Given the current state of the world, this IFA 2020 looked a lot different than usual. A much smaller physical event still technically happened in Berlin, but the vast majority of announcements came in the form of press releases. That resulted in fewer product unveilings than we usually see, but that's not to say that we didn't see anything. There were still quite a few gadgets and gizmos to come out of it, with these ones, in particular, earning our praise as the Best of IFA 2020.
Best of IFA 2020
The world's first phone with an under-screen selfie camera.
ZTE isn't a brand we talk about a lot in the U.S., but time and time again, the company has proven to take plenty of risks in the name of smartphone innovation. That's on full display with the ZTE Axon 20 5G, which is officially the world's first phone with an under-display camera. Rather than cramming the selfie camera in a notch or hole-punch cutout, the Axon 20 5G puts it under the actual display. That means you get a 6.92-inch Full HD+ screen that's completely uninterrupted, and we cannot wait to see more phones adopt this new design.
Charge three gadgets at once (take that, Apple).
Remember all that talk about Apple AirPower and how amazing it was supposed to be? Well, it never ended up shipping and is now just a distant memory. During that time, Samsung's taken it upon itself to create something very similar with its Wireless Charger Trio. Featuring three distinct sections with Qi pads, this accessory can simultaneously charge up to three of your devices at once. Especially if you have a smartwatch and earbuds that support the Qi standard, it's kind of perfect.
The modern alarm clock you've been waiting for.
Smart displays have been all the rage for Google Assistant devices as of late, but as cool as they are, they're still a bit more costly than what some people are willing to spend. The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is aiming to be the perfect middle ground between Assistant speaker and display, featuring a minimal LED screen that shows the current time, date, and temperature. For just $50, it could be the perfect addition to your bedside table.
A soundbar built specifically for gaming.
Soundbars are a dime-a-dozen, and while that's great for having plenty of options to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out what makes each one unique. That's not a problem you'll have with the Panasonic SoundSlayer, thanks to its heavy focus on gaming. The SoundSlayer has a few audio presets made specifically for gaming, including RPG Mode, FPS Mode, and Voice Mode. It also touts Dolby Atmos support and super compact design, making it a compelling pickup for just $299.
High-quality Sennheiser sound in a more affordable package.
Sennheiser is one of the biggest names in the consumer audio space, but especially with its higher-end audio gear, its price tags can be difficult to swallow. Looking to tackle the true wireless earbud space with something more affordable, the company has its new CX 400BT. The earbuds sound incredible, have a great design, and work with a fully-fledged companion app — all for less than competing options from Sony and Apple.
Noise cancellation is about to get a lot better for wireless earbuds.
Speaking of true wireless earbuds, we have to mention something that Qualcomm is working on. The company unveiled its new Adaptive ANC codec, which can be used by audio companies to substantially improve the noise-canceling experience provided by wireless earbuds. The goal is to provide legitimately good ANC even when an earbud doesn't have a tight seal in your ear, and if the tech works as advertised, it could be a game-changer.
Even though there may not have been a proper IFA this year, there were still plenty of announcements that helped to push the tech world forward. Whether you're most excited for what Lenovo, ZTE, or Samsung has to offer, we can't think of better recipients for our Best of IFA award.
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