IFA 2017: Top 3 announcements to keep an eye on

IFA 2017 is upon us. Though I have never been to the tradeshow that is held annually in the German capital, Berlin, at least my heart and mind has been attending the event religiously for the last 7 or so years. IFA has, in recent years, become one of the most important events in the calendar of any Android nerd. The reason is simple: it’s where we get to see some of the biggest Android product announcements for the second half of the year made. 2017 won’t be an exception to this unwritten rule.

Several consumer electronics companies have sent out event invites for product launches and announcements bound to be made at IFA 2017. On the Android front, these are the most notable ones that we need to keep an eye out for since one way or the other, whatever gets announced will be hitting the Kenyan market in months to come:

1. Sony event – for the Xs

At IFA 2017, Sony Mobile is set to unveil at least 2 new Xperia smartphones. Some expect that number to be 3.

Two devices with the model numbers G83XX and G8441 have been regulars on the Android device leaks cycle these past few days and we don’t expect anything short of them showing up in Berlin clad in metal and featuring some slight upgrades to the devices Sony unveiled at Mobile World Congress 6 months ago.

The Xperia ZZ1 is expected to debut as the true successor to last year’s XZ with a smaller footprint than the big XZ Premium that Sony Mobile fans swear by. The Xperia XZ1 Compact is expected to take care of the mid-range side of things. There’s talk of a Sony Xperia X1 also showing up in Berlin even though I can’t find anything concrete on it.

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2. LG event – LG V30 launch

A quick glance at the LG Newsroom will leave anyone pretty much abreast with what LG is about to do: launch its latest flagship smartphone, the LG V30. As has been the case before, LG isn’t holding back as far as hyping its upcoming device goes. It’s also revealing a lot of the things that others would normally prefer to keep under wraps till the chose hour.

The LG V30 (and V30 Plus, if we are to factor in the occasional off-grid whispers) unveiling at IFA 2017 will be the most high profile mobile device launch at the event and a must-follow for all device nerds and tech enthusiasts.

The LG V30 is expected to be the first ever device to feature a plastic OLED FullVision display, the first f/1.6 aperture on a smartphone camera and a revamped user interface.

All eyes will be on LG as it holds its press conference on August 31st, a day before IFA 2017 kicks off in earnest.

3. Huawei event – anything goes

There won’t be a new Mate smartphone at IFA 2017 to keep Huawei watchers and fans like yours truly occupied but there sure will be some form of announcement. Last year it was the reveal of a brand new smartphone range, the Nova series. Maybe we’ll get a sequel at this year’s event? A tablet or two? Some wearables? We’re in the dark at the moment since the Chinese aren’t working up the grapevine with rumours and counter-rumours on anything. So un-2017! Anyway, we have just a week to find out what all this secrecy is for. I’ll be gutted if it was all for nothing.

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It’s quite a bummer that Samsung is launching its eagerly-awaited Galaxy Note 8 phablet away from IFA 2017 despite expectations early in the year that it might do so. Huawei, too, is keeping its best phone from the German capital in favour of the Bavarian city of Munich, in mid-October. Either way, the above three events taking place at IFA 2017 should keep us occupied and talking for the better part of early September before the new iPhone buzz kills us all.

Emmanuel Chenze

Let's just say I know my stuff. I have 7 years experience handling, tinkering with and then writing extensively about Android stuff. Sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is not; things can get stale with nothing new to show but I live for each one of those moments. Have something Android-related that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze@androidkenya.com