Google Assistant and Alexa stole the show in many regards, given the plethora of new devices revealed that take advantage of the power of voice. It’d be next to impossible to examine all aspects of the gargantuan convention in detail, so you can find a breakdown our mobile and smartwatch highlights below.
It would be remiss of us to not mention mobile phones. While CES isn’t home to the earth shattering announcement of a new iPhone, many Android manufacturers take advantage of the sizable platform that the event offers.
Huawei is one such manufacturer. Following the withdrawal of AT&T from a potential carrier partnership, Huawei has announced that it is bringing the Mate 10 Pro to the USA through retail channels. While this device has been in the UK since the 17th November 2017, its introduction to the US mobile market will certainly ramp up the competition with fellow Android manufacturers, and, indeed, Apple. The loss of a partnership with a carrier will likely have a negative impact on the device’s sales, however.
ASUS offered an update on the release of the ZenFone Max Plus. The device possesses a 5.7-inch, 18:9 Full HD+ display, a 4,130 mAh battery, 3GB RAM and 32GB of storage. The price point is down at a lowly $229, and it will arrive in the US in February.
Sony has announced several new entry-level and mid-range handsets, namely the Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2. The L2 is the more basic option; it operates on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and features a 5.5-inch HD 720p display and quad-core 1.5GHz processor. The XA2 and XA2 Ultra feature better specifications, with Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processors and the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system. The displays are 5.2-inch Full HD 1080p and 6-inch Full HD 1080p respectively. While the prices of these devices have not been announced, they will be released in late January.
If there was an award for advances in mobile technology at CES, Vivo would win it hands down. Beating tech giants Apple and Samsung, Vivo has announced a device that possesses an in-display fingerprint sensor. The scanning technology, known as the FS9500, is created by Synaptics. It will take a user around thirty seconds to set up the fingerprint recognition. It is slower than most solid state scanners, and it will take around 0.7 seconds for the scanner to recognise a fingerprint that has been set up.
While the scanning speed could be improved, an in-display scanner brings no small amount of potential. With many devices featuring full OLED displays, fingerprint scanners have until now been consigned to an awkward position on the back of the mobile. This technology allows manufacturers to keep front-facing fingerprint scanning in a world where bezel-less displays are slowly being adopted as the norm.
Alongside their mobile counterparts, a range of new smartwatches have been announced. Some offerings have taken on a ‘style over substance’ philosophy, while others have an assortment of nifty features. Three of the best new devices are listed below.
Casio G-Shock Rangeman
One of the most impressive arrivals is the Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-B1000. Its black and white display may seem rather basic, but this is intentional; the display is easy to see in bright light and uses less power. The device offers GPS tracking and is resistant to mud. It can also harness the power of the sun, boasting a solar panel that tops up the battery life. The watch might be designed for a niche market, but taking advantage of solar energy may blaze a trail for other smartwatches to follow. The Casio G-Shock Rangeman will be released in April of this year for $800.
Matrix PowerWatch X
Another new smartwatch that utilises an unconventional charging method is the PowerWatch X. Very little is known about the functionality of the watch – not even the operating system has been announced – but the main feature announced is the device’s ability to charge using body heat. It also enters a deep sleep mode whenever a user isn’t wearing it. The PowerWatch X will be released later this month for $249.99.
Garmin Forerunner 645 Music
The Garmin Forerunner 645 Music is a great watch for users that want to take advantage of advanced tracking and fitness features. It also has integrated storage for up to 500 songs, so users can leave their phones at home when going for a run if they want to listen to music. It also includes Garmin Pay, and has a battery life of up to 14 hours when GPS is turned on. The device costs £399 and will be available in the first quarter of 2018 in the UK.
CES 2018 has kicked off the year in spectacular fashion, with plenty of new phones and mobile technology to look forward to. The release of the Samsung Galaxy S9 is also rumoured to be on the horizon, as is Apple’s HomePod. 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the world of tech.
Image credit: Lextant