Day 1 of IFA brings fresh OLED competition, 4K phones, a turntable revival

The first of two press-only days at IFA 2015 is now in the books, and it was Panasonic and Sony who nabbed the biggest headlines.

Panasonic’s biggest announcement was the arrival of its new THX-certified 4K UHD OLED TV, and believe us: All those acronyms add up to a whole lot of awesome. Panasonic has always been well known for its TVs’ outstanding picture quality, but the company claims this is its best-looking TV yet. Aside from perfect black levels and excellent contrast, the new OLED TV is said to offer Panasonic’s most accurate color ever, delivering stunningly lifelike images. The new OLED TV’s arrival is also a big deal because it stands as the first competition LG has seen since it launched its first OLED just over three years ago.

Panasonic’s specialty audio brand, Technics, also garnered attention with some new premium digital audio components, but it was a prototype turntable that got reporters to rush the stage. Technics turntables have been an iconic fixture on many a DJ’s performance rigs, but the company called it quits on vinyl shortly before the brand was shut down five years ago. Apparently, though, Technics’ triumphant return last year was received warmly, so the company is going revive its turntable, this time redesigning it from the ground up.

Technics also introduced some new audiophile headphones at the event. Featuring 50 mm titanium-coated drivers and 14 mm tweeters, the EAH-T700 headphones are intended to compete with the best premium cans currently available. We tried them on, and not only were they extremely comfortable, but they sounded great as well. The cans are still in development, so no word on yet on when you can buy them and how much, but we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out.

Sony’s big news centered around a new Experia Z5 smartphone, boasting an eye-popping 4K screen. Do you really need a 4K screen on your smartphone? Who cares? Sony is doing it regardless. In all, there are three new Z5  phones: the 4.6-inch Z5 Compact, the 5.2-inch flagship Z5, and the 5.5-inch Z5 Premium is a phablet with the first 4K smartphone display. A few changes to the phone’s construction were changed but, don’t worry, the Z5s are all waterproof.

That’s it for press day number one. We’ll be back tomorrow with a roundup of the second press day ahead of the show’s official opening this Friday.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Mobile

The Cat S48c is the phone for construction workers, or the clumsy

The Cat S48c is a rugged smartphone that's available from Sprint. It mixes midrange specs with a huge battery wrapped in an extremely tough and protective body. If you need a phone that can survive the construction site, then this is it.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Product Review

It may be basic, but the TicWatch E2 is all the smartwatch you need

Want a smartwatch that can track heart rate, has GPS, and interact with notifications — for cheap? Mobvoi’s Google Wear OS-based TicWatch E2 can do it all, for just $160.
Mobile

Do these case images confirm a side-mounted fingerprint scanner on the S10 E?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

Verizon 5G rollout: Here is everything you need to know

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Computing

Yes, you can use Android apps on your Chromebook. Here's how

You can now get Android apps on your Chromebook! Google has enabled the Google Play Store app support on its Chrome OS and Chromebook hardware, so to get you started, here's our guide on how to get Android apps on a Chromebook.
Mobile

Is 5G as fast as they’re saying? We break down the speeds

We take a look at the kinds of speeds you can expect from 5G when the networks roll out. Find out 5G compares to the last generation of network technology, what the minimum and maximum speeds will be, and what it means for us.
Mobile

Tizen 4 arriving on Samsung’s Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches

Samsung is updating the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and the Gear Sport to the newest version of Tizen 4. Along with of some little tweaks to usability and quality-of-life, Samsung has added some new features.
Mobile

Mobvoi’s TicWatch E2 and S2 are the most affordable Wear OS smartwatches yet

Quality smartwatches don't have to be expensive, and Mobvoi's TicWatch is the proud paladin of that philosophy. Mobvoi's new TicWatch S2 and are both available for low prices from Amazon and Mobvoi's website.
Deals

Save up to $950 with the best smartphone deals for January 2019

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $950.