IFA Insider 2018 #2

As the show shifts from new announcements to hands-on time with the latest gadgets, we’re back with a slightly shorter IFA Insider.

Phones

Following on from Samsung, Sony and HTC yesterday, Huawei, LG, and BlackBerry are a few of the names showcasing their mobile capabilities at the show this year.

Beginning with a name etched into smartphone history, Blackberry announced the Limited Edition (LE) version of its Key2 handset. The main thing to note with this model is the company continuing to champion the signature physical QWERTY keyboard.

The Honor Play, an affordable product of the Huawei sub-brand, is a device launched at IFA that may catch a few readers off guard. This phone is designed for gamers, equipped with technology to maintain framerates in the form of Huawei’s own GPU Turbo – it’s already being touted as the phone for the popular game, PUBG.

LG’s new G7 One looks promising in terms of a smartphone comeback for the brand. With the same attractive design offered by the G7, the standout benefits of the G7 One are internal. The device will be armed with competitive specs but, more importantly, it is going to be running Android One.

FHF Insight: IFA 2018 has proven there is a great deal more going on in the world of mobile than just MWC. Not only that, if you take the time to look outside of the big names there are some exciting developments in the battle for mid-tier mobile dominance.

Audio

While the pace has certainly slowed on the audio news-front in Berlin, one area that shows no sign of stopping is the steady decline of the headphone jack and trusty wired headphone.

Sennheiser has introduced its first ever set of truly wireless earbuds, the Momentum earbuds. They continue the trend towards all tech getting smarter, offering access to Siri or Google Assistant at a tap.

Also jumping on the wireless bandwagon was AKG, who released not one but four new sets of wireless headphones. This includes two near in-ear headphones, one over-ear, and one on-ear. The star of the show is the AKG Y500, which is an anticipated update to the award-winning Y50BT headphones.

FHF Insight: If this largely wireless IFA doesn’t sound the deathknell for the headphone jack, then Qualcomm announcing new aptX Adaptive Bluetooth audio might just be the final nail in the coffin. Farewell Jack.

Gaming

Following on from Acer’s attention-grabbing gaming throne, gaming stalwart Razer brought us back to earth with the release of three products which modernise some of the brand’s staple sellers. This triple-hit comprises of a new headset, a keyboard and a mouse.

Display announcements were dominated by tech-titans, LG and Sony who announced new monitors and a projector respectively. Both LG’s new 34-inch ultrawide monitors and Sony’s 4K projector are an interesting sign of intent in the gaming market from the two giants, with the latter offering a ‘lag-reduction’ feature.

FHF Insight: Despite there not being any announcements to have truly shaken up the sector, the sheer scale of attention that’s been paid to gaming is indicative of the transformation of gaming from sub-culture to mainstream.

Computers

Following in Dell’s footsteps, Lenovo brought a hoard of devices to IFA. Both names have focussed on 2-in-1 tablet-laptops, with Lenovo introducing the Yoga Book C930, Yoga C930 and Yoga C630 WOS. But we don’t call this a hoard for no reason – it announced a further 12 additional products, including laptops, smart home devices and PCs.

FHF Insight: This year’s IFA has been all about the 2-in-1s. As technology advances, the devices have become more viable, and consumers are adjusting to the new format. Given a little more time, laptop-tablet hybrids are likely to become a standard, though they continue to lack a catchy name…tablop…laptab?

We’ll be back on Monday with a round-up of the news and trends from the next three days.

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