appliances in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014.
Samsung President DJ Lee presents the new Gear S smartwatch
Samsung President DJ Lee presents the new Gear S smartwatch

The world's biggest phone makers have attempted to steal a march on Apple ahead of next week's iPhone 6 launch, by releasing a range of new, high end smartphones at Europe's largest electronics show.

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Samsung has unveiled the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 4 'phablet' phone and the Galaxy Edge, a handset whose screen curves around the side.

Meanwhile, Sony has shown off its upgraded Xperia Z3 phone, a fully waterproof model that can also be used as a Playstation 4 games controller.

And Nokia has launched its new five-inch Lumia 830 phone, which it claims is the world's cheapest flagship smartphone at €330 without an operator contract required.

All three companies are hoping that their models' screen improvements and additional features - such as enhanced 'selfie' cameras - can prevent the big-screen iPhone 6 from stealing away their customers.

Manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony are nervously looking over their shoulders at next week's iPhone 6 launch. Demand for Apple's soon-to-be upgraded handset is so great that queues have already started forming outside some US Apple stores ahead of Tuesday's launch.

Up to now, Apple's rivals have seen their top phones sell well due in part to the lack of a large-screen iPhone model.

However, the iconic American handset is set to increase the size of its display to five inches, a move that has industry experts predicting massive demand for the new device before Christmas.

A range of new television, gaming and camera gadgets was also launched at the Berlin IFA show, which will see 200,000 people attend this weekend.

Amazon looked set to launch a new 'ultra definition' video streaming service, while Samsung unveiled one 105-inch television and another whose glass can be made to curve using a remote control.

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Meanwhile, TVs are to be standardised at "between 50 inches and 55 inches", according to one of the industry's most senior executives.

"The most growth and standardisation is happening at around the 50-inch size," Yuki Kusumi, Panasonic's senior vice president of appliances, told the Irish Independent.

Instead of size, picture quality is what 'premium' television manufacturers are now concentrating on.

A majority of high-end television sets will use so-called '4K' picture quality, which delivers over twice the resolution of existing top-end TV models.

Panasonic also revealed a range of cameras and video cameras designed to record video at the new '4K' standard.

For more reviews, see our extended IFA 2014 coverage on independent.ie

Irish Independent

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