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IFA Kicks Off in Style: Day 1

by User Not Found | 9月 03, 2014

The IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany, kicked off in style today (day 1), and wearables were right at the front. Analysts from our WDE (Wearables) research service are on the show floor.

Asus announced the ZenWatch, representing the entry of Asus into the wearable devices market. Running Google’s Android Wear OS, the ZenWatch smartwatch features a curved 2.5-inch display (which is way too big, in our view), 4GB of local storage, and the ability to use straps from regular wristwatches. The device includes a heart-rate monitor and other activity tracking features such as pedometer. The ZenWatch will be available in select markets worldwide for the western holiday season with mid-to-high-tier retail pricing in the region of US$250.

Sony announced the Smartwatch 3 and the SmartBand Talk. Smartwatch 3 represents the first Android Wear OS-based smartwatch from Sony, with the company having previously used its own operating system for Smartwatch 1 and 2. The SmartBand Talk is a fitness band which allows the wearer to receive telephone calls when connected to the companion smartphone. The devices will begin rolling out globally in the fall. Pricing was not yet disclosed, but we expect it to be positioned in the top half of the market.

At Samsung’s UnPacked Event, the company spent time discussing the recently announced Gear S, the first cellular-enabled smartwatch in the Gear range. Samsung then took the wraps off of the Gear VR, a virtual-reality headset that uses the Note 4 phablet (also announced today) as its display. Samsung was joined onstage by Oculus CTO, John Carmack, to discuss the challenges of VR headsets, such as battery consumption. The Gear VR will be available later in 2014. Pricing was again not disclosed, but we expect it to be among the higher price-tiers. Today's event confirmed Samsung continues to be among the innovation leaders in the wearables / accesories space.

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