IFA 2018: everything we're expecting from the big tech expo

It's time to head back to Berlin again

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Come with us, back to Berlin again, for the annual IFA 2018 expo – that's Internationale Funkausstellung, or the International Radio Show to you, and it's an event where most of the biggest names in technology gather to show off their latest wares to the public.

We always see major products launched at IFA and it looks like this is going to be another year absolutely packed with announcements. To get you in the mood for IFA 2018, which starts on 31 August, we've collected all the pre-show news and rumours for you.

IFA 2018: phones and tablets

Sony Xperia XZ2

Sony Xperia XZ2

With Samsung scheduled to get its big announcements out of the way early, we're expecting Sony to lead the charge with mobiles at IFA 2018. We might well see the Xperia XZ3 break cover, and indeed Sony has a press event arranged for 30 August, the press day before the show opens. Brace yourself for a 48-megapixel camera and 5G connectivity from the new Sony flagship.

Huawei always has a strong show at IFA too, and may well use the occasion to unveil its Mate 20 Pro phablet phone. Huawei sub-brand Honor has confirmed that it's going to be launching a smartphone at IFA 2018 too – though we don't know too much about it other than it's going to be "crazy fast" and "crazy smart".

Of the other big names, LG is most likely to have something new to show off in terms of phones, with the launch of the LG V40 ThinQ on the cards. That's the slightly superior version of the LG V35 ThinQ, and would be the third flagship phone launch from LG during the course of 2018.

IFA 2018: televisions

Samsung The Wall TV

Samsung The Wall TV

The IFA expo is always packed to the rafters with new television sets, and 2018 should be no different – the likes of Philips, Samsung, LG and Sony are all going to be present at this year's event, and are all likely to be showing off their latest sets and perhaps launching a few new models at the same time. There's also talk that Toshiba is planning to unveil new televisions at IFA 2018.

As for specifics, they're a little harder to pin down. Sony has already announced its new Master Series TVs, so while these will undoubtedly be on show at IFA 2018, they won't be one of the big product launches. We could well see more MicroLED TVs from Samsung this year, like the Wall – sets with OLED-like contrast and colour reproduction without actually being OLED.

Philips is strongly rumoured to be bringing some new ultra-thin monitors to IFA 2018, so look out for those alongside whatever TV upgrades the company decides to show off. We might not see a massive amount of new hardware, even if the best sets in the world today are all on show, but we're hoping for a few surprises.

IFA 2018: wearables

Samsung smartwatch

Smartwatches could be imminent

Traditionally, IFA 2018 is a good show for fans of wearables, and we've heard a few rumours about new devices launching at the event this year. Samsung may well reveal its new Galaxy Watch smartwatch, running either Tizen or Wear OS – unless it decides to unveil the gadget alongside the Galaxy Note 9 on the 9th of August.

LG has been quiet on the wearables front recently, but with rumours of a Pixel-branded smartwatch from Google gathering pace, it's possible that the company has a new Wear OS smartwatch in the pipeline – it would go head-to-head against whatever Google has in store and Samsung is planning to show off.

Fitbit is of course one of the biggest names in wearables and we think we might well see something new from the company at IFA 2018 – it perhaps won't end up launching  a major product like the Fitbit Versa but updates to one or more of its less expensive trackers could well be on the cards. Watch this space.

IFA 2018: computers

Acer computer

New laptops are a cert

IFA is often the place where we get our first look at new gaming PCs, laptops, 2-in-1s and more from the major names in computing, with the likes of Acer and Asus front and centre. We're expecting more of the same this year, so look out for faster, thinner devices and more creative uses of the 2-in-1 form factor for Windows computers. Apple, of course, prefers to hold its own press events.

Lenovo is another manufacturer tipped to have something new to show off at IFA 2018 as far as computers go – with Dell enjoying a lot of success with the Dell XPS 15 and Dell XPS 13 ranges, it's possible that Lenovo might use IFA 2018 to fight back. Razer might also have a new gaming laptop in the works, according to sources, ready for IFA 2018.

In terms of specific rumours of specific hardware, we don't have much to share – but look out for plenty of new computers coming out of the IFA 2018 event. A handful of Chromebooks could make a bow alongside Windows machines, and for the latter, expect Windows Mixed Reality to get a few mentions too.

IFA 2018: other tech

HTC Vive Pro

HTC Vive Pro

Generally speaking, IFA doesn't have as many weird and wonderful gizmos on show as events like CES (the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) or MWC (Mobile World Congress in Barcelona). That being said, there are usually a handful of unexpected gadgets that are worth checking out, from robots to smart home devices.

Panasonic and smart home experts Tado are two of the other big names in tech that have press events booked for IFA 2018 – though at the moment no one seems to know what they've got planned. Basically, anyone who isn't Google or Apple might have something new to unveil in Berlin.

Given how popular smart speakers are at the moment, we're likely to see a few more of those break cover – though we're not sure how exciting they'll be. The IFA event is also likely to feature plenty of VR and AR gear, even if genuinely new products are thin on the ground. If you're heading to the show, which is open to the public, you should be able to demo kit such as the HTC Vive Pro.