IFA 2023: Honor, Lenovo, Anker and more unveil devices at Europe’s largest tech show
Image credit: jack loughran
IFA Berlin, Europe’s biggest tech show has begun in earnest with major tech announcements from the likes of Honor, Lenovo, JBL and Anker.
In the first keynote of the show, Honor announced its latest foldable – the Honor Magic V2 – which, according to the Chinese firm, is the slimmest of its type at just 9.9mm thick when closed. The device was announced just six months after the Honor Magic Vs, although it is not expected to be released commercially until early next year.
Boasting a triple lens camera setup on the back and two front-facing cameras, the Magic V2 is powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It also comes with a 5000mAh silicon-carbon battery – relatively new technology that achieves around 12.8 per cent higher energy density than regular batteries.
Honor also unveiled the Honor V Purse, a concept device with a screen that folds backwards rather than inwards like most foldable phones. The device has been positioned as a fashion device, although inevitable concerns around the durability of an exterior-facing screen were not addressed during the keynote.Image credit: jack loughran
The Chinese firm unveiled the Lenovo Legion Go, a handheld gaming device running on Windows that is designed to compete with the likes of Valve’s Steam Deck and Asus’s ROG Ally. Following the success of the Nintendo Switch – released all the way back in 2017 – 2023 seems to be the year that the rest of the market is trying to play catch-up based on similar form factors.
Like the Switch, the Legion Go has detachable controllers on each side of its spacious 8.8-inch screen, which can be used wirelessly. The device is powered by AMD Ryzen Z1 Series processors and runs Windows 11 out of the box, meaning it is compatible with the likes of Microsoft’s Game Pass, as well as Steam.
Lenovo claims its 49.2Wh capacity battery will be able to sustain lengthy gaming sessions without needing to recharge – although without any real-world testing, it’s difficult to know how long it will last in practice with more demanding games. Still, the Legion Go has support for Super Rapid Charge2, which means the battery can recharge up to 70 per cent in just half an hour.
The firm also released its Lenovo Legion Glasses – two tiny screens crammed into a pair of glasses that give the wearer their own virtual monitor. They offer a 60Hz refresh rate and high-fidelity audio via built-in speakers.
The Wireless Power Consortium unveiled Qi2 earlier this year – a faster wireless charging protocol that uses a magnetic system to ensure that devices are perfectly aligned with charging devices.
The fruits of this new standard are finally being unveiled at IFA, with Anker announcing the first Qi2-compatible charging products ahead of any smartphones that are yet to officially support it – although Apple products with magsafe are compatible. Anker’s new MagCo accessories are compatible with the standard and can reach 15W charging speeds. The new products also include 10,000mAh and 6,000mAh power banks as well as an 8-in-1 charging station. The Qi2 MagGo devices are expected to ship later this year, no prices have been announced so far.
American audio specialists JBL unveiled a trio of platform agnostic WiFi speakers that are able to run Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa simultaneously. Three speakers in total were announced, all adopting distinctly vintage stylings. The Authentics 500 is the largest and most expensive ($699.99) of the line-up, with an active subwoofer and support for Dolby Atmos. Then comes the $429.99 Authentics 300 which is less powerful than its bigger brother but can be used portably and run on its internal battery unlike the other two. Finally, the $329.99 Authentics 200 is the smallest and least powerful of the bunch.
Aside from the voice assistant functionality, all three speakers come with three dials on the top designed to complement the vintage aesthetic – one for volume and the other two for adjusting treble and bass. The speakers also offer the obligatory Bluetooth and 3.5mm aux inputs in addition to compatibility with different streaming services and support for Airplay, Chromecast and other standards.
In recent years, appliance maker SharkNinja has been building a portfolio of kitchen and household gadgets with a strong smart home focus. At IFA it unveiled the Shark Cordless Detect Pro – an “intelligent” automated vacuum cleaner that claims to be able to find hard-to-see dirt. It has been designed to boost suction power for deep cleaning on carpets and at the edges of rooms. The device also responds to low-light areas by automatically illuminating hidden dust and debris, and is capable of emptying itself once it reaches its charging base. Other features include up to 60 minutes of run time, an LED display screen, multi-surface brush-roll and Anti Hair Wrap Technology, which removes hair from the brush-roll as you clean.
SharkNinja also unveiled the Ninja Blast – a cordless blender designed for portability and making smoothies when out and about. It has been designed to prevent leaks and can be used around 10 times before needing to be recharged. The blender also has a self-clean functionality if filled with water and a drop of washing-up liquid, meaning it can be sanitised away from the kitchen environment.
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