Best of IFA 2018: 12 best smartphones, speakers, headphones, TVs and more
The IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin is one of the largest in the world. It is also different in that it opens its doors to the public, as well as press and trade visitors.
Many products are launched there each year and this year’s event has played host to some amazing new TVs, gadgets, phones and gizmos.
We’ve been busy beavering around IFA 2018 to check out the very best products in order to whittle them down to just 12 we think stole the show.
Here then, in no particular order, are our 12 best products of IFA 2018.
Sony Xperia XZ3
Quite possibly the best looking Xperia phone in years, the Sony Xperia XZ3 is a true flagship handset.
It has a HDR-enabled 6-inch display, with a resolution of 2960 x 1440. And it’s OLED at last – a first for Sony Mobile. The Snapdragon 845 processor makes sure it runs like an Olympian and even the software has been tweaked and refined to glorious levels.
Honor has carved a niche for itself in creating excellent phones for those on a tight budget, but has really excelled itself with the game-centric Honor Play.
Not only does it have an amazing 6.3-inch display and superb graphics performance through the GPU Turbo feature, the handset is available for an incredible £279. It’s easily the best phone in its category, by far.
Philips OLED+ 903
Philips calls its latest flagship TV technology OLED+, with HDR10+ technology on-board and some simply stunning pictures.
Then you add the new collaboration with British audiophile brand Bowers & Wilkins and you have an amazing all-round package. There’s Ambilight too, which has always been a favourite here at Pocket-lint for film and games immersion.
Audio-Technica True Wireless
It’s definitely the age of the truly wireless headphones, with several manufacturers ranging self-contained, tether-free ear buds in 2018, but Audio-Technica’s are among the best we’ve ever heard.
Each earpiece has a specially-tuned 11mm driver to provide superb sound. They are big in size, but also mighty in musical muscle.
Asus ZenBook 13
Asus ZenBook range this year stands-out as being one of its very best in looks. The ZenBook 13 is testament to that, with some of the slimmest bezels around the screen we’ve ever seen on a laptop.
It is also very small and lightweight, which makes it an ideal alternative to a MacBook if Windows is more your sort of thing.
Harman Kardon Citation range
While Google has finally decided to bring its Home Max speaker to the UK, Harman Kardon is going the whole hog on Google Assistant-enabled equivalents.
The Citation line-up of speakers includes the 500, 300 and 100 home audio systems, plus the One individual speaker and a soundbar: the Bar. They can also be hooked up together to build a larger surround sound system for a home theatre set-up.
Sony’s latest pair of active noise cancellation over-ear headphones bring a new audio processor to the party.
The QN1 processor offers better signal processing to ensure the best performance yet, with dynamic profiles being switched on the fly depending on your location.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Edge speaker might be priced at more than £3,000 it isn’t just a dumb music system, it is a true talking point to boot.
There are touch controls on the top that light as you near the speaker thanks to a proximity sensor. And a rear port can open and close depending on the volume you desire, in order to give you the best bass response possible while keeping the overall audio signature clear and distinct.
Libratone Zipp 2
As well as a new battery that gives you up to 12 hours of playback time, the refreshed Zipp speaker – now in its Zipp 2 guise – has Amazon’s Alexa service built in. That makes it a powerful, fun and funky alternative to an Amazon Echo.
It is also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, so you can use just about any source or service to feed it tunes.
Samsung Q900R QLED 8K
This year’s IFA will be remembered as the one that started the 8K TV ball rolling and although there were several at the show, Samsung’s QLED sets were the ones that caught the eye the most.
Coming in the next couple of months, the Q900R range will be available in 65, 75, 82 and 85-inch screen sizes. And while there will be no native content to view on them for a while, they will be ideal to ensure you are future-proofed going forward.
Fitbit Charge 3
Even with the rise of the smartwatch, fitness trackers are still very much in demand and Fitbit is very much one of the leading brands in the field.
The Fitbit Charge 3 is water resistant, light and has an OLED touch display. More importantly though it can track heart rate, has built-in GPS and sports an SPO2 monitor – normally found on the company’s higher end watches.
Lenovo Yoga Book 2
The Yoga Book 2 needs to be seen to be believed. Instead of a physical keyboard, the entire lower section is a touch-enabled E Ink display. That means you can use it for typing duties, but also to draw and perform many other customisable functions.
It also has Dolby Atmos integration. The whole package really is something quite different to the usual Yoga devices from Lenovo.