Giant TVs, ‘lite’ phones, smarter household items: what to expect at IFA 2018

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IFA, one of the world’s leading trade shows for consumer electronics, kicks off this week on August 31 in Berlin and runs until September 5. But with so many smartphone manufacturers unveiling at the other two giant tech gatherings, CES and MWC, as well as private events, what can we expect to see later this week?

In the past, IFA has hosted several Samsung unveilings, more often than not the latest Note models, however this year the South Korean giant already unveiled the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Home at a separate ‘Unpacked’ event earlier this month.

But Samsung’s product range is large, so there are still many possibilities for its IFA showcase. Between the press event invites depicting home appliances and billboards in Berlin teasing “8K QLED – Prepare to be amazed at IFA” it’s certain that smart televisions and appliances will be center stage. Then again, the invites read “Do What You Can’t” — suggesting that their display may also include a VR/AR headset — another popular sector at IFA.

Like its South Korean competitor, LG is also introducing an expanded series of premium home appliances, including a new wine cellar, dryer and bottom-freezer refrigerator. There’s also a chance that LG will reveal its hotly anticipated 175-inch Micro LED TV, a set bigger than Samsung’s “The Wall”. And with Google Assistant now in so many LG products, there could even be a smart display or speaker in the pipelines.

Yet to be confirmed is the launch date for the imminent new flagship smartphone — LG V40 ThinQ — that has been leaked with five cameras, which raises the question whether LG will also opt for a private launch later this year or bring it to Germany.

Huawei is likely to embrace the absence of a Samsung flagship unveiling and steal the spotlight with its much rumored Mate 20 — and as no new flagship is complete without an affordable ‘Lite’ version and larger ‘Pro’, there are likely to be three models. If the rumors are true, Mate 20 Pro would be a particularly exciting arrival, possibly featuring a massive 6.9-inch display and three cameras on the back (like the P20 Pro). Furthermore, there could be a revamped Huawei Watch on the way, alleged to be similar to its predecessor but this time with eSIM support.

None of this has been confirmed by Huawei; so far the brand has only confirmed the reveal of their next generation mobile chipset — Kirin 980.

Press event invites, combined with recent leaks of new models, suggest that Sony Xperia XZ3 and Xperia XZ3 Compact will be unveiled at IFA, hopefully with the brand’s new 48MP sensor. Meanwhile Blackberry is set to present Key2 LE, a ‘Lite’ version of its latest release. And finally, Motorola Moto One and Moto One Power, the brand’s first Android-One based smartphones, are due to launch soon — who knows, maybe even this week.

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