Europe’s annual IFA trade show in Berlin is finally here. It’s a week of tradition that marks the beginning of back-to-school, and the tech fight for the all important holiday season. IFA is Europe's biggest exhibition of new consumer electronics, and it can occasionally serve as a launch platform for some big announcements. A lot of leaks have given us a good idea of what to expect from IFA this year, so here’s the 2017 preview highlights.
Samsung already announced its Galaxy Note 8 handset last week, so we’re not expecting any Galaxy handsets at IFA. Instead, Samsung will likely refresh its smartwatch range with two new devices. Samsung’s Gear Fit 2 Pro, which the company promised during its Note 8 launch, has already leaked out online with what looks like support for swimming with the Gear Fit 2 successor. Samsung’s also expected to unveil a Gear Sport smartwatch as its latest wearable in the Gear S line. Not many details have leaked about the Gear Sport, but we’re expecting it to be more focused on fitness activities than the regular Gear S3.
Asus unveiled its ZenFone AR in July, complete with Google’s Tango AR platform, and four new ZenFones in August. We’re not expecting any new ZenFones at IFA as a result. However, Asus usually introduces its latest smartwatches at IFA, so it could use this year’s show to showcase a ZenWatch 3 successor. Other than wearables and phones, Asus will have plenty of PC gaming hardware with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) range at the show. The company’s ZenBook 3 Deluxe recently went on sale, so we’re not expecting to see any flagship ultrabook update just yet.
Asus never fails to surprise, though. During IFA 2015 the company unveiled a wild arachnid router, so we might see something entirely new this year.
Motorola is expected to launch its X4 handset at IFA. We’ve seen leaks of the Moto X4 that show dual cameras, a curved screen, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset. The Moto X4 is expected to sit just below the Z range of flagship Motorola devices.
Sony is expected to launch two new handsets at IFA this year: the Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. Leaks have shown that Sony is sticking with its same underwhelming phone design, and rumored specs include a 5.2-inch, Full HD display, a Snapdragon 835 processor, and a 19-megapixel camera for the larger phone. It looks like Sony is avoiding both the bezel-less and dual camera trends that most other manufacturers are moving to.
LG will launch its new V30 handset at IFA. We’ve seen plenty of leaks for the V30, and it looks like a solid successor to last year’s V20. Rumored specs include a 6-inch OLED bezel-less display, dual cameras, a fingerprint sensor at the rear, and the return of LG’s Quad DAC system. It could all amount to something a little bit awesome for LG’s first major launch at IFA.
Lenovo likes to refresh its Yoga line at IFA, and we’re expecting this year to be no different. Last year Lenovo introduced the Yoga 910, with an edge-to-edge display that didn’t quite match Dell’s slimmer bezels. It’s reasonable to assume there will be a Yoga 910 successor, and it could even feature Intel’s latest 8th-generation processors to match Dell’s XPS 13 refresh. We’re also expecting some other mid-range PC laptops too.
Microsoft doesn’t usually have a big presence at IFA, but this year might be slightly different. Microsoft is launching its range of Windows Mixed Reality headsets during IFA, from various OEMs like Dell, Lenovo, and HP. Expect to see Microsoft appear randomly at the show, with the main focus on its VR plans for the holidays.
A range of PCs are also launching with Intel’s latest processors, and we’re still waiting to hear from both Microsoft and Qualcomm about the plans for ARM-powered laptops. Asus, HP, and Lenovo are building those, and we’re expecting to hear more about them at IFA.
IFA is also a big venue for tech companies to launch their latest home goods. While home appliances aren’t always exciting, expect to see a lot of new TVs at IFA with the usual 4K and HDR support. Smart home devices are always a big focus for the show, alongside speakers and the latest headphones. “Truly wireless” headphones are an emerging trend, so we could see more of those at the show. There will be a range of interesting gadgets, so keep an eye on our dedicated Circuit Breaker section for all the latest.