Everything we know about IFA 2019

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(Image credit: Tobia Schwarz/AFP/Getty)

IFA 2019 has officially kicked off and we’re well into day two, with multiple brands having spewed out announcements about the latest and greatest tech on offer at the moment.

Europe’s biggest tech show is the place every year to find out more on which 4K TVs (or even 8K), phones, wearables, headphones, and appliances are going to be changing the world in the next 12 months, and that’s already precisely what we’re seeing in the European rival to CES (the yearly tech show that takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada).

Check out the list of the news below if you want to find out what’s happening this year – we’re still waiting for the touchpaper to truly light, but we are seeing some interesting new things happening already.

We’ve got a huge presence at IFA this year, so we’ll be bringing you all the key news, color pieces and – most importantly – hands-on experiences with the new products you’re going to be buying over the next 12 months from one of the biggest tech shows of the year.

What you need to know

  • What is IFA? Held annually in Berlin, IFA is Europe’s largest consumer tech conference, showcasing the upcoming launches from some of the world’s biggest electronics brands. Its origins date back to 1924 when it began as a radio convention.
  • When is IFA 2019? IFA 2019 is officially held over September 6 to 11, 2019. However, press get early access to the site, and launches are already being revealed prior to the show too – and we’re bringing you all the news as it happens.
  • Which brands are exhibiting? If it’s a consumer-tech focused company, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be there, from Acer to ZTE and everyone in between. Some companies may host separate events away from the main Messe conference center in Berlin, but almost all will have a presence. The only big name missing will be Apple, which always chooses to skip IFA and CES.

Latest IFA 2019 news

Hundreds, if not thousands, of exhibitors, are lining the halls of Berlin’s Messe conference center for IFA 2019. It’s an all-encompassing show, where you’ll have drone designers rubbing shoulders with microwave makers.

Navigating the show and all its news can be a nightmare. So we’ve got all the key news listed right here for you, as well as outlining what all the key players have announced (or we expect them to announce) below that.

Sony brings back the compact phone with the Xperia 5

Credit – Sony

No longer bearing the Xperia Compact name, Sony’s latest smartphone is a small(er) device with a 6.1-inch screen, designed for fans of watching movies and support for Sony Dualshock controllers. It’s coming in October if you’re looking for a more compact device.

Intel announces Core i9-9900KS October launch with a swipe at AMD

Credit – Future

Intel used its press event to reveal the Core i9-9900KS – a processor capable of reaching 5GHz across all of its eight cores, which was first unveiled back at Computex – and one that will go on sale in October.

Intel also said that the turbo speed of 5GHz means 5GHz, which clearly enough was a dig at AMD…

Samsung finally offers a smaller 8K TV – but it will still be pricey

Credit – Samsung

Samsung has announced a new 55-inch QLED 8K TV – and while we don’t know the price, we’re still not expecting it to be cheap.

It joins Samsung’s 8K TV range which it announced in 2018, sliding in below the 65-, 75-, 82- and 85-inch models, making it the firm’s smallest 8K TV to date.

Amazon bets big on Alexa smart TVs with huge Fire TV Edition rollout

Credit – Amazon

Amazon is continuing its push into televisions with the announcement of a number of new Fire TV Edition sets destined for the UK, Germany and Austria.

There are a few new sets in there, but this is for sure: Amazon is making a strong play for the living room at the moment.

The Philips Hue lighting system now includes funky Edison ‘filament’ bulbs

Philips Hue Edison bulbs
Credit – Signify

Signify, the company behind Philips Hue has unveiled a range of trendy Edison-style smart lightbulbs. Hipsters rejoice: each bulb contains a twisted ‘filament’ of LEDs and emits a warm glow harking back to antique bulbs of yesteryear.

Acer’s $14k Predator Thronos Air gaming chair is just crazy

Acer Predator Thronos Air
Credit – Acer

Another tech show, another crazy gaming chair. This time it’s the new Predator Thronos chair which is actually ‘cheap’ for impossibly-expensive gaming seats. The cost has been dropped through a lack of motorization, which seems to make sense.

Other news snippets

You might have noticed there’s an absolute phalanx of news marching through IFA 2019 – so we’ve rounded up as much of it as we can below so you know you’re getting all the great information from this gargantuan press show.

Headphones

News by brand

We’re keeping our ears pressed firmly to the ground and we’ve got all the information you need on the top brands at IFA 2019, so keep an eye on the sections below to learn everything that’s emerged from each manufacturer.

Samsung

IFA used to be a huge phone show for Samsung – quite literally, as it’s where it first revealed its then-massive Note smartphone range. That isn’t the case for 2019 as the company has already unveiled its Note 10Note 10 PlusWatch Active 2 and Galaxy Tab S6 at its own show in early August.

What the brand did show off more information on new 8K TVs, a modular fridge that’s as much about design as it is about keeping things cool, an ‘AirDresser’ that will de-wrinkle your clothing in a drawer, and assorted other announcements that you can see above in the news list.

We heard that the Samsung Galaxy Fold will be coming (FINALLY) later this month, starting in South Korea on September 6.

Sony

Credit – Sony

Sony had a blissfully short press conference, lasting just under 20 minutes. The main things that appeared were the new Sony Xperia 5 phone, some fancy new neckband headphones (the Wi1000-XM2) from the brand.

There are also new h.ear headphones and a new streaming-compatible Walkman – with ‘high quality’ audio. There were also some new, high-end, near-field audio speakers on offer, as well as a new car entertainment system.

What we didn’t get was anything on the new Android TVs, nor anything that even resembled a hint on the PS5 – then again, we did say we would eat our laptops if the company chose IFA as its new console launchpad, so we were right there.

Acer

Computing company Acer always puts on a show during IFA, and for 2019 it’s even hosting a keynote session where we’re expecting a large chunk of its upcoming line-up to be revealed. 

IFA tends to be the place where Acer’s Predator gaming lineup receives updates and is often where Acer debuts concept products, which we’ve seen with the new Predator Thronos gaming chair among other new announcements.

AMD

With its Ryzen 3000 CPUs riding high, and its Navi rDNA graphics architecture expected to power the Xbox Project Scarlett and PS5 consoles, AMD has its hands full at the moment. Though it usually has a presence at IFA, we’re not expecting any big announcements from the company this time around.

Asus

Asus has already had a busy IFA 2019, announcing a spate of gaming and professional devices that push the boundaries of what we’ve come to expect from laptops.

On the gaming side of things, Asus revealed new models of its ROG Zephyrus S gaming laptops. Not only are these gorgeously-designed laptops that combine powerful gaming components with thin and light designs, but the new models also feature screens with incredibly fast 300Hz refresh rates.

That will allow the laptops to provide ultra-smooth frame rates when playing games. That kind of refresh rate needs powerful hardware behind it, and Asus appears to have packed these laptops with some impressive tech, including an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, a 9th-Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor and up to 32GB of RAM.

Asus also announced new ROG Zephyrus M laptops, which feature 1080p screens with Pantone validation, making them excellent laptops for content creators as well as gamers.

There were also announcements for professionals, with Asus revealing its ProArt StudioBook laptops at IFA 2019, which includes the ProArt StudioBook One, which it claims is the “most graphically-powerful laptop” in the world.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry! Yep, remember those handsets? They’ve not gone completely the way of the dodo just yet. There was activity around the BlackBerry brand with a new handset (now made by TCL) arriving in 2018 in the form of the BlackBerry Key2 LE.

But with no sign of the Key3 in 2019 so far, and the brands’ overall fortunes showing no sign of recovery any time soon, we’d say it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see a handset bearing the BB name at IFA this year.

Dell

We expect to see plenty of new products from Dell at IFA 2019. Dell could surprise us with another XPS product reveal or use this opportunity to catch its other product lines up to speed with current computing trends. 

Dell and Alienware truly have been wild cards at IFA in years past – if there’s one area it might steal the headlines, it’d be on its gaming hardware, so keep an eye on the Alienware gear coming out of the show.

Fossil

Wearables continue to have a strong showing at IFA, and Fossil often announces new watches at the show. Could the Fossil Sport 2 make an appearance? If not, expect other brands like Michael Kors or Diesel to fill in that watch-shaped gap around your wrist.

Garmin

As with Fossil, Garmin likes to hit IFA with a range of sports-focused wearables. But it’s in a slightly different position this year, coming into the show hot on the heels of a busy period of announcements. Expect to see variants of Garmin’s existing lines, rather than anything brand spanking new.

For example, we already know that Garmin is readying six new smartwatches for release in the coming months according to a recent leak, and it’s a range that is set to include the Vivoactive 4 and Vivomove Style.

The leak comes from WinFuture, which has also included pictures of all six new products. 

There’s also the new Garmin Venu, which seems to be a top-end watch that comes in a 43mm body and supports both Spotify and Deezer.

HP

The Houston-based computer maker generally doesn’t make a big splash at IFA, preferring the halls of Computex or CES. We might see one or two new products launch at the show, but not much more than that stranger things have happened.

Hisense

With its first range of OLED TVs finally hitting store shelves, Hisense will be doubling down on the technology at IFA 2019. It’s current top-tier OLED TV has a high asking price, but lacks some of the more premium features that its competition offers.

Though the brand tends to lean towards the affordable and budget end of the market, we’re hoping to see at least one grandstanding set that aims towards more luxurious features at a more attainable price point.

This could be coming in the form of the sonic screen laser TV, which a press release from Hisense revealed will be announced at IFA. 

According to the announcement, the TV will be focused on synchronising sound and image: “The Hisense sonic screen laser TV brings sound (40-18kHz) directly from the screen, and with the diaphragm of the Distributed-Mode Loudspeaker vibrating in a complex pattern over its entire surface, it guarantees consistent output level and undistorted time response in all directions.”

Honor

Here’s one that could turn out to be a bit of a surprise. Honor announced the Honor Magic 2 at IFA in 2018, but did further promo around the already-announced Honor Play at the show, too. 

The Honor 9X, 9X Pro and Honor Band 5 have just launched in China, so IFA could IFA perhaps be their European debut? Regardless, as the company sits under the Huawei umbrella, expect the parent brand to do most of the talking.

Another upcoming surprise from Honor is Capture Vision. No, we’re not sure what that means either, but according to a number of rumours that’s another new kind of tech Honor might be showcasing at IFA this year.

Huawei

Last year, Huawei saved its big-hitting Mate 20 / 20 Pro launch for after IFA, but it did however introduce the range with the Mate 20 Lite in Berlin. We could see something similar here, with a mid-range handset launched, maybe with the Mate 30 name. You’re unlikely to see a flagship launch though, with the company now favoring its own solo shows.

The company also has been dabbling with smart speaker tech, its AI Cube being both audio device and 4G router. Could a 5G update be on the cards?

We could also see Huawei unleash a new MateBook at the tech event. Its laptops, like the Huawei MateBook 14 are some of our favorite laptops, so we’re looking forward to maybe seeing some more computing products from the company.

Intel

Intel is going big at IFA 2019 – and in our view it needs to, as the competition against AMD is tougher than it’s been for quite some time.

That’s why Intel has taken to the show floor to show us its vision of the future of laptops , and throughout the week it will be showing off new Project Athena laptops from some of the biggest names in notebooks. These promise to revolutionise the laptop market with improved power, huge battery lives and instant boot-up times.

Intel will also be revealing laptops from the likes of Acer, Asus, Lenovo, MSI and Razer that run on its latest 10th generation Core processors, so check back here throughout the week for news and hands-on reviews.

Lenovo

The company behind Yoga laptops and Motorola phones has a major nighttime event planned for IFA 2019 called “Tech Life,” which will play host to a number of product unveilings. It’s likely that more of Lenovo’s flagship products for 2019 could be unveiled here, including new Yoga and ThinkPad devices.

However, Lenovo has already lifted the lid on lots of new devices already, including updated versions of the ThinkPad range, as well as Chromebooks, tablets, desktops and monitors. Although IFA 2019 will be a good chance for us to get our hands on all of this new tech. 

Keep in mind that Lenovo increasingly steps into the smart home arena too. We were very impressed earlier this year with the Lenovo Smart Clock.

LG

TV and home cinema tech will be the main attractions of LG’s IFA showcase, no doubt, as the company (being the only actual manufacturer of the technology) continues to sign the praises of its OLED TV tech.

We already know its new range of CineBeam 4K projectors is set to be shown off at IFA and a release for European markets (presumably including the UK) is scheduled for September.

The lineup will include LG’s first ultra short throw projector, called the CineBeam Laser (HU85L). This project can display a 90-inch image along a wall at only two inches away – and a 120-inch image at seven inches away. At 2,500 lumens brightness, 4K resolution, and HDR support, it’s a premium projector offering set to appease home cinema enthusiasts who don’t want a massive 75-inch TV (or bigger) taking up space in their living room.

As well as TV tech, LG also tends to have mid-range handsets at the show. In 2018 is was the LG G7 One and LG G7 Fit – building off the flagship line at lower price points. In terms of audio, we’d be hoping to see further fruits from its partnership with UK experts Meridian Audio.

The company also posted another a teaser video on its Youtube channel, with the title ‘Defy Limits with LG Mobile at IFA 2019’, which hints at a few features of its new LG V60 ThinQ dual-screen smartphone.

There’s also been rumblings of another mobile device called the LG G8X, but that could be the dual-screen phone above, but it’s just being referred to as a different name in internal comms.

Motorola

The phone branch of Lenovo has become a bastion of hope for those looking for high-end smartphone features on a tighter budget. Usually Moto has a phone or two to show at IFA – in 2018 we got the Motorola One, a respectable mid-range handset, for instance. Though it’s unlikely to have a new flagship in Berlin, more mid-rangers are certainly on the cards if past exhibitions are anything to go by.

A series of different leaks have hinted at the various handsets that might be launched at IFA 2019, including the Motorola One Zoom. The rumoured quad rear camera may get a 5x hybrid telephoto lens and depth-measuring Time of Flight sensor, according to a new leak.

Nokia

These days phones are smarter and more capable than ever. But, if you look back to the early days of phones and wish things were just a little simpler again, then Nokia might be able to help you out.

The brand’s iconic 3310 handset was a firm favourite for anyone who had a phone 19 years ago. It was simple.

According to rumours, Nokia might be bringing out the 3310 all over again. None of this is official, of course, but plenty of Nokia fans have been reading into texts from HMD‌‌ Global’s Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas.

Philips

With the European (read: better) arm of Philips TV division unable to show at CES, we’re expecting big, big things from the brand at IFA 2019. It’s the manufacturer’s time to shine, and we’d expect a snazzy new OLED Ambilight flagship to launch at the show.

In addition, Philips is once again ramping up its audio offering, dusting off its long-neglected Fidelio range. It was once a mighty player in headphones – could it come back to reclaim its position?

Razer

We haven’t been sure what to expect from gaming hardware company Razer at this year’s IFA tech conference. But now the brand has teased a “world’s first” launch, which has got everyone talking.

A tweet from the brand’s Twitter account teased the “world’s first” with an image that references Razer’s gaming laptop. Does that mean another laptop is on the cards? And if so what would make it a “world’s first”? We can’t think of what kind of laptop tech hasn’t been done yet, which means we’re looking forward to a surprise.

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Courtesy – Techradar

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