The tech world will descend on the Berlin convention centre later this week for a glimpse of what major gadget makers have in store for Christmas and beyond. IFA is basically the European version of CES, and features all the major players usually seen in Las Vegas – Samsung, Sony, LG, and more.
Sony and Samsung kick things off tomorrow with duelling press conferences that likely see the launch of new smartphones, as well as a wearable gadget and intriguing camera accessory. Last year, Samsung brought us the Galaxy Note 2 phablet as well as the Galaxy Camera, so we expect more from the Korean gadget maker's Galaxy line-up, and possibly a few surprises. In 2012, Sony also bulked up its Xperia line-up and we expect the same to happen this year.
It's not all about mobile devices, though. Expect to see some larger-than-life, ultra high definition (UHD) displays from Samsung, as well as a hefty tablet from Panasonic, and a more manageable slate from LG.
Last year's conference was all about Windows 8, as it took place several months before the launch of the new Microsoft OS. As a result, PC makers will likely refresh their line-ups at this year's IFA, hopefully with the updated Windows 8.1.
Stay tuned for our IFA coverage this week, and all the gadget news from tech firms big and small – be sure to keep a close eye on our IFA 2013 Live page.
But until it all kicks off for real, you can check out the highlights of what we expect to come out of the show…
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Last month, Samsung sent out press invites for a 4 September event that encouraged attendees to "Note the date." Given that Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 2 at last year's IFA, it's a safe bet that the company's next-gen phablet will be on the agenda for IFA 2013. Rumours suggest that Samsung won't stray too far from the design of its Galaxy line-up, but will increase the size from 5.5in to 5.7in.
Samsung Galaxy Gear
With all the talk surrounding Apple's iWatch, it looks like Samsung will bring a smartwatch to market before Cupertino. Last week, Younghee Lee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, told the Korea Times that Samsung will indeed unveil a smartwatch at IFA. The Galaxy Gear will have a non-flexible display, she said, adding that it "will enhance and enrich the current smart mobile experience in many ways." Samsung hasn't released any images of the Gear yet, but Amongtech released some concept designs (see above).
LG G Pad 8.3
Last week, LG released a one-minute teaser video for an upcoming tablet, the G Pad 8.3. "Prepare to be amazed," LG said, without revealing too many other details. And as we reported yesterday, the company has just revealed more about the G Pad's specs. It sports a 1,920 x 1,200 display with 273 pixels per inch, a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Stay tuned for a hands-on look at the G Pad from Berlin.
Sony Xperia Z1
Sony has a few tricks up its sleeve for IFA, too. "Something extraordinary is on the way from Sony," the company said in a late August teaser video that featured a sleek, waterproof smartphone that will likely be the Xperia Z1. As Phandroid noted, the device is expected to run the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and a 20-megapixel camera that can record 4K video. A mini version of the smartphone is also reportedly on tap, the blog said. (See the above image, and more, here).
Sony Smartphone Lens Attachment
Images leaked earlier this month suggest Sony is prepping a wireless lens add-on for mobile devices that will provide users with a fully-fledged shutterbug experience. First reported by Sony Alpha Rumours, the photos show the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lenses, both with built-in sensors, a Bionz processor, Wi-Fi/NFC connection, and an SD card slot. (See the above image, and more, here).
20in Panasonic 4K Tablet
Panasonic said it will "display the world's thinnest and lightest 20in 4K tablet" at IFA. It also promised "prototypes of its 4K OLED panel." Last year, Panasonic opted for a museum-like tour of its emerging technology, starting with four 20in 4K TV sets running images of blooming flowers and ending with a 145in 8K "Super Hi-Vision" TV.
Samsung's 98in Ultra High Definition Display
Not to be outdone, Samsung promised a 98in UHD commercial large format display (LFD) and a 31.5in UHD monitor at IFA 2013. The 98in panels can be installed vertically for an even bigger display. Samsung's IFA display, for example, will be a 171in affair.
Samsung Printers with Phone Docks
Meanwhile, ahead of IFA, Samsung showed off several printer concepts, including two models with smartphone docks that can print directly from Android-based phones. The Samsung Indie, for example – pictured above – combines a printer with a sound system.