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Another look at IFA 2019

Tech innovations are a force to be reckoned with. Year after year, brands have been surprising consumers with their latest offerings. IFA, as tech enthusiasts know, is one of the most-awaited and biggest tech showcases where state-of-the-art gadgets get revealed for the first time. Here’s the IFA 2019 roundup of the exciting mix of foldable phones, game-changing laptops, stylish wearables, and a huge variety of smart home devices.

COMPUTING

Global gaming brand Razer recently released the refreshed versions of its Blade Stealth 13 laptop series. Dubbed the world’s first gaming ultrabook, the lineup will be available in three new configurations and ships with an Intel Core i7-1065G7, one of Intel’s 10th generation processors that features Iris Plus graphics. The Mercury White variant has a 256 GB PCle SSD and uses a 25W TDP processor in lieu of a discrete NVIDIA graphics card. Meanwhile, the GTX variant is available in either Full HD or a 4K UHD touch displays and is equipped with a 512 GB PCle SSD and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Few subtle upgrades include 16 GB RAM, upgradable SSD storage, support to USB-C Thunderbolt 3, and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

Lenovo formally rolled out a new series of slim, convertible laptops at IFA 2019. Included in the product portfolio is the Lenovo Yoga C640, a convertible that gets the 10th generation Intel Core i7 out of the box. Featuring a Modern standby mode which enables to run apps in the background even while in sleep mode, it’s a device that boosts productivity. It sports a 13.3-inch FHD touchscreen display with four-sided narrow bezels, 400-nit screen, and is equipped with Dolby Vision. Among its unique features are optional 4G LTE and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, 20 hours of battery life, front-facing stereo speakers powered by Dolby Atmos, and a digital pen for digital artists who need to sketch or take notes.

WEARABLES

Geeks will surely love the latest devices from Garmin. Collaborating with Marvel, the brand rolls out the Legacy Hero Series featuring two limited edition smartwatches inspired by Captain America and Captain Marvel. Its stylish design includes iconic character insignias and mottos engraved at the back of the wearables, metallic bezels, and premium leather bands. Users may also choose and change the exclusive watch faces and monitor their health 24/7 through its dedicated Garmin Connect app.

SMARTPHONES

LG has a new approach to maximize the smartphone screen. The LG G8X ThinQ features a snap-on case with a secondary screen, connecting the main display through a USB-C port. It has the same size as the phone’s primary 6.4-inch FHD+ display and provides 360-degree tilt freedom. Outside the case is a 2.1-inch screen for quick glancing of notifications. The G8X has the usual Snapdragon 855 chipset, 128 GB of internal memory, 6 GB RAM, and a 12 MP standard and 13 MP ultra-wide rear cameras.

The classic flip phone is back! Nokia has resurrected another iconic phone from the 2000s, updating some of its specs. The Nokia 2720 Flip features an external screen that shows the time, date, and caller when someone’s contacting the user. Another upgrade is its large button keypad, 4G connection, pre-loaded with Facebook and WhatsApp, and a dedicated button for Google Voice controls.

AUDIO

Fitting everything in a small package, the Jabra Elite 75t is out to give Airpods a run for their money. It now offers 7.5 hours of battery life on a single charge, is 20 percent smaller compared to its predecessor, and comes with a magnetic case for better charging of earbuds. It retains some of the features from the 65ts such as a single control button on each earbud for adjusting volume and playback, as well as activating voice assistants, double microphone for taking calls, and IP55 protection.

Sonos also made some important announcements on this year’s IFA. The brand formally introduces the Sonos Move, its first Bluetooth outdoor speakers which supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Inside, it has two Class-D digital amplifiers and a downward-firing tweeter optimized with Trueplay calibration, which automatically adjusts the speakers’ settings as you move it. It’s also IP65 rated, only weighs 3 kg, and can last up to ten hours.

SMART HOME DEVICES

Amazon kicked off the IFA 2019 with a bang as it unveils the updates on its Fire TV ecosystem, including a new flagship version of the brand’s streaming box. The latest iteration of the Amazon Fire TV Cube now comes with Local Voice Control which allows users to navigate and manage the device handsfree. It also supports more HDR standards, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10+. Expanding the Fire TV lineup, the brand also announced an OLED Fire TV Edition on the way. The company has partnered with Grundig to release two versions of the OLED TV: one with built-in, far-field voice microphones powered by Alexa, and one without the mic. It comes in 65-inch and 55-inch variants and will be available in Germany and Austria. There’s also a Fire TV edition soundbar made by Chinese company Anker, which functions as a 4K Fire TV streamer and an Alexa controller. It has a 100W 2.1 channel soundbar with dual built-in subwoofers and Dolby Vision passthrough.

Capture the iconic and popular looks of the Edison bulb with the Philips Hue Filament. The glowing inner coils and amber coating provide the vintage aesthetic while Wi-Fi connectivity, with or without a Hue Bridge, takes care of wireless dimming of the 550 lumens A60, G9, and ST64 bulbs. It also works with Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Google Nest devices which activate voice control commands.

Words by Jewel Sta.Ana | Artwork Jezeil Romero
Also Published in GADGETS MAGAZINE – October 2019