We’re getting ready to wrap things up as far as this year’s IFA is concerned – the main bulk of announcements is over and the expo floor is now open to the public after a few hectic press-only days. A good time for a recap, don’t you think? We’ll go in the order the devices were unveiled.
Acer unveiled a couple of affordable Androids – the 5″ Liquid Z6 (€120, coming November) and 5.5″ Liquid Z6 Plus (€250, December). There was also the Acer Icona Talk S – a voice call enabled 7″ tablet (€170, September). All three run Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
Acer Liquid Z6 • Acer Liquid Z6 Plus • Acer Iconia Talk S
The company also made jaws drop with the Predator 21 X – the world’s first laptop with a curved screen! A 21″ screen! There were also the more portable 13.3″ Swift 7 – a hair under 1cm thick and weighing only 1.12g. The 14″ Spin 7 is “thinner than a standard DVD case” and can fold backwards into tablet mode.
Asus turned the affordable Zenwatch into a premium timepiece – and yet the Asus Zenwatch 3remains affordable. At €230 you get a 1.39″ AMOLED screen (400 x 400px), 316L stainless steel case and HyperCharge (60% in 15 min).
Don’t miss our hands-on with the watch (and its Deluxe version). This article also includes an encounter with the Zenfone 3 Ultra, Zenfone 3 Laser and Zenfone 3 Max.
Asus Zenwatch 3 WI503Q • Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra ZU680KL • Asus Zenfone 3 Laser ZC551KL • Asus Zenfone 3 Max ZC520TL
That’s not the end of it either. The Asus ZenPad 3S 10 takes on the iPad Pro with a 5.8mm thick chassis, 7.1 audio and an affordable €380 price tag.
The Asus Transformer 3 and 3 Pro are Microsoft Surface challengers, the Pro even has a stylus. The ZenScreen is an easy way to add a 15.6″ monitor to your workflow – it’s portable (sub-1kg, 8mm thick) and all it takes is a USB Type-C port.
The nubia Z11 (originally announced in June) is going on a worldwide tour, it’s set to visit Europe, Asia and the Americas. It will cost €500 for the Standard edition (4GB/64GB) and €600 for the Black Gold edition (6GB/64GB).
ZTE nubia Z11
Samsung upsized its Tizen watch and made it more autonomous. The Samsung Gear S3 frontier has a 3G/LTE version that can make calls and stream music, no phone needed.
It and the Gear S3 classic have full Samsung Pay support (NFC and MST) and are built with 316L stainless steel, Gorilla Glass SR+ and either a rubber (frontier) or leather (classic) band.
Samsung Gear S3 classic • Samsung Gear S3 frontier LTE
Don’t miss our hands-on. If you like what you see, you can start saving up €400 (frontier and classic cost the same). And if the 46mm case diameter sounds too big, you can still go for a Gear S2.
The Moto Z Play joins the Z family and fills a mid-range role. However, it’s modular design allows it to use the Hasselblad True Zoom MotoMod – a 12MP camera add-on with 10x optical zoom and xenon flash.
The Moto Z Play will launch globally in September for €500 (Verizon will sell it for $408). The Hasselblad camera is €300 and launches next month (it works with the other Moto Zs too).
Motorola Moto Z Play
Hasselblad has an impressive resume – Apollo astronauts used their cameras on the Moon! We couldn’t go that far, so instead we took photos in Berlin – comparing the Galaxy Note7 camera against the Hasselblad True Zoom.
Lenovo pushed the boundaries of laptop design with the Yoga Book. It features a touch sensitive keyboard that also serves as a pad for drawing (it is not a screen like this Acer Iconia). The Yoga 910 is a more traditional laptop but enthralls with 4K resolution on its 13.9″ screen.
“No new Mate phones,” said Huawei officials, right before announcing a phone that is very nearly a successor to the Mate S. The Huawei Nova Plus definitely takes inspiration from the design, but improves the camera, chipset and battery. Available this month for €430.
The smaller Nova instead takes the Nexus 6P design and shrinks it to 5″. Both phones are built from high-quality aluminum. The Nova is launching in Europe this month for €400.
Huawei also brought out a tablet – the MediaPad M3 is a multimedia monster with Harman/Kardon stereo speakers. It also has an 8.4″ QHD screen and a €350 price tag.
Huawei nova plus • Huawei nova • Huawei MediaPad M3 8.4
In a way, Sony resurrected Z – the favorite letter of Xperia fans. The Sony Xperia XZ picks up where the Z5 left off and is the true 2016 flagship. The XZ will launch at €700 in early October with its ALKALEIDO exterior painted in signature Forest Blue.
Sony also brought back another beloved line with the Xperia X Compact. No waiting for this one – you can score an X Compact next week for €450.
Sony Xperia XZ • Sony Xperia X Compact
We spent some time with both devices so that you can experience them through our eyes.
ZTE is the other company that showed small phones some love – for a different value of “small,” though. Sony’s X Compact has a 4.6″ screen, ZTE’s Axon 7 mini has a 5.2″ one. ZTE also thought big with the sound – the stereo speakers have been lifted from the 5.5″ Axon 7 and they sound amazing.
We handled the Axon 7 mini briefly and the Dolby Atmos demo tickled our ears. The phone is getting a wide launch this month, landing in Europe, Asia and the Americas for €300 or equivalent.
ZTE Axon 7 mini
That’s all for IFA, folks, thank you for sticking with us these last few days! What you see above is not only a recap, but in a way a map of all the devices we want to review. And we will as soon as the gadgets and we are back home at the office, together again.