IFA 2017: Biggest product announcements and what’s still to come


IFA Berlin, Europe’s largest technology trade show, is scheduled to take place between September 1 and September 6, 2017. Hundreds of tech companies will be present at the event, which, every year, is the venue for numerous product launches.

Despite the fact that IFA 2017 will officially open its doors tomorrow, some companies including Samsung, LG, and Acer have already announced new devices at their press conferences in Berlin. We’ll see more product announcements today as well as in the upcoming days from other big players such as Sony and Lenovo, just to name a few.

In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the devices that have already been announced as well as those that are expected to be revealed at IFA. Just keep in mind that some companies have already shared which products they’ll show off in the capital of Germany, while others are keeping things under wraps for now. However, we can make some educated guesses based on what was announced last year and the latest rumors that are making the rounds right now to figure out what exactly we can expect to see.

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 link above.

Samsung at IFA 2017

As expected, Samsung took the wraps off three new wearable devices at IFA: the Gear Fit 2 Pro, Gear Sport, and Gear IconX 2018. Those of you who have been following IFA rumors on Android Authority have probably already heard about the Gear Fit 2 Pro, as the device was listed on Samsung’s Spanish website about a week ago for a short period of time, revealing a lot about it.

It’s aimed at the fitness crowd and actually shares a lot of specs with its predecessor, the Gear Fit 2, which made its debut back in June 2016. Both devices feature a 1.5-inch Super AMOLED display, a 200 mAh battery, 4 GB of storage, and 512 GB of RAM. However, the new Pro version has a 5 ATM water resistance rating, while last year’s model is only IP68 certified.

Improved water resistance also means that the device is a bit larger as well as heavier than its predecessor. Other features worth mentioning are a built-in GPS, heart rate monitor, auto-activity tracking, and swim tracking via Speedo On. The Gear Fit 2 Pro will go up for pre-order today, August 31, for $199 and will be available in stores starting September 15.

The second device announced is the Gear Sport smartwatch and comes equipped with a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display (320 x 320 pixels), 786 MB or RAM, and 4 GB of storage. It packs a 300 mAh battery, which is smaller than the one found in the Gear S3 (380 mAh), the device that still remains the flagship of Samsung’s smartwatch series.

The big feature of the Gear Sport is its 5 ATM water resistance rating. This means you can take it with you in the pool as well as in the ocean, as it’s certified for use in salt water, although Samsung doesn’t recommend you go scuba diving with it. The device is a little smaller than the Gear S3 at 42.9mm, has a built-in GPS, and supports Samsung Pay. However, there’s no MST payment option, meaning you can make payments via NFC but not on older magnetic stripe terminals.

Samsung has also introduced the 2018 edition of its Gear IconX wireless earbuds at IFA in Berlin. They pack an 82 mAh battery that offers up to seven hours of standalone time on a single charge, or up to five hours in Bluetooth mode, and up to four hours of talk time. The device comes with a carrying case that has a 340 mAh battery and can quick charge the earbuds in 10 minutes for an hour’s worth of battery.

There are capacitive controls on the earpieces that offer a range of options to play/pause, skip to next track or playlist, answer and end calls, adjust volume, and call up the default voice assistant on any paired phone.

To learn more about the Gear IconX 2018 as well as the Gear Sport and Gear Fit 2 Pro, check out our hands-on video below.

LG at IFA 2017

LG has revealed the V30 in Berlin, the phablet that goes head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. As expected, it offers high-end specs along with a design similar to that of the G6.

The device comes with a 6-inch Quad HD+ P-OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. It’s powered by the latest Snapdragon 835 chipset and offer 4 GB of RAM. You’ll find a dual-camera setup on the back featuring a 16 MP sensor with an impressive f/1.6 aperture and a 71-degree field of view, and a 13 MP shooter with an f/1.9 aperture and 120-degree field of view.

The LG V30 is resistant to both water and dust thanks to its IP68 rating and sport a Hi-Fi Quad DAC that was tuned by B&O Play. LG said that the handset will come with B&O Play headphones, although it’s possible that could only be for select markets. It packs a 3,000 mAh battery, sports a fingerprint scanner on the back, and has an all-metal body.

As expected, the device doesn’t have a secondary screen like its predecessor but does offer a floating bar instead. This is basically a slide-out menu that floats around the screen, can easily be dismissed, and gives you basically the same options as the second display found on the V20. To learn more about the device, watch our LG V30 hands on video below.

The phablet will go on sale on September 21 in South Korea, while the exact release date for the US and other markets hasn’t been revealed yet. No word on pricing at this point, but rumors do claim that it will start at $699. There will be four colors available, which are Aurora Black, Cloud Silver, Moroccan Blue, and Lavender Violet.

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 that might be revealed at IFA as well. 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. What appear to be press images of the device — one of which you can see below — have recently leaked online, so we assume that the device is just around the corner.

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.

Acer at IFA 2017

At IFA in Berlin, Acer showed off two 360-degree cameras called the Holo360 and Vision360. The former features a 3-inch touchscreen, runs on Android 7.1 Nougat, and has LTE capabilities. The main idea behind the Holo360 is that it allows users to capture and edit photos, as well as share them, all from a single device.

It’s powered by the Snapdragon 625 processor, which arrived as part of Qualcomm’s Connected Camera Platform introduced in 2016. This was designed to help manufacturers bring 360-degree camera devices to market with advanced image processing and networking features, such as the integrated X9 LTE modem and support for up to 24 MP images and 4K video at 30 FPS HEVC (high-efficiency video coding) capture.

The device also sports ImmerVision-certified panomorph optics, said to lack the “barrel distortion” artifact created by typical wide-angle lenses and can stitch videos in real-time. To learn more about it, check out our “Acer Holo360 quick look” post.

You’ll be able to get your hands on it for $429 in North America, once it goes on sale in November. It will also be available in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia sometime during Q4 2017 starting at €349.

Acer’s second camera, the Vision360, is designed to be used in cars. It automatically starts recording when something collides with your vehicle and takes note of where the incident occurred. The data is then saved both onto the camera as well as in the cloud, just in case.

One more feature worth pointing out is that the camera also shows you exactly how fast you’re driving, so you don’t have to look down at your speedometer all the time to see if you’re going too fast or not. Nice!

In addition to the two cameras, Acer also revealed the new Chromebook 15. It sports a 15.6-inch IPS display that’s available in touchscreen and non-touch configurations. Acer said that it’s powered by your choice of a dual-core Intel Celeron or a quad-core Intel Pentium processor, and will be available in either 32 GB or 64 GB of eMMC storage and come with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM.

It has an aluminum design, a 12-hour battery life, and, unfortunately, a higher price tag than Acer’s previous Chromebook generation that started at $299. The device will be available in October in the US and Europe starting at $399 and €499.

Huawei at IFA 2017

Huawei has announced that it will hold a press event at IFA on September 2. It looks like the company will show off its AI (artificial intelligence) efforts in Berlin, although there’s no word on what exactly we can expect to see. One possibility is a digital assistant that will go head to head with Google Assistant, Alexa, and others.

Unfortunately, the rumor mill has been pretty dry when it comes to any possible 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. The smaller of the two smartphones has actually already popped up on websites of various retailers in the Netherlands, revealing that it will set you back €400. Of course, pricing will likely vary from country to country within Europe, as it usually does.

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 will make its debut on October 16 in Munich, Germany.

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 have only heard a few things about one of the upcoming device that’s codenamed Ocean Life. According to one of our sources, the smartphone will launch as the HTC U11 Life and will feature a 5.2-inch Full HD screen, the Snapdragon 630 chipset, and a two 16 MP cameras (front and rear). What’s even more interesting is that it will come with HTC’s Edge Sense technology, just like the U11. However, the device is said to launch “later this year,” which means it might be revealed sometime after IFA.

 

If the U11 Life will indeed make its debut towards the end of the year, 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 has also announced the date of its IFA press conference. Just like Sony and 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. There’s also a chance we’ll finally see the Moto X4, a mid-range smartphone we have heard numerous rumors about so far. It will reportedly feature a 5.2-inch Full HD display, the Snapdragon 630 chipset, and a dual-camera setup with 12 and 8 MP sensors, among other things.

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. Asus, ZTE, and Alcatel will be there, just to name a few.

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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