CES 2017: WHAT NEW SMARTPHONES AND FEATURES CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO?

CES 2017, one of the world’s largest electronics trade shows, will heat things up this winter by raising high-tech to a fever pitch as it does every year. The biggest brands and manufacturers will convene to present their latest innovations and we will definitely be present to give you a review. What can we expect to see this year? The latest news is that Honor will be unveiling a new smartphone and we’ll see some new smartwatches at the event.

What is CES?

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest high-tech trade shows in the world and focuses entirely on technological innovation in consumer electronics. It takes place every January in Las Vegas and has been running now for over 40 years.

This event brings together professionals, journalists and individual tech aficionados. Nearly 200,000 square meters of exhibition space is available! Last year, over 3,600 exhibitors from over 140 countries attended the conference.

What can we expect?

Obviously, classic Android devices will feature: smartphones, tablets and some smartwatches. Having said that, more futuristic items will also no doubt be joining in the festivities: drones, connected devices (for the smart home), connected cars, connected accessories (notably Bluetooth audio equipment) and maybe even new VR accessories.

Smartwatches

We’ve reported recently on the death of smartwatches, but it seems that Google is interested in reviving them with Android Wear 2.0. Manufacturers will reveal new devices with Android Wear 2.0 as early as January at CES, according to Jeff Chang, the product manager of Android Wear at Google. The Verge reports that Google is “committed to supporting and promoting these launches in order to help build awareness in a consumer climate that is becoming increasingly adverse to smartwatches and wearables in general”.

 

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Honor: a new smartphone

Huawei’s online subsidiary brand, Honor, plans to unveil a new smartphone at CES on January 3. So far, the company hasn’t released any further information on the device, apart from a Facebook post with a teaser image that says “Double or Nothing”. Could the “double” refer to a dual camera? We’ll see.

 

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Asus: new ZenFone

There is no longer any doubt that we will be getting a new ZenFone at CES 2017 on January 4 at 11:30 AM PST. Asus has revealed their latest teaser for the phone, which you can watch below. The Taiwanese company has already sent out the press invitations, which it has baptized “Zennovation”. In an earlier teaser, the firm revealed a Qualcomm Snapdragon logo next to its brand name, which could indicate that the new arrival will be a high-end phone with a Snapdragon 835 processor inside.

Other rumors have pointed towards Asus using the opportunity to present another smartphone: the ZenFone AR. It supports Tango technology, which has been so long awaited that the idea was almost buried before being dredged up by the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. Just as a reminder, this technology allows a different visualization of space through a smartphone, analyzing distances and most notably focusing on the concept of augmented reality.

Lenovo: a new Phab Pro?

Last year, Lenovo unveiled the Phab 2 Pro which was fully compatible with Tango technology. Will we see a new version this year? The answer to this depends largely on another question: is there (already) an audience for this type of device? If they are not successful in this sector, the brand will obviously not rely too heavily on this.

A while ago, Lenovo presented a smartphone/bracelet prototype that is worn around the wrist. Perhaps we will see the return of this device?

LG: present, but not really for us

LG has been present at CES since its beginning, and though the Korean manufacturer will be at this year’s show, they aren’t going to launch anything truly amazing. In fact, the only interesting thing about the phones they’re launching at CES is the removable battery.

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The Stylo 3 is the most intriguing of the group, but that’s not saying much. / © LG

 

LG has announced that it will be launching five uninspiring new phones at CES: the Stylo 3 (Stylus 3 outside of the US), and four fresh K series phones (K10, K8, K4 and K3). The mid-range Stylo 3 is the most intriguing of the group. The 1.8mm diameter fiber-tip stylus pen is meant to “provide the feel and feedback of an actual pen when writing on the screen.” It has a large 5.7-inch screen with 3 GB of RAM and an octa-core processor. It will have 13 MP (rear) and 8 MP (front) cameras, and be available in two colors: Metallic Titan and Pink Gold.

 

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The only exciting thing about these new K series phones: the removable battery. / © LG

 

The four K series phones will come in a range of sizes: 5.3 inches (K10), 5 inches (K8 and K4), and 4.5 inches (K3). The K10 offers the best specs with a fingerprint scanner, wide-angle 5 MP front camera and a 13 MP rear camera from the G series flagships. The K8 and K4 share a 5-inch in-cell touchscreen, but the K8’s is HD while the K4’s is FWVGA. The K3’s screen is just a tiny 4.5 inch FWVGA display. The cameras are a main differentiator between the three smaller models. The K8’s cameras have 13 and 5 MP, the K4 has 5 and 5 MP, while the K3 has a deeply unimpressive 5 and 2 MP. The only exciting thing about any of these phones is the removable battery.

The LG Signature line will most probably also be on show, including washing machines and televisions. Other accessories might also be shown, perhaps having to do with acoustics, or even smartwatches.

 

Qualcomm: new hardware becoming stronger and stronger

Qualcomm is one of the most well-known processor manufacturers. This year, a good number of flagships proudly sported their Snapdragon 820 because it worked so well, with only Huawei and Samsung (in its European version) opting to use their own in-house material.

Qualcomm may revisit the Snapdragon 830. What is its potential? What is it worth compared to its predecessor? Can it be combined with QuickCharge 4?

ZTE: shrouded in mystery

We know that ZTE will be attending CES as they launched a competition to send several people to attend the show, covering all travel and accommodation expenses. However, this is the only concrete evidence we have on the subject! So what can we expect ZTE present on this occasion?

They may introduce a smartphone, though it is more possible that the brand will present a variety of connected accessories.

Of course, other manufacturers such as Samsung and Sony will also be present, though it is unlikely that they will use the event to introduce anything truly revolutionary. What about Huawei and others? Only the future can say, and we will provide updates as soon as we know more. Several new features could also be announced for cars.

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