The IFA trade show in Berlin is a battleground for new laptops, mobile devices, wearables and other gadgets competing for your attention (and ultimately, your dollars). And while each edition offers up its share of interesting hardware, only a select few products really capture the imagination of everyone in attendance.
This year was no different, as our favorite products at IFA 2017 included a gorgeous-looking smartphone, powerful new laptops, some drool-worthy gaming rigs and even a Star Wars AR headset. Here are our top picks for the best products at IFA.
A lot of the key details about the LG V30 trickled out long before the new phone made its debut at IFA — with many of those leaks coming directly from LG — but this 6-inch phone and its dual cameras still lived up to the advance billing. We love the OLED display on the V30, and from what we’ve seen so far, the two rear cameras on the back of the V30 show a lot of promise. In particular, the wide-angle lens captures a lot of scenery, and we expect the f/1.6 aperture on the V30’s 16-megapixel shooter will help with low-light shots. The last part of 2017 figures to be a battle between several flagship phones, and LG has proven it’s up for a fight. — Philip Michaels
This joint offering from Lenovo and Disney should be just the thing for anyone who’s ever dreamed of taking on the Empire all by themself. The $199 Star Wars Jedi Challenges uses a Lenovo-built augmented reality headset, a lightsaber-shaped controller and a tracking beacon to put you in a Jedi’s virtual shoes. You can battle baddies from Kylo Ren all the way up to Darth Vader himself, recreate epic Star Wars battles on your floor and even play a game of Holochess, all without having to travel to a galaxy far, far away — PM
Smartwatches are increasingly about fitness tracking these days, and Samsung’s Gear Sport does more than just pay lip service to health-focused features. For starters, the Gear Sport’s 5 ATM water resistance rating means it can join you for a swim, and Samsung teamed with Speedo to create an app that better tracks your aquatic workouts. A heart rate monitor and GPS tracking should keep accurate tabs on you whether your workouts are on land or sea, and Samsung included nice add-ons like the ability to enter calories consumed directly on the watch. The 42.9mm watch looks good, too, with a watchface that can be color-matched to the strap you’re wearing. — PM
If smartwatches are going to beef up their fitness features, then why shouldn’t fitness trackers adopt some of the best attributes of smartwatches? Garmin took that approach with the Vivoactive 3, opting for a circular design that improves on the look of the last Vivoactive while also adding a side swipe feature that lets you easily scroll through widgets and notifications. Best of all, support for Garmin Pay mobile payments means you can buy a bottled water — or something stronger — at the end of a run and pay for it just with a flick of your wrist. — PM
The Moto X4 may be a mid-range phone in terms of price, but it’s packed with some serious features. Motorola’s latest Android device sports dual cameras, a Gorilla glass-coated body and display, and both Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant. Oh, and it’s water and dust-resistant, too. You might not get slim bezels for the 5.2-inch screen, but for just a few hundred bucks, the X4 is a serious contender. — Andrew E. Freedman
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is the kind of annual update that’s easy to lust over. With a powerful new 8th Gen Intel Core processor and up to a 4K display, it will perform well and look good doing it. We also appreciate the two pairs of Thunderbolt 3 ports for blazing fast data transfers. The three colors -- bronze, copper and silver -- allow for some individuality, but if those don’t suit your needs, you can always spring for one of the limited edition Star Wars themes.
If Cortana is the digital assistant of your choice, the far-field microphone will let you summon it from afar. And if you’re a creative type, the new Lenovo Active Pen’s 4,096 degrees of sensitivity will give you a better drawing experience than ever before. So, sure, it’s an update, but it’s one that’s well-planned, feature-rich and, frankly, kind of drool-worthy. — AEF
When you have the power of a GTX 1080 GPU and overclockable Intel Core i7 CPU, it’s downright silly for your screen to be the bottleneck that keeps games from looking as great as possible. The Asus ROG Chimera’s 144-Hz display with a 7 millisecond gray-to-gray response time is insanely fast for a laptop, and it makes animations extremely smooth, especially when placed next to your average 60-Hz panel.
We’re still waiting on US pricing and availability, but when it gets here, the 17.3 inch, 1080p panel will be the most responsive on the market. Additionally, it pairs easily with Xbox accessories, allowing you to use headsets and other peripherals for the console without any chunky dongles. — AEF