Europe’s biggest tech expo, IFA officially kicked off in Berlin, Germany last week. As the years have progressed, IFA has moved from becoming the home of all things mobile to becoming a more PC centric show. Keeping that trend alive, this year we have already seen a bunch of announcements from various brands. Even though the show is on till September 5, most brands have hosted their pre-IFA conferences where a litany of products have been announced. These are PCMag India’s best of IFA picks that are expected to reach India soon.
UE Boom and Megaboom
For the last couple of years, Ultimate Ears’ Boom speakers have become one of the best portable speakers on the market. This year at IFA, Ultimate Ears showed off much needed updates for the UE Boom 3 and MegaBoom 3. For obvious reasons, this comes with a refreshed design and there is less rubber on the front for a cleaner look. There is also a new fabric, which has been updated to a two-tone style.
LG and Samsung 8K TVs
India is finally getting accustomed to 4K TVs but the next jump is already here. Samsung and LG both announced their stunning lineup of televisions which include 8K resolution at IFA this year. Samsung unveiled the Q900R 8K QLED with 8K AI upscaling, which will be made available as soon as October in sizes of 65, 75, 82 and 85-inches.
As for LG, it introduced an 8K OLED television in a whopping 88-inches size format. For obvious reasons, there is no India launch scheduled as of now.
After announcing new products under the ZenBook and VivoBook ranges at Computex earlier in the year, Asus announced yet another round of new laptops this year at IFA 2018. The new range includes the ZenBook 13 (UX333), ZenBook 14 (UX433), ZenBook 15 (UX533), ZenBook Flip 13 (UX362), ZenBook Flip 15 (UX562), ZenBook Pro 14 (UX480) and the ZenBook S (UX391FA).
With that the company also announced the new Zen AiO 27 (Z272) all in one PC. All of them run on the latest Intel 8th-gen processor range and will eventually launch in India.
Just like Asus, Acer had a large lineup for IFA 2018 as it announced refreshed models under its ultra-slim Swift laptop portfolio including the Swift 3, 5 and 7. Other commercial products include upgrades to the Aspire range, a new Chromebook and the OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset.
Under its Predator lineup, it showcased a monstrous gaming desktop and a convertible gaming notebook, along with upgrades to the Orion 9000, Orion 5000, and Orion 300 notebooks along with a range of new gaming accessories.
Dell also had a number of devices lined up for IFA this year including upgrades under its Inspiron, XPS, and Vostro lineups. With that it also announced its first Inspiron Chromebook, a new 27-inch USB-C Ultrathin Monitor, and a line of SE monitors.
We are expecting devices like the new Inspiron 7000 2-in-1s, Inspiron 5000 2-in-1s, the new Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 2-in-1, new XP13 refreshed series, Vostro 14 and 15 5000 laptops, and the Dell 27 USB-C Ultrathin Monitor to head to India very soon.
Skagen Falster 2
The newest version of the Skagen Falster made its debut at IFA this year and we couldn’t help noticing it since we reviewed the original. It still brings that clean round design but now gets two extra buttons.
It also gets NFC, GPS and a heart rate monitor, all of which were dearly missed on the first variant. Yes, it still runs on Wear OS and we are hoping that just like its predecessor, this one makes it to India as well.
The past couple of years have seen Sony shaking up the premium noise cancelling headphones market with its WH-1000XM series giving market leader Bose a run for its money. The Japanese company announced the third iteration of the popular headphones at IFA this year and on paper, it seems that Sony is completely going to crush the Bose QC 35 II.
Sony has made a lot of improvements and claim that the 1000XM3 is now even more comfortable to wear, and brings features like USB Type-C, a dedicated QN1 noise-canceling processor, 30-hour battery life on moderate use, and more.
HTC U12 Life
Taiwan-based HTC may be down but it is not completely out. HTC still seems to have some life left in it. It announced the very attractive looking HTC U12 Life which comes with a dual-finish back design reminding us of the Pixel phones.
It is a mid-range phone though -- featuring a Snapdragon 636 chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage that is expandable, a 6-inch 2160x1440 18:9 display, 16-megapixels + 5-megapixels rear and 13-megapixels front camera and Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. Unless, HTC is able to provide some groundbreaking pricing, then we believe this shouldn’t be a product that HTC will bring to India.
Sony Xperia XZ3
Apart from the amazing WH-1000MX3 headphones, Sony also announced its new flagship, the Xperia XZ3. Now as much as Sony phones are tanking almost everywhere, we know that the company is still going to bring this to India. Hopefully, it will think about the pricing twice. The new Xperia XZ3 quite honestly a really good looking device with a 6-inch OLED 2880x1440 panel and runs Android 9.0 Pie out of the box.
It has a curved glass finish and is powered by a Snapdragon 845 paired with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage which is expandable, a 19-megapixel motion-eye camera at the back and a 13-megapixel selfie camera on the front. On paper it has the goods, but Sony’s brand value has taken a beating in India and if it the past is anything to go by, then it will have a hard time in India.
LG G7 One
With Android One phones become picking up the pace, LG became a new member of the program with the announcement of the LG G7 One. The new handset sports a 6.1-inch QHD+ display with a resolution of 3120×1440 pixels. It is powered last year’s Snapdragon 835 processor paired with 4GB of RAM along with 32GB of internal storage expandable up to 2TB via a microSD card.
It runs Google’s Android 8.1 Oreo operating system in its stock configuration and should get updates and security patches right on par with Google’s Pixel smartphones. Considering how most smartphone makers are launching Android One phones in India, we won’t be surprised if LG brings this one to India.