You'll find more than gadgets, TVs and fridges at the Berlin IFA: welcome to the ''Haute Couture'' of technology. Smartphone cases, covers and more, designed in every which way imaginable, were esthetically presented within the labyrinth of halls which literally took half an hour to get from one end to another, unless you took the shuttle. If decking out your smartphone is a must for you, the IFA had a huge array of styles to offer. Here are some of the ''better'' smartphone and tablet accessories that we encountered.
Jison Case - The most stylish covers
With over ten years of mobile cover making in the bag, Jison Case claims that they meet both the needs of the professional and the passionate. The booth caught my attention for its elegant style and the quality of its materials which included grain leather, ostrich skin, full grain leather, microfiber synthetic leather and artificial leather. This company manufactures covers for Xiaomi, Samsung, Huawei and Sony tablets. For the Samsung Galaxy S4, Jison Case offers stylish view cover sleeves with an opening at the top that shows the time, battery status, notifications, music tracks and caller ID.
Speck - The best modern style
Speck don't just define themselves as fans of design, with which I agree, but also as a savvy team with fresh ideas, which I find more debatable. Based in California, they manufacture and create covers for different types of gadgets. At the IFA, the company showed off their new collection of cases called "Candy Shell Grip" (the first left on the image below). I especially liked this collection's design as it was both modern and practical, while including plastic transverse lines which prevent slipping from your hand. Altogether they provide effective protection. I also really liked their cover, the "Smart Flex Card" (middle image) which, on top of safeguarding the phone, has a convenient slot in which to store your credit card. Finally, another concept that caught my attention was the tablet covers which offered dual functionality: they could be used both as a sheath and a support which should help to increase productivity. These cases are included in the ''FitFolio'' collection (right picture).
ZAGG - The most practical
This American company invented the invisible protective covers called iinvisibleSHIELD, a transparent cover which became popular with the iPhone and apparently was originally planned to protect the blades of US military helicopters against high speed damage. ZAGG has since become one of the flagship companies in casing design. From their collection presented at IFA, I particularly liked the covers with built-in keyboard for tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note. This is called the ''Universal ZAGGkeys " which doesn't just work as a keyboard, it also works as a support tablets compatible with Android, Windows 8 and Apple iOS.
Bling My Thing - The most fashionable
You could say that this is the company that introduced Swarovski crystals into the world of smartphone covers, at the hand of the reputed Japanese designer Ayano Kimura. When she came up with this bold idea, she probably didn't fathom the international success that it would bring. This is one of the more luxurious firms, which creates prize-winning covers through a process conducted by specialized professionals. The latter individually select pieces of crystals to be attached to the sleeves. The case itself is made of polycarbonate and coated with a scratch resistant treatment to ensure longevity. During the fair, the sleeves under the name of "Bling My Thing" were displayed in glass cases as if in a museum exhibition.
Odoyo - The most sophisticated
Arguably, the Odoyo line along with Jison Case are the most sophisticated of the bunch. In this case, however, the U.S. company is more sophisticated and less classic with a very subtle finish, often inspired by an African style typical of the region of Kilimanjaro. The collection which received the most acclaim at the IFA was the tablet covers called "Slim Coat," which are made with highly polished materials and feature a tab that serves as a support. The "Chrome Wallet" for the Samsung Galaxy S4, which also serves as a card holder, was also a heralded piece.
Cases: what's in a name?
This could cause the ears of fashionistas to perk up: major brands like Guess and famous designers such as Karl Lagerfeld also presented their collections at the IFA in Berlin. They share three qualities: high quality materials, sophisticated designs and high prices, always varying depending on the brand. Something that particularly caught my attention were the ones associated with brands like Ferrari or BMW. It seems like the world of luxury and haute couture are growing closer every day to technology and smartphones. Here are the cases which I found the most appealing: