BlackBerry lites up, Lenovo snaps up a new dragon | IFA 2018 Daily: Day -1 and 0

Welcome to our coverage of IFA 2018 — not the home of the launch event! Get what we mean? Because it’s day zero.

We’ll be running daily digests for the next few days covering the big phones, the pertinent peripherals and the odd bits and pieces coming out of Berlin with the help of our man on the ground, Jaime Rivera.

With tons to get through from yesterday through to today, we’re done with introductions. Let’s get to it.

Laptops

Yes, our name is Pocketnow, but it seems like everywhere we went, it was nothing but screens above 10 inches in size. The major culprits? Acer, which dared to have a press conference a day before everyone else, ASUS and Lenovo. Click the links below to catch up on more computers.

  • For Acer, the premium Swift series gets a makeover with 8th-gen Intel CPUs. The Swift 5 is touted as the lightest 14-inch notebook on the market while the soon-to-be Swift 7 will take that crown in the 15.6-inch category when it comes later this fall.
  • More to our realm, Lenovo pulled out the Yoga C630 WOS (pictured above). It’s an unwieldy name for the first LTE-capable Windows 10 foldable featuring the Snapdragon 850 chipset from Qualcomm.
  • ASUS maximizes its Zen with seven ZenBooks including an update to the ZenBook Pro 15 (the one that had a touch display for its trackpad) and a new ZenBook Pro 14 to go with it.
  • And yes, Chromebooks galore. Acer offered up premium build in the Chromebook 514, but it only costs $350. Lenovo’s lead item was the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook with Intel Kaby Laker power, SSD and DDR4 memory and more for the $750+ sector.

Phones

A pair of mid-rangers and a few of powerhouses loaded into what we’ve called “Day Zero” of the show, mostly because their launch events were not held during IFA 2018, which starts tomorrow.

  • The HTC U12 Life takes a funky twist with Google Pixel hardware design while delivering on a mid-range Android offering that should carrry users on for a good day-and-a-half. It will be available in Europe from €329.
  • Sony goes bold with the Xperia XZ3, keeping its revised hardware design language seen on devices from earlier this year, but heading in hard with Android Pie and a BRAVIA-branded OLED HDR display. No availability details just yet.
  • ZTE is back to life with the Axon 9 Pro, a very “2018” Android phone with dual rear cameras, a notch and a chin on the AMOLED display and two Hi-Fi amps for stereo speaker action. Europe will seemingly get first dibs at the end of next month for €649.
  • The Honor Play is Huawei’s latest come-on to gamers, pairing its powerful Kirin 970 with GPU Turbo technology as well as 4D Smart Shock haptics for damage UX on steroids. It will come under $400, but will avoid the US for the time being.
  • BlackBerry’s back in the mix with a mid-ranger follow-up to its mid-range KEY2: the KEY2 LE. Specs have been reduced by half a step, but the physical keyboard’s still around and the price has come under $500.

More developments

  • Lenovo announced new and free DLC for Star Wars: Jedi Challenges along with a new Kylo Ren Lightsaber for purchase.
  • Mobile photography accessory maker olloclip breaks away from its iPhone-only product strategy to debut the Multi-Device Clip for external lenses.
  • Samsung debuts its first 8K consumer LCD televisions with AI-determined dimming, color adjustments and contrast. There are three sizes starting from 65 inches. LG goes all OLED on 8K with just one 88-inch model. No word on availability for either product.
  • Jaime Rivera took a few good listens with Sony’s new WH-1000XM3, an active noise-cancelling Bluetooth headset with USB-C connectivity!

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.