Oh how we've missed it! It's great to be back on the show floor in Berlin at IFA 2022, a giant European show of tech and other goodies, which has been on hiatus since its last in-person outing back in 2019.
Companies from far and wide have used the opportunity to showcase their latest and greatest products – both at the Berlin Messe and at other off-site events. T3 has been trawling Berlin to pick apart the top announcements worthy of our 'Best of IFA 2022' Award, which we're rounding up into a top 10 here.
It's a broad list, too, thanks to IFA's wide-reaching net. So whether it's the latest tellies, soundbars, speakers, phones, dishwashers, fridges, or something even more leftfield, the show floor is crammed with all manner of kit to tantalise.
So here they are: T3's Best of IFA 2022 Awards winners!
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theatre
A soundbar as astonishingly expensive as it is stunning in both visual and audio terms, the Beosound Theatre is designed to integrate with your TV of choice, hide all your cables away, and blow you away with its 12 speaker arrangement and 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos object-based surround decoding.
Hearing this soundbar blast out the goods – particularly special when watching a scene from Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – showcased just how massive its 6.5-inch integrated woofers can deal the bass without needing separates.
But if you have separates then the Theatre will talk to your other speaker setups as you wish. It's highly versatile, modular and effectively future-proofed (and you'd hope so, too, given its near-£6K asking price).
B&O Beosound Theatre is the most stunning soundbar I've ever seen – and the priciest
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2)
The idea of what a laptop can be was addressed in the first-gen ThinkPad X1 Fold, but the second-gen model takes things up a notch thanks to its massive 16-inch OLED screen. It folds in half right across the screen, delivering a far smaller 12-inch laptop footprint when folded.
You can use this panel like a tablet, fold it halfway to act as a laptop (or taptop?), or use the included stand and keyboard to create an ultra-tall or ultra-wide laptop scenario. Everything connects magnetically for ease and there's even an included stylus as part of the package. It's not cheap, though, with a £2,999 price predicted for the full kit.
Forget folding phones, Lenovo's new 16in laptop screen folds in half – check out these pictures
Every year Philips precedes other TV makers in announcing its TV line-up. And every year we're left mouths open. This year is no exception, but of course, with the top-end Philips OLED+937 upgrading the panel with an LG OLED EX type, meaning it's extra extra bright.
The 900-series has long embodied a Bowers & Wilkins tie-in as part of the design, integrating a soundbar delicately as part of the package, a woofer integrated into the set around the back, and the promise of totally stupendous audio. Once again: when it arrives on sale in 2023 this will be the best-looking and among best-sounding TVs that you money can buy.
Philips Ambilight OLED+ and Mini-LED TVs mark a next generation of tech
Garmin Venu Sq 2
Garmin's original Venu Sq was a great, affordable Apple Watch rival. Now it's back and better than ever in the second-generation model, which brings all-day health monitoring, fitness tracking and connected features.
But the key new feature? The Venu Sq 2 adds an AMOLED screen for even richer images, paired with a bigger battery that, from T3's Fitness Editor's early tests, is almost twice as good as the original model! Impressive indeed and a surefire Awards winner.
Garmin adds AMOLED display to Venu Sq 2 fitness tracker – plus three more features to get excited about
LG OLED Flex LX3
A monitor that bends at your will? That's literally what LG has come up with in the OLED Flex LX3: a panel that can morph from flat to curved at the touch of a button. It's closer to gaming monitor than TV, as there's RGB dynamic lighting on the rear, but the quality of the OLED panel is second to none and ideal for gamers.
IFA is one of those shows that never fails to surprise, so seeing this next-level technology on the show floor was a real treat. If you've not got the space or cash for both a 42-inch OLED TV and a decent curved gaming monitor then the OLED Flex solves that conundrum in style. Very original indeed, as you can see from the embedded video Tweet below:
LG OLED Flex changes from flat to curved at the press of a button. Ace! #IFA2022 pic.twitter.com/hNB4GL8JiBSeptember 1, 2022
JBL Tour Pro 2
Although Harman didn't return to its usual showground spot in person at this year's IFA 2022, it certainly brought the goods nonetheless. The company's Tour Pro 2 earbuds are the first ever to feature a smart charging case, which features a touchscreen so you can control the 'buds without the need to get your phone out.
The earbuds themselves also deliver a strong specification, with top-notch active noise-cancelling (ANC) promises, alongside six microphones to ensure optimum negation of sound for great voice pick-up when making calls.
JBL's new earbuds have a feature Apple AirPods could only dream about
Most things at IFA are brand new ideas, or at least the newest/biggest/bestest take on an existing idea. Ring Intercom is a little different as it is intended to help you get more out of an existing device that you already have, if you live in a flat: the humble entry phone.
By turning its output into a digital stream to the cloud, Ring Intercom lets you answer your front door from anywhere, and buzz people in. Or tell them to 'buzz off' if they're not welcome. Primarily this is useful for allowing delivery persons to leave parcels in a mail room or safe space as opposed to on the kerb in the road outside your block.
Another benefit of this is you no longer need to stop what you're doing and run to the door, where apartment entry phones are always placed for some nonsensical and ungodly reason. Instead you can calmly answer on your mobile or via Alexa voice control, before the courier pushes a 'we called, you were out' note under the door and heads on their way.
New Ring doorbell for your flat or apartment lets you open the door from anywhere
Haier Chef@Home Series 6
Haier showcased a number of very future-facing kitchen products at IFA 2022, including a washing machine that mixes its own detergent and a fridge that knows you are coming home from the supermarket.
Arguably even more useful is the Chef@Home Series 6 – Chef's kiss for that name, by the way! – which can actually detect what you put inside it. Once it has detected a roasting joint, for instance, it can pull a recipe from its database and set to work cooking.
Even more cunning, when you adjust parameters such as level of 'done-ness' – rare, medium rare, scorched beyond recognition – it remembers your preference for next time. It really is quite literally like having a 'chef at home', but with less swearing.
Oh, and the entire door is a touchscreen.
Beko SaveWater series
Everyone’s talking about sustainability at IFA 2022, but Beko has actually done something about it. Its SaveWater tech is one of those genius ideas that as soon as you hear about it, you can't believe nobody ever thought of it before.
Put simply, SaveWater stores the water that ends a cleaning cycle to use to begin the next one.
In the dishwasher, the final rinse becomes the pre-rinse next time out, with the water stored in a narrow tank in the dishwasher's side. This saves 2.6 litres per wash
In the laundry appliances, the water evaporated during tumble drying – an impressive 5.2 litres – is used for the first rinse in the next wash. Over the course of the machines' lives, savings are significant.
More than ever people are looking for smartphones that deliver excellent value for money, and the new Honor 70 certainly fits the bill. At first glance, you wouldn’t believe that it costs less than £500 because it looks like a much more premium device with its sleek rounded camera modules and curves in all the right places.
Of course, it’s not all about looks and the Honor 70 boasts some pretty decent specs under the hood including the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G+ 5G mid-range processor, a powerful 4,800mAh battery and the capacity for 66W charging which Honor claims will give you 60% charge in as little as 20 minutes.
Another solid feature is its camera system, while it won’t wow you like the top-end snappers, it should produce decent shots on its point-and-shoot settings. This phone is a reliable performer across the board!
Sparked your interest? Read the full Honor 70 review.