T3 picks the very best of IFA 2017 - do you agree with our choices?

All the best stuff from the show - according to us, anyway

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Over in fashionable Berlin, IFA 2017 is now well under way, if you're a member of the public. As high-ranking members of the tech journalist community, obviously we went around and looked at everything last week.

The big trends this year were Alexa and/or Google Assistant cropping up in speakers, TVs and more; lashings of OLED; a complete culling or wires; and some seriously tasty kitchenwares – IFA is actually as much a show for home/white goods brands as it is for tech.

Sony WF-1000X

Duncan Bell, Iifestyle editor

Sony had a tonne of high quality audio gear, from MQA hi-res audio-supporting Walkmans to a plethora of really cracking headphones. Challenging Beats' Studio3 Wireless for Best Headphone in Show was the true wireless WF-1000X.

With really superb audio and noise cancelling, a supremely comfortable but reliably sticky fit, these are, in fact, the best true wireless headphones to date.

The battery life of about three hours is, admittedly, less than epic, but as ever with these cable-free micro-cans, the very dapper carrying case is also a battery-powered recharging station, offering two full recharges for a total of 9 hours of playback. Charging is fairly rapid, too.

The killer feature of the WF-1000X is the sound, though. They are head and shoulders (and earholes) above the other true wireless headphones to hit the market so far.

They're £200, and worth it. Pick some up this month (precise date TBC).

Toshiba Alexa TV

Duncan Bell, Iifestyle editor

It doesn't have a proper name yet but Toshiba will be rolling out Amazon Echo remote control of one sub-set of its TVs by the end of 2017.

Rather than Alexa being built in, the tellies will need to sync with your existing Echo or Echo Dot – what do you mean you don't have one yet? – via the Alexa app.

Once that less than Herculean task is achieved, you can merrily skip channels, change the volume and use fast forward and rewind controls on streamed TV channels.

What this means is nothing less than the full democratisation of our TV viewing, as power is wrestled from whoever habitually takes control of the physical remote in your house. Yelling at the TV is going to be taken to a whole new level.

The tellies themselves are handsome 4K LED affairs, part of a large selection of UHD tellies at affordable prices from the resurgent Toshiba brand, which is now part of home tech mega-corp Vestel. On the Alexa range, prices start at €399 for the 43-inch and go up to an as-yet-uncomfirmed, presumably somewhat higher, price for the range-topping 75-incher.

Miele Dialog

Duncan Bell, Iifestyle editor

Both the most impressive thing at IFA and by the far the hardest to explain, Dialog is nothing less than an entirely new way of cooking.

Putting it as simply as I possibly can, the process used by Miele's oven, which was 8 years in development and doesn't launch until 2018 at the earliest (expect it in the UK more like 2019), uses a process a bit like microwaves to give results that are quite like sous vide, but with the speed of a conventional oven.

As you can see from the pic, Miele demoed the process by cooking cod in, quite literally, a box made of ice. The ice didn't melt; the fish was perfectly cooked.

That's because, putting it somewhat less simply, the Dialog cooks with electromagnetic rays fired from a unit in the oven ceiling. These agitate the atoms of food in the oven, a little like microwaves, thereby cooking it.

The really clever bit is that the electromagnetic wave transmitter is also a receiver, so it knows how much energy it has put out, and also how much has returned to it. It therefore knows how much has been 'absorbed' by the food and thus how cooked it is.

So, rather like a sous vide, the food is heated to a specific temperature and no higher. So in theory it cannot be overcooked.

The word 'revolutionary' is bandied around rather too freely in the tech world but this could be a genuine step change in cooking. Early adopters will have to be ready to pony up £8,000 or more when it launches, so you gourmands had best start saving up now. 

Panasonic SC-GA10

Sony had the LF-S50G with Google Assistant built in, and it was very pleasant, but I thought Panasonic's SC-GA10 was more elegant looking and arguably sounded better, although that's hard to say for sure without doing a head-to-head comparison.

As with Sony's speaker, it's got the same core tech as found in Google Home, but the emphasis is being placed on highly pleasing music playback, with the AI weather, news, smart home control and kitchen timing duties as a bonus. Apple's HomePod takes the same approach. 

Here, an 8cm woofer and 20mm soft dome tweeter are paired with 'an original diffuser' to create a very decent sonic experience, or, as Panasonic's poster put it, 'Exczellente klangqualität'. There seems to be plenty of presence and weight for the size of the speaker, but with precision too. 

Multi-room is possible using Google Play Music, Spotify et al over Chromecast and, according to a Panasonic spokesperson we consulted, the inclusion of the brand's AllPlay multi-room is also 'possible', though we'll see whether that is the case when the SC-GA10 launches in 2018. 

Samsung Gear Sport

Dan Grabham, T3.com editor

The Gear Sport is Samsung's new water resistant fitness-focused smartwatch. To us, it looks like a bit like Omega's sporty Bullhead watch, at least if you squint slightly. It's a distinctive thing.

The Gear Sport aims to help you achieve health and wellness goals, provide nutrition management alerts, and help you to be generally more active.

It features a circular bezel like the Gear S3 and 1.2-inch AMOLED display. It also features quick-change, 20mm straps, so can easily transition from the gym to the board room to dinner. Also along for the ride: NFC and Samsung Pay.

Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

Spencer Hart, product and style editor

It takes a lot to excite me when it comes to smartphones, but Sony has managed to do it so the with Xperia XZ1 Compact. Why? Because it fills a niche overlooked by other big manufactures - the premium, small screen device. The XZ1 Compact has a 4.6-inch display, yet features the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor found on the latest flagship devices.

On top of that, you get the latest Sony imaging tech, including the super slow motion ‘Motion Eye’ mode, and focus-tracking in burst mode. The body is made from a premium, glass-fibre-reinforced plastic, and the battery should last 'for days'. 

It looks like Sony could be onto a winner here, especially where people don’t want a 5-inch phone, let alone a 6-incher...

LG V30

Spencer Hart, product and style editor

The LG V30 lies at the other end of the scale, with a large 6-inch OLED display and 18:9 aspect ratio. This is the most desirable smartphone LG has ever released, with a premium glass and metal design, a well as genuinely useful features. 

These include a cool dual camera setup on the back, upgraded over the LG G6. The V30 is actually the first smartphone camera to feature a f/1.6 aperture. This should make it better in low light conditions.

It also includes a high-quality 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC and a set of earphones by B&O PLAY included in the box. The V30 supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology that allows for high-resolution audio streaming, and allows you to apply digital filters to adjust the audio profile of the device.

B&O Play Beoplay E8

Spencer Hart, product and style editor

We saw lots of true wireless headphones at IFA, but the ones that really caught my eye were the Beoplay E8s. These buds are the most attractive around, but, judging from its previous products should also be one of the better sounding pairs around as well. I love the way Beoplay products are tuned.

There’s a intuitive touch interface to control playback, and they’re splash and dust resistance. Battery life is a tad low at 4 hours, but the leather charging case adds an extra 8 hours playback. All in all, they look like a really solid entry to the segment.

Harman Kardon Allure

Dan Grabham, T3.com editor

Harman's Allure is yet another smart speaker - this time with Amazon Alexa. The speaker will cost £250 making it a bit more expensive than Sony's forthcoming splashproof unit, but cheaper than the forthcoming £349 Apple HomePod

What's interesting about the Allure is its potential to have some serious audio chops - which Amazon's own Echo speaker doesn't. OK, so Echo is pretty good up until a point - like in a kitchen - but isn't an option to fill an open plan flat with sound like in one of those trendy YouTube videos. 

You get 360-degree sound, says Harman, with a built-in subwoofer. Music can be ordered up via Alexa (Spotify or Amazon Music) or you can Bluetooth into the device. There are four microphones for Alexa with noise cancellation tech built in.