The past few days were intense at IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany. There were tons of interesting products to look at (and try!), and after checking out everything we could, here are what we think where the most impressive products at IFA, sorted in no particular order.
This year, Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Tab S4 ahead of the show, so follow the links to that coverage.
Lenovo Yoga Book C930 With Dual LCD/E-ink Display
The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 is a massive update upon last year’s first model, which had already won a Best of IFA. With crucial user feedback having been integrated, the upgrades in size, screen, processor and overall usability makes this laptop one of the most innovative product of the show, once again.
ASUS ZenBook 13/14/15 with dual-function touchpad
These will be the first laptops in the 2018 ZenBook series to feature the use of a four-sided frameless NanoEdge display that offers up a 95% screen-to-body ratio. There is also voice-recognition capabilities that will allow users to launch Alexa or Cortana and a LED-illuminated trackpad that can double as a sizeable numeric pad.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme (performance)
The ThinkPad X1 Extreme has the best hardware in the X1 Series. It is a 15.6-inch computer that comes with a UHD 4K display, Dolby Atmos audio, and a 4GB NVIDIA GeForce 1050Ti MaxQ Edition GPU. Starting from December 2018, a Core i9 version will be available. With a maximum of 64GB of RAM (2x DIMM) and 2x1TB of PCIe SSD which can be installed as a Raid 0 array for bandwidth aggregation, the X1 Extreme is a beast.
Acer Swift 5: A 900 grams 15” Laptop
Acer claims that its 900 grams Swift 5 15-inch laptop is the lightest in the world, and no-one has challenged them so far. Although the 15-inch format is the most popular in the laptop world, it is mainly because people use them as desktop replacements. For mobility, 13.3” is often the go-to size. Perhaps no longer since the Swift 5 is lighter than many 13” computer, but offers a Core i7-8565U, 16GB and 1TB SSD PCIe options.
Sony Xperia XZ3: Sony’s Best Handset
The Sony Xperia XZ3 is a beautiful, large OLED screen, high-end Android handset and is clearly a design-play created to turn heads. The industrial design has been significantly improved upon the XZ2 model, and we absolutely loved the quality of the back cover which has unbelievably luxurious colors and treatment. Its camera performance should be at least as good as the excellent XPERIA XZ2 we reviewed recently, with perhaps performance tweaks.
ZTE Axon 9 Pro: 60 FPS or Nothing
The ZTE Axon 9 Pro is ZTE’s newest high-end handset. It features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 and a 6.21” FHD+ OLED display. Built with a neat metal frame design, its claim to fame is the ability to upscale any video to 60FPS via a dedicated video-processing chip. While this technology existed on TVs before, it’s never been implemented on a phone. With it, 24FPS or 30FPS are upsampled to 60 FPS and look smoother on the AMOLED display. With 4000 mAh of battery.
Honor Play Powerful and Affordable Gaming Phone
In the past year, we’ve seen the rise of the Gaming Phone category, with with the Razer Phone and now with the ASUS ROG phone. However, these phones cost a pretty penny and aren’t really built for cost-efficiency. The Honor Play closes the gap brilliantly, by using the Kirin 970 processor with GPU Turbo to offer a leading performance/value ratio that blows away the competition.
Acer OJO 500 Mixed Reality VR Headset
Acer has launched its own mixed reality headset in the form of the Acer OJO 500 at IFA. This headset has detachable components and is therefore very easy to clean. Built for comfort, it is designed to have the best comfort adjustments and even has an app to measure the distance between your eyes more accurately.
Huawei Kirin 980 Next-Gen Smartphone Processor
Huawei is one of the handful OEMs capable of designing and building its own processor platform, and the Kirin 980 cranks the performance to a new level at IFA. Kirin 980 is the world’s first mobile processor built on a 7nm semiconductor technology and the first based on ARM’s Cortex-A76 CPU and Mali-G76 GPU. It’s also the first with an LTE CAT 21 (1.4 Gbps) and the first chip to have support for 2133MHz LPDDR4X RAM. The Huawei Mate 20 will be the first handset to feature this chip and is predicted to be ~25% faster than current high-end competitors.
B&O Beosound Edge: Roll It To Adjust Volume
The Beosound Edge is Bang & Olufsen’s latest set of speakers which has not been designed to look typical. However it isn’t designed for the sake of being unique, but it actually comes with features that take advantage of its unique circular shape, where users can roll it back and forth to increase or decrease volume. It can also roll back to its original position – but don’t worry, there are other ways to adjust the volume.
LG 88-inch OLED TV 8K
The LG 88-inch OLED display shown at CES has now become a full-on OLED TV at IFA 2018. will sport a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320 which is over 33 million pixels, which if you’re trying to imagine what that looks like, imagine four sets of 4K displays arranged in a two by two grid. That being said, it is unclear as to how much this 8K TV will cost. Given that 4K TVs aren’t quite “cheap” yet, we doubt that this will be wallet-friendly, but pushing the TV image size and quality to new heights isn’t cheap.
Samsung Q900FN 88-inch QLED TV 8K
In the 88-inch 8K high-end TV segment, perhaps Samsung has in QLED the most cost-effective solution that will reach a broader audience. Samsung has designed the Q9 with the consumer’ living spaces in mind so not only does it promise superb picture quality and performance but it packages all of that in a sleek design. This particular model received record high scores by Video Magazin, one of Germany’s most well-regarded consumer electronics magazines.
Netgear Orbi : The Do-It-All Router
Why have a WIFI router, a speaker and a voice-assistant in three devices when you could get the latest Netgear Orbi at IFA that is all three in one device? It is a mashup of collaborations where the router itself is built by Netgear, while the speaker components will come from Harman Kardon, and there will also be a digital assistant baked into the entire setup courtesy of Amazon’s Alexa. It sounds like a complicated setup, but we can see its appeal.
LG CLOi Suibot Exoskeleton
The LG Suitbot is claimed to be the first human-centric robot that’s designed for industry and healthcare markets. Although we have seen exoskeleton designs from Panasonic and Honda, they were built for different tasks. Getting it and out of the robot is easy with its sandal-type shoes and automatic adjustment feature. The SuitBot is also capable of connecting to other LG service robots to form a smart working network.
Casio Pro Trek Smartwatch
Casio is back at IFA with yet another iteration of the Casio Pro Trek Smart. One of the unique features of the watch is the use of a dual display that has been layered on top of each other. There will be a monochrome LCD that will show basic information like the time and date, and a color OLED that will offer up more detailed smartwatch features. You got it, for Casio, it’s all about battery life, and we agree!
Philips was showing its latest version of the SmartSleep headband sleep tracker. It triggers quiet audio tones to boost slow waves (deep sleep), which should improve the sleep “quality” because sleep duration is undoubtedly not the only metric for a good rest. Of course, there’s an app that lets you visualize your sleep data to see how much progress was made.
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