IFA 2022 is well underway in the Messehalle Berlin – aptly named since, with the show currently only open to journalists and brands, the place really is kind of a mess. IFA – full name Internationale Funkausstellung, which actually means the International Radio Show, is Europe's biggest consumer technology expo. It used to be about radios, back when they were the biggest thing in consumer tech, then expanded to include all manner of gadgetry, and now also incorporates a huge homewares and kitchen area as well. Seriously, if you love to see washing machines piled high, as far as the eye can see, IFA is a great place to come.
Lots of new products get announced at IFA, and we'll be bringing you the best announcements, from smart home innovations to the best phones, wearables and innovations from throughout the tech diaspora.
IFA 2022: when and where is it happening?
As usual, IFA is taking place in Berlin, at the Messe Berlin exhibition grounds. The official dates for the event – which is open to the public – are Friday September 2 to Wednesday September 7.
Around those dates will be the usual press events and launches, so it's possible that particular products will get announced that aren't on show on the exhibition floor. Don't worry though, because we'll bring you news of everything that's happening in Berlin in September – it'll almost be better than being there.
There are plenty of big names here, as IFA comes back to full steam after several pandemic-blighted years.
Our favourite new products of IFA 2022 so far…
IFA isn't on the same level as Barcelona's MWC (Mobile World Congress), but there are always some good phone launches to be had here. Nokia has a veritable slew of mobiles as well as Circular, a subscription service that lets you choose and change your phone at will (as long as it is made by Nokia) and also gives the handsets a second life by refurbishing them when you're done, for resale or charitable donation.
In very brief, the new Nokia handsets are:
Nokia X30 5G: "our smallest eco footprint yet and our best-ever PureView photography experience."
Nokia G60 5G "brings sustainability through longevity to as many people as possible."
Nokia C31 "is the new C-series hero delivering on durability with long-lasting three-day battery life." [terms and conditions apply to three-day battery life.]
Nokia T21 "is a reliable, family friendly powerhouse that is built to last."
We'll have more new phones for you as reporting restrictions lift.
Available in a stunning wood or not-quite-so-stunning fabric finish, B&O Beosound Theatre is undoubtedly one of the stars of the show. Pricing is £5,590 / $6,890 / €6,490 (fabric cover) and £6,390 / $7,990 / €7,490 (wood cover) so we don't think this one will be appearing under too many TVs this winter. The lucky few, however, will experience 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos object-based decoding and internals that can be upgraded as home cinema technology progresses further in years to come. If it lasts you a lifetime, it won't seem so pricey, will it?
Rather paling in comparison is JBL's Sonos Arc rival the JBL Bar 1000 – great name! It takes on Sonos' lusty soundbar with a subwoofer thrown in, twice as many upward-firing speakers for 7.1.4 nirvana, and a modular design that means you can pull off the two speakers at either end of the bar and use them as rear surround speakers! All this for 'only' £999, which is only around £100 more than the soundbar-only Arc costs.
Okay, that image doesn't quite capture the majestic presence of LG's 97-inch G2 OLED. This 'Gallery Edition' TV takes everything that was already great about the OLED G2 range and makes it very, very large indeed. As ever with the G series, this is about 99% screen and 1% everything else, so it looks like a moving painting on your wall. Specifically, it looks like an absolutely bloody enormous, moving painting on your wall. There's no word on price, but you probably can't afford it.
At totally the opposite end of the cost spectrum is a new range of affordable TVs powered by the excellent Roku smart platform. Metz Blue TVs with Roku offer Direct LED screens in six sizes, from 32-inch to 65-inch, with the two smallest screens being HD and the rest 4K with HDR10 and HLG HDR support. They look great and perform amazingly well considering prices start from £159 and even the 65-incher is only £449.
Finally, sitting somewhere in the middle are Philips' exquisite new-for-22 OLED+ TVs. These boast better Ambilight than ever – that's the unique and eerie light that shines from the back of Philips TVs, matching the colours of what's on screen. It's extremely immersive, very beautiful and people who see it, love it. Needless to say Philips has also upgraded picture quality, sound quality and the quality of just about everything else. Read all about the Philips 2022 OLED – and Micro LED – TV lineup.
Home tech – and smart home tech
Speaking of immersive, Philips-branded lighting – as we just were – Philips Hue has some very neat lightstrips specifically for PC gaming, and compatible with Corsair rigs. However the star of the smart home show for us, so far, is the rather more prosaic Ring Intercom. A sibling to the Ring Video Doorbell, but intended for flats rather than houses, it turns the entry phone on your apartment into a smart entry phone. So now you can answer the door from anywhere, let delivery men into the building and even arrange building access for friends, family and dog walkers – in most cases they will still need a means to enter your actual flat after that, of course.
Home and kitchen sustainability is a big story at IFA and we'll have a few stories around that for you tomorrow.
Another big story at IFA is 'LG putting out preposterously cool stuff'. Not to be outdone by a big telly, the brand's homewares department has come up with a spinoff of the Styler 'steam wardrobe' designed specifically for trainers and an even more ridiculous climate-controlled display box thing. LG Styler ShoeCase is exactly what it sounds like: a transparent box for showcasing your expensive, limited edition sneakers. As well as protecting against humidity and 'fabric-discolouring' UV light, the modular, stacking box boasts 'a 360-degree rotating turntable' to properly show off your creps.
LG Styler ShoeCare, meanwhile, 'delivers a refreshing shoe management experience,' which is to say it cleans them gently with steam. Zeolite crystals soak up moisture and remove smells as well. So that's nice.
Garmin today officially unveiled its latest watches, the Venu Sq 2 and its musical cousin the Venu Sq 2 Music Edition. We are not 100% sure they launched 'at IFA' technically speaking, but it's near enough. This affordable smartwatch and fitness tracker with GPS is aimed at the Apple Watch lifestyle market and very nice it is too. The updated versions add improved AMOLED screens, longer battery life and extra features, as you would expect. Pricing remains pretty keen at $249.99/ £229.99/ AU$399 or $299.99/ £269.99/ AU$499 for the Music Edition.
The other big watch release of IFA 22 so far is the Amazfit GT4 series. Including the GTR 4, GTS 4 and GTS 4 Mini this is Amazfit's biggest launch to date. 'Here to make smart fitness easy,' the watches feature, 'the industry's first dual-band circularly-polarised GPS antenna technology.' There's also big, fat HD AMOLED screens and long battery life. You can read all about the Amazfit GT4 Series NOW.
A smart glasses revival is way overdue – not that they ever really went away or, indeed, ever became remotely successful, but maybe this time, eh? Lenovo is showcasing the Lenovo Smart Glasses T1 and hoping the world is finally ready for a little, interactive screen that you wear on your face.
The same brand also has the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold (Gen 2). As the name suggests, this features a 16-inch screen that you can fold in half. Why you would want to do this is less clear at this point, but it's an impressive proof of concept.