IFA 2016: what to expect from Europe’s largest tech show

We’ve added further details on expected device announcements from Samsung and LG, the possibility of a new SHIELD tablet and discuss those persistent rumors about two new Sony devices…

IFA is Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show and 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.

best of ifa aa (1 of 1)See also: Best of IFA 2015: the 5 most impressive products5

When is IFA and how do I get tickets?

IFA 2016 will be held this year between September 2 – 7 with press events held a couple of days before. That means you should keep your eyes peeled for new device announcements on August 31 and September 1.

IFA 2016 will, as always, be held at the Messe Berlin exhibition grounds in the west end of the city. This year, another venue will be added at IFA Global Markets at Station Berlin in Gleisdreieck between September 4 – 7.

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. Early bird tickets are available until July 15.

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Samsung at IFA 2016

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Samsung may have decided to announce the Galaxy Note 7 a month earlier than the Note series’ traditional unveiling time at IFA, but that doesn’t mean Samsung won’t have anything to show.

We will likely see a successor to the super-impressive Gear S2 smartwatch named the Gear S3 (which has recently had an IFA launch re-“confirmed” by Korean media) which was previously leaked under the codename Solaris. We’ll hopefully also get some exciting new announcements for the wearable version of Tizen OS – perhaps standalone apps like on Android Wear?

We may also see new tablets and mid-range phones from Samsung, one of which is likely to be the 4:3 aspect ratio Galaxy Tab S3. The updated USB Type-C version of the Gear VR will launch alongside the Note 7 in August but it will also be at IFA for everyone that can’t make the NYC launch event.

LG at IFA 2016

LG V10 Hands On-12

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 V10 successor (the LG V11? the LG V20?) at IFA 2016 and potentially a new smartwatch as well. The V20 at IFA has been rumored yet again, but an unnamed LG exec has told Android Authority that date is not definite yet.

Huawei at IFA 2016

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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 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-Mi-Note-22

Xiaomi has already begun teasing its Mi Note 2 which will presumably be unveiled at IFA. Furthermore, 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. Having said all this, we don’t have anything concrete to go on right now, but we’ll update you as soon as we do.

Sony at IFA 2016

Sony XPERIA X (Bailey)-1

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 (and the credibility equally so). 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?

HTC at IFA 2016

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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 Desire or Butterfly devices and maybe even another wacky collaboration like the Re Camera or Under Armor Health Box. With the HTC 10 fresh out of the gates, 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.

Motorola/Lenovo at IFA 2016

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Considering Motorola announced devices ahead of IFA last year, we may not see any official announcements this year either. Of course, we also just saw the Lenovo Moto Z and Moto Z Force announced too, not long after the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus arrived. So it seems unlikely that Motorola would have any 2016 products left for an IFA showcase.

However, considering it is now glaringly obvious that the Lenovo transition has fully occurred, who knows what Lenovorola will do? Maybe we’ll see a Moto 360 (2016) or Moto Sport smartwatch successor? Or more Moto Mods perhaps?

Lenovo also just announced a whole batch of new phones at its TechWorld event as well as the world’s first Project Tango smartphone, the PHAB 2 Pro. Lenovo has a bunch of other fun products up its sleeve though, like the Yoga tablet range, a funky folding tablet and mid-range devices in the Vibe series, so we might see some of those. Lenovo has already sent out invites for a press event on August 31.

Asus at IFA 2016

ASUS Zenfone Zoom Hands On-20

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). At IFA then we will potentially only be looking at new variants of the Zenfone 3 or an updated ZenWatch 3.

ZTE at IFA 2016

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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-Xess-3

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.

Acer at IFA 2016

Acer has already sent out invitations to its unveiling at IFA 2016 to be held on August 31. No details are yet forthcoming, but Acer just released a smartphone called the Liquid Zest Plus a couple months ago, so it might be too soon for a new flagship. With Acer collaborating with StarVR on their virtual reality headset its certainly possible we could see some related announcements to this VR collab at IFA. We’ll likely see at least one new Chromebook too.

Fitbit at IFA 2016

Fitbit Charge HR vs Garmin vivosmart HR 2

Fitbit is also rumored to have two new products ready for the spotlight at IFA in September. The team at Wareable has it on good authority that two new devices – codenamed Laryon and Fermion – are currently being field tested for an IFA launch. They will most likely be unveiled as the Fitbit Flex 2 and Fitbit Charge 2, as both names were recently trademarked by the company.

NVIDIA at IFA 2016

This one is far from confirmed for IFA, but NVIDIA reportedly has a new SHIELD tablet in the works for 2016. IFA would be the obvious venue for an unveiling, but we’ll just have to wait and see. The new SHIELD is rumored to be an 8-inch tablet with the usual gaming powerhouse specs sheet and near-stock Android.

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.

Up next: Here’s what you missed at Google I/O 2016

By | 2016-07-23T03:00:09+00:00 July 23rd, 2016|Android Related, Just the Tablets|0 Comments

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