The 2017 edition of IFA, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, gets underway in Berlin this weekend. As ever, a ton of never-before-seen technologies will be on display to the public for the first time, with electronic giants like Sony, Samsung, LG and more set to showcase what they've been cooking up in the lab over the past 12 months.
Below, we've rounded up some of the items we're looking forward to seeing most.
In recent years, smartphone manufacturers have announced new devices at smaller events separate to conventions like IFA. With brands being drowned out by all the noise, this is understandable. And Samsung has, once again, has just announced the new Galaxy Note separately to a larger tech event.
Sony has lifted the veil on new flagship Xperia devices. The Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are solid upgrades to the Japanese tech giant’s X-line.
The Xperia XZ1 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset, 19MP rear camera, and a 5.2-inch LCD display. Backing all the power is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage. While the early reviews are looking positive, the latest addition to Sony’s flagship family has a lot to live up to. It’ll also ship with all-new Android 8.0 Oreo. The XZ1 is expected to drop sometime in September.
The XZ1 Compact, as with every compact phone from Sony, has the right combination of hardware, software and usability to punch above its weight. Even though it has a 4.6-inch display at the lesser 720p resolution, it comes with the same Snapdragon 835 chip to put it close to its bigger sibling for raw performance. It also has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. Expect the XZ1 Compact to release October 4.
The LG V30 is already shaping up to be one of the best phones of 2017. With its V-series, LG has taken some gambles with exterior design, like offering a removable battery on the V10 when the industry had already migrated to non-removable. However, the V30 looks to have all the makings of a classic.
With a huge 6-inch display, which bears similarities to the near bezel-less Infinity Display of Samsung’s Galaxy S8, it’s a definite head-turner. Other features include 4GB of RAM, dual 16MP cameras, 64GB of memory (or 128GB on the V30+ model) and the powerhouse Snapdragon 835 chipset. The LG V30 goes on sale in September.
IFA might not be Baselworld when it comes to bling bling time pieces for the flex, but if cutting-edge technology is your bag, then you've come to the right place. Last year's show saw a number of memorable watch debuts, and while talk regarding the class of 2017 has been more muted, we still expect to see a number of game-changing devices on display. Samsung, so often a big player at this event, is gearing up to showcase The Gear Fit 2 — a slinky fitness tracker that works in the pool and supports offline Spotify playback. Its slightly chunkier elder sibling, The Gear Sport, meanwhile, comes optioned in two color schemes with an impressive dual-core 1.0 GHz processor. (If you're an Apple user, don't get excited just yet — both pieces are Android-only.)
While Samsung dominates most headlines (purely because it's Samsung, let's be honest), a far more interesting prospect is Garmin's latest smart fitness watch, The Vivoactive 3. The American company has primed the piece as a genuine rival to the Apple Smartwatch, and unlike the aforementioned offerings, it can sync to iOS, Android, and desktop software. Boasting built-in GPS and heart rate sensors for both continuous monitoring and session-based tracking — as well as a hefty price tag of $600 — this is one for serious adventurers only.
Finally, we round off our wearables coverage with one for the fashion minded. Lifestyle brand Diesel will make its first foray into the Android wear market with not one, but five new smart watches. Optioned with various straps and links, Bluetooth connectivity, notifications and customizable faces are just some of the stand-out features.
Ahead of IFA, Dell has announced a VR headset using Microsoft’s new Windows Mixed Reality software. The headset features inside-out tracking cameras, offering a 360-degree panoramic view. At $349.99, Dell's headset is one of the cheapest on the market, and it will work on laptops, as well as VR-specific consoles Rift and Vive. The Dell Visor hits stores this October.
ASUS mixed reality headset
Asus will launch its own Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality headset. The Asus version has a 3K resolution, and without sensors can support six degrees of freedom tracking. It also includes a polygonal 3D cover panel and weighs less than a pound, so you don't have to worry about neck strain. However, all this comes at a significantly higher price, with the Asus headset set to retail at $535.
Panasonic "SC-GA10" AI speaker
Panasonic has announced its first speaker with a built-in AI assistant. Called the "SC-GA10," the new speaker combines the GA10 speaker with Google's Assistant. It will work similar to Amazon Alexa, with the AI being able to play music, search the web and perform other tasks, all by voice command. The speaker will arrive in stores at the beginning of 2018.
Asus ZenBook Flip 14
Asus will launch the world's thinnest 2-in-1 laptop, the ZenBook Flip 14. The laptop weighs 1.4kg, is 13.9 mm thick and features a 13-hour battery, a fingerprint sensor, 8th generation Core i7 quad-core processor, a 1TB PCIe SSD and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. While no release date has been revealed, the laptop will retail at approximately $900.
Now find out when Apple's official iPhone 8 announcement will be held.