BERLIN BOUND. We're unlikely to see new handsets from the likes of Apple and Samsung at IFA this year, but the event still offers plenty for the smartphone aficionado, and we expect to see new devices from Sony, LG, ZTE, and Huawei to name but a few.
Here are our top picks from the IFA 2016 rumour mill.
Sony Xperia X Compact
Sony kept things simple at IFA 2015 by unveiling the Xperia Z5, but there's been some confusion this year. Some quarters expect Sony to announce two smartphones and, even if it does, there's uncertainty over the names.
The Sony Xperia XZ is the larger of the two, with a 5.2in curved 2.5D glass display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of RAM. The XZ has a 23MP rear-facing snapper with dual LED flash and laser autofocus, and a 13MP camera on the front.
The Xperia Compact Z (or Xperia XR as some are calling it), meanwhile, is part of Sony's Compact range which has always deftly combined smaller-screened devices with spec-sheets commonly reserved for high-end phones.
Eagle-eyed commentators first caught wind of Sony's latest boy wonder through a GFXBench listing for the phone. The details show a powerful Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 4.6in Full HD screen, a generous 64GB of storage, and 16MP rear-facing and 8MP front-facing cameras.
Many hoped that Huawei's presence at IFA 2016 pointed towards the unveiling of the Mate 9, but a Huawei spokesperson tempered our expectations by indicating that we'll have to wait a little longer yet.
Instead the Chinese smartphone maker is likely to take the covers off a new range of phones dubbed 'Nova' aimed at women. Other than that, not a whole heap is known about the new mid-range devices.
Microsoft Surface Phone
We're wildly sceptical about this one, but some say that Microsoft will use IFA's worldwide stage to treat us to a peek of the much-rumoured Surface Phone.
We've reserved the full lowdown for our Surface Phone rumours piece, but in a nutshell we expect Microsoft to unveil three models. Each will have the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 SoC and a phablet-sized 5.7in display, but will differ in memory and storage options.
Early reports suggest that the new handsets will break cover before the year is out, but others say that Microsoft is more likely to tie the release to the next Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Redstone 2) in early spring 2017.
The successor to the LG V10 will unveiled in Berlin on 6 September. The LG V20 is widely believed to have a dual-camera set-up similar to the one seen on the LG G5.
However, early indications pointed to a 21MP snapper, so it looks like we'll get one or the other. It is also thought to include the same secondary display as seen on the earlier V10.
Not to be outdone, the V20 will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and support the latest Android 7.0 Nougat straight out of the box.
ZTE is still a relatively unknown quantity around these parts, but the firm is doing more and more interesting stuff with every new smartphone release.
The forthcoming Nubia handset is expected to feature an all-metal unibody construction and a bezel-less design, giving it more than a whiff of the Samsung Galaxy Edge series.
The specs-sheet is rounded off with a 5.5in Full HD AMOLED display, MediaTek MT6750 octa-core processor running at 1.5GHz, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.
Leaked photos also indicate 13MP front-facing and 8MP rear-facing cameras. µ
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