Best Of IFA 2016: Smartphone Roundup

IFA 2016 Smartphones AH 1 1

The past few years, IFA has been the place where smartphone makers announce their devices for the second half of the year. More specifically, the devices they want to have on shelves for the upcoming holiday season. With Samsung moving the Galaxy Note launch outside of IFA and into August last year, and this year, that leaves room for more manufacturers to announce their own smartphones. Surprisingly, there were quite a few smartphone announcements this year in Berlin. Let’s take a look.

Nubia Z11



Now the Nubia Z11 isn’t actually new. It’s been out for quite some time, and in fact, our review just went live on Friday. However, the news here is that it’s going global. The Nubia Z11 is a pretty high-end flagship from the company. Sporting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. There is also a 6GB/128GB model available. There’s a 3000mAh battery inside that does support Quick Charge 3.0, but it is not removable this time around. What really impresses everyone about the Nubia Z11 is the bezel-less display, it makes the phone that much more sleek and beautiful, even though it is a 1080p display in a world where 2K or QHD is king.

Lenovo Moto Z Play



The Moto Z Play may not be the most interesting smartphone announced in Berlin this week, but its battery will likely last the longest. The Moto Z Play is somewhat of a mid-range smartphone from Lenovo, boasting a 1080p display, Snapdragon 625 and 3GB of RAM, where the Moto Z Play really surprises people is in the battery area. It has a 3510mAh battery and it does still support Quick Charge 3.0. Making for a pretty amazing smartphone. And it’ll be available later this month. Landing first on Verizon, and later on it’ll be available unlocked and in many more regions. Lenovo also unveiled the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera Moto Mod with the Moto Z Play, which has people a bit more interested, than the Moto Z Play. And yes that means that the Moto Z Play does work with the existing Moto Mods. Read our review of the Moto Z Play here.

Acer Liquid Z6 & Liquid Z6 Plus

Acer Liquid Z6 and Z6 Plus_1


Acer added a few more models to their Liquid line of smartphones this year at IFA. The Liquid Z6 is an entry-level model, sporting a 5.5-inch full HD display along with 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and is powered by MediaTek’s MT6737 processor. The Liquid Z6 Plus is a bit more of a mid-ranger. Sticking with the same full HD display, but upping RAM and storage to 2GB and 32GB, respectively. There is the MediaTek MT6753 processor powering this one, along with a massive 4080mAh battery. These two offerings from Acer will likely not make it out of Europe, additionally the majority of Acer’s smartphones haven’t been made available – officially – in North America so far.

Sony Xperia XZ & Xperia X Compact

Sony Xperia XZ Main


Sony showed up in Berlin with two brand new smartphones, to add to their new Xperia X line that they debuted at Mobile World Congress in February. The first one is the Xperia XZ which is slated to be their high-end flagship smartphone. Sony kept the 5.2-inch 1080p display here, as well as the Snapdragon 820 and 3GB of RAM inside. There is a 2900mAh battery that is powering the show, and with Sony’s STAMINA feature-set, it should last you all day and then some. If not, it does support Quick Charge 3.0, so you can get to 100% fairly quickly.

The Xperia X Compact continues Sony’s line of “Compact” smartphones. Which in the past have been full of smartphones that are smaller, but still boast high-end specifications. That’s not really the case with the Xperia X Compact, here. There’s a 4.6-inch 720p display on the front, and it’s powered by the Snapdragon 650 processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. There is a 2700mAh battery inside here which should work fairly well, considering it is a HD display here and not a full HD panel.

HTC One A9s


HTC One A9s_6

Last fall, HTC debuted the One A9. It was the first non-Nexus smartphone to launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it did look a whole lot like the iPhone. This year, HTC launched the One A9s, which looks even more like the iPhone, but has lower specs than its predecessor did. Leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. It’s powered by the MediaTek P10 processor, which is a 64-bit processor, and that is paired with either 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage or 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The HTC One A9s is slated to be available globally, however HTC has not said what countries will get the device, nor have they listed the pricing for the HTC One A9s.

ZTE Axon 7 Mini



The Axon 7 has been a fairly popular smartphone for ZTE since it was announced earlier this year. The company has now gone and made a “mini” version of that phone. Going from a 5.5-inch to a 5.2-inch display. Although the actual footprint of the smartphone isn’t that much smaller. It’s sporting a full HD AMOLED display with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It does also keep the front-facing stereo speakers for a pretty amazing audio experience. All that for just €299. No pricing or availability was announced for North America however.