IFA 2020 was a little different this year. The major European tech show still went ahead in Berlin, Germany, but in a far more limited - and socially distanced - capacity.
While that meant fewer brands and launches, there was still plenty of tech to get excited about, and that's exactly what TechRadar's Hottest at IFA 2020 Awards are here to celebrate.
We weren't present at the show to bring you our usual feast of hands-ons with all the new products, but that doesn't mean there weren't devices that caught our eye from the show itself or the surrounding launches (that we'd usually have expected to be gracing a hall in Berlin, but clearly the brands realized they didn't need to schlepp all the way there and could just do things virtually this year).
In fact, there were quite a few, and we've rounded them up for you right here - these are the ones to stick on your radar and make sure you follow over the coming months.
Welcome, to TechRadar's Hottest at IFA 2020 Awards.
Hottest in show - Tablet
TCL 10 Tab Max
Plenty of cheap Android tablets were launched at IFA, but perhaps the most interesting is the TCL 10 Tab Max. It has a 10.3-inch FHD+ screen, a large 8,000mAh battery, and comes with a stylus.
Most intriguing are the slate’s eye-protection modes, as the screen was designed to reduce potential vision damage, as it emits less blue light, lets you know if your face is too close to the display, and has a few other sight-aiding settings too. We don’t know the tablet’s price, but it’s expected to be low, so it could be a great slate for children and education.
- Honorable mention: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7
Hottest in show - TV
Philips OLED+935 TV
The Philips OLED+935 may have been leaked earlier in the year, but that didn't make its unveiling at IFA 2020 any less impactful. This flagship OLED set packs in Philips’ impressive P5 processor, four-sided Ambilight, and even a built-in 70W Dolby Atmos soundbar from audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins – with whom Philips has now partnered for a number of high-end sets.
To be honest, there wasn’t as much competition this year as usual, with only Samsung showing off a brand new television – the Q700T 8K QLED, which comes in a 55-inch size. TCL, Panasonic and LG didn’t have anything new on the TV front, which in a normal year would be a staggering omission. In 2020, though, the prize goes to the OLED+935.
Hottest in show - Home Theater
The Samsung Premiere is the hottest in home theater this year at IFA 2020 – and for good reason. It made headlines as the world’s first HDR10+ projector, rushing past the likes of Sony, LG or Optoma in the race to bring dynamic HDR formats – which calibrate HDR scenes with additional metadata – to home cinema projectors.
With Samsung’s Tizen OS, usually saved for its smart TVs, Samsung seems to be avoiding another common hurdle on commercial projectors: the basic software.
The new LG CineBeam HU810P deserves a nod for offering an impressive 40-300 inch projection size that can be catered to the owner’s home and needs.
But while the CineBeam range has topped our best projector guide for a while now – taking the top two spaces, in fact – it’s Samsung’s new entry that could shake up the premium projector market for good.
- Honorable mentions: LG CineBeam HU810P, Philips Fidelio B95 soundbar
Hottest in show - Smart Speaker
Harman Kardon Citation 200
Harman's popular Citation range of wireless speakers has been upgraded to include a new portable smart speaker – the Harman Kardon Citation 200 combines Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity like the Sonos Move to take your music seamlessly from indoors to outdoors.
With Google Assistant onboard, you can use it to control your smart home devices, as well as play your music, and like other speakers in the Citation range, you can set it up as part of a multi-room audio system for tunes in every room of your home.
Hottest in show - Headphones
Philips Fidelio L3
The Philips Fidelio L3 make a compelling (and cheaper) alternative to the best headphones of 2020, the Sony WH-1000XM4. The latest in Philips’ recently rebooted Fidelio line, the new headphones come with a luxurious leather design, active noise cancellation, and support for Hi-Res Audio – as well as an impressive 35-hour battery life.
- Honorable mention: Philips H9505
Hottest in show - Wearable Tech
Samsung Galaxy Fit 2
Another winner from Samsung. The Galaxy Fit 2 is a streamlined fitness tracker that promises up to two weeks of battery life in ordinary use, which is an impressive claim - particularly considering the newly-announced Fitbit Inspire 2 will need recharging after 10 days.
Its simplified design should result in a lighter weight than the original Galaxy Fit, and although we don’t know too much about its specs yet, we’re confident it’ll offer plenty for the price, which is likely to be one of the most competitive around. We’ve got our fingers crossed for on-board GPS in particular.
Honorable mentions: Honor Watch GS Pro, Honor Watch ES
Hottest in show - Computing
MagicBook Pro (2020)
The MagicBook Pro from Honor is not the first rival to the Apple MacBook Pro 16.1, but it is certainly the best we've seen to date. Honor managed to put together a very polished and balanced product that oozes quality while hitting the sort of price point that makes you look twice at the label.
The choice of components - a 6-core Ryzen, 16GB of dual-channel memory and a speedy SSD - means that the engineers haven't cut any corners to deliver a veritable challenger in a genuinely nice form factor. Small details like the location of the speakers or the Magiclink feature are appreciated. The only noteworthy issue has to be the location of the webcam - it could be better placed.
Hottest innovation in show
It’s Samsung again! While IFA 2020 didn’t quite have the same level of competition as previous years, with many brands opting out or settling on a smaller presence, the Premiere really was a massive announcement that pushes projector development forward.
We’re yet to test out the world’s first HDR10+ projector for ourselves, so we’re wary of bigging up its capabilities too much, but it’s a first step towards a future where dynamic HDR formats like HDR10+ Dolby Vision come as standard on projectors in the same way as their television counterparts - and for that Samsung deserves some recognition.
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