Another year, another tech show down at Talk Android. It’s September, which means we just made it through IFA 2017 with all of the new gadgets and phones announced at the annual event, including some really fantastic new smartphones and accessories.
Let’s dig into the best of what we saw this year.
LG has been hyping up the V30 for months, and we finally got to see just what it can do at IFA. Not only did LG finally make the jump to OLED panels, but they crammed the absolute best hardware they could into a sleek package. The LG V30 packs a Snapdragon 835 CPU with 4GB of RAM, a 6-inch QuadHD+ display, and a monster dual-camera system that looks like one of the best we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.
LG didn’t stop at the hardware, though. They’ve reworked and refined the second screen of the V-series devices into a floating action bar, built a social media network around the phone’s impressive camera system, and wants to make this the best phone ever to listen to music on. What’s not to love?
We’re looking at a ton of great phones in Q4 of this year, but LG’s V30 is very capable of competing (and maybe even winning) against Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8.
High-end, flagship devices are great, but sometimes we get more excited about the things in the mid-range market, especially if it’s coming from Motorola. This year, Lenovo treated us to a successor the Moto X line with the Moto X4, which wants to deliver a top-notch experience without the top shelf price tag.
The Moto X4 uses a Snapdragon 630 CPU, 3GB of RAM, and up to 64GB of internal storage. There’s a 3,000mAh battery powering it all, and paired with that particular Snapdragon processor, I’d expect some absolutely fantastic battery life. You’ll also find a 5.2-inch full HD display and IP68 certification here, rounding out a great phone.
Most importantly, you’ll get a dual-camera system with the Moto X4. We’re starting to see those revolutionary camera enhancements make their way down to phones outside of the $800 range, and that should excite just about everyone.
It’s all too common to hear someone complain about not having enough storage on their phone, and SanDisk wants to make sure that’s never an issue you’ll run into with their newest microSD card. You’ll get a whopping 400GB on a tiny microSD card that will easily hold even the largest media libraries.
Android power users love their microSD cards, and something like this is the perfect companion to many of the flagship devices on the market today. Bigger apps, larger music libraries, and 4K video all use up more space, so why wouldn’t you want expandable storage that keeps up with that?
Samsung surprised us with the Gear Sport, a slick and refined smartwatch that takes years of wearable expertise and crams it into a perfect exercise companion. You’ll get access to Samsung’s robust S Health platform, plus sensors to track all of your workouts, swimming, and heart rate. The only thing it won’t do is wash your dirty workout clothes, but Samsung announced an AI-powered washing machine to handle that part of your life.
But what really makes the Gear Sport stand out is that it’s actually a pretty decent looking watch. Too many fitness trackers look clunky and unappealing to wear, but the Sport is something that you can keep on all day, whether you’re exercising in the morning, working during the day, or hanging out at night. Don’t sacrifice form or function when you can have both.
Fitbit rolled out their own version of a smartwatch, marking a departure from the exclusive focus on fitness tracking. The Fitbit Ionic can run native apps, and Fitbit is preparing an SDK for developers to get their apps running on the platform, too.
That’s not to say that the Ionic isn’t a great fitness tracker, too, and that’s probably always going to be Fitbit’s focus. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters, it can intelligently track when you start a run, and there’s on board GPS to keep up with your location data.
And like any good mobile device, the Ionic gets access to the brand new Fitbit Pay so you can still make mobile payments through your watch, regardless of your phone’s OS.
After scooping up Pebble for their smartwatch software chops, I think we’re all excited to see just what Fitbit can do with all of the new talent and tech under the hood.
Google Assistant is really cool. It’s easily one of the best new things to come out of Google HQ recently, and having it always listening and accessible through Google Home is fantastic. But you know what’s even better than Google Assistant on Google Home? Google Assistant on a speaker that you can take anywhere.
We saw plenty of third party Google Assistant speakers at IFA, but the TicHome Mini with its extreme portability and incredibly small size. There’s no need to plug it into the wall thanks to its rechargeable battery, so you can carry it throughout your home to different rooms, out by the pool, or even out of the house completely, so long as you have WiFi. It doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, too, so even if you’re in a dead spot it’ll still work as a wireless speaker for your phone.