Top 5 things to expect at IFA 2016

Berlin will be abuzz with expectations from next week as a number of global device makers will be gathering there to showcase their latest wares.

A number of smartphones, smartwatches and modular accessories will launch at IFA but it remains to be seen if they will arrive with cutting edge technologies or will just be periodic upgrades.

Samsung Gear S3

Samsung's Gear S2 was among the most heavily-marketed and talked-about smartwatches in 2015 even though its sales were nowhere close to those of the first edition Apple Watch. While the Gear S2 cleared the field for Samsung to compete effectively in the wearables market, it is believed that Samsung may finally steal the march over Apple with the launch of the Gear S3 at IFA.

The Gear S3 smartwatch is expected to launch as five variants, two of which will be carrier variants and will launch with SIM-support, reducing dependence of owners on companion smartphones. Sammobile also adds that like its predecessor, the Gear S3 smartwatch will feature a rotating bezel and will come with a round watch face. It will also run Samsung's home-grown Tizen OS instead of Android Wear, given that Samsung has gradually moved away from Android Wear ever since the launch of the original Gear S smartwatch.

Lenovo's Camera Module

When Lenovo launched Moto Z and Moto Z Force smartphones earlier this year, the company also announced that the phones will work seamlessly with a number of modular accessories named Moto Mods. While we already know about some Moto Mods like Moto Insta-Share projector, a JBL SoundBoost speaker and Incipio offGRID™ Power Pack, Lenovo is expected to launch a new Camera Module to go with Moto Z and Moto Z Force handsets.

The new Camera module will arrive with 10x optical zoom, a physical shutter, a zoom lens and a xenon flash which is much brighter than generally-used LED flash. Like regular cameras, the shutter button in the camera module can be rotated to zoom in or zoom out subject images and the module will also carry a power button to turn it on or off. However, this won't be the first time that you'll get to use a phone camera/accessory with 10x optical zoom as Samsung and Sony have previously launched phones with such zooming capabilities.

ASUS ZenWatch 3

Samsung's Gear S3 won't get to enjoy all the limelight at IFA next week as ASUS is also expected to launch a new smartwatch named ZenWatch 3. While ASUS ZenWatch and ZenWatch 2 featured square displays, the ZenWatch 3 is expected to launch with a circular display since it will run Android Wear and the OS is optimised for circular displays.

The fact that ZenWatch 3 will be launched soon was discovered when  Ausdroid came across a recent FCC filing by ASUS  which carried a diagram of the upcoming smartwatch. The diagram revealed a circular rear panel apart from other features lie a stainless steel body, Bluetooth 4.2 compatibility and a 5V 2 amp charger.

Since the FCC filing didn't reveal much, what we are sure of is that ZenWatch 3 will at least arrive with new features supported by Android Wear 2.0 like the updated Google Fit fitness monitoring app, the ability to run apps like Google Calendar, WhatsApp messenger, Evernote, Shazam, TripAdvisor and WeChat among others and compatibility with iPhones running iOS 8.2 or later versions.

Huawei Mate S2

Huawei's Mate S was the first smartphone to feature a Force Touch display aside from some premium features and specifications. If you think about it's successor, you'll expect it to arrive with some new features as well which aren't installed in other smartphones.

Recently, Phone Radar got their hands around a few images of the Huawei Mate S2, a 5.5-inch device which borrows its looks both from Apple's iPhones and Huawei's home-made Nexus 6P handsets. When viewed from behind, it looks exactly like the Nexus flagship and when viewing it from the front, you'll think for a moment that you are looking at an iPhone.

As per Phone Radar, Huawei's Mate S2 features a power button on its right below the volume buttons as well as a black glass strip on its back which protects the camera lens and a LED flash. The phone also packs Huawei's Kirin 960 processor which packs 2.6GHz of power, 4GB of RAM, 16-MP and 8-MP cameras, a 3,500 mAh battery and like the Mate S, a Force Touch display. Reportedly, the phone will also feature Huawei's Emotion UI over Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS.

Sony Xperia X Compact

While Sony has shifted gears this year by abandoning its Z-series smartphones in favour of new X-series ones, the company is expected to launch two new phones at IFA, out of which one will arrive with a 4.6-inch display and will be a direct rival to Apple's 4-inch iPhone SE.

While images of Sony's upcoming Xperia X Compact phone have already been leaked on the web, the fact that it will launch at IFA was more or less confirmed after Sony sent out invites for a presentation at IFA in which it teased the smartphone along with a number of other gadgets like wireless Bluetooth earbuds, a portable cam, headsets and a camcorder.

Given that there aren't many sub-5-inch phones out there, those who love smaller displays will surely consider the Xperia X Compact as it's display will let you use it one-handed and because it will also feature a powerful 2,700 mAh battery.

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  1. Guest
    Guest30th Aug 2016

    Looking forward monitoring via Apple Watch not just user’s iPhone battery with the app like this:

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