The latest and greatest smartphones

iPhone 5s. (Supplied)

iPhone 5s. (Supplied)

Natalia Manzocco, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

What Oscar season is to Hollywood, early September is to the tech world. Gadget makers congregate at the IFA conference in Berlin and attempt to outdo one another by unveiling their latest and greatest innovations -- just in time for the holiday season. New smartphone models will be trickling into Canadian stores over the coming weeks and months, but now's the perfect time to examine your options. Here are the gadgets you'll be drooling over at the cellphone counter this fall.

Here's one early adopters will be lining up around the block for: Apple's new flagship iPhone, the 5s. The much-hyped gold phone was part of the lineup unveiled in San Francisco, alongside silver and deep "space grey" finishes. In addition to being the first phone to ship with Apple's new iOS 7 operating system, the 5s boasts an A7 64-bit chip, an HD FaceTime camera, and an 8 MP rear camera with improved flash. Security also gets a flashy upgrade with a fingerprint-recognition lock. Grab it for $229.95 (16 GB), $329.95 (32 GB) or $439.95 (64 GB) on Sept. 20.

After keeping its phone roster limited to one not-so-cheap prestige model for years, Apple has finally expanded to include a lower-priced option, the iPhone 5C. (The debate still rages among Apple fans whether or not rolling out the plastic phone was a sound decision, but buyers in growing cellphone markets around the world will surely vote with their wallets.) The 5C (for "colour") actually boasts improved specs over the 5: A four-inch Retina display, an A6 chip, and the same upgraded cameras as the 5S. The iPhone 5c will be available in green, pink, yellow and white, and will retail for $129.95 (16 GB) and $229.95 (32 GB) starting Sept. 20.

From California to Berlin: Samsung made some waves on the other side of the pond when it unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 earlier this month. The phablet has some notable upgrades, like a 13 MP camera, a larger (5.7-inch) display, and switchable stitched-leather backs, but its multitasking capabilities are what really makes the Note 3 shine. You can get apps simply by drawing a box with the stylus (your desired app will load sized to fit the box). Or draw a circle around a photo, website or video to add it to a feed in your "scrapbook" for later. Another bonus: The Note 3 also syncs neatly with Samsung's newly-announced Galaxy Gear smartwatch (stay tuned for more). The Galaxy Note 3 will be available in early October; pricing details are yet to be confirmed.

Sony took a more extreme approach when concocting its newest big launch -- the sleek Xperia Z1 phone is fully water-and dust-resistant. It also bests its competitors for sheer photo power, with a 20.7 MP camera, a Sony G lens, and processors borrowed from Sony's cameras for "clear, focused" photos. Early tests say it's a bit heavier than previous incarnations, but all of those extra improvements (including a battery that's twice the capacity of the iPhone 5S) should make up for it. Sony has confirmed the Xperia Z1 will launch in Canada in October; pricing info is forthcoming.

 


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