Europe’s biggest tech show of the year is underway, which means gadget makers from across the globe have unveiled some of their coolest products of the year.
IFA – or Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin – takes place at the end of each summer, and is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics shows. This year, tech companies ranging from Lenovo to Sennheiser to Bang & Olufsen are presenting cool new products like dual-screen laptops, wireless earbuds, and even a speaker that looks like a free-standing wheel.
Google even joined in this year, unveiling the latest version of its Wear OS smartwatch operating system, which becomes available this fall.
While IFA is still underway – it doesn’t officially end until September 5 – there have already been plenty of exciting new products announced.
Take a look at seven of the coolest gadgets announced at IFA 2018 so far:
1. TCL introduced a new, cheaper BlackBerry smartphone called the Key2 LE.
TCL – the Chinese electronics company that manufactures BlackBerry phones – announced on Thursday the BlackBerry Key2 LE, a cheaper version of the high-end BlackBerry Key2 it announced earlier this summer.
The new device is almost identical to the BlackBerry Key2, with a few key differences: a lightweight frame, decreased battery life, and a slightly less powerful camera.
The BlackBerry Key2 LE comes in three colours – slate, atomic, and champagne – and starts at $US400.
2. Sony’s new waterproof speaker has a strobe light and Google Assistant.
Anyone looking for a durable, portable speaker has a new option with the Sony SRS-XB501G.
The new speaker, which Sony debuted at IFA, is water-resistant and dustproof. It has multicolored lights, extra bass, and a flashing strobe, and Sony says it can get up to 16 hours of battery life. Plus, it has Google Assistant built-in. Altogether, it might be the perfect party speaker.
The new Sony speaker will cost $US300 and will be available in October.
3. Bang & Olufsen unveiled the Beosound Edge, a $US3,770 rolling speaker.
Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen launched a brand-new speaker at IFA – and it has a curious shape and size.
The speaker, called the Beosound Edge, looks like a giant, hyper-minimalist wheel. You can either rest it upright in a room, or hang it on a wall, and it has a few neat tricks built in: It senses when you’re close to it and lights up, and rolling it forward or backward will adjust the volume.
The Beosound Edge comes with AirPlay 2, Chromecast 2, and Bluetooth, and works with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
4. Sennheiser made a pair of high-end $US300 wireless earbuds.
Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earbuds might be a game-changer for anyone looking for convenient wireless buds that still sound great.
The new buds let you blend ambient sound with your music to make your more aware of your surroundings, and let you use voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant. The buds are also splash- and sweat-resistant.
Sennheiser’s True Wireless earbuds only get about four hours of battery life, but can be charged up inside their case. The buds cost $US299 and go on sale sometime in mid-November.
5. Skagen introduced the Falster 2, a new and improved smartwatch with GPS, swim proofing, and a heart rate sensor.
Skagen – a Danish-inspired, hyper-minimalist watch brand – introduced on Wednesday the Falster 2, an upgrade to the Falster smartwatch it introduced earlier this year.
The Falster 2 looks nearly identical to the previous model, but has a few major differences inside: most notably GPS tracking, a heart rate tracker, and swim proofing.
The new watch comes in four colours – rose gold, silver, grey, and black – and has a few new watch faces and programmable buttons.
The Skagen Falster 2 starts at $US275, but Skagen hasn’t said yet when or where it will be available.
6. The Polaroid OneStep+ is a $US160 Bluetooth-enabled analogue camera.
The Polaroid OneStep+ looks and feels like an analogue camera, but it has the ability to connect to your smartphone.
You can instantly snap a photo, but you can also use creative tools to edit your images in an accompanying smartphone app and share them online immediately. The new camera also comes with a portrait lens, flash, and rechargeable battery.
The OneStep+ costs $US160 and is available to buy now.
7. Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 has both an LCD laptop screen and an E Ink display.
Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 is an unusual laptop: It has an E Ink display on one side, and an LCD laptop screen on the other side. Like other Yoga Books, you can have it sit upright like a laptop – using the E Ink display in keyboard mode – or you can fold it over and use the device in tablet mode.
The Yoga Book C930 is super-thin – it’s 4mm thick at its thinnest point – and weighs less than two pounds. Lenovo says you’ll get about 10 hours of battery life.
The device will cost 999 Euros and will be available in September.
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