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IFA 2017: The biggest announcements from Berlin's tech show

Every year, IFA brings us big gadget news. Here's what's caught our eye so far.

Sean Hollister
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Sean Hollister
Lori Grunin
1 of 36 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

IFA 2017 is under way

IFA Berlin, one of the world's biggest consumer technology trade shows, is now under way. There's so much to see. But which announcements and products will really move the needle? 

Here are the announcements (and gadgets) that piqued our curiosity. 

2 of 36 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Gear Fit Pro 2

Why yes, that is a wearable in a wineglass full of water. It's the Samsung Gear Fit Pro 2, a $200 fitness tracker with GPS, water resistance down to 5ATM, and offline Spotify playback. It's coming in September. (Converted, that's about £155 or AU$255.)

3 of 36 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Gear Fit Pro 2 (continued)

Here's what it looks like on someone's wrist. 

4 of 36 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Gear Sport

Then there's Samsung's Gear Sport, a smaller swim-ready smartwatch that keeps the GPS and heart rate tracking of its predecessor, adds the ability to store up to 500 Spotify songs for local playback and can be used as a wrist remote for Samsung's Gear VR.

5 of 36 Nate Ralph/CNET

BlackBerry's next phone is coming

Here's a scoop: A brand-new BlackBerry smartphone is coming this October -- and it won't have a keyboard. That's according to BlackBerry's manufacturer TCL, which spoke to us during IFA.

Want to know what we think of BlackBerry's current phone, the KeyOne? Click here.

6 of 36 Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Samsung Gear Icon X

AirPod who? Samsung's Gear Icon X earbuds are truly wireless, with built-in heart rate monitoring -- and now, perhaps, an acceptable amount of battery life too. 

Samsung promises five hours of streaming audio, and five more from the case, which charges the 'buds when they're inside. Plus, you can tap the 'bud to access Samsung's Bixby voice assistant if you've got a paired Galaxy phone.

Dell Visor HMD 2017
7 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell Visor

One of a wave of Windows Mixed Reality products (think VR, but without external sensors) announced ahead of IFA, the Dell Visor certainly has a unique look. 

It's also uniquely comfortable, according to CNET editors. It'll be available in October for $349, or roughly £270 or AU$440 converted. The controllers cost $99 extra.

8 of 36 Asus

Asus Windows Mixed Reality Headset

Don't like the look of that Dell? Asus has its own spin on the same Windows Mixed Reality idea, and announced this similar headset at the show. 

So will Acer, Lenovo and HP. You can read our early impressions of the platform right here.

9 of 36 Miele

Miele Dialog Oven

When you hear "smart oven," you might think of a plain ol' oven with built-in Wi-Fi so you can control it from across the room. But the Miele Dialog Oven actually uses different technologies to cook your food. It emits electromagnetic waves at 915MHz that intelligently adjust in intensity by monitoring the texture of your meal while cooking. It's called the Dialog because it "talks" to your food.

Sound tasty? Yours for the low, low price of €7,990 (roughly $9,505, £7,355 and AU$12,035), beginning in 2018. And probably only in Europe to start with.

10 of 36 Megan Wollerton

Samsung QuickDrive

What if your washing machine could wash clothes in half the time? That's what Samsung's promising with its new QuickDrive washer, or QDrive for short.

We're not actually sure how it does that, mind you. Stay tuned.

11 of 36 Acer

Acer Holo360

Remember the Flip Cam, the ubersimple all-in one portable video camera? Acer wants to do that for 360-degree video too. That's what the Holo360 is all about, with its built-in touchscreen and LTE data so you can set up a 360-degree livestream anywhere or share on the go.

$429 (approximately £330 or AU$540) this November.

12 of 36 Richard Trenholm/CNET

Google Assistant expands to third-party speakers

Soon, you won't need a Google Home to use the Google Assistant voice helper in your house. You'll be able to buy an Assistant-enabled speaker from another company, like this boring-looking -- or should I say, utilitarian -- Panasonic GA-10 you see right now. At IFA, three speaker manufacturers announced such products. 

13 of 36 Samsung

Samsung Powerstick Pro

Samsung's Powerstick Pro isn't reinventing the stick vac, but it might push the idea forward. This one's got a dual-action brush with independent rotors that spin in opposite directions to pick up more dirt. Samsung says you'll only need to go over floors once.

Not a lot of details yet, but we're looking for more -- and you'll find them in our full post.

14 of 36 Wetouch Imagework

Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Eclipse

The BeoVision Eclipse, a partnership with LG, is one of the weirder TV designs we've seen -- the glass extends down beyond the 450-watt soundbar of this sharp OLED TV. Plus, the stand has motorized wheels so you remote-control it to get the best viewing angle no matter where you sit in the room.

Want to know how much it costs? (Really, you don't.) But if you do, click that link below.

Dell XPS 13 (late 2017)
15 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Intel's 8th-gen Core processors arrive

Ready for the PCs of IFA 2017? There are quite a few, because the show just so happens to coincide with Intel's 8th-gen Core processors making their way into some slim new computers. 

For instance, the always-delightfully-small Dell XPS 13 is getting a decent performance boost from its new chip, up to an 8th-gen dual-core Intel Core i7-8550U processor.

16 of 36 Acer

Acer Switch 7 Black (continued)

What weighs 2.5 pounds, looks like a shaving razor from the side and comes with a patented automatic kickstand? Why, Acer's Switch 7 Black, a fanless tablet with keyboard dock and somehow, discrete Nvidia MX150 graphics.

17 of 36 Acer

Acer Switch 7 Black

Here's another photo of the Switch 7 Black, showing off its included battery-free Wacom stylus too.

18 of 36 Asus

Asus ZenBook Flip 14

Not to be outdone, Asus' ZenBook Flip 14 claims to be the thinnest 2-in-1 laptop with discrete graphics. It's just 13.9mm (0.55 inches) thick and weighs 3.1 pounds -- with a quad-core 8th-gen Intel CPU, up to 16GB of RAM and the same Nvidia MX150 graphics.

19 of 36 Acer

Acer Predator Orion 9000

Acer's also got a new Predator gaming desktop, and gosh is it beefy. We're talking an 18-core Intel Core i9 Extreme processor, four GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPUs and up to 128GB of DDR4 memory in its maximum configuration. Plus, wheels. Yes, you heard that right. In addition to two handles, there are wheels on the bottom of this PC. 

20 of 36 Archos

Archos Diamond Tab and Diamond Alpha+

Tablets are still a thing? Archos makes phones? Yes, US readers, these things are both true -- and the French electronics company has new ones at IFA. 

The Diamond Alpha+ phone is a midrange handset with a Snapdragon 600-series processor, 5.2-inch 1080p IPS display, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Diamond Tab pairs a Rockchip 3399 processor with 4GB / 64GB and 2,560 x 1,600-pixel panel. They'll ship in Europe this October for £400 and £300 respectively. 

21 of 36 Aloysius Low/CNET

JBL Reflect Fit

These earphones do more than deliver tunes to accompany your workout. They help! A built-in heart rate monitor audibly delivers reports to you to help make sure you're hitting your max heart rate target.

The Reflect Fit will go on sale starting in October for £120, which converts to about  $155 and AU$195 respectively.

22 of 36 Dan Ackerman/CNET

Razer Blade Pro

Razer delivers a much cheaper brother to the excellent but pricey laptop line. It does so by incorporating less powerful components, such as an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU and dropping from a 4K-resolution version to a 120Hz IPS 1,920x1,080 panel. The latter's not that much of a compromise, though, since 4K tends to overstress your battery and graphics subsystem, dropping your frame rates.

The updated version of the Razer Blade Pro now starts at $2,299 in the US and £2,099 in the UK, which works out to about AU$2,900. 

23 of 36 David Carnoy/CNET

Sony WI-W1000X

Designed to compete with Bose's QuietControl 30 neckband wireless headphones, this has something that model doesn't: an option to use a wired cable to tap into in-flight entertainment systems. In addition to active noise canceling it packs in several other features, including Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing that's supposed to help optimize noise-canceling performance on planes.  You get 14 hours of battery life with noise canceling in wired mode and up to 10 hours in wireless mode. 

The WI-1000X ships in September for a 'spensive $300 (£300, AU$449) and includes a protective carrying pouch.

24 of 36 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Ricoh Theta V

The Theta S's low-resolution, low-bit-rate video has been replaced with 3,840x1,920/30p video that records with a bit rate of 56Mbps, and it's now powerful enough to stitch your video together in real time. Plus, the camera's four omnidirectional mics can capture 360-degree audio. 

The Ricoh Theta V is available now to order for $430 along with the TA-1 3D microphone for $270. That converts to about £330 and AU$545 for the camera and £210 and AU$340 for the mic. The TW-1 Underwater Case arrives in October for $200, which is about £155 and AU$250.

LG V30
25 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

LG V30

The V30 follow-up to the V20 phone looks gorgeous, sloughs away unnecessary features and amps up all its best features. It gets a better (OLED) screen, wireless charging and advanced video features you don't see on a typical phone. They include real-time filters, the ability to zoom to a specific point in the camera app and improved audio recording -- 32-bit sound and four different sound profiles (such as live and bass) plus digital filters to tweak a sound's characteristic, like making it sharper or slower.

It will be available first in South Korea on Sept. 21. North America, Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East will follow. So far, US carrier AT&T confirmed it will carry the V30, but gave no exact sale date.

As for pricing, nothing is official yet. But LG did say it will cost around the same price as the G6 and the V20, so expect it in the ballpark of $600 to $800, or about £650 in the UK and AU$760 to AU$1,010 in Australia.

26 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech Craft keyboard

It's not for everyone, but the dial on Logitech's new multidevice wireless keyboard can be a time saver if you frequently change parameters like brush size, stroke width, blend modes and so in Adobe Creative Cloud applications or need a better way to scrub through video in Premiere Pro. The well-designed keyboard also seamlessly connects to and switches among up to three devices via Bluetooth and Logitech's Unifying Receiver.

You have to really want it though -- it will cost a hefty $200 when it ships in September. (I don't have UK or Australian pricing or availability info, but that converts to about £155 or AU$250.) 

27 of 36 DJI

DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

The new Mavic Pro Platinum takes the current Mavic Pro model and adds new electronic speed controllers (ESCs) and redesigned propellers; they reduce noise by 60 percent and increase flight times up to 30 minutes. That's only a few extra minutes over the original, but anyone who's ever tried to get a perfect aerial shot knows every minute counts. And yes, this version has a platinum-colored shell. 

It ships in September, but is available for preorder for $1,099, £1,119 and AU$1,699.

Sony RX0
28 of 36

Sony RX0

Sony targets photographers and videographers on the go with its GoPro-like RX0. But it's got a bigger 15-megapixel 1-inch sensor for its 4K UHD recording, a Zeiss T* lens, tons of still photo options and pro video requirements like clean HDMI out, an S-Log2 Picture Profile and time code/user bit tracking.

It will also be more expensive -- $700 -- when it ships in October. Pricing has yet to be announced for the UK or Australia, but that directly converts to about £545 or AU$885.

Dell Inpsiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop
29 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Dell Inspiron 15 7000 G7 Gaming Laptop

One of our favorite budget gaming laptops gets a face-lift and a power boost just in time for your holiday gift list. A cheap entry point into mainstream gaming starting at $999, the earlier model was one of the first to incorporate the budget-targeted Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti graphics processor; it will now bump the top-end configuration to a GTX 1060. (I don't have UK or Australian pricing, but $999 directly converts to approximately £770 or AU$1,255.)

30 of 36 David Carnoy/CNET

Sony WF-1000X

Sony's first pair of totally wireless earphones are lightweight, sports-friendly and have something Apple's AirPods don't have: active noise cancellation. Battery life isn't great at 3 hours but you get two extra charges from the battery case. 

They ain't cheap, though. When they ship in September, they'll cost $200, £200 or AU$399.

31 of 36 Segway

Segway MiniLite

Now kids have a Segway of their own. For young'uns age 6 and up, it has customizable LED lights and bumper attachments, plus wider, sturdier wheels for safety. It's slightly slower, reaching a maximum speed of 16 kph (10 mph). You'll get about 18km (11 miles) out of one full charge.

It's steered with the knee control bar, which doubles as a handle for when your kid inevitably gets bored and you have to schlep it. It weighs 12.5kg (27.5 pounds) though; start improving your upper body strength now so you're ready when it ships later in 2017. Pricing is still TBA.

32 of 36 Sarah Tew/CNET

Lenovo Explorer

Like the Dell Visor also debuting at the show, and the previously announced Acer and HP Mixed Reality headsets launched earlier in 2017, the Lenovo Explorer is based on the Windows Mixed Reality platform. There's nothing fancy about it -- it's just a comfortable, subdued-looking alternative. A collection of Windows Store apps will be supported, as well as a bunch of Lenovo-specific apps from its own branded Entertainment Hub. 

It will cost $350 -- $450 with a set of handheld motion controllers -- when it arrives in October. (I don't have UK or Australian prices, but those convert to £270/£350 and AU$445/AU$570.)

33 of 36 Ian Knighton/CNET

Sphero R2-D2

Sphero rolled out (pardon the pun) a couple of Star Wars app-controlled robots. The BB-9E is nice, but the R2-D2 excels. It rolls around on treads, or sprouts its third leg and leans back for movement on tougher surfaces like carpets. It can wobble with its feet, too. R2's head turns and lights up, and it makes all of R2's beeps and noises with its own speaker, something BB-8 couldn't do. It also works with Apple's Swift Playgrounds programming environment for kids.

R2-D2 costs $180 (£179 in the UK, or $AU300), which is less than Lightning McQueen, but more than BB-8 and BB-9E. 

34 of 36 James Martin/CNET

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

A partnership between Lenovo and Disney, this is a bundle of a Lenovo Mirage AR headset, a tracker that sits on the floor and Lightsaber with haptic feedback plus games -- like lightsaber battles. It's kid-friendly (natch) and seriously fun, though not perfect.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges is available for preorder now at Best Buy and Lenovo's online store.

Lizn Hearpieces
35 of 36 Katie Collins/CNET

Lizn Hearpieces

If it hasn't happened to you yet, it will one day: you start having trouble distinguishing words when there's ambient noise. You'll find yourself nodding without any idea of what you're agreeing with. The Lizn Hearpieces are here to help -- or will be in October. They're designed to fit discreetly in your ear and to clarify sound so you can separate it better, as well as amplify it. If it works as advertised, it will so be worth the $150 (150 euros, which converts directly to about £135 and AU$225).

36 of 36 Electrolux

Smart home tech

But wait, there's more excitement! Check out the future of of appliances and smart tech at IFA 2017.

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