By Stephen Schenck | January 3, 2014 6:46 PM
Right now, we’re in that nebulous pre-CES period, where while the show hasn’t technically kicked-off just yet, manufacturers are itching to get their new products out on display and into the public eye. For several of them, that’s meant not waiting until CES 2014 is underway in full swing, and making some of their announcements a little early; we’ve already gotten such looks from companies like Archos, Lenovo, and ZTE, and even Samsung got started a little prematurely with news of the Galaxy Camera 2.
But make no mistake: in spite of the news that’s come our way already, there’s still plenty more waiting for us. Some of what’s coming has been formally teased, some of it’s been the subject of rumors, and despite our best efforts to work out just what to expect, some of it is bound to include a few surprises.
As we wait to learn everything that’s in store for us, let’s take a look at what we’re likely to hear about over the coming days.
Well, for starters, Taylor just brought you a preview of some of the announcements he’s looking forward to as part of our on-the-ground CES 2014 team, including things like that Pebble announcement the company’s been hinting at, the next stage of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier evolution, new SoCs from Samsung, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.
That last one’s a good a point as any to start expanding upon, as we doubt it will be alone; Samsung’s been showing plenty of evidence that it’s working on a whole series of new tablets. While the Note Pro 12.2 stands out due to its sheer size, we’re also looking forward to a Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, and Galaxy Tab 3 Lite. There’s also the possibility (albeit slim) that a Nexus 10 refresh could finally be happening, with Samsung and Google using CES to debut the new tablet.
Beyond tablets, there’s also the remote possibility that Samsung could have a new version of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch to announce, though that could easily occur later in the year.
And of course, there’s the big Samsung product everyone wants to know about: the Galaxy S 5. A January launch date’s been mentioned multiple times – though to be fair, so have windows in March and February – and while the idea of Samsung sharing the spotlight at a trade show like this for a flagship launch is a little difficult to accept, it’s still a remote possibility. We’d say, don’t bet on this one, but be ready to be surprised all the same.
A new phone from Sony is also one big question mark. We’ve heard rumors specifically talking about a CES announcement, for a handset codenamed Sirius. While that’s possible, we really haven’t learned a lot about this model yet, and it’s hard to say how accurate those launch claims may be.
We’re also still waiting for news about increased availability of existing Sony handsets, like that Z1f in Japan becoming the international Z1 Mini. This one, at least, may be a holdout for MWC, as a scheduled Chinese event that may launch the phone won’t occur until after CES is over.
Talking about Sony is an opportunity to make another important point about CES: keep in mind that unlike MWC, CES is a more general-focus electronics show. That means that the Sony presence here might be dominated by stuff like the PlayStation 4 or new TVs. And boy, had you better believe that we’ll be seeing a lot of new 4K TVs! For companies that really have diverse interests, and a lot of potential products to demonstrate, it might make more sense to hold off on some of the tablets and phones until MWC next month.
ASUS is slated to reveal… something… though it’s been a fair amount of guesswork so far in elucidating just what the company has planned. Its teasers have referred to products like a convertible Android/Windows tablet, and possibly a range of new smartphones, stretching up to phablet-sized – at least if we’re reading that one video correctly.
Connected devices are sure to be a big deal, and we’ve already seen efforts from some OEMs (like Archos) that should be on display at the expo. But beyond just in-home connectivity, car integration could also be a major theme at this year’s show. We’ve heard, for instance, that Google and Audi have a system that they intend to put up on display.
We also shouldn’t overlook the products some of the lesser-known Southeast Asian OEMs bring to share – we know that Meizu intends to court US eyes with its latest lineup of devices, and it’s not likely to be alone. Companies like this may very well present us with our first opportunity to go hands-on with a smartphone sporting a controversial 2K (1440p, whatever you want to call it) display – and if that’s the case, you had better believe we’ll be sharing the experience with you.
Really, this is just scratching the surface; expect a lot (lot lot lot) of new products, far more than we’ve been able to mention here. What’s going to fill in those gaps? Probably a metric crapload of tablets – and dual-boot Android models could be the new hottness (with more than just that ASUS device showing their faces). Also expect a ton of wearables – and predicting what we’re going to see here is made all the more difficult by this being one segment of the market that’s attracting a lot of newcomers.
Whatever the CES has for us, we’re going to be on top of bringing it to you. Keep checking back with us over the course of the next week for announcements, surprises, and more hands-on videos than you’ll know what to do with (watch them, though – seriously, watching them is what you’re supposed do).