Berlin is a city known for its bohemian art culture, surreal relics of the Cold War, and for one week a year in September, for being the center of the technology universe when IFA comes to town. It’s one of the largest technology trade shows of the year, and the European version of CES. As usual, Digital Trends will have an international team of journalists on the ground at the Messe fairgrounds, reporting live from the show floor from September 2 to September 9.
Before the show officially kicks off, we’ve put together a list of all the cool tech we expect to see at the show this year, and one fun piece of trivia.
What we hope and expect to see in Berlin:
Samsung may have pulled the Galaxy Note 5 launch from its traditional IFA slot, but that doesn’t mean the South Korean company is done with mobile announcements. During its Note press conference, Samsung teased its first round smartwatch, the Gear S2, which will run Tizen OS. The stylish device will debut at IFA, and we hope it arrives in stores soon after. You can read up on everything we know about the round smartwatch. The company could also unveil yet another new tablet, but that’s a long shot, given the recently announced Galaxy Tab S2 series.
Samsung will also undoubtedly show off a number of smart TVs with the new HDR, UHD, and other cool TV tech. Smart home appliances could make the debut at IFA, too, though we haven’t had many specifics.
Sony typically has a big showing at IFA, and this year is like to be no different. Recently, Sony tweeted out a photo of what could be the Xperia Z5 taking a picture of the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, along with a September 2 teaser date. You can read all about the Xperia Z5 here. The company will probably launch its new flagship phone at the show, and it could have more mid-range phones, wearables, or tablets in store as well. The Sony Smartwatch 4 would be a good bet for this year’s show, since its predecessor launched at last year’s IFA.
Sony typically uses IFA as a launching point for its TVs, audio equipment, cameras, and whatever else it has up its sleeves for the holiday season.
LG is expected to have TVs galore at IFA this year, most of which will showcase 4K OLED technology. LG’s Music Flow devices, including the new curved soundbar will probably be in attendance. LG also announced two Bluetooth speakers before IFA kicked off. Aside from the TVs and audio equipment, LG’s plans are mysterious.
The company could show off a new smartwatch, mid-range phones, or possibly the rumored Nexus phone. All of these mobile announcements are viewed as more of a long shot, though.
Asus could launch a number of devices at IFA, including some computers or possibly wearables, but the headliners are expected to be new ZenFones. The ZenFone Zoom with its 3x optical zoom that we first saw at CES may finally get a release date, and the ZenFone Max, which should sport a huge 5,000mAh battery, should be at IFA. Asus has a handful of other camera-focused phones that could debut at the show, such as the ZenFone Laser, ZenFone Selfie, and ZenFone Go phones. Of course, it’s unclear which of these devices will make it to Berlin, and which will be held back to a later date.
Huawei looks to make a splash at IFA this year, and it’s likely to fully introduce the Huawei Watch that we saw back at MWC (Mobile World Congress) in March. Huawei initially said the gorgeous round smartwatch would hit in the summer, but now that August is all but done, that dream is over. IFA would be a good launching ground for Huawei’s Watch, though, so keep your eyes peeled.
Rumor has it that the next Huawei Mate phone will debut at the show, too. The Mate S and the Mate 8 could both debut in Berlin. You can read all about the Mate 8 rumors here. Some rumors hint at the possibility of seeing the new Nexus, but that’s doubtful.
Microsoft will probably tout all the new Windows 10 devices from its partners, and perhaps show off some of its most recent Windows Phones. Although the infamous Windows Phone flagship has yet to debut, IFA is an unlikely venue for the company to show off high-end Windows Phones. Most rumors point to a late fall date for new Windows Phones. Regardless, Acer and other Microsoft allies in the mobile space will probably have low-end and mid-range Windows Phones on view at IFA.
As far as computers go, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Dell, and company will assuredly reveal Windows 10 laptops and computers.
Following its release of two new 6th-generation Core desktop processors, Intel will likely release a variety of mobile chips built on its latest Skylake architecture. Earlier leaks suggest the company will lead with eight different models ranging from Celeron to Core i7, and most will use Intel HD 530 graphics. All will, of usual, aim to deliver improved performance while also lowering power draw.
Early slip-ups from online retailers indicate that these 6th-generation Core chips will show up in product laptops quickly. The Dell XPS 13 and Asus UX305, for example, are both expected to receive updates, likely during this holiday shopping season. Aside from Skylake, Intel may also highlight its new Optane hard drive line, which is slated to come out next year.
Intel could also brag about its commitments to wearables, high-tech fashion, and all the other pies it has its fingers in, so expect to see some cool tech.
Motorola is a newer face at IFA, but its arrival is none too surprising, as Lenovo typically shows off some new devices in Berlin. Based on the increasing frequency of leaks, the Moto 360 2 is widely believed to be a shoe-in for the event. You can read all the rumors here. New phones are highly doubtful, since Motorola already showed off the Moto X Style, Moto G, and Moto X Play.
Lenovo will likely show off scores of new tablets, laptops, and computers at the show, and perhaps a few phones that will never reach the United States.
Google and Apple don’t actually do tradeshows (they’re too cool for school), but Google’s partners will undoubtedly have a number of phones and Android Wear devices on display. Apple will loom large over the show, as its huge September 9 event will happen on the last day of IFA, though it isn’t affiliated with the show at all. Naturally, the iPhone 6S is expected, as is iOS 9, and perhaps a few surprises. You can read all about the iPhone 6S rumors here. A number of HomeKit devices should also arrive at that time, and we could see some of those in Berlin at IFA from Apple’s partners.
TVs are always a big deal at IFA, so we’re like to see many on the showfloor from all the major players, such as Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Phillips, VIZIO, and others. Expect a lot of pixels, HDR, UHD, 4K, and other TV jargon to be the talk of the town.
IFA used to be more or less dominated by appliances, with hall after hall of fridges, stoves, vacuum cleaners, and so on. Smart home appliances are likely to populate the Messe, and we could see some new Hue bulbs from Phillips, or a new gadget or two from Tado.
As you might have noticed, IFA is an acronym and it stands for two epicly long German words: Internationale Funkaustellung. Translation, “International Radio Exhibition.” Back when IFA began in 1924, radios were hugely innovative and the show served as a means for the public to check out innovations. Today, IFA is one of the largest tech shows in the world.