Sonymobile.com (previous Z is nearly $600): Nokia’s Lumia 1020 has a serious competitor on the horizon in Sony’s new lagship smartphone. Packing the most powerful camera on an Android-powered phone (the Nokia runs on Windows Phone) when it becomes available in October, the Z1 features a 20.7 megapixel lens, and will be able to record 1080p HD video. The waterproof aluminum casing houses a ive-inch screen and fast quad-core chip. But helping it stand out from the competition are its additional features, like Info-Eye, an app that provides data on locations and products that have been shot; Timeshi burst, which takes 61 images in two seconds before and after the shutter is pressed; and the camera’s ability to live-stream video to Facebook, making it friendly to the YouTube generation.
Sony QX100 and QX10 Lenses
Sony.com | $500 (QX100) $250 (QX10): Blurring the lines between a smartphone and camera in a new way, Sony’s two camera lenses attach to a phone via a clip. They’re essentially high-powered cameras without the traditional body, and can be used without a phone via their shutter buttons and zoom controls, SD card and Memory Stick slots, although a screen-based viewinder to see what shots you’re taking certainly helps. Photos taken through these lens-sized clip cameras can sync to Apple iOS and Google’s Android via Wi-Fi and NFC. The larger QX100 has a 3.6x optical zoom and Carl Zeiss lens, while the QX10 has a 10x optical zoom and Sony G lens. Both are available this month.
Jawbone Mini Jambox
Jawbone.com $179 (available in late September): Meant to be a more portable version of Jawbone’s original Jambox wireless speaker, the mini version (half the size and measuring six inches in length) is slimmer, produces impressive sound when connected to a tablet, laptop or smartphone, and is encased in a well-designed slick aluminum case that comes in nine bright colors and five patterns, which give the device a personality. Best of all, it sounds good, too, and can easily be tucked away in a bag, purse or jacket pocket. A Jambox app grabs music playlists from iTunes, Spotify and Rdio, for example, putting them onto one interface for easy access.
IdeaPad Yoga 11S
Lenovo.com | starts at $749: Lenovo’s laptop-tablet hybrid has shrunk in size from its 13-inch original, but still packs the innovative design (with a screen that can bend backward, transforming the device into a standup touchscreen display), powered by Windows 8, in a powerful package. The smaller, lighter 11-inch version improves the functionality of the larger model, given that it’s easier to hold in tablet form. The keyboard and trackpad don’t function after the Yoga’s bent past 180 degrees, but they can be noticeable when carrying the tablet. A $40 sleeve is available that covers them . The Yoga
13 is still available , however, and might prove better for presentations.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
Samsung.com | around $300 (available in October): The future has finally caught up to Dick Tracy. Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy Gear smartwatch is designed to be an accessory for your smartphone that can power apps, display and send email, text messages and social media posts, make and receive phone calls, and play back music through its built-in speaker, two microphones and 1.63-inch display. Calls can be answered by lifting your wrist to your ear when your phone rings. The watch face is controlled through swipes rather than taps to avoid unintended selections. The steel housing also includes a camera on the side that can record video. For the health conscious, it also works like a Nike FuelBand with a pedometer to track movement and calories burned. And oh, yes, it’s a watch too. Whether this new category of wearable tech catches on is to be determined, but Samsung’s clearly looking to compete with the Pebble smartwatch and devices from Apple, Sony and Qualcomm.