We were out at IFA 2019 last week and we saw plenty of new tech we loved. But only a handful of things can make it to our Best of IFA 2019 list. While we wanted to award more gadgets and gizmos a Best of, we had to make it a shortlist. Otherwise, we could be here all day writing this post.
So read on for our picks for the Best of IFA 2019!
Best New Headphones
There were headphones everywhere in the halls of Messe Berlin but the very Best of IFA 2019 had to be the Motorola Tech3. While I’m sure there are plenty of other headphones that could qualify and probably sound better. We liked the Tech3’s for their ability to be used as not only true wireless headphones but also as wired headphones, and wire-free headphones.
Basically you can connect an AUX cable to these headphones and use them as a traditional pair of wired earbuds. Or, you can connect the two earbuds together and loop the wire behind your neck using them as wireless headphones. And finally, you can remove the wires altogether and go truly wireless. I’m sure there are other brands out there doing the same but we ran into the Tech3’s and instantly thought it was a unique idea.
Best Midrange Smartphone
There were plenty of smartphones to see at the event and the Motorola ZOOM just happened to land one of the Best of IFA 2019 awards. Motorola has been doing some smart things with their brand and smartphones. The company isn’t shooting for the iPhone or the Galaxy series of devices. Instead, they are concentrating on the midrange market.
The Motorola ZOOM is an excellent midrange device that packs some extras you might only find on more expensive phones. While it’s not perfect, it should be a contender for those seeking a midrange device and want a camera system that will serve them well. The ZOOM has what many want in cameras. Here are a few of the specifications of the ZOOM, read our full coverage on this new smartphone here.
- Operating System: Android 9 Pie
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Security: In-screen Fingerprint Sensor and Face Unlock
- Battery Capacity: 4,000mAh
- Battery Life: Up to 2-days
- Charging: 15W with 18W Turbo Power Charger
- Display: 6.4″ OLED with 19:9 aspect ratio and 3D Gorilla Glass 3
Best New Google Assistant Device
Lenovo Smart Display 7
The Smart Display 7 is the latest smart display from Lenovo and it lands on our Best of IFA 2019 list. We’ve already reviewed the previous versions of the Smart Display and they were both great first efforts from Lenovo. Now, the company has improved on the design but more importantly the sound.
The new Smart Display 7 has better drivers which result in better audio. The new Smart Display 7 also gives you a new design that improves the placement options of the device. It still runs on the same software and the hardware doesn’t change much but those two improvements have done wonders for this amazing voice assistant enabled screen. Read more about the Lenovo Smart Display here.
Best New 15″ Premium Consumer Laptop
Lenovo Yoga S740
There were plenty of laptops and tablets at the show but the Lenovo Yoga S740 was one of only 3 that walked away with a Best of IFA 2019 award.
The Lenovo Yoga S740 (15-inch) comes stacked with up to 9th Gen Intel Core i9 mobile processor and more powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX1650 GPUs, making this all-metal, ultra-slim laptop a portable and multitasking powerhouse.
Combined with striking theater-like specs like a 15-inch FHD HDR display with Dolby Vision at 500 nits bright and thoughtful details such as TrueBlock Privacy Shutter, this chic laptop has a longer-lasting battery designed to amplify what you can do from nearly anywhere.
Use Alexa or Microsoft Cortana voice assistants from up to 4m (13 ft) with the lid open and hear results in crystal-clear sound with Dolby Atmos Speaker System together with a Smart Amp, designed to boost voice and content audio in slim form factors. Read more about the S740 here and watch the included video.
Best 13″ Premium Consumer Laptop
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1
The XPS line of Dell laptops has always impressed us and they just keep getting better year over year and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 also lands a Best of IFA 2019 award.
The new XPS 13 2-in-1 will include new Intel 10th Generation Core U processors with up to i7 hexacore chips. Wireless connectivity is much improved with built on Intel Wi-Fi 6 Chipsets making wireless connectivity 3x’s faster than before.
But it is the display that is a stunner. With Dell CinemaColor and Dolby Vision, the optional 4K Ultra HD InfinityEdge display is just amazing to look at. Also, the webcam is no longer in the chin but moved where it belongs at the top. Read more about the XPS 13 2-in-1 here.
Best Affordable Consumer Laptop
Dell Inspiron 14 7000
One more laptop makes the Best of IFA 2019 list and awards. The Dell Inspiron 14 7000. The Inspiron series comes in different sizes including 13″, 15″, 17″ and the 14″.
All of these laptops will sport the latest 10th Generation Intel Core processors. The Inspiron 14 7000 is made of magnesium alloy, has four-sided narrow display borders with the display having 100% sRGB color coverage.
A super-light laptop that’s always ready whenever you are. Get started quickly with a lid-open sensor that gets things going as soon it’s opened, a fingerprint reader on the power button for fast login, a responsive NVMe SSD, and 10th Gen Intel Core processors. New Wi-Fi 6 brings greater stability and speed to your internet connection and long battery life to get through the day, all in a gorgeous, narrow-border design made from super-light magnesium alloy. Read more about the Inspirion 14 7000 here.
Best New Freshman Class Smartphone
TCL is a brand known for its TVs and not so much for smartphones but the new Plex has landed on our Best of IFA 2019 list and awards.
The company is touting its “display expertise” with TCL NXTVISION a proprietary advanced display optimization and camera technology. The company says this technology will bring “enriched color, clarity and contrast enhancement in real-time” and give you an elevated camera experience.
The TCL PLEX is embracing the company’s new philosophy of “Display Greatness.” TCL says the PLEX “best-in-class imaging standards with an industry-leading camera with super low-light sensor and super wide-angle lens, as well as a fluid, intuitive interface to ensure efficient interaction between you and your smartphones at all times.” Read more about the TCL Plex here and watch the included video.
Best New Travel Gadget
IFA isn’t just about smartphones, laptops, and headphones. There are also plenty of gadgets and the ARROE LAER takes our Best of IFA 2019 award for being a very cool traveling power solution.
LAER is a compact charging solution made for travel and working on the go. Specifically designed for luggage and bags. It functions both as a charging hub, allowing you to charge all your devices simultaneously from one socket and as a portable battery allowing you to charge all your devices on the go. It’s the first charging solution in the world that can safely charge any laptop using our proprietary technology.
Bring as much power with you as you need. Airlines allow you to bring multiple batteries on board as long as they are under 100Wh so with our battery cartridge system you can fly with all the power you need! Choose between either 20,000mAh/74Wh or 10,000mAh/37Wh cartridges. Choose the amount of power and weight you want to carry with you that day. Read more about the LAER here.
Best New Smartphone Technology
Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G
Alright, so the Galaxy Fold isn’t exactly new, but this is the newest version and Samsung made some significant improvements landing it a Best of IFA 2019 award.
This time Samsung believes it is ready to actually release the Fold as they intended to before and they have overcome the faults. The dirt and dust issue was solved by adding a hinge cover to the top and bottom of the device. This cover keeps dirt and debris from creeping under the Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G display. It’s a simple solution but effective.
The display problem has been solved by adding a plastic bezel/bumper around the display. This keeps users from seeing the edges of the polymer display and that means curiosity is mitigated, keeping those without common sense from playing with the edge of the screen. Read more and watch a video about the Galaxy Fold here.
Best New TV Tech
TCL C10 MiniLED QLED TV
We don’t have a whole lot of information about our next Best of IFA 2019 award winner but we liked what we saw and felt it needed to be on the list.
The TCL C10 TV is using MiniLED technology to deliver stunning picture quality along with amazing contrast in a thin package. Not to mention the TV comes with a built-in soundbar that sounds amazing.
The MiniLED technology has 1,000 active dimming zones and a ton of LED’s which give it the ability to dim even the smallest areas. This helps get rid of haloing and also delivers crisp and sharp pictures. The dimming also helps deliver true blacks and keep the grays visible but not grainy.
The C10 is also expected to have 1,000 nits of peak brightness (awesome) and have Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. More information will be available from TCL in the future. We failed to capture an image of the TV so the included image above is just a stock TCL image.
Best New Smartwatch
Michael Kors MKGO
There were plenty of wearables all throughout IFA and many of them were great but we thought the Michael Kors MKGO deserved a place in our Best of IFA 2019 list.
This is a new direction for Michael Kors. The company is known more for its stylish and more dressy offerings than its sporty offerings. The MKGO is a departure from the norm for them and it brings a bit of sport style into the line.
The Michael Kors Access MKGO smartwatch is made to move seamlessly into your on-the-go, active lifestyle. Cast in gold-tone stainless steel with a lightweight aluminum top ring and powered by Wear OS by Google™, this sport-engineered watch is equipped with heart-rate tracking, payment methods, swim-proof functionality and more to keep you connected to your goals. The logo-embossed silicone strap and multiple display faces can be changed for the ultimate in customization.
Best New Smarts Speaker
The Sonos Move was announced a few weeks back but leaked early in August and we had the chance to see it at IFA. Our first interactions with it prompted us to put it on our Best of IFA 2019 list.
Sonos is known for its great sound and even in the crowded and noisy hall at IFA that was pretty evident. The best thing about this speaker is it’s charging base. The base is super slim and simply a ring you place the speaker on. The overall design is just very well done and that’s why we awarded it a best of.
The speaker also features either Google Assistant or Alexa voice control and a first for Sonos, the ability to use it with Bluetooth. Sonos did say that sound quality is significantly impacted by switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth connectivity. You can read more about the Move here.
That wraps up our Best of IFA 2019 list, we could have added a ton more but that would have made this too long to read. We left out a lot we still think is pretty awesome.