CES 2017 Recap: All you need to know
It’s an instant show and you’re in an instant world. After several days of true tech tomfoolery across a few hotels and a convention center in Las Vegas, Nevada, CES 2017 has finally come to a wrap. Gadgets of all sizes have come and gone right through our hands and we are so ready to finally just firm our grip with MWC coming up.
So let’s make this wrap-up post as concise as possible, huh?
While there may have been little to excite us during the event, there was definitely a decent volume of handsets for us to at least look at. Only a handful are destined to launch in the US, though.
- Samsung debuted the Galaxy A3 (2017) and Galaxy A5 (2017), which we have called modern “Galaxy S mini” devices.
- The Honor 6X layers on a measurable improvement over what Huawei’s Honor 5X offered as a $199 phone last year.
- LG released a slate of updates to its K-series devices, which originated last year. The Stylo series got its third iteration.
- TCL bragged to the press about its unnamed BlackBerry device with a keyboard, which we have been calling “Mercury”.
- ASUS released the ZenFone 3 Zoom with two rear cameras that have different focal lengths and the ZenFone AR, the first with both Google Tango and Daydream VR technology in one package.
- The ZTE Blade V8 Pro also joins in on the dual-camera action, one of the company’s first. We also checked out a crowd-developed phone named Hawkeye.
- The Huawei Mate 9 got its official US debut last week with the inclusion of Amazon’s Alexa service.
- LeEco-associated Coolpad tipped its hat into the US ring with the mid-range Conjr.
- The Alcatel A3 XL is a global, low-end phone with Android Nougat and a fingerprint sensor.
- The Xiaomi Mi MIX now comes in white, but not outside of China for sales.
- LG confirmed at the show that its G6 will not feature a modular design.
Tablets and laptops
Convertibles are dominating the tablet format these days and with a new, seventh generation of Intel Core processors, manufacturers are trying to exploit the market for refreshed PC appetite. Here are the ones that we’ve covered:
If Chromebooks are your fancy, three of them came out on the show floor this year, all of them with differentiators.
- The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 is a much-needed update to the original 2015 model and gives users Chrome OS with Android apps in modes from tablet to laptop and anywhere in between.
- The Acer Chromebook 11 N7 is a cheap but durable little demon, rated by US military standards for shock resistance up to 4 feet.
- The Samsung Chromebook Plus and Pro takes ASUS’s Flip and adds a stylus and an option for more power (at a cost, of course).
And then there was that oddball Razer laptop that was codenamed “Project Valerie“. How did one not exist as a blubbering pile of garbage before today without experiencing a 4K screen beside another beside another on the same damn device? And they fold in, too.
Wearables (of all sorts)
- Starting off in the wearables category, Lenovo was the first to detail what its Windows Holographic VR headset would look like and cost.
- Qualcomm and manufacturer ODG are promoting what may become better versions of Google Glass.
- Not much has changed with Casio’s second Smart Outdoor Watch. Except for the addition of cellular connectivity and GPS.
- The Garmin Fenix 5 brings in sporty stats-keeping in three sizes.
- We were impressed with the LG Tone Studio… speakers? Headset? Those are some really directional drivers.
- The HTC Vive headset gets several new peripherals introduced to the US this springtime, including a wireless transmission adapter and a strap-on headphone kit.
- ZTE is openly talking about an Android Wear smartwatch with LTE and “good battery life” coming this year to the US.
- Some new brand blood is getting into Android Wear with New Balance’s Intel-powered RunIQ.
- It runs into a relative newcomer in the touchscreen smartwatch business with Misfit launching its new GPS-integrated Vapor.
- Ironically, TCL’s MOVEBAND BT takes on Misfit’s typical offering of a screen-less fitness tracker.
- We got one of Lofelt’s Basslet around our wrists and felt something above and beyond what you’d think a typical haptic motor could do.
- Need some headphones with their durability as beefy as their sound? We tried on the Outdoor Tech Rhinos.
- Lenovo’s Smart Assistant and Mattel’s Aristotle debut as two new and refined Alexa speakers.
- NVIDIA finally one-upped its Shield TV with 4K HDR support and Google Assistant integration. Google Assistant is also found on the NVIDIA Spot remote.
- T-Mobile launched Un-carrier Next — really, things like wrapping fees and taxes into the billed service price and locking in prices for continuously-held plans are jimmies to the ice cream, here.
- Kodak got us excited for film once more with a new Super 8 Camera (and the subsequent throwback to Ektachrome film) and a new 360-degree action camera that records in 4K resolution.
Overall, we’d say that our haul for CES 2017 hasn’t been so bad. And with HTC supposedly launching a phone “for U” of some sort this week, we’re still riding off the vapors of trade show fulfillment. We just wish MWC would come a bit sooner.