IFA 2017 has come and gone and I take a look at what stood out to me over the conference this year.
At IFA this year there was a whole host of phones announced by a multitude of companies but the show stand-out had to be the LG V30. With Apple and Google set to announce their flagship phones in the coming months, LG went out at IFA and set the bar. LG V30 is a fusion of premium glass and metal into a sleek and stylish design. It comes with IP68 waterproof and dust protection, rear mounted fingerprint sensor and dual camera set-up. The V30 maximises the build by fitting in a 6’ OLED 537 ppi display up front. The secondary display in previous versions comes back with a difference in the form of floating display giving users easy access to recent apps and settings. The dual camera set is a key feature, one 16megapixel normal lens with OIS coupled with a 13megapixel wide angle lens without OIS. This setup gives advantages to dealing with low light photography, Bokeh effects and steady shooting. Up front, there’s a 5-megapixel selfie shooter with facial recognition and taking advantage of the full screen. The internals also packs a punch, Snapdragon 835 powering the phone, combined with 4GB of RAM. This power is backed up with a 33000 mAh battery, a slot for microSD memory expansion and a collaboration with B&O to boost and enhance audio output. LG V30 will ship with android nougat with LG’s UX 6.0+ user interface on top.
Some of the top features that the V30 comes with are, Cine Video, facial recognition to unlock, HI-FI Quad Dac and Point and zoom
LG V30 has set the bar this year so far and with iPhone and Pixel announcements around the corner has made sure they will face competition from the get go.
Smart speakers look to be all the rage in 2017 with the success of Amazon Echo and Google home. It now seems as though other vendors want to throw their hat into the ring.
Sony LF S50G
Sony’s smart speaker combines its high-quality sound with the brain of google assistant into an elegantly designed product. With google assistant installed getting answers is always at your fingertips or at the sound of your voice. It will let you search the web, manage your everyday tasks, play music and control connected smart devices.
The speaker itself is high in quality, pairing a two-way facing speaker and bass reflex duct. Giving you true to source sound being spread 360° around the room from the compact device.
The design and interactive features also make this speaker shine with, touch free gesture control, enabling the user play, pause and adjust volume with hand gestures. Speaking of volume, the speaker is able to analyse the environment and automatically adapt to how loud or quiet the sound has to be. It also comes with the convenience of being splash proof and displays a dot matrix digital clock.
Sony has shown its cards and it is impressive albeit being a little pricier than the competition.
Harman Kardon Allure
Not to be out done by Sony, Harman Kardon also released its own smart speaker but this time with Amazon Alexa as its assistant. Harman is known for its audio quality and it’s shown off via transducers and subwoofer giving 360-degree of rich powerful sound that fills any room the device is placed in. Built in 4 way microphone for voice recognition works in tandem with Alexa and its wide variety of services such as getting information, playing music, ordering new products online and more. One feature that separates it from the Sony speaker is its 360° ambient lighting which will be able to set the mood however you feel.
The Allure is a competent contender and gives buyers who like the Amazon assistant a new route to go down.
Sony WF1000x Headphones
Sony’s answer to the Apple AirPods, but with one major difference, active noise cancellation. The WF1000x are totally wireless, connecting to devices via Bluetooth or NFC. Both earbuds are compact in size and minimalistic in design. The adaptive sound control automatically adjusts to what you are doing, if travelling, music is all you will hear, walking the headphones ensure you can still hear the surrounding noises and if you are waiting around background noise will get faded away. The headphones also let the user make hands free calls with just one click. Similar to the AirPods, the WF1000x comes with a charging case boosting battery life up to 9 hours. Headphone jacks disappearing on mobile devices, wireless headphones like these look to be the way to go and it seems Sony is forging ahead putting in all their past experience in audio technology into the products they deliver.
Fitbit the name renowned for fitness trackers has announced its foray into the smartwatch game but as expected with a focus on activity tracking in the Fitbit Iconic. The Iconic is made of aluminium enabling it to light whilst also being waterproof. It comes with both leather and plastic strap options. The watch screen is 384 x 250 LCD with brightness levels reaching 1000 nits putting on par with Apple Watch. As expected the Iconic comes with a whole host of features, Heart rate tracker and built in GPS are present as standard. Automatic pause option when there’s a break in running or working out, the inclusion of Fitbit Coach gives users a range of workouts which they can do and track and there is also a SpO2 sensor to monitor blood oxygen levels. Along with these, Fitbit is incorporating its own payment service “Fitbit Pay” working via NFC and it has 2.5GB of free space to save music which can then be listened through any Bluetooth connected headphones.
Fitbit is using its brand name in the fitness world and taking it to another level providing viable alternatives to the smartwatches already on the market.
These products all push put a twist on whats already out there in the tech world, buts it’s that twist that makes them stand out. In my opinion, all these products will push competitors even further to produce devices that make huge differences to users in everyday life.
Tech Off Melon!