UPDATE: We have all the latest announcements from Lenovo, Motorola and Sony right here. Including hands-on impressions of the newly revealed and much rumored Sony Xperia XZ1 review and its bedfellows, the Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact and the Sony Xperia XA1 Plus. We also try Lenovo’s Explorer VR headset, the Moto 4X smartphone and Sony’s new Smart Speaker LF-S50G.
The TechRadar team is in Berlin for IFA. We’ll be bringing you updates from Europe’s biggest show as and when they happen.
IFA 2017 is here and it’s set to be one of the biggest tech shows in recent years. The TechRadar team has landed in Berlin and will be reporting on everything you need to know about the show.
There was a time when CES Las Vegas was the go-to event for consumer tech, while IFA specialized in home appliances and white goods. Over the last few years, however, IFA has expanded and it’s now a serious competitor to its American counterpart.
Sure, you’ll still get more than your fair share of connected fridge freezers and robot vacuum cleaners, but you’ll also not be able to swing an iPhone without hitting a piece of high-end audio gear, laptop, TV, or brand new phone that will call to your wallet like a mermaid on the rocks.
A couple of big hitters have already announced new products, including Fitbit and its Fitbit Ionic smartwatch as well as Panasonic’s addition to the smart speaker market, the SC-GA10. Besides that there have been a ton of rumors about next-gen TVs, wearables and about a billion speakers with voice control.
Check out our hopes, predictions and expectations on what’s set to take the show by storm – as well as official news when it lands.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Europe’s annual technology blowout
- When is it? Officially, IFA is open to the public from September 1 to 6, but press (like TechRadar) have access a few days earlier
- What’s on show? Everything from Wi-Fi fridges to smartphones, giant companies like Samsung to first-time start-ups
Acer at IFA 2017
Acer Predator Orion 9000
Acer went big on desktop gaming this year, announcing an an 18-core CPU, quad-GPU gaming desktop monster. The Acer Predator Orion 9000 packs an Intel Core i9 Extreme Edition processor, has an all-in-one liquid cooling solution and will arrive this December with prices starting at $1,999 (about £1,550, AU$2,510).
Acer Switch 7
Acer also announced the Swift 5, Spin 5 and Switch 7 Black Edition. These are all powered by 8th gen Intel Core processors and include the first fanless 2-in-1 notebook (the Switch 7), the Swift 5 which has a multi-touch 1080p IPS touchscreen with a narrow bezel design and the Spin 5 features a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics card, a 13 or 15 inch screen and up to 16GB of DDR4 memory.
Asus at IFA 2017
Asus ZenBook Flip 14
Asus chose IFA 2017 to launch the world’s thinnest 2-in-1 laptop, the ZenBook Flip 14. It has a discrete graphics card, is just 13.9 mm thick and 1.4kg in weight. It also has 8th generation Core i7 quad-core processor, 1TB PCIe SSD for fast data storage and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Couple this with A 13 hour battery, fingerprint sensor and Windows 10 are also included for €799 (around $900, £700, AU$1200) and you are laughing.
Asus Windows Mixed Reality Headset
This is a stunner. Asus outed its latest Windows Mixed Reality Headset at IFA 2017, and it boasts 3K resolution (at 90Hz), and uses inside-out tracking via two cameras on the front of the device – essentially this means that it doesn’t need any complicated setup so you can get it up and running in 10 minutes. Asus also revealed its headset won’t make you sweat as it uses breathable materials.
Panasonic at IFA 2017
SC-GA10 Smart Speaker
Panasonic announced there’s a new smart speaker in town and it’s called the SC-GA10. It’s not the catchiest name in the world but this new hi-fi speaker is packing Google Assistant, and features a 20mm tweeter and 8cm woofer.
Panasonic emphasized the speaker’s music playing abilities and its Spotify, Google Music, Tunein and Deezer support, positioning it similarly to Apple’s upcoming speaker and ahead of Google Home in terms of sound. It will come with multi-room abilities out of the box, allowing you to choose which rooms you want the music to play from.
The Panasonic GA10 smart speaker will be going on sale ‘this winter’ for a price that’s still to be announced.
Read our hands on: Panasonic SC-GA10 review.
Samsung at IFA 2017
Samsung Gear Sport
Samsung might have just revealed the best home workout watch ever with its new Gear Sport.
It features an all-round watch face, with both black and blue versions available and a selection of 23 straps at launch, made from a variety of materials.
Under the hood there’s a dual-core processor the latest Tizen software and 4GB of storage for you to upload music.
What sets it apart new selection of fitness programs that come with video tutorials. These will work on your phone or you can even stream them to your TV if you’re working out at home.
The video will show you the exercises you should be doing for your plan and speak you through what you’re doing as well. Plus your TV will then show your heart rate while you exercise, which should make it easier to monitor than if you had to keep glancing at your wrist.
Read our hands-on Samsung Gear Sport review impressions.
Gear Icon X 2018 earbuds
Samsung has announced an upgrade to its Icon X earbuds with the Icon X 2018.
These fitness-focused earbuds make small but exciting changes to last year’s model with improved battery life and support for digital assistants like Bixby and Siri.
Read our hands-on Samsung Icon X 2018 review impressions.
Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro
The Gear Fit 2 Pro could be Samsung’s show stealer at IFA, being the first fitness tracker on the market to offer offline Spotify support.
That means you’ll be able to store up to 500 songs from Spotify on the fitness tracker and with built-in GPS it means you can head out for a run and still listen to your music without your phone.
Other than that it largely looks the same as the Gear Fit 2 and will offer similar battery life and features.
Read our hands-on Gear Fit 2 Pro review impressions.
When unveiling the Note 8, Samsung also confirmed it would be launching a new Gear S smartwatch at IFA 2017, so that’s something to look forward to – it sounds very much like this will be the Gear S4, and it’s also very likely that Samsung has timed this to beat the Apple Watch Series 3 to market.
Also in wearables, we’re expecting to see the release of a Gear Fit 2 Pro at IFA 2017. Price-wise, it’s been leaked that it will cost $199.99 (about £160, AU$250) and, for that, you will get waterproofing and offline access to Spotify straight from the device.
Though tablets are less of a concern for the company these days, there’s a good chance Samsung may put out a slate to compliment this year’s Galaxy Tab S3, while the Gear 4 smartwatch making an appearance would continue Samsung’s tradition for displaying wearables at IFA.
And then, of course, there’s the smart home. Samsung’s been touting its ‘Smart Things’ ecosystem for years now, but with the explosion in voice-activated speakers and affordable Internet of Things devices, it’s a steadily growing area. With the white goods interaction the connected home offers, IFA 2017 will be the perfect stage for Samsung to show off some more of its efforts in the space. As for TVs, Samsung’s already shown off its 2017 range, so don’t expect any massive announcements like the unveiling of its Quantum Dot technology, but it may still find room for a 2018 TV tech tease, or a mad, never-to-be-affordable concept screen.
Sony at IFA 2017
Sony always puts on a good show at IFA, holding back a few flagship announcements for the autumn showcase along with some concept devices to set the mind wandering into the far-flung crazy tech future.
Sony Xperia XZ1 review
The Sony Xperia XZ1 looks to be another accomplished flagship phone with some clever camera tricks, HDR support and 3D scanning, but it remains to be seen if it really does enough to stand out from the crowd.
Read our hands on: Sony Xperia XZ1 review.
Sony Xperia XA1
The Xperia XA1 Plus looks to be a solid smartphone offering, with a large screen that’s well suited to video playback and gaming, and a battery that should keep you going all day.
Read our hands on: Sony Xperia XA1 review
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
Sony also showed off its smaller variant of the Xperia XZ1 – the Xperia XZ1 Compact, at IFA 2017. As with Sony’s previous Compact editions, the XZ1 can do a lot of the things its bigger (and more expensive) brother can, which could make this a good choice for people looking for a flagship phone that’s easy to hold in the hand.
To find out more, read our hands on review of the Sony Xperia XZ1.
Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact vs Sony Xperia X Compact
With Sony unveiling the Xperia XZ1 Compact at IFA 2017, many of us are wondering how it compares to Sony’s previous Compact devices. That’s why we’ve put it head-to-head with last year’s Sony Xperia X Compact.
To see how it measures up, check out our Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact vs Sony Xperia X Compact comparison.
Sony Smart Speaker LF-S50G
Sony didn’t just show off smartphones at IFA 2017 – it also had plenty of other devices on show, including its new smart speaker that’s set to take on the likes of Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod. Having Sony enter the smart speaker market with this Google Assistant-powered device is very exciting indeed, and you can find out more with our hands on review.
Fitbit at IFA 2017
It’s been a long time coming, but Fitbit has finally unveiled its first smartwatch, the Fitbit Ionic. Though breaking cover a little ahead of the official opening of IFA 2017, it’ll make its public debut at the Berlin show.
Waterproof, slickly designed and (as you’d expect from Fitbit) fitness focussed, it opts for a square face and uses the company’s own Fitbit OS. With a 384 x 250 LCD reaching 1000 nits and built in GPS, you’ll get 10 hours of constant tracking from the Ionic.
At £299.95/$299.95/AU$449.95 it’s a bit pricey though – that’s more than the Fitbit Surge, and not far off the more feature-rich Apple Watch 2 and Android Wear alternatives. It’s a solid device from our hands-on look, and while it may not have the pocket-money appeal of other fitness trackers, those invested in the Fitbit brand looking for an upgrade will likely find much to enjoy.
LG at IFA 2017
The LG V30 looks to be a confident step forward, not just for LG’s experimental smartphone branch, but for its flagship devices in general. This could be end up as one of 2017’s best if it strikes a reasonable asking price.
Read our hands on: LG V30 review
Lenovo at IFA 2017
Lenovo Explorer review
Lenovo’s first virtual reality headset has a lot going for it, particularly its attractive and comfortable design. The Lenovo Explorer may be one of the better Windows Mixed Reality headsets when it releases, which is impressive in a stacked field. It is expensive, but you certainly will enjoy wearing it.
Read more on in our hands on Lenovo Explorer review
Motorola at IFA 2017
Moto 4X review
Motorola’s big reveal at IFA 2017 is the Moto 4X. While you won’t find anything particularly innovative with this phone, it includes a few extras like Amazon Alexa and a dual-lens camera. These features, along with a dazzling design, may help it rise above other mid-range handsets.
Read all about Motorola’s new phone in our hands on Moto 4X review
Huawei at IFA 2017
Huawei loves IFA. The Chinese brand has used the Berlin stage to go from cash-rich smartphone upstart to… cash-rich genuine mobile player.
It’ll continue its rise towards the smartphone elite this year, with the company likely to show off its Mate 10 phablet and mid-range Nova additions at this year’s event.
Philips at IFA 2017
Philips announces its first ever Quantum Dot TV at IFA 2017. The Philips 8602 comes in 55 and 65-inch versions, and features the company’s Ambilight technology, which projects colors onto the wall behind it.
Read more about the Philips 8602 Quantum Dot TV.
Philips also announced that its Hue lighting would be more deeply integrated with Apple’s HomeKit soon. As well as simply being able to control your lights using Siri, soon you’ll be able to switch between your HomeKit scenes using a Philips Hue tap switch, effectively allowing you to control other smart home devices such as Thermostats with Hue equipment.
Finally, Philips announced a new flagship OLED. The Philips OLED 9 series is 65big, has a maximum peak brightness of 900 nits, and features the company’s P5 Perfect Picture engine.
There are hundreds of exhibitors at IFA 2017 – the above are just those that have given the biggest hints at what to expect from their labs at this year’s show. We’ll keep this page updated with all the biggest leaks and news in the run up to the show, but here’s the five-second rundown on some of the other major players in the industry yet to show their hands.
Alienware / Dell: Gaming all the way here – 4K screens and Max Q internals will again take top billing.
AMD: Ryzen 3 is unlikely to make an appearance at IFA 2017, but AMD’s having a good run at the moment against its GPU rival Nvidia, so expect to see some gaming gear with AMD internals garner praise.
Garmin: Gadget maker Garmin has come to IFA with its bags full, and one of the standouts if the Vivoactive 3. We got to try it for ourselves, and you can read our impressions in our hands on Garmin Vivoactive 3 review. The big highlight is the new mobile payment tech Garmin Pay, which works much the same as Android Pay and Apple Pay.
HTC: With phones taking a back seat at recent show’s for HTC (with the exception of the ‘A’ line), virtual reality gear is likely to be HTC’s show focus if it makes an appearance. Given that HTC is making two different standalone headsets, , and there is a (admittedly slim) possibility that we could get our first glimpse at IFA. Unlikely, but we can dream.
Harman Kardon (JBL/ AKG): The audio giants always hit IFA hard, with everything from luxury headphones to Bluetooth speakers and smart audio gear on offer from each of the three brands. Given that its Cortana-powered speaker is due to go on sale in autumn, we would be surprised if we don’t see the Alexa competitor here. One of the coolest devices it’s launched at IFA 2017 is the JBL Bar 5.1, which we go hands on with for our review.
Intel: With Kaby Lake out in the wild, expect to see plenty of laptops, convertibles and desktops running Intel’s speedy and power-efficient processing tech.
Nokia: Hot on the heels of its Nokia 3310 revival, Nokia (as a phone company) is on a relative high. While it’s not yet given away any IFA 2017 plans, it’d be the perfect time to show off its rumored Nokia 9 Android flagship.
IFA 2017 news you might have missed