Talk Android Best of IFA 2017 Awards

Another year, another tech show down at Talk Android. It’s September, which means we just made it through IFA 2017 with all of the new gadgets and phones announced at the annual event, including some really fantastic new smartphones and accessories.

Let’s dig into the best of what we saw this year.

HMD Global to update all current Nokia smartphones to Android 8.0 Oreo

In a tweet sent out over the weekend, HMD Global‘s chief product officer, Juho Sarvikas, confirmed that current Nokia smartphones will be receiving the Android 8.0 Oreo update. Sarvikas even committed to the budget Nokia 3 getting the update despite some delays in that device getting the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update.

Sprint lands opportunity to offer LG V30+

This week LG took the wraps off their fall flagship device, the LG V30, which should put them into a better position to contend with other flagship level devices as compared to the LG G6 which launched with some dated hardware. While not touted as part of the release announcement, LG did put together a variant of the phone that will be known as the LG V30+ and it will be available in the U.S. through Sprint.

Sony announces plans for Android Oreo deployments

With the official launch of Android 8.0 Oreo last week, many smartphone owners are wondering when their device may get the update. The hope for many is that the manufacturer of their particular device spent time with the developer builds over the summer to get things ready so that the time to an official release can be minimized once Google made things official. Although they have not revealed timelines with one exception, Sony has announced their plans for the Android Oreo update on their devices.

Andy Rubin forced to eat crow after Essential data leak

The road to market for Essential has proven to be a rough and rocky one for the startup company and founder Andy Rubin. The company’s first smartphone device hit the market to mixed reactions despite excitement from some corners over the return of one of Android’s early founders. However, that was followed by release delays and some questionable marketing missteps. The company took another hit earlier this week when it was revealed customer data had been shared inappropriately forcing Rubin to issue a public apology for the “humiliating” turn of events.

Motorola Moto X4 officially launches, blurs line between mid-tier and flagship

Motorola officially launched the Moto X4 smartphone today and the device may blur the line between devices considered mid-tier and those at the “flagship” level. Inside the Moto X4 contains hardware that is not going to be particularly exciting to anyone. However, on the outside buyers will find features that we typically only see on higher end devices. This should result in a device that may have wider appeal than typical for a mid-ranger, although we will have to see how actual performance is and how the reviews pan out.

Western Digital announces new 400GB microSD card

The topic of whether a smartphone should have a microSD card slot or not is one that can draw some strong responses from consumers. Some are content to make do with large on-board storage provided by a device maker in favor of a more sealed, possibly more compact design. Others welcome the ability to stuff in ever larger amounts of memory to hold larger and more files and rely less on network connectivity. The latter camp may welcome the news that Western Digital is once again pushing the boundaries in the market with the announcement that they are now making available a 400GB microSD card.

Sony enters smart speaker market with Google Assistant powered device

In a move being replicated throughout the technology sector, Sony joins the list of manufacturers offering a “smart speaker” device. Unlike some companies who offer catchy names like Bixby or Echo/Alexa, Sony keeps things basic just going for a typical device model number of LF-S50G. Part of that may be due to Sony’s decision to deploy the Google Assistant technology on their device rather than trying to develop their own system.