The annual IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin covers about 160,000 square meters and almost 2,000 exhibitors. Whether it was on the floor, at a press conference, at the media-only Showstoppers event, or in private meetings, we scoured IFA to find the latest and greatest to make up Gear Diary’s Best of IFA 2018 list.
For a market that’s supposedly dying, tablets are getting an awful lot of attention again. There’s still demand for a screen that’s bigger than a phone, smaller than a computer, and able to entertain you or be productive. Alcatel’s new 3T 8 isn’t flashy, but on paper it’s a solid workhorse tablet for a very good price.
Smart speakers are only increasing in popularity and number, and one of the benefits of this explosion is that companies are adding more features and better sound quality to what was once a novelty item. Huawei is aiming to add all sorts of value with their new Huawei AI Cube powered by Alexa.
Lenovo knows that deep down, we all want to be Jedis. Who doesn’t look good with a laser sword and a bathrobe? They’ve already tapped into that primal desire with their Star Wars Jedi Challenges Augmented Reality game, and now they’re adding more features, plus a chance to play as everyone’s favorite moody emo darkside guy, Kylo Ren.
If you’re in the market for a laptop this fall, you’ll want to pay close attention to what’s coming out of IFA, especially from Lenovo! They’ve got Yoga, Thinkpad, and Chromebook updates, meaning something is likely to fit your needs and your budget.
The summer might be winding down, but JBL and Harman are just heating up with a few announcements this week at IFA 2018 that everyone should be interested in.
We have more and more ways to enjoy cinematic experiences right at home. Streaming services are offering better and better content, soundbars and other speaker system enhancements bring the audio to life, and televisions just keep improving. Samsung is intent on taking this to the next level with their new Q900FN TV with an absolutely futuristic 8K resolution.
If thoughts of QWERTY keyboards give you a little thrill, you’ll like that BlackBerry is giving us more options. In addition to the BlackBerry Key2, you can also consider the new Key2 LE. The BlackBerry Key2 LE has slightly fewer premium features than the Key2, but at $399 for the 32GB and $449 for the 64GB, it’s an attractive alternative.
There are a lot of fitness trackers/smartwatches out there that claim to fit any scenario, but if there’s any niche that needs special attention, it’s the outdoors. You need to be conscious of battery life, feature availability without internet, and of course, ruggedness. Casio has been nailing it with their Pro-Trek WSD line, and the newest WSD-F30 looks eye-poppingly good.
Dell has been busy pumping out gaming computers lately, they haven’t forgotten those of us who think Super Mario 2 was the height of gaming technology. They’re at IFA this week, and they have a full suite of Inspiron, XPS, and other software and hardware improvements to make it faster and easier to get things done!
Philips has set the goal to improve the lives of 3 billion people per year by 2025, and part of the way that they hope to achieve this goal is by bridging the gap between consumer and professional health. To that end, at the IFA GPC, Philips’s Liat Ben-Zur talked about the importance of healthy sleep.
Buerer is a European company that’s been around for almost 100 years; their focus is health and well-being. At the IFA GPC, their Managing Director, Georg Walkenbach, mentioned that they currently have 12 apps and 60 connected devices. Georg mentioned several of their health-focused device and app combos, but the one I really took note of was their SleepQuiet app.
At the IFA Global Press Conference in Rome, Sascha Lange, Vice President Marketing and Sales at Sharp, was present to announce that their AQUOS 8K LV-70X500E television will be available in Europe at the end of April. This television offers an insane 7680×4320 pixels, and it was previously only available in Asia.
Apple is getting very serious about competing in the smart home business, and more and more companies are joining in with Homekit compatibility. Netatmo is making sure their cameras stay competitive with new firmware updates for their outdoor and indoor cameras. Homekit compatibility means that in between mangling dictated text message and giving you oddball links for simple questions, Siri…
If I told you there was a new in-ear, wind protected, stereo headphone set that could get up to 18 hours battery life during the day for music and talk, you’d figure they had an astronomical price, right? Well, you’d be wrong. The Jabra Elite 25e Headphones even have a dedicated Siri or Google Now button, and they’re just $79.
If you love the idea of a portable speaker, but the little bottle-sized ones just aren’t giving you enough oomph, you’ll want to check out the new JBL Boombox. Available this fall for $449.95, it is practically begging to be the center of your next party.
If you’ve got an Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, then you’ve already found out that while intelligent speakers are okay, they usually aren’t that great to look at nor do they sound as amazing as one might hope.
There are so many interesting Android phones available now that choosing a new one can be daunting. Have you considered the new LG V30? It has a beautiful screen, an exceptional camera, and lovely thin bezels. But what more does the V30 have going for it?
Acer has been very, very busy at IFA 2017. They announced quite the lineup of products, so if you use anything remotely electronic there’s probably something there for you. (And if you don’t use anything electronic, please let me know in the comments how and why you’re reading this!)
Admit it, you’ve lost your keys before. We all have. Recently we found a set of keys my wife lost two years ago! There are Bluetooth trackers that will beep when initiated, but Pixie has a better plan; they use augmented reality to float a visual in front of you that guides you to your lost item.
If you’ve been waiting to see what Samsung would do to follow up their suite of fitness devices, you’ll be glad to know that today they have announced two new watches and a smarter pair of workout ready in-ear headphones. Say hello to the Gear Sport, Gear Fit2 Pro, and the Gear Icon X.