IFA 2017: Everything from day 1 of Europe's biggest tech show
Samsung, Acer, Asus, Bosch, Panasonic and more. Here's everything we learned in Berlin.
John FalconeSenior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
ExpertiseOver 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping adviceCredentials
Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
IFA is Europe's biggest tech show. But like all modern trade shows, most of the high profile announcements happen before the show floor opens. That's doubly true in 2017: The exhibition halls in Berlin don't open until Sept. 1, but a torrent of press conferences and announcements will dominate your feeds for the last two days of August.
The press conferences and announcements in Berlin ended hours ago, but here's a roundup of the big news from Wednesday, Aug. 30 -- with a few earlier announcements thrown in, too.
(The second day of IFA 2017 has wrapped up as well. Check out all the device announcements, from phones and headphones to smart appliances and TVs.)
Watch this: Samsung's new sport watches tackle the sea with ease
The Galaxy Note 8 was already announced to much fanfare last week in New York City. But Samsung's giant product portfolio means there's always something even newer to announce. In this case, the Korean giant unveiled two new wearables, new appliances and some TVs for the European market.
On the fitness front, the Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro and Samsung Gear Sport offer GPS, swim-friendly water resistance, heart rate tracking and support for offline Spotify playback. And the new Samsung Icon X 2018 wireless headphones now have 5-hour battery life -- more than three times that of their flawed predecessor.
Turning to appliances, Samsung unveiled its new QDrive washer, which should do a full load of wash in half the time. And the company threw down the gauntlet to the Dysons of the world with its new Powerstick Pro cordless vacuum.
Samsung also showed off the C49HG90, its high-end 49-inch curved screen PC gaming monitor with an ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio that uses the same QLED technology found in Samsung's top-end TVs. (It was actually announced about 2 months ago, but it's cool enough that we'll forgive the rerun.)
Additionally, Samsung announced a smaller 43-inch version of its Frame TV and a flat (not curved) Q8 QLED TV for the European market. The company also called for open standards in the video and home appliance space, doubling down on its commitment to the HDR10+ HDR standard (which it uses instead of rival Dolby Vision), as well as the Open Connectivity Foundation, a standards body for internet of things devices.
Look past small appliances like hand blenders and a Hydrating andDetoxifying Facial Steamer (really!), though, and the company's more traditional consumer electronics pedigree lives on. The EZ-1002 TV pairs Panasonic's plasma-honed video processing know-how with a monster 77-inch OLED display (no doubt from an LG factory), while the SP-10R direct drive turntable keeps the beloved Technics brand alive to fight another day.
In some ways, IFA is the kickoff to the fall PC season. Acer had plenty of new models to show, including the promising Switch 7, a Surface alternative with a fanless design despite a muscular Core i7 CPU and GeForce MX150 dedicated graphics processor. If you want no-compromise gaming performance, meanwhile, consider stepping up to Acer's monster Orion 9000 PC tower, which rocks an 18-core Intel Core i9 Extreme, four-way Radeon RX Vega or dual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPUs and up to 128GB quad-channel DDR4 RAM -- all liquid cooled, of course.
Acer also has some products a bit more off the beaten path, including the Holo360, an Android-powered 360-camera with a touchscreen (no paired device required) and the Pawbo Munch, an interactive treat dispenser for pets.
Fans of Panasonic Toughbooks, meanwhile, should check out the Dell Latitude 7212 ruggedized tablet.
Taiwan's Asus -- not to be confused with Taiwan's Acer, above -- dropped a veritable phonebook-sized list of PC updates, flipping a huge swath of its existing line to those aforementioned eighth-gen Intel processors.
But there were some all-new products, too: Asus says that the 13.9mm thick ZenBook Flip 14 (UX461) is the world's thinnest two-in-one laptop with discrete graphics. It weighs just 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs), but has an eighth-gen Core i7 quad-core CPU, 16GB of memory, Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics and a 512GB PCIe x4 solid-state drive. The larger ZenBook Flip 15 (UX561) takes that performance a step further by including an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and up to a 2TB HDD and 512GB SSD.
The company also showed off its Asus Mixed Reality headset (its version of the Dell Visor), the ROG Chimera jumbo gaming laptop and ROG Strix XG35VQ 35-inch curved monitor.
Sweden's Electrolux controls a bevy of appliance brands, from AEG in Europe to Frigidaire, Eureka and Tappan in the US. For its European customers, the company unveiled the AEG 9000 series Okokombi washer-dryer combo with "SensiDry" technology, which is supposed to customize the cleaning cycle based on fabric type. For the US market, the updated line of Electolux PerfectCare washing machines and dryers makes the bold claim of limiting your trip to the dry cleaners, pledging that the units will ensure that "clothing continues to perform and look its best, with the right care for a variety of garments, from denim, cashmere and wool to technical wear and even delicates."
Bosch, meanwhile, is focusing on noise -- or, more specifically, the lack thereof. The company claims that its new HomeProfessional WAY287W5 washing machine and companion HomeProfessional WTY887W6 dryer range between just 44 and 68 decibels when in use. They'll also have integrated touchscreen displays, auto-dispensing detergent reservoirs and sensors to help determine the right amount of water.
German appliance manufacturer Miele utizlied its home turf to announce the Scout RX2, a robot vacuum with twin cameras. Also unveiled was the Dialog Oven. What makes the wall oven special, as Ashlee Clark Thompson reports, "is that it cooks your food with electromagnetic waves (microwaves also use this same type of energy), traditional radiant heat from the top and bottom of the oven and a convection fan." Yowza.
Bang & Olufsen
What do you get when Denmark's top electronics luxury brand teams up with LG? Exactly what you'd expect: A crazy-expensive OLED TV with amazing industrial design, down to and including the motorized wheels that angle the TV to your optimal viewing angle. The BeoVision Eclipse also includes an integrated 450-watt sound system, so your mansion won't be wanting for good audio. The price tag is pure one-percenter -- £8,290 (approximately $10,700 or AU$13,500) for the 55-incher, or £11,590 ($14,980 or AU$18,900) for the 65. But if you have to ask, you really can't afford it, anyway.
August 31: Press day 2
On tap for Thursday, expect news from LG -- including full details on the V30 phone -- as well as product announcements from Toshiba, Haier, DJI, Garmin and Sony.