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Best of IFA 2022 Awards: All the very best products
IFA 2022 represents the first full-scale, in-person trade show in years. The manufacturers, media, and public are back in a big way and we spent the first few days of the show scouring the show floor for the best products in the categories we cover (and covet). Without further ado, here are the best products we found at IFA 2022.
Related: Sound Guys’ Best of IFA 2022 Awards
At IFA 2022, Honor announced its striking mid-ranger, the Honor 70. The Honor 70 looks and feels great and it’s the first phone with the Sony IMX800 image sensor. But what really sets it apart from the modern smartphone crowd is that it’s actually priced reasonably, at just €549 (8GB+128GB)/€599 (8GB+256GB) and we think that makes the Honor 70 a wise investment in these inflationary times. Available now on Honor’s website.
Sony Xperia 5 IV
Announced just prior to IFA, the Sony Xperia 5 IV is essentially a smaller, cheaper version of the flagship Xperia 1 IV. We loved its compact size, a rare characteristic these days, but despite being smaller than the 1 IV, it has a larger battery. It may not have the flagship’s variable focal length camera but it has 4K 120fps video and Sony’s best-in-class eye auto-focus on all rear lenses. And these sound like pretty decent compromises to us. You’ll be able to get it from Amazon come end-September.
Garmin Venu Sq 2
When the Venu Sq line first appeared, it took the popular Venu recipe and replaced the OLED with an LCD to cut the price almost in half. Now, the Venu Sq 2 increases the price by just $50 but brings the OLED panel back. That’s a pretty amazing trade-off and well worth it for anyone wanting to experience the outstanding tracking Garmin is renowned for. You can buy one now for $249.
Fitbit Sense 2
The Fitbit Sense 2 is one of the most eagerly awaited follow-ups to a new wearable product line. Featuring a new continuous electrodermal activity (cEDA) sensor for automatic stress testing, a refined UI, and the same great price as the original ($299), we can’t wait to get our hands on the Sense 2. The Sense 2 goes on sale on September 23, with pre-orders open now.
Huawei Watch D
We’ve seen a few blood pressure wearables with an inflatable cuff but the Huawei Watch D is the first one we’d actually consider wearing every day. It’s only a little bit chunkier than most smartwatches but houses a tiny pump to inflate the strap — this means it never needs calibration. This is a major breakthrough in personal health tech and it just received regulatory approval to go on sale in Europe. More details here.
TCL NxtWear S
If you like next-gen wearables you’re going to love the updated TCL NxtWear S. With two 1080p Micro OLED displays you can enjoy a private cinematic experience anywhere you go. We dig the physical controls for volume and brightness and the improved visual resolution and audio quality. It’s hard to make an AR monitor you wear on your face look good, but TCL has done an admirable job with the NxtWear S.
Laptops & Chromebooks
Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
Just the second product ever to launch in the foldable-screen laptop category, the Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED is a sight to behold. It smoothly transforms from a 17-inch tablet to a 12.5-inch laptop, and it manages to look classy in the process. It’s packed with features, providing everything the discerning laptop – and tablet – user could ask for in 2022. Prices start at $3,499 in Q4, 2022, with additional details available on Asus’ landing page.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold
After kickstarting the foldable display laptop category way back in 2019, Lenovo delivered its follow-up to 2020’s original 13-inch X1 Fold with the new 16-inch X1 Fold. With an improved full-size backlit keyboard, beefed-up performance, and additional productivity features, the X1 Fold has tightened up practically every aspect of its trailblazing predecessor. The new X1 Fold starts at $2,499 and is expected to go on sale in November 2022.
Lenovo Ideapad 5i Chromebook
Chromebooks don’t usually spring to mind when you think of fancy features like high refresh rate displays. But Lenovo has taken the humble Chromebook and given it a display makeover. With a big 16-inch 120Hz refresh rate panel, the IdeaPad 5i is unique among Chromebooks. Prices start at €549 when it goes on sale later this year.
Tecno Megabook Series
Tecno Mobile dropped its first-ever laptop at IFA 2022, the Megabook T1. We really liked the look and feel of this device for its ~€800 price. We were also pretty taken by the Megabook S1, which the brand showed at its booth but will officially announce in the near future. Keep an eye out for local availability and pricing in the weeks to come.
Tablets & Home Entertainment
Huawei MatePad Pro
The Huawei MatePad Pro is not just a nice-looking tablet with a 120Hz OLED display, it’s also the thinnest and lightest 11-inch tablet around. With support for both a magnetic keyboard and M Pencil, the MatePad Pro is part of Huawei’s blossoming Super Device ecosystem. With the larger 12.6-inch version packing up to a 10,050mAh battery and no fewer than eight speakers, the MatePad Pro looks great. Learn more on Huawei’s website.
Honor Pad 8
Honor’s global ambitions are finally starting to take shape as the company prepares to step out from under Huawei’s shadow. The Honor Pad 8 is the company’s first tablet release outside its home market in China. With a 12-inch 2K display, eight speakers, and an iPad-like metal design, the Pad 8 is a looker with multimedia credentials to match. You can already buy one directly from Honor.
Leica Cine 1
What could be better than enjoying the Leica Look while you watch movies at home? The legendary optics maker has just announced its first ultra-short throw laser TV projector, the Cine 1, at IFA 2022. It sits mere inches from the wall yet can project in 4K at 80 or 100 inches. The Leica Cine 1 will be available in early 2023 for $6,900 (80-inch)/$7,900 (100-inch).
B&O Beosound Theatre
How about an $8,000 soundbar? Luxury audio specialist Bang & Olufsen likes to explore the stratosphere of the market with its products, and the B&O Beosound Theatre is no exception. This no-compromise soundbar offers spectacular sound, technical excellence, and support and upgradability commitments measured in decades rather than years. When you also consider the stylish construction and built-in motorized TV stand, the price tag actually doesn’t seem that ridiculous. Learn more on B&O’s landing page for the product.
JBL Tour Pro 2
JBL’s Tour Pro 2 thinks a touch-screen charging case makes earbuds all the more useful and we agree. The 1.45-inch touchscreen takes its cues from settings you’ll find on your smartphone, including pausing and skipping tracks, adjusting the earbud’s settings, taking calls, and even displaying notifications. With 10mm dynamic drivers, JBL’s Personi-Fi technology, and ANC, they sound pretty great too.
Never have your earbuds run out of juice ever again — that’s the philosophy behind Urbanista’s Phoenix earbuds. Built with a groundbreaking Powerfoyle solar cell material, the charging case recharges when exposed to any form of light. If that’s not enough to keep you powered up, the case houses a big enough battery for 32 hours of playback. Hybrid ANC and an IPX4 rating complete a package designed to go with you anywhere. Details available on Urbanista.com.
MSI Immerse GH40 ENC gaming headset
You know what’s better than losing yourself in some serious game time? Doing so with environmental noise cancelation so you’re truly in the zone. MSI’s new Immerse GH40 gaming headset is its first to feature ENC for the most immersive gaming experience imaginable. Whether you need to block out external noise or just your family, the GH40 will keep you in the game.
Today’s headphones may sound great, but they’re not very smart. Enter CosmOS, an audio operating system designed to free headphones from vendor shackles, empowering them to run their own apps, services, and more, just like your smartphone does today. This could be the future of headphones. Watch this space.
TVs, Monitors, and Displays
TCL C935 4K Mini-LED TV
TCL is justifiably proud of its new 98-inch 4K behemoth, the C935: the world’s largest mini-LED TV. Boasting QLED technology and 1,920 local dimming zones, a 144Hz variable refresh rate, Dolby Vision IQ, certification by IMAX Enhanced, and Google TV onboard, it’s not just the size that’s impressive. Get the full specs and details on TCL’s website.
LG OLED Flex
Flat or curved? You don’t have to choose with the LG OLED Flex, probably the most exciting TV and monitor announcement from IFA 2022. The OLED Flex features motorized arms on its back that allow it to seamlessly go from a regular flat widescreen to a fully curved one at the touch of a button. Whether you want it for gaming or productivity, this 42-inch monster won’t disappoint. Check it out on LG’s website.
Samsung Odyssey OLED G8
Samsung has finally launched an OLED gaming monitor, and it’s a doozy. The Odyssey OLED G8 has specs to match its gaming pedigree, including a 3,400 x 1,440 QD-OLED panel, a 175Hz refresh rate, and a 1800R curvature radius. It’s packed with smart features too, like support for Samsung’s SmartThings IoT standard and the ability to stream games from services like Xbox Game Pass without having to connect it to a PC or game console.
Wireless Panasonic OLED TV concept
Cable clutter got you down? Panasonic envisions a particularly neat solution; just ditch the wires entirely. OK, so it still needs a power plug, but the lightweight 55-inch Wireless Panasonic OLED TV concept moves all those other cables off to a separate transmission box that beams a high bandwidth 4K image to the TV itself. Hopefully, this idea ends up tidying store shelves in the not-too-distant future.
Ring’s new Intercom will connect to, well, your intercom and make it smarter. This should be a boon to apartment dwellers everywhere, a demographic that has been neglected by smart home product makers. Intercom acts as an extension to the intercom system in your apartment, allowing you to buzz visitors in from your phone, wherever you are. Ring claims it’s compatible with 90% of the thousands of intercom types available across Europe. One more step towards a fully smart home!
Eve’s smart home products, from smart bulbs to smart locks, have so far been exclusive to Apple users. That’s because Eve only supported Apple’s HomeKit standard, leaving users of other platforms in the cold. But that’s changing with Eve’s announcement at IFA that it will support the new Matter standard. Once Matter rolls out this fall, Eve products will finally tap into smart ecosystems from Google, Samsung, Amazon, and more.
Ecovacs Airbot Z1
If you’re serious about the quality of the air in your home, the Ecovacs Airbot Z1 “air management robot” is the gadget for you. Not only does it move around the house absorbing dust and allergens from the air, it also packs HEPA H13 filters, UV lights for disinfection, fragrance capsules for odorizing the air, and a built-in humidifier. It also monitors air quality, which allows it to target the areas where it’s needed the most.
Withings Body Comp smart scale
When it comes to health monitoring, body composition is just the beginning. The new Withings Body Comp will estimate the ratio between fat and muscle in your body, but it will also check the health of your arteries and nerves. It will even warn you when the level of visceral fat is too high. All this functionality is packed into what looks like a regular bathroom scale, bringing seamless health monitoring one step closer to reality.
Green & Beyond
Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
We live in complicated times. From geopolitical turbulence to climate change, the energy security we once took for granted is under threat. The new Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro will give you a little piece of mind thanks to its high capacity, fast charging times (just 1.8 hours), and ability to connect to two or more solar panels to harvest the unlimited energy of the sun. This completely green gas-generator replacement will please casual campers and hardcore preppers alike. Check out the price here.
Nokia Circular subscription
Ever wanted to bundle a new phone purchase with an extended warranty and protect the planet from the inevitable e-waste at your device’s end of life? HMD Global’s Circular subscription does just that, putting a sustainability slant on the classic monthly payment model. Time will tell if Circular proves popular enough to save the planet, but it’s a solid start with legit eco-credentials. Full details on Nokia’s site.
Riley RS3 Scooter
Foldable electric scooters are a common sight these days, but very few can compete with the Riley RS3 Scooter when it comes to portability. Where most competitors simply feature a collapsible handlebar, the RS3 comes with both a foldable handlebar and a foldable riding deck. The folded-up scooter is compact enough to fit in a bag and it’s light enough to carry around, at 14kg. It still has a 25km autonomy, making it ideal for city commuting.
Autel Evo II V3
Autel has taken the already great features from the V2 and improved them with the new Evo II V3. The drone boasts a higher resolution imaging system with improved low light and thermal performance to boot. Paired with new attachable accessories including a new Live Deck and remote controllers, multi-GNSS positioning, and long-range image transmission, the Evo II V3 has everything you’ll ever need.