Held in Berlin at the end of every summer (Covid rules allowing), IFA is Europe’s biggest consumer technology show by some distance. While some halls are dominated by fridges and ovens, we’re most interested in the fresh tech announced.
These are our top picks across eight key categories:
Huawei MateBook X Pro 2022
We hope to have this delicious update to the already tasty MateBook X Pro in for review shortly, but here are the key facts. It weighs a shade under 1.3kg, despite having a metal chassis. With Intel’s power efficient Core i7-1260P present along with a 60Wh battery, we expect it to outlast you on a working day.
The 14.2in screen hits numerous highs: a 3,120 x 2,080 resolution, peak brightness of 500cd/m2, punchy colours, a 3:2 aspect ratio and touch support.
Finally, and we admit this one isn’t quite so nice, it’s £1,800.
To sweeten the deal, Huawei is currently bundling the equally gorgeous MateView monitor.
We’ve already reviewed the Honor 70 as we got our hands on it a few days before IFA began, but it remains the standout phone from the show (although Sony’s update to the Xperia I IV, namely the Xperia 1 V, comes a close second).
Why do we love it? Because, for a very reasonable £480 you’re buying excellent battery life, plenty of power and a trio of fine cameras. In fact, the big question this phone asks is why pay thousands for a flagship?
Honor Pad 8
Safe to say that Honor has had a busy time at IFA, with the Honor Pad 8 also catching our eye. As ever with Honor, this is a well-priced and well-made piece of kit, with a 12in display that’s packed with pixels and a metal unibody design. Buy it before 16 September and it costs a remarkable £250, but even at £270 it’s a bargain for the quality on offer.
We also like the look of Huawei’s new tablets, but Honor has the advantage of full integration with Google Play services and running Android.
Jabra Elite 5
We hope to bring you a full review of the Jabra Elite 5 earphones when review samples become available, but with active noise cancellation, six mics for the promise of echo-free calls, an IP55 rating and support for Spotify Tap Playback it ticks all the key boxes.
Most of all, it hits the right note for price. You can buy the Jabra Elite 5 earphones from Amazon for £150.
Best tech innovation
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold Gen 2
Lenovo has been at the forefront of folding laptops, with the 13in X1 Fold one of our highlights from CES a couple of years ago. Although we note that it wasn’t brave enough to send us in a model for review. We very much hope that will change with the X1 Fold Gen 2, which features a 16.3in OLED panel and measures a phone-like 8.6mm thin when unfolded. Even folded up, it’s 17.4mm, which would be a slim laptop.
But what we really like about this (and Asus’s Zenbook 17 OLED, also announced at the show) is the flexibility it brings. Excuse the pun. It’s a laptop, a tablet, a desktop PC, and thanks to Intel’s latest generation of mobile chips it will be more than powerful enough for the vast majority of users.
Pricing and availability aren’t yet confirmed in the UK, but it’s expected to go on sale before the end of this year in the USA with prices starting at $2,499.
Huawei Watch D
We were lucky enough to try the Huawei Watch D out ourselves at Mobile World Congress earlier this year, where we marvelled at its ability to produce on-the-spot blood pressure measurements thanks to an airbag built into the wrist band. (Fear not, we were given a healthy rating.)
It will cost £400 in the UK and is available from October.
Best environmental innovation
Kobo Clara 2E
Available later this month for £130, the Kobo Clara 2E’s main environmental credentials stem from its use of ocean-bound and recycled plastic. To be specific, 85% of its body is made from recycled plastic, with 10% from ocean-bound plastic.
But what really helps that argument is that it should last for years, with 16GB of storage, waterproofing and an eyestrain-friendly 6in E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen. Again, we hope to have a sample in for review shortly.
Lenovo Glasses T1
Okay, we share your cynicism about “wearable private displays”, but bear with us here. Most crucially, the Glasses T1 aren’t trying to do anything fancy: you connect them via USB-C, just as you would a monitor, which allows you to view a 1,920 x 1,080 screen. It just happens to use a pair of micro-OLED Full HD “panels” built into the glasses.
The glasses are powered by the host device, with Android, macOS and Windows machines all supported. Naturally, a pair of speakers is built in too.
Price and availability, you ask? Well, that’s trickier. The Lenovo Glasses T1 will be launched in China in “late 2022 and be available in other select markets in 2023”, but there’s no word on price yet. Nor whether the UK will be one of those select markets.