Europe’s biggest technology show of the year is underway, which means gadget makers from across the globe have been unveiling some of their coolest products of the year.
The summer event, Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin, or IFA 2018, which started in Germany on Friday and ends on Wednesday, is one of the world’s largest consumer electronics shows.
Hi-tech companies such as Lenovo, Sennheiser and Bang & Olufsen have been presenting cutting-edge products such as dual-screen laptops, wireless earbuds – and even a speaker that looks like a free-standing wheel.
Even Google has joined in this year, unveiling the latest version of its Wear OS smartwatch operating system, which becomes available this autumn.
There have already been plenty of exciting new products announced. Here are seven of the most eye-catching gadgets announced at IFA 2018 so far:
1. TCL’s cheaper BlackBerry smartphone, the Key2 LE
TCL, the Chinese electronics company that manufactures BlackBerry phones, has revealed the BlackBerry Key2 LE – a cheaper version of the high-end BlackBerry Key2 announced earlier this summer.
It almost identical to the BlackBerry Key2, with a few key differences: a lightweight frame, shorter battery life and a slightly less powerful camera.
The BlackBerry Key2 LE, in three colours – slate, atomic, and champagne – costs from US$400.
2. Sony’s waterproof speaker with strobe light and Google Assistant
Anyone looking for a durable, portable speaker has a new option with the Sony SRS-XB501G.
The speaker, which Sony unveiled at the show, is water-resistant and dustproof.
It features multicoloured lights, extra bass, and a flashing strobe, and Sony says it has up to 16 hours of battery life. Plus, it has Google Assistant built-in.
The speaker, which costs US$300 and will be available in October, might well prove a popular choice for parties.
3. Bang & Olufsen’s rolling Beosound Edge speaker
Danish audio brand Bang & Olufsen’s newly launched speaker has a curious shape and size.
The speaker, called the Beosound Edge, looks like a giant, hyper-minimalist wheel.
You can either rest it upright in a room, or hang it on a wall.
It has a few neat built-in tricks: it senses when you are close to it and lights up, and rolling it forwards or backwards will adjust the volume.
The Beosound Edge comes with AirPlay 2, Chromecast 2 and Bluetooth, and works with voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
The speaker costs €3,250 (US$3,770) and goes on sale in mid-November.
4. Sennheiser’s high-end wireless earbuds
Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless earbuds might be a game-changer for anyone looking for convenient wireless buds that still sound great.
The German audio company’s new buds let you blend ambient sound with your music to make you more aware of your surroundings.
The buds, which are splash- and sweat-resistant, also allow you to use voice assistants such as Siri and Google Assistant.
Sennheiser’s new earbuds can store only about four hours of battery life, but they can be charged inside their case.
They cost US$299 and go on sale in mid-November.
5. Skagen’s Falster 2, a new and improved GPS smartwatch
On the first day of the show, Skagen, a Danish-inspired, hyper-minimalist watch brand, unveiled the Falster 2, an improved version of the Falster smartwatch it introduced earlier this year.
The Falster 2 looks nearly identical to the previous model, but has a few major differences inside: most notably GPS tracking, a heart-rate tracker and swim waterproofing.
The new watch will be available in four colours, rose gold, silver, grey, and black, and with a few additional watch faces and programmable buttons.
The Skagen Falster 2 costs from US$275, but Skagen has yet to reveal when it will go on sale.
6. Polaroid Original’s OneStep+ analogue camera
The Polaroid OneStep+ looks and feels like an analogue camera, but also has the ability to connect to your smartphone.
You can instantly take a photograph, but you can also use creative tools to edit your images using an accompanying smartphone app and share them online immediately.
The new camera also comes with a portrait lens, flash and rechargeable battery.
The OneStep+ costs US$160 and is on sale now.
7. Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930
Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 is an unusual looking laptop.
The Chinese technology company’s design features an E-Ink display on one side and a liquid-crystal display laptop screen on the other side.
Like other Yoga Books, you can use it with it sat upright like a laptop, using the E-Ink display in keyboard mode, or you can fold it over and use the device in tablet mode.
The Yoga Book C930 is super-thin – only 4 millimetres (0.15 of an inch) thick at its thinnest point – and weighs less than two pounds (0.9kg).
Lenovo says it will have about 10 hours of battery life.
The device costs €999 and will be available in September.
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