CES is one of the biggest electronics tradeshows in the world which takes places each year in January in Las Vegas. The most important names in tech make an appearance at the event to unveil their latest products and give us a glimpse of what’s to come. A few years ago, top device makers used to save their best devices for CES, but in recent years the spotlight has gravitated towards smaller manufacturers.
Now most Android OEMs prefer to launch their flagships at MWC. Samsung for example, usually hosts an Unpacked event in Barcelona, during which it pulls off the veil its latest generation Galaxy S flagship, while reserving CES for some more undistinguished announcements. Nevertheless, CES remains an event to watch out for. After all, smaller device makers might surprise us with interesting announcements and experimental technologies. And it’s not all about smartphones anyway.
While the rumor mill hasn’t revealed all that much about what to expect at CES 2017, we managed able to put together a list of what we think might be the most interesting smartphone launches during the event.
Yes, most phone makers usually prefer to unveil their new flagships during MWC, but some companies do come to CES ready to unleash new handset products. It’s the case of ASUS. The company has already sent out invites for its “Zennovation” media event in Las Vegas and we expect at least two phones to make an appearance into the wild.
According to previous rumors, ASUS is gearing up to launch a new Project Tango phone. Following Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro, ASUS also wants to get onboard of the AR bandwagon. AR will be very hot next year, so ASUS wants to make sure it offers something along these lines. Hopefully the device dubbed ZenFone AR will offer better specs than Lenovo’s average handset.
On top of the ZenFone AR, ASUS might also unveil the ZenFone 3 Zoom – a photo-centric Zhandset. According to the rumor mill, the device will bundle a Snapdragon 625 processor, an 13MP frontal snapper and a main dual-camera setup plus a hefty 4,850 mAh battery.
LG has dispersed some of the mystery surrounding its CES event. The company already announced a lineup of mid-range phones which will be put on display on the grounds in Las Vegas.
While the K10, K8, K4 and K3 handsets don’t offer anything spectacular in terms of specs they are decent phones that will probably come with affordable price-tags. As for the K10 and K8 they can be considered the first budget-friendly phones to be launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. LG has also prepared the LG Stylus 3, a middle-range phablet coming with a smart stylus.
Apart from these not-so-exciting phones, LG has also teased something more futuristic headed for CES 2017 – the new PJ9 Bluetooth speakers which can “hover in midair”.
The floating capabilities are due to the so-called Levitation Station which houses a powerful set of electromagnets. But what’s even more interesting is that when the PJ9 battery starts to wear off, the speaker will automatically descend towards the Levitation Station and charge itself. We’re pretty excited to see this piece of technology in action at CES 2017.
Remember that at CES 2016, Huawei announced the Mate 8 flagship. According to the rumor mill, in a few days the Chinese device maker is expected to go on stage again at CES 2017 and unveil something under the Honor banner.
It’s just a speculation at this point, but maybe the world’s third smartphone manufacturer is looking to introduce its latest phone concept, the Honor Magic which was unveiled in China not so long ago.
The phone features a unique curved design and comes bundled with a host of AI features that will make using the phone extremely intuitive. Huawei is looking to make an impression on the US market and the Honor Magic can easily attract the attention of the pickiest customers.
Remember ZTE’s Project CSX – the eye-tracking, self-adhesive handset? Well it’s very likely ZTE will put it on display at CES 2017.
The company has been hosting a competition asking fans to help name the device. The winner will be announced during the tradeshow, so it makes sense to assume the phone will also be showcased for the first time.
The device should feature premium specifications like a QHD display, Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.
ZTE has been trying to impress the US crowd for some time now, so maybe with the Project CSX it will manage to get everyone’s attention. ZTE might also showcase an alternative to the defunct Nexus smartphone featuring a clean Android version. Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see.
BlackBerry might be done manufacturing smartphones, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see new phones bearing the Canadian company’s logo soon enough. TCL has taken over device production and will be coming at CES 2017 to launch a new BlackBerry device.
In all possibility, TCL will probably unveil the so-called “Mercury” device, which has leaked a few times. The phone should feature a touchscreen and also the iconic QWERTY keyboard. BlackBerry’s popularity has been decreasing steadily in the past few years, so it will be interesting to see how the new TCL-made model is received.
Sony has been pretty quiet lately, but the company has scheduled a press event at CES 2017 on January 4. And according to a rumor dating back from November, it might be possible the company will unveil a new phone, quite possibly the much anticipated Xperia X2?
Of course, Sony might limit itself to just unveiling a bunch of new 4K TVs or share some PlayStation novelties with us. We’ll see in a few days.