IFA 2014: here's what to expect from Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Microsoft, and Asus


In just a couple of days, geeks and journalists from all over the world will gather in Berlin for one of the year's largest tech events – the Internationale Funkausstellung, also known as IFA. As usual, it is going to be an event of massive proportions, and many of the top tech companies will take advantage of the hype by announcing their latest products. Here's a look at the gadgets that we're expecting to see there.

Samsung


Excited about the newest range of Samsung printers? We aren't either. What we're actually looking forward to is the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The phone is going to be unveiled at an Unpacked event, which is scheduled for September 3, and it is going to be a beast, judging by all the Note 4 rumors. It won't be the sole star of the show, however, as Samsung is believed to be readying a number of other gadgets. 

Chances are that we'll see a new smartwatch at the Unpacked event, namely the rumored Samsung Gear Solo. Unlike previous Samsung Gear smartwatches, this particular model is expected to have a SIM card slot enabling it to make calls and connect to the internet. On the downside, it will probably be quite expensive for a gadget of this kind. Interestingly, we might also see a Google Glass rival called Gear Glass and an Oculus-Rift-inspired virtual reality accessory called Gear VR. There's a higher chance of seeing the latter since photos of the device have leaked already.

Sony


Sony has its IFA event scheduled for September 3, and at least two new smartphones are going to be announced there. These are the Sony Xperia Z3 and the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, which we've been hearing rumors about for weeks. From the looks of it, the former will become the company's newest Android flagship smartphone, while the latter will be its "mini" version, offering similar specs and features, but in a smaller package. Also, we won't be surprised if Sony takes advantage of the occasion by announcing new wearable gadgets, possibly a smartwatch and/or a smart fitness tracker.

UPDATE: Sony is rumored to be ready with a new tablet, dubbed the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. We are still not sure whether or not we should be expecting a "full-sized" Xperia Z3 Tablet. We should also mention that odd-looking Sony "selfie" phone with a rotating camera, which has been making the rounds. If the latter is indeed a real device and not just a quirky prototype, then there's a good chance of seeing it in person at IFA.

UPDATE #2: Judging by what is shown in Sony's IFA teaser video, we should be expecting the company to unveil at least three new devices, most likely the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. As for the aforementioned "selfie phone", it is already official and isn't a phone at all.


Microsoft


There's something exciting that Microsoft has in stock for us – a new smartphone or two, it seems. Rumor has it that the company will announce the Nokia Lumia 730 and Nokia Lumia 830 on September 4. The former is said to be a low-cost model and taking good selfies could be its stand-out feature. Reportedly, the Lumia 730 will sport a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels, a Snapdragon 400 SoC, 1GB of RAM, a 6.7MP rear and a 5MP front-facing camera. A dual-SIM model is also expected. As for the latter, the Nokia Lumia 830 is rumored to be an upper mid-range phone with a 13MP camera and a Snapdragon 800 SoC. Without a doubt, both Lumias will run Windows Phone 8.1.

UPDATE: According to Baidu – China's most popular search engine – the Lumia 730 will have dimensions of 134.7 x 68.5 mm (5.3 x 2.69 in), and have support for 4G LTE, Qi Wireless charging, microSD card expansion, and work with Nano SIMs. Judging from the FCC certificate of one of the device's model RM-1038, the 730 will also boast NFC support, and will be compatible with LTE networks operating on band 7.


Huawei


Huawei is expected to introduce a new smartphone on September 4, and judging by the leaks, it is going to be worthy of rivaling the competition's high-ends. Allegedly, the handset will be known as the Huawei Ascend D3 (or D7) and will stand out with a premium, metal construction. 

It is said that Huawei's new phone will have a 6-inch screen with a resolution of 1440 by 2560 pixels (also known as QHD), 3GB of RAM, and a Kirin 920 octa-core system-on-chip. Its main camera will offer 13MP of resolution, the front-facing one will be a 5MP shooter, and 16GB of on-board storage will be present, according to what has been leaked so far. Interestingly, a trimmed-down version of the same phone, with a 1080 by 1920-pixel display and 2GB of RAM, is also rumored to be in the works. We should also mention that the back panel of the phone appears to have an opening where a sensor, presumably a fingerprint scanner, is speculated to reside. On the software side of things, we're expecting to see a heavily modified variant of Android 4.4 Kit Kat with Huawei's very own EMUI 3.0 user interface on top.

UPDATE: A yet-unannounced mid-range phone by Huawei has been caught in the wild. Photos of the handset, albeit in a protective case of some kind, have been exposed, along with a handful of specs. It is said that the phone, which goes only by the Z100-CL00 model name, sports a 720 x 1280-pixel display, a 1.6GHz processor of unknown make and model, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, dual-SIM capabilities, and what appears to be a fingerprint scanner. This could be a toned-down version of Huawei's next flagship, or it might turn out to be an entirely new phone. Either way, we hope to learn more about it at the IFA expo. Oh, and while we're at it, here's a few more screenshots from Huawei's new user interface.

UPDATE #2: Huawei has pretty much confirmed that it will unveil the Ascend Mate 7 at IFA 2014.


Asus


Asus has a press event set for September 3, and we're expecting it to be dedicated to a whole bunch of devices. One of them is rumored to be a smartwatch – a smartwatch running the Google Wear platform. While specs aren't known, it is said that Asus's smartwatch will be a fashionable timepiece with an attractive price. In fact, the gadget might cost between $99 and $149. We aren't sure what else is going to be announced at the event, but there's a chance of seeing a new lineup of ZenFone Android smartphones and possibly Intel-based Android and/or Windows 8 tablets.

UPDATE: We just found out that a new PadFone device, known as the Asus PadFone X mini, is in the works. There's a good chance of seeing it being announced IFA in Berlin, and AT&T could be interested in offering the device. 

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