Europe’s biggest technology show, known as IFA, is held annually in Berlin. The event is a chance for companies to showcase their existing and upcoming products. Over 250,000 people have attended the event last year. In 2019 the 58th IFA will take place.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
Wearables will be a much talked about technology in the run-up to the gathering. The actual event opens to the public on September 6th (and leasts until September 11th), but there will be a string of press conferences in the run-up to the big day.
We will be on the ground in Berlin to report on all the news. Last year we witnessed a number of launches including the Fitbit Charge 4, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Garmin Vivosmart 4, Skagen Falser 2, Diesel On Full Guard 2.5, Bellabeat Leaf Chakra and more. This year should be no less exciting.
Here is what to expect.
Fitbit is a regular at the show and last year it used it as an opportunity to launch an update to its most popular fitness tracker. In the run up to that event we knew what to expect as there were lots of leaks. This year, however, is different.
The company has made official its Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers in early 2019, churned out a Lite version of Versa and added another kids fitness tracker. But there is little info at the moment as to what might be coming next.
Having said that, we would be surprised if Fitbit doesn’t use the gathering to make some sort of announcement. Charge 4 is unlikely considering the company usually adopts a 2 year product cycle. Ionic is several years old now and the company has said it will release a successor at some stage so this might be a good candidate.
Versa was released in April 2018 so Versa 2 could also be on the cards. An initial image of the second generation tracker was leaked recently. The question is whether the smartwatch will be ready in time for IFA or if Fitbit will release it at a later stage.
Garmin has debuted a string of devices at the Berlin gathering in recent years so don’t be surprised if they conjure up a wearable or two in early September. While there was little so far this year on the fitness tracker front, Garmin has been quite busy churning out sports watches. We’ve seen the launch of the Forerunner 45/45S, Forerunner 245/245 Music and Forerunner 945.
The next one to arrive looks to be Fenix 6. This one is expected to come in several variants including 6, 6 Pro, 6s, 6s Pro, 6x Pro and 6x Pro Solar. We are expecting the device to land towards the end of August. Garmin also has a few other wearables which may land ahead of IFA. This includes the Venu, Vivoactive 4/4s, as well as three different variants of Vivomove.
In the run-up to last year’s event Samsaung debuted the Galaxy Watch – an updated version of its ageing Gear line. It comes with LTE connectivity, comprehensive fitness smarts, GPS, water resistance and a price-tag to match. This year, the South-Korean tech giant debuted a sportier version of the same, called Galaxy Watch Active 2.
The new smartwatch comes only 6 months after its first iteration which is a bit of a surprise. It comes with ECG, a touch-sensitive bezel, size options and an LTE variant. Pre-orders begin on September 6th (to coincide with the opening of IFA), so we are guessing Samsung will be proudly displaying it at the Berlin gathering.
Its a safe bet that Fossil Group will be showing off new touchscreen and hybrid smartwatch collections at the event. The company already has a rich portfolio of over 300 wearables across its various brands. This includes Misfit, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Skagen, Michael Kors, Fossil and others.
Expect the new Carlyle HR and Julianna HR to make their debut. These are Fossil’s first 5th generation devices. They come with a built-in speaker, longer battery life via smart battery modes, increased storage capacity and the Snapdragon 3100 processor.
Other devices might make a showing, too. Five new Fossil Group branded watches hit the FCC in July. This includes two watches from Michael Kors, and one each from Fossil, Diesel and Emporio Armani. All of these share the same underlying smarts, the only difference will be design and antenna placement. What we suspect could be the Fossil Sport 2 has also received certification from Bluetooth SIG recently.
Huami is putting all other wearable manufacturers to shame with a slew of devices launches in recent months. This includes the Amazfit Bip Lite, Amazfit Verge Lite, Amazfit Health Watch, Amazfit Smart Watch 2 and Amazfit GTR.
We’ve been told they expect to unveil five new products in Berlin. This will probably include most (if not all) of the above as so far they have only made their China debut. The one that would really generate lots of interest would be an update to the Amazfit Bip.
New Bluetooth certifications suggest Huawei is working on a new smartwatch, most likely the Huawei Watch 3. Going by the previous specs, it would not be too much of a stretch to expect a bigger and better screen, hopefully improvements on the 2-3 day battery life and perhaps the Snapdragon 3100 processor. Better water resistance is also likely, considering the current versions are only IP68 certified.
We are also expecting a new Huawei kids watch. The company already has a number of such devices under its belt. These include the Kids Watch 3, Kids Watch 3 Pro and the Disney Kids smartwatch.
Many other companies will be showcasing trackers for sports, outdoor activities and sleeping, along with smartwatches, smart clothes, smart helmets and much more. You can find a full list at this link.
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