Monday, July 10, 2017

IFA 2017: Here’s what to expect from Europe’s largest tech show

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IFA is scheduled to officially kick off on September 1 in Berlin and will close its doors five days later, on September 6. Numerous technology companies will be present at Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show, which is usually the venue for many smartphones, tablets, and other products announcements.

We’re still about two months away from IFA and as of now, companies haven’t shared specific details regarding exactly which devices will be revealed at the show. However, we can make some educated guesses based on what was announced last year and the latest rumors that are going around.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the devices companies like Samsung, Sony, HTC, LG, and others will show off at IFA in Berlin.

On a side note, those of you interested in attending the show can already purchase tickets online. One-day tickets are currently available for €40, while two-day tickets cost €58. These prices will rise to €49 and €72 if you buy them at the event. You can get them on IFA’s website via the button above.

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Samsung at IFA 2017

There’s a good chance that Samsung will take the wraps off the Galaxy Note 8 at IFA. We have heard a few rumors so far claiming that the company will announce the device at the show in Berlin, although some of them suggest that the reveal will actually take place in New York on August 26. None of these rumors have been confirmed yet, so things can go either way at this point.

The Galaxy Note 8 is one of the most anticipated smartphones of the year. It’s expected to feature top-of-the-line specs and look similar to the Galaxy S8 series. Unfortunately, it is also expected to be more expensive than its predecessor with pricing starting at around $900 in the US and €1,000 in Europe.

The phablet is rumored to come with at least a 6.3-inch display, the Snapdragon 835 chipset, and 4 or 6 GB or RAM. It will be equipped with a dual-camera setup featuring two 13 MP sensors, the popular S Pen that will pop out from the bottom of the device, and will have Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant on board. To learn more about the device, check out our Galaxy Note 8 rumor roundup post.

In addition to the Note 8, Samsung might also announce the Gear S4. After all, its predecessor was revealed at IFA 2016. That said, some reports claim that the smartwatch likely won’t be announced in Berlin, as the development of Tizen 3.0 has only just started. Again, nothing has been confirmed at this point.

Another thing worth mentioning is a possible reveal of the Bixby-powered speaker that will go head to head with the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and others. We have heard a few rumors about the device recently, so we do know that it’s coming. However, based on the fact that the development of the English version of Bixby is taking longer than expected, Samsung just might launch it at a later date, possibly even in 2018.

LG at IFA 2017

Last year, LG didn’t announce any new smartphones at IFA. It looks like things might be quite different this year. According to a report by ETNews, the company will show off the upcoming V30 at the show in Berlin. LG will officially announce the device during an event taking place one day before IFA officially kicks off, on August 31.

If the report is true, this will be the first time that LG will take the wraps off a V series smartphone at Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show. Although both the V10 and V20 were announced in September (2015 and 2016), the former made its debut in New York, while the latter was revealed at a press event in San Francisco.

The LG V30 is expected to be a high-end device that will go head to head with the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 and other phablets. It’s expected to feature an OLED display, the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset, a dual-camera setup on the back, a new ESS Quad DAC, and will be available in three storage variants: 32, 64, and 128 GB.

Unlike its predecessor, the V30 won’t have a removable battery, likely because it will be resistant to water and dust. It will reportedly be quite different than the V20 in terms of design and is expected to look a lot like the G6. To learn more about it, check out our LG V30 rumor roundup post.

Sony at IFA 2017

Sony is expected to reveal quite a few new smartphones in Berlin. The company has already announced that its press conference will take place on August 31, a day before IFA officially starts.

According to rumors out of China, Sony might take the wraps off a bezel-less smartphone. It is expected to feature a 6-inch LCD display with 18:9 aspect ratio, similar to what we’ve already seen on the LG G6. Despite the fact that Sony is known for making smartphones that have large bezels, the rumor just might be true. The reason for this is that display manufacturer JDI, a joint venture comprised of Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi has already started mass-producing a “Full Active” QHD display with thin bezels. The technology is already there, so it would make sense that Sony would be the first company to use it commercially.

In addition to the bezel-less smartphone, we have also heard rumors about three upcoming Sony devices called the Xperia X1, XZ1, and the XZ1 Compact. These just might be revealed at IFA as well, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

The XZ1 will reportedly be a high-end smartphone with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 835 chipset, and 4 GB or RAM. The XZ1 Compact is expected to feature similar hardware but will sport a smaller display measuring 4.6-inches. The Xperia X1, on the other hand, is said to be a mid-range device that will come with a 5-inch Full HD display, the Snapdragon 660 chipset, and 4 GB of RAM.

Huawei at IFA 2017

Unfortunately, the rumor mill has been pretty dry when it comes to the devices that Huawei might reveal at IFA. At last year’s show, the company took the wraps off the Nova and Nova Plus. Their successors — Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus — have already been announced in May, but they aren’t available in Western markets yet. It’s therefore quite possible that the company will officially launch the two devices in Europe at IFA.

We probably won’t see any high-end smartphones announced by Huawei in Berlin, as the flagship P10 series was revealed in February, while the upcoming Mate 10 phablet is due to make its debut a couple of months after IFA, just like its predecessor.

HTC at IFA 2017

Back in February, HTC announced that it only plans to release six or seven smartphones this year. These will either be mid-range or high-end devices, as the company doesn’t plan on launching any entry-level smartphones — the competition is too fierce and the profit margins are too thin to justify the effort.

Three of HTC’s 2017 phones have already been revealed — U11, U Play, and U Ultra — which means we’re expecting to see three or four more by the time 2017 comes to an end. A few of them (probably not all) just might be shown off at IFA in Berlin.

As of now, we only have a couple of details about one of the upcoming devices, which is currently known as the Ocean Life. According to LlabTooFeR, it will feature a 5.2-inch display with Full HD resolution and will be powered by the Snapdragon 660 chipset. The smartphone will be equipped with two 16 MP cameras (front and rear), pack a 2,600 mAh battery, and run Android 7.1.1 Nougat with HTC’s Sense 9.0 on top.

The Ocean Life is also said to come with the innovative the Edge Sense technology, which made its debut on the company’s flagship smartphone, the U11. For those of you who don’t know, it basically allows you to open an app of your choice just by squeezing the smartphone.

If the Ocean Life sees the light of day before September, HTC will likely announce one of the other smartphones it has in the pipeline. The company has unveiled quite a few new devices at IFA over the last few years, and we think that this trend will continue in 2017. Last year, for example, it showed off the One A9s.

Lenovo at IFA 2017

Lenovo is the second company that has announced the date of its IFA press conference. Just like Sony, and possibly also LG, the company will reveal new devices on August 31, a day before Europe’s largest tech show officially opens its doors.

As of now, there’s no word on which Lenovo products will see the light of day. But based on last year, we can expect to see quite a few of them. At IFA 2016, the company unveiled the K6 series of smartphones, the Moto Z Play, the Yoga Book ultrabook, as well as a convertible touchscreen laptop called the Yoga 910.

This year, Lenovo just might announce the successors to the K6 series along with new convertible laptops and ultrabooks. However, we probably won’t see any Moto smartphones at the event. The Moto Z Play successor has already been announced in June, while the Moto Z2 and Z2 Force are expected to launch at the end of July.

Final thoughts

In addition to the ones mentioned above, we’ll obviously see a lot of other tech companies at IFA in Berlin as well. Among these are Acer, Asus, ZTE, and Alcatel, just to name a few. All of them are expected to announce a bunch of new products, but as we’re still a few months away from IFA, there’s no word on what exactly can we expect to see.

Don’t worry. As soon as we hear more, we’ll update this post to keep you up to speed with the smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets that might be unveiled. Meanwhile, let us know which of the devices mentioned in this post are you most excited about.

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