IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show, has kicked off…well, sort of. The pre-event press conferences have begun, with the trade show open to the public between September 2-8. Entry to IFA is open to the public, with one-day tickets available from €39 and two-day tickets from €56 if you pre-book, with prices rising to €49 and €72, respectively, if you buy at the event itself.
IFA is held in Berlin each year around September. IFA stands for Internationale Funkaustellung (hence the abbreviation) and began its life back in 1924 as a radio exhibition. Alongside Mobile World Congress in February-March, IFA is one of the main events on the trade show calendar for new device announcements, although more and more manufacturers have been opting for earlier release cycles and standalone events in recent years.
Acer at IFA 2016
Acer has announced two new Android devices at IFA: the Liquid Z6 and Z6 Plus. The Liquid Z6 is a €119 entry-level device running Marshmallow and the Z6 Plus is a decent mid-ranger priced at €249 that also runs Marshmallow out of the box.
While a North American release seems unlikely, these phones will be available in EMEA in November and December respectively. As you may recall, Acer recently released the Liquid Zest Plus, but for around $50 more, the Z6 Plus improves on it in substantial ways.
Acer also announced a slew of other products, including the world’s first curved screen laptop, the Predator 21 X. As the Predator branding gives away, the Predator 21 X is a serious beast (with housing to match), featuring high-end gaming specs and even eye tracking technology so you can, you know, game with your eyeballs.
That’s not all from the company, though. For those looking for a flippy, touchscreen Chromebook offering that’s a little better than the Chromebook Flip, Acer’s new Chromebook R13 should do the trick. With a 13-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM and USB Type-C port, this Chromebook should be powerful enough for your everyday needs.
Oh and that’s not all – Acer also announced not one, but five new laptops! These include the Acer Spin 7, Swift 1, Swift 3, Swift 5, and the supremely thin Swift 7. Be sure to check our our full post over at TabTimes for all the details.
Acer also covered a remote monitoring device for video-conferencing with your pets, a cycling computer, new Acer Spin and Swift laptops with a fingerprint scanner in the trackpad and Kaby Lake CPUs.
ASUS at IFA 2016
ASUS had a decent product lineup at last year’s IFA, including the ZenWatch 2, ZenFone Zoom and ZenFone Max. In the past, ASUS has announced its new ZenFones at CES in Las Vegas in January (as it did in 2015), or at Computex in May (as it did this year).
While we’ve already taken a look at the new ZenFone 3 variants, ASUS did just take the wraps off the brand new ZenWatch 3! This is ASUS’ very first round smartwatch, and it’s a looker. With a 1.39-inch AMOLED display, Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, and HyperCharge charging technology, the ASUS ZenWatch 3 might just be the next smartwatch for you.
For those of you looking for a new Android-powered tablet, look no further – ASUS has also taken the wraps off its new ZenPad 3S 10. While tablets are normally meant for media consumption, the ZenPad 3S 10 takes it one step further with its big 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 display, MediaTek 8176 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage. It even has a fingerprint sensor! No pricing or availability details have been announced yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we hear more.
If you’re more interested in laptops, ASUS definitely has you covered. Here at IFA 2016, the company gave us some more details on its new ZenBook 3, Transformer 3 Pro, Transformer 3, and ROG G701VI notebooks. All the details and specs can be found over at our sister site, TabTimes.
One other interesting announcement from ASUS today – the company has just taken the wraps off a portable 15-inch monitor called the ZenScreen. If you’ve ever needed a big and portable second screen when you’re on the go, the ZenScreen might be your best bet. It weighs just 2 pounds, measures 8mm thick, and the company claims it is the world’s lightest and slimmest full HD portable monitor.
Samsung at IFA 2016
As expected, Samsung has now formally taken the veil off the Samsung Gear S3. The latest watch isn’t meant to fully replace the S2, but instead slots in to the existing line up by targeting new audiences. The Gear S3 family is much larger this time around, comes with LTE, and is offered in either a premium “classic” model or a rugged “Frontier” model. The latter even includes GPS integration.
The Samsung Gear S3 is still very much powered by Tizen, like its predecessor, but certainly further refines it. The same goes for the hardware, which still features that Samsung-famous rotating bezel, but now with a few extra features backed in. For more details on Samsung’s latest wearable, be sure to check out our Samsung Gear S3 hands on.
That’s all that Samsung showed off at IFA so far. While it’s possible they might have a few minor accessories to show, the Gear S3 is certainly the centerpiece of their show this year.
Motorola/Lenovo at IFA 2016
Motorola and Lenovo have just taken the wraps of their new modular smartphone, the Moto Z Play! Despite its mid-range moniker, the Moto Z Play Droid goes toe-to-toe with the best out there in some key areas. With outstanding battery life, Moto Mod compatibility, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a solid camera, you won’t be making too many sacrifices if you choose to go with the latest from Lenovo. Be sure to check out our full review to get all the details.
If you love the Moto Z, Moto Z Force or the Moto Z Play but are in need of a better camera, you’re in luck. Lenovo also announced a new Hasselblad True Zoom Moto Mod, capable of providing a 10x zoom. It also sports a 12MP 1/2.3-inch sensor, 1.55 µm pixels, a f 3.5-6.5 lens, and Xenon flash. Not bad!
Lenovo didn’t just give its smartphone lineup some love. The company also unveiled the new Yoga Book, which is a new ultrabook that comes in both Android and Windows flavors, as well as a new convertible touchscreen laptop called the Yoga 910.
Fitbit at IFA 2016
Fitbit has just announced two new fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge 2 and Flex 2. The Charge 2, which is the successor to the extremely popular Charge HR, is Fitbit’s new flagship activity tracker that sports some new software features and interchangeable bands. The Flex 2, which is the successor to 2013’s Flex, brings a swim-proof design and a focus on fashion. Both seem to be worthy upgrades from the original versions, and we’ll find out soon enough in our full reviews of each.
For more details, check out the official announcement post here.
Events still to come:
LG at IFA 2016
Last year LG dropped the LG Watch Urbane Luxe – a 23-karat gold version of its standard Watch Urbane wearable. It’s possible that LG will have a new wearable at IFA, but we’ve heard nothing indicating it as a certainty. More LG Friends for the G5 would be good, especially if we get a speaker or game controller.
The reason LG had no major smartphone announcements at IFA 2015 was because the company was quietly preparing to announce the LG V10 which arrived in October. With that in mind, we can hope to see the LG V20 at IFA 2016 – although not officially, as the LG V20 will be unveiled on September 6 in San Francisco – and potentially a new smartwatch as well.
If the new LG V20 renders are anything to go by though, we’re looking at more of a modular G5 successor than a true successor to the V10.
Huawei at IFA 2016
At last year’s IFA, Huawei quietly delivered the Huawei Watch, a slim, stylish and highly underrated smartwatch. Its designer confirmed there was a follow-up in the works, so it’s possible we’ll see the Huawei Watch 2 at this year’s IFA.
Of course, the general downturn in the wearable market might mean the project has been scrapped – as the OnePlus smartwatch was – but Huawei’s fortunes are a lot more established than those of OnePlus, so you never know.
It’s highly likely we’ll see a successor to the popular Mate 8 unveiled at Huawei’s September 1 event, undoubtedly called the Huawei Mate 9. Huawei has just trademarked the named SuperCharge which likely refers to the battery tech to be included in the Mate 9.
Huawei also announced the Mate S last year at IFA, which arrived with a fingerprint scanner you could use to scroll through menus and galleries as well as a Force Touch display on the 128 GB version. While that particular variant ended up being rarer than hen’s teeth, the Mate S was generally well received. So much so that we may well see a Mate S2 at IFA 2016 as well.
Xiaomi at IFA 2016
Xiaomi has already begun teasing its Mi Note 2 which will either be unveiled at IFA or just before on August 25. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s co-founder Li Wanqiang has apparently confirmed that Xiaomi will announce a new $600 smartphone this year, and all bets are on it being the high-end version of the Mi Note 2. The Redmi 4 is also expected to arrive alongside the Mi Note 2, whether it’s at IFA or a little earlier.
Sony at IFA 2016
Sony will hold a Playstation Experience event in December 2016, so its Playstation VR is unlikely to see the spotlight at IFA. Sony may have new phones planned for IFA though – it released the Xperia Z5 range at last year’s IFA after all. But considering the Xperia X series has replaced the Xperia Z series and that new product line only just arrived at MWC 2016, Sony’s activities for IFA are a bit of a mystery.
The latest rumors have Sony announcing not one, but two, new phones at IFA 2016. With model numbers F8331 and F8332, the details are a little murky, but the Xperia XR name has been bandied about. Will Sony stick with its “two flagships a year” strategy and deliver an Xperia X2 range? Or will the Xperia Z6 rise from the ashes after all? We’ll just have to wait until Sony’s press conference on September 1 to find out.
HTC at IFA 2016
With its storied financial troubles and new focus on VR, HTC will probably not have anything major to show off at IFA. We may get a couple of new Butterfly devices (the new Desire 10 Lifestyle and Desire 10 Pro are scheduled for a late September launch) and maybe even another wacky collaboration like the Re Camera or Under Armor Health Box. With the HTC 10 barely six months old, we certainly won’t get a new flagship phone.
The perennial HTC smartwatch saga continues with repeated launch dates bandied about before the whole project gets delayed once again. Considering how long it has taken and how unexciting most smartwatches have turned out to be, HTC might be better off leaving this one on the drawing board.
ZTE at IFA 2016
ZTE has a handy habit of announcing its trade show lineup in advance of the actual show. For IFA, that doesn’t typically happen until August sometime, but last year ZTE dropped the global version of its Axon device, the Axon Elite. There was also a new Nubia, Spro projector and the Blade V6. Whether we can expect successors to all of these is still a mystery, but it won’t be long before ZTE tells us exactly what is coming.
Alcatel at IFA 2016
Alcatel will have a whole host of new OneTouch devices in its IFA schedule. The company may also have a successor to its OneTouch Go Smartwatch which debuted at last year’s IFA, assuming the budget wearable gamble paid off for the company.
If you were paying attention last year you might also remember the insane Xess tablet (pictured above), the massive 17.3-inch stainless steel tablet which felt more like a portable cinema monitor than a regular tablet. While I don’t know if that device was successful enough to warrant a follow-up, I’d love to see one anyway.
NVIDIA at IFA 2016
NVIDIA reportedly had a new SHIELD tablet in the works for 2016, but a dismissal letter to the FCC indicates that tablet will never see the light of day. IFA would be the obvious venue for an unveiling of the still-rumored Shield Portable, but we’ll just have to wait and see. NVIDIA has plenty of other irons in the fire though, including chipsets (duh) and driverless cars, so some fun new demos might make an appearance.
That’s it for now, but we’ll update this post with all the latest news and rumors, so be sure to check back in closer to the date.