IFA Day 2: A retina-scanning phone, Logitech’s home remote, 4K UHD Blu-ray

The second of IFA 2015’s two press-only days is in the can and it came with a few pleasant surprises. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Samsung delighted home-video buffs with its announcement of the first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UHD-K8500. The new Blu-ray format will deliver the best picture quality 4K TV owners have ever seen at home with high-bitrate 4K video, full HDR (high dynamic range) support, and upscaling of both standard Blu-ray discs and DVDs. As part of the same announcement, 20th Century Fox pledged its full support of 4K UHD, promising all new titles will be issued in the new format, with older titles re-mastered and re-released over time. Samsung indicated the new players would appear in Europe in early 2016, but we’re holding out hope the U.S. might see them in time for the holidays. You can learn more about the new 4K UHD Blu-ray player here.

Chinese smartphone maker, ZTE, announced its latest offering, the Axon Elite. The good news is that the phone sports some really cool tech. The bad news for anyone outside of Europe is that you can’t have it. It’s bound for European customers only. The Axon Elite features the same top-shelf hardware as the standard Axon available in the U.S., including a dual-lens camera, but tacks on security measures in the way of voice-authorization, a fingerprint scanner and — get this — a retina scanner. It all works remarkably well, too. We’ve got a hands-on report on the new phone coming soon.

Finally, Logitech announced  several new additions to its Harmony remote lineup, including the Harmony Elite. The Harmony Elite works with Logitech’s Harmony Hub to control not only your entire entertainment system, but smart home devices such as lighting, thermostats, door locks, window shades and more as well. The remote allows the programming of so-called “Harmony Activities,” which will sequence several commands at once. You could power on your entertainment system, dim the lights, draw the shades and lock the doors, for instance, all with the press of a single button. The possibilities are only limited by the number of home automation devices available.

That’s it for day two. Tomorrow, the IFA 2015 show floor opens to the public and Digital Trends will be roaming around in search of more new tech. Be sure to check back in for all the latest coverage of the big show, plus the announcement of the Digital Trends Best Tech of IFA 2015 awards in 10 different categories.

Editor’s note: Ignore the frazzled narrator at the end of the video! The winners of Digital Trends’ IFA 2015 awards will be announced this Saturday, not Friday.

Product Review

It's so fast it has a clip-on fan. But the Asus ROG phone isn't just for gamers

Is a gaming smartphone only something a mobile gamer should consider buying? In the case of the Asus ROG Phone, the good news is the device is so capable, and a genuinely impressive all-rounder, that everyone should take a closer look…

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

Time for a TV upgrade? Here’s what you need to know about 4K Ultra HD TV

Ultra HD 4K has quickly taken over the world of TVs. But what is Ultra HD 4K, how does it work, and most importantly, should you upgrade, or keep your old TV? We explain it all right here.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.

Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.

Get your gaming on the go with this list of the 25 best Android games

The Google Play Store is loaded with both terrific and terrible gaming titles. We vetted the store to bring you some of the best Android games available, whether you're into puzzles, shooters, racing games, or something else.

Google’s Gboard now uses A.I. to recommend GIFs based on your conversation

Google is bringing a new feature to Gboard that should make it better for those that regularly use GIFs and stickers. The feature essentially uses A.I. to recommend GIFs and stickers based on your conversation.

Master your new Nokia 7.1 with our favorite tips and tricks

At $350, the Nokia 7.1 is a nearly perfect budget phone. It has a gorgeous body, good hardware, and a capable camera. Recently purchased the Nokia 7.1? Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks to get you started with your new phone.

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.

Android will finally get a faster sharing menu, but it might take a while

The Android sharing menu has gotten a whole lot better over the years, but it's also gotten slower. Thankfully, however, it seems as though Google is working on a better, faster sharing menu but, unfortunately, it may take a while.

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.

Best Google Pixel 3 XL screen protectors

It's tough to find good screen protectors, but the 6.3-inch OLED screen in the Google Pixel 3 XL definitely demands to be protected from scratches and impact damage. We've picked out the best options and included insight into the downsides.