It's been a hectic IFA with tons of new gear to look forward to. We're going to peek behind the big-name phones and tablets at the Android accessories that are ready to order now, including toys, wireless video, and especially wearables. Both Motorola and Huawei had some respectable new smartwatches on the show floor this week that are worth a gander. There were even a few new releases outside of Berlin; come and see what's up.
1. Nest Thermostat 3rd. Gen.
Nest's quintessential learning thermostat is growing up a bit with a new generation launching this week. Many of the changes are aesthetic, with a slimmer profile and larger display now included. More temperature sensors make it more accurate at predicting when to warm up or cool down your house, but the flashiest new feature is called Farsight, which shows the time or temperature in a big font when it detects you're far away. Nest is also rolling out a new software feature that will give a heads-up if your furnace has some wonky shut-down behavior.
2. Huawei Watch
Huawei delivered a bit of a particularly nice-looking smartwatch at IFA. The high-density (fully) circular display, excellent build quality, and range of luxurious bands makes a complete package, though there's not much new on the software side. This is a good pick for anybody concerned with fashion. Huawei Watch preorders will ship on September 17.
3. BB-8 Sphero
Okay, yeah, it's just a Bluetooth ball that rolls around with phone-based controls, but innit cute? The BB-8 has been seen in many trailers leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and its charm can't be denied. The toy can be set on predetermined movement paths or a free-roaming play mode, and over time it adapts to how you interact with it. You can load video messages into the BB-8 that other app-users can see as holograms through the augmented reality section. Star Wars fans, this is a no-brainer.
4. Moto 360
The Moto 360 is a steady but welcome iterative update on Motorola's smartwatch. The side button has been repositioned slightly and there are a few spec upgrades under the hood, but the biggest addition is more options. Two smaller versions for both men and women is available, MotoMaker allows a wide range of band and metal customizations, plus down the line we can expect a sporty version with water resistance and autonomous GPS. Pre-orders are available now, with shipments going out this month.
5. Snap 4K Drone
It's hard to ignore a safe, smart, portable, expandable, phone-controlled drone that shoots stabilized 4K video. Pre-orders for the Snap by Vantage Robotics went live this week with an eye-catching folding design that helps you stow the drone. The removable center piece houses the camera and provides a clear upgrade path when you want a better body. The mobile app is designed for intelligent motion tracking, so the drone can circle, follow, and hover without having to manually fiddle with the controls. It's a promising vision, and should be shipping in the spring. Order before 22nd to get in on early bird pricing ($400 off).
Your favorite Android-friendly gadgets this week?
It's been a busy week, and we'll be seeing plenty more of the products announced at IFA once they start hitting store shelves. Drop a link in the comments to your favorite new accessory release.