Eight key products from IFA 2019

Panasonic’s prototype transparent-screen TVs. — Picture courtesy of Panasonic
Panasonic’s prototype transparent-screen TVs. — Picture courtesy of Panasonic

BERLIN, Sept 11 — This year’s edition of the IFA trade show in Berlin, Germany, which closes its doors today, September 11, likely won’t be remembered as one of the most eventful. While there was an absence of truly revolutionary products being unveiled, a few brands managed to attract significant attention with their innovations.

Panasonic’s transparent television

New televisions feature prominently in Berlin; every year they are bigger and more spectacular. This year’s major focus was 8k (ultra-high resolution) TV. However, the biggest novelty was at Panasonic’s stand, where two transparent OLED televisions were on display. They may give an indication of what can be expected for future series models coming out starting in 2020.

Huawei’s FreeBuds 3. — Picture courtesy of Huawei
Huawei’s FreeBuds 3. — Picture courtesy of Huawei

Noise-reducing earphones at Huawei

Huawei took advantage of IFA to unveil its third generation of FreeBud wireless earphones, which are equipped with a noise-reduction capacity, boosted by an integrated Kirin A1 chip. The Chinese manufacturer is thus able to promise up to 15 dB of noise dampening. They’ve got an autonomy of up to 4 hours and even up to 20 hours when stored in their accompanying case. The price has not yet been announced but they may be available from the beginning of this Fall.

Braun Audio LE01, LE02, and LE03 speakers. — Picture courtesy of Braun Audio
Braun Audio LE01, LE02, and LE03 speakers. — Picture courtesy of Braun Audio

Braun speakers make a comeback

This year has seen Braun get back into the audio business, with its presentation of a brand new line of smart speakers whose design is directly inspired by the models of yesteryear. The Braun Audio LE01, LE02, and LE03 are a thinly-veiled homage to the brand’s celebrated 1960s LE line. Bluetooth— and WiFi-compatible, the speakers have integrated Google Assistant in order to be receptive to voice commands. Prices run from US$379 to US$1,199 (RM1,579.10 to RM4,995.63).

Sonos’s Move speaker. — Picture courtesy of Sonos
Sonos’s Move speaker. — Picture courtesy of Sonos

Sonos’s highly anticipated Bluetooth speaker

American brand Sonos’s IFA showing was greatly awaited for the brand’s first portable Bluetooth speaker, Move. It’s a speaker that boasts an autonomy of about 10 hours, compatibility with around more than 100 streaming services (music, podcasts, audiobooks ) and both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Sonos has also made use of its Trueplay calibration technology, meaning that the speaker automatically adapts itself to the environmental sound of its location. Sonos Move will be available from September 24 and retail for US$399.

Garmin’s Venu watch. — Picture courtesy of Garmin
Garmin’s Venu watch. — Picture courtesy of Garmin

Garmin’s alternative to the Apple Watch

Garmin’s Venu made a big impression with full health monitoring and an AMOLED screen. Besides receiving notifications (incoming calls, SMS, social media, etc.), the watch offers alerts regarding heart rate, stress monitoring, and menstrual cycles as well as sleep-cycle analysis. As if this weren’t enough, Garmin Venu offers around 40 personalized training programs for activities ranging from weightlifting, cardio training, yoga, and Pilates. The new watch will be available this month from US$399.99.

Sony’s Xperia 5. — Picture courtesy of Sony
Sony’s Xperia 5. — Picture courtesy of Sony

A new generation of smartphones from Sony

Sony unveiled its Xperia 5, a new high-end smartphone with movie-style format (21:9) on a 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED display that’s compatible with Dolby Atmos. Besides showing movies, this image format optimizes viewing of two side-by-side applications. Compared with the Xperia 1, it offers the same triple camera lens in a more streamlined design. It can be preordered now, starting at US$799 for shipping in November in the US. It will ship in Europe in October.

The Razer Blade Stealth 13 GTX Model. — Picture courtesy of Razer
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 GTX Model. — Picture courtesy of Razer

An ultrabook for gamers at Razer

Razer created the main attraction in portable computers with its Blade Stealth 13 GTX model. It’s an ultrabook with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card specifically designed for gamers. Available in two versions, Full-HD and 4K UHD, the computer runs on Intel’s latest-generation chip, is compatible with the new Wifi 6 norm and offers up to 16 Go of RAM and 512 Go of SSD storage capacity. It will be available from the end of September in North America and then a bit later on in Asia and Europe.

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. — Picture courtesy of Samsung
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. — Picture courtesy of Samsung

Samsung’s reworked folding-screen phone

Announced to much fanfare in February, the release of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, the brand’s first folding-screen smartphone, was then postponed several times due to various technical issues. Its final, heavily-reinforced version went on display in Berlin. The Galaxy Fold has a 4.6-inch screen that, once opened, has a second screen measuring 7.3 inches diagonally. It’s also 5G-compatible. The smartphone will be released on differing dates worldwide during September starting at US$1,980. — AFP-Relaxnews

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