SlashGear's Most Innovative Products Of IFA 2023

This year's IFA was a monster. On the 99th birthday of the conference, IFA 2023 had a completely sold-out show floor at its traditional home at Messe Berlin, and sights on expansion through the future. While last year it still seemed that brands were clawing their way out of uncertain times, now we're witnessing a renewed focus on the future — not only for fancy new gadgets — but for human life and society in general.

At IFA 2023, brands focused both on sustainability and on generating consumer trust without sacrificing the excitement of innovation that's vital to the success of any individual product. Our selections for Most Innovative at IFA 2023 include everything from a smartphone that'll last over half a decade to a robot that connects to your plumbing system. Some brands on this list you'll already know, and others are brand new to the market this year. 

Honor Magic V2

The Honor Magic V2 is a foldable smartphone that's here to compete. Honor's most extravagant device revealed this week goes toe-to-toe with Samsung, Google, and every other high-end foldable on the market today — not only because it has top-notch features and hardware, but because it's designed well. This smartphone is stylish. Perhaps not quite as stylish as the concept "purse" phone Honor revealed alongside the Magic V2 — but just so long as you don't need your foldable to hang from your shoulder, this one's a winner.

With this device, Honor also makes clear that we can expect foldable devices to be robust and highly functional, too. Despite having two large displays with 90%+ screen-to-body ratios, the Honor Magic V2 does not feel fragile. Both displays work with 120Hz LTPO tech as well as handwriting capabilities (with an Honor Magic-Pen that comes with the Honor Magic V2 Ultimate, that is to say). 

Fairphone 5

For years, Fairphone has been a brand that's been attempting to change consumer expectations for smartphones. They're suggesting that a smartphone shouldn't need to be exchanged for a new model every two years. They're making the case for a mobile device that can last significantly longer than that. With the Fairphone 5, they've made a crucial jump toward their goal with a smartphone that looks good and performs well, too.

Fairphone 5 comes with a 5-year warranty as well as 5 years of Android OS updates. Fairphone representatives suggest they "plan at least 5 Android OS version updates after Android 13" — which is, as of this moment, the best promise we've seen in an Android smartphone so far. Fairphone also promises software and security updates for this device until the year 2031. The entire phone is made with modular parts so users can order parts and replace them with relative ease — no glue holds down any part of this smartphone.

Philips Hue Secure

Philips Hue made the jump to home security with a collection of "Hue Secure" devices. Users of Philips Hue Secure devices will be able to make use of their already-installed system — in some cases — to connect with new Hue Secure devices. For instance, Hue Secure cameras used outdoors will be able to connect with a Philips outdoor lighting system for power.

The brand plans on a Fall 2023 release of its first Hue Secure wired cameras — shown above with a desktop stand — as well as battery cameras. They'll also be delivering a Hue Secure floodlight camera in early 2024. The brand also plans on releasing a Philips Hue Secure Contact Sensor.

Each camera works with onboard processing as well as end-to-end encryption for data transfer. Users can choose to disarm all cameras and sensors to use them only for localized features like triggering Hue lights. All controls will be enabled in an updated version of the same app Hue users already have installed on their smart devices.

Switchbot S10

Switchbot S10 looks a lot like its competitors. It's a disc-shaped robot vacuum and mop that you might mistake for half a dozen other similar machines on the market today. The big difference with this device is its ability to connect to your plumbing.

Instead of requiring you to dump and refill the water supply it uses for mopping your floor, Switchbot S10 connects to its dock (which connects to your plumbing system) and refreshes its water automatically. So long as you're confident you can fit the pipes, this machine does the rest.

What's more — this device can collect water from its dock (from your plumbing system) and deliver it to the SwitchBot Humidifier 2. So you won't need to fill your humidifier by hand anymore, either. It would appear that we're reaching the golden age of robotics — where they're just smart enough to do our work for us, but not so smart that they realize they'd rather stage an uprising.

Lenovo Legion Go

Lenovo has a new gaming system called Lenovo Legion Go. At first glance, you might mistake this device for a refined version of the Steam Deck, a Nintendo Switch stripped of its bright colors, or a gigantic version of a Sega Game Gear. Instead what you're getting is at once both straightforward and pleasingly different from what's come before.

We got our hands on what you see above — an early version of the device. While the final version may differ slightly, what we've got is a full-on Windows-based gaming PC with detachable controls and a kickstand. There's a touchpad, joysticks, directional controls, triggers, and buttons galore. 

Also, the right controller also transforms into a laser mouse. Included with the device is a sort of stand that holds the controller upright while the laser at the bottom is moved along a surface — most likely a mousepad. It's pretty slick, even before we're getting to experience the final product.

Withings Scanwatch 2

Each time Withings delivers a new smartwatch, it feels a little shocking. Not because it has a delightful, bright, colorful display, like most smartwatches, but because of its lack of any such display. Withings Scanwatch V2 is mostly analog — there is only one very tiny display that's embedded within a larger, comfortably familiar-looking watch face. This is a smartwatch made for people who want the benefits of a smartwatch without actually using a smartwatch. 

Much like its most recent predecessor, this watch has a battery life that far exceeds most smartwatches — those with big displays, anyway. Withings Scanwatch V2 looks a lot like the Withings Scanwatch we reviewed earlier this year. It has most of the same hardware, too, and can use all of the same watch bands as its predecessor. But this new version adds a few key features, most importantly 24-hour body temperature tracking.

Cricut Joy Xtra

The Cricut Joy Xtra is not the biggest cutting machine the brand has ever made. Cricut Joy Xtra isn't the smallest device made by Cricut, either. Instead, it's a machine that balances key features from each of the brand's most popular machines, all in a size that fits right between devices already on the market.

It's a reminder that while there are other, similar products available in the wild, Cricut's effectively cornered the market for brand recognition and trust. The Cricut Joy Xtra is the first 8.5 by 11-inch machine from the company, and it includes the ability to cut 50+ materials, draw designs on materials with Cricut Joy pens, and cut around images printed by a user's inkjet printer. 

This device is just small enough to transport with ease — and just large enough to handle the vast majority of a DIY artist's material cutting needs.

Xgimi Horizon Ultra

The Xgimi Horizon Ultra is a handsome projector. It's not often that a device such as this has its hardware designed with such finesse. Usually, projectors are designed in a way that lends to them staying hidden while their projected media shines.

In addition to looking nice enough to fit any sort of living room, this projector has the ability to deliver Dolby Vision in 4K. We had the opportunity to witness this device's intelligent automatic framing (Intelligent Screen Adaptation (ISA) 3.0) system in action, moving from given frame to given frame with ease — it was quite impressive.

The demonstration we witnessed at IFA 2023 also included a wall projection with plenty of light from outside sources, too. While many projectors would fail to produce a picture that was worth using in such a bright environment, Xgimi Horizon Ultra performed admirably, producing an image that was clearly visible despite the outside light.

Lenovo ThinkVision 27 3D Monitor

The Lenovo ThinkVision 27 3D Monitor is an impressive piece of hardware. This is a monitor that can show its user a 3D image (or video) without the aid of any external accessory — no 3D glasses are required. Eye-tracking tech embedded below the display panel allows instant adjustment based on the location of the viewer. 

It can function as an impressive high-resolution monitor in 2D, too — switching back and forth is easy enough to seriously consider this monitor viable for a person only planning on using the 3D feature very sparingly.

It's effectively impossible to adequately depict the feature that makes this device so futuristic. We've seen a bunch of 3D displays and 3D-like solutions like this in the past, but none have really hit the mark like this device from Lenovo. You really, truly need to see it for yourself to understand why.

Jabra Elite 8 Active

Jabra claims that Jabra Elite 8 Active earbuds are "the world's toughest earbuds." They've gone so far as to back their claim with Force Technology testing, which tested the hardware against "seven competing products from the market leading manufacturers in the business" as described in Force Technology test report 123-21553-1 — found on Jabra's commercial disclaimers page

Tests included the following list: loose load vibration (bounce), temperature shock and change, humidity exposure, salt mist, drop, charging, HACT (highly accelerated corrosion test), mechanical tests, and confirmation of certifications IP 54 (for the cradle/charger) and IP 68 (for the earbuds). Per the report, "FORCE Technology confirms that the Jabra Elite Active 8 received a generally higher score than any of the other tested products thus substantiating the claim." 

Basically, these are the earbuds you'll want to buy if you plan on going on a dusty desert bike ride followed by a dive into up to 1.5 meters of water. You do not likely own any other gadget that'll withstand the elements better than these earbuds.