Categories Tech News

IFA 2019: Smart TVs and even smarter wearables unveiled

IFA 2019, as it does every year, had a huge round of announcements and showcases of the latest consumer electronics products from various brands. This year’s IFA saw companies from all over the globe using this grand stage to demonstrate their latest gadgets. IFA is known to accommodate various high-tech products ranging from smartphones to home electronics. There were a bunch of interesting smartphones announced at IFA 2019. (In case, you’ve missed that, you can check our previous article.) Apart from smartphones, there were various other gadgets such as smart wearables, laptops, multimedia gear, Smart TVs, and more launched at IFA 2019. Here are all the major announcements about these products made at the IFA 2019.

Televisions: ‘Big’ screens are mainstream now

Amazon Fire TV: OLED screen and built-in Alexa

Amazon made a huge announcement at IFA 2019 in the form of its first-ever Fire TV with an OLED panel. The company partnered with Grundig to release two variants of the Fire TV — one with far-field handsfree Alexa control and the other with a regular Alexa support via a remote.

Both these models will be launched in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes and include a 10-speaker system with Dolby Atmos. These TVs are initially set to be launched in Germany and Austria, but there’s no information on the U.S. and global launch. Speaking about the pricing of these TVs, the regular Fire TV without the far-field mic starts at about $1,323 while the one with the far-field mics costs a bit more. It starts at around $1,433.

Philips’ new lineup of OLEDs

As it does every year, Philips got the TV announcement ball rolling with its two new high-end OLED models. The new OLED+934 and the OLED+984 boast the company’s latest picture processing technology and is powered by internal soundbars in collaboration with Bowers & Wilkins.

Both these televisions run on the latest Android TV Pie OS and support Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ playback. The flagship OLED+984 comes in a single 65-inch panel while the OLED+934 will be available in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. The pricing and availability dates are yet to be disclosed.

The company also launched an affordable OLED754 with built-in Alexa at IFA 2019. The Philips 754 OLED comes in 55-inch and 65-inch models and is expected to be launched in the price range of about $1,650, which although is costly for a regular TV, is not that bad for an OLED panel.

Hisense’s 85U9E: An affordable 8K TV?

8K televisions have been the talk in almost every trade show for the last couple of years now. Almost all the major manufacturers are working on getting their variants of 8K TVs in the market. At IFA 2019, Hisense — known for its value-for-money televisions, has unveiled its first commercially available 8K TV, the Hisense 85U9E.

The device comes in an 85-inch panel with 33 million pixels to hit the 8K standard. As there is hardly any 8K content available, the TV uses the upscaling tech to fill in any of the unused pixels. The device comes with 1694 AI-powered local dimming zones for better contrasts. Although the company is yet to disclose the pricing of the 85U9E, we expect the device to be more affordable than other 8K TVs in the market considering the pricing of previous Hisense TVs.

Apart from these TVs, various other brands such as Roku, Toshiba, and more launched their TVs at the IFA 2019.

Audio Gear: Getting better day-by-day

Philips PH805: Premium noise-canceling headphones

Philips had a set of interesting announcements at the IFA 2019. The company first went on an announcement streak in televisions and also unveiled their all-new sub $200 noise-canceling headphones with many features.

Philips PH805 sports 40mm neodymium drivers and comes with active noise cancellation with ambient noise patch up to 95 percent, according to the company. The headphones come with Google Assistant’s support and sport easy touch controls. Connectivity on the headphones is bolstered by Bluetooth 5.0 and can also be wired by the 3.5mm cable included in the package. While all other premium headphones such as Bose and Sony have price-points between $350-$500, the Philips PH805 is going to be available for about $200, making it a serious value for money option.

SONOS portable speakers can now be used both indoors and out

After a set of heavy rumors and speculation, Sonos confirmed the Move Bluetooth speaker as well as the One SL speaker at IFA 2019. Sonos Move Is the company’s first-ever battery-powered Bluetooth speaker, which can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

Sonos Move is expected to deliver about 10 hours of playback on a single charge and comes with an IP56 rating to withstand challenging outdoor environments. It comes with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa and supports Apple AirPlay 2. Sonos One SL replaces the company’s Play:1, minus the mic for security reasons. However, this also means no more voice assistance capabilities.

Amazon + Anker: Fire TV in a Soundbar

Tech giant Amazon and audio gear manufacturer Anker are partnering to put a Fire TV into a soundbar for the first time. This new product will be retailing with Anker’s Nebula branding. The Nebula soundbar Fire TV edition will be able to stream up to 4K ultra HD videos and comes with Fire TV embedded in it. The soundbar comes with an Alexa-enabled remote for voice commands. The device is available for preorder in the U.S. for $229.99 and will be launching in Canada, UK, and Germany soon. Shipping will begin Nov. 21.

There were tons of other interesting announcements made at IFA 2019 in the audio gear segment. Brands such as Audio Technica, JBL, Jabra, Sennheiser, and Sony had quite some interesting announcements in the segment.

Smart wearables: A much-crowded market now

Fitbit Versa 2

Although the Fitbit Versa 2 was announced a couple of days before IFA 2019, it was first showcased to the public at the event. This is the upgraded model of the already-existing and trending Fitbit Versa. While the Versa 2 carries all the specifications along with the versatility of its older sibling, it also comes with a set of new features. The Versa 2 sports the latest Fitbit Pay as a standard and comes with Amazon Alexa by default.

This makes the Fitbit Versa 2, a really “smart” smartwatch, thanks to the inclusion of Amazon’s AI. It also boasts a slightly bigger screen than that of the earlier Versa and will be available for $199.95 starting at the end of September.

Puma Smartwatch

The first smartwatch from Puma is called Puma Smartwatch. Yes, nothing fancy in the naming and nothing fancy in terms of features too. The smartwatch runs on Wear OS and has a heart rate monitor, GPS, Snapdragon Wear 3100 chipset, 24 hours of battery life, and a 1.19-inch AMOLED display. The device is also swim-proof and is expected to be available as early as this November for about $275.

Garmin Venu

A smartwatch with an AMOLED screen? Yes, Garmin Venu is the first smartwatch in the company’s portfolio to sport an AMOLED display for better viewing. The watch also comes with various fitness and health-tracking features such as heart rate monitor and GPS. The device can also help you track your sleep, stress, respiration, menstrual cycle, hydration levels, and more.

The device is not out yet but will be available in stores sometime later this year starting at about $399.

There were a bunch of other smart wearables launched and showcased at IFA 2019. This includes smartwatches and fitness trackers from brands such as Michael Kors, Diesel, Emporio Armani, Amazefit, Samsung, and Asus.

Featured image: Messe Berlin

Sukesh Mudrakola

Sukesh is a computer science graduate by profession and an IT enterprise and tech enthusiast by passion. He holds an expertise in mobile and wearable technologies and is an avid Android fan.

Share
Published by
Sukesh Mudrakola

Recent Posts

Moving a VM to a different virtual network in Microsoft Azure

Thinking of moving a VM to a different virtual network in Azure? It’s possible. Here’s how to avoid speed bumps…

43 mins ago

Safeguarding your digital identities in a hostile world

In today’s online world where everything is tracked and saved, safeguarding digital identities is crucial both for individuals and for…

5 hours ago

Exchange errors: Common problems and commonsense fixes

Exchange errors are the curse of every IT admin’s job. Here are some common issues you may face — and…

8 hours ago

Losing your edge? 7 free tools to keep you focused at work

Staying focused at work in an always-connected world is hard! Here’s how to use tech — and some free tools…

1 day ago

What’s next in the evolution of biometrics and facial recognition technology?

Facial recognition technology has matured to the point of being reliable — for better or for worse. What does the…

1 day ago

Locking down your Exchange server with cipher suites

Cipher suites are a set of algorithms you need to secure your environment, either by using SSL and TLS. Here’s…

1 day ago