Entertainment Meet the best tech from IFA 2022 – here are our award winners
Meet the best tech from IFA 2022 – here are our award winners
The TechRadar team has spent the last few days wearing away the soles of our feet by trekking around the halls of IFA 2022, looking for the smartest, most innovative and highest quality new tech releases.
The big IFA tech show is full of all kinds of creations, from weird new crowdfunded ideas to huge releases from the biggest companies, all under one roof. Well, several roofs really. It’s a very big show.
After looking over as much of it as possible, the TechRadar team got together and chose our favorite products from IFA in 10 categories, and that’s what you’ll find here – the tech we’re most excited by, and that we think you need to hear about.
Naturally, there were tons of the products at the show that we loved, and a list of cool things from IFA could have been nearly endless, so we kept strictly to a top 10. We also limited our list only to products you can see when visiting IFA – some products you’ll have seen in the news were announced at the time of the show, but aren’t visible to show visitors.
So without any further ado, enjoy the very best that 2022’s IFA show has to offer.
IFA 2022 Best Phone: Honor 70
The Honor is a mid-range phone that feels premium in so many ways, from its funky design to its 120Hz screen with curved edges, to its cutting-edge camera sensor. In fact, we’ve already got our full Honor 70 review up, and we called it “one of the best Android phones of the year”.
It features the first appearance of a new Sony-made camera sensor that lets in more light for richer, sharper photos, and this means it packs a big photography punch, especially for its low weight.
When you also factor in a great battery life, great-looking OLED screen, and fast-charging support, all for a ridiculously low price, it’s easy to see why this is a worthy winner of one of our Best of IFA 2022 awards.
IFA 2022 Best Computing Tech: Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED
Foldable phones are something we’re used to seeing every year now, but folding tablets/computers have had a slower start. But this new model from Asus is exactly the kind of thing that might kickstart things, and get people more excited about the possibilities – it’s certainly done that for us, as our initial hands-on Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED review explains.
When it’s unfolded, it’s a 17-inch tablet-like screen, with a kickstand. You can add separate physical Bluetooth keyboard underneath to create something that’s quite like a traditional laptop, though it’s much thinner and lighter than the average 17-inch laptop. But you can also fold the screen to 90 degrees to give yourself, effectively, a 12.5-inch laptop, and you can either type on a keyboard displayed on the bottom screen, or you can fit the keyboard over the bottom screen to type with physical keys.
When you factor in the powerful Intel processor and gorgeous OLED screen, you’ve got a really intriguing device for creatives. It’s not going to go mainstream yet – the high price will ensure that – and there are still clearly improvements that can be made to this kind of device, but it’s made us really look forward to a world with more bendable laptops in it. That’s not something we’d have necessarily said before, which is why it’s earned one of our Best of IFA 2022 awards.
IFA 2022 Best TV: LG OLED Flex
As you can tell, this year’s IFA featured beaucoup bending screens. The LG OLED Flex is a clever design that makes the most of what OLED can do, geared towards making the ultimate gaming TV. Based on the same panel technology as the 42-inch LG C2, you can use it as a flat, regular TV – but also has two motorized arms on the back that can push the edges of the screen forward to create a curve. And you can choose from 20 different levels of curve, for whatever suits your setup.
At the same time, it feature all of LG’s most advanced TV tech, including its latest-gen image processor, 4K 120Hz support, G-Sync and FreeSync compatibility and Dolby Vision HDR. But LG’s added some smart customizations based on feedback from gamers, including the ability to controls its menus from your mouse, the option to display a game in a windowed view so it doesn’t take up the whole screen (useful if you’re sitting close), and the ability to split the screen to play video alongside a game.
It looks stunning in person, and seeing the screen change its bend is unnerving and thrilling – TVs aren’t supposed to do that! But it’s the overall thoughtfulness and innovation that have won it a Best of IFA 2022 award.
IFA 2022 Best Soundbar: TCL X937U
This home theater system consists of a 7.1.4-channel setup, with a soundbar delivering five channels across the front and two Dolby Atmos height channels, two rear speakers each delivering a surround channel plus a height channel, and then a beefy separate subwoofer. We’ve tested soundbars with similar specs before, so it’s not that this is pushing the spec envelope – this award is based on how eye-openingly impressive the performance of this soundbar was when we tested it on the IFA show floor.
You see, the way that soundbars with multiple surround channels work is that they’re designed to bounce the sound off the walls to reach the side of your head. On the IFA show floor, there are no walls nearby… and yet you get a really strong effect of sound coming directly from the side at times, as if there’s another speaker in the space between the soundbar and rear speakers. The positional audio was really strong despite the chaos of sounds around us and the lack of surfaces to use for reflection. It shouldn’t have worked at all, and yet it overdelivered.
On top of that, the sound is generally extremely powerful while feeling totally controlled and measured – in our time with it, big sounds had incredible punch, and more delicate effects felt precise. Both our AV editors raved about it, making it the natural and well-deserved choice for this Best of IFA 2022 award.
IFA 2022 Best Headphones: Jabra Elite 5
When it comes to getting bang-from-your-buck, these true wireless earbuds just set a new standard. For a mid-range price, you’re getting active noise cancellation powered by a plethora of mics, including one inside the ear that promises to stop the quality of the ANC being too depending on a perfect fit.
You also get aptX high-quality sound support, as well as Bluetooth 5.2, which means they can support the new, better sounding and more energy efficient Bluetooth audio format.
Battery life is high at seven hours with ANC on, and they manage all this in an ultra small and light package, so they’ll be comfortable to wear for long periods. Jabra’s always been a leader in true wireless earbuds ever since the category appeared, but this is the first time in a while that its products have made everyone else in the market look over-priced and under-specced, and that’s what gained the Elite 5 a Best of IFA 22 award.
IFA 2022 Best Large Appliance: Beko SaveWater Washer & Dryer
The Beko SaveWater range is designed to help reduce the environmental impact of appliance by – yes – saving water. The range includes a dishwasher, but we’ve decided to recognize the washing machine and tumble dryer for this Best of IFA 2022 award, because it’s how these two work together that’s clever.
The SaveWater tumble dryer builds up water during its operation in a reservoir, just like any condenser/heat pump tumble does. But you don’t need to empty it here – instead, the tumble connects directly to the washing machine, and when you start a washing cycle the water is first drawn from the 5.2 litres of water you just have lying around.
The water from a tumble dryer is very clean, because it’s been collected through heat – it’s like it’s been distilled – so it’s perfect for washing clothes. This idea is such a simple but brilliant addition, and in a time where environmental impact is just building and building in its importance to us, the approach of the SaveWater appliances feels like a natural and important step.
IFA 2022 Best Small Appliance: Shark Stratos
Shark already makes some of the best cordless vacuum cleaners around, but there are three great additions to Stratos that we loved during our hands-on Shark Stratos review time on the IFA show floor.
The flashiest addition is a new sensor that can detect how dirty your floor is, or how deep your carpet is, and can adjust the suction level on the fly. So when you’re just going over a generally clean hard floor, it’s using less battery to suck up dust – but when you have to go over the cereal you dropped that the kids stepped on, it kicks into a higher gear for a moment. It should help you get more cleaning power per charge, and make the whole vacuuming process feel more seamless.
Then you’ve also got a smell filter that’s designed to avoid that kind of dusty/hairy smell you can get from the air of a warm vacuum that’s sucked up lots of dog hair from your carpet – plus a newer design of Shark’s semi-legendary anti-hair-wrap tech, so you don’t need to cut the brush free from tangles. When you combine it all with Shark’s Flexology feature that lets you bend (there’s that word again) the cleaner head to get under furniture, you’ve got a vacuum cleaner that’s really worthy of a Best of IFA 2022 award.
IFA 2022 Best Smart Home Tech: Ring Intercom
Ring’s smart doorbells have been massively popular for years, and it’s easy to see why; being able to know who’s at your door and respond from your phone (or an Alexa device) even if you’re not home is such a useful and powerful tool.
But it doesn’t work for apartment buildings where there’s a single door and multiple buzzers in one panel. So the Ring Intercom is design to tie into your building’s intercom system, adding some of the key features of the Ring range… plus one key extra.
You connect it to your existing intercom phone, and it then connects to your Wi-Fi. Now, when someone buzzes, you can either use the intercom phone, or answer through the Ring app, or through an Amazon Echo. And you can then buzz people in remotely – either just because you don’t want to move from the couch, or because you’re not there but don’t want to miss a delivery.
It’s an elegant solution to add a ton of convenience, and it’s even battery powered, to make as easy to install as possible. It’s so well thought-through, and that’s earned it this Best of IFA 2022 award.
IFA 2022 Best Health Tech: Huawei Watch D
Smartwatches have become a great way to passively keep an eye on your heart health in particular. But between tracking heart rate and rhythm and oxygenation levels, the big feature that’s been lacking is blood pressure. Devices have been promised, but none has been available to buy so far with the feature active.
That changes with the Huawei Watch D. It looks like a regular, reasonably small fitness watch. You wouldn’t know that its strap can tighten itself around your wrist, to capture a blood pressure reading that’s accurate enough for medical certification – it just looks like a smartwatch. The strap is marginally thicker than the average smartwatch strap, but you’d never notice unless it’s pointed out, and would have no idea what it’s capable of unless someone told you.
We tried it, and it seriously impressed us (and slightly compressed us), and that’s why it’s one of our Best of IFA 2022 award winners.
IFA 2022 Best Outdoor Tech: Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
With the combination of an energy crisis plus a growing number of extreme weather events, disaster preparation tech is becoming more sensible than ever. That’s one big reason why this powerful yet easily stored battery system impressed us at IFA this year – the main unit can store a huge amount of power, delivery dual 100W USB-C power delivery outputs, as well as 230V AC power. You connect it to great large solar panels that fold down to a fairly compact package.
In a power outage, this can help you stay in communication with family or the authorities – or you could just take it with you for a stay in the great outdoors, soaking up the power and using it to keep yourself in luxuries like music or gaming while away from civilization. That’s mostly what Jackery says it’s for, but when we took a look at it on the IFA floor, it was the safety element that came to mind.
Making this technology feel accessible and easy is an important step forward, and is why the Jackery Solar Generator 100 Pro takes home one of our awards.