Friday 28 October 2016

Berlin's wall to wall festival of all the latest in gadgets and tech

Published 25/08/2016 | 02:30

A Fitbit employee on a treadmill at last year’s IFA in the German capital
A Fitbit employee on a treadmill at last year’s IFA in the German capital

A blitz of new phones, TVs and smart home gadgets are set to be announced at Europe's biggest tech show next week.

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IFA 2016, which takes place in Berlin, is expected to see new phones from Sony, Huawei and Lenovo's Motorola with a new watch due from Samsung.

Samsung is expected to announce the Gear S3, an updated version of the company smartwatch that uses its own operating system variant rather than generic Android Wear.

The tech giant, which recently launched its flagship Note 7 work phone in Ireland, is also set to unveil the Tab S3 tablet, going head to head with the iPad.

Sony will likely launch at least one new phone, with the company expected to double-down on its camera qualities. Sony makes camera parts for a number of other phones, including Apple's iPhone.

Meanwhile, Lenovo is set to introduce a new tablet and, through its subsidiary Motorola, a new phone.

Lenovo's giant Chinese rival, Huawei, will debut an extra-large smartphone which has a 5.9-inch screen, making it almost a fifth larger than Apple's biggest model, the iPhone 6S Plus.

And Fitbit is due to present an updated version of its Flex fitness band which is set to be thinner than current versions.

IFA 2016 is expected to be attended by over 100,000 people. The event's biggest absentee will be Apple, which does not attend annual tech shows such as IFA or the Computer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Apple will host its own event in September when it is due to launch the iPhone 7. The Berlin tech conference is traditionally the world's biggest showcase for home automation and entertainment devices, particularly televisions and kitchen-based appliances.

Other than individual product launches, the event's themes this year will revolve around connected smart homes, robotics, virtual reality and advances in audio-visual technology.

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