Folding cell phones, giant TVs, smart stoves

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FFood and smartphones as big as ever, a super-fast mobile phone and appliances that read the desires of their users almost from their lips: these are the highlights of the IFA, which opened its doors on Friday in Berlin. But visitors looking for mind-boggling innovations are out of place at the world's largest consumer electronics show. Everything has happened before, but many times this time or at least very quickly marketable – so it could be a summary after a walk through the rooms around the radio tower.

Thiemo Heeg

This is particularly evident in the hype surrounding the new 5G mobile communication standard. In reality, 5G is mainly interesting for the corporate sphere: it allows self-driving cars, telemedicine and Internet of things. But IFA is a consumer fair and that's why you have to make it clear in Berlin that consumers really need 5G. One of the most zealous protagonists is Richard Yu, head of the Chinese group led by Huawei policy. For him, there is no doubt: without 5G it won't work much in the future. In its home country this is already a decisive factor for mobile phone buyers. Even in Europe, he predicts, 5G will be "much more important" next year than this year. Yu presents the new Kirin 990 smartphone processor in Berlin. It contains an integrated 5G modem and a small chip for connecting wearable devices, such as computer clocks. So far, competitors Huawei Samsung and Qualcomm are not technologically yet.

A Bosch washing machine that communicates with the dryer


Otherwise, the Huawei chief, who has been invited to a keynote speech, shows restrictions in terms of politics and America. Please only questions about the product, it was the default setting in a journalist round. In his speech to the launch of the IFA, he does not mention the conflict with the United States. However, the controversy has consequences: a first device that Huawei will release following the commercial conflict without Google's app like Maps or Play Store, the company wants to present on September 18 in Monaco. Huawei is threatened with losing access to western technology because the Trump government has blacklisted the company for security problems.

Different difficulties affect Samsung, at least in recent weeks. His Falthandy Fold, on which they have high hopes, showed weaknesses on the display. It has been reworked and now the model arrives on the market in less than two weeks in Germany. From 18 September it will be available in this country. However, if you want the device in the "Cosmos Black" and "Space Silver" variants, you have to put as much money on the table as you do for almost no other smartphone. A price of 2100 euros called Samsung.

Because the group has overcome "the limits of traditional smartphone design", as the head of the mobile division, DJ Koh, has proudly formulated. The Galaxy Fold with 5G has a 7.3-inch display that can be folded. When the device is closed, users can comfortably access the most important information from the front screen with one hand, promises Samsung, referring to an improved design and a redesigned design, providing "a high degree of stability".

5G phones need 5G networks: and those are only in the building, which becomes clear at the IFA. After all: it starts after the frequencies have been put on auction a few weeks ago for 6.6 billion euros. Deutsche Telekom has announced that the first antennas are now broadcasting according to the fast standard. Michael Hagspihl, who manages the retail trade, said: "With 5G, a new era is opening up, not only for corporate customers, but also for residential customers." Vodafone has already built more antennas. Experts critically see the attacks: 5G for private customers is "pure marketing and a lot of noise around very little," said Torsten Gerpott, professor of telecommunications at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

A Siemens oven, which opens its doors to voice command.


The "ever bigger" trend is also followed by televisions. The "Premium TV giants" are in vogue at the fair. They are as sharp as they are with a resolution of 8k. For example, Sony presents a very lush 98-inch model that can be placed very close to the device without visible and distracting pixels. Another question is how such a giant can be hoisted in a rented apartment on the fourth floor – not to mention the price.

In addition to telecommunications and consumer electronics, the IFA has also been a meeting point for appliance enthusiasts for several years. Here, networking is considered the great theme of the destiny of the sector. An oven, which can be opened through the Alexa language assistant, is one of the stars of Berlin this year. The beautiful new smart home certainly has its downsides. Again and again, security experts warn against hacker attacks in the kitchen and living room. They are too light considering the hardly protected too simple hardware, is the concern. On the other hand, the connected house is far from being a mass market. Not even one in ten Internet users in Germany uses smart home technology such as networked coffee machines and vacuum cleaner robots, as the Federal Statistical Office has discovered.

Richard (t) Huawei (t) Samsung (t) Qualcomm (t) ISIN_US7475251036 (t) 5G (t) Smartphone

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