Berlin was awash with new products at this year’s IFA trade show. Here’s what we saw that impressed us the most — and the one category that didn’t.

Fear not, America. Even though many of the products announced here at IFA won’t come to the US, Europe’s largest trade show, we still saw plenty of new things to get excited about that will hit the market globally. For every Europe-only smart oven from Bosch or AEG/.Electrolux, we found an exciting TV, a laptop, a wearable and even networking hardware that will show up at your US retailer, online or otherwise.

If you’d like to see a deep dive into the announcements from IFA, we’ve wrapped it all up for you here. Here you’ll find just the stuff we thought stood out the most this year.

Samsung Q900 8K television

Samsung’s 85-inch 8K Q900, on display at its booth during IFA 2018 in Berlin.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Even if there’s not enough content to really take advantage of an 8K screen yet, the march toward ever-finer TV resolution seems likely to resonate with consumers more than curved displays or 3D support. LG also made 8K news by reiterating its commitment from CES 2018 to bring out an 8K OLED display, but it was Samsung’s 85-inch Q900 that made the biggest impression at IFA.

Unlike its competitors, Samsung had the 8K Q900 television on display at its booth on the show floor, for anyone to walk up to, with the promise to start selling it this October. The price — potentially five figures — and the lack of content will keep the Q900 from taking any noticeable market share, but its release will be one of the first steps on the way to finding out if consumers are willing to march along to the cadence of higher-resolution TVs. They will be, especially once the price premium for 8K starts to shrink away, as it quickly did with 4K.


Google Wear OS watches

The Casio Wear OS watch.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The apparent leak of what appears to be the next Apple Watch — expected to be unveiled at Apple’s Sept. 12 event — is raising the stakes in the smartwatch wars. But Google isn’t standing still: The company expanded its own wearable plans at IFA to get ahead of the Apple PR wave. Google’s Wear OS (formerly known as Android Wear) is an update to its wearable operating system that incorporates heart rate tracking and other health-oriented features (wrapped in the Google Fit branding) as well as easier notification navigation system and tighter integration with Google Assistant, Google’s AI-drive voice assistant.

The SkagenDiesel and Casio Wear OS smart watches that debuted at IFA might not be the most advanced Google-powered wearables you’ll see this year. As our own Scott Stein points out, Google itself might introduce a Pixel-branded Wear OS watch later this year, and Qualcomm’s smartwatch event is just days away. Still, the time for Google to build up enthusiasm for Wear OS is now, before Apple captures all the excitement for smartwatches this year, and potentially an even more dominant share of the wearable market.


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