by Alexander Maxham, 1 year ago
Believe it or not but the first conference of 2012 is less than a week away. The 2012 International CES in Las Vegas will start up on January 10th, and of course Android Authority will…
Yes, ladies and gents, it’s that time of the year again! The IFA consumer electronics trade show is just around the corner, which means we have to get ready for a new wave of Android gadget unveilings. According to this year’s Berlin event schedule, the vast majority of the market’s big guys will hold press conferences. There will only be a couple of exceptions, as they are all expected to come up with at least one or two new exciting Android devices.
Although very little has been officially announced, with less than 2 weeks to go until the official IFA kick-off we have a good idea of what to expect from almost all of today’s Android “stars”. Here’s a quick rundown of what we suspect to see on show over in Berlin, Germany! While we do have confidence in our speculating talents, keep in mind that very little of what we are going to talk about is set in stone.
We couldn’t have started our IFA preview with anyone other than Samsung, the crowned king of the Android Empire, especially that we’re almost certain Sammy will again steal the spotlight. It has just about been confirmed that the second-generation Galaxy Note “phablet” will be unveiled in a pre-IFA event set to take place on August 29 in Berlin. Starting the next day the “monster” will most definitely be on show for the whole world to see it.
Although things are still a bit blurry regarding the Note 2’s design, the phablet has had an almost full spec sheet leaked, which can’t make anyone not excited about it. Especially thinking of the first-generation Note’s unbelievable and unexpected selling success, this will bring improvements to an already excellent device.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet might also enjoy a special unveiling in Berlin, even though it has already been presented to the American public. This is yet another exciting gadget and one that should be received well by European tech lovers.
Sony might not have had the strength to battle it out with Samsung until now, but after this year’s IFA anything is possible. The Japanese are preparing one of the most crowded press conferences in Berlin, being expected to unveil at least two Android phones and a tablet.
The Mint (aka Xperia T or LT30) should be Sony’s new pack leader in terms of phones, although it’s still a bit unclear how much different this handheld would be versus the Xperia TX (or Hayabusa). A third high-end Sony phone to be unveiled soon is the LT25 “Tsubasa”, while the Xperia SL (aka LT26) should be targeted more towards the mid-range niche.
Yes, I said two phones at first and then I talked about 4 possible Sony new releases because things are a bit tangled and confusing right now, with some of the latest rumors and leaks contradicting one another. I personally doubt Sony will get out four new phones at just one conference, so the company will probably keep one or two of those for a future unveiling event. Either that ,or a couple of those devices aren’t real and people will be left with speculations and hype.
The Xperia Tablet, which we spotted getting FCC approval not long ago, will also help Sony be in the spotlight at IFA, being a much more advanced version of the old Tablet S. Finally, we hope to see some fruits of the newly signed partnership between Sony and Gaikai as well.
We know that LG has no Android tablets in store for us anytime soon, but when talking about phones and “phablets” the Koreans might actually (finally) challenge Samsung. The 5-inch follow-up to the Optimus Vu has been hinted to a late August or early September launch for a while, which would make it perfect for an IFA unveiling.
Meanwhile, we are actually more excited about the Eclipse smartphone, said to be headed to both Sprint and AT&T by October with a one-of-a-kind quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 “Krait” processor.
If last year’s HTC IFA focus was on Windows Phone, the company has now switched its concentration back on Android. We know that HTC’s new policy is to look for a “hero” rather than spread its bets on many phones, so it’s very likely we will only be seeing one unveiling from the Taiwanese.
There have been rumors about a One X+ (or One XXL) for a while now, but there’s no solid proof to point towards such an early release. Still, we can’t help but hope and dream…
Not everyone is as ambitious as Samsung, Sony or LG these days and not everyone seems to be concentrating all its efforts on high-end gadgets. Take Lenovo, for example, which will most likely have on display at Berlin, three new budget-friendly tablets.
Actually, two new tablets and a “phablet”, all of which have been already unveiled and teased, but neither of which have full spec sheets. It’s not impossible for Lenovo to have something else for us Android geeks at IFA, but it’s highly unlikely.
Though they are two of the protagonists of today’s Android market, we have to admit we know nothing about Asus and Acer’s plans for IFA 2012. We know that both companies will have some ultrabooks and Windows 8 tablets on display, but we don’t think (or don’t want to think) that they will leave Android tech enthusiasts completely out.
Still, at this point we can’t even speculate as to what new Android devices they could bring forward, though we can at least hope to catch a glimpse of the Asus Padfone 2, for example. As for Acer, they might give the Iconia Tab A110 tablet the proper unveiling it has never had.
Even if it is yet to hit a tablet home-run, Toshiba has released a couple of very interesting and “exciting” slates lately. That said, it’s pretty disappointing to hear the company is only planning to show off two Android tablets incorporating the new TransferJet technology. Especially that we’re guessing these won’t even be brand new products, but tweaked versions of older ones. Oh well, maybe they’re just trying to be mysterious.
They aren’t exactly Android “giants”, but Panasonic and Archos might have an ace or two up their sleeves at this year’s IFA. A follow-up for the Eluga and Eluga Power smartphones seems in the cards, though we know basically nothing about its spec sheet. The ultra-slim Archos G10 xs tablet has been confirmed as coming by the end of September.
The “Chinese cheap phone revolution”, which should have started by now, has been delayed, mostly due to Huawei’s production issues with the Ascend P1 S and D Quad, but IFA 2012 could be a rebirth for the “rebellion”. We haven’t heard much about the P1 S and D Quad lately, but we would surely love to see them on display again and maybe released once and for all. ZTE might have something planned too, as we informed you just a couple of weeks back.
That wraps our IFA 2012 preview, but stay tuned on our website, because now the real fun begins! We're expecting a lot of leaks and rumors to be flowing around in the next couple of weeks, most of which will prove accurate. We will also be on scene in Berlin to report about all the exciting new Android gadgets on display. In the meantime, let us know your top 3 wanted devices from the above list!