IFA 2018 has fulfilled our expectations both for practical upgrades and wild innovations. Wednesday and Thursday offered all manner of surprises, and the hits kept coming on Friday. Check out the highlights of what we’ve seen in Berlin below. All of today’s new headlines are highlighted in bold.
Stay tuned — IFA’s press days are over at this point, and the show is now open to the public, but we’ll continue to keep this post updated with the final cool, crazy and interesting stuff we spot as we’re finishing our coverage of the show.
Appliances and smart home
From see-through fridges to dishwashers that lift racks themselves, IFA often shows off crazy new features in the ordinarily practical category of appliances. IFA 2018 has been no different. Not all of these ideas will ever see the light of day, let alone come to the US, but it’s still neat to know there’s a fridge out there with a built-in lazy susan.
Lenovo’s got new smart home gadgets to go with that fancy Smart Display
LG pushes hands-free help in the kitchen with Google-powered smart display
Nanoleaf update: Touch-sensitive Canvas panels coming Dec. 1
Neato fills out vacuum lineup with nods to value seekers, pet owners
This boring switch might be the best Philips Hue gadget yet
Philips Hue’s smart lights will work with Siri Shortcuts this fall
Sharp put a vacuum sealer in its new four-door refrigerator
AEG’s MultiSpace fridge spins your groceries on a lazy susan shelfAEG ComfortLift dishwasher feature tells you if you’re ecofriendly
AEG SenseCook cooktops to provide automated cooking to home chefsBosch pitched a smart kitchen utopia at IFA 2018
Bosch doubles down on colorful fridges in Berlin, Americans green with envy?
Alexa and Google can tell Eufy’s new RoboVac to get cleaning
Eve Room 2 gives Siri an upgraded sense of smellEve puts Siri-enabled smarts in a power strip at IFA
Fibaro invites Samsung, IFTTT into its smart home
GE Appliances makes it easier to use Google Assistant in the kitchen
Haier’s new smart freezer is also a fridge when neededHiMirror Mini smart mirror crosses the Atlantic to judge EuropeansLG’s ‘wearable robot’ will transform the proletariat into unstoppable machines
LG’s Signature Wine Cellar lifts your selection to your hand at IFA
Miele’s newest dishwasher uses a disk to dispense detergent
Mitte wants to sell you your own bottled water operation
Yale’s new Sync security system gets Philips Hue, Alexa integrations
Enough with the wild whims of appliance makers, let’s get practical. We’ve seen a host of smart watches and mobile gear all designed to help you get fit and feel stylish while doing it. Google kicked things off with an update of its Wear OS smartwatch platform, and plenty of vendors are already supporting it.
Casio amps up battery life for its Pro Trek outdoors smartwatch
Diesel’s big new fitness smartwatch with WearOS arrives in OctoberGarmin’s new ultraslim Vivosmart 4 gets more features, easier to use
Google’s Wear OS updates hint at a wave of fitness smartwatches to comeSkagen Falster 2 WearOS smartwatch adds all the fitness extras
PCs and laptops
Intel’s latest chip update is the basis for most of the new mainstream PCs coming from familiar brands this fall. From the world’s lightest 15-inch laptop to a parade of new monitors and VR accessories, IFA 2018 has a plethora of cool new computers and peripherals on show.
The new E Ink Lenovo Yoga Book makes a markAcer Predator Triton 900 gaming laptop has a screen you’ll flip over
Acer unveils superlight 15-inch laptop plus tons of gaming hardware at IFANew Asus ZenBooks pack power and Alexa into slim framesDell Inspiron Chromebook joins the $600 Chrome OS crowdNew Intel chips want to make your laptop connect, work and play betterLenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme adds graphics chops to its top biz laptop
The Lenovo Yoga Book gets a second chapter
HTC, Sony, Huawei and more are putting their best phones forward to take on the titans of Samsung and Apple. From getting rid of bezels to cramming in extra power, the phones of IFA 2018 have taken a variety of approaches to standing out from the crowd.
BlackBerry Key2 LE dazzles with new colors and thinner bezelsHuawei beats its own phone to the punch with the Mate 20 Lite
Huawei’s Kirin 980 chip gives glimpse of Mate 20’s power
BlackBerry Key2 LE shows that color can be fun after all
HTC U12 Life is like the Pixel 2, only prettier
Huawei’s Honor teases upcoming almost bezel-less Magic 2
Sony Xperia XZ3 brings out the big guns to challenge the Galaxy S9
ZTE reveals first phone after Trump sanctions at IFA 2018
Smart speakers are everywhere. With Harman Kardon, Bang & Olufsen and more on board, we might finally be entering a phase in which smart speakers generally have the sound quality to match their built-in smarts. Plus, we saw headphones and Bluetooth speakers with their own quality-of-life upgrades, including a big leap ahead of its rivals for Sony’s noise-canceling headphones.
Sony SRS-XB501’s wireless speaker is the life of the partyHuawei joins the Alexa-powered smart speaker club with the AI Cube
Bang & Olufsen gives Google Assistant a fancy new home in BeoSound speakers
Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound Edge is an enormous sonic hockey puckB&O Beoplay E6 in-ear wireless headphones charge while you listenHarman Kardon announces a metric ton of Google multiroom speakers
Jabra’s Elite Active 65t earphones now come in an Amazon Edition and more color options
Jaybird’s new X4 wireless sports headphones offer a more comfortable fit
Marshall Voice promises powerful and loud Alexa-enabled music
Netgear Orbi Voice: Harman Kardon speaker with Alexa and mesh Wi-Fi extender
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless earphones to take on Apple’s AirPods
Sony WH-1000XM3 finally surpasses Bose as best noise-canceling headphone
Sony’s new SRS-XB501G is like a portable Apple HomePod that’s built to party
Sony’s cheap portable Bluetooth speaker attaches to your bag
Meet the new UE Boom 3 Bluetooth speaker
UE Megaboom 3 is more durable, has better bass and a ‘magic’ button
8K TVs, cameras and glowing gaming gear
Last but not least, IFA offered us a glimpse into the future of TVs with voice controls and extreme HD. We saw eye-melting gaming gear, old school cameras and a handful of highlights from other categories of tech.
Behold the Acer Predator Thronos gaming chairRazer Kraken Tournament Edition brings THX Spatial Audio surround tech
Acer’s immersive Predator Thronos gaming chair offers a wild ridePolaroid takes the analog digital with OneStep+ instant film cameraSamsung 8K TV is 85 inches and 33 million pixels of overkill
Toshiba TVs with Alexa built-in let you drop the remote
Still on the docket for IFA: keynote presentations from Microsoft (Friday) and Amazon (Saturday).
If you want everything we’re seeing in Berlin, check out CNET’s IFA 2018 feed.
Our original IFA 2018 preview story from Aug. 27 follows:
IFA 2018, like most big technology trade shows, will showcase a mix of new tech products that fall predominantly into one of two buckets. The first bucket is the practical, more or less predictable one with iterative product updates. In here you’ll find the next flagship phone we all know is coming, or laptops with the newest Intel CPUs that show up on a regular schedule, like the tide.
The second bucket is home to all of the unexpected products. I think of it as the fun one, since this is where you find things like LG’s robotic pants and Segway roller shoes, but you also have to accept some frustration with all that novelty. You’ll find a lot of vaporware here, along with intriguing prototypes that will never see their way to the consumer market. If bucket one is filled with most likely real things you might go out and buy in time for the holidays this year, bucket two makes you think about what you might buy in five years, even if the product that gets you thinking will never exist.
CNET will be on the ground in Berlin, Germany to sort through all the buckets at IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) this week. We’ve pulled from across our global editorial teams to contribute, including writers, photographers and video content creators from our offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Madrid and Louisville, KY.
Now Playing:Watch this: Here’s what we want to see at the IFA trade show
What to look out for
We expect plenty of real-world products and concepty headline-grabbing tech at IFA 2018. Here’s a non-exhaustive look at what we hope to see.
I’d be surprised if Amazon announced any new Alexa or other hardware products at IFA, but the odds increase slightly given that Amazon’s vice president for smart home, Daniel Rausch, is delivering Amazon’s first ever IFA keynote speech this year. At a minimum, we’ll see the usual flood of third party products that you can interact with via an Alexa voice command, as well as devices in the vein of the Ecobee 4 smart thermostat and the GE Sol lamp that have an Alexa microphone built in.
Google has its fingers in so many pies that even without its own IFA press conference, between Chromebooks, wearables, Android mobile devices, Google Assistant products, the search giant will show up across nearly every product category on display in Berlin. Maybe we’ll finally catch a glimpse of Google Assistant-powered smart displays other than the Lenovo and JBL models. Given Bang & Olufsen’s four or five different press sessions, it’s a good bet its $1,750 Google Assistant speakers will be there too.
LG has put a lot of emphasis on its ThinQ-branded AI development efforts this year. Despite a few AI-related hiccups at its CES press conference, the company launched ThinQ as an AI platform in January. Then, earlier this month, LG announced its plan to open an AI research center in Canada. LG has also said that its keynote speech on Friday will have a heavy AI focus. How its AI efforts manifest themselves in real-world products isn’t clear right now, but as long as we get the robotic pants, I’ll be happy.
The Galaxy Note 9 has already landed, but Samsung will still likely give its new flagship smartphone plenty of airtime at IFA. More intriguing is some signage that popped up in Berlin depicting an 8K Samsung TV peeking out from behind a sheet, with the tag line “Prepare to be amazed at IFA.” Samsung debuted the better-than-4K screen at CES already, but with no release date or pricing information, so hopefully we’ll learn more here. Samsung is also usually good for a quirky appliance announcement or two, and of course we’ll be looking out for the Galaxy Home Bixby speaker.
Aside from LG’s SuitBot (the aforementioned robotic pants), I’m looking forward to Segway’s Drift W1 e-skates this year, although we’ve already taken them for a test roll. Flexible phone screen vendor Royole has a booth at the show we will definitely pay a visit. Panasonic’s robot fridge and Bosch’s X-Spect clothes and food scanner were standouts of IFA 2017. We’ll see if they or others can recreate the magic in 2018.
Where to find all the IFA news
The best way to follow all the developments from IFA this year is to keep an eye on our coverage throughout the week. You’ll find it all on our dedicated IFA page. You can also check IFA’s press conference schedule to see who’s presenting when. Here are the conferences we’ll be following especially closely, along with their starting time in Berlin (conversion tool here).
LG opening keynote: 10:30 a.m.
Huawei keynote: 2 p.m.
Microsoft keynote: 5 p.m.
Amazon keynote: 10:30 a.m.
You can also keep tabs on the team on-the-ground in Berlin by following us on Twitter. Expect lots of news from the accounts below, along with plenty of beer-and-sausage chatter.
Follow @CNET The best of everything at IFA
Follow @CNET_es The best of everything at IFA in Spanish
Follow @AshleeEats Ashlee Clark-Thompson, Senior Associate Editor
Follow @katiecollins Katie Collins, Reporter
Follow @Batteryhq Andrew Hoyle, Senior Editor
Follow @rycrist Ry Crist, Senior Associate Editor
Follow @benfoxfubin Ben Fox Rubin, Senior Reporter
Follow @jideakin85 Jide Akinrinade, Video Producer
Follow @calavErika Érika García, CNET en Español
Follow @tylerlizenby Tyler Lizenby, Multimedia Producer
Follow @sharatibken Shara Tibken, Senior Reporter
Follow @rh_brown Rich Brown, Executive Editor
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