Best of IFA 2015 – 10 awesome products that stole the show
IFA 2015 is officially over and we’ve seen some awesome products that raised our tech-geek thermometers to the max.
Surprisingly it wasn’t just the big names that impressed. Sony launched a number of new smartphones such as the Xperia Z5, while there were TV and audio products aplenty.
The new TechWatch section of the show was one of the most interesting, though, with innovations from smaller companies and crowd-funded projects stealing limelight from the establishment.
These are the 10 best products we saw that won a TrustedReviews Best of IFA award.
Sony Wena Smartwatch
Plenty of smartwatches were on show at IFA 2015, but we think Sony’s Wena – mercifully pronounced Weh-Na rather than Wee-Ner – was the best, particularly in terms of design.
More akin to the Withings Activite, as opposed to the Apple Watch, the Wena packs NFC into the strap meaning you don’t have to awkwardly twist your hand for payments.
It also tracks activity and can alert you to notifications via vibration or LED lights.
Panasonic TX-65CZ950 4K Curved OLED TV
There were plenty of great-looking TVs at IFA 2015 but the screen on Panasonic’s first 4K OLED looks to be in a class of its own.
First there’s the screen’s black-level response, which manages to be incredibly uniform. Shadows look more detailed than on any other TV we’ve seen and colour reproduction is also stellar.
If you’re looking to buy a new 4K TV and have around £8000 to spend then it could be worth waiting for the Panasonic to go on sale.
Philips 65PUS8901 Ambilux TV
The Panasonic may have outstanding image quality, but no TV has more wow factor than the new Philips Ambilux.
Instead of just lighting the background with appropriate coloured lights, as previous Ambilight TVs have done, the Philips Ambilux actually has nine small LED projectors at the back, shooting very soft focus extensions of what’s on screen onto the wall behind.
It’s a mesmerizing effect and one that strangely makes what’s on screen even more immersive and is particularly effective for adrenaline-fuelled gaming sessions.
Toshiba Radius 12
At IFA 2015 we not only got the first 4K screen on a phone, with the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, we also got a 4K screen on a 12.5-inch laptop with the Toshiba Radius 12.
The 4K screen is not just there for the sake of it. It has been calibrated by Technicolour and comes with software that lets you switch colour spaces for video editing or photography.
The 180-degree foldable design is pretty neat and it weighs just 1.32kgs – this feels like a quality ultrabook packed full of features. And it costs just over £1,000. Great stuff.
Sony Life Space UX
Ok this isn’t strictly new to IFA, Sony has shown it’s Life Space UX earlier in the year, but this was the first time we got to see it in action.
Essentially Sony’s Life Space UX is a design philosophy aiming to integrate technology into the home more seamlessly. We’re not talking Internet of Things here, Life Space is about products that work with the design aesthetic of your home – or your sci-fi home of the future.
The stars of the show are a battery powered short-throw projector that can be moved about easily, and the stunning Symphonic Light that manages to output clear, rich sound and look great at the same time.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro
The Yoga Tab 2 divided opinion at the TrustedReviews office. A 13.3-inch tablet with stand and in-built projector it certainly packs in the features, but is just too big.
Say hello to it’s little brother, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro. It keeps the projector and improves the power with an Intel Atom x5 processor and 2GB RAM. Crucially it’s a lot more manageable thanks to a 10-inch screen.
Asus GX700 – Liquid cooled gaming laptop
Asus gets an award for sheer tricked-out insanity here with a RoG gaming laptop.
4K screen, 64GB RAM, overclocked Intel Core i7 6th gen and Nvidia GTX 980M graphics card not enough for you?
Well how about a dock that makes the GX700 liquid-cooled?
That’s exactly what Asus has done. Mad yes, but mad in cool way.
And that’s not the only interesting product Asus showcased.
Asus Zenfone Zoom
It’s hard to get as excited as we used to about flagship smartphones these days – they’re often too similar to each other, and previous versions. That’s why we love it when someone does something a bit different that works.
The Asus Zenfone Zoom is one such phone. It packs three-times optical zoom in a body that still looks, and feels like something you can shove in your pocket.
There’s another phone that matches the criteria of niche-but-useful innovation and that’s the Marshall London.
Better known for its seminal guitar amps, Marshall has decided to create a phone specifically designed for musos.
It has a built-in DAC, but also comes with dual input and output headphone jacks so you can record a jam session with ease.
There we’re plenty of smarthome tech on show at IFA 2015, but Samsung’s SmartThings stole the show.
Not only does it support a wide range of existing IoT standards it also offers a comprehensive selection of products to keep your home safe, secure and efficient.
Panono 360 camera
Gone are the days of cobbling together a dozen GoPros into a giant and awkward rig. 360-degree cameras are a thing now.
The Panono is one of the more interesting panoramic cameras in that it’s a ball you throw in the air. Once airborne it takes a 108-megapixel picture using 36 camera modules.
What’s most impressive is that sample photos don’t look like they’ve been stitched together, it’s all beautifully seamless.
An honourable mention should also go to Ricoh with its new Theta S. This also creates 360-degree photos as well as video, but in a pocketable package. Image quality isn’t as impressive as the Panono, though, since 14-megapixels is its maximum output.