We came, we saw, and we tried out a ton of new gadgets at IFA 2018.
Europe’s largest consumer electronics show, held in Berlin, was quieter than previous years, but there were still a few notable gadget gems to get pumped up for. Just like this year’s Mobile World Congress.
From 8K TVs, to crazy custom PCs, to phones, to wireless headphones, there was a little bit of everything at IFA. We walked the labyrinthine halls of the Messe Berlin, clocking in well over 10,000 steps per day, to find only the stuff worth talking about.
Without further ado, we present the best tech of IFA 2018.
Acer Predator Thronos gaming chair
There are gaming chairs and then there’s Acer’s Predator Thronos gaming chair. Acer kicked off IFA with this monstrous steel beast.
There’s only one feeling when you hop into this personal gaming cockpit, and that’s badass. With a chair that reclines 140-degrees, a brace for mounting up to three 27-inch monitors in front of your face, built-in chair vibrations that rumble with your games, and of course, tons of LED glow, the Thronos takes gaming to another level.
You don’t have to do anything manually with the Thronos, everything is controlled via a set of buttons on the armrest pic.twitter.com/gbFFPC5kyy
— Stan Schroeder (@franticnews) August 29, 2018
There’s no word on pricing yet, but it’s probably a safe bet the Thronos will be hella expensive.
Sony 1000XMK3 noise-cancellation headphones
As always, IFA was littered with a gazillion pairs of wireless headphones. But our favorite was Sony’s WH-1000XMK3.
The 1000XMK3 is the successor Sony’s popular 1000XMK2 wireless noise-cancelling over-ear headphones. This time around, Sony’s improved the headphones in variety of ways.
They’re more comfortable to wear for longer thanks to larger ear cups and padding on the headband. The noise-cancellation tech and audio quality for phone calls has improved. There’s a new touch control that lets you put your palm on the right ear cup to temporarily disable the noise-cancellation. And there’s now a Google Assistant button, plus the battery supports quick charging.
Overall, the 1000XMK3’s a fantastic update and will be one of the best noise-cancelling headphones to beat.
Huawei Kirin 980 chip
You may not think too much about them, but the kind of chip your phone uses has a great impact on what it’s capable of.
At IFA, Huawei introduced its next-generation mobile processor: the Kirin 980. It’s the world’s first 7-nanometer mobile processor, which means it’s both smaller and more power efficient than anything else currently out there. The smaller chip will allow for more room in Huawei’s phones for other components, such as a bigger battery or improved cameras.
The Kirin 980’s not only tinier, but it’s also more powerful. Huawei says the chip is 75 percent more powerful than the current 970 chip used phones like its flagship P20 Pro, while also being up to 58 percent more power efficient. Additionally, Huawei says the chip will have the world’s fastest WiFi on a phone thanks to a faster on-board modem.
In the battle of the chips, it’s Apple’s custom A-series chips vs. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon vs. Huawei’s Kirin. Which company will make the fastest, most powerful chip? Huawei certainly wants in on the fight.
Samsung 85-inch 8K QLED TV
Sure, there’s virtually no native 8K content to watch on it, but that doesn’t mean huge 8K TVs aren’t still stunning to look at.
There were tons of 8K TVs at IFA, but Samsung’s 85-inch Q900FN QLED TV, was the most jaw-dropping one of all.
The 8K TV’s massive, the borders are slim, and the display has a peak brightness of 4,000 nits, which is like, well, super duper bright. It also supports HDR10+ content and has upscaling technology that can transform 4K content into 8K content without trashing the picture quality.
The best instant camera of 2017 is back with a digital twist. We’re of course talking about Polaroid Originals’ new OneStep+ camera.
The instant camera still shoots good ol’ I-Type and 600 instant film, but now the lens is better for taking selfies and when you connect the camera to the Polaroid Originals app, you get more shooting modes.
With the app, you can shoot portrait-style photos with a blurred “bokeh” background, create double exposures, and even long exposures. There’s also a handy remote trigger feature that lets you shoot from up to 32 feet away.
Instagram’s cool and all, but the OneStep+ is arguably cooler.
Lenovo Yoga Book C930
Two years ago, Lenovo introduced a wild dual-screen tablet-laptop-book hybrid called the Yoga Book. Its marquee feature was its touch-based “halo” keyboard, which would illuminate only when you needed to type.
It was a cool concept, but the halo keyboard was extremely limiting. So Lenovo went back to the drawing board and now it’s come up with a new Yoga Book, the C930, and instead of a halo keyboard it has an E Ink display for its secondary screen.
You can use it to read e-books, take notes, and scribble out drawings, and also bring up an E Ink keyboard. It’s yet another cool idea, but E Ink is slow and you can see it takes a second to load things on the screen. That said, Lenovo gets props for trying new things. It sure beats another boring laptop with super slim bezels.
Sony Xperia XZ3
IFA wasn’t completely devoid of smartphone announcements — there were a dozen decent midrange phones like the Honor Play and BlackBerry Key2 LE — but the one that surprised us the most was Sony’s Xperia XZ3.
For years, Sony lagged behind other flagship phones in almost every way. But with the Xperia XZ3, it looks like Sony’s finally nailing down the basics.
The phone’s got a sleek metal and glass design, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 3,300 mAh battery, and a 6-inch OLED display. There’s a 19-megapixel camera on the rear and and a 13-megapixel one on the front. Best of all it’ll ship with Android 9 Pie.
No word on how much the XZ3 will cost when it ships in September, but we’re hoping it’s aggressively priced if Sony wants to make comeback in mobile.