IFA 2017: all the hottest gear from Europe's biggest tech expo

It's that time of the year again - which means most of the biggest names in tech descend on Berlin

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Tech expo times are our favourite times. There's CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas every January, MWC (Mobile World Congress) at the end of February in Barcelona, and the reason we're writing this article - IFA every September in Berlin.

IFA - or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (or International Radio Show) - is a bit like Europe's CES. Tech's biggest names show off their wares and some hot new products, which means the rest of us get to gaze at all the best gadgetry of the year in one place.

The actual show kicks off on 1 September, but the launches have started to come thick and fast already and expect all the new products to be revealed by Friday morning. 

Our latest coverage from IFA 2017

Here's what we reckon we'll see this IFA

So what can we expect to see this IFA? Here are our hopes and expectations.  

Phones

The much-anticipated LG V30 (the successor to the rather excellent LG V20) is all set to be unveiled by LG at IFA 2017, so if the LG G6 just isn't doing it for you, then watch this space for a phone that should offer more screen space and a few extra bells and whistles. Apparently there's going to be a bigger (and better?) LG V30 Plus as well.

Samsung has already announced the Galaxy Note 8, of course, but we're expecting it to use the IFA event to show off some more of the super-powered phone's features - and maybe unveil an exclusive accessory or two. If you're at all interested in the 6.3-inch handset, make sure you keep an eye on events at IFA this year.

Meanwhile, Sony is always one of the busiest companies at IFA. We think it might launch another Xperia flagship or mid-range phone to follow on from the Xperia XZ Premium, though exactly what it's going to be called is anyone's guess - we've pretty much given up on trying to keep track of Sony's naming system for its phones.

As for the rest of the big names, neither Apple nor Google grace IFA with their presence. We do expect Huawei, HTC, and a few other smartphone makers to be there, but in terms of new hardware there won't be much on show.

Wearables

The IFA 2016 event had plenty of wearable launches to its name, including ones for the Samsung Gear S3 and the Asus ZenWatch 3, but the wearables market seems to have cooled off a little in the last 12 months or so.

One wearable we are expecting to see is the Gear S4, which Samsung has confirmed is going to make an appearance - we don't have much in the way of detail about it, but the Gear S3 certainly impressed us, and its successor should be better in most of the departments that matter.

Rumours are also swirling about a brand new fitness tracker from Samsung, the Gear Fit 2 Pro (a follow-up to the Gear Fit 2). It sounds like for Samsung wearable fans, IFA 2017 could be Christmas coming four months early.

Wearables are the perfect fit for IFA and so we'd expect to hear about some more smartwatches and fitness trackers as well, though perhaps not from the most recognisable names like Fitbit and Motorola.

And the best of the rest

Companies who have their fingers in a lot of different tech pies can show off all their gear at IFA, because it covers so many different categories, and for that reason you can expect to see full smart home setups from the likes of Samsung and LG: no doubt a new kitchen appliance will be gaining extra smarts this year. We'd expect to hear a lot more about smart homes in general, with the technology maturing, and maybe some new products entering the market.

Philips is another company with a lot of connected tech to put on display, from smart lights to television sets, and we'd expect the company to be one of many showcasing their best 4K flat screens - though it's unlikely we'll get many completely new models. Good news for fans of clean teeth too, because Philips has confirmed its latest connected toothbrush will launch at IFA.

Lenovo and Acer both have press conferences booked at IFA 2017, so we're anticipating some new Windows laptops, gaming machines, and hybrid tablet devices, just like last year. The biggest and most expensive models are usually shown off first at events like this, rather than the ones you would necessarily want to buy - take a look at the Acer Predator 21X from CES, for example. One or two Chromebooks could well pop up too.

IFA is just as much about the little guys as it is about the big guys though, and with hundreds of companies exhibiting, we're looking forward to the quirky and innovative stuff just as much as the flagship devices - everything from home cleaning robots to transparent displays will get shown off, and we'll bring you the very best of it here on the site.