Who’s ready for a little Funkausstellung? We’re about a week away from the start of IFA 2014, where mobile device manufacturers from all around the world will descend on Berlin to show off their newest products. The F in IFA –Funkausstellung– may translate as “radio show,” but the expo has evolved far beyond its early audio roots to feature the very latest in smartphones, tablets, and wearables. The Pocketnow team will be on the ground in Germany to share with you everything IFA 2014 has to deliver (or at least, everything worth seeing) but before we send our boys abroad, we wanted to take a moment to go over with all of you just what we’re hoping to see there.
Major manufacturers have been teasing their IFA plans for the past few weeks now, sending out invitations to press events with hints about new products ranging from the inscrutable to the direct. Let’s get started with one whose IFA announcements are always something to look forward to: Samsung.
Samsung’s Unpacked event will take place on Wednesday, September 3. The big announcement is looking like it will be the Galaxy Note 4, and Samsung hasn’t exactly been shy about making this known. Even still, there’s ample room for surprises, especially as we seek to get to the bottom of those rumors about wrap-around displays.
We’re also hoping to see Samsung’s new virtual reality accessory, the Gear VR, which would accept a Samsung phone like the Note 4 to act as its display. On the wearables front, we’ve heard from a source that a curved-display Gear 3 could make its debut, and this smartwatch might just be the SIM-enabled “Gear Solo” we’ve been talking about for months, able to function even without a Samsung smartphone tethered over Bluetooth.
Sony’s also got a press event on September 3, and the highlights here are likely to be an Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact. Neither sounds like it’s going to push many hardware limits – nothing like quad HD displays here – but narrow bezels, clean design, and a no-compromise “mini” handset could be just what Sony’s lineup needs to keep competitive.
A new Sony smartwatch might also show its face (albeit not an Android Wear model), and we’re also keeping an eye open for a new compact tablet and maybe even another one of those weird lens-style camera accessories from last year.
Know who else is bringing us some product announcements on September 3? An ASUS event adds to an already-busy calendar, where we’re expecting to see the company reveal its new Android Wear smartwatch, the ZenWatch. The big selling point there, if some older rumors are to be trusted, could be a very low sticker price. Beyond that, we’re likely to see a handful of tablets, including that PadFone X mini we recently caught wind of.
LG has decided not to wait for next week to get started with its latest launches, and in the past few days we’ve seen it introduce the L Fino and L Bello, as well as the G3 Stylus. But maybe the most intriguing device coming to LG’s stable is the just-revealed G Watch R, a round-faced smartwatch in the vein of the Moto 360.
While the G Watch R has been confirmed, details on the wearable are few and far between, so we’re quite anxious to get the full story on it, especially hardware specs and info about how it will go up for sale.
Huawei’s got its IFA event on Thursday, September 4, and the company’s been playfully teasing what it might announce with some graphical clues. One contender we’ve heard suggested for what those hints might be pointing to is an Ascend Mate 3.
We’ve also recently been learning about Huawei’s efforts to bring sapphire to its Ascend P7 from earlier in the year, and it would be a shock if the manufacturer didn’t also have that hardware to show off.
What about Motorola? Well, Motorola has its own shindig back here in the States, and while we suppose some Motorola personnel could be on-hand with some of that new gear to demo behind closed doors, we’re not expecting any big announcement at IFA itself.
We can’t mention Motorola without thinking about Lenovo, and while we haven’t picked up on any specific plans for new launches, we’re betting it brings along that interesting-looking Vibe Z2 Pro it introduced a few weeks ago.
Focusing back on Berlin, this isn’t going to be an Android-only show, and Microsoft sure looks like it will be arriving with some new Nokia gear to debut. This is another September 4 event, and based on the rumors, leaks, and teasers, we’re looking forward to the launches of the Lumia 730 and Lumia 830.
Also on that Thursday, HTC has its own IFA gathering. Like LG, HTC has a bunch of just-launched hardware it will probably be reminding us about, including the new Butterfly model, the hot-off-the-presses 64-bit Desire 510, and likely even the One M8 for Windows.
Even with all that out in the open, HTC still has some IFA announcements it hasn’t fully shared just yet, like what’s going on with the Desire 820. This could be one of the first Androids running an octa-core 64-bit SoC, so we’re looking forward to getting complete details on its hardware.
And that… that’s about it. Or at least, those are the big-ticket devices that have been attracting a buzz. In addition to these, we’re liable to see plenty of new low-to-mid-range phones from various OEMs that just haven’t inspired many rumors, not to mention lord knows how many second-tier tablets, accessories, and wearables. And there’s still plenty of time between now and next week for even more products to reveal themselves.
Keep checking back with Pocketnow’s IFA 2014 coverage for details of all those as they arrive, and stick with us all next week as our hands-on reports from the expo get underway.