Trade show attendance may have slowed, but innovation has not. IFA 2020 has wrapped for the year following three days of in-person, virtual, and satellite events. There’s no denying the reality of the show was peculiar but the announcements, products, and technologies presented were just as groundbreaking as ever. This is Android Authority‘s Best of IFA 2020 Awards.
Phones & Wearables
Best smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
This year, Samsung unveiled a much improved Galaxy Fold, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. With a $2,000 price tag, the Z Fold 2 aspires to get foldables right at any cost. With an improved external display, better-protected hinge mechanism, and notable camera upgrade, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is one foldable everyone is betting on.
Best budget smartphone: ZTE Axon 20 5G
If you’re after something a little more affordable, there’s no going past the ZTE Axon 20 5G. Not only does it retail for much less, but it’s also packing some impressive technology of its own. The Axon 20 5G is the world’s first smartphone to feature an under-display front-facing camera, and it only costs around $320.
Best smartphone innovation: ZTE Axon 20 5G (world’s first under-display camera)
Speaking of the Axon 20 5G’s in-display camera, it’s the recipient of our award for the best new smartphone innovation. We’ve been waiting to see this tech hit a consumer product for years, so it’s a game-changer to have it finally land. The debate over notches, cutouts, and punch-holes is finally over!
Best mobile accessory: Samsung Wireless Charging Trio
Samsung also dropped the Wireless Charging Trio which can simultaneously charge three devices. It may seem like a simple enough problem to solve, but it’s, ah, caused issues for some other brands. Not so Samsung. Who wouldn’t want one wireless charging pad to handle your phone, true wireless earbuds, and smartwatch all at the same time?
Related: The best wireless chargers
Best new technology: TCL NXT Paper
TCL is no stranger to creating new display technology, but its latest innovation, NXT Paper, is next-level. Imagine a super-efficient paper-like visual experience with a refresh rate high enough that you can even watch videos on it. Take that e-ink! TCL promises a commercial product with a NXT Paper display is coming soon…
Best smartwatch: Fitbit Sense
There are smartwatches, and then there are Fitbits. The wearable juggernaut is really bringing its A-game with the Fitbit Sense. The Fitbit Sense features everything a fitness fanatic could ever want, including an EDA sensor for tracking stress, an ECG for monitoring your heart health, skin temperature monitoring, SpO2, GPS, six-day battery life, and more.
Best budget smartwatch: Honor Watch GS Pro
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable, chunky, and rugged, then Honor’s first foray into the active smartwatch category is worth a look. The Honor Watch GS Pro is a seriously rugged-looking smartwatch featuring 25-day battery life, MIL-STD 810G compliance, and 5 ATM water resistance.
Best health tech: LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier
LG knows a thing or two about air purification and is putting that experience to good use with the LG PuriCare battery-powered face mask. It offers all the benefits of a regular LG air purifier… just strapped to your face. It features electric fans and twin-HEPA filters powered by a battery that can last up to eight hours.
Home & Entertainment
Best work-from-home product: TP-Link Deco X80 5G mesh router
With everyone spending a lot more time at home these days, network speeds, adaptability, and coverage are critical. The TP-Link X80 5G mesh router has it all: 5Gbps speeds with a 5G-compatible SIM card, up to 6Gbps with Wi-Fi 6 support, and seamless integration with other mesh routers.
Best smart home innovation: iRobot Genius Home Intelligence
iRobot surprised everyone when it announced not a new robot vacuum but a “brain transplant” for its current product lineup. Genius Home Intelligence is a software upgrade that promises a completely updated AI-powered intelligence system. Not a bad little update iRobot!
Best robot vacuum: Neato D10
If you’re after a new robot vacuum, sufficient battery life is key if you don’t want your robovac returning to the dock mid-clean to recharge. This isn’t an issue with the Neato D10, which features a massive 150-minute run-time alongside the largest dustbin and widest brush on the market.
Best smart home product: Lenovo Smart Clock Essential
Lenovo’s Smart Displays are among my favorite smart home products and the Smart Clock Essential is just that: essential. The $50 bedside clock delivers all the Google Assistant-powered smarts of a larger device but only brings what you need: an LED readout, night-light, USB-A port for charging your phone, and a 3W mono speaker.
Up next: Best smart home gadgets
Best TV: LG 8K OLED ZX series with Nvidia RTX 30 GPU
If you’ve got a spare $30,000 lying around you could do much worse than pick up a new 88-inch LG 8K OLED TV with Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 30 GPU and G-Sync support. Not only will you be assured a pristine viewing experience but you’ll also get absolutely killer graphics on all your favorite games. Worth it!
Best budget TV: Samsung Q700T 8K TV
Samsung is making waves this year with a different approach. With the Samsung Q700T, the company is delivering some of its signature 8K QLED technology at a much more affordable price point. The Q700T is still a €1,999 TV, but it makes the possibility of owning an 8K TV a much more mainstream possibility.
Best tablet: Lenovo Tab P11 Pro
Tablets are all about the media experience, and the Lenovo Tab P11 Pro delivers in spades. The high-resolution, bright OLED display and JBL quad-speaker setup with Dolby Atmos built-in check off all the entertainment essentials. The best part is that the Tab P11 Pro won’t break the bank, with a very reasonable $499 price tag.
Best home theater product: Samsung The Premiere LSP9T
Remember what we said about Samsung bringing an 8K TV experience to the masses for cheap? Well if you want to pick up the company’s new 4K projector called “The Premiere,” you had, ah, better start saving. The Premiere is the world’s first HDR 10+ certified projector and if you have to ask how much it costs you probably can’t afford it.
Computing & Gaming
Best monitor: 360Hz Acer Predator X25 gaming display
Acer’s 360Hz Predator gaming monitors are already kickass, but add support for Nvidia’s new Reflex Latency Analyzer and they become something else again. This 24.5-inch Full-HD G-Sync gaming display is the gold standard for 360Hz gaming monitors with frame refreshes every 2.8 milliseconds. Fast enough for you?
Best laptop: MSI Summit E15
MSI make great gaming laptops, but there couldn’t be a better time to start making productivity-focused laptops for the regular joe. The new Summit series all feature 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs, Nvidia graphics at the higher end (the Summit 15 included), and support for Thunderbolt 4. They hit shelves in October.
Best gaming laptop: MSI Stealth 15M
A novel approach to an ultra-thin gaming laptop resulted in the thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop around: the MSI Stealth 15M. It takes a totally different approach to gaming specs, opting for a quad-core Intel Tiger Lake CPU in the name of keeping things cool, but backing that up with GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or GeForce RTX 2060 graphics.
Best gaming accessory: 8BitDo Wireless Arcade
Some gaming accessories are designed more for fun than hardcore performance. That’s definitely the case with the updated version of the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade. You’ll get the same super-fun arcade experience on this full-sized joystick controller but now you can customize layouts and remap buttons as well.
Don’t miss: Best laptops of 2020
Best gaming headset: Asus ROG Delta S with MQA
Asus is bringing the heat with the new Asus ROG Delta S gaming headset with Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology. The on-board MQA renderer means you’ll be able to unpack MQA files to full master quality. The Hi-Res ESS Quad-DAC and big ol’ drivers then ramp that experience up even further.
Best PC: Acer Predator Orion 9000 (with Nvidia RTX 30 GPU)
Acer’s Predator Orion 9000 series of desktop gaming PCs is also getting the Nvidia RTX 30 GPU treatment. Better ray tracing, faster frame rates, and improvements in AI acceleration are all assured by the GeForce RTX 3090, 3080, and 3070 graphics cards. There’s no pricing or launch date yet though, so stay tuned!
Best PC innovation: Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Series GPU
You’ve seen it mentioned several times in the awards above, now we get to the innovation that made some of those awards possible: Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 30 series graphics. From LG TVs to Acer desktop rigs, RTX 30 GPUs are going to shake things up in a big way in what’s left of 2020.
Best PC/laptop accessory: Razer Naga Pro modular gaming mouse
With all these fast refresh rate monitors and improved graphics capabilities, you’re going to need a gaming mouse that can keep up. But what if it also allowed you to customize its hardware to suit the game at hand? The Razer Naga Pro does just that: it’s a modular gaming mouse equipped with magnets so you can swap out the side-button plates at will.
Audio & Camera
Best camera: Panasonic Lumix S5
The Panasonic Lumix S5 packs a full-frame sensor into a much more compact body than other full-frame cameras, smaller even than Panasonic’s own micro-four-thirds GH5. A more portable full-frame camera is a big enough deal on its own, but when it’s only priced at $1,999.99 it’s even better still.
Best smart speaker: Harman Kardon Citation 200
Harman Kardon’s audio quality speaks for itself, but the new Citation 200 portable speaker can carry a tune for up to eight hours over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Meanwhile, you can carry the Citation 200 with its nifty carry handle outdoors thanks to its IPX4 splash-proof rating and control it with your voice via Google Assistant, Chromecast, or Apple AirPlay.
Best portable speaker: JBL Xtreme 3
JBL’s portable speakers are renowned for good reason and the Xtreme 3 will only further cement that reputation. With an updated design that includes USB-C and water-proofing, the Xtreme 3 also gets improved audio quality with four new drivers and twin bass radiators for even better stereo sound, all at the same price as its predecessor.
Best headphones: Sennheiser CX 400BT True Wireless
Sennheiser dropped the new CX 400BT true wireless earbuds and we couldn’t be happier. With seven hours of standalone battery life (20 hours with the charging case), the CX 400BT earbuds should comfortably get you through even the longest day. With 7mm drivers, customizable controls, and a $199.99 price tag, these buds are worth checking out.
Read more: The best true wireless earbuds
Best audio innovation: Qualcomm Adaptive ANC
Most headphones that offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) require a snug fit in the ear, usually via gel or foam tips. But even those can wriggle loose while you’re working out and open-fit buds have no chance. That’s where Qualcomm Adaptive ANC comes in, dynamically adjusting ANC performance based on ear fit, ambient conditions, and audio leak.
Best audio accessory: Sennheiser MKE 200
The Sennheiser MKE 200 microphone guarantees professional-sounding audio no matter what you’re shooting video with (including a phone). A shock-mounted directional capsule inside ensures you’re recording what your camera’s pointing at and its $99.95 price tag means it’s affordable enough for every creator.
And that’s a wrap from Berlin for IFA 2020 and our Best of IFA Awards. It’s been a… “different” trade show from the usual for sure, but we’ll be back next year and doing the virtual thing again for CES 2021, so as always, keep it locked to Android Authority for all the hottest announcements in the world of tech.