Right now, you can get excellent 4K TVs for budget prices, especially if you find a good sale. As 4K TVs become more mainstream, TV manufacturers are pushing beyond 4K to 8K, and they want you to know that you can have an 8K TV today — not tomorrow.
Samsung's $3,000 8K QLED TV is still wildly inaccessible for most people, but it is one of the most affordable 8K TVs you can buy. If you're considering buying a top-of-the-line 4K TV, you'll pay about the same price. By Samsung's reasoning, that begs the question: Why not buy this 8K one instead?
Panasonic's Transparent OLED TV is an absolute marvel to behold in person. It is, essentially, a transparent screen that lives in a classy wooden frame. When it is off, all you see is the frame and a pane of glass — not a black box — but when you turn it on, it can be translucent or fully on like a normal TV. I saw it, and I was very impressed with the quality of the image, given the fact that it's a transparent screen. It's unclear how much it will cost when it comes out in 2020, but it'll likely be very pricey.
The Nebula Soundbar is the first soundbar to have a Fire TV streaming device built right into it. That means the soundbar acts like a streaming stick and a soundbar at the same time. You can stream 4K Ultra HD video from all the popular streaming apps that work with the Fire TV without having to have a separate Fire TV streaming stick or a smart TV at home.
It comes with a nice Alexa-powered voice remote, which also has physical buttons for when you don't want to ask Alexa for things. You do have to use the remote to summon Alexa with your voice, as the soundbar itself does not have microphones in it that are listening for you to say, "Alexa." It also has digital optical, HDMI, USB, and AUX ports so you can connect a variety of devices.
Razer has long made some of the best gaming laptops and gaming accessories you can buy. Now, it has a fancy, super slim new gaming laptop called the Blade Stealth. The 13-inch gaming laptop weighs just 3 pounds and it's very thin at 0.6-inches thick. Best of all, you can game at 60 frames per second with a 1080p resolution when the graphics settings are turned all the way up. It comes in three versions so you can choose your processing and graphics power as well as the screen's resolution.
Lenovo's Yoga laptop lineup is known for its sleek, smartly designed, powerful 2-in-1 laptops. The new C940 is a beautiful, slim 14-inch laptop with a crisp, bright UHD 500-nit screen. Thanks to Intel's Project Athena efforts and the 10th-generation processor inside, this laptop is made to start up in mere seconds, much like a smartphone or a Chromebook. It also has Alexa for voice controls and cool software features to boost performance, improve battery life, and more.
Logitech's previous MX Master was widely regarded to be the best computer mouse you can buy, and now it's new 3rd-generation one is here to replace it. It has a comfortable, ergonomic design and a super-fast scrolling wheel. You can even customize its speed depending on your task. So, if you're trying to scroll super fast through a page to get to the end, it can zip right along, but if you need to scroll very, very s l o w l y, you can do that, too.
If you like to keep track of your workouts and you also want some smartwatch features, Garmin's new Venu smartwatch is a good option. The 43mm smartwatch has a 390 x 390 pixel OLED screen that's bright and beautiful. You can set the screen to be on all the time so you never have to tap on the screen to wake it up.
It has built-in GPS, it can stream music from Spotify and other platforms (you can also download music so you can leave your phone behind), and it has Garmin Pay, so you can buy things on the go. The watch face will even show you how to properly execute certain exercises and help you track them. It keeps tabs on many metrics, including heart rate, hydration, respiration, sleep, blood oxygen level, and stress tracking. The Venu can last five days in smartwatch mode and six hours with GPS and music mode, which is quite good for a smartwatch with this many power-hungry features.
Smartwatches are often far thicker than your average wristwatch, but Michael Kors' MKGO is a bit slimmer in profile than many of its competitors. It's also more lightweight, thanks to its 43mm aluminum casing and silicone strap. The watch comes in red, black, white, and pink. The red one is quite striking in person.
In addition to the new design, the MKGO has new tech inside. It's powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, which means that it offers heart rate tracking, Google Assistant voice controls, Google Pay, and GPS tracking. You can also swim with the watch, as it's water resistant for up to 30 meters.
The best speaker
Sonos Move ($399 — pre-order to get on September 24)
If you always wanted a portable version of the Sonos One smart speaker, you're in luck. The Sonos Move can be lifted out of its base and moved around your house. You get 10 hours in a charge, which is pretty good. It is heavy at 6.61 pounds, so it's not exactly a speaker you're carrying around with you, but the key thing is that you can move it!
It offers touch and voice controls (Alexa and Google Assistant) as well as Sonos app and AirPlay 2 support. The Move can stream audio via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so you can take it outside your home and still play music. It's got an IP56 water resistance rating, so it is safe to use outside in humid air, but probably not in intense rain and definitely not in the pool or other deep waters. The casing is also shock resistant, so if you drop it, it's okay.
Sennheiser makes some of the best headphones you can buy, and its new Momentum Wireless 3 over-ear headphones are no exception. We listened to these exceptional headphones in a crowded, deafening loud conference center that was packed to the brim with speakers and TVs blasting sound, and we could only hear the music. That's thanks to the headphones active noise cancellation. If you do want to hear some ambient noise, you can let it in with the Transparent Hearing feature.
You can also access the voice assistant of your choice — Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant — and you can keep track of where your headphones are thanks to a nifty integration with Bluetooth tracker company Tile. The black ones are available now, but the white ones are coming in November.
Audio Technica's new true wireless earbuds are set to be affordable, great-sounding alternatives to Apple's AirPods. They'll cost $99 when they arrive in stores and online in November. We took a quick listen to them at IFA on the noisy show floor and were impressed by the audio quality.
They're small, comfortable, and good-looking. I really liked the red ones, but they also come in black and white. You can also connect to Alexa or the Google Assistant with these earbuds or use the touch controls on the buds. They have six hours of battery life, which is decent for truly wireless earbuds at this price.
Insta360's super tiny GO action camera is so small you can wear it as a necklace and not get (too many) funny looks (at least in some circles). It weighs less than an ounce, it's not even 2 inches tall, and it's less than an inch wide. The GO comes with a nifty charging case, a stand, a clip so you can wear it on your clothes, a magnetized pendant so you can wear it as a necklace, and a sticky mount for placing it on a flat surface. It can record still photos or video, and it has Insta360's excellent "FlowState 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization" to keep action-packed videos super smooth.
The Nokia 7.2 is a great budget phone that will get monthly security updates directly from Google. It has a clean Android software experience, too. The 6.3-inch Full HD screen has minimal bezels, and it looked crisp and bright in person. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and 4GB or 6GB of RAM. On the back, it has three cameras: a 48-megapixel 1/2-inch Quad Pixel, 5-megapixel depth sensor, 8-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide lens. The selfie cam is also sharp at 20 megapixels. It comes with 64 or 128GB of storage, which is expandable up by to 512GB, thanks to a MicroSD card slot.
Samsung's innovative folding phone launched in April 2019, but it had to be pulled due to serious problems with the design. Now, those design flaws have been addressed, and Samsung is actually going to sell this phone to all the cutting-edge tech lovers who have been salivating over its foldable 7.3-inch screen. We saw the latest version of the Fold at IFA in a private briefing, and it was undeniably impressive. The screen looks crisp and bright when you unfold it. It feels like a short, fat tablet, and I definitely needed two hands to wield it.
The processing was so slick that there was no delay when I started to open an app on the small front screen and then opened it up to see it on the large 7.3-inch interior screen. It's definitely a weird, new piece of tech that will baffle many people, but it's also the most exciting phone I've seen in years. Phone innovation has been just new camera tech, faster processors, and larger displays with smaller bezels for so long now that I'd almost forgotten how intriguing a truly new phone can be. Holding the Fold was as weird and wonderful as holding the dual-screened Yotaphone, which had a black-and-white E INK screen AND a regular full-color screen.
Lenovo's new 7-inch smart display is the one we all probably really wanted when it launched the 10-inch version. It's small enough to fit in anywhere, but not so small that it's pointless for watching videos on. Just like Lenovo's other great smart displays, the new one looks sleek and simple. It has good audio quality, so it's quite nice for playing music, watching a short recipe video on YouTube, or setting timers. This smart display would be very at home in a kitchen, which is where we demoed it.
If you've ever wished your robot vacuum could also mop your floors, you're in luck — there are many robo vacs that also mop. Roborock's new S5 Max is another one that does both. Just like other high-end robot vacuums, the S5 Max maps your house out to vacuum efficiently and smartly avoids barriers and other obstacles it encounters as it cleans. You can control it with voice commands, thanks to Alexa and Google Assistant support.
We watched it vacuum and mop the same half carpeted and half tiled floor for several minutes. It picked up all the weird debris it ran into on the shag carpet and then it smoothly transitioned to mop the white tiles to a glorious shine.
Have you ever looked at your fridge and wished it was way better looking? Samsung bets that you have. Its new Bespoke fridges are completely customizable: You can choose the interior storage layout, the fridge and freezer configuration, and even the exterior color and design.
So, if you want, say, a turquoise fridge that is super slim and tall with a large fridge and a small freezer, you got it. If you want a larger red and yellow fridge with extra space and multiple doors, you got it. There are even cool artist collabs, so you can get a super custom design. We're guessing this'll be expensive, but they sure are cool.
Ninja's Foodi 8-Quart All-in-One Multi-Cooker has been in the US already for a short time, but it is new to European markets (and therefore "new" for our purposes here). This appliance can do just about everything: It can air fry, roast, slow cook, pressure cook, crisp, and braise foods.
Its 8-quart capacity allows you to feed the whole family in one shot or to meal prep for the whole week. It comes with all the accessories you need, including a crisping lid, pressure lid, 8-quart ceramic pot, 5-quart ceramic "cook & crisp basket," stainless steel rack, and a recipe book. Although it is a bit large, it's actually not much wider or fatter than the smaller versions of the same appliance — it's just a bit taller.
Jura makes high-tech coffee makers and espresso machines that are super sleek and efficient. The Ena 8 has a small touchscreen so you can select your drink and have it made for you in minutes. It's an automatic specialty coffee machine that does all the work for you. It grinds the coffee right, brews your coffee, and foams the milk to suit the specific drink you asked for.
It made me a lovely cappuccino very quickly right there on the showfloor. You can also get it in solid, machined aluminum, which looks absolutely gorgeous.
Hair dryers may seem like simple appliances, but they can be very high tech, it turns out. Panasonic's latest hair dryer harnesses the power of science to put moisture back into your hair while you're drying it.
From what I understood of the explanation I got, the hair dryer takes nano-sized moisture ions out of the air and sends them into your hair while it dries to seal the moisture into your strands, scalp, and even your skin. It's been tested by proDERM Germany, and it's shown to reduce split ends, frizz, and hair damage over time.