Gadget Fest: Smartphone and Smartwatch Highlights From IFA 2015

09/09/2015 12:44 BST | Updated 08/09/2016 10:12 BST

IFA 2015, the yearly and unashamedly geeky consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, is drawing to a close and has seen a raft of impressive gadget launches.

Highlights include new smartphones and smartwatches from the likes of Sony, Samsung, and Huawei. Here's a quick round up of those most likely to dominate this year's Christmas wishlists...

Sony announced the first 4K resolution screen in a mobile phone, in launching its Xperia Z5 Premium handset. The obvious problem for Sony is that there really isn't any 4K content available for mobiles yet, so this is a huge gamble. It's now up to us, as consumers, to decide if we're ready for TV-quality screens on our phones.

There is, of course, an argument for turning up to the party early. Sony's already well-established in the 4K TV market, so there's no reason why it shouldn't attempt to set the benchmark for smartphones too.

If that fails, Sony has two other new phones to fall back on. The smaller-screened Compact and the Z5 don't have the 4K resolution screen but they both pack in the same, and much-improved, 23-megapixel camera and a fast fingerprint scanner, as the Z5 Premium.

Many gadget makers used IFA to grab a sliver of limelight from Apple, which is holding a launch event on September 9. Huawei's Mate S smartphone boasted an intuitive touchscreen similar to the Force Touch display we're expecting to see in the next iPhone.

Giving users access to different features and functions, depending on how much pressure they apply to the display, opens up a wealth of new user interactions. But it's up to the people to decide whether Force Touch and similar tech will usher in a whole new way to use our smartphones, or be sent to the gimmick graveyard.

Meanwhile, Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch set pundits' tongues wagging with its highly intuitive user interface, operated by rotating the bezel. As all the best smartwatches are, Samsung's timepiece is very handsome. It didn't come with a catwalk show like Huawei's Android Wear Watch did, but when it comes to specs, it's a world-class watch.

At the budget end of the smartwatch market, and only marginally less good looking, is the Asus ZenWatch 2, which has announced two sizes, costing around £110 and £125 each. The best part is that those budget prices don't mean us watch wearers must compromise on specs. Both watches have plenty of flash storage, work with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and are dustproof and water resistant if splashed or briefly submerged. Handy, if you'll forgive the pun.

Motorola (now owned by Lenovo) showed off its new Wi-Fi-enabled Moto 360 smartwatches, which included a Sport edition, duly boasting the required GPS and heart rate monitor. What'll make these watches standout for many consumers is the level of customisation via the Moto Maker design studio, where you can pick case sizes, finishes, bezels, and bands.

And then there's Lenovo's concept - the way out there Smart Cast phone (see it in the video below). This is set to grab the headlines in the future, as the world's first phone with a built-in laser projector. It can show films on a wall, and turn any surface into a large touch screen. Futurists will be able to play games on a simple table, type or even play music on a virtual keyboard: the future is bright, indeed.