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IFA 2018: Major Smartphone Launches

by Yiwen Wu | Aug 31, 2018

IFA 2018, the world-leading trade show for electronics, is taking place in Berlin from August 31st to September 5th. There are several interesting new smartphone models debuting in the event, including Honor Magic 2, ZTE Axon 9 Pro, Sony XZ3, HTC U12 Life and BlackBerry Key2 LE.

Honor Magic 2 is a slider smartphone that Huawei soft-launched in the event. The new premium model is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset, and features a notch-less display with almost 100% screen-to-body ratio. The design is similar to OPPO Find X, which hides the camera module inside smartphone body. But Magic 2 adopted “slider mechanism” to lift up the camera module manually.  The hard launch of the model is expected to be two months later and its availability is likely to start from China.

Honor Magic 2
Honor Magic 2

Axon 9 Pro is a successor of ZTE’s premium Axon 7, which was launched two years ago. Axon 9 Pro comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, good camera, and big memory, like most other flagship models launched this year. It features a 6.2-inch AMOLED display with a notch design. Priced at EUR699 at retail, the new model is going to hit European market in September. Its possibility to land in US depends on the strong support from local operators, which is rather low at the moment given the ongoing tension between China and US.

Axon 9 Pro 


Xperia XZ3 is Sony’s latest flagship model. It features Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset and comes with a sleek notch-less design. What makes the model unique is its 6.2-inch QHD+ HDR OLED display powered by Sony’s Bravia image processing technology. It is a strategic move from Sony, as display has become the key enabler for smartphone innovation. The model is going to hit US and Europe in October with USD 900 as suggested retail price.

Xperia XZ3


HTC U12 Life and BlackBerry Key2 LE are the two models for mass market. Both are equipped with Qualcomm 636 chipset. HTC U12 Life is an upgraded version of U11 Life with bigger display, reinstated 3.5mm audio jack, and added stereo speakers. BlackBerry Key2 LE is the light version of KEYOne but with a larger physical keyboard. Although touch display dominates the smartphone market, physical keyboard is actually an effective differentiator in a niche segment.

HTC U12 Life

BlackBerry Key2 LE

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