Fresh from IFA: Android phones and tablets you won't find in the U.S.

Some of these products are still in beta, while some aren't even available in the U.S. But we got to go hands on with them at IFA 2015.

xess tablet

Alcatel Xess Tablet

The Alcatel Xess Tablet is just a prototype for now, though it’s the company’s first attempt at branching beyond personal smartphones and tablets. Alcatel hopes that you’ll plop this device in your kitchen and share it with the family.

The 17.3-inch Android-powered tablet features a TCL-made 1920x1080 display, a 1.5GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM. It also comes with a multi-position stand that can be oriented at three levels, as well as a pop-out stylus and a grab-and-go carrying handle. The device is kind of heavy, however, which could make it a doozy to want to carry around the house, much less cuddle with it to watch a movie.

Since the device is still in its nascent stages, the software that I played with was so beta that the interface had trouble keeping up with my finger strokes. Alcatel showed off a few cooking apps and the like that it will bundle with the device, but they weren’t particularly exemplary. The coolest feature of the Xess are its touchless gestures, which you can use to do things like switch apps and mute the volume, though I’m hoping the overall performance of the device will improve once this product comes to market.

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Huawei Mate S

I’m still waiting to see how Huawei plans to overtake the U.S. with its smartphones, but for now I can at least play with what it has going on in other countries.

The Mate S was announced at Huawei's event earlier this week, though the one shown here is the luxury version. It’s a premium smartphone with gold accents, a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display, a 64-bit octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a whopping 128GB of onboard storage.

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"Use the force"

The Mate S also comes equipped with a Force Touch touchscreen, which can sense how hard you’re pressing on the display. Ahead of Apple's new iPhone no less. You can utilize it to do things like zoom into the interface to get close up on a photo. You can also use your knuckle to draw out gestures and launch apps, or use the fingerprint sensor on the back to move forwards and backwards in the interface, or slide down the notifications screen.

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Alcatel OneTouch Pop Star

Motorola clearly struck a nerve when it started offering its users the ability to customize their own phones. Now Alcatel OneTouch is taking a stab at it, too. The company is launching the OneTouch Pop Star by year’s end, which will be sold with a large range of removable rear covers.

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"Work it, Girl"

The variety includes two leather options, two wood options, a denim one, and some plain-colored plastic ones. There are 20 in all. The backs will be sold in sets of three, though there’s no pricing point yet. The Pop Star itself—a low-end phone with a 5-inch screen, 1GB of RAM, and an 8-megapixel camera—will retail between $121 and $143. Alcatel also popped a QR code on the inside of every back panel so that the interface can switch to whatever theme matches the case.

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HiSense Magic Mirror

Thin is in—for tablets, at least! If you’re a manufacturer putting out a thicker tablet these days, you’re doing it wrong. The HiSense Magic Mirror does it right, at least. It’s so thin I could probably slice a tomato with it if I really tried.

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It's not really a mirror, though

I’m kidding—I wouldn’t use a tablet as a knife, especially not one with this kind of hardware. The Magic Mirror has an 8.4-inch laminated panel display with a 2560x1600 resolution, which gives it about 360 pixels per inch. Inside, it’s also powered by a Rockchip RK3288, 2GB of RAM, and features up to 32GB of onboard storage. It’s available in China for about $280. 

nubia My Prague
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ZTE Nubia My Prague

I told you thin was in. Meet ZTE’s Nubia My Prague, which the company announced earlier this summer but didn’t really debut until recently.

The Nubia My Prague looks like the iPhone’s thinner, leaner cousin from overseas. It’s only 5.5mm thick, and since it’s got a 5.2-inch display, it’s not an overpoweringly large, thin phone like the Lumia 1020 was, for instance. 

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The My Prague is only mid-range, however. It has a Snapdragon 815, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of onboard storage. It also runs ZTE’s Nubia UI 3.0, which is a grossly over-skinned version of Android 5.0.

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